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AMD Demonstrates 7nm Radeon Vega Instinct HPC Accelerator

AMD demonstrated the world's first GPU built on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, a Radeon Vega Instinct HPC/AI accelerator, with a 7 nm GPU based on the "Vega" architecture, at its heart. This chip is an MCM of a 7 nm GPU die, and 32 GB HBM2 memory stacks over four stacks (4096-bit memory bus width). It's also the first product to feature a removable InfinityFabric interface (competition to NVIDIA's NVLink interface). There will also be variants based on the common PCI-Express 3.0 x16. The card supports hardware virtualization and new deep-learning ops.

AMD Announces 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper with 32 Cores

AMD at its Computex 2018 presser unveiled the 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. These processors are multi-chip modules of four 12 nm 8-core "Pinnacle Ridge" dies, with up to 32 cores, and SMT enabling up to 64 threads. Much like the first-generation Threadripper family, there could be 16-core, 12-core, and 8-core SKUs; in addition to 24-core, 28-core, and 32-core ones. AMD did mention that these chips are backwards compatible with X399 motherboards, although it remains to be seen how AMD wires out the memory of two extra dies on the X399 platform. In all likelihood, there could be a new wave of motherboards that retain the TR4 socket with backwards-compatibility with 1st generation Threadripper proccessors, but having 8-channel memory slots.

The 2nd generation chips feature higher clock-speeds, and all of the "Zen+" features introduced by "Pinnacle Ridge," including Precision Boost II and XFR 2.0. AMD put up a demo of the chip challenging Intel's top-dog Core i9-7980XE, which has two more cores than it. This probably explains why Intel revealed a 28-core HEDT SKU yesterday. AMD stated that the lineup is en route Q3-2018 launch.

AMD Unveils Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano Graphics Card

AMD today unveiled the Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano, the spiritual successor to the disruptive high-end SFF graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano. Unlike the R9 Nano, the RX Vega 56 Nano is an AIB (add-in board) partner effort, specifically by PowerColor. The card itself is a good inch longer than the R9 Nano. Also, unlike its predecessor, it doesn't feature all stream processors physically present on the silicon. The card is cooled by a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink, ventilated by a single fan. The card is expected to be priced at USD $449.

Update: We went hands-on with this card.

AMD Introduces FreeSync Technology for New Samsung QLED TVs

AMD and Samsung today announced support for Radeon FreeSync technology in the new Samsung QLED 55" to 82" TV range, bringing the ultimate, ultrawide 4K gaming experience to an entirely new format - big screen TVs. Samsung is the first company to utilize industry-leading Radeon FreeSync adaptive refresh technology for stutter-free gaming inside a consumer television set. With High Dynamic Range (HDR) support up to 1000nits and stunning picture quality, Samsung's QLED displays allow gamers to experience strikingly high refresh rates and low latency on TVs at a variety of price points and screen sizes ranging from 55" to 82" creating a single display for all their home entertainment needs.

Over the past three years, Radeon FreeSync technology has driven widespread adoption and become the industry's most selected solution for smooth gaming. Earlier this year, AMD expanded the ecosystem by propelling tear-free gameplay beyond the PC with the launch of support for FreeSync technology in Microsoft's Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles in early March. With more than 250 compatible displays offered by more than 20 partners, this is more than double the availability of competing technology.

MSI Shows Off B450 Tomahawk and B450-A Pro Motherboards

MSI showed off two of its latest socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD's upcoming B450 chipset, the B450 Tomahawk and B450-A Pro. The Tomahawk is slotted in MSI's minimalist yet gamer-grade Arsenal Gaming series, and has a clean look, with a feature-set that doesn't exceed that of the chipset by much. Slick new VRM and chipset heatsink designs which debuted with Intel 300-series Tomahawk boards, make their appearance here. There's just one M.2-22110 slot. The B450-A Pro is part of MSI's mainline motherboard lineup, and targeted at system-integrators, with a similar feature-set to the Tomahawk, though slightly built to a cost.

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming Motherboard Pictured

Computex 2018 is flush with socket AM4 motherboards based on the mid-range AMD B450 chipset, which will launch sometime later in Q3. Leading ASUS' pack is the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix B450-F Gaming. This board covers all the essentials to qualify as a gaming-grade product worthy of the ROG tag. Built in the ATX form-factor, it draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the SoC using an 8-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to just one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, the second x16 slot is electrical x4.

Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gbps (of which two come from the SoC), and two M.2 slots, from which one is gen 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps), and the other is gen 2.0 x4 (20 Gbps). You also get two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2, six 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1, gigabit Ethernet powered by Intel i219-V controller, and high-grade onboard audio with Realtek ALC1220A (120 dBA SNR) CODEC, electrolytic capacitors, ground layer isolation, and headphones amp. There isn't much of a lighting besides a glowing ROG logo at the rear I/O shroud, and a few addressable RGB headers. Expect this board to be priced around $120.

MSI MEG X399 Creation to be the Most Outrageous Threadripper Motherboard You Can Buy

This Computex, we are on the lookout for motherboards based on Intel Z390 and upcoming AMD chipsets such as the B450, or even the Z490; but a new X399 motherboard for the Ryzen Threadripper was the last thing we expected. Imagine our shock at the sight of the MSI MEG X399 Creation. This board has the most polarizing, in-your-face design from MSI since the mid-2000s (roller-coaster heatsinks, anyone?). The board appears to be clearly wider than ATX spec, and approaching E-ATX territory.

A humongous L-shaped heatsink dominates the bottom-right corner, cooling not just the AMD X399 chipset, but also three M.2 slots. The top-left, and far-left corners feature some of the largest CPU VRM heatsinks we've seen in a long while. The VRM heatsink extends to the left side, while the rear-I/O shroud blends into it, running the entire length of the left side. The board gives you a maximum of 7 M.2 slots. A 19-phase VRM drawing power from two 8-pin EPS connectors fuels your Threadripper. Four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and the whole shebang of OC features make for the rest of it.

ASRock To Demonstrate Latest Motherboard, Graphics Card, Blockchain Solutions At COMPUTEX

ASRock, a global leader in motherboard, graphics card, and small form factor PC, today announced that it will demonstrate its Intel and AMD series motherboard, Phantom Gaming series graphics card, and blockchain solution at COMPUTEX Taipei 2018, from June 5 to June 9, 2018.

The cutting edge computing solutions will be part of ASRock exhibit, showcasing its latest technologies and solutions addressing the demands of daily computing, gaming, and blockchain computing applications, including:
  • Intel 300 series motherboard;
  • AMD B450 series motherboard;
  • Latest Phantom Gaming series graphics card;
  • The world's leading solution for blockchain and high performance computing;
  • Small Form Factor Solution equipped with Intel 300 series chipset and Mini-STX motherboard.

ZOTAC Puts Gaming at the Forefront this Computex

ZOTAC Technology, a global manufacturer of innovation, is proud to unveil a wide range of upcoming products and hardware in COMPUTEX 2018. At the forefront are the next generation of ZBOX Mini PCs featuring next-gen CPU and gaming-grade network hardware, never-before-seen gaming machines from ZOTAC GAMING, the latest VR GO backpack with an all-new design, and award-winning PCs. An exclusive showcase of ZOTAC's leading innovations in graphics card, as well as a grand stage set for the defuse-filled ZOTAC CUP MASTERS Asia Regional Finals are also the show-stoppers to invigorate the excitement.

Two ZBOX Mini PCs which won the COMPUTEX 2018 d&i award takes center stage. First is the ZBOX CI660 nano with an all-new passive cooling chassis design inspired by the honeycomb, one of nature's most recognized and strongest structures. The first Mini PC to be equipped with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the ZBOX CI660 nano can handle up to a 25W TDP processor and delivers the most powerful performance from a ZBOX C Series Mini PC in complete silence.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.2 Beta

AMD today rolled out Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.2 Beta drivers. This includes drivers for 32-bit Windows 10 and Windows 7. While the drivers don't coincide with any AAA game launches; they pack a number of bug fixes. To begin with, they fix a system hang noticed on "Sea of Thieves" after the splash-screen. A "white screen" that was noticed in "The Crew" in daylight maps, is now fixed. Shader Cache failing to enable on some games, has now been fixed. Certain FreeSync displays putting out a blank screen when FreeSync is enabled in the middle of a game, is fixed. Texture issues with zombie models in "Arizona Sunshine" is fixed. "Warhammer: Vermintide 2" experiencing an application hang upon changing resolution, has also been fixed.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.2 Beta

AMD Readies Athlon 200GE and Athlon Pro 200GE: First Athlon Branded "Zen"

AMD is giving finishing touches to the Athlon 200GE (YD200GC6M2OFB) and Athlon Pro 200GE (YD200GC6M20FB) socket AM4 APUs, which will likely be a part of the company's answer to Intel's Pentium Gold series. The "E" brand extension denotes energy-efficiency, and both chips have a rated TDP of just 35W. The two are based on AMD's 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, and pack a 2-core/4-thread CPU based on the "Zen" microarchitecture, clocked at 3.20 GHz.

Unlike previous few generations of Athlon-branded parts, which were essentially socket FM2(+) APUs devoid of integrated graphics, the Athlon 200GE and Athlon Pro 200GE do feature the Radeon Vega integrated graphics solution, but we expect it to be watered down compared to the Ryzen 2000G series chips. What sets the Athlon Pro part apart from its non-Pro sibling is the same feature that set Ryzen Pro apart, such as SEV. The two chips surfaced on the updated CPU compatibility lists of ASUS Crosshair VII Hero X470.

AMD EPYC Secure Encrypted Virtualization Not So Secure: Researchers

Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) was touted as one of the killer features of AMD EPYC and Ryzen Pro series processors. It involves encryption of parts of the memory of the host machine which house virtual machines (or guests), with encryption keys stored on the processor, so the host has no scope of infiltrating or reading the contents of the guest's memory. This was designed to build trust in cloud-computing and shared hosting industries, so web-present small businesses with sensitive data could have some peace of mind and wouldn't have to spend big on dedicated hosting. A Germany-based IT security research team from Fraunhofer AISEC, thinks otherwise.

Using a technique called "SEVered," the researchers were able to use rogue host-level administrator, or malware within a hypervisor, to bypass SEV and copy decrypted information from the guest machine's memory. The exploit involves alteration of the guest machine's physical memory mappings using standard page tables, so SEV can't properly isolate and encrypt parts of the guest in the physical memory. The exploit is so brazen, that you could pull plaintext information out of compromised guests. The researchers published a paper on SEVered, along with technical details of the exploit.

Patriot Viper Launches Brand New RGB DDR4 Series Memory Kits

PATRIOT, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions today announced the immediate availability of its new VIPER RGB Series Performance DDR4 Memory Kits. PATRIOT's VIPER RGB Series memory modules are designed for users who are obsessed with maximizing hardware performance without compromising stability. The VIPER RGB series are fully optimized for the latest Intel and AMD platforms and matched with a stunning heat shield design. VIPER RGB series offers RGB illumination control through a software application without additional cables to maintain an aesthetic look and stunning visuals.

The new heat spreader design is made from high-quality aluminum and designed to offer excellent thermal dissipation to maintain greater stability under heavy loads. In addition, VIPER RGB series memory is built with a customized PCB to guarantee good signal integrity for stable gaming while also offering increased overclocking potential. The memory ICs featured in VIPER RGB Series undergo a proprietary sorting process to retain strict quality standards and reliability on the latest Intel and AMD platform motherboards.

GPU Market: Miner Interest Waning, Gamer Interest Increasing - Jon Peddie Research

Jon Peddie Research, the industry's market research firm for the graphics industry, has updated it's quarterly Market Watch report. Overall, the report finds the crypto-currency market is continuing to influence the PC graphics market, though its influence is waning. Market watch found that year-to-year total GPU shipments increased 3.4%, desktop graphics increased 14%, notebooks decreased -3%. GPU shipments decreased -10% from last quarter: AMD decreased -6%, Nvidia decreased -10%, and Intel decreased -11%.

AMD increased its market share again this quarter benefiting from new products for workstations, and crypto-currency mining, Nvidia held steady, and Intel decreased. Over three million add-in boards (AIBs) were sold to cryptocurrency miners worth $776 million in 2017, and an additional 1.7 million were sold in the quarter.

Acer Outs Nitro 50 Series Desktops, Nitro VG0 and RG0 Series Monitors

Acer today unveiled new Nitro Series gaming desktop PCs and monitors that expand its Nitro product family, designed for outstanding casual gameplay at affordable prices. The new Acer Nitro 50 Series desktops and Nitro VG0 and RG0 Series monitors easily handle demanding processing and graphics requirements for both content creation and consumption.
  • Powered by up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPUs, Acer Nitro 50 Series desktops offer performance that exceeds the needs of casual gamers and can easily handle graphic-intensive tasks.
  • Sleek and stylish, the new Acer Nitro VG0 and RG0 series monitors both earned 2018 Red Dot Design Awards.
  • They feature AMD Radeon FreeSync and up to a 1 ms Visual Response Boost to deliver smooth and tear-free gameplay.

Arctic Intros AMD-friendly Alpine Passive AM4 CPU Heatsink

When Arctic launched the Alpine 12 Passive earlier this week, we wondered why the company couldn't make it AM4-friendly by simply aligning its mount-holes for the AMD socket. Its answer is the new Alpine Passive AM4. This heatsink is slightly bigger than the Alpine 12 Passive, measuring 99 mm x 99 mm x 70 mm (as opposed to 95 mm x 95 mm x 69 mm), and has rectangular mount holes corresponding to the AM4 socket.

The bump at the base appears to be more pronounced, too. If that's not all, it's also heavier, at 557 g, versus 508 g of the Alpine 12 Passive; and yet, its TDP rating remains unchanged - recommended for 35W TDP chips, with 48W being the thermal limit. Your AMD Ryzen choices matching those requirements, for now, are limited to the Ryzen 3 2200GE and Ryzen 5 2400GE, with their TDP rated bang at 35W. The heatsink features a pre-applied slab of MX-5 compound. The heatsink could be priced around $15, and like its Intel-friendly sibling, is backed by a 6-year warranty.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL Drivers

AMD today released Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL drivers. These are the first WHQL-certified drivers from the company for Windows 10 April 2018 Update, complying with WDDM 2.4, and support not just AMD Radeon discrete GPUs, but also Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. The drivers support Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 DRM on "Polaris" GPUs.

Besides these features, Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL comes with optimization for "Ancestors Legacy," with up to 6 percent higher frame-rates at 1080p, measured with an RX Vega 56, and up to 13 percent higher frame rates on an RX 580 (8 GB) at 1080p. The update fixes HBCC not resetting to default value when "Restore Factory Defaults" option is used in Radeon Settings. It also addresses ReLive streaming to Facebook intermittently failing; Netflix users experiencing display corruption on "Polaris" multi-GPU systems, abnormally high game load times in "Destiny 2," and fixes for screen tearing observed on FreeSync displays with performance metrics enabled.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL

The change-log follows.

AMD and Fnatic Ink Landmark Deal to Extend and Expand eSports Partnership

AMD a leading manufacturer of high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies, and Fnatic, one of the world's top esports organizations, have announced a landmark esports partnership agreement that further expands AMD's engagement in competitive gaming. AMD will be Fnatic's exclusive hardware partner across four competitive gaming hardware categories: motherboards, GPUs, CPUs and laptops. In this third year of collaboration, the sponsorship will include AMD's top-tier brands, Ryzen and Radeon RX.

AMD Ryzen processors are designed for impeccable performance for the most ambitious gamers. Radeon RX Vega Graphics are for extreme gamers looking to run their games at the highest resolutions, highest framerates, and maximum settings. Radeon RX 500 series graphics cards are designed to play games at a smooth 1080p and beyond.

Razer Releases Revised Core X Enclosure for eGPU Solutions

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Core X, a Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure for gaming-grade performance at a new value price. The Razer Core series of external graphics enclosures including the Core V2 and Core X are now compatible with Mac laptops with Thunderbolt 3.

Razer Core X
The new Core X transforms integrated graphics laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth into desktop-class gaming machines by adding an external graphics card. Gamers can also future-proof their gaming laptops or unlock VR-Ready experiences by boosting the performance beyond the current laptop's limits.

AMD B450 Mid-range Chipset Detailed

AMD is giving finishing touches to its second 400-series motherboard chipset, the B450. Slated for a 2H-2018 launch alongside the Ryzen 5 2500X and a few other entry-level 2nd generation "Zen" processors, the B450 succeeds the mid-range B350 chipset, comes with out of the box support for Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, and has a couple of features up its sleeve. To begin with, it puts out the same numbers of USB, SATA, and PCIe links as the B350. You get two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, just two 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, just two SATA 6 Gbps ports, and just six downstream PCI-Express gen 2.0 lanes. The AM4 SoC augments this paltry connectivity with two more 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, two more SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a 32 Gbps M.2 PCIe slot. Unlike mid-range chipsets from Intel, the AMD B450 and B350 retain CPU overclocking support.

Like the X470, the new B450 comes with a reduced idle power-draw of less than 2W, and hence can be cooled by extremely tiny heatsinks. The chipset has the same "enhanced" CPU VRM and memory routing specifications (additional PCB layers), introduced by the X470. To be more business/enterprise-friendly, the B450 lets system administrators disable specific USB ports of the motherboard from the UEFI setup program. Also, both X470 and B450 support NVMe RAID, which was exclusive to the X399 in the previous generation. You also get out of the box support for AMD StoreMI technology. Interestingly, the table detailing the B450 lists a feature exclusive to the X470 and B450, called "XFR 2.0 Enhanced." No AMD technical document we read tells us what XFR 2.0 Enhanced is, and how it's different from XFR 2.0 (separately listed in that table).

In Wake of Intel's 10 nm Process Difficulties, Analyst Firm Bumps AMD's Share Outlook

Intel's woes with their 10 nm process have been well documented by now (and even if they hadn't, the absence of any real product on store shelves would be a dead giveaway). And as Intel struggles to get its process up and running - and is now ramping up production on comparatively simple Core i3 chips, which are smaller and less prone to costly silicon defects - AMD and other Intel rivals are gaining traction over the once too-slumbering giant.

As a result of Intel's 10 nm difficulties, analyst firm Susquehanna, who recently downgraded AMD and NVIDIA shares on the expected lowered demand for graphics products from these companies in the wake of the first ever Ethereum ASIC, has now revised AMD's share strategy. Previously set at "Sell", the firm now rates AMD's shares as "Neutral" - specifically citing Intel's difficulties in ramping up the new process as simply giving AMD more chances to catch-up and surpass its blue counterpart. Susquehanna's Christopher Rolland published a note to clients stating basically that - that "We believe Intel's delay will help to maintain/improve AMD's competitiveness for their next generation of EPYC and Ryzen products", adding that "(...) for the first time in memory, AMD will compete at a similar process technology as Intel, a strong multi-year tailwind".

Where AREZ Thou, GPP? ASUS 180's, Announces ROG Branding is Here to Stay

Well, if doubts ever existed, those have been somewhat dispelled in recent times, but this must be the final nail in the GPP coffin. Hopefully, it's also the proverbial nail to show customers Green, Red and Blue (seldom-remembered Intel was also a target) of what exactly NVIDIA's program entailed. NVIDIA found itself in a rather embattled field against tech publications and consumers alike when the first match was lit on what GPP was and what it forced NVIDIA partners to do with their brands. Turns out exclusively aligning them with NVIDIA products would give incredibly relevant advantages compared to partners who didn't, forcing an otherwise healthy ecosystem to converge on the dominant market player.

After around two months of story coverage, NVIDIA terminated the GPP program - begrudgingly so, and seemingly forgetting everything about the way things are meant to be played. However, some AMD partners had already announced some exclusive AMD-branded graphics cards, with new, market recognition-absent brands such as ASUS's AREZ and (it all seems to point that way) MSI's MECH 2 series of graphics cards. What were they to do in the wake of GPP's earlier-than-expected burial? These companies spent marketing and design funds to come up with new brands and designs, after all.
UPDATE (22/05): ASUS informed us that the tweet which was the basis of the original report is not operated by ASUS. The company stated that it will continue to sell ASUS ROG and AREZ branded graphics cards side-by-side. ASUS is in the process of getting Twitter to take down the impersonating handle.

MSI Adds Latest AMD BIOS Update for MSI AM4 Motherboards

MSI, the world leading motherboard manufacturer, has been working on BIOS updates to support AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors, which also includes security updates since recent public disclosures have brought to the forefront the importance of security.

To ensure any system powered by MSI AM4 motherboards is operating securely, AMD and MSI have been working around the clock to prepare updated processor microcode and release new BIOS updates regarding mitigations for Google Project Zero (GPZ) Variant 2 (Spectre) for Microsoft Windows users, which will be available for download. This BIOS version is with AMD AGESA 1.0.0.2a to fully support AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors. More information from AMD on the updated microcode can be found here.

Alphacool Announces Eisblock GPX Waterblocks for AMD and NVIDIA Graphics Cards

Alphacool today introduced two new waterblocks, commercialized under the Eisblock GPX moniker. These are aimed at the top of the line offerings from both AMD and NVIDIA, in the form of the RX Vega and Pascal Titan X / GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards, offering full coverage and exceptional performance. The two new SKUs are based on the same design and have the same performance targets, but differ in the waterblock's finishing touches - Plexi with a touch of RGB, or the more subdued, classical Acetal finish.

BIOSTAR Announces iMiner Series Turnkey Mining Solutions

BIOSTAR, a top provider of mining motherboards and graphics cards, introduces a turnkey solution for mining at home with iMiner A578X8D/iMiner A564X12P/iMiner A578X6. The iMiner series comes as a single unit black box machine that supports ethOS and is fully equipped with BIOSTAR TB250-BTC series motherboard, CPU, GPU, memory, and power supply. It allows ultra-mining flexibility as it supports GPU mineable crypto currencies such as Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin Gold and Zcash.

All iMiner systems are based on the Intel 3930 CPU and Intel B250 chipset for maximum mining power. BIOSTAR iMiner A578X8D with ETH hashrate of 220 MH/s (±5%) uses the popular BIOSTAR TB250-BTC D+ with 8 x AMD RX570 8G graphics card and a high performance 1600W single rail 12v power supply (optional) with dual-ball bearing fans to offer ultra durable operation 24/7. BIOSTAR iMiner A564X12P with ETH hashrate of 148 MH/s (±5%) uses the BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO with 12 x AMD RX560 4G graphics cards on a 1300W power supply. BIOSTAR iMiner A578X6 with ETH hashrate of 165 MH/s (±5%) also uses the BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO with a modest 6 x AMD RX570 8G (which can be expanded for up to 12 GPUs) with a 1300W power supply.
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