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The cost of CPUs and GPUs will continue to rise despite node hops

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CPUs y GPUs 1000x600 jpg

Leaps in manufacturing processes are very important because, as many of our readers will already know, they allow reduce the size of the transistors and increase the density thereof. They also allow the introduction of design optimizations that ultimately translate into performance and efficiency improvements. CPUs and GPUs are two of the types of chips that benefit most from leaps to new manufacturing processes, but this reality is starting to change.

According to TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, the transistors in SRAM memory used in CPU and GPU caches is stopping scaling with each node hop, that is, you are not reducing the size of your transistors, and this is a problem for many reasons. The first is in the space occupied at the silicon level, and that is that a cache with the same size of transistors in CPUs and GPUs that have smaller and smaller transistors takes up a huge amount of space compared to the rest of the elements.

On the other hand, we also have two major problems, the same benefits are not achieved when jumping to a more advanced node, and production costs increase because the impact on the wafer is still high, due to that size issue that we have already mentioned (its transistors are still just as big even if a more advanced and expensive node is used, and they occupy the same space on the silicon wafer).

For the big players in the sector, this could become a major obstacle that not only will make future designs more expensive, Since in the end both CPUs and GPUs use caches of different levels, it will also prevent certain architectures from reaching its maximum peak of miniaturizationsince the cache will still be “huge” in comparison.

TSMC has already confirmed that SRAM memory made with the 3nm node will have the same density of transistors than SRAM memory manufactured in the 5 nm node, which is precisely the one used in AMD’s Ryzen 7000 processors. The upgraded 3nm node, known as the N3B, doesn’t paint a much better picture either, as it will only be able to reduce the size of SRAM’s transistors by 5%.

In the attached graph we can see the scaling of the different TSMC nodes applied to the SRAM, and makes two things clear, that the jump from the 7nm node to the 5nm node represented a very small improvement in the reduction of the occupied area, and also that stagnation that we will suffer with the jump to 3nm. If we continue the current trend, SRAM will have an increasing density of transistors, but these will not shrink fast enough, and they will take up more and more space.

AMD has already taken action on the matter in this regard, and it is no coincidence that heThe infinite cache of its Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX graphics cards has been externalized to 6 chiplets. This has avoided having to embed them into the GPU, something that would have resulted in a huge chip.

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EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S, new 24.1-inch professional monitor

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EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S

The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is a monitor aimed at professionals that mounts a 24.1-inch panel and has, as you may have imagined, a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. Its maximum brightness is 410 cd/m2, it has a contrast of 1,350:1, it reproduces 1,070 million colors and it is capable of covering the 99% of the Adobe RGB color space.

This EIZO model brings a series of clear improvements over the previous generation. Among the most important changes we can highlight the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector, that offers up to 70 watts of charge, and that we can use to charge a laptop while we use it with said monitor (simultaneous data and power).

Another important addition to the EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is that it comes with an adjustment report that measures the state of the screen at the time of shipment, a feature that previously it was only available on CG series professional monitors.

Maintaining its commitment to the environment, EIZO has eliminated any type of plastic from the packaging and materials that accompany the wiring. This monitor is also more efficient, as it It has a consumption of only 26 watts.

The rest of its specifications are completed with a response time of 19ms, it has DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, it has a USB Type-C connector, as we have already said, it has two USB 3.0 and it has two other USB 2.0 ports. we can use it both horizontally and verticallysomething that the most creative professionals will undoubtedly like.

This monitor is mainly aimed at content creators, designers, video and photo editors, illustrators and cartoonists. It is height, swivel and tilt adjustable, which translates into good ergonomics and great versatility when it comes to integrating into different work spaces.

The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S comes with a 5-year warranty covering each and every component, and is also subject to the zero bad pixel policy, which is covered for six months from the launch date. Taking into account the investment that we have to make to buy this monitor, it is totally normal, since its price in Spain will be around 800 euro.

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Microsoft Extends ESU Support for Windows Server 2008 and R2

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Windows Server 2008

When an operating system ends its life cycle, Microsoft usually considers the possibility of offering extended support, which usually ends up being paid, or may be subject to some type of special condition. The latter is what has happened with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, two operating systems that have ended their life cycle and are no longer supported in 2020.

The thing is that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 still have a significant user baseand for this reason Microsoft has decided an additional year of support of the ESU type, acronym for “extended security updates”. This is good news for companies that still use the operating system, but it has one important condition, and that is that it will only be available to those who are Microsoft Azure customers.

This extended period of security updates will be active until January 9, 2024. If you are wondering if this will be a free program, I can tell you that it is not, and that Microsoft will bill it as it normally does with extended support programs.

In case you are wondering why so many professionals are still using Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 the answer is very simple, because in more than one case upgrading to a new operating system requires significant expenses that can derive from a hardware renewal, from a prolonged period of inactivity, from updating and developing new applications if necessary or from a little of everything that we have just said.

Microsoft has confirmed all the versions of Windows Server 2008 that will be able to benefit from this year of extended support, and we have listed them as is:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7.
  • All Azure virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 operating systems on Azure, Azure Stack, Azure VMWare Solutions, or Azure Nutanix Solution.

It does not seem that they are going to give more extensions once this is finished, so if your company is using any of those operating systems you should be clear that time is running out, and that in a matter of a year you will be tied to an operating system without support that could become a time bomb in terms of security.

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Apple will abolish the position of Head of Product Design

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Apple suprimira el puesto de Jefe de Diseno de Producto

The departure of Jonathan Ive from Apple was one of the most shocking news of 2019, not in vain are we talking about what was Head of Product Design in that company, responsible for some of its most successful products, and a professional who was part of the bitten apple company for more than 30 years.

It is true that at first there was no complete break between Ive and Applesince both continued to work together through an independent agency founded by the former executive, but in the end both parties decided to put an end to their adventure, and a final separation was confirmed last July.

The position that Ive left was filled by Evans Hankey, but we know that this executive also plans to leave the company in the coming months. What will happen then with the position of Head of Product Design? The normal thing would be to look for a new professional that lives up to that position, but according to a new report presented by Bloomberg it won’t be like that.

The apple company will abolish the position of Head of Product Design, and the product design team will report to and report directly to Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams. To avoid internal problems, Apple will give more important roles to the designers of key products for the apple company, but it seems that this has not been liked by everyone, and that some employees are upset with Apple’s decision.

The truth is that, if we analyze the situation that existed previously, it is not as important a change as it might seem at first glance. Evans Hankey acts as the liaison for the design team, but in the end it depended on Jeff Williams and had to answer to himso with this move Apple would be eliminating an intermediate position that in the end would not be “essential”, and would simplify the hierarchical structure of the product design team.

It is also important to note that this change reinforces the position of Jeff Williams, a high-profile executive at Apple who many see as Tim Cook’s possible successor. We’ll see how the situation evolves, and if Apple is really able to get on without a Head of Product Design.

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