Gartner reports 25.1% growth off the back of supply chain pain
Semiconductor giants enjoyed soaring revenues in 2021 as global sales topped the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time against a backdrop of squeezed supply chains.
Preliminary numbers by tech analyst Gartner put revenues at $583.5bn for 2021, a jump of 25.1 per cent on the previous year with demand and raw material costs pushing up average selling prices (ASPs).
There was also change at the top as Intel’s crown was snatched back by Samsung. The US chipmaker’s revenues were almost static, growing by a mere half a per cent (the lowest among the top 25 vendors) to $73.1bn. Sammy, on the other hand, leapt by 31.6 per cent to $75.95bn.
Perhaps also worrying for Chipzilla was the arrival of AMD in the top 10 (at 10th in 2021 up from 14th place in 2020). AMD scored an impressive 64.4 per cent in revenue growth to $15.89bn, the highest in Gartner’s table.
5G was a factor in the figures, although Gartner also highlighted the decline of Chinese tech giant Huawei as revenues from its chip subsidiary HiSilicon dropped from $8.2bn in 2020 to approximately $1bn in 2021. As US sanctions bit, Huawei offloaded its smartphone arm, Honor – which promptly switched to MediaTek away from HiSilicon’s Kirin chipset – and stopped producing its Kirin chipset. Other vendors have filled in the gap. Qualcomm and Mediatek, both reported chip revenue growth of more than 50 per cent year-on-year to $26.8bn and $17.45bn respectively.
- TSMC allocates a third more on capital spending in 2022 – that’s a fab-ulous $44bn on new plants and other things
- Think small, score big: India details subsidies for chipmakers
- Planning on buying a new motor? Chip shortages set to hit UK carmakers this year and next
- AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer
Intel recently completed the sale of its NAND and SSD business to South Korea’s SK Hynix for $7bn, and it was memory that Gartner noted as being the best performing device category between 2020 and 2021. It’s all about timing.
Increased demand from hyperscale cloud providers as well as surging demand for PCs and laptops were factors that drove a $42.1bn increase in memory revenue and accounted for 33.8 per cent of overall semiconductor revenue growth.
It was, however, DRAM that had the best performance in the memory category as shortages sent prices soaring and revenue to $92.1bn. And the good times look set to continue (at least in terms of prices) as demand remains high amid shortages and supply chain woes.
Something to cheer you while you go hunting for that IC that won’t either cost you a kidney or require a wait past retirement age. ®
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Version 7 of WINE is better than ever at running Windows apps where they shouldn’t
Improved graphics card, multi-monitor, Direct3D, and 64-bit support
Version 7 of the WINE compatibility tool for running Windows programs on various *nix operating systems is here, bringing notably improved 64-bit support.
WINE has come a long way. It took 18 years to get to version 1.0 and another nine years to get to version 2, but since version 3 in 2018, it’s averaged roughly one major release per year. The project is now mature, stable, and quite functional. A lot of Windows programs work fine that formerly didn’t. It’s not limited to Linux – it also supports macOS and FreeBSD, and Linux relatives ChromeOS and Android.
This may in part be due to its corporate backing. The project has had several business sponsors over the decades, including Corel, which invested substantial effort to help port WordPerfect Office, and later Google, which did the same so that the now-cancelled Picasa would work better on Linux.
Vulnerabilities and censorship tools among hot new features in Beijing’s Olympics app
Visitors have to install it 14 days prior to arrival in China until their departure
Toronto-based Citizen Lab has warned that an app required by Beijing law to attend the 2022 Olympics contains vulnerabilities that can leak calls and data to malicious users, as well as the potential to subject the user to scanning for censored keywords.
“To support the successful delivery of the Games and the safety of all Games participants, Beijing 2022 has developed the ‘My 2022’ application, which includes information provided by the Organising Committee, the City of Beijing and also general information,” reads the International Olympic Committee’s Beijing 2022 playbooks.
The playbooks [PDF], which are documents that serve as info guides for Olympics-goers, instruct international visitors to download the app and use it to monitor health for 14 days prior to their departure for China.
Japan solves 5G airliner conundrum: Keep mobe masts 200m from airport approach paths. That’s it
(And maintain a guard band.) US airliners melt down as rest of world moves on
American aviation regulators have banned the use of autoland at some of their country’s airports as the local debate about 5G phone mast emissions and airliners continues – while Japan claims to have solved the problem a year ago.
This morning Emirates, the UAE state airline, declared it was suspending flights to nine US airports as mobile network operators in the States said they were suspending their planned switch-on of 5G services. It follows Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines and Air India, according to the Daily Mail.
Yet in Japan itself the solution was straightforward, with local scientists telling the International Civil Aviation Organisation last year: “To avoid the blocking of radio altimeters, the location of the high-power 5G base station should be avoided within 200m from the approaching route of aircraft.”
UK data watchdog slaps Ministry of Justice with Enforcement Notice for breaking GDPR law
ICO threatens £17.5m fine over late processing of subject access requests
The UK’s data watchdog has issued the Ministry of Justice with an Enforcement Order [PDF] after the government department broke data protection laws by failing to process thousands of subject access requests (SARs) without undue delay.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it was made aware of the backlog by the MoJ – the data controller – in January 2019 and spoke to the ministry over the course of the year, mulling potential action. Then the pandemic hit, leading to a change in the ICO’s approach to regulatory action, and it paused the probe.
By October 2020, the ICO asked for an update on the number of outstanding SARs, but the MoJ said it too was struggling under the COVID-19 outbreak and had sought to prioritise requests that were “urgent” due to legal proceedings like immigration hearings or police investigations.
Fire in Berlin factory won’t ‘significantly’ impact output, says ASML
Dutch semiconductor lithography bigwig reports net sales up by a third
ASML – the outfit that oufits the chipmakers with chipmakers – believes the recent fire at its Berlin factory on 2 January will not have a “significant impact” on its output in 2022.
Microsoft sends HoloLens 2 into a care home… Nope, not a headline gag about retiring the tech. They actually did this
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Microsoft has bragged about how its HoloLens 2 is being used by doctors to assess care home residents in a COVID-safe way.
One might wonder if the elderly haven’t suffered enough during the pandemic without throwing Microsoft’s Augmented Reality technology into the mix. However, with rules and guidance making in-person appointments a little tricky, having a staffer don the goggles while a doctor looks on remotely is not a terrible option.
Microsoft unveiled the follow-up to its clunkier predecessor in 2019. At the time there was much rejoicing concerning 3D models and collaboration. Recent events have made that remote collaboration pitch seem somewhat prescient.
NASA’s Curiosity finds signs of ancient life on Mars. Or maybe not. More data needed
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NASA’s Curiosity rover has collected samples of rock from the surface of Mars that are rich in a type of carbon associated with biological processes on Earth.
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US mergers doubled in 2021 so FTC and DoJ seek new guidelines to stop illegal ones
Last set of rules written in 2010 – a whole different era in tech terms
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) Antitrust Division are launching a joint public inquiry as a first step to modernising merger guidelines and preventing anticompetitive deals.
“Times have changed because the advent of the digital economy has transformed industry,” said the DoJ’s assistant attorney general, Jonathan Kanter, in a press conference on Tuesday. “The digital revolution has not only impacted new markets like tech, but markets across our economy, many of which have been rebuilt from the inside out.”
FTC chair Lina Khan said it was time for a merger review because the number of global deals reached in 2021 was the highest ever recorded – at a whopping $5.8 trillion – with the DoJ receiving twice the number of merger filings as in 2020.
UK government backs away from proposals to remove individuals’ rights to challenge AI decision making
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The UK government is backing away from proposals to remove individuals’ rights to challenge decisions made about them by artificial intelligence following an early analysis of its consultation process.
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In September 2021, the government published a consultation that suggested it could water down individuals’ rights to challenge decisions made about them by AI.
I own that $4.5bn of digi-dosh so rewrite your blockchain and give it to me, Craig Wright tells Bitcoin SV devs
Oh look, another High Court sueball over cryptocurrencies
A man who claims he’s the creator of Bitcoin says his private keys to £14m of Bitcoin SV were deleted by hackers in 2020 – and now he’s suing developers to forcibly give him access to internet coins he “owns but cannot access.”
Craig Wright (yes, him again) is suing 15 people and one Swiss company in the hope of forcing them to “re-write or amend the underlying software code” so Wright can get his hands on a large amount of Bitcoin SV.*
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COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it
Faux flexibility – and then back in the office where we can keep an eye on you …
Sent home to wait out the Omicron wave of the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, office workers throughout much of the world naturally will be wondering what comes next.
The frequently changing circumstances of the last 24 months appear to have permanently altered the character of work – but scratching the surface reveals the same old patterns dressed up in new buzzwords.
Working from home asked firms to find a new flexibility in all of their operations. So how is it that nearly every firm has found exactly the same answer? We’ve gone from five days in the office to three – yet those work-from-home days always seem to be Mondays and Fridays. Everyone still has to be in the office from Tuesday to Thursday, so that “teams” can stay “aligned” with the “direction” and “goals” of the organisation.