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Current Articles

July 24, 2017

  • Embedded Skylake Speeds Networking
    Intel’s new embedded Xeon Scalable processors derive from the recently introduced Skylake-SP, but the new Lewisburg south bridge is an even bigger improvement to the platform.
  • Skylake X Scales Extreme PCs
    Targeting high-end gamers and content creators, AMD and Intel have launched desktop processors that blow away earlier generations by offering much higher performance at lower prices.
  • MediaTek Offers Cat-NB2 Modem
    MediaTek is the first company to bring a Release 14 NB-IoT modem to market, reducing cost by integrating the RF filters, power-management unit, and flash memory.

July 17, 2017

  • Xeon Scalable Reshapes Server Line
    Skylake-SP and the Purley platform replace both Xeon E5 and Xeon E7 with new processors that offer more cores and better performance, but often with higher power and prices as well.
  • Skylake-SP Scales Server Systems
    Intel’s newest server-processor design modifies the Skylake client with greater AVX-512 capabilities and a new cache architecture while greatly improving the memory and I/O bandwidth.
  • Achronix Turns to Embedded FPGAs
    Even as revenue from its high-performance Speedster FPGAs ramps, Achronix is focusing on its new Speedcore embedded-FPGA intellectual property and anticipates launching FPGA “chiplets” for 2.5D packages next year. 
  • Snapdragon 450 Moves to 14nm
    Qualcomm’s first low-cost 14nm processor, the Snapdragon 450 offers 25% faster CPUs, twice the video speed, greater camera resolution, and other improvements over its predecessor.

July 10, 2017

  • After 400GbE, IEEE Studies PHYs
    The IEEE could ratify the 802.3bs standard as early as September, but an 800GbE follow-on will await detailed studies on new PHYs, including those for distances beyond 10km.
  • Dialog Charges Into Bluetooth 5 Fray
    Dialog’s entry-level DA14586 adds Bluetooth 5, making it the lowest-cost MCU to implement that technology, improving its prospects for low-cost IoT applications.
  • MT8516 Enables Google Assistant
    Purpose-built for voice-enabled digital assistants, the MediaTek MT8516 integrates four Cortex-A35 CPUs along with 2.4GHz Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transceivers.

July 3, 2017

  • Cavium NIC Supports iWARP, RoCE
    Cavium has delivered the first performance tweak to the FastLinq family since it acquired QLogic. The new 25GbE NICs can serve in “universal RDMA” systems that run iWARP and RoCE concurrently.
  • Cypress PSoC 6 Broadens MCU Lineup
    Cypress is taking on the IoT market by offering a broad family of high-performance Cortex-M4F MCUs that include Bluetooth 5 connectivity and improved security.
  • MIPS I6500-F Drives Functional Safety
    Imagination has enhanced the licensable MIPS I6500 CPU core to include features for ISO 26262 and other functional-safety standards, aiding automotive designers.

June 26, 2017

  • Epyc Relaunches AMD Into Servers
    AMD's new Epyc processor boosts IPC by 52% compared with the company’s previous generation and provides more memory and I/O bandwidth than Intel Xeon E5 processors.
  • Trident 3 Adopts Programmability
    Broadcom’s future enterprise-switch portfolio will revolve around the new Trident 3 architecture, which brings both programmability and 25G Ethernet to the company’s mainstream switch family.
  • Cortus APS3V Plays the RISC-V Card
    Cortus has unveiled its first CPU core to use the RISC-V instruction set. The APS3V is the smallest commercial RISC-V core available for deeply embedded applications.

June 19, 2017

  • Xavier Simplifies Self-Driving Cars
    Nvidia has revealed details of its next-generation Xavier SoC, the first chip to integrate all the processor cores that a complete Level 4/5 autonomous-driving system needs.
  • Intel Bridges Gap to 2.5D Packaging
    Intel’s Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB) packaging is less expensive than silicon interposers. It appears in an FPGA and likely in future server processors as well.
  • Nordic Tackles Multiprotocol IoT
    Nordic Semiconductor has beefed up its wireless-MCU lineup by delivering the NRF52840, which adds more SRAM and flash memory plus enhanced security features.
  • Editorial: Neural Networks Going Local
    Cloud servers execute most neural networks today, but an increasing number of chips enable neural networks for client devices. This approach will ultimately make these devices more intelligent.
  • Marvell First With Octal 5GBase-T PHY
    Marvell is sampling the industry’s first eight-port PHY for 5GBase-T, as well as an optimized single-port device. The new chips meet full 802.3bz and NBase-T specifications.

June 12, 2017

  • Nvidia’s Volta Upgrades HPC, Training
    The first product using the Volta architecture, the Tesla V100 upgrades the previous P100 with 50% more flop/s, 20% more memory bandwidth, and up to 12x better machine-learning performance.
  • Think Silicon Shrinks the GPU
    Think Silicon designed its Nema GPUs for IoT and embedded applications requiring graphical user interfaces. The licensable cores come in Pico, Tiny, and Small sizes.
  • Aquantia Brings NBase-T to PCs
    Aquantia is entering the Ethernet-adapter market with network interface cards, based on its Aqtion controller chip, that support the 802.3bz standard for 2.5GbE and 5GbE.
  • Dual-Issue ARC Boosts Performance
    The new Synopsys HS4x/4xD adds dual-issue capability to the architecture. The CPUs run the same software as previous HS models but deliver a 25% boost in CoreMarks per megahertz.

June 5, 2017

  • Cortex-A55 Improves Memory
    A new “little” core that pairs with Cortex-A75, Cortex-A55 offers many upgrades from its predecessor, including more data-cache bandwidth and neural branch prediction.
  • SiFive Begins Licensing Cores
    SiFive has extended its business model to include core licensing, offering customers a validated, supported RISC-V CPU with a simpler approach to licensing.

May 29, 2017

  • Cortex-A75 Has DynamIQ Debut
    ARM’s new high-end CPU uses a more powerful microarchitecture and a new cluster design called DynamIQ to boost performance in mobile and embedded processors.
  • Mali-G72 Targets Virtual Reality
    ARM’s new Mali-G72 GPU raises the graphics-performance bar for high-end mobile devices. Its new Cetus display processor (DPU) supports 90fps 4K displays for virtual-reality applications.
  • Cadence C5 Flexes for Neural Networks
    Enlarging the Tensilica Vision DSP IP family, Cadence’s new C5 targets convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and can execute more than one trillion 8-bit MACs per second.

May 22, 2017

  • Valens Retools for Autos
    Israeli company Valens, developer of the PAM-based HDBaseT technology for consumer networks, is changing its focus to automotive networks using single twisted-pair cables.
  • AMS Hides Smartphone Sensors
    AMS’s “no-aperture” proximity sensors can peer through a smartphone screen bezel without requiring a hole in the cover glass, helping phone makers create a smooth-looking front surface.
  • Snapdragon 660 Upgrades to 14nm
    Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630 processors bring high-end performance and features, including 600Mbps LTE, to phones that sell for $200 to $400.

May 15, 2017

  • Andes NX25 Takes a RISC-V
    Andes has adopted RISC-V as the basis for its next-generation AndeStar V5 ISA. The company’s first 64-bit CPU, the NX26, will use the new ISA; RTL will ship next quarter.
  • Broadcom Delivers 100GbE Adapters
    The NetXtreme E-Series server NICs use the company’s new Stratus controller chip, which builds on the 25GbE family that sampled two years ago.
  • EEMBC Benchmarks IoT Power
    EEMBC’s new IoTMark-BLE benchmark suite effectively measures the energy efficiency of IoT clients that use Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with networks, hubs, or gateways.
  • Intel Reworks FinFETs for IoT
    Intel’s 22FFL is the first FinFET-based process targeting IoT devices. It combines elements of the company’s 22nm and 14nm nodes to reduce idle power and cost.
  • Editorial: MIPS Loses Imagination
    Apple’s decision to move away from PowerVR has forced Imagination to put its MIPS business up for sale and places both the CPU and GPU product lines in a difficult position.

May 8, 2017

  • Google TPU Boosts Machine Learning
    Google released new details on the architecture of its deep-learning accelerator along with data showing that it offers at least 10x better performance than comparable CPUs and GPUs.
  • Broadcom Quartz Packs TSN Features
    Broadcom is diving into the industrial and wireless worlds of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) with its latest StrataConnect Ethernet switch.

May 1, 2017

  • Galaxy S8 Debuts Exynos 8895
    The debut of the Galaxy S8 demonstrates the capabilities of the 10nm Exynos 8895, which integrates new connectivity functions and outperforms other flagship mobile processors.
  • AMD Bumps Clocks in Low-End GPUs
    AMD kicked off its 2017 graphics-upgrade cycle by refreshing sub-$250 Radeon GPUs. The new RX500-series offers a mild performance boost, but it also includes a new low-cost model.

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