ST-Ericsson Nova A9600: dual-core ARM A15, PowerVR Series 6

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by rektide, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. mboeller

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  2. ToTTenTranz

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    Yap, sounds like the L8580 is just a L8540 built on FD-SOI 28nm, that allows higher maximum clocks and lower power consumption at lower clocks.

    Still not bad but still too late? Maybe this will be the 2014 equivalent of the current mid-range smartphones using an U8500?

    All other things considered (LTE baseband, dual-channel LPDDR2, video+imaging units, etc.), with a dual Cortex A9 and SGX544MP1 this thing should be a bit smaller than Qualcomm's MSM8960, while offering better CPU and GPU performance.
     
    #202 ToTTenTranz, Jan 17, 2013
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  3. glw

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    They explain it quite well in the notes:

    "ST-Ericsson’s eQuad technology is a CPU architecture in which each processor core can operate efficiently in two modes: as an industry-leading high performance core, running at up to 2.5Ghz in the case of the NovaThor L8580, or as a very low-power core running at 0.6V. This is achieved by transistor-level electrical bias switching to allow each of two physical cores to run in two different modes, creating an electrically-enabled quad core."

    http://www.stericsson.com/press_releases/L8580_eQuad.jsp

    So in a way it's a bit like a virtual big.LITTLE architecture, instead of switching between real performance or power optimised cores, you switch between two modes of operation.

    It does sound like a great product.
     
  4. ToTTenTranz

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    So it's either two cores that go from 1.85 to 2.5GHz or two cores that go from 800 to 1GHz at 0.65V?

    Then it's more like 2 ninja cores + 2 high-clocked cores, right?
     
  5. Nebuchadnezzar

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    What a load of crap. "electrically-enabled quad core" might be taking the cake as PR bullshit of the year.

    It's still just two physical cores, and all they're doing is adaptive body biasing, just as I've explained on the previous page as how Samsung does it, but on an apparently more aggressive scale. They're doing forward body biasing in the "high-performance" mode and reverse body biasing in the "low-power" mode.
     
  6. ToTTenTranz

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    So it's two cores after all?

    The year is still only 2 weeks old, there's still an awful lot of time to practice PR bullshit.
     
  7. Nebuchadnezzar

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    "ST-Ericsson’s eQuad technology is a CPU architecture in which each processor core can operate efficiently in two modes: as an industry-leading high performance core, running at up to 2.5Ghz in the case of the NovaThor L8580, or as a very low-power core running at 0.6V. This is achieved by transistor-level electrical bias switching to allow each of two physical cores to run in two different modes, creating an electrically-enabled quad core."

    It's written right there in the quote. Calling it any kind of "quad" is quite the marketing sham.

    In any case, this thing won't see itself past mid-range phones, if anybody will actually adopt it in a product. I'm curious the biasing voltage they apply in both "modes" to compare it to what Samsung does. Also depends on what the benefits of FD SOI actually are.
     
  8. Ailuros

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  9. tangey

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    Is it true that the Samsung octa quad, is envisaged to have either the 4xA15 OR the 4xA7 cores implemented at any one time ?

    If so, which is more stupid/bullshit, calling something 8 core which requires 4 cores to be siting there doing nothing at any one time other than taking up die space, or calling something 4 core, which in reality has only 2 cores running in one of two different profiles.

    It's a close run thing !
     
    #209 tangey, Jan 23, 2013
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  10. Nebuchadnezzar

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    It's not true. All 8 cores are able to run at the same time.

    The first and currently working and implemented method for power management is the IKS / In-Kernel-Switcher which does a per-pair switching between big and LITTLE cores depending on their independent load. The A7 and A15 clusters are on the same frequency plane but separate planes for each cluster. This provides any combination of 1 to 4 cores per cluster with their respective pair on or off. The effective maximum setup in this situation is 4 CPUs or one out of each of the 4 pairs online.

    The second implementation is the asymetrical-core-aware-scheduler which disregards the clusters and pairs completely and you have full heterogeneous multiprocessing between all cores, loads are evenly and smartly distributed depending on thread load. Currently as of the last public update posted in early November, this is working but there is work to be done as the current implementation causes idle wakeups on the A15 cores when there shouldn't be, and this causes power efficiency to drag behind the plain IKS solution.

    While I'm sure Samsung's LSI marketing division was trigger happy to call it Octa, it is technically correct by all means. If they ship the S IV with the IKS or with the big.LITTLE scheduler is all up to the Linaro workgroup on how far they will have progressed in the next 4 months. In any case, it is a matter of a software and can be updated with a mere kernel upgrade.
     
    #210 Nebuchadnezzar, Jan 23, 2013
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  11. Ailuros

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    In any case the L8580 is obviously both from the CPU and GPU side not a high end SoC nor would I think that ST-E even considers it as one. However one would like to call it, I'm curious to see how it performs in real time in a stack of different applications. No idea how it's going to be priced but if it makes it in comparable devices like those packed with Allwinner A31 SoC it might give it or other comparable SoCs a run for its money.
     
  12. Exophase

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    I dunno, 2.5GHz Cortex-A9 is pretty high end. Could easily trade blows with 1.7GHz Cortex-A15s. I guess it's all going to depend on when it comes out and how much power it consumes, but I expect peak threaded performance improvements are going to start slowing down.
     
  13. Ailuros

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    http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/01...s-novathor-l8580-multi-cortex-a9-soc-2-8-ghz/

    Before I started the video I expected something else as a comparison between the L8580 and the Exynos4412 than a 3D demo. Wasn't SkyCastle originally developed as a showcase for TI's SoCs or am I wrong?

    I loved the accent by the way...la recherche du temps perdu :cool:
     
  14. Ailuros

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  15. french toast

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  16. Exophase

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    "The company has also utilized ModAp, which optimizes the execution of apps and as a result runs them up to 35% faster."

    What on earth could this be about >_>
     
  17. Alexko

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    No idea.

    Any news about the A9600?
     
  18. tangey

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    With the break up of ST-ericsson, the entire novathor line has been cancelled.

    http://gigaom.com/2013/03/18/ericss...son-divorce-terms-with-1600-jobs-on-the-line/

    "This story was updated at 4:30am PT with confirmation from Ericsson that ST-Ericsson’s recently-announced NovaThor chipsets have been cancelled."

    So from late, to later, to demoing what looked for sure to provide the best power/performance envelope using their SOI based socs, to being totally cancelled, must be soul destroying for the design team.
     
  19. Exophase

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    What a waste. Always sad to see promising hardware that was almost complete get axed. At least OMAP5 wasn't cancelled :/
     
  20. Ailuros

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    A very ungraceful exit; I at least hoped they'll keep the L8580 as their last effort alive.
     
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