May 1, 2017
Galaxy S8 Debuts Exynos 8895
The debut of the Galaxy S8 demonstrates the capabilities of the 10nm Exynos 8895, which integrates new connectivity functions and outperforms other flagship mobile processors.
AMD Bumps Clocks in Low-End GPUs
AMD kicked off its 2017 graphics-upgrade cycle by refreshing sub-$250 Radeon GPUs. The new RX500-series offers a mild performance boost, but it also includes a new low-cost model.
April 24, 2017
Intel Sets Tiny 10nm Goal Posts
Intel disclosed its 10nm node, which is far denser than the foundries’ 10nm and will ship late this year, and also described 14nm variants that boost transistor performance by 12–25%.
Arteris Ncore 2.0 Simplifies Safety
Arteris combines the Ncore coherent NoC with its Resilience tools to ease SoC development for automotive and other safety-oriented applications.
Editorial: Qualcomm Targets Cellular PCs
Windows 10 on ARM enables Qualcomm to enter the PC market with its Snapdragon 835 processor, but the company is targeting only a single small but fast-growing market segment.
April 17, 2017
Data Center Dominates OFC
OFC’s growing attendance despite limited-volume transport and long-haul markets indicates the critical role pluggable and embedded optics will play in both short data-center links and data-center interconnects.
Sequans Adds CPU to IoT Modem
The new Monarch SX processor combines an embedded controller with a low-cost LTE modem that handles Category M1 and Category NB1, cutting the cost of cellular IoT devices.
April 10, 2017
Intel Debuts First 3D XPoint Products
3D XPoint reduces latency by 10x compared with NAND-based solutions. Intel’s P4800X SSD highlights the advantages and deficiencies of this new memory technology.
Marvell Builds Port-Extender ASSP
Marvell’s new Prestera Pipe 98PX1012 revisits the early Ethernet era of passive bridge components by using the 802.1BR standard to extend the port configurations for top-of-rack switches.
Qualcomm 205 Trims LTE Cost
The new processor brings LTE data rates to feature phones and low-cost smartphones that are popular in India and similar countries.
April 3, 2017
Mobileye Is Intel’s Designated Driver
Intel’s $15 billion offer to acquire Mobileye will shake up the fast-growing market for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs) and autonomous vehicles.
Ceva Telegraphs 5G Intent With XC12
The XC12 licensable DSP delivers a 2–8x performance boost over the XC4500 for important 5G tasks such as channel estimation, making it attractive for new wireless base stations.
NXP Airs Software-Defined Radio
The new QorIQ LA1575 is an innovative embedded processor with a programmable baseband. It can support multiple protocols including next-generation Wi-Fi and 5G cellular.
Editorial: Autonomous-Car Myth-Takes
We keep hearing that self-driving vehicles will transmit terabytes of data per day using a 5G modem and that they are years or decades from reality. Here’s why these claims are wrong.
March 27, 2017
Innovium Bets on High-Density 100GbE
Ethernet startup Innovium is challenging Broadcom’s data-center dominance by offering a 12.8Tbps switch based on 50Gbps PAM4 serdes for high-port-count 50GbE and 100GbE.
X-Gene 3 Up and Running
The X-Gene 3 server processor is now sampling. It already outperforms all other ARM-compatible processors and is on track to meet its frequency, feature, and schedule commitments.
Imagination Unleashes Furian
Imagination’s first wholly new GPU architecture since 2012, Furian offers higher graphics performance, full cache coherence, and improved GPU-compute capability.
March 20, 2017
Ryzen Returns AMD to the Desktop
Marking a potential turning point for the PC industry, AMD rolled out Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5, the first processors based on its new Zen CPU, with high hopes for regaining market share.
March Modem Madness
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X20 modem supports 1.2Gbps LTE, while Intel’s XMM 7560 pushes to 1.0Gbps. The 3GPP agreed to accelerate the 5G standard, and Qualcomm extended its X50 roadmap for 5G modems.
Spreadtrum Launches First x86 Chip
The SC9861G-IA is the first new chip from the Spreadtrum-Intel partnership. Built in Intel’s 14nm technology, it combines eight x86 Airmont CPUs with Spreadtrum’s LTE modem.
AMD Teases Server Renaissance
The upcoming “Naples” processor will revitalize AMD’s server efforts, offering more CPU cores, more memory channels, and more PCIe capacity than any current Xeon product.
Intel Debuts 25GbE NIC
Intel has unveiled single- and dual-port 25G Ethernet adapters based on the XL710 Fortville controller. It intends these new NICs for direct-attach twinax-copper links in servers.
March 13, 2017
Helio X30 Nabs Speed Lead
MediaTek new deca-core Helio X30 brings premium features to the mainstream price tier and is the first application processor manufactured in TSMC’s 10nm process.
Editorial: Brace for Rising Chip Prices
Chip buyers are accustomed to falling prices, but industry consolidation and flat transistor costs are causing the prices of some processors and other chips to rise instead.
Altair LTE Chip Integrates M1, NB1
Altair Semiconductor hopes to cover the IoT waterfront with its new ALT1250, an LTE-baseband device that’s compatible with both the Category M1 and Category NB1 standards for low-data-rate communications.
Smaller Offspring for TI’s Sitara
Texas Instruments is sampling the AM5706 and AM5708, which reduce power, cost, and board space while retaining most features of the Sitara AM57x embedded processors.
Arteris Piano Tunes Timing
Arteris offers new coherency features to automate interconnect-timing closure in SoCs that employ the company’s network-on-a-chip (NoC) intellectual property (IP).
March 6, 2017
Intel Spills Coffee Lake Roadmap
Intel has added to its plans a new 14nm CPU code-named Coffee Lake, scheduled to debut in 2H17 alongside the 10nm Cannonlake. We expect changes in both the PC and server roadmaps.
Kopin Audio Chip Hears Whispers
Kopin’s Whisper is a tiny low-power speech processor that can separate spoken words from extremely loud background noise, serving as a front end in an automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) system.
Intel Debuts a Delayed Denverton
Intel recently announced the Atom C3000 family, code-named Denverton, which packs up to 16 Goldmont CPU cores, two memory channels, 10GbE interfaces, configurable I/O, and optional compression and cryptographic acceleration.
February 27, 2017
Broadcom-Avago One Year Later
The new Broadcom is more profitable and largely intact, but long-term growth remains a concern.
Qualcomm Bids for 802.11ax
Qualcomm is promising to deliver in 1H17 samples of both an access-point chip and a client chip for the emerging 802.11ax standard, which should offer big capacity gains in dense environments.
February 20, 2017
Goldmont Takes Atom to 14nm
The Goldmont CPU employs a wider microarchitecture and Intel’s 14nm technology to boost performance by 30–60% for most workloads compared with the 22nm Silvermont.
Microsemi Adds Midrange FPGAs
Microsemi is parlaying a long-standing advantage of its flash-based FPGAs by making power dissipation a differentiating feature in the new PolarFire family, which offers up to 500,000 logic elements.
Ambarella Enhances Automotive Video
Ambarella has improved its automotive-product line by adding AEC-Q100 compliance to the A9AQ video processor. Its new H3 and H22 SoCs target drone and action-camera video.
Editorial: ARM Server Processors Reboot
Cavium’s acquisition of Broadcom’s Vulcan IP and Macom’s pending sale of the X-Gene products will ultimately strengthen the market for ARM-based server processors.
February 13, 2017
Intel Has a Go at Self-Driving Cars
The Intel Go platform uses Atom- or Xeon-based in-car systems accelerated by Altera FPGAs and includes cloud-based software for training and updating of autonomous vehicles.
Qorvo Adds Bluetooth to IoT Mix
After its acquisition of GreenPeak, Qorvo has delivered the GP695 IoT microcontroller, which supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, ZigBee, and IEEE 802.15.4 protocols.
February 6, 2017
Kaby Lake Bumps Up PC Performance
Intel has delivered 57 Kaby Lake processors that target everything from tablets and notebooks to desktop PCs, but the performance improvements are modest and unevenly distributed.
10Gbps PONs Follow Two Paths
The International Telecommunication Union has defined two distinct paths for passive optical networks that deliver 10Gbps or greater: the symmetric XGS-PON and the more complex NG-PON2.
Intel Pushes 5G With New Modem
Intel has entered the race to 5G with an advanced modem chip code-named Goldridge that operates in the 28GHz and 3GHz bands. The new modem is due to sample late this year.