The big picture: Earlier this year we were reviewing Analyst Day slides from leading semiconductor companies and a clear theme emerged. Large companies are all shifting in a similar direction, posing some potential challenges for their long-term positions. More and more customers are looking for special purpose chips, a coping mechanism for dealing with the slowdown in Moore's Law. And the big players are all looking to support those customers.
In context: Manufacturing giant Foxconn has responded to a video circulated on Twitter claiming that eight people in a dormitory at its Zhengzhou, China, factory have died due to a Covid-19 outbreak. The facility, its main iPhone production plant in the country, is in the middle of a Covid lockdown, but Foxconn claims nobody has died and the video has been "maliciously edited."
Every few years new processors with ever-higher demands for energy are launched. Is 250W for a CPU too high? Should any GPU need 450W? Let's peel off the heatsinks to look at the truth behind power numbers.
In context: TSMC is one of the largest processor manufacturers in the world, creating chips and wafers for many companies, including AMD, Nvidia, and Apple. As one of TSMC's biggest customers, Apple was not happy following an announcement that TSMC would increase prices in 2023.
The big picture: Intel has ambitions to create a foundry business by manufacturing chips for other companies. This is an important strategic initiative that the company will need to recoup the massive investment it is now making in fabs around the world.
Cutting corners: Washington is preparing new rules to ban exports of advanced chipmaking devices to China, a move that could, however, be too little too late as Asian manufacturing companies are already engaged in making sub-14nm semiconductors on their own.
Building sustainable computing systems is not only the conscientious thing to do, but curbing carbon emissions may result in a seismic shift in how we develop the hardware of the future.