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    Chipmakers fight spread of US crackdowns on “forever chemicals” / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 23 March - 13:44

Chips on a wafer

Enlarge / The surface of a semiconductor wafer in the cleanroom at the Tower Semiconductor Ltd. plant in Migdal HaEmek, Israel, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Intel Corp. agreed to acquire Tower Semiconductor for about $5.4 billion, part of Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsingers push into the outsourced chip-manufacturing business. Photographer: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

Intel and other semiconductor companies have joined together with industrial materials businesses to fight US clampdowns on “forever chemicals,” substances used in myriad products that are slow to break down in the environment.

The lobbying push from chipmakers broadens the opposition to new rules and bans for the chemicals known as PFAS. The substances have been found in the blood of 97 percent of Americans, according to the US government.

More than 30 US states this year are considering legislation to address PFAS, according to Safer States, an environmental advocacy group. Bills in California and Maine passed in 2022 and 2021, respectively.

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    Why it does and doesn’t matter if Google, Microsoft, or Zoom certify your webcam / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 14 March - 10:40

Logitech Brio 500 webcamera docked on a monitor

Enlarge / Logitech really wants you to know that its Brio 500 webcam works with Meet, Teams, Zoom, and Chromebooks. (credit: Logitech/Amazon )

Logitech made a peculiar announcement in January.

It proudly declared that its MX Master 3S wireless mouse, along with some of its other peripherals, had been certified to work with Intel Evo laptops. (Evo laptops are Intel-certified premium ultralights meeting certain criteria , like providing at least eight hours of battery life with a QHD display.) Imagine my shock when I realized I had been using that very mouse with a Dell XPS 13 (an Evo laptop) for almost eight months without Intel's blessing.

Of course, even before the mouse gained Intel's stamp of approval, I had enjoyed hours of problem-free use. The same can be said of every functioning USB webcam I'm ever plugged into a computer. But that hasn't stopped countless peripheral makers from touting that their devices have been certified for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.

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    SGX, Intel’s supposedly impregnable data fortress, has been breached yet again / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 9 August, 2022 - 17:01

Architectural bug in some Intel CPUs is more bad news for SGX users

Enlarge (credit: Intel)

Intel’s latest generation of CPUs contains a vulnerability that allows attackers to obtain encryption keys and other confidential information protected by the company’s software guard extensions, the advanced feature that acts as a digital vault for security users’ most sensitive secrets.

Abbreviated as SGX, the protection is designed to provide a fortress of sorts for the safekeeping of encryption keys and other sensitive data, even when the operating system or a virtual machine running on top is maliciously compromised. SGX works by creating trusted execution environments that protect sensitive code and the data it works with from monitoring or tampering by anything else on the system.

Cracks in Intel’s foundational security

SGX is a cornerstone of the security assurances many companies provide to users. Servers used to handle contact discovery for the Signal Messenger, for instance, rely on SGX to ensure the process is anonymous. Signal says running its advanced hashing scheme provides a “general recipe for doing private contact discovery in SGX without leaking any information to parties that have control over the machine, even if they were to attach physical hardware to the memory bus.”

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    TSMC is considering a 3 nm foundry in Arizona / ArsTechnica · Friday, 14 May, 2021 - 17:57

In a few years, Phoenix residents will be seeing a lot more of this logo.

Enlarge / In a few years, Phoenix residents will be seeing a lot more of this logo. (credit: SOPA Images )

Reuters reports that TSMC—Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the chip foundry making advanced processors for Apple, AMD, and Qualcomm—is beefing up its plans to build factories in Arizona while turning away from an advanced plant in Europe.

Last year, TSMC announced that it would invest $10-$12 billion to build a new 5 nm capable foundry near Phoenix, Arizona. According to Reuters' sources, TSMC officials are considering trebling the company's investment by building a $25 billion second factory capable of building 3 nm chips. More tentative plans are in the works for 2 nm foundries as the Phoenix campus grows over the next 10-15 years as well.

US President Joe Biden called for $50 billion to subsidize US chip manufacturing facilities, and the US Senate may take action on the item this week. Strong domestic manufacturing capacity is seen as critical, since US chip firms such as Nvidia and Qualcomm rely on Asian manufacturing facilities. TSMC would be competing with Samsung and Intel to secure these Biden administration subsidies.

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    Intel claims its new Tiger Lake-H CPUs for laptops beat AMD’s Ryzen 5000 / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 19:39


Enlarge / Intel's new Core i9-11980HK leads the 11th-gen laptop CPU lineup. (credit: Intel )

Intel today announced 10 new 11th-generation CPUs for high-performance laptops like those made for gamers or content creators. Built on the 10nm SuperFin process, the new chips are in the Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, and Xeon families, and they carry the label "Tiger Lake-H."

New consumer laptop CPUs include the Core i9-11980HK, Core i9-11900H, Core i7-11800H—all of which have eight cores—plus the Core i5-11400H and Core i5-11260H, which each have six cores.

Naturally, Intel today put the spotlight on the fastest Core i9-11980HK chip. The company claims this CPU is able to beat its predecessor by several percentage points in games like Hitman 3 or Rainbow Six: Siege , depending on the game—anywhere from 5 percent to 21 percent, according to Intel's own testing.

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    Intel launches 11th Gen Core H-series mobile processors / GamingOnLinux · Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 11:16 · 1 minute

Today Intel has formally announced and released the 11th Gen Core H-series mobile processors, for some next-gen performance in a smaller form factor for laptop users.

"11th Gen Intel Core H-series processors take mobile gaming, content creation and commercial workstation systems to new heights. These new H-series processors are an exciting extension of our 11th Gen mobile family with double-digit single core and multi-core performance improvements, leading gameplay, direct attached storage and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes for true enthusiast-level platform bandwidth. 11th Gen H-series is the industry’s most performant mobile processor that empowers users to game, create and connect with leadership performance at any enthusiast form factor." — Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Mobile Client Platforms Group


Some of the features:

  • 20 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes with Intel® Rapid Storage Technology bootable in Raid 0 — and up to 44 total PCIe lanes that include 24 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes from a dedicated platform controller hub.
  • Memory support up to DDR4-3200.
  • Thunderbolt™ 4 with transfer speeds up to 40Gbps.
  • Discrete Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+).
  • Dual Embedded Display Port integrated for power optimized companion display.

More features can be seen in the below image:


Intel also launched their Intel vPro® H-series processors for businesses today.

As for availability, Intel said to expect "more than 80 enthusiast laptop designs" across various fields through this year. No exact dates were given as it largely depends on the manufacturers of each laptop to put them out. With the Xe graphics, they should be nice gaming units.

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    Star Labs have now revealed the slick 14" StarBook Mk V Linux laptop / GamingOnLinux · Wednesday, 5 May, 2021 - 11:05 · 1 minute

Ready to drool over new Linux hardware? Star Labs are ready for you to open your wallets to the 14" StarBook Mk V. Now this is the type of laptop model I can get into. A screen that's not too big, a sleek chasis and a reasonable price backed up by some powerful internals along with it being designed for Linux.


With the new StarBook Mk V, you get quite a lot more choice too. When it comes to the BIOS, they're now letting you choose between AMI (American Megatrends Inc.) Aptio V and the open source Coreboot. Not only that, you can switch between them any time you want.

A nice matte screen as standard too with the 14-inch ARC display, with anti-reflective coating that should provide a good experience whever you are. Star Labs say it comes with a hard coating to prevent damage too.

Some of the specifications on offer:

Chassis Type II matte black anodised aluminium
Display 14-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit matte display with IPS technology
1920x1080 resolution at 157 pixels per inch
16:9 aspect ratio

2.4GHz dual-core Intel® Core® i3-1110G4
Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, with 6MB Cache

Configurable to:
2.8GHz quad-core Intel® Core® i7-1165G7
Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz, with 12MB Cache


240GB Over-Provisioned SATA SSD

Configurable to:
480GB Over-Provisioned PCIe SSD

Configurable to:
960GB Over-Provisioned PCIe SSD

Configurable to:
1920GB Over-Provisioned PCIe SSD

Configurable to:
500GB Over-Provisioned Gen4 PCIe SSD

Configurable to:
1000GB Over-Provisioned Gen4 PCIe SSD


8GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory

Configurable to: 64GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory


Intel® UHD G4 Graphics

Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics

When it comes to operating systems you get a lot choice there too between: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (64-bit) or later, elementary OS 5.1.7 (64-bit) or later, Linux Mint 20.1 (64-bit) or later, Manjaro 21.0 (64-bit) or later, MX Linux AHS 19.3 (64-bit) or later, Zorin OS 15.2 (64-bit) or later and even Windows.

Available from £777.00. Check out the official page to find out more and order.

It's currently in production, which may be delayed due to component shortages worldwide right now. They offer a 5% discount if you order a laptop that's in production and not yet ready.

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    Intel hit with $2.2 billion patent judgment / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 2 March, 2021 - 22:33

A multistory building with an Intel logo on the wall of its top floor.

Enlarge (credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

A Texas jury has ordered Intel to pay $2.18 billion in damages for infringing two patents. The lawsuit was filed by VLSI Technology LLC, a 4-year-old firm that Intel says has no products and no sources of revenue besides patent litigation.

The patents at issue in the case previously belonged to NXP Semiconductors, a Dutch company that spun off from Philips in 2006. NXP acquired the patents when it bought Freescale Semiconductor (itself a spinoff of Motorola) in 2015. Intel's lawyer told jurors that NXP would get a portion of the proceeds from the lawsuit.

The two patents focus on methods for minimizing the power consumption of computing chips. One way to do this is by varying the system voltage: setting a higher voltage when high performance is needed, then lowering the voltage to conserve power afterwards. One patent claims the concept of storing information about a memory chip's minimum voltage in nonvolatile memory so the system can ensure that the memory circuit has a high-enough voltage.

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