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Current MPR Articles

September 17, 2018

  • Graphcore Makes Big AI Splash
    One of the best-funded AI startups is sampling its first product, an accelerator chip that packs 1,216 independent CPUs and matches the performance of Nvidia’s V100 at half the power.
  • DeePhi Accelerates Xilinx AI Strategy
    Xilinx recently acquired DeePhi, a developer of FPGA-based accelerators for computer vision and speech recognition, to add to its large library of reference designs that it can offer to its FPGA customers.
  • Broadcom First With 200Gbps NIC
    Broadcom is first to sample Ethernet adapters for new 50Gbps-per-lane standards, including 50GbE and 200GbE. The NICs use the new Thor controller chip, the company’s third-generation NetXtreme-E design.
  • Wear 3100 Boosts Smartwatch Life
    Qualcomm has added a real-time controller to its next-generation smartwatch platform, creating a big-small-tiny architecture that extends battery life for Wear OS watches.

September 10, 2018

  • Xilinx Everest Outclimbs FPGAs
    Xilinx is pitching its next-generation Everest devices as SoCs with programmable logic, not as traditional FPGAs. They’ll have ARM cores, new programmable engines, and PCI Express Gen4.
  • 5G Raises Handset-RF Complexity
    RF architectures will diverge between the new 3.5GHz and millimeter-wave bands being allocated for 5G New Radio. RF-module vendors are slowly disclosing their plans.

September 3, 2018

  • Cascade Lake Speeds Deep Learning
    Intel’s next-generation Xeon refreshes the Purley platform, adding instruction extensions for neural networks as well as support for Optane DC persistent memory.
  • Intel Pours Whiskey Lake for Laptops
    The new Whiskey Lake (U-series) and Amber Lake (Y-series) processors bring greater CPU speeds and the Cannon Point south bridge to premium thin-and-light and 2-in-1 PCs.
  • AlphaICs Employs AI Special Agents
    This small startup, fronted by “The Father of Pentium,” has developed what it calls the Real AI Processor, which employs an array of special-purpose compute “agents” to power autonomous systems.

August 27, 2018

  • Mythic Multiplies in a Flash
    Mythic is an AI-processor startup that uses embedded flash memory to store neural-network weights as analog parameters. The technique can store a complete network on-chip.
  • Threadripper 2 Grows to 32 Cores
    AMD’s second-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips offer more CPUs than Intel’s best competing products at any price. The 32-core model is the most powerful PC processor available.
  • Broadcom, Mellanox Target NVMe-oF
    Broadcom and Mellanox announced storage-controller cards for flash arrays that support the RoCE flavor of NVMe-oF. These cards employ Stingray and BlueField SoCs, respectively.
  • Snapdragon 670 Extends Midrange
    Qualcomm’s newest smartphone processor brings Cortex-A75, 10nm technology, and better AI acceleration to a new low price, strengthening the company in the mid-premium segment.

August 20, 2018

  • Samsung M3 Flexes Arm Muscles
    Samsung’s third-generation mobile CPU nearly doubles performance using a massive microarchitecture that challenges Intel’s Skylake in complexity and throughput.
  • Alibaba Looks to C-Sky for CPU IP
    Chinese vendor C-Sky has been quietly designing 32-bit embedded CPUs since its founding in 2001, compiling a customer list that includes 70 licensees. Among them is its new parent, Alibaba.

August 13, 2018

  • Intel to Offer Structured ASICs
    Intel’s FPGA group (formerly Altera) has acquired eASIC, a small vendor of structured ASICs, to expand its portfolio and offer its customers a path to “harden” their FPGA designs.
  • IBM Trains in Analog to Save AI Power
    IBM is using phase-change memories to build analog neural networks. The architecture enables area- and power-efficient in-memory computing, which is suitable for training as well as low-power inference engines. 
  • Microchip Debuts Dual-Core DSC
    The dsPIC33CH combines the functions of a 16-bit microcontroller and digital signal controller (DSC). This dual-core design competes with 32-bit DSCs that use Arm’s Cortex-M4F CPU.

August 6, 2018

  • Foundries Head to 5nm and Beyond
    Even as the first 7nm chips reach production, TSMC and Samsung have a roadmap to 3nm that includes EUV, new materials such as cobalt, and gate-all-around (GAA) transistors.
  • Helio A-Series Targets Low End
    The Helio brand started as MediaTek’s premium smartphone-processor line, but with the introduction of the Helio A22, it now covers all price tiers. This new chip runs four Cortex-A53 CPUs at up to 2.0GHz.

July 30, 2018

  • Microchip L10/L11 Bolster Security
    The Microchip SAM L10 and SAM L11 are the first microcontrollers to use Arm’s Cortex-M23, which supersedes the popular Cortex-M0+. With its TrustZone isolation and other features, the L11 is an unusually secure MCU.
  • General Processor Commands IP Unity
    General Processor has developed a heterogeneous processor-IP platform it calls Unity. This Sino-American platform includes a configurable deep-learning accelerator (DLA), a 64-bit CPU, and a vector DSP.
  • Wear 2500 Targets Kid Watches
    After a two-year hiatus, Qualcomm announced the first of two new smartwatch chipsets. The Snapdragon Wear 2500 targets the emerging kid-watch segment of the rapidly growing smartwatch market.

July 23, 2018

  • Snapdragon 400-Series Shrinks to 12nm
    Qualcomm is bringing advanced 12nm FinFET technology to its low-cost Snapdragon 400-series. It also announced the Snapdragon 632, offering OEMs a Big.Little upgrade for midrange smartphones.
  • Flex Logix Diversifies eFPGA
    OEMs and chip vendors are adopting embedded FPGAs in a variety of applications. Flex Logix has responded to this demand with improved cores and new process nodes.
  • Editorial: Challenges for New Intel CEO
    Whomever Intel chooses as its next CEO must fix the execution problems that have led to product and technology delays across several business units as well as diminished customer confidence.
  • MediaTek Advances in 5G
    The Helio M70, MediaTek’s first 5G chip, is a multimode modem that should enter production next year. The company plans to follow quickly with an integrated processor for 5G smartphones.

July 16, 2018

  • Adreno 630: Small But Mighty
    Our die-photo analysis of mobile GPUs reveals similarities between the “Apple-designed” A11 GPU and Imagination’s PowerVR, while Qualcomm’s Adreno continues to lead in efficiency.
  • eSilicon 7nm Serdes Hits 56Gbps
    ASIC provider eSilicon has developed 7nm design platforms that include hard and soft macros for networking applications along with a new architecture and IP library for building AI accelerators.
  • NXP S32S Drives Autos in Lockstep
    The first member of NXP’s S32S automotive processor family is also the first announced product to use Arm’s Cortex-R52. The S32S247 octa-core chip is designed for fault tolerance and ASIL D.

July 9, 2018

  • Arm Dot Products Accelerate CNNs
    Arm’s new dot-product instructions deliver a 4x performance boost to convolutional-neural-network (CNN) operations running on 64-bit Cortex-A CPUs, including Cortex-A55, A75, and A76.
  • Arm-Compatible CPUs Get Bigger
    Our die-photo analysis of mobile CPUs reveals major design changes to the initial Cortex-A75 processor while Apple maintains its lead in CPU performance and efficiency.
  • Ceva Upgrades NB-IoT Platform
    Ceva’s new Dragonfly NB2 intellectual property implements the latest 3GPP standard for Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) communications. It includes a CPU/DSP core and network stack.

July 2, 2018

  • SC9863 Is First Cortex-A55 Octa-Core
    Octa-core Cortex-A53 processors have been the industry standard for sub-$150 smartphones, but Unisoc (formerly Spreadtrum) is the first to build such a low-cost chip using Cortex-A55.
  • MIPS Catches the AI Wave
    MIPS has found a new home as part of Wave Computing, an AI-system startup. The deal gives MIPS a quicker path to licensing deep-learning-acceleration (DLA) intellectual property.
  • Snapdragon 850 to Power Arm PCs
    Qualcomm’s new Windows 10 platform uses the same Snapdragon 845 chip as Galaxy S9/S9+ smartphones, but it doesn’t solve all of the problems of these always-connected PCs.
  • Intel’s First 5GHz Processor
    To mark the 40th anniversary of the 8086, Intel released its first processor rated for 5GHz operation: the Core i7-8086K, an unlocked model for gamers and other overclockers.

June 25, 2018

  • Arm Cortex-M35P Locks Back Doors
    To help protect against side-channel attacks and tampering, Arm now licenses the Cortex-M35P CPU, CryptoCell-312P cryptography engine, and CryptoIsland-300P secure enclave.

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