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      Intel will make chips for Microsoft

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 6 days ago - 14:35

    Intel CEO speaking

    Enlarge / Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks during the "AI Everywhere" event on December 14, 2023, in New York, NY. (credit: Intel Corporation )

    US chip company Intel will make high-end semiconductors for Microsoft, the companies announced, as it seeks to compete with TSMC and Samsung to supply the next generation of silicon used in artificial intelligence for customers around the world.

    Chief executive Pat Gelsinger said at a company event on Wednesday that Intel is set to “rebuild Western manufacturing at scale,” buoyed by geopolitical concerns in Washington about the need to bring leading-edge manufacturing back to the US.

    Since Gelsinger took the helm three years ago, Intel has been attempting to reinvent itself as a foundry business, building chips designed by other companies, regaining an edge in making the most advanced semiconductors. Demand for them is soaring, driven by the rise of generative AI.

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      Your current PC probably doesn’t have an AI processor, but your next one might

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 7 February - 20:01 · 1 minute

    Intel's Core Ultra chips are some of the first x86 PC processors to include built-in NPUs. Software support will slowly follow.

    Enlarge / Intel's Core Ultra chips are some of the first x86 PC processors to include built-in NPUs. Software support will slowly follow. (credit: Intel)

    When it announced the new Copilot key for PC keyboards last month, Microsoft declared 2024 "the year of the AI PC." On one level, this is just an aspirational PR-friendly proclamation, meant to show investors that Microsoft intends to keep pushing the AI hype cycle that has put it in competition with Apple for the title of most valuable publicly traded company .

    But on a technical level, it is true that PCs made and sold in 2024 and beyond will generally include AI and machine-learning processing capabilities that older PCs don't. The main thing is the neural processing unit (NPU), a specialized block on recent high-end Intel and AMD CPUs that can accelerate some kinds of generative AI and machine-learning workloads more quickly (or while using less power) than the CPU or GPU could.

    Qualcomm's Windows PCs were some of the first to include an NPU, since the Arm processors used in most smartphones have included some kind of machine-learning acceleration for a few years now (Apple's M-series chips for Macs all have them, too, going all the way back to 2020's M1). But the Arm version of Windows is a insignificantly tiny sliver of the entire PC market; x86 PCs with Intel's Core Ultra chips, AMD's Ryzen 7040/8040-series laptop CPUs, or the Ryzen 8000G desktop CPUs will be many mainstream PC users' first exposure to this kind of hardware.

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      Intel’s CPU branding was already confusing, and today’s new CPUs made it worse

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 January - 23:00 · 1 minute

    Intel's Core chips are here, and they have dropped the i and the 14th-generation branding. But unlike the Core Ultra, they are fundamentally "14th-generation" processors.

    Enlarge / Intel's Core chips are here, and they have dropped the i and the 14th-generation branding. But unlike the Core Ultra, they are fundamentally "14th-generation" processors. (credit: Intel)

    Intel usually uses CES to fill out the processor lineups that it launched late the year before, and that hasn't changed this year. The company has announced a full range of 14th-generation Core desktop CPUs, some new 14th-generation Core CPUs for high-end gaming and workstation laptops, and the first non-Ultra chips to bear the new "Core 3/5/7" branding that sheds the generational branding entirely. We'll go over the updates shortly.

    But my main takeaway, as a long-time observer of processor branding, is that Intel had made its new naming system even more confusing for people who actually want to know what kind of processor they're getting.

    Intel said in October that it was sticking with the 14th-generation branding for its new desktop CPUs because they were so similar to the 13th-generation chips (they all use the same underlying Raptor Lake architecture, itself a minor revision of the 12th-gen Alder Lake). It makes some degree of sense that it's being extended to the HX-series laptop chips, because these have always been desktop silicon repackaged for laptop use. So far so good.

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      2023 was the year that GPUs stood still

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 December - 11:28 · 1 minute

    2023 was the year that GPUs stood still

    Enlarge (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    In many ways, 2023 was a long-awaited return to normalcy for people who build their own gaming and/or workstation PCs. For the entire year, most mainstream components have been available at or a little under their official retail prices, making it possible to build all kinds of PCs at relatively reasonable prices without worrying about restocks or waiting for discounts. It was a welcome continuation of some GPU trends that started in 2022. Nvidia, AMD, and Intel could release a new GPU, and you could consistently buy that GPU for roughly what it was supposed to cost.

    That's where we get into how frustrating 2023 was for GPU buyers, though. Cards like the GeForce RTX 4090 and Radeon RX 7900 series launched in late 2022 and boosted performance beyond what any last-generation cards could achieve. But 2023's midrange GPU launches were less ambitious. Not only did they offer the performance of a last-generation GPU, but most of them did it for around the same price as the last-gen GPUs whose performance they matched.

    The midrange runs in place

    Not every midrange GPU launch will get us a GTX 1060 —a card roughly 50 percent faster than its immediate predecessor and beat the previous-generation GTX 980 despite costing just a bit over half as much money. But even if your expectations were low, this year's midrange GPU launches have been underwhelming.

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      Core Ultra : Intel lance ses nouveaux CPU mobiles économes en énergie

      news.movim.eu / JournalDuGeek · Thursday, 14 December - 16:00

    Intel Meteor Lake Core Ultra

    Avec ces nouveaux processeurs destinés aux ultraportables, précédemment dévoilés sous le nom Meteor Lake, Intel veut passer un cap en termes de gestion de l'énergie, avec l'espoir de se hisser au niveau de ses concurrents plus économes sans faire de sacrifice en termes de performances.

    Core Ultra : Intel lance ses nouveaux CPU mobiles économes en énergie

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      The race between Intel, Samsung, and TSMC to ship the first 2nm chip

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 11 December - 15:15

    Abstract picture of a chip

    Enlarge (credit: zf L via Getty )

    The world’s leading semiconductor companies are racing to make so-called “2 nanometer” processor chips that will power the next generation of smartphones, data centers and artificial intelligence.

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company remains the analysts’ favorite to maintain its global supremacy in the sector, but Samsung Electronics and Intel have identified the industry’s next leap forward as a chance to close the gap.

    For decades, chipmakers have sought to make ever more compact products. The smaller the transistors on a chip, the lower the energy consumption and the higher their speed. Today, terms such as “2 nanometer” and “3 nanometer” are widely used as shorthand for each new generation of chip, rather than a semiconductor’s actual physical dimensions.

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      Intel accuses AMD of selling old CPUs with new model numbers, which Intel also does

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 December - 22:19

    A now-deleted Intel presentation makes a good point, but with a side of disingenuousness.

    Enlarge / A now-deleted Intel presentation makes a good point, but with a side of disingenuousness.

    AMD changed the way it numbers its Ryzen laptop processors last year, switching to a new system that simultaneously provides more concrete information than the old one while also partially obfuscating the exact age of the various CPU and GPU architectures being mixed-and-matched.

    For instance, a knowledgeable buyer can look at the "3" in the Ryzen 5 7530U processor and determine that it uses an older Zen 3-based CPU core. But a less-knowledgeable buyer could be forgiven for looking at the "7000" part and assuming that the chip is significantly newer and better than 2021's Ryzen 5600U, when in reality the two are substantially identical.

    Intel came out swinging against this naming scheme in a confrontational slide deck this week—now deleted, but preserved for posterity by VideoCardz—where it accuses AMD of selling "snake oil" by using older processor architectures in ostensibly "new" chips.

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      After a chaotic three years, GPU sales are starting to look normal-ish again

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December - 21:57 · 1 minute

    AMD's Radeon RX 7600.

    Enlarge / AMD's Radeon RX 7600. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    It's been an up-and-down decade for most consumer technology, with a pandemic-fueled boom in PC sales giving way to a sales crater that the market is still gradually recovering from . But few components have had as hard a time as gaming graphics cards, which were near impossible to buy at reasonable prices for about two years and then crashed hard as GPU companies responded with unattainable new high-end products .

    According to the GPU sales analysts at Jon Peddie Research, things may finally be evening out. Its data shows that GPU shipments have returned to quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth after two years of shrinking sales. This is the second consecutive quarter this has happened, which "strongly indicates that things are finally on the upswing for the graphics industry."

    JPR reports that overall GPU unit shipments (which include integrated and dedicated GPUs) are up 16.8 percent from Q2 and 36.6 percent from a year ago. Dedicated GPU sales increased 37.4 percent from Q2. When comparing year-over-year numbers, the biggest difference is that Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all have current-generation GPUs available in the $200–$300 range, including the GeForce RTX 4060 , the Radeon RX 7600 , and the Arc A770 and A750 , all of which were either unavailable or newly launched in Q3 of 2022.

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      New chip-packaging facility could save TSMC’s Arizona fab from “paperweight” status

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 19:25 · 1 minute

    Apple wants to build more of its A- and M-series chips in the United States.

    Enlarge / Apple wants to build more of its A- and M-series chips in the United States. (credit: Apple)

    Late last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company would definitely be buying chips made at Taiwan Semiconductor's new Arizona-based fab once it had opened. Apple working with TSMC isn't new; most, if not all, of the processors currently sold in Apple's products are made on one of TSMC's many manufacturing nodes. But being able to buy them from a US-based facility would be a first.

    The issue, as outlined by some TSMC employees speaking to The Information in September , is that the Arizona facility would manufacture chips, but it wouldn't be building a facility to handle packaging. And without packaging, the Arizona factory would essentially be a "paperweight," requiring any chips made there to be shipped to Taiwan for assembly before they could be put in any products.

    Today Apple announced that it had solved that particular problem, partnering with a company called Amkor to handle chip packaging in Arizona. Amkor says that it will invest $2 billion to build the facility, which will "employ approximately 2,000 people" and "is targeted to be ready for production within the next two to three years." Apple says that it has already worked with Amkor on chip packaging for "more than a decade."

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