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AMD Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2019 of $1.53 billion, operating income of $59 million, net income of $35 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.03. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $111 million, net income was $92 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.08.

"I am pleased with our financial performance and execution in the quarter as we ramped production of three leadership 7nm product families," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We have reached a significant inflection point for the company as our new Ryzen, Radeon and EPYC processors form the most competitive product portfolio in our history and are well positioned to drive significant growth in the second half of the year."

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 third quarter ended June 29, 2019. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $53.8 billion, an increase of 1 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.18, down 7 percent. International sales accounted for 59 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"This was our biggest June quarter ever - driven by all-time record revenue from Services, accelerating growth from Wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "These results are promising across all our geographic segments, and we're confident about what's ahead. The balance of calendar 2019 will be an exciting period, with major launches on all of our platforms, new services and several new products."

"Our year-over-year business performance improved compared to the March quarter and drove strong operating cash flow of $11.6 billion," said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. "We returned over $21 billion to shareholders during the quarter, including $17 billion through open market repurchases of almost 88 million Apple shares, and $3.6 billion in dividends and equivalents."

Apple to Acquire Majority of Intel's Smartphone Modem Business

Intel and Apple have signed an agreement for Apple to acquire the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business. Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, including works council and other relevant consultations in certain jurisdictions.

Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple's existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Updated for Back-to-School Season

Apple today updated MacBook Air, adding True Tone to its Retina display for a more natural viewing experience, and lowering the price to $1,099, with an even lower price of $999 for college students. In addition, the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are also part of Apple's Back to School promotion, which includes a pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones with the purchase of a qualifying Mac notebook or iMac. With their sleek, portable designs, Retina displays, great everyday performance, all-day battery life and running macOS, Mac notebooks have never been more popular in higher education, with Student Monitor data showing nearly 60 percent of US college notebook buyers own a Mac.

AMD Announces the Radeon Pro Vega II and Pro Vega II Duo Graphics Cards

AMD today announced the Radeon Pro Vega II and Pro Vega II Duo graphics cards, making their debut with the new Apple Mac Pro workstation. Based on an enhanced 32 GB variant of the 7 nm "Vega 20" MCM, the Radeon Pro Vega II maxes out its GPU silicon, with 4,096 stream processors, 1.70 GHz peak engine clock, 32 GB of 4096-bit HBM2 memory, and 1 TB/s of memory bandwidth. The card features both PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and InfinityFabric interfaces. As its name suggests, the Pro Vega II is designed for professional workloads, and comes with certifications for nearly all professional content creation applications.

The Radeon Pro Vega II Duo is the first dual-GPU graphics card from AMD in ages. Purpose built for the Mac Pro (and available on the Apple workstation only), this card puts two fully unlocked "Vega 20" MCMs with 32 GB HBM2 memory each on a single PCB. The card uses a bridge chip to connect the two GPUs to the system bus, but in addition, has an 84.5 GB/s InfinityFabric link running between the two GPUs, for rapid memory access, GPU and memory virtualization, and interoperability between the two GPUs, bypassing the host system bus. In addition to certifications for every conceivable content creation suite for the MacOS platform, AMD dropped in heavy optimization for the Metal 3D graphics API. For now the two graphics cards are only available as options for the Apple Mac Pro. The single-GPU Pro Vega II may see standalone product availability later this year, but the Pro Vega II Duo will remain a Mac Pro-exclusive.

Apple Announces Groundbreaking Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR

Apple today introduced the all-new Mac Pro, a completely redesigned, breakthrough workstation for pros who push the limits of what a Mac can do, and unveiled Apple Pro Display XDR, the world's best pro display. Designed for maximum performance, expansion and configurability, the all-new Mac Pro features workstation-class Xeon processors up to 28 cores, a high-performance memory system with a massive 1.5TB capacity, eight PCIe expansion slots and a graphics architecture featuring the world's most powerful graphics card. It also introduces Apple Afterburner, a game-changing accelerator card that enables playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video simultaneously.

Pro Display XDR features a massive 32-inch Retina 6K display with gorgeous P3 wide and 10-bit color, an extreme 1,600 nits of peak brightness, an incredible 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a superwide viewing angle, all at a breakthrough price point. Together, the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

Apple: Protecting Macs from MDS Vulnerabilities May Reduce Performance by up to 40%

Apple has advised users that they should disable Intel's Hyper-Threading feature on the company's computers due to the recently exposed MDS vulnerabilities. Citing internal testing, Apple said that users can expect an up to 40% performance loss in such a scenario (depending on system and workload, naturally) in various benchmarks and multithreaded workloads. The performance loss is understandable - you're essentially halving the number of threads available for your CPU to process data.

Like Intel said, it becomes an issue of how much users value their performance compared to the security risks involved: a classic risk/benefit scenario, which shouldn't ever be in the equation, after all. If users buy a system with a CPU that has known performance levels, they will obviously expect those to be valid for the longevity of the product, unless otherwise stated and considering operational variances that fall within a margin of error/product obsolescence. Halving your performance because of a design flaw that resulted from an effort to achieve higher and higher IPC increases doesn't strike as a way to inspire confidence in your products.

Steam Link Application Launched for iOS and Apple TV

Steam's Link application, which allows users to stream their games from PC to the desired device, has finally come to iOS and Apple TV. Originally, the application was expected to release on Android and iOS at the same time, but it has been available on Android devices for more than a year now and iOS support just landed. The reason behind this was rejection from Apple to include such an application in their store.

While the application finally got released for iOS and Apple TV (so you can stream games to your TV as well), it isn't the same as the Android version. Mainly, the difference is simple - no game purchases are allowed in iOS/Apple TV version. That decision came after Valve, the company behind Steam, decided to remove that feature in order to comply with Apple's App Store rules. If game purchasing was allowed then Valve would have to share a cut of the profits with Apple. So far the application has an excellent rating and users have positive opinions about it. You can find it here.

Apple to Pay Qualcomm Up To $4.7 Billion in Licensing Fee Arrears

Qualcomm in its quarterly earnings results posted late Wednesday disclosed that it expects Apple to pay it anywhere between USD $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion in licensing fee arrears incurred over the past two years when the two companies were locked in a bitter wireless technology IP licensing dispute. This figure, however, is significantly less than the $7 billion Qualcomm earlier claimed Apple owed. Apple had alleged that Qualcomm unfairly used its market position to inflate costs of cellular modems, and had withheld payments since Q2 2017. Qualcomm's investors are interested in knowing how the two companies arrived at $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion, particularly if Apple scored a discount as part of the settlement.

Apple Reports Second Quarter Results: Services Revenues Reach $11.5 Billion

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 second quarter ended March 30, 2019. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $58 billion, a decline of 5 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.46, down 10 percent. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"Our March quarter results show the continued strength of our installed base of over 1.4 billion active devices, as we set an all-time record for Services, and the strong momentum of our Wearables, Home and Accessories category, which set a new March quarter record," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We delivered our strongest iPad growth in six years, and we are as excited as ever about our pipeline of innovative hardware, software and services. We're looking forward to sharing more with developers and customers at Apple's 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June."

AMD Reports First Quarter 2019 Financial Results- Gross margin expands to 41%, up 5 percentage points year-over-year

AMD today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2019 of $1.27 billion, operating income of $38 million, net income of $16 million and diluted
earnings per share of $0.01. On a non-GAAP(*) basis, operating income was $84 million, net income was $62 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.06.

"We delivered solid first quarter results with significant gross margin expansion as Ryzen and EPYC processor and datacenter GPU revenue more than doubled year-over-year," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We look forward to the upcoming launches of our next-generation 7nm PC, gaming
and datacenter products which we expect to drive further market share gains and financial growth."

Samsung Profits Tank as DRAM, NAND Flash, and SoC Prices Slump

Samsung Electronics Q1-2019 preliminary reads like a horror story to investors, as the company posted its worst drop in operating-profit in over four years. Operating income fell 60 percent in the quarter ending March 2019, to about USD $5.5 billion, beating Bloomberg analysts who had predicted a 56 percent drop. Sluggish sales to IoT major Amazon, smartphone major Apple, and other handset makers, compounded by swelling inventory in the supply chain, has triggered sharp drops in DRAM prices that were offsetting critically low NAND flash prices. Demand for Samsung SoCs (application processors) is also on the decline.

Samsung is betting heavily on the success of its Galaxy S10 family of smartphones to recover from losses faced in the three component markets. Prices of DRAM prices fell 22 percent YoY, and NAND flash continues to slide by roughly that much, at 23 percent. NAND flash prices have been on a continuous decline over the past 3 years. DRAM prices, on the other hand, rallied in that period, and it's only now that it posted its first price-drop since 2016. NAND flash prices are expected to slide further down, as oversupply and failure of newer technologies like QLC taking off, hurt NAND flash manufacturers.

OWC Releases iMac 27-inch Memory Upgrades

OWC has confirmed support for 128GB memory upgrades for the new 2019 27-inch iMac 5K; doubling the maximum factory offered memory, 64GB, in the 3.1GHz, 3.6GHz and 3.7GHz models and quadrupling it in the 3.0GHz, 32GB base model. OWC high-performing memory kits enable customers to boost performance levels and run more apps, work with larger files, speed up render times, and manipulate larger data sets.

Apple offers 32GB and 64GB memory options in the 2019 27-inch iMac 5K. OWC has certified and supports up to 128GB memory for all 2019 27-inch iMac 5K models, giving users up to four times the factory-available memory. This upgrade is exclusive to OWC and allows users to take new iMacs to their maximum potential, to create with endless possibilities.

Apple Introduces Apple Arcade

Apple today announced Apple Arcade, a game subscription service that will feature over 100 new and exclusive games, including original releases from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and dozens more. Apple Arcade games will redefine games and be curated based on originality, quality, creativity, fun and their appeal to players of all ages. Apple Arcade will give customers the freedom to try any game from its handpicked collection of titles that are all-you-can-play, have no ads, ad tracking or additional purchases, and respect user privacy.

The App Store is the world's most successful and vibrant gaming platform with nearly 300,000 free and paid games. Free games, supported by advertising or in-app purchases, are enjoyed by hundreds of millions of players around the world. Paid games are often critically acclaimed and beloved by the people who play them, but competing with free is hard, so even the best of these games have only reached a smaller audience. With the simplicity of a single subscription, Apple Arcade will bring games like these to the App Store's more than 1 billion gaming customers. Apple Arcade is the perfect complement to the already enormously popular catalog of free games on the App Store, making iOS the premier gaming platform for players of all ages.

beyerdynamic Innovates Lifestyle Headphones with Soul BYRD and Blue BYRD

beyerdynamic, one of the world's leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and conferencing products, announces Blue BYRD, the first wireless, in-ear headset within the BYRD Series, and the Soul BYRD, an in-ear headset. Featuring a unique, extra-flat design, the Blue BYRD and Soul BYRD allow for unrestricted listening with state-of-the-art technology and crisp acoustics.

Blue BYRD combines simple elegance, impressive sound and enjoyable wearing comfort to create an everyday wireless headphone. Blue BYRD boasts flawless Bluetooth transmission with Qualcomm aptX and AAC technology for a balanced listening experience for up to six hours of playing time. Blue BYRD's universal, three-button remote microphone provides flexibility to manage media playback, phone calls, and virtual assistants on both Android and iOS playback devices. Blue BYRD retails for $199.00 USD and is currently shipping. For more information, please visit https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/blue-byrd.html.

Apple iMac Gets a 2x Performance Boost

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors for the first time and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. From consumers to pros alike, users will notice their iMac is faster for everyday tasks all the way up to the most demanding pro workloads. This boost in performance, combined with its gorgeous Retina display, sleek all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave, makes iMac the world's best desktop.

"Customers are going to love the huge boost in iMac performance. With up to 8-core processors and powerful Vega graphics, the iMac lineup is stronger than ever," said Tom Boger, Apple's senior director of Mac Product Marketing. "With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and macOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world."

New "Thunderclap" Vulnerability Threatens to Infect Your PC Over Thunderbolt Peripherals

A new security vulnerability named "Thunderclap" severely compromises security of computers with USB type-C Thunderbolt ports, or machines with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) ports. This would be pretty much every MacBook released in the past two years, Macs, and PCs with certain aftermarket Thunderbolt 3 adapters. Chronicled in a paper by the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge, Rice University and SRI International, is a method for Thunderbolt devices to bypass the host machine's IOMMU (I/O memory management unit), and read its main memory over DMA.

An IOMMU translates address-spaces between devices and main memory, and hence protects your memory's contents being read by just about any device. The group has detailed possible ways to mitigate this vulnerability, and forwarded these mitigations to Apple, Intel, and Microsoft. For now no public mitigation exists other than disabling the Thunderbolt controller of your machine in your motherboard's UEFI setup program.

TSMC 7nm EUV Process to Enter Mass-Production in March 2019

TSMC is giving final touches to set its flagship 7 nanometer EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) silicon fabrication node at its highest state of readiness for business, called mass-production. At this state, the node can mass-produce products for TSMC's customers. TSMC had taped out its first 7 nm EUV chips in October 2018. The company will also begin risk-production of the more advanced 5 nm node in April, staying on schedule. Mass production of 5 nm chips could commence in the first half of 2020.

The 7 nm EUV node augments TSMC's 7 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet lithography) node that's been already active since April 2018, and producing chips for AMD, Apple, HiSilicon, and Xilinx. At the turn of the year, 7 nm DUV made up 9 percent of TSMC's shipments. With the new node going online, 7 nm (DUV + EUV) could make up 25 percent of TSMC's output by the end of 2019.

Apple MacBook Pro 2018 Appears to Have a Serious Design Flaw

Apple's MacBook Pro (2018) with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 20 graphics option appears to have a serious design flaw related to its video subsystem. The laptop tends to show severe screen flickering and lines crossing through the picture after waking up from extended periods of idling (after the display has turned off). The problem persists even through reboots. A reboot will make the flickering go away, however the next time the MacBook idles and decides to turn off its display, waking the machine will bring the flicker back. Most common remedies an enthusiast could think of, such as disabling the auto-switching between integrated- and discrete GPUs, and preventing the monitor from idling, don't appear to fix the problem.

The problem was discovered on a brand new $4,500 15-inch MacBook Pro (Intel Core i9, AMD Vega 20, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD). Upon its discovery, it was taken to the Apple Store, where the employees immediately replaced it without further questions when they heard "display corruption after standby". The replacement process was hassle-free, it looks like others have faced this issue with this MacBook Pro model and Apple is trying to quickly resolve it to keep the lid on it. However, after a couple of days, the problem re-surfaced on the replacement MacBook, too. Both models were running MacOS "Mojave" version 10.14.2.

AMD "Navi" GPU Code Surfaces in Latest Apple MacOS Mojave Beta

System software code used for detecting and installing AMD's upcoming Radeon "Navi" family of graphics processors surfaced in the latest Apple MacOS "Mojave" beta. Version 14.2 beta of the operating system packs preparation for AMD's next-generation GPUs through a device identifier "0x73101002." A similar piece of code surfaced on early versions of MacOS "Sierra" some 6 months prior to Radeon "Vega" family launch, which perfectly aligns with this release of Mojave preceding the speculated mid-2019 launch of "Navi."

The code makes four references, Navi 16, Navi 12, Navi 10, and Navi 9. We're not quite sure if these are brand names or ASIC codes pointing to the number of next-generation compute units enabled on the silicon. If they are the latter, and assuming AMD hasn't changed the number of stream processors per NGCU, we're looking at the possibility of these chips being mid-range performance successors to the "Polaris" family, and it's likely they'll find place in Apple's upcoming generation of iMac, and possibly even MacBooks.
Many Thanks to theoneandonlymrk for the tip.

Sonarworks Debuts True-Fi Mobile App, Demonstrates Personalized Audio Profiles at CES 2019

If you had not heard of Sonarworks prior to this or the press release that went out last week, you may not be alone. The Latvian company is a little over 6 years old, and has since already managed to grab attention of some of the largest players in the audio market, including car makers interested in stereos, DJs, music producers, and of course more typical headphone and speaker makers. Their True-Fi desktop program claims to calibrate headphones to where everyone is able to hear the same sound no matter where they are- provided you use a supported headphone. This makes use of software sound processing and filtering, and the process works well enough to where they say over 30,000 recording studios worldwide currently use their technology.

At CES 2019, Sonarworks demonstrated the mobile version of their True-Fi program, currently in the Apple and Google Play stores as unreleased versions that will remain free until ready, following which it will cost $3.99/month or $99 for a lifetime license (the desktop version costs $79 by itself at this time). I was able to try out the app at their suite, and then also at home on my own phone, and came out impressed with the changes made. I did happen to have one of the ~300 currently-supported headphones though, and Sonarworks say they are working on adding more all the time. Users can also specifically request support to their own headsets if not on the list, although that might involve round trip shipment to Latvia. Read past the break for more, including their equally exciting personalized audio feature coming later this year.

Elgato Unveils Key Light, Screen Link, Stream Deck SDK, and Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock

Elgato, the leading provider of hardware and software for content creators, today unveiled Elgato Key Light, Screen Link, Stream Deck SDK, and Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, combining to make up the biggest launch in the company's history. From advanced lighting and connectivity to mobile streaming and increased software accessibility, Elgato is making it easier than ever for creators to produce and broadcast their own professional, high-quality video content.

Elgato Key Light is the first of its kind: an LED light panel developed specifically for modern content creators. Key Light easily clamps to your desk, adding professional lighting to your setup while taking up a fraction of the space of traditional light boxes or lamps. Key Light wirelessly communicates with your PC or Mac, letting you instantly control lighting brightness and warmth via Elgato's convenient Control Center app or a key press on Elgato's highly acclaimed Stream Deck. Key Light shines with 80 premium OSRAM LEDs that output a massive 2,500 lumens while generating practically no heat.

2019 LG Gram 17-inch and 14-inch MacBook Air Rivals Pictured

While the new release of LG's Gram series is no secret, we were able to take a closer look at the 17-inch 17Z990-R.AAS8U1 and 14-inch 14T990-U.AAS8U1 models at CES 2019. These Windows 10 based offerings rival Apple's MacBook Air not only in size but in regards to specifications and looks as well. Packing a 17-inch 2560x1600 IPS display into a 15.6-inch class body the 17Z990-R.AAS8U1 packs a serious punch. It comes equipped with a 4c/8t Intel Core i7-8565U which offers a base clock of 1.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz. It also comes equipped with 16 GB of system memory, while a 512GB SSD handles all your potential storage needs. The inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 gives users faster file transfer speeds along with the ability to connect an extra display via a single port. Meanwhile, the 72 W battery allows for continuous operation up to 19.5 hours. With solid specifications and sleek design, it appears to be a robust system. The MSRP is currently listed at $1699.99.

The more portable 14T990-U.AAS8U1 is a far more compact 14-inch offering with a 1920x1080 IPS touchscreen that makes use of Corning's Gorilla Glass 5. Unlike the 17-inch LG Gram, the 14-inch can convert from a traditional laptop to a tablet and even comes with a Wacom AES 2.0 Pen. Like its larger sibling, it features the same 72W battery allowing for it to operate up to 21 hours. General specifications are the same as its larger sibling with the Intel Core i7-8565U, 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD all making a reappearance here. This latest 2-in-1 from LG will set you back $1499.99. For a more in-depth look at both systems check our previous coverage here.

Sennheiser introduces MOMENTUM True Wireless

Sennheiser's iconic MOMENTUM range of headphones continues to change the game through its fusion of advanced technology, uncompromised sound performance and the highest quality materials. Now, the audio specialist brings the MOMENTUM ethos to an exceptional new product, the MOMENTUM True Wireless: these exquisitely crafted Bluetooth earphones set new standards for audio quality, with characteristic MOMENTUM style and comfort.

The first model in a new generation of the iconic MOMENTUM family redefines the audio benchmark for true wireless earphones with superior stereo sound performance that is guaranteed by Sennheiser's audiophile 7 mm dynamic drivers. With the latest Bluetooth technology, AAC codec support, and Qualcomm aptX compatibility, this exceptional hi-fi sound is delivered without any compromise. "The MOMENTUM range has always stood for a fusion of excellent sound, progressive technology and craftsmanship. We are pleased to now introduce the newest member of the family, which brings the essence of MOMENTUM to a truly wireless form for the first time", said Frank Foppe, Product Manager at Sennheiser.
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