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  • Apple iOS 18 Cheat Sheet: Release Date, RCS Integration and More
    by Cory Bohon on 13. June 2024 at 20:37

    iOS 18 includes artificial intelligence features, new apps and much more. Learn how registered developers can install the iOS 18 beta.

  • Wells Fargo fires more than a dozen employees for faking work using mouse jigglers and keyboard...
    on 13. June 2024 at 19:34

    The bank disclosed it fired the employees after finding they were giving the impression of working when they really weren't.

  • Microsoft dev shares story behind iconic Windows screensavers — 3D Pipes, 3D Maze, and more
    on 13. June 2024 at 18:33

    Windows NT screensavers, including the most popular, get their origin story explained by Raymond Chen.

  • Antec's 'Performance 1M' Mini-ITX Chassis Can House a GeForce RTX 4090
    on 13. June 2024 at 18:00

    With the highly integrated nature of PCs these days, the Mini-ITX form-factor has become a very viable option for high-performance gaming system. With plenty of motherboards available for both AMD and Intel's latest platforms, equipping an ITX system with a CPU is easy enough. But the small size of the form factor means that housing an ultra-wide flagship-level graphics card remains an issue. For this year's Computex trade show, Antec was showing off their solution to the problem of giant video cards: the Performance 1M case, a Mini-ITX case with a separate chamber just for a large video card. Antec's Performance 1M is a dual-chamber Mini-ITX chassis that splits off the video card from the rest of the system. The primary chamber houses a Mini-ITX motherboard and an SFX power supply, while the secondary chamber houses a huge graphics card. Notably, the two chambers are bridged using a PCIe riser cable, allowing the motherboard chamber to be far shorter than even a half-height PCIe card, while the video card chamber can hold a triple-slot video card parallel to the motherboard chamber, cutting down on wasted space. For Antec's Computex demo, the company had a triple-slot ASUS GeForce RTX 4090 installed to showcase how this worked. Antec's decision to allocate most of the case's volume to th video card chamber does come with a slight catch, however: it doesn't leave much space for a CPU cooler in the motherboard chamber. The short motherboard chamber means that system builders will have to use a low-profile cooler; these are readily available, but it does leave less thermal headroom overall for high-end CPUs. So there are still trade-offs for being able to accommodate a high-end video card. Otherwise, the Performance 1M chassis from Antec look very stylish and are traditionally well built from stainless steel and aluminum. The chassis can be equipped with two 120-mm or two 140-mm coolers for extra airflow (which will help performance), one 2.5-inch SATA SSD, and even some RGB bling. To make the PC built inside a Performance 1M case more convenient to use, there are two USB Type-C ports on the front. Of course, housing a GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card in a Mini-ITX chassis has its peculiarities when it comes to dimensions and Antec's Performance 1M measures 424×175×260mm, which is pretty large. On the other hand, for an ultra-high-performance gaming system, this is pretty compact. Antec's Performance 1M Mini-ITX chassis will be available in gunmetal gray and matte black colors sometimes later this year. Pricing is something that the company is thinking about now, though keep in mind that we are talking about unique premium products.

  • Snag Adata's superfast 4TB XPG Gammix S70 Blade SSD for only 5 cents per GB
    on 13. June 2024 at 17:19

    With ever-soaring SSD prices, it's great to see a low $234 price tag on Adata's superfast 4TB XPG Gammix S70 Blade SSD.

  • Apple’s Siri Cheat Sheet: How to Use Siri and its Apple Intelligence Capabilities for Business
    by Andrew Wan on 13. June 2024 at 17:00

    During WWDC 2024, Siri was given its largest overhaul since it was introduced back in 2011. Learn how to make the most of all the new features, including Apple Intelligence.

  • Sanctions-defying chip design tools that work on China chipmakers' Huawei and Phytium processors...
    on 13. June 2024 at 16:58

    Xinhuazhang develops EDA tools compatible with Arm-based Huawei's Kunpeng and SPARCv9-based Phytium's FeiTeng processors.

  • Intel fires back at AMD's AI benchmarks, shares results claiming current-gen Xeon chips are faster...
    by [email protected] (Paul Alcorn) on 13. June 2024 at 16:04

    Intel fired back at AMD's recent AI benchmarks that claimed AMD's EPYC Turin is 5.4 times faster than Intel's Xeon chips in AI workloads. Intel counters with claims that its existing chips are faster than AMD's upcoming flagship.

  • Realtek Outlines SSD Controller Roadmap: High-End PCIe 5.0 x4 Platform in the Works
    on 13. June 2024 at 16:00

    While Realtek is best known in the enthusiast space for for its peripheral controllers such as audio codecs and network controllers, the company also has a small-but-respectable SSD controller business that tends to fly under the radar due to its focus on entry-level and mainstream drives. But Realtek's stature in the SSD space is on the rise, as the company is not only planning new PCIe Gen5 SSD controllers, but also their first high-end, DRAM-equipped SSD controller. For this year's Computex trade show, Realtek laid out a new SSD controller roadmap that calls for the company to release a trio of new SSD controllers over the next couple of years. First up is a new four-channel entry-level PCIe 4.0 controller, the RTS5776DL, which will be joined a bit later by a PCIe 5.0 variant, the RTS5781DL. But most interesting on Realtek's new roadmap is the final chip being planned: the eight-channel, DRAM-equipped RTS5782, which would be the company's first high-end SSD controller, capable of hitting sequential read rates as high as 14GB/second. Realtek NVMe SSD Controller Comparison   RTS5782 RTS5781DL RTS5776DL RTS5772DL RTS5766DL Market Segment High-End Mainstream Entry-Level Error Correction 4K LDPC 2K LDPC DRAM DDR4, LPDDR4(X) No No No No Host Interface PCIe 5.0 x4 PCIe 5.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe Version NVMe 2.0 NVMe 2.0 NVMe 2.0 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NAND Channels, Interface Speed 8 ch, 3600 MT/s 4 ch, 3600 MT/s 4 ch, 3600 MT/s 8 ch, 1600 MT/s 4 ch, 1200 MT/s Sequential Read 14 GB/s 10 GB/s 7.4 GB/s 6 GB/s 3.2 GB/s Sequential Write 12 GB/s 10 GB/s 7.4 GB/s 6 GB/s 2.2 GB/s 4KB Random Read IOPS 2500k 1400k 1200k - - 4KB Random Write IOPS 2500k 1400k 1200k - - Diving a bit deeper into Realtek's roadmap, the RTS5776DL is traditional DRAM-less PCIe Gen4 x4 controller with four NAND channels, and is aimed at entry-level drives. The controller's NAND support is quite modern, however, supporting the latest ONFI/Toggle standards, which will allow it to hit NAND transfer rates up to 3600 MT/second. Across four channels, that's enough bandwidth to fully saturate a PCIe 4.0 x4 connection with sequential read/writes, while random 4K IOPS can burst as high as 1.2 million. Engineering samples of the controller are set to emerge in Q4 2024, so do not expect actual drives based on this chip to emerge for sale until the second half of next year at the earliest. Realtek is also preparing the RTS5781DL, which can be thought of as a PCIe 5.0 version of their DRAM-less controller platform. The RTS5781DL features the same four-channel NAND layout and 3600 MT/sec max NAND transfer rates, which with the additional bandwidth afforded by PCIe 5.0, shifts the performance bottleneck back to the NAND. Overall, Realtek expects drives with its first PCIe Gen5 SSD controller to hit sustained transfer rates up to 10GB/second, and up to 1.4 million random read/write IOPS. The company aims to make engineering samples of this controller available in the first quarter of 2025, so actual drives will hit the market in late 2025 at best. Finally, the pinnacle of Realtek's roadmap will be its RTS5782, which is the company's first high-end SSD controller. Besides including support for on-drive DRAM (DDR4/LPDDR4X) for higher performance, the back-end of the RTS5782 will feature an eight NAND channel design that supports transfer rates up to 3600 MT/second. Drives built with the controller are expected to be able to sustain 14GB/second sequential read rates and 12GB/second sequential writes, while the 4K random IOPS performance jumps to 2.5 million 4K read and write IOPS. Unfortunately, the RTS5782 is also the farthest out of the three controllers, as it's still in the planning stages at Realtek. Consequently, for the moment the company isn't offering any guidance on when the new controller will be ready. No doubt the company will have more to show off next year for Computex 2025.

  • Samsung's new roadmap unveils its 2nm process nodes and outlines backside power delivery plans
    on 13. June 2024 at 15:59

    Samsung Foundry outlines roadmap for the next three years: 2nm, backside power delivery and more.

  • US sanctions PC cooling and power supply maker DeepCool for selling products to Russia, fueling its...
    on 13. June 2024 at 15:47

    A new round of companies sanctioned by the U.S. government for selling goods that could support Russia's war against Ukraine includes a popular PC cooling and power supply manufacturer.

  • Noctua Shows Off Thermosiphon Based CPU Cooler Prototype At Computex 2024
    on 13. June 2024 at 14:30

    Many companies showed off a range of concept designs during Computex 2024, but perhaps Noctua had one of the coolest. Noctua, primarily known for its air coolers, had a pumpless prototype that showcased Thermisiphon cooling. It looks like a conventional AIO cooler on the surface but is much more efficient, cooler, and quieter than traditional water coolers. Touching quickly on Thermosiphon cooling, it uses the natural laws of thermodynamics to use heat (the CPU) as a source to turn the liquid to the top, evaporating through the system. This evaporated liquid rises and is pushed into the condenser (radiator), which, in the case of Noctua's cooler, is cooled by fans and turned back into liquid, which then flows back toward the CPU. Not only does Theromsiphon technology use gravity to help aid the flow of liquid, but it is also a highly efficient way of distributing heat as vaporization can absorb heat better, and it doesn't feature any moving parts in the mechanism, aside from the fans, of course. As with traditional AIO CPU coolers, Noctua's Thermosiphon design has a 240mm radiator with a pair of 120cm Noctua fans, which cools the vapor down and sends it back to the evaporator. While this isn't a new concept and vapor chamber cooling has been used for many years in CPUs and even laptop coolers, Thermosiphon is certainly a technology Noctua thinks it can leverage to ensure better cooling performance and robust reliability. Speaking to Noctua at Computex 2024, they informed me of the benefits and pitfalls of the Thermosiphon technology. In terms of the pros, Thermosiphon cooling in itself has no moving parts, which not only improves reliability but also means there is less to go wrong. Another positive is that even the quietest AIO CPU coolers can be quite noisy, as the water pump that circulates the fluid can cause vibrations, which in turn makes noise. The biggest drawback of implementing Thermosiphon cooling for PCs is that conventional tubing can wear out over time. While adding metal tubing would last longer, it's not flexible, although Noctua said they have discussed this with system integrators. Although Noctua's Thermosiphon is currently just a proof of concept and sis in the early development stage, there's no launch date or indication it will hit the market. It's an interesting design, and we hope it does eventually come to market.

  • Intel Core i5-14400 vs AMD Ryzen 5 7600X Faceoff: AMD Delivers a Value Beatdown
    on 13. June 2024 at 14:28

    We put Intel's Raptor Lake Refresh Core i5-14400 up against AMD's Ryzen 5 7600X in a six-round fight.

  • Basemark Breaking Limit benchmark tests ray traced gaming performance across diverse platforms —...
    on 13. June 2024 at 14:11

    Basemark through GPUScore introduces a cross-platform ray tracing benchmark, Breaking Limit.

  • PC Factory Worker amusement center opens in Japan — kids learn PC DIY with 'real CPU, memory,...
    on 13. June 2024 at 13:45

    Kids in Japan are set for a real treat later this month as a PC-building amusement center attraction opens at Kidzania Tokyo. From June 26, lucky children will be able to experience the daily work of a ‘PC Factory Worker,’ and assemble a computer, before attempting a first boot.

  • The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Architecture Deep Dive: Getting To Know Oryon and Adreno X1
    on 13. June 2024 at 13:00

    The curtains are drawn and it’s almost showtime for Qualcomm and its Snapdragon X SoC team. After first detailing the SoC nearly 8 months ago at the company’s most recent Snapdragon Summit, and making numerous performance disclosures in the intervening months, the Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus launch is nearly upon us. The chips have already shipped to Qualcomm’s laptop partners, and the first laptops are set to ship next week. In the last 8 months Qualcomm has made a lot of interesting claims for their high-performance Windows-on-Arm SoC – many of which will be put to the test in the coming weeks. But beyond all the performance claims and bluster amidst what is shaping up to be a highly competitive environment for PC CPUs, there’s an even more fundamental question about the Snapdragon X that we’ve been dying to get to: how does it work? Ahead of next week’s launch, then, we’re finally getting the answer to that, as today Qualcomm is releasing their long-awaited architectural disclosure on the Snapdragon X SoC. This includes not only their new, custom Arm v8 “Oryon” CPU core, but also technical disclosures on their Adreno GPU, and the Hexagon NPU that backs their heavily-promoted AI capabilities. The company has made it clear in the past that the Snapdragon X is a serious, top-priority effort for the company – that they’re not just slapping together a Windows SoC from their existing IP blocks and calling it a day – so there’s a great deal of novel technology within the SoC. And while we’re excited to look at it all, we’ll also be the first to admit that we’re the most excited to finally get to take a deep dive on Oryon, Qualcomm’s custom-built Arm CPU cores. The first new high-performance CPU design created from scratch in the last several years, the significance of Oryon cannot be overstated. Besides providing the basis of a new generation of Windows-on-Arm SoCs that Qualcomm hopes will vault them into contention in the Windows PC marketplace, Oryon will also be the basis of Qualcomm’s traditional Snapdragon mobile handset and tablet SoCs going forward. So a great deal of the company’s hardware over the next few years is riding on this CPU architecture – and if all goes according to plan, there will be many more generations of Oryon to follow. One way or another, it’s going to set Qualcomm apart from its competitors in both the PC and mobile spaces, as it means Qualcomm is moving on from Arm’s reference designs, which by their very nature are accessible Qualcomm’s competition as well. So without further ado, let’s dive in to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X SoC architecture.

  • Apple’s Vision Pro AR Headset Cheat Sheet: Release Date, Price and More
    by Ray Fernandez on 13. June 2024 at 12:00

    How much does the Apple Vision Pro cost? What are its main features? When will it be released worldwide? Find out using our cheat sheet.

  • VMware Carbon Black vs CrowdStrike Falcon (2024): Which Tool Is Best For Your Business?
    by Kihara Kimachia on 13. June 2024 at 12:00

    See what features you can expect from Carbon Black and CrowdStrike to decide which endpoint detection and response solution is right for you.

  • Samsung Foundry Unveils Updated Roadmap: BSPDN and 2nm Evolution Through 2027
    on 13. June 2024 at 11:00

    Samsung this week has unveiled its latest process technologies roadmap at the company's Samsung Foundry Forum (SFF) U.S. The new plan covers the evolution of Samsung's 2nm-class production nodes through 2027, including a process technology with a backside power delivery, re-emphasizing plans to bring out a 1.4nm-class node in 2027, and the introduction of a 'high value' 4nm-class manufacturing tech. Samsung Foundry's key announcements for today are clearly focused on the its 2nm-class process technologies, which are set to enter production in 2025 and will span to 2027, when the company's 1.4-nm class production node is set to enter the scene. Samsung is also adding (or rather, renaming) another 2nm-class node to their roadmap with SF2, which was previously disclosed by Samsung as SF3P and aimed at high-performance devices. "We have refined and improved the SF3P, resulting in what we now refer to as SF2," a Samsung spokesperson told AnandTech. "This enhanced node incorporates various process design improvements, delivering notable power, performance, and area (PPA) benefits." Samsung Foundry for Leading-Edge Nodes Announced on June 12, 2024 Compiled by AnandTech HVM Start 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2027 Process SF3E SF3 SF2 (aka SF3P) SF2P/SF2X SF2Z SF1.4 FET GAAFET Power Delivery Frontside Backside (BSPDN) ? EUV 0.33 NA EUV ? ? ? ? This is another example of a rebranding of leading-edge fabrication nodes in the recent years by a major chipmaker. Samsung Foundry is not disclosing any specific PPA improvements SF3P has over SF2, and for now is only stating in high-level terms that it will be a better-performing node than the planned SF3P. Meanwhile, this week's announcement also includes new information on Samsung's next batch of process nodes, which are planned for 2026 and 2027. In 2026 Samsung will have SF2P, a further refinement of SF2 which incorporates 'faster' yet less dense transistors. That will be followed up in 2027 with SF2Z, which adds backside power delivery to the mix for better and higher quality power delivery. In particular, Samsung is targetting voltate drop (aka IR drop) here, which is an ongoing concern in chip design. Finally, SF1.4, a 1.4nm-class node, is on track for 2027 as well. Interestingly, however, it looks like it does not feature a backside power delivery. Which, per current roadmaps, would have Samsung as the only foundry not using BSPDN for their first 1.4nm/14Å-class node. "We have optimized BSPDN and incorporated it for the first time in the SF2Z node we announced today," the spokesperson told us. "We will continue to refine this technology and apply it to future nodes, but we don't have a specific timeline to share at this time." Chip Fab Roadmaps for Leading-Edge Nodes Data announced during conference calls, events, press briefings and press releases. Compiled by AnandTech HVM Start 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 Intel Process Intel 3 Intel 20A Intel 18A Intel 14A Intel 10A FET FinFET RibbonFET (GAAFET) Power Frontside PowerVia (BSPDN) EUV 0.33 NA EUV 0.55 NA EUV + DSA Samsung Process SF3E SF3 SF2 SF2P/SF2X SF2Z/SF1.4 FET GAAFET Power Frontside Backside/? EUV 0.33 NA EUV ? ? ? TSMC Process N3E/N3P N3S/N3X N2 A16 A14 (?) FET FinFET GAAFET Power Frontside Super Power Rail (BSPDN) EUV 0.33 NA EUV ? When compared to other contract fabs, Samsung's roadmap is now roughly in line with the rest in regards to 'nanometer' designations. Though absent further technical disclosures from Samsung, it remains unclear what the actual benefits will be for each node and how they compare to their predecessors, let alone how they'll compare to Intel Foundry and TSMC.

  • Get the PDF Tool That Makes Your Work Easy for Just $30 Through 6/17
    by TechRepublic Academy on 13. June 2024 at 9:30

    PDF frustration is a thing of the past. Now you can convert, merge, split, edit, markup, annotate, compress and so much more with one affordable tool.

  • Report: MediaTek Working on Arm-Based Processor for Windows PCs
    on 12. June 2024 at 21:00

    As Qualcomm's exclusivity for Arm-powered processors for Windows PCs is reportedly coming to its end, other chipmakers are getting ready to offer their Arm-based system-on-chips for Windows computers. And, according to a new report from Reuters, MediaTek will be among the companies jumping into the Windows-on-Arm field, with plans to launch their first PC processor late next year. MediaTek's system-on-chip for Windows PCs will rely on Arm's 'ready-made designs,' according to Reuters. Which in turn hints that MediaTek would be using Arm's compute sub-system (CSS) for client PCs, a building block designed to significantly speed up development of SoCs. With the vauge nature of the Reuters report, however, which version of Arm's IP MediaTek might be using remains unclear, and the answer to that will largely hinge on timing. Arm refreshes its client cores and IP offerings yearly – typically announcing them to the public in May – with finished chips rolling out as early as later in the year. So depending on just how late in the year MediaTek is planning to launch their chip, the company has a large enough window to potentially use either the current 2024 client designs, or next year's 2025 designs. For reference, Arm's 2024 CSS for client systems is quite powerful on its own. It includes two ultra-high-performance Arm Cortex-X925 cores (each with up to 3MB L2 cache and clock speeds over 3.60 GHz, supporting SVE and SVE2), four high-performance Cortex-A725 cores, two energy-efficient Cortex-A520 cores, and an Immortalis-G925 graphics processor. And, of course, MediaTek has the expertise to skip Arm's CSS and build their own bespoke designs as well, if that's what they'd prefer. Overall, the latest client designs from Arm can accommodate up to 14 CPU cores – Arm intentionally leaves headroom for designs to be scaled-up for laptops – which would make for quite a formidable chip. But the PC SoC market has no shortage of capable contenders with their own designs; besides Qualcomm's Snapdragon X processors, MediaTek would also be going up against the latest designs from Intel and AMD. All of whom are planning to make big plays for the mobile PC market in the next several months. So MediaTek will need to make a serious effort if their effort to jump into the PC SoC market are to succeed. Since 2016, Microsoft has partnered with Qualcomm to bring Arm's processor architecture, which is widely used in smartphones, to Windows PCs. Qualcomm has an exclusive agreement to supply these chips for the next several months (the exact timing remains unclear), after which other designers like MediaTek can enter the market. Qualcomm, for its part, has benefited greatly from collaborating with Microsoft, so it will be interesting to see if Microsoft extends a similar hand out to other Arm chip makers. Ultimately, the market for Arm PC SoCs has the potential to get crowded quickly. According to previous reports from Reuters, both AMD and NVIDIA are also developing Arm-based chips for Windows. So if all of those projects come to fruition, there could potentially be several Arm SoCs available to PC manufacturers around the same time. All of which would be a massive change from the past 20 years of the PC, where Intel and AMD have been the entire market. Both MediaTek and Microsoft have declined to comment on the ongoing developments, the news agency states.

  • Mandiant Report: Snowflake Users Targeted for Data Theft and Extortion
    by Cedric Pernet on 12. June 2024 at 19:34

    A threat actor exploited the Snowflake platform to target organizations for data theft and extortion using compromised credentials. Learn how to protect your business from this threat.

  • ChatGPT Cheat Sheet: A Complete Guide for 2024
    by Megan Crouse on 12. June 2024 at 13:34

    Get up and running with ChatGPT with this comprehensive cheat sheet. Learn everything from how to sign up for free to enterprise use cases, and start using ChatGPT quickly and effectively.

  • ASMedia Preps USB4 v2 Controller and PHY
    on 12. June 2024 at 12:00

    The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) introduced USB4 version 2.0 in fall 2022, and it expects systems and devices with the tech to emerge later this year and into next year. These upcoming products will largely rely on Intel's Barlow Ridge controller, a full-featured Thunderbolt 5 controller that goes above and beond the baseline USB4 v2 spec. And though extremely capable, Intel's Thunderbolt controllers are also quite expensive, and Barlow Ridge isn't expected to be any different. Fortunately, for system and device vendors that just need a basic USB4 v2 solution, ASMedia is also working on its own USB4 v2 controller. At Computex 2024, ASMedia demonstrated a prototype of its upcoming USB4 v2 physical interface (PHY), which will support USB4 v2's new Gen 4 (160Gbps) data rates and the associated PAM-3 signal encoding. The prototype was implemented using an FPGA, as the company yet has to tape out the completed controller. Ultimately, the purpose of showing off a FPGA-based PHY at Computex was to allow ASMedia to demonstrate their current PHY design. With the shift to PAM-3 encoding for USB4 v2, ASMedia (and the rest of the USB ecosystem) must develop significantly more complex controllers – and there's no part of that more critical than a solid and reliable PHY design. As part of their demonstration, ASMedia had a classic eye diagram display. The eye diagram demoed has a clear opening in the center, which is indicative of good signal integrity, as the larger the eye opening, the less distortion and noise in the signal. The horizontal width of the eye opening represents the time window in which the signal can be sampled correctly, so the relatively narrow horizontal spread of the eye opening suggests that there is minimal jitter, meaning the signal transitions are consistent and predictable. Finally, the vertical height of the eye opening indicates the signal amplitude and the rather tall eye opening suggests a higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), meaning that the signal is strong compared to any noise present. ASMedia itself is one of the major suppliers for discrete USB controllers, so the availability of ASMedia's USB4 v2 chip is crucial for adoption of the standard in general. While Intel will spearhead the industry with their Barlow Ridge Thunderbolt 5/USB4 v2 controller, ASMedia's controller is poised to end up in a far larger range of devices. So the importance of the company's USB4 v2 PHY demo is hard to overstate. Demos aside, ASMedia is hoping to tape the chip out soon. If all goes well, the company expects their first USB4 v2 controllers to hit the market some time in the second half of 2025.

  • Boost Your Business With This $80 Bundle: Office, Project, Visio and Windows 11 Pro
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  • 6 Best VPNs for Australia in 2024
    by Nicole Rennolds on 12. June 2024 at 10:32

    What's the best VPN to use in Australia? Discover the pricing, features, pros and cons of our recommended VPNs for Australia.

  • How to Hire an IoT Architect
    by Maria Carrisa Sanchez on 12. June 2024 at 8:43

    If your business seeks to save time on writing, editing and research, then discover the right way to find the ideal IoT architect.

  • Qualcomm: Some Snapdragon X Elite Laptops Will Come with 5G Modems
    on 11. June 2024 at 22:00

    One of Qualcomm's indisputable strengths are its 5G modems – something which even Apple has yet to successfully ween itself from. And while Qualcomm is not integrating a modem into its first-generation Oryon-based Snapdragon X chips, the company is still looking to leverage that technology advantage via discrete modems that can be installed in Snapdragon X laptops. To date, Qualcomm has won 23 laptop designs with its Snapdragon X Elite SoCs, and all of the leading PC vendors have introduced systems based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite processors. However, only some of them will be equipped with modems, the company detailed at Computex 2024. While the technical rationale for this is very straightforward (not every vendor wants to buy and dedicate the space to modems), it's still a bit of a surprise in as much as Qualcomm has traditionally heavily pushed laptop vendors to include their modems. But as the Snapdragon X has entered the picture, the joint Qualcomm/Microsoft always connected PC (ACPC) initiative is taking a back seat – meaning modems are no longer being pushed nearly as hard. In its place, the two companies have pivoted hard to equipping mainstream systems with the hardware needed for local AI processing (i.e. NPUs), and with it, Microsoft's Copilot+ PC branding. Laptop manufacturers, in the meantime, are breathing a sigh of relief, as this switch to emphasizing AI comes at a much lower hardware cost, since vendors don't need to buy additional discrete hardware. Qualcomm for its part has never fully disclosed the full cost of including a Snapdragon modem with a laptop, but the total cost adds up quickly. Besides buying a discrete modem, device manufacturers also need to buy and integrate a 5G-capable radio frequency front end module (RF FEM), as well as the all-important antenna. And mmWave support of any kind can add another wrinkle, as multiple antennas at different orientations are needed to get the best results. And while not said out-loud, Qualcomm's premium positioning strategy for 8cx-based laptops has not paid significant dividends. Snapdragon X laptops are being priced much more competitively, as Qualcomm is aiming to capture a meaningful share of the PC market – and high-cost features like modems would drive up the final price tag. Still, virtually all Qualcomm representatives I talked to at Computex were happy to argue that an integrated modem is a huge benefit for their PCs, as they can get fast connectivity almost everywhere in the world instantly and not depend on Wi-Fi or even their smartphones. So the dream of widespread 5G-capable laptops is not dead at Qualcomm; it may just be delayed. In the meantime, for laptop buyers that do need or want a 5G modem, there will still be at least a few premium laptop models on store shelves with the necessary hardware.

  • No, It Does Not Fly: Corsair Demos '9000D Airflow' PC Case with 24 Fans
    on 11. June 2024 at 17:00

    Trade shows like Computex always bring out their fair share of oddities, and this year was no exception, with one of the highlights being a Corsair PC case with no fewer than 24 fans. As one of a handful of companies offering really big desktop PC cases, Corsair was demonstrating its new creature: the 9000D Airflow. At 90 liters in volume – which is twice the size of regular PCs and 1.5x the volume of a typical car gas tank – the colossal case is bigger than ever. It's so big, in fact, that it can house two systems: a full-size ATX (or smaller) system, as well as a separate Mini-ITX system. Gallery: No, It Does Not Fly: Corsair Has a PC Chassis with 24 Fans The most eye-catching aspect of this PC case (besides its large size, of course) is that it can house as many as 22 fans in addition to two liquid cooling systems. As the name of the 9000D Airflow implies, all of those fans are meant to create as much airflow as possible. And yet, because there are so many fans inside, they do not have to run at a high RPM to move the requisite amount of air, so the 9000D Airflow is quieter than its size otherwise lets on. To simplify installation of all these fans, the chassis consists of adjustable mounting points on a sliding rail, making the case versatile for any build requirements. The 9000D includes two InfiniRail systems, one at the top (holding six fans) and one at the front, each capable of holding up to eight 120mm fans. Adding fans on the sides and rear increases the total to 24. For those using 140mm or 200mm fans, the InfiniRails can be adjusted by unscrewing and repositioning them based on marked guidelines, allowing for a customized setup despite fitting fewer larger fans. The flexibility of the InfiniRail system enables unique fan placement, enabling the freedom to tailor the cooling configuration to specific needs. The case design also includes 30mm of clearance behind the motherboard for efficient cable management, making it well-suited for creating clean, organized, and powerful builds. Besides its may fans, the 9000D Airflow also offers 11 drive bays, plenty of front I/O ports (four USB Type-A, two USB Type-C, audio connectors) with RGB lighting controlled through the iCue Link system. The spacious design allows for comprehensive component compatibility and expansion. Corsair's Airflow 9000D will be available later this year.

  • Cheaper PCIe 5.0 x4 SSDs Incoming: Silicon Power Demos Phison E31T-Based SSD
    on 11. June 2024 at 14:00

    Although consumer SSDs based on Phison's PS5026-E26 controller have been on the market for almost a year and a half now, the class-leading drives still carry a distinct price premium, and to some degree that's because it's still one of the only options for a PCIe 5.0 SSD. But it looks like the situation is going to change in the coming quarters, as SSDs based on Phison's PS5031-E31T controller are incoming, with at least one Phison customer demoing an E31T drive on the Computex show floor. Phison's PS5031-E31T controller uses two Arm Cortex-R5 cores accelerated by the Andes N25 CoXProcessor, just like its bigger brother Phison PS5026-E26. But this is where their major hardware similarities seem to end. The new E31T controller is a DRAM-less controller with four NAND channels (16 CE targets) that is produced on one of TSMC's 7nm processes, whereas the E26 is an eight-channel controller made on TSMC's 12nm production node. Besides cutting down on memory channels and the use of DRAM to drive down costs, the E31T also picks up a couple of new tricks by virtue of being nearly two years newer. In particular, the E31T sports Phison's 7th Generation LDPC error correction technology, as opposed to the E25's 5th-gen LDPC Phison NVMe SSD Controller Comparison   E31T E27T E21T E26 E18 Market Segment Mainstream Consumer High-End Consumer Manufacturing Process 7nm 12nm 12nm 12nm 12nm CPU Cores 2x Cortex R5 1x Cortex R5 1x Cortex R5 2x Cortex R5 3x Cortex R5 Error Correction 7th Gen LDPC 5th Gen LDPC 4th Gen LDPC 5th Gen LDPC 4th Gen LDPC DRAM No No No DDR4, LPDDR4 DDR4 Host Interface PCIe 5.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4 PCIe 5.0 x4 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe Version NVMe 2.0 NVMe 2.0 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 2.0 NVMe 1.4 NAND Channels, Interface Speed 4 ch, 3600 MT/s 4 ch, 3600 MT/s 4 ch, 1600 MT/s 8 ch, 2400 MT/s 8 ch, 1600 MT/s Max Capacity 8 TB 8 TB 4 TB 8 TB 8 TB Sequential Read 10.8 GB/s 7.4 GB/s 5.0 GB/s 14 GB/s 7.4 GB/s Sequential Write 10.8 GB/s 6.7 GB/s 4.5 GB/s 11.8 GB/s 7.0 GB/s 4KB Random Read IOPS 1500k 1200k 780k 1500k 1000k 4KB Random Write IOPS 1500k 1200k 800k 2000k 1000k Phison itself calls its E31T platform 'the first mainstream 10 GB/s platform,' which pretty much gives a performance indicator for some of the upcoming inexpensive PCIe Gen5 SSDs. As for random performance, we are talking about 1.5M IOPS per second, which is in line with performance offered by some of enterprise-grade PCIe Gen4 SSDs. Meanwhile, a Silicon Power ad at Computex indicates that that the company at least hopes to get to 12 GB/sec with its "US85" drive. Which at 4 NAND channels would require pairing up the controller with cutting-edge 3200 MT/sec NAND. It's a bit of an odd pairing given the mainstream, cost-conscious status of the E31T controller, but then the savings on the controller supporting DRAM can be invested back into the NAND on the drive itself. And more importantly, with 12 GB/sec reads and writes, Silicon Power's US85 SSD will be able to compete against earlier E26-based drives that are still being sold on the market, which brings this product to a whole new level. Though Silicon Power will have to be able to procure enough fast 3D NAND to meet demand. Both Phison and Silicon Power expect E31T to start shipping in Q4, so by the start of next year, mainstream SSDs should be receiving a nice speed boost.

  • SK hynix: GDDR7 Mass Production To Start in Q4'2024
    on 11. June 2024 at 12:00

    Update 06/13: SK hynix has sent a note to AnandTech clarifying that the company "plans to start mass production of GDDR7 in the fourth quarter of this year when the relevant market opens up." This article has been updated accordingly. Being a major JEDEC memory standard, GDDR7 is slated to be produced by all three of the Big Three memory manufacturers. But it seems that not all three vendors will be kicking off mass production at the same time. SK hynix was at this year's Computex trade show, showing off their full lineup of memory technologies – including, of course, GDDR7. SK hynix is the last of the major memory vendor's we've seen promoting their memory, and fittingly, they seem to be the last in terms of their mass production schedule. According to company representatives, the firm will kick off mass production of their GDDR7 chips in the last quarter of 2024. Comparatively, the company's cross-town rival, Samsung, is already sampling memory with the goal of getting it out the door in 2024. And Micron has been rather gung ho about not only starting mass production this year, but starting it early enough that at least some of their customers will be able to ship finished products this year. That said, it bears mentioning that with industry-standard memory technologies, mass production at one vendor does not indicate that another is late; it is just indicating that someone was first to validate with a partner and that partner plans to ship its product in 2024. And while mass production remains another 4+ months out, SK hynix does have sample chips for its partners to test right now, and the chips have been demonstrated at Computex. As far as SK hynix's floor booth at Computex 2024 is concerned, the company had GDDR7 chips on display along with a table essentially summarizing the company's roadmap. For now, SK hynix is planning on both 16Gbit and 24Gbit chips, with data transfer rates of up to 40 GT/s. Though when SK hynix intends to launch their higher-end configurations remains to be seen. Both of the company's rivals are starting out with 16Gbit chips running at 32 GT/sec, so being the first to get a faster/larger chip out would be a feather in SK hynix's cap.

  • The Enermax Revolution D.F. 12 750W ATX 3.1 PSU Review: Compact Contender
    on 7. June 2024 at 12:00

    Enermax, established in 1990, is a renowned Taiwanese company in the PC hardware industry, particularly recognized for its innovative power supply units (PSUs), cooling solutions, and PC cases. Over the years, Enermax has built a reputation for engineering reliable, high-performance PSUs that primarily target enthusiasts and professional users. Their commitment to quality and technological advancement has kept them at the forefront of the industry, constantly evolving to meet the demands of the ever-changing tech landscape. In this review, we are looking at the latest addition to Enermax's impressive PSU lineup: the Revolution D.F. 12 750W PSU. This is the second ATX 3.1-compliant power supply to arrive in our labs, and, broadly speaking, illustrates how we're approaching the inflection point for PSU vendors to update their designs for Intel's revised PSU standard. As for the Revolution D.F. 12 itself, Enermax's new PSU pursues a balanced design, meeting modern gaming PCs mid-way with good conversion efficiency and an overall robust power delivery system. With features like fully modular cables with per-wire sleeving, a dynamic hybrid fan control for optimal cooling, and advanced topologies, the Revolution D.F. 12 750W is primed to deliver on both reliability and performance. We will delve into its specifications, build quality, and performance metrics to see if the new unit lives up to Enermax's esteemed legacy.

  • Micron's GDDR7 Chip Smiles for the Camera as Micron Aims to Seize Larger Share of HBM Market
    on 7. June 2024 at 11:00

    UPDATE 6/12: Micron notified us that it expects its HBM market share to rise to mid-20% in the middle of calendar 2025, not in the middle of fiscal 2025. For Computex week, Micron was at the show in force in order to talk about its latest products across the memory spectrum. The biggest news for the memory company was that it has kicked-off sampling of it's next-gen GDDR7 memory, which is expected to start showing up in finished products later this year and was being demoed on the show floor. Meanwhile, the company is also eyeing taking a much larger piece of the other pillar of the high-performance memory market – High Bandwidth Memory – with aims of capturing around 25% of the premium HBM market. GDDR7 to Hit the Market Later This Year Micron's first GDDR7 chip is a 16 Gb memory device with a 32 GT/sec (32Gbps/pin) transfer rate, which is significantly faster than contemporary GDDR6/GDDR6X. As outlined with JEDEC's announcement of GDDR7 earlier this year, the latest iteration of the high-performance memory technology is slated to improve on both memory bandwidth and capacity, with bandwidths starting at 32 GT/sec and potentially climbing another 50% higher to 48 GT/sec by the time the technology reaches its apex. And while the first chips are starting off at the same 2GByte (16Gbit) capacity as today's GDDR6(X) chips, the standard itself defines capacities as high as 64Gbit. Of particular note, GDDR7 brings with it the switch to PAM3 (3-state) signal encoding, moving from the industry's long-held NRZ (2-state) signaling. As Micron was responsible for the bespoke GDDR6X technology, which was the first major DRAM spec to use PAM signaling (in its case, 4-state PAM4), Micron reckons they have a leg-up with GDDR7 development, as they're already familiar with working with PAM. The GDDR7 transition also brings with it a change in how chips are organized, with the standard 32-bit wide chip now split up into four 8-bit sub-channels. And, like most other contemporary memory standards, GDDR7 is adding on-die ECC support to hold the line on chip reliability (though as always, we should note that on-die ECC isn't meant to be a replacement for full, multi-chip ECC). The standard also implements some other RAS features such as error checking and scrubbing, which although are not germane to gaming, will be a big deal for compute/AI use cases. The added complexity of GDDR7 means that the pin count is once again increasing as well, with the new standard adding a further 86 pins to accommodate the data transfer and power delivery changes, bringing it to a total of 266 pins. With that said, the actual package size is remaining unchanged from GDDR5/GDDR6, maintaining that familiar 14mm x 12mm package. Memory manufacturers are instead using smaller diameter balls, as well as decreasing the pitch between the individual solder balls – going from GDDR6's 0.75mm x 0.75mm pitch to a slightly shorter 0.75mm x 0.73mm pitch. This allows the same package to fit in another 5 rows of contacts. As for Micron's own production plans, the company is using its latest 1-beta (1β) fabrication process. While the major memory manufacturers don't readily publish the physical parameters of their processes these days, Micron believes that they have the edge on density with 1β, and consequently will be producing the densest GDDR7 at launch. And, while more nebulous, the company company believes that 1β will give them an edge in power efficiency as well. Micron says that the first devices incorporating GDDR7 will be available this year. And while video card vendors remain a major consumer of GDDR memory, in 2024 the AI accelerator market should not be overlooked. With AI accelerators still bottlenecked by memory capacity and bandwidth, GDDR7 is expected to pair very well with inference accelerators, which need a more cost-effective option than HBM. Micron Hopes to Get to Mid-20% HBM Market Share with HBM3E Speaking of HBM, Micron was the first company to formally announce its HBM3E memory last year, and it was among the first to start its volume shipments earlier this year. For now, Micron commands a 'mid-single digit' share of this lucrative market, but the company has said that it plans to rapidly gain share. If all goes well, by the middle of its calendar 2025 (i.e., the end of calendar Q1 2025) the company hopes to capture a mid-20% share of the HBM market. "As we go into fiscal year 2025, we expect our share of HBM to be very similar to our overall share on general DRAM market," said Praveen Vaidyanathan, vice president and general manager of the Compute Products Group at Micron. "So, I would say mid-20%. We believe we have a very strong product as [we see] a lot of interest from various GPU and ASIC vendors, and continuing to engage with customers for the next, say 12 to 15 months." When asked whether Micron can accelerate output of HBM3E at such a rapid pace in terms of manufacturing capacity, Vaidyanathan responded that the company has a roadmap for capacity expansion and that the company would meet the demand for its HBM3E products.  Gallery: Micron GDDR7 Press Deck

  • ASRock Unveils Motherboards For Ryzen 9000 At Computex 2024: X870E Taichi and X870E Taichi Lite
    on 6. June 2024 at 14:20

    During Computex 2024, ASRock held an event to unveil some of its upcoming X870E motherboards, designed for AMD's Zen 5-based Ryzen 9000 series processors. ASRock's announcement includes a pair of Taichi-branded boards, the X870E Taichi and the lighter X870E Taichi lite, which uses AMD's X870E (Promontory 21) chipset for AM5. The current flagship model announced from ASRock's X870E line-up for Ryzen 9000 is the ASRock X870E Taichi. ASRock is advertising a large 27-phase power delivery through 110A SPS, suggesting this board is designed for overclockers and all-around power users. Two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots (operating in either x16/x0 or x8/x8) provide high-speed bandwidth for cutting-edge graphics cards and other devices. Meanwhile, ASRock has gone with 4 DIMM slots on this board, so system builders will be able to max out the board's memory capacity at the cost of bandwidth. The storage offering is impressive; besides the obligatory PCIe Gen5 x4 M.2 slot (Blazing M.2), ASRock has outfit the board with another three PCIe Gen4 x4 (Hyper) M.2 slots. Also present are two USB4 Type-C ports for high-bandwidth external I/O, while networking support is a solid pairing of a discrete Wi-Fi 7 controller with a Realtek 5Gb Ethernet controller (and the first AM5 board we've come across with something faster than a 2.5GbE controller). The audio setup includes a Realtek ALC4082 codec and ESS SABRE9218 DAC supporting high-fidelity sound. The BIOS flashback feature is also a nice touch, and we believe this should be a feature on all mid-range to high-end motherboards, which provides an easy way to update the firmware without installing a CPU. And, as no high-end board would be complete without it, ASRock has put RGB lighting on the X870E Taichi as well. Ultimately, as ASRock's high-end X870E board, the X870E Taichi comes with pretty much every last cutting-edge technology that ASRock can fit on the board. Comparatively, the ASRock X870E Taichi Lite is a more streamlined and functional version of the X870E Taichi. The Lite retaining all of the latter's key features, including the 27-phase power delivery with 110A smart power stages, dual PCIe 5.0 x16 slots operating at x16 or x8/x8, four DDR5 DIMM slots, and four M.2 slots (1x Gen5 + 3x Gen4). The only significant difference is aesthetics: the Taichi Lite features a simpler silver-themed design without the RGB lighting, while the standard Taichi has a more intricate gold-accented and fanciful aesthetics. In terms of availability, ASRock is not disclosing a release date for the board at the show. And, checking around with other tech journalists, Andreas Schilling from HawrdwareLUXX has heard that X870E and X870 motherboards aren't expected to be available in time for the Ryzen 9000 series launch. We will investigate this and contact the motherboard vendors to confirm the situation. Though as X870E/X870 boards barely differ from the current crop of X670E/B650E boards to begin with, the Ryzen 9000 series won't be fazed by a lack of slightly newer motherboards.

  • XPG Demos "Nia" Handheld Gaming PC With Foveated Rendering, Swappable DRAM
    on 5. June 2024 at 16:00

    With the rise of the handheld gaming PC market, we've seen PC vendors and their partners toy with a number of tricks and tweaks to improve improve framerates in games, with some of their latest efforts on display at this year's Computex trade show. Perhaps the most interesting find thus far comes from ADATA sub-brand XPG, who is demoing their prototype "Nia" handheld PC, which uses eye tracking and dynamic foveated rendering to further improve their rendering performance. For those unfamiliar, dynamic foveated rendering is a graphics technique that is sometimes used to boost performance in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications by taking advantage of how human vision works. Typically, humans can only perceive detailed imagery in the relatively small central area of our vision called the fovea, while our peripheral vision is much less detailed. Dynamic foveated rendering, in turn, exploits this by using real-time eye tracking to determine where the user is looking, and then rendering just that area in high/full resolution, while rendering the peripheral areas in lower resolution. The net result is that only a fraction of the screen is rendered at full detail, which cuts down on the total amount of rendering work required and boosting framerates on performance-limited devices. As stated before, this technology is sometimes used in high-end AR/VR headsets, where high resolution displays are placed mere inches from one's face. This ends up being an ideal use case for the technique, since at those distances, only a small fraction of the screen is within the fovea. Using dynamic foveated rendering for a handheld, on the other hand, is a more novel application. All of the same visual principles apply, but the resolutions at play are lower, and the screen is farther from the users' eyes. This makes a handheld device a less ideal use case, at least on paper, as a larger portion of the screen is going to be in the fovea, and thus will need to be rendered at full resolution. None the less, it will be interesting to see how XPG's efforts pan out, and if dynamic foveated rendering is beneficial enough for handheld PCs. As we sometimes see with trade show demos, not everything makes it out of the prototype stage. According to a press release put out by ADATA ahead of the trade show, the eye tracking technology is being provided by AMD collaborator Eyeware. Notably, their software-based approach runs on top of standard webcams, rather than requiring IR cameras. So the camera hardware itself should be pretty straight-forward. Foveated rendering aside, XPG is making sure that the Nia won't be a one-trick pony. The handheld's other major claim to fame is its hardware swappability. The prototype handheld not only features a removable M.2-2230 SSD, but the company is also taking advantage of the recently-introduced LPCAMM2 memory module standard to introduce removable DRAM. Via a hatch in the back of the handheld, device owners would be able to swap out LPCAMM2 LPDDR5X modules for higher capacity versions. This would give the handheld an additional degree of future-proofness over current handhelds, which use non-replaceable soldered-down memory. Rounding out the package, the current prototype is based on an AMD's Zen 4 Phoenix APU, which is used across both of the company's current mobile lines (Ryzen Mobile 7000/8000 and Ryzen Z1). Meanwhile, the unit's display is adjustable, allowing it to be angled away from the body of the handheld. Assuming all goes well with the prototype, XPG aims to release a finished product in 2025.

  • G.Skill Demonstrates DDR5-10600 Memory Modules On Ryzen 8500G System
    on 5. June 2024 at 14:30

    Ultra-high performance memory modules are a staple of of Computex, and it looks like this year G.Skill is showing off the highest performance dual-channel memory module kit to date. The company is demonstrating a DDR5 kit capable of 10,600 MT/s data transfer rate, which is a considerably higher speed compared to memory modules available today. The dual-channel kit that G.Skill is demonstrating is a 32 GB Trident Z5 RGB kit that uses cherry-picked DDR5 memory devices and which can work in a DDR5-10600 mode with CL56 62-62-126 timings at voltages that are way higher than standard. The demoed DIMMs are running the whole day in a fairly warm room, though it does not really run demanding applications or stress tests. Traditionally, memory module makers like G.Skill use Intel processors to demonstrate their highest-performing kits. But with the DDR5-10600 kit, the company uses AMD's Ryzen 5 8500G processor, which is a monolithic Zen 4-based APU with integrated graphics that's normally sold for budget systems. The motherboard is a high-end Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Gene and the APU is cooled down using a custom liquid cooling system The Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Gene motherboard has only two memory slots, which greatly helps to enable high data transfer rates, so it is a very good fit for the DDR5-10600 dual-channel kit. Though I have sincere doubts that someone is going to use an ultra-expensive DDR5-10600 memory kit and related gate with this inexpensive processor, it is interesting (and unexpected) to see an AMD APU as a good fit to demonstrate performance potential of G.Skill's upcoming modules. Speaking of availability of G.Skill's DDR5-10600 memory, it does not look like this kit is around the corner. The fastest DDR5 kit that G.Skill has today is its DDR5-8400 offering, so the DDR5-10600 will come to market a few speed bins later as G.Skill certainly needs to test the kit with various CPUs and ensure its stability.  One other thing to keep in mind is that both AMD and Intel are about to release new desktop processors this year, with the Ryzen 9000-series and Arrow Lake processors respectively. So G.Skill will undoubtedly focus on tuning its DDR5-10600 and other high-end kits primarily with those new CPUs.

  • Update on Intel's Panther Lake at Computex 2024, Intel Powering Up Intel 18A Wafer Next Week
    on 5. June 2024 at 3:00

    During the Intel keynote hosted by CEO Pat Gelsinger, he gave the world a glimpse into the Intel Client roadmap until 2026. Meteor Lake launched last year on that roadmap, and Lunar Lake, which we dived into yesterday as Intel disclosed technical details about the upcoming platform. Pat also presented a wafer on stage, Panther Lake, and he gave some additional information about Intel's forthcoming Panther Lake platform, which is expected in 2025. We covered Intel's initial announcement about the Panther Lake platform last year. It is set to be Intel's first client platform using its Intel 18A node. Aside from once again affirming that things are on track for a 2026 launch, Pat Gelsinger, Intel's CEO, also confirmed that they will be powering on the first 18A wafer for Panther Lake as early as next week. Intel CPU Architecture Generations   Alder/Raptor Lake Meteor Lake Lunar Lake Arrow Lake Panther Lake P-Core Architecture Golden Cove/ Raptor Cove Redwood Cove Lion Cove Lion Cove Cougar Cove? E-Core Architecture Gracemont Crestmont Skymont Crestmont? Darkmont? GPU Architecture Xe-LP Xe-LPG Xe2 Xe2? ? NPU Architecture N/A NPU 3720 NPU 4 ? ? Active Tiles 1 (Monolithic) 4 2 4? ? Manufacturing Processes Intel 7 Intel 4 + TSMC N6 + TSMC N5 TSMC N3B + TSMC N6 Intel 20A + More Intel 18A + ? Segment Mobile + Desktop Mobile LP Mobile HP Mobile + Desktop Mobile? Release Date (OEM) Q4'2021 Q4'2023 Q3'2024 Q4'2024 2025 One element to consider from last year is that Lunar Lake is built using TSMC, with the Lunar Lake compute tile with Xe2-LPG graphics on TSMC N3B, and the I/O tile on TSMC N6. Pat confirmed on stage that Panther Lake will be on Intel 18A. Still, he didn't confirm whether the chip will be made purely at Intel, or a mix between Intel and external foundries (ala Meteor Lake). Intel has also yet to confirm the CPU cores to be used, but from what our sources tell us, it sounds like it will be the new Cougar Cove and Darkmont cores. As we head into the second half of 2024 and after Lunar Lake launches, Intel may divulge more information, including the architectural advancements Panther Lake is expected to bring. Until then, we will have to wait and see.

  • Frore Demos Solid-State AirJet Cooler in Action: Significantly Improving Both Laptop and SSD...
    on 4. June 2024 at 22:00

    In recent months, Frore Systems has been turning heads with their fanless solid-state air cooler technology. The AirJet, as it's come to be called, was previously shown off at CES this year; and for Computex, the company is back with a fresh round of demonstrations. For the show, Frore has a number of demonstrations running in a fairly large showroom. The company is looking to address a wide range of products, from tablets to notebooks to small PCs, as well as embedded tablets. But there were two showcases in particular that caught my immediate attention: a Samsung Galaxy Book with and without Frore's AirJet, and an 8 TB Sabrent SSD in an external enclosure. The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is an ultra-thin notebook that is normally cooled by a fan that, as argued by Flore, does not do its job properly. According to the company, the stock laptop only has enough cooling capacity to sustain 12W heat/power before it hits Tmax, whereas a retrofitted version with Frore's AirJet installed allows it to hold steady-state operation at 16W – and consequently delivering higher performance. In terms of Cinebench R23 multi-threaded results, we are talking about 5330 points for the modded notebook, versus 4255 for the off-the-shelf Galaxy Book 2 Pro. The potential use cases for Frore Systems's AirJet solid-state cooling technology do not end with CPUs, either. As mentioned previously, the company is also demonstrating the AirJet Mini on Sabrent 8TB SSDs in Orico external enclosures, showcasing the advantage of the silent active cooler over passive cooling. The passively-cooled drive reached 62°C and leveled out at 1,320 MB/s due to thermal throttling. In contrast, the AirJet-cooled drive maintained a temperature of 42°C and achieved a considerably higher performance of 3,016 MB/s. According to Frore, this significant improvement in both temperature and performance has already led to one major external SSD vendor adopting AirJet technology to improve the performance of their drives. Unfortunately, Frore isn't naming any names, only stating that it's a "big name." Now, Frore's AirJet Mini and Mini Slim coolers can dissipate up to 5W of power each, and can be combined in to larger blocks of up to 5 coolers (we are talking about announced solutions, technologically scaling could he higher, but this is an entirely different conversation). So the technology does have some scalability limitations that makes it best-suited for lower-power devices. None the less, removing 25W of thermal energy from a modern laptop without a fan can make a huge difference in the performance of these normally passively-cooled devices. Of course, the main goal for these Computex demos is far more than just showing off AirJets to the public; what Frore would really like to do is to land a deal for its solid-state cooling solution with a major PC vendor (e.g., Apple, Samsung, etc.). Though to do that, Frore has to pass qualification tests and ensure availability of its products, which is something the company says it's currently working on. Meanwhile, from performance point of view, especially given their dimensions, AirJets look very impressive.

  • Intel Unveils Lunar Lake Architecture: New P and E cores, Xe2-LPG Graphics, New NPU 4 Brings More...
    on 4. June 2024 at 3:00

    Intel this morning is lifting the lid on some of the finer architectural and technical details about its upcoming Lunar Lake SoC – the chip that will be the next generation of Core Ultra mobile processors. Once again holding one of their increasingly regular Tech Tour events for media and analysts, Intel this time set up shop in Taipei just before the beginning of Computex 2024. During the Tech Tour, Intel disclosed numerous facets of Lunar Lake, including their new P-Core design codenamed Lion Cove and a new wave of E-cores that are a bit more like Meteor Lake's pioneering Low Power Island E-Cores. Also disclosed was the Intel NPU 4, which Intel claims delivers up to 48 TOPS, surpassing Microsoft's Copilot+ requirements for the new age of AI PCs. Intel's Lunar Lake represents a strategic evolution in their mobile SoC lineup, building on their Meteor Lake launch last year, focusing on enhancing power efficiency and optimizing performance across the board. Lunar Lake dynamically allocates tasks to efficient cores (E-cores) or performance cores (P-cores) based on workload demands by leveraging advanced scheduling mechanisms, which are assigned to ensure optimal power usage and performance. Still, once again, Intel Thread Director, along with Windows 11, plays a pivotal role in this process, guiding the OS scheduler to make real-time adjustments that balance efficiency with computational power depending on the intensity of the workload.

  • The Intel Computex 2024 Keynote Live Blog (8:00pm PT/03:00 UTC)
    on 4. June 2024 at 2:00

    Closing out the last of the major PC-focused keynotes at Computex 2024 this evening, we have Intel. The long-reigning leader of the PC CPU market, Intel is in the middle of executing its plans to get back on track on both the manufacturing and chip design aspects of the business. Tonight’s keynote, being helmed by the highly-animated Pat Gelsinger, is titled “Bringing AI Everywhere.” And, like so many other Computex presentations and announcements this week, AI hardware is going to play a big part, as Intel outlines a full stack of products for client and server computing. Of the four great PC chip vendors at the show, Intel has been the most up-front about what to expect from their hour-long presentation. The company’s Computex 2024 page already outlines their four major topics: AI PCs, Xeon 6 Processors, Gaudi AI accelerators, and Intel’s OpenVINO software ecosystem. On the consumer hardware front, the company set the table with a significant teaser earlier this month about their forthcoming mobile PC SoC, Lunar Lake. The next generation of Core Ultra processors, Intel is touting significant energy efficiency gains for the mobile-focused chip, with new architectures driving their Performance and Efficiency CPU cores, Xe2 GPU, and a much faster 45+ TOPS (INT8) NPU. While the Lunar Lake announcement is coming relatively soon after the Meteor Lake launch, Intel has made it clear that it’s not going to hold back on shipping future products; they are looking to make up for lost time. Still, Lunar Lake devices are not expected to hit retail shelves until Q4 of this year, so this announcement is coming months in advance of the hardware itself. On the server front, Intel has been publicly prepping for the launch of a new generation of Xeons with the Xeon 6 platform. The most notable part of this being the release of the company’s first Efficiency-core Xeon, Sierra Forest. Sierra Forest is set to be the first Xeon 6 chip out the door this year, and will offer up to 288 E cores on a single chip, allowing Intel to tap into the many (many) core CPU markets that AMD and Arm-based rivals have been unopposed at thus far. Finally, the company has fully pivoted its server AI accelerator strategy to its Gaudi accelerators. Gaudi 3 was introduced back in April, and while it isn’t expected to go toe-to-toe with NVIDIA’s top accelerators in every workload, Intel is betting that they can beat NVIDIA on critical workloads, all while undercutting them significantly in pricing. The first Gaudi 3 parts are set to be released in the second half of this year, so hopefully we’ll be hearing a bit more about Intel’s plans as part of their keynote. As always, the AnandTech crew is live and in person to catch this final Computex keynote. So please come join us at 8:00pm PT / 11:00pm ET / 03:00 UTC to get all the details.

  • AMD Announces Zen 5-based EPYC “Turin” Processors: Up to 192 Cores, Coming in H2’2024
    on 3. June 2024 at 17:15

    With AMD’s Zen 5 CPU architecture only a month away from its first product releases, the new CPU architecture was placed front and center for AMD’s prime Computex 2024 keynote. Outlining how Zen 5 will lead to improved products across AMD’s entire portfolio, the company laid out their product plans for the full triad: mobile, desktop, and servers. And while server chips will be the last parts to be released, AMD also saved the best for last by showcasing a 192 core EPYC “Turin” chip. Turin is the catch-all codename for AMD’s Zen 5-based EPYC server processors – what will presumably be the EPYC 9005 series. The company has previously disclosed the name in earnings calls and other investor functions, outlining that the chip was already sampling to customers and that the silicon was “looking great.” The Computex reveal, in turn, is the first time that the silicon has been shown off to the public. And with it, we’ve received the first official confirmation of the chip’s specifications. With SKUs up to 192 CPU cores, it’s going to be a monster of an x86 CPU. AMD EPYC CPU Generations AnandTech EPYC 5th Gen (Turin, Z5c) EPYC 9704 (Bergamo) EPYC 9004 (Genoa) EPYC 7003 (Milan) CPU Architecture Zen 5c Zen 4c Zen 4 Zen 3 Max CPU Cores 192 128 96 64 Memory Channels 12 x DDR5 12 x DDR5 12 x DDR5 8 x DDR4 PCIe Lanes 128 x 5.0 128 x 5.0 128 x 5.0 128 x 4.0 L3 Cache ? 256MB 384MB 256MB Max TDP 360W? 360W 400W 280W Socket SP5 SP5 SP5 SP3 Manufacturing Process CCD: TSMC N3 IOD:TSMC N6 CCD: TSMC N5 IOD: TSMC N6 CCD: TSMC N5 IOD: TSMC N6 CCD: TSMC N7 IOD: GloFo 14nm Release Date H2'2024 06/2023 11/2022 03/2021 Though only a brief tease, AMD’s Turin showcase did confirm a few, long-suspected details about the platform. AMD will once again be using their socket SP5 platform for Turin processors, which means the chips are drop-in compatible with EPYC 9004 Genoa (and Bergamo). The reuse of SP5 means that customers and server vendors can immediately swap out chips without having to build/deploy whole new systems. It also means that Turin will have the same base memory and I/O options as the EPYC 9004 series: 12 channels of DDR5 memory, and 128 PCIe 5.0 lanes. In terms of power consumption, existing SP5 processors top out at 400 Watts, and we’d expect the same for these new, socket-compatible chips. As for the Turin chip itself, while AMD is not going into further detail on its configuration, all signs point to this being a Zen 5c configuration – that is, built using CCDs designed around AMD’s compact Zen 5 core configuration. This would make the Turin chip on display the successor to Bergamo (EPYC 9704), which was AMD’s first compact core server processor, using Zen 4c cores. AMD’s compact CPU cores generally trade off per-core performance in favor of allowing more CPU cores overall, with lower clockspeed limits (by design) and less cache memory throughout the chip. According to AMD, the CCDs on this chip were fabbed on a 3nm process (undoubtedly TSMC’s), with AMD apparently looking to take advantage of the densest process available in order to maximize the number of CPU cores the can place on a single chip. Even then, the CCDs featured here are quite sizable, and while we’re waiting for official die size numbers, it would come as no surprise if Zen 5’s higher transistor count more than offset the space savings of moving to 3nm. Still, AMD has been able to squeeze 12 CCDs on to the chip – 4 more than Bergamo – which is what’s allowing them to offer 192 CPU cores instead of 128 as in the last generation. Meanwhile, the IOD is confirmed to be produced on 6nm. Judging from that fact, the pictures, and what AMD’s doing with their Zen 5 desktop products, there is a very good chance that AMD is using either the same or a very similar IOD as on Genoa/Bergamo. Which goes hand-in-hand with the socket/platform at the other end of the chip staying the same. AMD’s brief teaser did not discuss at all any other Turin configurations. So there is nothing else official to share about Turin chips built using full-sized Zen 5 CPU cores. With that said, we know that the full-fat cores going into the Ryzen 9000 desktop series pack 8 cores to a CCD and are being fabbed on a 4nm process – not 3nm – so that strongly implies that EPYC Zen 5 CCDs will be the same. Which, if that pans out, means that Turin chips using high performance cores will max out at 96 cores, the same as Genoa. Hardware configurations aside, AMD also showcased a couple of benchmarks, pitting the new EPYC chips against Intel’s Xeons. As you’d expect in a keynote teaser, AMD was winning handily. Though it is interesting to note that the chips benchmarked were all 128 core Turins, rather than on the 192 core model being shown off today. AMD will be shipping EPYC Turin in the second half of this year. More details on the chips and configurations will follow once AMD gets closer to the EPYC launch.

  • The Qualcomm Computex 2024 Keynote Live Blog (10:30pm PT/05:30 UTC)
    on 3. June 2024 at 5:10

    For our second keynote of the day for Computex, we have the 4th Musketeer of the great PC powers, Qualcomm. Slated to be the most PC-focused of the four keynotes, company CEO Cristiano Amon will be presenting a keynote entitled “The PC Reborn.” And while Amon is no stranger to giving keynotes, this is slated to be his most PC-centric keynote yet, giving Computex attendees a clearer idea of how focused Qualcomm will be on the PC market with their new Windows-on-Arm SoCs. The big focus for today's keynote is expected to be the Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus SoCs, which Qualcomm announced over half a year ago, and has been touting ever since. Now, the first consumer devices based on these chips are just a couple of weeks away from shipping, so Qualcomm is in their final promotional push for their new Windows-on-Arm platform. As a result, Qualcomm should have a lot more hardware to show off, with final silicon and shipping SKUs already defined. While Snapdragon X is not Qualcomm’s first effort to ship an Arm-based SoC for Windows devices – there are 3 generations of 8cx Gen 3 platforms that everyone is happy never to mention again – the Snapdragon X is Qualcomm’s most serious effort yet. At its core is the new, high-performance/high-efficiency Oryon CPU core, which combined with the rest of Qualcomm’s tried-and-true mobile hardware experience, the company is hoping to mold into a revolutionary Arm-based SoC for Windows laptops. The company is also counting on a decade of software development on Microsoft’s part to make the Windows-on-Arm ecosystem whole, not to mention as frictionless as possible. Besides energy efficiency, Qualcomm’s other big push is on the burgeoning field of NPUs. The Snapdragon X NPU is rated to deliver 45 TOPS of INT8 performance, which makes it the first PC NPU to meet Microsoft’s hardware requirement for Windows 11 Copilot+ AI functionality. So Qualcomm is looking to leverage this time-limited opportunity to be the first to offer new functionality in the Windows space – a privilege normally reserved for Intel or AMD. Come join us at 10:30pm PT / 01:30am ET / 05:30 UTC to get all the details.

  • AMD Slims Down Compute With Radeon Pro W7900 Dual Slot For AI Inference
    on 3. June 2024 at 3:05

    While the bulk of AMD’s Computex presentation was on CPUs and their Instinct lineup of dedicated AI accelerators, the company also has a small product refresh for the professional graphics and workstation AI crowd. AMD is releasing a dual-slot version of their high-end Radeon Pro W7900 card – aptly named the W7900 Dual Slot – with the intent being to improve compute density in workstations by making it possible to install 4 of the cards inside a single chassis. The release of a dual-slot version of the card comes after the original Radeon Pro W7900 was the first time AMD went with a larger, triple-slot form factor for their flagship workstation card. With the W7000 generation bringing an all-around increase in power consumption, pushing the W7900 to 295 Watts, AMD originally opted to release a larger card for improved acoustics. However this came at the cost of compute density, as most systems could only fit 2 of the thicker cards. As a result, AMD is opting to release a dual-slot version of the hardware as well, to offer a more competitive product for high-density workstation systems – particularly those doing local AI inference. AMD Radeon Pro Specification Comparison   AMD Radeon Pro W7900DS AMD Radeon Pro W7900 AMD Radeon Pro W7800 AMD Radeon Pro W6800 ALUs 12288 (96 CUs) 8960 (70 CUs) 3840 (60 CUs) ROPs 192 128 96 Boost Clock 2.495GHz 2.495GHz 2.32HHz Peak Throughput (FP32) 61.3 TFLOPS 45.2 TFLOPS 17.8 TFLOPS Memory Clock 18 Gbps GDDR6 18 Gbps GDDR6 16 Gbps GDDR6 Memory Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit Memiry Bandwidth 864GB/sec 576GB/sec 512GB/sec VRAM 48GB 32GB 32GB ECC Yes (DRAM) Yes (DRAM) Yes (DRAM) Infinity Cache 96MB 64MB 128MB Total Board Power 295W 260W 250W Manufacturing Process GCD: TSMC 5nm MCD: TSMC 6nm GCD: TSMC 5nm MCD: TSMC 6nm TSMC 7nm Architecture RDNA3 RDNA3 RDNA2 GPU Navi 31 Navi 31 Navi 21 Form Factor Dual Slot Blower Triple Slot Blower Dual Slot Blower Dual Slot Blower Launch Date 06/2024 Q2'2023 Q2'2023 06/2021 Launch Price (MSRP) $3499 $3999 $2499 $2249 Other than the narrower cooler, the Radeon Pro W7900DS is for all intents and purposes identical to the original W7900, with the same Navi 31 GPU being driven to the same clockspeeds, and the overall board being run to the same 295 Total Board Power (TBP) limit. This is paired with the same 18Gbps GDDR6 as before, giving the card 48GB of VRAM. Officially, AMD doesn’t have a noise specification for these cards. But you can expect that the W7900DS will be louder than its triple-slot senior. By all appearances, AMD is just using the cooler from the W7800, which was a dual-slot card from the start, so that cooler is being tasked with handling another 35W of heat dissipation. As the W7800 was also AMD’s fastest dual-slot card up until now, it’s an apt point of comparison for compute density. With its full-fat Navi 31 GPU, the W7900DS will offer about 36% more compute/pixel throughput than its sibling/predecessor. So it’s a not-insubstantial improvement for the very specific niche AMD has in mind for the card. And like so many other things being announced at Computex this year, that niche is AI. While AMD offers PCIe versions of their Instinct MI210 accelerators, those cards are geared at servers, with fully-passive coolers to match. So workstation-level compute is largely picked up by AMD’s Radeon Pro workstation cards, which are intended to go into a traditional PC chassis and use active cooling (blowers). In this case, AMD is specifically going after local inference workloads, as that’s what the Radeon hardware and its significant VRAM pool are best suited for. The Radeon Pro W7900 Dual Slot will drop on June 19th. Notably, AMD is introducing the card at a slightly lower price tag than they launched the original W7900 at last year, with the W7900DS hitting retail shelves at $3499, down from the W7900’s original $3999 price tag. ROCm 6.1 For Radeons Coming as Well Alongside the release of the W7900DS, AMD is also promoting the upcoming Radeon release of ROCm 6.1, their software stack for GPU computing. While baseline ROCm 6.1 was introduced back in April, the Windows version of AMD’s software stack is still a trailing (and feature limited) release. So that is slated to finally get bumped up to a ROCm 6.1 release on June 19th, the same day the W7900DS launches. ROCm 6.1 for Radeons is slated to bring a couple of major changes/improvements to the stack, particularly when it comes to expanding the scope of available features. Notably, AMD will finally be shipping Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) support, albeit at a beta level, allowing Windows users to access the much richer feature set and software ecosystem of ROCm under Linux. This release will also incorporate improved support for multi-GPU configurations, perfect timing for the launch of the Radeon Pro W7900DS. Finally, ROCm 6.1 sees TensorFlow integrated into the ROCm software stack as a first-class citizen. While this matter involves more complexities than can be summarized in a simple news story, native TensorFlow support under Windows was previously blocked by a lack of a Windows version of AMD’s MIOpen machine learning library. Combined with WSL2 support, developers will have two ways to access TensorFlow on Windows systems going forward. Gallery: AMD Radeon Pro W7900DS Press Deck

  • AMD Launching New CPUs for AM4: Ryzen 5000XT Series Coming in July
    on 3. June 2024 at 3:04

    During their opening keynote at Computex 2024, AMD announced their intention to launch a pair of new Ryzen 5000 processors for their legacy AM4 platform. The new chips, both getting the XT suffix, will be the Ryzen 9 5900XT, a 16 core Zen 3 part, while the Ryzen 7 5800XT will be an 8 core Zen 3. The new chips are intended to underscore AMD's ongoing commitment to supporting their consumer platforms over several years. And while the specification changes are rather minor overall – the Zen 3 CPU architecture has long since been taken as far as it can reasonable go – it does give AMD a chance to refresh the platform by slinging hardware at new price points. AMD did something very similar for the Ryzen 3000 generation with the late-model Ryzen 3000 XT chips. AMD Ryzen 5000XT Series Processors (Zen 3) AnandTech Cores / Threads Base Freq Turbo Freq L2 Cache L3 Cache TDP Ryzen 9 5950X 16C / 32T 3.4 GHz 4.9 GHz 8 MB 64 MB 105 W Ryzen 9 5900XT 16C / 32T 3.3 GHz 4.8 GHz 8 MB 64 MB 105 W Ryzen 9 5900X 12C / 24T 3.7 GHz 4.8 GHz 6 MB 64 MB 105 W Ryzen 7 5800XT 8C / 16T 3.8 GHz 4.8 GHz 4 MB 32 MB 105 W Ryzen 7 5800X 8C / 16T 3.8 GHz 4.7 GHz 4 MB 32 MB 105 W We've dedicated many column inches covering Zen 3 and the Ryzen 5000 series since they launched in late 2020, so there isn't anything new to add here. Zen 3 is no longer AMD's latest and greatest, but the platform as a whole is quite cheap to produce, making it a viable budget offering for new builds, or offering one last upgrade for old builds. The Ryzen 9 5900XT is a 16 core part, and isn't to be confused with the Ryzen 9 5900X, which is a 12 core part. It ships with a peak turbo clockspeed of 4.8GHz, 100 MHz lower than the top-tier Ryzen 9 5950X. This makes it's XT designation somewhat of a misnomer compared to previous generations of XT chips, although it's clear that AMD has boxed themselves into a corner with their naming scheme, as they both need a way to designate that this is a new chip, and yet still place it below the 5950X. Looking at the second chip, we have the Ryzen 7 5800XT. This is an 8 core part that does improve on its predecessor, offering a 4.8GHz max turbo clock that is 100MHz higher than the Ryzen 7 5800X's. Both chips otherwise share the same characteristics, including 6 MB of L2 cache and 32 MB of L3 cache, and all four of the chips – including the two new XT series and the corresponding X series chips – all come with a 105 Watt TDP. In terms of motherboard compatibility, all of the AM4 motherboards that currently support the Ryzen 5000 series are also compatible with the Ryzen 5000XT series, although users are likely to need to perform a firmware update to ensure maximum compatibility; they are the same chips, but the microcodes are likely different. AMD has provided some gaming performance figures comparing the Ryzen 9 5900XT to Intel's 13th Gen Core i7-13700K. It does offer very modest yet marginal gains in games by up to 4%; it's not mind-blowing, but the price could be the decisive factor here. Regarding price, AMD hasn't disclosed anything official yet ahead of the expected launch of the Ryzen 5000XT series chips in July. It's hard to make a case for a pair of chips to be considered a fully-fledged series, but it does open up the doors for AMD to perhaps launch more 5000XT series chips in the future.

  • AMD Plans Massive Memory Instinct MI325X for Q4'24, Lays Out Accelerator Roadmap to 2026
    on 3. June 2024 at 3:02

    In a packed presentation kicking off this year’s Computex trade show, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su spent plenty of time focusing on the subject of AI. And while the bulk of that focus was on AMD’s impending client products, the company is also currently enjoying the rapid growth of their Instinct lineup of accelerators, with the MI300 continuing to break sales projections and growth records quarter after quarter. It’s no surprise then that AMD is looking to move quickly then in the AI accelerator space, both to capitalize on the market opportunities amidst the current AI mania, as well as to stay competitive with the many chipmakers large and small who are also trying to stake a claim in the space. To that end, as part of this evening’s announcements, AMD laid out their roadmap for their Instinct product lineup for both the short and long term, with new products and new architectures in development to carry AMD through 2026 and beyond. On the product side of matters, AMD is announcing a new Instinct accelerator, the HBM3E-equipped MI325X. Based on the same computational silicon as the company’s MI300X accelerator, the MI325X swaps out HBM3 memory for faster and denser HBM3E, allowing AMD to produce accelerators with up to 288GB of memory, and local memory bandwidths hitting 6TB/second. Meanwhile, AMD also showcased their first new CDNA architecture/Instinct product roadmap in two years, laying out their plans through 2026. Over the next two years AMD will be moving very quickly indeed, launching two new CDNA architectures and associated Instinct products in 2025 and 2026, respectively. The CDNA 4-powered MI350 series will be released in 2025, and that will be followed up by the even more ambitious MI400 series in 2026, which will be based on the CDNA "Next" architecture.

  • AMD Announces The Ryzen AI 300 Series For Mobile: Zen 5 With RDNA 3.5, and XDNA2 NPU With 50 TOPS
    on 3. June 2024 at 3:01

    During AMD's opening keynote at Computex 2024, company CEO Dr. Lisa Su revealed AMD's latest AI PC-focused chip lineup for the mobile market, the Ryzen AI 300 series. Based on AMD's new Zen 5 CPU microarchitecture, the Ryzen AI 300 series – codenamed Strix Point – is intended to offer an across-the-board improvement in mobile SoC performance, with AMD proclaiming that the Ryzen AI 300 series will offer the fastest AI inference performance within the compact and portable PC market. Under the hood, the new mobile SoC from AMD incorporates not only their new Zen 5 CPU architecture, but also their new RDNA 3.5-based integrated graphics, and the third generation XDNA2-based NPU, the latter of which is rated to deliver 50 TOPS of performance for AI-based workloads. As a result, the Ryzen AI 300 series represents a significant upgrade in AMD's mobile chip lineup, with all of the major aspects of the platform receiving a major upgrade versus their Zen 4-era Phoenix/Hawk Point SoCs. The one thing the new platform won't get, however, is a process node improvement; AMD is building Strix Point on a 4nm node, just like Phoenix/Hawk Point before it. For this morning's announcement, AMD has unveiled the first two Ryzen AI 300 SKUs designed for notebooks. The first of these is the Ryzen AI 9 HX 370, which features 12 Zen 5 cores with a maximum boost frequency of up to 5.1 GHz, and comes equipped with 36 MB cache (12 MB L2 + 24 MB L3). The other chip to be announced is the Ryzen AI 9 365, which has two fewer Zen 5 cores (10 cores) and operates with a 5,0 GHz boost frequency and a 10 MB L2 + 24 MB L3 cache allocation.

  • AMD Unveils Ryzen 9000 CPUs For Desktop, Zen 5 Takes Center Stage at Computex 2024
    on 3. June 2024 at 3:00

    During AMD's Computex 2024 kick-off keynote, AMD's CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, officially unveiled and announced the company's next generation of Ryzen processors. Today marks the first unveiling of AMD's highly anticipated Zen 5 microarchitecture via the Ryzen 9000 series, which is set to bring several advancements over Zen 4 and the Ryzen 7000 series for desktop PCs, which will launch sometime in July 2024. AMD has unveiled four new chip SKUs using its Zen 5 microarchitecture. The AMD Ryzen 9 9950X processor will be the new consumer flagship part, featuring 16 CPU cores and a speedy 5.7 GHz maximum boost frequency. The other SKUs include, 6, 8, and 12 core parts, giving users a varied combination of core and thread counts. All four of these initial chips will be X-series chips, meaning they will have an unlocked multipliers and higher TDPs/clockspeeds. In regards to performance, AMD is touting an average (geomean) IPC increase in desktop workloads for Zen 5 of 16%. And with the new desktop Ryzen chips' turbo clockspeeds remaining largely identical to their Ryzen 7000 predecessors, this should translate into similar performance expectations for the new chips. The AMD Ryzen 9000 series will also launch on the AM5 socket, which debuted with AMD's Ryzen 7000 series and marks AMD's commitment to socket/platform longevity. Along with the Ryzen 9000 series will come a pair of new high-performance chipsets: the X870E (Extreme) and the regular X870 chipsets. The fundamental features that vendors will integrate into their specific motherboards remain tight-lipped. Still, we do know that USB 4.0 ports are standard on the X870E/X870 boards, along with PCIe 5.0 for both PCIe graphics and NVMe storage, with higher AMD EXPO memory profile support expected than previous generations.

  • The AMD Computex 2024 Keynote Live Blog (6:30pm PT/01:30 UTC)
    on 3. June 2024 at 1:00

    Computex keynote season is kicking into high gear this morning with the show's leading keynote, which is being delivered by AMD. Company CEO Dr. Lisa Su will be presenting a keynote entitled “The future of high-performance computing in the AI era,” and with a run time of 90 minutes, we're expecting AMD to have a whole host of product announcements covering their full spectrum of product categories. The big expectation here is fresh news around AMD’s Zen 5 CPU core architecture, and the chips built around it. AMD’s most recent Zen 5 roadmap has it slated to deliver all three flavors of Zen 5 by the end of this year, and we’re coming up on the two-year anniversary of the Zen 4 architecture launch. Along with client chips, AMD has been pushing their server CPUs hard, and they’ve previously told investors that the next-gen EPYC Turin CPU is “looking great”. So we’ll likely hear about both client and server Zen 5 product plans during this keynote. On the GPU/accelerator side of matters, AMD is mid-cycle (at best) with their Instinct MI300 series accelerators. With the company’s sales repeatedly beating their own expectations, AMD doesn’t seem to need much help moving this premium silicon right now. But with AI being the operative buzzword of this year’s Computex (and indeed, the computing industry as a whole), it would be weird for AMD to not have something to say about their rapidly growing AI accelerator product line. Come join us at 6:30pm PT / 9:30pm ET / 01:30 UTC to get all the details.

  • Computex 2024 Keynote Preview: The Great PC Powers Convene
    on 1. June 2024 at 0:00

    The annual Computex computer expo kicks off in Taepei this weekend. And this year’s show is shaping up to be the most packed in years. Computex rivals CES for the most important PC trade show of the year, and in most years is attended by not only the numerous local Taiwanese firms (Asus, MSI, ASRock, and others), but the major chip developers have been increasing their own presence as well. These days, while CES itself tends to land more high-profile announcements, in recent years it’s been Computex that has delivered on more substantial announcements. This is largely because tech firms have aligned their product schedules to roll out near gear in the second half of the year, when retail sales are stronger due to the back-to-school and holiday shopping periods. This year’s show, in turn, is looking to be an especially big year for the PC ecosystem. All the major PC chip firms – AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and the 4th Musketeer, Qualcomm – are holding keynote addresses at this year’s show, where they’re expected to announce new slates of PC products to ship later this year. In a normal year there is typically only major announcements from one or two of the major chip firms, so having all four of them at the show delivering lengthy keynotes is setting things up for what should be an exceptional show.

  • TSMC's 3D Stacked SoIC Packaging Making Quick Progress, Eyeing Ultra-Dense 3μm Pitch In 2027
    on 31. May 2024 at 15:00

    TSMC's 3D-stacked system-on-integrated chips (SoIC) advanced packaging technologies is set to evolve rapidly. In a presentation at the company's recent technology symposium, TSMC outlined a roadmap that will take the technology from a current bump pitch of 9μm all the way down to a 3μm pitch by 2027, stacking together combinations of A16 and N2 dies. TSMC has a number of advanced packaging technologies, including 2.5D CoWoS and 2.5D/3D InFO. Perhaps the most intriguing (and complex) method is their 3D-stacked system-on-integrated chips (SoIC) technology, which is TSMC's implementation of hybrid wafer bonding. Hybrid bonding allows two advanced logic devices to be stacked directly on top of each other, allowing for ultra-dense (and ultra-short) connections between the two chips, and is primarily aimed at high performance parts. For now, SoIC-X (bumpless) is used for select applications, such as AMD's 3D V-cache technology for CPUs, as well as their Instinct MI300-series AI products. And while adoption is growing, the current generation of the technology is constrained by limitations on die sizes and interconnection pitches. But those limitations are expected to give way quickly, if all goes according to plan for TSMC. SoIC-X technology is going to advance fast, and by 2027, it will be possible assemble a chip pairing a reticle-sized top die made on TSMC's leading-edge A16 (1.6nm-class) on a bottom die produced using TSMC's N2 (2nm-class). These dies, in turn, would be connected using 3μm bond pitche ssilicon vias (TSVs), three times the density of the size of today's 9μm pitch. Such small interconnections will allow for a much larger number of connections overall, greatly increasing the bandwidth density (and thus performance) of the assembled chip. TSMC's SoIC-X Roadmap Data by TSMC (Compiled by AnandTech)   2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 Top Die N7 N5 N4 N3 N2 A16 Bottom Die N7 ≥N6 ≥N5 ≥N4 ≥N3 ≥N2 Bond Pitch 9 μm 9 μm 6 μm 6 μm 4.5 μm 3 μm Size* 0.1 reticle 0.4 reticle 0.8 reticle 1 reticle 1 reticle 1 reticle *TSMC considers reticle size as roughly 830 mm2. Improved hybrid bonding techniques are intended to allow TSMC's big HPC customers – AMD, Broadcom, Intel, NVIDIA, and the like – to build large, ultra-dense disaggregated processor designs for demanding applications, where distance between the dies is critical, as is the overall floor space used. Meanwhile, for applications where only performance matters, it will be possible to place multiple SoIC-X packages on a CoWoS interposer to get improved performance at a lower power consumption. In addition to developing its bumpless SoIC-X packaging technology aimed at devices that require extreme performance, TSMC will also launch its bumped SoIC-P packaging process in the near future. SoIC-P is designed for cheaper lower performance applications that still want 3D-stacking, but don't need the additional performance and complexity that comes with bumpless copper-to-copper TSV connections. This packing technique will enable a broader range of companies to leverage SoIC, and while TSMC can't speak for their customers' plans, a cheaper version of the technology may make it accessible for more cost-conscious consumer applications. Per TSMC's current plans, by 2025 the company will offer a face-to-back (F2B) bumped SoIC-P technology capable of pairing a 0.2-reticle sized N3 (3nm-class) top die with an N4 (4nm-class) bottom die, which will be connected using 25μm pitch microbumps (µbumps). In 2027, TSMC will introduce bumped face-to-face (F2F) SoIC-P technology, which will be able to place an N2 top die on an N3 bottom die with a pitch of 16μm. TSMC's SoIC-P Roadmap Data by TSMC (Compiled by AnandTech)   2025 2027 Top Die N3 N2 Bottom Die ≥N4 ≥N3 Bond Pitch 25 μm 16 μm Size* 0.2 reticle 0.4 reticle Die Orientation face-to-back face-to-face Qualification Time Q4 2024 for mobile SoC Q2 2026 for HPC *TSMC considers reticle size as roughly 830 mm2 A lot of work has to be done to make SoIC more popular and accessible among chip developers, including continuing to iprove their die-to-die interfaces. But TSMC seems to be very optimistic about SoIC adoption by the industry, and expects around 30 SoIC designs to be released by 2026 – 2027.

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