General News News (1400)
Posted: April 25, 2017 09:57AM
SK Hynix recently introduced the world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb GDDR6 DRAM, which has an I/O data rate of 16 Gbps per pin. The GDDR6 standard is to be twice as fast as GDDR5 while operating at 10% less voltage, making it a very desirable product. What else makes this GDDR6 announcement interesting though is that the company also states it will be used in a "forthcoming high-end graphics card" and that it is working with a client to produce enough for a release by early 2018. While this client is not identified, it is still a clear indication that GDDR6 GPUs are coming possibly in less than a calendar year.
The press release provides some other information, including that the graphics card will have 384-bit I/Os, with the DRAM processing up to 768 GBps. SK Hynix is also working with the client to ensure timely mass production of GDDR6 for upcoming market demands.
Source: SK Hynix
Posted: April 18, 2017 03:49PM
Author: Nick Harezga
NVIDIA has announced the Shot With GeForce GTX contest, giving users the chance to win a custom Mass Effect: Andromeda PC. Entries can be made by taking a screenshot using NVIDIA Ansel and sharing it on Facebook or Twitter and tagging @NVIDIAGeForce with hashtags #SHOTWITHGEFORCEGTX and #MASSEFFECT. The grand prize features an Intel i7-7700, ASUS Strix Z270G, and GeForce GTX 1080. Full contest rules can be found here.
Posted: April 17, 2017 03:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga
According to public broadcaster NHK, Apple is considering teaming up with partner Foxconn for an investment in the semiconductor unit of Toshiba. The multi-billion dollar deal would grant the partnership more than 20% of the Toshiba unit. Toshiba isn't looking to sell outright in order to ease "the Japanese government's concerns over any transfer of sensitive technology to investors it deems a risk to national security." Apple and Foxconn join three other entities submitting bids for the Toshiba unit which includes Broadcom, SK Hynix, and Western Digital.
Posted: April 10, 2017 10:32AM
Possibly not the kind of news most people would expect, but today it was announced that AMD has acquired intellectual property of engineering talent from Nitero. Nitero is an Austin based company that has been creating millimeter wave solutions for use in wireless VR and AR headsets. Most of us are certainly familiar with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum used in wireless technologies today. Millimeter waves, with their much shorter wavelengths, reach 60 GHz allowing for low-latency multi-gigabit transmission. Combined with beamforming and the line-of-sight requirement for previous mm-wave systems is solved. The ultimate hope is to use this technology to remove the cables from modern headsets, opening up room-scale VR and making but VR and AR more comfortable to use. Co-founder of Nitero, Pat Kelly, is also joining AMD as corporate vice president, Wireless IP.
Posted: April 4, 2017 11:49AM
On March 30, 2017, Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. voluntarily entered bankruptcy, with all of the directors and officers of the company resigning and the subsidiary Mad Catz, Inc. ceasing operations. This follows efforts by a special committee within the company to find strategic alternatives, such as selling part or all of the company. It appears none of these strategies would have satisfactorily solved the company's cash liquidity problems. Just a week before this announcement the process to delist the company from the New York Stock Exchange started after NYSE staff notified the company that stocks were at an "abnormally low trading price." Also, last year the Saitek brand of simulation game controllers was sold off to Logitech for $13 million, but apparently that infusion of cash was not enough.
Posted: March 31, 2017 01:58PM
It may not seem like DDR4 RAM has been around for long, especially as AMD only just started supporting it with the launch of the Ryzen processors and AM4 platform, but already JEDEC has announced it is developing the DDR5 standard. The plan is for DDR5 to double the bandwidth and density of DDR4 while also improving efficiency, which are characteristics everyone wants but you do not need to worry about your new systems being outdated already. This announcement from JEDEC is just that this standard is being worked on, and publication of it is not expected until next year. It will take time after that before manufacturers will start supporting it.
Along with DDR5, JEDEC is also working on the NVDIMM-P design standard, a hybrid DIMM technology that is meant to offer a high capacity persistent memory module. Conventional RAM, like DDR4 and DDR5, is volatile memory so when power is lost so is the data, but NVDIMM uses non-volatile memory to protect against this loss. Chances are this technology is just intended for servers and not regular consumers.
Posted: March 29, 2017 11:18AM
At this point this bit of news is definitely a rumor, but it is an interesting rumor. Supposedly AMD will be releasing high end desktop (HEDT) CPUs later this year under the ThreadRipper name and they will feature four Zen CCXs, meaning they will have up to 16 cores and 32 threads. There could also be a 12 core/24 thread version where one core is disabled in each CCX, similar to how the Ryzen 5 CPUs have two CCXs, like the Ryzen 7 CPUs, but with cores symmetrically disabled.
The rumor goes on to say that these ThreadRipper CPUs will have 64 PCIe lanes, a new X399 platform that will use a SP3 LGA socket, the chips will be B2 revisions, and there will be 32 MB of L3 cache. Additionally the 16c/32t CPU will only have a 180 W TDP, the 12c/24t will have 140 W TDP, the engineering samples have a 3.3 GHz or 3.4 GHz with a 3.7 GHz boost, but the retail target is a 3.6 GHz base and 4 GHz boost. Naturally all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but at least the rumor also states these CPUs will be announced at Computex, which runs from May 30 to June 3, and launched a few weeks later.
Posted: March 28, 2017 03:57PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Researcher Tavis Ormandy of Google's Project Zero has found his third Last Pass vulnerability this month, and described it as "a major architectural problem." A proof-of-concept exploit was created and sent to Last Pass by Ormandy, who was thanked by the company in a blog post. The exploit "makes it possible for malicious websites to steal user passcodes and in some cases execute malicious code on computers running the program," but Last Pass has declined to "disclose anything specific about the vulnerability or our fix that could reveal anything to less sophisticated but nefarious parties." While password managers are able to help increase security for users by generating different, complex passwords for all of the sites a user visits, they seem to be an increasing target for malicious users.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: March 23, 2017 07:36AM
With the development of low-level graphics APIs, we have been promised improved performance by way of computer components being more efficiently used. One example of this is the ability to make many times more draw calls thanks to reduced overhead on a CPU. Some time ago Futuremark added to 3DMark an API Overhead feature test to illustrate the difference between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 specifically by increasing the number of draw calls until the framerate dropped below 30 FPS. Now the company has added the Vulkan API to this test, replacing the Mantle API. Vulkan is like DirectX 12 in that it is a low-level API, but it supports multiple operating systems, while DX12 is limited to Windows 10.
The API Overhead test is only available in the Advanced and Professional Editions of 3DMark, and not the Basic Edition or Steam Demo, so if you want to try it out, you will need one of the paid-for editions. Keep in mind though that this is not a test meant to compare performance between different computers or components. The overhead test is meant only to compare the performance of the different APIs on a single system.
Posted: March 17, 2017 11:54AM
If you are looking for a new mechanical keyboard, Corsair may have just announced what you want. The K63 is a mechanical keyboard using CHERRY MX Red switches with per-key red LED illumination. Using the CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) you can control each key's lighting and assign new commands or macros to them if you wish. It is a tenkeyless keyboard though, so it does not have the number pad, but that also makes for a more compact design, freeing up room for your mouse or in a bag if you need to travel with it.
The K63 comes with a two-year warranty and is available immediately. Corsair's webpage for the keyboard has it listed at $79.99.
Posted: March 8, 2017 04:48PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Microsoft has been working with Qualcomm and Cavium to create a version of Windows that will run on ARM processors for use in the servers that power its' Azure Cloud service. VP of the Azure Cloud division Jason Zander said the company is "testing these chips for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data," but added that "It's not deployed into production yet, but that is the next logical step." The designs for the servers, known as Project Olympus, will be revealed at the Open Compute Project Summit and the Open Source nature of the design will allow other companies to utilize it in their own servers. While this is good news for Microsoft and for new technology, Intel could find itself in some trouble as the server market is currently its' most profitable segment.
Posted: March 3, 2017 02:26PM
Some of you may have noticed part of the Internet was not working earlier this week. This is because Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) for the US-EAST-1 region partially went down and recently the company explained what happened. An S3 team in Northern Virginia was debugging an issue involving the S3 billing system and while following an established playbook during this work, one of the team members accidentally input an incorrect command. You see, S3 is designed to endure a loss of capacity due to removal or failure, and for the work being done, the team was going to take a small number of servers offline. However, the wrong input was used for one of these commands, causing far more servers to shut down than intended.
As it turns out, these servers that were inadvertently taken offline supported two S3 subsystems, the index subsystems and the placement subsystem. The index subsystems is necessary for all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests, while the placement subsystem is needed for allocating storage during a PUT request. Because of how many servers were removed, both of these subsystems needed to be restarted, and during that time S3 could not take requests. The restarting process also took a long time because of all the safety checks that needed to be done to validate the metadata and how much S3 has grown in recent years. Once the index subsystem was up the GET, LIST, and DELETE APIs were functional and then the placement subsystem could start recovering. Once this was done, S3 was operating normally, but some services needed to catchup on a backlog of work from the disruption.
To prevent this from happening again, the tool that shut down the servers has been changed to remove capacity more slowly and has safeguards to prevent capacity from dropping below a minimal level. Other tools are also being audited to add similar checks. Finally, a plan to partition S3 subsystems into smaller cells later this year has been moved up to happen immediately, as smaller partitions will limit the radius of future failures and improve recovery.
Posted: March 1, 2017 10:22AM
I do not recall when I saw the first rumor, but it is not official that YouTube TV is coming to the United States. It is another cord-cutting TV streaming service that allows you to watch various television channels, while costing significantly less than many cable plans. For just $35 a month you get access to over 40 networks, some local stations, and YouTube Red Originals, and just one YouTube TV memberships comes with six accounts, with each having its own recommendations and DVR. The cloud DVR has unlimited storage and will keep shows for nine months, so you have plenty of time to catch up on what you missed or just watch something again. YouTube TV, when it launches, can be watched on mobile, tablet, or computer screens, and naturally Chromecast will support it as well.
Follow the source link to find a list of all of the networks YouTube TV has access to, and you can sign up to be notified when it becomes available in your market. Availability will start soon in the largest US markets and expand from there.
Source: YouTube Official Blog
Posted: March 1, 2017 09:57AM
The Game Developers Conference is a time we see many announcements come out from various companies, and yesterday AMD had its turn at its Capsaicin event. Among the reveals at the event was that AMD and Bethesda Softworks have formed a long-term strategic partnership with the purpose of advancing the games industry. With game developers and graphics companies working together, "the pace of progress can advance exponentially."
Together the companies will work to develop and implement new technologies, including low-level APIs like Vulkan, and to fully utilize the power of Ryzen CPUs, Radeon GPUs, and AMD server solutions across Bethesda franchises. The potential for such collaboration between the two companies has already been demonstrated with the DOOM, where the use of Vulkan enabled unprecedented performance and made it the first AAA title to fully utilize the API.
Posted: February 27, 2017 11:48AM
I will admit that I have been motivated to purchase at least one game after watching some let's plays in it (Saints Row The Third to be specific) and I doubt I am the only one that can say this. Twitch though is looking to capitalize on phenomenon in Spring when it launches the ability to purchase the game being streamed directly from the channel page. To help sweeten the deal, purchases over $4.99 will come with a Twitch Crate, containing random digital loot, ranging from game-specific emotes to some Bits. If you make the purchase from a partnered streamer's channel, and they are opted into the program, they will receive 5% of the revenue.
When this feature rolls it, purchases will be available world-wide and made through an Amazon account, but the pricing will be in US dollars. More currencies will be supported in the coming months. Games purchased this way can be downloaded and played through the Twitch launcher, or through existing services. Here is a list of the game-creator launch partners for this feature:
- Telltale Games
- Digital Extremes
- Hi Rez Studios
- Double Fine Games
- Fred Wood
- Jackbox Games
- Raw Fury
- Devolver Digital
- Trion Worlds
- Blue Mammoth Games
- iNK Stories
- Versus Evil
- Paradox Interactive
- Campo Santo
Posted: February 24, 2017 01:21PM
Like almost anytime there is a lawsuit between two large companies, things are not over yet. The suit between ZeniMax and Oculus over whether ZeniMax proprietary code was illegally used in creating the Oculus Rift VR headset ended not too long ago. ZeniMax won a $500 million judgement and the jury said that while trade secrets were not stolen, Oculus uses copyrighted code without permission and an NDA was violated. While $500 million is a fraction of the billions ZeniMax had sought in damage, it opened the door for requesting an injunction against the code being used, and now the company has done just that. As this code has already been made available to developers to use by Oculus, such an injunction could have a significant impact on the whole of VR.
There is some speculation that ZeniMax might actually be trying to use the pressure of such an injunction, if it is granted, to force Oculus, and its owner Facebook, to reach a settlement. Only time will tell what will come of this, but for now we know the story and legal battle will continue.
Posted: February 22, 2017 05:13PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Linux support has finally been added to SteamVR nearly a year after the initial release of the software through a development build. To start getting their hands dirty, developers will need the "latest Steam Beta Client and a Vulkan-friendly beta driver from Nvidia or AMD." As this is a development build of the software, it may not be as stable and full featured as the Windows version, but it will still be interesting to see what users can come up with. Valve also announced that it will no longer charge $3,000 for a training course for SteamVR hardware development, opting to give away the courses for free.
Source: PC World
Posted: February 15, 2017 04:47PM
Author: Nick Harezga
It was reported late last year that Verizon might be having some second thoughts about its acquisition of Yahoo after the latest hacking scandal compromised up to one billion Yahoo accounts. Verizon isn't looking to abandon the deal altogether, but is reported to be close to a new deal that would knock $250 million off the initial offer of $4.8 billion. As part of the new agreement, the two companies will share responsibility for any damages related to the hack rather than having Yahoo absorb the majority of the impact.
Posted: February 1, 2017 11:06AM
Today the Madden NFL 17 prediction for Super Bowl LI has been released and it says the New England Patriots will defeat the Atlanta Falcons with a score of 27-24. The details of the game can be read at the source, and if it turns out to be true, this should be a very entertaining game as initially Atlanta's offense will be dominate but in the second half New England will start exploiting a weakness in their opponent's defense. With four minutes left in the game, Atlanta had a 24-20 lead, but then Tom Brady was able to get that need touchdown in the end, which you can see in the embedded video below.
Of course we will have to wait until Sunday to see how accurate this prediction ends up being, but the last time the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl it was especially correct. At that time it got the final score correct, that New England would overcome a 10-point deficit, and was within three yards of one player's final receiving yardage total.
Posted: January 24, 2017 05:05PM
Author: Nick Harezga
ASUS has announced the "Tinker Board" as a competitor to single board computers like the Raspberry Pi 3. The board measures just 8.5cm x 5.3cm but manages to pack a 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A17, ARM Mali-T764 GPU, and 2GB of DDR3 into that small space. The Tinker Board lags the latest Raspberry Pi in CPU power and only supports 32-bit instructions, but might make up for it with a more powerful GPU with "hardware support for H.265 4K decoding instead of just 1080p." It is worth pointing out that a Windows 10 PC with an Intel Kaby Lake is still required for streaming Netflix content in 4K. ASUS has developed its own OS based on Debian Linux and is "working on support for the likes of Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and Kodi, but has offered no release date."
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 23, 2017 04:56PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Tech news and review site Hypothermia is holding an Xbox One S giveaway until January 27, with the prize being a 500GB version of the console. Entry is as simple as sending an email as the site believes users "shouldn't have to jump through a bunch of hoops to have the chance to win something." The site is also planning future weekly giveaways for prizes including a Call of Duty Black Ops 3 PS4 bundle, CPU/motherboard combos, and a "Killer Gaming Rig." Head to the site for full details.
Posted: January 23, 2017 11:32AM
On Saturday Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming it has been charging royalties for technologies the company does not have a connection to and is seeking $1 billion. This follows the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming unfair patent licensing practices and back in December Korean regulators fined the company $854 million for unfair trade practices.
According to Apple it pays Qualcomm five times more than it pays all the other cellular patent licensors it has agreements with combined. Qualcomm is one of the many companies that developed basic cellular standards and many other technologies. Apple is also claiming that Qualcomm is withholding almost $1 billion as retaliation for Apple answering questions in the Korean investigation.
Qualcomm's has not finished reviewing the complaint, but feels Apple's claims are baseless and that it has "intentionally mischaracterized" the agreements, negotiations, and the value of Qualcomm's inventions. The company even says it welcomes these claims being heard in court, where Apple's practices will be up for robust examination as well.
Posted: January 17, 2017 05:26PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has upgraded the CM3 Compute Module, a device "designed for embedded computing and industrial users wanting to produce customized products powered by the microprocessor." The CM3 is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 with a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Users will be able to choose from two models, one with 4GB eMMC onboard storage and one that requires the user to add their own storage. It has the same pin layout as the previous Compute Module and allows users to easily port programs that run on the Raspberry Pi 3. The CM3 with included storage has an MSRP of $30 while the version without storage costs $25.
Source: Tech Crunch
Posted: January 17, 2017 01:33PM
A lot of lawsuits come and go without most people hearing about them, but the current one between ZeniMax and Oculus has recently had good reason to pop up on news sites. The lawsuit alleges that when John Carmack left Id Software, which is owned by ZeniMax Media (as is Bethesda Softworks) he brought with him technology and computer code owned by ZeniMax that Oculus then used. The reason this news may be popping up again is that ZeniMax is now claiming Oculus has destroyed evidence to cover-up their wrongdoing and because Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook which now owns Oculus, is to testify.
In Carmack's testimony he stated there were talks in which ZeniMax was originally going to share this code with Oculus, but these negotiations broke down over how much ownership stake ZeniMax would get in Oculus. Following this Carmack was told to stop working on VR, which is what eventually led to him leaving for Oculus. Once there, Carmack says he rewrote the code used in the Oculus and Gear VR headsets from scratch.
ZeniMax wants to get $2 billion in damages, which happens to match the amount Facebook paid for Oculus when it purchased the company in 2014.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 16, 2017 04:47PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Microsoft has been issuing security bulletins detailing patches and vulnerabilities for 20 years, a practice the company plans to end next month. Users won't be left entirely out in the cold as the company is merely switching its procedure to a searchable database that will provide the same information as the security bulletins. A preview of the database has been operational since November, when the decision to move away from bulletins was first announced. Microsoft described the motivation to make the switch, stating "Our customers have asked for better access to update information, as well as easier ways to customize their view to serve a diverse set of needs."
Source: Computer World
Posted: January 16, 2017 09:49AM
For those of you not aware, South Korea is in the middle of a large political corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of the country's president. Now it appears Samsung is involved in this scandal, as prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for the Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jar-yong. The alleged connection between the company and the scandal relates to a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, which strengthened Lee's position in the company. Supposedly Lee and Samsung attempted to bribe a confidante of the South Korean president to secure government support for the merger by giving millions to certain organizations. Also the former National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo has been accused of pressuring the pension fund to support the merger, and it is a major shareholder in one of the Samsung affiliates.
Samsung disputes the allegations, stating that it "did not make contributions in order to receive favors."
Posted: January 12, 2017 04:46PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan reported earlier this week that two of its Project Valerie prototype three screen laptops were stolen from its CES booth. The good news is that they appear to have been found, but the bad news is that they are currently for sale in China for the low price of $21,733. Razer was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to criminal charges, but the fact that the laptops are in China make it seem unlikely that any charges might be brought against the offender. At least the company can save a bit of money if it instead chose to buy the laptops back from the thieves.
Source: WCCF Tech
Posted: January 9, 2017 05:36PM
Author: Nick Harezga
Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan revealed in a post on his personal Facebook page that two prototypes of the Project Valeria three screen laptop were stolen from the company booth at CES at around 4PM on Sunday. Tan added that all of the necessary forms were filed and the company is offering a $25,000 reward for "original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect." While it is possible that the thieves just wanted to get their hands on the latest technology, Tan is open to the possibility of industrial espionage. Tan added that the latter possibility "is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart."
Posted: January 6, 2017 10:10AM
Before any of the advanced technologies we use today could enter consumer products, their specifications had to be set first, and in many cases these specs have been improved and updated over time, adding new features and capabilities. The High Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI is no exception to this and version 2.1 of the spec has been announced with a number of forward-looking goodies.
First up of these new features is support for 8K resolutions at 60 Hz and 4K and 120 Hz, so viewers can enjoy both great detail and smooth action. There is also support for Dynamic HDR, which means that in addition to support more values for color, contrast, and brightness, these values can change from scene to scene, or even frame to frame, if the image calls for it. All of these features so far require a lot of information, so HDMI 2.1 also has a new 48 Gbps cable for uncompressed data transmission. The spec maintains backwards compatibility with previous versions though, so those cables can be used with older devices and an HDMI 2.1 port may still work with older cables as well, but likely not with all of the features enabled.
Two more features coming with HDMI 2.1 is eARC support and Game Mode VRR. With eARC advanced audio formats can be used, including object-based audio which allows sounds to be placed in a virtual space and then recreated by the appropriate speakers, instead of relying on fixed audio channels requiring properly placed speakers. Game Mode VRR allows variable refresh rates to be used, reducing lag, stutter, and frame tearing like what PC gamers can enjoy with FreeSync and G-Sync, with the appropriate hardware.
The HDMI 2.1 spec should be released early Q2 2017 and all HDMI 2.0 Adopters will be notified when this happens, so they can start finding ways to add it to devices.
Posted: January 5, 2017 05:02PM
Author: Nick Harezga
DEEPCOOL is using CES as an introduction for four new computer cases and multiple cooling products. The four cases are the Quadstellar, New Ark 90, Earlkase Liquid, and Baronkase Liquid. The Quadstellar is split into four separate compartments for the graphics card, motherboard, power supply, and hard drives to provide for excellent cooling performance. An automatic air intake system helps to further improve performance through intelligent temperature sensors. The New Ark 90 has tempered glass top and side panels and a preinstalled Captain 280EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Earlkase Liquid has a tempered glass side panel with integrated RGB lighting and a preinstalled Captain 140EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Baronkase Liquid has similar features to the Earlkase in a slightly smaller frame with a preinstalled Captain 120EX AIO liquid cooling system.
The MF120GT case fan is built with a "specially optimized aluminum alloy" to provide "excellent vibration damping capability." The fan incorporates RGB lighting and can vary RPM from 500-2200. The MF120 has the same features as the MF120GT with the exception of using a frameless design. Both fans allow for lighting control through an app. The Captain 120EX RGB and Captain 240EX RGB retain all of the features of the non-RGB versions, with the addition of a variable RGB lighting system, providing pump and LED strip lighting.
Source: Press Release