News Posts matching #2020

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Cyberpunk 2077 Graphics Comparison Video Between 2018 and 2020 Builds Shows Many Differences

Cyberpunk 2077 is the year's most awaited game release, and has been met with not one, but two delays already. Originally expected to ship in April of this year, it has since been postponed to September, and now to November 19th on account of extra optimization and bug quashing from developer CD Projekt Red. However, the recent gameplay videos released for the game by the developer showcase the amount of work that has gone into the engine since 2018, when we were first treated to a gameplay video.

The video after the break comes courtesy of YouTube user 'Cycu1', who set up the 2018 and 2020 trailers side by side. In it, you can see extreme improvements to overall level and character detail (some of this can certainly be attributed to a lower-quality 2018 video compression). However, the video also showcases some lighting differences (I guess it's subjective whether this has worked out for better or worse, but the new videos supposedly make use of ray tracing). Another point that I'd like to call your attention to is that there seem to be some environment differences between the two versions - it seems that some environments were simplified compared to their 2018 version, such as the "Going Pro" mission - the chair and panels were removed from the environment and replaced by what looks like a garage door. Whether this was done as a way to improve performance is on CD Projekt Red's purview.

Microsoft Fall 2020 Windows 10 Update will Make the New Edge Browser the Default Option

Microsoft has released its Chromium-based Edge browser some time ago and it is already capturing the market. Just in April of this year, it became the world's second most popular web-browser, just behind Google Chrome. Surpassing even Mozilla's Firefox web-browser, the new Edge is rising in popularity very quickly. So far, Microsoft gave an option for Windows 10 users to just download the new browser if they want to, or the only Edge browser you had would be the old version based on the EdgeHTML engine. Even though Microsoft has recently decided to start rolling out the new Chromium-based browser via OS updates, the old version could still find its way in the OS and there wouldn't be a new one present. Starting with update 20H2, Microsoft is bundling the new browser with OS update, making it a default option in the OS.

While the new browser is going to replace old Edge for default opening of links or some files like PDF, the old Edge will still be present. A lot of legacy applications are relying on opening some of their stuff in the old browser, and there sure would be problems if it would be gone. Additionally, gone are the year plus month names for Windows 10 updates, like 1803, 1903, and 1909. Now you get a year plus the first or second half of the year. For example, the next update is 20H2 (second half of 2020), and the one after it is 21H1 (first half of 2021). This is done to avoid confusion and with this Microsoft announced that updates will be faster in general.

Semiconductor Fabs to Log Record Spending of Nearly $68 Billion in 2021, SEMI Reports

2021 is poised to mark a banner year for global fab equipment spending with 24 percent growth to a record US$67.7 billion, 10 percent higher than the previously forecast US$65.7 billion, and all product segments promising solid growth rates, according to the second-quarter 2020 update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report. Memory fabs will lead worldwide semiconductor segments with US$30 billion in equipment spending, while leading-edge logic and foundry is expected to rank second with US$29 billion in investments.

The 3D NAND memory subsegment will help power the spending spree with a 30 percent jump in investments this year before tacking on 17 percent growth in 2021. DRAM fab investments will surge 50 percent next year after declining 11 percent in 2020, and fab spending on logic and foundry, mainly leading edge, will trace a similar but more muted trajectory, rising 16 percent 2021 after an 11 percent drop this year.

Only one Laptop in 2020 will have AMD's SmartShift Technology

At CES 2020, AMD detailed a new technology called SmartShift. With the launch of the Ryzen 4000 Series "Renoir" processors, AMD has brought this technology to the processors powering the next generation of laptops. Designed to bring better performance to the overall system, the technology uses TDP balancing to boost the performance of processors. What that means is that the technology dynamically relocates the TDP budget to where it is most needed. For example, if the application is CPU intensive, the CPU will get a bigger TDP budget and will get better performance. And it goes the same way for GPU. Of course, the technology works only on AMD CPU and GPU combinations.

To use the SmartShift technology, the platform designer needs to implement it. For example, if a notebook manufacturer decides not to do it in its system, then it will not work. So far, we have only seen one model with SmartShift technology launching this year. The model in question is Dell's G5 15 SE. And it is going to stay like that. Frank Azore of AMD, has come out on Twitter and said that the reason for the lack of other laptops using this technology is because it is brand new and Dell jumped on it first. "No more SmartShift laptops are coming this year but the team is working hard on having more options ASAP for 2021." - he added. Hopefully, we will see more models being powered by this technology as the 2021 starts.
Dell G5 15 SE

TSMC Accelerates 2 nm Semiconductor Node R&D

TSMC, the world's leading semiconductor manufacturing company, has reportedly started to accelerate research and development (R&D) of its next-generation 2 nm node. Having just recently announced that they will be starting production of a 5 nm process in Q4 of 2020, TSMC is pumping out nodes very fast and much faster compared to competition like Intel and Samsung. Having an R&D budget of almost 16 billion USD, TSMC seems to be spending the funds very wisely. The 5 nm node is going into volume production this year, and smaller nodes are already being prepared.

The 3 nm node is going into trial production in the first half of 2021, while the mass production is supposed to commence in 2022. As far as the 2 nm node, TSMC has recently purchased more expensive Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) lithography machines for the 2 nm node. Due to the high costs of these EUV machines, TSMC's capital spending will not be revisited this year and it should remain in the $16 billion range. As far as a timeline for 2 nm is concerned, we don't know when will TSMC start trial production as the node is still in development phases.

Corsair Recalls SF Series of PSUs due to Failure Concerns

Corsair's SF series of PSUs has been long present as part of the company's offerings, designed to the satisfy small form factor crowd with its SFX size. Today, Corsair has announced that they will be recalling some units and replace them free of charge, including free shipping. Corsair says that "We have recently identified higher-than-normal RMA rates among our SF family of small-form-factor PSUs. Following a thorough investigation, we have found a potential issue that can manifest when the PSU is exposed to a combination of both high temperatures, and high humidity. This regrettably can cause the PSU to fail. This issue potentially affects units in lot codes 194448xx to 201148xx, manufactured between October 2019 and March 2020."

The problem is located in the AC conversion part of the PSU, not the DC one which interacts with PC components, so Corsairs points out that all of the components are safe even if PSU fails. To get a replacement PSU, Corsair offers affected customers to submit their tickets here, with the title "SF Series voluntary product replacement", so they can easily identify customers and give them quicker replacement units.
Corsair SF600 PSU

Rumor: Noctua to Introduce NH-U12A Tower Cooler in Chromax Version

Noctua produces some of the most well-regarded CPU coolers in the PC space, and for good reason: they usually set the benchmark in both heat dissipation efficiency and noise levels. However, one of the elements that may not make their coolers as popular as they could be (and they are immensely popular) is the color scheme the company usually favors, with its brown and beige colors being relatively hard to fit in with many system builds. The company responded by adding Chromax versions to their lineup, with a more "typical" black color scheme, which have seen great success both in the market and user opinion.

A Reddit user going by the handle hoopon, however, claims to have received a tech support answer from a Noctua representative that said that a Chromax version of the famed, high-performance Noctua NH-U12A cooler is being readied for market launch in Q3 2020. Another user, Bergh3m, echoed these claims, saying that he himself had received a Noctua answer on the same product in the beginning of the year that placed the Noctua NH-U12A Chromax as being released in Q2 or Q3 2020. However, as with everything these days, the COVID-19 situation may very well has pushed the release to a definite Q3. As always, we urge you to take these rumors with a full pint of salt.

Intel Rocket Lake CPU Appears with 6 Cores and 12 Threads

We have been hearing a lot about Intel's Rocket Lake lineup of processors. They are supposed to be a backport of Willow Cove 10 nm core, adapted to work on a 14 nm process for better yielding. Meant to launch sometime around late 2020 or the beginning of 2021, Rocket Lake is designed to work on the now existing LGA1200 socket motherboards, which were launched just a few days ago along with Intel Comet Lake CPUs. Rocket Lake is there to supply the desktop segment and satisfy user demand, in light of lacking 10 nm offers for desktop users. The 10 nm node is going to present only on mobile/laptop and server solutions before it comes to the desktop.

In the latest report on 3D Mark, the hardware leaker TUM APISAK has found a Rocket Lake CPU running the benchmark and we get to see first specifications of the Rocket Lake-S platform. The benchmark ran on 6 core model with 12 threads, that had a base clock of 3,5 GHz. The CPU managed to boost up to 4,09 GHz, however, we are sure that these are not final clocks and the actual product should have even higher frequencies. Paired with Gen12 Xe graphics, the Rocket Lake platform could offer a very nice alternative to AMD offerings if the backport of Willow Cove goes well. Even though it is still using a 14 nm node, performance would be good. The only things that would be sacrificed (from backporting) are die space and efficiency/heat.
Intel Rocket Lake Benchmark Report

Twitch Exclusive New Game+ Plus Expo Announced Featuring SEGA & More

In light of the cancellation of E3 2020 a new digital game showcase has been announced. The New Game+ Expo will feature new and upcoming releases from a coalition of developers from around the world and be streamed exclusively on Twitch June 23rd. The 16 companies from across Japan and America involved are: Acttil, Aksys Games, Arc System Works America, GungHo Online Entertainment America, Grasshopper Manufacture, Idea Factory International, Inti Creates, Koei, Tecmo America, Natsume Inc, NIS America Inc, Playism, Sega of America, Atlus West, SNK Corporation, Spike Chunsoft Inc, and WayForward

Microsoft Builds a Supercomputer for AI

Microsoft has held a Build 2020 conference for developers from all over the world, and they live-streamed it online. Among some of the announcements, Microsoft has announced a new supercomputer dedicated to the OpenAI company, which works on building Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). The new supercomputer is a part of Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure and it will allow OpenAI developers to train very large scale machine learning models in the cloud. The supercomputer is said to be the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world with specifications of "more than 285,000 CPU cores, 10,000 GPUs and 400 gigabits per second of network connectivity for each GPU server."

Specific information wasn't announced and we don't know what CPUs and GPUs go into this machine, but we can speculate that the latest Nvidia A100 "Ampere" GPU could be used. The company hasn't yet submitted its entry to the Top500 website, so we can't keep track of the FLOPs count and see what power it holds.
Microsoft Azure Data Center

Hot Chips 2020 Program Announced

Today the Hot Chips program committee officially announced the August conference line-up, posted to hotchips.org. For this first-ever live-streamed Hot Chips Symposium, the program is better than ever!

In a session on deep learning training for data centers, we have a mix of talks from the internet giant Google showcasing their TPUv2 and TPUv3, and a talk from startup Cerebras on their 2nd gen wafer-scale AI solution, as well as ETH Zurich's 4096-core RISC-V based AI chip. And in deep learning inference, we have talks from several of China's biggest AI infrastructure companies: Baidu, Alibaba, and SenseTime. We also have some new startups that will showcase their interesting solutions—LightMatter talking about its optical computing solution, and TensTorrent giving a first-look at its new architecture for AI.
Hot Chips

NVIDIA Tesla A100 GPU Pictured

Thanks to the sources of VideoCardz, we now have the first picture of the next-generation NVIDIA Tesla A100 graphics card. Designed for computing oriented applications, the Tesla A100 is a socketed GPU designed for NVIDIA's proprietary SXM socket. In a post few days ago, we were suspecting that you might be able to fit the Tesla A100 GPU in the socket of the previous Volta V100 GPUs as it is a similar SXM socket. However, the mounting holes have been re-arranged and this one requires a new socket/motherboard. The Tesla A100 GPU is based on GA100 GPU die, which we don't know specifications of. From the picture, we can only see that there is one very big die attached to six HBM modules, most likely HBM2E. Besides that everything else is unknown. More details are expected to be announced today at the GTC 2020 digital keynote.
NVIDIA Tesla A100

Acer Reports Q1 2020 Financial Results

Acer Inc. announced the financial results for the first quarter of 2020: consolidated revenues were NT$48.85 (USD$1.6) billion; gross profits were NT$4.95 (USD$0.16) billion with 10.1% margin; operating income was NT$19 (USD$0.63) million; earnings before tax was NT$780 (USD$26) million; and net income was NT$558 (USD$18.6) million with earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.18 (USD$0.006).

Consolidated revenues in March grew 114% month-on-month, achieved by the velocity of actions to capture the rise in demands due to work-from-home and online learning needs. For example, the PANAM operations scored a record first-quarter in revenues over several years.

Apple WWDC 2020 Keynote To Be Held Digitally on June 22

Apple today announced it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference virtually, beginning June 22, in the Apple Developer app and on the Apple Developer website for free for all developers. The company also announced the Swift Student Challenge, an opportunity for student developers to showcase their love of coding by creating their own Swift playground. Now in its 31st year, WWDC20 will be an opportunity for millions of creative and innovative developers around the world to get early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, and to learn from Apple engineers as they work to build app experiences that enrich the lives of Apple customers around the globe.

"WWDC20 will be our biggest yet, bringing together our global developer community of more than 23 million in an unprecedented way for a week in June to learn about the future of Apple platforms," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We can't wait to meet online in June with the global developer community and share with them all of the new tools we've been working on to help them create even more incredible apps and services. We look forward to sharing more details about WWDC20 with everyone as we get closer to this exciting event."

ASUS VivoBook S14 & S15 Ultrabooks Now Available for Purchase

The new VivoBook S14 (S433) & VivoBook S15 (S533) announced by ASUS at CES 2020 are now available for purchase. The pair of notebooks come with a starting price of $699 USD which includes an Intel Core i5-10210U, 8 GB DDR4, 512 GB NVMe SSD, 1080p Screen, Wi-Fi 6 and USB Type-C and can be bought from all major retailers retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg and MicroCentre. The VivoBook S14 (S433) and S15 (S533) will replace the aging VivoBook S13 (S330) and S15 (S530) released by Asus in 2018 with updated designs and processors. Asus is set to announce additional SKUs with Intel Ice Lake, 3rd generation Ryzen, and discrete GeForce MX GPUs soon.

For full specifications: ASUS VivoBook S14 (S433), ASUS VivoBook S15 (S533)

Intel Reports First-Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2020 financial results. "Our first-quarter performance is a testament to our team's focus on safeguarding employees, supporting our supply chain partners and delivering for our customers during this unprecedented challenge," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO."The role technology plays in the world is more essential now than it has ever been, and our opportunity to enrich lives and enable our customers' success has never been more vital. Guided by our cultural values, competitive advantages and financial strength, I am confident we will emerge from this situation an even stronger company."

In the first quarter, Intel achieved 34 percent data-centric revenue growth and 14 percent PC-centric revenue growth YoY. The company maintained essential factory operations with greater than 90 percent on-time delivery while supporting employees, customers and communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a new Intel Pandemic Response Technology Initiative to combat the virus where we can uniquely make a difference with Intel technology, expertise, and resources.

Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue to Decline 0.9% in 2020 Due to Coronavirus Impact

Due to the impact of the coronavirus on semiconductor supply and demand, worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to decline 0.9% in 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. This is down from the previous quarter's forecast of 12.5% growth.

"The wide spread of COVID-19 across the world and the resulting strong actions by governments to contain the spread will have a far more severe impact on demand than initially predicted," said Richard Gordon, research practice vice president at Gartner. "This year's forecast could have been worse, but growth in memory could prevent a steep decline."
Gartner WorldWide Semiconductor Revenue Forcast

Microsoft Shifting Near-Term Focus away from Windows 10X Dual Screen Solutions, Surface Neo delayed

Microsoft has decided to shift its focus away from Windows 10X dual-screen laptop solutions in the near term, according to the report from ZDNet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has happened recently, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer Panos Panay internally informed his team that Microsoft will not be focusing its efforts on delivering the Windows 10X based dual-screen laptops this year. However, Microsoft is committed to that idea and will not shift away from it completely, it is just taking a rest for now. This is bad news for everyone that was hoping to get Surface Neo dual-screen laptop that was meant for the Holiday season of 2020. In addition to Surface Neo not shipping this year, Microsoft isn't enabling any new Windows 10X dual-screen device to ship this year either.

What Microsoft is focusing on, however, is to get Windows 10X firstly on single-screen devices. That means that regular laptops should be getting the Windows 10X treatment sometime this year so vendors can launch products to compete with Chromebook devices, based on Google's ChromeOS.
Microsoft Surface Neo

AMD Cancels StoreMI Technology, Replacement Coming Soon

AMD today updated its Product Change Advisory with notes that its StoreMI software won't be available for download anymore. "AMD has decided to end-of-life the current version of the StoreMI technology, and effective March 31, 2020, AMD will no longer make this technology available for download on AMD.com. End users who download the current version of the StoreMI technology prior to March 31, 2020 may continue to use it thereafter (i.e. it will not be deactivated) but AMD will no longer provide any technical or end user support. Instead, AMD will focus its internal development resources on a replacement solution with a rearchitected feature set and a planned release window of 2Q20." - says the AMD Product Change Advisory website.

AMD's StoreMI technology offered users an option to combine up to 256 GB of SSD memory with a slower HDD, to provide "SSD like speeds with HDD like capacity", and it was supported from the second generation Ryzen processors until the current third generation, Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. Given that AMD is working on a replacement solution that is coming out in Q2, we expect that the new solution will be a better and more usable one, so we will report on it as soon as there is more information.
AMD StoreMI

Computex 2020 Postponed due to COVID-19 Outbreak

For the second time in history, Computex, one of the flagship electronics shows in the industry, and our favorite event, has been postponed. Many years ago, it was delayed in 2003 due to the SARS outbreak, however, it happened again today. Following the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of cancelling, the Computex organizer TAITRA has decided to postpone their 2020 event. Originally scheduled for June, Computex has been moved to September 28th, when the event will officially start. It will last only three days instead of the usual five, ending on the 30th.

This is especially relevant given that the event now shares the same three days with Innovex, the partnering startup-focused show that happens on the last 2-3 days of Computex each year, so the two shows have to share the spotlight on the same time. Making things tighter is confirmation from TAITRA that Computex, and Innovex, will both be sharing Hall 2 of the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, as opposed to having both Hall 1 and 2 available for Computex. This shortened timeframe and smaller booth space is a heavy indication that the agency expects a smaller turnaround at this time, and indeed several companies are already expressing concerns about whether Computex 2020 should have just been cancelled altogether. Some companies have told us they still plan to have an online event in June given they have planned product lifecycles around it already, and the new event in September is just a hiccup they are not confident about handling. We hope to bring you the latest Computex news live from the trade show, once it happens, so stay tuned.
Computex 2020

PlayStation Exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition Hitting PC in Summer 2020

A Steam page store has appeared for Guerrilla Games' PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. If you haven't played this game yet, I'll assume you don't have a PlayStation; and if so, boy: are you in for a treat. Horizon Zero Dawn has you playing as Aloy, a native to this alternate reality where dinosaur-like machines have taken over the wilds. As you expand on the story and go on to discover the secrets to this world - and to humanity's downfall - you'll travel across a seamless, richly-detailed open-world experience that rivals The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition will feature both the base game and its The Frozen Wilds Expansion, which adds dozens of hours, new equipment, new lands, skills, and Machines for you to hunt. This looks like Sony's way (and continued efforts) to show you, years later, what you've been missing out on in the PlayStation platform, and I bet Sony's wishing these exclusive games hitting the PC will give you the PlayStation 5 hitch. Now if only the same happened for the incredible God of War...

Samsung Electronics Begins Mass Production at New EUV Manufacturing Line

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that its new cutting-edge semiconductor fabrication line in Hwaseong, Korea, has begun mass production.

The facility, V1, is Samsung's first semiconductor production line dedicated to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology and produces chips using process node of 7 nanometer (nm) and below. The V1 line broke ground in February 2018, and began test wafer production in the second half of 2019. Its first products will be delivered to customers in the first quarter.

New AMD Listings in Korean RRA Certification Point to Impending Graphics Cards Release - Big Navi?

The Korean RRA has listed AMD graphics cards for certification this month which may well point towards an actual announcement coming from AMD during the next month. The company has already confirmed they will be discussing RDNA2 graphics cards come their next Financial Analyst Day, set for March 5th. The new entries, D32310 and D30201, have been listed on February 03 and February 19, respectively. This is relevant for a March announcement - even if just a paper one - of the new RDNA2 GPUs because historically, it seems that AMD has registered impending releases with the Korean RRA roughly one month prior to actual product releases.

As you can see in the listing, AMD registered two graphics cards in June 2019 (D16302 and D18206 - and one month later, in July, the company released Navi-based RX 5700 XT and RX 5700. AMD also registered the RX 5600 XT model number, D32501, on December 3, 2019 with a release one month later on January 21, 2020. AMD similarly registered model number D18902 on November 27, 2019 - and AMD released the 5500 XT on December 12, less than a month later. There seems to be a pattern here. if you're wondering why the model number for these new February registrations is lower than that of the RX 5600 XT (D32501 against the newer, yet lower D32310 and D30201), it could have something to do with the fact that AMD decided to carve out the RX 5600 XT SKU later than they knew they'd be releasing Big Navi - as an attempt to curtail NVIDIA in the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super battlefield.

2020 DICE Awards See Untitled Goose Game Win Game of the Year Award; Control is Big Winner in 2019 Gaming Landscape

The 2020 DICE (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards offered their Game of the Year title to "Untitled Goose Game", developed by Indie Studio House House. That game also took home the "Outstanding Achievement for an independent Game" award, as well as Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design.

The awards were also good for Control, the paranormal-esque game developed by renowned Remedy Entertainment. The game was victor in four different categories: Action Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, and Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition. Disco Elysium, the quasi-combatless story-based RPG from ZA/UM Studios that was 2019's biggest achievement (for this writer at least) won the Outstanding Achievement in Story award. Look after the break for the full list of categories, nominees, and winners.

TSMC Sets Aside Almost 7 Billion Dollars for Fab Expansion

TSMC is working hard to ensure its number one spot in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, and it has the funds to back it up. Yesterday TSMC's Board of Directors approved the company budget for another semiconductor fab expansion. With a budget totaling 6.74 billion US dollars allocated, TSMC has "Approved capital appropriations of approximately US$6,742.1 million (approximately NT$200.9 billion) for purposes including: 1) Fab construction, and installation of fab facility systems; 2) Installation and upgrade of advanced technology capacity; 3) Installation of specialty technology capacity; 4) Installation of advanced packaging capacity; 5) Second quarter 2020 R&D capital investments and sustaining capital expenditures."
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