LG Chem stationary storage systems come under recall in the US

Источник изображения: Bloomberg

Traction batteries for electric vehicles produced by the Korean company LG Chem have already caused the recall of several thousand Chevrolet, Hyundai and Opel vehicles, and now stationary energy storage systems sold in the United States are being recalled due to the danger of fire.

Image source: Bloomberg

Image source: Bloomberg

According to information provided by the manufacturer to Bloomberg, LG Chem became aware of five cases of fire in household electricity storage systems, as a result of which minor damage was caused to property, no one was injured. The newly formed company LG Energy Solution is now investigating the causes of these incidents. Owners of stationary energy storage systems LG Chem of certain models will receive new ones instead of the existing ones; nothing will be required to pay extra for this.

In the United States, electricity storage systems that were recalled were distributed from January 2017 to March 2020. The cells in their batteries must be replaced due to the risk of overheating. Apparently, the same “symptoms” are observed as in traction batteries of electric vehicles. Some cells may overheat and catch fire when they reach 100% charge.

Notably, LG Chem’s electricity storage systems in the United States have already come to the attention of fire safety experts after an incident in Arizona, where one of the batteries exploded and caused harm to several people. Then the South Korean manufacturer refused to admit his guilt.

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ASUS introduced nine variants of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Источник изображений: ASUS

ASUS has unveiled a total of nine options for the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics accelerator within the ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, Dual and KO series. All video cards are available in versions with reference frequencies, as well as factory overclocked.

Image source: ASUS

Image source: ASUS

ASUS flagship solution is the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, equipped with a massive cooling system with three fans and a dual BIOS system with quiet and productive modes of operation.

For the factory overclocked version, the manufacturer claims the GPU frequency at 1890 MHz. The novelty is equipped with two 8-pin auxiliary power connectors. For this graphics solution, it is recommended to use a power supply with a capacity of 750 W or more (taking into account the use of AMD and Intel flagship processors).

The dimensions of this version of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti made by ASUS are 318.5 × 140.1 × 57.8 mm. In a PC case, the video card will take up almost 3 expansion slots. The equipment includes two HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4a connectors.

For the factory-overclocked TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti version of the GPU, the manufacturer claims a GPU frequency of 1785 MHz in Boost mode. The novelty is also equipped with a large cooling system with three fans, designed for 2.7 expansion slots, as well as a dual system BIOS with quiet and productive modes of operation.

For additional power supply, the card has one 8-pin connector. The graphics accelerator is equipped with two HDMI 2.1 and three DisplayPort 1.4a. The dimensions of the video card are 301 × 143 × 54 mm.

In the Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and KO GeForce RTX 3060 Ti models, the manufacturer used more compact cooling systems with two fans. The dimensions of the first model are 269 × 136 × 52 mm, the dimensions of the second – 275 × 135 × 54 mm. Each of them will require free space in 2.7 expansion slots in the PC system unit.

For the version of Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with factory overclocking, ASUS declares the frequency of the graphics processor 1740 MHz in Boost mode, for the KO GeForce RTX 3060 Ti model – 1785 MHz.

ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Mini

ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Mini

For fans of very compact PCs, ASUS is ready to offer a special version of the ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Mini. Its feature is even more compact size and a slightly different appearance of the cooling system. The novelty is designed for the area of ​​two free expansion slots inside the PC system unit.

For additional power, each of the above three models uses one 8-pin connector. The equipment of the video cards also includes two HDMI 2.1 connectors and three DisplayPort 1.4a.

All versions of ASUS video cards are equipped with RGB-backlighting, which can be controlled using the proprietary ASUS Aura software. The manufacturer did not disclose the cost of the new products. According to the resource Notebook Check, against the background of the shortage of the entire series of GeForce RTX 30xx video cards, the presented new products from ASUS are very likely to receive price tags up to 60% higher than the recommended cost of the reference sample GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which NVIDIA estimated at $ 399.

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Intel develops integrated photonics / ServerNews

Intel develops integrated photonics / ServerNews

Intel has been developing silicon photonics for 15 years. As in almost everywhere in modern electronics, once it all began with the creation of individual components, which over time became more compact and efficient and increasingly integrated with each other. The company is now ready to move on to the next step, so-called Integrated Photonics, which will embed optical components directly into chips.

A complex for optical data reception and transmission should have several key elements: a light source and its detector, modulating for (de-) multiplexing, a signal carrier and its amplifier, as well as electronic strapping and technology for packaging all this stuff together. All this has long been implemented in the equipment for fiber-optic communication networks – Intel itself has already delivered about 4 million optical transceivers of the 100G class and, for quite some time, promises the appearance of 400G solutions.

But the ultimate goal, as has been repeatedly stated, is the integration of “optics” into “silicon”, that is, the use of optical communication lines inside the server, and not outside it – between its individual components and inside the chips themselves. However, scaling down to this level raises a lot of problems with compactness, power consumption, and proper integration with other semiconductor components. Now for the transition to integrated photonics, according to the company, everything is almost ready – the prototype includes five “pillars” of integrated silicon photonics.

The first of them is ring modulators, which are a thousand times smaller than similar solutions. It is their size that determines the possibility of including them in the composition of chips. They work quite simply: a resonator ring, where light enters, is controlled by electrical impulses and can quickly change its optical properties, freely passing or delaying the light flux. Thus, “zeros” and “ones” are formed that encode the signal. A similar approach is used, for example, in the developments of Imec.

Several such modulators – four, eight, sixteen and more – can be “hung” on one optical fiber, and each of them can be tuned to a certain wavelength. Together they form the familiar WDM scheme. The light source, and these are two more “pillars”, is a semiconductor laser capable of delivering flux simultaneously at four wavelengths, combined with an amplifier made of the same material, which simplifies production and reduces costs.

But here lies one “trick” – the modulator can simultaneously be a photodetector for waves with a length of 1.3-1.6 microns! And, what is very important, it is made of silicon, not germanium or indium – this is another “pillar”. And, see above, this also simplifies and reduces the cost of the production process. The photo detector can already operate at speeds up to 112 Gb / s, although this figure suggests that the upper limit here is not physical in nature, but appears due to other components.

Finally, the last “pillar” is the integration of all components together within the framework of existing technical processes. In particular, in the demonstration of the 100G transceiver, it was mentioned that it consists of two layers located one above the other (3D-packing) and united by copper conductors: the lower one is responsible for photonics and turn on lasers and modulators, and the upper one is a conventional CMOS microcircuit. … The latter is responsible for communication with other chips, and also controls modulators, which are very sensitive to temperature changes.

Why do you need all this? Replacing electrical connections with optical ones will reduce the pins of the chip, while increasing bandwidth and lowering power consumption. At the same time, the electrical connections themselves, in addition to the obvious limitation on the length of the connections, also have a limit in terms of energy efficiency – with the current growth in the speed of connections, the moment is not far off when more energy will be spent on powering communication lines than on actual calculations.

There is already a tendency towards a noticeable increase in the number of contacts in a socket, a significant part of which goes to PCIe and DDR. For the latter, serial interfaces like OMI are offered as an alternative, but PCIe lines are still not enough. Therefore, modern accelerators have acquired dedicated interfaces, for example, NVLink and Infinity Fabric, for direct data exchange with each other.

However, they do not scale well outside the chassis, because again they are limited by the PCIe bus required by the network adapters. DARPA FastNIC program is intended to eliminate the huge difference in the bandwidth of the chips themselves and the networks connecting them. DARPA also has the PIPES program (Photonics in the Package for Extreme Scalability), which is directly aimed at the development of integrated photonics. In particular, Intel and Xilinx participate in it (after the purchase, apparently, AMD already).

As part of its developments in the field of integrated photonics, Intel has so far set relatively modest goals, wanting to achieve 1 Tbit / s bandwidth per fiber, 1 pkJ / bit energy efficiency and communication line lengths up to 1 km. In the long term – getting speeds of tens and hundreds of terabits per second per socket. This will be enough for direct connection of processors and other computing devices directly to each other within an entire data center, which will radically change the approach to collecting, storing, transferring and processing information.