April 28, 2014
Netronome 100GbE NIC Targets SDN (NWR)
New FlowNIC-6xxx offloads Open vSwitch at 200Gbps, extending the spectrum of intelligent adapters. These adapters may also become the industry’s first 100GbE NICs of any kind.
Vendors Tussle Over Multiuser Wi-Fi (NWR/MCR)
Qualcomm's next wave of 802.11ac products will include multiuser MIMO to improve network throughput, but in the meantime, Broadcom is using an extra radio chip to provide similar benefits.
Editorial: AMD on Road to Recovery (MPR)
AMD has stabilized its financials and is seeing growth from its semicustom business. But to gain share in PCs and servers, the company needs a new CPU microarchitecture.
April 21, 2014
LS2 Tops QorIQ Lineup With ARM (MPR/NWR)
Freescale plans to sample a new LS2 family. The LS2085A and LS2045A use ARM's Cortex-A57 CPU and autonomous packet engines to deliver leading performance in the QorIQ line.
Freescale Expands QorIQ T-Series (MPR/NWR)
Five new QorIQ T-series processors go a long way toward filling out Freescale's 28nm product line and superseding older P-series chips. The most powerful new arrival is the quad-core T4080.
Direct3D 12 Gets More Direct (MPR)
In preannouncing DirectX 12, Microsoft is responding to AMD's Mantle by improving efficiency and giving developers a more console-like development experience for PC-graphics programming.
Editorial: More Interest in In-Sourcing (MCR)
Although several OEMs are developing or investigating in-house processor design, I don't expect these new in-sourcing efforts to take hold. The historical trend has been in the opposite direction.
April 14, 2014
Qualcomm Tips Cortex-A57 Plans (MPR/MCR)
The Snapdragon 810 will include four Cortex-A57 CPUs and four Cortex-A53 CPUs, a high-performance multimedia subsystem, and a leading-edge LTE baseband with three-carrier aggregation.
Spreadtrum Goes Bottom Fishing (MCR)
Spreadtrum is refreshing the bottom of its line of single-core smartphone processors, replacing the Cortex-A5 CPU with a faster Cortex-A7 and integrating Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Xilinx, Altera Unveil 400G Plans (NWR)
Xilinx and Altera focused on 400Gbps links at OFC, and Huawei demonstrated a 400Gbps Ethernet line card, based on a Xilinx reference design, for its NE5000E router.
April 7, 2014
Audience Is Always On (MCR)
The new ES700 series from Audience combines the company's powerful voice-processing technology with a sensor hub, an analog codec, and low-power "always listening" capability.
MSAs Proliferate at OFC (NWR)
Multisource agreements (MSAs) for optical components have played an important role in defining pluggable modules. At OFC, MSA complexity and diversity expanded, with new coalitions being abundant.
In Brief: PowerVR Wizard Adds Ray Tracing (MPR/MCR)
Imagination's new Wizard family of PowerVR graphics processors are the mobile industry's first GPUs to combine ray-tracing hardware with conventional rasterization.
In Brief: Marvell's 28nm 10G Copper PHY (NWR)
Marvell has launched a 10GBase-T PHY to challenge market leaders Aquantia and Broadcom. Built in 28nm technology, the new device boasts leading power and size specifications.
In Brief: Exynos 5422 Boosts CPU Speed (MPR/MCR)
Samsung's new octa- and hexa-core application processors, the Exynos 5422 and 5260, improve the CPU speed and add heterogeneous multiprocessing.
March 31, 2014
Broadcom's XLP500 Raises Midrange (MPR/NWR)
Broadcom's new XLP500-series chips raise the bar for midrange communications processors by integrating up to eight CPU cores and dual 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
New Products Level LTE Playing Field (MCR)
LTE is ramping faster than any previous mobile technology, allowing modem designers to chip away at the leader, Qualcomm, as the industry moves to next-generation LTE-Advanced.
Allwinner A80 Ups the Ante (MPR/MCR)
China-based Allwinner ships more tablet processors than any other merchant supplier. Its new UltraOcta chip takes the company to new levels of performance.
In Brief: A3Cube Fabric Disrupts Data Centers (NWR)
A3Cube's NIC products aim to replace the fat-tree fabric architecture in data centers with a 3D torus and thereby reduce the cost of scalable distributed computing.
March 24, 2014
Next-Gen 100G PHYs Debut at OFC (NWR)
At the recent Optical Fiber Communications conference, AppliedMicro, Avago, and Broadcom introduced 100G Ethernet PHYs that enable new port-side and backplane applications.
In Brief: Marvell Powers Up With PXA1928 (MCR)
Using Cortex-A53, the PXA1928 doubles the performance of its predecessor, making Marvell more competitive for LTE smartphones that target China Mobile's network.
In Brief: Smallest Warrior Gets Virtualization (MPR)
Imagination Technologies has accomplished a first in licensable MCU cores, bringing hardware-virtualization capability to two of the smallest M-class CPUs in its MIPS Series5 Warrior line.
In Brief: TI Backhauls Small Cells (NWR)
With its recently announced TCI6631K2L, Texas Instruments has taken the lead in addressing non-line-of-site (NLOS) wireless backhaul for small-cell base stations.
In Brief: BCM4354 Brings 2x2 Wi-Fi to Phones (MCR)
Designed for high-end smartphones and tablets, Broadcom's newest Wi-Fi combo chip delivers leading-edge features such as dual-stream 802.11ac, 802.11av, and wireless charging.
March 17, 2014
Intel Makes Merry in Smartphones (MPR/MCR)
Intel's next-generation smartphone chipsets include dual-core Merrifield and quad-core Moorefield application processors, which can be combined with the new X-Gold 726 chip supporting Category 6 LTE-Advanced with dual-carrier aggregation.
In Brief: Snapdragon 615 Octs Up (MCR)
Qualcomm has extended its Snapdragon 600 line for LTE smartphones with the quad-core MSM8936 and the octa-core MSM8939, both using Cortex-A53 to deliver 64-bit ARM capability.
In Brief: QLogic Beefs Up Ethernet NIC Line (NWR)
QLogic is picking up Broadcom's NetXtreme II line of 10G Ethernet controllers and adapters, an associated team, and 40/100G products that are under development.
March 10, 2014
Freescale Integrates Digital Front End (MPR/NWR)
Freescale's new QorIQ Qonverge B3421 is the company's first wireless base-station processor that integrates a digital front end with JEDEC-standard antenna interfaces and Serial ATA.
MediaTek Hits a High Note (MCR)
The new MT6595 offers high-end features like Cortex-A17 and 4K video. The quad-core MT6732 and octa-core MT6752 are MediaTek's first 64-bit processors. All three integrate LTE.
In Brief: Intel Refreshes Four-Socket Xeon E5 (MPR)
Intel's Xeon E5-4600 v2 family line is a socket-compatible upgrade of the previous generation that boosts core count, cache size, memory bandwidth, and performance, all while reducing power consumption by 12%.
Editorial: Welcome to Mobile Chip Report (MCR)
Our new weekly report covers mobile-design topics such as application processors, LTE modems, Wi-Fi combo chips, mobile memory, RF, sensors, and power management.
March 3, 2014
Broadcom Ships First LTE Processor (MCR)
Broadcom's first integrated LTE processor, the M320, is not only in production but is shipping in a Samsung phone. Technology from the Renesas deal helped accelerate this product.
In Brief: Cortex-A17 Grows ARM's Midsection (MPR/MCR)
ARM has launched Cortex-A17, extending the life of its older-generation 32-bit cores. It has also introduced the Mali-DP500 display controller, which uses technology acquired from Cadence in September 2013.
In Brief: Kandou Touts Multi-Signal Chords (NWR)
IP startup Kandou Bus has redefined serial signaling by incorporating more than two wires. Dubbed Chord, the new signaling technology could serve applications ranging from TSVs to backplanes.
Editorial: Expanding Our Mobile Coverage (MPR)
Our new Mobile Chip Report covers topics such as application processors, LTE modems, Wi-Fi combo chips, mobile memory, RF, sensors, and power management.
February 24, 2014
Ivy Bridge-EX Updates Xeon E7 Line (MPR)
Intel's 22nm Xeon E7 v2 is the cornerstone of the Brickland platform, which doubles performance and memory capacity over the previous 4P and 8P server processors.
AMD to Sample First ARM Chip (MPR/NWR)
AMD will sample its Opteron A1100 processor, code-named Seattle, in March, targeting microservers with eight Cortex-A57 CPUs. These chips will compete against Intel’s Avoton processor.
Twisted Pair Powers Ethernet (NWR)
Extending Power over Ethernet to single- and four-pair derivatives promises to open new applications and potentially increase power to 100W.
In Brief: ARM Releases Server-System Spec (MPR)
ARM is attempting to head off potential fragmentation in the nascent ARMv8-based server ecosystem by releasing the Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) specification.
February 17, 2014
Micron Accelerates Automata (MPR/NWR)
Micron's newest memory device is actually a coprocessor that can perform fast pattern matching and other complex algorithms using a radically new approach.
MIPS MCUs Outrun ARM (MPR)
Microchip's new PIC32MZ family offers MIPS-based MCUs with outstanding performance, plenty of flash memory and SRAM, crypto acceleration, Ethernet, and other high-speed peripherals.
Editorial: Reducing Network TCO (NWR)
Although custom routers and protocol stacks help cloud-service providers reduce network-equipment costs, photonics holds even greater promise for reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).
February 10, 2014
In Brief: AMD Slows Opteron (MPR)
AMD positions its new "Warsaw" server processors for customers who need less performance instead of more.
In Brief: MoSys Memory Adds Search (NWR)
Compared with its predecessor, Bandwidth Engine 3 will increase capacity, speed, and intelligence. It adds forwarding lookups to the long list of applications for this serial memory.
Editorial: TI Faces DSP Decision (MPR)
Another round of layoffs at Texas Instruments raises the question of whether the company will maintain its investment in its historic DSP products or exit that market.
February 3, 2014
AMD's Kaveri Bulks Up on Graphics (MPR)
AMD's newest A-series processors, code-named Kaveri, are the first production devices to support the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) programming model.
In Brief: Emulex Reloads for 10G Ethernet (NWR)
Just in time for the next server-design cycle, Emulex has introduced a new controller and associated adapters for 10G and 40G Ethernet.
In Brief: Imagination Extends Family of Rogues (MPR)
Imagination Technologies continues to expand its family of Series6 GPUs, known by its code-name Rogue, with new models at both the high and low ends.