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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.

Fortnite Gets Kicked Out From Google and Apple App Stores, Epic Games Files a Lawsuit

Today, Epic Games has decided to file a lawsuit against both Apple and Google after both companies removed Fortnite form their platform app stores (Google Play and Apple App Store). Firstly, Apple has decided to remove the Fortnite app to form its App Store because the game violated the company's policy that all in-game payments must go through the Apple App Store system, instead of them being processed directly. That means that Apple can also apply its 30% cut on all the payments made in-game. After Apple has revoked the Fortnite app, Epic Games has decided to file a lawsuit that aims to fight the company's monopoly and make the iOS platform more developer-friendly. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Epic will not seek or accept any special deal that Apple may offer, but rather wants to fight for all developers.

Just hours after Apple decided to pull the Fortnite game from its App Store, Google has also removed the game from its Google Play Store. Google's Play Store policy about in-app payments says that all games must use Google Play in-app billing if they want to process payments, so Fortnite was pulled from it as well. In light of that move, Epic Games has also filed a lawsuit against Google on the same terms. The company wants to fight both Apple and Google in court and make them be more developer-friendly, especially Apple. We have to wait and see how the case progresses. Being that Apple is almost a $2 trillion company, it can surely afford lots of good lawyers, just as Google will. We want to express our support for Epic Games for going in the right direction, as we do need more open ecosystems.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Claims Free Game Giveaways Increase Sales On Other Platforms

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney claimed that the free game giveaways run on the Epic Games Store such as Sid Meier's Civilization VI and Grand Theft Auto V can lead to increased sales of the games on other platforms. Tim Sweeney believes that because many of the games given away may not have been considered by most players leading to increased sales on alternate platforms according to some developers.

Tim Sweeney said, "You're not going to go out and buy—If you're not into games like Satisfactory, you're not going to go out and spend money to buy Satisfactory. But if you get it for free you realize it's an awesome game. People have discovered a lot of great games that way."

Take-Two CEO Calls Google Stadia a "Dissapointment"

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick sounded very positive about Google Stadia just one year ago, saying he was "pretty optimistic" about the service. Zelnick said "being able to play our games on any device whatsoever around the world, and to do it with low latency, well that's very compelling if that can be delivered," about the service in May 2019.

In a recent interview last week Zelnick has acknowledged the lackluster success of the platform saying "the launch of Stadia has been slow," and "I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result." Zelnick questioned the point of such a service when the games are selling for 60 USD+ and a console of similar performance without any of the drawbacks of an online service can be had for just 300 USD. It will be interesting to see the fate of the collection of game streaming services that have popped up over the last few years.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang has been Cooking the World's Largest GPU - Is this Ampere?

NVIDIA is rumored to introduce their next-generation Ampere architecture very soon, at its GTC event happening on May 14th. We're expecting to see an announcement for the successor to the company's DGX lineup of pre-built compute systems—using the upcoming Ampere architecture of course. At the heart of these machines, will be a new GA100 GPU, that's rumored to be very fast. A while ago, we've seen NVIDIA register a trademark for "DGX A100", which seems to be a credible name for these systems featuring the new Tesla A100 graphics cards.

Today, NVIDIA's CEO was spotted in an unlisted video that's published on the official NVIDIA YouTube channel. It shows him pulling out of the oven what he calls "world's largest GPU", that he has been cooking all the time. Featuring eight Tesla A100 GPUs, this DGX A100 system appears to be based on a similar platform design as previous DGX systems, where the GPU is a socketed SXM2 design. This looks like a viable upgrade path for owners of previous DGX systems—just swap out the GPUs and enjoy higher performance. It's been a while since we have seen Mr. Huang appear with his leather jacket, and in the video, he isn't wearing one, is this the real Jensen? Jokes aside, you can check out the video below, if it is not taken down soon.
NVIDIA DGX A100 System
Update May 12th, 5 pm UTC: NVIDIA has listed the video and it is not unlisted anymore.

New Date for Postponed NVIDIA GTC 2020 Keynote Under "Get AMPED" Teaser: May 14th

NVIDIA has announced that their annual GTC (Graphics Technology Conference) keynote will be held on May 14th, via a fully online distribution through YouTube set for 6 a.m. PST. Originally canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NVIDIA planned to make a digital-only event covering GTC on the same day of March 23rd, but elected to postpone it since "there were no announcements that were too critical not to be able to be told at a later time". The "Get AMPED" catchphrase does seem to point to some Ampere announcements, though, and the entire PC enthusiast community very much thinks that is one critical announcement.

The GTC 2020 note will be a recorded announcement led by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang. The leather jacket-toting CEO will highlight the company's latest innovations in AI, high performance computing, data science, autonomous machines, healthcare and graphics during the recorded keynote, which will be made available, on demand, on YouTube. Starting on May 19th, though, the graphics technology event will continue via live webinars, demos, and recorded talks discussing the very latest in AI, HPC, data science, graphics, and more.

NVIDIA: "GTC News Can Wait"

NVIDIA was supposed to launch its next-generation "Ampere" lineup of server-class GPUs at this year's GTC event. However, NVIDIA's president and CEO, Jensen Huang, shared the news that NVIDIA will now be showcasing the important GTC news it has prepared, but instead will only provide online materials from developers and researchers from all over the world. In the blog update, Mr. Huang said the following: "We have exciting products and news to share with you. But this isn't the right time. We're going to hold off on sharing our GTC news for now. That way, our employees, partners, the media and analysts who follow us, and our customers around the world can focus on staying safe and reducing the spread of the virus."

"We will still stream tons of great content from researchers and developers who have prepared great talks. This is a time to focus on our family, our friends, our community. Our employees are working from home. Many hourly workers will not need to work but they'll all be fully paid. Stay safe everyone. We will get through this together.", he added. While we won't get any new GPUs judging by this announcement, we can expect to see them once this situation is resolved.
NVIDIA GTC

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

AMD Announces Radeon RX 5600 XT Graphics Card

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su at the company's 2020 International CES address announced the company's e-sports flagship graphics card, the Radeon RX 5600 XT. This card is designed to dominate the sub-$300 market-segment that's been led by NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1660-series. Based on 7 nm "Navi" silicon, the RX 5600 XT has surprisingly powerful specs: 2,304 stream processors across 36 RDNA compute units, which is the same as the RX 5700, but with some cost-cutting in the way of memory: 6 GB of GDDR6 across a 192-bit wide memory interface, and 12 Gbps memory speed. The GPU has a gaming engine clock of roughly 1500 MHz. Other key specs include 144 TMUs and 48 ROPs.

Designed with a 150 W typical board power target, the card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The RX 5600 XT is designed to provide 1080p e-sports gaming at high refresh-rates, or 1440p gaming at reasonable graphics settings. In its presentation, AMD showed the RX 5600 XT beating the GTX 1660 Ti that leads NVIDIA's GTX 16-series. With a price of USD $279 SEP, which is on-par with that of the GTX 1660 Ti, AMD looks to bring some serious competition to the $200-300 market-segment. Available January 21, 2020.

Brin and Page Hand the Reins of Alphabet to Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page announced on Tuesday that they relinquished control of Alphabet, Google's parent holding company, to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The two will remain employees of Alphabet and sit on its board of directors, but will no longer hold the positions of CEO or President. Brin was Alphabet's President, and Page its CEO. Pichai will now be CEO of not just Google, but also Alphabet. This gives him executive control over Alphabet's other subsidiaries, such as CaptalG, Google Fiber, Loon, Waymo, and DeepMind.

"Going forward, Sundar will be the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. He will be the executive responsible and accountable for leading Google, and managing Alphabet's investment in our portfolio of Other Bets. We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders. In addition, we plan to continue talking with Sundar regularly, especially on topics we're passionate about!," the duo said in their blog post announcing the change. Google reorganized itself as Alphabet in 2015 with Eric Schmidt as executive chairman, making its core business, Google Inc., a subsidiary of a holding company named Alphabet, and its other non-web businesses being spread across as its other subsidiaries. Following Schmidt's 2017 exit, Brin and Page took direct charge.

AMD CEO Lisa Su: "CrossFire Isn't a Significant Focus"

AMD CEO Lisa Su at the Hot Chips conference answered some questions from the attending press. One of these regarded AMD's stance on CrossFire and whether or not it remains a focus for the company. Once the poster child for a scalable consumer graphics future, with AMD even going as far as enabling mixed-GPU support (with debatable merits). Lisa Su came out and said what we all have been seeing happening in the background: "To be honest, the software is going faster than the hardware, I would say that CrossFire isn't a significant focus".

There isn't anything really new here; we've all seen the consumer GPU trends as of late, with CrossFire barely being deserving of mention (and the NVIDIA camp does the same for their SLI technology, which has been cut from all but the higher-tier graphics cards). Support seems to be enabled as more of an afterthought than a "focus", and that's just the way things are. It seems that the old, old practice of buying a lower-tier GPU at launch and then buying an additional graphics processor further down the line to leapfrog performance of higher-performance, single GPU solutions is going the way of the proverbial dodo - at least until an MCM (Multi-Chip-Module) approach sees the light of day, paired with a hardware syncing solution that does away with the software side of things. A true, integrated, software-blind multi-GPU solution comprised of two or more smaller dies than a single monolithic solution seems to be the way to go. We'll see.

NVIDIA CEO Says Buying a GPU Without Ray Tracing "Is Crazy"

During NVIDIA's second quarter earnings call, the company's co-founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, talked about earnings and what drives demand. When talking about sales, Huang noted a few things about NVIDIA's RTX lineup of graphics cards and why buying one is the only reasonable thing to do.

Specifically, Huang said that "SUPER is off to a super start for and at this point, it's a foregone conclusion that we're going to buy a new graphics card, and it's going to the last 2, 3, 4 years to not have ray tracing is just crazy. Ray tracing content just keeps coming out. And between the performance of SUPER and the fact that it has ray tracing hardware, it's going to be super well positioned for throughout all of next year."

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Second Quarter Fiscal 2020

NVIDIA today reported revenue for the second quarter ended July 28, 2019, of $2.58 billion compared with $3.12 billion a year earlier and $2.22 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.90, compared with $1.76 a year ago and $0.64 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.24 compared with $1.94 a year earlier and $0.88 in the previous quarter.

"We achieved sequential growth across our platforms," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Real-time ray tracing is the most important graphics innovation in a decade. Adoption has reached a tipping point, with NVIDIA RTX leading the way. "NVIDIA accelerated computing momentum continues to build as the industry races to enable the next frontier in artificial intelligence, conversational AI, as well as autonomous systems like self-driving vehicles and delivery robots," he said.

News of Lisa Su Leaving AMD Was an Exaggeration: "Zero Truth to This Rumor"

News made the rounds recently of AMD's Lisa Su's reported plans of leaving the company in favor of a #2 position at IBM. The report, which was broken by WCCFTech, pegged Lisa Su as already being sprucing up her successor in the form of Rick Bergman, who recently joined AMD after leaving his CEO position with Synaptics.

Now, Lisa Su herself has come out on Twitter to say that there was zero truth to the report, and that she plans to stay with AMD, where "the best is yet to come". Of course, no CEO would confirm such a report from a media outlet - these things take their time and are done in their own corporate way, and there's really no other response that Lisa Su could have given that wouldn't damage AMD's current outlook. Her presence and confidence in her delivery is part of the reason for investor confidence in AMD. That said, I doubt there would be a better time for Lisa Su to actually move higher up in her own career perspectives than from AMD's current state.

AMD Could Launch New Navi GPUs Soon

AMD's president and CEO Dr. Lisa Su was talking during AMD's Q2 earnings Q&A conference and got asked a very interesting question. When prompted about high end Navi GPUs, Dr. Su answered with "I would say they are coming. You should expect that our execution on those are on track and we have a rich 7 nm portfolio beyond the products that we have already announced in the upcoming quarters."

This answer gives us hope to see more powerful Navi GPUs possibly by the end of the year, meaning that AMD's answer to Turing is almost ready. As we saw earlier in the rumors, we might get additional higher end GPU models in form of alleged RX 5800 and RX 5900, with XT variants available for both of those models. The RX 5800 is supposed to utilize a new GPU core called Navi 12, while the core for RX 5900 is still unknown.

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

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

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

Intel's CEO Blames 10 nm Delay on being "Too Aggressive"

During Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Intel's CEO Bob Swan took stage and talked about the company, about where Intel is now and where they are headed in the future and how the company plans to evolve. Particular focus was put on how Intel became "data centric" from "PC centric," and the struggles it encountered.

However, when asked about the demise of Moore's Law, Swan detailed the aggressiveness that they approached the challenge with. Instead of the regular two times improvement in transistor density every two years, Swan said that Intel has always targeted better and greater densities so that it would stay the leader in the business.

Frank Azor, Alienware Co-Founder, Joins AMD as Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions

Frank Azor is the co-founder of, and brains behind many of Alienware's iconic products that established it as one of the top gaming PC brands on both sides of the Dell acquisition, and had been with the marquee for 21 years. Azor joined AMD today as the company's Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions. CEO Dr Lisa Su welcomed Azor to her team stating "Extremely happy to welcome Azor Frank on his very first day at AMD. Frank is a powerhouse in the industry and we are thrilled to have him as our new chief architect of gaming solutions. Welcome Frank!!" Azor is an end-product (solution) architect, and at AMD he could be the architect of products that combine the company's CPU and GPU IP in ways that haven't been invented yet.

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney: "Exclusives do Work"

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney in a veritable Tweetstorm detailed EPIC's strategy on gaming exclusivity a bit more - and to listen to the CEO, EPIC is doing this as a way to break Steam's grasp on the PC games distribution market and their 30/70 distributor's cut. Asked on games exclusivity and their usage as a digital storefront strategy, Sweeney said that EPIC "believes exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry." He also says that this split is a "disastrous situation for developers and publishers alike."

Sweeney says that other independent storefronts that have been launched over the years (we imagine he's speaking of GOG and Humble Bundle, just to name a few), "none seem to have reached 5% of Steam's scale." He goes on to say that "this leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales." His stance is that EPIC's 12/88 split is fairer for developers (stating that a 30% cut would almost totally cut into their profits), and that this additional money that enters studios' pockets will necessarily be split among "(1) reinvestment, (2) profit, and (3) price reduction", and that in this way, EPIC's solution is both proportionate to the problem, and a move that will benefit gamers in the long run.

MSI CEO: AMD Plans to Stop Being the Value Alternative, X570 Motherboards to be Expensive

MSI's CEO Charles Chiang, quoted by Tom's Hardware at COMPUTEX 2019, laid out what we were already seeing with motherboard designs from all vendors of AMD's X570-based motherboards: pricing is likely increasing across the board, and AMD's market positioning won't be of the alternative, lower-value brand.

As quoted, Chiang said that ""Lots of people ask me, what do you think about today's AMD? I say today's AMD is completely different company compared to two, three, five years ago. They have nice technology and they are there to put the higher spec with the reasonable pricing. But right now they say, "Hey Charles, let's push to marketing to the higher [end]. So let's sell higher-pricing motherboards, higher-spec motherboards, and let's see what will happen in the market. So I don't think that AMD is the company that wants to sell low cost here, low cost there." Which does make sense: AMD isn't in the position of the underdog anymore -at least technology and product-portfolio wise when it comes to consumer CPUs. With better products, comes a desire for higher margins, and a change in direction for a company that was basically forced to almost cut itself out of the market in terms of profits with its previous, non-competitive CPU designs.

Intel on Q1 FY 2019: Servers Down, PC Market Up, Revenue Flat

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock.

"Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high-performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

Epic's Tim Sweeney Says They'd Stop Hunting for Exclusives if Steam Matched Epic Games Store in Comission Rates

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has come out with an interesting commitment: that EPIC would stop hunting for exclusives in the PC platform is Steam were to match them in their 88% return to developers for each game sold. Being a developer themselves, Epic games have certainly looked into creating their own storefront as a way to escape the clutches of Steam's cut in the digital, PC distribution market (a move that had already been done by the likes of EA and Ubisoft, if you'll remember). A commitment to stop hunting for exclusives (and thus segregating the PC games offering across different platforms) is a clear indicator of Epic's mission with the Epic Games Store: to bring back power and returns to developers such as them (while taking a cut from the profits for themselves, obviously).

Check out after the break for the full content of Sweeney's remarks regarding their Games Store and the problem with Steam. I, for one, don't see much of a problem with virtual segregation of games across multiple PC-bound platforms - one of the strengths of PC gaming is actually the ability to install multiple applications that increase functionality, after all. But if the end game of all of this is simply to give more back to developers and Epic's move facilitates that by forcing Valve's hand in matching them for fear of drying profits - then so be it.

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. "Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock. In the first quarter, Intel achieved 4 percent growth in the PC-centric business while data-centric revenue declined 5 percent.
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