Confronting Design Challenges With Smaller Thermal Envelopes

For design engineers, physics giveth but physics can also taketh away. Consider leading-edge smartphones. Outside the improved performance that each generation gives consumers, the handsets themselves get thinner, sleeker, lighter. The reduction in the Z height is effectively a given with each new generation. In 2010, the HTC Nexus One was 11.5mm thick; this year, the Mate 8 is 7.9mm. Rem... » read more

How Do We Get To Full Throttle In Mobile?

By Govind Wathan and Brian Fuller With each new generation of mobile device, we look forward to running the latest apps—especially games. (It's amazing how immersive mobile games have become in just a few years). We’re consumers but we’re also engineers, and here we’re faced with a huge challenge. It’s not just the games that get more powerful. A whole new generation of virtual ... » read more

Rightsizing Challenges Grow

Rightsizing chip architectures is getting much more complicated. There are more options to choose from, more potential bottlenecks, and many more choices about what process to use at what process node and for which markets and price points. Rightsizing is a way of targeting chips to specific application needs, supplying sufficient performance while minimizing power and cost. It has been a to... » read more

Coherency, Cache And Configurability

Coherency is gaining traction across a wide spectrum of applications as systems vendors begin leveraging heterogeneous computing to improve performance, minimize power, and simplify software development. Coherency is not a new concept, but making it easier to apply has always been a challenge. This is why it has largely been relegated to CPUs with identical processor cores. But the approach ... » read more

Reflections On 2015

It is easy to make predictions, but few people can make them with any degree of accuracy. Most of the time, those predictions are forgotten by the end of the year and there is no one to do a tally of who holds more credibility for next year. Not so with Semiconductor Engineering. We like to hold people's feet to the fire, but while the "Pants-On-Fire" meter may be applicable to politicians, we ... » read more

Do Circuits Whisper Or Shout?

Maximizing SoC performance and minimizing power is becoming a multi-layered and multi-company challenge that depends on everything from ecosystem feedback and interactions to micro-architectural decisions about whether analog circuits whisper or shout. What used to be a straightforward architectural tradeoff between performance and power has evolved into a much more diffuse and collaborativ... » read more

Smaller, Faster, Cheaper

Sometimes the most intriguing market growth comes in “unsexy” applications. Take the mobile market for example. Overall growth rates are cooling, as you’d expect with a maturing market. But in 2020, 1 billion smart phones are expected to ship in the entry-level category. This implies an 8% compounded annual growth rate, making entry mobile the most rapidly expanding mobile market segme... » read more

Not All Workloads Are Equal

ARM's Ben and Otilia put a human face big on processing — who sleeps, who works, when they do each, and and what's behind their decision. Check out the video: [youtube vid=J2z7P9JKukc] big.LITTLE uses a heterogeneous multi-core approach to power optimization, where high-performance CPU cores are combined with the most efficient CPU cores to deliver peak-performance capacity, higher s... » read more

Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Solution

With an increasing need for higher performance in mobile devices, the battery capacity must be increased accordingly, which is not easy because of the small size of mobile devices. Therefore, the demand for better power efficiency of mobile devices, which im- plies lower power consumption and higher performance is becoming critical. Recently, big.LITTLE architecture was intro- duced to fulfill ... » read more

big.LITTLE Technology: The Future of Mobile

With the evolution from the first mobile phones through smartphones to today’s superphones and tablets, the demand for compute performance in mobile devices has grown at an incredible rate. Today’s devices need to service smarter and more complex interactions, such as voice and gesture control, combined with seamless and reliable content delivery. Gaming and user interfaces have also grown ... » read more

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