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Intel, NVIDIA Join Forces Towards Garnering US Government Support for AI Field

Intel and NVIDIA found themselves on the same side of the field last week as both companies defended the US government's planning and intervention into the AI field. Naturally, these two giants' interests aligned in spurring the government to adopt policies and decision making that would impulse and accelerate development of AI technologies. That move would certainly boos both companies' endgames, as both have cut increased footholds in the Ai industry in their respective areas.

This was just the first of three planned hearings with industry professionals in the AI field. The order of business: to inform the federal government in formulating public policy around AI technologies, with a defining stake: making sure the US maintains its leadership in AI. Texas Congressman Will Hurd, which spearheaded the testimony in the hearing, said that "dominance in artificial intelligence is a guaranteed leg up in the realm of geopolitics and economics." AI's impact on general system's inefficiencies, such as transportation, accounting, healthcare, cybersecurity, and defense systems, were pointed towards by the NVIDIA and Intel spokespersons as definite areas of interest and extreme economic growth - and less expenditure - via AI deployment, which could ultimately add eight trillion dollars to the U.S. economy by 2035.

Supermicro Launches New Embedded Solutions Based on the Intel Xeon D-2100 SoC

Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI), a global leader in enterprise computing, storage, networking solutions and green computing technology, today announced several new additions to its edge computing and network appliance portfolio based on the new Intel Xeon D-2100 SoC (System-on-a-Chip) processor.

Leveraging its deep expertise in server technology, Supermicro is bringing customers some of the first Intel Xeon D-2100 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor-based solutions. The company's X11SDV series motherboards offer infrastructure optimization by combining the performance and advanced intelligence of Intel Xeon processors into a dense, lower-power system-on-a-chip. Supermicro is introducing a wide range of new systems to the market including compact embedded systems, rackmount embedded systems, as well as multi-node MicroCloud and SuperBlade systems.

Intel to Bring 5G to Mobile PCs by 2019

Today, Intel announced it is collaborating with Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft to bring 5G connectivity to Windows PCs with Intel XMM 8000 series commercial 5G modems. Intel expects the first high-performing 5G-connected PCs to surface in the market in the second half of 2019.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) attendees will get a first sneak peek at a concept 5G-connected PC - a detachable 2 in 1 - connected by an early 5G modem and powered by 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processors. At MWC, Intel will showcase the power of 5G on a PC by livestreaming video over the 5G network. This concept is one of many stepping stones for moving the industry forward in what's possible for 5G-enabled PCs.

5G is not just another generation of wireless connectivity. It promises new opportunities for technology innovation across the computing and connectivity landscape from the cloud to the network and the client.

Intel Plans $5 billion Investment in Israel Plant for Expanded 10 nm Production

Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen today revealed that after talks with Intel, the company shared plans for a $5 billion investment in its Kiryat Gat plant, located in southern Israel. The Kiryat Gat plant currently features tools and manufacturing facilities that allow only 22 nm chips to be produced - definitely not cutting edge, but still somewhat relevant in the semiconductor market for simpler technologies. Intel's investment would bring this plant's capabilities to 10 nm manufacturing levels. The minister further stated that Intel will begin its investment this year, and was looking towards a full 2020 payoff with increased manufacturing capabilities. Naturally, with investment comes tax opportunities and government incentives, and Intel is expected to receive a 10% grant from the Israeli government to help it in this investments' funding.

Fujitsu Launches New 2 in 1 Tablets Powered by 8th Gen Intel Core Processors

Fujitsu introduces its latest flagship 2 in 1 detachable device - the Fujitsu Tablet STYLISTIC Q738. Outstanding durability combined with the mobility of a tablet, in tandem with the power and productivity of a notebook, make the STYLISTIC Q738 an ideal choice for high-performance, mobile working1.

Designed to be tough, the STYLISTIC Q738 can resist damage from accidental knocks and bumps while on the move, thanks to a robust magnesium housing and reinforced edges. The multi-touch, 13.3-inch Full HD anti-glare wide-screen display can be used in direct sunlight, while the 8th generation Intel Core processor provides notebook-matching performance. With weight starting from just 789 grams (1.74 lbs.), the STYLISTIC Q738 is an easy-to-carry yet powerful device, and all-day battery life gives users the freedom to work anywhere, anytime.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Based Pentium Gold Processors Begin Selling

Even as Intel is giving final touches to its massive 8th generation Core family product stack expansion with up to eight new SKUs, retailers have started stocking up, and secretly selling some of these chips. Last week, we brought you the story of Newegg beginning to sell new Core i5 and Celeron 49xx series SKUs, namely the Core i5-8600 (non-K), the i5-8500, the Celeron 4920, and the Celeron 4900. We're now hearing of three other SKUs that have made it to the shelves, the Core i3-8300, and three Pentium Gold models.

The Core i3-8300, like the i3-8350K, is a quad-core chip that lacks HyperThreading, but unlike the current entry-level i3-8100, features a hearty 8 MB of L3 cache. It lacks the unlocked multiplier of the i3-8350K. It is clocked at 3.70 GHz, and lacks Turbo Boost. It's selling at USD $134.99 in tray quantities, so we expect its boxed retail unit price to be $139-$149. The Pentium Gold family consists of 2-core/4-thread chips backed by 4 MB of L3 cache. Leading the pack is the Pentium Gold G5600, clocked at 3.90 GHz, followed by the G5500 clocked at 3.80 GHz, and the G5400 at 3.70 GHz. The three could occupy price-points ranging between $80-$99.

Intel Unveils Discrete GPU Prototype Development

Intel is making progress in its development of a new discrete GPU architecture, after its failed attempt with "Larrabee" that ended up as an HPC accelerator; and ancient attempts such as the i740. This comes in the wake of the company's high-profile hiring of Raja Koduri, AMD's former Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) head. The company unveiled slides pointing to the direction in which its GPU development is headed, at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. That direction is essentially scaling up its existing iGPU architecture, and bolstering it with mechanisms to sustain high clock speeds better.

The company's first 14 nm dGPU prototype, shown as a test-chip at the ISSCC, is a 2-chip solution. The first chip contains two key components, the GPU itself, and a system agent; and the second chip is an FPGA that interfaces with the system bus. The GPU component, as it stands now, is based on Intel's Gen 9 architecture, and features a three execution unit (EU) clusters. Don't derive numbers from this yet, as Intel is only trying to demonstrate a proof of concept. The three clusters are wired to a sophisticated power/clock management mechanism that efficiently manages power and clock-speed of each individual EU. There's also a double-clock mechanism that doubles clock speeds (of the boost state) beyond what today's Gen 9 EUs can handle on Intel iGPUs. Once a suitable level of energy efficiency is achieved, Intel will use newer generations of EUs, and scale up EU counts taking advantage of newer fab processes, to develop bigger discrete GPUs.
More slides follow.

Intel "Ice Lake-U" Gen 11 iGPU Features 48 Execution Units

Intel's next generation "Ice Lake" processor could integrate a significantly faster integrated graphics solution (iGPU), if a SiSoft SANDRA online database entry is to be believed. A prototype "Ice Lake" chip was benchmarked, with its iGPU being described by the database as "Intel UHD Graphics" based on the company's Gen 11 graphics architecture, which succeeds the current Gen 9.5 architecture implemented on "Coffee Lake" and "Kaby Lake." This iGPU is endowed with 48 execution units (EUs), which work out to 384 unified shaders; against 24 EUs and 192 shaders on Intel UHD 620. SANDRA also describes the iGPU as being able to share up to 6 GB of memory from the system memory; and featuring 768 KB of dedicated cache. Its reference clock is 600 MHz, double that of the UHD 620, although its boost clock remains a mystery. "Ice Lake" is being built on Intel's new 10 nm+ silicon fabrication process, so it's understandable for the company to significantly enlarge its iGPU.

Intel Reimagines Data Center Storage with New 3D NAND SSDs

Today, Intel announced the Intel SSD DC P4510 Series for data center applications. The P4510 Series uses 64-layer TLC Intel 3D NAND to enable end users to do more per server, support broader workloads and deliver space-efficient capacity. The P4510 Series enables up to four times more terabytes per server and delivers up to 10 times better random read latency at 99.99 percent quality of service than previous generations. The drive can also deliver up to double the input-output operations per second (IOPS) per terabyte. The 1 and 2TB capacities have been shipping to cloud service providers (CSPs) in high volume since August 2017, and the 4 and 8TB capacities are now available to CSPs and channel customers. All capacities are in the 2.5-inch 15 mm U.2 form factor and utilize a PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 connection.

To accelerate performance and simplify management of the P4510 Series PCIe SSDs and other PCIe SSDs, Intel is also delivering two new technologies that work together to replace legacy storage hardware. Intel Xeon Scalable processors include Intel Volume Management Device (VMD), enabling robust management such as surprise insertion/removal and LED management of PCIe SSDs directly connected to the CPU. Building on this functionality, Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) uses Intel VMD to provide RAID to PCIe SSDs. By replacing RAID cards with Intel VROC, customers are able to enjoy up to twice the IOPs performance and up to a 70 percent cost savings with PCIe SSDs directly attached to the CPU, improving customer's return on their investments in SSD-based storage.

Intel Core i5-8500, i5-8600 (non-K), and Celeron G49xx Listed on Newegg

Four of Intel's latest 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors that are part of the company's second wave of products for the LGA1151 (300-series) platform, surfaced on Newegg. These include the Core i5-8500 (model: BX80684I58500), the Core i5-8600 non-K (BX80684I58600), the Celeron G4920 (BX80684G4920), and the G4900. The Core i5-8500 and i5-8600 fill the price-performance gap between the i5-8400 and the i5-8600K; while the G4900 could be the cheapest processor you can buy on this platform. The i5-8500 is listed at USD $215.99, the i5-8600 at $239.99, the G4920 at $65.99, and the G4900 at $54.99. The product pages don't include specs yet, but at the time of this writing, both the i5-8500 and the G4920 can be added to cart. Intel is planning to expand its 8th generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron processor families before the end of Q1-2018, along with motherboards based on the more cost-effective B360 Express and H310 Express chipsets.

Intel Expands Bug Bounty Program in Wake Of Spectre, Meltdown Flaws

(Editor's Note: This move by Intel aims to expand their bug-bounty program to specifically include side-channel attacks, such as those that can be leverage on the Spectre and Meltdown exploits. The company is also increasing the rewards it will give the researchers who find new flaws, a move that aims to employ the masses' knowledge and ingenuity to try and reach the hard-earned bonus at the end of the vulnerability - all while saving Intel much more money than it's paying to bug hunters.)

At Intel, we believe that working with security researchers is a crucial part of identifying and mitigating potential security issues in our products. Similar to other companies, one of the ways we've made this part of our operating model is through a bug bounty program. The Intel Bug Bounty Program was launched in March 2017 to incentivize security researchers to collaborate with us to find and report potential vulnerabilities. This, in turn, helps us strengthen the security of our products, while also enabling a responsible and coordinated disclosure process.

Intel Sees Promise of Silicon Spin Qubits for Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is heralded for its potential to tackle problems that today's conventional computers can't handle. Scientists and industries are looking to quantum computing to speed advancements in areas like chemistry or drug development, financial modeling, and even climate forecasting.

To deliver on quantum computing's potential, Intel initiated a collaborative research program in 2015 with the goal of developing a commercially viable quantum computing system. While there's been significant progress, quantum computing research is still nascent. The industry is at mile one in a marathon, and to realize this new computing paradigm, many problems must be solved and many architectural decisions must be made. For example, it's not yet clear what form quantum processors (or "qubits") will take. That's why Intel is placing two major research bets and investing in them equally.

ASUSTOR Responds to Intel Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

ASUSTOR Inc. is releasing ADM to version 3.0.5 to fix the Meltdown security vulnerability in Intel CPUs. The models receiving an update are: AS3100, AS3200, AS5000, AS5100, AS6100, AS6200, AS6300, AS6400 and AS7000 series. For the AS6302T and AS6404T NAS devices, ASUSTOR is releasing a BIOS update to patch the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Other x86 NAS will be patched as soon as Intel releases a patch.

For ASUSTOR's other models, they will be patched as soon as an updated Linux kernel is released. On non-Intel CPU models, ASUSTOR is also continuing to work with the other relevant CPU manufacturers. ASUSTOR takes security very seriously. When further information is released, customers will be informed through the appropriate channels.

Intel Deploys Microcode Update for Spectre Flaw on Skylake

In another step of our Spectre/Meltdown odyssey, Intel has started deployment of a fixed update for its Skylake processors, which aims to neuter chances of a malicious attacker exploiting the (now) known vulnerabilities. This update, which comes after a botched first update attempt that was causing widespread system reboots and prompted Intel to change its update guidelines, is only for the Skylake platform; other Intel CPUs' updates remain in Beta state, and there's no word on when they might see a final deployment.

The new microcode is being distributed to industry partners, so that they can include it in a new range of firmware updates that will, hopefully, end the instability and vulnerabilities present in current mobile and desktop Skylake implementations. Users of other Intel architectures will still have to wait a while longer before updates for their systems are certified by Intel, distributed to industry partners, and then trickle to end users via firmware updates.

Intel Launches Their Xeon D-2100 Series SoCs

Intel today introduced the new Intel Xeon D-2100 processor, a system-on-chip (SoC) processor architected to address the needs of edge applications and other data center or network applications constrained by space and power. The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor extends the record-breaking performance and innovation of the Intel Xeon Scalable platform from the heart of the data center to the network edge and web tier, where network operators and cloud service providers face the need to continuously grow performance and capacity without increasing power consumption.

"To seize 5G and new cloud and network opportunities, service providers need to optimize their data center and edge infrastructures to meet the growing demands of bandwidth-hungry end users and their smart and connected devices," said Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel. "The Intel Xeon D-2100 processor allows service providers and enterprises to deliver the maximum amount of compute intelligence at the edge or web tier while expending the least power."

LG Launches Their Latest LG gram 15Z980 Notebooks In the U.S.

LG Electronics USA today announced availability for the first of its latest premium, high-performance LG gram notebooks, which received high praise earlier this month at CES 2018. The new 15-inch model, designed for those users who want powerful performance with maximum portability, is available now for purchase."LG continues to engineer the most easy-to-carry notebooks on the market today, while setting new industry standards for battery life and durability," said Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. "With the next generation LG gram, U.S. consumers will experience an innovative design that fits a 15.6-inch screen into a remarkably compact body."

Equipped with the latest 8th Intel Core i7 processor and solid state drive (SSD) storage, the LG gram 15Z980 builds on the success of its predecessor and redefines portable computing with improved mobility and durability, as well as an upgraded processor and more versatility. While other compact notebooks achieve lower weight or smaller size by minimizing interior space, the LG gram 15Z980 offers a second SSD drive slot for even more internal storage for large video files.

G.SKILL Releases World's Fastest DDR4-4700MHz Trident Z RGB Memory Kit

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the world's fastest Trident Z RGB memory kit at an extreme speed of DDR4-4700MHz CL19-19-19-39 1.45V 16GB (2x8GB). Not only is this kit the first retail DDR4 memory kit to reach DDR4-4700MHz, it's also the first RGB-enabled kit to reach this extremely high level of frequency speed. This ultimate memory kit is achieved with highly-screened, high-performance Samsung DDR4 B-die ICs and validated on the MSI Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard and Intel Core i7-8700K processor.

Ever since the first release announcement of the G.SKILL Trident Z RGB series at the end of 2016, DDR4-4266MHz had reigned as the highest frequency speed for an RGB memory kit. Over the past year, the G.SKILL R&D team has been dedicated to break through this technology bottleneck and aimed to provide an even higher speed RGB memory to PC enthusiasts. Today, all the hard work is finally paying off. G.SKILL successfully developed the world's fastest RGB memory kit at a blistering DDR4-4700MHz, while maintaining ultra-low timings at CL19-19-19-39.

Swiftech Releases Brand-New Apogee SKF Flagship Waterblock

Rouchon Industries Inc., dba Swiftech, today announced the release of their new Apogee SKF flagship waterblock. With overwhelming success from our Limited Edition Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" which truly allowed customers to "Make it personal", we are now extremely proud to introduce the Apogee SKF - which follows in the footsteps of the award winning high performance Apogee XL2 featuring customization options that allows users to go beyond their limits. This new technology is at least one generation ahead of the competition and will be the foundation of Swiftech's next generation CPU waterblocks.

The Apogee SKF also features an entirely new cooling engine made of 125 micron (less than 5 thousandths of an inch!) thick slotted fins. The center piece is also customizable/replaceable. Out of the box, the Apogee SKF is compatible with all current and upcoming CPU's: From Intel's LGA 115x, 2011, 2011-v3 and 2066, to AMD's legacy AM2/3, AM4 and upcoming SP3/TR4.

AAEON's FWS-2360 is The Network Appliance You've Been Waiting For

AAEON, an ASUS company and a leading developer of network solutions, releases the FWS-2360, a desktop network security appliance with the added assurance of Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT) and the speed and efficiency of fiber cable ports. Compact and highly extendable, the ready-to-go white box solution is tailor made for SOHO businesses, domestic networks, and vCPE and edge applications.

In addition to its pair of fiber/copper SFP GbE ports are four conventional GbE ports and two Mini-card slots to accommodate WiFi and 4G LTE expansion. The system's inbuilt bypass function also ensures that network traffic will continue to flow in the event of software complications or loss of power. Further expansion capabilities are provided by an mSATA socket and a SATA III Port with a 2.5" HDD Bay, giving customers a choice of mass storage possibilities.

HWiNFO Adds Support For Upcoming AMD CPUs, GPUs, Others

PC diagnostics tool HW Info has added support for future, as-of-yet unreleased AMD CPUs and GPUs, which seemingly confirm some earlier news on AMD's plans for their next-generation offerings. HWiNFO's v5.72 update adds support for upcoming AMD Navi GPUs, Pinnacle Ridge, 400-series motherboards (which should make their market debut alongside AMD's Zen+ CPUs), and enhanced support for AMD's Starship, Matisse and Radeon RX Vega M. We already touched upon AMD's Matisse codename in the past: it's expected to refer to the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, which will bring architecture overhauls of the base Zen design - alongside a 7 nm process - in order to bring enhanced performance and better power consumption.

Starship, on the other hand, is a previously leaked evolution of AMD's current Naples offering that powers their EPYC server CPUs. Starship has been rumored to have been canceled, and then put back on the product schedule again; if anything, its inclusion in HWiNFO's latest version does point towards it having made the final cut, after all. Starship will bring to businesses an increased number of cores and threads (48/96) compared to Naples' current top-tier offering (32/64), alongside a 7 nm manufacturing process.

Microsoft Issues Update to Rollback Intel Spectre, Meltdown Problematic Patches

Multiple reports pegged some issues on Intel's rapid-fire, microcode and software response towards addressing the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, with Intel themselves coming forward, admitting to the problems' existence, and urging users not to perform said updates. However, Intel's press release wasn't very clear on whether or not users would be able to rollback changes in order to recover their machines' stability. Microsoft has taken the matter into its own hands, via an out of band update for Windows, KB4078130, that specifically disables only the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715 - "Branch target injection vulnerability."

In Microsoft's testing, this particular update is the one that the company has found to be associated the most with stability issues on host machines, and their out of band update seems to mitigate these completely. Microsoft is also adding the possibility for users to either disable or enable the troublesome mitigation themselves, manually, via registry changes. Microsoft seems to have taken the job of cleaning house on themselves, after Intel's apparent hasty move to restore security to systems based on their CPUs.

US Lawmakers to Pull Up Intel, ARM, Microsoft, and Amazon for Spectre Secrecy

In the wake of reports surrounding the secrecy and selective disclosure of information related to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities leading up to the eventual January 3 public release, US lawmakers are unhappy with leading tech firms Intel, Microsoft, ARM, Apple, and Amazon. The five companies, among a few unnamed others, are being pulled up by a house committee over allegations of selective access of vital information that caught many American companies off guard on the January 3rd. Barring a few tech giants, thousands of American companies were unaware, and hence unprepared for Meltdown and Spectre until January 3, and are now spending vast resources to overhaul their IT infrastructure at breakneck pace.

In letters such as this one, addressed to CEOs of big tech firms, lawmakers criticized the secrecy and selective disclosure of information to safeguard IT infrastructure, which has left thousands of American companies out in the lurch, having to spend vast amounts of money securing their infrastructure. "While we acknowledge that critical vulnerabilities such as these create challenging trade-offs between disclosure and secrecy, as premature disclosure may give malicious actors time to exploit the vulnerabilities before mitigations are developed and deployed, we believe that this situation has shown the need for additional scrutiny regarding multi-party coordinated vulnerability disclosures," they write.

SK Hynix Announces Availability of 16 Gb DDR4 Chips, up to 256 GB DIMMs

Sk Hynix has added to its product catalog single-die 16 Gb DDR4 memory chips, which should enable a two-fold increase in maximum memory capacity per single DIMM. This allows SK Hynix to sell same-capacity chips with fewer memory semiconductor dies, due to the increase in storage density, and to increase maximum memory capacity at the same memory die populations as before. The benefits are lower power consumption (due to the reduced number of memory dies to power), and the possibility of putting together either dual-ranked 64 GB modules, quad-ranked 128 GB LRDIMMs and octal-ranked 256 GB LRDIMMs. That last part is the most important: theoretically, the maximum amount of memory on top Intel or AMD server platforms could double, which could enable up to 4 TB RAM in EPYC systems, for example. And as memory-hungry as big data applications have become, there's ever need for higher memory capacity.

SK Hynix's 16 Gb DDR4 chips are organized as 1Gx16 and 2Gx8 and supplied in FBGA96 and FBGA78 packages, respectively. Current 16 Gb density speeds stand at DDR4-2133 CL15 or DDR4-2400 CL17 modes at 1.2 V. SK Hynix plans increase the available frequencies in the third quarter of this year, adding DDR4-2666 CL19 to the lineup.

Intel Processors to Have "In-silicon" Fixes to Meltdown and Spectre This Year

Intel, which benefited from the post-Q4 public-disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in its latest results, is hoping to mitigate its fallout on Q1-2018. The company, along with several other CPU designers, such as AMD and ARM, are firefighting the two devastating security vulnerabilities through OS kernel patches and CPU micro-code updates; which come at a slight expense of performance. In a bid to unnerve investors, company CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel is working on "in-silicon" fixes to Meltdown and Spectre.

An "in-silicon" fix would entail a major CPU micro-architecture design that's inherently immune to the two vulnerabilities and yet offers the benefits of modern branch-prediction and speculative execution. Krzanich says processors with in-silicon fixes to the two vulnerabilities will be released to market by the end of 2018.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported full-year and fourth-quarter 2017 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors has approved an increase in its cash dividend to $1.20 per-share on an annual basis, a 10 percent increase. The board also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per-share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"2017 was a record year for Intel with record fourth-quarter results driven by strong growth of our data-centric businesses," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "The strategic investments we've made in areas like memory, programmable solutions, communications and autonomous driving are starting to pay off and expand Intel's growth opportunity. In 2018, our highest priorities will be executing to our data-centric strategy and meeting the commitments we make to our shareholders and our customers."

"The fourth quarter was an outstanding finish to another record year. Compared to the expectations we set, our revenue was stronger, our operating margins were higher, and our spending was lower," said Bob Swan, Intel CFO. "Intel's PC-centric business continued to execute well in a declining market while the growth of our data-centric businesses shows Intel's transformation is on track."
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