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ASUS Announces Their NovaGo Laptop with Snapdragon 835 Processor

ASUS CEO Jerry Shen today announced ASUS NovaGo (TP370) at the second annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii. NovaGo is the world's first Gigabit LTE-capable laptop designed for truly connected mobility, providing users with an always-on, always-connected experience. This ultrathin and light convertible laptop is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform, and features a Gigabit Snapdragon X16 LTE modem for download speeds exceeding that of typical home Wi-Fi. It has up to a 22-hour battery life with over 30 days of modern standby, and a built-in eSIM that ensures seamless connectivity across borders.

Mr. Shen joined Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and President, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies Cristiano Amon onstage during the keynote speech of the three-day event. "Today marks the beginning of a new era of personal computing and ASUS is very proud to be paving the way with Qualcomm Technologies and other partners to develop this new landscape for 'Always Connected' Windows on Snapdragon PCs. ASUS NovaGo reinvents the concept of laptop connectivity and productivity - it's the world's first laptop that is connected anywhere, at any time, with the new Gigabit LTE network; and lasts up to 22 hours on a single charge for beyond all-day battery life," said Mr. Shen.

Microsoft Launches Windows 10 for ARM, Always Connected PCs

After the debacle that was Microsoft's last attempt at integrating its Windows OS with ARM in Windows RT, the company has now announced that products based on its new ARM approach are almost ready to come to fruition. The previous Windows RT failed, for the most part, because of its closed-wall ecosystem, where the only apps available for the platform were those being distributed on Microsoft's Store - which led to an overwhelming lack of good-quality apps that users were used to seeing in their laptops or desktop replacements. With Windows 10 for ARM and Always Connected PCs, that comes to an end, due in large part to Microsoft's apparent passion: emulators.

The new Windows 10 for ARM will enable ARM-powered systems (with CPUs such as Qualcomm's own Snapdragon 835) to run most x86 applications through the usage of a just-in-time philosophy. This means that any emulation will be run seamlessly through conversion of x86 code to equivalent blocks of ARM code. This conversion is cached both in memory (so that after the initial run, the emulated code is available right away) and on disk (which will likely work much like hybrid HDDs do, using their meager SSD cache to store the most frequently accessed programs). System libraries, however, are all native ARM code, including the libraries loaded by x86 programs. These are being called "chippie", as in (you didn't guess it) "Compiled Hybrid Portable Executables": native ARM code, compiled in such a way as to let them respond to x86 function calls.

GIGABYTE Partners with Cavium to Deliver New ARM Server Solutions

GIGABYTE Technology, a leading producer of high-performance server hardware, and Cavium, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for enterprise, data center, cloud, wired and wireless networking, today announced production availability of GIGABYTE's Arm server platforms, based on ThunderX2 SoC product family.

GIGABYTE, with its award-winning product portfolio, has long been recognized in the industry as a leader in design and innovation. With a broad offering of commercially-available Arm-based server solutions, GIGABYTE continues to demonstrate engineering expertise in system-level integration. Through its world-wide presence, GIGABYTE is uniquely positioned to accelerate the adoption and deployment of ThunderX2-based systems into the cloud and hyperscale data center applications.

Qualcomm Starts Shipping 48-Core Centriq 2400 Processors

At a press conference held today in San Jose, Calif., Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), officially announced commercial shipment of the world's first and only 10 nanometer server processor series: the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processor family. The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processor family is the first high-performance Arm-based processor series designed to offer groundbreaking throughput performance for cloud workloads running in today's datacenters. Purpose built for cloud, the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 server processor family delivers exceptional performance-per-watt and performance-per dollar.

"Today's announcement is an important achievement and the culmination of more than four years of intense design, development and ecosystem enablement effort," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies, Inc. "We have designed the most advanced Arm-based server processor in the world that delivers high performance coupled with the highest energy efficiency, enabling our customers to realize significant cost savings."

QNAP's QTS 4.3.4 Beta Brings Major Changes for x86-based NAS

Following the release of the QTS 4.3.4 beta for ARM-based NAS, QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the QTS 4.3.4 beta for x86-based NAS and additional ARM-based NAS models with an industry-leading, feature-packed update.

The most eye-catching advantage of QTS 4.3.4 is reducing the memory requirements for snapshots to 1GB RAM. With many more improvements and refinements, QTS 4.3.4 helps deliver an all-inclusive storage solution for optimized system performance, data management, synchronization, backup, archiving, and multimedia applications to enable users to achieve more in their business and home life.

Intel Launches High-Density ARM-based Stratix 10 FPGA on 14 nm

Intel today announced it has begun shipping its Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGA - the only high-end FPGA family with an integrated quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. With densities greater than 1 million logic elements (MLE), Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide the flexibility and low latency benefit of integrating an ARM processor with a high-performance, high-density FPGA needed to tackle the design challenges of next-generation, high-performance systems.

By integrating the FPGA and the ARM processor, Intel Stratix 10 SX FPGAs provide an ideal solution for 5G wireless communication, software defined radios, secure computing for military applications, network function virtualization (NFV) and data center acceleration.

I-Rocks Intros New K60M PLUS RGB Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard

i-rocks, a Taiwanese manufacturer of PC peripherals, has released K60M PLUS, a rock-solid RGB backlit mechanical keyboard for dedicated gamers. The K60M PLUS is a keyboard with sleek, frameless aluminum design. It offers genuine Cherry MX switches, per-key LED backlight radiating over 16.7 million colors, durable keycaps, on-the-fly macro system, anti-ghosting function and an intuitive software configurator.

The K60M PLUS features dual layer PCB and genuine Cherry MX switches capable of withstanding up to 50 million keystrokes. Double-shot keycaps and laser-etched secondary function legends ensure every character on the keyboard won't wear out after years of service, even if you're a hardcore gamer or heavy typist. Non-slip rubber feet stands keep the keyboard firm and steady during intense gaming session.

Linux Raspberry Pi Devices Being Infected by Cryptocoin "Mining Malware"

If you have your Raspberry Pi setup and have never changed the default password on the standard "pi" user, it's probably time to do so. A new malware has come out that exploits the simple fact several users apparently have never changed this password. Once it installs itself, it exploits the recent rise in value on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin recently topped $3000 per BTC) to mine cryptocoins for the authors benefit. This not only uses almost 100% of your poor Raspberry Pi's limited CPU, but also makes it part of a "mining botnet" that nets the controller money, adding insult to injury. The malware also makes an anonymous proxy on your box, which needless to say is probably not a good thing.

Patent War Brewing Between Intel and Qualcomm-Microsoft over x86 Emulation

Intel rigorously defends its hold over its core intellectual property, the x86 CPU machine-architecture. AMD is the only active licencee of x86, and has a competitive line of processors across market segments. It has been a long-cherished dream of chipmakers without an x86 license to have Microsoft, the world's leading PC operating system manufacturer, somehow emulate their Win32 API, which is inherently designed for the x86 architecture, on the more widely licensed ARM architecture. As one of the largest ARM chipmakers, Qualcomm pushed for 2-in-1 (notebook-to-tablet) convertible PCs driven by its Snapdragon processors, which run Windows 10, complete with support for Win32 software, besides Microsoft's UWP apps.

This Snapdragon + Windows 10 reference convertible is so impressive with its battery life and performance, that major PC OEMs such as Lenovo, HP, and ASUS have lined up to license the design and make their own designs. This would have been a licensable form-factor governed by Microsoft, much like how Intel governed the Ultrabook form-factor. This would hit hard at Intel's bottomline, because SoC makers with big R&D budgets like Qualcomm, Samsung, and NVIDIA, who each hold ARM licenses, could go on to power bigger and faster PCs which emulate x86, driving Intel out of the ecosystem. The company dropped the hammer earlier this week, in a passive-aggressive note without taking names, warning Microsoft and Qualcomm to cease from their efforts to build such a device.

Samsung Could Become Top Chipmaker in 2Q17, Dethrone Intel

Samsung could be on the verge of a historic dethroning of Intel as the dominant chipmaker in the IC world, if a recent report from IC Insights is to be believed. The report shows Samsung actually exceeding Intel's semiconductor sales in 2Q 2017, no doubt spurred on by mobile market growth and the proliferation of ARM based SOCs manufactured by Samsung.

Intel has held the dominant position for nearly a quarter century as its x86 architecture powered most PCs and notebooks/netbooks since 1993. The number of components they sell is not just limited to CPUs either: Intel is a provider of chips for everything from networking to thermal sensors, for Samsung to compete with such a giant in the semiconductor market at all (let alone exceed their sales) is quite a feat indeed.

Meet Microsoft's New Take on Windows: The Windows 10 S

The "RT" ghost is still alive in people's minds, as is particularly fluent on people's tongues whenever someone brings up Microsoft's new Windows 10 S OS. The one that limits the scope and variety of applications you can run on your own system. That forces you to go through Windows' still lackluster Store (sorry, but I've never seen such bad flow, bugs and hiccups on an app as I do in that one.)

It's only right, really - the reduced compatibility and walled-garden approach is there still, even if this one OS now isn't limited to ARM - or to x86, for that matter. This new approach now allows both UWP apps and Win32 apps which have been ported using Desktop Bridge from the store to work. However, expect Win32 apps with a native, non-ported installer to fail. Not all is bad, though: Windows has an amazing backlog for legacy hardware, software and applications, but that same legacy means it's more opened up to security vulnerabilities, and even applications which can wreak havoc on the system with excessive permissions, and unpatched issues.

G.SKILL Announces RIPJAWS KM560 MX TenKeyless Mechanical Keyboard

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is announcing the release of the RIPJAWS KM560 MX mechanical gaming keyboard. This new addition of the compact tenkeyless mechanical keyboard is designed for gamers and users who require a smaller keyboard footprint without compromising keyswitch and build quality.

Compact Keyboard Footprint: More Room for Everything Else
Perfect for anyone with limited desk space or wanting larger space for their mousepads, the ideal keyboard solution is a compact 87-key layout. The KM560 MX series shaves off 8cm (3.15in) from the KM570 series, a full-size mechanical keyboard, gives users more space to configure and choose gaming tools for each specific needs.

ARM Reveals Its Plan for World Domination: Announces DynamIQ Technology

ARM processors have been making forays into hitherto shallow markets, with it's technology and processor architectures winning an ever increasing amount of design wins. Most recently, Microsoft itself announced a platform meant to use ARM processors in a server environment. Now, ARM has put forward its plans towards achieving a grand total of 100 billion chips shipped in the 2017-2021 time frame.

To put that goal in perspective, ARM is looking to ship as many ARM-powered processors in this 2017-2021 time frame as it did between 1991 and 2017. This is no easy task - at least if ARM were to stay in its known markets, where it has already achieved almost total saturation. The plan: to widen the appeal of its processor design, with big bets in the AI, Automotive, XR (which encompasses the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality markets), leveraged by what ARM does best: hyper-efficient processors.

SoftBank to Sell 25% Stake on ARM to Saudi Investment Group

After pulling off one of the highest-value acquisitions ever in the tech world through its purchase of ARM for $31 billion in September 2016, SoftBank is now looking to sell 25% of the company to a Saudi investment group. The $8 billion stake in ARM is being sold to Vision Fund, a $100 billion technology fund created by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son. Six months later, SoftBank is in the final-stage talks towards conclusion of the sale.

This seems like an overly fast negotiation time towards the selling of such a large stake on ARM - especially considering the companies' increasing importance in the technology sector. ARM designs power more than 90% of the world's smartphones, and recent announcements of companies such as Microsoft in increasing ARM's presence in the server space point only to increased growth of the company. A sale in this state of affairs (and with such admittedly little information) seems a little... untimely.

Source: Techspot, New York Times

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

Microsoft is looking to reduce costs in its Azure cloud computing platforms for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data. And after having developed a version of Windows for servers that use ARM processors, in a joint work with Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft seems to also be looking forward to leave its dependency on Intel products as nothing but a memory. Microsoft's ARM server design, dubbed Project Olympus, looks to hardware innovations so as to reduce costs, boosting competitiveness and flexibility in regards to other big players in the cloud space, like Amazon and Alphabet. That the design is open source is also a boon to other businesses and Microsoft partners.


Though the design isn't "deployed into production yet (...) that is the next logical step," said Jason Zander, vice president of Microsoft's Azure cloud division. "This is a significant commitment on behalf of Microsoft. We wouldn't even bring something (...) if we didn't think this was a committed project and something that's part of our roadmap."

ASUS Unveils the TinkerBoard to Rival Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison

As the world's number one PC motherboard manufacturer by volume, it would be a shame if ASUS didn't pander to the budding engineers and electronics hobbyists among you with a product that rivals the Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison. That product is the TinkerBoard, a card-sized single-board computer with a ton of I/O, including support for 4K Ultra HD displays. At the heart of this board is a Rockchip RK3288 SoC, which embeds a 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, and a Mali T764 GPU. This chip is topped off by 2 GB of dual-channel memory. The most prominent Raspberry Pi competitor to this board is the Pi 3 Model B, with its 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 chip, and a starting price of just $35.

Other features of the TinkerBoard include a GPIO that rivals Raspberry Pi, 4K Ultra HD H.264 video decode capability, gigabit Ethernet, SDIO 3.0, 24-bit/192 kHz HD audio, and a swappable antenna for its 802.11 b/g/n WLAN. While the specifications check out well in favor of the TinkerBoard, it all comes down to pricing. Hobbyists working on robotics projects, for example, purchase Raspberries Pi by the dozens thanks to their low price. ASUS should do well to keep that in mind when pricing this board.

QNAP Launches Cost-efficient TS-x31XU Series Rackmount NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the new business-class TS-x31XU series rackmount NAS; available in 4, 8 and 12-bay models with single and redundant power supply options. Powered by an AnnapurnaLabs, an Amazon company Alpine AL-314 quad-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, the TS-x31XU features 2GB or 4GB DDR3 RAM (expandable to 16GB), includes two built-in 10GbE SFP+ ports, and supports the innovative VJBOD (Virtual JBOD) and Container Station, providing a high-performance, multifunctional and power-efficient storage solution.

Coupled with a hardware encryption engine and SSD cache support, the quad-core TS-x31XU series offers two 10GbE SFP+ ports that ensure top notch networking capabilities of up to 1,242 MB/s transfer speeds. An additional single-port 10GbE PCIe card can be installed for more flexible deployment. The TS-x31XU is ideal for small-and-medium businesses looking for backup, restoration, virtualization storage, private cloud, and to future-proof their IT infrastructure for 10GbE networks.

Logitech's New Addition to Their Gaming Mice Line-up - The G203 Prodigy

In another addition to their gaming mice product range, Logitech has gone and left behind the complex, sometimes overly contoured designs of recent gaming mice in developing their new G203 Prodigy. The G203 does present a design that is closer to a neutral one, with no particular ergonomics considerations for either a left-handed or right-handed person (save for the pair of left-side thumb buttons). This thus increases the overall number of users whose natural hand posture may allow them to use this gaming mouse with more comfort, though it does mean the mouse makes some sacrifices in overall ergonomics.

Cooler Master Unveils the MasterWatt Maker MIJ 1200 W Power Supply

At CES 2017, Cooler Master unveiled a limited edition of their MasterWatt line of power supply units: the MasterWatt Author ME 1200 W. As the name implies, this is a 1200 W power supply, rated at 80 Plus Titanium efficiency levels (which means >94% energy efficiency), though Cooler Master claims this PSU is able to achieve >95% efficiency levels. Built exclusively with Murata components, Cooler Master are presenting this one as the best power supply they've ever made, and they're therefore pitting it as a special, limited edition PSU, of which only a few thousand samples will be produced and sold: at an over $1000 price-tag.

AMD Ryzen Performance Review Leaked: Promising

French tech print magazine "Canard PC" is ready with early benchmarks of an AMD Ryzen 8-core processor. The scan of a page from its Ryzen performance review article got leaked to the web, revealing three key performance takeaways. In the first selection of tests, Canard PC put Ryzen through synthetic CPU-intensive tests that take advantage of as many CPU cores/threads as you can throw at them. These include the likes of H.264 and H.265 video encoding, WPrime, Blender, 3DSMax 2015, and Corona. Ryzen was found to be faster than the quad-core Core i7-6700K, and the six-core i7-6800K, but somewhere between the i7-6800K and the eight-core i7-6900K.

The next selection of tests focused on PC gaming, with a list of contemporary AAA titles, including "Far Cry 4," "Battlefield 4," "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," "Anno 2070," "GRID: Autosport," and "ARMA III." Here, the Ryzen sample was found to be underwhelming - it was slower than the Core i5-6600 quad-core chip clocked at 3.30-3.90 GHz; but faster than the i5-6500, clocked at 3.20-3.60 GHz. The fastest chip in the table is the i7-6700K (4.00-4.20 GHz). The reviewer still notes that Ryzen has a decent IPC gain unseen from the AMD stable in a while.

QNAP Announces Cost-efficient TS-x31P NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TS-x31P NAS series, including the TS-131P, TS-231P, and TS-431P. Powered by an AnnapurnaLabs, an Amazon company Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.7GHz processor, this series provides a high-performance and secure private cloud NAS solution tailored for home, SOHO and workgroup users. In addition to basic requirements such as file storage, sharing and backup, the TS-x31P series supports value-added cloud-based note-taking app, centralized email account management, contacts management, and abundant multimedia applications.

"A cost-efficient and reliable NAS solution is undoubtedly a key investment for small businesses and organizations to improve workflow efficiency; whereas home users generally like simple and practical storage devices with real-time data accessibility that helps create a modern digital home," said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP. "The TS-x31P is designed to fulfill such user needs to ensure data security and to bring a comprehensive business and multimedia experience," added Lin.

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today's bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

NVIDIA Announces Xavier, Volta-based Autonomous Transportation SoC

At its inaugural European edition of the Graphics Technology Conference (GTC), NVIDIA announced Xavier, an "AI supercomputer for the future of autonomous transportation." An evolution of its Drive PX2 board that leverages a pair of "Maxwell" GPUs with some custom logic and an ARM CPU, to provide cars with the compute power necessary to deep-learn the surroundings and self-drive, or assist-drive; Xavier is a refinement over Drive PX2 in that it merges three chips - two GPUs and one control logic into an SoC.

You'd think that NVIDIA refined its deep-learning tech enough to not need a pair of "Maxwell" SoCs, but Xavier is more than that. The 7 billion-transistor chip built on 16 nm FinFET process, offers more raw compute performance thanks to leveraging NVIDIA's next-generation "Volta" architecture, one more advanced than even its current "Pascal" architecture. The chip features a "Volta" GPU with 512 CUDA cores. The CVA makes up the vehicle I/O, while an image processor that's capable of 8K HDR video streams feeds the chip with visual inputs from various cameras around the vehicle. An 8-core ARM CPU performs general-purpose compute. NVIDIA hopes to get the first engineering samples of Xavier out to interested car-makers by Q4-2017.

SoftBank Completes Acquisition of ARM

SoftBank today announced that it has concluded the acquisition of British chipmaker ARM, in a USD $31 billion purchase. The acquisition was first announced in July 2016. Following this, ARM will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange from the 6th of September 2016. Although ARM is a CPU architecture designer with a mere $1.5 billion in revenue last fiscal, and licenses the architecture to other SoC makers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, etc., SoftBank is betting on ARM CPU architecture's emergence as the prime-mover of the IoT (Internet of things) revolution. This is SoftBank's largest tech acquisition following the $20 billion acquisition of American cellular network Sprint, and a $15 billion investment in Vodafone Japan.

Source: The Verge
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