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December 5, 2016

  • Broadcom Broadens StrataDNX (NWR)
    Broadcom is closing out 2016 with a significant expansion of its StrataDNX line, including two new line-card devices and two new Qumran switch chips.
  • Everspin MRAM Targets Enterprise (MPR)
    Everspin’s new non-volatile memory offers DRAM-like performance as well as greater endurance and retention than flash memory, targeting embedded and enterprise storage.
  • Samsung Gear S3 Uses Exynos 7270 (MCR)
    A tiny new Exynos chip for wearables uses 14nm technology to combine a simple application processor with an LTE modem. A suite of new connectivity chips complements the design.

November 28, 2016

  • Mellanox Debuts 200Gbps InfiniBand (NWR)
    Mellanox has retaken the lead in low-latency-interconnect speeds by introducing its Quantum switch and ConnectX-6 adapter for the High Data Rate (HDR) 200Gbps InfiniBand (IB) standard.
  • Editorial: Nanometer Madness (MPR)
    The foundries no longer follow traditional metrics in labeling their process nodes, making IC-manufacturing progress more difficult to accurately assess.
  • Huawei First With Cortex-A73, Bifrost (MCR)
    HiSilicon’s Kirin 960, shipping in phones soon, delivers leading-edge features including ARM’s newest CPU and GPU designs, 4x LTE carrier aggregation, and dual-camera support.

November 21, 2016

  • New Standards Open Server Platform (MPR)
    Non-Intel servers will benefit as OpenCAPI and CCIX compete to become the standard coherent interconnect while Gen-Z aims to simplify deployment of innovative memory and storage technologies.
  • DeepBench Measures Deep Learning (MPR)
    Baidu has released a collection of over 150 neural-network kernels designed to evaluate the performance of various processors, along with performance data for Intel and Nvidia hardware.

November 14, 2016

  • Qualcomm-NXP: A New Goliath (MPR)
    Qualcomm’s proposed $47 billion acquisition of NXP will strengthen its mobile offering while diversifying the company, giving it strong positions in automotive, embedded, and IoT.
  • Cortex-M23/M33 Bolster IoT Security (MPR)
    ARM has rolled out the first Cortex-M CPUs to implement the ARMv8-M ISA, as well as a new CoreLink system interconnect, a security-IP core, and a complete subsystem for IoT processors.
  • Marvell Aims for Enterprise 25GbE (NWR)
    Marvell’s new Prestera CX 84xx Bobcat 3 switches and Alaska C 88X51xx PHYs target private-cloud data centers upgrading from 10GbE to 25GbE, a market the company says its competitors have neglected.

November 7, 2016

  • Apple Turbocharges PowerVR GPU (MCR)
    According to our analysis, Apple has customized Imagination’s GPU to achieve very high clock speeds, delivering a 50% performance gain on some tests but falling short on others.
  • Adreno 530 Tops Mobile GPUs (MCR)
    In a comparison of flagship smartphone processors, Qualcomm’s custom GPU design leads ARM’s Mali and Imagination’s PowerVR in both performance and die size.
  • Quantenna IPO Raises Profile, Cash (NWR)
    Quantenna raised $107 million in an October 28 IPO that hit the top of its anticipated price range. The company is also first to announce chips for the draft 802.11ax standard.

October 31, 2016

  • Tomahawk II Doubles 100GbE Ports (NWR)
    Broadcom is aiming to reinforce its dominance in top-of-rack Ethernet switching by sampling the 16nm BCM56970 Tomahawk II, the first switch to offer 64x100GbE ports.
  • Snapdragon 427 Moves to Category 7 (MCR)
    Qualcomm’s three new smartphone processors (Snapdragon 427, 626, and 653) provide minor improvements, refreshing the company’s lineup in time for the holiday buying season.
  • Adjusting SPEC CPU2006 Scores (MPR)
    Advanced compilers inflate SPEC benchmark scores by 8–23% using optimizations that are irrelevant to most server users. Adjusting these scores enables more accurate comparisons of server processors.

October 24, 2016

  • Apple W1 Processor Powers Airpods (MCR)
    To develop its new wireless Airpod earphones for the iPhone 7, Apple designed the W1 wireless processor, which overcomes limitations in the Bluetooth specification for advanced audio distribution.
  • Editorial: Intel Unarmed in M&A Battle (MPR)
    Intel’s ARM-avoidance policy constrains its acquisition strategy, as recent purchases of Movidius, Nervana, and Soft Machines demonstrate. Qualcomm’s proposed NXP deal provides a stark contrast.
  • Qualcomm Previews 5GTF Modem (NWR/MCR)
    In 2018, Qualcomm will deploy a 5G-class modem called the X50. Instead of the full 5G standard under development by 3GPP, this chip will implement the simpler 5GTF standard.
  • Adapteva’s Million-Dollar Epiphany (MPR)
    Adapteva’s 1,024-core Epiphany-V should deliver 2Tflop/s of double-precision performance at 30W. More remarkably, the 16nm FinFET design took less than $1 million to tape out.

October 17, 2016

  • Apple A10 Bruises Other CPUs (MPR/MCR)
    The iPhone 7 uses two new custom ARM CPU designs to deliver better performance than any other smartphone, although the big Hurricane CPU consumes plenty of die area.
  • AppliedMicro Leaps to 100Gbps PAM4 (NWR)
    AppliedMicro recently demonstrated in conjunction with Macom and BrPhotonics a 100Gbps PAM4 link over single-mode fiber. It expects single-wavelength 100Gbps links to bypass 50Gbps-per-lambda alternatives.
  • Nvidia Tunes Pascal for Learning (MPR)
    The Tesla P4 and P40, due to enter production in 4Q16, are second-generation machine-learning accelerators that use the new Pascal architecture for up to 10x performance gains.

October 10, 2016

  • Adesto Executes in Place (MPR)
    The new EcoXIP memory combines standard NOR flash with a custom high-speed interface designed specifically for streaming instructions in MCU-based IoT applications.
  • Flex Logix Adds 40nm for MCUs (MPR/NWR)
    Flex Logix, a startup specializing in FPGA intellectual property, has designed cores for a mature 40nm TSMC process (40ULP), even as it simultaneously characterizes its FinFET cores.
  • Helio X30 Targets 10 Cores at 10nm (MCR)
    MediaTek’s next-generation flagship processor will be one of the first smartphone chips built in TSMC’s 10nm technology. It will likely appear in phones around mid-2017.
  • Ceva XM6 Accelerates Neural Nets (MPR)
    The new XM6 DSP core enables deep learning in embedded computer-vision processors, targeting self-driving cars, augmented and virtual reality, surveillance cameras, drones, and robotics.

October 3, 2016

  • Wave Accelerates Deep Learning (MPR)
    Startup Wave Computing has created an innovative dataflow architecture, implemented in a processor with 16,384 cores, that offers a 10x speedup for training neural networks.
  • Andes E830 Extends Processor IP (MPR)
    The new Andes E830 is a user-extensible CPU core with an updated and more compact instruction set. The company has also solidified its interconnect-design portfolio by adding the AE300.
  • Cortex-R52: Safer Real-Time Control (MPR)
    ARM’s new core supersedes the Cortex-R5 by adding virtualization, greater throughput, better lockstepping, and optional Neon extensions while increasing real-time deterministic performance.
  • GlobalFoundries Offers 7nm Roadmap (MPR)
    For its FinFET technology, GlobalFoundries is skipping 10nm and moving to a 7nm process targeting for 2018 production. Its new 12nm FD-SOI process offers an alternative path forward.

September 26, 2016

  • Samsung Unveils Custom M1 Core (MPR/MCR)
    Taking a page from rival Qualcomm’s book, Samsung designed a custom ARM CPU for the Exynos 8890, its first smartphone processor to forgo using a standard Cortex core.
  • Phytium Samples 64-Core ARMv8 (MPR)
    The Chinese startup is sampling its FT-2000/64—the world’s biggest ARM-compatible server processorand disclosed 4- and 16-core ARM chips that are already in production.
  • Broadcom Redefines Gearbox Ports (NWR)
    Broadcom is in early production with three PHYs that implement retiming beyond the original 4:10/10:4 gearbox function and provide extensions from the emerging Multi-Link Gearbox 2.0 standard.
  • Editorial: ADAS Opportunities Expand (MPR)
    Despite the attention on self-driving cars, automotive-processor vendors will find that active-safety systems present a bigger and fast-growing opportunity over the next several years.
  • Low-End Exynos Moves to 14nm (MCR)
    Taking sales from Qualcomm, Samsung has built a budget smartphone processor using its own 14nm FinFET process, integrating LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS functions.
  • Synopsys Debuts Secure ARC Cores (MPR)
    Two new DesignWare cores improve security in IoT devices and embedded systems using features such as secure containers and countermeasures against side-channel attacks.

September 19, 2016

  • Oracle Sparc Accelerates Big Data (MPR)
    Oracle’s recent Sparc processors integrate hardware acceleration for database software, big-data analytics, and security. They also enable compression of in-memory databases.
  • Sentons Channels Ultrasound Touch (MCR)
    Using its Zero Deflection Force products, startup Sentons has delivered ultrasonic touch capability, which eases implantation of force touch as well as novel touch applications.
  • Editorial: Common PHY Standards Needed (NWR)
    Fibre Channel and InfiniBand have both seen a longer lifespan in the data center than skeptics anticipated, but the justification for independent physical-layer standards to support these protocols is waning quickly.

September 12, 2016

  • Vesper Mic Drops Under Water (MCR)
    Using piezoelectric materials in a MEMS microphone, startup Vesper offers immunity from dust and liquids and better power consumption than traditional capacitive MEMS mics.
  • Intel Unveils Silicon-Photonics MSAs (NWR)
    Intel has finally announced two 100Gbps silicon-photonics offerings for the data center: a parallel single-mode PSM4 module that’s in production and a CWDM4 module that’s in early sampling. 

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