Adding DSP hardware shrinks energy for MCU core

Adding DSP hardware shrinks energy for MCU core
by Don Dingee on 10-14-2016 at 4:00 pm

ARM’s Cortex-M4 processor core represented quite a breakthrough in digital signal controller technology when launched in 2010. Adding a single-cycle multiplier and SIMD instructions enabled basic DSP algorithms while retaining the low power benefits of an MCU. New technology circa 2016 – embedded programmable logic – can… Read More


Targeting Cat-NB1 instructions delivers power savings

Targeting Cat-NB1 instructions delivers power savings
by Don Dingee on 10-10-2016 at 4:00 pm

If one wireless IoT technology fit every possible use case, we would have one specification. Many tradeoffs – battery life, mobility, indoor coverage, licensed versus unlicensed spectrum, and more – have made for many potential solutions. A heated discussion right now is over the future of LPWAN technologies, with LoRA, SIGFOX,… Read More


Of distant dreams and violent delights

Of distant dreams and violent delights
by Don Dingee on 10-05-2016 at 4:00 pm

Another report today of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching fire, this time an allegedly refurbished unit, takes us back to the turning point in Samsung mobile phone history. It’s not the first time a defective Samsung phone – or a pile of thousands of them – has been on fire.

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee issued a powerful edict to his mobile… Read More


SiFive execs share ideas on their RISC-V strategy

SiFive execs share ideas on their RISC-V strategy
by Don Dingee on 10-03-2016 at 4:00 pm

Since its formation just last year, SiFive has been riding the RISC-V rocket from purely academic interest to first commercialization. In an exclusive discussion, I talked with CEO Stefan Dyckerhoff and VP of Product and Business Development Jack Kang about their progress so far and what may be coming next.


Previously, I covered… Read More


CCIX shows up in ARM CMN-600 interconnect

CCIX shows up in ARM CMN-600 interconnect
by Don Dingee on 09-30-2016 at 4:00 pm

All the hubbub about FPGA-accelerated servers prompts a big question about cache coherency. Performance gains from external acceleration hardware can be wiped out if the system CPU cluster is frequently taking hits from cache misses after data is worked on by an accelerator.

ARM’s latest third-generation CoreLink CMN-600 … Read More


Cadence DSPs float for efficiency in complex apps

Cadence DSPs float for efficiency in complex apps
by Don Dingee on 09-29-2016 at 4:00 pm

Floating-point computation has been a staple of mainframe, minicomputer, supercomputer, workstation, and PC platforms for decades. Almost all modern microprocessor IP supports the IEEE 754 floating-point standard. Embedded design, for reasons of power and area and thereby cost, often eschews floating-point hardware… Read More


It’s a heterogeneous world and cache rules it now

It’s a heterogeneous world and cache rules it now
by Don Dingee on 09-28-2016 at 4:00 pm

Cache evolved when the world was all about homogeneous processing and slow and expensive shared memory. Now, compute is just part of the problem – devices need to handle display, connectivity, storage, and other tasks, all at the same time. Different, heterogeneous cores handle different workflows in the modern SoC, and the burden… Read More


Making photonic design more straightforward

Making photonic design more straightforward
by Don Dingee on 09-27-2016 at 4:00 pm

The arrival of optical computing has been predicted every year for the last fifteen years. As with any other technology backed by prolific research, lofty goals get dialed back as problems are identified. What emerges first is a set of use cases where the technology fits with practical, realizable implementations.

When it comes… Read More