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October 26, 2020

  • Arm’s SVE2 Enables Shift From Neon
    Arm’s second-generation Scalable Vector Extension (SVE2) will enable a transition from the decade-old Neon technology, lifting SIMD performance in smartphones.
  • Think Silicon Spins AI Accelerator
    Think Silicon’s licensable Neox cores combine RISC-V with nonstandard extensions that accelerate graphics and neural-network inference. Customers can add their own instructions.
  • Editorial: Shopping for Chip Companies
    AMD is reportedly negotiating a $30 billion bid for Xilinx, the leading FPGA vendor. The two companies have little product or end-market synergy; the deal seems driven more by financial concerns.

October 19, 2020

  • Neoverse Advances SIMD for HPC
    Arm’s Neoverse V1 core adopts the Scalable Vector Extension, replacing the venerable Neon core. It’s the company’s first CPU purpose built for high-performance computing.
  • SiPearl Develops Arm HPC Chip
    SiPearl is a little company with a big goal: helping Europe wean itself off of x86-based supercomputers and reduce its dependence of foreign silicon. Its first chip, Rhea, uses Arm’s Neoverse V1 CPU.
  • Coherent Logix Configures Edge AI
    The niche embedded-processor supplier is expanding into the commercial edge-AI market. By the end of the year, it plans to tape out its fourth-generation HyperX processor, delivering 6.6 TOPS.

October 12, 2020

  • Elkhart Lake Has Industrial Aims
    Intel’s Atom x6000E moves to 10nm technology and adds embedded features, serving applications beyond those available to its PC-derived predecessors.
  • Kneron KL720 Boosts Efficiency
    Kneron has quickly rolled out its second product, offering a big performance boost to 1.5 TOPS with a power of about 1W, making it well suited to smart cameras and other vision-based edge systems.
  • Qualcomm Samples First AI Chip
    The Cloud AI 100 accelerator provides more than 4x the ResNet-50 inference throughput of an Nvidia T4 card at about the same power. Most initial customers plan to deploy it at the network edge.

October 5, 2020

  • Ampere Delivers Big Graphics Boost
    The new Ampere graphics cards deliver one of Nvidia’s largest generational performance increases ever and offer a second-generation ray-tracing engine that doubles throughput and improves motion blur.
  • Qualcomm Rolls More Snapdragon 7s
    Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 750G reduces the entry price for mmWave 5G phones. Although it offers greater performance than all 7-series chips other than the 768G, it targets phones that sell for just $400.
  • Xilinx T1 Enables Open RAN for 5G
    The T1 Telco Accelerator card uses a pair of UltraScale+ FPGAs to handle fronthaul termination and Layer 1 acceleration in virtualized 5G baseband units.

September 28, 2020

  • Cortex-R82 Brings Linux to SSDs
    Arm’s first 64-bit Cortex-R adds a memory-management unit for high-level operating systems, enabling computational-storage drives to run Linux. It inherits classic real-time features from the predecessor Cortex-R8.
  • IBM z15: A Modern Mainframe Chip
    The z15 is IBM’s next-generation Z-series processor for mainframes, operating at a 5.2GHz base frequency. Relative to the z14, the company added two CPU cores and a handful of on-die accelerators.
  • Editorial: Nvidia Grabs Arm for AI
    Nvidia aims to become the world’s leading computing company with its $40 billion acquisition of Arm, but the mismatch between the two businesses will make it a challenge to pull off.

September 21, 2020

  • Quantum Computing Seeks Supremacy
    Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and other companies are pushing the frontiers of quantum computing, but researchers must reduce the qubit error rate before quantum processors can perform useful tasks.
  • Lightmatter Realizes Photonic AI
    Lightmatter emerged from stealth by presenting details of its Mars test chip. The 3D chip stacks photonic and digital die, and it shows that a complete product could quickly follow.
  • Ambiq Doubles CPU Frequency
    The Apollo 4 microcontroller delivers industry-leading energy efficiency while adding a graphics subsystem. Ambiq’s new part also adds location support to its low-power Bluetooth subsystem.

September 14, 2020

  • Jericho2c+ Brings 7nm to Routers
    Broadcom is sampling its first 7nm router chip, the Jericho2c+ packet processor. The new product serves in line cards for chassis-based routers, pairing with the shipping Ramon fabric chip.
  • SuperFin Rescues Intel’s 10nm Node
    After last year’s disappointing debut, Intel’s 10nm technology received a much needed performance boost from a new improvement branded SuperFin, now shipping in the company’s Tiger Lake processors.
  • Baidu Debuts First AI Accelerator
    Joining other cloud-service providers (CSPs), Baidu is taking a shot at AI mastery by offering the Kunlun K200 SoC. The Chinese company designed the 256-TOPS accelerator for its internal deep-learning workloads.

September 7, 2020

  • Tiger Lake Debuts 10nm SuperFin
    Intel’s 11th Generation Core processors for laptop PCs offer significant improvements in performance and battery life, thanks to the powerful Xe-LP GPU and a more advanced manufacturing process.
  • Ice Lake-SP Boosts Memory and I/O
    The new Whitley platform boosts memory bandwidth and brings PCI Express Gen4, but Ice Lake’s 10nm process will hold back compute performance relative to Cascade Lake.
  • Blaize Ignites Edge-AI Performance
    Edge-AI startup Blaize is sampling modules that integrate its El Cano inference processor. The chip can run Yolo v3 on five separate HD-video streams, delivering results at 10fps.
  • Xbox Series X Doubles GPU Speed
    The semicustom Xbox Series X processor from Microsoft outpaces its predecessor Xbox One X design by offering a 3x CPU-performance boost and 2x GPU-performance boost.

August 31, 2020

  • Intel Xe Targets Multiple Tiers
    Intel’s new GPU architecture promises to double graphics performance compared with the previous Gen11 design. It will appear in a number of products from laptop processors to discrete graphics cards.
  • Google Details TPUv3 Architecture
    Google’s TPU chips implement a flexible VLIW microarchitecture comprising scalar, vector, and matrix units to efficiently accelerate neural-network training and inference workloads.
  • Alibaba Designs Fastest RISC-V CPU
    The Xuantie-910 is Alibaba’s first RISC-V CPU core, targeting the network edge. It includes custom arithmetic and memory instruction to provide a new alternative to midrange Arm cores.

August 24, 2020

  • Fungible Ups Data-Center Efficiency
    After raising more than $300 million before shipping its first product, Fungible has revealed its grand vision for data-center disaggregation. At Hot Chips, the startup disclosed its F1 data-processing unit (DPU).
  • ThunderX3 Brings the Boom
    ThunderX3 is Marvell’s newest high-end server CPU, delivering x86-class performance in a custom Arm core. It offers 30% more single-thread performance than its predecessor at a similar clock speed.
  • Editorial: Intel Needs New Fab Approach
    A one-year delay in its 7nm technology, coming on the heels of a long struggle with the earlier 10nm node, suggests Intel must consider massive outsourcing or even spinning off its fabs.

August 17, 2020

  • IBM Power10 Triples Efficiency
    While delivering impressive upgrades in performance and connectivity, IBM’s new Power10 server processor also drops the CPU power by half, targeting both data centers and enterprises.
  • Marvell Stacks Up Enterprise Switches
    Marvell has introduced a plethora of new Prestera switches and Alaska PHYs optimized for multigigabit enterprise networks. The new products update network interfaces across access, aggregation, and core layers.
  • MediaTek Adds Midrange Dimensity
    The new Dimensity 700-series represents the third (and lowest) tier in MediaTek’s lineup of 5G-smartphone processors. The first product is the Dimensity 720, which targets phones selling for less than $300.
  • Gamers Welcome Snapdragon 865+
    The Snapdragon 865+ is a midyear refresh of Qualcomm’s premium-smartphone SoC, improving CPU speed, GPU speed, and wireless technology compared with the earlier Snapdragon 865.

August 10, 2020

  • Chipmakers Expand Die for AI
    An inside look at deep-learning accelerators (DLAs) shows smartphone vendors are increasing area size to increase performance, adding cores and introducing new architectures to gain an advantage.
  • TSMC Ships First 5nm Processors
    Even as TSMC ramps production of 5nm chips for Apple and Huawei, Samsung has delayed its 5nm technology until late this year, and Intel’s similar 7nm process has slipped out to 2022.
  • Efinix FPGAs Leap to 16nm
    Now that it’s shipping its initial FPGAs in volume, the startup announced its second generation. Trion Titanium will reduce power, boost performance, and more than quadruple maximum logic density.

August 3, 2020

  • Graphcore Doubles IPU Performance
    The well-funded startup is now sampling its second-generation AI accelerator, delivering twice the peak performance and three times the memory capacity of its initial design.
  • Apple A13 GPU Outpaces Competition
    A big generational improvement boosted Apple into the graphics-performance lead while increasing the GPU die area by only 10%. Intel’s Gen11 GPU shows a new subslice design.

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