News Posts matching #2021

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Intel Kills Extended Warranty Program for Overclocking

Some time ago, Intel has introduced the Performance Tuning Protection Plan (PTPP), which was used as a warranty for any damage that has occurred during overclocking. Customers of PTPP, mainly buyers of Intel Core processors having a "K" tag were able to get a replacement processor whenever they damaged their CPU by overclocking it. When it comes to the pricing of such a service, typical plans were spanning from $19.99 to $29.99, depending on the processor you had. However, there will no longer be such a program, as Intel is discontinuing its PTPP extended overclocking warranty. The company has updated its site to refer to End-Of-Life (EOL) page displaying a quote below.

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.

Industry Specialists Expect Chip Shortages to Last Until 2022

Industry specialists with various analysis groups have stated that they expect the world's current chip supply shortages to not only fail to be mitigated in the first half of 2021, but that they might actually last well into 2022. It's not just a matter of existing chip supply being diverted by scalpers, miners, or other secondary-market funnels; it's a matter of fundamental lack of resources and production capacity to meet demand throughout various quadrants of the semiconductor industry. With the increased demand due to COVID-19 and the overall increasingly complex design of modern chips - and increased abundance of individual chips within the same products - foundries aren't being able to scale their capacity to meet growing demand.

As we know, the timeframe between start and finish of a given semiconductor chip can sometimes take months. And foundries have had to extend their lead times (the time between a client placing an order and that order being fulfilled) already. This happens as a way to better plan out their capacity allocation, and due to the increased complexity of installing, testing, and putting to production increasingly complex chip designs and fabrication technologies. And analysts with J.P. Morgan and Susquehanna that are in touch with the pulse of the semiconductor industry say that current demand levels are 10% to 30% higher than those that can be satisfied by the fabrication and supply subsystems for fulfilling that demand.

Explosive Growth in Automotive DRAM Demand Projected to Surpass 30% CAGR in Next Three Years, Says TrendForce

Driven by such factors as the continued development of autonomous driving technologies and the build-out of 5G infrastructure, the demand for automotive memories will undergo a rapid growth going forward, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Take Tesla, which is the automotive industry leader in the application of autonomous vehicle technologies, as an example. Tesla has adopted GDDR5 DRAM products from the Model S and X onward because it has also adopted Nvidia's solutions for CPU and GPU. The GDDR5 series had the highest bandwidth at the time to complement these processors. The DRAM content has therefore reached at least 8 GB for vehicles across all model series under Tesla. The Model 3 is further equipped with 14 GB of DRAM, and the next-generation of Tesla vehicles will have 20 GB. If content per box is used as a reference for comparison, then Tesla far surpasses manufacturers of PCs and smartphones in DRAM consumption. TrendForce forecasts that the average DRAM content of cars will continue to grow in the next three years, with a CAGR of more than 30% for the period.

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."

Qualcomm Announces World's First 10 Gigabit 5G Modem-RF System

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System, its fourth-generation 5G modem-to-antenna solution. It is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G and the first 3GPP release 16 modem-RF system, which is currently sampling to OEMs and targeting commercial device launches in 2021. Snapdragon X65 is the Company's biggest leap in 5G solutions since the commercialization of its first modem-RF system. It is designed to support the fastest 5G speeds currently available with fiber-like wireless performance and makes best use of available spectrum for ultimate network flexibility, capacity and coverage. In addition to the Snapdragon X65, Qualcomm Technologies also announced the Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System, a modem-to-antenna solution optimized for mainstream adoption of mobile broadband applications.

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."

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.

16-Core Intel Alder Lake-S Processor Appears with DDR5 Memory

Intel has just launched its Rocket Lake-S desktop lineup of processors during this year's CES 2021 virtual event. However, the company is under constant pressure from the competition and it seems like it will not stop with that launch for this year. Today, thanks to the popular leaker @momomo_us on Twitter, we have the first SiSoftware entries made from the anonymous Alder Lake-S system. Dubbed a heterogeneous architecture, Alder Lake is supposed to be Intel's first desktop attempt at making big.LITTLE style of processors for general consumers. It is supposed to feature Intel 10 nm Golden Cove CPU "big" cores & Gracemont "small" CPU cores.

The SiSoftware database entry showcases a prototype system that has 16 cores and 32 threads running at the base frequency of 1.8 GHz and a boost speed of 4 GHz. There is 12.5 MB of L2 cache (split into 10 pairs of 1.25 MB) and 30 MB of level-three (L3) cache present on the processor. There is also an Alder Lake-S mobile graphics controller that runs at 1.5 GHz. Intel Xe gen 12.2 graphics is responsible for the video output. When it comes to memory, Alder Lake-S is finally bringing the newest DDR5 standard with a new motherboard chipset and socket called LGA 1700.

AMD Talks Zen 4 and RDNA 3, Promises to Offer Extremely Competitive Products

AMD is always in development mode and just when they launch a new product, the company is always gearing up for the next-generation of devices. Just a few months ago, back in November, AMD has launched its Zen 3 core, and today we get to hear about the next steps that the company is taking to stay competitive and grow its product portfolio. In the AnandTech interview with Dr. Lisa Su, and The Street interview with Rick Bergman, the EVP of AMD's Computing and Graphics Business Group, we have gathered information about AMD's plans for Zen 4 core development and RDNA 3 performance target.

Starting with Zen 4, AMD plans to migrate to the AM5 platform, bringing the new DDR5 and USB 4.0 protocols. The current aim of Zen 4 is to be extremely competitive among competing products and to bring many IPC improvements. Just like Zen 3 used many small advances in cache structures, branch prediction, and pipelines, Zen 4 is aiming to achieve a similar thing with its debut. The state of x86 architecture offers little room for improvement, however, when the advancement is done in many places it adds up quite well, as we could see with 19% IPC improvement of Zen 3 over the previous generation Zen 2 core. As the new core will use TSMC's advanced 5 nm process, there is a possibility to have even more cores found inside CCX/CCD complexes. We are expecting to see Zen 4 sometime close to the end of 2021.

TrendForce: TSMC to Mass-Produce Select Intel Products, CPUs Starting 2021

According to a market analysis from TrendForce, Intel's manufacturing efforts with TSMC will go way beyond a potential TSMC technology licensing for that company's manufacturing technology to be employed in Intel's own fabs. The market research firm says that Intel will instead procure wafers directly from TSMC, starting on 2H2021, in the order of 20-25% of total production for some of its non-CPU products. But the manufacturing deal is said to go beyond that, with TSMC picking up orders for Intel's Core i3 CPUs in the company's 5 nm manufacturing node - one that Intel will take years to scale down to on its own manufacturing capabilities.

According to TrendForce, that effort will scale upwards with TSMC manufacturing certain allotments of Intel's midrange and high-end CPUs using the semiconductor manufacturer's 3 nm technology in 2022. TrendForce believes that increased outsourcing of Intel's product lines will allow the company to not only continue its existence as a major IDM, but also maintain and prioritize in-house production lines for chips with high margins, while more effectively spending CAPEX on advanced R&D due to savings on fabrication technology scaling - fewer in-house chips means lower needs for investment in capacity increases, which would allow the company to sink the savings into further R&D. The move would also allow Intel to close the gap with rival AMD's manufacturing advantages in a more critical, timely manner.

Dell Technologies Reimagines Work with New PCs, Monitors and Software Experiences

Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) unveiled new products and software that reimagine work so anyone can perform at their best. With a new portfolio of intelligent, collaborative and sustainable devices, Dell is transforming work experiences to give people greater flexibility to work from anywhere.

"People's expectations of their technology continue to evolve. It's why we push beyond barriers to create devices that offer better experiences and are more integrated into our lives," said Ed Ward, senior vice president, Client Product Group, Dell Technologies. "Our new intelligent PCs make it possible for us to work smarter and collaborate easier, so we can give our best selves in all that we do. Secure, sustainable and smart: that's the way forward for PCs."

LG Smart TVs to Get Stadia Cloud Gaming in Late 2021

LG Electronics (LG) announces a planned partnership with Google to bring Stadia to its latest webOS smart TVs in the second half of this year. After Stadia comes to Google TV, LG will be the first TV manufacturer to natively support Stadia gameplay via webOS.

LG is demonstrating its commitment to supporting premium gaming on its state-of-the-art displays, made even more compelling with support for 4k and 5.1 surround sound for Stadia Pro users. Stadia on LG TVs will allow customers to instantly play hit Stadia games such as Cyberpunk 2077, NBA 2K21, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion with just a Stadia controller and no additional hardware or game downloads required.

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.

AMD Expands Senior Leadership Team

AMD today announced several senior leadership promotions in support of the company's long-term growth goals. "Our high-performance products and long-term roadmaps have placed AMD on a significant growth trajectory," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Aligning and expanding our senior leadership team around our highest-priority growth opportunities will continue the momentum we have built across our business in 2021 and beyond."
AMD announced two executive vice president promotions:
  • Darren Grasby to executive vice president and Chief Sales Officer, responsible for driving adoption of AMD products and delivering a world-class customer experience.
  • Devinder Kumar to executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for continued strengthening of the company's financial profile.

GPUs to See Price Increase Due to Import Tariffs, Other PC Components to Follow

Yesterday, we have reported that ASUS is officially increasing the prices of their graphics cards and motherboards, due to increased component and logistics costs. What the company meant by that was not exactly clear to everyone, as it looked like the company has adjusted to the current market prices exceeding the MSRP of components like graphics cards. The GPUs are today selling at much higher prices compared to the original MSRP and it is representing a real problem for consumers. Today, we get to see what is the underlying problem behind the announcement we saw yesterday and if we are going to see more of that in the close future.

According to the New York Times, the Chinese import tariff exemptions have expired with the arrival of a new year (2021) and we can expect the tariffs to start from 7.5%-25%, which will massively increase component costs. A Reddit user has noted that MSRP will increase about $80 for every major GPU manufacturer like ASUS, GIGABYTE, PNY, Zotac, etc. so we are expecting MSRP adjustment from other companies to follow just like ASUS did. The import tariff exemptions are also supposed to increase MSRPs of other PC components like motherboards, SSDs, PSUs, cases... everything without exemption. As a product of a trade war between China and the Trump administration, it remains a question will these tariffs get easier shortly, so consumers can afford their desired components.

ASUS Officially Increases Prices of Graphics Cards and Motherboards

ASUS has today prepared a gift for everyone involved in the PC community. The company announced that starting from today, prices of PC components like graphics cards and motherboards will get increased. Apparently, ASUS has decided to adjust the prices due to the increased cost of components, logistics, and operations. It is reported that the company was working closely with its partners to minimize the increase of pricing, however, that has turned out to be impossible and ASUS has been forced to increase prices. Starting with ASUS'es official store, over the retailers like Newegg and Amazon, consumers are expected to see increased pricing of ASUS components.
Juan Jose Guerrero III - ASUS's Technical Product Marketing Manager
Update regarding MSRP pricing for ASUS components in 2021.This update applies to graphics cards and motherboards* We have an announcement in regards to MSRP price changes that are effective in early 2021 for our award-winning series of graphic cards and motherboards. Our new MSRP reflects increases in cost for components. operating costs, and logistical activities plus a continuation of import tariffs. We worked closely with our supply and logistic partners to minimize price increases. ASUS greatly appreciates your continued business and support as we navigate through this time of unprecedented market change. *additional models may see an increase as we moved further into Q1.

LG Display Introduces World's First 48-inch Bendable Cinematic Sound OLED display

LG Display, the world's leading innovator of display technologies, announced today that it will showcase the world's first 48-inch Bendable Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) optimized for gaming at CES 2021.

The 48-inch Bendable CSO display utilizes OLED's advantages as its paper-thin screen bends and unfolds with a curvature radius of up to 1,000R, meaning that it can be made to bend up to a radius of 1,000 mm without affecting the function of the display. It can therefore be turned into a flat screen while watching TV and used as a curved screen while gaming. The curved display offers a uniform viewing distance from the middle of the screen to its edge, maximizing the visual immersion that is popular among gamers.

Tachyum Prodigy Software Emulation Systems Now Available for Pre-Order

Tachyum Inc. today announced that it is signing early adopter customers for the software emulation system for its Prodigy Universal Processor, customers may begin the process of native software development (i.e. using Prodigy Instruction Set Architecture) and porting applications to run on Prodigy. Prodigy software emulation systems will be available at the end of January 2021.

Customers and partners can use Prodigy's software emulation for evaluation, development and debug, and with it, they can begin to transition existing applications that demand high performance and low power to run optimally on Prodigy processors. Pre-built systems include a Prodigy emulator, native Linux, toolchains, compilers, user mode applications, x86, ARM and RISC-V emulators. Software updates will be issued as needed.

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.

NVIDIA to Introduce an Architecture Named After Ada Lovelace, Hopper Delayed?

NVIDIA has launched its GeForce RTX 3000 series of graphics cards based on the Ampere architecture three months ago. However, we are already getting information about the next-generation that the company plans to introduce. In the past, the rumors made us believe that the architecture coming after Ampere is allegedly being called Hopper. Hopper architecture is supposed to bring multi-chip packaging technology and be introduced after Ampere. However, thanks to @kopite7kimi on Twitter, a reliable source of information, we have data that NVIDIA is reportedly working on a monolithic GPU architecture that the company internally refers to as "ADxxx" for its codenames.

The new monolithically-designed Lovelace architecture is going make a debut on the 5 nm semiconductor manufacturing process, a whole year earlier than Hopper. It is unknown which foundry will manufacture the GPUs, however, both of NVIDIA's partners, TSMC and Samsung, are capable of manufacturing it. The Hopper is expected to arrive sometime in 2023-2024 and utilize the MCM technology, while the Lovelace architecture will appear in 2021-2022. We are not sure if the Hopper architecture will be exclusive to data centers or extend to the gaming segment as well. The Ada Lovelace architecture is supposedly going to be a gaming GPU family. Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician, has appeared on NVIDIA's 2018 GTC t-shirt known as "Company of Heroes", so NVIDIA may have already been using the ADxxx codenames internally for a long time now.

Oversupply to Continue Affecting NAND Flash Prices, with 10-15% QoQ Decline Expected in 1Q21, Says TrendForce

The percentage distribution of 2021 NAND Flash bit demand by application currently shows that client SSD accounts for 31%, enterprise SSD 20%, eMMC/UFS 41%, and NAND wafer 8%, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. TrendForce expects NAND Flash ASP to undergo QoQ declines throughout 2021, since the number of NAND suppliers far exceeds DRAM suppliers, and the bit supply remains high. As Samsung, YMTC, SK Hynix, and Intel actively expand their NAND Flash bit output in 1Q21, the oversupply situation in the industry will become more severe, with a forecasted 6% QoQ increase in NAND Flash bit output and a 10-15% QoQ decline in NAND Flash ASP in 1Q21.

Intel 500 Series Motherboards to Supposedly Arrive on January 11th

Intel needs a platform refresh to battle the competition, mainly speaking to battle AMD and its Ryzen 5000 series processors. That is why the company is developing 500 series of chipsets covering the low-end (H510), mid-range (B560), and high-end markets (Z590) that pair with the upcoming Rocket Lake-S processor generation. Dubbed 11th generation of Core processors, the 11th generation of Intel Core CPUs are going to be built on Intel's refined 14 nm process. The CPUs are supposed to feature a Cypress Cove core, which is a backport of Golden Cove found in Ice Lake. The 500 series motherboards are the last in the DDR4 generation, launching in the timeframe when DDR5 is supposed to take over in the coming years.

Today, thanks to Weixin, a Chinese media outlet that posted a short story on the WeChat platform, we have information about the launch date of these new chipsets. According to the source, we are allegedly going to see these new chipsets on January 11th, the day that Intel CES 2021 event is supposed to happen. The platform will include a range of motherboards from Intel's partners and is supposed to bring support for the much-needed PCIe 4.0 protocol. The launch date should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, before taking it as a fact.

Alleged Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon Processor Image Leaks, Dual-Die Madness Showcased

Today, thanks to the ServeTheHome forum member "111alan", we have the first pictures of the alleged Intel Sapphire Rapids Xeon processor. Pictured is what appears to be a dual-die design similar to Cascade Lake-SP design with 56 cores and 112 threads that uses two dies. The Sapphire Rapids is a 10 nm SuperFin design that allegedly comes even in the dual-die configuration. To host this processor, the motherboard needs an LGA4677 socket with 4677 pins present. The new LGA socket, along with the new 10 nm Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors are set for delivery in 2021 when Intel is expected to launch its new processors and their respective platforms.

The processor pictured is clearly a dual-die design, meaning that Intel used some of its Multi-Chip Package (MCM) technology that uses EMIB to interconnect the silicon using an active interposer. As a reminder, the new 10 nm Sapphire Rapids platform is supposed to bring many new features like a DDR5 memory controller paired with Intel's Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA); a brand new PCIe 5.0 standard protocol with a 32 GT/s data transfer rate, and a CXL 1.1 support for next-generation accelerators. The exact configuration of this processor is unknown, however, it is an engineering sample with a clock frequency of a modest 2.0 GHz.

China Develops Tools for 28 nm Silicon Manufacturing

When the US decided to impose sanctions on all US-made technology use in foreign countries (China), the Chinese semiconductor manufacturing industry seemed at the time that it would just completely stop. Without the tools to manufacture silicon, Chinese manufacturers would need to turn to other countries to search for a possible solution. That, however, turned out impossible as the US administration has decided to stop the silicon from going into the hands of Chinese companies, by making a condition that any US-made technology can not get to China. Many of the parts for silicon manufacturing are designed in the US, so they have the power to restrict the use.

Today, in a surprising turn of events, we have information that Shanghai Micro Electronic Equipment (SMEE) has developed a deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography scanner that is set for delivery in 2021. With a plan to deliver it in the fourth quarter of 2021, SMEE has designed this DUV scanner for the production of 28 nm node. While not being the most advanced node available to date, it is a significant start for Chinese technology independence. ASML, the producer of such scanners, used to be one of the few options there, however, it just gained a competitor. China will deliver its new silicon on a 28 nm process at the end of 2021. Pictured below, you can see how the scanner from SMEE looks like.
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