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Current MPR Articles

August 8, 2022

  • Qualcomm Leaps Forward With W5+
    Qualcomm has updated its smartwatch platform with new chip designs. Reduced power enables a visible watch face even when idle; reduced chipset area enables smartwatches that operate globally.
  • Apple Loses GPU-Performance Lead
    Our die-photo analysis reveals that Samsung devoted too little area to its AMD-powered GPU, contributing to its performance shortfall. MediaTek and Intel both outperform the latest Apple chip.
  • Intel Shines Light on Copackaged Optics
    Intel’s eight-laser silicon-photonics research chip could be a breakthrough for copackaged optics. It places the laser array on a silicon chip that can eventually be integrated in the package.

August 1, 2022

  • MediaTek Delivers Efficient Cortex-X2
    Our die-photo analysis reveals that the Dimensity 9000 features the smallest Cortex-X2 design, but Apple’s Avalanche CPU still leads in performance and power efficiency.
  • Enlightra Team Demos Photonic AI Engine
    A research team led by Enlightra’s founders demonstrated a new method of photonic AI inference that is smaller than earlier photonics implementations. Using photonics also provides opportunities for resource sharing that aren’t available with electronics.
  • Editorial: OEMs Lack Good Value Options
    Overly cautious about rising development costs and risk, vendors aren’t refreshing their lower-cost processors, hurting themselves and customers. They must consider business cases other than merely chasing the biggest customers.

July 25, 2022

  • Editorial: Nanometer Nonsense
    Both leading foundries allowed customers to claim they were using a 4nm process when, in fact, they were using 5nm technology. This situation renders node names meaningless.
  • MCX Unifies NXP Microcontrollers
    NXP is unifying its microcontroller offering with the new MCX family. Although this doesn’t indicate the end of the older families, it will be the focus for new designs that need modern features.
  • Cadence Cuts ConnX Costs
    New ConnX 110 and 120 DSP cores upgrade the company’s BBE DSPs and are compatible with the higher-performance ConnX B10 and B20. They target wireless communications, radar, and lidar.

July 18, 2022

  • Imagination Launches RISC-V Core
    Imagination Technologies has unveiled its first Catapult family member. Based on the RISC-V architecture, the CPU core targets real-time applications, putting Cortex-R52 in its sights.
  • Gaudi2 Makes Impressive MLPerf Debut
    In the latest round of MLPerf Training results, Graphcore’s Bow offers a modest improvement and Habana’s Gaudi2 triples performance over its predecessor, vaulting past Nvidia’s A100 on one benchmark.
  • RISC-V Extension Eliminates Division
    RISC-V International, the governing body of the open-standard instruction set, recently approved four new specifications that address multiplication, bootloaders, and debugging, reducing the gap with Arm.

July 11, 2022

  • AlphaICs Joins Crowded Edge-AI Market
    AlphaICs is sampling a test version of its Gluon edge-inference accelerator chip. Given moderate performance, the company plans changes to improve the production version, with an architectural overhaul planned for the second generation.
  • Intel 10nm Processors Target Comms
    New Intel Atom processors have 4 to 24 CPUs and target enterprise networking and SMB storage. They extend the Snow Ridge product line and largely replace the Denverton family.
  • Dimensity 9000 Now Available in Plus Size
    MediaTek and Qualcomm announced midlife kickers for their premium-smartphone processors, delivering the Dimensity 9000+ and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, respectively, and showing that not all 4nm processes are the same.

July 4, 2022

  • Cortex-X3 Powers Up
    Arm’s new Makalu CPUs, branded Cortex-X3 and Cortex-A715, deliver performance and power-efficiency gains, respectively. The IP vendor also updated Cortex-A510 and the DSU-110.
  • Arm G715 GPU Catches Some Rays
    Ray tracing in smartphones takes a big step with Arm’s new Immortalis-G715 GPU, while the Mali-G715 version brings new features and better performance to mainstream devices.
  • Enlightra Prunes Lasers From WDM
    The startup’s technology can create a hundred optical data carriers from a single laser, greatly reducing the cost and power of high-bandwidth optical links that use wavelength-division multiplexing.

June 27, 2022

  • MIPS Releases First RISC-V CPUs
    MIPS Inc. has developed its first licensable CPUs implementing the RISC-V instruction set by repurposing older MIPS-compatible cores. The P8700 and I8500 outperform most other RISC-V designs.
  • NXP Chip Combines Car Functions
    NXP’s S32Z2 and S32E2 processors integrate multiple low-level automotive functions into a single SoC that preserves isolation between virtualized electronic control units (ECUs) from software through I/Os.
  • SiPearl Targets European Supercomputer
    French startup SiPearl has received additional funding to complete the development of its Rhea supercomputing processor, which has changed considerably from its original specifications.

June 20, 2022

  • Cortex-M85 Is Fastest MCU Core
    The superscalar Cortex-M85 is Arm’s fastest core for standalone microcontrollers and MCU-like subsystems. A vector unit helps it excel at AI.
  • Silicon Labs Adds AI to MCUs
    Silicon Labs has added a small deep-learning accelerator to its newest wireless microcontrollers, reducing the power required for inference of tiny AI models.
  • Editorial: It’s Getting Hot in Here
    Server processors, AI accelerators, and switch chips are consuming more power and generating more heat, some as much as 950W. Data centers must change to accommodate these hot chips.

June 13, 2022

  • Tachyum Targets Petaflop/s
    The startup is close to taping out its “universal” processor, branded Prodigy, which aims to deliver industry-leading performance on server, supercomputer, and AI workloads.
  • Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Adopts Arm v9
    The CPU performance of Qualcomm’s mid-premium smartphone processor is similar to last year’s, but its capabilities in total make for a substantial upgrade.
  • Auto Ethernet Goes Multi-Gigabit
    Broadcom and Marvell now offer automotive Ethernet switch chips capable of 55Gbps and 37Gbps. Usable in both zonal and domain architectures, they support the move to automotive Ethernet and its rising bandwidths.

June 6, 2022

  • Habana Gaudi2 Triples Performance
    The latest chip from the Intel subsidiary offers a big performance jump from the initial Gaudi, putting it into the same class as Nvidia’s new Hopper GPU.
  • Recogni Delivers One Petaop/s
    The startup’s initial AI accelerator can process four streams of 4K video while using less than 25W. A novel approach to math and weight compression help keep the die size small.
  • Wi Fi 7 AP Chips Coming Next Year
    Next-generation Wi Fi 7 is on the horizon, and the leading wireless-LAN chipmakers—Broadcom, MediaTek, and Qualcomm—are already sampling new access-point chipsets for production next year.

May 30, 2022

  • Dimensity 1050 Adds Millimeter-Wave 5G
    MediaTek’s first smartphone processor to support the highest cellular bands targets mmWave operators in the US and Japan. In addition, the Dimensity 930 upgrades midrange sub-6GHz phones.
  • Helio G99: The Final 4G Processor?
    MediaTek released a 6nm shrink of the Helio G96, reducing cost and extending battery life. The G99 product number signals it may be the company’s final LTE processor.
  • MediaTek’s Genio Is Out of the Bottle
    MediaTek has created a new brand for its embedded application processors. The family includes older rebranded chips but introduces a new flagship model, the Genio 1200, for AI IoT applications.

May 23, 2022

  • TimbreAI Scales Down an Octave
    Expedera’s new licensable deep-learning accelerator (DLA) performs simple neural networks for audio processing in a tiny engine that draws less than one milliwatt.
  • AMD Adds Zen 3 to Premium Chromebooks
    AMD has expanded its Chromebook-processor lineup with four products based on the Barcelo design, including the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 5825C, that target systems priced at $600 or more.
  • Alder Lake-HX Maxes Laptop Performance
    Intel’s Core i9-12900HX sets performance records for laptop PCs, offering two extra “performance” cores at up to 5.0GHz for the most-demanding mobile gamers and professionals.

May 16, 2022

  • D-Matrix Transforms SRAMs for AI
    The AI-processor startup has emerged from stealth mode with a chiplet-based inference engine that employs digital in-memory computing (IMC) to run Transformer models like those in Bert and GPT.
  • Versal Adds AI to Premium Line
    AMD has added two new FPGA products to its Versal Premium line. They combine AI engines to accelerate neural networks along with plenty of programmable logic and DSP blocks for signal processing.
  • Intel Blockscale Boosts Mining Profit
    Intel has introduced a new bitcoin-mining ASIC that competes respectably where the original test chip didn’t. The company will sell the chip directly rather than building its own system for sale.

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