Items tagged with ARM

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...
We’re still not exactly sure what that Android Batman had to do with ASUS’ “We Transform” teaser campaign and event, but the company did unveil the new ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity running Tegra 4, NVIDIA’s latest and greatest mobile processor. The Transformer Pad Infinity offers a 10.1-inch LED-backlit IPS+ display with an impressive resolution of 2560x1600, onboard SonicMaster audio, and a 254mm chiclet-style QWERTY keyboard dock. The dock has its own additional battery as well as a multitouch pad, USB 3.0 port and SDXC card reader. It also sports 2GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, 5MP front- and 1.2MP rear-facing cameras, and dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth... Read more...
In sports, it's said that a playoff series doesn't truly begin until a team wins a game on the opponent's home court. If the same philosophy applies to competition in the technology space, then consider it "Game on" in the mobile space, as Intel just won a battle in territory that's traditionally belonged to ARM. More specifically, it's being reported that Samsung is opting to have Intel processors inside a new version of one of its high-end Android tablets. And make no mistake, if true, this is a major win for a chip maker that, despite being on financially sound ground, has yet to port its prior success on the desktop over to the mobile world where it seems most devices are running on ARM hardware.... Read more...
There’s just something about smartwatches and Kickstarter, isn’t there? The latest smartwatch to whip up crowdsourced funds fast is the Agent Smartwatch, which is designed for fashion as well as function. The device is compatible with Android 2.3 and up, the iPhone 4S and newer, and Windows Phone 8 devices. Inside, it has a dual-processor design (a 120MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor and a secondary AVR co-processor), a 1.28-inch display, Qi wireless charging capabilities, and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE. It’s also waterproof and has a vibration motor, 3D accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor. The battery should last 7 days under normal use and 30 days when used only as a watch. The... Read more...
Just days ago, the IDC reported that smartphone shipments outpaced those of feature phones for the first time, and although feature phones offer an extremely low-cost option for those needing basic mobile communication, it’s clear that more people are hungry for the amenities of smartphones. Fortunately, low-end smartphones are proliferating, and now MediaTek has developed a chip to help push performance on those devices up a notch with the MT6572 dual-core ARM SoC (Cortex A7, 1.2GHz). The MT6572 is built with the 28nm process technology and features integrated WiFi, FM, GPS, and Bluetooth. On the graphics side, MediaTek included 3D graphics and support for HD 720p video, a 5MP camera,... Read more...
It’s been six years since Apple unveiled the original iPhone. In tech time, that’s an eon, and the device has been discontinued for a while now in favor of several generations of newer, better models. Of course, a lot of folks use old iPhones, whether it’s a hand-me-down to the kids or just someone in need of a basic smartphone who doesn’t want to spend any money on a new one. However, according to document that 9to5 Mac snagged, Apple is relegating the original iPhone to “obsolete” status, which puts an exclamation point on the end of the device’s usefulness. Usually, a device that age would fall under Apple’s “vintage” status--devices... Read more...
AMD's upcoming Kabini SoC sits at the heart of the PlayStation 4, the next-generation Xbox 720 (unofficially), and is central to the company's tablet and laptop plans for 2013. It's also a key component of Sunnyvale's new embedded strategy, which is part of what makes the new crop of embedded products AMD announced today rather interesting. The new SoCs run the gamut from 9W - 25W and the majority are quad core. The new embedded chips are as follows: GX-420CA (quad-core, 2.0GHz, Radeon 8400E @ 600MHz, 25W TDP) GX-415GA (quad-core, 1.5GHz, Radeon 8330E @ 500MHz, 15W TDP) GX-217GA (dual-core, 1.65GHz, Radeon 8280E @ 450MHz, 15W TDP) GX-210HA (dual-core, 1.0GHz, Radeon 8210E @ 300MHz, 9W TDP) GX-416RA... Read more...
Eager for a bit of microprocessor news from someone other than AMD and Intel? Get ready, because ARM and TSMC are today announcing the first tape-out of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor on FinFET process technology. The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products. This is the first milestone in the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series on TSMC FinFET process technologies. The two companies cooperated in the implementation from RTL to tape-out in six months... Read more...
Surface RT tablet sales haven't exactly been through the roof. Out of the 1.5 million Surface tablet sales to date, a million of them belong to Surface RT, falling well short of Microsoft's expectations, assuming it's true that the Redmond outfit ordered 3 million Surface RT slates. Is Windows RT to blame? It's a bit too early to tell. The only thing we know for sure is that Microsoft is committed to sticking with the platform. Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem, explained to CNET during an interview why Microsoft is in this for the long haul. "It was a ton of work for us and we didn't do the work and endure the disruption for any reason... Read more...
Warren East, the current CEO of ARM Holdings, has announced that he'll step down from the CEO position as of July 1. His replacement, ARM's Simon Segars, is an engineer who worked on some of ARM's earlier processors before stepping up to become company president. East's decision to step down is a bit surprising; the ARM executive told Reuters that "After you've been doing it for 12 years you do get a bit tired... and think "Maybe that's a bit of a brake on the business and somebody else should have a go." East's own "go" was downright impressive. Twelve years ago, the company was one of a number of microcontroller developers. Today, its products power most of the world's smartphones and are poised... Read more...
When Microsoft announced that it would build an entirely separate version of Windows for ARM processors in 2011, it galvanized the entire computing industry. For decades, Windows and x86 had been synonymous terms, so this move to support alternative architectures was seen as a fundamental change in how Microsoft would approach future product development and software compatibility. Fast forward to the present day, and the future prospects for Windows RT are dimming fast. Samsung -- already having decided not to bring its Ativ RT tablet to the US due to low sales -- has now given notice that it won't sell the device in Germany, either. Windows RT sales have generally been lower than expected; Microsoft's... Read more...
Intel and Apple each have a problem that the other could solve. Although Intel is the king of PC processors, the mobile chip market is a much different story--there, the company has barely made a dent in what has become a very competitive environment. At the same time, Intel has invested billions in world-class fabrication facilities that operate at less than full capacity. Apple uses Samsung chips in its mobile devices, but the two companies have come to hate each other and have gone nuclear in court. (Remember that billion dollars Samsung now owes Apple? No love lost there.) One obvious solution to this problem is for Intel to start manufacturing processors for Apple products. In fact, Intel... Read more...
One of the coolest aspects of Linux is its ability to support hardware long before other OSes - and even well before consumers can even get their hands on the hardware. Take USB 3.0, for example, which hit the kernel months before the first products hit the market, in September of 2009. And then there's the SSD command TRIM, which was first launched to the kernel in December of 2008 - six months before Windows 7 introduced the same thing as standard. Of course, supporting something and actually having people be able to use it are two entirely different things. In the case of TRIM, the file system tools had to catch up, and the same was probably true for USB 3.0. Overall, this is common, but what's... Read more...
HP is officially back in the consumer tablet game with the announcement of the HP Slate 7, a 7-inch device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that’s designed for tight Google integration. Although the Slate 7 won’t be packing the Tegra 4 SoC that many had hoped, it’s doing alright with a 1.6GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The Slate 7 will also have 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage (which is expandable with the microSD card slot), 3MP rear- and VGA front-facing cameras, and microUSB. The 7-inch HFFS display panel will have a resolution of 1024x600, and the device will come in gray or red--an interesting departure in terms of color options for the industry. HP opted for built-in... Read more...
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