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Samsung Introduces Next Generation HBM2E

At NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference, Samsung unveiled an even faster version of their HBM2 memory. A stack of "Flashbolt," as they call it, can deliver up to 410 GBps of bandwidth, which they claim is 33% faster than previous offerings, and a single package can hold up to 16GB of memory. Samsung says the new memory is aimed at "supercomputers, graphics systems, and artificial intelligence (AI)" applications, though they didn't mention just what GPUs or accelerators will make use of it in the near future.

"Flashbolt's industry-leading performance will enable enhanced solutions for next-generation data centers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and graphics applications," said Jinman Han, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our premium DRAM offering, and improve our 'high-performance, high capacity, and low power' memory segment to meet market demand."

Posted by alphaatlas March 20, 2019 9:35 AM (CDT)

MSI Expected to Overtake Samsung in the Curved Monitor Market

A recent report from Digitimes claims that MSI could soon steal the title of "world's largest supplier of curved gaming monitors" from Samsung in 2019. While flat monitors have dominated "gaming monitor" sales in the past, MSI claims that curved monitors accounted for about 60% of all gaming monitor shipments in 2018, and could rise to 66.7% in 2019. The gaming hardware market is still growing, even as the PC market continues to shrink as a whole, so its not surprising to see the big manufacturers increase their focus on their enthusiast and "gaming" lineups.

The company's motherboard business is currently facing issues including CPU shortages and decreasing demand. Despite Intel having already promised to ease the tight supply by the end of the second quarter, MSI still expects overall motherboard shipments to shrink by over 10% in 2019. MSI shipped around six million motherboards in 2018 and is expected to maintain a similar volume in 2019. Meanwhile, MSI is expected to finish digesting its graphics card inventory in the second quarter and begin promoting Nvidia's new cards to help increase its sales. MSI is expected to deliver around four million graphics cards in 2019, about the same level as in the past couple of years.

Posted by alphaatlas March 19, 2019 9:00 AM (CDT)

Intel's 5G Modems Will Allegedly Enter Mass Production in 2020

Ever since unveiling their 5G modems in 2017, Intel has been talking up 5G technology as loudly as they possibly can. However, facing stiff competition from rivals like Qualcomm, Intel more or less acknowledged that that their first generation modem won't be particularly competitive, and recently "made a strategic decision to pull in the launch of this [second generation] modem by half a year to deliver a leading 5G solution." Intel claimed they would introduce the more advanced XMM 8160 modem in the 2nd half of 2019, but Digitimes' industry sources think it won't be ready for mass production until 2020.

Intel is reportedly to begin working on engineering projects that will enable mass-production of 5G modem chips with its collaborative partners in the second quarter of 2019, according to sources from Taiwan's IC backend service providers... Intel is gearing up efforts to compete with Qualcomm, or even MediaTek, for 5G modem chip orders from Apple for its next-generation iPhone devices, the sources noted. However, judging from factors including heterogeneous integration, complexity of 5G modem chip design, and lengthy final test (FT) of relevant chips at packaging-level testing, it seems that Intel is unlikely to enter volume production of 5G modem chips until 2020, indicated the sources. Nevertheless, demand for Intel's modem chips for use in the Phone 8 and even iPhone 7 series will continue in the first half of 2019 as sales of the old-generation iPhones still remain robust, said the sources.

Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 9:58 AM (CDT)

Samsung Launches 12GB Smartphone Memory Packages

Samsung just announced what it claims to be the world's highest-capacity mobile DRAM package in production. The Korean company's new LPDDR4X modules combine six 16-gigabit, "10nm-class" DRAM ICs into a package that's 1.1 millimeters tall, allowing manufacturers to stuff just as much RAM as the desktop I'm typing this on into razor-thin phones. Samsung also says the module can hit transfer rates of up to 34.1GB per second, and claims that power consumption is only minimally increased in spite of the dramatic capacity boost. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

Since introducing 1GB mobile DRAM in 2011, Samsung continues to drive capacity breakthroughs in the mobile DRAM market, moving from 6GB (in 2015) and 8GB (2016) to today's first 12GB LPDDR4X. From its cutting-edge memory line in Pyeongtaek, Korea, Samsung plans to more than triple the supply of its 1y-nm-based 8GB and 12GB mobile DRAM during the second half of 2019 to meet the anticipated high demand.

Posted by alphaatlas March 14, 2019 10:43 AM (CDT)

Samsung Galaxy S10 Preorders in South Korea Are Slower than Its Predecessors

According to the Yonhap News Agency, preorders for the new Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup are slower than its predecessors. Industry sources say only 140,000 Galaxy S10 units have been sold on the first day of preorder availability. "The number of Galaxy S10's first-day registration falls below that of the Galaxy S9's 180,000 units released in March 2018 and the Galaxy Note 9's 200,000 units launched in August, they noted." The preorder registration period started four days in advance of the official launch of the Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+. Samsung says an additional 40,000 phones have been sold without carriers' contracts and claims this places the total sales figure at 180,000 units.

As Samsung plans to launch Galaxy S10's 5G model later this month and release its first foldable device supporting 5G networks in mid-May in the local market, consumers are seen to be taking a wait-and-see approach for the new flagship smartphone, industry officials said. Consumers who activate their phones by replacing USIM cards on their own are not included in mobile carriers' plan.

Posted by cageymaru March 05, 2019 12:34 PM (CST)

Google Starts Selling Edge TPUs

Back in 2016, Google revealed their custom built Tensor Processing Unit chips that were explicitly designed for machine learning tasks, and just last year, they started renting out cloud-based access to updated versions of that AI hardware. These monster ASICs are squarely aimed at ML training tasks, but during that same period, Google also released a small, low power Edge TPU designed to run algorithms the big chips train a little closer to home. Previously, these "Edge" ML chips were only available to rent through Google, but an Alphabet spin-off called Coral just started selling the Edge TPUs through Mouser. Interested parties can buy self-contained development boards complete with an ARM CPU, an integrated GPU, I/O, and Ethernet for $149, while a USB accessory akin to an Intel Compute Stick will set you back $75. A PCI-E based accelerator and a 40mm x 40mm "System on Module" are said to be coming sometime in 2019, but there's no word on when, or if, Google will ever sell the bigger TPU ASICs as discrete co-processors.

AI is pervasive today, from consumer to enterprise applications. With the explosive growth of connected devices, combined with a demand for privacy/confidentiality, low latency and bandwidth constraints, AI models trained in the cloud increasingly need to be run at the edge. Edge TPU is Google's purpose-built ASIC designed to run AI at the edge. It delivers high performance in a small physical and power footprint, enabling the deployment of high-accuracy AI at the edge.

Posted by alphaatlas March 05, 2019 8:41 AM (CST)

Samsung Offers to Supply Foldable Displays to Apple and Google

Sharing is caring: Korean IT news site ETNews is reporting Samsung has provided samples of its foldable display to Apple and Google, which will certainly make it easier for these giants to develop Galaxy Fold-type devices of their own, presuming they care to. MacRumors points out the former has been working on its own iteration of foldable-display technology, but if that doesn’t pan out, Apple can simply do business with Samsung.

Samsung has historically been both supplier and competitor to Apple and other smartphone manufacturers and provides the OLED screens for Apple's top of the line iPhones. According to the report, Samsung doesn't intend to keep foldable technology to itself and is instead working to dominate as a supplier for the technology. Samsung is said to be able to produced about 2.4 million units a year at this time but is considering moving up to 10 million units a year depending on demand.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)

RIP PS Vita: Sony Officially Ends Production

Farewell, PlayStation Vita: the handheld’s official product page has announced its two remaining SKUs (the Black PCH-2000 ZA11 and Aqua Blue PCH-2000 ZA23) have sold out, officially marking its demise. Executives have admitted there are no plans for a follow up, which is unsurprising due to the ubiquity of mobile gaming on smartphones. "Sony itself stopped making games for the Vita in 2015, and in 2018 ended the production of physical media games for the device."

The original PlayStation Vita (PCH-1000) launched in Japan on Dec. 17, 2011, and in North America on Feb. 15, 2012. A revised slimline model (PCH-2000) followed in 2013 and 2014. Though it advanced on the PlayStation Portable’s ideal of bringing console-quality video games, visuals and experiences to a handheld, the PlayStation Vita struggled for attention. Mobile video gaming at the time of its launch was flourishing on smartphones and tablets, making a dedicated gaming handheld more of a niche product than it was in the century’s first decade.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 10:00 AM (CST)

Boneworks Has the Physics Underpinnings to Be a Next Generation VR Masterpiece

The VR development studio, Stress Level Zero is working on its most ambitious VR title yet; Boneworks. Boneworks will feature advanced physics that aren't found in other VR titles. It uses the capabilities of the upcoming SteamVR Knuckles to allow users to grip one end of an object like a crowbar and slide/rotate their fingers around the other end. Not only does it allow users to see and use each of their fingers individually in the VR world, gamers can toss objects up with one hand and catch it with the other. In first the video, the developers demonstrate some of the forward-thinking, next generation technology featured in the game. Special thanks to Supercharged_Z06 for the information.

BONEWORKS Is a narrative VR action adventure using advanced experimental physics mechanics. Dynamically navigate through environments, engage in physics heavy combat, and creatively approach puzzles with physics. Advanced Physics: Designed entirely for consistent universal rules, the advanced physics mechanics encourage players to confidently and creatively interact with the virtual world however you want. Combat: Approach combat in any number of ways you can think off following the physical rules of the game's universe. Melee weapons, firearms, physics traps, environments, can all be used to aid you in fights with enemy entities. Weapons, lots of weapons: Boneworks provides players with a plethora of physics based weaponry; guns, swords, axes, clubs, spears, hammers, experimental energy weapons, nonsensical mystery tools, and anomalous physics weapons.

Posted by cageymaru March 01, 2019 5:32 PM (CST)

Samsung Loads McAfee Antivirus Onto Smart TVs

TechSpot reports that Samsung is pre-installing Mcafee antivirus on its 2019 TVs because McAfee is paying them to do it. As the publication points out, Samsung TVs run the partially open source, largely Samsung developed Tizen OS, so whatever software McAfee installs won't have much in common with McAfee security suites on other platforms. Financial benefits aside, TechSpot believes there's no real reason to run a "McAfee Security" app on the TV when Samsung could just bake similar security measures into OS itself. The Samsung Smart TV app ecosystem is strictly controlled anyway, and any malicious actors that really wanted to target Tizen would just work around McAfee since they know it will be pre-installed.

Officially, here is Samsung's statement on the matter: McAfee extended its contract to have McAfee Security for TV technology pre-installed on all Samsung Smart TVs produced in 2019. Along with being the market leader in the Smart TV category worldwide, Samsung is also the first company to pre-install security on these devices, underscoring its commitment to building security in from the start. McAfee Security for TV scans the apps that run on Samsung smart TVs to identify and remove malware.

Posted by alphaatlas February 28, 2019 11:45 AM (CST)

Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron to Face Revenue Drops in Q1 2019

Digitimes claims that Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Micron Technology, the world's top 3 memory manufacturers, saw their Q1 2019 revenue drop dramatically. Combined DRAM and Flash revenue was down 18% sequentially and 26% "from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of 2018." The big 3 manufacturers have reportedly tried to cut production volume in an effort to stabilizes prices (and revenue), and they were even slapped with multiple antitrust lawsuits last year over allegations of supply collusion. But even those cuts aren't enough to curb outside factors, and DRAM and flash prices are still dropping like a rock.

Their combined revenues from DRAM slipped 17% sequentially and those from flash memory dropped 20% in the fourth quarter. DRAM accounted for 70% of the top-3 vendors' combined revenues in the fourth quarter, a percentage similar to that of the previous quarter. As memory's prices remain in a decline, with clients taking a conservative attitude about building inventory, the vendors' revenues from the memory business are expected to continue weakening in first half of 2019 and are unlikely to regain growth until demand starts recovering from the server and smartphone sectors, driven by specification upgrades and price cuts in the second half of the year. The top-3 vendors' revenues for the first quarter of 2019 are expected to fall another 26% on quarter and 29% on year as they decelerate their production and capacity expansion plans, according to Digitimes Research.

Posted by alphaatlas February 25, 2019 8:14 AM (CST)

Air Force Revs Up Production of Precision Bomb Dubbed "World's Largest Sniper"

Some are calling it a more "humanitarian" weapon, if only jokingly: the Air Force is accelerating the production of its popular precision-guided BLU-129 bomb, which is "so accurate, lethal and precise, it is called ‘the world’s largest sniper accuracy.’" The beauty of this "adaptable carbon fiber bomb" is its power can be adjusted in mid-flight, allowing for tighter, "cleaner" attacks that could potentially reduce collateral damage.

"We want to have options and flexibility so we can take out this one person with a hit-to-kill munition, or crank it up and take out a truck or a wide area," Hasse told Warrior Maven. A vendor which makes some of the warhead casing, Aerojet Rocketdyne, provides some technical detail about how the weapon achieves its precision. "These weapons use carbon-fiber-wound construction of the warhead casing, provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne. A carbon-fiber-wound bomb body disintegrates instead of fragmenting, which adds explosive force nearby, but lowers collateral damage," a statement from Aerojet Rocketdyne says.

Posted by Megalith February 23, 2019 2:10 PM (CST)