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SK Hynix Licenses DBI Ultra 3D Interconnect Technology

Xperi Corporation today announced that it entered into a new patent and technology license agreement with SK hynix, one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers. The agreement includes access to Xperi's broad portfolio of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) and a technology transfer of Invensas DBI Ultra 3D interconnect technology focused on next-generation memory.

"We are delighted to announce the extension of our long-standing relationship with SK hynix, a world-renowned technology leader and manufacturer of memory solutions," said Craig Mitchell, President of Invensas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation. "As the industry increasingly looks beyond conventional node scaling and turns toward hybrid bonding, Invensas stands as a pioneering leader that continues to deliver improved performance, power, and functionality, while also reducing the cost of semiconductors. We are proud to partner with SK hynix to further develop and commercialize our DBI Ultra technology and look forward to a wide range of memory solutions that leverage the benefits of this revolutionary technology platform."

Arm Delivers New Edge Processor IPs for IoT

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

Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code and software development tools relevant to the design of open source CPUs, SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

Audio-Technica Also Introduces Upgraded SonicSport Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica is also introducing two SonicSport wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones. The ATH-SPORT90BT features a built-in music player for the ultimate in on-the-go listening convenience and along with the ATH-SPORT60BT includes a number of useful upgrades from previous models. Both headphones offer a host of fitness-friendly features including IPX5 waterproof-rated construction, a built-in mic and controls for smartphone and portable device operation, and stay-in-place designs that keep them secure even during intense workouts. Both feature improved high-sensitivity drivers for impactful, immersive sound and offer longer battery life along with additional improvements.

Audio-Technica's SonicSport ATH-SPORT90BT (SRP: US$159.00) has newly-designed 6 mm drivers with a powerful magnetic circuit and dedicated headphone amplifier, to bring high-quality full-range (20 - 25,000 Hz) audio reproduction to listeners with active lifestyles. The ATH-SPORT90BT includes a built-in 4 GB music player, making it the ultimate portable music device - no need to carry a smartphone around during workouts. The headphones can also be paired with a smartphone or other Bluetooth device if desired.

Intel Acquires Artificial Intelligence Chipmaker Habana Labs

Intel Corporation today announced that it has acquired Habana Labs, an Israel-based developer of programmable deep learning accelerators for the data center for approximately $2 billion. The combination strengthens Intel's artificial intelligence (AI) portfolio and accelerates its efforts in the nascent, fast-growing AI silicon market, which Intel expects to be greater than $25 billion by 2024 (1).

"This acquisition advances our AI strategy, which is to provide customers with solutions to fit every performance need - from the intelligent edge to the data center," said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group at Intel. "More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family and a standards-based programming environment to address evolving AI workloads."

Intel's AI strategy is grounded in the belief that harnessing the power of AI to improve business outcomes requires a broad mix of technology - hardware and software - and full ecosystem support. Today, Intel AI solutions are helping customers turn data into business value and driving meaningful revenue for the company. In 2019, Intel expects to generate over $3.5 billion in AI-driven revenue, up more than 20 percent year-over-year. Together, Intel and Habana can accelerate the delivery of best-in-class AI products for the data center, addressing customers' evolving needs.

AWS Starts Designing 32-Core Arm Neoverse N1 CPU for Data Center

Amazon Web Services, a part of Amazon that is in charge of all things cloud, has announced plans to release 32 core CPU based on Arm Neoverse N1 microarchitecture that is designed to handle a diverse workload that today's cloud infrastructure needs. This new CPU should be the second iteration of AWS'es custom CPU based on the Arm architecture. First-generation AWS CPU was a processor called Graviton, which Amazon offered on-demand in the cloud.

The still-unnamed second-gen CPU will utilize a 7 nm manufacturing process if the Neoverce N1 core at its base is to be believed. Additionally, everything from the Neoverse line should translate to this next-gen CPU as well, meaning that there will be features like high frequency and high single-threaded performance, cache coherency, and interconnect fabric designed to connect special-purpose accelerators to the CPU complex. For reference, Arm's design of Neoverce N1 has a TDP of 105 W for the whole SoC and its packs 64 cores running at 3.1 GHz, delivering amazing power efficiency and high core count.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and SiFive to Deliver Next Level of High Bandwidth Memory on 12LP

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF ) and SiFive, Inc. announced today at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Technology Conference (GTC) in Taiwan that they are working to extend high DRAM performance levels with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) on GF's recently announced 12LP+ FinFET solution, with 2.5D packaging design services to enable fast time-to-market for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.

In order to achieve the capacity and bandwidth for data-intensive AI training applications, system designers are challenged with squeezing more bandwidth into a smaller area while maintaining a reasonable power profile. SiFive's customizable high bandwidth memory interface on GF's 12LP platform and 12LP+ solution will enable easy integration of high bandwidth memory into a single System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions to deliver fast, power-efficient data processing for AI applications in the computing and wired infrastructure markets.

Rambus Achieves Industry-Leading GDDR6 Performance at 18 Gbps

Rambus Inc., a premier silicon IP and chip provider making data faster and safer, today announced it has achieved industry-leading 18 Gbps performance with the Rambus GDDR6 Memory PHY. Running at the industry's fastest data rate of 18 Gbps, the Rambus GDDR6 PHY IP delivers peak performance four-to-five times faster than current DDR4 solutions and continues the company's longstanding tradition of developing leading-edge products. The Rambus GDDR6 PHY pairs with the companion GDDR6 memory controller from the recent acquisition of Northwest Logic to provide a complete and optimized memory subsystem solution.

Increased data usage in applications such as AI, ML, data center, networking and automotive systems is driving a need for higher bandwidth memory. The coming introduction of high-bandwidth 5G networks will exacerbate this challenge. Working closely with our memory partners, the Rambus GDDR6 solution gives system designers more options in selecting the memory system that meets both their bandwidth and cost requirements.

TSMC Files Complaints Against GlobalFoundries for Infringement of 25 Patents

TSMC, the world's leading global innovator in semiconductor manufacturing, filed multiple lawsuits on September 30, 2019 against GlobalFoundries in the United States, Germany and Singapore for its ongoing infringement of 25 TSMC patents by at least its 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes. In the complaints, TSMC demands injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries' manufacture and sale of infringing semiconductor products. TSMC also seeks substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries for its sale of infringing semiconductor products and unlawful use of TSMC's patented semiconductor technologies.

The 25 TSMC patents in the complaints relate to a diverse set of technologies, including FinFET designs, shallow trench isolation techniques, double patterning methods, advanced seal rings and gate structures, and innovative contact etch stop layer designs. These specific technologies cover the core features of mature and advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes. The patents at issue comprise just a small portion of TSMC's extensive portfolio that numbers more than 37,000 granted patents worldwide. TSMC was ranked one of the top 10 companies for U.S. patent grants last year, for the third consecutive year.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces 12LP+ FinFET Solution for Cloud and Edge AI Applications

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), the world's leading specialty foundry, announced today at its Global Technology Conference the availability of 12LP+, an innovative new solution for AI training and inference applications. 12LP+ offers chip designers a best-in-class combination of performance, power and area, along with a set of key new features, a mature design and production ecosystem, cost-efficient development and fast time-to-market for high-growth cloud and edge AI applications.

Derived from GF's existing 12nm Leading Performance (12LP) platform, GF's new 12LP+ provides either a 20% increase in performance or a 40% reduction in power requirements over the base 12LP platform, plus a 15% improvement in logic area scaling. A key feature is a high-speed, low-power 0.5 V SRAM bit cell that supports the fast, power-efficient shuttling of data between processors and memory, an important requirement for AI applications in the computing and wired infrastructure markets.

Apple to Acquire Majority of Intel's Smartphone Modem Business

Intel and Apple have signed an agreement for Apple to acquire the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business. Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, including works council and other relevant consultations in certain jurisdictions.

Combining the acquired patents for current and future wireless technology with Apple's existing portfolio, Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the option to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet of things devices and autonomous vehicles.

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.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's New Single-Player Star Wars Game Releasing Nov, 2019

We knew it was coming, and were patiently waiting for more news on a new IP from Electronic Arts based on the Star Wars license they have.. not made the best use of to date. Handed to developers Respawn Entertainment, who are on a high from Apex Legends and have shown how to create a new IP franchise for single- and mult-player gaming with Titanfall, the new single-player focused game is titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn and EA shared more details on the game yesterday as part of the Star Wars celebration event in Chicago, and let us know that the central character is a Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis, who survived Order 66 and the destruction of most of the Jedi order.

Cal Kestis turns to scavenging on the planet Braka while hiding from the Sith empire, in a move that will no doubt draw comparisons to Disney's new numbered film trilogy. With merchandise no doubt a factor, we will also see a new droid companion called BD-1, as seen in the images below. Given the nature of the protagonist being a padawan trainee, there will also be a Jedi knight who will accompany the player as a mentor. Combat will involve strategy, as per Respawn, with the player needing to employ abilities and spatial movement to make the most of the situation. Enemy units will include the Purge Troopers, a melee-focused variant of the Storm Troopers, who have already appeared in the Star Wars Extended Universe before as specialized units dedicated to hunting down survivors of Order 66. EA and Respawn were both quick to reveal this will be a single-player only game with no microtransactions, and the game releases on PC and consoles on November 15, 2019. While we wait for more details, no doubt coming near E3 or closer to debut, here's a reveal trailer to hold you till then.

Xilinx Introduces HDMI 2.1 IP Subsystem

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today announced that it has introduced a complete HDMI 2.1 IP subsystem to its portfolio of intellectual property cores, enabling Xilinx devices to transmit, receive and process up to 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) ultra-high-definition (UHD) video in pro AV equipment, including cameras, streaming media players, professional monitors, LED walls, projectors and KVM, as well as broadcast products such as end points and infrastructure that are being upgraded to handle 8K video.

Customers are increasingly adopting machine learning to monetize and improve workflows in diverse applications such as broadcast, pro AV, automotive and surveillance. HDMI 2.1 data rates are provided by Xilinx's highly reliable high-speed I/O transceivers. This, combined with native 8K interfaces supported by HDMI 2.1 now make it possible to replace several ASSP's or fixed-function products support processing, compression, high-quality analytics and decision-making with a single Xilinx device.

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.

Activision-Blizzard Stock Valuation Falls 10% in Wake of Bungie Split

Whether Activision-Blizzard's split from Destiny and Destiny 2 developer Bungie was caused by an overzealous grip on Bungie's creative vision or not is something that will likely never be clarified. But one thing is for certain: in the stock market, it doesn't really matter how something happened, but really what the effects are of it happening. And Bungie splitting from Activision-Blizzard means that the industry behemoth now finds itself with one less IP under its belt, thus constraining its revenue sources to a couple of high-profile IPs. Less sources of income = less versatility and resilience to market fluctuations, and that is something Activision-Blizzard was immediately hit back for from investors.

The company's stock decreased by as much as 11% in the wake of the Bungie split, from a high of $51.35 down to a low of $45.19, as investors reduced their trust in the company's profit volume and momentum. It has since recovered, but is still some 9% down. Whether Activision actually expected this much of a fall or not only the company knows. It'll be interesting to see the company's next financial report, though.

Bungie, Activision Split; IP Stays With the Developer, Destiny 2 Roadmap Unaffected

Reports were trickling in throughout the industry that relations between Bungie and its publisher Activision weren't going well right from the start. The developer has had, historically, strained relations with anyone wringing money over their heads; Microsoft, and now Activision, have been on that side of the equation already, with the developer choosing to part ways both times. Whether this comes from external pressure towards the studios' team or Bungie's own internal culture is something that's still unclear; either way, the champagne bottles that were reportedly opened by Bungie employees right after the studio broke the news to the team today speaks volumes (or should that be liters) on the prevailing feeling.

The split has meanwhile been officially announced by Bungie via a blog post, and Activision has already said its goodbyes in social media as well. Bungie says that the roadmap and Destiny 2's integration with Battle.net won't be affected, and that they'll be bringing exciting news to gamers following this split. What exactly results from this for Bungies' post-roadmap plans remains to be seen; whether an ever-expanding MMO experience or more franchise installments, at least now Bungie have no-one but themselves to blame on any shortcomings that befall the Destiny IP in the future.

The ZeniMax-Oculus Odyssey is Over - Facebook Settles the Dispute For Undisclosed Sum

Remember the lawsuit ZeniMax threw Oculus' way? Well, that seems to be settled now, after a back and forward that always saw Oculus (even after the Facebook acquisition) having to pay damages to ZeniMax - at first, $500 million, which was then reduced to $250 million.

Now, the litigation seems to have come to an end, as CNBC reports that ZeniMax's CEO has acknowledged that a settlement was reached. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed (and so was the sum that Facebook definitely had to pay ZeniMax), but CNBC got a statement from the ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman that read: "We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties." While ZeniMax says they are fully satisfied with the outcome, it's certainly a far cry from the original up to $4 billion and Oculus sales being blocked that the company was after in the initial terms of the lawsuit.

Intel Manufacturing Facilities Run 365 Days a Year

Intel will join the National Association of Manufacturers on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, to celebrate Manufacturing Day. The majority of Intel's advanced manufacturing and research and development is in the United States, creating high-precision, high-value, IP-driven products that enable industries and businesses to innovate around the world. Intel Corp.'s U.S. manufacturing and research and development facilities are in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. They operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Philips Stunning New E Series Narrow-Border Monitors Now Available

Today EPI, the brand license partner for Philips monitors and leading technology company, announces the availability of the Philips E Series. The E Series includes three monitors - a 27-inch (276E9QDSB), 24-inch (246E9QDSB) and 22-inch (226E9QDSB). This family of professional monitors provides vivid color in a stylish, minimal design. With an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and incredibly narrow side bezels, the E series is especially suited for a multi-display or tiling setup for graphic design or professional applications. The E line is available at Newegg starting at $109.99.

The Philips E Line features stylish design with extraordinary picture performance. The display is a Full HD IPS panel with a wide range of colors that provides better viewing angles and high color accuracy for color-intensive tasks like photo editing or graphic design. Users can expect to see more realistic colors and a true-to-life picture.

THQ Nordic acquires the "Kingdoms of Amalur" IP

THQ Nordic today announced they had acquired the IP for Kingdoms of Amalur, the huge, ambitious RPG that launched back in 2012. Developed by 38 Studios and the adequately named Big Huge Games, Kingdoms of Amalur> Reckoning launched to a good public and critic reception (albeit slightly polarizing in the extreme), which wasn't really that unexpected - renowned fantasy writer R. A. Salvatore created the in-game story and lore, for one, and Todd McFarlane was responsible for the art department.

However, the game didn't go on to be the commercial success it needed to be (perhaps because of it threading genre conventions all too well, particularly in the side quest portion of the game), and 38 Studios eventually filed for bankruptcy. The world and lore of Kingdoms of Amalur was already quite substantial to begin with, and a sequel was in the works and in pre-production; and that's ostensibly all part of the new IP acquisition by THQ Nordic. There's something about the overall Kingdoms of Amalur aesthetic and gameplay that resonates with THQ Nordic's own Darksiders, so it seems to be a good fit for the company. Here's to something new actually flourishing from the ashes of this acquisition.
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