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Current Articles

May 20, 2019

  • EUV Processes Reach Mass Production
    After many years of research, semiconductor foundries finally in 1Q19 brought extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to production, as Samsung and TSMC delivered 7nm wafers using that technology.
  • Lattice Lessens Power With SensAI
    Lattice offers SensAI RTL for its low-power Ice40 and ECP5 FPGAs that enable them to perform image recognition using neural networks while consuming as little as 10mW.
  • Ambarella Expands Vision to ADAS
    Using its experience in video processing, Ambarella has developed the new CV2-series chips for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that employ custom logic for machine learning and image processing.

May 13, 2019

  • Tesla Rolls Its Own Self-Driving Chip
    By building a custom ASIC that delivers up to 74 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of neural-network acceleration, Tesla set a new high-performance mark for autonomous-driving processors.
  • Intel Warms Up Coffee Lake
    A broad line of 9th Generation processors exhibits only minor improvements over previous Coffee Lake parts. A leaked PC roadmap relies mainly on 14nm chips through 2020.
  • Huawei Ascends in AI Accelerators
    Huawei is shipping the first deep-learning accelerators based on its in-house Ascend 310 chip. These Atlas modules target smart cameras and edge compute with up to 64 TOPS of peak performance.

May 6, 2019

  • Fabu Aims to Deliver ADAS Processors
    The autonomous-vehicle-technology startup is preparing to tape out a Level 3 ADAS processor that integrates a 5.5-TOPS inference engine. It targets cameras, lidar, and radar sensors.
  • AMD Accelerates Ryzen Embedded
    The new dual-core Ryzen Embedded R1000 processors, now sampling, improve CPU throughput, graphics performance, and Ethernet connectivity at the same power as the current V1000 models.
  • Editorial: Apple Shuffles 5G Landscape
    Qualcomm won a major victory by settling its long-running legal feud with Apple and forcing Intel out of the modem market. But Apple may have the last laugh.

April 29, 2019

  • Marvell Brings 400GbE to Enterprises
    Marvell’s new Prestera CX 8500 family upgrades the company’s Ethernet switching portfolio with 400Gbps Ethernet and PAM4-based network interfaces, scaling from 2.0Tbps to 12.8Tbps.
  • Qualcomm Advances Into AI Chips
    Taking another run at the lucrative data-center market, Qualcomm disclosed plans to offer the Cloud AI 100, an AI-inference accelerator for servers, and claimed industry-leading performance per watt.
  • Cortus FPS69V Uses 64-Bit RISC-V
    Cortus has added five new CPUs to its RISC-V lineup, ranging from the tiny APS1V to its first multicore and 64-bit designs. All except the FPS69V are already in production.

April 22, 2019

  • Horizon Robotics Eyes ADAS
    Chinese startup Horizon Robotics is shipping two vision processors for smart cameras and autonomous vehicles and has improved products on its roadmap. Well funded by Chinese and American investors, it specializes in machine-learning-accelerated object recognition.
  • Snapdragon 730 Pushes Gaming
    Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 665, the Snapdragon 730, and, for gamers, the Snapdragon 730G, bringing premium features such as computer vision to mid-premium smartphones.
  • Wave to License TritonAI IP
    Wave Computing’s AI-accelerator platform comprises three components: WaveFlow compute clusters, WaveTensor MAC arrays, and new MIPS CPUs based on technology it acquired last year.

April 15, 2019

  • Flex Logix Moves Into Chips
    The new Flex Logix InferX X1 is an AI coprocessor chip designed to connect to a host CPU via PCIe. It integrates four NNMax tiles, delivering a total of 8.5 trillion operations per second.
  • Xeon D-1600 Tackles NFV, 5G Systems
    Intel’s newest embedded processors include new Xeon D (Hewitt Lake) and Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) models that boost performance for networking and storage applications.
  • Andes Strengthens Its RISC-V Arsenal
    The new A25MP and AX25MP RISC-V CPUs from Andes add cache-coherent multicore support and an optional DSP extension. The company also rolled out the tiny N22, which is compatible with the RV32C ISA.

April 8, 2019

  • 2nd-Gen Xeon Scalable Adds Cores
    Intel’s new server processors, code-named Cascade Lake, offer workload optimizations such as DL Boost and introduce Optane support. Many of the popular models pack more cores at the same price.
  • Intel 10nm FPGAs Add Chiplets
    Intel’s next-generation Agilex FPGAs can copackage programmable logic with chiplets that add high-speed memory, new I/O interfaces, and even customer-designed functions.
  • First Optane DIMMs Disappoint
    Intel’s first persistent-memory modules are suitable only for Cascade Lake servers with terabyte memory systems and, on the basis of estimated pricing, offer relatively small cost savings.
  • Qualcomm Amps Up Smart Speakers
    Enabling in-device speech recognition of more than 100 phrases, the new smart-audio platform includes the QCS400 processor and the CSRA6640, which integrates an audio DSP and a class-D amplifier. 

April 1, 2019

  • MIPS Openly Challenges RISC-V
    MIPS is offering its instruction-set architecture without license fees or royalties under the new MIPS Open program. The ISA is more complete and production tested than the open-source RISC-V.
  • ST MCUs Make a Stellar Debut
    STMicroelectronics’ new Stellar microcontrollers provide security for wireless communications and in-vehicle networks. They’re the first commercial MCUs with phase-change memory.

March 25, 2019

  • i.MX8 Nano Cuts Multimedia Power
    NXP is further reducing the cost and power consumption of its i.MX family with versatile multimedia chips that integrate Cortex-A53 application CPUs with a Cortex-M7 controller and a VeriSilicon GPU.
  • Toshiba Moves Up to Level 3 ADAS
    Operating at less than 10W, Visconti5 (TMPV770) integrates a 20-TOPS computer-vision subsystem comprising hardware accelerators, a quad-core DSP, and four deep-learning accelerators.
  • Kendryte Embeds AI for Surveillance
    A subsidiary of Bitcoin-ASIC vendor Canaan, Kendryte offers a RISC-V processor with an AI engine and a large on-chip SRAM optimized for the Tiny YOLO model.

March 18, 2019

  • Syntiant Knows All the Best Words
    The NDP10x processors can recognize a 64-word vocabulary while consuming less than a milliwatt of active power. They target always-on keyword and speaker recognition in battery-powered devices.
  • Editorial: 5G Phones Are Gonna Be Big
    This year’s 5G smartphones will be oversized and expensive, limiting their sales, but chip vendors are developing new products that should improve next year’s models.
  • Broadcom Fills Out 5G-Network Line
    Broadcom recently announced two new switch chips that complete its 5G-network solution. Qumran2a and Jericho2c build on the initial 16nm StrataDNX family announced one year ago.

March 11, 2019

  • ST Debuts Its First Application SoCs
    STMicroelectronics debuted three new SoCs. The STM32MP1 line integrates Arm Cortex-A7 application CPUs with a Cortex-M4F real-time controller, a 3D GPU, and many MCU-like features.
  • Cadence ConnX Sensors and Radios
    Cadence designed its new ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs with wide vector engines to handle high-throughput signal processing in 5G radios as well as in automotive lidars and radars.
  • Exynos 9820 Has Samsung AI Engine
    The Exynos 9820 processor, which powers some Galaxy S10 phones, includes a 2-TOPS deep-learning accelerator that employs sparse computing to boost neural-network throughput.

March 4, 2019

  • Snapdragon X55 Modem Hits 7Gbps
    Qualcomm’s second-generation 5G modem increases data rates, adds new features such as FDD and standalone networks, and reduces power by improving the RF subsystem.
  • Arm Floats New ISA With Helium
    The Arm v8.1-M ISA includes the new M-Profile Vector Extension (MVE), comprising a set of features (code-named Helium) that will enable future Cortex-M CPUs to perform 128-bit SIMD operations.
  • Synaptics Pairs Ears With Brains
    Synaptics is expanding its AudioSmart DSP family with the AS-371 SoC that adds stronger security, application CPUs, and neural-network acceleration for next-generation smart speakers.

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