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Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2017 - 01:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: machine learning, ai
Not to be out done by the research conducted by Japan's Kyushu University which led to the frog is not truck portion of lasts weeks podcast, MIT researchers have also been tormenting image recognition software. Their findings were a little more worrisome, as a 3D printed turtle was identified as a rifle which could lead to some very bad situations in airports or other secure locations. In this case, instead of adding a few pixels to the image, they introduced different angles and lighting conditions which created enough noise to completely fool Google's image recognition AI, Inception. The printed turtle was misidentified because of a the texture which they chose, showing that this issue extends beyond photos to include physical objects. Pop by The Register for more details as well as an ingredient you never want to see on your toast.
"Students at MIT in the US claim they have developed an algorithm for creating 3D objects and pictures that trick image-recognition systems into severely misidentifying them. Think toy turtles labeled rifles, and baseballs as cups of coffee."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- No, Samsung, you really do owe Apple $120m for patent infringement @ The Register
- Almost Everything on Computers Is Perceptually Slower Than It Was in 1983 @ [H]ard|OCP
- Get Watch Dogs FREE From Ubisoft This Week! @ TechARP
- Fat-fingered Level 3 techie reduces internet to level zero: Glitch knocks out connections @ The Register
- Kaspersky warns of increased DDoS attacks against gaming companies @ The Inquirer
- Android security update fixes KRACK, slaps Band-Aid on Pixel 2 XL screen @ Ars Technica
- Seldom used 'i' mangled by baffling autocorrect bug in Apple's iOS 11 @ The Register
- Microsoft releases strict standards for 'highly secure' Windows 10 devices @ The Inquirer
- MINIX: Intel's Hidden In-chip Operating System @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2017 - 04:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, 1MORE, Quad Drivers, in-ear
These new in-ear headphones from 1MORE have a single carbon driver for mids and lows with three balanced armatures to handle the high and ultra-high frequencies. This is not a surround sound implementation but instead an attempt to provide very high quality sound from in-ear monitors. TechPowerUp tested these Dolby Certified headphones and found them to be an improvement on the already impressive Triple Driver model, even powered by a smartphone; they do not require a DAC or pre-amp to provide great sound. On the other hand, $200 is steep for this style of headphone so read through the review before jumping on Amazon.
"On the wings of the raging success they had with their $100 Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones, currently considered one of the best IEMs in terms of price-performance, 1MORE brings us their even more refined sibling equipped with an additional balanced armature. Do the 1MORE Quad Drivers have what it takes to justify a price bump to $200?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Razer Tiamat 2.2 V2 @ Kitguru
- CORSAIR VOID PRO RGB Wireless SE Premium Gaming Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Rosewill Nebula GX10 @ TechPowerUp
- Thinksound TS03+mic HD In-Ear Headphones Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair ST100 RGB Premium Headset stand @ Kitguru
Subject: Storage | November 6, 2017 - 03:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: crucial, Momentum Cache, NVMe, Crucial Storage Executive
The SSD Review noticed something very interesting in the latest update to Crucial's Storage Executive software, the Momentum Cache feature now works with a variety of non-Crucial NVMe SSDs. The software allows your system to turn part of your RAM into a cache so that reads and writes can initially be sent to that cache which results in improved performance thanks to RAM's significantly quicker response time. If you have a Crucial SSD installed as well as another NVMe SSD and are using the default Windows NVMe driver, you can set up caching on the non-Crucial SSD if you so desire. Stop by for a look at the performance impact as well as a list of the drives which have been successfully tested.
"Crucial’s Momentum Cache feature, part of Crucial Storage Executive, is unlocked for all NVMe SSDs, or at least the ones we have tested in our Z170 test system; the key here, of course, is that a compatible Crucial SSD must initially be on the system to enable this feature at all."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Patriot Hellfire 240GB @ Benchmark Reviews
- Team Group CARDEA Zero 240GB M2 SSD @ Guri of 3D
- HP S700 SSD Review @ OCC
- Western Digital (WD) My Cloud Home 6TB @ Kitguru
- Seagate IronWolf Pro 12TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
- Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB HDD @ Kitguru
Subject: Processors | November 6, 2017 - 02:00 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: radeon, Polaris, mobile, kaby lake, interposer, Intel, HBM2, gaming, EMIB, apple, amd, 8th generation core
In what is probably considered one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, Intel has announced a new CPU line for the mobile market that integrates AMD’s Radeon graphics. For the past year or so rumors of such a partnership were freely flowing, but now we finally get confirmation as to how this will be implemented and marketed.
Intel’s record on designing GPUs has been rather pedestrian. While they have kept up with the competition, a slew of small issues and incompatibilities have plagued each generation. Performance is also an issue when trying to compete with AMD’s APUs as well as discrete mobile graphics offerings from both AMD and NVIDIA. Software and driver support is another area where Intel has been unable to compete due largely to economics and the competitions’ decades of experience in this area.
There are many significant issues that have been solved in one fell swoop. Intel has partnered with AMD’s Semi-Custom Group to develop a modern and competent GPU that can be closely connected to the Intel CPU all the while utilizing HBM2 memory to improve overall performance. The packaging of this product utilizes Intel’s EMIB (Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge) tech.
EMIB is an interposer-like technology that integrates silicon bridges into the PCB instead of relying upon a large interposer. This allows a bit more flexibility in layout of the chips as well as lowers the Z height of the package as there is not a large interposer sitting between the chips and the PCB. Just as interposer technology allows the use of chips from different process technologies to work seamlessly together, EMIB provides that same flexibility.
The GPU looks to be based on the Polaris architecture which is a slight step back from AMD’s cutting edge Vega architecture. Polaris does not implement the Infinity Fabric component that Vega does. It is more conventional in terms of data communication. It is a step beyond what AMD has provided for Sony and Microsoft, who each utilize a semi-custom design for the latest console chips. AMD is able to integrate the HBM2 controller that is featured in Vega. Using HBM2 provides a tremendous amount of bandwidth along with power savings as compared to traditional GDDR-5 memory modules. It also saves dramatically on PCB space allowing for smaller form factors.
EMIB provides nearly all of the advantages of the interposer while keeping the optimal z-height of the standard PCB substrate.
Intel did have to do quite a bit of extra work on the power side of the equation. AMD utilizes their latest Infinity Fabric for fine grained power control in their upcoming Raven Ridge based Ryzen APUs. Intel had to modify their current hardware to be able to do much the same work with 3rd party silicon. This is no easy task as the CPU needs to monitor and continually adjust for GPU usage in a variety of scenarios. This type of work takes time and a lot of testing to fine tune as well as the inevitable hardware revisions to get thing to work correctly. This then needs to be balanced by the GPU driver stack which also tends to take control of power usage in mobile scenarios.
This combination of EMIB, Intel Kaby Lake CPU, HBM2, and a current AMD GPU make this a very interesting combination for the mobile and small form factor markets. The EMIB form factor provides very fast interconnect speeds and a smaller footprint due to the integration of HBM2 memory. The mature AMD Radeon software stack for both Windows and macOS environments provides Intel with another feature in which to sell their parts in areas where previously they were not considered. The 8th Gen Kaby Lake CPU provides the very latest CPU design on the new 14nm++ process for greater performance and better power efficiency.
This is one of those rare instances where such cooperation between intense rivals actually improves the situation for both. AMD gets a financial shot in the arm by signing a large and important customer for their Semi-Custom division. The royalty income from this partnership should be more consistent as compared to the console manufacturers due to the seasonality of the console product. This will have a very material effect on AMD’s bottom line for years to come. Intel gets a solid silicon solution with higher performance than they can offer, as well as aforementioned mature software stack for multiple OS. Finally throw in the HBM2 memory support for better power efficiency and a smaller form factor, and it is a clear win for all parties involved.
The PCB savings plus faster interconnects will allow these chips to power smaller form factors with better performance and battery life.
One of the unknowns here is what process node the GPU portion will be manufactured on. We do not know which foundry Intel will use, or if they will stay in-house. Currently TSMC manufactures the latest console SoCs while GLOBALFOUNDRIES handles the latest GPUS from AMD. Initially one would expect Intel to build the GPU in house, but the current rumor is that AMD will work to produce the chips with one of their traditional foundry partners. Once the chip is manufactured then it is sent to Intel to be integrated into their product.
Apple is one of the obvious candidates for this particular form factor and combination of parts. Apple has a long history with Intel on the CPU side and AMD on the GPU side. This product provides all of the solutions Apple needs to manufacture high performance products in smaller form factors. Gaming laptops also get a boost from such a combination that will offer relatively high performance with minimal power increases as well as the smaller form factor.
The potential (leaked) performance of the 8th Gen Intel CPU with Radeon Graphics.
The data above could very well be wrong about the potential performance of this combination. What we see is pretty compelling though. The Intel/AMD product performs like a higher end CPU with discrete GPU combo. It is faster than a NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti and trails the GTX 1060. It also is significantly faster than a desktop AMD RX 560 part. We can also see that it is going to be much faster than the flagship 15 watt TDP AMD Ryzen 7 2700U. We do not yet know how it compares to the rumored 65 watt TDP Raven Ridge based APUs from AMD that will likely be released next year. What will be fascinating here is how much power the new Intel combination will draw as compared to the discrete solutions utilizing NVIDIA graphics.
To reiterate, this is Intel as a customer for AMD’s Semi-Custom group rather than a licensing agreement between the two companies. They are working hand in hand in developing this solution and then both profiting from it. AMD getting royalties from every Intel package sold that features this technology will have a very positive effect on earnings. Intel gets a cutting edge and competent graphics solution along with the improved software and driver support such a package includes.
Update: We have been informed that AMD is producing the chips and selling them directly to Intel for integration into these new SKUs. There are no royalties or licensing, but the Semi-Custom division should still receive the revenue for these specialized products made only for Intel.
Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2017 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: broadcom, qualcomm, billions
While the gang does some sleuthing about the current signs of the end of the world; not simply cats and dogs living together but rumours of AMD and Intel working together, lets look at a different surprise. It seems that Broadcom have set its sights on Qualcomm, offering $130 billion to buy out the company and its assets. In part this might be inspired by Qualcomm's pending release of the Centriq family of processors seeing as how Broadcom cancelled their ARM based server chip development earlier this year. It sems as though Qualcomm is not looking too hard at this as a way to pay their ever expanding legal bills in their cases against Apple as according to the story that Slashdot has linked to, Qualcomm considers this an offer it can refuse.
Keep an eye out for an update as Josh and Ryan check on the mixing of Intel's Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridges and AMD's Polaris.
"Chipmaker Broadcom officially unveiled a $130bn offer, including net debt, for Qualcomm on Monday, in what could be the largest tech deal in history. Under Broadcom's proposal, Qualcomm shareholders would receive $70 per share -- $60 in cash and $10 in shares of its rival. It would value Qualcomm's equity at roughly $103bn."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel and AMD partner on new 8th-gen CPUs to challenge Nvidia @ The Inquirer
- Essen 2017: Best board games from the biggest board game convention @ Ars Technica
- Biggest Tor overhaul in a decade adds layers of security improvements @ The Register
- 'Qualcomm, we will buy you... for... one HUNDRED... BILLION DOLLARS' – Broadcom @ The Register
- Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2017 - 08:14 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Unity, zspace, xr, AR, VR
The Unity Educator Toolkit was created by Unity3D to integrate learning game development into the K-12 public curriculum. Now zSpace, which we’ve mentioned a few times, is joining in to the initiative with their mixed-reality platform. The company is known for creating displays that, when viewed with their glasses, track where you are and make the object appear to be in front of you. They also have a stylus that lets you interact with the virtual object.
They are focused on the educational side of VR and AR.
It’s not entirely clear what this means, because a lot of the details are behind a sign-up process. That said, if you’re an educator, then check out the package to see if it’s relevant for you. Creating games is an interesting, albeit challenging and somewhat daunting, method of expressing oneself. Giving kids the tools to make little game jam-style expressions, or even using the technology in your actual lessons, will reach a new group of students.
Subject: Mobile | November 5, 2017 - 07:49 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google, Pixel 2 XL
The Pixel 2 XL launch hasn’t been going so well for Google. Early complaints were about the screen: how it had alleged burn-in problems within the first few days, and how it couldn’t support the sRGB color space. Since then, we’ve even been hearing reports that some phones shipped without the OS even installed. Whoops!
Now here’s a specific complaint: people are saying that the phone is charging slow. This is an easy one to test – run a multimeter in-line with the USB cable see what happens. Google+ user, Nathan K., apparently did, and he found that the Pixel 2 XL maxed out at 10.5W. When the screen is on, this drops to a maximum of 6W, which he claims (and I would have guessed) is likely due to the combined heat of a phone that’s both in-use and charging. Lithium batteries are very sensitive to heat.
He also says that this issue isn’t really a problem in-and-of itself. He just wishes that manufacturers advertised more about how the battery should perform, and maybe even provide the switches for users to override if needed. I could see that being a warranty nightmare, but I’m rarely going to fall on the side against user choice as a general rule, so I think that would be nice.
Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2017 - 07:13 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: blizzard, starcraft 2, pc gaming
Over the last few years, Blizzard has been progressively opening up StarCraft II for non-paying customers. These initiatives ranged from allowing whole parties to share the highest expansion level of any one member, unlocking Terran for unranked games, opening up mods to the Starter edition, and so forth.
Starting on November 14th, after a handful of months of the original StarCraft going free-to-play, Blizzard will allow free access to multiplayer (including the ranked ladder), a handful of co-op commanders, and the Wings of Liberty campaign. If you already own Wings of Liberty, then you will get Heart of the Swarm for free (if you claim it between November 8th and December 8th).
If you already own both, then… well, life as usual for you.
In terms of making money, Blizzard is hoping to sell the remaining two-or-three campaigns, Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops, as well as the other up-sells, like announcers, co-op commanders, and so forth. If you’re in it for the vanilla (or Arcade) multiplayer, though, then you can jump in on November 14th without paying a dime.
Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2017 - 05:01 PM | Scott Michaud
About a week ago, the Blender Foundation held their annual Blender Conference. The event was sponsored by AMD, same as last year, who is putting quite a bit of time and money in the free, open-source 3D suite. They are especially focused on OpenCL and Cycles development, which benefits their Radeon GPUs and high-end, workstation CPUs.
In fact, AMD, along with Tangent Animation, Nimble Collective, and Aleph Objects, have paid for engineers to work on the project.
A lot of the talk was about Blender 2.8, as it is both upcoming and a significant change. Ton Roosendaal talked a lot about the new scene graph, how objects can be groups as collections, and how an infinite number of layers are possible. It’s a significant, back-end change that’s been discussed in the past.
There’s still no firm release schedule for Blender 2.8, but it’s coming along. You can download one of the pre-release builds on their website, but don’t expect it to be stable. I found my first crash bug in about 5 minutes.
Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2017 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, console, gaming, xbox one x, model numbers gone wild
AMD will once again benefit from the launch of a new console, the Xbox One X is powered by eight Jaguar cores running at 2.3 GHz and 40 custom AMD CUs which run at 1172 MHz which will provide six teraflops of processing power. Ars Technica took the new console for a spin and were quite impressed, in theory. The XbOX does offer proper 4k HDR video output, assuming you have the TV for it, however most of the available games do not offer both so you might be somewhat disappointed with a title such as Halo3. On the other hand, all games do look better on the X1X and perform quite well. Drop by for a large number of screenshots comparing the Xbone to the XbxX and details on which games benefit the most from the new device.
"When it comes to hard numbers, the Xbox One X definitely merits Microsoft’s marketing hype as “the most powerful console ever.” Microsoft has pulled out the stops in squeezing stronger components into the same basic architecture of the four-year-old Xbox One."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Scientists Prove Emoticons Are Not Universally Understood @ Slashdot
- Some Pixel 2 XLs escaped the factory without an operating system installed @ The Inquirer
- SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again @ The Register
- Qualcomm sues Apple for allegedly blabbing smartphone chip secrets in emails CC'd to Intel @ The Register
- Microsoft to close accessibility loophole to free Windows 10 Upgrades in December @ The Inquirer
- Hackers abusing digital certs smuggle malware past security scanners @ The Register
- Microsoft reveals network simulator that keeps Azure alive @ The Register
Subject: Editorial | November 3, 2017 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag, pcper
It's Friday, which means it's time for PC Perspective's weekly mailbag, our video show where Ryan and team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest hardware, the process of running a tech review website, and more!
Here's what you'll find on today's show:
00:37 - Reviewers biased on i5-8400 reviews?
02:35 - Vega 56 performance close to Vega 64?
04:43 - HDR limited by monitor panel tech?
07:27 - Why do NVIDIA and AMD use blower style coolers?
09:54 - Backup software recommendation?
12:26 - Where are the 8-core Ryzen laptops?
13:51 - Will NVIDIA ever support FreeSync?
16:24 - Upgrade Xbox One X with SSD?
17:43 - i7-8700 vs. i7-8700K?
19:18 - Ryzen 5 1600 for gaming and Plex Server?
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 2, 2017 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, MaxTytan, 800w, modular psu, SLEEMAX, 80 Plus Titanium
Enermax have launched a new family of PSUs called MaxTytan, with the 800W model appearing for review on [H]ard|OCP. These PSUs feature Sleemax cabling, each wire is covered in fabric which does look nice but adds bulk to the wires. The cables plus the 80 PLUS Titanium rating add to the price, the MSRP is $200. That hurts the rating [H] provided as the power quality they saw in testing was good, but not great, and is somewhat more expensive than the competition. Drop by for the review, as the PSU provides decent power and a nice look for cases that expose components.
"Enermax pulls out a flagship with its MaxTytan PSU, this one rated at 800 watts. The MaxTytan PSU has some interesting features like its on-demand Dust Free Rotation fan system. It also comes with very "custom" looking SLEEMAX cable covers that wrap every single cable individually like you find in custom rigs. And huge Titanium efficiency!"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- BitFenix Formula Gold 750 W @ TechPowerUp
- Seasonic FOCUS PLUS Gold & Platinum 750W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Bitfenix Formula Gold 750W @ Kitguru
- Enermax Platimax DF 1200W @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 2, 2017 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, gtx 1070 ti, geforce
It should come as no surprise to anyone how the GTX 1070 Ti performs, better than a GTX 1070 but not quite as fast as a GTX 1080 ... unless you overclock. With the push of two buttons Ryan was able to hit 1987 MHz which surpasses your average GTX 1080 by a fair margin. Hardware Canucks saw 2088MHz when they overclocked as well as memory of 8.9Gbps which pushed the performance past the reference GTX 1080 in many games. Their benchmark suite encompasses a few different games so you should check to see if your favourites are there.
The real hope of this launch was that prices would change, not so much the actual prices you pay but the MSRP of cards both AMD and NVIDIA. For now that has not happened but perhaps soon it will, though Bitcoin hitting $7000 does not help.
"NVIDIA’s launch of their new GTX 1070 Ti is both senseless and completely sensible depending on which way you tend to look at things. The emotional among you are going to wonder why NVIDIA is even bothering to introduce a new product into a lineup that’s more than a year old."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founder Edition @ Guru of 3D
- GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 2-way FCAT SLI @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming @ Guru of 3D
- Palit GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Super Jetstream @ Guru of 3D
- Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti review: A fine graphics card—but price remains high @ Ars Technica
- GTX 1070 Ti Review- 35 Games benchmarked @ BabelTechReviews
- MSI GTX 1070 Ti Gaming 8 GB @ TechPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition 8 GB @ TechPowerUp
- A Quick Look At NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti @ Techgage
- MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming
- MSI GTX 1070 Ti Gaming 8G @ Kitguru
- Palit GTX 1070 Ti Super JetStream 8 GB @ TechPowerUp
- Palit GTX 1070 Ti Super JetStream @ Kitguru
- The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition @ TechARP
- MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO @ [H]ard|OCP
- Sapphire RX VEGA 64 Limited Edition @ Modders-Inc
- The AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2017 - 12:11 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Volta, video, podcast, PCI-e 4, nvidia, msi, Microsoft Andromeda, Memristors, Mali-D71, Intel Optane, gtx 1070 ti, cord cutting, arm, aegis 3, 8th generation core
PC Perspective Podcast #474 - 11/02/17
Join us for discussion on Optane 900P, Cord Cutting, 1070 Ti, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano,
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:32:19
0:03:45 PCPer Mailbag #15 - 10/26/2017
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2017 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, visceral, ea, gaming, Ragtag
EA revealed something which those of us who follow the industry have known for sometime; they are not in the business of selling games, instead they offer 'games as a service'. What that translates into is a business model that has no interest in selling a game that they cannot continue to milk income from for a long time after its release. This specifically impacts single player games, as one cannot attempt to turn them into the next big eSports title and not many people are willing to shell out extra cash for horse armour. That attitude created an incredibly unfriendly work environment and lead to issues with employee retention as well as resources for the development of the game. EA responded to Kotaku, who researched the fall of Ragtag and Visceral with a statement containing absolutely nothing, which you can read here.
This is an example of the changing attitude of several large game development companies, who are not satisfied with the income from a games release nor additional income from DLC and who instead want every game they release to be a permanent source of income. How exactly one is supposed to have the time to play one game for as long envision so and to keep purchasing new releases which are also intended to be continually played is unclear.
Thankfully there are holdouts such as Paradox and Creative Assembly who find ways to extend the life of older games and make money at it; without the expectation that you buy a new game, along with DLC and add-ons every single year as well as continue to play last years model.
"The demos weren’t enough. Former Visceral employees don’t know when EA made the decision to shut down their studio, but on October 17, 2017, it became official. Visceral, which employed around 80 people, was no more."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Steam introduces digital gift cards and a lot of hassle @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Halloween sale ends soon! Now with 300+ deals up to -90% • Get a FREE game when you spend 15 USD @ GOG
- Old Battlefield games re-killed after EA’s legal warning @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Super Mario Odyssey review: Mario’s densest, deepest adventure yet @ Ars Technica
- I love Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s skill trees @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Jumbo Bundle
- Spelunky 2 is happening @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds ‘on track’ for v1.0 release in Dec @ HEXUS
- A Look At GPU Performance In Destiny 2: 1080p, 1440p, Ultrawide & 4K @ Techgage
- Wot I Think: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2017 - 02:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PCM, IBM
A team of researchers at IBM Zurich have come up with a way to utilize PCM as a simple computational device which does not follow the traditional Von Neumann architecture. Phase change memory works in a way somewhat analogous to optical storage, with changes to the physical state of the storage medium being used to represent a 1 or 0. In this case it is a substance that switches from amorphous to crystalline and back again with the application of electrical current; the article at The Register describes this in more detail.
This research envisions connecting to a sensor which can send an electrical pulse to PCM to change its state; the example given involves detecting rain and changing the memory to a 1 if rain is detected, a 0 if not. With the application of a algorithm to detect the state of the PCM you can read out rainfall patterns from storage without requiring a processor. While the computational power of PCM will be quite simple, describing how this works is certainly not so follow the links to the research if your curiosity is piqued.
"But memory has no processor so some aspect of a memory device has to be used, an aspect that changes its nature depending upon the data contents of the memory device. Also the computation is going to be quite primitive"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Android Oreo Bug Sends Thousands of Phones Into Infinite Boot Loops @ Slashdot
- Microsoft slowly closes Outlook Premium's door while Office 365 winks at you across the street @ The Register
- Russia's Anti-VPN Law Goes Into Effect @ Slashdot
- Only good guys would use an automated GPU-powered password-cracker ... right? @ The Register
- The underground story of Cobra, the 1980s’ illicit handmade computer @ Ars Technica
- We May Not Have Enough Minerals To Even Meet Electric Car Demand @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2017 - 11:04 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: MMU-600, Mali-G72, Mali-D71, Mali GPU, mali, Chi, Assertive Display 5, arm, AMBA
Not much can stand in the way of progress. This is particularly true in the mobile market. The competition is so fierce that we have seen yearly refreshes that push the feature and quality levels to new heights. Several years back we saw Apple release their high DPI displays and the rest of the industry followed. We have seen Android and iOS add new software features and capabilities into their products that have pushed the limits of the CPU and GPUs of these phones. Now we are entering a new era with AR and VR capabilities in phones and it is only pushing the performance envelope of these handheld devices that may consume only a couple of watts at full power.
One area that has needed an upgrade for a while is in the display capabilities cooked into the latest ARM processors. The needs of upcoming phones to display 4K resolutions at 120 Hz for high end devices that can also support VR capabilities are great. Previously units have been limited to 4K/30 or in higher end phones 4K/60 capabilities. With VR being a push in mobile as well as other features that require high resolution displays and high refresh rates, it was imperative for ARM to update their technology on this front.
Previously known as “Cetus”, ARM is introducing the three different functional units that comprise their latest display technology. The Mali-D71 is based on the new Komeda display architecture and it can handle the aforementioned 4K resolution at 120 Hz. The second portion is the MMU-600 which is a memory management unit which is tightly coupled with the D-71 to provide high bandwidth and low latency memory accesses to achieve that 4K/120 spec. Finally the Assertive Display 5 unit helps the D-71 provide HDR support across a wide range of specifications.
The new display processor is highly associated with the latest Mali GPU cores, but with enough work a 3rd party licensee could adapt it to another GPU architecture. This is obviously not the most efficient way of using this technology as it is regarded as a turnkey solution for the Mali GPU products. ARM has developed the software stack for both Andriod and Linux, and if needed it can develop Windows based drivers to fully leverage the features of this latest product. It is easily attached to 3rd party panel interfaces.
The D-71 is somewhat unique in that it adds a tremendous amount of features and speed, but is highly area efficient as compared to previous products. It takes up about half the size of the previous DP-650 unit, but because of the overall design and specialized hardware support in D-71 it features twice the pixel throughput at about 70% of the power consumption. This is an excellent example of inspired design overcoming previous generation limitations.
MMU-600 is a lynchpin in the operation as it provides advanced memory management which improves bandwidth and lowers latency dramatically as compared to the previous unit. It is tightly designed with the D71 and is highly optimized to work with the latest AMBA/CHI interconnect and Mali-G series of GPUs.
The final piece of this release is the Assertive Display 5 functionality. This provides extensive HDR support with a wide variety of panels. It is highly programmable and can provide HDR-like performance even to SDR displays. It has native HDR 10 and HLG support as well as converting HDR content to SDR. It implements blue light filtering in hardware as well as compensation for ambient light using the device sensors. ARM tries to ensure the best possible picture from the screen no matter the conditions.
The latest ARM display solution overcomes many of the limitations of the previous unit as well as adds a few new wrinkles with Assertive Display 5. It can provide top end VR and HDR experiences, as long as the GPU portion of the device can keep up with the needs of the software. ARM has removed a pretty significant hurdle to providing a rich visual experience with handheld devices.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 31, 2017 - 09:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, amazon, google, pascal, Volta, gv100, tesla v100
Remember last month? Remember when I said that Google’s introduction of Tesla P100s would be good leverage over Amazon, as the latter is still back in the Kepler days (because Maxwell was 32-bit focused)?
To compare the two parts, the Tesla P100 has 3584 CUDA cores, yielding just under 10 TFLOPs of single-precision performance. The Tesla V100, with its ridiculous die size, pushes that up over 14 TFLOPs. Same as Pascal, they also support full 1:2:4 FP64:FP32:FP16 performance scaling. It also has access to NVIDIA’s tensor cores, which are specialized for 16-bit, 4x4 multiply-add matrix operations that are apparently common in neural networks, both training and inferencing.
Amazon allows up to eight of them at once (with their P3.16xlarge instances).
So that’s cool. While Google has again been quickly leapfrogged by Amazon, it’s good to see NVIDIA getting wins in multiple cloud providers. This keeps money rolling in that will fund new chip designs for all the other segments.
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2017 - 09:38 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, nvidia, graphics drivers
As we head into another batch of holiday releases, NVIDIA has published another GeForce driver: 388.13. While they don’t explicitly call this out in the release notes, the CustHelp page for 388.10, which was released late last week, suggests that 388.13 will help Kepler users have a more stable experience in Wolfenstein II. If you were having troubles, check these out. The release notes also claims that 388.13 fixes an issue with multiple monitors.
Otherwise, the driver is mostly game-specific optimizations. The headlining game for 388.13 is Call of Duty WWII. As usual, that franchise is quite popular, although not nearly as much as it was, say… eight-to-ten years ago. Still, there will be a lot of people buying it. The other two “Game Ready” titles for this driver are Need for Speed Payback and the formerly PS4-exclusive, Nioh: Complete Edition.
Oh… it is also the first driver to support the GeForce 1070 Ti.
If you don’t continuously check GeForce Experience, then be sure to open it and check for driver updates. Alternatively, you can just install them from the website.
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2017 - 03:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: A4Tech, bloody, P85 Light Strike 5K RGB Animation Gaming Mouse, input
A4TECH’s Bloody mice all have a Light Strike Infrared Switch which not only provides a 0.2ms activation time but is also sealed so that no dust can degrade its performance. The sensor is more traditional, it contains the popular PixArt PMW3325 with sensitivity ranging from 100-5000 CPI. The mouse sports five RGB patterns for those who like the glow, you can switch between them by lifting the mouse and clicking the topmost of the three buttons in the centre of the mouse. These buttons are defaulted to volume control and screen capture, a nice addition to a gaming mouse. You can learn more about the mouse with a long name at Benchmark Reviews.
"A4TECH’s Bloody Division over the last few years has been at the forefront with that is called Light Strike technology, replacing mechanical with optical switches utilizing infrared light. Today we examine the most recent iteration of the Bloody mice series, the P85 Light Strike 5K RGB Animation Gaming Mouse; combining a popular eight button layout with some dazzling light effects."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MSI Clutch GM70 & GM60 Reviewed @ OCC
- Razer Basilisk @ TechSpot
- Tt eSPORTS MEKA PRO Keyboard @ TechPowerUp
- Gamdias Hermes P2 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Rosewill NEON K85 RGB Keyboard @ TechPowerUp
- Roccat Isku+ Force FX Keyboard @ TechPowerUp