MediaTek Grabs Another Gear

Today, it seems to be all the rage for automotive manufacturers to try to continuously one up the competition by announcing a new transmission that has more gears or “speeds." (Popular Mechanics did a nice article about why you would want more gears.) Basically, transmission designers want to keep the engine operating at or near its peak operating efficiency point and extend the operating ran... » read more

How Many Cores? (Part 1)

The optimal number of processor cores in chip designs is becoming less obvious, in part due to new design and architectural options that make it harder to draw clear comparisons, and in part because just throwing more cores at a problem does not guarantee better performance. This is hardly a new problem, but it does have a sizable list of new permutations and variables—right-sized heteroge... » read more

Putting The “Heterogeneous” In The HSA Foundation

By Kurt Shuler In last month’s article I explained why symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) architectures have been popular in PC and server markets, and why heterogeneous or asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) has been the norm in mobility and consumer electronics markets. I also explained the trends that are leading PC and server markets to adopt heterogeneous architectures and introduced the HSA ... » read more

SMP, Asymmetric Multi- processing And The HSA Foundation

When we hear the term “multiprocessing,” we often associate it with “symmetric multiprocessing (SMP).” This is because of SMP’s initial prevalence in the high-performance computing world, and now in x86/x64 servers and PCs. However, it’s been known for years that SMP’s ability to scale performance as the number of cores increases is poor. (For more information on SMP’s inability... » read more