Category Archives: Computer Hardware + Systems Articles!

Here is everything on computer hardware and systems articles at Tech ARP!

This is where you will find our articles on computer hardware like CPUs, graphics cards and monitors, to computer systems like laptops and gaming desktops!

Please bookmark and check back for updates on computer hardware and system articles, reviews and news!

Synology World Backup Day 2024 Briefing + Demo!

Ahead of World Backup Day on March 31, Synology held an exclusive briefing and demo of its cutting-edge data management, and security features! Watch the video, and find out what Synology demonstrated!

 

Synology World Backup Day 2024 Briefing + Demo!

On 21 March 2024, Jason Sin, Country Manager at Synology Malaysia, gave an exclusive briefing and demo of its latest data management, and security features, in Kuala Lumpur.

The live session showcased Synology’s exclusive backup features like Active Backup Suite, and Snapshot Replication; highlighting practical use cases against malicious access, accidental deletion, and ransomware threats.

Jason Sin also emphasised the importance of data integrity, and data recovery in the face of virus or ransomware attacks.

Recommended : Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

During his presentation, he showcased three critical phases of a robust data protection process using Synology solutions:

Prevention of Ransomware Attacks

Synology demonstrated Secure SignIn, a secure login framework designed to enhance account security of Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), the operating system that powers every Synology NAS.

This feature verifies sign-ins using multiple methods, including approved sign-ins, verification codes (OTP), and hardware security keys. This allows users and businesses to significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access and potential ransomware attacks.

Centralised Data Protection

Active Backup for Business is Synology’s all-in-one data protection solution. Synology highlighted its ability to centralise protection across diverse IT environments, including virtualised environments, physical servers, file servers, and personal computers.

In the demo session, Synology showcased how administrators can efficiently deploy and manage data protection strategies through a centralised admin console, ensuring comprehensive backup coverage and seamless continuity of operations.

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Comprehensive, Streamline Data Recovery

Synology demonstrated how Snapshot Replication efficiently streamlined data recovery, providing backup capabilities against threats like accidental deletion and viruses. Synology also simulated a ransomware attack by encrypting a file, followed by a swift data recovery conducted through Snapshot Replication.

This showcased its effectiveness in restoring systems to a previous state and emphasized that only a rapid, comprehensive data solution is effective for both end users and enterprises. Administrators can configure scheduled snapshots and retention settings, ensuring efficient data management and recovery, even in scenarios where ransomware attacks occur.

 

Selected Synology NAS Drives

If you are interested in purchasing Synology NAS drives, here are some highly-rated options you can buy online.

Please note that Tech ARP may receive a referral fee through these and other purchase links.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Will Microsoft Disable Your Computer If You Share Fake News?!

Is Microsoft planning to disable your computer if you post or share fake news / misinformation?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Microsoft To Disable Your Computer If You Share Fake News!

People are sharing an article (archive) by The People’s Voice (formerly NewsPunch), which claims that Microsoft is planning to disable your computer if you post or share fake news / misinformation!

Microsoft To Disable Computers of Users Who Share ‘Non-Mainstream Content’ Online

Recommended : Is Interpol Investigating Bill Gates For Murder?!

 

Truth : Microsoft Won’t Disable Your Computer If You Share Fake News!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created / promoted by The People’s Voice, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Microsoft Did Not Announce Plans To Disable Computers

Let me start by pointing out that Microsoft did not announce any plans to disable computers of people who share “non-mainstream” content online, in an attempt to combat “misinformation” in the run-up to the 2024 US Presidential election.

If Microsoft actually announced such plans, it would have been major news covered by news outlets all over the world. It would also have gone viral on social media, with conservative and right-wing personalities criticising those plans.

Microsoft certainly made no such announcement, and The People’s Voice offered no evidence to back up its “fact checked” claim.

Fact #2 : Satya Nadella Is Microsoft CEO, Not Bill Gates

Interestingly, The People’s Voice article used a photo of Bill Gates, even though he handed over day-to-day operations at Microsoft more than 15 years ago. He also stepped down as Microsoft Chairman, when Satya Nadella was appointed as CEO in February 2014.

If Microsoft does indeed plan to disable computers to fight fake news, that decision would have to be approved by its CEO and Chairman, Satya Nadella. Not its former founder, Bill Gates.

How is Bill Gates involved in this “story”? Nothing in the article even remotely suggests that Bill Gates is, in any way, involved in Microsoft affairs, or the non-existent plan to disable computers of people who share fake news / misinformation.

Recommended : Is Bill Gates Planning To Kill Billions Using Turbo AIDS?!

Fact #3 : Satya Nadella Never Said Anything About Disabling Computers

The People’s Voice article used a video of Lester Holt from NBC News interviewing Satya Nadella as evidence that Microsoft plans to disable computers of people who share misinformation. However, that’s completely nonsensical.

The NBC News video only shows Satya Nadella saying that the tech industry is using technological solutions like watermarking [AI created content], detecting deep fakes, and implementing content IDs, to fight disinformation and misinformation.

This is not the first election where we dealt with disinformation or propaganda campaigns by adversaries and election interference.

We’re doing all the work across the tech industry around watermarking, detecting deep fakes and content IDs. There is going to be enough and more technology quite frankly in order to be able to identify the issues around disinformation and misinformation.

Fact #4 : Microsoft Can’t “Magically” Disable Computers Remotely

Even if Microsoft is so inclined, disabling a computer remotely isn’t like waving a magic wand, or chanting “Abracadabra”!

With the possible exception of specifically hacking into your computer to gain access, or tricking you into installing malware, it is not possible for Microsoft to remotely disable your computer simply because you shared fake news or misinformation.

The People’s Voice article certainly offered no explanation of how Microsoft might conceivably disable your computer remotely… like magic!

Recommended : Is Bill Gates Facing Life Behind Bars For Child Rape?!

Fact #5 : The People’s Voice Is Known For Publishing Fake News

The People’s Voice is the current name for NewsPunch, which possibly changed its name because its brand has been so thoroughly discredited after posting numerous shocking but fake stories.

Founded as Your News Wire in 2014, it was rebranded as NewsPunch in November 2018, before becoming The People’s Voice. A 2017 BuzzFeed report identified NewsPunch as the second-largest source of popular fake news on Facebook that year.

Its articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should never share anything from NewsPunch / The People’s Voice.  Here are some of its fake stories that I fact checked earlier:

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Baidu Denies ERNIE Bot Link To Chinese Military Research!

Baidu just denied any link between its ERNIE Bot generative AI service, and a Chinese military AI!

 

SCMP : Baidu ERNIE Bot Linked To Chinese Military!

On 12 January 2024, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that a research laboratory under the Strategic Support Force cyberwarfare division of the People’s Liberation Army “forged a physical link” between its AI system, and large language models in China, specifically the Baidu ERNIE Bot, and the iFLYTEK Spark.

According to SCMP, the project was detailed in a peer-reviewed paper published in the December 2023 issue of the Chinese academic journal, Command Control & Simulation. It also reported this as the first time the Chinese military has publicly confirmed its use of commercial large language models.

According to scientists involved in the project, a research laboratory with the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Strategic Support Force, which oversees the Chinese military’s space, cyber, intelligence and electronic warfare, has forged a physical link between its AI system and Baidu’s Ernie and iFlyTek’s Spark, which are large language models similar to ChatGPT.

The military AI can convert vast amounts of sensor data and information reported by frontline units into descriptive language or images and relay them to the commercial models. After they confirm they understand, the military AI automatically generates prompts for deeper exchange on various tasks such as combat simulations. The entire process is completely free of human involvement.

The paper by Sun Yifeng and his team from the PLA’s Information Engineering University, discussed how they fed military AI data on the 2011 US military intervention in Libya to large language models like the Baidu ERNIE Bot, and after several rounds of dialogue, they were able to predict the US military’s combat strategy.

In the paper, Sun’s team discussed one of their experiments that simulated a US military invasion of Libya in 2011. The military AI provided information about the weapons and deployment of both armies to the large language models. After several rounds of dialogue, the models successfully predicted the next move of the US military.

After the publication of that story, Baidu’s shares fell by more than 11.5%, amidst fears that such a direct link to the Chinese military would result in US sanctions, not unlike what happened to HUAWEI.

Recommended : Were Chinese Missiles Really Filled With Water?!

 

Baidu Denies ERNIE Bot Link To Chinese Military Research!

Initially, Baidu only stated that it has no knowledge of the research project:

We have no knowledge of the research project, and if our large language model was used, it would have been the version that is publicly available online

However, after its stock price fell, Baidu issued a stronger denial on 15 January 2024.

Baidu stated that it did not have any “business collaboration” with Sun Yifeng’s team, or the PLA’s Information Engineering University, and stated that if ERNIE Bot was used in that research, it would have been the publicly-available version.

ERNIE Bot is available to and used by the general public.

The academic paper, published by scholars at a Chinese university, described how the authors built prompts and received responses from LLMs, using the functions available to any user interacting with generative AI tools.

Baidu has not engaged in any business collaboration or provided any tailored service to authors of the academic paper or any institutions with which they are affiliated.

Baidu also sated that SCMP has since “clarified and corrected” its report.

The South China Morning Post, the first media outlet that reported on this academic paper, has clarified and corrected its original media report.

SCMP removed its reference to a physical link between Ernie Bot and any Chinese military AI system, amending it t o say that the PLA laboratory tested its AI system system on Baidu Ernie and iFLYTEK Spark.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

[/su_note]

 

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China Still Has Access To High-Speed NVIDIA AI Chips!

Military institutions, AI research institutes and universities in China are still able to source and buy NVIDIA AI chips, albeit in small quantities!

 

AMD + NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

Both AMD and NVIDIA were ordered by the US government to stop selling high-performance AI chips to both China and Russia on 26 August 2022. This ban was introduced to prevent both countries from using those high-performance AI chips for military purposes.

With immediate effect, the US government banned the export of all AI chips that are equal to, or faster than, the NVIDIA A100 (and H100), or the AMD Instinct MI250 chips. NVIDIA then created slower A800 and H800 AI chips for the Chinese market, but even they were also banned in October 2023.

Recommended : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

China Still Has Access To High-Speed NVIDIA AI Chips!

Despite the ongoing ban on the sale of high-performance AI chips to China and Russia, it appears that Chinese military-linked research institutes are still able to source and buy NVIDIA AI chips, albeit in small quantities!

According to a Reuters report on 14 January 2024, public tender documents show that dozens of military institutions, AI research institutes and universities in China with links to the military, have purchased and received high-performance NVIDIA AI chips like the A100 and the H100, as well as the slower A800 and H800 AI chips.

  • Harbin Institute of Technology purchased six NVIDIA A100 chips in May 2023, to train a deep-learning model
  • University of Electronic Science and Technology of China purchased on NVIDIA A100 in December 2022, for an unspecified purpose.

Both universities are subject to the US export restrictions, although the sale of those AI chips are not illegal in China.

More than 100 tenders were identified, in which Chinese state entities successfully purchased NVIDIA A100 and H100 chips, and dozens of tenders show successful purchases of the slower A800 chips.

  • Tsinghua University purchased two H100 chips in December 2023, as well as about eighty A100 chips since September 2022.
  • A Ministry of Industry and Information Technology laboratory purchased a H100 chip in December 2023.
  • An unnamed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entity based in Wuxi sought to purchase three A100 chips in October 2023, and one H100 chip in January 2024
  • Shandong Artificial Intelligence Institute purchased five A100 chips from Shandong Chengxiang Electronic Technology in December 2023
  • Chongqing University purchased an NVIDIA A100 chip in January 2024.

Recommended : Can StopNCII Remove All Nude / Deep Fake Photos?!

To be clear – neither NVIDIA or its approved retailers were found to have supplied those chips. NVIDIA said that it complies with all applicable export control laws, and requires its customers to do the same:

If we learn that a customer has made an unlawful resale to third parties, we’ll take immediate and appropriate action.

– NVIDIA spokesperson

Even though Chinese state entities appear to be able to purchase high-performance AI chips, the Reuters report also shows the effectiveness of the American AI chip ban.

The training of large artificial intelligence models require thousands of high-performance AI chips, and China does not seem to be able to procure more than a handful of these critical chips.

That does not mean China is slowing down its AI initiatives. Instead of relying on “gray imports” of AMD or NVIDIA AI chips, Chinese entities are doing their best to switch to local alternatives. In 2023, HUAWEI received orders for some 5,000 of its Ascent 910B chips.

Chinese mega-companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent also have their own in-house AI chips like the Kunlunxin Gen 2, Hanguang 800, and Zixiao.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

[/su_note]

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the Synology DiskStation DS223j – its latest 2-bay NAS system, and find out how well it performs!

 

Synology J Series NAS Systems

The Synology J Series are its entry-level NAS systems – offering an affordable way to get networked storage for backup, or personal storage. They also have a more consumer look, with a white chassis.

The Synology J series comes in below the Value series, and lacks hot-swappable drives, and front USB ports. However, it has most of its key features, including support for the Btrfs file system.

Synology currently has two J series models – the 2-bay DS223j, and the single-bay DS120j.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Price

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-bay NAS system:

Specifications Synology DiskStation DS223j
CPU Realtek RTD1619B
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.7 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine
Memory 1 GB DDR4 (non-ECC)
Drive Bays 2
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch SATA
2.5-inch SATA (with optional adaptor)
Hot Swappable No
Internal File System Btrfs / EXT4
NAS Features Power Recovery
Scheduled Power On/Off
Wake on LAN / WAN
Front Ports None
Rear Ports 1 x RJ-45 1GbE LAN port
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
Internal Fan Yes, 92 mm
Noise Level 18.2 dB(A)
Thermal Output 55.62 BTU/hour (active access)
13.64 BTU/hour (HDD hibernation)
Power Consumption 16.31 W (active access)
4 W (HDD hibernation)
Power Supply 60 W power adaptor
Power Input 100 V to 240 V DC power input
50/60 Hz, single phase
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Size 165 mm high
100 mm wide
225.5 mm deep
Weight 0.88 grams
Warranty 2 Year Hardware Warranty

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Box Contents

The Synology DiskStation DS223j comes in a large cardboard box, with a label to let you know exactly what’s inside the box. On opening the box, you will find the following items:

  • Synology DiskStation DS223j NAS system
  • 3.5-inch drive bay bracket
  • Pack of 10 drive screws
  • Pack of 3 chassis screws
  • Pack of 3 bracket screws
  • 60 watt power adaptor
  • AC power cord
  • RJ-45 LAN cable
  • Quick installation guide

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Next Page > Synology DS223 Performance

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Performance

We tested three NAS systems, with these settings:

WD MyCloud EX4100

  • 4 x 6TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

Synology DS223j

Synology DS214+

  • 2 x 4TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

We then compared their read and write performance to a 1TB SDD, using a Gigabit LAN connection, and these two file sets:

  • Large File : Movie with a 9.3 GB file size
  • Small Files : 2193 photos with a 9.48 GB file size

Large File Read Speed

When it comes to transferring very large files like a movie, the Synology DS223j did very well, offering an average read speed of just over 100 MB/s!

Even the much older DS214+ model did very well, almost delivering 100 MB/s of throughput, and beating out 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by 23%!

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Large File Write Speed

However, when it comes to writing files to the NAS, the number of bays, and the drive speeds are what counts.

The 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 is far ahead, because it’s able to write to two drives at the same time (in RAID 1).

The faster 4TB Synology Plus drives used in the DS223j allowed it to pull ahead of the DS214+ by 16%.

Small Files Read Speed

This is quite a surprising result. For some reason, the Synology DS214+ did very well in this test, beating even the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by almost 30%!

And the Synology DS223j, which is much faster in every way, delivered a much lower speed of just under 48 MB/s.

Small Files Write Speed

That’s completely flipped when it came to write speed – copying small files to the NAS systems.

Again, the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 has the advantage here, because it can write to two drives at the same time.

But the Synology DS223j did very well here, coming within 23% of the MyCloud EX4100. This is likely due to its faster 4TB Synology Plus drives.

Next Page > Synology DS223j Verdict + Award

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Verdict + Award

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is a cheap but solid 2-bay NAS system. Its plastic chassis feels cheap, but it packs all of the key features most home users would need.

You get an affordable RAID 1 backup solution, with fast Gigabit LAN connectivity, and two USB 3.0 (rebranded as USB 3.2 Gen 1) ports at the back for when you need to copy files to or from a USB flash drive or portable HDD.

It also gives you access to the excellent Synology DiskStation Manager operating system, as well as hundreds of add-on packages which you can use to add capabilities to your NAS.

Synology updates its DiskStation Manager regularly, which is great, because it fixes bugs that may cause considerable grief. For example, when I started testing the DS223j, I encountered a problem accessing it on macOS with a VPN enabled.

No matter what I did, the Mac computer simply could not “see” or “locate” the DiskStation on the network. The only way was to disable the VPN. Fortunately, the problem “magically” went away a few updates later. *

Mac users will also be happy to know that it supports Time Machine backup. While it requires some simple setting up, it works perfectly… which is not something I can say about the MyCloud EX4100!

Prosumers might want to spend a bit extra to upgrade to the non-J version – the DiskStation DS223 from the Value series. Not only does it come with a front USB port (for more convenient use), it allows you to hot swap drives.

If any drive fails on the DS223j, you will need to power it down and open it up to swap out the drive. On the non-J version, you can simply slide out the old drive and replace it with a new one without even powering down the DS223 NAS. But of course – this is a nice feature that most home users probably won’t need.

Performance-wise – the DS223j runs on the same Realtek RTD1619B process as the non-J model. Its four Arm Cortex-A55 cores is more than fast enough for transferring files. Its CPU usage is usually less than 50%. Even when I ran data scrubbing, its CPU usage was around 15% on average.

And if you are wondering about whether you can live with just 1 GB of RAM on the DS223j, yes, you can. The RAM usage is usually less than 20% on our DS223j.

Generally, if you want something cheap and good from Synology, you can’t go wrong with the DiskStation DS223j. For these reasons, we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

* It would have lost the award if Synology did not manage to fix the accessibility problem for macOS.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j : Where To Buy?

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive, and find out how well it performs!

Updated @ 2023-11-09 : Updated with operating temperature results, and minor changes.
Originally posted @ 2023-10-05

 

Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) NAS Drives

The Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) hard disk drives are designed to populate their Network-Attach Storage (NAS)  systems for homes and small businesses.

These Synology Plus Series drives are designed for light-to-intermediate use. Based on the Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology, they are similar to the WD Red and Seagate Iron Wolf range of NAS drives, with a 1 million hour MTBF and 180 TB per year workload rating.

The main advantage of these drives is that their firmware can be automatically updated using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Price

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive commands a slight premium over comparable drives like the 4TB WD Red (Price Check) and the 4TB Seagate IronWolf (Price Check).

Retailing at about $90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

Recommended : MSI Hit By $4 Million Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Specifications

The Synology Plus series offers storage capacities of 4TB, 6TB, 8TB and 12TB. With the exception of the 12TB model, all drives in this family are air-filled, and have a 5,400 RPM spindle speed.

The baby of this family, which we are reviewing today, is the 4TB Synology Plus drive, which has a model number of HAT3300-4T. Here are its key specifications:

Specifications 4 TB Synology Plus
Model HAT3300-4T
Capacity 4 Terabytes
Form Factor 3.5-inch
Drive Design Air
Recording Technology Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
Cache 256 MB
Rotational Speed 5,400 RPM
Max. Data Transfer Speed 202 MB/s
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) 1,000,000 hours
Workload Rating 180 TB / year
Power Consumption Idle : 3.96 W
Random Read : 4.85 W
Random Write : 4.85 W
Operating Temperature 0°C to 65°C
32°F to 149°F
Non-Operating Temperature -40°C to 70°C
-40°F to 158°F
Operating Shock 80 Gs (2 ms duration)
Non-Operating Shock 300 Gs (2 ms duration)
Operating Vibration 10 Hz to 22 Hz: 0.25 Gs, Limited displacement
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 0.50 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 0.25 Gs
Non-Operating Vibration 5 Hz to 22 Hz: 3.0 Gs
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 3.0 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 3.0 Gs
Acoustics Idle : 23 dBA
Seek : 27 dBA
Size 20.20 mm high
101.85 mm wide
147 mm long
Weight 490 g
Warranty 3 Years

 

4TB Synology Plus HDD Unboxing + Hands-On

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive comes in a large cardboard box, with a window to let you peek inside.

On opening the box, you will see that the drive is well-protected. It’s sealed in an anti-static bag, placed within a plastic enclosure, and further protected from shock and vibration by two large foam inserts.

Recommended : MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

Next Page > 4TB Synology Plus Features + Temperature

 

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4TB Synology Plus HDD Key Features!

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive is designed for the light-to-intermediate usage requirements of personal and SMB (small and medium business) NAS systems. Here are its key features:

Manufactured By Seagate

Synology does not make this hard disk drive, which was manufactured by Seagate. Think of this as a Seagate IronWolf hard disk drive that was customised to Synology’s requirements, and with custom firmware for Synology.

Under The PCB

In the following video, we took a look under its PCB, and here was what we found:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) comes with a large 256 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B2G1646F memory chip. This is a DDR3-1866 SDRAM chip with 16 memory banks, and a peak transfer rate of about 466 MB/s.

It also uses a Seagate Dillon motor drive controller, which features ST Microelectronics’ proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology. The drive controller itself has a thermal pad to help keep cool, by transferring heat to the drive chassis.

Finally, this NAS drive has two sensors on its PCB, which allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

Recommended : Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

Always-On Operation

The 4TB Synology Plus is backed by a million hour MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) rating, and is rated for a workload of 180 TB per year.

That works out to 15 terabytes per month, and is about par for the course for consumer-grade NAS drives.

Easy Firmware Updates

Unlike third-party NAS drives from Western Digital or Seagate, you can easily update the firmware of the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive using DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

This is a convenient feature for those who use Synology NAS systems – you won’t need to remove the drive, or use a separate computer, to update its firmware.

Low Power Consumption

Power consumption is pretty low, at just under 5 watts. Even if you run this drive 24/7, it will only consume 42.5 kW per year.

Real world usage will be significantly lower, since NAS systems are designed to power down drives during periods of inactivity.

 

4TB Synology Plus Operating Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of the three hard disk drives while idle, and during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load.

Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) appears to run slightly hotter than the 4TB WD Red, but significantly cooler than the 6TB WD Red. This is good news, because it can get really hot inside the NAS enclosure!

Next Page > CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

 

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4TB Synology Plus CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s sequential read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Sequential Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of 215 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 39% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of just under 217 MB/s.

This is about 7% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 38% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Sequential Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 29% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of just over 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 24% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Now, let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s random read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Random Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 670 KB/s.

That puts it 6% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 15.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 2.08 MB/s.

That puts it on par with the 6TB WD Red drive, and just 4% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Random Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of 1.85 MB/s.

That puts it 23% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 44.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of just over 1.8 MB/s.

That puts it 24% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 43% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Next Page > ATTO Results, Conclusion, Where To Buy

 

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4TB Synology Plus ATTO Benchmark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s peak read and write speeds, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Peak Read Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read speed of just under 205 MB/s, putting it 12% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 36% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write speed of just over 205 MB/s, putting it 25% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 48% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Read IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read IOPS of just under 64.75K, putting it 50% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 65% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write IOPS of just over 61.25K, putting it 46% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and an incredible 81% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

 

4 TB Synology Plus Review Conclusion

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) is, without doubt, a fast NAS hard disk drive. Our benchmark results show that it consistently outperforms the 4TB and 6TB Western Digital Red drives.

It may be sold at a slight price premium, but its better performance and the ability to conveniently upgrade its firmware (rare as that may be) directly using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) makes it a no-brainer choice for Synology NAS users.

If you are planning to use a Synology NAS system for your home or SMB use, you would be well-served to purchase the Synology Plus drive to populate it. We definitely think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

4 TB Synology Plus : Where To Buy?

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive retails at about $89.90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

 

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Maxis Rushes Out Broadband Deals – Too Little, Too Late!

Maxis just rushed out its own broadband deals, and is offering a free speed upgrade for existing customers! Find out why it’s really too little, too late.

 

New Maxis Home Broadband Deals In October 2023!

In early October 2023, Unifi announced that all broadband customers will receive a free upgrade of their Internet speeds – up to 3X their current speeds!

Weeks later – on 27 October 2023, Maxis belatedly announces new 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps broadband packages, as well as its own broadband deals to fight back. Unfortunately, they are pretty much too little, too late.

On top of introducing the new 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps (overkill) packages, Maxis announced RM10 discounts for their cheaper broadband packages.

Broadband
Speed
Old
Price
New
Price
Promo
Price *
2 Gbps (New) NA RM 319 NA
1 Gbps (New) NA RM 249 Free Max Wifi
500 Mbps RM 159 RM 159 RM 149
300 Mbps RM 149 RM 139 RM 129
100 Mbps RM 129 RM 99 RM 89

* Only for new subscribers, and applicable to the first 24 months.

However, the pitiful RM10 discount is limited to new subscribers, and even then, only for the first 24 months! After that, the price goes back to the “New Price” list above.

This is quite unlike Digi or Unifi, whose prices are not limited to the first 24 months:

Broadband
Speed
Maxis Unifi * Digi
2 Gbps RM 319 RM 289 NA
1 Gbps RM 249 RM 159 RM 269
500 Mbps RM 149 x 24
Then RM 159
RM 139 RM 149
300 Mbps RM 129 x 24
Then RM
139
RM 129 Free 6 months
Then
RM 129
100 Mbps RM 89 x 24
Then RM
99
RM 89 RM 89

* After free speed upgrade

If you are an existing customer, Maxis has announced a free speed upgrade for customers on 100 Mbps or faster packages. However, details on this free upgrade – how much faster, and when they kick in – are only coming in November 2023.

Read more : Switching From Maxis To Digi Saves Me RM1.9K / Year!

 

New Maxis Business Broadband Deals In October 2023!

Maxis also announced a new 1 Gbps business broadband package, but curiously did not offer a 2 Gbps package for business users. You would think that a business would need a 2 Gbps package more than home users, right?

In any case, Maxis is offering slightly better discounts on its business broadband packages. However, you must be a new subscriber, and you must register by 30 November 2023!

If you are an existing customer – too bad, so sad. Unlike Home Fibre customers, Maxis did not announce any free speed upgrade for their Business Broadband customers. It appears that the only way to get an upgrade and save money is probably to migrate to a different provider

Broadband
Speed
Old
Price
New
Price
Promo
Price *
1 Gbps (New) RM 189
(early bird)
RM 299 NA
500 Mbps RM 269 RM 219 RM 199
300 Mbps RM 149 RM 179 RM 139
100 Mbps RM 139 RM 119 RM 99

* Only for new subscribers who register by 30 November 2023

That said – a quick check on their April prices show that Maxis was actually offering cheaper prices back then!

The 1 Gbps package was only RM189 – RM110 less than their “new price”, while the 300 Mbps package was only RM149 – RM30 less than their new price, and just RM10 more than their October-November 2023 promo price.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Was Bill Gates Destroyed In ABC News Interview?!

Was Bill Gates just destroyed in an ABC News interview with Sarah Ferguson?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

Updated @ 2023-10-07 : Updated with new information after video went viral again
Originally posted @ 2023-03-08

 

Claim : Bill Gates Was Destroyed In ABC News Interview!

People are sharing a TikTok video with the title “Bill Gates caught in corner”, which shows Bill Gates getting destroyed in a recent ABC News interview.

Here are the accompanying subtitles from the interview, but it’s rather long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

ABC News : So Mr Gates, in your own words, what have you contributed to the world?

Bill Gates : Um I’m not sure if you’re aware, but I created the world’s most popular computer operating system.

Recommended : Is Bill Gates Releasing Millions of GMO Mosquitoes?!

 

Truth : Bill Gates Was NOT Destroyed In ABC News Interview!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created to go viral on TikTok, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : ABC News Interviewed Bill Gates On Jan 31, 2023

First, let’s start by sharing some basic context on the ABC News interview with Bill Gates.

The interview was conducted by Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist, Sarah Ferguson, on her current affairs show – 7.30, and released on Tuesday, 31 January 2023.

Fact #2 : ABC News Did Not Destroy Bill Gates In That Interview

Anyone who watches the actual ABC News interview of Bill Gates will be puzzled by the viral video and claim, because Sarah Ferguson never “destroyed” Bill Gates.

You can read all about her interview and even watch the video in an article written by Sarah Ferguson and her colleague Myles Wearring. In her interview, she only asked Bill Gates about:

  • COVID-19 conspiracy theories
  • Elon Musk buying Twitter
  • the rise of artificial intelligence
  • climate change and renewable energy
  • his association with Jeffrey Epstein
  • his philanthropy, and pledge to give away most of his wealth

Sarah Ferguson ended the interview by thanking Bill Gates, who only nods. He never quit the interview in frustration as shown in the viral video.

Fact #3 : Gates Foundation Called Viral Video Fake

The media department for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation labelled the viral video as fake:

We confirm that the audio in this altered video is fake.

Recommended : Did Philippines Issue Arrest Warrant For Bill Gates?!

Fact #4 : Viral Video Was Edited Using Artificial Intelligence

The viral video was created by a TikTok creator called bdti989, who posted it with the caption:

How dangerous AI can be 😱
#BillGates #billgates #microsoft #Microsoft #followformore #follow #msdos #uops #ups #ops #world #interview #interviews #artificialintelligence #ai

bdti989 also stated several times that he edited the ABC News interview using artificial intelligence. It is basically a deep fake video.

Yes, it’s AI generated!

Fact #5 : Fake Video Was Not Satire

While some people are trying to justify the creation and/or sharing the video as “satire”, that is not true. Even the content creator himself did not call it satire.

bdti989 does not appear to create satire. His account is full of typical edited news content pushing right wing conspiracies, not satire.

Most of his videos aren’t particularly popular, typically with less than 3,000 views. Only his AI-generated fake video of the ABC News interview of Bill Gates has gone viral, with over 1.4 million views.

It is likely he created it to test his ability to create fake videos using artificial intelligence. Hopefully, it does not inspire him to create more of such deep fake videos to increase the popularity of his TikTok channel.

Fact #6 : Bill Gates Was A Notable Programmer

Regardless of what we may think of Bill Gates as a businessman and/or person, he was well regarded as a programmer. Both Gates and Paul Allen developed Altair BASIC – a BASIC programming interpreter for the MITS Altair 8800 and S-100 computers.

Paul Allen would famously write a bootstrap program for it during a flight to demonstrate their Altair BASIC interpreter, but Bill Gates would famously win the bet on who could write the shortest possible bootstrap program.

Fact #6 : MS-DOS Was Not Created By Gary Kildall

Gary Kildall (wrongly named as Gary Kildahl in the fake video) was the creator of the CP/M operating system that was once considered by IBM for its first PC.

Bill Gates not only did not steal MS-DOS from Gary Kildall, it was Gates who suggested that IBM should purchase CP/M-86 from Kildall for its forthcoming PC.

However, Gary Kildall famously went flying on his private plane instead of meeting IBM representatives, and they failed to reach an agreement.

Fact #7 : MS-DOS Was Based On 86-DOS

MS-DOS (wrongly named as Emma’s DOS in the fake video) was based on 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products.

After IBM and Digital Research failed to reach an agreement on CP/M-86, IBM lead negotiator Jack Sams asked Bill Gates to find a usable operating system for the IBM PC. Gates later proposed using 86-DOS.

Microsoft then purchased a non-exclusive licence for 86-DOS in December 1980 for US$25,000, and hired Tim Paterson to port it to the IBM PC, so it would work on the Intel 8086 processor. IBM would submit over 300 change requests before accepting the final port.

It was only in July 1981 – a month before IBM released the PC, that Microsoft purchased all rights to 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products for US$50,000. Microsoft then licensed the modified 86-DOS to IBM, and it became PC DOS 1.0.

In short, MS-DOS (rebranded from PC DOS) was based on 86-DOS, which was a different operating system from CP/M invented by Gary Kildall.

Kildall would later persuade IBM to offer CP/M-86 with the PC. That would not be possible if Kildall really sold CP/M to Microsoft “for a couple of dollars” as the fake video alleges.

Recommended : Is Interpol Investigating Bill Gates For Murder?!

Fact #8 : COVID-19 Vaccines Have Been Proven Safe + Effective

Anti-vaccination proponents are not interested in your health, which is why they keep lying about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

The truth is – COVID-19 vaccines were only approved AFTER they have undergone extensive safety and efficacy tests, involving tens of thousands of volunteers.

And even after receiving Emergency Use Authorisation and full FDA approval, they continue to be monitored for safety and efficacy.

The reason why doctors and health authorities STRONGLY advocate vaccination is because the vaccines have been PROVEN to protect the vast majority of people from getting COVID-19 in the first place.

And even if you do get infected after vaccination, the vaccine will protect you against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Gigabyte motherboards shipped with firmware backdoor!

Millions of Gigabyte motherboards and laptops shipped with a built-in backdoor in its UEFI firmware!

Here is what you need to know about this cybersecurity danger, and what you can do about it!

 

Gigabyte Motherboards Shipped With Firmware Backdoor!

On 31 May 2023, researchers at the cybersecurity firm Eclypsium revealed that 271 Gigabyte motherboard models have been compromised with UEFI firmware with a built-in backdoor!

Eclypsium’s heuristic detection methods recently began flagging suspicious backdoor-like behaviour in Gigabyte motherboards. When its researchers looked into it, they found that Gigabyte motherboard firmware was executing a Windows native executable during the system start up process. This executable then insecurely downloads and executes additional payloads.

From their analysis, the executable appears to be a legitimate Gigabyte module called WpbtDxe.efi:

  • it checks to see if the “APP Center Download & Install” feature is enabled
  • it downloads executable payloads from Gigabyte servers
  • it has a Gigabyte cryptographic signature

They also found that the downloaded payloads have Gigabyte cryptographic signatures too, which suggest that this firmware backdoor was implemented by Gigabyte itself.

However, Eclypsium researchers discovered that the Gigabyte implementation had a number of problems, which would make it easy for threat actors to abuse the firmware backdoor:

  • one of its payload download locations lacks SSL (using plain HTTP, instead of the more secure HTTPS), allowing for Machine-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks
  • remote server certificate validation was not implemented correctly even when the other two HTTPS download locations were used, which allows for MITM attacks
  • one of its payload download locations is a local network-attacked storage device (NAS), which could allow a threat actor to spoof the location of the NAS to install their own malware
  • the Gigabyte firmware itself does not verify any cryptographic signatures, or validates the downloaded executables.

In short – millions of Gigabyte motherboards have a cybersecurity vulnerability, due to their firmware which includes an insecure / vulnerable OEM backdoor. As John Loucaides from Eclypsium put it:

If you have one of these machines, you have to worry about the fact that it’s basically grabbing something from the Internet and running it without you being involved, and hasn’t done any of this securely.

The concept of going underneath the end user and taking over their machine doesn’t sit well with most people.

Note : This vulnerability affects all computers using Gigabyte motherboards, including laptops.

 

Gigabyte Rolls Out New Firmware To Mitigate Backdoor!

After the news blew up inconveniently during Computex 2023, Gigabyte quickly rolled out new beta firmware upgrades for its AMD and Intel motherboards.

According to Gigabyte, the new beta firmware upgrades have “improved security mechanisms” that will “detect and prevent malicious activities during the boot process“. It also appeared to have implemented other changes:

  • enhanced the signature verification process for fils downloaded from its remote servers
  • conduct more thorough checks of file integrity to prevent the introduction of malicious code
  • enabled standard cryptographic verification of remote server certificates

The new firmware has just been released for AMD 600-series motherboards, as well as Intel 500- and 400-series motherboards, but will eventually be introduced for older motherboards. The new firmware will have the description, “Addresses Download Assistant Vulnerabilities Reported by Eclypsium Research“.

As Gigabyte does not intend to remove the backdoor feature, you might want to consider Eclypsium’s advice on how best to reduce the risk of malicious actors taking advantage:

  1. Scan and monitor systems and firmware updates in order to detect affected Gigabyte systems and the backdoor-like tools embedded in firmware. Update systems to the latest validated firmware and software in order to address security issues like this one.
  2. Inspect and disable the “APP Center Download & Install” feature in UEFI/BIOS Setup on Gigabyte systems and set a BIOS password to deter malicious changes.
  3. Administrators can also block the following URLs:
    – http://mb.download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Swhttp/LiveUpdate4
    – https://mb.download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Swhttp/LiveUpdate4
    – https://software-nas/Swhttp/LiveUpdate4

For starters, you should definitely download and update your Gigabyte motherboard or laptop with the improved firmware. Then disable APP Center Download & Install in the BIOS.

Let’s hope Gigabyte will be able to quickly issue new and improved firmware to mitigate, if not remove, the backdoor vulnerability for the affected 271 motherboard models, and its future motherboards and laptops. Even so, many users might not be aware of this vulnerability or these updates.

It seems likely that threat actors will have access to this backdoor vulnerability in many Gigabyte motherboards and laptops for years to come. Even Eclypsium’s Loucaides believes so:

I still think this will end up being a fairly pervasive problem on Gigabyte boards for years to come.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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HP Launches 2023 Smart Tank + LaserJet Printers!

HP just launched its new 2023 Smart Tank and LaserJet printers targeted at home / hybrid workers, and enterprises!

 

2023 HP Smart Tank 580 / 520 Printers

HP just unveiled a new line of budget-friendly 2023 Smart Tank printers to cater to home- and office-based hybrid workers.

The 2023 HP Smart Tank 580 and 520 printers offer an intuitive setup process, with smart features and better connectivity, including self-healing Wi-Fi, and Smart App and Smart Advance capabilities.

They also offer low printing costs with a pre-filled ink supply that can print up to 6,000 black or colour pages. Assuming a monthly output of 150 pages a month, that’s almost 3 years of printing from the start!

Smart Experience

  • HP Smart App helps to guide you through everyday tasks like print, scan, copy and fax.
  • Automatically detects IDs, and prints with the ID copy button
  • Comes with self-healing Wi-Fi and better mobility with Smart App and Smart Advance.
  • Protected by HP Wolf Essential Security to protect sensitive information.

Affordable Cost

  • Engineered for high-volume printing with cost-effective colour and monochrome printing
  • Up to 6,000 pages of black or colour from ink bottles provided in-box
  • Easy monitoring of ink levels with integrated ink sensors

Sustainably Designed

  • Sustainably manufactured using 45% post-consumer recycled content.
  • EPEAT Silver and Energy Star certified.
  • Energy-saving Auto On/Off Technology
  • No-waste tank, and spill-free recyclable bottles

Recommended : Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

 

2023 HP LaserJet Managed E800 / E700 Printers

HP also introduced new laser printers – the LaserJet Managed E800 and E700 series printers, which are intelligent solutions to streamline enterprise workflows.

The new HP LaserJet Managed E800 / E700 series offers enterprises centralised control with HP Web Jetadmi, and HP Workpath for personalised, integrated digital workflow.

  • Customisable design – they come with five colour panels, to match your office decor, and HP Speed Licence for flexible configurations to meet different business needs
  • Comprehensive workflow solutions with new Flow 2.0 features, including the ability to make edits directly to the content on the control panel (highlight, redact, even sign) as customised shortcuts.
  • Reverse and Retry technology which detects and resolves double feed issues and paper jams.
  • Better performance with up to 70 ppm print speed, and 300 ipm duplex scan, powered by HP’s custom-designed quad-core processor.
  • Auto-sensing technology to save time with tone and colour management, two sided document detection, and automatic job separation features.
  • Protected by HP Wolf Enterprise Security, the HP LaserJet Management E800 / E700 series protects, detects, and self-recovers. They also come with Memory Shield, which helps to detect malicious attacks on the printers, and automatically self-heals if detected. Memory Shield uses a hardware-protected solution called Runtime Intrusion Detection to actively scan memory for anomalies, and Guard CFI from Karamba to monitor the execution flow of the printer firmware to help prevent zero-day attacks.

Recommended : MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

 

2023 HP Smart Tank + LaserJet Printers : Prices + Availability

Here are the official launch prices for the 2023 HP Smart Tank printers:

  • Smart Tank 580 : RM619 (about US$139 / £111 / A$209 / S$185)
  • Smart Tank 520 : RM519 (about US$116 / £93 / A$176 / S$155)

HP is giving away a RM50 e-wallet rebate for the Smart Tank 580, and a RM100 e-wallet rebate for the Smart Tank 520. And if you purchase any of these printers from now until 30 April, you will get an extra black ink bottle.

Here are online purchase options for your convenience:

HP did not reveal the prices for the LaserJet Managed E800 or E700 series printers, but they are available for sale to interested enterprise customers.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

Samsung just unveiled its 2023 TV lineup of Neo QLED 8K, OLED, sound devices and monitors at the Unbox & Discover virtual livestream!

 

Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

Samsung just unveiled its 2023 TV lineup of Neo QLED 8K, Samsung OLED, sound devices and monitors at the Unbox & Discover virtual livestream, which showcased its latest innovations in smart connectivity, sustainability initiatives, premium viewing, and gaming experiences.

According to Samsung, its 2023 lineup focused on enhancing the user experience by making complex technologies more intuitive and seamlessly integrated into people’s lives, while delivering impeccable picture and sound quality consumers expect from Samsung screens.

At Samsung, we understand that technology should empower and enhance people’s lives, not complicate them.

By choosing Samsung, consumers can expect to experience an unparalleled level of wow factors, all while participating in eco-conscious practices for a sustainable future.

– Jong-Hee (JH) Han, Vice Chairman, CEO and Head of DX (Device eXperience) Division at Samsung Electronics

In his opening remarks, JH Han underscored the company’s commitment to calm tech and innovation, providing consumers with the latest technologies that make life better. In particular, he introduced five core foundations of SmartThings, which aims to provide increased convenience when setting up their smart homes.

  • Instant Connection: SmartThings enables users to easily connect their devices in just one step, allowing them to enjoy the synergy created by Samsung devices more easily.
  • Automated Connection: SmartThings automatically connects devices, like TVs or smartphones, with other Samsung devices such as the air conditioner, dryer, refrigerator, and washer, eliminating the need for manual setup.
  • Hub Everywhere: The IoT hub is built into various Samsung products, including Samsung Smart TVs, making IoT setup a breeze.
  • Expansive Compatibility: SmartThings goes beyond just the Samsung ecosystem, enabling devices from any brand to work seamlessly together thanks to the Home Connectivity Alliance and the international IoT communication standard, MATTER.
  • Security: With CC EAL 6+ certification, the new Samsung Knox Vault hardware chip encrypts all information from connected devices, ensuring the highest level of security and offering peace of mind for users.

Samsung also helped form the Home Connectivity Alliance, and support MATTER – an international IoT communication standard, so that the diverse intelligent devices that our homes contain can work together, regardless of brand.

 

2023 Samsung QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors Unveiled!

At Unbox & Discover 2023, Samsung focused on showcasing its 8K QLED and OLED TVs.

  • Neo QLED 8K QN900C is its top-of-the-line model with technologies like Auto HDR Remastering and 8K AI upscaling
  • New 98-inch Neo QLED 8K model with enhanced audio through Dolby Atmos and Q-Symphony 3.0.
  • 2023 Samsung OLED lineup features Neural Quantum Processor 4K’s perceptional color mapping, making them the “World’s First Pantone-Validated HDR OLED” televisions!

In addition to QLED and OLED TV models, Samsung also unveiled two new Odyssey monitors:

  • Odyssey Neo G9 – the world’s first dual UHD resolution monitor, and
  • Odyssey Ark – a 55-inch curved screen with a powerful sound system and multitasking capabilities.

The new 2023 Odyssey models will be available in 2H 2023 in 57-inch Odyssey Neo G9 and the 49-inch Odyssey OLED G9 options.

Samsung also upgraded its Gaming Hub to allow gamers to play their favourite games directly from the cloud without a console or PC.

In addition to its advanced features for viewing experiences, the 2023 Odyssey lineup also offers gamer-centric features such as Game Bar, which places gamer controls front and center, as well as Mini Map Zoom and Virtual Aim Point, which can make all the difference between winning and losing in competitive gameplay.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

MSI users are at risk of rogue BIOS / firmware updates, after hackers got hold of its source codes, private keys and BIOS firmware!

 

MSI Hit By Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

On 7 April 2023, MSI (Micro-Star International) was hit by a ransomware attack, in which the hackers allegedly exfiltrated 1.5 terabytes of source codes, BIOS firmware, private keys and other data from its servers.

In its terse regulatory filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), MSI admitted that it was hacked, but did not detail the circumstances or nature of the attack.

After detecting some information systems being attacked by hackers,MSI’s IT department has initiated information security defense mechanism and recovery procedures. The Company also has been reported the anomaly to the relevant government authorities.

MSI claimed that the attack had “[no] significant impact our business in terms of financial and operational currently“, but said that it was “enhancing the information security control measures of its network and infrastructure to ensure data security.

In a public statement, MSI also urged users to only obtain firmware / BIOS updates from its official website, and refrain from using other sources.

Read more : MSI Hit By $4 Million Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

 

Stolen Data Exposes MSI Users To Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

The MSI ransomware attack and data theft appear to be committed by the Money Message ransomware gang, which has threatened to release the 1.5 terabytes of critical data that it exfiltrated from MSI servers.

While MSI has apparently restored files encrypted by the ransomware, exposure of the private keys and source codes, will likely allow Money Message or other threat actors to develop rogue BIOS or firmware updates.

Installing rogue BIOS / firmware updates will give the malware the access level of a super-low-level rootkit, giving it full control over your computer, with the ability to spy on almost everything you do. Such malware will also be extremely difficult to detect and remove. After all, it boots up before the operating system!

These days, rogue BIOS or firmware updates are much less of a problem because they are usually digitally-signed by the vendor, MSI in this case. Even if threat actors distribute Trojanised downloads for MSI users, they cannot create the right digital signatures for those files.

However, now that MSI’s private keys have been stolen, they can be used to create rogue BIOS or firmware updates with authentic digital signatures! MSI users downloading and installing those updates will never know the difference.

Recommended : Can Approve New Participant block WhatsApp hackers?!

The biggest risk right now is with PC hardware enthusiasts who enjoy installing unofficial firmware updates to gain access to special settings. That is precisely why MSI is urging its users to only download files from its official website.

Of course, this assumes that the MSI download servers are secure, and have not been compromised. If the threat actors have access to the MSI download servers, they can insert Trojanised downloads with proper signatures, and MSI system administrators may be none the wiser!

Let’s hope that this incident forces MSI to take a much closer look at its cybersecurity measures, and run penetration tests to ensure that its download servers are secure. Otherwise, some threat actors will likely hit pay dirt with MSI users!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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MSI Hit By $4 Million Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

MSI just got hit by a massive ransomware attack, but even worse – it lost a ton of critical data to the hackers!

 

MSI Hit By Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

On 7 April 2023, MSI (Micro-Star International) was hit by a ransomware attack, in which the hackers allegedly exfiltrated 1.5 terabytes of source codes, BIOS firmware, private keys and other data from its servers.

In its terse regulatory filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), MSI admitted that it was hacked, but did not detail the circumstances or nature of the attack.

After detecting some information systems being attacked by hackers,MSI’s IT department has initiated information security defense mechanism and recovery procedures. The Company also has been reported the anomaly to the relevant government authorities.

MSI claimed that the attack had “[no] significant impact our business in terms of financial and operational currently“, but said that it was “enhancing the information security control measures of its network and infrastructure to ensure data security.

In a public statement, MSI also urged users to only obtain firmware / BIOS updates from its official website, and refrain from using other sources.

Read more : MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

 

Hackers Demand $4 Million From MSI To Not Release Stolen Data

The MSI ransomware attack and data theft appear to be committed by the Money Message ransomware gang.

While MSI has apparently restored files encrypted by Money Message’s ransomware, the gang now has access to about 1.5 terabytes of critical MSI data.

According to BleepingComputer, chats between Money Message and an MSI representative show the gang demanding a ransom payment of $4 million. Otherwise, Money Message will release the stolen files.

To show that they did indeed steal those MSI files, Money Message posted screenshots of what they describe was MSI’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) databases and files containing software source code, private keys, and BIOS firmware.

Recommended : Can Approve New Participant block WhatsApp hackers?!

If Money Message releases MSI confidential data, it may not just be embarrassing for the Taiwanese company, it could allow other threat actors to use the source code and private keys to create malware targeting their customers.

In light of that, MSI users should only download and install software or BIOS firmware from the official MSI website.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Apple MFI plan to limit speed, power on USB-C leaked!

Apple may be planning to limit data transfer and charging speed on USB-C ports used in its devices, by introducing MFI certification!

 

Earlier : Apple Forced To Adopt USB-C Port!

Apple has been hesitant about moving to the superior USB-C port for years, limiting it to Mac computers and iPad tablets.

The 12-inch MacBook was the first Mac computer to get USB-C in 2015, while the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablets made the switch from Lighting to USB-C in 2018. However, Apple stubbornly refused to migrate its iPhones to USB-C.

The choice to stick with their proprietary Lightning port was taken out of their hands on October 4, 2022, when the European Parliament voted decisively to adopt the USB-C (USB Type C) port as the new standard for all portable devices.

By the end of 2024, all portable devices sold in the EU must come with a USB-C charging port. This directive is more or less directed at Apple, which is the only brand that continues to use its own proprietary Lighting connector.

Read more : EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

 

Apple MFI plan to limit speed, power on USB-C leaked!

Now that the EU is firmly forcing everyone to use USB-C, Apple will start using the USB Type C port in its upcoming iPhone 15 models.

However, Apple apparently isn’t going to give up its lucrative side gig of selling its users MFI (Made for iPhone) cables and accessories at exorbitant prices.

According to ShrimpApplePro, who accurately leaked on the iPhone 14, Apple will introduce MFI for its USB-C cables and accessories.

And even worse – cables that lack MFI certification will have their data and charging speeds limited.

Yeah usb-c with MFI is happening

Foxconn already in mass production accessories like EarPods and cables

Cables w no MFI will be software limited in data and charging speed

MFI-certified cables have a small authenticator chip to verify that they are “certified” to work with Apple devices. If you use cables that lack this authenticator chip, you will get the “This accessory is not supported” warning on your Apple device.

Apple gets paid for every authenticator chip, so MFI cables and accessories are priced at a premium, even if they work just as well as non-MFI cables and accessories.

Apple is already expected to limit the iPhone 15 base model, and iPhone 15 Plus, to USB 2.0 data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps (60 MB/s), while Pro models will get the much higher transfer rates of 20 Gbps (USB-C 3.2) or even 40 Gbps (Thunderbolt 3).

People may not bat an eye at Apple limiting data transfer speeds to differentiate their Pro models from the non-Pro models, but limiting battery recharging speeds for non-MFI cables should ruffle some feathers. After all, there is technically no good reason why Apple cannot allow their devices to benefit from faster charging using non-MFI cables.

Naturally, Apple benefits financially from introducing MFI for USB-C. It will force Apple users to pay the notorious “Apple tax” on top of the “Apple premium” they paid for their Apple devices.

Imagine if Apple introduces MFI for USB-C and phases that in for future Mac computers and iPad tablets, as well as the upcoming iPhone 15 smartphones. Even those who have been happily using regular, non-MFI USB-C cables will have to switch them to MFI cables, and for what?

There is really no discernible benefit for Apple users to use MFI-certified cables over regular USB-C cables. It’s not like they will give your Apple devices magical powers. If there is any reduction in transfer rate or charging speed, it will only happen because Apple intentionally chose to make it so.

Of course, this leak may turn out to be true, and Apple may not be quite so evil as to foist the MFI tax on its loyal users. But I fear that Apple believes its users are more loyal than discerning, and will yet again, quietly pay for MFI cables just because Apple said so.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Odyssey Ark Gaming Monitor : A Quick Look!

Samsung recently gave us a closer look at the massive 55-inch Odyssey Ark curved gaming monitor!

 

Samsung Odyssey Ark Gaming Monitor : A Quick Look!

The Samsung Odyssey Ark gaming monitor is truly a gamer’s dream come true – a massive 55-inch display with a 1000R curvature, and a 165 Hz refresh rate!

It is now just a large gaming display, it’s chockfull of gaming-specific features like:

  • 4K display resolution, with 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, and HDR 10+ support
  • Up to 165 Hz refresh rate, with 1 ms (GTG) response time
  • Variable refresh rate support with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
  • Quantum Mini-LED panel for next-generation colour depth and picture quality
  • sAGAR (Super Anti-Glare, Anti-Reflection) film reduces glare
  • Neural Quantum Processor Ultra automatically analyses each frame to improve image quality
  • Dolby Atmos with Sound Dome technology for immersive surround sound
  • Four corner speakers with two central woofers for a 60 watt 2.2.2 channel audio

It also comes with an exclusive Ark Dial that lets you quickly adjust screen size and ratio, to enjoy multiple content sources at the same time!

Even though it’s so large, the Samsung Odyssey Ark gaming monitor can be rotated clockwise to Cockpit Mode. It is not motorised but it’s not difficult to rotate the monitor.

In both vertical and horizontal orientations, its Multi View capability lets you take full advantage of its massive display by splitting it into sections.

You can add up to four screens in the standard landscape mode, and three screens in the vertical Cockpit Mode, allowing you to easily multitask. You can simultaneously game, while chatting on social media, or watching YouTube videos, all on the same display!

 

Samsung Odyssey Ark Gaming Monitor : Specifications

Here is a table I created of the 55-inch Samsung Odyssey Ark gaming monitor’s key specifications:

Specifications Samsung Odyssey Ark
Display Size 55-inch
Type Curved Gaming Monitor
Curvature 1000R
Display Resolution 3,840 x 2160 pixels
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Panel Type VA
Response Time 1 ms (GTG)
Refresh Rate Up to 165 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate FreeSync Premium Pro
Brightness 1000 nits peak
600 nits typical
420 nits minimum
Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1 (static)
Dynamic Contrast Ratio Mega DCR
Local Dimming Yes, 1,056 zones
HDR10+ Yes
Colour Support Up to 1 billion colours
Colour Gamut 95% DCI-P3
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Viewing Angle 178˚ (Horizontal / Vertical)
Connectivity 4 x HDMI 2.1 ports (HDCP 2.2)
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x LAN port
Bluetooth Capability Bluetooth 5.2
Other Features Amazon Alexa
Samsung Bixby
Samsung SmartThings
Samsung Game Bar 2.0
Eco Light Sensor
Camera No
Ark Dial Yes
Power Consumption 84 watt (typical)
0.50 watt (DPMS)
Stand Type HAS PIVOT
Height Adjustment Landscape : 0-270 mm (±5mm)
Portrait : 0-30 mm (±5mm)
Tilt Adjustment Landscape : -10˚(±2˚) to 10˚(±2˚)
Portrait : -13˚(±2˚) to 10˚(±2˚)
Pivot -90˚(±2˚) to 90˚(±2˚)
Swivel No
Dimensions with Stand 1,174.8 mm wide
1,102.0 mm tall
379.0 mm deep
Weight with Stand 41.5 kg

 

Samsung Odyssey Ark Gaming Monitor : Price + Availability

The 55-inch Samsung Odyssey Ark gaming monitor (LS55BG970NEXXS) is available with immediate effect, at these price points:

  • United States : $2,999
  • United Kingdom : £2,599
  • Malaysia : RM13,999

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Gone In 60 Seconds : Apple Store Robbed Of $35K!

Two thieves made off with $35,000 worth of Apple products at an Apple Store in broad daylight… in just 60 seconds!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what happened!

 

Gone In 60 Seconds : Apple Store Robbed Of $35K!

At around 4:17 PM on Friday, November 25, 2022, a pair of thieves brazenly stole $35,000 worth of Apple products in front of shocked customers and store workers at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California!

The Black Friday heist showed the two masked men yanking multiple iPhones and MacBook laptops from the display tables to stuff in their bags, while pushing past customers and store workers.

A customer can be heard on the video asking, “Should we stop them?”, and an Apple Store worker responded, “Let them go”.

The minute-long video showed just how quickly the two thieves were able to “work the room”, to steal all those Apple devices!

Recommended : Apple Limits AirDrop To Help China Prevent Protests!

Even though they were unchallenged by the customers and store workers, one of the thieves “made a general statement to the crowd of physical violence” if they attempted to stop the robbery.

That escalated the crime from merely “shoplifting” to a robbery, according to the police, who confirmed that about $35,000 worth of Apple phones and laptops were taken.

One of the suspects was wearing a beige hoodie with blue jeans, white shoes and a red backpack, while the other was wearing a blue camouflage hoodie with black Adidas pants, red shoes and a black Adidas backpack.

The police are currently looking for both men, described as black males in their late teens or early 20s, who fled in a red Mazda hatchback and were last seen by a security guard driving north on Highway 101 at around 4:30 PM.

The Palo Alto Apple Store has been robbed three times in recent years. In 2018, it was robbed twice within 24 hours, with thieves taking over $100,000 worth of merchandise, while in 2016, robbers smashed a rental car through its store front and made off with thousands of dollars worth of Apple products.

Recommended : Apple To Move MORE iPhone Production Out Of China!

 

What Apple Is Doing To Cut Down On Store Heists

As its products are considered high-value, Apple has seen its store in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland and Washington, D.C. targeted in large heists.

As a result, Apple has initiated several measures to make it difficult for thieves to sell their loot of stolen Apple devices.

For example, demo devices like the ones just stolen from the Palo Alto Apple Store would have been registered with an Apple ID, and can therefore be easily tracked using the Find My iPhone service.

These demo devices also have proximity software installed since 2016, which automatically disables them once they are taken outside of their assigned Apple Store.

Apple also has the ability to disable and track stolen devices, even those that are brand-new, in-the-box. Those who purchased them will find that their devices can’t be turned off, and their location would be sent to local authorities.

The stolen iPhones will also display a warning to the user, informing them that the device has been disabled and being tracked, and that the local authorities has been alerted. The user is advised to return the iPhone to the Apple Store where it was stolen from.

Please return to Apple Walnut Street

This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.

This pretty much makes these stolen devices useless, if the thieves intend to sell them to other people. They may, however, find some use as spare parts for far less profit, of course

Recommended : Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!

Apple is also blocking access to repairs for lost or stolen devices. For starters – Apple will refuse to repair iPhones if its Find My iPhone feature cannot be disabled (to prove ownership).

In addition, Apple repair technicians can now see if an iPhone has been reported lost or stolen in the internal MobileGenius or GXS system. If the device was reported lost or stolen, they will decline to repair the device.

All these measures will mean that the viral $35,000 heist at the Palo Alto Apple Store will not amount to much for the thieves.

In fact, Apple is the winner in this robbery – its demo devices would have certainly been insured. In a way, Apple “sold” the stolen $35,000 inventory in this robbery to their insurance company!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How NVIDIA A800 Bypasses US Chip Ban On China!

Find out how NVIDIA created the new A800 GPU to bypass the US ban on sale of advanced chips to China!

 

NVIDIA Offers A800 GPU To Bypass US Ban On China!

Two months after it was banned by the US government from selling high-performance AI chips to China, NVIDIA introduced a new A800 GPU designed to bypass those restrictions.

The new NVIDIA A800 is based on the same Ampere microarchitecture as the A100, which was used as the performance baseline by the US government.

Despite its numerically larger model number (the lucky number 8 was probably picked to appeal to the Chinese), this is a detuned part, with slightly reduced performance to meet export control limitations.

The NVIDIA A800 GPU, which went into production in Q3, is another alternative product to the NVIDIA A100 GPU for customers in China.

The A800 meets the U.S. government’s clear test for reduced export control and cannot be programmed to exceed it.

NVIDIA is probably hoping that the slightly slower NVIDIA A800 GPU will allow it to continue supplying China with A100-level chips that are used to power supercomputers and high-performance datacenters for artificial intelligence applications.

As I will show you in the next section, except in very high-end applications, there won’t be truly significant performance difference between the A800 and the A100. So NVIDIA customers who want or need the A100 will have no issue opting for the A800 instead.

However, this can only be a stopgap fix, as NVIDIA is stuck selling A100-level chips to China until and unless the US government changes its mind.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

How Fast Is The NVIDIA A800 GPU?

The US government considers the NVIDIA A100 as the performance baseline for its export control restrictions on China.

Any chip equal or faster to that Ampere-based chip, which was launched on May 14, 2020, is forbidden to be sold or exported to China. But as they say, the devil is in the details.

The US government didn’t specify just how much slower chips must be, to qualify for export to China. So NVIDIA could technically get away by slightly detuning the A100, while offering almost the same performance level.

And that was what NVIDIA did with the A800 – it is basically the A100 with a 33% slower NVLink interconnect speed. NVIDIA also limited the maximum number of GPUs supported in a single server to 8.

That only slightly reduces the performance of A800 servers, compare to A100 servers, while offering the same amount of GPU compute performance. Most users will not notice the difference.

The only significant impediment is on the very high-end – Chinese companies are now restricted to a maximum of eight GPUs per server, instead of up to sixteen.

To show you what I mean, I dug into the A800 specifications, and compared them to the A100 below:

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 80GB PCIe Version

Specifications A100
80GB PCIe
A800
80GB PCIe
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 80 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 1,935 GB/s
TDP 300 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 1-8 GPUs

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 80GB SXM Version

Specifications A100
80GB SXM
A800
80GB SXM
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 80 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 2,039 GB/s
TDP 400 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 4/ 8 / 16 GPUs 4 / 8 GPUs

NVIDIA A100 vs A800 : 40GB PCIe Version

Specifications A100
40GB PCIe
A800
40GB PCIe
FP64 9.7 TFLOPS
FP64 Tensor Core 19.5 TFLOPS
FP32 19.5 TFLOPS
Tensor Float 32 156 TFLOPS
BFLOAT 16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
FP16 Tensor Core 312 TFLOPS
INT8 Tensor Core 624 TOPS
GPU Memory 40 GB HBM2
GPU Memory Bandwifth 1,555 GB/s
TDP 250 W
Multi-Instance GPU Up to 7 MIGs @ 10 GB
Interconnect NVLink : 600 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
NVLink : 400 GB/s
PCIe Gen4 : 64 GB/s
Server Options 1-8 GPUs

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How Biren Got Its Own AI Chips Banned At TSMC!

TSMC stopped making artificial intelligence chips for China’s Biren Technology, and it was all Biren’s own fault!

 

TSMC Stops Making Biren AI Chips Over US Sanctions

TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – has suspended production of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) chips for China’s Biren Technology.

TSMC was forced to make this decision after public domain information revealed that the Biren BR100 and BR104 chips outperformed the NVIDIA A100 chip, which was used as the baseline of US sanctions.

While TSMC has not reached a conclusion on whether the top-of-the-line Biren BR100 or the slower BR104 meet or exceed US government threshold on advanced AI chip technology restrictions, it decided to stop production and supply of the Biren chips for now.

For TSMC to continue producing BR100 or BR104 chips, Biren must now prove that their chips do not offer “peak performance and chip-to-chip I/O performance equal to or greater than thresholds that are roughly equivalent to the [NVIDIA] A100“, or get an export licence from the US Department of Commerce.

And believe it or not – it was Biren Technology that created this mess for itself!

 

How Biren Screwed Up Its Own BR100 AI Chips

Biren, which is one of China’s most promising semiconductor design firms, earlier claimed that its AI chips that were being produced by TSMC are not covered by the latest US export restrictions.

However, its own website touts that the BR100 family of chips offers “world-class performance“, and has “improved by more than 3X” compared to mainstream rivals.

On top of that, Biren actually released a press statement on September 9, 2022, declaring that the slower BR104 was proven by the MLPerf to beat the NVIDIA A100!

Releasing such a statement less than 2 weeks after the US government ordered both AMD and NVIDIA to stop exporting their MI250 and A100 and faster AI chips to China is either amazing chutzpah, or a combination of hubris and idiocy.

Either way, the US government took notice, and TSMC came under pressure to comply with American export restrictions. Awesome PR, but stupid move, Biren…

Take a look at the benchmark results that Biren itself released into public domain, showing that the slower BR104 chip was between 27% and 58% faster than the NVIDIA A100.

With such results, the BR104 would certainly fall under the latest US tech export restrictions. No wonder TSMC quickly stopped making and supplying Biren BR100 series chips.

As powerful as the BR100 and BR104 GPGPU chips may be, they are now dead in the water as TSMC will not manufacture them anymore, and Biren Technology has no plausible alternatives for 7nm fabrication.

Read more : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

Biren BR100 AI Chips That TSMC Stopped Producing

The Biren BR100 and slower BR104 are General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) chips, which are targeted at artificial intelligence applications.

They are both fabricated on the TSMC 7nm process technology, and use chipset and 2.5D Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging technologies to achieve high yield, and high performance.

The Biren BR100 family of GPGPU chips supports up to eight independent virtual instances (SVI) – each physically isolated with their own hardware resources, for improved security.

Their chips are designed with a proprietary Blink high-speed GPU interconnect bus offering bandwidth of up to 448 GB/s, with the ability to connect up to 8 cards in a single node, using state-of-the-art PCI Express 5.0.

Biren Technology offers two BR100-based products – the Bili 100P OCP Accelerator Module (OAM), and the Bill 104P PCI Express accelerator card.

 

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Chinese Spies Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

Two Chinese spies were caught interfering with US federal prosecution of Chinese telecommunications company, HUAWEI!

 

Chinese Spies Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

On Monday, October 24, 2022, the US Justice Department announced charges against two Chinese citizens, who were accused of working to undermine federal prosecution of Chinese telecommunications company, HUAWEI.

The charging documents charged two People’s Republic of China (PRC) citizens of two counts of money laundering, and one count of obstructing an official proceeding, specifically interfering with the pending prosecution of HUAWEI by the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).

  • Gouchun He, who is also known as Dong He or Jacky He, and
  • Zheng Wang, who is also known as Zen Wang

The US Justice Department called them intelligence officers of the PRC conducting foreign intelligence operations targeting the United States, on behalf of the PRC government and for the benefit of Company-1 (HUAWEI).

Recommended : US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

 

How These Chinese Spies Were Caught Interfering With HUAWEI Case!

The US Justice Department’s charging documents tell a really compelling story of how the two Chinese spies were foiled by the very asset they recruited.

When US Department of Justice apparently began their investigation of HUAWEI in 2017, Gouchun He and Zheng Wang recruited a US law enforcement official around February 2017. Unbeknownst to them, the official they recruited as their asset became a “double agent” for FBI supervision.

He and Wang began asking the official for sensitive information about the US government’s criminal case against HUAWEI, and received payment in return:

  • approximately $14,000 in cash
  • jewellery worth approximately $600
  • approximately $61,000 in Bitcoin

The official also received payments unrelated to this case (suggesting He and Wang asked for information on other cases) :

  • $2,000 via Western Union
  • $3,000 in cash delivered in person by He and Wang
  • $9,000 in cash and jewellery

Read more : HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

After charges were announced against HUAWEI around January 2019, Gouchun He and Zheng Wang repeatedly asked their agent for secret information regarding the investigation and prosecution of HUAWEI:

September 2021 : The official was asked to provide information on meetings with the prosecution team at the US Attorney’s Office for EDNY on strategising for the jury trial.

October 2021 : In response to a request for documents, the official passed Gouchun He a document marked SECRET that purportedly claimed to discuss a potential plan to charge and arrest two HUAWEI principals residing in China.

The official was paid $41,000 in Bitcoin for that single page, and later paid another $20,000 in Bitcoin the same month.

December 2021 : Gouchun He told the official that HUAWEI “demanded to communicate with him/her directly”, but he allegedly “refused it” because “it’s too dangerous”.

The US official repeatedly indicated that he/she knew and expected the materials he/she passed would be shared with HUAWEI, and Gouchun He and Zheng Wang never denied that they would be sharing the documents or information with HUAWEI.

In fact, when the US official handed them the SECRET document, Gouchun He explained, “HUAWEI didn’t give me specifically feedback now yet [about the document], but they are obviously interested in it, and my boos and they need further information

Both Gouchun He and Zheng Wang then asked the US official for information on witnesses who were working with the US government to prosecute HUAWEI.

 

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Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

Artificial intelligence chip developer, Habana Labs, just laid off over 10% of its workforce, just as Intel plans to layoff up to 20% of its employees.

 

Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

Intel acquired artificial intelligence chip developer Habana Labs in 2019 for $2 billion. The acquisition allowed Habana Labs to rapidly increase its workforce from 180 people to over 900.

That breakneck expansion has not only come to a shuddering halt, it is being reversed – Habana Labs is laying off 100 of their employees. According to an Intel statement:

Habana Labs assesses and updates its technical and business focus from time to time in order to adapt to the current business reality and to continue and improve its competitiveness.

As part of these processes, it makes adjustments to its workforce and the balance between different disciplines from time to time. This is a normal process which occurs constantly and allows Habana to continue and develop attractive and competitive products and solutions.

Habana Labs was founded by David Dahan and Ran Halutz in San Jose in 2016, for the purpose of developing processors optimised for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.

Both Dahan and Halutz were former executives of PrimeSense Limited, which was acquired by Apple for $360 million in 2013. Its first investor and chairman was Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz.

Recommended : Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

Habana Labs Cuts Employees Before Major Intel Layoffs

Habana Labs functions as an independent unit within Intel, which is why it announced its layoffs before Intel announced its own major layoffs later this month.

According to Bloomberg News, Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, “as early as this month” – around the same time its third quarter earnings report is announced on October 27.

This reduction in headcount will be substantial, affecting Intel sales and marketing team the hardest – around 20% of their members are expected to receive pink slips.

This decision comes after two years of booming sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, and just as Intel is set to receive billions in funding from the US government under the CHIPS Act.

The PC market is currently struggling due to high inflation, new US-Chinese tech restrictions, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gartner recently announced that worldwide PC shipments only totalled 68 million units in the third quarter of 2022 – a 19.5% drop from a year ago. This was the steepest market decline it recorded since it started tracking the market in the mid-1990s.

 

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Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, due to declining demand for its chips, even as it is set to receive billions in funding from the CHIPS Act!

 

Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

According to Bloomberg News, Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, “as early as this month” – around the same time its third quarter earnings report is announced on October 27.

This reduction in headcount will be substantial, affecting Intel sales and marketing team the hardest – around 20% of their members are expected to receive pink slips.

This decision comes after two years of booming sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, and just as Intel is set to receive billions in funding from the US government under the CHIPS Act.

The PC market is currently struggling due to high inflation, new US-Chinese tech restrictions, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gartner recently announced that worldwide PC shipments only totalled 68 million units in the third quarter of 2022 – a 19.5% drop from a year ago. This was the steepest market decline it recorded since it started tracking the market in the mid-1990s.

Read more : Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

On October 11, 2022, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced a new path for growth during this economic downturn – the creation of an internal foundry model for external customers, and Intel product lines.

Intel will also create an IDM 2.0 Acceleration Officer under the leadership of Stuart Pann. IDM is short for Integrated Device Manufacturing.

IDM 2.0 is Intel’s plans to become a major provider of semiconductor foundry capacity in the US and Europe to serve customers globally.

 

Intel Not Alone In Layoffs During This Market Downturn

Intel wouldn’t be alone in cutting jobs. Meta and Microsoft had already announced layoffs. Meta quietly laid off about 12,000 “underperforming” Facebook employees recently, while Microsoft announced in July 2022 that it laid off almost 1,800 employees.

Even Sundar Pichai – the CEO of mighty Alphabet hinted at the possibility of layoffs, saying he wanted to make Google 20% more efficient and that could include cutting its headcount.

Many other corporations have also been laying off employees amidst the global economic slowdown and high inflation that is fuelling recession fears – Tencent, Alibaba, Tesla, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, etc.

 

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US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

The US government just imposed sweeping chip and chipmaking export restrictions that target Chinese military capabilities!

 

US Targets Chinese Military With New Chip Export Ban!

On Friday, October 7, 2022, the US government announced new regulations on computer chips and chipmaking technologies designed to target Chinese military capabilities.

The stated goal of these new export restrictions is to “block the People’s Liberation Army and China’s domestic surveillance apparatus from gaining access to advanced computing capabilities that require the use of advanced semiconductors.

According to US officials, these rules target not only the sale and export of chips, but also the tools and software that might help the Chinese military in any way, including aiding the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike earlier rules that target specific Chinese companies (like HUAWEI), the new rules have far greater reach, covering everything from chips made by AMD and NVIDIA, to complex and expensive hardware and software used to design and manufacture semiconductor chips.

These rules, some of which go into effect immediately, build on existing restrictions that were earlier applied to top chip toolmaking companies in the US, like KLA Corporation, Lam Research Corporation, and Applied Material Incorporated.

It’s not just advanced chips used for AI computing and national security or military applications that are being targeted.

The new rules are more generic, and forbid US companies from selling technologies to indigenous Chinese companies that will enable the production of:

  • DRAM chips at 18 nm or below,
  • NAND flash chips at 128 layers or above, and
  • logic chips at 14 nm or below.

Even foreign companies operating China are somewhat affected. US companies will need to obtain a license to export more advanced equipment to them.

But in a concession to South Korea, the US government will spare SK Hynix and Samsung from these measures. US companies will be able to continue supplying their production facilities in China.

Many of the rules aim to block foreign companies from selling advanced chips or chipmaking technologies and tools to China. However, the US government will need to “lean” on those countries to introduce similar measures.

Most advanced chips are manufactured in South Korea and Taiwan. If they continue to export to China, they will allow China to bypass US restrictions.

Read more : Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

 

Chinese Government Criticised US Chip Export Ban

On Saturday, the Chinese government criticised the new US chip export ban, calling it a violation of International economic and trade rules that will “isolate and backfire” on the US.

Out of the need to maintain its sci-tech hegemony, the U.S. abuses export control measures to maliciously block and suppress Chinese companies.

It will not only damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, but also affect American companies’ interest.

– Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Despite Mao’s assertions that US actions will not stop China’s progress, the new wide-ranging chip and chipmaking export ban will undoubtedly be detrimental to the Chinese semiconductor industry, and set back its attempts at indigenous production by many years.

On the other hand, this export ban will spur China to redouble its efforts to develop its own chipmaking capabilities, and possibly “strike back” by restricting exports of rare earths to US companies.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

US Chip Export Rules Affecting Chinese Companies Summarised

Here is a summary of the new restrictions that take effect on Friday (October 7, 2022):

  • Tools that are capable of producing logic chips made using fin field-effect transistors (FinFET) are blocked from sale to China.
  • Tools capable of fabricating NAND flash storage chips with 128-layer technology or greater, and DRAM based on 18-nanometer half-pitch or less technology are blocked from sale to China.
  • Servicing and maintenance of restricted tools are also banned, which would prevent keeping advanced equipment in good enough shape to keep producing quality chips at high volume.
  • US citizens currently servicing or supporting tools on the restricted list must halt their activities by Wednesday, October 12.
  • Export of items that China can use to make its own chip manufacturing tools, such as a photolithography light source and other specialised components are also blocked from sale to China.

The US Commerce Department also enacted these additional measures on Friday:

  • 31 Chinese entities were added to the Unverified List, which consists of companies that the US government believes could divert technology that they purchase to restricted entities.
  • The Commerce Department expanded the scope of controls for the 28 Chinese firms already on the US Entity List, including presumptively denying any licenses because of the risk they will divert technology to the Chinese military.

Then two weeks later, these restrictions will take effect on Friday, October 21, 2022:

  • Using a new foreign direct product rule, the U.S. will block any chips that used in advanced computing and artificial intelligence applications.
  • The foreign direct product rule can block chips made by non-US companies — including Chinese chip designers — if they use American technology or software.
  • TSMC may be forced by this new rule to halt production on advanced AI or supercomputer chips designed by Chinese firms that are fabricated in Taiwan, unless it gets an exemption.
  • A new foreign direct product rule will apply to components and chips destined for supercomputers in China.

 

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EVGA Quits GPU Business Over NVIDIA Disrespect!

EVGA just confirmed that it is quitting the GPU business for good, citing disrespect and unfair behaviour by NVIDIA!

Here is what we know so far…

 

EVGA Won’t Produce Next-Gen NVIDIA Graphics Cards!

EVGA has been a long-time NVIDIA partner for over 20 years, and exclusively produces only graphics cards based on their GPUs.

But on 16 September 2022, the veteran NVIDIA partner confirmed that it was quitting the graphics card business for good in a terse community forum post.

EVGA will continue to sell the current GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards, and support their existing customers.

However, it will no longer produce the next-generation GeForce RTX 40-series (Lovelace) graphics cards.

Hi all,

You may have heard some news regarding the next generation products from EVGA. Please see below for a message on future products and s

  • EVGA will not carry the next generation graphics cards.
  • EVGA will continue to support the existing current generation products.
  • EVGA will continue to provide the current generation products.

EVGA is committed to our customers and will continue to offer sales and support on the current lineup. Also, EVGA would like to say thank you to our great community for the many years of support and enthusiasm for EVGA graphics cards.

EVGA Management

The majority – about 78% – of EVGA’s revenue comes from sales of its NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards, which will run out eventually.

But the company does not plan to layoff its employees even after they finish selling their stock of RTX 30-series graphics cards. Instead, it will focus on other products like motherboards and power supplies, although it does not plan to expand into new product lines.

EVGA is not even entertaining the idea of “working with Intel or AMD” to produce graphics cards. It will quit the graphics card business for good.

The California-based company currently employs about 280 people worldwide, and employees currently working on graphics cards will be reassigned to other departments, although it also expects some “attrition” to take place.

 

EVGA Quits GPU Business Over NVIDIA Disrespect!

While EVGA did not officially mention the reasons for its drastic decision, it was apparently over the way NVIDIA disrespected them and behaved unfairly.

EVGA CEO Andrew Han pointed out that the margin on graphics cards is incredibly thin, and they make 300% more profit on power supplies. Yet NVIDIA was a bad partner to them.

  • NVIDIA would not tell EVGA their cost price for GPUs before announcing the price of cards like the RTX 3080, making it difficult for EVGA to figure out how much to charge for their own cards.
  • NVIDIA sends journalists drivers for the new graphics cards before sending them to EVGA
  • NVIDIA keeps EVGA in the dark about how many GPUs it would receive.
  • NVIDIA competes directly with EVGA with their Founders Edition cards. EVGA complained that it had to sell high-end cards like the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 at a loss of “hundreds of dollars” to compete with the Founders Edition cards.
  • NVIDIA blocks partners from selling cards below a price floor for some models, and above a price ceiling for other models.

Han reportedly said that “the decision to stop working with NVIDIA was easy, because working with NVIDIA was so hard”.

This discontent had been simmering for a long time, and NVIDIA leadership was well-aware as far back as April 2022.

When asked for a response to those allegations, NVIDIA spokesperson Bryan Del Rizzo said :

We’ve had a great partnership with EVGA over the years and will continue to support them on our current generation of products. We wish Andrew [Han] and our friends at EVGA all the best.

Even though EVGA has been with NVIDIA since the RIVA TNT2 days in 1999, the GPU giant probably couldn’t care less as they can still count on their other “partners” to fill in the hole.

 

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Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

The Biden Administration is planning to hit China with more restrictions on chip supplies, as well as chipmaking technology!

 

Biden To Hit China With More Chip Restrictions!

Sources familiar with the matter just revealed to Channel News Asia that the Biden Administration plans to hit China with more more restrictions on chip supplies, as well as chipmaking technology.

In September 2022, the US Commerce Department intends to publish new regulations for the semiconductor industry, based on :

  • restrictions that earlier applied only to KLA Corporation, Lam Research Corporation, and Applied Material Incorporated.
  • restrictions that were recently enforced on AMD and NVIDIA

The first three US companies received letters from the US Commerce Department, explicitly forbidding them from exporting chipmaking equipment to Chinese factories that produce sub-14 nanometer semiconductors without special export licences.

AMD and NVIDIA, on the other hand, received letters informing them that they were now banned from selling high-performance AI chips to China (as well as Russia) without special export licences.

On top of those restrictions, the US Commerce Department will likely impose additional chip restrictions on China.

The US Chamber of Commerce claims last week that the Commerce Department plans to add more Chinese supercomputing entities to a trade blacklist.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

Why Biden Is Introducing More Chip Restrictions On China

The US Commerce Department issued those 5 companies the so-called “is informed” letters to quickly impose restrictions without going through the lengthy rule-writing process, but they would only apply to companies that receive them.

That leaves open the possibility for other companies to bypass those restrictions, or offer comparable chips or technologies to the Chinese as an alternative.

For example, NVIDIA is banned from selling their A100 artificial intelligence chips to Chinese companies. However, China can still purchase servers containing NVIDIA A100 chips from Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Super Micro Computer.

Hence, the new regulations serve to codify those restrictions and apply them across the board, preventing those chips and technologies from “leaking” to China.

As a general rule, we look to codify any restrictions that are in is-informed letters with a regulatory change.
– Senior US Commerce Department official

The Biden Administration has also reached out to US allies to lobby them into enacting similar restrictions, to prevent China from obtaining critical chips and technologies through other sources.

This move comes after the US Congress voted to pass the historic CHIPS and Science Act, which not only provides semiconductor companies with billions of dollars of funding, but also blocks them from building advanced chip fabs in China.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

The Biden Administration appears to be more cognisant than the Trump Administration of the risks of permitting China continued access to advanced semiconductors and chipmaking technologies.

The Chinese government has become very belligerent and aggressive in the South China Sea, and cutting access to advanced chips will reduce its ability to build more advanced missiles like the Dong-Feng 21 (DF-21) and the YJ-12.

China is also a source of chips that Russia desperately needs to build its own advanced missiles, so these rules would also prevent that possibility.

By blocking China’s access to advanced chips, the hope is that it will preclude hostilities from breaking out in Asia, and force an earlier and better conclusion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

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Google Pixelbook Is Dead, But Chromebook Lives On!

Google just cancelled their next Pixelbook, and dissolved the team behind it, but don’t worry – the Chromebook lives on!

 

Google Kills Pixelbook + Dissolves Team

Google just cancelled the next-generation Pixelbook laptop that was supposed to debut next year. They also dissolved the team developing it, and transferred its members to other teams.

This sudden decision came after Google said in May 2022 that it planned to continue its Pixelbook laptop business.

Then in July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he wanted to slow down hiring and cut some projects :

In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes. In other cases, that means pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas.

It looks like Google decided that their next Pixelbook would be a waste of resources, and killed it to shift their resources elsewhere.

 

Google Pixelbook Is Dead, But Chromebook Lives On!

While there will no longer be a new Pixelbook laptop in 2023, that does not mean Google has given up on ChromeOS or Chromebook laptops.

In fact, Google likely canned their Pixelbook project because their OEM partners are doing a great job of producing a plethora of good or even great Chromebook laptops.

As Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh pointed out at Google I/O 2022 in May, the Chromebook market had matured and would last a long time.

Google have always developed hardware as a way to push the envelope, and to show its partners what can be achieved. It doesn’t benefit Google to directly compete with its partners.

Now that OEM partners like Acer, Lenovo and HP are offering Chromebook laptops in a wide range of price points and configurations, it just doesn’t make sense for Google to muddle the market with a new Pixelbook.

 

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Japan To FINALLY Kill Off Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

Japan is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century – its government has FINALLY decided to kill off floppy disks!

 

Japan Is Still Using Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

Most of the world began transitioning from floppy disks to USB flash drives and rewritable CDs (yes, they exist!) in the late 1990s.

By the 2000s, floppy disk sales tanked globally … except in Japan, where they continued to thrive.

That’s partly because government agencies in Japan continue to require data to be submitted using floppy disks or CD-ROM.

So while the world moved to USB flash drives capable of storing gigabytes of data, Japan remained loyal to floppy disk with its storage capacity of 1.44 MB or 2.88 MB.

Today, Japan is arguably the only country in the world where kids do not stare blankly if you mention “floppy disk”.

 

Japan To FINALLY Kill Off Floppy Disks + CD-ROM!

On 31 August 2022, Taro Kono – the Minister of Digital Transformation of Japan, announced that the government will rewrite rules requiring the use of floppy disks or CD-ROM.

This is part of the Japanese government’s plan to introduce a national identification number for its citizens, called MyNumber.

MyNumber will be the lynchpin for many of the Japanese government’s future digital services, and will require significant amounts of data to be uploaded to its online databases.

That was when Kono’s department found more than 1,900 regulations regulating how data should be shared with the government, and many of them required the use of floppy disks or CD-ROMs. Even worse – uploading data over the Internet was forbidden for security reasons.

So the Ministry of Digital Transformation will have to fix these regulations before both the Japanese government and its citizens can rid themselves of 1970s-era technology once and for all.

Digital Minister declares a war on floppy discs. There are about 1900 government procedures that requires business community to use discs, i. e. floppy disc, CD, MD, etc to submit applications and other forms. Digital Agency is to change those regulations so you can use online.

But updating those old regulations is only part of the solution. Kono still has to deal with poor digital literacy, as well as the bureaucratic and conservative culture in Japan which are obstacles to its digital transformation.

Some Japanese government officials continue to insist that floppy disks offer a degree of security and authenticity that an email just cannot. Yoichi Ono – a Tokyo official – claimed in 2021 that floppy disks “almost never broke or lost data”.

That is not true, as many tech old-timers who had to put up with a corrupt disk or two in a multi-disk installation can attest to. But it speaks to the great reluctance in many Japanese organisations to do away with old tech.

Unbelievably, many Japanese companies and government agencies continue to rely significantly on an even older technology from the past – the fax machine.

I’m looking to get rid of the fax machine, and I still plan to do that,” Kano told a news conference this week.

He will be fighting against hundreds of government officials who claim that “banishing fax machines would be impossible” because of “security of sensitive information” and “anxiety over the communication environment (email)”.

I wish Minister Kono all the best in his attempt to drag Japan into the 21st century.

 

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AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

Both AMD and NVIDIA have just been banned from selling high-performance AI chips to both China and Russia!

Here is what you need to know…

 

AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China + Russia!

On Friday, 26 August 2022, NVIDIA and AMD were both ordered by the US government to stop exporting high-performance AI chips to both China and Russia.

In its regulatory filing to the SEC, NVIDIA stated that the US government introduced this ban to prevent them from being used for military purposes, or by the Chinese or Russian military.

The ban uses the A100 Tensor Core GPU as the baseline for NVIDIA, and the 3rd Gen Instinct MI250 accelerator chip for AMD.

Effective immediately, anything equal to, or faster than, the NVIDIA A100 or the AMD Instinct MI250 can no longer be exported to either China or Russia. That includes the upcoming H100 chip.

On August 26, 2022, the U.S. government, or USG, informed NVIDIA Corporation, or the Company, that the USG has imposed a new license requirement, effective immediately, for any future export to China (including Hong Kong) and Russia of the Company’s A100 and forthcoming H100 integrated circuits.

DGX or any other systems which incorporate A100 or H100 integrated circuits and the A100X are also covered by the new license requirement.

The license requirement also includes any future NVIDIA integrated circuit achieving both peak performance and chip-to-chip I/O performance equal to or greater than thresholds that are roughly equivalent to the A100, as well as any system that includes those circuits. A license is required to export technology to support or develop covered products.

The USG indicated that the new license requirement will address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, a ‘military end use’ or ‘military end user’ in China and Russia. The Company does not sell products to customers in Russia.

I should point out that the NVIDIA A100 was launched two years ago – on June 22, 2020, while the AMD Instinct MI250 was introduced on November 8, 2021.

So it appears that the US government wants to maintain at least a 1-year advantage in high-performance AI chips.

 

AMD, NVIDIA Set To Lose Billions From AI Chip Sales To China!

Both AMD and NVIDIA stopped selling chips to Russia, after the invasion of Ukraine, so there is no material loss from such a ban on sales to Russia.

However, they both stand to lose billions of dollars worth of sales to China. NVIDIA alone estimates that the ban will affect US$400 million of sales, just in the third fiscal quarter.

Even more worrying was the likelihood that this ban may delay the H100 chip’s launch, and force NVIDIA to move “certain operations” out of China.

The new license requirement may impact the Company’s ability to complete its development of H100 in a timely manner or support existing customers of A100 and may require the Company to transition certain operations out of China.

AMD however claims that the ban will not have a material impact on its business, because shipments of its less powerful MI100 chips are not affected.

At this time, we do not believe that shipments of MI100 integrated circuits are impacted by the new requirements.

We do not currently believe it is a material impact on our business.

Both AMD and NVIDIA will now have to discuss with their customers in China on using alternative (less powerful) chips, or obtaining special licenses from the US government.

 

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HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei just warned of tough times ahead, and called for his company to go into survival mode!

Here is what you need to know…

 

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Warns Of Tough Times!

On 22 August 2022, HUAWEI founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei posted a memo on its internal network, stating that “The entire company’s business policy should shift from the pursuit of expansion to the pursuit of profit and cash flow“.

In Ren’s opinion, the global economy will continue to decline and be in the doldrums for the next ten years, putting HUAWEI under great pressure.

He also said that it is unclear if HUAWEI can survive the 2023-2024 financial year, partially blaming its woes on a “continued blockade” by Western countries.

Therefore, he says HUAWEI must focus on its own survival, and shift from expanding to pursuing profit and improving cash flow over the next 3 years. To that end, the CEO said that HUAWEI will completely abandon its business in certain countries.

The HUAWEI CEO also said that the “chill” in business sentiment to be passed down to HUAWEI employees, linking their bonuses and promotions to business results. In addition, he called for responsibilities to be consolidated, which sounds like euphemism for job cuts.

This alarming memo by its CEO comes after HUAWEI – China’s largest company – saw revenue decline by 14% in the first three months of 2022, with its profit margin narrowing to 4.3% from 11.1% just a year ago.

The HUAWEI CEO appears to believe that China will experience a much longer and persistent economic slowdown spreading far beyond the current collapse of its real estate sector.

It is surprising to note that Chinese censors has not removed the memo, which suggests the HUAWEI CEO has enough clout to speak openly. His memo went viral on Chinese social media, and has been discussed and shared by more than 100 million Chinese netizens.

Recommended : Can HUAWEI Phones Get Free Calls + Internet From BeiDou?

 

HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei Tough Times Memo : Key Points

Here are the key points from HUAWEI CEO Ren Zhengfei’s “tough times” memo, machine-translated from NetEase:

Live with quality in the next three years

We have to see the difficulties faced by the company and the difficulties in the future. The next ten years should be a very painful historical period, and the global economy will continue to decline. Now, due to the impact of the war and the continued blockade and suppression by the United States, the world’s economy is unlikely to improve in the next 3 to 5 years. Coupled with the impact of the epidemic, there should be no bright spot in the world. Then the consumption power will be greatly reduced, which will not only put pressure on the supply, but also the pressure on the market.

Under such circumstances, Huawei’s overly optimistic expectations about the future will be lowered. In 2023 and even 2025, we must take survival as the main program to survive, and survive with quality. This slogan is very good. Every business must be carried out carefully.

If we have a little bit of hope in 2025 as planned, then we must first find a way to get through these three difficult years, and the basis of survival must be adjusted to focus on cash flow and real profits, not just sales revenue. The respite period of our life is 2023 and 2024. We are still not sure whether we can break through in these two years, so every mouth should not tell stories, but must talk about realization, especially when conducting business forecasts, do not No more illusions, telling stories to deceive the company, losses will be deducted from your food package, first of all, you must survive, and if you survive, you will have a future.

Blind investment business to shrink

The 2023 budget should maintain a reasonable pace, blind expansion, and blind investment in businesses should shrink or close.

The entire company must use the budget effectively, and cannot blindly close all projects. The manpower saved will go to the front line, continue to optimize the organization’s business, rationally staff the ICT infrastructure, or our black land granary. Competitive complex hardware platforms and complex software platforms, and the projects that hang on to ride on them must be picked out. The legion is to build a basic information platform and sell ICT better. The infrastructure is not for the ecology. The terminal is the foundation for our rise and breakthrough in the future, but it should not be blind. Now we need to narrow the front lines, concentrate our troops to fight the war of annihilation, and increase profits.

Huawei cloud computing should focus on supporting Huawei’s business development in a down-to-earth manner, and take the road of supporting the industrial Internet. Digital energy has increased investment in the strategic opportunity window, created greater value, contracted institutions, and strengthened combat teams. Smart car solutions cannot be rolled out on a complete front. It is necessary to reduce the research budget, strengthen the business closed loop, and take a modular approach to R&D, focusing on a few key components to be competitive, and the rest can be connected to others.

In addition to the main goal of continuous investment for survival and profitability, businesses that cannot generate value and profits in the next few years should be scaled down or closed, and human and material resources should be concentrated on the main channel. We must face the reality and not be too far away. The great ideal is to cut through the mess quickly, and the surplus personnel will be adjusted to the strategic reserve team, and then they will be combined into reasonable positions to grab food.

The peripheral business must be taken out of the strategic core. After the marginal business is taken out, we first evaluate whether it can be done well and how much resources are needed to do it well. If it is not possible to do a business with huge resource consumption, it is better to open it up and let others do it after closing it. We must do it, and if we do not do well enough, we will reorganize the combat team and change cadres. If there are some windows of opportunity, we expand the strategic resource pool of strategic reserve teams and cadres and experts, and form commandos to attack in the window of opportunity.

Adhere to seeking truth from facts, and shrinking in the market must be firm. We used to embrace the ideal of globalization and aspire to serve all mankind. What is our ideal now? Survive and earn a little wherever you have money. From this perspective, we need to adjust the market structure and study what can be done and what should be abandoned.

Give up part of the market

The first focus is on value market value customers, and the main force is used in the middle section of the normal distribution curve. In some countries, we completely give up in the market. We also have a fat meat market, and the people who used to eat bones are transferred to eat fat meat.

Second, for hard-fought countries and regions, as an assessment and training base for new cadres to be promoted in the future, some countries have low output. Although we still have to do it, should we no longer send soldiers to guard the top of the snow, because he will still be a soldier after he comes down? Xueshan Mountain is a test of people, and potential new cadres will have the opportunity to be promoted to army commander. Because it is easy to integrate a small country, he calculates from the estimated budget, contract, tender delivery, working hour quota, and the solution is all done together. When I came back, I passed 5 and 6 on the cadre’s resume and passed the threshold of 11 generals in one day. Of course, some employees have been on the frontier for a long time, and their incomes have decreased when they return to China. There is also the issue of children going to school.

Third, employees returning from overseas should have priority in obtaining skills training and job opportunities. Employees returning from overseas must have a period of protection to protect them from their posts and ensure that they receive certain training. The skills of personnel in difficult countries may be worse than those in China, because they do not have a realistic combat environment. How can they improve? Just like a soldier on the plateau, although he stood very high, he did not absorb any cosmic energy. They paid the price. They could not take the exam as soon as they returned to China, and then they were eliminated. No one wanted to go to such difficult areas, so we have to It is guaranteed that the returning employees have job arrangements and a relaxed study time. As for his ability to catch up during this period, it is another matter.

Financial planning needs to be done for cash flow. In times of crisis, the main purpose is to make blood. Although we say that it will improve in 2025, what if there are no shells by then? So that’s a wonderful plan, we have safe food measures.

The company has two major expenditures to distribute dividends to employees, including wage stability, which is to enhance internal confidence and cohesion, and repayment of loans to banks, which is to enhance the society’s trust in us. For projects that already have obvious potential risks, don’t have any illusions, and surface them as soon as possible, let the audit come to a conclusion, and quantify the risks. At the same time, it is still possible to continue to manage these assets that have been eliminated. Through management, risks can be turned into appropriate returns. We should not have a bubble in our hearts. When we look at the report, we will be very determined, but we will not actually be able to make money. to the money.

Let the chill pass to everyone

Consolidate responsibilities, and link bonuses, promotions and promotions to business results, so that the cold will be passed on to everyone.

First, in this year’s and next year’s assessment, the weight of cash flow and profit should be increased. It is better for sales revenue to decline a bit, but profit and cash flow to increase. The bonus for operating profit growth should be a little more, so as to encourage everyone to compete for profits.

Second, each responsibility center signs the assessment responsibility letter. The company should aim at the KPI-based reciprocal reward mechanism. The normal promotion and upgrading will remain unchanged next year, but the link with the equivalence of responsibility should be strengthened, which makes people feel cold year after year. , but we need to be patient and enthusiastic in our transition. I once told the executive board that the basic salary framework should not be changed. This is a rigid indicator, but if the employees are excellent, they can be promoted and upgraded, and the bonus can be very flexible. Why is it elastic? Encourage everyone to go to the battlefield to grab food, the front line is different from the agency.

Third, the bonuses of various businesses this year must widen the gap, and it is absolutely not allowed to force everyone to achieve the short-term goal of grabbing food. In the past, the company’s policy was basically to settle things down. Everyone didn’t feel the cold in winter. Everyone covered the quilt, but it was a little thicker and thinner. At the end of this year, businesses with more profit and cash flow will have more bonuses, and businesses that cannot create value will have very low bonuses. They don’t even force the business to commit suicide and pass on the cold.

At present, we have to survive, not to fight for our ideals. The legion competition is the year-end bonus, because the bonus is not given by the company, but the profit earned by the legion itself, and part of it is handed over to the company. If we cannot earn food, we must dare to Bonuses are not given because the basic income of the employees covers the necessities of life. Of course, some strategic businesses cannot create value in the short term, which we can determine through evaluation, but many marginal businesses with poor performance must be cut off. This is adjustment, consolidation, enrichment, and improvement.

Invest at all costs at the point of survival crisis

Quality is the primary productive force. We must adhere to this line. R&D must be responsible for the quality and performance of products, and we promise that service experts must have comprehensive capabilities. Poor quality products are a shame for R&D personnel. This sentence should be posted on On the wall of the R&D office area of ​​the R&D office, the rate of network failures around the world is getting higher and higher, and an accident may destroy the trust system of the entire market.

100-1=0, for our research and development, the research and development of single boards, the research and development of single devices, and the research and development of systems must put quality first. Quality is the best support guarantee for R&D and manufacturing personnel to market service personnel. If the quality of the product is not good, it is equivalent to letting the brothers brave the hail of bullets, ice and snow, hot and sweltering heat, and the new crown virus is charging on the front line. Therefore, we need to establish a reverse assessment mechanism. The first-line reverse assessment should not only assess the service organization of the agency, but also extend to the product line. If the quality is not good in the office, then the front line should be narrowed and the competitiveness should be improved.

We need to improve the status of the service system, and service experts must have a comprehensive ability to judge the network experience of accidents. In the past, we paid more attention to R&D than service, but now we also need to pay attention to the service system.

Reasonable, scientific and reasonable control of inventory. We must change from panic-stricken self-rescue in the past to high-quality self-rescue. We must pay attention to reducing inventory reasonably, and do not cause insufficient profits and tight cash flow of the company due to excessive inventory, which constitutes our new crisis. We can invest at all costs on strategic key opportunities and existential crises, but we cannot spend money on non-strategic opportunities.

 

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US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

The US aims to block the construction of new advanced chip fabs in China and countries of concern like Russia.

Here is what you need to know…

 

US To Fund Building Of Advanced Chip Fabs!

The US Congress just passed the historic CHIPS and Science Act (HR 4346) – a massive $280 billion bill designed to bolster innovation and tech hubs in the United States.

The legislation passed with a Senate vote of 64-33, and a House vote of 243-187, approving :

  • $76 billion of funding to revive and boost chip production in the United States
  • $81 billion for the National Science Foundation over 5 years, for research, equipment and STEM education
  • Almost $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology

TSMC, Intel and Samsung are expected to benefit from the billions of dollars of funding, which would subsidise their construction of new advanced chip fabs in the United States.

Read more : AMD, NVIDIA Banned From Selling AI Chips To China!

 

US To Block New Advanced Chip Fabs In China!

There is however a big caveat in the legislation that the White House is expected to sign – any company that receives funding will be barred from building new advanced chip fabs in China and other countries of concern, like Russia.

The CHIPS and Sciences Act specifically bars companies that receive federal funding from “materially expanding” production of chips more advanced than 28 nanometres (28 nm) in countries of concern like China and Russia, for 10 years.

28 nm chips are not state-of-art, with production first starting more than 10 years ago – in 2011. However, they are still used in many applications, and China is free to keep producing these chips.

This move though will essentially limit development of advanced chips in China, by blocking foreign chipmakers from investing in more advanced fabs.

Intel had earlier lobbied hard against this move. In late 2021, Intel wanted to expand production in China but was pressured to sell its Dalian wafer plant to South Korea’s SK Hynix. Intel now only has chip packaging and testing facilities in China.

But that changed, and now Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is a big proponent of the bill, even suggesting that it might forego building its Ohio mega fab and shift it to Europe if the legislation did not pass.

Read more : China Bans Taiwan Food Over Pelosi, But Not Chips!

Currently, the only semiconductor companies investing in fabs in China are Samsung and TSMC. So if they choose to accept US funding, both companies will have to stop building fabs that can produce chips that are more advanced than 28 nm.

Of the potential recipients of US funding, TSMC is the only company making relatively advanced chips in China. Its Nanjing fabs currently make 28 nm and more advanced 16 nm chips.

Unless TSMC spurns US funding, it won’t be able to invest in more advanced fabs in China. This will force China to rely on its own SMIC to develop more advanced chipmaking technologies.

While SMIC has had some success with a 7nm process using older DUV technology, it came at the expense of yield and chip complexity.

Unless China is somehow able to develop its own EUV technology, it’s pretty much end game for more advanced chip production in China… for ten years.

Read more : Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

 

US Quietly Expands Chip Equipment Ban To Fabs In China

In addition to the looming CHIPS Act, the US government also expanded its ban on the sale of machines for fabricating advanced chips.

The US government had earlier banned the sale of tools that allow China to manufacture chips at 10 nm or smaller. That ban was just extended to include tools that would allow the manufacture of chips 14 nm or smaller.

American equipment makers like LAM Research and KLA Corp. have received letters about this expanded ban, which appears to be limited to logic chips (like computer processors), but not memory chips.

According to the US Commerce Department, the move was meant to impair China’s ability to manufacture advanced chips :

The Biden Administration is focused on impairing PRC efforts to manufacture advanced semiconductors to address significant national security risks to the United States.

However, this move appears to be merely officiating what is already being practiced – the US Commerce Department had already declined many licences to sell 14nm fab equipment.

The Biden Administration is also pushing the Netherlands and Japan to ban ASML Holdings NV and Nikon Corp from selling advanced chip making equipment to China.

 

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China Bans Taiwan Food Over Pelosi, But Not Chips!

China just banned food imports over 100 Taiwanese companies right before US Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, but unsurprisingly not microchips!

Here is what you need to know…

 

China Bans Taiwan Food Products Over Pelosi!

While US Speaker Nancy Pelosi was flying to Taiwan from Malaysia, the General Administration of Customs for China announced an import ban on food products from over 100 Taiwanese companies.

Of those 100 Taiwanese companies, 35 are exporters of biscuits and pastries, including famous Taiwanese companies like Kuo Yuan Ye Corp (郭元益), Yu Jan Shin (裕珍馨), Kuai Kuai Co (乖乖), Imei Foods Co (義美食品), Chiate Bakery (佳德) and Kuang Ta Hsiang Foodstuffs Co (廣達香).

The other companies exported food products like tea, honey and seafood. Of the 3,200 Taiwanese food products registered for export to China, 2,066 (64.6%) had their imports suspended.

Officially, Beijing says that the blacklisted companies failed to renew their export registration, and can only sell their products until the end of August 2022.

However, the late night announcement, and the fact that only Taiwanese exporters are required to file their registration documents by June 2022, instead of June 2023 like exporters from other countries; strongly suggest that this move was motivated by Pelosi’s visit.

 

China May Ban Taiwan Food Over Pelosi, But Not Chips!

Despite the dramatic late night announcement, this move was relatively benign as the banned exports only make up 0.1% or US$650 million of Taiwan’s total exports.

Last year, Taiwan exported US$44 million worth of pastries to China, but that fell to only US$10 million during the first half of 2022.

Seafood exports to China were more substantial at US$280 million, but tea exports were just under US$32 million, and honey exports was a minuscule US$35,000.

On the other hand, China does not dare to ban the import of Taiwanese microchips or electronics, because it has grown reliant on them.

After the US imposed sanctions on Chinese chipmakers in 2018, China increased imports of Taiwanese memory chips by a whopping 57% in just 3 years!

In fact, Taiwanese exports to China surged by 24.8% to an all-time high of US$188.9 billion in 2021, largely due to high demand for their computer chips.

No matter what their Wolf Warriors may threaten, China is still too reliant on Taiwan for high-end semiconductors to really threaten its supply, and it is not ready to invade Taiwan with a realistic chance of success.

By targeting only a small portion of relatively inconsequential Taiwanese imports, China is just slapping Taiwan on the wrist.

The Taiwanese should play along and moan like they have been mortally wounded to give China some face, so it can (gracefully) retreat from the uncomfortable corner it back itself into.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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