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Computing

AMD’s Ryzen road map spells out how it plans to beat Intel

AMD showed off its Ryzen road map on desktop and mobile during its Financial Analyst Day on Thursday, laying out how it plans to beat Intel to have the best processor. The road map reveals several key details about the upcoming Ryzen 7000 processors, as well as future CPUs for laptops and desktops. Although AMD didn’t provide hard performance numbers, the company still revealed expected performance for its Ryzen 7000 CPUs.

In particular, AMD says Ryzen 7000 comes with between an 8% and 10% increase in instruction per clock (IPC), and that it has a 25% performance-per-watt advantage over Ryzen 5000 CPUs. AMD reconfirmed the greater than 15% single-core performance increase it announced at Computex, too, which the company says is a very conservative estimate. In a pre-brief, AMD says it wants to underscore the “greater than” part of the claim.

Overall, AMD says Ryzen 7000 is 35% faster than the previous generation, which is a massive jump. It doesn’t stop at Ryzen 7000, though. In addition to 3D V-Cache coming back to Ryzen, AMD’s Ryzen road map (above) reveals some details about Zen 5 CPUs as well. AMD says they’re coming in 2024 and will offer a much more significant step up in performance.

These chips will use a 4nm manufacturing process for desktops, but that’s about all we know for now. The only major development is that Zen 5 CPUs could use a multinode architecture, similar to Intel Alder Lake. AMD didn’t outright confirm this is the case, but it talked up its fourth-gen Infinity architecture that enables multi-node designs.

In addition, the road map confirms that Threadripper processors built on Zen 4 are in the works. A leaked road map hinted at Threadripper 7000 earlier this year, and it is expected to launch in early 2023. You might not be able to buy them for your next PC build, though. Threadripper 5000 processors, for example, are currently only available in the Lenovo P620 workstation.

AMD's Ryzen mobile roadmap through 2024.

AMD provided a road map for its laptop processors, too (above). The company just launched Ryzen 6000 mobile, so now AMD’s sights are set on Phoenix Point chips in early 2023. We don’t have a confirmed name for this range yet, but AMD says they’ll use Zen 4 cores like Ryzen 7000 and be built using a 4nm manufacturing process.

Perhaps more exciting, these next-gen mobile CPUs will come with RDNA 3 graphics built-in — that’s the architecture behind AMD’s upcoming RX 7000 GPUs. Laptops have become a larger focus for AMD over the past few generations. Although Ryzen 6000 doesn’t beat Intel across the board, next-gen processors may.

Phoenix Point processors will target a power range of 35 watts to 45W for high-performance laptops, but AMD has previously confirmed an even more powerful lineup of mobile chips dubbed Dragon Range. These should launch around the same time as Phoenix Point, though they aren’t included on AMD’s new road map.

Beyond Phoenix Point, AMD will launch Strix Point built on Zen 5 CPU cores. We don’t know the manufacturing process yet, and details are light, as they are with Zen 5 desktop CPUs. The biggest announcement was that they will include RDNA 3+ graphics, which seems to be an enhanced version of AMD’s upcoming graphics architecture.

AMD Ryzen processor render.

Both Phoenix Point and Strix Point will also introduce an AI engine developed by Xilinx — a company that AMD recently acquired. It’s tough to say what specifically the engine will do, but it will likely target features that improve battery life, webcam performance, and system noise. AMD hasn’t revealed any details, though.

AMD is gearing up for a fight following the release of Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake processors. Looking forward, Ryzen 7000 will compete with Intel Meteor Lake, which is Intel’s next generation of processors. Intel is sticking with the same manufacturing process as Alder Lake, which could give AMD a leg up in the next generation. Intel has a road map of its own, however, so it’ll be an interesting few years.

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AI

DeepMind creates ‘transformative’ map of human proteins drawn by artificial intelligence

AI research lab DeepMind has created the most comprehensive map of human proteins to date using artificial intelligence. The company, a subsidiary of Google-parent Alphabet, is releasing the data for free, with some scientists comparing the potential impact of the work to that of the Human Genome Project, an international effort to map every human gene.

Proteins are long, complex molecules that perform numerous tasks in the body, from building tissue to fighting disease. Their purpose is dictated by their structure, which folds like origami into complex and irregular shapes. Understanding how a protein folds helps explain its function, which in turn helps scientists with a range of tasks — from pursuing fundamental research on how the body works, to designing new medicines and treatments.

Previously, determining the structure of a protein relied on expensive and time-consuming experiments. But last year DeepMind showed it can produce accurate predictions of a protein’s structure using AI software called AlphaFold. Now, the company is releasing hundreds of thousands of predictions made by the program to the public.

“I see this as the culmination of the entire 10-year-plus lifetime of DeepMind,” company CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis told The Verge. “From the beginning, this is what we set out to do: to make breakthroughs in AI, test that on games like Go and Atari, [and] apply that to real-world problems, to see if we can accelerate scientific breakthroughs and use those to benefit humanity.”

A gif of two rotating protein fold models made up of curls and swirling lines. AlphaFold’s predictions are overlayed on the models, with 90.7 GDT accuracy on the left and 93.3 GDT accuracy on the right.

Two examples of protein structures predicted by AlphaFold (in blue) compared with experimental results (in green).
Image: DeepMind

There are currently around 180,000 protein structures available in the public domain, each produced by experimental methods and accessible through the Protein Data Bank. DeepMind is releasing predictions for the structure of some 350,000 proteins across 20 different organisms, including animals like mice and fruit flies, and bacteria like E. coli. (There is some overlap between DeepMind’s data and pre-existing protein structures, but exactly how much is difficult to quantify because of the nature of the models.) Most significantly, the release includes predictions for 98 percent of all human proteins, around 20,000 different structures, which are collectively known as the human proteome. It isn’t the first public dataset of human proteins, but it is the most comprehensive and accurate.

If they want, scientists can download the entire human proteome for themselves, says AlphaFold’s technical lead John Jumper. “There is a HumanProteome.zip effectively, I think it’s about 50 gigabytes in size,” Jumper tells The Verge. “You can put it on a flash drive if you want, though it wouldn’t do you much good without a computer for analysis!”

After launching this first tranche of data, DeepMind plans to keep adding to the store of proteins, which will be maintained by Europe’s flagship life sciences lab, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). By the end of the year, DeepMind hopes to release predictions for 100 million protein structures, a dataset that will be “transformative for our understanding of how life works,” according to Edith Heard, director general of the EMBL.

The data will be free in perpetuity for both scientific and commercial researchers, says Hassabis. “Anyone can use it for anything,” the DeepMind CEO noted at a press briefing. “They just need to credit the people involved in the citation.”

Understanding a protein’s structure is useful for scientists across a range of fields. The information can help design new medicines, synthesize novel enzymes that break down waste materials, and create crops that are resistant to viruses or extreme weather. Already, DeepMind’s protein predictions are being used for medical research, including studying the workings of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

New data will speed these efforts, but scientists note it will still take a lot of time to turn this information into real-world results. “I don’t think it’s going to be something that changes the way patients are treated within the year, but it will definitely have a huge impact for the scientific community,” Marcelo C. Sousa, a professor at the University of Colorado’s biochemistry department, told The Verge.

Scientists will have to get used to having such information at their fingertips, says DeepMind senior research scientist Kathryn Tunyasuvunakool. “As a biologist, I can confirm we have no playbook for looking at even 20,000 structures, so this [amount of data] is hugely unexpected,” Tunyasuvunakool told The Verge. “To be analyzing hundreds of thousands of structures — it’s crazy.”

Notably, though, DeepMind’s software produces predictions of protein structures rather than experimentally determined models, which means that in some cases further work will be needed to verify the structure. DeepMind says it spent a lot of time building accuracy metrics into its AlphaFold software, which ranks how confident it is for each prediction.

Example protein structures predicted by AlphaFold.
Image: DeepMind

Predictions of protein structures are still hugely useful, though. Determining a protein’s structure through experimental methods is expensive, time-consuming, and relies on a lot of trial and error. That means even a low-confidence prediction can save scientists years of work by pointing them in the right direction for research.

Helen Walden, a professor of structural biology at the University of Glasgow, tells The Verge that DeepMind’s data will “significantly ease” research bottlenecks, but that “the laborious, resource-draining work of doing the biochemistry and biological evaluation of, for example, drug functions” will remain.

Sousa, who has previously used data from AlphaFold in his work, says for scientists the impact will be felt immediately. “In our collaboration we had with DeepMind, we had a dataset with a protein sample we’d had for 10 years, and we’d never got to the point of developing a model that fit,” he says. “DeepMind agreed to provide us with a structure, and they were able to solve the problem in 15 minutes after we’d been sitting on it for 10 years.”

Why protein folding is so difficult

Proteins are constructed from chains of amino acids, which come in 20 different varieties in the human body. As any individual protein can be comprised of hundreds of individual amino acids, each of which can fold and twist in different directions, it means a molecule’s final structure has an incredibly large number of possible configurations. One estimate is that the typical protein can be folded in 10^300 ways — that’s a 1 followed by 300 zeroes.

Because proteins are too small to examine with microscopes, scientists have had to indirectly determine their structure using expensive and complicated methods like nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. The idea of determining the structure of a protein simply by reading a list of its constituent amino acids has been long theorized but difficult to achieve, leading many to describe it as a “grand challenge” of biology.

In recent years, though, computational methods — particularly those using artificial intelligence — have suggested such analysis is possible. With these techniques, AI systems are trained on datasets of known protein structures and use this information to create their own predictions.

DeepMind’s AlphaFold software has significantly increased the accuracy of computational protein-folding, as shown by its performance in the CASP competition.
Image: DeepMind

Many groups have been working on this problem for years, but DeepMind’s deep bench of AI talent and access to computing resources allowed it to accelerate progress dramatically. Last year, the company competed in an international protein-folding competition known as CASP and blew away the competition. Its results were so accurate that computational biologist John Moult, one of CASP’s co-founders, said that “in some sense the problem [of protein folding] is solved.”

DeepMind’s AlphaFold program has been upgraded since last year’s CASP competition and is now 16 times faster. “We can fold an average protein in a matter of minutes, most cases seconds,” says Hassabis. The company also released the underlying code for AlphaFold last week as open-source, allowing others to build on its work in the future.

Liam McGuffin, a professor at Reading University who developed some of the UK’s leading protein-folding software, praised the technical brilliance of AlphaFold, but also noted that the program’s success relied on decades of prior research and public data. “DeepMind has vast resources to keep this database up to date and they are better placed to do this than any single academic group,” McGuffin told The Verge. “I think academics would have got there in the end, but it would have been slower because we’re not as well resourced.”

Why does DeepMind care?

Many scientists The Verge spoke to noted the generosity of DeepMind in releasing this data for free. After all, the lab is owned by Google-parent Alphabet, which has been pouring huge amounts of resources into commercial healthcare projects. DeepMind itself loses a lot of money each year, and there have been numerous reports of tensions between the company and its parent firm over issues like research autonomy and commercial viability.

Hassabis, though, tells The Verge that the company always planned to make this information freely available, and that doing so is a fulfillment of DeepMind’s founding ethos. He stresses that DeepMind’s work is used in lots of places at Google — “almost anything you use, there’s some of our technology that’s part of that under the hood” — but that the company’s primary goal has always been fundamental research.

“The agreement when we got acquired is that we are here primarily to advance the state of AGI and AI technologies and then use that to accelerate scientific breakthroughs,” says Hassabis. “[Alphabet] has plenty of divisions focused on making money,” he adds, noting that DeepMind’s focus on research “brings all sorts of benefits, in terms of prestige and goodwill for the scientific community. There’s many ways value can be attained.”

Hassabis predicts that AlphaFold is a sign of things to come — a project that shows the huge potential of artificial intelligence to handle messy problems like human biology.

“I think we’re at a really exciting moment,” he says. “In the next decade, we, and others in the AI field, are hoping to produce amazing breakthroughs that will genuinely accelerate solutions to the really big problems we have here on Earth.”

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Game

Epic’s latest Fortnite teaser all but confirms entirely new Chapter 3 map

Epic Games has kicked off Black Friday by dropping a new Fortnite Chapter 3 teaser, one that all but confirms players will, indeed, drop onto an entirely new map once the current season ends. Rumors about the new map have been circulating for a while, but the first real indication came from Epic itself with the Chapter 3 announcement.

Epic Games/YouTube

Following rumors about a big change, Epic confirmed that Fortnite‘s current season will be the last in the game’s second chapter, meaning next month will bring the big Chapter 3 update. The announcement was made in a teaser trailer, which the company followed up with another tweet today.

To properly understand the new tweet, you should first check out Epic’s teaser trailer: it ends with the name for this finale, “The End.” Players noted that when flipped upside down, “The End” shows what appears to be Steamy Stacks and a large mountain or volcano.

Image: Fortnite/Epic Games

The decision to place the landscape silhouette underside down doesn’t seem to be a mere style choice. Fans have been speculating that Chapter 3 will essentially “flip” the battle royale island, bringing the fight to the other side. Assuming that does take place, it raises new questions.

Will the map get a full overhaul, or will it be a mirrored version of the current map with smaller changes throughout? Given complaints from players that the current chapter is starting to feel stale, it seems reasonable that Epic would overhaul the island.

The company seemingly reinforces that speculation with its new tweet, indicating that once Chapter 3 arrives, Fortnite players will get an entirely new experience akin to when they first played Fortnite. The big change will be ushered in by the Chapter 2 – Season 8 finale scheduled for December 4 at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET.

Popular Fortnite data-miner and leaker HYPEX claims in a recent tweet that the Season 8 finale will result in another “black hole,” which is a placeholder that persists for a few days while Epic updates Fortnite with major changes. Should the leak prove true, the black hole will disappear and Chapter 3 will arrive on December 7.

HYPEX goes on to claim that the sources who provided this information have “never” been wrong in the past. The account also indicates that it knows more about Chapter 3 than it has revealed, saying the next chapter is “SOO good.” Epic says Chapter 2 will end with players battling the Cube Queen and whatever she has planned in a one-time in-game event on December 4.



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Game

Fortnite Horde Rush LTM returns with an entirely new map

As Epic previously teased, Fortnite‘s Horde Rush LTM is back again, tasking players with destroying as many cube monsters as possible. The LTM comes with related quests that some players feel have too high of requirements, though whether Epic ends up making adjustments is yet to be seen. Among other things, this year’s LTM brings a new map.

Horde Rush LTM is available for teams or random players to join together in a battle against waves of cube monsters, including one particularly tall and lanky monster. The Storm continues to move inward as the waves grow stronger, giving players a shot at raking in a bunch of points, but with victory more difficult than ever.

The LTM’s return is part of this year’s wider Fortnitemares event, which involves a battle royale island full of Halloween decorations (even the Battle Bus has a costume). You can, as with previous years, collect candy from buckets in front of houses for unique consumables, the witch’s broom item is back, and there are some new seasonal items like a scythe.

As for the Horde Rush event, players have the opportunity to unlock some unique rewards, but the points you need to get the items are pretty astronomical: 200,000 for a spraypaint and 2,000,000 for an emote. These are, however, collective team points, meaning you don’t need to personally earn them all yourself — you’ll just need to pick your teammates well.

The recent update that brought this LTM also ushered in the previously-leaked cube city found in the center of the island. This destination is made entirely of cubes, some of them bouncy, where players can battle it out in a unique environment that’s relatively plentiful in loot.



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Game

Here’s our first look at Forza Horizon 5’s full map

The workweek has started with a big reveal for those of us looking forward to Forza Horizon 5. This afternoon, the folks at Playground Games revealed the full map for Forza Horizon 5, and it’s definitely worth a look. The map even names some of the regions and places of interest we’ll be cruising through in Forza Horizon 5, but for the most part, this is all about getting the lay of the land and seeing some of the routes that we’ll get to drive.

As revealed during E3 2021, Forza Horizon 5 will be set in Mexico. The changing seasons of Forza Horizon 4 will be sticking around, though, as today’s reveal shows us the map as it looks during the summer wet season. While Forza Horizon 5 isn’t aiming to give us a carbon copy of Mexico in-game, the map is inspired by Mexico and will feature a collection of different biomes.

Obviously, the thing that immediately sticks out about the map is the massive volcano in the upper left portion. That volcano is featured in the reveal trailer for the game, and as this map shows us, there are roads that lead up to the top and a trail system that takes us around the volcano’s crater.

Following the roads takes us to some interesting places, from farmland to lakeside to either one of the coasts. The bottom portion of the map looks to be mostly covered in rainforest, so we can probably expect some solid offroad courses there. At the same time, a large highway stretches almost horizontally from one coast to the other, making it a good place to test out those supercars that may not handle tight twists and turns as well.

It’s an impressive map, to be sure, and this is a rare chance to see a Forza Horizon map that isn’t filled to the brim with icons and waypoints. Forza Horizon 5 is out on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC on November 9th.

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Computing

Intel Road Map Explained: Going Beyond 2025

Intel introduced a new road map at its Intel Accelerated event, laying the path forward for the next few years. Now that we know what Intel is working on, we have a much clearer picture of how the chipmaker is operating under new leadership, as well as how it will climb back to the top after some big losses to rival AMD.

Starting in the coming months, Intel will push the envelope in how it creates, packages, and sells processors. Although the road map is subject to change — it wouldn’t be the first time for Intel — the path forward looks exciting for Team Blue.

2021: Intel 7, Alder Lake

Intel’s road map kicks off later this year with the introduction of Intel 7 and the launch of Alder Lake processors. Intel 7 was previously known as 10nm Enhanced SuperFin, building off of the 10nm process showcased in Tiger Lake processors. It’s the same node, but thanks to various optimizations, it offers up to a 15% improvement in performance per watt.

Although Intel 7 implies a 7nm process, Intel is sticking with 10nm through 2021. Instead, the change in naming helps Intel reflect its improvements in transistor density and performance per watt compared to other chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung.

Alder Lake processors will be the first to feature Intel 7, and they’re set to launch in late 2021. The processors will use a hybrid design — dubbed “big.LITTLE” by chip designer ARM — that utilizes high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores on the same processor. By delegating work to an appropriate core, the high-performance cores have more headroom, and Intel is able to pack more cores into the processor to improve multi-core performance.

The big Golden Cove cores handle the bulk of the work, and they’re similar to what you’d find in a standard Intel processor. Like previous core designs, Golden Cove cores support hyperthreading, giving you access to double the number of threads based on how many cores the processor has.

A diagram of intel Alder Lake processors.

The little Gracemont cores don’t support hyperthreading, but that’s not really their purpose. The cores are based on an Intel Atom design, which shows up in low-power, high-efficiency devices. The flagship Intel Core i9-12900K is rumored to feature eight Golden Cove and eight Gracemont cores, offering a total of 16 cores and 24 threads.

Although Intel isn’t moving to 7nm with Alder Lake, the changes in core design should bring a significant performance improvement. Early benchmarks show it beating AMD’s flagship Ryzen 9 5950X, and a leaked slide from Intel claimed up to a 20% increase in single-core performance.

Another advantage of this architecture is how it scales. Based on what we know, Intel can design an Alder Lake processor that requires as little as 5W of power. Intel is expected to release Alder Lake-P processors to replace Tiger Lake processors on mobile, though we don’t have a specific timeframe on when that’s happening right now.

2022: Raptor Lake

In 2022, Intel is rumored to follow up Alder Lake with Raptor Lake. These processors will also use the Intel 7 manufacturing process, serving as the “tock” in Intel’s traditional tick-tock release cadence. As such, Raptor Lake processors will be an improvement of Alder Lake, not an entirely new manufacturing process.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger holding a chip.
Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation

We don’t know as much about Raptor Lake right now, as Intel likes to play its releases close to the chest. As an improvement of Alder Lake, however, the processors should feature a similar hybrid architecture. Rumors suggest that Intel will stick with Gracemont for the high-efficiency cores but introduce improved Raptor Lake high-performance cores.

In addition to the core improvements, Intel is rumored to include more Gracemont cores in the design. The flagship chip is said to come with 24 cores — eight Raptor Lake and 16 Gracemont — for a total of 32 threads. The range should also introduce DLVR power delivery, allowing the processor to reduce its clock speed to very low speeds when not in use.

DLVR will also show up on Raptor Lake mobile processors. For the next couple of years, at least, it seems Intel is aligning its desktop and mobile releases. The introduction of DLVR should significantly improve the battery life of laptops. The mobile range will also introduce LPDDR5X memory, according to leaks.

Intel was rumored to transition over to its ATX12V0 power standard by the launch of Raptor Lake, building on the standard after it was announced in early 2020. However, recent rumors suggest that motherboard makers have pushed back on the standard, so Intel may backpedal.

2023: Intel 4 and Meteor Lake

In 2023, Intel will move on from 10nm to a 7nm process. Known now at Intel 4, the process will debut with the launch of Meteor Lake processors in 2023. Behind the scenes, Intel validated the Meteor Lake design earlier in 2021, suggesting that the range is on track for a 2023 launch.

The new process is said to bring a 20% gain in performance per watt thanks to the smaller size and use of EUV lithography, allowing Intel to create denser, more complex circuits. Until built on 7nm, Intel 4 will surpass TSMC and Samsung with their comparable 5nm nodes, with a transistor density of up to 250 million transistors per square millimeter.

Intel's process roadmap through 2025.

Intel infamously delayed the move to 7nm as it experienced manufacturing issues. Originally, speculation suggested that Meteor Lake would immediately follow Alder Lake, but the delay seems to have pushed Intel to develop Raptor Lake to fill the gap.

Although we don’t have any specs or products right now, there’s a lot to be excited about with Meteor Lake. It’s also rumored to use a hybrid design, using Redwood Cove high-performance cores with next-generation Gracemont cores. Redwood Cove is said to be an agnostic node, allowing Intel to create them in different fabs and stack them together.

This is where Intel will realize its 3D Foveros packaging technology. Foveros made its debut in 2020 with the launch of Lakefield processors, but Intel said it’s working on improvements to the packaging in the form of Foveros Omni and Forveros Direct. Meteor Lake is when we should see these packaging technologies come to fruition.

Redwood Cove will also help Intel avoid supply constraints and chip shortages, as the company (and the industry) was hit with in 2020. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger referenced other fabs during the Intel Accelerated event in July 2021, suggesting this is a key part of Intel’s strategy moving forward.

2024: Intel 3, Intel 20A

Beyond 2023, things get a little vague. This far out, it really isn’t worth speculating on specific products as they’re likely in active development at Intel. At this point, we’re dealing in technologies and manufacturing advancements, not product ranges or specific processors.

Intel says the next step in its roadmap, Intel 3, will start production in the second half of 2023, so we should see the first products featuring it in early 2024. Like Intel 7, this is the “tock” in Intel’s development cadence. Instead of an entirely new node, Intel 3 will feature improvements to Intel’s 7nm manufacturing process.

Intel CEO presenting at the Intel Accelerated event.

Current testing shows an 18% improvement in performance per watt compared to Intel 4, thanks to the expanded use of EUV lithography and other improvements. This node will continue using the FinFET transistor design Intel introduced in 2011, serving as the last generation to feature it.

Later in 2024, Intel will begin ramping Intel 20A, which is the most exciting advancement the company has coming up. This would have otherwise been known as Intel 1, but the company changed the name to usher in the new “angstrom era” of semiconductors.

In addition to a new manufacturing process, Intel 20A will utilize two new architecture technologies. The first is PowerVia, which allows Intel to route power through the back of the wafer, not through the front as it has traditionally done. Intel says this delivery method is more efficient, which should translate into real-world performance gains.

Intel will ditch the FinFET transistor design with Intel 20A, as well. This generation will bring the new RibbonFET design, which is Intel’s name for its gates-all-around (GAA) transistor. Instead of using a single gate, a GAA transistor uses multiple gates on the transistor delivered through ribbons. This allows the transistor to open and close faster, vastly improving speed.

We don’t know of any products utilizing Intel 20A right now, but the company has already announced a partnership with rival Qualcomm. In the future, Qualcomm will use Intel fabs to build some of its chips utilizing Intel 20A.

2025: Intel 18A

A historic road map of Intel advancements.

The roadmap leads to 2025, where Intel will introduce Intel 18A and re-establish itself as a leader in the industry — at least based on current estimates. If Intel sticks with its launch cadence, Intel 18A will be another “tock” in the cycle, building on RibbonFET and PowerVia on a 5nm manufacturing process.

We don’t know anything about Intel 18A right now outside of the fact that it exists. However, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says the company has clear plans even beyond this point. “Moore’s Law is alive and well. We have a clear path for the next decade of innovation to go to ‘1’ and well beyond. I like to say that, until the periodic table is exhausted, Moore’s Law isn’t over, and we will be relentless in our path to innovate with the magic of silicon,” he said.

With further partnerships with company’s like IBM, Intel could continue to push the boundaries of transistor density. Earlier this year, IBM unveiled the world’s first 2nm chip, providing a glimpse at what could be in store years down the line.

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Tech News

Map reveals which states spend the most money on July 4th fireworks

Zippia, a career website, has a fun bit of research for the Independence Day holiday: which states spend the most money on fireworks, at least based on population and firework imports. The list is a bit surprising — Texas, for example, doesn’t make the Top Ten list despite its popular association with independence and firepower.

The research is a basic, yet fun look into the fireworks habit of each state in the US. Though many states, counties, and cities have their own regulations involving the use of fireworks at home, including which products are allowed and whether they can be set off in residential areas, people tend to blow them up regardless and enforcement is typically reserved to cases of reckless behavior.

Based on US trade Census data on firework imports for each state, as well as US Census data on state populations, it turns out that Missouri collectively spends the most on fireworks for the 4th of July, followed by neighboring states Nebraska and Kansas. Alabama ranks #4 on the list, followed by South Carolina, Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota, Indiana, and Ohio at 10th place.

The states that seem to enjoy the least amounts of fireworks, at least based on import data, include Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon, Louisiana, and New York. This is likely due to local laws that reduce how many fireworks are imported, but keep in mind that many people near borders will cross state lines to purchase their goods in another state, then drive the products back to their home state.

While fireworks are a lot of fun, they’re also dangerous, and not just because you may accidentally lose a finger if the fuse is too short. A recent study found that the amount of risky fine particulate matter in the air increases sharply the week before Independence Day and remains that way the week after the holiday, at least in Calfornia, putting public health at risk.

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Game

New Monster Hunter Rise and Stories 2 DLC Road Map Revealed

During the Capcom showcase, we got another look at Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, along with the road map for Monster Hunter Rise for June and July. Both games are getting new cosmetic options for players. We also learned that the trial version of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will be released on June 25.

The Palamute Monstie, a free content update for Monster Hunter Stories 2, will be available to download on July 15. Players will now be able to ride a palamute, the dog companion from Monster Hunter Rise, into battle and fight monsters. Monster Hunter Rise players are also getting a Tsukino layer armor for their palico that is available to download on June 18.

The road map for Monster Hunter Rise laid out new event quests for players to take on. The rewards for these quests are only cosmetics, but they include wearable sunglasses, black leather pants, new stickers, and new gestures.

Both Monster Hunter games are getting even more cosmetic options that are free to download. There will be various cosmetic options for Monster Hunter Rise players to dress up as Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin characters and vice versa.

Monster Hunter Rise is getting new paid DLC as well. The paid DLC includes new voice packs, skins for animal companions, and even more costumes for players. The voice packs allow players to change the voice of their characters. The newest packs include Kagero the Merchant and Rondine the Trader. The newest skins for the animal companions allow players to dress their palamutes and palicoes up in fashionable kimonos, as well as change Cohoot into a baby penguin.

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Game

Halo: The Master Chief Collection season 6 kicks off with a new map and game mode

343 Industries and Microsoft kicked off season 6 within Halo: The Master Chief Collection earlier today, and the new seasonal update is shipping with some big additions. Obviously, the new season also kicks off a new progression system for players to work their way through, with 100 tiers of content to unlock. Beyond that, however, there’s a new map, a new game variant, and a new feature called The Exchange going live in the Master Chief Collection.

Starting things right off, a lot of the cosmetic unlocks in season 6 are centered around Fireteam Raven. In fact, the new season is officially titled Season 6: Raven, so the inspiration should be clear. For a look at some of the new cosmetics, check out the trailer for Season 6: Raven below.

Cosmetics are just a portion of the update though, and perhaps the biggest addition shipping along with it is a new map called Waterfall. Originally from Halo Online, Waterfall is now available in custom games within Halo 3, so those who don’t mind taking a break from ranked playlists can check out a slice of Halo history that has rarely been seen before.

Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 are all getting a new game mode called Escalation Slayer, which grants players a new weapon every time they secure a kill. There’s also a new feature called The Exchange, which is basically a new in-game shop that will rotate in items from previous seasons and new items alike as a way of allowing those who weren’t around from previous seasons a chance to obtain those items.

Of course, new features aren’t the only component of this patch, as there are a number of fixes and changed shipping along with it as well. You can check the full patch notes for the season 6 update over on the Halo Support website, but otherwise, the season 6 update is ready to download today on Xbox consoles and PC through both Steam and the Microsoft Store.

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Among Us Airship map update is now available

The popular videogame Among Us has an update that is now available to download that brings a new map. The new map is called Airship and is available on all platforms. Airship is the fourth map offered via free updates and is the largest map yet.

Other tidbits added in the free map update include new tasks ranging from jewel polishing to emptying the trash, among others. Players can now pick the room they start in, and all new areas are available to explore and for the imposter to kill other players in. Developers have expanded mobility options giving players ladders and moving platforms to utilize.

New hats have debuted, including a heart pin, angry eyebrows, unicorn head, rubber gloves, and others. Developers behind the latest update are specific in that minimum system requirements for mobile devices include iOS 13 and Android 6. Along with the free update also come new paid assets.

A new Airship Skin Bundle is available for purchase, giving players new gear to wear on their character in the game. Each of the new outfits in the bundle offers its own custom kill animation. As with any popular game, Among Us is fighting cheaters that make the game less fun for everyone. Last week, developers unveiled a new Code of Conduct and Account system.

The accounting system focuses on reporting and moderation capabilities, but developers hope to add a friend system in the future and transfer cosmetics between devices. One caveat is that only one account can be made per device, and if multiple people are using the same device, it will be locked for the time being. Developers have promised a hotfix for that issue soon.

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