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Current Articles

August 3, 2020

  • Graphcore Doubles IPU Performance
    The well-funded startup is now sampling its second-generation AI accelerator, delivering twice the peak performance and three times the memory capacity of its initial design.
  • Apple A13 GPU Outpaces Competition
    A big generational improvement boosted Apple into the graphics-performance lead while increasing the GPU die area by only 10%. Intel’s Gen11 GPU shows a new subslice design.
  • Synaptics, Broadcom Deal on IoT
    Synaptics is paying $250 million for licenses to use Broadcom Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS technology in the IoT market. This technology comes from Broadcom’s combo chips, which primarily target smartphones.

July 27, 2020

  • CPU Size Leads Apple to Drop Intel
    Our analysis of CPU die photos discloses why Apple is moving away from Intel and why Samsung is abandoning its custom CPU development in favor of Arm Cortex designs.
  • GlobalFoundries Wins AI Chips
    Even as its 12nm customers deliver industry-leading AI accelerators, GF has created new 12LP+ technology with ultra-low-voltage operation as well as optimized SRAM and MAC-unit designs.

July 20, 2020

  • GSI Offers In-Memory Computing
    Long known for its specialty memories, GSI Technology created a data-center accelerator called Gemini that can perform 840 trillion Boolean operations per second on 12MB of data.
  • 5G Release 16 Targets Factories
    The newest 3GPP standard reduces latency and improves reliability for private industrial networks and automotive applications while enabling 5G operators to use unlicensed spectrum.
  • Ampere Maxes Out at 128 Cores
    Startup Ampere Computing disclosed its 128-core Altra Max, scheduled to sample in 4Q20. The new model follows sampling of the initial Altra lineup based on Arm’s Neoverse N1.

July 13, 2020

  • Wear 4100+ Gets 12nm Upgrade
    The Wear 4100 is a strong upgrade from the Wear 3100, increasing performance while decreasing power consumption. It also adds a new feature: support for a 16MP camera.
  • Stratix 10 NX Adds AI Blocks
    Intel has redesigned the Stratix 10 DSP block to focus on neural-network inference, adding 15x more multipliers to greatly boost performance for custom AI accelerators.
  • Editorial: Arm Wins Big in Apple, HPC
    Arm’s design wins in next-generation Mac computers and the world’s fastest supercomputer prove the CPU architecture can compete for big systems as well as little ones.

July 6, 2020

  • Cooper Lake Limps to Market
    Intel’s 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processors target high-end systems, particularly those that perform AI training, but offer few other advantages relative to current Xeon products.
  • Qualcomm Equips AI-Powered Robots
    The RB5 is a configurable developer kit powered by a Snapdragon 865–based QRB5165 processor. It comes with mezzanine cards that include cameras, motor controllers, sensors, and cellular radios.
  • Xilinx Alveo Makes Video Zoom
    Xilinx has developed two new real-time-server reference architectures based on its Alveo U30 and U50 accelerator cards. Both designs target live-video transcoding using adaptive-bit-rate technology.

June 29, 2020

  • Lakefield Shrinks x86 SoCs
    Intel’s Core Hybrid processors (Lakefield) are the first x86 chips to employ Foveros die-stacking technology and a cluster of large and small CPU cores. Targeting slim notebooks and tablets, they compete mainly with Arm-based processors.
  • Snapdragon 690 Lowers 5G Entry Price
    Qualcomm’s newest mid-premium 5G processor brings 7-series features to the top of the 6-series lineup. It’s the first 6-series chip with Cortex-A77 CPUs, replacing both the Snapdragon 675 and 720G.
  • Qualcomm Delivers 6GHz Wi-Fi
    Qualcomm added 6GHz support to its Networking Pro chipsets for Wi-Fi access points and to its FastConnect 6700 and 6900 combo chips for next-generation smartphones.
  • Certus-NX Extends Lattice Lineup
    The second member of Lattice’s Nexus FPGA family brings the benefits of 28nm FD-SOI technology to a broader range of applications, adding hard cores for Ethernet, encryption, and A/D conversion.
  • Tom Halfhill Retires, Aakash Jani Joins
    After 20 years, Tom is retiring from his senior editor role at Microprocessor Report but will join the editorial board. New senior editor Aakash Jani is joining Microprocessor Report from AMD.

June 22, 2020

  • Pliops Makes Storage Computational
    Computational storage uses new system architectures to move some processing closer to storage. Startup Pliops is shifting more of the stack into its storage processor, multiplying SSD performance.
  • EnSilica Drives Automotive Radar
    EnSilica has delivered its eSI-ADAS intellectual property for radar-signal processors. It also offers eSi-Medisense, an IP platform that enables wireless vital-sign monitoring in ultra-low-power wearables.

June 15, 2020

  • Editorial: US Sanctions Squeeze Huawei
    New sanctions that block TSMC and other foundries from supplying ASICs to Huawei will hurt that company’s competitiveness and revenue but will also have unintended consequences.
  • Dimensity 820 Shows True Colors
    Just a month after releasing the Dimensity 800, MediaTek has upgraded most of the design’s capabilities to create a new processor that appears in smartphones selling for as little as $225.

June 8, 2020

  • Nvidia A100 Tops in AI Performance
    The first GPU to implement the Ampere architecture, the A100 delivers huge performance increases to data centers running AI, data analytics, and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.
  • Nvidia Ampere Delivers AI Innovation
    This deep dive into Nvidia’s latest data-center GPU architecture explains the new training data types, structured sparsity, cache compression, GPU virtualization, and other features.
  • Kirin 985 Upgrades AI Performance
    The Kirin 985 gives Huawei a competitive edge in the 5G mid-premium segment while maintaining a healthy distinction from the premium segment, which the Kirin 990 5G occupies.

June 1, 2020

  • Cortex-X1: A Bigger Arm
    Cortex-X1 debuts a series of Arm CPUs that provide a new level of smartphone performance. The company also released Cortex-A78, which increases efficiency for the mainstream line.
  • Mali-G78 Raises Premium Performance
    The new Mali-G78 GPU strengthens Arm’s hold on licensable IP for premium phones. It outperforms the Mali-G77 by about 15%, and its larger maximum core count enables even greater performance gains.
  • Ethos-N78 Boosts AI Efficiency
    The new Ethos-N78 is Arm’s second-generation deep-learning accelerator (DLA). In its largest configuration, the N78 can deliver peak performance of 10 trillion operations per second (TOPS).

May 25, 2020

  • Andes Plots RISC-V Vector Heading
    Andes has delivered the first CPU core to support the new RISC-V vector extensions (RVV), even though RISC-V International (formerly the RISC-V Foundation) won’t freeze the v1.0 specifications until August. 
  • Innovium Debuts 25.6Tbps Switch
    Startup Innovium is first to announce a 25.6Tbps Ethernet switch chip using next-generation 100Gbps PAM4 serdes. Teralynx 8 doubles the per-lane data rate of its predecessor, yielding up to 64x400G Ethernet ports.

May 18, 2020

  • Intel Takes Desktop PCs to 10th Gen
    New 14nm processors based on Comet Lake-S offer 10 cores at the high end, clock speeds up to 5.3GHz, and Hyper-Threading for all models, delivering greater value for most customers.
  • Prophesee Detects Rapid Movement
    Prophesee is a French startup developing event-based image sensors. It’s working with Sony on its fourth-generation device that delivers one-microsecond temporal resolution with HD spatial resolution. 
  • Editorial: Wave Goodbye to MIPS
    Wave Computing’s bankruptcy filing leaves the future of its MIPS architecture group in doubt. One of the original RISC designs, MIPS once had a bright future but has struggled in recent years.
  • Sima Seeks Greener AI
    To bring a new level of power efficiency to embedded systems that require neural networks, Sima is designing a chip called the MLSoC that it expects will deliver an impressive 10 TOPS/W.

May 11, 2020

  • Perceive Reduces AI to a Math Problem
    Two-year-old startup Perceive has shattered power-efficiency benchmarks for edge-AI processors. Its first chip, Ergo, needs just 70mW to deliver 250fps on Yolo v3, all without connecting to DRAM.
  • Helio P95 Boosts AI and Graphics
    MediaTek is offering a slight upgrade to last year’s octa-core P90 for mid-premium smartphones. It barely stays competitive with similar chips from Huawei and Qualcomm.

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