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Intel Gives More Detail On Knights Landing

April 15, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

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.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Unveils Updated Atom X3 For IoT

April 13, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has unveiled a new version of the Atom x3 processor designed with the Internet of Things (IoT) in mind.

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.”

Courtesy-TheInq

Apple Seeking Exclusive Streaming Deals With Musicians

April 13, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc has reached out to more than a dozen musicians, including British band Florence and the Machine, hoping to sign exclusive deals for some of their music to be streamed on Beats, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is in talks with Florence and the Machine to give Apple limited streaming rights to a track from their album set to be released in June, Bloomberg said.

Apple has also approached Taylor Swift and others about partnerships, the report said.

Apple declined to comment.

Beats Music will be re-launched in coming months. There will be a $9.99-a-month subscription for individuals and a family plan for $14.99, according to sources, Bloomberg said.

Music streaming service Tidal, launched last month by rapper Jay Z, is also trying to convince artists to sign exclusive deals for their content, to fend off competition from services such as Spotify and Google Inc’s YouTube.

Apple bought audio equipment and music streaming company Beats for about $3 billion in May 2014, hoping to catch up in fast-growing music streaming industry.

 

 

Intel Skylake To Get Iris GPU

April 10, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

It looks like Intel has managed to squeeze Iris graphics inside 15W Skylake processors.

This is a huge achievement, considering that only 28W TDP Broadwell mobile processors currently support Iris 6100 graphics. The fastest of them is the Intel Core i7-5557U, and this dual-core with four threads clocked at 3.1GHz base frequency and maximum turbo frequency of 3.4GHz is the fastest Intel processor for notebooks to support Iris graphics. This is a 28W TDP processor with a configurable TDP, down to 23W.

Iris graphics 6100 are used in three additional SKUs, the Core i5 5287U, Core i5 5257U and Core i3 5157U. They are all dual-core processors with four threads and a 28W TDP.

We don’t know much about upcoming Skylake parts, so we don’t know the SKUs, but Intel has communicated to its partners that Iris graphics on 15W products will be available starting with Skylake.

At the highest end, the Core i7 5650U Skylake-U based replacement will come with Iris graphics. The dual-core Core i5 5650U works at 2.2GHz and can hit 3.1GHz on turbo, all while staying in the 15W envelope.

The Core i7 5650 comes with Intel HD Graphics 6000, while the next generation Core i7, Core i5 processors with 15W will have the Iris-grade graphics. Intel will launch four Skylake Iris capable 15W processors in Q4 2015, and will follow up with an additional four in Q1 2016.

According to Intel’s official data at Anandtech, the Core i7 5557U with 48 EUs at 1100 MHz can score 844.8 32b FP GFLOPs, 211.2 64b DP GFLOPS or 422.4 32b INT GFLOPs. This is not bad score, but considering that even Geforce GTX 850M with its 1198.1 Gigaflops outperforms Intel’s Iris 6100, you cannot really expect that Iris Pro in 15W notebook processors will replace discrete mobile GPUs anytime soon.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Still King Of The Semiconductor Industry

April 8, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Semiconductor sales reached $340 billion in 2014, up eight percent on the year before and led by Intel, according to a report by analyst house Gartner.

The figures represent positive growth for semiconductors powering all device categories, unlike in 2013 when Gartner said that application-specific integrated circuits, discrete components and micro-components all declined.

Intel was the top ranking chip manufacturer in 2014, seeing a return to growth after two years of revenue decline and retaining the number one market share position for the 23rd consecutive year with 15 percent.

Gartner claimed that this was down to a recovery in PC production, which saw sales up just under eight percent to $52bn.

Samsung was the second best in terms of semiconductor revenue last year, according to Gartner’s report, with $34bn in revenue and a market share of 10 percent. However, the 2013-2014 growth was almost double that of Intel’s at 13 percent.

Qualcomm came in third with revenues last year of $19bn, growing 12 percent compared with 2013, but with a much lower market share of almost six percent.

The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased by almost 12 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth, and accounted for 72 percent of total market revenue, up from 70 percent in 2013.

Across the industry, the memory market was the best performer for the second year in a row, Gartner said, growing 17 percent.

This meant that the rest of the market achieved only five percent growth, according to Gartner research vice president Andrew Norwood.

“As a group, DRAM vendors performed best, lifted by the booming DRAM market which saw revenue increase 32 percent to $46bn, surpassing the all-time high of $41.8bn in 1995,” he said.

Last year also saw more merger and acquisition activity among the major semiconductor vendors than the previous year, Gartner said, and some announced deals are still to close in 2015.

Among the most significant was Avago Technologies’ acquisition of LSI, propelling the company into the top 25 semiconductor vendors for the first time.

MStar Semiconductor merged with MediaTek after a prolonged merger, and ON Semiconductor acquired Aptina Imaging.

“After adjusting for closed M&A activity, the top 25 semiconductor vendors grew at nine percent,” Gartner said.

Courtesy-TheInq

Samsung Dismisses Claims Of Easily Bendable Galaxy S6

April 8, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Samsung is not happy with recenlty published stress test that showed the Galaxy Edge S6′s frame bending and screen cracking under applied pressure, saying a smartphone wouldn’t experience such force in normal use.

The Galaxy 6S Edge bent and its screen shattered after being exposed to 110 pounds of force, according to a test conducted by SquareTrade, which sells warranties for smartphones, tablets and other electronics. Even with a shattered screen, the phone still worked. SquareTrade posted a video of the test last Thursday.

SquareTrade also tested the iPhone 6 Plus and the HTC One M9. The iPhone bent under 110 pounds of force, but the screen remained intact. The HTC device bent and became inoperable after it suffered 120 pounds of force.

On Monday, Samsung issued a statement that listed the company’s problems with SquareTrade’s test.

Samsung claimed that smartphones are rarely exposed to that much force, and that 66 pounds is the “normal force” generated when a person sits. It maintains that the Galaxy S6 Edge won’t bend at even 79 pounds of force.

Samsung also said that because SquareTrade only tested the front of the phone, the test failed to show the strength of the phone’s back. It wants SquareTrade to conduct the test again, this time subjecting both the front and back of the phone to applied force.

“We are confident that all our smartphones are not bendable under daily usage,” said Samsung, which also included a video of its Galaxy S6 phones undergoing stress tests.

 

 

Did AMD Commit Fraud?

April 6, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD must face claims that it committed securities fraud by hiding problems with the bungled 2011 launch of Llano that eventually led to a $100 million write-down, a US court has decided.

According to Techeye US District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers said plaintiffs had a case that AMD officials misled them by stating in the spring of 2011 and will have to face a full trial.

The lawsuit was over the Llano chip, which AMD had claimed was “the most impressive processor in history.”

AMD originally said that the product launch would happen in the fourth quarter of 2010, sales of the Llano were delayed because of problems at the company’s chip manufacturing plant.

The then Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert told analysts on an April 2011 conference call that problems with chip production for the Llano were in the past, and that the company would have ample product for a launch in the second quarter.

Press officers for AMD continued to insist that there were no problems with supply, concealing the fact that it was only shipping Llanos to top-tier computer manufacturers because it did not have enough chips.

By the time AMD ramped up Llano shipments in late 2011, no one wanted them any more, leading to an inventory glut.
AMD disclosed in October 2012 that it was writing down $100 million of Llano inventory as not shiftable.

Shares fell nearly 74 percent from a peak of $8.35 in March 2012 to a low of $2.18 in October 2012 when the market learned the extent of the problems with the Llano launch.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Sends Braswell SoC To Partners

April 6, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel announced that it is now shipping the Bay Trail system on a chip (SoC) successor codenamed Braswell to OEM partners.

Announced almost exactly a year ago at Intel’s Developer Forum in Beijing, Braswell is a more powerful version of Bay Trail running on the 14nm fab process, designed to power low-cost devices like Chromebooks and budget PCs.

The chip maker said that devices will hit the market sometime in late summer or autumn.

“We expect Braswell-based systems to be available in the market for the back to school 2015 selling season,” an Intel representative told The INQUIRER. “Specific dates and options will be announced by our OEM partners.”

That’s all Intel will give us for now, but we were told that full details regarding the upcoming chip will be revealed at IDF in Shenzhen next week.

Braswell was expected to arrive at the end of 2014 when it was originally unveiled last year.

Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel’s PC Client group, said that it will replace Bay Trail as part of the Atom line, and will feature in over 20 Chromebook designs.

“Last year, we had only four designs on Chrome. Today I can announce that we will have over 20 designs on Chrome,” said Skaugen at the time.

Intel recently announced another 14nm chip, the Atom x range, previously codenamed Cherry Trail, although this will be focused on tablets rather than the value PC market segment and Chromebooks like Braswell.

In terms of power, Braswell is likely to fit snuggly above the Atom x5 and x7 Cherry Trail SoCs and beneath the firm’s recently announced 5th-generation Core products, previously codenamed Broadwell.

Unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Intel’s Atom x5 and x7 chips, previously codenamed Cherry Trail, are also updates to the previous Bay Trail Atom line-up, being the first Intel Atom SoCs on 14nm.

These higher-powered SoCs are designed to bring improved 3D performance to mainstream premium handheld devices running full versions of Windows and Android, such as 7in to 10.1in tablets and 2-in-1 hybrid laptops priced at around $119 to $499.

For example, Microsoft quietly announced on Tuesday that the upcoming Surface 3 tablet-laptop hybrid will be powered by an Intel Atom x7. The device is priced at$500.

 

Courtesy-TheInq

Intel Debuts The N3000 Series SoC

April 3, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has launched Intel N3000 series systems on a chip (SoCs), which will kill off Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D SoCs on the desktop and mobile PCs.

CPU World also has spotted some other chips which have been revealed to the world.

Intel has also launched desktop and mobile Core i3 and Pentium microprocessors. New mobile models are Pentium 3825U, Core i3-5015U and i3-5020U. These ones are based on Broadwell 14nm.

Core i3-5015U and i3-5020U are dual-cores with Hyper-Threading technology, HD 5500 graphics and ultra low 15 Watt TDP. The processors run at 2.1 GHz and 2.2 GHz. This is 100 MHz higher than the i3-5005U and i3-5010U models, that were launched three months ago.

The i3-5015U and i3-5020U chips offer a 50 MHz higher graphics boost. Official prices of these SKUs are $275 and $281.
The Pentium 3825U incorporates a couple of enhancements on the older Pentium 3805U. It supports Hyper-Threading that allows it to process twice as many threads. It also has base and maximum graphics frequencies increased to 300 MHz and 850 MHz.

The 3805U and 3825U operate at 1.9 GHz and have 2 MB L2 cache. The 3825U processor is rated at 15 Watt TDP, and priced at $161.

Courtesy-Fud

Sprint Picks Chicago To Roll Out Advanced LTE Network

April 1, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Sprint plans to add more than 540 jobs and 115 retail locations in the Chicago area along with its first LTE-Advanced upgrade in the nation. LTE Advanced has the potential of delivering 100 Mbps wireless download speeds.

The impact on the city of Chicago proper will be 300 new jobs by the end of 2015. Sprint will also install hundreds of new cellular sites in the city at an expected cost of $45 million by the end of 2016, Sprint said in a statement.

LTE Advanced has become more common around the globe in the past year and is being used in more than 30 countries, including the U.S., according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association. In some countries, LTE Advanced offers wireless download data speeds of up to 300 Mbps — potentially 30 times faster than basic LTE, which has download speeds of 10Mbps to 20Mbps.

LTE Advanced uses different technologies to enhance speeds, but the earliest approach uses carrier aggregation. That lets operators treat two or three radio channels in different frequency bands as if they were one to send data at higher speeds.

AT&T has upgraded its network in several cities to LTE Advanced, including Chicago.

Sprint has the potential to reach 100Mbps in the Chicago upgrade by using channel aggregation, as well as MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) antennas and 8T8R (eight transmitters, eight receivers on a single radio), according to a spokeswoman. That 100Mbps would be about double the current Sprint LTE peak speeds of 50Mbps to 60Mbps.

New technology from companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm and Intel has made the expansion of LTE Advanced possible.

Sprint said faster speeds will support video and other bandwidth-rich apps such as online games, virtual reality and cloud services.

In Chicago, new cell towers and cellular equipment placed on buildings and other structures will include areas around the Rush University Medical Center and along Chicago Transit Authority subway routes as well as the area surrounding Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side.

 

 

 

Toshiba And SanDisk To Launch 48-Layer 3D Flash Chip

March 31, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Toshiba has announced the world’s first 48-layer Bit Cost Scalable (BiCS) flash memory chip.

The BiCS is a two-bit-per-cell, 128Gb (16GB) device with a 3D-stacked cell structure flash that improves density and significantly reduces the overall size of the chip.

Toshiba is already using 15nm dies so, despite the layering, the finished product will be competitively thin.

24 hours after the first announcement, SanDisk made one of its own regarding the announcement. The two companies share a fabrication plant and usually make such announcements in close succession.

“We are very pleased to announce our second-generation 3D NAND, which is a 48-layer architecture developed with our partner Toshiba,” said Dr Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory technology at SanDisk.

“We used our first generation 3D NAND technology as a learning vehicle, enabling us to develop our commercial second-generation 3D NAND, which we believe will deliver compelling storage solutions for our customers.”

Samsung has been working on its own 3D stacked memory for some time and has released a number of iterations. Production began last May, following a 10-year research cycle.

Moving away from the more traditional design process, the BiCS uses a ‘charge trap’ which stops electrons leaking between layers, improving the reliability of the product.

The chips are aimed primarily at the solid state drive market, as the 48-layer stacking process is said to enhance reliability, write speed and read/write endurance. However, the BiCS is said to be adaptable to a number of other uses.

All storage manufacturers are facing a move to 3D because, unless you want your flash drives very long and flat, real estate on chips is getting more expensive per square inch than a bedsit in Soho.

Micron has been talking in terms of 3D NAND since an interview with The INQUIRER in 2013 and, after signing a deal with Intel, has predicted 10TB in a 2mm chip by the end of this year.

Production of the chips will roll out initially from Fab 5 before moving in early 2016 to Fab 2 at the firm’s Yokkaichi Operations plant.

This is in stark contrast to Intel, which mothballed its Fab 42 chip fabrication plant in Chandler, Arizona before it even opened, as the semiconductors for computers it was due to produce have fallen in demand by such a degree.

The Toshiba and Sandisk BiCS chips are available for sampling from today.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Alibaba, BMG Sign Music Distribution Deal

March 31, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Germany’s BMG music rights company announced that it has signed a music digital distribution deal with China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as the world’s largest e-commerce giant firms up its bid to become a digital media empire.

The deal, one of the first in China made by a major music publisher rather than a label, will bring more than 2.5 million copyrights to Alibaba, whose music platforms already had many of the songs from artists including Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones and Jean-Michael Jarre, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.

Alibaba has set its eyes on becoming an online-media powerhouse, with music, film and television. The $210-billion firm has touted the potential for selling digital products as well as physical products in China, despite the country’s track record of users not paying for media content.

In the process, it is vying with Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s biggest social networking and online entertainment firm, and search leader Baidu Inc and its online video unit, iQiyi.

For BMG, the tie-up is both a chance to boost earnings by its artists in China and part of its attempt to “grow the legitimate music market in China”, the company said.

BMG last November linked up with Chinese independent company Giant Jump to manage publishing and recording rights both at home and overseas.

Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment arm will “promote BMG writers and artists through channels such as its streaming apps Xiami and TTPod” and “monitor and take action against digital and mobile services who may infringe the rights of BMG clients,” the subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, Europe’s largest media company, said in a statement.

“Internet and particular mobile media are quickly providing an answer to the music industry’s long-time challenge of how to monetize the vast untapped potential of the Chinese market,” BMG Chief Executive Hartwig Masuch said in Monday’s statement.

 

Amazon Unleashes Unlimited Storage For $5 A Month

March 30, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Amazon upped the ante: Unlimited cloud storage for individuals for $5 a month ($59.99 per year).

Amazon’s Unlimited Everything Plan allows users to store an infinite number of  photos, videos, files, documents, movies and music in its Cloud Drive.

The site also announced a separate $12 per year plan for unlimited photos. People who subscribe to Amazon Prime already get unlimited capacity for photos. Both the Unlimited Everything Plan and the Photos Plan have three-month free trial periods.

Online storage and file sharing service providers, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud, have been engaged in a pricing war over the past year. Last fall, Dropbox dropped its Pro plan pricing for individuals to $9.99 per month for 1TB of capacity. Dropbox offers 2GB of capacity for free.

Dropbox also offers members 500MB of storage each time they get a friend to sign up; there’s a 16GB max on referrals, though. With Dropbox Pro, members can get 1GB instead of 500MB each time they refer someone.

Google Drive offers 15GB of capacity for free and charges $1.99 per month for 100GB and $9.99 per month for 1TB.

Apple’s iCloud offers 5GB of capacity for free, and charges 99 cents per month for 20GB, $3.99 per month for 200GB and $9.99 per month for 1TB.

Microsoft’s OneDrive offers 15GB of capacity for free, and charges $1.99 per month for 100GB, $3.99 per month for 200GB and $6.99 per month for 1TB.

While Amazon offers unlimited file size uploads for desktop users, it limits file sizes to 2GB for mobile devices.

 

 

Verizon To Bolster 100G Metro Fiber-optic Network

March 26, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Verizon has announced new technology to bolster its super-fast 100 Gbps fiber-optic network serving metro areas, but didn’t reveal where the work will be done or other details.

The vague announcement raised the question of whether Verizon is simply trying to show its competitive value against Google and AT&T, which have both announced fiber Internet services in a number of cities.

“I think Verizon is trying to play catch up to the others without saying it that way,” said independent analyst Jeff Kagan. “The only question I still have is will Verizon be a real competitor or is this mostly just talk to cover their butts in the rapidly changing marketplace?”

What Verizon did disclose in a news release was that it will be modernizing undisclosed portions of its so-called 100G (for 100 Gbps) metro optical network using packet-optimized networking gear from Ciena and Cisco. Testing and deployment of the Ciena 6500 optical switch and Cisco’s Network Covergence System will happen this year, with plans to go live in 2016. /

“We are not announcing specific geographies at this time,” Verizon spokeswoman Lynn Staggs said in an email. She said the new equipment is not directly related to fiber connections to the premises of homes or businesses. By comparison, both Google Fiber and AT&T GigaPower are designed with 1 Gbps connections to homes, schools and businesses in mind.

Staggs said Verizon is upgrading connectivity between central Verizon offices and the backbone network. On top of that service, there is generally an “access” network for the last mile to connect the customer and the metro network, she added.

No matter how Verizon describes the ultimate purpose of its metro network, it is clear to analysts and others that Verizon’s metro upgrades could be used to prepare for last-mile fiber connections to businesses, schools and even homes to take on Google and AT&T directly. “Deploying a new coherent, optimized and highly scalable metro network means Verizon stays ahead of the growth trajectory while providing an even more robust network infrastructure for future demand,” said Lee Hicks, vice president of Verizon network planning, in a statement.

 

 

Intel’s Broadwell Spec Apparently Leaked

March 25, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

People working for the Chinese VR Zone  have found evidence that Intel will only be launching two Broadwell desktop processors in Q2 2015.

The new Broadwell Desktop CPUs are based on the LGA1150 pin layout and will be compatible with the current Z97 motherboards.

ASUS and ASRock recently announced that their motherboards will be able to handle the new 14nm Broadwell processors with a BIOS update. The two new CPUs will be the Intel Core i7-5775C and Core i5-5675C.

There are some odd things on this list. It is not clear what the C stands for in the product names. Our local AMD fanboy says it stands for C*ap while others have suggested, camel or caramel, depending on how hungry they are. The processors are unlocked for overclocking like the previous K models were and it could the K has somehow become a C.

The new i7 has four cores and eight threads running at a base frequency of 3.3GHz and with a turbo to 3.7GHz while the i5 has a base speed of 3.1GHz and a Turbo of 3.6GHz on its four cores, four threads base. The i7 comes with 6MB cache while the i5 only has 4MB and both are powered by the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 iGPU.

Courtesy-Fud