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Current Articles

February 15, 2016

  • 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.

February 8, 2016

  • Amazon Exposes Annapurna Chips (MPR)
    Last year, Amazon acquired Annapurna. It has now formally disclosed products that the silicon startup has been shipping for a year, possibly marking the first step in divesting its purchase. 
  • Credo Goes ASSP With PAM4 PHY (NWR)
    Credo has introduced its first PHY standard product, the CMX12550, which implements 50Gbps PAM4 signaling. The NRZ champion has also expanded its IP offering to include PAM4 designs.

February 1, 2016

  • Chipmakers Race to Drive Smart Cars (MPR)
    Automobile manufacturers are looking to transform cars into seamless extensions of handheld devices. Chipmakers Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Toshiba hope to accelerate the development of next-generation vehicles.
  • Cavium Thunders Into Servers (MPR)
    Cavium’s ThunderX, the industry’s first dual-socket ARM-based server processor, is now shipping. It can outperform Intel’s Xeon D and match even the Xeon E5 on some workloads.
  • Rockchip Expands Reach With 64 Bits (MCR)
    The RK3366 and RK3399 are two new 64-bit ARM SoCs. The former is a big upgrade for whitebox tablets while the latter targets new applications such as set-top boxes, TVs, and Chromebooks.

January 25, 2016

  • Samsung Develops Sense for Wearables (MCR)
    Samsung’s S3FBP5A integrates a Cortex-M4 CPU with custom analog and DSP functions for measuring biometric-sensor data. The tiny package is suitable for wearable devices directly in clothing.
  • MultiPhy Turns to Short Haul (NWR)
    Semtech has made a strategic investment in DSP specialist MultiPhy, allowing the latter company to develop DSP-based PHYs for 100Gbps-per-wavelength applications of single-mode fiber in the data center.
  • PowerVR Improves GPU Compute (MPR)
    Imagination’s Series7XT Plus adds integer pipelines and dedicated image-processing management to improve vision-processing performance in the PowerVR GPU lineup.

January 18, 2016

  • 50G/Lane Follows Rapid Path (NWR)
    The IEEE is accelerating development of new Ethernet speeds through two new study groups, one examining single-lane 50G Ethernet and another exploring multiplexing 50Gbps lanes.
  • Editorial: Intel Takes Early SDN/NFV Lead (NWR)
    SDN and NFV are software constructs best served initially by Intel’s x86 processors and associated ecosystem. As deployments move to large scale, power efficiency will become increasingly important, expanding opportunities for SoC vendors.
  • Broadcom Ships First 28nm StrataGX (MPR)
    Broadcom’s first 28nm StrataGX processors introduce several new security features for point-of-sale terminals, kiosks, and other secure systems while significantly reducing power consumption.

January 11, 2016

  • First Quark MCUs Target IoT (MPR)
    Intel’s new Quark microcontrollers bring the x86 architecture to the 32-bit MCU market but fall short of established competitors. The Quark SE is the most unusual model.
  • MoChi Expands Marvell’s Armada (MPR/NWR)
    In 1Q16, Marvell plans to sample the first products using its MoChi technology. These multichip devices extend the Armada family into new networking and storage applications.

January 4, 2016

  • Approval of 802.11ah Changes IoT (NWR)
    Approval of a new Wi-Fi standard for low-power sub-gigahertz operation is expected in mid-2016. The 802.11ah standard will potentially compete with both narrowband LTE and LoRa.

December 28, 2015

December 21, 2015

  • Phytium Aims for Chinese Servers (MPR)
    An ambitious  Chinese startup targets Intel’s Xeon E7 with a 28nm ARMv8 processor integrating a massive 64 custom CPU cores, 16 DDR3 channels, and 256Gbps of I/O capability.
  • Smartphones Gain Microphone IQ (MCR)
    Smart microphones from vendors such as Knowles, Akustica, and InvenSense can improve voice-activated personal assistants in smartphones and interpret ambient sounds.
  • VaultIP Secures All Things (MPR)
    Inside Secure’s VaultIP provides robust security, FIPS 140-2 Level 2 certification and authentication, while consuming little power and die area, making it ideal for IoT devices.

December 14, 2015

  • Newest SiPs Hold Many Chips (MPR/MCR)
    Multidie packages, commonly referred to as SiPs, are now broadly used in mobile devices. 2D approaches dominate, but 2.5D and 3D products are now in production for high-end systems.
  • Broadcom Adds 2.5GbE to Switches (NWR)
    Two new StrataXGS architectures for enterprise access support the emerging 2.5Gbps standard. Hurricane 3 integrates GbE PHYs, whereas Ranger 2 leaves out the PHYs for “all-wireless” offices.
  • Ceva Optimizes DSPs for IoT (MPR)
    Ceva’s new XC5 and XC8 DSP cores extend the company’s software-defined modem architecture to address the plethora of emerging standards in low-data-rate Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
  • Xeon E3 Flies To Skylake (MPR)
    The Xeon E3-1200v5 offers Intel’s first upgrade for low-end servers and workstations in two-plus years, using the new Skylake microarchitecture to boost CPU performance significantly.

December 7, 2015

  • Exynos 8 Integrates Modem (MCR)
    Samsung’s Exynos 8890, an octa-core chip with a powerful GPU and a Category 12 LTE modem, is the company’s first integrated application processor for high-end smartphones.
  • GlobalFoundries Takes ASICs to 14nm (NWR)
    After acquiring IBM Microelectronics, GlobalFoundries is moving its ASIC offering from 32nm SOI to a 14nm FinFET process licensed from Samsung and qualified at its Fab 8.

November 30, 2015

  • Editorial: Server or Smartphone? (MPR)
    Qualcomm and ARM will not achieve their goal of 25% server-market share using only smartphone-optimized CPU designs. New, more powerful server-class CPUs are needed.
  • Nvidia Brings Learning to the Server (MPR)
    Nvidia’s two new Tesla GPUs and software suite target supervised machine learning and multimedia applications. The M40 and M4 GPUs will be available in the next few months.

November 23, 2015

  • Kirin 950 Takes Performance Lead (MPR/MCR)
    HiSilicon’s latest custom processor is poised to be the first Cortex-A72 device to ship in a smartphone (the Huawei Mate 8), exceeding the performance of current-generation phones.

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