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 The Dominion of Design
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is a veteran of Electronics Design industry with over 25 years experience. He has previously worked at Mentor Graphics, Meta Software and Sun Microsystems. He has been contributing to EDACafe since 1999.

Unleashing New Horizons: Gemini Era Ushers in Revolutionary AI Developments at Google I/O

May 15th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

At this year’s Google I/O, the electrifying atmosphere was palpable as Google unveiled its latest triumph in artificial intelligence—the Gemini project. This year’s keynote, delivered by Sundar Pichai amidst rousing applause, emphasized Google’s relentless drive to refine and enhance AI capabilities, pushing the boundaries of what technology can achieve in our daily lives.

The conference kicked off with a spirited recap of the year’s achievements and a peek into the “Gemini era,” a bold new phase in Google’s AI development. The introduction of Gemini, a model designed from the ground up to be natively multimodal, capable of processing and integrating text, images, video, and more, marks a significant leap forward. This model is not just an incremental update; it’s a transformational shift that promises to redefine how we interact with technology.

In a demonstration of its prowess, Google revealed that Gemini can handle complex, multimodal tasks with ease, showcasing examples from various Google ecosystems such as Search, Photos, and Android. For instance, the newly enhanced Google Photos now utilizes Gemini to allow users to interact with their photos in revolutionary ways—like asking the app to recall specific details from images without manually searching.

One of the most exciting announcements was the expansion of Gemini’s capabilities into consumer products. Now integrated across Google’s suite of applications, Gemini’s reach extends into everyday use, making advanced AI tools accessible to everyone. The introduction of Gemini Advanced and the announcement of its availability on mobile platforms underscore Google’s commitment to democratizing AI technology.

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TSMC Unveils Next-Gen AI Semiconductor Technologies at 30th North America Symposium

April 26th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

At the 30th North America Technology Symposium, TSMC, the industry leader in semiconductor manufacturing, unveiled a suite of advanced technologies that promise to significantly boost the performance and efficiency of artificial intelligence systems. The event, held in Santa Clara, California, marked a major milestone for TSMC, showcasing their continued commitment to innovation in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.

TSMC introduced the A16 technology, a breakthrough in nanosheet transistor design expected to enter production by 2026. This new technology leverages TSMC’s Super Power Rail architecture to enhance logic density and performance, specifically targeting high-performance computing products. The A16 technology promises an 8-10% speed improvement and a 15-20% reduction in power usage compared to its predecessors, positioning TSMC at the forefront of semiconductor technology.

Furthermore, TSMC announced the expansion of its N4 technology series with the N4C, an adaptation that offers a cost-effective solution for manufacturers, reducing die costs by up to 8.5%. This development is set to hit volume production in 2025, enabling a broader range of applications to benefit from advanced semiconductor technology.

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Intel and Altera Usher in New AI Capabilities for the Edge at Embedded World

April 8th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In a landmark announcement at Embedded World, Intel alongside its subsidiary Altera, unveiled a suite of edge-optimized processors, FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays), and market-ready solutions, marking a significant stride in embedding artificial intelligence (AI) into the fabric of edge computing. These innovations are set to enhance AI’s reach across a multitude of sectors, including retail, healthcare, and industrial domains, thereby redefining the landscape of edge computing.

Dan Rodriguez, Intel’s Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Network and Edge Solutions Group, emphasized the transformative potential of these offerings, stating, “This next generation of Intel edge-optimized processors and discrete GPUs is a leap forward in empowering businesses to integrate AI seamlessly with compute, media, and graphics workloads.”

The newly introduced Intel® Core™ Ultra, Intel® Core™, and Intel Atom® processors, coupled with discrete Intel® Arc™ graphics processing units (GPUs), are engineered to propel innovation in AI, visual computing, and media processing. This leap forward promises to catalyze faster and more intelligent decision-making at the edge, emphasizing on-premise computing.

In particular, the Agilex™ 5 FPGAs are tailored for mid-range applications, boasting unparalleled performance per watt. These FPGAs, with AI integrated into their architecture, promise a new level of integration, low latency, and enhanced computing prowess, catering to intelligent edge applications.

Agilex 5 FPGAs for mid-range applications with best-in-class performance per watt target a broad set of applications, including video, industrial, robotics, medical and others. (Credit: Altera, an Intel Company)

Intel’s venture into AI-enhanced edge devices is built upon an impressive foundation of over 90,000 edge deployments. The introduction of Intel Core Ultra processors heralds a new era in image classification and inference performance, blending the prowess of Intel Arc GPUs and a neural processing unit (NPU) into a unified system-on-chip (SoC) solution.

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Revving Up Innovation: Arm and Intel’s New Technologies Drive the Future of AI-Enabled Vehicles

March 20th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In the rapidly evolving automotive sector, two technological giants, Arm and Intel, are making significant announcements, each promising to revolutionize the development and capabilities of AI-enabled vehicles. Here’s a detailed comparison of their respective announcements to provide insights into their offerings and the potential impact on the automotive industry.

Arm’s Automotive Innovations

Arm’s announcement, spearheaded by Dipti Vachani, SVP and GM of the Automotive Line of Business, focuses on a series of industry firsts designed to accelerate the development cycle of automotive technologies by up to two years. The key highlights from Arm include:

  • Introduction of Arm Automotive Enhanced (AE) Processors: These new processors are designed to bring Armv9 and server-class performance to automotive applications, specifically AI-driven use cases like autonomous vehicles and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
  • Future Arm Compute Subsystems (CSS) for Automotive: Aimed at further reducing development time and cost, these subsystems promise maximum flexibility for high-performance automotive systems.
  • Virtual Prototyping Solutions: For the first time, Arm offers the ecosystem the ability to develop software on virtual prototyping solutions before physical silicon is available, greatly accelerating development cycles.

The next-generation AE processors, including the Arm Neoverse V3AE, Cortex-A720AE, Cortex-A520AE, Cortex-R82AE, and Mali-C720AE, are tailored for the automotive industry, offering improvements in AI capabilities, security, and virtualization.

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Redefining the Foundry for an Era of AI

March 18th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

By Bob Brennan, VP, GM, Intel Foundry Services, Customer Solutions Engineering

Bob Brennan

Artificial intelligence isn’t just driving headlines and stock valuations. It’s also “pushing the boundaries of silicon technology, packaging technology, the construction of silicon, and the construction of racks and data centers,” says Intel’s Bob Brennan.

“There is an insatiable demand,” Brennan adds. Which is great timing since his job is to help satisfy that demand.

Brennan leads customer solutions engineering for Intel Foundry, which aims to make it as easy and fast as possible for the world’s fabless chipmakers to fabricate and assemble their chips through Intel factories.

“We are engaged from architecture to high-volume manufacturing—soup to nuts—and we present the customer with a complete solution,” Brennan asserts.

Inviting New Chipmakers in by Turning Intel Inside Out

That contrasts with a foundry like TSMC, which offers research and development, wafer fabrication and selected advanced packaging. Intel Foundry offers those services and a lot more—going beyond construction and helping with testing, firmware (the software that makes hardware work) and the intricacies of the global semiconductor supply chain.

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Intel Unleashes the Power of Speed: The Core i9-14900KS Sets New Standards for Desktop Performance

March 14th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In the realm of desktop computing, speed and power are the twin pillars upon which the ultimate user experience rests. Today, Intel has once again affirmed its commitment to these principles with the announcement of its Intel® Core™ 14th Gen i9-14900KS processors, heralding a new epoch in desktop processor speeds.

Intel’s latest marvel, the i9-14900KS, bursts through previous boundaries by offering a staggering 6.2 gigahertz (GHz) max turbo frequency straight out of the box. This isn’t just another incremental step forward; it’s a giant leap that cements Intel’s status as the purveyor of the world’s fastest desktop processor. For the legion of PC enthusiasts, gamers, and content creators, this represents not just an upgrade but a transformation in what they can expect from their desktop systems.

Intel Core 14th Gen i9-14900KS Special Edition Unlocked Desktop Processor Provides Record-Breaking 6.2GHz frequency right out of the box – giving high-end PC enthusiasts the cutting edge power they look for in their desktops. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

“The Intel Core i9-14900KS showcases the full power and performance potential of the Intel Core 14th Gen desktop processor family and its performance hybrid architecture,” says Roger Chandler, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the Enthusiast PC and Workstation Segment. His words underscore a fundamental truth about today’s computing demands: they are evolving, and Intel is leading the charge in meeting these demands head-on.

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India’s Semiconductor Leap: A $15.2 Billion Bet on Technological Sovereignty and Global Ambition

March 1st, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

India’s recent approval of three semiconductor plants, representing a colossal investment of $15.2 billion, marks a significant leap towards its ambition of becoming a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design. This initiative not only underscores India’s strategic efforts to reduce its dependency on foreign semiconductor supplies but also highlights its push to claim a stake in the highly competitive and geopolitically sensitive semiconductor industry.

The announcement comes at a time when the global semiconductor industry is facing unprecedented demand coupled with supply chain bottlenecks, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions. Semiconductors, or chips, are integral components of a vast array of products, from basic consumer electronics to advanced defense systems, making them crucial for national security and economic growth. India’s entry into semiconductor manufacturing is not just about economic development but also about securing its position in the global supply chain and enhancing its technological sovereignty.

The projects involve two fabrication plants (fabs) and one packaging facility, with Tata Group and CG Power among the key investors, in collaboration with international partners such as Taiwan’s Powerchip, Japan’s Renesas Electronics, and Thailand’s Stars Microelectronics. The construction of these plants is expected to begin within the next 100 days, highlighting the urgency and priority the Indian government places on this sector.

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Pioneering the Future of Electronic Design: A Dialogue with Dr. Lawrence Pileggi

February 20th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

In an enlightening conversation with Dr. Lawrence Pileggi, Coraluppi Head and Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Phil Kaufman Award, we delved into a journey that bridges decades of innovation in electronic system design. The Phil Kaufman Award, established to honor the legacy of an industry pioneer, recognizes individuals for significant impacts in technology innovation, education, mentoring, and leadership within the electronic design community.

Dr. Pileggi’s foray into the realm of semiconductors was not a straightforward path. Coming from a background where he was the first in his family to attend college, his intrigue in engineering sparked from a blend of academic strength in mathematics and a personal interest in electronics as a hobby. The semiconductor boom of the mid-1980s further captivated him, setting the stage for a career that would influence the trajectory of chip design and electrical engineering education.

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Intel Gaudi2 AI Accelerator Breaks Barriers with 2x Performance Surge on GPT-3 Using FP8 Software

November 10th, 2023 by Sanjay Gangal

In the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence, performance and efficiency are paramount. The ability to train and deploy AI models quickly and cost-effectively has become a competitive advantage for organizations across various industries. Intel, a pioneer in the field of semiconductor technology, continues to push the boundaries of AI performance with its Intel Gaudi2 accelerator and 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. In a recent development, Intel has achieved a remarkable 2x performance leap on the GPT-3 benchmark by implementing FP8 software. This achievement, validated through the industry-standard MLPerf training v3.1 benchmark, underscores Intel’s commitment to providing competitive AI solutions that can be deployed anywhere.

The Milestone Announcement

On November 8, 2023, Intel announced the groundbreaking results of its MLPerf training v3.1 benchmark for training AI models. These results encompassed Intel’s Gaudi2 accelerators and 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors equipped with Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (Intel AMX). The standout performance came from Intel Gaudi2, which demonstrated an impressive 2x performance improvement thanks to the implementation of the FP8 data type on the v3.1 training GPT-3 benchmark. This accomplishment reaffirms Intel’s dedication to making AI accessible and efficient for a wide range of applications.

Sandra Rivera, Intel’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Data Center and AI Group, highlighted the significance of this achievement, stating, “We continue to innovate with our AI portfolio and raise the bar with our MLPerf performance results in consecutive MLCommons AI benchmarks. Intel Gaudi and 4th Gen Xeon processors deliver a significant price-performance benefit for customers and are ready to deploy today. Our breadth of AI hardware and software configuration offers customers comprehensive solutions and choice tailored for their AI workloads.”

Credit – Intel Corporation

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Harnessing the power of the ecosystem in the era of custom silicon on Arm

October 20th, 2023 by Sanjay Gangal

By Mohamed Awad, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business

The world’s insatiable demand for compute will only continue to accelerate with the proliferation of AI. The need to process massive amounts of data gathered and transmitted by billions of devices is challenging the industry to innovate in a more specialized way. The rising cost and complexity of SoC design compounds this pressure and is driving the demand for more affordable, efficient, and performant solutions.

From AI to 5G, cloud data centers to the edge, the technology leaders building the next era of computing infrastructure are turning to custom silicon to unlock the specialized processing they need to scale.

We answered this call by introducing Arm Neoverse Compute Subsystems (CSS), a faster, lower-risk path to custom silicon for infrastructure. Neoverse CSS provides Arm technology in a new way, delivering pre-integrated and pre-verified solutions that bring more value than discrete IP to our partners. We are lowering the cost of development and accelerating time to market while allowing our partners the flexibility to focus their resources on innovation and differentiation. Partners can quickly leverage Neoverse CSS to design SoCs that are custom-built and optimized for their specific use cases.

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