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Softbank Acquires ARM for $32 Billion

Japanese conglomerate Softbank acquired British CPU architecture designer ARM in a USD $32 billion deal on Monday. Softbank's bid of $32 billion is a 43 percent premium over ARM's current valuation of $22.3 billion, and the Cambridge-based firm will recommend its shareholders to approve of its acquisition. Shares of ARM surged 45% on the LSE, adding £7.56 billion to its market value. The company reported revenues of $1.49 billion in 2015. ARM founder Herman Hauser, however, isn't happy with the board's decision. "This is a sad day for me and a sad day for technology in Britain," he stated.

ARM designs CPU architectures, which it then licenses to other processor and SoC manufacturers, many of which are fabless themselves, making it an intellectual property giant. None of ARM's products are "tangible" or physical. While Intel, for example, designs CPU architectures (eg: x86), implements it (eg: Core i7, Celeron), and manufactures it (at its Costa Rica and Malaysia fabs) ARM's product is not tangible. It has a CPU architecture, which clients such as Samsung, Huawei, and Qualcomm license, implement (eg: Exynos, Kylin, Snapdragon), and contract-manufacture, through fabs such as GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and ST Microelectronics.

Source: BBC

QNAP Announces the TS-831X 8-bay Quad-Core NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the release of the powerful 8-bay business NAS TS-831X that features two built-in 10GbE SFP+ ports to fully support 10GbE high-speed networks as a cost-effective NAS solution. The TS-831X further supports VJBOD (Virtual JBOD) to introduce an economical way to utilize unused NAS storage space for expanding the storage capacity of other QNAP NAS. Taking advantage of TS-831X's native support of Container Station, organizations can rapidly develop and deploy Internet of Things (IoT) apps to create more business opportunities.

The TS-831X uses an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor, and features 8GB/16GB DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 16GB), RAID 5/6 support, hardware-accelerated encryption and an SSD cache. It is 10GbE-ready with two built-in 10GbE SFP+ ports, and allows users to install a third 10GbE port via the extra PCIe slot for flexible high-speed network deployment.

Roccat Announces the Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The new ROCCAT Ryos MK FX represents the chance to opt for both style and performance when you search for the perfect weapon for your gaming arsenal. Purpose built for hardcore gamers, the Ryos MK FX is the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard on the market. Using all of ROCCAT's industry expertise and gaming experience, the Ryos MK FX boasts an amazing feature set, headed up by its impressive 16.8 million color per-key RGB illumination. It also features precise Cherry MX switches, two ARM processors and ROCCAT's intuitive Swarm driver software for easy yet, deeply customizable illumination options.

The Ryos MK FX offers fully configurable, ROCCAT-enginereed Per-Key RGB illumination in two convenient modes: preset and custom. This means you can add awesome special effects in 16.8 million colors to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your system controls as well as your macro sequences and cool-downs plus much, much more.

AMD Announces Opteron A1100 Series 64-bit ARM Processors for the Datacenter

AMD marks a major step towards delivering choice and innovation in the data center with the launch of the AMD Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC), formerly codenamed "Seattle". Jointly with its software and hardware partners, AMD is accelerating time-to-deployment of ARM-based systems and driving forward ecosystem support for ARM in the data center.

"The ecosystem for ARM in the data center is approaching an inflection point and the addition of AMD's high-performance processor is another strong step forward for customers looking for a data center-class ARM solution," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, Enterprise Solutions, AMD. "The macro trend of convergence between networking, storage and servers is an important catalyst in this evolution. Customers now have access to 64-bit ARM processors from the only silicon provider that also has decades of experience delivering professional enterprise and embedded products."

QNAP Launches QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168 and TAS-268

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the world's first and only QTS-Android Combo NAS - TAS-168 and TAS-268, which support QTS & Android dual systems. Both systems share the same storage database, allowing users to simultaneously access media files and documents from QTS and Android. With a compact mini-tower design, the TAS-168/268 comfortably fits in homes and small offices/workspaces. Coupled with up to terabytes of storage capacity and 4K (H.265 & H.264) HDMI-out, the TAS-168/268 is the optimal budget-friendly multimedia NAS with unlimited app applications for modern digital lifestyles.

"The QNAP QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168/268 is an unprecedented network storage center for file storage, backup, remote access and diverse Android applications," said Hanz Sung, product manager of QNAP. "Users can enjoy video streams, use apps and manage files on a big HDMI display instead of sliding and tapping on a small screen. The TAS-168/268 makes the personal cloud experience more flexible and enjoyable."

Cooler Master Also Announces CM Storm Sentinel Palm Grip Gaming Mouse

Cooler Master, a leading manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, today announced the Sentinel III, an improved gaming mouse building upon the ergonomic palm grip design that fans have come to love. Sporting LED illumination in 16.8 million customizable colors, greatly improved intuitive software, and matte coating with an acrylic top panel, the Sentinel III is the perfect choice for palm grip gamers looking for comfort and advanced features.

"Designed for right-handed palm grip players, the Sentinel III includes a new sensor and expanded on-board memory" said Leo Cheng, Product Manager at Cooler Master. "The new and improved OLED display also allows you to rename your profiles in addition to knowing your exact DPI settings and/or uploading custom logos. This is the first step in making the Sentinel III truly yours."

Qualcomm Announces its First Socketed Enterprise CPU

Qualcomm, which holds a ton of ARM SoC patents, and put them to good use with its Snapdragon line of SoCs for smartphones, tablets, and convertible notebooks, is foraying into enterprise computing market. The company is ready with its first prototype of a 24-core high-performance CPU based on the 64-bit ARM machine architecture. ARM-based processors are picking up momentum in the server and micro-server markets owning to their low cost, low cooling requirements, and high energy-efficiency; and Qualcomm wants a slice of that pie. Most enterprise Linux and FreeBSD distributors have versions of their server operating systems for the 64-bit ARM architecture, as do most popular server software providers.

The prototype 24-core CPU is socketed, and ships in a large land-grid array (LGA) package, much like Intel's Xeon chips. The first production chips will have a lot more than 24 CPU cores, said Qualcomm senior vice president Anand Chandrasekhar. As a proof of concept, Qualcomm assembled three server blades using these chips, which were running Linux with a KVM hypervisor, streaming HD video to a PC using a LAMP stack (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) built with OpenStack. Qualcomm's target consumers are big Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which purchase hundreds of thousands of CPUs each year to cope with growing user- and content-traffic.


Source: PC World

QNAP Announces New Energy-efficient TS-x31+ Turbo NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS for small and home offices. Embedded with a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, the TS-x31+ series provides a powerful yet energy-efficient solution for file storage, sharing and data backup with hardware-accelerated encryption, coupled with the easy-to-use cloud-based Notes Station 2.0, various multimedia applications and more.

"For home & small businesses, a powerful, secure yet affordable cloud storage solution is becoming a key investment for improving everyday business workflow," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. "With the TS-x31+ series, users can build a cost-efficient private cloud with ensured security and comprehensive business applications, " added Hsu.

AMD to Launch New GPUs and APUs Only After March: CEO

In its an investor conference-call following its Q4-2014 and FY-2014 results, AMD stated that it will release new GPU and APU products starting Q2-2015, or only after March. "Going into the second quarter and the second half of the year with our new product launches, I think we feel very good about where we are positioned there," said Lisa Su, chief executive officer.

Q2-2015 will start off with the company's "Carrizo" line of all-in-one and notebook APUs. These chips will integrate the company's new "Excavator" CPU cores, with an integrated graphics core based on Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture (the same one AMD built its "Tonga" GPU on). Around the same time, AMD will launch new Opteron "Seattle" enterprise CPUs, which integrate up to eight ARM Cortex A-57 64-bit cores, targeting the ultra-dense server market. In Q2-2015, AMD will launch its latest Radeon Rx 300 series graphics processors. Its performance-segment part, the R9 380, will feature 4,096 GCN 1.2 cores, double that of its predecessor, and 4 GB of stacked HBM (high-bandwidth memory). Its mid-range chip, codenamed "Trinidad" will succeed "Curacao," and offer performance competitive to the $200-ish price-point.


Source: KitGuru

QNAP Releases High-Performance TS-x31 Home NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the release of the TS-x31 series Turbo NAS for SOHO and Home users. Powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, it provides a high-performance yet economical solution for file storage, sharing, and data backup coupled with the easy-to-use cloud-based note-taking application and a wide range of multimedia functions.

Available in 1, 2, and 4-bay models, the TS-x31 series is an easy-to-use network storage center for backup, synchronization, remote access, and home entertainment. "Due to the privacy concerns of pubic cloud services, the TS-x31 is ideal for establishing a secure and large-capacity private cloud where users can store, share, and access their files anytime, anywhere," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP.

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.

TSMC Delivers First Fully Functional 16FinFET Networking Processor

TSMC today announced that its collaboration with HiSilicon Technologies Co, Ltd. has successfully produced the foundry segment's first fully functional ARM-based networking processor withFinFET technology. This milestone is a strong testimonial to deep collaboration between the two companies and TSMC's commitment to providing industry-leading technology to meet the increasing customer demand for the next generation of high-performance, energy-efficient devices.

TSMC's 16FinFET process promises impressive speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction. All of these advantages overcome challenges that have become critical barriers to further scaling of advanced SoC technology. It has twice the gate density of TSMC's 28HPM process, and operates more than 40% faster at the same total power, or reduces total power over 60% at the same speed.

Shuttle PC Launches ARM-based Mini PCs

Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, the European subsidiary of Shuttle Inc., one of the leading developers and manufacturers of compact PC solutions such as the world-renowned XPC Mini-PC Barebones, now introduces robust, ARM-based Android PCs.

The DSA2LS is equipped with a Freescale i.MX 6DualLite (i.MX6DL) 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of DDR3 memory. It comes with 4 GB Flash memory already fitted for apps, media and operating system which can be expanded up to 64 GB with a theft-protected SDHC card reader. Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) is pre-installed and prepared for new versions with an integrated update function (online or offline).

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."

NVIDIA GPUs Open the Door to ARM64 Entry Into High Performance Computing

NVIDIA today announced that multiple server vendors are leveraging the performance of NVIDIA GPU accelerators to launch the world's first 64-bit ARM development systems for high performance computing (HPC).

ARM64 server processors were primarily designed for micro-servers and web servers because of their extreme energy efficiency. Now, they can tackle HPC-class workloads when paired with GPU accelerators using the NVIDIA CUDA 6.5 parallel programming platform, which supports 64-bit ARM processors.

AMD Expands Embedded G-Series Family With New Pin-Compatible SoC

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced new x86 AMD Embedded G-Series system-on-chip (SoC) and central processing unit (CPU) solutions for embedded applications, including early adoption by HP for thin client deployment in healthcare, finance, education and retail, as well as Advantech for industrial applications in rugged environments.

The new product families expand upon the high-performance, low-power capabilities of the award-winning AMD Embedded G-Series platform, bringing high performance and integrated security with enterprise-class error-correction code (ECC) memory support, dual- and quad-core variants, and a discrete-class GPU and I/O controller on the same die. The new G-Series processors are pin-compatible across the AMD G-Series SoC and CPU family for ease of scalability among embedded applications, including communications and networking infrastructure, industrial control and automation (IC&A), thin clients, gaming machines, and digital signage.

GIGABYTE Announces Cavium ThunderX Motherboards

GIGABYTE Technology, a leading creator of high performance server hardware, and Cavium, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for enterprise, data center, cloud, wired and wireless networking, today announced a strategic partnership to deliver workload optimized server platforms based on Cavium's 64-bit ARMv8 ThunderX product family.

GIGABYTE's award winning product portfolio has been long recognized in the industry as a leader in design and innovation. With a broad offering of volume server platforms GIGABYTE has demonstrated engineering expertise in areas of system level integration of compute with I/O, large memory configurations and power optimization. With a world-wide presence GIGABYTE is uniquely positioned to accelerate the delivery and deployment of ThunderX based systems into cloud and data center.

Cavium Introduces ThunderX Enterprise Processor

Cavium, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for enterprise, data center, cloud, wired and wireless networking, today announced the introduction of a new game changing category of processors that are workload optimized for a range of applications in the cloud and data center. The 2.5GHz 48 core ThunderX is the world's highest performing low-power 64-bit ARMv8 SoC family of workload optimized processors with a range of SKUs and form factors for high performance volume compute, storage, secure compute and networking specific workloads.

Data center infrastructure transformation is one of the key trends driving IT spending in 2014 and beyond. Analysts predict that the global data center infrastructure market, including servers, storage, networking, security and virtualization, will reach $128 billion in 2014. Key trends driving this disruption include rapid adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) enabled by Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) with virtualized on demand compute, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Storage (SDS). The continued growth and adoption of Open Source Software with almost 100 billion lines of code and nearly 10 million active developers is also radically changing installed base software requirements.

AMD Announces Ambidextrous Computing Roadmap

AMD today announced a roadmap of near- and mid-term computing solutions that harness the best characteristics of both the x86 and ARM ecosystems, called "ambidextrous computing." The cornerstone of this roadmap is the announcement of AMD's 64-bit ARM architecture license for the development of custom high-performance cores for high-growth markets. Today's announcement also provides a forward-looking glimpse into AMD's development plans to deliver truly unmatched ambidextrous computing and graphics performance using a shared, flexible infrastructure to enable its customers to blaze new paths of innovation for the embedded, server and client markets as well as semi-custom solutions.

"Before today, AMD was the only company in the world to deliver high performance and low-power x86 with leadership graphics. AMD now takes a bold step forward and has become the only company that can provide high-performance 64-bit ARM and x86 CPU cores paired with world-class graphics," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. "Our innovative ambidextrous design capability, combined with our portfolio of IP and expertise with high-performance SoCs, means that AMD is set to deliver ambidextrous solutions that enable our customers to change the world in more efficient and powerful ways."

Next-Generation Mobile APUs Extend AMD Performance Leadership

Designed to enable the best user experience on today's most popular and innovative PCs, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced its 3rd-generation Mainstream and Low-Power Mobile Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). Combining category-leading compute performance with unique features and rich user interactions, the 2014 AMD Mainstream and Low-Power Mobile APUs (formerly codenamed "Beema" and "Mullins," respectively) are the ideal choice for consumer and commercial client devices alike.

These new mobile APUs feature up to four newly-designed x86 CPU cores with updated, industry-leading AMD Radeon graphics and a hardware-level data security solution based on the ARM Cortex-A5, all on a single, power-sipping system-on-chip (SoC). Products based on these new APUs are already announced by Lenovo and Samsung, with many more expected on-shelf in time for the 2014 back-to-school shopping season.

Linksys Starts Shipping the WRT1900AC Router

Linksys today announced that it has started shipping the new WRT1900AC, which will be available for sale at Best Buy stores throughout the US or at the Linksys.com store. The new WRT features four external antennas for optimal wireless coverage throughout the home and has been certified for the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. The new wireless standard delivers best-in-class performance and includes intelligent technologies such as beamforming to further improve the wireless signal range. The design of the new Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi Router is inspired by the iconic WRT54G that was introduced 11 years ago. The new WRT has been equipped with powerful hardware such as a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 128 MB flash memory, eSATA and USB ports. The new WRT ships with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi setup and management tools, and Linksys has also been collaborating with OpenWrt to make sure that an open source alternative is available in the coming weeks.

"The WRT is a cornerstone in the history of Wi-Fi and synonymous for many people with going wireless at home since it was their first wireless router. Since the introduction of the original WRT, we have sold more than 50 million units worldwide and are still selling it very successfully even with wireless technology advancing rapidly," said Mike Chen, vice president product management for Linksys. "The WRT has a cult status for many because of the open source aspect that made it so immensely popular. We are honored to have collaborated with OpenWRT to ensure the open source readiness of the product and building a WRT-worthy successor with cutting-edge hardware and iconic design."

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa Powers New Chromebook 2

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, announced that its Exynos 5 Octa mobile application processor is the power behind the new Samsung Chromebook 2*. The Exynos 5 Octa family features an eight-core ARM big.LITTLE processor configuration built for efficient handling of multiple tasks in high-end mobile devices today.

"Maximizing performance in tight power and thermal budgets is critical in today's mobile devices," said Dr. Kyushik Hong, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. "Compared to Exynos 5 Dual, our new Exynos 5 Octa application processors deliver up to 125 percent increase in computing and two times the multimedia performance. This enables designers to develop leading-edge products with significantly improved battery life."

AMD Announces ARM-Based Server CPU and Development Platform

AMD today added a major new milestone to its list of seminal developments in server technology. The company displayed a comprehensive development platform for its first 64-bit ARM-based server CPU, fabricated using 28 nanometer process technology, the first from an established server vendor. AMD also announced the imminent sampling of the ARM-based processor, named the AMD Opteron A1100 Series, and a development platform, which includes an evaluation board and a comprehensive software suite. In addition, AMD announced that it would be contributing to the Open Compute Project a new micro-server design using the AMD Opteron A-Series, as part of the common slot architecture specification for motherboards dubbed "Group Hug."

The AMD Opteron A-Series processor, codenamed "Seattle," will sample this quarter along with a development platform that will make software design on the industry's premier ARM-based server CPU quick and easy. AMD is collaborating with industry leaders to enable a robust 64-bit software ecosystem for ARM-based designs from compilers and simulators to hypervisors, operating systems and application software, in order to address key workloads in Web-tier and storage data center environments. The AMD Opteron A-Series development platform will be supported by a broad set of tools and software including a standard UEFI boot and Linux environment based on the Fedora Project, a Red Hat-sponsored, community-driven Linux distribution.
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