Items tagged with ARM

If you purchased a higher-end smartphone in the past two years, chances are good that it has an SoC under its hood that packs ARM's ARMv8 architecture. It's what made 64-bit mobile processors possible, and with that comes increased performance as well as the ability to utilize lots of memory, among other processing efficiencies. Today, it's not hard to find ARMv8 in even modest smartphones, some of which could cost under $100. But in emerging markets, the architecture has been nonexistent. This is a problem ARM is planning to solve. It plans to do that with its brand new Cortex-A35, a microarchitecture that aims for ultra high efficiency and will target the "next billion smartphone users... Read more...
It might be needless to put a ton of CPU cores inside of a smartphone, but it makes all the sense in the world to put a lot of them in a server. Of course, mega-core server CPUs are nothing new. Both AMD and Intel offer Hulk-smashing chips with up to 18 cores, and in some cases, up to eight of those can be packed into a single server. It's the stuff geek tears are made of. Sometimes, however, high-end processors are not needed; just lots of cores. It's for that reason that there's been an uptick in servers utilizing ARM-based processors. While these might not be as full-featured as a chip from Intel or AMD, they can prove to be extremely efficient in many different workloads. An example of an... Read more...
Where Linux is concerned, no one's opinions are weighed quite as heavily as Linus Torvald's, so when he makes a bold claim, it's worth paying attention. At LinuxCon Europe this week, the Linux creator partook in a fireside chat with Intel's Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel, and from the conversation, a few interesting things were revealed. First and foremost, Linus gave a major pat on the back to ARM by saying that he suspects 2016 will be the "year of the ARM laptop". He's willing to adopt one himself, saying, "One of these days, I will actually have a machine with ARM." It's an interesting thing to claim, as most of the world's desktop software runs on x86 code, not ARM.... Read more...
A challenge some software developers must face is having to support more than one architecture - be it x86, ARM, or something else. Wouldn't it be great, then, if one processor could support more than one of them at once, potentially allowing developers to target just one base architecture? China's Loongson seems to agree, offering its 3A2000 and 3B2000 processors as proof. While this design might make you think that these chips are targeted at mobile devices, they're actually designed for desktops and workstations, as well as things like network routers. The 3B2000 could be used in dual or quad CPU servers. Loongson apparently really means business here. To add x86 and ARM support, Loongson... Read more...
Cambridge, UK-based ARM doesn’t just supply the processor architecture that powers the majority of our smartphones and tablets (along with numerous other IoT devices), but its products also help to power safety, control, and infotainment systems in the vehicles that we all drive — well, that is if your vehicle isn’t already driving you thanks to rapid advances in autonomous technology. ARM has already managed to incorporate its Cortex-A, Cortex-M, and Cortex-R architectures into vehicles to power blind spot detection, 360-degree surround views (Nissan/Infiniti is deeply invested in this technology), automatic parking, automatic braking, automatic cruise control, collision avoidance, and lane-keeping.... Read more...
ARM’s Cortex-A57 is just now starting to break stride with design wins and full-ramp production in new mobile products. However, today ARM is releasing a wealth of information on its successor: the Cortex-A72. ARM is targeting a core clock of 2.5GHz for the Cortex-A72 and it will be built using a 14nm/16nm FinFET+ process. Using the Cortex-A15 (NVIDIA Tegra 4, Tegra K1) as a baseline, ARM says that the Cortex-A57 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Samsung Exynos 5433) offers 1.9x the performance. Stepping up to the Cortex-A72, which will begin shipping in next year’s flagship smartphones, offers 3.5x the baseline performance of the Cortex-A15. These performance increases are being made within the same... Read more...
ARM has announced its next generation of graphics hardware (codenamed Mali). The new GPUs are meant to highlight a significant improvement in energy efficiency, with ARM claiming that its next-generation GPU architecture will be a whopping 45% more power efficient than previous models. The new GPUs are also meant to address a broad array of market needs, with products scaling from entry level devices to midrange and high-end products. Note that in the fine print, ARM states that the T860 is designed to be 45% more efficient than the older T628 at the same process node and with the same configuration. The chip can scale up to 16 coherent shader cores with native support for 10bit color, DirectX... Read more...
Buried in the details of Microsoft's technical preview for Windows 10 (look for our own discussion in short order), is a bit of a footnote concerning the operating system's requirements. I say footnote because this news -- that Windows 10 will have exactly the same requirements as Windows 8.1, which had the same requirements as Windows 8, which stuck to Windows 7, which was the same as Windows Vista -- is something we take for granted these days. As the years roll by, I can't help wondering what we're actually giving up in exchange for holding the minimum system spec at a single-core 1GHz, 32-bit chip with just 1GB of RAM. Back when Windows Vista was in development, those specifications made... Read more...
Today, at ARM TechCon, AMD is kicking off the conference by launching its new embedded ARM platform (codenamed Hierofalcon) and its associated ARM Cortex-A57 chip, codenamed Seattle. This new solution is debuting inside the first ARM-based network function virtualization platform, and is meant as a proof-of-concept demonstration that shows AMD can build enterprise networking hardware around an ARM platform and that the chip can handle data migration from an x86 platform. Network Function Virtualization? What's That? To understand the play AMD is making here, it helps to delve just a little into the world of big iron industrial networking. In the past, network flow control has been dominated by... Read more...
ARM continues to make headway into territories typically occupied by AMD and in particular Intel. Namely, the server market. Giving ARM a boost in the enterprise segment, Hewlett-Packard today announced two ARM-based servers, one of which is the first enterprise-class 64-bit ARM-based server. In addition, HP is making available a production-ready platform for software developers to build, test, and port applications to the 64-bit ARM based server. "ARM technology will change the dynamics of how enterprises build IT solutions to quickly address customer challenges," said Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager, Servers and Networking, HP. "HP’s history, culture of innovation... Read more...
ARM has been a dominant force in mobile for quite some time, and clearly, the company would love for that to continue. With its just-released Cortex-M7 processor, ARM is looking to make sure that its chips continue to be found in IoT (Internet of Things) devices all over the world. It's not like the company doesn't already have its feet in the door, though: To date, over 8 billion Cortex-M chips have been shipped. Further, there are over 240 licenses for the series, as well as over 3,000 catalog parts. As an IoT chip, the Cortex-M7 is designed for more modest products, such as wearables. The press slides show other examples though, such as the Nest smart thermostat, a washing machine, and also... Read more...
For the past few years, as Intel has struggled to gain market share for its Android-x86 project, it's been hampered by software compatibility issues and associated performance degradation. Now, some of that burden is being lifted off the company's products -- the popular and widespread Unity 3D engine has announced that upcoming versions will include native x86 support. That's important for a host of reasons. Currently, Intel has a host of emulation and translation efforts that ensure nearly seamless compatibility with Android applications. The compatibility layer isn't perfect, however, and games are historically some of the hardest content to emulate. Most titles depend on split-second timing... Read more...
Ever since NVIDIA unveiled its 64-bit Project Denver CPU at CES last year, there's been discussion over what the core might be and what kind of performance it would offer. Visibly, the chip is huge -- more than 2x the size of the Cortex-A15 that powers the 32-bit version of Tegra K1. Now we know a bit more about the core, and it's like nothing we expected. It is, however, somewhat similar to the designs we've seen in the past from the vanished CPU manufacturer Transmeta. Project Denver, Transmeta, and 64-bit ARM Project Denver's 64-bit flavor. When it designed Project Denver, NVIDIA chose to step away from the out-of-order execution engine that typifies all modern high-end ARM and x86 processors.... Read more...
Applied Micro is betting big on microserver use in the HPC market, and to help things along, it's just begun shipping its new X-Gene processors, based on ARM's v8 64-bit architecture. In late June, the firm revealed a number of partners that would be shipping servers with its X-Gene chip inside, and one similarity amongst them all is that they also bundle in NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators. It's no secret that ARM's v8 architecture isn't as full-featured as Intel's, with its Xeon chips, but in some cases, that might be just fine. For the hardcore data-handling, the GPU could step in. On Tuesday, Applied Micro missed expectations on Wall Street, but noted that the next couple of quarters are going... Read more...
Two years ago saw the release of the Raspberry Pi Model B, a $35 computer board running Linux, and in the meantime we’ve also seen the $25 Model A emerge. Now the Raspberry Pi Model B+ is here, and the team is calling it “the final evolution of the original Rasperry Pi”. Although the B+ has the same ARM-based BCM2835 processor, 512MB RAM, and $35 price tag as the Model B, there are several key improvements, including two additional USB 2.0 ports (for a total of 4 four), a slicker push-push microSD slot that replaces the old friction-fit slot, and a 40-pin GPIO header that replaces the old 26-pin setup. Raspberry Pi Model B+ There’s also a dedicated low-noise power supply... Read more...
One of the trickiest aspects to launching a major new platform update is the chicken and egg problem. Without any hardware to test on or take advantage of, developers are leery of committing to supporting new hardware features. Without software that takes advantage of new hardware capabilities, customers aren't willing to pay for new equipment. We normally think about this problem as strictly an end-user issue, but it actually pops up in multiple contexts -- it's tougher to sell chip designers on a major microarchitecture update if they can't experiment with the product first. Today, ARM is tackling the issue at the manufacturer and design level with a new development platform, codenamed Juno.... Read more...
Like any smart company, NVIDIA is always looking for new markets and segments to dig into, and the company is doing just that with a push into high-performance computing (HPC). NVIDIA announced that its Tesla GPUs are being used to bring ARM64-based servers to a new level of performance. There are several vendors using the Tesla GPU accelerators in their ARM64 servers, including Cirrascale, E4 Computer Engineering, and Eurotech. “Featuring Applied Micro X-GeneARM64 CPUs and NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, the new ARM64 servers will provide customers with an expanded range of efficient, high-performance computing options to drive compute-intensive HPC and enterprise data center workloads,”... Read more...
Earlier this week we covered a deal between Intel and Rockchip that will combine Intel's Atom with Rockchip's graphics IP and considerable share of the Chinese market. I'm returning to the topic because there are some interesting big-picture facets to this move that we didn't cover with the initial announcement. Over the long term, this partnership could transform Intel's entire mobile division -- or cause it no end of headaches in the future. First, in order to partner with Rockchip, Intel must have definitionally granted the company some form of x86 license. This wouldn't necessarily be a license to design its own x86 processors (in fact, it almost certainly isn't), but the only way for Rockchip... Read more...
Intel has announced a new partnership with mobile SoC developer Rockchip, with plans to bring new Android products to China beginning in the first half of 2015. The partnership will use Intel's SoFIA platform with an integrated 3G radio and Atom processor initially, though Intel does plan to deliver a follow-up version of that platform with LTE connectivity later next year. The idea behind the partnership, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, is to leverage Rockchip's market penetration and channel sales and combine them with Intel's own CPU technology. When asked, Krzanich indicated that Rockchip would provide certain supplementary technology, possibly including the GPU, and said that Intel... Read more...
In a market where one of Google’s operating systems (Chrome OS) is gobbling up sales from traditional notebooks, another of Google’s operating systems (Android) is getting a new treatment with the Archos ArcBook. The company is calling the device an Android netbook. It has a 10.1-inch (1024x600) touchscreen, runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, comes preloaded with Office Suite Pro 6, and costs a mere $169.99. The full keyboard features Android shortcuts, and the battery purports to last 10 hours. The ArcBook runs on a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 (1.2GHz) processor and offers 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, and a front-facing camera. Ports include USB 2.0, an audio jack, a microSD slot, and... Read more...
Microsoft has sent out invites to a Surface event on May 20th with the tagline “a small gathering”, and the widely-held assumption is that Redmond will use the occasion to unveil the rumored Surface Mini tablet. The little tablet has not been a terribly closely-kept secret, particularly after the Amazon listing for a Surface Mini case that appeared late last month. (The link is even still active.) Mysterious Amazon listing for a Surface Mini case Not much is known about the Surface Mini’s details, but again the general assumption is that it will be a 7-8 inch device with a stylus that will most likely be ARM-based. Windows RT is the presumed OS. A miniature version of the Surface... Read more...
It has been nearly a year since we visited ARM in Cambridge, UK, and the company recently held another tech day -- this time in Austin, Texas. During the three-day session, ARM covered a wide range of topics, with a primary focus on server ecosystems and next-generation mobile hardware. The company started off with an in-depth exploration of its CCN-508 server interconnect, but also taked about "Project Moonshot," an initiative to build a dense server product around ARM and x86 cores. Partners like HP, Canonical, and Red Hat were also on hand to take software and servers. And ARM also noted that 2014 will be the year that Android starts to seriously make an effort in 64-bit eveolution. Benchmark... Read more...
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