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Analysts’ Choice Winners for 2017

January 16, 2018

Author: Linley Gwennap

To recognize the top semiconductor offerings, The Linley Group presents its 2017 Analysts’ Choice Awards. This year’s winner for Best Server Processor is AMD’s Epyc. The new Zen microarchitecture comes within 10% of Skylake’s per-clock performance, and AMD supplies Epyc products with up to 32 cores to help make up the remaining shortfall. Epyc provides greater DRAM bandwidth, more PCIe lanes, and better SPECfp performance than even the top-end Xeon Scalable.

Broadcom’s BCM58808H wins our Best Embedded Processor Award. With its eight Cortex-A72 cores, this SoC is the company’s largest ARMv8 design—and at 3.0GHz, it’s the fastest A72 implementation anyone has announced. High-speed packet throughput and unmatched SoC integration set the BCM58808H apart from its peers. We chose Arm’s Mali-G72 GPU as Best Processor IP. According to benchmark results, the G72 demonstrates an impressive 70% performance increase per core relative to its predecessor. The updated design also boosts area efficiency by 5–10%.

We picked Mellanox’s ConnectX-5 EN controller as Best Networking Chip. Building on the company’s market-leading ConnectX-4, the new offering adds many new features including factory-programmable offload engines, multihost capability, an integrated PCI Express switch, and industry-first PCI Express Gen4 support.

We chose Samsung’s Exynos 8895 as our Best Mobile Processor. Samsung’s in-house CPU outruns the Cortex-based alternatives in other high-end smartphone processors. The 8895 additionally delivered top graphics scores at its debut, and it tops the competition in camera resolution, 4K video speed, and the number of LTE channels it can aggregate.

SecureRF wins our Best Technology Award for inventing a new cryptography scheme that’s both quantum resistant and surprisingly efficient. Indeed, it’s so efficient that it works even with ancient 8-bit processors that would wheeze on other crypto algorithms. It licenses the technology as soft IP with software tools that run on several operating systems.

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