AWS Touts HPC with Launch of Graviton3E Chip at re:Invent

Amazon Web Services, a leading provider of cloud computing services, is rolling out its new ARM-based Graviton3E chips for high-performance workloads, including tasks like weather forecasting and gene sequencing. AWS customers can rent the high-performance computing (HPC) power to take advantage of “performance gains and cost savings” as a result of making its own chips, Amazon says. The move makes AWS something of a competitor to other top chipmakers, including Intel, AMD and Nvidia, who continue to be among Amazon’s major chip suppliers. Amazon says it will continue to offer HPC services that rely on third-party chips. Continue reading AWS Touts HPC with Launch of Graviton3E Chip at re:Invent

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

Twitter Roiled by Layoff Talk as Deadline for Musk Deal Looms

Employees at Twitter are reeling following revelations that the workforce may face massive cuts in the year ahead regardless of who owns the company. According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, Twitter’s current management plans to trim the payroll by about $800 million, representing nearly 25 percent of the company’s staff. However, Twitter denies that report. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who is being sued to force consummation of his $44 billion Twitter purchase, is said to be contemplating elimination of three times as many jobs. Continue reading Twitter Roiled by Layoff Talk as Deadline for Musk Deal Looms

Intel to Restructure Chip Design and Manufacturing Divisions

Intel is fine-tuning its corporate reporting as it gears up a foundry operations that will see the longtime manufacturer and designer of its own chips extend services to third-parties. The idea is to create greater separation between its concept and creation divisions. The change comes as Intel deals with a rapidly shifting global market, where demand for chips has increased in sectors like automotive and AI data centers while the PC business that has been the company’s bedrock suffered a major decline in global shipments of nearly 20 percent in Q3. Continue reading Intel to Restructure Chip Design and Manufacturing Divisions

New GPUs Showcased at Intel’s Innovation Developer Event

Intel announced the consumer GPU brand Arc last year, which the company now says will begin delivering in Q4. The Arc A770 Limited Edition desktop gaming card will be available October 12, starting at $329, “the sweet spot of desktop graphics,” according to CEO Pat Gelsinger, who said the GPU “delivers 65 percent better peak performance versus competition on ray tracing.” Intel says other new GPU models, including the Arc Pro A30M for mobile unveiled last month at SIGGRAPH, will also come to market by the end of the year. The new GPUs feature built-in ray tracing hardware, machine learning capabilities and industry-first AV1 hardware encoding acceleration. Continue reading New GPUs Showcased at Intel’s Innovation Developer Event

Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Hotter temperatures are not only wreaking havoc on residential electric bills and power grids, but also on data centers, which are looking for reliable green backup power to prepare for “the new normal” and keep our planet’s collective knowledge accessible online through record heat. Cooling system failures resulting from the UK’s July heatwave resulted in Google Cloud’s London data centers going offline for a day, creating a ripple effect for customers as far off as the U.S. and in the Pacific region. Oracle’s London cloud-based data center was also impacted by what the company called “unseasonal temperatures.” Continue reading Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

A slump in PC sales and crashing cryptocurrency markets appear to be tempering a demand for semiconductors spurred by COVID-19 era supply chain shortages. Inflation is another mitigating factor, as sales of laptops and high-end GPUs for gaming and cryptocurrency mining slacken. Research firm Gartner predicts global PC shipments will contract by 9.5 percent in 2022, with consumer demand projected to decline by 13.5 percent. Enterprise sales are also expected to drop, by 7.2 percent, according to Gartner. Those numbers align with the 10 percent PC sales decline Micron Technology has forecast. Continue reading Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

Meta Plans Hiring Cuts as It Gears Up for ‘Fierce Headwinds’

Meta Platforms is preparing for a steep economic downturn that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is trying to get in front of by cutting costs and refocusing priorities. Engineering hires will be cut by 30 percent this year, with fewer than 7,000 additions as opposed to the original target of 10,000. The pivot comes at a time when Meta is seeking to expand on several fronts. The company reportedly needs to increase by fivefold the computing power of its data centers in order to accommodate the artificial intelligence technology that will be necessary to support its new “discovery” push.  Continue reading Meta Plans Hiring Cuts as It Gears Up for ‘Fierce Headwinds’

Big Tech Taps AI to Advance Data Center Safety, Efficiency

Data centers can be hazardous to the workers that build and maintain them, with exposure to live electrical wires and dangerous chemicals part of the job. Now tech firms including Microsoft and Meta Platforms are exploring how artificial intelligence can be used to make data centers safer for employees. Microsoft is working on an AI system that triggers alerts to prevent or mitigate dangerous incidents, while Meta is also analyzing ways AI can optimize data centers operating under extreme environmental conditions in order to prevent safety hazards. Continue reading Big Tech Taps AI to Advance Data Center Safety, Efficiency

Chip Manufacturing Delays Threaten Next-Gen Smartphones

The global semiconductor shortage that has plagued the supply chain for the past two years is threatening to affect advanced chips for next-generation smartphones as well as impacting the data centers critical to powering their apps. High-performance chips with tiny transistors had to a large extent sidestepped the scarcities that impacted the auto industry, appliances and basic consumer electronics. Now everything from production volume to manufacturing equipment has analysts worried about whether the world’s top smart chip manufacturers — TSMC and Samsung Electronics — will be able to keep up with customer demand. Continue reading Chip Manufacturing Delays Threaten Next-Gen Smartphones

Nvidia Touts New H100 GPU and Grace CPU Superchip for AI

Nvidia has begun previewing its latest H100 Tensor Core GPU, promising “an order-of-magnitude performance leap for large-scale AI and HPC” over previous iterations, according to the company. Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced the Hopper earlier this year, and IT professionals’ website ServeTheHome recently had a chance to see a H100 SXM5 module demonstrated. Consuming up to 700W in an effort to deliver 60 FP64 Tensor teraflops, the module — which features 80 billion transistors and has 8448/16896 FP64/FP32 cores in addition to 538 Tensor cores — is described as “monstrous” in the best way. Continue reading Nvidia Touts New H100 GPU and Grace CPU Superchip for AI

Nvidia Air Helps Users Create Virtual Doubles of Data Centers

Nvidia Air is a cloud-based platform to build, simulate and work the bugs out of a state-of-the-art data center powered by a modern network using digital twins. Geared toward medium to enterprise scale environments, the platform is the company’s latest Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) product, letting users create a virtual double of a data center’s physical and logical layout and employ continuous integration and deployment testing and validation techniques before moving to a production environment. The idea is to go live with the same set of simulation, visualization and AI tools. Continue reading Nvidia Air Helps Users Create Virtual Doubles of Data Centers

Nvidia Introduces New Architecture to Power AI Data Centers

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced a host of new AI tech geared toward data centers at the GTC 2022 conference this week. Available in Q3, the H100 Tensor Core GPUs are built on the company’s new Hopper GPU architecture. Huang described the H100 as the next “engine of the world’s AI infrastructures.” Hopper debuts in Nvidia DGX H100 systems designed for enterprise. With data centers, “companies are manufacturing intelligence and operating giant AI factories,” Huang said, speaking from a real-time virtual environment in the firm’s Omniverse 3D simulation platform. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces New Architecture to Power AI Data Centers

Intel Clocks 70 Percent Faster Speeds with Alder Lake Chips

Intel is looking to deliver a big performance boost with its new ultraportable Alder Lake U and P-series chips, unveiled last week. The Core i7-1280P, Intel’s fastest 28-watt P-series CPU, is said to deliver up to 70 percent faster multithreaded performance compared to last year’s i7-1195G7. Intel says it even offers better multithread benchmarks than the Core i9-11980HK, one of the company’s fastest 2021 processors. This, despite the fact that it uses only about half as much power. According to some tests, the Intel i7-1280P also bested AMD’s 2021 Ryzen 7 5800U. Continue reading Intel Clocks 70 Percent Faster Speeds with Alder Lake Chips

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