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Current Articles

May 10, 2021

  • Cadence Q8 Expands Vision DSPs
    Cadence’s new Tensilica Vision DSPs extend its intellectual-property (IP) lineup at the high end to target 3D computer vision and at the low end to reduce area and power in always-on smart sensors.
  • SiFive 21G1 Update Boosts Hash Rates
    The intellectual-property (IP) company announced a new AI platform that uses the Intelligence extensions to reduce convolution-processing time by 4x compared with a standard RISC-V vector implementation.

May 3, 2021

  • Nvidia Arms Its Data-Center Roadmap
    Nvidia aims to accelerate Arm-CPU adoption for cloud computing with the upcoming Grace processor as well as next-generation GPU and networking (DPU) products. The company also rolled out A10 and A30 GPUs for AI.
  • Neoverse V1 Updates Cortex-X1
    Arm’s new Neoverse V1 and Neoverse N2 cores boost performance and add new instructions relative to the older Neoverse N1, but they still fall short of the leading x86 CPUs in single-thread performance.
  • Movellus Improves Clock Meshes
    The startup’s Maestro intellectual property (IP) enhances clocking efficiency by up to 30%, boosting chip performance and saving power. The “virtual mesh” also accelerates timing closure by 5x.

April 26, 2021

  • Cerebras Doubles Down With WSE2
    The second-generation Wafer Scale Engine (WSE) fits two trillion transistors on a single piece of silicon, generating unprecedented scientific and AI performance in the 23-kilowatt CS-2 system.
  • EdgeCortix IP Lowers AI Latency
    EdgeCortix is taking aim at the high-end edge market with its custom intellectual property (IP), delivering class-leading efficiency and latency for AI inference through a dual-accelerator approach.
  • Innatera’s Spiking Neural Processor
    The startup has developed a true analog SNN architecture for fixed-function edge applications. It expects the new chip to perform pattern recognition using as little as 100 microwatts.

April 19, 2021

  • Ice Lake-SP Leaps to 40 Cores
    Intel’s 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor offers up to 40 cores while upgrading memory and I/O bandwidth, resulting in a big performance gain at the top of the line but modest benefits for mainstream models.
  • Expedera Tops DLA-IP Charts
    The startup’s Origin deep-learning accelerator provides industry-leading performance per watt for mobile, smart-home, and other camera-based devices. Now available for licensing, the design scales to 100 TOPS.
  • Arm Aims to Secure Its Realm
    The next-generation Arm v9-A ISA is the company’s first full architecture increment in a decade. It includes previously announced Arm v8-A features along with Realm, the successor to TrustZone.

April 12, 2021

  • Syntiant NDP120 Sharpens Its Hearing
    Although mainly for speech recognition, Syntiant’s second-generation chip adds audio processing and can even handle simple object detection. In always-on mode, it consumes less than 500 microwatts.
  • Snapdragon 780G Doubles AI Speed
    Compared with last year’s Snapdragon 765G, Qualcomm’s latest mid-premium smartphone processor doubles AI performance and integrates a new CPU cluster that boosts multicore processing by 78%.
  • Editorial: Chip Shortage Worsens
    A fire and frozen fabs have exacerbated the recent chip shortage, particularly for carmakers. In the meantime, Intel relaunched its foundry business but faces familiar pitfalls.

April 5, 2021

  • IBM Demonstrates New AI Data Types
    An IBM test chip can train and inference neural networks with impressive efficiency. It uses smaller data types (8-bit FP and 4-bit integer) than most other AI accelerators yet maintains the same output accuracy.
  • MediaTek Sets the Smart-TV Standard
    A powerhouse in the Android-TV segment, MediaTek has again raised the bar by releasing the MT9638, which features an AI accelerator. The chip can also be used in streaming dongles.
  • Ceva Bluebud Streams Wireless Stereo
    Bluebud is a turnkey solution for implementing true-wireless-stereo earbuds. It includes several of the company’s licensable cores along with software that supports Bluetooth Classic and the new Low Energy Audio.

March 29, 2021

  • Rocket Lake Lifts Off From Sunny Cove
    Intel’s new 11th generation desktop-PC processor finally replaces the Skylake CPU with the Sunny Cove microarchitecture, delivering a greater gain in single-core performance than its three predecessors combined.
  • Lightmatter Shines in Data-Center AI
    Lightmatter aims to deliver the industry’s first photonic AI processor. After successfully testing the prototype it introduced last year, the startup is scaling the architecture by 16x for its production system.
  • ST Raises IoT Power Efficiency
    STMicroelectronics’ new STM32U5 microcontroller is a fast, power-efficient chip for consumer and industrial-IoT systems. Its 160MHz Cortex-M33 CPU, large memories, and integrated peripherals set it apart.

March 22, 2021

  • Sunway Gives China HPC Independence
    Jiangnan Computing Lab recently disclosed details of Sunway, a made-in-China architecture that powers some of the world’s fastest supercomputers, including a next-generation exascale design.
  • R-Car V3U Runs Lockstep Neural Nets
    The new Renesas R-Car V3U delivers 66 TOPS for Level 2 and Level 3 ADASs. To support ASIL D functional safety, it employs hardware redundancy in all compute subsystems, including its DLAs.
  • Editorial: CGRA: A New AI Way
    Several new companies are using coarse-grain reconfigurable arrays and other data-flow architectures to accelerate neural networks. This approach offers advantages over traditional multicore designs.
  • i.MX8ULP Uses FD-SOI to Cut Power
    NXP has extended its i.MX8 series to serve battery-powered devices by replacing the i.MX7ULP. The new model upgrades to more modern CPUs including Cortex-A35 and Cortex-M33.

March 15, 2021

  • AMD Milan Extends Server Lead
    The third-generation Epyc processors get a big boost from the new Zen 3 CPU, enabling AMD to, for the first time, surpass Intel Xeon processors in both single- and multithread performance.
  • Driver Monitoring Makes ADAS Safer
    A driver-monitoring system is essential for Level 2+ autonomous vehicles and can save lives in any car. With shipments set to soar in the next few years, chipmakers are focusing on this new application.
  • MediaTek’s M80 Delivers mmWave
    The new 5G modem provides the first real millimeter-wave competition for Qualcomm. It brings an extensive upgrade by offering faster downlinks and uplinks with support for 3GPP Release 16.

March 8, 2021

  • Intel’s Jasper Lake Lifts GPU by 5x
    Intel’s Jasper Lake brings a 5x GPU-performance increase to the traditionally underserved low-end segment. Relative to its predecessor, Gemini Lake, the new chip also raises single-core and multicore CPU performance.
  • Deep Vision Optimizes AI Data Flow
    The startup has developed the ARA-1 inference coprocessor for edge applications along with a broad software stack. The chip delivers strong performance on ResNet-50 and MobileNet at just 2W.
  • Microchip Enables PCIe Gen5 for AI
    Microchip is sampling Switchtec PFX PCIe 5.0 switch chips to support Intel’s forthcoming Sapphire Rapids, doubling the bandwidth of its earlier Gen4 chips.

March 1, 2021

  • Snapdragon Shifts to Self-Driving Cars
    Building on its leadership in automotive connectivity chips (cellular modems and Bluetooth+Wi-Fi combos), Qualcomm is developing Snapdragon-based systems that target ADASs, autonomous vehicles, and cockpit monitoring.
  • Pixelworks’ i6 Renews Phone Displays
    Pixelworks brings premium features to midrange phones by continuously improving images and video to high dynamic range (HDR) and reducing power consumption in certain applications.
  • Qualcomm Pushes 5G to 10Gbps
    The Snapdragon X65 modem increases the top data rate by 33% relative to the older Snapdragon X60. The 4nm design offers a preview of the 5G capabilities in Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship-smartphone processor.

February 22, 2021

  • Horizon Robotics Plots ADAS Journey
    In 2Q21, Horizon Robotics plans to start volume production of its Journey 3 ADAS processor. At the same time, it intends to sample Journey 5, which targets Level 4 autonomous vehicles.
  • Maxim Showcases Efficient Custom AI
    The top-10 microcontroller vendor has hopped on the AI bus with its ultra-low-power MAX78000. The device combines a complete Arm-based MCU with the company’s first deep-learning accelerator (DLA).
  • Editorial: Gelsinger’s Big Challenge
    New Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, with the help of three trusted lieutenants, must fix the engineering problems that have plagued not just the company’s fab technology but also important server and AI products.

February 15, 2021

  • Enflame Stokes AI Acceleration
    Enflame Technology closed a 1.8-billion-yuan ($280 million) Series C round last month that includes backing from Tencent. The Shanghai startup now offers a series of AI accelerators for both training and inference.
  • MT8192 Creates Chromebook Buzz
    Hoping to steal share from Intel, MediaTek raised its sights in the Chromebook market by delivering the MT8192, doubling CPU performance and tripling GPU performance compared with its predecessor.
  • Qualcomm Acquires Nuvia for CPUs
    Although the startup was developing a custom Arm-compatible CPU core for a new server processor, Qualcomm will redirect this power-efficient core to serve in flagship smartphones and other products.

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