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Current MPR Articles

December 9, 2019

  • Mobileye Expands Into Robotaxis
    The company announced plans to expand beyond EyeQ processors, including lidar sensors, complete self-driving systems, and robotaxi services, along with greater licensing of map data.
  • Photonic Computing Finds Fit in AI
    Optical neural networks are moving closer to commercialization as photonic computing moves out of university labs. A few startups are leading the charge and starting to attract funding.
  • Graphcore Up and Running
    After taking nearly a year to tune its software, Graphcore is finally taking the wraps off its C2 deep-learning accelerator, which will be available through Azure Cloud and in some Dell EMC systems.

December 2, 2019

  • Centaur Adds AI to Server Processor
    Centaur, Via’s chip-design arm, disclosed a new deep-learning accelerator and an x86 microarchitecture that combine on a single chip to form a highly integrated server processor. 
  • Exynos 990 Enables 5G Smartphones
    Samsung’s newest smartphone processor and 5G modem provide a sneak preview of its next flagship Galaxy. They both use the company’s 7nm EUV process.
  • Ryzen Threadripper 3 Thrashes Xeon
    AMD Threadripper 3 processors for high-end desktops and workstations exceed their predecessors by upgrading their CPUs, clock speeds, caches, DRAM controllers, PCI Express interfaces, and internal designs.

November 25, 2019

  • Alibaba Takes AI Performance Lead
    The Chinese Internet giant has developed its first ASIC to accelerate neural networks, posting ResNet-50 throughput that’s 10x better than Nvidia’s fastest GPUs.
  • MLPerf Debuts Inference Benchmarks
    The MLPerf group has released a modest set of inference benchmarks and use cases. The first results include submissions from cloud-service providers (CSPs), server vendors, chip vendors, and professional-services companies.

November 18, 2019

  • Chiplet Technology Proliferates
    Chiplets are getting lots of attention in IC-design circles, as real products are shipping in high volumes from leading vendors. Package and interface technologies are advancing chiplet-based designs.
  • Renesas RA MCUs Strengthen Security
    Renesas Advanced (RA) microcontrollers will include the company’s first models that implement Arm’s TrustZone technology. The 32-bit RA family comprises chips with Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M4 CPUs; future products will add Cortex-M33.
  • Editorial: Third-Party Chiplet Challenges
    The ODSA hopes to shift the chiplet market from in-house to third-party designs, but to enable this transition, it must overcome several design and manufacturing challenges.
  • Arm Offers Bespoke Cortex-M CPUs
    Arm is opening the Arm v8-M architecture to allow custom instructions. Cortex-M33 is the first CPU to support this new feature, but all future Arm v8-M cores will as well.

November 11, 2019

  • Emerging Memories: Why Now?
    How will an emerging memory technology rise to prominence? Both technology and market dynamics will lead to the replacement of today’s technologies with something altogether different.
  • ARC VPX5 Sports Four-Way VLIW
    The new VPX5 is the first Synopsys ARC DSP to employ a VLIW architecture, combining a scalar CPU, a 512-bit vector/SIMD unit, and an optional vector floating-point engine. 
  • SiFive Secures RISC-V
    SiFive recently disclosed its Shield secure-platform architecture, which includes hardware and software as well as provisioning services. Shield’s baseline capabilities are similar to those of Arm’s TrustZone.

November 4, 2019

  • Intel’s Tremont: A Bigger Little Core
    Tremont is Intel’s newest low-power x86 CPU, boosting IPC by 30%. The new core design will debut in the Lakefield processor—a heterogeneous multicore SoC for thin notebooks and tablets.
  • NovuMind Launches Tensor Processor
    Startup NovuMind is preparing to tape out a neural-network accelerator that it estimates will deliver 150 trillion operations per second (TOPS) while consuming just 5W, achieving impressive efficiency.
  • BittWare Puts Achronix On Board
    A new partnership with BittWare gives Achronix another route to market for its Speedster7t FPGAs. The companies recently announced the VectorPath PCI Express accelerator card based on Speedster7t.
  • Mythic Reveals Data-Flow Architecture
    AI startup Mythic revealed more details of its first chip, which performs matrix multiplication in the analog domain. Conventional digital circuits, however, manage data flow and other tasks.
  • Cornami Right-Sizes Systolic Arrays
    After testing FPGA prototypes of its dynamically configurable AI processor, startup Cornami projects its first chip will run ResNet-50 at an incredible 105,000fps while burning only 30W.

October 28, 2019

  • SiFive U8 Takes RISC-V Out of Order
    SiFive has revealed its U8-series, which builds on the 64-bit superscalar U7-series by adding out-of-order (OOO) execution, a first for commercial RISC-V intellectual property. 
  • GrAI Matter Exploits Sparse Video
    Grai One is the first chip to implement the NeuronFlow neuromorphic architecture, which can handle spiking neural networks but excels on convolutional models for streaming video.
  • BrainChip Akida Is a Fast Learner
    BrainChip has announced a new spiking-neural-network processor called Akida, which it plans to tape out by the end of the year. It also offers Akida’s core as licensable IP.

October 21, 2019

  • i.MX RT1170: Fastest Flashless MCU
    NXP’s new i.MX RT1170 combines microcontroller features with high performance. Its 1.0GHz Cortex-M7 is the fastest CPU in its class, and its 400MHz Cortex-M4 coprocessor is also swift for its breed.
  • Intel Slashes Pricing on X-Series
    Intel recently updated its Core X-series for high-end desktops and its related Xeon W for workstations. The big news, however, is dramatically reduced prices, a response to increased competitive pressure from AMD.
  • Innovium Moves Down Market
    Teralynx 5 line ranges from 1.2Tbps to 6.4Tbps, extending the company’s portfolio to lower-cost and lower-power systems. It follows the 12.8Tbps Teralynx 7, which reached production in 1Q19.

October 14, 2019

  • Everspin Raises MRAM Density
    The leader in discrete MRAM is shipping a 1Gb device, narrowing the density gap to DRAM. GlobalFoundries offers the Everspin technology for embedded MRAM.
  • Editorial: The Many Faces of 5G
    5G is off to a flying start, but depending on the band support and price, different 5G devices offer higher or lower data rates and may be missing other important benefits of the new protocol.
  • Arm Joins Bfloat Parade
    To accelerate neural-network training, Arm will support the Bfloat16 data format, which doubles throughput for the matrix-multiplication operations at the heart of most AI models.

October 7, 2019

  • Huawei Delivers Powerful AI Training
    The company’s new Ascend 910 takes its DaVinci architecture into the top performance tier in AI training. Huawei will deliver accelerator cards, servers, and clusters incorporating the chip.
  • Exynos 980 Integrates 5G Modem
    The Exynos 980 5G is Samsung’s first smartphone processor to integrate a 5G modem. The first processor to use Arm’s Cortex-A77, it also features Samsung’s fastest deep-learning accelerator.
  • Ceva and Synopsys Spin More TOPS
    To support neural-network inference in autonomous vehicles and other high-performance edge devices, new multicore deep-learning accelerators can generate 100 TOPS or more.

September 30, 2019

  • Kirin 990 First to Integrate 5G
    Huawei is the first company to fully announce a processor with an integrated 5G modem. The new flagship processor also leads in smartphone AI performance.
  • Prepare for Copackaged Optics
    Electrical-I/O pin bandwidths are almost out of runway, and chips will soon hit the serdes wall. Copackaged optics provide a path forward by reducing reach, but they present a new set of challenges.
  • Editorial: Intel 10nm Disappoints
    Intel recently began 10nm production, but the new technology falls short of its speed and power goals. These shortcomings affect the company’s current and future 10nm PC and server products.

September 23, 2019

  • Tsinghua Pedals Hybrid AI Processor
    Tianjic’s novel hybrid architecture can concurrently run convolutional neural networks, multilayer perceptrons, recurrent neural networks, and other deep neural networks, as well as biologically inspired continuous-attractor and spiking neural networks.
  • Power9 AIO Boosts DRAM Bandwidth
    IBM’s new Power9 AIO (Advanced I/O) server processor introduces the Open Memory Interface (OMI)—a superfast alternative to DDR4. Special DIMMs boost the peak bandwidth to 410GB/s, making Power9 ideal for memory-intensive applications.
  • Qualcomm Updates Wi-Fi 6 Portfolio
    Qualcomm updated its Wi-Fi 6 products for both infrastructure and smartphones, also rebranding those respective lines as Networking Pro Series and FastConnect. Both achieved Wi-Fi Certified 6 status in the Wi-Fi Alliance’s new certification program.
  • Broadcom Ships PCIe Gen4 Switches
    The PCI-SIG has completed its first compliance tests for PCI Express 4.0. The integrator’s list includes Broadcom’s PEX88000 PCIe Gen4 switch chip, which is now in production.

September 16, 2019

  • HPE Reveals Gen-Z Fabric Chipset
    At Hot Chips, HPE disclosed industry-first Gen-Z bridge and switch chips with copackaged optics. They target exascale systems rather than mainstream servers.
  • Unisoc Hits Mid-Premium Segment
    Raising its sights, Unisoc disclosed two new smartphone processors. The Tiger T710 offers industry-leading AI performance, while the Tiger T618 focuses on improved image processing.

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