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Global Server Shipment for 2021 Projected to Grow by More than 5% YoY, Says TrendForce

Enterprise demand for cloud services has been rising steady in the past two years owing to the rapidly changing global markets and uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. TrendForce's investigations find that most enterprises have been prioritizing cloud service adoption across applications ranging from AI to other emerging technologies as cloud services have relatively flexible costs. Case in point, demand from clients in the hyperscale data center segment constituted more than 40% of total demand for servers in 4Q20, while this figure may potentially approach 45% for 2021. For 2021, TrendForce expects global server shipment to increase by more than 5% YoY and ODM Direct server shipment to increase by more than 15% YoY.

AMD Launches Ryzen 5000G "Cezanne" APU Lineup for OEMs

AMD has today decided to launch the next generation of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), now in form of the 5000G lineup codenamed Cezanne. The APUs are getting launched as OEM-exclusive products for now, which means that only manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. can have access to them. AMD is set to announce these processors for wider masses, such as consumer DIYers, later this year. So you must be wondering what is new about the 5000G APUs. For starters, the new APUs feature AMD's improved Zen 3 core with a notable IPC boost over Zen 2 found in last generation 4000G APUs. When it comes to graphics, the new APUs feature anywhere from 6-8 GPU cores, based on the Vega architecture.

When it comes to the available models, AMD lists six SKUs, all differentiating in CPU/GPU core count, TDP, and frequency. There are three regular SKUs, with their power-efficient variants. The regular SKUs are AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, Ryzen 5 5600G, and Ryzen 3 5300G. They are normal SKUs that have a TDP of 65 Watts, meaning a higher base frequency needing a more adequate cooling solution. However, as there are regular SKUs, there are also power-efficient, TDP-constrained models present. Called the AMD Ryzen 7 5700GE, Ryzen 5 5600GE, and Ryzen 3 5300GE, these models bring the TDP down to 35 Watts and reduce base frequency by a couple of hundreds of MHz.

AMD Launches Ryzen 9 5900 & Ryzen 7 5800 OEM Processors

AMD has quietly launched two new Zen 3 processors for the OEM market with the Ryzen 9 5900 and Ryzen 7 5800. The Ryzen 9 5900 is a 12 core 24 thread processor with a base clock of 3.0 GHz and a max boost clock of 4.7 GHz along with a TDP of 65 W. The clock speeds were lowered due to the 65 W TDP with a base clock is 700 MHz lower than the 5900X while the boost clock is only 100 MHz slower. The Ryzen 7 5800 is an 8 core 16 thread processor with a base clock of 3.4 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz along with a TDP of 65 W. The base clock is reduced by 400 MHz and the boost clock by 100 MHz compared to the 105 W TDP 5800X. The Ryzen 9 5900 is only ~5% slower than the Ryzen 9 5900X despite a 61.5% lower TDP and reduced clock speeds according to UserBenchmark results. These new processors are now shipping in systems from various integrators such as the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition.

Qualcomm Extends the Leadership of its 7-Series with the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the latest addition to its 7-series portfolio, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform. Snapdragon 780G is designed to deliver powerful AI performance and brilliant camera capture backed by the Qualcomm Spectra 570 triple ISP and 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, allowing users to capture, enhance, and share their favorite moments seamlessly. This platform enables a selection of premium-tier features for the first time in the 7-series, making next generation experiences more broadly accessible.

"Since introducing the Snapdragon 7-series three years ago, more than 350 devices have launched based on 7-series mobile platforms. Today, we are continuing this momentum by introducing the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform," said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon 780G was designed to bring in-demand, premium experiences to more users around the world."

Prices of Client SSDs for Notebook Computers to Enter Early Uptrend in 2Q21 with 3-8% Increase QoQ, Says TrendForce

Demand for notebook computers is expected to remain strong throughout 2Q21 due to the persisting stay-at-home economy that arose in the wake of the pandemic, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In response to the high demand for notebooks, PC OEMs are actively raising a consistent inventory of components, including client SSDs. Nonetheless, client SSDs are now in increasingly tight supply because the preexisting shortage of NAND Flash controllers is now exacerbated by the power outage at Samsung's Austin-based semiconductor plant. SSD manufacturers are therefore preparing to raise the prices of SSDs. Accordingly, TrendForce has also revised up its forecast of client SSD prices for 2Q21 from "mostly flat" to a 3-8% increase QoQ instead.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22FDX RF Solution Provides the Basis for Next-Gen mmWave Automotive Radar

GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF ), the global leader in specialty semiconductor manufacturing, and Bosch will partner to develop and manufacture next-generation automotive radar technology.

Bosch chose GF as its partner to develop a mmWave automotive radar system-on-chip (SoC) for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) applications, manufactured using GF's 22FDX RF solution. ADAS applications help drivers stay safe by keeping a vehicle in the correct lane, warning of collisions, initiating emergency braking, assisting with parking, and more.

AAEON Announces the SRG-3352C Compact Edge IoT Gateway System

AAEON, an industry leader in Edge Computing solutions, announces the SRG-3352C Compact Edge IoT Gateway System. The SRG-3352C brings reliable, cost effective gateway operations with expandability and wireless communication support designed to quickly deploy edge networks in a variety of environments.
The SRG-3352C builds upon the features, durability and reliability of the SRG-3352 Edge IoT Gateway System with expanded support for more connections and wireless communications. All of this is packed into a compact form factor that makes deploying the SRG-3352C even easier, powering more flexible edge network deployments.

The SRG-3352C is powered by the Arm Cortex-A8 800 MHz RISC processor. This innovative processor reduces the energy requirements of the system, allowing for a more efficient system to help save electricity costs. While powerful enough to connect edge networks together, the low energy usage can help cities with achieving green energy goals, and even allow the system to operate on solar power or batteries. It also eliminates the need for dedicated heatsinks, allowing the system to operate in wider temperatures, from 0°C up to 60°C without loss in performance.

Explosive Growth in Automotive DRAM Demand Projected to Surpass 30% CAGR in Next Three Years, Says TrendForce

Driven by such factors as the continued development of autonomous driving technologies and the build-out of 5G infrastructure, the demand for automotive memories will undergo a rapid growth going forward, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Take Tesla, which is the automotive industry leader in the application of autonomous vehicle technologies, as an example. Tesla has adopted GDDR5 DRAM products from the Model S and X onward because it has also adopted Nvidia's solutions for CPU and GPU. The GDDR5 series had the highest bandwidth at the time to complement these processors. The DRAM content has therefore reached at least 8 GB for vehicles across all model series under Tesla. The Model 3 is further equipped with 14 GB of DRAM, and the next-generation of Tesla vehicles will have 20 GB. If content per box is used as a reference for comparison, then Tesla far surpasses manufacturers of PCs and smartphones in DRAM consumption. TrendForce forecasts that the average DRAM content of cars will continue to grow in the next three years, with a CAGR of more than 30% for the period.

NAND Flash Wafer Prices Stabilize Due to High SSD Demand from PC OEMs, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash demand continues to rise as strong sales of notebook (laptop) computers spur PC OEMs to place additional orders for client SSDs, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Also, the supply-side inventory for NAND Flash memory has already fallen considerably due to the aggressive stock-up activities of some smartphone brands. With customers in the data center segment expected to ramp up procurement in 2Q21, NAND Flash suppliers have decided to scale back the supply of NAND Flash wafers. Compared with other product categories, wafers have a lower gross margin. As a result of these factors, the decline in contract prices of wafers has been easing over the past two months (i.e., from December of last year to January of this year).

Intel 11th Gen H35 Processors Launched: Fastest Single-Threaded Laptop Performance

The 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processors, the newest of Intel's H-series processors, are designed for ultraportable gaming on laptops. Packed with incredible gaming performance in an ultraportable form factor, the processors balance mobility and enthusiast-level gaming. The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11375H Special Edition headlines the new H35 processors, and utilizes Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 to deliver up to 5.00 GHz Turbo frequencies.

The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11375H Special Edition delivers the fastest single-threaded performance of any laptop processor and is matched only by the 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK. 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processors enable enthusiast level gaming on the go. Users can play a majority of popular e-sports and AAA games in full high definition at high settings with the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11375H Special Edition processor.

Intel Partners with ASUS To Launch Iris Xe Desktop Graphics Cards to OEMs

Intel has partnered with ASUS and Colorful to design and launch Intel Iris Xe discrete desktop graphics cards. The two new DG1 boards are targeted towards mainstream users and small to medium-size businesses. The cards will only be available to system integrators who will offer Iris Xe discrete graphics as part of pre-built systems.

These new desktop cards follow the launch of Intel Iris Xe MAX for notebooks, including many of the same features and specifications. The cards feature 80 execution units and 4 GB of LPDDR4X video memory which is 16 execution units less than the notebook version however we are unsure of what clock speed they will be running at. The desktop cards also feature the same three display outputs, hardware video decode and encode acceleration, including AV1 decode support, VESA Adaptive Sync, and Display HDR support along with artificial intelligence capabilities.

Update Jan 28th: Colorful has recently published an official statement clarifying that they will not be releasing an Intel Iris Xe Desktop Graphics Card, this means that Intel's other launch partner is currently unknown.

Mysterious GeForce GT 1010 Rears its Head, Targeting OEMs

NVIDIA has quietly introduced a new entry-level desktop discrete GPU positioned a notch below even the GeForce GT 1030. The new GT 1010 is based on the "Pascal" graphics architecture circa 2016, and is cut further down from the 16 nm "GP108" silicon. The GT 1010 appears to be NVIDIA's move at replacing the "Kepler" based GT 710 from its bare entry-level, and helping the company clear out all remaining inventory of the "GP108" silicon from the channel, out to OEMs. The GT 1010 likely features 256 CUDA cores, 16 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and 2 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 64-bit wide memory bus (40 GB/s bandwidth), with a maximum GPU Boost frequency of 1468 MHz. If the GT 1010 does make it to the retail channel, we expect a sub-$60 price. With these specs, the chip will be easily bested by the latest iGPUs from AMD and Intel.

BIWIN Launches its Own Retail Channel Brand, Biwintech

BIWIN announced its own retail channel brand of memory products in the North American region, named Biwintech. BIWIN is a Shenzhen-based OEM of DRAM and NAND flash client-segment memory products that supplies to giants in the PC industry, such as HP. It is now bringing a sizable portfolio of memory products under its own Biwintech brand to the market, which include DDR4 UDIMM and SO-DIMM PC memory modules, M.2 NVMe SSDs, 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, USB portable SSDs; and memory cards, including SDXC and microSDXC cards, CFast cards, and CFexpress cards. Interestingly, the announcement doesn't mention UFDs (USB flash drives). Biwintech will go to market with 5-year warranties on all its products, including 9 to 5 phone- and 24-hour e-mail tech support.

Lenovo Confirms Various Upcoming GeForce RTX 30-series SKUs

Lenovo may have inadvertently disclosed the existence of several upcoming GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards. The Product Specifications Reference (PSREF) document for a certain Lenovo pre-built gaming desktop model, the Legion R5 28IMB05, lists out all its possible hardware options, covering CPU, graphics cards, and storage. The CPU options cover 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake-S" models that are already out; but things get interesting with the list of graphics options. In addition to certain RTX 20-series, and GTX 16-series SKUs, the list mentions certain RTX 30-series SKUs that haven't yet been announced by NVIDIA.

Among these unreleased GPUs are the GeForce RTX 3050, which is shown featuring 4 GB of GDDR6 memory; the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti with 6 GB of it; and the GeForce RTX 3060 (non-Ti) with 12 GB of it. The already-launched RTX 3070 also finds mention here. It's likely that these are OEM-exclusive SKUs, but if they're not, then we have our first look at how NVIDIA is handling product segmentation between the RTX 3050 Ti and the RTX 3060 (non-Ti), in a possible bid to avoid a repeat of the GTX 1060 3 GB vs. 6 GB confusion (where besides memory, the two SKUs also had different core-configurations). Based on the GA106 silicon, the GeForce RTX 3060 (non-Ti) is expected to feature a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, which it populates with 12 GB of memory.

Prices of NAND Flash Controller ICs Poised to Rise by 15-20% due to Tightening Production Capacity for Foundry Services, Says TrendForce

In the upstream semiconductor industry, the major foundries such as TSMC and UMC are reporting fully loaded capacities, while in the downstream, the available production capacity for OSAT is also lacking, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Given this situation, suppliers of NAND Flash controller ICs such as Phison and Silicon Motion are now unable to meet upside demand from their clients. Not only have many controller IC suppliers temporarily stopped offering quotes for new orders, but they are also even considering raising prices soon because the negotiations between NAND Flash suppliers and module houses over 1Q21 contracts are now at the critical juncture. The potential increases in prices of controller ICs from outsourced suppliers (IC design houses) are currently estimated to be the range of 15-20%.

With regards to the demand side, demand has risen significantly for eMMC solutions with medium- and low-density specifications (i.e., 64 GB and lower), for which NAND Flash suppliers have mostly stopped updating the NAND Flash process technology, while maintaining support with the legacy 2D NAND or the 64L 3D NAND process. This is on account of strong sales for Chromebook devices and TVs. As older processes gradually account for a lowering portion of bit output proportions from NAND Flash suppliers, these companies are exhibiting a lowered willingness to directly supply such eMMC products to clients. As a result, clients now need to turn to memory module houses, which are able to source NAND Flash components and controllers, to procure eMMC products in substantial quantities.

AMD Readies Ryzen 9 5900 and Ryzen 7 5800 Processors for OEMs

With the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series of processors, AMD has set a goal to put its Zen 3 cores everywhere. Starting from desktop, mobile, and soon server space, AMD is delivering its best products. However, AMD is also preparing to satisfy another segment. The OEMs are in need of processors that are specifically designed for their purposes and their clients, that don't require as many features as the desktop segment does. Usually, that means some overclocking capability is cut off. Today, thanks to the two hardware leakers Patrick Schur and Momomo_US we get to see the first sightings of AMD's upcoming Zen 3 offerings for OEMs.

The first in the lineup is the Ryzen 9 5900 processor. It features 12 cores with 24 threads, running at unknown frequencies for now. All we know is that the CPU is a bit lower-clocked than its 105 W "X" Ryzen 9 5900X variant. Unlike the "X" variant, this CPU is supposed to bring TDP down to 65 Watts. Another differentiator is the cache configuration. The Ryzen 9 5900 features 64 MB of L3 cache and 2 MB of L2 cache. The "X" version for desktops features 64 MB of L3, however, there is 6 MB of L2 cache present there. Next up comes the smaller eight-core variant - Ryzen 7 5800. Featuring 8 cores and 16 threads running at an also unknown frequency. The chip features a TDP of 65 Watts and cache configuration with 32 MB of L3 cache and 4 MB of L2, with the only difference from the Ryzen 7 5800X being the lower frequency.

New Arm Technologies Enable Safety-capable Computing Solutions for an Autonomous Future

Today, Arm unveiled new computing solutions to accelerate autonomous decision-making with safety capability across automotive and industrial applications. The new suite of IP includes the Arm Cortex -A78AE CPU, Arm Mali -G78AE GPU, and Arm Mali-C71AE ISP, engineered to work together in combination with supporting software, tools and system IP to enable silicon providers and OEMs to design for autonomous workloads. These products will be deployed in a range of applications, from enabling more intelligence and configurability in smart manufacturing to enhancing ADAS and digital cockpit applications in automotive.

"Autonomy has the potential to improve every aspect of our lives, but only if built on a safe and secure computing foundation," said Chet Babla, vice president, Automotive and IoT Line of Business at Arm. "As autonomous decision-making becomes more pervasive, Arm has designed a unique suite of technology that prioritizes safety while delivering highly scalable, power efficient compute to enable autonomous decision-making across new automotive and industrial opportunities."

NAND Flash Revenue Rises 6.5% QoQ in 2Q20 Due to Pandemic-Induced Demand Growth for Cloud Services, Says TrendForce

The NAND Flash industry benefitted from strong demand for PCs and servers in 2Q20 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a demand surge for cloud services and technologies that are related to working from home, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. This, in turn, kept demand high for SSDs. However, the smartphone and consumer electronics markets had not recovered from the impact of the pandemic. The demand for these products therefore declined compared to the previous quarter. In 2Q20, total NAND Flash bit shipment and ASP both experienced a minor increase of about 3% QoQ, while NAND Flash revenue reached US$14.5 billion, a 6.5% increase QoQ.

Possible AMD Ryzen PRO 4000G Series SEP Prices Surface, Incompatible with 400-series Chipset

AMD's recent announcement of its Ryzen 4000G and Ryzen PRO 4000G series desktop processors lacked a key detail - pricing, possibly because it's irrelevant to end users as the processors are sold only in the OEM channel. momomo_us secured a slide (possibly by AMD's channel marketing), which puts out SEP (suggestive) pricing per chip in n-unit tray quantities. Apparently, the Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G, and its energy-efficient -GE variant, are priced at USD $309. The Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G/GE comes with a $209 price, and the Ryzen 3 PRO 4350G/GE at $149.

Prices of the other parts in this slide appear to be stuck at their respective launch-time SEP pricing, since all of the price-cuts AMD implemented appear to be unofficial, and specific to retailers and regions. AMD also updated its familiar-looking processor-to-chipset compatibility slide with the inclusion of the new 4000G series. Apparently the new processors only work with AMD 500-series chipsets, such as the B550, X570, and the commercial-segment exclusive PRO565 chipset. This is strange since "Renoir" is now confirmed to lack PCIe gen 4.0, and only spares gen 3.0 x8 for PEG, which means 400-series chipsets are excluded due to ROM size limitations to squeeze in AGESA microcode supporting several generations of processors and microarchitectures. Interestingly, AMD assured customers of Ryzen 4000-series compatibility with 400-series chipsets. Perhaps they were only referring to the "Zen 3" based "Vermeer" processors, as the slide shows.

AMD Announces Renoir for Desktop: Ryzen 4000G, PRO 4000G, and Athlon PRO 3000G

AMD today announced its 4th Generation Ryzen 4000G and Ryzen PRO 4000G desktop processors for pre-built OEM desktops. The company also expanded its entry-level Athlon 3000G series and debuted the Athlon PRO 3000G series. The Ryzen 4000G and PRO 4000G mark the Socket AM4 desktop debut of the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, which combines up to 8 CPU cores based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, with a Radeon Vega 8 iGPU. These processors benefit from the 65 W TDP and increased power limits of the desktop platform to dial up CPU- and iGPU engine clock speeds significantly over the Ryzen 4000U and 4000H mobile processors based on the same silicon. The new Athlon 3000G-series and Athlon PRO 3000G-series parts are based on a 12 nm die that has "Zen+" CPU cores.

All of the processor models announced today are OEM-only, meaning that you'll only find them on pre-built consumer- and commercial desktops by the likes of HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc. Not even the system-integrator (SI) channel (eg: Maingear, Origin PC, etc.,) gets these chips. OEMs will pair these processors with motherboards based on the AMD B550 chipset, although the chips are compatible with the X570 chipset, too. The Ryzen PRO 4000G processors are targeted at commercial desktops that are part of large business environments, and launches along with the new AMD PRO565 chipset. Since they are OEM-only, the company did not reveal pricing for any of these chips. They did however mention that for the DIY retail channel, they do plan to update their product stack with processors that have integrated graphics at a later time (without going into specifics of the said time).

ASUS Releases Polaris 12 Phoenix Radeon 550 Card

The Polaris architecture was debuted by AMD in the RX 400 series almost 4 years ago, since then AMD has released two new generations of graphics processors, Vega and Navi. It seems that the Polaris architecture will be living on a bit longer with the release of the ASUS Phoenix Radeon 550 2GB GPU, based on the Polaris 12 GPU.

This product may seem familiar and that's because ASUS released the Phoenix Radeon RX 550 back in 2017, the new Phoenix Radeon 550 uses a different memory configuration of 2 GB GDDR5 / 64-bit / 6 Gbps which is a significant step down from the 2/4 GB GDDR5 / 128-bit / 7 Gbps of the Phoenix Radeon RX 550 especially considering that card was released 3 years ago. This new card seems to have been available to OEM's for some time and is only now making it's way to retail at a hopefully cheap price.

Microsoft Begins Phasing Out 32-Bit Support for Windows 10

It seems Microsoft has begun the long process of phasing out 32-bit support for Windows 10 beginning with version 2004, all new OEM Windows 10 systems will be required to use 64-bit builds and Microsoft will no longer release 32-bit builds for OEM distribution. This will not affect those of you running 32-bit versions of Windows 10 who will continue to receive updates and Microsoft plans to continue to sell 32-bit versions of Windows 10 through retail channels for the foreseeable future. This is likely just the first step in what will probably be a multi-year project to gradually phase out 32-bit support as more consumers and businesses switch to 64-bit systems.

AMD Ryzen 4000 Series "Vermeer" CPUs to be Compatible with B450 Motherboards

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 4000 series "Vermeer" lineup of CPUs based on the new Zen 3 core is slated to launch sometime in late 2020, and we have information about the chipset support of 4th generation of Ryzen CPUs. The laptop manufacturer XMG, known for its crazy Apex 15 laptop with 16 core AMD Ryzen 3950X CPU inside, has posted a Reddit thread about its new laptop. In the thread, XMG has listed specifications of the laptop, and in one point it mentions support for Ryzen 4000 series of CPUs. XMG has written that the B450 motherboards will be supporting the next generation CPUs simply by microcode updates AMD will push to OEMs. XMG uses the B450 chipset in its laptops, so they are presumably going to offer some configurations with Ryzen 4000 CPUs in the future. This information is good news for everybody who has a motherboard with a B450 chipset as they can get a bit more mileage out of it.
XMG Apex 15 Specifications

Continuing 14 nm Supply Shortages Lead Intel to Reintroduce Haswell-based, 22 nm Pentium G3420

"Nothing Really Ends" is the title of a song from dEUS, a Belgian "art-rock" band. And it would seem this applies all too well to the world of technology too. Intel has issued a Product Change Notification (PCN) which has changed the previously dead and buried, Haswell-era, 22 nm Pentium G3420 from its "Discontinued" status back to a worded "canceling this Product Discontinuance completely per new roadmap decision and enabling the product long term once again." Which means the Pentium G3420 will have a new lease of life, and will be available to customers until May 2020, with final shipments on December of the same year.

This is clearly an attempt from Intel to increase part availability for OEMs and system manufacturers, who have already been quoted as considering AMD due to both increases in performance and efficiency in their processors, as well as constrained supply from Intel, with giant Dell already having pointed the finger at Intel as a cause for their lower than expected revenue.

Jon Peddie Research: Global Q3'19 add-in board market soars led by Nvidia

The add-in board market increased in Q3'19 by 42% from last quarter, with over $2.8 billion dollars of AIBs shipped. Nvidia increased its market share to 73% in Q3. The last fiscal quarter was transitional for Nvidia as older products made their way through the channel allowing the company to ramp up production and ship more new products at the end of the quarter. Nvidia not only boosted their market share but they raised the overall AIB market. Their channel inventory is now reported as healthy says the company. Nvidia's RTX line is doing well and represents 66% of its gaming revenue.

Quarter-to-quarter graphics add-in board shipments increased by 42.2% and increased by 6.2% year-to-year. The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter, Nvidia significantly increased market share from last quarter, while AMD increased share year-over-year.
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