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SK Hynix to Spend $107 Billion on Four New Memory Chip Factories

SK Hynix has announced that it is building four new memory chip plants that will cost $107 billion. Construction of the plants will begin in 2022 at a 4.5 million square meter site that is south of Seoul. SK Hynix is expected to invest $49 billion into 2 existing plants. Next-generation chips and DRAM are expected to be manufactured at the sites. Even though there is a downturn in the memory market now, SK Hynix is preparing for cutting edge technologies such as 5G and self-driving vehicles.

"Though there is not enough chip demand for autonomous cars now, I believe there will be much more demand for self-driving vehicles in the next 10 years or as early as in 2023 or 2024," said analyst Kim Young-gun at Mirae Asset Daewoo. "That will create more chip demand for SK Hynix," as will the commercialization of 5G networks over the next few years, Kim said.

Posted by cageymaru February 21, 2019 6:49 PM (CST)

Intel's MESO Transistor Project Could See Results in Two to Five Years

Late last year, Intel announced that they were working on a new type of transistor that could offer a massive performance leap over current CMOS chips. "MESO" transistors, as they call them, could operate at voltages as low as 100mV, but at the time, Intel said the technology was at least a decade away from commercialization. Today, in an interview with VentureBeat, an Intel researcher said he is "excited about spin-off results MESO is likely to produce within the next two to five years." AI accelerators are supposedly less complicated an more fault tolerant that traditional chip designs, and MESO's characteristics are "coincidentally' well suited to neural network architectures, meaning they could hit the market sooner rather than later.

Khosrowshahi: CPUs, which are the most commonplace when you're building silicon, are oddly enough the hardest thing to build. But in AI, it's a simpler architecture. AI has regular patterns, it's mostly compute and interconnect, and memories. Also, neural networks are very tolerant to inhomogeneities in the substrate itself. So I feel this type of technology will be adopted sooner than expected in the AI space. By 2025, it's going to be biggest thing... Young: If we can get these improvements in power-performance - MESO will be a 10 to 30 times better power-performance or energy-delay product - but let's say we only get a 2X improvement. That gives us, for a given power into the device, a 2X performance benefit, so it's a huge leg up on the competition. That's what drives this. Not only is this good for my company but it's an opportunity for the industry. The research is open, because we have so much heavy lifting to do with these materials. But if this is a thing that we as an industry can get a hold of, this could be a game changer for the semiconductor industry. It will take it through this curve that has been flattening. We may accelerate again. And that would be really neat.

Posted by alphaatlas February 21, 2019 11:01 AM (CST)

Intel Wants to Take You on a Graphics Odyssey

Intel's discrete GPU is still years away, but they're already trying to get the graphics community involved. Chipzilla previously made calls for graphics experts to join their team, but yesterday, Intel Graphics launched a more consumer-centric campaign. Functionally, Intel Graphics' "Odyssey" appears to be a mailing list for gaming-related promotions and giveaways right now, but TechRadar mentions that Intel will send out "invites to company-sponsored events" via the newsletter sometime in the future. As spammy as this effort may or may not seem, we've noted that Intel has totally revamped their public-facing image over the past year, and I prefer this effort to reach out to the community over the company's previous policies of keeping development close to their chest.

The Odyssey is built around a passionate community, focused on improving graphics and visual computing for everyone, from gamers to content creators. And we want voices like yours to help guide us. We're committed to listening to the community, and in return you will get closer to the inner workings of visual technology development than ever before. You'll hear the latest reports first and you'll have access to some amazing offers and exclusive giveaways. The Odyssey is about how we'll work together to build the visual computing solutions you really want. You also have the opportunity to receive the Intel Gaming Access newsletter which gives gamers a VIP pass to killer deals and freebies, preferred beta access, the latest gaming news, and more.

Posted by alphaatlas February 21, 2019 9:19 AM (CST)

Disney Removes Advertising from YouTube in Response to Child Exploitation Videos

The Walt Disney Company, Epic Games, Nestle SA and other corporations have removed their advertising from YouTube in response to a video that detailed how criminals are using the YouTube comments section to run a "soft-core pedophilia ring." Video blogger Matt Watson showed evidence of how these pedophiles are encouraging children to do challenges and upload them. When the videos are uploaded by the child, the criminals upload a copy on their own channel(s). There they create timestamps to the parts that show the children in compromising positions. Also they bombard the comments section with links to pedophilia on other websites and hidden videos. The worst part is that pedophiles are using YouTube's algorithm to find the videos. For example, by searching for bikinis and then clicking on a video of a child, the algorithm "locks" the user into these videos in the recommended section. By interacting with the pedophiles in the comment section, the algorithm shows more disturbing content. Matt Watson calls it a wormhole. YouTube knows this activity is happening, but only disables the comment section of the videos. According to Matt Watson, Youtube doesn't remove the offensive videos or accounts that uploaded them. After the uproar happened, YouTube is now removing the content shown in the blogger's video. But what of the countless others out there? The link to the video from Matt Watson is NSFW and can be found in the Bloomberg article.

"Any content --including comments -- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments," a spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email.

Posted by cageymaru February 20, 2019 7:28 PM (CST)

Facebook Is Allegedly Working on Custom Machine Learning Hardware

Nvidia GPUs are the undisputed king of the machine learning hardware market today, but more and more companies are throwing their hat into the AI ring. Google has already introduced their machine learning-focused TPU, and other giants like Amazon and Intel are reportedly following suit, while a number of smaller startups are filling in niches or taking riskier approaches to compete with the bigger players. Last year, various reports surfaced claiming that Facebook was working on their own, custom ASICs, but an EE Times report said that it was "not the equivalent of [Google's] TPU." Now, according to a Bloomberg report published earlier this week, some of Facebook's upcoming custom silicon may focus on machine learning after all. Facebook's chief AI researcher says that "the company is working on a new class of semiconductor that would work very differently than most existing designs," and mentioned that future chips will need radically different architectures.

"We don't want to leave any stone unturned, particularly if no one else is turning them over," he said in an interview ahead of the release Monday of a research paper he authored on the history and future of computer hardware designed to handle artificial intelligence... LeCun said that for the moment, GPUs would remain important for deep learning research, but the chips were ill-suited for running the AI algorithms once they were trained, whether that was in datacenters or on devices like mobile phones or home digital assistants.

Posted by alphaatlas February 20, 2019 9:35 AM (CST)

Hackers Use Stolen Credentials from Data Breaches to "Hack" a Nest Thermostat

Jonathan Schisler thought his Amazon Alexa or kids had changed the temperature to 90 degrees on his Nest thermostat. But while scrolling through the device to clear a message about changing the air filter, he noticed that the email address on the device wasn't his wife's. Even his phone app was logged in under another person's name as the owner of the account. Nest says the Schisler family was affected by a data breach from another website where the credentials were initially exposed. Because the Schisler family used the same username and password for multiple websites, the hackers were able to commandeer the Nest thermostat. Taking stolen usernames and passwords from data breaches and inputting them into the login page of random websites is known as "credential stuffing."

Nest said it hasn't been breached. Instead, the company, which is owned by Google, said Schisler's password was breached on another website. For example, he was using the same password for his Nest thermostat that he used for another site. "In nearly all cases, two-factor verification eliminates this type of security risk," a Google spokesperson said. "We take security in the home extremely seriously, and we're actively introducing features that will reject compromised passwords, and allow customers to monitor access to their accounts and track external entities that abuse credentials."

Posted by cageymaru February 20, 2019 8:02 AM (CST)

Google Forgets to Tell Consumers That Its Nest Security System Has a Built-in Mic

Google recently announced that Google Assistant features are coming to its Nest Secure home security system. Giving consumers free features seems like a great idea, but Google forgot to list the microphone in the technical specifications for Nest Secure devices. Google says it was an "error" to not list the microphone in the tech specs. A Google spokesperson told Business Insider the microphone functionality was never enabled on the devices and was included to add additional features such as a glass breakage sensor at a later date.

On Tuesday, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider the company had made an "error." "The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part," the spokesperson said. Google says that "the microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option."

Posted by cageymaru February 20, 2019 6:59 AM (CST)

Boeing 787-9 Twin Jet Dreamliner Hits Top Speed of 801 MPH

A Boeing 787-9 twin jet Dreamliner hit 801 mph during a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London. The normal top speed for the plane is 587 mph, but the jet stream was moving at 230 mph over Long Island on Monday. This natural phenomenon assisted the plane to the 801 mph top speed and shaved 48 minutes off the flight time. Pilot Peter James tweeted, "Almost 800 mph now never ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot !! (200 mph tailwind )"

An LAX-JFK Delta flight overnight hit 678 mph at 39,000 feet over the Ohio Valley, while a 737 from Chicago to New York passed 700 mph at 8:43 Eastern this morning. Chicago to New York/Boston routes will be shortened to 1 hour, 24 minutes Wednesday instead of the usual nearly two-hour flight time. Likewise, flight times from Dallas to Boston dipped below three hours, with an Embraer ERJ-190 twin jet achieving 739 mph in the jet streak.

Posted by cageymaru February 19, 2019 5:02 PM (CST)

High Inventory Levels of PC DRAM Cause Contract Prices to Drop

The PC DRAM market is experiencing high inventory levels and this oversupply is expected to cause notable price declines in the 1H19. Market demand remains weak due to the off-season and the substantial amount of inventory that has carried over from the previous quarter. Contract prices of DRAM products already declined 15% month-over-month (MoM) in January and are expected to slide lower in February and March. The PC DRAM market is expected to see a 20% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline in Q1 2019 while the server DRAM market is forecast to decline nearly 30% QoQ. According to the latest analysis from DRAMeXchange, the PC DRAM and server DRAM inventory problem will persist into Q2 2019. An extended period is needed to deal with the inventory issues even if some recovery in demand occurs. New emergent technologies that will fuel demand such as 5G and automotive electronics are in the early stages of development. Thus they won't have much influence on the DRAM market in 2019. DRAM suppliers have scaled back their capacity expansions and this is expected to narrow the gap between supply and demand. The price downswing is expected to moderate over the next several quarters. The mobile DRAM market will experience less of a price swing, but the demand for products is still too weak to prevent prices from falling.

With respect to the price trends in the major application markets, PC DRAM prices are the most sensitive to demand changes and often serve as an indicator of the overall price trajectory. The average QoQ decline in contract prices of PC DRAM products was already 10% in 4Q18 and is projected to be nearly 25% in 1Q19. Currently, the average contract price of mainstream 8GB PC DRAM modules is on its way to under US$45.

Posted by cageymaru February 19, 2019 2:33 PM (CST)

NATO Experiment Manipulated Soldiers Through Facebook

The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence published a report (PDF warning) on the challenges governments face with online security, and Wired managed to spot a particular interesting experiment within the multi-section report. As part of an experiment, the independent NATO organization used Facebook to to try to manipulate soldiers during a military exercise. Over several weeks, the researchers posted fake webpages and groups, promoted them with targeted advertising, and gradually lured members of the military exercise into them. Eventually, the researcher were able to identify "a significant amount of people taking part in the exercise and managed to identify all members of certain units, pinpoint the exact locations of several battalions, gain knowledge of troop movements to and from the exercises, and discover the dates and active phases of the exercises." The researchers note that several of Facebook's existing countermeasures were effective, but they weren't enough to stop the researchers from effectively infiltrating the exercise.

The researchers also tracked down service members' Instagram and Twitter accounts and searched for other information available online, some of which a bad actor might be able to exploit. "We managed to find quite a lot of data on individual people, which would include sensitive information," Biteniece says. "Like a serviceman having a wife and also being on dating apps" "Every person has a button. For somebody there's a financial issue, for somebody it's a very appealing date, for somebody it's a family thing," Sarts says. "It's varied, but everybody has a button. The point is, what's openly available online is sufficient to know what that is."

Posted by alphaatlas February 19, 2019 8:30 AM (CST)

Here's a Tutorial for Applying Liquid Metal TIM to a Laptop

Thanks to its remarkable thermal performance, liquid metal TIM is a favorite among high end desktop PC builders who aren't turned away by the somewhat daunting application process. But Overclocked Inside points out that liquid metal TIM can give laptops a huge boost as well, as their CPUs and GPUs are strongly limited by their relatively meager heatsinks and low-cost TIM. The site posted a tutorial for applying Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut to laptop CPUs and GPUs, and reportedly observed a performance jump of around 17% after applying the compound to a Dell XPS 17 notebook.

Before the application with liquid metal, the CPU reached the maximum core temperature of 100C under load after less than 1 minute on turbo clock and then only clocked at 2.2GHz and kept this clock just below the temperature limit. By default, the laptop is configured by the manufacturer for 45W continuous load and 65W short-term peak load. With these performance values, the CPU, as already mentioned, ran so hot after a few seconds that the thermal protection function had to reduce the clock frequency to the standard clock... After using the liquid metal, the full all-core turbo clock rate of 2.8GHz could now be maintained after any number of runs of the benchmark without a break in between. With a Long Term Power Target of 52W. The Short Term Power Target has also been adjusted to 52W. As a result, we now received 478 points in the Cinebench R15, which corresponds to a performance increase of more than 17% and an equally reduced computing time.

Posted by alphaatlas February 18, 2019 8:51 AM (CST)

Tesla's Autopilot Reduced Crashes by 40 Percent, but Not Really

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report in 2017 claiming Tesla’s Autopilot technology reduced crashes by as much as 40 percent, but an investigation by research firm Quality Control Systems Corporation suggests otherwise. "The majority of the vehicles in the Tesla data set suffered from missing data or other problems that made it impossible to say whether the activation of Autosteer increased or decreased the crash rate." Ars Technica alleges the NHTSA is more concerned with protecting Tesla from embarrassment than the public from "potentially unsafe" technologies.

...we discovered that the actual mileage at the time the Autosteer software was installed appears to have been reported for fewer than half the vehicles NHTSA studied. For those vehicles that do have apparently exact measurements of exposure mileage both before and after the software's installation, the change in crash rates associated with Autosteer is the opposite of that claimed by NHTSA - if these data are to be believed. For the remainder of the dataset, NHTSA ignored exposure mileage that could not be classified as either before or after the installation of Autosteer.

Posted by Megalith February 17, 2019 2:15 PM (CST)