Items tagged with ARM

Intel's Developer Forum (IDF) starts on Tuesday, and the chip manufacturer is expected to discuss its Ivy Bridge refresh, Haswell, talk about its upcoming 32nm tablet platform, Clover Trail, and possibly share a few details on its 22nm Atom SOC's. Performance per watt is going to be a major focus at IDF this year; Haswell is rumored to be capable of idling below 10W. Intel always uses IDF as a demonstration platform and roadmap update, but it's particularly important this year, when competing foundries have struggled with 28nm and Intel itself just cut its Q3 guidance. Several of Intel's rivals are gearing up their own demonstrations for this week. In AMD's case, that's normal -- Sunnyvale almost... Read more...
Those who like to tinker with and build computers have a new toy to play with in the cubieboard, a $49 self-described “open arm box” that offers intriguing possibilities as an HTPC build. The cubieboard supports Ubuntu (and other Linux distros), so it can operate as a regular desktop, but it can also run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and turn a TV into an “Android TV”. The nitty gritty details include a 1GB ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512KB of L2 cache on board, a Mali 400 Open GL ES GPU, 1GB of DDR3-480MHz, and 4GB of flash storage. The cubieboard also has 10/100M Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, an MMC slot, SATA, and an IR port. The little fellow can be powered by a USB... Read more...
Earlier this summer, AMD launched its HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) foundation with a number of core partners. Now Samsung has joined the collaborative effort as well. This could be the beginning of an unprecedented level of cooperation between the APU designer and massive smartphone/tablet developer. The two companies already share certain technologies; Samsung and GlobalFoundries, AMD's chief manufacturing partner, are members of IBM's Common Platform Alliance. The HSA Foundation is a non-profit established to promote "an open, standards-based approach to heterogeneous computing that will provide a common hardware specification and broad support ecosystem to make it easier for software... Read more...
Last month, TSMC's CEO Morris Chang made waves when he suggested that it could make sense for the company to dedicate fabs to particular customers. Fresh reports today, however, suggest that both Apple and TSMC made major bids for exclusivity on future TSMC production facilities, and both were rejected. Does this mean Chang's earlier comments were misinterpreted? No -- but it does demonstrate the difference between what Chang/TSMC is willing to contemplate and what companies like Qualcomm and Apple want. TSMC may be willing to commit full fabs to customer-specific production, but the company isn't going to sign a piece of paper that gives a customer direct control over what happens to those fabs... Read more...
ARM and GlobalFoundries have been working together ever since AMD spun GlobalFoundries off as an independent business, but the two companies are taking steps to further expand their joint development efforts. As part of the deal, ARM has committed to creating a "full platform of ARM Artisan® Physical IP, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP™ IP solutions." We typically discuss ARM as selling licenses to various companies like Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia, but licenses aren't the company's only product. When ARM talks about physical IP, it's referring to all the other components that go into the SoC and make it tick. Need an L2 cache implementation, a... Read more...
If you recall, at SIGGRAPH this week, ARM stepped out with a demo of  their Mali-T604 quad-core GPU. The demo platform they were showcasing was based on a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 SoC (System on Chip). It's becoming abundantly clear now which silicon manufacturer produced the development platform and what brand of devices we might see this next generation mobile power plant driving in the near future. Samsung let fly late yesterday with the details of their next generation Exynos 5 Dual, the first dual-core ARM Cortext A15 based design to hit the market that is sure to offer all kinds of mobile muscle for tablet's and smartphones.  Rumor has it that Samsung is planning a Galaxy Tab... Read more...
Gabe Newell and Rob Pardo aren't the only people unhappy with Windows 8 and its potential impact on gaming. GamesIndustry.biz has conducted an informal survey of its own and found that a number of people in the industry are concerned about what Windows 8 will mean for gaming. The concerns are also more intelligent than Newell's ramble on falling PC margins. Dean Hall, the creator of the popular ARMA II mod DayZ, states: ""PC Games have always been gamers' games, edgy and adapting fast...  I don't think simplicity inherently means something is better, and this is the concern I think many people have with the focus toward touch-screen technology." This drives much closer to the heart of the... Read more...
Remember the graphical wars in the early days of consoles? 8-bit, then 16-bit, then 32-bit, then 64-bit, then 128-bit. The race to the top never stopped, and even today, the longing for more pronounced technology keeps the dream alive. The same sort of drive is seen in the processor game as well. ARM has just launched the second generation of Mali-T600 GPUs, which are said to provide "a dramatically improved user experience for tablets, smartphones and smart-TVs." If you're looking for intense performance gains, you'll find them. Each one of the new GPUs offers a staggering 50% increase in performance, and they are also the first to include Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC), a texture... Read more...
What if there was a power-efficient GPU with brains as powerful as a power-sucking desktop chip? We may be on the brink of finding out. ARM has this week submitted the Mali-T604 GPU for full profile OpenCL conformance, and if all plays out, this thing could really knock some socks off in the months ahead. According to the company, it's the first first GPU Intellectual Property (IP) supplier to submit conformance for Full Profile OpenCL, "bringing desktop GPU computing features to the mobile, embedded and smart-TV markets." It doesn't take a huge imagination to see how this could positively impact our lives going forward. Even compact applications could finally tap into high-grade graphics --... Read more...
After more than six months of high-to-mid profile executive departures, AMD has major news to announce on its new executive hire -- and he's a welcome addition. Starting today, Jim Keller will serve as a vice president and the company's Chief Architect for CPU Cores. Keller has spent more than thirty years in the semiconductor business, including a few at AMD. When AMD brought members of DEC's Alpha team aboard in the late 1990s, Keller was one of the CPU architects that came along. Having worked on Alpha's EV5, Jim was lead architect on the first K8 project (the first iteration of K8 was eventually canceled and Fred Weber became lead architect on the design that came to market). Keller moved... Read more...
ARM may have a new wave of customers coming its way thanks to Windows RT, but it surely won't turn down a bit of assistance from the folks at TSMC. This week, the two tech giants announced plans to collaborate with one another in order to "optimize next-gen 64-bit ARM processors for FinFET Process Technology." Wordy? Sure, but the potential impact is notable. It's a multi-year deal that involves alignment of next-generation processor tech, physical IP, and process technology for use in "high-performance, energy-efficient mobile and enterprise markets." According to the companies, this deal will "enable sharing of technical information and feedback between the two companies, enhancing the development... Read more...
Price-wise, HardKernel’s ODROID-X Development Board ($129) doesn’t hold a candle to the like of Raspberry Pi ($35), but it packs some tasty features that tinkers will love to play with. The ARM-based platform is built around a quad-core Samsung Exynos 4412 Cortex-A9 (1.4GHz) processor and has Mali-400 quad core graphics, 1GB of LP-DDR2 RAM, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (although users can slap Ubuntu on there, too). In terms of I/O, the ODROID-X has a micro HDMI connector, RGB-24bit LCD interface port, headphone and mic jacks, six USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet LAN port, a full-size SDHC card slot, and more. Although the specs are compelling enough, the accessories that you... Read more...
The iPhone 5 rumor mill is spinning up again after apparently taking a few weeks off due to heat exhaustion. The latest buzz coming out of Taiwan is that the device will feature a quad-core processor based on Samsung's Exynos platform. That would make the Exynos 4412 the most likely candidate for the device, and we've already seen an excellent phone built around that platform -- the Samsung Galaxy S III (although the US version we've looked at here is dual-core Qualcomm Krait). If the Galaxy SIII is a great phone (and it is), then why would we want to see a quad-core iPhone 5? Simple, we don't. The iPhone has always been about making real-world improvements rather than saturating the market with... Read more...
That didn't take long. HP has publicly confirmed that it has cancelled plans to bring a Windows RT (aka Windows on ARM) tablet to market in time for the Windows 8 debut. The company has decided to focus on its x86 customer base instead. HP spokesperson Marlene Somsak has said that "The decision was influenced by input from our customers. The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future." Sources we spoke to confirmed that Microsoft's Surface unveil last week was a huge factor in this decision. HP isn't willing to go head to head with Microsoft when it comes to launching new, unproven products. Abandoning x86... Read more...
Microsoft is planning to make a big announcement on Monday, and all anyone seems to know for sure is that the subject will involved the company’s mobile products and/or strategy. Citing a source with knowledge of the company’s plans, The Wrap reported that Microsoft is indeed launching its own tablet to run Windows 8. Specifically, it’s expected that Microsoft will introduce an ARM-based tablet that will run Windows RT. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (Image credit: AllThingsD) If the rumors are true, Microsoft is taking a bold step. First of all, the tablet hardware market is an awfully tough nut to crack, and being a software company (it’s not called “Microhard”),... Read more...
A pair of Intel rivals are joining forces, though not to take on the chip giant and topple the leader. The technology partnership between Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ARM is all about integrating the latter's TrustZone Security Technology found in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, into the former's x86-based product offerings. It's a small step in a new direction that could end up big for both companies. What it basically boils down is AMD licensing ARM's Coretex-A5 processor design, which it will use in its own Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). AMD is only focused on the security aspect right now, having no interest in abandoning x86 chip design, but who knows where this could... Read more...
Computex is a major trade show where companies of all sorts show off their upcoming products and discuss manufacturing trends. It's a great place to get a feel for what's going to be hot in the second half of the year, but it also lends itself to a type of exuberant prediction. In this case, Simon Segars, head of ARM's processor division, told reporters that we could see 20nm devices shipping as soon as the end of 2013. "The whole industry is focused on moving to the next generation as soon as it's economically viable and technologically achievable," Segars told the group. According to CIO, analyst Dan Nystedt, of TriOrient Investments, chimed in with his view that TSMC's 28nm troubles don't... Read more...
The ultramobile landscape just gets more and more interesting by the week. Samsung's next-generation Galaxy smartphone is widely expected to launch next week, but what's a new smartphone without a new CPU? Not much, as it turns out. The famed Galaxy S II will likely see an upgrade, with the Galaxy S III taking the flagship crown. But what'll be inside of it? This new chip. It's a new Exynos 4 Quad processor, clocked at 1.4GHz per core and designed on 32nm HKMG process technology. It's based on the ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor, which promises twice the power at a 20% lower power bill compared to its predecessor, the 45nm process-based Exynos 4 Dual. That's a major, major leap forward. Here's... Read more...
ARM's been in the news quite a bit lately, most recently in dealing with Windows RT, but now they're making some waves of their own. They've just announced the new Cortex-A15 quad-core Hard Macro, a power-optimized implementation of quad-core hard macro on 28nm process. In other words, it's a juiced-up version of the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor. It's engineered to run at 2GHz and deliver performance in excess of 20,000DMIPS, while maintaining the power efficiency of the Cortex-A9 hard macro. The low leakage implementation, featuring integrated NEON SIMD technology and floating point (VFP), is said to deliver "an extremely competitive balance of performance and power and is ideal for wide array... Read more...
The world's most energy-efficient processor from ARM? Yep, it's here, and it's the Cortex-M0+, aimed at low-cost MCU, sensor and control markets but destined to shake up way more than that. The company is calling it the "world's most energy-efficient microprocessor." In other words, it has been optimized to deliver ultra low-power, low-cost MCUs for intelligent sensors and smart control systems in a broad Tjrange of applications including home appliances, white goods, medical monitoring, metering, lighting and power and motor control devices. he 32-bit Cortex-M0+ processor, the latest addition to the ARM Cortex processor family, consumes just 9µA/MHz on a low-cost 90nm LP process, around... Read more...
We've been looking forward to Windows 8's Consumer Preview for months. This, after all, is Microsoft's big chance to show what they've been working on and unveiling bit by bit for the past year; a chance to evaluate the sum total of changes and advancements baked into the next-generation operating system. We'll discuss some of the features of Metro and Desktop (aka Classic) separately, but our overall focus will be on how the two environments interact with each other. Metro, Microsoft's new UI, is bold, a dramatic departure from anything the company has previously done in the desktop/laptop space, and absolutely great. It's tangible proof that Redmond really can design and build its own unique... Read more...
We've been looking forward to Windows 8's Consumer Preview for months. This, after all, is Microsoft's big chance to show what they've been working on and unveiling bit by bit for the past year; a chance to evaluate the sum total of changes and advancements baked into the next-generation operating system. We'll discuss some of the features of Metro and Desktop (aka Classic) separately, but our overall focus will be on how the two environments interact with each other. Understanding Metro: Metro, Microsoft's new UI, is bold, a dramatic departure from anything the company has previously done in the desktop/laptop space, and absolutely great. It's tangible proof that Redmond really can design and... Read more...
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