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Intel Core i7 "Rocket Lake" Chips to be 8-core/12-thread?

It's been rumored for some time now, that the 14 nm "Rocket Lake-S" silicon has no more than 8 CPU cores, giving Intel's product managers some segmentation headaches between the Core i7 and Core i9 brand extensions. The current 10th Gen Core i9 chips are 10-core/20-thread, and Core i7 8-core/16-thread. The 10th Gen Core i5 chips are 6-core/12-thread, and this won't change with the 11th Gen "Rocket Lake." What will change, however, are the core-counts of the Core i7 and Core i9 processors, according to a leaked roadmap slide scored by VideoCardz.

With no more than 8 "Cypress Cove" cores on the "Rocket Lake-S" silicon, the 11th Gen Core i9 will be 8-core/16-thread. The 11th Gen Core i7, however, will be 8-core/12-thread. We don't know how this would work out, but Intel dropped hints toward it with the current 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake," whereby end-users have the ability to toggle HyperThreading (HTT) on a per-core basis. Older generations of Intel processors only allowed a global toggle of HTT. This would mean 4 out of 8 cores on the Core i7 "Rocket Lake-S" will have HTT permanently disabled. We predict that two of these will likely be the processor's favored cores, capable of sustaining the highest boost clocks under the Turbo Boost Max 3.0 algorithm, to which the OS thread scheduler will send the maximum traffic. The roadmap slide also suggests that Intel could standardize the vPro feature-set to its unlocked "K" processors with the 11th Gen.

Apple Silicon Will Support Thunderbolt 4

Since Apple has announced its transition from Intel to its custom Apple Silicon processors, there has been quite a lot of speculations on what the new processors will bring. Just a few days ago, Intel announced the latest advancement of its Thunderbolt port in the form of Thunderbolt 4, which further advances the Thunderbolt standard with a heap of new features. Since Apple has decided to do away from Intel silicon, there has been a question whatever Apple will offer Thunderbolt 4 support on its Macs. And it seems like we don't have to wonder any further. In the statement below, which Apple spokesman gave to The Verge, the answer is loud and clear.
Apple spokesman for The Verge
Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon.

ECS Announces LIVA Z3 Plus & Z3E Plus Mini PCs: Intuitively Compelling Machine

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), the global leading motherboard, Mini-PC, Notebooks, mobile device and smart city solutions provider, is pleased to announce the LIVA Z3 Plus and Z3E Plus mini PCs: energy efficient multi-functional mini PC designed for smart home, workstation, and a wide range of solutions. LIVA Z3 Plus and Z3E Plus can seamlessly integrate digital content into your everyday life for faster, better and smarter way of living.

Exceptional Performance
LIVA Z3 Plus and Z3E Plus gear latest desktop-grade Intel 10th Gen Core processors, and feature evolutionary enhancement up to 6 cores on the performance. They support up to 32 GB DDR4 memory, and Intel Optane Technology* that benefits the users to accelerate the entire utility performance by means of the integration between memory and hard drive. Apart from the computing ability that allows users to tackle daily tasks efficiently, you can effortlessly accomplish activities by talking to Amazon Alexa as a good hand.

NVIDIA Surpasses Intel in Market Cap Size

Yesterday after the stock market has closed, NVIDIA has officially reached a bigger market cap compared to Intel. After hours, the price of the NVIDIA (ticker: NVDA) stock is $411.20 with a market cap of 251.31B USD. It marks a historic day for NVIDIA as the company has historically been smaller than Intel (ticker: INTC), with some speculating that Intel could buy NVIDIA in the past while the company was much smaller. Intel's market cap now stands at 248.15B USD, which is a bit lower than NVIDIA's. However, the market cap is not an indication of everything. NVIDIA's stock is fueled by the hype generated around Machine Learning and AI, while Intel is not relying on any possible bubbles.

If we compare the revenues of both companies, Intel is having much better performance. It had a revenue of 71.9 billion USD in 2019, while NVIDIA has 11.72 billion USD of revenue. No doubt that NVIDIA has managed to do a good job and it managed to almost double revenue from 2017, where it went from $6.91 billion in 2017 to $11.72 billion in 2019. That is an amazing feat and market predictions are that it is not stopping to grow. With the recent acquisition of Mellanox, the company now has much bigger opportunities for expansion and growth.

Intel Announces Thunderbolt 4: Universal Cable Connectivity for Everyone

Today, Intel revealed new details about Thunderbolt 4, the next generation of its universal cable connectivity solution, delivering increased minimum performance requirements, expanded capabilities and USB4 specification compliance. For the first time, Thunderbolt 4 will offer docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports and universal cables up to 2 meters in length. Intel's upcoming mobile PC processors, code-named "Tiger Lake," will be the first to integrate Thunderbolt 4. Intel also announced the Thunderbolt 4 controller 8000 series, compatible with the hundreds of millions of Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories already available. Thunderbolt 4 developer kits and certification testing are now available.

"Thunderbolt provides consumers with a leading connectivity standard across a range of devices, helping to advance computing experiences and delivering on the promise of USB-C with simplicity, performance and reliability. The arrival of Thunderbolt 4 underscores how Intel is advancing the PC ecosystem toward truly universal connectivity solutions," said Jason Ziller, Intel general manager of the Client Connectivity Division.

Intel Mobileye and WILLER Partner on Self-Driving Mobility Solutions

Mobileye, an Intel Company, and WILLER, one of the largest transportation operators in Japan, Taiwan and the Southeast Asian region, today announced a strategic collaboration to launch an autonomous robotaxi service in Japan and markets across Southeast Asia, including Taiwan. Beginning in Japan, the companies will collaborate on the testing and deployment of autonomous transportation solutions based on Mobileye's automated vehicle (AV) technology.

"Our new collaboration with WILLER brings a meaningful addition to Mobileye's growing global network of transit and mobility ecosystem partners," said Prof. Amnon Shashua, Intel senior vice president and president and CEO of Mobileye. "We look forward to collaborating with WILLER as we work together for new mobility in the region by bringing self-driving mobility services to Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN markets."

"Collaboration with Mobileye is highly valuable for WILLER and a big step moving forward to realize our vision of innovating transportation services: travel anytime and anywhere by anybody," said Shigetaka Murase, founder and CEO of WILLER. "Innovation of transportation will lead to a smarter, safer and more sustainable society where people enjoy higher quality of life."

Apple to Develop the Metal Family of GPUs, Dump AMD Radeon

In the next big step toward complete silicon independence, Apple is planning to dump AMD as a supplier of discrete GPUs in the near future, closely following its decision to dump Intel and the x86 machine architecture in favor of its own SoCs based on the Arm machine architecture. The company is developing its own line of discrete GPUs under the "Metal GPU Family," a name borrowed from its own Metal graphics API.

This explosive bit of information comes from a WWDC 2020 presentation slide posted by Longhorn (@never_released) on Twitter. The slide suggests that along with the processor, Apple is making a clean break with its graphics hardware. The SoCs powering client-segment Macs, such as future iMacs or MacBooks, could feature iGPUs based on this graphics architecture, while larger platforms such as MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, and iMac Pros of the future could feature Apple's own discrete GPUs.

ASUS ExpertBook B9450 with Intel vPro Platform Now Available

ASUS today announced that the ExpertBook B9450 based on the Intel vPro platform is now available for purchase at US resellers starting at $1,599.99 USD. The ASUS ExpertBook B9450 provides unmatched business-grade performance, durability and design within an incredibly thin and light form factor weighing in at just 2.2 lbs with a 0.59-inch thin profile. Paired with the Intel vPro platform, the B9450 is ideal for businesses of any size that require top-notch performance, built-in security and better overall value and reliability for the long-term.

Designed for business professionals on-the-go, the ExpertBook B9450 delivers top-tier performance thanks to up to an 10th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro processor, dual-storage design accommodating up to two ultrafast 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, and up to 16 GB of RAM and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity. Expect uninterrupted performance on the B9450 with long-lasting battery life delivering up to an impressive 24 hours of use on a single charge, with extra comfort features like the ErgoLift hinge, built-in voice assistant support, and a Harman Kardon-optimized audio system.

Intel Readies Core i9-10850K 10-core/20-thread Processor

Intel is giving final touches to a mysterious Core i9-10850K processor that was unearthed from the Geekbench database by TUM_APISAK. This would be the second new 10-core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor SKU discovered in the past week, since the Apple-exclusive i9-10910. The i9-10850K is fascinating, in that it features an unlocked multiplier, 100 MHz lower nominal clocks than the i9-10900K, at 3.60 GHz, the same 5.20 GHz Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency; but an unknown Thermal Velocity Boost frequency.

It wouldn't surprise us if the processor lacked TVB altogether. It's likely that the i9-10850K is an OEM-exclusive targeted at pre-built designers that don't want to deal with the steep cooling requirements of the i9-10900K to give end-users visible boosting to its TVB Max frequencies of 5.30 GHz. The i9-10850K offers nearly identical Geekbench performance to the i9-10900K.

Intel Halts CPU Shipments to Inspur: One of the World's Top-5 Server Builders

Intel has reportedly halted shipments of processors (and other data-center hardware) to Inspur, one of the world's top-5 server manufacturer by market-share, and China's single largest. The supply stoppage comes in the wake of the Pentagon it as one of 20 companies it says are controlled by the Chinese military. "We have temporarily paused shipments to one customer in order ensure compliance with U.S. Government export regulations. This is a temporary pause expected to last less than two weeks for some items, and others will resume in a matter of days. We will resume shipments as soon as we can do so while ensuring compliance with U.S. law," said Intel, in a statement to Tom's Hardware.

Intel Contributes Advanced oneAPI DPC++ Capabilities to the SYCL 2020 Provisional Spec

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating graphics and compute interoperability standards, announced its SYCL 2020 Provisional Specification, for which Intel has made significant contributions through new programming abstractions. These new capabilities accelerate heterogeneous parallel programming for high-performance computing (HPC), machine learning and compute-intensive applications.

"The SYCL 2020 Provisional Specification marks a significant milestone helping improve time-to-performance in programming heterogeneous computing systems through more productive and familiar C++ programming constructs," said Jeff McVeigh, vice president of Datacenter XPU Products and Solutions at Intel Corporation. "Through active collaboration with The Khronos Group, the new specification includes significant features pioneered in oneAPI's Data Parallel C++, such as unified shared memory, group algorithms and sub-groups that were up-streamed to SYCL 2020. Moving forward, Intel's oneAPI toolkits, which include the SYCL-based Intel oneAPI DPC++ Compiler, will deliver productivity and performance for open, cross-architecture programming."

Louqe and Noctua Present NH-L12 Special Edition CPU Cooler for the Ghost S1 Case

Louqe and Noctua today presented the new NH-L12 Ghost S1 edition CPU cooler. Coming with a single 92 mm fan and Noctua's second-generation NT-H2 thermal compound, as well as the latest SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, the NH-L12 Ghost S1 edition has been customised to be an ideal companion for quiet high-end builds in Louqe's award-winning Ghost S1 enclosure.

"We've tested pretty much every low-profile cooler on the market in the Ghost S1 and even tried to create a complete custom solution in collaboration with Noctua, but nothing worked as well as our long-term favourite, the NH-L12," explains Patrik Michalski (Louqe CEO). "That's why we've ended up creating a customised special edition of this cooler that will be the ideal choice for all Ghost S1 users who are looking for the best possible air cooling solution."

Intel Gen12 iGPU on "Rocket Lake" will be Slimmer than the one on "Tiger Lake"?

The Gen12 Xe integrated graphics component of the upcoming "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor will be slimmer than the one on the upcoming 10 nm "Tiger Lake" silicon, according to a Geekbench hardware detection unearthed by TUM_APISAK. An 8-core/16-thread "Rocket Lake-S" sample surfaced on the Geekbench database, which shows the iGPU to feature 32 compute units as read by the OpenCL benchmark (corresponding with 32 execution units), compared to 96 on the "Tiger Lake-U" mobile processor die. The iGPU is also clocked rather conservatively on this ES, at at 1.15 GHz. The CPU component, on the other hand, ticks at 3.20 GHz, boosting up to 4.30 GHz. It's likely that with the power budget of the desktop platform, the iGPU will be able to sustain boost frequencies better.

AMD Ryzen 4000 "Vermeer" CPUs Almost Ready to Hit the Market

AMD has been working hard to prepare its next-generation Ryzen 4000 CPUs codenamed Vermeer, and we have some exciting news about it. Thanks to the sources over at Igor's Lab, we have information that AMD Vermeer CPUs are close to launching. Apparently, the CPUs have are now at B0 stepping and are going through the usual validation process. The B0 stepping is where the CPU is fully working and now it just needs to go on mass production. The next step for the CPU is high-volume manufacturing and in a very quick time, the CPUs will be ready to hit the market.

Usually, it takes 3-4 months for silicon to be manufactured, so if AMD has orders set at TSMC's factory for the manufacturing of its processors, we could get the processors very soon. Given that AMD is ready with the design, and there is a lack of competition from team blue, AMD is very flexible with timing. The processors can be ready whenever AMD needs them to be. After a while, AMD is in a position to dictate the market needs and tailor them to their own. This used to be a position where Intel was before the Ryzen era. Now if AMD needs to do a launch as quickly as possible they can. If not, they have the design ready and can push it a few months.
AMR Ryzen CPU

Intel Updates Its ISA Manual with Advanced Matrix Extension Reference

Intel today released and updated version of its "Architecture Instruction Set Extensions and Future Features Programming" Reference document with the latest advanced matrix extension (AMX) programming reference. This gives us some insights into AMX and how it works. While we will not go in too much depth here, the AMX is pretty simple. Intel describes it as the following: "Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (Intel AMX) is a new 64-bit programming paradigm consisting of two components: a set of 2-dimensional registers (tiles) representing sub-arrays from a larger 2-dimensional memory image, and an accelerator able to operate on tiles, the first implementation is called TMUL (tile matrix multiply unit)." In other words, this represents another matrix processing extension that can be used for a wide variety of workload, mainly machine learning processing. The first microarchitecture that will implement the new extension is Sapphire Rapids Xeon processor. You can find more about AMX here.
Intel AMX

Intel Lakefield Core i5-L16G7 Performance Benchmarks Leak

Performance benchmarks have started leaking for Intel-s upcoming Lakefield CPUs - low-power SoCs designed with Intel's latest technology. The Lakefield family of CPUs will make use of an Arm-similar big.LITTLE design, where this particular CPU, the Core i5-L16G7, will ship with four low-power "Tremond" cores and one large, high-performance "Sunny Cove" core for peak workloads. Built using Intel's Foveros stacking technology, these are the first chips to be built on Intel's modular platform, which should allow for pairing of I/O dies, chiplet-like CPU arrangements and memory in a 3D package. Physical distance reductions impact latency and power consumption, which should allow for an interesting design result.

Notebookcheck has tested an Intel Lakefield Core i5-L16G7 CPU that's being deployed on upcoming Samsung's Galaxy Book S, and the results are sort of a mixed bag. For one, Intel's Lakefield seems to be around 67% slower than the company's previous ultra-low-power architecture, Amber Lake. Something of this might have been caused by the fact that the Lakefield CPU didn't boost towards its advertised 3.0 GHz; it only managed to reach 2.4 GHz, which obviously hampered performance. Perhaps pre-release silicon is the culprit, or perhaps it's the galaxy Book S that's been configured with more restrictive thermal and power characteristics than the chip was actually designed to run at. The chip did manage to run the FireStrike test beating the Amber Lake-based Acer Swift 7 by 23%, though, so not all is looking bleak.

Bad Intel Quality Assurance Responsible for Apple-Intel Split?

Apple's decision to switch from Intel processors for its Mac computers to its own, based on the Arm architecture, has shaken up the tech world, even though rumors of the transition have been doing rounds for months. Intel's first official response, coupled with facts such as Intel's CPU technology execution being thrown completely off gear due to foundry problems; pointed toward the likelihood of Intel not being able to keep up with Apple's growing performance/Watt demands. It turns out now, that Intel's reasons are a lot more basic, and date back to 2016.

According to a sensational PC Gamer report citing former Intel principal engineer François Piednoël, Apple's dissatisfaction with Intel dates back to some of its first 14 nm chips, based on the "Skylake" microarchitecture. "The quality assurance of Skylake was more than a problem," says Piednoël. It was abnormally bad. We were getting way too much citing for little things inside Skylake. Basically our buddies at Apple became the number one filer of problems in the architecture. And that went really, really bad. When your customer starts finding almost as much bugs as you found yourself, you're not leading into the right place," he adds.

Intel Gives its First Comments on Apple's Departure from x86

Apple on Monday formalized the beginning of its departure from Intel x86 machine architecture for its Mac computers. Apple makes up to 4 percent of Intel's annual CPU sales, according to a MarketWatch report. Apple is now scaling up its own A-series SoCs that use Arm CPU cores, up to performance levels relevant to Macs, and has implemented support for not just new and upcoming software ported to the new Arm machine architecture, but also software over form the iOS and iPadOS ecosystems on Mac, starting with its MacOS "Big Sur" operating system. We reached out to Intel for some of its first comments on the development.

In a comment to TechPowerUp, an Intel spokesperson said "Apple is a customer across several areas of our business, and we will continue to support them. Intel remains focused on delivering the most advanced PC experiences and a wide range of technology choices that redefine computing. We believe Intel-powered PCs—like those based on our forthcoming Tiger Lake mobile platform—provide global customers the best experience in the areas they value most, as well as the most open platform for developers, both today and into the future."

Acer Announces Swift 5 Notebooks Powered by Intel "Tiger Lake" Processors

Acer today announced its new Swift 5 notebook that offers a new take on productivity, powerful yet light enough to be carried around throughout the day. The ultraportable device is a beacon of both design and performance, sporting a professional aesthetic that is backed up by impressive functionality. This year's model features ultra-narrow bezels that allow for a 90% screen-to-body ratio, a touchscreen with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass and new colors, such as mist green.

"The new Swift 5 pushes the envelope on what thin-and-light notebooks can be," said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "A productivity powerhouse housed in a sleek and ultraportable chassis, the Swift 5 is an excellent option for professionals who are always on the move and seeking a device capable of keeping up with them."

Intel Plans to Volume Manufacture Nanowire/Nanoribbon Transistors in Five Years

Semiconductor manufacturing is a hard business. There is a constant need for manufacturers to compete with each other and if they don't, they get left behind. Intel, as one of the biggest semiconductor makers in the world, is always trying to invent new technologies spending massive R&D funds on semiconductors. New technologies such as nanowire/nanoribbon transistors, which are supposed to enable transistor sizes unimaginable now, are on its way to make it in the hand of consumers. During the international VLSI conference, Intel's CTO Mike Mayberry held a presentation about how Intel plans to address the demand for more compute by showing off new technologies.

With a presentation titled "The Future of Compute", Mr. Mayberry made some exciting claims and predictions. So far, we have been used to FinFET transistors since the 22 nm node from Intel. However, as nodes get smaller the gate of the transistor is not enough to keep it from switching randomly. So to avoid that problem Intel, along with other semiconductor manufacturers like Samsung, created a solution called Gate-All-Around FET (GAAFET). This technology takes a transistor fin and wraps in around all sides (see picture below), so the gate has better switching control, preventing random switching and errors. As a fin, nanowire or nanosheet (wider option from nanowire) can be used and they can be stacked. These allow for additional control of tailoring whatever a node will be used for high performance or low power. Intel predicts that they will start high volume manufacturing of silicon based on this technology in five years. This is setting an important milestone for Intel as well as other industry players, as now everyone will rush to deliver it first. It is now a waiting game to see who will actually come out with it first.
Intel Nanowire/Nanoribbon Samsung GAAFET

Intel oneAPI Gets its First Academic Center of Excellence

The Swedish e-Science Research Center (SeRC) announced that it has extended its support of the oneAPI initiative as Intel's first oneAPI academic center of excellence (COE). Hosted at Stockholm University and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the center will use oneAPI's unified and heterogeneous programming model to accelerate research conducted with GROMACS, a widely-used free and open-source application designed for molecular dynamics simulation.

As a oneAPI COE, SeRC will work closely with Intel engineers on oneAPI performance optimizations across CPUs and GPUs used to investigate scenarios that would be extremely difficult to replicate in a traditional lab. This work will allow researchers using GROMACS to take full advantage of upcoming exascale machines powered by oneAPI to deliver unprecedented visibility into the molecular mechanisms of life.

GIGABYTE Launches R292 Servers Supporting 4-way 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

GIGABYTE, an industry leader in high-performance servers and workstations, today announced the launch of the GIGABYTE R292 servers featuring four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, supporting four double-slot accelerators in the R292-4S0, and eight full-height half-length expansion cards in the R292-4S1.

The R292 series server supports four 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Each processor can perform data transfer or share workload at 20.8GT/s with the other three processors on the motherboard. Its breakthrough computing power can be used to power mission-critical application at scale and analyze growing data at extraordinary speeds.

Intel Announces "Copper Lake" 4P-8P Xeons, New Optane Memory, PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and FPGAs for AI

Intel today introduced its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and additions to its hardware and software AI portfolio, enabling customers to accelerate the development and use of AI and analytics workloads running in data center, network and intelligent-edge environments. As the industry's first mainstream server processor with built-in bfloat16 support, Intel's new 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors makes artificial intelligence (AI) inference and training more widely deployable on general-purpose CPUs for applications that include image classification, recommendation engines, speech recognition and language modeling.

"The ability to rapidly deploy AI and data analytics is essential for today's businesses. We remain committed to enhancing built-in AI acceleration and software optimizations within the processor that powers the world's data center and edge solutions, as well as delivering an unmatched silicon foundation to unleash insight from data," said Lisa Spelman, Intel corporate vice president and general manager, Xeon and Memory Group.

Lenovo Launches New ThinkPad P Series Mobile Workstations, Premiering Ultra Performance Mode

Lenovo is building on the reliability and performance of its mobile workstations, launching the next generation of the ThinkPad P Series: the ThinkPad P15, ThinkPad P17, ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 and the all new ThinkPad P15v. In addition, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 will also make its debut, as the most powerful X Series commercial laptop. All equipped with high-performance 10th Gen Intel H series mobile processors and wrapped in an enhanced design, these new ThinkPads are available in versatile configurations, giving users more autonomy over their experience.

The ThinkPad P Series and the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3 will feature the new Ultra Performance Mode, exclusive to these systems, allowing users to take full control of their performance settings. Understanding the need to complete a render as fast as possible or demo high-fidelity VR content while maintaining a stable framerate, users can now dial up the system, ensuring peak performance.

Intel Elects Dion J. Weisler to Board of Directors

Intel Corporation today announced that Dion J. Weisler, former president and CEO of HP Inc., was elected to Intel's board of directors. Weisler will serve as an independent director and member of the compensation and finance committees. "We are excited to welcome Dion to the board," said Intel Chairman Omar Ishrak. "He brings a deep understanding of the Intel customer experience and a wealth of technical industry knowledge spanning client, cloud and network computing. Dion also shares Intel's strong commitment to corporate responsibility, having championed diversity and inclusion as well as sustainability while leading HP."

Weisler, 52, has extensive global executive experience, including serving as the president and chief executive officer of HP Inc. from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, he held senior executive roles at HP Co. and Lenovo Group Inc., where he was responsible for various operations in Asia Pacific and globally. His experience also includes management positions with Telstra Corp. Ltd., a telecommunications company, and Acer Inc. Weisler also has significant public company board experience. This includes serving on the HP Inc. board from 2015 to May 2020. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and BHP.
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