Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 22:43:13 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Asian tech forum ChipHell is spreading a rumor about a mysterious Polaris 30 GPU from AMD. WCCF Tech translated the news and writes we could see the launch of a new Polaris-based GPU refresh as early as next week. Take it with a grain of salt though, as this is the first time we're hearing about this supposed GPU launch.
Anyway, Polaris 30 is reportedly made on the 12nm FinFET process and could offer a 10-15 percent performance increase at the same power consumption level. Guess we'll find out soon whether this rumor is true.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 18:21:44 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At a private event in San Francisco organized by investment firm Village Global VC, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the Internet will split in two. In response to a question from economist Tyler Cowen about the odds of the Internet fragmenting into different sub-internets, Schmidt replied that the most likely scenario is not a splintering, but a bifurcation. One part led by the US, and one part led by China:
"I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.
If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.
If you think of China as like 'Oh yeah, they're good with the Internet,' you're missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you're going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There's a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.
Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it's perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom."
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 16:01:00 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Kingston added two new storage products to its HyperX lineup. First up we have the Save EXO SSD, an external flash drive that ships in 480GB and 960GB capacities. The disk uses 3D TLC NAND flash memory and has USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity. The firm promises read/write speeds of up to 500/480MB/s.
Fast External Storage: The SAVAGE EXO SSD is the ideal storage for users looking for fast, external storage for game backups, video editing and other speed sensitive storage requirements. The SAVAGE EXO SSD features read speeds of 500MB/s and write speeds of 400MB/s, and offers simple connectivity for Windows and Mac, as well as compatibility with XBOX One and PS4 via USB 3.1 Gen 2. SAVAGE EXO SSD weighs 56 grams offering a slim and compact design for maximum portability making it is the perfect solution for quick storage and data transfer on the go. It offers a load time increase of up to 20 percent on today’s consoles. It is available in 480GB and 960GB capacities.
Next is the Fury RGB SSD, a solid state disk with built-in RGB LED light effects. This product is offered in capacities of 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The disk uses 3D TLC NAND flash memory and you get read/write speeds of up to 550/480MB/s.
Enhanced Visual Experience: The FURY RGB SSD offers an enhanced visual experience for gaming, overclocking PCs, and DIY system builds with up to 550MB/s read and 480MB/s write speeds and a visually stunning lightbar that offers dynamic, customizable RGB lighting effects. Compatible with RGB motherboards that support RGB lighting and multiple RGB devices, FURY RGB SSD can also be daisy chained to sync RGB effects across system internals. FURY RGB SSD is available in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities. It is sold as a standalone RGB SSD or with an upgrade bundle kit that includes a USB 3.0 enclosure, 3.5” bracket and mounting screws, RGB cable, SATA data cable, USB 3.1 Type A to mini-USB Cable and Hard Drive Cloning Software.
Both products are immediately available and are backed by a limited 3-year warranty.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 15:06:47 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
As always, take this information with a grain of salt as we have no way of knowing how accurate these rumors are, and even if they're accurate chip giants like Intel can change their roadmaps on a weekly basis. Anyway, word is going around that the Ice Lake architecture will not be hitting the market in 2019 but in 2020.
This matches other rumors that Intel's 10nm process is still fundamentally broken, resulting in no 10nm Ice Lake parts in the 2019 timeframe. Instead, it looks like we'll be getting another Coffee Lake Refresh made on a 14nm node.
There is little that we know about the upcoming Intel Coffee Lake R CPUs but if the name is anything to go by then these upcoming chips will offer small improvements over the current Intel chips that we have on the market.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 14:07:05 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Bad news for fans of Telltale Games as the game studio is closing down. There's been a mass layoff, leaving behind a skeleton crew of just 25 workers, a mere 10 percent versus how many people the firm employed a couple of months ago. The game studio struggled to survive and at the moment there's no clarity what will happen to gamers that bought the final season of the The Walking Dead video game, of which currently only one episode is out.
More info about the Telltale Games product portfolio will be provided in the coming weeks.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 13:53:20 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Qualcomm was one of the loud voices in the race to get ARM ready for the server market, but in less than a year the firm's once-promising server unit has hit rock bottom. Analysts saw Qualcomm as the best bet to make it into the server market with ARM-based solutions, but now the firm's key engineers are gone and its biggest potential customers are either looking elsewhere or going back to Intel.
In a new piece, Bloomberg analyzes what went wrong.
Less than a year later, this once-promising business is in tatters, according to people familiar with the situation. Most of the key engineers are gone. Big customers are looking elsewhere or going back to Intel for the data center chips they need. Efforts to sell the operation -- including a proposed management buyout backed by SoftBank Group Corp. -- have failed, the people said. Jacobs, chief backer of the plan and the son of Qualcomm’s founder, is out, too.
The demise is a story of debt-fueled dealmaking and executive cost-cutting pledges in the face of restless investors seeking quick returns -- exactly the wrong environment for the painstaking and expensive task of building a new semiconductor business from scratch. It leaves Qualcomm more reliant on a smartphone market that’s plateaued. And Intel’s server chip boss is happy.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 13:46:21 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Tired of headsets messing up your hair? Razer rolls out the Ifrit, a new low-profile broadcast headset that does not interfere with your hairstyle. The product features 10mm drivers and has an unidirectional microphone. It's sold for $99.99 (99.99EUR) and Razer also offers an USB Audio Enhancer for $19.99 (24.99EUR).
Razer™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Ifrit, a feature-packed, discreet headset for broadcasters who need more freedom on camera but require professional-quality sound via the adjustable condenser microphone.
The Razer Ifrit has a low-profile dual earset design with a professional-grade, adjustable condenser microphone and flat frequency response in-ear headphones – perfect for broadcasters needing minimal visibility of their audio equipment but still deliver professional quality audio to their recordings.
The ergonomic design of the Razer Ifrit is perfect for broadcasters who want to avoid bulky headsets or need free movement for creative-based and mobile broadcasts. The adjustable arm of the unidirectional condenser microphone delivers continuous high-quality voice audio equal to a traditional desktop or boom mounted microphone, but giving broadcasters even more freedom of movement.
“With non-gaming live streaming becoming more popular, we designed the Razer Ifrit to appeal to broadcasters who want a lightweight, high-quality solution to their broadcast audio needs,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “Whether you’re IRL streaming, gaming, painting, cosplay costume building or cooking, the Razer Ifrit is the perfect headset to deliver audio to your viewers without bulky headphones and microphones getting in the way of what you do or what your viewers see.”
The Razer Ifrit is especially suitable for mobile broadcasters with a low profile, easily transportable design and simple, single-wire connection. The microphone brings clarity and fidelity to mobile streaming that is far superior to standard mobile handset microphones. The Razer Ifrit is also compatible with both Xbox One and PS4 through the connection on the joypad or via the Razer Audio Enhancer on the PS4.
The Razer Ifrit is complemented by the Razer USB Audio Enhancer, a USB-to-analogue converter that focuses on improving the quality of the microphone and allows two Razer Ifrit headsets to be connected to one PC, for dual streaming with two broadcasters at once.
The Razer USB Audio Enhancer works with any analogue headset fitted with a 3.5mm jack and is available separately, or as part of the Razer Ifrit package.
The Razer Ifrit is the latest addition to the Razer Broadcaster range, which includes the Razer Kiyo, a streaming camera with built-in ring light which was won the Tom’s Guide Innovation award for peripherals and the Laptop Mag Editors’ Choice in 2017.
Pro-Grade Adjustable Condenser Mic – For true-to-life audio quality
Razer USB Audio Enhancer – For next-level, enhanced sound
Feature-Packed Discreet Design – For low-profile, powerful streaming
Ergonomic and Comfortable – For long-lasting, lightweight wear
Two 3.5mm Combo Jacks – For duo-streaming capability
Flat Frequency Response – For accurate audio reproduction
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 13:42:08 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Security researcher Sabri Haddouche discovered a new vulnerability in Firefox that can crash now only the browser process on Windows machines, but also sometimes the entire operating system. Firefox browsers running on other operating systems are also affected, but in those cases the impact is limited to a browser crash. Mobile devices with Android or iOS do not seem affected.
"What happens is that the script generates a file (a blob) that contains an extremely long filename and prompts the user to download it every one millisecond. It, therefore, floods the IPC (Inter-Process Communication) channel between Firefox's child and main process, making the browser at the very least freeze."
The problem is less alarming on Mac computers and Linux systems as the bug only kills the browser. ZDNet noted that the bug is classified as a form of denial of service (DoS) which affects the latest Firefox stable release, Firefox Developer, and the Nightly edition.
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 10:48:31 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The ongoing trade war between the US and China will have an impact on the pricing of PC components in the States. A tariff rate of 10 percent goes into effect today, and it affects pretty much everything, including motherboards, PSUs, cases, coolers, RAM kits, HDDs, GPUs, and CPUs. Also impacted are pre-made PCs and servers, as well as laptops, plus peripherals like mice and keyboards.
WCCF Tech spoke to some firms and got to hear that video cards like NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 line will get quite a bit more expensive. Here's a new price list from MSI:
Here is one of the lists we received with post-tariff pricing going live very soon (if not already):
RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio: $1231 to $1310
RTX 2080 Ti DUKE 11G OC: $1212 to $1290
RTX 2080 Ti VENTUS 11G OC: $1203 to $1280
RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio: $849 to $900
RTX 2080 DUKE 8G OC: $840 to $890
RTX 2080 VENTUS 8G OC: $830 to $880
AIBs are rushing to minimize the impact by moving production to another country, like Taiwan. For companies like MSI an Gigabyte this is expected to take two months at most, but smaller firms like Zotac do not have an existing manufacturing capacity in Taiwan and will have to suffer lower margins as they will be unable to pass the full cost to customers.
Here's a comment from an anonymous source at an AIB:
“We should only have a month’s gap from now before Taiwan manufacturing is online. Rest of the line i.e. [mentions various of their RTX models] will be on the new assembly in Taiwan. The timeline [of shipment schedule getting caught up in tariff] threw a wrench into our plans. Originally we thought we would have some of the prelaunch allocation [reserved for Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg and other retailers] left over to give to SI partners but because the etailer pre-launch prepaid order volume exceeded the NVidia allocation, we are stuck with giving them the pre-tariff cost structure we had to allocate 100% of our prelaunch allocation out to the actual prelaunch partners first. Whatever we can’t fulfill this week we’re going to absorb the 10% between us and the etailer to still fulfill end customer’s orders meaning all SI orders, for now, are subjected to almost a +10% increase with us sharing some of the cost”. – Anon AIB
Posted on Monday, September 24 2018 @ 09:45:04 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At a trade show, Intel showed off its new 100G silicon photonics transceivers, these are designed to handle huge amounts of data generated by 5G and IoT applications. The chip giant also notes that 400G silicon photonics products will ship in volume in the second half of next year.
Intel today announced details on the expansion of its portfolio of 100G silicon photonics transceivers beyond the data center and into the network edge. At the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) in Rome, Intel unveiled specifics on new silicon photonics products that are optimized to accelerate the movement of massive amounts of data being generated by new 5G use cases and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The latest 100G silicon photonics transceivers are optimized to meet the bandwidth requirements of next-generation communications infrastructure while withstanding harsh environmental conditions.
"Our hyperscale cloud customers are currently using Intel's 100G silicon photonics transceivers to deliver high-performance data center infrastructure at scale. By extending this technology outside the data center and into 5G infrastructure at the edge of the network, we can provide the same benefits to communications service providers while supporting 5G fronthaul bandwidth needs."
– Dr. Hong Hou, vice president and general manager of Intel's Silicon Photonics Product Division
Why It's Important: In the data-centric era, the ability to move, store and process data is paramount. Intel's 100G silicon photonics solutions deliver tremendous value by offering fast, reliable and cost-effective connectivity. The industry's move to 5G, along with a ramp in existing network traffic such as video streaming, is straining existing communications infrastructure that must support an expanded spectrum range including mmWaves, massive MIMO and network densification. Intel's latest 100G silicon photonics transceivers meet the bandwidth demands of 5G wireless fronthaul applications. These transceivers are designed to meet the harsh outdoor conditions of cellular towers with the capability to support optical transport to the nearest baseband unit or central office (up to 10 km).
Intel's integrated laser into silicon approach makes its silicon photonics transceivers suitable for mass production and deployment as 5G infrastructure ramps. Samples of Intel's silicon photonics transceivers targeting 5G wireless infrastructure are available now. Production start for the new silicon photonics wireless modules is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019.
What's Next: Intel projects the total market opportunity for its connectivity business, which includes silicon photonics, to grow from $4 billion today to an estimated $11 billion total addressable market by 2022. Since introducing its first 100G silicon photonics product in 2016, Intel has ramped production and is shipping its 100G data center products at a run rate of more than a million units per year. Earlier this year, Intel demonstrated its 400G silicon photonics capabilities. Samples of its 400G silicon photonics products are expected to be available next quarter with volume shipment of 400G modules slated for the second half of 2019.