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GTC 2014 - NVIDIA has just unveiled its next-generation mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC), Erista. What makes Erista an important step, is the incredible power that NVIDIA have baked into the mobile chip.
Erista isn't coming until 2015, but it will be based on the company's Maxwell architecture, which is the technology powering its next-gen GPUs on the desktop. Right now, we have Tegra K1 right around the corner, which is based on the Kepler architecture, and has around 40 GFLOPS of performance, but Erista drives that up to around 65-70 GFLOPS. We should hopefully hear more on that as 2014 comes to a close.
Intel unveiled its plans for its entire lineup of desktop processors and All-in-One PC systems as the company believes that desktop PC is getting stronger. The company started by pointing some facts observed during 2013 and 2014, which some people may not (or may) find it surprising.
According to company's statements, Intel's desktop processor volume was up by 7$ on a Year-on-Year basis as per Q4 2013's results. The following month, Intel observed that they've made an All-time record for its Core i5 and Core i7 unit shipments, as Brian Krzanich in January 2014.
This should explain why Intel accelerated its plans to release its Haswell-E lineups and Intel X99 lineups well before than previously expected. Since the company sees a certain upward growth in the DIY PC and enthusiast market, it only makes sense to offer the best they have as quick as possible, provided its all ready for retail.
It looks like we could expect Intel to surprise the world by releasing its Haswell-E processors at Computex in Taipei, in just a few months time. The chipmaker is preparing its new Core i7 Extreme CPU, as well as its X99 chipset.
Intel's Haswell-E processor will be the company's first desktop processor to feature eight cores, for a total of 16 threads. We should also expect 20MB of L3 cache, quad-channel DDR4 memory support, Turbo Boost 2 technology, an 40 integrated PCI Express 3.0 lanes. The new Haswell-E CPUs will be made on Intel's 22nm process.
The new Haswell-E processors will arrive as the 5000-series, compatible only with the X99 chipset and LGA2011-3 socket. The platform is being targeted toward enthusiasts, so we should see some exotic motherboards unveiled at Computex by the usual players: ASUS, GIGABYTE, ASRock and so forth. The new X99 chipset should deliver some great new features and technologies, too.
It looks like AMD is forging through with plans to dominate the desktop in emerging markets, where the chipmaker has just announced its new AM1 chipset. The AM1 chipset is a system-on-chip (SoC) for the developing market.
The AM1 part is a sibling of the Kabini family of chips, something that AMD launched last year with both dual- and quad-core CPUs and GPUs on the same chipset. This is similar to what was baked into Sony's PlayStation 4, and Microsoft's Xbox One. Kabini was developed mostly for portables, but AMD wants to see the new AM1 take on the low-cost, expandable desktop market.
Where AMD has it in the bag is the price, which starts at just $60 for the chipset and motherboard combined. We should see AM1 limited to just 25W maximum power draw from the chipset, but a restriction of PCIe 2.0. AMD has taken some swings at Intel, comparing it to Intel's Bay Trail platform, which AMD says AM1 beats with higher memory speeds, 16GB memory support, an upgradeable socket, and Windows XP support. AMD declares: "Avoid a dead-end platform and choose AMD".
MWC 2104 - SoC's centered around smartphones were a big topic at this years Mobile World Congress with big hitters like Qualcomm and Broadcom announcing several new chips designed to carry mobile communications into the next-generation. Samsung was not to be left out of the party either and has announced two new additions to its Exynos line of mobile SoCs.
The Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5422 is an updated version of the Exynos 5 Octa 5420. The SoC features four ARM Cortex-A15 cores and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores in what is known as a big.LITTLE configurations. Clock speeds are set to 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz respectively, and the SoC supports heterogeneous multi-processing just like its predecessor. This means that the computationally intensive task are handled by the ARM Cortex A-15 cores while the low-level duties are passed off to the lighter Cortex A-7 cores. Additionally a dual-channel 32-bit LPDDR3-1866 memory controller is featured as well as a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU. An integrated modem is not present in the SoC though, which means manufacturers will have to look to solutions such as Intel's recently-announced XMM 7160 chip for LTE connectivity.
Samsung also unveiled the new Exynos 5 Hexa 5260, a six-core SoC which also utilizes a big.LITTLE configuration. Two ARM Cortex-A15 cores are paired up with four ARM Cortex-A7 cores with clock speeds at 1.7GHz and 1.3GHz respectively. The 5260 also features a 32-bit LPDDR3-1600 memory controller and HMP support, making it a very tempting processor for applications where low-power draw is ideal. Word on the street is that the Exynos 5 Hexa 5260 will make its way into the Galaxy Note 3 Neo which is slated for a spring launch.
MWC 2014 - In the sea of Mobile World Congress 2014 news this week, Qualcomm unleashed two new system-on-chips, the new Snapdragon 600 and 615. Both of these new SoCs feature ARMv8 64-bit processing technology, 4G/LTE connectivity and refreshed Adreno graphics.
The new processors will see four (at up to 1.8GHz) and eight (four at 1GHz, four at 1.8GHz) ARM Cortex-A53 cores, respectively. Both SoCs will feature refreshed Adreno 405 graphics, which supports up-to-date graphics APIs such as DirectX 11.2, and OpenGL ES 3.0, full profile OpenCL 1.1 and hardware accelerated geometry shading and hardware tessellation.
We also have an LPDDR3 memory controller, new display controller which supports up to 2560x2048 displays, improved multimedia processors (with H.265 codec support, Wi-Fi 802.11ac controller, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/GLONASS, Gobi 4G/LTE cat 4 modem which supports speeds of up to 150Mb/s. Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies said: "Qualcomm Technologies is redefining the user experience for high-end mobile devices by amassing the unparalleled trilogy of an industry-leading LTE modem, 64-bit multi-core processing, and superior multimedia".
Mobile World Congress 2014 is just around the corner, and now we have news that Samsung will launch a new SoC at the event - the Exynos Infinity. The Galaxy device maker teased the new chip, which should be quite the performer.
We should expect the Exynos Infinity chip to be the first chip compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, which should feature four ARM Cortex-A57 and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores in ARM Big.Little heterogeneous multi-core configuration for some serious mobile performance. This should be the processor that will power Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone, which should arrive in two models: the standard model, and the new Premium model with the 2K display.
The Galaxy S5 should arrive with LPDDR3 support, 4K video encoding/decoding, 4K rear-camera support, and much more.
Intel is preparing a new 15-core Xeon CPU, which will feature 4.31 billion transistors, a 3.8GHz Turbo Frequency, 155W TDP, 40 PCIe lanes, and will join the Xeon E7 line-up.
This means we can expect the new native 15-core processor to be joined by seven other CPUs for a total of eight CPUs, with Hyper-Threading thrown into the mix we can expect up to 240 threads being capable thanks to this new processor. The new Ivy Bridge-EX processor will feature 15 cores/30 threads, 37.5MB of L3 cache, will support DDR3-1600MHz RAM and most likely come in at over $5000 when it lands.
The new 15-core CPU will use the LGA2011 socket and arrive as the Xeon E7-8890 v2 CPU, we will see 8 members in the Xeon E7-8xxx v2 range.
I still remember watching The Terminator, where they needed to smash the chip inside of the Terminator's head in order to fully destroy it. Well, DARPA on its path for ultimate robotic takeover of the world, is working with IBM on a self-destructing chip - something out of a sci-fi movie.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a contract to IBM that will see the company develop a CMOS chip that will self-destruct on command. The project is called Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR), that will prevent expensive, next-gen, classified military systems - such as a Terminator - from being captured, and reverse engineered by the enemy.
DARPA states on the webpage for VAPR: "It is nearly impossible to track and recover every [electronic] device [on the battlefield], resulting in unintended accumulation in the environment and potential unauthorized use and compromise of intellectual property and technological advantage".
The defense agency says that VAPR is a "broad agency agreement" program that was announced just last month, in order to fund multiple development efforts in order to create "electronic systems capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner...[with] performance comparable to commercial-off-the-shelf electronics, but with limited device persistence that can be programmed, adjusted in real-time, triggered, and/or be sensitive to the deployment environment".
AMD has just announced its new Opteron A1100 processor, a chip built on a 64-bit capable ARM-based server SoC. This chip has been branded as an Opteron processor, which is the first processor the two companies have worked together on.
The new Opteron A1100, codenamed "Seattle", comes in two flavors: four or eight CPU cores. These cores are based on ARM's Cortex-A57 design, which can be clocked up to 2GHz. Each core shares 1MB of L2 cache, as well as a total of 8MB of L3 cache that all shares can access. The SoC is built at GlobalFoundaries on a 28nm process.
Opteron A1100's memory controller is capable of supporting both DDR3 and DDR4 memory through its 128-bit bus, and AMD's reference platform will support up to 128GB of Registered DDR3 DIMMs. The SoC features an 8 lane PCIe 3.0 controller that supports one x8 or two x4 slot configurations, plus an 8-port 6Gbps SATA controller, and two 10GbE ports.
AMD's new Opteron A1100 chip will sample in March, with the company predicting that ARM-based solutions will occupy 25% of the server market by 2019.