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This newsletter is published by The Linley Group, a leading provider of technology analysis and strategic consulting in semiconductors for a broad range of applications including networking, communications, mobile and wireless.

Most Recent | Archive: 2018   |   2017   |   2016

  August 14, 2018   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. 
  August 14, 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.
  August 14, 2018   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 7, 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.
  August 7, 2018   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 31, 2018   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.
  July 31, 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.
  July 31, 2018   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 24, 2018   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.
  July 24, 2018   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 24, 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.
  July 17, 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.
  July 17, 2018   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.
  July 17, 2018   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 10, 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.
  July 10, 2018   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.
  July 10, 2018   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 3, 2018   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.
  July 3, 2018   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.
  July 3, 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.
  July 3, 2018   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.
  June 26, 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.
  June 26, 2018   Arteris IP Offers Last-Level Cache
Network-on-a-chip (NoC) supplier Arteris IP licenses a last-level cache (LLC) it calls CodaCache that accelerates chips integrating multiple noncoherent blocks.
  June 26, 2018   Intel Optane Expands Server Memory
Intel is shaking up the memory-storage hierarchy with Apache Pass DIMMs, which move 3D XPoint from the I/O bus to the memory bus.
  June 26, 2018   Qualcomm Upgrades FSM for 5G-NR
Qualcomm’s new integrated FSM100xx processors target 5G small cells and remote radio heads. Scheduled to sample in 2019, they should arrive in time for OEM deployments in 2020.
  June 19, 2018   ASSPs Hold Their Own in Comms
ASSPs kept pace with processors and FPGAs in the 2017 communications market, which grew modestly to $13 billion in sales of these chips.
  June 19, 2018   Helio P22 Pushes 12nm to Lower Cost
The new P22 is the first processor to bring 12nm technology to smartphones below $250 in price, improving MediaTek’s competitiveness in this high-volume segment.
  June 19, 2018   Qualcomm Targets High-End IoT
Qualcomm’s new QCS605 and QCS603 IoT processors are powerful SoCs that derive from the Snapdragon 710. By upgrading the image-processing hardware and software, they offer superior computer-vision capabilities.
  June 12, 2018   Arm’s Project Trillium Starts to Bloom
Arm has disclosed the first details (but not the name) of its forthcoming machine-learning processor core, which adds a deep-learning accelerator (DLA) to the Project Trillium platform.
  June 12, 2018   Cannon Lake Misfires
Intel has quietly released its first 10nm product: the Core i3-8121U, a semifunctional processor that’s no better than earlier 14nm products. One PC maker has shipped laptops using the chip.
  June 12, 2018   Tachyum Targets Data Centers
Startup Tachyum has announced Prodigy, a “universal processor” for data centers, high-performance computing, and machine learning. Based on a proprietary architecture, this jack-of-all-trades remains largely under wraps but has some intriguing features.
  June 5, 2018   Cortex-A76 Revamps Core Design
Arm has developed a new microarchitecture for its latest CPU design, delivering the biggest performance boost for smartphone users in years with small transistor-budget and power increases.
  June 5, 2018   Mali 76-Series Boosts Flagship Phones
Arm has introduced two additions to its high-end Mali graphics and multimedia lineup. The Mali-G76 GPU and Mali-V76 video-processor (VPU) cores target SoCs for flagship-phone chips, VR headsets, and 8K TVs.
  June 5, 2018   TidalScale Inverts Server Virtualization
Software-startup TidalScale has created a virtual scale-up server using commodity systems. It enables one massive virtual machine running across many physical servers.
  May 29, 2018   MT3620 Runs Azure Sphere for IoT
The first processor compatible with the new Azure Sphere operating system, the MT3620 is an unusually powerful IoT chip with five CPUs, Microsoft’s Pluton security engine, and integrated Wi-Fi.
  May 29, 2018   QuickLogic Gives IoT Sensors a Brain
The QuickAI hardware-development kit combines the EOS-S3 sensor hub with two NeuroMem neural-network chips. It enables trainable pattern recognition in images, speech, text, and video, as well as complex data.
  May 29, 2018   Snapdragon 710 Jumps to Cortex-A75
Debuting the new 700-series for mid-premium smartphones, Qualcomm brings 10nm technology and its newest CPU, based on Cortex-A75, to this lower price range.
  May 22, 2018   BrainChip Aims to Spike Neural Nets
BrainChip specializes in neuromorphic processing that employs spiking neural networks. It offers the technology in an FPGA and is developing an SoC implementation called Akida.
  May 22, 2018   Innovium Delivers 12.8Tbps Switch
Innovium sampled its Teralynx 12.8Tbps data-center switch in March, and investors rewarded it with a new $77 million funding round.
  May 22, 2018   ThunderX2 Strengthens ARM Servers
Cavium’s new 32-core server processor features the most powerful ARM CPU yet to reach production, delivering plenty of performance for data centers and HPC.

Most Recent | Archive: 2018   |   2017   |   2016


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