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AMD Unleashes First-Ever 5 GHz Processor

AMD today unveiled its most powerful member of the legendary AMD FX family of CPUs, the world's first commercially available 5 GHz CPU processor, the AMD FX-9590. These 8-core CPUs deliver new levels of gaming and multimedia performance for desktop enthusiasts. AMD FX-9000 Series CPUs will be available initially in PCs through system integrators.

"At E3 this week, AMD demonstrated why it is at the core of gaming," said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Products Division at AMD. "The new FX 5 GHz processor is an emphatic performance statement to the most demanding gamers seeking ultra-high resolution experiences including AMD Eyefinity technology. This is another proud innovation for AMD in delivering the world's first commercially available 5 GHz processor."

Intel Unleashes 4th Generation Core Processor Family

Intel announced its much anticipated 4th generation Core processor family, codenamed "Haswell." The company launched as many as eight desktop retail processor models, all of which are quad-core, and spread across the Core i7 and Core i5 families. Leading the pack is the Core i7-4770K, which fully utilizes the 1.4 billion-transistor silicon, including four x86-64 cores with HyperThreading enabling eight logical CPUs, a new-generation HD Graphics 4600 core with 20 execution units, 8 MB of L3 cache, a dual-channel integrated memory controller supporting up to 32 GB of high-frequency DDR3 memory, and a 20-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex. The chip features unlocked base-clock multiplier, three BClk ratios, and iVR (integrated VRM).

The i7-4770K features 3.50 GHz clocks, and 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost. It is priced around US $350 in most stores. A variant without the unlocked base-clock multiplier and 3.40 GHz clocks, the Core i7-4770, is being sold around $320. An energy-efficient version of this chip, the Core i7-4770S, is priced around $310, it lacks unlocked BClk multiplier, and is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with the same 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost. While the other two feature 84W TDP, the i7-4770S features 65W.

AMD Launches the AMD Opteron X-Series Family of Microserver Processors

AMD today unveiled a new family of low power server processors: the AMD Opteron X-Series optimized for scale-out server architectures. The first AMD Opteron X-Series processors, formerly known as "Kyoto," are the highest density, most power-efficient small core x86 processors ever built. The new X1150 and X2150 processors beat the top performing Intel Atom processor on key performance benchmarks, including single thread and throughput performance with superior power-efficiency, twice the cores and L2 cache with a more advanced pipeline architecture, higher integration and support for up to 32 gigabytes of DRAM -- 4x more than the Intel Atom processor.

The AMD Opteron X-Series processors come in two variants. The AMD Opteron X2150, which consumes as little as 11 watts, is the first server APU system-on-a-chip integrating CPU and GPU engines with a high-speed bus on a single die. This enables customers to take advantage of leading-edge AMD Radeon HD 8000 graphics technology for multimedia-oriented server workloads. The AMD Opteron X1150, which consumes as little as 9 watts, is a CPU-only version optimized for general scale-out workloads.

Xbox One Chip Slower Than PlayStation 4

After bagging chip supply deals for all three new-generation consoles -- Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U, things are looking up for AMD. While Wii U uses older-generation hardware technologies, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 use the very latest AMD has to offer -- "Jaguar" 64-bit x86 CPU micro-architecture, and Graphics CoreNext GPU architecture. Chips that run the two consoles have a lot in common, but also a few less-than-subtle differences.

PlayStation 4 chip, which came to light this February, is truly an engineer's fantasy. It combines eight "Jaguar" 64-bit x86 cores clocked at 1.60 GHz, with a fairly well spec'd Radeon GPU, which features 1,156 stream processors, 32 ROPs; and a 256-bit wide unified GDDR5 memory interface, clocked at 5.50 GHz. At these speeds, the system gets a memory bandwidth of 176 GB/s. Memory isn't handled like UMA (unified memory architecture), there's no partition between system- and graphics-memory. The two are treated as items on the same 8 GB of memory, and either can use up a majority of it.

AMD Amplifies the Mobile Experience

AMD today launched three new additions to its 2013 A-Series and E-Series Mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) lineup -- delivering solutions ideally positioned to address today's evolving PC market with dramatically increased performance and power efficiency, as well as a portfolio of unique user experiences, and superior gaming and graphics:
  • The 2013 AMD Elite Mobility APU (formerly codenamed "Temash") -- the world's first 28nm, quad-core x86 system-on-a-chip (SoC) APU designed for touch small form-factor notebooks, tablets, and hybrids 13-inches and below;
  • The 2013 AMD Mainstream APU (formerly codenamed "Kabini") -- the first and only quad-core x86 SoC solution for entry-level and small-form factor touch notebooks;
  • New, low power versions of the 2013 AMD Elite Performance APU (formerly codenamed "Richland") -- offer the best graphics and compute in a performance APU for premium ultrathin notebooks.

Innodisk Releases World's First Industrial-Embedded SATA µSSD - nanoSSD

Innodisk, a designer and manufacturer of SSDs for commercial and industrial applications, announces a release of the industrial-embedded industry's first SATA device in accordance to SATA µSSD standards - nanoSSD.

Through the integration of a control chip, flash memory and peripheral power components into a single ball grid array (BGA) package, Innodisk has managed to reduce the size of the nanoSSD to approximately 1% the size of a 2.5" SSD. With dimensions of only 16 x 20 x 2 mm (WxLxH), a weight of only 1.5g, SATA III support, capacities ranging from 4 to 64 GB and both x86 and ARM compatibility, nanoSSD can be incorporated into a wide variety of applications where a small form-factor and high transfer rates are important, including industrial mobile devices, embedded systems, tablets, high-end smart phones and Ultrabooks.

AMD Richland Desktop APUs Pictured, Coming This June

Desktop variants of AMD "Richland" APUs in the socket FM2 package, will arrive this June. Three of the first models to be released to the market, the A10-6800K, the A10-6700, and the A4-4400, could already be in stock with certain retailers, and were pictured. The A10-6800K (AD680KWOA44HL) features four x86-64 cores based on the "Piledriver" micro-architecture, 4.10 GHz core clock speed, 4.40 GHz maximum Turbo Core frequency, and Radeon HD 8670D graphics, clocked at 844 MHz. It features an unlocked base-clock multiplier.

The A10-6700 (AD6700OKA44HL) features the same graphics core as the A10-6800K, but features 3.70 GHz CPU clock speed, 4.30 GHz maximum Turbo Core frequency, and an upwards locked base-clock multiplier. The A4-4400 (AD4400OKA23HL), on the other hand, is an entry-level dual-core chip with 3.70 GHz core, 3.90 GHz Turbo Core, and Radeon HD 8370D graphics.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

AMD Reports 2013 First Quarter Results

AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2013 of $1.09 billion, an operating loss of $98 million and a net loss of $146 million, or $0.19 per share. The company reported a non-GAAP operating loss of $46 million and a non-GAAP net loss of $94 million, or $0.13 per share.

"Our first quarter results reflect our disciplined operational execution in a difficult market environment," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. "We have largely completed our restructuring and are now focused on delivering a powerful set of new products that will accelerate our business in 2013. We will continue to diversify our portfolio and attack high-growth markets like dense server, ultra low-power client, embedded and semi-custom solutions to create the foundation for sustainable financial returns."

Thecus Announces the Intelligent N2520 (2-bay) and N4520 (4-bay) NAS

Thecus releases an all new 2-bay N2520 and 4-bay N4520 NAS server to lead the competition. The latest 2 and 4 bay NAS are designed to offer a revolutionary experience to the NAS industry. It utilizes the latest Intel Atom processor with 1GB RAM (N2520) and 2GB RAM (N4520). In addition, superspeed USB 3.0 fosters quick transfers, HDMI output is convenient for multimedia playback and McAfee Antivirus protection is to keep your NAS operating smoothly. The past proves merit; innovative technologies have been utilized to develop the new N2520/N4520 NAS to serve one single purpose: improve user experience and satisfaction.

"The integration of the new Intel Atom processor CE5315 and Thecus award-winning NAS is truly a revolution. We are proud to be the initial storage manufacture to embed Intel's first SoC storage dedicated chip, said Florence Shih, General Manager of Thecus. This pairing is phenomenal because it offers a new energy efficient, multimedia powerhouse and performance driven NAS solution to the storage industry."

AMD Working On Stripped-Down PlayStation 4 SoC for PCs

Ahead of its unveiling last week, it was expected that Sony's PlayStation 4 console would be driven by little more than an AMD A-Series "Trinity" APU. It ended up being a lot more than that. The custom-design SoC that drives the next-generation console is a joint effort between AMD and Sony, which integrates an 8-core x86-64 CPU based on the company's new "Jaguar" micro-architecture; a GPU based on its Graphics CoreNext technology; a GDDR5 integrated memory controller, and certain enhancements by Sony. In an interview with The Inquirer, the company hinted that it's interested in porting the SoC over to the PC platform, minus Sony's share of the development.

AMD "Jaguar" Micro-architecture Takes the Fight to Atom with AVX, SSE4, Quad-Core

AMD hedged its low-power CPU bets on the "Bobcat" micro-architecture for the past two years now. Intel's Atom line of low-power chips caught up in power-efficiency, CPU performance, to an extant iGPU performance, and recent models even feature out-of-order execution. AMD unveiled its next-generation "Jaguar" low-power CPU micro-architecture for APUs in the 5W - 25W TDP range, targeting everything from tablets to entry-level notebooks, and nettops.

At its presentation at the 60th ISSC 2013 conference, AMD detailed "Jaguar," revealing a few killer features that could restore the company's competitiveness in the low-power CPU segment. To begin with, APUs with CPU cores based on this micro-architecture will be built on TSMC's 28-nanometer HKMG process. Jaguar allows for up to four x86-64 cores. The four cores, unlike Bulldozer modules, are completely independent, and only share a 2 MB L2 cache.

Gigabyte Intros E350N WIN8 Mini-ITX Motherboard

Gigabyte rolled out a new mini-ITX motherboard based on the AMD E350 "Zacate" APU, for entry-level PC and home-server builds, the E350N-WIN8. As the name might suggest, the board is designed to run Windows 8 with its entire feature set, including Fast Boot. It does that by replacing legacy AwardBIOS on older variants, with modern AMI UEFI, backed by Gigabyte's Dual-UEFI redundant BIOS technology that protects against failed BIOS updates. The E350N WIN8 uses a fairly big (SFF-safe) fan-heatsink to cool the APU, while a tiny heatsink cools its companion A45 FCH chipset.

The AMD E350 packs two x86-64 cores clocked at 1.60 GHz, with a maximum memory support of 16 GB, and AMD Radeon HD 6310D DirectX 11 graphics that rides on 80 stream processors. The APU is wired to two standard-size 240-pin DIMM slots. The lone expansion slot, sadly, is a legacy PCI. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin and 4-pin ATX connectors. Connectivity includes four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, eight USB 2.0/1.1 ports (four on the rear panel, four by headers), serial RS232 (COM) and parallel (LPT) ports, PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors, and display outputs that include D-Sub (VGA) and HDMI (with 7.1-channel digital HD audio). Expect a sub-$100 price point.

Unigine Returns with Two New GPU Benchmark Apps

A little later this week, Unigine Corp. will be announcing two new GPU benchmark apps, the Valley 1.0, and Heaven 4.0. The two apps are cross-platform, in that they support both Windows and Linux (x86/x64). On Windows, the two can max out feature-sets of the latest DirectX 11.x APIs, while on Linux, the two take advantage of the latest OpenGL 4.x. Valley uses an entirely new test scene that's a beautiful springtime depiction of a valley. Distant snow-capped peaks, a treeline, and dense foliage, the scene's got it all, coupled with lighting, and depth of field effects. Definitely something we'd like our GPUs to trip on.

Moving on, Unigine's second benchmark suite for the season is Heaven 4.0, while builds on the current Heaven 3.0 benchmark. It adds SSDO (scene-space dimensional occlusion), improved lens flare, a rendered starscape at night time, GPU temperature and clock monitoring, improved multi-GPU detection, and various bug fixes. The two should be released some time around Thursday (14/02).

Source: Phoronix

AMD Rolls Out Athlon II X2 280 Value Dual-Core Processor

It's not retirement time for AMD's 45 nm "Regor" silicon just yet, with the company announcing the Athlon II X2 280 value dual-core processor. Built in the socket AM3 package (compatible with AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ motherboards), and based on the company's K10.5 micro-architecture, the chip features two x86-64 cores clocked at 3.60 GHz, 1 MB of L2 cache per core (2 MB total), an instruction set that includes SSE3 and SSE4A, and a dual-channel integrated memory controller that supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory types. The chip can take advantage of HyperTransport 3.0 interface, with a maximum data-rate of 4.0 GT/s. It features a rated TDP of 65W, and is designed for entry-level desktops. It is priced at US $49.99.

AMD Names Bernd Lienhard as Corporate VP and General Manager, Client Business

AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today that Bernd Lienhard, 48, has joined the company as corporate vice president and general manager of its Client Business Unit, reporting to Dr. Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, Global Business Units. In his role, Lienhard will apply his 22 years of experience in the semiconductor industry to lead AMD's client business as it expands its product lineup to include differentiated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions targeted at high-growth mobility and traditional client markets.

"A pivotal part of AMD's ability to win in high-growth markets is having the right leadership team in place with a diversity of semiconductor industry knowledge. Bernd's track record and experience translating business strategy into operational execution across large teams makes him the ideal leader for our client business," said Dr. Su. "Bernd's deep background of growth across a wide range of markets will accelerate our client business as we bring our strongest-ever line-up of APUs and first SoCs to market in 2013 and continue our expansion into ultraportable and ultra low-power form factors."

GizmoSphere Launches an AMD APU-based Gizmo Board for Embedded Systems Inventors

AMD today announced that the newly launched Gizmo board, a low-cost board geared toward x86-based embedded system development available from GizmoSphere, is powered by an AMD Embedded G-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). Gizmo is a 4-inch by 4-inch x86 development board that can run a variety of operating systems including Android, Linux, RTOSes and Windows. AMD is a founding member of GizmoSphere, a not-for-profit organization whose collective goal is to drive and enable technology projects of interest to independent developers, with a focus on stimulating and encouraging innovation around multicore heterogeneous computing using APUs.

The Gizmo board includes the G-T40E dual-core processor running at 1.0 GHz, combined on a single die with AMD Radeon HD 6250 discrete-class graphics. The board provides a performance capacity of 52 gigaFLOPS (GFLOPS) at less than 10 watts. Custom high- and low-speed edge connectors enable a full range of functions. This unprecedented level of integration between serial and parallel processing offers a power-efficient foundation for high-performance multimedia content delivery across a broad range of embedded designs such as digital signage, x86 set-top box (xSTB), IP-TV, thin client, information kiosk, point-of-sale, casino gaming, media servers and industrial control systems.

VIA Launches VIA ARMTiGO A800 Pico ITX System

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient computing platforms, today announced the VIA ARMTiGO A800, the world's smallest ARM system for embedded applications, including hotel automation, digital signage and, surveillance as well as for medical and healthcare applications.

Combining an 800MHz Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 SoC with two integrated GPUs, the VIA ARMTiGO A800 delivers robust performance and unbelievable power efficiency, maintaining an average power consumption of a mere 3.14W TDP. With a fanless, ultra-low-profile dustproof design measuring a mere 12.0cm x 12.5cm x 3.0 cm (W x D x H), the VIA ARMTiGO A800 can fit easily into any environment, whether it is behind a monitor or on the wall with a 7.5cm x 7.5cm VESA mount or placed alongside other devices.

AMD "Richland" Desktop APU Lineup Detailed

AMD's A-series "Trinity" line of APUs may have helped make the APU outsell CPUs in 2013, but it won't be long before they're replaced by the new "Richland" A-series APUs for desktops and mainstream notebooks. "Richland" is a tweaked version of "Trinity" which sees AMD stick to the 32 nm process, and retain the "Piledriver" CPU micro-architecture, but increase CPU clock speeds, add a faster DDR3-2133 MHz dual-channel IMC, and integrate a Radeon HD 8000 series Graphics CoreNext iGPU into the silicon. Desktop APU models will take up with A##-6000 series numbering scheme.

The series will be led by AMD A10-6800K, which features every component on the "Richland" silicon unlocked, which includes two "Piledriver" CPU modules amounting to four x86-64 cores, and all stream processors on the iGPU unlocked, with the highest CPU and iGPU clock speeds enabled in the lineup. The iGPU model for this chip is Radeon HD 8670D. The A10-6800K features unlocked multipliers, making overclocking a breeze. Trailing it is the A10-6700, which features all physical components unlocked, but with slightly lower clock speeds, and locked BClk multipler. It features the same iGPU as its bigger sibling, the HD 8670D.

Worldwide PC Microprocessor Revenues in 2013 to Rise 1.6% Compared to 2012

Worldwide revenues for microprocessors designed for mobile PCs, desktop PCs, and PC servers will grow 1.6% to $40.7 billion in 2013 according to a new forecast report from International Data Corporation (IDC). The IDC report, Worldwide PC Microprocessor 2012–2016 Forecast, also forecasts that worldwide unit shipments for PC microprocessors will grow 3.2% to nearly 384 million units in 2013.

"Economic and technological inhibitors that took the PC microprocessor revenue down about 2.4% in 2012 will continue through the first half of 2013," said Shane Rau, vice president for PC and server semiconductor and enabling technologies research at IDC. "Macroeconomic uncertainty has forced OEM and IT customers to reduce orders and focus on execution, and reduce expectations after the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system in late October. Delays in PC purchases caused by Windows 8 and the encroachment of media tablets on low-end PCs have further cut into PC microprocessor demand growth."

VIA Enables Medical OEMs to Take Advantage of Exciting Growth Opportunities in Medica

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient computing platforms, today announced tit enables medical OEMs to take advantage of the exciting growth opportunities in the medical market by offering the widest selection of low-power x86 and ARM based solutions on the market. VIA provides fully customizable application ready platforms together with extended software and firmware services which medical OEMs can leverage for a wide range of medical usage models and applications including ultrasound, diagnostics, POC (Point of Care) terminals, patient monitoring, therapeutic, as well as exercise and fitness equipment.

With a long history as a full-service medical OEM solutions provider to many of the top industry players, VIA provides a robust medical roadmap which includes a full range of COM Express, ETX and QSeven system on modules, embedded mainboards in Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX form factors, and embedded systems based on VIA AMOS and VIA ARTiGO designs, as well as a full line of medical-grade touch displays with the VIA ALMA-3000 series. VIA also offers unparalleled longevity support for increased lifecycle management, support for a wide range of software and board operating systems and support for critical medical standards including UL-60601, EN-60601 and medical QMS (Quality Management System) ISO-13485. This enables customers to deliver products with unique feature-set advantages and a faster time-to-market.

Razer Posts Specs of "Project Fiona" Gaming Tablet

Development of Razer's "Project Fiona" appears to be chugging along. CEO Min-Liang Tan posted its specs that were compiled after a lot of feedback from its Facebook community. The company even used the social networking site to gauge public interest to begin its development.

Project Fiona is an x86 Windows 8-based tablet that's optimized for gaming, with its game controller that latches on to its either sides. According to Razer, we're looking at the following specs:
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 or Core i7
  • GPU: Mid-range discrete GPU, brand not mentioned, should be sufficient for its 720p resolution
  • Size/weight: "about double the weight and thickness of an Apple iPad"
  • Detachable controllers
  • Price: In the neighbourhood of US$1,299-US$1,499

Futuremark Posts New 3DMark "Cloud Gate" Game Test Screenshots

Following last week's reveal of next-generation 3DMark game test "Fire Strike," which is designed to make even the fastest consumer graphics setups sweat, Futuremark revealed screenshots of its second game test, titled "Cloud Gate." Going with Futuremark's "one benchmark for all platforms" strategy, Cloud Gate is designed to test DirectX 10 hardware capabilities. It uses DirectX 11 engine that's limited to feature level10_0. The lighter game test will be able to put notebook GPUs and entry-level DirectX 11 desktop GPUs to test.

Cloud Gate will see Futuremark's artists going back to space-opera mode, something we missed in 3DMark 11. Screenshots reveal what appears to be a giant machine hovering over a moon, with its parent gas-giant in the background. Perhaps it's a terraforming machine? An ion-drive spacecraft scooping up fuel? The test appears to make use of several of D3D10's illumination and bloom effects. In related news, Futuremark told us that the new 3DMark won't make it to the markets this year, and instead it will be launched for Windows PC (x86) platform in January, 2013. The Android, iOS and Windows RT versions will launch after a little more beta testing and approvals from their respective app stores.
More screenshots follow.

AMD Announces Opteron 4300 and 3300 Series Processors

AMD today unveiled nine new mid-range and entry-level AMD Opteron 4300 Series and 3300 Series server processors increasing performance per watt versus the previous generation to maximize compute capabilities in power-constrained environments1, while delivering outstanding value to cloud providers and web hosts. The AMD Opteron 3300 Series processors provide enterprise-class features in a low power envelope at a desktop processor price, making it ideal for web hosts and small- and medium-sized businesses.

The AMD Opteron 4300 Series processors offer up to 15 percent better performance versus the prior generation, based on SPECint benchmark results2. And SPECpower results show up to a 24 percent improvement in performance per watt. As with the AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors, these are socket compatible with the previous generation processor, providing an effortless upgrade path for customers.

ASUS Announces x86 11.6-inch VivoTab Windows 8 Tablet

ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces VivoTab, a thin and light tablet featuring Windows 8. With an MSRP starting from US$799, VivoTab has an 11.6" multi-touch HD display, Wacom digitizer stylus and Intel Atom dual-core processor for an excellent combination of performance and energy efficiency. Its optional Mobile Dock offers increased productivity too, thanks to its full keyboard and a built-in battery that gives up to 19 hours' mobile use.

ASUS VivoTab has a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor with enhanced performance and incredible energy efficiency allowing Windows 8 to run both, the latest software and legacy applications, giving users a wide choice of software for every need. VivoTab's 11.6" multi-touch display has a pin-sharp 1366 x 768 HD resolution with vibrant colors, wide viewing angles and superior outdoor visibility, thanks to the amazing brightness of its Super IPS+ technology. ASUS TruVivid technology enhances image clarity still further by reducing the display thickness, while scratch-resistant Corning Fit glass with anti-fingerprint coating keeps the screen crystal-clear.

Haswell-ULT Processors Could Use 24 MHz BClk, New C-States, and MCM to Cut Power Draw

Going into 2013, Intel's tough balancing act between keeping a low power/thermal envelope, and advancing performance, all while staying on the 22 nm silicon fab process, will be care of its Core "Haswell-ULT" processor. The chip will feature some radical changes to traditional Intel processor design, which will help it achieve its design goals. According to a deck of leaked slides scored by Expreview, Intel plans to use additional C-states that drop the processor's base clock, and redesign the processor package to accommodate the PCH silicon, reducing the board footprint.

To begin with, Haswell-ULT will be designed to support 24 MHz base clock speed, which running in "deep" energy-saving idle states. Modern processors with FSB replacement interconnect technologies such as QuickPath Interconnect and HyperTransport need a base clock to time other components on the processor, and for low-level communications, while a bulk of the data is transported by the primary interconnect. Intel found a way to turn off the 100 MHz base clock signal (which is also used to time the PCI-Express root complex and integrated graphics core), and replace it with a 24 MHz clock, when the processor is idling. As the processor returns to lower (more active) C-states, the 100 MHz base clock is reapplied. The 24 MHz base clock is activated by three new power states, C8, C9, and C10, introduced by Haswell-ULT. The third slide below details what happens to the various components in the new C-states.
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