AnandTech This channel features the latest computer hardware related articles. en-us Copyright 2019 AnandTech Anand Lal Shimpi AnandTech Update: Huawei Issued Waiver by U.S. to Continue Software Updates & Hardware Maintenance Andrei Frumusanu

Update 05/20, 9pm: Following last week's ban and Google's suspension of business operations with Huawei, the U.S. Commerce Department has issued a new waiver for the company to continue purchasing limited goods from U.S. companies for maintenance purposes. Under the 90 day waiver, Huawei will be allowed to purchase hardware and software services to maintain current infrastructure as well as provide software updates for existing Huawei Android devices. As noted by Reuters, however, Huawei is still banned from buying parts and equipment for manufacturing new devices – meaning that as things currently stand, the company can only keep building affected products until their stockpiles run out.

While the waiver itself is initially only for 90 days, it can be extended as necessary by the U.S. Government.

Update 05/20: Huawei this morning has responded to reports and the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban, issuing the following statement:

Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.

We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.

This answers one of the most important questions for the moment – what happens to support for current devices – however it remains to be seen what this means for new Huawei smartphones, particularly the Honor 20, which is launching tomorrow.

Original: According to a recent report by Reuters, sources claim that Google is to suspend some business operations with Huawei due to the U.S. Commerce Department’s blacklisting of the company earlier in the week on Thursday.

Huawei is said to lose access to non-open source software and services provided by Google, which in layman terms means essentially all Google services besides baseline Android. Losing access to the Play Store would be a major blow to Huawei’s mobile operations besides the Chinese market where Google doesn’t operate any services.

Huawei will continue to have access to the version of the Android operating system available through the open source license that is freely open to anyone who wishes to use it.

But Google will stop providing any technical support and collaboration for Android and Google services to Huawei going forward, the source said.

Related Reading

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 21:00:00 EDT,14361:news
Marvell to Acquire Avera Semiconductor from GlobalFoundries Anton Shilov

Marvell on Monday announced that it had entered into agreement to buy Avera Semiconductor from GlobalFoundries. The acquisition will bring additional chip design capabilities to Marvell and will enable it to develop a wider range of products. In particular, the company says that that the takeover will help it to strengthen its position as a leading supplier of infrastructure semiconductor solutions. Meanwhile the deal also sees Marvell signing a wafer supply agreement with GlobalFoundries.

GlobalFoundries spun off its ASIC Solutions division (which it got from IBM) into Avera Semiconductor in November 2018. The business unit helps chip designers to develop semi-custom of full-custom chips. Avera employs about 800 engineers and has a comprehensive portfolio of silicon-proven IP, including Arm cores, performance and density-optimized SRAMs, embedded TCAMs, high-speed SerDes, interfaces, and other useful IP. In particular, Avera has design experience in fields such as analog and mixed-signal and SoCs for switches, routers, and other devices. Right now, Avera is developing several projects for next-gen datacenters.

Marvell will pay GlobalFoundries $650 million in cash at closing (by the end of Marvell’s fiscal year 2020) plus an additional $90 million in cash if certain business conditions are satisfied within the next 15 months. The contracts involve handing over Avera's revenue base, strategic design wins with infrastructure OEMs, and a long-term wafer supply agreement between GlobalFoundries and Marvell.

Since Avera used to work exclusively with customers of GlobalFoundries, the vast majority of its IP blocks were designed for GlobalFoundries’ process technologies. So Marvell signing a long-term supply agreement with GlobalFoundries makes sense for both companies, as Marvell is going to be using GlobalFoundries capacity anyhow.

With addition of Avera engineers and IP, Marvell hopes to address (among other markets) custom ASICs aimed at base stations, which will have positive effects on its revenue and profitability.

Overall, selling off its Avera business is part of a greater reshaping of GlobalFoundries. As the company has ceased development of cutting-edge process nodes (7nm+) and shifted to specialty process technologies, its client base and business needs are shifting as well.

Related Reading:

Source: Marvell

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 20:00:00 EDT,14367:news
ASRock Completes Its Z390 Line-up With the Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 and Z390 Phantom Gaming X Gavin Bonshor

ASRock has released two new ATX motherboards to complete its Z390 product range, the Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 and the Z390 Phantom Gaming X. Both the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 7 and ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X come with a new refreshed design which features plenty of integrated RGB LEDs, a 2.5 GbE Realtek NIC, and triple M.2 slots. The Z390 Phantom Gaming X also includes support for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for maximum Wi-Fi performance and connectivity.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 15:00:00 EDT,14357:news
Corsair’s Vengeance 5185 PC: Core i7-9700K + GeForce RTX 2080, and Lots of RGB Anton Shilov

Having launched their Corsair One small form-factor PCs, as well as Bulldog PCs for the living room, Corsair is now entering the market of mainstream gaming machines with its Vengeance series of computers. The new systems are Micro-ATX PCs designed for gamers looking for performance and style, but not necessarily looking to build a machine themselves.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 13:00:00 EDT,14356:news
Motorola Announces One Vision with Exynos 9609 Andrei Frumusanu

Last week Motorola announces a new addition to its product line-up: The One Vision. The “One” series is a higher mid-tier value series by the company targeting a better value proposition for users. The new One Vision updates the internals compared to last year’s one, and adds new interesting features such as a new 48MP camera sensor and a new Exynos SoC by Samsung.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 12:00:00 EDT,14365:news
Kingston Launches Client-Focused KC2000 M.2 NVMe SSD: 96L TLC On SM2262EN Billy Tallis

Kingston's latest flagship client/consumer SSD is launching today: the KC2000, which is set to replace the two year old KC1000. The KC2000 was previewed early this year at CES, but pricing and release dates were not announced at the time. Technologically, the new KC2000 is a huge improvement over its predecessor in its choice of both controller and NAND, and as a result it puts Kingston on the leading edge.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 11:00:00 EDT,14362:news
Hands on with the Realme 3 Pro: 6.3-inch Phone with Snapdragon 710 For Under €200 Ian Cutress Midrange smartphones are the main market for volume sales. Over the years companies have tried to attack this segment with aggressive specifications followed by exuberant pricing, with a select few having a good deal of success. The latest entrant to this market is Realme, the budget brand of parent Oppo, who is coming out with its new Realme 3 Pro smartphone. This device, in terms of specifications for the price, is amazingly good value.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 09:30:00 EDT,14363:news
Toshiba Memory & Western Digital Finalize Fab K1 Investment Agreement Anton Shilov

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital on Friday announced that they had finalized a formal agreement regarding a joint investment in the K1 manufacturing facility near Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The fab is currently being constructed by Toshiba Memory and is expected to come online next year, as planned.

]]> Mon, 20 May 2019 09:00:00 EDT,14359:news
NVIDIA Q1 FY 2020 Earnings Report: Post-Crypto Reset Brett Howse

This week NVIDIA announced their earnings for the first quarter of their 2020 fiscal year, and although the crash in crypto-currency has been a boom for gamers wanting to buy GPUs, it has not been as welcome to the company’s Form 10-Q. Revenue for Q1 2020 fell 31% to $2.22 billion, with gross margin falling 6.1% from 64.5% to 58.4%. Operating expenses at the company were up 21% despite the downturn in revenue, with NVIDIA spending $132 million more this quarter on R&D than the same period a year ago. Operating income was down 72% to $358 million, although thanks to $44 million in interest income and $5 million in income tax benefit, net income came in at $394 million. Even though net was higher than operating, net was still down 68% compared to Q1 2019. This resulted in earnings-per-share of $0.64, down 68% from the $1.98 a year ago.

NVIDIA Q1 2020 Financial Results (GAAP)
  Q1'2020 Q4'2019 Q1'2019 Q/Q Y/Y
Revenue $2220M $2205M $3207M +1% -31%
Gross Margin 58.4% 54.7% 64.5% +3.7% -6.1%
Operating Income $358M $294M $1295M +22% -72%
Net Income $394M $567M $1244M -31% -68%
EPS $0.64 $0.92 $1.98 -30% -68%

Although seeing such a drop is never good, some perspective is required. NVIDIA’s 2019 fiscal year was a standout. Revenue in Q1 2019 was $3.2 billion, with a net income of $1.2 billion. But if you go back to Q1 2018, revenue was $1.9 billion, and net income was $507 million, which is much closer to Q1 2020. Comparing Q1 2018 to Q1 2020 has 2020 up 14.6% on revenue, and net income down 28.6%. Clearly the inflated results thanks to a perfect storm for NVIDIA’s 2019 financials has ended though, and the company has been thrust back to reality. Luckily reality for the company is that a Q1 of $2.2 billion makes it easily their second best Q1 ever, so I think they’ll be OK.

Jumping into individual segments within the company, there are basically two products NVIDIA sells: GPU and Tegra. NVIDIA further breaks these down into subcategories, but NVIDIA at its heart is still a GPU company and its results prove that out. GPU revenue accounted for 91% of the company’s revenue, at $2.022 billion USD, and this segment had an operating income of $669 million. A year ago when crypto was king, GPU was $2.765 billion in revenue with an operating income of $1.394 billion. Revenue for GPU was down due to drops in gaming and data center revenue, as well as not having $289 million in revenue for cryptocurrency mining processors (CMP).

 Tegra on the other hand was only $198 million in revenue for Q1 2020, with an operating loss of $44 million. A year ago, Tegra was $442 million in revenue and the segment was in the black, with an operating income of $97 million. The big drop for Tegra is a decline in SoC modules for gaming, which you can read as Nintendo Switch sales for the most part.

NVIDIA then shuffles all of these results into several other categories. Gaming is their largest, and Gaming had revenue of $1.05 billion, which is down 39% from a year ago. NVIDIA attributes this drop due to a decline in GPU shipments as well as a decline in SoC modules for gaming consoles.

Professional Visualization, which features the Quadro brand, had revenue of $266 million, up 6% from a year ago. NVIDIA has seen growth in both desktop and laptop workstation products compared to 2019.

Data Center had revenue for Q1 of $634 million, which is down 10% from a year ago. NVIDIA has seen some slowdown in the hyperscale and enterprise purchases of GPUs, but some growth in inference which has offset the drop somewhat.

Automotive had revenue of $166 million, up 14% from a year ago, attributed to growth in AI cockpit modules.

Finally, OEM and Other revenue was $99 million, down 74% from a year ago, which is not surprising since this is where NVIDIA stuck it’s CMP sales, meaning this entire drop can be attributed directly to cryptocurrency.

NVIDIA Quarterly Revenue Comparison (GAAP)
($ in millions)
In millions Q1'2020 Q4'2019 Q1'2019 Q/Q Y/Y
Gaming $1055 $954 $1723 +11% -39%
Professional Visualization $266 $293 $251 -9% +6%
Datacenter $634 $679 $701 -7% +10%
Automotive $166 $163 $145 +2% +14%
OEM & IP $99 $116 $387 -15% -74%

After a stellar FY 2019, the company has had to hit reset a bit. Q1 is well down compared to 2019, but luckily for the company, not so far off the year previous. Looking ahead to Q2 2020, NVIDIA is expecting revenue of $2.55 billion, plus or minus 2%, and gross margins 59.2% plus or minus 0.5%.

Source: NVIDIA Investor Relations

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 19:10:00 EDT,14360:news
GeIL Launches Evo Spear Phantom Gaming Edition Memory, Designed For SFF Systems Gavin Bonshor

Following on from a wide range of ASRock Phantom Gaming branded products, memory manufacturer GeIL has announced its new Evo Spear Phantom Gaming Edition memory, which is designed for use in small form factor systems. Available in frequencies ranging from DDR4-2400 to DDR4-3200, the Evo Spear Phantom Gaming memory is being pitched for use with ASRock's Phantom Gaming motherboards, with kits available specifically for both Intel and AMD models.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 15:00:00 EDT,14353:news
Sony's Flagship Xperia 1 21:9 Smartphone Gets a Launch Date: July 12th for $950 Anton Shilov

Sony has finally given its flagship Xperia 1 smartphone an official launch date and price. The handset, which features a large 21:9 OLED display that supports wide color gamuts, will arrive on July 12th for $949.99.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 13:00:00 EDT,14354:news
Viper Gaming Launches Two New Optical RGB Gaming Mice: V550 and V551 Gavin Bonshor

Viper Gaming, the gaming peripheral arm of memory giant Patriot, has released two new gaming mice based on Pixart Optical sensors, the V550 and V551. The V550 features an ambidextrous design, while the V551 makes use of a more ergonomic right-handed design.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 11:00:00 EDT,14350:news
Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Acquire Cray for $1.3 Billion Ryan Smith

This morning Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cray are announcing that HPE will be buying out the supercomputer maker for roughly 1.3 billion dollars. Intending to use Cray’s knowledge and technology to bolster their own supercomputing and high-performance computing technologies, when the deal closes, HPE will become the world leader for supercomputing technology.

Cray of course needs no introduction. The current leader in the supercomputing field and founder of supercomputing as we know it, Cray has been a part of the supercomputing landscape since the 1970s. Starting at the time with fully custom systems, in more recent years Cray has morphed into an integrator and scale-out specialist, combining processors from the likes of Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA into supercomputers, and applying their own software, I/O, and interconnect technologies.

The timing of the acquisition announcement closely follows other major news from Cray: the company just landed a $600 million US Department of Energy contract to supply the Frontier supercomputer to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2021. Frontier is one of two exascale supercomputers Cray is involved in – the other being a subcontractor for the 2021 Aurora system – and in fact Cray is involved in the only two exascale systems ordered by the US Government thus far. So in both a historical and modern context, Cray was and is one of the biggest players in the supercomputing market.

HPE for its part has some supercomputing exposure as well, however it’s nothing on the scale of what Cray has done. So for HPE, the deal represents an opportunity for the firm to acquire the know-how and technology needed to augment and evolve their own supercomputer and HPC technologies. Among other things, this deal means HPE will be picking up Cray’s Shasta system architecture as well as their new Slingshot interconnect, both of which will be core parts of Frontier.

The company sounds especially interested in incorporating these technologies into their current HPC plans. While supercomputers attract a lot of attention for obvious reasons, somewhat smaller systems are sold in much higher numbers due to costs and computing needs. Like many other hardware vendors, HPE is riding the wave of big data, including AI-driven analytics, and the company intends to grow their capabilities here using Cray’s technology. Interestingly, Cray is actually the second supercomputer manufacturer picked up by HPE over its lifetime; the company also picked up the remaining assets of Silicon Graphics back in 2016.

Broadly speaking, major acquisitions and mergers in the supercomputing space are rare events. Due to their ever-increasing price tag, only a small number of world-class supercomputers are sold each year. And due to these prices the buyers are often governments, which inevitably gives supercomputer construction a nationalistic element to it. None the less, because costs are increasing – Frontier is the US’s most expensive system yet at over $500M for the system alone – there is some pressure for consolidation as fewer systems get sold and overall performance efficiency increases have been slowing down as well. It’s not too surprising then that HPE’s plans include using Cray’s technologies to improve HPE GreenLake, the company’s HPC-as-a-Service offering.

Under the terms of the deal, HPE will be paying Cray shareholders $35 in cash for each Cray share, which is a notable price premium over Cray’s average stock price over the last year. This puts the total value of the deal at nearly $1.3 billion, with HPE expecting the deal to close in the first quarter of FY2020.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 09:45:00 EDT,14358:news
The PC Gaming Show Returns to E3 2019 Future Publishing

E3 2019, one of the largest video game industry conferences, is almost here. During the three-day event, the PC Gaming Show will return with big reveals.

The show, hosted by our sister site PC Gamer, will be sponsored by Epic Games and hosted by streamer Sean "Day[9]" Plott and esports presenter Frankie Ward. 

We can expect developer interviews, demos and trailers at the PC Gaming Show. Of course, there will also be some gaming announcements with Epic revealing new games, including exclusives, coming to its store.

Other developers will take to the stage as well, including Annapurna Interactive, Chucklefish, Digital Extremes, Digital Uppercut, E-WIN, Fatshark, Fellow Traveller, Frontier Developments, Funcom, Modus Games, Paradox Interactive, Perfect World Entertainment, Raw Fury, Rebellion, Re-Logic and Tripwire Interactive, among others yet to be announced.

How to Watch the PC Gaming Show

It will take place at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET on June 10 at Los Angeles' Mayan Theater. Gamers can stream the event live on PC Gamer's Twitch channel, but if you'll be in the Los Angeles area during E3, you can also reserve free tickets here.

"This year's livestream will present more announcements and new trailers than any previous PC Gaming Show," said Evan Lahti, PC Gamer's editor-in-chief.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 09:00:00 EDT,14355:news
AMD Reiterates 7nm Roadmap: Navi, Matisse, & Rome to Launch in Q3 Anton Shilov

AMD this week held its Annual Shareholder Meeting where it reiterated its current technology roadmap and once again confirmed that that its major products set to be released this year based on 7nm will be formally introduced in Q3. Previously the company implied on launch timeframes of its Navi GPU (at least one of them), Matisse CPUs, and Rome server CPUs, but never made a firm promise about the third quarter - this announcement is a commitment to delivering these products in Q3.

]]> Fri, 17 May 2019 08:00:00 EDT,14352:news
Huawei Launches Mate 20 X 5G in the UK: Available in June Andrei Frumusanu

The Mate 20 X 5G had been announced by Huawei some months ago, and we saw the first European launch of the phone on Switzerland’s Sunrise two weeks ago. Today, Huawei officially announced the UK launch of the phone on upcoming networks from EE, O², Three and Vodaphone.

The Mate 20 X is a bigger variant of the Mate 20 Pro which we reviewed late last year. The new 5G variant adds Huawei’s own HiSilicon Balong 5G modem to the system to enable connectivity to the new standard. The Balong 5000 along with the Exynos Model 5100 are the most future-proof 5G modem currently available by vendors in commercial devices by virtue of supporting today’s NSA (Non-standalone) as well as future SA (Standalone) 5G networks. Other differences on the 5G variant is that the battery capacity reduces from 5000mAh down to 4200mAh – possibly due to less internal component space.

The Mate 20 X 5G will be available in the UK in June at a recommended price of £999, which interestingly enough a lot more than the CHF 997 (£755) pricing in Switzerland.

Related Reading

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 16:00:00 EDT,14351:news
HP's Omen X 2S 15: A Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop Anton Shilov

Large displays as well as dual-monitor setups clearly improve productivity of office workers and creative professionals. Applying this to broader markets, HP thinks that gamers could also benefit from two displays by accessing messaging or media services, or even tweak performance of their components without quitting their games. To that end, HP is rolling out a new dual-screen laptop, the gaming-focused Omen X 2S 15. In addition to a typical 15.6-inch LCD as a main display, it also sports a secondary, 5.98-inch multitouch screen. Meanwhile, the system itself is powered by crème-de-la-crème gaming hardware including Intel’s eight-core CPU as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU.

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 15:00:00 EDT,14347:news
Hot Chips 31 (2019) Programme Announced: Zen, Navi, POWER, Lakefield, Gen-Z, Turing, Lisa Su Keynote Ian Cutress

There are two trade shows every year that I love. Computex in June is great, because the scale of the industry it covers, and Taipei is a wonderful location. Hot Chips in August is the other show, which is amazing for the level of depth it provides on the latest technology, as well as upcoming releases. This year the list of presentations for Hot Chips is almost overwhelming, and we’re looking forward to attending.

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 13:00:00 EDT,14349:news
Samsung & Verizon Launch the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in the US Anton Shilov

Samsung and Verizon on Thursday officially started sales of the Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in the US. The handset is immediately available exclusively with a Verizon contract whether it is bought from the carrier or from the manufacturer itself. The retail price of the Galaxy S10 5G 512 GB, which has finally been revealed for the first time, is $1399, which is $150 higher than the equivalent Galaxy S10+.

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 12:00:00 EDT,14348:news
The Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750FX 750W PSU Review: SeaSonic Quality at Mainstream Prices E. Fylladitakis Today we are taking a look at one of SeaSonic’s mid-tier power supply units: the Focus Plus Gold 750FX. As the name suggests, it is an 80Plus Gold efficiency certified ATX PSU with a maximum power output of 750 Watts. SeaSonic's latest mainstream PSU boasts impressive performance figures and is backed by their 10-year warranty..

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 10:00:00 EDT,14338:news
SanDisk's First 1 TB microSD Card Now Available Anton Shilov

Marking a new high in microSD card capacities, Western Digital has started shipping its flagship SanDisk Extreme 1 TB microSDXC card. This is the company's (and industry's) first 1 TB microSD card, and while the $450 launch price is definitely steep, for portable devices that need a massive amount of storage in a thumbnail-sized removable card, a full terabyte is the biggest step up yet.

When it comes to performance, the memory card is thankfully a member of SanDisk's higher-performing Extreme line, so performance isn't too pokey for reading and writing a full TB out of the drive. Formally, SanDisk rates it for read speeds up to 90 MB/s and write speeds up to 60 MB/s when working over a standard UHS-I interface. This works out to roughly 3 hours and 4.6 hours to read and fill the card, respectively. In fact at this point SanDisk is outright bottlenecked by the UHS bus; the card can actually read at 160 MB/s and write at 90 MB/s when used with proprietary hosts that support DDR transfer modes. So microSD Express and its vastly higher transfer rates can't get here soon enough.

Along with its advertised peak performance, SanDisk's supersized card supports video speed class 30, which among other things means that its minimum write speeds need to be at least 30 MB/s. The card also meets the requirements for the A2 app performance class, meaning that it can sustain at least 4000 random read IOPS and 2000 random write IOPS, and supports capabilities such as command queuing and caching.

Unfortunately for tech enthusiasts, SanDisk isn't saying much about the 1 TB card under the hood. Given the capacity, the card is likely based on the company’s latest 96-layer TLC or QLC 3D NAND memory. But short of tearing it apart, this is hard to confirm.

For the moment the new 1 TB microSD card is available directly from Western Digital for $449.99. But eventually the product will hit regular retail stores too.

Related Reading:

Source: SanDisk (via Tom’s Guide)

]]> Thu, 16 May 2019 09:00:00 EDT,14346:news
KLEVV Cras X RGB: Up to DDR4-4266, Coming at Computex Anton Shilov

KLEVV, a partner business of SK Hynix, has always been rather conservative when it comes to speed bins of its memory modules for gamers and overclockers, partly because the most popular volume models are still in the DDR4-3000 to DDR4-3600 range. This is going to change sometimes later this year when the company launches its new models of Cras X RGB modules.

First introduced at Computex 2018, KLEVV’s Cras X RGB family of memory modules for enthusiasts included 8 GB and 16 GB DIMMs rated for DDR4-3200 CL16 18-18-38 as well as DDR4-3466 CL17 19-19-39 at 1.35V operation. At this year’s Computex later this month the company will launch faster versions of its Cras X RGB modules.

The expanded family of Cras X RGB memory sticks will include DDR4-3600, DDR4-4000, and DDR4-4266 models. The DDR4-3600 speed bin will be compatible both with AMD Ryzen as well as Intel Core platforms, whereas the DDR4-4000 and DDR4-4200 speed bins will be aimed primarily at Intel-based PCs.

KLEVV does not say which SK Hynix’s memory chips the new modules will use, but indicates that they will be equipped with its signature black heatsink and RGB lighting that can be controlled using software from ASUS, ASRock, GIGABYTE, and MSI.

Launching faster DDR4 modules now makes a great sense for Klevv. On the one hand, enthusiasts today want faster memory as they upgrade to six-core or eight-core CPUs. On the other hand, faster modules are sold at higher MSRPs, which is important for DRAM makers as prices of DDR4 memory dropped significantly in the recent quarters and it is crucial for manufacturers to maintain their ASPs and profitability.

Related Reading:

Source: KLEVV

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 17:00:00 EDT,14344:news
Corning Unveils Astra Glass for 8K Monitors Anton Shilov

Corning has introduced its new glass substrate that was developed specially for mid-to-large-size displays featuring a high pixel density. Corning’s Astra Glass takes into account not only high resolutions, but also process technologies used to make displays featuring high refresh rates, deep colors, and other attributes of next-generation desktop and mobile monitors.

Display cover glasses serve numerous purposes. Apart from protecting the screens themselves, their surfaces also affect their reflectivity, brightness, and accuracy of their color reproduction (as to some degree even work as color filters). Since all materials have a different crystal lattice, their physical properties (transparency, reflectivity, etc.) vary greatly. Considering the fact that screen technologies evolve, so should their cover glasses.

Corning believes that next generations of mid-to-large-size monitors that feature resolutions like 8K (7680×4320) will require a thermally and dimensionally stable glass that can enable desired characteristics and ensure good yields. This is where Corning’s Astra Glass comes into play. It is compatible with a variety of high-performance LCD panels, including amorphous silicon (a-Si) and IGZO oxide.

“After years of close collaboration with customers, we’ve learned what they need in an oxide display glass to bring 8K resolution to larger devices and sets – low total pitch variation, low total thickness variation, and low sag,” said Han Yim, business director, High-Performance Displays, Corning Glass Technologies. “Astra Glass meets the precise, high-temperature requirements of oxide processing.”

Corning expects its Astra Glass to be used for tablets, laptops, desktop displays, TVs, and other applications with an 8K resolution screens. The company will demonstrate prototypes of devices using its Astra Glass at the Society for Information Display’s (SID) Display Week in San Jose, California, this week.

Related Reading:

Source: Corning

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 16:00:00 EDT,14343:news
Lenovo Announces ThinkReality A6 AR Headset Anton Shilov

Lenovo has unveiled its new family of AR headsets designed primarily for business applications. Lenovo’s ThinkReality head mounted displays will feature software and hardware developed by Lenovo for workers who can take advantage of AR in various industries.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 15:00:00 EDT,14342:news
Samsung Reveals Galaxy S10 5G Launch Dates in the UK Anton Shilov

Samsung has announced launch dates for its Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in the UK. The handset will be available for pre-order a week from now and will ship to customers in early June. The flagship phone from Samsung will be sold by two local operators and the company website.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 14:00:00 EDT,14345:news
Samsung Samples 32 Gb DDR4 Memory Chips Anton Shilov

Samsung recently began sampling of its DDR4 memory chips featuring a 32 Gb capacity. The new products will simplify production of high-capacity memory modules that use multiple DRAM packages.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 13:00:00 EDT,14341:news
Arm Announces Mali D77 Display Processor: Facilitating AR & VR Andrei Frumusanu

Display processors usually aren’t really much a common topic in the press and only few companies actually do advertise the capabilities beyond a simple mention of the maximum resolution. As the ecosystem evolves, there’s however an increasing amount of new features added into the mix that adds more nuances to the discussion that go beyond resolution, colour depth or gamut.

Two years ago, we saw the release of Arm’s new Mali-D71 display processor which represented a branch new architecture and foundation for the company upcoming DP IP blocks. The D71 brought to market the brunt feature requirements to drive most of today’s higher resolution or higher framerate displays, along with providing robust and smart composition capabilities.

Today’s announcement covers the new D77 which is an evolutionary upgrade to the D71. The new IP generation brings new features that go beyond one would normally expect of a display processor, expanding its capabilities, and in particular enables the new block to open up a slew of new possibilities for AR and VR use-cases.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 11:00:00 EDT,14340:news
Cadence Announces Tensilica Vision Q7 DSP Andrei Frumusanu

Last year we saw the announcement of Cadence’s Tensilica Q6 DSP IP which promised a new architecture that brings integration between vision DSP workloads and new optimised machine learning inferencing workloads. The addition of “AI” capabilities to existing DSP architectures bridges the gap between existing IP blocks such as CPUs or GPUs and more specialised dedicated inferencing IP blocks such as Cadence’s own Tensilica DNA100 block.

Today’s announcement is an evolution of last year’s Q6, further progressing the capabilities we saw introduced in the new architecture and enabling more performance, better density and better power efficiency.

Over the next few years Cadence sees significant growth opportunity for the vision DSP market, with the overall image sensor market growing at a rate of ~12% CAGR till 2025. Naturally those image sensors will need corresponding image processing power behind them in order to transform the raw image data into something meaningful. Particularly the automotive sector is projected to boom enormously in this regard with a continuous annual 36% growth rate, thanks to the projected need for dozens of sensors in future cars.

However the growth isn’t solely facilitated by the automotive sector. The mobile and smartphone sector is still projected to be the biggest market, and here growth opportunity is facilitated by the new trend of employing more and more camera modules in smartphones, something that over the last year in particular has become exceedingly evident. Other markets for opportunity are AR/VR headsets which also are projected to require a large numbers of cameras which will need image processing.

Here’s where the new Tensilica Q7 DSP comes into play. The IP is relatively straightforward in what it brings compared to its predecessor, and that could be summed up as a 2x increase in its performance capabilities.

The new architecture has had new ISA instructions for better acceleration of SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping) which is a cornerstone for new AR applications such as Google Lens.

The important aspect of the new IP is that it is fully backwards compatible with existing P6 and Q6 software, which means that vendors who have invested in software do not need to rewrite their algorithms from scratch in order to take advantage of the new performance boosts.

Alongside other improvements in the iDMA of the architecture, such as improved bandwidth enabled through microarchitectural changes and data compression, Cadence put emphasis on ISO26262 requirements which dictate functional safety standards for road vehicles – a must have if the IP is to be employed in the automotive sector.

As mentioned, Cadence has doubled up on the processing units compared to the Q6, resulting in a new a new 512 8-bit MAC engine as well as doubling up the floating point capabilities. Cadence quotes a peak performance of 1.82 TOPs in 8-bit operations, which would result in a frequency of around 1.77GHz which is a natural progression from the peak 1.5GHz we were presented last year with the Q6.

One of the most interesting aspects of the new IP is how Cadence was able to achieve all this and what it means for the area and power efficiency of the block. In fact, Cadence doesn’t expect the new generation to be any bigger than the Q6, and the increase in performance and introduction of more execution units came at very little area cost. Cadence was able to optimise the microarchitecture as such that the new Q7 promises a doubling of GMAC and GFLOPs per mm², which is quite the feat for any IP vendor. Power efficiency gains are also in line with the performance gains, and the company expects a similar 1.7x increase in perf/W.

Cadence envisions customers to be able to lay out multiple Q7 blocks alongside each other for performance scaling, and naturally the IP would also be a great fit to put alongside the DNA 100 neural network processor.


Overall, the new IP is a fairly straightforward progression from its predecessor, with a focus on improving the important PPA metrics of the architecture. The IP is said to be ready for general licensing availability in Q2 (this quarter).

Related Reading:

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 10:45:00 EDT,14337:news
The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S Motherboard: An 8-Phase Board With M.2 For $118 Gavin Bonshor

In a relatively quiet launch, ASRock has added another model to its Phantom Gaming series of motherboards: the new ATX sized ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S. The Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S represents a modest entry-level offering onto the chipset with a single M.2 slot, six SATA ports, and a 1 GbE NIC.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 09:15:00 EDT,14334:news
The Team Group MP34 512GB SSD Review: Refining Phison's NVMe Workhorse Billy Tallis Team Group's MP34 is a high-end NVMe SSD based on the familiar combination of the Phison E12 controller and Toshiba 3D TLC, but the price drops enabled by the current oversupply of flash memory and Team's decision to offer a shorter warranty period makes the MP34 an affordable drive that is helping push NVMe SSDs further into the mainstream.

]]> Wed, 15 May 2019 09:00:00 EDT,14331:news