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SSD Prices Expected To Fall 10-15% in Q4 2020

The memory market is expected to remain in a state of oversupply during Q4 2020 for both DRAM and NAND flash according to a new report from TrendForce. This oversupply will mean ~10% lower prices for memory in Q4 2020 with further price drops in 2021, this will result in falling SSD prices of 10-15%. These price drops in the consumer market will likely result in the lowest SSD pricing seen to date. These reductions were mainly driven by Huawei losing access to foreign DRAM and NAND memory which wasn't fully taken up by other smartphone manufacturers leading to an access of supply. These lower SSD prices will help accelerate the decline of HDDs in consumer devices as price parity gets closer.

China Could Reject NVIDIA-Arm Deal, Predicts Former Lenovo Chief Engineer

In big corporate mergers and acquisitions involving multi-national corporations, money is the easy part, with the hard part being competition regulators of major markets giving their assent. The NVIDIA-Arm deal could get entangled in the US-China tech trade-war, with Beijing likely to use its approval of the deal as a bargaining chip against the US. Former Lenovo chief engineer Ni Guangnan predicts that the Chinese government's position would be to try and fight the deal on anti-trust grounds, as it could create a monopoly of chip-design tools. China's main concern, however, would be Arm IP falling into the hands of a US corporation, the California-based NVIDIA, which would put the IP under US export-control regulations.

Both Arm and NVIDIA announced an agreement for the latter to acquire Arm from SoftBank in a deal valued at USD $40 billion. NVIDIA CEO has been quoted as calling it the "deal of the century," as it would put NVIDIA in control of the biggest CPU machine architecture standard after Intel's x86, letting it scale the IP from low-power edge SoCs, to large data-center processors. Chinese regulators could cite recent examples of US export controls harming the Chinese tech industry, such as technology bans over Huawei and SMIC, in its action against the NVIDIA-Arm deal. Arm's 200-odd Chinese licensees have shipped over 19 billion chips based on the architecture as of mid-September 2020.

Samsung and SK Hynix to Impose Sanctions Against Huawei

Ever since the Trump administration imposed sanctions against Huawei to stop it from purchasing parts from third-party vendors to bypass the ban announced back in May, some vendors continued to supply the company. So it seems like some Korean manufacturers will be joining the doings of the US government, and apply restrictions to Huawei. According to the reports of South Korean media outlets, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will be joining the efforts of the US government and the Trump administration to impose sanctions against Chinese technology giant - Huawei.

It is reported that on September 15th, both Samsung and SK Hynix will stop any shipments to Huawei, where Samsung already stopped efforts for creating any new shipments. SK Hynix is said to continue shipping DRAM and NAND Flash products until September 14th, a day before the new sanctions are applied. Until the 14th, Huawei will receive some additional chips from SK Hynix. And it is exactly SK Hynix who is said to be a big loser here. It is estimated that 41.2% of SK Hynix's H1 2020 revenue came from China, most of which was memory purchased for Huawei phones and tablets. If the company loses Huawei as a customer, it would mean that the revenue numbers will be notably lower.

Qualcomm Could Deliver Chips to Huawei

In the ave of the news that Trump administration has forbidden TSMC to have Huawei as its customer, Huawei seems to be exploring new options for sourcing the best performing mobile processors. As the company has turned to the Chinese SMIC semiconductor factory, it still needs a backup plan in the case of Chinese semiconductor manufacturing flops. So to combat US sanctions, Huawei will use already made chips form the US company - Qualcomm. By sourcing the processors from Qualcomm, Huawei is losing some benefits of customs design like better system integration, however, it will gain quite powerful mobile processors. As Qualcomm is known for providing the fastest processors for Android smartphones, Huawei has ensured that it remains competitive. Qualcomm is reportedly now negotiating with the US government about delivering the chips to Huawei, and if it is allowed, Qualcomm will gain a big customer.

Huawei 24-Core 7 nm Kunpeng CPU Reportedly Beats Intel Core i9-9900K

Huawei is preparing itself against further United States government technology bans with the introduction of its ARM-based 7 nm Kunpeng 920 CPUs in desktop systems for the Chinese government and enterprise markets. The specific chip used in this upcoming computer is the Kunpeng 920 3211K CPU which features 24 cores clocked at 2.6 GHz paired with 8 GB DDR4 memory, 512 GB Samsung SSD, and an AMD Radeon RX 520 GPU. This specific configuration reportedly beats Intel's Core i9-9900K 8-core processor in multi-core performance, while single-core performance is not reported as it likely lags far behind the high clock speeds of the Core i9-9900K. The desktop runs a custom Linux derived UOS operating system and cannot run Windows 10.

TSMC Allocation the Next Battleground for Intel, AMD, and Possibly NVIDIA

With its own 7 nm-class silicon fabrication node nowhere in sight for its processors, at least not until 2022-23, Intel is seeking out third-party semiconductor foundries to support its ambitious discrete GPU and scalar compute processor lineup under the Xe brand. A Taiwanese newspaper article interpreted by Chiakokhua provides a fascinating insight to the the new precious resource in the high-technology industry - allocation.

TSMC is one of these foundries, and will give Intel access to a refined 7 nm-class node, either the N7P or N7+, for some of its Xe scalar compute processors. The company could also seek out nodelets such as the N6. Trouble is, Intel will be locking horns with the likes of AMD for precious foundry allocation. NVIDIA too has secured a certain allocation of TSMC 7 nm for some of its upcoming "Ampere" GPUs. Sources tell China Times that TSMC will commence mass-production of Intel silicon as early as 2021, on either N7P, N7+, or N6. Business from Intel is timely for TSMC as it is losing orders from HiSilicon (Huawei) in wake of the prevailing geopolitical climate.

TSMC to Stop Orders from Huawei in September

TSMC, one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing foundries, has officially confirmed that it will stop all orders from Chinese company Huawei Technologies. The Taiwanese silicon manufacturer has decided to comply with US regulations and will officially stop processing orders for Huawei on September 14th of this year. Precisely, the company was receiving orders from HiSilicon, a subsidiary of Huawei Technologies that focuses on creating custom silicon. Under the new regulation by the US, all non-US companies must apply for a license to ship any American-made technology to Huawei. Being that many American companies like KLA Corporation, Lam Research, and Applied Materials ship their tools to many manufacturing facilities, it would be quite difficult for Huawei to manufacture its silicon anywhere. That is why Huawei has already placed orders over at Chinese SMIC foundry.

Huawei Desktop PC with Kunpeng 920 Processor Teased and Tested

Huawei has been readying the entire new breed of desktop PCs with a custom motherboard, custom processor, and even a custom operating system. Being that Huawei plans to supply Chinese government institutions with these PCs, it is logical to break away from US-made technology due to security reasons. And now, thanks to the YouTube channel called "二斤自制" we have the first look at the new PC system. Powered by Huawei D920S10 desktop motherboard equipped with Kunpeng 920 7 nm Arm v8 processor with 8 cores, the PC was running the 64-bit UOS operating system, which is a Chinese modification of Linux. In the test, the PC was assembled by a third-party provider and it featured 16 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 memory and 256 GB SSD.

The YouTube channel put it to test and in the Blender BMW render test, it has finished in 11 minutes and 47 seconds, which is quite slow. The system reportedly managed to stream 4K content well but has struggled with local playback thanks to poor encoding. Being that it runs a custom OS with a custom processor, app selection is quite narrow. The app store for the PC is accessible only if you pay an extra 800 Yuan (~$115), while the mentioned system will set you back 7,500 Yuan (~$1,060). At the heart of this system is eight-core, eight threaded Kunpeng 920 2249K processor. It features a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, has 128K of L1 cache (64K instruction cache and 64K data cache), 512K of L2, and 32 MB of L3 cache.

China's SMIC Looking for $2.8 billion Funding Round via Shanghai

As the US stranglehold on Huawei keeps on tightening its grip, China's government is keen on both investing more heavily into in-country semiconductor manufacturing that can become a viable alternative to Huawei as a source a silicon, as well as decrease the country's dependence on Western or Western-tied companies. The country has already developed promising alternatives to foreign DRAM solutions via Xi'an UniIC Semiconductors and Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC). Now, following a previously-successful funding round held in Hong Kong (worth some $2.2 billion injected last month), China's largest contract chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is looking for an additional $2.8 billion funding round via Shanghai.

SMIC is currently years behind TSMC, the current benchmark when it comes to semiconductor manufacturing. For now, SMIC is only able to provide 14 nm product designs - and even in that node, silicon is being quoted as having as much as a 70% defect-rate on any given wafer produced by the company (they've already started 14 nm production of Huawei's low-cost Kirin 710 chipset). At any rate, sources point towards a 6,000 monthly wafer production capacity within SMIC, a very, very low number that fails to meet any current demand (TSMC, for scale, are quoted as producing as many as 110,000 7 nm wafers per month). It's definitely an uphill battle, but SMIC counts with the might of the Chinese government through its sails - so while the waters might not be smooth, investment rounds such as these two (which amount to some $5 billion capital injection in two months) will be sure to help grease the engines for china's semiconductor expansion as much as possible.

SMIC Begins Mass-Production of 14nm FinFET SoCs for Huawei HiSilicon

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the state-backed Mainland Chinese semiconductor foundry, announced that it commenced mass-production of 14 nm FinFET SoCs for Huawei's HiSilicon subsidiary, a mere one month since Huawei shifting chip orders from TSMC to it. The company is manufacturing Kirin 710A is a revision of the original Kirin 710 SoC from 2018, built on SMIC's 14 nm node. The 4G-era SoC is capable of powering mid-range smartphones for Huawei's Honor brand, and uses an Arm big.LITTLE setup of Cortex A53 and Cortex A57 cores. This represents a major milestone not just for SMIC, but also Huawei, which has seen the company's isolation from cutting-edge overseas fabs such as TSMC. Much of Huawei's fate is riding on the success of SMIC's next-generation N+1 node, which purportedly offers a 57 percent energy-efficiency gain over 14 nm FinFET, rivaling sub-10 nm nodes such as 7 nm; enabling Huawei to build 5G-era SoCs.

TSMC 5 nm Customers Listed, Intel Rumored to be One of Them

TSMC is working hard to bring a new 5 nm (N5 and N5+) despite all the hiccups the company may have had due to the COVID-19 pandemic happening. However, it seems like nothing can stop TSMC, and plenty of companies have already reserved some capacity for their chips. With mass production supposed to start in Q3 of this year, 5 nm node should become one of the major nodes over time for TSMC, with predictions that it will account for 10% of all capacity for 2020. Thanks to the report of ChinaTimes, we have a list of new clients for the TSMC 5 nm node, with some very interesting names like Intel appearing on the list.

Apple and Huawei/HiSilicon will be the biggest customers for the node this year with A14 and Kirin 1000 chips being made for N5 node, with Apple ordering the A15 chips and Huawei readying the Kirin 1100 5G chip for the next generation N5+. From there, AMD will join the 5 nm party for Zen 4 processors and RDNA 3 graphics cards. NVIDIA has also reserved some capacity for its Hopper architecture, which is expected to be a consumer-oriented option, unlike Ampere. And perhaps the most interesting entry to the list is Intel Xe graphics cards. The list shows that Intel might use the N5 process form TSMC so it can ensure the best possible performance for its future cards, in case it has some issues manufacturing its own nodes, just like it did with 10 nm.
TSMC 5 nm customers

NVIDIA and HiSilicon Enter Top 10 Semiconductor Suppliers List

HiSilicon, a subsidiary company of Huawei, has officially entered the top 10 list of the semiconductor suppliers in the first quarter of 2020. This is a very important milestone for HiSilicon, as this shows just how big demand there is for its chips. Starting from smartphone chips going inside Huawei phones, server processors, and telecommunication equipment, HiSilicon has been busy pumping out designs at a very high rate. And now, thanks to the report of IC Insights, we have information that HiSilicon has become one of the biggest players in the industry.

Ranked at number 10 spot, HiSilicon is the first company from China that has entered this list. At the number nine spot is NVIDIA, which is also a new entry to the list. Thanks to the growth of 37% for the quarter, NVIDIA can hold number nine spot. In total, the top 10 of the semiconductor suppliers have climbed 16% on year in the first quarter of 2020, which is a very impressive result, counting in the current pandemic in the world.
Top 10 Semiconductor Suppliers TSMC Sales to HiSilicon

Huawei Ready to Enter PC Industry with Custom OS and Processor

Since the debut of its plans to create a custom Operating System and make itself independent from everyone, Huawei has been working hard to bring that idea to life. Creating custom software and custom hardware solutions, Huawei's engineers have been rather busy. And now, Huawei aims to be the new player in the Chinese PC industry, replacing the already available solutions that have foreign technology with potential backdoors that could represent a threat to Chinese information security. So to prepare for that, Huawei is creating a custom OS called HarmonyOS that will accompany custom hardware solutions.

The HarmonyOS was announced last year at Huawei Developer Conference 2019 (HDC 2019) as a project Huawei is working on. However, it seems like that project will become some of the more important things the company is working on. A well-known person for tipping about the latest industry news on Weibo said that Huawei is preparing to launch custom PCs very soon for domestic (Chinese) audience. Huawei is supposedly working with major cities and regions in China to supply its infrastructure with new solutions. And what those solutions will be? Well, Huawei plans to combine the HarmonyOS with its already launched Kunpeng Desktop Board.
Huawei Kunpeng Desktop Board Huawei Kunpeng Desktop Board

Huawei's Loss AMD's Gain, TSMC Develops Special 5nm Node

With Mainland Chinese tech giant Huawei being effectively cut off from contracting Taiwanese TSMC to manufacture its next-generation HiSilicon 5G mobile SoCs, and NVIDIA switching to Samsung for its next-generation GPUs, TSMC is looking to hold on to large high-volume customers besides Apple and Qualcomm, so as to not let them dictate pricing. AMD is at the receiving end of the newfound affection, with the semiconductor firm reportedly developing a new refinement of its 5 nm node specially for AMD, possibly to make Sunnyvale lock in on TSMC for its future chip architectures. A ChainNews report decoded by @chiakokhua sheds light on this development.

AMD is developing its "Zen 4" CPU microarchitecture for a 5 nm-class silicon fabrication node, although the company doesn't appear to have zeroed in on a node for its RDNA3 graphics architecture and CDNA2 scalar compute architecture. In its recent public reveal of the two, AMD chose not to specify the foundry node for the two, which come out roughly around the same time as "Zen 4." It wouldn't be far fetched to predict that AMD and TSMC were waiting on certainty for the new 5 nm-class node's development. There are no technical details of this new node. AMD's demand for TSMC is expected to be at least 20,000 12-inch wafers per month.

Huawei Moves 14 nm Silicon Orders from TSMC to SMIC

Huawei's subsidiary, HiSilicon, which designs the processors used in Huawei's smartphones and telecommunications equipment, has reportedly moved its silicon orders from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), according to DigiTimes. Why Huawei decided to do is move all of the 14 nm orders from Taiwanese foundry to China's largest silicon manufacturing fab, is to give itself peace of mind if the plan of the US Government goes through to stop TSMC from supplying Huawei. At least for the mid-tier chips built using 14 nm node, Huawei would gain some peace as a Chinese fab is a safer choice given the current political situation.

When it comes to the high-end SoCs built on 7 nm, and 5 nm in the future, it is is still uncertain how will Huawei behave in this situation, meaning that if US cuts off TSMC's supply to Huawei, they will be forced to use SMIC's 7 nm-class N+1 node instead of anything from TSMC. Another option would be Samsung, but it is a question will Huawei put itself in risk to be dependant on another foreign company. The lack of 14 nm orders from Huawei will not be reflecting much on TSMC, because whenever someone decides to cut orders, another company takes up the manufacturing capactiy. For example, when Huawei cut its 5 nm orders, Apple absorbed by ordering more capacity. When Huawei also cut 7 nm orders, AMD and other big customers decided to order more, making the situation feel like there is a real fight for TSMC's capacity.
Silicon Wafer

Huawei Rumored To Enter GPU Server Market

Huawei may become the 4th player in the GPU server market if a new report by Korean news outlet The Elec is to be believed. The Elec has received reports from Industry Sources that Huawei is readying to enter the market in 2020, this will put them in direct competition with industry leader NVIDIA along with AMD and newcomer Intel. Huawei Korea will reportedly assign the project to the new Cloud and AI Business Group division, talent scouting has already begun with rumors of current and former NVIDIA staff getting poached.

Huawei is no newcomer to the server market having already launched the Ascend 910 one of the worlds most advanced AI accelerators in August 2019. The Ascend 910 outperforms the Tesla V100 by a factor of two, and is developed on a more advanced 7 nm+ technology compared to the 12 nm Tesla V100. In January 2020 Huawei launched their next server product the Kunpeng 920 a big data CPU along with a new server lineup featuring the chip. Considering Huawei's experience and resources in the server market along with Intel's entrance the GPU server landscape is set to become very competitive.

SMIC 7nm-class N+1 Foundry Node Going Live by Q4-2020

China's state-backed SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation) has set an ambitious target of Q4-2020 for its 7 nanometer-class N+1 foundry node to go live, achieving "small scale production," according to a cnTechPost report. The company has a lot of weight on its shoulders as geopolitical hostility between the U.S. and China threatens to derail the country's plans to dominate 5G technology markets around the world. The SMIC N+1 node is designed to improve performance by 20%, reduce chip power consumption by 57%, reduce logic area by 63%, and reduce SoC area by 55%, in comparison to the SMIC's 14 nm FinFET node, Chinese press reports citing a statement from SMIC's co-CEO Dr. Liang Mengsong.

Dr. Liang confirmed that the N+1 7 nm node and its immediate successor will not use EUV lithography. N+1 will receive a refinement in the form of N+2, with modest chip power consumption improvement goals compared to N+1. This is similar to SMIC's 12 nm FinFET node being a refinement of its 14 nm FinFET node. Later down its lifecycle, once the company has got a handle of its EUV lithography equipment, N+2 could receive various photomasks, including a switch to EUV at scale.

U.S. Government Tightens Screws on Huawei's Global Chip Supply from TSMC

The U.S. government announced advanced measures that make it harder for foreign companies, such as Taiwan's TSMC, to supply chips to Chinese telecom hardware giant Huawei. Foreign companies that use American chipmaking equipment, are required to obtain a license from the U.S. before supplying certain chips to Huawei. Sources comment that the new rule was tailor-made to curb TSMC fabricating smartphone SoCs for Huawei's HiSilicon subsidiary.

Mainland Chinese semiconductor companies are still behind Samsung and TSMC in 7 nm-class fab technologies, forcing HiSilicon to source from the latter. 7 nm fabrication is a key requirement for SoCs and modem chips capable of 5G. The high data transceiving rates of 5G requires a certain amount of compute power that can fit into smartphone-level power-envelopes only with the help of 7 nm, at least for premium smartphone form-factors. Same applies to 5G infrastructure equipment. This is hence perceived as a means for the U.S. to clamp brakes on Huawei's plans of playing a big role in 5G tech rollouts around the world, buying western 5G tech suppliers such as Nokia time to catch up. Huawei has been a flashpoint for a bitter political spat between the U.S. and China, with the Chinese press even threatening that the matter could hamper medical supplies to the U.S. to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

New U.S. Regulation Prevents Huawei Buying from TSMC, Could Backfire: Chinese Press

Huawei is planning a response to a recent administrative move by the U.S. Department of Commerce that makes it impossible for foreign companies such as Taiwan's TSMC to serve it. Huawei's mobile SoC design house subsidiary, HiSilicon, is highly dependant on TSMC to contract manufacture its SoCs on the company's 7 nm (N7), and various 10 nm-class FinFET nodes. Huawei is preparing to port some of its SoC designs to a 14 nm node of China's state-owned Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) as contingency. Without access to 7 nm, Huawei's plans to lead the global 5G infrastructure market would hit severe roadblocks. The U.S. move has triggered a heated (and somewhat loaded) reprisal from Global Times, a newspaper that's regarded in diplomatic circles as a platform for hawkish unofficial messaging by the Chinese government.

China could blackmail the U.S. into lifting its trade ban and a more recent supplier-access denial to Huawei, with potential shortages of essential medical supplies, particularly face masks. An eminent Chinese industrial analyst, Ma Jihua, told Chinese newspaper Global Times: "The Huawei problem has been elevated to one of national interests and Chinese firms may stop supplying much-needed face masks if the U.S. provokes [a fight with Huawei]." In addition to Chinese suppliers, American firms such as 3M manufacture face masks in China, besides several other consumables needed to fight epidemics, such as gloves, hazmat suits, goggles, etc.
No huawei, no face masks: China to the US

US Government Could Stop Chip Shipments from TSMC to Huawei

US Government, precisely the Trump administration, is considering placing a ban on chip export from TSMC to Huawei. With Huawei being in the middle between the US and China fight for global technology dominance, the Trump administration is seeking to limit the progress of foreign forces trying to match or beat US technology. There were previous efforts by the US government to influence Huawei's fate, with them claiming that Huawei 5G equipment is capable of supplying China with intelligence, meaning that China tries to spy on US citizens. While those claims were later disregarded by Huawei, the Trump administration managed to do some damage to the face of the company.

The TSMC representative who spoke to Reuters about the potential ban said that the company (TSMC) does not answer hypothetical questions and that they don't talk about their customers. To achieve more control over the China semiconductor manufacturing, the US government plans to place a licensing model on all of their US-made semiconductor equipment, meaning that all the production lines are possibly in danger if the US doesn't approve shipments of their machines to other countries.

NVIDIA Leads the Edge AI Chipset Market but Competition is Intensifying: ABI Research

Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to the edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipset industry. In 2019, the AI industry is witnessing the continual migration of AI workloads, particularly AI inference, to edge devices, including on-premise servers, gateways, and end-devices and sensors. Based on the AI development in 17 vertical markets, ABI Research, a global tech market advisory firm, estimates that the edge AI chipset market will grow from US $2.6 billion in 2019 to US $7.6 billion by 2024, with no vendor commanding more than 40% of the market.

The frontrunner of this market is NVIDIA, with a 39% revenue share in the first half of 2019. The GPU vendor has a strong presence in key AI verticals that are currently leading in AI deployments, such as automotive, camera systems, robotics, and smart manufacturing. "In the face of different use cases, NVIDIA chooses to release GPU chipsets with different computational and power budgets. In combination with its large developer ecosystem and partnerships with academic and research institutions, the chipset vendor has developed a strong foothold in the edge AI industry," said Lian Jye Su, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

NVIDIA is facing stiff competition from Intel with its comprehensive chipset portfolio, from Xeon CPU to Mobileye and Movidius Myriad. At the same time, FPGA vendors, such as Xilinx, QuickLogic, and Lattice Semiconductor, are creating compelling solutions for industrial AI applications. One missing vertical from NVIDIA's wide footprint is consumer electronics, specifically smartphones. In recent years, AI processing in smartphones has been driven by smartphone chipset manufacturers and smartphone vendors, such as Qualcomm, Huawei, and Apple. In smart home applications, MediaTek and Amlogic are making their presence known through the widespread adoption of voice control front ends and smart appliances.

Compute Express Link Consortium (CXL) Officially Incorporates

Today, Alibaba, Cisco, Dell EMC, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Intel Corporation and Microsoft announce the incorporation of the Compute Express Link (CXL) Consortium, and unveiled the names of its newly-elected members to its Board of Directors. The core group of key industry partners announced their intent to incorporate in March 2019, and remain dedicated to advancing the CXL standard, a new high-speed CPU-to-Device and CPU-to-Memory interconnect which accelerates next-generation data center performance.

The five new CXL board members are as follows: Steve Fields, Fellow and Chief Engineer of Power Systems, IBM; Gaurav Singh, Corporate Vice President, Xilinx; Dong Wei, Standards Architect and Fellow at ARM Holdings; Nathan Kalyanasundharam, Senior Fellow at AMD Semiconductor; and Larrie Carr, Fellow, Technical Strategy and Architecture, Data Center Solutions, Microchip Technology Inc.

Trendforce: DRAM Pricing Could Fall Up to 25% in 2019 Following Huawei ban

Trendforce, via its market analysis division DRAMeXchange, announced yesterday that it expected DRAM pricing to fall even more than previously estimated. The motive behind this is Huawei's ban following the US-China trade war, which will limit Huawei's ability to deliver its server and, especially, smartphone products. With companies being banned from trading with the Chinese firm, a voracious consumer of the US-tied DRAM production has just evaporated without a trace. This means increasing inventories amidst a freeze in demand due to uncertainty in the overall markets, which will obviously tip the supply-demand balance.

This has led TrendForce to officially adjust its outlook for 3Q DRAM prices from its original prediction of a 10% decline to a widened 10-15% decline, with an additional 10% decline in the fourth quarter. And of course, after prices hit rock bottom, they can only go up, which is why DRAMeXchange expects prices can only increase - and DRAM manufacturers' outlook improve - come 2020. Gear up for those DRAM upgrades this year, folks.

ARM Revokes Huawei's Chip IP Licence

As the trade war between the US and China continues to unfold, we are seeing major US companies ban or stop providing service to China's technology giant Huawei. Now, it looks like the trade war has crossed the ocean and reached the UK. This time, UK based ARM Holdings, the provider of mobile chip IP for nearly all smartphones and tablets, has revoked the license it has given Huawei.

According to the BBC, ARM Holdings employees were instructed to suspend all interactions with Huawei, and to send a note informing Huawei that "due to an unfortunate situation, they were not allowed to provide support, deliver technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters with Huawei, HiSilicon or any of the other named entities." The news came from an internal ARM document the BBC has obtained.

Intel "Sapphire Rapids" Brings PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5 to the Data-Center

As if the mother of all ironies, prior to its effective death-sentence dealt by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Huawei's server business developed an ambitious product roadmap for its Fusion Server family, aligning with Intel's enterprise processor roadmap. It describes in great detail the key features of these processors, such as core-counts, platform, and I/O. The "Sapphire Rapids" processor will introduce the biggest I/O advancements in close to a decade, when it releases sometime in 2021.

With an unannounced CPU core-count, the "Sapphire Rapids-SP" processor will introduce DDR5 memory support to the data-center, which aims to double bandwidth and memory capacity over the DDR4 generation. The processor features an 8-channel (512-bit wide) DDR5 memory interface. The second major I/O introduction is PCI-Express gen 5.0, which not only doubles bandwidth over gen 4.0 to 32 Gbps per lane, but also comes with a constellation of data-center-relevant features that Intel is pushing out in advance as part of the CXL Interconnect. CXL and PCIe gen 5 are practically identical.
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