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Does Samsung Fear A Processor War?

October 15, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Kwon Oh-hyun has said he is not worried about a price war in the semiconductor industry next year even though the firm is rapidly expanding its production volume.

“We’ll have to wait and see how things will go next year, but there definitely will not be any game of chicken,” said Oh-hyun, according to Reuters, suggesting the firm will not take chip rivals head on.

Samsung has reported strong profits for 2014 owing to better-than-expected demand for PCs and server chips. Analysts have also forecast similar results for the coming year, so things are definitely looking good for the company.

It emerged last week that Samsung will fork out almost $15bn on a new chip facility in South Korea, representing the firm’s biggest investment in a single plant.

Samsung hopes the investment will bolster profits in its already well-established and successful semiconductor business, and help to maintain its lead in memory chips and grow beyond the declining sales of its smartphones.

According to sources, Samsung expects its chip production capacity to increase by a “low double-digit percentage” after the facility begins production, which almost goes against the CEO’s claims that it is not looking for a price war.

Last month, Samsung was found guilty of involvement in a price fixing racket with a bunch of other chip makers stretching back over a decade, and was fined €138m by European regulators.

An antitrust investigation into chips used in mobile device SIM cards found that Infineon, Philips and Samsung colluded to artificially manipulate the price of SIM card chips.

Courtesy-TheInq

HP Will Offer ARM 64-bit Processors In Moonshot

October 1, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

ARM-based processor cartridges for its Moonshot servers, including 64-bit modules for high-performance web caching and integrated digital signal processing (DSP) for specialised tasks such as transcoding and telephony applications.

Available immediately, the new server cartridges represent the fourth “leap”, or release of HP’s Moonshot hardware, which is designed to target very specific applications calling for high-density server deployments rather than the general purpose applications met by HP’s existing Proliant line.

The new modules include the m400, which is a 64-bit cartridge based on the Applied Micro X-Gene server on a chip with eight cores running at up to 2.4GHz, and the m800, based on the 32-bit Keystone 66AK2Hx system on a chip (SoC) from Texas Instruments.

Of the two, the m800 was announced at the end of last year along with the cartridges based on Intel’s Avoton Atom and AMD’s Opteron X2150, but is only now shipping.

As with the existing cartridges, the new hardware is designed for the Moonshot 1500 rack-mount enclosure, which can house up to 45 hot-pluggable cartridge modules.

Reflecting their targeting at specific applications, both of the new cartridge options will come with a suitable software package, according to Iain Stephen, Vice President and General Manager for HP Servers in EMEA.

The m400 will thus ship with Ubuntu Linux, which includes the Juju service orchestration tool and Canonical’s Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) tool for automatically provisioning bare metal servers.

“If you move to a software defined server world, there isn’t a lot of variation in the deployment, so the fastest way to get customers up and running is to have pre-loaded software,” he told The INQUIRER.

The m800 also comes with Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux operating system. This cartridge is a little more exotic, comprising four separate servers, each based on a TI chip with four Cortex-A15 ARM cores and up to eight TMS320C66x high-performance DSPs apiece.

However, it also ships with software for transcoding and voice recognition processing that makes used of the DSP hardware, according to Stephen.

“So it’s a very packaged piece of technology to run a very specific task for the customer,” he said.

HP’s Moonshot platform is aimed at emerging workloads, many of which are identified by customers and partners working with HP in its Discovery Labs, the firm said.

The most popular niche so far has proven to be running hosted desktops, according to Stephen, typically using the m700 cartridge which integrates four separate servers, each based on a quad-core AMD Opteron X2150 SoC.

“This is a completely new way of doing computing, with a chassis with a number of processors in it for specific tasks, and as a customer you’ve got to have a very good understanding of your software stack to take full advantage,” he said.

The technology is still at the “discovery” phase, he added, but HP expects to see growth in 2015 because there is now a broader range of cartridges targeting different applications.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

RedHat Ups Game With Fedora 21

September 29, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

RedHat has announced the Fedora 21 Alpha release for Fedora developers and any brave users that want to help test it.

Fedora is the leading edge – some might say bleeding edge – distribution of Linux that is sponsored by Red Hat. That’s where Red Hat and other developers do new development work that eventually appears in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and other Red Hat based Linux distributions, including Centos, Scientific Linux and Mageia, among others. Therefore, what Fedora does might also appear elsewhere eventually.

The Fedora project said the release of Fedora 21 Alpha is meant for testing in order to help it identify and resolve bugs, adding, “Fedora prides itself on bringing cutting-edge technologies to users of open source software around the world, and this release continues that tradition.”

Specifically, Fedora 21 will produce three software products, all built on the same Fedora 21 base, and these will each be a subset of the entire release.

Fedora 21 Cloud will include images for use in private cloud environments like Openstack, as well as AMIs for use on Amazon, and a new image streamlined for running Docker containers called Fedora Atomic Host.

Fedora 21 Server will offer data centre users “a common base platform that is meant to run featured application stacks” for use as a web server, file server, database server, or as a base for offering infrastructure as a service, including advanced server management features.

Fedora 21 Workstation will be “a reliable, user-friendly, and powerful operating system for laptops and PC hardware” for use by developers and other desktop users, and will feature the latest Gnome 3.14 desktop environment.

Those interested in testing the Fedora 21 Alpha release can visit the Fedora project website.

Courtesy-TheInq

nVidia Finally Goes 20nm

September 23, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

For much of the year we were under the impression that the second generation Maxwell will end up as a 20nm chip.

First-generation Maxwell ended up being branded as Geforce GTX 750 and GTX 750 TI and the second generation Maxwell launched a few days ago as the GTX 980 and Geforce GTX 970, with both cards based on the 28nm GM204 GPU.

This is actually quite good news as it turns out that Nvidia managed to optimize power and performance of the chip and make it one of the most efficient chips manufactured in 28nm.

Nvidia 20nm chips coming in 2015

Still, people keep asking about the transition to 20nm and it turns out that the first 20nm chip from Nvidia in 20nm will be a mobile SoC.

The first Nvidia 20nm chip will be a mobile part, most likely Erista a successor of Parker (Tegra K1).

Our sources didn’t mention the exact codename, but it turns out that Nvidia wants to launch a mobile chip first and then it plans to expand into 20nm with graphics.

Unfortunately we don’t have any specifics to report.

AMD 20nm SoC in 2015

AMD is doing the same thing as its first 20nm chip, codenamed Nolan, is an entry level APU targeting tablet and detachable markets.

There is a strong possibility that Apple and Qualcomm simply bought a lot of 20nm capacity for their mobile modem chips and what was left was simply too expensive to make economic sense for big GPUs.
20nm will drive the voltage down while it will allow higher clocks, more transistors per square millimeter and it will overall enable better chips.

Just remember Nvidia world’s first quad-core Tegra 3 in 40nm was rather hot and making a quad core in 28nm enabled higher performance and significantly better battery life. The same was true of other mobile chips of the era.

We expect similar leap from going down to 20nm in 2015 and Erista might be the first chip to make it to 20nm. A Maxwell derived architecture 20nm will deliver even more efficiency. Needless to say AMD plans to launch 20nm GPUs next year as well.

It looks like Nvidia’s 16nm FinFET Parker processor, based on the Denver CPU architecture and Maxwell graphics won’t appear before 2016.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Intel Debut NUC This Year?

September 17, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Everyone is not too happy with Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) brand that the company came up with for its small form factor desktop replacements at IDF 2012. Intel started shipping these small desktops in early 2013.

NUC started off with Sandy Bridge-based parts codenamed Ski Lake (DCP847SK) and with the Celeron 847 it got quite a lot of attention thanks to more affordable pricing. A year after Intel launched multiple Core i3 based SKUs with Ivy Bridge and this year it introduced models based on Wilson Canyon platform and Haswell CPUs. Affordable Bay Trail models appeared as well.

The latest Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK measures tiny 116.6mm x 112mm x 34.5mm and sells for about 370 USD in states and 300 Euro in Germany or £278 in the UK. Back at IDF 2014, Intel’s biggest developer conference some people close to NUC projects told us that since the launch the project has been success.

It started with 250,000 shipped units in the first generation and grew to half a million units with second generation products. There is a chance that this year Intel might sell as many as one million units as an ultimate goal but shipments in the 750,000 to 1 million range might be more realistic. Even if Intel sells around 750,000 units, it will mean that they managed to triple the market within rather short time.

There will be Braswell and Broadwell fourth generation NUCs coming in 2015, but Intel needs to launch 15W TDP part Broadwell and this happens in Q2 2015 as far as we know. We don’t know if the Braswell NUC comes as soon as Broadwell-U or a bit later, but it is in the works.

This Braswell NUC should be really affordable and should replace the Bay-Trail M based DN2820FYKH powered by the Celeron N2820. Have in mind that this entry level Celeron costs a mere $144 at press time and only needs some RAM and an HDD to work. At its lowest spec 2GB SODIMM sell for as low as $10 and Toshiba has MSATA 62GB drive for as low as $24.95.

This means a small, power efficient machine that can run Windows goes as low as $179. No wonder that they are so popular.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Sampling Xeon D 14nm

September 15, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has announced that it is sampling its Xeon D 14nm processor family, a system on chip (SoC) optimized to deliver Intel Xeon processor performance for hyperscale workloads.

Announcing the news on stage during a keynote at IDF in San Francisco, Intel SVP and GM of the Data Centre Group, Diane Bryant, said that the Intel Xeon processor D, which initially was announced in June, will be based on 14nm process technology and be aimed at mid-range communications.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’re sampling the third generation of the high density [data center system on a chip] product line, but this one is actually based on the Xeon processor, called Xeon D,” Bryant announced. “It’s 14nm and the power levels go down to as low as 15 Watts, so very high density and high performance.”

Intel believes that its Xeon D will serve the needs of high density, optimized servers as that market develops, and for networking it will serve mid-range routers as well as other network appliances, while it will also serve entry and mid-range storage. So, Intel claimed, you will get all of the benefits of Xeon-class reliability and performance, but you will also get a very small footprint and high integration of SoC capability.

This first generation Xeon D chip will also showcase high levels of I/O integrations, including 10Gb Ethernet, and will scale Intel Xeon processor performance, features and reliability to lower power design points, according to Intel.

The Intel Xeon processor D product family will also include data centre processor features such as error correcting code (ECC).

“With high levels of I/O integration and energy efficiency, we expect the Intel Xeon processor D product family to deliver very competitive TCO to our customers,” Bryant said. “The Intel Xeon processor D product family will also be targeted toward hyperscale storage for cloud and mid-range communications market.”

Bryant said that the product is not yet available, but it is being sampled, and the firm will release more details later this year.

This announcement comes just days after Intel launched its Xeon E5 v2 processor family for servers and workstations.

Courtesy-TheInq

Intel’s Broadwell Said To Be Faster Than Skylake

September 4, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel will do something that it never did before. It will release two processor generations at once in the desktop space. The Haswell refresh Core i7 4790, Core i5 4690, Core i5 4690K, Core i5 4690 and Core i5 4590 will be replaced by both Tick and Tock parts.

The fastest of the lot, the one that replaces Core i5 4790K Haswell refresh, is a Broadwell generation processor. The next generation Skylake-S processor will end up slower than Broadwell one and if nothing major changes both will end up branded as Core i7 processors. Broadwell seems to be the fastest Core i5 as well, followed by Skylake-S cores. Traditional desktop LGA Broadwell has TDP up to 65W, something that Intel can change in a heartbeat and supports DDR3 or DDR3L 1.5V memory.

Enthusiast Skylake-S has a TDP of 95W indicating that it might end up faster and it supports both DDR4 with 1.2V and DDR3L with 1.35V voltage. Broadwell 14nm is coming with Iris Pro graphics while the Skylake-S 14nm also promises a new graphics microarchitecture.

Of course, Core i7 5820K, Core i7 5930K and Core i7 5960X remain the fastest of the intel offer until they get replaced by a next generation Core i7 codenamed Broadwell-E. Haswell refresh and Core i7 4790K will get a replacement in Q2 2015 when Intel simultaneously launches faster Broadwell and slower Skylake-S LGA cores.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Intel’s Core M Go Commercial?

September 3, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel is getting down from four processor lines to three and it looks like Broadwell won’t come with an M-processor line and 57W, 47W, 37W parts. This is not something we expect to happen at this point. The H-processor line will take over the 47W TDP high performance market for mobile computers and some AIOs.

The H-processor 47W line, U-Processor Line with 15W and 28W TDP parts will end up with 5th Gen Intel Core branding. We expect a range of Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 parts that will be revealed probably at some point after Intel Developer Forum, or after mid-September 2014.

The Y-processor line will end up with the new Intel Core M processor brand and it will aim for high performance detachable and convertible systems that will show up in the latter part of Q4 2014.

Broadwell with 4.5W TDP and Core M branding will end up only in these fancy detachable notebooks and might be one of the most powerful and fastest tablet/detachable platforms around. It will also ‘speak’ Windows 8.1 at launch and we should see some Google Chrome OS products in early 2015.

Intel also plans to keep the Pentium and Celeron brands around and they will be used for Bay Trail-M processors. These parts have been shipping for more than three quarters in entry level detachables such as the Asus T100TA.

Courtesy-Fud

Vendors Testing New Intel Xeon Processors

September 3, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel is cooking up a hot batch of Xeon processors for servers and workstations, and system vendors have already designed systems that are ready and raring to go as soon as the chips become available.

Boston is one of the companies doing just that, and we know this because it gave us an exclusive peek into its labs to show off what these upgraded systems will look like. While we can’t share any details about the new chips involved yet, we can preview the systems they will appear in, which are awaiting shipment as soon as Intel gives the nod.

Based on chassis designs from Supermicro, with which Boston has a close relationship, the systems comprise custom-built solutions for specific user requirements.

On the workstation side, Boston is readying a mid-range and a high-end system with the new Intel Xeon chips, both based on two-socket Xeon E5-2600v3 rather than the single socket E5-1600v3 versions.

There’s also the mid-range Venom 2301-12T, which comes in a mid-tower chassis and ships with an Nvidia Quadro K4000 card for graphics acceleration. It comes with 64GB of memory and a 240GB SSD as a boot device, plus two 1TB Sata drives configured as a Raid array for data storage.

For extra performance, Boston has also prepared the Venom 2401-12T, which will ship with faster Xeon processors, 128GB of memory and an Nvidia Quadro K6000 graphics card. This also has a 240GB SSD as a boot drive, with two 2TB drives configured as a Raid array for data storage.

Interestingly, Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600v3 processors are designed to work with 2133MHz DDR4 memory instead of the more usual DDR3 RAM, and as you can see in the picture below, DDR4 DIMM modules have slightly longer connectors towards the middle.

For servers, Boston has prepared a 1U rack-mount “pizza box” system, the Boston Value 360p. This is a two-socket server with twin 10Gbps Ethernet ports, support for 64GB of memory and 12Gbps SAS Raid. It can also be configured with NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs connected to the PCI Express bus rather than a standard drive interface.

Boston also previewed a multi-node rack server, the Quattro 12128-6, which is made up of four separate two-socket servers inside a 2U chassis. Each node has up to 64GB of memory, with 12Gbps SAS Raid storage plus a pair of 400GB SSDs.

Courtesy-TheInq

Can A Linux Certification Payoff Financially?

August 25, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The Linux Foundation has announced an online certification programme for entry-level system admininstration and advanced Linux software engineering professionals to help expand the global pool of Linux sysadmin and developer talent.

The foundation indicated that it established the certification programme because there’s increasing demand for staff in the IT industry, saying, “Demand for experienced Linux professionals continues to grow, with this year’s Linux Jobs Report showing that managers are prioritizing Linux hires and paying more for this talent.

“Because Linux runs today’s global technology infrastructure, companies around the world are looking for more Linux professionals, yet most hiring managers say that finding Linux talent is difficult.”

Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin said, “Our mission is to address the demand for Linux that the industry is currently experiencing. We are making our training [programme] and Linux certification more accessible to users worldwide, since talent isn’t confined to one geography or one distribution.

“Our new Certification [Programme] will enable employers to easily identify Linux talent when hiring and uncover the best of the best. We think Linux professionals worldwide will want to proudly showcase their skills through these certifications and that these certificates will become a hallmark of quality throughout our industry.”

In an innovative departure from other Linux certification testing offered by a number of Linux distribution vendors and training firms, the foundation said, “The new Certification [Programme] exams and designations for Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE) will demonstrate that users are technically competent through a groundbreaking, performance-based exam that is available online, from anywhere and at any time.”

The exams are customised somewhat to accommodate technical differences that exist between three major Linux distributions that are characteristic of those usually encountered by Linux professionals working in the IT industry. Exam takers can choose between CentOS, openSUSE or Ubuntu, a derivative of Debian.

“The Linux Foundation’s certification [programme] will open new doors for Linux professionals who need a way to demonstrate their know-how and put them ahead of the rest,” said Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth.

Those who want to look into acquiring the LFCS and LFCE certifications can visit the The Linux Foundation website where it offers the exams, as well as training to prepare for them. The exams are priced at $300, but apparently they are on special introductory offer for $50.

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development. It is supported by a diverse roster of almost all of the largest IT companies in the world except Microsoft.

 

Courtesy-TheInq

Ready For Self-Assembling Robots?

August 12, 2014 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Wouldn’t it be strange to see a robot fold itself into arbitrary shapes and then just walk away?

Then add to the mix that it’s a laser-cut origami robot and you have the new robotic technology created by a team of engineers from Harvard, the Wyss Institute and MIT.

“The exciting thing here is that you create this device that has computation embedded in the flat, printed version,” Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, said in a statement. “And when these devices lift up from the ground into the third dimension, they do it in a thoughtful way.”

The technology, which mimics the way amino acids fold themselves into complex proteins, demonstrates scientists’ ability to cheaply and quickly build sophisticated robots that can automate their own design and assembly process, according to Harvard.

“Getting a robot to assemble itself autonomously and actually perform a function has been a milestone we’ve been chasing for many years,” said Robert J. Wood, a professor of engineering at Harvard and the Wyss Institute.

The universities contend that this is the first robot that can assemble itself and then perform a function — all without human intervention.

“Imagine a ream of dozens of robotic satellites sandwiched together so that they could be sent up to space and then assemble themselves remotely once they get there,” said Sam Felton, a Harvard doctoral student, who worked on the project. “They could take images, collect data and more.”

Researchers have been working on different pieces of this technology for some time.

In May, MIT’s Rus announced that scientists there had made progress on the promise of 3D printed robots.

The team created printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into three-dimensional configurations. The researchers also figured out how to build electrical components — like resistors and inductors — from these self-assembling materials.

MIT noted that the new self-assembling robotic work is similar, but a network of electrical leads, rather than an oven or hot plate, delivers heat to the robot’s joints to initiate the folding.

According to MIT, the new robots are created with five layers of materials, all of which are created by a laser cutter. The top and bottom layers are made of polymer, which folds when heated. Those polymer layers hold two layers of paper, which in turn hold the middle layer. That middle layer is made of copper etched into a complex network of electrical leads.

A microprocessor, batteries and tiny motors are attached to the top layer.

Researchers are trying to use either a single, two or four motors. Each motor, which is controlled by the microprocessor, controls two robotic legs.

 

 

 

Intel’s Broadwell Getting New Graphics Core

August 1, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel’s 5th generation Core processor family is condemned Broadwell and it is coming in Q4 2014 to select thin and light notebooks. It launches with the Y-series processor line (4.5W TDP) and it will expand to the H-series processor line with a max TDP of 47W by Q2 2015.

Naturally the new core is getting new graphics. The Y-processor line that launches first will come with Intel HD Graphics 5300 and this is the part that we meant when we said that 2014 Broadwell won’t be the full Monty. The first Broadwell core is not getting the new 6000 series Iris graphics core. That was the main compromise that Intel had to face in order to bring this processor to market in late 2014.

The follow up U-processor line will get two new graphics cores. The first one is Intel Iris Graphics 6100 and the second one is Intel HD Graphics 6000. There will another option as well , in the form of Intel HD Graphics 5500. The U-processor line limited to 15W to 28W SKUs is launching already in Q1 2015 and it will get the new 6000 series core.

The H-Processor line will get the fastest graphics option and the fastest core called Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 seems to be the fastest option available. The H-processor line will also come with the Intel HD Graphics 5600 core.

Sadly, we didn’t get more about the actual specification. We just have the official designations and a timeframe, but at least we know when to expect them.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Intel’s 5th Gen Broadwell Coming In Three Flavors

July 31, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel’s 5th Core processor family, codenamed Broadwell, will launch in three lines for the mobile segment. We are talking about upcoming Broadwell 14nm processors that will start appearing in Q4 2014 and will continue to launch trough the first half of 2015.

The 5th generation Core 5Y70 and three other similar parts belong to the Y-line of processors. these are BGA processors with 4.5W TDP and they draw significantly less power than the Y-line of processors belonging to the Haswell generation. The Haswell Y-processor line has a TDP of 11.5W and 4.5W – 6W Scenario Design Power (SDP). Since Intel is doing fine with 4.5W TDP on Broadwell it doesn’t use the imaginary SDP rating for the 5th generation of Core processors.

Y, U and H-processor lines

The second to come is the U-Series line that comes in BGA and TDPs ranging from 15W to 28W. Remember Broadwell 5th generation Core has graphics inside as well, so these power figures sound quite good. It replaces U-series line of Haswell 4th generation parts that also has a TDP of 15W to 28W.

The last of 5th generation mobile processor family is the H-processor line that comes with BGA and whooping 47W TDP. This one is meant for the high end systems and Intel has U processor line with Haswell with the same TDP and a lower TDP version that had 37W maximum thermal dissipation.

No Broadwell M-series 37W, 47W and 57W parts?

One might notice that Intel doesn’t mention the M-processor line that is available in Haswell flavour, but this processor line is not mentioned in the current roadmap.

Broadwell 5th generation Core U-series line starts in Q1 2015, Broadwell 5th generation Core Y-series line starts in Q4 2015, while the H-series line starts appearing in Q2 2015.

Bay Trail-M also known as N-processor line with its 7.5W to 4.3W TDP and 4.5W and 2.5W Scenario Design Power will stick around until it gets replaced by more efficient Braswell designs in Q1 2015.

Courtesy-Fud

AMD’s Carrizo Goes Mobile Only

July 30, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD’s upcoming Carrizo APU might not make it to the desktop market at all.

According to Italian tech site bitsandchips.it, citing industry sources, AMD plans to limit Carrizo to mobile parts. Furthermore the source claims Carrizo will not support DDR4 memory. We cannot confirm or deny the report at this time.

If the rumours turn out to be true, AMD will not have a new desktop platform next year. Bear in mind that Intel is doing the exact same thing by bringing 14nm silicon to mobile rather than desktop. AMD’s roadmap previously pointed to a desktop Carrizo launch in 2015.

AMD’s FM2+ socket and Kaveri derivatives would have to hold the line until 2016. The same goes for the AM3+ platform, which should also last until 2016.

Not much is known about Carrizo at the moment, hence we are not in a position to say much about the latest rumours. AMD’s first 20nm APU will be Nolan, but Carrizo will be the first 20nm big core. AMD confirmed a number of delays in a roadmap leaked last August.

The company recently confirmed its first 20nm products are coming next year. In all likelihood AMD will be selling 32nm, 28nm and 20nm parts next year.

Courtesy-Fud

AMD Moving Quickly On Stacked DRAM APUs

July 25, 2014 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD is fast tracking stacked DRAM deployment and a new presentation leaked by the company  points to APUs with stacked DRAM, or high bandwidth memory (HBM).

AMD is calling the project “Fastforward” and it is all about boosting memory bandwidth on upcoming APUs. However, AMD is not talking about specific products yet and it is unclear whether HBM will be implemented on its upcoming Carizzo APU. This seems highly unlikely at this point for a number of reasons and if we were to speculate we would say HBM is coming to the next-next generation of AMD APUs.

Stacked DRAM APUs to deliver up to 128GBps bandwidth

Using two DRAM stacks AMD could boost bandwidth at an unprecedented rate. Two stacks would result in a 1024-bit interface and up to 128GBps bandwidth. GDDR5 maxes out at 32 bits and 28GBps. With one stack in play the results are somewhat lower, 512-bit bus and 64GBps bandwidth.

AMD says it is looking at 1.2V+ DRAM with 2Gb per stack and 4 DRAM modules per stack. However, the presentation states that AMD is currently conducting evaluations of “various architectures and interface options,” so it could be a while before we see what exactly it has in mind.

AMD’s Fastforward objectives

Stacked DRAM is just part of the story, as AMD’s Fastforward initiative is a bit broader. The company says its principle Fastforward objective is to investigate processor and memory technologies for exascale systems based on high volume architectures and open standards.

The end result should “provide significant benefits” to high volume markets and the chipmaker says it is “based on extending high volume APU architecture.”

The list of key technologies which are part of the fastforward project is quite long. HSA, stacked DRAM, new APIs, non-volatile memory and processing-in-memory are just some of them.

Courtesy-Fud