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Updated 2019-05-20 16:15
Motorola Announces One Vision with Exynos 9609
Last week Motorola announces a new addition to its product line-up: The One Vision. The “One” series is a higher mid-tier value series by the company targeting a better value proposition for users. The new One Vision updates the internals compared to last year’s one, and adds new interesting features such as a new 48MP camera sensor and a new Exynos SoC by Samsung.
Kingston Launches Client-Focused KC2000 M.2 NVMe SSD: 96L TLC On SM2262EN
Kingston's latest flagship client/consumer SSD is launching today: the KC2000, which is set to replace the two year old KC1000. The KC2000 was previewed early this year at CES, but pricing and release dates were not announced at the time. Technologically, the new KC2000 is a huge improvement over its predecessor in its choice of both controller and NAND, and as a result it puts Kingston on the leading edge.
Hands on with the Realme Pro 3: 6.3-inch Phone with Snapdragon 710 For Under €200
Midrange smartphones are the main market for volume sales. Over the years companies have tried to attack this segment with aggressive specifications followed by exuberant pricing, with a select few having a good deal of success. The latest entrant to this market is Realme, the budget brand of parent Oppo, who is coming out with its new Realme Pro 3 smartphone. This device, in terms of specifications for the price, is amazingly good value.
Toshiba Memory & Western Digital Finalize Fab K1 Investment Agreement
Toshiba Memory and Western Digital on Friday announced that they had finalized a formal agreement regarding a joint investment in the K1 manufacturing facility near Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The fab is currently being constructed by Toshiba Memory and is expected to come online next year, as planned.
Update: Google To Suspend Some Business With Huawei After US Blacklist
Update 05/20: Huawei this morning has responded to reports and the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban, issuing the following statement:
NVIDIA Q1 FY 2020 Earnings Report: Post-Crypto Reset
This week NVIDIA announced their earnings for the first quarter of their 2020 fiscal year, and although the crash in crypto-currency has been a boom for gamers wanting to buy GPUs, it has not been as welcome to the company’s Form 10-Q. Revenue for Q1 2020 fell 31% to $2.22 billion, with gross margin falling 6.1% from 64.5% to 58.4%. Operating expenses at the company were up 21% despite the downturn in revenue, with NVIDIA spending $132 million more this quarter on R&D than the same period a year ago. Operating income was down 72% to $358 million, although thanks to $44 million in interest income and $5 million in income tax benefit, net income came in at $394 million. Even though net was higher than operating, net was still down 68% compared to Q1 2019. This resulted in earnings-per-share of $0.64, down 68% from the $1.98 a year ago.NVIDIA Q1 2020 Financial Results (GAAP)Q1'2020Q4'2019Q1'2019Q/QY/YRevenue$2220M$2205M$3207M+1%-31%Gross Margin58.4%54.7%64.5%+3.7%-6.1%Operating Income$358M$294M$1295M+22%-72%Net Income$394M$567M$1244M-31%-68%EPS$0.64$0.92$1.98-30%-68%Although seeing such a drop is never good, some perspective is required. NVIDIA’s 2019 fiscal year was a standout. Revenue in Q1 2019 was $3.2 billion, with a net income of $1.2 billion. But if you go back to Q1 2018, revenue was $1.9 billion, and net income was $507 million, which is much closer to Q1 2020. Comparing Q1 2018 to Q1 2020 has 2020 up 14.6% on revenue, and net income down 28.6%. Clearly the inflated results thanks to a perfect storm for NVIDIA’s 2019 financials has ended though, and the company has been thrust back to reality. Luckily reality for the company is that a Q1 of $2.2 billion makes it easily their second best Q1 ever, so I think they’ll be OK.Jumping into individual segments within the company, there are basically two products NVIDIA sells: GPU and Tegra. NVIDIA further breaks these down into subcategories, but NVIDIA at its heart is still a GPU company and its results prove that out. GPU revenue accounted for 91% of the company’s revenue, at $2.022 billion USD, and this segment had an operating income of $669 million. A year ago when crypto was king, GPU was $2.765 billion in revenue with an operating income of $1.394 billion. Revenue for GPU was down due to drops in gaming and data center revenue, as well as not having $289 million in revenue for cryptocurrency mining processors (CMP).Tegra on the other hand was only $198 million in revenue for Q1 2020, with an operating loss of $44 million. A year ago, Tegra was $442 million in revenue and the segment was in the black, with an operating income of $97 million. The big drop for Tegra is a decline in SoC modules for gaming, which you can read as Nintendo Switch sales for the most part.NVIDIA then shuffles all of these results into several other categories. Gaming is their largest, and Gaming had revenue of $1.05 billion, which is down 39% from a year ago. NVIDIA attributes this drop due to a decline in GPU shipments as well as a decline in SoC modules for gaming consoles.Professional Visualization, which features the Quadro brand, had revenue of $266 million, up 6% from a year ago. NVIDIA has seen growth in both desktop and laptop workstation products compared to 2019.Data Center had revenue for Q1 of $634 million, which is down 10% from a year ago. NVIDIA has seen some slowdown in the hyperscale and enterprise purchases of GPUs, but some growth in inference which has offset the drop somewhat.Automotive had revenue of $166 million, up 14% from a year ago, attributed to growth in AI cockpit modules.Finally, OEM and Other revenue was $99 million, down 74% from a year ago, which is not surprising since this is where NVIDIA stuck it’s CMP sales, meaning this entire drop can be attributed directly to cryptocurrency.NVIDIA Quarterly Revenue Comparison (GAAP)
GeIL Launches Evo Spear Phantom Gaming Edition Memory, Designed For SFF Systems
Following on from a wide range of ASRock Phantom Gaming branded products, memory manufacturer GeIL has announced its new Evo Spear Phantom Gaming Edition memory, which is designed for use in small form factor systems. Available in frequencies ranging from DDR4-2400 to DDR4-3200, the Evo Spear Phantom Gaming memory is being pitched for use with ASRock's Phantom Gaming motherboards, with kits available specifically for both Intel and AMD models.
Sony's Flagship Xperia 1 21:9 Smartphone Gets a Launch Date: July 12th for $950
Sony has finally given its flagship Xperia 1 smartphone an official launch date and price. The handset, which features a large 21:9 OLED display that supports wide color gamuts, will arrive on July 12th for $949.99.
Viper Gaming Launches Two New Optical RGB Gaming Mice: V550 and V551
Viper Gaming, the gaming peripheral arm of memory giant Patriot, has released two new gaming mice based on Pixart Optical sensors, the V550 and V551. The V550 features an ambidextrous design, while the V551 makes use of a more ergonomic right-handed design.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Acquire Cray for $1.3 Billion
This morning Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cray are announcing that HPE will be buying out the supercomputer maker for roughly 1.3 billion dollars. Intending to use Cray’s knowledge and technology to bolster their own supercomputing and high-performance computing technologies, when the deal closes, HPE will become the world leader for supercomputing technology.Cray of course needs no introduction. The current leader in the supercomputing field and founder of supercomputing as we know it, Cray has been a part of the supercomputing landscape since the 1970s. Starting at the time with fully custom systems, in more recent years Cray has morphed into an integrator and scale-out specialist, combining processors from the likes of Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA into supercomputers, and applying their own software, I/O, and interconnect technologies.The timing of the acquisition announcement closely follows other major news from Cray: the company just landed a $600 million US Department of Energy contract to supply the Frontier supercomputer to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2021. Frontier is one of two exascale supercomputers Cray is involved in – the other being a subcontractor for the 2021 Aurora system – and in fact Cray is involved in the only two exascale systems ordered by the US Government thus far. So in both a historical and modern context, Cray was and is one of the biggest players in the supercomputing market.HPE for its part has some supercomputing exposure as well, however it’s nothing on the scale of what Cray has done. So for HPE, the deal represents an opportunity for the firm to acquire the know-how and technology needed to augment and evolve their own supercomputer and HPC technologies. Among other things, this deal means HPE will be picking up Cray’s Shasta system architecture as well as their new Slingshot interconnect, both of which will be core parts of Frontier.The company sounds especially interested in incorporating these technologies into their current HPC plans. While supercomputers attract a lot of attention for obvious reasons, somewhat smaller systems are sold in much higher numbers due to costs and computing needs. Like many other hardware vendors, HPE is riding the wave of big data, including AI-driven analytics, and the company intends to grow their capabilities here using Cray’s technology. Interestingly, Cray is actually the second supercomputer manufacturer picked up by HPE over its lifetime; the company also picked up the remaining assets of Silicon Graphics back in 2016.Broadly speaking, major acquisitions and mergers in the supercomputing space are rare events. Due to their ever-increasing price tag, only a small number of world-class supercomputers are sold each year. And due to these prices the buyers are often governments, which inevitably gives supercomputer construction a nationalistic element to it. None the less, because costs are increasing – Frontier is the US’s most expensive system yet at over $500M for the system alone – there is some pressure for consolidation as fewer systems get sold and overall performance efficiency increases have been slowing down as well. It’s not too surprising then that HPE’s plans include using Cray’s technologies to improve HPE GreenLake, the company’s HPC-as-a-Service offering.Under the terms of the deal, HPE will be paying Cray shareholders $35 in cash for each Cray share, which is a notable price premium over Cray’s average stock price over the last year. This puts the total value of the deal at nearly $1.3 billion, with HPE expecting the deal to close in the first quarter of FY2020.
The PC Gaming Show Returns to E3 2019
E3 2019, one of the largest video game industry conferences, is almost here. During the three-day event, the PC Gaming Show will return with big reveals.The show, hosted by our sister site PC Gamer, will be sponsored by Epic Games and hosted by streamer Sean "Day[9]" Plott and esports presenter Frankie Ward.We can expect developer interviews, demos and trailers at the PC Gaming Show. Of course, there will also be some gaming announcements with Epic revealing new games, including exclusives, coming to its store.Other developers will take to the stage as well, including Annapurna Interactive, Chucklefish, Digital Extremes, Digital Uppercut, E-WIN, Fatshark, Fellow Traveller, Frontier Developments, Funcom, Modus Games, Paradox Interactive, Perfect World Entertainment, Raw Fury, Rebellion, Re-Logic and Tripwire Interactive, among others yet to be announced.How to Watch the PC Gaming ShowIt will take place at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET on June 10 at Los Angeles' Mayan Theater. Gamers can stream the event live on PC Gamer's Twitch channel, but if you'll be in the Los Angeles area during E3, you can also reserve free tickets here."This year's livestream will present more announcements and new trailers than any previous PC Gaming Show," said Evan Lahti, PC Gamer's editor-in-chief.
AMD Reiterates 7nm Roadmap: Navi, Matisse, & Rome to Launch in Q3
AMD this week held its Annual Shareholder Meeting where it reiterated its current technology roadmap and once again confirmed that that its major products set to be released this year based on 7nm will be formally introduced in Q3. Previously the company implied on launch timeframes of its Navi GPU (at least one of them), Matisse CPUs, and Rome server CPUs, but never made a firm promise about the third quarter - this announcement is a commitment to delivering these products in Q3.
Huawei Launches Mate 20 X 5G in the UK: Available in June
The Mate 20 X 5G had been announced by Huawei some months ago, and we saw the first European launch of the phone on Switzerland’s Sunrise two weeks ago. Today, Huawei officially announced the UK launch of the phone on upcoming networks from EE, O², Three and Vodaphone.The Mate 20 X is a bigger variant of the Mate 20 Pro which we reviewed late last year. The new 5G variant adds Huawei’s own HiSilicon Balong 5G modem to the system to enable connectivity to the new standard. The Balong 5000 along with the Exynos Model 5100 are the most future-proof 5G modem currently available by vendors in commercial devices by virtue of supporting today’s NSA (Non-standalone) as well as future SA (Standalone) 5G networks. Other differences on the 5G variant is that the battery capacity reduces from 5000mAh down to 4200mAh – possibly due to less internal component space.The Mate 20 X 5G will be available in the UK in June at a recommended price of £999, which interestingly enough a lot more than the CHF 997 (£755) pricing in Switzerland.Related Reading
HP's Omen X 2S 15: A Dual-Screen Gaming Laptop
Large displays as well as dual-monitor setups clearly improve productivity of office workers and creative professionals. Applying this to broader markets, HP thinks that gamers could also benefit from two displays by accessing messaging or media services, or even tweak performance of their components without quitting their games. To that end, HP is rolling out a new dual-screen laptop, the gaming-focused Omen X 2S 15. In addition to a typical 15.6-inch LCD as a main display, it also sports a secondary, 5.98-inch multitouch screen. Meanwhile, the system itself is powered by crème-de-la-crème gaming hardware including Intel’s eight-core CPU as well as NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU.
Hot Chips 31 (2019) Programme Announced: Zen, Navi, POWER, Lakefield, Gen-Z, Turing, Lisa Su Keynote
There are two trade shows every year that I love. Computex in June is great, because the scale of the industry it covers, and Taipei is a wonderful location. Hot Chips in August is the other show, which is amazing for the level of depth it provides on the latest technology, as well as upcoming releases. This year the list of presentations for Hot Chips is almost overwhelming, and we’re looking forward to attending.
Samsung & Verizon Launch the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in the US
Samsung and Verizon on Thursday officially started sales of the Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in the US. The handset is immediately available exclusively with a Verizon contract whether it is bought from the carrier or from the manufacturer itself. The retail price of the Galaxy S10 5G 512 GB, which has finally been revealed for the first time, is $1399, which is $150 higher than the equivalent Galaxy S10+.
The Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 750FX 750W PSU Review: SeaSonic Quality at Mainstream Prices
Today we are taking a look at one of SeaSonic’s mid-tier power supply units: the Focus Plus Gold 750FX. As the name suggests, it is an 80Plus Gold efficiency certified ATX PSU with a maximum power output of 750 Watts. SeaSonic's latest mainstream PSU boasts impressive performance figures and is backed by their 10-year warranty..
SanDisk's First 1 TB microSD Card Now Available
Marking a new high in microSD card capacities, Western Digital has started shipping its flagship SanDisk Extreme 1 TB microSDXC card. This is the company's (and industry's) first 1 TB microSD card, and while the $450 launch price is definitely steep, for portable devices that need a massive amount of storage in a thumbnail-sized removable card, a full terabyte is the biggest step up yet.When it comes to performance, the memory card is thankfully a member of SanDisk's higher-performing Extreme line, so performance isn't too pokey for reading and writing a full TB out of the drive. Formally, SanDisk rates it for read speeds up to 90 MB/s and write speeds up to 60 MB/s when working over a standard UHS-I interface. This works out to roughly 3 hours and 4.6 hours to read and fill the card, respectively. In fact at this point SanDisk is outright bottlenecked by the UHS bus; the card can actually read at 160 MB/s and write at 90 MB/s when used with proprietary hosts that support DDR transfer modes. So microSD Express and its vastly higher transfer rates can't get here soon enough.Along with its advertised peak performance, SanDisk's supersized card supports video speed class 30, which among other things means that its minimum write speeds need to be at least 30 MB/s. The card also meets the requirements for the A2 app performance class, meaning that it can sustain at least 4000 random read IOPS and 2000 random write IOPS, and supports capabilities such as command queuing and caching.Unfortunately for tech enthusiasts, SanDisk isn't saying much about the 1 TB card under the hood. Given the capacity, the card is likely based on the company’s latest 96-layer TLC or QLC 3D NAND memory. But short of tearing it apart, this is hard to confirm.For the moment the new 1 TB microSD card is available directly from Western Digital for $449.99. But eventually the product will hit regular retail stores too.Related Reading:
KLEVV Cras X RGB: Up to DDR4-4266, Coming at Computex
KLEVV, a partner business of SK Hynix, has always been rather conservative when it comes to speed bins of its memory modules for gamers and overclockers, partly because the most popular volume models are still in the DDR4-3000 to DDR4-3600 range. This is going to change sometimes later this year when the company launches its new models of Cras X RGB modules.First introduced at Computex 2018, KLEVV’s Cras X RGB family of memory modules for enthusiasts included 8 GB and 16 GB DIMMs rated for DDR4-3200 CL16 18-18-38 as well as DDR4-3466 CL17 19-19-39 at 1.35V operation. At this year’s Computex later this month the company will launch faster versions of its Cras X RGB modules.The expanded family of Cras X RGB memory sticks will include DDR4-3600, DDR4-4000, and DDR4-4266 models. The DDR4-3600 speed bin will be compatible both with AMD Ryzen as well as Intel Core platforms, whereas the DDR4-4000 and DDR4-4200 speed bins will be aimed primarily at Intel-based PCs.KLEVV does not say which SK Hynix’s memory chips the new modules will use, but indicates that they will be equipped with its signature black heatsink and RGB lighting that can be controlled using software from ASUS, ASRock, GIGABYTE, and MSI.Launching faster DDR4 modules now makes a great sense for Klevv. On the one hand, enthusiasts today want faster memory as they upgrade to six-core or eight-core CPUs. On the other hand, faster modules are sold at higher MSRPs, which is important for DRAM makers as prices of DDR4 memory dropped significantly in the recent quarters and it is crucial for manufacturers to maintain their ASPs and profitability.Related Reading:
Corning Unveils Astra Glass for 8K Monitors
Corning has introduced its new glass substrate that was developed specially for mid-to-large-size displays featuring a high pixel density. Corning’s Astra Glass takes into account not only high resolutions, but also process technologies used to make displays featuring high refresh rates, deep colors, and other attributes of next-generation desktop and mobile monitors.Display cover glasses serve numerous purposes. Apart from protecting the screens themselves, their surfaces also affect their reflectivity, brightness, and accuracy of their color reproduction (as to some degree even work as color filters). Since all materials have a different crystal lattice, their physical properties (transparency, reflectivity, etc.) vary greatly. Considering the fact that screen technologies evolve, so should their cover glasses.Corning believes that next generations of mid-to-large-size monitors that feature resolutions like 8K (7680×4320) will require a thermally and dimensionally stable glass that can enable desired characteristics and ensure good yields. This is where Corning’s Astra Glass comes into play. It is compatible with a variety of high-performance LCD panels, including amorphous silicon (a-Si) and IGZO oxide.
Lenovo Announces ThinkReality A6 AR Headset
Lenovo has unveiled its new family of AR headsets designed primarily for business applications. Lenovo’s ThinkReality head mounted displays will feature software and hardware developed by Lenovo for workers who can take advantage of AR in various industries.
Samsung Reveals Galaxy S10 5G Launch Dates in the UK
Samsung has announced launch dates for its Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in the UK. The handset will be available for pre-order a week from now and will ship to customers in early June. The flagship phone from Samsung will be sold by two local operators and the company website.
Samsung Samples 32 Gb DDR4 Memory Chips
Samsung recently began sampling of its DDR4 memory chips featuring a 32 Gb capacity. The new products will simplify production of high-capacity memory modules that use multiple DRAM packages.
Arm Announces Mali D77 Display Processor: Facilitating AR & VR
Display processors usually aren’t really much a common topic in the press and only few companies actually do advertise the capabilities beyond a simple mention of the maximum resolution. As the ecosystem evolves, there’s however an increasing amount of new features added into the mix that adds more nuances to the discussion that go beyond resolution, colour depth or gamut.Two years ago, we saw the release of Arm’s new Mali-D71 display processor which represented a branch new architecture and foundation for the company upcoming DP IP blocks. The D71 brought to market the brunt feature requirements to drive most of today’s higher resolution or higher framerate displays, along with providing robust and smart composition capabilities.Today’s announcement covers the new D77 which is an evolutionary upgrade to the D71. The new IP generation brings new features that go beyond one would normally expect of a display processor, expanding its capabilities, and in particular enables the new block to open up a slew of new possibilities for AR and VR use-cases.
Cadence Announces Tensilica Vision Q7 DSP
Last year we saw the announcement of Cadence’s Tensilica Q6 DSP IP which promised a new architecture that brings integration between vision DSP workloads and new optimised machine learning inferencing workloads. The addition of “AI” capabilities to existing DSP architectures bridges the gap between existing IP blocks such as CPUs or GPUs and more specialised dedicated inferencing IP blocks such as Cadence’s own Tensilica DNA100 block.Today’s announcement is an evolution of last year’s Q6, further progressing the capabilities we saw introduced in the new architecture and enabling more performance, better density and better power efficiency.Over the next few years Cadence sees significant growth opportunity for the vision DSP market, with the overall image sensor market growing at a rate of ~12% CAGR till 2025. Naturally those image sensors will need corresponding image processing power behind them in order to transform the raw image data into something meaningful. Particularly the automotive sector is projected to boom enormously in this regard with a continuous annual 36% growth rate, thanks to the projected need for dozens of sensors in future cars.However the growth isn’t solely facilitated by the automotive sector. The mobile and smartphone sector is still projected to be the biggest market, and here growth opportunity is facilitated by the new trend of employing more and more camera modules in smartphones, something that over the last year in particular has become exceedingly evident. Other markets for opportunity are AR/VR headsets which also are projected to require a large numbers of cameras which will need image processing.Here’s where the new Tensilica Q7 DSP comes into play. The IP is relatively straightforward in what it brings compared to its predecessor, and that could be summed up as a 2x increase in its performance capabilities.The new architecture has had new ISA instructions for better acceleration of SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping) which is a cornerstone for new AR applications such as Google Lens.The important aspect of the new IP is that it is fully backwards compatible with existing P6 and Q6 software, which means that vendors who have invested in software do not need to rewrite their algorithms from scratch in order to take advantage of the new performance boosts.Alongside other improvements in the iDMA of the architecture, such as improved bandwidth enabled through microarchitectural changes and data compression, Cadence put emphasis on ISO26262 requirements which dictate functional safety standards for road vehicles – a must have if the IP is to be employed in the automotive sector.As mentioned, Cadence has doubled up on the processing units compared to the Q6, resulting in a new a new 512 8-bit MAC engine as well as doubling up the floating point capabilities. Cadence quotes a peak performance of 1.82 TOPs in 8-bit operations, which would result in a frequency of around 1.77GHz which is a natural progression from the peak 1.5GHz we were presented last year with the Q6.One of the most interesting aspects of the new IP is how Cadence was able to achieve all this and what it means for the area and power efficiency of the block. In fact, Cadence doesn’t expect the new generation to be any bigger than the Q6, and the increase in performance and introduction of more execution units came at very little area cost. Cadence was able to optimise the microarchitecture as such that the new Q7 promises a doubling of GMAC and GFLOPs per mm², which is quite the feat for any IP vendor. Power efficiency gains are also in line with the performance gains, and the company expects a similar 1.7x increase in perf/W.Cadence envisions customers to be able to lay out multiple Q7 blocks alongside each other for performance scaling, and naturally the IP would also be a great fit to put alongside the DNA 100 neural network processor.Overall, the new IP is a fairly straightforward progression from its predecessor, with a focus on improving the important PPA metrics of the architecture. The IP is said to be ready for general licensing availability in Q2 (this quarter).Related Reading:
The ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S Motherboard: An 8-Phase Board With M.2 For $118
In a relatively quiet launch, ASRock has added another model to its Phantom Gaming series of motherboards: the new ATX sized ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S. The Z390 Phantom Gaming 4S represents a modest entry-level offering onto the chipset with a single M.2 slot, six SATA ports, and a 1 GbE NIC.
The Team Group MP34 512GB SSD Review: Refining Phison's NVMe Workhorse
Team Group's MP34 is a high-end NVMe SSD based on the familiar combination of the Phison E12 controller and Toshiba 3D TLC, but the price drops enabled by the current oversupply of flash memory and Team's decision to offer a shorter warranty period makes the MP34 an affordable drive that is helping push NVMe SSDs further into the mainstream.
Samsung Announces 3nm GAA MBCFET PDK, Version 0.1
So what comes after 7nm, after 6nm, after 5nm, and after 4nm? That's right: 3nm! At Samsung's Foundry Forum event today, Samsung has announced that the first alpha version of its Product Design Kit for its first 3nm process is now ready for customers. What makes this announcement special is that 3nm is the intersection point where Samsung intends to introduce the next generation of Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology that will replace FinFETs.
Dell’s 75-Inch 4K Display with Multitouch: A Rival for Microsoft Surface Hub
Dell has started sales of its 75-inch 4K monitor supporting multi-touch capabilities, and combined the device with a set of interactive features. The new Dell 75 4K Interactive Touch Monitor is designed to enable interactive work by groups of people and could therefore compete against Microsoft’s Surface Hub product series.Dell’s 75-inch 4K Interactive Touch Monitor (C7520QT) uses an IPS panel featuring a 3840x2560 resolution and an ‘InGlass’ touch surface supporting up to 20 touch points simultaneously. Other characteristics of the display are in line with general office LCDs: it has a 350 nits brightness, a 1200:1 contrast ratio, 178-degrees viewing angles, a 8 ms response time, and so on.The monitor supports a rather massive number of input ports, including one DisplayPort 1.2, a D-Sub (VGA), and three HDMI 2.0 connectors. In addition, the 4K Interactive Touch Monitor has an Ethernet, a quad-port USB 3.0 Type-A hub, a serial port, and 20 W speakers.Since the Dell 75-inch 4K Interactive Touch Monitor is only a display, not a complete PC like Microsoft’s Surface Hub, it can be used with any PC providing some additional flexibility. Meanwhile the company offers its OptiPlex Micro PC that can be integrated into the display. The company also has a special display manager utility to control the LCD.Dell’s 75-inch 4K Interactive Touch Monitor is currently available in Japan for ¥598,000 ($5,457) without taxes. Earlier this year Dell said that the C7520QT will be available in the USA this Spring starting at $5,999.99.Related Reading
Samsung to End B-Die DDR4: The Overclockers' Favorite
For many years leading DRAM module manufacturers have used Samsung’s B-die 8 Gb memory chips for their fastest and most advanced DIMMs. This quarter Samsung intends to discontinue production of B-die, forcing its partners to find a worthy replacement.According to Samsung’s most recent Product Guide, the company will EOL its B-die 8 Gb memory chips in Q2 2019. It is not particularly clear when exactly Samsung ceases to make its legendary memory chips, but it looks like it is time for companies like Corsair or G.Skill to stock pile B-die ICs for existing DDR4-4000 and faster kits.Samsung will continue to produce C-die and D-die 8 Gb memory chips using its 10 nm-class process technologies. Officially rated for DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3600 speed bins, these ICs have been in production since 2016 and 2017 respectively. By now, these memory devices have to be mature enough for high-end memory modules, but far not all makers of DIMMs use them for leading-edge products. Also their overclockability beyond those speeds pales in comparison to B-die.It is worth noting that in the same document, Samsung has listed its 16 Gb A-dies memory devices made using a 10 nm-class process technology that are used to build high-capacity 32 GB UDIMMs and other memory modules required for servers and workstations.We have reached out to makers of memory modules to find out which memory chips will replace Samsung’s legendary B-die memory chips on high-end modules. We are yet to receive their responses. These products will not disappear overnight, but it looks like their days are numbered.Related Reading
Lenovo Unveils ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2: New CPU, GPU, OLED Display Option
Lenovo has introduced its second-generation ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop for performance demanding professionals. It comes equipped with a faster CPU and GPU when compared to the current generation 15.6-inch notebook. In addition, the new machine may be equipped with an OLED display.The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 comes in the same chassis as the first-generation machine introduced last summer, but its internals have been completely changed. The new ThinkPad X1 Extreme is based on up to Intel’s 9 Gen Core i9 processor that is paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1650 in a Max-Q design. The notebook can be equipped with up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory, and up to two M.2-2280 NVMe SSDs (of up to 4 TB capacity in total).The new ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 will be available with multiple 15.6-inch display options that include a 4K OLED screen with multi-touch support. To offer premium multimedia experience, the upcoming ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is also equipped with Dolby Atmos-badged speakers.Just like other modern laptops, the new ThinkPad X1 Extreme supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A, HDMI, GbE, and other modern interfaces.Lenovo does not disclose other details about the laptop since it is a couple of months away and not all the details have been finalized. Based on its looks and similarity with the original ThinkPad X1 Extreme, we are talking about a mobile PC featuring a sub-2 cm z-height and weight of around 1.7 kg (3.76 pounds), but these are preliminary numbers.Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 laptop will be available starting at $1,499.99 in July 2019.Related Reading
OnePlus Teases the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G: Seven Pro + 5G Later This Year
Alongside their new OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro smartphones, OnePlus also used their UK event this afternoon to tease their first 5G-capable smartphone: the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. The handset will be one of the first 5G smartphones to hit the UK market later this year. Surprisingly, the device is not bigger than 4G phones from OnePlus, a feature that the manufacturer is very proud of.Building off of the already capable OnePlus 7 Pro, the 5G variant of the phone adds Qualcomm's discrete Snapdragon X50 5G modem to the mix, giving the phone 5G capabilities on top of its baseline 3G/4G capabilities. As today's reveal was a teaser, OnePlus isn't going too deep into technical specifications here, particularly on sub-6GHz vs. mmWave bands. But as Andrei noted in his live blog, the Snapdragon X50 doesn't support European mmWave bands anyhow, so we're looking at just Sub-6GHz support for the UK-focused phone.Supporting just Sub-6GHz would also simplify the design of the phone a bit, which would help explain one of the tricks OnePlus used to avoid enlarging the phone to add 5G support. Typically, 5G phones are larger than 4G handsets because of antennas and other peculiarities. OnePlus says that its 5G smartphone uses its own antenna as well as a stacked PCB that enabled it to build a relatively compact 5G handset.Other than 5G support, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is for all practical purposes a 5G-enabled variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro, with all the features and capabilities. This means the phone is outfitted with a 6.67-inch AMOLED display featuring a 3120x1440 resolution and a 90 Hz refresh rate. Internally, the phone is driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC, paired with up to 12 GB of LPDDR4X RAM as well as up to 256 GB of NAND flash storage. And for camera capabilities, the 5G phone comes equipped with a triple-module camera featuring a 48 MP main sensor, a 8 MP telephoto sensor, and a 16 MP wide sensor, as well as a pop-up camera for selfies.OnePlus will start selling the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G later this year, though it looks like the launch is still a bit off, as the company isn't disclosing a launch date or pricing. The handset will be available from EE that will launch 5G networks later this year in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham.Related Reading:
OnePlus Announces The OnePlus 7 & OnePlus 7 Pro: Upping The Ante
We’ve been with OnePlus since the One back in 2014. Over the years we’ve seen the company’s products have a large impact on the industry and particularly with the enthusiast community, delivering extremely solid products at extremely competitive price-points. Although most users will view the company’s smartphones as products focusing on delivering value, the truth is that over the years as OnePlus iterated with every new generation, it moved up in terms of both product quality as well as pricing.This upwards shift in quality has been especially visible last year in the OnePlus 6. The phone was a major iteration for the company and the new design language as well as industrial design really stepped things up. Both the OnePlus 6 and 6T refresh ended up as among the best devices in 2018.Today, OnePlus announces the new OnePlus 7 as well as the OnePlus 7 Pro. While the OnePlus 7 is a generational hardware refresh, the new OnePlus 7 Pro represents a new ultra-premium tier for the company and really ups the ante in terms of offering a top-of-the-line flagship device.
OnePlus 7 Series Launch in London: A Live Blog (Starts 3pm UTC / 4pm BST)
Today OnePlus is launching the new OnePlus 7 at simultaneous events around the world - we're live from the European London venue. Rumours have been floating around that OnePlus is launching two devices this year. Stay tuned as we'll be covering the keynote as it progresses and add our commentary.
AMD To Host “Next Horizon Gaming” Event & Product Unveil at E3 2019: June 10th, 3pm PT
After taking a break from the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo for a few years, AMD is going to be returning to one of their own haunts. This morning the company is announcing that they will be holding a gaming-focused event at next month’s show, where the company is promising to “unveil the next generation of AMD gaming products.” And, as always, the June 10 keynote will be live streamed, ensuring that no one has an excuse for missing AMD’s latest announcements.As is typical for these event announcements, AMD is playing their (video) cards close to their proverbial chest. The short announcement for the Next Horizon Gaming event notes that the showcase will present “upcoming products and technologies that will power gaming from PC to console to cloud for years to come,” with no further details on what will be presented. Historically however, AMD has preferred to use E3 for video card announcements and teases, as was the case in 2015 and 2016 with the Radeon R9 Fury X and Radeon RX 470 & 460 respectively.Along those lines, according to AMD’s most recent public roadmaps, the company expects to launch their first Navi architecture GPU in Q3 of this year. So while June is going to be a bit too early for a hard product launch according to that roadmap, it may be that the company is intending to unveil some information on specific products and the Navi architecture. This would be very similar to what AMD did for the Radeon R9 Fury X launch, which had a Q3 (July) launch date.What’s less obvious, however, is how AMD is going to stagger out their product announcements between E3 and Computex. With a mere two weeks between the shows and keynotes scheduled for both, AMD will want something important for both shows. So whether this means AMD splits up the shows based on CPU/GPU or client/gaming subjects remains to be seen – though it would be unusual for AMD to use E3 to make a major CPU announcement.As for the event itself, unlike the 2015/2016 events, AMD isn’t splitting the bill with the PC Gaming show, which the company pulled out of in 2017. Instead this is going to be an AMD-exclusive event, so hopefully it will be a more focused affair than AMD’s past efforts. Though make no mistake, this is an E3 keynote rather than a technical presentation – complete with host Geoff Keighley – so while Dr. Lisa Su is presenting, expect to see AMD playing to the E3 crowd who are just getting out of the Ubisoft keynote.For remote attendees, AMD will be streaming the Next Horizon Gaming event through their YouTube channel. Meanwhile AMD is also opening the doors to the local public, who can register to attend starting today. The keynote itself kicks off Monday, June 10 at 3pm Pacific (22:00 UTC).Finally, AMD this week has also confirmed its Computex streaming plans. The previously announced CEO Keynote will be streamed via AMD’s Computex website. That presentation starts on May 27 at 10am Taipei Standard Time (02:00 UTC; or May 26 at 7pm Pacific).
The Lenovo ThinkCentre Nano M90N: When Small Is Beautiful
People today want larger displays. Yet here comes a problem: the amount of space on the desk is finite, so there is a need for smaller desktop PCs and here is where Lenovo’s new ThinkCentre Nano M90N comes into play. In fact, the manufacturer calls it the world’s smallest commercial desktop.Measuring like a large chocolate bar, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Nano M90N is based on a mobile platform supporting today’s key I/O interfaces, including Wi-Fi, GbE, DisplayPort, USB Type-A (3x), USB Type-C (2x), and a 3.5-mm connector for headsets. The PC was announced today yet we do not know its pricing, nor does Lenovo publish more detailed specifications of the hardware, but since today's mobile platforms feature pretty decent specs, the ThinkCentre Nano M90N should offer performance of a good notebook PC.Being a Lenovo Think-badged device, the ThinkCentre Nano M90N comes in a signature black plus red chassis. Looking rather stylish, the unit can be placed behind a display to save precious space on the desk. Obviously, it can be placed anywhere given its dimensions.In addition to the ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano IoT, Lenovo also announced its M90n Nano IoT version featuring extended temperature ranges and coming in a chassis featuring a better cooling.Related Reading:
Biostar Unveils Its X570 Racing GT8 Motherboard: PCIe Gen 4, DDR4-4000 and Triple M.2
It what seems to be an inadvertent move, Biostar has released information about its upcoming X570 Racing GT8 motherboard ahead of AMD's unveiling of the new X570 chipset. This announcement highlights certain specifications surrounding the X570 chipset and the X570 Racing GT8 itself including PCIe Gen 4, and support for high speed DDR4-4000 DDR4 memory.
Intel Memory Plans: No New NAND Capacity, Wants to Move 3D XPoint Production to China
Like the rest of NAND flash industry, Intel is not particularly happy with oversupply on the market and decreasing prices. The company already said that it would reduce NAND production this year, and last week as part of Intel's invenstor announcements, CO Bob Swan confirmed that the manufacturer would also not build up any additional NAND capacity in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, coming off the heels of its IMFT divorce with Micron, the company is making plans to move production of 3D XPoint/Optane memory to its Chinese fab.
Cooler Master Launches the Compact SK621 Wireless Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard
Back at CES 2019, Cooler Master unveiled three new and interesting wireless mechanical keyboards that would be launching later this year. Now the company is finally starting things off with the launch of the first of these keyboards, the SK621, an ultra-compact 60% sized keyboard based around Cherry MX low profile switches. And, as it turns out, this is also Cooler Master's first-ever wireless Bluetooth mechanical keyboard.
SK Hynix Begins Sampling of 96-Layer 1 Tb 3D QLC NAND
SK Hynix recently started sampling of its 1 Tb 96-layer NAND flash memory devices featuring its PUC 3D QLC architecture. The new 1 Tb chip will enable SSD makers to build ultra-high density drives featuring leading-edge performance. Silicon Motion has already started development of turn-key SSDs featuring the new type of memory, whereas SK Hynix itself is working on its own datacenter drives based on QLC. SSDs using the new devices will be available sometimes next year.
Upgrading from an Intel Core i7-2600K: Testing Sandy Bridge in 2019
One of the most popular processors of the last decade has been the Intel Core i7-2600K. The design was revolutionary, as it offered a significant jump in single core performance, efficiency, and the top line processor was very overclockable. With the next few generations of processors from Intel being less exciting, or not giving users reasons to upgrade, and the phrase 'I'll stay with my 2600K' became ubiquitous on forums, and is even used today. For this review, we dusted off our box of old CPUs and put it in for a run through our 2019 benchmarks, both at stock and overclocked, to see if it is still a mainstream champion.
AMD Releases Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q2: Gaming Driver Support for Radeon Pro
AMD this week has released their Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q2 WHQL, bringing support for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update due later this month, as well as Windows Server 2019. More notably, the software package brings even more prosumer versatility, as Radeon Pro cards are now able to access Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition and its day-0 game optimizations.Where the previous 19.Q1 release announced limited Radeon Pro Software compatibility for certain Radeon consumer cards, today's 19.Q2 returns the favor, with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition now supporting Radeon Pro cards. This feature supplants the existing "Driver Options" feature, and the optimal use-case of both playing and developing games goes hand-in-hand with AMD's prosumer-oriented Radeon VII. Though to note, Radeon Pro cards running on Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition will have limited-to-no access to consumer gaming features, with Enhanced Sync, WattMan, Chill, Overlay and performance monitoring among the inaccessible features. Instead, the software will still keep the Pro UI and support for workstation features, but naturally the driver will not have the ever-important professional ISV certifications.Elsewhere, Radeon Pro ReLive now has streaming support, while the interface has some ease-of-use additions: a Help Center button linking to the Radeon Pro Software Help Center, and Driver Subscription for news. Coming soon is Driver Auto-Detect to automatically downloads and install the latest updates. More on enterprise matters, their Day Zero Certification Program has continued for professional ISV software, now with over 750 application certifications since the initiative started in November 2018.In terms of performance improvements, AMD compares their Radeon Pro Software Enterprise to NVIDIA's Quadro Optimal Driver for Enterprise, looking at an internal Solidworks test, a multi-tasking test of SPECviewperf 13 “medical-02” with Prime95 CPU “stress test” in the background, OCUS v6.2 for PTC Creo, and SPECapc for Siemens NX 10.0.Additionally, this week also saw the release of Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q2 for Linux.Bugfixes and Resolved IssuesAs expected, 19.Q2 also comes with fixes for the following issues:
Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC UHS-I 512GB Memory Card Capsule Review
As content capture devices are recording ever-higher bitrate videos and higher resolution photos, high capacity memory cards are increasingly in demand. Everything from smartphones to game consoles to PCs use memory cards in some fashion or another, and storage needs are having no trouble keeping up with gains in storage capacity. And, with microSD cards having largely dominated the memory card market, advances here are largely setting the pace for the industry from a consumer point of view.In our series of memory card reviews, we recently looked at the PNY Elite microSDXC UHS-I 512GB and the SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I 400GB cards. Today, we are adding the performance numbers of Samsung's play in that market segment - the Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC UHS-I 512GB.
Lenovo's ThinkPad X395: A 13.3-Inch AMD Ryzen Pro-Based Ultraportable
Long one of AMD's closest and most eager laptop partners, Lenovo has introduced one of the industry’s first Ryzen Pro 3000-powered ultra-portable premium business laptops. The ThinkPad X395 features a 13.3-inch display, weighs around 1.28 kilograms, and promises a battery life of up to 14.5 hours.
Corsair Releases The New Ironclaw RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse
Adding to their ever-growing range of PC gaming peripherals, Corsair has unveiled its Ironclaw RGB wireless gaming mouse. Similar to its predecessor, the Ironclaw RGB, the new wireless variant adds its Slipstream Wireless technology and features an 18,000 dpi optical sensor.
SMART Modular Announces 32 GB SO-DIMMs for Extreme Environments
SMART Modular has introduced the industry’s first industrial-grade 32 GB DDR4 SO-DIMMs. The memory modules are aimed at ruggedized computing applications that require top-of-the-line capacity modules with improved reliability.
Samsung Unveils 64 MP & 48 MP ISOCELL Bright Image Sensors for Smartphones
Samsung has introduced two new 0.8-μm image sensors for use in upcoming smartphones. The new sensors are the 48 MP ISOCELL Bright GM2 for advanced handsets as well as the 64 MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 for flagship phones. Both 0.8-μm image sensors not only feature very high resolutions via use of very small pixels, but they support a number of technologies designed to improve image quality.
Intel Xeon Update: Ice Lake and Cooper Lake Sampling, Faster Future Updates
Emerging workloads will require considerably higher performance, and in order to solve upcoming challenges Intel has adjusted its product roadmaps quite significantly. One of the key things that Intel confirmed during its Investor Meeting event this week is shortening its Xeon introduction cadence from 18-24 months down to 12-15 months, thus accelerating its server CPU roadmap.
Behind The Scenes: SSD Testing In 2019 With Quarch's HD Power Module
Every so often we are asked for more behind-the-scenes information on how we test products. So now that we've completed some updates to our SSD testing workflow – thanks to a new programmable power module from Quarch – we're going to do just that, and give you a quick peek into our 2019 SSD testing setup. With our latest update, we're now able take more accurate measurements of M.2 SSD power draw than ever before, improving our ability to test power-hungry M.2 drives as well as drives that need to be tested with laptops.
Intel Details Manufacturing through 2023: 7nm, 7+, 7++, with Next Gen Packaging
At Intel's Investor Day today, CEO Bob Swan and Murthy Renduchintala spoke to the ability of the company with respect to its manufacturing capabilities. Intel has historically been strong in its ability to execute on its process technology, however the delay of its 10nm process has obviously raised multiple question marks, and has done for several years. The two Intel executives went into a little detail about what Intel was doing in the interim, and how it has learned from the issues.