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Intel Switches Gears to 7nm Post 10nm, First Node Live in 2021

Intel's semiconductor manufacturing business has had a terrible past 5 years as it struggled to execute its 10 nanometer roadmap forcing the company's processor designers to re-hash the "Skylake" microarchitecture for 5 generations of Core processors, including the upcoming "Comet Lake." Its truly next-generation microarchitecture, codenamed "Ice Lake," which features a new CPU core design called "Sunny Cove," comes out toward the end of 2019, with desktop rollouts expected 2020. It turns out that the 10 nm process it's designed for, will have a rather short reign at Intel's fabs. Speaking at an investor's summit on Wednesday, Intel put out its silicon fabrication roadmap that sees an accelerated roll-out of Intel's own 7 nm process.

When it goes live and fit for mass production some time in 2021, Intel's 7 nm process will be a staggering 3 years behind TSMC, which fired up its 7 nm node in 2018. AMD is already mass-producing CPUs and GPUs on this node. Unlike TSMC, Intel will implement EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography straightaway. TSMC began 7 nm with DUV (deep ultraviolet) in 2018, and its EUV node went live in March. Samsung's 7 nm EUV node went up last October. Intel's roadmap doesn't show a leap from its current 10 nm node to 7 nm EUV, though. Intel will refine the 10 nm node to squeeze out energy-efficiency, with a refreshed 10 nm+ node that goes live some time in 2020.

Announcing DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.5.0 with an Integrated Benchmark

Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy, who practically wrote the book on AMD Ryzen memory overclocking, presents DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.5.0, the latest version of the most powerful tool available to help you overclock memory on PCs powered by AMD Ryzen processors. The biggest feature-addition is MEMBench, a new internal memory benchmark that tests performance of your machine's memory sub-system, and can be used to test the stability of your memory overclock. Among the other feature-additions include the "Compare Timings" button, which gives you a side-by-side comparison of your machine's existing settings, with what's possible or the settings you've arrived at using the app.

Motherboards vary by memory slot topology, and DRAM Calculator for Ryzen can now be told what topology your board has, so it can better tune settings such as procODT and RTT. The author also de-cluttered the main screen to improve ease of use. Among the under-the-hood changes are improved SoC voltage prediction for each generation of Ryzen. The main timing calculation and prediction algorithms are improved with the addition of the likes of GDM prediction. Also added is support for 4-DIMM system configurations. A bug in which the imported HTML profiles were automatically assumed to be specific to Samsung b-die mode. A number of minor changes were made, detailed in the change-log below.

DOWNLOAD: DRAM Calculator for Ryzen by 1usmus

Samsung Kills Production of Famed B-die DDR4 Memory in Favor or Higher Densities

As the world becomes more and more centered on data, as well as its processing and storage, increased memory density across products is becoming more of a necessity. It seems that out of this necessity and a need to streamline its memory production towards favoring denser outputs, Samsung is killing of the famous B-die chips, which were - and still are - part of a love affair with any enthusiast's Ryzen desktop.

Memory compatibility issues with the first gen Ryzen took a while to dissipate, and didn't vanish entirely; however, overclockers quickly found that the most stable and overclockable memory ICs all were of the Samsung B-die type. Now, the company has updated its product catalogue to reflect EOL (End of Life) status for B-dies, replacing it with denser M-Die and A-Die products. M-dies were supposed to bring 32 GB densities to a single rank of memory - and have apparently been siphoned off to server applications and left out in the cold for consumer purchase), while the new A dies increase memory density per IC, meaning less of these are necessary to achieve the same final memory footprint. Whether or not these will feature the same Ryzen compatibility and overclockability as their B-die predecessors is unknown at this point, but it would make a lot of enthusiasts slightly unhappy - and increase the value of B-die offerings in any sort of discerning second-hand market - if they did not.

TechPowerUp Digital Storm Lynx Giveaway: The Winner

Put your hands together for Kevin from Connecticut, USA. The Winner of TechPowerUp and Digital Storm Lynx Gaming Desktop Giveaway, Kevin will soon receive a swanky, brand-new Digital Storm Lynx gaming desktop, configured with an Intel Core i7-9700K 8-core processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory, a 500 GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, a Corsair-made 750W PSU, and a custom case with RGB LED lighting, all put together by the craftsmen at Digital Storm, our favorite gaming PC vendor for those who want a really fast PC really fast. We here at TechPowerUp wish Kevin his most glorious gaming moments as the Digital Storm Lynx sits at the heart of his battle station.

Samsung Not Working on 970 Pro NVMe SSD in 2 TB Capacities In Contrast to Retailer Leaks

Update: April 29, 2019: A representative on behalf of Samsung contacted us to let us know that the company has not released a 2 TB version of the 970 Pro, and has no current plans to do so either. It appears that the retail leaks were not accurate after all. The original story is below for records.

A year after it has introduced the first versions of its 970 Pro NVMe SSD, Samsung is finally updating its lineup with a 2 TB SKU. Previous generation models always saw a 2 TB solution being made available, so the absence of such a model in the 970 Pro series was a bit amiss.

Two webshops (one German, one Chinese) have already listed the part with its own SKU number, so it really is incoming to the worldwide market. If you're looking for a solid storage option that replaces a hard-drive in terms of storage density, this could be the one for you. A price around the €940 mark is likely to be close to the actual number.

Tesla Dumps NVIDIA, Designs and Deploys its Own Self-driving AI Chip

Tesla Motors announced the development of its own self-driving car AI processor that runs the company's Autopilot feature across its product line. The company was relying on NVIDIA's DGX processors for Autopilot. Called the Tesla FSD Chip (full self-driving), the processor has been deployed on the latest batches of Model S and Model X since March 2019, and the company looks to expand it to its popular Model 3. Tesla FSD Chip is an FPGA of 250 million gates across 6 billion transistors crammed into a 260 mm² die built on the 14 nm FinFET process at a Samsung Electronics fab in Texas. The chip packs 32 MB of SRAM cache, a 96x96 mul/add array, and a cumulative performance metric per die of 72 TOPS at its rated clock-speed of 2.00 GHz.

A typical Autopilot logic board uses two of these chips. Tesla claims that the chip offers "21 times" the performance of the NVIDIA chip it's replacing. Elon Musk referred to the FSD Chip as "the best chip in the world," and not just on the basis of its huge performance uplift over the previous solution. "Any part of this could fail, and the car will keep driving. The probability of this computer failing is substantially lower than someone losing consciousness - at least an order of magnitude," he added.
Slides with on-die details follow.

Intel Courting Samsung to Manufacture Xe GPUs?

Intel's Xe discrete GPU project head Raja Koduri recently visited a Samsung Electronics silicon fabrication facility in Korea at the backdrop of the company's major 5 nm EUV announcement. This sparks speculation that Koduri could be exploring Samsung's portfolio of sub-10 nm contract-manufacturing offerings to mass-produce Xe discrete GPUs. Intel's own foundry business is reeling with mounting pressure from the company's main breadwinner, the client and enterprise processor businesses, to get its 10 nm node on the road. Koduri's GPU would need to leverage higher transistor densities than what Intel's 10 nm could offer, given that rival AMD is already implementing 7 nm, and NVIDIA is expected to go sub-10 nm with its future generation of GPUs.

Samsung Successfully Completes 5nm EUV Development

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that its 5-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology is complete in its development and is now ready for customers' samples. By adding another cutting-edge node to its extreme ultraviolet (EUV)-based process offerings, Samsung is proving once again its leadership in the advanced foundry market.

Compared to 7 nm, Samsung's 5 nm FinFET process technology provides up to a 25 percent increase in logic area efficiency with 20 percent lower power consumption or 10 percent higher performance as a result of process improvement to enable us to have more innovative standard cell architecture. In addition to power performance area (PPA) improvements from 7 nm to 5 nm, customers can fully leverage Samsung's highly sophisticated EUV technology. Like its predecessor, 5 nm uses EUV lithography in metal layer patterning and reduces mask layers while providing better fidelity.

Samsung Profits Tank as DRAM, NAND Flash, and SoC Prices Slump

Samsung Electronics Q1-2019 preliminary reads like a horror story to investors, as the company posted its worst drop in operating-profit in over four years. Operating income fell 60 percent in the quarter ending March 2019, to about USD $5.5 billion, beating Bloomberg analysts who had predicted a 56 percent drop. Sluggish sales to IoT major Amazon, smartphone major Apple, and other handset makers, compounded by swelling inventory in the supply chain, has triggered sharp drops in DRAM prices that were offsetting critically low NAND flash prices. Demand for Samsung SoCs (application processors) is also on the decline.

Samsung is betting heavily on the success of its Galaxy S10 family of smartphones to recover from losses faced in the three component markets. Prices of DRAM prices fell 22 percent YoY, and NAND flash continues to slide by roughly that much, at 23 percent. NAND flash prices have been on a continuous decline over the past 3 years. DRAM prices, on the other hand, rallied in that period, and it's only now that it posted its first price-drop since 2016. NAND flash prices are expected to slide further down, as oversupply and failure of newer technologies like QLC taking off, hurt NAND flash manufacturers.

Samsung Develops Industry's First 3rd-generation 10nm-Class DRAM

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has developed a 3rd-generation 10-nanometer-class (1z-nm) eight-gigabit (Gb) Double Data Rate 4 (DDR4) DRAM for the first time in the industry. In just 16 months since it began mass producing the 2nd-generation 10nm-class (1y-nm) 8Gb DDR4, development of 1z-nm 8Gb DDR4 without the use of Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) processing has pushed the limits of DRAM scaling even further.

As 1z-nm becomes the industry's smallest memory process node, Samsung is now primed to respond to increasing market demands with its new DDR4 DRAM that has more than 20-percent higher manufacturing productivity compared to the previous 1y-nm version. Mass production of the 1z-nm 8Gb DDR4 will begin within the second half of this year to accommodate next-generation enterprise servers and high-end PCs expected to be launched in 2020.

Samsung Electronics Introduces New Flashbolt HBM2E High Bandwidth Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced its new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E) product at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) to deliver the highest DRAM performance levels for use in next-generation supercomputers, graphics systems, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new solution, Flashbolt , is the industry's first HBM2E to deliver a 3.2 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) data transfer speed per pin, which is 33 percent faster than the previous-generation HBM2. Flashbolt has a density of 16Gb per die, double the capacity of the previous generation. With these improvements, a single Samsung HBM2E package will offer a 410 gigabytes-per-second (GBps) data bandwidth and 16 GB of memory.

Samsung Launches Highest-capacity Mobile DRAM

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the highest-capacity mobile DRAM - the industry's first 12-gigabyte (GB) low-power double data rate 4X (LPDDR4X) package - optimized for tomorrow's premium smartphones. Featuring higher capacity than most ultra-thin notebooks, the new mobile DRAM will enable smartphone users to take full advantage of all the features in next-generation smartphones.

"With mass production of the new LPDDR4X, Samsung is now providing a comprehensive lineup of advanced memory to power the new era of smartphones, from 12GB mobile DRAM to 512GB eUFS 3.0 storage," said Sewon Chun, executive vice president of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "Moreover, with the LPDDR4X, we're strengthening our position as the premium mobile memory maker best positioned to accommodate rapidly growing demand from global smartphone manufacturers."

TrendForce: Recent DRAM Pricing Decline Biggest Since 2011, Nearly 30% Decrease

The latest analysis of the PC DRAM market from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, finds that most contracts are now monthly deals rather than quarterly deals, with February even seeing a most unusual, large down-correction in prices. The current quarterly decline dropped from the originally projected 25% to nearly 30%, resulting in the sharpest decline in a single season since 2011.

DRAMeXchange points out that, according to the most recent market observations, inventory levels have kept climbing ever since overall contract prices dropped in the fourth quarter of last year, and most DRAM suppliers are currently holding around a whopping six weeks' worth of inventory (wafer banks included). Meanwhile, Intel's low-end CPU supply shortage is expected to last until the end of 3Q19, and PC-OEMs are unable to carry out the consumption of DRAM chips under demand suppression. The overall market has thus entered freefall, meaning that large reductions in prices aren't going to be effective in driving sales. The excessively high inventory will continue to cause down-corrections in prices this year if demand doesn't make a strong comeback.

Samsung Starts Commercial Shipment of eMRAM Based on 28nm FD-SOI

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in semiconductor technology, today announced that it has commenced mass production of its first commercial embedded magnetic random access memory (eMRAM) product based on the company's 28-nanometer (nm) fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) process technology, called 28FDS.

As eFlash has faced scalability challenges due to a charge storage-based operation, eMRAM has been the most promising successor since its resistance-based operation allows strong scalability while also possessing outstanding technical characteristics of memory semiconductors such as nonvolatility, random access, and strong endurance. With today's announcement, Samsung has proved its capability to overcome technical hurdles and demonstrated the possibility for further scalability of embedded memory technology to 28nm process node and beyond.

Samsung Begins Mass Production of Industry-First 512GB eUFS 3.0

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 512-gigabyte (GB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) 3.0 for next-generation mobile devices. In line with the latest eUFS 3.0 specification, the new Samsung memory delivers twice the speed of the previous eUFS storage (eUFS 2.1), allowing mobile memory to support seamless user experiences in future smartphones with ultra-large high-resolution screens.

"Beginning mass production of our eUFS 3.0 lineup gives us a great advantage in the next-generation mobile market to which we are bringing a memory read speed that was before only available on ultra-slim laptops," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "As we expand our eUFS 3.0 offerings, including a 1-Terabyte (TB) version later this year, we expect to play a major role in accelerating momentum within the premium mobile market."

DigiTimes: Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix to See DRAM, Flash Revenue Fall in 1Q19

DigiTimes is reporting that three of the major DRAM and Flash players in the industry - Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix - are expected to drop an astonishing 26% sequentially on 1Q19 and 29% YoY for 1Q19. The combined revenue drop for the three DRAM and Flash semiconductor giants comes in the face of seasonality and decreasing prices, and the decline continues an already negative 4Q18, which saw a decrease of 18% sequentially and 26% from a year earlier.

With memory pricing facing a continuous decline in recent times, clients are taking a pondered approach towards ordering from manufacturers - an expectation of future savings being the main factor for this. Demand, however, is expected to pick up in 2H19, due to increased demand from end customers, following price-cuts from manufacturers and improved specifications on end-products.

GlobalFoundries Looking for Buyers, Samsung and SK Hynix Seem Interested

GlobalFoundries is looking to be sold lock-stock-and-barrel by its investors, after heavily downsizing and parting with some of its Singapore-based assets recently. Once promising to lead the market with 7 nm and 5 nm advancements, the company crashed out of the sub-10 nm race, making AMD, its biggest customer, look for 7 nm supplies from TSMC. GlobalFoundries is the world's third largest semiconductor foundry service provider, with an 8.4 percent market share, behind TSMC and Samsung. Intel doesn't offer manufacturing services, as its fabs are fully dedicated to manufacturing its own products.

GlobalFoundries's main investor is Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Technology, which holds a 90 percent stake in the company. Korean semiconductor companies Samsung and SK Hynix are reportedly in the foray to buy out GlobalFoundries, as it would give them a turnkey presence in the US, with its Upstate New York facilities. The company is unlikely to entertain bids from Chinese companies, as CFIUS would likely block the sale. "Global Foundries is unlikely to be bought by a Chinese company such as SMIC in that the U.S. government is keeping China in check in various industries," said an industry insider, adding, "The most potential candidates include South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, and Samsung Electronics can increase its share in the market to 23 percent at once if it takes over Global Foundries."

Advantech Unveils New Lineup of SQRAM DDR4 32GB Unbuffered Memory for HPC

Advantech, a leading global flash storage and memory solutions provider in the embedded market, announces the industry's most comprehensive lineup of 32GB DDR4 unbuffered DIMM memory. Advantech SQRAM offers single 32GB DRAM modules in various DIMM types including SODIMM, UDIMM, ECC DIMM, and extremely robust Rugged DIMM with guaranteed wide temperature operation for high performance computing in applications such as networking and military.

As the global IoT market gradually embraces big data and edge computing, demand for high data and performance processing is increasing. SQRAM 32 GB unbuffered DIMM memory uses Samsung's 16 Gb 2666 MT/s IC chips for high reliability requirements in mission critical applications. SQRAM 32 GB wide temperature operation (-40~85 °C) Rugged DIMM offers extreme vibration resistance, plus ECC checking to ensure data accuracy.

Samsung Launches Industry's First 1TB Embedded Universal Flash Storage

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first one-terabyte (TB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) 2.1, for use in next-generation mobile applications. Just four years after introducing the first UFS solution, the 128-gigabyte (GB) eUFS, Samsung has passed the much-anticipated terabyte threshold in smartphone storage. Smartphone enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy storage capacity comparable to a premium notebook PC, without having to pair their phones with additional memory cards.

"The 1 TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "What's more, Samsung is committed to assuring the most reliable supply chain and adequate production quantities to support the timely launches of upcoming flagship smartphones in accelerating growth of the global mobile market."

G.SKILL Announces New Hexa-Channel Massive Capacity DDR4 Memory Kits

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is exhilarated to announce new ultra-fast, ultra-high capacity Trident Z Royal DDR4 RGB memory specifications designed for use with the latest unlocked 28-core Intel Xeon W-3175X processor. Operating in hexa-channel with 6- or 12-module kit configurations, these new 6-channel Trident Z Royal memory kits can reach insane memory speeds of up to DDR4-4000 CL17-18-18-38 at 1.35V, which feature extreme performance Samsung B-die memory ICs. With fast memory speed and massive capacity, these hexa-channel memory kits are perfect for heavy-workload workstations when paired with the 28-core Xeon processor.

As computing technology improves, the amount of processed data also increases, leading to a demand for more memory channels and higher bandwidth. For the first time, this new platform introduces hexa-channel memory support to the larger consumer market, which was previously only found in server-class systems. While operating under 6-channels, the extreme performance DDR4-4000 CL17 96GB (8GBx12) memory kit reaches a blazing fast read bandwidth speed of 122GB/s - a substantial increase over currently available quad-channel platforms. See below for a screenshot of the bandwidth result from the AIDA64 memory benchmark:

Samsung Announces New Sustainability Policy, Phasing Out Plastic Packaging Materials

This piece of news is slightly off the beaten path for our usual coverage of solely PC hardware or gaming, but I think that Samsung's overall size in the worldwide market merits a headline. Sustainability efforts have been increasing for a number of years now (albeit slower than many of us would like), and Samsung, being the giant corporation that it is with threads in all sorts of product lines, has taken a bold step in achieving environmental sustainability. Plastic used for product packaging is being phased out with recyclable, environmentally-friendly products. Some plastic usages will be kept, though even those will see a revised, recycled-plastic or bioplastic materials.

Samsung Launches the 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD Family

Samsung today introduced the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, the newest enhancement in its Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) SSD portfolio. With industry-leading performance and up to two terabytes in capacity, Samsung's 970 EVO Plus sets a new bar for high-performance storage, enabling IT professionals, tech enthusiasts and gamers to handle intensive workloads on PCs and workstations with more ease.

"Since introducing the first NVMe SSDs to the consumer market in 2015, Samsung has continued to challenge technical barriers in SSD design and performance," said Dr. Mike Mang, vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "The new 970 EVO Plus powered by Samsung's latest fifth-generation V-NAND technology will now offer unrivaled performance in its class when taking on demanding tasks like 4K content editing, 3D modeling and simulation as well as heavy gaming."

Samsung Unveils The Future of Displays with Groundbreaking Modular Micro LED Technology at CES

Samsung Electronics today introduced its latest innovations in modular Micro LED display technology during its annual First Look CES event at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The revolutionary new Micro LED technology designs featured at the event included: a new 75" display, a 219" The Wall as well as other various groundbreaking sizes, shapes and configurations for a next-generation modular Micro LED display - a 2019 CES Best of Innovation Award winner.

"For decades, Samsung has lead the way in next-generation display innovation," said Jonghee Han, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "Our Micro LED technology is at the forefront of the next screen revolution with intelligent, customizable displays that excel in every performance category. Samsung Micro LED has no boundaries, only endless possibilities."

NVIDIA to Implement 7nm EUV Node for its 2020 GPUs

NVIDIA will implement the 7 nanometer EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography to build its future generation of GPUs slated for 2020, according to Japanese publication MyNavi.jp. The GPU giant could be among the first customers besides IBM, to contract Samsung for 7 nm EUV mass-production of GPUs. IBM will use the Korean semiconductor giant for manufacturing Z-series processors and FPGAs. Samsung announced in October 2018 that it will begin risk-production on its 7 nm EUV node in early-2019.

An earlier report from 2018 also forecast NVIDIA implementing 7 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node of TSMC for its 2019 GPU lineup. With news of the company now working with Samsung on 7 nm EUV for 2020, this seems less likely. It's possible that NVIDIA could somehow split its next generation GPU lineup between TSMC 7 nm DUV and Samsung 7 nm EUV, with the latter being used for chips with higher transistor-counts, taking advantage of the node's higher deliverable transistor densities.

Samsung Debuts its 2019 Monitor Lineup

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced three new monitors: the modern and minimalist Samsung Space Monitor, the CRG9 designed for an unparalleled gaming experience and the UR59C, a stunning 4K UHD curved monitor ideal for content creators. Each monitor offers the best in technology ranging from ultra-wide screens and lifelike colors for immersive gaming to space-saving designs that increase productivity.

"Samsung's latest monitor lineup is incredibly versatile, and demonstrates our commitment to continued innovation and leadership in the category," said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "All of these monitors are part of our larger strategy this year, to keep giving you choices so you can get what you want- beautiful, hardworking devices that inspire you to do more."
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