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Today, Marvel unveiled the new ARMADA 1500 Mini SoC that Google used in its hugely popular Chromecast. Being billed as "Game-Changing," the ARMADA 1500 Mini has been optimized for low-power applications such as TV Dongles like the Google Chromecast. Marvel says that the new chip has been "designed to provide instantaneous and seamless access to applications such as YouTube, Netflix and other cloud-based content, and deliver a ground-breaking multi-screen experience across smart mobile devices, laptops and HDTVs transforming any big screen into a smart and immersive entertainment device."
Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell:
I am very excited to see the brilliance of the tiny and beautiful Chromecast. I believe this is truly a game-changing solution to drive the new era of the 'Connected Lifestyle' by enabling easy access to online entertainment for an immersive, interactive multi-screen experience across any smartphone, tablet, laptop and big screen. I am very proud of Google's leadership in driving the ecosystem partners to deliver more powerful and very affordable solutions to serve the world of consumers for better lives. 2013 has been a phenomenal year for bringing online entertainment to TV. I am so thankful for and proud of the joint hard work and innovation by the Marvell team, the Google team and other partners in the ecosystem.
Marvel said that the ARMADA 1500 Mini platform has been purpose built from the ground up to enable high-quality audio, video, and graphics, while still being extremely energy efficient. It was also designed to be featured in ultra small form-factor packages such as USB / HDMI dongles and it supports 1080p video decoding. The chip is also compatible with multiple DRM solutions such as Widevine and Playready. With this new SoC solution being released, we expect to see other companies releasing similar dongles in the future. Who would you like to see an HDMI dongle from? Samsung? Apple? What about a Windows 8 Solution from Nokia? Let us know in the comments.
It looks like Intel is preparing the 14nm shrink of their current "Haswell" fourth-generation Core processor for the second half of next year. "Broadwell" is what Intel refer to it as, and it looks like we could expect the chipmaker to be concentrating on mobile parts instead of desktop parts this time around.
From the shot above, thanks to VR-Zone, we can see the Core i7 4770 will still be good until the second half of next year. From then, the entire lineup of Core processors will shift to the Haswell refresh, currently known as Broadwell. We can also expect Intel to launch Ivy Bridge-E processors in September of this year.
Haswell-E will bring DDR4 support, and the upcoming U and Y series of mobile CPUs will include SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 support.
Apparently, Intel does not like its customers overclocking their new Haswell chips on non-Z87-equipped motherboards. Several of the large motherboard manufacturers have released workarounds that allow their customers to overclock their Haswell processors on motherboards that did not feature a Z87 chipset.
Unfortunately, those workarounds will only function for just a little bit longer as Intel prepares a microcode update that will firmly lock overclocking abilities to only the Z87 hardware. The update appears to be scheduled for this coming week and it's not clear yet on how the update will be pushed to your system. Intel has also not released word on if the microcode update has already been implemented on new retail processors, but we're sure that they will begin pushing it to them soon.
Intel have been building custom processors for big companies such as eBay and Facebook, are now looking at the datacenter market
Some interesting information is coming out from Intel engineer Ronak Singhal, who has spent most of his 17-year career at Intel developing relationships with the top computer experts in the world.
The experts he has worked with include huge companies such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and more. Singhal spoke with EE Times during a break in a press briefing in regards to Intel's latest Xeon and Atom server chips, where he said: "When three of them all tell you they want the same thing, you know you are on to something."
But, as you can imagine, some companies don't want the same thing and want a CPU that is custom-made to their specific needs. In the last couple of years, Intel have been providing some of their biggest customers like eBay and Facebook, with custom versions of their CPUs. Intel is taking this slow, and isn't rushing into custom-made processors for companies just yet, though.
NVIDIA show off Project Logan at SIGGRAPH 2013, providing near GeForce Titan GPU performance on mobile
NVIDIA have had something quite impressive to show off at SIGGRAPH this year, Project Logan. Project Logan is an upcoming Kepler-based mobile SoC, which should really provide mobile devices with a serious punch in performance.
Kepler is great for NVIDIA, as it scales from the best super computers, right down to mobile devices. NVIDIA have been able to scale the GEFORCE TITAN's 250W performance, down to Project Logan, where it only uses between 2-3W. Of course, we don't have TITAN performance in the size of a mobile, but with the right compromises, we're getting there.
We have Full HD video support, with NVIDIA saying: "game developers can develop awesome graphics for desktop and more easily bring those capabilities to mobile." NVIDIA used their reference tablet design to show off the power inside Logan, with the demos including full HDR lighting, FXAA, bloom, tone mapping, auto exposure, same environment, moving light, deep tissue scattering. With the videos above for your viewing pleasure.
Today Intel confirmed the existence of the 4.5 watt Haswell CPU that popped up in a datasheet last month. Intel says that the chip will hit markets before the end of the year and that it will be geared towards fanless tablets and convertibles, which do not have much space for cooling hardware.
The 4.5W Haswell is expected to fill in the blank left by Intel's 6W Haswell processors that require an active cooling solution.
It should be noted that the 4.5W rating is the SDP or Scenario Design Power, which describes the sustained power consumption for sustained workloads, and that Intel has not released any information on the processors TDP, which is used to describe power draw in short burst.
The data sheet in which we first saw the new processor also says that the 4.5W SDP only applies when the clock speed is capped at 800MHz.
A few days ago we reported about Samsung's new Exynos 5 Octa processor, but now we have some more details on the system-on-a-chip (SoC).
The new refreshed 5420 variant of the SoC is based on Mali-T628 MP5 silicon and features four ARM Cortex-A15 cores running at 1.8GHz and four 1.3GHz Cortex-A7s in an ARM big.LITTLE configuration. Samsung are claiming that the refreshed 8-core SoC features 20% more CPU processing power, too.
We also have dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, which will provide the processor with an insane 1.49GBps of bandwidth, which will help out with that Full HD Wi-Fi display support. Image compression technology is involved, which will help save battery power and use efficient multimedia loading, pushing out more hours of use with high resolution displays.
We don't know which devices will be powered by these new 8-core, energy-efficient processors, but that information should arrive in the coming weeks.
AMD are continuing on with their APUs, having named a successor to their not-even-released 'Kaveri' APU expected in 2015. Kaveri is their Steamroller-based x86 CPU with a GCN-based GPU and HUMA memory architecture, and won't see the light of day until the second half of 2014.
But, AMD have named its successor already, which will be known as Carizo. Carizo will arrive in 2015, and will feature even more improvements on the unreleased Kaveri APU. Carizo will probably feature AMD's upcoming Excavator CPU core and hopefully an even better rack of GCN GPU cores. We should expect the memory architecture to receive an injection of speed improvements, too.
Earlier today on Twitter, Samsung announced that next week it will be launching a new Exynos Evolved 5 octa-core processor. The company's current flagship processor, the Exynos 5 Octa, was revealed earlier this year at CES and is just now began being integrated into handsets but as all things go in the electronics world, it appears that a new and improved model has already been developed.
Samsung says that the new processor will be more powerful and enhanced and while no other information was given, we're kind of hoping to see the Exynos built on a 22nm scale which could bring us closer to seeing 2 GHz to 2.5 GHz clock speeds. The current Exynos is built on a 28nm process and its flagship chip is clocked at 1.8GHz.
It was just two years ago that a 1 GHz processor in your smartphone was considered a big deal, but by today's standards 1 GHz is pretty slow. Today, ARM announced that it will be ramping up clock speeds in its mobile processors to the 3 GHz range in 2014.
A statement from the company reveals that it has plans to move away from the 28nm process and begin manufacturing chips on a 20nm process which will set the stage for the 3GHz core speed. TSMC, the fabrication house which has signed a deal to manufacture Apple's new line of chipsets, has said that the new process is expected to deliver a 30 percent increase in clock speed while at the same time a 25 percent reduction in heat. These gains can be attributed to efficiency gains from the next-gen manufacturing process.
ARM says that most of the new transistors added will be dedicated to graphics processing performance. The 25 percent reduction in power function will translate into a 25 percent boost in battery life. Since battery life is still the top complaint when it comes to smartphones ARM says that consumers should look forward to the new 20nm process.