Question Qualcomm's first Nuvia based SoC - Hamoa

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NTMBK

Lifer
Nov 14, 2011
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They can, but they would run into exactly the same problems that Intel did breaking into the Android market - native ARM binaries for many popular apps.

I'm not saying it's an insurmountable problem, but it certainly won't be easy.

That being said I wouldn't be surprised to find that Jim Keller's Tenstorrent company weren't also working on a straight up RV CPU core along with their RV based ML accelerator.
Depends if any major player has enough incentive to switch to RISC-V. If Samsung made the switch across their line, developers would basically be forced to support native RISC-V binaries- and Samsung has the motivation. Dropping ARM saves them royalties on every Exynos chip they build.
 

eek2121

Platinum Member
Aug 2, 2005
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Depends if any major player has enough incentive to switch to RISC-V. If Samsung made the switch across their line, developers would basically be forced to support native RISC-V binaries- and Samsung has the motivation. Dropping ARM saves them royalties on every Exynos chip they build.
It is kind of mind blowing to me that companies haven’t switched at least some of their phones over.

Speaking of which, I have a RISC-V based SBC coming next month, if anyone is interested. I will probably run some benchmarks and look at power consumption.
 

Thibsie

Senior member
Apr 25, 2017
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It is kind of mind blowing to me that companies haven’t switched at least some of their phones over.

Speaking of which, I have a RISC-V based SBC coming next month, if anyone is interested. I will probably run some benchmarks and look at power consumption.
There are probably waiting for one of'em to move. The move might be rather quick IMO but of course that move needs custom cores which means a major player : not mediatek of course but Samsung, Qualcomm or Huawei, why not ?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
20,487
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Speaking of which, I have a RISC-V based SBC coming next month, if anyone is interested. I will probably run some benchmarks and look at power consumption.
Kind of off-topic since it has nothing to do with Qualcomm or Nuvia, but what benchmarks would you run on it?
 

Doug S

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2020
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Dropping ARM saves them royalties on every Exynos chip they build.

Sure, but not all that much. We're not even talking a dollar per chip - it isn't enough for teardowns / BOM costing to bother breaking it out. There's no way it makes financial sense for Samsung to drop ARM unless Qualcomm's claims about ARM trying to change the royalty model are true and we still have no evidence that's the case.

If Samsung would have to reconstitute their CPU design team to design RISC-V cores, they could instead design ARM cores under their ALA and avoid that theoretical increase in license costs. So there's just no way it makes sense for Samsung to switch to RISC-V, unless the entire Android market already had done so and they didn't have to bear any of the cost of making that transition happen.

The reason Samsung quit designing their own cores was economic - they were spending more in design costs than they were saving by using their cores instead of licensing ARM's designs and not getting any performance advantage out of it. The math changes if the cost to license ARM's designs was to go way up, then even if Samsung can only match ARM design core performance that's good enough and the design team would be the cheaper option.
 

soresu

Golden Member
Dec 19, 2014
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Depends if any major player has enough incentive to switch to RISC-V. If Samsung made the switch across their line, developers would basically be forced to support native RISC-V binaries- and Samsung has the motivation. Dropping ARM saves them royalties on every Exynos chip they build.
Ironically this gives nVidia plenty of reason to do it also, and they already have a toe in that game with a RV μcontroller design.

With their own gfx IP and patent pool plus a RISC V CPU they would not be beholden to anyone elses license or royalties for producing APU SoCs.

Next up, nVidia buys Tenstorrent 😂, or who knows Qualcomm could buy it just to insulate themselves from this ARM mess and then sell it off once they don't need it anymore.
 

NostaSeronx

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2011
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I already knew about this, but still not sure if it isn't just a Cell architecture type control core for ML processors, rather than designed as a fully fledged CPU core.
They have this on their website:
licenseout.png
Dylan522p:
semipatel.png
It is very likely they will license the fully fledged CPU core out.
-----
Qualcomm has several RISC-V projects, but finding them out is behind a paywall.

Qualcomm so far is heavily interested in P470/P670 from SiFive. As well as an internal/full custom RISC-V CPU core. Which from what I can find succeeds the Centriq cores (Falkor[in Amberwing]/Saphira[in Firetail]/Chimera[in Future]).
qualcomm.jpg

The only have one product [VLIW/Vec/Matrix -> "Cloud AI 100"] currently for: "Qualcomm Cloud, Datacenter & Server Products"
The Nuvia core is not involved with the CPU revival, but the Nuvia Datacenter IP might be used.
 
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FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
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And 8P+4E would be high end part right?
Basically an equivalent of M1 Pro.

I guess they'll make a 4P+4E as well.
 

FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
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And it seems Adreno GPUs have become very good recently. The GPU in Snapdragon 8 G2 is more efficient and more powerful than A16 Bionic. I hope to see laptop Socs from Qualcomm
with Oryon/Nuvia CPUs paired with a beefy Adreno GPU.
 

FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
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Intel is Team Blue, AMD is Team Red and Nvidia is Team Green.

If Qualcomm is entering the PC market, what colour do you think they will choose?

😆
 

FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
210
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The obvious answer, considering that Qualcomm already uses a mix of Gold and Red in their current flagship smartphone chips.

But personally, I think Purple would be cool, specifically a lighter shade of Purple like Lilac. It is a royal looking colour and distinct enough from red, green and blue.
 

FlameTail

Senior member
Dec 15, 2021
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One of the reasons the Apple M1 was so amazing was because it based on a mobile-first architecture with efficiency as it's prime focus. This philosphy is beneficial for laptops because they are still battery powered devices with a limit on thermal capacity.

Innovative features like an ISP (Image Signal Processor) dedicated to processing images, Neural accelerators like Google's TPU, Qualcomm's Hexagon processor or Apple's Neural Engine dedicated for machine learning. Mobile chips are capable of operating at very low power during idle, which is achieved by using means such as Qualcomm's Sensing Hub or similar.

I was actually surprised to learn that modern CPUs don't have Neural Accelerators (Intel will include one for the first time in Meteor Lake) or ISPs (No wonder the webcams are so bad on PC!)

This is why I am excited for Qualcomm's eventual venture into the PC market with full force (thanks to Nuvia/Oryon IP). Qualcomm will bring these mobile first architectural innovations like the Spectra ISP, Hexagon AI processor, Sensing Hub etc... to their PC chips. These are all mature technologies, since Qualcomm has been working on these for years and implementing them in their mobile SoCs, and I am certain they will continue to be better than anything Intel and AMD can conjure, especially from an efficiency viewpoint.
 

LightningZ71

Golden Member
Mar 10, 2017
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Intel has had an IPU in their processors since the introduction of the skylake architecture about 8 years ago. The Ice Lake and Tiger lake units are quite capable.
 
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soresu

Golden Member
Dec 19, 2014
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Neural accelerators like Google's TPU, Qualcomm's Hexagon processor
Hexagon can be used for ML work, but it was designed primarily as a DSP for lower power media (video, still photo and audio) processing.

The ISP is probably just specialising even further for image processing efficiency where Hexagon had been offloading these kind of tasks from the CPU for years using a VLIW ISA like AMD's Terascale µArchs (ATI/AMD Radeon HD 2xxx-6xxx).

The focus in SoC design, especially in mobile seems to be constantly shifting to more task specialised energy efficient silicon vs general purpose design in an odd reversal of early desktop computer hardware development.
 

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