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NVIDIA Founder and CEO Jensen Huang to Receive Prestigious Robert N. Noyce Award

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA and a trailblazer in building accelerated computing platforms, is the 2021 recipient of the industry's highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award. SIA presents the Noyce Award annually in recognition of a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry in technology or public policy. Huang will accept the award at the SIA Awards Dinner on Nov. 18, 2021.

"Jensen Huang's extraordinary vision and tireless execution have greatly strengthened our industry, revolutionized computing, and advanced artificial intelligence," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Jensen's accomplishments have fueled countless innovations—from gaming to scientific computing to self-driving cars—and he continues to advance technologies that will transform our industry and the world. We're pleased to recognize Jensen with the 2021 Robert N. Noyce Award for his many achievements in advancing semiconductor technology."

NVIDIA to Deliver a Keynote on The Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing at COMPUTEX 2021 Hybrid

TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade and Development Council) announced today that NVIDIA will be delivering a keynote, entitled "The Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing, from Gaming to the Enterprise Data Center" at COMPUTEX 2021 Hybrid. Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President of NVIDIA's GeForce Business Unit, will present on June 1 at 1:00 pm Taiwan time on the massive opportunities that GeForce PC gaming represents for the Taiwan ecosystem.

Manuvir Das, Head of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA, will then address "The Coming Democratization of AI." He will share three shifts driving this trend and explain how enterprises that embrace them can thrive in the coming years.

Big Tech and Lobby: Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) Founded With Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, TSMC, Others

Since lobbying is both legal and regulated in the US (an attempt to bring attempts of influencing political power by corporations under legal boundaries, as opposed to being done in the dark), it feels like it was only a matter of time before big tech attempted to join under one banner. As such, the Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) has now been put together, and boasts of 64 members including Microsoft, Apple, TSMC, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Arm, and Samsung. It seems that all of these companies - which are often at odds with one another when it comes to competing for consumers' choice and money - have found enough similarities to get organized in an attempt to nudge political power in their favor.

SIAC said in a press release that its mission is to "advance federal policies that promote semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. to strengthen America's economy, national security, and critical infrastructure." The first announcement from the SIAC following its foundation was its intention to support the CHIPS for America Act. The Act (supported by The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and President Joe Biden) has already been approved by the House and the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 but has not yet been funded. It seems that SIAC's first mission is to get the government to open up its $50 billion-deep pockets.

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

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

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

NVIDIA and Global Computer Makers Launch Industry-Standard Enterprise Server Platforms for AI

NVIDIA today introduced a new class of NVIDIA-Certified Systems, bringing AI within reach for organizations that run their applications on industry-standard enterprise data center infrastructure. These include high-volume enterprise servers from top manufacturers, which were announced in January and are now certified to run the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software suite—which is exclusively certified for VMware vSphere 7, the world's most widely used compute virtualization platform.

Further expanding the NVIDIA-Certified servers ecosystem is a new wave of systems featuring the NVIDIA A30 GPU for mainstream AI and data analytics and the NVIDIA A10 GPU for AI-enabled graphics, virtual workstations and mixed compute and graphics workloads, also announced today.

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

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

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

Intel Could Rename its Semiconductor Nodes to Catch Up with the Industry

In the past few years, Intel has struggled a lot with its semiconductor manufacturing. Starting from the 10 nm fiasco, the company delayed the new node for years and years, making it seem like it is never going to get delivered. The node was believed to be so advanced that it was unexpectedly hard to manufacture, giving the company more problems. Low yields have been present for a long time, and it is only recently that Intel has started shipping its 10 nm products. However, its competitor, TSMC, has been pumping out nodes at an amazing rate. At the time of writing, the Taiwanese giant is producing the 5 nm node, with a 4 nm node on the way.

So to remain competitive, Intel would need to apply a new tactic. The company has a 7 nm node in the works for 2023 when TSMC will switch to the 3 nm+ nodes. That represents a marketing problem, where the node naming convention is making Intel inferior to its competitors. To fix that, the company will likely start node renaming and give its nodes new names, that are corresponding to the industry naming conventions. We still have no information how will the new names look like, or if Intel will do it in the first place, so take this with a grain of salt.

Xilinx Revolutionizes the Modern Data Center with Software-Defined, Hardware Accelerated Alveo SmartNICs

Addressing the demands of the modern data center, Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) today announced a range of new data center products and solutions, including a new family of Alveo SmartNICs, smart world AI video analytics applications, an accelerated algorithmic trading reference design for sub-microsecond trading, and the Xilinx App Store.

Today's most demanding and complex applications, from networking and AI analytics to financial trading, require low-latency and real-time performance. Achieving this level of performance has been limited to expensive and lengthy hardware development. With these new products and solutions, Xilinx is eliminating the barriers for software developers to quickly create and deploy software-defined, hardware accelerated applications on Alveo accelerator cards.

TSMC to Put Away More Capacity for Automotive Industry if Possible

TSMC is one of the world's biggest semiconductor manufacturers, and the company is currently the leading provider of the newest technologies like 5 nm and 3 nm, along with advanced packaging. So far, TSMC's biggest customers have included Apple, NVIDIA, AMD, etc., where the company has mainly produced chips for mobile phones and PCs/Servers. However, Taiwan's Economics Ministry has announced that they have spoken to TSMC and have reached an agreement that the company will be putting away some additional capacity for the automotive industry, specifically for the production of automotive chips. The reason for this push is the increasing shortage of semiconductors for automakers, experienced due to the Trump administration sanctions against key Chinese chip factories.

TSMC has stated that "Other than continuously maximizing utilization of our existing capacity, Dr. Wei also confirmed in our investors' conference that we are working with customers closely and moving some of their mature nodes to more advanced nodes, where we have a better capacity to support them". The company also states that their capacities are fully utilized for now, however, TSMC has ensured ministry that "if production can be increased by optimizing production capacity, it will cooperate with the government to regard automotive chips as a primary application." That means that TSMC will not decrease any existing capacity, but rather just evaluate any increased capacity for automotive chip production.

Marvell Launches Industry's First Native NVMe RAID Accelerator

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) today introduced the industry's first native NVMe RAID 1 accelerator, a state-of-the-art technology for virtualized, multi-tenant cloud and enterprise data center environments which demand optimized reliability, efficiency, and performance. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is the first of Marvell's partners to support the new accelerator in the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device offered on select HPE ProLiant servers and HPE Apollo systems.

As the industry transitions from legacy SAS and SATA to NVMe SSDs, Marvell's offering helps data centers fast-track the move to higher performance flash storage. The innovative accelerator lowers data center total cost of ownership (TCO) by offloading RAID 1 processing from costly and precious server CPU resources, maximizing application processing performance. IT organizations can now deploy a "plug-and-play," NVMe-based OS boot solution, like the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device, that protects the integrity of flash data storage while delivering an optimized, application-level user experience.

Oracle Chosen as TikTok's Secure Cloud Provider

Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) announced today that it was chosen to become TikTok's secure cloud technology provider. This technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom's recent success in moving a large portion of its video conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.

"TikTok picked Oracle's new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it's much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers," said Oracle Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison. "In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud.... Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score."

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Receive Semiconductor Industry's Top Honor

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD and an accomplished leader in advancing semiconductor technology, has been named the 2020 recipient of SIA's highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award. SIA presents the Noyce Award annually in recognition of a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry in technology or public policy. Dr. Su will accept the award at the SIA Leadership Forum and Award Celebration, a virtual event that will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.

"A tremendous leader in our industry, Lisa Su has successfully advanced leading-edge semiconductor and high-performance computing technologies throughout her career as an accomplished business executive and engineer," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Lisa's outstanding achievements have significantly strengthened the semiconductor industry and America's global technology leadership, and she has inspired and opened doors for countless others in tech along the way. On behalf of the SIA board of directors, it is my pleasure to announce Lisa as the 2020 Robert N. Noyce Award recipient in recognition of her impressive accomplishments."

SiFive To Introduce New RISC-V Processor Architecture and RISC-V PC at Linley Fall Virtual Processor Conference

SiFive, Inc., the leading provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, today announced that Dr. Yunsup Lee, CTO of SiFive, and Dr. Krste Asanovic, Chief Architect of SiFive, will present at the technology industry's premier processor conference, the Linley Fall Virtual Processor Conference. The conference will be held on October 20th - 22nd and 27th - 29th, 2020 and will feature high-quality technical content from leading semiconductor companies worldwide.

"Industry demand for AI performance has skyrocketed over the last few years driven by rapid adoption from the data center to the edge. This year's Linley Fall Processor Conference will feature our biggest program yet and will introduce a host of new technology disclosures and product announcements of innovative processor architectures and IP technologies," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst and conference chairperson. "In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, development of these technologies continues to accelerate and we're excited to be sharing these presentations with a global audience via our live-streamed format."

US Aims to Bring Chip Manufacturing Industry Back to Its Soil

The US is one of the leading countries when it comes to chip design technologies and know-how; however, when it comes to actual manufacturing those designs, it's fallen from grace in recent years. Once the leader in both design and manufacturing, nowadays the US can only claim some 12% of the world's semiconductor production. The rest of it is mainly produced in Asia, where TSMC stands as the industry juggernaut, with other companies stretching across Taiwan, Japan, and most recently (and surging) China - the country has more than doubled its 300 mm manufacturing sites since 2017. This places some strain on the US' dependence from foreign shipments; and the country is looking to bridge that gap in its perceived national interests by investing heavily in silicon manufacturing to be brought back to the country. Recent slippages from Intel when it comes to keeping its manufacturing lead have apparently also instilled preoccupation amongst US policy makers.

DigiTimes Research: China 14th 5-year Plan to see IC Foundry Capacity Expand 40%

China's upcoming 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) will continue to highlight technology and capacity upgrades as the core of its semiconductor self-sufficiency strategy, with foundry capacity projected to expand 40% from the preceding plan and fabrication process expected to advance to 7 nm, according to Digitimes Research.

Bolstered by national policies in the 13th five-year plan, China's IC manufacturing industry is expected to see combined revenues double to CNY240 billion (US$34.28 million) in 2020 from 2016, and may also move 12 nm to production by the end of the year after having volume produced 14 nm process.

Analog Devices Acquires Maxim Integrated

Analog Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADI) and Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXIM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which ADI will acquire Maxim in an all stock transaction that values the combined enterprise at over $68 billion. The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, will strengthen ADI as an analog semiconductor leader with increased breadth and scale across multiple attractive end markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Maxim stockholders will receive 0.630 of a share of ADI common stock for each share of Maxim common stock they hold at the closing of the transaction. Upon closing, current ADI stockholders will own approximately 69 percent of the combined company, while Maxim stockholders will own approximately 31 percent. The transaction is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

AMD Exceeds Six-Year Goal to Deliver Unprecedented 25 Times Improvement in Mobile Processor Energy Efficiency

AMD today announced it has exceeded its moonshot 25x20 goal set in 2014 to improve the energy efficiency of its mobile processors 25 times by 2020. The new AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor improves on the energy efficiency of the 2014 baseline measurement by 31.7 times1, and offers leadership performance2 and extraordinary efficiency for laptop PCs. Greater energy efficiency leads to significant user benefits including improved battery life, better performance, lower energy costs and reduced environmental impact from computing.

"We have always focused on energy efficiency in our processors, but in 2014 we decided to put even greater emphasis on this capability," said Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer and executive vice president, Technology and Engineering at AMD. "Our engineering team rallied around the challenge and charted a path to reach our stretch goal of 25 times greater energy efficiency by 2020. We were able to far surpass our objective, achieving 31.7 times improvement leading to gaming and ultrathin laptops with unmatched performance, graphics and long battery life. I could not be prouder of our engineering and business teams."

ASUS AIoT Builds New Smart Manufacturing Solutions to Promote Industrial Upgrades

New manufacturing processes powered by AI and big data reduce defects that can go unnoticed by human inspection, resulting in improved product quality and efficiency. With the advent of the AIoT era, ASUS has embraced new technologies and methods to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities. At the end of 2019, ASUS expanded the company's AIoT business unit to be able to develop more solutions for industries and, in the process, renamed it the AIoT Business Group (AIoT BG). After consideration and planning around the three major aspects of successful manufacturing - design power, technical ability and continuous profitability - ASUS transformed operations to achieve the flexibility, speed, productivity and quality required for supply-side Industry 4.0 upgrades.

Detecting defects by hand is a major pain point and cause of inefficiencies in manufacturing processes. By investing in smart manufacturing solutions that utilize AI for producing metal peripherals, fans, printed circuit boards and other computer components as well as for system assembly, ASUS was able to remove efficiency bottlenecks and reduce losses resulting from misjudgment of manufacturing defects by factory employees. Moving forward, ASUS will continue to use artificial intelligence and big data to statistically classify different types of quality defects, determine their causes and improve processes at the source of defects to further improve and push the boundaries of manufacturing quality.

Khronos Group Releases OpenCL 3.0

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, publicly releases the OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications. OpenCL 3.0 realigns the OpenCL roadmap to enable developer-requested functionality to be broadly deployed by hardware vendors, and it significantly increases deployment flexibility by empowering conformant OpenCL implementations to focus on functionality relevant to their target markets. OpenCL 3.0 also integrates subgroup functionality into the core specification, ships with a new OpenCL C 3.0 language specification, uses a new unified specification format, and introduces extensions for asynchronous data copies to enable a new class of embedded processors. The provisional OpenCL 3.0 specifications enable the developer community to provide feedback on GitHub before the specifications and conformance tests are finalized.
OpenCL

ASUS Announces ProArt Display PA32UCX-P and PA27UCX

ASUS today announced ProArt Display PA32UCX-P and PA27UCX, 4K HDR monitors for professional content creators with groundbreaking Off-Axis Contrast Optimization (OCO) technology that maintains color accuracy in wide-angle viewing and makes the monitors ideal collaboration tools. The 32-inch PA32UCX-P and 27-inch PA27UCX feature mini-LED backlighting and support for multiple HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). PA32UCX-P offers a peak brightness of 1200 cd/m² with 1152 zones of local dimming control, and PA27UCX offers a peak brightness of 1000 cd/m² with 576 zones.

Designed to give content creators professional-grade color performance, PA32UCX-P and PA27UCX come pre-calibrated and provide a Delta-E (ΔE) color accuracy of less than one in the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces. They also feature quantum-dot technology that supports the DCI-P3, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces. For seamless calibration, the monitors are compatible with most major calibrators and professional calibration software.

Samsung Showcases Industry-Leading Displays at ISE 2020

Samsung Electronics is pushing the industry another step forward with an expansion of QLED 8K SMART displays, new applications of The Wall and showcasing the new-and-improved Samsung Flip 2 digital flipchart.

"Samsung is making tomorrow's technology a reality with complete display solutions that are more immersive, collaborative and interactive than ever before. ISE is one of the best opportunities for Samsung to showcase advanced commercial applications of our industry-leading displays," said Hyesung Ha, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "We're excited to unveil new features and expanded lineups of our digital signage with next-generation technology such as 8K, the new model of The Wall, collaborative displays and more that will provide businesses with opportunities they've never had before."

AMD and Industry Partners to Develop New Blockchain-based Gaming Platforms

AMD today announced that it has joined the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) and forged partnerships with leading technology providers to help promote the development and proliferation of new blockchain-powered gaming platforms.

The Blockchain Game Alliance is committed to driving awareness and adoption of blockchain technologies within the game industry, providing an open forum for individuals and companies to share knowledge and collaborate, create common standards, establish best practices, and network. As the first major hardware manufacturer to join the BGA, AMD plans to enable alliance members with efficient and high-performance computing technologies for next-generation blockchain-based gaming platforms that could potentially transform the way games are created, published, purchased and played.

Micron Brings 3D XPoint Technology to Market With the World's Fastest SSD

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced a breakthrough in nonvolatile memory technology with the introduction of the world's fastest SSD, the Micron X100 SSD. The Micron X100 SSD is the first solution in a family of products from Micron targeting storage- and memory-intensive applications for the data center. These solutions will leverage the strengths of 3D XPoint technology and usher in a new tier in the memory-to-storage hierarchy with higher capacity and persistence than DRAM, along with higher endurance and performance than NAND.

"Micron's innovative X100 product brings the disruptive potential of 3D XPoint technology to the data center, driving breakthrough performance improvements for applications and enabling entirely new use cases," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana. "Micron is the only vertically-integrated provider of DRAM, NAND and 3D XPoint solutions in the world, and this product continues the evolution of our portfolio towards higher value solutions that accelerate artificial intelligence capabilities, drive faster data analytics and create new insights for our customers."

University of Leeds Develops 2D Gold Substrate Technology for More Efficient Precious Metal Deployment

Scientists with the University of Leeds have managed to deploy gold in an ultra-efficient layer that's just two atoms thick, paving the way for much improved efficiency in the usage of the precious metal. The development, which university representatives claim marks a "landmark achievement", will open doors for the medical device and electronics industries-and also as a catalyst to speed up chemical reactions in a range of industrial processes. Because this 2D gold technology is up to 10x more efficient than current gold nanoparticle deployment (since all the gold particles are part of the surface, with no gold being left unused due to it being below the surface, in a bulk dispersion that's unavoidable with current coating technologies).

This means that materials savings can be achieved - which will likely be a magnet to the electronics industry, which will be able to not only increase efficiency of deployed gold, but also reduce waste of the precious material. Scientists behind the breakthrough claim this could also serve as a gateway for the development of other 2D materials, since lessons learned here may be applicable to other materials. All that remains (and that's putting it nicely) is being able to develop ways to scale-up the process, which deploys gold in a flake-like manner (scientists call it nanoseaweed of gold) that is flexible enough to be built into bendable devices.
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