Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2015 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless, li-fi, 1GBps
Li-Fi is a new experimental wireless data transmission technology which sends data using the same lights that illuminate the space you are in, at such frequencies and intensities that your brain does not process any change in lighting which your eyes might capture. It transmits at an incredible speed, under perfect conditions in the the lab they saw 224GBps and recently have successfully transmitted at 1GBps in the field. Yes, that is 1GB per second of data transfer, light travels rather quickly after all. There are limits on where this technology can be used, in large spaces signals from different lights could interfere with each other and if you are outside then you will not be able to benefit but for offices and the home this could be rather impressive to behold. Read more about the researchers and how these lightbulbs could be tied into existing lighting at The Inquirer.
"BOFFINS HAVE field tested Li-Fi for the first time, achieving wireless speeds 100 times faster than WiFi."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Downloads for Windows 10 November big-bang build axed by Microsoft @ The Register
- Microsoft warns you might not get Windows updates if you're not using IE 11 @ The Inquirer
- Windows 10 Fall Update Uninstalls Desktop Software Without Informing Users @ Slashdot
- Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable On Smart TVs @ Slashdot
- Dum dum dum - another cloud bites the dust (Adobe's photo cloud) @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 03:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers, GCN, terascale
The Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture is now a minimum requirement for upcoming AMD graphics drivers. If your graphics card (or APU) uses the TeraScale family of microarchitectures, then your last expected WHQL driver is AMD Catalyst 15.7.1 for Windows 7, 8.x, and 10. You aren't entirely left out of Radeon Software Crimson Edition, however. The latest Crimson Edition Beta driver is compatible with TeraScale, but the upcoming certified one will not be.
GCN was introduced with the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series, although it was only used in the Radeon HD 7700 series GPUs and above. The language doesn't seem to rule out an emergency driver release, such as if Microsoft breaks something in a Windows 10 update that causes bluescreens and fire on older hardware, but they also don't say that they will either. NVIDIA made a similar decision to deprecate pre-Fermi architectures back in March of 2014, which applied to the release of GeForce 343 Drivers in September of that year. Extended support for NVIDIA's old cards end on April 1st, 2016.
I wonder why AMD chose a beta driver to stop with, though. If AMD intended to support TeraScale with Crimson, then why wouldn't they keep it supported until at the first WHQL-certified version? If they didn't intend to support TeraScale, then why go through the effort of supporting it with the beta driver? This implies that AMD reached a hurdle with TeraScale that they didn't want to overcome. That may not be the case, but it's the first thing that comes to my mind none-the-less. Probably the best way to tell is to see how people with Radeon HD 6000-series (or lower-end 7000/8000-series) cards work with Radeon Software Crimson Beta.
Likely the last drivers that users with Radeon HD 6000-series graphics need are 15.7.1 or Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta. We will soon learn which of the two will be best long-term.
Or, of course, you can buy a newer GPU / APU when you get a chance.
Subject: Memory | November 26, 2015 - 05:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TSV, Samsung, enterprise, ddr4
You may remember Allyn's article about TSV memory back from IDF 2014. Through this process, Samsung and others are able to stack dies of memory onto a single package, which can increase density and bandwidth. This is done by punching holes through the dies and connecting them down to the PCB. The first analogy that comes to mind is an elevator shaft, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
Anyway, Samsung has been applying it to enterprise-class DDR4 memory, which leads to impressive capacities. 64GB sticks, individual sticks, were introduced in 2014. This year, that capacity doubles to 128GB. The chips are fabricated at 20nm and each contain 8Gb (1GB) per layer. Each stick contains 36 packages of four chips.
At the end of their press release, Samsung also mentioned that they intend to expand their TSV technology into “HBM and consumer products.”
Subject: Storage | November 26, 2015 - 07:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: M.2, pcie, sata 6Gbs, Silverstone, ECM20
That's right, no matter if you run iOS, Linux or Windows if you have an M key style M.2 port the Silverstone ECM20 add-on card will give you both a PCI-e M.2 slot and a SATA 6Gbs M.2 slot. The board itself is a mounting point, no controller but simply a way to transfer data from a PCI-e M.2 card or a mount for a SATA style card, you provide the cable. The simplcity ensures that your transfer speeds will match what you would expect from a native slot as the tests at Benchmark Reviews show. At less than $20 it is a great way to expand your high speed storage capacity.
"The m.2 form factor is becoming popular for SSDs due to its small size, and, in PCI-E guise, superior performance. As our recent test of the Samsung 950 Pro m.2 SSD has shown, PCI-E m.2 SSDs offer performance many times that of the very best SATA SSDs, so if you’re looking for a storage upgrade, m.2 is definitely the way to go."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA XPG SX930 and Premier SP550 240GB SATA 6G SSD Review @HiTech Legion
- HyperX Predator 240GB M.2 PCIe SSD Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Understanding M.2 RAID NVMe Boot and 2/3x M.2 NVME RAID0 Tested @ The SSD Review
- Synology DS715 2-bay NAS @ techPowerUp
- QNAP TS-563 Network Attached Storage @ Modders-Inc
- ASUSTOR AS1004T 4-bay NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Seagate Enterprise NAS 8TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Systems | November 26, 2015 - 04:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, raspberry pi zero
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a new version that lowers the cost of gigahertz-class computing devices to just $5. It is based on a 1.0 GHz ARM11 core from Broadcom that is about 40% faster than the original Raspberry Pi. It also has 512MB of RAM, which is a lot for embedded or hobbyist applications. In fact, it doubles the original Raspberry Pi Model A (and is on part with the Model B). Storage is handled by a microSD card slot, as is the case with every previous Raspberry Pi except the Compute Module.
They also offer an alternative to the $5 price tag. If you pick up the print edition of MagPi magazine #40, which is the Christmas 2015 issue, you will receive a free Raspberry Pi Zero. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that they printed 10,000 copies of this magazine. This is probably much more interesting than a CD-ROM demo of Battlezone II.
Due to high demand, I'm not sure when you can expect to get one though.
Subject: Displays | November 26, 2015 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: noon, virtual reality
Similar in looks to Oculus Gear VR the Noon VR headset is compatible with more than just Samsung phones, any iOS or Android device between 4.7 inches to 5.7 should be supported. At 230g naked, plus the weight of your phone the Noon felt a bit heavy to Hardware Canucks, a lot of that weight is balanced on your nose. The 95 degree viewing angle is impressive and there is a focus dial on the headset for fine tuning but the latency and resolution are up to your phone, not the Noon. As of yet there is little content for the Noon VR headset but the price is decent, currently it retails for $90 which makes it an interesting option for those who want to experiment with a VR device.
"With the big divide in computing power between desktops and smartphones, are we ready for mobile VR? The Noon VR headset is an attempt to answer that question."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips 272G5DYEB 27-inch G-Sync @ Kitguru
- Acer Predator XR341CK FreeSync Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AOC Q2577PWQ 25″ IPS @ eTeknix
- Nixeus NX-VUE24A 144Hz FreeSync Monitor @ Hardware Canucks
- The New Apple TV Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 09:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, 980 Ti
As most of our readers are well aware, the graphics market is dominated by two GPU vendors, both of which sell chips and reference designs to add-in board partners. ASUS is one of the oldest add-in board partners. According to their anniversary website, ASUS even produced a card that was based on the S3 ViRGE/DX graphics chipset all the way back in 1996.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, although they don't exactly state when they start counting, ASUS has released a few high-end versions of Maxwell-based graphics cards. This one is the ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti. It comes with a base clock speed of 1266 MHz, which boosts up to 1367 MHz as needed. This is quite high, considering the reference card is clocked at 1000 MHz and boosts to 1189 MHz, although overclocking the 980 Ti is not too difficult to begin with. Ryan got up to 1465 MHz with a reference card. The Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti might go even higher with its enhanced cooling and power delivery, and it's designed for liquid nitrogen if you're that type of enthusiast.
Speaking of liquid nitrogen features, the card advertises a “Memory Defroster” feature that looks rather extreme. I can't say that I've ever seen a graphics card get covered in a visible layer of ice, but I've also never attached it to a reservoir of liquid with a temperature that's easier to write in Kelvin than Celcius.
Is this a legit problem? Or does this seem like “anti-dust shield” to everyone else too?
The ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti ships this month.
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