Friday, July 30th 2021

Today's Reviews

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller (Series X|S) Review

Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller (Series X|S) Review

Microsoft's first-party native support of their Xbox brand has had them bring out relevant hardware and software on Windows as well. The Xbox controller is synonymous with PC gaming today, and we take a look at the latest Xbox wireless controller to compare to previous-generation controllers and the competition.
Redragon M808 Storm Pro Review

Redragon M808 Storm Pro Review

With the Storm Pro, Redragon releases another iteration of the M711 FPS and M808 Storm shape, but this time around, it's wireless. Equipped with PixArt's PAW3335 and weighing 96 g, the M808 Storm Pro is offered for just $36.99.

ASUS Launches ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme Motherboard

ASUS today launched the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Crosshair VIII Extreme motherboard. This would go down as the first "Extreme" tier ROG Crosshair motherboard ever, as the AMD platform was relegated to "Formula" or "Hero" tiers. Built in the E-ATX form-factor, the board is based on the AMD X570 chipset (with fanless chipset cooling), comes with out of the box support for Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer" and Ryzen 5000G "Cezanne" processors, besides all other processor generations supported by the X570. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, and two 8-pin EPS; and uses an 18+2 phase CPU VRM that has 90 A power stages.

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme is loaded to the brim with connectivity. Storage options include three M.2 NVMe Gen 4 slots, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6E powered by an Intel controller, a 10 GbE interface driven by a Marvell AQtion controller, and a 2.5 GbE interface, from an Intel i225-V controller. USB connectivity includes 20 Gbps USB 3.2x2 ports with 60 W power delivery. The onboard audio solution is top-of-the-line, featuring a Realtek ALC4082 CODEC running alongside an ESS Sabre ES9018Q2C, and ROG Clavis USB DAC. The board is brimming with features relevant to overclockers. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Seagate: Firecuda 530 First PS5-Compatible SSD, $275 for 1 TB

Seagate has confirmed that it now has a PS5-compatible SSD that should be a worthwhile drop-in replacement for the PS5's user-replaceable storage. This isn't a new product, mind you: the company has announced the Firecuda 530 for some time now. However, the company did announce that this SSD can be used in the PS5 system - even if just barely. With space being so constrained in the PS5's NVMe SSD slot, not all SSDs can even physically fit the available space (110 x 25 x 11.25 mm) - and especially not all SSDs featuring a heatsink, even if PS5's compatibility requirements demand such an heatsink to be present so as to avoid thermal throttling.

The FIrecuda 530 1 TB can easily best Sony's 5500 MB/s sequential read requirements for SSD compatibility with the PS5 - the PCIe 4.0 Firecuda 530 offers 7,300 MB/s on that regard, so it more than fits the part. The user-replaceable SSD storage on the PS5 will only be available for Beta users at first, via an upcoming software update for the console, and there are some hoops to jump through in migrating data to it. Seagate is also releasing a 2 TB version ($569.99) and a 4 TB version ($1,049.99). Seagate's own user-replaceable SSD for the Xbox Series X|S, the Storage Expansion Card, is available in 1 TB capacity for $219.

Sapphire to Release Air-Cooled Version of the RX 6900 XT Toxic Graphics Card

Sapphire seems to be preparing an air-cooled version of its top-of-the-line RX 6900 XT Toxic graphics card, eschewing the hybrid cooling philosophy from its original release in favour of a more traditional full air cooling solution. In fact, Sapphire seems to be re-purposing the triple-fan cooling solution from its Nitro + graphics cards whist changing the color scheme to the yellow of the Toxic series.

That should me more than sufficient to keep the card cool, however, while other improvements present in the Toxic RX 6900 XT (such as the usage of the Navi 21 XTX chip and improvements to the circuit board and power delivery enabling much higher clocks and overclocking) are still present, justifying the top-tier Toxic naming on this graphics card. Sapphire has announced the RX 6900 XT Toxic reaches a Boost Clock of 2425 MHz and a Game Clock of 2235 MHz - lower than the hybrid-cooled version's 2525 MHz and 2375 MHz, respectively. No word on pricing or availability was available at time of writing.

GIGABYTE Launches AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Series Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of premium gaming hardware, today announced new AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards with AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture. The Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING OC PRO 8G, Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING OC 8G and Radeon RX 6600 XT EAGLE 8G graphics cards are engineered to deliver incredible high-framerate 1080p gaming performance.

The graphics cards in the GAMING OC series feature the WINDFORCE cooling system and RGB Fusion 2.0, making them the best choice for performance-minded gamers. The EAGLE series is the best choice for those who desire a unique design, while maintaining both efficiency and durability.

ASUS Introduces Radeon RX 6600 XT ROG STRIX and DUAL Series

ASUS today introduces the ROG Strix and ASUS Dual AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards with the AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, which offer high performance and optimal cooling for the mainstream. The AMD RDNA 2 architecture has proven itself in the powerful AMD Radeon RX 6000 series and appeals to gamers who are looking for the best graphics with high-resolution monitors and a high refresh rate. The latest ROG Strix and ASUS Dual AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards unleash the next generation of features for extremely high performance in today's competitive games and smooth display in AAA titles.

Alleged AMD AM5 Socket for Zen 4 Raphael Processors Leaks

AMD is slowly preparing to launch its next-generation processors based on the new AM5 socket. The new lineup of processors will be based on the upgraded Zen 4 architecture that is said to bring multiple microarchitecture improvements and enhancements, equaling to a possible high-performance increase. Today, according to ExecutableFix, the person who provided us with renders of AMD's upcoming AM5 socket designed for next-generation Raphael processors. As we previously reported, AM5 is doing away from PGA and switching to LGA type instead, where pins are delivered on the socket, not the CPU like we used to see with AMD processors.

The LGA-1718 socket, pictured in the renders below, looks like a simple retention mechanism, where there is one metal arm to hold the lid down under pressure. If it turns out to be true, this implementation will be a very positive upgrade over the past PGA socket found on AM4 and before. We can look forward to seeing what AMD will deliver once the launch of Raphael processors gets closer.

Samsung Electronics Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Total consolidated revenue was KRW 63.67 trillion, a 20% increase from the previous year and a record for the second quarter. Operating profit increased 34% from the previous quarter to KRW 12.57 trillion as market conditions improved in the memory market, operations normalized at the Austin foundry fab, and as effective global supply chain management (SCM) helped maintain solid profitability for the finished product businesses.

The Semiconductor business saw a significant improvement in earnings as memory shipments exceeded previous guidance and price increases were higher than expected, while the Company strengthened its cost competitiveness. For the Display Panel Business, a one-off gain and an increase in overall prices boosted profits.

Sony Enables M.2 SSD Slot For Storage Upgrades on PlayStation 5

Sony has recently enabled the M.2 slot found in the PlayStation 5 with a beta update which allows users to upgrade the storage of their device with a compatible PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD. The PlayStation 5 can only install games to the internal storage as external storage is not fast enough so the introduction of this capability will help expand the 825 GB (667.2 GB usable) of internal storage. Sony recommends that users select a PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD with sequential read speeds of 5500 Mbps or higher but have yet to certify any specific models as compatible. Seagate has confirmed that their FireCuda 530 SDD which is offered with capacities from 500 GB to 4 TB will be compatible while various models from Corsair, Sabrent, and Western Digital also appear to meet the speed requirements. Sony should release this feature to non-beta users in the near future and also notes that some games may have reduced performance when running with an M.2 SSD.
Thursday, July 29th 2021
TinHiFi T5 In-Ear Monitors Review

TinHiFi T5 In-Ear Monitors Review

The TinHiFi brand came out of years of OEM experience and expertise, and an emphasis on deliberate designs runs through their T (consumer) and P (prosumer/professional) series of wired IEMs. Today, we take a look at the TinHiFi T5, the newly released T-series flagship.
Watercool Heatkiller V RTX 3080/3090 + eBC Backplate Review

Watercool Heatkiller V RTX 3080/3090 + eBC Backplate Review

Watercool introduces its brand-new GPU block series with the Heatkiller V featuring aesthetic updates, including a bolder design language and optional ARGB lighting, as well as a new cooling engine altogether. We examine the RTX 3080 version and take a look at both its function and form.

MSI Announces its Radeon RX 6600 XT Series

As a leading brand in True Gaming hardware, MSI is proud to officially announce the MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X and MECH 2X graphics cards. Equipped with AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GPUs powered by the breakthrough AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, the new graphics are designed to deliver the ultimate in 1080p gaming for a wide range of enthusiast gamers.

Built upon AMD RDNA2 GAMING architecture, AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT series graphics cards are designed to deliver optimal performance and power efficiency. These new graphics cards support the latest technologies, including DirectX Raytracing (DXR), variable rate shading (VRS), and AMD FidelityFX, allowing gamers to experience realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections with rich detail in supported game titles.

AMD Announces Radeon RX 6600 XT Graphics Card

AMD today announced the new Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, its latest entrant to the RX 6000 series, based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture, with full DirectX 12 Ultimate support, including raytracing. The RX 6600 XT is suitable for AAA gaming at 1080p, or e-sports gaming at 1440p. The card debuts the new 7 nm Navi 23 silicon to the desktop, and maxes it out. It is endowed with 2,048 stream processors across 32 RDNA2 compute units, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide memory interface, holding 8 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 16 Gbps (256 GB/s bandwidth). The chip also has 32 MB of Infinity Cache memory. With a board power of 160 W, the card can make do with a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The game clocks are up to 2359 MHz.

As for performance, AMD claims that the RX 6600 XT offers a 2.2-2.5 times performance gain over the GeForce GTX 1060, providing a viable upgrade. It also offers a 40% performance uplift over the previous-generation RX 5600 XT, and runs consistently faster than the RX 5700, perhaps even trading blows with the RX 5700 XT. In the current generation, AMD claims a 15% performance lead over the GeForce RTX 3060 on average, with both cards having Resizable BAR / Smart Access Memory enabled, at 1080p. Available from August 10, the card starts at USD $379, and is a partner-exclusive, meaning that only custom-design cards will be available, the company will not sell reference design ones.

EK Pro Line Water Block to Support New Intel Xeon W-3300 Family of CPUs

EK, the leading liquid cooling gear manufacturer, today announces the availability of two high-performance liquid cooling solutions for the Intel Xeon W-3300 processor family, optimized for advanced workstation professionals in a single-socket LGA 4189 solution. A kit is also available, offering enterprise-grade components and tools to build the whole loop to effectively cool the socket LGA 4189 Intel processors.

EK is no stranger to the demanding needs of heavily threaded, I/O intensive workloads across Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Media and Entertainment, and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning industries. The EK-Pro QDC Kit P360 LGA 4189 bundles the EK-Pro CPU Water Block, a 360 mm radiator, and enterprise-grade water loop parts. It is designed to cool the most powerful of Intel Xeon W-3300 processors, which offer up to 38 cores and 76 threads with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, up to 64 CPU PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes, up to 4.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology, and are rated up to 270 W of power.

ASRock Launches C621A WS for Server and Workstation Application

The leading global motherboard, manufacturer, ASRock, is proud to announce its Intel C621A powered workstation motherboards, the C621A WS, this motherboard is able to pair with the latest Xeon W-3300 processors, giving ultimate performance for almost every application such as content creating, rendering machine and high-end workstation.

The ASRock C621A WS is a platform solely built for workstation application from ground up, the 4 PCIe 4.0 x16, 3 PCIe 4.0 x8 on this motherboard supports up to 4 dual-slot GPU/FPGA cards, perfect for Deep learning workstation, Visual computing such as 3D design and creation. The motherboard has 8 DIMM slots running at 1 DIMM per channel mode giving ultimate stability and performance, supporting DDR4 RDIMM, LRDIMM, and Intel Optane Persistent Memory in order to maximize the system capability.

Intel Announces NUC 11 Extreme Kit for High-End Gaming Experience

Today, Intel announced the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit (code-named "Beast Canyon"), a highly modular desktop PC engineered to provide a phenomenal experience for gaming, streaming and recording. With the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors, support for full-size discrete graphics cards and a full range of I/O ports, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit delivers high performance gameplay and smooth, immersive visuals.

Compact Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kits are designed to provide powerful, immersive gaming experiences. For performance, connectivity, and modularity, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme kit delivers massive performance with a small footprint.

The highest-performing Intel NUC yet delivers a premium and size-optimized PC package for creating innovative desktops suited to gamers' unique performance needs. Packing the latest hardware components into a tiny 8-liter case, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit is loaded with features typically found in much larger gaming rigs and offers customizable design options.

Intel Announces New Xeon W-3300 Processors

Intel today launched its newest generation Intel Xeon W-3300 processors, available today from its system integrator partners. Built for advanced workstation professionals, Intel Xeon W-3300 processors offer uncompromised performance, expanded platform capabilities, and enterprise-grade security and reliability in a single-socket solution.

Intel Xeon W-3300 processors are intelligently engineered to push the boundaries of performance, with a new processor core architecture that transforms for what expert workstation users can accomplish on a workstation.

The Intel Xeon W-3300 processors are designed for next-gen professional applications with heavily threaded, input/output-intensive workloads. Use cases stretch across artificial intelligence (AI), architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), and media and entertainment (M&E). With a new processor core architecture to transform efficiency and advanced technologies to support data integrity, Intel Xeon W-3300 processors are equipped to deliver uncompromising workstation performance.

Noctua Presents CPU Coolers for Intel LGA4189 Xeon Platform

Noctua today presented four CPU coolers and a separate mounting kit for Intel's LGA4189 platform. The new NH-U14S DX-4189, NH-U12S DX-4189, NH-U9 DX-4189 and NH-D9 DX-4189 4U are ideal for creating whisper-quiet high-end workstations using Intel's just-announced Ice Lake-64L based W3300 series Xeon processors for LGA4189. In addition to the new DX-4189 coolers, the NM-i4189 mounting kit allows Noctua DX-3647 and TR4-SP3 series coolers to be installed on LGA4189.

"DX line CPU coolers have become a default choice in premium grade quiet cooling solutions for Intel Xeon processors", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "The latest revision for LGA4189 comprises 14, 12 and two 9 cm models, covering anything from spacious workstation cases to 4U rack-mount servers."

AMD Stock Breaks $100 Price, Slightly Up from $7 Prior to Zen Breakthrough in 2017

As of 16:11 UTC today (29/07), the AMD stock has broken through the $100 stock-price glass ceiling, and is at $103.91, up 1384% from the $7 stock price in late-2016, prior to the company's competitive breakthrough with the "Zen" architecture. The latest rally comes in the wake of AMD's latest Q2-2021 financial results, where it clocked a 99% growth in YoY revenue. In the call, AMD mentioned that it is on track to maintaining its performance leadership, on the backs of the new "Zen 4" CPU architecture, RDNA3 graphics-, and CDNA2 compute architecture.

AGON by AOC Announces AGON PRO AG254FG with 360 Hz and NVIDIA Reflex

The world's number one gaming monitor and IT accessories brand AGON by AOC today launches an entirely new product category for the most demanding and competitive gamers and esports players: AGON PRO. The first model launched in the AGON PRO category brings cutting-edge technologies to the gamers that require legendary specs. The 24.5" (62.2 cm) AGON PRO AG254FG employs a fast IPS panel with Full HD resolution and a 360 Hz refresh rate for unbeatable gaming performance, combined with a 1 ms GtG response time and NVIDIA G-Sync with NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer to minimise system latency.

"The esports scene is a very tough environment, and the esports athletes and enthusiasts require the best gear they can possibly get. Through co-operating with legendary teams such as G2 Esports, we know what professionals want and with their needs in mind we brought AGON PRO to life," says Stefan Sommer, Head of Global Marketing at AOC.

TrendForce: Enterprise SSD Contract Prices Likely to Increase by 15% QoQ for 3Q21 Due to High SSD Demand and Short Supply of Upstream IC Components

The ramp-up of the Intel Ice Lake and AMD Milan processors is expected to not only propel growths in server shipment for two consecutive quarters from 2Q21 to 3Q21, but also drive up the share of high-density products in North American hyperscalers' enterprise SSD purchases, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In China, procurement activities by domestic hyperscalers Alibaba and ByteDance are expected to increase on a quarterly basis as well. With the labor force gradually returning to physical offices, enterprises are now placing an increasing number of IT equipment orders, including servers, compared to 1H21. Hence, global enterprise SSD procurement capacity is expected to increase by 7% QoQ in 3Q21. Ongoing shortages in foundry capacities, however, have led to the supply of SSD components lagging behind demand. At the same time, enterprise SSD suppliers are aggressively raising the share of large-density products in their offerings in an attempt to optimize their product lines' profitability. Taking account of these factors, TrendForce expects contract prices of enterprise SSDs to undergo a staggering 15% QoQ increase for 3Q21.

Tan your Life with Noctua-themed Keycaps and Accessories

Did you ever look at Noctua's tan and brown color scheme and think you would certainly love to have more of that? Then I have just the news for you today! Mito, a popular keyboard and keycap designer with plenty of success stories and collaborations, has worked to get an official license from Noctua to have keycap sets made in the color scheme that the Austrian brand is synonymous with. We reached out to Noctua who confirmed the whole thing started as a simple design render on social media, which garnered enough attention for Noctua to get in touch and purse the idea formally. Currently still in the interest check stage, these are pretty much guaranteed to go the group buy route on Drop sooner than later. There is also an option for Noctua's Chromax colorway as well, for a more subtle fan offering (get it?). If this interests you whatsoever, head over to the Google form here and express your opinion on the final designs and what you would like to see when it comes to Noctua-themes keycaps, coiled cables, and other accessories—including a potential hoodie!

LG Display & AU Optronics Working on 480 Hz Gaming Panels

We have seen the maximum refresh rate available on gaming monitors steadily increase over the years with recent models from ASUS, Alienware, and Acer offering 360 Hz support. The race for higher refresh rates shows no sign of slowing down with LG Display and AU Optronics both recently announcing that they are developing 480 Hz panels. AU Optronics is developing multiple high-refresh rate panels at a variety of resolutions including 1080p 480 Hz, 1440p 360 Hz, and 4K 240 Hz while LG Display is preparing a 24.5" 1080p 480 Hz panel with HDR 400 support. These new panels are slated to enter production in mid-late 2022 so we should start to see new monitors released featuring the panels in early 2023.

CHERRY Announces Updated DW 9100 SLIM Keyboard & Mouse Set

CHERRY, a leading global manufacturer of computer input devices, introduces another new addition to its portfolio, the CHERRY DW 9100 SLIM, which is the successor to the well-known DW 9000 SLIM. Further developed and optimized, this desktop set combines innovative functions, outstanding workmanship and a very slim design. A switch on the keyboard and mouse lets you toggle between Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz connectivity and a USB receiver for the 2.4 GHz wireless transmission is included in the bundle. Data input is via AES-128 encryption over a range of up to 10 meters in both cases.

Rechargeable lithium batteries power the keyboard and mouse for weeks on a single charge and when the status LEDs indicate low charge, you can continue working comfortably. Meanwhile, the wireless desktop set charges via the included USB-C charging cable. To prolong battery life, the set has an ON/OFF switch. Excellent design and high quality go hand in hand with the CHERRY DW 9100 SLIM. A metal plate provides maximum strength and stability while the keyboard remains flat. The separate magnetic support bar can be fitted in seconds to provide a steeper typing angle and when not in use, it can be removed just as quickly.

AGON by AOC Unveils 49" Curved AG493UCX2 & AG493QCX Gaming Monitors

The world's number one gaming monitor and IT accessories brand AOC is relaunching its gaming portfolio, from monitors to headsets, mechanical keyboards, mice, mouse mats and more for gamers of all levels, under its new umbrella AGON by AOC. Recently announced, the first category AOC GAMING defines the needs of digital adventurers. Now, the AGON category of monitors and peripherals creates an ecosystem of products that are compatible with each other for a fully immersive and stylish gaming atmosphere and can satisfy demanding, competitive gamers.

Hence, the first models from the relaunched AGON series are two hero-worthy curved super-wides: the 49" (124.5 cm) AG493UCX2 with a whopping 165 Hz refresh rate, as well as the 49" AG493QCX with a 144 Hz refresh rate. With their 32:9 aspect ratio, the AG493UCX2 virtually combines two 27" QHD displays in one seamless panel with DQHD (5120 x 1440) resolution and the AG493QCX does the same for two 27" Full HD displays with DFHD (3840 x 1080) resolution. Both monitors employ VA panels for deep blacks, rich colors, and a high contrast ratio for stunning imagery, supported by their VESA Certified DisplayHDR 400 specification.
Wednesday, July 28th 2021

Today's Reviews

Redragon K552-R Kumara Keyboard Review

Redragon K552-R Kumara Keyboard Review

What happens when you combine a minimalist design, gaming keyboard features, TKL form factor, and great price? You end up with the Redragon K552 Kumara, a budget-prioritizing keyboard that aims to replace your OEM keyboard at not much more in cost, but way more in functionality and customization.
BLUETTI AC200P 2000 Wh Portable Power Station/UPS Review

BLUETTI AC200P 2000 Wh Portable Power Station/UPS Review

What if I told you you could buy a portable UPS that offers pure sine wave AC output and can give you over an hour of juice for your gaming PC? This is just one of the many features aboard the BLUETTI AC200P portable power station, which crams in multiple charging inputs and outputs to interest many a home owner too.

Durabook Introduces New Advanced Z14I Fully-Rugged Laptop

Durabook, the global rugged mobile solutions brand owned by Twinhead International Corporation, announced today the introduction of its dramatically upgraded Z14I fully-rugged laptop. The unit includes a slew of remarkable features, including an 11th Gen. Intel Core processor, latest Thunderbolt 4, NVMe PCIe SSD drive, 14" FHD 1,000 nits display with proprietary DynaVue sunlight-readable technology, fanless and hot-swappable battery design, MIL-STD-810H and MIL-STD-461G certifications, and ANSI/ISA 12.12.01-2000, CI/D2 classification. In addition, the newly upgraded Z14I delivers 1.6x faster CPU performance than its predecessor. When combined, its feature package makes the Durabook Z14I the world's toughest fully-rugged laptop.

"Our new advanced Z14I laptop goes above and beyond the standard requirements to elevate the user experience," stated Twinhead CEO Fred Kao. "This fully rugged laptop solution with its endless customization capability through its unique expansion box design fits perfectly in professional services and military/government applications such as mapping/dispatching, recording systems, CAD, assets management, and maintenance diagnostics. Additionally, as strong as they come, the unit is the best laptop in the market for outdoor usage."

JEDEC Publishes the New LPDDR5X Memory Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of JESD209-5B, Low Power Double Data Rate 5 (LPDDR5). JESD209-5B includes both an update to the LPDDR5 standard that is focused on improving performance, power and flexibility, and a new LPDDR5X standard, which is an optional extension to LPDDR5.

Taken together, LPDDR5 and LPDDR5X are designed to significantly boost memory speed and efficiency for a variety of uses including mobile devices, such as 5G smartphones and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Developed by JEDEC's JC-42.6 Subcommittee for Low Power Memories, JESD209-5B is available for download from the JEDEC website.

KIOXIA Announces Exceria PRO and Exceria G2 Series Client M.2 NVMe SSDs

Kioxia Corporation, a world leader in memory solutions, today announced two new solid state drive (SSD) series scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021. The EXCERIA PRO and EXCERIA G2 Series are the company's latest consumer-grade solutions for today's hardcore enthusiasts and mainstream DIY system builders. Kioxia's new SSDs, which are products under development, will be on reference exhibit at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (ChinaJoy) in Shanghai from July 30th to August 2nd.

Using the next generation PCIe Gen4 x4 interface, the EXCERIA PRO Series is built for demanding PC environments. This brand new series will offer more than 2x the max sequential read speeds of the PCIe Gen3 based EXCERIA PLUS Series, delivering a high performance storage experience for content creators, gamers and professionals.

ADATA Launches Industrial-Grade 112-layer BiCS5 3D NAND SSDs

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of industrial-grade DRAM modules, and NAND Flash products, today announces the launch of a new generation of 112-layer stacked BiCS5 3D NAND SSDs with higher capacities and a major leap forward in performance. They are geared toward assisting the development of 5G, IoT, AI, Netcom, server, and other applications.

According to a GSA report, 169 operators in 70 countries are providing 5G services as of May 2021, and applications such as smart logistics, tele-medicine, autonomous driving, and security monitoring will flourish as 5G becomes more mature. In light of this, advanced 3D NAND technology is critical to offering durable, reliable, stable, and efficient storage products to handle the processing of larger volumes of data at higher speeds. Therefore, ADATA has focused on the development of a new generation of BiCS5 series industrial-grade SSDs. It is expected to start sample deliveries in September and begin mass production in Q4 2021.

Intel Alder Lake-S to See Limited Launch of Enthusiast SKUs in 2021, Other Models Arrive 2022

Intel's 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processor will see a limited launch in 2021, according to an Igor's Lab report. This will be restricted to PC enthusiast-relevant SKUs bearing the -K and -KF brand extensions, and compatible Socket LGA1700 motherboards based only on the top Z690 (Z590-successor) chipset. The series will ramp up to other (locked) models, along with more affordable chipset models (B560-successor), only by Q1-2022, on the sidelines of the 2022 International CES. Sources tell Igor's Lab that these select few models could be launched between October 25 and November 19.

Intel is expected to make several technological leaps over AMD with "Alder Lake-S." To begin with, it has the first hybrid core technology that combines high-performance "Golden Cove" cores with high-efficiency "Gracemont" cores, in a heterogenous multi-core setup comparable to Arm big.LITTLE. Next up, it is expected to debut the PCI-Express Gen 5 I/O, and DDR5 memory support. While PCIe 5.0 GPUs remain under development, the first devices to take advantage of it are expected to be NVMe SSDs, benefiting from 128 Gbps bandwidth (Gen 5 x4). It is also learned that the next-gen motherboards will retain the current ATX 24-pin + EPS power interface, and Intel won't force adoption of ATX12VO. The new ATX12VO standard increases motherboard costs as it essentially transfers DC-to-DC switching components from the PSU to the motherboard (12 V to 5 V; 12 V to 3.3 V, etc), and adds output connectors.

AMD Zen 4 and RDNA3 Confirmed for 2022, Zen 3 Refresh

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su, in the company's Q2-2021 financial results call, confirmed that the company is on-track to launch the Zen 4 CPU microarchitecture and RDNA3 graphics architecture, in 2022. Zen 4 would herald the first major desktop platform change since the original Zen architecture, with the introduction of a new CPU socket, and support for DDR5 memory. The RDNA3 graphics architecture, meanwhile, is expected to nearly triple SIMD resources over the previous generation, and introduce even more fixed-function hardware for raytracing.

In the meantime, AMD is preparing a counter to Intel's 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake-S" processor, in the form of Zen 3 with 3D Vertical Cache, which is also being referred to as the Zen 3+ architecture. These processors feature additional last-level cache, and the company claims a 15% gaming performance uplift, which should help it close the gaming performance gap with Intel, and win on sheer core-count of its big cores. It remains to be seen if Zen 3+ remains on Socket AM4 or if it debuts AM5, as AMD will be under pressure to match "Alder Lake" in platform I/O, which includes DDR5. Dr Su also confirmed that AMD has started shipping the Instinct MI200 "Aldebaran" compute accelerator based on the CDNA2 architecture. AMD's first MCM GPU with two logic dies, "Aldebaran" takes the fight to NVIDIA's top A100 series compute accelerators, and has already scored wins with ongoing HPC/supercomputing projects.

Further Steam Deck Pre-Orders to be Available Only From Q2 2022

To state that the Steam Deck made a splash when it was announced is an understatement - interest in the portable handheld console with its tight Steam integration is still going strong even after initial orders and the now ubiquitous scalping shenanigans, with eBay sellers looking for some $5,000 just for the end user to take their Steam Deck from their reservation queue place. Interest in the Steam handheld has been so immense, in fact, that it seems that shipping of all versions - even the entry-level one with 64 GB of eMMC storage - has slipped to Q2 2022.

When the handheld was first announced back on the 16th of July, initial shipments were expected to be sent out by the end of this year. However, Valve has now updated its estimated availability, bringing about a few more months of waiting for anyone just entering the queue - and possible 2023 slippings for further reservations. The "after 2Q 2022" is as vague as it comes as well - these units could be shipped in the first day of the quarter or face a delay until the release of the Steam Deck 4 (since Valve will skip the number 3, of course). We'll have to see whether there are any delays for already-confirmed pre-orders, but for now, it seems that if you've locked in an earlier delivery date, your order hasn't been affected.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta Opening up This Weekend

If you're on the fence about whether or not Halo Infinite will be worth your time, you might just get your chance to find it out for yourself as early as this weekend. 343 Industries has announced the first of a series of technical flightings for the next chapter in the Halo universe, with users being called in an invite-basis to participate in and provide feedback on the multiplayer element of Halo infinite (which will be free to play when the game launches later this year). The gameplay focus is on team fights against bots (a first in the Halo universe) in big arena maps, plus a tutorial system called The Academy, which will feature missions for players to get into the groove of Halo's combat rhythms.

Tempered expectations are best when coming into any games' beta, and 343 Industries has informed players that the current build of the game being deployed for this flighting is some two to three months old compared to the games' current development stage - so there is some leeway to pardon their dust. If you want to get a taste of Halo's famed arena combat, you'll have to sign-up to the Halo Insider initiative, where you can choose the platform of choice for participation in the flighting program. If you choose PC as your platform, there are some other hoops to jump through; you'll have to send Microsoft a diagnostic of your system's DxDiag report, as well as connect your Steam account via the Halo Insider program. Meet you there, Spartan.

High-End Notebook Panels Projected to Surpass 20% Market Share in 2022 as Spotlight Falls on Oxide/LTPS/OLED Technologies, Says TrendForce

The massive rise in market demand for notebook computers in response to distance learning needs and WFH applications from 2020 to 2021 has generated not only a double-digit growth in notebook panel shipment, but also a price hike of more than 40% for notebook panels, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. As various suppliers subsequently scramble to manufacture OLED, LTPS, and oxide panels, TrendForce forecasts these high-end notebook panels to reach a 17.8% market share in 2021 and 21.4% in 2022.

Panels based on OLED technology are primarily supplied by SDC, whose OLED notebook panel shipment for 2020 reached 800,000 pcs. SDC is expected to ship more than four million pcs of OLED notebook panels in 2021, with room for further growth in 2022. In addition to SDC, EDO is also expected to begin mass producing OLED notebook panels in 2H21-1H22. As such, TrendForce expects OLED panels to reach a 1.3% penetration rate in the overall notebook panel market this year. Although BOE and CSOT are currently fully engaged in Hybrid OLED development, Hybrid OLED panels will not enter mass production until 2023 due to technological and cost-related bottlenecks that are yet to be resolved.

Facebook Pauses Sales of Oculus Quest 2 Over Skin Irritation

Facebook has recently announced they have paused global sales of the Oculus Quest 2 while they work to include a silicon cover to supplement the original foam face pad. The original foam cover caused skin irritation for select users so Facebook has launched a voluntary recall of the cover in the US and Canada while they work to ensure that all new products will ship with the updated silicon cover. Facebook has received 5,716 reports of skin irritation where 45 cases required medical attention from 4.2 million units shipped in the US and Canada. Facebook will also introduce a new 128 GB model when the Oculus Quest 2 resumes sales on August 24th which will replace the original 64 GB model at the same 300 USD price.

Dell Cannot Ship Select Alienware Aurora R10/R12 Systems to Several US States Due To New Power Regulations

Dell has stopped selling its Alienware Aurora R10/R12 systems to customers in six US states as they cannot meet the requirements of California's Energy Consumption Tier 2 implementation. These new energy efficiency regulations which became active on July 1st in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington limit the maximum kilowatt-hour usage of select devices. The maximum power usage allowed by this regulation for new desktop systems is calculated with a base limit and incorporates various additional allowances for discrete GPUs, high-speed memory, and certain storage mediums. Dell has confirmed that select versions of their Alienware Aurora R10/R12 systems cannot meet these requirements and as a result the effected models have been removed from sale for customers in these states.

QNAP Announces Expanded TS-hx77XU NAS Series

Following the release of 9 and 12-bay models of the TS-hx77XU QuTS hero NAS series, QNAP today extends the series lineup by introducing higher capacity 16-bay TS-h1677XU-RP and 24-bay TS-h2477XU-RP rackmount models. Designed for small/medium businesses, these new models feature AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core processors, two 10 GbE ports, PCIe slots, and a redundant power supply to ensure continuous operations. Using the advanced ZFS-based QuTS hero operating system, both NAS deliver business-critical features and enable up to petabyte capacity per shared folder, providing a highly reliable yet cost-efficient NAS solution.

The TS-h1677XU-RP and TS-h2477XU-RP use the powerful AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8 cores/16 threads 3.6 GHz processor (Turbo Core 4.4 GHz), support AES-NI encryption acceleration and up to 128 GB DDR4 RAM for empowering multi-tasking capabilities and virtual machine performance. Both NAS models include two iSER-enabled 10 GbE SFP+ SmartNIC ports, which can work with SSD caching to boost IOPS performance and 10 GbE potential for optimizing business virtualization, large file sharing, high-speed backup/restoration, and multimedia editing/transfer. Connectivity can also be increased by installing various PCIe cards, including 10/25 GbE network cards for adding network I/O ports, QM2 cards for adding M.2 SSD slots, Fibre Channel cards for SAN storage, and QXP storage expansion cards for connecting storage expansion enclosures.
Tuesday, July 27th 2021

Today's Reviews

Audeze LCD-2 Classic (2021) Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

Audeze LCD-2 Classic (2021) Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

Audeze. The legendary LCD-2 re-imagined: Those utterances alone suffice to generate enough interest in the $800 planar magnetic bass-heavy LCD-2 Classic, which goes with a more eco-friendly construction and has amp-friendly power requirements as it aims to deliver a satisfying Audeze experience for well under a thousand bucks.
ROCCAT Kone Pro Review

ROCCAT Kone Pro Review

With the Kone Pro, ROCCAT expands their Kone line-up of right-handed ergonomic mice with an option between the big EMP and small Pure Ultra. Equipped with PixArt's PAW3370 sensor, optical switches for the main buttons, a flexible cable, and heat-treated pure PTFE feet, the Kone Pro is no slouch when it comes to specifications, either.

SMART Modular Technologies Announces New DDR5 Industrial Grade Modules

SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. ("SMART"), a SMART Global Holdings, Inc. company and a global leader in memory solutions, solid-state drives and hybrid storage products, announces the introduction of new DDR5 modules that feature enhanced endurance and stability for industrial applications. These new DRAM modules combine the advanced technology of DDR5 with SMART Modular's unique, rigorous test processes.

SMART applies its stringent testing processes to ensure reliable operation at industrial-grade temperatures (-40°C to +85°C). Customized SMART test programs and test flows combined with specialized burn-in equipment are used to screen out DRAM components that are likely to fail under temperature stress, resulting in modules that exhibit some of the lowest DPPM rates in the industry. SMART's industrial-grade modules are 100 percent system tested at high speeds, starting with a cold boot at -40°C and ramping to +85°C ambient operation. High-utilization customized testing software fully stresses all cells in the DRAM through the complete temperature cycle.

NZXT Expands its Streaming PC and H1 Mini PC Series of Prebuilt Gaming PCs

NZXT, a leading designer of computer hardware, software, and services for the PC gaming community, today announces that they are expanding their lines of streaming and H1 Mini PC's to include a Base, Plus, and Pro version of each system which allows for gamers and content creators to get a gaming PC that suits their budget and processing power needs, quickly shipped within two days.

The Streaming PC series is specifically designed to give streamers the proper hardware for an optimized experience right out of the box. The new Streaming PC Pro comes with a Ryzen 5 5600x and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 which gives streamers enough power to play their favorite games and stream their favorite games for $2999. While the Streaming PC and Streaming PC Plus offer different levels of GPUs for content creators for different needs and budgets.

Greenliant Samples Ultra-High Endurance Industrial SATA M.2 SSDs

Greenliant is now sampling SATA M.2 2242 ArmourDrive PX Series solid state drives (SSDs) that support 5K program-erase (P/E) cycles and advanced EX series SSDs with superior data retention and high endurance that support 60K, 120K and industry-leading 300K P/E cycles. SATA M.2 2242 ArmourDrive SSDs operate at industrial temperatures (-40 to +85 degrees Celsius) and are rigorously tested for shock and vibration to withstand the most extreme environments. See SATA M.2 ArmourDrive product information at

Designed with Greenliant's EnduroSLC Technology, the new EX Series SSDs are available in 4 GB, 8 GB, 20 GB, 40 GB, 80 GB, 160 GB and 320 GB capacities, and are included in Greenliant's Long-Term Availability (LTA) program for 1-bit-per-cell (SLC) NAND based products ( The new PX Series SSDs, available in 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB capacities, use 3-bit-per-cell (TLC) 3D NAND flash memory to provide cost-effective industrial storage.

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2021 third quarter ended June 26, 2021. The Company posted a June quarter record revenue of $81.4 billion, up 36 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.30. "This quarter, our teams built on a period of unmatched innovation by sharing powerful new products with our users, at a time when using technology to connect people everywhere has never been more important," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We're continuing to press forward in our work to infuse everything we make with the values that define us—by inspiring a new generation of developers to learn to code, moving closer to our 2030 environment goal, and engaging in the urgent work of building a more equitable future."

"Our record June quarter operating performance included new revenue records in each of our geographic segments, double-digit growth in each of our product categories, and a new all-time high for our installed base of active devices," said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. "We generated $21 billion of operating cash flow, returned nearly $29 billion to our shareholders during the quarter, and continued to make significant investments across our business to support our long-term growth plans."

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.7.2

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin drivers. Version 21.7.2 beta introduces optimization for "Chernobylite." It also adds support for two new Vulkan API extensions, including "VK_KHR_copy_commands2," and "VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2." Among the handful issues fixed include incorrect upgrade advice by the Game Compatibility advisor over certain CPUs and GPUs; a BSOD error noticed on certain mobile platforms when using Enhanced sign-in; "Resident Evil Village" experiencing application hang or driver crash on machines with Radeon VII; and an application crash with Radeon Software when upgrading with core isolation enabled.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.7.2

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results, 99% Growth YoY

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2021 of $3.85 billion, operating income of $831 million, net income of $710 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.58. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $924 million, net income was $778 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.63.

"Our business performed exceptionally well in the second quarter as revenue and operating margin doubled and profitability more than tripled year-over-year," said AMD president and CEO Lisa Su. "We are growing significantly faster than the market with strong demand across all of our businesses. We now expect our 2021 annual revenue to grow by approximately 60 percent year-over-year driven by strong execution and increased customer preference for our leadership products."

AGON by AOC Unveils G3 Series 1000R Curved Gaming Monitors with 165Hz Refresh Rate

The world's number one gaming monitor and IT accessories brand AOC has rebranded its entire gaming segment to AGON by AOC. AGON by AOC will cover all gaming-related products in AOC's portfolio, from gaming monitors to gaming headsets, mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, mouse mats and more for gamers of all levels in three categories.

The very first models to be launched under the new name will be from the G3 series as part of the new AOC GAMING category. The five new G3 displays range from 27" (68.6 cm) to 32" (80 cm) to 34" (86.4 cm) diagonal, with all models boasting an aggressive 1000R curvature, a 165 Hz refresh rate as well as a sleek, 3-side borderless design. The curved G3 series will complement and improve upon (with higher refresh rates) but not replace the award-winning G2 series.

ViewSonic Releases Blur Busters Approved XG2431 240Hz Gaming Monitor

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of display solutions, announces that the latest gaming monitor, the XG2431, has started shipping. The ultra-sleek 24" display is equipped with an IPS panel that deliver vibrant visuals with an ultra-fast 1 ms response. Approved by industry-renowned Blur Busters* for its motion blur reduction, it gives players the power to compete alongside the pros in the highest levels of First-Person Shooter (FPS), Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), and Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genres.

With native Full HD 1080p resolution and 240 Hz refresh rate, professional gamers can gain an edge. The sleek borderless design and wide viewing angles ensure that the XG2431 is ideal for multi-display gaming setups with minimal frame distraction, making it perfect for gaming arenas and tournament play. The ViewSonic XG2431 features AMD FreeSync Premium technology, which synchronizes the output of the GPU graphics card and monitor to eliminate screen tearing and provide smoother frame rates. This 24-inch monitor features the perfect combination of speed, control and color. The super smooth 240 Hz refresh rate allows games to run at an ultra-fast framerate for superior performance, while the 1 ms response time ensures faster and more precise gameplay.

be quiet! Launches Dark Rock TF 2: High-end Cooling with Top-flow Design

be quiet!, the German manufacturer for premium PC components, is announcing Dark Rock TF 2. This high-end top-flow CPU cooler combines maximum cooling performance of up to 230 W TDP with virtually inaudible operation, thanks to its dual-heatsink design, six high-performance 6 mm heat pipes, and two Silent Wings 135 mm fans. Dark Rock TF 2 also looks the part with its brushed aluminium top cover and special black coating with ceramic particles, making it the ideal choice for all who strive for the highest yet quiet cooling performance in style.

For anyone looking for a true high-end cooler, Dark Rock TF 2 ticks all the right boxes. The dual-heatsink design with six high-performance copper heat pipes offers maximum performance even under extreme overclocking conditions and the top-flow design provides ideal cooling not only for the CPU but also for the surrounding motherboard components. Even so, Dark Rock TF 2 is virtually inaudible, thanks to a funnel-shaped Silent Wings 3 135 mm as the upper fan, and a Silent Wings 135 mm (without funnel-shaped entry) as the lower fan. Both fans are equipped with a durable fluid-dynamic bearing, smooth six-pole motors, and up to nine airflow-optimized fan blades, resulting in a low noise level of 27.1 dB(A) at 100% PWM speed. Anti-vibration rubber inserts on the heat sink fins further dampen unwanted operational sounds.

Alphacool Announces Eiswolf AIO CLC for Various NVIDIA RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 VGAs

Alphacool today presents the Eiswolf 2 "all-in-one" solution for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080/3090 MSI Ventus & Asus ROG Strix graphics cards. As with all AIO models, we only use copper radiators except for the brass thread inserts. The Eiswolf 2 uses the Alphacool 360 mm NexXxoS ST30 all-copper radiator. For the fans, Alphacool is using the 120 mm Aurora Rise fans. The fans have a convincing static pressure of 3.17 mm/H₂O and offers a max. air flow of 119.8 m³/h, with a speed range of 0-2,500 RPM which can be controlled via PWM. The decision to use the 360 mm radiator in conjunction with our new fans provides a significant increase in cooling performance. The AIO is completed by the Eisblock Aurora water cooler, which actively cools all relevant components such as graphics memory and voltage converters in addition to the GPU chip.

All components used (radiator, fan, cooler, DC-LT 2 pump) including fittings and tubing are part of the Alphacool DIY range and are therefore available separately. This means that we don't only offer a simple AIO solution here, but a real custom water cooling system (pre-assembled & pre-filled). Only the casing for the DC-LT 2 pump is a custom design that is the only part of the scope of delivery of the AIO solution and therefore not available separately.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT & RX 6600 Rumored Pricing Leaked

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is expected to launch on August 11th while the RX 6600 appears set for a release in September/October. The pricing for these cards was predicted to be under 400 USD and according to a recent report from Neowin that would appear to be the case. The report claims that the Radeon RX 6600 XT will come with an MSRP of 349 USD and the Radeon RX 6600 at 299 USD. These prices have not been confirmed but if they are true it would position the RX 6600 XT above the RTX 3060 at 329 USD. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is expected to offer superior raster performance to the RTX 3060 but will come with less video memory and have worse raytracing. These prices are only suggestions and other sources put the retail price for the RX 6600 XT at 588 USD or higher in Europe.

AAEON Introduces BOXER-8230AI Edge Computer Powered by NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX

AAEON, a leader in AI edge solutions, announces the release of the BOXER-8230AI AI Edge box PC powered by the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX System on Module (SOM). The BOXER-8230AI delivers powerful computing performance without breaking budgets, along with rugged design and diverse I/O layout including five Gigabit Ethernet ports. The BOXER-8230AI offers a solution that's perfect for intelligent applications including surveillance, smart factory, and smart retail.
The BOXER-8230AI platform brings flexibility to meet the needs of customers, with industrial design and storage capacity. With two available configurations, the BOXER-8230AI-A3 and BOXER-8230AI-A4 systems offer flexible I/O loadout with five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports to connect with IP cameras and other devices, as well as four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and two COM ports. Storage flexibility is provided with 16 GB onboard eMMC storage, microSD slot and a 2.5" SATA III bay (A4 model).

The BOXER-8230AI platform is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX SOM, delivering powerful AI edge computing without compromising costs. The Jetson TX2 NX delivers more than twice the performance of the NVIDIA Jetson Nano thanks to its six-core ARM processor and NVIDIA Pascal GPU with 256 CUDA cores. This allows the Jetson TX2 NX to achieve speeds up to 1.33 TFLOPS, and enables the system to power a wide range of AI Edge applications.

Logitech Delivers Strong Start to Fiscal Year 2022

Logitech International (SIX: LOGN) (Nasdaq: LOGI) today announced financial results for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022. "We've started strong in Fiscal Year 2022, with Q1 sales up 58% in constant currency and profits doubling versus last year," said Bracken Darrell, Logitech president and chief executive officer. "Our key categories grew high double digits. This performance demonstrates the strength of our capabilities, excellent operational execution, and ability to capitalize on long-term trends, like gaming, streaming and creating, hybrid work and video everywhere."
  • Q1 sales were $1.31 billion, up 66 percent in US dollars and 58 percent in constant currency, compared to Q1 of the prior year.
  • Q1 GAAP operating income grew 143 percent to $203 million, compared to $83 million in the same quarter a year ago. Q1 GAAP earnings per share (EPS) grew 160 percent to $1.09, compared to $0.42 in the same quarter a year ago.
  • Q1 non-GAAP operating income grew 100 percent to $235 million, compared to $117 million in the same quarter a year ago. Q1 non-GAAP EPS grew 91 percent to $1.22, compared to $0.64 in the same quarter a year ago.

TSMC Looking to Build a Fab in Germany

TSMC, as part of its strategy to build cutting-edge semiconductor foundries in the US and EU, is looking to build a ground-up fab in Germany. The company's chairman, Mark Liu, made an announcement to this effect in the company's annual general meeting (AGM), addressing shareholders, held on July 26. This move is still in its "early stages," according to a DigiTimes report, with the company prospecting a suitable site across the country. The size and scale of TSMC's investment remains under the wraps.

TSMC's expedition to Germany aligns with an ambitious plan by the European Commission to make the EU a net-exporter of semiconductors and electronics by 2030. TSMC will have Intel Foundry Services for company in Germany, as an acquisition of Global Foundries would put Intel in control of its real-estate in Dresden. Intel is still prospecting the EU for a suitable place to invest €20 billion, besides ongoing investments in states such as the Republic of Ireland.

Samsung Announces Odyssey Neo G9 Gaming Monitor

Samsung Electronics, today announced the global launch of its next-generation curved gaming monitor, the Odyssey Neo G9, enhanced with Quantum Mini LED technology. The Odyssey Neo G9 joins the Odyssey lineup, taking gaming to the next level with Quantum Matrix technology, supported by Quantum Mini LED display and Quantum HDR 2000 for an immersive gaming experience.

With the previous launch of the Odyssey G9 in 2020, Samsung pushed the boundaries of premium gaming monitors with smooth and brilliant picture quality. Now with the industry's first Quantum Mini LED curved display delivering the most refined detail regardless of the game played, the Odyssey Neo G9 is catapulting the gaming monitor category forward. Featuring Quantum Matrix Technology combined with super-fast response and refresh rates, Odyssey Neo G9 delivers an unrivaled dynamic picture and premium performance for all gamers.

Team Group Signs Agreement with SYNNEX to Provide Gaming Memory Solutions in North America

Global memory leader TEAMGROUP today announces its distribution agreement with SYNNEX Corporation, a leading provider of distribution, systems design and integration services for the technology industry, to expand its reach through SYNNEX resellers in North America. TEAMGROUP's SSDs, as well as memory solutions from TEAMGROUP's T-FORCE brand, a line dedicated to gaming, will be available immediately to partners.

For years, TEAMGROUP has established a strong presence in North America. Starting with extensive development in EC channels since 2015, TEAMGROUP has secured a leading place in gaming and SI markets as the global trend of e-sports first emerged. In recent years, TEAMGROUP's revenue and sales in B2B markets have had annual growths of over 50% on average, and the company has been expanding its presence in B2B and B2C markets. With the prevalence of working remotely and online learning, TEAMGROUP's sales performance in the North American area has been taken to new heights. This agreement between TEAMGROUP and SYNNEX begins with gaming memory solutions from TEAMGROUP's T-FORCE, the gaming brand well-loved among gamers all over the world, as well as TEAM SSDs, a top choice for computer upgrades.

Intel Rebadges 10nm Enhanced SuperFin Node as "Intel 7," Invents Other Creative Node Names

Intel, in a move comparable to its competitors' Performance Rating system from the 1990s, has invented a new naming scheme for its in-house foundry nodes to claim technological parity with contemporaries such as TSMC and Samsung, that are well into the sub-10 nm class. Back in the i586 era, when Intel's competitors such as AMD and Cyrix, couldn't keep up with its clock-speeds yet found their chips to be somewhat competitive, they invented the PR (processor rating) system, with a logical number attempting to denote parity with an Intel processor's clock-speed. For example, a PR400 processor rating meant that the chip rivaled a Pentium II 400 MHz (which it mostly didn't). The last that the PR system made sense was with the final generation of single-core performance chips, Pentium 4 and Athlon XP, beyond which, the introduction of multi-core obfuscated the PR system. A Phenom X4 9600 processor didn't mean performance on par with a rival Intel chip running at an impossible 9.60 GHz.

Intel's new foundry naming system sees its 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin node re-badge as "Intel 7." The company currently builds 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processors on the 10 nm SuperFin node, and is expected to build its upcoming 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" chips on its refinement, the 10 nm Enhanced SuperFin, which will now be referred to as "Intel 7." The company is careful to avoid using the nanometer unit next to the number, instead signaling the consumer that the node somehow offers transistor density and power characteristics comparable to a 7 nm node. Intel 7 offers a 10-15 percent performance/Watt gain over 10 nm SuperFin, and is already in volume production, with a debut within 2021 with "Alder Lake."

Intel Accelerates Packaging and Process Innovations

Intel Corporation today revealed one of the most detailed process and packaging technology roadmaps the company has ever provided, showcasing a series of foundational innovations that will power products through 2025 and beyond. In addition to announcing RibbonFET, its first new transistor architecture in more than a decade, and PowerVia, an industry-first new backside power delivery method, the company highlighted its planned swift adoption of next-generation extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), referred to as High Numerical Aperture (High NA) EUV. Intel is positioned to receive the first High NA EUV production tool in the industry.

"Building on Intel's unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, we are accelerating our innovation roadmap to ensure we are on a clear path to process performance leadership by 2025," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said during the global "Intel Accelerated" webcast. "We are leveraging our unparalleled pipeline of innovation to deliver technology advances from the transistor up to the system level. Until the periodic table is exhausted, we will be relentless in our pursuit of Moore's Law and our path to innovate with the magic of silicon."
Monday, July 26th 2021

Today's Reviews

FSP Dagger Pro 850W Review - Tiny Power Plant

FSP Dagger Pro 850W Review - Tiny Power Plant

The FSP Dagger Pro 850 is one of the strongest SFX PSUs available today. It uses quality components, including a double ball bearing fan and Japanese electrolytic caps from good lines, and promises high performance. It costs a lot, especially in the US, but the smaller and stronger the PSU, the higher its price tag.
SilverStone FARA V1M PRO Review

SilverStone FARA V1M PRO Review

The Fara V1M Pro is a Micro-ATX enclosure that looks vastly different from most others in the line. With its clean exterior and embedded ARGB elements in the front, one could say it is among the better-looking ones of the bunch, so let's find out what's behind this cool design.

SK hynix Reports Second Quarter 2021 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its second quarter 2021 ended on June 30, 2021. The consolidated revenue of the second quarter 2021 was 10.322 trillion won, while the operating profit amounted to 2.695 trillion won and the net income 1.988 trillion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 26% and net margin was 19%.

It was the first time in three years that SK hynix recorded the quarterly revenue of more than 10 trillion won as the memory market condition, which began to recover earlier this year, continued to improve in the second quarter. The company last logged more than 10 trillion won in the third quarter of 2018 when the memory market was booming.
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