Items tagged with ARM

Samsung is about to raise the stakes in the smartphone wars as it gets ready to detail the first mobile applications processor built around ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. Big.LITTLE is essentially an expansion of the "4-Plus-1" core technology used in NVIDIA's ARM-based Tegra 3 SoC, which is designed to deliver quad-core performance when needed and battery-saving single-core performance the rest of the time. According to EETimes, Samsung plans to talk about an upcoming 8-core chip at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February. Clearly based on ARM's big.LITTLE concept, Samsung's chip will be a 28nm SoC with a pair of quad-core clusters. One of those clusters is clocked at 1.8GHz,... Read more...
It's been more than seven years since Apple began putting Intel inside its systems, and that relationship might be coming to end. Rumors are running rampant on the web this morning that Apple is seriously considering embracing ARM for its Mac lineup, with a version of the chip that it's already using in its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Citing "three people with knowledge" of the situation, Bloomberg says Apple engineers are fairly confident the Cupertino company will port its mobile device chips over to its desktop and laptop lines, the only unknown is when it will happen. If that's indeed the case, it would be a bold move for Apple. This isn't simply a matter of switching from one chip... Read more...
One of the biggest benefactors of the mobile device revolution that's taking place right before our very eyes is ARM, which licenses its technology to a number of players, like NVIDIA and Qualcomm (to name just two). If you own a smartphone or tablet, there's a good chance it's rocking ARM-based hardware inside. As a result, ARM is sitting on a record amount of cash and the highest stock price in more than a decade. Shares of ARM shot up this month to the highest they've been since 2000, as investors reacted positively when the company posted record quarterly revenue two weeks ago. In addition, ARM stated that its backlog of orders has never been higher than what it is right now. Sitting on a... Read more...
AMD and ARM are leveraging the former’s acquisition of SeaMicro to develop ARM-based servers, and now there’s a concerted effort to develop a software ecosystem for the platform, driven a slew of industry leaders. Companies including AMD, AppliedMicro, Calxeda, Canonical, Cavium, Facebook, HP, Marvell and Red Hat are joining forces with ARM, HiSilicon, Samsung and ST-Ericsson to form the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), which will undertake the challenge. The group will be working to improve time-to-market acceleration, reduce R&D costs, and share information on differentiated systems to help bring lower-power hyperscale servers to market. The hope is that this technology will cut... Read more...
ARM debuted its new 64-bit microarchitecture today and announced the upcoming launch of a new set of Cortex processors, due in 2014. The two new chips, dubbed the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57, are the most advanced CPUs the British company has ever designed, and are integral to AMD's plans to drive dense server applications beginning in 2014. When AMD designed x86-64, its engineers took the opportunity to remove some cruft from the venerable IA-32 standard and cleaned up the implementation while maintaining backward compatibility. With ARMv8, ARM has done something similar. The ARMv7 uarch was designed to scale across three different markets with very different needs as far as power consumption... Read more...
AMD CEO Rory Read has announced that the company intends to develop dense computing platforms based on the 64-bit ARM architecture today. This is the second major collaboration between AMD and ARM; Sunnyvale announced earlier this year that it would integrate an ARM core to provide additional hardware-level security on future APUs. The meat of AMD's announcement today is that it's going to leverage the SeaMicro acquisition of earlier this year to ensure it has a platform for its own products. SeaMicro's Freedom Fabric virtualizes a great deal of technology that's normally built into hardware on a typical motherboard and reportedly saves a great deal of power and improves server density by doing... Read more...
After its conference call last week, AMD is jonesing for some positive news to toss investors and is planning a major announcement on Monday to that effect. Rumor suggests that a number of statements may be coming down the pipe, including the scope of the company's layoffs, new parts based on Piledriver Opterons, and possibly an ARM server announcement. The latter would be courtesy of AMD's investment in SeaMicro. SeaMicro built its business on ultra-low power servers, and the first 64-bit ARMv8 silicon is expected in the very near future, but there's always a significant lag between chip announcements and actual shipping products. Even if AMD announces Monday, it'd be surprising to see a core... Read more...
One of the questions that's been kicked around since Microsoft debuted Surface last summer is how much Redmond would charge for the systems. Rumors have ranged from the ridiculously low ($299) to $1200 or more. Microsoft briefly posted prices on its own store, and while the numbers and listings have been pulled, the price targets were extremely reasonable. They've also been confirmed by a handful of journalists who attended a Microsoft early briefing. The tablet version of Surface will debut at $499 for a 32GB tablet running Windows RT (that's the second-class ARM flavor). The Touch Cover keyboard Microsoft invented for the system will go for $599; with a premium 64GB configuration for $699.... Read more...
AMD is launching its first tablet-optimized APU today, in a bid to challenge Intel's de facto dominance of the Windows 8 tablet market. Dubbed Hondo, the new Z-60 draws less power than any Brazos-based part AMD has launched before. Some of you may remember that AMD launched a tablet processor last year, but the Z-01 -- codenamed Desna -- was an ordinary Brazos core that binned well enough to run within a lower power envelope. It was more a proof-of-concept chip, meant to demonstrate that AMD could, and would, compete in the tablet market. Hondo, in contrast, is a new spin on the original Brazos design. AMD took its first-generation APU and removed all the I/O blocks that a tablet wouldn't need,... Read more...
The backlash against Windows 8 from various developers continues, but this time the creator in question isn't just expressing discontent. Notch, the developer behind smash hit Minecraft, a game that's torn up sales charts on both the Xbox and PC, has declared that he won't be working with Microsoft to certify Mincraft for Windows 8. Yesterday, Notch sent the following tweets: Note that this doesn't mean Minecraft won't run on Windows 8. The certification process in question is Microsoft's mandatory rules for submitting content to the Windows game store. In order to be listed there, an application must be Metro-compatible and conform to a laundry list of other conditions. Notch's refusal means... Read more...
It's no secret there's no love lost between Apple and Samsung. The former sued the latter for patent infringement and recently won a billion dollar verdict, and Samsung, which will undoubtedly appeal, has been lobbing humor grenades at its foe, making fun of Apple customers in an ad spot for the Galaxy S III. And yet despite all the bad blood that exists between these two friends, you'll still find Samsung silicon inside the newly released iPhone 5. Say what? You read that right, and if you've been following the geekier side of the mobile scene for some time, this is hardly shocking. Samsung built the ARM-based A5 processor found in the iPhone 4S, as well as the A5X chip powering Apple's third... Read more...
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...
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