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Huawei: ARM memo tells staff to stop working with China’s tech giant • BBC News
Dave Lee:
<p>Huawei currently sources some of its chips from HiSilicon, which it owns. However, while produced in China, HiSilicon’s chips are built using underlying technology created by ARM.

While HiSilicon and Huawei are free to carry on using and manufacturing existing chips, the ban would mean the company could no longer turn to ARM for assistance in developing components for devices in future.

HiSilicon's upcoming processor, Kirin 985, is due be used in Huawei devices later this year. According to a source at ARM, it is not expected to be affected by the ban. However, the next iteration of the chip has not yet been completed - and is likely to need to be rebuilt from scratch, the source said.

Huawei also uses ARM's designs for its recently unveiled Kunpeng chips. These are used to power its TaiShan-series computer servers, which are designed to provide cloud computing and storage to clients.

In addition, the company told analysts in January that the Tiangang chip at the heart of its 5G base stations is also ARM-based.

"The problem of the whole telecoms industry is that so much of it is based on the exchange of technology between different companies - whether that's chip companies, software providers or the makers of other hardware," commented Alan Burkitt-Gray, editor-at-large of the telecoms news site Capacity Media.

He added that Huawei would likely face other problems licensing 5G-related tech from others, and in turn US-based companies would now be unable to licence the Chinese company's 5G inventions.</p>

Terrific scoop by Lee. But this is going to destroy all of Huawei's business. Without ARM, the networking side gradually dies.
huawei  arm  chips  smartphone  server  5g 
12 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Trump’s ‘missing DNC server’ is neither missing nor a server • Daily Beast
Kevin Poulsen:
<p>It’s true that the FBI doesn’t have the DNC’s computer hardware. Agents didn’t sweep into DNC headquarters, load up all the equipment and leave Democrats standing stunned beside empty desks and dangling cables. There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with a deep state conspiracy to frame Putin.

Trump and his allies are capitalizing on a basic misapprehension of how computer intrusion investigations work. Investigating a virtual crime isn’t a like investigating a murder. The Russians didn’t leave DNA evidence on the server racks and fingerprints on the keyboards. All the evidence of their comings and goings was on the computer hard drives, and in memory, and in the ephemeral network transmissions to and from the GRU’s command-and-control servers.

When cyber investigators respond to an incident, they capture that evidence in a process called “imaging.” They make an exact byte-for-byte copy of the hard drives. They do the same for the machine’s memory, capturing evidence that would otherwise be lost at the next reboot, and they monitor and store the traffic passing through the victim’s network. This has been standard procedure in computer  intrusion investigations for decades. The images, not the computer’s hardware, provide the evidence.

Both the DNC and the security firm Crowdstrike, hired to respond to the breach, have said repeatedly over the years that they gave the FBI a copy of all the DNC images back in 2016. The DNC reiterated that Monday in a statement to the Daily Beast.

“The FBI was given images of servers, forensic copies, as well as a host of other forensic information we collected from our systems,” said Adrienne Watson, the DNC’s deputy communications director. “We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI and were always responsive to their requests. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect.”

The FBI declined comment for this story, but in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last year, then-director James Comey said that Crowdstrike “ultimately shared with us their forensics.”</p>

Most people don't know what computer forensics involves (even though the process has been pretty much the same for about 30 years), nor how much information a computer collects (pretty much everything, apart from the specific keystrokes - and sometimes even those).
server  trump  computer  forensics 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Qualcomm plans exit from server chips • Bloomberg
Ian King:
<p>The San Diego-based company is exploring whether to shutter the unit or look for a new owner for the division, which was working on ways to get technology from ARM Holdings Plc into the market for chips that are at the heart of servers, the person said. ARM is one of Intel’s only rivals in developing semiconductor designs, and its architecture is primarily used in less power-intensive products, such as smartphones.

Qualcomm is the largest backer of an effort to find a role for ARM designs in the highest end of the computing market, where individual chips sell for multiple thousands of dollars. Chipmakers have been trying for years to provide owners of large data centers – companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Inc.’s Amazon Web Services – with processors to run them, trying to break into a business that Intel dominates with about 99 percent market share.

A Qualcomm spokesman declined to comment. In the company’s earnings report last month, Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf told analysts that Qualcomm is focused on spending reductions in its non-core product areas.

Servers, which crunch data in corporate networks and act as the backbone of the internet, are a much smaller market than phones and personal computers when measured by shipments. But the price that chipmakers are able to charge for the high-performance parts needed to run them makes the market attractive.

Qualcomm began selling a server chip, the Centriq 2400, based on ARM technology last year. At the time, the company said the chips, which were manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co., offered better results than an Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor, based on energy efficiency and cost. At the public introduction of the server chip line in November, potential customers such as Microsoft Corp. took to the stage to voice their interest in the offering. Since then, Qualcomm has been silent about its progress.</p>

Strange; ARM chips for servers seemed like the next big thing a few years ago. But it's gone nowhere - perhaps because it's not just about having a cooler chip.
qualcomm  server  arm 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Lenovo heads for a goodwill iceberg • Bloomberg Gadfly
Tim Culpan:
<p>There's absolutely no doubt, based on management's previous public statements, that those units [Motorola’s mobile business and IBM’s server business] bought at a cost of $5bn are performing worse than expected. What's extraordinary is that after four years Lenovo hasn't recognized such impairment and allows the goodwill to sit on the balance sheet.

Reporting standards only require a test of goodwill to be done annually, so it's reasonable not to see anything announced in the past few quarters. But the company's financial year is coming to an end March 31, so the clock is ticking.

You can understand management's reticence. After a slew of deals in the late 2000s, Acer, a Taiwanese PC maker, clung to inflated goodwill figures despite clear signs that the acquisitions weren't bearing fruit. In the end, it had to conduct an IAS36 impairment test and recognized a NT$9.4bn ($335m) writedown, enough to plunge Acer into a record annual loss and spur the ousting of its chairman and CEO.

That impairment was equivalent to about 24% of Acer's total intangible assets at the time.

For Lenovo, I calculate it would take a mere 10.3% writedown to push it into a loss for the current fiscal year - and that's only for an impairment on goodwill, and only at the mobile and server divisions. A deeper, 20% impairment on those units would bring about a record annual loss.</p>

This is a terrific insight. Lenovo was clearly suffering from hubris when it took on Motorola and the IBM server division. The PC division is the only thing keeping it afloat.
Lenovo  pc  mobile  server  goodwill 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
ARMing the cloud; Qualcomm's Centriq 2400 platform will power Microsoft Azure instances • PC Perspective
Jeremy Hellstrom:
<p>Last December Qualcomm announced plans to launch their Centriq 2400 series of platforms for data centres, demonstrating Apache Spark and Hadoop on Linux as well as a Java demo.  They announced a 48 Core design based on ARM v8 and fabbed with on Samsung's 10nm process, which will compete against Intel's current offerings for the server room.

Today marks the official release of the Qualcomm Falkor CPU and Centriq 2400 series of products, as well as the existence of a partnership with Microsoft which may see these products offered to Azure customers.  Microsoft has successfully configured a version of Windows Server to run on these new chips, which is rather big news for customers looking for low-powered hosting solutions running a familiar OS.</p>

Some understatement in that. "ARM servers" has been a promise for years; I recall talking to HP which said it was working on it about five years ago. Now it is becoming a reality. This is very dangerous for Intel - especially with Microsoft breaking away like this. If servers become commoditised on ARM architecture, Intel's chip business - which lately has looked to servers to keep it going - doesn't have a floor.

It might not happen overnight, but this is the thin end of a giant wedge in Intel's most profitable business.
intel  arm  server 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
Behind Apple’s Openness is Desire for Data Center Help — The Information
Steve Nellis and Amir Efrati:
Both Google and Amazon long have designed their own racks, servers and switches in their data centers, contracting with Asian manufacturers for production. They see their hardware designs as a competitive advantage, keeping them under wraps. Neither are in the Open Compute Project [which Apple has joined].

Facebook also designs its own data center equipment but started much later than Amazon and Google. By helping found the Open Compute Project, it has a chance to catch up. In the group, Facebook released its designs for servers and switches publicly and invited others to do the same. Microsoft, Intel, IBM and others eventually joined. The idea was that lots of companies working together can build better data centers cheaper.

“There’s this industry pattern I’ve come to observe: Open when you’re behind, closed when you’re ahead,” said Christopher Nguyen, CEO of Adatao and former engineering director of Google Apps.

That last point is so insightful, and worth bearing in mind. The article meanwhile confirms that Apple outsources some of iCloud's services to Microsoft (Azure) and Amazon (S3).
apple  cloud  opencompute  server 
march 2015 by charlesarthur

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