News Posts matching "China"

Return to Keyword Browsing

NDRC, Samsung to Sign MOU That Could Moderate DRAM Prices, Increase Production

PC hardware enthusiasts all over (but particularly in our own forums) have been adamant in how this is one of the worst times to be building a new system. And it's true; the DIY market is a mess right now, as our own btarunr mentioned in his latest editorial; so much so, that in a full reversal of years and years of experience, users might now actually be better served in the $/performance department by buying their systems from boutique retailers, than by acquiring all of the parts separately. It's a mad, mad world out there, for a multitude of reasons; but one such reason is DRAM pricing. And fortunately, it seems that China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is on the verge of signing a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Samsung that might help the DRAM market as a whole.

Samsung Enters Volume Production of a Killer Crypto-mining ASIC

One of the world's largest SoC, DRAM, and NAND flash makers, with its own semiconductor fabs, Samsung, is eyeing itself a large slice of the crypto-currency mining craze. The company reportedly entered volume production of a highly efficient crypto-currency mining ASIC, for an unnamed client from China. The client has placed a gargantuan order for crypto-coin mining ASICs contract-manufactured by Samsung, which appears to be targeted at Bitcoin, for now.

China's largest mining ASIC solutions providers, Bitman and Cannan, have similarly contracted TSMC to manufacture mining ASICs. An ASIC (from a mining context) is a single-chip solution that combines a CPU, a SIMD parallel-processing component tailored for mining, memory, and storage. It has infinitesimally smaller PCB, power, and thermal footprints compared to PCs with GPUs, and can be deployed in extremely large numbers for mining on an industrial-scale.

Intel Warned China of Meltdown and Spectre Before the US Government

It's no surprise that leading Chinese tech companies have close associations with the Chinese Government and the PLA. Intel has waded into controversial waters as reports point to the chipmaker sharing information about its products' vulnerability to Meltdown and Spectre with Chinese tech companies before warning the United States Government, potentially giving the Chinese government either a head-start into securing its IT infrastructure, or exploiting that of a foreign government.

Lenovo and Alibaba were among the first big tech companies to be informed about Meltdown and Spectre; Lenovo is Intel's biggest PC OEM customer, while Alibaba is the world's largest e-commerce platform and cloud-computing service provider. Both companies are known to have close associations with the Chinese government. The United States Government was not part of the first group of companies informed about the deadly vulnerabilities.

VIA Making a Comeback to x86 CPU Market with Zhaoxin R&D Monies

The only other active x86 architecture licensee than AMD, VIA Technologies, is planning a comeback to the x86 processor market, bolstered by R&D investment by Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor. VIA and Zhaoxin have been co-developing the ZX family of x86 processors for rollout in 2018, and at least on paper, the chips appear to have the chops to take on Intel's "Gemini Lake" SoCs. The new VIA-Zhaoxin combine CPU family begins with the KX-5000 "Wudaoku" SoCs launched late-2017. These are full-fledged SoCs, which completely integrate the chipset (including the southrbidge).

The KX-5000 chips feature 4 or 8 CPU cores without SMT, 2.00-2.20 GHz nominal CPU clock, 2.40 GHz boost clock, a dual-channel DDR4 IMC, a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, an integrated graphics core, and platform I/O that includes SATA 6 Gbps, and USB 3.1 gen 2. This chip debuted on only one product from a major OEM, the Lenovo M6200 desktop model launched in China. 2018 could see a broader launch of VIA-Zhaoxin chips, with the KX-6000. While the older chips were built on the 28 nm process, the KX-6000 series will be built on the newer 16 nm process, feature 4 or 8 CPU cores clocked at speeds of up to 3.00 GHz, while retaining the feature-set of the KX-5000 series. These chips could realistically be touted as low-cost alternatives to Intel "Gemini Lake" SoCs, although Zhaoxin is making bold claims about its performance nearing that of AMD Ryzen processors.

China Regulator to Look Into Possible DRAM, NAND Price Fixing by Manufacturers

It's been a couple years now that we've seen continuously increasing pricing of DRAM and NAND semiconductors. The price increase, which has been hailed and documented over, over, and over again (and there are way more articles on this subject here on TPU), follows reported increased demand which has failed to be accompanied by its respective manufacturing and supply ability.

However, reports that companies were planning on increasing production of DRAM and NAND below the expected increases in supply demand may have turned at least some regulatory eyes towards the issue. China's National Development and Reform Commission's Pricing Supervision Department (NDRC) said they are aware of the situation, how it could point towards price-fixing from the four major NAND production players (Samsung, Hynix, Micron and Toshiba), and are looking into the matter. "We have noticed the price surge and will pay more attention to future problems that may be caused by 'price fixing' in the sector," the official Xu Xinyu was quoted as saying in an interview to Chinese newspaper Daily China.

NVIDIA Announces SaturnV AI Supercomputer Powered by "Volta"

NVIDIA at the Supercomputing 2017 conference announced a major upgrade of its new SaturnV AI supercomputer, which when complete, the company claims, will be not just one of the world's top-10 AI supercomputers in terms of raw compute power; but will also the world's most energy-efficient. The SaturnV will be a cluster supercomputer with 660 NVIDIA DGX-1 nodes. Each such node packs eight NVIDIA GV100 GPUs, which takes the machine's total GPU count to a staggering 5,280 (that's GPUs, not CUDA cores). They add up to an FP16 performance that's scraping the ExaFLOP (1,000-petaFLOP or 10^18 FLOP/s) barrier; while its FP64 (double-precision) compute performance nears 40 petaFLOP/s (40,000 TFLOP/s).

SaturnV should beat Summit, a supercomputer being co-developed by NVIDIA and IBM, which in turn should unseat Sunway TaihuLight, that's currently the world's fastest supercomputer. This feat gains prominence as NVIDIA SaturnV and NVIDIA+IBM Summit are both machines built by the American private-sector, which are trying to beat a supercomputing leader backed by the mighty Chinese exchequer. The other claim to fame of SaturnV is its energy-efficiency. Before its upgrade, SaturnV achieved an energy-efficiency of a staggering 15.1 GFLOP/s per Watt, which was already the fourth "greenest." NVIDIA expects the upgraded SaturnV to take the number-one spot.

Driven by Chinese PUBG Players, Windows 7 Now Most Popular OS on Steam

Steam's October survey has brought with it some interesting tidbits and reversals regarding the state of the world's OS shares. The latest such survey from the company shows Windows 10 lose its crown as the most popular OS for gamers, shadowed by a resurgence of Windows 7. Microsoft may be looking for increased Windows 10 market share throughout the world, but there's one country that has been the most troubling for the company's efforts: China. Remember that Microsoft had to introduce its own China Government edition of Windows 10 to the Chinese government, or otherwise risk the country not to transition to its new OS. However, it seems that that fact has led Chinese people's trust in the Microsoft OS to decrease even more; and absent of access to the China Government edition for regular customers, they're simply choosing to stay within the confines of Windows 7.

All of this seems pretty academic, so let's get some numbers here: Windows 10 shed 17.38% points in October, down to a 28.6 percent share, with the 64-bit version accounting for 28.23% of that share. At the same time, Windows 7 has gained 21.47% points in the same month, climbing to 65.46% of share (63.60 percent for the 64-bit build, and 1.86 percent for the 32-bit edition). Where's the connection to Chinese users here though? Well, take a look at the Steam OS language stats for the same month: simplified Chinese rose by 26.83% up to 56.37%, against a decrease in practically all other languages, and a very considerable 13.4% drop in English.

PUBG Review-bombed Due to In-game Ads on Steam

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a game that has been in the limelight mainly for the unexpected success it achieved in the Steam platform, passing unexpected milestones in the sales department (around 10 million copies sold) and in maximum concurrent players (1,645,460). However, the game has also seen its fair share of problems due to technical or balancing reasons. If there is one circumstance of public outcry that could have been avoided, though, it's the latest: Chinese players have review-bombed PUBG due to the addition of in-game ads. On which we had a more in-depth editorial sometime ago, if you want to take a look.

Review bombing isn't new, and started even before the latest high-profile event of the sort, around Campo Santo's Firewatch. The in-game ads are only present in loading screens, and point towards a third-party VPN service, which promises better internet connections to thousands of Chinese players when connecting to non-asian servers. For now, the ads seem to be limited to the Chinese crowd; there's a chance these ads could expand to other, non-China based players, although that is looking increasingly likely, considering the overall response from the affected portion of PUBG's player-base - the game now counts with more than 26 thousand negative reviews, with the vast majority of those hitting the game since September 29th (not exclusively due to the in-game ads, but those are the most pervasive argument in the reviews.)

Seagate and Baidu Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement for Big Data Analysis

Seagate Technology plc., a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language internet search provider, covering the fields of information technology, big data analysis and advanced storage system development and implementation.

The pact renews an existing agreement between the two firms signed in September 2014, under which Baidu would give priority to Seagate when selecting storage products and solutions, and Seagate would give advanced access to products, services and support to Baidu, as well as assign a dedicated team of engineers to the company.

The cooperation between the two parties builds on this, with Seagate providing double the amount of technical cooperation, and closer links to Baidu for its business needs. With regard to new products, Baidu will be at the forefront of Internet users in China implementing Seagate's new storage products, and also the two sides will jointly develop customized systems to meet Baidu business needs. In addition, the procurement model for both companies will be further upgraded to save costs for each side.

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Lineup Specs Confirmed in Leaked Distributor Event

Intel recently concluded an event intended for local distributors in China, a key presentation slide of which was snapped and posted online. The slide confirms the company's product-stack for the mainstream desktop platform, and its augmentation with the first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" SKUs. The slide also confirms that Intel will be replacing current Core i7 4-core/8-thread SKUs with Core i7 6-core/12-thread ones; Core i5 4-core/4-thread SKUs with 6-core/6-thread ones, and Core i3 2-core/4-thread SKUs with 4-core/4-thread ones, marking the biggest fundamental update to the product stack since the Core MSDT family started out a decade ago, with the Core "Lynnfield" and "Clarkdale" processors.

The slide further describes per-core performance increases ranging between 11-29 percent owing to higher clock-speeds and a slightly newer micro-architecture, and 51-65 percent increases in multi-threaded performance owing to the increasing core-counts across the board. While these SKUs are expected to logically replace the various Core "Kaby Lake" SKUs from their current price-points, there could be a tiny price increase, across the board, which Intel could justify using the higher core-counts.

Noctua's Alleged Manufacturing Discrepancies Put to the Test, Found Lacking

A recent maelstrom has hit Noctua in social forums due to a then unverified, reported issue with manufacturing differences between fans of the company that have been built on Taiwan or China factories. The issue, first brought about by Reddit user Kendalf, left open some questions on cooling and noise deltas between Taiwan and China-made Noctua fans, while admitting that the issue could be with a particular batch/testing conditions/other unidentified variables. But the Internet is fantastic, and what was posted as a legitimate question was quickly turned into a pitchfork-handling mob crying "Noctua never again" and "Down to Noctua" (which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space...)

U.S.A. Loses 3rd Place in TOP500 Supercomputer Standings... To Switzerland?

The United States has been being pushed down in the TOP500 standings for some time courtesy China, whom has taken the 1st and 2nd place seats from the US with their Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 Supercomputers (at a Linpack performance of 93 and 33.9 Petaflops, respectively). It seemed though the crown was stolen from America, 3rd place was relatively safe for the former champs. Not so. America has been pushed right off the podium in the latest TOP500 refresh... not by China though, but Switzerland?

Exascale Supercomputer Technology Buoyed by $258M Grant by US Dept. of Energy

Developing supercomputers isn't for the faint of heart. Much less it is for those that are looking for fast development and deployment time-frames. And as such, even as the world's supercomputers are getting increasingly faster and exorbitantly expensive to develop and deploy, players who want to stay ahead have to think ahead as well. To this end, the US Department of Energy has awarded a total of $258M in research contracts to six of the US's foremost tech companies to accelerate the development of Exascale Supercomputer technologies (AMD, Cray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, and NVIDIA.) These companies will be working over a three year contract period, and will have to support at least 40% of the project cost - to help develop the technologies needed to build an exascale computer for 2021. It isn't strange that the companies accepted the grant and jumped at the opportunity: 60% savings in research and development they'd have to do for themselves is nothing to scoff at.

Supercomputers birthed from the project are expected to be in the exaFLOPS scale of computing performance, which is around 50 times more processing power than the generation of supercomputers being installed now. Since traditional supercomputing knowledge and materials are known to falter at the objective level of exaFLOPS performance, the PathForward program - which looks to ensure achievement of such systems in a timely fashion to ensure US leadership in the field of supercomputing - will need to see spurred research and development, which the $258M grant is looking out to do.

Microsoft Officially Announces the Windows 10 "China Government" Edition

Remember that piece regarding Microsoft's Windows 10 for the chinese government? Well, Microsoft has just officially announced it in its Shanghai presentation today. In a joint-venture with China's government, CETC (China Electronics Technology Group), CMIT (a conglomerate of China-based manufacturers), and Lenovo, the Redmond-based company has apparently managed to deliver what they themselves thought impossible: a version of their operating system that doesn't spy on its users. Lenovo, as you might have guessed already, will be one of the first OEM partners to preinstall Windows 10 China Government Edition on new devices.

Based on Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, the Windows 10 China Government Edition ironically ticks all the boxes for what enthusiasts would like to see from their OS: it's a modular approach to Windows, where users (read, in this case, government entities) can remove features they aren't looking to take advantage of (like OneDrive), whilst giving the capability to "manage all telemetry and updates." Aren't those just great features to have?
Return to Keyword Browsing