Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 11:24:01 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Some details leaked about Intel's Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake processors, you can check it out at WCCF Tech.
If the rumors are accurate, we may see Rocket Lake-S desktop processors with eight cores and Xe GT1 integrated graphics. The mobile Rocket Lake-U is rumored to feature six cores in a 15W TDP, while Tiger Lake-U offers four cores at 15W. Then there's also a Tiger Lake-H that packs eight cores in a 45W TDP.
According to the details, the 12th Generation Core family would come in Rocket Lake-U 15W and Rocket Lake-S 35-125W flavors. The Rocket Lake-U family would feature up to 6 cores & 12 threads along with GT1 Xe graphics while Rocket Lake-H family would feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads with GT1 Xe graphics. Only Rocket Lake-U CPUs would come with SGX while both variants would support AVX2 / AVX-512 instructions. Rocket Lake-S would natively support DDR4-2933 MHz ram & Rocket Lake-U would support DDR4-2933 & LPDDR4X-3733 MHz memory. As per the leak, there won't be native but only discrete Thunderbolt 4 support, up to 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes for the desktop and 4 PCIe Gen 4 lanes for the mobile family.
Rocket Lake is 14nm while Tiger Lake is 10nm. So far, we haven't heard a lot of official information from Intel about these chips so take the rumors with a grain of salt.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 11:13:32 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
While listening to Micron's most recent earnings call, AnandTech picked up that the memory maker will soon introduce its first HBM2 chips. The company as far behind Samsung and SK Hynix but it seems companies will soon have a third option in the HBM market. In the consumer market, HBM use is limited to a small number of high-end video cards but the memory is seeing more uptake in the lucrative HPC market. The site notes Micron started developing its HBM2 technology when it became clear that Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) was a bust.
In the end, is has taken Micron around two years to develop its first HBM2 memory devices, and these will finally become available in 2020. Given the broad, financial nature of the call, Micron isn't disclosing the specifications of its first HBM2 devices at this time, though it is a safe bet that the underlying DRAM cells will be produced using the company’s 2nd or 3rd Generation 10 nm-class process technologies (1y or 1z). Meanwhile, Micron will obviously do its best to be competitive against Samsung and SK Hynix both in terms of performance and capacity.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 11:04:54 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Microsoft announced several restrictions of its Azure and 365 services to curb bandwidth and computing power use. With millions suddenly having to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft is seeing a 775 percent increase of its cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders.
Windows Virtual Desktop usage has more than tripled and Microsoft Teams now has 44 million daily users, which generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes on Teams daily in a single week.
The software giant details the changes it made on its Azure blog.
We’re implementing a few temporary restrictions designed to balance the best possible experience for all of our customers. We have placed limits on free offers to prioritize capacity for existing customers. We also have limits on certain resources for new subscriptions. These are ‘soft’ quota limits, and customers can raise support requests to increase these limits. If requests cannot be met immediately, we recommend customers use alternative regions (of our 54 live regions) that may have less demand surge. To manage surges in demand, we will expedite the creation of new capacity in the appropriate region.
On the Practical 365 blog, we learn about various temporary feature adjustments to reduce the load on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services. Among other things, this includes a reduction in download size and sync frequency for OneNote, and lower video resolutions for SharePoint and Stream.
The software giant promises it's expediting the addition of significant new capacity to ensure its cloud services can keep up with the massive increase in demand.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 10:48:57 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Zowie reveals the XL2746S 240Hz DyAc? 27 inch e-Sports display. This new 27" TN-based panel offers a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and features 240Hz, 0.5ms gray-to-gray response time, 1000:1 typical contrast, 320 nits brightness, and AMD FreeSync support. These days we're seeing more and more IPS-based screens with a very high refresh rate so the main selling point of this screen here is the ultra-low response time. Zowie ships the screen with a removable shield to reduce light reflection and prevent distraction.
Display inputs include DVI-DL / HDMI x2 / DP1.2 and you also get a USB 3.0 hub.
You can check the full specifications over here. Zowie charges 629EUR for the XL2746S.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 10:40:37 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
A leaked slide reveals Intel's upcoming unlocked Core i9-10980HK will offer a Boost of up to 5.3GHz. This new eight-core, sixteen-threaded laptop chip is expected to be introduced on April 2nd. It has a 2.4GHz base clock and a 45W TDP. It's still 14nm of course, as Ice Lake is the only 10nm series from Intel.
The 5.3GHz value is the Thermal Velocity Boost:
However this value is not the typical turbo frequency (Max Boost 2.0) that was rumored thanks to numerous leaks, instead, this is a Thermal Velocity Boost, Intel’s yet another way of boosting the clock speed under specific conditions. In this case, the clock will reach 5.3 GHz if the temperature and the power budget allows. The TVB was first introduced with Core i9-8950HK, Intel’s first i9 for the mobile platform.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 10:34:07 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Is the novel coronavirus outbreak causing a further delay of NVIDIA's Ampere GPUs? TweakTown speculates we're now looking at an August press reveal for NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series, with the general public product launch in September/October. The GPU giant was planning to reveal Ampere at its GPU Technology
Conference (GTC) in April but that plan got derailed by COVID-19. Computex got rescheduled to September 28-30, 2020 so those may be key dates to watch.
They'll be launching in September-October 2020, right in line for NVIDIA to show them off at the now-delayed Computex 2020. We should see a bunch of next-gen games post-E3 2020, because NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards will be launching right before the next-gen Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5 consoles.
Posted on Monday, March 30 2020 @ 10:26:27 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Phoronix reports Intel's ubiquitous Gen9 graphics, which has been used for all pre-Ice Lake chips since 2015, will soon get HDR support on the Linux platform. The site says Intel's Linux update will add HDR support for Kaby Lake or newer chips, on motherboards with an LSPCON chip from Megachips America (MCA). Uers with a LSPCON chip from Parade Technologies, which is used on some motherboards, are out of luck.
Intel developer Vipin Anand on Friday sent out the latest patches for the Intel i915 Linux DRM kernel driver to enable HDR display support.
This HDR support is contingent upon the Gen9 graphics being on a motherboard with a supported LSPCON ASIC. The "Level Shifter and Protocol Converter" chip found integrated into various motherboards/laptops can allow for HDR signaling over HDMI but to now hasn't been supported under Linux.
Posted on Friday, March 27 2020 @ 11:00:16 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers from Stanford's Biomechatronics Laboratory, as well as international partners, have developed an ankle exoskeleton that significantly reduces the energy cost of running. The study, which was funded by Nike and the National Science Foundation, experimented with motor-powered assistance and spring-based assistance.
The exoskeleton is basically a motorized device that attaches around the ankle and foot. Via motor-powered assistance it was possible to reduce the energy cost by 15 percent. The reduced energy cost helped runners to increase their speed by 10 percent and the researchers believe this could be even higher if runners have additional time for training or optimization.
“Powered assistance took off a lot of the energy burden of the calf muscles. It was very springy and very bouncy compared to normal running,” said Delaney Miller, a graduate student at Stanford who is working on these exoskeletons and also helping test the devices. “Speaking from experience, that feels really good. When the device is providing that assistance, you feel like you could run forever.”
The spring-based assistance on the other hand was not successful, it made running 11 percent harder than running exoskeleton-free.
The researchers predict devices like this could be used as a mode of last-mile transportation or to help you keep up with friends that run faster.
Full details at Stanford.
Posted on Friday, March 27 2020 @ 10:44:55 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
While Android smartphones are great, one of the continuing issues is that regular updates remain an issue for a large fraction of users. Things have improved a bit versus years ago but a lot of devices still barely receive any support.
Now AnandTech reports Qualcomm is trying to do its part by sticking to a quarterly driver update cycle for its Adreno GPUs. The first quarterly update is set to arrive any day now and the firm also teamed up with Google to create an Android GPU Inspector tool that can help developers to spot issues:
In addition to drivers set to be updated quarterly, Qualcomm has also teamed up with Google to create the Android GPU Inspector tool, which promises to help discover performance optimization opportunities. According to Qualcomm, the tool helped Google and an unnamed game developer find an optimization that ‘saved the game 40% in GPU utilization’ on the Pixel 4 XL, which enabled smoother gameplay and longer battery life.
The current-generation Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765/765G, as well as previous-generation Snapdragon 855 are the first to receive a quarterly GPU driver update. Unfortunately, users still have no way to automatically get these patches. Qualcomm sends the drivers to smartphone OEMs, who in turn need to push the update to the Google Play Store.
The Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy Note 10, and Google’s Pixel 4 series will receive the update soon. Other smartphones will follow later.
Posted on Friday, March 27 2020 @ 10:34:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo predicts we'll see the first ARM-based Mac computers in 2021 at the latest. Earlier this year, the analyst wrote Apple is on track to release its first ARM-based laptops in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021. Now Kuo is confident that ARM-based Mac desktop computers will follow in 2021.
It's been in the cards for a long time now and if it indeed happens it will be Apple's second architectural switch in less than 20 years. The company transitioned from PowerPC to Intel's x86 in 2006 and a switch to ARM is seen as a way to get greater control over the hardware and offer greater hardware differentiation versus Windows PCs.
Kuo predicts switching to an ARM-based platform will significantly enhance Apple's competitive advantage. It means the Cupertino-based firm will no longer need to rely on Intel's roadmap, and it could result in a CPU cost cut of 40 to 60 percent. However, we're still wondering if this will pan out well for professionals. Basic tasks like web browsing and general productivity can easily be done on ARM-based processors, but will Apple be able to deliver something powerful enough for content creation? And will backwards compatibility be an issue? I guess we'll find out next year.
There is also speculation that Macs will get USB4 support in 2022:
Kuo expects ASMedia Technology to become the exclusive supplier of USB controllers for Arm-based Macs, adding that the Taiwanese integrated circuit designer will benefit from Macs gaining support for USB4 in 2022.