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Annual Notebook Shipment Likely to Break Records in 2021 at 236 Million Units, with Chromebook Demand Slowing Down in 2H21, Says TrendForce

While the stay-at-home economy generated high demand for notebook computers from distance learning and WFH applications last year, global notebook shipment for 2020 underwent a nearly 26% YoY increase, which represented a significant departure from the cyclical 3% YoY increase/decrease that had historically taken place each year, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The uptrend in notebook demand is expected to persist in 2021, during which notebook shipment will likely reach 236 million units, a 15% YoY increase. In particular, thanks to the surging demand for education notebooks, Chromebooks will become the primary growth driver in the notebook market. Regarding the shipment performance of various brands, Samsung and Apple will register the highest growths, with the former having Chromebooks account for nearly 50% of its total notebook shipment this year and the latter continuing to release MacBooks equipped with the M1 chip.

NVIDIA Announces DOOM Eternal GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Limited Edition Demon Slayer Bundle

As most of the DOOM Eternal fans are informed, on June 29th, the latest installment in the DOOM series of games, DOOM Eternal, will be receiving a huge upgrade coming to all PC gamers. For the first time, PC players will get to experience NVIDIA's best pieces of technology, coming in a form of raytracing and NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). To celebrate that, the folks over at Bethesda Softworks and id Software have partnered with NVIDIA to launch a limited edition DOOM Eternal bundle. Called the "DOOM Eternal GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Limited Edition Demon Slayer Bundle", it will be a very scarce bundle made only in 300 copies.

Containing NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, the bundle is all about performance. However, what makes it special and different from buying a regular card is that it includes some additional products. For starters, the bundle includes Titanium Slayer Collectible mini-figure with matching aesthetics of the GPU, making it a real collectible item. Next up is a Titanium DOOM Eternal-GeForce RTX t-shirt, and an exclusive "DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods" oversized 15.75-inch x 35.44-inch mouse pad. Additionally, a $100 Bethesda Store credit and DOOM Eternal Deluxe Edition game code is included as well. Together, it forms a bundle that is limited to 300 pieces and costs 1450 USD. To join the raffle to purchase this bundle, you can enter here for North America, and here for Europe. Unfortunately, people from other regions can not enter. The raffle starts today, June 23, 2021, 5:00 AM (MST), and ends on July 7, 2021, 11:59 PM (MST). Winners will be announced on July 8th.

EU Changes VAT Rules for Imported Products; Everything to be Taxed Independent of Value

European Union residents are now looking at paying even more tax - in even more products - than before. Following changes to the EU tax policy, all products imported from outside that special political, economic and frontier union will be subject to the appropriate tax according to its nature. Until now, imports of value (or should we say declared value) lower than €22 were free from the bureaucratic and economic burden of taxation; however, that situation is about to change come July 1st.

Following abuses to that €22 declared value exemption, all imported products from July 1st 2021 will be subject to customs processing and taxation. The decision follows years of abuse, with customers and businesses declaring false, lower values for products so as to try and skirt any additional taxation. Of course, this creates a lopsided, uphill battle for EU-based manufacturers and distributors, who have to collect the appropriate tax upon all sales - whilst businesses outside the EU enjoyed more competitive pricing due to the absence of tax for the final customer. That is what this change aims to fight against. A shame for users and businesses that did follow the rules, who now face more higher pricing for small acquisitions at the expense of those who employed these tax evasion practices.

Bosch Unveils One Billion Euro Chip Manufacturing Facility in Germany

Robert Bosch GmbH, commonly known as just Bosch, has today unveiled the results of the company's biggest investment ever. On Monday, the company has unveiled its one billion Euro manufacturing facility, which roughly translates to 1.2 billion US Dollars. The manufacturing plant is located in Dresden, Germany, and it aims to supply the leading self-driving automobile companies with chips that are in great demand. As the main goal for the plant is to manufacture chips for the automotive industry, this new 7,200 m² Dresden facility is supposed to provide car makers with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) for power management and tasks such as triggering the automatic braking system of cars.

The one billion Euro facility was funded partly by the funds coming from the European Union investment scheme, which donated as much as 200 million Euros ($243 million). The goal of the plan is to start with the manufacturing of chips for power tools as early as July and start production of automotive chips in September. All of the chips will be manufactured on 300 mm wafers, which offers a major improvement in quantity compared to 200 and 150 mm wafers currently used by Bosch. The opening of this facility will surely help with the global chip shortages, which have even hit the automotive sector.

Global TV Shipment for 1Q21 Undergoes 11.5% Growth YoY, Says TrendForce

While demand for TVs underwent a slowdown in China and Europe due to the onset of the cyclical downturn, quarterly TV sales in North America reached a historical high in 1Q21 thanks to the proliferation of the stay-at-home economy and government-issued economic stimulus plans, such as the March 2021 handout of US$1,400 stimulus checks to most US citizens, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Bullish TV sales in North America propelled global TV shipment for 1Q21 to 49.96 million units, a 24.2% QoQ decrease but an 11.5% YoY increase.

TrendForce further indicates that Hisense has been particularly aggressive in expanding in the overseas markets via consumer-friendly prices. Not only did Hisense successfully enter the top five list of the largest TV brands in North America in 1Q21, but the company's market share also surpassed 10% and reached 11.1%, with a 4.19 million unit quarterly TV shipment, which represents an 8.8% increase YoY.

LED Market Revenue for 2021 Projected to Reach US$16.53 Billion Mainly Due to Automotive/Mini LED Applications, Says TrendForce

Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did LED revenue experience a downward trajectory, but this decline also reached a magnitude rarely seen in recent years, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, as vaccinations begin taking place in 1H21, the LED market's long-stifled demand is expected to rebound from rock bottom. Hence, global LED market revenue will likely undergo a corresponding recovery this year as well, with a forecasted US$16.53 billion, an 8.1% increase YoY, in 2021. Most of this increase can be attributed to four major categories, including automotive LED, Mini/Micro LED, video wall LED, and UV/IR LED.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Reaches 3x MSRP in Europe

NVIDIA's latest series of RTX 30 series graphics cards continue to remain elusive more than eight months after their release thanks to a combination of global chip shortages, logistics delays, and mining demand. The pricing for the latest generation graphics cards from various European retailers has been compiled and analyzed by 3DCentre and it paints a gloomy picture for gamers. The RTX 3080 now retails for 2999€ or 317% higher than the MSRP of 719€, other RTX 30 series cards saw price increases between 107% - 204%. This trend isn't exclusive to team Green with AMD's RX 6000 series also seeing significant price increases with the average price for an RX 6800 reaching 159% of MSRP at ~1600€, while other cards in the lineup see increases between 70% - 100%. The complete price history for all the cards tracked can be found at the source below. We don't see these prices falling significantly anytime soon unless there is a large drop in mining demand or a significant production increase.

SPC Gear Announces Streaming Microphone SM950 ONYX White

SPC Gear, the gaming label of the European manufacturer SilentiumPC, announces a fresh, bright colour variant of the popular SM950 streaming microphone kit. The new edition is inspired by the rare mineral white onyx, known for its exceptional durability and unique appearance. SPC Gear designed the Onyx White variants with this qualities in mind while offering directional (cardioid) characteristics, ensuring good dampening of unwanted ambient noise. High-quality components on the other hand, allow for a warm, radio-like sound. Being a Plug&Play microphone, the SM950 does not require installing any additional software and is ready to be used straight out of the box. The physical mute button is conveniently located on top of the microphone and provides visual cues when mutes. With the SM950 series, SPC Gear offers a prefect kit for every streamer, YouTuber and musician, seeking an affordable full-fledged recording setup for streaming of games on Twitch or YouTube or recording of podcasts and voiceovers.

2020 Global Semiconductor Equipment Sales Surge 19% to Industry Record $71.2 Billion, SEMI Reports

Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment surged 19% from $59.8 billion in 2019 to a new all-time high of $71.2 billion in 2020, SEMI, the industry association representing the global electronics product design and manufacturing supply chain, reported today. The data is now available in the Worldwide Semiconductor Equipment Market Statistics (WWSEMS) Report.

For the first time, China claimed the largest market for new semiconductor equipment with sales growth of 39% to $18.72 billion. Sales in Taiwan, the second-largest equipment market, remained flat in 2020 with sales of $17.15 billion after showing strong growth in 2019. Korea registered 61% growth to $16.08 billion to maintain the third position. Annual spending also increased 21% in Japan and 16% in Europe as both regions are recovering from the contraction in 2019. Receipts in North America decreased 20% in 2020 following three years of consecutive growth.

Global Semiconductor Sales Up 14.7% Year-to-Year in February, Says SIA

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced global semiconductor industry sales were $39.6 billion for the month of February 2021, an increase of 14.7% over the February 2020 total of $34.5 billion, but 1.0% less than the January 2021 total of $40.0 billion. Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

"Global semiconductor sales during the first two months of the year have outpaced sales from early in 2020, when the pandemic began to spread in parts of the world," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Sales into the China market saw the largest year-to-year growth, largely because sales there were down substantially early last year."

Container Ship Meets with an Accident, Clogging the Suez Canal

A super-heavy merchant ship has met with an accident, causing it to turn sideways, and effectively clogging the Suez Canal. The 400 m (1,312 ft) long ship turned sideways, causing it to run aground, into the canal's embankments. Why is this important? Notwithstanding the fact that the incident has caused the biggest backlog of ships at the Suez Canal, a vital trade-route linking Asia and Europe; the Panama-registered ship is operated by Taiwan's largest shipping company, Evergreen. The company, which also owns EVA Air, Taiwan's second largest airline, is believed to handle a bulk of the nation's electronics exports. This particular vessel, bearing the call-sign "Ever Given," was bound for the Dutch port of Rotterdam from China. A mariner aboard its trailing vessel, the Maersk Denver, captured this image of the beached ship. The disruption has caused several days worth shipping backlog, and could affect both ends of the supply-chain.

AMD to Supply Only a Few Thousand Radeon RX 6700 XT GPUs for Europe at Launch

The global supply chain of graphics cards is currently not very well equipped to handle the massive demand that exists for the latest generation of GPUs. Just like we have seen with the launch of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere, and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series Big Navi SKUs, the latest generation graphics cards are experiencing massive demand. And manufacturers of these GPUs are not very well equipped to handle it all, so there is a huge scarce for GPUs in the global market. With AMD's recent announcement of the Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, things are not looking any better, and the availability of this GPU could be very tight at launch.

According to information obtained by Igor's Lab, AMD could supply only a few thousand Radeon RX 6700 XT GPUs for Europe as a whole. To be precise, Igor's Lab notes that "If you condense the information of various board partners and distributors to a trend, then there are, depending on the manufacturer and model, only a few pieces (for Germany) to a few thousand for the EU as a whole." This could be a very bad indication of AMD's supply of these new GPUs globally, not just for Europe. The company is currently relying on the overbooked TSMC, which can only produce a limited amount of chips at the time, and we don't know how much capacity AMD allocated for the new chip.

Antec Presents New Dark Cube ITX Chassis with Optional Glass or Mesh Front Panel

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, is presenting a new ITX case which offers PC enthusiasts the best watercooling options in a small format case. The Dark Cube will soon reach store shelves and online retail outlets in Europe with a competitive MSRP of 209 Euros.

The Dark Cube is a masterpiece of the revolutionary ITX case from Antec. This untraditional case provides powerful support for the latest gaming gear. Despite the small size, the Dark Cube still supports motherboards up to M-ATX. The Dark Cube supports high-end hardware and provides dual front panel options: Users can choose either the tempered glass panel or mesh front panel - whether the emphasis is on maximum airflow performance or on showcasing the gaming components.

SiPearl to Manufacture its 72-Core Rhea HPC SoC at TSMC Facilities

SiPearl has this week announced their collaboration with Open-Silicon Research, the India-based entity of OpenFive, to produce the next-generation SoC designed for HPC purposes. SiPearl is a part of the European Processor Initiative (EPI) team and is responsible for designing the SoC itself that is supposed to be a base for the European exascale supercomputer. In the partnership with Open-Silicon Research, SiPearl expects to get a service that will integrate all the IP blocks and help with the tape out of the chip once it is done. There is a deadline set for the year 2023, however, both companies expect the chip to get shipped by Q4 of 2022.

When it comes to details of the SoC, it is called Rhea and it will be a 72-core Arm ISA based processor with Neoverse Zeus cores interconnected by a mesh. There are going to be 68 mesh network L3 cache slices in between all of the cores. All of that will be manufactured using TSMC's 6 nm extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) technology for silicon manufacturing. The Rhea SoC design will utilize 2.5D packaging with many IP blocks stitched together and HBM2E memory present on the die. It is unknown exactly what configuration of HBM2E is going to be present. The system will also see support for DDR5 memory and thus enable two-level system memory by combining HBM and DDR. We are excited to see how the final product looks like and now we wait for more updates on the project.

Explosive Growth in Automotive DRAM Demand Projected to Surpass 30% CAGR in Next Three Years, Says TrendForce

Driven by such factors as the continued development of autonomous driving technologies and the build-out of 5G infrastructure, the demand for automotive memories will undergo a rapid growth going forward, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Take Tesla, which is the automotive industry leader in the application of autonomous vehicle technologies, as an example. Tesla has adopted GDDR5 DRAM products from the Model S and X onward because it has also adopted Nvidia's solutions for CPU and GPU. The GDDR5 series had the highest bandwidth at the time to complement these processors. The DRAM content has therefore reached at least 8 GB for vehicles across all model series under Tesla. The Model 3 is further equipped with 14 GB of DRAM, and the next-generation of Tesla vehicles will have 20 GB. If content per box is used as a reference for comparison, then Tesla far surpasses manufacturers of PCs and smartphones in DRAM consumption. TrendForce forecasts that the average DRAM content of cars will continue to grow in the next three years, with a CAGR of more than 30% for the period.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series GPU Availability to Reportedly Worsen in Q1

The availability of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series "Ampere" graphics cards has been a problem ever since it launched. High demand paired with insufficient supply has caused quite some disturbance in the supply chain and has caused the MSRP of the GPUs to increase. Firstly, we were promised that the situation would resolve around May when NVIDIA is expecting to match the supply with the demand. However, according to the recent report, that might not be the case. Alternate, a European retailer operating in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, has spoken to NVIDIA about the supply of the GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere graphics cards.

According to the retailer, the situation with the card is such that the availability is scarce. When it comes to the GeForce RTX 3090, there are very few deliveries, but only a few open orders. The RTX 3080 sees very few cards coming with many open orders. The RTX 3070 has few cards incoming, but few open orders. And last but not least, the RTX 3060 Ti has very few cards coming, and a moderately high amount of open orders. If you are aiming to buy a card, your best chances would be with RTX 3090 and RTX 3070, as they do not have such high demand. On the other hand, RTX 3080 and RTX 3060 Ti cards are almost impossible to source as they all have a big waiting list. Alternate says that they work on a "first in first out" principle of delivering cards to consumers, so if you are not on the list you are likely going to wait for even longer.

NVIDIA No Longer Lists GeForce RTX 3000 Series Founders Edition Cards in Europe

According to the findings of Igor's Lab and Andreas Schilling from HardwareLuxx, we have information that NVIDIA is no longer listing its GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards in the Europe shop. NVIDIA website has a special section where the company lists all the available cards, and it represented a way to get the newest 3000 series Ampere graphics cards at MSRP. However, that seems to no longer be the case. NVIDIA has removed all the Ampere Founders Edition graphics cards from the European stores with Poland representing an exception with RTX 3090 listed. The company continues to list these cards at the US store version, however, the links are all redirecting to BestBuy, in the same manner as before. It is not clear why NVIDIA is no longer listing Founders Edition cards in Europe, and we are waiting for more information to report on. Below you can check out the Poland store, UK store, and US store, in order.

Update 13:10 UTC: NVIDIA did not remove these cards manually, but it was a technical error. Cards are now listed again on the storefronts.

NVIDIA to Re-introduce GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER GPUs

We are just a few weeks away from the launch of NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards based on the new Ampere architecture, and there is already some news regarding the lineup position and its possible distortion. According to multiple sources over at Overclocking.com, NVIDIA is set to re-introduce its previous generation GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER graphics cards to the market. Once again. The source claims that NVIDIA is already pushing the stock over to its board partners and system integrators to use the last-generation product. So far, it is not clear why the company is doing this and we can only speculate on it.

The source also claims that the pricing structure of the old cards will be 300 EUR for RTX 2060 and 400 EUR for RTX 2060 SUPER in Europe. The latter pricing models directly competes with the supposed 399 EUR price tag of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti model, which is based on the newer Ampere uArch instead of the last-gen Turing cards. The possibility for such a move is a possible scarce of GA106/GA104 silicon needed for the new cards, and the company could be aiming to try and satisfy the market with left-over stock from the previous generation cards.

EU Signs Declaration for 2 nm Node and Custom Processor Development

European Union has today processed a declaration that was signed by 17 member states about the development of a 2 nm semiconductor node and an advanced low-power processor. The declaration signed today proposes that the EU puts away 145 billion Euros for the development of the technologies needed to manufacture a 2 nm semiconductor manufacturing process, along with the development of a custom, low-power embedded processor designed for industrial applications. The 17 member countries include Belgium, France, Germany, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Greece, Malta, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Finland, and Cyprus. All of the countries listed are going to join the development of these technologies and will have the funds to do it over the next 2-3 years.
EU DeclarationTo ensure Europe's technology sovereignty and competitiveness, as well as our capacity to address key environmental and societal challenges and new emerging mass markets, we need to strengthen Europe's capacity to develop the next generation of processors and semiconductors. This includes chips and embedded systems that offer the best performance for specific applications across a wide range of sectors as well as leading-edge manufacturing progressively advancing towards 2 nm nodes for processor technology. Using connectivity, where Europe enjoys global lead, as a major use case driver for developing such capacity enables Europe to set the right level of ambition. This will require a collective effort to pool investment and to coordinate actions, by both public and private stakeholders.

Intel to Keep Its Number One Semiconductor Supplier Ranking in 2020: IC Insights

IC Insights' November Update to the 2020 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2020. This research bulletin covers the expected top-15 2020 semiconductor suppliers (Figure 1).

The November Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast through 2024 of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price) and a forecast of the major semiconductor industry capital spenders for 2020. A five-year outlook for total semiconductor industry capital spending is also provided.

TOP500 Expands Exaflops Capacity Amidst Low Turnover

The 56th edition of the TOP500 saw the Japanese Fugaku supercomputer solidify its number one status in a list that reflects a flattening performance growth curve. Although two new systems managed to make it into the top 10, the full list recorded the smallest number of new entries since the project began in 1993.

The entry level to the list moved up to 1.32 petaflops on the High Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark, a small increase from 1.23 petaflops recorded in the June 2020 rankings. In a similar vein, the aggregate performance of all 500 systems grew from 2.22 exaflops in June to just 2.43 exaflops on the latest list. Likewise, average concurrency per system barely increased at all, growing from 145,363 cores six months ago to 145,465 cores in the current list.

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.

Activision-Blizzard to Close its Office in France

Activision-Blizzard is one of the largest companies involved in the making of video games and they are accountable for many popular game franchises known to every gamer. Today, according to a report from Bloomberg, we have found out that Activision-Blizzard holding company will close the doors of its office located in Versailles, France. This move puts an end to company operations in that country. The company has informed its employees on Tuesday regarding the office closure, and thus has laid-off about 400 people the office accounted for. Generally speaking, there were no developer roles involved here.

The France office specialized in marketing, localization, and customer support, so no game developers were fired. At the beginning of this year, 1/4 of all France office employees were laid-off already and got their severance packages, while the rest of the employees affected by this move are expecting relocation somewhere else in Europe. A company spokesman corresponding with Bloomberg has said that "Over the past year we have been exploring how we might best integrate our capabilities across the business, enabling us to better leverage talent, expertise and scale as we adapt to the needs of a fast-paced, highly-competitive, digitally focused industry". This is quite a vague answer the spokesman gave; however, it is the only information we have.

Kingston Technology Top DRAM Module Supplier in 2019

Kingston Technology Europe Co LLP, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it has been ranked the top third-party DRAM module supplier in the world, according to the latest rankings by revenue from analyst firm TrendForce (formerly DRAMeXchange). Kingston retains its number 1 position with an estimated 80.33% market share on $12.9B (USD) revenue, according to TrendForce. The rankings for 2019 mark the 17th consecutive year that TrendForce has placed Kingston in the top spot.

TrendForce states DRAM prices were lower in 2019 due to an ample supply combined with weaker demand from both the server and client sides, thus resulting in less revenue for many module makers. Kingston was one of the few manufacturers to go against this trend and see market share grow, according to the analysts. Kingston has maintained its competitive advantage by working closely with its partners and customers to remain flexible while adapting to their ever-changing needs as well as market conditions. The following chart with results provided by TrendForce shows the top 10 DRAM module suppliers:

Microsoft Underwater Data Center Initiative Project Natick Declared a Success After Two Years

Microsoft has announced it considers the result of its underwater data center initiative, named Project Natick, a success. This announcement comes after Microsoft recovered its data center capsule from the seafloor alongside the Orkney Islands after a two-year-long deployment. The self-contained server pod (made up of 12 racks and 864 servers) was filled with nitrogen, and achieved a much lower failure rate - component-wise - compared to traditional onshore data centers. In fact, its failure rate was one-eight that of traditional servers. The absence of oxygen and lower humidity levels (no need to keep air comfortable and breathable for human technicians) may have been deciding factors in this failure rate.

There are some obvious advantages from such an offshore server deployment. For one, all that cold water really helps in cooling down the components inside - there's no need for added expense in cooling solutions. There is also no need for land acquisition or infrastructure development that's typically associated with onshore server sites. The fact that Project Natick was fully powered by renewable energy sources, courtesy of the Orkneys' grid - supplied 100 percent by wind, solar, and experimental green technologies under development at the European Marine Energy Centre. considering its success, it can certainly be expected that Microsoft - and other companies - double down on this type of server deployment.
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