Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and …

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Linux 5.4 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.4 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.4: Not a lot happened this last week, which is just how I like it. And as expected, most of the pull requests I got were for the 5.5 merge window, which I’ll obviously start working through tomorrow. What little there is here is mostly some networking updates (mix of network drivers and core networking), and some minor GPU driver updates. Other than that it’s a small collection of random other things all over. The appended shortlog is small enough that you might as well just scroll through it. Anyway, this obviously opens the merge window for 5.5. It’s not ideal timing with Thanksgiving week coming up, but it hopefully shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If I fall behind (not because I’m all that big of a fan of the indiscriminate and relentless turkey-killing holiday) it’s because we’ve got all three kids back for the holiday, and I might …

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Samsung Exynos 990 SoC, 5G Exynos Modem 5123 Leverage 7nm-EUV Process

Samsung Exynos 990

Samsung Electronics has announced two silicon products manufactured using a 7-nm process and extreme ultra-violet (EUV) technology with namely Exynos 990 mobile processor for premium smartphones, and 5G Exynos Modem 5123. Samsung Exynos 990 Preliminary specifications: CPU – Octa-core, tri-cluster CPU structure 2x Exynos M5 custom cores 2x high-performance Cortex-A76 cores 4x power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores GPU – Arm Mali-G77MP11 GPU with Valhall architecture AI Accelerators – Dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and digital signal processor (DSP) that can perform over 10 TOPS Memory I/F – LPDDR5 data rates of up to 5,500 Mbit/s Display – 120Hz refresh-rate display driver Camera – Up to 108MP in total thanks to an ISP that supports up to 6x image sensors with concurrent processing of three Media – 8K30 / 4K120 encode & decode of H.265/HEVC, H.264, VP9 The GPU is said to improve graphic performance or power efficiency by up to 20 percent, and the new processor enabled a 20 percent system performance …

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Samsung Exynos 9611 SoC Targets AI Powered Smartphones with a Pro-grade Camera

Samsung Exynos 9611

Silicon vendors are all launching new mobile processors with “advanced AI capabilities”, and Samsung has just announced another one of those processors with Exynos 9611 that upgrades on Exynos 9610 introduced last year. The company claims “the Exynos 9611 mobile processor brings intelligent performance for the next-generation experiences from artificial intelligent applications to pro-grade camera”, but I’m actually unable to find any differences between the two processors, except the Cortex-A53 cluster’s  maximum frequency has been boosted to 1.7 GHz instead of 1.6 GHz, and possibly support for 64MP single cameras. Exynos 9611 key features and specifications: CPU – Up to 2.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A73 cluster and up to 1.7GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 cluster. GPU – Mali-G72 MP3 Memory – LPDDR4x Storage – UFS 2.1, eMMC 5.1 Display – Up to WQXGA (2560×1600) Camera – 24MP single camera (up to 64MP),  16+16MP dual camera Video – 4K UHD 120fps encoding and decoding with HEVC(H.265) and H.264, and decoding with VP9 LTE Modem – …

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Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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Huawei Kirin 990 & Samsung Exynos 980 are the First Mobile SoCs with Integrated 5G Modem

Samsung Exynos 980

[Update: post edited on September 6, 2019 with more details about Kirin 990 5G following the official launch of the processor] We’ve already seen mobile phones and laptops with the latest 5G cellular connectivity such as Samsung Galaxy S10 5G or Lenovo Project Limitless 5G laptop, which internally are designed with an Arm SoC plus a separate 5G modem chip. But as IFA 2019 is about to start, both Huawei and Samsung claim to have introduced the world’s first SoC with an integrated 5G modem with respectively Huawei Kirin 990 and Samsung Exynos 980. We should note that MediaTek is working on their own 5G SoC as well. Samsung Exynos 980 Samsung has already made the announcement so we have Exynos 980 key features and specifications: CPU – Octa-core processor with two Arm Cortex-A77 cores @ 2.2GHz, six Arm Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8GHz GPU – Mali-G76 MP5 GPU Integrated NPU with “performances of up to 2.7 times compared to its …

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Linux 5.2 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.2 Changelog

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.2 last Sunday: So I was somewhat pre-disposed towards making an rc8, simply because of my travels and being entirely off the internet for a few days last week, and with spotty internet for a few days before that [*]. But there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for another rc, since it’s been very quiet. Yes, I had a few pull requests since rc7, but they were all small, and I had many more that are for the upcoming merge window. Part of it may be due to the July 4th week, of course, but whatever – I’ll take the quiet week as a good sign. So despite a fairly late core revert, I don’t see any real reason for another week of rc, and so we have a v5.2 with the normal release timing. There’s no particular area that stands out there – the changes are sosmall that the appended …

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299 Euros Motorola One Vision Smartphone Features Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC

Motorola One Vision

I find most new phones’ announcements rather boring, but Motorola One Vision is somewhat interesting as it’s one of the rare non-Samsung phones to features an Exynos processor, more specifically Exynos 9609 which has not been seen in any other smartphones so far. Its other highlight is the 48MP camera sensor normally found in premium phones, and not in a 299 Euros device. Motorola One Vision specifications: SoC – Samsung Exynos 7609 octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.2GHz,  4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.6GHz, and Arm Mali G72MP3 System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 128GB internal storage, microSD card slot Display – 6.3″ LCD touch screen display with 2520 x 1080 resolution (21:9 aspect ratio) Camera 48MP rear camera with OIS based on IMX586 sensor 5MP Depth sensor 25MP front-facing camera Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack Wireless connectivity Cellular – 1x nanoSIM + 1x nanoSIM/microSD hybrid 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5.0 LE USB – 1x USB type-C …

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