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New LG CineBeam Projector Offers Portability And Immersive High-Resolution Entertainment

LG USA announces the debut of the LG CineBeam Full HD LED projector (model PF610P). The latest innovation in LG's popular CineBeam high-resolution projector lineup, the PF610P delivers mesmerizing picture quality in expansive proportions with the convenience of portability making it the perfect choice for movie lovers who also want their home theater to move with them. The LG CineBeam PF610P is available now at select LG-authorized retailers and at LG.com with an SRP of $849.99

The LG CineBeam Full HD LED projector delivers astonishing high-resolution images with vivid shades and striking clarity at up to 120 inches (diagonally). Featuring a vibrant 1,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, the PF610P offers 4-channel LED which enhances brilliance, contrast, and color for a more immersive entertainment experience. The projector's light source is extremely reliable and durable, with a lifespan of approximately 30,000 hours of entertainment.

Adobe MAX 2021: Unleashing Creativity for All with the Next Generation of Creative Cloud

Today, Adobe kicked off Adobe MAX 2021, the largest creativity conference in the world. The company delivered innovation across Creative Cloud flagship applications and introduced new collaboration capabilities to fuel new levels of creativity for millions of customers worldwide, from students to social media creators to creative professionals.

At Adobe MAX, the company announced major updates across Creative Cloud flagship applications powered by Adobe Sensei, accelerated the video creation process with the addition of Frame.io and advanced 3D and immersive authoring abilities. Adobe also previewed new collaboration capabilities with the introduction of Creative Cloud Canvas, Creative Cloud Spaces and betas of Photoshop and Illustrator on the web.

Apple M1 Max Beats GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU in GFXBench 5.0, but Doesn't Shine in Geekbench

This should be taken with a fair helping of salt, considering GFXBench 5.0 is mobile device focused benchmark, even though the company behind claims it's a platform independent benchmark. Regardless of that, it looks like the new 32 core GPU in Apple's M1 Max SoC offers some pretty competitive performance, as it manages GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU in said test.

However, this is a median score for the GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU and many of the tests that make up GFXBench 5.0 aren't using DirectX, which is one likely reason for Apple's M1 Max GPU beating the Nvidia card. On the other hand, all tests seem to support Metal, which is Apple's 3D API, whereas the Nvidia card has to fall back to using OpenGL which tends to offer lower performance than DirectX in games. In most of the tests we're looking at an average performance advantage of less than 10 percent in favour of Apple, but it's nonetheless impressive considering that Apple hasn't been in the GPU business for very long.

NAND Flash Prices Projected to Enter Cyclical Downturn in 2022 Due to Modest Demand Growth and Competition for Higher-Layer NAND, Says TrendForce

Contract prices of NAND Flash products are expected to undergo a marginal drop of 0-5% QoQ in 4Q21 as demand slows, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Hence, the current cyclical upturn in NAND Flash prices will have lasted for only two consecutive quarters. Looking ahead, NAND Flash suppliers' capacity expansion plans will be affected by the outlook on future trends and the supply of other non-memory components. At the same time, attention will have to be paid to the demand projection. At the moment, NAND Flash suppliers appear likely to downsize their capacity expansion activities for 2022, resulting in a 31.8% YoY increase in NAND Flash bit supply next year. Annual bit demand, on the other hand, is projected to increase by 30.8% YoY. With demand being outpaced by supply and competition intensifying among suppliers for higher-layer products, the NAND Flash market will likely experience a cyclical downturn in prices in 2022.

OWC Announces Ideal Storage and Connectivity Solutions For New Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max

OWC, the premier zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company, and a respected provider of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions, and performance upgrade kits, announces innovative storage and connectivity solutions for new Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max. With the new Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max, key ports are back, and by adding a dock or hub, you can turn the new MacBook Pro into a mobile powerhouse. For connectivity, OWC offers a range of dock and cable solutions to help you build the perfect on-the-go, at-home, in-studio, or on-set workstation for the new Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max.

Intel's CEO Blames Predecessors for Current State of the Company, Wants Apple Business Back with Better Processors

It's funny how new company CEOs always seem to blame their predecessors for whatever went wrong and it seems like Pat Gelsinger is no different, as he's throwing shade at his predecessors for not having been engineers. At the same time, he's set his mind on winning Apple back as a customer, as all Intel apparently has to do "is create a better chip than they can do themselves", with they being Apple here.

It should be pointed out that Intel hasn't had an engineer at the helm of the company since 2005, so the question is how far back Pat Gelsinger wants to throw the blame, although a guesstimate would be back to at least 2012/2013 when Paul Otellini stepped down. That said, in an interview with Axios, it's stated that "while he acknowledges the need to prove himself, Gelsinger said he will rebuild the company's credibility with its customers so that if they say they need a million of some chip by Monday, the order will be there by Sunday night."

Introducing the next generation of AirPods: The world's most popular wireless headphones just got better

Apple today announced the third generation of AirPods featuring spatial audio, delivering advanced features and a magical experience in a new contoured design. By combining the power of the H1 chip with an Apple-designed acoustic system, the new AirPods use computational audio to deliver breakthrough sound with Adaptive EQ. Users can enjoy spatial audio featuring Dolby Atmos in Apple Music, movies, and tv shows, along with dynamic head tracking, across Apple devices. The new AirPods are resistant to sweat and water, and feature a force sensor for easy and intuitive control of music and phone calls. The extended battery life enables up to six hours of listening time and up to 30 hours of total listening time with the convenient charging case. AirPods (3rd generation) join the world's most popular family of headphones and are available to order starting today, and in stores beginning Tuesday, October 26.

"AirPods forever changed wireless headphones with their groundbreaking design, incredible sound, and magical experience," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We are excited to introduce the next generation of AirPods, featuring unrivaled sound through Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, along with seamless interaction between Apple devices - making the world's best-selling headphones even better."

Apple Announces MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max Processors, and Liquid Retina XDR Display

Apple today unveiled the completely reimagined MacBook Pro powered by the all-new M1 Pro and M1 Max—the first pro chips designed for the Mac. Available in 14- and 16-inch models, MacBook Pro delivers groundbreaking processing, graphics, and machine learning (ML) performance whether running on battery or plugged in, as well as amazing battery life—enabling workflows previously unimaginable on a notebook. The new MacBook Pro also features a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display, a wide range of ports for advanced connectivity, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and the best audio system in a notebook. Combined with macOS Monterey, which is engineered down to its core to take full advantage of M1 Pro and M1 Max, the user experience is simply unrivaled. Shattering the limits of what a notebook can do, MacBook Pro is designed for developers, photographers, filmmakers, 3D artists, scientists, music producers, and anyone who wants the world's best notebook. The new MacBook Pro joins the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 to form the strongest lineup of pro notebooks ever. Customers can order the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models today, and they will be available beginning Tuesday, October 26.

"We set out to create the world's best pro notebook, and today we're excited to introduce the all-new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max—a game-changing combination of phenomenal performance, unrivaled battery life, and groundbreaking features," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The all-new MacBook Pro adds a breathtaking XDR display, more ports like MagSafe 3, an advanced 1080p camera, and a sensational six-speaker sound system, all in a stunning new design. The new MacBook Pro simply has no equal and is by far the best pro notebook we've ever built."

Apple Introduces M1 Pro and M1 Max: the Most Powerful Chips Apple Has Ever Built

Apple today announced M1 Pro and M1 Max, the next breakthrough chips for the Mac. Scaling up M1's transformational architecture, M1 Pro offers amazing performance with industry-leading power efficiency, while M1 Max takes these capabilities to new heights. The CPU in M1 Pro and M1 Max delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, so tasks like compiling projects in Xcode are faster than ever. The GPU in M1 Pro is up to 2x faster than M1, while M1 Max is up to an astonishing 4x faster than M1, allowing pro users to fly through the most demanding graphics workflows.

M1 Pro and M1 Max introduce a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to pro systems for the first time. The chips feature fast unified memory, industry-leading performance per watt, and incredible power efficiency, along with increased memory bandwidth and capacity. M1 Pro offers up to 200 GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32 GB of unified memory. M1 Max delivers up to 400 GB/s of memory bandwidth—2x that of M1 Pro and nearly 6x that of M1—and support for up to 64 GB of unified memory. And while the latest PC laptops top out at 16 GB of graphics memory, having this huge amount of memory enables graphics-intensive workflows previously unimaginable on a notebook. The efficient architecture of M1 Pro and M1 Max means they deliver the same level of performance whether MacBook Pro is plugged in or using the battery. M1 Pro and M1 Max also feature enhanced media engines with dedicated ProRes accelerators specifically for pro video processing. M1 Pro and M1 Max are by far the most powerful chips Apple has ever built.

Intel's Pat Gelsinger Exclaims "Intel is Back" AMD is "Over"

Intel's recently appointed CEO wasn't mincing words in a recent interview with CRN, where he claimed that Intel not only "have the best product" but also that "this period of time when people could say, "Hey, [AMD] is leading," that's over." We'd say them are fighting words, regardless of what various leaks have suggested, since Intel still has a lot to prove with its upcoming Alder Lake CPUs.

Gelsinger continues with "We have 80 percent market share. We have the best software assets that are available in the industry. We do the best job supporting our partners and our OEMs with it. We have an incredible brand that our channel partners, customers want and trust. Wow, that's a lot of assets in that. If the channel partner doesn't see value in that, I want to talk to him." It's pretty clear from this that Intel believes that they're doing a bang up job and if their customers don't see it, then they need a talking to.

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, China is Now Experiencing Power Shortages

If you were hoping for relief from the electronics shortages, then we have more bad news for you, as China is now being hit by power outages in various parts of the country. The outages are due to shortage in production, as China is trying to balance pollution vs. production, while at the same time trying to make sure its population doesn't feel the worst of the power shortage.

Factories in at least five provinces have suspended production to try and appease the government, which in turn will lead to delays in shipping whatever part or component they're making that is an important cog in the greater machinery that produces so many of the world's goods. Not all factories are affected and the suspension is obviously temporary, but it seems like we can expect a rolling production suspension over the next few months at the very least, which suggests that not everyone will get their new shiny toy from Santa this Christmas.

EU Commission Pushing Forward with Unified Electronics Charger Standard and Unbundling of Chargers

What can only be called a long running drama, the EU has once again put its foot down when it comes to chargers for various consumer electronics devices, although it's mostly about smartphones and regular old mobile phones these days. The whole thing took off some time in 2009, although back then, it was a voluntary effort and according to today's press release by the EU Commission, we're down from 30 to three "competing" standards (micro USB, lightning and USB-C), but apparently that is still not good enough.

As such, the EU Commission has now decided that USB-C is the answer to their prayers and it'll now be an enforced standard for a wide range of devices if they're to be allowed to be sold in the EU. We doubt this will go down well with many device manufacturers, Apple being the obvious one here, even though the company has been slowly transitioning to USB-C on its tablets, none of its phones are using USB-C today. The following device categories are affected: smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers and handheld video game consoles.

Apple's New iPhones Get Faster A15 Bionic SoC

Say what you want about Apple's ARM based SoC's, but the company has been pushing the envelope almost every time they've released a new chip. However, this year it would seem that even Apple isn't particularly excited about its new SoC, as the A15 Bionic is only described as 50 percent faster than the nearest competitor, which doesn't really say much about the actual performance.

Likewise, the improved GPU in the A15 Bionic is being touted as offering 30 percent faster graphics than leading competition, which says nothing about how much of an improvement it is over the previous generation from Apple. This time around, Apple is also binning its chips based on working GPU cores, as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini only get four GPU cores, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPad mini gets five GPU cores.It's possible that the cost of manufacturing 5 nm chips has something to do with this.

Apple Launches New iPads

Apple has launched a host of new products, with a pair of new iPads and no less than four new iPhones and a new Apple Watch. Whether you're a fan of Apple products or not, there's no denying that the company has business acumen and delivers products that its target audience likes.

Starting with the new iPad, which is technically the least exciting product announced, we're looking at a 10.2-inch display with a resolution of 2160x1620 pixels and 264 ppi with 500 nits brightness. The iPad also features an Apple A13 SoC, an 8MP wide angle camera with a ƒ/2.4 aperture and 1080p30 video support. Maybe more importantly, at least in current times, the front facing camera has been updated to a 12MP ultra wide camera that can record video at 1080p60.

Revenue of Top 10 OSAT Companies for 2Q21 Reaches US$7.88 Billion Due to Strong Demand and Increased Package/Test Prices, Says TrendForce

Despite the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic that swept Taiwan in 2Q21, the domestic OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) industry remained largely intact, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Global sales of large-sized TVs were brisk thanks to major sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020. Likewise, the proliferation of WFH and distance learning applications propelled the demand for IT products, while the automotive semiconductor and data center markets also showed upward trajectories. Taking into account the above factors, OSAT companies raised their quotes in response, resulting in a 26.4% YoY increase in the top 10 OSAT companies' revenue to US$7.88 billion for 2Q21.

TrendForce indicates that, in light of the ongoing global chip shortage and the growing production capacities of foundries/IDMs in the upstream semiconductor supply chain, OSAT companies gradually increased their CAPEX and expanded their fabs and equipment in order to meet the persistently growing client demand. However, the OSAT industry still faces an uncertain future in 2H21 due to the Delta variant's global surge and the health crisis taking place in Southeast Asia, home to a significant number of OSAT facilities.

Apple Exploring RISC-V Machine Architecture for Future Silicon

Having only recently transitioned its Mac ecosystem to the Arm machine architecture, away from x86-64, Apple is finding itself in a position where it must prepare for an eventuality where NVIDIA withholds cutting-edge development of the Arm IP to itself. The democratized nature of the current Arm IP enables licensees like Apple to stay on the cutting-edge; since its holding company SoftBank does not make chips of its own. Apple is turning its attention to open-source machine architectures such as RISC-V, and reported started foundational work on the architecture that could eventually result in its own high-performance SoCs powering the iPhone, other iOS devices, wearables, and future generations of the Mac.

Epic Games Store Keeps Losing Money, Expected Unprofitable Until 2027, Even with a Massive $500 Million Investment Behind It

Epic Games Store, one of the many products of the Epic Games company, is the current number one contender of Steam game store, which used to be Valve's monopoly in the gaming market. Having another contender is nice and competition is always welcome, however, it doesn't seem like running a games store is a cheap venture. In the recent legal dispute between Apple and Epic in California state, we have discovered some interesting details about Epic Games Store (EGS) and its financial background. According to the documents appearing in the court, EGS is not considered profitable until 2027, at least.

Apple has told the court that "Epic lost around $181 million on EGS in 2019. Epic is projected to lose around $273 million on EGS in 2020. Indeed, Epic committed $444 million in minimum guarantees for 2020 alone, while projecting, even with 'significant' growth, only $401 million in revenue for that year. Epic acknowledges that trend will continue in the immediate future: Epic projects to lose around $139 million in 2021." This information shows that Epic has sunk a lot of cash in the store, however, the company expects EGS to become profitable at some point, where the original investment will be returned.

NVIDIA Brings RTX and DLSS to Arm Platform

NVIDIA at GDC dropped a major hint at where it wants to take PC gaming post the Arm acquisition. The company is demonstrating its RTX real-time raytracing technology, and the DLSS performance enhancement, on an Arm processor by MediaTek. To the PC, this means NVIDIA is laying the foundations of gaming in the post-x86 world where it holds Arm IP; foundations that were dug up by Apple and its mighty M1 chip, based on Arm CPU technology.

Making this unequivocal, was MediaTek. "RTX is the most groundbreaking technology to come to PC gaming in the last two decades," said PC Tseng, general manager of MediaTek's Intelligent Multimedia Business Unit."MediaTek and NVIDIA are laying the foundation for a new category of Arm-based high-performance PCs." The Taiwan-based Arm SoC major has developed a new Arm-based PC processor called Kompanio 1200, which it hopes will power PC platforms much like the Apple M1 or the Qualcomm Compute Platforms.

NAND Flash Contract Prices Likely to Increase by 5-10% QoQ in 3Q21 as Quotes Continue to Rise, Says TrendForce

The recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in India has weakened sales of retail storage products such as memory cards and USB drives, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, demand remains fairly strong in the main application segments due to the arrival of the traditional peak season and the growth in the procurement related to data centers. Hence, the sufficiency ratio of the entire market has declined further. NAND Flash suppliers have kept their inventories at a healthy level thanks to clients' stock-up activities during the past several quarters. Moreover, the ongoing shortage of NAND Flash controller ICs continues to affect the production of finished storage products. Taking account of these demand-side and supply-side factors, TrendForce forecasts that contract prices of NAND Flash products will rise marginally for 3Q21, with QoQ increases in the range of 5-10%.

Annual Notebook Shipment Likely to Break Records in 2021 at 236 Million Units, with Chromebook Demand Slowing Down in 2H21, Says TrendForce

While the stay-at-home economy generated high demand for notebook computers from distance learning and WFH applications last year, global notebook shipment for 2020 underwent a nearly 26% YoY increase, which represented a significant departure from the cyclical 3% YoY increase/decrease that had historically taken place each year, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The uptrend in notebook demand is expected to persist in 2021, during which notebook shipment will likely reach 236 million units, a 15% YoY increase. In particular, thanks to the surging demand for education notebooks, Chromebooks will become the primary growth driver in the notebook market. Regarding the shipment performance of various brands, Samsung and Apple will register the highest growths, with the former having Chromebooks account for nearly 50% of its total notebook shipment this year and the latter continuing to release MacBooks equipped with the M1 chip.

Qualcomm Wants to Build an M1-Like Processor for PCs

Qualcomm is trying to get into the PC space with their mobile Snapdragon chips, which offer great battery and decent performance. However, so far only Apple managed to get the right formula for developing custom low-power, high-performance chips. It is exactly Apple's M1 processor in question that Qualcomm intends to mimic. According to the recent interview with Qualcomm's new CEO Cristiano Amon, we are informed that Qualcomm plans to produce laptop chips that would directly compete with Apple's. That means that, despite the ecosystem differences of Apple M1 (macOS) and Qualcomm Snapdragon (Windows-on-Arm), the company wants to deliver equal if not better performance and great battery life.

With the recent acquisition of Nuvia, Qualcomm has a team of very talented engineers to back up its claims. The company also recently hired some of the developers behind Apple's M1 chip. The company notes that it will be using only the best solutions for its upcoming SoC, which will include a 5G modem. Mr. Amon has also noted the following:
We needed to have the leading performance for a battery-powered device. If Arm, which we've had a relationship with for years, eventually develops a CPU that's better than what we can build ourselves, then we always have the option to license from Arm.

Microsoft Extends Xbox Cloud Gaming to PCs and Apple Devices - Powered by Xbox Series X

Microsoft has opened the floodgates, and allowed the huge PC and Apple devices market to enter the Xbox ecosystem via Cloud Gaming. Now you don't need to have a gaming PC or Xbox console. Now, you can be a part of Microsoft's ecosystem with whatever device you use - Xbox will always be there with you. This is the vision Microsoft is aiming at with the extension of Cloud Gaming to (almost) anything - with a simple browser, via its (currently Beta) xCloud for PC. Provided you subscribe to the Games Pass Ultimate subscription tier, of course. Which Microsoft is offering at $1 a month, with two extra free months, and then $12.99 a month.

However, there's a catch: if you want to be on the receiving end of Microsoft's franchises via Cloud Gaming, you have to possess a supported controller - Xbox offerings are the surest bets; however, PS4's controller is also supported). This happens because the stream is being originated in custom Xbox Series X consoles on the cloud - Microsoft's best performant hardware to date. However, it seems a way to adapt the stream from Xbox Series X's controller inputs and adapt them to the PC's native mouse and keyboard controller wasn't found. Streams will also be constrained by a less than optimal (but still very respectable) 1080p and 60 FPS limitations. Other than those caveats, if you don't have a gaming-capable PC or Microsoft's latest family of consoles, this is the way to enjoy gaming within Microsoft's franchises and all other partners through the ecosystem. Microsoft had already launched an xCloud app for Android smartphones, thus capturing most of the market in one fell swoop. The press release follows.

Three Major Arm Licensees Endorse the NVIDIA Takeover

NVIDIA's $40 billion takeover of Arm Holdings plc from SoftBank, got a shot in the arm, as three major licensees of the IP came out in support of the bid. These include Broadcom, MediaTek, and Marvell Technology Group. This development is key for NVIDIA to fight the perception built up by a rival faction, that the democratized nature of the Arm IP would get lost if a chipmaker like NVIDIA owns it. This rival faction is primarily led by Qualcomm.

It's interesting to note the individual backers of the NVIDIA takeover. There is nothing but love between Broadcom and Qualcomm, especially after the former's failed bid to acquire the latter. MediaTek is a major smartphone and IoT SoC maker, dominating the low-cost and mainstream smartphone segments. Marvell is big in datacenter and storage IP. Each of the three are results of huge IP consolidation over the past decade.

Spurred by M1 Performance, Apple Doubles Shipments of Mac Computers

The M1 chip is usually found at a perception crossroads: fans of Apple tout its desktop CPU-level performance numbers in some workloads while comparatively sipping power (and even allowing for true fanless designs in the Apple Macbook Air), while non-fans are quick to point out that synthetic benchmarks aren't truly representative of performance. Whatever side of the fence you sit on (even if you straddle it by admitting that the M1 chip can actually outperform much more powerful and core-laden Ryzen CPUs in some specific workloads), the M1 has been a running success for the California-based company. So much so, in fact, that Apple more than doubled its shipments (a 111% increase) in 2021 compared to the previous year. The second manufacturer with the highest shipment growth is Acer, with 73% - and a slightly smaller overall shipment volume.

The success of Apple's M1 only served to increase Apple's confidence in its decision to abandon Intel, and the company is expected to announce the M1's successor sometime this year. Furthermore, a new version of MacOS further increases the divide to Intel-based Macs due to some features only working on their M1 counterparts. When you consider all of that, including the accelerating optimization of many applications for the platform (Capture One, Affinity, and most recently Adobe), the platform maturity that has been achieved in such a short while, and the announcement of even more powerful hardware for content creators, it may be the case that Apple actually keeps up its momentum and presents a rather competitive landscape to the Windows + x86 PC ecosystem (I won't use Wintel because that's, well, inaccurate and unfair to AMD). Apple is surely on the way to carve out more than its current 15,84% market share (which still places it in a second-place in the overall OS market).

Analyst Expects New VR Headsets from Facebook, Sony, and Apple in 2022

Ming-Chi Kuo a renowned Apple analyst has recently predicted that we will see at least three new XR products from Facebook, Sony, and Apple in 2022. These predictions come from an analysis of recent lens orders from Taiwanese manufacturer Yujingguang by the three companies. Yujingguang is expected to supply the lenses used in the upcoming Oculus Quest 3, and PlayStation VR 2 along with being a "key-supplier" for Apple's headset. These new lenses will offer an increased field of view and improved image clarity over existing options. The company expects to supply 50% of the demand for Oculus Quest 3 equal to 22 million units while their exact supply for the devices from Sony and Apple is unknown.
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