ASML announced it received orders for four extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines in Q2 2016, and added that it expects to sell a dozen EUV systems next year. Each of these systems costs around $100 million and is required for the next big step in semiconductor chip manufacturing.
EE Times reports it looks like EUV will finally be ready for implementation in the 2020 timeframe. With the delay of Intel's 10nm process, it looks like Intel may use EUV for its 7nm node, around the same time when TSMC may adopt it for its 5nm node.
Today’s 16/14nm nodes were generally designed to deliver the finest lines and spaces possible using double-patterning with existing deep ultraviolet (DUV) scanners. When it’s ready, EUV could be used to eliminate the need for expensive and challenging triple- or quad-patterning for nodes at 10nm or beyond.
Chip makers have been playing fast and loose with the names of nodes since double patterning emerging at 20nm. Echoing opinions Globalfoundries’ chief technologist made earlier this year, Maire said in a newsletter this week “the 10NM node will be a ‘Lite’ node, with a short lifespan, before the industry pushes harder to 7nm which will likely be a stronger, longer lived node.”
There is still a lot of work to be done to get the EUV tools ready for mass production. ASML's latest installed EUV systems use a light source of 125W and have a capacity of 85 wafer per hour. At the moment, ASML has working 210W versions in its labs but mass production will require a light source of 250W and the capability to print 125 wafers per hour.
Reliability is also a tough job, the EUV machines need an uptime greater than 90 percent for volume production, but at the moment the best results show an uptime of greater than 80 percent over a four-week period.
NVIDIA shared some details about a technique it's exploring to enhance the performance of virtual reality games. Called foveated rendering, this technique uses eye tracking to put computing resources to work where they matter most. Basically, the goal is to make VR games run smoother by reducing image quality in the peripheral vision of your eye. When done right, this can improve performance without a noticeable drop in visual quality.
Human vision can be thought of as having two components: foveal and peripheral vision. The small region of your retina called the fovea is densely packed with cones — a type of photoreceptor cell — providing sharp and detailed vision. Peripheral vision covers a much wider field of view but lacks acuity.
This acuity difference has inspired foveated rendering systems, which track the user’s gaze and seek to increase graphics performance by rendering with lower image quality in the periphery. However, foveated rendering taken too far will lead to visible artifacts, such as flicker, blur or a sense of “tunnel vision.”
Our researchers used SMI’s prototype eye-tracking HMD to perform a careful perceptual study of what people actually see in their peripheral vision in VR. Our researchers then used those insights to design a new rendering algorithm that enables much greater foveation, or reduction in rendering effort, without any discernible drop in visual quality.
In effort to improve the security of the Android ecosystem, Google added a malware check to the boot process of the new Android "Nougat" operating system. Basically, if the operating system discovers malware, your device will no longer boot or will boot in a limited capacity.
The downside of this system is that even a single byte of data corruption could cause your phone to refuse to boot up, but Nougat also brings additional measures against data corruption.
Furthermore, it also means you need an unlocked bootloader to use custom ROMs.
On the Android Developer’s blog, the company explains that Android Nougat strictly enforces that boot check, giving you far more than a warning. The good news is that if your phone is infected with types of malware, your phone will refuse to boot or will boot in a limited capacity mode (presumably akin to safe mode). The bad news however, is that some non-malicious corruption of data could also mean that your phone will refuse to boot up…
Android has alerted about system integrity since Marshmallow, but starting with devices first shipping with Android 7.0, we require verified boot to be strictly enforcing. This means that a device with a corrupt boot image or verified partition will not boot or will boot in a limited capacity with user consent. Such strict checking, though, means that non-malicious data corruption, which previously would be less visible, could now start affecting process functionality more.
NVIDIA surprises us with this out-of-the-blue announcement of the Pascal-based GeForce GTX Titan X! The naming of this product is highly confusing as it's exactly the same name as the previous GM200 based card, but the new GeForce GTX Titan X is indeed based on the 16nm FinFET GP102 GPU.
It's a paperlaunch but NVIDIA promises the new Titan X will be available August 2nd for $1,200 from the NVIDIA.com website. The card features a GP102 GPU with 3584 CUDA cores, 1417MHz base clock and 1531MHz Boost. It has 12 billion transistors, 12GB GDDR5X memory, 250W TDP and raw computing power of 11 teraflops (FP32).
Performance-wise, NVIDIA claims the new Titan X is up to 60 percent faster than its predecessor.
It began with a bet.
Brian Kelleher, our top hardware engineer, bet our CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, we could get more than 10 teraflops of computing performance from a single chip. Jen-Hsun thought that was crazy.
Well, we did it. The result is crazy. And, as of today, Jen-Hsun now owes Brian a dollar.
The new NVIDIA TITAN X, introduced today, based on our new Pascal GPU architecture, is the biggest GPU ever built. It has a record-breaking 3,584 CUDA cores.
We said our GTX 1080 delivers an “irresponsible amount of performance.” It was a bit reckless. But this is even more reckless.
So forget words. Here are its numbers:
11 TFLOPS FP32
44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instruction)
3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz (versus 3,072 cores at 1.08GHz in previous TITAN X)
Up to 60% faster performance than previous TITAN X
High performance engineering for maximum overclocking
12 GB of GDDR5X memory (480 GB/s)
Did we go too far? Your call. Just don’t call us crazy, or you might owe Brian a dollar, too.
TITAN X will be available Aug. 2 for $1,200 direct from nvidia.com in North America and Europe, and select system builders. It is coming soon to Asia.
The server market is one of the main targets AMD is after with Zen, but the company also shared a couple of details about the desktop version during the company's second-quarter earnings cal. In response to a question from a financial analyst, AMD CEO Lisa Su explained that the company is very focused on the server launch for the first half of 2017.
The consumer version of Zen should launch before that, but it seems Zen isn't going to be out there this year in big volume as some people expected. Su said AMD may ship some limited volume towards the end of the fourth quarter, but this will depend on several factors like customer readiness. She also commented that a notebook version of Zen, with integrated graphics, will arrive sometime in 2017.
Matthew D. Ramsay - Canaccord Genuity, Inc.
Thank you for the color and it's good to hear. I guess another question on Zen, more in the PC markets, because I think your prepared remarks focused a bit more on server, but maybe you could give us a little bit of an update in the timing of desktop and notebook potential launches. It just seems to me, going into the holiday season, it's still a little unclear as to where Zen is going to land relative to holiday ramps in the Western markets and to Chinese New Year. So any color around that would be really helpful. Thank you.
Lisa T. Su - President, CEO & Non-Independent Director
No, that's a fair question, Matt. We have been very focused on the server launch for first half of 2017. Desktop should launch before that. In terms of true volume ability, I believe it will be in the first quarter of 2017. We may ship some limited volume towards the end of the fourth quarter, based on how bring up goes and the customer readiness. But again, if I look overall at what we're trying to do, I think the desktop product is very well positioned for that high end desktop segment, that enthusiast segment in both channel and OEM, which is very much a segment that AMD knows well and so that's where we would focus on desktop. You should expect a notebook version of Zen, with integrated graphics in 2017, and that development is going on as well. And so, I think it's just a time of a lot of activity around the Zen and the different Zen product families.
In a response to a question about the launch of the Radeon RX 480 video card, AMD CEO Lisa Su commented that demand continues to be strong and that 14nm LPP yields are good. She also reiterated that the RX 460, 470 and 480 are the full Polaris lineup and that these three products will drive the overall product momentum in Q3 2016.
David M. Wong - Wells Fargo Securities LLC
Okay. Great. Thanks, Lisa. And since the launch of your Radeon 480 graphics product end of last month, have you been able to supply to demand for the cards or if not, when do you expect demand will rise to match supply?
Lisa T. Su - President, CEO & Non-Independent Director
Yeah, so, David, we're very pleased with the launch of the Radeon RX 480. We had good supply at major retailers on launch day. Since then, the demand has continued to be strong and so some of the retailers are out of supply. We do see that the 14nm LPP yields are good and we are ramping up production steeply. So we expect that that will equalize as we go through the quarter. We are also very soon going to launch the rest of the Radeon RX family. And so you'll see three products in the third quarter in terms of overall product momentum.
Speaking to investors and financial analysts during the company's second-quarter earnings call, AMD CEO Lisa Su revealed that the upcoming Zen CPU architecture passed several key milestones last quarter. She confirmed samples are in the hands of server clients and said AMD is pleased with the level of performance they're seeing. Volume shipments of Zen-based server CPUs are expected in the first half of 2017.
Our next Generation Zen processor products passed several key milestones in the quarter as well. I'm excited to report that in addition to conducting the first public demonstration of our next Generation Zen-based processors at COMPUTEX in June, priority server customer sampling began in the quarter and dual socket server platforms are now running at both our labs and our customers' labs. We are pleased with the performance we are seeing with Zen hardware, which is helping to expand our customer engagements and accelerating design win momentum across multiple OEMs and ODMs. We remain on track for volume shipments of our Zen server CPU in the first half of 2017.
Two new gaming motherboards from MSI; the B150M & H110M GRENADE.
MSI, world leading in gaming hardware design, is excited to announce two new additions to its line of budget friendly mATX GAMING motherboards, the B150M GRENADE & H110M GRENADE. With Audio Boost, GAMING LAN, Turbo M.2 (up to 32 Gb/s Gen3 x4 on B150) and USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C offering more connectivity options and a plethora of gameimproving features, these new Micro-ATX motherboards are designed for gamers looking for a small and affordable gaming PC while getting the best performance & gaming experience.
The new GRENADE motherboards come with a subtle ambient LED light on the back of the motherboard adding to the GAMING look & feel. With attention to detail, besides the looks, the GRENADE motherboards not only deliver in terms of features & specs, but manage to bring a variety of dedicated gaming features to a very price friendly price point.
Great SSD performance with Turbo M.2
Enjoy a blazing fast system boot up and insanely fast loading of applications and games with MSI® GAMING motherboards. MSI® offers a whole new generation of high speed storage support through Turbo M.2. Turbo M.2 transfers data through a PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface up to 32 Gb/s, making it 5x faster than SATA 3.0 solutions. With a Turbo U.2 Host Card, fitting in a M.2 slot, the new motherboards also support the latest and greatest high performance SSDs such as the Intel® 750 series with support for NVMe. Data transfer speeds have never been faster.
More convenience with USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
Transfer your favorite games, audio and movies over USB 3.1 Gen1 lightning-fast with speeds up to 5Gb/s! The new Type-C option allows for all the performance benefits from USB 3.1 Gen1 combined with the convenience of the USB Type-C connector. This reversible connector allows for effortless connecting of USB devices.
By fully isolating the memory circuitry from other components, DDR4 Boost ensures the purest possible memory signal for maximum performance and stability.
MSI GAMING LAN & LAN Protect
Get ready to crush your enemies on the battlefield with MSI® GAMING LAN, featuring carefully selected components to ensure the best online gaming experience without lag. With optimized traffic prioritization and low latency, MSI GAMING LAN Manager automatically classifies and prioritizes the latency-sensitive applications for online games. The LED illuminated LAN connector features 15KV anti-surge protection for safety.
The best audio solution for gamers with isolated audio PCB and high quality audio caps. MSI AUDIO BOOST rewards your ears with studio grade sound quality.
Built with GAMING DNA, the new GRENADE models are ideal for those who are looking to build their first gaming rig or simply just a budget friendly system.
AMD announced a second-quarter non-GAAP net loss of $40 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $1.027 billion. Revenue is up 8.3 percent year-over-year, primarily due to higher sales of semi-custom SoCs. The reported figures compare favorable to analyst estimates, which projected a loss of 8 cents per share and revenue of $0.958 billion.
A closer look at the data reveals revenue of the computing and graphics segment accounted for $435 million, down 5 percent versus the previous quarter but up 15 percent versus the year ago period. Enterprise, embedded and semi-custom sales on the other hand came in at $592 million, up 59 percent sequentially and 5 percent year-over-year.
AMD expects third-quarter revenue will be up 18 percent sequentially, plus or minus 3 percent.
AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2016 of $1,027 million, operating loss of $8 million, and net income of $69 million, or $0.08 per diluted share. Non-GAAP (1) operating income was $3 million and non-GAAP (1) net loss was $40 million, or $0.05 per share.
"In the second quarter we accomplished a significant milestone as we returned to non-GAAP operating profitability based on solid execution and strong demand for our semi-custom and graphics products," said Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Based on the strength of our semi-custom products and demand for our latest Radeon RX GPUs and 7th Generation A-Series APUs, we are well positioned to drive growth and market share gains in the second half of the year."
Q2 2016 Results
Q2 2016, Q1 2016 and Q2 2015 were 13-week fiscal quarters.
Revenue of $1,027 million, up 23 percent sequentially and up 9 percent year-over-year primarily due to higher sales of semi-custom SoCs.
Gross margin of 31 percent, down 1 percentage point sequentially, due primarily to a higher mix of semi-custom SoC sales.
Operating expenses of $353 million, compared to $344 million for the prior quarter. Non-GAAP operating expenses of $342 million, compared to non-GAAP operating expenses of $332 million in Q1 2016, primarily due to increased marketing investments.
Operating loss of $8 million, compared to an operating loss of $68 million in Q1 2016. Non-GAAP(1) operating income of $3 million, compared to non-GAAP(1) operating loss of $55 million in Q1 2016, primarily due to higher sales.
Net income of $69 million, earnings per share of $0.08, and non-GAAP(1) net loss of $40 million, non-GAAP(1) loss per share of $0.05. This is compared to a net loss of $109 million, loss per share of $0.14 and non-GAAP(1) net loss of $96 million, non-GAAP(1) loss per share of $0.12 in Q1 2016. The GAAP sequential and year-over-year improvements were primarily due to a gain of $150 million related to the formation of our assembly, test, mark and pack (ATMP) joint venture (JV) with Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (NFME), partially offset by related taxes of $27 million. The non-GAAP sequential and year-over-year improvements were primarily due to higher sales and an IP licensing gain.
Cash and cash equivalents were $957 million at the end of the quarter, up $241 million from the end of the prior quarter, primarily due to net cash proceeds received from the ATMP JV transaction with NFME which closed in Q2 2016.
Total debt at the end of the quarter was $2.24 billion, flat from the prior quarter.
At press time, AMD shares are trading at $5.47 (+4.79%) in after-hours trading.
Theo Valich wrote at VR World that Intel is likely planning to buy a graphics chip designer. The chip giant recently had a big round of restructuring, which involved 12,000 job cuts, and it appears that no division got culled as hard as the mobile processor and integrated graphics (IGP) department. Valich claims Intel's 2018/2019 10nm Ice Lake processors do not have a GPU at the moment and speculates an acquisition of Imagination Technologies makes a lot of sense.
Acquiring the company could happen for approximately $1.0-1.5 billion range, which is a fairly cheap acquisition, which more importantly would give Intel access to Apple, who uses PowerVR SGX graphics in all of its products. There are also several silicon vendors from Far East who exclusively use PowerVR SGX and let’s not forget Apple’s largest competitor, Samsung – who switches between PowerVR and Mali (owned by ARM) GPUs.