ARM Displaying Their Latest Technologies @ CES 2016

CES 2016: ARM are one of the biggest tech companies in the world, chances are you’re using dozens of their products right now and you don’t even know it! They make the tiny processors, sensors and more that go into so many pieces of technology all around the world. At CES, they have been showcasing all their latest technologies, such as the Michigan Mote, the world’s smallest computer. At just 1mm3 in size, and using just 10 nanowatts of power, it’s great for batteries, radios, sensors and so much more. Unfortunately, ARM didn’t find my joke about the lack of HDMI funny, but it’s still an impressive unit.

The MbientLab MetaWear C, not the most memorable name ever, but with low-cost and endless applications, it’s a great bit of hardware. Featuring a temperature, pressure, accelerometer, gyro, magnetometer and light sensor, it’s a tracking powerhouse, and it’s no bigger than a button.

The Huawei Mate 8, a prime example of ARM hardware at work.

Another ARM Cortex chip is found in the Tom Tom GPS.

Even an automated pet food dispensor.

You wouldn’t think of shoes being ARM enabled, not that I’m trying to make a joke about it being feet enabled. With an ARM Coretex -M0 MCU, the shoes are smart enabled for fitness tracking!

The new Atheer AiR AR glasses, equipped with a number of ARM technologies for processing and sensors.

It seems there are endless products powered by arm, but what’s really special is that while they keep making powerful, cost effective and tiny systems to fit in our devices is that they’re so good at their job, their work often goes unnoticed. Great work ARM, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

ARM Sheds New Light on High-End Cortex-A72 CPU

At yesterday’s annual Tech Day event, ARM shared more details about their upcoming Cortex-A72 architecture. Set to replace the current A57 performance chips, this new replacement is set to be faster, more efficient, and doing it all with a smaller die. While the A72 is the high-performance successor, it’s still largely based on the previous A57 design.

Starting off, ARM is making big claims against the previous generation A15 cores. For the same workload in a smartphone, ARM is expecting to reduce power consumption by 75% or keep the same power levels and increase performance by 3.5 times. Of course, part of the gains are due to process improvements but about 66% of those gains come from the architecture. Of course, the A72 is also a 64bit design. Most of the changes are deep down in the chip, ARM having gone through and optimized everything. Branch prediction is improved by about 20% over the A57 and pretty every compute unit got latency reductions in the 25 to 50% range. Combined, these changes should yield about a 16 to 30% IPC increase at the same power as the A57. This lead is set to grow since the reduced die size also helps the A72 achieve higher clock speeds than before.

While beating the previous generation ARM processors is expected, the bigger question is how these improvements will fare against Intel’s Broadwell and Cherry Trial chips. Pitting a 2Ghz Core-M5Y10C against a 2.5Ghz Cortex A72, the ARM chip manages to hold it’s own. Once power is limited though, the A72 manages to pull ahead as Core-M starts throttling. Of course, we don’t know the specifics of the test, but its good food for thought nonetheless. If ARM is able to keep up their pace, Intel will soon be seriously challenged, and not just in the mobile space.

For now though, consumers will have to wait for the A72. It will be up to ARM partners like MediaTek, Qualcomm and Samsung to implement their own A72 designs. While ARM has done much to improve over the A57, it remains up to their partners to make sure it all works out, an issue highlighted by the Snapdragon 810. Earliest chips are set to ship later this year, pointing to release in mobile devices for 2016. Who knows, maybe the A72 might make it in time for the next Nexus phone?

Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Arstechnica

MediaTek’s Latest Helio SoC Will Let You Record 4K Videos at 120 FPS

The Taiwanese mobile chip maker, MediaTek, is reportedly working on a high-end SoC lineup named Helio, which the company states will compete with its rivals, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The company has revealed its latest SoC at a recent conference in Beijing, where the company’s executive explained how MediaTek is going to grasp the high-end SoC market with its new Helio lineup, which is comprised of the Helio X and Helio P versions.

While the Helio X is stated to be used in high-end smartphones, the Helio P will help the company grasp the budget smartphone market as well. The first Helio lineup is stated to be made up of the MediaTek MT6795, featuring an octa-core package, and the second will come with the ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz.

Mediated is said to be creating more chipsets in the future, which will feature ARM’s Cortex-A72 processor that will allow users to record 4K videos at 120 FPS.

Thank you Etagnet for providing us with this information

Rumor: Nexus 6 To Feature 64-bit 8-core Processor

Whether or not it is true, rumors still remain and they point to the next (Google) Nexus 6 handset having a high-end 64-bit Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. It is still too early to make presumptions at this time, though Digitimes cites an article from China’s Economic Daily News.

Reports say that Qualcomm is planning to launch its high-end Snapdragon 810 with a 64-bit architecture somewhere in the second half this year, boasting eight cores and said to run on an ARM big.LITTLE configuration which boosts its speeds and battery performance simultaneously.

Making a quick recap of what was specs were released for the Snapdragon 810, it is said to have four cores made out of ARM Cortex-A57 CPUs and the remaining being made out of ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs. All of them combined powering a Nexus handset, not to mention the upcoming Nexus 6, would definitely be something worth seeing.

However, take the information with a grain of salt since the Nexus 6 handset is bound to be released at the end of 2014, somewhere in early Q4 at the very least. New rumors are bound to change and make this recent rumor redundant, or could add up and consolidate it into something concrete. Time will tell.

Thank you Ubergizmo and Digitimes for providing us with this information

Octa-Core Exynos-based Chromebook To Be Released In 2014 By Samsung

Samsung Electronics is said to release a Chromebook equipped with its Exynos 5 Octa 5420 next year, according to an article from Business Korea. It is a successor to the Exynos 5250 Chromebook that hit the market last year.

The report states that the Exynos 5 Octo 5420 is an application processor based on “big.LITTLE” technology and has four low-power Cortex A7 at 1.3 GHz cores and four high-performance Cortex A15 at 1.8 GHz cores, having a built-in Mali-T628 graphics chip. The new Chromebook is likely to have an improved resolution of 2560×1600 with 3 GB RAM, a storage capacity of between 16GB and 32GB, and a screen of 12 inches or less. Also, it is predicted to support USB 3.0, have a built-in battery lasting for at least seven hours, and weigh slightly over 1 kg.

The chromebook is expected to be priced at between $250-300. However, the company said that they are not planning to unveil laptops at CES 2014, meaning that they are planning to unveil the Exunos 5 Octo 5420 later on this year.

Thank you Business Korea for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Business Korea

Mali GPU Shipments Set to be up Five Times in Three Years

When we look at mobile graphics, ARM is not a brand that springs to mind, but when we take into consideration the number of digital TVs and Android based tablets that there are, ARM’s presence is a little more profound than some may think. Due to the increased popularity of mobile devices and the shift towards digital television (including the digital switch-over that took place in the UK mid last year) means that the company that is typically associated with mobile CPUs has also had a boom in its mobile graphics shipments.

In 2011, fifty million SoCs with Mali graphics on them were shipped out around the world, but the boom in tablet and TV sales has seen shipments rocket and last year the figures were already up three fold. This increased rate of shipping has seen the company make a forecast that by the end of this year, they may end up shipping just under 240 million units giving a turn over of nearly five times what ARM saw only three years back.

It’s not all plain sailing though as whilst ARM is thriving off the market trends, they’re not the only players out there and there is strong competition in the field from the likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA, but their sales dominate the mobile and smart phone markets a little more for now whilst ARM take up a 20% share of the GPU shipments for use here.

Over other options the Mali GPUs offer up a balance between power and performance, which is important when it comes to efficiency and prolonging battery life in tablets and reducing overall power consumption in TV sets. In comparison to other companies, ARM’s graphics, which 95% of the time see themselves married up with their own processor such as the Cortex-A are designed a for a system-on-chip integration which gives a single unit multiple functions, ideal for compact devices such as tablets and smart phones. With the dramatic increase in smartphone sales and the shipments estimated to hit 1.1 billion this year across the board, there is the potential available for ARM to take a bigger slice into the smartphone sector and give the competition a run for their money.