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New Year, New Heights: NETGEAR Builds On WiFi 6E Leadership With Latest Nighthawk WiFi 6E Tri-band Router

-NETGEAR, Inc. the leading provider of award-winning connected products designed to simplify and improve people's lives, today introduced a new router to its award-winning WiFi 6E lineup. Building on the success of the Nighthawk RAXE500, a 2021 CES Innovation Award honoree, the Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-band WiFi 6E Router provides speeds up to 7.8 Gbps while leveraging the new era of fast connectivity on the 6 GHz band, free of interference and congestion.

The pandemic has irreversibly accelerated the world's dependence on WiFi as working, learning and video streaming from home have continued to place unprecedented demands on home WiFi networks. Devices in these ultra-connected households have been in a constant contest for bandwidth on crowded WiFi networks, stressing the need for the new, clean 6 GHz band. NETGEAR's WiFi 6E offering helps to resolve these congestion issues by adding the previously unavailable 6 GHz WiFi spectrum that can be used as an express lane to connect more devices with faster speeds and reliability.

Russian Baikal-S Processor With 48 Arm-Based Cores Boots Up, Uses RISC-V Coprocessor for Safe Boot and Management

In recent years, government institutions have been funding the development of home-grown hardware that will power the government infrastructure. This trend was born out of a desire to design chips with no back doors implemented so that no foreign body could monitor the government's processes. Today, Russian company Baikal Electronics managed to boot up the Baikal-S processor with 48 cores based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). The processor codenamed BE-S1000 manages to operate 48 cores at a 2.0 GHz base frequency, with a maximum boost of 2.5 GHz clock speed. All of that is achieved at the TDP of 120 Watts, making this design very efficient.

When it comes to some server configurations, the Baikal-S processor run in up to four sockets in a server board. It offers a home-grown RISC-V processor for safe boot and management, so the entire SoC is controlled by a custom design. Baikal Electronics provided some benchmark numbers, which you can see in the slides below. They cover SPEC2006 CPU Integer, Coremark, Whetstone, 7Zip, and HPLinkpack performance. Additionally, the company claims that Baikal-S is in line with Intel Xeon Gold 6148 Skylake design and AMD EPYC 7351 CPU based on Zen1 core. Compared to Huawei's Kunpeng 920, the Baikal-S design provides 0.86x performance.

MediaTek Officially Launches Dimensity 9000 Flagship Chip And Announces Adoption by Global Device Makers

MediaTek today launched its Dimensity 9000 5G smartphone chip for next-generation flagship smartphones, and announced device maker adoption and endorsements from some of the world's biggest smartphone brands, including OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi and Honor. The first Dimensity 9000 powered flagship smartphones will be in the market in the first quarter of next year. The Dimensity 9000 - the world's first smartphone built on the ultra-efficient TMSC N4 (4 nm-class) production process - leads the industry in computing performance, gaming, imaging, multimedia and connectivity innovations.

"The Dimensity 9000 is a milestone for MediaTek, highlighting our rise to incredible with a true flagship 5G smartphone chip. This chip signals MediaTek and our Dimensity family has entered a new phase of innovation," said Dr. Yenchi Lee, Deputy General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit. "The Dimensity 9000 is the most powerful and energy-efficient chip to date, delivering a number of industry firsts and a full suite of features for the most discerning tech enthusiasts."

EU Pauses Investigation Into NVIDIA's ARM Acquisition as They Await Further Information

EU antitrust regulators have paused their probe into NVIDIA's proposed $40 billion acquisition of ARM as they await further information. This takeover which would be the largest chip merger in history is now "highly unlikely" according to analysts as regulators from the FTC in the US are suing to block the deal. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is also undergoing an in-depth investigation to discover potential national security risks and competition concerns. These competition concerns are shared by the FTC who state that the acquisition would stifle innovation in next-generation technologies and would distort Arm's incentives to benefit NVIDIA by undermining rivals. NVIDIA has originally hoped to complete the deal within 2 years however this timeline is now unachievable as noted by CEO Jensen Huang in August.

FTC Sues to Block $40 Billion Semiconductor NVIDIA and Arm Chip Merger

The Federal Trade Commission today sued to block U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp.'s $40 billion acquisition of U.K. chip design provider Arm Ltd. Semiconductor chips power the computers and technologies that are essential to our modern economy and society. The proposed vertical deal would give one of the largest chip companies control over the computing technology and designs that rival firms rely on to develop their own competing chips. The FTC's complaint alleges that the combined firm would have the means and incentive to stifle innovative next-generation technologies, including those used to run datacenters and driver-assistance systems in cars.

"The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies," said FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova. "Tomorrow's technologies depend on preserving today's competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm's incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia's rivals. The FTC's lawsuit should send a strong signal that we will act aggressively to protect our critical infrastructure markets from illegal vertical mergers that have far-reaching and damaging effects on future innovations."

Amazon Announces Arm Based Graviton3 Processors, Opens up EC2 C7g Preview Instances

As Amazon is continuing to grow its AWS business, both with new instances powered by AMD's third generation of EPYC processors and it's new EC2 C5g instances powered by its current Graviton2 processors and Nvidia's T4G tensor core GPUs. However, the company is also opening up its first EC2 C7g preview instances using its brand new Graviton3 processors, which the company claims offer vastly improved performance over the Graviton2 on specific workloads.

EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud and judging by the fact that the Graviton3 is said to have up to twice as past FPU performance for scientific workloads and being twice as fast for cryptographic workloads and up to three times faster for machine learning workloads, you can guess who these new EC2 instances are intended for. Amazon didn't reveal much in terms of technical details about the Graviton3, but it'll utilize DDR5 memory, which makes it one of the first, if not the first server CPU to use DDR5. It's also said to use up to 60 percent less energy than the Graviton2, while delivering up to 25 percent more compute performance. It's implied that it uses the Arm v9 architecture and the Neoverse N2 Arm cores, although this hasn't been officially announced.

Samsung Introduces Three New Logic Solutions to Power the Next Generation of Automobiles

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today introduced three of its latest automotive chip solutions: the Exynos Auto T5123 for 5G connectivity, the Exynos Auto V7 for comprehensive in-vehicle infotainment systems, and the ASIL-B certified S2VPS01 power management IC (PMIC) for the Auto V series.

"Smarter and more connected automotive technologies for enriched in-vehicle experiences including entertainment, safety and comfort are becoming critical features on the road," said Jaehong Park, Executive Vice President of System LSI Custom SOC Business at Samsung Electronics. "With an advanced 5G modem, an AI-enhanced multi-core processor, and a market-proven PMIC solution, Samsung is transfusing its expertise in mobile solutions into its automotive lineup and is positioned to expand its presence within the field."

MediaTek's Pentonic 2000 is World's first TV SoC with H.266 support

With ever increasing computational needs from TV SoCs, as we're moving towards higher resolutions and refresh rates, MediaTek is getting ready for the next generation of 8K TVs with its new Pentonic 2000 SoC. This is the world's first TV SoC to support the new H.266 video codec standard, which is an evolution of the H.265 intended for 8K content.

The Pentonic 2000 is fabbed using TSMC's N7 node and it's the first commercial TV SoC to be made on this manufacturing process according to MediaTek. The SoC supports 8K resolution content at up to 120 Hz with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) and has an integrated AI engine to help improve scaling from lower resolutions. MediaTek also claims that the Pentonic 2000 features the "industry's most powerful CPU and GPU" in a smart TV SoC, without giving away any actual details, although it the SoC does support UFS 3.1 storage, which suggests that we're looking at a recent Arm Cortex-A7x based SoC at the very least.

MediaTek Announces Flagship Dimensity 9000 5G SoC on TSMC 4 nm

A few years ago, MediaTek decided to leave the high-end mobile device SoC space as it decided to focus on the mid-range and entry level market, but as of today, that is no longer the case. The company has announced its new flagship Dimensity 9000 SoC and it packs all the latest cutting edge mobile SoC features you'd expect to see.

The Dimensity 9000 is based entirely on the new Arm v9 architecture and the chip itself is built in TSMC's 4 nm node, which gives MediaTek a lead on all its competitors, but Apple. As for the Arm cores in question, the main core is a Cortex-X2 at 3.05 GHz, which is accompanied by three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85 GHz and four power efficient Cortex-A510 cores at 1.8 GHz. All of these new Arm cores were only announced at the end of May this year, so MediaTek has clearly been burning the midnight oil to get the Dimensity 9000 out before its competitors' new chips based on the Arm v9 architecture.

MediaTek Announces New Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 Controllers

MediaTek today announced the new MediaTek Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A system-on-chips (SoCs) which both integrate a microprocessor (MCU), AI engine, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 subsystems, and a power management unit (PMU) into a single chip. Filogic 130A also integrates an audio digital signal processor to allow device makers to easily add voice assistants and other services into their products. These all-in-one solutions deliver energy-efficient, reliable and high performance connectivity in small form factor designs that are ideal for a wide range of IoT devices.

"In the coming years, advanced connectivity technologies like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 will become a must-have for smart home devices with the increasing need for more AI processing power, energy efficiency and robust security. MediaTek's Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A solutions offer the perfect combination of features to help drive this transition," said Alan Hsu, Corporate Vice President & General Manager, Intelligent Connectivity at MediaTek. "Each solution has a highly integrated design that packs the latest on-chip processing and power-management technologies into an ultra-small design no bigger than the size of a thumbnail."

Qualcomm Says PC Transition to Arm-based Processors is Certain, to Launch High-Performance SoCs in 2023

Qualcomm has been in the game of creating SoCs for the PC market with the company's Snapdragon lineup. These processors mainly were beefed-up versions of their mobile designs and were based on the Arm instruction set architecture (ISA). Microsoft has backed this effort by creation Windows-on-Arm (WoA) project that enables the Windows OS to operate on Arm processors. However, up until now, Qualcomm's designs were not very powerful as they represented a relatively moderate approach to the problem and almost made no sense of purchase compared to the standard laptops equipped with x86 processors from AMD and Intel. This is about to change.

According to the news from Investor Day yesterday, Qualcomm is preparing high-performance Arm SoCs for the PC market. The company has recently acquired Nuvia Inc., a startup focused on creating novel IPs based on Arm ISA. And this is what Qualcomm will use in building its next-generation PC processors. As the company plans, in August of 2022, it should start sampling OEM partners with these new chips, and we will be seeing them in consumers' hands in early 2023. If everything goes as planned, this should represent direct competition to AMD, Intel, and now Apple in the high-end SoC market. After PCs, the company plans to tackle datacenter, mobile, and automotive market.

Gigabyte Announces H262-P60 Server with Ampere Altra Max Processors

GIGABYTE Technology, today announced at OCP Summit support for the Ampere Altra Max processor and unveiled the new GIGABYTE high-density server, H262-P60, that embodies performance and scalability for HPC clusters and HCI. The Ampere Altra processor has also shown great power efficiency in cloud and edge applications while gaining momentum as it uses Arm architecture to give x86 a run for its money.

The competitiveness of Ampere Altra processors and ARMv8 64-bit architecture has become even more apparent as the Ampere Altra Max processor maintains the same 250 W TDP as Ampere Altra and is pin-to-pin compatible, yet it is able to add 60% more cores for up to 128 cores. For networking, storage, or accelerators the single socket supports 128 PCIe lanes, while the dual socket configuration for Altra Max will support 192 PCIe lanes. The H262-P60 will ship with updated support for Altra Max.

NVIDIA Sets Path for Future of Edge AI and Autonomous Machines With New Jetson AGX Orin Robotics Computer

NVIDIA today introduced NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin, the world's smallest, most powerful and energy-efficient AI supercomputer for robotics, autonomous machines, medical devices and other forms of embedded computing at the edge. Built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, Jetson AGX Orin provides 6x the processing power and maintains form factor and pin compatibility with its predecessor, Jetson AGX Xavier. It delivers 200 trillion operations per second, similar to that of a GPU-enabled server but in a size that fits in the palm of your hand.

The new Jetson computer accelerates the full NVIDIA AI software stack, allowing developers to deploy the largest, most complex models needed to solve edge AI and robotics challenges in natural language understanding, 3D perception, multisensor fusion and more. "As robotics and embedded computing transform manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transportation, smart cities and other essential sectors of the economy, the demand for processing continues to surge," said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of embedded and edge computing at NVIDIA. "Jetson AGX Orin addresses this need, enabling the 850,000 Jetson developers and over 6,000 companies building commercial products on it to create and deploy autonomous machines and edge AI applications that once seemed impossible."

NVIDIA Quantum-2 Takes Supercomputing to New Heights, Into the Cloud

NVIDIA today announced NVIDIA Quantum-2, the next generation of its InfiniBand networking platform, which offers the extreme performance, broad accessibility and strong security needed by cloud computing providers and supercomputing centers.

The most advanced end-to-end networking platform ever built, NVIDIA Quantum-2 is a 400 Gbps InfiniBand networking platform that consists of the NVIDIA Quantum-2 switch, the ConnectX-7 network adapter, the BlueField-3 data processing unit (DPU) and all the software that supports the new architecture.

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W on sale now at $15

It's been nearly six years since we unleashed the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero on an unsuspecting world. Of all the products we've launched, Zero is still the one I'm proudest of: it most perfectly embodies our mission to give people access to tools, and to eliminate cost as a barrier. We've sold nearly four million units of Zero, and its $10 wireless-enabled big brother Zero W, and they've made their way into everything from smart speakers to hospital ventilators. But where our larger products have grown steadily more powerful over the years, we've never found a way to pack more performance into the Zero form factor. Until today.

Priced at $15, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W uses the same Broadcom BCM2710A1 SoC die as the launch version of Raspberry Pi 3, with Arm cores slightly down-clocked to 1GHz, bundled into a single space-saving package alongside 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM. The exact performance uplift over Zero varies across workloads, but for multi-threaded sysbench it is almost exactly five times faster.

Alibaba Goes Anti-x86: Open-Source RISC-V and 128-Core Arm Server Processors on the Horizon

With the x86 architecture, large hyperscale cloud providers have been experiencing all sorts of troubles, from high power consumption to the high pricing structure of these processors. Companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) build their processors based on 3rd party instruction set architecture designs. Today, Alibaba, the Chinese giant, has announced the launch of two processors made in-house to serve everything from edge to central server processing. First in line is the RISC-V-based Xuantie series of processors, which can run anything from AliOS, FreeRTOS, RT-Thread, Linux, Android, etc., to other operating systems as well. These processors are open-source, capable of modest processing capabilities, and designed as IPs that anyone can use. You can check them out on T-Head GitHub repositories here.

The other thing that Alibaba announced is the development of a 128-core custom processor based on the Arm architecture. Called Yitian 710 server SoC, TSMC manufactures it on the company on 5 nm semiconductor node. So far, Alibaba didn't reveal any details about the SoC and what Arm cores are used. However, this signifies that the company seeks technology independence from outside sources and wants to take it all in-house. With custom RISC-V processors for lower-power tasks and custom Arm server CPUs, the whole infrastructure is covered. It is just a matter of time before Alibaba starts to replace x86 makers in full. However, given the significant number of chips that the company needs, it may not happen at any sooner date.

NVIDIA's Now $54 Billion Arm Acquisition Hits Major Snag with the European Commission, Offers Concessions

It looks like NVIDIA's acquisition of Arm Holdings Plc from Japan's SoftBank, has hit its biggest regulatory hurdle, with the European Commission, the apex executive body of the European Union, deliberating on whether the deal requires a thorough investigation lasting 4 months. Reuters reports that NVIDIA offered the Commission certain "concessions," which may affect the way Arm operates under NVIDIA. The Commission did not disclose these concessions, but mentioned that it will take until October 27 to decide whether or not they merit further investigation.

NVIDIA's Arm acquisition has split the Arm licensee industry along the median. The likes of Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung, have voiced serious concerns over the deal. They fear that as a high-performance SoC designer itself, NVIDIA will withhold the most advanced bits of the Arm IP to itself, giving it a competitive edge over licensees. Not all companies see it this way, with Broadcom, MediaTek, and Marvell openly endorsing the deal. It's interesting to note here, that Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm, make faster smartphone SoCs than MediaTek, Broadcom, and Marvell (and their subsidiaries) do.

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.

AMD "Stands Ready to Manufacture Arm Chips" According to CFO

AMD Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar has recently commented that the company "stands ready to manufacture Arm chips" if demand from business customers exists. These remarks were made at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference held last week and build on comments made by CEO Dr. Lisa Su earlier this year confirming the companies willingness to create Arm chips. AMD has some experience creating Arm products with its K12 architecture which never reached market and their embedded microcontrollers such as the Platform Security Processors. While AMD hasn't confirmed if they have any current Arm projects underway there appears to be interest from customers which AMD is more than happy to fulfill. The pending sale of Arm to NVIDIA may complicate this if NVIDIA reneges on their pledge to continue Arm's open licensing system.

SSD-Insider++ Promises Ransomware-free SSDs

Over the past couple of years there has been a huge increase in ransomware attacks, and now scientists claim to have a solution that could help protect SSDs from getting encrypted by ransomware. The SSD-Insider++, as the solution has been named, claims to be able to detect ransomware activity and reverse the encryption on the fly.

SSD-Insider++ was developed by a group of engineers from South Korea's Inha University, Daegu Institute of Science and Technology, and the Cyber Security Department at Ewha Womans University (EWU), as well as a researcher from the University of Central Florida in the US. It's a firmware level based protection that looks for patterns of ransomware activity on the drive and stops it before any damage has been done.

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.

NVIDIA-Arm Acquisition Raises "Significant Competition Concerns:" UK Competition Regulator

The proposed $40 billion acquisition of Arm Holdings Plc from SoftBank by NVIDIA raises "significant competition concerns," says the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The scathing report by the UK's competition regulator goes on to say that the merger will stifle innovation. "We're concerned that NVIDIA controlling Arm could create real problems for NVIDIA's rivals by limiting their access to key technologies, and ultimately stifling innovation across a number of important and growing markets. This could end up with consumers missing out on new products, or prices going up," it reads.

In its first reaction, NVIDIA sought time to address CMA's concerns. "We look forward to the opportunity to address the CMA's initial views and resolve any concerns the Government may have. We remain confident that this transaction will be beneficial to Arm, its licensees, competition, and the UK," the company said. Although a subsidiary of Japan's Softbank, the report by UK's competition regulator does have some bearing on the fate of Arm, which remains headquartered in the UK.

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Second Quarter Fiscal 2022

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) today reported record revenue for the second quarter ended August 1, 2021, of $6.51 billion, up 68 percent from a year earlier and up 15 percent from the previous quarter, with record revenue from the company's Gaming, Data Center and Professional Visualization platforms. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.94, up 276 percent from a year ago and up 24 percent from the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.04, up 89 percent from a year ago and up 14 percent from the previous quarter.

"NVIDIA's pioneering work in accelerated computing continues to advance graphics, scientific computing and AI," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Enabled by the NVIDIA platform, developers are creating the most impactful technologies of our time - from natural language understanding and recommender systems, to autonomous vehicles and logistic centers, to digital biology and climate science, to metaverse worlds that obey the laws of physics.

MediaTek Announces Dimensity 920 and Dimensity 810 Chips for 5G Smartphones

MediaTek today announced the new Dimensity 920 and Dimensity 810 chipsets, the latest additions to its Dimensity 5G family. This debut gives smartphone makers the ability to provide boosted performance, brilliant imaging and smarter displays to their customers.

Designed for powerful 5G smartphones, the Dimensity 920 balances performance, power and cost to provide an incredible mobile experience. Built using the 6nm high-performance manufacturing node, it supports intelligent displays and hardware-based 4K HDR video capture, while also offering a 9% boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor, the Dimensity 900.

NVIDIA-ARM Acquisition Facing Delays, Still Pending Regulatory Approvals

The NVIDIA acquisition of ARM from the clutches of Softbank (for a cool, $40 billion) is increasingly looking stretched towards the future. When the acquisition deal was first announced back in September 14th, 2020, NVIDIA announced it expected the business to be closed within an 18-month timeframe, which would place it towards March 2022. However, that objective may prove to have been set too aggressively; we're now in July, and NVIDIA still hasn't received any sort of regulatory approval towards its embattled, and mostly negatively received, plans for the acquisition of ARM.

Particularly here is NVIDIA's submission of the acquisition deal towards the European Commission - which still hasn't happened. Seeking regulatory approval on acquisitions usually is a bureaucratic minefield; even more so when we're talking about tech industry giants such as NVIDIA and ARM and the possibility of market monopolization. It's expected that any regulatory appraisal of the acquisition will take upwards of six months, considering the scope, scale, and legal hurdles involved, and with the European Commission's summer holidays starting today, NVIDIA will now only be able to submit acquisition documentation come September. That gives the European Commission only six months to evaluate an acquisition of this magnitude if NVIDIA were to complete the deal in its announced timeframe; regulators, however, usually aren't too interested in bending over backwards to accelerate timeframes just because of a company's interest, even if that company is NVIDIA. Should the acquisition go wayside or be delayed far too long for ARM's interests, the company is expected to opt for an IPO so as to raise investment.
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