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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.

NVIDIA and Global Partners Launch New HGX A100 Systems to Accelerate Industrial AI and HPC

NVIDIA today announced it is turbocharging the NVIDIA HGX AI supercomputing platform with new technologies that fuse AI with high performance computing, making supercomputing more useful to a growing number of industries.

To accelerate the new era of industrial AI and HPC, NVIDIA has added three key technologies to its HGX platform: the NVIDIA A100 80 GB PCIe GPU, NVIDIA NDR 400G InfiniBand networking, and NVIDIA Magnum IO GPUDirect Storage software. Together, they provide the extreme performance to enable industrial HPC innovation.

AMD, Samsung Partnership to See Variable Rate Shading, Ray Tracing on Exynos SoC

AMD at its Computex event shed some light on its IP partnership with Samsung. We already knew this was going to be a closer collaboration than most IP licensing deals, as AMD themselves announced this would be a semi-custom solution designed between both companies. AMD CEO Lisa Su described the technology to be embedded in the upcoming Samsung Exynos SoC as being based on RDNA2 - but this likely is just a marketing and clarity perspective on AMD's technology being implemented, since between the design of RDNA2 and the announcement of the Samsung partnership a lot of water has necessarily run under AMD's graphics IP bridge.

Lisa Su did however confirm that two key RDNA2 technologies will find their way into Samsung's Exynos: Variable Rate Shading (VRS) and Raytracing. This isn't he first time VRS has made an appearance on a mobile SoC - it's already been implemented by Qualcomm in the Adreno 660 GPU (part of the Snapdragon 888 SoC design). However, Raytracing does seem to be a first for the SoC market, and Samsung might just edge out competition in its time to market with this technology. more details will certainly be shared as we get closer to the fabled AMD-partnered Exynos release.

Microsoft Boss Teases "Next Generation of Windows" Announcement "Very Soon"

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to the Build Conference to announce "an imminent announcement" on the "next generation of Windows". The Microsoft CEO said that we should be expecting news on a revamped Windows experience that aims to be "one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators". There was no word on when we can expect such an announcement - or even available deployment of such version of windows - but considering this was done during the Build Conference, it makes sense that we actually won't be hearing about this until after the end of the Conference.

It's expected that this "next generation of Windows" comes with a revamped Windows store experience - which we already know Microsoft was prioritizing as of late. At the same time, the new version of windows could possess a radical new interface aesthetic redesign, pushing it more into the digital render space we've been slowly walking towards. Whatever this update actually encompasses, according to Satya Nadella, we won't have to wait too long for it. Look after the break for the excerpt on the release of this "new Windows".

AMD Announces $4 Billion Share Repurchase Program

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced that its Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase program. Under this program, the company intends to repurchase up to $4 billion of outstanding AMD common stock. AMD expects to fund repurchases through cash generated from operations which have been strengthened by the company's strong operational results.

"Today's announcement reflects our confidence in AMD's business and the successful execution of our multi-year growth strategy," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Our strong financial results and growing cash generation enable us to invest in the business and begin returning capital to our shareholders." Under this program, which is designed to return value to AMD stockholders, offset dilution from stock issuances, and reduce share count over time, the company will repurchase stock in the open market. This repurchase program has no termination date and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger Outlines 2020-21 CSR Report, Goals for the Near-Future

The following is an opinion editorial by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. It introduces Intel's 2020-2021 Corporate Responsibility Report: I am honored to return to Intel as CEO, and both humbled by the challenges and excited by the limitless opportunities made possible by the magic of technology.

Digital technology is transforming the world at an accelerated pace, driven by what I call the four "superpowers": cloud, connectivity fueled by 5G, artificial intelligence (Al) and the intelligent edge. They are superpowers because each expands the impact of the others. And together, they are reshaping every aspect of our lives and work. This goes straight to Intel's purpose and my own passion: creating world-changing technology that touches and improves the lives of every person on the planet.

VMware Board Names Raghu Raghuram as CEO

VMware today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective June 1, 2021. An industry veteran, Raghuram is a strategic business leader who currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Products and Cloud Services at VMware.

"I am thrilled to have Raghu step into the role of CEO at VMware. Throughout his career, he has led with integrity and conviction, playing an instrumental role in the success of VMware," commented Michael Dell, chairman of the VMware Board of Directors. "Raghu is now in position to architect VMware's future, helping customers and partners accelerate their digital businesses in this multi-cloud world."

AMD Earnings Call: GPU Production is Ramping and Mobile GPUs are Set to Arrive Later This Quarter

The current supply of graphics cards has been very tight all over the world. Starting with the launch of the latest Radeon RX 6000 series of GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture, AMD has found itself in big trouble when it comes to supply of the silicon, compared to the demand that exists for these new GPUs. We have discussed that many times in the past and saw that it represents a problem spanning everyone involved in getting the silicon chips to the hands of consumers. On Tuesday, April 27th, AMD held its Q1 2021 earnings call and webcast, where the company executives talked about the company's future, underlying problems, and ways of addressing them.

Among many topics covered in the call, AMD's President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, has talked about the GPU supply. According to Dr. Su, the company is ramping the production of its Radeon graphics cards, adding that the mobile Radeon GPU lineup is lurking. Here is a full quote from the earnings call.
Dr. Lisa Su—AMD Q1 2021 Earning CallAnd we're well-positioned for further growth as we have tripled our commercial notebook design wins with the largest OEMs this year. In graphics, revenue increased by a strong double-digit percentage year over year and sequentially, led by channel sales growth as revenue from our high-end Radeon 6000 GPUs more than doubled from the prior quarter. We introduced our Radeon 6700 XT desktop GPU with leadership 1440p gaming performance in March and are on track for the first notebooks featuring our leading-edge mobile RDNA 2 architecture to launch later this quarter. We expect Radeon 6000 Series GPU sales to grow significantly over the coming quarters as we ramp production.

Epic Games Announces $1 Billion Funding Round

Today Epic Games announced that it completed a $1 billion round of funding, which will allow the company to support future growth opportunities. Epic's equity valuation is now $28.7 billion.

This round includes an additional $200M strategic investment from Sony Group Corporation, which builds on the already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces their shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services. Other investment partners include Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, GIC, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Park West, KKR, AllianceBernstein, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton and Luxor Capital. Epic continues to have only a single class of common stock outstanding and CEO Tim Sweeney remains the controlling shareholder of the company.

Intel CEO on NVIDIA CPUs: They Are Responding to Us

NVIDIA has recently announced the company's first standalone Grace CPU that will come out as a product in 2023. NVIDIA has designed Grace on Arm ISA, likely ARM v9, to represent a new way that data centers are built and deliver a whole new level of HPC and AI performance. However, the CPU competition in a data center space is considered one of the hardest markets to enter. Usually, the market is a duopoly between Intel and AMD, which supply x86 processors to server vendors. In the past few years, there have been few Arm CPUs that managed to enter the data canter space, however, NVIDIA is aiming to deliver much more performance and grab a bigger piece of the market.

As a self-proclaimed leader in AI, Intel is facing hard competition from NVIDIA in the coming years. In an interview with Fortune, Intel's new CEO Pat Gelsinger has talked about NVIDIA and how the company sees the competition between the two. Mr. Gelsinger is claiming that Intel is a leader in CPUs that feature AI acceleration built in the chip and that they are not playing defense, but rather offense against NVIDIA. You can check out the whole quote from the interview below.

NVIDIA Extends Data Center Infrastructure Processing Roadmap with BlueField-3 DPU

NVIDIA today announced the NVIDIA BlueField -3 DPU, its next-generation data processing unit, to deliver the most powerful software-defined networking, storage and cybersecurity acceleration capabilities available for data centers.

The first DPU built for AI and accelerated computing, BlueField-3 lets every enterprise deliver applications at any scale with industry-leading performance and data center security. It is optimized for multi-tenant, cloud-native environments, offering software-defined, hardware-accelerated networking, storage, security and management services at data-center scale.

NVIDIA Announces Grace CPU for Giant AI and High Performance Computing Workloads

NVIDIA today announced its first data center CPU, an Arm-based processor that will deliver 10x the performance of today's fastest servers on the most complex AI and high performance computing workloads.

The result of more than 10,000 engineering years of work, the NVIDIA Grace CPU is designed to address the computing requirements for the world's most advanced applications—including natural language processing, recommender systems and AI supercomputing—that analyze enormous datasets requiring both ultra-fast compute performance and massive memory. It combines energy-efficient Arm CPU cores with an innovative low-power memory subsystem to deliver high performance with great efficiency.

NVIDIA Announces New DGX SuperPOD, the First Cloud-Native, Multi-Tenant Supercomputer, Opening World of AI to Enterprise

NVIDIA today unveiled the world's first cloud-native, multi-tenant AI supercomputer—the next-generation NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD featuring NVIDIA BlueField -2 DPUs. Fortifying the DGX SuperPOD with BlueField-2 DPUs—data processing units that offload, accelerate and isolate users' data—provides customers with secure connections to their AI infrastructure.

The company also announced NVIDIA Base Command, which enables multiple users and IT teams to securely access, share and operate their DGX SuperPOD infrastructure. Base Command coordinates AI training and operations on DGX SuperPOD infrastructure to enable the work of teams of data scientists and developers located around the globe.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger Announces "Intel Unleashed" Webcast on March 23rd

Recently appointed Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has announced via Twitter that the company will be holding a webcast on March 23rd - likely in the toes of Rocket Lake's actual release, which is expected towards the end of the month. The webcast, titled "Intel Unleashed", seems to serve as the premier event with Pat Gelsinger firmly entrenched on Intel's reins, and should be a tour de force for Intel's strengths, planned execution on product development and release, and growth opportunities - and, if we're being honest, a frontal recognizance of Intel's current weaknesses. for now, the only information Pat Gelsinger put forwards is that this is a business update, and that "exciting things" are coming in 2021.

Pat Gelsinger Becomes CEO of Intel

Today marks Intel's official CEO transition as Pat Gelsinger becomes the company's eighth chief executive officer in its history. Gelsinger is an accomplished CEO and industry veteran with more than four decades of technology and leadership experience - including 30 years at Intel, where he began his career.

Gelsinger shared his thoughts on returning to lead the company, saying:
"As the incoming CEO, I am just really thrilled that we have the opportunity to take this great icon of a company, this company that has been crucial to every aspect of technology, and have it be that leader again into the future. Because I believe that Intel has a treasure trove of technologists, of technology, and ultimately its core DNA is being that technology leader for the future. I'm just thrilled as a technologist, as a geek at heart, to be able to be in that leadership role to help bring the passions, the history, the opportunity of this great company forward as never before. Our best days are in front of us."

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."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat Gelsinger: "Intel Has to be Better at Making CPUs Than That Lifestyle Company"

Intel's future CEO Pat Gelsinger, who supersedes current CEO Bob Swan come February 15th, has reportedly compared Intel with Apple's efforts, in wake of that company's decision to leave the Intel ecosystem in favor of in-house designed ARM CPUs. As Apple M1-powered devices hit reviewers' tables, the opinions mostly went one-sided in favor of Apple's decision, clamoring for that particular CPU design to be only lightly short of a computing miracle, considering the amount of computing power provided at that chip's TDP, and running circles around Apple's previous Intel implementations.

According to The Oregonian, a local newspaper from (you guessed it) Oregon where Intel has a strong branch presence, Intel held an all-hands meeting of its Oregon workforce, attended by future Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is quoted as having remarked that "We [Intel] have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino makes. We have to be that good, in the future." Considering how Apple's M1 has raised the world's attention to the ARM architecture as a competitor with strong enough arguments to face the x86 ecosystem (as if ARM powering the world's current fastest supercomputer wasn't a strong enough argument), that seems like a strong yet adequate statement. We'll see how Intel fares with its Alder lake CPUs, which essentially bring ARM's design philosophy of an heterogeneous CPU with both high-performance and high-efficiency cores to the x86 table.

Intel CEO Bob Swan to Step Down Effective February

The midnight bell seems to have struck for Intel CEO Bob Swan, with Intel announcing his departure from the CEO position effective February 15th. The news comes after a two-year tenure as Intel's CEO, in addition to seven additional months in which Bob Swan served as interim Intel CEO before officially assuming the position. VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger will take over the CEO chair, and following this announcement, Intel's stock surged by more than 10%, while VMWare's stock dipped by 5% on the prospect of losing its CEO.

Patrick Gelsinger formerly served under Intel, where he climbed the ranks until reaching the coveted CTO position - and also served as Senior Vice-president and General Manager of the Digital Enterprise Group. He is also credited as being one of the driving forces behind the creation of standards such as USB and Wi-Fi, architected the 80486, and played key roles in 14 generations of Intel Core and Xeon processors. Investors expect Gelsinger's technical background to help steer Intel into less troubled waters when it comes to strategy and execution. in wake of Bob Swan's departure, Intel also announced that it expects fourth quarter 2020 revenue and earnings to exceed prior guidance, and that it will take to its January 21st earnings report to discuss the "strong progress" achieved by the company in the in-development 7 nm node.

Intel CEO Says Using Competitor's Semiconductor Process in Intel Fabs is an Option

Semiconductor manufacturing is not an easy feat to achieve. Especially if you are constantly chasing the smaller and smaller node. Intel knows this the best. The company has had a smooth transition from other nodes to the smaller ones until the 10 nm node came up. It has brought Intel years of additional delay and tons of cost improving the yields of a node that was seeming broken. Yesterday the company announced the new Tiger Lake-H processors for laptops that are built using the 10 nm process, however, we are questioning whatever Intel can keep up with the semiconductor industry and deliver the newest nodes on time, and with ease. During an interview with Intel's CEO Bob Swan, we can get a glimpse of Intel's plans for the future of semiconductors at the company.

In the interview, Mr. Swan has spoken about the technical side of Intel and how the company plans to utilize its Fabs. The first question everyone was wondering was about the state of 10 nm. The node is doing well as three Fabs are ramping up capacity every day, and more products are expected to arrive on that node. Mr. Swan has also talked about outsourcing chip production, to which he responded by outlining the advantage Intel has with its Fabs. He said that outsourcing is what is giving us shortages like AMD and NVIDIA experience, and Intel had much less problems. Additionally, Mr. Swan was asked about the feasibility of new node development. To that, he responded that there is a possibility that Intel could license its competitor's node and produce it in their Fabs.

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.

Qualcomm Announces Cristiano Amon Appointed Chief Executive Officer-Elect

Qualcomm Incorporated today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously selected Cristiano Amon to succeed Steve Mollenkopf as CEO, effective June 30, 2021. Mollenkopf informed the Board of his decision to retire as CEO following 26 years with the Company. Amon, who has worked at Qualcomm since 1995, is currently President of the Company. Mollenkopf will continue his employment with the Company as a strategic advisor for a period of time.

Mollenkopf, 52, became CEO in March of 2014. He began his career as an engineer and, for nearly three decades, has helped define and lead Qualcomm's strategy and technology roadmap. His work helped propel smartphones into the mainstream and made Qualcomm a leader in 3G, 4G and now 5G, and he also oversaw the expansion into new industry segments such as the Internet of Things (IoT), RF Front End and Automotive. He was also instrumental in the Company's rise as a smartphone technology supplier. In addition, Mollenkopf successfully guided the Company through a number of extraordinary circumstances and challenges and begins the CEO transition process with the Company stabilized and well-positioned to continue to grow and drive value.

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.
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