Items tagged with ARM

Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa processor is the first eight-core chip for smartphones, but it's always been a little deceiving to refer to it as a true eight-core part. That's because not all eight cores fire up at the same time. Instead, the more powerful quad-core ARM Cortex A15 cores handle CPU intensive tasks while the less powerful (and more battery efficient) quad-core ARM Cortex A7 cores tackle less intensive chores, but never at the same time. That's about to change. Taking a big step towards true eight-core processing, Samsung announced its Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution for Exynos 5 Octa to fully maximize the benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE technology. "It's usually assumed that... Read more...
The likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become the land where dreams are born (or are crushed), and yet another intrepid group of techies-come-entrepreneurs is looking to raise money via crowdfunding. Flowton Technologies is a group that makes a “natural interface” controller for the home that allows users to control things with voice and gesture, and they need $150,000 to get from prototype to production. With the Flowton Controller, you’ll be able to walk into your house, say “I’m home”, and turn the lights on; control your TV with gestures in the air; adjust the thermostat without leaving the couch or using any other device; and more. It’s akin... Read more...
Intel announced a pair of new products today designed to boost data center efficiency, shrink footprints, and allow for faster deployments. The first are new microservers based on the C2000 (codename: Avoton) Atom architecture. We've discussed the Bay Trail Atom core several times and Intel's plans for the technology in the mobile space, but moving the hardware into data centers is a key component of Intel's microserver strategy. Based on what we know of Bay Trail/Avoton, we expect it will offer significantly improved performance over existing S1200 Atom servers, thanks to multiple microarchitechtural improvements and the integration of a quad-core processor rather than dual-core + Hyper-Threading.... Read more...
A company called AIO Robotics announced that it will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on September 4th to raise money for a 3D printer that also offers 3D “copying” (i.e., 3D scanning), and 3D faxing. (Yes, 3D faxing, as in you could “fax” someone a 3D file that would automatically print on their 3D printer. The use case on that seems quite narrow, although we suppose that if it’s perfected, it could have some benefit over time.) The printer may be given the name “Zeus”. More notable features of this prototype include that it will run on its own ARM-based onboard computer that you can navigate with a 7-inch touchscreen. Thus, it wouldn’t need... Read more...
Nvidia posted its earnings for the second quarter of 2013 (Q2 of fiscal year 2014 by the company's reckoning) and the results are relatively great. The company posted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.16, beating analyst expectations by three cents, with total revenue of $977 million. While that's still a decrease of 6.6% compared to last year, it's a mitigated decrease in line with Intel's sales decline, as opposed to AMD, which saw revenue fall by 18% year on year. Strong gross margin of 55.8% (up 4% year-on-year), new GPU launches, and sustained Quadro demand all helped anchor revenue. Tesla revenue surged in particular; up 127.5% year-on-year, while Quadro recorded a 14.3% gain. Consumer GPU... Read more...
Nvidia is showing off a bit more of the capabilities of its upcoming Kepler-based mobile GPU at SIGGRAPH this week, and the next-generation chip should be a quantum leap over what Nvidia is shipping currently. Then again, that's scarcely difficult -- Tegra 4 is based on 2005-era graphics hardware with some L2 cache and a few feature enhancements here and there. It doesn't support CUDA, DirectX 11, OpenCL, OpenGL ES 3.0, and it while it packs far more pixel shader and vertex pipelines than Tegra 3 offered, it was disappointing to those of us that hoped to see a Kepler-based design this generation. Tegra 5 supposedly fixes all this. The next-generation core will offer cutting-edge support for all... Read more...
Intel unveiled a number of new data center initiatives this week as part of its broad product strategy to redefine some of its market goals. In the past, Intel's efforts in this area have boiled down to giving customers more of what they wanted, where "more" was defined as higher clock speeds or more processing cores. That's not to imply that Intel didn't do a great deal of work on software optimization, compiler tools, or CPU fabric design -- it absolutely did -- but the pitches used to be simpler, and more hardware-focused. That's changing slowly, thanks to the growing difficulty of improving microprocessors at a rapid pace (on the one hand) and the popularity of low-power solutions on the... Read more...
Samsung announced the next generation of its Exynos processors with the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chip, which boasts even more CPU and graphics processing power than previous editions. In fact, Samsung says that the new chip offers 20% better CPU processing and double the graphics firepower of any other Exynos 5 Octa. The Exynos 5 Octa uses four ARM Cortex-A15 (1.8GHz) and four Cortex-A7 (1.3GHz) processors in a big.LITTLE setup as well as ARM Mali-T628 MP6 graphics. It also features 14.9GBps memory bandwidth and 933MHz dual-channel LPDDR3 and supports 1080p HD video recording and playback at 60 FPS. And of course, power efficiency is at the forefront of the design. "Demand for richer graphic experiences... Read more...
ARM this week announced that it's inked a multi-year contract with Oracle to further optimize the existing Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) for ARM 32-bit platforms and also to add Java SE support for ARMv8 64-bit platforms. The deal will benefit enterprise and embedded markets, including server and network infrastructures, as well as emerging machine-to-machine (M2M) sectors like industrial control, factory automation, and single-board computers. "The long-standing relationship between ARM and Oracle has enabled our mutual technologies to be deployed across a broad spectrum of products and applications," commented Henrik Stahl, vice president, Java Product Management, Oracle. "By working... Read more...
Late last month, the Wall Street Journal leaked news of a partnership with TSMC, in an agreement that put a formal signature on what sources have previously implied was years of behind-the-scenes collaboration. Apple has explored its options with foundry partners that aren't Samsung for several years as its relationship with that company has grown sour. Last year, Apple reportedly attempted to buy a significant stake in a particular fab for a billion dollars, but CEO Morris Chang rebuffed the idea (or at least, the price tag), saying that TSMC preferred to retain flexibility and control of its own technology roadmap. Now there are reports that Apple is considering a similar alliance with GlobalFoundries,... Read more...
Just yesterday, we addressed the dubious claim that Intel's Clover Trail+ low power mobile processors had somehow seized a massive lead over ARM's products and we noted some of the suspicious discrepancies in the popular AnTuTu benchmark. It turns out that the situation is far shadier than we initially thought. The latest benchmark version isn't just tilted to favor Intel -- it seems to flat-out cheat to accomplish it. Anandtech forum user Exophase went digging into the benchmark source code to determine why the latest version showed such one-sided gains in favor of x86 processors. AnTuTu is basically nBench, a mid-1990s benchmark that was compiled by the now-defunct Byte magazine. The new 3.3... Read more...
A few weeks ago, the analyst company ABI Research published a report claiming that Intel's new CloverTrail+ platform (dual-core Medfield) for smartphones was significantly faster and more power efficient than anything ARM's various partners were shipping. If you follow the smartphone market, that was a very surprising claim. Medfield was a decent midrange platform when it launched in 2012, but Intel made it clear that it's goal for Medfield was to compete with other platforms in its division -- not seize the performance crown outright. The dual-core / quad-thread CloverTrail+ has improved on Medfield's performance, but it's still based on 2008-era microprocessor technology. Qualcomm, Samsung,... Read more...
If you thought today's mobile devices were fast, wait until you see what ARM has up its sleeve for next year. Chip makers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and GlobalFoundries have both let it be known that they're planning to build 3GHz ARM processor sometime in 2014, which will inevitably end up in System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms for smartphones and tablets. The fastest ARM chip currently available is 2.3GHz, though the majority of high-end parts are in the neighborhood of 1.6GHz, such as what's found in Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 handset. By bumping the clockspeed to 3GHz, ARM is sending a clear message to rivals Intel and AMD that it doesn't plan on conceding the mobile market,... Read more...
big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a given frequency. Eight years ago, that stopped being true. Tighter process geometries still pack more transistors per square millimeter, but the improvements to power consumption and maximum frequency have been falling every single node. Rising defect densities have already created a situation where -- for the first time ever -- 20nm chips won't be cheaper than the 28nm processors they're supposed to replace.... Read more...
In Part I of this series, we discussed ARM's business model and how it works with its various partners as compared to Intel. Today, we're diving into a specific technology that ARM believes will allow it to differentiate its products and offer superior performance to Santa Clara and the upcoming 22nm Bay Trail. big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a given frequency. Eight years ago, that stopped being true. Tighter process geometries still pack more... Read more...
When news broke earlier this week that Apple had finally inked a deal with TSMC to produce processors with the company beginning in 2014, the first round of chatter was on what this might mean for Samsung. Apple, after all, has been by far Samsung's single largest customer. With that topic out of the way, talk has turned to Intel. Once again, the tired rumor that Intel walked away from the manufacturing equivalent of Cibola is being floated across the Internet. At first glance, it makes sense. Intel currently enjoys a hefty lead over every other country in terms of its processor technology. The company has admitted that its fab utilization is as low as 50%, which may be a record. With PC demand... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve alongside it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel... ARMs Race: Licensing vs. Manufacturing In Mobile... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve along side it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel.   ARM's Licensing and Design Model Most readers are aware that ARM has a very different business model than Intel. Specifically, ARM licenses a wide range of technologies in a vast number of markets. The majority of... Read more...
For the last 20 years, NVIDIA has developed and used its own graphics IP in-house. While the company engaged in several prominent cross-licensing deals with companies like Intel, those deals never resulted in an Intel-branded graphics card or an equivalent product from another company. Today, that changes -- NVIDIA has announced that henceforth, it will license its graphics designs to other companies. In a blog post today, company spokesperson David Shannon writes: "our next step is to license our GPU cores and visual computing patent portfolio to device manufacturers to serve the needs of a large piece of the market... We’ll start by licensing the GPU core based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture,... Read more...
Bolstered by the recent mad dash by consumers and manufacturers alike towards mobile computing, truly ARM has become too large to ignore. ARM has benefited the most from mobile device sales, proving that it's a capable architecture and a worthy competitor to x86 silicon, so it shouldn't come as a shock that NVIDIA equipped its CUDA 5.5 Release Candidate (RC) with ARM support. CUDA 5.5 is the first version of the parallel computing platform and programming language to play nice with ARM, meaning it natively supports GPU-accelerated computing on systems built around ARM chips. It will also make it easier and faster for developers to port applications over. Other than ARM support, CUDA 5.5 brings... Read more...
Intel is making a play for a bigger chunk of the mobile market, and although ARM says that it’s a generation ahead of Intel’s Atom (on smartphones, at least), Intel showed off its 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture and new Atom (Bay Trail) tablet platform and demonstrated a substantial generational performance increase. (Hit up our coverage of Silvermont/Bay Trail here.) Clover Trail and Clover Trail+ aren’t even a year old yet, but Bay Trail, which Intel says will be in consumer devices by the end of the year, blows them out of the water in terms of performance. In a live demo hosted by Intel’s Hermann Eul Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager of Mobile & Communications... Read more...
While Intel is the king of the PC, competitor ARM is arguably the king of mobile, and the latter is apparently further securing its crown with a new optimized IP solution that’s designed for use in midrange mobile devices. ARM executives went so far as to tell TechHive that their offerings are a generation ahead of Intel’s. Assuming that’s true, it’s especially bad news for Intel because the chipmaker just launched its new 22nm Atom solution. ARM’s latest consists of an a Cortex-A12 processor with a Mali-T622 GPU and a Mali -V500 (which is a multi-core video solution that, among other things, fast encoding/decoding to better handle higher-resolution content). ARM's... Read more...
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