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.
January 30, 2017
ARM Chooses Variable-Length Vectors
The Scalable Vector Extension (SVE), a novel 128- to 2,048-bit vector extension with a vector-length-agnostic programming model, will help ARM enter the HPC market.
Editorial: IoT Needs Secure Hardware
CPU-IP vendors are delivering cores with trusted execution environments and other security features. But more work is required to overcome threats to the security of the Internet.
MediaTek Aims to Cut Audio Cords
MediaTek has launched the MT2533 processor for wearables, targeting wireless headphones and other hands-free audio applications.
January 23, 2017
i.MX8 Masters Multimedia
NXP’s new i.MX8/8M processors combine up to three different types of ARM cores and various multimedia blocks to address consumer, industrial, and automotive applications.
NXP Upgrades Radar Processor
The S32R27 quadruples the performance of NXP’s earlier automotive radar processors using a Power-based architecture in a microcontroller configuration with embedded memory.
Ambiq Rides Quadratic Power Curve
Ambiq has developed an ultra-low-power microcontroller using subthreshold-voltage circuits, extending battery life without sacrificing performance.
AMD Hones Learning Instincts
Leaping into the hot machine-learning market, AMD unveiled the Radeon Instinct GPU line, topped by the MI25 training accelerator and the MI6 and MI8 inference accelerators.
January 16, 2017
Year in Review: Ethernet Accelerates as Wireless Slows
Ethernet silicon saw lots of 2016 activity centered on 25GbE and 100GbE. Wireless development shifted to IoT-optimized LTE chips while 5G noise increased around early designs.
Analysts’ Choice Winners for 2016
The Linley Group recognizes 2016’s top products in the categories of embedded, mobile, networking, server, processor IP, and related technology. And the winners are…
January 9, 2017
Year in Review: Clouds Open Up for New Processors
Although 2016 was a quiet year for server processors, vendor activity sowed the seeds of change. ARM processors began generating revenue and customers increasingly employed designs that use accelerators.
Snapdragon 835 First to 10nm
Qualcomm is the first vendor to offer a 10nm smartphone processor, extending battery life. Unlike its predecessor, the 835 uses fairly standard Cortex CPUs and integrates a Wi-Fi baseband.
Samsung 10nm Takes Density Crown
Samsung is the first company to reach 10nm production, offering the densest FinFET process to date. The 10nm LPE process will power smartphone and server processors in 2017.
GlobalFoundries Offers 56Gbps Serdes
A year after launching its 14nm FX-14 FinFET process for ASICs, GlobalFoundries is offering serdes intellectual-property cores that support both 56Gbps PAM4 and 28Gbps NRZ coding.
January 2, 2017
Year in Review: IP Vendors Race to Automotive
As sales of mobile devices decelerated in 2016, processor-IP vendors shifted their focus to emerging higher-growth opportunities in automotive applications and IoT.
Broadcom Builds KBP in 16nm
Broadcom is shipping the industry’s first search coprocessor built in FinFET technology. The KBP (knowledge-based processor) search engines appear in service-provider routers and switches as an adjunct to OEMs’ own ASICs.
Helio Rises to X27
The X23 and X27 add new deca-core models to the Helio smartphone-processor lineup. The X27 boosts the Cortex-A72 CPUs to 2.6GHz, while the X23 provides a lower-price option.
December 26, 2016
Year in Review: More Embedded Mergers in 2016
Acquisitions further consolidated the embedded-processor market in 2016 while Intel moved to 14nm FinFETs, ARMv8 saw wider adoption, and new product lines emerged.
Draft 802.11ax Up for 2017 Ballot
The IEEE’s 802.11 group has published draft 1.0 of 802.11ax, a new 2.4/5GHz standard that increases Wi-Fi speeds while also improving spectral efficiency.
Editorial: More MPR for You
We are expanding the number of stories available to our subscribers to better cover the broader set of technologies that affect microprocessor design.
Qualcomm Samples Centriq for Servers
Centriq is the first server processor to be developed in 10nm technology, putting the 48-core design ahead of other ARM-based competitors as well as Intel on this metric.
December 19, 2016
Year in Review: Mobile-Processor Market Rebounds
MediaTek is pressuring Qualcomm for the shipment lead, but Qualcomm is ahead in performance. Also, in-house processors are playing a bigger role at Huawei and Samsung.
Macom to Grab AppliedMicro
High-speed-analog specialist Macom has offered $776 million for AppliedMicro, a developer of communications and processor products. The company will immediately divest AppliedMicro’s X-Gene server processors.
Cortus APS29 Doubles Instruction Fun
Cortus has delivered its APS29 intellectual-property (IP) core, which supports dual instruction issue and provides greater single-core performance than the older APS25.
December 12, 2016
Goodix Shifts to Fingerprint Sensors
The small Chinese company has become a big hit, shipping in the past year more than 120 million fingerprint sensors with innovative features such as Live Finger Detection.
FD.io Software Vectorizes Packets
Fast Data I/O (FD.io), a Linux Foundation project that launched in 1Q16, champions parallelization of packet processing. It’s based on a 15-year-old Cisco technology called vector packet processing (VPP).
Many Options for Machine Learning
From Siri to self-driving cars, machine learning and neural networks are rapidly growing in popularity, and engineers are using everything from CPUs to specialized hardware to keep pace.
December 5, 2016
Broadcom Broadens StrataDNX
Broadcom is closing out 2016 with a significant expansion of its StrataDNX line, including two new line-card devices and two new Qumran switch chips.
Everspin MRAM Targets Enterprise
Everspin’s new non-volatile memory offers DRAM-like performance as well as greater endurance and retention than flash memory, targeting embedded and enterprise storage.
Samsung Gear S3 Uses Exynos 7270
A tiny new Exynos chip for wearables uses 14nm technology to combine a simple application processor with an LTE modem. A suite of new connectivity chips complements the design.