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Exascale Supercomputer Technology Buoyed by $258M Grant by US Dept. of Energy

Developing supercomputers isn't for the faint of heart. Much less it is for those that are looking for fast development and deployment time-frames. And as such, even as the world's supercomputers are getting increasingly faster and exorbitantly expensive to develop and deploy, players who want to stay ahead have to think ahead as well. To this end, the US Department of Energy has awarded a total of $258M in research contracts to six of the US's foremost tech companies to accelerate the development of Exascale Supercomputer technologies (AMD, Cray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, and NVIDIA.) These companies will be working over a three year contract period, and will have to support at least 40% of the project cost - to help develop the technologies needed to build an exascale computer for 2021. It isn't strange that the companies accepted the grant and jumped at the opportunity: 60% savings in research and development they'd have to do for themselves is nothing to scoff at.

Supercomputers birthed from the project are expected to be in the exaFLOPS scale of computing performance, which is around 50 times more processing power than the generation of supercomputers being installed now. Since traditional supercomputing knowledge and materials are known to falter at the objective level of exaFLOPS performance, the PathForward program - which looks to ensure achievement of such systems in a timely fashion to ensure US leadership in the field of supercomputing - will need to see spurred research and development, which the $258M grant is looking out to do.

HP Announces a New Line of OMEN Gaming PCs

Today, HP Inc. unleveled the playing field with the launch of an entirely new, cutting-edge and comprehensive portfolio of OMEN by HP gaming products. Re-designed and re-engineered from the ground up, the new lineup gives esports athletes and competitive gamers the edge and confidence needed to perform at the highest global level. Every inch inside and out of the new OMEN PCs, displays and accessories are packed with features designed to target the needs of gamers around the world, instantly changing the game like never before.

The OMEN X Compact Desktop provides a factory-overclocked GPU from NVIDIA and a versatile form-factor, creating the ability to dock and undock quickly for gaming in any room, or attach the desktop to a backpack accessory for an unparalleled, untethered VR experience. The addition of a backpack accessory to the OMEN X Compact Desktop adds a new dimension of flexibility to the platform, and by expanding the OMEN accessory lineup with a new OMEN mechanical keyboard, a mouse with weight customization, a headset with cushioned ear cups to reduce background noise and mousepads designed for precision, HP is bringing attention to every aspect of the gaming experience.

Microsoft to Launch First-Party Titles for Its Mixed Reality HMDs?

Microsoft has been slowly building up its mixed reality endeavor, by baking in support for the platform in its latest Windows 10 updates, as well as the recent announcements of actual HMDs from hardware partners like HP and Acer. Acer's solution, their Mixed Reality HMD, will ship to developers and customers with a $400 price-tag for both the headset and a pair of 6 DoF controllers, which easily remind users of HTC's Vive and Oculus's Rift controllers. Microsoft's implementation, however, makes away with the Rift's and Vive's ouside-in trackers, only needing to be within "sight" of the sensors on the front of the HMD to which they're connected, thus making them truly world-scale (if at the expense of some sweet swordplay moves, but I digress.)

HP Unleashes the World's Most Secure Mobile Workstations for Digital Reinventors

HP Inc. today announced its most secure and manageable HP ZBook Mobile Workstations to-date. The new solutions-packed devices include award-winning display technology, 3D graphics and server-grade processing power -- all in a compact, mobile design. With its new workstation line up, HP continues to offer world-class innovation to power filmmakers, designers, artists, explorers and other visionary thinkers.

"As a longtime partner to the creative industry, Z Workstations have earned their position as the ultimate innovative and reliable technology for creators," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "Our fourth generation ZBook Mobile Workstations are the most secure and manageable mobile workstations in the industry. By protecting the intellectual property of digital creators everywhere, HP enables the creative industry to focus on bringing their best work to-life without the worry of IP theft or breaches."

HP Announces New DreamColor Series Displays

Today at NAB, HP Inc. announced a true Cinema 4K display, arming color professionals with new features, like color-critical accuracy and automatic calibration, to produce the films and animations of tomorrow. Designed in collaboration with top visual effects and animation studios, the new HP DreamColor Z31x Studio and HP DreamColor Z24x G2 displays are enabling artists, photographers and filmmakers to do what they do best -- create -- without having to worry about lackluster display performance.

"From the purest black to the most vivid rainbow of colors, our new DreamColor display for Cinema sets the gold standard for color accuracy and ease-of-use at a disruptive price point to outshine the competition," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "The new DreamColor Z Displays will be a gamechanger for studios and digital creatives who rely on color-critical accuracy and extreme performance."
An early pioneer in the color-critical display market, HP DreamColor Displays, for PCs and Mac computers, have been an integral technology for major movie production and visual effects studios around the world. Since 2011, 80 percent of Academy Award Nominees for Visual Effects have used HP DreamColor displays. In 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the HP DreamColor Display and its developers with the Scientific and Engineering Award.

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

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


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

HP Launches Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor With G-Sync Support

After announcing an entire Omen line of products last year, HP took to CES 2017 to announce the availability date of one such previously-announced products: the Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor. It's a beautifully achieved, 35" Wide QHD display with 100Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. The display's bezel measures under 6.87mm on the top and the sides (which should prove nearly invisible), and further complementing the immersive gaming experience is the 1800R curvature; this means the distance from someone's eyes to any point of the monitor should be equal, if they are positioned correctly.

HP Announces the Z2 Mini Workstation

Today at Autodesk University, HP Inc. unveiled the world's first mini workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The stylish, new HP Z2 Mini Workstation delivers breakthrough power and versatility and at only 2.3" high is 90% smaller than a traditional business-class tower. With this new offering, HP is positioned to extend its workstation leadership by delivering a new category of workstation that offers superb performance, elegance and efficiency.

HP Z Workstation products have become the industry standard for customers demanding a full performance workstation. Building off the success of the HP Z240 SFF, the HP Z2 Mini Workstation is twice as powerful as any commercial mini PC on the market today and has the ability to support six displays right out of the box. The HP Z2 Mini was designed for the millions of CAD users demanding smaller hardware without compromising acoustics and performance and mission-critical reliability.

HP Firmware Update Reverses Non-Original Ink Lock

With the cost of original printer ink sometimes being more expensive than equivalent amounts of rare metals - just consider that the average $35 ink cartridge holds between 10 to 20 milliliters of liquid - it isn't uncommon for users to resort to non-original alternatives, which sometimes cost less than half of their counterparts.

After last September's rollout of a firmware update that effectively impeded the use of non-original ink cartridges on their Officejet line of printers - to considerable user outcry - HP has now issued another firmware update which effectively reverses the previously imposed lock. Ironically, while the firmware update that imposed the lock was automatically installed on user's systems, the same isn't the case with this reversal, with users having to download and install the appropriate firmware by themselves.

In a blog post entitled "Dedicated to the best printing experience", the company goes on to say that it reserves itself the right to use security features which "protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working."

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

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

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

HP Inc. Innovates Its Premium Consumer Portfolio for Holiday

HP Inc. today unveiled its latest generation premium consumer PC line-up for the 2016 holidays. The next generation portfolio features a thinner and lighter convertible with better battery life for portability and a beautifully designed all-in-one to bring amazing sound experiences into the home.

"Premium customers have high expectations around device performance and quality for consuming media and productivity whether at home, work or on the go," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "We are strengthening our leadership in premium with our redesigned PC portfolio to deliver big power in thin and light designs to be even more portable and revolutionize our all-in-one to bring amazing sound into the home."

AMD Announces the 7th Generation AMD PRO Processors

AMD at the Canalys Channels Forum announced the first PCs featuring 7th Generation AMD PRO APUs (formerly codenamed "Bristol Ridge PRO"). Built for business, AMD PRO APUs deliver increased computing and graphics performance, improved energy efficiency, while providing a secure and stable platform to protect customers' IT investments.

"In the past two years we made incredible progresses in the commercial client segment. Since its inception in mid-2014, AMD PRO processor unit shipments increased more than 45 percent enabling businesses all over the world to simplify IT with secure, high performance, reliable solutions" said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business, AMD. "We are thrilled to have PC market leaders like HP and Lenovo expanding their use of AMD technology in their business client portfolios."

HP Socket AM4 A320 Chipset OEM Motherboard Pictured

Here is perhaps the first picture of a socket AM4 motherboard up close. The HP "Willow" is a micro-ATX motherboard custom-designed by the company to deploy on several of its upcoming desktop PC models, offered initially with AMD A-series "Bristol Ridge" socket AM4 APUs. Since this is custom-built for desktops that will probably be sold under $500, the board is built to a cost. The board features AMD A320 chipset.

The picture reveals socket AM4 to have extremely fine pins, and feature a square bolt-type cooler retention mechanism similar to that of contemporary Intel sockets. It does away with the rectangular layout. The advantage of a square layout is that it allows you to orient your cooler in any direction. Since the core-logic is moved to the APU/CPU package, the remaining rump of what AMD refers to as "chipset," is just a PCIe multi-function chip that puts out additional SATA and USB ports. With its TDP under 5W, this chip can make do without a heatsink. Other noteworthy features include two DDR4 DIMM slots, a PCIe gen 3.0 x16 slot, a short M.2 slot, a couple of SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and basic connectivity.

HP Deliberately Cripples Third-party Inkjet Cartridges?

A legal storm is brewing for HP, one of the world's largest manufacturers of inkjet printers. Users around the world are adding to empirical evidence that HP programmed its printers to not play well with third-party ink cartridges. Apparently, HP Inkjet printers and PSCs (AIOs) are programmed to malfunction when a non-HP made ink cartridge is used, on an arbitrary date of 13/09.

The printers are programmed to recognize that a non-HP cartridge is installed, and tell the driver to report a "damaged cartridge" error to the end user. HP has been responding to individual support calls from end-users so far, that the problem is caused by using third-party cartridges. The company recently redacted this statement, replying that a firmware bug is causing this error. Users on online boards were quick to retort that printers with no Internet connection, and no scope for OTA firmware updates, too are exhibiting this behavior. The only explanation that make sense is that HP programmed this date to deliberately make third-party cartridges malfunction, and drive up sales of its own brand cartridges.

Source: MyCE

PNY Announces HP v236w USB Flash Drive

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has officially released the good-looking, slim and powerful HP v236w flash drive. The HP v236w gives you the storage, performance and power you need to store, back-up, transfer or share your favorite pictures, videos or music and to secure your private data.

It is ideal for students of all ages, traveling professionals and everyone who has a need to share a file or a photo with friends and colleagues. The HP v236w features a handy easy to grip cap-less USB connector. With simple plug-and-play function, users can effortlessly use the connector for easy one-handed operation.

HP Acquires Samsung's MFP Business

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), the world leader in printing, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.'s (KSE: 005930) printer business in a deal valued at $1.05 billion. The acquisition positions HP to disrupt and reinvent the $55 billion copier industry, a segment that hasn't innovated in decades. Copiers are outdated, complicated machines with dozens of replaceable parts requiring inefficient service and maintenance agreements. Customers are frequently frustrated with the number of visits needed to keep copier machines functioning. Today, HP is investing to disrupt this category by replacing copiers with superior multifunction printer (MFP) technology.

Samsung has built a formidable portfolio of A3 MFPs that deliver the performance of copiers with the power, simplicity, reliability and ease-of-use of printers and with as few as seven replaceable parts. Integrating the Samsung printer business' products, including their mobile-first and cloud-first user experience, with HP's next-generation PageWide technologies will create a breakthrough portfolio of printing solutions with the industry's best device, document, and data security.

PNY Announces HP x765w USB 3.0 Flash Drive

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has released the super-speed HP x765w flash memory drive with USB 3.0 specifications. The HP x765w is a great storage option, especially in larger capacities, so you can use that high-speed port to transfer large files or stream media. Designed with a compact body and enhanced portable features, the lidless flash drive is the perfect backup storage for all your digital needs.

Featuring a cool black and white monochrome design, the ergonomics wave body makes it easier to grip and anti-fingerprint finish ensures it free from scratches or finger stains. The HP x765w features a handy lidless design with retractable connector and convenient one-hand slide mechanism for quick and easy operation. The drive comes with a loop hole at the base of the drive that can be easily attached to bags, wallets or car keys.

HP Reinvents the Desktop to Enable New Experiences

HP Inc. today debuted two new PCs, HP Pavilion Wave and HP Elite Slice, that are revolutionizing traditional designs for the home and workplace. HP is transforming the desktop PC to create unique experiences that deliver the power customers expect in small, creative designs. The HP Pavilion Wave is designed for entertainment and productivity for the home by combining desktop power and great audio experiences.

For customers who want a PC that can fit into small places, the new offering is a beautiful and compact design with the power of a full-sized desktop. This unique desktop is built around a fully integrated, advanced audio system to play music, listen to movies, web chats and Cortana. It features an iconic triangular form with an innovative parabolic reflector with an integrated speaker on top of the PC for superb, 360-degree sound to fill a room with crisp audio.

HP Unleashes the Omen X and Omen 17

HP Inc. today launched a new family of gaming products designed specifically for those who demand the ultimate, immersive gaming experience. HP's new high-end gaming products -- the OMEN X Desktop, OMEN 17 Laptop, OMEN X Curved Display and OMEN with SteelSeries accessories -- are engineered to deliver aggressive performance and the flexibility to customize every detail to intensify the thrill of each competition.

"The OMEN X Desktop was built for serious gamers who need fierce performance out-of-the-box in a fully customizable chassis -- something not typically available from traditional PC manufacturers," said Kevin Frost, HP vice president and general manager, Consumer Personal Systems. "HP's engineers combined a unique design that maximizes thermal management with support for industry standard components so that the true enthusiast can always be up to date with the latest hardware to maintain peak performance with a customized rig."

PNY Releases HP v152w USB Flash Drive

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has officially released the light and portable HP v152w USB Flash drive. The HP v152w is the ideal storage device for storing your images, music and files or documents, ready to be carried around in your pocket or wallet, wherever you go. The capless flash drive features a retractable connector and one-hand slide mechanism that stores up to 64GB of storage data. Designed for fast paced transfer and efficient storage of data files, the HP v152w is an extremely affordable flash drive that delivers exceptional performance at an economical price range.

Crafted in a smooth blue plastic casing with cool ergonomics wave body, the HP v152w is a sturdy flash drive that can protects from shock and other damages. Its sandblasted-like outer casing features anti-fingerprint finish, which enables it to retain its clean exterior. It comes in a lidless retractable body that reveals the connector as you slide it to the end.

HP Unveils the Chomebook 13

HP Inc. today announced the HP Chomebook 13 , an ultra-thin Chromebook for home and office use. The device reinvents the Chromebook experience to deliver:
  • A modern, all-metal design measuring only 12.9 mm thin
  • The first docking solution for a Chromebook , enabled through HP's USB-C Docking Station to deliver dual high-definition displays, full-size keyboards, wired networks and charging
  • First Chromebook to use 6th generation Intel Core M processors
  • Category-leading sound and video capabilities, custom-tuned in collaboration with audio experts from B&O PLAY, and a 13.3 inch diagonal QHD+ (3200 x 1800) resolution IPS display for optimal collaboration using apps like Google Hangouts

HP Unveils the Z1 G3 Workstation All-in-One

HP Inc. today announced a bold evolution and a series of updates to the world's first workstation all-in-one - the new HP Z1 G3 Workstation - combining the simplicity of an All-in-One design with performance typically found in traditional tower workstations.

Built for demanding users, the third generation HP Z1 Workstation is smaller, thinner and lighter delivering screaming performance at a great value.
  • 47 percent smaller, 51 percent lighter and 21 percent less expensive than the previous generation.
  • 23.6 inch diagonal anti-glare UHD 4K display for the outstanding visual clarity when working on graphic intensive projects.
  • Intel Xeon processor options for powerful workstation-class processing technology for the most demanding applications.

Worldwide PC Shipments Down 9.6% in First Quarter of 2016, According to Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 9.6 percent decline from the first quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.

"The deterioration of local currencies against the U.S. dollar continued to play a major role in PC shipment declines. Our early results also show there was an inventory buildup from holiday sales in the fourth quarter of 2015," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

AMD Accelerates Availability of Mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors

AMD today announced early availability of its new mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors, timed to support an exciting new notebook design by HP Inc. Equipped with advanced video, graphics, performance, and security features designed to boost productivity and enhance the entertainment experience, 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors (codenamed "Bristol Ridge") also provide outstanding energy efficiency.

New OEM PC designs powered by mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors -- from ultrathin notebooks and convertibles to sleek All-in-Ones -- will come to market first with HP in the new HP ENVY x360, and with other OEM announcements expected later in the year. AMD will officially introduce 7th Gen A-Series APUs and showcase a wide range of OEM designs at Computex 2016, May 31-June 4, 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan.

HP Unveils the World's Thinnest Laptop

Today at the New York Times International Luxury Conference, HP Inc. raised the bar for the premium PC experience with the debut of the new HP Spectre, the world's thinnest laptop. The HP Spectre and new premium portfolio were showcased alongside the results of the company's collaboration with world-renowned designers Tord Boontje and Jess Hannah. The collaboration features exclusive, limited edition luxury notebooks at the intersection of high-end art and leading technology.

"The HP Spectre is the thinnest notebook in the world, and unlike the majority of other super thin PCs on the market, this laptop doesn't compromise power or features," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "A beautiful Full HD edge-to-edge display, Intel Core i processors coupled with Bang & Olufsen sound and a sexy and thin design, HP amazing engineers set a new standard with the all new Spectre."
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