April 27, 2015
Ceva Sharpens Computer Vision (MPR/MCR)
The new Ceva-XM4 vision-processor core improves on the performance and power efficiency of its fixed-point predecessor, the Ceva-MM3101, through new FPUs, wider VLIW instructions, and other enhancements.
Freescale Upgrades Automotive Vision (MPR)
Freescale’s S32V234 is the first member of a new processor family for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). It integrates four ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs and two Cognivue Apex computer-vision cores.
Operators Prepare to Deploy LTE-U (NWR/MCR)
Qualcomm is set to receive a boost from planned LTE-U deployment by Verizon and T-Mobile. But other operators, such as AT&T, are more cautious, preferring instead to wait for 3GPP standards.
IoT-Specific Processors Emerge (MPR/MCR)
A new class of processors is emerging that targets the Internet of Things. The IoT market is growing rapidly, but our forecast is considerably more conservative than most.
April 20, 2015
PMC Mapper Drives OTN Density (NWR)
PMC-Sierra’s new Digi-G4 is the industry’s first 400Gbps OTN processor, overtaking products from AppliedMicro and Inphi (Cortina). But Altera and Xilinx offer alternatives using multiple FPGA generations.
Editorial: Moore’s Law Turns 50 (MPR)
Gordon Moore’s prediction has had a good run, but nothing lasts forever. Transistor progress is slowing and has even halted at some price points. The industry must adapt.
Allwinner V3 Targets Action Cams (MCR)
The Allwinner V3 processor combines a Cortex-A7 CPU and the company’s HawkView ISP to target helmet-mounted action cameras from vendors like GoPro.
April 13, 2015
Synopsys Embeds Vision Processing (MPR)
The new DesignWare EV licensable IP combines ARC CPUs with programmable accelerators to boost the performance of computer-vision algorithms. It includes an object-detection engine optimized for convolutional neural networks.
Qualcomm Scans Fingerprints in 3D (MCR)
Qualcomm’s new Sense ID technology is the first fingerprint sensor for smartphones that uses ultrasonics to reduce false negatives and improve security over capacitive technologies.
Timing Vital to Microsemi’s Vitesse Bid (NWR)
Microsemi’s $389 million cash offer to acquire Vitesse Semiconductor will bring precision network timing as well as Intellisec extensions to MACSec.
April 6, 2015
Broadcom Fabric Scales to 100Tbps (NWR)
The 28nm StrataDNX chipset represents the fourth-generation Dune Networks design. Broadcom added a standalone Ethernet switch chip that enables deep packet buffers and external table expansion.
Intel 7360 Nears LTE Lead (MCR)
Hot on Qualcomm’s heels, Intel is nearing production on its Category 10 LTE platform, the XMM 7360. The chipset could appear in flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple.
Graphics APIs Reach a New Low (MPR)
The Khronos Group is attempting to bring console-style graphics programming to new platforms. Its Vulkan is a new low-level graphics API that will run on multiple GPUs and operating systems.
Luxtera Debuts PSM4 Module at OFC (NWR)
At the recent Optical Fiber Communications conference, Luxtera showed samples of an optical module implementing the 100G PSM4 multisource agreement in a QSFP28 package.
March 30, 2015
14nm Xeon D Secures the Data Center (MPR)
Intel’s first 14nm server processor, Xeon D integrates eight Broadwell CPUs and achieves up to 3.4x greater performance than Atom microserver processors, blocking potential ARM-based competitors.
Marvell LTE Reaches Category 7 (MCR)
Marvell has advanced its LTE capabilities with the new PXA1826, a thin modem that uses carrier aggregation to achieve speeds of 300Mbps. The company also earned a significant win at Samsung.
Broadcom Doubles Up on Wi-Fi (MCR)
Broadcom launched the mainstream BCM43455 Wi-Fi combo and the premium BCM4359, which adds simultaneous dual-band capability.
Kandou Narrows Focus to Serdes IP (NWR)
Kandou Bus is targeting communications customers with the Glasswing family of serdes IP, the first member of which is a 125Gbps hard macro implementing the company’s 5-bit over 6-wire protocol.
March 23, 2015
Galaxy S6 Shows New Technologies (MCR)
The new Galaxy S6 is a trendsetting smartphone that includes emerging technologies such as UFS, LPDDR4, 2x2 Wi-Fi, and wireless charging, plus the industry’s first 14nm application processor, the Exynos 7420.
Flex Logix Promotes FPGA IP (NWR)
A startup has developed a hierarchical switching matrix for FPGAs based on work from UCLA. Flex Logix is licensing these IP blocks to semiconductor companies.
Editorial: NXP Deal Builds Auto Giant (MPR)
NXP’s pending acquisition of Freescale will shake up the microcontroller market, particularly in the automotive segment, but Freescale’s networking processors could be up for grabs.
PowerVR G6020 GPU Gets Small (MCR)
Imagination made its new Series6XE GPU small enough for wearables and IoT applications. Also on deck are new PowerVR video encoders.
March 16, 2015
Intel Sofia Targets Low-Cost Phones (MPR/MCR)
The newly branded Atom x3 is Intel’s first integrated smartphone processor. The Atom x7 (Cherry Trail) for tablets improves graphics performance, but its CPU speed falls flat.
UltraScale+ Adopts 16nm FinFETs (NWR)
Xilinx has introduced Kintex and Virtex FPGA families, as well as a Zynq MPSoC, in an UltraScale+ architecture based on TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process. It also launched SDSoC, a compiler tool that eases Zynq development.
March 9, 2015
Qualcomm Bolsters Midrange for 2015 (MCR)
Qualcomm improved its midrange and low-end smartphone processors with the Snapdragon 620, 425, and 415, but its next high-end processor has slipped to 1H16.
Octeon Fusion-M Goes Macro (MPR/NWR)
Cavium has launched a new Octeon Fusion lineup that extends its integrated wireless-base-station processors to macrocells and supports more users than competing products.
MT8173 Brings Cortex-A72 to Tablets (MPR/MCR)
MediaTek is sampling one of the industry’s first Cortex-A72 processors, plus it added CDMA to extend its smartphone lineup for 2015.
Cadence HiFi 4 Creates 3D Sound (MPR)
Extending Cadence’s family of licensable audio DSP cores, HiFi 4 can process complex object-based surround-sound algorithms such as Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.
March 2, 2015
EZchip’s Tile-MX Grows 100 ARMs (MPR/NWR)
The Tile-Mx100 is an ARMv8 processor with 100 coherent CPU cores as well as packet accelerators and high-speed I/O interfaces for 100Gbps networking applications.
Spreadtrum Nears RDA Merger (MCR)
Rising low-end shipments helped boost Spreadtrum’s revenue as it prepares to merge with RDA, but the company hopes new LTE chips will improve its average selling price.
February 23, 2015
AMD Unearths Excavator CPU (MPR)
Using the new Excavator CPU, AMD’s Carrizo processor delivers more performance and features than its predecessor, despite sticking with 28nm technology. Carrizo-L extends the line downward.
CoreMark-Pro Tests Embedded Mettle (MPR)
EEMBC’s new CoreMark-Pro effectively characterizes the performance of CPU cores that serve in general-purpose embedded systems and run mostly C-based applications.
Honey, I Shrunk the FPGA (MCR)
Lattice’s new Ice40 UltraLite FPGA competes with QuickLogic’s PolarPro 3, providing a tiny, inexpensive programmable-logic chip for smartphones and other mobile devices.
Intel Becomes #2 in Broadband ICs (NWR)
The pending acquisition of Lantiq will scale Intel’s broadband business primarily by adding DSL chipsets. It also signals that Intel views home gateways as strategic.
February 16, 2015
Cortex-A72 Takes Big Step Forward (MPR)
ARM has taken some of the wraps off its next-generation 64-bit CPU, code-named Maia. The new Cortex-A72 outperforms Cortex-A57 by about 30%.
FPGAs Target Remote Radio Heads (NWR)
Remote radio heads, already a favored implementation for macrocells, are finding a new role in small cells as part of the cloud RAN. FPGAs could play an important part.
GC7000 Goes for GPU Gold (MPR/MCR)
Vivante is making its strongest push into the big leagues by introducing the GC7000 line, a complete top-to-bottom upgrade of its GPU lineup.
Editorial: PCs Get Thinner, Dumber (MPR)
Intel is pushing PC makers toward its premium low-power processors, but instead of spending more money, they are choosing slower processors.
February 9, 2015
Kalray Clusters Calculate Quickly (MPR/NWR)
A little-known company has packed 256 VLIW CPUs onto a chip to deliver industry-leading performance per watt and impressive packet-processing performance.
Huawei Aims for Midrange Phones (MCR)
Huawei’s first 64-bit processor, the Kirin 620, targets smartphones costing as little as $130. The chip combines eight Cortex-A53 CPUs with a Category 4 LTE baseband.
MT2601 Targets Android Wear (MPR)
The MT2601 is MediaTek’s first processor targeted at wearable devices that run Google’s Android Wear operating system.
February 2, 2015
Cortex-A57 Is Most Efficient CPU (MPR/MCR)
Tearing down the leading mobile processors shows that Cortex-A57 is on target, Cortex-A53 is not, and brawny CPUs from Apple and Nvidia cost more but lead in performance.
CES Sees New MU-MIMO Chipsets (NWR)
Anticipating OEMs’ rush to offer 802.11ac Wave 2 access points, Wi-Fi chipset vendors touted their next-generation MU-MIMO platforms at the recent Consumer Electronics Show.
Foundries Find FinFETs at 14nm (MPR/NWR/MCR)
Everything changes at 14nm, including the transistor architecture and which foundries are leading the way in this technology transition. Hint: TSMC is not.