Samsung's new Supremely Suspcious Deal

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2018 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: supreme, oops, Samsung

It will be a surprise to many that Supreme is a skateboard fashion brand; even more surprised was Supreme, when Samsung announced they were forming some sort of partnership with the company.  It seems that a knock-off version of the New York based provider of duds for skaters exists in Italy, thanks to a less than effective trademark and that company not only convinced Samsung they were the real deal but also that it would benefit Samsung to partner with them to host a big fashion show in Beijing.

Samsung is rather embarrassed about the whole thing, so don't taunt them too much.  Pop by Ars Technica for a bit of a lesson on why you should double check anything a skater tells you is true!

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"Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization."

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Source: Ars Technica

Let the bodies hit the floor; for some 4K gaming in the living room

Subject: Displays | December 6, 2018 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: 4k, tv, Samsung, 40NU7100, tcl, 55R617, vizio, PQ65-F1

4K TV's aren't just for those couple of Netflix shows or YouTube videos you use to show off to your friends, they are also a viable replacement for a monitor.  If you pick the right one you not only get 4K resolutions but also HDR and after investing that much dosh you might not be looking at upgrading your PC's monitor any time soon.  Drop by TechSpot for a look at three TV's they recommend, ranging from a mere $630 up to $2100, with a few honourable mentions as well.

Perhaps you have some suggestions of your own to offer in the comments.

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"If you're interested in replacing your desktop monitor with a 4K TV and want to know what to buy, you've come to the right place. Maybe you aren't quite sure where to start or could use a hand in narrowing your search. Whatever the case, this guide is intended to help steer you in the right direction"

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Source: TechSpot

Podcast #523 - RX 590, 860 QVO, Drobo 8D

Subject: General Tech | November 29, 2018 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: Z390, windows 10, Samsung, rx 590, podcast, gigabyte, EVGA SuperNOVA, evga, ECS, drobo, amd, 860 QVO

PC Perspective Podcast #523 - 11/28/18

Our podcast this week features reviews for the new AMD Radeon RX 590, Drobo 8D, the Samsung 860 QVO, a new fanless mini PC, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Jim Tanous, Allyn Malventano, Sebastian Peak, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 2:15:34

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. For a limited time, get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month:  audible.com/PCPER or text PCPER to 500500.
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. Jeremy: It’s better than bad, it’s Alexa on Big Mouth Billy Bass
    2. Allyn: Ring Alarm deals on Amazon (8 piece kit cheaper than 5 piece kit)
  5. Closing/Outro

We are SSDs ... I got all my QVO with me

Subject: Storage | November 27, 2018 - 06:54 PM |
Tagged: ssd, slc, sata, Samsung, QLC, 860 QVO, 2.5

Samsung have jumped up the alphabet, going from EVO to QVO with their new lower cost QLC based SSD family.  The 4TB model Allyn reviewed sells for $600, not bad for a drive of that size but still a little pricey for some.  A more affordable option can be seen at The Tech Report, the 1TB drive they reviewed sells for $150.  If you are on a somewhat limited budget and don't mind a small hit in performance nor a three year warranty or 360TB written endurance then this drive is worth a look.

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Samsung's EVO drives have ruled the SATA roost for the last several years. Today, Samsung is introducing high-capacity, lower-cost 860 QVO drives with four-bit-per-cell QLC NAND inside. Can they live up to the high expectations Samsung has set with its past products?"

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Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung
Tagged: ssd, slc, sata, Samsung, QLC, 860 QVO, 2.5

Introduction

With recent QLC SSD launches like the Intel 660P and Crucial P1, folks may have been wondering when Samsung would jump on the QLC bandwagon. I'm happy to report that your wait is now over:

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Samsung has opted to name this new product 'QVO'. The Q presumably stems from the use QLC flash, which can store four bits per cell.

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While QLC writes are far slower than what we are used to seeing from a modern SSD, SLC caching is the answer to bridging that performance gap. The 860 QVO employs Samsung's Intelligent TurboWrite, which has a minimum 6GB static cache plus a dynamic cache of up to 72GB. This dynamic cache varies based on available QLC area which can be reconfigured to operate in SLC mode. Do note the 'After TubroWrite' speeds of 80 and 160 MB/s - that's the raw QLC speeds that you will see if the cache has been exhausted during an extended write period.

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The rest of the specs are about what we expect from a SATA SSD, but I do have a concern with those QD1 4KB random read ratings of only 7,500 IOPS. This is on the low side especially for Samsung, who typically dominate in low QD random read performance.

Read on for the full review!

SSD's firmware encryption is pretty floppy

Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2018 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, encryption, crucial, bitlocker

The hardware world is full of badly thought out implementations, from the inconvenient to the utterly incompetent, and today we have one of the latter.  Bitlocker and other popular encryption tools can use software or hardware to encrypt and store the data encryption key, with many opting for the accelerated hardware encryption baked into many SSDs.  This has turned out to be a bad idea, as tests on a variety of models show you can grab an encrypted disk, plug into the debug ports and convince it to accept any value as an authorized DEK and give you full access to the data on that drive.  This is in part due to the hardware not using the owner's password for encryption ... at all.  The Register's article offers a suggestion, which is to make use of software encryption methods which do incorporate the users password and can be set to actually not use the same DEK across the entire drive. 

Read on for suggestions on solutions which should mitigate this flaw and which can coexist peacefully with hardware encryption.

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"Basically, the cryptographic keys used to encrypt and decrypt the data are not derived from the owner's password, meaning, you can seize a drive and, via a debug port, reprogram it to accept any password. At that point, the SSD will use its stored keys to cipher and decipher its contents. Yes, it's that dumb."

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Source: The Register

Samsung is the next to say they are launching a bendy phone

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2018 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, foldable

You still shouldn't hold your breath, as we have seen announcements like this before, but it is possible Samsung will be showing off a foldable phone next month.  Even more ambitious is their announcement that they will also be developing a foldable laptop screen.  We have seen numerous other companies work on this before, but so far none have released a working model.  If they can pull it off there are numerous applications which could benefit from this technology; with current hybrid tablet/laptops becoming truly foldable and eReaders offering a much more paper-like feel.  The Inquirer has links to the rumours here.

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"While the South Korean tech giant is supposedly set to unveil a smartphone with a foldable display next month, the company is apparently going to push that tech to laptops, reported The Verge."

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Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #519 - Core i9-9900K, Changes at PCPER, and more

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2018 - 11:32 AM |
Tagged: turtle beach, seasonic, Samsung, podcast, Intel, Core i9-9900K, amd, 7nm

PC Perspective Podcast #519 - 10/25/18

Join us this week for discussion on the Core i9-9900K, Changes at PCPER, and more.

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Jim Tanous, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ryan Shrout

Program length: 1:48:01

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:42:20 Allyn: Something to watch - M.2 Optane 905P coming soon
  4. Closing/outro

Samsung has scratched the 7nm itch

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2018 - 01:11 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 7nm

A few short years ago 7nm was a holy grail, something to be sought for but unlikely to be successful.  The richest knight in the kingdom is still seeking their goal, while the squires have already got one.  AMD is doing well with their process but it is Sir Samsung whom has met with the most success.  Their trusty EUV proved up to the task and they are no longer seeking a 7nm process and have moved onto sharing the benefits of their quest with the world.  The new chips will be Low Power Plus, and find their way into smartphones, and cell providers, IoT devices and many other applications in the small endian market.  The Inquirer posted a look at how they got there, as well as some definitions if this is all Gallic to you. 

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"Normally argon fluoride immersion tech is used for chip lithography. But Samsung is touting the advantages of EUV in cutting down the number of masks needed to allow for the stencilling of transistors on silicon in a certain pattern, and thus cuts down on the time and costs of producing chips."

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Source: The Inquirer

ARM Unveils "Neoverse" Infrastructure

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2018 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: UMC, TSMC, Samsung, Neoverse, cosmos, cortex, arm, Ares, A76, 7nm, 7+nm, 5nm

This morning ARM is announcing their new design and technology push called "ARM Neoverse". Neoverse is aimed at providing scalable solutions utilizing ARM technology from the edge to the core datacenter. ARM obviously is well known for the end user solutions that we see in phones, tablets, and now laptops. What most do not realize is that ARM has a significant reach in much of the infrastructure that powers the entire user experience. ARM currently holds around a 30% marketshare for powering high end routers and switches used at the enterprise level. The type of equipment we are talking about here are not the home routers or generic switches, but rather the heavy lifting units that literally power the internet after the requests get out of users houses or from their mobile devices.
 
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The Neoverse roadmap consists of four platforms stretching from now til 2021. Each platform is expected to receive around a 30% increase in overall performance due to a combination of architectural changes as well as process technology improvements. The current architecture is codenamed "Cosmos" and it is based on current 16nm parts. This is followed by the "Ares" platform which will utilize the latest Cortex A76 designs and 7nm process. In 2020 this will transition to the "Zeus" platform which will leverage the latest improvements in 7nm+ process technologies. Finally they expect to release the "Poseidon" platform in 2021 which will be based on a cutting edge 5nm process.
 
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ARM has been slowly building up their technology base through the past several decades to include more and more functionality and features across their entire portfolio. Of great interest is how seriously ARM considers security. The latest designs include some of the most robust security measures integrated on chips. From TrustZone to CryptoIsland, ARM has a very well thought out and implemented security suite that is absolutely necessary for the next generation of connected devices. This again extends from handheld devices to the depths of the data center. We are surrounded by stories of compromised devices and software, so having the extensive security measures designed from the ground up available to partners helps to cement ARM's place in trusted computing.
 
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The amount of IP available to partners is impressive. ARM not only offers the core technologies of CPUs and GPUs, but also the latest machine learning units and encryption accelerators. The fabric that holds it all together is also flexible and scalable from mobile solutions to 100G+ ethernet. This also includes memory controllers that can scale up to 8 units delivering TBs/sec of bandwidth.
 
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It really is impressive to see how far ARM has come in the past decade since the launch of the first iPhone. What was once considered a small, but still important CPU design firm is now the power behind billions of shipping products that power the mobile experience and beyond. ARM has taken the momentum from its first big successes and is now a major force for change that stretches far beyond those initial mobile and low power products. The Neoverse only adds to this. ARM has already found success in powering much of the infrastructure of our modern day networks, but this is looking to take things to another level. Partners will have access to cutting edge IP and solutions to quickly bring specialized and high performing products to market in very short periods of time.
 
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Going forward we will start hearing more about these Neoverse implementations starting with current Cosmos products and spreading quickly throughout the next year with Ares. ARM has so far continued to execute on their roadmaps and provide new and compelling products to their partners on a yearly basis. This does not look to change anytime soon.
Source: ARM