News Posts matching #2020

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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."

Ubisoft to Release 5 AAA Game Experiences from October 2020 Through March 2021

Ubisoft has some of the most lucrative gaming franchises in the world right now, and the company is apparently planning to cache out on most of the through the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. According to Twitter user Shinobi602, Ubisoft will be launching three AAA games - Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters and Rainbow Six Quarantine - between October and December 2020. Kotaku's own Jason Schreier then pilled on, adding that the two remaining games for the beginning of 2021 would be an Assassin's Creed and a new Far Cry game.

This means that Ubisoft's other franchises, such as Splinter Cell and the much-awaited-yet-somehow-forgotten Beyond Good & Evil 2, will not be releasing any time soon - at least not before March 2021. It remains to be seen, but it's likely all of these three games will see multi-generational releases between current and next-gen consoles.

ASRock Revenue Soars Due to the Ryzen Effect

ASRock, a Taiwanese manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, had an amazing 2019 when it comes to the revenue. Surging around 31% on a Year-over-Year (YoY) basis and delivering revenue of 443.16 million US Dollars, ASRock is expecting to deliver even better results in 2020. When it comes to the underlying reasons for this notable increase, ASRock attributes it to the recent success of AMD's Ryzen family of processors and strong demand for the platform surrounding it. Adopting the AMD Ryzen processors in Mini-PCs, motherboards and server boards, ASRocks see strong demand for these products that should carry over in 2020.

Another reason for strong profits and even better chapters ahead is the developments in the US and European markets. Having previously been focused on the Asian market and marketing its products to that part, ASRock changed the strategy and started advertising its brand more to other regions like the US and Europe. This new strategy is progressing well and is expected to continue in the coming years. Additionally, it is worth noting that ASRock's graphics card sales started to turn profitable in 2019, and now that part of ASRock is attributing to profits as well.

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

Rumor: NVIDIA's Next Generation GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 "Ampere" Graphics Cards Detailed

NVIDIA's next-generation of graphics cards codenamed Ampere is set to arrive sometime this year, presumably around GTC 2020 which takes place on March 22nd. Before the CEO of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang officially reveals the specifications of these new GPUs, we have the latest round of rumors coming our way. According to VideoCardz, which cites multiple sources, the die configurations of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 have been detailed. Using the latest 7 nm manufacturing process from Samsung, this generation of NVIDIA GPU offers a big improvement from the previous generation.

For starters the two dies which have appeared have codenames like GA103 and GA104, standing for RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 respectively. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) count. The smaller GA104 die has as much as 48 SMs, resulting in 3072 CUDA cores, while the bigger, oddly named, GA103 die has as much as 60 SMs that result in 3840 CUDA cores in total. These improvements in SM count should result in a notable performance increase across the board. Alongside the increase in SM count, there is also a new memory bus width. The smaller GA104 die that should end up in RTX 3070 uses a 256-bit memory bus allowing for 8/16 GB of GDDR6 memory, while its bigger brother, the GA103, has a 320-bit wide bus that allows the card to be configured with either 10 or 20 GB of GDDR6 memory. In the images below you can check out the alleged diagrams for yourself and see if this looks fake or not, however, it is recommended to take this rumor with a grain of salt.

Microsoft Confirms E3 2020 Presence, Xbox Series X Details; Sony Makes a Pass on the Expo

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (hence, E3) was, for years, one of those unmissable tech events with an unmistakable gravitas. All companies that actually meant something took attendance to woo the globe with the latest games, entertainment systems, and advances in technology. It still retains most of that glamour, even if some of its sheen is slightly rubbed off already. However, we can expect E3 2020 to the stage for a number of reveals from companies, and one of those companies is Microsoft. Phil Spencer has already confirmed that Microsoft will have a strong presence at E3, and with that being the case, you can expect new games, more information on already announced games (more Halo Infinite, please), and additional information pertaining the company's Xbox Series X games console.

But while some are still betting on E3, others have started to go their own way by organizing their own events. Sony has announced that they will be skipping E3 2020 in favor of hundreds of smaller, yet more globally seeded events, citing that the Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) vision for their 2020 show doesn't exactly align with what Sony is aiming at with its products. Still, you know 2020 will be a packed year for gaming, both in the console and PC spaces.

Traditional PC Volumes Close Out an Impressive 2019 with Fourth Quarter Growth of 4.8%, According to IDC

The worldwide market for traditional PCs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, finished an impressive 2019 with fourth quarter growth of 4.8% year over year, according to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Global shipments during the quarter beat forecast expectations at just under 71.8 million units, the highest single quarter shipment volume in four years (4Q15). Overall, global shipments grew 2.7% year over year in 2019, the first full year of PC growth since the market grew 1.7% in 2011.

"This past year was a wild one in the PC world, which resulted in impressive market growth that ultimately ended seven consecutive years of market contraction," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "The market will still have its challenges ahead, but this year was a clear sign that PC demand is still there despite the continued insurgence of emerging form factors and the demand for mobile computing."

Alienware Shows Off Concept UFO - a Portable, Tablet-like Mini PC

At CES 2020, Dell's gaming-inspired division, Alienware, had a handful of new products to showcase. Among these, we found a new product that is still in development called the Concept UFO. The UFO is a concept product that hints a new development strategy for gaming PCs, and that is a portability first approach. Inspired by Nintendo's Switch console, this computer puts gaming PCs on the go. Designed to be a handheld based solution, this PC is based on Windows 10 operating system so you can be sure that all of your existing game libraries are also playable on it as well.

Having an Intel processor as its base, the Concept UFO uses Intel's iGPU to power an 8-inch display of unknown resolution. While we don't know which architecture is powering the UFO, we speculate that Ice Lake is behind it. Our speculation is based on an assumption that, if the concept is capable of playing games, Alienware would put as high-performance iGPU as possible, and such performance is currently only found inside Intel's Ice Lake processors, in form of Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. Frank Azor of AMD tweeted a question if anyone would like to see this product come with new AMD 4000 series of Ryzen mobile processors, so we could be in for a surprise, given that final specifications are not determined. Ryzen 4000 series would represent a perfect choice as it offers a lot of CPU and GPU power in a mere 15 W TDP package, however, we don't know what solution will be present in the end.

New Report Pins ASMedia B550 and A520 Chipset Production to begin Only in Q1 2020

While many users were likely expecting AMD to launch their lower-tier alternatives B550 and A520 chipset solutions for their Ryzen 2 CPUs shortly after their release to the market last year, users who want to pair a more inexpensive motherboard have had to wait in the rain until now. At the time, industry sources pointed towards fabrication of ASMedia's B550 and A520 chipsets for the AM4 platform to begin shipping to motherboard manufacturers in Q4 2019.

Now, new reports say that production of these chipsets (simpler in features, and thus, in price, whilst also not requiring active cooling) will only begin in Q1 2020, which means likely retail availability (at least in significant volumes) in Q2 at the earliest. It seems that users will, for the time being, have to make do with the usually top-of-the-line chipset option for the AMD platform - which is, coincidentally, the one with bigger margins for AMD.

ViewSonic Announces the XG550 OLED Gaming Monitor: 55", 4K, OLED, 120 Hz, 0.5 ms, 99% DCI

ViewSonic today unveiled a massive 55-inch OLED gaming monitor that's sure to tick all of the boxes - including (likely) that of most expensive monitor money can buy. The XG550 is an OLED-based, 55" gaming monitor with 4K resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate - alongside a pretty amazing 0.5 ms quoted response time. The fact that it offers 99% coverage of DCI color-space is just icing on the cake for any creative professionals, although I'd imagine they'd much enjoy an 8K presentation on that diagonal size (hey, we can always ask for more, can't we?).

The monitor also supports RGB lighting on a LED emitter on the back of the display (sadly, nothing like Philip's Ambilight, but hey, it at least serves to make your gaming area more interesting; and it's compatible with Razer Chroma). No word on pricing, but ViewSonic expects the Xg550 to be available come 4Q 2020.

ASUS Debuts Latest VivoBook and ZenBook Series Lineup at CES 2020

Today, at CES 2020, ASUS debuted its latest VivoBook and ZenBook laptop refreshes. The first in the lineup is the VivoBook S series, which is consisting out of VivoBook S333, S433 and S533 models. At the heart of these new laptops is the latest 10th generation of processors from Intel that is giving the ultra-portable notebooks power to perform everyday tasks with ease. In some configurations like S433 and S533, there is a choice of Core i7 and Core i5 Comet Lake CPUs, while the S333 model is rocking Ice Lake at its core. For Comet Lake configurations, there is a choice of Intel Core i7-10510U or Core i5-10210U processor, while Ice Lake powered models have a choice between Intel Core i7-1065G7 or Core i5-1035G1 processors. As far as graphics power goes, users can choose to use Intel iGPU, or add NVIDIA MX series GPU for an additional price increase.

AMD CEO To Unveil "Zen 3" Microarchitecture at CES 2020

A prominent Taiwanese newspaper reported that AMD will formally unveil its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture at the 2020 International CES. Company CEO Dr Lisa Su will head an address revealing three key client-segment products under the new 4th generation Ryzen processor family, and the company's 3rd generation EPYC enterprise processor family based on the "Milan" MCM that succeeds "Rome." AMD is keen on developing an HEDT version of "Milan" for the 4th generation Ryzen Threadripper family, codenamed "Genesis Peak."

The bulk of the client-segment will be addressed by two distinct developments, "Vermeer" and "Renoir." The "Vermeer" processor is a client-desktop MCM that succeeds "Matisse," and will implement "Zen 3" chiplets. "Renoir," on the other hand, is expected to be a monolithic APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, with updated display- and multimedia-engines from "Navi." The common thread between "Milan," "Genesis Peak," and "Vermeer" is the "Zen 3" chiplet, which AMD will build on the new 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process at TSMC. AMD stated that "Zen 3" will have IPC increases in line with a new microarchitecture.

Intel DG1 Discrete GPU Shows Up with 96 Execution Units

As we are approaching the year 2020, when Intel is rumored to launch its discrete graphics cards to the hand of consumers around the world, we are gearing up on the number of leaks about the upcoming products. Thanks to Twitter user @KOMACHI_ENSAKA, who found the latest EEC listing, we have new information regarding Intel's upcoming DG1 discrete graphics solution.

In the leaked EEC listing, the DG1 GPU is being presented as a GPU with 96 execution units, meaning that Intel is planning to take on entry-level graphics cards with this GPU. If the graphics unit is following the same design principle of the previous-generation GPUs, then there should be around 8 shading units per one execution unit, totaling 768 shading units for the whole DG1 GPU. If the 12th Gen Xe design inside the DG1 follows a different approach, then we can expect to see a double amount of shading units, meaning 1536 in total.

ADATA to Expand its Product Offerings to Monitors, Laptops and Gaming PCs

ADATA is a company currently selling only memory solutions like SSDs and DRAM, however, the company now wants to try something different in 2020. For starters, ADATA wants to launch more products that will be a part of its Xtreme Performance Gear lineup called XPG shortly. XPG will start offering new products like monitors, laptops, gaming PCs and PC cases with a goal of capturing new market share and try to establish itself as a strong brand of PC gaming products. The new lineup will get revealed with more details at CES 2020, however, we have information of what the new lineup contains.

For starters, XPG will begin with a laptop called Xenia 15, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop with 1080p IPS display and 9th gen Intel core i9 CPU. Next up the chain is a gaming PC called XPG Gaia - 5 liters mini PC with one PCIe slot for a graphics card that's up to 8-inches long. In addition, XPG will showcase a new monitor called Photon equipped with a 27-inch panel that features PixelDisplay's Vivid Color Eye-Safe Display technology which is essentially a technique for blocking out blue light. There is also going to be a new case called XPG Volta, a cylindrical case made out of premium materials such as tempered glass and metal. It is supposed to fit up to E-ATX motherboard and have plenty of room for water-cooling setups. Last but not least, XPG will have two concepts of RGB DDR4 memory modules, with both of them having speeds of up to 4800 MHz and having capacity of up to 32 GB per DIMM.

AMD Renoir APU Models Spotted in ASUS Notebooks

Following the previous report about AMD's upcoming "Renoir" APU lineup of processors for notebook and desktop, we have new information about the new processor models and their configurations. Supposed to launch in early 2020, the Renoir lineup is supposed to feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads in high-end models. Dubbed Ryzen 4000 series, the new APU lineup will be available in four configurations determined by its TDP: 15 W and 45 W chips for notebooks, and 35 W and 65 W variants meant for desktop.

According to WCCFTech, AMD will launch high-performance Ryzen 9 4900H and Ryzen 7 4800H APUs soon in the first notebooks. Supposed to be part of the "H" series of mobile APUs, these models will feature high core count, that can reach up to 8 cores, SMT support as well, all within TPD of 45 Watts. A power-optimized Ryzen 7 4800HS has also appeared in the listings as a lower clocked alternative to Ryzen 7 4800H, which is supposed to feature lower TDP as well. All of the former processors appear listed as the base of ASUSes upcoming GA401 and GA502 laptops, featuring 16 GB of RAM, Windows 10, and a 14-inch display. While configurations of the laptop will affect its price, Ryzen 7 4800HS powered model is currently listed at 1904 EUR, featuring 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage, so we now have a ballpark price estimate to speculate upon.

Steam Winter Sale Begins

The Annual Steam Winter Sale is on now thru January 2, 2020 at 10 am Pacific. In addition to finding massive savings on thousands of titles, gamers may earn Festivity Tokens when they shop on Steam and/or when they complete Holiday Quests. Earned Festivity Tokens may be spent in the Holiday Market, where players will find The Steam Winter Sale Coupon, new Chat Stickers, new Chat Room Effects, and more. The initial Holiday Quests are on now, with new Quests being added throughout the sale.

Continuing 14 nm Supply Shortages Lead Intel to Reintroduce Haswell-based, 22 nm Pentium G3420

"Nothing Really Ends" is the title of a song from dEUS, a Belgian "art-rock" band. And it would seem this applies all too well to the world of technology too. Intel has issued a Product Change Notification (PCN) which has changed the previously dead and buried, Haswell-era, 22 nm Pentium G3420 from its "Discontinued" status back to a worded "canceling this Product Discontinuance completely per new roadmap decision and enabling the product long term once again." Which means the Pentium G3420 will have a new lease of life, and will be available to customers until May 2020, with final shipments on December of the same year.

This is clearly an attempt from Intel to increase part availability for OEMs and system manufacturers, who have already been quoted as considering AMD due to both increases in performance and efficiency in their processors, as well as constrained supply from Intel, with giant Dell already having pointed the finger at Intel as a cause for their lower than expected revenue.

ChangXin Becomes China's First Domestic DRAM Supplier

ChangXin Memory Technologies, a Chinese startup founded in 2016 that was formerly known as "Innotron Memory", now claims that it has become China's first and only domestic DRAM supplier. Following the announcement that it started production of domestic DRAM chips, ChangXin is now reportedly shipping its first DRAM wafers. With an output of around 20000 wafers per month, the company is currently building LPDDR4, DDR4 8Gbit chips using the "10-nanometer class" node, which is supposed to be 18 or 19 nm size in reality.

The company expects to double its wafer output to 40000 wafers per month sometime around Q2 of 2020 when additional expansion facilities will start production. ChangXin plans to soon open two more manufacturing facilities to start manufacturing even more wafers, in addition to its Fab 1. So far ChangXin has laid-out plans to start manufacturing DRAM technology based on stack capacitor, which is different from the usual trench capacitor technology few companies are pursuing.

Half-Life: Alyx Officially Revealed, Will Release March 2020

Valve has taken the proverbial wraps off the already-teased, and now revealed, Half Life: Alyx. The latest installment in the Half-Life universe, again, isn't a sequel to the narrative that has been left midway with the ending of Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Instead, it's a prequel of sorts, situated in the 20-year time gap between the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2. It's at this point in the timeline that players will accompany Alyx and her father, Elias, in their fight against the Combine.

Engine-wise, the game will make use of the Source 2 engine, and will be released with accompanying Source 2 tools for worldbuilding, allowing players to design and distribute their own worlds set in this universe. The game will be a single-player, story-driven FPS affair, and will make heavy use of Half-Life's physics interactions. The game is being announced as a full-length game release built from the ground-up for VR - it's not just a VR adventure the development team embarked on, though it did start that way. But let that be for a while: go after the break to watch the game's trailer. I dare you to say this doesn't quite look like your Half-Life dream game.

AMD Could Launch Next Generation RDNA 2 GPUs at CES 2020

According to the findings of a Chiphell user called "wjm47196", AMD is supposedly going to host an event at CES 2020 to showcase its next generation of Radeon graphics cards. Having seen huge success with its first-generation "RDNA" GPUs, AMD is expected to showcase improved lineup utilizing new and improved RDNA 2 graphics card architecture.

Judging by the previous information, second generation of RDNA graphics cards will get much-needed features like ray tracing, to remain competitive with existing offers from NVIDIA and soon Intel. Supposed to be built using the 7 nm+ manufacturing process, the new GPU architecture will get around 10-15% performance improvement due to the new manufacturing process alone, with possibly higher numbers if there are changes to the GPU core.

Microsoft Could Bring x86-64 App Emulation to Windows on ARM

According to the sources close to Neowin, Microsoft is expected to launch x86-64 (or x64 in short) emulation support for Windows on ARM (WoA) devices. Expected to arrive in Windows 10 21H1, or around 2020 for all the Windows Insiders, the new feature will enable a vast majority of apps made for Windows OS, currently built for x64 architecture, to run on ARM ISA and all Windows on ARM computers.

So far, only 32-bit x86 applications were able to be emulated, however, if these rumors are to be believed, many users of WoA devices should get a chance to run all of their favorite 64-bit software that was previously unavailable. The launch of this feature will boost the adoption of the WoA ecosystem with benefits reaching all existing laptop models, including Microsoft's newly launched Surface Pro X laptop that utilizes an ARM-based chip called SQ1 (customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor).

Seagate's Roadmap Calls for 18 TB, 20 TB Drives in 2020, 50 TB by 2026

Seagate announced its roadmap for the coming years, and the company is naturally fighting tooth and nail for the relevance of HDD technology in the market. While the benefits of SSDs are already well understood by the entire industry, in some scenarios, it makes more sense to make use of high-density HDDs - particularly where deployment space is at a premium, and in scenarios where seek times for information stored on the media aren't all that important. This is why the company is aggressively pushing its new HAMR technology as a way to increase areal density on traditional platter-based media.

Plans to achieve 18 TB and 20 TB density HDDs in the first semester of 2020 seem to be well within reason, considering the company has recently shipped 16 TB HDDs. These HDD solutions will still make use of older technologies such as CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording), for the 18 TB drives) and SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) for their 20 TB 2020 products. The company will later make use of their proprietary HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) technology in order to upgrade their 20 TB, and 20 TB+ HDDs with higher performance (and density) than can be achieved with the tried and true SMR. When it comes to performance improvements, a latent disadvantage in HDDs compared to solid state solutions, the company will eventually deploy HDDs which make use of two sets of read/write heads instead of a single one.

Kojima Productions: Death Stranding is Coming to PC

Kojima Productions, a Japanese video game developer and maker of popular video game series "Metal Gear", has announced that they will release highly anticipated game Death Stranding on November 8th for PlayStation 4. Another important note is that Kojima Productions also plans to launch a PC version of the Death Stranding game, however it will be delayed to "early Summer" of 2020, without a specific date to look out for.

TSMC: 5 nm on Track for Q2 2020 HVM, Ramping Faster than 7 nm

TSMC vice chairman and CEO C.C. Wei announced the company's plans for 5 nm are on track, which means High Volume manufacturing (HVM) on the node is expected to be achieved by 2Q 2020. The company has increased expenditures in ramping up its various nodes from an initially projected $10 billion to something along the lines of $14 billion - 15 billion; the company is really banking on quick uptake and design wins on its most modern process technologies - and the increased demand that follows.

TSMC's 5 nm process (N5) will use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) in many more layers than its N7+ and N6 processes, with up to 14 layers being etched in the N5 silicon compared to five and six, respectively, for its "older" N7+ and N6 processes. As the company increases capital expenditure in acquiring EUVL-capable equipment that sets up its production nodes for the market they foresee will just gobble up the chips in 2020, the company is optimistic they can achieve growth in the 5-10% number.
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