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Ainex Releases Ingenious GPU Power Cable Hider Adapter

Japanese company Ainex has recently announced an ingenious solution to hide GPU PCI-Express power cables by reversing the orientation of the power cable. The adapters feature a compact size so can be used in parallel for power-intensive devices, the adapters are available in upper and lower latch versions to accommodate all cards. Ainex is offering 4 models for 6 and 8 pin connectors ranging from 600 - 700 yen (~6-7 USD) with shipping starting on November 25. The adapters are unlikely to see an official international release however you can likely import the item or find similar products online.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" & Xe Graphics Launch Event: Live Blog

Intel today launches its 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" mobile processors that introduce several new technologies on the backs of new IP. As described in the Architecture Day, "Tiger Lake" is built on the 10 nm SuperFin process, and combines new "Willow Cove" CPU cores with the first commercial debut of the Xe Gen12 graphics architecture that Intel is betting big on, to make a stab at the consumer graphics and scalar compute markets. Join us in this live-blog.

Update 16:00 UTC: GB (Gregory Bryant, EVP Client), leads the event from the comfort of his home.
Update 16:04 UTC: Here it is, the "world's best processor for thin and light laptops. You'll notice that like most Intel U-segment chips, this is an MCM of the processor and PCH die. Intel bases its "world's best" claims on a per-segment basis.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce MX450 with PCI-Express 4.0 Interface

NVIDIA released a mysterious new mobile GPU that has us scratching our heads over the silicon that could be driving it. The new GeForce MX450 is an entry-mainstream mobile GPU that apparently ships with a PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus interface, something only NVIDIA's "Ampere" GPUs feature. The product page for the MX450 doesn't list out any other specs, than its memory type support including new GDDR6 memory (supported only on NVIDIA architectures "Turing" or later). Interestingly, it also lists GDDR5 as one of its memory options. PCI-Express 4.0 is prominently listed as one of its specs.

Upon digging some more among device IDs, we've come across the ID of the GDDR5 variant, with the ASIC code "GP107-670-A1," and the silicon is based on the much older "Pascal" architecture, which lacks PCIe gen 4 support. The GDDR6 variant eludes us. This is the SKU which could be based on a newer architecture, given its support for GDDR6 and PCIe gen 4. NVIDIA's GeForce MX line of entry-mainstream mobile GPUs are built to performance/power targets, and wildly vary with the underlying tech. They've been historically a means for NVIDIA to clear inventory of older generation ASICs to notebook manufacturers, who get put the NVIDIA logo on their products, and advertise discrete graphics. Given this, the use of a newer (even unreleased) generation of GPUs comes as a surprise.

Intel Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" 28-core Die Detailed at Hot Chips - 18% IPC Increase

Intel in the opening presentation of the Hot Chips 32 virtual conference detailed its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processor. Built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication process, "Ice Lake-SP" sees the first non-client and non-mobile deployment of the company's new "Sunny Cove" CPU core that introduces higher IPC than the "Skylake" core that's been powering Intel microarchitectures since 2015. While the "Sunny Cove" core itself is largely unchanged from its implementation in 10th Gen Core "Ice Lake-U" mobile processors, it conforms to the cache hierarchy and tile silicon topology of Intel's enterprise chips.

The "Ice Lake-SP" die Intel talked about in its Hot Chips 32 presentation had 28 cores. The "Sunny Cove" CPU core is configured with the same 48 KB L1D cache as its client-segment implementation, but a much larger 1280 KB (1.25 MB) dedicated L2 cache. The core also receives a second fused multiply/add (FMA-512) unit, which the client-segment implementation lacks. It also receives a handful new instruction sets exclusive to the enterprise segment, including AVX-512 VPMADD52, Vector-AES, Vector Carry-less Multiply, GFNI, SHA-NI, Vector POPCNT, Bit Shuffle, and Vector BMI. In one of the slides, Intel also detailed the performance uplifts from the new instructions compared to "Cascade Lake-SP".

Intel "Alder Lake-S" Confirmed to Introduce LGA1700 Socket, Technical Docs Out for Partners

Intel's Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processor, which succeeds the 11th generation "Rocket Lake-S," is confirmed to introduce a new CPU socket, LGA1700. This new socket has been churning in the rumor mill since 2019. The LGA1700 socket is Intel's biggest mainstream desktop processor package change since LGA1156, in that the package is now physically larger, and may be cooler-incompatible with LGA115x sockets (Intel H# sockets). The enlargement in package size is seen as an attempt by Intel to give itself real-estate to build future multi-chip modules; while the increased pin-count points to the likelihood of more I/O centralization to the processor package.

The "Alder Lake-S" silicon is rumored to be Intel's first 10 nm-class mainstream desktop processor, combining a hybrid core setup of a number of "Golden Cove" high-performance CPU cores, and a number of "Gracemont" low-power cores. The processor's I/O feature-set is expected to include dual-channel DDR5 memory, PCI-Express gen 4.0, and possibly preparation for gen 5.0 on the motherboard-side. In related news, Intel put out technical documentation for the "Alder Lake-S" microarchitecture and LGA1700 socket. Access however, is restricted to Intel's industrial partners. The company also put out documentation for "Rocket Lake-S."

TP-Link Intros Archer TX3000E 802.11ax PCIe WLAN Card

For those of us on older desktops with plenty of PCIe slots to go around, and a brand new 802.11ax router in the house to drive a swanky new gigabit fiber Internet connection, TP-Link released the Archer TX3000E, a PCI-Express add-on card that gives your desktop 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The product consists of three components, the add-on card, an antenna assembly, and cabling. The add-on card features PCI-Express 2.0 x1 (5 Gbps per direction) host interface, and uses an Intel AX200 WLAN controller that's passively cooled by a heatsink.

The Archer TX3000E supports dual-band 802.11ax, with up to 2402 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and up to 574 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band, along with support for WPA3. Besides PCIe, a 4-pin USB 2.0 cable connects to one of your motherboard's vacant USB 2.0 headers, for the Bluetooth 5.0 component to work. The desktop antenna assembly features two multi-directional antennae, and a magnetized base. Available now, the Archer TX3000E is priced at 79.90€.

Crucial P2 Announced: Company's Second QLC M.2 NVMe Client SSD

Here's the first picture of the Crucial P2, the company's second M.2 NVMe client SSD series based on QLC NAND flash memory, and successor to the Crucial P1. The drive sticks to PCI-Express gen 3.0 x4 as its host interface, but increases sequential read speeds over the P1. Available in 250 GB and 500 GB models to begin with, the P2 offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2100 MB/s reads with up to 1150 MB/s writes for the 250 GB variant; and up to 2300 MB/s reads with up to 940 MB/s writes on the 500 GB variant. There's no word on whether the P2 uses the same QLC NAND chips as the P1, but we do spy a DRAM cache chip. Endurance of the P2 is rated at 150 TBW, and Crucial is backing them with 5-year warranties when they come out in the near future. Pricing in Europe is expected to be about 59€ for the 250 GB model, and 70€ for the 500 GB one.

Update 15:54 UTC: Crucial launched the drive Stateside at $54.99 for the 250 GB model, and $64.99 for the 500 GB model. We've added more images.

ASUS Intros ROG Strix PCIe Riser Cable

Quite a few cases have a pair of vertical expansion slots that let you show off your graphics card through the glass side-panel, but don't include a PCIe riser cable. ASUS swooped in with a solution, the ROG Strix Riser Cable. Possibly the first ROG Strix product in years without any RGB LED illumination, the Riser features of a thick base plate that doubles up as PCB, with a metal reinforced PCI-Express x16 slot, dubbed Safe Slot. ASUS uses this slot in many of its premium ROG-branded motherboards. It offers up to 1.8x shearing force endurance compared to a traditional unshielded plastic slot. The baseplate is connected to a thick ribbon cable with rubber outer insulation, which connects to the PCIe x16 gold fingers. ASUS did not mention the length of the cable, but states the total dimensions of the accessory as 240 mm x 127 mm x 10 mm (LxWxH), so the cable should probably be 18-20 cm in length, if not more. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

ASUS Begins Enabling Limited PCIe Gen 4.0 on AMD 400-series Chipset Motherboards

ASUS believes that PCI-Express gen 4.0 support on older socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 400-series chipset is technically possible, even if discouraged by AMD. The company's latest series of motherboard BIOS updates that expose PCIe Gen 4 toggle in the PCIe settings, does in fact enable PCIe gen 4.0 to all devices that are directly wired to the SoC. These would be the PCI-Express x16 slots meant for graphics, and one of the M.2 slots that has PCIe x4 wiring to the SoC. Below is a list of motherboards scored by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, which details the extent of PCIe gen 4.0 support across a number of ASUS motherboards based on the X470 and B450 chipsets.

AMD apparently did not explicitly block PCIe gen 4.0 for older chipsets. It merely suggested to motherboard manufacturers not to enable it, since the newer AMD 500-series motherboards are built to new PCB specifications that ensure PCIe gen 4.0 signal-integrity and stability. ASUS wants to leave it to users to decide if they want gen 4.0. If their machines are unstable, they can choose to limit PCIe version to gen 3.0 in their BIOS settings. Among other things, AMD's specifications for 500-series chipset motherboards prescribe PCBs with more than 4 layers, for optimal PCIe and memory wiring. Many of the motherboards on ASUS' list, such as the TUF B450 Pro Gaming, use simple 4-layer PCBs.

UL Releases PCI Express Feature Test For 3DMark Ahead of PCIe 4.0 Hardware

With PCI-Express 4.0 graphics cards and motherboards soon to arrive, UL has released their PCI Express feature test for 3DMark. This latest addition has been designed to verify the bandwidth available to the GPU over a computer's PCI Express interface. To accomplish this, the test will make bandwidth the limiting factor for performance and does so by uploading a large amount of vertex and texture data to the GPU for each frame. The end goal is to transfer enough data over the PCIe 4.0 interface to thoroughly saturate it. Once the test is complete, the end result will be a look at the average bandwidth achieved during the test.

PCI-SIG Announces PCIe 6.0 Specification

PCI-SIG today announced that PCI Express (PCIe ) 6.0 technology will double the data rate to 64 GT/s while maintaining backwards compatibility with previous generations and delivering power efficiency and cost-effective performance. The PCIe 6.0 specification is actively targeted for release in 2021.

PCIe 6.0 Specification Features
  • Delivers 64 GT/s raw bit rate and up to 256 GB/s via x16 configuration
  • Utilizes PAM-4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation with 4 levels) encoding and leverages existing 56G PAM-4 in the industry
  • Includes low-latency Forward Error Correction (FEC) with additional mechanisms to improve bandwidth efficiency
  • Maintains backwards compatibility with all previous generations of PCIe technology

ASUS Unveils the Prime X299 Edition 30 and Prime Utopia Concept Desktop

ASUS is commemorating its 30th year in the motherboard industry with the Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard and Prime Utopia reference desktop platform. The Prime X299 Edition 30 is a premium LGA2066 motherboard with support for Core i9-9000X series processors out of the box. It is based on a familiar-looking PCB layout, mated to a new mostly-white composite heatsink/shroud over the rear I/O, the M.2 slots, and the chipset heatsink. The VRM heatsink is active and has a concealed 40 mm spinner ventilating the metal. Three each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and M.2 NVMe slots, an integrated rear I/O shield, premium connectivity that includes 802.11ac WLAN, and a high-end onboard audio solution, make for the rest of it.

The Prime Utopia is something else. It's a concept high-end desktop built around a motherboard that has slots, headers, ports, and connectors on both sides of the PCB. Its "obverse side," if you can call it that, has a shroud that conceals the memory slots, most controllers, chipset, and a 7-inch USB display that puts out real-time system monitoring data, or pretty much anything you want it to display. The CPU socket is on the other side of the PCB, and the processor and CPU VRM are liquid-cooled. An angled PCI-Express slot holds the graphics card along the plane of the motherboard. It all comes together on a CM Cosmos-like chassis frame that lets you show the innards off.

AMD X570 Unofficial Platform Diagram Revealed, Chipset Puts out PCIe Gen 4

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design socket AM4 motherboard chipset, with the X370 and X470 chipsets being originally designed by ASMedia. With the X570, AMD hopes to leverage new PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity of its Ryzen 3000 Zen2 "Matisse" processors. The desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset is codenamed "Valhalla." A rough platform diagram like what you'd find in motherboard manuals surfaced on ChipHell, confirming several features. To maintain pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen processors, Ryzen 3000 has the same exact connectivity from the SoC except two key differences.

On the AM4 "Valhalla" platform, the SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes. 16 of these are allocated to PEG (PCI-Express graphics), configurable through external switches and redrivers either as single x16, or two x8 slots. Besides 16 PEG lanes, 4 lanes are allocated to one M.2 NVMe slot. The remaining 4 lanes serve as the chipset bus. With X570 being rumored to support gen 4.0 at least upstream, the chipset bus bandwidth is expected to double to 64 Gbps. Since it's an SoC, the socket is also wired to LPCIO (SuperIO controller). The processor's integrated southbridge puts out two SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which is switchable to the first M.2 slot; and four 5 Gbps USB 3.x ports. It also has an "Azalia" HD audio bus, so the motherboard's audio solution is directly wired to the SoC. Things get very interesting with the connectivity put out by the X570 chipset.
Update May 21st: There is also information on the X570 chipset's TDP.
Update May 23rd: HKEPC posted what looks like an official AMD slide with a nicer-looking platform map. It confirms that AMD is going full-tilt with PCIe gen 4, both as chipset bus, and as downstream PCIe connectivity.

BIOSTAR Racing X570GT8 Zen 2 Motherboard Pictured and Detailed

MSI, without naming its product, teased its MEG X570 Ace motherboard late last week, obeying the cardinal rules of a teaser, such as not putting out clear pictures or names. BIOSTAR probably wanted to do something similar, but ended up leaking glaring details and pictures of its flagship socket AM4 motherboard based on the AMD X570 chipset, the Racing X570GT8. The X570 is AMD's first in-house design chipset for the AM4 socket after "Promontory" and FM2-based "Bolton," supplied by ASMedia. It was necessitated by the need to get downstream PCIe connectivity from the chipset to be certified for the latest generations (gen 3.0 or later), by AMD, and overcome many of the connectivity limitations of ASMedia "Promontory," from which AMD carved out previous socket AM4 chipsets.

Design compulsions of being a flagship product aside, there are signs of a clear focus on strengthening the CPU VRM on the Racing X570GT8, to cope with the rumored Ryzen 9 series 16-core "Zen 2" processor. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8+4 pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the processor with a 12-phase VRM. There are two metal-reinforced PCI-Express x16 slots wired to the AM4 SoC, and we get the first glimpse of the PCI-Express gen 4.0 lane switching and re-driver circuitry. We haven't seen anything to suggest that the downstream PCIe lanes from the X570 chipset are gen 4.0, yet, but we expect them to at least be gen 3.0. The presence of three M.2 slots bodes well for the downstream PCIe lane count. ASMedia "Promontory" puts out a paltry eight gen 2.0 lanes. It's also interesting to see an active fan-heatsink cooling the X570 chipset, indicating a rather high TDP compared to the 3-5 Watt TDP of the 400-series "Promontory" low-power variant chipsets. The component choices by BIOSTAR look premium and are a callback to its T-Power glory days enthusiasts remember.

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" BIOS Analysis Reveals New Options for Overclocking & Tweaking

AMD will launch its 3rd generation Ryzen 3000 Socket AM4 desktop processors in 2019, with a product unveiling expected mid-year, likely on the sidelines of Computex 2019. AMD is keeping its promise of making these chips backwards compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards. To that effect, motherboard vendors such as ASUS and MSI began rolling out BIOS updates with AGESA-Combo 0.0.7.x microcode, which adds initial support for the platform to run and validate engineering samples of the upcoming "Zen 2" chips.

At CES 2019, AMD unveiled more technical details and a prototype of a 3rd generation Ryzen socket AM4 processor. The company confirmed that it will implement a multi-chip module (MCM) design even for their mainstream-desktop processor, in which it will use one or two 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU core chiplets, which talk to a 14 nm I/O controller die over Infinity Fabric. The two biggest components of the IO die are the PCI-Express root complex, and the all-important dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. We bring you never before reported details of this memory controller.

AMD Unveils "Zen 2" CPU Architecture and 7 nm Vega Radeon Instinct MI60 at New Horizon

AMD today held its "New Horizon" event for investors, offering guidance and "color" on what the company's near-future could look like. At the event, the company formally launched its Radeon Instinct MI60 GPU-based compute accelerator; and disclosed a few interesting tidbits on its next-generation "Zen 2" mircroarchitecture. The Instinct MI60 is the world's first GPU built on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and among the first commercially available products built on 7 nm. "Rome" is on track to becoming the first 7 nm processor, and is based on the Zen 2 architecture.

The Radeon Instinct MI60 is based on a 7 nm rendition of the "Vega" architecture. It is not an optical shrink of "Vega 10," and could have more number-crunching machinery, and an HBM2 memory interface that's twice as wide that can hold double the memory. It also features on-die logic that gives it hardware virtualization, which could be a boon for cloud-computing providers.

AMD Could Solve Memory Bottlenecks of its MCM CPUs by Disintegrating the Northbridge

AMD sprung back to competitiveness in the datacenter market with its EPYC enterprise processors, which are multi-chip modules of up to four 8-core dies. Each die has its own integrated northbridge, which controls 2-channel DDR4 memory, and a 32-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex. In applications that can not only utilize more cores, but also that are memory bandwidth intensive, this approach to non-localized memory presents design bottlenecks. The Ryzen Threadripper WX family highlights many of these bottlenecks, where video encoding benchmarks that are memory-intensive see performance drops as dies without direct access to I/O are starved of memory bandwidth. AMD's solution to this problem is by designing CPU dies with a disabled northbridge (the part of the die with memory controllers and PCIe root complex). This solution could be implemented in its upcoming 2nd generation EPYC processors, codenamed "Rome."

With its "Zen 2" generation, AMD could develop CPU dies in which the integrated northrbidge can be completely disabled (just like the "compute dies" on Threadripper WX processors, which don't have direct memory/PCIe access relying entirely on InfinityFabric). These dies talk to an external die called "System Controller" over a broader InfinityFabric interface. AMD's next-generation MCMs could see a centralized System Controller die that's surrounded by CPU dies, which could all be sitting on a silicon interposer, the same kind found on "Vega 10" and "Fiji" GPUs. An interposer is a silicon die that facilitates high-density microscopic wiring between dies in an MCM. These explosive speculative details and more were put out by Singapore-based @chiakokhua, aka The Retired Engineer, a retired VLSI engineer, who drew block diagrams himself.

SilverStone ECM23 is an M.2 Riser+Heatsink Letting You Slot-in Your Drives Like Cartridges

The ECM23 from SilverStone is one of the more interesting M.2-PCIe SSD risers to come out in recent times. It looks like a game cartridge from 1980s, and slots into one of your PCI-Express x16 slots, which it then uses to wire out an M.2-2280 M-key slot with PCIe x4 wiring. The riser itself has x16 interface, but beyond x4, all the other lanes are blank, and only serve to add retention, since the riser doesn't feature an add-on card bracket to hold it in place. The main PCB has no logic of its own, other than link/activity LEDs for the four PCIe lanes.

It's more optimal to use drives with all their hot components on one side, since that side has access to the chunky ~40 g main heatsink. Heat from the other side is drawn from a copper mesh printed on the PCB, which supposedly conveys it to the back side, which has an aluminium back-plate, which bolts onto the main heatsink, sandwiching the PCB and drive in the middle. Measuring 105 mm (W) x 11 mm (H) x 44 mm (D), the ECM23 weighs 52 g (excluding the weight of your drive). The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel Starts Producing 3D QLC NAND Flash Based PCIe SSDs for Data-Centers

Intel announced that it started mass-production of PCI-Express SSDs for data-centers that implement the latest-generation 3D QLC NAND flash memory. The new QLC (4 bits per cell) NAND flash memory enables 33% increases in densities over TLC NAND flash, and with 3D (stacks), the density per chip is further multiplied. Built in the 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with U.2 interface, the drive is built for the rigors of "warm storage" (data that isn't hot, but isn't cold/archival, either). Such drives can be slower than "hot data" drives based on faster MLC or even SLC NAND flash, but almost always up; and faster than HDDs. The first 3D QLC NAND-based SSD, which probably uses the same chips as this drive, is the Micron 5210 ION, which was launched in May.

Thermalright Intros Silver Arrow TR4 CPU Cooler

Thermalright today introduced a variant of its Silver Arrow dual fin-stack, tower-type CPU cooler for AMD socket TR4, meant for Ryzen Threadripper processors. Capable of handling thermal loads of up to 320W, the cooler can be paired with even upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core Threadripper II models. Although bearing the same name, the Silver Arrow TR4 bears little design resemblance with the Silver Arrow ITX-R or the Silver Arrow SB-E, or even the original Silver Arrow from 2010. It's the largest cooler of this class, with an enlarged nickel-plated copper base designed to provide full coverage of the Threadripper IHS, from which eight 6 mm-thick heat pipes draw heat, with the two aluminium fin-stacks propagating along their ends.

Nested between the two fin-stacks is a 140 mm fan which takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 600 to 2,500 RPM, pushing 53.3 - 220.9 m³/h, with a noise output ranging between 21 - 45 dBA. With its fan in place, the Silver Arrow TR4 measures 155 mm x 103 mm x 163 mm (LxWxH). The narrow width ensures clearance for the memory slots that flank the CPU socket from either side. The fin-stack itself is offset sideways to ensure clearance for the topmost PCI-Express slot on your motherboard. You can latch on two additional fans. A syringe of Thermalright's Chill Factor III TIM comes included. The cooler tips the scales at 1,050 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Vega 20 GPU Could Implement PCI-Express gen 4.0

The "Vega 20" silicon will be significantly different from the "Vega 10" which powers the company's current Radeon RX Vega series. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su unveiled the "Vega 20" silicon at the company's 2018 Computex event, revealing that the multi-chip module's 7 nm GPU die is surrounded by not two, but four HBM2 memory stacks, making up to 32 GB of memory. Another key specification is emerging thanks to the sharp eyes at ComputerBase.de - system bus.

A close inspection of the latest AMDGPU Linux driver includes PCI-Express link speed definitions for PCI-Express gen 4.0, which offers 256 Gbps of bandwidth per direction at x16 bus width, double that of PCI-Express gen 3.0. "Vega 20" got its first PCIe gen 4.0 support confirmation from a leak slide that surfaced around CES 2018. AMD "Vega" architecture slides from last year hinted at a Q3/Q4 launch of the first "Vega 20" based product. The same slide also hinted that the next-generation EPYC processor, which we know are "Zen 2" based and not "Zen+," could feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complexes. Since EPYC chips are multi-chip modules, it could also hint at the likelihood of PCIe gen 4.0 on "Zen 2" based 3rd generation Ryzen processor family.

COLORFUL Adds Two CN600S Solid-State Drives to Their Storage Offerings

COLORFUL Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is proud to announce the addition of two new options for its CN600S line of solid-state drives. COLORFUL is adding the CN600S 240GB and CN600S 480GB drives featuring Intel 64-layer 3D NAND. Those looking for a cost-effective high-performance, high-capacity storage solution for low-profile applications including notebooks and other M.2 capable devices. The improved speed and capacity of the COLORFUL CN600S allows it to be used in a wider range of applications including gaming, professional use or HTPC.

The COLORUL CN600S is equipped with the SMI 2263XT controller, features a M.2 2280 design standard and is rated for transfer speeds up to 2 GB/s reads and 1.5 GB/s write performance. The SMI 2263XT uses the PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and can deliver 4x faster performance than SATA3 for reading, accessing and opening applications and games. The COLORFUL CN600 M.2 PCIe SSD is focused in offering the most compelling cost-benefit ratio in the market.

Colorful Working on AMD 400-series Chipset AM4 Motherboards

Colorful is designing its first socket AM4 motherboards, according to industry sources. The company will release its first socket AM4 motherboards after the 2018 Computex Expo (June). These boards will be based on AMD 400-series chipsets, and will come with out of the box support for Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, and existing Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors. Taking advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 general-purpose connectivity of the 400-series chipset, the boards will feature multiple 32 Gbps NVMe interfaces (M.2 or U.2). It's possible that the company could attach its coveted iGame Vulcan brand to some of these models. The company currently only sells motherboards for Intel platforms. Its lineup includes motherboards based on Intel Z370 and X299 chipsets, including crypto-currency miner-centric boards based on lesser Intel chipsets, such as the B250. AMD is expected to debut its 400-series chipset alongside its 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, in Q2-2018.

Colorful Intros Unique C.J1900A-BTC PLUS V20 Mining Motherboard

Colorful today introduced the uniquely designed C.J1900A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard for mining rigs. This odd-ball form-factor board is designed for makeshift racks, and removes the need for PCIe riser cables. The board itself is a large PCB with nine PCI-Express x16 slots with 1-slot spacing, of which eight can be used for installing your mining graphics cards (x1 wiring), while the slot on the middle (blue), isn't really a PCI-Express slot.

The blue slot has custom wiring for the business end of the motherboard, a riser card which houses the Celeron J1900 SoC, a DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot for your SSD, and the board's main connectivity, which includes two USB 2.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and an HDMI display output. If you have trouble finding an mSATA SSD in 2017, there's also a standard SATA 6 Gb/s port. The riser draws power from a 4-pin ATX input. The main PCB has eight 6-pin PCIe power inputs, which wire out to 6-pin PCIe outputs near each black slot. This is more of a cable-management feature, smaller (20 cm long) male-to-male 6-pin PCIe cables connect the outputs to the graphics cards.

PCI SIG Releases PCI-Express Gen 4.0 Specifications

The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) special interest group (SIG) published the first official specification (version 1.0) of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus. The specification's previous draft 0.9 was under technical review by members of the SIG. The new generation PCIe comes with double the bandwidth of PCI-Express gen 3.0, reduced latency, lane margining, and I/O virtualization capabilities. With the specification published, one can expect end-user products implementing it. PCI SIG has now turned its attention to the even newer PCI-Express gen 5.0 specification, which will be close to ready by mid-2019.

PCI-Express gen 4.0 comes with 16 GT/s bandwidth per-lane, per-direction, which is double that of gen 3.0. An M.2 NVMe drive implementing it, for example, will have 64 Gbps of interface bandwidth at its disposal. The SIG has also been steered toward lowering the latencies of the interconnect as HPC hardware designers are turning toward alternatives such as NVLink and InfinityFabric, not primarily for the bandwidth, but the lower latency. Lane margining is a new feature that allows hardware to maintain a uniform physical layer signal clarity across multiple PCIe devices connected to a common root complex. This is particularly important when you have multiple pieces of mission-critical hardware (such as RAID HBAs or HPC accelerators), and require uniform performance across them. The new specification also adds new I/O virtualization features that should prove useful in HPC and cloud computing.
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