New Processor Is Software-Configurable

From the Stretch Inc. press release:

Stretch Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, today announced the S5000 family of software-configurable processors-the first to embed powerful programmable logic within an off-the-shelf processor-and a comprehensive suite of development tools that enable developers to automatically configure and optimize the processor using only their C/C++ code. Stretch’s software-configurable processors can be tailored quickly and easily to address compute-intensive applications in markets as diverse as consumer, telecommunications, networking, medical and military.

Stretch’s S5000 software-configurable processors combine the best of two previously divergent semiconductor worlds-the ease of software development associated with GPPs (general-purpose processors) and DSPs, with the parallelism and flexibility of FPGAs. Stretch achieves this by embedding programmable logic entirely inside the processor architecture-an industry first.

Every S5000 processor chip is powered by the Stretch(tm) S5 engine, which incorporates the widely accepted Tensilica Xtensa RISC processor core and the powerful Stretch Instruction Set Extension Fabric (ISEF). The ISEF is a software-configurable data-path based on proprietary programmable logic. Using the ISEF, system designers extend the processor instruction set and define the new instructions using only their C/C++ code. As a result, developers get the performance of logic with C/C++ development simplicity-achieving unprecedented performance, easy and rapid development and significant cost savings.

The Need for a New Kind of Processor
Today, embedded system developers are forced to make painful compromises when addressing compute-intensive applications. Their choices include using banks of DSPs or GPPs, resulting in costly and difficult-to-program multiprocessor systems; selecting fixed-function chips, which do not allow them to address changing standards or differentiate their products; or mixing processors and FPGAs or ASICs, which requires the design of custom hardware, greatly increasing time-to-market and development costs.

“With the introduction of the Stretch S5000 family of software-configurable processors, embedded system developers no longer need to trade-off performance, time-to-market and system costs,” said Gary Banta, Stretch CEO. “Developers program and automatically configure our processors using pure C/C++, achieving unprecedented performance, easy and rapid development, tremendous cost savings, and the flexibility to address diverse markets and changing application needs.”

Stretch: First Company to Embed Programmable Logic within a Processor
By embedding powerful programmable logic within a processor, Stretch has uniquely combined the best qualities of GPPs, DSPs, ASPs (application-specific processors), FPGAs and ASICs-creating an off-the-shelf processor chip that can cost-effectively address virtually any compute-intensive application. With Stretch’s new processors, embedded system designers can bypass painful trade-offs between flexibility, performance, cost and time-to-market.

Stretch’s software-configurable processors and software development tools provide significant breakthroughs and advantages:

  • Flexibility: For the first time, developers use C/C++ not only to program the processor but also to create new instructions ideally matched to their applications’ needs.
    • Stretch’s S5000 family of chips can be quickly tailored by the system developer to address multiple markets and diverse applications.
    • Developers can respond to emerging standards, add new features and support new algorithms-without starting their designs over from scratch.
    • Developers are able to “future-proof” their systems, building in support for field upgrades to adjust to new standards, extend the life of their products, and achieve greater product differentiation.

  • Performance: Conventional wisdom is that clock rate determines processor performance
Product Review

The Lenovo Legion Y740 brings RTX 2080 graphics power for under $2,500

Coming with the Intel Core i7-8750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, the Legion Y740 one big beast. But priced at under $2,500 how does Lenovo’s Legion stand up against the crowd?
Computing

The new iMacs push on iMac Pro territory, but how much power do you really need?

With Apple refreshing the higher-end iMacs with newer processors and graphics cards, it moves closer to the iMac Pro. In this guide, we consider the performance, features, and help make sense of the differences between the two.
Computing

Intel teases 9th-generation Core i9 mobile processors at GDC 2019

Intel teased its new 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processors at GDC 2019. The company offered few specifics about the hardware, but a leak from late February provides insight into what the new processors might offer.
Computing

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.