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1047 IEEE SummiLos Angeles.
The Inst.i.tute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference was held as scheduled.
As the top conference of the Integrated Circuit Design field, not only was this an academic conference, it was also a stage for manufacturers to show off their latest products.
For an applied industry like this, the boundary between academia and industry was blurry.
Many scholars were engineers at their own companies, and many engineers were thesis reviewers. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to serve as a Chief Technology Officer while reviewing for an electrical engineering journal.
Professor Michael Mayberry, who was standing on stage, was a cla.s.sic example.
While he served as the dean of the Intel Semiconductor Research Inst.i.tute, he also held the position of CTO at Intel.
He was presenting on stage to scholars, engineers, and company representatives. His presentation was on a series of technologies such as Intel’s latest consumer processor chips and next-generation core graphics cards.
Among the dazzling new products, the most attention-grabbing was undoubtedly the “silver” microarchitecture, with a 7nm process technology.
The PowerPoint slide captured the attention of everyone!
According to Intel, the “silver” architecture would be launched in the second half of 2022 and would be built on top of the “Sunny Cove” architecture Intel introduced in 2019. The new architecture would improve the chip performance to a whole new level! The chip transistor integration and manufacturing process would also be entirely different.
Michael Mayberry stood on stage and emphasized with excitement that this was a huge leap in technological innovation. And Intel would redefine the future of chip technology… Even though everyone came here to brag, most people were quite surprised at Mayberry’s presentation.
Everyone knew that the 7nm process was close to the technological limit of major manufacturers. Even though 5nm was possible, it wasn’t cost-effective.
And 5nm was around the level of a bottleneck. This was when the material itself would become increasingly unstable due to quantum mechanical effects. At this level, improving the chip performance by lowering the process would be difficult.
Because of this, major chip manufacturers were trying to find other ways to improve the chip performance, other than improving the process technology.
The controversial “Sunny Cove” architecture released in the second half of 2019 was a cla.s.sic example.
The “Sunny Cove” architecture based on 10nm process technology directly improved the performance of Intel’s Core and Xeon series chips by 66%!
No one was surprised that Intel was able to achieve 7nm process technology, but to make such a major breakthrough on top of the “Sunny Cove” architecture was nutty, to say the least.
Obviously, Intel became the center of attention at this academic conference.
Qualcomm’s chief engineer Derek Wacker was sitting in the audience. He watched the Intel CTO’s presentation with jealousy in his eyes.
“Intel is so far ahead… Last time I heard Mayberry say they had some big announcements to make, that they were going to change the architecture. I thought he was just bragging, I didn’t think they could actually do it.”
Sitting next to him was Koch, the vice president of Qualcomm who was also sent to attend this academic conference. Koch looked at the person on the stage and looked envious.
“… Intel’s stock is going to the moon tomorrow.”
Even though Intel and Qualcomm didn’t have a good relations.h.i.+p, Koch was happy to ride this upswing by piggybacking off Intel.
On the other hand, Mayberry’s mouth felt a bit dry, so he grabbed a cup of water and took a sip.
He spent 20 minutes talking to potential Intel partners about this amazing “silver” architecture lineup of chips.
Even though he spoke in an arrogant manner, everyone in the conference hall believed him.
They all knew what kind of person Mayberry was.
He might brag a little, but he would never lie.
When the presentation was finally over, Michael Mayberry walked off stage in the midst of a round of applause.
The conference continued as scheduled. However, it was obvious that the main stage had been completely taken away by Intel.
Mayberry got off the stage and listened to the discussions happening around him. He couldn’t help but feel prideful.
He enjoyed this feeling.
This was why he personally came to present this talk.
Otherwise, he could have delegated this to someone else.
Several other speakers went on stage; people from Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple… However, none of them were as dazzling as Intel’s “silver” architecture.
When a Qualcomm engineer was talking about their ARM-V9 instruction set architecture update, he had a look of defeat on his face.
After the Qualcomm presenter stepped down, a Chinese man wearing gla.s.ses went on stage.
The lanky man wore a suit that didn’t fit him. He clearly didn’t look like a professor or an established engineer. Instead, he looked like an intern or an a.s.sistant.
Mayberry joked to his friends about the person on stage. He had a look of contempt in his eyes.
The anxious presenter and the Huawei HiSilicon made Mayberry feel like the presentation wasn’t worth listening to at all.
After all, what could an intern talk about?
Other than to embarra.s.s themselves.
The person sitting next to him, the Intel CEO, Bob Swan, suddenly spoke.
“I heard they’ve been working with the Chinese state on integrated circuit design.”
By “they”, he was obviously talking about HiSilicon.
Mayberry still had a look of contempt in his eyes when he raised his eyebrows.
“Oh really, so this is a ‘high tech’ Chinese company?”
Bob Swan said, “It’s better to not underestimate them. After all, we’ve barely entered the controllable fusion field, but they’re already providing power to our factory in Southeast Asia.”
But nuclear fusion and chips are totally different.
Mayberry pouted his lips in disapproval.
The intern-like presenter on stage finally spoke.
Maybe because this was his first time doing a presentation, he took some deep breaths to calm himself down before he gave an opening speech.
The big names sitting in the front row gave a look of encouragement to this young man, including Bob Swan and Mayberry.
They were sympathetic and supportive toward a harmless opponent like this guy. Even though they were disrespectful on the outside, on the surface they were polite.
That was how businessmen were.
No matter how annoying a child was, the adult would still tolerate them.
“This project is… a joint project of HiSilicon and the Jinling Inst.i.tute for Advanced Study. We have worked on this for almost two years. Actually, their research team is supposed to be the ones here today, but due to various reasons, they gave us the opportunity instead.”
His lack of confidence already made people lose interest.
Even though the Jinling Inst.i.tute for Advanced Study name attracted the attention of many people, they remembered that it was an intern who was doing the presentation.
The presenter looked at the front row and noticed that some of the big names began chatting among themselves. The presenter started to get anxious as he started to talk.
“I will show the PowerPoint next.
“This is a project on carbon-based chips…”
Halfway through his sentence.
Suddenly, he realized that the venue became silent.
It was so silent that it felt scary…