ARM has unveiled the new ARM Cortex-A72 processor which they expect to be the standard SoC in mobile devices hitting the marketplace in 2016. Their claim is that it is the highest performing CPU technology available for developing mobile SoCs today. In target configurations, the Cortex-A72 processor is said to deliver CPU performance 50X greater than the leading smartphones from just five years ago.
The ARM premium mobile experience IP suite also offers a significant graphics upgrade offering users up to 4K120fps resolution. Alongside the Cortex-A72 processor is the new CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect and the new Mali-T880 GPU, ARM’s highest performing and most energy-efficient mobile GPU, along with Mali-V550 video and Mali-DP550 display processors. To further ease chip implementation, the suite also includes ARM POP IP for the leading-edge TSMC 16nm FinFET+ process.
New ARM Cortex-A72 – [Link]
by Ransom Stephens @ edn.com:
Moore’s Law, famous for predicting the exponential growth of computing power over 40 years, comes from a simple try-fail/succeed model of incremental improvement. The predictive success of Moore’s Law seems uncanny, so let’s take a closer look to get an idea of where it comes from.
Moore conceived his law for computational power but Moore’s-like growth laws permeate human endeavor—a fact that had never occurred to me until I went to a presentation by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab energy researcher, Robert van Buskirk. He showed several technologies that improve according to Moore’s law, but with different timescales than the original. You can read his paper here, notably co-authored by Nobel Laureate and former Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu.
Moore’s Law extends to cover human progress – [Link]
by Jessica Lipsky @ edn.com:
Intel announced at CES 2015 the Broadwell family, its fifth-generation Core processors. The 14 new chips are essentially versions of the company’s 22nm Haswell architecture made in its new 14nm process, providing enhancements it hopes encourages PC and notebook users to upgrade.
Intel will offer dual and quad-core chips — 10 processors at 15W (both Core i5 and i7 chips) with Intel HD graphics, and four 28W products with Intel Iris Graphics spanning i3, i5, and i7 lines. The dual-core chips have 1.9 billion transistors, a 35% increase over the prior generation, and a 133 mm2 footprint that is approximately 50mm2 smaller than its predecessors. The 15W chips have data rates up to 3.1 GHz while 28W i7 cores hit up to 3.4 GHz.
Intel rolls 14nm Broadwell in Vegas – [Link]
Cypress Semiconductor are offering the CY8CKIT-049-41XX development board which contains a 32-bit CORTEX-M3 48 MHz ARM processor for just $4.00 (£2.62 in the UK). The board is quite basic but offers a full-speed USB to serial bridge controller chip on a snap-off portion of the PCB to allow for bootloading the target PSoC device and communication with the board via a computer’s USB port. Software tools for the kit include the PSoC Creator and EZ-USB Software Development Kit (SDK).
The kit supports either a 3.3 or 5 V supply voltage and the device can be programmed using the bootloader or the Cypress MiniProg3 programmer. Cypress Semiconductor are marketing these ready-to-run kits as an alternative to supplying device samples.
Low-cost ARM Development Platform – [Link]
Every once in a while something comes along that changes the way you look at things. A project posted last week by Dmitry Grinberg was such a thing for me. The project in itself is already pretty strange: porting a 32-bit operating system (OS) to an 8-bit microcontroller lacking most of the features needed to actually run the OS. Why would you want to run Linux on an AVR? “Because you can”, would answer George Obama (or was it Barack Mallory?) and now also Dmitry. Yes, apparently you can (I didn’t try it myself), it only takes two hours to boot Linux on the AVR, with an effective clock speed of a dazzling 6.5 kHz. It is fun as in academic demonstration.
Yet for me this demonstration, working or not, useful or not, shows more. Emulating one platform on another more powerful platform is common practice these days, but I had never thought about doing the opposite. Emulating a 32-bit ARM processor on an 8-bit microcontroller is actually quite a cool idea. Maybe Dmitry is not the first to have done this, I don’t know, but it is an excellent example of thinking the other way around, outside the box. The result may be useless for now, but who knows what one day may come from this? [via]
Run 32-bit Linux on an 8-bit MCU – [Link]
BBC News – Arm’s latest processors aim to stretch internet’s reach – [via]
The firm says that microcontrollers based on the “Flycatcher” architecture will pave the way for the “internet of things” – the spread of the net to a wider range of devices.
ARM’s “internet of things” processor – [Link]
SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets, but the consumer device giant recently started receiving a critical component in its iPad and iPhones from closer to home – Texas.
The A5 processor – the brain in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 – is now made in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin owned by Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics, according to people familiar with the operation.
One of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States, the A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line that reached full production in early December.
Nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory – which is the size of about nine football fields – is dedicated to producing Apple chips, one of the people said. Samsung also produces NAND flash memory chips in Austin…
Made in Texas: Apple’s A5 iPhone chip – [Link]
ARM today disclosed technical details of its new ARMv8 architecture, the first ARM architecture to include a 64-bit instruction set. ARMv8 broadens the ARM architecture to embrace 64-bit processing and extends virtual addressing, building on the rich heritage of the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture upon which market leading cores such as the Cortex™-A9 and Cortex-A15 processors are built.
The ARM architecture is unique in its ability to span the full range of electronic devices and equipment, from tiny sensors through to large scale infrastructure equipment. Building on the industry standard 32-bit ARM architecture, the new ARMv8 architecture will expand the reach of ARM processor-based solutions into consumer and enterprise applications where extended virtual addressing and 64-bit data processing are required.
The ARMv8 architecture consists of two main execution states, AArch64 and AArch32. The AArch64 execution state introduces a new instruction set, A64 for 64-bit processing. The AArch32 state supports the existing ARM instruction set. The key features of the current ARMv7 architecture, including TrustZone®, virtualization and NEON™ advanced SIMD, are maintained or extended in the ARMv8 architecture.
“With our increasingly connected world, the market for 32-bit processing continues to expand and evolve creating new opportunities for 32-bit ARMv7 based processors in embedded, real-time and open application platforms.” said Mike Muller, CTO, ARM. “We believe the ARMv8 architecture is ideally suited to enable the ARM partnership to continue to grow in 32-bit application spaces and bring diverse, innovative and energy-efficient solutions to 64-bit processing markets.”
ARM Announces 64-bit ARMv8 Platform – [Link]
Signal Wizard 3.0 is a very powerful audio signal processor that features multichannel synchronous processing. It can mix, amplify, filter, delay and adjust the phase of individual input signals, selected by using the included intuitive PC software. Signal Wizard 3.0 features a 24-bit, 96 kHz codec with six analog input and eight analog output channels, and an internal DSP processing speed of 0.6 GMACs. Signal Wizard 3.0 also incorporates two digital audio (S/PDIF) inputs and outputs. Like its two channel equivalent Signal Wizard 2.5, the software requires no knowledge of mathematics or programming.
Signal Wizard 3.0 includes very powerful mixer functions – any channel can be blended with any or all of the other channels in any proportion, since the system incorporates mixer units at the input and output signal stages. Signal Wizard 3.0ʼs unique filter design engine enables standard filter types to be created using the easy-to-use graphical software, but it also allows completely arbitrary frequency responses, both in amplitude and phase, to be realized via a simple text file import. Read the rest of this entry »
Scientists at the University of Glasgow have created an ultra-fast 1,000-core computer processor. The core is the part of a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) which reads and executes instructions. Originally, computers were developed with only one core processor but, today, processors with two, four or even sixteen cores are commonplace. [via]
1,000 cores on one chip – [Link]