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Supply Chain Confused with Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA Launch Dates

According to the report from DigiTimes, which cites industry sources, the global supply chain of Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA has been rather confused recently by their launch dates and launch procedures. Due to worldwide pandemic, there are no electronics shows like Computex that are designed for companies to showcase their products there, and thus, there is no unified launch window where you can expect a product to be launched. What's even worse is the fact that the companies have now started to keep their launch dates as a secret in the latest edition of playing with the competition. Launch dates have started to change and now the launch is uncertain even if the launch day is provided.

This has a massive effect on the industry supply chain. By not giving concrete dates to them, companies have left them to wonder when the product will launch. This is hurting their ability to prepare themselves for an upcoming product and possibly cause some delays later on. If not given enough time, the supply chain could not adapt fast enough and the product could come later in the hands of consumers.

Computex 2020 Officially Cancelled

TAITRA, organizers of Computex, the year's biggest PC industry-related tech expo that highlights Taiwan's vibrant computer hardware and consumer electronics industries, announced that they have formally cancelled the 2020 edition of Computex. Originally slated for June as almost every edition prior, Computex 2020 was hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic that caused exhibitors to pull out. TAITRA scrambled to postpone the 2020 edition to September, a move that apparently didn't do enough to bring back exhibitors. With the COVID-19 crisis showing no signs of waning by September, TAITRA did the only thing it could: can the 2020 edition. The company did put up a brave face and hoped that the 2021 edition will go ahead as planned, scheduled for June 1-5, 2021. One of our industry partners shared with us a copy of the email TAITRA sent to its exhibitors.

The TAITRA press-release follows.

EK Planning To Enter The Air Cooling Market

EK Waterblocks has unveiled a new air cooler design at their Computex 2020 replacement, EK Cooling Expo. The company released one image of a prototype cooler which appears to include 4 heat pipes and an EK branded fan. EK representatives confirmed to Overclock 3D that the EK heatsink has not been finalized and is still undergoing product design. EK didn't say if they are planning other models or announce pricing/availability of the heatsink. Will EK become a serious competitor in the air cooling market against established players such as Noctua?

Update 09:34 UTC: EK has confirmed that they will be introducing both single and dual-tower models in the EK-AIR series of products, which will feature modern D-RGB lighting, premium build quality, modern aesthetics, and great cooling.

Noctua Readies High-Performance Fanless Heatsink Building on 2019 Prototype

Noctua is reportedly working on a high-performance fanless CPU cooler building on a 2019 prototype that was exhibited at last year's Computex. The final product should launch within 2020, according to an Overclock3D report. As of now there's no word on whether the said cooler will look identical to last year's prototype, but it provides a long list of capabilities that Noctua could build on. For starters, last year's prototype was capable of handling 120 W TDP in PC cases with good natural ventilation, and up to 180 W in cases with quiet fans. The company used a Core i9-9900K in a variety of workloads as a proof of the heatsink's capabilities. The prototype heatsink was also shown offering decent amount of clearance with the motherboard's memory- and VRM areas. Its only downside was the 1.5 kg weight.

Computex 2020 all but Dead for PC Enthusiasts as Motherboard and VGA Vendors Mull Pulling Out

Woes for Computex 2020 refuse to end, as its biggest lure for PC enthusiasts - motherboard and graphics card vendors - are reportedly planning to withdraw from this year's edition. Organizers of the popular PC ecosystem trade-show had announced a postponement of the show to late-September from its early-June original scheduled, in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Among the big companies confirmed by DigiTimes to have withdrawn from Computex 2020 are Gigabyte, MSI, TUL (parent of PowerColor), Chaintech (major OEM of several DIY brands); and ECS. ASUS said it's still following existing plans for the event. Some brands are planning online events around the same time as Computex, in which they will announce new products.

Patriot Memory Withdraws from Computex 2020 in wake of COVID-19

Computex is always one of the many highlights of our tech/gaming event lineup, however due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the health of our employees and tech community is our primary concern. With the evolving health concerns surrounding COVID-19, Patriot and Viper Gaming by Patriot will not be attending Computex this year. In the meantime we'll be working cautiously and are advising all employees to refrain from traveling during this time of stay-in-place solidarity.

We'd like to thank Computex, for all they've done the past successful years in hosting a great show to help build the tech industry, and appreciate all their efforts in sharing safety guidelines and additional health measures as the event draws closer. With great optimism, we will definitely be returning to Computex next year once the pandemic is confirmed to be cleared and safe to return to normal activities.

AMD 4th Gen Ryzen Desktop Processors to Launch Around September 2020

AMD's 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors are expected to launch around September 2020, sources in the motherboard industry tell DigiTimes. Codenamed "Vermeer," successor to "Matisse," these processors will be socket AM4 multi-chip modules of up to two CPU complex dies based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, combined with an I/O controller die. The "Zen 3" chiplets are expected to be fabricated on a newer 7 nm-class process by TSMC, either N7P or N7+. The biggest design change with "Zen 3" is the doing away of CCX arrangement of CPU cores, with each chiplet holding a common block of cores sharing a last-level cache. This, along with clock speed headroom gains from the new node are expected to yield generational price-performance increases.

The "Zen 2" based 8-core "Renoir" die is also expected to make its socket AM4 debut within 2020, succeeding the "Picasso" based quad-core Ryzen 3000-series APUs. This is a particularly important product for AMD, as it is expected to compete with Intel's 10th generation Core i5 6-core/12-thread processors in terms of pricing, while offering more cores (8-core/16-thread) and a faster iGPU. The 4th gen Ryzen socket AM4 processor lineup will launch alongside AMD's 600-series motherboard chipset, with forwards- and backwards-compatibility (i.e., "Vermeer" and "Renoir" working with older chipsets, and older AM4 processors working on 600-series chipset motherboards). AMD was originally expected to unveil these processors at the 2020 Computex trade-show in June, but Computex itself is rescheduled to late-September.

Computex 2020 Postponed due to COVID-19 Outbreak

For the second time in history, Computex, one of the flagship electronics shows in the industry, and our favorite event, has been postponed. Many years ago, it was delayed in 2003 due to the SARS outbreak, however, it happened again today. Following the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of cancelling, the Computex organizer TAITRA has decided to postpone their 2020 event. Originally scheduled for June, Computex has been moved to September 28th, when the event will officially start. It will last only three days instead of the usual five, ending on the 30th.

This is especially relevant given that the event now shares the same three days with Innovex, the partnering startup-focused show that happens on the last 2-3 days of Computex each year, so the two shows have to share the spotlight on the same time. Making things tighter is confirmation from TAITRA that Computex, and Innovex, will both be sharing Hall 2 of the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, as opposed to having both Hall 1 and 2 available for Computex. This shortened timeframe and smaller booth space is a heavy indication that the agency expects a smaller turnaround at this time, and indeed several companies are already expressing concerns about whether Computex 2020 should have just been cancelled altogether. Some companies have told us they still plan to have an online event in June given they have planned product lifecycles around it already, and the new event in September is just a hiccup they are not confident about handling. We hope to bring you the latest Computex news live from the trade show, once it happens, so stay tuned.
Computex 2020

Computex 2020 in Jeopardy as Taiwan Bans All Foreign Visitors

The Taiwan (ROC) Government announced a ban on the entry of all foreign visitors into the country until further notice. The ban takes effect from Thursday, March 19, in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide. All foreign arrivals already on their way will be placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Exceptions to the ban include ARC (alien resident certificate) holders, diplomatic passport holders, and businesspersons with special entry permits issued by the government (these are not the same as business visas), although even these persons must subject themselves to the quarantine. The ban is expected to force most commercial airlines to reduce or suspend their services to the country. The travel ban to Taiwan puts Computex 2020 in jeopardy. Although held in June, preparations for the show typically begin as early as April, with foreign exhibitors preparing to import their exhibits, organizing their booths, arranging logistics, etc.
Taiwan bans foreigners in the wake of COVID-19

Game Developers Conference gets Postponed due to COVID-19 Concerns

Game Developers Conference is perhaps one of the biggest organizations in the gaming industry, covering everything from gaming hardware to games themselves. This year's GDC event was planned to happen on March 16th, however, due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 concerns, the GDC organization has decided to postpone the event. This doesn't mean that the conference will not happen at all. Instead, the GDC organizers plan to host the event sometime "later in the summer", when hopefully the COVID-19 concerns will settle. To add, Facebook also canceled its F8 Developer Conference, along with Open Compute Project (OCP) Global Summit which also got canceled due to virus outbreak fears.

Being that Computex is happening within three months, there are growing concerns that the event may not happen at all, however, we can hope that the situation will be resolved soon and that we can bring you live coverage of the event.

GDC 2020 On Schedule Despite COVID-19 Concerns, No Change in Computex Schedule, Either

The 2020 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the largest annual gathering of the video game and interactive art industry, is on schedule for its mid-March unveiling despite concerns over the COVID-19 global epidemic (aka novel-Coronavirus outbreak). The epidemic is believed to be largely responsible for the cancellation of the 2020 edition of MWC (Mobile World Conference) held in Barcelona, Spain. GDC 2020 will hit the road on March 16th, with its seat at Moscone Center in San Francisco, USA. Unlike MWC, which is fueled primarily by large mobile firms based out of Asia, GDC is a bit more democratized, and largely attended by independent (indie) game developers. Indie delegates use GDC mainly as a networking platform.

In related news, the 2020 Computex expo, the largest annual gathering of the PC and allied electronics industries, is on schedule for its June 2nd unveiling. This is particularly important as Computex is held in Taipei, situated in proximity to South- and Central Mainland China, which have the biggest clusters of COVID-19 cases, with its epicenter in Wuhan, Hubei province. The last major epidemic to ravage this part of the world, the 2003 SARS outbreak, had forced a postponement of the year's Computex to late-September. Organizers TAITRA will institute special measures for the show in compliance with local regulations, which include a mandatory requirement for on-site workers to wear face masks capable of filtering out NoCV, a "no handshake" policy, easy access to hand-sanitizers, possible medical outposts and additional presence of emergency personnel.

AMD Updates Roadmaps to Lock RDNA2 and Zen 3 onto 7nm+, with 2020 Launch Window

AMD updated its technology roadmaps to reflect a 2020 launch window for its upcoming CPU and graphics architectures, "Zen 3" and RDNA2. The two will be based on 7 nm+ , which is AMD-speak for the 7 nanometer EUV silicon fabrication process at TSMC, that promises a significant 20 percent increase in transistor-densities, giving AMD high transistor budgets and more clock-speed headroom. The roadmap slides however hint that unlike the "Zen 2" and RDNA simultaneous launch on 7th July 2019, the next-generation launches may not be simultaneous.

The slide for CPU microarchitecture states that the design phase of "Zen 3" is complete, and that the microarchitecture team has already moved on to develop "Zen 4." This means AMD is now developing products that implement "Zen 3." On the other hand, RDNA2 is still in design phase. The crude x-axis on both slides that denotes year of expected shipping, too appears to suggest that "Zen 3" based products will precede RDNA2 based ones. "Zen 3" will be AMD's first response to Intel's "Comet Lake-S" or even "Ice Lake-S," if the latter comes to fruition before Computex 2020. In the run up to RDNA2, AMD will scale up RDNA a notch larger with the "Navi 12" silicon to compete with graphics cards based on NVIDIA's "TU104" silicon. "Zen 2" will receive product stack additions in the form of a new 16-core Ryzen 9-series chip later this month, and the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper family.

ASRock Radeon RX 5700 XT Taichi OC+ Pictured

ASRock is ready with its flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card, which is among its first fully in-house graphics card designs. The Radeon RX 5700 XT Taichi features a board design that was teased at the 2019 Computex show as a high-end graphics card cooling solution concept. It's since been mated with a custom-design RX 5700 XT PCB. The card features a triple-slot cooling solution with an aluminium fin-stack heatsink, and a cooler shroud that holds three fans. The smaller central fan features an RGB LED embellishment. A tiny LED segment display along the top of the cooler appears to display real-time monitoring. ASRock's signature Taichi gearwheel aesthetic carries over not just to the cooler, but also its backplate.

The PCB is noticeably taller than the AMD reference PCB, pulls power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, offers dual-BIOS with a toggle between an "OC BIOS" and a "Silent BIOS," an LED lighting master control switch, and possibly a strong VRM solution to keep the juices flowing to "Navi." The clock-speeds of the card are still under the wraps, but it's likely that only the OC BIOS features factory-overclocked speeds, while the Silent BIOS ticks at reference clock speeds to favor an aggressive fan-control. Both BIOSes could offer idle fan-stop. The display connectivity is particularly interesting - four DisplayPorts, and two HDMI connectors, all along the rear I/O. There's no word on the availability, but at least the box-art proves this card isn't a tradeshow unicorn.

Cryorig Not Dead, But the US-China Trade-War Hurt It

There have been spectacular rumors flying around on Reddit that PC cooling components major Cryorig has shut down, with telltale signs being their telephone-support number going dead, their Newegg store being out-of-stock for months, and their Twitter account falling silent. We've reviewed close to a dozen Cryorig products, and our last review was dated October 2018. We reached out to Cryorig and one of their representatives was kind enough to respond to us with an update on what has happened at the company. Cryorig is impacted by the U.S.-China trade-war, as the high import tariffs affected the viability of its products. The company would earlier directly access the U.S. market through exclusive stores on Amazon and Newegg.

The company continues to have active market-presence elsewhere, including Asia and Europe. Cryorig clarified in unequivocal terms that it has not, and will not, exit the U.S. market. The company stated that it is merely waiting for respite from the crippling import tariff. In the meantime, it has sought out a new U.S.-based distributor who will import Cryorig products, and resell them. This distributor will also take over other aspects of the U.S. business, including aftersales support, RMA, etc.

Kailh Updates Sun Switches with Clear Stem for Brighter, Centralized Luminescence

Kailh introduced their newest lineup of mechanical keyboard switches at Computex 2018 in the form of the Sun switch. The aim of this lineup was to retain the Cherry MX keycap compatibility with the same stem design, but allow for centralized lighting akin to what Omron did with their light pillars in the Logitech Romer-G and Creative PRES switches. This meant designing new molds for the various switch parts, and also finding a wider spring that together all still work into providing a tactile and clicky switch with a 1.8 mm actuation depth, total travel distance of 3.5 mm, an actuation force of 50 gf and tactile force of 60 gf.

It found little interest, however, with only Hexgears choosing to adopt it to date in their GK760 keyboard. In a move to drum up more business, Kailh have already updated the Sun switch to allow for a clear stem with walls surrounding the stem to help add some dust and spill resistance, with the clear housing now allowing more light to pass through. The rest of the switch is identical, as seen below in samples we received recently (old switch at the left/top of the new switch), although now there is little scope left for a more diffused backlighting experience. Time will tell how the changes work out, and yours truly would have rather seen the older design in use.
More pictures follow.

Speeding Up your USB: USB 4.0 Products Expected to Appear by the end of 2020

AnandTech, who spoke with the USB Promoter Group at Computex, have shared that the new protocol is expected to manifest in physical, consumer products by the end of 2020. The specification for the next-generation bus is currently on version 0.7, with the USB Promoter Group expecting it to be finalized by this Summer. Then it's just a matter of manufacturers developing new products powered by the latest protocol.

USB 4.0 borrows heavily from Intel's thunderbolt 3 technology - which, if you'll remember, was made available as an open specification very recently. Intel's contribution of the Thunderbolt 3 protocol will enable USB 4.0 to achieve speeds of up to 40 Gbps with multiple data and display protocols being able to share available bandwidth. Additionally, USB 4.0 will make use of USB Type-C's interface, ensuring backwards compatibility not only with it, but also USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3. Due to the many improvements in data transfer speeds and ability to stream multiple data and display protocols, the USB Promoter Group is looking at the possibility of changing USB's trademark logo for the next generation interface, alongside a revised branding scheme.

Intel Challenges AMD to Beat it in "Real World Gaming"

AMD is on the verge of launching its 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors that are widely expected to take the performance crown from Intel. At its Computex 2019 reveal, AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su claimed that these processors beat the competition in all areas, including gaming. Motherboard manufacturers threw their weight behind AMD by pulling out their most premium brands for the AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform that consists of these processors, mated with an AMD X570 chipset motherboard. Ahead of its E3 2019 keynote Monday afternoon, Intel has come out with a challenge. Chipzilla dares AMD to beat it in "real-world gaming."

At its "gaming performance for the real world" address in Los Angeles Jon Carvill, VP of marketing, challenged AMD to beat it in real world gaming with its upcoming processors. "So you're going to hear a lot about gaming CPUs this week," he began. "They may or may not come from certain three letter acronyms. That said, here's what I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to challenge them. If they want this crown come beat us in in real world gaming, real world gaming should be the defining criteria that we use to assess the world's best gaming CPU. I challenge you to challenge anyone that wants to compete for this crown to come meet us in real world gaming. That's the measure that we're going to stand by."

Gamdias Demos ATHENA M2 and ARGUS M1 Cases Among Others at Computex 2019

Gamdias brought a boatload of cases to Computex as well this year including some new designs including the ATHENA M2 and ARGUS M1. Starting with the ARGUS M1, it features a sleeker more subdued external design, that while equipped with RGB lighting is tastefully done with a semi-L shaped front accent. It also has illuminated USB ports, which was a nice novelty feature. When it comes to cooling the front panel has side vents, but it should be noted they do not extend all the way up, limiting potential air intake. That said, a 360mm radiator will easily fit in the front.

Gamdias HEBE P1A Headset, ZEUS P2, HADES M1 Gaming Mice at Computex 2019

While at Computex we made sure to visit Gamdias and let's just say they had quite the diverse lineup on display. Starting with peripherals the company had the HEBE P1A headset on hand. Sporting RGB lighting like the majority of products on display it did have some impressive specifications. Starting with the drivers, Gamdias went big cramming 53mm units into the headset with a noise canceling system. Taking things a step further on the sound front the HEBE P1A also offers simulated 7.1 surround sound. For comfort and ease of use, it has oversized earcups along with a flexible unidirectional microphone. Meanwhile, impedance is quite low with it being rated at 32 Ohm meaning it won't need an amp to get the most out of it.

Endgame Gear XM1 and XM1 RGB Gaming Mice Smile For The Camera

Endgame Gear's latest gaming mice the XM1 and XM1 RGB were on hand during our visit at Computex 2019. The XM1 RGB uses analog technology for a true <1ms switches response time. When it comes to getting things feeling just right, the company turned to OMRON, using their pre-sorted mechanical 50M switches. When it comes to the overall shape, it has an ergonomic design that is meant for right-handed users and should be comfortable with most grip styles. It is also exceptionally lightweight at just 81g, making it easy to push around when paired with the 100% PTFE glides and Pixart's MW3389 flagship sensor. Meanwhile, the XM1 without RGB lighting is the same as its sibling it except the lack of RGB LEDs makes it even lighter at just 70g.

Tesoro Debuts Alphaeon W1 Glasses, S1 Chair, and Wireless Qi RGB Mouse Pad

Tesoro looked to keep things stately at this years Computex, going with more refined designs that feature a cleaner aesthetic for office and business use. The first item to make s splash was the Alphaeon W1 which is a set of glasses that protect one's eyes with blue light reduction lenses which are TÜV Rheinland certified. Made for use both indoor and outdoor with both computers and mobile devices, but if that's all they were capable of they wouldn't be newsworthy. Meaning they took things a step further with the company equipping these glasses with Bluetooth 4.0 with a connection distance of up to 15m. Add in Bone Conduction technology and users can not only enjoy music or answer phone calls but also hear surrounding sounds. Compatibility is quite broad as the glasses are capable of pairing with any Bluetooth devices and are Active Voice Control ready. They are also lightweight at just 45g and have a rated phonecall/music playback time of up to 8 hours.

GALAX HOF E16 is a Monstrous M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD Dressed in White

With AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform mainstreaming PCI-Express gen 4.0, several SSD manufacturers put out their first products that can take advantage of it, this Computex. The drive with the highest on-paper transfer rates has to be the HOF E16 from GALAX, which will also be sold under the Galaxy and KFA2 brands in various markets. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive features an M.2 PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface (backwards-compatible with older PCIe generations), with 64 Gbps of interface bandwidth on tap. The drive comes in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, and segment-first 4 TB.

The HOF E16 uses the same heatsink GALAX deployed on the older generation of HOF M.2. A block of aluminium pulls heat from the drive's controller, while a flattened copper heat-pipe spreads heat across. The drive is based on the new Phison E16 controller that's cushioned by an LPDDR4 DRAM chip, and wired to 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive offers sequential read speeds of up to 4,800 MB/s, and sequential writes of up to 4,000 MB/s. 4K random reads are rated at up to 750,000 IOPS, and 4K random writes up to 700,000 IOPS.

Walkthrough of the Leopold Booth at Computex 2019

Leopold is a boutique keyboard manufacturer based out of Korea, and one we have not yet had the pleasure of covering in detail on TechPowerUp. That is about to change, however, as we were invited to meet representatives of the company and go through their products at their Computex booth. I have been familiar with their existing lineup to an extent, noting that they use both Cherry MX and Topre switches in their keyboards designed for the high end market. The FC660 especially is quite popular among keyboard enthusiasts wanting a small form factor keyboard for ergonomics, and Leopold showed off their new version of an electrostatic capacitive switch based on the Topre switch.

The new switch finds its way in the equally new FC660PT keyboard, with the primary design change being the location of the spring relative to the switch housing and rubber dome that gave Topre switches the unique tactile feedback which people either loved or did not. The new design attempts to appease users who long since have wanted compatibility with Cherrry MX stem keycaps, which account for the vast majority of aftermarket keycap sets. The spring is thus right on top, and makes for an interesting two-step feedback mechanism seen in the force-travel diagram below, which may well be just as divisive as the Topre switch itself. Noting that the springs may work loose and possibly be lost, Leopold tells us they plan to also include an extra set of springs with the keyboard as well. The rest of the keyboard is unchanged, and that by itself is a good thing in my books given it is hard to improve on the build quality provided by the thick metal case paired with the 1.5 mm thick PBT keycaps with dye-sub legends. Read past the break for more Leopold offerings at the show floor!

VORTEXGEAR Joins the Low Profile Keyboard Party at Computex 2019

VORTEXGEAR, or simply Vortex for convenience, is another keyboard company that goes the path of atypical form factors, similar to Mistel Keyboard whom the company often collaborates with. Vortex especially gained popularity with the enthusiast keyboard market thanks to their 60% form factor Poker keyboard lineup, with the current iteration being the Poker 3, or Pok3r. At Computex, Vortex showed off a low profile Pok3r using the relatively new Cherry MX Low Profile switches, and the Red RGB variant in particular.

The Pok3r Ultra Slim will come with different keycap options to choose from, with some colors seen in the images below. As with the standard Pok3r, it features near-complete programmability with onboard macro support and three layers to work with. The keyboard will use an anodized CNC-machined aluminium case, with a detachable USB Type-C cable as well. Expect pricing to be similar to the standard Pok3r when this comes out later this year. Read past the break for more new keyboards from Vortex!

Delux Showcases Keyboards, Gaming and Vertical Mice at Computex 2019

Delux may not be well known in the west, but they are looking to make a splash with a diverse product range which they had on display at Computex 2019. The company had quite a few keyboards to check out including partial gaming keyboards like the T6 which was designed with Fortnite in mind. It featured blue mechanical switches with RGB backlighting that comes with six effects. It also used a pluggable Type-C braided cable which was quite a bit different compared to more contemporary designs as well.

Another unique offering was the KM16 which has Bluetooth built in and through which supports mobile devices. It has adjustable height feet that use a rotating design delivering a more user customizable experience without having to flip the keyboard over to make said adjustments. When it comes to the keys themselves, they are fully programmable and feature N-key rollover.
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