Intel and subsidies
In other news: https://www.theregister.com/2022/03/24/intel_chips_subsidy/
In a sign of how badly Intel's board wanted Pat Gelsinger to turn around the storied chipmaker, the company paid the new CEO a whopping $178 million in total compensation last year for his first ten or so months on the job. That is nearly eight times what former CEO Bob Swan made in 2020. The semiconductor giant released the …
'"The package requires substantial stockholder value creation in order to realize its targeted value," Intel said in its new proxy statement.'
Or substantial inflation. Doubling in 5 years reflects roughly a 14% CAGR. Given the current US inflation rate, he's already more than halfway there without doing a thing. And meanwhile the shareholders don't benefit at all from higher stock prices except by becoming ex-shareholders, while Gelsinger can manipulate the books to convince the market of whatever he wishes to feather his own nest. The board should be ashamed of themselves; this compensation structure has been proven to create perverse incentives and reward managers for outcomes unrelated to their work. Instead he should be given some number of perpetual but non-transferable dividend rights each day he works for the company. If what he builds is strong and lasting, he will reap the rewards alongside the rest of the shareholders for many years to come regardless of market fashions or macroeconomic policy. If it is all price manipulation, inflation, and short-term results at the expense of long-term profits, he will end up with little or nothing. It's especially silly in this case given that the turnaround plan consists primarily of long-term investments (usually a good idea!); Mr Gelsinger ought to have preferred such a compensation plan himself.
Let's get a GoFundMe ...
No need for that.
The 45+ million (+/- 5M) American citizens without any access to basic welfare services and healthcare (not to mention the homeless millions) will be the ones who help these poor souls make ends meet:
Gelsinger later pointed to Wall Street's negative response as evidence that his company is worthy of receiving part of the $52 billion in US subsidies that await approval in Congress.
Any corporation that can pay these obscene amounts of money to their CEO's needs no subsidies.
Need money to build a new fab?
Instead of giving them more tax cuts and benefits, ask the bloody shareholders to put up some of their own moolah.
That is just what they are there for, not just for cashing in dividends.
"Instead of giving them more tax cuts and benefits, ask the bloody shareholders to put up some of their own moolah.
That is just what they are there for, not just for cashing in dividends."
Hahaha . . . no. The initial investors in Intel, back in the dawn of time, created value by contributing capital to the company. The existing investors are rent-seekers, pure and simple. Welcome to Wall Street.
If some how he managed to make the company earn 50x or 100x that minimum by his very presence or leadership qualities, then fair enough. CEO is a job, you work well, make the company earn it's keep you get a nice fat paycheck. Or on the other hand it's more likely the US version of the "old boys club" and CEO's are playing a giant corporate circle-jerk where they just try their hand at whatever position comes up after an old college mate vacates the CEO position! This year you head Coke, next year you head Intel, year after than you run a clothing company, it's the same right, just shout at the top management, who shout at the middle-management who shout at we working schmoes to actually get stuff done!
This is almost right. It's unusual for a CEO in one industry to go be a CEO in another, though it does happen. What's not at all unusual is for a retired CEO to sit on half a dozen other giant corporations' boards of directors. Usually these retired CEOs own no meaningful interest in these corporations and any shares they do own were usually given to them as compensation for sitting through a few meetings. It's not unusual to see multinationals with 20 directors, most of whom are retired CEOs and lobbyists, with the occasional token academic or banker. As long as the skin-tone and gender makeup is "right", the board is considered "effective" and "experienced" by whatever ISS is called nowadays, who tell all the index funds that own these companies how to vote. Never mind whether any of the directors care or even know the first thing about the businesses they're supposed to be guiding or the shareholders they nominally represent.
If you don't like this state of affairs (and I don't either), vote against every useless director. Every share you own, every company, every year. The company's CEO shouldn't be on the board either; that's the hired help. Choose to own smaller companies that index funds don't buy, so you don't have to fight ISS. Typically I find that even so I vote against 60% of the directors, despite selecting companies that have at least one useful, invested director. Most have none at all, just retired club buddies skimming their half mill a year off each company and rubber-stamping whatever the current CEO wants.
Capitalism was fine. This is not capitalism. If it were, the owners would be running these companies.
Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.
So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?
A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.
AMD's processors have come out on top in terms of cloud CPU performance across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, according to a recently published study.
The multi-core x86-64 microprocessors Milan and Rome and beat Intel Cascade Lake and Ice Lake instances in tests of performance in the three most popular cloud providers, research from database company CockroachDB found.
Using the CoreMark version 1.0 benchmark – which can be limited to run on a single vCPU or execute workloads on multiple vCPUs – the researchers showed AMD's Milan processors outperformed those of Intel in many cases, and at worst statistically tied with Intel's latest-gen Ice Lake processors across both the OLTP and CPU benchmarks.
While Intel has bagged Nvidia as a marquee customer for its next-generation Xeon Scalable processor, the x86 giant has admitted that a broader rollout of the server chip has been delayed to later this year.
Sandra Rivera, Intel's datacenter boss, confirmed the delay of the Xeon processor, code-named Sapphire Rapids, in a Tuesday panel discussion at the BofA Securities 2022 Global Technology Conference. Earlier that day at the same event, Nvidia's CEO disclosed that the GPU giant would use Sapphire Rapids, and not AMD's upcoming Genoa chip, for its flagship DGX H100 system, a reversal from its last-generation machine.
Intel has been hyping up Sapphire Rapids as a next-generation Xeon CPU that will help the chipmaker become more competitive after falling behind AMD in technology over the past few years. In fact, Intel hopes it will beat AMD's next-generation Epyc chip, Genoa, to the market with industry-first support for new technologies such as DDR5, PCIe Gen 5 and Compute Express Link.
A drought of AMD's latest Threadripper workstation processors is finally coming to an end for PC makers who faced shortages earlier this year all while Hong Kong giant Lenovo enjoyed an exclusive supply of the chips.
AMD announced on Monday it will expand availability of its Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5000 CPUs to "leading" system integrators in July and to DIY builders through retailers later this year. This announcement came nearly two weeks after Dell announced it would release a workstation with Threadripper Pro 5000 in the summer.
The coming wave of Threadripper Pro 5000 workstations will mark an end to the exclusivity window Lenovo had with the high-performance chips since they launched in April.
Patch Tuesday Microsoft claims to have finally fixed the Follina zero-day flaw in Windows as part of its June Patch Tuesday batch, which included security updates to address 55 vulnerabilities.
Follina, eventually acknowledged by Redmond in a security advisory last month, is the most significant of the bunch as it has already been exploited in the wild.
Criminals and snoops can abuse the remote code execution (RCE) bug, tracked as CVE-2022-30190, by crafting a file, such as a Word document, so that when opened it calls out to the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool, which is then exploited to run malicious code, such spyware and ransomware. Disabling macros in, say, Word won't stop this from happening.
In yet another sign of how fortunes have changed in the semiconductor industry, Taiwanese foundry giant TSMC is expected to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue for the first time.
Wall Street analysts estimate TSMC will grow second-quarter revenue 43 percent quarter-over-quarter to $18.1 billion. Intel, on the other hand, is expected to see sales decline 2 percent sequentially to $17.98 billion in the same period, according to estimates collected by Yahoo Finance.
The potential for TSMC to surpass Intel in quarterly revenue is indicative of how demand has grown for contract chip manufacturing, fueled by companies like Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, and Apple who design their own chips and outsource manufacturing to foundries like TSMC.
If claims hold true, AMD has been targeted by the extortion group RansomHouse, which says it is sitting on a trove of data stolen from the processor designer following an alleged security breach earlier this year.
RansomHouse says it obtained the files from an intrusion into AMD's network on January 5, 2022, and that this isn't material from a previous leak of its intellectual property.
This relatively new crew also says it doesn't breach the security of systems itself, nor develop or use ransomware. Instead, it acts as a "mediator" between attackers and victims to ensure payment is made for purloined data.
Intel has found a new way to voice its displeasure over Congress' inability to pass $52 billion in subsidies to expand US semiconductor manufacturing: withholding a planned groundbreaking ceremony for its $20 billion fab mega-site in Ohio that stands to benefit from the federal funding.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel was tentatively scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ohio manufacturing site with state and federal bigwigs on July 22. But, in an email seen by the newspaper, the x86 giant told officials Wednesday it was indefinitely delaying the festivities "due in part to uncertainty around" the stalled Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.
That proposed law authorizes the aforementioned subsidies for Intel and others, and so its delay is holding back funding for the chipmakers.
Comment Intel has begun shipping its cryptocurrency-mining "Blockscale" ASIC slightly ahead of schedule, and the timing could not be more unfortunate as digital currency values continue to plummet.
Raja Koduri, the head of Intel's Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics group, tweeted Wednesday the company has started initial shipments of the Blockscale ASIC to crypto-mining firms Argo Blockchain, Hive Blockchain and Griid:
Intel is claiming a significant advancement in its photonics research with an eight-wavelength laser array that is integrated on a silicon wafer, marking another step on the road to on-chip optical interconnects.
This development from Intel Labs will enable the production of an optical source with the required performance for future high-volume applications, the chip giant claimed. These include co-packaged optics, where the optical components are combined in the same chip package as other components such as network switch silicon, and optical interconnects between processors.
According to Intel Labs, its demonstration laser array was built using the company's "300-millimetre silicon photonics manufacturing process," which is already used to make optical transceivers, paving the way for high-volume manufacturing in future. The eight-wavelength array uses distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes, which apparently refers to the use of a periodically structured element or diffraction grating inside the laser to generate a single frequency output.
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