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AMD to Cough Up $12.1 Million to Settle "Bulldozer" Core Count Class-Action Lawsuit

AMD reached a settlement in the Class Action Lawsuit filed against it, over alleged false-marketing of the core-counts of its eight-core FX-series processors based on the "Bulldozer" microarchitecture. Each member of the Class receives a one-time payout of USD $35 per chip, while the company takes a hit of $12.1 million. The lawsuit dates back to 2015, when Tony Dickey, representing himself in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accused AMD of false-marketing of its FX-series "Bulldozer" processor of having 8 CPU cores. Over the following four years, the case gained traction as a Class Action was built against AMD this January.

In the months that followed the January set-up of a 12-member Jury to examine the case, lawyers representing the Class and AMD argued over the underlying technology that makes "Bulldozer" a multi-core processor, and eventually discussed what a fair settlement would be for the Class. They eventually agreed on a number - $12.1 million, or roughly $35 per chip AMD sold, which they agreed was "fair," and yet significantly less than the "$60 million in premiums" consumers contended they paid for these processors. Sifting through these numbers, it's important to understand what the Class consists of. It consists of U.S. consumers who became interested to be part of the Class Action, and who bought an 8-core processor based on the "Bulldozer" microarchitecture. It excludes consumers of every other "Bulldozer" derivative (4-core, 6-core parts, APUs; and follow-ups to "Bulldozer" such as "Piledriver," "Excavator," etc.).
Image Credit: Taylor Alger

Dell Readies Updated Laptop Portfolio for IFA 2019

IFA is the largest consumer tech show in Europe and we expect to see significant news from 4K and OLED TVs to wearables to smartphones. We'll be showcasing our latest PCs, of course, as the move to thin and light continues across the industry. It's not only about smaller form factors though - consumers want adaptive, always connected, high-performing, and flawlessly designed PCs. Dell continues to set the bar for the PC industry.

Ahead of IFA, we're expanding our consumer portfolio with brand new form factors and the addition of new 10th Gen Intel Core processors to our current XPS and Inspiron portfolio, delivering performance gains needed for compute intensive, demanding multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. And in doing so, giving our customers heavyweight performance in thin, light and portable designs — the best of both worlds.

Intel Plans to Launch Its Discrete GPU Lineup Starting at $200

During interview with Russian YouTube channel called PRO Hi-Tech, Raja Koduri, Intel's chief architect and senior vice president of architecture, software and graphics, talked about his career, why he left AMD, and where Intel is going with its discrete GPU attempts. However, one of the most notable things Mr Koduri said was regarding upcoming GPU lineup code-named Arctic Sound. He noted that Intel plans to release first GPU as a mid-range model at a price of $200, while enterprise solutions that utilize HBM memory will follow that.

Koduri said that he wants to replicate AMD's strategy of capturing high-volume price-points, such as the $199 Radeon RX 480. The plan here is to bring an affordable, good performing GPU to the masses - "GPUs for everyone" as he calls them. Additionally, he states that Intel's current strategy revolves around price, not performance, providing best possible value to consumers. Intel's approach for the next two or three years is to launch a complete lineup of GPUs, with a common architecture being used for everything from iGPUs found inside consumer CPUs to data-center GPUs.

Update: PRO Hi-Tech has posted a snippet of Raja Koduri interview, without the Russian overlay commentary. What he said was actually: "...Eventually our architecture, as publicly said, has to get from mainstream, which is starting at around $100, all the way to data-center class graphics with HBM memory...". This means that the previous speculation about $200 graphics card is false, as he didn't say that. All he said is that Intel wants to enter the "mainstream" GPU market and work its way up to data center.

Microsoft Won't Move Production Out of China

Previously, we have reported that major OEMs are looking and exploring for ways of moving production outside of China, into other Asian countries, because of tariffs imposed by US-China trade war and rising labor costs. The original report from Nikkei specifically indicated that Microsoft will move its Xbox and Surface manufacturing to Thailand and Indonesia, while the production in China would stop.

However, Tom's Hardware had a conversation with Microsoft regarding the situation and the outcome was contradictory to the report of Nikkei. Microsoft told Tom's Hardware "that there currently aren't any plans to do so", which means that current manufacturing facilities are there to stay. We still don't know how will the rest of OEMs react or comment, but HP also said to Tom's that it shares industry concerns and will not comment any further to the rumors, adding that tariffs are hurting consumers.

Hard Drive Shipments Expected to Drop Nearly 50 Percent YoY in 2019

With solid-state drives (SSDs) entering value and mainstream price segments, and the transition in consumers' data-storage behavior from local storage to the cloud, there is expected to be a dramatic fall in shipments of hard disk drives (HDDs) in 2019. Japanese company Nidec, which manufactures nearly 85% of all DC motors for use in HDDs across the industry, estimates a nearly 50 percent drop in HDD shipments for 2019. Since these motors are specifically designed for use in HDDs, it is directly proportional to new HDD shipments, thus presenting a reliable outlook of the HDD industry itself. The DC motor inside HDDs is a non user-replaceable component as detaching it involves opening the seal of the disk chamber, thereby contaminating it.

In 2010, Nidec shipped nearly 650 million motors, which dropped significantly down to 375 million motors in 2018, indicating the sharp decline in the HDD industry. While Nidec will ship as few as 290 million motors in 2019, it estimates shipments of HDDs to go down by nearly 50 percent year-over-year (YoY). Data centers are swallowing up large volumes of high-capacity (>10 TB) HDDs for warm- and cold-storage even as SSDs and DRAM are sought for hot-storage. The client-segment, however, is now firmly captivated with SSDs, with even mainstream laptops packing SSDs. Prominent HDD manufacturers Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba, have each invested heavily in building up SSD product lines, and specializing their HDD portfolio for enterprise and quasi-enterprise (eg: NAS, NVR, high-uptime client) markets.

AMD Trademarks Updated Radeon Vega Logos - Now With More 3D for Radeon Pro WX 9100

AMD has filed a trademark for an updated design on their Vega logo. The original Vega logo was made out of two full triangles, arranged in such a way as to form the letter "V". The updated trademark has since made an appearance on AMD's professional line of graphics cards, in the form of packaging for the Radeon Pro WX 9100 - likely an effort from AMD to further separate its professional and consumer graphics.

The new logo is the old being revisited, with the same prismatic arrangement, but with added detailing for a 3D effect, which makes sense in the 3D rendering world that AMD's professional graphics cards are used in. Perhaps this AMD investment in updating the branding means a refresh could be coming for its professional graphics card market that still uses the Vega architecture, though this is mere speculation at this point.

EnGenius Introduces New ESR530 Smart Mesh Router Powered by Qualcomm

EnGenius Technologies Inc., a multinational networking manufacturer known for its vast range of sophisticated wireless products expands with a new consumer Wi-Fi networking solution with the long-awaited smart router called ESR530. The wireless smart router provides stable Wi-Fi connections in high-demand home Wi-Fi network environments. The ESR530 utilizes Qualcomm's most recent consumer technology and is specially built to easily transfer data through known Wi-Fi signal structural impediments. The ESR530 is built to empower smart homes and comes with a simplified configuration, deployment, remote cloud storage, and recovery capabilities. The latest product by EnGenius is a direct solution for budget-conscious families who want reliable single-network Wi-Fi signal delivered to every part of their home.

UL Corporation Announces Two New Benchmarks Coming to PCMark 10

UL Corporation today announces that two new benchmark tests that will soon be coming to PCMark 10. The first is our eagerly awaited PCMark 10 battery life benchmark. The second is a new benchmark test based on Microsoft Office applications.

PCMark 10 Battery Life benchmark
Battery life is one of the most important criteria for choosing a laptop, but consumers and businesses alike find it hard to compare systems fairly. The challenge, of course, is that battery life depends on how the device is used. Unfortunately, manufacturers' claims are often based on unrealistic scenarios that don't reflect typical use. Figures for practical, day-to-day battery life, which are usually much lower, are rarely available.

SuperMicro Gearing for Launch of New Gaming-Grade Motherboards With PCIe Gen4 and DDR5 Wave

SuperMicro may not be household name in consumer motherboards right now, but they once were a decent alternative in the market - or so I've been told by people much more knowledgeable than me in that regard, as I never laid my hands on one. The company is now more known for its server products, where it has focused most of its attention in the past decade - an effort that gave it a good, third-place hold in that market. And if the company can command such a market share in a much more requirements-heavy environment such as the server market demands, then it's likely those design decisions and developments will find themselves trickling down to the consumer side in any sort of consumer, gaming-grade product the company decided to tackle.

To that end, SuperMicro is gearing up to re introduce themselves to the consumer market, accompanying the wave of new technologies coming to the market in a few years - namely, PCIe Gen 4 and DDR5 memory. The company seems to think that this will mark a perfect opportunity for a strong comeback to the consumer market - where they now only offer a handful of motherboard solutions for Intel's CPUs. One such example is the C9Z390-PGW motherboard, based on Intel's Z390 chipset - with its 10-phase VRM design, PLC chip for doubling of PCIe lanes, and 10 Gigabit Lan. But not only on said "typical" consumer motherboard techonologies will SuperMicro be delivering - if the company has its way, anything from 5G, IoT, Mission Learning and Artificial Intelligence can be incorporated for some use case or another on consumer-grade motherboards, thus providing an axis of penetration for SuperMicro - and its entire partner eco-system.
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