May 9, 2016
Nvidia Hits HPC First With Pascal (MPR)
Based on the Pascal architecture, the 16nm Tesla P100 GPU uses 56 cores to deliver 5.3Tflops double-precision or 21.1Tflops half-precision while burning 300W.
NXP Economizes With LS2080A (MPR/NWR)
NXP’s newest QorIQ processors, the octa-core LS2080A and quad-core LS2040A, bring lower-power and lower-cost options to the ARMv8-based LS2-series.
Ethertronics Steers Smarter Antennas (MCR)
The EC459, a smart antenna chip, actively steers the antenna’s sensitivity to the received signal. Ethertronics also launched the EC686 and EC486 RF switch chips.
Editorial: AMD Goes to China (MPR)
AMD is the latest chip vendor to partner with a Chinese company, but similar partnerships have not worked out well for foreign companies that share their valuable IP.
Convertible PCs Sail on Apollo Lake (MPR)
Apollo Lake is Intel’s next-generation entry-level processor for PCs. The 14nm device, which integrates the new Goldmont CPU, succeeds Cherry Trail for mini PCs and 2-in-1 convertible tablets.
May 2, 2016
Cavendish Uses MEMS to Improve RF (MCR)
Building on its initial success in aperture tuning, Cavendish Kinetics is announcing new SmartSwitch and SmartDiversity products based on its unique MEMS switching technology.
Marvell NBase-T PHY Removes 10G (NWR)
Marvell is spinning off 2.5Gbps/5Gbps PHY devices from the 10GBase-T Alaska X, its first product to support NBase-T specifications.
HBM2 Doubles Bandwidth, Capacity (MPR)
The second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) increases memory capacity and bandwidth, adds ECC support, and improves memory-controller efficiency.
April 25, 2016
NXP Debuts QorIQ Cortex-A72 (MPR/NWR)
The industry’s first embedded processors to use Cortex-A72, the quad-core LS1046A and dual-core LS1026A improve performance, particularly for mixed control- and data-plane networking.
AMD FirePro Reinvigorates HPC (MPR)
The new FirePro S9300x2 is the industry’s highest-performance single-precision GPU. The Radeon Open Compute tool chain adds support for C/C++ and Cuda software.
AMS Sensors See the Light (MCR)
The industry’s largest supplier of light sensors, AMS is adapting this technology to more advanced applications such as color correction, gesture recognition, and health monitoring.
Precise-ITC Debuts 400G Mapper IP (NWR)
Precise-ITC of Ottawa demonstrated an FPGA-based 400Gbps mapper at the recent Optical Fiber Communication conference. Callite-C4 maps 400GbE and 4x100GbE to OTUC4 optical-transport-network (OTN) rates.
MediaTek’s Gateways to IoT (MPR)
The MT7697 combines ARM’s Cortex-M4F with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The MT2511 is an analog companion chip for MediaTek’s wearable processors.
April 18, 2016
Qualcomm Advances in RF Front End (MCR)
The RF360 line now covers multiple price tiers and includes new products such as aperture tuners. By striking a deal with TDK, Qualcomm will be able to offer RF filters as well.
MoSys Builds Smarter Search Engine (NWR)
The new Programmable Search Engine (PSE) integrates CPUs that enable industry-first customer programmability. The PSE shares its silicon architecture with Bandwidth Engine 3 products.
Baikal Aims for Desktops, Microservers (MPR)
Russian semiconductor startup Baikal recently announced its second design, a 28nm ARMv8 processor for desktop computers, communications equipment, and microservers.
April 11, 2016
Inphi Melds PAM4, Silicon Photonics (NWR)
Inphi’s Colorz optical-link technology combines two component breakthroughs: a CMOS DSP chip implementing PAM4 modulation for dual 50Gbps channels, and a silicon-photonics die integrating Mach-Zehnder modulators, photodetectors, and mux/demuxes.
Editorial: Cost Will Hamper 5G Rollout (MPR/NWR/MCR)
Without Moore’s Law to help, ultrafast 5G handsets will remain expensive, slowing the rollout of the next-generation cellular technology and diluting its potential benefits.
Silicon Labs Goes Wireless (MPR)
The new Wireless Gecko microcontrollers integrate a radio that supports Bluetooth, Thread, and ZigBee protocols, providing highly integrated solutions for low-cost IoT devices.
April 4, 2016
Broadwell-EP Moves Xeon E5 to 14nm (MPR)
Intel’s new socket-compatible upgrade to the Xeon E5 server platform provides modest performance gains on general-purpose software but greater improvements for specific workloads.
New Intel Modems Target IoT (NWR)
Intel is developing three modem chips for low-power 3G and 4G cellular systems. The XMM 7120M, XMM 7115, and XMM 6255M support various wireless protocols for machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT applications.
Smartphones Double Up on Cameras (MCR)
Adding a second camera to a smartphone improves focusing capability, reduces blur, and decreases noise in dim light. It also enables new applications.
March 28, 2016
Peraso Takes WiGig Outdoors (NWR)
Peraso Technologies has begun production of the industry’s first WiGig chipset for outdoor wireless infrastructure using the 60GHz band.
RISC-V Offers Simple, Modular ISA (MPR)
RISC-V is a new general-purpose instruction-set architecture that can be configured with a 32-, 64-, or 128-bit integer base and optional extensions.
New Intel SoCs Target Autos and IoT (MPR)
The Atom x3-M7272 and the Quark-based XMM 7315 are two new Intel processors with integrated modems for connected cars and cellular IoT applications.
Sound Method for Seeing Gestures (MCR)
Knowles has partnered with Elliptic to deliver ultrasonic microphones that enable gesture recognition without cameras or optical emitters.
Cortex-A32 Is First 32-Bit ARMv8 CPU (MPR/MCR)
The new Cortex-A32 is ARM’s first 32-bit CPU core to use the ARMv8 ISA, providing an upgrade path from the older Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A7 designs.
AMD Expands Embedded G-Series (MPR)
AMD introduced the Excavator CPU to its G-Series embedded lineup with new I and J processor families. The new low-cost LX family instead uses the Jaguar CPU.
March 21, 2016
Editorial: Clouds Part for ARM (MPR)
Microservices and hyperconvergence will lead data centers to adopt SoCs that are power efficient and that offer hardware acceleration.
Intel XMM 7480 Offers 4xCA (MCR)
Intel’s LTE modem line has added 4xCA, hitting 450Mbps downlink speeds, but it lags the performance of Qualcomm’s X12.
Sequans Modem Goes Narrow (NWR)
Sequans Communications has promised 2Q16 sampling of Monarch, a single-chip modem for low-bandwidth IoT applications using the new LTE Category M1 and M2 (formerly NB-IoT).
Xeon D Doubles Core Count (MPR)
Intel recently released six new Xeon D server and embedded processors, packing 12–16 cores. New 65W variants offer enough compute performance to compete with the Xeon E5 line.
March 14, 2016
P20 Pushes Helio to 16nm (MCR)
MediaTek is continuing to improve its Helio products, which target the upper price tiers of the smartphone market. The new Helio P20 is the company’s first chip to use a FinFET process.
IDT Takes RapidIO Ports to 50Gbps (NWR)
IDT has introduced its new RXS family of RapidIO switches offering up to 24 ports operating at 50Gbps and 100ns latency, targeting LTE-A and 5G wireless infrastructure.
Spreadtrum Moves Up to Midrange (MCR)
Spreadtrum has shipped an octa-core processor with good graphics, challenging MediaTek in the mainstream smartphone space.
NXP’s Lowest-Power 64-Bit ARM (MPR)
NXP will soon sample the QorIQ LS1012A, which appears to be the world’s smallest, lowest-power embedded processor using the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture.
PowerVR 8XE Moves Down the Chain (MPR/MCR)
Imagination Technologies’ new PowerVR Series8XE family offers OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan compatibility, improved performance, and reduced die size compared with the previous Series7XE.
ARM Revs Up Cortex-R8 for 5G (MPR)
To address the requirements of Release 13 of the LTE-Advanced specification as well as future 5G systems, ARM has added the new Cortex-R8 to its family of real-time embedded-processor cores.
March 7, 2016
QLogic FastLinq NICs Deliver 25GbE (NWR)
QLogic’s first new Ethernet adapters since its 2014 acquisition of Broadcom’s NetXtreme II extends that family to 25GbE and 100GbE.
Ceva’s New Gen-X DSPs Target 5G (MPR)
Ceva’s new X4 DSP core for baseband processors includes features that support the new 3GPP LTE-Advanced Release 13 (LTE-Advanced Pro) as well as future 5G modems.
Accelerating Machine Learning (MPR)
ISSCC papers from Intel and MIT indicate that hardware accelerators for machine-learning algorithms can deliver up to 30x better performance per watt than CPUs or GPUs.
Snapdragon Wear Debuts (MCR)
The new Snapdragon Wear 2100 follows the Snapdragon 410 that already appears in most Android Wear smartwatches, reducing power and size by about 25%.
February 29, 2016
Snapdragon 625 Extends Midrange (MCR)
Qualcomm extended its roadmap with three new processors due out late this year: the midrange Snapdragon 625, the low-end Snapdragon 435, and the lower-cost Snapdragon 425.
Editorial: What If Intel Loses 10nm Race? (MPR)
Samsung and TSMC could reach 10nm production before Intel, putting their foundry customers on a more even footing with the x86 giant, particularly in server and networking processors.
Sony Grabs Altair for LTE IoT (NWR)
Sony is paying $212 million to acquire Altair Semiconductor. The Israeli company has developed LTE modems for a variety of end markets, but recently, it has focused on IoT.
February 22, 2016
Adesto Targets IoT Using CBRAM (MPR/MCR)
Targeting embedded and IoT designs, Adesto’s new Moneta products improve its conductive-bridge RAM (CBRAM) nonvolatile memory to further reduce power relative to EEPROMs.
Netronome Optimizes iNIC for Cloud (NWR)
Netronome’s transition from an adapter and silicon supplier for OEMs to an intelligent-NIC specialist reached high gear with the debut of Agilio-CX, which is based on the new NFP-4000 processor.
February 15, 2016
Broadcom Samples First ARMv8 Chip (MPR/NWR)
Broadcom’s new BCM4908 communications processor has the CPU horsepower and feature integration required for 802.11ac Wave 2 routers in homes and small businesses.
Qualcomm Delivers Gigabit LTE (MCR)
The new X16 modem chip, due later this year, is the industry’s first announced LTE Advanced Pro offering. It can deliver 1.0Gbps on the downlink using licensed or unlicensed spectrum.
Atmel Deal Challenges Microchip (MPR)
The Atmel acquisition expands Microchip’s microcontroller business, but the MCU supplier must now juggle four different instruction sets, including MIPS and ARM.