Intel pursues Moore’s Law with plan to make first 7-nm chips this year

Intel fab worker

Credit: Intel

Intel’s next big Moore’s Law advance will be a 7-nm pilot plant it is establishing this year to explore the upcoming manufacturing process.

The chipmaker announced it was establishing the pilot plant during an earnings call on Thursday.

For decades, Moore’s Law has been the guiding light for Intel to make teenier, faster, and more power-efficient chips. The effort has helped PC makers continuously shrink laptops and mobile devices while adding longer battery life.

Intel is trying to hang onto the long-standing observation as a way to push its chip technology forward. However, some experts argue Moore’s Law is expiring as it becomes physically impossible to cram more features on smaller chips.

The pilot plant will test and iron out kinks in manufacturing 7-nm chips. Intel hasn’t said when it’ll start shipping 7-nm chips in volume, but it won’t be in the next two to three years.

“The pilot line is about figuring out how to make billions of chips,” said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

The pilot plant has limited production, but it sets the stage for Intel to invest billions in larger factories to make smaller 7-nm chips.

“Once they have the process locked down, it’s replicated in the other plants,” McCarron said.

Intel’s latest chips, based on Kaby Lake, are made using the 14-nanometer process, and the company is now moving to 10-nm with its upcoming Cannonlake chip, which was shown in a PC at CES earlier this month. The 7-nm chips will come after the 10-nm process.

Cannonlake chips will ship in small volumes by year-end, and their availability will expand next year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said during the earnings call.

Moore’s Law has also helped Intel roll out new chips on a yearly basis like clockwork. Intel first interpreted Moore’s Law as a way to double the number of transistors in chips every 18 to 24 months, which doubles performance.

But that interpretation didn’t work on the 14-nm process, where it became a challenge to cram more transistors in smaller geometries. Intel dealt with embarrassing product delays and had to move away from its decades-old schedule of advancing the manufacturing process every two years.

Intel also broke away from its history of making two new chip technologies with each manufacturing cycle. It made three new chip technologies — Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake — with the 14-nm process.

The chipmaker now isn’t worried about doubling the transistor count with every new chip generation. Instead, Intel is now interpreting Moore’s Law more in line with the economics related to cost-per-transistor, which would drop with scaling. That’s an important part of Moore’s Law.

Intel last year said it was trying to get back to a two-year manufacturing cycle with the 7-nm process, but with smarter chip designs.

The 7-nm process could bring radical design changes to chips, which will be much smaller and power efficient. Intel’s planning on using exotic III-V materials like gallium-nitride for faster chips that could bring laptops longer battery life.

Intel is looking at the 7-nm process to alleviate some of the challenges it faces on the 14-nm and 10-nm processors. The company has hinted it would introduce EUV (extreme ultraviolet) tools in the manufacturing process. EUV will help etch finer features on chips, but its implementation has been delayed multiple times.

The pilot factory will help validate all those features, and then allow Intel to order equipment for the new factories, McCarron said.

Competitors like Globalfoundries and Samsung are getting a head-start on the 7-nm process. Globalfoundries has said it will start making 7-nm chips by 2018, and ARM has released tools for the design of 7-nm chips. It’s not clear if Globalfoundries will do 7-nm test runs or start making chips in large volumes.

Samsung and Globalfoundries have just started making 10-nm chips like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, which will appear in smartphones soon.

Globalfoundries is a close partner with IBM, which produced the first 7-nm chips last year.

source”cnbc”

Government likely to make annual exams compulsory for students of classes 5 and 8

On Thursday, the government announced that students studying in classes 5 and 8 may have to appear for annual examinations. “Under the CCE framework, schools and respective governments are free to conduct periodic examinations for children of all levels,” said the Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

Representational image

Representational image

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On Thursday, the government announced that students studying in classes 5 and 8 may have to appear for annual examinations. The decision was taken after a survey was done and the findings indicated that there is a need for significant improvement in their learning levels.

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The No Detention Policy

In October, the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) had agreed for amending the ‘no detention policy’ under the RTE Act and allow the state governments to decide on introducing annual examinations for students of classes 5 and 8.

As per the ‘no detention policy’, students up to class 8 are automatically promoted to the next class without being held back even if they do not get a passing grade.

(Read: Delhi: Government launches programme to train school children in saving electricity)

Need for significant improvement

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha told the Rajya Sabha, “According to an annual survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on the learning achievement of children in classes 3, 5, 8 and 10, there is a need for significant improvement in learning levels.”

In a written reply, he said, “The survey also noted that the learning level of children depends on several factors, including socio-economic, socio-geographic, the educational background of the students, availability of basic infrastructure/amenities in schools, availability of trained and competent teachers in the schools and so on.”

Kushwaha cited section 29 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 and said that the schools and respective governments have the liberty to conduct periodic examinations for children of all levels.

Section 29 stipulates that there should be Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) of every child to assess their learning levels and provide additional instruction accordingly. “Under the CCE framework, schools and respective governments are free to conduct periodic examinations for children of all levels,” said the minister.

source”cnbc”

Make education free and compulsory till Class 12: MPs give suggestion on New Education Policy

inisters expressed their concerns about unfilled vacancies, on the issue of languages including Sanskrit, out of school children and also difficulties faced by children belonging to minorities

Make education free and compulsory upto class 12, suggested MPs

Make education free and compulsory upto class 12, suggested MPs

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In a discussion with the Human Resource Development Ministry on New Education Policy, the Member of Parliament (MPs) gave some of the suggestions like make education free and compulsory up to class 12, emphasis on skill-based learning and focusing on the needs of rural India. It is learnt that the ministry may hold another such consultation with more MPs.

Later, addressing an event HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said that over 40 parliamentarians had expressed their views while several gave their suggestions in writing also.

More on the report:

  • It is also learnt that Javadekar have told the Parliamentarians that the draft of the panel led by TSR Subramanian is not final and the government will appoint another committee “headed by an educationist” to draft the NEP
  • Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, initiated the discussion and among others who were present were Satyanarain Jatiya of the BJP, C P Narayanan of the CPI(M), Dhananjay Mahadik of the NCP, Derek O Brien of the TMC, Hussain Dalwai (Cong)
  • Sources said some of the members spoke about their views while others expressed concerns about unfilled vacancies, on the issue of languages including Sanskrit, out of school children and also difficulties faced by children belonging to minorities
  • “Javadekar provided the members with suggestions from time to time and also took suggestions. He also explained that the draft is not ready yet and the suggestions would be considered,” a source said
  • Among other suggestions, the MPs sought installation of CCTVs in schools and colleges to make them more secure, mainstreaming out of school children etc.
  • source”cnbc”

Fats don’t make you fat!

Fats don’t make you fat!Fats don’t make you fat!
Donal O’Neill is an independent documentary filmmaker, who has covered wide arrays of topics related to health and fitness from last six years in his documentaries. Coming from sports family background with no bad habits, bewildered him seeing his loved ones becoming victims of modern diseases. This made him dig deep in to the limitations of medical industry.

Donal’s debut feature length documentary ‘Cereal Killers’ focuses on unhealthy breakfast cereals, which has replaced traditional foods around the globe. Cornflakes were created by mistake, and the reasons to sell them have detrimental repercussions. He adds, “I look at food like ghee in India and sacred foods from other cultures, which have been unfortunately displaced by modern marketing techniques and artificial options like vegetable oil or sunflower oil. We are losing the touch of wisdom from our ancestors, who didn’t need doctors because they never got sick and lived long healthy lives.” Cereals contain high amount of sugar, which is way more than the recommended intake of five teaspoons by World Health Organization.

Nowadays, people prefer cereals in the morning, thinking it’s healthy and takes less time to prepare. But it’s not enough for the body, so they are hungry again in few hours. Instead, a good-fat based meal would solve the problem of overeating. Also, there is a myth to have huge quantities of protein to maintain a healthy diet, but too much can cause some serious damage to the body. Diseases like cancer, osteoporosis and obesity are one of the few issues that are partly caused by high doses of animal protein in certain cases. However, egg is the greatest source of proteins and amino acids. Breakfast is an important meal of the day, as it peps up the entire body to function for the next twelve hours. Two to three eggs or vegetables with coconut oil for breakfast are ideal. To understand processed food that claims to be healthy, one must read the ingredients of the product. And, if it has more than one ingredient, it’s an artificially contrived food like breakfast cereals. All these low fat products have sugars, sweeteners and artificial additives. Imagine having cornflakes, which is high in sugar added with processed low fat milk—a disaster.

Fats are important for the body, but the products all over the world have brainwashed health conscious eaters that fats are bad. According to Donal O’neill fats are good. Especially, fatty acids protect from heart diseases and high blood pressure. And fat doesn’t make you fat! For instance, half bowl of rice with more ghee is much tastier and healthier than full bowl of rice on its own. O’neill says, “People need to understand that fat is not only nourishing, but also much more satiating. Besides fats, protein is the next best option. Whereas, carbohydrates and sugars continually make you hungry, and that’s a big problem today.”

Donal O’neill worked closely with renowned UK’s cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra for his documentary ‘The Big Fat Fix’. Before Donal was on his way to India to embolden Stepathlon’s vision about staying healthy and fit, Dr Malhotra just wanted to share one simple message with India—”Move a bit more, move more often, and rest will follow.” During the research, they found out that people who were active, who moved throughout the day lived longer than others who had a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, Stepathlon did a study on comparison of people then and now. They discovered that men and women who worked throughout the day had a very similar regime to exercises done today; the calorific reward was similar. O’neill adds, “Women use to clean the floors, men use to cut woods in the forest or build things, and they were healthier because it was constant. They didn’t know, they were not thinking about exercise, there were no gyms hundred years ago, people just moved as part of their everyday lives, they were busy doing stuff.”

Cut down rice, and increase vegetable intake. Have more ghee and coconut oil, as it’s filling. Also, coconut flesh is an excellent option. However, doctors and health institutes have scared-off by saying that cholesterol makes a person fat—it’s not true. O’neill adds, “Fat does not make you fat; sugar makes you fat.” Yes, fat does raise the cholesterol. 75 per cent of heart attack, cardiac arrest victims have regular, normal cholesterol levels. As Dr Malhotra says, “We have been looking at it the wrong way.” Coconut is the best component to raise your good cholesterol. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars trying to create a drug to do what a coconut does to cholesterol levels. No one can beat nature.

It is a common practice in India to drink tea or coffee with lots of sugar in it. Imagine the amount of sugar lurking inside the processed foods. Even, to create sugar, the whole process to crystallize it takes away all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibre. In fact, sugary drinks increases hunger pangs and raise blood sugar levels. Not only sugar influences energy levels in the body, but also fizzles out quickly. It’s definitely not a long run option. O’neill asserts, “Coconut water will not do what sugar does to your body. Look over your shoulders for answers. Indian food is sacred.”

For O’neill India is a food paradise. He can’t believe that traditional options like ghee and coconut have been pushed away, and refined foods have taken the centre stage just like anywhere in the world today. It’s sad that India too is leading in to development of Type 2.

Movement is important; it should be part of the lifestyle. Getting up and moving around at least every 45 minutes is a better option than relying on exercises alone. Science has proven that people who move around constantly are healthier than people who exercise, but don’t move around at all. Follow simple activities like getting a glass of water or going to the bathroom.

Education is also depends on good health. A healthy child will perform better than an unhealthy child. O’neill suggests, “If we tell children to drink coconut water before soft drinks that will be tremendous step forward, but parents must lead by example. Concentration of children is very important, sugary and starchy products won’t help with that, but traditional foods absolutely will!” Natural fats like ghee, butter, coconut oil and olive oil, followed by protein—fish, meat and chicken are good sources of rich food. Vegetarians need not worry, as nuts will do the needful to maintain good health, apart from beans, pulses and chickpeas. One gram of protein per kilogram of the body weight is sufficient. Since protein supplements have artificial sweeteners, it’s not an ideal health drink.

O’neill concludes, “Rice and rotis are staple foods in India. Similarly, in Ireland, our staple food is potatoes, which never made someone ill hundred years ago. It is when you start adding processed foods like soft drinks, sugars or breads in to your diet, which adds up to marginal little things to a bad performance within the body. To turn that around you can take small steps to improve your health. Rice is not a nourishing food, but if you take a smaller portion of rice with vegetables cooked in coconut oil or ghee would do the trick.

source”gsmarena”

Make Vedic maths a moral education part of CBSE syllabus: Madhya Pradesh govt recommendation

Vedic maths and moral education based on the Bhagavad Gita might be included in NCERT books as a part of the CBSE syllabus.

Representational image, The government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in NCERT (Image source: www.globalpartnership.org)

Representational image, The government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in NCERT (Image source: www.globalpartnership.org)

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The vedic mathematics and moral education based on teachings of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ need to be included in the syllabus of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools, recommends Madhya Pradesh government to the centre on Tuesday.

Views of State Public Relations Minister Narottam Mishra:

  • State Public Relations Minister and Cabinet Spokesperson Narottam Mishra told reporters, “The state cabinet, at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has decided to recommend to the Centre to teach vedic maths and impart moral education based on (the holy scripture) ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to the students of CBSE-run schools by incorporating it in the NCERT books.”
  • “The government decided to introduce NCERT syllabus in the state-run schools in the stream of science, maths and commerce in two-phases – initially from class 1 to 7, 9 and 11 standards in 2017-18, and classes 8, 10 and 12 in the 2018-19 academic year,” Mishra said

More on the report:

  • It is learned that the government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks
  • The cabinet also took a decision to introduce the NCERT books in state-run schools in two phases
  • Presently, textbooks prepared by Madhya Pradesh Textbook Corporation (MPTC) are taught in the schools run by Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE)
  • A presentation was made at the meeting on the newly-constituted Ministry of Happiness
  • The chief minister directed to ensure “the maximum participation” of people in the programmes organised by the ministry and said these programmes should not be confined within the government alone, Mishra said
  • He also informed that the government has decided to organise ‘Anand Utsav’ from January 14 to 21 at the village panchayat level at 10,000 locations across the state
  • “Each panchayat will get Rs 15,000 for organising events under the programme,” he added.
  • source”gsmarena”

‘Night mode’ (eye strain reduction) could make a return on Nexus devices

Many were upset that ‘Night mode’ went missing on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X once the Android Nougat 7.1 beta OTA was installed. After much buzz about the omission of Night mode, Ian Lake from Google spoke about why the feature went missing: “it requires driver support that is no present on Nexus devices,” This was about a couple of weeks ago.

“Night Light” feature from Google PixelMany users submitted feedback for the beta (as this is what the program is meant for), and many of them reported the lack of night mode as a bug: saying that night mode should be in the settings, but it is not, and that the issue is happening 100% of the time. Google must have heard everyone loud and clear because today someone at Google has marked the issue as “closed” with a status of “FutureRelease”.

This technically means that the issue has been resolved and that the fix for the issue will be applied in a future update. Perhaps Google only removed Night mode because it was inconsistent with the Google Pixel’s “Night Light”, as that’s what it is called on the new phone.

In any case, we expect to see the eye strain reduction feature make its way back to the Nexus 6P and 5X on the Beta program. Thanks Google!

source”gsmarena”

Make Vedic maths a moral education part of CBSE syllabus: Madhya Pradesh govt recommendation

Vedic maths and moral education based on the Bhagavad Gita might be included in NCERT books as a part of the CBSE syllabus.

Representational image, The government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in NCERT (Image source: www.globalpartnership.org)

Representational image, The government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in NCERT (Image source: www.globalpartnership.org)

  • 72 Maharashtra students to participate in abacus contest in Dubai
  • Niti Ayog organises workshop on school education quality index
  • 8% growth seen in online hiring activity in October: Monster.com
  • Student’s effort to tame air pollution

The vedic mathematics and moral education based on teachings of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ need to be included in the syllabus of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools, recommends Madhya Pradesh government to the centre on Tuesday.

Views of State Public Relations Minister Narottam Mishra:

  • State Public Relations Minister and Cabinet Spokesperson Narottam Mishra told reporters, “The state cabinet, at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has decided to recommend to the Centre to teach vedic maths and impart moral education based on (the holy scripture) ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to the students of CBSE-run schools by incorporating it in the NCERT books.”
  • “The government decided to introduce NCERT syllabus in the state-run schools in the stream of science, maths and commerce in two-phases – initially from class 1 to 7, 9 and 11 standards in 2017-18, and classes 8, 10 and 12 in the 2018-19 academic year,” Mishra said

More on the report:

  • It is learned that the government will request the centre to give its approval for inclusion of lessons on ancient scientists and alternate methods in different streams by including them in the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks
  • The cabinet also took a decision to introduce the NCERT books in state-run schools in two phases
  • Presently, textbooks prepared by Madhya Pradesh Textbook Corporation (MPTC) are taught in the schools run by Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education (MPBSE)
  • A presentation was made at the meeting on the newly-constituted Ministry of Happiness
  • The chief minister directed to ensure “the maximum participation” of people in the programmes organised by the ministry and said these programmes should not be confined within the government alone, Mishra said
  • He also informed that the government has decided to organise ‘Anand Utsav’ from January 14 to 21 at the village panchayat level at 10,000 locations across the state
  • “Each panchayat will get Rs 15,000 for organising events under the programme,” he added.
source”cnbc”

YouTube adds HDR support to make videos more vibrant

youtubehdrvideo

YouTube’s adding another buzzword to its stable of video technology.

The Google-owned service already rolled support for 4K resolution, 360-degree video, spatial audio, and 60 frames-per-second videos (in a hat-tip to gamers) in recent months. Now, YouTube’s pulling the trigger on high-dynamic range (HDR) videos, nearly 7 months after Netflix first introduced HDR support.

HDR’s the up and coming display technology for encouraging more people to upgrade their TV sets. HDR offers truer colors than standard displays thanks to a wider range of dark and light. Improving colors using HDR has a few noticeable side effects, including better contrast, more vibrant visuals, and a generally clearer picture.

As of Monday, YouTube supports HDR, but right now there are only a limited number of videos that take advantage of the new feature. Google suggests that audio/visual fans check out this YouTube HDR playlist featuring content from MysteryGuitarMan, Jacob + Katie Schwarz, and Abandon Visuals.

simulatedsdrvshdr

Google

A simulated look at the difference between SDR and HDR.

YouTube creators can now upload HDR videos to YouTube to keep the high quality colors rolling. Hoping to encourage more HDR content, the YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles and New York are equipped with HDR-capable gear for creators.

The impact on you at home: To view HDR vidoes you’ll need an HDR-equipped television set as well as an HDR-capable device, such as the $69 Chromecast Ultra. Google says 2016 Samsung 4K TVs will also soon support YouTube HDR. Unfortunately, PC monitors featuring HDR have yet to hit the streets.

source”cnbc”

Intel wants to make its Internet of Things chips see, think, and act

20160127 intel superbowl city

Rolling out the internet of things means using devices as our eyes and ears and even asking them to make decisions for us. The chips at the heart of those devices play critical roles, and on Tuesday some of them got better at their jobs.

While ARM introduced two minuscule processor architectures with security features borrowed from larger chips, Intel unveiled its Atom E3900 chips with improved computer vision and industrial-grade timing.

The E3900s are designed for a wide range of applications, including manufacturing and surveillance, and they’ll soon be joined by a version specifically for vehicles, called the A3900.

Intel is working to help machines evolve from accurately sensing what’s going on around them to acting on those senses. For example, if a device can see defective parts going through an assembly line, it can alert someone or even stop the line. Cameras in cars could see that the driver is drowsy and set off an alarm in the car, and ones pointed in front of the vehicle could tell a pedestrian from a shadow and stop the car – if its vision was accurate enough.

Rival Qualcomm also improved its chips for IoT vision recently.

The E3900s have more computing power than their predecessors (by 1.7 times), along with faster memory speeds and memory bandwidth. But they also have better graphics and vision: 3D graphics performance is 2.9 times higher than in the previous generation, and the new chips can render 4K Ultra HD video on as many as three independent displays, Intel says.

Those three screens could be the virtual dashboard of a car and two seat-back displays for passengers to watch videos. By controlling each separately, the chip could make sure the dash display isn’t affected by the rendering activity happening on the entertainment screens, said Ken Caviasca, vice president of Intel’s IoT group.

The new chips are also better at capturing and processing images. They have four vector image processing units to perform video noise reduction, improve low-light image quality, and preserve more color and detail.

In a networked video recorder, an E3900 could take 1080p video streams from 15 cameras and display their feeds simultaneously at 30 frames per second on a video wall, Caviasca said.

Visual processing needs to keep getting better as technology evolves from rendering images to decoding content and on to image processing. The last step is computer vision, where machines understand what they see well enough to make decisions.

“What people are wanting is a processor that can sense like we do in an environment,” Caviasca said. And rather than just report back to humans, it can take action.

For industrial uses, the E3900 series gets Intel’s TCC (Time Coordinated Computing) technology. This feature lets the chip tightly control the timing of a device’s actions.

Some industrial systems rely on precise timing to be productive. For example, a robotic arm that takes parts off a conveyor belt needs to act when each object comes along. The more tightly the arm is synchronized with the rest of the system, the faster the assembly line can run.

Adding TCC, which wasn’t in the e3800 series, cuts the maximum delay to about one-tenth what it would have been. There are also uses for this technology in the automotive world, Caviasca said.

source”cnbc”

32GB Google Pixel XL costs around $285 to make

The 32GB version of Google’s Pixel XL has an estimated Bill of Materials (BoM) of $285.75, including component costs and assembly costs. This is according to the BoM experts at IHS, who have released their report regarding Google’s smartphone today.

This, however, does not mean that the entire difference from $285.75 to the $769 selling price for this model is pure profit for Google – software, R&D and marketing costs are never included in BoM calculations.

For comparison, take into account the fact that Samsung’s Galaxy S7 costs $255 to make, while the iPhone 7’s BoM amounts to $224.80. Both of those devices are smaller than the Pixel XL, and thus have smaller (and cheaper) displays and batteries. Their enclosures could also be cheaper thanks to the reduced size compared to the Pixel XL.

The most expensive single component in Google’s flagship is the display assembly, with the Samsung-made AMOLED panel and Gorilla Glass 4 on top. This is priced at $58. On the other hand, the company getting the most cash from Google for Pixel XL components on the whole might be Qualcomm – $50 for the SoC, but also a big part of the $19.50 that the RF parts are estimated to cost, as well as $11 for power management components and a fraction of $15.50 for the audio codec.

Samsung isn’t just supplying the display for the phone, its UFS 2.0 NAND storage also comes from the Korean company. Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how much this costs since it’s lumped together with the SK Hynix-made RAM in the IHS report – the two memory components together are priced at $26.50. The handset’s 3,450 mAh battery is made by LG Chem and costs $4. The cameras together are priced at $17.50, while the Pixel XL’s enclosure is estimated to cost $35. Finally, the stuff that comes in the box alongside the phone (charger, cables, documentation) costs $10 in total.

source”cnbc”