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  • An article from BusinessCloud highlights the ARM-based micro:bit computer board, quoting ARM’s Jonny Austin as stating, “We really wanted to be a game changer. Alongside our partners we wanted to recreate the buzz of the BBC Micro which was a product we all used as engineers and has shaped a lot of the programming skills we see coming into the industry today.”

 

  • An article from Gamasutra highlights ARM as a sponsor of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference, sharing, “Among them are tech giants Microsoft, ARM and Qualcomm, industry leaders who are invested in realizing the full potential of virtual- and augmented-reality technology.”

 

  • Several reporters including Agam Shah from PCWorld highlight the release of Nvidia’s ARM-based Parker processor for improved visuals and computing in autonomous cars, noting, “Parker has four 64-bit Cortex-A57 cores based on the ARM architecture, and two homegrown Denver 2.0 CPU cores. It has security layers to prevent the chip from being hacked, according to slides presented at Hot Chips.”
  • Many reporters including Jeff Burt from eWeek continue to highlight ARM’s Scalable Vector Extension technology, quoting a blog post by ARM Fellow Nigel Stephens, “Immense amounts of data are being collected today in areas such as meteorology, geology, astronomy, quantum physics, fluid dynamics and pharmaceutical research. Exascale computing (the execution of a billion billion floating point operations, or exaFLOPs, per second) is the target that many HPC systems aspire to over the next 5-10 years. In addition, advances in data analytics and areas such as computer vision and machine learning are already increasing the demands for increased parallelization of program execution today and into the future.”

 

  • Erich Styger from DZone News highlights the ARM Cortex-M processor, sharing, “The ARM NVIC is a very flexible and powerful piece of hardware. Nesting allows it to interrupt a less urgent, already running interrupt service routine.”

 

  • Sam Shead from Business Insider highlights Cambridge Innovation Capital which is funded in part by ARM, noting, “CIC set up with a £50 million fund with chip designer ARM and hedge fund Landsdowne Partners contributing to a pot of money that CIC had already sourced from its own funds.”
  • Several reporters including Agam Shah from IDG highlight ARM’s Scalable Vector Extensions news, noting, “Following Softbank’s agreement to buy ARM, it should come as no surprise that the first supercomputer based on the new chip design will be installed in Japan. The Post-K supercomputer will be developed by Fujitsu, which dropped a bombshell in June when it dropped its trusty SPARC architecture in favor of ARM for high-performance computers. Fujitsu aided ARM in the development of the new chip.”

 

  • Several reporters including Jeff Burt from eWeek highlight the anticipated release of Qualcomm’s ARM-based Centriq SoC series, noting, “The moves are important steps for Qualcomm and the larger community of ARM server chip suppliers as they look to carve into Intel's position as the world's top server chip supplier.”

 

  • Several reporters including Jacky Wong from The Wall Street Journal report that Renesas is considering the acquisition of Intersil to strengthen its role in the semiconductor automotive market, sharing, “Even with all the mergers and acquisitions, the automotive semiconductor industry is still fragmented, with the top five players making up slightly less than half of the market. Doing its own deal will allow Renesas to gain access to new technologies and expand its market share.”
  • Several reporters including Jamie Nimmo from the Evening Standard report that the ARM-backed Cambridge Innovation Capital raised 75 million pounds in funding to commercialize technology and healthcare research from Cambridge University, noting, “[ARM’s] chief technology officer Mike Muller is a non-executive director at CIC.”

 

  • Several reporters including Steven Max Patterson from Network World highlight the Reality, Virtually, Hackathon sponsored by ARM, AT&T, Microsoft and Unity at the MIT Media Lab, sharing, “The Reality, Virtually, Hackathon will stretch the amazing VR and AR advancements made and expertise gained from building popular gaming and entertainment apps into new fields such as VR/AR ‘for good,’ health/medicine, education, industry, productivity, advertising, social networking and other vertical applications about which participants feel passionate.”

 

  • Matt Hamblen from Computerworld highlights a report by Garter which revealed a 4.3 percent increase in global smartphone sales in Q2, sharing, “Gartner’s figures for second-quarter smartphone growth were more optimistic than numbers reported by Strategy Analytics and Canalys recently. Both had reported modest growth of no more than 3% in smartphone shipments.”

 

Lastly, here are some highlights from the week of August 15:

  • Ed Sperling from Semiconductor Engineering highlighted ARM’s insight on how chipmakers are examining new hardware and software architectures, machine learning and improved data both inside and outside of devices.
  • Erich Styger from DZone News highlighted the ARM Cortex-M processor.
  • Karen A. Frenkel from CIO Insight highlighted ARM’s tips for implementing IoT security within products.
  • Many reporters including Graeme Burton from The Inquirer reported on ARM’s foundry partnership with Intel.
  • Chris Elliott from Cambridge News highlighted the Mayor’s Day Out event sponsored by ARM.
  • Many reporters including Graeme Burton from The Inquirer report on ARM’s foundry partnership with Intel, quoting ARM’s Will Abbey as stating, “The value of POP technology for an ARM core on the Intel 10nm process is tremendous, as it will allow quicker knowledge transfer, enabling customers to lower their risk in implementing the most advanced ARM cores on Intel's leading-edge process technology.”

 

  • Chris Elliott from Cambridge News highlights the Mayor’s Day Out event sponsored by ARM, noting, “Clare Hayes, of Cambridge Live, the city entertainment trust that organises the event, said coaches were sponsored by ARM, Marshalls of Cambridge and the PYE Foundation.”

 

  • Several reporters including Don Clark from The Wall Street Journal report that Intel will launch a new version of the Xeon Phi processor in an effort to improve artificial intelligence and deep learning experiences, sharing, “Intel’s Xeon processors already are a fixture in data centers, and have a role in nearly all deep-learning tasks carried out there. But some users also install auxiliary processors for artificial-intelligence tasks, notably chips called GPUs that rival Nvidia Corp. has long sold for videogames.”
  • There has been continued coverage of the ARM/Intel announcement, with several reporters including Michael Lev-Ram of Fortune highlighting how the partnership will benefit both companies: ‘For Intel, it can increase fab utilization rates, helping the company compete with big foundry rivals like TSCM and Samsung. ARM, meanwhile, can rest assured that every major fab now has the ability to develop ARM-based silicon.’

 

  • Several reporters including Matt Burgess from Wired report that Intel’s launch of the wireless Project Alloy headset for ‘merged reality’ highlights the company’s attempt to tap into the VR market. Matt notes “Those hoping to buy the headset will have to wait for some time as Intel isn't going to make the devices. Instead it will offer Project Alloy as an open hardware platform from next year. This means the company will not be selling the headsets itself but will make the technology available to other manufacturers.”
  • Ed Sperling from Semiconductor Engineering reports that chipmakers are examining new hardware and software architectures, machine learning and better data throughput both inside and outside of devices, quoting ARM’s Paul Black as stating, “The key is to make the most efficient use of hardware resources. This can have a significant impact on the run-time and power consumption of code. A typical example with configurations such as ARM’s big.LITTLE is to make sure that software runs on the correct core for its needs. The architecture of both the big and LITTLE cores looks identical to the software, and the cores have identical views of memory, but one is optimized for performance while the other is optimized for efficiency.”

 

  • Many reporters including Jon Fingas from Engadget highlight the anticipated release of Google’s Fuchsia open-source operating system that supports ARM-based devices, noting, “Its kernel includes ‘grown up’ OS features like user modes and a capability-based security model, Android Police notes, and it supports both advanced graphics as well ARM and 64-bit Intel-based PCs.”
  • Hubert Nguyen from Ubergizmo highlights the integration of ARM’s TrustZone technology for improved security in fingerprint sensors, noting, “Some OEMs use ARM’s TrustZone technology to keep the fingerprint scan away from even the Operating System so that 3rd party apps (not from the device maker itself) can’t read it.”

 

  • Several reporters including Agam Shah from IDG report that Intel’s latest Atom processors will be targeted towards drones, self-driving cars and IoT devices, noting competition in the space and quoting TIRIAS Research analyst, Jim McGregor, as stating, “Intel’s done a good job of scaling down the size and power consumption for x86 architecture with Atom, but the chip isn’t as power efficient as ARM or MIPS for low-power devices.”

 

Lastly, here are some highlights from the week of August 8:

  • An article from The Times highlighted ARM as one of the companies formerly included in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.
  • An article from Lynn News highlighted ARM’s participation in the Action for Children’s Byte Night.
  • Ed Sperling from Semiconductor Engineering highlighted ARM’s insight on the importance of security for system vendors.
  • Emma Foster from Cambridge Network highlighted ARM as a successful example of an innovative Cambridge company.
  • An article from Cambridge News highlighted ARM’s participation in Cambridge Venture Projects.

     

  • An article from Cambridge News highlights ARM’s participation in Cambridge Venture Projects, noting, “Cambridge Venture Projects at Judge Business School involves MBA students going into local companies on consultancy projects as part of their MBA programme. The Cambridge Venture Project (CVP) imports a team of four or five Cambridge MBA students into a company to provide unbiased market research and other evaluation and strategies to help growing businesses achieve their potential.”

 

  • Timothy Prickett Morgan from The Next Platform highlights the ARM-based EuroServer and ExaNode projects, noting, “The EuroServer node has four eight-core hybrid ARMv8 processors that implement the so-called big.LITTLE architecture. (Yes, that hurt to type.) With this architecture, you put a mix of wimpy and brawny cores on a single chip so they can do different kinds of work at the most efficient level as possible. In this case, the chip used in the EuroServer has four ARM Cortex-A57 nodes running at 2.1 GHz (those are the brawny ones) and four Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.5 GHz (those are the wimpy ones).”

 

  • Several reporters including David Manners from Electronics Weekly report that Rockchip has licensed the CEVA-XM4 imaging and vision DSP to enhance the imaging and computer vision capabilities of its SoC products, noting, “Rockchip will use CEVA’s IP everage the CEVA-XM4 for a range of advanced imaging and vision features at low power consumption among which include low-light enhancement, digital video stabilization, object detection and tracking, and 3D depth sensing. In addition, the CEVA-XM4 will enable Rockchip to use the latest deep learning technologies, utilizing CEVA’s Deep Neural Network (CDNN2) software framework.”
  • Ed Sperling from Semiconductor Engineering highlights ARM’s insight on the importance of security for system vendors, quoting Mike Eftimakis as stating, “The challenge with security is that it is not just a part in a solution. You need to build in trust at every step. And with a divide-and-conquer approach to design, it’s necessary to include lifecycle security. You cannot avoid attacks, and the risk of intruders is increasing. So you need to add control into a device to check what is happening, and you need to be able to program it and restart it from a good base. We call this a chain of trust, and it cannot be impacted by tampering. This is the element used to refresh or reprogram a device. You also need to be able to disconnect a device is that control cannot be recovered.”

 

  • Emma Foster from Cambridge Network highlights ARM as a successful example of an innovative Cambridge company, noting, “The key to ARM’s success is simple: it designs state-of-the-art microchips, protects the intellectual property arising from these innovations, and then secures licensing deals with vast numbers of microchip manufacturers across the world. Even though ARM does not manufacture or sell microchips itself, it has grown into a company of considerable value and it is quite clear that patent protection has played a huge role in achieving this outcome.” 

 

  • Many reporters including Richard Waters from Financial Times highlight Intel’s acquisition of Nervana Systems to bolster its artificial intelligence efforts, sharing, “It succeeded in extending its dominance of PC processors into the server market, making today’s cloud datacentres a stronghold for the company. The Nervana purchase marks an attempt to extend its datacentre dominance into new computing workloads that rely on AI.”
  • Several reporters including Quinten Plummer from Android Authority highlight the launch of MediaTek’s ARM-based Helio X30 SoC, noting, “MediaTek has also revised its process architecture for the X30. Unlike its predecessors, which used a combination of only A72 and A53 core, the X30 leverage ARM’s power-sipping A35 cores for even more efficient battery usage.”

 

  • Several reporters including Kevin Parrish from Digital Trends highlight the release of Linux Kernel version 4.8 which will include updates for ARM architectures, quoting Linus Torvalds as stating, “If you ignore the documentation format change, things look fairly regular, with about 60 percent of the non-documentation diffs being drivers (GPU, networking, media, sound, etc.) and about 15 percent being arch updates (ARM, PowerPC and x86 dominate, but there’s MIPS and s390 too. The rest is spread out — core networking, tooling (mainly perf), include files, core kernel, VFS and low-level filesystems (XFS stands out).”

 

  • John Leyden from The Register highlights a study by IOActive which revealed that half of the cyber vulnerabilities found in leading automotive manufacturers could allow hackers full or partial control of a targeted vehicle, sharing, “An alarming 71 percent of the vulnerabilities uncovered during the research could be exploited without much difficulty, or are almost certain to be exploited. Vulnerabilities stemming from design-level are often unfixable because the vehicle is ‘insecure by design,’ so short of a product recall and major retrofit exercise, makers are stuck with them.”
  • Several reporters including Brian Heater from TechCrunch highlight the release of Polar’s ARM-based M600 fitness tracker, noting, “The M600 features a 1.2-inch (240 x 240) touchscreen displays and a Cortex-A7 ARM processor inside.”

 

  • Many reporters including Don Clark and Georgia Wells from The Wall Street Journal report that Intel is recalling all Basic Peak smartwatches due to overheating issues, sharing, “The Basis purchase was described by the company at the time mainly as a way of acquiring intellectual property and expertise in the field, rather than an attempt to build a major consumer products business. Intel subsequently developed chips targeting smartwatches and wearable devices, though most such products use chip technology licensed from rival ARM Holdings PLC.”

 

  • David Murphy from Mobile Marketing Magazine highlights an Ofcom report which revealed the importance of mobile, digital and connected devices for British consumers, writing, “Ofcom surveyed 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers for its Communications Market Report 2016. It found that adult users in the UK currently spend an average of one day per week (25 hours) online. 42 per cent of respondents said they go online or check apps more than 10 times a day, while around one in 10 (11 per cent) access the internet more than 50 times daily. 59 per cent consider themselves ‘hooked’ on their connected device, while 34 per cent admit they find it difficult to disconnect.”
  • Sharon Shea from TechTarget highlights ARM’s role in the IoT market, quoting Gartner’s Mark Hung as stating, “Up and down the food chain, whether it’s by size or marketplace, semiconductor vendors are definitely investing a lot in this space. A lot of them do use the ARM architecture, so in a sense it's good for ARM.”

 

  • Several reporters including Justine Brown from CIO Dive report on Intel’s appointment of Paula Tolliver as corporate vice president and CIO, noting, “Hiring Tolliver is further proof that Intel is also moving away from hiring almost all its executives from within to looking to outside executives to help it shift its strategy and culture.”

 

  • David Manners from Electronics Weekly highlights a report by the SIA which revealed a one percent increase in semiconductor sales in June 2016, noting, “The SIA reports that semi sales for June 2016 reached $26.4 billion, up 1.1% over May’s $26.1 billion, but down 5.8% on June 2015.”
  • An article from Evertiq highlights ARM as a leading company in industrial IoT market, noting, “UK-based ARM Holdings (ARM) dominates the technology and intelligence powering the IIoT and its leadership in this market helps explain Softbank’s announcement to buy ARM for USD 32 billion on July 18. Using data from Semicast’s 2016 Industrial/Medical Electronics & Semiconductors Service, ARM’s market share for 32-bit microcontrollers in industrial and medical applications is estimated at about 80 percent when measured in units, while for microprocessors it is about 50 percent.”

 

  • Warwick Ashford from ComputerWeekly continues to highlight the expansion of ARM’s IoT engineering team at the Kfar Netter design centre in Israel, quoting Mike Muller as stating, “The technologies we are developing in Israel will have a significant influence on advanced system-on-chip IP for IoT and mobile computing. By almost doubling the size of our Kfar Netter design centre in just over a year, we have shown our commitment to building our highly successful team in Israel.”

 

  • Gary Sims from Android Authority reports on the Instructions Per Cycle (IPC) in ARM’s Cortex processors, noting, “ARM licenses its CPU designs (i.e. Intellectual Property or IP) to its customers who then in turn build their own chips. So a processor like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 contains four ARM Cortex-A72 cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, in a big.LITTLE arrangement. However ARM also grants some OEMs (via another license) the right to design their own ARM architecture cores, with the condition that the designs are fully compatible with the ARM instruction set.”
  • Ann Steffora Mutschler from Semiconductor Engineering highlights ARM’s insight on the challenges of the analog market, quoting ARM’s Fred Martin as stating, “Big companies that are used to working on SoCs that have analog on them may not have a great methodology, but they bite the bullet and get it done. There’s a whole array of guys out there that are digital-only or specialty chipmakers who want nothing to do with it, but the world is not letting them get away with that anymore. So there’s a big challenge for those guys to figure out how to play in that space without having to deal all the expertise that the big guys have spent the last few decades figuring out.”

 

  • An article from Design & Reuse highlights the expansion of ARM’s IoT engineering team at the Kfar Netter design center in Israel, quoting Mike Muller as stating, “The technologies we are developing in Israel will have a significant influence on advanced system-on-chip IP for IoT and mobile computing. By almost doubling the size of our Kfar Netter design center in just over a year we have shown our commitment to building our highly successful team in Israel. Their work in areas such as IoT security is helping to form a solid foundation for a smarter and better connected world where data – as our most important new natural resource – is secured by design.”

 

  • Jean-Louis Gassée from Quartz highlights ARM’s successful business model, noting, “ARM is now the dominant microprocessor architecture, a feat achieved through a combination of sharp engineering, a PC market failure, and an inspired business model pivot… Chips built on the Advanced RISC Machine architecture are everywhere. Available in a wide range of sizes and power requirements, ARM processors impart intelligence and connectivity to devices ranging from high-end smartphones, tablets, watches to thermostats, drones, infotainment systems, and many other appliances.”

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