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AMD Ryzen 9 4950X "Vermeer" Tested, the Sample Boosts to 4.8 GHz

AMD is preparing to launch its next-generation Ryzen 4000 series of desktop processors based on Zen 3 architecture, codenamed Vermeer. Thanks to the sources over at Igor's Lab, we have some new information about the clock speeds of a rumored Ryzen 9 4950X Vermeer model. Featuring 16 cores and 32 threads, the Ryzen 9 4950X is reportedly going to feature boost frequency of at least 4.8 GHz. Given that this is only an engineering sample, the final frequencies could be higher. In the report, the base frequency of the CPU is said to be 3.5 GHz. This is a very good frequency for a CPU that has that many cores. All of this information is coming from decoding the OPN code which states "100-000000059-52_ 48/35 _ Y". The 48 number indicates the boost, and 35 the base frequency. In the previous reports, we got OPN codes "100-000000059-14_46/37_Y" and "100-000000059-15_46/37_N" which suggested 4.6 GHz boost and base of 3.5 GHz, indicating that this is a new stepping.

Intel Ice Lake-SP Processors Get Benchmarked Against AMD EPYC Rome

Intel is preparing to launch its next-generation for server processors and the next in line is the Ice Lake-SP 10 nm CPU. Featuring a Golden Cove CPU and up to 28 cores, the CPU is set to bring big improvements over the past generation of server products called Cascade Lake. Today, thanks to the sharp eye of TUM_APISAK, we have a new benchmark of the Ice Lake-SP platform, which is compared to AMD's EPYC Rome offerings. In the latest GeekBench 4 score, appeared an engineering sample of unknown Ice Lake-SP model with 28 cores, 56 threads, a base frequency of 1.5 GHz, and a boost of 3.19 GHz.

This model was put in a dual-socket configuration that ends up at a total of 56 core and 112 threads, against a single 64 core AMD EPYC 7442 Rome CPU. The dual-socket Intel configuration scored 3424 points in the single-threaded test, where AMD configuration scored notably higher 4398 points. The lower score on Intel's part is possibly due to lower clocks, which should improve in the final product, as this is only an engineering sample. When it comes to the multi-threaded test, Intel configuration scored 38079 points, where the AMD EPYC system did worse and scored 35492 points. The reason for this higher result is unknown, however, it shows that Ice Lake-SP has some potential.

TSMC Doesn't See Intel as Long-Term Customer, Unlikely to Build Additional Capacity for It

TSMC has been the backbone of silicon designers for a long time. Whenever you question where you can use the latest technology and get some good supply capacity, TSMC got everyone covered. That case seems to be similar to Intel and its struggles. When Intel announced that its 7 nm semiconductor node is going to be delayed a full year, the company's customers and contractors surely became worried about the future releases of products and their delivery, like the case is with Aurora exascale supercomputer made for Argonne National Laboratory, which relies on Intel's 7 nm Ponte Vecchio graphics cards for most of the computation power.

To manage to deliver this, Intel is reportedly in talks with TSMC to prepare capacity for the GPUs and deliver them on time. However, according to industry sources of DigiTimes, TSMC is unlikely to build additional capacity for Intel, besides what it can deliver now. According to those sources, TSMC does not see Intel as a long-term customer and it is unknown what treatment will Intel get from TSMC. Surely, Intel will be able to make a deal with TSMC and secure enough of the present capacity for delivering next-generation processors.

Intel Rocket Lake CPUs Will Bring up to 10% IPC Improvement and 5 GHz Clocks

Intel is struggling with its node development and it looks like next-generation consumer systems are going to be stuck on 14 nm for a bit more. Preparing for that, Intel will finally break free from Skylake-based architectures and launch something new. The replacement for the current Comet Lake generation is set to be called Rocket Lake and today we have obtained some more information about it. Thanks to popular hardware leaker rogame (_rogame), we know a few stuff about Rocket Lake. Starting off, it is known that Rocket Lake features the backport of 10 nm Willow Cove core, called Cypress Cove. That Cypress Cove is supposed to bring only 10% IPC improvements, according to the latest rumors.

With 10% IPC improvement the company will at least offer some more competitive product than it currently does, however, that should be much slower than 10 nm Tiger Lake processors which feature the original Willow Cove design. It shows that backporting of the design doesn't just bring loses of the node benefits like smaller design and less heat, but rather means that only a fraction of the performance can be extracted. Another point that rogame made is that Rocket Lake will run up to 5 GHz in boost, and it will run hot, which is expected.

Xbox Games Showcase Post-Mortem: Halo Infinite, Fable, Forza, and Many Others Revealed

Today, Microsoft held a long-awaited reveal for many upcoming games that the company hopes will justify bringing players into their ecosystem. Whether via their existing Xbox devices or through the next-generation Xbox Series X and gaming PC, the company put on a show showcasing the future of games as they envision them - but many more games from even Microsoft's first-party studios weren't showcased - yet.

The star of the show and opening opus was Halo Infinite, the much-awaited next installment in the Halo saga. The showcase revealed a part of the campaign, with cinematics and gameplay, and it does seem to be another step in the right direction for the franchise. The 8-minute gameplay video showcased the gorgeous environments, particle and sound effects made possible by the new Splipspace Engine in the new Halo game, with a number of impressive new weapons and game mechanics (that grappling hook does seem sweet, doesn't it?). A look at the map reveals an open-world-esque approach to game design, with 343 industries promising the game to be many times bigger than their two previous games, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, combined. A smooth 60-frames per second and 4K resolution is promised in what will definitely be the Xbox Series X's crown launch jewel. No multiplayer was shown - yet. We expect 343 Industries to start launching Sprint videos on the development of the game in the coming months, and also new game trailers showcasing the mechanics of the game.

Samsung's 5 nm EUV Node Struggles with Yields

Semiconductor manufacturing is a difficult process. Often when a new node is being developed, there are new materials introduced that may cause some yield issues. Or perhaps with 7 nm and below nodes, they are quite difficult to manufacture due to their size, as the transistor can get damaged by the smallest impurity in silicon. So manufacturers have to be extra careful and must spend more time on the development of new nodes. According to industry sources over at DigiTimes, we have information that Samsung is struggling with its 5 nm EUV node.

This unfortunate news comes after the industry sources of DigiTimes reported that Qualcomm's next-generation 5G chipsets could be affected if Samsung doesn't improve its yields. While there are no specific pieces of information on what is the main cause of bad yields, there could be a plethora of reasons. From anything related to manufacturing equipment to silicon impurities. We don't know yet. We hope that Samsung can sort out these issues in time, so Qualcomm wouldn't need to reserve its orders at rival foundries and port the design to a new process.

The Curious Case of the 12-pin Power Connector: It's Real and Coming with NVIDIA Ampere GPUs

Over the past few days, we've heard chatter about a new 12-pin PCIe power connector for graphics cards being introduced, particularly from Chinese language publication FCPowerUp, including a picture of the connector itself. Igor's Lab also did an in-depth technical breakdown of the connector. TechPowerUp has some new information on this from a well placed industry source. The connector is real, and will be introduced with NVIDIA's next-generation "Ampere" graphics cards. The connector appears to be NVIDIA's brain-child, and not that of any other IP- or trading group, such as the PCI-SIG, Molex or Intel. The connector was designed in response to two market realities - that high-end graphics cards inevitably need two power connectors; and it would be neater for consumers to have a single cable than having to wrestle with two; and that lower-end (<225 W) graphics cards can make do with one 8-pin or 6-pin connector.

The new NVIDIA 12-pin connector has six 12 V and six ground pins. Its designers specify higher quality contacts both on the male and female ends, which can handle higher current than the pins on 8-pin/6-pin PCIe power connectors. Depending on the PSU vendor, the 12-pin connector can even split in the middle into two 6-pin, and could be marketed as "6+6 pin." The point of contact between the two 6-pin halves are kept leveled so they align seamlessly.

Sony Doubles Playstation 5 Orders Amid High Demand

According to the Bloomberg report, Sony has reportedly doubled Playstation 5 orders and plans to ship 10 million units this fiscal year. Originally, Sony wanted to ship 5-6 million units between November of this year and March 31st of 2021. However, Sony is seeing a very high demand for its next-generation console and it had to double the production orders. Being manufactured in Kisarazu, Japan, the company can assemble two Playstation 4 consoles every minute, which is pretty impressive and gives hope that Sony can satisfy the demand for the new console. When the manufacturing costs of the console are broken down into parts, memory is making for more than half of it. The super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD and GDDR6 memory cost about $250 combined. Reports are suggesting that the entire console costs an amazing $450 to manufacture.

Western Digital Extends Capacity-Enterprise HDD Technology Leadership into Broad Family of Data Center Solutions Enabling Unmatched TCO

Continuously innovating to help organizations keep pace with rapidly expanding volumes of data, Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it is extending its HDD technology and capacity leadership into its broader portfolio of data center solutions. Leveraging innovations from the Ultrastar 18 TB and 20 TB HDD technology platform, the WD Gold family now features new 16 TB and 18 TB CMR HDD capacities. Also available are an upgraded line of Ultrastar JBOD platforms and an Ultrastar hybrid storage server featuring Ultrastar 16 TB and 18 TB CMR HDDs. Through Western Digital's vertical integration capabilities and broad portfolio, the company continues to be uniquely positioned to help customers meet data demands as they design their storage infrastructures for better efficiency and productivity.

"Western Digital's expanded family of data center HDD solutions clearly addresses a variety of customer needs, which puts them in a unique early position to capitalize on cloud and OEM customer transitions to 18 TB, and even to 20 TB for those optimizing the benefits of SMR," said John Chen, vice president at TRENDFOCUS. "Capacity-enterprise HDDs will continue to dominate the nearline and secondary storage market as there is simply no other cost-effective substitute for data at scale. As a result, we expect nearline disk drive exabytes shipments to grow at a 32.5% CAGR, reaching 1.9 zettabytes by 2024."

Asetek Collaborates With HPE to Deliver Next-Gen HPC Server Cooling Solutions

Asetek today announced a collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to deliver its premium data center liquid cooling solutions in HPE Apollo Systems, which are high-performing and density-optimized to target high-performance computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) needs. The integration enables deployment of high wattage processors in high density configurations to support compute-intense workloads.

When developing its next-generation HPC server solutions, HPE worked closely with Asetek to define a plug and play HPC system that is integrated, installed, and serviced by HPE that serves as the ideal complement to HPE's Gen10 Plus platform. With the resulting solution, HPE is able to maximize processor and interconnect performance by efficiently cooling high density computing clusters. HPE will be deploying these DLC systems, which support warm water cooling, this calendar year.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti Rumored Specifications Appear

NVIDIA is slowly preparing to launch its next-generation Ampere graphics cards for consumers after we got the A100 GPU for data-centric applications. The Ampere lineup is getting more and more leaks and speculations every day, so we can assume that the launch is near. In the most recent round of rumors, we have some new information about the GPU SKU and memory of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti. Thanks to Twitter user kopite7kimi, who had multiple confirmed speculations in the past, we have information that GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti use a GA104 GPU SKU, paired with GDDR6 memory. The cath is that the Ti version of GPU will feature a new GDDR6X memory, which has a higher speed and can reportedly go up to 21 Gbps.

The regular RTX 3070 is supposed to have 2944 CUDA cores on GA104-400 GPU die, while its bigger brother RTX 3070 Ti is designed with 3072 CUDA cores on GA104-300 die. Paired with new technologies that Ampere architecture brings, with a new GDDR6X memory, the GPUs are set to be very good performers. It is estimated that both of the cards would reach a memory bandwidth of 512 GB/s. So far that is all we have. NVIDIA is reportedly in Design Validation Test (DVT) phase with these cards and is preparing for mass production in August. Following those events is the official launch which should happen before the end of this year, with some speculations indicating that it is in September.

AMD Ryzen 4000 "Vermeer" CPUs Almost Ready to Hit the Market

AMD has been working hard to prepare its next-generation Ryzen 4000 CPUs codenamed Vermeer, and we have some exciting news about it. Thanks to the sources over at Igor's Lab, we have information that AMD Vermeer CPUs are close to launching. Apparently, the CPUs have are now at B0 stepping and are going through the usual validation process. The B0 stepping is where the CPU is fully working and now it just needs to go on mass production. The next step for the CPU is high-volume manufacturing and in a very quick time, the CPUs will be ready to hit the market.

Usually, it takes 3-4 months for silicon to be manufactured, so if AMD has orders set at TSMC's factory for the manufacturing of its processors, we could get the processors very soon. Given that AMD is ready with the design, and there is a lack of competition from team blue, AMD is very flexible with timing. The processors can be ready whenever AMD needs them to be. After a while, AMD is in a position to dictate the market needs and tailor them to their own. This used to be a position where Intel was before the Ryzen era. Now if AMD needs to do a launch as quickly as possible they can. If not, they have the design ready and can push it a few months.
AMR Ryzen CPU

CD Projekt Red to Offer Free Cyberpunk 2077 Upgrades to Next-Gen Console Versions

CD Projekt Red has announced that their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will be upgraded, free of charge, to a revised version in the wake of both next-gen console systems from Sony and Microsoft being released. This means that users who ordered (or will order) the game for current-gen systems will see their version be automatically upgraded to a next-gen one when they boot up their next-generation games console. This next-generation re-release of Cyberpunk 2077 will take advantage of the new consoles' much increased horsepower in both graphics and storage system terms.

The update, much like the game, will be ready "when it's ready". Only CD Projekt Red knows when it is hoping to release this update. We would think that a release next-year, after the entire planned DLC packages for the game are released, would be a great time to launch the updated version and re-release the game for next-gen systems as a "Game of the Year" version or a next--gen remaster. Of course, PC users don't have to fiddle with any of these upgrades - we'll be getting the games definitive version, including ray tracing support, on day one.

EA Teases Next-Gen Videogames from Criterion, Bioware, DICE and Motive

EA via its EA play event has teased next-gen graphics and gameplay from upcoming titles on its publishing label. The games showcase work in progress for next-generation games that seem to be set in three well-known franchises, with Motive, who has just recently developed Star Wars Squadron in conjunction with Lucasfilm, seemingly presenting the only new IP.

From Criterion, a new Need for Speed game is teased, with particular emphasis being put on both detail level on cars and reflections, as well as the absence of any loading times granted by next-gen hardware. Bioware's showcase seems like a tease for Dragon Age 4 - there is a distinct fantasy look to the video, and I believe I've seen those red colors in previous entries' red lyrium crystals. DICE, of course, showcased a new Battlefield game, which exceptional fidelity on character models, and what seems like truly epic battles with hundreds of soldiers on-screen at the same time. Lastly, Motive seems to be developing a physics-based game where environment interactivity is key. Models used seem like a mash-up between fantasy, sci-fi and modern-day, so it's difficult to pen exactly what we're looking at. Catch the video teaser after the break.
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