Items tagged with ARM

Earlier this month, we covered news that the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) issued a press release confirming that it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase Chartered Semiconductor. Chartered's business will be rolled into GlobalFoundries, with Doug Grose serving as CEO of the combined entities. Chartered released its financial report for the third quarter of 2009 this week and shed some light on what role the GlobalFoundries partner might play in the months and years ahead. Normally we run the numbers before examining other data, but since we've not written much about the company to date, we'll start with some additional information. Unlike AMD or Intel, Chartered currently... Read more...
Historically, ARM isn't a company we talk about much. The company's processor designs power a huge number of devices worldwide, but its architectures have focused on the embedded, ultra-low power, ultra-low cost markets where high-end performance simply wasn't a requirement. ARM's target market hasn't changed all that much in the past 18 months, but the fact that Intel intends to push future iterations of its Atom architecture into the MID/high-end smartphone market changes the entire competitive landscape. Intel and ARM probably won't go head-to-head architecturally speaking until the former is at the 22nm node, but ARM isn't planning to wait that long. The company launched its new Cortex-A5... Read more...
NVIDIA has built its brand and reputation as a GPU designer since the company was founded in 1993, but recent comments by the company have implied that it believes platforms like Tegra and ION will be key revenue generators in the future. We've previously discussed NVIDIA's ongoing emphasis on the GPU as a massively parallel processor capable of handling workloads and programs far outside the realm of video games, but to date, reviewers and analysts alike have treated Tegra as more of a side project than a future core competency.   The two core components of NVIDIA's mobile strategy: ION and Tegra  Given how difficult the last twelve months have been for NVIDIA, it's easy to wonder... Read more...
When we've discussed Atom and Intel's long-term plans regarding MIDs and handheld devices, we've typically focused on the consumer experience. Intel has made no secret that it envisions a future in which next-generation Atom processors and SoCs power a diverse range of products in both consumer and business markets. What we haven't discussed, save for an occasional nod towards the competition Intel might face from ARM, is the impact Intel's push into the embedded market might have on the integrated device manufacturers (IDMs). Tech-On recently sat down with James Hogan, who helped found Tela Innovations and works in electronic design automation (EDA). The interview gives a different perspective... Read more...
Quick question—what's smaller than a netbook, bigger than a smartphone, and doesn't conform to Intel's definition of a MID (Mobile Internet Device?) If you guessed "smartbooks," give yourself a pat on the back for being prescient. If you've never heard of a smartbook before, don't feel bad; the term refers to a series of ARM-based sub-netbooks companies like Acer, Foxconn, and Pegatron all intend to back. The name is a portmaneau between "smart phone" and "netbook;" the devices themselves are meant to echo the various feature sets common on today's cell phones. Smartbooks were unveiled for the first time at Computex last June, but we'll reportedly see an array of these devices on the market by... Read more...
Mediatek, a long standing partner of ARM, has licensed the company's Mali-400 GPU and will be using it in upcoming handheld and portable devices such as media players and personal navigation devices.  This might not really sound like much, but this is the first major Mali-400 licensing announcement since the technology was launched back in June 2008.  Mali-400 traces its ancestry back to Falanx, a Norwegian graphics IP company that originally came up with the whole Mali series, which was – obviously – acquired by ARM. The company boasts its low power consumption and high performance – claiming it can provide HD video decode (1080p) for a fraction of the power.The Mali-400 GPU measures... Read more...
Intel already holds a strong position in the personal computer and server market. But, like other companies, Intel wants more. Moving forward, Intel’s executives believe there’s a good potential to increase Atom's traction in adjacent markets by targeting these low-cost, energy-efficient chips at various multifunctional consumer gadgets including smartphones and other portable devices that access the Internet. “Atom is Intel's growth engine,” said Intel spokesman Bill Calder.Breaking into the smartphone market won’t be easy, however. The market is currently owned by companies such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics, MediaTek, and Infineon Technologies. All of these companies use... Read more...
ZigBee may still be foreign to many consumers, but it's a growing wireless transmission technology that has especially taken hold in the home automation realm. To that end, ARM has decided to hitch its wagon to one Ember in order to delve gently into what could be a promising partnership.Announced today, Ember will rely on ARM's own Cortex M3 processor for its next generation ZigBee semiconductors, and considering the goals of each company, the match truly is one that's made in heaven. ZigBee needs a low-power chip, and ARM has low-power chips to provide. No, the Cortex M3 is no powerhouse, but ZigBee isn't a technology that requires gobs of computational abilities.  As it stands, Embed... Read more...
Hot on the heels of ARM's ground-breaking Mali announcement at the Game Developers Conference comes a new pair of introductions from the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California. First and foremost, the company has revealed two new models for the Cortex-A9 MPCore multicore processor and for the Cortex-M3 processor. According to ARM, these newcomers are engineered to enable:Product Benefits: Develop and optimize software applications, middleware and drivers for platforms based on new ARM CPUs - ahead of hardware availabilityModel functionality is validated by ARM for true-to-hardware performanceRoadmap to future ARM architecture technology and CPU availabilityModels can be used within... Read more...
While ARM's latest onslaught of announcements have been quite remarkable, we'd say that all of them combined can't measure up to the magnitude of this one. Today, the company famous for its Cortex processors has announced the Mali graphics processing unit (GPU) technology while simultaneously laying out its vision to "shape the future of next generation of graphics processing and mobile gaming." Interested? Read on.The company is making its proclamation from the 22nd annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, where it has described that this Mali system has the potential to bring 1080p playback to cellphones and other portable players. In fact, the Mali GPU family scales from Mali-55... Read more...
While we would expect a barrage of new CPU announcements from someone like Intel or AMD, it's been ARM of late pushing out the new silicon. Just days after showcasing its first 32 nanometer chip, the company responsible for the Cortex line has announced the smallest, lowest power and most energy-efficient ARM processor available. The Cortex-M0 is capable of consuming as little as 85 microwatts/MHz (0.085 milliwatts) in an area of under 12K gates when using the ARM 180ULL cell library, and if ARM is to be believed, the "exceptional low power, small gate count and code footprint of the processor enables MCU developers to achieve 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price point." Additionally, the ultra... Read more...
Just a week ago, Intel made waves by talking up its forthcoming 32 nanometer Westmere family of processors, and now ARM is vying for a little bit of that 32nm attention with an all new Cortex. The company has just announced the world's very first ARM processor produced on 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology, and it will be showing it off at this year's Mobile World Congress. Obviously, this also marks the first-ever 32nm Cortex chip, and it has been built on a test chip from the IBM Common Platform in its 32nm High-K metal gate (HKMG) process.In most regards, ARM's remaining fairly quiet on the specifics, only noting that the development required nine months of collaboration between... Read more...
There's been talk recently over private browsing features in upcoming browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.1 (Safari already has this feature).  Privacy, of course, is an important subject for many end users (despite the somewhat pejorative term "porn mode" frequently used for it).  Well, a new browser has been recently released that --- rather than making this feature an afterthought, focuses directly on privacy as the base of its capabilities. Level 9 Technology, Inc. has launched the ArmorSurf Private Browser - a free web browser & downloader that lets users surf in complete privacy while keeping their files secure. In addition to privacy features, the software... Read more...
Id Software has had minimal success developing games for cell phones. It ported its popular Doom title over to the cell phone platform with Doom RPG, as well as developing two original Orcs and Elves games for phones. Ultimately, the three titles sold only a combined two million copies. The problem, at least up to now, is that cell phones have been less than ideal gaming platforms. They typically have small screens, limited processing power and memory, and awkward controls. But according to an article on Forbes.com, Id's co-founder, John Carmack is eyeing the iPhone as the mobile platform that can successfully address at least some of these issues:"One of the biggest appeals of the iPhone, says... Read more...
 The hype is gearing up for Madden 09. The latest installment of the sports gaming world's biggest franchise won't hit store shelves until August 12, but excitement about the gridiron goliath is bubbling up. If you're a hardcore Madden-ite, you're bound to be interested in the new relative strength rankings of each NFL squad. For true Madden devotees, the QB ratings featured in this year's edition will likely whet your appetite for game action.We were curious about the trajectory of Madden 09's popularity and Google Trends shows the game on an uptick over the last couple of weeks... Madden 09 scored big in searches when Brett Favre was announced as this year's cover boy. We looked at a graph... Read more...
You don't usually associate IBM with the solar power industry. But IBM researchers couldn't help but notice that one of the main difficulties in compressing the size of a solar collector, in a miniaturization process called "concentrator photovoltaics," (CPV) is the dissipation of heat. IBM used a lens to concentrate sunlight on a one centimeter square solar cell, which yielded 70 watts of usable power -- a record amount. But the heat produced would melt stainless steel. But then again, dissipation of heat from an electronic component is old hat for companies like IBM. The initial results of this project will be presented at the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists conference today, where the IBM... Read more...
Sorry about that tired old joke about who invented the Internet. Of course Al Gore didn't invent the Internet, he invented weather. But if any one person can be said to have "invented the web,"  it's Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Today's the fifteenth anniversary of the date when the code that makes our beloved series of tubes work was first uploaded to the public domain at Cern, the European research facility located in France. Sir Tim says the present Internet is a wonderful thing, and its future's so bright, we gotta wear shades. "The experience of the development of the web by so many people collaborating across the globe has just been a fantastic experience," he said."The experience of international... Read more...
Garmin's backing into the cellphone business in a big way. They've already got the GPS navigation thing down pat, so why not add voice, websurfing, MP3 playback, a camera, and a touchscreen to their devices, and save customers from lugging two, three or four items around instead of one?  Meet the Nuvifone.The Nuvifone includes two features relatively new to Garmin navigation — a “where am I” button that tells the user the nearest address, intersection and nearby emergency facilities, and another that can be used to find a lost car in large parking lots.Beyond navigation, the Nuvifone offers features that have become common in smartphones, such as text messaging and e-mail, as well as some... Read more...
Amazon is preparing to offer an e-book reader and associated download service on Monday of next week. There's already been several unsuccessful attempts to bring the printed word to portable electronic devices, without the eye-tiring backlit pixels you're looking at right now, for instance.  Unlike other devices, Amazon's "Kindle" reader is concentrating on the method of delivery of the content, not as much on the unit itself. That's a relief, as it explains why the pictures of the prototype Kindle reader I saw looked as elegant as a fax machine in 1988.The Kindle is equipped with a Wi-Fi connection that taps into an Amazon e-book store, which users can access to purchase new electronic... Read more...
It seems that nearly a year of bug fixes has made Vista a lot more attractive to many consumers, and the Redmond Monolith is predicting a strong holiday season for their latest OS.  This prediction could be in large part to traditional PC/notebook sales, many of which will ship with Vista this holiday season, and it isn't hard to imagine that more than a few consumers waiting on Leopard are going back to the Microsoft fold after reading the numerous message boards around the web crammed with users complaining about Leopard-related bugs.“Vista's success was not always a foregone conclusion. Early Vista buyers complained about the lack of compatibility with existing devices and software programs.Microsoft... Read more...
Global warming is a big issue.  Well, at least to many it is.  Nissan wants to use auto navigation systems to keep traffic moving around snarl-ups, reducing carbon emissions and increasing MPG in the process.The Japanese automaker has launched a major effort to better exploit navigation systems--which are essentially on-board computers--and contemporary communications infrastructures to improve the safety of their cars and boost gas mileage, company executives said this week at Ceatec, the large Japanese trade show taking place outside of Tokyo. One application, currently being tested on taxis in Beijing, feeds current traffic data gathered by sensors in other cars on the road to drivers... Read more...
Global microprocessor chip sales are booming. August 2007 came in a 4.5 percent higher than the previous year. It appears manufacturers of devices that use chips are forecasting a strong Christmas season ahead, and are readying themselves to deliver the shiny stuff for under the tree.The increase is better than historical norms, according to John Pitzer, chip industry analyst at Credit Suisse Securities (USA). August marks the third month in a row that chip sales have been higher than seasonal norms. August is the month electronics manufacturers buy most of the chips they need to prepare for holiday season gadget demand, the SIA said, indicating companies expect strong Christmas sales. Rising... Read more...
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