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Linley Newsletter   Analysis of microprocessor and semiconductor developments

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CPU Performance for the Next Decade
A comprehensive analysis of a decade’s worth of processor data reveals the approaches that have enabled CPU and GPU performance to double every two years and how they will change over time.
Fujitsu Raises Arm Over SPARC
Fujitsu’s Post-K exascale supercomputer will bring Arm into the HPC world with its new 52-core A64FX, an extreme processor for an extreme machine.
Marvell Connects SSDs to Ethernet
Marvell is sampling the 88SN2400, a unique controller chip that connects an SSD to Ethernet, enabling a new storage-array architecture based on Ethernet instead of PCI Express.
DeePhi Accelerates Xilinx AI Strategy
Xilinx recently acquired DeePhi, a developer of FPGA-based accelerators for computer vision and speech recognition, to add to its large library of reference designs that it can offer to its FPGA customers.
Graphcore Makes Big AI Splash
One of the best-funded AI startups is sampling its first product, an accelerator chip that packs 1,216 independent CPUs and matches the performance of Nvidia’s V100 at half the power.
Wear 3100 Boosts Smartwatch Life
Qualcomm has added a real-time controller to its next-generation smartwatch platform, creating a big-small-tiny architecture that extends battery life for Wear OS watches.
5G Raises Handset-RF Complexity
RF architectures will diverge between the new 3.5GHz and millimeter-wave bands being allocated for 5G New Radio. RF-module vendors are slowly disclosing their plans.
Broadcom First With 200Gbps NIC
Broadcom is first to sample Ethernet adapters for new 50Gbps-per-lane standards, including 50GbE and 200GbE. The NICs use the new Thor controller chip, the company’s third-generation NetXtreme-E design.
Xilinx Everest Outclimbs FPGAs
Xilinx is pitching its next-generation Everest devices as SoCs with programmable logic, not as traditional FPGAs. They’ll have ARM cores, new programmable engines, and PCI Express Gen4.
AlphaICs Employs AI Special Agents
This small startup, fronted by “The Father of Pentium,” has developed what it calls the Real AI Processor, which employs an array of special-purpose compute “agents” to power autonomous systems.
Cascade Lake Speeds Deep Learning
Intel’s next-generation Xeon refreshes the Purley platform, adding instruction extensions for neural networks as well as support for Optane DC persistent memory.
Intel Pours Whiskey Lake for Laptops
The new Whiskey Lake (U-series) and Amber Lake (Y-series) processors bring greater CPU speeds and the Cannon Point south bridge to premium thin-and-light and 2-in-1 PCs.
Broadcom, Mellanox Target NVMe-oF
Broadcom and Mellanox announced storage-controller cards for flash arrays that support the RoCE flavor of NVMe-oF. These cards employ Stingray and BlueField SoCs, respectively.
Mythic Multiplies in a Flash
Mythic is an AI-processor startup that uses embedded flash memory to store neural-network weights as analog parameters. The technique can store a complete network on-chip.
Threadripper 2 Grows to 32 Cores
AMD’s second-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips offer more CPUs than Intel’s best competing products at any price. The 32-core model is the most powerful PC processor available.
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