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AMD's Ryzen Chips to Launch Before March 2017's GDC

It would appear as if AMD has seemingly (and not purposely) given us some lights as to when their hotly anticipated Ryzen chips will hit the wild - and some of our wallets. While they haven't specifically given an exact date, the talk to be given by AMD at the annual Game Developer Conference (GDC) reads: "Join AMD Game Engineering team members for an introduction to the recently-launched AMD Ryzen CPU followed by advanced optimization topics". The "recently-launched tidbit is the most important, since it places Ryzen's launch necessarily before the end of GDC - which will happen between February 27th and March 3rd. AMD has, in the meantime, altered the original headline by cutting the "recently launched" tidbit altogether.

Intel Adds Hyper-Threading to Its Kaby Lake-based Pentium CPUs

Intel Corporation has made a slight tweak to its product line: the addition of Hyper-Threading to some of its processors which, traditionally, didn't carry it. This includes the Pentium G4620 (3.7 GHz base frequency and integrated graphics HD 630, $93) and G4600 (3.6 GHz base frequency, $82), both at 51 W TDP; G4560 (54W TDP at 3.5 GHz and integrated HD 610 graphics, $64); and the Pentium G4600T (3 GHz, HD 630, $75) and G4560T (2.9 GHz, HD 610, $64) slot in as the low power Pentium offerings with a 35W TDP. All of these processors now carry 2 physical cores, which the system sees exposed as 4 logical cores due to their Hyper-Threading enablement.

AMD Confirms "Full Spectrum" of Unlocked, Overclockable Ryzen CPUs

AMD has seemingly confirmed that there will be more than just the fabled 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen CPUs we've only as of yet seen presented by the company. Come the expected Ryzen launch before the end of Q1 (which means, before the end of March), we should see more Ryzen CPUs than only 8-core solutions, though AMD still hasn't revealed exactly the core-count/configurations of the other CPUs on their product stack. Theoretically, AMD could follow the Intel path of simply disabling SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading, AMD's equivalent to Intel's Hyper Threading) and thus crafting another product, though this is pure speculation on my part. Whether or not AMD will include 4-core or 6-core CPUs on their product stack as well is as of now an unconfirmed, educated guess.

AMD Ryzen 8 Core/16 Thread CPU ES Now Run at 3.6 GHz base, 3.9 GHz Boost

The folks at hardwareluxx managed to get some quality alone time with AMD's Ryzen demonstration boot at CES 2017, and it has to be said they used their time well. They managed to bring up Windows' System page, as well as its Device Manager, which seemingly confirmed that the Ryzen sample at use, though an engineering sample it was, was set at 3.6 GHz base clock with the capability to boost up to 3.9 GHz on a whim - up 200 MHz from the base clock speed of the sample used at AMD's New Horizon Event, where even at those speeds, the chip was shown beating an 8 core, 16 thread i7 6900K. You can see those clocks at the below screenshot, where "1D3601A2M88F3_39/36_N" (the code for the engineering sample Ryzen chip) makes it clear this is an F3 stepping processor, with the 39 referring to the boost clock, and the 36 referring to its base clock.

This goes right into AMD's claims of 3.4 GHz being the lowest frequency a Ryzen consumer processor would carry. It seems AMD is quickly galloping towards the finish line here, and as Lisa Su said at the New Horizon presentation, Ryzen chips can only improve until their promised launch, with an already rumored F4 stepping of the processor carrying a rounded-up, 4 GHz boost clock.

Source: Hardwareluxx.de

AM4 Socket Compatibility: be quiet! Announces Free Upgrade Kits

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years, is committed to its high level of customer support. Today the company announces the availability of free AM4 upgrade kits to their customers. Owners of current be quiet! CPU coolers switching to AMD's new socket will not have to retire their reliable and proven coolers. Thanks to an elaborate product design, installing the coolers on the new platform will be straightforward and very similar to previous sockets.

All be quiet! CPU coolers that can currently be mounted to the AMD retention module already support socket AM4 CPUs, including the Pure Rock, Pure Rock Slim and Shadow Rock LP coolers.

AMD Showcases its Ryzen CPUs Powering Their Upcoming Vega Architecture

At CES 2017, AMD set-up a demo room in which it showcased a PC powered by a Ryzen CPU and a Vega GPU playing Star Wars Battlefront at 60 FPS, reportedly at Ultra HD, with confirmed Ultra quality settings. Some sources do report that the frame rate at 4K Ultra settings occasionally dropped to 57 or 58 fps, but it still remains a strong showing from the company's upcoming Vega graphics architecture, as well as the prowess of its Ryzen CPUs.

Source: 4Gamer.net

AMD's Stock Edges Upwards of $10; NVIDIA's Soars Past the $100 Mark

AMD has definitely been on the upswing in recent times, with CEO Lisa Su having seemingly conducted a frail, collapsing company through the muddiest waters in its history. The general sentiment towards the company seems to now be leaning towards the "bullish" side of the equation, which translated into a cool $10.66 per stock at Friday's closing time (having increased, after hours, towards the $10.80 mark. This is great news for a company which has essentially increased their stock value by a factor of four in the last year alone.

Shares of AMD's rival Nvidia, however, have risen 60% in the past three months and nearly 200% in the past year. NVIDIA's share value closed last Friday at a historic $100.41 (having since declined towards $99.55), over a strong bullish sentiment towards the company, which has recently signed a Warrant Termination Agreement with Goldman Sachs for a $63 million value. This basically shows investors that the company has sufficient cash so as not to allow them to see their share value diluted by the sudden entry in circulation of $63 million of shares, should Goldman Sachs exercise their (now terminated) warrant.

ASUS PRIME Z270-A Motherboard Also Detailed

Finally putting the lid on all of ASUS' leaked and detailed motherboards, comes, the PRIME Z270-A, which doesn't belong to a special, bang-and-whistle-filled product line, and is just concerned with getting the job done. It clads itself in a simple and appealing white and gray color-scheme, and is expected to keep most of the important features in ASUS' more expensive product lines.

The PRIME Z270-A comes with ASUS' 8+2+2 Phase Digital power design, fed by an 8-pin connector, that features 10K black metallic capacitors, MicroFine Alloy Chokes, NexFET PW (Power) block MOSFET and DIGI+ Power Control Utility for real-time adjustment, courtesy of the new ASUS Extreme Engine Digi+ technology that improves CPU stability and overclocking. It features four DDR4 DIMM slots that can support up to 64 GB of memory with speeds of up to 3866 MHZ (O.C+), and expansion slots on the motherboard include three PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x4 electrical), four PCIe 3.0 x1 and dual M.2 slots that deliver up to 32 GB/s transfer speeds, with the PCIe slots being armored for higher resistance.

Leaked Intel Core i7-7700K Sample Tested

The team over at Tom's Hardware have gotten their hands on Intel's new 'Kaby Lake' CPU - The Core i7-7700K. While the chip is not marked as an engineering sample, they cannot confirm with confidence that it is a retail part. They then did what we all hoped and expected, they put the new i7 through a series of benchmarks both at its stock speeds and overclocked. Without a retail Z270 series motherboard to test with, Kaby Lake compatible firmware was loaded onto their Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming board.

In line with what has been reported so far, the stock clock speeds of their sample was 4.20GHz base and 4.50GHz max turbo boost with a TDP of 95W, up marginally from the i7-6700K's 91W. As tested the 7700K drew slightly more power under load than the 6700K whilst achieving benchmark results that are more-or-less in line with the percentage clock speed increase. Using the same core voltage for overclocking, the 7700K was able to manage a 4.8GHz overclock at 1.3v where the 6700K achieved 4.6GHz. As Intel did not change the core micro architecture between Skylake and Kaby Lake, it appears that save for HEVC and VP9 8/10-bit encode/decode and other possible features we may not yet know of, slightly faster clock speeds is the principal improvement. Given this is a pre-release test conducted on a motherboard that may not be able to unleash the full potential of the i7-7700K, the results should be taken with their appropriate pinch of salt. For the article and detailed findings, please follow the source link.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Intel's Skylake-EP Flagship Xeon E5-2699 V5 CPU to Harness 32 Cores, 64 Threads

Intel is preparing their Skylake-EP Xeon E5 processor lineup for launch in mid-2017. And judging by the leaks regarding their next top-of-the-line processors in the server market, the Xeon E5-2699 V5 looks like Intel's response to AMD's expected Naples server platform. The leak should, naturally, be taken with a grain of salt, since the leaked chip appears to not yet be a finalized version of Intel's silicon. If you trust the source, you can secure one of these engineering samples for the tidy sum of ¥ 26500 (around $3845).

AMD's Zen Server Platform Naples' Results Appear on SiSoft Sandra Database

If AMD's plans come to fruition, the company's efforts with its Zen micro-architecture will bring it back towards competitiveness with Intel not only on consumer chips, but also on the enterprise segment. While the company's consumer efforts are, by and large, the most visible from a consumer standpoint, with great hopes being pinned on it as a means to inject some much-needed dynamism and innovation in the CPU landscape, the most important vector for AMD arguably stands with the enterprise segment - where margins are usually much greater than in the consumer market.

Intel Kaby Lake Desktop Processors Specifications Detailed In Official Documents

News and specifications about Intel's upcoming Kaby Lake-based desktop CPUs are thin, but a recent leak has made it possible to discern at least some details, due to an Intel product change notification (PCN) document.

A PCN is a document issued by a manufacturer to inform customers about a change to a mass-produced product or its manufacturing process. In this PCN, Intel details a new factory in Vietnam which will work in order to "ensure a continuous supply of the Select Intel Xeon Processor E3-1205, Intel Core i5-7400 Processor, Intel Core i5-7400T Processor, Intel Core i5-7500 Processor, Intel Core i5-7500T Processor, Intel Core i5-7600 Processor, Intel Core i5-7600K Processor, Intel Core i5-7600T Processor, Intel Core i7-7700 Processor, Intel Core i7-7700T Processor and Intel Core i7-7700K Processor products".

Intel Announces the Atom E3900 Series Processors

Intel today announced the launch of a new generation of Intel Atom processor, the Intel Atom processor E3900 series, designed from the ground up to support the rapid development and the growing complexity of Internet of Things (IoT) businesses. The Intel Atom processor E3900 Series delivers excellent performance and a unique set of features for the edge in segments such as industrial, automotive, video, manufacturing, retail, and more. Intel is also offering an automotive grade processor specifically to address in-vehicle experiences called the Intel Atom processor A3900 series.

AMD's Q3 2016 Earnings Call - Revenue is Up, Debt is Down

AMD today released their earnings call for 3Q 2016, giving us some interesting tidbits in regards to their financial robustness. The balance of AMD's economics seems to be pending towards better execution, and, coeteris paribus, a much better outlook for the coming quarters, after the monumental missteps in the past that almost threw AMD under the proverbial bus. Reception for the results seems to be a tangled mess, however, with some sides claiming that AMD beat expectations, while others prefer to draw attention to AMD's 2% stock decline since the report was outed.

AMD posted revenue of $1,307 million, up 27% sequentially and 23% year-over-year. This revenue was distributed unevenly through AMD's divisions, though. "Computing and Graphics" segment revenue was $472 million, up 9% from Q2 2016, primarily due to increased GPU sales (where Polaris picked up the grunt of the work, being responsible for 50% of AMD's GPU revenue), offset by lower sales of client desktop processors and chipsets; whereas "Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom" segment revenue was $835 million, up 41% sequentially, primarily due to record semi-custom SoC sales (such as those found in Microsoft's XBOX One and Sony's PS4 and upcoming PS4 Pro).

MSI Pulls Next-Gen CPU Support BIOS Updates, Working on Fix

As previously reported by TPU, in preparation for Intel's Kaby Lake architecture release, MSI published BIOS updates for its MSI 100 series chipset motherboards that (supposedly) guaranteed compatibility with Intel's upcoming platform. However, the new BIOS update seemingly disappeared from MSI's support webpages without any information as to why. According to ComputerBase, MSI representatives mentioned that an error was found in the code, and that a fix was currently being worked on. According to MSI, the fixed BIOSes should be made available shortly.

In any case, this scenario is better than the alternative of it having been users discovering the BIOS support to be defective. MSI did a good job in finding this ahead of Kaby Lake's launch and potential accompanying headaches from a not fully compatible CPU and motherboard combo.

Source: ComputerBase, MSI Global Many thanks to CiTay for the heads-up

AMD's ZEN to Implement Advanced Security Features not found in Intel's solutions

Thanks to AMD's incorporation of an ARM-based "AMD Secure Processor" in their upcoming ZEN micro-architecture, the company is poised to offer something competitor Intel's microprocessors yet don't: memory encryption. This processor, and its underlying technologies, could prove to be a stepping-stone for AMD towards regaining lost server market share. Essentially, because in a market ever more steered by cloud computing considerations, it allows for the client's data to be encrypted at every moment of the work chain. Assuming all works as intended, for the first time not even cloud providers, with either hypervisor-level privileges or even physical access to the servers, will be able to carry out any malicious actions against their clients.

One only has to consider the writing on the wall: Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2018, 30% of Microsoft's revenue will stem from its cloud services; Amazon Web Services (AWS) generated $7.88B in revenue on Q4 2015, up 69% over 2014; and worldwide spending on public cloud services by itself will grow from $70B in 2015 to an estimated $141B in 2019. Cloud computing is here to stay, and with security being as important as it is for some businesses, this is an important area of investment for AMD. This "AMD Secure Processor" will work on essentially two fronts: SME (Secure Memory Encryption) and SEV (Secure Encrypted Virtualization), backed by an hardware-based SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm).

AMD Aggressively Clearing Inventory to Make Room for ZEN

AMD is reportedly "aggressively clearing" its inventories of current-generation processors, such products in the AM3+ and FM2+ packages; to make room for next-generation processors based on the "ZEN" architecture, and new 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, both of which are built in the new socket AM4 package. You should be able to find AMD FX CPUs at attractive prices, so current 4-core and 6-core users could be lured to upgrade to faster 8-core chips, including those featuring the company's Wraith silent CPU cooler.

Taiwan industry observer DigiTimes reports that AMD will launch its next-generation "ZEN" processors, and motherboards based on the high-end X370 chipset, alongside the 2017 International CES expo, in early January. 2017 promises to be a big year for the company as it's not only attempting to regain competitiveness in the performance desktop CPU space, but also high-end graphics, with its Radeon "VEGA" family.

Source: DigiTimes

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

Vega Not Before 2017: AMD to Investors

In a leaked presentation meant for its investors, AMD states that it expects to launch the "Vega" GPU architecture no sooner than 2017. The company plans to get it out within the first half of 2017. What makes this decision significant is that the company isn't planning on making bigger GPUs on its existing "Polaris" architecture, and its biggest product is the $249 Radeon RX 480. This leaves the company's discrete GPU lineup virtually untended at key price-points above, against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and TITAN X Pascal, at least for the next five months.

In the mean time, AMD could launch additional mobile SKUs based on the Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 chips. The reasons behind this slow-crawl could be many - AMD could be turning its chip-design resources to the various semi-custom SoCs it's working on, for Microsoft and Sony, with their next-generation game consoles; AMD Vega development could also be running in-sync with market availability of HBM2 memory. 2017 promises to be a hectic year for AMD, with launch of not just Vega, but also its "ZEN" CPU architecture, the "Summit Ridge" processor, and APUs based on the CPU micro-architecture.

BIOSTAR Announces New Motherboards with "Braswell" Refresh Processors

BIOSTAR proudly announces a new line up of motherboards featuring the new 14nm Intel Braswell Refresh SoC processors that feature many improvements from its older 22nm counterpart Baytrail SoC. The new 14nm processors offer a more efficient yet powerful experience than its predecessor whilst consuming less power and producing less heat. The various improvements also introduce new performance enhancements for both CPU and GPU guaranteeing a more refined visual experience.

With the new processor architecture comes new enhancements over the older-generation of processors. Besides improvements in processing speed, Braswell Refresh boasts a new 14nm fabrication process which gives the SoC a smaller die that needs less power (6w) and produces less heat. A heavily improved 8th-gen Intel HD Graphics processor with 12 Execution Units (EUs) is baked into the SoC compared to the 4 EUs of the older gen model. Connectivity is also improved with native support for DDR3L-1600 speeds, SATAIII and up to 4 USB3.0 devices.

AMD "Zen" Processors to Feature SMT, Support up to 8 DDR4 Memory Channels

CERN engineer Liviu Valsan, in a recent presentation on datacenter hardware trends, presented a curious looking slide that highlights some of the key features of AMD's upcoming "Zen" CPU architecture. We know from a recent story that the architecture is scalable up to 32 cores per socket, and that AMD is building these chips on the 14 nanometer FinFET process.

Among the other key features detailed on the slide are symmetric multi-threading (SMT). Implemented for over a decade by Intel as HyperThreading Technology, SMT exposes a physical core as two logical CPUs to the software, letting it make better use of the hardware resources. Another feature is talk of up to eight DDR4 memory channels. This could mean that AMD is readying a product to compete with the Xeon E7 series. Lastly, the slide mentions that "Zen" could bring about IPC improvements that are 40 percent higher than the current architecture.

Source: HotHardware

AMD Offers New Thermal Solutions and Processors for Near-Silent Performance

AMD today launched new thermal solutions, including the flagship AMD Wraith Cooler, as well as the new AMD A10-7860K and new AMD Athlon X4 845 desktop processors. Designed for the consumer who cares about how their desktop PC runs, sounds, and looks, AMD now offers new thermal solutions that generate less than one-tenth the noise of their predecessors -- running at a near-silent 39 decibels, about as quiet as a library.

The new AMD Wraith Cooler combines near-silent operation with unique styling via a sleek fan shroud and LED illumination. Providing superb cooling, the new design delivers 34 percent more airflow and 24 percent more surface area for heat dissipation than its predecessor.

Intel Readies a 5.1 GHz Xeon Chip Based on the "Broadwell" Architecture

Intel's first 5-gigahertz CPU will bear an unlikely brand - Xeon. The company's upcoming Xeon E5-2602 V4 quad-core chip based on the 14 nm "Broadwell-EP" silicon, is rumored to ship with a staggering 5.10 GHz clock speed out of the box. Getting there won't be easy for this socket LGA2011v3 chip. Despite being a quad-core chip, with just four out of ten cores on the "Broadwell-EP" silicon bring physically enabled, the chip's TDP is rated at 165W. Other features include 10 MB of L3 cache, and a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface.

Source: MyDrivers
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