[News] Amazon Unveils New AWS-Designed Chips, Boosting Orders for TSMC and ALCHIP

On the 28th, Amazon unveiled two AWS-designed chips, Graviton4, a CPU propelling its AWS cloud services, and the second-gen AI chip Trainium2, tailored for large language models. Both chips boast substantial performance upgrades. With a positive market outlook, Amazon is intensifying its competition with Microsoft and Google for dominance in the AI cloud market. The demand for in-house chips is surging, leading to increased orders for key players like the wafer foundry TSMC and the silicon design and production services company ALCHIP, reported by UDN News.

According to reports, Amazon AWS CEO Adam Selipsky presented the fourth AWS-Designed custom CPU chip, Graviton4, at the AWS re:Invent 2023 in Las Vegas. It claims a 30% improvement in computing performance compared to the current Graviton3, with a 75% increase in memory bandwidth. Computers equipped with this processor are slated to go live in the coming months.

Trainium2, the second-gen chip for AI system training, boasts a computing speed three times faster than its predecessor and doubled energy efficiency. Selipsky announced that AWS will commence offering this new training chip next year.

AWS is accelerating the development of chips, maintaining its lead over Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms. Amazon reports that over 50,000 AWS customers are currently utilizing Graviton chips.

Notably, Amazon’s in-house chip development heavily relies on the Taiwan supply chain, TSMC and ALchip. To produce Amazon’s chips, Alchip primarily provides application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design services, and TSMC manufactures with advanced processes.

TSMC consistently refrains from commenting on products for individual customers. Analysts estimate that TSMC has recently indirectly secured numerous orders from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), mainly through ASIC design service providers assisting CSP giants in launching new in-house AI chips. This is expected to significantly contribute to TSMC’s high utilization for the 5nm family.

In recent years, TSMC has introduced successive technologies such as N4, N4P, N4X, and N5A to strengthen its 5nm family. The N4P, announced at 2023 Technology Symposium, is projected to drive increased demand from 2024 onwards. The expected uptick in demand is mainly attributed to AI, network, and automotive products.

(Image: Amazon)


[News] Loongson Unveils 3A6000 CPU, Aims to Match Intel’s Advanced Process in Next Phase

Loongson Technology Corp Ltd, unveiled its latest domestic CPU, Loongson 3A6000, on November 28th in Beijing, China. Notably, this CPU is entirely based on Chinese in-house design, free from reliance on any foreign licensed technology. During the product launch, Weiwu Hu, the chairman of Loongson, announced that next phase will utilize mature processes to achieve performance comparable to Intel’s advanced process, reported by CTEE.

Loongson 3A6000 adopts a China domestic instruction set architecture(ISA), showcasing China’s capability to self-develop a new generation CPU, as reported by CCTV News. This CPU can run various cross-platform applications, catering to the needs of diverse large and complex desktop scenarios.

The release of the Loongson 3A6000 signifies a pivotal milestone, highlighting China’s achievement in self sufficiency and product performance, bringing it on par with international mainstream products.

According to Mydrivers.com, test results indicate that the overall performance of the Loongson 3A6000 processor is comparable to Intel’s 10th Gen Core quad-core processor launched in 2020. Notably, the Loongson 3A6000 is built on the self-developed ISA “LoongArch,” showcasing complete independence from foreign licensing, from top-level structure to ISA and application binary interface (ABI) standards.

In terms of core performance, the Loongson 3A6000 boasts a main frequency of 2.5GHz, supports 128-bit vector extension (Loongson SIMD eXtension, LSX), and 256-bit advanced vector extension (Loongson Advanced SIMD eXtension, LASX). It also supports simultaneous multi-threading technology (SMT2), featuring a total of 8 logical cores on the entire chip.

Hu highlighted that the 3A6000 has charted a path based on mature processes, optimizing performance through design. This achievement marks comparable performance with Intel and AMD under relatively weaker process conditions. The next step involves continuing to use mature processes to achieve performance levels on par with Intel’s advanced technology.

Regarding the upcoming Loongson 3B6000, Hu mentioned during the third-quarter earnings briefing that Loongson is strategically focused on enhancing efficiency, aiming to reach or approach the performance level of Apple’s CPU for each GHz.
(Image: Jiwei)


[News] Intel’s Next Gen CPU to Produce at TSMC with 3nm in First Half of Next Year

Intel’s upcoming Lunar Lake platform has entrusted TSMC with the 3nm process of its CPU. This marks TSMC’s debut as the exclusive producer for Intel’s mainstream laptop CPU, including the previously negotiated Lunar Lake GPU and high-speed I/O (PCH) chip collaborations. This move positions TSMC to handle all major chip orders for Intel’s crucial platform next year, reported by UDN News.

Regarding this news, TSMC refrained from commenting on single customer business or market speculations on November 21st. Intel has not issued any statements either.

Recent leaks of Lunar Lake platform internal design details from Intel have generated discussions on various foreign tech websites and among tech experts on X (formerly known as Twitter). According to the leaked information, TSMC will be responsible for producing three key chips for Intel’s Lunar Lake—CPU, GPU, and NPU—all manufactured using the 3nm process. Orders for high-speed I/O chips are expected to leverage TSMC’s 5nm production, with mass production set to kick off in the first half of next year, aligning with the anticipated resurgence of the PC market in the latter half of the year.

While TSMC previously manufactured CPUs for Intel’s Atom platform over a decade ago, it’s crucial to note that the Atom platform was categorized as a series of ultra-low-voltage processors, not Intel’s mainstream laptop platform. In recent years, Intel has gradually outsourced internal chips, beyond CPUs, for mainstream platforms to TSMC, including the GPU and high-speed I/O chips in the earlier Meteor Lake platform—all manufactured using TSMC’s 5nm node.

Breaking from its tradition of in-house production of mainstream platform CPUs, Intel’s decision to outsource to TSMC hints at potential future collaborations. This move opens doors to new opportunities for TSMC to handle the production of Intel’s mainstream laptop platforms.

It’s worth noting that the Intel Lunar Lake platform is scheduled for mass production at TSMC in the first half of next year, with a launch planned for the latter half of the year, targeting mainstream laptop platforms. Unlike the previous two generations of Intel laptop platforms, Lunar Lake integrates CPU, GPU, and NPU into a system-on-chip (SoC). This SoC is then combined with a high-speed I/O chip, utilizing Intel’s Foveros advanced packaging. Finally, the DRAM LPDDR5x is integrated with the two advanced packaged chips on the same IC substrate.

(Image: TSMC)


TrendForce’s Analysis of Notebook CPU Market 2022-2024

According to the latest report from TrendForce, the primary factors influencing the global market share of notebook CPUs in 2024 can be categorized into “Architectural Design” and “Economic Factors.”

“Architectural Design” as a long-term factor affecting market share:

(1) Both AMD (AMD 3D V-Cache) and Intel (Intel Foveros Direct) may potentially integrate 3D packaging technology into notebook computers in the future.

(2) Apple’s M-series processors, using the Arm core architecture, as well as Intel processors, have adopted a big/little core hybrid design. AMD might also introduce this in the Ryzen 8000 series.

(3) Despite further advancements in processor technology by 2024, the notebook computer market remains highly sensitive to the cost for IT equipment.

“Economic Factors” as more immediate influencers of market share:

(1) Until 2024, a return to lower interest rates in the global economic environment could favor corporate expansion of capital expenditure. This could result in increased procurement of business-oriented notebook models, potentially allowing Intel to further expand its CPU market share beyond 70% in the business sector.

(2) Concerns about economic prospects among global citizens until 2024 could have significant negative implications for the consumer notebook computer market. With the restart of physical economic activities, the demand for consumer-oriented notebook models has declined from the high levels seen during the pandemic. Consequently, the consumer market demand outlook for 2024 remains uncertain. For AMD, which relies more on consumer market demand, changes in market share may be harder to predict compared to Intel.

In the post-pandemic era, AMD, Arm/Apple, and Intel are pursuing distinct technological competition strategies to capture market share in the personal computing market.


(1) The Socket AM5 platform is poised to aid AMD CPUs in achieving substantial performance and efficiency gains.

(2) The AMD Ryzen 7040 incorporates an artificial intelligence engine to emphasize AI computing performance’s importance in the thin and light notebook market.


(1) The M2 Ultra processor heralds Apple’s complete transition of personal computing products to the Arm core. Apple Mac computer products will no longer be sold with Intel processor.

(2) The Apple M-series processors, built on the Arm core architecture, facilitate a “fanless design” to maintain MacBook’s slim profile. This feature highlights its irreplaceable positioning in the portable notebook computer market, emphasizing portability.


(1) With the waning trend of the “hybrid work mode,” Intel is optimistic about diversified development in the post-pandemic era for desktop computer products. This includes microcomputers, micro workstations, and general workstations. Due to the characteristic of continuous operation for 24 hours, desktop computers still possess unique attributes that cannot be replaced by notebook computers.

(Photo credit: Intel)


AI Servers: The Savior of the Supply Chain, Examining Key Industries

NVIDIA’s robust financial report reveals the true impact of AI on the technology industry, particularly in the AI server supply chain.

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