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Samsung Unveils New Wireless USB Chipset, Provides Higher Speeds, at Lower Power Draw

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in advanced semiconductor technology solutions, today introduced its latest wireless universal serial bus (USB) solution, developed using Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology. Offered in a two-chip set, Samsung's newest S3C2680/ S5M8311 WUSB solution enables high definition content to be wirelessly transmitted from a mobile host device to a tethered device for viewing. Initial applications are high-resolution cameras, camcorders, TVs and PCs with prospects for adoption in other applications including tablet PCs, printers, beam projectors, portable HDDs, Blu-ray players, and mobile handsets.

"The ability to handle wireless high-speed data transmission while consuming less power is a key requirement for many consumer electronic devices," said Yiwan Wong, vice president, System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. "Due to power/performance issues, previous generations of WUSB products were unable to meet the consumers' expectations. Samsung's new WUSB chipset delivers up to 480Mbps (Megabit per second) data transmission rate, at an average power consumption of less than 300mW. This level of power efficiency greatly increases the attractiveness of WUSB connectivity in consumer electronic and mobile applications.

Intel to Acquire Infineon's Wireless Solutions Business

Infineon Technologies AG and Intel Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement to transfer Infineon's Wireless Solutions (WLS) business to Intel in a cash transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

WLS, a leading provider of cellular platforms to top tier global phone makers, will operate as a standalone business serving its existing customers. WLS will also contribute to Intel's strategy to make connected computing ubiquitous from smartphones to laptops to embedded computing.

"The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "The acquisition of Infineon's WLS business strengthens the second pillar of our computing strategy -- Internet connectivity -- and enables us to offer a portfolio of products that covers the full range of wireless options from Wi-Fi and 3G to WiMAX and LTE. As more devices compute and connect to the Internet, we are committed to positioning Intel to take advantage of the growth potential in every computing segment, from laptops to handhelds and beyond."

ARM and TSMC Sign Long-Term Strategic Agreement

ARM and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today jointly announced a long-term agreement that provides TSMC with access to a broad range of ARM processors and enables the development of ARM physical IP across TSMC technology nodes. This agreement supports the companies' mutual customers to achieve optimized Systems-On-Chip (SoC) based on ARM processors and covers a wide range of process nodes extending down to 20nm.

The agreement provides TSMC access to optimize the implementation of ARM processors on TSMC process technologies, including ARM Cortex processor family and CoreLink interconnect fabric for AMBA protocols. It also establishes a long-term relationship with ARM for the development of physical IP, including memory products and standard cell libraries targeting the most advanced TSMC 28nm and 20nm processes.

LSI and Seagate Co-develop Technology for Next-Generation High-Capacity HDDs

LSI Corporation and Seagate announced the delivery of a complex integrated read channel technology for Seagate's latest hard disk drive (HDD) products. Together, the companies have enabled the industry's first hard disk drives with low-density parity check (LDPC) read channel in 65nm process system-on-chip (SoC) technology.

The co-development effort combines Seagate LDPC digital back-end read channel and hard drive controller IP with LSITM analog front-end read channel (RC) and physical layer (PHY) technology. The combined LDPC read channel has been incorporated into high-capacity SoC solutions that enable new levels of performance and storage capacity for leading-edge Seagate HDDs.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Launches Global Partner Ecosystem to Drive Industry Collaboration

At next week's Design Automation Conference (DAC), GLOBALFOUNDRIES will unveil a new platform to spur innovation in semiconductor manufacturing and help deliver unparalleled service to chip designers. Called GLOBALSOLUTIONS, the new ecosystem combines the company's internal resources with a broad spectrum of partners to efficiently enable the fastest time-to-volume for foundry customers.

"As chip design grows in complexity and manufacturing partnerships become increasingly critical, foundry customer enablement needs to extend beyond process design kits and reference flows to include the full spectrum of the semiconductor value chain," said Jim Kupec, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. "To this end, GLOBALSOLUTIONS includes ecosystem partners in all aspects of design enablement, turnkey services, design for manufacturability, optical proximity correction and mask operations, and will further expand our capabilities in advanced assembly solutions. This will allow our customers to unlock their innovation potential and differentiate at all levels of the design process, from the silicon and SoC level all the way up to the full system."

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM Define the Standard for Mobile Technology Platform Innovation

At the 2010 Mobile World Congress, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM today unveiled new details on their leading-edge System-on-Chip (SoC) platform technology for powering the next generation of wireless products and applications. The new chip manufacturing platform is projected to enable a 40 percent increase in computing performance, a 30 percent decrease in power consumption, and a 100 percent increase in standby battery life. The new platform includes collaboration on two GLOBALFOUNDRIES process variants: 28nm super low power (SLP) for mobile and consumer applications and 28nm high performance (HP) for applications requiring maximum performance.

"The success of the next generation of mobile products will be increasingly dependent on their ability to deliver PC-class performance, a highly integrated rich media experience and longer battery life," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES chief operating officer Chia Song Hwee. "These demands are going to require a strong technology foundation and close collaboration between industry leaders to enable an increasing number of design companies to unlock this innovation. We are working closely with ARM to optimize the physical IP and implementation of the Cortex-A9 processor with our proven manufacturing experience in high-volume, advanced technology products, to deliver a fully integrated platform for leading-edge wireless products and applications."

New NVIDIA Tegra Processor Powers The Tablet Revolution

NVIDIA today launched its Next Generation Tegra, the world's first processor for the mobile web, specifically designed for the high-resolution needs of tablets. Consumers have been waiting for a truly portable, high-resolution, no-compromise Internet experience. NVIDIA's new Tegra processor delivers that by combining lightning-quick browsing, streaming 1080p video and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 acceleration with an immersive 3D user interface and days of battery life.

"Without question, 2010 is going to be year of the tablet," said Tim Bajarin, President, Creative Strategies, Inc. "The new NVIDIA Tegra processor has a unique feature set critical for tablets -- fast web browsing with fully rendered pages, uncompromised graphics, snappy user interface and HD video - all with the battery life we've only seen with cell phones."

Marvell Armada 610 Application Processor, Brings 1080p Video and 3D to Devices

Marvell, a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, today announced another breakthrough in advanced chip design: the world's first "quadruple" core processor for applications utilizing the ARM instruction set. Building on a long and successful history of CPU core development and previous multicore implementations, Marvell's achievement represents a milestone breakthrough for the ARM ecosystem with many positive implications for consumers. Based on the same CPU architecture as the Marvell ARMADA 500 and 600 processor series, Marvell's quadcore implementation can deliver gigahertz-plus processing per core and is designed for customer-specific products such as mass consumer market and high volume gaming applications.

"Introducing our quadcore technology to the world represents a pivotal moment in CPU development for the consumer electronics industry," said Ms. Weili Dai, Marvell's Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.'s Consumer and Computing Business Unit. "Today's media-rich consumer applications are already pushing the limits. By making quadcore capabilities available to our customers we will enable the newest generation of cutting edge devices that consumers will always demand -- more horsepower, higher performance, better battery life, and more attractive price points than ever before for mass consumer market adoption."

Lenovo Skylight Lights Up The Web with Industry's First ARM-Based, Qualcomm Smartbook

Lenovo today announced the Lenovo Skylight, the first ARM-based smartbook based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset platform. Skylight harnesses the best of smartphones and netbooks to create a new mobile consumer device. With a stunningly sleek and slim design, all day battery life, robust wireless connectivity and custom interface with live web gadgets, Skylight is designed to transform the mobile Internet experience. The Skylight smartbook connects with AT&T 3G mobile broadband service in the U.S.

"The web has become the window to the world for more and more people, helping them connect with friends and family across town or thousands of miles away," said Peter Gaucher, executive director, Mobile Internet Product Management, Lenovo. "Skylight combines the long battery life and connectivity of a smartphone with the full web browsing and multimedia experience of a netbook to create one of the first devices in this developing smartbook category. Consumers want choices. They can now choose from a full portfolio of Lenovo mobile consumer devices including netbooks, smartbooks and laptops."

ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Partner to Build ARM SoC Products on 28 nm HKMG Process

ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announces a long-term strategic relationship to provide their mutual customers with an innovative SoC enablement program. To support the long-term relationship, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and ARM have signed a broad agreement on processor implementation and circuit optimization to provide mutual customers with a robust enablement program geared towards next-generation applications.

The SoC enablement program, built around a full suite of ARM Physical IP, Fabric IP and Processor IP, will deliver customers unparalleled design flexibility on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' most advanced HKMG semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. The collaborative efforts of the partnership will initially focus on enabling SoC products which use the low power and high performance ARM Cortex -A9 processor on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm HKMG process. The characteristics of GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm "Gate First" HKMG technology is optimized for high performance processing with minimal leakage making it an ideal choice for advanced mobile solutions.

Dell Intros Latitude Z Business Notebook

PC major Dell rolled out its newest business-oriented Latitude Z notebook. The Latitude Z has an ultra-thin chassis, which packs all the mobility and features a businessman would need. This 16-inch notebook can charge wirelessly. The 16-inch display offers a native screen resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. It has a backlit-illuminated keyboard, a touchpad that is gesture-enabled, an EdgeTouch sensor at the right of display, and a sub-system powered by an ARM processor to drive the Latitude on Linux feature. The main system is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor to run the main Windows environment.

The fixed webcam that heads the screen can auto-focus, and can even 'scan' documents, according to Dell. The notebook weighs 4.5 lbs (around 2 kg), and is priced at $1999. For another $200 to this cost, you get the wireless charging induction stand that lets you use the feature. "We're seeing thin and light spread throughout our portfolio," said Todd Forsythe, vice president in Dell's commercial client product group. It looks like thin is in, for Dell.

NVIDIA Tegra-based Mini-Notebook Spotted

It looks like NVIDIA's attempts to let Tegra make it to bigger platforms are beginning to bear fruit. LaptopMag got its hands on one of the first mini-notebooks based on Tegra, a fully-integrated computing architecture that focuses on making more powerful and visual portable computing devices possible. The Tegra CPU core is based on the ARM11 architecture, working along with NVIDIA's own graphics processing, and system controlling technologies.

The model in use with the mini-notebook is Tegra 650, which runs at 750 MHz (core clock speed), supports hardware HD video decoding, an S-Video out, and USB. It supports DDR memory running at 200 MHz, and an IDE channel for a sold-state drive for primary storage. Apart from the IDE interface, Tegra has its own NAND-flash controller so small amounts of flash memory (up to 8 GB) could be embedded onto the main PCB. The mini-notebook features an OS that lets the user achieve all the tasks one would ask from this 90~200 Dollar mini-notebook. Windows CE and Linux are the likely candidates. The screenshot below is that of the Windows CE-based prototype that takes advantage of the 3D processing power of the core. Also pictured is the prototype system board by NVIDIA.

Atom Z500 Series Makes it to 2.00 GHz Mark, Features Dynamic Clock-Speed

Intel's Atom series of processors gets credit for reinvigorating the ULPC and SFF PC segments that had been niche markets run by smaller players such as VIA, Freescale, and ARM. The Atom Z500 series single-core chips operate at speeds ranging from 1.1 to 1.86 GHz, with phenomenally low energy footprints - under 2.2 Watts.

One of the company's newest additions to the range, the Z550, could hit the 2.00 GHz mark, while consuming less than 2.4 Watts. Another chip in the making, Z515, will have dynamic clock-speed between 800 MHz and 1.33 GHz depending on the processing load. The Z515 could end up being an MID maker's favourite, not that Z550 won't be used in devices that small. Sony just might pack the 2.00 GHz chip on an upcoming variant of the VAIO P.

Marvell's New Marvel Hangs off Your Wall Outlet, Runs Linux

Marvell Semiconductor has come up with a marvel: the SheevaPlug computer software/hardware development kit (SHDK). The initiative puts to use the company's Sheeva ARM processor in a compact unit the size and form of a retro wall-mount AC-DC adapter. Consuming no more than 5 W of power, the unit can function as a full-featured PC, driving Linux. It packs a 1.2 GHz Sheeva ARM processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of flash-based fixed storage.

Throwing open the development kit would mean companies wanting to build similar devices based on Marvell hardware. The SheevaPlug is built around the Marvell 88F6000 Kirkwood SoC design that makes use of Feroceon and XScale architectures, both of which are derivatives of ARM. Gigabit Ethernet and USB ports add to the connectivity. With several industry heavyweights such as Microsoft and Google predicting a bright future for cloud-computing, companies such as Marvell can only help but gain interest in developing inexpensive devices that drive the client-side machinery for it. Take a guess on how much SheevaPlug costs: US $100 in single unit retail quantities. What's more, it could be bought in bulk for as low as $50 a piece!

ARM Showcases Prototype Netbooks

Standing up against an almost unassailable domination of x86 machine architecture, even in the ULPC segment, ARM showcased netbooks based on processors such as Freescale iMX515 and Qualcomm Snapdragon. The processors, ARM claims, are capable to run 720p HD video, and operate at speeds of up to 1 GHz. The best way ARM sees to compete with x86, is to support operating systems that run on it, such as Linux.

The growth and propagation of Ubuntu seems to be a good opportunity to cash on. ARM is reportedly working with Canonical to devise a full-featured ARM-supportive variant of Ubuntu. Meanwhile, Adobe has announced that it is working on an ARM-supportive Flash 10 plugin. Ubuntu's ARM edition should be out by April, by when we can get realistic figures about ARM netbooks' performance. The netbooks will be priced in the US $250 range and are expected to start selling from June. A video covering the presentation can be viewed here.

ARM Launches its Smallest, Lowest Power, Most Energy Efficient Cortex-M0 Processor

ARM today announced the ARM Cortex-M0 processor, the smallest, lowest power and most energy-efficient ARM processor available. The exceptional low power, small gate count and code footprint of the processor enables MCU developers to achieve 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price point. The ultra low gate count also enables it to be deployed in analog and mixed signal devices as well as MCU applications, and promises substantial savings in system cost while retaining tool and binary compatibility with the feature-rich Cortex-M3 processor.

Freescale Enters the Low-Cost Netbook Processor Business with i.MX515 ARM Processor

Even though almost all of the netbooks as we call them today are using Intel Atom processors as their main processor and if not they use VIA CPUs, Freescale, a third company, is moving in on this fastest-growing segment of the PC market. The company said on Monday it is planning on introducing a new chip for netbooks that are priced below $200. Freescale's i.MX515 processor will run on super low-cost netbooks only, that are created mainly to perform basic tasks such as accessing the Internet and running office applications, with no gaming or performance CAD involved. Moreover, the i.MX515 won't support any Microsoft Windows OS at all, which leaves the door open only for Linux. The main strength of i.MX515 based on the Cortex-A8 core from ARM is its low power usage, which suggests extra long battery life of the machines equipped with this CPU. According to the company, the chip would allow a netbook with an 8.9-inch display to receive eight hours of battery life. Again, expect more information at CES 2009. There Freescale will showcase a working i.MX515-based netbook prototype made by Pegatron (ASUS spin-off company).

ARM Plans to Join Intel and VIA in the Netbook Market from Next Year

Now that Intel's Atom is on top of the netbook processor market, while VIA and AMD are trying to compete somehow, it appears that a fourth chip maker is going to enter the netbook business and try to give Intel's Atom architecture a run for its money. ARM and Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, are co-operating to make Ubuntu Desktop operating system that will run well with ARM's ARMv7 processor architecture. This will enable new Linux netbooks and hybrid computers to enter the market.
"The release of a full Ubuntu desktop distribution supporting latest ARM technology will enable rapid growth, with internet everywhere, connected ultra portable devices," said Ian Drew, vice president of Marketing, ARM. "The always-on experience available with mobile devices is rapidly expanding to new device categories such as netbooks, laptops and other internet connected products. Working with Canonical will pave the way for the development of new features and innovations to all connected platforms."
This version of the Ubuntu Desktop operating system will handle the ARM Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processor-based systems. The final Ubuntu ARM distribution will debut in April 2009. Now we only need volunteers to choose ARM and Linux for their netbooks.

ARM, Chartered, IBM and Samsung Collaborate to Enable 32nm and 28nm Systems-on-Chip

IBM, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Samsung Electronics, and ARM today announced they will develop a comprehensive 32 nanometer (nm) and 28nm Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) design platform based on high-k metal-gate (HKMG) technology from the IBM-led joint-development alliance. Under this multi-year collaboration, ARM will develop and license a design platform of physical intellectual property (IP) including logic, memory and interface products for the Common Platform technology alliance of IBM, Chartered and Samsung for distribution to their customers.
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