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Arm Delivers New Edge Processor IPs for IoT

Today, Arm announced significant additions to its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, including new machine learning (ML) IP, the Arm Cortex -M55 processor and Arm Ethos -U55 NPU, the industry's first microNPU (Neural Processing Unit) for Cortex-M, designed to deliver a combined 480x leap in ML performance to microcontrollers. The new IP and supporting unified toolchain enable AI hardware and software developers with more ways to innovate as a result of unprecedented levels of on-device ML processing for billions of small, power-constrained IoT and embedded devices.

Europe Readies its First Prototype of Custom HPC Processor

European Processor Initiative (EPI) is a Europe's project to kickstart a homegrown development of custom processors tailored towards different usage models that the European Union might need. The first task of EPI is to create a custom processor for high-performance computing applications like machine learning, and the chip prototypes are already on their way. The EPI chairman of the board Jean-Marc Denis recently spoke to the Next Platform and confirmed some information regarding the processor design goals and the timeframe of launch.

Supposed to be manufactured on TSMC's 6 nm EUV (TSMC N6 EUV) technology, the EPI processor will tape-out at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, and it is going to be heterogeneous. That means that on its 2.5D die, many different IPs will be present. The processor will use a custom ARM CPU, based on a "Zeus" iteration of Neoverese server core, meant for general-purpose computation tasks like running the OS. When it comes to the special-purpose chips, EPI will incorporate a chip named Titan - a RISC-V based processor that uses vector and tensor processing units to compute AI tasks. The Titan will use every new standard for AI processing, including FP32, FP64, INT8, and bfloat16. The system will use HBM memory allocated to the Titan processor, have DDR5 links for the CPU, and feature PCIe 5.0 for the inner connection.

Ek Waterblocks Announces Soft Tube Cutter and Hard Tube Bending Tool

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer,today announces the expansion of its liquid cooling gear portfolio with two new tools from the EK-Loop portfolio - EK-Loop Soft Tube Cutter and EK-Loop Modulus Hard Tube Bending Tool.

EK-Loop Soft Tube Cutter
EK-Loop Soft Tube Cutter is a small handy tool specifically made for soft tube cutting. It is compatible with various flexible soft tubing types such as PVC, EPDM, Norprene, silicone, etc. The maximum size compatibility of the cutter is 16 mm (5/8") OD. The EK-Loop Soft Tube Cutter is made in China and is available for purchase for €4.90.

Intel Launches Data Streaming Accelerator

Intel has today launched a new product called Data Streaming Accelerator known as Intel DSA shortly. The new device is going to be present inside every future Intel processor with a goal of "optimizing streaming data movement and transformation operations common with applications for high-performance storage, networking, persistent memory, and various data processing applications."

The DSA processor will replace an existing solution that is Intel QuickData Technology, which was previously used for data movement. This new dedicated processor has a much-needed purpose to free up CPU cycles from doing IO work like moving data to/from volatile memory, persistent memory, memory-mapped I/O, and through a Non-Transparent Bridge (NTB) device to/from remote volatile and persistent memory inside a chip. In addition to the usual data movement operations, the DSA processor can create and test CRC checksums for any errors in storage and networking applications.

Samsung Shuts Down Its Custom CPU Design Group

According to the information obtained by Statesman, Samsung Electronics is shutting down its custom CPU design group within the company. Known for the designs of mobile SoCs like Exynos 9110, 9810 and 9820 just to name a few, it seems that there will be no more future developments of custom Exynos SoC for Samsung's mobile devices. Instead of designing its own cores, Samsung is now going to use ARM's reference A7x series of CPUs based on ARM v8 instruction set, with A76 or A77 being chosen as likely candidates for the high-performance workloads.

So far it is still unknown what will be inside new processors like the upcoming Exynos 9830 SoC, meant to power the next generation of mobile devices. But if things are like Samsung states, there should be reference ARM cores like A77 inside the new chip. Already announced chips like Exynos 990 are supposed to use a custom CPU core, while all future revisions of any new Exynos SoC will license a design IP from ARM. This decision is supposedly a by-product of being unable to compete with offers from Qualcomm, which offers faster "Snapdragon" SoCs. Samsung already uses the Snapdragon SoCs in its phones for the US and Chinese markets, while the rest of the world is getting an Exynos equivalent with the purchase of the same mobile device.

Express Yourself with the Creator PC from NZXT BLD

NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, today announces the Creator PC a new high-end pre-build that focuses on the needs of creatives at all skill levels.

The NZXT Creator PC is designed to ensure that everyone has the right tools to showcase their talents. Housed in the stylish NZXT H510 Elite chassis, the NZXT Creator PC comes packed with an Intel Core i9 9900k and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, giving users all the horsepower needed to edit photos and videos, stream, and play the latest video games at optimal settings.

MSI to Launch Custom Radeon RX 5700 GPUs

While the reviews of Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT have been published, there were no confirmations or signs of custom designs from AMD's partners of any kind. However, Hardwareluxx, a German tech media, has acquired some slides from MSI about its upcoming line of Navi GPUs. There will be a total of 7 new models, four being RX 5700 XT variants and three for RX 5700. Surprise here is the new branding series for those GPUs. The MECH series is a rebrand of previous Armor series, now with different red and black color combination. Notable addition to design is inclusion of DVI port. Unlike before, we will now get a so called "EVOKE" series, which we don't have details on yet. All we know is that the new cards supposed to arrive with all the custom cards in August.

TSMC Expects Most 7nm Customers to Move to 6nm Density

TSMC in its quarterly earnings call expressed confidence in that most of its 7 nm (N7) process production node customers would be looking to make the transition to their 6 nm (N6) process. In fact, the company expects that node to become the biggest target for volume ordering (and thus production) amongst its customers, since the new N6 fabrication technology will bring about a sort of "backwards compatibility" with design tools and semiconductor designs that manufacturers have already invested in for its N7 node, thus allowing for cost savings for its clients.

This is despite TSMC's N6 process being able to take advantage of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) to lower manufacturing complexity. This lowering is achieved by the fact that less exposures of the silicon are required for multi-patterning - which is needed today as TSMC's N7 uses solely deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography. Interestingly, TSMC expects other clients to pick up its N7+ manufacturing node that aren't already using their 7nm node - the need to develop new tools and lesser design compatibility between its N7 and N7+ nodes compared no N7 and N6 being the justification. TSMC's N7+ will be the first node to leverage EUV, using up to four EUVL layers, while N6 expands it up to five layers, and the upcoming N5 cranks EUVL up to fourteen (allowing for 14 layers.)

ASUS Responds to Reports of ASUS Live Update System Being Compromised by Hackers

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks are national-level attacks usually initiated by a couple of specific countries, targeting certain international organizations or entities instead of consumers. ASUS Live Update is a proprietary tool supplied with ASUS notebook computers to ensure that the system always benefits from the latest drivers and firmware from ASUS. A small number of devices have been implanted with malicious code through a sophisticated attack on our Live Update servers in an attempt to target a very small and specific user group. ASUS customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.

ASUS has also implemented a fix in the latest version (ver. 3.6.8) of the Live Update software, introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.

PowerColor Preparing Custom AMD Radeon VII Designs

PowerColor, one of AMD's foremost AIB (Add-in-Board) partners, is preparing at least as many as five different SKUs based on the latest, upcoming AMD graphics chip. While AMD did say that initial availability of the new, shrunk-down Vega graphics card would be limited to base design models, it's clear that at least PowerColor wants to bring its years of R&D on cooling solutions to bear.

The product codes for PowerColor's in-development SKUs stand as AXVII 16GBHBM2-3DH (reference model), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2H (RedDragon Triple Fan), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2HD (RedDevil Triple Fan), AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2H/OC (RedDragon Triple Fan OC, and AXVII 16GBHBM2-2D2HD/OC (RedDevil Triple Fan OC). Whether PowerColor is moving the fastest, has the best relations with AMD, or is just the one company whose beans have been spilled is uncertain for now, but you can expect other brands to join in on the SKU development, if they aren't doing so already (highly, highly doubtful at that).

Update (30/01): A PowerColor representative on Reddit stated that the company is not planning to launch any custom-design Radeon VII in the immediate future. "We did clarify to the media, that at this moment we will only carry AMD reference design and at the moment we do not have custom model planned in the immediate future," they said. PowerColor didn't completely shut off the possibility of a "Red Devil" branded Radeon VII. "Obviously there's quite of you guys out there wanting our Red Devil series on the Vega VII and we will always consider the option. Just not at this point," the statement read.
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