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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 Call
And 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.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Present at CES 2021 Virtual Keynote

AMD has just had quite an amazing year. From the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs based on Zen 3 architecture to RDNA 2 based graphics cards, the company has been delivering new solutions in a timely manner. With the upcoming tech conference being CES, we are wondering which companies are going to hold their keynotes virtually. Thanks to the official CES website, we have confirmation that AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su will hold a virtual keynote with the goal of "presenting the AMD vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment, and gaming, including a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions." That could mean that we could possibly see some new directions for the company and how AMD plans to develop next-generation computing solutions, so stay tuned for more interesting information coming your way on January 11th, when CES kicks-off.

Razer Announces Expansion to Many More Gaming Peripheral Segments at RazerCon 2020

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, made October 10, 2020 a day to remember for the global gaming community. Fans across the world tuned in to the inaugural RazerCon to watch Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan's live mixed-reality keynote - a one-of-a-kind interactive session hosted against the iconic Singapore skyline. This was followed by Razer panels on new and unannounced products, and exclusive content showcases and giveaways from game studios such as Romero Games, Perfect World Entertainment, Paradox Interactive and technology partners such as Intel, NVIDIA and Western Digital.

The event was a huge hit with the fans, peaking at over 1 million concurrent viewers with a total of more than 250,000 hours viewed and 175 million impressions across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. In a true celebration of all things gaming, highly decorated veterans of the industry, including Brenda and John Romero, and Haz Dullul, presented their newest projects, whilst leading gaming celebrities CloakZy, CourageJD, PaladinAmber and many others engaged with the community during their sessions.

AMD Big Navi Performance Claims Compared to TPU's Own Benchmark Numbers of Comparable GPUs

AMD in its October 8 online launch event for the Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" processors, provided a teaser of the company's next flagship graphics card slotted in the Radeon RX 6000 series. This particular SKU has been referred to by company CEO Lisa Su as "Big Navi," meaning it could be the top part from AMD's upcoming client GPU lineup. As part of the teaser, Su held up the reference design card, and provided three performance numbers of the card as tested on a machine powered by a Ryzen 9 5900X "Zen 3" processor. We compared these performance numbers, obtained at 4K UHD, with our own testing data for the games, to see how the card compares to other current-gen cards in its class. Our testing data for one of the games is from the latest RTX 30-series reviews, find details of our test bed here. We obviously have a different CPU since the 5900X is unreleased, but use the highest presets in our testing.

With "Borderlands 3" at 4K, with "badass" performance preset and DirectX 12 renderer, AMD claims a frame-rate of 61 FPS. We tested the game with its DirectX 12 renderer in our dedicated performance review (test bed details here). AMD's claimed performance ends up 45.9 percent higher than that of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti as tested by us, which yields 41.8 FPS on our test bed. The RTX 3080 ends up 15.24 percent faster than Big Navi, with 70.3 FPS. It's important to note here that AMD may be using a different/lighter test scene than us, since we don't use internal benchmark tools of games, and design our own test scenes. It's also important to note that we tested Borderlands 3 with DirectX 12 only in the game's launch-day review, and use the DirectX 11 renderer in our regular VGA reviews.

NVIDIA Building UK's Most Powerful Supercomputer, Dedicated to AI Research in Healthcare

NVIDIA today announced that it is building the United Kingdom's most powerful supercomputer, which it will make available to U.K. healthcare researchers using AI to solve pressing medical challenges, including those presented by COVID-19.

Expected to come online by year end, the "Cambridge-1" supercomputer will be an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD system capable of delivering more than 400 petaflops of AI performance and 8 petaflops of Linpack performance, which would rank it No. 29 on the latest TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers. It will also rank among the world's top 3 most energy-efficient supercomputers on the current Green500 list.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Receive Semiconductor Industry's Top Honor

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD and an accomplished leader in advancing semiconductor technology, has been named the 2020 recipient of SIA's highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award. SIA presents the Noyce Award annually in recognition of a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry in technology or public policy. Dr. Su will accept the award at the SIA Leadership Forum and Award Celebration, a virtual event that will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

"A tremendous leader in our industry, Lisa Su has successfully advanced leading-edge semiconductor and high-performance computing technologies throughout her career as an accomplished business executive and engineer," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Lisa's outstanding achievements have significantly strengthened the semiconductor industry and America's global technology leadership, and she has inspired and opened doors for countless others in tech along the way. On behalf of the SIA board of directors, it is my pleasure to announce Lisa as the 2020 Robert N. Noyce Award recipient in recognition of her impressive accomplishments."

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 "CEO Edition" Rears its Head, Most Likely a Fake

Social media is abuzz with a screengrab of a regional webpage of the NVIDIA website purporting a "GeForce RTX 3090 CEO Edition" graphics card. Positioned a notch above the "Founders Edition," this $3,499 card, if even remotely real, could be a limited edition product. The screengrab references "48 GB of G6X" memory. We're not sure how this is even possible. The RTX 3090 already uses 8 Gbit GDDR6X chips, piggybacking two chips per 32-bit memory channel, unless Micron has done the unthinkable by launching a 16 Gbit G6X chip within 2020. Frankly, we're very interested to see how the next-gen Quadro RTX even achieves its alleged 48 GB of GDDR6.

That aside, the alloy frame now comes with a gold finish. We wonder if memory and a fancy trim is all that NVIDIA is asking the extra 2 Grand for, or if it even maxed out the "GA102" ASIC (there are two more TPCs left to unlock). As for the name "CEO Edition," there have been instances of tech CEOs flexing their vanity on limited edition products. Limited edition Ryzen and Radeon products, for example, bear the AMD CEO's signature. So the name "CEO Edition" by itself isn't implausible. Just not with these specs, and not this price.

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) today announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together, "SoftBank") in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to NVIDIA's non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP earnings per share.

The combination brings together NVIDIA's leading AI computing platform with Arm's vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets. SoftBank will remain committed to Arm's long-term success through its ownership stake in NVIDIA, expected to be under 10 percent.
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