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February 26, 2018

  • AMD Embeds Epyc 3000
    AMD’s new Epyc Embedded SoCs introduce the Zen CPU to the embedded market. They integrate 4–16 cores, 10GbE MACs, south-bridge I/Os, and server-class security features.
  • Snapdragon X24 Doubles Gigabit LTE
    Laying a path to 5G, Qualcomm’s X24 modem uses 7nm technology and unlicensed spectrum to reach a peak LTE download rate of 2.0Gbps, nearly double the speed of today’s X20.

February 19, 2018

  • Gyrfalcon Shrinks AI Accelerator
    In one year, a Silicon Valley startup has designed and delivered a convolutional-neural-network (CNN) accelerator chip that can achieve 2.8 teraflop/s while burning just 300mW.
  • Nvidia Xavier Drives to Carmel
    Nvidia’s next-generation autonomous-driving SoC integrates eight of its new Carmel CPUs, a Volta GPU, two deep-learning accelerators (DLAs), and a programmable vision accelerator (PVA).
  • Cellular Moves Into Unlicensed Bands
    After years of development and regulatory battles, operators are finally deploying LTE in the 5GHz band. Most skipped the LTE-U specification in favor of the 3GPP’s LAA standardized in Release 13.
  • Ampere Reboots X-Gene as eMAG
    Former Intel executive Renee James leads Ampere Computing as it relaunches the former X-Gene 3 processor into the server market with a new name and a new roadmap.

February 12, 2018

  • Editorial: MediaTek Targets New Markets
    Faced with declining mobile revenue, MediaTek is branching into new markets, racking up design wins at Amazon as well as launching new chips for automotive and networking applications.
  • Nordic Expands Into Cellular IoT
    Following its success in Bluetooth 5 MCUs, Nordic has entered the cellular market with new products for LTE-M and NB-IoT. Rather than introduce an SoC, it worked with Qorvo to develop a SiP.
  • Imagination GPUs Shift to Automotive
    The new PowerVR GT8540 doubles the performance of the GT8525, the first GPU in the Furian Series8XT line. It supports applications with up to eight virtual machines.
  • Broadcom Opens New Switch SDK
    Broadcom is publishing the source code of its new software-development kit for switch chips. The SDKLT employs a logical-table approach, and the associated API carries an Apache 2.0 license.

February 5, 2018

  • Videantis IP Cores Pack Lots of MACs
    The Videantis v-MP6000UDX handles computer vision as well as image and video processing, but it’s the company’s first design that can also serve as a programmable neural-network accelerator.
  • Startup Develops Near-Threshold CPUs
    Aiming to reduce active power, Minima is modifying Arm’s Cortex-M3 using a novel approach to near-threshold design. It plans to offer its first hard core in 1H18.
  • Qualcomm QCC5100 Hits Hearables
    The new Bluetooth audio chip from the former CSR team can triple battery life compared with the previous generation using a new design based on the Kalimba architecture.

January 29, 2018

  • Snapdragon 845 Is a DynamIQ Force
    Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 processor delivers a 25–30% CPU and GPU performance gain, which combines with a redesigned Hexagon DSP to accelerate neural networks.
  • AMD Unfolds PC Roadmap for 2018
    AMD’s plans for new PC processors and graphics chips include 12nm and 7nm products using the Zen+ and Zen 2 CPU designs as well as 7nm Navi-based GPUs.
  • Semtech IoT Radios Go the Distance
    The second-generation Semtech LoRa chips ease system design while reducing power, but the LPWAN technology faces increasing competition from the 3GPP’s NB-IoT.
  • Ceva NeuPro Accelerates Neural Nets
    Ceva has extended its line of neural-network-processor intellectual property (IP) by launching NeuPro, which comprises a family of cores optimized for general-purpose machine learning.

January 22, 2018

  • Neural Engines Rev Up Mobile AI
    New mobile processors integrating neural-network engines can directly run machine-learning tasks ranging from keyword-spotting for voice UIs to complex biometrics such as face, iris, and voice identification.
  • Editorial: Meltdown: Who’s at Fault?
    Two new security exploits known as Meltdown and Spectre affect many processor vendors, but Intel bears the brunt because of its high market share and aggressive use of speculative execution.

January 15, 2018

  • Analysts’ Choice Winners for 2017
    The Linley Group recognizes 2017’s top products in the categories of embedded, mobile, networking, server, processor IP, and related technology. And the winners are…
  • Marvell Delivers 802.11ax Powerhouse
    Targeting access points and residential gateways, the company’s new Wi-Fi chips include a 5.0GHz 8x8 radio plus a dual-band 4x4 radio with integrated Bluetooth 5.

January 8, 2018

  • Redpine Scores IoT Triple Play
    The RS14100, the company’s first microprocessor, combines a Cortex-M4 CPU with a complete radio subsystem for three IoT protocols: 802.15.4, Bluetooth 5, and Wi-Fi.
  • Synaptics Takes Fingerprints to Infinity
    A new fingerprint sensor is the first to operate through the display, enabling phones with so-called infinity displays to place the sensor behind the display instead of on the phone’s back.

January 1, 2018

  • Year in Review: IP Suppliers Take More RISC-V
    In 2017, the open-source movement picked up momentum as new RISC-V CPUs came to market, but the leading CPU-IP vendors delivered higher-performance cores that address lucrative growth segments in automotive, deep learning, and virtual reality.
  • Year in Review: Embedded Chips Soar to 100GbE
    In 2017, vendors announced embedded processors that have 100G Ethernet interfaces, as well as media processors that support 4K UltraHD and HDR. Also, corporate mergers continue to shrink the field of major processor vendors.
  • Gemini Lake Targets Tiny PCs
    Intel’s new Pentium Silver processor offers modest upgrades to the earlier Apollo Lake while attempting to fight off Qualcomm in Windows tablets and 2-in-1 PCs.

December 25, 2017

  • Broadcom Axes Ethernet-Switch Foes
    The company is sampling the industry’s first 12.8Tbps Ethernet switch chip, doubling bandwidth relative to Tomahawk 2 and adding support for the new 50Gbps, 200Gbps, and 400Gbps Ethernet standards.
  • Editorial: RISC-V Picks Up Steam
    Western Digital plans to shift one billion cores per year to RISC-V, and Esperanto is developing the first high-performance RISC-V CPU, adding fuel to an already hot technology.
  • MediaTek Eases Transition to NB-IoT
    The MT2621 integrates two RF front ends that connect to legacy 2G networks as well as new Cat-NB2 IoT networks. It also integrates a Bluetooth radio and Cortex-M4 sensor hub.

December 18, 2017

  • Marvell Is Benevolent Host to Cavium
    The acquirer is looking to Cavium for profitable growth and product diversification. Cavium brings mostly complementary products for the networking market.
  • SecureRF Locks Up the Keys
    SecureRF offers licensable cryptographic intellectual property (IP) that’s resistant to quantum-computing attacks. It delivers the IP as synthesizable RTL cores as well as in a software tool kit.
  • Efinix Improves FPGAs
    Startup Efinix has sampled its first Quantum programmable logic devices, which employ a new logic-cell design that potentially increases gate density by 2–4x and halves power consumption.

December 11, 2017

  • Quantum Computing Now Available
    Quantum computers will eventually pose a threat to traditional microprocessors. IBM already offers cloud-accessible prototype systems as it races Google for “quantum supremacy.”
  • Open-Silicon IP Targets Networking
    Better known as an ASIC vendor, Open-Silicon is supplying new networking IP that builds on its existing Interlaken core. The new cores include Ethernet PCS, FEC, and Flex Ethernet IP.
  • Qualcomm-TDK Packs RF Front Ends
    Qualcomm’s joint venture (JV) with TDK has yielded a family of highly integrated RF-front-end (RFFE) products, which include devices that support the new 600MHz LTE band (band 71).

December 4, 2017

  • Synaptics SoC Targets OTT STBs
    User-interface specialist Synaptics has remolded itself as a media-processor vendor. Its first new product is the VideoSmart BG5CT, designed primarily for streaming-video set-top boxes.
  • PLSense Advances Subthreshold MCUs
    The startup’s ARC-based test chip proves subthreshold-voltage blocks for use in a forthcoming microcontroller. That MCU promises long battery life for IoT designs. 
  • X-Gene Gains New Life in Spinoff
    Macom has completed a spinoff of its ARMv8 server-processor products, branded X-Gene, resulting in a standalone company called Project Denver Holdings.

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