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Intel’s Knights Landing Thwarting nVidia Plans

July 27, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Bad news for Nvidia as supercomputer maker Cray said that that Intel’s Knights Landing giving Nvidia a run for its money.

Cray’s boss Peter Ungaro whose outfit makes supercomputers based around both Knights Landing and Nvidia gear has hinted that Intel gear is gaining traction.

The second generation Xeon Phi product, codenamed Knights Landing, comes as a stand-alone processor and another one which will be released as a co-processor later on. All this stands in the way of Nvidia’s cunning plans in the market.

Ungaro, the company has a “substantial amount of business” that relies on both Intel’s Knights Landing Xeon Phi part as well as Nvidia Tesla P100. He says he has significant orders for both.
But, he added that orders for systems based on Knights Landing actually exceed the orders for systems that use the Tesla P100. In other words, Knights Landing is already cleaning Tesla’s clock.

Motley Fool thinks that at the moment the market is big enough for both of them Nvidia has reported that its datacentre related sales were up 63 per cent year-over-year. But we can expect Intel to start getting more Chipzillish as it start’s bumping into Nvidia’s sales teams.

It might also start getting interesting when ARM chips start making an impact.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Are Movie Theaters Moving To Virtual Reality?

July 26, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

Samsung’s Gear VR headset has been installed in a what is believed to be the first Virtual Reality popup cinema.

The VIVID VR Cinema has been constructed in Toronto, Canada, where a total of three different films were being shown — The Visitor, where a young couple prepares for the woman’s greatest fear to arrive; Imago, a title about a former dancer in a coma who’s aware of her surroundings; and Sonar, a movie about a drone that discovers a signal on an asteroid.

The cinema is small – only 30 seats. Each has a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a Gear VR with a Galaxy S7 clipped to the back. Tickets cost $20 for the 40-minutes to watch the three films.

The movies have been carefully crafted to let their viewers to choose different narratives to focus on so even the plot is interactive.

It is expected that more of this type of entertainment will arrive when more content is available. It might be a couple of decades before the first Hollywood blockbuster though.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is nVidia’s Geforce GTX 1060 Living Up To The Hype?

July 25, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

As announced earlier, Nvidia has officially lifted the NDA off its Geforce GTX 1060 allowing sites to publish reviews which also means that retailers/e-tailers now have the green light to start selling the new graphics card.

Based on 16nm GP106 GPU, the new Geforce GTX 1060 is the third Nvidia Geforce graphics card based on the new Pascal GPU architecture. The GP106 GPU packs 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs and 48 ROPs and it will be coming with 6GB of GDDR5 memory with a 192-bit memory interface.

The new Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, which will be apparently sold only by Nvidia, will work at 1506MHz and 1709MHz for the GPU base and Boost clocks while memory will end up with a reference clock of 8000MHz, which adds up to 192GB/s of memory bandwidth.

The reference Founders Edition comes with a standard blower-style cooler which is somewhat simplified and lacks both heatpipes or vapor-chamber, mostly due to the fact that the GTX 1060 has a 120W TDP. The GTX 1060 needs a single 6-pin PCIe power connector which leaves it plenty of headroom for further overclocking.

Performance-wise, the Geforce GTX 1060 is on par with the GTX 980 4GB, and since it comes with 2GB more VRAM, it is a better choice. More importantly, the Geforce GTX 1060 is faster than the RX 480 in most cases, which is its direct competitor on the market.

Unfortunately, the GTX 1060 lacks SLI support, probably because it would kill the sales of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards.

Priced at US $299 for the Founders Edition and coming with a MSRP of US $249, the Geforce GTX 1060 is quite impressive, offering more performance than the recently launched Radeon RX 480 and bringing that impressive Pascal power efficiency to the mainstream market.

Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of the price wars in the mainstream graphics card segment and will push the prices closer to the MSRP. Both the RX 480 and the GTX 1060 offer decent performance per buck so it will be a fight to the bitter end.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Intel’s NUC Gets Uncovered

July 20, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel’s NUC consumer roadmap has leaked online showing that Intel is seriously holding a torch for tiny PCs.

Fan-less Tech found some slides which shows Intel has some exciting new hardware planned for release over the next couple of years.

The roadmap shows that Intel will make its new Celeron processor available in the fourth quarter of 2016 with its Arches Canyon model. Its 7th-gen Core chip looks like it will be available at the beginning of 2017 within the Baby Canyon i7 model. Intel will continue to offer the recently launched Skull Canyon through 2017.

Based on the leaked information, Intel has plans to continue its NUC line at least through 2018, offering progressively faster hardware with more options to meet custom applications of the device.

Intel’s NUCs are doing rather well and have been getting good reviews. They are getting increasingly tied to Intel’s chip upgrades so they are remaining fairly cutting edge.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Does Pokemon Go Really Show The Possibilities Of VR?

July 20, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Gaming

Pokemon GO hasn’t even finished its worldwide rollout, but it’s all anyone is talking about or reading about this week; it’s truly inescapable. I haven’t seen this level of mainstream attention for a gaming product since Nintendo’s original Wii, and that’s truly a good thing for Nintendo. The company could use a positive story after dealing with so much negativity from the Wii U’s failure.

As Rob Fahey pointed out today, it’s also hugely encouraging for the future of Nintendo on mobile. Whatever you think of Miitomo, what Pokemon GO has easily proved in only the span of a week, is that with the right approach Nintendo’s IP can do amazing things on a smartphone. I can’t wait to see how Nintendo brings its most cherished IP, like Mario and Zelda to the mobile space. And should the upcoming NX somehow fail, shareholders can rest easy knowing that the company can triumph on devices it didn’t manufacture.

After racing to the top of the charts in the US and Australia, and just recently in the UK as well according to App Annie, Pokemon GO has already helped add $9 billion to Nintendo’s market cap. The monetization potential for sponsored locations and real-world businesses is staggering to think about as well. App Annie says it could “easily envision” Pokemon GO generating $1 billion annually.

The big question surrounding Pokemon GO now, of course, is will it stand the test of time or burn out in just a couple months? The mobile market has been evolving and games can reach maturity much faster. Nicolas Beraudo, MD EMEA at App Annie, commented, “…the average time to maturity for new releases dropped over 60% from 2014 to 2015, a reduction from 50 weeks to 17. What this means is that there is a trend that publishers have to release more games than before to stay profitable.” Once Niantic and Nintendo finish the global rollout, however, ensure that server issues are fixed and possibly introduce more features, Pokemon GO may be able to stay successful for some time.

Another major lesson to be learned from this incredible Pokemon week is how easy it is for people to get into augmented reality. You don’t need an expensive PC or headset or to block out the world and ignore your wife and children to play AR games. People in the know have been telling me all-year long that AR is the technology with the truly mainstream potential. Former Epic Games executive Mike Capps tweeted, “Great, now I have to change my slides saying ‘AR overtakes VR usage by 2021′ and replace that with ’2016′ and hope nobody remembers.” Indeed, Pokemon GO has shown us all that the entire world can easily hop on the AR bandwagon, and with Magic Leap now saying it’s in “go mode” and CastAR still on track for a family-friendly AR system release in 2017, it won’t be long before everyone’s talking about how fun AR gaming is. VR, meanwhile, will no doubt get better and better and offer some incredibly compelling experiences of its own, but I have my doubts on whether its potential can ever match AR’s.

Elsewhere in news, a story that received a lot of play this week was how Warner Bros. settled with the FTC for paying online streamers to say positive things about its games. YouTube celebrity PewDiePie was mentioned – in hindsight probably unfairly – in almost everyone’s headlines. PewDiePie explained in a video response that not only were the videos in question labeled as sponsored by Warner Bros, but they were published at a time when YouTubers weren’t even legally required to disclose such arrangements. PewDiePie, to his credit, was disclosing the nature of those relationships before he even had to, and the media (GamesIndustry.biz included) completely failed to mention that not-so-small detail. Love him or hate him, I think it’s fair to say that PewDiePie’s been vindicated.

And in a story that we’ve been following since last week when the CS:GO Lotto site owners were called out for the unscrupulous people that they are, Valve finally came around and said to itself, “Oh hey, maybe it’s actually not so great that we’ve been sued and are being associated with online gambling.” Why it took the Steam platform holder so long to come out against the gambling sites and to deny any involvement is a mystery to me. It’s good that the company sent out requests to the gambling sites to cease operations through Steam, but as one GI.biz commenter already noted, Valve could be taking an even tougher stance and could very well be launching a lawsuit of their own. This story is far from over, and in the meantime, you should be aware that Twitch has taken notice and changed its terms of service to ban gambling-related broadcasts.

Courtesy-Gi.biz

 

Are nVidia’s Days Numbered?

July 19, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Nvidia is not going to come out of new competition from AMD and Intel that well, according to analysts Well Fargo.

The analysts have added up some numbers and divided by their shoe size and come to the conclusion that Nvidia’s growth days are numbered and it could face some serious problems from AMD in graphics and Intel in co-processors.

The report said that renewed competition from AMD in graphics and Intel in coprocessors could create headwinds to growth and possibly limit Nvidia’s ability to beat expectations in the near term.

While the analysts expected Nvidia to continue to grow its coprocessor business in the future rising competition from Intel will also stuff up its momentum.

“The Knights Landing family might help Intel regain some share in the HPC coprocessor market, though Nvidia has also introduced a new coprocessor family this year, its Tesla P100.”

At the moment Nvidia shares are probably worth a “significantly” less than its valuation range of $30-36.

We expect that the analysts who wrote this will be having to get their stagecoach moving fast if they want to evade the tribe of Nvidia fanboys who will want to put arrows in their hats.

 

Courtesy-Fud

 

nVidia’s Volta Goes FinFET

July 18, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

A little birdie told us that Nvidia is giving its Volta the 16nm FinFET treatment. This product uses stacked DRAM too so it looks like the whole thing will be pretty bleeding edge.

Our same deep throat told us that the performance per watt is expected to increase tremendously. Although this might be vague, little is known about Volta other than it is arriving after Pascal so any information we get is news. The earliest we expect Volta is 2017.

It is interesting to see that the lag between the GPU manufacturing and mobile processor manicuring is getting bigger. We expect to see Apple and Qualcomm making their first 10nm chips this year and it is unlikely that the GPU guys can match them.

The next generation Nvidia Volta GPU will stick with TSMC’s 16nm FinFET at . AMD will use 14nm Global Foundries for its Vega HBM 2.0 powered card. This is also scheduled for 2017. AMD’s CPUs will go directly from 14nm to 7nm so there is a chance that GPUs will skip 10nm and go directly to 7nm. This will probably take a lot longer to happen.

GPUs are complex parts and it takes time to get them to work using new manufacturing processes.

Mobile SoCs will head to 7nm in late 2017 or early 2018 but it will be interesting to see what will be the next manufacturing nod for the GPUs.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is AMD Share Price Making A Comeback?

July 18, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

A report from financial analysts Seeking Alpha has issued guidance on the share price of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and said the company’s outlook is quite bright.

The report said that only 11 months back AMD was one of the most shorted stocks in the USA largely as a result of falling revenues and losses.

But, said Bill Maurer at Seeking Alpha, all that has completely changed now. Analysts think that AMD’s share price is currently overvalued.

It all hangs on how well AMD performs when it releases its earnings next week.

The introduction of the RX 480 was supposed to help out on revenues but there’s a question mark over how well it’s contributed to the bottom line.

On the bright side, the arrangement it had with Nantong Microelectronics terminated in the quarter and that ended up meaning a net cash bonus of over $320 million.

The share price currently stands at over $5. AMD’s biggest phone the processors based on Zen architecture are promised to start shipping later this year. This should have an effect on the stock value.

Courtesy-Fud

 

IS Kaby Lake Responsible For the End Of Core M?

July 14, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The rumor mill has suggested that Skylake’s successor, Kaby Lake, with its 14nm goodness might be responsible for the death of the Core m5/m7 name.

Instead everything will be the Core m3/i5/i7. The microarchitecture will also bring new features such as native USB 3.1 generation 2 support and improved GPU architecture.

Kaby Lake-Y will have 4.5 watt dual-core chips with Intel HD 615 graphics, the Core M3-7Y30 will have a 1 GHz CPU w/2.6 GHz turbo boost and 300/900 MHz graphics, the Core i5-7Y54 will have a 1.2 GHz CPU w/3.2 GHz turbo boost and 300/950 MHz graphics, while while the Core i7-7Y75 will hae a 1.3 GHz CPU w/3.6 GHz turbo boost and 300/1050 MHz graphics.

The Kaby Lake-U gets 15 watt dual-core chips with Intel HD 620 graphics, the Core i3-7100U has a 2.4 GHz CPU with 300/1000 MHz graphics (turbo boost N/A) and the Core i5-7200U has a 2.5 GHz CPU w/3.1 GHz turbo boost and 300/1000 MHz graphics. Lastly the Core i7-7500U has a 2.7 GHz CPU w/3.5 GHz turbo boost and 300/1050 MHz graphics.
If this is right then Intel is planning to shake up its naming conventions so that some Core i3 chips will probably offer more performance than other Core i7 chips.

So the Kaby Lake chips will be based on the same 7th-gen Intel Core architecture, and they’ll all have Intel HD 600 series graphics. But Y series chips will be much slower than U, H, or S processors. This is going to get confusing.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is Intel Losing Interest In Android?

July 12, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel’s mobexit is gathering traction with Inteldeciding to slash its Android development.

While the outfit is still claiming that it is chums with Google, it is now saying that its Android development for tablets is the latest thing it is not interested in.

Intel has been cutting back on its Android upgrades for tablet hardware which suggests it is not interested. Instead it is working on 2-in-1s, which run mostly on Windows.

Intel’s x86 version of Android was mainly for devices with Atom processors, which the chip maker is phasing out. The replacement is Apollo Lake which will run Windows, but it is unclear if it will ever support Android.

The last Android which worked on Intel gear was Android 5.1.1, Lollipop, Intel-based mobile devices mostly run Android 5.0 or older versions.

What might keep Intel in Android might not be its own commitment to Android, but the fact that Google is keen to make its OS work with x86 chips. Google has said that Android 7.0 Nougat, will be compatible with x86 machines which will keep Intel in the game – if it wants to be.

PC World has suggested that Intel could offload development to the independent Android-x86 Project last month delivered the Android-x86 6.0 Release Candidate 1.

Intel is still a lead partner in Google’s Brillo. This is an embedded IoT OS with the dash of Android under the bonnet. Brillo works on Intel’s Edison development board, which can be used to make wearables, robots, smart home devices and other IoT gadgets.

But it is pretty clear that Intel is not interested in some of Google’s VR projects like DayDream which are based on Android.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Samsung Debuts UFS Memory

July 11, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Samsung has announced the introduction of the first Universal Flash Storage (UFS) memory card line-up, which it claims has capacities of up to 256GB and speeds up to 530MB/s.

The range is based on the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association Universal Flash Storage 1.0 Card Extension Standard. It is a bit of a mouthful, but it means that they are next-generation replacements for the micro-SD format.

Samsung’s internal testing,  which may or may not be accurate, showed its top-end 256GB UFS memory card offers 530MB/s sequential read performance – some five times faster than ‘a typical UHS-1 micro-SD card.’  It can carry out 40,000 input output operations per second (IOPS), bringing performance in line with SATA-connected solid-state drives (SSDs).

Senior vice president for memory product planning and application engineering at Samsung Electronics Jung-bae Lee said that Samsung’s new 256GB UFS card will provide an ideal user experience for digitally-minded consumers and lead the industry in establishing the most competitive memory card solution.

‘By launching our new high-capacity, high-performance UFS card line-up, we are changing the growth paradigm of the memory card market to prioritise performance and user convenience above all.’

Yes he used the word “paradigm” so he had probably run out of real words to say about the device.

Performance drops below SSDs for write tasks. At 170MB/s sequential write performance is not bad and better than a micro-SD card. Samsung has said when the cards are coming out or how much they will cost.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Will Virtual Reality Really Take Off

July 8, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

While beancounters have been predicting that VR will arise to become an important part of the IT industry, some of us have wondered if that was likely if the technology was too expensive and lacked a “killer app.”

But it is starting to look like the killer app will not be gaming, or office management, or anything else that the beancounters have been looking at. The real killer app, like VHS before it, will be smut.

Last week a group of VR retailers got together to produce a virtual erotica exhibition in Japan showing the porn applications available for VR. They had a few machines on hand and they expected a moderate amount of interest.

What happened was that shed loads of lonely Japanese blokes patiently queued up outside waiting to see if the tech was ready to meet their expectations. When we say loads we mean far too many. The exhibition had to pre-maturely close due to the pressing crowds.

While this made for a funny story, it actually shows who VR’s target market will be, initially. It will not be geeks or gamers it will be those who want a sexual experience either because they can’t get one, or can’t be bothered. It is these guys who are going to provide the base numbers that will make the machines profitable, rather than those who want to chainsaw zombies in 3D. For practical reasons these guys have deep pockets too.

It was the same people who provided the bedrock for internet bandwidth since the 1990s. Smut is still a mainstay of the Internet, although it is nowhere near as much as it was at the beginning. That is pretty much how this will play out over the next decade.

The porn users will be the early adopters and they will create the offer growth opportunities for component suppliers, including sensors, infrared (IR)/laser transmitters and LED chips. They will swiftly drive the cost of headsets down so that they become more accessible to other users and uses.
They will also force the development of better technology. Say what you like about porn, if it looks fake, or the experience is not particularly real then people are swiftly going to be dissatisfied.

This is going mean lighter VR head-mounted display (HMD) devices, more MEMS parts and IR/LED sensing components to detect the positions and movements of a “target.”

What we find interesting is that going through all the stories about VR and its cousin AR is that there is a marked reluctance for anyone to admit that this is what is about to happen. There are a few off-hand references to the “entertainment industry” or using the devices to “watch movies” but we can’t find anywhere that pundits are actually saying that “porn will be the killer app” – other than Fudzilla.

Practically this means that a lot of investment and marketing is heading in the wrong direction. While people are talking games, or even office applications, they are missing out on the apps and hardware which will propel VR and AR through its initial adoption hurdle.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is Intel’s Kaby Lake Going Overclocking

July 7, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Kaby Lake will be a better overclocker. At least this is what Intel is telling its partners right now. The successor to Skylake architecture will have two overclocking enhancements the BCLK aware V/F curve and AVX negative ratio offset.

The BCLK aware V/F curve is an adaptive voltage mode that works with BCLK and its main goal is to achieve higher clock stability.

The AVX negative ratio offset allows excellent control over Intel Turbo Boost Technology while overclocking with increased stability.

Kaby Lake processors will be able to achieve higher frequencies at the same thermal envelope. For example, a 95W TDP Kaby Lake processor will be able to achieve a higher clock than the 95W Skylake. We expect that the successor to Intel Core i7-6700K will get to clock more than 4GHz, but not that much higher. The Turbo clock will be higher.

We expect a slight increase in the core clock as Intel had more than a year to tweak and optimize the 14nm Skylake core. Kaby Lake is a new CPU but with minor improvements and isn’t a huge leap forward.

 

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is nVidia Having Production Issues?

July 1, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The rumor mill is flat out claiming that TSMC is getting the blame for a shortage of GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 supply issues. However, sources have been on the blower to say that is untrue, the lack of availability are generated by exceptionally great sales.

The 1080′s cards were launched in 27 May  and the GTX 1070 on 10 June, however stocks are scarcer than an intelligent post-Brexit plan in the UK. Even the over-priced Founders’ Edition cards are as rare as an apology from an Italian politician.

The rumor is that that TSMC is having trouble producing the 16nm FinFET chips that power the Pascal GPUs in the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. However what we are seeing is that interest is overwhelming supply – the Geforce has been selling better than any high end card in the recent history.

The reason is simple – the card’s performance is exceptional and if you are in the market for $500+ card you definitely want the 1080 or the 1070. AMD so far has nothing new to offer as a Fury X replacement.

According to many leaks Radeon RX480 will launch tomorrow, June 29th, but as you should probably know by now, this card cannot compete with GTX 1080 or 1070. The performance of Radeon RX480 should be around between GTX 960 and GTX 970, which is quite good for the mainstream card.

Again, people who spend $500+ on GPUs want more than that – they want to play Doom and Battlefield 1, or similar high end at 1440 or 4K resolution and Ultra settings. This is what is causing the shortage of cards.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Will Intel’s Xeon Phi Rule The HPC Space?

June 30, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel, which has begun shipping its new Xeon Phi processors targeted at High Performance Computing (HPC) applications, thinks it is going to flog more than 100,000 of them this year.

Hugo Saleh, Director of Marketing and Industry Development, Technical Computing Group Intel said that he already had sold 30,000 of them.

“We have interesting sales coming in from each and every country, and these being high performance processors, they can be adopted widely across many sectors. These include geophysics to financial services, and super computers and data centers among others,” he said.

Intel says they are finding homes as standalone processors or co-processors  and can be used in supercomputers and servers. The Xeon Phi is Intel’s first bootable host processor specifically designed for highly-parallel workloads, and the first to integrate both memory and fabric technologies.

The chip is a general purpose central processing unit (CPU) built on open standards, making software investments portable into the future.

The product family’s broad ecosystem support includes more than 50 original equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors and middleware partners.

Courtesy-TheInq