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UK may ban NVIDIA-Arm deal on national security grounds

40 minutes ago
Roadblocks for NVIDIA's plan to buy British chip designer Arm for $40 billion are popping up as regulatory concerns are intensifying. Bloomberg heard whispers that the UK is considering to block the deal over potential national security risks.

People familiar with the discussions confided to Bloomberg that an assessment from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which was delivered in late July, contains "worrying" implications for the UK's national security. Bloomberg was unable to unearth specifics about why the CMA fears the deal.
The assessment, delivered in late July, contains worrying implications for national security and the U.K. is currently inclined to reject the takeover, a person familiar with government discussions said. The U.K. is likely to conduct a deeper review into the merger due to national security issues, a separate person said.

No final decision has been taken, and the U.K. could still approve the deal alongside certain conditions, the people added. [U.K. Culture Secretary Olive] Dowden is set to decide on whether the merger needs further examination by the U.K.’s competition authorities.
At the moment, Arm is owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The latter bought Arm in 2016 for $31.4 billion and has managed Arm via a hands-off approach.

Is the 3dfx brand back or is someone playing a prank?

8 hours ago
A couple of days ago, a Twitter handle named "3dfx Interactive" started teasing a return to the market. For the youngsters in the back, 3dfx is an iconic video card brand from the 1990s. It was once the supreme leader of the 3D graphics market but the demise of 3dfx happened almost as fast as its rise to glory.

Long story short, 3dfx failed to keep up with its competitors and was left in the dust by NVIDIA and ATi (which got bought by AMD). A couple of failed products later, the 3dfx assets got acquired by NVIDIA in 2000 in a deal worth $112 million. NVIDIA kept using the SLI brand but other than this there's been no trace of 3dfx for the past twenty years.

Is it real?

So is the supposed comeback of 3dfx real? There are a lot of question marks. The mysterious Twitter account claims a product reveal will happen on August 5th. In a later follow up message, a statement was made that "Jansen Products" acquired the assets of 3dfx Interactive on July 23rd. Jansen Products is said to be a San Francisco-based investment firm, but no public trace of this company can be found.

Jansen Products claims the new 3dfx will sell video cards, smartphones, smart TVs, and sound systems. The first 3dfx video cards will supposedly hit the market this winter. Basically, the best-case scenario seems to be that 3dfx will be a brand that sells rebadged (or slightly customized) goods. Of course, we can still not rule out that this is nothing more than a prank.

Thermalright unleashes white versions of three HSFs

2 days ago
Thermalright is on a roll recently with a massive influx of product announcements. Today we have news about three new variants of Thermalright coolers, the company has released white versions of its Assassin King 120 Mini, Frost Spirit 140 V3, and Frost Commander 140.

The white version of the latter is a non-RGB LED model, the other two variants feature ARGB LED fans. Thermalright is trying to keep up with recent trends here. I can still remember the time when the firm didn't even include fans with its heatsinks.

Frost Commander 140 WHITE

All three coolers are intended for AMD Socket AM4 and Intel LGA115X/1200/2011/-3/2066. The Frost Commander 140 WHITE is a 140mm x 121mm x 158mm (L x W x H) heatsink that weighs 1000g. It comes with one 120mm fan and a 140mm fan. This tower cooler has a nickel-plated copper base, five 8mm diameter heatpipes, and two aluminum fin arrays.

Frost Commander 140 WHITE

Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB

Next is the Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB, this is a smaller heatsink with dimensions of 120mm x 71mm x 135mm (L x W x H). It weighs 980g and features five 6mm diameter heatpipes, a nickel-plated copper base, and a single aluminum fin array. Airflow is provided by the TL-D12W-S FAN with RGB LED illumination.

Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB

Frost Spirit 140 WHITE V3 ARGB

Lastly, we have the Frost Spirit 140 WHITE V3 ARGB. This is another big cooler with a 140mm x 121mm x 158mm footprint and a weight of 1000g. It has a nickel-plated copper base, four 8mm diameter heatpipes, and two aluminum fin arrays. Airflow is taken care of by a 120mm fan and a 140mm fan. Both fans are of the ARGB LED type.

Frost Spirit 140 WHITE V3 ARGB

Photo leaks of Intel Z690 based motherboard

2 days ago
The first Intel Alder Lake-S processors and the accompanying Z690 chipset are expected to be launched before the end of this year. As we get closer to the launch, more and more leaks will hit the web. Alder Lake-S will be quite a change, this will be the first chip made using Intel's 7 node -- the new name of 10nm Enhanced SuperFin.

Prototype with 23 power stages

Alder Lake-S will combine up to eight high-performance cores with up to eight energy-efficient cores, and will introduce support for both DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0. VideoCardz discovered a photo of what seems to be an Intel Z690 prototype on the Asian-language Bilibili forums. It's a Z690 motherboard from an unidentified manufacturer. The board has 18+2+3 power stages and the picture shows off the new LGA1700 socket. It also reveals three M.2 connectors separated by a signal full-length PCIe connector.
However, it is clearly a high-end motherboard equipped with as many as 23 power stages around the CPU socket (18+2+3 layout). Such a configuration is usually reserved for very premium and enthusiast-oriented board designs.

And speaking about the socket, this is also the first time we see the LGA1700 socket but without any clamps or latches. The board clearly has some components missing, such as dual EPS connectors at the top, but those should be optional for this particular engineering board.
Intel Z690 based prototype motherboard

Palit claims cryptocurrency mining results in 10% performance drop per year

2 days ago
Whether cryptocurrency mining has an adverse impact on GPU performance is a topic that's been hotly debated over the years. As far as I know, most claims about a negative performance impact have been debunked and tests from tech sites or TechTubers didn't manage to unearth meaningful differences.

Palit issues warning against cryptocurrency mining

Video card maker Palit on the other hand is now claiming that cryptocurrency mining is very bad for the performance level of a video card and warns gamers to think twice about buying GPUs that have been used in cryptocurrency mining rigs. PC Gamer reports Palit claims a mined GPU will lose about 10 percent of its original performance each year. Unfortunately, Palit does not back up its claims with hard data. At the moment, a lot of GPUs are hitting the second-hand market due to the recent crackdown in China on cryptocurrency mining.
Palit reps point to independent tests carried out on mining cards, which suggest that you can expect a 10% degradation in GPU performance for each year of service in a 24/7 cryptocurrency operation. Which seems like a pretty good yardstick to use when considering your options in the second-hand market; even if a given card actually works when you get hold of it, there's a good chance it won't be operating at its peak.

Inevitably Palit—a graphics card manufacturer which gains nothing from the second-hand sale of GPUs—has a vested interest in making sure you buy your graphics cards new. But these are still important things to remember when that tantalising Ebay listing suddenly pops up for a 'nearly new RTX 3070' without a ludicrous mark up.

Intel spills the beans about 80Gbps Thunderbolt 5

2 days ago
Via Twitter, Intel Client Computing Group chief Gregory M Bryant shared some Thunderbolt-related photos from a visit to Intel's facilities in Israel. In his initial post, there were a total of four photos, but it seems he spilled a bit too much details as the current version of his tweet contains just three pictures.

Next Thunderbolt supports 80Gbps and PAM-3

Fortunately, AnandTech was quick enough to take a screengrab. The deleted photo is the juiciest one of course, it contains a couple of details that shouldn't be out in the open just yet.

The meat here is that Thunderbolt 5 will support 80Gbps connections, double as much as what's currently possible with Thunderbolt 4. Secondly, Intel's slide reveals USB 80G is targeted to support the existing USB-C ecosystem. The higher bandwidth will be achieved thanks to PAM-3 modulation technology. The technique allows the transmitting of a 3-bit signal.
The third line is actually where it gets technically interesting. ‘The PHY will be based on novel PAM-3 modulation technology’. This is talking about how the 0 and 1s are transmitted – traditionally we talk about NRZ encoding, which just allows for a 0 or a 1 to be transmitted, or a single bit. The natural progression is a scheme allowing two bits to be transferred, and this is called PAM-4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation), with the 4 being the demarcation for how many different variants two bits could be seen (either as 00, 01, 10, or 11). PAM-4, at the same frequency, thus has 2x the bandwidth of an NRZ connection.
Thunderbolt 5 is 80Gbps

AMD and NVIDIA next-gen GPUs to consume over 400W?

4 days ago
Will the next-gen flagship GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA be power hungry beasts? VideoCardz picked up rumors that AMD's Navi 31 and NVIDIA's AD102 might draw in excess of 400W at full load.

Both chips are still far from launch but all current rumors point to the AD102 and Navi31 using more power than the current generation. It's also said that both GPUs will offer at least twice the performance of the current flagship GPUs.
At the same time, Bondrewd, a Beyond3D forum member, who appears to have insider information on AMD Navi 31, left clues on both the size of the GPU’s chiplet as well as power consumption. All these clues were put together by 3DCenter who concluded that Navi 31 might be a relatively big dual-die GPU (600-650 m² for RDNA3 compute chips alone), but this does not account for MCD and other tiles that will supposedly be used by this GPU. The whole processor might be as big as 800mm², as calculated by 3DCenter. Furthermore, Bondrewd also revealed that Navi31 power should not exceed 500W. With the expected GPU size in mind, 3DCenter concluded that the TBP should be around 420 to 450W.

Intel DG2 GPUs launching at CES 2022?

4 days ago
Word is going around that Intel has packed CES 2022 as the launch event of its DG2 discrete video cards. The DG2 is the first model based on Intel's Xe-HPG, the chip giant's shot at competing in the high-end video card market.

VideoCardz writes there's a possibility that the (paperlaunch) announcement will follow later this year. Based on earlier rumors, there are at least five versions of the DG2. At least initially, the main focus could be on gaming laptops.
The next CES could be filled with Alder Lake mobile announcements. There were leaks that Intel will be announcing Alder Lake-P laptops with DG2 GPUs, marking an important milestone for Intel by offering all-Intel gaming laptops for the first time. Intel DG2 GPUs is to offer up to 512 Execution Units and 16GB GDDR6 memory. At least five SKUs are now planned according to the leaks.

AMD Socket AM5 render hits the web

5 days ago
Reputable Twitter leaker ExecutableFix shared more renders of the AMD Socket AM5. This is the new socket that will be used by the future Zen 4-based "Raphael" desktop processors. Unless AMD changes its naming scheme, these 5nm processors will likely launch as the "Ryzen 7000" series. When it will be out is still largely unknown but it's believed to be in the second half of 2022. Raphael will get RDNA2-based integrated graphics and DDR5 memory support.

First up, one of the big changes of Socket AM5 is that it gets rid of the pin grid array (PGA). Gone will be the AMD processors with fragile, bendable pins. The Raphael chips will feature a land grid array with 1718 pins (LGA-1718). Intel switched to LGA in 2004 with the LGA775 socket and this layout is generally favored because it reduces the risk of damaging your CPU during installation.
The render shows AM5’s new locking mechanism. Obviously, there will be no screws like on EPYC CPUs, which are AMD’s only Zen processors using LGA sockets at this moment, but a simple latch and clamp that will keep the CPU in place during installation. AMD’s AM5 socket certainly does looks familiar, especially to Intel HEDT LGA sockets. -- VideoCardz
The photos also shows cut-outs in the internal heatspreader (IHS). According to ExecutableFix, the Raphael IHS has cut-outs to make room for capacitors.

MSI showcases four Radeon RX 6600 XT cards

5 days ago
Quite a lot of manufacturers showed off upcoming Radeon RX 6600 XT video cards. I'm not going to cover every single model in detail so this will be the final Radeon RX 6600 XT announcement of the day. MSI send over details about four cards. The firm has Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING and Radeon RX 6600 XT MECH 2X variants in standard and overclocked editions. Both series feature a dual-fan cooling solution and will hit the market on August 11. At least for now, MSI is still keeping the clockspeeds under wraps.

As a leading brand in True Gaming hardware, MSI is proud to officially announce the MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X and MECH 2X graphics cards. Equipped with AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GPUs powered by the breakthrough AMD RDNA™ 2 gaming architecture, the new graphics are designed to deliver the ultimate in 1080p gaming for a wide range of enthusiast gamers.

Built upon AMD RDNA 2 GAMING architecture, AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT series graphics cards are designed to deliver optimal performance and power efficiency. These new graphics cards support the latest technologies, including DirectX® Raytracing (DXR), variable rate shading (VRS), and AMD FidelityFX, allowing gamers to experience realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections with rich detail in supported game titles.

GAMING series
The new MSI AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 XT GAMING X graphics cards feature the iconic TWIN FROZR 8 thermal design. This iteration of MSI’s advanced dual fan design has been improved with TORX FAN 4.0, providing fan blade pairs bound together with an outer link to focus airflow into the TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system. The heatsink features advanced aero- and thermodynamic technologies for efficient heat dissipation that lowers core temperatures while maintaining high performance. Dazzling Mystic Light RGB infused into the side of the card is easily controllable and can be synchronized with other compatible LED-lit components via the newly released MSI Center software.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X graphics card also features the following:
  • Torx Fan 4.0 - A new fan design sporting pairs of fan blades bound together with an outer link, forming a rim that focuses airflow into the updated TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system.
  • Core Pipes - Precision-machined heat pipes ensure maximum contact with the GPU and spread heat along the full length of the heatsink.
  • Metal Backplate - A matte-finish backplate reinforces the graphics card and also provides efficient passive cooling with the implementation of thermal pads.

    MECH series
    The MECH series makes its return with the MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT MECH 2X graphics card, now enhanced with the acclaimed MSI TORX FAN 3.0. The performance-focused MECH design provides the essentials to accomplish any task, whether it’s for play or for work. A powerful cooling system, a reinforcing backplate with a brushed finish, and rigid industrial design make the MECH card suitable for any PC build.

    The MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT MECH 2X graphics card features the following:
  • TORX FAN 3.0 - The award-winning MSI TORX Fan 3.0 generates high static pressure and pushes the limits of thermal performance.
  • Zero Frozr - Zero Frozr is the calm before the storm, keeping fans still and quiet until cooling is needed.
  • Thermal Padding - An abundance of thermal pads provide additional pathways for heat transfer directly from the components.
  • Intel could best TSMC within five years

    5 days ago
    For a long time, Intel was the unchallenged leader in the semiconductor process technology segment. But following significant setbacks with 10nm plus struggles with 7nm, Intel has a lot of catching up to do. Pat Gelsinger, who was appointed as Intel's CEO earlier this year, intends to return Intel to its former manufacturing glory and will open up the firm for foundry services.

    A couple of days ago, Intel presented its manufacturing roadmap. The chip giant provided a lot of detail about what it foresees for the next couple of years. Intel also renamed its future process nodes, the upcoming 10nm Enhanced SuperFin is now "Intel 7" and the future 7nm node will be known as "Intel 4". Looking a couple of years into the future, Intel will enter the angstrom era of semiconductors with the "Intel 20A". The latter will be used by Qualcomm for future SoCs.

    DigiTimes spoke to industry sources and got to hear that if things go well, Intel could challenge TSMC in the next five years and regain the process technology crown.

    Intel new process naming scheme

    Gas contamination destroys Apple chips at TSMC

    On a related note, TSMC suffered a minor setback as a gas contamination took out some production at its Fab 18 facility. In a press communication, TSMC explained the contamination happened Thursday night. Some iPhone and Mac chips for Apple were impacted by the issue. TSMC believes it received contaminated gases from a supplier. The foundry switched to other gas supplies but is performing further checks to ensure there's no impact on production quality. TSMC says manufacturing was only affected in a limited way and believes there's no obvious impact on operations.

    Gigabyte teases two Radeon RX 6600 XTs

    5 days ago
    Following AMD's official announcement, Gigabyte provided a photo of two upcoming Radeon RX 6600 XT video cards. At least in theory, these mid-range cards will hit the market on August 11 with prices starting at $379. Gigabyte has a GAMING OC and an EAGLE version, both are equipped with triple-fan WindForce 3X cooling.
    GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of premium gaming hardware, today announced new AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 XT graphics cards with AMD RDNA™ 2 gaming architecture. The Radeon™ RX 6600 XT GAMING OC PRO 8G, Radeon™ RX 6600 XT GAMING OC 8G and Radeon™ RX 6600 XT EAGLE 8G graphics cards are engineered to deliver incredible high-framerate 1080p gaming performance.

    The graphics cards in the GAMING OC series feature the WINDFORCE cooling system and RGB Fusion 2.0, making them the best choice for performance-minded gamers. The EAGLE series is the best choice for those who desire a unique design, while maintaining both efficiency and durability.

    GAMING OC - High Performance and Efficient Cooling.
    The GIGABYTE WINDFORCE 3X cooling system features three unique blade fans, alternate spinning, composite copper heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU, 3D active fans and Screen cooling that work together to provide efficient heat dissipation. The middle fan spins in reverse to optimize airflow for heat dissipation, enabling more efficient performance. These cooling technologies keep the graphics card temperatures low at all times, resulting in higher and more stable performance.

    WINDFORCE fans utilize graphene nano lubricant, which can extend fan life by 2.1 times, delivering nearly the lifespan of the double ball bearing while providing quiet operation. RGB fusion 2.0 allows users to adjust the color of the lights and various special effects, and synchronize with other AORUS devices. The metal back plate not only strengthens the overall structure of the graphics card, but also prevents the PCB from bending or sustaining damage. Due to its ULTRA DURABLE certified components, advanced cooling technology and custom RGB lighting, GAMING OC is the best choice for performance gamers.

    EAGLE - Unique and Durable.
    EAGLE graphics cards also feature WINDFORCE 3X cooling technology, 3D active fans, Screen cooling, and graphene nano lubricant, enabling optimal heat dissipation and performance. The design of EAGLE graphics cards is inspired by science-fiction with mechanical materials, a transparent cover, and a bright logo. In addition, the back plate not only strengthens the overall structure of the graphics card, but also prevents the PCB from bending or sustaining damage.

    GIGABYTE graphics cards use a multi-phase power supply, providing over-temperature protection and load balancing for each MOSFET and allowing the MOSFET to operate at a lower temperature. The ULTRA DURABLE-certified chokes and capacitors provide excellent performance and longer system life.

    AMD sets MSRP of Radeon RX 6600XT at $379

    5 days ago
    AMD paperlaunches its Radeon RX 6600 XT, the cheapest model to date in the RDNA2 family. This card is pitched as the perfect companion for 1080p gaming. The Radeon RX 6600 XT has a Navi 23 GPU with 32 compute units, a 2359MHz Game Clock, up to 2589MHz Boost, a 128-bit memory bus, 8GB GDDR6 memory, and 32MB Infinity Cache. AMD's partners will introduce Radeon RX 6600 XT video cards from August 11. AMD has set the suggested retail price at $379. But of course, given that shortages of GPUs are still a thing, it's still a bit of a mystery how high the street price will be.
    AMD (NASDAQ : AMD) today announced the AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 XT graphics card, designed to deliver the ultimate high-framerate, high-fidelity and highly responsive 1080p gaming experience.

    The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card is built on breakthrough AMD RDNA™ 2 architecture, the only gaming architecture that spans from next-generation desktop PCs, laptops and consoles to mobile devices and automotive infotainment systems. Offering 32 MB of high-performance AMD Infinity Cache, 8 GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory, AMD Smart Access Memory and other advanced features, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card is built for the ever-increasing demands of modern games. It also supports the new cutting-edge AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution open-source spatial upscaling solution, which is designed to boost framerates and deliver high-quality, high-resolution gaming experiences.

    The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card offers up to 15 percent higher performance on average with max settings across select AAA titles compared to the competition. It also provides 125 FPS on average across a wide range of modern AAA titles, pushing the boundaries of mainstream gaming by enabling incredible, high-refresh rate 1080p performance and breathtaking visual fidelity:

    “1080p has long been the most popular resolution for PC gaming, and in 2020 more than two-thirds of the gaming monitors shipped were at this resolution,” said Scott Herkelman, corporate vice president and general manager, Graphics Business Unit at AMD. “However, the most popular older-generation 1080p graphics cards can struggle to even hit 60 FPS in modern games. The Radeon RX 6600 XT raises the bar for 1080p gaming. It was specifically designed to deliver the ultimate 1080p gaming experience for all gamers, offering powerhouse performance and advanced features to bring beautiful, complex and hyper-realistic worlds to life.”

    Epic 1080p Performance and Incredible Visual Fidelity
    The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card is designed to deliver the optimal combination of performance and visual fidelity for an exceptional gaming experience. It offers up to 2.5X faster performance in select titles compared to the popular older-generation competitive offering, making it an ideal upgrade for gamers who want the best possible 1080p gaming performance to power today’s most demanding games. Key features and capabilities include:

  • AMD FidelityFX – Now supported by 50 titles and game engines, AMD FidelityFX is an open-source toolkit of visual enhancement effects for game developers available at AMD GPUOpen. Offering broad support on more than 100 AMD processors and GPUs, as well as on competitor GPUs, the new AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology delivers 2.4X higher performance on average in “Performance” mode at 4K across select titles compared to native resolution.

  • AMD Smart Access Memory – Unlocks higher performance when pairing AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics with AMD Ryzen™ 5000 or select Ryzen 3000 Series Desktop Processors and AMD 500-series motherboards. Providing AMD Ryzen processors with access to the entire AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT high-speed 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory can deliver a performance uplift of up to 11 percent on average in select titles.

  • AMD Infinity Cache – 32 MB of last-level data cache integrated on the GPU die reduces latency and power consumption to enable higher gaming performance than traditional architectural designs.

  • DirectX® 12 Ultimate Support – Enables games to deliver mind-blowing visuals with real-time DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading and other advanced features, elevating games to a new level of realism.

  • AMD Radeon Anti-Lag - Helps decrease input-to-display response times, making games more responsive and offering a competitive edge in gameplay.

  • AMD Radeon Boost - AMD Radeon Boost with support for Variable Rate Shading can provide up to a 48-percent performance increase in Warframe during fast-motion gaming scenarios by dynamically reducing image resolution or by varying shading rates for different regions of a frame, increasing framerates and fluidity, and bolstering responsiveness with virtually no perceptual impact on image quality.

    AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards are expected to be available from AMD board partners including ASRock, ASUS, BIOSTAR, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, XFX and Yeston at global etailers/retailers beginning August 11, 2021, starting at an SEP of $379 USD. Pre-built systems from OEMs and system integrators are expected to be available beginning in August 2021.
  • LG Display and AU Optronics are prepping 480Hz gaming panels

    5 days ago
    It's interesting how technology is always evolving. Twenty years ago, when LCD displays started to become mainstream, there was a lot of fuzz about refresh rates. A lot of sources back then said that 60Hz was more than enough for an LCD panel because the technology has various benefits versus CRT.

    Refresh rates are marching higher and higher

    These days you can already get gaming displays with a refresh rate of 360Hz but it seems that's still not close to the limit. TechPowerUp reports both LG Display and AU Optronics are now working on panels with 480Hz refresh rates.
    AU Optronics is developing multiple high-refresh rate panels at a variety of resolutions including 1080p 480 Hz, 1440p 360 Hz, and 4K 240 Hz while LG Display is preparing a 24.5" 1080p 480 Hz panel with HDR 400 support.
    These panels are expected to enter production about one to one and a half years from now. The first 480Hz gaming displays are probably going to hit the market in 2023.



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