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A Christmas Miracle: 500,000 NVIDIA RTX 3080 Cards Found in Lost Shipping Container

Stock for NVIDIA's latest RTX 30-series graphics cards has been a nightmare for customers across the world, with demand far outstripping supply. This opened up a proverbial can of worms, with scalpers taking to the world wide web, casting their own nets in taking advantage of not only the pandemic (and peoples' refuge in gaming in these uncertain times), but also of said unmet demand. So it has to be nothing short of a Christmas miracle that 500,000 NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics cards have just been found in an unmarked shipping container in South Korea. The container wasn't registered in the port authority, and was therefore left unopened and unprocessed.

The graphics cards were stored in the container absent of any proper documentation by Samsung, as early as August of this year. Jeff Fisher, vice president of NVIDIA and head of the GeForce division, said in a statement to the company's shareholders that "We've been asking Samsung for this shipment for months. They told us that she had already left the factory, but then they did not present us with any document proving that she had reached her destination". These newfound graphics cards will now be correctly processed and put into the channel.

Geeknetic.es made this as a part of the Spanish Fool's Day, which is December 28th. However, considering the current state of the RTX (and AMD RX) market, this is a nice satirical gotcha which I'll keep on TPU. Let's laugh at our misery instead of wallowing in it.

Intel to Keep Its Number One Semiconductor Supplier Ranking in 2020: IC Insights

IC Insights' November Update to the 2020 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2020. This research bulletin covers the expected top-15 2020 semiconductor suppliers (Figure 1).

The November Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast through 2024 of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price) and a forecast of the major semiconductor industry capital spenders for 2020. A five-year outlook for total semiconductor industry capital spending is also provided.

Emtek Announces 410 W Xenon GeForce RTX 3090 Turbo Jet OC D6X 24GB GPU

Emtek a South Korean company have recently announced the Xenon GeForce RTX 3090 Turbo Jet OC D6X 24GB GPU which comes with a glamorous shroud and a max power consumption of 410 W. The card features three 8-pin PCIe power connectors and is recommended to be run with a 850 W power supply or higher. This 410 W power draw is 17.1% higher than the suggested 350 W power profile from NVIDIA and explains the 850 W power supply requirement. The card features a 5.3% higher boost clock then reference models at 1785 MHz and will likely offer some of if not the best gaming performance available. The Xenon GeForce RTX 3090 Turbo Jet is exclusive to South Korea and is unlikely to receive a worldwide release.

Samsung and SK Hynix to Impose Sanctions Against Huawei

Ever since the Trump administration imposed sanctions against Huawei to stop it from purchasing parts from third-party vendors to bypass the ban announced back in May, some vendors continued to supply the company. So it seems like some Korean manufacturers will be joining the doings of the US government, and apply restrictions to Huawei. According to the reports of South Korean media outlets, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will be joining the efforts of the US government and the Trump administration to impose sanctions against Chinese technology giant - Huawei.

It is reported that on September 15th, both Samsung and SK Hynix will stop any shipments to Huawei, where Samsung already stopped efforts for creating any new shipments. SK Hynix is said to continue shipping DRAM and NAND Flash products until September 14th, a day before the new sanctions are applied. Until the 14th, Huawei will receive some additional chips from SK Hynix. And it is exactly SK Hynix who is said to be a big loser here. It is estimated that 41.2% of SK Hynix's H1 2020 revenue came from China, most of which was memory purchased for Huawei phones and tablets. If the company loses Huawei as a customer, it would mean that the revenue numbers will be notably lower.

DigiTimes Research: Korean Memory Makers See Output Value Surge in Q2

According to the latest DigiTimes Research report, it is said that Korean memory makers have experienced a surge in chip output value. Korean memory manufacturers are Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, which both have seen a massive growth of 22.1% on a yearly basis and 13.9% sequentially in the second quarter of 2020. This is no small feat as the demand for memory in the smartphone industry has been slowed in that period due to the COVID pandemic, however, it was offset by strong demand from servers and notebooks. When the output of Korean memory giants is fused, Samsung and SK Hynix had combined revenue of KRW22.9 trillion or about 20.8 billion USD. The demand for memory is expected to continue its growth due to the 5G headset market.

Samsung Receives Zero Waste to Landfill Validations for All of its Semiconductor Manufacturing Sites

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that it has received UL's Zero Waste to Landfill validation of Gold level and above for all of its global semiconductor operation sites. This signifies that Samsung's semiconductor sites in South Korea, US and China meet the requirement of more than 95-percent waste diversion through methods that do not involve thermal processing. In particular, the Samsung DSR building in Hwaseong, Korea, home to most of its local semiconductor R&D staff, is validated for Zero Waste to Landfill at the Platinum level for reaching 100-percent waste diversion.

"The Zero Waste to Landfill Gold validation is testament to the care and effort by our employees around the world to protect the environment," said Chanhoon Park, executive vice president of global infrastructure technology at Samsung Electronics. "Eco-friendly operations are now a must for any business and we will continue to ensure sustainable growth that is mindful of the environment that we live and operate in."

Samsung Expands its Foundry Capacity with A New Production Line in Pyeongtaek

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced plans to boost its foundry capacity at the company's new production line in Pyeongtaek, Korea, to meet growing global demand for cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet (EUV) solutions.

The new foundry line, which will focus on EUV-based 5 nanometer (nm) and below process technology, has just commenced construction this month and is expected to be in full operation in the second half of 2021. It will play a pivotal role as Samsung aims to expand the use of state-of-the-art process technologies across a myriad of current and next generation applications, including 5G, high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Samsung 3 nm Volume Production Facing Delays in Wake of Coronavirus Impact

Samsung's 3 nm manufacturing has already given fruits to the company, with the South Korean giant already achieving risk production at the start of this year. The company previously projected volume production of their 3 nm process to start in early 2021. However, in a report via DigiTimes, this goal may have slipped to 2022 in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the news outlet, industry sources point this delay not to Samsung's fault in the manufacturing process, but to the entire logistics movement that has to be conducted in ramping up production of a new node. Impacts on logistics and transportation services are causing delays to deliveries of EUV and other critical production equipment, without which Samsung will be hard pressed to achieve its volume production goal. How this will ultimately affect Samsung's bottom line and revenue projections remains to be seen, but this won't do any favors to the company's high-density fabrication tech - especially if rival TSMC somehow manages to skirt these issues.

Samsung to End LCD Manufacturing by Late-2020, Focus on AMOLED and QLED

Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics that develops and manufactures display panels, is reportedly ending the manufacturing of all its LCD panel products by the end of 2020. These include TN-film, various kinds of VA, and IPS. This would see an end to even LED-backlit LCD panels that make up a bulk of the company's low-cost PC monitors and TVs. The company will focus on more advanced panel technologies, such as AMOLED and QLED. Samsung manufactures LCD panels at plants in South Korea and China. With LCD being phased out, the production lines will be re-tooled to manufacture quantum-dot LED (QLED) panels. The company will spend the rest of 2020 shipping out pending orders of LCD panels.

VR as a Coping Mechanism for Loss: Meet Nayeon

VR has been hailed as the next coming of truly ingenious, engrossing, enveloping experiences, and to some extent, it already does offer those. There are still limitations to the technology and the level of realism it can impart (there is a whole slew of senses we need to trigger for truly enveloping experiences, of course), but I feel we sometimes get somewhat limited in the way we look at VR. Of course, we can all imagine video games built in VR - and when we do, we likely imagine them as they were presented to us in Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One.

Then there are other use-cases, such as real-estate experiences that place you right inside your future home and allow you to see the changes you'd make. Architecture design, engineering, game world design, even strolls through museums, your mind a subatomic particle able to instantly travel to foreign countries and explore their marvels. All for this, mind you, without ever leaving the comfort of our home, without the required expenses and no wasted time with travelling or passport checks - all, however, simulated. But what if VR could go even further? What if VR could be used as a coping mechanism? What if you could meet your dead parents, siblings... Or children? This is the story I bring to you today: of how VR was used to reunite a mother with her deceased seven-year-old girl. This is the story of Ji-sung and her daughter Nayeon.

Minute-long Power Outage at Samsung Plant Damages Millions Worth DRAM and NAND

A tiny minute-long power-outage halted production at a Samsung Electronics plant in Hwaseong, South Korea, according to a Reuters report citing Korean news agency Yonhap. This stopped some production lines of DRAM and NAND flash memory. A source with "direct knowledge of the matter" told Reuters that the outage likely caused millions of Dollars in losses to Samsung. Semiconductor manufacturing in general is a very power-sensitive process, and a stoppage at any of its manufacturing stages can result in wasted batches; not to mention the time lost to recovery. For instance, a 30-minute power outage in 2018 inflicted a $43.32 million loss to Samsung.

The cause of the power outage on Tuesday afternoon (31st December), is said to be a fault with a regional transmission cable. It will take Samsung up to two days (mid-Thursday) to get the production line rolling again. On the flipside, the resulting drop in output could help Samsung push out its swelling NAND flash and DRAM inventory, reports Yonhap, citing an analyst.

Japan-Korea Trade Spat and Toshiba Blackout Hike DRAM Prices by 20 Percent

Prices of DRAM shot up by 20 percent as Japan put in place export curbs that restrict high-technology exports to South Korea, and as Toshiba recovers from a power blackout that temporarily halted production. This could impact prices of end-user products such as PC memory modules, or consumer electronics, such as smartphones, in the coming weeks, as inventories either dry up, or are marked-up at various stages of the supply-chain. The memory industry is inter-dependent between fabrication and packaging units spread across South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Memory and flash industry observer DRAMeXchange reported that spot-pricing of 8-gigabit DDR4 DRAM chips, which is used as a benchmark for DRAM pricing as a whole, closed at USD $3.74 at the end of trading on Friday (19/07). It's up 14.6 percent week-over-week, and 23 percent up pricing as on 5th July. An industry observer who spoke with KBS World notes that the recent hikes are not directly infuenced by the trade-spat between Japan and Korea, but rather a power blackout experienced at a Toshiba DRAM manufacturing facility last month. The observer noted that if the trade-spat affects production at Samsung Electronics or SK Hynix, DRAM prices could "skyrocket."

To Boost or not to Boost: South Korea Looking to Make "Game Boosting" Illegal

Game Boosting refers to the practice of gamers to pay other, more skilled players to "boost them up" to higher ranks, mainly in competitive multiplayer games. The practice sometimes takes the form of paid partnership with a team of skilled players (where the player that's receiving the boost is of much lower skill, but gets pulled along with the remaining members of the team's efforts) or by actually giving a player access to your account, to play as if he/her was you, and cashing in on his/her better "skillz". This practice, it goes without saying, goes against the competitive nature of certain games, and if you know your South Koreans, you know they take competitive gaming very, very (really, very) seriously.

This is why the country is seemingly looking to put an "illegal" tag on game boosting, as in, illegal enough to warrant prosecution and an actual sentence to jail (a maximum prison sentence of two years and a fine of 20 million won ($18,000). This isn't something that has been cooked up overnight: an amendment to the "Law on Game Business Development" bill was first proposed earlier this summer, and has now passed the National Assembly Legislation Review Committee, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.

Samsung Facing Fine of $400 Million Over FinFET Patent Infringement

Bloomberg is reporting that Samsung was hit with a $400 million fine last Friday, (ahem) courtesy of a Texas federal jury. The source of the patent infringement relates to FinFET-specific technology that is being said was "illegally, and willfully taken" from the licensing arm of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the South Korean university. If you're wondering why was such a case between two South Korean institutions settled in Texas, well - KAIST IP US, the university's licensing arm is strangely (or not) based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, - a venue considered "particularly friendly" to patent owners.

The $400 million is just the initial sum; since Samsung's mishandling of the intellectual property (usage without payment) was found to be "willful", the company could be faced with up to three times those charges. Bloomberg's report says that KAIST claimed in its initial complaint that Samsung was dismissive of the FinFet research at first, believing it would be a fad. Apparently, that all changed when rival Intel Corp. started licensing the invention and developing its own products, according to KAIST IP. Samsung, naturally, disagrees: the company that it helped the university develop the technology in the first place, and that it was "disappointed by the verdict", and "will consider options to obtain an outcome that is reasonable, including an appeal."

Epic Games Sued by PUBG Corp Over "Fortnite" Battle Royale Mode

Epic Games has been dragged to court by PUBG Corporation, developer of "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" (PUBG) over "copyright infringement" and "plagiarism" in its smash-hit online multiplayer game "Fortnite." PUBG dominated PC gaming in 2017, as its South Korea-based developers raked in hundreds of millions of Dollars in revenues, having sold over 45 million copies of the game. When it released in 2017, "Fotnite" wasn't anywhere near as popular as PUBG, since it only included a tower-defense mode dubbed "Save the World." The game's fortunes turned around when Epic Games introduced the "Battle Royale" mode, which is an open-world free-for-all (FFA). PUBG has a problem with that.

In its complaint, PUBG Corp alleges that "Fortnite" Battle Royale mode copies not just PUBG's gameplay, but also its USP of dropping players in arenas empty-handed, and making them scout out weapons and items so they could both survive and hunt down others. The complaint also includes allegations that the user-interface (UI) is heavily borrowed from that of PUBG. Interestingly, PUBG itself has been inspired by Japanese film "Batoru Rowaiaru," the title of which loosely transliterates to "Battle Royale." This is a fact the defense could bludgeon PUBG's lawyers with.

Samsung to Double NAND Memory Output Capacity in China

Samsung Electronics has announced last Wednesday that they are planning to double their NAND memory output capacity in china. The announcement, done at a groundbreaking ceremony in its Xi'an fabrication facility in inland Shaanxi Province, should see some $7 billion invested over the course of three years. With this investment in both facilities and machinery, Samsung expected production capacity to roughly double from current values to some 220,000, 300 mm 3-D flash memory wafers by 2020.

The motives for this increased Samsung investment in mainland China are being put forward as a way for the South Korean giant to temper relationships with China, one of its greatest importers of NAND memory. Further investment into China likely assuages the country's protectionist policies, since at least it receives something back from its import volume. By investing further into a second assembly line at its Xi'an fabrication facility, Samsung is also looking to reduce risk derived from over-condensed manufacturing facilities in South Korea.

Full Stop: South Korea Not to Ban Cryptocurrency Trading After All

Remember the revived pressure on cryptocurrencies on account of news that South Korea might halt trading in their territory? Well, the country's finance minister, Kim Dong-yeon, who previously said that shutting down exchanges was "a live option but government ministries need to very seriously review it," came on the record this Wednesday to, let's say, set the record straight, clarifying that "There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency (market)." The minister, then, added that the government's immediate task is to "regulate exchanges". Those two statements certainly leave a lot of space in-between, since the shutting down of some exchanges while some others are left operating would not, in fact, result in an outright ban. Let's call it pruning, shall we?

The intention, it seems, is to be able to cut out the unregulated parts of the market, that take the form of unregulated exchanges, where the country's customs earlier announced it had uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $600 million. This, it seems, is the real target for South Korea's newfound steam.
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