IBM announced on Wednesday that it planned to adopt a more open strategy in its microprocessor business, borrowing a page from successful collaborative software projects like Linux. \nThe company said it would share more technical information about its Power family of microprocessors, would widely distribute free software tools for chip design and testing, and would set up a series of design centers around the world to help customers develop custom chips. \nThe strategic shift, IBM executives said, is largely shaped by the prospect of coming to the end of the traditional path of improving performance by steadily shrinking the size of transistors and piling more into each silicon chip to increase processing speed. Circuits are now a few atoms thick, they noted, and today's densely packed microprocessors generate a lot of heat and consume more and more power. \n"That game is pretty much over," said Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist of IBM's systems and technology group. \nFurther gains in microprocessor performance, Meyerson said, are going to come not so much from increasing raw processing speed as from tailoring microprocessors to their use. They will be fine-tuned, he said, for everything from heart pacemakers to computer game consoles to supercomputers. \n"This is going down a fundamentally new road," Meyerson said. "We'll still do bits and molecules, but we'll do it in concert with everybody else. We're going to offer customers very open, collaborative access to our microprocessor technology." \nIBM, it seems, intends to offer customers an a la carte approach to microprocessor technology instead of a fixed menu. The move, analysts said, is a significant departure from the business formula of most microprocessor makers, like Intel and others, that sell finished chips to customers. \nYet, analysts added, the IBM strategy also appears to be born of necessity. The company is renowned for advanced chip design and manufacturing technology, notably at its US$2.5-billion plant in East Fishkill, New York, which opened less than two years ago. \nBut unlike Intel, whose plants are kept busy churning out hundreds of millions of microprocessors that run personal computers, IBM must hustle for work to fill its semiconductor factories. The internal demand for chips used in IBM's server computers consumes only about a third of its factory capacity. Servers using the company's new Power 5 chip will be shipped beginning in May. \nToday, IBM does supply microprocessors for outside customers including Apple, Sony, Nintendo and Cisco. But those have been a comparative handful of tight alliances, covered by lengthy contracts controlling intellectual property. Now, IBM hopes to strike more deals by offering its technology more broadly in the marketplace. \n"By being more flexible and opening up its technology, IBM is trying to create a volume opportunity," said A.M. Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. \nIBM can use the added business. Its technology group, which is mostly semiconductors, lost US$252 million last year on revenue of nearly US$3.7 billion. \nThere will be limits to IBM's openness with its technology. The basic instruction set of the microprocessor -- a chip's essential engine -- will remain tightly controlled. The company, however, will freely distribute software for developing custom chips, based on Power microprocessors and its library of more than 300 integrated-circuit designs for specific applications. \n"What we've learned from the Internet and Linux is that things move faster and you get more innovation, the more you open technology up to a wider community," William Zeitler, senior vice president for IBM's computer systems group, said. \nIBM said it would explore working with customers and industry partners in an "open governance model" to guide the future of Power chip design. Executives did not elaborate on how that might work. \n"The IBM announcement is significant," Peter Glaskowsky, an independent semiconductor analyst said, "but it's still mostly a statement of intent at this point."
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
CHINA WORRIES: A source said the AIT held a meeting at which Taiwan lawmakers and US officials discussed expediting shipments of arms that were paid for Taiwanese officials have reportedly reached out to the US to discuss the possibility of expediting the delivery of F-16 jets to Taiwan, CNN said on Friday. While the “Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command has watched with increasing concern as China has rapidly modernized its military and improved its training with an eye to Taiwan,” the US Department of State is wary of taking a more aggressive stance against China, a CNN report said. US President Joe Biden’s “administration has discussed with Taiwanese officials the possibility of expediting the delivery of American-made F-16s to Taiwan, according to Taiwanese and US officials familiar with the talks,”
FAMILY: While the CECC agrees ‘in principle’ to allowing entry to foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit, the issue is still being reviewed A nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended for two weeks until Nov. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that agencies are still discussing whether to allow foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit to enter the nation. “In principle we agree to relaxing the entry regulations for the group, but relevant agencies are still reviewing and discussing the matter,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The center on Sept. 13 eased border restrictions for foreign dependents of Taiwanese nationals. They can apply