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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.

Atos Launches First Supercomputer Equipped with NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announces its new BullSequana X2415, the first supercomputer in Europe to integrate NVIDIA's Ampere next-generation graphics processing unit architecture, the NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU. This new supercomputer blade will deliver unprecedented computing power to boost application performance for HPC and AI workloads, tackling the challenges of the exascale era. The BullSequana X2415 blade will increase computing power by more than 2x and optimize energy consumption thanks to Atos' 100% highly efficient water-cooled patented DLC (Direct Liquid Cooling) solution, which uses warm water to cool the machine.

Forschungszentrum Jülich will integrate this new blade into its booster module, extending its existing JUWELS BullSequana supercomputer, making it the first system worldwide the use this new technology. The JUWELS Booster will provide researchers across Europe with significantly increased computational resources. Some of the projects it will fuel are the European Commission's Human Brain Project and the Jülich Laboratories of "Climate Science" and "Molecular Systems". Once fully deployed this summer the upgraded supercomputing system, operated under ParTec's software ParaStation Modulo, is expected to provide a computational peak performance of more than 70 Petaflops/s making it the most powerful supercomputer in Europe and a showcase for European exascale architecture.

The EPI Announces Successful First Steps Towards a Made-in-Europe High-performance Microprocessor

The European Processor Initiative(EPI), crucial element of the European exascale strategy, delivers its first architectural design to the European Commission and welcomes new partners Almost six months in, the project that kicked off last December has already delivered its first architectural designs to the European Commission, thus marking initial milestones successfully executed. The project that will be the cornerstone of the EU's strategic plans in HPC initially brought together 23 partners from 10 European countries, but has now welcomed three more strong additions to its EPI family. EPI consortium aims to bring a low-power microprocessor to the market and ensure that the key competences for high-end chip design remain in Europe. The European Union's Horizon 2020 program funds this project with a special Framework Partnership Agreement. The initial stage is a three-year Specific Grant Agreement, which lasts until November 2021.

DRAM Price-Fix Uncovered in China, 'Massive Evidence' Against Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation has been conducting an anti-monopoly investigation of the global Dynamic RAM market. According to an interview of Wu Zenghou (bureau's head) in the Financial Times, this process has found "massive evidence" against the three companies (Samsung, Hynix, and Micron) that are responsible for the vast majority of this segment. "The anti-monopoly investigation into these three companies has made important progress", points out the investigator. On April these three companies were hit with a price-fixing suit on the same matter in the US, and this investigation seems to confirm those reports.

There is even an older precedent, as Samsung and Hynix were fined both by the US Department of Justice in 2005 and by the European Commission in 2010 on price-fixing allegations. The charges now are similar, and if the companies are found guilty, they could face fines of over $2.5 billion. Some analysts suggest this investigation could be part of the trade war between China and the US, with the former trying to get some leverage pushing the Chinese semiconductor company Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit as a bigger player on this market. One that, by the way, is being investigated on allegations of misappropriated trade secrets from Micron. Samsung and SK Hynix have accused China DRAM makers of industrial espionage, too.

European Commission Fines ASUS, Philips, Pioneer, Denon & Marantz $130M for Price Fixing

The European Commission today fined, in four separate decisions, consumer electronics manufacturers Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers in breach of EU competition rules.

The fines totalling over €111 million were in all four cases reduced due to the companies' cooperation with the Commission.

EA Says FIFA 19 will Disclose Pack Odds

FIFA (the game) is big in the EU, where game studios recently felt the bite of regulators over the loot-crate controversy, with some voices in the European Commission even threatening to impose gambling sanctions. The post-World Cup release of FIFA rides on the real-world tournament's popularity, and tends to be a major release. FIFA 19, according to EA, will shield itself against the wrath of EU regulation by disclosing upfront the odds that the Ultimate Team pack (a loot-crate) you're about to buy isn't a sack of potatoes.

"For Ultimate Team, when you buy a pack you know what you are getting. You are getting a certain number of assets that are guaranteed - and we're going to start to do pack odds disclosures that'll show you the odds of what you might get," said Daryl Holt, VP and COO of EA Sports, in an interview with Eurogamer. "That'll be in our product year 19 titles. So, at least that aspect of understanding what the chances are of getting X, Y and Z card." The current FIFA 18 includes a more crude implementation of what EA is proposing. It only discloses a vague inventory of the contents of the pack (number of players and consumables).

European Commission Fines Qualcomm €997M for Abuse of Dominant Market Position

The European Commission has fined Qualcomm €997m for abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets. Qualcomm prevented rivals from competing in the market by making significant payments to a key customer on condition it would not buy from rivals. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby cementing its market dominance. Qualcomm paid billions of US Dollars to a key customer, Apple, so that it would not buy from rivals. These payments were not just reductions in price - they were made on the condition that Apple would exclusively use Qualcomm's baseband chipsets in all its iPhones and iPads.

This meant that no rival could effectively challenge Qualcomm in this market, no matter how good their products were. Qualcomm's behaviour denied consumers and other companies more choice and innovation - and this in a sector with a huge demand and potential for innovative technologies. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules and why we have taken today's decision."

European Commission Fines Google in €2.42 billion for Antitrust Violations

Another year, another European Commission fine for an antitrust violation. This time, the target of the fine is none other than Google. In what could be the most important antitrust ruling in recent years (which overshadows even Microsoft's 2004 browser fine), the EC has found that Google has systematically worked towards increasing prominence in search results to those displayed by the company's own comparison shopping service, dubbed "Google Shopping". "Google Shopping" started in 2004, when Google entered the comparison shopping market in Europe, with a product that was initially called "Froogle", renamed "Google Product Search" in 2008 and since 2013 has been called "Google Shopping".

However, it would seem that Froogle wasn't all that successful. When Google entered the comparison shopping markets with Froogle, there were already a number of established players, which dampened the company's market foray. The EC states that Google was aware that Froogle's market performance was relatively poor, pointing to one internal document from 2006 that stated, quite plainly, that "Froogle simply doesn't work".

Kaspersky Backs Away From Threat of Antitrust Lawsuit against Microsoft / Win10

Russian-based Kaspersky Labs is backing away from its earlier threat of an antitrust case filing with the European Commission, instead opting for a "wait and see" approach with regards to its complaints with Microsoft over Windows 10 and its included security software "Windows Defender."

Kaspersky Labs has been threatening to press an antitrust action since November 2016, when in a November blog post titled "That's it. I've had enough!" Chief Executive Eugene Kaspersky complained that Microsoft did not give developers ample time to prepare for a new Windows release, and was using their "compatibility checker" tool to effectively remove competing software in favor of Windows Defender.

Lenovo Set to Close Acquisition of IBM's x86 Server Business

Lenovo announced today that conditions for Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business have been satisfied and the parties anticipate they will begin closing the transaction effective on October 1, 2014. The acquisition will make Lenovo the third-largest player in the $42.1 billion global x86 server market. Lenovo is acquiring System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, PureApplication and PureData appliances.

"With the close of the x86 acquisition, Lenovo will add a world-class business that extends our capabilities in enterprise hardware and services, immediately making us a strong number three in the global server market," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. "Now, our priorities are to ensure a smooth integration and deliver a seamless transition for customers. By combining Lenovo's global reach, efficiency and operational excellence with IBM's legendary quality, innovation and service, I am confident that we will have competitive advantages to help us drive profitable growth and build Lenovo into a global enterprise leader."

Antec Announces the Availability of ErP Lot 26:2014 Compliant Power Supplies

Antec, the global leader in high-performance computer enclosures, power supplies, and mobile accessories today announced that their lines of power supplies are compliant with the ErP Lot 26:2014 regulation. With this directive, the European Commission aims at reducing the environmental impact of energy-related products (ErPs). The regulation established a framework for setting Ecodesign requirements (such as energy efficiency requirements) for all ErPs in the residential, tertiary and industrial sectors.

The production, distribution, use and end-of-life management of energy-related products is associated with important impacts on the environment. The new system-based energy consumption regulation no. 617/2013 of June 26 2013 is implementing the directive 2009/125/EC by the European Union regarding the stand-by and total power consumption of desktop computer systems, small scale servers and notebooks. It requires the System Integrators and VARs of such systems to provide a wealth of power consumption-related metrics of the system together with the "normal" product information to end users.

LG Responds to EC Decision on CRT Displays

LG Electronics Inc. confirms that it has been imposed an administrative fine of €491,567,000 by the European Commission for allegedly infringing European competition law with regard to the sale of cathode ray tubes in the late 1990s and up to 2006. LG Electronics is currently reviewing the European Commission's decision with the intention to appeal the decision.

The European Commission contends that LG Electronics is liable for the period prior to July 2001 when it made and sold cathode ray tubes in addition to a period after that date, even though it had transferred its cathode ray tube business to LG Philips Displays, a joint venture between LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics NV. In 2006, LG Philips Displays went bankrupt.

European Commission Fines Samsung, LG, Philips, Others € 1.47 Billion

The European Commission has fined seven international groups of companies a total of € 1,470,515,000 for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes ("CRT"). For almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output.

One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other one colour display tubes used in computer monitors. The cartels operated worldwide. The infringements found by the Commission therefore cover the entire European Economic Area (EEA). Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic, Toshiba, MTPD (currently a Panasonic subsidiary) and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) participated only in the cartel for television tubes. Chunghwa received full immunity from fines under the Commission's 2006 Leniency Notice for the two cartels, as it was the first to reveal their existence to the Commission. Other companies received reductions of their fines for their cooperation in the investigation under the Commission's leniency programme.

European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Microsoft on Browser Compliance

The European Commission has informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft (see IP/09/1941). The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.

In its statement of objections, the Commission takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011. From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period.

European Commission Plans Criminal Case Against Microsoft

According to a report, European Commission is planning to level a criminal case against Microsoft for failing to meet the conditions laid down by the judgement of a 2009 case that forced Microsoft to strip its Internet Explorer browser from Windows operating system copies sold in the EU, and presenting new installations of the OS with a browser selection menu. With the advent of Windows 7 SP1, the browser selection menu was not implemented for tens of millions of PCs (out of an error, Microsoft argues). The new case could lead to penalties in billions of Euros for Microsoft.

European Commission Goes After 13 Optical Drive Makers for Price-Fixing

Optical disc drives are components buyers are least bothered about, when purchasing parts to build a PC, or replace a broken one. The EU's regulators have found something fishy even with companies making these roughly-20€ PC components. According to the European Commission (EC), 13 optical disc drive vendors may have conspired to fix prices of their products on a global scale, and that affects European consumers, as well.

The EC is investigating 13 drive suppliers, and 2 major PC OEMs (pre-built PC vendors), for conducting and participating in what is known as bid rigging scheme, a serious antitrust violation. In bid rigging schemes, the bidders and contractees conspire to rig their prices so that a particular supplier wins the bid. Penalties for such a violation include 10% of worldwide turnover set as fines.

Intel Appeals Against $1.3 Billion Fine by EU, from 2009

Around three years after the European Commission slapped Intel with a record €1.06 billion fine for anti-competitive practices against market rival AMD, the company appealed against the fine, on grounds that the commission relied on "profoundly inadequate" evidence to establish anti-competition charges against the company, which lead to the fine. A 5-member bench of General Court in Luxembourg, Europe's second highest, will hear arguments of both Intel and EU's regulators, during a 4-day hearing. Intel wants its conviction quashed and its fine reduced/removed. According to European regulators, major computer manufacturers such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo, received unfair rebates from Intel for opting for its chips. The case is T-286/09, Intel vs Commission.

European Commission Opens Antitrust Investigations Against Motorola Mobility

The European Commission has opened two formal antitrust investigations against Motorola Mobility Inc. The Commission will assess whether Motorola has abusively, and in contravention of commitments it gave to standard setting organisations, used certain of its standard essential patents to distort competition in the Internal Market in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the cases as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigations.

Following complaints by Apple and Microsoft, the Commission will investigate, in particular, whether by seeking and enforcing injunctions against Apple's and Microsoft's flagship products such as iPhone, iPad, Windows and Xbox on the basis of patents it had declared essential to produce standard-compliant products, Motorola has failed to honour its irrevocable commitments made to standard setting organisations. In these commitments, Motorola engaged to license those standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether Motorola's behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant market position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).

Cisco Has Objections to Microsoft's Skype Takeover

Cisco expressed concerns with the EU over Microsoft's takeover of Skype. In 2011, Microsoft clinched a deal which saw it takeover Skype for a staggering US $8.5 billion. Perhaps we're now getting to see just how valuable the acquisition was, as Microsoft is now sitting on some key telecommunication over IP intellectual property that has Cisco concerned that Microsoft could restrict video-conferencing technologies to other companies and impede competition. Interestingly, the European Commission gave a go-ahead to Microsoft during its acquisition, judging that the takeover wouldn't impede competition.

In a blog post by video conferencing head Martin De Beer, Cisco stated that it "does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability." Cisco called for making Microsoft's freshly-acquired IP "open-standards", stating that otherwise, Microsoft could control "the future of video communications". "Making a video-to-video call should be as easy as dialling a phone number," De Beer argued. It's "intellectual-property" when convenient, "open-standard" when not, in the funny world of tech-patents.

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility

Today Fox Business is reporting U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices. The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc -led consortium's purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.Both the Justice Department and European antitrust authorities said that they would monitor how patents are used to ensure they comply with antitrust rules. Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned that patents essential to ensuring communications devices sold by different companies work together are licensed for a reasonable fee.

European Commission opens antitrust proceedings against Samsung

The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether Samsung Electronics has abusively, and in contravention of a commitment it gave to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), used certain of its standard essential patent rights to distort competition in European mobile device markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

In 2011, Samsung sought injunctive relief in various Member States' courts against competing mobile device makers based on alleged infringements of certain of its patent rights which it has declared essential to implement European mobile telephony standards. The Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so Samsung has failed to honour its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The Commission will examine whether such behaviour amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).
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