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Current Articles

January 18, 2021

  • Editorial: Smart Speakers Get AI Edge
    The newest devices from Amazon, Apple, and Google include AI engines that enable them to process some voice commands in the device rather than in the cloud and to perform other new functions.

January 11, 2021

  • Apple Ships Its First PC Processor
    The M1 processor sets new standards for laptop performance and battery life. The chip shares much of its design with the A14 smartphone processor, including its powerful Firestorm and Icestorm CPUs.
  • Year in Review: PC Processors Bounce Back
    In 2020, PC shipments surged, AMD topped PC performance, Nvidia’s Ampere GPU impressed, Intel revived its laptop lineup, Apple’s M1 doubled battery life, and two new game consoles debuted.
  • Broadcom SmartToR Ups Flow Scale
    Broadcom announced three new data-center switch chips in December as well as production of its original Tomahawk 4. The new Trident SmartToR is an 8.0Tbps switch that builds on the 7nm Trident 4 architecture.

January 4, 2021

  • SimpleMachines Enables Flexible AI
    Startup SimpleMachines received first silicon of its Mozart inference chip, which approaches the flexibility of a GPU while promising the performance of a purpose-built deep-learning accelerator (DLA).
  • SiFive Brings Vectors to S-Series
    SiFive’s newest RISC-V vector core, the VIS7, can perform 64 gigaflop/s and is designed for deterministic operations. In addition, the new 20G1 release improves 7-series performance and frequency.

December 28, 2020

  • Year in Review: Data-Center Silicon Diversifies
    Following a difficult 2019, the data-center-chip market had a surprisingly great 2020. AMD and Nvidia delivered important new devices, whereas Intel struggled to execute. More AI startups released products, and Qualcomm’s looming entry could upset the market.
  • Exynos 1080 Doubles GPU Throughput
    The Exynos 1080 is Samsung’s newest mid-premium smartphone SoC. By shifting to the company’s 5nm LP technology, it boosts performance across the board relative to the older Exynos 980.

December 21, 2020

  • Snapdragon 888 Delivers 26 TOPS
    Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 888 provides upgrades in every aspect, besting the premium Snapdragon 865. It delivers an industry-leading 26 TOPS for AI applications.
  • Esperanto Minions Excel at AI
    Startup Esperanto Technologies has designed a chip with a thousand tiny RISC-V cores based on its ET-Minion design. The power-efficient chip offers strong AI performance on a 20W M.2 module.
  • Qualcomm Reveals 5G-RAN Roadmap
    Qualcomm recently disclosed a family of 5G-infrastructure chips it plans to sample in 1H22. The forthcoming products will mark its entry into macrocells and virtual baseband units.

December 14, 2020

  • Kirin 9000 Is Huawei’s First 5nm Chip
    Huawei’s new Kirin 9000, a flagship-smartphone processor, uses an Arm Mali-G78 to provide industry-leading graphics performance. The chip is Huawei’s first 5nm product.
  • Editorial: Apple M1 Exposes Intel Gap
    Using a custom Arm-compatible processor, Apple has achieved tremendous performance and battery-life gains. Intel must redesign its CPUs to keep pace in thin-and-light laptops.

December 7, 2020

  • AMD Releases First CDNA Accelerator
    The Instinct MI100 targets high-performance-computing (HPC) systems by doubling the number of compute units relative to the older MI50 while quadrupling FP16 throughput per compute unit.
  • Vsora Drives to Deliver Petaflops
    Vsora aims to surpass more-established rivals with its new ADxxxx intellectual property, which it designed to handle perception and sensor fusion in Level 4 and 5 self-driving cars.
  • Xilinx Reduces Power for 5G Radios
    Xilinx will harden its digital front end (DFE) in what it calls the RFSoC DFE. Slated for 1H21 sampling, the new device will halve power dissipation relative to the prior-generation RFSoC with equivalent bandwidth.

November 30, 2020

  • AMD Steps Up to 4K Gaming
    The new Radeon RX6000 cards, based on the Big Navi chip, double compute power and add a huge cache as well as ray-tracing acceleration, vaulting AMD into the high end of the graphics market.
  • Mythic Unveils Analog-AI Product
    Mythic’s first chip, the M1108, is rated at 35 TOPS with an impressive power efficiency of 6 TOPS per watt. The image-processing accelerator stores up to 113 million weights in its 108 cores.
  • Imagination Serves Up B-Series GPUs
    The top-of-the-line BXT GPUs target Imagination’s traditional premium-smartphone customers, but the lineup can serve everything from consumer products to PC graphics cards and cloud servers.

November 23, 2020

  • Cisco Debuts 12.8Tbps Switch Chips
    Just 10 months after entering the merchant switch-chip market, Cisco announced its Silicon One 7nm family for data-center and service-provider networks.
  • Intel Takes First Step in Discrete GPUs
    The Xe Max, code-named DG1, is Intel’s first discrete-graphics product in two decades. It will debut later this quarter and targets laptop PCs using Tiger Lake processors.
  • Editorial: Qualcomm Bounces Back
    After a bad 2019, Qualcomm has recently seen a run of good news, including legal victories, a market-share uptick, approval to sell to Huawei, and booming RF revenue.

November 16, 2020

  • SiFive VIU7-256 Takes Vector Lead
    The VIU7-256 is SiFive’s first vector CPU. The new 64-bit core, which processes 512-bit vectors, is built on the newest RISC-V standard. Preliminary RTL is shipping now.
  • Imagination Series4 Tiles Tensors
    Imagination Technologies’ new IMG Series4 deep-learning accelerators reduce DRAM bandwidth by splitting tensor operations into multilayer groups, keeping most intermediate data on chip.
  • Flex Logix Shows First AI Chip
    At the recent Linley Fall Processor Conference, the startup revealed that its InferX X1 chip is running in its lab, and it announced the X1P1 PCI Express accelerator card.

November 9, 2020

  • Ryzen 5000 Rides Zen 3 to the Top
    AMD’s second-generation 7nm CPU drives leadership desktop-PC performance. The Zen 3 microarchitecture increases both single-thread performance and power efficiency.
  • Cortex-A78C Improves Security
    Arm’s newest CPU for the PC market boosts the core count, expands the L3 cache, and improves security. These system-level changes target the CPU for the midrange PCs and mobile gaming.
  • Groq Gets Connected
    Advancing toward production, the startup disclosed additional details about its TSP chip, focusing on the high-speed-I/O subsystem and the initial products, a PCIe accelerator card and a complete server.

November 2, 2020

  • Untether Delivers At-Memory AI
    Using what it calls an at-memory architecture, Untether AI has created a highly power-efficient PCIe card that can achieve a stunning two petaop/s for neural-network inferencing using nearly 800MB of SRAM.
  • Deep AI Retrains Networks at the Edge
    Startup Deep AI is enabling infrastructure-edge hardware to perform both retraining and inference. The company licenses its software and RTL for use with FPGA-based accelerator cards from Xilinx.
  • Ambient’s Analog Cuts AI Power
    Startup Ambient Scientific uses analog technology to reduce power for AI inference and training in IoT devices. Its GPX-10 SoC delivers 510 billion operations per second (GOPS) while consuming only 120mW.

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