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PlayStation 4K to Feature a 2,304-SP AMD "Polaris" GPU

Sony's upcoming 4K Ultra HD game console, which its fans are referring to as the "PlayStation 4K," while being internally referred to by Sony as "NEO," could feature a very powerful GPU. AMD could custom-design the SoC that drives the console, to feature an 8-core 64-bit x86 CPU based on the "Jaguar" micro-architecture, running at 2.10 GHz; and a GPU component featuring 36 compute units based on "next-generation Graphics CoreNext" architecture.

36 next-gen GCN compute units sounds an awful lot like the specs of the Polaris10 "Ellesmere" chip in its Radeon R9 480 configuration, working out to a stream processor count of 2,304 - double that of the 1,152 on the current-gen PlayStation 4. The SoC is also rumored to feature a 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface holding 8 GB of memory. This memory will be used as both system and video memory, just like on the current-gen PlayStation 4. The memory bandwidth will be increased to 218 GB/s from the current 176 GB/s. Besides 4K Ultra HD gaming, this chip could also prepare Sony for VR headsets, leveraging AMD's LiquidVR tech.Source: GiantBomb

AMD Preparing to Drop 32-bit Support for Radeon Drivers?

Is AMD planning to retire driver support for 32-bit Windows? A bulk of the company's Radeon R9 and Fury series GPUs feature 4 GB or more of video memory, and 64-bit Windows users making up the overwhelming majority, the company has begun steering users away from using 32-bit Windows altogether. We got whiff of this when we visited AMD's Drivers + Download Center on the company website, and tried clicking on the "32-bit" links of some of its Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 drivers, which redirected to an ominously-worded AMD knowledge-base article (Article #GPU-622).

This knowledge-base article, intended for people looking for 32-bit drivers, reads:
A system running Microsoft Windows 10 64 Bit can take full advantage of the advanced visual and performance features of these graphics cards. However, AMD also provides 64 Bit drivers for Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Windows 7 to accomodate those users who choose to use an older Microsoft Operating System.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 362.00 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA released the latest version of its GeForce software. Version 362.00 WHQL comes game-ready for the hardware-intensive "Far Cry Primal," and "Gears of War Ultimate Edition." This includes performance optimizations, SLI profiles (if supported), and GeForce Experience optimal settings for the two games. The drivers are also optimized for the latest update of "Dying Light." Grab them from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 362.00 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 8.1/7/Vista 64-bit

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 361.43 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA released one of its last GeForce driver releases for the year, version 361.43 WHQL. Surprisingly, these drivers aren't "Game Ready," and as such aren't built around optimization for any new game releases. They instead bring along GameWorks VR 1.1 support, including SLI support for VR applications that use OpenGL. The latest version of Occulus SDK also comes included. The drivers add/update SLI profiles for DayZ, Dungeon Defenders 2, Elite Dangerous (64-bit executable), Hard West (DirectX 11 renderer), and Bless.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 361.43 WHQL

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 WHQL

AMD released the WHQL-signed version of Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 as the new 15.12 WHQL. It addresses a variety of game-specific issues, including rendering errors on Star Wars: Battlefront; bugs on Fallout 4; texture-compression issues with Just Cause 3; poor CrossFire performance with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. It also addresses a critical issue in which the driver would either spool fan-speeds all the way up to 100% on load, or lock them down at 30%, causing certain GPUs to overheat. A variety of bugs specific to the Radeon Settings app were also addressed.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

QNAP Intros TS-251+ and TS-451+ High-value NAS Servers

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the release of the quad-core 2-bay TS-251+ and 4-bay TS-451+ NAS that provide an uncompromising high-performance and scalable storage solution for small offices and workgroup users with appealing affordability. The new models feature virtualization readiness, containerized applications, advanced backup solutions, real-time & offline video transcoding, QvPC Technology, HDMI video playback with an included remote control, and many more functions that are beneficial for businesses and SOHO users to build a cost-efficient and modern storage solution.

The TS-251+ and TS-451+ are powered by a 22nm 64-bit quad-core Intel Celeron 2.0GHz processor (burst up to 2.42GHz) with 2GB/8GB energy-efficient DDR3L RAM. They also include dual Gigabit LAN ports, and can deliver up to 225 MB/s throughput and up to 205 MB/s transfer speeds with AES 256-bit volume & folder encryption."The TS-251+ & TS-451+ are ideal choices for those who demand the superior performance of a quad-core x86-based NAS without breaking the budget," said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP. "Both NAS are speedy, versatile and provide future-proof scalability."

AMD Achieves High-End Embedded Performance Leadership with New R-Series

AMD today announced new AMD Embedded R-Series SOC processors that establish performance leadership across a targeted range of embedded application market requirements for digital signage, retail signage, medical imaging, electronic gaming, media storage and communications and networking. Designed for demanding embedded needs, the processors incorporate the newest AMD 64-bit x86 CPU core ("Excavator"), plus third-generation Graphics Core Next GPU architecture, and state-of-the-art power management for reduced energy consumption. Combined, these AMD innovations and technologies provide industry-leading graphics performance and key embedded features for next-generation designs.

The single-chip system-on-chip (SOC) architecture enables simplified, small form factor board and system designs from AMD customers and a number of third party development platform providers, while providing astounding graphics and multimedia performance, including capability for hardware-accelerated decode of 4K video playback. With a robust suite of peripheral support and interface options, high-end AMD Radeon graphics, designed for the industry's first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 certification, and support for the latest DDR4 memory, the new AMD R-Series SOC addresses the needs of a wide range of markets and customers.

AMD Expands Embedded Graphics Lineup

AMD today announced multiple new discrete AMD Embedded Radeon graphics options suitable for multiple form factors. The suite of products is specifically designed to advance the visual and parallel processing capabilities of embedded applications. The graphics cards represent continued AMD commitment to embedded market innovation, providing engineers with more choices to achieve their design goals, from leading performance to energy efficiency.

The new offerings cover a broad range of needs, from 192 GFLOPS to 3 TFLOPS of single precision performance, and from 20 to less than 95 watts of thermal design power. The products are offered as a Multi-Chip Module (MCM), Mobile PCI Express Module (MXM) and PCIe options, with AMD offering the only MCM solutions. All of these products offer extended support and longevity. The new discrete graphics cards offer the right balance of performance, power and graphics memory size, to meet the needs of most customers.

"The demand for rich, vibrant graphics in embedded systems is greater than ever before, and that demand is growing," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. "Our latest additions to the embedded product lineup help designers build mesmerizing user experiences with 4K multi-screen installations and 3-D and interactive displays. In addition, the powerful capabilities of our GPUs can address the toughest parallel compute challenges."

CPU Whiz Jim Keller Leaves AMD

Jim Keller, one of the lead architects of AMD's x86 CPU architectures, has left the company. He held the post of Chief Architect of Microprocessor Cores at AMD. With his association, AMD's launched some of its most successful CPU architectures, such as the original K7 (Athlon, Athlon XP, Duron); the very first 64-bit x86 architecture, and K8 (Athlon64). Keller then left AMD to join Apple, in its development of the A4 and A5 SoCs, before rejoining AMD in 2012 to begin work on the "Zen" architecture.

Keller's departure doesn't throw "Zen" in jeopardy. "Jim helped establish a strong leadership team that is well positioned for success as we enter the completion phase of the "Zen" core and associated system IP and SoCs," said AMD in a statement. "Zen" remains on-track for sampling in 2016, and its "first full year of revenue" in 2017, which would indicate a market launch some time in 2016. AMD CTO Mark Papermaster will take over as additional charge of Keller's position.

Source: Hexus.net

AMD "Fiji" HBM Implementation Detailed

Back in 2008, when it looked like NVIDIA owned the GPU market, and AMD seemed lagging behind on the performance and efficiency game, the company sprung a surprise. The company's RV770 silicon, the first GPU to implement GDDR5 memory, trounced NVIDIA's big and inefficient GeForce GTX 200 series, and threw AMD back in the game. GDDR5 helped the company double the memory bandwidth, with lower pin- and memory-chip counts, letting the company and its partners build graphics cards with fewer components, and earn great margins, which the company invested in development of its even better HD 5000 series, that pushed NVIDIA with its comical GeForce GTX 480, to hit its lowest ever in market-share. Could AMD be looking at a similar turnaround this summer?

Since the introduction of its Graphics CoreNext architecture in 2012, AMD has been rather laxed in its product development cycle. The company has come out with a new high-end silicon every 18-24 months, and adopted a strategy of cascading re-branding. The introduction of each new high-end silicon would relegate the existing high-end silicon to the performance segment re-branded, and the existing performance-segment silicon to mid-range, re-branded. While the company could lay out its upcoming Radeon R9 series much in the same way, with the introduction of essentially just one new silicon, "Fiji," it could just prove enough for the company. Much like RV770, "Fiji" is about to bring something that could prove to be a very big feature to the consumer graphics market, stacked high-bandwidth memory (HBM).

MSI Unleashes 990FXA GAMING Socket AM3+ Motherboard

MSI, world leading in motherboard design, debuts the world's first USB 3.1 featured AMD GAMING motherboard, the 990FXA GAMING. Delivering blazing fast USB performance, up to 2 times faster than USB 3.0, the new 990FXA GAMING motherboard offers two USB 3.1 ports, which are fully backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.

Inheriting the outstanding DNA of MSI's award winning GAMING family, the new MSI AM3+ 990FXA GAMING motherboard features Killer LAN for the best online GAMING experience, Audio Boost 2 powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 for astonishing sound quality that gives you the upper hand on the battlefield, USB Audio Power and a completely new hardware and software design for enhanced gaming performance. Get ready for high-end AMD GAMING with MSI.

NVIDIA Discloses Batman: Arkham Knight PC System Requirements

Ahead of its June 23 release, the minimum- and recommended-system requirements of Rocksteady's next installment to the super-hit Batman: Arkham franchise, Arkham Knight, was disclosed by NVIDIA. The PC version appears to have some clear visual benefits over the console variants of this game, given its steep storage requirements. Given that it will get an NVIDIA GameWorks varnish, PC gamers can expect eye-candy that won't make it to the console versions, including support for high-resolution display standards, such as 4K Ultra HD.
Without further ado, the system requirements lists.

Intel Announces Atom x3, x5, and x7 Series

Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich today announced a series of mobile platforms including the company's new low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) for phones, phablets and tablets, a global LTE solution, innovative personal computing experiences, and a range of customers for mobile device and network infrastructure offerings. With technologies that span silicon, software and security, Krzanich said Intel was one of the few companies able to deliver solutions end-to-end, for devices, the network and the cloud.

The announcements include the Intel Atom x3 processor series, Intel's first integrated communications SoC solution for the growing value and entry device markets, and the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, designed for performance and worldwide coverage. In addition, Krzanich highlighted joint efforts with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei to address the demand for new telecommunications, cloud and data center services, improve network efficiencies, and accelerate the industry's move toward a software-defined infrastructure.

Samsung Electronics Mass Producing High-Density ePoP Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it is now mass producing the industry's first ePoP (embedded package on package) memory - a single memory package consisting of 3GB LPDDR3 DRAM, 32GB eMMC (embedded multi-media card) and a controller. For use in high-end smartphones, the extremely thin ePoP combines all essential memory components into a single package that can be stacked directly on top of the mobile processor, without taking any additional space - a distinct improvement over existing two-package eMCP memory solutions.

"By offering our new high-density ePoP memory for flagship smartphones, Samsung expects to provide its customers with significant design benefits, while enabling faster and longer operation of multi-tasking features," Jeeho Baek, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "We plan to expand our line-up of ePoP memory with packages involving enhancements in performance and density over the next few years, to further add to the growth of premium mobile market."

AMD Reports 2014 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 of $1.24 billion, operating loss of $330 million and net loss of $364 million, or $0.47 per share. Non-GAAP(1) operating income was $36 million, non-GAAP(1) net income of $2 million and breakeven non-GAAP(1) earnings per share.

"We made progress diversifying our business, ramping design wins and improving our balance sheet this past year despite challenges in our PC business," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Annual Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment revenue increased over 50% as customer demand for products powered by our high-performance compute and rich visualization solutions was strong. We continue to address channel headwinds in the Computing and Graphics segment and are taking steps to return it to a healthy trajectory beginning in the second quarter of 2015."

Finalwire Introduces AIDA64 v5.00

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 5.00 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 5.00 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 5.00 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 5.00 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The latest AIDA64 update introduces wireless remote monitoring of sensor values on smartphones and tablets via RemoteSensor and Logitech Arx Control. It also provides detailed information on system certificates, and supports Aquaero and Aquaduct sensor devices.
DOWNLOAD: AIDA64 Extreme v5.00 Installer | ZIP Package

AMD to Give 20 nm Optical Shrinks to Console SoCs First

AMD has the unique distinction of supplying SoCs to all three leading game console vendors simultaneously - Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The company, like NVIDIA, is looking forward with perched eyes for manufacturing partner TSMC to get its 20 nanometer silicon fabrication node running full-cylinders. Unlike NVIDIA, which may use the new process to shrink its GPUs, or launch bigger chips based on its "Maxwell" architecture, AMD will treat its console SoCs with optical-shrinks to the new nodes first, so the company could immediately eke out better margins, as console gamers upgrade to Xbox One or the PlayStation 4.

AMD's SoC for the Xbox One, could be the first in line for this optical shrink to 20 nm. This chip features a transistor count of 5 billion, and houses eight 64-bit x86 CPU cores, and a 768 SP GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture; 48 MB of on-die cache, and a quad-channel DDR3 IMC. The chip also features an integrated core logic. AMD's chip for the PlayStation 4 features design inputs from Sony. The chip features the same CPU component, but a 1152 SP GPU, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, wired to 8 GB of memory that's virtualized for both system- and graphics-memory. The 20 nm shrinks of both chips are expected to lower not just manufacturing costs, but also step up energy-efficiency, which could then let Microsoft and Sony save additional costs on other components, such as power and cooling.


Source: Expreview

AMD Outs Catalyst 14.9.2 Beta Drivers

AMD rolled out its second beta-marked Catalyst drivers, since its late-September Catalyst 14.9 WHQL, Catalyst 14.9.2 beta. The driver enables AMD Mantle API support for Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the month's biggest PC game launch. The release doesn't include any other notable changes. Grab the driver for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, from the links below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.9.2 beta for Windows 8.1/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8.1/7/Vista 32-bit

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 14.9.1 Beta Driver

Shortly after the launch of its Catalyst 14.9 WHQL driver, AMD released a follow-up Catalyst 14.9.1 Beta driver, to address some immediate issues found with the driver. It addresses an intermittent black-screen or BSOD issue caused after driver installation of Catalyst 14.9 WHQL, Catalyst Control Center crash, random crash when enabling or disabling 4-way CrossFireX, and Battlefield 4 instability on systems with 4-way CrossFireX. It also fixes a system crash issue found with Sniper Elite III, on systems with 4-way CrossFireX.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.9.1 beta for Windows 8.1/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8.1/7/Vista 32-bit

TSMC and ARM Unveil Roadmap for 64-bit ARM-based Processors on 10FinFET Process

ARM and TSMC today announced a new multi-year agreement that will deliver ARMv8-A processor IP optimized for TSMC 10FinFET process technology. Because of the success in scaling from 20SoC to 16FinFET, ARM and TSMC have decided to collaborate again for 10FinFET. This early pathfinding work will provide valuable learning to enable physical design IP and methodologies in support of customers to tape-out 10FinFET designs as early as Q4 2015.

"ARM and TSMC are industry leaders in our respective fields and collectively ensure the availability of leading-edge solutions for ARM-based SoCs through our deep and long-term collaboration," said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president, product groups, ARM. "Our mutual commitment to providing industry leading solutions drives us to work together early in the development cycle to optimize both the processor and the process node. This joint optimization enables ARM silicon partners to design, tape-out and bring their products to market faster."

AMD Demos First Network Function Virtualization on 64-Bit AMD and ARM Technology

AMD today demonstrated the first network function virtualization (NFV) solution on AMD's 64-bit ARM-based SoC and announced that it is now sampling to AMD's embedded customers. The NFV demonstration is powered by a 64-bit ARM-based AMD Embedded R-Series SoC, codenamed "Hierofalcon," supported with technology from two key ecosystem partners -- Aricent for the networking software stack and Mentor Graphics for embedded Linux and tools. NFV is an innovative solution that simplifies deployment and management for network and telecommunications service providers with a fully virtualized communications infrastructure that helps maximize performance, while working to reduce costs.

At ARM TechCon, AMD specifically showcased the capabilities of an ARM-based NFV solution, virtualizing the functionality of a packet data network gateway, serving gateway, and a mobility management entity. In addition to virtualizing hardware components, AMD showcased a live traffic migration between the ARM-based AMD Embedded R-Series SoC and the x86-based second generation AMD R-Series APU. AMD's ARM-based NFV solution will be especially valuable for telecommunications network infrastructure providers interested in a flexible software-defined networking (SDN) implementation to manage networking services with configurable hardware to help reduce complexity and cost. NFV is the abstraction of numerous network devices such as routers and gateways, to enable relocation of network functions from dedicated hardware appliances to generic servers. With NFV, much of the intelligence currently built into proprietary, specialized hardware is accomplished with software running on general purpose hardware. The resulting solution is a fully virtualized communications infrastructure -- including virtual servers, storage and networks -- that simplifies deployment and management for network and telecommunications service providers. AMD is paving the way for both new and established service providers to design and deploy either x86 or ARM-based NFV infrastructure which meets their performance, cost and complexity requirements.

First ARM Cortex-A57-Based Hadoop Demonstration Achieved on AMD Opteron A-Series

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today will make the first public demonstration of Apache Hadoop running on an ARM Cortex-A57-based AMD Opteron A-Series processor. In a technical session at the JavaOne conference to be delivered this afternoon by AMD corporate fellow Leendert van Doorn, the company will show how the expanding AMD Opteron A-Series server software ecosystem now includes Hadoop, the Java-based framework for storage and large-scale data processing. In addition, Henrik Stahl, vice president, Java product management and Internet of Things at Oracle, will join van Doorn on stage to discuss Oracle's support for AMD's 64-bit ARM server architecture.

Hadoop, a distributed processing technology used primarily for big data analysis, is a rapidly expanding market expected to reach upward of $50 billion by 2020. The combination of 64-bit ARM-based servers and Hadoop is designed to accelerate the changing economics of large-scale computing by enabling distributed processing across clusters of ARM-based servers. Running on the recently announced AMD Opteron A1100 development platform, the demonstration will feature Apache Hadoop running on the Oracle JDK. Leendert will also show multiple nodes running the same demonstration using Linux environments based on Fedora technology from the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora community and the community supported OpenSUSE Project.

AMD Opteron 64-Bit ARM-Based Developer Kits Now Available

AMD today announced the immediate availability of the AMD Opteron A1100-Series developer kit, which features AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based processor, codenamed "Seattle." AMD is the first company to provide a standard ARM Cortex-A57-based server platform for software developers and integrators. Software and hardware developers as well as early adopters in large datacenters are eligible and can apply on AMD's website.

"The journey toward a more efficient infrastructure for large-scale datacenters is taking a major step forward today with broader availability of our AMD Opteron A1100-Series development kit," said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, general manager and vice president, Server business unit, AMD. "After successfully sampling to major ecosystem partners such as firmware, OS, and tools providers, we are taking the next step in what will be a collaborative effort across the industry to reimagine the datacenter based on the open business model of ARM innovation."

VIA Readying New 64-bit x86 Processor to Take on Intel Bay Trail and AMD Kabini

Only the third active licencee of Intel's x86 machine architecture, VIA Technology, is readying its first x86 processor in years, codenamed Isaiah II. This chip is based on a brand new 64-bit x86 core design by VIA and the engineering team it acquired from Centaur Technology, another erstwhile x86 licencee, and features modern instruction sets such as AVX 2.0. VIA began sampling a quad-core processor based on Isaiah II, which was put to live test by the company, at its InfoComm 2014 booth. It was compared to Intel's "Bay Trail" Atom and AMD's "Kabini" Athlon chips. It turns out that the Isaiah II is pretty good, if it comes out soon enough.

The Isaiah II based quad-core chip, featuring 2.00 GHz clock speeds, and 2 MB of L2 cache, was put through SANDRA. The BGA chip was running on a VIA-made motherboard, with its own VIA VX11H chipset. It was compared to AMD Athlon 5350 (quad-core "Jaguar" with 2.05 GHz clocks), and Intel Atom Z3770 (quad-core "Silvermont" with 2.40 GHz clocks). The results are tabulated below. At 2.00 GHz, armed with the latest multimedia and cryptography instruction-sets, VIA's chip is faster than Intel's in most tests, despite lower clocks. It trades blows - and wins - against AMD's chip, in most tests. VIA is expected to launch the first chips based on Isaiah II in late-August, 2014. VIA is hedging its bets with efficient compact PCs, kiosks, and digital signage, with its new chip.


Sources: 3DCenter.org, ExtraHardware.cz

Eurotech, AppliedMicro and NVIDIA Develop New HPC System Architecture

Eurotech, a leading provider of embedded and supercomputing technologies, has teamed up with Applied Micro Circuits Corporation and NVIDIA to develop a new, original high performance computing (HPC) system architecture that combines extreme density and best-in-class energy efficiency. The new architecture is based on an innovative highly modular and scalable packaging concept.

Eurotech, which has years of significant experience in designing and manufacturing original HPC systems, has successfully developed an HPC systems architecture that optimizes the benefits of greater density, as well as the energy efficiency of ARM processors and high-performance GPU accelerators.
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