Two announcements from Kingston today. First up the company rolls out its new line of HyperX Fury DDR4 memory, these modules ship in 2133MHz, 2400MHz and 2666MHz frequencies, they run at 1.2V and have CAS latencies of CL14-CL15, depending on the model.
The Fury DDR4 lineup has a low-profile black heatspreader and matching PCB. Kingston offers 4GB and 8GB modules, as well as kits ranging from 8GB to 64GB.
HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced HyperX FURY DDR4 memory. HyperX FURY DDR4 is the first product line to offer automatic overclocking via plug-and-play functionality for the next generation of high-end desktops featuring the Intel X99 chipset and Haswell-E processors. HyperX FURY DDR4 is available in 2133MHz, 2400MHz and 2666MHz frequencies, and in various kits configurations from 8GB to 64GB.
HyperX FURY DDR4 memory is a cost-efficient high-performance upgrade for Intel 6- and 8-core processors and helps to provide faster video editing, 3D rendering, gaming and AI processing. It takes full advantage of the power efficiency of DDR4 with low 1.2V settings. HyperX FURY DDR4 features a low profile heat spreader in the signature FURY asymmetrical design with black PCB to stand out and complement the latest PC hardware designs.
Additionally, Kingston now also has Predator DDR4 kits in 32GB and 64GB capacities. The firm offers a 32GB 2133MHz CL14 kit of 4, a 2400MHz CL15 32GB kit of 4 and a 2133MHz CL14 64GB kit of 8.
StatCounter has issued its latest operating system marketshare data. In the data below you can see the most widely used desktop operating systems in February 2015. Windows 7 still reigns supreme with a marketshare of 54.13 percent, down from 54.67 percent in January, whereas the combined marketshare of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 rose from 18.59 percent to 18.91 percent in the same timeframe.
Surprisingly, Windows XP's marketshare rose from 11.99 percent to 12.23 percent. Despite no longer receiving security updates since April 8, 2014, quite a number of people are still counting on XP.
Apple's OS X accounted for 9.09 percent in February, pretty much the same as January's 9.10 percent. Windows Vista's marketshare dropped from 2.69 percent to 2.53 percent while all Linux distros combined saw their total marketshare rise from 1.46 percent to 1.55 percent.
Here we have the current marketshare:
And here's an overview of the trend:
There's also a chart that shows operating marketshare per country. The marketshare of each OS varies greatly from country to country but Eritrea seems to be the only country in the world where Windows 7 isn't the most widely used operating system.
Micron announced it broke ground on an expansion of its NAND flash memory facility in Singapore.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with company and Singapore government officials to begin the expansion of its Singapore NAND flash memory fabrication facility.
Previously announced by the company in December, the approximate 255,000 square foot expansion will facilitate efficient implementation of 3D NAND production at the Singapore facility and give Micron the flexibility to gradually add incremental capacity in response to market requirements. In addition, the space will enable production of storage class and other memory technologies.
"Micron enjoys a strong relationship with Singapore where we employ more than 7,000 team members operating at four major facilities," said Micron President Mark Adams. "We're excited to expand our manufacturing footprint in Singapore, and we commend the government and Economic Development Board for fostering such a productive business environment."
"We are glad that Micron has chosen to expand its NAND flash memory fabrication facility in Singapore. This is a testament to the local team's engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and Singapore's competitiveness for advanced manufacturing," said Terence Gan, Director for Electronics, Economic Development Board. "This investment will help to strengthen our semiconductor and data storage industries and position Singapore to capture the growth opportunities in these industries."
With expansion construction under way, Micron expects initial manufacturing output to occur in fiscal 2017. The company currently anticipates spending approximately $50 million in fiscal 2015 for initial design and construction. At completion and subject to market conditions, Micron currently expects the total cost for this expansion to be approximately $4 billion incurred over a number of years starting in fiscal 2016. The company's capital expenditure guidance for fiscal 2015 remains unchanged at $3.6 billion to $4 billion.
With the launch of Intel's new Atom x3, x5 and x7 chips, Intel Communications and Devices Group Corporate VP and General Manager Aicha Evans suggests the chip giant is winding down its contra-revenue strategy. Intel relied on this tactic to capture marketshare in the tablet market by paying manufacturers to adopt its Bay Trail platform.
Some of the new Atom parts are already competitive enough so contra-revenue tactics won't be neccesary and in the future Intel expects it won't be necessary at all. Earlier this year we wrote on DV Hardware that Intel's mobile chip division ran at an operating loss of $4.21 billion in 2014.
In general, first of all, that was a very calculated move. I think our Chairman—the Chairman of our board—which was a pretty tough moment for us, stood up and said, "Look, this is something we're gonna have to do to get into the market and be relevant in the conversation." So, long term, you should not expect to be seeing that.
Now, nothing happens overnight. You don't lose 100 lbs overnight, right. So, some of the product will still have a little bit of a BOM [bill of materials] offset this year, but in general, we are now starting to be able to be in a position where we don't have to automatically offer contra revenue in order to make up for some of the BOM offset issues we have.
And I think we've been public also at the Investor Day . . . in November, and we set a very public [profits and losses] goal of $800 million of improvement in this space. And that comes from the mix, and that comes from the fact that we don't have to offer contra revenue in the SoFIA line and in some of these different lines, because we're getting more and more efficient in the BOM and the overall platform design and pre-integration.
AMD announced it will soon publish a programming guide and API reference documents for Mantle but stressed that developers should now focus on DirectX 12 or GLnext (Vulkan).
AMD will keep supporting Mantle for existing projects but developers are advised to move onwards as Mantle has served its purpose as a temporary bridge between DX11 and DX12.
AMD's Mantle Graphics API has gathered incredible momentum in its first year, gaining support from five advanced game engines and 10 premium applications.
Mantle has also revolutionized the industry's thinking on low-overhead/high-throughput graphics APIs as solutions that do not compromise developer productivity. Compelling content was delivered on Mantle in historically quick time, paving the way for various graphics standards bodies to move forward with conviction on their own similar API standards and specifications.
We are proud of these accomplishments, and we have been inspired by everything we have learned along the way. We also haven’t forgotten the promise we made: openness.
AMD is a company that fundamentally believes in technologies unfettered by restrictive contracts, licensing fees, vendor lock-ins or other arbitrary hurdles to solving the big challenges in graphics and computing. Mantle was destined to follow suit, and it does so today as we proudly announce that the 450-page programming guide and API reference for Mantle will be available this month (March, 2015) at www.amd.com/mantle.
This documentation will provide developers with a detailed look at the capabilities we’ve implemented and the design decisions we made, and we hope it will stimulate more discussion that leads to even better graphics API standards in the months and years ahead.
Proud moments also call for reflection, and today we are especially thoughtful about Mantle’s future. In the approaching era of DirectX® 12 and the Next-Generation OpenGL Initiative, AMD is helping to develop two incredibly powerful APIs that leverage many capabilities of the award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.
AMD’s game development partners have similarly started to shift their focus, so it follows that 2015 will be a transitional year for Mantle. Our loyal customers are naturally curious about what this transition might entail, and we wanted to share some thoughts with you on where we will be taking Mantle next:
AMD will continue to support our trusted partners that have committed to Mantle in future projects, like Battlefield™ Hardline, with all the resources at our disposal.
Mantle’s definition of “open” must widen. It already has, in fact. This vital effort has replaced our intention to release a public Mantle SDK, and you will learn the facts on Thursday, March 5 at GDC 2015.
Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs.
The Mantle SDK also remains available to partners who register in this co-development and evaluation program. However, if you are a developer interested in Mantle "1.0" functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX® 12 or GLnext.
As an API born to tackle the big challenges in graphics, much of this evolution is already well under way. We invite you to join AMD this week at Game Developer Conference 2015 to see not just the future of Mantle, but the future of PC graphics itself.
Raja Koduri is Vice President of Visual and Perceptual Computing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions.
A week or two from now, Tesoro starts shipping its Excalibur Spectrum in North America for $139.99. This new mechanical gaming keyboard features fully customizable, key-by-key lighting with 16.8 million colors, 8 different LED effect modes and 5 levels of brightness. It also offers 6/N-key rollover and macro support with instant recording.
The press release doesn't mention the type of mechanical switches, other than that you can get the keyboard with Kailh Blue, Black, Brown and Red mechanical switches that offer a lifetime of 60 million keystrokes.
Tesoro Technology USA Inc., announces the Excalibur Spectrum mechanical keyboard, featuring individual key-specific customizability in 16.8 million colors.
Full Spectrum, Full Customization
The Excalibur Spectrum allows gamers to individually customize virtually any color, to any key. With 8 different LED effects, such as dimming, full zone, trigger, ripple, firework, radiation, rainbow wave, and per key customized mode as well as 5 levels of brightness and 5 distinct profiles to store them, there are endless combinations for a truly unique configuration.
Switchable N-Key Rollover / USB 6 Key Rollover
Allowing gamers to switch between N-Key Rollover (NKRO) and USB 6 Key Rollover, the Excalibur Spectrum has no ghosting or jamming issues to speak of, it polls keystrokes at a fast 1000Hz to ensure precision. With a quick set of hotkeys, gamers can jump between PC and Gaming modes to prevent any compromising accidental key strokes, and stay competitive.
Instant Recording / 512kb Built-in Storage
Gamers are able to instantly program macros on the Excalibur Spectrum with the help of newly designed software. Built-in storage gives players the freedom to carry their preferences with them, even on different computers, preventing any tedious reprogramming.
Built to Last, Designed for Play
The Excalibur Spectrum uses Kailh switches rated for 60 million keystrokes and rests on rubberized feet with tilt control, preventing slipping even during intense play.
Price and Availability
The Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum will be available in the middle of March in North America at a suggested retail price of $139.99 USD in Kailh Blue, Black, Brown and Red mechanical switches.
Khronos also announced the release of OpenCL 2.1 for public review:
The KhronosTM Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCLTM 2.1 provisional specification.
OpenCL 2.1 is a significant evolution of the open, royalty- free standard for heterogeneous parallel programming that defines a new kernel language based on a subset of C++ for significantly enhanced programmer productivity, and support for the new Khronos SPIR-VTM cross-API shader program intermediate language now used by both OpenCL and the new Vulkan graphics API. The OpenCL 2.1 specification at www.khronos.org/opencl/ is released in provisional form to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before finalization at the OpenCL forums: https://www.khronos.org/opencl/opencl_feedback_forum.
OpenCL 2.1 Technical Overview Session in San Francisco
OpenCL Ecosystem Advances: OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V and SYCL
Wednesday, March 4th at 3-4:30pm
Venue: SF Green Space at 657 Mission Street, Suite 200 – five minutes’ walk from GDC Overview of OpenCL 2.1, SPIR-V and direct interaction with working group members
No GDC pass required, however seating is limited so please register if you plan to attend: https://www.khronos.org/news/events/gdc-2015.
About OpenCL 2.1
The OpenCL C++ kernel language is a static subset of C++14 and significantly boosts parallel programming productivity by providing lambda functions, classes, templates, operator overloading, and many other C++ features to free developers from low-level coding details without sacrificing performance. OpenCL C++ enables reusable device libraries and containers for easily sharable code that is fast and elegant, and templates enables meta-programming for highly adaptive software that cleanly delivers performance portability.
In another significant announcement today, OpenCL 2.1 and VulkanTM, the new open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCLTM, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features.
SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of kernel IP protection, accelerated kernel load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving kernel reliability and portability across multiple implementations.
In addition to the introduction of the OpenCL C++ shading language, OpenCL 2.1 brings enhancements to the OpenCL API, including:
- Subgroups, that expose hardware threading, are bought into core, together with additional subgroup query operations for increased flexibility;
- clCloneKernel enables copying of kernel objects and state for safe implementation of copy constructors in wrapper classes;
- Low-latency device timer queries support alignment of profiling between device and host code.
“OpenCL 2.1 has responded to developer demand with a C++ based kernel language which delivers the next level of programmer productivity in parallel programming, while still preserving backwards compatibility for existing OpenCL C kernels,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and chair of the OpenCL working group and vice president at NVIDIA. “The use of SPIR-V by Vulkan and OpenCL will fundamentally reshape the graphics and compute ecosystem by enabling diverse language and middleware front-ends to leverage the hardware community’s investment in optimized back-end drivers. Khronos is investigating catalyzing the OpenCL 2.1 ecosystem with an open source front-end OpenCL C++ compiler implementation and a convertor between SPIR-V and LLVM, and we welcome developer feedback on this and any other aspect of OpenCL 2.1.”
The Khronos Group announced it will be offering technical preview of Vulkan at the GDC in San Francisco this week. Vulkan is a new 3D graphics API set to replace OpenGL, it was made from ground-up and promises high-efficiency, close-to-metal access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a variety of devices.
The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the availability of technical previews of the new VulkanTM open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices.
This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL® Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-VTM specification for shading language flexibility. Vulkan initial specifications and implementations are expected later this year and any company may participate in Vulkan’s ongoing development by joining Khronos. Industry feedback is welcomed at https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/vulkan_feedback_forum.
“Industry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms,” said Valve's Gabe Newell. “Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.”
Vulkan Technical Previews at GDC in San Francisco
Khronos is offering special preview sessions for insights into the Vulkan architecture.
Vulkan: The Future of High Performance Graphics – hosted by Valve
Thursday, March 5 at 10-11AM in Room 2006 in the West Hall of the GDC Conference
A technical preview of the Vulkan API, with advanced techniques and live demos of real-world applications running on Vulkan drivers and hardware
Vulkan: the Next Generation Graphics and Compute API
Thursday, March 5 at 12-1:30pm and repeated at 2–3:30pm
Venue: SF Green Space at 657 Mission Street, Suite 200 – five minutes’ walk from GDC Vulkan overview, demos and direct interaction with working group members
No GDC pass required, however seating is limited so please register if you plan to attend: https://www.khronos.org/news/events/gdc-2015
Vulkan is a unified specification that minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded GPU command preparation for optimal graphics and compute performance on diverse mobile, desktop, console and embedded platforms. Vulkan also provides the direct GPU control demanded by sophisticated game engines, middleware and applications with the cross vendor performance and functional portability resulting from simpler, more predictable drivers. The layered design of Vulkan enables multiple IHVs to plug into a common, extensible architecture for code validation, debugging and profiling during development without impacting production performance; this layering flexibility is expected to catalyze strong innovation in cross-vendor GPU tools.
In another significant announcement today, Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1 are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCLTM, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces GPU driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of shader IP protection, accelerated shader load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving shader reliability and portability across multiple implementations.
“Vulkan is a significant Khronos initiative to provide developers the choice of a state-of-the-art GPU API that is open and portable across multiple platforms, at a time where platform diversity is increasing,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Khronos will be driving the Vulkan ecosystem with open source conformance test components and sample front-end compiler implementations that use SPIR-V to leverage the hardware community’s investment in optimized back-end drivers. Vulkan expands the family of Khronos 3D APIs, and complements OpenGL and OpenGL ES that between them, provide access to billions of GPUs today, and will continue to be evolved and maintained to meet industry needs.”
Epic Games' Tim Sweeney announces Unreal Engine 4 is now available freely! The game developer promises they'll give you everything including all tools, all features, all source code, complete projects, sample code, and regular updates and bug fixes. The only catch is that Epic Games requires a 5 percent royalty fee on games and applications you release, but only after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter so you only pay when you succeed.
Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney talks about why Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Free for games, free for VR, free for architecture, free for film, free for education. Get Unreal at http://www.unrealengine.com.