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Linley Newsletter   Analysis of microprocessor and semiconductor developments

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Achronix eFPGA Serves AI Two Ways
The next-generation Speedcore IP targets leading-edge 7nm technology while adding a machine-learning-processor block for AI. Speedster 7nm FPGA chips are scheduled to follow in 1H19.
Ryzen Mobile Rises to 12nm
AMD’s new Ryzen Mobile processors boost CPU and GPU clock speeds for mainstream laptop PCs and entry-level gaming notebooks. They match up well with Intel’s Whiskey Lake products.
Year in Review: Mobile Vendors Prepare for 5G
In 2018, premium processors adopted three-tier CPU configurations even as more customers bought mid-premium phones. AI and 5G will drive upgrades in 2019.
Barefoot Joins 400GbE-Switch Club
The startup plans to bring programmability to 400G Ethernet, with samples of its Tofino 2 switch chip due in 1H19. Employing 50Gbps PAM4 serdes, the new product delivers 12.8Tbps of bandwidth.
Qualcomm Gets Serious About PCs
The Snapdragon 8cx boosts CPU, GPU, memory, and I/O capabilities well beyond smartphone levels, enabling more-powerful Arm-based PCs beginning in mid-2019.
Year in Review: IP Suppliers Push AI Accelerators
In 2018, intellectual-property vendors launched a range of deep-learning accelerators while open-source CPUs gained ground. Arm will launch its first new Neoverse core in 2019.
Year in Review: Embedded Processors Embrace AI
Artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, edge computing, IoT, autonomous vehicles, functional safety, and security trended in 2018. New chips for 5G infrastructure are coming in 2019.
Year in Review: Data Centers Accelerate AI Processing
Vendors large and small optimized their designs for deep learning in 2018. Market leaders Intel and Nvidia face increasing competition on multiple fronts in 2019.
Snapdragon 855 Is a Prime Choice
Qualcomm’s next-generation processor for premium smartphones offers a “prime core,” a new AI accelerator, and multigigabit wireless connectivity, including 2Gbps LTE and optional 5G.
Imagination Revs Its AI Engines
In multicore configurations, Imagination’s PowerVR Series3NX delivers up to 160 trillion AI operations per second. The new Series9XEP, XMP, and XTP GPUs increase area efficiency.
Intel Gains Myriad Customers
Intel’s new Myriad X processor, from the former Movidius team, greatly improves AI performance while targeting smart cameras, drones, and other embedded applications.
New MCUs Embrace Cortex-M33
NXP and STMicroelectronics are sampling the first Arm Cortex-M33 microcontrollers that implement TrustZone and other security features: NXP’s LPC5500 family and ST’s STM32L5 family.
Ambiq Apollo 3 Boosts Wearables
Ambiq is using its initial success in Huawei wearables to improve its Apollo MCUs. Apollo 3 Blue adds features while reducing power compared with Apollo 2.
Esperanto Maxes Out RISC-V
The startup has developed a high-performance RISC-V CPU called ET-Maxion that it plans to ship in its first AI accelerator and also license to select customers.
PAM4 Drives Serdes to 100Gbps
Data centers are on the cusp of 400G Ethernet adoption enabled by 100Gbps-per-lambda optical modules, which require PHYs with sophisticated signal processing. Six vendors are now sampling such chips.
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