March 20, 2017
Ryzen Returns AMD to the Desktop
Marking a potential turning point for the PC industry, AMD rolled out Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5, the first processors based on its new Zen CPU, with high hopes for regaining market share.
March Modem Madness
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X20 modem supports 1.2Gbps LTE, while Intel’s XMM 7560 pushes to 1.0Gbps. The 3GPP agreed to accelerate the 5G standard, and Qualcomm extended its X50 roadmap for 5G modems.
Spreadtrum Launches First x86 Chip
The SC9861G-IA is the first new chip from the Spreadtrum-Intel partnership. Built in Intel’s 14nm technology, it combines eight x86 Airmont CPUs with Spreadtrum’s LTE modem.
AMD Teases Server Renaissance
The upcoming “Naples” processor will revitalize AMD’s server efforts, offering more CPU cores, more memory channels, and more PCIe capacity than any current Xeon product.
Intel Debuts 25GbE NIC
Intel has unveiled single- and dual-port 25G Ethernet adapters based on the XL710 Fortville controller. It intends these new NICs for direct-attach twinax-copper links in servers.
March 13, 2017
Helio X30 Nabs Speed Lead
MediaTek new deca-core Helio X30 brings premium features to the mainstream price tier and is the first application processor manufactured in TSMC’s 10nm process.
Editorial: Brace for Rising Chip Prices
Chip buyers are accustomed to falling prices, but industry consolidation and flat transistor costs are causing the prices of some processors and other chips to rise instead.
Altair LTE Chip Integrates M1, NB1
Altair Semiconductor hopes to cover the IoT waterfront with its new ALT1250, an LTE-baseband device that’s compatible with both the Category M1 and Category NB1 standards for low-data-rate communications.
Smaller Offspring for TI’s Sitara
Texas Instruments is sampling the AM5706 and AM5708, which reduce power, cost, and board space while retaining most features of the Sitara AM57x embedded processors.
Arteris Piano Tunes Timing
Arteris offers new coherency features to automate interconnect-timing closure in SoCs that employ the company’s network-on-a-chip (NoC) intellectual property (IP).
March 6, 2017
Intel Spills Coffee Lake Roadmap
Intel has added to its plans a new 14nm CPU code-named Coffee Lake, scheduled to debut in 2H17 alongside the 10nm Cannonlake. We expect changes in both the PC and server roadmaps.
Kopin Audio Chip Hears Whispers
Kopin’s Whisper is a tiny low-power speech processor that can separate spoken words from extremely loud background noise, serving as a front end in an automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) system.
Intel Debuts a Delayed Denverton
Intel recently announced the Atom C3000 family, code-named Denverton, which packs up to 16 Goldmont CPU cores, two memory channels, 10GbE interfaces, configurable I/O, and optional compression and cryptographic acceleration.
February 27, 2017
Broadcom-Avago One Year Later
The new Broadcom is more profitable and largely intact, but long-term growth remains a concern.
Qualcomm Bids for 802.11ax
Qualcomm is promising to deliver in 1H17 samples of both an access-point chip and a client chip for the emerging 802.11ax standard, which should offer big capacity gains in dense environments.
February 20, 2017
Goldmont Takes Atom to 14nm
The Goldmont CPU employs a wider microarchitecture and Intel’s 14nm technology to boost performance by 30–60% for most workloads compared with the 22nm Silvermont.
Microsemi Adds Midrange FPGAs
Microsemi is parlaying a long-standing advantage of its flash-based FPGAs by making power dissipation a differentiating feature in the new PolarFire family, which offers up to 500,000 logic elements.
Ambarella Enhances Automotive Video
Ambarella has improved its automotive-product line by adding AEC-Q100 compliance to the A9AQ video processor. Its new H3 and H22 SoCs target drone and action-camera video.
Editorial: ARM Server Processors Reboot
Cavium’s acquisition of Broadcom’s Vulcan IP and Macom’s pending sale of the X-Gene products will ultimately strengthen the market for ARM-based server processors.
February 13, 2017
Intel Has a Go at Self-Driving Cars
The Intel Go platform uses Atom- or Xeon-based in-car systems accelerated by Altera FPGAs and includes cloud-based software for training and updating of autonomous vehicles.
Qorvo Adds Bluetooth to IoT Mix
After its acquisition of GreenPeak, Qorvo has delivered the GP695 IoT microcontroller, which supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, ZigBee, and IEEE 802.15.4 protocols.
February 6, 2017
Kaby Lake Bumps Up PC Performance
Intel has delivered 57 Kaby Lake processors that target everything from tablets and notebooks to desktop PCs, but the performance improvements are modest and unevenly distributed.
10Gbps PONs Follow Two Paths
The International Telecommunication Union has defined two distinct paths for passive optical networks that deliver 10Gbps or greater: the symmetric XGS-PON and the more complex NG-PON2.
Intel Pushes 5G With New Modem
Intel has entered the race to 5G with an advanced modem chip code-named Goldridge that operates in the 28GHz and 3GHz bands. The new modem is due to sample late this year.
January 30, 2017
ARM Chooses Variable-Length Vectors
The Scalable Vector Extension (SVE), a novel 128- to 2,048-bit vector extension with a vector-length-agnostic programming model, will help ARM enter the HPC market.
Editorial: IoT Needs Secure Hardware
CPU-IP vendors are delivering cores with trusted execution environments and other security features. But more work is required to overcome threats to the security of the Internet.
MediaTek Aims to Cut Audio Cords
MediaTek has launched the MT2533 processor for wearables, targeting wireless headphones and other hands-free audio applications.
January 23, 2017
i.MX8 Masters Multimedia
NXP’s new i.MX8/8M processors combine up to three different types of ARM cores and various multimedia blocks to address consumer, industrial, and automotive applications.
NXP Upgrades Radar Processor
The S32R27 quadruples the performance of NXP’s earlier automotive radar processors using a Power-based architecture in a microcontroller configuration with embedded memory.
Ambiq Rides Quadratic Power Curve
Ambiq has developed an ultra-low-power microcontroller using subthreshold-voltage circuits, extending battery life without sacrificing performance.
AMD Hones Learning Instincts
Leaping into the hot machine-learning market, AMD unveiled the Radeon Instinct GPU line, topped by the MI25 training accelerator and the MI6 and MI8 inference accelerators.
January 16, 2017
Year in Review: Ethernet Accelerates as Wireless Slows
Ethernet silicon saw lots of 2016 activity centered on 25GbE and 100GbE. Wireless development shifted to IoT-optimized LTE chips while 5G noise increased around early designs.
Analysts’ Choice Winners for 2016
The Linley Group recognizes 2016’s top products in the categories of embedded, mobile, networking, server, processor IP, and related technology. And the winners are…
January 9, 2017
Year in Review: Clouds Open Up for New Processors
Although 2016 was a quiet year for server processors, vendor activity sowed the seeds of change. ARM processors began generating revenue and customers increasingly employed designs that use accelerators.
Snapdragon 835 First to 10nm
Qualcomm is the first vendor to offer a 10nm smartphone processor, extending battery life. Unlike its predecessor, the 835 uses fairly standard Cortex CPUs and integrates a Wi-Fi baseband.
Samsung 10nm Takes Density Crown
Samsung is the first company to reach 10nm production, offering the densest FinFET process to date. The 10nm LPE process will power smartphone and server processors in 2017.
GlobalFoundries Offers 56Gbps Serdes
A year after launching its 14nm FX-14 FinFET process for ASICs, GlobalFoundries is offering serdes intellectual-property cores that support both 56Gbps PAM4 and 28Gbps NRZ coding.
January 2, 2017
Year in Review: IP Vendors Race to Automotive
As sales of mobile devices decelerated in 2016, processor-IP vendors shifted their focus to emerging higher-growth opportunities in automotive applications and IoT.
Broadcom Builds KBP in 16nm
Broadcom is shipping the industry’s first search coprocessor built in FinFET technology. The KBP (knowledge-based processor) search engines appear in service-provider routers and switches as an adjunct to OEMs’ own ASICs.
Helio Rises to X27
The X23 and X27 add new deca-core models to the Helio smartphone-processor lineup. The X27 boosts the Cortex-A72 CPUs to 2.6GHz, while the X23 provides a lower-price option.