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Current MPR Articles

September 28, 2020

  • Cortex-R82 Brings Linux to SSDs
    Arm’s first 64-bit Cortex-R adds a memory-management unit for high-level operating systems, enabling computational-storage drives to run Linux. It inherits classic real-time features from the predecessor Cortex-R8.
  • IBM z15: A Modern Mainframe Chip
    The z15 is IBM’s next-generation Z-series processor for mainframes, operating at a 5.2GHz base frequency. Relative to the z14, the company added two CPU cores and a handful of on-die accelerators.
  • Editorial: Nvidia Grabs Arm for AI
    Nvidia aims to become the world’s leading computing company with its $40 billion acquisition of Arm, but the mismatch between the two businesses will make it a challenge to pull off.

September 21, 2020

  • Quantum Computing Seeks Supremacy
    Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and other companies are pushing the frontiers of quantum computing, but researchers must reduce the qubit error rate before quantum processors can perform useful tasks.
  • Lightmatter Realizes Photonic AI
    Lightmatter emerged from stealth by presenting details of its Mars test chip. The 3D chip stacks photonic and digital die, and it shows that a complete product could quickly follow.
  • Ambiq Doubles CPU Frequency
    The Apollo 4 microcontroller delivers industry-leading energy efficiency while adding a graphics subsystem. Ambiq’s new part also adds location support to its low-power Bluetooth subsystem.

September 14, 2020

  • Jericho2c+ Brings 7nm to Routers
    Broadcom is sampling its first 7nm router chip, the Jericho2c+ packet processor. The new product serves in line cards for chassis-based routers, pairing with the shipping Ramon fabric chip.
  • SuperFin Rescues Intel’s 10nm Node
    After last year’s disappointing debut, Intel’s 10nm technology received a much needed performance boost from a new improvement branded SuperFin, now shipping in the company’s Tiger Lake processors.
  • Baidu Debuts First AI Accelerator
    Joining other cloud-service providers (CSPs), Baidu is taking a shot at AI mastery by offering the Kunlun K200 SoC. The Chinese company designed the 256-TOPS accelerator for its internal deep-learning workloads.

September 7, 2020

  • Tiger Lake Debuts 10nm SuperFin
    Intel’s 11th Generation Core processors for laptop PCs offer significant improvements in performance and battery life, thanks to the powerful Xe-LP GPU and a more advanced manufacturing process.
  • Ice Lake-SP Boosts Memory and I/O
    The new Whitley platform boosts memory bandwidth and brings PCI Express Gen4, but Ice Lake’s 10nm process will hold back compute performance relative to Cascade Lake.
  • Blaize Ignites Edge-AI Performance
    Edge-AI startup Blaize is sampling modules that integrate its El Cano inference processor. The chip can run Yolo v3 on five separate HD-video streams, delivering results at 10fps.
  • Xbox Series X Doubles GPU Speed
    The semicustom Xbox Series X processor from Microsoft outpaces its predecessor Xbox One X design by offering a 3x CPU-performance boost and 2x GPU-performance boost.

August 31, 2020

  • Intel Xe Targets Multiple Tiers
    Intel’s new GPU architecture promises to double graphics performance compared with the previous Gen11 design. It will appear in a number of products from laptop processors to discrete graphics cards.
  • Google Details TPUv3 Architecture
    Google’s TPU chips implement a flexible VLIW microarchitecture comprising scalar, vector, and matrix units to efficiently accelerate neural-network training and inference workloads.
  • Alibaba Designs Fastest RISC-V CPU
    The Xuantie-910 is Alibaba’s first RISC-V CPU core, targeting the network edge. It includes custom arithmetic and memory instruction to provide a new alternative to midrange Arm cores.

August 24, 2020

  • Fungible Ups Data-Center Efficiency
    After raising more than $300 million before shipping its first product, Fungible has revealed its grand vision for data-center disaggregation. At Hot Chips, the startup disclosed its F1 data-processing unit (DPU).
  • ThunderX3 Brings the Boom
    ThunderX3 is Marvell’s newest high-end server CPU, delivering x86-class performance in a custom Arm core. It offers 30% more single-thread performance than its predecessor at a similar clock speed.
  • Editorial: Intel Needs New Fab Approach
    A one-year delay in its 7nm technology, coming on the heels of a long struggle with the earlier 10nm node, suggests Intel must consider massive outsourcing or even spinning off its fabs.

August 17, 2020

  • IBM Power10 Triples Efficiency
    While delivering impressive upgrades in performance and connectivity, IBM’s new Power10 server processor also drops the CPU power by half, targeting both data centers and enterprises.
  • Marvell Stacks Up Enterprise Switches
    Marvell has introduced a plethora of new Prestera switches and Alaska PHYs optimized for multigigabit enterprise networks. The new products update network interfaces across access, aggregation, and core layers.
  • MediaTek Adds Midrange Dimensity
    The new Dimensity 700-series represents the third (and lowest) tier in MediaTek’s lineup of 5G-smartphone processors. The first product is the Dimensity 720, which targets phones selling for less than $300.
  • Gamers Welcome Snapdragon 865+
    The Snapdragon 865+ is a midyear refresh of Qualcomm’s premium-smartphone SoC, improving CPU speed, GPU speed, and wireless technology compared with the earlier Snapdragon 865.

August 10, 2020

  • Chipmakers Expand Die for AI
    An inside look at deep-learning accelerators (DLAs) shows smartphone vendors are increasing area size to increase performance, adding cores and introducing new architectures to gain an advantage.
  • TSMC Ships First 5nm Processors
    Even as TSMC ramps production of 5nm chips for Apple and Huawei, Samsung has delayed its 5nm technology until late this year, and Intel’s similar 7nm process has slipped out to 2022.
  • Efinix FPGAs Leap to 16nm
    Now that it’s shipping its initial FPGAs in volume, the startup announced its second generation. Trion Titanium will reduce power, boost performance, and more than quadruple maximum logic density.

August 3, 2020

  • Graphcore Doubles IPU Performance
    The well-funded startup is now sampling its second-generation AI accelerator, delivering twice the peak performance and three times the memory capacity of its initial design.
  • Apple A13 GPU Outpaces Competition
    A big generational improvement boosted Apple into the graphics-performance lead while increasing the GPU die area by only 10%. Intel’s Gen11 GPU shows a new subslice design.
  • Synaptics, Broadcom Deal on IoT
    Synaptics is paying $250 million for licenses to use Broadcom Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS technology in the IoT market. This technology comes from Broadcom’s combo chips, which primarily target smartphones.

July 27, 2020

  • CPU Size Leads Apple to Drop Intel
    Our analysis of CPU die photos discloses why Apple is moving away from Intel and why Samsung is abandoning its custom CPU development in favor of Arm Cortex designs.
  • GlobalFoundries Wins AI Chips
    Even as its 12nm customers deliver industry-leading AI accelerators, GF has created new 12LP+ technology with ultra-low-voltage operation as well as optimized SRAM and MAC-unit designs.

July 20, 2020

  • GSI Offers In-Memory Computing
    Long known for its specialty memories, GSI Technology created a data-center accelerator called Gemini that can perform 840 trillion Boolean operations per second on 12MB of data.
  • 5G Release 16 Targets Factories
    The newest 3GPP standard reduces latency and improves reliability for private industrial networks and automotive applications while enabling 5G operators to use unlicensed spectrum.
  • Ampere Maxes Out at 128 Cores
    Startup Ampere Computing disclosed its 128-core Altra Max, scheduled to sample in 4Q20. The new model follows sampling of the initial Altra lineup based on Arm’s Neoverse N1.

July 13, 2020

  • Wear 4100+ Gets 12nm Upgrade
    The Wear 4100 is a strong upgrade from the Wear 3100, increasing performance while decreasing power consumption. It also adds a new feature: support for a 16MP camera.
  • Stratix 10 NX Adds AI Blocks
    Intel has redesigned the Stratix 10 DSP block to focus on neural-network inference, adding 15x more multipliers to greatly boost performance for custom AI accelerators.
  • Editorial: Arm Wins Big in Apple, HPC
    Arm’s design wins in next-generation Mac computers and the world’s fastest supercomputer prove the CPU architecture can compete for big systems as well as little ones.

July 6, 2020

  • Cooper Lake Limps to Market
    Intel’s 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processors target high-end systems, particularly those that perform AI training, but offer few other advantages relative to current Xeon products.
  • Qualcomm Equips AI-Powered Robots
    The RB5 is a configurable developer kit powered by a Snapdragon 865–based QRB5165 processor. It comes with mezzanine cards that include cameras, motor controllers, sensors, and cellular radios.
  • Xilinx Alveo Makes Video Zoom
    Xilinx has developed two new real-time-server reference architectures based on its Alveo U30 and U50 accelerator cards. Both designs target live-video transcoding using adaptive-bit-rate technology.

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