News Posts matching #2020

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TSMC to Start 3 nm Node Production This Year

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the leading provider of semiconductors, is supposed to start 3 nm node production this year. While Samsung, one of the top three leading semiconductor foundries, has been struggling with the pandemic and delayed its 3 nm node for 2022, TSMC has managed to deliver it this year. According to a report, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant is preparing the 3 nm node for the second half of this year, with the correct date of high-volume product unknown. The expected wafer capacity for the new node is supposed to be around 30,000 wafers per month, with capacity expansion expected to hit around 105,000 wafers per month in 2023. This is similar to 5 nm's current numbers of 105,000 wafers per month output, which was 90,000 just a few months ago in Q4 2020. One of the biggest customers of the upcoming 3 nm node is Apple.

ADATA Explains Changes with XPG SX8200 Pro SSD

ADATA has recently been in a spot of controversy when it comes to their XPG SX8200 Pro solid-state drive (SSD). The company has reportedly shipped many different configurations of the SSD with different drive controller clock speeds and different NAND flash. According to the original report, ADATA has first shipped the SX8200 Pro SSD with Silicon Motion SM2262ENG SSD controller, running at 650 MHz with IMFT 64-layer TLC NAND Flash. However, it was later reported that the SSD was updated to use the Silicon Motion SM2262G SSD controller, clocked at 575 MHz. With this report, many users have gotten concerned and started to question the company's practices. However, ADATA later ensured everyone that performance is within the specifications and there is no need to worry.

Today, we have another report about the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro SSD. According to a Redditor, ADATA has once again updated its SSD with a different kind of NAND Flash, however, this time the report indicated that performance was impacted. Tom's Hardware has made a table of changes showing as many as five revisions of the SSD, all with different configurations of SSD controllers and NAND Flash memory. We have contacted ADATA to clarify the issues that have emerged, and this is the official response that the company gave us.

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Declined 5% in Fourth Quarter of 2020

Global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020.

"The sales of more 5G smartphones and lower-to-mid-tier smartphones minimized the market decline in the fourth quarter of 2020," said Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner. "Even as consumers remained cautious in their spending and held off on some discretionary purchases, 5G smartphones and pro-camera features encouraged some end users to purchase new smartphones or upgrade their current smartphones in the quarter."

Apple Reports First Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2021 first quarter ended December 26, 2020. The Company posted all-time record revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.68, up 35 percent. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"This quarter for Apple wouldn't have been possible without the tireless and innovative work of every Apple team member worldwide," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're gratified by the enthusiastic customer response to the unmatched line of cutting-edge products that we delivered across a historic holiday season. We are also focused on how we can help the communities we're a part of build back strongly and equitably, through efforts like our Racial Equity and Justice Initiative as well as our multi-year commitment to invest $350 billion throughout the United States."

Intel Has Fixed its 7 nm Node, But Outsourcing is Still Going to Happen

Intel has today reported its Q4 2020 earnings disclosing full-year revenue with the current CEO Bob Swan, upcoming new CEO Pat Gelsinger, and Omar Ishrak, Chairman of Intel's board. During the call, company officials have talked about Intel's earnings and most importantly, addressing the current problems about the company's manufacturing part - semiconductor foundries. Incoming Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, has talked about the state of the 7 nm node, giving shareholders reassurance and a will to remain in such a position. He has made an argument that he has personally reviewed the progress of the "health and recovery of the 7 nm program."

The 7 nm node has been originally delayed by a full year amid the expectations, and as with the 10 nm node, we have believed that it is going to experience similar issues. However, the incoming CEO has reassured everyone that it is very much improving. The new 7 nm node is on track for 2023 delivery, when Intel is expected to compete with the 3 nm node of TSMC. Firstly, Intel will make a debut of the 7 nm node with client processors scheduled for 1H 2023 arrival, with data center models following that. The company leads have confirmed that Intel will stay true to its internal manufacturing, but have stressed that there will still be a need for some outsourcing to happen.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend increase of five percent to $1.39 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3475 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off. It has been an honor to lead this wonderful company, and I am proud of what we have achieved as a team. Intel is in a strong strategic and financial position as we make this leadership transition and take Intel to the next level."

Industry R&D Spending To Rise 4% After Hitting Record in 2020: IC Insights

Research and development spending by semiconductor companies worldwide is forecast to grow 4% in 2021 to $71.4 billion after rising 5% in 2020 to a record high of $68.4 billion, according to IC Insights' new 2021 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry. Total R&D spending by semiconductor companies is expected to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% between 2021 and 2025 to $89.3 billion.

When the world was hit by the Covid-19 virus health crisis in 2020, wary semiconductor suppliers kept a lid on R&D spending increases, even though total semiconductor industry revenue grew by a surprising 8% in the year despite the economic fallout from the deadly pandemic. Semiconductor R&D expenditures as a percentage of worldwide industry sales slipped to 14.2% in 2020 compared to 14.6% in 2019, when research and development spending declined 1% and total semiconductor revenue fell 12%. Figure 1 plots semiconductor R&D spending levels and the spending-to-sales ratios over the past two decades and IC Insights' forecast through 2025.

Shipped Pre-built PC Systems See 13% Rise in Sales in 2020 Compared to 2019

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed PC shipping growth numbers for 2020 - counting desktops, notebooks (including Chromebooks) and workstations (but excluding laptops and servers), and the results are clear. In a currently-pandemic world, and with the urge and necessity for teleworking efforts so as to reduce personal exposure to risk environments, we've seen an unprecedented demand for technological components. Whether in shortages for the latest "comfort" technologies such as dedicated graphics cards, latest-gen consoles, or even webcams, it's been clear that citizens of the world have been increasingly investing their money in technological devices. This need - either for work, for bridging social distances through the Internet, or for entertainment - has led the pre-built PC ecosystem shipments to increase as much as 13% in 2020 - and a global shipment number set at 302.6 million units.

This year-over-year (YoY) increase is bolstered, mainly, by rises in sales throughout Q4 of 2020, where global PC shipments achieved an outstanding 26% increase from Q4 2019 - in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 91.6 million units were shipped. In that particular quarter, Lenovo led the top three vendors with a 25.2% share of the sales, followed by HP (20.9%) and Dell (17.2%). Apple appears in fourth place with a mere 8% market share, but shows the strongest growth among the top 5 sellers, at 49.2% YoY - and that's with Apple's comparatively small product portfolio when put against any of the other top three vendors.

TSMC Publishes December 2020 Revenue Report

TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced its net revenues for December 2020: On a consolidated basis, revenues for December 2020 were approximately NT$117.37 billion, a decrease of 6.0 percent from November 2020 and an increase of 13.6 percent from December 2019. Revenues for January through December 2020 totaled NT$1,339.26 billion, an increase of 25.2 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from TPU!

Another year is drawing to a close, all around the world and here on TechPowerUp as well. A special year, to say the least; it's not the worst in recorded human history, but it's been one of the hardest ever, with more limitations imposed in our lives than in any other we can remember. Most of us have adapted to a new, hopefully temporary reality, one where social distancing and face masks have become commonplace. A reality where countless human lives were lost to an invisible, undiscerning enemy; where economic recession has thrown families and friends out of business or even from their homes. Globalization is indisputable, and while it has many positives, nothing could ever be without fault; the increased interconnectedness of our world means that the system becomes all the more fragile even as it becomes stronger. And while the argument for technology being a potentiator for human loneliness and creating isles of silence between us individuals of the human species presents valid points, one can certainly say that it was technology that helped bridge sentimental and physical gaps for all of us.

Steam Winter Sale Has Started

The 15th Annual Steam Winter Sale is on now thru January 5th, offering big savings on thousands of titles, new seasonal items in an upgraded Points Shop, and the chance to vote for the final nominees in the 5th Annual Steam Awards.

In addition to offering massive savings on thousands of titles, the Steam Points Program is updated for the event with new seasonal items -- including animated stickers, avatars, and the Seasonal Profile -- plus additional upgrades and community awards to redeem for Steam Points. Meanwhile, Steam Chat now includes in-line chat reactions with emoticons and animated stickers.

Worldwide Server Market Revenue Grew 2.2% Year Over Year in the Third Quarter of 2020, According to IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 2.2% year over year to $22.6 billion during the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20). Worldwide server shipments declined 0.2% year over year to nearly 3.1 million units in 3Q20. Volume server revenue was up 5.8% to $19.0 billion, while midrange server revenue declined 13.9% to $2.6 billion, and high-end servers declined by 12.6% to $937 million.

"Global demand for enterprise servers was a bit muted during the third quarter of 2020 although we did see areas of strong demand," said Paul Maguranis, senior research analyst, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies at IDC. "From a regional perspective, server revenue within China grew 14.2% year over year. And worldwide revenues for servers running AMD CPUs were up 112.4% year over year while ARM-based servers grew revenues 430.5% year over year, albeit on a very small base of revenue."

AWS Arm-based Graviton Processors Sees the Biggest Growth in Instance Share

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world's largest cloud services provider, has launched its Graviton series of custom processors some time ago. With Graviton, AWS had a plan to bring down the costs of offering some cloud services both for the customer and for the company. By doing that, the company planned to attract new customers offering greater value, and that plan seems to be working out well. When AWS launched its first-generation Graviton processor, the company took everyone by surprise and showed that it is capable of designing and operating its custom processors. The Graviton series of processors is based on the Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and the latest Graviton 2 series uses Arm Neoverse N1 cores as the base.

Today, thanks to the data from Liftr Insights, we get to see just how many total AWS instances are Graviton based. The data is showing some rather impressive numbers for the period from June 2019, to August 2020. In that timeframe, Intel with its Xeon offerings has seen its presence decrease from 88% to 70%, while AMD has grown from 11% to 20% presence. And perhaps the greatest silent winner here is the Graviton processor, which had massive growth. In the same period, AWS increased Graviton instance number from making up only 1% of all instances, to make up 10% of all instances available. This is a 10-fold increase which is not a small feat, given that data center providers are very difficult when it comes to changing platforms.

AWS Leverages Habana Gaudi AI Processors

Today at AWS re:Invent 2020, AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced EC2 instances that will leverage up to eight Habana Gaudi accelerators and deliver up to 40% better price performance than current graphics processing unit-based EC2 instances for machine learning workloads. Gaudi accelerators are specifically designed for training deep learning models for workloads that include natural language processing, object detection and machine learning training, classification, recommendation and personalization.

"We are proud that AWS has chosen Habana Gaudi processors for its forthcoming EC2 training instances. The Habana team looks forward to our continued collaboration with AWS to deliver on a roadmap that will provide customers with continuity and advances over time." -David Dahan, chief executive officer at Habana Labs, an Intel Company.

TEAMGROUP is Taking the Global Lead in the New DDR5 Generation

As a world leader in computer memory, TEAMGROUP understands the importance of getting ahead in the next generation of DDR technology, hence it will be releasing ELITE series DDR5 memory in 2021. With over 20 years of experience developing DDR3 and DDR4 products, the company has dazzled the world with its advanced R&D capabilities and excellent product quality. After the JEDEC announced the DDR5 memory standard, TEAMGROUP has been actively designing and working together with our IC manufacturing partners to pioneer and prepare for this new generation.

TEAMGROUP is leading the way with its first DDR5 memory under its global top-selling ELITE memory product line. It plans to release a 16 GB 4800 MHz module operating at 1.1 V, down from the 1.2 V of the previous generation. The data transfer rate is increased to 4,800-5,200 Mbps, an increase of up to 1.6 times while reducing power consumption by 10%. Today's DDR4 memory with error correction code (ECC) requires an additional chip installed on the PCB, whereas DDR5 supports on-die ECC, a feature that self-corrects single-bit errors, greatly improving system stability. Anticipation is high for the efficiency improvements brought by the new generation, which can be utilized for big data and AI computing and other related applications.

TSMC Posts October 2020 Revenue Report

TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced its net revenues for October 2020: On a consolidated basis, revenues for October 2020 were approximately NT$119.30 billion, a decrease of 6.5 percent from September 2020 and an increase of 12.5 percent from October 2019. Revenues for January through October 2020 totaled NT$1,097.02 billion, an increase of 27.7 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

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.
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