News Posts matching #2020

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Deploys HPE Cray EX 'Chicoma' Supercomputer Powered by AMD EPYC Processors

Los Alamos National Laboratory has completed the installation of a next-generation high performance computing platform, with aim to enhance its ongoing R&D efforts in support of the nation's response to COVID-19. Named Chicoma, the new platform is poised to demonstrate Hewlett Packard Enterprise's new HPE Cray EX supercomputer architecture for solving complex scientific problems.

"As extensive social and economic impacts from COVID-19 continue to grip the nation, Los Alamos scientists are actively engaged in a number of critical research efforts ranging from therapeutics design to epidemiological modeling," said Irene Qualters, Associate Laboratory Director for Simulation and Computing at Los Alamos. "High Performance Computing is playing a critical role by allowing scientists to model the complex phenomena involved in viral evolution and propagation."

Dialog Semiconductor Licenses its Non-Volatile ReRAM Technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES for 22FDX Platform

DIALOG SEMICONDUCTOR, a leading provider of battery and power management, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and Industrial edge computing solutions and GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF ), the world's leading specialty foundry, today announced that they have entered into an agreement in which Dialog licenses its Conductive Bridging RAM (CBRAM) technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The resistive ram (ReRAM)-based technology was pioneered by Adesto Technologies which was recently acquired by Dialog Semiconductor in 2020. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will first offer Dialog's CBRAM as an embedded, non-volatile memory (NVM) option on its 22FDX platform, with the plan to extend to other platforms.

Dialog's proprietary and production proven CBRAM technology is a low power NVM solution designed to enable a range of applications from IoT and 5G connectivity to artificial intelligence (AI). Low power consumption, high read/write speeds, reduced manufacturing costs and tolerance for harsh environments make CBRAM particularly suitable for consumer, medical, and select industrial and automotive applications. Furthermore, CBRAM technology enables cost-effective embedded NVM for advanced technology nodes required for products in these markets.

China Forecast to Represent 22% of the Foundry Market in 2020, says IC Insights

IC Insights recently released its September Update to the 2020 McClean Report that presented the second of a two-part analysis on the global IC foundry industry and included a look at the pure-play foundry market by region.

China was responsible for essentially all of the total pure-play foundry market increase in 2018. In 2019, the U.S./China trade war slowed China's economic growth but its foundry marketshare still increased by two percentage points to 21%. Moreover, despite the Covid-19 shutdown of China's economy earlier this year, China's share of the pure-play foundry market is forecast to be 22% in 2020, 17 percentage points greater than it registered in 2010 (Figure 1).

AMD Graphics Drivers Have a CreateAllocation Security Vulnerability

Discovering vulnerabilities in software is not an easy thing to do. There are many use cases and states that need to be tested to see a possible vulnerability. Still, security researchers know how to find those and they usually report it to the company that made the software. Today, AMD has disclosed that there is a vulnerability present in the company graphics driver powering the GPUs and making them work on systems. Called CreateAllocation (CVE-2020-12911), the vulnerability is marked with a score of 7.1 in the CVSSv3 test results, meaning that it is not a top priority, however, it still represents a big problem.

"A denial-of-service vulnerability exists in the D3DKMTCreateAllocation handler functionality of AMD ATIKMDAG.SYS 26.20.15029.27017. A specially crafted D3DKMTCreateAllocation API request can cause an out-of-bounds read and denial of service (BSOD). This vulnerability can be triggered from a guest account, " says the report about the vulnerability. AMD states that a temporary fix is implemented by simply restarting your computer if a BSOD happens. The company also declares that "confidential information and long-term system functionality are not impacted". AMD plans to release a fix for this software problem sometime in 2021 with the new driver release. You can read more about it here.

NXP Advances 5G with New Gallium Nitride Fab in Arizona

NXP Semiconductors N.V. today announced the grand opening of its 150 mm (6-inch) RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Arizona, the most advanced fab dedicated to 5G RF power amplifiers in the United States. The new internal factory combines NXP's expertise as the industry leader in RF power and its high-volume manufacturing know-how, resulting in streamlined innovation that supports the expansion of 5G base stations and advanced communication infrastructure in the industrial, aerospace and defense markets.

ZOTAC Announces Extended Warranty for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series

ZOTAC today announced they are expanding warranty on their upcoming lineup of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series (and will include new graphics card releases as well as Mini PCs). The move will see customers who purchase any GeForce 3000 series graphics card starting September 17th within the regions of Europe, Middle East, Africa and India see the usual 2-year warranty extend to a 3-year warranty. This process is automatic - there is no need for any product registering to get this offer from ZOTAC.

ZOTAC also offers a 2-year extended warranty to any users who register their ZOTAC products with the company, thus allowing for an up to 5 year (3+2) warranty period. Products launched before September 17th, 2020 keep ZOTAC's current 2-year warranty with an optional 3-year extended warranty.

Samsung and SK Hynix to Impose Sanctions Against Huawei

Ever since the Trump administration imposed sanctions against Huawei to stop it from purchasing parts from third-party vendors to bypass the ban announced back in May, some vendors continued to supply the company. So it seems like some Korean manufacturers will be joining the doings of the US government, and apply restrictions to Huawei. According to the reports of South Korean media outlets, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will be joining the efforts of the US government and the Trump administration to impose sanctions against Chinese technology giant - Huawei.

It is reported that on September 15th, both Samsung and SK Hynix will stop any shipments to Huawei, where Samsung already stopped efforts for creating any new shipments. SK Hynix is said to continue shipping DRAM and NAND Flash products until September 14th, a day before the new sanctions are applied. Until the 14th, Huawei will receive some additional chips from SK Hynix. And it is exactly SK Hynix who is said to be a big loser here. It is estimated that 41.2% of SK Hynix's H1 2020 revenue came from China, most of which was memory purchased for Huawei phones and tablets. If the company loses Huawei as a customer, it would mean that the revenue numbers will be notably lower.

COVID-19 Drives Rise in Global Fab Equipment Spending, SEMI Reports

Soaring pandemic-inspired demand for chips that power everything from communications and IT infrastructures to personal computing, gaming and healthcare electronics will drive an 8% increase in global fab equipment spending in 2020 and a 13% increase in 2021, SEMI announced today in its World Fab Forecast report. Rising demand for semiconductors for datacenter infrastructures and server storage along with the buildup of safety stock as U.S.-China trade tensions intensify are also contributing to this year's growth.

The bullish trend for overall fab equipment investments comes as the semiconductor industry recovers from a 9% decline in fab spending in 2019 and navigates a roller-coaster 2020 with actual and projected spending drops in the first and third quarters mixed with second- and fourth-quarter increases. See figure below:

Apple is Quickly Expanding its Data Centers

Thanks to the latest reportings from DigiTimes, we have obtained information that Apple has been working on expanding its data centers. According to Taiwan's server upstream supply chain, Apple has increased orders for its data centers, which have been growing starting from the second quarter of 2020. For the full year 2020, the orders are expected to be doubled, and the growth in purchasing is going to continue well into 2021. This purchasing decision from Apple comes after strong demand for its services like iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV, App Store, etc., all of which have millions of users. Being that Apple is expanding its data centers, that must represent a sign that Apple's user base is continuing to grow strongly.

DigiTimes Research: Korean Memory Makers See Output Value Surge in Q2

According to the latest DigiTimes Research report, it is said that Korean memory makers have experienced a surge in chip output value. Korean memory manufacturers are Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which both have seen a massive growth of 22.1% on a yearly basis and 13.9% sequentially in the second quarter of 2020. This is no small feat as the demand for memory in the smartphone industry has been slowed in that period due to the COVID pandemic, however, it was offset by strong demand from servers and notebooks. When the output of Korean memory giants is fused, Samsung and SK Hynix had combined revenue of KRW22.9 trillion or about 20.8 billion USD. The demand for memory is expected to continue its growth due to the 5G headset market.

DigiTimes: Memory Prices to Fall 10% in Q4 of 2020

According to the latest insights from DigiTimes, industry memory prices are expected to fall by as much as 10% in Q4 of this year. DigiTimes is citing industry sources of its own for this prediction, meaning that the industry is slowly preparing to take a price hit. The reason for this price drop is that there has gathered an oversupply of memory that is resulting in price fall. That fall is expected to continue as we are headed in 2021, so the memory might become even cheaper. It is, of course, worth noting that memory manufacturers will adjust their capacities and production lines so the price fall should be adjusted in not too distant future.

DigiTimes Research: China 14th 5-year Plan to see IC Foundry Capacity Expand 40%

China's upcoming 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) will continue to highlight technology and capacity upgrades as the core of its semiconductor self-sufficiency strategy, with foundry capacity projected to expand 40% from the preceding plan and fabrication process expected to advance to 7 nm, according to Digitimes Research.

Bolstered by national policies in the 13th five-year plan, China's IC manufacturing industry is expected to see combined revenues double to CNY240 billion (US$34.28 million) in 2020 from 2016, and may also move 12 nm to production by the end of the year after having volume produced 14 nm process.

GIGABYTE Subsidiary GIGAIPC Launches Industry's First 5G-Enabled Embedded Computing System

5G has been a trending topic in the recent times because of the big technological breakthrough and all the solutions that its major features will make a reality: Low latency, bigger bandwidth with higher frequency, and overall faster "real-time" connection.

With those features 5G will connect virtually everyone and everything together in a fast and reliable network through the air while protecting privacy and security issues, that will mean the era of real IoT: Smart cities and smart transportations; remote medical care and wirelessly connected Industrial devices, and high-quality video streaming, to say the least.

Gartner: Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 2.8% in Second Quarter of 2020

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 2.8% increase from the second quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. After a significant decline in the first quarter of the year due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, the PC market returned to growth as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased.

"The second quarter of 2020 represented a short-term recovery for the worldwide PC market, led by exceptionally strong growth in EMEA," said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. "After the PC supply chain was severely disrupted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the growth this quarter was due to distributors and retail channels restocking their supplies back to near-normal levels.

Cyberpunk 2077 Graphics Comparison Video Between 2018 and 2020 Builds Shows Many Differences

Cyberpunk 2077 is the year's most awaited game release, and has been met with not one, but two delays already. Originally expected to ship in April of this year, it has since been postponed to September, and now to November 19th on account of extra optimization and bug quashing from developer CD Projekt Red. However, the recent gameplay videos released for the game by the developer showcase the amount of work that has gone into the engine since 2018, when we were first treated to a gameplay video.

The video after the break comes courtesy of YouTube user 'Cycu1', who set up the 2018 and 2020 trailers side by side. In it, you can see extreme improvements to overall level and character detail (some of this can certainly be attributed to a lower-quality 2018 video compression). However, the video also showcases some lighting differences (I guess it's subjective whether this has worked out for better or worse, but the new videos supposedly make use of ray tracing). Another point that I'd like to call your attention to is that there seem to be some environment differences between the two versions - it seems that some environments were simplified compared to their 2018 version, such as the "Going Pro" mission - the chair and panels were removed from the environment and replaced by what looks like a garage door. Whether this was done as a way to improve performance is on CD Projekt Red's purview.

Microsoft Fall 2020 Windows 10 Update will Make the New Edge Browser the Default Option

Microsoft has released its Chromium-based Edge browser some time ago and it is already capturing the market. Just in April of this year, it became the world's second most popular web-browser, just behind Google Chrome. Surpassing even Mozilla's Firefox web-browser, the new Edge is rising in popularity very quickly. So far, Microsoft gave an option for Windows 10 users to just download the new browser if they want to, or the only Edge browser you had would be the old version based on the EdgeHTML engine. Even though Microsoft has recently decided to start rolling out the new Chromium-based browser via OS updates, the old version could still find its way in the OS and there wouldn't be a new one present. Starting with update 20H2, Microsoft is bundling the new browser with OS update, making it a default option in the OS.

While the new browser is going to replace old Edge for default opening of links or some files like PDF, the old Edge will still be present. A lot of legacy applications are relying on opening some of their stuff in the old browser, and there sure would be problems if it would be gone. Additionally, gone are the year plus month names for Windows 10 updates, like 1803, 1903, and 1909. Now you get a year plus the first or second half of the year. For example, the next update is 20H2 (second half of 2020), and the one after it is 21H1 (first half of 2021). This is done to avoid confusion and with this Microsoft announced that updates will be faster in general.

Semiconductor Fabs to Log Record Spending of Nearly $68 Billion in 2021, SEMI Reports

2021 is poised to mark a banner year for global fab equipment spending with 24 percent growth to a record US$67.7 billion, 10 percent higher than the previously forecast US$65.7 billion, and all product segments promising solid growth rates, according to the second-quarter 2020 update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report. Memory fabs will lead worldwide semiconductor segments with US$30 billion in equipment spending, while leading-edge logic and foundry is expected to rank second with US$29 billion in investments.

The 3D NAND memory subsegment will help power the spending spree with a 30 percent jump in investments this year before tacking on 17 percent growth in 2021. DRAM fab investments will surge 50 percent next year after declining 11 percent in 2020, and fab spending on logic and foundry, mainly leading edge, will trace a similar but more muted trajectory, rising 16 percent 2021 after an 11 percent drop this year.

Only one Laptop in 2020 will have AMD's SmartShift Technology

At CES 2020, AMD detailed a new technology called SmartShift. With the launch of the Ryzen 4000 Series "Renoir" processors, AMD has brought this technology to the processors powering the next generation of laptops. Designed to bring better performance to the overall system, the technology uses TDP balancing to boost the performance of processors. What that means is that the technology dynamically relocates the TDP budget to where it is most needed. For example, if the application is CPU intensive, the CPU will get a bigger TDP budget and will get better performance. And it goes the same way for GPU. Of course, the technology works only on AMD CPU and GPU combinations.

To use the SmartShift technology, the platform designer needs to implement it. For example, if a notebook manufacturer decides not to do it in its system, then it will not work. So far, we have only seen one model with SmartShift technology launching this year. The model in question is Dell's G5 15 SE. And it is going to stay like that. Frank Azore of AMD, has come out on Twitter and said that the reason for the lack of other laptops using this technology is because it is brand new and Dell jumped on it first. "No more SmartShift laptops are coming this year but the team is working hard on having more options ASAP for 2021." - he added. Hopefully, we will see more models being powered by this technology as the 2021 starts.
Dell G5 15 SE

TSMC Accelerates 2 nm Semiconductor Node R&D

TSMC, the world's leading semiconductor manufacturing company, has reportedly started to accelerate research and development (R&D) of its next-generation 2 nm node. Having just recently announced that they will be starting production of a 5 nm process in Q4 of 2020, TSMC is pumping out nodes very fast and much faster compared to competition like Intel and Samsung. Having an R&D budget of almost 16 billion USD, TSMC seems to be spending the funds very wisely. The 5 nm node is going into volume production this year, and smaller nodes are already being prepared.

The 3 nm node is going into trial production in the first half of 2021, while the mass production is supposed to commence in 2022. As far as the 2 nm node, TSMC has recently purchased more expensive Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) lithography machines for the 2 nm node. Due to the high costs of these EUV machines, TSMC's capital spending will not be revisited this year and it should remain in the $16 billion range. As far as a timeline for 2 nm is concerned, we don't know when will TSMC start trial production as the node is still in development phases.

Corsair Recalls SF Series of PSUs due to Failure Concerns

Corsair's SF series of PSUs has been long present as part of the company's offerings, designed to the satisfy small form factor crowd with its SFX size. Today, Corsair has announced that they will be recalling some units and replace them free of charge, including free shipping. Corsair says that "We have recently identified higher-than-normal RMA rates among our SF family of small-form-factor PSUs. Following a thorough investigation, we have found a potential issue that can manifest when the PSU is exposed to a combination of both high temperatures, and high humidity. This regrettably can cause the PSU to fail. This issue potentially affects units in lot codes 194448xx to 201148xx, manufactured between October 2019 and March 2020."

The problem is located in the AC conversion part of the PSU, not the DC one which interacts with PC components, so Corsairs points out that all of the components are safe even if PSU fails. To get a replacement PSU, Corsair offers affected customers to submit their tickets here, with the title "SF Series voluntary product replacement", so they can easily identify customers and give them quicker replacement units.
Corsair SF600 PSU

Rumor: Noctua to Introduce NH-U12A Tower Cooler in Chromax Version

Noctua produces some of the most well-regarded CPU coolers in the PC space, and for good reason: they usually set the benchmark in both heat dissipation efficiency and noise levels. However, one of the elements that may not make their coolers as popular as they could be (and they are immensely popular) is the color scheme the company usually favors, with its brown and beige colors being relatively hard to fit in with many system builds. The company responded by adding Chromax versions to their lineup, with a more "typical" black color scheme, which have seen great success both in the market and user opinion.

A Reddit user going by the handle hoopon, however, claims to have received a tech support answer from a Noctua representative that said that a Chromax version of the famed, high-performance Noctua NH-U12A cooler is being readied for market launch in Q3 2020. Another user, Bergh3m, echoed these claims, saying that he himself had received a Noctua answer on the same product in the beginning of the year that placed the Noctua NH-U12A Chromax as being released in Q2 or Q3 2020. However, as with everything these days, the COVID-19 situation may very well has pushed the release to a definite Q3. As always, we urge you to take these rumors with a full pint of salt.

Intel Rocket Lake CPU Appears with 6 Cores and 12 Threads

We have been hearing a lot about Intel's Rocket Lake lineup of processors. They are supposed to be a backport of Willow Cove 10 nm core, adapted to work on a 14 nm process for better yielding. Meant to launch sometime around late 2020 or the beginning of 2021, Rocket Lake is designed to work on the now existing LGA1200 socket motherboards, which were launched just a few days ago along with Intel Comet Lake CPUs. Rocket Lake is there to supply the desktop segment and satisfy user demand, in light of lacking 10 nm offers for desktop users. The 10 nm node is going to present only on mobile/laptop and server solutions before it comes to the desktop.

In the latest report on 3D Mark, the hardware leaker TUM APISAK has found a Rocket Lake CPU running the benchmark and we get to see first specifications of the Rocket Lake-S platform. The benchmark ran on 6 core model with 12 threads, that had a base clock of 3,5 GHz. The CPU managed to boost up to 4,09 GHz, however, we are sure that these are not final clocks and the actual product should have even higher frequencies. Paired with Gen12 Xe graphics, the Rocket Lake platform could offer a very nice alternative to AMD offerings if the backport of Willow Cove goes well. Even though it is still using a 14 nm node, performance would be good. The only things that would be sacrificed (from backporting) are die space and efficiency/heat.
Intel Rocket Lake Benchmark Report

Twitch Exclusive New Game+ Plus Expo Announced Featuring SEGA & More

In light of the cancellation of E3 2020 a new digital game showcase has been announced. The New Game+ Expo will feature new and upcoming releases from a coalition of developers from around the world and be streamed exclusively on Twitch June 23rd. The 16 companies from across Japan and America involved are: Acttil, Aksys Games, Arc System Works America, GungHo Online Entertainment America, Grasshopper Manufacture, Idea Factory International, Inti Creates, Koei, Tecmo America, Natsume Inc, NIS America Inc, Playism, Sega of America, Atlus West, SNK Corporation, Spike Chunsoft Inc, and WayForward

Microsoft Builds a Supercomputer for AI

Microsoft has held a Build 2020 conference for developers from all over the world, and they live-streamed it online. Among some of the announcements, Microsoft has announced a new supercomputer dedicated to the OpenAI company, which works on building Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). The new supercomputer is a part of Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and it will allow OpenAI developers to train very large scale machine learning models in the cloud. The supercomputer is said to be the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world with specifications of "more than 285,000 CPU cores, 10,000 GPUs and 400 gigabits per second of network connectivity for each GPU server."

Specific information wasn't announced and we don't know what CPUs and GPUs go into this machine, but we can speculate that the latest Nvidia A100 "Ampere" GPU could be used. The company hasn't yet submitted its entry to the Top500 website, so we can't keep track of the FLOPs count and see what power it holds.
Microsoft Azure Data Center

Hot Chips 2020 Program Announced

Today the Hot Chips program committee officially announced the August conference line-up, posted to hotchips.org. For this first-ever live-streamed Hot Chips Symposium, the program is better than ever!

In a session on deep learning training for data centers, we have a mix of talks from the internet giant Google showcasing their TPUv2 and TPUv3, and a talk from startup Cerebras on their 2nd gen wafer-scale AI solution, as well as ETH Zurich's 4096-core RISC-V based AI chip. And in deep learning inference, we have talks from several of China's biggest AI infrastructure companies: Baidu, Alibaba, and SenseTime. We also have some new startups that will showcase their interesting solutions—LightMatter talking about its optical computing solution, and TensTorrent giving a first-look at its new architecture for AI.
Hot Chips
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