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Posts Tagged ‘arm’

Phytium Mars is an Upcoming 64 Core ARMv8 Processor for Servers

August 26th, 2015 3 comments

Several server SoCs with a large number of ARMv8 cores have been announced in the past with products such as Cavium ThunderX featuring 48 64-bit ARM cores and EZTile TILE-Mx100 with 100 ARM Cortex A53 cores. Phytium Technology, a Chinese startup funded in 2012, has showcased its work on Mars processor with 64 custom design ARMv8 cores at Hotchips 2015 conference.

Phytium_MarsCharles Zhang, director of research for Phytium, made the presentation entitled “Mars: A 64-Core ARMv8 Processor” at the conference, and a PDF version is available on Hotchips 2015 website (Conf. Day 1 section) but unfortunately it’s password-protected and only accessible by attendees. Last year, they made all presentations publicly downloadable in December, so hopefully it will be the same this year. In the meantime, I relied on an articles published on EETimes and Golem.de, the latter reproduced some of the slides, to get some of the specs and features:

  • 64 custom designed ARMv8 “Xiaomi” core up to 2.0 GHz
  • Cache – L1 I-Cache and D-Cache, 32MB L2 cache, 128MB L3 Cache
  • Memory – 16 DDR3-1600 channels
  • ECC and memory protection on all caches, tags and TLBs
  • Expansion – 2x 16-lane PCIe 3.0 interfaces
  • Performance – 512GFLOPS, 204 GB/s memory bandwidth, 32GB/s I/O bandwidth
  • Manufacturing process – 28 nm
  • Die size / Package – 640 mm2; FCBGA package with ~3,000 pins
  • TDP – 120 Watts
Xiaomi Core Block Diagram

Xiaomi Core Block Diagram

Mars design has not yet taped out, but the company perform some simulations with SpecCPU 2006 base and rate benchmark, where the chip achieved 672 points and 585 points for respectively integer and floating-point performance.

Phytium_Mars_Benchmark

Here are some background between the base and rate benchmark to make it clearer to what is actually tested here:

The SPEC CPU 2006 benchmark has several different ways to measure computer performance. One way is to measure how fast the computer completes a single task; this is a speed measurement. Another way is to measure how many tasks a computer can accomplish in a certain amount of time; this is called a throughput, capacity or rate measurement.

  • The SPECspeed metrics (e.g., the SPECint 2006 benchmark) are used for comparing the ability of a computer to complete single tasks.
  • The SPECrate metrics (e.g., the SPECint_rate 2006 benchmark) measure the throughput or rate of a machine carrying out a number of tasks.

If we check published integer rate benchmarks results, Phytium Mars would have roughly the performance of four AMD Opteron 6174 deca-core processors (Max TDP: 115 Watt / processor) or two Intel Xeon E5-2643 v3 deca-core processors (135 W TDP / processor).

No date was provided for the launch of Mars SoC.

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STM32F746G-DISCO is a $49 Cortex-M7 Board with a 4.3″ LCD Display, Arduino Headers

August 7th, 2015 No comments

We’ve already seen Atmel started shipping its SAM V71 Xplained Board based on its latest Cortex M7 a few days ago, but Atmel is not the company which recently introduced a Cortex M7 development kit, as ST Micro also launched an STM32F7 Cortex M7 development kit with Arduino headers and 4.3″ LCD at the end of June.

STM32F7_Development_KitThe “Discovery Kit with STM32F746NG MCU” (STM32F746G-DISCO) comes with the following specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F746NGH6 Cortex M7 MCU with 1 MB Flash, 340 KB RAM, in BGA216 package
  • Memory – 128-Mbit (16 MB) SDRAM (64 Mbits accessible)
  • Storage – 16 MB Quad-SPI Flash memory, and micro SD slot
  • Display – 4.3″ 480×272 color LCD-TFT with capacitive touch screen
  • Camera – Camera connector
  • Connectivity – Ethernet connector compliant with IEEE-802.3-2002
  • USB
    • USB OTG HS with Micro-AB connectors,  USB OTG FS with Micro-AB connectors
    • USB functions: virtual COM port, mass storage, debug port
  • Audio – SAI audio codec, line IN and OUT jacks, stereo speaker outputs, 2x ST MEMS microphones, and S/PDIF RCA input connector
  • Debugging –  On-board ST-LINK/V2-1 supporting USB re-enumeration capability
  • Misc – 2x push buttons (user and reset)
  • Expansion Headers:
    • Arduino Uno V3 connectors
    • RF-EEPROM daughterboard connector
  • Power Supply
    • ST LINK/V2-1
    • 5V via USB FS connector or USB HS connector
    • VIN from Arduino connector
    • External 5 V from connector
    • Output for external applications: 3.3 V or 5 V
  • Dimensions – N/A

STM32F7-DISCOVERY_PinoutThe board supports various development toolchains such as IAR EWARM (IAR Embedded Workbench), Keil MDK-ARM, GCC-based IDEs (free AC6: SW4STM32, Atollic TrueSTUDIO,…), and ARM mbed online.  The company also released STM32CubeF7 embedded software for STM32F7 series which includes low level drivers, USB, TCP/IP, File system, RTOS, Graphic and more. You’ll need a Windows XP, 7, or 8 computer to use the board, because the drivers for ST-LINK/V2-1 are only available for Windows.

One developer got hold of the board and wrote a C program showing some of its graphics capabilities.

You can find more details, including the board’s user manual and hardware design files, as well as purchase the board on STM32F746G-DISCO product page.

Via Electronics Weekly.com

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Atmel SAM S70 and SAM E70 Cortex M7 MCUs, SAM V71 Xplained Board Are Now Shipping

August 5th, 2015 4 comments

ARM Introduced Cortex M7 IP in September, and ST Micro simultaneously announced its STM32F7 Cortex M7 MCU clocked up to 200 MHz, and boards are now available, including some running Linux. But two other companies have licenses Cortex M7, Freescale with its Kinetis KV5x micro-controllers which are yet to be mass-produced, and Atmel which has recently announced their SAM S70 and E70 micro-controllers are now in mass production.

Atmel_SAM_E70_S70_Block_DiagramSAM E70 and S70 have similar features, but E70 offers some extra interface like CAN and Fast Ethernet:

  • ARM Cortex-M7 core running at up to 300MHz (1500 CoreMark)
  • Up to 2MB Flash and 384kByte SRAM
  • Floating point unit (FPU) for high-precision computing and accelerated data processing
  • High-performance internal memory architecture with user configurable Tightly Couples Memories and System memory, and 16kB I and D-cache
  • High Speed USB Host and Device with on-chip high-speed PHY
  • CMOS image sensor interface
  • AES hardware encryption engines, TRNG and SHA-based memory integrity checker
  • Advanced analog front end based on dual 2Msps 12-bit ADCs, including 16-bit average, up to 24 channels, offset error correction and gain control
  • Dual 2Msps, 12-bit DAC and analog comparator
  • Other I/Os – SSC supporting TDM and I2S, up to 8 UARTs, up to 5 SPI and up to 3 I2C
  • 64 to 144-pin package options
  • Extended industrial temperature range: -40°C to 105°C
  • SAM E70 only:
    • Dual Bosch CAN-FD controller
    • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588

SAM E70 MCUs are also pin-to-pin compatible with SAM4E series. Atnel claims their new MCUs are 2.5 times faster than their Cortex M4 MCUs, and 50% than competitor “S” (That would be ST Micro), which is expected since STM32F7 are clocked at 200 MHz, while SAM S70/E70 MCUs go up to 300 MHz.

Atmel actually has four families of Cortex M7 MCUs, but their automotive grade V70 and V71 MCUs are not mass-produced yet.

Atmel_Cortex_M7_MCUHowever since S70, E70, and V70 are all subset of SAM V71, the development platform “SAM V71 Xplained Ultra Evaluation Kit” (Codename: ATSAMV71-XULT) is powered by the top of the line ATSAMV71Q21 micro-controller with 2MB flash, 384KB SRAM and all peripherals available on Cortex M7 microcontrollers.

Atmel_Xplained_SAM_V71_Cortex_M7SAM V71 Xplained Ultra key features and specifications

  • MCU – ATSAMV71Q21 microcontroller
  • Memory – 2 MB SDRAM
  • Storage – 2 MB QSPI Flash + SD Card connector with SDIO support + AT24MAC402 256KB EEPROM with EUI-48 address
  • Connectivity – IEEE 802.3az 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet RMII PHY
  • Audio – Stereo audio codec, external PLL for precise clock generation, microphone & headphone jacks
  • Camera – Camera interface connector
  • USB – USB interface, device and host mode
  • CAN – ATA6561 CAN Transceiver
  • Media Local Bus (MediaLB) Connector
  • Expansion Headers
    • 2x Xplained Pro extension headers
    • 1x Xplained Pro LCD header
    • Arduino due compatible shield connectors
  • Debugging – Coresight 20 connector for 4-bit ETM, External debugger connector, Embedded Debugger
  • Misc – Reset button, power switch button, mechanical user push-buttons, 2x yellow user LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB or external power input (5-14V)

Software development tools include Atmel Studio, the ARM Keil MDK-ARM and IAR Embedded Workbench, and the MCUs and board support various real-time operating system such as Express Logic ThreadX, FreeRTOS, Keil RTX, NuttX and Segger embOS. Charbax interviewed Atmel a little ago while they were showcasing the Cortex M7 Xplained board at Embedded World.

Atmel SAM S70 MCU starts at $5.34 in 64-pin LQFP package and 512KB on-chip flash for 10k orders, and Atmel SAM V71 Xplained board goes for $136.25. More information is available on SAM S70 and SAM E70 product pages.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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BBC Micro Bit Educational Board Features nRF51822 ARM Cortex M0 MCU

July 7th, 2015 2 comments

The BBC announces its intention to give away 1 million Micro Bit to British schoolchildren a few months ago, but at the time, the specifications were not completely frozen. The broadcaster has now finalized the design which is based on an ARM Cortex M0 micro-controller.Micro_Bit

 

Micro Bit board specifications:

  • ARM Cortex M0 micro-controller (Nordic Micro nRF51822 Bluetooth SoC)
  • 5x holes for 3V, GND, and 3 GPIOs
  • 2x user buttons, 1x reset button
  • 25x red LED indicator lights in a 5×5 matrix
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth LE
  • Sensors – Compass, magnetometer, accelerometer
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for port and programming
  • Power – 5V via USB or battery port to connect two AAA batteries
  • Dimensions – 4cm x 5cm

Micro_Bit_Back

On the software side, the BBC has partnered with Microsoft to develop a web based, drag and drop interface for programming called TouchDevelop. Samaug is also involved in the project as they are developing the Android app, and an iOS app is also planned.

The BBC will send 1 million pieces of the board to schools in the UK this autumn, but they also plan to sell the board to the general public, although pricing and availability information is not available yet.

Via Hexus

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DragonBoard 410c 64-bit ARM Development Board in Stock for $75

June 21st, 2015 15 comments

There has been a few 96Boards announced so far, and a Banana Pi96 could soon be launched, as LeMarker has just joined the Linaro Community Board Group, but so far the board that generated the most buzz was Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c, but at the time pricing was not officially disclosed, although a $75 target price was posted in several blogs. And now it seems Qualcomm 64-bit ARM board indeed costs $75, as it is listed for that price on Arrow Electronics website with a few pieces in stock.

Qualcomm_Dragonboard_410cDragonboard 410c specifications have also been further detailed:

  • SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) quad-core ARM CortexA53 @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno 306 GPU @ 400MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 @ 533MHz, Single-channel 32-bit (4.2GBps)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 4.51 + micro SD 3.0 (UHS-I)
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Video Playback -1080p@30fps HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC), and 720p
    playback with H.265 (HEVC)
  • Connectivity – Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with on-board antenna
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (device only).
  • Camera – Support for 13 MP camera with Wavelet Noise Reduction, JPEG decoder, and other post-processing techniques done in hardware
  • Expansion:
    • 1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, I2S, I2C x2, GPIO x12, DC power
    • 1x 60 pin high speed expansion connector – 4L-MIPI DSI, USB, I2C x2, 2L+4LMIPI CSI
    • Footprin for optional analog expansion connector – Headset, Speaker, FM antenna
    • Arduino compatibility through mezzanine board
  • Misc – Power, reset and volume buttons. 6 LEDS (4x user, 1x Wifi, 1x Bluetooth)
  • Power Supply – 6.5 – 18V DC input
The board will run Android 5.1 and Ubuntu developed in collaboration with Linaro, and Windows 10 support is also being worked on.
I have not been able to check shipping (requires registration), but it will ship from the US, so it should mostly be interesting for people based in North America, until other distributors sell the board, or Arrow gets stock in Europe or other parts of the world.

Via miniNodes

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AMD to Launch ARM Cortex A57 “Amur” Mobile SoCs in 2015, ARM “K12” Mobile SoCs in 2016

May 1st, 2015 10 comments

AMD started using ARM Cortex A5 to add TrustZone security to their x86 processor, they followed with their ARM based Opteron A1100 processor for server last year, recently they announced Hierofalcon embedded processors powered by up to eight Cortex A57 processor, and starting this year and beyond, the company will launch “ultra-low power’ mobile SoCs  using ARM cores, at least according to a leaked roadmap.

AMD Roadmap 2015 - 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

AMD Roadmap 2015 – 2016 (Click to Enlarge)

Two ARM families are planned:

  • “Amur” APU planned for 2015 with:
    • Up to 4 ARM Cortex A57 cores
    • GCN Graphics Compute Units
    • AMD Secure Processor (Trustzone?)
    • ~2W TDP
    • 20nm process, FT4 BGA package
  • “Styx” APU planned for 2016 with:
    • Up to two “K12” CPU cores. These should be high performance custom-designed ARM cores.
    • Next-gen GCN Graphics Compute Units
    • Full HSA 1.0 support (Heterogeneous System Architecture)
    • AMD Secure Processor
    • ~2W TDP
    • 14 nm process, FT4 BGA package

With this kind of thermal dissipation, AMD Android and Windows tablets are the likely candidates for such chips, as well as certainly low power mini PCs and HDMI sticks.

Via Liliputing and CPU World

PS: I will be on the road for some time, so I’ll post a bit less often, maybe 4 to 5 posts a week, and as usual tips / post ideas will be very welcome.

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ARM: “Microcontrollers Are Better Because There’s No GPL”

April 30th, 2015 5 comments

[Update: ARM has pulled down the video and issued a statement]

ARM has uploaded a video today entitled “Microcontrollers for Makers” showing the benefits of using micro-controller boards instead of processor based development boards such as Raspberry Pi or ODROID-C1, and their four first points are right on target, but the last one, as mentioned by Olimex, is completely wrong, and already made several people upset.

ARM_No_GPLLet’s go through the first four points:

  • Micro-controllers are more energy efficient, so if your project is requires years on a cell-coin battery, MCUs are the way to go.
  • MCU are cheaper too, now you can even get an MCU board for $1.
  • They are smaller. The chip shown on the golf ball is Kinetis KL03
  • If you need real-time I/O, processors can’t beat micro-controller, that why people decide to connect an Arduino board to their Raspberry Pi, or products like UDOO Neo are brought to market.

And now the last point: “No GPL”, “as you can keep your source code closed”. What?

First, there’s nothing that forces you to write your application with GPL code, so you can still run and release proprietary apps on Linux. Second, running code on an MCU does not systematically mean you don’t have to care of open source licenses, as for instance, ARM’s very own mbed TLS is licensed under a dual license including GPL. Finally, if they really aim to target hobbyists in that video, most of them don’t really need to care about licenses, as long as they only use their project internally, but I think many will still want to release their source code, simply because sharing your work is the default behavior for many in the makers’ community, and GPL’ed source code or other open source code is what allowed the makers’ community to prosper and grow.

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Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: arm, gpl, mcu

ARM Roadmap Reveals Plans for 10nm FinFET Processors

April 23rd, 2015 3 comments

A few slides have been leaked including ARM Cortex-A roadmap, allowing to have a peak at what the future will bring after the recently announced Cortex A72, and other existing cores. There’s nothing about performance, but this provides details about the next cores codenames and their manufacturing process.

ARM_Roadmap_CortexARM cores are sorted into 4 categories:

  • High-end servers and large tablets – Cortex A72 (16nm FF+) will be supplanted by Ares core optimized for 10 nm FinFET process
  • Premium smartphones and tablets / servers – Cortex A15 and A57 cores will give way to Prometheus (10nm FF) and Artemis (16FF) cores
  • Enterprise data plane / big.LITTLE entry to mid range Mobile – Ananke cores should take over Cortex A17 and A53 cores.
  • Ultra-low cost mobile & wearables – Mercury cores will replace Cortex A5 and A7 cores.

There aren’t any date on the slides, but the new cores might be announced in 2016, before we see them in SoCs and products in 2017.

Via Liliputing and Fudzilla

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Categories: Android Tags: arm