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Impact of Components Shortage on Whole Device Shipments Continues, PCs and Notebooks Least Affected, Says TrendForce

Driven by forces such as the pandemic, geopolitics, and the digital transformation of everyday life, there has been a shortage of global foundry production capacity for nearly two years and shortages have been especially severe for mature 1Xnm~180nm nodes, according to TrendForce's investigations. Although all foundries are furiously increasing capital expenditures to expand capacity, unrealized future expansion does not ease existing supply issues. In addition, the uneven distribution of supply chain resources that has exacerbated the shortage of parts and components has yet to be definitively alleviated. Circumstances as a whole will continue affecting shipments of related whole devices. Only the PC category is expected to emerge largely unscathed in 1Q22.

Moving into 1Q22, TrendForce states, due to the limited increase in production capacity, the market's supply situation is expected to be approximately the same as in 4Q21. However, some end products have entered their traditional off-season cycle and the slowdown in demand momentum is expected to alleviate the immediate pressure on OEMs and ODMs regarding supply chain stocking.

Russian Baikal-S Processor With 48 Arm-Based Cores Boots Up, Uses RISC-V Coprocessor for Safe Boot and Management

In recent years, government institutions have been funding the development of home-grown hardware that will power the government infrastructure. This trend was born out of a desire to design chips with no back doors implemented so that no foreign body could monitor the government's processes. Today, Russian company Baikal Electronics managed to boot up the Baikal-S processor with 48 cores based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). The processor codenamed BE-S1000 manages to operate 48 cores at a 2.0 GHz base frequency, with a maximum boost of 2.5 GHz clock speed. All of that is achieved at the TDP of 120 Watts, making this design very efficient.

When it comes to some server configurations, the Baikal-S processor run in up to four sockets in a server board. It offers a home-grown RISC-V processor for safe boot and management, so the entire SoC is controlled by a custom design. Baikal Electronics provided some benchmark numbers, which you can see in the slides below. They cover SPEC2006 CPU Integer, Coremark, Whetstone, 7Zip, and HPLinkpack performance. Additionally, the company claims that Baikal-S is in line with Intel Xeon Gold 6148 Skylake design and AMD EPYC 7351 CPU based on Zen1 core. Compared to Huawei's Kunpeng 920, the Baikal-S design provides 0.86x performance.

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit Launching 2022 Supporting Radeon RX 6600

The AMD 4800S desktop kit appears to be a successor to the 4700S which featured a repurposed Ariel SoC from the PlayStation 5 with the integrated RDNA2 graphics disabled. The 4700S Mini-ITX kit featured a single PCIe x4 Gen 2.0 slot which limited compatibility to lower-end graphics cards and restricted the availability of high-speed storage or connectivity. The upcoming 4800S Micro-ATX kit appears to remedy these issues by upgrading to a different Zen 2 chip possibly the one used by Microsoft in the Xbox Series X/S consoles with a PCIe Gen 4.0 link. The desktop system will support AM4 coolers and includes an M.2 slot for SSD storage or WiFi connectivity. AMD is planning to release the 4800S desktop kit in Q1 2022 with the board being manufactured by MSI and bundled with a TUL (PowerColor) Radeon RX 6600 graphics card.

Intel Announces Intent to Take Mobileye Public

With the full support of Intel's board of directors, Intel today announced its intention to take Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock. The move will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders by creating a separate publicly traded company and will build on Mobileye's successful track record and serve its expanded market.

Intel will remain the majority owner of Mobileye, and the two companies will continue as strategic partners, collaborating on projects as they pursue the growth of computing in the automotive sector. The share of semiconductors is expected to be 20% of a premium vehicle's total bill-of-materials (BOM) by 20301. The Mobileye executive team will remain, with Prof. Amnon Shashua continuing as the company's CEO. Recently acquired Moovit as well as Intel teams working on lidar and radar development and other Mobileye projects will be aligned as part of Mobileye.

Imagination launches RISC-V CPU family

Imagination Technologies announces Catapult, a RISC-V CPU product line designed from the ground-up for next-generation heterogeneous compute needs. Based on RISC-V, the open-source CPU architecture, which is transforming processor design, Imagination's Catapult CPUs can be configured for performance, efficiency, or balanced profiles, making them suitable for a wide range of markets.

Leveraging Imagination's 20 years of experience in delivering complex IP solutions, the new CPUs are supported by the rapidly expanding open-standard RISC-V ecosystem, which continues to shake up the embedded CPU industry by offering greater choice. Imagination's entry will enable the rapidly expanding RISC-V ecosystem to add a greater range of product offerings, especially for heterogeneous systems. Now customers have an even wider choice of solutions built on the open RISC-V ISA, avoiding lock-in with proprietary architectures.

Qualcomm Expands Portfolio with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 To Accelerate Mobile Computing

During the annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. expanded the portfolio of solutions for Always On, Always Connected PCs with the introduction of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 compute platform, designed to deliver the performance and exceptional experiences users deserve in premium ultra-slim and fanless laptops. To strengthen the entry-tier Windows PC and Chromebook ecosystems with robust 5G connectivity and advanced AI experiences, the Company also unveiled the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 Compute Platform. Both platforms utilize smart, connected technology to modernize PC experiences and redefine mobile computing for end users.

"Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 builds on the technology that has transformed the PC industry, delivering premium experiences with breakthrough performance per watt, immersive camera and audio with enhanced AI-acceleration, lightning-fast 5G connectivity, and chip-to-cloud security in thin, fanless systems," says Miguel Nunes, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "With Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, we are raising the bar in the entry-tier by extending 5G mobile computing across ecosystems. Whether for consumers, business, or education, Snapdragon compute platforms deliver the capabilities and experiences that our ecosystem customers and end users need."

MediaTek's Pentonic 2000 is World's first TV SoC with H.266 support

With ever increasing computational needs from TV SoCs, as we're moving towards higher resolutions and refresh rates, MediaTek is getting ready for the next generation of 8K TVs with its new Pentonic 2000 SoC. This is the world's first TV SoC to support the new H.266 video codec standard, which is an evolution of the H.265 intended for 8K content.

The Pentonic 2000 is fabbed using TSMC's N7 node and it's the first commercial TV SoC to be made on this manufacturing process according to MediaTek. The SoC supports 8K resolution content at up to 120 Hz with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) and has an integrated AI engine to help improve scaling from lower resolutions. MediaTek also claims that the Pentonic 2000 features the "industry's most powerful CPU and GPU" in a smart TV SoC, without giving away any actual details, although it the SoC does support UFS 3.1 storage, which suggests that we're looking at a recent Arm Cortex-A7x based SoC at the very least.

MediaTek Announces New Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 Controllers

MediaTek today announced the new MediaTek Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A system-on-chips (SoCs) which both integrate a microprocessor (MCU), AI engine, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 subsystems, and a power management unit (PMU) into a single chip. Filogic 130A also integrates an audio digital signal processor to allow device makers to easily add voice assistants and other services into their products. These all-in-one solutions deliver energy-efficient, reliable and high performance connectivity in small form factor designs that are ideal for a wide range of IoT devices.

"In the coming years, advanced connectivity technologies like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 will become a must-have for smart home devices with the increasing need for more AI processing power, energy efficiency and robust security. MediaTek's Filogic 130 and Filogic 130A solutions offer the perfect combination of features to help drive this transition," said Alan Hsu, Corporate Vice President & General Manager, Intelligent Connectivity at MediaTek. "Each solution has a highly integrated design that packs the latest on-chip processing and power-management technologies into an ultra-small design no bigger than the size of a thumbnail."

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.

TrendForce: Annual Foundry Revenue Expected to Reach Historical High Again in 2022 with 13% YoY Increase with Chip Shortage Showing Sign of Easing

While the global electronics supply chain experienced a chip shortage, the corresponding shortage of foundry capacities also led various foundries to raise their quotes, resulting in an over 20% YoY increase in the total annual revenues of the top 10 foundries for both 2020 and 2021, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The top 10 foundries' annual revenue for 2021 is now expected to surpass US$100 billion. As TSMC leads yet another round of price hikes across the industry, annual foundry revenue for 2022 will likely reach US$117.69 billion, a 13.3% YoY increase.

TrendForce indicates that the combined CAPEX of the top 10 foundries surpassed US$50 billion in 2021, a 43% YoY increase. As new fab constructions and equipment move-ins gradually conclude next year, their combined CAPEX for 2022 is expected to undergo a 15% YoY increase and fall within the US$50-60 billion range. In addition, now that TSMC has officially announced the establishment of a new fab in Japan, total foundry CAPEX will likely increase further next year. TrendForce expects the foundry industry's total 8-inch and 12-inch wafer capacities to increase by 6% YoY and 14% YoY next year, respectively.

Supply Constraints Hits Some Raspberry Pi Products

No-one seems to be immune to the current spat of component shortages and Even Upton from the Raspberry Pi foundation has announced that the 2 GB SKU of Raspberry Pi 4 will be going up in price, to its previous US$45 price point, from its current US$35. They will also bring back the 1 GB SKU of the Raspberry Pi until things settle down and it'll retail for $35.

They're also shifting their production priorities to be able to meet the demand of some products, as they're experiencing a fab allocation shortage on the 40 nm node on which the Raspberry Pi 3 SoCs are being made. As such, the Raspberry Pi 3B+ might end up in short supply, as the Raspberry Pi foundation will focus on its Raspberry Pi 3 and 3+ compute modules, as well as the Raspberry Pi 3B.

Alibaba Goes Anti-x86: Open-Source RISC-V and 128-Core Arm Server Processors on the Horizon

With the x86 architecture, large hyperscale cloud providers have been experiencing all sorts of troubles, from high power consumption to the high pricing structure of these processors. Companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) build their processors based on 3rd party instruction set architecture designs. Today, Alibaba, the Chinese giant, has announced the launch of two processors made in-house to serve everything from edge to central server processing. First in line is the RISC-V-based Xuantie series of processors, which can run anything from AliOS, FreeRTOS, RT-Thread, Linux, Android, etc., to other operating systems as well. These processors are open-source, capable of modest processing capabilities, and designed as IPs that anyone can use. You can check them out on T-Head GitHub repositories here.

The other thing that Alibaba announced is the development of a 128-core custom processor based on the Arm architecture. Called Yitian 710 server SoC, TSMC manufactures it on the company on 5 nm semiconductor node. So far, Alibaba didn't reveal any details about the SoC and what Arm cores are used. However, this signifies that the company seeks technology independence from outside sources and wants to take it all in-house. With custom RISC-V processors for lower-power tasks and custom Arm server CPUs, the whole infrastructure is covered. It is just a matter of time before Alibaba starts to replace x86 makers in full. However, given the significant number of chips that the company needs, it may not happen at any sooner date.

Synopsys Accelerates Multi-Die Designs with Industry's First Complete HBM3 IP and Verification Solutions

Synopsys, Inc. today announced the industry's first complete HBM3 IP solution, including controller, PHY, and verification IP for 2.5D multi-die package systems. HBM3 technology helps designers meet essential high-bandwidth and low-power memory requirements for system-on-chip (SoC) designs targeting high-performance computing, AI and graphics applications. Synopsys' DesignWare HBM3 Controller and PHY IP, built on silicon-proven HBM2E IP, leverage Synopsys' interposer expertise to provide a low-risk solution that enables high memory bandwidth at up to 921 GB/s.

The Synopsys verification solution, including Verification IP with built-in coverage and verification plans, off-the-shelf HBM3 memory models for ZeBu emulation, and HAPS prototyping system, accelerates verification from HBM3 IP to SoCs. To accelerate development of HBM3 system designs, Synopsys' 3DIC Compiler multi-die design platform provides a fully integrated architectural exploration, implementation and system-level analysis solution.

Samsung Confirms RDNA2-based Exynos 2200 iGPU Will Support Ray Tracing

Samsung appears to be in a hurry to beat Apple and Qualcomm at bringing real-time ray tracing to the smartphone space, with its next-generation Exynos 2200 "Pamir" SoC. The chip integrates a graphics processor based on the AMD RDNA2 architecture, codenamed "Voyager." Samsung all but confirmed that the compute units of this will feature Ray Accelerators, the hardware component that performs ray-intersection calculations. The "Voyager" iGPU, as implemented on the Exynos 2200 SoC, physically features six RDNA2 compute units (384 stream processors), and hence six Ray Accelerators.

Built on the 4 nm EUV silicon fabrication process, Exynos 2200 will feature not two, but three kinds of CPU cores—four lightweight efficiency cores, three mid-tier cores, and one ultra high-performance core. Each of these three operate in unique performance/Watt bands, giving software finer-grained control over the kinds of hardware resources they want. Samsung is expected to debut the Exynos 2200 with its next-generation Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices.

Revenue of Top 10 IC Design (Fabless) Companies Reaches US$29.8 Billion for 2Q21, Though Growth May Potentially Slow in 2H21, Says TrendForce

In view of the ongoing production capacity shortage in the semiconductor industry and the resultant price hike of chips, revenue of the top 10 IC design companies for 2Q21 reached US$29.8 billion, a 60.8% YoY increase, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, Taiwanese companies put up remarkable performances during this period, with both MediaTek and Novatek posting YoY growths of more than 95%. AMD, on the other hand, experienced a nearly 100% YoY revenue growth, the highest among the top 10.

TrendForce indicates that the ranking of the top five companies for 2Q21 remained unchanged from the previous quarter, although there were major changes in the 6th to 10th spots. More specifically, after finalizing its acquisition of Inphi, Marvell experienced a major revenue growth and leapfrogged Xilinx and Realtek in the rankings from 9th place in 1Q21 to 7th place in 2Q21.

ZeroPoint Technologies wants to Compress the Data in your RAM

Some of you might be old enough to remember various "RAM doubling" software software solutions that appeared back in the late 1980's for Apple, as well as in the mid 90's for Windows 95 computers. Most of them never really delivered on their claims, but now it looks like we might be getting something similar, albeit in hardware.

Swedish company ZeroPoint Technology AB has announced that it has raised €2.5 million in a seed round to bring its Ziptilion patented memory compression technology IP to the market. ZeroPoint claims a compression ratio of two to three times depending on the workload, which seems very impressive. Unlike current software compression technologies such as ZSWAP or ZRAM that are used to compress data in RAM at a rate of 1.4 to 1.5 times, ZeroPoint promises that it's hardware IP won't have any real world negative effects on system performance. In fact, they claim it'll only cause one nanosecond of extra latency when writing data and 100 nanoseconds delay when it comes to reading the compressed data from RAM.

Samsung Receives its First Global Carbon Footprint Certification for Logic Chips

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that four of its System LSI products received product carbon footprint label certification from the Carbon Trust, the first of Samsung's logic chips to do so. Having received the semiconductor industry's first carbon footprint accreditation for memory chips from the Carbon Trust in 2019, Samsung has now broadened its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) spectrum with this global recognition of 'eco-friendly' logic chips. Samsung also grabbed the industry's first triple Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon, Water and Waste in June 2021.

The Carbon Trust is an independent and expert partner of organizations around the world that advises businesses on their opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world. The Carbon Trust also measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organizations, supply chains and products. Of the various certification categories of the Carbon Trust, Samsung's System LSI products received the CO2 Measured product carbon footprint label. The label certifies the chip's carbon footprint, which informs consumers of the impact that the product and its manufacturing process have on the environment. Receiving the CO₂ Measured label is a critical first step for carbon reduction, since it verifies the current carbon emissions of the product with globally recognized specifications (PAS 2050), which Samsung can use as a benchmark to measure future carbon reductions.

Sony Takes a Step Backwards with PlayStation 5, Cuts on Cooling Capacity in the new Revision

Sony's latest gaming console, PlayStation 5, has been selling at loss up until August 4th, when the company announced that the new console is now profitable. However, it seems like Sony is trying to extend those profits even further with the latest revision of PlayStation 5 that is seemingly taking a step backward. According to the latest report, Sony has updated its PlayStation 5 internal design and the console is now featuring a smaller heatsink, which you can see below. The new revision is featuring a significantly smaller heatsink and an absence of the large copper cold plate. The fan that cools the heatsink is also reduced, resulting in a complete thermal downgrade.

While there was no in-depth testing of the cooling performance, the exhaust system of the new PS5 revision is spitting out 3-5 degrees Celsius higher temperatures. That is just measuring the air coming out, where the actual SoC could run hotter by an even larger margin. As we wait for more testing of the new PS5 revisions, we have to wonder why Sony opted to cut corners on such an important piece, that ultimately provides the console with longevity, due to cooler silicon.

Chip Shortages Could Continue Well into 2022, Predicts NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang

In his Q2-FY2022 Results call, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang commented that he expects the ongoing chip supply situation to remain bad for the most part of 2022. "Meanwhile, we have and are securing pretty significant long-term supply commitments as we expand into all these different markets initiatives that we've set ourselves up for. And I so I think—I would expect that we will see a supply contained environment for the vast majority of next year is my guess at the moment," he said.

His comments are telling, as NVIDIA relies heavily on cutting edge silicon fabrication nodes for its logic products, such as GPUs, HPC processors, and vehicle SoCs. 2022 will see NVIDIA introduce its "Lovelace" graphics architecture, powering the GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs; as well as a variant powering next-generation HPC processors. The company is looking to design its chips for TSMC's 5 nm silicon fabrication process, unless Samsung can fix its 5 nm-class foundry woes in time, and win back the company.

Google Teases Upcoming Custom Tensor Processor in Pixel 6

In 2016, we launched the first Pixel. Our goal was to give people a more helpful, smarter phone. Over the years, we introduced features like HDR+ and Night Sight, which used artificial intelligence (AI) to create beautiful images with computational photography. In later years, we applied powerful speech recognition models to build Recorder, which can record, transcribe and search for audio clips, all on device.

AI is the future of our innovation work, but the problem is we've run into computing limitations that prevented us from fully pursuing our mission. So we set about building a technology platform built for mobile that enabled us to bring our most innovative AI and machine learning (ML) to our Pixel users. We set out to make our own System on a Chip (SoC) to power Pixel 6. And now, years later, it's almost here. Tensor is our first custom-built SoC specifically for Pixel phones, and it will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this fall.

Samsung Electronics Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Total consolidated revenue was KRW 63.67 trillion, a 20% increase from the previous year and a record for the second quarter. Operating profit increased 34% from the previous quarter to KRW 12.57 trillion as market conditions improved in the memory market, operations normalized at the Austin foundry fab, and as effective global supply chain management (SCM) helped maintain solid profitability for the finished product businesses.

The Semiconductor business saw a significant improvement in earnings as memory shipments exceeded previous guidance and price increases were higher than expected, while the Company strengthened its cost competitiveness. For the Display Panel Business, a one-off gain and an increase in overall prices boosted profits.

NVIDIA Brings RTX and DLSS to Arm Platform

NVIDIA at GDC dropped a major hint at where it wants to take PC gaming post the Arm acquisition. The company is demonstrating its RTX real-time raytracing technology, and the DLSS performance enhancement, on an Arm processor by MediaTek. To the PC, this means NVIDIA is laying the foundations of gaming in the post-x86 world where it holds Arm IP; foundations that were dug up by Apple and its mighty M1 chip, based on Arm CPU technology.

Making this unequivocal, was MediaTek. "RTX is the most groundbreaking technology to come to PC gaming in the last two decades," said PC Tseng, general manager of MediaTek's Intelligent Multimedia Business Unit."MediaTek and NVIDIA are laying the foundation for a new category of Arm-based high-performance PCs." The Taiwan-based Arm SoC major has developed a new Arm-based PC processor called Kompanio 1200, which it hopes will power PC platforms much like the Apple M1 or the Qualcomm Compute Platforms.

Samsung Exynos 2200 SoC, Built on 4 nm, Packs Faster RDNA2 GPU

Samsung intends to take its partnership with AMD for graphics further, by designing its next-generation Exynos 2200 "Pamir" SoC with a faster GPU based on the AMD RDNA2 graphics architecture. Bound for the second half of 2021, Exynos 2200 will be built on Samsung's swanky new 4 nanometer 4LPP (4 nm Low Power Plus) silicon fabrication node, and integrate an RDNA2-based GPU codenamed "Voyager." Samsung hopes to compete with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 895 SoC and its Adreno 730 GPU. Interestingly, the new Snapdragon is also expected to be built on the same Samsung 4 nm node. It will be interesting to see what device the Exynos 2200 debuts with, given that both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Note 21 won't arrive before 2022.

Surface Pro X with Windows 11 Shown Running Microsoft-branded Qualcomm Arm SoC

A next-generation Microsoft Surface Pro X with Windows 11 was shown running a Microsoft-branded processor that's expected to be a design collaboration between the company and Qualcomm, in a bid to develop a high performance/Watt solution rivaling the Apple M1. Microsoft's contribution to this is the x86-64 emulation heavily integrated into Windows 11, letting you run native x86-64 apps seamlessly, with the OS handling the hardware abstraction much like WOW64.

Called the Microsoft SQ2, the silicon features an 8-core/8-thread CPU, and an iGPU that meets the minimum requirements of Windows 11 for its standard UI, with just enough power for web-browsing with high-res videos. The CPU runs at speeds of up to 3.15 GHz, and has a fairly advanced memory system that includes a 3-level cache and LPDDR5 memory.

Qualcomm Wants to Build an M1-Like Processor for PCs

Qualcomm is trying to get into the PC space with their mobile Snapdragon chips, which offer great battery and decent performance. However, so far only Apple managed to get the right formula for developing custom low-power, high-performance chips. It is exactly Apple's M1 processor in question that Qualcomm intends to mimic. According to the recent interview with Qualcomm's new CEO Cristiano Amon, we are informed that Qualcomm plans to produce laptop chips that would directly compete with Apple's. That means that, despite the ecosystem differences of Apple M1 (macOS) and Qualcomm Snapdragon (Windows-on-Arm), the company wants to deliver equal if not better performance and great battery life.

With the recent acquisition of Nuvia, Qualcomm has a team of very talented engineers to back up its claims. The company also recently hired some of the developers behind Apple's M1 chip. The company notes that it will be using only the best solutions for its upcoming SoC, which will include a 5G modem. Mr. Amon has also noted the following:
We needed to have the leading performance for a battery-powered device. If Arm, which we've had a relationship with for years, eventually develops a CPU that's better than what we can build ourselves, then we always have the option to license from Arm.
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