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Is AMD Going To Rome

May 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD has presented a long-term 7nm roadmap and the new codenames for the server products have an Italian theme.

The Zen-based server core, the product that will give a birth to the  Epyc line of data center / server products should debut next month with Naples. Naples is the first 32 core with 64 threads to launch, and this is a 14nm FinFET product. It is named after a city of very rude Italians who are sitting on a super volcano which will eventually explode and take most of southern Europe out with it.

Now Forrest Norrod, a SVP and General Manager of AMD’s enterprise, embedded and semi custom business group, has shared what will come after Zen and it appears the product names are keepting to the Italian theme.

The next in line is based on 7nm and is what the company internally calls Zen 2. Making the transistors smaller will let it put more transistors per square meter and give it a much better efficiency. In servers, it is all about the efficiency per square millimeter, or performance per watt metric.

The Zen 2 data center is codenamed Rome which is named after a city which worshipped a fire goddess and nicked most of its technology from the rest of Europe. Rome also invented exploding public toilets and Catholicism. 

GlobalFoundries said that 7nm risk production can start early next year, so we can expect to see the Zen 2 core at the end of 2018 at the earliest.

The Zen 3 based core is likely based on a 7nm+  process, whatever that might become. AMD’s client and data center group is in sync with its roadmap, at least partially. Both groups are planning to have Zen 2 and Zen 3 based products after they finally manage to ship Zen this year. AMD is using “Milan” as the codename for its Zen 3 product. It is named after a city which thinks it rules the whole of Italy. People from Milan also believe in putting blue cheese on pizzas, which makes them seen as barbarians by the rest of the country.

According to a Powerpoint deck, Milan is coming in its Blue Vein glory sometime before 2020. These time frames are not set in stone.

Forrest said that  a Zen based Epyc processor should be expected in 30+ 1S and 2S servers during 2017. 5000 Epyc CPUs are seeded with OEMs, end customers and partners and AMD is hoping that they will get to see the beauty of its Epyc platform and make some more designs.

Multiple Hypersacele providers have programs and evaluation for the Epyc processor,  hoping to score a good deal in the latter part of the year and beyond. AMD has confirmed that its Risorgimento should be on schedule to launch in June 2017. 

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Goes AMD GPU Inside

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

We can now confirm the rumors that Intel has given up on Nvidia because it has written a checkto license AMD’s graphics.

It looks like veteran GPU editor Kyle Bennet was right when he first reported the rumor, however wild it sounded. We didn’t contemplate it but wrote about it  several times. Intel needs a GPU licence and the Nvidia – Intel licensing agreement ended on March 17 2017, so Intel doesn’t have a license. It is more likely that Intel has a licencee from AMD but neither company has officially announced it.  

Apple is licensing GPU tech from Imagination Technologies at least for the next eighteen to twenty four months until it gets its own. Samsung, MediaTek use ARM or Imagination Graphics IP but even without these two have good desktop / notebook graphics. Qualcomm acquired a huge set of IP from ATI when it was known as Imagion, and was the foundation for the Adreno today.

Nvidia Intel’s shotgun wedding ends in divorce

If you are in Intel’s shoes,there are two options, Nvidia or AMD. We know that Nvidia sued Intel and forced it into a settlement and now that the shotgun wedding is over, Intel wants out. Nvidia and Intel had many  disagreements over the Nforce chipset and the licensing, that resulted with $1.5 Billion settlement that Intel agreed to pay for five years. It does tend to sour a marriage somewhat if you go to court BEFORE the honeymoon, or indeed the marriage. Or the copulation – oh sorry we didn’t mean to menion sex.

AMD  needs money and licensing is a healthy revenue stream that will keep it going for numerous quarters. The licensing money usually positively affects gross margins, again something that AMD desperately needs to improve.

AMD loves Intel

Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group worked at Apple and worked closely with Intel too. He probably played an important role in these negotiations.

It remains to be seen when it will be formally announced and when it will start affecting AMD’s bottom line. The cooperation and agreement will allow Intel to access AMD’s graphics Intellectual Properties and most things Radeonish.

AMD will  weaken its position to fight Intel on in the integrated solutions, but licensing money should help overcome that issue. Despite that fact that these companies  compete, they are close when it comes to graphics.  

Of course, when we came to know the existence of the deal, we will dig much harder  to get the many more details about potential new products and if the Radeon will get inside of the future Intel CPUs. Intel takes a lot of time to implement a new architecture.

Courtesy-Fud

Does The Intel Core-i7-7700KHave A Heat Issue

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel’s Core i7-7700K has been plagued by some big temperature spikes issue, pushing the CPU dangerously close to 100°C (212°F) mark but Intel says it is a normal behavior of the chip, leaving users furious.

The issue thread on Intel forum, originally reported by The Register, has been opened for some time and after three months since some users reported temperature spikes of up to 90°C (194°F) on their Core i7-7700K, Chipzilla and its rep shrugged off the issue saying it is a normal behavior for the chip while completing a task (like opening a browser or an application or a program). Intel went on saying that in their own internal investigation, the company did not observe temperature variation outside of the expected behavior and recommended specifications.

To be fair, the user that originally reported the issue has de-lidded its own chip and hook it up to a liquid cooling loop but that still does not explain the same temperature issue that some other users have on a stock and untampered chip.

While this issue does not hurt the chip, it forces the fans to spin up and down continuously, which is very annoying and Intel suggests that users set the fan speed control differently.

It sounds like this is “it is a feature and not a bug” explanation from Intel, and hopefully, we will hear a better one soon as this is probably the best selling CPU from Intel so any issues put the company in a bad situation.

Courtesy-Fud

Are New Intel Xeon Processors On The Horizon

May 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel unveiled information regarding a new Xeon processor family, some of which use the Skylake-SP architecture.

Intel will have four levels of Xeon processors that scale with respect to feature support and core counts.

Intel is calling it the Xeon Scalable Family with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum processors. This might be a little confusing because, if you know the code, Xeon model names follow a easy-to-understand format.

For example in the Xeon E5-4640 v4 the “E5” means that it is in the middle of Intel’s current stack in terms of features and capabilities and the “4” signifies use in a 4-socket system. The “v4” represents the architecture. Intel’s name changes mean that the Xeon E5-4640 v4 will be the Xeon Gold 4640.

The new chips support AVX-512 instructions, QuickAssist and Volume Management Device (VMD) technologies that will take advantage of NVMe solid-state drives.

The platform will also support complementary processing engines and IO technologies like Intel FPGAs, Xeon Phi accelerators and Silicon Photonics connectivity.

Intel said the processors will be arriving to market this summer and there isn’t a price list yet.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Samsung Overtake Intel This Year

May 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

The age where Intel is considered the world’s largest chipmaker might be ending.

According to US semiconductor market research firm IC Insights, Samsung is likely to overtake Intel as the world’s largest chip maker later this year.

Bill McClean, president of IC Insights said that “If money market prices continue to hold or increase through the second quarter and the balance of this year, Samsung could charge into the top spot and displace Intel”.

Intel became the world’s largest chipmaker back in 1993 and has held the title ever since. But it dropped the ball when the mobile market exploded in its face.

Intel still dominates the PC market, but Samsung is on hand to provide the DRAM and NAND chips the mobile market wants. What is scary for Intel is that mobile chips are starting to elbow their way into servers, data centres and to a lesser extent the PC.

Courtesy-Fud

Can MediaTek Boost Revenues By 8 Percent In A Crowded Industry?

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

MediaTek expects its second-quarter revenues to see sequential increase to $1.86 billion.

Gross margin for the quarter will be better than the prior quarter’s level thanks to a more favorable product mix.

MediaTek wants to ship more than 110 million SoC chips for smartphones and tablets in the second quarter.

Company vice chairman Ching-jiang Hsieh said at an April 28 investors’ conference that smartphone demand is picking up slowly, but should start to accelerate at the end of the second quarter when inventory in the smartphone industry supply chain drops.

MediaTek’s 10nm Helio X30 chips are already in mass production at TSMC. MediaTek’s 10nm smartphone chips will only be a insignificant portion of company revenues in 2017, when 16nm and 28nm products remain MediaTek’s major smartphone-IC product lines.

MediaTek will use TSMC’s 12nm process technology to build a new SoC solution targeted at mid-range smartphones later in 2017. The company will also move forward rolling out its next-generation product using a more-advanced 7nm process node, Hsieh noted.

Hsieh predicted that smartphone demand worldwide will come to 1.6-1.7 billion units in 2017, which will represent a single-digit increase compared to 2016. For MediaTek, it could be a challenge to post smartphone-chip shipment growth in 2017.

Digitimes claims that MediaTek’s smartphone-chip shipments for the first half of 2017 will reach just over 200 million units, which means the shipments will have to jump over 50 percent in the second half of the year in order to top the early 500 million units shipped in 2016.

Courtesy-Fud

Can AMD’s Radeon RVX Vega Compete With nVidia’s 1080 Ti

May 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

During an AMA session, AMD’s Global Marketing Manager for Desktop Processors, Don Woligrosky, answered plenty of questions and revealed a bit more information about the upcoming Radeon RX Vega graphics card.

In an AMA session at Tom’s Hardware site, Don Woligorsky said that Radeon RX Vega performance looks really nice when compared to the Geforce GTX 1080 Ti and the Titan Xp. This certainly sounds good for AMD as it has been a while since the company had a decent competition in the high-end graphics card market.

Nvidia has recently equipped its Geforce GTX 1080 Ti and GTX 1060 graphics card with faster GDDR5 memory, which has put additional pressure on AMD’s lineup and while AMD rebranded RX 500 series is keeping the company afloat in the mainstream market, the company still needs to bring a high-end graphics card to the market.

On a similar note, AMD pretty much confirmed that RX Vega will be launching in this quarter, which means it has to launch in the next two months.

Courtesy-Fud

Are Motherboard Shipments Decreasing?

May 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

With the global decline in PC shipments finally showing signs of slowing, motherboard vendors are expecting to see a correlated slowing of overall volume in 2017, with some estimates hovering near 10 percent from last year.

Last month, a market research report from Global Information Inc showed the global volume of motherboard shipments in Q4 2016 dropping 5.2 percent from Q3 and 13.6 percent year-over-year. Total shipments for 2016 were estimated to be less than 50 million units, and this was even forecasted at the beginning of the year. As the fourth quarter approached, vendors said that sales of Kaby Lake motherboards were not living up to expectations, while the overall market remained in a state of weaker demand. The report covered vendors including AMD, ECS, Foxconn, Gigabyte, Intel, Jetway, Microstar, Pegatron, QCI, T&I, and Wistron.

Notebooks, exchange rates and component shortages to blame

According to the latest report, three problems are affecting the ability of motherboard vendors to increase sales numbers. First, sources within the motherboard industry have pointed out that notebooks have gradually taken market share from the build-it-yourself PC market, mainly as a result of “better specifications, smaller form factors, and cheaper prices”. Second, the vendors have experienced a large exchange rate hike over the past two years, from 6.2 percent in April 2015 to 6.8 percent in April 2017. Finally, rising component prices and various component shortages have also contributed to difficulties in production operations. So in order to remain profitable, some vendors have focused on reducing shipments and changing their focus to other product segments, including gaming notebooks and mobile devices.

Sources within the industry note that even while Intel’s Kaby Lake processor lineup and Z200 series chipset have not sold as much volume as anticipated, it is possible that the imminent thread of AMD’s Ryzen 5 and 7 lineups has continued to stimulate prices cuts across the board to keep up on platform sales. Many retailers have now begun offering more serious price cuts when bundled with compatible motherboards, and this trend is expected to continue with the release of AMD’s Ryzen 3 and Intel’s Z300 and X299 series chipsets later this year.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel’s Cannon Lake Goes 802.11ac Wi-Fi

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Benchlife has come up with an Intel slide which appears to show he upcoming 300-series chipsets intended for use with the chip giant’s “Cannon Lake” processor family.

One of the most unusual things is that the chips will have support for USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Other than that the 300-series chipsets are a bit of a yawn and look too close to the 200-series offerings. They have connectivity for up to 24 lanes of PCIe 3.0, up to 10 USB 3.0 ports, and six 6Gbps SATA ports.

Benchlife claims that there will be a range of chipsets in the 300-series with Z, Q, H, and B-series models with progressively-reduced capabilities. So don’t expect wi-fi as the chips get cheaper.

Intel’s next Core chips use 14-nm technology, but we already knew that.

The new slide is connected to the desktop chipsets (“-S” platform). Benchlife says the desktop Cannon Lake processors are scheduled for release in Q4 of this year.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Light Induced-RAM Be A Hit?

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

A Vancouver Island chemist has come up a light induced magnetoresistive random-access memory (LI-RAM), uses light instead of electricity to store and process data.

Natia Frank said that if the invention can be commercialised data will be easier to store.

He developed it as part of an international effort to reduce the power consumption and heat produced by modern computer processors.

Frank says the material in LI-RAM has the unusual quality of rapidly changing magnetic properties when hit with green light. According to a media release issued by UVic,

“This means that information can be processed and stored at the single molecule level, allowing for the development of universal memory — a technology that has, until now, been hypothetical.”

LI-RAM does not overheat because light does not produce much and runs much cooler, you can make designs that go much faster.

To make it even more revolutionary, the technology is also a lot greener.

The university estimates information communication technologies now use about 10 per cent of the world’s total electricity; LI-RAM would cut that energy consumption in half.

Frank is working with international electronics manufacturers to optimize and commercialize the technology, and says it could be available on the market in the next decade.

Courtesy-Fud

NAND Prices Appear To Be Sckyrocketing

April 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

NAND flash prices have been inflating excessively lately and Phison Electronics chairman Khein Seng Pua warned that prices are set to go up again in the third quarter as end-market demand surges.
He told Digitimes that while prices might decrease a little in the second quarter, Chipmakers’ ongoing transition from 2D to 3D NAND memory has led to tight supply and inflated the chip prices.

System OEMs are reluctant to deliver their products as the more they sell the more they lose due to soaring NAND flash costs, Pua warned.

Meanwhile, chipmakers’ supply to channel distributors has been falling short of demand prompting the distributors to promote lower-capacity storage devices.

“Channel distributors particularly those in China have turned to promote 96GB SSDs instead of 128GB ones due to insufficient chip supply,” Pua said.

Distributors have even experienced tight supply of 8GB and 4GB eMMC devices.

Pua believes NAND flash prices will soon see correction following excessive gains but Apple’s new iPhone will take a lot of NAND flash from the market and push prices up again.

Chipmakers’ transition to 3D NAND memory will become smooth in general between May and June, which will help ease the supply shortages, Pua indicated.
The industry’s output of 64-layer 3D NAND will account for more than half of the total output in the fourth quarter of 2017 Pua said.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Intel’s Skylake X and X299 Appear In Q2?

April 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

According to the latest set of rumors, Intel might be scrambling to launch its X299 platform with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPU and these could come in late June/beginning of July.

Originally scheduled to launch sometime in Q3 2017, with August as the most obvious target, it appears that Intel has pushed the launch for its new HEDT (High-end Desktop) X299 platform date forward to the 25th and 27th week of this year, which puts it somewhere in the end of June, beginning of July, timeframe. 

As detailed earlier, Intel Skylake-X lineup will include six- and ten-core CPUs, have support for quad-channel DDR4-2667 memory and should be the core of Intel’s HEDT X299 LGA2066 platform.

The Kaby Lake-X lineup will only include quad-core SKUs, have a TDP of 112W and lack the integrated GPU, but also come dual-channel DDR4-2667 memory support and 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, down from up to 44 PCIe 3.0 lanes with the Skylake-X SKUs.

If the rumor, coming from Benchlife.info, proves out to be true, we should hear and see more about Intel’s new X299 HEDT platform at the Computex 2017 show, kicking off on May 30th in Taipei.

Courtesy-Fud

Can AMD Go Wireless In The Virtual reality Space?

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

You might seen we’ve writing about millimeter waves several times. and we usually attributed this term to 5G. AMD has just acquired Nitero, a millimeter wave company that wants to use this technology to cut the cord on your VR and AR headset. 

AMD has figured out that cables are a very limiting factor in a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. This is not a big secret as even if you only had a few minutes to play with one, you quickly realize that making things wireless is more comfortable.

The acquisition provides AMD with a broader portfolio of IP capable of enabling VR headset and solution providers with key technology required to create more immersive computing experiences.

Mark Papermaster, AMD chief technology officer and senior vice president said:

“Unwieldly headset cables remain a significant barrier to drive widespread adoption of VR. Our newly acquired wireless VR technology is focused on solving this challenge, and is another example of AMD making long-term technology investments to develop high-performance computing and graphics technologies that can create more immersive computing experiences.”

Nitero has designed a phased-array beamforming millimeter wave chip to address the challenges facing wireless VR and AR. This is the same frequency that Intel and Qualcomm will use for Wi-Gig. This enables very fast speeds within a room, but due to its high frequency the signal won’t really penetrate any walls.

This is not that important for the VR and AR markets as we don’t see a case where you need to leave an office or a room with the VR / AR headset on.

The 60GHz technology has the potential to enable multi-gigabit transmit performance with low latency in room-scale VR environments. It will rely heavily on the beamforming characteristics to solve the requirement for line-of-sight associated with traditional high-frequency mm-wave systems. The main goal is potentially eliminating wired VR headsets and letting users to become more easily immersed in virtual and augmented worlds.

Nitero co-founder and CEO Pat Kelly said:

“Our world class engineering team has been focused on solving the difficult problem of building wireless VR technologies that can be integrated into next-generation headsets. We are excited to play a role in furthering AMD’s long-term technology vision.”

Pat joined AMD as corporate vice president, Wireless IP highlighting the importance of the whole acquisition and the whole technology potential. Fudzilla calls this a step in the right direction. 

Courtesy-Fud

Is Intel Shrinking?

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Despite promises that Intel made to Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump that it was building new factories in the Land of the Fee, it seems that Intel is still downsizing its US workforce.

The number of full-time workers directly employed by Intelnear Rio Rancho fell by 37 percent in 2016 – from 1,900 salaried workers in 2015 to 1,200 as of December – according to the company’s latest annual report to the Sandoval County Commission.

Intel spokeswoman Liz Shipley told the Albuquerque Journal in an email that its head count is down from what it reported last spring in its 2015 report.

This is the sharpest annual decrease to date in direct, full-time employment at the plant since the company began laying off workers and reducing its head count through attrition in 2013. In that year, the Sandoval County plant employed 3,300 people, meaning its salaried workforce has fallen by nearly two thirds over the last four years.

The company still employs about 1,000 contract workers, about half of whom are generally on site daily to work on specific projects, Shipley said. But it’s not clear how many of those are full or part-time workers.

Intel announced in April 2016 that it planned to lay off about 12,000 people worldwide, or about 11 percent of its global workforce. That restructuring affected the Sandoval County site, according to the Intel report.

Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block, who represents Corrales and Rio Rancho, said:  “It’s hard for people here to find high-paying jobs like those at Intel. That’s why this plant is so critical to our community.”

The plant still makes 32-nanometer chips, while Intel’s newer plants are producing 22- and 14-nanometer chips. It was apparently creating newer plants that Intel promised Trump that it would create.So on one hand it is creating jobs in one part of the country and in the other gutting them.

The company is now preparing to produce next-generation 10-nanometer chips, putting the Sandoval County plant far behind the curve. Intel has not given the plant any major upgrades since 2009, when the plant went from 45- to 32-nanometer technology.

Courtesy-Fud

AMD Goes Custom Power With Ryzen

April 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

AMD has released a new custom “balanced” power plan for those using Ryzen CPU on Windows 10 OS.

Until today, AMD Ryzen CPU users were limited to using the “high performance” plan in Windows 10 OS, at least if they want to get most performance out of their Ryzen CPU. Now, AMD has released a new tweaked “balanced” power plan that should provide a compromise between performance and power efficiency which “automatically balances performance with energy consumption on capable hardware”.

According to the explanation posted by AMD’s Robert Hallock, the new power plan reduces the times and thresholds for P-state transition in order to improve clockspeed ramping as well as disables core parking for “more wakeful cores”.

These tweaks are apparently enough for the new plan to provide similar performance to the Microsoft’s “high performance” power plan setting, at least according to AMD’s own slides. As far as power is concerned, the new balanced power plan does not change how the processor handles low-power idle states, so basically, you’ll get additional performance without compromising the power efficiency.

The new balanced plan is quite simple to install and you can find both the download link as well as check out further explanation over at AMD’s community blog. AMD will also include the final power plan with next AMD chipset drivers for Ryzen CPUs.

Courtesy-Fud

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