The Most Powerful Raspberry Pi Now Gives you 2/4/8GB of RAM


The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently doubled the amount of RAM available in Raspberry Pi 4 to 8GB with a device selling for $75


You can find the Tech Specs here
In order to take advantage of the RAM increase, the Raspberry PI foundation is in the early stages of releasing a new 64-bit version of its operating system in early beta. The new Raspberry Pi 4 is otherwise identical to the device that was announced in June last yearwith the same ARM-based CPU, and HDMI, USB 3, and Ethernet ports. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the additional memory should be useful for compiling large pieces of software, running heavy server workloads, or maybe just having more browser tabs open at once.


8K Holographic display from Looking Glass is shipping now


Looking Glass is now shipping its 8K holographic display, which utilizes 33.2 million pixels and 45-element light field to provide a 3D effect. TechCrunch reports

The target markets here are medical imaging, mapping, automotive, architecture, and engineering. A press release tied to the announcement features a handful of folks in these categories who are excited at what such technology could mean, going forward. Here's Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri: "Having access to a glasses-free holographic display is a massive breakthrough, and presents an exciting prospect for teams working in immersive computer graphics, visualization, and content creation. The Looking Glass holographic display provides a stunning level of realism, and we look forward to seeing the innovations that emerge with the support of Unreal Engine generated content." The company is only offering pricing quotes by request through its site -- which means it's pretty likely to be cost-prohibitive for those just looking to augment a remote working setup. As noted in the earlier piece, the company is targeting enterprise users with early applications -- organizations that generally have money to spend on the state of the art hardware. More consumer-focused applications, including gaming, could be coming to ways down the road.
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Amazon In Advanced Talks To Buy Self-Driving-Car Tech Company Zoox


Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox in a move that would expand the e-commerce giant's reach in autonomous-vehicle technology. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The companies are discussing a deal that would value Zoox at less than the $3.2 billion it achieved in a funding round in 2018, according to people familiar with the matter. An agreement may be weeks away, one of the people cautioned, and the discussions could still fall apart. Zoox, founded in 2014, has been working to develop the hardware and software needed to create electric-powered, robot taxis that would be summoned by smartphone app starting this year. A successful deal could give new life to a once-high-profile startup that has seen its fortunes dim as it struggled to raise money.
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Linus Torvalds Dumps Intel For 32-core AMD Ryzen On His Personal PC


Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.7 rc7 today, saying it "looks very normal... none of the fixes look like there's anything particularly scary going on."


But then he added something else:  The biggest excitement this week for me was just that I upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be, which doesn't matter so much right now during the calming down period, but I will most definitely notice the upgrade during the next merge window.
Torvalds didn't divulge any further details about his new rig, but the 3970x is quite the beast, boasting 32 cores and 64 threads at 3.7GHz with the ability to burst up to 4.5GHz, all built on TSMC's 7nm FinFET process... Torvalds has probably acquired a whole new PC, as the Threadripper range requires a sTRX4 socket and those debuted on motherboards from late 2019.

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Texas Instruments Makes It Harder to Run Programs on its Calculators


Texas Instruments' graphing calculators have a reputation as hobbyist devices given their program support, but they just lost some of their appeal. Cemetech has learned (via Linus Tech Tips) that Texas Instruments is pulling support for assembly- and C-based programs on the TI-84 Plus CE and its French counterpart, the TI-83 Premium CE. Install the latest firmware for both (OS 5.6 and OS 5.5 respectively) and you'll not only lose access to those apps, but won't have a way to roll back.

The company explained the move as an effort to "prioritize learning and minimize any security risks." It's to reduce cheating, to put it another way... While this could please teachers worried that students will use apps to cheat during exams, enthusiasts are unsurprisingly mad. This reduces the amount of control programmers have over their calculator apps.

There has been some brainstorming in the past few days among community members about (for lack of a better name) the TI-84 Plus CE Developer Edition. If we were to float that idea to TI, perhaps a calculator clearly and visibly distinguished from the TI-84 Plus CE that could be used on tests, what would you want from it? Opened up for ASM, C, and Python programming? Having the same specs as the usual TI-84 Plus CE, or something else? Having more features to help you connect hardware to it? And considering that TI is (after all) a business, would you buy one, and how many others do you think would? Beyond the community, who else could it be marketed to? Why would someone choose to buy the Developer Edition over a standard TI-84 Plus CE? Why would TI benefit by having it? 
 
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China Injects $2.2 Billion Into Local Chip Firm


China's state-backed funds pumped $2.25 billion into a Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. wafer plant to support advanced-chip making as Washington tightens technology restrictions on the Asian nation. From a report:


The Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. plant's registered capital jumps from $3.5 billion to $6.5 billion after the investment, the company said in an announcement on Friday. The chipmaker's stake in the Shanghai facility will drop from 50.1% to 38.5%, it said. The plant has capacity to produce 6,000 14-nanometer wafers a month and plans to boost that to 35,000. The new investment came as Washington moved to prevent sales to Huawei by chipmakers using U.S. technology. The Commerce Department on Friday said it would require licenses before allowing U.S. technology to be used by the Chinese company or its 114 subsidiaries, including its chip-design unit HiSilicon

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Permanently Working From Home Can Be Damaging For Mental Health


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warns that making remote work permanent could have serious consequences for workers' social interaction and mental health.


Times of India reports:N adella said that an all-remote setup would be "replacing one dogma with another dogma." "What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What does that connectivity and the community building look like? One of the things I feel is, hey, maybe we are burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote. What's the measure for that?" Nadella was quoted as saying.

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Workplace FSM design challenge


You are part of the ""Chakra" design team, a combined smart-watch and goggles. A senior manager is coming for a design review in the afternoon. Your project leader has to go out to lunch with the manager, and has left you to design the last state machine in the system before the design review

The functional requirements of the state machine are given below, where “a” means that a is true (in VHDL: equal to ’1’) and “!a” means that a is false (in VHDL: not equal to ’1’): Functional requirements:
1. The inputs are: a, b, j, k, m, and n.
2. The outputs are: y and z.
3. The initial state is S0.
4. If (the current state is S0) and a, then in the current clock cycle assign j to y.
5. If (the current state is S0) and !a, then in the current clock cycle assign k to y.
6. If (the current state is S0) and b, then in the next clock cycle assign m to z.
7. If (the current state is S0) and !b, then in the next clock cycle assign n to z.
8. If (the current state is S0) and b, then the next state shall be S1.
9. If (the current state is S0) and !b, then the next state shall be S2.
10. If the current state is S1, then the next state shall be S2.
11. If the current state is S2, then the next state shall be S0.


1. You may choose y and z to be either registered or combinational. Both may be combinational, both registered, or one combinational and one registered. One of the optimization goals below is to minimize the number of registers.
2. Your design shall satisfy the functional requirements
3. Your goals, in order of decreasing importance are
(a) minimum number of clocked (i.e., real) states
(b) minimum number of edges
(c) minimum number of transient states
(d) minimum number of registers

TSMC To Build Advanced Semiconductor Factory In Arizona


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract manufacturer of silicon chips, is set to announce plans to build an advanced chip factory in Arizona (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source) as U.S. concerns grow about dependence on Asia for the critical technology. The plans come as the Trump administration has sought to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. due to rising fears about the U.S.'s heavy reliance on Taiwan, China and South Korea to produce microelectronics and other key technologies.


TSMC is expected to announce the plans as soon as Friday after making the decision at a board meeting on Tuesday in Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter. The factory could be producing chips by the end of 2023 at the earliest, they said, adding that both the State and Commerce Departments are involved in the plans. TSMC's new plant would make chips branded as having 5-nanometer transistors, the tiniest, fastest and most power-efficient ones manufactured today, according to a person familiar with the plans. TSMC just started rolling out 5-nanometer chips for customers to test at a factory in Taiwan in recent months. It is unclear how much TSMC has budgeted or if it would get financial incentives from the U.S. to build. A factory capable of making the most advanced chips would almost certainly cost more than $10 billion, according to industry executives.

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