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August 20, 2018

  • Samsung M3 Flexes Arm Muscles
    Samsung’s third-generation mobile CPU nearly doubles performance using a massive microarchitecture that challenges Intel’s Skylake in complexity and throughput.
  • Alibaba Looks to C-Sky for CPU IP
    Chinese vendor C-Sky has been quietly designing 32-bit embedded CPUs since its founding in 2001, compiling a customer list that includes 70 licensees. Among them is its new parent, Alibaba.

August 13, 2018

  • Intel to Offer Structured ASICs
    Intel’s FPGA group (formerly Altera) has acquired eASIC, a small vendor of structured ASICs, to expand its portfolio and offer its customers a path to “harden” their FPGA designs.
  • IBM Trains in Analog to Save AI Power
    IBM is using phase-change memories to build analog neural networks. The architecture enables area- and power-efficient in-memory computing, which is suitable for training as well as low-power inference engines. 
  • Microchip Debuts Dual-Core DSC
    The dsPIC33CH combines the functions of a 16-bit microcontroller and digital signal controller (DSC). This dual-core design competes with 32-bit DSCs that use Arm’s Cortex-M4F CPU.

August 6, 2018

  • Foundries Head to 5nm and Beyond
    Even as the first 7nm chips reach production, TSMC and Samsung have a roadmap to 3nm that includes EUV, new materials such as cobalt, and gate-all-around (GAA) transistors.
  • Helio A-Series Targets Low End
    The Helio brand started as MediaTek’s premium smartphone-processor line, but with the introduction of the Helio A22, it now covers all price tiers. This new chip runs four Cortex-A53 CPUs at up to 2.0GHz.

July 30, 2018

  • Microchip L10/L11 Bolster Security
    The Microchip SAM L10 and SAM L11 are the first microcontrollers to use Arm’s Cortex-M23, which supersedes the popular Cortex-M0+. With its TrustZone isolation and other features, the L11 is an unusually secure MCU.
  • General Processor Commands IP Unity
    General Processor has developed a heterogeneous processor-IP platform it calls Unity. This Sino-American platform includes a configurable deep-learning accelerator (DLA), a 64-bit CPU, and a vector DSP.
  • Wear 2500 Targets Kid Watches
    After a two-year hiatus, Qualcomm announced the first of two new smartwatch chipsets. The Snapdragon Wear 2500 targets the emerging kid-watch segment of the rapidly growing smartwatch market.

July 23, 2018

  • Snapdragon 400-Series Shrinks to 12nm
    Qualcomm is bringing advanced 12nm FinFET technology to its low-cost Snapdragon 400-series. It also announced the Snapdragon 632, offering OEMs a Big.Little upgrade for midrange smartphones.
  • Flex Logix Diversifies eFPGA
    OEMs and chip vendors are adopting embedded FPGAs in a variety of applications. Flex Logix has responded to this demand with improved cores and new process nodes.
  • Editorial: Challenges for New Intel CEO
    Whomever Intel chooses as its next CEO must fix the execution problems that have led to product and technology delays across several business units as well as diminished customer confidence.
  • MediaTek Advances in 5G
    The Helio M70, MediaTek’s first 5G chip, is a multimode modem that should enter production next year. The company plans to follow quickly with an integrated processor for 5G smartphones.

July 16, 2018

  • Adreno 630: Small But Mighty
    Our die-photo analysis of mobile GPUs reveals similarities between the “Apple-designed” A11 GPU and Imagination’s PowerVR, while Qualcomm’s Adreno continues to lead in efficiency.
  • eSilicon 7nm Serdes Hits 56Gbps
    ASIC provider eSilicon has developed 7nm design platforms that include hard and soft macros for networking applications along with a new architecture and IP library for building AI accelerators.
  • NXP S32S Drives Autos in Lockstep
    The first member of NXP’s S32S automotive processor family is also the first announced product to use Arm’s Cortex-R52. The S32S247 octa-core chip is designed for fault tolerance and ASIL D.

July 9, 2018

  • Arm Dot Products Accelerate CNNs
    Arm’s new dot-product instructions deliver a 4x performance boost to convolutional-neural-network (CNN) operations running on 64-bit Cortex-A CPUs, including Cortex-A55, A75, and A76.
  • Arm-Compatible CPUs Get Bigger
    Our die-photo analysis of mobile CPUs reveals major design changes to the initial Cortex-A75 processor while Apple maintains its lead in CPU performance and efficiency.
  • Ceva Upgrades NB-IoT Platform
    Ceva’s new Dragonfly NB2 intellectual property implements the latest 3GPP standard for Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) communications. It includes a CPU/DSP core and network stack.

July 2, 2018

  • SC9863 Is First Cortex-A55 Octa-Core
    Octa-core Cortex-A53 processors have been the industry standard for sub-$150 smartphones, but Unisoc (formerly Spreadtrum) is the first to build such a low-cost chip using Cortex-A55.
  • MIPS Catches the AI Wave
    MIPS has found a new home as part of Wave Computing, an AI-system startup. The deal gives MIPS a quicker path to licensing deep-learning-acceleration (DLA) intellectual property.
  • Snapdragon 850 to Power Arm PCs
    Qualcomm’s new Windows 10 platform uses the same Snapdragon 845 chip as Galaxy S9/S9+ smartphones, but it doesn’t solve all of the problems of these always-connected PCs.
  • Intel’s First 5GHz Processor
    To mark the 40th anniversary of the 8086, Intel released its first processor rated for 5GHz operation: the Core i7-8086K, an unlocked model for gamers and other overclockers.

June 25, 2018

  • Arm Cortex-M35P Locks Back Doors
    To help protect against side-channel attacks and tampering, Arm now licenses the Cortex-M35P CPU, CryptoCell-312P cryptography engine, and CryptoIsland-300P secure enclave.
  • Qualcomm Upgrades FSM for 5G-NR
    Qualcomm’s new integrated FSM100xx processors target 5G small cells and remote radio heads. Scheduled to sample in 2019, they should arrive in time for OEM deployments in 2020.
  • Arteris IP Offers Last-Level Cache
    Network-on-a-chip (NoC) supplier Arteris IP licenses a last-level cache (LLC) it calls CodaCache that accelerates chips integrating multiple noncoherent blocks.

June 18, 2018

  • Qualcomm Targets High-End IoT
    Qualcomm’s new QCS605 and QCS603 IoT processors are powerful SoCs that derive from the Snapdragon 710. By upgrading the image-processing hardware and software, they offer superior computer-vision capabilities.
  • ASSPs Hold Their Own in Comms
    ASSPs kept pace with processors and FPGAs in the 2017 communications market, which grew modestly to $13 billion in sales of these chips.
  • Helio P22 Pushes 12nm to Lower Cost
    The new P22 is the first processor to bring 12nm technology to smartphones below $250 in price, improving MediaTek’s competitiveness in this high-volume segment.

June 11, 2018

  • Arm’s Project Trillium Starts to Bloom
    Arm has disclosed the first details (but not the name) of its forthcoming machine-learning processor core, which adds a deep-learning accelerator (DLA) to the Project Trillium platform.
  • Tachyum Targets Data Centers
    Startup Tachyum has announced Prodigy, a “universal processor” for data centers, high-performance computing, and machine learning. Based on a proprietary architecture, this jack-of-all-trades remains largely under wraps but has some intriguing features.
  • Cannon Lake Misfires
    Intel has quietly released its first 10nm product: the Core i3-8121U, a semifunctional processor that’s no better than earlier 14nm products. One PC maker has shipped laptops using the chip.

June 4, 2018

  • Cortex-A76 Revamps Core Design
    Arm has developed a new microarchitecture for its latest CPU design, delivering the biggest performance boost for smartphone users in years with small transistor-budget and power increases.
  • Mali 76-Series Boosts Flagship Phones
    Arm has introduced two additions to its high-end Mali graphics and multimedia lineup. The Mali-G76 GPU and Mali-V76 video-processor (VPU) cores target SoCs for flagship phones, VR headsets, and 8K TVs.
  • TidalScale Inverts Server Virtualization
    Software-startup TidalScale has created a virtual scale-up server using commodity systems. It enables one massive virtual machine running across many physical servers.
  • Editorial: Another Shuffle in ARM Servers
    Qualcomm’s anticipated exit from server processors underscores the difficulty of competing in this market. Server buyers want more choices, but few are willing to adopt non-Intel products.

May 28, 2018

  • Snapdragon 710 Jumps to Cortex-A75
    Debuting the new 700-series for mid-premium smartphones, Qualcomm brings 10nm technology and its newest CPU, based on Cortex-A75, to this lower price range.
  • MT3620 Runs Azure Sphere for IoT
    The first processor compatible with the new Azure Sphere operating system, the MT3620 is an unusually powerful IoT chip with five CPUs, Microsoft’s Pluton security engine, and integrated Wi-Fi.
  • QuickLogic Gives IoT Sensors a Brain
    The QuickAI hardware-development kit combines the EOS-S3 sensor hub with two NeuroMem neural-network chips. It enables trainable pattern recognition in images, speech, text, and video, as well as complex data.

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