Archive for November, 2011

Nov 26 2011

ARM Mali T658 Graphics CoreARM Mali T658 Graphics Core

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ARM just introduced a new high performance, low power, graphics core that can be instanced as multicore for up to eight instances as a GPU in the Midgard architecture for sub 32nm process. The Midgard architecture now has the T604 and T658 as multi-core visual computing cores. The two main features of the new core are the ability to scale to 8 shader and arithmetic pipes in one core and an extensive API library that allows for commonality of code across multiple platforms (mobile to large screen TV).

ARM Mali T658 GPU Architecure

The multi-core architecture required a new cache system to provide increased coherency for the 8 cores. They are grouped as a single cache shared with 4 shader cores sharing a memory management unit and an AMBA interface. The core now supports an integrated automatic load balancer for the cores. The target mobile applications is superphones in either a quad or octal configuration with the “big-little” CPU cores the Cortex-A15/A7 pairing.

The shader set supports graphics APIs – Direct X10 & X11, OpenGL, OpenVG and computer APIs – OpenCL, Renderscript and DirectCompute. The APIs have already been incorporated in to several development systems including the game development tools from Unity.

As the IP block is targeted for implementation in licensee SOCs, multi-stream data access, incorporation and support of a hypervisor, vitalization of the memory access and multi-display drive are currently not part of the IP block, but are being developed the partners in the ARM ecosystems for vertical market specific needs.


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Nov 08 2011

Update on Nano-Photonics

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The IEEE Nanotechnology Council is holding a half day seminar on photonics on Tues Nov 15 in Santa Clara. (info at The area of photonics is quite varied these days and the program is addressing 4 key areas of the technology.

Opening speaker Dr. Hughes Matras from CEA Leti (Grenoble, FR) will be discussing 3D ICs and chip-to-chip photonics interconnects. They will be presenting results and goals for thier ongoing research in the space. These parts are targeted for both Si based photonic circuits – logic to logic and logic to memory.

The second speaker is Dr. Chanming Su of Bruker-Nano. Dr. Su has create a fast scan Atomic Force Microscope which now enables single digit nanometer resolution metrology at practical quality assurance and debug speeds. One of the major challenges of nanotechnology is the imaging of the geometries in question. A second challenge is to verify that these sub-resolution features and the resulting devices are created properly. The presentation will review the technology behind the Fast Scan AFM as well as capabilities of the tool in production use.

The next speaker will be Dr. Hakaru Mizoguchi of Gigaphoton. He will be discussion the advances in EVU lithography through their development of a new high power EUV source. The new source is based on an ionization system for the liquid Sn droplet atomizier. The final speaker is Dr. Xiang Zhang of UCB. He will be presenting on solid state lasers and limits on diffraction grading and other optical elements in solid state light paths. These products are a critical part of high speed communication.

After the speakers presentation, Ed Sperling of Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design ( will lead the panelists in a discussion of future directions and challenges in integrated photonics and the process technologies they will be using. Registration for the event is available on-line at and admission is also available at the door for the event. The event is being held at the Texas Instruments Conference Center in Santa Clara. The center was formally the National Semiconductor Conference Center and runs from 12noon – 5pm on 11/15. Lunch is included and parking is free.

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