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Is TSMC Experiencing Unusual Growth?

September 19, 2016 by  
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TSMC s expected to see a 10 percent revenue increase in 2016.

Company co-CEO Mark Liu said that while the fourth quarter could be a bit rough as customers start their inventory adjustments, TSMC’s sales for the quarter will still outperform those for the third quarter.

Talking to Digitimes Lui said that smartphone demand was affected negatively by macroeconomic factors in the first half of 2016. But apparently smartphone chip clients are ordering again in the second half of the year.

TSMC previously estimated its 2016 revenues would grow 5-10 per cent. The foundry expects to meet the high end of the growth guidance, Liu said. In his speech at the CEO Forum of SEMICON Taiwan 2016. Liu claimed that the foundry industry growth is being driven by the markets for smartphones, HPC, automotive and IoT.

Apps like Pokemon G will require more silicon chips used in mobile devices that will be another growth driver in the future, Liu said.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Sheds McAfee

September 14, 2016 by  
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Intel has sold the Intel Security business for $3.5bn less than it paid for it six years ago.

Intel Security, previously and better known as McAfee, has been sold to private equity firm TPG for $4.2bn, despite Intel paying $7.7bn for it in 2010.

The chip firm will receive $3.1bn in cash as part of the transaction and retain a 49 per cent minority stake. TPG will take control with a 51 per cent stake, and will invest $1.1bn in the company.

Intel Security is based on the McAfee business and was renamed two years ago. The company will revert to the better known McAfee brand, despite John McAfee reportedly suing Intel over the use of his name.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, and Chris Young, general manager of Intel Security Group, will become CEO of McAfee.

Young described TPG in an open letter to stakeholders as a “seasoned technology investor” that was “attracted to our current momentum and long-term potential”.

He claimed that McAfee currently protects “more than a quarter of a billion endpoints” and more than 200 million consumers, and is present in two thirds of the world’s 2,000 largest companies.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claimed that, despite the sale, security “remains important in everything we do at Intel”.

“We will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices,” he added.

Bryan Taylor, a partner at TPG, said that the company had “long identified the cyber security sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyber attacks, as one of the most important areas in technology”.

Intel’s acquisition of McAfee Security in 2010 was intended to enable the company to beef up security around PCs and sell McAfee antivirus and other security software around its core business.

However, the combination never worked as the money to be made in the security business became increasingly focused on the data center and cloud computing.

Courtesy-TheInq

nVidia Updates Its Grid Platform

September 2, 2016 by  
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Nvidia has updated its Grid software platform with deeper performance profiling and analytics tools for planning, deployment, and support of virtual GPU users.

According to the company the improved management tools address both host (server) managment and virtual client monitoring. Nvidia says that with the new Grid software, admins will be able to get information about the number of virtual graphics instances in use and the number they can potentially create.

They can also see usage information for the stream processors on board each card, the percentage of the card’s frame buffer that’s in use, and the load on each card’s dedicated video encode and decode hardware.

Each guest vGPU instance will tell admins information on encoder and decoder usage, frame buffer occupancy, and the vGPU use. Nvidia adds that it all takes the guess work out of vGPU provisioning and the data it’s exposing about vGPU usage will let system administrators tailor their virtual user profiles better.

All this means that it might stop the admins giving too much processing power to accounts when it is needed for the graphics team. Nvidia thinks those operational improvements will also help lower costs. The August 2016 Grid software update should be available immediately.

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Is nVidia’s Auto Venture Paying Off?

August 17, 2016 by  
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The driverless car market is expected to grow to $42 billion by 2025 and Nvidia has a cunning plan to grab as much of that market as possible with its current automotive partnerships.

The company started to take in more cash from its car business recently. The company earned $113 million from its automotive segment in fiscal Q1 2017. While that is not much it represents a 47 percent increase over the year before. Automotive revenue up to about 8.6 percent of total revenue and it is set to get higher.

BMW, Tesla, Honda and Volkswagen are all using Nvidia gear in one way or another.

BMW’s been using Nvidia infotainment systems for years and seems to have been Nvidia’s way into the industry. Tesla has a 17 inch touchscreen display of which is powered by Nvidia. You can see Tesla’s all-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster display uses Nvidia GPUs. Honda has Tegra processors for its Honda Connect infotainment system.

But rumors are that Nvidia is hoping to make a killing from the move to driverless cars. The company is already on the second version of its Drive PX self-driving platform. Nvidia claims that Drive PX recently learned how to navigate 3,000 miles of road in just 72 hours.

BMW, Ford, and Daimler are testing Drive PX and Audi used Nvidia’s GPUs to help pilot some of its self-driving vehicles in the past. In fact Audi has claimed that it can be used to help normal car driving.

It said that the deep learning capabilities of Drive PX allowed its vehicles to learn certain self-driving capabilities in four hours instead of the two years that it took on competing systems.

According to Automotive News Europe Nvidia is working closely with Audi as its primary brand for Drive PX but then it will move to Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, and Bentley.
Tesla also appears to think that Nvida is a key element for driverless car technology. At the 2015 GPU Technology Conference last year, the company said that Tegra GPU’s will prove “really important for self-driving in the future.” Tesla does not use the Drive PX system yet, but it could go that way.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Tech Firms Form OTrP To Support IoT Security

July 29, 2016 by  
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A bunch of tech firms including ARM and Symantec have joined forces to create a security protocol designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The group, which also includes Intercede and Solacia, has created The Open Trust Protocol (OTrP) that is now available for download for prototyping and testing from the IETF website.

The OTrP is designed to bring system-level root trust to devices, using secure architecture and trusted code management, akin to how apps on smartphones and tablets that contain sensitive information are kept separate from the main OS.

This will allow IoT manufacturers to incorporate the technology into devices, ensuring that they are protected without having to give full access to a device OS.

Marc Canel, vice president of security systems at ARM, explained that the OTrP will put security and trust at the core of the IoT.

“In an internet-connected world it is imperative to establish trust between all devices and service providers,” he said.

“Operators need to trust devices their systems interact with and OTrP achieves this in a simple way. It brings e-commerce trust architectures together with a high-level protocol that can be easily integrated with any existing platform.”

Brian Witten, senior director of IoT security at Symantec, echoed this sentiment. “The IoT and smart mobile technologies are moving into a range of diverse applications and it is important to create an open protocol to ease and accelerate adoption of hardware-backed security that is designed to protect onboard encryption keys,” he said.

The next stage is for the OTrP to be further developed by a standards-defining organisation after feedback from the wider technology community, so that it can become a fully interoperable standard suitable for mass adoption.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Is Intel Going To Dump McAfee

July 8, 2016 by  
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Intel has run out of ideas about what it is going to do with it its security business and is apparently planning to flog it off.

Five years ago Intel bought McAfee for $7.7bn acquisition. Two years ago it re-branded it as Intel Security. There was talk about chip based security and how important this would be as the world moved to the Internet of Things.

Now the company has discussed the future of Intel Security with bankers, including potentially the outfit. The semiconductor company has been shifting its focus to higher-growth areas, such as chips for data center machines and Internet-connected devices, as the personal-computer market has declined.

The security sector has seen a lot of interest from private equity buyers. Symantec said earlier this month it was acquiring Web security provider Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in cash, in a deal that will see Silver Lake, an investor in Symantec, enhancing its investment in the merged company, and Bain Capital, majority shareholder in Blue Coat, reinvesting $750 million in the business through convertible notes.

However Intel’s move into the Internet of Things does make it difficult for it to exit the security business completely. In fact some analysts think it will only sell of part of the business and keep some key bits for itself.

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AMD Finally Confirms Polaris Specs

July 1, 2016 by  
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In an official slides that have leaked, AMD has confirmed most of the specifications for both the Polaris 10 and the Polaris 11 GPUs which will power the upcoming Radeon RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards.

According to the slides published by Computerbase.de, both GPUs are based on AMD’s 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN 4.0) GPU architecture, offer 2.8 perf/watt improvement compared to the previous generation, have 4K encode and decode capabilities as well as bring DisplayPort 1.3/1.4 and HDR support.

Powering three different graphics cards, these two GPUs will cover different market segments, so the Polaris 10, codename Ellesmere, will be powering both the Radeon RX 480, meant for affordable VR and 1440p gaming as well as the recently unveiled RX 470, meant to cover the 1080p gaming segment. The Polaris 10 packs 36 Compute Units (CUs) so it should end up with 2304 Stream Processors. Both the RX 480 and RX 470 should be coming with 4GB or 8GB of GDDR5 memory, paired up with a 256-bit memory interface. The Ellesmere GPU offers over 5 TFLOPs of compute performance and should peak at 150W.

The Radeon RX 470 should be based on Ellesmere Pro GPU and will probably end up with both lower clocks as well as less Stream Processors and according to our sources close to the company, should launch with a US $179 price tag, while the RX 480 should launch on 29th of June with a US $199 price tag for a reference 4GB version. Most AIB partners will come up with a custom 8GB graphics cards which should probably launch at US $279+.

The Polaris 11 GPU, codename Baffin, will have 16 CUs and should end up with 1024 Stream Processors. The recently unveiled Radeon RX 460 based on this GPU should come with 4GB of GDDR5 memory paired up with a 128-bit memory interface. The Radeon RX 460 targets casual and MOBA gamers and should provide decent competition to the Geforce GTX 950 as both have a TDP of below 75W and do not need additional PCIe power connectors.

According to earlier leaked benchmarks, AMD’s Polaris architecture packs quite a punch considering both its price and TDP so AMD just might have a chance to get a much needed rebound in the market share.

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Is AMD Outpacing nVidia

June 24, 2016 by  
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MKM analyst Ian Ing claims that AMD’s recent gaming refresh was better done than Nvidia’s.

Writing in a research report, Ing said that both GPU suppliers continue to benefit from strong core gaming plus emerging applications for new GPU processing.

However, AMD’s transition to the RX series from the R9 this month is proving smoother than Nvidia’s switch to Pascal architecture from Maxwell.

Nvidia is doing well from new GPU applications such as virtual reality and autonomous driving.

He said that pricing was holding despite a steady availability of SKUs from board manufacturers. Ing wrote that he expected a steeper ramp of RX availability compared to last year’s R9 launch, as the new architecture is lower-risk, given that HBM memory was implemented last year.

Ing upped his price target on Advanced Micro Devices stock to 5 from 4, and on Nvidia stock to 52 from 43. On the stock market today, AMD stock rose 0.9 per cent to 4.51. Nvidia climbed 0.2 per cent to 46.33.

Nvidia unveiled its new GeForce GTX 1080, using the Pascal architecture, on 27 May and while Maxwell inventory was running out, Nvidia customers were experiencing Pascal shortages.

“We would grow concerned if the present availability pattern persists in the coming weeks, which would imply supply issues/shortages,” Ing said.

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Micron Announces 3D NAND Based SSDs

June 16, 2016 by  
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Micron has announced its first client- and OEM-oriented solid-state drives based on 3D NAND, the Micron 1100 and Micron 2100 series.

The Micron 1100 SSD is a more mainstream oriented SSD that will be based on Marvell’s 88SS1074 controller and Micron’s 384Gb 32-layer TLC NAND. Using a SATA 6Gbps interface and available in M.2 and 2.5-inch form-factors, the Micron 1100 should replace Micron’s mainstream M600 series, based on 16nm MLC NAND.

The Micron 1100 SSD will be available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. It will offer sequential performance of up to 530MB/s for read and up to 500MB/s for write with random 4K performance of up to 92K for read and up to 83K IOPS for write. With such performance, it is obvious that the Micron 1100 series will target mainstream market and be a budget SSD.

The Micron 2100 is an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD that is actually Micron’s first client oriented PCIe SSD and also the first PCIe SSD based on 3D NAND. Unfortuantely, Micron did not finalize the precise specifications so we still do not have precise performance numbers but it will be available in capacities reaching 1TB.

The Micron 1100 is expected to hit mass production in July so we should expect some of the first drives by the end of the next month. The Micron 2100 will be coming by the end of summer.

Courtesy-Fud

 

MediaTek To Spin-Off Virtual Reality Unit

June 7, 2016 by  
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MediaTek is so confident about its VR plans it is going to spin off its VR division to form an independent company in June.

A recent Chinese-language Economic Daily News report claims that Mediatek wants the spun off business to drive VR sales. It all sounds pretty good but MediaTek have sort of denied the report.

Well we say sort of denied it. What it has told the Taiwan Stock Exchange  that it was not the report’s source, which is not quite the same thing.The spin off could go ahead, but MediaTek is denying that it told the EDN its cunning plans. But then again the EDN did not name its source either. Without a denial from the company we are none the wiser.

MediaTek’s VR unit was set up between end-2015 and early-2016 to focus on the development of the company’s VR solutions for handsets, the EDN thought.

Courtesy-Fud

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