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  • QuickLogic's Sensor Hub Complements An MCU [View article]
    Please note - Seeking Alpha shows "CISC" as a ticker symbol in my comment above - it is not a ticker symbol as it was used in the comment.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickLogic's Sensor Hub Complements An MCU [View article]
    ArcticLink 3 S1 is a ground up design effort that incorporates what some readers might consider “old school” building blocks. Rather than using an embedded RISC processor and having to pay a royalty to a company like ARMH, QUIK went with a Complex Instruction Set Computing (CISC - not a ticker symbol) Run-time reconfigurable (RTR not a ticker symbol) Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU not a ticker symbol) coupled with a finite state machine to make up its
    patent pending Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE not a ticker symbol). Coupled with this is a programmable Communications Manager that interfaces with the core Applications Processor (AP not a ticker symbol), and a programmable Sensor Manager that interfaces with up to 12-axes of sensor inputs. Since MCU solutions do not include programmable logic (the providers don't have the technology), they cannot offer this level of flexibility to the customer.

    The first question a casual observer might ask is why choose the old school CISC approach over the more modern RISC approach? The reason involves the intersection of the use case and the goal to absolutely minimize power consumption. Here, the important thing to consider is the fact that when
    all else is equal, the frequency at which a semiconductor is clocked (the number of clock cycles per second) determines its power consumption. In other words, to minimize power consumption one should target the lowest possible clock speed that supports the use case.

    Since there are some fairly long equations to consider in the use cases addressed by ArcticLink 3 S1, and the stream of input data is very slow (sensors often output data at a rate of 50Hz), it is more important to minimize clock cycles than the speed at which data is processed. This means it is better for a sensor hub to process a “complex instruction” in one clock cycle than it is to break it up
    into smaller pieces and process a “reduced instruction” over several clock cycles. The ArcticLink 3 S1 can be clocked as slowly as 32KHz, and if the use case demands it can be clocked well into the MHz (more than 100 times faster).

    A second question that might come up: Wouldn’t a solution based on an embedded processor provide more flexibility? I’m not comfortable in providing an absolute, no caveat answer to that question. However, I am comfortable in stating QUIK’s Patent Pending Flexible Fusion Engine (FFE) is the only merchant solution I’ve found in the market today that enables always-on sensor management and the ability to leverage run-time variable context awareness at such low power consumption.

    The ArcticLink 3 S1 was presented as consuming less than 0.3mW in the fully active state. That is nominally 20 times less than the MCU solutions I've seen so far. The soon to be released S2 solution was presented as consuming two thirds less (around 0.1mW).

    Beyond the ultra-low-power QUIK's sensor hub solutions deliver, customers benefit from the programmable logic fabric that is native to the solutions. In the world of sensor hubs this is unique, and allows QUIK and its customers to adapt the solution (the QUIK sensor hub) to the application versus forcing customers to adapting the application to fit a more rigid solution (one that lacks programmable fabric).

    Also benefitting customers is the fact QUIK has announced not only the follow on ArcticLink 3 S2, but also the ArcticLink 4 S3. Here is what QUIK said about these solutions during its last conference call (includes transcribing errors from Seeking Alpha transcript):

    "For our roadmap we have fully defined two follow on platforms; the ArcticLink III S2 and the ArcticLink IV S3.

    The S2 is a pin compatible extension of our S1 platform, which allows OEMs to integrate more functionality at two thirds lower power consumption. The ArcticLink III S2 has take out and we’ll begin sampling this summer and will be production capable later this year.

    By hardening several of the functions we implemented with programmable logic in the S 1. We double the computational capability provide more sensor algorithms, adequately lower to power consumption and increased a programmable logic capacity on its device.

    We believe this provides OEMs with a higher value proposition by enabling them to combine the sensor hub with the Smart Connectivity function typically implemented with a discrete programmable logic device. The ArcticLink IV S3 is defined and currently on track for release in mid 2015. The S3 is substantially more than the expansion of the S1 and the S2 platforms. It is designed to enable the new applications and business models we believe will emerge during the next two years. To reiterate S3 will allow our customers and ecosystem partners to reuse, the intellectual property they develop for the ArcticLink III S1 and S2 platforms."

    I encourage investors with an interest in QUIK to visit the web site. There you'll not only find information about QUIK's CSSP solutions, but also a blog where QUIK executives and managers answer questions and post presentations. While the numerous transcribing errors in the Seeking Alpha conference call transcript make it difficult to read, there is considerable information there that I think will interest investors.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:27 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Quarks [View article]
    Sorry Russ, I misunderstood your original point to indicate die size rather than core size. I agree the processor core will likely be between 1mm2 and 2mm2 with the bias being towards the low side of the range. There are some other really cool things about Quark I've dug up that I'll cover in my upcoming Intel State of Tech report.
    Sep 22, 2013. 05:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel And Quarks [View article]

    I suspect the Quark die will be in the range of 10-15mm2, but that is just back of the envelope thinking at this stage.
    Sep 21, 2013. 07:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As part of Intel's (INTC) efforts to lower power consumption, the chip giant's Haswell CPUs will sport integrated voltage regulators, a move that could eliminate the need for as many as 7 third-party chips. That could spell trouble for ON Semi (ONNN), Intersil (ISIL), and Texas Instruments (TXN), believed by Gartner to be the three largest vendors in an Intel CPU voltage regulator market worth an estimated $325M. Intel officially launches Haswell on Monday; look for Apple to launch Haswell-powered MacBooks at its June 10-14 WWDC conference. [View news story]
    This "news" is misleading to the point of irresponsible.
    Jun 6, 2013. 12:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is MIPS Relevant in the Mobile Solutions Market? [View article]
    Amazing - Seeking Alpha evidently allows its bloggers the ability to remove posts that dispute what an blogger writes.
    Apr 5, 2011. 04:34 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quicklogic (QUIK): Seeing is Believing [View instapost]
    Excellent research!! Thank you!! Catching micro-caps early can result in substantial returns. Looks like this one is running under the radar.
    Dec 1, 2009. 04:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ignore Apple Naysayers: Look at Its Earnings [View article]
    Please see the free report available at the following link for a much more detailed picture of Apple (AAPL), its valuation and forward potential in the emerging "Always-on" mobile computing market.

    If after reading this report you would like to learn more about the Always-on revolution, please see
    Sep 7, 2009. 01:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment