This week we’ve seen a tsunami of news stories about a vulnerability in Intel processors. We’re certain that by now you’ve heard of (and are maybe tired of hearing about) Meltdown and Spectre. However, as a Hackaday reader, you are likely the person who others turn to when they need to get the gist of news like this. Since this has bubbled up in watered-down versions to the highest levels of mass media, let’s take a look at what Meltdown and Spectre are, and also see what’s happening in the other two rings of this three-ring circus.
These two attacks are similar. Meltdown is specific to Intel processors and kernel fixes (basically workarounds implemented by operating systems) will result in a 5%-30% speed penalty depending on how the CPU is being used. Spectre is not limited to Intel, but also affects AMD and ARM processors and kernel fixes are not expected to come with a speed penalty.
Friend of Hackaday and security researcher extraordinaire Joe Fitz has written a superb layman’s explanation of these types of attacks. His use of the term “layman” may be a little more high level than normal — this is something you need to read.
The attack exploits something called branch prediction. To boost speed, these processors keep a cache of past branch behavior in memory and use that to predict future branching operations. Branch predictors load data into memory before checking to see if you have permissions to access that data. Obviously you don’t, so that memory will not be made available for you to read. The exploit uses a clever guessing game to look at other files also returned by the predictor to which you do have access. If you’re clever enough, you can reconstruct the restricted data by iterating on this trick many many times.
For the most comprehensive info, you can read the PDF whitepapers on Meltdown and Spectre.
Update: Check Alan Hightower’s explanation of the Meltdown exploit left as a comment below. Quite good for helping deliver better understanding of how this works.
These vulnerabilities are in silicon — they can’t be easily fixed with a microcode update which is how CPU manufacturers usually workaround silicon errata (although this appears to be an architectural flaw and not errata per se). An Intel “fix” would amount to a product recall. They’ve already said they won’t be doing a recall, but how would that work anyway? What’s the lead time on spinning up the fabs to replace all the Intel chips in use — yikes!
So the fixes fall on the operating systems at the kernel level. Intel should be (and probably is behind the scenes) bowing down to the kernel developers who are saving their bacon. It is understandably frustrating to have to spend time and resources patching these vulnerabilities, which displaces planned feature updates and improvements. Linus Torvalds has been throwing shade at Intel — anecdotal evidence of this frustration:
“I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPU’s, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed.”
That’s the tamest part of his message posted on the Linux Kernel Mailing List.
The first thing I did on hearing about these vulnerabilities on Tuesday was to check Intel’s stock price and I was surprised it hadn’t fallen much. In fact, peak to peak it’s only seen about an 8% drop this week and has recovered some from that low.
Of course, it came out that back in November Intel’s CEO Bryan Krzanich sold off his Intel stock to the tune of $24 Million, bringing him down to his contractual minimum of shares. He likely knew about Meltdown when arranging that sale. Resist the urge to flame on this decision. Whether it’s legal or not, hating on this guy is just a distraction.
What’s more interesting to me is this: Intel is too big to fail. What are we all going to do, stop using Intel and start using something else? You can’t just pull the chip and put a new one in, in the case of desktop computers you need a new motherboard plus all the supporting stuff like memory. For servers, laptops, and mobile devices you need to replace the entire piece of equipment. Intel has a huge market share, and silicon has a long production cycle. Branch prediction has been commonplace in consumer CPUs going back to 1995 when the Pentium Pro brought it to the x86 architecture. This is a piece of the foundation that will be yanked out and replaced with new designs that provide the same speed benefits without the same risks — but that will take time to make it into the real world.
CPUs are infrastructure and this is the loudest bell to date tolling to signal how important their design is to society. It’s time to take a hard look at what open silicon design would bring to the table. You can’t say this would have been prevented with Open design. You can say that the path to new processors without these issues would be a shorter one if there were more than two companies producing all of the world’s processors — both of which have been affected by these vulnerabilities.
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At one point, Apple offered a range of compelling desktop computers for its professional users.
The Power Mac G4 and G5, and the earliest Intel Mac Pro machines, all offered the winning combination of performance and upgradability. Designers, game developers, and musicians lapped them up.
But things went awry a few years into the Tim Cook-era of Apple, with the poorly-designed “trashcan” Mac Pro, which sacrificed the all-important quality of upgradability on the altar of aesthetics.
Since then, Apple has struggled to regain its footing in this market, and now it’s weighing up its future options.
Case in point: According to Mark Gurman, a Bloomberg reporter with a solid track record for predicting Apple’s future, the company is currently mulling the future of its new (and pricey) Mac Studio.
Per Gurman, Apple is considering dropping the Mac Studio from its future lineup — or, arguably worse, allowing it to stagnate until the release of the M3 series chips, with few (if any) upgrades until then.
To be fair, either scenario doesn’t feel unlikely. The Mac Studio is a gorgeous-looking machine and delivers some genuinely impressive performance benchmarks.
But it lacks some of the most basic elements of a professional desktop workstation. Upgradability is the main one.
The Mac Studio is basically a bigger, meaner Mac mini. Competent, sure, but still a Mac mini.
It lacks the upgradable memory, storage, and graphics normally found in a desktop workstation. This machine is only as powerful as its original configuration.
And that’s an issue when you consider that the system requirements for high-end professional tasks — like deep learning, AI development, CAD/CAM, and video production — are only increasing.
As our capabilities grow in these fields, so are the demands on our hardware. The lack of upgradability gives these machines an artificially-short lifespan.
But more importantly: Apple is reportedly developing a new Mac Pro that remains (relatively) faithful to the design principles that made the originals so incredibly valuable for professional users.
I say “relatively” for good reason. While the upcoming Mac Pro is expected to offer a degree of modularity, it’ll likely be limited to the storage*. That’s disappointing but also entirely unsurprising.
A significant factor behind the stellar performance of Apple Silicon is the fact that RAM is contained in the same package as the CPU.
By doing so, Apple reduces the latency (or, put simply, the time) it takes for a message to travel from the CPU to the RAM.
Similarly, Apple Silicon packages the GPU alongside the CPU. While this doesn’t allow for any type of long-term upgradability, it does deliver some key performance and power consumption benefits.
While it’s tempting to imagine that the next Mac Pro will be a modernized version of the iconic Power Mac lineup, or the earliest Intel Mac Pro models, that’s not just realistic.
It would effectively require Apple to change its entire design philosophy for its homegrown ARM processors, ditching the attributes that made Apple Silicon so compelling in the first place.
It’s not all bad news. First, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of AMD or Nvidia providing GPU driver support for Apple Silicon, thereby allowing power-hungry users to deploy an eGPU.
Hell, Intel could even sweep in, bringing an Apple Silicon-compatible flavor of its Arc discrete GPUs, in the process beating its biggest rivals to the finish line and enjoying exclusive control of a highly-lucrative market.
No, the Mac Pro never sold well. But the people who bought it typically had deep pockets, and they were prepared to spend big on upgrades.
And the people who are likely to buy the next Mac Pro will almost certainly need a lot of GPU processing power.
It’ll be physically bigger than the Mac Studio. Even if every square inch of its internals isn’t filled with components, this is undoubtedly a good thing for those who buy it.
The bigger the machine, the more effectively it can dissipate heat.
Heat, as we all know, is kryptonite to performance. When a component reaches a certain temperature, it’ll throttle performance to cool down.
High temperatures, sustained over a period of time, have the potential to damage your hardware.
That’s an especially pressing concern for machines like the Mac Studio (and likely also the upcoming Mac Pro), where all the core components sit on the same bit of PCB.
If your GPU fails, or your RAM dies a death, you’ve no option other than to throw away the entire computer.
Or find someone with strong micro-soldering skills and pay them a lot of money to fix your machine, often using components sourced from other defective computers.
While we can lament the passing of Apple’s once-upgradable hardware, and perhaps also the impending departure of the Mac Studio, we can at least take comfort in knowing that the upcoming Mac Pro will be a more powerful, more upgradable piece of hardware.
*Although the Mac Studio had removable SSD modules, they used a proprietary design. You couldn’t just, for example, throw in a new M.2 drive. Apple’s modules lacked the additional circuitry that comprises a normal SSD — namely an on-board memory controller.
Additionally, security features in the Apple T2 chip made it impossible to use SSDs from donor computers. The genuine mechanism that prevented this is yet unknown, although it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the drives were serialized (linked, essentially) to the original machine’s logic board.
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Monday, February 13, 2023
The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Intel Corporation (INTC), Synopsys, Inc. (SNPS) and FedEx Corporation (FDX). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.
You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>
Shares of Intel have underperformed the Zacks Semiconductor - General industry over the past year (-41.6% vs. -14.8%). The company is facing uncertainty over the over-supplied chip markets that are weighing on its near-term outlook. More than other players in the space, the market is skeptical of Intel's ability to profitably operate and execute in this unfavorable environment. In addition, production delays remain a concern for the company.
Imposition of fresh lockdown restrictions in some markets, forex woes and high debt burden are other headwinds. It is witnessing intensifying competition in the server, networking and storage markets, while inflated raw material costs and signs of market saturation are worrisome. The Sino-US trade war is also adversely impacting its growth prospects.
However, Intel is gaining rapid strides in the data center business with integrated solutions that are highly competitive in prices. The company is also focusing on developing a complete product range targeting different segments of the market.
(You can read the full research Intel here >>>)
Synopsys shares have outperformed the Zacks Computer - Software industry over the past year (+21.8% vs. -10.5%). The company is benefiting from strong design wins owing to a robust product portfolio. Growth in hybrid working trend is driving demand for bandwidth. Strong traction for Synopsys’ Fusion Compiler product boosted the top line.
Growing demand for advanced technology, design, IP and security solutions is also creating solid prospects. Rising impact of artificial intelligence, 5G, internet of things and big data is driving investments in new compute and machine learning architectures. Our estimates suggest that Synopsys’ revenues will grow at a CAGR of 9.3% through 2023-2025.
However, Synopsys is hurting from supply-chain disruptions stemming from the pandemic. The company is also witnessing stiff competition. Geopolitical challenges coupled with uncertainties related to restrictions over trade with Huawei are other woes.
(You can read the full research report on Synopsys here >>>)
Shares of FedEx have declined -8.4% over the past year against the Zacks Transportation - Air Freight and Cargo industry’s decline of -13.0%. The company’s volumes are being hurt due to the decline in shipping demand, particularly in Asia and Europe. Weakening of e-commerce demand as economies re-open is another concern.
To navigate the weaker-than-expected business environment, FDX is actively cutting costs. FedEx anticipates generating cost savings of nearly $3.7 billion in fiscal 2023. The fiscal 2023 estimate for capital expenditure has been slashed by $400 million to $5.9 billion.
However, efforts to reward shareholders of FDX, through dividends and buybacks, are encouraging as well. In June 2022, FedEx raised its quarterly dividend by 53% to $1.15 per share. During fiscal 2022, FedEx repurchased shares worth $2.2 billion. FedEx's liquidity position is also impressive.
(You can read the full research report on FedEx here >>>)
Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include CNH Industrial N.V. (CNHI), First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) and Synchrony Financial (SYF).
Director of Research
Note: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>
Today's Must Read
Intel (INTC) Likely to Gain from Healthy Mobileye Traction
Synopsys (SNPS) Banks on Strong Product Menu, Contract Wins
FedEx (FDX) Benefits From Dividends & Buyback, Expenses Ail
Strategic Buyouts to Aid CNH Industrial (CNHI) Amid Debt Woes
While buyouts of Raven Industries and Sampierana will boost CNH Industrial's prospects, the Zacks analyst is concerned over the firm's elevated leverage of 76%.
Strong Investments Boost First Solar (FSLR) Growth Prospects
Per the Zacks Analyst, First Solar's expansion plan in terms of manufacturing capacity will it to duly achieve these targets. This in turn should bolster its long-term growth trajectory.
Synchrony Financial (SYF) Gains on Buyouts, Balance Sheet
Per the Zacks Analyst, buyouts have enhanced the company's capabilities and diversified the business, which, in turn, has offered it a competitive edge. A healthy balance sheet enables investments.
Lamar (LAMR) to Grow on Portfolio Upgradation and Expansion
Per the Zacks Analyst, Lamar's portfolio upgradation efforts will aid raise display occupancy and advertising rates while strategic buyouts bode well. However, stiff competition from peers is a woe.
GSG Segment to Benefit Tetra Tech (TTEK) Amid Forex Woes
Per the Zacks analyst, solid traction of Tetra Tech's Government Services Group (GSG) Segment, led by robust water and environmental programs should drive its growth. Forex woes are an added concern.
National Vision (EYE) Store Growth Solid Amid Stiff Rivalry
The Zacks analyst is impressed with National Vision's third-quarter results benefiting from new store openings in America's Best and Eyeglass World brands. Yet, Stiff rivalry remains a concern.
Red Rock (RRR) Banks On Las Vegas Operations, High Costs Ail
Per the Zacks analyst, Red Rock is likely to benefit from Las Vegas operations, cost saving initiatives and development pipeline. However, supply chain disruption and inflationary pressure remain woes
Solid Customer Demand Drives Archer Daniel's (ADM) Growth
Per the Zacks analyst, Archer Daniel's is gaining from robust demand and solid product portfolio which has been driving growth in all segments. It expects to continue the momentum in 2023.
Rise in Digital Subscribers to Lift NY Times' (NYT) Revenues
Per the Zacks analyst, The New York Times Company benefits from increase in digital subscribers. Management anticipates digital-only subscription revenues to rise 13-16% in first-quarter 2023.
Pro-Investor Steps Aid H&R Block (HRB), Low Liquidity Hurt
Per the Zacks analyst, H&R Block has been consistent with dividends & share repurchases. However, decreasing current ratio is worrisome.
SM Energy (SM) to Incur Potential Losses Through Hedging
Despite a strong hedging position, SM Energy is likely to incur massive hedging losses due to high commodity prices. This can affect its future cash flow generation, concerning the Zacks analyst.
Focus on Multiple Basins to Hurt Ovintiv (OVV)
The Zacks analyst believes that there appears to be a case for Ovintiv to narrow its focus by divesting some non-core acreages to concentrate more on its core operations.
Silicon Motion (SIMO) Hit by Supply Woes, Production Delays
Per the Zacks analyst, Silicon Motion is likely to be plagued by pandemic-led production delays,, supply chain constraints, sluggishness in the global economy and tense geo-political conditions.
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
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Apple's platform architecture VP Tim Millet and product marketing VP Bob Borchers weigh in on the benefits of bringing chip design in-house.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Apple executives sat down to discuss Apple's shift to silicon and what it means for consumers, and where they hope to take the technology.
Millet notes how important a role the iPad Pro played in Apple's choice to switch its Mac lineup to M1.
"Once we started getting to the iPad Pro space, we realized that 'you know what, there is something there.' We never, in building the chips for iOS devices, left anything on the table," Millet says. "But we realized that these chips inside these other enclosures could actually make a meaningful difference from a performance perspective."
When it came time to release its next line of chips, the company wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible. Apple wanted to go bigger and better rather than offer meager performance gains with each new chip.
"The M2 family was really now about maintaining that leadership position by pushing, again, to the limits of technology. We don't leave things on the table," says Millet. "We don't take a 20% bump and figure out how to spread it over three years... figure out how to eke out incremental gains. We take it all in one year; we just hit it really hard. That's not what happens in the rest of the industry or historically."
Millet also touches on Apple's relationship with Intel and how the companies helped each other create better products.
"Intel was a great partner through the years where we shipped the Intel machines. They were very responsive; they really actually were inspired by the direction that Apple pushed them," says Millet. "And I think our products benefited from that interaction. Of course, our competitors' products benefited from that interaction as well sometimes."
Ultimately, though, the design teams at Apple realized there were significant benefits to bringing chip design in-house.
The pair also discussed gaming on Mac, which they admit has been somewhat limited. Still, Borchers believes that strides are being made with each new iteration of the M-series chips.
He cites Capcom's Resident Evil as proof that AAA developers are willing to bring their titles to Mac.
Millet says that Apple hasn't forgotten about gamers, either. The company has been mindful of the market since before the shift to silicon.
"The story starts many years ago, when we were imagining this transition. Gamers are a serious bunch. And I don't think we're going to fool anybody by saying that overnight we're going to make Mac a great gaming platform. We're going to take a long view on this."
The interview closes out with how Apple views getting its systems to as many consumers as it can. This is especially true of its entry-level offerings like the M2 Mac mini, which is priced $100 less than the M1 Mac mini — and $200 cheaper for students.
"We're product people at the end of the day, and we want to put our systems in as many hands as possible," says Borchers. "We feel like the Mac mini form factor is such a great way to unleash creativity and, frankly, goodness in the world that we wanted to be able to put it in as many people's hands as possible."
While it arrived later than everyone had hoped and expected, the complete MacBook line up for the M2 generation of Apple silicon has arrived, and confidently so.
Though neither the 14-inch MacBook Pro we’re reviewing here, nor the 16-inch MacBook Pro for 2023 that we previously looked at, have had the same industrial design makeover that the M2 MacBook Air so stylishly delivered last summer, both arrive with a significant and worthy spec bump to make working on Mac smoother and faster than ever before. It’s a familiar design, but one still a cut above the competition from any other laptop manufacturer.
And even if there’s little reason for someone with a 2021 M1 MacBook Pro to upgrade to one of the 2023 iterations, there’s lots to consider and be excited about for those making the jump from an Intel MacBook Pro — not to mention some tough choices to be made for anyone with their eye on the gorgeous newer MacBook Air, too, as it slides right up against the 14-inch MacBook Pro for a prime position in your backpack and on your desk.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro for 2023 is available to order now, available online from a wide selection of retailers, and in store at Apple’s brick-and-mortar shops.
Prices start at $1,999 / £2,149 for the base model, which is equipped with the M2 Pro chipset (10-core CPU / 16-Core GPU), 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
For the purposes of this review, we’re looking at the step up model, which starts at $2,499 / £2,699, and features the same M2 Pro chipset, but with a 12-core CPU and a 19-core GPU, plus 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
If you want instead to go for the top-tier model with the superior M2 Max chipset, that’s going to cost you significantly more. It starts at $3,099 / £3,349, with a 12-core CPU and 30-core GPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
Within each configuration, there’s a lot of components that can be upgraded and customized to your needs — a good and necessary thing, as Apple’s MacBook Pro computers can’t be upgraded once they’ve been purchased. What you buy today is what you’re left with for the duration of the product’s lifespan.
So on the chip front, upgrading from the M2 Pro 10-core CPU /16-core GPU to the 12-core CPU / 19-core GPU costs an additional $300, while jumping from the M2 Max 12-core CPU / 30-core GPU chipset to the top-of-the-line 12-core CPU / 38-core GPU version is an additional $200 over the baseline M2 Max chip.
All MacBook Pro computers start with 16GB of RAM, which can be boosted to 32GB for an additional $400. If you have an M2 Max model, you can boost that to 64GB of RAM for a further $800. And if you have the M2 Max with a 38-core GPU, you can get a crazy 96GB of RAM for an equally-crazy additional $1,200.
Storage makes similarly expensive leaps. A 512GB SSD comes as standard, 1TB costs an additional $200, 2TB an additional $600, 4TB an additional $1,200 and an 8TB model lands at a giant $2,400.
In total, a fully-spec’d top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 14-inch would cost you $6,299. The upgrade cost of RAM and SSD here feels unreasonably high, but it’s a seller’s market and you’ve no way to reverse a decision if buyer’s remorse kicks in with an entry-level model down the line.
What’s undeniably jarring though, especially for those in the UK, is a price jump that is not reflected in US pricing. Whereas the 2021 base-level 14-inch MacBook Pro started at £1,899, the new model starts £250 higher at £2,149. With US prices static, it’s a hard pill to swallow on this side of the pond.
If you’re familiar with the big MacBook Pro redesign from 2021, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the 14-inch MacBook Pro for 2023. Externally, at least, it’s hardly changed at all — and that’s no bad thing, given how excellent that last design was. After years of skrimping on the port selection Apple finally added more I/O to the MacBook Pro, and it continues to offer the selection here.
So, what do you get? There’s again a solid aluminum chassis at work, exquisitely milled, sitting on four short feet to raise it just a tad off any surface it’s placed on. It measures 31.26cm wide and 22.12cm deep, and is a bit chunkier than the old Intel MacBook Pros at 1.55cm tall. It’s still incredibly portable in the 14-inch configuration though, and that extra height is welcomed in the larger battery and wider port selection it affords. In terms of weight, it’ll hover around the 1.6kg mark, deliver or take a few grams depending on the configuration you opt for.
Port selection is the best it’s been in a MacBook Pro for years. The left hand side offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a mic/headphone 3.5mm jack, alongside a MagSafe charging port which magnetically snaps on to the side of the laptop to provide power, popping off safely with a quick yank, preventing any unfortunate trips over the cabling. The 2m USB-C to MagSafe cable is now also color matched to your unit, with Apple offering either a 67W or 96W charging brick, depending on whether you opt for the M2 Pro or M2 Max chipset, respectively. Any of the laptop’s Thunderbolt ports can deliver power, too.
The right hand side offers another Thunderbolt 4 port, a full-size SDXC card reader, and a full-size HDMI port. It’s not quite the HDMI 2.1 specification as there’s no support for VRR, but it’s an improvement on previous generations by boosting support for up to 8K monitors at 60Hz, and 4K monitors at 240Hz.
Both the keyboard and trackpad are excellent too. Full size function keys sit in place of the TouchBar that still bizarrely resides in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, with the key color itself matched by a black plastic housing they sit within. The keys are chiclet in style, and are well spaced and comfortable to type on, despite having only a low-profile travel with each press. The button in the top-right of the keyboard does double duty as power/TouchID, and it's very responsive, quickly recognizing a secure finger scan. The trackpad is roomy and responsive too — MacBooks still beat out all competition when it comes to trackpad sensitivity and its ability to recognise distinct shortcut gestures.
Thin speaker grilles sit either side of the keyboard, and they’re one of the rare places where the 14-inch MacBook Pro feels notably inferior to the larger 16-inch option. While they are clear and loud, more than enough for a conference call or some casual music listening, they lack the depth, bass and sense of space that the 16-inch model can afford. That’s despite offering Spatial Audio support, where the effect is considerably dulled compared to its larger sibling.
The screen itself is gorgeous, and one of the clearest reasons to opt for the Pro rather than the M2 MacBook Air. Measuring 14.2-inches on the diagonal, it hits a 3024x1964 resolution (macOS scales well to this high-resolution, despite the smaller screen size), for a 254 ppi sharpness. It’s a content creator's dream thanks to its Mini LED panel, which gives the best elements of OLED (deep blacks, dazzling colors) without scrimping on brightness. You can get HDR highs of 1600 nits of brightness here (though you’re more likely to see the screen at the 500 nits SDR brightness limit for most day-to-day work). With a ‘ProMotion’ refresh rate of 120Hz, it feels silky smooth to navigate too, whether that’s when watching high-frame rate content, or simply moving windows around your desktop.
One element that will continue to be divisive is the ‘notch’ at the top of the display, hiding some of the components needed for the webcam. It’s about an inch wide and, in all honesty, becomes quickly forgotten 95% of the time in use. If you’ve got a busier menu bar however, it can start to obscure elements — though few setups will see their menu bar elements extend so far into the center of the display.
Embedded in the notch you’ll find a 1080p FaceTime HD webcam. Sharp and accurately colored, it’s a big improvement for anyone making a jump from a 720p-equipped MacBook of yesteryear.
Elsewhere, you’ll find Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and speedy Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), capable of hitting the top speeds from a modern router — 2.4GB/s, double the previous generation’s max capacity.
Overall, it’s an excellent package, one that you’ll be hard pressed to find bettered in even the most premium of builds on the Windows side of the laptop market. It feels built to last and created with an attention to detail — enough to justify, from a design perspective, its high asking price.
While the M2 generation of Apple silicon didn’t represent the monumental generational jump that Apple’s move from Intel-based systems to its own M1 silicon did, the M2 line still represents significant gains over what came before it. Now, regardless of what M1 chipset MacBook you may have, we’d say anyone on a more exact MacBook model will unlikely see a performance jump big enough to justify upgrading to an M2 computer, barring edge-case extreme workload situations on the higher-end machines. However, if you’re still using an Intel-based Mac, the jump to an M2 machine will feel revolutionary. By taking control of the entire CPU and GPU pipeline, Apple has been able to eke out vast performance and efficiency improvements, making using its computers frictionless and speedy, whatever the task may be.
Our review model was kitted out with the step-up M2 Pro chipset, with a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU — the same as we recently tested in the M2 Pro Mac mini, and saw broadly similar performance. We’ll get onto our benchmark tests for that shortly, but it does mean we’ve not been able to see the top-spec M2 Max chipset at work in person, which offers up to 400GB/s memory bandwidth compared to the M2 Pro’s 200GB/s.
As such, we’ll have to take Apple at its word for the time being on the gains to be had compared to each other.
Apple states the M2 Pro offers up to 20-percent faster CPU performance than the M1 Pro, with 30-percent jumps in GPU performance — up to 6.8 teraflops. The M2 Max makes a 20-percent CPU jump over the M1 Max too, and another 30-percent GPU leap over M1 Max, for an astonishing 13.6 teraflop top-end graphics performance. Those stats are good for up to 23 streams of 4K ProRes simultaneously on the M2 Pro, and 43 streams on the M2 Max.
As such, the jump in performance over an older Intel based machine is huge. Apple uses a 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based 13-inch MacBook Pro system with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 32GB of RAM, and 4TB SSD as its Intel baseline — a machine not to be trifled with. But Apple’s numbers against that model are eye-popping: 15.9x faster ProRes transcode performance in Final Cut Pro with M2 Max, 11.6x with M2 Pro; 15.7x object tracking performance with M2 Max in Final Cut Pro, 9.6x with M2 Pro. 4.4x faster project build across the board for Xcode projects, 10.6x faster image upscaling performance in Pixelmator Pro across the board. Gains against M1-series chips are smaller — 20 to 30 percent in the best cases, especially in tasks where GPU performance is key. But as we mentioned earlier — we wouldn’t recommend, nor expect, anyone on an M1-series machine to upgrade just yet.
Onto our own benchmarking then, and kicking off with Geekbench, we saw the M2 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro deliver a 1947 single core performance score, and 15097 multi-core performance — in line with the M2 Pro Mac mini score, and the M2 Pro-equipped 16-inch MacBook Pro too. It’s a significant multi-core improvement over what the standard M2 chip in the latest MacBook Air can achieve.
|MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)||M2 Pro (12-core CPU / 19-core GPU)||1,947||15,097|
|MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)||M2 Pro (12-core CPU / 19-core GPU)||1,961||15,061|
|MacBook Air (mid 2022)||M2 (8-core CPU / 10-core GPU)M2 (8-core CPU / 10-core GPU)||1,917||8,950|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch (2022)||M2||1,920||8,869|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch (late 2020)||M1||1,705||7,382|
|MacBook Air (late 2020)||M1||1,702||7,400|
|Dell XPS 17 9700||i7-10875H||1,282||8,119|
|Dell XPS 15 9500||i7-10875H||1,318||7,621|
|Razer Blade Pro 17||i7-10750H||1,314||6,164|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||Ryzen 4900HS||1,221||7,982|
|Surface Book 3||i71065G7||1,298||4,511|
|Dell XPS 13 9300||i7-1065G7||1,284||4,848|
Up next was the GFXBench Metal test that focuses in on 3D graphics performance. First up was the standard 1440p test, which the M2 Pro absolutely smashed through with a 210fps average — near double what the standard M2 chip can manage. It was similarly impressive at the 4K test too, which delivered 92fps — in both cases a fair few frames more than the 16-inch MacBook Pro managed, interestingly.
And while we still wouldn’t recommend a Mac over a PC for pure gaming purposes, there’s still fun to be had here. The M2 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro will tear through any Apple Arcade game you point at it, including the higher-end NBA 2K23 and racing sim Gear.Club Stradale, and will play nicely with many larger scale games too. Our go-to Tomb Raider (2013) benchmark test remains a solid way of examining core gaming performance.
Ramping up the resolution to as close to native as possible (3024 x 1890), and setting the graphics preset to Ultimate (the sort of test a modest modern gaming rig would have few problems with) did a solid job — far better than the M2 Pro Mac mini managed, which for some reason got hung up on the game’s TressFX hair rendering feature. It managed an average of 38fps to the Mac mini’s strangely-low 13.4fps. Turning off TressFX, for the sake of balancing the books against the Mac mini, returned a 64fps average on the MacBook Pro, compared to the mini’s 45fps. Dropping the resolution to 1440p and keeping the Ultimate settings (without TressFX) returned a great 112fps — again, interestingly beating out the mini’s 98fps.
There’s definitely gaming fun to be had with the MacBook Pro then, and at 14-inches it’s portable enough to get you through some gaming while you travel, too. It’s just a shame that we’re still not seeing many developers looking to build titles natively for Mac, taking advantage of the Metal API that would see just how far these machines could be pushed in gaming terms.
In terms of storage performance, read and write speeds to our model’s 1TB SSD were recorded as north of 5000MB/s by Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. Things are working fine here, though other M2-equipped machines have seen lower performance in terms of SSD speeds in the cases where single NAND flash chips are being used, where parallel performance can’t be harnessed. No problems with this 1TB model though.
Benchmarks out of the way, from a purely anecdotal day-to-day use perspective, I couldn’t make the M2 Pro even stutter. Whether I had 100 Chrome tabs open, complex image editing projects on the go, or high-resolution video playback simultaneously, macOS Ventura’s core offering didn’t break a sweat. The M2 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro is a fine machine, one more than capable of handling everyday tasks, and offering superb potential performance for those looking to do more advanced 3D work on the go.
One of the biggest improvements made by the jump to Apple silicon in the company’s portable computers was battery life. Whatever M-silicon chip you have in your MacBook Pro or Air, these things now just run, and run. And run.
It’s the same story for the 14-inch MacBook Pro we’ve been testing. The 14-inch model is equipped with a 70 watt-hours battery, which Apple rates at 18 hours of video playback, and 12 hours of wireless web browsing. That’s easily enough for a couple of full day’s work away from a power supply, and we’d actually argue that, depending on how hard you’re going with the Pro, that seems like a conservative estimate, too. And, if you opt for the 96W power adapter, you can recharge to 50-percent capacity in just 30 minutes. The days of keeping one eye on an available wall outlet when out and about are over.
It’s worth noting that this performance we saw above was largely sustained on or off of a corded power supply — the efficiency of Apple silicon lets these chips go harder for longer, just from battery power alone. And that MagSafe magic still charms — why Apple ever thought to do away with it on its laptops in the first place remains a mystery.
If you’re looking at a MacBook, it’s probably because you love macOS and the Apple ecosystem as much as the Apple industrial design language itself. Which means that when it comes to competition, it’s not so much ‘competitors’ as it is alternatives within Apple’s own stable you’re most likely to be looking at.
That means you’re first going to be looking at the devices either side of the 14-inch MacBook Pro — the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air.
It’s essentially a discussion about portability and price for the most part. If you’ve got some cash to spare and your workflow benefits from a larger screen to work with, then you might want to consider the 16-inch MacBook Pro. It has the same chipset options as the 14-inch, so performance across the range should be near identical. But it has a slightly larger capacity battery, and we’ve also found its speakers to be richer on the larger model. But those extra inches cost a notable jump in price.
While on the smaller scale we could suggest the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which also sports an M2-generation chip, we prefer the M2 MacBook Air with its more modernized design. It’s a beautiful machine, incredibly light and portable and rocking some of the quality of life changes we’ve seen in the newer MacBook Pros, such as a physical function key row and MagSafe. It’s our favorite Mac on the market right now, but its weaker chip may prevent it being a full alternative to the Pro series, especially when it comes to GPU performance.
If you’re up for looking at a Windows machine, the Dell XPS 17 is a worthy alternative, with a solid build quality and a good spec sheet. But it won’t compete on performance terms, not to mention, naturally, its different OS.
You need power and portability combined.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro is the perfect sweet spot between portability and power, offering similar specs as the 16-inch model but in a well-built machine that’s considerably smaller.
You work in creative industries, on the go.
Whether you’re working on 3D models, complex image editing or high-resolution video streams, the 14-inch MacBook Pro has enough power to fuel your ideas, even when away from a wall socket.
You’re upgrading from an Intel-based MacBook.
It’s a night-and-day performance difference if you’ve got an Intel MacBook when making the jump to Apple silicon. This second generation of chips only makes the gap wider still.
You’re on a budget.
You get what you pay for. But you can’t get a MacBook Pro without spending a lot of money.
You have an M1-generation MacBook Pro.
There’s an improvement to performance over Apple’s last generation of silicon, but unless your work really demands cutting-edge speeds, it’s not a big enough leap to justify upgrading, especially as nothing has changed on the exterior. Maybe wait for the M3 in that case.
You want a big screen to work on.
The 14-inch MacBook Pro has a lovely screen, but you’re going to miss that extra two inches if you’re working across multiple apps and workflows simultaneously. Consider the 16-inch model, which also benefits from improved audio thanks to its larger size.
Though it doesn’t offer any big differences in terms of design compared to its last-generation iteration, that doesn’t stop the 14-inch MacBook Pro for 2023 from being one of the best portable computers money can buy.
It’s expensive, but its combination of power, battery life and exceptional build quality make it incredibly attractive. It can be configured to ridiculous heights, but even the entry level model has power to spare for the average user.
Which also means that, for the average user again, this may in fact be overkill. If you’re only working in spreadsheets, documents and browsing the web, the MacBook Pro line-up is now total overkill, and the MacBook Air is likely the better option for most of the population.
But if you do need that power? Boy, does the M2 Pro deliver. GPU performance alone is so remarkable as to make you wonder how we ever got by on the old Intel machines. If you’ve got the money to spare and the genuine need for the performance on offer here, the 14-inch MacBook Pro will serve you well for years to come.
14-inch MacBook Pro (2023)
Bottom line: Portable, powerful and wonderfully built, this is a great workstation for the on-the-go creative.
Chromebooks have become a popular alternative to conventional Windows and iOS notebooks because they are easy to use and more affordable. However, most of them are made by the same companies that make other notebooks and benefit from the same quality and features.
Another area where Chromebooks differ from conventional notebooks is their operating system. ChromeOS was designed as a browser first and is very light on system resources, making it fast and responsive. The low performance requirements are directly linked to the pricing, and the best Chromebooks are often substantially cheaper than their Windows-based counterparts.
One of the best things about Chromebooks is the massive variety currently available to buyers. They come in screen sizes between 10.1 and 17.7 inches, so there’s one for you, no matter your requirements. Some of the more basic versions look and work like conventional notebooks, while others have touchscreens and styluses and fold over into tablet mode.
It can be challenging to choose the right Chromebook with many available options. We’ve made it easy with our picks for the best Chromebooks of 2022.
Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 is for people who want to stand out from the crowd but still demand the best performance. Its eye-catching Fiesta Red aluminum housing is a breath of fresh air compared to the usual black and silver competition.
There’s no doubt about the Galaxy Chromebook 2 performance credentials, and it competes with the best of them thanks to the Intel Core i3 10110U processor and 8GB of RAM. Its 128GB of storage space is expected at this price point and should be enough for most day-to-day tasks but not massive media libraries.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2’s QLED display offers rich and vibrant colors and is a cut above the competition in its price range. Its 13.3-inch FHD screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio and is one of the brightest Chromebook displays currently available.
Apart from being durable, the Galaxy Chromebook 2 design is also user-friendly, with USB-C ports on both sides and an SD card reader to extend the storage space or transfer information from a camera or other devices. On the other hand, there are no USB-A or HDMI ports, so you might have challenges connecting older equipment.
Not only does the Galaxy Chromebook 2 have outstanding stylish looks and great performance, but it’s often at a reduced price for even more value. It’s an excellent buy if you don’t mind getting an adapter to connect legacy devices.Read More
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung’s 13.3-inch Galaxy Chromebook sits in the Goldilocks zone of not being too big or too small. It packs a punch in the performance area, too, and comes with a stunning display that surpasses the most competition. You can also use it as a laptop or rotate the display to 360 degrees to work as a tablet.
This Chromebook comes with a stunning 4K AMOLED touchscreen delivering vivid colors and rich blacks. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio, making it perfect for watching your favorite movies or shows, and it’s fine for browsing and productivity too. The supplied stylus doesn’t work with batteries, so it doesn’t need to be charged, and it makes sketching and taking notes a breeze.
Performance-wise, the Galaxy Chromebook can take on any business or personal task with its Intel i5 processor and 8GB of storage. The 256 GB of storage space should be enough for most buyers and can store numerous photos, videos, and other files.
Business people and other professionals looking for fast speeds and a high-resolution display will appreciate the Galaxy Chromebook. However, it’s quite pricey for casual buyers, who might be better off with some of the alternatives from this list.Read More
SAMSUNG 13.3” Galaxy Chromebook
The Chromebook CX1 is an entry-level option designed for budget-conscious buyers. It feels more like a notebook than the other Chromebooks listed here because of its large 15.6-inch display, which is also a drawback because it lacks touch capability.
As a no-frills Chromebook, the CX1 uses a standard Intel Celeron N3350 Processor paired with a decent 8GB of RAM. The 64GB of eMMC storage is certainly below average but acceptable considering the price. Many users won’t mind the compromise because they get 12 months of free Google One access with up to 100GB.
The biggest difference between the CX1 and its competitors is the lack of a touchscreen. For some, it won’t be a big deal, and they’ll be happy using it like a notebook. Others will find it to be a deal-breaker and will probably spend more on other Chromebooks for the additional functionality.
Either way, the CX1 still has acceptable build quality for the price and has passed US MIL-STD 810H durability testing. For a budget Chromebook, it still has good connectivity with two USB-C and USB-A ports and an SD card reader.
Asus makes Chromebooks for every type of user, and the CX1 is perfect for light users and students. It’s not the most advanced Chromebook out there, but it offers exceptional value thanks to its low price.Read More
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i offers high-end performance at a mid-range price. It’s one of the best options for savvy buyers looking for a great deal because it’s often marked down and has one of the best price-to-performance ratios.
This Chromebook runs on Intel’s Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor with 8GB of memory, and it should be enough to handle most business or personal tasks easily. The 256GB of storage space is more than many more expensive rivals and is ideal for people with larger media libraries.
Like most 2-in-1 Chromebooks, the IdeaPad Flex 5i has a 360-degree flexible lid that can easily adjust between laptop, tablet, and tent positions depending on your preference. There are a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1 ports on the right side along with an SC card reader, and the left side houses an HDMI 1.4b port, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2/Thunderbolt 4 port, and the 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
Another strong point of the IdeaPad Flex 5i is its versatile 14-inch size, which isn’t too big or too small. The 16:9 FHD touchscreen gets the job done but could offer more benefits when combined with the optional Lenovo Digital Pen.
While the Flex 5i offers outstanding value, it does have a couple of drawbacks. It doesn’t have the brightest display, and the battery life is below average, but it’s hard to complain, considering the price tag.Read More
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook
Acer’s Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 is its top-of-the-range Chromebook designed for demanding business users and priced to match. It’s the most powerful Chromebook featured on this list, but it may be too much for regular users, who won’t need the speed.
It’s powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 5825C Octa-core processor and a whopping 16GB of RAM, making it ideal for any tasks you throw at it. The performance is backed up by a 256GB SSD which is more than enough space for most users. Despite its high performance, the Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 has a decent 10-hour battery life, making it perfect for long flights.
The outside is as good as the inside, with a stylish aluminum shell that maintains the premium image. It’s not just about looks; the Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 also passes MIL-STD 810H tests for reliability and durability. There’s no worrying about connectivity because there are two USB-C 3.2 ports, A USB-A port, and an HDMI port to connect older monitors. You can also expand the memory with the built-in SD card reader.
This Chromebook ticks most design and performance boxes and offers an excellent viewing experience from its 14-inch FHD display. That said, most buyers won’t need all the power, and its hefty price tag puts it out of reach for many of them.Read More
Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 has a classy silver finish and tough build quality that deliver it the edge over some similarly-priced competitors. It’s no slouch in the performance area and is one of the best options if you need extra ports for peripherals like mice or external monitors.
Asus was clearly targeting the premium market with the Chromebook Flip CX5, and it shows with the sleek aluminum body and angular design. The 360-degree hinges are solid and feel sturdy no matter whether you have it in laptop mode or flipped over in tent mode as a tablet. Like many of its TUFF Gaming laptops, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 passes MIL-STD 810H military standards for reliability and durability.
Where the Chromebook Flip CX5 stands out is its range of connectivity ports, which are a bit surprising for a laptop of this size. There’s a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, A pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
There’s no compromise when it comes to performance, and the Intel Core i3-1110G4 Processor with 8GB RAM is enough for most everyday users. The 128GB SSD is about average for a Chromebook and isn’t too bad, considering you can upgrade the storage with the built-in SD card reader.
When paired with the 14-inch FHD touchscreen and stylus, the Chromebook Flip CX5 is a powerhouse Chromebook. It doesn’t come cheap but justifies its price with superb quality and durability.Read More
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 is one of the best all-around Chromebooks because of the little details that add to the already-brilliant performance and build quality.
Many Chromebooks have 16:9 aspect ratio displays that are perfect for watching movies but aren't great for productivity because of the lack of vertical space.
Instead, the Spin 713 has a 13.5- inch 3:2 aspect ratio screen offering vivid, crisp colors. It’s not surprising that the touchscreen is responsive, but it would have been nice to have a stylus included to make certain tasks easier.
The main selling point of the Chromebook Spin 713 is its performance, and it doesn’t disappoint. Its Intel i5-10210U CPU and 8GB of RAM make it one of the fastest Chromebooks currently available and ideal for professionals wanting the best. The 128GB of storage space might not seem like much, but it’s decent, considering it uses a faster SSD instead of the slower eMCP memory found on many other Chromebooks.
Other little touches that elevate the Chromebook Spin 713 above many of its competitors are the HDMI port, fingerprint reader, and back-lit keyboard. It’s one of the best Chromebooks if you want the best performance, but it’s a bit heavy and lacks a stylus.Read More
Acer - Chromebook Spin 713
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet’s compact size makes it one of the best options for students or people on the go. It also has a magnetized kickstand cover and a detachable keyboard, so it blurs the lines between a Chromebook and a tablet.
At a time when bigger is always better, the Chromebook goes in the opposite direction and shows why compact can be king. It has a 10.1-inch FHD with a 16:10 aspect ratio offering clear, high-definition graphics in a small package. The compact keyboard is also very practical and easy to detach when you're browsing the internet and don’t need to type.
The Chromebook Duet won’t win any prizes for performance, but it’s not meant to. It’s supposed to provide the most bang for the buck and certainly succeeds. It comes with a MediaTek Helio P60T processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of eMCP. This Chromebook isn’t for graphics-intensive or other resource-hungry apps but is perfect for browsing the internet and watching content.
The Duet punches above its weight for an affordable Chromebook and has a compact size and detachable keyboard to fit in any bag. It’s perfect for casual users, but professionals should look for something with more oomph.Read More
Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1
The Acer Chromebook 315 is a no-frills Chromebook designed for students and other light users who don't need blistering performance. Its 15.5-inch screen is ideal for buyers who are used to conventional laptops, but it still has a touchscreen to satisfy tablet fans.
Despite its low price, the 315 has a classy silver chassis that emulates its more expensive rivals. It’s also lightweight, considering its size, and has a long 12.5-hour battery life. There’s no shortage of USB ports with two Type-Cs and a USB-A port. The lack of an HDMI port is not surprising and is expected at this price point.
This Chromebook is powered by Intel’s Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor with 4GB DDR4 RAM. It won’t win any performance contests, but it’s perfectly capable of most daily tasks like watching videos, working on documents, and checking emails. The 64GB of eMMC memory gets the job done, but most buyers will be better off saving their work to Google Drive.
Acer’s Chromebook 315 offers respectable performance considering its low price. Its large 15.6-inch display makes tasks a breeze and feels sturdy compared to many other entry-level offerings.Read More
The Asus Chromebook Flip C214 is one of the most affordable ways to get a Chromebook. It may be small, but it’s very tough and can survive the elements better than most higher-priced rivals.
At just 11.6 inches, the Flip C214 is compact enough to fit in most bags and ideal for people on the go. It’s also great for construction workers or other people who work outside because it has a water-resistant keyboard and passes Mil-STD-810G standards for ruggedness and durability. There’s no compromise on touch functionality, and the C214MA-YS02T can flip into tablet mode or work as a mini-notebook.
Smaller Chromebooks are designed for lighter tasks by nature, and the Intel N4000 CPU with 4GB of RAM will get the job done as long as you aren’t multitasking and have too many windows open. Its 32GB of storage space is one of the compromises to keep the price low, and most buyers will probably upgrade it using the SD card reader.
Considering its low price, the C214 has admirable build quality and acceptable performance. It’s tough enough for school kids, and can still handle most tasks. The small screen size will be a disadvantage to some buyers, but it’s also an advantage for people needing a compact Chromebook.Read More
ASUS Chromebook Flip C214
Chromebooks are designed to run Google apps like Google Docs and Gmail but don't support most Windows apps. They can, however, run certain Android versions of apps like Microsoft Office. Most online apps also work without issues and are fast and responsive when using the Chrome browser.
Yes, the operating system and all the apps require a Google account. You’ll need it to log in to your Chromebook and sync your Google Drive and other apps.
Chromebooks tend to have smaller storage capacities than conventional notebooks because the operating system doesn’t take up much space. Google also expects most buyers to save their information on Google Drive instead of the local device. Most Chromebooks also include an SD card reader, so you can expand the memory for an affordable price.
Many entry-level Chromebooks start at around 64 GB, which is enough to store some downloads, but not ideal for big libraries. You can expect around 128GB on mid-tier options and 256GB on top-of-the-range offerings.
The core counts on Intel’s mainstream desktop processors have been shooting up to the sky, and unsurprisingly so are those on Intel’s new high-end Xeon workstation processors, dubbed "Sapphire Rapids" during development. Today, Intel announced the new Xeon W-3400 and Xeon W-2400 product lines as part of the delayed Sapphire Rapids family, with the W-3400 line supporting up to 56 CPU cores, making for Intel’s single fastest workstation processor to date.
The launch of the Sapphire Rapids chips, built on the Intel 7 process technology, was originally slated for 2022. These new Xeon processors make use of the "Golden Cove" microarchitecture that is also featured inside of Intel’s consumer-oriented 13th Gen Core desktop processors (known as "Raptor Lake"). In terms of design, however, these chips are considerably different from Raptor Lake processors and should provide significantly better performance in workstation-relevant applications.
The Sapphire Rapids Xeons, also dubbed "Sapphire Rapids-WS" to distinguish them from coming server versions, compete in the market for workstation chips that primarily appear in prebuilt workstation desktops from the large OEMs. They'll play in that market alongside offerings from AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Pro family. The competition includes muscle silicon such as AMD's flagship 64-core Threadripper Pro 5995WX, which we tested last year in the Lenovo ThinkStation P620.
Unlike the new Xeon workstation processors, Raptor Lake consumer processors have two types of processor cores inside of them. The stars are the high-performance cores known as Performance cores (P-cores), but these are backed by high-efficiency cores known as Efficient cores (E-cores). Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i9-13900K consumer chip comes equipped with eight Hyper-Threaded P-cores and 16 E-cores. The P-cores are able to run two threads simultaneously, giving the processor a total of 32 addressable threads.
The P-cores inside of Raptor Lake processors are the ones based on the Golden Cove microarchitecture, and it’s an abundance of these cores that drive performance inside of the new Xeon processors. The best of Intel’s new Xeon W-3400 processors, the Xeon w9-3495X, has 56 Golden Cove cores and 112 addressable threads. No E-cores on any of these; instead, it’s high-performance all around.
All Xeon W-3400 processors feature an eight-channel DDR5 memory controller that can effectively support roughly four times the memory bandwidth versus a Raptor Lake system. Also, 112 PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 lanes are built into each of these chips for supporting ultra-fast SSDs and workstation graphics cards. Naturally, these chips carry hefty prices, with the aforementioned Xeon w9-3495X costing an estimated $5,889 per unit.
The somewhat lower-end W-2400 product line is headed by a w7-2495X that has “only” 24 Golden Cove cores and 48 threads. That may sound like a major step down, but it helps to remember that this is the same core count as the Core i9-13900K, except in the w7-2495X all of the cores are the high-performance, Hyper-Threaded Golden Cove variant. This should deliver the w7-2495X an unassailable advantage against the Core i9-13900K in any multi-threaded test.
Intel cut down the memory controller and PCIe controller on the W-2400 processors, as well, but these remain competitive for the workstation market. All W-2400 processors will support four channels of DDR5 RAM and 64 PCIe 5.0 lanes. In terms of price, these chips are more affordable and range from $359 for a six-core w3 model up to $2,189 for the w7-2495X.
The price difference makes the W-2400 chip line more realistic for individuals that have high-performance needs, whereas the W-3400 is more of a business-only solution.
To support the Xeon W-3400 and W-2400 chip lines, Intel is pushing out a new chipset dubbed the Intel W790. Intel has not shared a ton of noteworthy details to report about this chipset, other than that it supports up to 16 PCIe 4.0 lanes, eight SATA-III ports, and up to five USB 3.2 20Gbps ports, and that it integrates Wi-Fi 6E support. A more interesting tidbit: The chipset connects to the processor over a new DMI 4.0 x8 bus that has increased bandwidth, but the benefits of this are up for debate.
Last but not least, it’s noteworthy that Intel is now labeling these new Xeon processors in a similar manner to how it has labeled its Core processors for years. The Xeon W-3400 processors will be branded as w9, w7, or w5 processors, and the Xeon W-2400 processors will similarly be branded as w7, w5, or w3. This should make identifying the position of chips inside of the product lines easier.
Pre-orders for Intel’s new Xeon workstation processors are set to open today, with the first systems to use these chips, like HP's upcoming refresh of its Z desktop workstations, arriving in March.
Twilio Inc. has joined Zoom, eBay, Okta, Splunk, PayPal, IBM, SAP, Spotify, Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft, Coinbase, Cisco, Amazon, Salesforce, HP, Roku, Beyond Meat, Meta and Twitter in announcing major layoffs in exact months.
Here’s a look at the list of big names across a number of sectors that have been cutting back their workforces.
Communications-software company Twilio Inc. TWLO, -6.34% disclosed that it will lay off about 17% of its workforce. Based on the company’s latest annual report, that would suggest that more than 1,300 employees will be laid off.
The layoffs come amid a restructuring effort at Twilio. In a letter to employees, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said the company was forming two business units, Twilio Communications and Twilio Data & Applications. “When we look at these two business units on their own, it’s clear that we’ve gotten too big, especially in Communications,” Lawson wrote. “And that’s why we’re also letting go of some colleagues today.”
Related: Twilio to lay off 17% of its employees to cut costs, while providing upbeat Q4 guidance
This is the second round of layoffs at the company, following cuts announced in September. “At that time, we sought to streamline the company as it was then structured,” Lawson said. “Today’s news, however, is more driven by the need to organize ourselves differently for success – and the changes needed to enact this new structure.”
Twilio said it expects to record charges of $100 million to $135 million related to the layoffs, mostly in the first quarter of 2023.
Last week, buy-now-pay-later company Affirm Holdings Inc. AFRM, -4.42% announced plans to cut 19% of its staff, as the company reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter results and outlook.
Related: Affirm stock tanks after earnings whiff, as company plans to lay off 19% of staff
“Over the last three quarters, the Fed increased its benchmark rate at an unprecedented pace,” said Affirm CEO Max Levchin in a message to employees. “This has already dampened consumer spending and increased Affirm’s cost of borrowing dramatically. The root cause of where we are today is that I acted too slowly as these macroeconomic changes unfolded.”
Affirm had 2,552 employees as of June 30, 2022, according to its latest 10-K filing.
Zoom Video Communications Inc. ZM, -2.31% announced in early February that it will lay off approximately 15% of its workforce, or around 1,300 people.
In a Feb. 7 blog post, Zoom CEO and founder Eric Yuan pointed to the company’s rapid growth during the pandemic. “Our trajectory was forever changed during the pandemic when the world faced one of its toughest challenges, and I am proud of the way we mobilized as a company to keep people connected,” he wrote. “To make this possible, we needed to staff up rapidly to support the quick rise of users on our platform and their evolving needs.”
Within 24 months, Zoom tripled in size, according to the CEO.
“We worked tirelessly and made Zoom better for our customers and users,” he wrote, but he added that the company also made mistakes. “We didn’t take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyze our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities.”
Now read: Zoom’s stock jumps on news that company will lay off 15% of staff and cut executive pay
The chief executive said the uncertainty of the global economy, and its effect on customers, have prompted Zoom to take “a hard — yet important — look inward to reset ourselves so we can weather the economic environment.”
Yuan said that he is reducing his salary for the coming year by 98% and forgoing his corporate bonus for fiscal year 2023. Members of the company’s executive leadership team will reduce their salaries by 20% for the coming fiscal year while also forfeiting their bonuses, he added.
Zoom had been one of the pandemic’s tech winners as people worked from home, but the company has struggled of late as workers return to the office.
EBay Inc. EBAY, -0.86% planned to cut about 4% of its staff — or some 500 employees.
“Over the past few months, we’ve taken a thoughtful look at where we are as a company with considerations of the macroeconomic situation around the world and how to best invest and operate so that we can continue to be successful,” said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone in a Feb. 7 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “To create long-term, sustainable growth for eBay, we need to evolve our organization as we take the next step in our strategy — focused on driving growth, building a trusted marketplace, empowering enthusiasts and seeding new technologies for the future.”
Related: eBay to lay off 500 employees, about 4% of its workforce
The company said the cuts would allow it to concentrate on areas where it could make the biggest impact, according to Iannone. “Importantly, this shift gives us additional space to invest and create new roles in high-potential areas — new technologies, customer innovations and key markets — and to continue to adapt and flex with the changing macro, e-commerce and technology landscape,” he wrote. “We’re also simplifying our structure to make decisions more effectively and with more speed.”
Dell Technologies Inc. DELL, -0.56% announced plans to cut approximately 5% of its workforce.
The company announced the layoffs in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early February, citing “a challenging global economic environment.”
The tech giant had 133,000 employees as of Jan. 28, 2022, according to its last 10-K filing. If the company’s staffing has remained at that level, the layoffs would affect 6,650 employees.
Also read: Dell to cut staff by 5% as ‘conditions continue to erode’
In a message to employees that was also filed with the SEC, Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice chair and co-chief operating officer, described a series of changes the company is making around global sales and services, which he said will make the company more nimble and provide a “better structure” for the future.
“What we know is market conditions continue to erode with an uncertain future,” he said in the message. “The steps we’ve taken to stay ahead of downturn impacts — which enabled several strong quarters in a row — are no longer enough. We now have to make additional decisions to prepare for the road ahead.”
He added: “Unfortunately, with changes like this, some members of our team will be leaving the company. There is no tougher decision, but one we had to make for our long-term health and success.”
Okta Inc. OKTA, -1.67% said it will cut its global workforce by 5%, or approximately 300 employees, as the software maker adjusts to the current macroeconomic reality. “A workforce reduction like this is the last thing I wanted to do, and I am truly sorry,” Okta CEO Todd McKinnon wrote in an early February email to employees.
“We entered fiscal 2023 with a growth plan based on the demand we experienced in the prior year,” the CEO said. “This led us to overhire for the macroeconomic reality we’re in today.”
Now read: Okta CEO says layoffs were ‘the last thing I wanted to do’ as company cuts 300 jobs
McKinnon also highlighted “execution challenges” that Okta has faced. “I wish I had responded sooner, but we’re doing the best we can today to adjust to this reality,” he said.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Okta said it will incur approximately $15 million in restructuring charges in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023 for future cash employee severance and benefits costs, which primarily will be paid in the first quarter of fiscal 2024.
Splunk Inc. SPLK, -1.95% said it will lay off about 4% of its staff, or about 325 employees, amid cutbacks in the software industry.
In a letter to employees, Splunk CEO Gary Steele said that the cuts will be mostly in North America. “This decision is another step in a broader set of proactive organizational and strategic changes that include optimizing our processes, cost structure and how we operate globally to ensure Splunk continues to balance growth with profitability through these uncertain times and drive success over the long term,” he wrote.
Also read: Splunk to lay off 4% of its staff in latest sign of software cutbacks
In an SEC filing, Splunk estimated that it would incur approximately $28 million in charges and future cash expenditures related to its reorganization plan. Splunk expected the plan to be completed, and to book “substantially all” the associated charges and cash expenditures, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024.
PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, -2.70% said it was cutting its global workforce by approximately 2,000 full-time employees, or 7% of the company’s total workforce. Chief Executive Dan Schulman announced the layoffs in an email to employees. “These reductions will occur over the coming weeks, with some organizations impacted more than others,” he wrote.
“While we have made substantial progress in right-sizing our cost structure, and focused our resources on our core strategic priorities, we have more work to do,” Schulman said in the email. “We must continue to change as our world, our customers, and our competitive landscape evolve.”
Also see: PayPal to lay off 7% of employees as part of cost-cutting push
PayPal said it will continue to hire “strategically” this year, spokeswoman Amanda Miller told MarketWatch.
In August, PayPal announced a cost-cutting initiative, saying it was targeting at least $1.3 billion in cost savings during 2023.
International Business Machines Corp. IBM, +0.01% said it was cutting 1% to 1.5% of its workforce. The cuts would amount to about 3,900 employees, IBM Chief Financial Officer James Kavanaugh said in an interview with Bloomberg, which was the first to report the job cuts.
Related: IBM posts biggest annual sales increase in more than a decade, announces layoffs
The layoffs were not mentioned on the conference call to discuss IBM’s fourth-quarter results. A spokesman said the cuts were mostly related to a spinoff and the sale of IBM’s Watson Health unit, resulting in a $300 million charge in the first quarter.
SAP SAP, -0.52% said it would be cutting almost 3,000 jobs amid a restructuring effort. When it announced its fourth-quarter results, the business-software maker said it was undertaking a “targeted” restructuring in 2023 focused on strategic growth areas and “accelerated cloud transformation.”
Also read: SAP to cut nearly 3,000 Jobs, weighs Qualtrics stake sale
The restructuring program would affect some 2,800 employees. At the end of 2022, the Walldorf, Germany-based company had 111,961 employees globally.
Silicon Foundry-equipment supplier Lam Research Corp. LRCX, -1.13% said it will cut its global workforce by 7%, or 1,300 employees, by the end of March. The cuts did not include a separate reduction to Lam Research’s “temporary workforce” that saw 700 people being let go at the end of December.
Now read: Lam Research to trim 7% of workforce, increase R&D spending as memory-chip crunch hits outlook
The cuts came as Lam Research reported its results for the quarter ending Dec. 22, 2022. “Given the decline in wafer fabrication equipment spending expected in calendar year 2023, we are taking proactive steps to lower our cost structure and drive efficiencies across our global footprint, while preserving critical R&D,” said CEO Tim Archer in a statement. “With these actions, Lam is focused on accelerating our strategic priorities to capitalize on the semiconductor industry’s long-term growth prospects.”
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Spotify Technology SPOT, -0.19% said it would reduce its workforce by about 6%, which translated to about 588 jobs.
Bloomberg News originally reported that the streaming music service was planning job cuts. At the end of the third quarter, Spotify had 9,808 full-time employees globally.
The Stockholm-based company estimated that it would incur approximately €35 million to €45 million ($38.1 million to $48.9 million) in severance-related charges.
Now read: Spotify to lay off nearly 600 employees
The job cuts came after Spotify slowed its pace of hiring in 2022. Last June, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told employees that the company would reduce its hiring by 25%, according to Bloomberg and CNBC reports. Spotify laid off at least 38 employees at its Gimlet and Parcast podcast units in October.
In exact years, Spotify has spent massive amounts on podcasts, which has weighed on the company’s margins. The podcast spending has yet to deliver profits, although last year Ek predicted a meaningful increase in profitability in the next couple of years.
In its SEC filing, Spotify said that, as part of a broader reorganization, the company’s chief content and advertising business officer, Dawn Ostroff, would depart.
Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -1.21% GOOG, -1.24% has announced plans to cut approximately 12,000 jobs globally. In a blog post, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the layoffs as “a difficult decision to set us up for the future.”
“The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here,” he added.
Like a number of other tech giants that have made layoffs recently, such as Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -1.56% and Meta Platforms Inc. META, +0.26%, Alphabet expanded to meet demand during the pandemic era but was confronted with a different economic situation, Pichai said. “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”
Now read: Google parent Alphabet planning to cut 12,000 jobs globally
At the end of September 2022, Alphabet had almost 187,000 employees, up from almost 164,000 employees at the end of March.
“As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles,” Pichai said. “These are important moments to sharpen our focus, re-engineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities.”
Echoing exact comments from Microsoft, Pichai also highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence. “Being constrained in some areas allows us to bet big on others,” he said. “Pivoting the company to be AI-first years ago led to groundbreaking advances across our businesses and the whole industry.”
Read: Google looks to shed 10,000 ‘poor-performing’ workers: report
The CEO said that the company was Studying to share “some entirely new experiences” for users, developers and businesses. “We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly,” he added.
A 2022 report in The Information said that Google was considering cutting 10,000 jobs. The company was also looking into employing a ranking system that would eliminate the lowest-ranked “poor-performing” employees, the report said.
“Earlier this year, we launched Googler Reviews and Development (GRAD) to help employee development, coaching, learning and career progression throughout the year,” a Google spokesperson told MarketWatch in a statement at the time. “The new system helps establish clear expectations and provide employees with regular feedback.”
Intel Corp. INTC, -2.09% announced it was slashing hundreds of jobs in Silicon Valley. The cuts added to layoffs that began late last year as part of previously announced job cutting.
According to filings with California’s Employment Development Department, the chipmaker planned to cut 201 jobs at its offices in Santa Clara, Calif., which is home to Intel’s headquarters, effective Jan. 31. In late December, Intel reported 90 job cuts, during which the company confirmed that it also has put some manufacturing employees on unpaid leave.
The tech giant also added to the 111 job cuts previously announced in Folsom, Calif., at a campus dedicated to research and development. There were 176 layoffs effective Jan. 31, and an additional 167 job cuts effective March 15.
Now read: Intel cuts hundreds more jobs in California, and indicates more to come
Intel also expected more layoffs will be detailed in future filings.
In October, Intel announced plans for job cuts as it reported its third-quarter results. The chip maker said it was focused on driving $3 billion in cost reductions in 2023. “Inclusive in our efforts will be steps to optimize our headcount,” Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger said during a conference call with analysts to discuss the third-quarter results.
The chipmaker had 121,000-plus employees worldwide at the end of 2021.
Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -1.56% joined other tech giants in the layoffs spotlight when the software maker confirmed plans to cut about 10,000 positions.
“Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of [the third quarter of fiscal year 2023],” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a blog post on Jan. 18. “This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today.”
Now read: Microsoft confirms plans to lay off about 10,000 workers as tech companies cut back
Microsoft, he said, was aligning its cost structure with its revenue and with where the company sees customer demand. Nadella wrote that while customers had accelerated their digital spending during the pandemic, they are now looking to “optimize” their digital spending to do more with less. “We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one,” he added.
The tech giant was taking a $1.2 billion charge in the second quarter related to severance costs, changes to its hardware portfolio and costs of lease consolidation as it created higher density across its workspaces.
Also see: More than 25,000 global tech workers laid off in the first weeks of 2023, says layoff tracking site
The layoffs did not come completely out of the blue. Earlier reports from Sky News and Bloomberg indicated that Microsoft was preparing to make cuts.
In the blog post, Nadella said that while Microsoft was eliminating roles in some areas, the company would continue to hire in key strategic areas. The CEO did not specify which areas will see hiring but did describe advances in artificial intelligence as “the next major wave of computing.”
Coinbase Global Inc. COIN, -0.59% announced 950 job cuts in an attempt to cut costs.
“In 2022, the crypto market trended downwards along with the broader macroeconomy,” said Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, in a message to employees on Jan. 10. “We also saw the fallout from unscrupulous actors in the industry, and there could still be further contagion.”
Also read: Coinbase to cut 950 jobs and book charges of up to $163 million
The crypto exchange said it would book charges of about $149 million to $163 million for the cuts, divided between about $58 million to $68 million in cash charge relating to severance and $91 million to $95 million in stock-based compensation charges relating to the vesting of outstanding equity awards.
The job cuts followed the company’s announcement in June that it would lay off 18% of its employees.
Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, -0.43% began previously announced layoffs, cutting nearly 700 jobs in Silicon Valley in December, according to filings with the state of California in January.
The layoffs spanned a number of departments at the networking giant and extend across various positions, including software and hardware engineering, program management, product design and marketing. According to the state filings, the number of employees at the company’s San Jose, Calif., headquarters who were affected totaled 371, while 222 jobs were being cut in nearby Milpitas, and another 80 were being cut in Cisco’s San Francisco office. The notices said employees were notified in early December and were given a choice of an effective termination date of either Feb. 1 or March 13.
In November, Cisco announced it was planning a “limited business restructuring” that would adjust the networking giant’s real-estate portfolio and affect about 5% of its 80,000-strong global workforce, or some 4,000 people.
Also read: Cisco layoffs begin with hundreds of job cuts in California and more expected
“This is about rebalancing across the board,” said Cisco Chief Financial Officer Scott Herren at the time, adding that as many jobs will be added as reduced.
“Our goal is to minimize the number of people who end up having to leave,” Herren told MarketWatch. “We will match as many with new roles at the company as we can. This is not about reducing our workforce. In fact, we’ll have roughly the same number of employees at the end of this fiscal year as we had when we started.”
Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.97% kicked off the New Year by confirming more than 18,000 job cuts, more than originally expected. “Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a letter to employees on Jan. 4. “Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT [People Experience and Technology Solutions] organizations.”
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy added. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; however, I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and [are] eliminating some roles.”
Now read: Amazon is laying off more than 18,000 workers. Morgan Stanley is looking for the company — and the tech industry — to tighten things up even more
Amazon subsequently filed notices of more than 3,000 job cuts in New York, California and the company’s home state of Washington, as required by law.
Last year the e-commerce giant confirmed plans to lay off workers in its devices and services business. At that time, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon could eventually cut about 10,000 jobs.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley had looked for Amazon and other tech companies to continue reining in costs.
Salesforce Inc. CRM, -1.75% announced at the beginning of 2023 that it would lay off 10% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan.
The San Francisco-based company announced the layoffs in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 4. In addition to the job cuts, Salesforce said it planned to exit some real estate and reduce office space.
The restructuring plan is intended to reduce operating costs, Boost operating margins and continue advancing Salesforce’s commitment to “profitable growth,” the company said in the filing.
Salesforce estimated that it would incur approximately $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion in charges in connection with the restructuring plan, of which approximately $800 million to $1 billion was expected to be incurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023.
Also read: Salesforce will lay off 10% of staff as part of restructuring
Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff said that the company grew too quickly for the current environment. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how we came to this moment,” he wrote in a letter to employees that was also filed with the SEC. “As our revenue accelerated through the pandemic, we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing, and I take responsibility for that.”
In 2022, Salesforce laid off hundreds of employees from its sales team, according to news reports, as the tech sector as a whole wrestled with a challenging economic environment. “Our sales performance process drives accountability,” said a Salesforce spokesperson in a statement emailed to MarketWatch in November. “Unfortunately, that can lead to some leaving the business, and we support them through their transition.”
As of February 2022, the company, which provides customer-relationship-management software, had over 78,000 employees globally.
In November, HP Inc. HPQ, -0.36% executives announced plans to cut up to 10% of the company’s workforce amid what CEO Enrique Lores described as “a volatile macro environment and softening demand in the second half, with a slowdown on the commercial side.”
“Companies are delaying their refresh [sales] cycle,” Lores told MarketWatch in an interview ahead of the public release of the company’s fourth-quarter results.
Now read: HP plans to cut up to 10% of workforce as earnings forecast comes up short
HP is launching a three-year workforce-reduction plan meant to shed 4,000 to 6,000 jobs, according to Lores, with more than half of the roughly $1 billion in restructuring costs expected to be realized in the new fiscal year.
Roku Inc. ROKU, +1.40% announced in November that it would cut about 5% of its workforce amid a challenging advertising landscape.
“Due to the current economic conditions in our industry, we have made the difficult decision to reduce Roku’s headcount expenses by a projected 5%, to slow down our [operating-expense] growth rate,” the company said in a brief statement, noting that about 200 positions in the U.S. would be affected. “Taking these actions now will allow us to focus our investments on key strategic priorities to drive future growth and enhance our leadership position,” the statement said.
Related: Roku to cut 5% of staff in latest signal of challenging times for ad industry
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Roku said it anticipated charges of about $28 million to $31 million related to the job cuts, mainly stemming from severance payments, notice pay, employee benefits and other costs. The company expected to take the bulk of those charges in the fourth quarter of 2022. Implementation of the workforce reductions will be mostly complete by the end of the first quarter of 2023, it said.
Video software company Kaltura Inc. KLTR, +0.99% said Jan. 4 it was planning to reduce its workforce by about 11%.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kaltura said its reorganization plan aimed to increase efficiency and productivity in response to the current macroeconomic climate. “The plan’s main objectives are to position the company for lower demand, spend, and available budgets across the company’s market segments, align the company’s business strategy in light of these market conditions and support the company’s growth initiatives and return path to profitability,” it said.
Now read: Video software company Kaltura to cut 11% of work force in restructuring
On an annualized basis, the total cost reduction from Kaltura’s downsizing was expected to be approximately $16 million.
The New York-based company said it would initially book pretax charges of approximately $1 million, primarily for severance and related costs, all of which were expected to be expensed in the first quarter of 2023. The reorganization plan was expected to be “substantially completed” in the first half of 2023, according to the SEC filing.
RingCentral Inc. RNG, -0.27% joined the list of tech companies making layoffs with the November announcement of a plan to cut 10% of its workforce as part of a broader push to cut costs amid a deteriorating economic environment. The cloud-based communications company’s stock jumped on news of the layoffs and of RingCentral’s third-quarter earnings, which beat analysts’ expectations.
In October, RingCentral was added to the list of “zombie” stocks compiled by equity research firm New Constructs.
Also read: RingCentral added to ‘zombie’ stocks list by equity research firm New Constructs
New Constructs, which uses machine learning and natural language processing to parse corporate filings and model economic earnings, described RingCentral as a “cash incinerator” at risk of declining to $0 per share.
Also in November, Redfin RDFN, -6.55% announced another round of layoffs, with CEO Glenn Kelman saying that the company was laying off 13% of its staff, or 862 employees. The real-estate brokerage also announced the closure of RedfinNow, a service that bought homes for cash and resold them to buyers on the market.
“The housing market will get smaller in 2023,” Kelman wrote in an email to staff. “A layoff is awful but we can’t avoid it,” he added.
Now read: ‘A layoff is awful but we can’t avoid it:’ Redfin lays off 13% of staff as housing market slows down
In June, Redfin laid off 8% of its staff, citing “years” of “fewer home sales.”
Beyond Meat Inc. BYND, +3.74% made fresh job cuts in October, slashing about 19% of its global workforce. The company also issued a revenue warning amid softness in the plant-based-meat category, along with increased competition and inflation pressures. Beyond Meat said it would book a roughly $4 million one-time cash charge in the third quarter to cover the job cuts.
The cuts followed a 4% workforce reduction in August.
Related: Beyond Meat’s stock edges lower on sales drop, growing losses
The pressures on the plant-based food company continue. In November, Beyond Meat reported a big drop in third-quarter revenue, escalating losses and tepid revenue guidance.
Facebook parent Meta META, +0.26% also announced in November that it will cut 11,000 employees, or about 13% of its workforce, in the first layoffs in the company’s 18-year history. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has taken responsibility for the cuts, admitting to expanding the company too quickly amid a pandemic-fueled surge in revenue.
“Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected,” he wrote in a post on the company’s public newsroom. “I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”
Now read: Facebook parent Meta begins mass layoffs of 11,000 workers as Mark Zuckerberg says, ‘I take responsibility’
Zuckerberg wrote that while Meta would be making reductions in every area across both its Family of Apps and Reality Labs segments, some teams would be affected more than others. The cuts to Reality Labs will be closely watched for any potential impact on the company’s metaverse strategy, which is handled within the segment.
Meta’s job cuts came hot on the heels of layoffs at Twitter that affected about half of that company’s 7,500 employees. In late October, Elon Musk bought Twitter for the inflated price of $44 billion and quickly launched an effort to slash costs at the unprofitable company.
Before the layoffs hit, Twitter faced a class-action lawsuit over a lack of notice to employees.
Also read: ‘I just killed it’: Musk scraps Twitter’s gray ‘official’ label just hours after its launch
The cuts, which came just before the midterm elections, also sparked concern about the microblogging site’s ability to fight misinformation in the postelection period.
On Dec. 6, San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu told MarketWatch that he will look into the loss of janitors’ jobs at Twitter.
In November, Lyft Inc. LYFT, +2.64% announced plans to lay off 13% of its workforce, or about 683 employees. The ride-hailing company’s executives described the move as a proactive step as they eye a possible recession and as they plan for the coming year.
Now read: Lyft lays off 13% of workers in second round of cuts this year, maintains financial guidance
The latest layoffs followed 60 job cuts in July; a hiring freeze through the end of the year was also implemented in September. In April 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, Lyft laid off nearly 1,000 employees and put another 288 on furlough.
Some companies confirmed their layoffs earlier in 2022. In August, Snap Inc. SNAP, -3.45% announced job cuts as part of a “broader strategic reprioritization” that would see the social-media company focus on cost cuts and aim for profit and positive free cash flow. The company said it would cut about 20% of its full-time employees.
“The scale of these changes vary from team to team, depending upon the level of prioritization and investment needed to execute against our strategic priorities,” said Snap Chief Executive Evan Spiegel in a statement. “The extent of this reduction should substantially reduce the risk of ever having to do this again, while balancing our desire to invest in our long-term future and reaccelerate our revenue growth.”
Related: Snap stock rallies more than 10% after company confirms layoffs, launches restructuring
The Verge reported that Snap had more than 6,400 employees prior to the job cuts.
Also in August, Robinhood Markets Inc. HOOD, +0.10% announced plans to cut its workforce by 23%. The company, which was a launchpad for 2021’s meme-stock phenomenon, cited a weaker economic environment and depressed trading activity.
Also read: Robinhood to lay off 23% of its workforce, with CEO admitting ‘this is on me’
In April, Robinhood cut about 9% of its workforce. At that time, CEO Vlad Tenev wrote in a blog post that the company had grown from about 700 employees at the start of 2020 to nearly 3,800.
In July, Coinbase Global Inc. COIN, -0.59% announced plans to lay off 18% of its employees, just two weeks after extending a hiring freeze and rescinding some job offers. In a blog post, CEO Brian Armstrong said the decision was made “to ensure we stay healthy during this economic downturn.”
Now read: Why Coinbase is laying off 18% of employees and what it means for crypto
The crypto exchange had expanded rapidly, from 1,250 employees at the beginning of 2021 to 4,948 at the end of March 2022. “I am the CEO, and the buck stops with me,” said Armstrong, adding that the company grew too rapidly.
Also in July, Shopify Inc. SHOP, -2.89% announced plans to lay off 10% of its staff, with the e-commerce company citing an evolving business landscape. In a blog post, Chief Executive Tobi Lütke explained that, as a result of the pandemic, Shopify had bet that the share of dollars going through e-commerce rather than physical retail would permanently leap ahead by five or even 10 years. “It’s now clear that bet didn’t pay off,” he wrote. “What we see now is the mix reverting to roughly where pre-COVID data would have suggested it should be at this point.”
Adobe Inc. ADBE, -2.28% announced in December 2022 that it would cut about 100 jobs, mainly in sales, according to a Bloomberg report.
“As part of our ongoing and routine business prioritization, we have shifted some employees to positions that support critical initiatives and removed a small number of specific roles to balance resources against top priorities,” said Adobe, in a statement emailed to MarketWatch.
Adobe was not doing companywide layoffs and was still hiring for critical roles across the company, it said. “The investments we’re making today to drive innovation, expand our product portfolio and serve a growing number of customers will enable us to continue to drive strong growth,” Adobe added.
The company has more than 28,000 employees worldwide.
Videogame retailer and meme-stock darling GameStop Corp. GME, +1.81% also made cuts.
Speaking during a conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results, GameStop CEO Matt Furlong described reductions in headcount during the back half of 2022, but did not deliver specific numbers. “We now have a firm understanding of the resources required to pursue opportunities in gaming,” he said.
Additional reporting by Tomi Kilgore, Mike Murphy, Anviksha Patel, Ciara Linnane, Levi Sumagaysay, Bill Peters, Jon Swartz and Emily Bary.
Lorentz collaborates with Intel Foundry Services (IFS) to provide best-in-class EDA tools and simulation solutions for silicon success and customers’ design needs
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- February 09, 2023 -- Lorentz Solution, Inc, a world leading provider of Electromagnetic (EM) design platform and simulation solutions, proudly joins the Intel Foundry Services (IFS) Accelerator EDA Alliance to support mutual customers. PeakView EM IC and 3DIC design tools have been enabled on IFS’s advanced process nodes with early customer access. As part of IFS’s Accelerator EDA Alliance, Lorentz will provide cutting-edge electromagnetic simulation, synthesis, extraction and analysis technologies to enable customers to reduce design barriers, minimize design risk and cost, and accelerate time-to-market.
The IFS Accelerator EDA Alliance program will make silicon technology available to customers to design innovative chips, and foster collaborative innovation with world-leading EDA, design services and IP partners. As a member of the IFS Accelerator EDA Alliance, Lorentz benefits from early access to process roadmaps, process design kits (PDKs), and technical training. The key highlights are:
“The addition of Lorentz’ Peakview enablement with IFS’s advanced nodes reinforces IFS’s commitment to providing a best-in-class design ecosystem for our customers,” said Suk Lee, VP of Design Ecosystem Development at IFS. “Partnering with Lorentz enables us to continue to deliver cutting-edge silicon design capabilities for current and next-generation RF, mmWave and high-speed circuit designs.”
“As the most designer-focused and innovative EM solution, PeakView achieves 3D DC-mmWave-TeraHz fullwave accuracy and large-scale simulation capability for IC, 3DIC and IC-PKG-PCB designs,” said Jinsong Zhao, President and Founder of Lorentz Solution. "As IFS continues to advance its process nodes and advanced packaging technology, it is a privilege to partner with IFS as one of the leading EDA vendors with our deep EM expertise and PDK integration. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to delivering high-quality EDA tools and simulation solutions for RF, mmWave and high-speed designs."
As a part of IFS Accelerator EDA Alliance program, Lorentz’ PeakView EM IC and 3DIC Design platform, will support customers and spur their innovation, playing a key role in the success of RF, mmWave and high-speed analog EM IC designs. To learn more about Intel and Lorentz’s advanced technologies and solutions, visit www.lorentzsolution.com.
About Lorentz Solution, Inc.
Lorentz Solution, Inc, founded in 2003, based in the heart of Silicon Valley, CA USA, is the industry leader in supplying electromagnetic (EM) IC and 3DIC design capabilities to RF, mmWave, high-speed analog and high-speed digital design communities. PeakView™ EM IC and 3DIC Design Platform, Lorentz’s flagship product, is widely adopted by top IDM, fabless companies and semiconductor foundries. Lorentz Solution is continuing its long-term profitable growth, and offering the best and broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software.