Linley Reports Subscribe

Current Articles

October 20, 2014

  • ARC HS38 Can Run High-Level OS (MPR)
    The new HS38 CPU core from Synopsys can run full versions of embedded Linux using its MMU, cache-coherent SMP, optional L2 cache, and other new features.
  • Aquantia Enables 2.5GbE Over UTP (NWR)
    Aquantia has extended the capability of its 28nm AQ2xxx PHYs from three speeds to five by using proprietary signal-processing capabilities to add 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps modes.

October 13, 2014

  • Tomahawk Delivers 32x100G Ports (NWR)
    Broadcom sampled its long-rumored Tomahawk switch to lead customers, becoming the first vendor to offer 32 ports of 100Gbps Ethernet in a single 3.2Tbps switch.
  • Wi-Fi Moves From Combo to Baseband (MCR)
    According to our new forecast, mobile processors with integrated Wi-Fi will outsell Wi-Fi combo chips by 2018, helping MediaTek and Qualcomm take share from market leader Broadcom.

October 6, 2014

  • Cavium Touts Revolutionary Switch (NWR)
    Mere weeks after acquiring Xpliant, Cavium launched the first chip from the Xpliant developers. The CNX880xx Xpliant Packet Architecture (XPA) scales from 880Gbps to 3.2Tbps and offers up to 32x100Gbps Ethernet ports.
  • Cortex-M7 Doubles Up on DSP (MPR/MCR)
    ARM's new 32-bit Cortex-M7 aims to bring higher-performance digital signal processing to MCUs for high-end embedded applications. The new architecture delivers 47% better compute performance than Cortex-M4.

September 29, 2014

  • MIPS Warrior Joins 64-Bit Battle (MPR/MCR)
    The I6400 CPU is the first licensable core in Imagination Technologies’ Warrior family to implement a 64-bit architecture. As an interAptiv core, it fits in the middle of the MIPS lineup.
  • Kodo Pumps Up Network Bandwidth (NWR)
    A simple yet powerful data-encoding scheme, Random Linear Network Coding, can improve network throughput by 2x to 10x, depending on its network layer and vertical application.

September 22, 2014

  • Intel Takes 40G Ethernet Mainstream (NWR)
    Part of the new Grantley server platform, the Intel Ethernet Controller XL710 (Fortville) also serves high-volume 10GbE designs, replacing the venerable 82599 (Niantic) and associated X520 NICs.
  • Sparc64 XIfx Uses Memory Cubes (MPR)
    Fujitsu’s new Sparc64 XIfx supercomputer processor uses Micron’s Hybrid Memory Cubes and numerous other improvements to push system-level performance toward 100 petaflops.
  • Intel Embeds x86 Into Telco Networks (NWR)
    Intel's Open Network Platform reference architecture provides a validated set of SDN and NFV ingredients that are helping push x86 servers deeper into telecom infrastructure. 
  • Broadcom Advances 11ac MIMO (MCR)
    Broadcom has delivered its second 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac chip for smartphones, adding a separate Bluetooth antenna, but this product may not be enough to spark interest in the new Wi-Fi standard.

September 15, 2014

  • Broadwell-Y Launches 14nm Era (MPR)
    Core M targets 2-in-1 PCs and tablets, fitting into a thermal envelope of just 4.5W TDP while offering a preview of mainstream 14nm Broadwell products.
  • Intel’s 14nm Graphics Broadside (MPR/MCR)
    Broadwell delivers a next-generation GPU with 20% better compute performance, 50% more texturing, and OpenCL 2.0 compatibility. This GPU will scale from high-end PCs to low-cost tablets.
  • Movidius Eyes Computational Vision (MCR)
    Movidius intends to add panoramic 3D visual awareness to mobile devices. Its Myriad 2 SoC performs real-time computational photography on image streams from up to six high-definition cameras.
  • The Big Get Bigger in Comm ICs (NWR)
    Although the communications-semiconductor industry declined modestly in 2013, the overall market for application-specific standard products was relatively healthy, with segment-specific issues cre­ating a drag on broader growth.

September 8, 2014

  • Tradeoffs Abound for 56Gbps I/O (NWR)
    As the OIF and the IEEE 802.3bs task force develop new specifications for 56Gbps serial interfaces, proponents of traditional NRZ coding are battling PAM4 backers for mindshare.

September 1, 2014

  • X-Gene 2 Aims Above Microservers (MPR)
    AppliedMicro's 28nm X-Gene 2, which is currently sampling, delivers Xeon E3–class compute performance, Xeon E5–class memory bandwidth, and highly integrated, low latency 10GbE networking.
  • Intel Buys Axxia for Base Stations (MPR/NWR)
    Intel is aiming to make a bigger splash in wireless infrastructure by acquiring the former LSI networking business. It faces many execution challenges that could hinder ongoing success, however. 
  • Samsung First With 20nm Processor (MPR/MCR)
    The Exynos 5430 and 5433 are the first application processors in 20nm, providing power and performance advantages over 28nm products. Samsung also announced its first LTE-Advanced modem chip.

August 25, 2014

  • Cavium Attacks Switching Market (NWR)
    Cavium is entering the market for data-center switch chips by acquiring startup Xpliant. The multicore-processor leader is betting that software-defined networking will break Broadcom’s near monopoly.

August 18, 2014

  • Nvidia’s First CPU Is a Winner (MPR/MCR)
    Nvidia's 64-bit Denver CPU uses dynamic instruction translation to outperform other mobile processors while offering full ARMv8 compatibility. It will appear in Tegra K1-64 later this year.
  • The Case for Open Instruction Sets (MPR)
    Two UC Berkeley professors make the case that an open instruction-set architecture would enable free competition in CPU design and that RISC-V is the best open ISA available.
  • The Case for Licensed Instruction Sets (MPR)
    ARM makes the counterargument that a licensed instruction set fills a commercial need for support, reliability, and compatibility, enabling a robust ecosystem that provides value for an ISA. 
  • Inphi Snaps Up Cortina (NWR)
    Inphi has signed an agreement to purchase Cortina Systems for $126 million. The immediately accretive acquisition will help the company double its revenue. 
  • Microsemi Buys Mingoa for OAM (NWR)
    Microsemi’s FPGA business recently gained some differentiated intellectual property when the company acquired Mingoa, a specialist in Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM).

August 11, 2014

  • Broadcom Boosts Small Cells (MPR/NWR)
    Broadcom's new BCM617x5 wireless base-station processors add crest-factor reduction, better carrier aggregation, more-powerful CPUs and DSPs, and support for China Mobile’s Zuc.
  • Marvell Puts IoT on a Chip (MPR)
    Marvell has combined a basic ARM microcontroller with Zigbee, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi radios to create a family of processors for the Internet of Things.
  • Wearables Give New Life to Old GPUs (MCR)
    Imagination has tweaked its older-generation PowerVR Series5 GPUs to produce the new Series5XE, a family of tiny graphics cores targeting low-power applications in wearable devices.
  • Editorial: Time for 802 to Wake Up (NWR)
    The IEEE must remain vibrant and active to prevent its 802 LAN/MAN groups from succumbing to turf wars. The 802.3 Ethernet group could be a model for revamping the organization. 

August 4, 2014

  • Clearer Case for Coherent Optics (NWR)
    Optical-module and transceiver-IC vendors are building a case for coherent communications, which improves spectral efficiency for links delivering 100Gbps and above.

July 28, 2014

  • LTE Unlicensed Rocks the Boat (NWR/MCR)
    A controversial proposal to extend LTE into unlicensed spectrum offers performance benefits, but initial coexistence features may not adequately protect Wi-Fi users. 
  • Vitesse Switch Takes Industrial Aim (NWR)
    Vitesse has sampled a new SparX-IV switch with features normally reserved for carrier markets. This product serves what the company says are emerging applications in industrial Ethernet and SMB platforms.
  • ST Sensor Hub Sleeps Soundly (MCR)
    STMicroelectronics' new 32-bit microcontroller combines signal-processing and sensor-hub control functions for applications such as voice-command recognition and multiple-input pedestrian geolocation.
  • Editorial: MHz Isn’t a Number Anymore (MPR)
    In a power-constrained era, frequency is a variable and no longer a simple number. SoC vendors should adapt by providing frequency-versus-power curves for critical components like CPUs and GPUs.

Purchase an Article