Intel has launched its flagship data centre microprocessor “Ice Lake” for cloud service providers and massive data centres. It has already shipped about 200,000 test units. The new chip is slower than AMD’s flagship data centre server chip launched in March. Intel, however, is banking on greater control over its supply chain that the chips offer, besides, portfolio of data storage, networking, etc which work well with the “Ice Lake” processor.
Arm released a new technology with the aim to take over data centers and AI apps ahead of its $40 bn merger with Nvidia. The new version released, redefines the fundamental recipe for a chip that decides the kind software it can run. Arm, which makes major updates to the architecture only once in 10 years, competes with Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. The new architecture, which the firm named “V9,” takes on Intel in two areas — Security and AI.
ByteDance, famous for its short video app TikTok, has begun hiring for a dozen roles related to semiconductors engineers, both hardware and software. The Bejing-based firm, valued at $ 180 bn, explores initiatives in the field which includes building server chips based on Arm designs. ByteDance’s new business is aligned with the top priority for China’s Communist Party which rules the nation with an iron fist. It is also exploring an IPO for some of its businesses.
Worldwide server market revenue grew 1.5 % YoY to $25.8 bn during the Q4 of 2020, said IDC. The global server shipments, however, declined 3% YoY to nearly 3.3 mn units during the period. “Global demand for enterprise servers was relatively flat during the Q4 of 2020 with the strongest demand coming from China,” said IDC Analyst Paul Maguranis. IDC said that servers running AMD (100.9%) CPUs and ARM-based servers ( 345%) continue to grow revenue YoY.
Advanced Micro Devices beat quarterly revenue estimates and forecast strong 2021 sales on rising in demand of chips used in PCs, data centres and gaming consoles from firms and individual adapting to WFH. AMD projected Q1 revenue to be about $3.2 bn, plus or minus $100 mn, compared to analysts’ average estimate of $2.74 bn, according to Refinitiv. AMD forecast 2021 sales of $13.37 bn, is also above analysts’ estimates of $12.28 bn.
Microsoft has unveiled a new security chip called Pluton that has been designed to protect the future Windows PCs. The Pluton security processor will provide next-generation hardware security protection to Windows PCs through future chips from AMD, Intel and Qualcomm. Microsoft Pluton is built directly into future CPUs and will replace the existing Trusted Platform Module (TPM), a chip used to secure hardware and cryptographic keys.
IBM and AMD, announced to enter a multi-year agreement focused on enhancing their security and artificial intelligence offerings. The partnership is likely to forge AMD’s place in hybrid cloud, giving a strong data foothold. AMD and IBM will make confidential computing, encrypting data running on virtual machines on a hardware level. The two companies will also look to accelerate HPC and AI workloads in regulated industries and high-performance computing.
AMD is buying Xilinx for $35 bn in an all-stock deal that will combine the two chipmakers. AMD shareholders will own about 74% of the combined company, while Xilinx’s owning 26%. The deal will allow AMD competing fiercely with Intel, at a time COVID-19 is driving demand for tech. Nvidia, announced buying of Arm Holdings for up to $40 bn while Maxim Integrated Products was snapped up by Analog Devices for more than $20 bn.
Intel Corp on Wednesday unveiled “Tiger Lake”, the 11th-gen version of its flagship chips for laptops, hoping to regain the market share that it has lost to AMD due to manufacturing delays. This move is also intended to counter Apple Inc machines with Apple Silicon chips. Intel said that it worked with laptop makers including Dell and Samsung and that 50 machines from different makers will be available for the holiday shopping season.