NVIDIA has announced plans to cease developing drivers supporting 32-bit operating systems for any GPU architecture in the near future. All NVIDIA GPU drivers published after the release 390 (due in early 2018) will only support x86-64 OSes. The decision marks an important milestone in the transition of the PC industry to 64-bit computing that has been ongoing for over a decade, but may upset some of the users who still run older machines or those that require drivers for embedded systems.
AMD has had a fantastic past year. Its desktop-grade Ryzen microprocessors were successful in grabbing some x86 PC market share from Intel, which, in turn, nudged AMD back into profitability. And this might just be the start of the smaller chip-maker's newfound sales momentum. Advanced Micro Devices is readying up to launch a Ryzen Refresh line-up in the first quarter of 2018 on a slightly improved 12nm node.
AMD's Navi has been of interest to AMD fans since it first popped up on roadmaps, with hints of a next-generation memory subsystem and a "scalability" option that might be similar to the modular GPU designs that Nvidia is supposedly considering for its own products.
AMD's next generation Ryzen 2 CPUs are set to debut on the 12nm process technology in the first quarter of 2018. The new lineup comprised of 2000 series Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 2000 microprocessors is said to bring higher clock speeds and better overclockability to the table in addition to support for faster DDR4 RAM.
If you thought this was a busy year for new processor releases, hold onto your knickers, it is about to get a whole lot busier. Looking at the release notes for the latest AIDA64 system diagnostics and benchmarking utility, there are several unannounced Intel processors on tap, including a mobile Core i9 processor and what appears to be a Coffee Lake refresh, due out sometime in 2018.
At this year's ARM TechCon, Samsung Electronics re-clarified its ambitions for 7nm technology in 2018, followed up quickly by a move to 6nm, 5nm, and even 4nm by as early as 2020.
"We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," an Apple spokesperson said. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."
Google today announced a forthcoming update to its Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, web format that aims to discourage website owners from misusing the service. The company says that, starting in February 2018, AMP pages must contain content nearly identical to that of the standard page they're replicating.
Nikon has announced plans to close a digital camera plant in Wuxi, China as part of its structural reform program running through fiscal 2018, which prioritizes profitability over expansion.
Nikkei Asian Review
Richard Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors, during the company's third quarter financial results announcement, reversed a long-held position in conceding that Qualcomm's $38 billion acquisition of NXP will not happen - as promised - this year. The deal, Clemmer admitted, is likely to slip to "early 2018."
A new prediction from reliable supply chain analyst Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities expects one of the iPhone X's defining features to join the iPad Pro lineup in the next upgrade. KGI expects the TrueDepth camera system which enables Face ID facial recognition to next appear on the iPad lineup.
All of the iPhones Apple plans to produce in 2018 are likely to abandon the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of facial recognition, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note sent out this evening.
Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi will launch their flagship smartphone models featuring LG Display's OLED panels in 2018.
Late last month, Intel disclosed that executive Stacy Smith, who oversees the company's manufacturing, sales, and operations, will be out of the company by the end of January 2018.
In an email today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Stacy Smith, Group President of Manufacturing, Operations and Sales at Intel, has decided to retire from the company at the end of January 2018.
Samsung Electronics will start construction of Line 18 at its Hwasung plant in November, with total investment estimated at KRW6 trillion (US$5.4 billion). The construction was originally scheduled for 2018.
A new report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says LG will soon join the fray and supply Apple with OLED displays for the iPhone 8.
Samsung recently bought ultraviolet lithography machines to make 7nm iPhone processors, The Korea Herald said on Tuesday. Sources claimed that one of Samsung's three co-CEOs, Kwon Oh-hyun, was central to winning the deal, and visited Apple's headquarters in June.
In the second half of 2018, it is planning to deploy the 7-nanometer process, using extreme ultra violet (EUV) lithography for the first time. It will be followed by 6-nanometer and 5-nanometer in 2019.
According to industry sources, LG Innotek has almost completed the development of flexible PCBs and would likely to break the ground for related facilities in the latter half of 2017. LG Innotek aims to become a main flexible PCB supplier for Apple and LG Electronics.
The Korea Economic Daily
A big concern is a potential over-supply situation in display glass, as China slams on the gas for OLED capacity.
Samsung is going to make supplemental investments into its 10nm production lines in March 2017 and construct new 7nm semiconductor facilities in 2018. Its strategy is to secure ultra-fine processing technologies faster than its competitors.
China's state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup is pushing for an initial public offering of its mobile chip unit, Unigroup Spreadtrum RDA, in 2018, sources told Nikkei Asian Review.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
Toshiba is looking to raise at least JPY1 trillion (US$8.8 billion) from the sale of its memory chip business and will aim to complete the transaction by March 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Micron no longer expects DRAM prices to increase in H2 of this year and 2018.
A non-volatile memory technology based on carbon nanotubes that's poised for commercialization in 2018 is expected to be more disruptive to enterprise storage, servers and consumer electronics than flash memory, according to a new report from BCC Research.
Qualcomm is promising to launch its first 5G modem in 2018, even though basic standards for 5G have yet to be established, nor even which part of the radio spectrum it will use.
TSMC will be ready to take orders for products on the 7nm node by as early as April 2017. This is, of course, a pretty significant announcement because it lets us know the approximate time by which we can expect GPUs and CPUs on the same node.
According to a new "exclusive" report from behind the scenes, Samsung is in talks with both AMD and Nvidia for GPU tech. Namely, the Korean company wants to stop using the ARM-developed Mali GPUs in its Exynos chipset designs, and instead use ones created by AMD or Nvidia.
Intel's recent pledge to expand its business making chips for others highlights its ambition to snatch chip orders for Apple's popular iPhones from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. as early as 2018, industry experts said.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
LG Innotek said July 28 that it would invest US$230 million by 2018 to build a camera module factory in Haiphong, the third largest city of Vietnam.
The Korea Herald
Samsung is rumored to be in exclusive talks with Apple about OLED supply, and could be set to ship panels as soon as 2017. LG will presumably miss out on supplying OLED screens for 2017 iPhones, but could be in a position to join the supply chain for 2018.
JP Morgan thinks TSMC has not lost its technological edge and Qualcomm will be coming back to the Taiwan manufacturer for 7nm in 2018.
I don't expect Intel to roll out server chips built on the company's 10nm technology to roll out in 2017; Intel is expected to introduce its second-generation 14nm server chip family in early to mid-2017. However, if Intel can get the process ramped at high yields during the second half of 2017 with PC-targeted products, it should bode well for a launch of 10nm server processors in the first half of 2018.
Much attention is being paid to the possibility that Apple will adopt flexible screens on its future iPhone models, as major Korean display manufacturers are seeking to persuade the U.S.-based global IT giant to do it.
Phablets, smartphones with displays 5.6 inches and above, are forecast to flourish in Far East and China, Juniper Research said in its new report.