Most Read articles – Raspberry Pi HAT, Intel Ice Lake, Foun

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What are the topics covered this week? There’s LG pulling out of the smartphone market, a LoRaWAN styled HAT, ten random things about space, Intel launching 10nm Xeon Ice Lake processors and TSMC’s thoughts on the question of US and Europe building local foundry capacity for local demand…

5. LG pulls out of smartphones
LG has pulled out of the smartphone market after losing $4.5 billion in six years. A statement from the company reads: ‘LG Electronics Inc. (LG) announced that it is closing its mobile business unit. The decision was approved by its board of directors earlier today. LG’s strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will enable the company to focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business-to-business solutions, as well as platforms and services.’

4. Raspberry Pi puts on a LoRaWAN styled HAT [Gadget Master]
Check out the WM1302 Pi HAT from Seeed Studio – a HAT for connecting to the (separate) WM1302 LoRaWAN Gateway module, based on the Semtech SX1302 chip for long-range comms. The HAT has an estimated availability date of 20 May 2021 and will cost from $19.90. Note that the separate WM1302 LoRaWAN Gateway Module itself costs $88.90. If you put the two together you could be aiming for compact LoRaWAN wireless comms, supporting long-distance IoT scenarios…

3. Ten (random) things you may not know about space [Gadget Master]
A bit of fun. How about ten slightly random facts about space and technology? We’re talking AI in space, astronaut trivia, debris statistics, spaceports, gravity on Mars, the first extra-terrestrial rover, the Welsh language, and more. For example, 1. How much man-made debris is in space? The United Nations’ Office for Outer Space Affairs calculates 2,700 working satellites currently share orbits with 8,000 tonnes of space debris (that’s 1,950 discarded rocket stages, 2,850 defunct satellites and 21,000 unidentified pieces of debris).

2. Intel launches 10nm Xeon Ice Lake processors
Intel has launched its long-awaited 10nm Ice Lake Xeon processors. 200,000 are already in the hands of customers, says Intel. The Big Beast of the range is the 40-core Xeon Platinum 8380. The Sunny Cove core microarchitecture is claimed to deliver a generational IPC gain of around 20%. Intel has returned to revered marketing ploys of 50 years ago by focusing not on the performance of the processor but the overall performance it can deliver when used with Intel’s proprietary peripheral ICs.

1. Expanding US/EU foundry capacity “unrealistic” says TSMC boss
It would be “economically unrealistic” for the US and Europe to build local foundry capacity for local demand, says TSMC chairman Mark Liu. The result of doing so would be to establish “non-profitable capacity,” adds Liu. He says TSMC has enough capacity to supply the rising demand for AI and 5G chips which is one of the factors driving overall demand. The other two factors – the trade war and the pandemic – are abnormal factors creating uncertainty and changes to the supply chain leading to double-ordering.