News Posts matching "SoC"

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GIGABYTE AMD B350 Socket AM4 Motherboard Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of a socket AM4 motherboard by GIGABYTE. Positioned as an entry-mainstream offering by the company to launch with AMD's 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, while being ready for upcoming "ZEN" based CPUs and APUs, this board appears to be based on AMD B350 chipset, the company's mid-tier socket AM4 chipset alongside the entry-level A320 and enthusiast-segment X370. This board appears to feature a rectangular CPU cooler retention-module like older AMD sockets. Could the "square" bolt-type RM we spotted on OEM boards, as well as AMD's own platform demonstrator board not make it to the DIY segment?

This unnamed (label not clearly pictured) motherboard is built in the micro-ATX form-factor, drawing power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. It uses a 7-phase CPU VRM. AMD appears to have introduced new voltage domains with AM4, probably because these are full-fledged SoCs, with core-logic completely integrated. The board features four DDR4 DIMM slots, and PCI-Express gen 3.0 slots. The B350 chipset wires to the SoC over PCI-Express gen 3.0, and puts out additional downstream general-purpose PCIe gen 3.0 lanes, besides additional SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.1 ports.

Source: Eteknix

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces its 7 nm FinFET Technology

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced plans to deliver a new leading-edge 7nm FinFET semiconductor technology that will offer the ultimate in performance for the next era of computing applications. This technology provides more processing power for data centers, networking, premium mobile processors, and deep learning applications.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES' new 7nm FinFET technology is expected to deliver more than twice the logic density and a 30 percent performance boost compared to today's 16/14nm foundry FinFET offerings. The platform is based on an industry-standard FinFET transistor architecture and optical lithography, with EUV compatibility at key levels. This approach will accelerate the production ramp through significant re-use of tools and processes from the company's 14nm FinFET technology, which is currently in volume production at its Fab 8 campus in Saratoga County, N.Y. GLOBALFOUNDRIES plans to make an additional mutli-billion dollar investment in Fab 8 to enable development and production for 7nm FinFET.

"The industry is converging on 7nm FinFET as the next long-lived node, which represents a unique opportunity for GLOBALFOUNDRIES to compete at the leading edge," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Sanjay Jha. "We are well positioned to deliver a differentiated 7nm FinFET technology by tapping our years of experience manufacturing high-performance chips, the talent and know-how of our former IBM Microelectronics colleagues and the world-class R&D pipeline from our research alliance. No other foundry can match this legacy of manufacturing high-performance chips."

Sony Launches AMD "Polaris" Powered PlayStation 4 Pro

Sony today announced an addition to its PlayStation family of entertainment systems, with the new PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro). The PS4 Pro isn't meant to succeed the PS4, and is still a "current generation" console, in that all of its games are compatible with the PS4, and there won't be PS4 Pro-exclusive games. What sets it apart is higher-resolution game rendering that looks best on 4K Ultra HD TVs. This doesn't necessarily mean that the games are being rendered at 3840 x 2160 pixels. They could be rendered at resolutions higher than 1080p, and using just the right upscaling algorithms, made to look significantly better than 1080p. Another key visual component is hardware HDR. The PS4 Pro falls in line with Sony's big push for 4K HDR TVs this holiday shopping season.

Under the hood, the PlayStation 4 Pro features an all new semi-custom SoC designed by Sony and AMD. The CPU component sticks to the "Jaguar/Puma" architecture, with 8 cores, but features higher CPU clock speeds. The 8 GB GDDR5 memory is said to run at higher clocks, too, and is bolstered by new lossless memory compression tech by AMD. The GPU component is where the action is. The GPU features over double the shading power of the PS4, and is based on the "Polaris" GPU architecture. The PS4 Pro also ships with a bigger 1 TB hard drive. There is seamless interplayability between PS4 and PS4 Pro. PS4 games you already own are being added with higher-resolution content meant for PS4 Pro. The console also has the muscle for PS-VR. For those still holding on to 1080p HDTVs, the PS4 Pro rewards with higher visual detail, more geometric complexity, and better effects, at that resolution. The PS4 Pro starts at $399.

SoftBank Completes Acquisition of ARM

SoftBank today announced that it has concluded the acquisition of British chipmaker ARM, in a USD $31 billion purchase. The acquisition was first announced in July 2016. Following this, ARM will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange from the 6th of September 2016. Although ARM is a CPU architecture designer with a mere $1.5 billion in revenue last fiscal, and licenses the architecture to other SoC makers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, etc., SoftBank is betting on ARM CPU architecture's emergence as the prime-mover of the IoT (Internet of things) revolution. This is SoftBank's largest tech acquisition following the $20 billion acquisition of American cellular network Sprint, and a $15 billion investment in Vodafone Japan.

Source: The Verge

Intel to Contract-manufacture ARM Processors at its Fabs

Intel is opening up its silicon manufacturing facilities to fabless chip-makers, beginning with the manufacture of ARM SoCs. The company entered a licensing deal with ARM that allows ARM SoC designers such as Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung, to manufacture their SoCs at Intel fabs. Intel is among the first fabs with a working 14 nm node, and is on-track for sub-10 nm node development.

Intel had a crack at the market segments typically addressed by ARM SoCs, with its own x86 chips, which failed to see the kind of volumes ARM chipmakers were pushing. The company has now changed tactics to open its fabs up to those ARM SoC makers, letting them manufacture their designs on proven silicon-fabrication tech, in geographically important locations. Intel has its cutting-edge fabs located in Costa Rica and Malaysia.

Source: Bloomberg

SoC Powering Xbox One S Leverages 16 nm FinFET from TSMC

Microsoft's new slim Xbox One S console achieves its slimness - including its inbuilt power-supply, by significantly reducing thermal load of its key components. This begins at the heart of the console, its SoC. A semi-custom chip by Microsoft and AMD, the SoC powering the Xbox One S is built on the 16 nm FinFET process at TSMC. The chip powering the original Xbox One was built on the same foundry's 28 nm node.

The new SoC isn't merely an optical shrink of the original 28 nm chip down to 16 nm FinFET, Microsoft added a few components to the chip, including an HEVC hardware decoder, hardware CODECs for Blu-ray UHD with HDR; and a revamped display controller with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. The chip also performs 1080p to 4K UHD upscaling, with a native upscaling algorithm. The eSRAM memory bandwidth is increased slightly from 204 GB/s from 219 GB/s.


Source: Eurogamer

Giada Announces N60E-O Intel Xeon-D Motherboards

Giada Technology, the industry leader in embedded systems and expert in server technology, today officially announces the N60E-O compact server for warm cloud storage applications powered by Intel Xeon-D processors which offer scalable performance on a tiny form factor.

Balancing value, performance and integration, the Giada N60E-O features an onboard Broadwell-DE based Xeon-D processor which is intended for entry-level enterprise storage applications particularly warm data storage. The Xeon D-1540 features 8-cores with 16 threads with an impressive TDP rating of 45W offering a great balance of performance and power draw making for a highly efficient setup.

Noctua Unveils Prototype Large Socket Heatsink for Xeon and Opteron Chips

Noctua unveiled a prototype fin-stack heatsink for very large CPU socket types, such as Intel Socket P (LGA3647) and AMD SP3, powering chips such as Intel Xeon Phi "Knights Landing," and upcoming AMD Opteron SP3 32-core SoCs. There will be 3U and 4U versions of this heatsink, supporting NF-A9 (92 mm) and NF-F12 (120 mm) fans. The heatsink is just a very large aluminium fin-stack, to which heat drawn from the base is fed by seven 8 mm thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes.

AMD "Summit Ridge" Die Pictured?

At its 2016 Annual Shareholders Meeting website, AMD reportedly posted a wafer shot of its upcoming 14 nm "Summit Ridge" CPU die. The "Summit Ridge" silicon is rumored to drive a number of performance-thru-enthusiast processor SKUs for AMD. The die pictured features eight CPU cores based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 16 MB of shared L3 cache split between two blocks of four CPU cores, each.

"Summit Ridge," much like the "Bristol Ridge" APU silicon, will be a true SoC, in that it integrates the southbridge on the processor die. With "Summit Ridge," AMD is also introducing a new inter-socket interconnect replacing its ageing HyperTransport technology. The new Global Memory Interconnect (GMI) bus provides a 100 GB/s path between two sockets. The "Summit Ridge" die features two such interconnect ports.

Source: SemiAccurate

BIOSTAR Announces New Motherboards with "Braswell" Refresh Processors

BIOSTAR proudly announces a new line up of motherboards featuring the new 14nm Intel Braswell Refresh SoC processors that feature many improvements from its older 22nm counterpart Baytrail SoC. The new 14nm processors offer a more efficient yet powerful experience than its predecessor whilst consuming less power and producing less heat. The various improvements also introduce new performance enhancements for both CPU and GPU guaranteeing a more refined visual experience.

With the new processor architecture comes new enhancements over the older-generation of processors. Besides improvements in processing speed, Braswell Refresh boasts a new 14nm fabrication process which gives the SoC a smaller die that needs less power (6w) and produces less heat. A heavily improved 8th-gen Intel HD Graphics processor with 12 Execution Units (EUs) is baked into the SoC compared to the 4 EUs of the older gen model. Connectivity is also improved with native support for DDR3L-1600 speeds, SATAIII and up to 4 USB3.0 devices.

JEDEC Updates Universal Flash Storage (UFS) and Related Standards

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of several key updates to the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) family of standards. These include JESD220C UFS version 2.1, JESD223C UFSHCI version 2.1, JESD220-1A UFS UME version 1.1 and JESD223-1A UFSHCI UME version 1.1.

Developed for mobile applications and computing systems requiring high performance with low power consumption, the new UFS updates offer key improvements over earlier versions which will provide data security through the use of inline cryptography between the SoC and UFS Storage device. All four updated standards are available for free download from the JEDEC website.

AMD Announces the A10-7890K and Athlon X4 880K Processors

AMD today announced new additions to its 2016 Desktop processor family, offering increasingly powerful processor options available for anyone seeking outstanding gameplay and power efficiency for their desktop PC. Setting a new APU Standard, the new AMD A10-7890K is the fastest AMD desktop APU released to date, with 1.0 TFLOPS of theoretical compute performance. This new processor has been paired with the top-of-the-line AMD Wraith Cooler to deliver a high-performance combination, enabling best-in-class online gaming, while offering near silent operation for a premium experience.

Gamers will be able to enjoy playing the most popular online and eSports games right out of the box on high settings with the new AMD A10-7890K APU, which is capable of providing smooth frame rates in some of the most popular online games like League of Legends, DOTA2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. AMD APUs combine the power of AMD processors with the performance of discrete Radeon R7 class graphics in one convenient SoC, and support DirectX 12, OpenGL, Vulkan, and FreeSync in addition to Microsoft Xbox One game streaming on Windows 10.

AMD Expands Low-Power G-Series Processor Family

At Embedded World today, AMD announced its 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs and the Embedded G-Series LX SoC, providing customers a broadened portfolio of performance options. The latest offerings expand developers' ability to scale x86 platforms, starting with the entry-level AMD Embedded G-Series LX SoC, which is pin compatible to the previous generation G-Series SoC devices. Also announced today are two new, higher performing 3rd Generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs, codenamed "Prairie Falcon" and "Brown Falcon," which introduce for the first time pin compatibility for G-Series processors with the higher performance AMD Embedded R-Series SoC.

The new products expand upon the low power capabilities of the award-winning AMD Embedded G-Series SoC platform, bringing scalable performance, power, and price across the CPU, GPU, multimedia, and I/O controller hardware, helping to lower development costs for AMD customers. Together, the new G-Series processors deliver immersive, graphically rich experiences across a broad range of platforms, from entry-level to mainstream gaming, digital signage, imaging, and industrial control.

Intel Gets Sixteen "Broadwell" Cores to Run at 45W TDP

The latest Intel Xeon D-1571 SoC, designed for high-density data-centers and micro-servers, sets a new benchmark for energy efficiency. If the fact that it's an SoC (a combination of CPU and chipset) wasn't enough, the chip also crams in 16 CPU cores based on the "Broadwell" architecture, with HyperThreading enabling 32 logical CPUs, running at 1.30 GHz clock speed, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller that supports up to 128 GB ECC DDR4 memory, and 24 MB of shared L3 cache; all at a TDP rated at just 45W. On most high-density server boards, such as the X10SDV-series by Supermicro (pictured below), the chip will cooled by just a small fan-heatsink. Such specs won't come cheap. Server board vendors will buy the Xeon D-1571 at $1,222 a piece in 1000-unit quantities.


Source: CPU World

Jim Keller to Lead Autopilot Hardware Team at Tesla Motors

Elon Musk handed over the reins of one of Tesla Motors' most important research and development divisions, autopilot, to chip whiz Jim Keller. Keller joined Tesla Motors as Vice President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering. With Tesla being at the very frontier of automobile development, and self-driving cars being the next big thing for the industry, Keller holds an enviable, albeit challenging position.

Jim Keller led teams that designed some of AMD's most commercially successful processors, before a stint at Apple, where he helped it gain hardware self-reliance with the company's Ax series SoCs; and returning to AMD, and leading the team that designed the company's upcoming "Zen" and K-12 micro-architectures. Tesla cars are currently driven by electronics powered by NVIDIA Tegra SoCs. With NVIDIA's immeasurable investments in deep-learning tech that forms the foundation of self-driving car hardware, and Tesla Motors yet choosing a CPU designer to lead its autopilot division, it's easy to speculate that Musk's company is seeking the same kind of hardware self-reliance that Apple did, as its iOS devices were taking off.


Source: Electrek

No Enterprise Support for Older Windows Versions on the Latest Processors: Microsoft

Microsoft, in a tactfully-worded blog post by Exec VP for its Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, announced that it won't support older versions of Windows (eg: Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) on the latest/upcoming processors. The software might run on the new hardware, but the company won't provide enterprise support for such platforms. This could include software updates, as the platform won't technically meet the software's requirements.

In the post, Microsoft named upcoming platforms from the big three CPU makers - Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, to which the company will provide enterprise support only for Windows 10. These include the 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors from Intel, "Bristol Ridge" processors from AMD, and the "8996" SoC from Qualcomm. Machines running a select few models of Core "Skylake" processors will receive enterprise support, but only till 17th July, 2017. After this date, only the most critical security updates will be released for the OS running on those platforms.Sources: Microsoft, Engadget

AMD Announces Opteron A1100 Series 64-bit ARM Processors for the Datacenter

AMD marks a major step towards delivering choice and innovation in the data center with the launch of the AMD Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC), formerly codenamed "Seattle". Jointly with its software and hardware partners, AMD is accelerating time-to-deployment of ARM-based systems and driving forward ecosystem support for ARM in the data center.

"The ecosystem for ARM in the data center is approaching an inflection point and the addition of AMD's high-performance processor is another strong step forward for customers looking for a data center-class ARM solution," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, Enterprise Solutions, AMD. "The macro trend of convergence between networking, storage and servers is an important catalyst in this evolution. Customers now have access to 64-bit ARM processors from the only silicon provider that also has decades of experience delivering professional enterprise and embedded products."

Intel Completes Acquisition of Altera

Intel Corporation today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Altera Corporation ("Altera"), a leading provider of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The acquisition complements Intel's leading-edge product portfolio and enables new classes of products in the high-growth data center and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments.

"Altera is now part of Intel, and together we will make the next generation of semiconductors not only better but able to do more," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "We will apply Moore's Law to grow today's FPGA business, and we'll invent new products that make amazing experiences of the future possible - experiences like autonomous driving and machine learning."

Altera will operate as a new Intel business unit called the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG), led by Altera veteran Dan McNamara. Intel is committed to a smooth transition for Altera customers and will continue the support and future product development of Altera's many products, including FPGA, ARM-based SoC and power products. In addition to strengthening the existing FPGA business, PSG will work closely with Intel's Data Center Group and IoT Group to deliver the next generation of highly customized, integrated products and solutions.

NVIDIA Stares at Sales Ban as US-ITC Rules in Samsung's Favor in Patent Dispute

The ongoing patent dispute between NVIDIA and Samsung over mobile SoC patents, in which NVIDIA fired the first shot, is not going to well for team-green. With Samsung counter-suing NVIDIA over infringing its own bouquet of patents, NVIDIA is staring at a possible sales ban. A United States International Trade Commission (US-ITC) judge held that NVIDIA is violating at least three Samsung patents.

This decision is due for review in a few months from now. If upheld, NVIDIA is staring at a sales-ban on all products violating the three Samsung patents. Luckily for NVIDIA, one of the three patents expires in 2016, and the sales-ban could last a few months, at best. NVIDIA predictably stated that it is disappointed in the decision. Samsung hasn't commented.

Source: Bloomberg

HSA Announces Publication of New Guide to Heterogeneous System Architecture

The Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation today announced publication of Heterogeneous System Architecture: A New Compute Platform Infrastructure (1st Edition), edited by Dr. Wen-Mei Hwu. The book, published by Elsevier Publishing (found here: here), offers a practical guide to understanding HSA, a standardized platform design that unlocks the performance and power efficiency of parallel computing engines found in most modern electronic devices.

"Heterogeneous computing is a key enabler of the next generation of compute environments, wherein entire systems will interconnect autonomously and in real time," said HSA Foundation President Dr. John Glossner. "Developers who are skilled in the use of this platform will have the upper hand in terms of design time, IP portability, power efficiency and performance."

To support these developers, the HSA Foundation working groups are rapidly standardizing tools and APIs for debug and profiling, creating guidelines for incorporating IP from multiple vendors into the same SoC, and much more. The Foundation released the v1.0 specification in March, and soon thereafter, companies including AMD, ARM, Imagination Technologies and MediaTek previewed their plans for rolling out the world's first products based on HSA.

Micron XTRMFlash Memory Breaks Through NOR Flash Speed Limits

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced XTRMFlash memory, a faster NOR flash solution designed to revolutionize the way the electronics industry develops systems to meet the demand for "instant-on" performance and fast system responsiveness in automotive, industrial and consumer applications. Utilizing its new, low pin count interface that uses as little as 11 active signals, Micron's XTRMFlash memory outperforms other industry NOR Flash while also significantly reducing pin counts by as much as 75 percent from those found in Parallel NOR flash available in the market today. XTRMFlash memory provides system designers the ideal and fastest possible direct code execution NOR flash memory solution available to enable high-performance, yet small form-factor designs.

"Micron is committed to continued innovation in NOR flash memory," said Richard De Caro, director of NOR Flash for Micron's Embedded Business Unit. "We worked closely with our ecosystem partners and customers to understand their next-generation requirements for high-performance memory, and we have developed XTRMFlash memory as a result. XTRMFlash memory and the XTRMFlash interface have the potential to dramatically change the paradigm of the existing memory landscape by enabling a new category of high-performance and low pin count memory devices that can also extend beyond NOR Flash."

AMD Reports 2015 Third Quarter Results

AMD today announced revenue for the third quarter of 2015 of $1.06 billion, operating loss of $158 million, and net loss of $197 million, or $0.25 per share. Non-GAAP operating loss was $97 million and non-GAAP net loss was $136 million, or $0.17 per share. GAAP and non-GAAP results include a $65 million inventory write-down and the impact of this charge to loss per share was $0.08.

"AMD delivered double-digit percentage sequential revenue growth in both of our segments in the third quarter," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We continue to take targeted actions to improve long-term financial performance, build great products and simplify our business model. The formation of a joint venture of our back-end manufacturing assets is a significant step towards achieving these goals and strengthening our balance sheet."

Qualcomm Announces its First Socketed Enterprise CPU

Qualcomm, which holds a ton of ARM SoC patents, and put them to good use with its Snapdragon line of SoCs for smartphones, tablets, and convertible notebooks, is foraying into enterprise computing market. The company is ready with its first prototype of a 24-core high-performance CPU based on the 64-bit ARM machine architecture. ARM-based processors are picking up momentum in the server and micro-server markets owning to their low cost, low cooling requirements, and high energy-efficiency; and Qualcomm wants a slice of that pie. Most enterprise Linux and FreeBSD distributors have versions of their server operating systems for the 64-bit ARM architecture, as do most popular server software providers.

The prototype 24-core CPU is socketed, and ships in a large land-grid array (LGA) package, much like Intel's Xeon chips. The first production chips will have a lot more than 24 CPU cores, said Qualcomm senior vice president Anand Chandrasekhar. As a proof of concept, Qualcomm assembled three server blades using these chips, which were running Linux with a KVM hypervisor, streaming HD video to a PC using a LAMP stack (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) built with OpenStack. Qualcomm's target consumers are big Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which purchase hundreds of thousands of CPUs each year to cope with growing user- and content-traffic.


Source: PC World

NVIDIA Loses Patent Infringement Claim Lawsuit to Samsung

The United States Federal Trade Commission (US-FTC) has found that Samsung Electronics did not infringe upon patents held by NVIDIA. In a ruling made by Judge Thomas Pender on Friday (09/10), it's held that Samsung did not infringe two out of three NVIDIA-claimed patents, it did infringe upon a third one, but that patent is invalid because it's not a new invention compared to previously known patents.

Samsung manufactures the Exynos brand ARM SoCs for its own smartphones, which embed a graphics core that NVIDIA claims is based on patent infringing technology. NVIDIA, which claims that it invented the first GPU and released it in 1999, accused Samsung and Qualcomm of using its patents on graphics chip technology without permission. The company claims that both Samsung Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon (which make up a majority of Android device chips), breach its IPR. Its claims don't seem to hold water with the US-FTC. "We remain confident in our case," commented NVIDIA spokesperson Robert Sherbin to Reuters. The ruling will be reviewed by the full bench of the commission in February 2016.Source: Reuters

AMD Announces PRO A-Series Processors for Business

AMD today introduced its most powerful line of AMD PRO A-Series mobile and desktop processors (formerly codenamed "Carrizo PRO" and "Godavari PRO") to deliver exceptional value and performance for today's challenging workloads. The new line of AMD PRO A-Series processors offer enhanced performance, reliability and opportunity to business users and IT decision makers and are designed for the future with Microsoft Windows 10. With its AMD PRO mobile processors, AMD powers some of the first-to-market Windows 10-enabled commercial notebook systems for those looking to upgrade.

"The innovative architecture of new AMD PRO processors delivers compelling performance to stay ahead of the evolving demands of business today," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, computing and graphics, AMD. "Going PRO with AMD means unmatched dependability with platform stability, processor longevity and an opportunity for richer system configurations. AMD gives its customers choice and affordability to meet specific business needs, without compromising the ability to manage and maintain a secure, stable, and reliable environment."
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