News Posts matching "ARM"

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TSMC 28 nm Capacity Ramp-Up Faster Than Older Processes

With launches of new-generation GPUs by NVIDIA and AMD, and new ARM application processor designs by various industry players, TSMC is under pressure to ramp up its production capacity for its new 28 nanometer note. DigiTimes research suggests that this ramp-up is going at a faster rate than older processes such as 40 nm and 65 nm nodes (when those were new). Digitimes Research analyst Nobunaga Chai claims that the 28 nm node started generating revenues in Q4, 2011, and sales ratio reached 5% in the following quarter. It is anticipated to see TSMC significantly ramp up its 28nm production capacity later in 2012, Chai believes.

Source: DigiTimes

ARM Announces Cortex-A15 Quad-Core Hard Macro

ARM today announced the availability of a high performance, power-optimized quad-core hard macro implementation of its flagship Cortex-A15 MPCore processor.

The ARM Cortex-A15 MP4 hard macro is designed to run at 2 GHz and delivers performance in excess of 20,000 DMIPS, while maintaining the power efficiency of the Cortex-A9 hard macro. The Cortex-A15 hard macro development is the result of the unique synergy arising from the combination of ARM Cortex processor IP, Artisan physical IP, CoreLink systems IP and ARM integration capabilities, and utilizes the TSMC 28HPM process.

Microsoft Reveals Main Windows 8 Editions

Crushing previous reports saying that Windows 8 would have up to nine editions, Microsoft has officially announced that its next Windows release, due in the second half of this year, will come in three main flavors, two for x86 systems - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, and one for ARM-based devices - Windows 8 RT.

The 'standard' x86 Windows 8 SKU will target consumer-grade PCs and tablets and will allow upgrading from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium. Windows 8 Pro, which is aimed towards tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, includes everything in the non-Pro SKU and adds goodies like BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, Boot from VHD, Hyper-V, Encrypting File System, Group Policy and Remote Desktop (host). This edition also supports upgrades from Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate.

ARM Expands Processor Optimization Packs for TSMC 40 nm and 28 nm Process Variants

ARM today announced the availability of a significantly expanded lineup of ARM Processor Optimization Pack (POP) solutions for TSMC 40 nm and 28 nm process technologies targeting a range of ARM Cortex processors. At least nine new POP configurations targeting Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 processor cores will be released. An essential element of ARM's comprehensive implementation strategy, POPs enable ARM partners to quickly close timing of single-, dual- and quad-core implementations across a broad envelope of power, performance and area optimization points. This solution reduces risk and improves time-to-market in the development of Cortex processor-based Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) with partners achieving competitive results in as little as six weeks.

At the leading-edge 28 nm HPM (high performance for mobile) and 28 nm HP (high performance) process variants, ARM is launching new POPs for the Cortex-A9 core as well as the first POPs for ARM's newest Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 processors. Since the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 cores are used in tandem as ARM's big.LITTLE energy-efficient processing solution, the addition of POPs for both cores assures a complete solution for big.LITTLE implementations. ARM's lead licensee for the Cortex-A15 POP for TSMC 28 nm HPM is progressing toward the tape out of its first chip in the coming months.

Valve Recruiting Electronics Engineer for Developing Homegrown Hardware

It's no news that Valve is working on its own gaming hardware platform so far referred to as Steambox, but its talk has been mostly based on rumors and anecdotal information. The Steambox theory, and the theory that Valve is working on hardware, got cemented by a new job vacancy posted by Valve, which calls for experienced electronics engineers. The posting reads "For years Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we're developing hardware to enhance those experiences."

The skillset asked for in the posting fills a lot of holes in the Steambox theory. It requires engineers to be proficient with prototyping, system-level design, embedded systems, high-speed serial interfaces, circuit simulation, etc., with a much more juicy "recommended" skillset requirement covering areas such as board layout, ARM/x86 system design, power/thermal management, RF and antennas, etc., basically everything a company out to design a game console would seek in its new engineers. Find the posting here, under "Electronics Engineer."Source: Engadget

Intel Plans Low Power Xeon Processors for Micro-Servers This Quarter, Centerton in 2H

Intel is planning to launch a line of low-power Xeon processors in Q2-2012, which will be the company's first Xeon processors built on the 22 nm fab process, with 3D transistors. It is quite likely that these chips are built in the LGA1155 package, however Intel is only releasing low-power variants, which ensures performance-segment Xeon E3-1200 family isn't disturbed, and more importantly, it doesn't have to pull out the best bins of its 22 nm Ivy Bridge silicon just yet (for use in higher clock-speed Xeon parts).

Intel has another emerging problem. With the advent of "micro-servers" (low power independent servers in high-density data-centers, which provide better cost-performance and manageability than virtual servers), ARM processor architecture is making inroads to the enterprise computing market. Intel's answer to that is refining the same silicon that goes into making low-power Atom processors, and making it enterprise-grade. This part is codenamed "Centerton", and Intel expects an entire micro-server platform based on these chips to be out in the second half of 2012.

Source: C|Net

TSMC Faces Acute 28 nm Capacity Shortage

Taiwan's premier semiconductor foundry, TSMC, is reportedly facing an acute shortage in 28 nm manufacturing capacity. This shortage is expected to relax in Q3, 2012, according to sources. Qualcomm, AMD, and NVIDIA are the three biggest patrons of the 28 nm process, Qualcomm uses it to manufacture performance ARM application processors, while AMD and NVIDIA use it for their new generation GPUs. Although launched at the very end of Q4 2011, AMD's HD 7970 shipped a relatively small volume due to low manufacturing capacity. NVIDIA launched only two 28 nm GPUs, the GTX 680, and GT 640M, and has had to delay launch of more models, due to this reason, according to source. Qualcomm, meanwhile, shifted some of its orders to UMC.

Source: DigiTimes

Raspberry Pi Faces Another Hurdle: CE Mark Requirement

It looks like troubles have queued up for Raspberry Pi, the $25 credit card-sized wonder hobby-computer, which officially started shipping in late-February. After shipping delays and a manufacturing setback caused due to erroneous selection of RJ-45 Ethernet jacks, the hobby-kit faces a new problem. As a high-tech consumer-electronics product, it requires the CE (Conformité Européenne) mark, which denotes compliance with European standards. It is similar in function to the FCC mark that's mandatory for consumer electronics merchandise sold in the United States. The Raspberry Pi team was under the impression that it didn't need the CE mark to ship samples (read: small quantities) of its product, until its big product launch slated for later this year.

Source: The Telegraph

Wintel Tablets to Start at $599, Enjoy Higher Adoption Than WoA Tablets

Wintel (slang for Windows+Intel architecture) tablets, which launch along with Microsoft's latest Windows 8 operating system, which grab a greater market-share than WoA (Windows on ARM) tablets by the end of 2012, DigiTimes research predicts. This, despite the fact that the x86 and ARM versions of the operating system will be released simultaneously. PC majors such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, ASUStek and Toshiba, have all pledged 1-3 models of Wintel tablets by the end of 2012. Although still an emerging market-segment, tablets will see a clash between x86 and ARM architectures, as they are wooing for the same exact class of devices for the first time in computing history. Intel has made a lot of progress in miniaturizing the Atom processor, while led by the likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA, ARM processors are getting stronger.

Sources: DigiTimes, PCLaunches

Microsoft To Launch $100 Xbox Lite Before Moving to Durango

Shortly before launching its next-generation game console (codenamed "Durango"), Microsoft is said to be working on a new product (SKU, rather), called Xbox Lite. This new console will cost as little as $100. According to a source, Xbox Lite will be ARM-based, and scheduled for "late 2013 which does Arcade-style games & all the current & future media apps with Kinect (with near-mode)." What makes the rumor plausible is that ARM chips advancing faster than ever, and so is the ecosystem of casual games on Xbox Live Arcade, which don't have very high graphical detail (and hence, aren't resource-heavy). Many of these casual games, along with Kinect-enabled games, could make up the ecosystem around Xbox Lite.

Source: BGR
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