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Intel reveals architecture roadmap, welcomes Qualcomm as new customer

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In its greatest attempt to reclaim its chipmaking crown, Intel announced on Monday its new architecture roadmap during the company’s Accelerated webcast, unveiling the manufacturer’s strategy to refresh innovative naming schemes for future nodes. 

Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger announced during the company’s Accelerated livestream webcast how the semiconductor company is planning to switch its branding plan to push for more semiconductor innovations. 

The revelation incorporated broad strokes of its next-half decade of Intel’s processor roadmap, advanced chip and packaging technologies, and Intel’s goal leading to reclaiming leadership in the processor space by 2025.  

With the release of the forthcoming 12th Gen Alder Lake chips – which will be released later this year – future Intel products will no longer be centered around the nanometer-based node nomenclature. 

Nanometer-based node nomenclature is the technology node – which includes process nodes, process technology, or simply nodes – is the specific semiconductor manufacturing process alongside its design rules.  

Some of today’s recent technology nodes comprises of 22nm, 16nm, 14nm, and 10nm – 10nm is purely used in a specific generation of chips made in a unique technology.   

It is worth mentioning that nanometer-based node nomenclature is the process node currently adopted by the company itself, and the remainder of the chip manufacturing industry around the globe.  

By rebranding its node naming, Intel will acquire full control over the release of its new chip renovation. New third-generation 10nm chips will be addressed to as “Intel 7,” substituting its previous 10nm-based name, such as 10nm SuperFin chips.  

As much as this sounds like another marketing tactic embraced by the tech company to give it a competitive appearance against Advance Micro Devices’s (AMD) 7nm nodes and Apple’s 5nm M1 chips, chip names don’t necessarily have a major implementation on the chip’s size.  

Most of the big chip manufacturing companies share parallel production technologies and provide clients with similar transistor density, such as Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology, Qualcomm, Toshiba, and many more. 

Intel’s nodes’ rebranding makes it more difficult to deconstruct bigger node change attempts taking place alongside new nomenclature. Some of the company’s new node branding includes 10nm SuperFin, Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 3, and Intel 20A.  

Intel 7 is the successor of Intel’s 10nm SuperFin – the company’s second generation 10nm chips. This latest chip provides between 10 to 15 percent in performance-per-watt enhancement in comparison to previous generations, which will increase power efficiency and battery life.  

With the previously introduced Alder Lake chips, which will be released by the end of 2021, the first Intel 7-based products will be revealed as soon as possible.  

Previously referred to as 7nm process, Intel 4 is the chip manufacturer’s next biggest leap into extremely ultraviolet (EUV) technology, even though it utilizes similar broad FinFET transistor architecture that Intel’s been relying on since 2011.  

In the semiconductor industry, EUV refers to extreme ultraviolet lithography. With this technology, systems can perform the required photolithography steps by employing a light source with an “extreme ultraviolet” wavelength.  

Finer circuits enable integration of a higher number of components inside a chip and by default raise and build faster energy efficiency.  

Due to all the implemented adjustments, Intel 4 is anticipated to showcase a transistor density of about 200-250 million transistors per mm2. It will extend its performance to 20 percent in performance-per-watt, and Granite Rapids – Sapphire Rapids successor – compute tile for data center.  

Intel 3 will witness more power and area improvements, and is set for manufacturing in the second half of 2023. Similar to Intel 4, Intel 3 is still considered a FinFET product.  

The chip manufacturing company announced that Intel 3 will offer extra optimizations and use EUV for an 18 percent rise in performance-per-watts. However, no release date has been announced for Intel 3 chips, but as far as the company stated it won’t be available for public use until 2024. 

Under the next generation of Intel technology, Intel 20A follows the old scheme, and it follows the former 7nm node. This chip will lead the angstrom era of semiconductors with breakthrough innovations in 1H in 2024.  

The Intel 20A will score a vital new transition in technology with better density and smaller sizes, which will lead the way in introducing “Power Via.” Power Via is an innovative technology that permits wafers – a thin slice of semiconductor – to be driven from the back of the chip, instead of the front. 

While the chip manufacturing company announced its plans to take back the chip market in its latest roadmap news, two major updates will be included in the company’s upcoming plans.  

Foveros chip-stacking packing technologies will witness its most prominent updates till this day. 

This packing technology piles together five CPU cores to assist the hardware to focus on more than one task at a time, an integrated GPU built into the same core as the CPU, and a Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DRAM) stacked to save internal space compared to traditional design.  

Foveros Omni update will provide a wider variety in stacked chips by easing up its mix-and-match tiles despite its size. On the other hand, Foveros Direct will provide a copper-to-copper bonding between the chip’s components which will minimize resistance.  

Production for both Foveros technologies is planned for 2023. 

From its part, Intel revealed its first leading customer for its latest Intel Foundry Services business, Qualcomm. The semiconductor software company will begin manufacturing its chips with Intel in its future productions by adopting Intel’s upcoming 20A node. 

However, no specific date has been released concerning the primal Intel-made Qualcomm chips, or which of Qualcomm’s products Intel will create. 

Qualcomm, the wireless and innovation technology company, specializes in creating semiconductors software and services related to wireless technology. The company owns critical rights to the 5G and 4G mobile communications standards and mostly famous for designing Snapdragon chips that powers most Android phones.  

Following the company’s year of drawbacks, Intel’s revelation for its roadmap proves that the semiconductor company is anticipating a full comeback with its Intel 20A in 2024, pursued by Intel 18A in 2025.  

Daryn is a technical writer with thorough history and experience in both academic and digital writing fields.

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Apple’s new iPhone 13 devices are facing technical difficulties

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Apple

If you aren’t able to unlock your Apple Watch that’s connected to your new iPhone 13, you’re not alone.  

Apple has recently announced that the tech giant has found an issue where the “unlock with Apple Watch” option does not work with new iPhone 13 devices.  

A document posted on its support page explains the issue, noting that users “might see ‘Unable to Communicate with Apple Watch’ if you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask, or you might not be able to set up Unlock with Apple Watch.” 

The issue first came to light when Reddit users on the r/AppleWatch subreddit began reporting that they were facing this technical difficulty, with some users complaining that the issue was never there with older iPhone devices. 

Earlier this year, the smartphone giant released the unlock feature that utilized Face ID with a paired Apple Watch, hand-in-hand with the release of iOS 14.5. The feature requires both the iPhone and the Watch to have a stable Wi-Fi connection as a turned-on Bluetooth. “The Watch needs to have wrist detection turned on and be passcode-protected, and it has to be on your wrist and unlocked for the feature to work,” according to The Verge

Apple didn’t explicitly mention what’s causing the problem with the iPhone 13 devices in its support document. However, the company reassured users that it will be “fixed in an upcoming software update,” but without mention a date.  

Even though Apple has just begun testing the iOS 15.1 beta, the tech giant has a documented history of delivering quick fixes. So, tech experts believe that users should expect the issue to become part of the past in the upcoming few days.  

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For many Haitian migrants, journey to Texas started online

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For many Haitian migrants, journey to Texas started online

For the final leg of his journey from Chile to the United States, Haitian migrant Fabricio Jean followed detailed instructions sent to him via WhatsApp from his brother in New Jersey who had recently taken the route to the Texas border.

His brother wired him money for the trip, then meticulously mapped it out, warning him of areas heavy with Mexican immigration officials.

“You will need about 20,000 pesos (about $1,000 U.S. dollars) for the buses. You need to take this bus to this location and then take another bus,” recounted Jean, who spoke to The Associated Press after reaching the border town of Del Rio.

What Jean didn’t expect was to find thousands of Haitian migrants like himself crossing at the same remote spot. The 38-year-old, his wife and two young children earlier this month joined as many as 14,000 mostly Haitian migrants camped under a Del Rio bridge.

A confluence of factors caused the sudden sharp increase at the Texas town of about 35,000 residents. Interviews with dozens of Haitian migrants, immigration attorneys and advocates reveal a phenomenon produced partly by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies after authorities recently extended protections for the more than 100,000 Haitians living in the United States.

It also reflects the power of Facebook, YouTube and platforms like WhatsApp, which migrants use to share information that can get distorted as it speeds through immigrant communities, directing migration flows. That’s especially true for tight-knit groups like the Creole-and-French-speaking Haitians, many of whom left their homeland after its devastating 2010 earthquake and have been living in Latin America, drawn by Brazil and Chile’s once-booming economies.

In extending protections for Haitians this spring, the Biden administration cited security concerns and social unrest in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the temporary protections were limited to those residing in the U.S. before July 29 — but that condition was often missing in posts, leading Haitians outside the United States to believe they, too, were eligible.

Mayorkas acknowledged that this week, saying “we are very concerned that Haitians who are taking the irregular migration path are receiving misinformation that the border is open,” or that they qualify for protected status despite the expired deadline.

“I want to make sure it is known that this is not the way to come to the United States,” he said.

Thousands of Haitians have been stuck in Mexican border towns since 2016, when the Obama administration abruptly halted a policy that initially allowed them in on humanitarian grounds.

Online messages touting the Mexican town of Ciudad Acuña, across from Del Rio, started after President Joe Biden took office and began reversing some of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

Ciudad Acuña has been spared the drug and gang violence seen elsewhere along the border. Some of the social media posts recommending it appear to have come from human smugglers seeking to drum up business, according to immigrant advocates.

Haitians began crossing there this year, but their numbers ballooned after a Biden administration program that briefly opened the door to some asylum seekers ended, said Nicole Phillips, of the San Diego-based Haitian Bridge Alliance, which advocates for Haitian migrants. The program allowed in a select number of people deemed by humanitarian groups to be at high risk in Mexico.

Once it ceased in August, people panicked, and the messages recommending Ciudad Acuña “went viral,” Phillips said.

“That’s why they rushed at this time to get in,” she said. “They realized they wouldn’t be able to get in legally through a port-of-entry like they were hoping.”

Del Rio is just one example of how technology that has put a smartphone in the hands of nearly every migrant is transforming migration flows, according to advocates. Migrants often monitor the news and share information on routes. The most popular platform is WhatsApp, which connects 2 billion people worldwide.

In 2020, after Turkey announced that the land border with Greece was open, thousands of migrants headed there – only to find the gates closed on the Greek side. Similar sudden mass migrations have happened elsewhere in Europe.

In 2018, social media posts and WhatsApp messages fueled caravans that swelled to 10,000 mostly Central American migrants who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Last week, in a Facebook group for Haitians in Chile with 26,000 members, one member posted specific instructions on routes through Mexico. It included paths to avoid and recommended certain bus companies.

“Good luck and be careful,” said the post, written in Haitian Creole.

Another member shared a different route in the comments. The group’s members have since relayed stories of horrific conditions in Del Rio and risks of being deported.

The International Organization for Migration found most of the 238 Haitians who were surveyed in March after passing through a 60-mile (100-kilometer) stretch of jungle between Colombia and Panama known as the Darien Gap received route information from family or friends who had made the dangerous trek.

About 15% said they saw instructions on the internet.

Agency spokesman Jorge Gallo said the instructions led the migrants to believe crossing the gap was “difficult but not impossible.”

But just as similar messages drew many Haitians to Del Rio, news of the Biden administration deporting hundreds on the Texas border caused some to change their plans.

A 32-year-old Haitian woman who made it to Del Rio with her two teenage children bought bus tickets to Mexico City after receiving a cousin’s audio message via WhatsApp. She previously lived in Chile for four years.

“Wait in Mexico until this month is over. They will pick up everyone under the bridge. After that, they will give me the contact to enter Miami,” said the recording in Creole, which she played for an AP reporter. The AP is withholding the woman’s name to protect her safety.

Facebook Inc., which owns WhatsApp, allows people to exchange information about crossing borders, even illegally, but its policy bars posts that ask for money for services that facilitate human smuggling.

Robins Exile said he and his pregnant wife, who left Brazil after he lost his job amid the pandemic-wracked economy, headed to Tijuana, Mexico, instead after seeing warnings via YouTube and WhatsApp from fellow Haitian migrants.

“A lot of Haitians are advising now not to come to Acuña. They say it’s no longer a good place,” he said.

On Wednesday, Antonio Pierre, 33, who was camped in Del Rio with his wife and daughter, listened to the news on his friend’s cellphone.

“The U.S. is releasing some but just a few,” he said, referring to U.S. officials who told the AP on Tuesday that thousands of Haitians in custody were being let go and ordered to report to an immigration office, contradicting the Biden administration’s announcement that all Haitians camped in the town would be expelled to Haiti.

Nelson Saintil and his wife and four children had been camped in Texas but moved back to Mexico as they awaited word on where to go next to avoid deportation.

“I do not want to be like mice who do not find out that they are falling into a trap,” he said. “Because returning to Haiti is to bury a person alive.”


DEL RIO, Texas (AP)

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Facebook footed $13 billion bill on security since 2016, report finds

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Facebook publicized that since 2016 the social network mogul invested over $13 billion by onboarding 40,000 new staffers to endorse the platform’s security and safety measures, following a series of leaks by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Weeks after the Wall Street Journal’s “The Facebook Files” were published, the social media giant went back over to the same grounds and revealed in a blog post the extent it is willing to take to safeguard and maintain safety and security on its platform.

“In the past, we didn’t address safety and security challenged early enough in the product development process,” Facebook said.

“But we have fundamentally changed that approach. Today, we embed teams focusing specifically on safety and security issues directly into product development teams, allowing us to address these issues during our product development process, not after it,” the post added.

In its series of allegations, the WSJ averred that Facebook purposely postponed any action implementation during the COVID-19 period, even though the Big Tech giant was aware of the severity of the situation and the effects of spreading misinformation and misleading emotional burden on its userbase.

According to the newspaper, Facebook was aware of the affliction it was exposing its users to, and the platform refrained from dealing with or fixing these issues out of worry it might influence user engagement.

In a way to embellish the Big Tech giant’s public image, Facebook executive Nick Clegg issued a counterstatement accusing the publication of intentionally mislabeling what the company was trying to accomplish during the pandemic.

To highlight the Big Tech mogul’s efforts, the platform’s security teams executed a plan leading to a purge of more than 150 stealthy influence operations. Facebook’s sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) played a major role in blocking 3 billion fake accounts in the first half of 2021 and has upgraded itself since then.

“Today, we embed teams focusing specifically on safety and security issues directly into product development teams, allowing us to address these issues during our product development process, not after it. Products also have to go through an Integrity Review process, similar to the Privacy Review process, so we can anticipate potential abuses and build in ways to mitigate them. Here are a few examples of how far we’ve come,” the post declared.

In parallel, the company proceeded to exonerate itself from The Facebook Files by revealing that it consciously removed content that represented a direct violation of its standards on hate speech, in addition to removing 15 times more of similar content from its platform and Instagram in 2017 alone.

This happened by implementing advanced technology that acts by learning from one language to apply the same tactics on all posts in various languages to augment its performance level. 

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