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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.

U.S. Dept of Commerce Gives Huawei a 90-day Waiver to Wrap Up its Affairs

The United States Department of Commerce granted Huawei a 90-day respite in the form of a waiver, from the Bureau of Industry and Security's list of entities American businesses cannot trade with. Huawei shook the tech world last weekend, when it found itself banned by the Department of Commerce. Called TGL, or Temporary General License, with a defined lifespan of 90 days following 20th May, the TGL "grants operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine the appropriate long term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

"In short, this license will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks," he added. The 90-day period blunts the abrupt nature of the ban, giving U.S. businesses time to make alternative business plans with other partners. It also gives Huawei time to wrap up its affairs by seeking out dues from U.S. businesses, clearing out its dues to U.S. businesses, and lawfully exiting the U.S. market.

AMD Takes a Bigger Revenue Hit than Microsoft from Huawei Ban: Goldman Sachs

The trade ban imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and ratified through an Executive Order by President Donald Trump, is cutting both ways. Not only are U.S. entities banned from importing products and services from Huawei, but also engaging in trade with them (i.e. selling to them). U.S. tech firms stare at a $11 billion revenue loss by early estimates. Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs compiled a list of companies impacted by the ban, and the extent of their revenue loss. It turns out that AMD isn't a small player, and in fact, stands to lose more revenue in absolute terms than even Microsoft. It earns RMB 268 million (USD $38.79 million) from Huawei, compared to Microsoft's RMB 198 million ($28.66 million). Intel's revenue loss is a little over double that of AMD at RMB 589 million ($84 million), despite its market-share dominance.

That's not all, AMD's exposure is higher than that of Intel, since sales to Huawei make up a greater percentage of AMD's revenues than it does Intel's. AMD exports not just client-segment products such as Ryzen processors and Radeon graphics, but possibly also EPYC enterprise processors for Huawei's server and SMB product businesses. NVIDIA is affected to a far lesser extent than Intel, AMD, and Microsoft. Qualcomm-Broadcom take the biggest hit in absolute revenue terms at RMB 3.5 billion ($508 million), even if their exposure isn't the highest. The duo export SoCs and cellular modems to Huawei, both as bare-metal and licenses. Storage hardware makers aren't far behind, with the likes of Micron, Seagate, and Western Digital taking big hits. Micron exports DRAM and SSDs, while Seagate and WDC export hard drives.

U.S. Tech Industry, Including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm, Ban Huawei

The United States tech industry has overnight dealt a potentially fatal blow to Chinese electronics giant Huawei, by boycotting the company. The companies are establishing compliance with a recent Executive Order passed by President Donald Trump designed to "stop the import, sale, and use of equipment and services by foreign companies based in countries that are potential adversaries to U.S. interests," particularly information technology security. Google has announced that it will no longer allow Huawei to license Android, and will stop updates and Google Play access to Huawei smartphones. Huawei can still equip its phones with open-source Android, but it cannot use Google's proprietary software, including Google Play Store, Chrome, and all the other Google apps. Intel decided to no longer supply processors and other hardware to Huawei, for use in its laptops and server products. Sales of AMD processors will stop, too. Qualcomm-Broadcom have decided to stop supply of mobile SoCs and network PHYs, respectively. Microsoft decided to stop licensing Huawei to use Windows and Office products.

The ban is a consequence of the U.S. Government placing Huawei on a list of banned entities, forcing all U.S. companies to abandon all trade with it, without prior approval from the Department of Commerce. Trade cuts both ways, and not only are U.S. firms banned from buying from Huawei, they're also banned from selling to it. Huawei "buys from" over 30 U.S. companies, (for example, Windows licenses from Microsoft). CNN reports that U.S. firms could lose up to $11 billion in revenues.

Intel Looking to Buy Out Mellanox to Challenge Huawei in the 5G Infrastructure Gold Rush

Intel is in the fray to acquire Israeli networking infrastructure manufacturer Mellanox Technology for $6 billion in cash and shares, which constitute a 35 percent premium over its most recent valuation. Mellanox designs and manufactures infrastructure-scale networking hardware, such as high-bandwidth switches, adapters, and other data-center networking hardware, and when acquired by Intel, could give the company sufficient IP and manpower to take on Chinese networking equipment giant Huawei, in the gold-rush to bring 5G to the world, in addition to sustaining the cloud-computing boom. Huawei has been banned in several western nations (particularly NATO member states) for political or strategic reasons, and a large vacuum has been built that's being approached by other "Kosher" players such as Mellanox, Cisco, etc.

TSMC Fab 14 B Hit With Chemical Contamination; NVIDIA, MEDIATEK, Huawei, Hisilicon Lines Affected

TSMC's Fab 14 B has been affected with a chemical contamination that has put a considerable number of wafers in suspend mode. Fab 14 B essentially produces 12 and 16 nm, 300 mm wafers for 14 companies, including NVIDIA, MEDIATEK, Huawei and Hisilicon. Reportedly, between 10,000 and 30,000 wafers have been affected (though not scrapped, so there might be salvageable bits and pieces here and there). Of course, every wafer will have to go through a thorough certification process, and the fab will have to go down for the company to purge any remains of these botched chemical compounds.

To put things into perspective, though, Fab 14 B is one of TSMC's Gigafabs, which have a rated monthly output of 100k wafers - so production worth between three and ten days could be affected already, with the additional downtime accruing lost potential fabrication. This event isn't expected to significantly affect availability of any of the products for any of the companies, but these are becoming, at the very least, late inventory - this could well play into some speculative increases in pricing from some players in the market.

UL Benchmarks Kicks Huawei Devices from its Database over Cheating

UL Benchmarks de-listed several popular Huawei devices from its database over proof of cheating in its benchmarks. Over the month, it was found that several of Huawei's devices, such as P20 Pro, Nova 3, and Play; overclocked their SoCs while ignoring all power and thermal limits, to achieve high benchmark scores, when it detected that a popular benchmark such as 3DMark, was being run. To bust this, UL Benchmarks tested the three devices with "cloaked" benchmarks, or "private benchmarks" as they call it. These apps are identical in almost every way to 3DMark, but lack the identification or branding that lets Huawei devices know when to overclock themselves to cheat the test.

The results were startling. When the devices have no clue that a popular benchmark is being run (or if has no way of telling that 3DMark is being run), it chugs along at its "normal" speed, which is 35% to 36% lower. The rules that bind device manufacturers from advertising UL's 3DMark scores explicitly state that the device must not detect the app and optimize its hardware on the fly to ace the test. Huawei responded to UL by stating that it will unlock a new "performance mode" to users that lets them elevate their SoCs to the same high clocks for any application.

Western Digital's 14 TB HDD Qualified by Huawei for Big Data Applications

As a leader in enterprise-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) and the inventor of helium HDD technology, Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that Huawei has qualified its host-managed shingled magnetic recording (SMR) helium-based HDD, the Ultrastar Hs14 - the industry's first 14TB HDD designed for demanding big data applications. An early adopter of Western Digital's SMR HDDs, Huawei is breaking new ground by optimizing its distributed cloud storage OceanStor 9000 system for the sequential nature of data capture in video surveillance applications. Seeing the value in enabling significant TCO improvements, Huawei has made considerable investments in the integration of Western Digital's SMR HelioSeal HDDs, which deliver unsurpassed density, power efficiency and reliability.

Huawei MateBook X Pro Now Available in the U.S.

Designed to meet the demands of today's mobile lifestyles, the ultra-slim, lightweight yet mighty HUAWEI MateBook X Pro is ideal for everyone who relies on their notebooks to do everything, and go with them everywhere. The 13.9-inch HUAWEI MateBook X Pro features a 3K 10-point touchscreen with an optimal 3:2 aspect ratio and an industry-first 91 percent screen-to-body ratio FullView display. To provide an immersive 3D sound experience, Huawei collaborated with Dolby on a powerful quad-speaker system featuring the Second Generation Dolby Atmos Sound System. Inside is a powerful, full-featured 8th Generation Intel Core i7 or i5 processor, a 57.4Wh battery for extended use and discrete graphics.

The HUAWEI MateBook X Pro is disruptively priced at $1,499.99 for the Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 512GB solid state drive and NVIDIA GeForce MX150; or $1,199.99 for the Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB solid state drive and Intel UHD Graphics 620. Each HUAWEI MateBook X Pro also includes one-year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal and the HUAWEI MateDock 2. The HUAWEI MateBook X Pro comes in Space Gray or Mystic Silver and is available online at Amazon, Newegg and Microsoft.com beginning May 21 and in Microsoft Stores on May 23. Purchase the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro online from Amazon and Newegg, or a Microsoft Store by June 10 and receive a $300 gift card from the respective retailer for a future purchase.

Honor Launches the MagicBook Ultrabook

Honor, a sub-brand of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, has revealed their brand-new 14-inch MagicBook Ultrabook. The MagicBook is powered by a 8th generation Intel Core processor. It's available with either the Intel Core i5-8250U or the Intel Core i7-8550U processor. Both variants come with 8 GB of memory, a 256 GB SATA SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. The MagicBook is 15.8 mm thick and weighs 1.47 kg. In terms of design, the Honor MagicBook features a sleek all-aluminum body similar to the previously announced Huawei Matebook. The MagicBook's cooling solution consists of various heat pipes that are connected to the CPU and GPU. A single fan draws cool air from the three vents located around the ultrabook and pushes the heated air through the rear vent.

The Honor MagicBook has been fitted with a 13.3-inch matte IPS LCD display. The panel boasts a 1080p resolution, 45% NTSC color space, 800:1 contrast, and 250 nits of brightness. The ultrabook also possesses four Dolby Atmos-certified speakers, dual mics, and a fingerprint reader. Thanks to the generous 57.4 Wh battery, the MagicBook is certified for up to 12 hours of battery life. It comes with a USB Type-C port for charging the device, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Intel Core i5 variant costs CNY 5,000 ($800), while the Intel Core i7 model goes for CNY 5,700 ($910).

Huawei Unveils the MateBook X Pro and MediaPad M5 Series

Huawei Consumer Business Group today unveiled the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro and HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series at an exclusive launch event at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona. Beautifully designed both inside and out, the new notebook and tablet excel at work, at home or on the go for the ultimate mobile computing experience. Both the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro and HUAWEI MediaPad M5 blend crisp and clear displays, powerful hardware updates and intelligent software advances:

HUAWEI MateBook X Pro
The HUAWEI MateBook X Pro is an ultra-slim, yet full-featured 13.9-inch notebook with an all-new 3K touch-enabled HUAWEI FullView Display and 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5 and a long-lasting 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery - the HUAWEI MateBook X pro is one of the lightest and most powerful notebooks on the market. The HUAWEI MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System and custom speakers that deliver breakthrough, immersive audio for sound to flow above and around you, making you feel like you're inside the action.

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today's bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

SoftBank Completes Acquisition of ARM

SoftBank today announced that it has concluded the acquisition of British chipmaker ARM, in a USD $31 billion purchase. The acquisition was first announced in July 2016. Following this, ARM will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange from the 6th of September 2016. Although ARM is a CPU architecture designer with a mere $1.5 billion in revenue last fiscal, and licenses the architecture to other SoC makers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, etc., SoftBank is betting on ARM CPU architecture's emergence as the prime-mover of the IoT (Internet of things) revolution. This is SoftBank's largest tech acquisition following the $20 billion acquisition of American cellular network Sprint, and a $15 billion investment in Vodafone Japan.

Intel Announces Atom x3, x5, and x7 Series

Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich today announced a series of mobile platforms including the company's new low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) for phones, phablets and tablets, a global LTE solution, innovative personal computing experiences, and a range of customers for mobile device and network infrastructure offerings. With technologies that span silicon, software and security, Krzanich said Intel was one of the few companies able to deliver solutions end-to-end, for devices, the network and the cloud.

The announcements include the Intel Atom x3 processor series, Intel's first integrated communications SoC solution for the growing value and entry device markets, and the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, designed for performance and worldwide coverage. In addition, Krzanich highlighted joint efforts with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei to address the demand for new telecommunications, cloud and data center services, improve network efficiencies, and accelerate the industry's move toward a software-defined infrastructure.

SanDisk Announces ULLtraDIMM Design Win with Huawei

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced that its award-winning ULLtraDIMM Solid State Drive (SSD), has been selected by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd for inclusion in its RH8100 V3 servers. Huawei selected the ULLtraDIMM SSD after extensive testing under a variety of enterprise workloads and end-user scenarios using the RH8100 V3 server, which demonstrated the ULLtraDIMM SSD achieved the industry's lowest write latency at less than five microseconds and offered bandwidth that topped that of any other SSD solution. Adding flash-based storage to the DDR memory bus with direct connection to the processor allows Huawei to deliver a powerful solution to help customers address growing data center application performance requirements without significant additional infrastructure investments.

"The ULLtraDIMM SSD was designed to expand the reach of ultra-low latency flash storage throughout the data center and scale to meet the requirements of any enterprise application, no matter how bandwidth or capacity intensive," said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "We are very excited to partner with Huawei to offer this innovative, ultra-low latency storage solution, which will accelerate the performance of its customers' cloud, virtualization, OLTP, HPC and other applications, and help them experience the benefits of a flash-transformed data center."

Huawei to Utilize 6 TB HGST Helium-Filled Hard Disk Drives in Storage Systems

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced that the company has entered a partnership with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), a leading HDD provider, to deploy the new HGST Ultrastar He6 6 terabyte (TB) helium-filled hard disk drives (HDDs) into its storage systems. Being one of the first vendors across the world to employ HGST's helium-filled HDDs, which feature the largest capacity in the industry, Huawei is dedicated to providing storage products and solutions with high capacities and reduced power consumption.

"Huawei is very glad to collaborate with HGST in the helium-filled hard drive domain. With a high-density design, the integration of this technology into Huawei's storage systems, will enable us to provide customers with storage products and solutions that offer bigger capacity, higher efficiency and lower power-consumption," said Mr. Fan Ruiqi, President of Storage Product Line, Huawei Enterprise.

Huawei Announces Availability of Industry's First Enterprise-level 802.11ac AP

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced the commercial availability of the industry's first enterprise-level 802.11ac access point (AP) products. Huawei's introduction of the first 802.11ac APs in the enterprise market marks another important milestone for Huawei as one of the leading ICT solution providers in the industry. This is also testament to Huawei's commitment to Gigabit wireless access, further promoting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and accelerating business transformation.

Comprising two models, AP7030DN-AC and AP7130DN-AC, Huawei's enterprise-level 802.11ac APs support throughput of up to 1.3Gbps at 5G frequency and 1.75Gbps at dual frequency, and allow for smooth evolution from 11n to 11ac. Its high performance and industry-leading features will enable enterprise users to enjoy a wide range of wireless services that have high bandwidth requirements, such as HD video streaming, multi-media activities and cloud desktop access. Independently developed by Huawei's dedicated design team, the 802.11ac APs feature a world-class casing design which was awarded the "iF Product Design Award 2013" presented by iF International Forum Design, a prestigious design promotion organization based in Germany.

Huawei Announces the MediaPad 10 FHD Quad-Core Tablet

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, introduced the world's first 10-inch quad-core tablet today at the Mobile World Congress 2012. The HUAWEI MediaPad 10 FHD is a fast-performing tablet with unsurpassed audio-visual entertainment features including a Huawei 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, Google Android 4.0 operating system and a 10-inch IPS high definition display screen.

"Most consumers use tablets for entertainment purposes such as gaming, viewing multimedia content, browsing the internet and reading e-books," said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei Device. "We have created the HUAWEI MediaPad 10 FHD to excel in all of the entertainment capabilities including speed, power, web-browsing, high definition display and audio, and packaging it all in a compact and portable body."

Creative Sues Huawei Over Failed Contract

Singapore's Creative filed a lawsuit against Chinese company Huawei for US $9.3 million, for the latter's failure to honour a WiMAX broadband project for which it was paid. Creative's subsidiary QMax Communications paid Huawei the amount ($9.3 million) in 2010, for setting up WiMAX infrastructure in Singapore. Creative's Q2 FY'12 financial statement, released earlier this month, stated "QMax has suspended the wireless broadband project as the vendor for the equipment has failed to deliver on the key network performance requirements set out in the relevant supply contract."
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