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Current MPR Articles

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.

September 9, 2019

  • Mellanox Right-Sizes Smart-NIC SoC
    Although it expects to become part of Nvidia by year-end, Mellanox is pressing forward with its server-connectivity roadmap, announcing second-generation BlueField processors as well as a new Ethernet controller optimized for cloud data centers.
  • Comet Lake Walks Over Ice Lake
    The 14nm Comet Lake is a 10th Generation alternative to the 10nm Ice Lake processor for ultrathin and hybrid laptops, offering up to six CPU cores and faster Wi-Fi than last year’s models.
  • Cypress Tracks Indoor Locations
    Cypress’s new CYW5459 is a multimode Bluetooth+Wi-Fi combo chip that’s especially well suited to indoor asset tracking for consumer electronics, IoT, smart-home devices, and automotive.

September 2, 2019

  • Cerebras Breaks the Reticle Barrier
    Designed for training neural networks, the startup’s first processor is by far the largest integrated circuit ever manufactured, measuring 215mm on a side and encompassing 1.2 trillion transistors.
  • Spring Hill Sets AI Efficiency Mark
    Intel’s Nervana NNP-I accelerator is rated at 4.8 TOPS per watt and is 5x more power efficient than Nvidia’s best products for ResNet-50 inference. It fits into a tiny OCP-compliant M.2 card.
  • Ayar Labs Realizes In-Package Optics
    The startup hopes to commercialize silicon-photonic chiplets next year, enabling customer MCMs with in-package optics. It’s working with GlobalFoundries for process technology and with Intel for MCM technology and product prototypes.

August 26, 2019

  • Intel Spring Crest Achieves Nervana
    The Nervana NNP-T is the company’s first dedicated accelerator for neural-network training, offering 119 TOPS using the emerging Bfloat16 format. Intel plans to announce products later this year.
  • Upmem Embeds Processors in DRAM
    French startup Upmem is tackling the processor-memory bottleneck by integrating processor cores into DRAM chips. The custom memory modules fit into standard DIMM slots.
  • Alibaba’s Ouroboros Is a Fast Talker
    To provide improve voice interfaces in embedded devices, Alibaba is developing an AI-enabled speech-synthesizer chip that can run DeepMind’s WaveNet model using as little as 200mW. 

August 19, 2019

  • MediaTek Helio G90 Ups Its Game
    To target gamers, the new Helio G90 and the performance-binned Helio G90T improve the CPU, display, graphics, and wireless-connectivity performance compared with the Helio P90.
  • Editorial: 5G to the Rescue?
    Smartphone shipments are trending down, particularly in the premium segment. Even the 5G transition won’t be enough to prop up prices over the next few years.
  • Snapdragon 855+ Aims at Gaming
    In a midyear upgrade, Qualcomm rolled out a new version of its flagship processor that provides greater CPU performance and faster graphics. It debuts in the Asus ROG Phone 2 for mobile gamers.

August 12, 2019

  • AMD Rome Ruins Intel Hegemony
    The second-generation Epyc processors have more cores, more memory, faster I/O, and smaller transistors than Intel’s newest Xeons. The 64-core Rome outperforms the fastest Xeons and sells for less.
  • Ice Lake Debuts 10nm, New Cores
    Intel has debuted its long-delayed 10nm technology in the new U- and Y-series notebook processors. Clock speeds suffer, but the new Sunny Cove CPU and expanded Gen11 GPU boost performance.
  • Intel's Loihi Mimics Biological Neurons
    Intel’s Loihi is a spiking-neural-network processor comprising 128 programmable cores arranged in an 8x16 mesh-connected array. Each core can model up to 1,024 biological neurons and 128 million synapse connections.

August 5, 2019

  • An Inside Look at AI Accelerators
    Our die analysis exposes the core counts, memory size, and area that leading mobile processors devote to AI acceleration. We break down the current AI-Benchmark results to isolate accelerator performance.
  • Arm IP Licensing Gets More Flexible
    Arm’s new Flexible Access program enables customers to defer licensing fees until tapeout. The program includes selected Cortex-A, selected Cortex-R, and all Cortex-M CPUs, as well as Mali GPUs.

July 29, 2019

  • Huawei Takes Lead in Smartphone AI
    The Kirin 810 processor targets the highly competitive mid-premium smartphone tier, but the chip features 7nm technology and a new in-house accelerator that offers premium-level AI performance.
  • ST Accelerates Motor Control
    The STM32G4-series from STMicroelectronics features unique math accelerators for controlling electric motors. These Arm-based MCUs are also well equipped with mixed-signal peripherals.
  • Helio P65 Upgrades Midrange Phones
    MediaTek’s new midrange application processor adopts the popular 2+6 CPU configuration using Arm’s Cortex-A75 and Cortex-A55. It also has an Arm Mali-G52 GPU, which boosts gaming and AI performance.

July 22, 2019

  • CXL Enters Coherent-Accelerator War
    The Intel-developed interconnect targets data-center accelerators including GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs. CXL competes directly with CCIX and OpenCAPI, which came earlier but garnered few chip designs.
  • Qualcomm Upgrades Low-End Phones
    Qualcomm’s new 215 mobile platform targets smartphones costing $75 to $125 in emerging markets. The entry-level chipset now has 64-bit CPUs, 802.11ac, NFC, dual ISPs, and support for two SIMs.

July 15, 2019

  • Rockchip Accelerates AI for IoT
    Rockchip’s new RK1808 is a neural-network processor designed for IoT and similar low-power devices. The RK3399Pro is an upgraded version of the RK3399, which the company previously supplied for Google Chromebooks.
  • ST’s Speed-Demon MCUs
    STMicroelectronics is shipping exceptionally fast microcontrollers that can reach 480MHz. The new dual-core STM32H7 MCUs add a Cortex-M4F to assist the Cortex-M7 main CPU. 
  • Editorial: Deal Fever Hits Comms Semis
    Networking chips have seen a recent acquisition flurry. Unlike previous scale-driven deals, most of this activity has been more strategic—it reflects portfolio expansion rather than simple market consolidation.

July 8, 2019

  • AMD Navi Debuts RDNA Architecture
    RDNA is AMD’s first major new graphics architecture in seven years. Its first incarnation is the gaming-focused Radeon RX 5700-series, implementing a new programming model and a comprehensive set of upgrades.
  • Mali-G76 GPU Boosts Area Efficiency
    Arm touted a 30% improvement in performance per unit area for its Mali-G76 design, but our analysis of the initial G76-based products reveals nearly a 40% gain.
  • Microchip Brings FlexE to Routers
    Microchip has elevated the former-Microsemi Meta line from the shadow of Digi OTN products to purpose-built Ethernet PHYs. The 1.2Tbps Meta-DX1 family handles 400G Ethernet combined with advanced features.

July 1, 2019

  • Zen 2 Boosts Ryzen Performance
    AMD’s new PC processors are based on the 7nm Matisse design, which includes the new Zen 2 microarchitecture. They outperform comparable Intel products on multithreaded benchmarks.
  • Aspinity Detects Voice in Analog Nets
    Aspinity’s Reconfigurable Analog Modular Processor (Ramp) provides always-on capability in low-power voice-activated devices, drawing just 10 microamps during active operation.
  • Intel Refreshes Xeon E Family
    Intel’s new Xeon E-2200 processors refresh the E-2100 series, targeting desktop and mobile workstations and small-office servers. A few embedded models offer lower power and longer availability.

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