The growing popularity of visual applications for displaying increasingly rich data sets is clearly a key driver behind the rising momentum of Android among embedded developers. Industrial Automation (28%), Infotainment (20%), and Digital Signage (12%) were the top three applications in the survey, closely followed by HMI (11%) and Medical (11%).
The ability to add a touch interface (26%) was listed by respondents as the main benefit of adopting Android, with reduced time to market (25%) and customizability (19%) coming in second and third respectively. Native multimedia support (14%) in the O/S and the robust Android app ecosystem (12%) were also seen as important.
As a mobile O/S, Android does offer some critical challenges for developers to overcome when implementing it for embedded applications, including its lack of I/O support for peripherals (23%), the need to maintain different versions of it, and ensuring security (17%). Building up internal Android development expertise (21%) and finding the right development tools (19%) are other key issues embedded developers face in adopting the O/S.
We’d like to thank everyone who responded to the survey for the invaluable feedback they provided. We have already begun analyzing the results in order to determine how we can improve the platforms and services we offer for Embedded Android, and will be updating you on our progress.
Download the full results here.
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Cortex-A53 is used alone in higher and higher-end devices as the result of increased competition between MediaTek and Qualcomm
We’ve learned a lot during the last one a half years about the superiority of the Cortex-A53 cores for the mass produced SoCs. Some major points about that you see on the right:
My prediction back in Dec 23, 2013 was that The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on. Such a prediction is a reality now as no less than 291 smartphones are listed as of today in PDAdb.net, which are using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 quad-core SoC based on Cortex-A53. The first such device, the Lenovo A805e Dual SIM TD-LTE was released in July, 2014.
Meanwhile Qualcomm’s downstream rival, MediaTek is moving up fast with its offerings as well. There are 8 devices based on quadcore MT6732M since Dec’14, 27 devices which based on quad-core MT6732 since Nov’14, and even 6 devices based on octa-core MT6753 since Jan’15. Note however that there are 3 such products from the Chinese brand Meizu, and one each from another local brands, Elephone and Cherry Mobile. Only the ZTE model is from a 1st tier global vendor yet.
My prediction was also proven by the fact that interest in that post was the highest on this blog as soon as the respective new SoCs, and commercial devices based on them arrived:
Now even higher end, octa-core smartphones based on Cortex-A53 alone are coming to the market from 1st tier device vendors
June 1, 2015: Asus ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL)
(launched on the ASUS Zensation Press Event at Computex 2015)
from the product site:
ZenFone Selfie features the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor — Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615. With its superb performance and superior power-efficiency you’ll shoot sharp photographs at stupefying speed, record and edit Full HD (1080p) video with minimal battery draw, and enjoy using the integrated 4G/LTE to share everything you do at incredible speeds of up to 150Mbit/s!
expected price in India: ₹12,999 ($205)
(Re: “coming in an incredible price” said in the launch video about the earlier ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) which has the same price, but a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560 processor, only 5 MP secondary camera etc.)
from the ASUS Presents Zensation at Computex 2015 press release:
ZenFone Selfie is a unique smartphone designed to capture the best possible selfies, quickly and simply. Featuring front and rear 13MP PixelMaster cameras with dual-color, dual LED Real Tone flash, ZenFone Selfie captures beautiful, natural-looking selfies in gloriously high resolution. The rear camera features a large f/2.0 aperture lens and laser auto-focus technology to ensure near-instant focusing for clear, sharp pictures — even in low-light conditions where traditional cameras struggle.
ZenFone Selfie includes the brilliant ZenUI Beautification mode for live digital cosmetics. A few taps is all that’s needed to soften facial features, slim cheeks, and enhance skin tone to add vibrancy, and all in real time — injecting instant verve into any composition. ZenFone Selfie also has Selfie Panorama mode, which exploits ZenFone Selfie’s f/2.2-aperture front lens and 88-degree field of view to capture panoramic selfies of up to 140 degrees. With Selfie Panorama mode enabled, selfies become a party with all friends included — plus the ability to capture panoramic scenery for stunning backdrops.
ZenFone Selfie has a large 5.5-inch screen that fits in a body that’s a similar size to that of most 5-inch smartphones, for a maximized viewing experience in a compact body that fits comfortably in the hand. It has a high-resolution 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle and staggering 403ppi pixel density that renders every image in eye-delighting detail. ASUS TruVivid technology brings color to life in brilliant clarity, making selfies and other photos look their best. Tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 covers the display to help protect against scratches and drops.
ZenFone Selfie features the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor for the perfect balance of multimedia performance and battery efficiency — the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615. This extraordinarily powerful chip equips ZenFone Selfie to provide the very best multimedia and entertainment experiences, carefully balancing high performance with superior power-efficiency.
June 19, 2015 by SamMobile: Samsung’s first smartphones with front-facing LED flash, Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7, now official
Samsung has announced its first smartphones with a front-facing LED flash; the Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7. Specifications of these devices were previously leaked through TENAA, and their UI was revealed through Samsung’s own manuals. Now, they have been officially announced in China, where they would be available starting this week, but there’s no clarity about their international launch.
All the mid-range and high-end smartphones from the company released recently have started featuring high-resolution front-facing cameras, and the same is the case with the Galaxy J7 and the Galaxy J5. To complement their 5-megapixel wide-engle front-facing cameras, they are equipped with a front-facing single-LED flash. Other features include a 13-megapixel primary camera with an aperture of f/1.9, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, dual-SIM card slot, and LTE connectivity. Both these smartphones run Android 5.1 Lollipop with a new UI that is similar to that of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge.
The Galaxy J7 is equipped with a 5.5-inch HD display, a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, a 3,000 mAh battery, and is priced at 1,798 CNY (~ $289). The Galaxy J5 features a slightly smaller 5-inch HD display, a 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, a 2,600 mAh battery, and is priced at 1,398 CNY (~ $225). Both of them will be available in China in three colors; gold, white, and black.
The Galaxy J5 and J7 are targeted at the youth and compete with devices like the HTC Desire EYE, Sony Xperia C4, and the Asus ZenFone Selfie, all of which have high-resolution front-facing cameras with an LED flash.
The selfie phenomenon is about to kick up a notch with the introduction of Xperia™ C4 and Xperia C4 Dual – Sony’s next generation PROselfie smartphones, featuring a best in class 5MP front camera, a Full HD display and superior performance.
“Following the success of Xperia C3, we are proud to introduce Sony’s evolved PROselfie smartphone,” said Tony McNulty, Vice-President, Value Category Business Management at Sony Mobile Communications. “Xperia C4 caters to consumers that want a smartphone that not only takes great photos, but also packs a punch. Benefiting from Sony’s camera expertise, the 5MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens lets you capture perfect selfies, while its quality display and performance features provide an all-round advanced smartphone experience.”
We all like a high-profile selfie – so go ahead and get snapping:
You can now stage the perfect selfie, getting everything – and everyone – in shot, thanks to the powerful 5MP front camera with 25mm wide-angle lens. Sony’s Exmor RTM for mobile sensor, soft LED flash and HDR features means the pictures will always be stunning, even in those ‘hard to perfect’ low light conditions. Superior auto automatically optimises settings to give you the best possible picture and SteadyShot™ technology compensates for any camera shake.
With 13MP, autofocus and HDR packed in there is no compromise on the rear camera, which delivers great shots for those rare moments you’re not in the picture.
You will also be able to get even more fun out of your smartphone with a suite of creative camera apps such as Style portrait with styles including ‘vampire’ and ‘mystery’ to add a unique edge to your selfie. Moreover, apps such as AR maskgive your selfie a twist by letting you place a different face over your own face or others’ faces while you snap a selfie.
Experience your entertainment in Full HD
Now you can enjoy every picture and every video in detail with Xperia C4’s 5.5” Full HD display. Watching movies on your smartphone is more enjoyable thanks to Sony’s TV technology – such as Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2 and super vivid-mode – which offers amazing clarity and colour brightness. Enjoy viewing from any angle with IPS technology.
Great video deserves great audio to match, so Xperia C4 features Sony’s audio expertise to deliver crisp and clear audio quality. With or without headphones, you can sit back and enjoy your favourite entertainment in all its glory.
The design of Xperia C4 has also been crafted with precise detail and care to ensure every aspect amplifies the sharp and vivid display. A minimal frame around the scratch-resistant screen enhances both the viewing experience and the smartphone design, while its lightweight build feels comfortable in the hand. Xperia C4 comes in a choice of white, black and a vibrant mint.
Superior performance, with a power-packed battery that just keeps going
Whether you’re running multiple apps, checking Facebook, snapping selfies or listening to the best music – you can do it all at lighting speed thanks to Xperia C4’s impressive Octa-core processor. Powered by an efficient 64-bit Octa-core processor [Mediatek MT6752], Xperia C4 makes it easier than ever to multitask and switch between your favourite apps, without affecting performance. Ultra-fast connectivity with 4G capabilities means it’s quicker than ever to download your favourite audio or video content and surf the web without lag.
The large battery (2,600mAh) provides over eight hours of video viewing time, meaning that the entire first season of Breaking Bad can be binged uninterrupted, while Battery STAMINA Mode 5.0 ensures you have complete control over how your battery is used.
Xperia C4 is compatible with more than 195 Sony NFC-enabled devices including SmartBand Talk (SWR30) and Stereo Bluetooth® Headset (SBH60). You can also customise the smartphone with the protective desk-stand SCR38 Cover or with a full range of original Made for Xperia covers.
Xperia C4 will be available in Single SIM and Dual SIM in select markets from the beginning of June 2015.
For the full product specifications, please visit: http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-c4/specifications/
June 1, 2015: The stakes have been raised even higher by a higher-end octa-core SoC from MediaTek with 2GHz cores which is also 30% more energy efficient because of the first time use of 28HPC+ technology of TSMC
MediaTek Expands its Flagship MediaTek Helio™ Processor Family with the P Series, Offering Premium Performance for Super Slim Designs
P-series the first to use TSMC’s 28nm HPC+ process, which reduces processor power consumption
MediaTek, a leader in power-efficient, System-on-Chip (SoC) mobile device technology solutions, today announces the launch of the MediaTek Helio™ P10, a high-performance, high-value SoC focused on the growing demand for slim form-factor smart phones that provide premium, flagship features. The Helio P10 showcases a 2 GHz, True Octa-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU and a 700MHz, Dual-core 64-bit Mali-T860 GPU. The Helio P10 will be available Q3 2015 and is expected to be in consumer products in late 2015.
The P10 is the first chip in the new Helio P family, a series which aims to integrate into a high-value chipset, premium features such as high-performance modem technology; the world’s first TrueBright ISP engine for ultra-sensitive RWWB; and, MiraVision™ 2.0, for top-tier display experiences. The features available in the P series include several of MediaTek’s premier technologies, such as WorldMode LTE Cat-6, supporting 2×20 carrier aggregation with 300/50Mbps data speed; MediaTek’s advanced task scheduling algorithm, CorePilot®, which optimizes the P10’s heterogeneous computing architecture by sending workloads to the most suitable computing device – CPU, GPU, or both; and, MediaTek’s Visual Processing Application – Non-contact Heart Rate Monitoring, which uses only a smartphone’s video camera to take a heart rate reading and is as accurate as pulse oximeters/portable ECG monitoring devices.
“The P series will provide OEM smartphone makers with greater design flexibility to meet consumer demands for slim form-factors, which provide dynamic multimedia experiences,” said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President of MediaTek. “The P10 enables state-of-the-art mobile computing and multimedia features all while balancing performance and battery life.”
The Helio P10 is the first product to use TSMC’s 28nm HPC+ process, which allows for reduced processor power consumption. With the help of the latest 28HPC+ process and numerous architecture and circuit design optimizations, the Helio P10 can save up to 30% more power (depending of usage scenarios), compared to existing smartphone SoCs manufactured using the 28 HPC process.
“We are pleased to see MediaTek’s achievement in producing the world’s leading 28HPC+ smartphone chip,” said Dr. BJ Woo, Vice President, Business Development, TSMC. “As an enhanced version of TSMC’s 28HPC process, 28HPC+ promises 15% better speed at fixed power or 50% leakage reduction at the same speed over 28HPC. Through our competitive 28HPC+ technology and process-design collaboration with MediaTek, we believe MediaTek will deliver a series of products which benefit smartphone users across the world.”
As with the entire line of Helio SoCs, the P10 is packed with premium multimedia features. With a concentration on advanced display technologies, premium camera features, and HiFi audio, the P10 delivers leading functionality around the features most used on today’s mobile phones:
21MP premium camera with the world’s first TrueBright ISP engine:
Enables ultra-sensitive RWWB sensor to capture twice as much light as traditional RGB sensors in order to retain true color and detail, even in low light. The RWWB sensor also enhances the color resolution, even when compared with RGBW sensors.
Other features include a new de-noise/de-mosaic HW, PDAF, video iHDR, dual main camera, less than 200ms shot-to shot delay, and video face beautify.
Hi-fidelity, hi-clarity audio achieves 110dB SNR & -95dB THD
Full HD display at 60FPS with MediaTek’s suite of MiraVision 2.0 display technologies:
UltraDimming – Dimmer background lighting for more comfortable reading, even in low-light situations.
BluLight Defender – A built-in blue light filter that saves more power than conventional software applications.
Adaptive Picture Quality – Ensures the best picture quality when using different applications. True-to-life colors when in camera preview; vibrant colors when watching videos.
The MediaTek Helio P10 will be released in Q3 2015 and is expected to be available in consumer products in late 2015.
Note that Helio P1 is a significant step in MediaTek’s strategy already outlined in the following posts of mine:
– March 4, 2014: MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
– March 10, 2015: MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT
The GCN architecture that is behind Xbox One and Sony PS4 (among others) and the HSA (quite probably available as well in Xbox One and PS4) are coming now to notebook APUs.
OR how much could AMD reap the benefits (first time) of ATI acquisition in 2006?
OR how much the 28nm SHP (Super High Performance) process from Global Foundries will help AMD to compete?
OR will the next-gen Steamroller microarchitecture be sufficient to compete?
How “Kaveri” is Going to Change the World of Compute Capabilities [AMD YouTube channel, Jan 16, 2014]
The Four Technologies that make up AMD’s Kaveri APU [AMD YouTube channel, Jan 14, 2014]
In AMD Kaveri Review: A8-7600 and A10-7850K Tested [AnandTech, Jan 14, 2014] it was touted as:
The first major component launch of 2014 falls at the feet of AMD and the next iteration of its APU platform, Kaveri. Kaveri has been the aim for AMD for several years, it’s actually the whole reason the company bought ATI back in 2006. As a result many different prongs of AMD’s platform come together: HSA, hUMA, offloading compute, unifying GPU architectures, developing a software ecosystem around HSA and a scalable architecture. This is, on paper at least, a strong indicator of where the PC processor market is heading in the mainstream segment.
End of my insert
As with all previous AMD APU launches, we’re going to have to break this one down into three parts: CPU, the promise of HSA and GPU.
In a vacuum where all that’s available are other AMD parts, Kaveri and its Steamroller cores actually look pretty good. At identical frequencies there’s a healthy increase in IPC, and AMD has worked very hard to move its Bulldozer family down to a substantially lower TDP. While Trinity/Richland were happy shipping at 100W, Kaveri is clearly optimized for a much more modern TDP. Performance gains at lower TDPs (45/65W) are significant. In nearly all of our GPU tests, a 45W Kaveri ends up delivering very similar gaming performance to a 100W Richland. The mainstream desktop market has clearly moved to smaller form factors and it’s very important that AMD move there as well. Kaveri does just that.
In the broader sense however, Kaveri doesn’t really change the CPU story for AMD. Steamroller comes with a good increase in IPC, but without a corresponding increase in frequency AMD fails to move the single threaded CPU performance needle. To make matters worse, Intel’s dual-core Haswell parts are priced very aggressively and actually match Kaveri’s CPU clocks. With a substantial advantage in IPC and shipping at similar frequencies, a dual-core Core i3 Haswell will deliver much better CPU performance than even the fastest Kaveri at a lower price.
The reality is quite clear by now: AMD isn’t going to solve its CPU performance issues with anything from the Bulldozer family. What we need is a replacement architecture, one that I suspect we’ll get after Excavator concludes the line in 2015.
In the past AMD has argued that for the majority of users, the CPU performance it delivers today is good enough. While true, it’s a dangerous argument to make (one that eventually ends up with you recommending an iPad or Nexus 7). I have to applaud AMD’s PR this time around as no one tried to make the argument that CPU performance was somehow irrelevant. Although we tend to keep PR critique off of AnandTech, the fact of the matter is that for every previous APU launch AMD tried its best to convince the press that the problem wasn’t with its CPU performance but rather with how we benchmark. With Kaveri, the arguments more or less stopped. AMD has accepted its CPU performance is what it is and seems content to ride this one out. It’s a tough position to be in, but it’s really the only course of action until Bulldozer goes away.
It’s a shame that the CPU story is what it is, because Kaveri finally delivers on the promise of the ATI acquisition from 2006. AMD has finally put forth a truly integrated APU/SoC, treating both CPU and GPU as first class citizens and allowing developers to harness both processors, cooperatively, to work on solving difficult problems and enabling new experiences. In tests where both the CPU and GPU are used, Kaveri looks great as this is exactly the promise of HSA. The clock starts now. It’ll still be a matter of years before we see widespread adoption of heterogeneous programming and software, but we finally have the necessary hardware and priced at below $200.
Until then, outside of specific applications and GPU compute workloads, the killer app for Kaveri remains gaming. Here the story really isn’t very different than it was with Trinity and Richland. With Haswell Intel went soft on (socketed) desktop graphics, and Kaveri continues to prey on that weakness. If you are building an entry level desktop PC where gaming is a focus, there really isn’t a better option. I do wonder how AMD will address memory bandwidth requirements going forward. A dual-channel DDR3 memory interface works surprisingly well for Kaveri. We still see 10 – 30% GPU performance increases over Richland despite not having any increase in memory bandwidth. It’s clear that AMD will have to look at something more exotic going forward though.
My insert: Kaveri Tech Day: Thief running on a 7850K APU with Dual Graphics [AMD YouTube channel, Jan 14, 2014]
End of my insert
For casual gaming, AMD is hitting the nail square on the head in its quest for 1080p gaming at 30 frames per second, albeit generally at lower quality settings. There are still a few titles that are starting to stretch the legs of a decent APU (Company of Heroes is practically brutal), but it all comes down to perspective. Let me introduce you to my Granddad. He’s an ex-aerospace engineer, and likes fiddling with stuff. He got onboard the ‘build-your-own’ PC train in about 2002 and stopped there – show him a processor more than a Pentium 4 and he’ll shrug it off as something new-fangled. My grandfather has one amazing geeky quality that shines through though – he has played and completed every Tomb Raider game on the PC he can get his hands on.
It all came to a head this holiday season when he was playing the latest Tomb Raider game. He was running the game on a Pentium D with an NVIDIA 7200GT graphics card. His reactions are not the sharpest, and he did not seem to mind running at sub-5 FPS at a 640×480 resolution. I can imagine many of our readers recoiling at the thought of playing a modern game at 480p with 5 FPS. In the true spirit of the season, I sent him a HD 6750, an identical model to the one in the review today. Despite some issues he had finding drivers (his Google-fu needs a refresher), he loves his new card and can now play reasonably well at 1280×1024 on his old monitor.
The point I am making with this heart-warming/wrenching family story is that the Kaveri APU is probably the ideal fit for what he needs. Strap him up with an A8-7600 and away he goes. It will be faster than anything he has used before, it will play his games as well as that new HD 6750, and when my grandmother wants to surf the web or edit some older images, she will not have to wait around for them to happen. It should all come in with a budget they would like as well.
The Importance of AMD’s TrueAudio Technology in Thief [AMD YouTube channel, Jan 10, 2014]
Johan Andersson explains how Mantle [API] will leverage AMD’s new “Kaveri” APU [AMD YouTube channel, Dec 3, 2013]
In AMD Surrounds 2014 International CES Visitors with Breakthrough Visual and Audio Experiences [press release, Jan 6, 2014] it was touted as:
“Kaveri” – AMD’s most powerful APUs ever, the AMD A10 7850K and 7700K (codenamed “Kaveri”), are now shipping and will be on shelves in desktops early next week, with pre-orders starting today from select system builders. “Kaveri” is the world’s first APU to include Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, the immersive sound of AMD TrueAudio Technology and the performance gaming experiences of Mantle API. “Kaveri”-based notebooks will be available in the first half of this year.
“Surround House 2: Monsters in the Orchestra”
Bringing AMD’s Surround Computing vision to life in an overwhelming and unique way, “Surround House 2: Monsters in the Orchestra” engages show-goers in an instrumental performance by a collection of misfit monsters performing in a 360-degree domed theater. This immersive experience uses many of AMD’s current and developing technologies including gesture control optimized by HSA features on the new “Kaveri” APU, next-generation AMD FirePro™ graphics driving 14 million pixels across six projectors, and 32.4 channels of audio processed with AMD TrueAudio technology and presented with Discrete Digital Multipoint Audio.
Building of AMD Surround House 2: Monsters in the Orchestra at CES 2014 [AMD YouTube channel, Jan 6, 2014]
Now it is said by them that AMD Revolutionizes Compute and UltraHD Entertainment with 2014 AMD A-Series Accelerated Processors [press release, Jan 14, 2014]
Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features enable groundbreaking compute performance and define next-gen application acceleration
SUNNYVALE, Calif. —1/14/2014
AMD (NYSE: AMD) today launched the 2014 AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), the most advanced and developer friendly performance APUs from AMD to date. The AMD A-Series APUs with AMD Radeon™ R7 graphics, codenamed “Kaveri”, are designed with industry-changing new features that deliver superior compute and heart-pounding gaming performance.
New and improved features of the AMD A-Series APUs include:
- Up to 12 Compute Cores (4 CPU and 8 GPU) unlocking full APU potential1;
- Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, a new intelligent computing architecture that enables the CPU and GPU to work in harmony by seamlessly streamlining right tasks to the most suitable processing element, resulting in performance and efficiency for both consumers and developers;
- Award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture with powerful AMD Radeon™ R7 Series graphics for performance that commands respect and with support for DirectX 11.22;
- AMD’s acclaimed Mantle, an API that simplifies game optimizations for programmers and developers to raise gaming performance to unprecedented levels when unlocked3;
- AMD TrueAudio Technology, 32-channel surround audio delivering the best in audio realism and immersion4;
- Support for UltraHD (4K) resolutions and new video post processing enhancements that will make 1080p videos look even better when upscaled on UltraHD-enabled monitor or TV5;
- FM2+ socket compatibility for a unifying infrastructure that works with APUs and CPUs.
“AMD maintains our technology leadership with the 2014 AMD A-Series APUs, a revolutionary next generation APU that marks a new era of computing,” said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Business Unit, AMD. “With world-class graphics and compute technology on a single chip, the AMD A-Series APU is an effective and efficient solution for our customers and enable industry-leading computing experiences.”
The A10-7850K and A10-7700K APUs will be bundled with EA’s Battlefield 4, to bring a first-in-class APU gaming experience6.
AMD A10-7850K with Radeon™ R7 Graphics
AMD A10-7700K with Radeon™ R7 Graphics
AMD A8-7600 with Radeon™ R7 Graphics
Max Turbo Core
Default CPU Frequency
The AMD A-Series APU processor-in-a-box (PIBs) for the AMD A10-7850K and AMD A10-7700K, which started shipping in Q4 2013, are available starting today. The AMD A8-7600 will be shipping in Q1 2014. Additionally, the AMD Radeon™ R9 2400 Gamer Series memory is tested and certified for AMD A10 APUs, unleashing their full potential with AMD Memory Profile technology (AMP) offering speeds up to 2400MHz. For more information, please visit the Radeon Memory product page.
The AMD A-Series APUs are also available today in PCs from our partner system builders. For more information, please visit our product information page.
- Learn more about the 2014 AMD A-Series APUs
- What is a Compute Core? Read our whitepaper
- For developers: learn more about Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA)
- Find out more about AMD’s revolutionary technologies: Mantle and AMD TrueAudio technology
- Become a fan of AMD on Facebook
- Engage with us on Twitter @AMDAPU
AMD defines a “Radeon Core” as one Shader/Shader Array. The term “GPU Core” is an evolution of the term “Radeon Core”. “GPU Core” is defined as having 4 SIMDS each comprising of 64 Shaders/Shader Arrays. For example, 512 “Radeon Cores” equals 8 “GPU Cores“ (8 GPU Cores x 4 SIMDs x 16 Shader Arrays = 512 Radeon Cores). Visit www.amd.com/computecores for more information.
The GCN Architecture and its associated features (AMD Enduro™, AMD ZeroCore Power technology, DDM Audio, and 28nm production) are exclusive to the AMD Radeon™ HD 7700M, HD 7800M and HD 7900M Series Graphics and select AMD A-Series APUs. Not all technologies are supported in all system configurations—check with your system manufacturer for specific model capabilities.
Mantle application support is required.
AMD TrueAudio technology is offered by select AMD Radeon™ R9 and R7 200 Series GPUs and select AMD A-Series APUs and is designed to improve acoustic realism. Requires enabled game or application. Not all audio equipment supports all audio effects; additional audio equipment may be required for some audio effects. Not all products feature all technologies—check with your component or system manufacturer for specific capabilities.
Requires 4K display and content. Supported resolution varies by GPU model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase.
Battlefield 4 is valued at MSRP $59.99 USD. Bundle offered while supplies last. For more information, please visit: www.amd.com/battlefield4offer.
SEP [suggested e-tail pricing] as of January 14, 2014.
– AMD Kaveri Review: A8-7600 and A10-7850K Tested [AnandTech, Jan 14, 2014]
– Surround House 2: Monsters in the Orchestra [AMD ‘Innovations We Pioneer’, Jan 8, 2014]
– AMD Announces New Unified SDK, Tools and Accelerated Libraries for Heterogeneous Computing Developers [press release, Nov 11, 2013]
APU13 serves as launch platform for new developer tools and sheds light on upcoming third generation APU, “Kaveri”
… AMD also announced today at APU13 details about “Kaveri,” the third generation performance APU from AMD, during a keynote delivered by Dr. Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, Global Business Units, AMD.
“Kaveri” is the first APU with HSA features, AMD TrueAudio technology and AMD’s Mantle API combining to bring the next level of graphics, compute and efficiency to desktops (FM2+), notebooks, embedded APUs and servers. FM2+ shipments to customers are slated to begin in late 2013 with initial availability in customer desktop offerings scheduled for Jan. 14, 2014. Further details will be announced at CES 2014. …
– AMD Unveils Innovative New APUs and SoCs that Give Consumers a More Exciting and Immersive Experience [press release, Jan 7, 2013]
… AMD also introduced the new APU codenamed “Richland” which is currently shipping to OEMs and delivers visual performance increases ranging from more than 20 percent to up to 40 percent over the previous generation of AMD A-Series APUs1. “Richland” is expected to come bundled with new software for consumers such as gesture- and facial-recognition to dramatically expand and enhance consumers’ user experiences. The follow-on to “Richland” will be the 28nm APU codenamed “Kaveri” with revolutionary heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) features which is expected to begin shipping to customers in the second half of 2013. …
The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on
… not suprisingly as it is built on the same micro-architecture. Even Intel will manufacture Cortex-A53 based SoCs for Altera (Stratix 10 FPGA SoCs) in 2015 on its leading edge Tri-Gate (FinFET) 14nm process.
With MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 21, 2013] MediaTek will follow up with a 4G LTE MT6595 version in January, and with a 64-bit version based on Cortex-A53 instead of Cortex-A7 in H2 CY14. In this way it will be able to compete head-on with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 in the most lucrative high-volume market.
According to 大陸4G啟動 聯發科快攻 [Commercial Times, Dec 10, 2013]: “MediaTek MT6590’s first 4G modem chip is expected to begin shipping next month, in addition to 4G systems integration single chip (SoC) MT6595 has appeared earlier this month in the customer’s specification sheet, and 8-core as the main design, not difficult to see MediaTek ambition to expand high-end market.”
MediaTek delivering 4G LTE chips for verification, say paper [DIGITIMES, Dec 18, 2013]
MediaTek reportedly has delivered its first 4G LTE chip, the MT6590, to potential clients for verification. The chips are expected to begin generating revenues for the IC design house in the first quarter of 2014, according to a Chinese-language Liberty Times report. The MT6590 supports five modes and 10 frequency bands.
The news echoes earlier remarks by MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-chiang stating the company plans to launch 4G chips at year-end 2013 with end-market devices powered by the 4G chips to be available in the first quarter of 2014, the paper added.
Citing data from JPMorgan Chase, the paper said shipments of MediaTek’s first 8-core chip, the MT6592, are higher than expected and shipment momentum is likely to continue into the first quarter of 2014.
The latest news: Chipset vendors to showcase 64-bit smartphone solutions at CES 2014 [DIGITIMES, Dec 23, 2013]
Chipset players including Qualcomm, Nvidia, Marvell Technology and Broadcom all are expected to showcase 64-bit processors for smartphone applications at the upcoming CES 2014 trade show, a move which will add pressure on Taiwan-based MediaTek in its efforts to expand market share with its newly released 8-core CPUs, according to industry sources.
Qualcomm has already unveiled a 64-bit-chip, the Snapdragon 410, and is expected to begin sampling in the first half of 2014, according to the company.
Nvidia, which is familiar with 64-bit computing architectures, is expected to start volume production of 64-bit chips for smartphones in the first half of 2014 at the earliest, said industry sources.
Marvell and Broadcom are also expected to highlight their 64-bit chips at CES 2014, kicking off competition in the 64-bit chipset segment, note the sources.
Meanwhile, the vendors, as well as China-based chipset suppliers Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, will also exert efforts to take market share from MediaTek in the entry-level to mid-range chipset segment in 2014, commented the sources.
From: 64-bit smartphones to be ushered in 2014, say sources [DIGITIMES, Dec 11, 2013]
… Qualcomm has also claimed that the Snapdragon 410 will support all major operating systems, including Android, Windows Phone and Firefox OS and that Qualcomm Reference Design versions of the processor will be available to enable rapid development time and reduce OEM R&D, designed to provide a comprehensive mobile device platform. However, the observers noted that the Snapdragon 410 chips are aiming at the mid-range LTE smartphone segment, particularly the sub-CNY1,000 (US$165) sector in China. The launch of the mid-range 64-bit Snapdragon chips also aims to widen its lead against Taiwan-based rival MediaTek in the China market, the sources added. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 410 processor is expected to be in commercial devices in the second half of 2014. …
Samsung Electronics is also believed to be working on its own 64-bit CPUs in house and expected to launch 64-bit capable flagship models in the first half of 2014 at the earliest, said the observers.
The 64-bit versions of CPUs from MediaTek, Broadcom and Nvidia are likely to come in late 2014 or in 2015, added the sources.
Google is expected to accelerate the upgrading of its Android platform, providing an environment for software developers to work on related 64-bit applications, commented the sources.
Taiwan IC suppliers developing chips for MediaTek smartphone solutions [DIGITIMES, Dec 18, 2013]
MediaTek’s growing shipments of smartphone solutions, which are expected to top 200 million units in 2013 and 300 million units in 2014, have encouraged Taiwan-based suppliers of LCD driver ICs, power management ICs, ambient light sensors, gyroscopes, touchscreen controller ICs and MEMS microphones to develop chips that can be incorporated into these smartphone solutions, according to industry sources.
MediaTek has been focusing its R&D efforts on developments of 4- and 8-core and 4G CPUs as well as wireless chips in order to maintain its competitiveness, while relying on other IC vendors to complete its smartphone solution platforms, the sources noted.
With MediaTek’s smartphone solution shipments expected to reach 30 million units a month in 2014, any suppliers which can deliver IC parts for MediaTek’s smartphone platforms will see their revenues and profits grow substantially in 2014, the sources said.
4G LTE, 64-Bit Processing Expands Qualcomm Technologies’ Global Product Offerings and Reference Design Program
SAN DIEGO – December 09, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 chipset with integrated 4G LTE World Mode. The delivery of faster connections is important to the growth and adoption of smartphones in emerging regions, and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets are poised to address the needs of consumers as 4G LTE begins to ramp in China.
The new Snapdragon 410 chipsets are manufactured using 28nm process technology. They feature processors that are 64-bit capable along with superior graphics performance with the Adreno 306 GPU, 1080p video playback and up to a 13 Megapixel camera. Snapdragon 410 chipsets integrate 4G LTE and 3G cellular connectivity for all major modes and frequency bands across the globe and include support for Dual and Triple SIM. Together with Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, Snapdragon 410 chipsets will have multiband and multimode support. Snapdragon 410 chipsets also feature Qualcomm Technologies’ Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC functionality, and support all major navigation constellations: GPS, GLONASS, and China’s new BeiDou, which helps deliver enhanced accuracy and speed of Location data to Snapdragon-enabled handsets.
The chipset also supports all major operating systems, including the Android, Windows Phone and Firefox operating systems. Qualcomm Reference Design versions of the processor will be available to enable rapid development time and reduce OEM R&D, designed to provide a comprehensive mobile device platform. The Snapdragon 410 processor is anticipated to begin sampling in the first half of 2014 and expected to be in commercial devices in the second half of 2014.
Qualcomm Technologies also announced for the first time the intention to make 4G LTE available across all of the Snapdragon product tiers. The Snapdragon 410 processor gives the 400 product tier several 4G LTE options for high-volume mobile devices, as the third LTE-enabled solution in the product tier. By offering 4G LTE variants to its entry level smartphone lineup, Qualcomm Technologies ensures that emerging regions are equipped for this transition while also having every major 2G and 3G technology available to them. Qualcomm Technologies offers OEMs and operators differentiation through a rich feature set upon which to build innovative high-volume smartphones for budget-conscious consumers.
“We are excited to bring 4G LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub $150 ( ̴ 1,000 RMB) price point with the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor,” said Jeff Lorbeck, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Qualcomm Technologies, China. “The Snapdragon 410 chipset will also be the first of many 64-bit capable processors as Qualcomm Technologies helps lead the transition of the mobile ecosystem to 64-bit processing.”
Qualcomm Technologies will release the Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) version of the Snapdragon 410 processor with support for Qualcomm RF360™ Front End Solution. The QRD program offers Qualcomm Technologies’ leading technical innovation, easy customization options, the QRD Global Enablement Solution which features regional software packages, modem configurations, testing and acceptance readiness for regional operator requirements, and access to a broad ecosystem of hardware component vendors and software application developers. Under the QRD program, customers can rapidly deliver differentiated smartphones to value-conscious consumers. There have been more than 350 public QRD-based product launches to date in collaboration with more than 40 OEMs in 18 countries.
Note that just 18 days before that there was the news that Qualcomm Technologies Announces Next Generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 “Ultra HD” Processor [press release, Nov 20, 2013]
Mobile Technology Leader Announces its Highest Performance Processor Designed to Deliver the Highest Quality Mobile Video, Camera and Graphics to Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Tier
NEW YORK – November 20, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced the next generation mobile processor of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 tier, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which is designed to deliver the highest-quality mobile video, imaging and graphics experiences at Ultra HD (4K) resolution, both on device and via Ultra HD TVs. Featuring the new Adreno 420 GPU, with up to 40 percent more graphics processing power than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 805 processor is the first mobile processor to offer system-level Ultra HD support, 4K video capture and playback and enhanced dual camera Image Signal Processors (ISPs), for superior performance, multitasking, power efficiency and mobile user experiences.
The Snapdragon 805 processor is Qualcomm Technologies’ newest and highest performing Snapdragon processor to date, featuring:
– Blazing fast apps and web browsing and outstanding performance: Krait 450 quad-core CPU, the first mobile CPU to run at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz per core, plus superior memory bandwidth support of up to 25.6 GB/second that is designed to provide unprecedented multimedia and web browsing performance.
– Smooth, sharp user interface and games support Ultra HD resolution: The mobile industry’s first end-to-end Ultra HD solution with on-device display concurrent with output to HDTV; features Qualcomm Technologies’ new Adreno 420 GPU, which introduces support for hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, for advanced 4K rendering, with even more realistic scenes and objects, visually stunning user interface, graphics and mobile gaming experiences at lower power.
– Fast, seamless connected mobile experiences: Custom, efficient integration with either the Qualcomm® Gobi™ MDM9x25 or the Gobi MDM9x35 modem, powering superior seamless connected mobile experiences. The Gobi MDM9x25 chipset announced in February 2013 has seen significant adoption as the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with superior peak data rates of up to 150Mbps. Additionally, Qualcomm’s most advanced Wi-Fi for mobile, 2-stream dual-band Qualcomm® VIVE™ 802.11ac, enables wireless 4K video streaming and other media-intensive applications. With a low-power PCIe interface to the QCA6174, tablets and high-end smartphones can take advantage of faster mobile Wi-Fi performance (over 600 Mbps), extended operating range and concurrent Bluetooth connections, with minimal impact on battery life.
– Ability to stream more video content at higher quality using less power: Support for Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) for video post processing, first to introduce hardware 4K HEVC (H.265) decode for mobile for extremely low-power HD video playback.
– Sharper, higher resolution photos in low light and advanced post-processing features: First Gpixel/s throughput camera support in a mobile processor designed for a significant increase in camera speed and imaging quality. Sensor processing with gyro integration enables image stabilization for sharper, crisper photos. Qualcomm Technologies is the first to announce a mobile processor with advanced, low-power, integrated sensor processing, enabled by its custom DSP, designed to deliver a wide range of sensor-enabled mobile experiences.
“Using a smartphone or tablet powered by Snapdragon 805 processor is like having an UltraHD home theater in your pocket, with 4K video, imaging and graphics, all built for mobile,” said Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “We’re delivering the mobile industry’s first truly end-to-end Ultra HD solution, and coupled with our industry leading Gobi LTE modems and RF transceivers, streaming and watching content at 4K resolution will finally be possible.”
The Snapdragon 805 processor is sampling now and expected to be available in commercial devices by the first half of 2014.
The original value proposition was presented in the brief Brian Jeff highlights the ARM® Cortex™-A53 processor [ARMflix YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2012] video as follows
The Top 5 Things to Know about Cortex-A53 [Brian Jeff on ‘ARM Connected Community’, Oct 28, 2013]
The Cortex-A53 was introduced to the market in October 2012, delivering the ARMv8 instruction set and significantly increased performance in a highly efficient power and area footprint. It is available for licensing now, and will be deployed in silicon in early 2014 by multiple ARM partners. There are a few key aspects of the Cortex-A53 that developers, OEMs, and SoC designers should know:
1. ARM low power / high efficiency heritage
The ARM9 is the most licensed processor in ARM’s history with over 250 licenses sold. It identified a very important power/cost sweet spot.The Cortex-A5 (launched in 2009) was designed to fit in the CPU same power and area footprint,
while delivering significantly higher performance and power-efficiency, and bring it to modern ARMv7 feature set – software compatibility with the high end of the processor roadmap (then Cortex-A9)
The Cortex-A53 is built around a simple pipeline, 8 stages long with in-order execution like the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A5 processors that preceded it. An instruction traversing a simple pipeline requires fewer registers and switches less logic to fetch, decode, issue, execute, and write back the results than a more complex pipeline microarchitecture. Simpler pipelines are smaller and lower power. The high efficiency Cortex-A CPU product line, consisting of Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, and Cortex-A53, takes a design approach prioritizing efficiency first, then seeking as much performance as possible at the maximum efficiency. The added performance in each successive generation in this series comes from advances in the memory system, increasing dual-issue capability, expanded internal busses, and improved branch prediction.
2. ARM v8-A Architecture
The Cortex-A53 is fully compliant with the ARMv8-A architecture, which is the latest ARM architecture and introduces support for 64b operation while maintaining 100% backward compatibility with the broadly deployed ARMv7 architecture. The processor can switch between AArch32 and AArch64 modes of operation to allow 32bit apps and 64bit apps to run together on top of a 64bit operating system. This dual execution state support allows maximum flexibility for developers and SoC designers in managing the rollout of 64bit support in different markets. ARMv8-A brings additional features (more registers, new instructions) that bring increased performance and Cortex-A53 is able to take advantage of these.
3. Higher performance than Cortex-A9: smaller and more efficient too
The Cortex-A9 features an out-of-order pipeline, dual issue capability, and a longer pipeline than Cortex-A53 that enables 15% higher frequency operation. However the Cortex-A53 achieves higher single thread performance by pushing a simpler design farther – some of the key factors enabling the performance of the Cortex-A53 include the integrated low latency level 2 cache, the larger 512 entry main TLB, and the complex branch predictor. The Cortex-A9 has set the bar for the high end of the smartphone market through 2012 – by matching and exceeding that level of performance in a smaller footprint and power budget, the Cortex-A53 delivers performance to entry level devices that was previously enjoyed by high-end flagship mobile devices – in a lower power budget and at lower cost. The graph below compares the single thread performance of the high efficiency Cortex-A processors with the Cortex-A9. At the same frequency, Cortex-A53 delivers more than 20% higher instruction throughput than the Cortex-A9 for representative workloads.
4. Supports big.LITTLE with Cortex-A57
The Cortex-A53 is architecturally identical to the higher performance Cortex-A57 processor, and can be integrated with it in a big.LITTLE processor subsystem. big.LITTLE enables peak performance and extreme efficiency by distributing work to the right-sized processor for the task at hand.
It is described in more detail here – Ten Things to Know About big.LITTLE
The diagram above shows Cortex-A53 combined with Cortex-A57 and a Mali-T628Graphics processor in an example system. The CCI-400 cache coherent interconnect allows the 2 CPU clusters to be combined in a seamless way that allows software to manage the task allocation in a highly transparent way, as described in <link – software>. The big.LITTLE system enables peak performance at low average power.
Cortex-A53 in ideal for use in a standalone use scenario, delivering excellent performance at very low power and area enabling new features to be supported in the low cost smartphone segments Our new LITTLE processor packs a performance punch.
Read more about that in a somewhat humorous blog on Cortex-A53 from the product launch – ARM Cortex-A53 — Who You callin’ LITTLE?
5. Extensive feature set for broad application support
The Cortex-A53 includes a feature set that allows it to be configured and optimized through physical implementation tailored to mobile SoCs and to scalable enterprise systems
- AMBA 4 ACE Coherent bus
- big.LITTLE processing (2 CPU Clusters) with CCI-400 interconnect
- AMBA5 CHI Coherent bus
Scalable to 4 or more coherent CPU clustersfor low-cost servers or networking infrastructure devices.
- 16-core systems with CCN-504 or 32-core systems with CCN-508 – all on a single silicon die.
Small area, low power design
Optimized for <150mW envelope
Small area, low power design.
Likely still optimized for 150 mW. However, higher performance implementations can be used
ECC, parity available, but configurable if not needed
ECC and parity protection required for enterprise applications
- ARM Announces New High-Performance System IP to Address Demand for Energy-Efficient ‘Many-core’ Solutions for the Enterprise Market [press release, Oct 10, 2012]: “To address the significant increase in data over the next 10-15 years, and the demand for more energy-efficient network infrastructure and servers, ARM has announced the ARM® CoreLink™ CCN-504 cache coherent network. This advanced system intellectual property (IP) can deliver up to one terabit of usable system bandwidth per second.”
- ARM Launches Cortex-A50 Series, the World’s Most Energy-Efficient 64-bit Processors [press release, Oct 30, 2012]
- ARM Announces POP IP for Cortex-A50 Series Processors on TSMC 28nm HPM and 16nm FinFET Processes [press release, April 9, 2013]
- ARM Announces AMBA 5 CHI Specification to Enable High Performance, Highly Scalable System on Chip Technology [press release, June 3, 2013]
- Huawei announces global agreement to licence ARMv8 architecture – Agreement underlines Huawei’s commitment to IPR and the UK [Huawei press release, Sept 4, 2013]
- From: AMD Details Embedded Product Roadmap [AMD press release, Sept 9, 2013]:
“ ‘Hierofalcon’ CPU SoC ‘Hierofalcon’ is the first 64-bit ARM-based platform from AMD targeting embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions. It will include up to eight ARM Cortex™-A57 CPUs expected to run up to 2.0 GHz, and provides high-performance memory with two 64-bit DDR3/4 channels with error correction code (ECC) for high reliability applications. The highly integrated SoC includes 10 Gb KR Ethernet and PCI-Express Gen 3 for high-speed network connectivity, making it ideal for control plane applications. The “Hierofalcon” series also provides enhanced security with support for ARM TrustZone® technology and a dedicated cryptographic security co-processor, aligning to the increased need for networked, secure systems. “Hierofalcon” is expected to be sampling in the second quarter of 2014 with production in the second half of the year.”
- MediaTek extends partnership with ARM to drive next-generation mobile and consumer technology [joint press release, Oct 8, 2013]: “MediaTek has acquired a broad license to Cortex-A50 Series processor cores and the next generation of ARM Mali graphics processing Unit (GPU) solutions.”
- Broadcom Announces Server-Class ARMv8-A Multi-Core Processor Architecture –Optimized to Deliver Industry’s Highest Performance for Next-Generation Networking and Communications Applications [Broadcom press release, Oct 15, 2013]:
- Quad-issue, quad-threaded 64-bit ARMv8-A core with superscalar out-of-order execution delivers true server-class performance
- Core enables 3-GHz performance in the advanced 16-nm FINFET process node
- Partnership with ARM aims to define and develop an open, ISA-independent Network Function Virtualization (NFV) software environment
- Coherent Interconnect Technology Supports Exponential Data Flow Growth [Ian Forsyth on ‘ARM Connected Community’, Oct 26, 2013]: “Recently I presented “Coherent Interconnect Technology Supports Exponential Data Flow Growth” at the Linley Processor conference in Santa Clara, CA where I announced a new ARM coherent interconnect product for enterprise applications, the CoreLink CCN-508. … CoreLink CCN-508 is a cache coherent network providing support for up to 32 fully coherent cores. Supported cores include Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53.” From: “ARM is just beginning to engage with customers for the CCN-508, and it expects the first SoCs using this IP to enter production in late 2014 or early 2015.”
- Rockchip extends partnership with arm by subscription license of ATM processor and GPU technologies [press release, Nov 5, 2013]
ARM Cortex-A53 — Who You callin’ LITTLE? [Brian Jeff on ‘ARM Connected Community’, Oct 30, 2013]
I may only weigh in at just over half a square millimeter on die, but I can handle a heavy workload and I pack quite a processing punch, and frankly I’m tired of the lack of respect I get as a “LITTLE” processor. I am the CortexTM-A53 processor from ARM, some of you may have previously known me by my code name “Apollo”. Despite being three times as efficient as my big brother, the Cortex-A57, and delivering more performance than today’s current heavyweight champ the Cortex-A9, I am often overlooked.
Processor designers and consumers alike look to the big core, the top end MHz figure, and the number of big processors in the system when they evaluate devices like premium smartphones and tablets. What they don’t realize is that I’m the one running during most of the time the mobile applications cluster is awake, and I’m the one that will enable improvements in battery life even as delivered peak performance increases dramatically. It is high time that the LITTLE processor gets the respect and appreciation that is due.
I’m speaking not just for myself here, but for my close cousin the Cortex-A7. We’re built from the same DNA, so to speak, sharing the same 8-stage pipeline and in-order structure. We both consume about the same level of power on our respective production process nodes, and although I bring added performance and support 64-bit, we are both quite alike. We are 100% code compatible for 32-bit code after all. And yet we don’t get the respect we deserve. It is an injustice, really.
In high-end mobile devices, my cousin the Cortex-A7 is always telling me how everyone wants to hear about how fast the Cortex-A15 is in the system, how many Cortex-A15 CPUs are in the system, and how many MaliTM GPU cores are built into the SoC. They don’t even notice if there are four Cortex-A7 cores in the design capable of delivering plenty of performance — more performance than a lot of smartphones in the market today. They just expect battery life to improve without giving any credit to the LITTLE processor that makes it possible.
Well they will soon see… big.LITTLE processors are coming into the market next year, nearly sampling already, and the capability of the LITTLE processor will be in full view, let me tell you.
Oh, and another thing — in the enterprise space, what they call “big Iron” — there is almost no recognition of the worth of small processors there. Sure, new designs are considering LITTLE processors in many-core topologies with ARM’s CoreLinkTM Cache Coherent Network (CCN) interconnect, but look at the products that are deployed today — they are mostly based on big cores, the bigger the better. Nowhere is this more evident than in the server space, where IT managers brag about how big their server racks are. Just wait and see. New server processors are being developed based on ARM, where even my big brother the Cortex-A57 is about an order of magnitude smaller and lower power than the incumbent processors. I’m in a different weight class altogether, but I can hang with the big boys on total performance. Purpose-built servers using lots of Cortex-A53 cores can deliver even more aggregate performance in a given power and thermal envelope. But are we LITTLE cores getting much attention in servers today? No. Well just watch and see. In 2015 when the first Cortex-A50 series 64-bit processors are built for lower power servers, you won’t be able to help but notice that LITTLE processors can get key jobs done in a lot less energy.
So I may be the same size relative to my Cortex-A57 big brother as the Cortex-A7 is to the Cortex-A15, but OEMs and consumers better not underestimate me. I’ve been going through intensive work these past 2 years to build up my muscles in the places that count: my SIMD performance is way up thanks to the improved NEONTM architectural support in ARMv8 and a much wider NEON datapath. I can dual-issue almost anything. My memory system is also juiced up, as is my branch predictor capability. That’s how I can pack a bigger punch than Cortex-A9 at around a quarter the power in our respective process nodes.
That’s all I’m saying, man. You gotta respect the LITTLE processor.
From the earlier: Answered by the Experts: ARM’s Cortex A53 Lead Architect, Peter Greenhalgh [AnandTech, Dec 17, 2013]
Cortex-A53 has been designed to be able to easily replace Cortex-A7. For example, Cortex-A7 supports the same bus-interface standards (and widths) as Cortex-A7 which allows a partner who has already built a Cortex-A7 platform to rapidly convert to Cortex-A53.
A Cortex-A53 cluster only supports up to 4-cores. If more than 4-cores are required in a platform then multiple clusters can be implemented and coherently connected using an interconnect such as CCI-400. The reason for not scaling to 8-cores per cluster is that the L2 micro-architecture would need to either compromise energy-efficiency in the 1-4 core range to achieve performance in the 4-8 core range, or compromise performance in the 4-8 core range to maximise energy-efficiency in the 1-4 core range.
We expect to see a range of platform configurations using Cortex-A53. A 4+4 Cortex-A53 platform configuration is fully supported and a logical progression from a 4+4 Cortex-A7 platform.
We’re pretty happy with the 8-stage (integer) Cortex-A53 pipeline and it has served us well across the Cortex-A53, Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A5 family. So far it’s scaled nicely from 65nm to 16nm and frequencies approaching 2GHz so there’s no reason to think this won’t hold true in the future.
Cortex-A53 has the same pipeline length as Cortex-A7 so I would expect to see similar frequencies when implemented on the same process geometry. Within the same pipeline length the design team focussed on increasing dual-issue, in-order performance as far as we possibly could. This involved symmetric dual-issue of most of the instruction set, more forwarding paths in the datapaths, reduced issue latency, larger & more associative TLB, vastly increased conditional and indirect branch prediction resources and expanded instruction and data prefetching. The result of all these changes is an increase in SPECInt-2000 performance from 0.35-SPEC/Mhz on Cortex-A7 to 0.50-SPEC/Mhz on Cortex-A53. This should provide a noticeable performance uplift on the next generation of smartphones using Cortex-A53.
Due to the power-efficiency of Cortex-A53 on a 28nm platform, all 4 cores can comfortably be executing at 1.4GHz in less than 750mW which is easily sustainable in a current smartphone platform even while the GPU is in operation.
The performance per watt (energy efficiency) of Cortex-A53 is very similar to Cortex-A7. Certainly within the variation you would expect with different implementations. Largely this is down to learning from Cortex-A7 which was applied to Cortex-A53 both in performance and power.
Intel to make ARM Processors, firstly 64bit 14nm ARM Cortex-A53 ARMv8 for Altera [Charbax YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2013]
Altera Announces Quad-Core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 for Stratix 10 SoCs [press release, Oct 29, 2013]
Manufactured on Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate Process, Altera Stratix® 10 SoCs Will Deliver Industry’s Most Versatile Heterogeneous Computing Platform
Santa Clara, Calif., ARM TechCon, October 29, 2013—Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) today announced that its Stratix 10 SoC devices, manufactured on Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate process, will incorporate a high-performance, quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex™-A53 processor system, complementing the device’s floating-point digital signal processing (DSP) blocks and high-performance FPGA fabric. Coupled with Altera’s advanced system-level design tools, including OpenCL, this versatile heterogeneous computing platform will offer exceptional adaptability, performance, power efficiency and design productivity for a broad range of applications, including data center computing acceleration, radar systems and communications infrastructure.
From: Intel fabs Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGA with four ARM A53 cores [SemiAccurate, Nov 5, 2013]: Altera representatives at Techcon said that the beast would tape out in Q4/2014 or about a year from now.
From: Pigs Fly. Altera Goes with ARM on Intel 14nm [SemiWiki.com, Oct 29, 2013]:
I asked Altera about the schedule for all of this. Currently they have over 100 customers using the beta release of their software to model their applications in the Stratix 10. They have taped out a test-chip that is currently in the Intel fab. In the first half of next year they will have a broader release of the software to everyone. They will tape out the actual designs late in 2014 and have volume production starting in early 2015.
Why did they pick this processor? It has the highest power efficiency of any 64-bit processor. Plus it is backwards compatible with previous Altera families which used (32-bit) ARM Cortex-A9. The A53 has a 32-bit mode that is completely binary compatible with the A9. As I reported last week from the Linley conference, ARM is on a roll into communications infrastructure, enterprise and datacenter so there is a huge overlap between the target markets for the A53 and the target markets for the Stratix 10 SoCs.
The ARM Cortex-A53 processor, the first 64-bit processor used on a SoC FPGA, is an ideal fit for use in Stratix 10 SoCs due to its performance, power efficiency, data throughput and advanced features. The Cortex-A53 is among the most power efficient of ARM’s application-class processors, and when delivered on the 14 nm Tri-Gate process will achieve more than six times more data throughput compared to today’s highest performing SoC FPGAs. The Cortex-A53 also delivers important features, such as virtualization support, 256TB memory reach and error correction code (ECC) on L1 and L2 caches. Furthermore, the Cortex-A53 core can run in 32-bit mode, which will run Cortex-A9 operating systems and code unmodified, allowing a smooth upgrade path from Altera’s 28 nm and 20 nm SoC FPGAs.
“ARM is pleased to see Altera adopting the lowest power 64-bit architecture as an ideal complement to DSP and FPGA processing elements to create a cutting-edge heterogeneous computing platform,” said Tom Cronk, executive vice president and general manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The Cortex-A53 processor delivers industry-leading power efficiency and outstanding performance levels, and it is supported by the ARM ecosystem and its innovative software community.”
Leveraging Intel’s 14 nm Tri-Gate process and an enhanced high-performance architecture, Altera Stratix 10 SoCs will have a programmable-logic performance level of more than 1GHz; two times the core performance of current high-end 28 nm FPGAs.
“High-end networking and communications infrastructure are rapidly migrating toward heterogeneous computing architectures to achieve maximum system performance and power efficiency,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group, a leading embedded research firm. “What Altera is doing with its Stratix 10 SoC, both in terms of silicon convergence and high-level design tool support, puts the company at the forefront of delivering heterogeneous computing platforms and positions them well to capitalize on myriad opportunities.”
By standardizing on ARM processors across its three-generation SoC portfolio, Altera will offer software compatibility and a common ARM ecosystem of tools and operating system support. Embedded developers will be able to accelerate debug cycles with Altera’s SoC Embedded Design Suite (EDS) featuring the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) Altera® Edition toolkit, the industry’s only FPGA-adaptive debug tool, as well as use Altera’s software development kit (SDK) for OpenCL to create heterogeneous implementations using the OpenCL high-level design language.
“With Stratix 10 SoCs, designers will have a versatile and powerful heterogeneous compute platform enabling them to innovate and get to market faster,” said Danny Biran, senior vice president, corporate strategy and marketing at Altera. “This will be very exciting for customers as converged silicon continues to be the best solution for complex, high-performance applications.”
Altera® programmable solutions enable designers of electronic systems to rapidly and cost effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets. Altera offers FPGAs, SoCs, CPLDs, ASICs and complementary technologies, such as power management, to provide high-value solutions to customers worldwide. Follow Altera viaFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and RSS, andsubscribe to product update emails and newsletters. altera.com
My Altera will use Intel Custom Foundry’s 14 nm Tri-Gate (FinFET) process services to produce its new high-end SoC FPGA with 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 IP [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 1, 2013] post was already answering in detail the following questions that arised from the above announcement:
- Why FPGAs? Why more FPGAs?
- Why SoC FPGAs?
- Why ARM with FPGA on the Intel Tri-Gate (FinFET) process, and why now?
- OpenCL for FPGAs
- Altera SoC FPGAs
ARM Cortex-A12 CPU cores and Mali-T622 GPU cores with Process Optimization Packs (POPs), plus Mali-V500 video block for mid-range mobile devices of the end of 2014
in order to cover (very competitively) the hole existing in ARM-based SoCs so far:
… The Cortex A9 is too slow to compete with the likes of Intel’s Atom and Qualcomm’s Krait 200/300 based SoCs. The Cortex A15 on the other hand outperforms both of those solutions, but at considerably higher power and die area requirements. … The Cortex A15 island in Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa occupies 5x the die area as the A7 island, and consumes nearly 6x the power. In exchange for 5x the area and 6x the performance, the Cortex A15 offers under 4x the performance. It’s not exactly an area or power efficient solution, but a great option for anyone looking to push the performance envelope. Today, ARM is addressing that hole with the Cortex A12. …
… The Mali-T622 is a 2-core implementation of the 2nd generation Mali-T600 GPU architecture that we first learned about with the 8-core T628. Each shader core features two ALUs, an LSU and a texture unit. … On the video front, the Mali-V500 video encode/decode block is a multi-core engine used for all video acceleration. The V500 allegedly supports up to 100Mbps High Profile H.264, although details are scarce on more specifics. ARM claims support for up to 120 fps 4K video decode with an 8-core V500 implementation. Mali-V500 also features a protected video path, necessary for gaining content owner support for high-bitrate/high-resolution video decode. The V500 also supports ARM’s Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC), a lossless compression algorithm that can supposedly reduce memory bandwidth traffic by up to 50%. There’s presently no frame buffer compression in Mali GPUs today, but ARM expects to eventually roll AFBC out to Mali GPUs as well.
Announcement information from ARM:
• POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor core
• New ground-up design for mid-range mobile
ARM Targets 580 Million Mid-Range Mobile Devices with New Suite of IP [press release, June 3, 2013]
- Faster time to market and less design risk with suite of IP including:
ARM Cortex-A12 processor, Mali-T622 GPU, Mali-V500 video solution and POP IP technology;
- 580 million mid-range smartphones and tablets are forecast to be sold in 2015
- Cortex-A12 processor delivers 40 percent more performance than Cortex-A9 and brings premium features such as virtualization to the mid-range mobile device market; efficiency profile also makes it ideal for DTV and home networking;
- Cortex-A12 processor brings optimum performance and maximum efficiency of big.LITTLE processing to mid-range smartphones and tablets;
- Mali-T622 GPU offers an efficient and qualified OpenGL ES 3.0 solution and smallest Full Profile GPU Compute solution, putting even greater compute power into the hands of more mobile users;
- Mali-V500 video IP solution reduces system bandwidth and power, while enabling the protection of premium video content with TrustZone support.
The essence is that the first Cortex-A12 based SoCs are expected by mid-2014
– for mid-range devices (smartphones and tablets) in the $200 … $350 price range by late 2014 to early 2015
– with Cortex-A7/A15 architectural compatibity, thus in big.LITTLE configurations with either core, supporting 40-bit addressing (up to 1 TB) and virtualization
– plus providing the highest efficiency in pairing with Cortex-A7 core
– as the follow-up with +40% performance to the current SoCs for mid-range devices based on Cortex-A9 SoCs
The SoC ramp-up of about one year or so is compared to not less than two years ramp-up for Cortex-A9 based SoCs. This is the result of significant progress with Process Optimization Pack technology of ARM which was first time developed along with the processor and GPU cores themselves. It is available now for TSMC 28HPM process technology for lead partners. Six of them are already starting their SoC design. Moreover it will also be available at GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28-SLP HKMG process technology in Q4 2013. So it is also first time as such complete sourcing from two foundries will be available for SoC vendors so early on. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is even going to achieve up to 70 percent higher performance in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor core using 40nm process technology. Competition between those 2 foundries will understandably be very strong as the 2015 mid-range smartphone and tablet market is expected to be not less than 580 million units.
In comparison the Cortex-A9 core was announced in October 2007 and released in 2008
– now contributes to approximately one-third of all smartphone shipments worldwide
– real development opportunities began in H2 2009 with possibility to go even against Intel Atom (source: Computex 2009 – Warren East Presentation [ARM Holdings, June 1, 2009]):
with improving Cortex-A9 performance on 45nm process achieved through:
– 56% improvement from processor and physical IP optimisations
– 44% improvement from other techniques
The first SoC products based on 45nm technology came in 2011, namely:
– NXP PNX 847x/8x/9x set-top box SoCs sampling in January 2010. However a month later the business related to these products was sold to Trident Microsystems (see the PNX8490/PNX8491 datasheet of February 2010) and as Trident had experienced continuing operating losses it filed for bankruptcy in January 2012. Its set-top box SoC business had been taken over by Entropic Communications, Inc. in April 2012. Although only the PNX8475 is currently offered by Entropic the original Cortex-A9 related SoC know-how is flourishing quite well there (see also: 1, 2, 3 and 4).
– Samsung Orion application processor, later renamed into Samsung Exynos 4210 then further into Exynos 4 Dual, announced in September 2010 for sampling in Q4 2010 and mass production in H1 2011. It first came out with the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone announced in February 2011 for May 2011 delivery. Other Samsung smartphone and tablet products then followed.
– Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 and OMAP 4440 (later renamed OMAP 4460) application processors announced in February 2009 for sampling in H2 2009 and expected production by the second half of 2010, but actually debuted a year later in February 2010 with sampling available and expected production in H2 2010. The first product based on OMAP 4430 was the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet announced in September 2010 for early 2011 availability but becoming available in June 2011 only. Smartphone products from Motorola (a lot, also a few tablets) and LG (a few) followed that, as well as a number of tablet products from Archos and most notably the Kindle Fire from Amazon, and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.
ARM is representing and projecting the evolution of the market since then as follows:
More information about that was provided in:
Cortex-A12: Diversification in the Mobile Market – Serving the Mid-Range [ARM Smart Connected Devices blog, June 3, 2013]
Mobile devices have become indispensable in North America, Europe, and much of Asia, and are becoming the primary compute platforms for people in emerging markets. We are entering a new era of computing, the post-PC era. ARM® technology has been at the heart of the mobile revolution for over twenty years and continues to be the bedrock of all innovation and change in this space.
Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are connecting billions of people. In 2013, we are expecting:
– Over 1 billion smartphones forecasted to ship*
– Smartphones for <$50 and Tablets >$800
– Tablets out-ship notebook PCs
What becomes clear when looking at mobile devices is that we are seeing segmentation into multiple markets, which is an opportunity for growth for ARM partners:
– Premium devices: Price range > $400
– Mid-range devices: Price range between > $200 and < $350
– Entry-level devices: Price range up to $150
Source: Mixture of ARM and Gartner Estimates
Premium smartphones and tablets receive a great deal of attention, but it is the entry-level and mid-range markets are expected to grow the fastest over the next years. ARM delivered the Cortex®-A7 processorin the fourth quarter of 2011, and it is now shipping in large volumes in low-cost, quad-core devices. It will be followed by the Cortex-A53 processor, which is soon to be released to lead partners. Both are high-efficiency processors, that are efficient by simple in-order eight stage pipelines which are highly efficient and tuned to deliver very good performance for their size. In the mid-range mobile device market, the industry had tremendous success with devices based on the higher-performance Cortex-A9 processor, which uses a partially out-of-order, nine stage pipeline to achieve high performance tuned to the power constraints of smartphones. The Cortex-A9 processor was released in 2008 and now contributes to approximately one-third of all smartphone shipments worldwide.
The market segmentation is driving the diversification in mobile and resulting in many different requirements needed to achieve the highest performance and lowest power within a sustained thermal envelope. These requirements make it mandatory to provide the functionality previously available only in premium devices, but within the power budgets of mid-range devices. Looking at how to serve those markets, it is clear that one size does not fit all anymore.
Today ARM is introducing the Cortex-A12 processor, the highest performance mid-range CPU that is specifically designed for the next-generation mid-range mobile market. The Cortex-A12 processor brings its own mix of high performance and energy efficiency to 2014 SoC designs: more performance than the Cortex-A9 processor with the same mobile-tuned power efficiency. The Cortex-A12 processor is designed to deliver the best mobile experience:
– Highest performance at lowest power consumption and cost
– Highest efficiency within mid-range thermal envelopes, i.e. achieve highest performance at uncompromised area
– Premium feature set in mid-range mobile
The Cortex-A12 processor is the successor to the Cortex-A9 processor and increases single-thread performance by 40 percent, while matching the best-in-class energy efficiency. Measured in 28nm, the Cortex-A12 processor is about 30 percent smaller in area compared to the Cortex-A9 processor in 40nm technology using the same configuration. Additionally, the Cortex-A12 processor brings today’s premium smartphone features into the mid-range, allowing new use cases and great mobile experiences. Some key added features include:
– big.LITTLE™ processing enables the extension of the dynamic range of the Cortex-A12 processor with the addition of the Cortex-A7 processor
– Virtualization and TrustZone® security support enabling new use cases like BYOD (bring your own device)
– 1TB addressable memory, providing close to no boundaries on memory space
The Cortex-A12 processor extends the performance capability in mid-range devices without sacrificing energy efficiency when combined with the Cortex-A7 processor as a big.LITTLE CPU subsystem. big.LITTLE processing provides a highly efficient, high-performance processing solution that can scale to many different use cases. The first iterations of big.LITTLE processing featured the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors for high-end solutions. Now, the Cortex-A12 processor is bringing big.LITTLE processing to increase the dynamic range of the mid-range by enabling SoC designers to push the Cortex-A12 processor further while using the Cortex-A7 processor to reduce power well below levels of the Cortex-A9 Processor. This results in an ideal combination of compute resource for efficient workload distribution, running lightweight tasks on the Cortex-A7 processor and high-performance tasks on the Cortex-A12 processor. Early results show up to 2x increased efficiency.
Even though it is designed for mid-range smartphone and tablet devices, the Cortex-A12 processor leads with an excellent efficiency profile, making it an ideal fit for other use cases like home networking, residential gateway and auto infotainment systems.
ARM has also designed the Cortex-A12 processor to work efficiently with a complimentary family of high performance, low power ARM CoreLink™ System IP components:
The system diagram shown above illustrates the system IP components that will typically support the Cortex-A12 processor in a mobile SoC. To deliver effortless 1080p30 graphics with 1080p encode/decode the system also features a Mali™-T622 GPU supporting OpenGL/ES 3.0 and a Mali-V500 video accelerator.
The CoreLink CCI-400 cache coherent interconnect provides an IO coherent channel with Mali and opens up a number of exciting possibilities for offload and acceleration of tasks. When combined with a Cortex-A7 processor (not shown) on the ACE port, CCI-400 also allows big.LITTLE operation with full L2 cache coherency between the Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors. Efficient voltage scaling and power management is enabled with the CoreLink ADB-400 enabling efficient DVFS control of the Cortex-A12 processor.
CoreLink MMU-500 provides a hardware accelerated, common memory view for all SoC components and minimizes software overhead for virtual machines to get on with other system management functions. In this system, the Cortex-A12 processor also enjoys a secure, optimized path to memory to further enhance its market-leading performance with the aid of CoreLink TZC-400 TrustZone address space controller and DMC solution. All interconnect components and the ARM DMC guarantee bandwidth and latency requirements by utilizing in-built dynamic QoS mechanisms.
ARM POP™ IP supports the physical implementation of the Cortex-A12 processor and Mali GPU to enable best power, performance, and area so critical to success in the highly competitive mid-range SoC market. ARM CoreSight™ debug and trace on-chip hardware, coupled with the ARM DS-5™ software development toolchain, enable the debug of random, time-related software bugs, and the non-intrusive analysis of critical areas of software. The ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5TM) toolchain also makes use of performance counters embedded in the processor, graphics processor and interconnect to enable system-wide optimization.
The ARM Cortex-A12 processor is the highest-performance, mid-range CPU. It is specifically designed for the mid-range mobile market, and is broadly supported by a range of other ARM technology IP including ARM system IP, POP IP and development tools to enable ARM Powered® solutions that contribute to the very best user experience in terms of responsiveness and battery life. At the same time, it allows ARM partners to accelerate time to market for mid-range SoCs, while freeing development time to add their own differentiation. The Cortex-A12 is a highly tuned processor that will bring the performance of high-end mobile devices into mid-range smartphone and tablets, as well as into other great market opportunities we haven’t even considered.
ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Optimize Next-Generation ARM Mobile Processors for 28nm-SLP Process Technology [press release, June 3, 2013]
New ARM POP technology provides core-hardening acceleration for Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors
Milpitas, Calif. and Cambridge, UK, June 3, 2013 – In conjunction with the launch of the ARM® Cortex®-A12 processor, ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced new power, performance and cost-optimized POP™ technology offerings for the ARM Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors for GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. The Cortex-A12 processor was introduced by ARM today as part of a suite of IP targeting the rapidly growing market for mid-range mobile devices.
The companies will combine ARM’s next-generation mobile processor and POP IP with GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP HKMG process solution, enabling a new level of system performance and power efficiency with the optimum economics necessary to serve the mid-range mobile device market. The new initiative builds on the existing robust ARM Artisan® physical IP platform and POP IP for the Cortex-A9 processor already available on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP, signifying another milestone in the multi-year collaboration between ARM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
Central to this increase in functionality for mid-range mobile devices is the new ARM Cortex-A12 processor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides a 40 percent performance uplift and direct upgrade path from the incredibly successful Cortex-A9 processor, while matching the energy efficiency of its predecessor. The Cortex-A12 processor provides best-in-class efficiency as a standalone solution, but additionally supports the innovative big.LITTLE™ processing technology with the Cortex-A7 processor, bringing this energy-efficient technology to the mid-range. GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP process technology and associated ARM POP IP for the Cortex-A12 processor enables up to 70 percent higher performance (measured single-thread performance) and up to 2x better power efficiency in comparison to a Cortex-A9 processor using 40nm process technology. Designers can achieve even higher performance by trading off for lower power efficiency, depending on their application needs. Click here for more information on the Cortex-A12 processor.
The newest POP technology enables customers to accelerate core-hardening of Cortex-A12 and Cortex-A7 processors on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP HKMG process. POP IP for Cortex processors has successfully enabled ARM-based SoCs with more than 30 different licenses since being introduced over three years ago. POP IP is composed of three elements necessary to achieve an optimized ARM processor implementation: core-specific tuned Artisan physical IP logic libraries and memory instances, comprehensive benchmarking reports, and implementation knowledge that detail the methodology used to achieve the result, to enable the end customer to achieve the same implementation quickly and at low risk.
“With 580 million mid-range smartphones and tablets forecast to be sold in 2015[i], consumers are increasingly looking for the right combination of performance, low power and cost effectiveness,” said Dr. Dipesh Patel, executive vice president and general manager, Physical IP Division at ARM. “With the Cortex-A12 processor and suite of IP announced today, ARM is delivering an optimized system solution leveraging the most innovative technologies available for this market. The POP IP solution on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP helps designers balance the performance, power and cost tradeoffs to achieve their targets for this growing market.”
GLOBALFOUNDRIES 28nm-SLP technology is ideally suited for the next generation of smart mobile devices, enabling designs with faster processing speeds, smaller feature sizes, lower standby power and longer battery life. The technology is based on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ “Gate First” approach to High-K Metal Gate (HKMG), which has been in volume production for more than two years. The technology offers a combination of performance, power efficiency and cost that is ideally suited for the mid-range mobile market.
“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is committed to a deep relationship with ARM to enable best-in-class solutions for our mutual customers. Our collaboration on the ARM Cortex-A12 processor implementation is a direct result of this focus and collaboration,” said Mike Noonen, executive vice president of Marketing, Sales, Design and Quality at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ next-generation 14nm-XM FinFET technology is expected to bring another dimension of enhanced power, performance and area for ARM mobile processors. A Cortex-A9 processor implemented on 14nm-XM technology, using 9-track libraries, is projected to enable a greater than 60 percent increase in frequency at constant power, or a decrease of more than 60 percent in power consumption at constant performance, when compared to implementation on 28nm-SLP technology using 12-track libraries. Similar results are expected for Cortex-A12 processor implementations. Click here for more details on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 14nm-XM FinFet technology.
For further discussions about GLOBALFOUNDRIES process technologies or ARM IP offerings please visit the companies’ respective exhibits at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), June 3-5, 2013 in Austin, Texas. ARM is located in booth 931, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES can be found at booth 1314.
Among the hits for simple ‘Qualcomm’ search between April 25 and 30 you will first time find headlines such as:
While such headlines are in minority by far and had been market balanced by Qualcomm’s media wide Snapdragon 800 communication (“Snapdragon 800 to enter mass production in late May”) we are witnessing first time that Qualcomm’s SoC future had been questioned for very first time. So it is worth to examine this abrupt change in a little more detail than the articles behind those worries:
First of all China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] behind of which there is a very said turn of events from Qualcomm’s point of view that:
Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.
That is Qualcomm has no other way against its market dominant entry-level rival MediaTek as start an outright price competition. In fact it is an even bigger problem as its hastily reworked new SoC product line setup:
was meant to be a very broad offensive move as it was noted in Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 12 -Feb 27, 2013]
Even more, in China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 29, 2013] we already had the following slide from yet another Chinese rival Spreadtrum:
So while Qualcomm is trying to undercut MediaTek prices in the quad-core entry-level SoC segment its another rival had been pushed to do the same, and now Qualcomm has another very potent rival, already much better established in the entry-level segment than Qualcomm, even outside China as was shown by Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. Should Qualcomm drop its quad-core entry level price further? Hardly, as those $10 SoC prices are at the very bottom from the point of view of deterring additional entry-level quad-core rivals like Allwinner to enter that segment at large.
The competition between these three parties in terms of the entry level functionality looks like as follows (availability data is suggesting Q3 2013 entry level smartphone devices with extremely high volume production from Tier 1 international vendors down to a large number of white-box Chinese vendors):
Q3 2013 volume
Q1 2013 sample
Q2 2013 sample
TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W
CDMA multimode / UMTS modem options
TD-SCDMA/W-CDMA/ TD + W
Integrated App processor
ARM Mali 400
ARM Mali-400MP2 likely
Block diagrams of the MT6572 entry level SoC from MediaTek, the quad-core MT6582 will differ from that only in the number of cores:
From: Mediatek “Wu Song” [MT6572] uphill [product], against the Spreadtrum “Tiger” [SC8825] / 联发科武松上山，展讯猛虎迎战 [52RD, March 8, 2013]
from 28-nanometer dual-core MT6572 WCDMA version is first to debut / 28纳米双核MT6572临近 WCDMA版本率先登场 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, March 23, 2013] based on which a brief English report was the Mediatek MT6572 Chipset Details [Quazmo, April 6, 2013]
Meanwhile the first MT6572-based products are already launched:
MTK6572 mobile phone, Sunspan [天迈] D18/D28X first appearance [China Unlocked Phone Review, April 26, 2013] which is the rough English translation (therefore I made some manual edits to it) of MTK6572手机来了 天迈D18/D28X率先亮相 [MTK手机网/MTK Mobile Phone Network, April 26, 2013] article
MediaTek MT6572 dual-core processor was adopted some time ago by the majority of mobile solution providers. Informed sources said MT6572 began mass production, in addition to the dual-core MT6572, quad-core chip MT6582 coming soon. There is no quad-core version of the specific information of MT6582 chip, but to guess from the naming of the quad-core chip may be rumors it is MT6572 quad core version .
Description of MT6572
MediaTek MTK/MT6572 is a low-power highly integrated single-chip phone processor. The chip is based on Cortex-A7 architecture, using the 28-nanometer process. a single core’s clocked at 1.xGHz, it also has built-in Mali-400MP graphics processor, support for TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and EDGE 2.75G network, integrated 4-in-1 wireless chip. In addition to that it has been listed dual-core and quad-core chip versions. The MT6572 product line also has speed and price advantages. It is learned that old Spreadtrum customers, including WingTech (闻泰) etc. will be launching MTK6572 products, but the end product equipped with MT6572 chip will be officially listed in May.
T-Smart Sunspan Communication, operating in the field of TD for many years and in good cooperation with China Mobile and other operators, signed a 600,000 full year supply agreement with D.Phone [who claims to be China’s largest retailer of mobile phones and accessories, with over 1300 stores, more than 800 of which are directly owned stores, see its TMall store for current offerings]. In this year’s upcoming new machine, Sunspan D28X/D26X and D18/D96X, several new machines will be using MTK6572 program, the listing of these models has been formed, will soon be listed.
The two Sunspan D28X/D26X machines have the same appearance. Body size is 132 * 68 * 10.5 mm, which is equipped with MTK6572 dual-core processor, clock frequency is 1GHz, the screen size is 4.5 inches with 5MP camera, and running Android 4.2 version of the system. Another standard capacity of 1600 mAh battery, built-in commonly used sensor. The D28X/D26X both support different network standards, the D28X will provide the China Mobile’s customized one, i.e. can support the TD-SCDMA network, while the D26X has the Unicom [W-CDMA] version.
In addition to the Sunspan D28X/D26X, there are also new D18/D96X machines which to be powered by the MTK6572 dual-core processor. The D18/D96X models also differ in supported networks. D18 is the China Mobile version and D96X is the Unicom version. In addition to that the D18 will run Android 4.2 system, equipped with a 2MP camera, while the the D96X using system version 4.1, the camera pixel is higher, 3MP. D18/D96X body style is more upright, while the color is much richer, the machine size is 126 * 64 * 10.9 mm.
Hardware parameters of both are also consistent: with a 4-inch screen, the battery capacity of 1500 mAh, supports common sensors.
MT6572 is primarily intended for [so called] one thousand yuan [~$150] mobile terminal products, so the MTK6572 phone sells are worth of the wait, as several new machines with lower to Sunspan hardware specifications, maybe the same, will have a friendly price. After May a large number of MTK6572 dual-core processor models will become available, the choice available to users will be more and more, and we look forward to the MT6572′s performance.
And those first Sunspan products were produced by the largest cellphone ODM in mainland China, WingTech [闻泰] Communications:
From the feature to quickly switch your Smartphone / 从功能机到智能机的快速切换 [Jiaxing Daily, March 22, 2013] as traslated by Bing and Google, with manual edits:
Decoding the “top ten 2012 to take a new road to industrialization enterprises”: WingTech Communications Review
“Sales of only 640 million yuan [$104M] in the first half of last year, while in the second half, sales more than doubled over the first half, jumped to 1.2 billion yuan [$195M]. In January to February period of this year, sales have exceeded 600 million yuan [$97M], an increase of 140%.” At the time of describing the achievement WingTech Communications Vice Chairman Xiao Xuebing [肖学兵] conceals his excitement inside: benefit from timely adjustment, increased research and development, decisiveness in the transformation and upgrading.
… From the first half of 2012 Xiao Xuebing introduced in Wingtech a timely transformation and upgrading, increased investment in the development of 3G smart phones in order to gradually force new products onto the market in the second half of the year, and quickly switch from the feature phone market to the most popular smart phone market.
… WingTech has large scale, low-cost advantage, which thanks to ODM orders from Huawei [华为], Haier [海尔], Sunspan [天迈], TCL and other domestic brands, as well as a powerful combination with carriers and falling smartphone prices lead to rapid sales growth and rapid adoption in the market. Now WingTech is still mass recruiting the staff, nevertheless it is expected that the whole production would exceed 3 million units in March, again hitting an all-time record.
Even in the worst economic situation of the winter of 2008 the 1000 people strong R&D team of WingTech Communications, under the leadership of CEO Zhang Xuezheng [张学政], still advocated a “while others are ‘dormant’ we need to have ‘winter’ “ approach – a gathering of its hundreds of elite “retreats” hundred days focus research and development. This spirit of innovation remains to this day – still coming down.
“After the 4-inch dual-core smartphones, we will soon launch 5-inch and 6-inch quad-core smart phones, as well as 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch PAD tablets, for which WingTech will use its own core technology, building more ordinary people affordable smart electronic products.” said Xiao Xuebing “The new products apply a lot of new technologies from the latest R&D. In the upcoming smartphones we’ve designed in a dual microphone, one for sound recording and the other for filtering the background noise. In the dual camera space, as distinct from the existing front camera, the light rear camera consists in fact two cameras, so as to achieve a 3D effect shooting.”
Outside of research and innovation, during the manufacturing process, WingTech is also vigorously promoting technological innovation, introducing more robots and constantly increasing automation. Automation can not only rapidly increase productivity, but also can help with the stability of product quality. “Product testing was done by manual inspection in the past, only one at a time, and now with automated tools, we can have a simultaneous inspection, measuring eight mobile phones at once” – young workers of the company are saying.
Meanwhile, thanks to the technology innovation, there are cost savings to the WingTech. “Circuit boards used to have a border. Now with a free border process, as long as the increase in the tray, the circuit board does not require a border.” For businesses less materials, for society reduced energy consumption and reduced waste generation.
“Last year we had less than 2000 people working for us, of which 500 were short-term employed, but at full horsepower we may take up to 3000 employees.” Xiao Xuebing told reporters that: “In March this year, the unit sales of cell phones would reach 3 million units and sales volume will reach 500 million yuan [$81M]. WingTech Communications’ annual target for the year 2013 is to exceed unit sales of 40 million and the value of production to be over 4 billion yuan [$649M], up to 6 billion yuan [$973M].”
Automation was indeed a primary direction when moving to the smartphone production, as evidenced by Wingtech Chooses LitePoint IQ2010 to Calibrate and Test Smartphones [LitePoint press release, Feb 5, 2013]
/PRNewswire/ — LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com )(R) announced today that Wingtech Electronics Tech( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ), one of China’s leading providers of mobile phone design and manufacturing services, has chosen LitePoint’s IQ2010 for production calibration and verification of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality in its new line of smartphones.
With the surge in the use of high-end smartphones and the increasing complexity of technology built into these devices, Wi-Fi testing is expected—and often mandated by the cellular service provider. Being at the forefront of smartphone design and development, Wingtech recognized the need for a fast, accurate and cost-effective production test solution. YeHua, Director of Research and Development at Wingtech, said, “We looked into a variety of solutions to test our products and chose the IQ2010 because of the system’s overall performance, as well as the confidence we have in LitePoint as a total solution provider. The IQ2010 addresses our need for a high-quality, turn-key test solution, so it was the obvious choice for us.”
Manufacturing cost-effective mobile devices requires a comprehensive wireless test solution that provides complete functional verification while maximizing unit throughput—the deployment of which typically occurs under intense time-to-market pressure. “Cost considerations in setting up a production line, coupled with demanding quality assurance requirements, mandate high-speed wireless test without sacrificing test coverage,” said Gary Wang, general manager of LitePoint, China. “The IQ2010 is well suited for the growing China smartphone market and designed to meet rigorous production test requirements while optimizing the total cost of ownership.”
LitePoint’s IQ2010 solution is available today.
Wingtech ( http://www.wingtech.com/EngLish ) is a new technology enterprise group in the China wireless network communication market that provides mobile phone design services, manufacturing services and value-added services based on wireless terminal series. Wingtech is mainly dedicated to product customization, research and development, production and sales of wireless terminals. It also focuses on providing solutions using new business models with vertical integration of cell phone design and manufacturing of integrated terminal, brand, mobile Internet solutions for the Internet of things.
LitePoint( http://www.litepoint.com ), a wholly owned subsidiary of Teradyne, Inc.(http://www.teradyne.com ) (TER), is based in Sunnyvale, California. The company designs, develops and supports advanced wireless test solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) for developers of wireless devices and consumer electronics, contract manufacturers and wireless integrated circuit designers. LitePoint solutions( http://www.litepoint.com/Solutions.html ) have enabled optimization and verification of the operation of more than one billion wireless devices worldwide. LitePoint products( http://www.litepoint.com/Products.html ) are used in development and high-volume manufacturing, providing its customers with improved ROI, time-to-market, manufacturing yields, and product quality. For more, go to www.litepoint.com.
Previously WingTech was supported by the state and party to becomer the largest feature phone maker in China, as evidenced by: Party Secretary and Chief Executive of Huangpu District in Shanghai Zhou Wei Inspected Industrialized Base for Wingtech Cell Phones [WingTech press release]
On June 18, 2009, accompanied by … <a long list of people> … Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District paid a visit to the industrialized base for Wingtech cell phones.
Zhou Wei and his companions toured the showroom, test room and production lines of Wenxun and Wendi. After that, the leaders and Zhang Xuezheng, the CSO of Wingtech Group, held a symposium, where Mr. Zhang reported in details the company’s history and achievements since its establishment, and current situations.
Zhou Wei, deputy party secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, said that it was not easy for Wingtech to be developed into the largest cell phone maker in China within less than two years. As a leading enterprise in the communication industry, Wingtech has made its great contributions in terms of fiscal revenue, personnel introduction, protection of intellectual property rights and technological innovation. He also added that the District Government of Huangpu should pay closer attentions on caring about and supporting high-tech groups like Wingtech so as to support its sustainable development.
With regards to patent application and protection, leaders from the Science Committee of Huangpu District expressed that more supports would be provided to enterprise like Wingtech in protecting the intellectual property rights, and the smooth transfer should be ensured in executing the policies of the state, municipality and the district and the enterprise, so as to promote Wingtech to make new progresses in technological innovation and application and protection of intellectual property rights.
With respect to finance and taxes, the leader from the Finance Bureau of Huangpu said special funds invested in Wingtech would increase and preferential tax policies supporting Wingtech and other high-tech enterprises be implemented so as to reduce their burdens and enhance their strength for development.
For the issue of personnel indraught, the leaders concerned expressed that Shanghai may need a large number of highly qualified personnel in the field of communication to satisfy the economic development, whereas Wingtech, as a leading enterprise in the sector, can serve as a cradle to attract and foster the communication personnel. In order to support enterprises like Wingtech to attract and retain personnel, the government of Huangpu District will further study and discuss such matters as household registration policies, individual income tax and education of children so as to figure out a practical preference scheme as soon as possible. In addition, as Wingtech Group develops rapidly, its office space becomes over crowded due to the suddenly increased number of personnel. Leaders from Huangpu said they would solve this issue as soon as possible.
During the meeting, Zhou Wei, the deputy secretary and chief executive of Huangpu District, presented on behalf of Huangpu District Government a gift—Hangguang Porcelain to Wingtech Group. The gift indicates that Wingtech Group could develop stably, maintain its foundation permanently and make innovations and breakthroughs continuously so as to be the model enterprise in the communication industry in both China and the world.
More information of the above kind is in the Wingtech Group honored with “outstanding performance prize of China mobile phone industry 2010 [press release, Dec 21, 2010]
The still old company profile About Wingtech [闻泰] Group [集团] [LinkedIn, originally created on July 23, 2009], the corrections in square brackets are from the WingTech profile page in Chinese (http://www.wingtech.com/Chinese/Company-Content-ID-8.html) in the hope that it contains later information
As a high-tech company, Wingtech Group mainly provides clients with the integrated cell phones program design, production, and wireless terminal-based value-added service, and is committed to the customized service, R&D, production, sales, after-sales service of wireless terminal products.
Founded in 2006, Wingtech Group consists of Shanghai R&D Center, Shenzhen Operation Center, and Jiaxing Production Center. Currently, Wingtech has a team of nearly
2000 employees. Its products cover PHS, GSM(GPRS), CDMA(1X), EDGE, TD-SCDMA[, EVDO] and all handheld device series ranging from 2G to 4G, with an annual turnover of hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Since its foundation, Wingtech has always persisted in the independent technical innovation, and make a lot of efforts in development and application of new technology of wireless communication. So far, Wingtech has owned nearly one thousand technical patents, a number of the world leading technologies, and is increasing 500 patents every year. Meanwhile, Wingtech has been in possession of perfect sales networks and under total process control systems (ISO9001:2000, ISO14001, QC080000).
Wingtech puts focus on local strengths while eyeing the world. Due to strong innovation, reliable quality, and high cost performance, Wingtech products have been very popular with customers at home and abroad. Currently, Wingtech products have been exported to over 30 countries, and over
50 million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: 1001-5000 employees
The latest external to China (actually for India) Overview [Callbar, July 15, 2011]
Callbar is a world leading mobile phone brand owned by WINGTECH GROUP LIMITED. Registered in HK with operation center in Shenzhen, manufacture base in Jiaxing and R&D center in Shanghai & Xi’an, we directly or indirectly employ over 4,000 people in China and other countries worldwide. Since establishment in 2006, we’ve evolved into a leading ODM supplier serving customers including MOTOROLA, LG, Philips and HUAWEI. In last 2 years we successfully extended our business into Wireless Terminal Internet Service and international distribution with our own brand WING. Our annual turnover reached USD 600million in 2009. Consumers around the world are enjoying Callbar mobile phones which features innovation, quality and cost effectiveness.
Better Quality, Better Price.
And the latest external to China milestone descriptions (actually for India):
History [Callbar, July 15, 2011]
In 2006,Wingtech Telecom was registered in Hong Kong and marched into cell phone PCBA industrial.
In May 2007, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base started to be built.
In May 2007, Wingtech Telecom cooperated with SpreadTrum in the field of 3G industry in order to promote the development of 3G industry
In November 2007, Wingtech Telecom joined TD-SCDMA industry alliance, focusing on development and application of TD technique.
In December 2007, Wingtech Telecom sold 20 million sets of cell phones in total, which made Wingtech to be NO.1 of iSuppli.
In April 2008, Wingtech Telecom ranked the top one in the Chinese IDH industry.
In April 2008, Wingtech and Indian famous cell phone company-FRIWO cooperated to establish a mobile terminal product showroom in New Delhi, which is a totally new mode of cooperation between China and India.
In November 2008, Wingtech held the “Wireless Communication New Tech Summit”.
In November 2008, Zhejiang Communication Industry (Jiaxing) Base and the Wingtech Cell Phone Industrialization Base were put into production.
In March 2009, Wingtech and China Telecommunication Technology Labs entered into the cooperative agreement to establish the strategic cooperative relationship.
In May 2009, Xi’an R&D centre established, which further enhances Wingtech telecom R&D capability.
Wingtech launches its Callbar brand strategy all over the world so as to make more people to be serviced by Wingtech.
While the latest external to China (actually for India) Structure [Callbar, July 15, 2011], with geographical inserts added as required
Shanghai R&D centre
Shanghai R&D Center has a team of over one thousand R&D staff members, with R&D achievement covering the whole series of mobile terminal products of GSM, CDMA, EDGE, TD-SCDMA, EVDO etc, ranging from 2G to 3G. So far, the R&D Center has owned nearly one thousand national patents.
With strong R&D strength and firm technical foundation, the R&D Center has been rewarded many titles by Shanghai Government.Meanwhile, Wingtech joins the TD-SCDMA industrial alliance to actively conduct the R&D and application of TD products so as to speed up the Chinese industrialization.
Jiaxing production centre
In addition to the cell phone design service, Wingtech can provide customers with the high-efficiency and high-quality production service.Wingtech invested $70 million in building a cell phone industrial base of over 140 000 square meters in Jiaxing,in which Wingtech produces mobile phones of first class for world famous brands.
Wingtech Cell Phone Industrial Base has given an impetus to the development of the local communications industry. And with this impetus, a world-class cell phone industrial cluster with an output of more than 30,000,000 sets, and an annual turnover of RMB 10 billion formed around this Cell Phone Industrial Base.
More information: Jiaxing [Wikipedia article]
Shenzhen operation centre
To better serve market and customers, Wingtech Telecom establishes the Operation Center in Shenzhen which is responsible for the procurement, sales and technical support. And with the help of its reliable supply chain system, professional marketing team, the world-class ERP and logistics guarantee system, Shenzhen Operation Centre provides first class service to our local and worldwide customers.
At present, over 70 million consumers around the world are enjoying happy wireless mobile experience through Wingtech products and services.
Xi’an R&D Centre
Founded in 2009, Xi’an R&D Centre is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wingtech Group. It is mainly engaged in R&D and application of wireless communication new technology for providing 2G-4G GSM, CDMA and TD-SCDMA full system mobile terminal devices.
Xi’an Wingtech enjoys an internationally top grade R&D team and powerful R&D capacity. Among the over 100 R&D engineers, above 60% of them are doctoral degree holders and master degree holders. As for quality control, Xi’an Wingtech has introduced whole process quality control system (ISO9001:200, ISO14001, QC080000), and performs Six Sigma Management following quality control standards of internationally top grade enterprises for developing and providing stable and reliable products to customers.
Xi’an is on the far left of this map, Jiaxing and Shanghai are on the far right
More information: Xi’an [Wikipedia article]
Note that in Xi’an another cellphone industrial cluster has been created, as evidenced by World’s biggest wireless semiconductor producer establishes branch in N.W China city [Xinhua, Dec 23, 2011] news article
Qualcomm, the world’s largest wireless semiconductor company, has announced it will set up a branch in Xi’an, capital of northwest Shaanxi province, according to the management committee of the city’s high-tech area on Friday.
In the past years, the U.S.-based global leader in 3G and next generation wireless telecommunication technologies has established cooperative relationships with Chinese counterparts such as Huawei, ZTE, Yulong Coolpad and Wingtech.
Qualcomm’s branch in Xi’an is a strategic option and also a good beginning, said Zhao Hongzhuan, director of the Xi’an high-tech area management committee, adding that the area will provide “big support and quality service” to Qualcomm, and said he hopes the company will expand its investment in Xi’an.
China has already become one of the fastest growing markets for Qualcomm, said Wang Xiang, president of Qualcomm greater China. “Qualcomm decided to set up its branch in Xi’an because of the city’s complete industrial chain, strong technical strengths and rich talent,” Wang said.
Qualcomm entered the Chinese market in the late 1990s and already has branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Note as well that Wingtech’s engagement with Spreadtrum goes much older:
Spreadtrum and WingTech Enter Strategic Partnership [joint press release, April 24, 2008]
JIAXING, China, April 24 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD), one of China’s leading wireless baseband chipset providers, today announced during the “International Handset Supply Chain Summit 2008” that Spreadtrum and WingTech Group have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at leveraging their respective leading edge chip and handset design technologies. This two-day summit, sponsored by Jiaxing Communication Industry Association and organized by WingTech Communication Science and Technology Co. Ltd., promotes the theme of “Developing hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
The announced Spreadtrum-WingTech partnership is expected to benefit both companies and their customers as it is intended to capitalize on Spreadtrum’s technology expertise in developing chipsets and WingTech’s strengths in handset design for the industry. With the establishment of this new strategic partnership, WingTech will deploy Spreadtrum’s SC6600W chip in its handsets. The SC6600W is a single chip quad-band GSM/GPRS multimedia baseband intended for WingTech handsets targeted at feature rich entry-level phones that include features such as MP3 playback, stereo output, voice recording, and Bluetooth interface for wireless data transmissions. Like Spreadtrum’s other highly integrated basebands, the SC6600W features an integrated multimedia processor and built-in power management circuits on a single chip, which should reduce production costs, while enabling customers such as WingTech to develop new, differentiated products within a quick time-to-market threshold.
Referring to this strategic partnership, president of WingTech Group, Zhang Xueying said, “WingTech and Spreadtrum have a long history of close and steady partnership. Spreadtrum’s advanced technologies and products are one of the important factors that account for WingTech’s rapid growth. By entering this partnership, we believe we will be in the best possible position to win additional market share through use of the customized SC6600W chip, since it may greatly reduce the time-to-market and overall cost while improving core competitiveness of our products. This announcement further strengthens the strategic alliance between our two companies, but also starts a new mode of business collaboration in the industry to push the differentiation of the terminal products. WingTech will commit itself to unite all the segments in the industry to develop hand in hand for mutual benefits in the future.”
Dr. Ping Wu, President and CEO of Spreadtrum, expressed, “By establishing this strategic partnership, we hope to expand and deepen the cooperation with WingTech in technology, marketing and other aspects to further expand our markets and accelerate our respective technology innovation. We believe that closer cooperation between the handset design solution provider and chip designer will be in everyone’s interest to further improve the features and diversity of future handset products. We look forward to a sustained, close partnership with WingTech and to driving a new round of development in China’s communication industry.”
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops, and markets baseband processor solutions for the mobile wireless communications market. Spreadtrum combines its semiconductor design expertise with its software development capabilities to deliver highly-integrated baseband processors with multimedia functionality and power management. Spreadtrum has developed its solutions based on an open development platform, enabling its customers to develop customized wireless products that are feature-rich and meet their cost and time-to-market requirements.
For more information, please check: http://www.spreadtrum.com
WingTech group was founded in Hong Kong at the end of 2005 and ever since then, it has been devoting to R&D, manufacturing and marketing of mobile terminals. The main business scope includes complete design solution for mobile phones and value-added services based on mobile terminals. With technological strength and excellent products, after only two years from its establishment, WingTech has risen to be one of the top Chinese mobile companies
Meanwhile WingTech has well established itself in India:
– originally as a feature phone ODM for a number of leading local brands in India, as evidenced by: Wingtech Group [microsite on Importers.com, May 31, 2010]:
Company already designing mobiles for Lava, Karbon, Spice, Intex, Videocon, Micromax, G-five. Now plannig to launch their own brand”WING”. Looking for importers.
– in addition indeed introducing its first own brand, WING in 2010, as evidenced by the History page of a separate http://www.wingtele.com/ site
– then by the already referenced Callbar brand a year later, as evidenced by another separate site http://www.callbar.in
– then becoming available under the Wingtech brand itself, evidenced by Wingtech Mobile Phones in India [Sulekha.com] microsite
Background: MediaTek: Ready For Prime Time [stock analysis report from Maybank, April 25, 2013]
With smartphones hitting the mainstream market, the replacement cycle for feature phones seems to be accelerating and tablet adoption in the emerging markets (in particular China) is gathering momentum. Against this backdrop, we think MTK may have to raise its target unit shipments of 400-450m smartphones and 100m tablets for 2013.
Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its application processors (APs) on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest Cortex-A7 and/or Cortex-A15. By mid-year, it will introduce several low-cost models (MT6572/6582/6589M) to consolidate its position in the white-box market and enhance its cost structure. Also, MTK will foray into tablet markets (MT8389/8135 [big.Little design]), a new addressable market. By 4Q13, it will sample its high-end 4G/LTE/LTE-TDSCDMA modem chipset. Importantly, the ongoing consolidation of the AP industry and recent hiring of high-profile executives from Qualcomm could spur MTK to become a major force in the global smart device industry.
We note that MTK’s shipments include the white-box market, which is not captured by third-party research firms such as IDC. As such, analysing the change in MTK’s handset types may offer a clue to the dynamics of the handset industry, especially in the global emerging markets. We estimate MTK may ship close to 90m smartphones in 1H13 and its full-year target of 200m units (400-450m for global emerging markets) thus seems too conservative to us. An official upgrade in shipment per se and industry revisions should be expected. We currently forecast MTK to ship 235-240m smartphones in 2013. Back in November last year, our industry forecast of 500-550m unit shipments sounded aggressive, but now, it might look realistic given the speed of the replacement cycle and the popularity of smartphones in the global emerging countries.
Best positioned to benefit from new secular trend. MTK is stepping up efforts to diversify its product portfolio to capture the proliferation of smart devices. It will have all its APs on 28nm node this year, with designs based on the latest CortexA7 and/or Cortex-A15. In this section, we provide an update on MTK’s new products and compare them to some of the solutions offered by its peers. Figures 7-8 illustrate the timeline of product introduction and specifications.
MT6572 enters mass production in 2Q13 with the first shipment expected between late-May and June. MT6572 (dual-core, Cortex A7) is designed to replace MT6515 (single-core, Cortex A9) with significant cost savings and battery life enhancement. The die size of MT6572 is significantly smaller (than MT6515) and this AP comes with an integrated WiFi chipset – the first for MTK. Coupled with 28nm node and requiring only four layers of PCB board, we believe MT6572 offers significant cost savings for handset OEMs. MT6572 will also be a significant volume runner for MTK as it comes with various connectivity such as MT6572E (for 2.75G), MT6572T (TD-SCDMA) and MT6572W (WCDMA). The W-version targets smartphones with ASP of CNY1,000 (USD160) while the E-and-T-versions will go well-below CNY1,000 (USD100-125), and both should be well-received by the white-box market. We believe MT6572T can hold its own against Spreadtrum’s latest SC8825 (dual-core Cortex A5, TD-SCDMA on 40nm node and without integrated WiFi).
The MT6582 has features similar to those of the MT6572 but the former comes with Quad-core, Cortex A7 engines as opposed to the latter’s dualcore engine. Like the MT6572, MT6582 targets the white-box market for better system performance. We expect volume shipments to commence in 3Q13. We believe the MT6582W will compete well with Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q, the low-end Quad-core Cortex A5 AP which only supports WCDMA networks.
MT6589M is a cost-down version of the currently leading quad-core MT6589, which began shipment in March and has found favour among OEM customers (60-70 clients) in China. MT6589M shares most of the features and design architecture of MT6589. But it comes with HD and 8MP camera compared with full HD and 13MP camera for the latter. In addition, we estimate MTK could achieve 15-20% cost savings on MT6589M by tweaking some foundry and back-end processes. As such, MT6589M offers a lower cost solution for handset OEMs who do not wish to equip their smartphones with similar high-end features as MT6589. With a lower ASP, MTK could narrow the price gap between MT6589M and Qualcomm’s MSM8225Q by 10-15% and yet offer better features. We estimate the price gap between MT6589 and MSM8225Q currently is at least 30-40%. That being said, we note that MSM8225Q is a quad-core using Cortex A5 and 40nm node, and does not support TD-SCDMA network.