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Current Articles

April 16, 2018

  • TSMC 7nm Approaches Intel’s Prowess
    As Intel struggles to put its 10nm manufacturing into production, TSMC and other foundries are preparing 7nm processes that match up well against the traditional fab-technology leader.
  • Arm Kigen Aims to Secure Cellular IoT
    Arm wants to replace discrete subscriber identity modules (SIMs) in cellular IoT devices with iSIMs that designers can build directly into the main processor, reducing cost and enhancing security.

April 9, 2018

  • Intel Adds Cores to Core Processors
    Intel greatly expanded its lineup of 8th Generation processors with 30 new models that raise the core or thread count for nearly all Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 buyers.
  • Clockless Cortex-M3 Cuts Power
    Startup Eta Compute has implemented an Arm Cortex-M3 in asynchronous logic. Licensable as a 55nm hard macro, it’s designed for low-power SoCs, and it also runs an unusual neural network.

April 2, 2018

  • Abee Adds AI to Wearables Processor
    A wearables-processor startup, funded by parent Huami, has developed a unique SoC featuring a tiny AI engine that reduces power by 23x when running neural networks.
  • Microsemi Pushes OTN to Terabits
    Microsemi’s Digi-G5 is the industry’s first OTN framer/mapper chip to handle 400G Ethernet as well as Flex Ethernet (FlexE). It combines up to 1.2Tbps of bandwidth and unprecedented flexibility.
  • Mali-G52 Boosts Mainstream Phones
    Targeting midrange and low-cost smartphones, Arm’s new cores include the Mali-G52 and Mali-G31 GPUs, the Mali-V52 video codec, and the Mali-D51 display processor.

March 26, 2018

  • Nvidia Shares Its Deep Learning
    Competing with DLA IP vendors, Nvidia has extracted the deep-learning accelerator from its Xavier autonomous-driving processor and is offering it under a royalty-free open-source license.
  • NXP Pushes i.MX8M Mini to 14nm
    The company’s first 14nm chips, NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini products are lower-cost versions of some i.MX8 media processors, and some will supersede existing i.MX6 models. 
  • IC Economics Limit Performance
    New process nodes no longer allow doubling of transistor budgets at the same cost, constraining designers to small increases in transistor budget and declining die sizes.
  • Marvell Doubles PAM4 PHY Density
    Marvell is sampling its first 50Gbps PAM4 PHY, which targets systems rather than optical modules. The 88X7120 arrives at the same time as the first 400G Ethernet switch chips.
  • NXP Refits i.MX and Kinetis for IoT
    NXP has unveiled two new IoT processor families: i.MX chips with package-on-package wireless modules, and Kinetis K32W0x-series microcontrollers with integrated radios.

March 19, 2018

  • AMD Embeds Graphics in Ryzen
    The four Ryzen Embedded V1000 chips are AMD’s first Zen-based embedded processors with integrated graphics. Their Vega GPU cores offer an upgrade over previous products.
  • Huawei Joins 5G Modem Race
    Huawei may be the first to production with a 5G modem, the Balong 5G01. That ASIC, due out later this year, targets fixed-wireless broadband and similar devices.
  • Spreadtrum Extends Intel Alliance
    China’s leading mobile-processor supplier, with help from Intel, plans to develop a 5G chipset for next-generation smartphones, targeting production in 2H19.

March 12, 2018

  • Broadcom Router Chips Aim at ASICs
    As the 16nm StrataDNX generation, Jericho2 and Ramon deliver 400G Ethernet support and unprecedented port density using 50Gbps PAM4 serdes as well as in-package HBM.
  • Xeon D Soars With Skylake
    Intel’s new Xeon D-2100 SoCs have upgraded to the Skylake-SP CPU. They also double the DRAM bandwidth and the 10GbE port count, and some have QuickAssist cryptography acceleration.
  • Ceva PentaG Adds AI to 5G Baseband
    Ceva’s new PentaG DSP comprises a set of configurable processing blocks that allow designers to build digital basebands implementing the recently ratified 3GPP 5G-NR specification.
  • Helio P60 Targets “New Premium”
    MediaTek is entering the emerging mid-premium smartphone segment with a powerful but affordable new processor that includes four Cortex-A73 CPUs and a Cadence AI accelerator.

March 5, 2018

  • Cambricon Leads China Into AI Chips
    A government-funded Beijing startup, Cambricon develops IP cores and processors for deep-learning acceleration. Among its first design wins is Huawei’s Kirin 970 smartphone processor.
  • Silicon Fingerprints From eMemory
    NeoPUF Entropy IP, from Taiwanese NVM vendor eMemory, enables chip designers to integrate a physical unclonable function (PUF) comprising 64K random nonvolatile bits.
  • Editorial: 5G Reaches Peak Hype
    Will 5G launch this year with ultrafast data rates and almost no latency to the cloud, eventually creating trillions of dollars in new revenue? Don’t believe everything you hear.
  • Snapdragon 820 Tapped for Embedded
    Qualcomm has added the Snapdragon 820E to an embedded lineup that already includes the 410E and 600E, offering a powerful yet low-power processor for demanding consumer and industrial designs.

February 26, 2018

  • AMD Embeds Epyc 3000
    AMD’s new Epyc Embedded SoCs introduce the Zen CPU to the embedded market. They integrate 4–16 cores, 10GbE MACs, south-bridge I/Os, and server-class security features.
  • RISC-V Enables IoT Edge Processor
    Startup Greenwaves has used a RISC-V CPU with DSP extensions to create a unique microcontroller plus parallel processor. It targets image and signal processing in battery-powered IoT nodes.
  • Snapdragon X24 Doubles Gigabit LTE
    Laying a path to 5G, Qualcomm’s X24 modem uses 7nm technology and unlicensed spectrum to reach a peak LTE download rate of 2.0Gbps, nearly double the speed of today’s X20.

February 19, 2018

  • Gyrfalcon Shrinks AI Accelerator
    In one year, a Silicon Valley startup has designed and delivered a convolutional-neural-network (CNN) accelerator chip that can achieve 2.8 teraflop/s while burning just 300mW.
  • Nvidia Xavier Drives to Carmel
    Nvidia’s next-generation autonomous-driving SoC integrates eight of its new Carmel CPUs, a Volta GPU, two deep-learning accelerators (DLAs), and a programmable vision accelerator (PVA).
  • Cellular Moves Into Unlicensed Bands
    After years of development and regulatory battles, operators are finally deploying LTE in the 5GHz band. Most skipped the LTE-U specification in favor of the 3GPP’s LAA standardized in Release 13.
  • Ampere Reboots X-Gene as eMAG
    Former Intel executive Renee James leads Ampere Computing as it relaunches the former X-Gene 3 processor into the server market with a new name and a new roadmap.

February 12, 2018

  • Editorial: MediaTek Targets New Markets
    Faced with declining mobile revenue, MediaTek is branching into new markets, racking up design wins at Amazon as well as launching new chips for automotive and networking applications.
  • Nordic Expands Into Cellular IoT
    Following its success in Bluetooth 5 MCUs, Nordic has entered the cellular market with new products for LTE-M and NB-IoT. Rather than introduce an SoC, it worked with Qorvo to develop a SiP.
  • Imagination GPUs Shift to Automotive
    The new PowerVR GT8540 doubles the performance of the GT8525, the first GPU in the Furian Series8XT line. It supports applications with up to eight virtual machines.
  • Broadcom Opens New Switch SDK
    Broadcom is publishing the source code of its new software-development kit for switch chips. The SDKLT employs a logical-table approach, and the associated API carries an Apache 2.0 license.

February 5, 2018

  • Videantis IP Cores Pack Lots of MACs
    The Videantis v-MP6000UDX handles computer vision as well as image and video processing, but it’s the company’s first design that can also serve as a programmable neural-network accelerator.
  • Startup Develops Near-Threshold CPUs
    Aiming to reduce active power, Minima is modifying Arm’s Cortex-M3 using a novel approach to near-threshold design. It plans to offer its first hard core in 1H18.
  • Qualcomm QCC5100 Hits Hearables
    The new Bluetooth audio chip from the former CSR team can triple battery life compared with the previous generation using a new design based on the Kalimba architecture.

January 29, 2018

  • Snapdragon 845 Is a DynamIQ Force
    Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 processor delivers a 25–30% CPU and GPU performance gain, which combines with a redesigned Hexagon DSP to accelerate neural networks.
  • AMD Unfolds PC Roadmap for 2018
    AMD’s plans for new PC processors and graphics chips include 12nm and 7nm products using the Zen+ and Zen 2 CPU designs as well as 7nm Navi-based GPUs.
  • Semtech IoT Radios Go the Distance
    The second-generation Semtech LoRa chips ease system design while reducing power, but the LPWAN technology faces increasing competition from the 3GPP’s NB-IoT.
  • Ceva NeuPro Accelerates Neural Nets
    Ceva has extended its line of neural-network-processor intellectual property (IP) by launching NeuPro, which comprises a family of cores optimized for general-purpose machine learning.

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