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Intel Says Its Upcoming Gen12 GPUs Will Feature Biggest Architecture Change In A Decade

Intel is slowly realizing plans to "one up" its GPU game starting from first 10 nm Ice Lake CPUs that feature Gen11 graphics, equipping users of integrated GPUs with much more performance than they previously got. Fortunately, Intel doesn't plan to stop there. Thanks to the recent pull request found on GitLab Mesa repository, we can now expect to receive biggest GPU performance bump in over a decade with the arrival of Gen12 based GPUs, found on next generation Tiger Lake processors.

In this merge request, Francisco Jerez, member of Intel's open source Linux graphics team, stated the following: "Gen12 is planned to include one of the most in-depth reworks of the Intel EU ISA since the original i965. The encoding of almost every instruction field, hardware opcode and register type needs to be updated in this merge request. But probably the most invasive change is the removal of the register scoreboard logic from the hardware, which means that the EU will no longer guarantee data coherency between register reads and writes, and will require the compiler to synchronize dependent instructions anytime there is a potential data hazard..."

SHERPA Consortium: If AI Could Feel, it Would Fear Cyber-attacks from People

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly finding applications in nearly every walk of life. Self-driving cars, social media networks, cyber security companies, and everything in between uses it. But a new report published by the SHERPA consortium - an EU project studying the impact of AI on ethics and human rights that F-Secure joined in 2018 - finds that while human attackers have access to machine learning techniques, they currently focus most of their efforts on manipulating existing AI systems for malicious purposes instead of creating new attacks that would use machine learning.

The study's primary focus is on how malicious actors can abuse AI, machine learning, and smart information systems. The researchers identify a variety of potentially malicious uses for AI that are well within reach of today's attackers, including the creation of sophisticated disinformation and social engineering campaigns.

Several Gen11 GPU Variants Referenced in Latest Intel Drivers

The latest version of Intel Graphics drivers which introduce the company's latest UWP-based Graphics Command Center app, hide another secret in their INF. The file has pointers to dozens of variants and implementations of the company's next-generation Gen11 integrated graphics architecture, which we detailed in a recent article. Intel will implement Gen11 on two key processor microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Lakefield," although later down the line, the graphics technology could trickle down to low-power Pentium Silver and Celeron SoC lines, too, with chips based on the "Elkhart Lake" silicon.

There are 13 variants of Gen11 on "Ice Lake," carved using execution unit (EU) count, and LP (low-power) aggressive power management. The mainstream desktop processors based on "Ice Lake," which are least restrained in power-management, get the most powerful variants of Gen11 under the Iris Plus brand. Iris Plus Graphics 950 is the most powerful implementation, with all 64 EUs enabled, and the highest GPU clock speeds. This variant could feature on Core i7 and Core i9 brands derived from "Ice Lake." Next up, is the Iris Plus Graphics 940, with the same EU count, but likely lower clock speeds, which could feature across the vast lineup of Core i5 SKUs. The Iris Plus 930 comes in two trims based on EU count, of 64 and 48, and could likely be spread across the Core i3 lineup. Lastly, there's the Iris Plus 920 with 32 EUs, which could be found in Pentium Gold SKUs. There are various SKUs branded "UHD Graphics Gen11 LP," with EU counts ranging from 32 to 64.

SilentiumPC Expands Armis AR5 Family of Cases With Three New Models

Following the recently introduced AR5X PC Case, three new variants joining the SilentiumPC Armis AR5 family. Being sensible mid-tower choices, these cases provide unparalleled balance of perfect design, features, quality and fair pricing for a wide variety of PC system configurations.

Sharing the same base chassis structure and features, the variants offer different pricing and equipment:
  • The base model, Armis AR5 features a solid flat side panel and two Sigma HP 120 mm fans.
  • Armis AR5 TG has a tempered-glass side panel and comes with two Sigma HP 120 mm fans.
  • Armis AR5 TG RGB comes with tempered-glass side panel, as well as two Sigma HP 120 mm fans, one Sigma HP Corona 120 RGB fan and Aurora Sync PRO illumination/PWM controller.

ASRock Prevented by AMD to Sell its Graphics Cards in the EU

It's been extensively reported that ASRock's primary motivation behind entering the graphics card market is the crypto-currency wave. The company stitched together a lineup of graphics cards based on AMD Radeon RX 500 series, with its fastest card being the RX 580 Phantom Gaming X. It's now being reported that AMD is preventing ASRock from selling its graphics cards in the EU. The reasons behind the move are unclear, but from what we can tell, ASRock hasn't been given a region-specific permission to sell its graphics cards in the EU. This probably indicates a swelling inventory of AMD Radeon graphics cards from other AIB (add-in board) partners, due to waning interesting in GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining.

European Comission Fines Capacitor Producers In €254 Million Over Cartel Fraud

The European Comission has put out yet another fine to tech companies, joining some other multi-million dollar fines that have already been dolled out. The targets of the latest fine over cartel association and price manipulation is being pointed at nine Japanese capacitor manufacturers, which were found by the European Comission to have conspired towards unduly increasing capacitor pricing between the years of 1998 and 2012.

The companies named in the investigation aren't an exact match to those that were actually fined, though. Sanyo, Hitachi, Rubycon, ELNA, Tokin, NEC, Matsuo, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con, Vishay Polytech, Holy Stone Holdings, and Holy Stone Enterprises, for instance, were named. However, Tokin, Elna, Rubycon, and Hitachi each received reductions in their respective fines for cooperating with the investigation. The largest single fine, totalling €97,921,000, was given to Nippon Chemi-Con. Sanyo, however, outsmarted all its competitors - the company dodged the fine altogether for bringing the matter to the attention of the Commission in the first place. This is an interesting tactic - proceeding to take part in a cartel, extract profits, and then turn over the cartel associates to regulating bodies at the price of immunity. A part of the ruling justifying the fines can be seen after the break.

EU Plans to Add 3% Tax On Tech Giants' Revenue Based on Customers' Location

"Treat equally that which is equal, treat differently that which is different" seems to be the motto of the new EU proposal for increased taxation on tech giants. The proposal, which will be presented just this Wednesday (March 21st), could lead to increased taxation to tech giants that do business with EU customers by as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) as 3% of their gross revenue (the value still isn't final, but should stay within 1% and 5%). It isn't clear how the customer location business will be defined, but it seems that the EU believes its citizens provide increased revenues for companies than other citizens in other parts of the less developed world do.

This move specifically aims to capture real growth and value of digital-first companies, such as Facebook and Amazon. These are types of companies that the EU feels aren't being taxed proportionally (meaning, they currently provide less than they should to public coffers) to the true value they derive from the region. As most EU matters, any tax proposal will need the unanimous approval of all 28 current members before turning into law, so one country alone could block it.

European Commission Fines Google in €2.42 billion for Antitrust Violations

Another year, another European Commission fine for an antitrust violation. This time, the target of the fine is none other than Google. In what could be the most important antitrust ruling in recent years (which overshadows even Microsoft's 2004 browser fine), the EC has found that Google has systematically worked towards increasing prominence in search results to those displayed by the company's own comparison shopping service, dubbed "Google Shopping". "Google Shopping" started in 2004, when Google entered the comparison shopping market in Europe, with a product that was initially called "Froogle", renamed "Google Product Search" in 2008 and since 2013 has been called "Google Shopping".

However, it would seem that Froogle wasn't all that successful. When Google entered the comparison shopping markets with Froogle, there were already a number of established players, which dampened the company's market foray. The EC states that Google was aware that Froogle's market performance was relatively poor, pointing to one internal document from 2006 that stated, quite plainly, that "Froogle simply doesn't work".

Kaspersky Backs Away From Threat of Antitrust Lawsuit against Microsoft / Win10

Russian-based Kaspersky Labs is backing away from its earlier threat of an antitrust case filing with the European Commission, instead opting for a "wait and see" approach with regards to its complaints with Microsoft over Windows 10 and its included security software "Windows Defender."

Kaspersky Labs has been threatening to press an antitrust action since November 2016, when in a November blog post titled "That's it. I've had enough!" Chief Executive Eugene Kaspersky complained that Microsoft did not give developers ample time to prepare for a new Windows release, and was using their "compatibility checker" tool to effectively remove competing software in favor of Windows Defender.

EU Still Concerned about Windows 10 User Privacy

Despite Microsoft announcing changes recently to the Windows 10 installation process, Europe's biggest privacy watchdogs remain unconvinced.

A group comprised of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for enforcing the data protection law, known as the "Article 29 Working Party," asked Microsoft earlier last year to clarify how they process and handle data for various purposes, including advertising.

AMD Cuts Prices of Radeon R9 285

As the Spring PC upgrade season heats up, AMD decided to woo mainstream gamers away from NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 960, by working with retailers in the EU to introduce price-cuts on its Radeon R9 285 graphics card. The card can now be had for under 180€ (incl taxes). The GTX 960, in comparison, starts at 192€ (incl taxes). The R9 285 offers higher performance than the GTX 960. It is, however, let down by higher power consumption and noise figures. Based on the 28 nm "Tonga" silicon, the R9 285 offers 1,792 stream processors based on AMD's Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide memory interface, holding 2 GB of memory.

Perfectly Functional GTX 970 Cards Being Returned Over Memory Controversy

In what is a major fallout of the GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation controversy, leading retailers in the EU are reporting returns of perfectly functional GTX 970 cards citing "false advertising." Heise.de reports that NVIDIA is facing a fierce blowback from retailers and customers over incorrect specs. Heise comments that the specifications "cheating could mean the greatest damage to the reputation of the company's history."

Major German PC hardware retailer Caseking.de says that retailers don't have any explanation from NVIDIA to give to their customers. A similar sentiment is being expressed by the NVIDIA add-in card partners (AICs) we spoke to. Retailers and AIC partners are on their own, for now. One AIC partner rep told us that NVIDIA has no worldwide action plan, as of now, to deal with a potential flood of returns.

Cooler Master Announces the Hyper 612 CPU Cooler in the EU

Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator, and manufacturer of desktop components and gaming peripherals today announced the latest addition to the Hyper series: the Hyper 612 ver. 2. The Hyper-series is known for its very aggressive price/performance ratio which makes it one of the most popular cooling series in the world.

The Cooler Master Hyper 612 ver. 2 is designed with versatility in mind. The first option is to use it as a Silent (passive) cooler. Patented technologies like CDC and X-Vent are two reasons why the Hyper 612 can reach extreme low temperatures. CDC or Continuous Direct Contact is a technology developed by Cooler Master to improve the contact between the CPU and the heatpipes. This improved contact allows for better heat dissipation and thus improves the performance of the cooler.

Cooler Master PSUs Follow New EU Regulations

Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator and manufacturer of desktop components and more, announces today its PSU compliance list for the new EU regulations. Next to that we have upgraded the current B-series to a newer better version, the B ver. 2, to make sure these are also EU ready!

As of the 1st of July the new EU regulation for PSUs became in force. As part of the new EU regulation all internally installed power supplies must achieve a minimum level of efficiency in several load conditions and have a power factor of 0.9 at full load. This means that within the EU, focus will be on energy saving and nature friendly designs. The standby power consumption is regulated by the ErP lot6 and cannot exceed more than 0.5W in standby mode. All of Cooler Masters current PSU line-up follow these new regulations. To see all the test results you can visit this website.

Philips Fidelio L2 Headphones Elevate Sound and Style

Two years ago, Philips launched the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones, which have gone on to be recognized as one of the leading headphones in their class. Today, Philips is introducing a new generation: the Philips Fidelio L2. The new model features lighter materials, a new headband design and key sound improvements that will impress even the most discerning audiophile. The Philips Fidelio L2 have been tuned by the sharpest ears from Philips' 'Golden Ears' panel of audio experts, delivering exceptional sound detail for every song.

"The Philips Fidelio L2 headphones deliver a pristine audio experience," said Alexander van der Heijden, consumer marketing for headphones at Philips Lifestyle Entertainment. "We're proud of the recognition we've received for the Philips Fidelio L1s, but we also wanted to keep striving to deliver the perfect headphone in its class. So we asked users of the L1 to tell us what they liked, and what more they wanted, and the result is the Philips Fidelio L2 headphones. We've made some small but important changes, such as increasing the sensitivity in the sound technology to make for a more robust and clean sound experience."

Philips Launches Frames Headphones

Philips today launched a line of headphones that's as cool as your favorite pair of sunglasses and as stylish as a trip down the catwalk. Called Frames, the headphones - which feature a compact, foldable design - offer total sound immersion from a closed acoustic system and premium drivers, while making a clear fashion statement.

"Headphones have become a fashion accessory," said Alexander van der Heijden, consumer marketing for headphones at Philips Lifestyle Entertainment. "With Frames, we took our inspiration from premium sunglasses. At the same time, Frames is more than just a 'flashy' design. These headphones are carefully engineered to reproduce clean, detailed and natural sound."

Slick New Enermax Notebook Cooling Pad Series Launched

Enermax releases a brand new series of cooling pads for notebook users, that offer unique cooling solutions along with features such as a movable LED fan and enhanced external speakers. The AEOLUS VEGAS (CP007) cooling pad, the AeroOdio (CP006) speaker cooling pad and the new AEOLUS PURE (CP003P) cooling pads provide innovative and fun features to keep your notebook running cool and sounding great.

The AEOLUS VEGAS cooling pad is a sleek aluminum and metal meshed cooler/laptop stand with an innovative cable management feature. It comes with an Enermax 18cm 4-color Vegas LED fan with position-adjustable magnetic fan mounting and 4 lighting modes; Sparkle, All-on, Flash, and Off. The position-adjustable magnetic fan allows for precise placement which makes it easy to eliminate hot spots efficiently. The stylish rubber edges provide a non-slip grip and present the dual functionality of a looping cable management system. It also comes with connectors for USB extension.

Scythe Launches Innovative New Fan - Grand Flex 120

Japanese CPU cooler and case fan expert Scythe proudly presents its new top-notch Grand Flex 120 mm fan series. These new axial fans surprise with the aggressive design and are set to be the successor of the incredibly successful S-FLEX series, taking it to the next level in terms of design and performance.

"Sealed Precision FDB" was newly developed from scratch as the core for its Grand Flex 120 mm series. This bearing is based on the "Fluid Dynamic Bearing" technology that has served Scythe well for several popular high-end series in the past and is now being used as a very solid and reliable foundation for the new design. Scythe's Fluid Dynamic Bearing utilizes lubricantoil between the shaft and the bearing, resulting in excellent lubrication and silent operation. The used high-grade lubricant oil can withstand high temperatures of up to 250 degree Celsius, and are additionally of special interest for industrial use. Grand Flex 120 case fans are made for long time silent operation and are rated with MTTF (Mean Time To Failure) of 120.000 hours (at 25 degree Celsius).

Scythe Announces The Multi-Platform Card Reader Kama Reader USB 3.0

Japanese cooling expert Scythe expands its wide variety of PC accessories by a brand new card reader. Scythe's new 5-in-1 card reader supports all common media standards and comes with the extremely fast USB 3.0 interface. Thanks to the USB 3.0 port in the front of Scythe Kama Reader USB 3.0, users are able to utilize the full speed of externally connected devices such as USB sticks and Hard Drives.

The biggest advantage of the USB 3.0 interface is the high speed it allows. Compared to the USB 2.0 standard, storage media can surpass the limitations and finally unleash the real potential thanks to USB 3.0. Most USB 2.0 card reader were limiting the read and write speed to approximately 30 Megabyte per second, although the theoretical transfer-rates are often labeled with 60 Megabyte per second. USB 3,0 on the other hand allows theoretical transfer-rates above 600 MB/s, which pushes the limit higher, allowing really fast transfer of files.

Eurocom shipping full line of NVIDIA Quadro based 15.6-17.3" Mobile Workstations

Eurocom is shipping a full line of professional grade Mobile Workstations powered by NVIDIA Quadro Graphics, with display sizes ranging from 15.6" to 17.3".

Eurocom Mobile Workstations are designed for the new breed of professional who must travel but still needs access to powerful, reliable and long lasting professional grade hardware.
Supporting the most powerful mobile professional graphics solutions including the NVIDIA Quadro in Eurocom Mobile Workstations ensure they are able to run the most demanding engineering and design software with ease, while on the go.

Aerocool Strike-X Xtreme Available in Three Editions

Taiwan based manufacturer Aerocool expands its quality PC-Chassis portfolio. New addition to the portfolio is the Strike-X Xtreme Midi Tower, which is targeting ambitious Gamers and combines stylish exterior with spacious and clean interior.

The interior design is offering much space for drives and latest high-end gaming components. Users can conveniently access the four 5,25 inch (13,34 cm) bays, which are equipped with a tool-free mounting mechanism. Additionally up to six 3,5inch (8,89 cm) respectively 2,5 inch (6,35 cm) hard drives can be mounted into the allocated slots conveniently using the supplied HDD trays.

Intel Core i7-4770K "Haswell" Listed on Dutch Stores

Intel's Core "Haswell" desktop processor family launch may be three months away, but retailers in Europe aren't wasting any time to hog attention or score pre-orders. The company's flagship socket LGA1150 processor, the Core i7-4770K, was listed by Dutch stores MAXICT.nl and takeITnow, for €331.13 (incl. VAT) and €352.00 (incl. VAT), respectively. Both stores are offering the chip in its tray (chip-only) packaging. The listings confirm the chip's clock speed to be 3.50 GHz, and L3 cache size 8 MB. The MaxICT listing can be found here, and TakeITnow here. Ships all over EU.

Noctua Announces NF-A14 FLX, NF-A14 ULN and NF-A15 PWM 140 mm Fans

Noctua today introduced its new NF-A14 FLX, NF-A14 ULN and NF-A15 PWM 140mm fans that complement the recently announced A-series of premium quality quiet fans. Like the previously presented NF-A4x10, NF-A6x25 and NF-A9x14, the new 140mm models feature Noctua's novel AAO frames as well as the series' signature Flow Acceleration Channels for reduced boundary layer separation and improved aerodynamic efficiency. Reference class SSO2 bearing and 6 years manufacturer's warranty make the NF-A15 and NF-A14 a stand-out choice for all noise-sensitive 140 mm applications.

"Introduced in 2009, our NF-P14 has become a default-choice among PC enthusiasts looking for a premium quality, quiet 140mm fan, so we're excited to further improve its much acclaimed airflow to noise ratio with the new NF-A14 and NF-A15", says Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "The A14 and A15 models all sport the key features of our new A-series fans and now come in both round and square frame design."

European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Microsoft on Browser Compliance

The European Commission has informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft (see IP/09/1941). The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.

In its statement of objections, the Commission takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011. From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period.

European Commission Plans Criminal Case Against Microsoft

According to a report, European Commission is planning to level a criminal case against Microsoft for failing to meet the conditions laid down by the judgement of a 2009 case that forced Microsoft to strip its Internet Explorer browser from Windows operating system copies sold in the EU, and presenting new installations of the OS with a browser selection menu. With the advent of Windows 7 SP1, the browser selection menu was not implemented for tens of millions of PCs (out of an error, Microsoft argues). The new case could lead to penalties in billions of Euros for Microsoft.
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