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Chip makers shine up wafers and foils for 25th Hot Chips jamboree

One Power, two Sparcs, lots of X86s, but no ARMs to speak of

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It is almost that time of the year again, when the chipheads of the world converge on Stanford University for the 25th Hot Chips symposium and do a little silicon show and tell.

A number of shiny new processors are going to be discussed for the first time at the event, which runs from August 25 through 27, which will also have longer discussions on hybrid computing, flash storage for big data, and chip design as Moore's Law is coming up against the barriers of atomic physics.

The big keynote at Hot Chips 25 will be given by Robert Colwell, who was the chief architect at Intel during the X86 and Pentium eras (between 1990 and 2001) and who was an independent consultant after that before joining the Microsystems Technology Office at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the spring of 2011.

Colwell's talk is entitled The Chip Design Game at the End of Moore's Law, which sounds like a bit of blasphemy coming from someone who was named an Intel Fellow. The second keynote will have Babak Parviz, the project lead on the Google Glass eyewear heads up display, showing off his handiwork.

On the server front, IBM will be talking about its future Power8 chips, which are widely expected to come to market next year. This is the first time Big Blue has disclosed details about the Power8 chip, which will be etched in 22 nanometer processors and will include on-die PCI-Express 3.0 controllers.

That's about all anyone knows about Power8 so far. IBM will also talk about the processor complex used in its System zEC12 high-end mainframes, which launched at Hot Chips last year.

Oracle will be giving out details on its future Sparc M6 processor for high-end servers and the "Bixby" ASIC for providing coherency across multiple processor sockets in the Sparc M5 systems launched earlier this year. Bixby will also be used in future M6 systems.

Fujitsu, which makes its own Sparc chips, will give a presentation on its Sparc64 X+ chip, a follow-on to the sixteen-core Sparc64 X chip that launched in its "Athena" Sparc M10 servers earlier this year as well.

Both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices will be showing off their system-on-chop (SoC) designs. AMD will present a paper on its "Kabini" APU hybrid chip, which mashes up CPUs and GPUs together, and Intel will be trotting out its "Bay Trail" SoC for tablets, entry PCs, and embedded uses as well as its "Clover Trail+" SoC for smartphones. Chipzilla will also talk about the "Haswell" 4th generation Core processors for PCs, and AMD is presenting on its "Richland" APU SoCs for PC clients.

There are also a bunch of other interesting things. Microsoft will be talking about the chip used in the Xbox One, and MIT is showing off a 110-core shared memory processor it has cooked up in the labs.

El Reg will be on hand to listen to all the presentations and to give you the scoop. ®

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