AnandTech has written a very extensive test in which they took a look at five laptops based on AMD's Carrizo platform. If you don't want to read the whole thing, you can find the Cliff notes at ExtremeTech. The conclusion is basically that enthusiasm about AMD's mobile Carrizo lineup was misplaced, despite the chip offering a significant step-up in performance and power efficiency versus the Kaveri.
Unfortunately, most OEMs are pairing the Carrizo with single-channel memory configurations to keep costs low, but end up pitting Carrizo against significantly more expensive solutions from Intel. For example, HP offers a $1,049 Elitebook 840 G3 with the Intel Core i5-6200U and 8GB of DDR4-2133 in a dual-channel configuration, and charges exactly the same price for the lower-performance Carrizo-based Elitebook 745 G3, which has just 4GB DDR3L-1600 in single-channel configuration. That's quite odd considering the AMD chip in that laptop has a $150 lower list price than the Intel counterpart.
So the issues of Carrizo are two-fold. On one hand the chip doesn't have enough performance to compete with Intel, and on the other hand OEMs are crippling the platform by not putting in effort to target the price ranges that AMD intended to hit:
When AMD briefed us on Carrizo nearly a year ago, it made it clear that the chip was targeting the $400 to $700 laptop market, with Carrizo-L shipping into the $250 to $400 range. Between $400 and $500, AMD would be competing against the lower-end Core i5-5200U from Intel, as well as various Haswell-era Celerons and lower-end Intel parts. Instead, OEMs are building low-quality hardware at premium prices, tossing Carrizo against Intel chips it wasn’t meant to compete against. This feeds a vicious cycle — consumers who buy AMD and are dissatisfied with the result are less inclined to consider AMD in the future — for problems that ultimately, are beyond Chipzilla’s control.
Amazon announces the availability of Lumberyard, a cross-platform 3D game engine with full source code access, and Cloud and Twitch integration. The engine is based on Crytek's CryENGINE and is free to use, there are no subscription or license fees, you only pay the default fees for the Amazon Web Services services you choose to use. You can check it out or download it over here.
Amazon Lumberyard is the only game engine that gives you a combination of free, feature-rich development technology, native integration to the AWS Cloud to make it easier to create live and multiplayer games, and native integration of Twitch features that help you connect games to the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers.
By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you are able to spend more of your time creating differentiating gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.
Amazon Lumberyard is a free AAA game engine deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch – with full source code provided. Whether you are a major studio, an indie developer, a student, or a hobbyist, Lumberyard provides a growing set of tools to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch.
Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects. With Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, even non-technical game developers can add cloud-connected features to a game in minutes (such as a community news feed, daily gifts, or server-side combat resolution) through a drag-and-drop GUI interface. Lumberyard is also integrated with Amazon GameLift, a new AWS service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games.
With Amazon GameLift, Amazon Lumberyard developers can quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.
Amazon Lumberyard is free, and available in beta for developers building PC and console games, with mobile and virtual reality (VR) platforms coming soon. With Amazon Lumberyard, developers only pay standard AWS fees for the AWS services they choose to use. With Amazon GameLift, you simply pay for the standard AWS fees for Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, and data transfer you actually use, plus a small fee per Daily Active User.
Oracle issued a warning to urge people to delete all Java installers lumbering around in the download folder of your browser, as older versions of the Java installer are vulnerable to an attack technique called binary planting.
The company says Java installers with version numbers below 6u113, 7u97, 8u73 are vulnerable to the attack. The flaw is quite complex to exploit though, it requires the planting of malicious DLLs into the browser's download folder, which will only be executed if the user executes one of the vulnerable install clients:
The reason is that older Java installers are designed to look for and automatically load a number of specifically named DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files from the current directory. In the case of Java installers downloaded from the Web, the current directory is typically the computer's default download folder.
If an attacker manages to place a specifically named malicious DLL into a computer's "Downloads" folder, that file will be executed when the user tries to install Java for the first time or when he manually updates an existing Java installation by downloading and running a new installer.
"Though considered relatively complex to exploit, this vulnerability may result, if successfully exploited, in a complete compromise of the unsuspecting user’s system," said Eric Maurice, Oracle's software security assurance director, in a blog post.
Imagination Technologies CEO Hossein Yassaie is stepping down with immediate effect, after serving as CEO since 1998. Andrew Heath, one of the non-executive directors, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive. The group is going through financial issues, it isued a trading update that it expects to report an EBIT loss for the fiscal year ending 30 April 2016. The company also announced several restructuring initiatives.
Since the Group published its half year results in December 2015, market conditions have not improved and the slow-down in the overall semiconductor sector has continued, reinforced by global uncertainty about future trading prospects with China.
Royalty returns from some key customers have fallen short of previous expectations for the last calendar quarter of 2015 with lower forecasts for the first calendar quarter of 2016. While the licence pipeline remains strong, and licences and related revenues already secured this year amount to £24 million, the pace of deal closure is falling short of prior expectations.
The royalty reduction coupled with continuing uncertainty over licence revenue timing is likely to result in a material reduction in expected FY16 revenues and resulting profitability. The Group now expects to report an EBIT loss for the financial year to 30 April 2016.
The Group continues to have sufficient cash resources to meet its obligations going forward.
Imagination is best known for its line of PowerVR graphics chips, which are found in a wide variety of SoCs used in many portable devices, including Apple's iPhone and iPad lineups.
Apple silently rolled out a repair program for Mac Pro computers manufactured between February 8, 2015 and April 11, 2015. There's no dedicated webpage but several websites like 9to5Mac are reporting the news as Apple recently sent out repair details to its authorized service providers.
Affected Mac Pro systems suffering from video card related issues are eligible for repair, which consists of swapping out the graphics card.
In the notice, Apple notes that Mac Pros manufactured between February 8, 2015 and April 11, 2015 are eligible for repairs due to issues with the machine’s graphics cards that “may cause distorted video, no video, system instability, freezing, restarts, shut downs, or may prevent system start up.”
Apple goes into a bit more detail about the symptoms eligible for repair:
Distorted or scrambled video on the external display
No video on the external display even though the computer is on
Micron presented a next-generation 768Gbit triple-bit-per-cell (TLC) NAND flash memory design at last week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). The 768Gb 3D NAND device from Micron has a density of 4.29Gb/mm2 compared to 2.6Gb/mm2 for the most dense 256Gbit 3D NAND chips that Samsung ships today, and four times as much as most planar devices available on the market today.
The company has not yet decided whether it will commit to manufacturing the design as a product. The product would have a chip die size of 179.2mm², read speeds of up to 800MB/s and write speed of 44MB/s. This compares to a die size of 97.6mm² for the Samsung device, which has a read speed of 178MB/s but a write speed of 53MB/s.
Given the four-to-one ratio of Micron’s density compared to today’s planar devices, the company can afford to spend a lot on the new product and still make a profit, Harari said. However, he noted it may require the equivalent of a new fab.
The Micron part gets its density from a technique of tucking control circuitry under the array pioneered years ago by Matrix Semiconductor and used by several companies including SanDisk, he added.
“Micron is bold in designing this chip whether they can yield it is another matter,” Harari said.
Toshiba/SanDisk plan on offering 768Gb TLC 3D BiCS by late 2017 and promise to offer 1Tbit chips in 2018.
ASUS shows off its ROG Horus GK2000, a new gaming keyboard with Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, a red LED backlight and built-in memory for profile and macro management. The keyboard features an aluminium enclosure and offers a detachable palm rest and a removable stand for your smartphone. Pricing and availability is unknown.
ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Horus GK2000 mechanical gaming keyboard. It has a built-in 32-bit micro-programmed control unit (MCU) and 4MB of onboard memory, plus an intuitive ROG user interface that allows users to customize macro and function keys for complex multi-key commands with just a single keystroke. ROG Horus GK2000 has a premium, high-quality feel and has CNC-processed aluminum accents with a special topcoat finish. It also features a removable palm rest, 2-way adjustable feet, and a detachable stand for mobile devices
Built-in 32-bit control unit
ROG Horus GK2000 has an embedded 32-bit MCU and 4MB of onboard memory that processes and stores macro functions as well as lighting and profile settings. Users can program up to 80 macro commands for mouse, PC, and media-control functions. They can also program the keyboard to initiate complex multi-key commands with one keystroke. A total of 10 user profiles can be stored in the onboard memory, and users can simply drag and drop profile settings saved on their PCs to transfer them to the keyboard.
Horus GK2000 utilizes Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, and features 4mm of key travel for tactile, responsive keystrokes. It is durable too, and has an expected lifespan of 50-million keystroke lifespan. Each individual key is backlit by red LEDs, and features ergonomically-shaped keycaps that are ideal for gaming or typing.
Horus GK2000 features 100% anti-ghosting with N-Key rollover (NKRO) technology to ensure each keystroke is detected no matter how many other keys are pressed. The N-Key rollover function can easily be switched on or off via its own hotkey.
Distinctive ROG engineering
ROG Horus GK2000 has a premium, high quality feel and features CNC-processed aluminum accents with a special topcoat finish. It has intricately-engineered ‘wings’ and an anodized keyboard plate with a brushed finish to give it an aggressive appearance.
Horus GK2000 has LED-backlit keys with five preset default lighting modes and a sixth for user-customized settings. Users have the option to light up the entire keyboard, or limit the lighting to specific keys.
Horus GK2000 has dedicated multimedia controls that put everything at the user’s fingertips — they can simply turn a dial to adjust volume, or change LED illumination effects without having to lift their hands off the keyboard.
Horus GK2000 was designed with user ergonomics in mind, and has a removable 47 x 83mm palm rest to support gamers’ wrists during marathon gaming sessions. The angle of the keyboard can be adjusted too, thanks to two-way adjustable fold-out feet. Horus GK2000 even comes with a detachable stand for mobile devices, allowing users to place them on the top left or right wing of the keyboard for easy viewing.
There are two USB ports situated at the rear of the keyboard for easy connections to external flash drives and other peripherals; there is also a built-in audio port for headsets
Take it to LAN parties
ROG Horus GK2000 has its own specially designed neoprene carry case. This unique case has a prominent ROG logo and features a soft inner lining to protect Horus GK2000 from scratches. It even has internal compartments for users to store peripherals and other accessories.
Patriot announced a new firmware update for its V560 gaming mouse that adds new functionality and improvements:
Patriot, a leading manufacturer of computer memory, SSDs, flash storage solutions, mobile accessories and gaming peripherals has released a new version of its V560 gaming mouse software.
The V560, Patriot’s first offering in the gaming mouse market and part of the company’s Viper line, made its debut to the public in early November. Initially featuring 8200DPI, five customizable profiles with color indicator, nine programmable buttons, up to 29.4g of adjustable weights and two interchangeable grips for even more customization, the V560 was set at a starting MSRP of $49.99.
Patriot’s latest updates to the Viper software give the V560 new features making it one of the most versatile mice available on the market. The new Zero Delay feature, which increases response time from click to computer, propels the V560’s button response time to the top of the market. After a comparative test, the V560 returned an MCU response time of 1.17ms while the average response time from competing mice was 13.77ms. An added Lift Feature allows the mouse to adapt to any surface it travels upon, accounting for wide movements and the possibility of leaving the surface of the mousepad without disrupting any activity the user is engaged in.
In addition, Patriot has further expanded the functionality and customization of the V560 to better support the needs of gamers everywhere by incorporating an Auto DPI function that can be set to detect the speed of the mouse’s acceleration and adjust the DPI accordingly. This makes the Auto DPI setting an advantageous tool to utilize while battling in the latest FPS game where accuracy is the key to success.
Patriot has also increased the DPI range of the V560 to a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 12,000 and added RGB profile settings for even more customization. The update to the color profiles also gives users the option to turn off the breathing light of the mouse to remove any potential of distraction during intense gaming or work moments.
Dresden Boy put together a table with details of AMD's upcoming Bristol Ridge laptop processors. The source of the data is the USB.org product catalog, as well as some previous leaks.
Using the mobile Carrizo SKUs, the leaked A10-9600P clock, and some sorting, it was easy to map the SKUs to the leaked slide's data. Kristian Gocnik tried it independently and we got the same mapping, except for a consumer A8-9500P he speculatively derived from the pro model, but which is missing on usb.org. So the resulting table likely represents what AMD is going to release as mobile Bristol Ridge chips for the FP4 socket later this year.
The model numbers likely simply jumped by one thousand from Carrizo's and an additional thirty points for the 35W variants. Carrizo's wide TDP ranges got split into 15W and 35W TDPs. This might help to avoid the confusion about 15W and 35W Carrizos laptops. The CPU base clocks jumped significantly, while CPU Turbo and (maximum) GPU clocks kind of matured with the fab process.
Bloomberg wrote on Friday that NVIDIA won the memory chip patent infringement case brought by Samsung. This trial is part of the ongoing patent war between the two firms, which was started a couple of years ago as NVIDIA demanded graphics licensing fees from Samsung.
This particular case involved four Samsung patents, but whittled down to just one as Samsung dropped one patent before the trial and the jude ordered a mistrial on two others.
Nvidia fended off a claim that it infringed a patent owned by Samsung, in a federal jury trial in Richmond, Virginia, said Friday. The case had originally started with four Samsung patents and was whittled down to just one after Samsung dropped one patent before trial and the judge ordered a mistrial on two others.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this case, which reflects the jury’s careful attention to the facts and the law that applied,” said Hector Marinez, an Nvidia spokesman.
In December, Samsung lost its ITC case against Samsung, and a trade judge ruled that NVIDIA infringed three Samsung patents. NVIDIA is appealing both decisions.