SAN JOSE, Calif. - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) has licensed SMSC's Inter-Chip Connectivity (ICC) technology, a low power variant of the 480 Mbit/s USB 2.0 standard geared for chip-to-chip links.
Under its ICC license with SMSC, AMD can develop devices that are designed to be compliant with the HSIC specification for USB 2.0 host applications.
ICC enables the USB 2.0 protocol to be delivered over short distances, consuming a fraction of the power of a traditional USB 2.0 analog interface while retaining 100 percent software compatibility with an analog USB 2.0 connection.
Qualcomm Inc. and one other ARM-based mobile SoC vendor have taken licenses to SMSC's ICC technology. The news comes at a time when the MIPI Alliance, an ad hoc group developing mobile chip interfaces, is months away from releasing a new spec that will upgrade an existing 200 Mbit/s link to hit data rates from 1 to 2.9 GHz. Mobile chip makers have broadly adopted the group's camera and display interfaces, but not the 200 Mbit/s interconnect about to get the upgrade.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.