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Imagination talks product differentiation at China roadshow

Posted: 18 Feb 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Imagination Summit? IoT? EDA? IP? ULP?

Compared to the technological changes proposed by Professor Wei, SMIC Design Service's Senior VP Dr. Tian-Shen Tang believes that micro-innovation based on the current technology is more realistic. He said, "Some technologies come from revolutionary innovation, while others from evolutionary development. SMIC uses existing technology to do 'micro-innovation.' Developing advanced technologies can be an expensive process, so we focus on improving existing processes, as well as elements related to logic and circuit design.

Tian-Shen Tang

Figure 4: Dr. Tian-Shen Tang, Senior VP of SMIC Design Service, believes that 'micro-innovation' based on the current processes are more realistic than process change.

"Using the ULP [Ultra Low Power] process node for IoT helps designers integrate more IP while also reducing costs. SIMC has developed two new technology platforms: the 55nm ULP + EF [embedded flash] + RF platform and the 95ULP platform. 55nm ULP is very mature with good RF characteristics. We will continue to develop ultra-low power technology for IoT applications. The benefits of our 95ULP technology for example are low leakage and high density. We can help customers reduce the area by half with the same performance, which is also useful for IoT applications."

Liu Qiang

Figure 5: Liu Qiang, Ingenic CEO, expressed full confidence in the opportunity for MIPS in the IoT market.

Ingenic CEO Liu Qiang also focused on existing technology. He said, "IoT computing is still an emerging area in which MIPS will have a good market opportunity. The IoT market is now at a turning point: the market is relatively fragmented, so a competitive new processor architecture will have a good chance of succeeding. In the past, the PC and mobile ecosystems were very exclusive, basically only belonging to Intel or ARM. But now the IoT ecosystem is changing, there are a lot of new companies from China involved on the operating systems side, such as TiZEN, Tencent OS and Aliyun. This ecosystem will not be completely monopolized. What we need is the correct processor. The MIPS architecture is suitable for IoT because the ecosystem of the MIPS architecture already has a sound basis supported by Linux, Android and other operating systems.

"Ingenic has developed the MIPS-based XBurst family of CPUs for the IoT market. The M and T series of SoCs are aimed at wearable and smart home applications, including smart glasses, smart watches, connected speakers and other products."

Cheng Xu

Figure 6: Professor Cheng Xu from The Microprocessor Research Centre of Beijing University talked about the research into the heterogeneous multi-processor architecture.

Professor Cheng Xu from The Microprocessor Research Centre of Beijing University shared the research results of a heterogeneous multi-processor architecture. He said, "The evolution of computing devices shows that the pursuit of processor performance has shifted from competing on frequency of single-core CPUs or on the number of cores on CPUs to heterogeneous [CPU + GPU] SoCs. Application development for heterogeneous SoCs must be quick, simple and compact. Power has become an important constraint for performance growth of single processors. The industry needs new chip design and verification methods, such as advanced EDA tools, to reduce the time and cost of design."

Cheng Xu also introduced the MPRC HD40P series of CPU chips. The HD40P series is based on a heterogeneous 5-core architecture and is built on a 40nm process, clocking up to 2.2GHz and consuming less than 6W.

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