Red Hat’s community arm, has announced the arrival of Fedora 22, the latest version of its open source Linux OS.
Coming in three editions, Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation, the release, which first appeared in beta a month ago, marks the first biannual release since the major upgrade work that proceeded Fedora 21.
As well as the cross-edition basics of the kernel, RPM, systems and Anaconda, there is an updated package manager, with speedier results for DNF and continued command line compatibility with Yum.
The Cloud edition adds Atomic Command, a centralized hub for containers and hosts, with rp-ostree, Cockpit, Docker and Kubernetes all getting the upgrade treatment.
There are also Vagrant boxes for the Cloud edition and Atomic host, making it easier to spin up Fedora Vagrant boxes for development and testing.
The server edition, with its Rolekit Linux daemon, adds support for Database Server Role based on PostgreSQL. The system now defaults to the more efficient XFS file system which means fewer crashes and better recovery without downtime.
The Workstation version has an enhanced UI, with better bug notification, and desktop theming for Gnome. There’s an improved software finder, and enhancements to the remote machine and visualization apps. Plus there’s Vagrant compatibility with no extra runtimes of software needed.
Matthew Miller, Fedora Project leader, commented: “Fedora 22 continues the great groundwork laid by Fedora 21 and the Fedora.next initiative, delivering three unique editions of Fedora 22 while retaining the commitment to open source innovation for which Fedora is known.
“From the usability and developer enhancements in Fedora 22 Workstation to the expansion of Linux container and Docker support within Fedora 22 Cloud, Fedora remains a leader within the Linux vanguard, answering user needs above and beyond the desktop.”
The Helio X20 is expected to make its way into devices in early 2016, and will “revolutionise” mobile processors, according to MediaTek.
This is down to its ability to reduce power consumption significantly by altering the number of cores working at any one time depending on the power needed to complete tasks.
MediaTek said that this has been made possible by the firm’s new Tri-Cluster CPU architecture that has three processor clusters each designed to handle different types of workloads more efficiently.
“If a user needs heavy performance, [the Helio X20] will invoke 2, 4, 8 cores, intelligently looking at the workload to decide how many it needs,” said MediaTek’s senior director of corporate sales for EMEA, Chet Babla, in a briefing with The INQUIRER.
“There will be a dramatic drop in power consumption compared to big.LITTLE architecture because of this.”
The Tri-Cluster CPU consists of one cluster of two ARM Cortex-A72 cores running at 2.5GHz for high performance, and two clusters of four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, one running at 2GHz for medium loads and one running at 1.4GHz for light activities.
MediaTek has also integrated a CorePilot 3.0 heterogeneous computing scheduling algorithm which controls which threads are allocated to the cores.
CorePilot 3.0 schedules the tasks for all CPUs and GPUs while managing power and thermal effects so that extreme performance can be attained while creating less heat.
This is said to reduce power consumption by 30 percent compared with conventional dual-cluster architectures on top of the increase in energy efficiency thanks to Helio X20′s supported ARM Mali-T880 GPU.
“With the integration of MediaTek’s WorldMode Category 6 LTE modem with carrier aggregation and upgraded CorePilot 3.0 advanced scheduling algorithm, the Helio X20 is set to revolutionise the mobile processor industry and address the global demand for flagship mobile devices,” MediaTek said.
The Helio X20 also has several features designed to increase device display performance and multimedia experiences.
These include support for dual main cameras with a built-in 3D depth engine for a faster shot-to-shot experience, multi-scale de-noise engines for higher quality images, a 120Hz mobile display refresh rate for crisper and more responsive browsing, and an integrated ARM Cortex-M4 low power sensor processor to support always-on applications such as MP3 playback and voice activation.
TSMC looks certain to keep its foot firmly on the throat of 28nm chip production, according to a new study.
Digitimes said that it looks like competition from Samsung Electronics, Globalfoundries, UMC and SMIC will not be enough to upset TSMC’s rule.
TSMC started its commercial 28nm process five years ago and now accounts for over 75 per cent of the global 28nm foundry market. In addition, the 28nm products also contributed 30 per cent to TSMC’s total revenues in 2014.
Initially 28nm capacity was triggered by rising demand for application processors for smartphones and tablets. TSMC had clients including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Apple and Nvidia.
Vlients from the mobile device sector will continue to fill TSMC with 28nm orders in 2015, but the SSD market is expected this year is likely to give another wave of demand for 28nm.
Controller chips for SSDs are to officially migrate into the 28nm process in 2015, and TSMC has an advantage to solicit more orders from SSD vendors.
TSMC has reportedly snapped up SSD controller chips orders from Marvell Technology, Phison Electronics and more recently from Apple. Thus, TSMC will see its share in the 28nm process market remain high and contribution of the 28nm products to its sales further increase in 2015.
GPU maker Nvidia is seeing trouble ahead, thanks to a slump in PC sales and a strong US dollar.
The company’s astrologers and tarot card readers have Nvidia predicted lower-than-expected revenue for the second quarter either that or someone is going to meet a tall dark stranger.
Nvidia also reported first-quarter revenue and profit below what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street estimated.
Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said that there had been a fall in demand from OEMs and PC market which is softer than an Apple fanboy’s bottom.
Worldwide PC shipments fell about 6.7 percent to 68.5 million units in the first quarter, and are expected drop 4.9 percent during the year.
Rival chipmaker AMD reported a steep fall in first-quarter sales last month and said it expected weak demand for PCs to continue for some time.
Nvidia was also hurt by the strong dollar, which has risen about 9 percent. The outfit does a lot of its business in US dollars which has made its GPU gaming more expensive.
The outfit forecast second-quarter revenue of $1.01 billion, plus or minus two percent, below the average analyst estimate of $1.18 billion.
The company’s net income fell to $134 million in the first quarter ended April 26.
Revenue rose 4.4 percent to $1.15 billion, but missed the average estimate of $1.16 billion.
A new Intel roadmap suggests the first Broadwell LGA parts will launch in Q2, while Skylake-S parts will come in Q3.
The roadmap was published by PC Online and points to two Broadwell LGA launches this quarter – the Core i7-5775C and Core i5-5675C. These two parts will be joined by a total of four Skylake-S products in Q3, the Core i7-6700K, Core i7-6700, Core i5-6600K, Core i5-6600 and the Core i5-6500.
Both Skylake-S and Broadwell LGA will replace the current crop of Haswell parts, including Devil’s Canyon products. However, Broadwell LGA sits one tier above Skylake-S and Haswell-based products.
Starting in Q4, we should see more Broadwell LGA parts, but we don’t have any names yet. In the first quarter of 2016, we can also expect new Skylake-S parts.
Speaking of 2016, Intel plans to unleash the Broadwell-E in the first quarter of 2016. Little is known about Broadwell-E, but the new 14nm flagship is expected to sport eight cores. Clocks remain unknown, although the 14nm node promises substantial gains.
MediaTek has established itself as the world’s second-largest maker of Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled cellular baseband processors in 2014.
Beancounters at market research firm Strategy Analytics have added up the numbers and divided by their shoe size and worked out that the industry has a new number two.
While everyone knows that Qualcomm, has near total dominance of the high-growth LTE baseband segment in the past and had a 95 per cent share in 2013 a battle has been going on behind the scenes.
Other LTE baseband suppliers had too little of a share to be ranked behind Qualcomm, MediaTek had enough of an impact in the market in 2014 to get a second-place ranking from Strategy Analytics.
The research firm predicted that MediaTek will continue to gain shares in the LTE baseband segment thanks to increased traction in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market.
“Growing revenue contributions from LTE basebands will lift MediaTek’s baseband revenue share over the next few quarters,” said Christopher Taylor, director of the Strategy Analytics RF and wireless component service.
In 2014 revenue from LTE baseband sales overtook revenue from 3G baseband sales for the first time, thanks to a strong push from the industry, the research firm said.
The global market for cellular baseband processors, which are used in mobile devices to process wireless communication, grew an impressive 14.1 per cent year-over-year to reach $22 billion in 2014.
Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Marvell and Intel grabbed the top-five cellular baseband revenue share spots in 2014, the research company said.
Qualcomm had a 66 per cent revenue share of the cellular baseband processor market, followed by MediaTek with a 17 per cent share and Spreadtrum with a 5 per cent share, according to Strategy Analytics.
It looks like there will be plenty of Skylake products and Skylake-S will be the true successor of Haswell / Haswell refresh processors.
There will be some Broadwell-based desktop processors, but the real successor of Intel’s Core i7 4790K is going to end up with the Core i7 6700K brand name. The Core i7 6700K is clocked at 4.0GHz and with Turbo Boost it can reach 4.2GHz. It has 8MB cache, four cores and eight threads. The interesting part is support for DDR4 2133MHz or DDR3L 1600M. This should bring more bandwidth to the platform.
The runner up is another K unlocked CPU. Just like Core i7 6700K, the Core i5 6600K uses Socket 1151, and has a 95W TDP. It works at 3.5GHz and with Turbo it can reach 3.9GHz. The chip has 6MB cache and four cores and four thread support.
Another Core i7 6700 works at 3.4 GHz and can reach 4.0GHz with Turbo, but it is not an unlocked part. The reach catch is that this CPU is a 65W design and has the whole four physical cores and eight threads. Runner ups in the 65W thermal envelope are the slower clocked Core i5 6600, 6500 and 6400, all with 6MB , four cores four threads. They all have four cores and four threads and 6MB cache.
Another group of Skylake processors is limited to 35W TDP and the fastest member of this particular series, the Core i7 6700T, has four cores and eight treads, again with 8MB cache. It works at 2.8GHz, but with Turbo it can reach 3.6GHz.
Intel also plans Core i5 6600T at 2.7 / 3.5 Turbo, Core i5 6500T with 2.7/ 3.5GHz Turbo, Core i6400T with 2.2GHz and 2.8GHz Turbo. All 35W Core i5 Skylake-S processors share the four-core and four-thread architecture as well as 6MB cache, DDR4 2133 MHz or DDR3L 1600MHz bus.
As we have mentioned a while ago, they will all come with a new graphics core and they will come close to Broadwell-R processors powered with the Iris pro graphics.
While everyone is rushing to 10nm process technology for smartphones, fabless chipmaker MediaTek is about to create a 10 core SoC using TSMC’s 20nm process tech.
According to Digitimes the outfit is about to enter volume production of its 10-core SoC series for smartphones in the third quarter of 2015.
Dubbed Helios X20, the SoC will be targeted at Chinese based smartphone makers who want to upgrade their flagship devices.
Marketing will begin in the middle of the second quarter. When it gets into the shops it will be the world’s first 10-core chip.
The Helios X20 uses a 2+4+4 design, delivering 40 per cent more performance than eight-core chips. While this will give a lot of power to a smartphone, it is not clear what it will do for battery life or the size of the beast.
Still it is nice to see that someone has found a new way of getting more life out of the 20 nm process and do something good with it.
Chip designer ARM reported a 36 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit amid strong demand for its technology.
The British company said that expects 2015 revenue to meet the expectations of the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street.
ARM recorded net profit of $126.7 million for the three months to March 31 and revenue rose 22 percent.
Shares in ARM, which makes money by licensing its designs to chip makers, then collecting royalty revenue when the chips ship, were up by more than 5 per cent on the back of the news.
Processor-royalty revenue in dollar terms, a much-watched figure, rose 31 per cent on the year, the company said, adding that it has signed 30 processor licenses for a broad range of applications.
ARM CEO Simon Segars said: As the world becomes more digital and more connected, we continue to see an increase in the demand for ARM’s smart and energy-efficient technology, which is driving both our licensing and royalty revenues.@
Processor-licensing revenue was down 2 per cent in the quarter, which was in line with expectations following strong growth previously. Chief Financial Officer Tim Score told journalists he expects it to grow in future quarters.
Aside from smartphones and tablets, ARM said it is also seeing demand for its processors to be used for servers and networking and for the “Internet of Things”, a term used for the growing tendency for more items to be wirelessly connected.
ARM expects to benefit from the growth of the Internet of Things in areas such as health and in cars, Score said.
We recently showed you a new 16 Zen core next generation processor with Greenland integrated graphics and DDR4 support.
This part definitely sounds interesting but we got an update on the 2016 Opteron server market parts. The next generation Opteron won’t have an integrated graphics part but it will have up to 32 Zen x86 cores with 64-thread support. Unlike the highest end compute HSA part that comes with Greenland HBM graphics, the next generation Opteron doesn’t have any integrated graphics. The Opteron needs all the silicon space for the L2, L3 cache as well as its Zen x86 cores.
Just like the 16 Zen core high performance market APU, each core has 512KB of L2 cache and four processors share 8MB L3 cache. The highest end part will come with eight clusters of 4 cores and if you do the math this server oriented CPU will come with 64GB of L2 cache and 16MB of L2 cache for its CPU cores.
A few other notable features for the next generation server parts include a new platform security processor that enables secure boot and crypto coprocessor. The next generation Opteron has eight DDR4 memory channels capable of handling 256GB per channel. The chipset supports PCIe Gen 3 SATA, 4x10GbE Gig Ethernet and Sever controller HUB. Of course, there will be a SMP, dual socket version.
The next generation Opteron will have 32 CPU cores in its highest end iteration, and we expect some Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) with fewer cores than that for inexpensive solutions.
In case AMD comes to market with this part on schedule, and if the Zen core ends up performing as expected, Intel might finally get some competition. Let’s just hope for AMD’s sake that this server CPU is coming in 2016, sooner rather than later.
We can only on possible Zen-based FX parts for high-end desktops, or the manufacturing process for Zen chips, but at this point we cannot confirm FX parts are coming, and whether or not they will be manufactured in 14nm.
MediaTek is working on two new tablet SoCs and one of them is rumored to be a $5 design.
The MT8735 looks like a tablet version of Mediatek’s smartphone SoCs based on ARM’s Cortex-A53 core. The chip can also handle LTE (FDD and TDD), along with 3G and dual-band WiFi. This means it should end up in affordable data-enabled tablets. There’s no word on the clocks or GPU.
The MT8163 is supposed to be the company’s entry-level tablet part. Priced at around $5, the chip does not appear to feature a modem – it only has WiFi and Bluetooth on board. GPS is still there, but that’s about it.
Once again, details are sketchy so we don’t know much about performance. However, this is an entry-level part, so we don’t expect miracles. It will have to slug it out with Alwinner’s $5 tablet SoC, which was announced a couple of months ago
According to a slide published by Mobile Dad, the MT8753 will be available later this month, but we have no timeframe for the MT8163.
But there’s nothing to see here as far as Torvalds is concerned. It’s just another day in the office. And all this in “Back To The Future II” year, as well.
Meanwhile under the bonnet, the community are already slaving away on Linux 4.1 which is expected to be a far more extensive release, with 100 code changes already committed within hours of Torvalds announcement of 4.0.
But there is already some discord in the ranks, with concerns that some of the changes to 4.1 will be damaging to the x86 compatibility of the kernel. But let’s let them sort that out amongst themselves.
After all, an anti-troll dispute resolution code was recently added to the Linux kernel in an effort to stop some of the more outspoken trolling that takes place, not least from Torvalds himself, according to some members of the community.
Moore’s Law will be more relevant in the 20 years to come than it was in the past 50 as the Internet of Things (IoT) creeps into our lives, Intel has predicted.
The chip maker is marking the upcoming 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law on 19 April by asserting that the best is yet to come, and that the law will become more relevant in the next two decades as everyday objects become smaller, smarter and connected.
Moore’s Law has long been touted as responsible for most of the advances in the digital age, from personal computers to supercomputers, despite Intel admitting in the past that it wasn’t enough.
Named after Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor, Moore’s Law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit will double approximately every two years.
Moore wrote a paper in 1965 describing a doubling every year in the number of components per integrated circuit. He revised the forecast in 1975, doubling the time to two years, and his prediction has proved accurate.
The law now is used in the semiconductor industry to guide long-term planning and to set targets for research and development.
Many digital electronic devices and manufacturing developments are strongly linked to Moore’s Law, whether it’s microprocessor prices, memory capacity or sensors, all improving at roughly the same rate.
More recently, Intel announced the development of 3D NAND memory, which the company said was guided by Moore’s Law.
Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr said on a recent press call that, while Moore’s Law has been going strong for 50 years, he doesn’t see it slowing down, adding that Moore himself didn’t realise it would hold true for 50 years. Rivals such as AMD have also had their doubts.
“[Moore] thought it would push electronics into new spaces but didn’t realise how profound this would be, for example, the coming of the internet,” said Bohr.
“If you’re 20-something [the law] might seem somewhat remote and irrelevant to you, but it will be more relevant in the next 20 years than it was in the past 50, and may even dwarf this importance.
“We can see about 10 years ahead, so our research group has identified some promising options [for 7nm and 5nm] not yet fully developed, but we think we can continue Moore’s Law for at least another 10 years.”
Intel believes that upcoming tech will be so commonplace that it won’t even be a ‘thing’ anymore. It will “disappear” into all the places we inhabit and into clothing, into ingestible devices that improve our health, for example, and “it will just become part of our surroundings” without us even noticing it.
“We are moving to the last squares in the chess board, shrinking tech and making it more power efficient meaning it can go into everything around us,” said Bohr.
The Intel fellow describes the law as a positive move forward, but he also believes that we need to have a hard think about where we want to place it once products become smart as they can become targets for digital attacks.
“Once you put intelligence in every object round you, the digital becomes physical. [For example] if your toaster becomes connected and gets a virus it’s an issue, but not so important as if your car does,” he said.
“We have to think how we secure these endpoints and make sure security and privacy are considered upfront and built into everything we deploy.”
Bohr explained that continuing Moore’s Law isn’t just a matter of making chips smaller, as the technology industry has continually to innovate device structures to ensure that it continues.
“Moore’s Law is exponential and you haven’t seen anything yet. The best is yet to come. I’m glad to hand off to the next generation entering the workforce; to create new exciting experiences, products and services to affect the lives of billions of people on the planet,” added Bohr.
“Moore’s Law is the North Star guiding Intel. It is the driving force for the people working at Intel to continue the path of Gordon’s vision, and will help enable emerging generations of inventors, entrepreneurs and leaders to re-imagine the future.”
Intel has been publishing more information about its Knight’s Landing Xeon Phi (co)processors.
Intel has given WCCF Tech an Intel produced PDF which was released to provide supplementary info for the 2015 Intel Developer Forum (IDF).
The document outlines some spectacularly beefy processors Intel is going to produce as part of its professional Xeon Phi range.
The document, which is short on car chases and scantily clad women tells the story of a 72 Silvermont core Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor.
The coprocessor supports 6 channels of DDR4 2400 up to 384GB and can have up to 16GB of HBM on board. It supports 36 PCIe Gen 3 lanes. Intel’s testing put the Knights Landing processors and coprocessors are up to three times faster in single threaded performance and up to three times more power efficient.
Knights Landing chips are supposed to be the future of Intel’s enterprise architecture for high performance parallel computing. Much of its success will depend properly written software.
Intel thinks that its Xeon Phi coprocessors can compete against the GPU-based parallel processing solutions from the likes of Nvidia and AMD.
A rumor fresh out of Korea suggests Nvidia might be tapping Samsung as a GPU foundry, but there is a catch.
The news comes from Korea Times, which quoted a source familiar with the matter. The source told the paper that the deal involved Nvidia GPUs, but it was a small contract.
GPUs on 14nm? Something doesn’t add up
If you are sceptical, don’t worry – so are we. While Nvidia is expected to use Samsung for its upcoming Tegra SoCs, this is the first time we heard it could also try using Samsung’s and Globalfoundries’ FinFET nodes for GPUs.
This would obviously place Nvidia in an awkward situation, as it would basically be using an AMD spinoff to build its chips.
There is another problem with the report. The source claims the deal is valued at “a few million dollars”, which would be barely enough to cover the cost of a single tape-out. In fact, it might not be enough at all. The cost of taping out FinFET chips is relatively high, as these are cutting edge nodes.
Tegras or GPUs?
We doubt Nvidia will ditch TSMC for Samsung, at least as far as GPUs are concerned.
The most logical explanation would be that Nvidia has inked a deal with Samsung to tape-out Tegra chips rather than GPUs. The source may have simply mixed them up, that would explain everything.
Still, there is always a chance Nvidia is looking at alternative nodes for its GPUs, but we just don’t see it happening, at least not yet.
Intel unveiled the Atom x3 chip ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress, and revealed a version of the processor designed specifically for IoT devices at its Developer Forum event in Shenzen, China this week alongside a smartphone version that will start shipping later this year.
The Atom x3 IoT processor comes with 3G and LTE connectivity, and an extended temperature range for extreme weather conditions making it suitable for devices such as outdoor weather sensors.
Intel’s Atom x3 IoT chip will be made available to developers in the second half of the year, suggesting that devices are not likely to arrive until 2016, and will arrive with support for Android and Linux.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said: “Intel remains focused on delivering leadership products and technologies in traditional areas of computing, while also investing in new areas and entrepreneurs – students, makers and developers – to find and fuel future generations of innovation with China.”
That isn’t all Intel has planned for IoT, as the firm recently announced plans to bring payment services to connected devices.
The firm has partnered with Ingenico to include mobile payment capabilities in a wide array of connected devices for the IoT, including intelligent vending machines, kiosks and digital signs.
Intel is clearly going big on the IoT, but a roundtable The INQUIRER held with the firm last year highlighted the complications that businesses could face when entering the market.
Martin King, head of IT services at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, said that, first of all, the perception that the IoT is all ‘hype’ needs to be overcome.
“I imagine that, while it could be hype, it’s up to the industry to make it happen,” he said.
“There’s a massive market opportunity there, and I believe the industry will be keen to make it happen and we probably won’t really notice it until it’s actually happening.”
Dr Will Venters, an assistant professor in information systems at the London School of Economics, argued that security concerns will be the IoT’s biggest problem.
“The security argument is always put forward, but there’s a value argument that goes alongside that: maybe you want data in your sensors, but you don’t want the risk of the data on the sensor.”