Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 18:02:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Some more Apple rumors before we start the weekend. When Apple introduced its first M1-based computers last year, some people were disappointed that the company had only upgraded the hardware. The MacBook Air still uses the same design as the previous generations but Bloomberg reports this will change in 2022 or possibly even as early as the second half of this year.
The news agency picked up whispers that Apple plans to make the redesigned MacBook Air even smaller. The new model keeps the 13.3" display but Apple reportedly plans to make the borders around the screen even smaller.
Plans to make a 15-inch MacBook Air have reportedly been shelved for the next generation. Bloomberg echoes rumors about a return of MagSafe, the magnetic charging system that was removed from the MacBook Air's feature set with the 2018 redesign. The reporter also heard Apple plans to give the new model two USB 4 ports.
The redesigned MacBook Air will reportedly coexist with the November 2020 model, it is intended as a higher-end version that will be offered at a higher cost.
Bloomberg confirms the upcoming MacBook Pro will bring back an SD memory slot. This feature was removed in 2016 to the dismay of photographers and video creators. The unpopular Touch Bar will be removed.
Apple is also experimenting with adding cellular connectivity to the Mac but this feature will not appear anytime soon.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 16:28:38 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Rumors are spreading that Samsung is evaluating a massive investment in Texas. The South Korean giant is allegedly planning to build a facility in Austin, Texas. People familiar with Samsung's plans told Bloomberg that the plant would be an over $10 billion investment and that it would be capable of making chips as advanced as 3nm with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. If the project is, construction could start later this year. The timeline points to the installation of major equipment in from 2022 and a start of operation as early as 2023.
To close a deal, Samsung may need time to negotiate potential incentives with President Joe Biden’s administration. The company has hired people in Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of the deal and is ready to go ahead with the new administration in place, the people said. Tax benefits and subsidies will ease Samsung’s financial burden, but the company may go ahead even without major incentives, one of the people said.
TSMC, world's leading semiconductor foundry, plans to build a $12 billion fab in Arizona by 2024.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 12:32:40 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
These days new watercooling products from mainstream brands are largely about aesthetics and not about cooling performance. Manufacturers are finding new ways to make products fancier, as evidenced by the upcoming ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 240 All-in-One watercooler. This model has a waterblock with a 3.5-inch LCD display. As VideoCardz points out, that's about the same size as the iPhone 4.
Besides the large LCD screen, the ROG RYUJIN II 240 also has Aura Sync ARGB lighting. The picture below shows how it looks on the ASUS Z590 ROG Maximus Z590 Hero motherboard (with RGB off).
The ROG RYUJIN II 240 watercooler will debut soon but it's unknown how much it will cost. Its predecessor has a MSRP of $220 and the new version is unlikely to be cheaper.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 12:12:15 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Can you upgrade a video card's memory? That's what Russian YouTuber VIK-on decided to try.
He bought 16GB of Samsung GDDR6 chips via Aliexpress and used his soldering skills to upgrade a GeForce RTX 2070 video card to 16GB GDDR6. You can get 16GB GDDR6 for around $200.
There were rumors about 16GB variants of the RTX 2070/2080 but these models never hit the market. The 16GB mod was performed by replacing the memory modules plus changing resistors into a different binary code.
The BIOS on the RTX 2070 card supports 16GB and the card is recognized properly by GPU-Z.
VIK-on managed to run some benchmarks but overall the mod isn't successful as the card has stability problems.
VIK-on was able to run the full 3DMark TimeSpy test. The card scored 6176 points in TimeSpy Graphics, which is well under the average score for RTX 2070 of 9107 points. In the end, it appears that the hardware modification was technically successful (booting into Windows is already a great achievement), but the card was not stable enough to consider the whole endeavor a complete success.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 12:03:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Google is rolling out version 88 of the Chrome browser. This version has new password security features but there are also some other notable changes. First up, support for Adobe Flash is now completely gone. This is not a surprise as the industry has been working to eliminate flash support for quite some time.
Adobe officially put Flash to rest on December 31, 2020. Overall, the end-of-life of Flash didn't cause a lot of issues as the bulk of the Internet runs on modern alternatives. It can cause some issues if you want to play old web games though. Furthermore, there are some old administrative tools as well as some educational software packages that still rely on Flash.
One of the big changes in Chrome 88 is the removal of FTP support. Google started phasing out FTP support in Chrome 86 and now it's no longer possible to make an FTP connection via the website. Users who relied on this functionality will need to install an FTP client like FileZilla.
Downloads over the HTTP protocol are now blocked too, file downloading is only possible via HTTPS in Chrome 88.
Google also made some improvements to its Dark Mode theme.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 11:49:46 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
While current NVIDIA Ampere GPUs are made by Samsung's foundry, DigiTimes reports at least some future chips will once again be fabbed by TSMC. The Taiwanese tech site picked up rumors that both NVIDIA and Qualcomm booked capacity for an unidentified next-gen process:
Nvidia, Qualcomm reportedly seeking TSMC support for next-generation manufacturing processes: Nvidia and Qualcomm reportedly have already reached agreements with TSMC for capacity support from its next-generation manufacturing processes, and with orders from Intel, Apple and AMD, the Taiwanese foundry house is expected to enjoy growth from 2021 to 2025, according to sources from the semiconductor industry.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 11:45:32 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD published the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.1.1 driver, you can grab it over here. This version offers a performance boost of up to 10 percent in Hitman 3. Furthermore, it has optimizations for Quake II: RTX and a lot of bug fixes too.
Hitman 3™: Up to 10% increase in performance in Hitman 3, @4K Ultra settings, with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.1.1 on the 16GB Radeon™ RX 6800 XT graphics card versus the previous driver edition 20.12.1.RS-349
Quake II™ RTX
The recording and streaming overlay indicator may sometimes reset itself to the default position.
Performance Metrics Overlay size may intermittently reset or may not match values that are set in Radeon Software after performing a task switch.
The Radeon Software installer screen can sometimes display the incorrect release date of the Radeon Software version you are installing.
Performance Metrics Overlay may flicker during video playback on displays with HDR enabled.
Reflections in Grand Theft Auto V™ may fail to appear when ‘Reflection MSAA’ is enabled in the game settings.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds™ session timer may continue in Radeon Software even after the game has been exited.
DOOM Eternal™ may experience an application crash while gaming and having Steam™ overlay enabled.
Recorded content from Radeon Software may appear cropped or recorded at an incorrect resolution on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products.
The Samsung™ Odyssey G9 C49G95T may experience display or corruption issues when set to 5120x1440@240hz.
Anisotropic Filtering in Radeon™ Software graphics settings is not taking effect in DirectX®9 applications on RDNA graphics products.
Some displays such as the Sceptre C series or Samsung™ Odyssey G9 series may experience an intermittent black screen on Radeon RX 6000 series graphics products.
Oculus Link users may experience intermittent crashes on Polaris and Vega series graphics products.
Brightness flickering may intermittently occur in some games or applications when Radeon™ FreeSync is enabled, and the game is set to use borderless fullscreen.
Display flicker or corruption may be experienced when two displays are connected to Radeon RX Vega series graphics products with at least one display set to a high refresh rate.
Metro Exodus™ may experience intermittent application crashes with DirectX® Raytracing enabled.
Radeon™ recording and streaming features may fail to enable on AMD Radeon™ HD 7800 series graphics products.
Screen flickering might be observed when using MSI Afterburner.
Enhanced Sync may cause a black screen to occur when enabled on some games and system configurations. Any users who may be experiencing issues with Enhanced Sync enabled should disable it as a temporary workaround.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 11:40:36 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel confirmed yesterday that its 14nm "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors and the 10nm "Ice Lake" Xeon server processors are shipping to customers. No word about volumes of course but this making us hopeful about decent launch volume when Rocket Lake-S hits the market in March.
Furthermore, Intel provided an update about the 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake". Desktop and laptop variants of the 10nm Alder Lake will be qualified for production in the second half of 2021. It's believed the first Alder Lake parts will hit the market before the end of this year.
As we look ahead, we are excited about the capabilities we are bringing to customers with Alder Lake for mobile and desktop PCs and Sapphire Rapids for the data center. These products take advantage of our Enhanced SuperFin process technology and numerous architectural improvements and both are broadly sampling to customers.
We will qualify Alder Lake desktop and notebook for production and begin our volume ramp in the second half of 2021 and we expect production qualification of Sapphire Rapids at the end of 2021.
Posted on Friday, January 22 2021 @ 11:23:32 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
So there was an update about Intel's manufacturing during the company's fourth quarter earnings call. Tom's Hardware has a writeup of the highlights. Pat Gelsinger will officially take over the reigns of Intel on February 15, but he was already on yesterday's earnings call to answer some questions.
Gelsinger is wasting no time. Over the last week, he personally reviewed Intel's 7nm progress. Gelsinger explained he is pleased with the "health and recovery of the 7nm program." Some future products will be manufactured by semiconductor foundries, which could be TSMC and/or Samsung, but Gelsinger explained he is confident that the bulk of Intel's 2023 chips will be made in-house.
A more detailed discussion of Intel's manufacturing situation will follow at a later point. Current CEO Bob Swan added that Intel has simplified and streamlined the 7nm process. This implies Intel may have made significant changes to the performance and/or design targets of its 7nm node. The first 7nm Intel chips are expected in 2023.
Moving forward, Gelsinger said he's not interested in merely closing the gap with TSMC. It is Gelsinger's goal to return Intel's manufacturing arm to its former glory:
Gelsinger also said the company remains committed to re-establishing its lead in process node technology, saying he's "not interested in closing the gaps...but being the unquestioned leader in process technology."
Posted on Thursday, January 21 2021 @ 22:14:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel's latest earnings report is already out, the chip giant didn't even wait for the closing bell of today's stock market session to share its fourth-quarter earnings with the world. In the final quarter of 2020, Intel generated $20.0 billion in revenue, which is 1.0 percent less than a year ago. On an adjusted, non-GAAP basis, net income declined 6 percent year-over-year to $6.2 billion. Thanks to share buybacks the earnings per share remains flat at $1.52.
Compared with the same quarter in 2019, PC-centric revenue was up 9 percent while data-centric revenue was down 16 percent.
For the full year, revenue was up 8 percent to $77.9 billion, a new all-time record for Intel.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $2.5 billion higher than analyst's estimates and non-GAAP EPS beat by 41 cents.
For the current quarter, Intel anticipates GAAP revenue of $18.6 billion and non-GAAP revenue of $17.5 billion. The latter is over $1.1 billion more than analyst consensus.
Intel also increased its quarterly dividend by 5 percent to $0.3475 per share.
The earnings release is rather slim on details. Intel was expected to release details about its manufacturing strategy today but it seems the decision has been delayed. The company is in a transitionary phase right now as Pat Gelsinger will become Intel's new CEO on February 15, 2021. It appears hard decisions about Intel's future will not be taken before that date.
Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend increase of five percent to $1.39 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3475 per share on the company’s common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.
“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off. It has been an honor to lead this wonderful company, and I am proud of what we have achieved as a team. Intel is in a strong strategic and financial position as we make this leadership transition and take Intel to the next level.”
In the fourth quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion.
For the full year, the company generated a record $35.4 billion cash from operations, paid dividends of $5.6 billion, and used $14.2 billion to repurchase 274.6 million shares of stock.
Fourth-quarter revenue exceeded prior expectations by $2.6 billion driven by record PC-centric revenue with PC unit volumes up 33 percent YoY led by record notebook sales. The company also achieved better-than-expected data-centric results, including record Mobileye revenue.
2020 marked Intel's fifth consecutive year of record revenue. The Client Computing Group, Data Center Group, Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group, and Mobileye all achieved record full-year revenue. In 2020, the company invested $13.6 billion in research and development and $14.3 billion in capital expenditures while focusing to strengthen its core CPU business, improve execution and accelerate growth.