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Manufacturers Article (5)

Mushkin Interview and Tour 2011

Mushkin Interview and Tour 2011

» April 27, 2011 05:00PM

LTB Interview and Tour

» May 22, 2007 05:00PM

GTR Tech Corporation Backround

» May 15, 2007 05:00PM

Mushkin Interview and Tour

» May 6, 2007 05:00PM

Interview: Robert Krakoff, Founder of Razer

» November 30, 2006 05:00PM

Manufacturers News (30)

Gamers Nexus Interviews Manufacturers on Tariff Impacts

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: October 1, 2018 07:52AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Starting today there, a number of products produced in China have a 10% tariff applied to them, and the list includes a number of computer components. As China manufacturers a great many of these products, the impact will be felt throughout the industry, and with another 15% tariff coming on January 1, Gamers Nexus decided to reach out to manufacturers. Basically they all agree this will result in suggested retail prices in North America increasing, though Alphacool speculates it might not be as impacted as others, but it is not as active in the region.

A couple points made in the article include the profit margins for some of the products and the impact this will have on shipping costs. Gamers Nexus notes that for some video cards, the margin is only a few percent, so a 10% tariff cannot be taken on by the manufacturer alone, so consumers will need to bear at least some of it. Some companies have been trying to mitigate the impact of the tariffs, at least temporarily, by getting products into warehouses before the tariffs take effect, or before the next 15% tariff is applied. This increase in shipping demand has driven up shipping costs for all products coming out of China, so even products not directly listed under the tariffs may see price increases, and North American consumers outside of the United States too may be paying more.

For now, consumers in the United States can try reaching out to representatives in Congress and vote in the upcoming elections. Otherwise, we are left waiting and hoping deals can be struck between China and the United States that will see the tariffs removed. While some manufacturers may try to move production out of China, such as to Taiwan or even to the US, it will take time and is not an inexpensive move to begin with.

Source: Gamers Nexus and YouTube version

Intel Acknowledges Supply Challenges in Open Letter

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: September 28, 2018 09:44AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There have been rumors for weeks that Intel has been having issues supplying enough processors to meet demand, and this has led to different speculations on how it may impact the market, such as potentially seeing a decrease in RAM prices as fewer new computers and laptops are being ordered that need them. Now Intel has released an open letter acknowledging supply challenges and stating what the plan is to address them currently. The only information it suggests for the cause is a growth in demand for chips beyond what Intel expected.

To address the supply issue, Intel is going to be prioritizing its Xeon and Core processors, so it can serve the high-performance parts of the market. This means the entry-level parts are going to be a lower priority, so supply for them may tighten further, but Intel believes it will still be able to hit its full-revenue outlook. Additionally, it is increasing its capital expenditures with an extra $1 billion going to the 14 nm manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland, and Israel to better meet demand. Looking forward though, Intel expects its yields on its 10 nm process to improve so volume production can occur in 2019.

Source: Intel

Intel H310C Chipset Apparently To Be Fabbed on 22 nm Process

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: September 21, 2018 04:09PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Intel has reportedly been suffering from a 14 nm production shortage, which has resulted in a lack of supply for the current generation of CPUs. Now it appears to potentially help address the supply issue, Intel is taking a technological step back for the H310C chipset. Typically Intel chipsets would not be on the same manufacturing process as the CPUs they support, but as Intel has been unable to move on to the 10 nm process it has been working on, the chipsets have progressed to also be on a 14 nm process. Now Intel is reportedly intending to manufacture the H310C on its 22 nm process, alleviating some of the demand on its 14 nm fabrication systems. This would be a new variant of the currently available H310 chipset, which has been produced on a 14 nm process.

Being a lower-end chipset, the H310 series will likely not see a significant loss of performance or efficiency from this move. Still, this would indicate Intel is in an undesirable situation as it needs to transition one product to an older process to satisfy demand for others. The question now is if Intel may need to move more components to older processes as well.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Samsung Reportedly Planning to Slow Memory Chip Output Next Year

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: September 21, 2018 03:47PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was earlier this month there were reported expectations of memory prices coming down next year as Intel CPU shortages impact laptop shipments. Now there are reports that Samsung at least might decide to slow its production of memory chips, keeping the supply tight and therefore the prices high. This would impact more than Samsung though, but also SK Hynix and Micron Technologies, which also produce memory chips. If this happens, it will also mean these companies would likely cut back on investments in new equipment and materials.

Source: Bloomberg

Intel Acquires NetSpeed Systems, Provider of Network-on-Chip Tools

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: September 11, 2018 09:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Modern computer chips are almost unbelievably complex and to make it all more manageable for designing and validating, various tools have been developed. Now Intel has purchased NetSpeed Systems, a company that has been creating tools for system-on-chip (SoC) designers. What NetSpeed makes is a scalable, coherent, network-on-chip (NoC) tool that can automate the design of an SoC front-end and produce a programmable and synthesizable interconnect fabric that is efficient and high performance. Intel has already been a customer of NetSpeed, and existing customer contracts will be honored, but it will become an internal asset for Intel going forward. The CEO and co-founder of the company, Sundari Mitra, who previously worked at Intel, will become a vice president at Intel and report to Jim Keller, who leads the Silicon Engineering Group.

Source: Intel

AMD and GlobalFoundries Wafer Supply Agreement Potentially Receiving 7th Amendment

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: September 9, 2018 07:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are many differences between Intel and AMD, but one that was not always the case is Intel being the one that owns and operates its own fabs for manufacturing its chips. It had been that AMD also had its own fabs, but to reduce costs it spun them off into what we now know as GlobalFoundries. Part of the spin off was a Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) between the two that requires AMD purchase so many wafers from GlobalFoundries each year, or face a penalty for not meeting the quota. This agreement has been renegotiated and amended over the years, with the most recent amendment allowing AMD to pay a penalty to go to another company, like TSMC or Samsung. Now, following the announcement that GlobalFoundries is putting its development of a 7 nm manufacturing process on indefinite hold, there are rumors a seventh amendment to the WSA is being negotiated.

It is almost certain these negotiations are going on, but exactly what they may cover is unknown. One would expect AMD is seeking more freedom to turn elsewhere for its next generation parts, but according to WCCFtech, the new terms are to be 'mutually beneficial,' so GlobalFoundies may also be getting something out of this. Hopefully it will not take long for the two companies to sign the changes and share it with the public.

Source: WCCFtech

Lenovo Announces a Number of New Laptops at IFA 2018

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: August 31, 2018 08:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Acer was not the only company to announce new products at IFA 2018 and Lenovo brought with it a number of new laptops, and some have some interesting features. Starting with the ThinkPad X1 Extreme, it is the first 15 in laptop in the X1 series, and the first to bring NVIDIA discrete graphics, in this case the GeForce 1050 Ti MaxQ. To keep it cool, a new aluminum alloy is used for the bottom piece to dissipate heat more effectively. The top uses four layers of reinforced carbon fiber with a shock absorbing core to make the laptop very tough, but it still comes in at just 1.7 Kg (3.76 pounds). Inside it has not only the GeForce GPU but also an 8th generation Intel Core processor, and come December it will be available with a six-core Core i9. The CPU can be paired with up to 64 GB of RAM and dual PCIe SSD storage with RAID 0/1 capability. The battery is supposed to keep you going for 15 hours, but if you are ever running low, Rapid Charge will get you up to 80% in 60 minutes. The 15.6 in UHD display also supports Dolby Vision HDR. It will be available in September starting at $1859.

If 15 hours of batter life does not sound like enough for you, the Yoga C630 WOS offers up to 25+ hours of local video playback on a single charge. This is thanks to its using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform, enabling Windows on Snapdragon (WOS). Part of that platform is the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, so you can get 1.2 Gbps on LTE Advanced Pro for those times you need a connection but do not want to be on an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Another advantage to the Snapdragon platform is that this 12.5 mm thick, 1.2 Kg mass laptop has a fan-less design. It has a 13.3 in FHD IPS touchscreen display and will be available starting in the EMEA region starting in November.

Still looking for something else? The Yoga C930 offers a 4K 13.9 in display with Dolby Vision, and like the other Yoga devices it is attached by a 360º hinge. This hinge has been changed some by adding a Rotating Sound Bar that is will always face you, and it was crafted with help from Dolby to make maximize the quality of the sound. Onboard software also tunes the audio to optimize at different orientations. For inputs, the display is a touchscreen but Lenovo has also added a pen that is housed in the chassis, where it can be charged as well. Far-range mics are also part of the design, so Cortana and Alexa can hear you from up to four meters away, if you use them. The Yoga C930 is expected to be available in September.

Now we come to a device with an interesting feature. The Yoga Book X930 is an ultra-slim, ultra-light, and ultra-flexible laptop that is 9.9 mm at its thickest, 4 mm at its thinnest, and comes to 775 grams while still offering up to 10 hours of battery life. What makes it so intriguing is its use of two displays. While one is a QHD 2K IPS display the other is a high resolution E Ink screen and it serves as your keyboard, trackpad, drawing tablet, and more. As a keyboard it will learn your keystroke habits to compensate for not being a physical keyboard, but it also has auditory, haptic, and visual feedback, which has resulted in noticeable improvements for both speed and accuracy in user tests. The optional Precision Pen can be used with both the LCD or E Ink display too. Anything you make on the E Ink screen can be sent to the LCD display and you can transfer a screenshot or PDF from the LCD to E Ink screen too, allowing you to mark it up as you wish. Of course you can also use the E Ink screen as an eReader too. Powering all of this is a 7th gen Intel Core processor, which allows it to be fan-less and offer up to 10 hours of battery life. The Yoga Book C930 is to be available in September 2018 in the EMEA region.

Source: Lenovo [1] (ThinkPad X1 Extreme), [2] (Yoga C630 WOS), [3] (Yoga C930), and [4] (Yoga Book C930)

Acer Reveals Various Products at IFA 2018

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: August 29, 2018 08:21AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At IFA 2018, Acer announced a number of new products from new laptops to monitors, a new Windows Mixed Reality Headset, and the Predator Thronos gaming chair. Starting with the laptops, the Swift 5 and Swift 3 were shown off, with the Swift 5 being the lightest 15 in notebook in the world. It features either an Intel Core i5 8265U or i7 8565U in its 990 gram package (2.2 pounds) that is just 15.9 mm thick. It can come with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory and up to a 1 TB NVMe SSD and its 1920x1080 IPS display is also a touchscreen. A 14 in model of the Swift 5 was also at the show and it comes in at 970 grams and just 14.9 mm thick. The Swift 3 line of laptops received new models too, with a 13.3 in and 14 in display options, though it is the 13.3 in version that offers 4G LTE connectivity. The 15 in Swift 5 will be available in North America in January starting at $1099 while the 14 in Swift 3 will be available in November starting at $799.99.

The Aspire line of laptops and all-in-one computers were on display too. The Aspire Z 24 is an AIO PC that can have up to an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU behind its 23.8 in display along with up to 32 GB of Intel Optane memory and GeForce MX150 graphics. If it is still laptops you are looking for, there is the Aspire 7 that features a Core i7 8305G or i7 8705G, which are two of the Intel processors that are paired with Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics for great performance in a small package. The Aspire 5 laptops provide a little less power, but still represent function-rich designs with the integrated Gigabit of modern Intel CPUs and up to the GeForce MX150 GPU. Finally, the Aspire 3 is more a value option but still offers upgradeable storage and a built-in DVD drive for those who need it. The Aspire Z 24 series will be available in North America in October starting at $899.

Turning to the Predator and Nitro series of products, new 27 in monitors and gadgets were announced, and the Thronos gaming chair. For monitors, the XB273K is a UHD (3840x2160) monitor that can reach up to 144 Hz, and it supports NVIDIA G-Sync, in case your GeForce graphics card cannot feed this display fast enough. The IPS display covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color space and the monitor meets the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard. The Nitro XV273K is very similar, also offering DisplayHDR 400 certification and up to 144 Hz on its UHD panel, but is combined with AMD Radeon FreeSync. The Nitro XV27U has similar specifications but a WQHD panel (2560x1440) with 95% DCI-P3 coverage while the XF27U uses a TN panel at that resolution, but only 90% DCI-P3 coverage. Of course you need a place to put your monitor or monitors, and for that Acer showed off the Predator Thronos gaming chair that is 1.5 meters tall and can hold three 27 in monitors from its overhead brace. Besides filling your field of view with displays, the Thronos also has deep impact vibration to simulate in-game impacts. The chair is adjustable with its ergonomic seat design, foot rest, and its cabin can be reclined up to 140º. In case you were wondering, its steel structure comes to 220 Kg. Adding to the Nitro series of gadgets are a new optical sensor mouse, membrane keyboard, headset, mousepad, and backpack. The various gadgets range in price from $14.99 for the mousepad to $39.99 for the headset, with all available in Q4 2018. The Nitro XF272U (TN WQHD display) will be $449, Nitro XV272U (IPS WQHD) will be $499, Nitro XV273K (IPS UHD FreeSync) will be $899, and the Predator XB273K (IPS UHD, G-Sync) will be $1299 when they release in Q4 2018.

Coming to the new Windows Mixed Reality headset we have the Acer OJO 500, which is the first such headset to offer a detachable design, built-in sound pipe technology, and software assisted interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment technology. This detachable design is to make it easier to clean the headset, and also share with others. There are two options for head straps, with a soft version that is machine washable. It has an IPD adjustment wheel but a patented smartphone app can also get this measurement for you, so you can get the best image from the display. That display is a pair of 2.89 in LCDs with a combined resolution of 2880x1440. For audio, the OJO 500 actually uses speakers combined with sound pipes to direct sound to the user's ears, instead of requiring earphones that can block out ambient noise. The hard strap offers built-in earphones though, and the user can always user their own set with the soft head strap. Being a WMR headset, it uses the inside-out tracking seen with others, such as the Lenovo Explorer. The Acer OJO 500 will be available in North America in November starting at $399.

Source: Acer [1] (Swift 3 & 5), [2] (Aspire 3, 5, 7, & Z 24) and Press Release

AMD Loses Jim Anderson and Focuses on 7 nm For Future Products

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: August 27, 2018 02:49PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Depending on the websites you look at during the day, you may have seen rumors Jim Anderson, AMD's Senior Vice President and General Manager, Compute and Graphics business, was leaving the company. We now know this is true, and even who is replacing him as AMD announced Saeid Moshkelani will be filling the role. Moshkelani joined AMD back in 2012 as the general manager of the Semi-Custom Business Unit. In the new position, he will be leading all aspects of product strategy, management, and engineering when it comes to client computing products and solutions. Additionally, Darren Grasby is the new Senior Vice President of global Compute and Graphics sales, and the AMD President for the EMEA region. In these roles, he will report directly to CEO Dr. Lisa Su, as will Moshkelani. Though the AMD statement does not say where Anderson has gone, Lattice Semiconductor has its own press release announcing its appointment of him as CEO, effective September 4. Lattice Semiconductor makes smart connectivity solutions based on its low power FPGA, video ASSP, and IP products.

In addition to announcing this change in leadership, AMD also put out a release confirming its focus on 7 nm designs and products. Its next 'major milestone' will be rolling out initial products based on the Zen 2 CPU core and Navi GPU architecture, both of which are 7 nm products. AMD also stated it has already taped out multiple products on TSMCs leading 7 nm node, including the 7 nm Vega Instinct GPU that will launch later this year and the first 7 nm server CPU, which will launch next year. It was also today that Global Foundries announced it would be putting its 7 nm node development on hold, so only TSMC will be able to provide AMD with 7 nm dies in the foreseeable future. AMD does also state it will leverage GF and its 14 nm and 12 nm technologies as it ramps Ryzen, Radeon, and EPYC processors, and that no changes to its product roadmaps are expected.

Correction: It was Jim Anderson, not Mark Papermaster who left. Honestly not sure where I got Papermaster, even though everything said Anderson. Thanks for the catch.

Source: AMD [1] (Leadership Changes), AMD [2] (7 nm focus), Lattice Semiconductor, and WCCFtech

Global Foundries Putting 7 nm On Hold Indefinitely

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: August 27, 2018 01:55PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is not news I think many were expecting to see, but today Global Foundries announced it is putting its development of its 7 nm FinFET process on hold indefinitely. This is as part of a strategy shift by the company to focus on its 14/12 nm FinFET platform, which can produce chips at a lower cost than 7 nm would. This means more business for the company as more clients can afford to work with GF, but it will also expand its offerings on this platform as well. This includes adding features such as RF, embedded memory, and low power.

As Anandtech points out, this move is economical for the company as it is far from easy to develop and deploy a new process node, like 7 nm. The cost to develop the technology is in the billions, and that cost would either need to be passed on to the current clients, making the company less competitive, or taking the costs on itself, hoping to make it back when the 7 nm process can turn out products. As you cannot know if a node will be successful until it is or is not, this amounts to a billion dollar gamble, and apparently the company has decided to not take it. Global Foundries leading-edge Fab 8 is running at full capacity churning out product using its 14LPP node, and compromising this to try for 7 nm is not necessarily the wisest move.

This move could prove to have an interesting impact on AMD, which GF had spun off from years ago. This resulted in an agreement between the two for AMD to exclusively use GF for silicon wafers, though this deal was rewritten in recent years, allowing it to work with TSMC as well. We already know it is TSMC making the 7 nm Vega Instinct GPU and Zen 2-based EPYC CPUs, and now it looks like it might be TSMC making even more of AMD's products, as the company moves to 7 nm designs for its components.

Source: Global Foundries and Anandtech

TSMC Hit by WannaCry Attack After Installing New Machine

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: August 10, 2018 11:47AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

You may have heard last week that TSMC, the fab creating chips of the likes of NVIDIA and Apple, had its operations interrupted due to a virus. We now have some more information about the incident, including the identity of the malware; WannaCry. Apparently what happened was TSMC was installing a new tool and as it was confirmed to be malware-free, it was not isolated from the company's systems. 'Missoperation' while installing the software for the tool led to the virus spreading through TSMC's network, leading to several machines becoming unusable, which is going to cause some shipments to miss their original dates. The company expects its revenue to drop by as much as 2%, which works out to be around $169 and $171 million.

One somewhat interesting aspect about this episode is that it was WannaCry that caused the downtime, as this specific malware is a year old. If TSMC had installed the long-available patches to protect against the worm, this would not have happened, demonstrating that it is important to keep your system up to date. Additionally, even though WannaCry is well past its targeted window of effectiveness, it can still be a danger as it will move through unpatched systems. Luckily, as the patches are available, TSMC has been able to apply them and has gotten much of the affected up and running.

Source: Anandtech

Logitech Purchasing Blue Microphones

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: July 31, 2018 04:11AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Yesterday it was announced that Logitech will be acquiring Blue Microphones. Logitech makes a variety of devices, including computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and webcams. Blue Microphones is the company behind the Blue Snowball and Yeti microphones used by many streamers, but it also makes much higher-end, professional microphones for use in studios. With this acquisition, Blue gains access to Logitech's greater resources and Logitech sees it as a way to help it expand into still growing markets.

To purchase Blue Microphones, Logitech is spending approximately $117 million in cash and expect the transaction to close by the end of August.

Source: Blue Microphones, Logitech [1] (Blog) and [2] (Investor Relations)

AMD and Intel Release Q2 Earnings Report and Information Concerning Future Products

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: July 28, 2018 07:03AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It is that time of year when companies report how well the second quarter went for them, and for AMD, it apparently went exceptionally well. Last year the company's revenue for Q2 was $1.15 billion but this year it achieved $1.76 billion, which is an increase of 53% year-over-year. The company's net income for the quarter was $116 million, which is a significant improvement over last year when it lost $42 million in Q2.

Intel too posted a positive quarter, totaling $17 billion year-over-year improvement, with $8.7 billion coming from its PC-centric business. The remainder came from its data-centric groups, producing a 51%-49% split between the two.

Also coming out with these results are the earnings calls with some information about how the companies are operating and what we might expect in the future. AMD revealed it has increased its research and development budget by 25% since a year ago, which is interesting as the Zen architecture, fueling its increased revenue, was developed with such limited resources. Zen 2, the next CPU architecture coming from the company will be produced on a 7 nm manufacturing node, which is something we have known for some time, but what is interesting is that it has been TSMC creating the Rome EPYC chips currently being sampled. GlobalFoundries has long been the manufacturer AMD has worked with, especially as it used to be AMD's manufacturing arm before being spun off. The target is to release Zen 2-based EPYC processors in the first half of 2019, potentially Q2.

For Intel the news for upcoming products and moving to a new manufacturing node is not so positive. For some time Intel has been working on getting its 10 nm process up and running, but it has been constantly running into issues. The new expectation is that mass production of 10 nm parts will begin in time for H2 2019, so we might be looking at Q4 2019 for availability in OEM systems. Until then, we can expect Intel to continue using its very successful 14 nm process.

What this adds up to is AMD is having significant success and it appears that next year will have its products on a new manufacturing node months ahead of Intel. Intel has been leading in manufacturing technologies for years, so it looks like 2019 will be a very interesting year for, at least, CPUs.

Source: AMD, Intel, Overclock3D (AMD R&D budget), AnandTech (Rome EPYC), Seeking Alpha (AMD earnings call transcript), and Intel Investor Relations (Earnings Presentation Q2)

ASUS, Philips, Pioneer, Denon & Marantz Fined $130 Million for Price Fixing

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: July 25, 2018 07:56PM
Author: Grilka8050

In four separate decisions, the European Commission fined the electronic manufacturers ASUS, Denon & Marantz, Philips, and Pioneer for breaching EU competition rules. Specifically, they set minimum or fixed prices on their online retailers. The total fined of all four cases totals over €111 million but were reduced due to their cooperation. 

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, "The online commerce market is growing rapidly and is now worth over 500 billion euros in Europe every year. More than half of Europeans now shop online. As a result of the actions taken by these four companies, millions of European consumers faced higher prices for kitchen appliances, hair dryers, notebook computers, headphones and many other products. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. Our decisions today show that EU competition rules serve to protect consumers where companies stand in the way of more price competition and better choice.” 

The companies were individually fined as follows:

ASUS: € 63.5 million, reduced 40%

Denon & Marantz: € 7.7 million, reduced %40

Philips: € 29.8 million, reduced %40

Pioneer: € 10.1 million, reduced %50

Fine reductions were determined by the extent of the company’s cooperation. Apparently, Pioneer was more cooperative than the other companies that were fined!

Source: TechPowerUp

Noctua Introduces More 5 V Fans

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: July 5, 2018 06:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While we all know cooling is very important for getting the best from our computers, they are hardly unique in this need. In many cases though, these other technologies need fans designed for 5 V instead of the usual 12 V we use in our PCs, so now Noctua is offering versions of some of their fans, including a 200 mm and the new 120 mm NF-A12x25 models that will work on 5 V.

These are not the first 5 V fans from Noctua, as the Prusa i3 MK3 3D printer already uses NF A4x10 5V and NF-A4x10 FLX (12 V) models for cooling, but with these new fans you can replace or upgrade the cooling for many of your devices. There are now 5 V and 5 V PWM versions of the NF-A8 (80 mm), NF-A9 (92 mm), NF-A12x25 (120 mm), NF-F12 (120 mm), NF-A14 (140 mm), and NF-A20 (200 mm) fans, which clearly offer some steps up from the previous 40 mm and 60 mm fans from the company. These could be put to use in your own 3D printer along with other devices, such as home appliances, in your A/V cabinet, and even with devices with USB host ports. The fans come with a USB power adaptor cable so they can work with power banks and USB power supplies. Also an OmniJoin adaptor is included so you can connect these fans with proprietary fan headers, and with polarity protection you do not need to worry about reversing the polarity and damaging them.

The new fans range in price from $14.90 to $29.90 and will be available at Noctua's official Amazon and eBay outlets in the next few days.

Source: Noctua

NVIDIA and AMD Sending Out Press Invites for Events

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: July 3, 2018 12:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For those looking forward to new hardware launches this year, both NVIDIA and AMD have been sending out press invites for upcoming events. NVIDIA's will be taking place at Gamescom on August 21, and naturally the expectation is the next GeForce series will be announced. After months of rumors, some reasonable and some less so, we may finally get the information we all want to see, including what the price will be for the GTX 11 series.

The event AMD has been sending out invites for is going to show off more than computer hardware though as a visit to a Maranello race track and Modena Ferrari factory are going to be part of the event. The expectation here is AMD will be showing off the 2nd generation Threadripper CPUs, which will have a 32-core/64-thread processor at its top. A premature listing for this Threadripper '2990X' put its price at 1509 EUR, which, if accurate, would be a very impressive price as it comes in just about 500 EUR/USD over the 1950X, the current Threadripper flagship with half the cores and threads (16-cores/32-threads). Of course, the 1950X can be found cheaper now than its original launch value of $999. It might be worth mentioning that the upcoming Threadripper CPUs can be dropped into existing X399 motherboards following a BIOS update, as the same socket is used between them. Overclocking might be limited, depending on the board's power capability, however.

Source: VideoCardz [1], [2], and [3]

Apple and Foxconn Use Lake Michigan Water in LCD Production

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: April 30, 2018 11:35PM
Author: Grilka8050

The Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin has given permission to Foxconn (assemblers of iPhones and more) to use seven million gallons a day from Lake Michigan. This water will be used at a manufacturing plant being built in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The water Foxconn has proposed to withdraw from the lake is a “0.07% increase to the total surface water withdrawals,” according to the DNR statement. Environmentalists are concerned with the precedent this is setting, which could lead to future depletion of water from the lake and encourage more plants to be built.

Source: Fudzilla

AMD has 7 nm Vega in Labs and AMD Will Use TSMC 7 nm First for Products

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: April 26, 2018 08:46AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

We have some news here about AMD's move to a 7 nm manufacturing process for its products. On the official @AMDNews Twitter account, the company has stated it has the 7 nm Radeon Instinct product running in its labs. This product has been announced before and will leverage the Vega architecture to accelerate machine learning. It will also be the company's first 7 nm product, but there is no word on if it may find some kind of move to a consumer product.

Referencing the AMD teleconference, Bob Marston has stated on Twitter that according to Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, the company will be using both GlobalFoundries and TSMC for manufacturing 7 nm products, and that TSMC will go first. Before splitting off, GlobalFoundries was the fabrication side of AMD and following the split the partnership between them had limited AMD's use of other manufacturers. This contact has since been revised, better enabling AMD to go to other manufacturers, such as TSMC, though as I recall it must pay GlobalFoundries for doing so. Apparently AMD has now found a case where the fee will be worth it.

Source: Twitter (AMD) and Twitter (Bob Marston)

Some Manufacturers Expect Graphics Card Shipments to Fall 40% in April

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: April 26, 2018 07:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For someone looking for a new graphics card, but would rather not spend potentially hundreds of dollars over the MSRP, this may be good news for you. It is being reported that three Taiwan-based graphics card manufacturers are expecting their shipments to drop 40% on the month of April. These companies are Gigabyte, MSI, and TUL and the reason is distributors and mining farm operators cutting orders for both the cards and mining motherboards. This follows a recent wane in the mining craze and the expectation of an Ethereum mining ASIC launching in Q3.

This precipitous drop in demand from miners may help other consumers purchase these cards and, as many are hoping, might bring the currently inflated prices down. The manufacturers are hoping market demand will rebound in May or June.

Source: DigiTimes

Intel Announces New Security Technologies and Methods

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: April 17, 2018 11:59AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This year did not start well for the technology industry, and especially for Intel, with multiple, serious security exploits being reported on, but now Intel has revealed some new security technologies that will be coming. Intel Threat Detection Technology (TDT) and Intel Security Essentials along with stronger relationships with academia to produce cybersecurity experts have been announced today.

Currently TDT consists of two things; Intel Advanced Platform Telemetry and Accelerated Memory Scanning. Advanced Platform Telemetry will first be seen in the Cisco Tetration platform for securing data centers and cloud workload. It uses platform telemetry and machine learning algorithms to do a better job catching advanced threats, reducing false positives, and reducing the performance hit of security systems. Accelerated Memory Scanning should also reduce the performance hit of security as it offloads the work of scanning the memory to the GPU built into many Intel CPUs. In early testing, this saw CPU utilization drop from 20% to 2%. Accelerated Memory Scanning will be integrated into Microsoft Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Intel Security Essentials does not provide new or faster means of protecting systems, but unifies security capabilities across Intel Core, Xeon, and Atom processors. Secure boot, hardware protections, accelerated cryptography, and trusted execution enclaves are examples of the platform-integrated technologies Intel Security Essentials includes.

Today a partnership with Purdue University was revealed, with the university's launch of its Design for Security Badge Program it developed with Intel. More academic partners will be announced at the RSA conference this week.

Source: Intel

AMD Appears to Respond to NVIDIA GPP and ASUS Launches AREZ Graphics Card Brand

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: April 17, 2018 11:22AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was a bit more than a month ago when Kyle Bennett at [H]ardOCP about the NVIDIA GeForce Partner Program, a program that, according to documents he has seen and unofficial interviews, would require the companies that join it to align their gaming brand "exclusively with GeForce," or risk the loss of marketing funds from NVIDIA, launch partner status, rebate programs, engineer engagements, and more. Since then some on the Internet took to searching for apparent 'evidence' of companies signing GPP by reporting on if AMD-based graphics cards or other gaming products lost the company's gaming brand. It looks like AMD has taken this time to prepare a response and have posted a statement at Radeon.com.

In this statement, AMD commits itself to freedom of choice and cites examples of its work with hardware standards bodies, API, and game developers to move the industry move forward as a whole, along with other open and free technologies. (The listed examples include HBM, HBM2, work on DirectX, work on Vulkan, the GPUOpen initiative, FreeSync coming to the Xbox One S or X, and Far Cry 5 supporting Vega features "without penalizing the competition.") What may be the most significant line in the statement starts the first paragraph:

Over the coming weeks, you can expect to see our add-in board partners launch new brands that carry an AMD Radeon product.

This has been expected by some as a means around the alleged exclusivity requirement of GPP, as these new brands would, theoretically, just need to not be labeled as 'gaming' to fall outside the requirement. And it looks like we do not need to wait weeks to see these new brands appearing, as ASUS has launched its new AREZ brand with AMD products. Presumably the Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand is now NVIDIA GeForce exclusive. Under AREZ we find the AREZ Strix, AREZ Phoenix, AREZ Expedition, and AREZ Dual. Perhaps important for some, these graphics cards do feature advanced cooling systems, which had previously been associated with gaming brands and left some concerned AMD GPUs could lose access to.

According to the ASUS press release shared by VideoCardz, we can expect AREZ-branded cards to be available in May, in selected markets.

Source: AMD and VideoCardz

Corsair Launches New iCUE Software in Early Access

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: March 27, 2018 09:26AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Many computer components and peripherals today offer the user some kind of customization, from configuring RGB LEDs and fan speeds to macros on keyboards and mice. Corsair makes a number of products that offer such control, and now has release iCUE, a unified software interface for managing all of its products.

From iCUE you can monitor and manage supporting keyboards, mice, headsets, fans, coolers, and even power supplies to match whatever you need. The settings profiles can even be set to activate with certain applications, so fan speeds can be raised for certain games and kept low for less demanding tasks. Also iCUE can connect to some games to produce in-game lighting effects on the Corsair products, and the first game to do so Far Cry 5, which released today.



Source: Corsair

AMD Hires Mike Rayfield and David Wang to Lead Radeon Technologies Group

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 23, 2018 02:49PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It came as something of a surprise last year when Raja Koduri first announced his sabbatical from Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), the graphics side of AMD, followed by his resignation and then hiring by Intel. Lisa Su, the CEO and President of AMD, took over his duties in leading RTG when the sabbatical started in September, but this was always meant as a temporary role for her, ending when Raja returned, or as we now know his replacement is found. Today the company has announced industry leaders Mike Rayfield and David Wang are joining AMD, with Rayfield as a senior vice president and general manager of RTG and Wang as senior vice president of engineering for RTG.

Mike Rayfield is coming from Micro Technology, where he was senior president and general manager of the Mobile Business Unit, which achieved significant growth and improved profitability. Prior to working at Micro he was the general manager of the Mobile Business Unit at NVIDIA where he led the team that created Tegra. At AMD he will be responsible for all aspects of strategy and business management for consumer graphics, professional graphics, and semi-custom products.

David Wang is coming back to AMD from Synaptics, where he was the senior vice president of Systems Silicon Engineering. Synaptics better than quadrupled its design team under Wang, through acquisition and natural growth. Prior to Synapics Wang worked at AMD as a corporate vice president and was responsible for SOC development of the company's processors. In his new role he will be responsible for all aspects of graphics engineering, including technical strategy, architecture, hardware, and software for AMD graphics.

Source: AMD

TSMC 5 nm Fab Construction Starting Soon

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 23, 2018 12:44PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

We do not have many, if any, 7 nm-based products available on the market yet, but to keep ahead of competition, TSMC is expected to break ground for its 5 nm fab sometime this week. This new fab will be located in the Southern Taiwan Science Park, which is also the location the company will build its 3 nm fab in 2020. As TSMC currently has a lead in 7 nm production orders, even managing to outbid Samsung on Apple's order for iPhone processors, it is certainly eager to press its advantage to maintain dominance. Samsung is continuing to work on its 4 nm process and only time will tell how it will compare to TSMC's 5 nm node.

Source: DigiTimes

Mass Production of 16 Gb GDDR6 Started by Samsung

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 18, 2018 02:31PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While a lot of attention has been paid to both generations of High Bandwidth Memory since AMD launched its R9 Fury GPUs with HBM1, and then RX Vega with HBM2, the way HBM is used can make it more expensive to work with compared to the aging GDDR5 of most video cards today. While HBM will still offer some important advantages, GDDR6 is coming, especially now that Samsung has begun mass production of the next generation memory.

The chips Samsung are working now are 16 Gb GDDR6 chips, made using Samsung's 10 nm class process. The company's GDDR5 chips are based on a 20 nm process and are only 8 Gb, so this offers double the density while also increasing performance. Up to 18 Gbps pin speed and transfers of 72 GB/s is possible with these GDDR6 chips, compared to the 8 Gb GDDR5 chips' 8 Gbps pin speed. With its low-power circuit design, these chips will achieves this speed at just 1.35 V, which is appreciably lower than the 1.55 V used by most implementations of GDDR5.

Last I saw, there is no word on when AMD or NVIDIA will adopt GDDR6.

Source: Samsung

Samsung Begins Mass Production of Improved HBM2

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 11, 2018 10:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As graphics and other workloads move more and more to using large amounts of data, the need for faster memory and more efficient will grow. This is why new memory technologies have been and continue to be developed, such as High Bandwidth Memory, HBM, with HBM2 being used in some devices today. Samsung is among the companies developing and producing HBM2 and announced today it is starting mass production of its second generation HBM2, called Aquabolt.

Samsung's first generation HBM2 is called Flarebolt and is able to achieve 1.6 Gbps per pin at 1.2 V and 2.0 Gbps at 1.35 V. Aquabolt surpasses both values, reaching 2.4 Gbps pin speed at 1.2 V, which translates to 307 GB/s bandwidth for a single 8 Gb package on a 1024-bit bus. For comparison, an 8 Gb GDDR5 chip can provide 32 GB/s bandwidth, using a 32-bit bus.

Source: Samsung

Deepcool Shows Off New Cases and Coolers at CES 2018

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 10, 2018 01:37PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you are looking to put together a new build, or transplant an old one to a new case, Deepcool has a couple cases to consider. First up is the QUADSTELLAR with its interesting four-compartment design. This allows components to be separated, preventing heat dissipation interference. It is also a smart PC case, allowing its RGB lighting and heat dissipation system to be controller through an APP. It supports up to an E-ATX motherboard and will be available in an Electro Limited Edition. This limited edition will only see 100 units made available in May.

A more conventional looking case, the ARK 90 is meant to make custom water-cooling easier as it supports E-ATC motherboards and has a variety of mounting options for your cooling system. Its front panel features an external transparent water-tube with flow rotor, so you can easily observe the dynamic flow rate. Its front and top panels have tempered glass sections while the whole left side panel is tempered glass, and all with a black obsidian texture. The integrated RGB lighting system makes showing off your components easier. Like the QUADSTELLAR, there will be an Electro Limited Edition and only 100 of them will be available in May.

If you have or a building an AMD Ryzen Threadripper build, Deepcool has also announced a pair of coolers targeting this large and powerful processor. A TR4 (the Threadripper socket) version of the Captain 240EX RGB AIO cooler has been launched, and the company states it is compatible with other processors as well. As the name suggests it also features an RGB lighting system and it can be controlled with a connected controller or through software via a motherboard header. An Electro Limited Edition will be available in May.

If all you want is an air cooler, the FRYZEN air cooler is going to be available in April, supporting all AMD sockets, including TR4 and the AM4 socket of the consumer Ryzen processors. With an ultra large copper base featuring mini-bumps and a parallel arrangement of six heat pipes, it will cover Threadripper processors to dissipate the heat they can put out. With inverse double-bladed fans it offers double the air pressure and double the performance of other coolers. It too has an RGB lighting system and it supports Addressable RGB for sync-control with motherboard lighting, but has built-in effects as well.

Source: Deepcool

Mushkin Announces Multiple New Products at CES 2018

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 10, 2018 12:45PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Mushkin has announced a number of products at CES 2018, so it is probably best to just jump right into them.

Three new M.2 2280 SSDs are coming from Mushkin: the Pilot; Pilot-E; and Helix-L. The Pilot has capacities ranging from 120 GB and 2 TB with max sequential read of 3.2 GB/s and sequential write of 1.9 GB/s. The Pilot-E SSDs cover from 250 GB to 2 TB and have a max sequential read of 3.5 GB/s and sequential write of 3 GB/s. The Helix-L is a lower cost SSD as it drops DRAM from its build, improving the price to GB ratio. Its capacities reach from 120 GB to 1 TB and the drives have a max sequential read of 2.4 GB/s and max write of 1.7 GB/s. All three of these SSD series offer end-to-end data path protection, LDPC ECC, global wear-leveling, and a 3-year warranty backing them.

Also in the M.2 2280 form factor are new Triactor SSDs, which target more budget-conscious consumers. The Triactor 3DL M.2 2280 SSDs will come in capacities from120 GB to 1 TB and have a max sequential read of 550 MB/s and sequential write of 505 MB/s. These SSDs uses the SATA Revision 3.1 interface and not NVMe 1.3 like the three mentioned above.

Mushkin is also launching it first external SSD, the CarbonEXT. It will use the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface and achieves a maximum throughput of 450 MB/s over its ASMedia ASM1153E USB controller. Both Type-A and Type-C cables are included with the drives that will come in capacities from 120 GB to 1 TB.

They will not offer the same capacity, but Mushkin is also launching new SWAP OTG USB 3.1 flash drives. These will be available in both 32 GB and 64 GB capacities and use USB 3.1 to connect with the ability to swap between Type A and Type C connectors. They are USB On-The-Go compatible, which means supporting smartphones and tablets can directly connect to them. The read speeds can reach up to 225 MB/s and write up to 65 MB/s.

In addition to all of these SSDs and flash drives, Mushkin has also revealed a new, refreshed Silverline DDR4 heatsink. The new heatsink uses aircraft-grade aluminum to dissipate heat and features a diamond cut design to offer a refined, industrial look that will still turn heads. You can expect to see it on new Silverline DDR4 memory SKUs in Q2 2018.

Source: Press Release

MSI Shows Off New Monitors, Desktops, Motherboard, GPU, and Laptop at CES 2018

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 9, 2018 12:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

MSI is at CES 2018 as well and brought a number of products with it, including two new Optix gaming monitors. These are the Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ, with the difference being the 27C is 1080p while the 27CQ is 1440p. What they have in common though is an 1800R curved VA panel with a 1 ms response time and 144 Hz refresh rate. These are the first gaming monitors with Steel Series GameSense built in, which means they have five RGB zones on the front that can be configured to notify you of various events, such as in-game times, Discord notifications, and more. The backs of the monitors also have RGB lighting. The VA panels off 100% coverage of the NTSC gamut and 115% coverage of sRGB. For ports the monitors have two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, one USB 3 Type B, a headphones out, mic in, audio combo jack, two USB 3 Type A ports, and a Kensington lock. If the adjustability of the stand is not enough, the monitors support VESA mounting.

Coming to the desktops, the Trident 3 Arctic has been upgraded to include an Intel 8th Generation CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU. The Infinite X desktop uses a more traditional case design than the Arctic and has either dual steel or dual tempered glass side panels along with Mystic Light RGB LEDs. Inside you can find MSI GPUs, an Intel 8th Generation CPU, and MSI's Silent Storm Cooling 3 Pro liquid cooling. The Aegis Ti3 desktop will also be available later this year.

If you would rather build your own desktop, the Z370 Godlike Gaming motherboard was shown off with features like Killer xTend for improved connectivity. Killer xTend combines a built-in switch and wireless extend. The motherboard also has support for Triple Turbo M.2 with M.2 Shield V2, Turbo U.2 with Steel Armor, Xtreme Audio DAC with Nahimic 2, and Steel Armor for its DDR4 RAM slots.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z is also at CES with its Tri-Frozr thermal design using three TORX 2.0 fans. Between the fans and close quarters heat pipe cooling, with those heat pipes infused into the heatsink and backplate, the GPU should stay cool as you play.

Finally, MSI is also unveiling a new GT75VR Titan Pro laptop, which features the new Killer Wireless-AC 1550. Developed with Intel, this is the world's fastest 2x2 11ac wireless adapter as it reaches 1.73 Gbps throughput. It features 160 MHz channel support, allowing it to double the throughput of standard 2x2 11ac adapters.

Source: MSI

Corsair Announces Multiple Wireless Peripherals

Category: Manufacturers
Posted: January 8, 2018 06:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Corsair announced more than a new PSU, CPU coolers, and cases but also a selection of wireless peripherals using of the company's UNPLUG and PLAY technology. The K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse, and MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad have also been revealed today, but those of you who wish to unplug when using your computer.

The K63 Wireless keyboard features Cherry MX Red switches and a gaming-optimized, ultra-fast 1ma 2.4 GHz connection or low latency Bluetooth wireless connection. To secure your keypresses, 128-bit AES encryption is used. The rechargeable battery will give you up to 75 hours of life and there is per-key customizable blue LED backlighting too, controlled via the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) along with the macros and programmable keys. It is also possible to connect a USB connection, if you want to go wired. As you can guess, the K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard allows you to comfortably keep the keyboard on your lap with a lightweight surround and memory foam cushion. The lapboard also has a full-size replaceable mouse pad.





Speaking of mice, the Dark Core RGB wireless gaming mouse also features three connectivity modes, like the K63: 2.4 GHz; Bluetooth; and wired USB. The mouse has a couple interchangeable magnetic side grips so you can change the feel it has in your hand, to match your preferred fit, and three-zone RGB lighting, to match your taste. Its battery will last up to 24 hours and it has nine programmable buttons.



Charging the Dark Core RGB requires connecting it with USB, but if that is not wireless enough for you, you may want to look at the Dark Core RGB SE that features Qi wireless charging. Combined with the MM1000 Qi wireless charging mousepad, you can power the mouse by placing it in the Qi wireless charging spot. You can also use the MM1000 to charge any Qi compatible device, and as it includes USB Micro-B, Type-C, Lighting Qi charging adapters, and USB 3 pass-through, you are hardly limited to Qi devices only. The mousepad is 260 mm x 350 mm, has a non-slip rubber base, and LED charging indicator as well.



Both the K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard and Gaming Lapboard are available immediately from authorized retailers, while both versions of the Dark Core RGB mouse and MM1000 mousepad will be available later this month. All of these products have a two-year warranty.



Source: Corsair

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