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Linley Newsletter   Analysis of microprocessor and semiconductor developments

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Intel Optane Expands Server Memory
Intel is shaking up the memory-storage hierarchy with Apache Pass DIMMs, which move 3D XPoint from the I/O bus to the memory bus.
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.
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.
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