Power

Intel outside: Manufacturing delays hit the chip company once again

For a long period of time, Intel was the most advanced chip manufacturing company on the planet. Those days are over, after the company announced Thursday that it won't be able to ship chips using state-of-the-art technology until late next year.

Intel headquarters

AMD, as well as companies building chips around the Arm instruction set — like Apple and AWS — will enjoy years during which they offer the most powerful and power efficient chips on the market.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Intel is in trouble.

The next generation of the iconic company's once-vaunted chip-manufacturing technology will be delayed, again, following extended delays to the rollout of its current chip-manufacturing technology. Intel is attempting to build next-generation chips using a 7-nanometer processing technology, a feat that most of its rivals in the chip-making game have achieved, but CEO Bob Swan said in Intel's second-quarter earnings release Thursday that customers should not expect those chips until late 2022 at the earliest.

This means AMD, as well as companies building chips around the Arm instruction set — like Apple and AWS — will enjoy years during which they offer the most powerful and power efficient chips on the market. AMD's second-generation Epyc server chips, built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process, have been available for almost a year, and AWS' head-turning Graviton chips were also built on a 7-nanometer process.

For context, a single human hair is around 80,000 nanometers wide. Intel's 7-nanometer problem is that it isn't seeing the yields it would expect from a normal manufacturing process, or the number of good, working chips that can be cut from a silicon wafer.

The smaller the manufacturing process, the more transistors you can fit on an expensive piece of silicon real estate, which makes for a more powerful chip. Back in the 1960s, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore advanced a dictum that would come to be known as Moore's law: that the number of transistors that could possibly fit on a silicon die of a given size would double roughly every 18 to 24 months.

Amazingly, Intel made that proclamation come true for more than 40 years, but the challenges of building structures that approach the size of individual atoms have proven very difficult for the company over the back half of the last decade. The years during which Intel dictated silicon manufacturing trends would appear to be over.

It's now easier to understand why Apple would be willing to bet on Arm chips for the Mac; a strategically important customer like Apple has years of visibility into Intel's road maps. Taiwan's TSMC, a major supplier to many chip designers, has been shipping 7-nanometer Arm chips for quite some time and is getting ready to start making chips based on a 5-nanometer manufacturing process, which Intel won't duplicate for a very long time.

Swan said during a call with investors that Intel would start looking at using other manufacturing companies to build its own chip designs, a once unthinkable suggestion for a senior Intel executive to make.

Thanks to its monopoly position in both PC and server processors, however, Intel recorded second-quarter revenue of $19.7 billion, up 20% compared to last year. Investors, who no longer hear Intel talk about Moore's law in every presentation for some reason, sent its stock down 10% in after-hours trading.

Updated: This posted was updated at 5:30 p.m. PT to include more information from the earnings call.

Enterprise

Microsoft Exchange Online users face a key security deadline Saturday

The company will start disabling a highly vulnerable login option, known as "basic authentication," beginning on Oct. 1 — though customers will have one chance to buy more time to transition off the system.

Microsoft has been seeking to prod businesses to move off basic authentication for the past three years, but "unfortunately usage isn’t yet at zero," it said in a post earlier this month.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Microsoft is about to eliminate a method for logging into its Exchange Online email service that is widely considered vulnerable and outdated, but that some businesses still rely upon.

The company has said that as of Oct. 1, it will begin to disable what's known as "basic authentication" for customers that continue to use the system.

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Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@protocol.com.

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Great products are built on strong patents

Experts say robust intellectual property protection is essential to ensure the long-term R&D required to innovate and maintain America's technology leadership.

Every great tech product that you rely on each day, from the smartphone in your pocket to your music streaming service and navigational system in the car, shares one important thing: part of its innovative design is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws.

From 5G to artificial intelligence, IP protection offers a powerful incentive for researchers to create ground-breaking products, and governmental leaders say its protection is an essential part of maintaining US technology leadership. To quote Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

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James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.
Fintech

Gavin Newsom shows crypto some California love

“A more flexible approach is needed,” Gov. Newsom said in rejecting a bill that would require crypto companies to get a state license.

Strong bipartisan support wasn’t enough to convince Newsom that requiring crypto companies to register with the state’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation is the smart path for California.

Photo: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

The Digital Financial Assets Law seemed like a legislative slam dunk in California for critics of the crypto industry.

But strong bipartisan support — it passed 71-0 in the state assembly and 31-6 in the Senate — wasn’t enough to convince Gov. Gavin Newsom that requiring crypto companies to register with the state’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation is the smart path for California.

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Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342.

Workplace

Slack’s rallying cry at Dreamforce: No more meetings

It’s not all cartoon bears and therapy pigs — work conferences are a good place to talk about the future of work.

“We want people to be able to work in whatever way works for them with flexible schedules, in meetings and out of meetings,” Slack chief product officer Tamar Yehoshua told Protocol at Dreamforce 2022.

Photo: Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dreamforce is primarily Salesforce’s show. But Slack wasn’t to be left out, especially as the primary connector between Salesforce and the mainstream working world.

The average knowledge worker spends more time using a communication tool like Slack than a CRM like Salesforce, positioning it as the best Salesforce product to concern itself with the future of work. In between meeting a therapy pig and meditating by the Dreamforce waterfall, Protocol sat down with several Slack execs and conference-goers to chat about the shifting future.

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Lizzy Lawrence

Lizzy Lawrence ( @LizzyLaw_) is a reporter at Protocol, covering tools and productivity in the workplace. She's a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and international studies. She served as editor in chief of The Michigan Daily, her school's independent newspaper. She's based in D.C., and can be reached at llawrence@protocol.com.

LA is a growing tech hub. But not everyone may fit.

LA has a housing crisis similar to Silicon Valley’s. And single-family-zoning laws are mostly to blame.

As the number of tech companies in the region grows, so does the number of tech workers, whose high salaries put them at an advantage in both LA's renting and buying markets.

Photo: Nat Rubio-Licht/Protocol

LA’s tech scene is on the rise. The number of unicorn companies in Los Angeles is growing, and the city has become the third-largest startup ecosystem nationally behind the Bay Area and New York with more than 4,000 VC-backed startups in industries ranging from aerospace to creators. As the number of tech companies in the region grows, so does the number of tech workers. The city is quickly becoming more and more like Silicon Valley — a new startup and a dozen tech workers on every corner and companies like Google, Netflix, and Twitter setting up offices there.

But with growth comes growing pains. Los Angeles, especially the burgeoning Silicon Beach area — which includes Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey — shares something in common with its namesake Silicon Valley: a severe lack of housing.

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Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.

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