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Always Be Curious #179: India lands on the Moon, Arm to go public, and NVIDIA's boom
This week in ABC: India puts a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon, Arm files for its IPO, and NVIDIA is making money. Lots of money.
This week, British chip design company Arm submitted the paperwork to plan its initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. 📄 It’s unclear when and at what price per share the company will go public, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be a big deal. That’s because chips that use Arm’s licensed architecture are everywhere. The company itself estimates that its technology was used in more than 250 billion chips since 1985, with the outlook of hitting the 1 trillion mark sometime in the future. So where did this company come from? And why is it in such a sweet spot in the chip industry? 👇
At 3 PM on Friday 26 April 1985, a team of engineers flipped a switch to turn their prototype “ARM1” chip on. After 6 grueling man-years of design effort, the team had managed to cram 25,000 transistors onto silicon before integrating it on a circuit board. But to their shock, the engineers did not read any power on their Ampere meters. Was their chip not working? The team quickly found the root cause: the circuit board was the culprit, shorting due to a design flaw. Their chip was actually fine. In fact, their chip was more than fine: it was working an engineering feat. It turned out that the ARM1 was operating entirely off the power leakage from the faulty circuit board. In other words, it needed absolutely minimal power supply to operate. This milestone set the stage for the company Arm’s secret weapon and future success: to be the kings of low-power chip architectures. As the electronics age took off in earnest in the 1990s and 2000s with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, the Arm architecture set the benchmark for many electronic devices that we take for granted today.
If you’re intrigued by Arm’s story and want to know more, check out The Everything Blueprint by James Ashton. You can read it on Kindle now or buy it in print from 26 September. I can highly recommend it!
Have a good week, stay safe and sound,
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👨💻The round-up in sci-tech💡
India has become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon.
Commercial sensors will be reliable, tiny, and affordable.
♻️ This startup has engineered a clever way to reuse waste heat from cloud computing (MIT Technology Review)
Heata is now using these busy servers to heat water for homes.
Warnock co-founded Adobe in 1982 and fundamentally changed the way we work. Thanks to my colleague Peter van den Hurk for sharing this article with me!
💬 ElevenLabs comes out of beta and releases Eleven Multilingual v2 - a foundational AI speech model for nearly 30 languages (ElevenLabs)
With Eleven Multilingual v2, when text is inputted to the ElevenLabs text-to-speech platform, the new model can automatically identify nearly 30 written languages and generate speech in them with an unprecedented level of authenticity.
🤓This week in chips⚠
In an interview, the chip maker’s chairman, Mark Liu, explained why TSMC’s top tech would stay in Taiwan, despite growing threats from China and worries from the United States.
Arm's IPO could be important for the whole industry.
As it seeks to pull off what could be the largest initial public offering of the year, Arm Holdings Ltd. spent more than 3,500 words explaining the risks it faces in China, a critical market that accounts for about a quarter of its revenue.
🇳🇱 “De machines van ASML zijn de meest complexe gereedschappen die de mensheid ooit heeft gemaakt” (Financieele Dagblad)
The FD interviewed author Chris Miller, who talks about ASML.
To power artificial-intelligence products, start-ups and investors are taking extraordinary measures to obtain critical chips known as graphics processing units, or GPUs.
The most visible winner of the artificial intelligence boom achieved its dominance by becoming a one-stop shop for A.I. development, from chips to software to other services.
In the film above, Asionometry dives into ASML’s High-NA and Hyper-NA lithography. And in this op-ed on SemiEngineering, Harry Levinson (former senior director of lithography at GlobalFoundries) explains why he thinks High-NA EUV is necessary, when it's coming, and what still needs to be done.
Samsung is going against the grain.
TSMC and Philips have deep historical ties. In fact, TSMC may not have existed without Philips.
On August 12, 1981, Phillip “Don” Estridge announced the IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150) with a price tag of $1,565. It revolutionized the way the world did business. One year later, the IBM PC earned Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” award.
First Full Loop silicon begins to run in Fab 34, a key step toward ramping full production silicon.
China has the world’s second-largest computing capacity, but leaders see its expansion is seen as necessary to boost the nation’s digital economy and ward off Washington’s tech curbs.
📈By the numbers📉
🤯 Nvidia tops estimates and says sales will jump 170% this quarter, driven by demand for AI chips (CNBC)
Revenue in the second quarter doubled from $6.7 billion a year earlier and increased 88% from the prior period.
The world's 50 most valuable companies represent over $25 trillion in market cap. ASML makes the list!
❤️For the love of tech❤️
Two studies report considerable improvements in technologies designed to help people with facial paralysis to communicate.
Always Be Curious is the personal newsletter of Sander Hofman, Senior Creative Content Strategist at ASML. Opinions expressed in this curated newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.