Linley Newsletter — Analysis of microprocessor and semiconductor developments

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Most Recent | Archive: 2022   |   2021   |   2020

  June 28, 2022   MIPS Releases First RISC-V CPUs
MIPS Inc. has developed its first licensable CPUs implementing the RISC-V instruction set by repurposing older MIPS-compatible cores. The P8700 and I8500 outperform most other RISC-V designs.
  June 28, 2022   NXP Chip Combines Car Functions
NXP’s S32Z2 and S32E2 processors integrate multiple low-level automotive functions into a single SoC that preserves isolation between virtualized electronic control units (ECUs) from software through I/Os.
  June 28, 2022   SiPearl Targets European Supercomputer
French startup SiPearl has received additional funding to complete the development of its Rhea supercomputing processor, which has changed considerably from its original specifications.
  June 21, 2022   Cortex-M85 Is Fastest MCU Core
The superscalar Cortex-M85 is Arm’s fastest core for standalone microcontrollers and MCU-like subsystems. A vector unit helps it excel at AI.
  June 21, 2022   It’s Getting Hot in Here
Server processors, AI accelerators, and switch chips are consuming more power and generating more heat, some as much as 950W. Data centers must change to accommodate these hot chips.
  June 21, 2022   Silicon Labs Adds AI to MCUs
Silicon Labs has added a small deep-learning accelerator to its newest wireless microcontrollers, reducing the power required for inference of tiny AI models.
  June 14, 2022   Auto Ethernet Goes Multi-Gigabit
Broadcom and Marvell now offer automotive Ethernet switch chips capable of 55Gbps and 37Gbps. Usable in both zonal and domain architectures, they support the move to automotive Ethernet and its rising bandwidths.
  June 14, 2022   Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Adopts Arm v9
The CPU performance of Qualcomm’s mid-premium smartphone processor is similar to last year’s, but its capabilities in total make for a substantial upgrade.
  June 14, 2022   Tachyum Targets Petaflop/s
The startup is close to taping out its “universal” processor, branded Prodigy, which aims to deliver industry-leading performance on server, supercomputer, and AI workloads.
  June 7, 2022   Habana Gaudi2 Triples Performance
The latest chip from the Intel subsidiary offers a big performance jump from the initial Gaudi, putting it into the same class as Nvidia’s new Hopper GPU.
  June 7, 2022   Recogni Delivers One Petaop/s
The startup’s initial AI accelerator can process four streams of 4K video while using less than 25W. A novel approach to math and weight compression help keep the die size small.
  June 7, 2022   Wi Fi 7 AP Chips Coming Next Year
Next-generation Wi Fi 7 is on the horizon, and the leading wireless-LAN chipmakers—Broadcom, MediaTek, and Qualcomm—are already sampling new access-point chipsets for production next year.
  May 31, 2022   Dimensity 1050 Adds Millimeter-Wave 5G
MediaTek’s first smartphone processor to support the highest cellular bands targets mmWave operators in the US and Japan. In addition, the Dimensity 930 upgrades midrange sub-6GHz phones.
  May 31, 2022   Helio G99: The Final 4G Processor?
MediaTek released a 6nm shrink of the Helio G96, reducing cost and extending battery life. The G99 product number signals it may be the company’s final LTE processor.
  May 30, 2022   MediaTek’s Genio Is Out of the Bottle
MediaTek has created a new brand for its embedded application processors. The family includes older rebranded chips but introduces a new flagship model, the Genio 1200, for AI IoT applications.
  May 24, 2022   Alder Lake-HX Maxes Laptop Performance
Intel’s Core i9-12900HX sets performance records for laptop PCs, offering two extra “performance” cores at up to 5.0GHz for the most-demanding mobile gamers and professionals.
  May 24, 2022   AMD Adds Zen 3 to Premium Chromebooks
AMD has expanded its Chromebook-processor lineup with four products based on the Barcelo design, including the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 5825C, that target systems priced at $600 or more.
  May 24, 2022   TimbreAI Scales Down an Octave
Expedera’s new licensable deep-learning accelerator (DLA) performs simple neural networks for audio processing in a tiny engine that draws less than one milliwatt.
  May 17, 2022   D-Matrix Transforms SRAMs for AI
The AI-processor startup has emerged from stealth mode with a chiplet-based inference engine that employs digital in-memory computing (IMC) to run Transformer models like those in Bert and GPT.
  May 17, 2022   Intel Blockscale Boosts Mining Profit
Intel has introduced a new bitcoin-mining ASIC that competes respectably where the original test chip didn’t. The company will sell the chip directly rather than building its own system for sale.
  May 17, 2022   Versal Adds AI to Premium Line
AMD has added two new FPGA products to its Versal Premium line. They combine AI engines to accelerate neural networks along with plenty of programmable logic and DSP blocks for signal processing.
  May 10, 2022   AMD Ships 3D V-Cache Processors
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D PC processor and Milan X server processor use TSMC’s chip-on-wafer (CoW) technology to stack more cache on the compute die, improving game and HPC performance.
  May 10, 2022   Chip Vendors Help Power Up 6GHz
Broadcom and Qualcomm will support a new automated-frequency-coordination (AFC) system to allow Wi-Fi and unlicensed 5G devices to use higher power in the 6GHz band, increasing performance and range.
  May 10, 2022   Intel GNA Engine Adds Vision
The Gaussian and Neural Accelerator supports always-on audio and vision workloads, reducing power and adding security. It appears on Intel PC processors, other chips, and the Clover Falls add-on chip.
  May 3, 2022   Fewer Find 3nm Worth the Wait
TSMC and Samsung have suffered lengthy delays in their 3nm processes, and the gain in density and other characteristics is smaller than in previous nodes. Intel says its future nodes are on schedule.
  May 3, 2022   GF Fotonix Unites CMOS, Photonics
The new GlobalFoundries process combines photonic and digital components on a single 45nm chip. The primary application is data-center communications, but lidar and computing will benefit as well.
  April 26, 2022   Sakura Debuts for Edge AI
EdgeCortix launched its first edge-AI inference chip by hardening its DNA IP, delivering low latency and high power efficiency for applications that fit into 5W to 20W.
  April 26, 2022   Synopsys NPX6 Expands AI Options
The new deep-learning accelerator (DLA) can scale to more than 2,000 TOPS, providing a licensable core for applications such as autonomous driving and natural-language processing.
  April 26, 2022   TetraMem Touts In-Memory DLA
The Silicon Valley startup uses a new type of memristor to perform analog math for deep-learning acceleration. It provides nonvolatile storage and performs low-power AI computations.
  April 19, 2022   Alchemist Turns Intel Into GPU Vendor
Intel’s new Arc products are its first significant discrete GPUs, using competitive performance and hardware ray tracing to bring new competition to laptop-PC graphics cards.
  April 19, 2022   Nvidia Orin Appears in MLPerf
The newest set of MLPerf Inference results showcase the same old vendors; almost all the data-center and edge accelerators came from Nvidia and Qualcomm. Orin was the notable newcomer.
  April 19, 2022   Where’s the AI Competition?
The dominant AI-chip vendor, Nvidia has raised the bar with its new Hopper and Orin accelerators. Startups, hyperscalers, and large chip vendors try to compete with the company but keep falling short.
  April 12, 2022   Merging Memory and Compute
Near-memory and in-memory compute are techniques for reducing computing power—especially for AI. But they mean different things to different companies.
  April 12, 2022   Nvidia Hopper Leaps Ahead
The next-generation AI architecture powers the H100 card and DGX-H100 system. The 700W flagship card triples peak performance over Ampere while adding FP8 support for more-efficient training.
  April 12, 2022   Nvidia Reveals 51Tbps Ethernet Switch
Due to sample late this year, Spectrum-4 will quadruple the bandwidth of Spectrum-3 by both doubling per-lane speed to 100Gbps and doubling the number of serdes lanes to 512, yielding 51.2Tbps.
  April 5, 2022   Agilex Dials M for Memory
Intel announced its first Agilex to copackage DRAM, sporting a pair of HBM2e stacks that deliver up to 32GB. It’s also using the Intel 7 process to further cut power dissipation.
  April 5, 2022   AMD Adds DPUs With Pensando Buy
By acquiring Pensando, AMD will instantly offer DPUs alongside its CPUs and GPUs. Although it principally sells smart NICs, the startup recently announced a design win for its 7nm second-generation chip.
  April 5, 2022   Renesas Refocuses on Enhanced ADAS
The R-Car V4H is a new automotive system-on-chip for vehicles with extended ADAS capabilities. It addresses functional safety and the greater AI performance for Level 2+ driving.
  April 5, 2022   Snapdragon X70 Modem Trims Power
Qualcomm’s next 5G modem uses AI to reduce power and improve performance while maintaining the data rates of its predecessor.

Most Recent | Archive: 2022   |   2021   |   2020


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