Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 21:32:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Word is going around that NVIDIA may have one more Pascal-based video card up its sleeve. VideoCardz heard from a source that Gigabyte is working on a new GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5X memory. This card is reportedly based on a cut-down GP104 GPU, the chip that's used for the GeForce GTX 1080.
As the site notes, a GP104-based GTX 1060 has been present in NVIDIA's drivers for months now but so far we have not seen any models based on this SKU.
It is believed that GP104 GTX 1060 variant was made specifically for the Chinese market, where GTX 1060 is the most popular choice for Internet Cafes.
The problem with GeForce GTX 1060 series is that there are far too many variants. It is hard to keep track of what model is being tested or preinstalled in OEM systems. So yet another model is not going to make this any simpler.
Interestingly, the timing for the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X launch seems to somewhat coincide with the rumored AMD Radeon RX 590.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 15:41:56 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel's Core i9-9900K is officially out today. Lots of reviews just hit the web and the chip giant proudly announces that overclockers managed to break 16 benchmark records at last week's extreme overclocking demonstration at the Intel Fall Desktop Launch in New York City. Using LN2 cooling, the Core i9-9900K was pushed to 7.1GHz on all cores:
The 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K processor set 16 benchmark records, including a world record, as part of last week's extreme overclocking demonstration at the Intel Fall Desktop Launch in New York City.
Professional overclockers Allen "Splave" Golibersuch and Joe "Steponz" Stepongzi used liquid nitrogen to carefully chill the Intel Core i9-9900K to extremely low temperatures – triple digits below zero – to achieve chip frequencies and performance far greater than off-the-shelf specs. The Intel Core i9-9900K has a stock base frequency of 3.6 GHz, but the professional overclockers achieved nearly double that, reaching 7.1 GHz on all cores. Through the demonstration, Golibersuch and Stepongzi drove the processor to achieve 15 global first-place records in the eight-core category, and to a new world record in the PC Mark 10 against all other processor categories.
Benchmarking results will be officially uploaded to record site HWBOT when the 9th Gen Intel Core processors ship today. HWBOT is a leading platform for competitive overclocking. It hosts a global database of overclocked PC hardware benchmarks from an online community of 100,000.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 15:27:18 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Microsoft Windows/Azure Kernel Team developer Mehmet Iyigun confirms on Twitter that the next major update to Windows 10 will adopt "Retpoline" to reduce the performance impact of the mitigation for the Spectre v2 CPU vulnerabilities. Retpoline is a mitigation technique that was developed by Google engineers, Linux already got this update in January 2018.
Combined with something Microsoft calls "import optimization", the performance impact should drop to a level that's negligible for most workloads:
Yes, we have enabled retpoline by default in our 19H1 flights along with what we call "import optimization" to further reduce perf impact due to indirect calls in kernel-mode. Combined, these reduce the perf impact of Spectre v2 mitigations to noise-level for most scenarios. https://t.co/CPlYeryV9K
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 11:38:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At the Adobe MAX 2018 conference, NVIDIA revealed a demonstration of an upcoming NVIDIA RTX-enabled renderer for Adobe Dimension CC. It's not quite there yet, but professionals can look forward to soon being able to use real-time ray tracing.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 11:34:14 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came up with a new method to offer protection against both current and future Spectre and Meltdown attacks. Playfully named Dynamically Allocated Way Guard (DAWG), the new method relies on hardware and operating system modifications to provide a method to completely isolate each program thread from others.
DAWG isn't fully developed yet, the current technique doesn't offer protection against the full spectrum of currently-known attacks, but MIT is confident it will be able to do so with further work. Interestingly, DAWG promises minimal performance impact.
The team's work builds on Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT), introduced in 2016 to improve security but which failed to go far enough to prevent Spectre and Meltdown. Playfully dubbed DAWG, somewhat awkwardly backronymed as 'Dynamically Allocated Way Guard', the system provides a method to completely isolate each program thread from others - and, crucially, has a minimal performance impact above that of CAT while requiring only minor modifications to the underlying operating system to implement.
'We think this is an important step forward in giving computer architects, cloud providers and other IT professionals a better way to efficiently and dynamically allocate resources,' claims lead author Vladimir Kiriansky. 'It establishes clear boundaries for where sharing should and should not happen, so that programs with sensitive information can keep that data reasonably secure.'
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:52:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At a recent event in China, MSI teased its upcoming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z video card.
Unfortunately, the company didn't reveal a whole lot of details. Presumably, this will be the fastest RTX 2080 Ti card from MSI. It will likely have a very beefy cooler, strong VRM, and voltage measurement points.
MSI says it's coming "soon", but did not specify a date.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:46:00 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The same source that told VideoCardz about ASUS' plans for the AREZ brand now claims the company is bringing back the ROG STRIX brand for a Radeon RX 590 ROG STRIX Gaming video card. This seems to imply that AREZ, the "GPP brand", will be phased out soon.
Not a whole lot of details, but it seems the Radeon RX 590 card is based on a new 12nm-based refresh of AMD's Polaris GPU. Recent rumors indicate AMD is planning to launch third-generation Polaris chips sometime in November.
These cards are expected to feature higher clockspeeds, and may offer up to 15 percent higher performance than current parts. The product code of this ROG STRIX Gaming card reveals it has 8GB GDDR5 memory, the same as its predecessors.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:35:17 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The ramp of TSMC's 7nm node is off to a big start as the foundry expects the new process will account for over 20 percent of its total wafer revenue in Q4 2018, and almost 10 percent of full-year 2018 revenue. The Taiwanese foundry is on track to tape out over 50 chip designs on its 7nm node by the end of this year, with over 100 chip designs for 7nm and enhanced 7nm with EUV expected by the end of 2019.
TSMC says its 7nm process is running at full utilization, and added that it expects to offer EUV-based 7nm mass production in 2020:
TSMC expects 7nm chip sales to account for more than 20% of its total wafer revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018, and nearly 10% in all of the year. The proportion will likely exceed 20% in 2019, when the foundry expands its 7nm process portfolio to include an enhanced version with EUV, said company CEO CC Wei at an October 18 investors meeting.
TSMC is scheduled to move EUV-based 7nm process node to mass production in 2020, Wei indicated. The majority of TSMC's 7nm chip output for 2019 will still be built using its first-generation 7nm process, Wei added.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:30:29 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple could roll out its first ARM-based Mac computers in 2020 or 2021. This is a move that's been rumored for several years now, Apple switched to Intel's x86 processors in 2006 and now the company wants to lock down its ecosystem by switching to its own, in-house ARM-based processors.
This will free Apple from Intel's processor roadmap but performance remains a concern. It's believed that Apple's laptops will be the first to go ARM. Kuo also notes that TSMC will benefit greatly from Apple's plans, not just for the computer market but also Apple's car efforts:
Kuo says that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple’s chip manufacturer, stands to benefit enormously from Apple’s plans. TSMC has the exclusive supplier of A-series chips since 2016 and will maintain that arrangement going forward. Kuo also anticipates that TSMC will manufacture chips intended for Apple’s car efforts, saying “we believe that Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will support either Level 4 (high automation) or Level 5 (full automation).”
It will be interesting to see if Apple really switches to ARM. For basic consumer products it seems feasible, but at least at this moment, it's hard to imagine doing demanding workloads like video editing on ARM-based Macs.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:21:07 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Slowly the joint-venture between Intel and Micron in the flash market is coming to an end. The firms already ceased their NAND flash memory joint-venture and now Micron announced that it wants to exercise its right to buy out Intel's remaining stake in IM Flash Technologies. The main implication here is that Micron wants full control over the supply of 3D XPoint technology, a product Intel uses for its Optane SSDs. Both companies are going their own way as Intel's Optane and Micron's QuantX have different target markets, which require different implementations.
Micron can exercise its call option starting January 1, 2019 and expects to pay about $1.5 billion in cash for Intel's stake. As part of the current agreement, Intel will be able to purchase 3D XPoint chip supply at the current favorable pricing until the end of 2019. For future Optane products, Intel will need to ink a new agreement with Micron, although the company indicated in the past that it could produce 3D XPoint at its Dalian fab in China.
Micron Technology, Inc., (NASDAQ: MU) today announced that the company intends to exercise its right to call Intel's interest in the parties' joint venture, IM Flash Technologies, LLC (IM Flash).
"Micron's acquisition of IM Flash demonstrates our strong belief that 3D XPoint technology and other emerging memories will provide a unique differentiator for the company and be an essential solution for new data-hungry applications," said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "This investment provides Micron with an established development and manufacturing facility and a highly skilled workforce with a strong track record of innovation and execution."
Micron can exercise the call option starting Jan. 1, 2019. The timeline to close the transaction is between six and twelve months after the date Micron exercises the call. The IM Flash joint venture is already consolidated in Micron's reported financial statements. Micron anticipates no meaningful impact to overall financial results or changes to its Fiscal 2019 capital expenditures and long-term capital expenditure target. At the time of close, Micron expects to pay approximately $1.5 billion in cash for the transaction, dissolving Intel's non-controlling interest in IM Flash as well as IM Flash member debt, which was approximately $1 billion as of Aug. 30, 2018.
In July 2018, Micron and Intel agreed to conclude their joint development of 3D XPoint technology after the completion of the second-generation node, which is expected to occur in the second half of Fiscal 2019. The two companies will independently drive their own future technology roadmaps. Micron is currently collaborating with ecosystem partners to introduce 3D XPoint products in late calendar 2019, with revenue ramp starting in calendar 2020. Joint manufacture of 3D XPoint memory will continue at the IM Flash facility in Lehi, Utah until the transaction is closed. Based on prior agreements, Micron will sell 3D XPoint memory wafers to Intel for up to a year after close. At the close of the transaction, IM Flash will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Micron, and all IM Flash employees will become part of the Micron team focused on supporting technology development and manufacturing efforts in Lehi.