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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.

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.

LSI Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

LSI Corporation (NASDAQ: LSI) today reported results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013. On December 15, 2013, LSI entered into a definitive agreement with Avago Technologies Limited (NASDAQ: AVGO) under which Avago has agreed to acquire LSI for $11.15 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $6.6 billion. In anticipation of this transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2014, LSI will not issue financial guidance for the upcoming quarter or conduct a fourth quarter results conference call. LSI has also discontinued its quarterly dividend and stock repurchases.

"We ended the year on a strong note, with solid quarterly results and the announcement of Avago's proposed acquisition of LSI," said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI's president and CEO. "Our employees did a great job in the quarter and in the year, bringing several exciting new products to market and expanding our capabilities to better serve our growing customer base in flash storage, datacenters and mobile networks."

NVIDIA Readies GeForce GTX 750 Ti Based on "Maxwell"

NVIDIA's next-generation GPU architecture, codenamed "Maxwell," will debut this February, with the unexpectedly positioned GeForce GTX 750. The card will launch on February 18, to be specific. Maxwell will introduce a host of new features for NVIDIA, beginning with Unified Virtual Memory. The feature lets the GPU and CPU share the same memory. Such a feature is already implemented on the current CUDA, but Maxwell could be designed to reduce overhead involved in getting the thing to work. The next big feature is that Maxwell GPUs will embed a 64-bit ARM CPU core based on NVIDIA's "Project Denver." This CPU core will allow the GPU to reduce dependency on the system's main processor in certain GPGPU scenarios. Pole-vaulting the CPU's authority in certain scenarios could work to improve performance

Getting back to the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, NVIDIA's aim is simple, to see how "Maxwell" performs on the existing, proven 28 nanometer silicon fab process, before scaling it up on the future 20 nm nodes, with bigger chips. Given its name, we expect it to be positioned in between the GTX 760 and the GTX 660 in terms of gaming performance, but we won't be surprised if it falls into an entirely different league with GPGPU. There are no specifications at hand.

QNAP Takes NAS to the Living Room with the HS-210

QNAP launched the HS-210 compact NAS for living rooms. Built in a form-factor not too different from your TV shelf regulars, a Blu-ray player, and an HT receiver, the HS-210 tucks in a pair of 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, which it shares over gigabit Ethernet and USB. The NAS can be further expanded using USB mass-storage devices. It runs a Marvell-made ARM-based processor, which is fanless, and so barring the hum of the HDDs, the NAS itself is practically silent. The processor is paired with 512 MB of RAM. The HS-210 runs QNAP's QTS 4.1 firmware, with its own app environment.

AMD Inching Towards an Increasingly ARM-based Future with "Seattle"

AMD is inching toward a possible post-x86 future for itself, beginning with its enterprise product stack. In a blog-post, the company outlined a landmark product bearing its enterprise Opteron branding, codenamed "Seattle," which will be designed for scalar data-centers. Based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture by ARM, the chip will feature either four or eight cores based on AMD's own implementation of ARMv8, and a high-bandwidth integrated memory controller with support for up to 128 GB of system memory with ECC.

Since ARM-based processors are traditionally part of heavily integrated systems on chips (SoCs), "Seattle" will be an SoC, and among other things, will integrate a 10 Gb/s Ethernet controller, with support for AMD's FreedomFabric technology. Linux kernel 3.7 and above will come with ARMv8 architecture support, and Microsoft is already developing a Windows kernel with ARMv8 support that will be implemented on both its client (Windows RT, Windows Phone) product lines, and a future version of Windows Server. That said, AMD won't give up on x86. As the only active x86 licensee apart from VIA, AMD will continue to make APUs with 64-bit x86 cores for as far as the eye can see (in other words 2015). Future of its client CPU (non-APU) lineup based on the AM3+ socket, however, appears bleak.

AMD 2014 Mobile APUs to Deliver Leaps in Performance and Battery Life

AMD, building on its leadership in graphics and gaming, announced its 2014 mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) product roadmap at the APU13 Developer Conference today. Raising the performance bar across fanless tablets, 2-in-1s and ultrathin notebooks, the APUs codenamed "Mullins" and "Beema" are projected to deliver more than 2x the performance-per-watt of the previous generation.

The latest AMD APUs also support Microsoft InstantGo for faster wake times and to ensure data such as email actively refresh in standby. Both new processor families are also the first to integrate an AMD-developed platform security processor based on the ARM Cortex-A5 featuring ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced data security. The new low-power APUs join the previously disclosed high-performance notebook APU, codenamed "Kaveri," in AMD's 2014 mobile lineup.
Image courtesy of Computerbase.de

AMD to Unveil Next-Generation APUs on November 11

As a follow-up to our older article on how December-January will play out for AMD's next-generation APU lineup, we have news that the company will unveil, or at least tease its next-generation desktop APU, codename "Kaveri," on November 11, 2013. It's when the company will host its APU'13 event, modeled along the lines of GPU'13, held in Hawaii this September, where it unveiled its Radeon R9 200 and R7 200 GPU families. On its backdrop, the company will also hold its 2013 AMD Developer Summit, which brings together developers making software that take advantage of both CPU and OpenCL-accelerated GPUs. APU'13 will be held in San Jose, USA, and like GPU'13, will be live-streamed to the web. In addition to new APUs, the company is expected to make some big announcements with its HSA (heterogeneous system architecture) initiative that brought some big names in the industry on board.

The agenda for APU'13 follows.

Lenovo Launches its First Android Laptop, the IdeaPad A10

Multimode computing leader Lenovo, today announced the Lenovo A10, an affordable, ultra-portable, dual-mode laptop and the company's first to run on Android 4.2 OS. Weighing less than 1kg and measuring just 17.3mm at its thickest point, the Lenovo A10 is an ideal companion for users on the go, providing easy access to a wide range of apps on a unique, dual-mode platform, which enhances the user experience for entertainment and Web browsing as well as productivity.

"In laptop mode," users can take advantage of the A10's unique, Lenovo-customized user interface, which provides an app launcher, task bar and status bar for quick, intuitive access to the app library and desktop, as well as convenient multitasking and app switching. File manager software, also included with the Lenovo customized OS, makes it easy to locate and manage a library of documents, videos and music. In laptop mode, the device offers a full-size ergonomic, AccuType keyboard for safe, comfortable use.

Futuremark Announces 3DMark for Windows RT, as a Free App

Futuremark announced 3DMark for Windows RT, the ARM-friendly variant of Windows popularized by the Surface RT, and Surface 2. The 3D graphics benchmark suite includes three tests based on the "Ice Storm" test scene, namely "Ice Storm," "Ice Storm Extreme," and "Ice Storm Unlimited." The "Ice Storm" test stresses DirectX 11 feature level 9 test. "Ice Storm Extreme" runs the same scene at 1080p resolution, and with added detail, such as higher resolution textures and post-processing. "Ice Storm Unlimited" is designed to stress all key components, including the CPU and GPU, display resolution scaling, and other OS-related factors.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark for Windows RT
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