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Current Articles

June 14, 2021

  • Editorial: US Fabs Need Government Aid
    The United States Congress is moving toward approving subsidies for building fabs in America. This funding is necessary to offset government fab investment in China, South Korea, and Taiwan.
  • Marvell PHYs Drive Multigigabit Cars
    Marvell’s new 88Q4364 Ethernet PHY complies with the 802.3ch automotive Ethernet standard, which the IEEE ratified last year. It delivers 2.5Gbps, 5Gbps, or 10Gbps on shielded single-pair wiring.
  • Efinix Fills Out 16nm FPGA Roadmap
    Three years after sampling its first chip, Efinix is sampling second-generation Trion Titanium FPGAs manufactured in TSMC 16nm. The latest family members offer greater density and new features.

June 7, 2021

  • Arm Extends Valhall to Low-End GPUs
    Arm’s third-generation Valhall GPUs boosts performance across all Mali product tiers. The Mali-G310 is the company’s first new entry-level design in three years, succeeding the Bifrost-based Mali-G31.
  • MLPerf 1.0 Adds Power Measurements
    Nvidia dominated the latest round of MLPerf Inference submissions, but Qualcomm’s Cloud AI delivered leading performance per watt on two of the six neural networks. Many other vendors were absent.
  • Agilex Moves to SuperFin
    Intel’s initial 10nm FPGAs are now slated to reach general availability in Q3 after a delay owing to a redesign to the 10nm SuperFin process, which offers a dramatic reduction in power.

May 31, 2021

  • Arm v9 Yields Three New CPUs
    In a company first, Arm released three CPUs at once, prompted by its transition to Arm v9. They include Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, and Cortex-A510, the company’s first new “little” core in four years.
  • Arm NI-700 Puts a NoC in CoreLink
    To support its new Arm v9 CPUs, the company has developed a new dynamic shared unit and two new CoreLink interconnect products, the CI-700 cache-coherent interconnect and the NI-700 network-on-a-chip.
  • Dimensity 900 Jumps to Cortex-A78
    MediaTek has refreshed its Dimensity 800 family with the latest CPU and GPU cores as well as new standards such as Wi-Fi 6 and LPDDR5 to enhance performance in midrange 5G smartphones.

May 24, 2021

  • IBM Test Chip Is First at 2nm
    IBM has manufactured the industry’s first test chip in 2nm technology. Compared with 7nm FinFETs, the gate-all-around (GAA) transistors allow 3.4x the density with 45% greater speed or 75% less power.
  • Unisoc T760 Launches Tanggula
    Under its mountainous moniker Tanggula, Chinese vendor Unisoc plans to deliver four new 5G –chip families to revitalize its smartphone lineup. The first new product is a midrange chip called the T760.
  • Lattice Sets Midrange FPGA Collision
    Known for tiny low-power FPGAs, Lattice is developing a new family called Avant that will target the midrange segment. It expects to introduce the first Avant devices late next year.

May 17, 2021

  • Nvidia Orin Turbocharges ADAS
    Nvidia’s Orin chip delivers a big performance and power-efficiency boost compared with previous Drive Xavier systems. But the next-generation Atlan will raise the bar even higher—to 1,000 TOPS.
  • Allwinner Creates First RISC-V AP
    Using a CPU licensed from Alibaba, Allwinner’s D1 is the industry’s first RISC-V application processor. Featuring a GPU, DSP, and audio/video codec, it is available in a $13 development board.
  • Editorial: Nvidia Endangers Arm Model
    Leading Arm customers have criticized Nvidia’s planned acquisition, and some are even turning away from Arm cores. Nvidia’s new plans to enter the server market raise further conflicts of interest.

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.

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