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NAND Flash Revenue Rises by 15% QoQ for 3Q21 Thanks to Demand from Smartphone and Data Center Markets, Says TrendForce

The growth of the NAND Flash market in 3Q21 was primarily driven by strong demand from the data center and smartphone industries, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. More specifically, NAND Flash suppliers' hyperscaler and enterprise clients kept up their procurement activities that began in 2Q21 in order to deploy products based on new processor platforms. Major smartphone brands, on the other hand, likewise expanded their NAND Flash procurement activities during the quarter as they prepared to release their new flagship models. As such, clients in both server and smartphone industries made significant contributions to the revenue growth of the NAND Flash industry for 3Q21. At the same time, however, suppliers also warned that orders from PC OEMs began showing signs of decline. On the whole, the industry's quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipment increased by nearly 11% QoQ for 3Q21, and the overall NAND Flash ASP rose by nearly 4% QoQ for the same quarter. Thanks to rising prices and expanding shipments, the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue increased by 15% QoQ to a new record high of US$18.8 billion in 3Q21.

Qualcomm Says PC Transition to Arm-based Processors is Certain, to Launch High-Performance SoCs in 2023

Qualcomm has been in the game of creating SoCs for the PC market with the company's Snapdragon lineup. These processors mainly were beefed-up versions of their mobile designs and were based on the Arm instruction set architecture (ISA). Microsoft has backed this effort by creation Windows-on-Arm (WoA) project that enables the Windows OS to operate on Arm processors. However, up until now, Qualcomm's designs were not very powerful as they represented a relatively moderate approach to the problem and almost made no sense of purchase compared to the standard laptops equipped with x86 processors from AMD and Intel. This is about to change.

According to the news from Investor Day yesterday, Qualcomm is preparing high-performance Arm SoCs for the PC market. The company has recently acquired Nuvia Inc., a startup focused on creating novel IPs based on Arm ISA. And this is what Qualcomm will use in building its next-generation PC processors. As the company plans, in August of 2022, it should start sampling OEM partners with these new chips, and we will be seeing them in consumers' hands in early 2023. If everything goes as planned, this should represent direct competition to AMD, Intel, and now Apple in the high-end SoC market. After PCs, the company plans to tackle datacenter, mobile, and automotive market.

Global Ranking of Top 10 SSD Module Makers for 2020 Shows 15% YoY Drop in Annual Shipment, Says TrendForce

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led to severe delays in manufacturing and logistics. In particular, governments worldwide began implementing border restrictions in 2Q20 to combat the ongoing health crisis, leading to a sudden decline in order volumes for channel-market SSDs, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Annual shipment of SSDs to the channel (retail) market reached 111.5 million units in 2020, a 15% YoY decrease. In terms of market share by shipment, Kingston, ADATA, and Kimtigo once again occupied the top three spots, respectively.

Looking at the channel market for SSDs as a whole, NAND Flash suppliers (among which Samsung possessed the largest market share) accounted for around 35% of the total shipments in 2020, while SSD module makers accounted for the other 65%. The top 10 module makers accounted for 71% of channel-market SSD shipments from all SSD module makers. Taken together, these figures show that the market remained relatively oligopolistic in 2020. However, it should be noted that TrendForce's ranking of SSD module makers for 2020 takes account of only products bound for the channel market and under brands owned by the module makers themselves; NAND Flash suppliers were therefore excluded from the top 10 ranking.

DRAM Prices Projected to Decline by 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21 Due to Rising Level of Client Inventory, Says TrendForce

Following the peak period of production in 3Q21, the supply of DRAM will likely begin to outpace demand in 4Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations (the surplus of DRAM supply is henceforth referred to as "sufficiency ratio", expressed as a percentage). In addition, while DRAM suppliers are generally carrying a healthy level of inventory, most of their clients in the end-product markets are carrying a higher level of DRAM inventory than what is considered healthy, meaning these clients will be less willing to procure additional DRAM going forward. TrendForce therefore forecasts a downward trajectory for DRAM ASP in 4Q21. More specifically, DRAM products that are currently in oversupply may experience price drops of more than 5% QoQ, and the overall DRAM ASP will likely decline by about 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21.

Although WFH and distance learning applications previously generated high demand for notebook computers, increasingly widespread vaccinations in Europe and North America have now weakened this demand, particularly for Chromebooks. As a result, global production of notebooks is expected to decline in 4Q21, in turn propelling the sufficiency ratio of PC DRAM to 1.38%, which indicates that PC DRAM will no longer be in short supply in 4Q21. However, PC DRAM accounts for a relatively low share of DRAM manufacturers' DRAM supply bits, since these suppliers have allocated more production capacities to server DRAM, which is in relatively high demand. Hence, there will unlikely be a severe surplus of PC DRAM in 4Q21. It should also be pointed out that, on average, the current spot prices of PC DRAM modules are far lower than their contract prices for 3Q21. TrendForce therefore expects an imminent 5-10% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21, with potential for declines that are even greater than 10% for certain transactions, as PC OEMs anticipate further price drops in PC DRAM prices in the future.

JPR: Graphics Card Add-in-Board (AIB) Market Hits $11.8 billion in Q2'21

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, unit shipments of add-in boards increased in Q2'21 from last year, while Nvidia increased market share to 80% from last quarter a 0.3% increase as well as 2% year-over-year.. Over $11.8 billion AIBs shipped in the quarter—an increase of 179% year-over-year.

Add-in boards (AIBs) use discrete GPUs (dGPU) with dedicated memory. Desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering and mining farms, and scientific instruments use AIBs. Consumers and enterprises buy AIBs from resellers or OEMs. They can be part of a new system or installed as an upgrade to an existing system. Systems with AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry. Entry-level systems use integrated GPUs (iGPU) in CPUs that share slower system memory.

Foundry Revenue for 2Q21 Reaches Historical High Once Again with 6% QoQ Growth Thanks to Increased ASP and Persistent Demand, Says TrendForce

The panic buying of chips persisted in 2Q21 owing to factors such as post-pandemic demand, industry-wide shift to 5G telecom technology, geopolitical tensions, and chronic chip shortages, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Chip demand from ODMs/OEMs remained high, as they were unable to meet shipment targets for various end-products due to the shortage of foundry capacities. In addition, wafers inputted in 1Q21 underwent a price hike and were subsequently outputted in 2Q21. Foundry revenue for the quarter reached US$24.407 billion, representing a 6.2% QoQ increase and yet another record high for the eighth consecutive quarter since 3Q19.

NAND Flash Revenue for 2Q21 Rises by 10.8% QoQ Due to Strong Notebook Demand and Procurements for Data Centers, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash suppliers' Clients in the data center segment were gradually stepping up enterprise SSD procurement after finishing inventory adjustments, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Moreover, the adoption rate of 4/8 TB products in the enterprise SSD market increased substantially on account of the releases and adoption of the new server processor platforms from Intel and AMD. Although the recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that struck Southeast Asia weakened smartphone sales in 2Q21, the quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipments rose by nearly 9% QoQ, as PC OEMs still had plenty of component orders in 2Q21 due to the fairly robust notebook demand during the period. On the other hand, the shortage of controller ICs became more severe during the period, and the winter storm that battered Texas this February affected the operation of Samsung's foundry fab Line S2 in Austin. As demand for NAND Flash products rose, the overall ASP also rose by nearly 7% QoQ, and the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue rose by 10.8% QoQ to US$16.4 billion in 2Q21.

DRAM Revenue Undergoes 26% Increase QoQ for 2Q21 Owing to Rising Quotes and Higher-Than-Expected Shipment, Says TrendForce

After DRAM prices made a rebound into an upward trajectory in 1Q21, buyers expanded their DRAM procurement activities in 2Q21 as they anticipated a further price hike and insufficient supply going forward, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Not only was demand robust from clients in the notebook segment, which benefitted from ongoing WFH and distance learning applications, but CSPs also sought to gradually replenish their DRAM inventories. Furthermore, demand for products that are relatively niche, including graphics DRAM and consumer DRAM, remained strong. Hence, DRAM suppliers experienced better-than-expected QoQ increases in their DRAM shipment for 2Q21. At the same time, DRAM quotes grew by a greater magnitude compared to the first quarter as well. With both shipment and quotes undergoing growths in tandem, DRAM suppliers registered remarkable growths in their revenues in 2Q21. Total DRAM revenue for 2Q21 reached US$24.1 billion, a 26% QoQ increase.

Contract Prices of PC DRAM Expected to Decline by 0-5% in 4Q21 as Spot Prices of DRAM Modules Continue to Weaken, Says TrendForce

Now that most negotiations over contract prices of PC DRAM for 3Q21 have concluded, DRAM suppliers' low inventories and the arrival of the peak season for DRAM procurement have resulted in a 3-8% QoQ increase in PC DRAM contract prices for 3Q21, although this is a relatively muted growth compared to the 25% increase experienced in 2Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, demand for PC DRAM in the spot market began to show signs of bearish movement in early July ahead of time, as DRAM suppliers continued to lower prices in order to adjust their DRAM inventories. Regarding the contract market, PC OEMs currently carry relatively high levels of DRAM inventory because they substantially stocked up on PC DRAM beforehand in anticipation of an upcoming shortage. Not only has PC OEMs' high DRAM inventory put downward pressure on possible price hikes for PC DRAM, but the gradual lifting of COVID-related restrictions in Europe and the US will also likely lower the overall demand for notebook computers, thereby pulling down the overall demand for PC DRAM. TrendForce therefore forecasts a 0-5% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21.

Sudden Drop in Cryptocurrency Prices Hurts Graphics DRAM Market in 3Q21, Says TrendForce

The stay-at-home economy remains robust due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the sales of gaming products such as game consoles and the demand for related components are being kept at a decent level, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, the values of cryptocurrencies have plummeted in the past two months because of active interventions from many governments, with the graphics DRAM market entering into a bearish turn in 3Q21 as a result. While graphics DRAM prices in the spot market will likely show the most severe fluctuations, contract prices of graphics DRAM are expected to increase by 10-15% QoQ in 3Q21 since DRAM suppliers still prioritize the production of server DRAM over other product categories, and the vast majority of graphics DRAM supply is still cornered by major purchasers.

It should be pointed out that, given the highly volatile nature of the graphics DRAM market, it is relatively normal for graphics DRAM prices to reverse course or undergo a more drastic fluctuation compared with other mainstream DRAM products. As such, should the cryptocurrency market remain bearish, and manufacturers of smartphones or PCs reduce their upcoming production volumes in light of the ongoing pandemic and component supply issues, graphics DRAM prices are unlikely to experience further increase in 4Q21. Instead, TrendForce expects prices in 4Q21 to largely hold flat compared to the third quarter.

Lenovo Introduces New Family of ThinkStation P350 Desktop Workstations for the Entry-Level Space

Lenovo today announced the next generation of its family of entry-level desktop workstations - the ThinkStation P350 Tower, Small Form Factor (SFF) and Tiny. This trio of workstations hosts a technology upgrade - each one is equipped with support for PCIe Gen 4 for faster access to cutting-edge storage technologies, as well as enhanced professional graphics support. This latest generation of desktop workstations becomes Lenovo's most powerful entry-level offering and delivers a complete package of size options that can scale across a variety of industries and their respective workflows. From engineering and architecture, to finance, STEM/higher education and medical, these new desktop workstations offer versatile, flexible and ISV-certified performance at whatever size is best suited for users' needs and working environment.

Built with the latest high-performance Intel Core or Xeon processors with support up to 11th Gen Intel Core or Intel Xeon W processors, the ThinkStation P350 Tower and SFF are tailored for mission-critical tasks that require superior reliability and powerful performance. Both the Tower and SFF also offer NVIDIA RTX professional graphics, with the Tower now able to support up to the NVIDIA RTX A5000 graphics card. In addition to the 500 W power supply, the tower chassis now boasts a new 750 W PSU option - enabling high-end GPU users with the power needed to tackle sophisticated workflows. The ThinkStation P350 Tiny is the industry's smallest workstation at less than 1L and offers uncompromising performance within a form factor 96% smaller than a traditional desktop. Powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors, it is uniquely qualified for enabling OEM solutions, and can be used as a host for like-local remote workstation power.

IDC Forecasts Solid Growth for the Hard Disk Drive and Solid State Drive Markets to Meet Increasing Demand for Data Storage Capacity

International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published new forecasts for the worldwide hard disk drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD) markets. While both markets were affected the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook looks good as demand for storage remains strong in multiple areas. Worldwide HDD industry petabyte shipments are expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% over the 2020-2025 forecast period and average capacity per drive is forecast to increase at a five-year CAGR of 25.5%.

"While the client HDD market continues a long-term secular decline due to rising SSD attach rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has over the near term increased the demand for certain types of HDDs, particularly mobile HDDs as well as capacity-optimized HDDs," said Edward Burns, research director, Hard Disk Drive and Storage Technologies at IDC. "And the demand for storage capacity continues to grow at a steady pace as the world creates and stores more and more data."

Graphics DRAM Contract Prices Projected to Rise by 8-13% QoQ in 3Q21 Due to Tight Supply in Contract Market, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's latest investigations find considerable discrepancy between prices for graphics DRAM products in the contract market and in the spot market. Quotes for graphics DRAM products continue to rise in the contract market as the severe undersupply situation persists. Furthermore, the supply fulfillment rates for orders from some medium- and small-size clients have been hovering around 30%. This undersupply situation is expected to persist through 3Q21, during which graphics DRAM contract prices are expected to rise by 8-13% QoQ. Regarding the spot market, on the other hand, the value of ETH experienced continued uptrend from the start of 2021 until May, thereby driving up the demand for graphics cards, regardless of them belonging to the newer or older series. At the height of the graphics card boom, spot prices of graphics DRAM products were up to 200% higher than contract prices. Demand from miners for graphics cards are expected to be relatively muted before cryptocurrencies return to their previous bullish trends, and the gap between the spot and contract prices of graphics DRAM products will likely narrow in 3Q21 as a result.

USB Power Delivery Controller Shortage Could Impact Intel Tiger Lake Laptop Availability

When Intel launched its Tiger Lake processors for laptops, the company has foreseen a smooth integration by OEMs and plenty of design wins. While that has turned out to be true, there seems to be a big problem lurking in the OEM component supply chain. In the new Tiger Lake systems, the CPU carries support for Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 technologies. However, these protocols can not work on their own, as they require external power delivery controllers (PDC) to function. These PDCs are used to regulate and control all of the power circulating in the USB specification, and they come in a form of a separate chip. This chip is later integrated into PCBs of various systems implementing these technologies.

Today, we have a report coming from Igor's LAB, in which we are told that the availability of these chips could be very bad. Intel's OEMs are using Texas Instruments (TI) 994AD PDC, however, as the supply of these chips becomes scarce, OEMs are turning to TI 993AC/994AC chips. Intel advises OEMs, carrying these chips in their systems, to only communicate benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and exclude USB 4 mentions, or to communicate benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and reference USB 4 "compatibility." This means that every OEM using the alternative chips will get Intel's Thunderbolt 4 certifications, as the company plans to temporarily issue certifications with these chips included, while the supply chain regulates. TI's 993AC/994AC are assumed to not have the power and regulation capability of the USB 4 as the 994AD PDC can.

Alienware's Fewer CUDA Core Controversy Explodes, Company Admits Error, Announces mid-June Fix

Last week, it surfaced that Alienware shipped certain m15 gaming laptops with GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPUs with fewer CUDA cores than what is standard—4,608 vs. 5,120, without properly advertising it in their marketing material. Over the weekend, the company's train-wreck of a response played out. First, from Alienware's parent company Dell; and later by Alienware itself.

Dell, in a statement to Jarrod's Tech, tried to normalize the practice. "CUDA core counts per NVIDIA baseline may change for individual OEM, such as ourselves [Dell], to allow to provide a more specific design and performance tuning. Be assured the changes made by our engineering team for this computer model was done after careful testing and design choices to bring the most stable and best performance possible for our customers, if at a later date more CUDA cores can be unlocked via a future update, we will be swift to make it available on our support website," the Dell statement read.

Intel Announced 5G-ready Additions to its 11th Gen Core Processors

Today at Computex 2021, Intel announced two new additions to the lineup of 11th Gen Intel Core processors. These new processors, combined with Intel's co-engineering work with independent software vendors (ISVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), continue Intel's leadership in mobile compute—delivering the world's best processors for thin-and-light Windows-based laptops. Intel also introduced its first 5G product for the next generation of PC experiences, Intel 5G Solution 5000, following the previously announced collaboration with MediaTek and Fibocom.

"We've taken the world's best processor for thin-and-light Windows laptops and made the experience even better with the addition of our two new 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics. In addition, we know real-world performance and connectivity are vital to our partners and the people who rely on PCs every day, so we're continuing that momentum with more platform capabilities and choice in the market with the launch of our first 5G product for PCs: the Intel 5G Solution 5000," said Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms.

Global NAND Flash Revenue for 1Q21 Rises by 5.1% QoQ Thanks to Better-Than-Expected Demand for Notebooks and Smartphones, Says TrendForce

Total NAND Flash revenue for 1Q21 increased by 5.1% QoQ to US$14.82 billion, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, bit shipments rose by 11% QoQ, while the overall ASP dropped by 5% QoQ; hence, bit shipment growth offset the decline in the overall ASP. Although NAND Flash demand from notebook computer and smartphone manufacturers remained high, clients from the data center segment exhibited relatively weak demand, since this segment had yet to leave the state of NAND Flash oversupply. Contract prices for this quarter therefore still mostly showed a considerable QoQ drop. On the other hand, OEMs/ODMs of end products began to increase procurement of NAND Flash products from the second half of January onward because they noticed that the shortage of NAND Flash controller ICs was affecting the production of medium- and low-density storage products. Besides avoiding a possible supply crunch in the future, OEMs/ODMs were placing additional orders because they were preparing for a push to expand market share. On account of these developments, the overall NAND Flash demand surpassed expectations in 1Q21.

Global TV Shipment for 1Q21 Undergoes 11.5% Growth YoY, Says TrendForce

While demand for TVs underwent a slowdown in China and Europe due to the onset of the cyclical downturn, quarterly TV sales in North America reached a historical high in 1Q21 thanks to the proliferation of the stay-at-home economy and government-issued economic stimulus plans, such as the March 2021 handout of US$1,400 stimulus checks to most US citizens, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Bullish TV sales in North America propelled global TV shipment for 1Q21 to 49.96 million units, a 24.2% QoQ decrease but an 11.5% YoY increase.

TrendForce further indicates that Hisense has been particularly aggressive in expanding in the overseas markets via consumer-friendly prices. Not only did Hisense successfully enter the top five list of the largest TV brands in North America in 1Q21, but the company's market share also surpassed 10% and reached 11.1%, with a 4.19 million unit quarterly TV shipment, which represents an 8.8% increase YoY.

Intel Iris Xe First Discrete GPU (DG1) Goes on Sale with CyberPowerPC Gaming System

The discrete GPU market has been a duopoly for quite some time, and when Intel announced that the company is rebooting plans for its discrete GPU lineup, another player was about to break that duopoly. Today, that has been changed forever and Intel has officially become the third manufacturer of discrete GPUs, as we can see on the online listing. On BestBuy, CyberPowerPC has listed "Gamer Xtreme Gaming Desktop" powered exclusively by Intel components. When it comes to the CPU choice, Intel's 6C/12T Core i5-11400F CPU model is present without iGPU. Now comes the interesting part. The GPU powering the system is Intel Iris Xe discrete graphics card, which is a DG1 GPU based on Xe-LP SKU.

This model features 80 EUs, resulting in 640 shading units. While this is not any gaming beast, casual 1080p gaming should be just fine on this configuration. The system is listed for 750 US Dollars, and it is sold out, as of the time of writing this. While the performance of this configuration may not be something monumental, it is an important step towards Intel's inclusion in the discrete GPU market. By using OEMs, the GPU will reach a very large market without any major problems. We are waiting to see the first reviews of the system, which will surely take a good look at the card and examine its performance.

Hundreds of Millions of Dell Laptops and Desktops Vulnerable to Privilege Escalation Attacks

Dell notebooks and desktops dating all the way back since 2009—hundreds of millions of them the PC giant has shipped since—are vulnerable to unauthorized privilege escalation attacks, due to a faulty OEM driver the company uses to update the computer's BIOS or UEFI firmware, according to findings by cybersecurity researchers at SentinelLabs. "DBUtil," a driver that Dell machines load during automated or unattended BIOS/UEFI update processes initiated by the user from within the OS, is found to have vulnerabilities that malware can exploit to "escalate privileges from a non-administrator user to kernel mode privileges."

SentinelLabs chronicled its findings in CVE-2021-21551, which details five individual flaws. Two of these point out flaws that can escalate user privileges through controlled memory corruption, two with lack of input validation; and one with denial of service. Organizations that have remote updates enabled for their client machines are at risk, since the flaw can be exploited over network. "An attacker with access to an organization's network may also gain access to execute code on unpatched Dell systems and use this vulnerability to gain local elevation of privilege. Attackers can then leverage other techniques to pivot to the broader network, like lateral movement," writes SentielLabs in its paper.

AMD Earnings Call: GPU Production is Ramping and Mobile GPUs are Set to Arrive Later This Quarter

The current supply of graphics cards has been very tight all over the world. Starting with the launch of the latest Radeon RX 6000 series of GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture, AMD has found itself in big trouble when it comes to supply of the silicon, compared to the demand that exists for these new GPUs. We have discussed that many times in the past and saw that it represents a problem spanning everyone involved in getting the silicon chips to the hands of consumers. On Tuesday, April 27th, AMD held its Q1 2021 earnings call and webcast, where the company executives talked about the company's future, underlying problems, and ways of addressing them.

Among many topics covered in the call, AMD's President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, has talked about the GPU supply. According to Dr. Su, the company is ramping the production of its Radeon graphics cards, adding that the mobile Radeon GPU lineup is lurking. Here is a full quote from the earnings call.
Dr. Lisa Su—AMD Q1 2021 Earning CallAnd we're well-positioned for further growth as we have tripled our commercial notebook design wins with the largest OEMs this year. In graphics, revenue increased by a strong double-digit percentage year over year and sequentially, led by channel sales growth as revenue from our high-end Radeon 6000 GPUs more than doubled from the prior quarter. We introduced our Radeon 6700 XT desktop GPU with leadership 1440p gaming performance in March and are on track for the first notebooks featuring our leading-edge mobile RDNA 2 architecture to launch later this quarter. We expect Radeon 6000 Series GPU sales to grow significantly over the coming quarters as we ramp production.

GCP, AWS Projected to Become Main Drivers of Global Server Demand with 25-30% YoY Increase in Server Procurement, Says TrendForce

Thanks to their flexible pricing schemes and diverse service offerings, CSPs have been a direct, major driver of enterprise demand for cloud services, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. As such, the rise of CSPs have in turn brought about a gradual shift in the prevailing business model of server supply chains from sales of traditional branded servers (that is, server OEMs) to ODM Direct sales instead. Incidentally, the global public cloud market operates as an oligopoly dominated by North American companies including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which collectively possess an above-50% share in this market. More specifically, GCP and AWS are the most aggressive in their data center build-outs. Each of these two companies is expected to increase its server procurement by 25-30% YoY this year, followed closely by Azure.

AMD X570S Motherboard Spotted Alongside Ryzen 7 5700G APU

AMD seems to be preparing a chipset refresh, and this time, it is coming straight from the top-end market. When the company launched its high-end X570 chipset, it brought the PCIe 4.0 support, which many praised due to its capability to handle much faster NVMe drives. However, it seems like the company is not satisfied with that and it needs to release an updated chipset version called X570S. According to a popular hardware leaker, TUM_APISAK, we have discovered that GIGABYTE is preparing X570S Aorus Pro AX motherboard that will use the refreshed chipset. GIGABYTE already listed several Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) listings, so the new chipset is sure to hit the market, just at an unknown time.

The S denotes the word silent, meaning that these updated chipsets are capable of working with passive cooling and possibly having a lower TDP compared to 11 and 15 Watts of the X570 chipsets for consumer and enterprise motherboards, respectively. The test was conducted using AMD's newly announced Ryzen 7 5700G processor. The 5000-series of APUs are so far limited to OEMs, so one would guess that GIGABYTE itself made the leak by using a public entry of CPU-Z validation.

DRAM Prices Projected to Rise by 18-23% QoQ in 2Q21 Owing to Peak Season Demand, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's investigations find that DRAM suppliers and major PC OEMs are currently participating in the critical period of negotiating with each other over contract prices for 2Q21. Although these negotiations have yet to be finalized, the ASP of mainstream DDR4 1G*8 2666 Mbps modules has already increased by nearly 25% QoQ as of now, according to data on ongoing transactions. This represents a higher price hike than TrendForce's prior forecast of "nearly 20%". On the other hand, prices are likewise rising across various DRAM product categories in 2Q21, including DDR3/4 specialty DRAM, mobile DRAM, graphics DRAM, and in particular server DRAM, which is highly related to PC DRAM and is therefore also undergoing a higher price hike than previously expected. TrendForce is therefore revising up its forecast of overall DRAM price hike for 2Q21 from 13-18% QoQ to 18-23% QoQ instead. However, the actual increase in prices of various DRAM product categories will depend on the production capacities allocated to the respective products by DRAM suppliers.

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.
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