AMD’s first 14nm processors are codenamed Summit Ridge and they are reportedly based on an all-new architecture dubbed Zen.
Information on the new architecture and the Summit Ridge design is still very sketchy. According to Sweclockers, the chips will feature up to eight CPU cores, support for DDR4 memory and TDPs of up to 95W.
Summit Ridge will use a new socket, designated FM3. This suggests we are looking at A-series APUs, but there is no word on graphics and the eight-core design points to proper FX-series CPUs – we simply do not know at this point. It is also possible that Summit Ridge is a Vishera FX replacement, but on an FM socket rather than an AM socket.
Of course, AMD Zen should end up in more products than one, namely in APUs and Opteron server parts. The new architecture has been described as a “high-performance” design and will be manufactured using the Samsung-GlobalFoundries 14nm node.
As for the launch date, don’t hold your breath – the new parts are expected to show up in the third quarter of 2016, roughly 18 months from now.
AMD released its earnings today and one cool question came up about the upcoming Carrizo mobile APU.
Lisa SU, the new AMD President and CEO, told MKM Partners analyst Ian Ing that Carrizo is coming in Q2 2015.
This is a great news and AMD’s Senior VP and outgoing general manager of computing and graphics group John Byrne already shared a few details about his excitement about Carrizo.
There are two Carrizo parts, one for big notebooks and All in Ones called Carrizo and a scaled down version called Carrizo L. We expect that the slower Carrizo-L is first to come but, Lisa was not specific. Carrizo-L is based on Puma+ CPU cores with AMD Radeon R-Series GCN graphics is intended for mainstream configurations with Carrizo targeting the higher performance notebooks.
Usually when a company says that something is coming in Q2 2015 that points to a Computex launch and this Taipei based tradeshow starts on June 2 2015. We strongly believe that the first Carrizo products will showcased at or around this date.
Lisa also pointed out that AMD has “significantly improved performance in battery life in Carrizo.” This is definitely good news, as this was one of the main issues with AMD APUs in the notebook space.
Lisa also said that AMD expects Carrizo to be beneficial for embedded and other businesses as well. If only it could have come a bit earlier, so let’s hope AMD can get enough significant design wins with Carrizo. AMD has a lot of work to do in order to get its products faster to market, to catch up with Intel on power and performance or simply to come up with innovative devices that will define its future. This is what we think Lisa is there for but in chip design, it simply takes time.
AMD has developed facial recognition technology to enable users to organize and search video clips based on the people featured in them.
AMD executive Richard Gayle demonstrated to Tom’s Guide how AMD Content Manager, uses facial recognition to browse through a group of local videos to find specific faces.
There is an index that displays the people’s faces that have been detected throughout the video clips.
The user can edit the names of the people as well as add keyword tags to help improve future searches for specific people.
For instance, if you are searching for videos that feature one person, you can click on his or her respective face to pull up the corresponding videos.
Additionally, if you want to narrow a search to a specific person combined with a keyword tag, you can drag the face icon and click on the desired keyword.
Once you click on the video you wish to view, a player appears in the right windowpane, along with a timeline displayed at the bottom with a list of all the people who appear in the video.
The timeline is separated into various coloured boxes to mark the exact moment in the video when each person first appears on screen, so you do not have to watch the entire video to see the bit you want.
The application also has facial recognition capabilities that allow users to do some basic editing, such as compiling a single montage video of any individual or individuals.
While this is pretty good technology, it probably does not have any major use yet on its own.
Gayle said it is unlikely that AMD will release Content Manager in its current form but will license it to OEMs that are able to rebrand the application before offering it on their respective systems.
He claimed that only AMD processors have sufficient power to operate the application, because of the processor’s ability to have the CPU, GPU and memory controller work closely together.
New evidence coming from two LinkedIn profiles of AMD employees suggest that AMD’s upcoming Radeon R9 380X graphics card which is expected to be based on the Fiji GPU will actually use High-Bandwidth Memory.
Spotted by a member of 3D Center forums, the two LinkedIn profiles mention both the R9 380X by name as well as describe it as the world’s firts 300W 2.5D discrete GPU SoC using stacked die High-Bandwidth Memory and silicon interposer. While the source of the leak is quite strange, these are more reliable than just rumors.
The first in line is the profile of Ilana Shternshain, an ASIC Physical Design Engineer, which has been behind the Playstation 4 SoC, Radeon R9 290X and R9 380X, which is described as the “largest in ‘King of the hill’ line of products.”
The second LinkedIn profile is the one from AMD’s System Architect Manager, Linglan Zhang, which was involved in developing “the world’s first 300W 2.5D discrete GPU SOC using stacked die High Bandwidth Memory and silicon interposer.”
Earlier rumors suggest that AMD might launch the new graphics cards early this year as the company is under heavy pressure from Nvidia’s recently released, as well as the upcoming, Maxwell-based graphics cards.
We want to make sure that you realize that 20nm GPUs won’t be coming at all. Despite the fact that Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Apple are doing 20nm SoCs, there won’t be any 20nm GPUs.
From what we know AMD and Nvidia won’t be releasing 20nm GPUs ever, as the yields are so bad that it would not make any sense to manufacture them. It is not economically viable to replace 28nm production with 20nm.
This means the real next big thing technology will be coming with 16nm / 14nm FinFET from TSMC and GlobalFoundries / Samsung respectively, but we know that AMD is working on Caribbean Islands and Fiji as well, while Nvidia has been working on its new chip too.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot pull a small miracle in 28nm, as Nvidia did that back in September 2014 with Maxwell and proved that you can make a big difference with optimization on the same manufacturing process, in case when the new node is not an option.
Despite the lack of 20nm chips we still think that next gen Nvidia and AMD chips bring some innovations and make you want to upgrade in order to buy it to play the latest games on FreeSync or G-Sync monitors, or in 4K/UHD resolutions.
In addition to the 14nm Broadwell-U notebook chips announced earlier, Intel has also announced that it has started shipping 14nm Cherry Trail Atom architecture tablet chips to customers.
While it is good to hear that Intel has finally started to ship the successor to the Bay Trail SoC, these chips will most likely be available in actual products sometime in Q2 2015, or according to Intel, in the first half of the year. While Intel did not shed any light on the actual specifications of Cherry Trail SoCs, or the price, it did promise that all details will be unveiled once first Cherry Trail-based devices are announced, so we will keep our fingers crossed to see some first tablets at CES 2015.
For now, Intel only noted that the new architecture will bring improved graphics, improved performance as well as better battery life in both Android and Windows tablets. From earlier information we know that, beside being based on smaller 14nm node, Cherry Trail SoC will use the Airmont CPU architecture paired up with a cut-down Broadwell GPU and might even end up with 16 EUs, which should give it some impressive graphics performance.
Intel also noted that Cherry Trail can be paired with Intel XMM726x modem with Cat 6 LTE for cellular connectivity, which means that we might even see some smartphones based on these SoCs. It will also support Intel’s RealSense technology as well as Wireless Display.
Back in June 2013 Nvidia said it would start licensing the Kepler GPU core, but since then we haven’t seen any developments on this front. However, things may be about to change with Maxwell.
Maxwell is a lot more efficient than Kepler and it may be more attractive to potential clients. Digitimes Research expects Nvidia to “rely on the licensing business” and allow its GPU patents to penetrate the mobile GPU market.
Analysts pointed out that Maxwell offers a 160% performance per area gain over Kepler, along with higher flexibility in the location of the GPU on the die. This added flexibility means chip designers should have a much easier time integrating it in various SoC designs.
Nvidia officially announced the Tegra X1 (Erista) just hours ago and this is the company’s first SoC with Maxwell graphics, built on the 20nm node. The company claims its 256-core GPU can outpace the competition with 1-teraflop performance, while at the same time providing competitive performance per watt.
Licensing Maxwell would make sense, but we still do not know how Nvidia plans to go about this. Whether or not it will offer the latest and most powerful designs remains to be seen. It should also be noted that GPU IP and licensing costs are comparatively low, making up only a tiny fraction of the overall cost of the chip.
A year ago industry sources told Fudzilla that the cost of deploying a mainstream GPU on a SoC tends to be very low, as little as 1-2%, or about 10 cents per mid-range chip. Mobile GPU licensing will clearly not be a big cash cow for Nvidia in the short term, but in the long haul the company could benefit indirectly by offering proprietary technologies and services tied to its GPU technology.
Intel is investing a further $550 million in Israel, more specifically in the upgrade of its Fab 28 in Kiryat Gat.
According to Israel21c, this will bring the total scope of Intel investments in Israel to over $6 billion since 2006. The Kiryat Gat facility is likely to be one of the first Intel 10nm fabs.
Israeli Ministry of Economy official Ziva Eger said the investment will help create thousands of jobs and reinforce the country’s standing as a world leader in technology.
“The agreement signed today between the Industrial Cooperation Authority and Intel is another expression of Intel’s contribution by way of its purchase of equipment, new technologies and Israeli products developed together with Intel,” said CEO of Intel Israel Maxine Fassberg.
Fab 28 currently churns out 22nm silicon for Intel. The fab was passed over for the 14nm upgrade. A source familiar with the matter told us that Israel competes with Ireland for every node upgrade.
“We lost 14nm to Ireland and won 10nm,” the source said.
Israel is currently in a better position to offer incentives and subsidies for such investments, as Ireland’s ‘business-friendly’ tax policies are being scrutinized by the European Union.
Intel is expected to launch the first 10nm CPU in 2016, followed by 7nm parts a couple of years later.
Intel is planning to update its rather successful NUC (Next Unit of Computing) series and as you can expect, they will come with Broadwell CPUs inside.
Intel isn’t hiding the external design of the new cases and there is a dominant yellow connector at the front of the new NUC, and this one should be providing charging power even when the device is turned off.
The board comes with either M2 storage or single SATA and there will be two different designs one exclusively for M2 drive and the second taller that will be able to take 2.5 inch SSD or HDD as well.
We will probably learn more details at CES 2015 that is about to start in less than three weeks from now, but the Broadwell in this small form factor will get a speed boost and some future prove technologies such as M2 SSD support.
We are running Core i5 4200 powered NUC with Windows 10 and it really works great powered by 240GB Kingston mS200 mSata SSD and Impact SO DIMM memory. These machines takes less than half an hour to assemble and boot into windows, including Windows 10 and make a perfect choice for the lovers of quiet computing.
The new version will obviously run at least slightly faster than the one we are testing and the marketing is excluding about “the one with the yellow USB connector”.
A company insider has spilled the beans in Korea, claiming that Samsung has started Apple A9 production in 14nm FinFET.
The A9 is the next generation SoC for Apple iPhone and iPad products and it is manufactured on the Samsung – GlobalFoundries 14nm FinFET manufacturing process. In the other news, Samsung’s Ki-nam, president of the company’s semiconductor business and head of System LSI business has confirmed that the company started production of 14-nanometre FinFET chips.
The report mentions Austin as a possible site for Apple products but we wonder if the GlobalFoundries Fab 8 in New York State could become one of the partners for the 14nm FinFET manufacturing. Samsung didn’t officially reveal the client for the 14nm FinFET, but Apple is the most obvious candidate, while we expect to see 14 / 16nm FinFET graphics chips from AMD and Nvidia but most likely in the latter half of 2015 at best.
Qualcomm is likely to announce new LTE modem based on 14nm FinFET and the flagship SoC Snapdragon 810 is a 20nm chip. Qualcomm is manufacturing its 810 chips as we speak to meet demand for flagship Android phones coming in Q1 2015. Flagship Samsung, HTC and LG phones among others are likely to use Snapdragon 810 as a replacement for this year’s Snapdragon 801, a high end chip that ended up in millions of high-end phones.
Samsung / GlobalFoundries14nm FinFET process is 15 percent smaller, 20 percent faster, and 35 percent more power efficient compared to 20nm processors. This definitely sounds exiting and will bring more performance into phones, tablets, GPUs and will significantly decrease power consumption. The move from 28nm is long overdue.
We believe that Qualcomm’s LTE modem might be the first chip to officially come with this manufacturing process and Apple will probably take most of the 14nm production for an update in its tablets and phones scheduled for 2015.
Samsung is having another crack at building a GPU.
This is not company’s first attempt to make a GPU and this time it is meant to be used with its SoC and not in graphics cards. Samsung has announced last year that it wants to make its System on Chips based on in-house 64-bit architecture but we still have to wait and see one eventuate.
Samsung is trying to make a GPU for years and enter this already crowded GPU IP market. Qualcomm uses Adreno, Nvidia uses Geforce and wants to license it to others. Apple uses PowerVR while Mediatek uses ARM owed Mali graphics for newer processors while using PowerVR for some older parts. Intel is using PowerVR G6430 for its mobile processors such as Atom Z3580 Moorefield while AMD has its own graphics that it can use for future SoCs and APUs. Intel owns Intel HD graphics that dominates the integrated CPU market especially for notebooks.
Samsung currently uses Mali graphics but this might change. If its team is successful, it might come with its own graphics and jack them under the bonnet of its own Exynos processor by the next summer.
All the sudden Nvidia’s lawsuit against Samsung makes more sense.
Samsung is trying to get into Nvidia space and the company doesn’t like it. Even if Samsung manages to make a successful GPU, the competition is hard. Even with years of trying Samsung is mostly using Exynos for its own tablets and some phones. Most Samsung high end phones use Qualcomm Snapdragons as these tend to have better LTE modems and are widely available.
According to the Korean ZDnet the company might talk about the GPU as early as February at the Solid Circuits Society (ISSCC) conference with the official announcement scheduled for summer 2015.
Samsung has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission as part of patent war which appears to have broken out between the two chipmakers. Samsung claims Nvidia infringed several of its chip-related patents and for making false claims about its products. This is effectively counter-suing after Nvidia filed a suit against the company in September making more or less the same charges.
Nvidia accused Samsung and rival Qualcomm of infringing patents on its graphics-processing unit (GPU). Samsung, which had filed the lawsuit in a US federal court on November 4, is seeking damages for deliberate infringement of several technical patents, including a few that govern the way semiconductors buffer and use data.
The ITC complaint also named computer-parts manufacturers Biostar Microtech and Elitegroup. These things run and run and usually wind up with a settlement where both sides agree to keep the details quiet. The ITC is often used as leverage in such cases because it deals with things a little quicker and a product embargo to the US can be seriously damage a company’s wealth.
Bay Trail was quite a big deal when it started shipping in late 2013.
It was a tablet chip that enabled great design wins such as the affordable Asus T100TA and even in late 2014 Asus used the platform to create the EeeBook X205, a $199 netbook.
Both of these designs are based on Intel’s Bay-Trail M processor, a year old 22nm quad-core processor based on the Silvermont design. Some machines that are coming with LTE, both netbooks and tablets and there will be new chip coming in 2015. It is called LTE Advanced XMM7360 chip and supports LTE Cat 10,3 CA up to 450 Mbits download and upload.
Intel will also offer Morrefield quad cores for machines with lower TDP ratings, especially tablets, and at some point in 2015 it will introduce its 14nm Airmont core based Cherry Trail processor. Cherry Trail based on 14nm Airmont core was originally expected in late 2014, but it got pushed towards middle of 2015.
Intel is clearly encountering more obstacles moving from the 22nm to the 14nm manufacturing process, but considering that most ARM competitors still have to start commercially shipping its 20nm SoCs in significant volumes, Intel still has a manufacturing node advantage. If only Intel had as many design wins to go along with its cutting edge fabs, as the company has been struggling to ship 40milion tablets in 2014, as promised.
Braxton will replace Cherry Trail in 2016. Braxton is a tock architecture, another 14nm design based on the quad-core Goldmont core. When it comes to the Performance Media Internet Device (MID) market Intel has another chip planned in 2016. It calls it SoFIA MID and the chip comes in intels 14nm manufacturing process.
Value and Entry markets for Media Internet Device (MID) and phones includes four new SoFIA parts, but with all these new and exciting chips Intel has to compete against some advanced chips coming on line in 2015, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 20nm, Nvidia Erista and more affordable Mediatek solutions such as the MT6795 A53-based octa-core and its successor.
Intel has revealed an update to its CPU roadmap and some things have changed in 2015 and beyond. Let’s start with the Broadwell 14nm architecture. The first processors based on this technology are starting to show up in razor thin laptops and ultra-fast tablets. Intel should add ultra-expensive, as the first SKUs cost an arm and leg.
However, the Core M is excellent performer considering its 4.5W TDP envelope and this is the first time that Intel has made such as energy efficient Core processor. There will be some machines based on Core M vPro for business users and they should be available right now, depending on the market.
It almost feels like Intel launched Broadwell 14nm products just to please investors, as we don’t see too many people spending $999 or more on an ultra-thin notebook. It is reminiscent of the Ultrabook push, at least for now. Intel claims that there are 70 hybrids and two-in-one designs on the market right now. We will have to look into this number as it looks quite optimistic to us. We have to trust what Intel’s SVP Kirk Skaugen, the leader of the chipmaker’s PC group, is telling investors.
Intel has mentioned the 5th generation Core architecture and future notebooks and 2-in-1 PCs slated to launch next spring. This is a rather wide definition as spring starts in late March and ends in late June, so an educated guess would be mid- to late-Q2 2015, with rollouts at Computex 2015. Intel continues the tradition of launching Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors for customers and two processors for business users, namely Core i5 vPro and Core i7 vPro products. We suspect that Intel will call them Core I 5000 generation.
It looks like Braswell, the next generation Atom core, has been delayed. Intel now tells its investors that there will be a Braswell-based core coming branded as Pentium and Celeron in the second half of 2015. On some roadmaps leaked earlier this year Braswell was originally supposed to come in Q4 2014, then it got pushed to Q1 2015 and now probably even further. This means Bay Trail will have to last much longer than intended.
The new Skylake 14nm is going to end up as the sixth generation Core, so we would not be surprised to see them branded as the Core i7 6000 series. We are not sure how will Intel plans to have two generations coexisting in the same market at the same time, but the good news for desktop lovers is that Skylake will come to desktops and bring DDR4 to mainstream users.
AMD will face a lot of competition in 2015, but with the right pricing we believe that there is enough space for AMD-based notebooks and two-in-ones as well as desktops.
The service, which is designed to do what Drive does for Google and what Office 365 does for software rental, has gained mobile apps for the first time as Zocalo appears on the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
Amazon also mentions availability on the Kindle store, but we’re not sure about that bit. We assume it means the Amazon App Store for Fire tablet users.
The AWS blog says that the apps allow the user to “work offline, make comments, and securely share documents while you are in the air or on the go.”
A second announcement brings Zocalo into line with the AWS S3 storage on which it is built. Users will receive an update to their Zocalo sync client which will enable file capacities up to 5TB, the same maximum allowed by the Amazon S3 cloud.
To facilitate this, multi-part uploads will allow users to carry on an upload from where it was after a break, deliberate or accidental.
Zocalo was launched in July as the fight for enterprise storage productivity hots up. The service can be trialled for 30 days free of charge, offering 200GB each for up to 50 users.
Rival services from companies including the aforementioned Microsoft and Google, as well as Dropbox and Box, coupled with aggressive price cuts across the sector, have led to burgeoning wars for the hearts and minds of IT managers as Microsoft’s Office monopoly begins to wane.