Thursday, June 26, 2014

#CHIPS; "Fastest Supercomputer Uses Intel Technology Assembled by Chinese"

All the supercomputers today are really parallel processors, with their interconnection topology and software algorithms as important as the number of CPUs: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLof

China's Milky Way 2 uses over 3 million Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors to snatch the world's fastest crown.

Intel processors dominate the list for processors in the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world.

Further Reading

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#MEMS: Worlds Smallest Accleronmeter Priced for Any Budget'

The world's smallest inertial sensors have already taken China by storm and are poised to take on the rest of us with their software iGyrpo which is affordable by any smartphone or tablet maker: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

mCube says it has the world's smallest three-axis MEMS accelerometer and the only monolithic single-chip version with integrated MEMS and ASIC on the same die. The device is shown here in a 3x3 mm package but is also available in a 2x2 mm package.

The ASIC is first grown on the bottom, then the MEMS mechanical elements are fabricated above and connected with tiny 3 micron vias after which the MEMS element is hermetically sealed with a silicon cap.

Further Reading

#MEMS: "Microphones Stud Smartphones to Tune of $1 Billion"

MEMS microphones are finding all sorts of sophisticated applications--from noise canceling and beam forming to locating your fingers in 3-D for mid-air gesture recognition: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Infineon only makes microphone die, but they well over 1 billion per year to MEMS microphone makers.

STMicroelectronics made every part of this tiny bottom ported MEMS microphone except the diaphragm it sourced from Omron.

Further Reading

#CHIPS: "Tiny SENtral-KitKat Hub for Android Lowest Power Solution"

Android KitKat has a lot of "always on" functions, but some require sensor fusion which this small chip handles without running down the battery: R. Colin Johnson

PNI's SENtral-K hub for Google's KitKat handles all the hardware connections to the MEMS sensors plus manages the virtual sensor functions in software and in dedicated state-machine logic.

A fraction of the size of a Cortex M0, the PNI's SENtral-K hub comes preprogramed to handle all of Google's KitKat 4.4 sensor.h functions.

Further Reading

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#3D: Hybrid Memory Cube Superchrages 3 teraFLOPS Intel Xeon Phi"

Hybrid Memory Cubes are 3-D stacks of DRAM that can supercharge a processor--here the 3 teraFLOPS Intel Xeon Phi--by surrounding it with fast-access memory almost without limits.

Micron's 2-gigabyte and 4-gigabyte parts will help customers increase channel bandwidth to 120 and 160 gigabytes per second, respectively. For Intel, Micron is customizing a 16-gigabyte part to supply channels optimized to the massively parallel processors on the next-generation Knights Landing Xeon Phi.

Micron has been working with Intel for several years to optimize the interface channels to maximize bandwidth to its processors. At the 2011 Intel Developers Conference, it demonstrated a single interface channel with a bandwidth of more than 1 terabit per second (seven times greater than DDR3). It also claimed the lowest-ever energy consumption of approximately 8 picoJoules per bit.

Further Reading

Monday, June 23, 2014

#CHIPS: "Intel 2nd Gen 3 teraflop Xenon Phi"

With Intel's 3-teraflop next-gen Xeon Phi its market share in supercomputers could soar from 85% to 90% or more, especially with Micron's 3-D memory marvel inside the package for handling Big Data: R. Colin Johnson @NextGanLog

Intel predicts that high-performance computers will grow at a rate of 20% per year as prices drop, inducing more segments to purchase them.

Intel's next-generation Xeon Phi will top 3 teraflops by using the Silvermont architecture, on-package integrated silicon photonics fabric, and 3D hybrid memory cubes jointly developed with Micron.

Further Reading

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#MEMS: "Ultrasonic Mic Adds 3-D Mid-Air Control to Smartphones and Tablets"

Ultrasonic MEMS microphones can image where your hands are without touching the screen, adding a new dimension of 3-D gesture control to smartphones and tablets: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Sensing fingers above and alongside a smartphone of tablet gives a new third dimension to their control.

Further Reading

Thursday, June 12, 2014

#MATERIALS: "Conductive Polymer Beats ITO by 10x"

If they work as well as advertised, these conductive polymers will not only obsolete ITO for displays, but have many other consumer and industrial uses-. Transparent windshield defoggers is just the beginning: R. Colin Johnson

Silver web of self-assembling nanowirrd on flexible, transparent substrate beats ITO by 10X.

Further Reading

Friday, June 06, 2014

#CHIPS: "Movidius Revolutionizesw Computer Vision"

By mimicking the functions of the eye ad visual cortex of the brain Movidius is poised to revolutionize every device with a camera--from smartphones to cameras to robots:R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

Movidius Myriad vision processing unit (VPU) has multiple local memory blocks each with a different size and bandwidth.

The silicon platform for Movidius' Myriad makes massive use of parallelism--mimicking the human eye and visual cortex.

Further Reading

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

#MEMS: "Wearables Battery Life Doubled with Super Accurate Realtime Clock"

Those tiny batteries batteries in wearables could last up to twice as long by adopting a higher precision realtime clock. The trick? Software that wakes up the device to check on Bluetooth, WiFi, button clicks and other inputs doesn't have to build in buffer times to compensate for the inaccuracy of most realtime clocks: R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

SiTimes super accurate temperature compensated MEMS oscillator (TCXO) helps extend battery life of wearables by allowing smaller sampling windows for sensors, Bluetooth, WiFi, et. al.

SiTime's temperature controlled MEMS oscillator (TCXO) uses a unique 3-D chip stack with the tiny 125 micron thick MEMS die flipped and mounted between the solder bumps on the bottom of the application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) containing the electronics.

Further Reading

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

#ALGORITHMS: "Spintronics Can Now Be Simulated with SPICE"

Spintronics can now be simulated on the same SPICE tools already in every engineers toolbox, greatly accelerating the transition to magnetic spin instead of electrical charge as the coin of logic:R. Colin Johnson @NextGenLog

In field-effect devices, the absence or presence of charge is the state variable, but in spintronics electron spin is the state variable.

The differential equations of pin diffusion in a non-magnetic channel (left) can be represented by R-L-C components that can be simulated by SPICE (right).

Further Reading