After years of trying to catch up with competitors, Intel’s new Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger revealed Tuesday that the company’s main strategy would be to produce chips for other companies.
Intel has traditionally concentrated on producing its own chips, but that will change with the establishment of the new and independent Intel Foundry Services business unit.
If the change is successful, it will represent a significant turnaround for a decades-old Silicon Valley powerhouse. For years, the chipmaker’s technological leadership and the “Intel Inside” marketing strategy held it at the forefront of personal technology.
However, in recent years, Intel has struggled to enter the smartphone market and has experienced many delays in PC processor development.
Intel’s move could also help to anchor technology supply chains in the United States, which is advantageous at a time when policymakers are worried about dependence on Asian manufacturers.
Intel welcomes political efforts to improve the US processor market, but the foundry change is unrelated to those efforts, according to Gelsinger.
The strategy comes at a time when there is a severe chip shortage, which is delaying car production and causing other issues.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest foundry, expects to invest $28 billion in new chip making capacity this year to meet demand.
That provides an appropriate backdrop for Intel’s foundry news. But don’t hold your breath waiting for it to work. It takes years to get new fab products to market capacity online
As Intel’s chip making dominance waned, companies such as Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and AMD turned to chip foundries such as TSMC, Samsung, and UMC. Apple’s M1 processor, manufactured by TSMC and used in many new Macs, is representative of the move.
On several measurements, it outperforms rival Intel chips in terms of speed and battery power consumption.
According to Gelsinger, Intel is making strides toward a newer manufacturing process that uses electronic components measuring 10 nanometers, or billionths of a meter.
He also expressed trust in the company’s 2023 transition to its 7nm process, which doubles the amount of circuitry elements that can fit into a given area compared to today’s 10nm process and quadruples it compared to today’s 20nm process.
“Intel has returned. As we look to the future, the old Intel has given way to the new Intel “Gelsinger explained. “Our belief in 7nm’s health and competitiveness is growing.”
Wall Street remained skeptical. Following an initial surge, Intel’s stock price levelled off Wednesday at around $63 a share, where it had closed on Tuesday prior to Intel’s announcements.
Intel Foundry Issues
Not everybody shares Gelsinger’s optimism. “The foundry project seems unlikely to be any more competitive than Intel’s previous foundry efforts,” Linley Gwennap, an analyst at the Linley Group, said.
“Intel has always struggled at foundry because it does not have standard tools and libraries that TSMC and Samsung support, and external customers recognize that they will always be the lowest priority in Intel’s fabs.”
Intel’s previous foundry efforts were “bad,” according to Gelsinger, but this time will be different. For example, this time around, the foundry initiative will be a separate business entity with its own benefit obligations and dedicated capacity for custodial services.
Intel’s efforts to bring 7nm chip development to scale, accelerate the next transition to 5nm, and embrace emerging technologies to combine smaller “chiplets” into a single more efficient chip package are also daunting, according to Gwennap.
“If someone can pull it off, Pat is the one,” Gwennap said of Gelsinger. Gelsinger worked at Intel for 30 years, rising to the position of chief technical officer before departing for a lengthy stint at software maker VMware.
Intel also stated that it would beat previous revenue and profit expectations for the first quarter, owing to strong sales of laptop chips. Remote schooling and work during the pandemic has resulted in an increase in PC spending.
New ventures, new plants, and new customers
Intel hopes that the newly revealed plan would result in new business from foundry services. It will not only design its own processors, such as the Core and Xeon, but it will also design chips for other technology companies.
Intel is investing a massive $20 billion in two new Arizona chip factories, known as fabs, that will have dedicated foundry power, giving customers confidence that Intel will manufacture their chips.
Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Cisco all supported Intel’s shift, but Intel did not provide information.
It also announced a collaboration with IBM on chip technology and packaging. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a statement that Intel Foundry Services “would bolster US competitiveness.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed his support for Intel’s manufacturing reforms, a clear vote of confidence considering the company’s position in the PC industry, and Gelsinger thanked him on Twitter.
The exchange was noteworthy since Gelsinger is following in Nadella’s footsteps in several respects.
Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has welcomed strong competitors such as the Linux operating system and smartphones powered by Google and Apple applications.
Today, Gelsinger is lending its manufacturing clout â€“ although somewhat tarnished at the moment â€“ to its main competitors. The “you’re with us or you’re against us” mentality has vanished.
Customers will be able to design chips using Intel’s own x86 processor cores as well as the Arm designs that dominate the smartphone market. Customers of Intel will also be able to design chips using RISC-V, a newer competitor to Arm designs.
Even as it plans to build chips for others, Intel will increase its reliance on other foundries such as TSMC, Samsung in Korea, and UMC in Taiwan in the near term.
According to Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin in a research note issued on Wednesday, Intel’s moves have a major impact on the industry’s competitive dynamics.
Intel’s ability to develop its chips on TSMC’s leading manufacturing brings fresh pressure on Intel’s own manufacturing to change, while also allowing Intel to demonstrate how well its processors perform when not hampered by Intel’s manufacturing issues.
It’s unclear how well Intel can carry out its plans, but Bajarin is more confident in Intel’s capabilities now than he has been in the last decade. “These announcements are a significant move forward.”
The assessment that a main cyber attack poses is a risk to monetary stability is axiomatic. The arena’s governments and agencies maintain to conflict to contain the danger because it stays uncertain who is in authority for defensive the system.
Progressively concerned, key voices are sounding the alert. In February 2020, Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank and former head of the International Monetary Fund, alerted that a cyber assault seem trigger a genuine monetary emergency.
In April 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) cautioned that “a major cyber occurrence, in case not legitimately contained, might truly disturb budgetary frameworks, counting basic budgetary framework, driving to broader budgetary steadiness suggestions.”
The potential financial costs of such occasions can be colossal and the harm to open believe and certainty critical.
Global financial system:
This risk is amplified by two current developments. First, the global financial system is undergoing a digital revolution unknown in history, and is being intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Banks compete with technology firms, and technology firms clash with banks.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has increased demand for online financial services and made working from home the new trend.
Central banks all over the world are considering promoting digital currencies and modernizing payment systems.
Second, malicious actors are using this digital revolution to pose an increasing threat to the global financial infrastructure, financial stability, and confidence in the system’s credibility.
The pandemic has also provided new opportunities for hackers. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the finance industry is facing the second-highest share of Covid-19-related cyber threats, behind only the health sector.
Suspect for risk?
Malicious players behind these attacks involve not only highly brazen perpetrators, such as the Carbanak squad, who stole more than $1 billion from financial institutions between 2013 and 2018, but also governments and state-sponsored attackers.
This is a global problem. Although high-income countries receive more coverage for cyber threats, the growing amount of attacks on softer targets in low- and lower-middle-income countries receives less attention.
However, it is in these countries where the drive for greater financial inclusion has been most intense, prompting many to migrate to digital financial services such as mobile payment systems.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a paper titled “International Strategy to Better Defend the Global Financial System from Cyber Threats” in November 2020 to ensure more effective defense of the global financial system from cyber threats.
The study, created in partnership with the World Economic Forum, proposes concrete steps to minimize polarization by encouraging further collaboration, both globally and among government institutions, financial firms, and technology companies. The plan is based on 4 guiding principles:
More clarification on duties and obligations is needed. A few countries have effectively established domestic partnerships with their financial institutions, law enforcement, diplomats, other related government actors, and industry.
Present fragmentation stifles international collaboration and threatens the international system’s mutual resilience, rehabilitation, and reaction capabilities.
International cooperation is both necessary and urgent. Individual states, financial institutions, and technology businesses cannot adequately guard against cyber attacks if they act alone, given the size of the challenge and the system’s global interdependence.
Limiting fragmentation would expand capacity to resolve the problem. Many measures are in the works to help secure financial institutions, but they are also divided.
Any of these efforts overlap, increasing processing costs. Several of these projects have evolved to the point that they can be communicated, more organized, and internationalized.
Defending the international financial system will serve as a blueprint for other industries. Even when global pressures are high, the financial system is one of the few places where countries have a strong mutual interest in cooperating. Focusing on the financial sector is a good place to start, and it will pave the way for better security in other industries in the future.
Governments and business should improve protection by exchanging vulnerability information and establishing financial computer emergency response teams (CERTs) modelled after Israel’s FinCERT.
They can priorities growing the financial sector’s resilience to data and algorithm-based assaults. This can provide free, secured data vaulting, which enables participants to back up customer account data safely overnight. Daily models of cyber threats can be used to find flaws and build action plans.
The study suggests that policymakers explain how they can adapt international law to cyberspace and enhance norms to protect the credibility of the financial system in order to reinforce international norms. Sanctions, prosecutions, and asset seizures are also possible responses.
Governments can help these efforts by creating agencies to help with threat assessment and response coordination. Threats to the financial sector should be a priority of information collection, and policymakers should exchange that intelligence with partners and like-minded countries.
The holistic strategy outlined in the Carnegie report is dependent on developing the cybersecurity workforce, expanding the financial sector’s cybersecurity capability, and protecting financial inclusion gains made as a result of the digital transformation.
The pandemic’s increased unemployment offers a vital incentive for training and recruiting skilled people to improve the cybersecurity workforce. Firms in the financial services industry should invest in initiatives to develop the talent pool, such as high school, apprenticeship, and university programmer.
Creating cybersecurity capability entails concentrating on giving support where it is required. The IMF and other foreign organisations have received several requests from member countries for cybersecurity assistance.
G20 governments and central banks could establish an international framework to strengthen financial sector cybersecurity capability in collaboration with an international agency such as IMF.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and international financial institutions should include cybersecurity capacity-building in development assistance packages and substantially increase assistance to needy countries.
Finally, sustaining progress in financial inclusion necessitates increased cybersecurity. This is especially important in Africa, where many countries are undergoing major financial sector transformations as they broaden financial inclusion and shift to digital financial services.
A network of experts based specifically on cybersecurity in Africa should be created. The time has come for the international community â€” including governments, central banks, regulators, industry, and other related stakeholders â€” to join together to address this critical and urgent problem.
A well-thought-out plan, like the one being outlined above, serves as a road map for putting words into motion.
Over the last few weeks WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app owned by Facebook is being in highlight all over the media. They have been losing users after they released their security and data privacy update. They tried to delay these changes after getting a lot of heat by the users and losing its users.Â
Now, they have come up with another update that is biometric featureÂ added on WhatsAppÂ as a new authentication factor for all those using its desktop and mobile versions.Â
WhatsApp announced thatÂ from todayÂ I.e., 28thÂ January 2021, it willÂ allowÂ peopleÂ toÂ add in a fingerprint, face, or iris scan to use WhatsApp on desktop or web by linking it to your mobile app. It can be usedÂ alongside the existing QR code authentication.Â
Â Now, you have an optionÂ toÂ add in a biometricÂ authentication way toÂ login. This new feature will only work if you have enabled biometric authentication on your device, either on Android or iPhoneÂ handsets.Â
According to WhatsApp this feature works differently on both iPhone and Android devices. On iPhone, it will work with all devices operating iOS 14 and above with Touch ID or Face ID, and on Android, it will work on any device compatible with Biometric Authentication (Face Unlock, Fingerprint Unlock or Iris Unlock).
What comes next?
As we all know thatÂ WhatsApp’s recent announcement regarding data-sharingÂ withÂ FacebookÂ updateÂ hasÂ put a lot of people on edge about the company’s intentions.Â
The recent announcement does not only highlightÂ WhatsAppâ€™s intentions, but also puts a question mark on Facebookâ€™s intentions as nobody would like invasion in their private space and messaging has always been considered asÂ users’Â private space.Â
However,Â WhatsApp isÂ clearÂ in outlining that it’s not able to access the biometric information that you will be storing in your device.Â
And ensuring that it is usingÂ same standard biometric authentication APIs that other secure apps, like banking apps.Â
This newÂ biometric feature is being rolled out today to create a more secure way for people to link up apps across devices.Â In one way, itâ€™sÂ goodÂ news for all businesses who are conductingÂ digital marketingÂ via WhatsApp, now their information will beÂ secured.Â
Starting from March 31, 2021, Google will start disabling Google Messages from working on â€śuncertifiedâ€ť Android devices.
This sudden update will not affect most of the people. However, it does arise some questions related to â€śuncertifiedâ€ť Android devices. Such as, what is an â€śuncertifiedâ€ť Android device, and how do you make sure youâ€™re not using one?
What is Uncertified Android Device?
Devices which are not certified were not able to pass Googleâ€™s Android compatibility test to ensure they meet Googleâ€™s quality and security standards.
Some of the newly launched Android devices were uncertified for the time being but are certified now as the process is complete.
In some cases, an uncertified device could mean the manufacturer was not able to submit the device for Googleâ€™s certification, or was not able to pass the test.
According to Google, using an uncertified Android device carries several risks. For instance,
Devices thatÂ arenâ€™tÂ Play Protect certified may not be secure.Â
Devices thatÂ arenâ€™tÂ Play Protect certified may not get Android system updates or app updates.Â
Mobile applicationsÂ thatÂ arenâ€™tÂ Play Protect certifiedÂ arenâ€™tÂ licensed and may not be real Google apps.Â
Apps and features on devices thatÂ arenâ€™tÂ Play Protect certified may not work correctly.Â
Data on devices thatÂ arenâ€™tÂ Play Protect certified may not back up securely.Â
Above mentioned security risks are the reason Google is banning Google Messages on uncertified phones.
Without the Play Store verifications, Google canâ€™t ensure the appâ€™s end-to-end encryption is properly configured, which could leave your messages and personal data compromised.
On the other hand, all uncertified android phones are not dangerous. In some cases, rooting your phone or making other system-level modifications will revoke a deviceâ€™s certification.
How to know if your device is certified or Not?
Rarely an average person is using an uncertified Android device â€” but it is possible. Some uncertified devices are from well-known brands that Google no longer supports. For example, some of the Huawei devices are uncertified and cannot currently apply for certification in some regions.
To confirm your Android phone is certified you can check via the Google Play Store settings.
Open the Google Play Store app.
Tap on the three-lined button on the top-left corner of the screen.
Select â€śSettingsâ€ť from the sidebar.
Scroll down to the â€śAboutâ€ť section. Under â€śDevice Certification,â€ť it will say either â€ścertifiedâ€ť or â€śuncertified.â€ť
If your phone is certified, you can continue using Google Messages without any issue. If not, then you will have to find a new messaging app or a new device (or unroot your device).
IT ConsultantsÂ can help you in all sorts of IT Solutions and can develop custom mobile applications for you, whether you own Android phones or iOS.Â