New Chip Licensing Model Introduced with ‘Intel On Demand’

Intel is shaking up the business model for computer chips, debuting Intel On Demand, a software-defined silicon (SDSi) service designed to get customers to pay to enable features built into future Xeon server processors. The move signals a major change in how computer chips are marketed and could increase flexibility in how organizations configure their infrastructure. While Intel hasn’t indicated whether SDSi will be mandatory for users buying next-gen Xeons, the concept has created some concern among IT professionals, many of whom view it as charging extra for features that are already hardwired into the silicon. Continue reading New Chip Licensing Model Introduced with ‘Intel On Demand’

Nvidia Offers Advanced Chip to Clear U.S. Export Control List

Nvidia becomes the first stateside chipmaker to launch a product in China that manages to clear strict U.S. export hurdles aimed at keeping high-end processors out of the territory. Computers with the new Nvidia chip, the A800, are already selling in China. Publicly traded Nvidia had been concerned the export limits could divert hundreds of millions of dollars from its bottom line. In October, U.S. regulators effectively banned shipments of advanced microchips and the equipment required to make them in order to bolster national security and thwart Chinese weaponization. Continue reading Nvidia Offers Advanced Chip to Clear U.S. Export Control List

Number of Pay-TV Package Subscribers Drops to 66 Percent

The number of households in the U.S. that are subscribing to some sort of multichannel pay-TV package has declined to 66 percent in 2022, from 88 percent in 2012, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group. The study defines pay TV as multichannel service delivered via cable, satellite, telco TV or ISP. “Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79 percent five years ago,” LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman said, calling the decline “not solely a function of those disconnecting services, but is also related to a slowdown in those entering or reentering the category.” Continue reading Number of Pay-TV Package Subscribers Drops to 66 Percent

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft reported revenue up 14 percent year-over-year to $51.9 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30. Net income was up 2 percent, to $16.7 billion for the quarter but down almost 19 percent for the year, to $61.3 billion for the 12 month period. Although the results fell short of expectations, Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella identified the Microsoft Cloud sector as a bright spot, pointing out that it “surpassed $25 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, up 28 percent and 33 percent in constant currency,” despite the tough macroeconomic environment. Continue reading Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

Audio Remix Function Expanded to Video for YouTube Shorts

YouTube is beginning a phased rollout for a new YouTube Shorts feature that, much like TikTok Stitches, allows users to remix videos using content created by others. The new feature will automatically opt-in videos across the platform, with IP owners able to opt-out if they don’t want their content used in remixes, the company says, explaining that it will function as a discovery feature. “Any time a Short is created from your own channel’s content, it will be attributed back to your original video with a link in the Shorts player,” notes YouTube. Continue reading Audio Remix Function Expanded to Video for YouTube Shorts

TSMC Posts Record Q1 Profits Despite Continuing Shortages

TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is reporting first quarter 2022 revenue between $17.6 billion and $18.2 billion, a 35.5 percent increase year-over-year. Compared to Q4 2021, the first quarter results represent a 12.1 percent revenue uptick and 22 percent growth in net income. This, despite ongoing fallout from supply chain shortages that company CEO C.C. Wei says he expects will continue triggering production constraints. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai, where the company has a plant, were cited as the most significant stressors to the company’s semiconductor output. Continue reading TSMC Posts Record Q1 Profits Despite Continuing Shortages

Apple’s M1 Ultra Is Power and Performance ‘Game Changer’

Apple says its new M1 Ultra chip will give Nvidia’s RTX 3090 — currently the fastest processor on the market — a run for its money. Introduced last week as the power inside the new Mac Studio desktop, the M1 Ultra has a unique architecture, dubbed UltraFusion, which connects two M1 Max chips for an SoC with 114 billion transistors, the most ever in a personal computer chip, according to the company. “M1 Ultra is another game-changer for Apple silicon that once again will shock the PC industry,” said Apple senior vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji. Continue reading Apple’s M1 Ultra Is Power and Performance ‘Game Changer’

Russia Invites Patent Theft, Paves the Way for Nationalization

Russia is pushing back against sanctions by encouraging intellectual property theft, declaring that “unfriendly” countries will not be compensated for the use of patented technologies. The government legislative commission also approved measures laying groundwork for the nationalization of property of companies exiting the country. Russian officials are also intimating that some trademark restrictions will be lifted, so as to maintain a presence for brands like McDonald’s that are pulling up stakes. In addition to inventions and trademarks, the Russian measures could affect computer software and other technology. Continue reading Russia Invites Patent Theft, Paves the Way for Nationalization

Intel Has Record Quarter and Year Despite Supply Shortages

California-based Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, reports Q4 2021 set a record and capped the company’s best year ever despite the dire worldwide shortage of processing chips. Q4 revenue was up 3 percent, to $20.5 billion, while the year totaled $79 billion, a 1 percent gain. However, Q4 net income declined 21 percent year-over-year, to $4.6 billion, and fell 5 percent (to $19.9 billion) for the 12-month period. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called it “a great finish to a great year,” besting top-line quarterly guidance by over $1 billion to deliver “the best quarterly and full-year revenue in the company’s history.” Continue reading Intel Has Record Quarter and Year Despite Supply Shortages

Commerce Secretary Sounds Alarm on Global Chip Shortage

U.S. demand for semiconductors was as much as 17 percent higher in 2021 than it was in 2019, yet there hasn’t been a commensurate increase in the available supply, with median inventory falling to less than five days in 2021, from 40 days in 2019, according to a Commerce Department report. “If a COVID outbreak, a natural disaster, or political instability disrupts a foreign semiconductor facility for even just a few weeks, it has the potential to shut down a manufacturing facility in the U.S.” that makes anything from medical devices to automobiles to computers, the report concludes. Continue reading Commerce Secretary Sounds Alarm on Global Chip Shortage

Quantum Computing in Silicon Achieves 99 Percent Accuracy

Australian researchers have had a breakthrough in quantum computing, proving that nearly error-free processing is possible, which could lead to the possibility of silicon-based quantum machines whose manufacture could be compatible with today’s semiconductor manufacturing technology. “Our operations were 99 percent error-free,” said University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) professor Andrea Morello, who led the work with partners in the U.S., Japan, Egypt, and at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Melbourne. “When the errors are so rare, it becomes possible to detect them and correct them when they occur.” Continue reading Quantum Computing in Silicon Achieves 99 Percent Accuracy

Global Chip Shortage Reshuffles Industry’s Balance of Power

The global shortage of computer chips has been widely documented, impeding sales of everything from cars to appliances, game consoles and medical devices, among other things. As a result, Taiwan’s giant TSMC has seen its revenue and influence increase, but scarcity has also bolstered the clout of less famous manufacturers, including Infineon, Microchip Technology, NXP, Onsemi, Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics, which supply a variety of chips for thousands of customers. Companies are using their newfound leverage to gain favorable terms, like long-term commitments or upfront payment as a means of helping to increase production. Continue reading Global Chip Shortage Reshuffles Industry’s Balance of Power

Laptops Embrace Smartphone Tech in Wake of the Pandemic

According to IDC, although computer sales have been decreasing for the past decade, during the COVID-19 pandemic PC sales shot up 50 percent or more per quarter compared with the previous year. As a result, laptop manufacturers are now integrating technologies once reserved for smartphones, including powerful processors, higher-resolution displays, and increased battery life. New designs such as tablets that snap onto keyboards (detachables) and thin laptops with 360-degree hinges that fold into tablet form are also emerging. Continue reading Laptops Embrace Smartphone Tech in Wake of the Pandemic

CES: Microsoft Keynote on Promises, Responsibility of Tech

Microsoft president Brad Smith’s CES keynote balanced Microsoft’s global footprint with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of technology, government and people. Smith illustrated these themes with sections on massive data, environmental impact, cybersecurity, privacy, artificial intelligence, regulation, and a call for a 9/11-type commission to protect the future by understanding the threats of the present. Smith wrapped his remarks with the words of John F. Kennedy from 1962 when he said, “Technology has no conscience of its own. Whether it becomes a force for good or ill depends on man.” Continue reading CES: Microsoft Keynote on Promises, Responsibility of Tech