According to the latest report, Nvidia plans to launch next-generation mainstream segment graphics cards, based on GP106 GPU, in Autumn, or late Q3/early Q4 2016.
According to a report coming from Sweclockers.com, Nvidia’s mainstream graphics cards, which will be based on a GP106 Pascal GPU, should be coming in Autumn, and be ready for sales by the time for a Christmas shopping season.
Meant to replace the currently available Maxwell-based GTX 960 and GTX 950 graphics cards, the upcoming mainstream Geforce graphics cards, most likely named as the GTX 1060 and GTX 1050, could end up with two enabled graphics processing clusters (GPCs), which means that SKUs could end with up to 1280 CUDA cores.
While the upcoming GP104-based graphics cards should cover the higher-end consumer market, the mid-range market is mostly the cash-cow for companies so having that segment on store shelves before Christmas shopping season is quite important.
Our sources are confident that AMD is about to announce a joint venture deal with China-based Sugon company.
Sugon might not be a name you’ve heard much about, but the company has now made a direct deal to manufacture server-based hardware for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In their own words:
“Sugon Information Industry Co., Ltd. (Sugon for short) is a national high-tech enterprise established on the basis of the major scientific research achievements of the National High Technology Research and Development Program (the 863 Program) with the vigorous promotion by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.”
The company specializes in R&D and manufacturing of high-performance computers (HPCs), enterprise servers and datacenter products, and they also do some software design and system integration as well. Between 2009 and 2014, they were on China’s TOP 100 supercomputer list consecutively by market share.
Sugon made news recently with its Nebula high-performance computer that managed to get ranked second place in the 35th Global Supercomputer TOP 500 Competition. The supercomputer they built topped a 3 petaflops per second system peak and a 1.271 petaflops times per second measured Linpack speed. These numbers easily made it the third supercomputer in the world with performance measuring over a petaflop (PF).
AMD is about to announce a joint venture with this company, and if the deal includes any cooperation with future next-generation products such as AMD’s Zen x86 high-end CPU, then the Silicon Valley company might be on the right track here. The performance of AMD’s server-based Zen products plus the potential use of Tarnhelm Zen meets AMD’s Greenland APU server product, which sounds like a great idea. Fudzilla has mentioned the existence of up to a 16-core Zen APU with Greenland HMB 2.0 GPU, DDR4 support and a super fast interconnect with coherent fabric more than a year ago.
According to an interview from Inside HPC with Dr. Qing Ji, Deputy General Manager of the HPC Division at Sugon, the overseas company plans to expand to the western market. Is this a Coincidence?
Our well-placed industry sources have told us that we should not expect to see the HMB 2.0 based GPUs shipping anytime soon. Nvidia Pascal and AMD Polaris 10 / 11 will stick with GDDR5 memory for the time being.
The 2nd generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM 2.0) for high-end GPUs might happen in very late Q4 2016 but realistically it probably won’t ship until 2017 in any volume.
The first card that we expect supporting this feature might be the Greenland, a card that AMD might end up calling Vega. Even according Radeon Technology Group’s official GPU roadmap, Vega / Greenland now look like a 2017 product, or at very best, late 2016 card. Nvidia might make the HBM 2.0 version of the Titan card, but we don’t expect to see a Geforce GTX based on Pascal GPU and HBM 2.0 coming to the market this year.
We managed to talk to some of the memory manufactures and they told us that HBM 2.0 is very limited in supply, and limited supply makes things expensive.
It seems that GPUs of 2016, including the new AMD Polaris and the new Geforce, will be stuck with GDDR5 and in best case scenario with GDDR5X from Micron. The word on the street is that both Geforce GTX based on Pascal and AMD/RTG’s Polaris 10 / Ellesmere and Polaris 11 / Baffin might launch at Computex during last days of May or early June 2016.
The total number of SM cores on the chip has been confirmed by Nvidia senior engineers at the deep dive Tesla P100 GP100 technical session. If there were 60 total SMs (streaming multiprocessor) enabled on the chip, you would end up with 3,840.
There are two possible reasons; first and most likely is that Nvidia did this to increase the yield of the GPU. There might be hard to get all parts of the gigantic chip working and the yield increase when you disable these four SM’s. The other possible reason would be that the parts of these remaining four SM (streaming multiprocessor) cores don’t work, or Nvidia plans to enable with future products or that some consumer products will get all 60 SM models enabled in necessary. This could result in a separate part number after GP100 later down the road.
Nvidia also confirmed that GP100 has the 15.3 billion transistors on a TSMC manufactured 16-nanometer FinFET package with a 300W TDP and 610mm2 die as well as most of the other specs for the HPC products (not to be confused with Geforce Pascal card that will be announced in later date.).
Apple has finally released its first developer preview of Safari for OS X, saying it is following in the footsteps of other major browser makers — all of whom provide early looks at their under-construction projects — to give website designers and app creators a continuous sneak peek.
Labeled “Safari Technology Preview,” the browser can be downloaded by anyone, not just Apple registered developers, and runs alongside the production-quality Safari on OS X. The preview will be updated via the Mac App Store every two weeks.
The Safari preview, Apple said, is a “more convenient and stable way” to run a developer-grade build than WebKit’s nightly iterations. WebKit is the open-source project that feeds code to Safari, and like other browser “channels” — such as Google’s Chrome Canary or Mozilla’s Firefox Nightly — features daily updates.
Safari Technology Preview has a major advantage over WebKit’s nightlies in that the former is signed by Apple. The means it supports iCloud, which Safari uses to synchronize bookmarks and opened tabs, making it easier to bounce between preview and production versions on one or more Apple devices.
Developers also get the latest additions to Web Inspector, Apple’s tool for prototyping and debugging websites, in the preview.
The preview can be downloaded from Apple’s developer website. OS X El Capitan 10.11.4 or later is required. More information about the sneak peek was published on the WebKit blog.
AMD looks close to killing off support for 32-bit Windows for its Radeon drivers.
Techpowerup found a hint when it visited AMD’s Drivers + Download Center on the company website, and tried clicking on the “32-bit” links of some of its Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 drivers, which redirected to an ominously-worded AMD knowledge-base article (Article #GPU-622).
This knowledge-base article, intended for people looking for 32-bit drivers, reads:
“A system running Microsoft Windows 10 64 Bit can take full advantage of the advanced visual and performance features of these graphics cards. However, AMD also provides 64 Bit drivers for Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Windows 7 to accommodate those users who choose to use an older Microsoft Operating System.”
But the knowledge-base article has no links for the drivers users are looking for. It looks like 32-bit versions of Radeon Software 16.3.2 are still there but you have to practically crack the webpage to find it.
According to the download page, AMD’s recently launched Radeon Pro Duo already completely lacks 32-bit Windows support, and the company is only providing 64-bit drivers. The move makes common sense. Most of AMD’s Radeon R9 and Fury series GPUs feature 4 GB or more of video memory, and 64-bit Windows users making up the most of the rest. Hard to find anyone who will run 32-bit Windows for games.
During Samsung’s 2016 SSD Forum in Japan, the company took the wraps off its first ever ball-grid array (BGA) solid state disk for mobile devices, the PM971. This particular SSD aims to replace module-based M.2 drives in the 2-in-1 hybrid PC market. The company is claiming it will offer improved thermals, up to 10-percent more battery life and a reduction in vertical storage height for OEMs, product designers and system manufacturers.
The Samsung PM971 built using the company’s Photon controller and runs MLC 3D V-NAND (contrary to the picture above, PC Watch claims it is actually 3-bits per cell). The drive will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage capacities and will feature sequential reads up to 1,500MB/s, sequential writes up to 600MB/s, random reads up to 190,000 IOPS and random writes up to 150,000 IOPS.In general, SSDs with BGA packaging are considerably smaller than those using the M.2 form factor, and Intel has claimed that using a PCI-E BGA SSD could allow an increase in battery size by around 10-percent compared to using an M.2 2260 SSD (with GPIO using 1.8v power rail instead of 3.3v), lower thermals than M.2 (from BGA ball conduction to motherboard instead of through M.2 mounting screws), and a vertical height savings of 0.5mm to 1.5mm in notebook devices.
The nice thing about BGA SSDs is that they are “complete” storage solutions and integrate NAND flash memory, the NAND controller and DRAM all into a single package. Currently, there are several BGA M.2 form factors being proposed that will make single-chip SSDs a reality sooner than later as the result of a collaboration between HP, Intel, Lenovo, Micron, SanDisk, Seagate and Toshiba. The four BGA SSD packages proposed are Type 1620, Type 2024, Type 2228 and Type 2828, ranging anywhere between 16 x 20 millimeters and 28 x 28 millimeters with up to 2-millimeter vertical height. It is currently unknown whether the Samsung PM971 adopts any of these proposed BGA M.2 standards.
Based on the demonstration at the 2016 Samsung SSD Forum in Japan, the PM971 offers decent performance thanks to a PCI-E 3.0 x4 interface and the company’s new Photon controller. According to the PC Watch website, the drive is physically smaller than an SD card and Samsung expects device manufacturers and OEMs to begin adoption in the second half of 2016 or the first half of 2017.
Nvidia officially took the wraps off the behemoth Quadro M6000 24GB, its Maxwell-based flagship workstation Quadro M6000 GPU with double the memory of last year’s 12GB model, and perhaps the last release before its architectural successor, Pascal, is introduced next month at the company’s GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley.
The Quadro M6000 24GB, simply put, is the most powerful professional compute and graphics card available, designed specifically for high-volume datasets above 12GB per GPU. Nvidia claims it is intended for simulation-intense workloads, including in areas of seismic exploration, automotive design, large-scale visual effects and emerging virtual reality applications.
Last April, the company introduced the Quadro M6000 12GB, featuring half the VRAM as its successor, up to 7 teraflops of single-precision performance, and support for up to four 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160p) displays at 60Hz. Keep in mind that Maxwell is quite limited in terms of double-precision (FP64) calculations, as the design team has limited its Maxwell-based Quadro series to just 1/32 FP32. The exception to this is the Geforce GTX Titan Black, a top-tier professional grade GPU for both consumers and professionals which has driver-adjustable settings between 1/3 and 1/24 FP32 by switching to TCC mode.
The new 2016 Maxwell-based Quadro M6000 24GB model not only doubles the amount of VRAM, but also adds additional intermediate GPU clock points for smoother GPU frequency transitions. Nvidia claims this allows programs to increase and decrease in performance without interruptions to workflow. The new 24GB model also adds increased flexibility to software temperature control, allowing GPU temperature to stay below hardware slowdown threshold to prevent rendering interruptions. Lastly, Nvidia has added an “under-power” boot message to indicate if the card is not receiving enough wattage before system startup.
Thankfully, Nvidia is allowing the Quadro M6000 12GB and newer Quadro M6000 24GB to be mixed in the same system for rendering projects, but it does still depend on usage situation. For example, the M6000 12GB and M6000 24GB cannot be configured over SLI (multi-GPU) or Mosaic (multiple displays shown as a single GPU) as the cards use different frame buffer sizes. The cards will, however, run in the same system with the M5000, M4000, M2000, K2200, K620, K6000, Tesla K20 and Tesla K40.
“At Sony Pictures Imageworks, we regularly push the limits of our ability to display and interact with very complex scenes,” says Erik Strauss, Executive Director of Software Development at Sony Pictures Imageworks. “The Quadro M6000 24GB gives us a 10x performance boost with the throughput necessary to display these types of large scenes smoothly and interactively.”
“The new Nvidia Quadro M6000 24GB allows Redshift users to render scenes of stunning, Hollywood-level detail several times faster compared to any other rendering solution on the market,” said Panagiotis Zompolas, Founder and CTO of Redshift. “We’re super-excited to see what our users create using this GPU.”
Just as the Quadro M6000 12GB was introduced last spring at a $5,000 launch price, Nvidia’s newer 24GB model will launch at the same $5,000 price, bringing its predecessor down below $3,000 in some places.
Nvidia will be showcasing its workstation-grade Quadro M6000 24GB GPU next month at its 2016 GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. The card will be powering a majority of virtual reality (VR) partner demonstrations on the show floor, including those from Sterolabs, Lucasfilm Ltd., Redshift Rendering Technologies and Pixar Animation Studios, among others.
The researchers, led by cryptography expert Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University, wrote software that mimicked an Apple server and then targeted an encrypted photo stored on iCloud when it was sent as a link in a message, the publication reported.
They were able to obtain the decryption key by repeatedly guessing each of its 64 digits. When a correct digit was guessed, the phone let them know if it was correct. Further technical details about the decryption were not available.
Apple’s iMessage application uses end-to-end encryption, which means the company does not store any encryption keys. A vulnerability in iMessage would mean that attackers would have a way to circumvent that security and view private content.
Storing the encryption keys on the devices rather than central servers is considered a good security practice. But researchers have pointed out weaknesses in Apple’s system and how it would, in theory, be possible for the company to send copies of iMessages to another party.
The Washington Post story prompted many comments on Twitter after it was apparently mistakenly posted on Sunday but then withdrawn. The story then ran again, just after midnight Monday U.S. East Coast time.
Apple is quoted as saying the flaw will be patched in iOS 9.3. Apple officials couldn’t immediately be reached.
We first saw the Razer Core, an external graphics box that connects to a notebook via Thunderbolt 3 port, back at CES 2016 in January, and today, Razer has finally unveiled a bit more details including the price, availability date and compatibility details.
At the GDC 2016 show in San Francisco, Razer has announced that the Core will be ready in April and have a price of US $499. As expected, it has been only validated on Razer Blade Stealth and the newly introduced Razer Blade 2016 Edition notebooks but as it uses Thunderbolt 3 interface, it should be compatible with any other notebook, as long as manufacturer wants it.
With dimensions set at 105 x 353 x 220mm, the Razer Core is reasonably portable. It comes with a 500W PSU and features four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and Thunderbolt 3 port which is used to connect it to a notebook.
As far as graphics cards support is concerned, Razer says that the Core will work with any AMD Radeon graphics card since Radeon 290 series, including the latest R9 Fury, R9 Nano and Radeon 300 series, as well as pretty much all Nvidia Maxwell GPU based graphics cards since Geforce GTX 750/750 Ti, although we are not sure why would you pair up a US $500 priced box with a US $130 priced graphics cards. The maximum TDP for the graphics card is set at 375W, which means that all dual-GPU solutions are out of the picture, so it will go as far as R9 Fury X or the GTX Titan X.
There aren’t many notebooks that feature a Thunderbolt 3 ports and we have heard before that Thunderbolt 3 might have certain issues with latency, which is probably why other manufacturers like MSI and Alienware, went on with their own proprietary connectors. Of course, Razer probably did the math but we will surely keep a closer eye on it when it ships in April. Both AMD and Nvidia are tweaking their drivers and already have support for external graphics, so it probably will not matter which graphics card you pick.
According to Razer, the Razer Core will be available in April and priced at US $499. Razer is already started taking pre-orders for the Razer Core and offers a US $100 discount in case you buy it with one of their notebooks, Razer Blade 2016 or Blade Stealth.
MediaTek has told Fudzilla that the Helio X25 SoC is not only real, but that it is a “turbo” version of the Helio X20.
Meizu is expected to be one of the first companies to use the X25. Last year it was also the first to use MTK 6795T for its Meizu MX5 phone. In that case the “T” suffix stood for Turbo. This phone was 200 MHz faster than the standard Helio X10 “non T” version.
In 2016 is that MediaTek decided to use the new Helio X25 name because of a commercial arrangement. MediaTek didn’t mention any of the partners, but confirmed that the CPU and GPU will be faster. They did not mention specific clock speeds. Below is a diagram of the Helio X20, and we assume that the first “eXtreme performance” cluster will get a frequency boost, as well as the GPU.
The Helio X25 will not have any architectural changes, it is just a faster version of X20, just like MTK 6795T was faster version of MTK 6795. According to the company, the Helio X25 will be available in May.
This three cluster Helio X25 SoC has real potential and should be one of the most advanced mobile solutions when it hits the market.The first leaked scores of the Helio X20 suggest great performance, but the X25 should have even better scores. There should be a dozen design wins with Helio X20/ X25 and most of them are yet to be announced. There should be a few announcements for the Helio X25 soon, but at least we do know that now there will be a even faster version of three cluster processor.
Palo Alto Networks has uncovered a new iOS threat dubbed “AceDeceiver” that is targeting non-jailbroken iDevices via a flaw in Apple’s DRM mechanism.
Palo Alto Networks has an eye for this kind of thing, having uncovered the WireLurker malware wreaking havoc on iPhones back in 2014.
Since then, iOS malware has got more advanced, and the latest threat to iPhone users has successfully managed to infiltrate non-jailbroken kit.
“What makes AceDeceiver different from previous iOS malware is that instead of abusing enterprise certificates as some iOS malware has over the past two years, AceDeceiver manages to install itself without any enterprise certificate at all,” Palo Alto says in a blog post.
AceDeceiver is abusing a design flaw in Apple’s DRM protection mechanism called FairPlay via a technique called “FairPlay Man-in-the-Middle”, enabling attackers to install malicious apps on iOS devices while bypassing Apple’s baked-in security measures.
It can do so without a user knowing, too, and the only tell-tale sign will be a new app icon showing on an iPhone’s home screen that most will probably assume they drunkenly installed.
Palo Alto notes that while this technique has been used by hackers since 2013, this is the first time that it’s been exploited to spread malware.
“In the FairPlay MITM attack, attackers purchase an app from App Store then intercept and save the authorization code. They then developed PC software that simulates the iTunes client behaviors, and tricks iOS devices to believe the app was purchased by victim,” the security firm explains.
“Therefore, the user can install apps they never actually paid for, and the creator of the software can install potentially malicious apps without the user’s knowledge.”
Three different iOS apps in the AceDeceiver family were uploaded to Apple’s App Store between July 2015 and February 2016, and all of them claimed to be innocent wallpaper apps. Apple cleared the App Store of these apps back in February, albeit after they had managed to bypass its security seven times, but Palo Alto notes that even with the apps no longer available, they could still wreak havoc on iPhones and iPads.
“Even as Apple has removed AceDeceiver from App Store, it may still spread thanks to a novel attack vector.”
There’s no need to panic just yet, though, as Palo Alto notes that, for now at least, AceDeceiver is only targeting users in China.
While you don’t need to panic yet, Palo Alto notes that AceDeceiver demonstrates how easy it can be for malware to infect non-jailbroken devices, which could pave the way for similar threats to start cropping up in more regions soon.
“AceDeceiver is evidence of another relatively easy way for malware to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices. As a result, it’s likely we’ll see this start to affect more regions around the world, whether by these attackers or others who copy the attack technique.”
The firm has also issued a stark warning to iPhone and iPad-wielding businesses, adding: “Since AceDeceiver also spreads via enterprise certificates, we suggest that enterprises check for unknown or abnormal provision profiles as well.”
Palo Alto networks has notified Apple of the malware threat, but it has yet to be patched.
Samsung has announced a 256GB embedded memory chip which is expected to provide all the storeage you smart phone can need.
The company says it has started mass production of the new chips which are based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard. It claims they are twice as fast as the previous generation of UFS memory.
This should mean that many phones will go a lot faster. The memory chips also have a read speed twice as fast as typical SATA-based SSD, at 850MB/s, although the write speed is lower at 250MB/s.
Samsung says that the memory will allow for ‘seamless Ultra HD video playback’, and when combined with USB 3.0 tech, will mean much faster data transfer between devices.
The new chips are even smaller than external micoSD cards, making them easy to integrate into smartphone designs. An internal UFS memory will perform much better than expandable storage options.
Of course the Tame Apple Press is claiming that Samsung will be selling its drive to Apple so that the Jobs’ Mob can show its superiority over Samsung gear. While it is possible, we think it will end up in some Samsung products long before Apple gets its paws on it.
The global GPU market has fallen by 20 per cent over the last year.
According to Digitimes it fell to less than 30 million units in 2015 and the outfit suffering most was AMD. The largest graphics card player Palit Microsystems, which has several brands including Palit and Galaxy, shipped 6.9-7.1 million graphics cards in 2015, down 10 per cent on year. Asustek Computer shipped 4.5-4.7 million units in 2015, while Colorful shipped 3.9-4.1 million units, and is aiming to raise its shipments by 10 per cent on year in 2016.
Micro-Star International (MSI) enjoyed healthy graphics card shipments at 3.45-3.55 million in 2015, up 15 per cent on year, and EVGA, which has tight partnerships with Nvidia, also saw a significant shipment growth, while Gigabyte suffered from a slight drop on year. Sapphire and PowerColor suffered dramatic drops in shipments in 2015.
There are fears that several of the smaller GPU makers could be forced out of the market after AMD gets its act together with the arrival of Zen and Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architectures launch later in 2016.
AMD has rolled out its new Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers which come with some performance and stability improvements for various games as well as includes a couple of new new features as well.
According to the release notes, the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers bring a couple of new Crossfire profiles, including the one for Square Enix’s new Hitman game as well as The Park, an FPS psychological horror adventure game from Funcom.
In addition to the new Crossfire profiles, there are also several performance improvements including up to 60 percent improvements on Radeon Fury X series graphics cards and up to 44 percent improvement on the Radeon R9 380 series graphics cards in the new Gears of War Ultimate Edition, which was a disaster on Radeon graphics cards earlier. The performance improvements list also include up to 16 percent improvement in Rise of the Tomb Raider on Radeon Fury X series graphics cards.
The new drivers also bring a couple of resolved issues including fixed sustained clock speeds as well as issues seen in Gears of War Ultimate Edition, XCOM 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Ashes of the Singularity 2.0 Benchmark.
What makes the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers quite interesting are several new features, including Vulkan API support, per-game Display Scaling, new Language Menu for Radeon Settings, Two Display Eyefinity feature, Crossfire Status indicator, Power Efficiency toggle and updated Social Links in Radeon Settings home page. The list of new features also include preliminary support for AMD XConnect technology, which is apparently the name for AMD’s external GPU technology, and now includes support for those external graphics cards with Radeon R9 300 series GPUs over Thunderbolt 3 connection.
The new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers are available for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and support all graphics cards since the days of AMD Radeon HD 7700/HD 7900.
You can find both the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers and the full release notes at AMD’s drivers support page.