Always Be Curious #182: Intel's Siliconomy, China's 'EUV cannon', and professor Barbie Oppenheimer
This week in ABC: Intel Innovation launched the "Siliconomy" and loads of innovation, China wants a "lithographic cannon", and there's a retired Boston professor called Barbie Oppenheimer. No kidding.
This week marked Intel’s premier tech event, Intel Innovation, so you’ll find a lot of coverage about them below. ✨ The event can basically be summed up with this quote by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger:
"There are three types of chip manufacturers. You're big, you're niche or you're dead. Intel is way too big to be niche, so we'd better be really big."
📰 Some key news from Intel Innovation:
The company spotlighted its “Meteor Lake” generation, the first consumer chiplet built on the new Intel 4 process ☄️
The labels for upcoming chip generations will be as follows: Meteor (2023), Arrow (2024), Lunar (2024?), and Panther (2025). 🤓
Intel is transitioning to chips that sit on a bed of glass instead of organic resin, giving it more room to pack transistors and better performance.
In other news, I celebrated ABC’s 3000th subscriber (hello Jesse! I should make merchandise and send it to you or something 😎) with this post on LinkedIn, which included some humbling data that makes me incredibly proud:
📬 I’ve now published 182 editions since December 2019
📊 ABC has 3,100 subscribers and is growing faster then ever before
📈 My ABC posts on LinkedIn have reached 2 million people over the last 90 days
🌍 ABC is read across 82 countries and 34 US states
📍 Most ABC readers are located in The Netherlands, the US, Germany and India
⚙️ ABC is read by engineers at ASML, TSMC, Apple, Intel Corporation, imec, GlobalFoundries, and more
🎓 ABC is read by students and researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Princeton University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University and more
💰 ABC is read by analysts at Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, Yole Group and more
Have a good week, stay safe and sound,
Thanks for reading Always Be Curious! Subscribe for free and join the curious clan on Sunday mornings. ☕️🥐
👨💻The round-up in sci-tech💡
Changing the color of light supercharges solar energy, 3D printing, and night vision.
Who run the world? 💃 The world-famous biochemist is ready to tackle everything from immune disorders and mental illness to climate change—all by altering microbes in the digestive tract.
This year’s awards (which are often thought to foreshadow Nobel Prizes) were given to scientists who helped doctors see the retina and used artificial intelligence to predict the shapes of cellular proteins.
“The retina is not much thicker than a strand of hair, but it has 10 internal layers,” said Dr. David Huang, an ophthalmologist at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University who helped to invent the method.
Google DeepMind has used its technology to identify parts of human DNA that might cause diseases.
Jupiter’s moon Europa is one of a handful of worlds in our Solar System that could potentially harbour conditions suitable for life. Previous research has shown that beneath its water-ice crust lies a salty ocean of liquid water with a rocky seafloor. However, planetary scientists had not confirmed whether or not that ocean contained the chemicals needed for life, particularly carbon.
The company hopes to help people with paralysis move a cursor, or type, using its brain implant.
The U.S. military hopes AI drone swarms will be able to work together to carry out offensive missions with little human input. A language called Droidish might be the key.
A doctoral thesis by American investigative journalist and post-doctoral researcher Jacob Appelbaum, written to earn a degree in applied cryptography from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, has revealed unpublished information from the Snowden archives. Appelbaum’s work indicates how the NSA listed Cavium, an American semiconductor company, as a successful example of a "SIGINT-enabled" CPU supplier. Cavium, now owned by Marvell, said it does not implement back doors for any government.
Brazilian engineer Luiz André Barroso, who ripped up the rulebook at Google, has died. His radical ideas for data centers laid the foundations for cloud computing.
On their mission to seek out new life, scientists have named three new spider species Kirk, Spock and McCoy — after characters from the original “Star Trek” series.
🤓This week in chips⚠
Intel says its new glass substrate will help the company create more powerful processors with better production yields. The manufacturing tech should arrive later this decade.
Meteor Lake PC processors arrive in December, but a few weeks later, Intel will begin building its first 2025 processors, code-named Panther Lake. "We look at the aggregate capability that we're delivering between those three, and we think these platforms get very competitive, the best that Mac or anybody else offers," CEO Pat Gelsinger said. "We're feeling very, very good about the road map."
"You can definitely tell there is a vibe again that Intel is an engineering-led company again," CCS Insight analyst James Sanders said. "That's the image they need to portray after years being run by accountants."
The Intel marketing team dropped another beauty. The Siliconomy. 🔥
“Processing power isn’t just for computers anymore. The Siliconomy is everywhere. It’s inside everything. And, like the silicon processor that makes it all possible — it all starts with Intel.”
Intel is moving its processors to a new foundation to try to keep up with exploding demand for new computing horsepower.
Top U.S. chipmaker takes critical step in battle against TSMC and Samsung.
Intel unveils Meteor Lake architecture: Intel 4 heralds the disaggregated future of mobile CPUs (Anandtech)
Intel's Meteor Lake marks the beginning of a new era for the chipmaker, as they move away from the chaotic Intel 7 node and go into a rollout of their Foveros 3D packaging with EUV lithography for their upcoming client mobile platform. Meteor Lake uses a tiled, disaggregated chiplet architecture for its client-centric processors for the first time, changing the very nature of Intel's consumer chips going forward.
Tom;s Hardware toured Intel's Malaysian facilities.
“Following some changes in Intel’s process roadmap – in particular Intel 18A being pulled in because it was ahead of schedule – Intel’s plans for the next-generation EUV machines. Intel will now only be using the machines with their 18A node as part of their development and validation work of the new machines; production use of High-NA machines will now come on Intel’s post-18A node.”
The company set out to design a silicon chip that would allow it to cut ties with Qualcomm, a longtime supplier and bitter foe.
🇺🇸 ‘Mind-boggling’ machines are headed for Micron’s Clay fabs, and so are the world’s top chip suppliers (Syracuse.com)
ASML, the Dutch company that's the ‘heartbeat’ of the semiconductor industry, plans to bring employees to the Central NY project.
The production of 7-nm silicon by SMIC has crossed a red line set by the U.S. government to keep China stalled at the 14-nm node.
China is exploring the use of a new extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source in making its own lithography facility but technology experts said such an ambitious goal may take many years to achieve. Meanwhile, the bots on X and WeChat are doing their magic with this headline.
📈By the numbers📉
Nvidia will likely become the largest semiconductor company for the year 2023. Semiconductor Intelligence estimates Nvidia’s total 2023 revenue will be about $52.9 billion, passing previous number one Intel at an estimated $51.6 billion.
Investors fretting that Nvidia’s massive stock buyback allocation would leave it short of funds for vital research and development should take heart from the chipmaker’s swelling free cash flow.
The latest MLPerf inferencing benchmarks include Nvidia’s Grace Hopper superchip
❤️For the love of tech❤️
👩🏻🏫 For Barbie Oppenheimer, retired longtime Boston University speech pathologist, it’s been a Summer to remember (Boston University)
Two blockbuster movies spawned the term “Barbenheimer,” and suddenly the Newton grandmother is a phenomenon. 🤣
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.