News Posts matching "Qualcomm"

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AMD Doesn't Regret Spinning off GlobalFoundries

AMD co-founder Jerry Sanders, in 2009 was famously quoted as stating that "real men have fabs," a jibe probably targeted at the budding fab-less CPU designers of the time. Years later, AMD spun-off its silicon fabrication business, which with a substantial investment of the Abu Dhabi government through its state-owned Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), became GlobalFoundries (or GloFo in some vernacular). This company built strategic partnerships with the right players in the industry, acquisitions such as IBM's fabs, and is now at the forefront of sub-10 nm fab development. It remained one of AMD's biggest foundry partners besides TSMC and Samsung, and is manufacturing its AMD processors at a brand new facility in Upstate New York, USA.

AMD, on the other hand, doesn't regret spinning off GloFo. Speaking at Merrill Lynch Global Technology and Investment Conference, CTO Mark Papermaster said, that going fab-less has helped AMD focus on chip-design without worrying about manufacturing. Production is no longer a bottleneck for AMD, as it can now put out manufacturing contracts to a wider variety of foundry partners. Its chip-designers aren't limited by the constraints of an in-house fab, and can instead ask external fabs to optimize their nodes for their chip-designs, Papermaster said. 14 nm FinFET has added a level of standardization to the foundry industry.

Source: Expreview

Razer Announces the Hammerhead V2 BT In-ear Gaming Headset

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today, unveiled two new headsets: the Razer Hammerhead BT and the Razer Hammerhead for iOS Lightning. Engineered to deliver clear and cordless audio, the new Razer Hammerhead BT is a Bluetooth 4.1 in-ear headset that features the Qualcomm aptX codec for low-latency, high-quality audio. Mobile users may enjoy uninterrupted listening and calls with a battery life of up to eight hours per charge. The Razer Hammerhead BT comes with an in-line remote and microphone that is compatible with iOS or Android devices, providing easy call pick-up or music track navigation.

Making full use of the Lightning Connector capabilities, the Razer Hammerhead for iOS delivers clean digital audio through a custom-tuned, digital-to-analog converter (DAC). Through the Razer Hammerhead iOS companion app, users can personalize listening experiences with customizable or pre-configured equalizer settings.

Microsoft Locks System Updates for Windows 7, 8.1 on Ryzen, Kaby Lake Systems

It would seem Microsoft is ever looking for more creative ways of pushing its Windows 10 operating system towards the masses. Some Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users have apparently encountered one of these: a lock on system updates. The error message, which reads "Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows", points towards a hardware lock-in in exchange for added security and updates.

A Microsoft Support page sheds some light on this issue: that Windows 10 is the only Microsoft operating system to support particular hardware configurations. Namely, systems based on Intel's "seventh (7th)-generation processors or a later generation" (Kaby Lake); "AMD seventh (7th)-generation ("Bristol Ridge") processor or a later generation"; and "Qualcomm "8996" processor or a later generation". This move on Windows 7 might make some sense; however, Windows 8.1 is still in its lease of life (and Microsoft support) until at least 2018.

Source: Microsoft Support

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."

MSI Also Shows Off Flagship X370 XPower Gaming Titanium AM4 Motherboard

A sight for sore eyes at the MSI CES booth was its top-grade socket AM4 motherboard, the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium. This board is positioned in the company's Gaming Enthusiast series, and comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a high-end desktop platform. It is based on AMD's top-dog X370 chipset, and supports AMD Ryzen processors out of the box. Designed for both high-end gaming builds and CPU overclockers, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX connectors, and uses a 10-phase VRM to condition it for the AM4 socket. The board also takes in power from an optional 6-pin PCIe power connector, which can be plugged in to stabilize multi-GPU VGA overclocks.

The star-attraction, however, is the silvery-white PCB, with matching connectors. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated). The board supports NVIDIA SLI-HB and CrossFireX. The third x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the X370 chipset. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are directly wired to the processor). The board also serves up four USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port), eight USB 3.0 ports, MSI's highest-tier onboard audio solution, and gigabit Ethernet that's sourced from either Intel or Qualcomm Killer.

D-Link Delivers Simplified High-Speed Whole Home Wi-Fi System

D-Link today announced two new whole-home Wi-Fi solutions, the Covr Wi-Fi System (DKT-883) and the Covr PowerLine Wi-Fi System (DHP-W732AV). The Covr Wi-Fi system is a simple, intelligent solution that uses a high-performance router and seamless extender to create a single network with ultra-fast speeds and reliable connectivity, to even the farthest reaches of a home. The Covr PowerLine Wi-Fi System (DHP-W732AV), one of the first whole-home Wi-Fi solutions to utilize PowerLine technology as a foundation, uses the existing home router and a set of adapters to create a full coverage solution.

While other mesh network solutions rely on multiple access points, D-Link's Covr Wi-Fi System uses a premium router as the backbone of the wireless network. The router provides the advanced features and speed needed to power bandwidth intensive activities like 4K streaming and gaming on multiple devices. Combined with seamless extenders to cover hard to reach areas, Covr delivers a Wi-Fi signal to all areas of the home including upstairs, basements and backyards.

Khronos Group Announces Open VR Standards Initiative

After putting in work in the OpenGL, WebGL, and most recently, Vulkan APIs, the technology industry consortium Khronos Group is setting its sights on the VR industry and ecosystems. Their aim: to create a "cross-vendor, royalty-free, open standard" for the VR development community. This move is an effort to prevent the VR system from fragmenting itself towards an eventual collapse, considering the multiple engines to create content, platforms to sell that content through, and a few different hardware options with casuistically different requirements and tool-sets. As a result, for a developer to support SteamVR (OpenVR), Oculus (OVR), and OSVR, it has a lot of work to do, since each platform (with its unique runtime) interfaces with the game engine in a different way. Developers must account for the intricacies of each platform during the development process.

SoftBank Completes Acquisition of ARM

SoftBank today announced that it has concluded the acquisition of British chipmaker ARM, in a USD $31 billion purchase. The acquisition was first announced in July 2016. Following this, ARM will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange from the 6th of September 2016. Although ARM is a CPU architecture designer with a mere $1.5 billion in revenue last fiscal, and licenses the architecture to other SoC makers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, etc., SoftBank is betting on ARM CPU architecture's emergence as the prime-mover of the IoT (Internet of things) revolution. This is SoftBank's largest tech acquisition following the $20 billion acquisition of American cellular network Sprint, and a $15 billion investment in Vodafone Japan.

Source: The Verge

Intel to Contract-manufacture ARM Processors at its Fabs

Intel is opening up its silicon manufacturing facilities to fabless chip-makers, beginning with the manufacture of ARM SoCs. The company entered a licensing deal with ARM that allows ARM SoC designers such as Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung, to manufacture their SoCs at Intel fabs. Intel is among the first fabs with a working 14 nm node, and is on-track for sub-10 nm node development.

Intel had a crack at the market segments typically addressed by ARM SoCs, with its own x86 chips, which failed to see the kind of volumes ARM chipmakers were pushing. The company has now changed tactics to open its fabs up to those ARM SoC makers, letting them manufacture their designs on proven silicon-fabrication tech, in geographically important locations. Intel has its cutting-edge fabs located in Costa Rica and Malaysia.

Source: Bloomberg

Softbank Acquires ARM for $32 Billion

Japanese conglomerate Softbank acquired British CPU architecture designer ARM in a USD $32 billion deal on Monday. Softbank's bid of $32 billion is a 43 percent premium over ARM's current valuation of $22.3 billion, and the Cambridge-based firm will recommend its shareholders to approve of its acquisition. Shares of ARM surged 45% on the LSE, adding £7.56 billion to its market value. The company reported revenues of $1.49 billion in 2015. ARM founder Herman Hauser, however, isn't happy with the board's decision. "This is a sad day for me and a sad day for technology in Britain," he stated.

ARM designs CPU architectures, which it then licenses to other processor and SoC manufacturers, many of which are fabless themselves, making it an intellectual property giant. None of ARM's products are "tangible" or physical. While Intel, for example, designs CPU architectures (eg: x86), implements it (eg: Core i7, Celeron), and manufactures it (at its Costa Rica and Malaysia fabs) ARM's product is not tangible. It has a CPU architecture, which clients such as Samsung, Huawei, and Qualcomm license, implement (eg: Exynos, Kylin, Snapdragon), and contract-manufacture, through fabs such as GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and ST Microelectronics.

Source: BBC

TSMC Damaged by Earthquake, Could Impact AMD and NVIDIA GPU production

The recent 6.4 magnitude Taiwan earthquake, which hit the island nation on February 6th, affected TSMC worse than expected. Taiwan's premier semiconductor foundry, TSMC, had initially expected semiconductor wafer shipments to be down by less than 1%, but it is now emerging that the drop in shipments could be higher, because the damage to one of its facilities, Fab-14, is worse than originally assessed.

TSMC, in an official communication to its clients, assured that 95% of the foundry machines could return to functionality within 2-3 days after the earthquake. To that effect, machines in Fab-6 and Fab-14B have been fully restored. Despite the disaster, the company appears confident of reaching revenue targets of US $5.9-6.0 billion for Q1-2016. TSMC is the primary foundry partner of major fabless semiconductor companies, such as Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and AMD. AMD recently moved its next-generation GPU manufacturing to Korean silicon giant Samsung, while NVIDIA is building its next "Pascal" GPU family on TSMC's process.

Source: DigiTimes

No Enterprise Support for Older Windows Versions on the Latest Processors: Microsoft

Microsoft, in a tactfully-worded blog post by Exec VP for its Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, announced that it won't support older versions of Windows (eg: Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) on the latest/upcoming processors. The software might run on the new hardware, but the company won't provide enterprise support for such platforms. This could include software updates, as the platform won't technically meet the software's requirements.

In the post, Microsoft named upcoming platforms from the big three CPU makers - Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, to which the company will provide enterprise support only for Windows 10. These include the 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors from Intel, "Bristol Ridge" processors from AMD, and the "8996" SoC from Qualcomm. Machines running a select few models of Core "Skylake" processors will receive enterprise support, but only till 17th July, 2017. After this date, only the most critical security updates will be released for the OS running on those platforms.Sources: Microsoft, Engadget

TrendNET Ships AC2600 Streamboost MU-MIMO Router

TRENDnet, a global leader in reliable SMB and consumer networking solutions, announced today it is shipping its new AC2600 StreamBoost MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router, model TEW-827DRU, featuring the latest 802.11ac technologies to produce faster speeds and maximize bandwidth for more devices.

"MU-MIMO and quad-stream wireless capabilities were recently introduced as a part of the 802.11ac Wave 2 release," said Evan Davis, senior manager of solutions engineering at TRENDnet. "TRENDnet utilized the 802.11ac Wave 2 technologies in our new AC2600 router for functionality enhancements to address the growing needs of our extremely active home and business wireless networks."

Samsung to Fab AMD "Zen" and "Arctic Islands" on its 14 nm FinFET Node

It has been confirmed that Samsung will be AMD's foundry partner for its next generation GPUs. It has been reported that AMD's upcoming "Arctic Islands" family of GPUs could be built on the 14 nanometer FinFET LPP (low-power Plus) process. AMD's rival NVIDIA, meanwhile, is building its next-gen "Pascal" GPU family on 16 nanometer FinFET node, likely at its traditional foundry partner TSMC.

It gets better - not only will Samsung manufacture AMD's next-gen GPUs, but also its upcoming "Zen" family of CPUs, at least a portion of it. AMD is looking to distribute manufacturing loads between two foundries, Samsung and GlobalFoundries, perhaps to ensure that foundry-level teething trouble doesn't throw its product launch cycle off the rails. One of the most talked about "Arctic Islands" GPUs is codenamed "Greenland," likely a successor to "Fiji." Sales of some of the first chips - GPUs or CPUs - made at Samsung, will begin some time in Q3 2016. Some of the other clients for Samsung's 14 nm FinFET node are Apple and Qualcomm. The company plans to speed up development of its more advanced 10 nm node to some time in 2017.

Source: ETNews

Qualcomm Announces its First Socketed Enterprise CPU

Qualcomm, which holds a ton of ARM SoC patents, and put them to good use with its Snapdragon line of SoCs for smartphones, tablets, and convertible notebooks, is foraying into enterprise computing market. The company is ready with its first prototype of a 24-core high-performance CPU based on the 64-bit ARM machine architecture. ARM-based processors are picking up momentum in the server and micro-server markets owning to their low cost, low cooling requirements, and high energy-efficiency; and Qualcomm wants a slice of that pie. Most enterprise Linux and FreeBSD distributors have versions of their server operating systems for the 64-bit ARM architecture, as do most popular server software providers.

The prototype 24-core CPU is socketed, and ships in a large land-grid array (LGA) package, much like Intel's Xeon chips. The first production chips will have a lot more than 24 CPU cores, said Qualcomm senior vice president Anand Chandrasekhar. As a proof of concept, Qualcomm assembled three server blades using these chips, which were running Linux with a KVM hypervisor, streaming HD video to a PC using a LAMP stack (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) built with OpenStack. Qualcomm's target consumers are big Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which purchase hundreds of thousands of CPUs each year to cope with growing user- and content-traffic.

Source: PC World

NVIDIA Loses Patent Infringement Claim Lawsuit to Samsung

The United States Federal Trade Commission (US-FTC) has found that Samsung Electronics did not infringe upon patents held by NVIDIA. In a ruling made by Judge Thomas Pender on Friday (09/10), it's held that Samsung did not infringe two out of three NVIDIA-claimed patents, it did infringe upon a third one, but that patent is invalid because it's not a new invention compared to previously known patents.

Samsung manufactures the Exynos brand ARM SoCs for its own smartphones, which embed a graphics core that NVIDIA claims is based on patent infringing technology. NVIDIA, which claims that it invented the first GPU and released it in 1999, accused Samsung and Qualcomm of using its patents on graphics chip technology without permission. The company claims that both Samsung Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon (which make up a majority of Android device chips), breach its IPR. Its claims don't seem to hold water with the US-FTC. "We remain confident in our case," commented NVIDIA spokesperson Robert Sherbin to Reuters. The ruling will be reviewed by the full bench of the commission in February 2016.Source: Reuters

Realtek Develops New Onboard LAN Chip to Win Back Gamer Crowd

In a bid to regain market share lost to Intel and Killer (Qualcomm) in the DIY motherboard market, particularly with motherboards targeted at online gaming PC builds; Realtek unveiled a new onboard LAN solution called the Realtek Dragon. Intel and Killer have replaced Realtek as a preferred onboard Ethernet chip provider for DIY PC motherboards over the past two generations, as perception of their lower driver overhead, lower latencies, and other advantages spread. Sensing that merely improving drivers for its existing RTL8111 family of PCIe gigabit Ethernet PHY chips won't fix the situation, Realtek sought to give its latest generation an off-beat brand name that it hopes could appeal to the DIY crowd.

At the heart of the Realtek Dragon is the new RTL8118AS, a PCIe gigabit Ethernet PHY, much like the 8111 family. Realtek says it made refinements to the chip over previous generations, which will offer better performance (lower driver overhead) for traffic with small UDP packets, which is how most online multiplayer games work, and lower power consumption than competing solutions, such as the Killer E2200. Realtek even set a new branding for its chip, and will allow motherboard makers to print it on their PCBs, just as they print branding for Killer or Intel onboard LAN solutions. Realtek Dragon will make its debut with certain socket LGA1151 motherboards by ECS.

Source: Anandtech

TP-LINK Debuts 11ac Wave 2 Performance Routers

TP-LINK, a global provider of consumer and SMB networking products, today announced the Archer C2600 and Archer C3200 Wi-Fi routers utilizing advanced technologies to help meet the heavy networking demands of today's homes and small businesses. The Archer C2600 is ideal for supporting a large number of wireless devices simultaneously, while the Archer C3200 delivers the highest combined Wi-Fi speeds with two 5GHz bands for an optimized entertainment experience when gaming online or streaming 4K videos.

"There is a limit on what a simple increase in bandwidth can do to improve the performance of Wi-Fi routers in the home," said Lewis Wu, executive vice president of TP-LINK U.S. "To continue improving the speed, reliability, and overall quality of our routers we are utilizing advanced technologies that allow them to serve connected devices with far greater efficiency."

MSI Also Unveils X99S Gaming 9 ACK Motherboard

MSI updated its flagship Gaming series socket LGA2011V3 motherboard portfolio with an upgraded variant of the X99S Gaming 9 AC, the X99S Gaming 9 ACK. The "K" in the "ACK" stands for "Killer," denoting the board's Killer DoubleShot Pro feature, which lets you team up your wired gigabit Ethernet, with WLAN, to produce a staggering 1.866 Gbps of bandwidth, at low latency. In other words, the board features a Qualcomm Killer WLAN controller, instead of the Intel-made one on the standard X99S Gaming 9 AC. The wired gigabit Ethernet interface is care of a Killer E2205 controller, whereas the WLAN interface is handled by a Killer 1525 chip, which supports 802.11 ac, in addition to Bluetooth 4.0. The rest of this board's feature-set is identical to that of the X99S Gaming 9 AC. MSI will formally announce the board later this month.

NVIDIA Files Complaints Against Samsung and Qualcomm for Patent Infringement

NVIDIA today announced that it has filed complaints against Samsung and Qualcomm at the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleging that the companies are both infringing NVIDIA GPU patents covering technology including programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing.

The identified Samsung products include the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 mobile phones; and the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab 2 computer tablets. Most of these devices incorporate Qualcomm mobile processors -- including the Snapdragon S4, 400, 600, 800, 801 and 805. Others are powered by Samsung Exynos mobile chips, which incorporate ARM's Mali and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR GPU cores.

TP-LINK Launches Outdoor Wireless Access Point for Long-Range Wi-Fi

TP-LINK today launched the 802.11a/n Wi-Fi compatible TP-LINK Pharos CPE510 outdoor wireless access point - a 5GHz 300Mbps 13dBi CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) - for point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and outdoor Wi-Fi coverage applications. Outdoor wireless access points can provide WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) coverage over great distances to homes or cottages without cable/DSL services; campus and multiple buildings; point-to-point links between office buildings; and at remote job sites in industries such as oil and gas, mining, and construction.

The CPE510 will greatly appeal to Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) for point-to-multipoint link communications, when extending coverage across a wide geographic area to customers. The new outdoor wireless access point also offers remote surveillance capabilities via an available second Ethernet port with software enabled PoE (Power over Ethernet) output for seamless IP camera connectivity. The CPE510 can operate in multiple modes: Wireless Access Point (AP), AP Client Router, AP Repeater, AP Router, Multi-Bridge, and AP Client Router WISPs.

Qualcomm Acquires WiGig Industry Leader Wilocity

Qualcomm Incorporated today announced that it has taken two major steps to enable the industry to deliver multi-gigabit wireless with 60 GHz technology for mobile, computing and networking devices. First, Qualcomm has completed its acquisition of Wilocity, a leader in development of 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig technology. Second, the company is delivering a family of tri-band platforms that combine Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.'s Wi-Fi and WiGig solutions to significantly increase performance and enable cutting-edge wireless applications.

The initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, which is the world's first mobile platform designed to support WiGig to enable applications such as 4k video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking, and backing up entire media libraries in seconds. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Rambus Signs Comprehensive License Agreement With Qualcomm

Rambus Inc. today announced that it has signed a comprehensive patent license agreement with Qualcomm Global Trading Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. The agreement provides Qualcomm Incorporated and its subsidiaries with access to innovative patented memory, interface, and security technologies from Rambus. Other terms of the agreement are confidential.

"This agreement highlights our ongoing commitment to providing access to valuable memory and security technologies to industry leaders," said Dr. Ron Black, president and chief executive officer at Rambus. "Engaging with Qualcomm with this agreement gives us an opportunity to collaborate with the broader industry to bring compelling solutions to the segment."

Microsoft to Talk DirectX 12 at GDC

Microsoft will present its first paper on DirectX 12, its next-generation multimedia API, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), on the 20th of March, 2013. The event could include presentations by NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm. It's not clear at this point if Microsoft will release developer tools and resources on that day, or simply outline the API to spur interest. If anything, it should gently nudge today's GPU manufacturers to make their future GPU designs ready for the API. There are currently no GPU families that we know of, which support DirectX 12. AMD's current Graphics CoreNext 2.0 GPUs, such as the Radeon R9 290X, support DirectX 11.2, while NVIDIA's "Maxwell" GPUs, such as the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, feature an identical API feature-level support to their "Kepler" predecessors.

Source: MSDN

Quanta Computer Joins Futuremark Benchmark Development Program

Futuremark is proud to announce that Quanta Computer has joined its Benchmark Development Program. Quanta will work with Futuremark to create new benchmarks for PC and mobile platforms. Futuremark creates the world's most widely used benchmarks, software that helps people compare the performance of the devices they depend on every day. 3DMark and PCMark are used throughout industry, business and government, by more than a thousand specialist press publications, and millions of people worldwide.

Quanta Computer is the world's largest notebook computer ODM company. Quanta manufacturers one out of every three laptops sold globally and is an ODM partner for every one of the top ten PC companies. In recent years, Quanta has extended its businesses into enterprise network systems, home entertainment, mobile communication, automotive electronics and digital home markets.
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