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Current Articles

February 18, 2019

  • Xilinx Delivers Server Acceleration
    Xilinx is shipping complete solutions for AI inference acceleration. They comprise Alveo FPGA-based PCI Express cards, programmable-logic configurations, and software that works with common neural-network frameworks.
  • Habana Wins Cigar for AI Inference
    The Goya accelerator from Habana Labs offers industry-leading AI performance on ResNet-50 inference, but the company won’t disclose its architecture. We try to discern its secrets...
  • Exynos 7904 Boosts Low-Cost Phones
    Samsung’s Exynos 7904 powers the $150 Galaxy M20 smartphones that recently launched in India. It brings some higher-end features, like Cortex-A73 and face unlock, to this low price tier. 

February 11, 2019

  • Bitmain SoC Brings AI to the Edge
    Better known for cryptocurrency-mining ASICs, Bitmain is shipping several AI chips under its Sophon brand. Its latest is the BM1880 SoC for smart cameras and other edge systems.
  • Intel Zaps Some Coffee Lake GPUs
    Intel’s new F-model Coffee Lake processors disable the integrated GPU, effectively boosting output from the company’s overtaxed fabs. But they don't reduce the TDP or even the list price.
  • AMD Brings 7nm GPUs to PCs
    AMD’s new Radeon VII is the first 7nm GPU for gamers and high-end PC users. It’s a slightly defeatured version of the Radeon Instinct MI60 announced last year for data center and HPC.

February 4, 2019

  • Intel’s Sunny Cove Sits on an Icy Lake
    The heart of Intel’s forthcoming 10nm Ice Lake family, the Sunny Cove CPU boasts nine specialized ISA extensions and greater per-core performance with up to 33% more cache bandwidth.
  • WD Rolls Its Own RISC-V Core
    Western Digital (WD) developed its own RISC-V core, which it has also made available as open source. The Swerv CPU employs a dual-issue pipeline to deliver 5.0 CoreMarks per megahertz.
  • Ceva’s BX Hybrid Boosts DSP Engine
    Ceva’s new BX DSP cores employ a hybrid architecture that combines multicore scalar CPUs for control functions with a highly configurable five-way SIMD/VLIW DSP engine for signal processing.

January 28, 2019

  • Helio P90 Raises Mid-Premium Bar
    MediaTek’s new Helio P90 is a high-performance processor for mid-premium smartphones. Packing two Arm Cortex-A75 cores and six Cortex-A55s, plus a new GPU and AI engine, it’s a big leap over existing Helio chips.
  • AI Benchmarks Remain Immature
    As deep-learning workloads become more common, new benchmarks are emerging, including MLPerf for data-center training and AI-Benchmark for smartphone inference.
  • Editorial: More ASICs in the Cloud
    Amazon and Huawei have developed custom Arm processors and AI accelerators for their cloud servers, potentially blocking Intel and Nvidia from these systems. But is it worth the investment?

January 21, 2019

  • Analysts’ Choice Winners for 2018
    The Linley Group recognizes 2018’s top products in the categories of embedded, mobile, networking, server, processor IP, and related technology. And the winners are…
  • Intel Turns Graphics up to (Gen) 11
    The upcoming 10nm Ice Lake processors will employ Intel’s first mainstream GPU with 1Tflop/s of single-precision compute capability. The Gen11 graphics architecture also boosts power efficiency.
  • Microchip Previews RISC-V FPGAs
    Due to sample in 2H19, the SoC FPGAs combine the PolarFire FPGA design with SiFive’s U54-MC complex, comprising quad 64-bit application cores, a 64-bit monitor core, and an L2 cache. 

January 14, 2019

  • Ryzen Mobile Rises to 12nm
    AMD’s new Ryzen Mobile processors boost CPU and GPU clock speeds for mainstream laptop PCs and entry-level gaming notebooks. They match up well with Intel’s Whiskey Lake products.
  • Achronix eFPGA Serves AI Two Ways
    The next-generation Speedcore IP targets leading-edge 7nm technology while adding a machine-learning-processor block for AI. Speedster 7nm FPGA chips are scheduled to follow in 1H19.

January 7, 2019

  • Qualcomm Gets Serious About PCs
    The Snapdragon 8cx boosts CPU, GPU, memory, and I/O capabilities well beyond smartphone levels, enabling more-powerful Arm-based PCs beginning in mid-2019.
  • Barefoot Joins 400GbE-Switch Club
    The startup plans to bring programmability to 400G Ethernet, with samples of its Tofino 2 switch chip due in 1H19. Employing 50Gbps PAM4 serdes, the new product delivers 12.8Tbps of bandwidth.

December 31, 2018

  • Editorial: Chiplets Gain Design Winlets
    More companies are deploying multiple die in a single package using 2.5D and 3D approaches, including Intel’s new Foveros technology, but cost remains a problem.

December 24, 2018

  • Snapdragon 855 Is a Prime Choice
    Qualcomm’s next-generation processor for premium smartphones offers a “prime core,” a new AI accelerator, and multigigabit wireless connectivity, including 2Gbps LTE and optional 5G.

December 17, 2018

  • Imagination Revs Its AI Engines
    In multicore configurations, Imagination’s PowerVR Series3NX delivers up to 160 trillion AI operations per second. The new Series9XEP, XMP, and XTP GPUs increase area efficiency.
  • Intel Gains Myriad Customers
    Intel’s new Myriad X processor, from the former Movidius team, greatly improves AI performance while targeting smart cameras, drones, and other embedded applications.
  • New MCUs Embrace Cortex-M33
    NXP and STMicroelectronics are sampling the first Arm Cortex-M33 microcontrollers that implement TrustZone and other security features: NXP’s LPC5500 family and ST’s STM32L5 family.

December 10, 2018

  • Esperanto Maxes Out RISC-V
    The startup has developed a high-performance RISC-V CPU called ET-Maxion that it plans to ship in its first AI accelerator and also license to select customers.
  • PAM4 Drives Serdes to 100Gbps
    Data centers are on the cusp of 400G Ethernet adoption enabled by 100Gbps-per-lambda optical modules, which require PHYs with sophisticated signal processing. Six vendors are now sampling such chips.
  • Ambiq Apollo 3 Boosts Wearables
    Ambiq is using its initial success in Huawei wearables to improve its Apollo MCUs. Apollo 3 Blue adds features while reducing power compared with Apollo 2.

December 3, 2018

  • AMD Ships Industry’s First 7nm GPU
    By moving its Vega GPU architecture to 7nm, AMD boosted the performance of its Radeon Instinct cards, which support AI and scientific computing but not PC graphics.
  • TI Samples Its First 64-Bit Arm
    Texas Instruments’ new Sitara AM65x processors combine up to four Cortex-A53 CPUs, three real-time-control subsystems, two 32-bit Cortex-R5F microcontroller cores, and an optional GPU.
  • Renesas Focuses on ADAS Cameras
    A computer-vision processor for camera-based automotive systems, the Renesas R-Car V3H integrates the company’s hard-wired accelerators and custom vision DSP along with a programmable AI engine.

November 26, 2018

  • NovuMind Relieves Tensor Headaches
    The startup’s NovuTensor neural-network accelerator runs its compute engines at just 400MHz, but by combining hardware parallelism and time-division multiplexing, they deliver 15 trillion operations per second.

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