News Posts matching #COVID-19

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Apple Awards Corning $45 Million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Today, Apple is awarding $45 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Corning Incorporated, a supplier of precision glass for iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. The funding will expand Corning's manufacturing capacity in the US and drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product life, building on both Apple and Corning's deep commitment to protecting the environment.

Corning has already received $450 million from Apple's $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund over the last four years. Apple's investment helps support more than 1,000 jobs across Corning's US operations in Kentucky and other facilities. The investment has also helped facilitate research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, which led to the creation of Ceramic Shield, a new material that is tougher than any smartphone glass.

Growth in Total Smartphone Production for 2021 Drops to 8.5% YoY Due to India's Second Wave of Coronavirus, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's investigations find that India has become the second largest market for smartphones since 2019. However, the recent worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has severely impaired India's domestic economy and subsequently dampened various smartphone brands' production volume and sales (sell-in) performances there. TrendForce is therefore revising the forecasted YoY growth in global smartphone production for 2021 from 9.4% down to 8.5%, with a yearly production volume of 1.36 billion units and potential for further decreases going forward.

TrendForce further indicates that the top five smartphone brands (Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo) have either set up assembly plants in India or sought assistance from EMS providers with operations in the country. Hence, the share of made-in-India smartphones has been on the rise over the years, even though the majority of the domestically manufactured devices are still for meeting the demand of the home market. Judging from the current state of Indian smartphone manufacturing, TrendForce expects the second wave to reduce the country's smartphone production volume for 2Q21 and 3Q21 by a total of 12 million units, in turn resulting in a 7.5% YoY decrease in smartphone production in India for the whole year.

Xilinx Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Results

Xilinx, Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX), the leader in adaptive computing, today announced record revenues of $851 million for the fiscal fourth quarter, up 6% over the previous quarter and an increase of 13% year over year. Fiscal 2021 revenues were $3.15 billion, largely flat from the prior fiscal year. GAAP net income for the fiscal fourth quarter was $188 million, or $0.75 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $204 million, or $0.82 per diluted share. GAAP net income for fiscal year 2021 was $647 million, or $2.62 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for fiscal year 2021 was $762 million, or $3.08 per diluted share.

Additional fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 comparisons are provided in the charts below. "We are pleased with our fourth quarter results as we delivered record revenues and double-digit year-over-year growth in the midst of a challenging supply chain environment," said Victor Peng, Xilinx president and CEO. "Xilinx saw further improvement in demand across a majority of our diversified end markets with key strength in our Wireless, Data Center and Automotive markets, the pillars of our growth strategy. Our teams have executed well and we remain focused on continuing to meet customers' critical needs.

Global Server Shipment for 2021 Projected to Grow by More than 5% YoY, Says TrendForce

Enterprise demand for cloud services has been rising steady in the past two years owing to the rapidly changing global markets and uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. TrendForce's investigations find that most enterprises have been prioritizing cloud service adoption across applications ranging from AI to other emerging technologies as cloud services have relatively flexible costs. Case in point, demand from clients in the hyperscale data center segment constituted more than 40% of total demand for servers in 4Q20, while this figure may potentially approach 45% for 2021. For 2021, TrendForce expects global server shipment to increase by more than 5% YoY and ODM Direct server shipment to increase by more than 15% YoY.

Global Chip Shortage Takes Another Toll... Now Your Home Router?

The global supply of semiconductor processors has been at risk lately. Starting from GPUs to CPUs, the demand for both has been much greater than the available supply. Manufacturing companies, such as TSMC, have been expanding capacities, however, they have not yet been able to satisfy the demand. We have seen the results of that demand in a form of the scarcity of the latest generation of graphics cards, covering NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere, and AMD' Radeon RX 6000 series Big Navi graphics cards. Consumers have had a difficult time sourcing them and they have seen artificial price increase that is much higher than their original MSRP.

However, it doesn't seem like the situation will improve. According to the latest reporting from Bloomberg, the next victim of global chip shortage is... you guessed it, your home internet router. The cited sources have noted that the waiting list to get a batch of ordered routers has doubled the waiting time, from the regular 30 weeks to 60-week waiting time. This represents a waiting list that is more than a year long. With the global COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, there is an increased need for better home router equipment, and delays can only hurt broadband providers that supply routers. Taiwan-based router manufacturer Zyxel Communications, notes that the company has seen massive demand for their equipment. Such a massive demand could lead to insufficient supply, which could increase prices of routers well above their MSRP and bring scarcity of them as well.

Once Again, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang to Showcase What's Been Cooking for GTC - From His Kitchen

Remember that time when NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang pulled the company's HGX system (based on Ampere GA100) out of his own oven? Well, it seems we might be looking at something similar come GTC, which is set for April 12th. The event will again take place solely via online transmissions and announcements due to the still heavily-grassing COVID-19 pandemic, and NVIDIA teased a new kick-off presentation from its CEO - from his kitchen.

NVIDIA has usually taken GTC as an opportunity to showcase products not for the consumer segment, however, so temper your expectations. You should also likely temper your expectations regarding Huang taking enough RTX 30-series graphics cards form his oven to satisfy the incredible demand and stock issues we've been seeing with NVIDIA's latest and greatest. What we could be looking for (as an appetizer to this year's over 1500 presentations) are products focused on the professional computing markets, from quantum computing to AI, passing through RTX Ampere accelerators for professionals, NVIDIA Drive products, as well as Jetson announcements. NVIDIA did warn some surprises might be in store, but again, this doesn't mean these are surprises aimed at consumer gaming products. Catch up on NVIDIA's official announcement and a previously-released GTC retrospective video after the break.

COMPUTEX 2021 Physical Show Cancelled, Will be Held Online Only

TAITRA, the COMPUTEX organizer, has announced that the physical COMPUTEX event has been cancelled (surprising maybe some three or four people in the world). The organizer cites ongoing COVID-19 concerns (including the world's current state of vaccination levels) that would put the safety of attendees on the line, and has thus elected to forego the physical event and focus only on an online capacity.

However, even as the physical event has been cancelled, TAITRA doubled down on the virtual COMPUTEX event. Marketed #COMPUTEXVirtual, the event is scheduled to run for a full month, from May 31st to June 30th, in what marks COMPUTEX's first attempt at doing a large-scale virtual event. TAITRA had this to say on their decision: "With another wave of coronavirus pandemic across the world, it doesn't look like we are close to the end. The majority of the show's stakeholders, including international exhibitors, visitors, and media, cannot join the show due to border control. Therefore, the organizers of COMPUTEX have decided to cancel the onsite exhibition this year."

Revenue of Top 10 IC Design (Fabless) Companies for 2020 Undergoes 26.4% Increase YoY, Says TrendForce

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 1H20 seemed at first poised to devastate the IC design industry. However, as WFH and distance education became the norm, TrendForce finds that the demand for notebook computers and networking products also spiked in response, in turn driving manufacturers to massively ramp up their procurement activities for components. Fabless IC design companies that supply such components therefore benefitted greatly from manufacturers' procurement demand, and the IC design industry underwent tremendous growth in 2020. In particular, the top three IC design companies (Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Nvidia) all posted YoY increases in their revenues, with Nvidia registering the most impressive growth, at a staggering 52.2% increase YoY, the highest among the top 10 companies.

GPU Shipments Soar Once More in Q4: Jon Peddie Research

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, the growth of PC-based Graphics Processor Units (GPU) shipments of all types worldwide reached 20.5 percent in Q4 2020 and 12.4 percent year over year. Overall, the installed base of GPUs will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.7 percent during 2020-2025 to reach a total of 419 million units at the end of the forecast period. Over the next five years, the penetration of discrete GPUs (dGPU) in the PC will grow to reach a level of 21 percent.

As part of its ongoing research on the PC graphics market, Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has released its Market Watch report for the fourth quarter of 2020. Before 2020, the PC market was showing signs of improvement and settling into a new normal. The pandemic has distorted all models and predictions, as has the gold-rush in Ethereum. JPR's Market Watch report confirms that trend for the fourth quarter of 2020, but with cautious guidance for next year.

BioWare & EA Cancel Development of Anthem NEXT

In the spirit of transparency and closure we wanted to share that we've made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on Anthem (aka Anthem NEXT). We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today. Since Anthem's launch, the team has been working hard to continually improve the game, releasing multiple updates that brought with them a variety of improvements and introduced new content to play. Towards the end of 2019 we expanded on that effort and started working on a more fundamental restructure of the game.

During the development we've provided updates revealing some of the team's work through blog posts and conversations with you on social media and it's been inspiring for us to see the positive reactions and feedback. I've been incredibly proud of the work the team has been doing, and excited to see and play each new build of the experience.

Unity Releases 2020 Gaming Benchmark Report

Unity, the world's leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today released the 2021 Gaming Report: Unity Insights from 2020 and Predicted Trends for 2021, which provides a comprehensive look at how gaming changed for both players and creators one year into the pandemic. With more than 2.8 billion monthly active consumers of content created or operated with Unity solutions, this report represents the largest dataset on COVID-19's impact on gaming. For a free copy of Unity's 2021 Gaming Report, please visit this page.

"It's still too early to tell if changed habits will become the new norm once the pandemic is over, but given our understanding of past player behavior changes, it would be surprising to see many players revert," said Ingrid Lestiyo, Senior VP and General Manager, Operate Solutions, Unity. "In a year where online entertainment content - more than ever - became the cornerstone of social connections for so many when seeking a semblance of normalcy, Unity Operate Solutions was there to provide reliable, scalable solutions that helped keep the experiences connected and players engaged. Our amazing creators are here for that reason, and our mission is to enable them to focus on, and produce more, content with the technology we provide. While the nature of work may have changed for many game studios over the last year, the tools that help to power their success continued to deliver results that kept players happy, and revenue for developers of all sizes growing."

Intel Apparently Discounting 10th-Gen CPUs in Bid to Claw Market from AMD

Intel has apparently begun discounting its desktop CPUs, perhaps in a bid to try and maintain market share earning momentum the company garnered in the last few months. As AMD struggles to keep up with consumer demand for its latest Ryzen 5000 series, Intel looks to be capitalizing on its vertical integration (as well as the fact that Intel owns its own fabs and fabricates in a more than mature 14 nm process). A interesting move by the blue giant, who has generally opted out of a price reduction strategy - a move that might make Intel look on the back foot, and as an alternative budget brand, to the incommensurately smaller AMD.

Various retailers have been carrying Intel inventory with much reduced prices over their official MSRP. Amazon, for example, is offering the Intel Core i7-10700K for $344, down from its average pricing of $383. In the same retailer, the iGPU-less i7-10700F processor is down from $315 one month ago to just $229. Odds are that this is an Intel decision because if one considers the amount of demand on PC products and components due to COVID-19, it's very likely that consumers who can't get an AMD 5000-series CPU will still choose to purchase hardware - even if it has to be from Intel. So retailers eschewing part of their profits at a time like this seems slightly off-character.

SK hynix Inc. Reports Fiscal Year 2020 and Fourth Quarter Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its fiscal year 2020 ended on December 31, 2020. The consolidated revenue of fiscal year 2020 was 31.9 trillion won while the operating profit amounted to 5.013 trillion won, and the net income 4.759 trillion won. Operating margin of for the year was 16%, and net margin was 15%.

"Due to the global pandemic and the intensifying trade disputes last year, the memory market showed sluggish trend," said Kevin (Jongwon) Noh, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Center (CFO) at SK hynix. "In the meantime, the Company stably mass-produced its main products such as 1Znm DRAM and 128-layer NAND Flash." Noh also explained, "The Company expanded its server market share based on its quality competitiveness, which resulted in an increase in the revenue and the operating profit by 18% and 84%, respectively, compared to the previous year."

Gabe Newell Confirms That Valve Has Multiple Games In Development

Gabe Newell who is currently residing in New Zealand has recently confirmed in a new interview that his company Valve "definitely has games in development that they're going to be announcing". With the positive release of Half-Life: Alyx the company plans to create further single-player games and Gabe noted that there is a lot of momentum within Valve to do so.

Gabe Newell has been living with his family in New Zealand since early 2020 when they decided to stay in the country after a holiday due to the countries successful management of COVID-19. He has now been granted New Zealand residency in principle and is actively considering transferring Valve operations and major events to the country. This includes hosting the companies DOTA 2 and CS:GO annual esports tournaments which had to be canceled in 2020 and "strong interest" from employees for relocation.

Shipped Pre-built PC Systems See 13% Rise in Sales in 2020 Compared to 2019

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed PC shipping growth numbers for 2020 - counting desktops, notebooks (including Chromebooks) and workstations (but excluding laptops and servers), and the results are clear. In a currently-pandemic world, and with the urge and necessity for teleworking efforts so as to reduce personal exposure to risk environments, we've seen an unprecedented demand for technological components. Whether in shortages for the latest "comfort" technologies such as dedicated graphics cards, latest-gen consoles, or even webcams, it's been clear that citizens of the world have been increasingly investing their money in technological devices. This need - either for work, for bridging social distances through the Internet, or for entertainment - has led the pre-built PC ecosystem shipments to increase as much as 13% in 2020 - and a global shipment number set at 302.6 million units.

This year-over-year (YoY) increase is bolstered, mainly, by rises in sales throughout Q4 of 2020, where global PC shipments achieved an outstanding 26% increase from Q4 2019 - in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 91.6 million units were shipped. In that particular quarter, Lenovo led the top three vendors with a 25.2% share of the sales, followed by HP (20.9%) and Dell (17.2%). Apple appears in fourth place with a mere 8% market share, but shows the strongest growth among the top 5 sellers, at 49.2% YoY - and that's with Apple's comparatively small product portfolio when put against any of the other top three vendors.

DisplayPort 2.0 Implementations Delayed, Will Surface Late 2021

DisplayPort 2.0 was supposed to see its implementation beginning by the end of 2020, but that time has come and gone without a single DisplayPort 2.0-touting product on sight. According to VESA, the rollout has been delayed mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented the standards body to perform its PlugTest events, where engineers and hardware developers convene to discuss, tinker, and decide on the standard's implementation. VESA held multiple of these events per year, but none in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; thus, the delay we are now witnessing surged.

VESA plans to have their first 2021 PlugTest event in Spring of this year, however, and aims to see products on the shelves later, and likely not before 2H 2020. The standards body said that there are, indeed, DisplayPort 2.0 monitors currently in-development, but that these too have been affected by the lack of PlugTests. DisplayPort 2.0 is an update to the current 1.4 implementation, and currently, there are no launched products (monitors, graphics cards, etc) that can make use of the new version. The new standard will technically support up to 80 Gbps max, nearly three times the currently available bandwidth in the DisplayPort 1.4 spec. DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 also brings most of these capabilities to USB Type-C connectors via the USB 4.0 revision.

Noctua Passive Heatsink Launch Postponed According to 2021 Roadmap

Noctua has recently updated their 2021 product roadmap pushing a number of products back one quarter including their passive CPU cooler. The passive CPU cooler, black NF-A12x25 fans, black NH-U12A, and NH-U12A heatsinks have all been delayed from Q1 2021 to Q2 2021 the only product which remains on track for a Q1 2021 release is the redux line CPU cooler. The release of white Noctua fans has also been pushed from Q2 2021 until Q3 2021, products expected to release in Q3 and Q4 2021 remain on track. These new delays are likely due to the return of COVID-19 lockdowns and are only estimates which are subject to change.

Minecraft Earth Set to be Shut Down in June

Mojang has recently announced that they will be shutting down their Augmented Reality Minecraft Earth mobile free-to-play game on June 30th. This decision comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic limiting movement and collaborative play which are vital for the game. Mojang plans to re-allocate its resources and invest in areas more valuable for the Minecraft community. The game will receive one final update today which removes all in-app-purchases and reduces time requirements for in-game tasks. Players who made any purchase in the game will receive a free copy of Minecraft Bedrock Edition.
Mojang
Minecraft Earth was designed around free movement and collaborative play - two things that have become near impossible in the current global situation. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to re-allocate our resources to other areas that provide value to the Minecraft community and to end support for Minecraft Earth in June 2021.

Steam Breaks Another Record with 25 Million Concurrent Players

Steam has started off 2021 by breaking it's concurrent player record with a new peak of 25,416,720 players. This new record comes after the previous peak of 24 million was reached in December. This increase in concurrent players can be attributed to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world. Several older titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, and Rust all continue to provide a large number of concurrent players. This record is likely to be broken again as lockdowns continue.

Arm Based Fugaku Supercomputer Retains #1 Top500 Spot

Fugaku—the Arm technology-based supercomputer jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu—was awarded the number one spot on the Top500 list for the second time in a row. This achievement further highlights the rapidly evolving demands of high-performance computing (HPC) that Arm technology uniquely addresses through the unmatched combination of power efficiency, performance, and scalability.

In addition to the great work RIKEN and Fujitsu have done, we're seeing more adoption for Arm-based solutions across our ecosystem. ETRI, the national computing institute of the Republic of Korea, recently announced plans to adopt the upcoming Neoverse V1 (formerly code-named Zeus) CPU design, which feature Arm Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE), for its K-AB21 system. ETRI has set a goal of 16 teraflops per CPU and 1600 teraflops per rack for AB 21 (which stands for 'Artificial Brain 21') while reducing power consumption by 60% compared to its target.

LLNL's New 'Ruby' Supercomputer Taps Intel for COVID-19 Research

Intel today announced that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will leverage Intel Xeon Scalable processors in "Ruby," its latest high performance computing cluster. The Ruby system will be used for unclassified programmatic work in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) stockpile stewardship mission, for researching therapeutic drugs and designer antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and for other open science work at LLNL.

Ruby was built in collaboration with Intel, LLNL, Supermicro and Cornelis Networks. The system consists of more than 1,500 nodes, each outfitted with Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and features 192 gigabytes of memory. Ruby will deliver 6 petaflops of peak performance and is expected to rank among the world's top 100 most powerful supercomputers.

Lenovo Delivers Record Results, Fueled by Strong Q2 Growth

Lenovo Group (HKSE: 992) (PINK SHEETS: LNVGY) today announced record Group revenue in the second quarter of US$14.5 billion, up 7% year-on-year and with all businesses showing strong growth. Profit showed even stronger growth, with record pre-tax income of US$470 million, up 52% compared to the same quarter a year earlier, while net income also increased by 53% year-on-year to a record US$310 million. In addition to record quarterly results, Lenovo's financial strength and sustainability has been further validated recently with strong inaugural investment grade ratings from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, and a successful global notes offering. Basic earnings per share for the second quarter were 2.59 US cents or 20.08 HK cents. Lenovo's Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of 6.6 HK cents per share.

"Our record results this quarter reflect our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the rapidly growing work-, learn-and play-from-home economy. All of our core businesses delivered year-on-year growth, while our Software and Services revenue grew to a new record," said Yuanqing Yang, Lenovo Chairman and CEO. "As the world continues to adjust to the "new normal," we are confident in the long-term growth potential of both devices and cloud infrastructure. We will continue to leverage our core competences of operational excellence and global/local footprint, while accelerating our service-led transformation to better grasp opportunities and drive sustainable growth."

Los Alamos National Laboratory Deploys HPE Cray EX 'Chicoma' Supercomputer Powered by AMD EPYC Processors

Los Alamos National Laboratory has completed the installation of a next-generation high performance computing platform, with aim to enhance its ongoing R&D efforts in support of the nation's response to COVID-19. Named Chicoma, the new platform is poised to demonstrate Hewlett Packard Enterprise's new HPE Cray EX supercomputer architecture for solving complex scientific problems.

"As extensive social and economic impacts from COVID-19 continue to grip the nation, Los Alamos scientists are actively engaged in a number of critical research efforts ranging from therapeutics design to epidemiological modeling," said Irene Qualters, Associate Laboratory Director for Simulation and Computing at Los Alamos. "High Performance Computing is playing a critical role by allowing scientists to model the complex phenomena involved in viral evolution and propagation."

NVIDIA and Atos Team Up to Build World's Fastest AI Supercomputer

NVIDIA today announced that the Italian inter-university consortium CINECA—one of the world's most important supercomputing centers—will use the company's accelerated computing platform to build the world's fastest AI supercomputer.

The new "Leonardo" system, built with Atos, is expected to deliver 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance to enable advanced AI and HPC converged application use cases. Featuring nearly 14,000 NVIDIA Ampere architecture-based GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200 Gb/s InfiniBand networking, Leonardo will propel Italy as the global leader in AI and high performance computing research and innovation.

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.
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