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TSMC Sees HPC Driving Business
News & Analysis  
1/19/2018   Post a comment
TSMC says that high-performance computing, including demand for chips used in cryptocurrency mining, has replaced smartphones as the key driver of its business.
Meltdown, Spectre Forcing Intel Reboots
1/18/2018   Post a comment
Intel faces a tough hit this year dealing with growing concerns about the performance impacts from patches for Meltdown and Spectre.
MIPS Is Back, With An Eye on AI
News & Analysis  
1/18/2018   Post a comment
MIPS has returned to Santa Clara as an independent company, fresh with VC gold, and — it says — ready to hire.
Robocars: What We Saw in Vegas
News & Analysis  
1/17/2018   6 comments
CES didn’t give us all the answers. But here’s what we spotted as hot trends in robocars. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s an effort to report the stuff happening in Vegas that probably won’t stay in Vegas.
Cyber Attacks Continue to Succeed
1/15/2018   Post a comment
Spectre and Meltdown demonstrate weaknesses in current hardware cybersecurity that will force a huge paradigm shift within the semiconductor industry.
Voice and AI Explosion Rocks CES
News & Analysis  
1/15/2018   1 comment
Voice, connectivity and AI took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. These three building blocks will compose the holy trinity of consumer electronics devices that will drive the market in 2018 and further into the future.
Meltdown, Spectre Repeat Hard Security Lessons
News & Analysis  
1/11/2018   10 comments
The security vulnerabilities uncovered by Meltdown and Spectre are still being patched and raising performance and classic security issues.
Visteon Works with DNN Vanguard DeepScale
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1/9/2018   Post a comment
Tier one Visteon Corp. unveiled its first technology platform for autonomous driving solutions, which allows OEMs to mix and match sensors. Vestion also partners with a Calif.-startup DeepScale who offers the software components and fully trained CNN-based algorithms.
Intel Springs 'Vision-First' Robocar Plan
News & Analysis  
1/8/2018   1 comment
Intel’s CEO laid out its robocar strategy in his CES keynote, painting a picture of the industry already split into two factions: Intel/Mobileye on an evolutionary path versus Waymo, Uber, and others impatient to jump into the ride-hailing/fleet business.
AMD Updates GPU, CPU Road Maps
News & Analysis  
1/8/2018   2 comments
At CES, AMD gave first details of its plans for 12-nm CPUs and a 7-nm GPU and added six new desktop and notebook chips to its 2018 roadmap.
Nvidia Hails Uber with Robocar Platform
News & Analysis  
1/7/2018   Post a comment
Nvidia disclosed at CES that Uber selected Nvidia technology to power their self-driving fleets. The news puts the GPU giant at the forefront of the automated vehicle race as a supplier of AV brains.
NXP Does Robocars -- Without Qualcomm
News & Analysis  
1/5/2018   1 comment
With Qualcomm’s acquisition still pending, NXP Semiconductors’ automotive business unit kept a relatively low profile in 2017. That hiatus, however, will end with a modest bang come next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
AI Silicon Gets Mixed Report Card
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1/4/2018   Post a comment
A senior researcher at Baidu gave the latest crop of deep learning accelerators a mixed report card based on in-house tests.
8 Top Innovations of 2017
12/29/2017   3 comments
Here are my informal, subjective nominations for the top innovations of 2017—Spoiler alert: It was a very good year!
DARPA Takes Chip Route to ‘Unhackable’ Computers
News & Analysis  
12/21/2017   10 comments
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded $3.6 million to the University of Michigan to develop an unhackable computer microarchitecture.
AI Formats May Ease Neural Jitters
News & Analysis  
12/20/2017   6 comments
Khronos released a spec for bridging software frameworks that create neural networks and inference processors that run them.
Redpine Flexes ‘Lowest-Power’ Wireless MCU
News & Analysis  
12/12/2017   Post a comment
Redpine is rolling out the industry’s lowest-power wireless combo solution featuring advanced security with integrated Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, 802.15.4/ZigBee/Thread, for battery-operated IoT applications
With Alkaline Chemistry, Copper Could Be Forever
News & Analysis  
12/12/2017   3 comments
Aveni’s alkaline chemistry for building copper interconnects at and below the 5-nm node could realize IBM’s recent prediction that there will be no need to switch to cobalt or any other interconnect metal less conductive than copper.
National Security vs. Job Creation
12/8/2017   1 comment
In the U.S., CFIUS is bringing new levels of scrutiny to M&A’s, especially those involving foreign capital. But national security needs to be balanced with the benefits of investment capital coming into the country.
Snapdragon 845, ARM PCs Debut
News & Analysis  
12/7/2017   1 comment
Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 845 mobile SoC while Asus and HP showed notebook PCs using the existing 835 chip.
Intel’s EyeQ 5 vs. Nvidia’s Xavier: Wrong Debate
News & Analysis  
12/6/2017   2 comments
The specsmanship battle by Nvidia and Intel over AI chips reached a new high, when Intel CEO claimed EyeQ 5 “can deliver more than twice the deep-learning performance efficiency” than Xavier SoC. Nvidia called us and cried foul.
IBM Power 9 Servers Target AI
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12/5/2017   Post a comment
IBM announced its first servers to pack its Power 9 processor, targeting machine learning jobs with accelerators using new, fast interconnects.
U.S. Angles to Retake Supercomputer Lead
News & Analysis  
11/29/2017   5 comments
IBM, Intel, and AMD supercomputing platforms aim to beat China to exabyte computing, obsoleting the Top500’s distributed-memory version of the Linpack benchmarks in the process.
RISC-V Spins into Drives, AI
News & Analysis  
11/28/2017   5 comments
Western Digital and startup Esperanto tipped plans for storage and machine-learning chips using the open-source RISC-V architecture.
PA Semi, Apple ‘Interconnect’ at Startup
News & Analysis  
11/15/2017   1 comment
With a body of engineering experience at LSI, Cisco, SiByte, Broadcom, PA Semi and Apple, Shailendra Desai is confident of his knowledge in SoC designs and what needs to be done. He unveils Provino, an interconnect IP startup.
China Passes U.S. in Supercomputers
News & Analysis  
11/13/2017   7 comments
China is running more of the world’s Top 500 supercomputers, cranking out more overall performance than systems in the U.S. for the first time.
Samsung Shows EUV Design at ISSCC
News & Analysis  
11/13/2017   6 comments
Samsung will describe a 7nm SRAM cell made using EUV lithography at ISSCC amid advances in processors, sensors and specialty memories.
MediaTek Shifts To IoT
News & Analysis  
11/1/2017   6 comments
MediaTek, which has seen its share of the smartphone business plummet during the past two years, is turning to new products such as IoT chips to drive sales growth.
Architectures Battle for Deep Learning
10/31/2017   3 comments
Chip vendors implement new applications in CPUs. If the application is suitable for GPUs and DSPs, it may move to them next. Over time, companies develop ASICs and ASSPs. Is Deep learning is moving through the same sequence?
ARM Unveils New AI Group
News & Analysis  
10/26/2017   Post a comment
ARM created a machine learning group recently that plans accelerator cores as well as enhancements for CPU and GPU cores and software.
Apple Talks About Sole Sourcing from TSMC
News & Analysis  
10/24/2017   Post a comment
At its 30th anniversary celebration, TSMC hosted a forum of key customers including semiconductor CEOs and Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams. Williams provided a rare glimpse into TSMC’s role as the sole supplier of Apple’s A11 application processor.
NXP to Bridge MCU & AP with 'Crossovers'
News & Analysis  
10/24/2017   1 comment
To use an MCU or not (and to opt for an apps processor instead)? This is an eternal question for embedded system designers, and one that NXP Semiconductors hopes to answer by launching a new high-end MCU.
5 Ways To Navigate Fog IoT
10/23/2017   8 comments
As fog computing moves toward broad deployment, I offer some tips to those designing, connecting to and using fog-based systems.
Samsung Secures IoT Node-to-Cloud
News & Analysis  
10/18/2017   3 comments
Samsung announced security spanning end nodes, gateways, and cloud services for its ambitious Artik platform for the Internet of Things.
Elektrobit Targets ECU Overload in Cars
News & Analysis  
10/18/2017   1 comment
While the automotive industry today faces many challenges, two stand out: How do automakers deal with the proliferation of codes, software and data? Can conventional ECUs – presumably hundreds already packed into a single vehicle – handle this digital mob scene?
NXP Readying ‘Whole Vehicle’ Platform
News & Analysis  
10/16/2017   Post a comment
NXP Semiconductors announced a new automotive processing platform, designed for OEMs and tier ones to maximize re-use of codes, software and common capabilities across vehicle domains, applications and SoCs.
Nvidia Outpaces Intel in Robo-car Race
News & Analysis  
10/11/2017   3 comments
Nvidia pushed computational performance for autonomous cars to a new level by unveiling a new member of its Drive PX family, codenamed Pegasus. At 320 TOPS, has Pegasus’ computational performance literally blows Nvidia’s competitors out of the water?
MIPS: Underdog or Dead Horse?
9/27/2017   16 comments
MIPS still has a revenue stream. It’s got multi-threading ARM doesn't have. To think of the semiconductor industry losing the only legitimate alternative CPU IP to ARM would be "a real shame," some say.
IPhone 8 Chips Come into View
News & Analysis  
9/26/2017   Post a comment
Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus sports an A11 processor 30% smaller than in the A10 in the iPhone 7, according to a TechInsights teardown of it and other chips.
Intel Refreshes Desktop CPUs
News & Analysis  
9/26/2017   1 comment
Intel rolled out six new desktop processors, boosting CPU frequency at the high end and adding more x86 cores elsewhere.
Will Imagination Deals Deliver MIPS to China?
News & Analysis  
9/25/2017   2 comments
Imagination will sell itself to Canyon Bridge, while simultaneously agreeing to sell MIPS to Tallwood VC. Has Imagination structured both deals in such a way to let Canyon Bridge –China’s government-backed buyout – have access to MIPS CPU IP?
7 Views of Globalfoundries in 2017
9/21/2017   17 comments
Globalfoundries announced 12-nm FinFET and RF-SOI processes as part of an annual update on its road map where 7-nm EUV and FD-SOI are top highlights.
DDR5 Runs in Rambus’ Labs
News & Analysis  
9/20/2017   4 comments
Rambus has working chips in the lab for DDR5, the next-generation DRAM bus, while the industry debates the road ahead for memory in servers.
Left Unsaid in Waymo-Intel Deal
9/19/2017   19 comments
Left unsaid in the announcement is what this new partnership entails, and on whose chip Waymo is running the heavy-duty deep-learning algorithms.
TSMC Updates its Silicon Menu
News & Analysis  
9/14/2017   8 comments
TSMC added process and packaging variants to its broad foundry portfolio, but one analyst said that some updated results were below projections that it made six months ago.
iPhone X Use Which Sensors For Face ID?
News & Analysis  
9/13/2017   9 comments
A host of sensors inside iPhone X are responsible for 3D sensing necessary for Face ID -- including infrared camera, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, front camera and dot projector. So, where does ST fit in?
NXP Tackles V2X, Unveils 'Vision' Roadmap
News & Analysis  
9/12/2017   2 comments
NXP tackles V2X debate, unveils partnership with Hella Aglaia, and discusses its next-generation vision processor roadmap, all the while there is an elephant in the room – Qualcomm.
TMSC, ARM, Xilinx, Cadence Partner on 7-nm Process
News & Analysis  
9/11/2017   1 comment
Xilinx, ARM, Cadence, and TSMC have announced a partnership to build a test chip in 7-nm FinFET process technology for delivery next year that promises to speed data center applications.
Funny Money is an Old Tech Joke
9/8/2017   6 comments
Strange transactions among some tech giants are getting a little less scrutiny than I would like.
Apple vs Qualcomm: Who Extorted Whom?
News & Analysis  
9/6/2017   2 comments
A dispute between Apple and Qualcomm is multi-layered, its facets all loosely connected. Among the more under-reported issues is the complex contractual relationship between the biggest customer in the smartphone market and the most dominant smartphone chip supplier.
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Aloha from EEWeb
Max Maxfield
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Just a few minutes ago as I pen these words, I posted this blog about this month's Cartoon Punchline Competition over on