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Current MPR Articles

April 22, 2019

  • Horizon Robotics Eyes ADAS
    Chinese startup Horizon Robotics is shipping two vision processors for smart cameras and autonomous vehicles and has improved products on its roadmap. Well funded by Chinese and American investors, it specializes in machine-learning-accelerated object recognition.
  • Snapdragon 730 Pushes Gaming
    Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 665, the Snapdragon 730, and, for gamers, the Snapdragon 730G, bringing premium features such as computer vision to mid-premium smartphones.
  • Wave to License TritonAI IP
    Wave Computing’s AI-accelerator platform comprises three components: WaveFlow compute clusters, WaveTensor MAC arrays, and new MIPS CPUs based on technology it acquired last year.

April 15, 2019

  • Flex Logix Moves Into Chips
    The new Flex Logix InferX X1 is an AI coprocessor chip designed to connect to a host CPU via PCIe. It integrates four NNMax tiles, delivering a total of 8.5 trillion operations per second.
  • Xeon D-1600 Tackles NFV, 5G Systems
    Intel’s newest embedded processors include new Xeon D (Hewitt Lake) and Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) models that boost performance for networking and storage applications.
  • Andes Strengthens Its RISC-V Arsenal
    The new A25MP and AX25MP RISC-V CPUs from Andes add cache-coherent multicore support and an optional DSP extension. The company also rolled out the tiny N22, which is compatible with the RV32C ISA.

April 8, 2019

  • 2nd-Gen Xeon Scalable Adds Cores
    Intel’s new server processors, code-named Cascade Lake, offer workload optimizations such as DL Boost and introduce Optane support. Many of the popular models pack more cores at the same price.
  • Intel 10nm FPGAs Add Chiplets
    Intel’s next-generation Agilex FPGAs can copackage programmable logic with chiplets that add high-speed memory, new I/O interfaces, and even customer-designed functions.
  • First Optane DIMMs Disappoint
    Intel’s first persistent-memory modules are suitable only for Cascade Lake servers with terabyte memory systems and, on the basis of estimated pricing, offer relatively small cost savings.
  • Qualcomm Amps Up Smart Speakers
    Enabling in-device speech recognition of more than 100 phrases, the new smart-audio platform includes the QCS400 processor and the CSRA6640, which integrates an audio DSP and a class-D amplifier. 

April 1, 2019

  • MIPS Openly Challenges RISC-V
    MIPS is offering its instruction-set architecture without license fees or royalties under the new MIPS Open program. The ISA is more complete and production tested than the open-source RISC-V.
  • ST MCUs Make a Stellar Debut
    STMicroelectronics’ new Stellar microcontrollers provide security for wireless communications and in-vehicle networks. They’re the first commercial MCUs with phase-change memory.

March 25, 2019

  • i.MX8 Nano Cuts Multimedia Power
    NXP is further reducing the cost and power consumption of its i.MX family with versatile multimedia chips that integrate Cortex-A53 application CPUs with a Cortex-M7 controller and a VeriSilicon GPU.
  • Toshiba Moves Up to Level 3 ADAS
    Operating at less than 10W, Visconti5 (TMPV770) integrates a 20-TOPS computer-vision subsystem comprising hardware accelerators, a quad-core DSP, and four deep-learning accelerators.
  • Kendryte Embeds AI for Surveillance
    A subsidiary of Bitcoin-ASIC vendor Canaan, Kendryte offers a RISC-V processor with an AI engine and a large on-chip SRAM optimized for the Tiny YOLO model.

March 18, 2019

  • Syntiant Knows All the Best Words
    The NDP10x processors can recognize a 64-word vocabulary while consuming less than a milliwatt of active power. They target always-on keyword and speaker recognition in battery-powered devices.
  • Editorial: 5G Phones Are Gonna Be Big
    This year’s 5G smartphones will be oversized and expensive, limiting their sales, but chip vendors are developing new products that should improve next year’s models.
  • Broadcom Fills Out 5G-Network Line
    Broadcom recently announced two new switch chips that complete its 5G-network solution. Qumran2a and Jericho2c build on the initial 16nm StrataDNX family announced one year ago.

March 11, 2019

  • ST Debuts Its First Application SoCs
    STMicroelectronics debuted three new SoCs. The STM32MP1 line integrates Arm Cortex-A7 application CPUs with a Cortex-M4F real-time controller, a 3D GPU, and many MCU-like features.
  • Cadence ConnX Sensors and Radios
    Cadence designed its new ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs with wide vector engines to handle high-throughput signal processing in 5G radios as well as in automotive lidars and radars.
  • Exynos 9820 Has Samsung AI Engine
    The Exynos 9820 processor, which powers some Galaxy S10 phones, includes a 2-TOPS deep-learning accelerator that employs sparse computing to boost neural-network throughput.

March 4, 2019

  • Snapdragon X55 Modem Hits 7Gbps
    Qualcomm’s second-generation 5G modem increases data rates, adds new features such as FDD and standalone networks, and reduces power by improving the RF subsystem.
  • Arm Floats New ISA With Helium
    The Arm v8.1-M ISA includes the new M-Profile Vector Extension (MVE), comprising a set of features (code-named Helium) that will enable future Cortex-M CPUs to perform 128-bit SIMD operations.
  • Synaptics Pairs Ears With Brains
    Synaptics is expanding its AudioSmart DSP family with the AS-371 SoC that adds stronger security, application CPUs, and neural-network acceleration for next-generation smart speakers.

February 25, 2019

  • Arm Serves Up Neoverse N1
    The first Neoverse-branded CPU targets larger workloads in server and embedded applications. A 64-core reference design outperforms Intel’s mainstream Xeon processors.
  • Helios Expands Arm’s Neoverse
    Helios is Arm’s first multithreaded CPU. The company offers it in the Neoverse E1 CPU for networking and infrastructure as well as in Cortex-A65AE for automotive systems.
  • Editorial: AI and the Magic Compiler
    AI accelerators need lots of MAC units; the question is how to efficiently organize them. Some approaches increase software complexity, delaying the schedule and reducing delivered performance.

February 18, 2019

  • Xilinx Delivers Server Acceleration
    Xilinx is shipping complete solutions for AI inference acceleration. They comprise Alveo FPGA-based PCI Express cards, programmable-logic configurations, and software that works with common neural-network frameworks.
  • Habana Wins Cigar for AI Inference
    The Goya accelerator from Habana Labs offers industry-leading AI performance on ResNet-50 inference, but the company won’t disclose its architecture. We try to discern its secrets...
  • Exynos 7904 Boosts Low-Cost Phones
    Samsung’s Exynos 7904 powers the $150 Galaxy M20 smartphones that recently launched in India. It brings some higher-end features, like Cortex-A73 and face unlock, to this low price tier. 

February 11, 2019

  • Bitmain SoC Brings AI to the Edge
    Better known for cryptocurrency-mining ASICs, Bitmain is shipping several AI chips under its Sophon brand. Its latest is the BM1880 SoC for smart cameras and other edge systems.
  • Intel Zaps Some Coffee Lake GPUs
    Intel’s new F-model Coffee Lake processors disable the integrated GPU, effectively boosting output from the company’s overtaxed fabs. But they don't reduce the TDP or even the list price.
  • AMD Brings 7nm GPUs to PCs
    AMD’s new Radeon VII is the first 7nm GPU for gamers and high-end PC users. It’s a slightly defeatured version of the Radeon Instinct MI60 announced last year for data center and HPC.

February 4, 2019

  • Intel’s Sunny Cove Sits on an Icy Lake
    The heart of Intel’s forthcoming 10nm Ice Lake family, the Sunny Cove CPU boasts nine specialized ISA extensions and greater per-core performance with up to 33% more cache bandwidth.
  • WD Rolls Its Own RISC-V Core
    Western Digital (WD) developed its own RISC-V core, which it has also made available as open source. The Swerv CPU employs a dual-issue pipeline to deliver 5.0 CoreMarks per megahertz.
  • Ceva’s BX Hybrid Boosts DSP Engine
    Ceva’s new BX DSP cores employ a hybrid architecture that combines multicore scalar CPUs for control functions with a highly configurable five-way SIMD/VLIW DSP engine for signal processing.

January 28, 2019

  • Helio P90 Raises Mid-Premium Bar
    MediaTek’s new Helio P90 is a high-performance processor for mid-premium smartphones. Packing two Arm Cortex-A75 cores and six Cortex-A55s, plus a new GPU and AI engine, it’s a big leap over existing Helio chips.
  • AI Benchmarks Remain Immature
    As deep-learning workloads become more common, new benchmarks are emerging, including MLPerf for data-center training and AI-Benchmark for smartphone inference.
  • Editorial: More ASICs in the Cloud
    Amazon and Huawei have developed custom Arm processors and AI accelerators for their cloud servers, potentially blocking Intel and Nvidia from these systems. But is it worth the investment?

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