Intel Qualifies 10nm CPUs
Intel finally acknowledged that its 10nm process is going through qualification, indicating year-end release for Ice Lake-U CPUs. These 10nm chips will land in portable devices, like notebooks, and debut the long-awaited launch of 10nm CPUs. Intel anticipates sale and shipment of 10nm CPUs for notebooks by 3Q19 and market availability by 4Q19.
We previously spoke about Sunny Cove with David Kanter, but the move will feature Intel’s new, more powerful IGP, in-silicon mitigations for Spectre and Meltdown, and power consumption improvements. Intel CEO Bob Swan stated the following in its earnings call:
“On the [10 nm] process technology front, our teams executed well in Q1 and our velocity is increasing. We remain on track to have volume client systems on shelves for the holiday selling season. And over the past four months, the organization drove a nearly 2X improvement in the rate at which 10nm products move through our factories.”
Ryzen 3 3200G Delid Shows Solder TIM, OC Headroom
Also in AMD news is the company’s forthcoming 3000-series APUs. Tom’s Hardware reports via Chiphell, that a prominent forum member managed to delid a Ryzen 3 3200G. The delid process was evidently pretty surprising, as the user purportedly found the Ryzen 3 3200G now uses solder TIM between the die and IHS.
After dissecting both the 3200G and last generation’s 2200G, the user noted the die sizes are the same, as is the core count and cache allotment. What appears to be different, asid from a soldered IHS, is the alleged overclocking prowess of the new chips.
According to the user’s overclocking tests, the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G yielded 300 MHz and 320 MHz overclocks, respectively -- at the stock 1.38V. What’s more, the chips didn’t run any hotter than their 2000-series counterparts, hitting 76C at full load.
Granted, it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusions from such a small sample size, but AMD’s refined silicon and optimized Zen+ and Zen2 architectures (the 3000-series APUs are rumored to use both) should certainly yield some headroom. No word on when the chips are supposed to launch, but Computex is right around the corner, and it’s a good a place as any for an announcement.
Tom's Hardware via Chiphell: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-ryzen-3000-series-apu-solder-overclock,39154.html
ShadowHammer Hammers At Least Six More Victims
As it turns out, ASUS wasn’t the only company affected by Operation “ShadowHammer,” as Kaspersky security researchers have come across multiple malware samples leveraging both similar algorithms and legitimate digital certificates akin to the ASUS attack.
All told, there are six additional companies that appear to have been attacked, in a similar fashion as ASUS. Of those six, researchers only divulged three: Electronics Extreme, Innovative Extremist, and Zepetto.
The other three companies compromised but not identified are "another video gaming company, a conglomerate holding company and a pharmaceutical company, all in South Korea."
In the case of the video game companies (Electronics Extreme and Zepetto), hackers are able to inject malicious payloads aimed at infecting systems, then the trojanized games can begin gathering information such as usernames, IP and MAC addresses, computer settings, operating system information, and more.
ShadowHammer and ShadowPad are becoming a very high profile supply-chain attack, and it may not be over yet. Researchers noted that "how many more companies are compromised out there is not known. What is known is that ShadowPad succeeded in backdooring developer tools and, one way or another, injected malicious code into digitally signed binaries, subverting trust in this powerful defense mechanism."
So far, the count is at seven.
50th Anniversary 2700X Gets...
Last week, we reported on AMD’s special edition Ryzen 7 2700X rumored for release in observation of AMD’s 50th anniversary.
While the chip is all but officially confirmed, new leaks suggest there may not be any special binning or cherry picking that would lead to higher frequencies or overclocking. What the CPU will have, however, is Dr. Lisa Su’s autograph laser-etched into the IHS, in addition to black and gold commemorative packaging.
That said, it’s possible AMD may still have a surprise left to announce regarding the 50th Anniversary edition of the Ryzen 7 2700X, presumably on April 29th.
Apple & Razer Reportedly Offer the Best Technical Support
In Laptop Mag’s annual Tech Support Showdown, the site gauges the tech support offerings of top laptop vendors by posing as average consumers via phone, live chat, and social media. They compile then compile the results and assign each company a score.
For 2019, Laptop Mag finds that Apple continues its streak at the top, followed closely by Razer. Razer’s second place spot is notable, as it was ranked second to worst last year. MSI, on the other hand, finds itself in last place -- a place it's familiar with on these charts, according to Laptop Mag.
MSI most recently showed its customer support ineptitude by way of a customer support agent informing a customer that its 300-series boards would not support AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 3000 processors. MSI would later have to refute the claim in order to extinguish a quickly spreading tech press fire.
Microsoft Changes Tune on Intel CPU Shortage
Microsoft has previously stated Intel’s pervasive CPU shortage hindered its Windows adoption. Now, Microsoft doesn’t appear to be overly concerned with Intel’s shortages, as gleaned from a call regarding third quarter earnings.
"We feel good about the supply in the Commercial segment and the Premium Consumer segment, which is where the vast majority of our revenue is in OEM. And so I think in those segments, we feel fine for Q4," said Microsoft CFO Amy Hood.
Microsoft’s recent earnings, in part, have been propped up by customers migrating to newer editions of Windows, or new machines with recent Windows versions, as Microsoft is ending support for versions such as Windows 7 and SQL Server 2008. That’s a trend Microsoft expects to continue into Q4 as well.
Microsoft could also be less concerned about Intel as more OEMs and consumers alike turn to AMD. It’s doubtful that Microsoft has any special interest in which CPUs are in Windows machines -- so long as they’re Windows machines.
Samsung to Invest Roughly $9.5 Billion/yr through 2030
Samsung announced a 12-year plan to invest $115 billion in both its Samsung LSI and Samsung Foundry businesses. The plan will see Samsung inject roughly $9.51 billion per year through 2030 into its business.
$63.4 billion will be invested into R&D in South Korea, while another $52.1 billion will be spent on facilities, expansion, and infrastructure. By 2030, Samsung aims to be not only a leader in memory, but also logic chips. Samsung notes that between now and 2030, the investments will come with increasing its workforce by some 15,000 jobs.
Intel Launches Full 9th-Gen Lineup
Intel finally announced the rest of the Coffee Lake Refresh desktop line up, alongside its H-series of mobile chips, rounding out the long awaited 9th-gen family. Intel is adding SKUs up and down the product stack, and will see Intel bring 6 and 8 cores to the masses -- that’s outside of the halo K-SKUs that launched last year.
Being another rewarmed iteration of Skylake, there are not too many notable new features or IPC increases to discuss, but the chips do bring higher frequencies within the same TDP profile. Intel adding Turbo Boost support to the entry-level i3 models is perhaps the most radical change, and one that is no doubt a response to AMD’s Ryzen 3 models that are aggressively priced.
The full 9th-gen lineup offers the traditional non-K SKU variants of the high-end i9900K, i7-9700K, and i5-9600K. Additionally, Intel is debuting the non-traditional “KF” and “F” suffix SKUs, indicating chips with stripped IGPs.
The lineup is punctuated by the new 6-core and 8-core mobile parts, such as the i9-9980HK and i7-9850H, that will be making their way into laptops soon.
Editorial: Eric Hamilton
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Josh Svoboda, Andrew Coleman