Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:49:45 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
At a recent high-performance computing (HPC) event, AMD revealed it's working on technology to integrate 3D stacked DRAM and SRAM in its processors. By stacking this memory on top of its CPUs, AMD aims to achieve higher performance.
AMD SVP and GM Forrest Norrod talked about the firm's 3D stacking plans at the Rice Oil and Gas HPC conference. Part of AMD's Working Beyond Moore's Law initiative, the company sees stacked memory architectures as one of the most important steps in the near term, to ensure future CPUs can continue to deliver more performance.
This on-die stacked memory approach would differ from normal package-on-package (PoP) implementations that simply place two finished packages atop one another, as seen above with a Samsung chip. In this example, the DRAM package connects through two additional rows of BGA connectors that ring the underlying chip. These BGA connectors carry the data transferred between the two chips. As with any standard design, the logic resides on the bottom of the stack due to its need for more connectors, but the two die are not connected directly. As such, the PoP approach provides the utmost in density, but it isn't the fastest option.
More at Tom's Hardware. Intel is also moving towards this path, with its Foveros 3D packaging technology.
Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:47:09 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Speaking at the Rice Oil and Gas HPC conference, AMD SVP and GM Forrest Norrod revealed that after a decade of stagnating, CPU frequency scaling may now be regressing. Relying on higher frequencies to boost CPU performance stopped well over a decade ago, and now CPU makers like AMD see that the latest process node technology leads to lower frequencies:
Norrod explained the challenges with frequency scaling: "The dirty little secret in the industry, though, over the last ten years that has stopped, and may now be regressing[...]As we continually shrink our processes now, we don't get any more frequency, and really with this next node, without doing extraordinary things, we get less frequency."
Norrod didn't connect those statements to any specific node, such as TSMC's forthcoming 7nm node that will power its Ryzen 3000-series and EPYC Rome processors or the future 5nm node, but the underlying sentiment is clear: the industry can no longer rely upon increased frequency to drive performance improvements.
Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:28:19 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Crytek revealed Neon Noir, a new CRYENGINE tech demo that shows off hardware agnostic real-time ray traced reflections. The demo uses CRYENGINE 5.5 and runs at 30fps at 4K resolution on the AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 GPI.
All scenes are rendered in real-time in-editor on an AMD Vega 56 GPU. Reflections are achieved with the new experimental ray tracing feature in CRYENGINE 5 - no SSR.
Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.
Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:19:50 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
TechPowerUp heard speculation that NVIDIA will take the wraps off a new GPU architecture at this week's GTC 2019 conference. The event kicks off later today and it's believed NVIDIA may reveal details about its first 7nm architecture:
This unveiling could be the earliest stage of the architecture's launch cycle, would could see market availability only by late-2019 or mid-2020, if not later, given that the company's RTX 20-series and GTX 16-series have only been unveiled recently. NVIDIA could leverage 7 nm to increase transistor densities, and bring its RTX technology to even more affordable price-points.
Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:13:28 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Earlier this month, security researchers disclosed the existence of SPOILER, a security vulnerability in Intel CPUs that enables cybercriminals to perform Rowhammer attacks more efficiently. At the time, it wasn't clear whether AMD processors were vulnerable to this threat.
AMD has now released a statement that it believes its CPUs are not vulnerable to SPOILER:
We are aware of the report of a new security exploit called SPOILER which can gain access to partial address information during load operations. We believe that our products are not susceptible to this issue because of our unique processor architecture. The SPOILER exploit can gain access to partial address information above address bit 11 during load operations. We believe that our products are not susceptible to this issue because AMD processors do not use partial address matches above address bit 11 when resolving load conflicts.
Posted on Monday, March 18 2019 @ 14:03:14 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
The next Turing-based video card from NVIDIA will be the GeForce GTX 1650. More evidence for the existence of this model appeared in the database of the Eurasian Economic Commission, where VideoCardz spotted the MSI GeForce GTX 1650 GAMING X.
This mainstream card is expected to be launched within a couple of weeks, with pricing under $200.
In the coming weeks, NVIDIA is expected to launch its entry-level GTX 1650 model, possibly followed by GTX 1650 Ti SKU as well.
Both cards are believed to feature TU117 GPU and 4GB of GDDR5 memory. These cards are clearly aiming at budget-gaming, with medium to high settings at 1080p resolution.
Posted on Friday, March 15 2019 @ 14:17:29 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
The last new peripheral from Razer is the Basilisk Essential, this mouse is available for $49.99 (49.99EUR). It has the same right-handed ergonomic shape as the original Razer Basilisk, with seven configurable buttons and Razer's mechanical mouse switches.
The Razer Basilisk Essential stays true to the unique right-handed ergonomic form factor of the original Razer Basilisk and has a total of 7 configurable buttons utilizing Razer’s Mechanical Mouse Switches, with a durability of up to 20 million clicks.
The unique thumb-operated Multi-Function Paddle, an award-winning feature in the original Basilisk, can be programmed for any function the gamer needs; a quick-shift DPI clutch for sniping, shortcut for a weapon or spell slot, push-to-talk comms or Press and Hold for sprinting, healing or crouching.
Powered by a native, gaming-grade 6400 DPI optical sensor the Razer Basilisk Essential features Razer Chroma with customizability of 16.8 million colours and variety of effects available through Razer Synapse 3.
True 6,400 DPI optical sensor
Up to 220 inches per second (IPS) / 30 G acceleration
7 independently programmable Hyperesponse buttons
Razer™ Mechanical Mouse Switches
Gaming-grade tactile scroll wheel
Ergonomic right-handed design with enhanced rubber side grips
1,000 Hz Ultrapolling
Razer Chroma™ lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
Razer Synapse 3 enabled
Approximate Dimensions: 124 mm / 4.88 in (Length) X 75 mm / 2.94 in (Width) X 43 mm / 1.69 in (Height)
Approximate Weight: 95 g / 0.21 lbs (excluding cable)
Posted on Friday, March 15 2019 @ 12:30:28 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Razer shows off its new KRaken, the successor to the Kraken Pro V2. This headset is now available for $79.99 (79.99EUR), you can get it in several colors, including the poisonous green as seen on the photo below.
The new Razer Kraken is the successor to the best-selling Kraken Pro V2. Taking design and hardware cues from the flagship Kraken Tournament Edition, the Kraken features large 50 mm drivers to deliver clear, powerful sound whilst the improved retractable microphone has been honed to cut out even more background noise, ensuring crystal-clear team communication.
Long-term comfort is assured with thicker headband padding and all-ear gel cooling cushions. The ear cup padding features a moisture-wicking breathable fabric on the contact surface, a cooling gel layer and hidden eye-wear channels built into the foam layer, giving the ultimate in comfort.
With inline mute and volume controls, the 3rd generation Razer Kraken is Razer’s most versatile cross-platform headset to date.
The Kraken is also available in a Quartz Pink edition, and as the Razer Kraken for Console, featuring a new color variant of black with blue highlights.
Posted on Friday, March 15 2019 @ 12:26:38 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Razer adds the BlackWidow to its line of mechanical gaming keyboard. This new model features Razer's in-house tactile and clickly Green mechanical switches. The board has per-key RGB LED illumination and is shipping today for $119.99 (129.99EUR).
The Razer BlackWidow keyboard is the latest addition to Razer’s best-selling keyboard family. Sporting many features of the flagship BlackWidow Elite, the BlackWidow is fitted with Razer’s tactile and clicky Green Mechanical Switches.
Designed for gaming by Razer, the Green Mechanical Switch features a tactile bump and distinctive click sound, with optimized actuation and reset points for best-in-class gaming and typing. Using Razer’s improved dual-side wall switch design, key wobble is minimized while increasing accuracy and responsiveness. Each key is rated to last up to 80 million keystrokes.
The BlackWidow offers Razer Chroma with individual key lighting of 16.8 million colors controllable via Razer Synapse 3. With Razer Hypershift, every key can be a macro key, or be assigned secondary functions through Razer Synapse 3. The Razer BlackWidow also features on-board hybrid memory and cloud storage, allowing you to preserve your personalized settings (such as lighting profiles, key binds and macros) when used with different computers.
Razer™ Green Mechanical Switches designed for gaming
80 million keystroke lifespan
Razer Chroma™ customizable backlighting with 16.8 million color options
Hybrid On-Board Memory and Cloud Storage – up to 5 profiles
Razer Synapse 3-enabled
Cable routing options
N-key roll-over with built-in anti-ghosting
Fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
Posted on Friday, March 15 2019 @ 11:18:28 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Here's a surprising announcement. Console headset firm Turtle Beach announces it has acquired German PC peripheral maker ROCCAT for $14.8 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2019. Turtle Beach's PR statement mentions they expect ROCCAT's partial year contribution to 2019 net revenue to be approximately $20-$24 million, a figure that's expected to grow to over $30 million in 2020.
Turtle Beach (Nasdaq: HEAR), the global leader in gaming headsets and audio accessories, today announced the entry into an agreement to acquire ROCCAT – a top German PC peripherals company with a history of producing innovative, award-winning gaming mice, keyboards and other accessories.
With ROCCAT’s powerful product lineup added to Turtle Beach’s broad market position and leading headset brand, the acquisition significantly accelerates Turtle Beach’s planned expansion into the $2.9 billion market for PC gaming headsets, mice and keyboards. By acquiring ROCCAT, Turtle Beach further strengthens its market position in key PC-centric European territories, including Germany where ROCCAT is already a well-respected leading brand. Additionally, ROCCAT will see the benefits of Turtle Beach’s strong sales and distribution in North America and across Europe, while Turtle Beach will gain distribution into new Asian markets through ROCCAT’s presence in those markets.
Turtle Beach is acquiring ROCCAT for $14.8 million in cash, net of a working capital adjustment, $1 million in cash or stock (company option), plus up to approximately $3.4 million in earnout payments. Following the completion of the transaction, which is expected in the second quarter, ROCCAT’s partial year contribution to Turtle Beach’s 2019 net revenue is expected to be approximately $20–$24 million. The Company expects revenues from ROCCAT products to be over $30 million in 2020, and that the acquisition will be accretive to net income and EPS in 2020.
“This is a dynamic and strategically important deal for Turtle Beach,” said Juergen Stark, CEO of Turtle Beach. “We are adding a complementary portfolio of PC gaming mice and keyboards, a skilled PC accessories team, and a highly synergistic distribution footprint.
“The acquisition is also a key step in achieving our goal of building a $100 million PC gaming accessories business in the coming years. ROCCAT accelerates our expansion into the roughly $1.6 billion PC gaming headset market, as well as directly enables us to address the roughly $1.3 billion1 PC gaming keyboard and mice market. We believe our combined product portfolio is one of the strongest in the industry, covering gaming headsets for consoles and PC’s, gaming keyboards and mice. Together we will have 48 core product models to pursue the total addressable market of over $4.7 billion in North America, Europe and Asia.”
Stark continued, “We are thrilled to welcome René Korte and the ROCCAT team to the Turtle Beach family, as they are a highly talented group with deep experience in PC accessories and have a similar focus on providing high quality, innovative products to gamers worldwide.”
René Korte, CEO of ROCCAT, added, “We’ve long admired how Turtle Beach’s pioneering headsets have elevated gaming and it is an honor to join forces and bring our great products to more gamers. I have no doubt that combining ROCCAT’s strength in the PC peripherals market with Turtle Beach’s 45 years of experience, impressive technology, console dominance, and strong brand will bring even more victories to gamers around the world.”
ROCCAT has been ranked as one of the top 10 best-selling gaming peripheral brands in Europe, and per recent Newzoo consumer survey data3, is one of the top four brands for awareness, purchase consideration, and preference for gaming keyboards and mice in the German PC gaming peripheral market.
ROCCAT recently launched its new Vulcan Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and latest Kone AIMO RGBA Smart Customization Gaming Mouse to high editorial and fan praise. The original Kone mouse has been acclaimed as one of the most ergonomic gaming mouse shapes on the market and was the first mouse to incorporate RGB lighting into its design. The new Kone AIMO mouse was the best-selling PC gaming mouse in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Vulcan keyboard introduced ROCCAT’s proprietary Titan mechanical switch and has become one of the top three best-selling gaming keyboards in Germany, as well as a best-selling product in its price tier. The Vulcan’s design was also recognized by winning the 2019 iF Design Award for its product category.
Turtle Beach is the global leader in gaming headsets and audio accessories, having held over 40% share of the console gaming headset market for the past nine consecutive years. In 2018, Turtle Beach extended its reach beyond the console space, launching a new lineup of Atlas PC headsets that drew high praise from leading PC writers and gamers alike.
Wedbush Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor and Morgan Lewis acted as legal advisor to Turtle Beach on the transaction. CatCap GmbH acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Lutz Abel acted as legal advisor to ROCCAT.