Samsung Electronics is introducing a third 14-nano FinFET system semiconductor process that has lower electricity consumption and production cost than previous cost.
According to the Electronic Times, Samsung said that it will soon be completing development of Low-Power Compact (LPC) 14-nano FinFET process. Strategic partners of Samsung’s foundry business are predicting that this process will be used in anger by the end of the year.
All this is moving fast Samsung mass-produced Low Power Early (LPE) Chips, which are 1st generation chips just last year. It has just mass-produced second 2nd generation 14-nano LPP66 (Low Power Plus) chips that have 15 per cent lesser electricity consumption compared to LPE chips.
The Exynos 8 Octa Series and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 443 820 which is under the bonnet of the Galaxy S7 are mass-produced through 14-nano LPP process.
Samsung’s third generation process reduces the number of masks that are used for wafer manufacturing process. It is expected that 14 nano will be around for as long as 28 nano was.
Even when 10-nano and 7-nano processes are developed, there will be many fabless manufacturing companies will still use cost-efficient 14-nano process.
Qualcomm, Samsung and Mediatek recently introduced new 14 and 16-nano AP products that are inexpensive. They will be used for Snapdragon 443 625, Exynos 7870, and Helio P20, and this indicates that a number of chips produced by 14-nano process will increase.
Samsung’s 14-nano LPC process, will start a war with Taiwan’s TSMC in a battle to secure customers. TSMC has three types of 16-nano FinFET processes. It’s first 16-nano FinFET process arrived at the end of 2014.
Lenovo owned Motorola has been slapped with a $5m class action lawsuit over allegations of shoddy customer service and not honoring warranty policies.
News of the lawsuit comes via Trusted Reviews, which learned this week that the complaint was filed against Motorola on 21 April in Illinois, accusing the company of “unfair, unscrupulous, immoral and oppressive” business practices.
The lawsuit’s main plaintiff, Douglas Lynch, decided to take legal action after a long-drawn out battle over a Moto 360 repair. He contacted Motorola for a replacement after the backplate of his smartwatch cracked, and was informed that a replacement would take four days to reach him.
The replacement failed to arrive, and Lynch was eventually sent a Moto 360 two months later that was a cheaper model than the one he had purchased.
Lynch isn’t alone in having a bad experience with Motorola. Girard Gibbs LLP, one of the law firms handling the case, told Trusted Reviews that Motorola owes “thousands of people” compensation.
This is evident on Reddit, where pissed off Motorola customers have flocked to tell similar stories.
One Redditor said: ”I have had some of the worst support from them on my Moto G 3rd gen I bought last year.
“I tried to buy an extended warranty plan they supposedly offered, but their website was so jankedy that even after a few escalations over a FEW MONTHS to various higher ups in their support department with no resolution to the problem I finally just gave up and decided to never buy a Motorola phone again.”
Another added: “Wish someone would do the same in the UK as they wouldn’t replace my 6 month old 360 and I ended up having to pay about £120 to get it fixed when it was a hardware problem.”
Esfand Nafisi, an attorney at Girard Gibbs LLP, explained that the actual compensation owed is “likely higher” than the $5m referred to in the original filing, adding: “We want these issues to be resolved for all consumers.”
Motorola said in a statement: “Motorola has a long history of providing exceptional products and services to its customers. We are aware of the lawsuit, and are investigating the claims, which we believe to be without merit.”
According to the latest report, Nvidia plans to launch next-generation mainstream segment graphics cards, based on GP106 GPU, in Autumn, or late Q3/early Q4 2016.
According to a report coming from Sweclockers.com, Nvidia’s mainstream graphics cards, which will be based on a GP106 Pascal GPU, should be coming in Autumn, and be ready for sales by the time for a Christmas shopping season.
Meant to replace the currently available Maxwell-based GTX 960 and GTX 950 graphics cards, the upcoming mainstream Geforce graphics cards, most likely named as the GTX 1060 and GTX 1050, could end up with two enabled graphics processing clusters (GPCs), which means that SKUs could end with up to 1280 CUDA cores.
While the upcoming GP104-based graphics cards should cover the higher-end consumer market, the mid-range market is mostly the cash-cow for companies so having that segment on store shelves before Christmas shopping season is quite important.
Our sources are confident that AMD is about to announce a joint venture deal with China-based Sugon company.
Sugon might not be a name you’ve heard much about, but the company has now made a direct deal to manufacture server-based hardware for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In their own words:
“Sugon Information Industry Co., Ltd. (Sugon for short) is a national high-tech enterprise established on the basis of the major scientific research achievements of the National High Technology Research and Development Program (the 863 Program) with the vigorous promotion by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.”
The company specializes in R&D and manufacturing of high-performance computers (HPCs), enterprise servers and datacenter products, and they also do some software design and system integration as well. Between 2009 and 2014, they were on China’s TOP 100 supercomputer list consecutively by market share.
Sugon made news recently with its Nebula high-performance computer that managed to get ranked second place in the 35th Global Supercomputer TOP 500 Competition. The supercomputer they built topped a 3 petaflops per second system peak and a 1.271 petaflops times per second measured Linpack speed. These numbers easily made it the third supercomputer in the world with performance measuring over a petaflop (PF).
AMD is about to announce a joint venture with this company, and if the deal includes any cooperation with future next-generation products such as AMD’s Zen x86 high-end CPU, then the Silicon Valley company might be on the right track here. The performance of AMD’s server-based Zen products plus the potential use of Tarnhelm Zen meets AMD’s Greenland APU server product, which sounds like a great idea. Fudzilla has mentioned the existence of up to a 16-core Zen APU with Greenland HMB 2.0 GPU, DDR4 support and a super fast interconnect with coherent fabric more than a year ago.
According to an interview from Inside HPC with Dr. Qing Ji, Deputy General Manager of the HPC Division at Sugon, the overseas company plans to expand to the western market. Is this a Coincidence?
On Thursday Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announced an 18 percent quarterly revenue decline for Q1 2016 from the same timeframe a year ago in Q1 2015. The chip manufacturing giant also announced Q1 2016 net profit of $2 billion USD ($64.78 billion TWD), representing an 8.3 percent quarterly profit decline from the same timeframe a year ago in Q1 2015.
For TSMC, Q1 2016 was marked by a reduction of demand for high-end smartphones, while smartphone demand in China and emerging markets had upward momentum. Beginning Q2 2016 and onward, the company expect to get back onto a growth trajectory and is projected to hit a 5 to 10 percent growth rate in 2016.
“Our 10-nanometer technology development is on track,” said company president and co-CEO Mark Liu during the company’s Q4 2015 earnings call. “We are currently in intensive yield learning mode in our technology development. Our 256-megabit SRAM is yielding well. We expect to complete process and product qualification and begin customer product tape-outs this quarter.”
“Our 7-nanometer technology development progress is on schedule as well. TSMC’s 7 nanometer technology development leverage our 10-nanometer development very effectively. At the same time, TSMC’s 7-nanometer offers a substantial density improvement, performance improvement and power reduction from 10-nanometer.
These two technologies, 10-nanometer and 7-nanometer, will cover a very wide range of applications, including application processors for smartphone, high-end networking, advanced graphics, field-programmable gate arrays, game consoles, wearables and other consumer products.”
In Q1 2016, TSMC reached a gross margin of 44.9 percent, an operating margin of 34.6 percent and a net profit margin of 31.8 percent respectively. Going forward into Q2 2016, the company is expecting revenue between ~$6.65 billion and ~$6.74 billion USD, gross margins between 49 and 51 percent, and operating profit margins between 38.5 and 40.5 percent, respectively.
Chips used for communications and industrial uses represented over 80 percent of TSMC’s revenue in FY 2015. The company was also able to improve its margins by increasing 16-nanometer production, and like many other semiconductor companies, is preparing for an expected upswing sometime in 2017.
In February, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan where TSMC’s 12-inch Fab 14 is located, a current site of 16-nanometer production. The company expected to have a manufacturing impact above 1 percent in the region with a slight reduction in wafer shipments for the quarter.
“Although the February 6 earthquake caused some delay in wafer shipments in the first quarter, we saw business upside resulting from demand increases in mid- and low-end smartphone segments and customer inventory restocking,” said Lora Ho, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of TSMC.
“We expect our business in the second quarter will benefit from continued inventory restocking and recovery of the delayed shipments from the earthquake.”
In fiscal year 2016, the company will spend between $9 and $10 billion on ramping up the 16-nanometer process node, constructing Fab 15 for 12-inch wafers in Nanjing, China, and beginning commercial production of the 10-nanometer FinFET process at this new facility. Samsung and Intel are also expected to start mass production of 10-nanometer products by the end of 2016.
During its Q4 2015 earnings call, company president and co-CEO Mark Liu stated the company is currently preparing and working on a 7-nanometer process node and plans to begin volume production sometime in 2018. Meanwhile, since January 2015, a separate research and development team at TSMC has been laying the groundwork for a 5-nanometer process which the company expects to bring into commercial production sometime in 1H 2020.
So far in Q1 2016, shipments of 16 and 20-nanometer wafers have accounted for around 23 percent of the company’s total wafer revenues.
The rumor mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn about TSMC ramping up production of Intel’s XMM 7360 LTE modem.
The reason the rumor mill is going mental over this particular yarn is because the modem is expected to be in the black heart of the forthcoming iPhone 7.
Analyst Steve Mullane of BlueFin Research Partners said that TSMC is “planning to double the production starts” of Intel’s XMM 7360 LTE modem in the current quarter. The analyst says that this “correlates with the timing of the Apple A10 processor production ramp in preparation for the iPhone 7 launch in September.
We had been expecting Apple to buy this modem for the iPhone SE as Jobs’ Mob tried to dump Qualcomm’s version. It turned out that the iPhone SE was just the iPhone 5c with a better chip so an improved modem was not needed. There has been a little bit of a panic at Qualcomm which has been running a series of ads in which they claim that their modems are superior to an unnamed “Team Blue’s” modems. It is fairly clear that Qualcomm sees Intel’s new modems as a threat.
The theory is that for phones sold in North America and other regions in which CDMA is popular and wireless specs are important, Apple will use Qualcomm. In regions in which, perhaps, such features are unimportant to potential buyers, the iPhones with Intel inside.
The Tame Apple Press is hinting that all Apple is doing is getting a second source for LTE modems and wants someone like Intel in place if it needs them. The reason it needs to spin this particularly story is because Apple Fanboys like to make much mock about Intel in the mobile area.
Having Intel inside an Apple device is terrible if you know nothing about technology but everything about branding – pretty much every Apple fanboy. They are insisting that the XMM 7360 doesn’t even have the performance/feature set of the Qualcomm modem that Apple is likely to use in the iPhone 7 this year.
The total number of SM cores on the chip has been confirmed by Nvidia senior engineers at the deep dive Tesla P100 GP100 technical session. If there were 60 total SMs (streaming multiprocessor) enabled on the chip, you would end up with 3,840.
There are two possible reasons; first and most likely is that Nvidia did this to increase the yield of the GPU. There might be hard to get all parts of the gigantic chip working and the yield increase when you disable these four SM’s. The other possible reason would be that the parts of these remaining four SM (streaming multiprocessor) cores don’t work, or Nvidia plans to enable with future products or that some consumer products will get all 60 SM models enabled in necessary. This could result in a separate part number after GP100 later down the road.
Nvidia also confirmed that GP100 has the 15.3 billion transistors on a TSMC manufactured 16-nanometer FinFET package with a 300W TDP and 610mm2 die as well as most of the other specs for the HPC products (not to be confused with Geforce Pascal card that will be announced in later date.).
The next installment of first-person shoot-and-crouch game Call of Duty will take place in space, according to reports, and will not be a direct sequel to Ghosts.
Reports from as far and wide as Eurogamer and Shinobi have this as a pretty sure thing, and we do not consider it an unbelievable proposition.
There have been a few Call of Duty games so far and they have all been terrestrial. The canon has strayed into the near future, but has not yet gone the extra mile into the far future.
Going into space opens Call of Duty to aliens and lasers, and could make the game much more like Halo or any other popular punch-space-aliens-in-the-face games.
Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward is mute, and Activision declined to comment when Eurogamer called at its door. The last time we considered Activision was when the firm was expanding his horizons, and its coffers, by acquiring pastel coloured smartphone crack maker King Digital Entertainment, and taking on Candy Crush and mobile gaming to increase its roster.
The internet has taken the space story and run with it. Twitter is the scene of a lot of Buzz Lightyear memes already, while some people just hope that the incoming title has a bit of the charm and playability of earlier titles like Modern Warfare.
Let us all hope that, at the very least, players will not be charged with shooting and securing garish candies in a nightmare pastel world for the sake of the galaxy. Oh, and let’s also hope that Call of Duty retains the dog feature that everyone liked in the last one.
Nvidia officially took the wraps off the behemoth Quadro M6000 24GB, its Maxwell-based flagship workstation Quadro M6000 GPU with double the memory of last year’s 12GB model, and perhaps the last release before its architectural successor, Pascal, is introduced next month at the company’s GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley.
The Quadro M6000 24GB, simply put, is the most powerful professional compute and graphics card available, designed specifically for high-volume datasets above 12GB per GPU. Nvidia claims it is intended for simulation-intense workloads, including in areas of seismic exploration, automotive design, large-scale visual effects and emerging virtual reality applications.
Last April, the company introduced the Quadro M6000 12GB, featuring half the VRAM as its successor, up to 7 teraflops of single-precision performance, and support for up to four 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160p) displays at 60Hz. Keep in mind that Maxwell is quite limited in terms of double-precision (FP64) calculations, as the design team has limited its Maxwell-based Quadro series to just 1/32 FP32. The exception to this is the Geforce GTX Titan Black, a top-tier professional grade GPU for both consumers and professionals which has driver-adjustable settings between 1/3 and 1/24 FP32 by switching to TCC mode.
The new 2016 Maxwell-based Quadro M6000 24GB model not only doubles the amount of VRAM, but also adds additional intermediate GPU clock points for smoother GPU frequency transitions. Nvidia claims this allows programs to increase and decrease in performance without interruptions to workflow. The new 24GB model also adds increased flexibility to software temperature control, allowing GPU temperature to stay below hardware slowdown threshold to prevent rendering interruptions. Lastly, Nvidia has added an “under-power” boot message to indicate if the card is not receiving enough wattage before system startup.
Thankfully, Nvidia is allowing the Quadro M6000 12GB and newer Quadro M6000 24GB to be mixed in the same system for rendering projects, but it does still depend on usage situation. For example, the M6000 12GB and M6000 24GB cannot be configured over SLI (multi-GPU) or Mosaic (multiple displays shown as a single GPU) as the cards use different frame buffer sizes. The cards will, however, run in the same system with the M5000, M4000, M2000, K2200, K620, K6000, Tesla K20 and Tesla K40.
“At Sony Pictures Imageworks, we regularly push the limits of our ability to display and interact with very complex scenes,” says Erik Strauss, Executive Director of Software Development at Sony Pictures Imageworks. “The Quadro M6000 24GB gives us a 10x performance boost with the throughput necessary to display these types of large scenes smoothly and interactively.”
“The new Nvidia Quadro M6000 24GB allows Redshift users to render scenes of stunning, Hollywood-level detail several times faster compared to any other rendering solution on the market,” said Panagiotis Zompolas, Founder and CTO of Redshift. “We’re super-excited to see what our users create using this GPU.”
Just as the Quadro M6000 12GB was introduced last spring at a $5,000 launch price, Nvidia’s newer 24GB model will launch at the same $5,000 price, bringing its predecessor down below $3,000 in some places.
Nvidia will be showcasing its workstation-grade Quadro M6000 24GB GPU next month at its 2016 GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. The card will be powering a majority of virtual reality (VR) partner demonstrations on the show floor, including those from Sterolabs, Lucasfilm Ltd., Redshift Rendering Technologies and Pixar Animation Studios, among others.
We first saw the Razer Core, an external graphics box that connects to a notebook via Thunderbolt 3 port, back at CES 2016 in January, and today, Razer has finally unveiled a bit more details including the price, availability date and compatibility details.
At the GDC 2016 show in San Francisco, Razer has announced that the Core will be ready in April and have a price of US $499. As expected, it has been only validated on Razer Blade Stealth and the newly introduced Razer Blade 2016 Edition notebooks but as it uses Thunderbolt 3 interface, it should be compatible with any other notebook, as long as manufacturer wants it.
With dimensions set at 105 x 353 x 220mm, the Razer Core is reasonably portable. It comes with a 500W PSU and features four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and Thunderbolt 3 port which is used to connect it to a notebook.
As far as graphics cards support is concerned, Razer says that the Core will work with any AMD Radeon graphics card since Radeon 290 series, including the latest R9 Fury, R9 Nano and Radeon 300 series, as well as pretty much all Nvidia Maxwell GPU based graphics cards since Geforce GTX 750/750 Ti, although we are not sure why would you pair up a US $500 priced box with a US $130 priced graphics cards. The maximum TDP for the graphics card is set at 375W, which means that all dual-GPU solutions are out of the picture, so it will go as far as R9 Fury X or the GTX Titan X.
There aren’t many notebooks that feature a Thunderbolt 3 ports and we have heard before that Thunderbolt 3 might have certain issues with latency, which is probably why other manufacturers like MSI and Alienware, went on with their own proprietary connectors. Of course, Razer probably did the math but we will surely keep a closer eye on it when it ships in April. Both AMD and Nvidia are tweaking their drivers and already have support for external graphics, so it probably will not matter which graphics card you pick.
According to Razer, the Razer Core will be available in April and priced at US $499. Razer is already started taking pre-orders for the Razer Core and offers a US $100 discount in case you buy it with one of their notebooks, Razer Blade 2016 or Blade Stealth.
MediaTek has told Fudzilla that the Helio X25 SoC is not only real, but that it is a “turbo” version of the Helio X20.
Meizu is expected to be one of the first companies to use the X25. Last year it was also the first to use MTK 6795T for its Meizu MX5 phone. In that case the “T” suffix stood for Turbo. This phone was 200 MHz faster than the standard Helio X10 “non T” version.
In 2016 is that MediaTek decided to use the new Helio X25 name because of a commercial arrangement. MediaTek didn’t mention any of the partners, but confirmed that the CPU and GPU will be faster. They did not mention specific clock speeds. Below is a diagram of the Helio X20, and we assume that the first “eXtreme performance” cluster will get a frequency boost, as well as the GPU.
The Helio X25 will not have any architectural changes, it is just a faster version of X20, just like MTK 6795T was faster version of MTK 6795. According to the company, the Helio X25 will be available in May.
This three cluster Helio X25 SoC has real potential and should be one of the most advanced mobile solutions when it hits the market.The first leaked scores of the Helio X20 suggest great performance, but the X25 should have even better scores. There should be a dozen design wins with Helio X20/ X25 and most of them are yet to be announced. There should be a few announcements for the Helio X25 soon, but at least we do know that now there will be a even faster version of three cluster processor.
The global GPU market has fallen by 20 per cent over the last year.
According to Digitimes it fell to less than 30 million units in 2015 and the outfit suffering most was AMD. The largest graphics card player Palit Microsystems, which has several brands including Palit and Galaxy, shipped 6.9-7.1 million graphics cards in 2015, down 10 per cent on year. Asustek Computer shipped 4.5-4.7 million units in 2015, while Colorful shipped 3.9-4.1 million units, and is aiming to raise its shipments by 10 per cent on year in 2016.
Micro-Star International (MSI) enjoyed healthy graphics card shipments at 3.45-3.55 million in 2015, up 15 per cent on year, and EVGA, which has tight partnerships with Nvidia, also saw a significant shipment growth, while Gigabyte suffered from a slight drop on year. Sapphire and PowerColor suffered dramatic drops in shipments in 2015.
There are fears that several of the smaller GPU makers could be forced out of the market after AMD gets its act together with the arrival of Zen and Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architectures launch later in 2016.
Contract prices of NAND flash memory chips fell by nine to 10 per cent in the fourth quarter due to oversupply conditions.
Beancounters at analyst outfit TrendForce report that the prices of eMMC and SSD products also fell by 10 to 11 per cent quarterly due to weaker-than-expected shipments of OEM devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
Overall fourth-quarter worldwide NAND flash sales were down 2.3% sequentially, the research group added.
Sean Yang, research director at DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce said that besides facing rapidly falling prices, the manufacturers have also reached a bottleneck in their process technology migration.
Memory makers that are developing or producing 3D-NAND flash are encountering yield rate issues, with Samsung being the sole exception. As the cost reduction advantage associated with technology migration diminishes, branded NAND flash suppliers posted significant quarterly declines in both their revenues and operating margins for the fourth quarter of last year.
Samsung was one of the few manufacturers that experienced revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 on account of its lead in 3D-NAND flash development and the rising sales of its high-density eMMC, eMCP and SSD products. In the fourth quarter, Samsung’s NAND flash business registered a quarterly bit shipment growth of 15% and a 10 to15% quarterly slide in the average selling price. The memory maker thus saw a quarterly revenue growth of 4.2 per cent as well as a slight decrease in its operating margin.
Toshiba’s NAND flash business was affected by market oversupply as well. Compared with the prior quarter, the memory maker’s average selling price was 13 to 14 per cent lower in the fourth quarter of last year. Toshiba only recently began the trial production of 3D-NAND flash. Moreover, the Japanese memory maker has found that its 15nm process offers limited cost reduction advantage. Thus, the company’s NAND flash business registered a decline in its operating margin for the fourth quarter.
SanDisk’s product mix adjustments have paid off as client and enterprise grade SSD sales make up an increasing share of the company’s total revenue. SanDisk also saw a 10 per cent quarterly drop in both the average selling price and the average unit cost of its NAND flash chips in the fourth quarter of 2015. As a result, SanDisk’s gross margin reached 43% in the fourth quarter – on par with the previous quarter.
Compared with the third quarter, SK Hynix’s fourth-quarter NAND flash revenue fell by 9.3 per cent to $841 million. The South Korean memory supplier also saw a 4 per cent bit shipment growth and a 15 oer cent slide in the average selling price. As tablet and smartphone shipments from strategic clients are expected to suffer a huge drop in the first quarter, DRAMeXchange projects SK Hynix to post a 10 per cent quarterly decline in bit shipments as well.
Set against the previous fiscal period, Micron’s bit shipments for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 (from September to November last year) registered a 6% quarterly increase, while its average selling price dropped by 7 per cent and unit cost fell by 6 per cent. Micron’s revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 therefore arrived at $1.15 billion, up 1.9 per cent from the prior fiscal quarter.
Intel’s major Enterprise-SSD customers pulled inventory in advance during the third quarter. Consequently, Intel’s bit sales grew 10 per cent quarterly in the fourth quarter of 2015. However, the oversupply in the fourth quarter resulted in a steeper decrease in the average selling price, causing Intel’s revenue fall slightly by 0.2 per cent quarterly to $662 million.
AMD has rolled out its new Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers which come with some performance and stability improvements for various games as well as includes a couple of new new features as well.
According to the release notes, the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers bring a couple of new Crossfire profiles, including the one for Square Enix’s new Hitman game as well as The Park, an FPS psychological horror adventure game from Funcom.
In addition to the new Crossfire profiles, there are also several performance improvements including up to 60 percent improvements on Radeon Fury X series graphics cards and up to 44 percent improvement on the Radeon R9 380 series graphics cards in the new Gears of War Ultimate Edition, which was a disaster on Radeon graphics cards earlier. The performance improvements list also include up to 16 percent improvement in Rise of the Tomb Raider on Radeon Fury X series graphics cards.
The new drivers also bring a couple of resolved issues including fixed sustained clock speeds as well as issues seen in Gears of War Ultimate Edition, XCOM 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Ashes of the Singularity 2.0 Benchmark.
What makes the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers quite interesting are several new features, including Vulkan API support, per-game Display Scaling, new Language Menu for Radeon Settings, Two Display Eyefinity feature, Crossfire Status indicator, Power Efficiency toggle and updated Social Links in Radeon Settings home page. The list of new features also include preliminary support for AMD XConnect technology, which is apparently the name for AMD’s external GPU technology, and now includes support for those external graphics cards with Radeon R9 300 series GPUs over Thunderbolt 3 connection.
The new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers are available for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and support all graphics cards since the days of AMD Radeon HD 7700/HD 7900.
You can find both the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 drivers and the full release notes at AMD’s drivers support page.
While this is certainly not AMD’s first shot at external graphics solution, as we already chance to see it back in 2008 when AMD tried to pitch the idea of an external graphics solution, codenamed Lasso, and it actually showed up as the FSC Amilo Graphics Booster, sold in a bundle with certain FSC Amilo series notebooks. Unfortunately, it was based on proprietary ATI XGP connector and never actually kicked off.
Today, when Thunderbolt 3 interface is enough to drive such a external graphics solution, AMD apparently plans to push that idea again as, according to a Facebook post from Robert Hallock, Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD, there are plenty of users looking to have a single ultrathin notebook that can be used as a gaming system when connected to an external GPU.
Bear in mind that the the Thunderbolt 3 interface, described as “the USB-C that does it all”, is developed by Intel, which will be quite interesting for AMD. The Thunderbolt 3 also doubles the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, reaching 40Gbps (5GB/s) and can simultaneously drive two external 4K displays at 60Hz and supports PCI-Express 3.0 and other protocols as well as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2.
There were quite a lot external GPU solutions showcased at CES 2016 in January including Razer’s Core, which was pictured with an AMD Radeon graphics card on Hallock’s post, MSI’s Gaming Dock and Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier, which already sells for US $299.99 and promises to “transform your Alienware 13, 15 and 17 R2 notebook” into a full gaming desktop system. Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier supports dual-slot graphics cards (GTX 600/HD 5000 or newer) with a TDP of up to 375W.
Hallock also promised in its post that we will get more info soon so we might see some sort of “reference” external GPU enclosure from AMD during GDC 2016 show which is scheduled to start on March 14.