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CES 2014 - We've already seen the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 start off, unofficially, with a bunch of 4K goodies being announced, with Qualcomm not being left out on its own - with the company announcing its new SoC, the Snapdragon 802.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 802 SoC is destined for TVs, where it is a TV-specific quad-core SoC that borrows features from the Snapdragon 800 SoC, and the "Ultra HD" 805 chip for mobile video. The Snapdragon 802 is all about powering 4K content in your living room, with the processor capable of multi-tasking, where it can easily handle browsing the Internet, or switching things up and streaming a movie or playing four HD video streams on your TV.
The Snapdragon 802 also has HQV, or Hollywood Quality Video, a video-processing engine which upconverts 1080p content to a level "approaching Ultra HD." The actual specs of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 802 are: a quad-core 1.8GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, two-stream dual-band 802.11ac, AllJoyn integration and Snapdragon Studio Access content protection.
Qualcomm will begin pushing these new Snapdragon 802 SoCs to OEMs in the near future, where consumers will begin to see the SoCs powering their future TVs and set-top boxes. This is expected in late 2014.
CES 2014 - NVIDIA unveiled its impressive Tegra K1 processor yesterday, but in the weeks leading up to the event held in Las Vegas for CES 2014, the GPU maker plowed through a farm to drum up marketing for its new mobile processor which features 192 GPU cores.
The crop circle NVIDIA used has some keen-eyed readers notice the numbers 1, 9 and 2 in the crop circle - teasing '192' - the amount of GPU cores on its just-announced Tegra K1 processor. It seems like a long shot, but if this is as far as NVIDIA wants to go with marketing its Tegra K1 processor. -
CES 2014 - NVIDIA has just outed its new Tegra K1 mobile processor, which is based off of the company's Kepler architecture, which we find in desktop and notebook parts.
The NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor is a DirectX 11-capable part, with the heart of it an ARM-based quad-core processor, and a 192-core GPU that has support for Unreal Engine 4 and OpenGL 4.4. There will be two different versions on offer, a 32-bit part clocked at 2.3GHz, and a 64-bit part with a Denver CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, but just a dual-core chip.
Intel's upcoming 14nm Xeon Phi, or Knights Landing CPU, will reportedly feature an insane amount of technology compared to what we see now in the Xeon range. The new Knights Landing CPU will see Intel increase the performance, throughput, and total TFLOP count with the next generation MIC (Many Integrated Core) card.
Intel's Knights Landing will be based on the company's Silvermont CPU architecture, which we see in the Bay Trail mobile products. Knights Landing on the otherhand, will support 512-bit AVX operations, and a new mesh interconnect architecture which will see 72 cores to ship on each PCB.
The new CPU with 72 cores on-board will also see 16GB of on-package eDRAM, and six DDR4 memory controllers which will be capable of seeing over 384GB of DDR4 memory. Then we have the rumor that Intel could abandon PCI-Express 3.0 because of its latency issues, and shift over to QPI which will ship with the Skylake-EX chipset.
Intel's current consumer CPUs have a maximum of 12 threads, with the LGA2011 socket maxing out right now. But, it looks like Intel's upcoming Broadwill CPU will feature up to 18 processing cores.
We shouldn't expect Broadwell until sometime in 2015, so we have a while to wait yet. Intel's upcoming 14nm process will power most of this advancement, with the 18-core Broadwell-EP or EX Xeon chip being based on the shrunken tech. We should expect an 8- or 10-core part for the desktop/workstation market, while a 12- or 16-core part will reach the enterprise market.
aWe've already witnessed what happened to Qualcomm over Apple's 64-bit-capable A7 processor, but it looked like it "hit [Qualcomm] in the gut", according to an unnamed Qualcomm employee.
Dan Lyons, a tech columnist, reported from the unnamed Qualcomm employee: "The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut. Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It's not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won't benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it's like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it."
Not that 64-bit processors are changing the way users use their iPhone 5S smartphones, but it's a good step in the right direction. Apple now just needs to use some innovation outside of the iPhone, instead of inside of it.
At the moment, Google leans on Intel for its processors that make things happen in its servers across the world, but the latest rumors point to this possibly changing.
It looks like Google could move from being just a software and services company, to a full hardware designer, too. Bloomberg is reporting that Google engineers are possibly working on their own custom server processor, which would feature ARM-based technology, the same technology found inside that Android smartphones and tablets.
Google currently designs its own server systems, but making its own processors would make it a near Google-run process. Moving in this direction would lessen its reliance on Intel, which currently chews up most of the server market. Time will tell.
Rumor has it that LG is working on its on system on a chip (SoC0 that is known as Odin. There are reportedly going to be two versions of this new SoC, one will be a quad-core part, while the other will be an eight-core part.
Both SoCs will be based on ARM's Cortex A9 and A15 cores, with LG using ARM's architecture, and tweaking it to create a customized version for its devices. This isn't any different to what Qualcomm does with the Krait line of chips, or Samsung and its Exynos range. The difference will come with LG using TMSC's facilities to manufacture the SoC, as it doesn't have its own in-house fab unit like Samsung does.
This is all coming from Korean news site, DigitalTimes, who reports that the quad-core Odin chip would be baked into LG's smart TVs in 2014 and beyond. The eight-core version will most likely be baked into the next-gen G2 smartphone and future LG-made slates. I'm guessing it might even be used in an upcoming Nexus device, as LG is the company building the Nexus smartphones right now.
Intel may dominate the CPU industry, but it doesn't do too well in the system on a chip (SoC) market, especially against the likes of companies like Qualcomm. Well, it looks like Intel is not just going to roll over and give up, if its new Atom SoC roadmap is anything to go by.
Intel is hoping to increase CPU performance by 5x, and GPU performance by a whopping 15x, all before 2016. The current Bay Trail-based Atom SoC will be replaced in late 2014 by the 14-nm based "Cherry Trail" silicon which will feature "Airmont" GPU and next-gen Intel graphics. At the start of next year, we should begin to see smartphone-bound, dual-core "Merrifield" Atom chips, with a quad-core version arriving in 2H 2014.
In late 2014, Intel will unleash its new Atom SoC, codenamed "Sofia", which is made for entry-level devices. There will be two variants, one released in 2014 which will feature an integrated HSPA+ communications chip, while the second model, to be released in 2015, will feature LTE capabilities. Funnily enough, at first, these communications chips will be ARM-based, but will eventually be converted to x86 architecture.
Intel have something exciting for 2014, and that's the new Z97 platform, which is going to be the new high-end, Haswell-E platform. Well, the Z97 chipset will reportedly not feature the new SATA Express standard, which is a disappointment.
SATA Express is part of the new Serial ATA 3.2 standard, which will feature new connectors that are backwards compatible, as well as some nifty PCIe-based SATA Express devices. SATA Express is expected to provide a choice of AHCI or NVM Express host interfaces, which should pump more speed through its already fast pipes.