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Arm Announces new IP Portfolio with Cortex-A78 CPU

During this unprecedented global health crisis, we have experienced rapid societal changes in how we interact with and rely on technology to connect, aid, and support us. As a result of this we are increasingly living our lives on our smartphones, which have been essential in helping feed our families through application-based grocery or meal delivery services, as well as virtually seeing our colleagues and loved ones daily. Without question, our Arm-based smartphones are the computing hub of our lives.

However, even before this increased reliance on our smartphones, there was already growing interest among users to explore the limits of what is possible. The combination of these factors with the convergence of 5G and AI, are generating greater demand for more performance and efficiency in the palm of our hands.
Arm Cortex-A78

MediaTek Unveils Dimensity 820 5G AI-ready SoC

MediaTek today announced the Dimensity 820 system-on-chip (SoC) which is optimized for premium user experiences. The Dimensity 820 delivers ultra-fast 5G speeds, and is feature-packed with MediaTek's latest multimedia, AI and imaging innovations.

"Our Dimensity 1000 is already powering impressive flagship 5G devices in a number of markets. With the new Dimensity 820, we're now making 5G much more accessible," said Dr. Yenchi Lee, Assistant General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit. "The Dimensity 820 stands out beyond competitors by offering four high-performance Arm Cortex-A76 cores at 2.60 GHz within its octa-core CPU, delivering superb performance and responsiveness, among its incredible AI, gaming and photography experiences."

Fujitsu Completes Delivery of Fugaku Supercomputer

Fujitsu has today officially completed the delivery of the Fugaku supercomputer to the Riken scientific research institute of Japan. This is a big accomplishment as the current COVID-19 pandemic has delayed many happenings in the industry. However, Fujitsu managed to play around that and deliver the supercomputer on time. The last of 400 racks needed for the Fugaku supercomputer was delivered today, on May 13th, as it was originally planned. The supercomputer is supposed to be fully operational starting on the physical year of 2021, where the installation and setup will be done before.

As a reminder, the Fugaku is an Arm-based supercomputer consisting out of 150 thousand A64FX CPUs. These CPUs are custom made processors by Fujitsu based on Arm v8.2 ISA, and they feature 48 cores built on TSMC 7 nm node and running above 2 GHz. Packing 8.786 billion transistors, this monster chips use HBM2 memory instead of a regular DDR memory interface. Recently, a prototype of the Fugaku supercomputer was submitted to the Top500 supercomputer list and it came on top for being the most energy-efficient of all, meaning that it will be as energy efficient as it will be fast. Speculations are that it will have around 400 PetaFlops of general compute power for Dual-Precision workloads, however, for the specific artificial intelligence applications, it should achieve ExaFLOP performance target.
K SuperComputer

Intel Apparently Reserving 28 W Ice Lake Mobile Chips for Apple, Removes Entries from ARK

The idea of an ARK is to preserve that which enters it; however, the legend on the basis of arks and their concept must've slipped Intel's internal memos. The company has de-listed a previously detailed Ice Lake mobile CPU from its database - the Core i7-1068G7 - which was a 28 W part available for system integrators to build machines around. That part was special, because it was - then - the only 28 W part listed for mobile Ice Lake, with the rest of the CPU lineup having configurable TDPs between 12 W and 25 W - thus having a lesser maximum theoretical performance due to reduced TDP.

In its stead, Intel has entered a new, Core i7-1068NG7 (yes, the same naming with an extra N), which places this as an Apple-exclusive CPU, according to the folks over at Notebookcheck. Besides this entry, Intel has also listed the i5-1038NG7, which also features a 28 W TDP that's higher than the other available CPUs for other system integrators. If this is true, then Intel is reserving its cream-of-the-crop CPUs for Apple. Since the California-based company wouldn't be using parts with worse thermal and power consumption figures than what's available for others, the only answer to how these products came to being is that they are binned CPUs with better than average characteristics. Intel could be doing this to keep Apple happy even as the California-based company is well on its way to eschew its dependence on x86 with a fully internally-developed ARM CPU.

Arm Offers Startups Zero-cost Access to its IP Portfolio

Arm today announced the launch of Arm Flexible Access for Startups, an extension of its already highly successful Flexible Access program. This new initiative offers early-stage silicon startups zero-cost access to a huge range of Arm's leading IP, along with global support and training resources, enabling them to start on their journey to commercial silicon and business scale.

"In today's challenging business landscape, enabling innovation is critical - now more than ever, startups with brilliant ideas need the fastest, most trusted route to success and scale," said Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm. "Arm Flexible Access for Startups offers new silicon entrants a faster, more cost-efficient path to working prototypes, resulting in strengthened investor confidence for future funding."
Arm Chip

Newbie Ventilator Manufacturers Turn to Raspberry Pi as the Brains of Their Life-saving Devices

The unprecedented demand for ventilators in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, has pushed many firms from various industries to re-tool their production-lines to make them. A big chunk of these makeshift ventilator manufacturers are from the automobile and aerospace industries. A ventilator isn't as simple a device as it sounds. It's not a mechanized ambu bag. It is an intelligent device that assists in respiration by precisely combining oxygen and ambient air specific to the patient's needs, and assists them in expiration. This requires a microprocessor-based control. Established biomedical equipment manufacturers use their own ASIC-based electronics for their ventilators; but the likes of General Motors don't have time to develop custom electronics. Enter the immensely versatile Raspberry Pi.

By leveraging Arm-based SBCs (single-board computers) such as Raspberry Pi, with its plethora of modern- and legacy I/O options, makeshift ventilator manufacturers are able to quickly design functional devices. All they have to do is write code for it. Even the cheapest $5 Pi Zero board with its GPIO interface suffices to run embedded Linux and code that runs the ventilator's hardware. Eben Upton, CEO and Founder of Raspberry Pi, says that demand for the Pi Zero is at an all-time high. The company manufactured over 192,000 units of the SBC in Q1-2020, and plans to scale up production to 250,000 per quarter, going forward. The Pi Zero features a Broadcom BCM2835 single-core Arm SoC and 512 MB of RAM, with a microSD slot for storage. That's plenty of brains to run a ventilator and save lives.
Raspberry Pi Zero

x86 Lacks Innovation, Arm is Catching up. Enough to Replace the Giant?

Intel's x86 processor architecture has been the dominant CPU instruction set for many decades, since IBM decided to put the Intel 8086 microprocessor into its first Personal Computer. Later, in 2006, Apple decided to replace their PowerPC based processors in Macintosh computers with Intel chips, too. This was the time when x86 became the only option for the masses to use and develop all their software on. While mobile phones and embedded devices are mostly Arm today, it is clear that x86 is still the dominant ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) for desktop computers today, with both Intel and AMD producing processors for it. Those processors are going inside millions of PCs that are used every day. Today I would like to share my thoughts on the demise of the x86 platform and how it might vanish in favor of the RISC-based Arm architecture.

Both AMD and Intel as producer, and millions of companies as consumer, have invested heavily in the x86 architecture, so why would x86 ever go extinct if "it just works"? The answer is that it doesn't just work.

Apple ARM Based MacBooks and iMacs to come in 2021

Apple has been working on replacing Intel CPUs in its lineup of products for a while now, and the first batch of products to feature the new Arm-based CPUs should be coming soon. Having a completely custom CPU inside it's MacBook or an iMac device will allow Apple to overtake control of the performance and security of those devices, just like they did with their iPhone models. Apple has proved that its custom-built CPUs based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) can be very powerful and match Intel's best offerings, all while being much more efficient with a TDP of only a few Watts.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has started an "aggressive processor replacement strategy", which should give some results by the end of 2020, around Q4, or the beginning of 2021 when the first quarter arrives. According to Kuo, the approach of doing in-house design will result in not only tighter control of the system, but rather a financial benefit, as the custom processor will be 40% to 60% cheaper compared to current Intel CPU prices.
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro

Marvell Announces OCTEON TX2 Family of Multi-Core Infrastructure Processors

Marvell today announced OCTEON TX2, the latest family of infrastructure processors targeting a wide variety of wired and wireless networking equipment including switches, routers, secure gateways, firewall, network monitoring, 5G base stations, and smart network interface controllers (NICs). Massive increases in data traffic coupled with escalating requirements for end-to-end security are intensifying the need for highly scalable compute platforms with integrated workload-optimized hardware accelerators to meet performance, power and total cost of ownership requirements. Building on five generations of the industry's most scalable and widely adopted infrastructure processor platform, the OCTEON TX2 family is enabled by a broad software ecosystem including a feature-rich software development kit (SDK) and virtualization support, delivering a unique combination of performance and programmability. The OCTEON TX2 portfolio extends Marvell's industry-leading performance and scalability, delivering a 2.5x improvement over the previous generation and scaling up to 200 Gbps of packet processing throughput.

Microsoft Enables Hyper-V Support for Windows-on-ARM Devices

Microsoft is determined in its goal to move away from x86-64 dominance it had in the personal computer space for many decades. In the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19559, Microsoft has enabled Hyper-V support for ARM64 devices, such as Surface Pro X. Hyper-V is a Windows native hypervisor and it is Microsoft's virtualization technology that allows running other OSes on top of Windows. Being a low-overhead solution, it is more efficient than a virtual machine and allows for better performance of OS that is running on top of Windows.

With the Insider Preview Build 19559, Microsoft is enabling this feature on a Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise customers. It is important to note that by adding more features like this, Microsoft is expanding the software ecosystem of ARM64 devices, which should result in wider adoption of PCs like the Surface Pro X.

Europe Readies its First Prototype of Custom HPC Processor

European Processor Initiative (EPI) is a Europe's project to kickstart a homegrown development of custom processors tailored towards different usage models that the European Union might need. The first task of EPI is to create a custom processor for high-performance computing applications like machine learning, and the chip prototypes are already on their way. The EPI chairman of the board Jean-Marc Denis recently spoke to the Next Platform and confirmed some information regarding the processor design goals and the timeframe of launch.

Supposed to be manufactured on TSMC's 6 nm EUV (TSMC N6 EUV) technology, the EPI processor will tape-out at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, and it is going to be heterogeneous. That means that on its 2.5D die, many different IPs will be present. The processor will use a custom ARM CPU, based on a "Zeus" iteration of Neoverese server core, meant for general-purpose computation tasks like running the OS. When it comes to the special-purpose chips, EPI will incorporate a chip named Titan - a RISC-V based processor that uses vector and tensor processing units to compute AI tasks. The Titan will use every new standard for AI processing, including FP32, FP64, INT8, and bfloat16. The system will use HBM memory allocated to the Titan processor, have DDR5 links for the CPU, and feature PCIe 5.0 for the inner connection.

AWS Starts Designing 32-Core Arm Neoverse N1 CPU for Data Center

Amazon Web Services, a part of Amazon that is in charge of all things cloud, has announced plans to release 32 core CPU based on Arm Neoverse N1 microarchitecture that is designed to handle a diverse workload that today's cloud infrastructure needs. This new CPU should be the second iteration of AWS'es custom CPU based on the Arm architecture. First-generation AWS CPU was a processor called Graviton, which Amazon offered on-demand in the cloud.

The still-unnamed second-gen CPU will utilize a 7 nm manufacturing process if the Neoverce N1 core at its base is to be believed. Additionally, everything from the Neoverse line should translate to this next-gen CPU as well, meaning that there will be features like high frequency and high single-threaded performance, cache coherency, and interconnect fabric designed to connect special-purpose accelerators to the CPU complex. For reference, Arm's design of Neoverce N1 has a TDP of 105 W for the whole SoC and its packs 64 cores running at 3.1 GHz, delivering amazing power efficiency and high core count.

NVIDIA and Tech Leaders Team to Build GPU-Accelerated Arm Servers

NVIDIA today introduced a reference design platform that enables companies to quickly build GPU-accelerated Arm -based servers, driving a new era of high performance computing for a growing range of applications in science and industry.

Announced by NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang at the SC19 supercomputing conference, the reference design platform — consisting of hardware and software building blocks — responds to growing demand in the HPC community to harness a broader range of CPU architectures. It allows supercomputing centers, hyperscale-cloud operators and enterprises to combine the advantage of NVIDIA's accelerated computing platform with the latest Arm-based server platforms.

Microsoft Could Bring x86-64 App Emulation to Windows on ARM

According to the sources close to Neowin, Microsoft is expected to launch x86-64 (or x64 in short) emulation support for Windows on ARM (WoA) devices. Expected to arrive in Windows 10 21H1, or around 2020 for all the Windows Insiders, the new feature will enable a vast majority of apps made for Windows OS, currently built for x64 architecture, to run on ARM ISA and all Windows on ARM computers.

So far, only 32-bit x86 applications were able to be emulated, however, if these rumors are to be believed, many users of WoA devices should get a chance to run all of their favorite 64-bit software that was previously unavailable. The launch of this feature will boost the adoption of the WoA ecosystem with benefits reaching all existing laptop models, including Microsoft's newly launched Surface Pro X laptop that utilizes an ARM-based chip called SQ1 (customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor).

NVIDIA Announces Jetson Xavier NX, Smallest Supercomputer for AI at the Edge

NVIDIA today introduced Jetson Xavier NX, the world's smallest, most powerful AI supercomputer for robotic and embedded computing devices at the edge. With a compact form factor smaller than the size of a credit card, the energy-efficient Jetson Xavier NX module delivers server-class performance up to 21 TOPS for running modern AI workloads, and consumes as little as 10 watts of power.

Jetson Xavier NX opens the door for embedded edge computing devices that demand increased performance but are constrained by size, weight, power budgets or cost. These include small commercial robots, drones, intelligent high-resolution sensors for factory logistics and production lines, optical inspection, network video recorders, portable medical devices and other industrial IoT systems.

Samsung Shuts Down Its Custom CPU Design Group

According to the information obtained by Statesman, Samsung Electronics is shutting down its custom CPU design group within the company. Known for the designs of mobile SoCs like Exynos 9110, 9810 and 9820 just to name a few, it seems that there will be no more future developments of custom Exynos SoC for Samsung's mobile devices. Instead of designing its own cores, Samsung is now going to use ARM's reference A7x series of CPUs based on ARM v8 instruction set, with A76 or A77 being chosen as likely candidates for the high-performance workloads.

So far it is still unknown what will be inside new processors like the upcoming Exynos 9830 SoC, meant to power the next generation of mobile devices. But if things are like Samsung states, there should be reference ARM cores like A77 inside the new chip. Already announced chips like Exynos 990 are supposed to use a custom CPU core, while all future revisions of any new Exynos SoC will license a design IP from ARM. This decision is supposedly a by-product of being unable to compete with offers from Qualcomm, which offers faster "Snapdragon" SoCs. Samsung already uses the Snapdragon SoCs in its phones for the US and Chinese markets, while the rest of the world is getting an Exynos equivalent with the purchase of the same mobile device.

Terra Master Unveils the Cost-effective F2-210 2-bay NAS

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, including network attached storage and direct attached storage, is thrilled to share with everyone its undisputed budget offering for the NAS market. The TerraMaster F2-210 is built with quality in mind but offers a comprehensive feature set for the unbeatable price of $149.99. The TerraMaster F2-210 is perfect for new NAS users or SOHO usage that need a centralized storage solution but don't want to break the bank. With the F2-210, experience a full NAS experience at less cost so you can focus on what you need to do. The TerraMaster F2-210 has an MSRP of $149.99

TerraMaster builds the F2-210 around the ARM v8 quad-core processor. This CPU is used by many competing product but only TerraMaster is offering it at this price range. With speeds up to 1.40 GHz, users can enjoy performance of up to 114 MB/s for both read and write, perfect for file sharing amongst multiple devices or backing up your important data and memories. Use the TerraMaster as a media entertainment server for your 4K video files and enjoy real-time transcoding so you can enjoy your files with any devices. The F2-210 will handle most functions with no problem and easily repay itself in a year with savings in multi-device cloud backup account or live-streaming service accounts.

TP-LINK Launches the Archer AX10 Wi-Fi 6 Router for Under €100

TP-LINK has made available through retailers a budget Wi-Fi router that promises to slightly democratize the ax protocol for the masses. The new Archer AX10 seems to be no slouch in terms of bang for the buck: it's a Wi-Fi 6-enabled router that packs most technologies you'd be looking for from a standard user point of view. There's support for beamforming technology so that the signal is focused towards the devices that are actually connected to the router (which are balanced via OFDMA tech, meaning the router can better handle simultaneous connections), improving signal strength and reducing interference. Thanks to that and the pure speeds of the ax protocol, the AX10 can provide signal speeds of up to 1201 Mb/s on the 5 GHz band. A quad antenna design serves to ensure ample coverage and signal integrity.

The AX10 has a triple core ARM processor operating at 1.5 GHz, aided by 256 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash memory for the firmware. 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1x WAN connection that also delivers a maximum speed of 1 Gigabit should enable most of the wired connections you need. And best of all: the router will be available for less than €100.

NVIDIA Brings CUDA to ARM, Enabling New Path to Exascale Supercomputing

NVIDIA today announced its support for Arm CPUs, providing the high performance computing industry a new path to build extremely energy-efficient, AI-enabled exascale supercomputers. NVIDIA is making available to the Arm ecosystem its full stack of AI and HPC software - which accelerates more than 600 HPC applications and all AI frameworks - by year's end. The stack includes all NVIDIA CUDA-X AI and HPC libraries, GPU-accelerated AI frameworks and software development tools such as PGI compilers with OpenACC support and profilers. Once stack optimization is complete, NVIDIA will accelerate all major CPU architectures, including x86, POWER and Arm.

"Supercomputers are the essential instruments of scientific discovery, and achieving exascale supercomputing will dramatically expand the frontier of human knowledge," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "As traditional compute scaling ends, power will limit all supercomputers. The combination of NVIDIA's CUDA-accelerated computing and Arm's energy-efficient CPU architecture will give the HPC community a boost to exascale."

Qualcomm and Lenovo Unveil World's First 5G PC Powered By The Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced in conjunction with Lenovo the world's first 5G PC2 today at its Computex Press Conference. Project Limitless encompasses a strong technology collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. a leader in 5G connectivity, and Lenovo, the leader in PCs, to bring innovation to the always on, always connected PC ecosystem. Project Limitless is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform and is the world's first 7nm platform purpose-built for PCs that offers 5G connectivity.

The new platform is running on Windows 10 for ARM. It promises multi-day battery life and 7GBps transfer speeds with a Snapdragon x55 5G modem.
Image Source: Tom's Hardware

ARM Revokes Huawei's Chip IP Licence

As the trade war between the US and China continues to unfold, we are seeing major US companies ban or stop providing service to China's technology giant Huawei. Now, it looks like the trade war has crossed the ocean and reached the UK. This time, UK based ARM Holdings, the provider of mobile chip IP for nearly all smartphones and tablets, has revoked the license it has given Huawei.

According to the BBC, ARM Holdings employees were instructed to suspend all interactions with Huawei, and to send a note informing Huawei that "due to an unfortunate situation, they were not allowed to provide support, deliver technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters with Huawei, HiSilicon or any of the other named entities." The news came from an internal ARM document the BBC has obtained.

Logitech launches the G502 Lightspeed Mouse, Bringing Wireless to the Family

Logitech has announced an upgraded, improved model of their legendary G502 mouse, in a Lightspeed edition. Ignoring the quantum implications of having a mouse that moves at lightspeed on your palm, the new, updated G502 features Logitech's Latest, in-house Hero 16K sensor: up to 16,000 DPI processed by a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M-based SoC. Logitech says their wireless performance in their proprietary Lightspeed technology is comparable to that of a wired solution, offering 1 ms lag through special, purpose-designed features of the mouse.

Magnetic charging technology available in Logitech's mouse mats mean you'll never be out of juice, with the G502's battery supporting 800 charge cycles before degradation starts to set in. 11 programmable buttons, adjustable weight (starting at 114g up to 130g) and quality of life additions to the mouse's structure, such as rubberized compounds and the G502 Lightspeed's RGB lighting bring this particular rodent up to a $149 pricing.

Spire Introduces Single, Dual Monitor Arms II for Improved Computing Ergonomics

Spire today introduces two new products made for the ergonomically-conscious user: the Spire Dual Monitor Arm II and Single Monitor ARM II. The Spire Dual Monitor Arm II are all new ergonomic dual monitor arms suitable for two (LCD) displays and can hold up to 6 KG each. This dual monitor arm is almost a mandatory desk requirement for an ergonomic and healthy desk arrangement. Made out of strong aluminum which also gives it a contemporary look. Adjustment possibilities are unlimited, besides the standard adjustable in height and depth this arm also provides adjustment by tilting, swiveling and rotating. The Spire dual monitor arm II are affordable and ergonomic, supplied with good cable management and neat routing for a well-organized and neat desk. Installation made simple and fast with the supplied table clamp you are set with 5 minutes.

Logitech G Announces the 2019 MX518 Gaming Mouse

You asked for it, we did it. Over the years, Logitech G community has consistently asked us to bring back the legendary Logitech G MX518, which many consider to be the finest gaming mouse of all time. Today Logitech G is excited to announce that the new MX518 gaming mouse is now available to fans around the world.

The reborn MX518 retains the same shape and feel of the original that made it famous but is updated to the very latest, next-generation technologies, including HERO 16K sensor and the addition of a 32-bit ARM processor for a super fast 1 ms report rate. The MX518 also features eight programmable buttons so you can bind custom commands. With onboard memory, you can also save your preferences directly to the mouse, so you can use it on different systems without the need to install custom software or reconfigure your settings.

QNAP Releases MediQPACS to Help Small and Medium Healthcare Providers

QNAP Systems, Inc. (QNAP ) today released MediQPACS, an application that turns a QNAP NAS into a private PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) server to help users securely back up DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) files from hospital modalities and allows for quick viewing and complete management of medical images. MediQPACS provides healthcare facilities with a budget-friendly alternative for their PACS server in HIS (hospital network systems) with 24/7 availability, central management, and dependable storage of all DICOM files.

"DICOM files containing patient data are generally large-sized, leading to potential storage challenges in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. With the MediQPACS app for QNAP NAS, these massive DICOM files from connected medical modalities and AET can be securely and centrally stored. QNAP NAS also features various methods for expanding capacity to fit future data storage requirements," said Anay Badavne, Product Manager of QNAP.
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