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AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Present at CES 2021 Virtual Keynote

AMD has just had quite an amazing year. From the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs based on Zen 3 architecture to RDNA 2 based graphics cards, the company has been delivering new solutions in a timely manner. With the upcoming tech conference being CES, we are wondering which companies are going to hold their keynotes virtually. Thanks to the official CES website, we have confirmation that AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su will hold a virtual keynote with the goal of "presenting the AMD vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment, and gaming, including a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions." That could mean that we could possibly see some new directions for the company and how AMD plans to develop next-generation computing solutions, so stay tuned for more interesting information coming your way on January 11th, when CES kicks-off.

TSMC Completes Its Latest 3 nm Factory, Mass Production in 2022

They say that it is hard to keep up with Moore's Law, however, for the folks over at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), that doesn't seem to represent any kind of a problem. Today, to confirm that TSMC is one of the last warriors for the life of Moore's Law, we have information that the company has completed building its manufacturing facility for the next-generation 3 nm semiconductor node. Located in Southern Taiwan Science Park near Tainan, TSMC is expecting to start high-volume manufacturing of the 3 nm node in that Fab in the second half of 2022. As always, one of the first customers expected is Apple.

Estimated to cost an amazing 19.5 billion US Dollars, the Fab is expected to have an output of 55,000 300 mm (12-inch) wafers per month. Given that the regular facilities of TSMC exceed the capacity of over 100K wafers per month, this new facility is expected to increase the capacity over time and possibly reach the 100K level. The new 3 nm node is going to use the FinFET technology and will deliver a 15% performance gain over the previous 5 nm node, with 30% decreased power use and up to 70% density increase. Of course, all of those factors will depend on a specific design.

BittWare Launches IA-840F with Intel Agilex FPGA and Support for oneAPI

BittWare, a Molex company, today unveiled the IA-840F, the company's first Intel Agilex -based FPGA card designed to deliver significant performance-per-watt improvements for next-generation data center, networking and edge compute workloads. Agilex FPGAs deliver up to 40% higher performance or up to 40% lower power, depending on application requirements. BittWare maximized I/O features using the Agilex chip's unique tiling architecture with dual QSFP-DDs (4× 100G), PCIe Gen4 x16, and three MCIO expansion ports for diverse applications. BittWare also announced support for Intel oneAPI, which enables an abstracted development flow for dramatically simplified code re-use across multiple architectures.

"Modern data center workloads are incredibly diverse, requiring customers to implement a mix of scalar, vector, matrix and spatial architectures," said Craig Petrie, vice president of marketing for BittWare. "The IA-840F ensures that customers can quickly and easily exploit the advanced features of the Intel Agilex FPGA. For those customers who prefer to develop FPGA applications at an abstracted level, we are including support for oneAPI. This new unified software programming environment allows customers to program the Agilex FPGA from a single code base with native high-level language performance across architectures."

NVIDIA Announces Mellanox InfiniBand for Exascale AI Supercomputing

NVIDIA today introduced the next generation of NVIDIA Mellanox 400G InfiniBand, giving AI developers and scientific researchers the fastest networking performance available to take on the world's most challenging problems.

As computing requirements continue to grow exponentially in areas such as drug discovery, climate research and genomics, NVIDIA Mellanox 400G InfiniBand is accelerating this work through a dramatic leap in performance offered on the world's only fully offloadable, in-network computing platform. The seventh generation of Mellanox InfiniBand provides ultra-low latency and doubles data throughput with NDR 400 Gb/s and adds new NVIDIA In-Network Computing engines to provide additional acceleration.

AMD Looks to Keep Performance, Efficiency Gains Momentum With Zen 4, RDNA 3, and Commitment to Threadripper

AMD's Executive Vice President Rick Bergman in an interview with The Street shed some light on the company's future plans for Zen 4 and RDNA 3, even as we are still reeling from (or coming in to) Zen 3 and RDNA 2's launches. Speaking on RDNA 3, Rick Bergman mentioned the company's commitment to achieve the same 50% performance-per-watt increase they achieved with RDNA 2, and had some interesting takes on the matter of why this is actually one of the most important metrics:
Rick Bergman
It just matters so much in many ways, because if your power is too high -- as we've seen from our competitors -- suddenly our potential users have to buy bigger power supplies, very advanced cooling solutions. And in a lot of ways, very importantly, it actually drives the [bill of materials] of the board up substantially. This is a desktop perspective. And invariably, that either means the retail price comes up, or your GPU cost has to come down. We focused on that for RDNA 2. It's a big focus on RDNA 3 as well.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT GPU OpenCL Performance Leaks

AMD has just recently announced its next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series GPU based on the new RDNA 2 architecture. The architecture is set to compete with NVIDIA Ampere architecture and highest offerings of the competing company. Today, thanks to the well-known leaker TUM_APISAK, we have some Geekbench OpenCL scores. It appears that some user has gotten access to the system with the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT GPUs, running Cinebench 4.4 OpenCL tests. In the tests, the system ran on the Intel platform with Core i9-10900K CPU with 16 GB DDR4 RAM running at 3600 MHz. The motherboard used was ASUS top-end ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 board.

When it comes to results, the system with RX 6800 GPU scored anywhere from 347137 points to 336367 points in three test runs. For comparison, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 scores about 361042 points, showcasing that the Radeon card is not faster in any of the runs. When it comes to the higher-end Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, it scored 407387 and 413121 points in two test runs. Comparing that to GeForce RTX 3080 GPU that scores 470743 points, the card is slower compared to the competition. There has been a Ryzen 9 5950X test setup that boosted the performance of Radeon RX 6800 XT card by quite a lot, making it reach 456837 points, making a huge leap over the Intel-based system thanks to the Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology that all-AMD system provides.

EA Confirms Battlefield VI, Holiday 2021 Release

EA late last week confirmed that the studio is working on the next chapter in the "Battlefield" franchise, unsurprisingly titled "Battlefield VI." What remains to be seen is the production design, whether EA DICE sticks to its formula of making the next Battlefield a AAA set-piece and technology demonstrator, much like how BFV was among the first games with real-time raytracing, although the mandate from EA CEO appears to favor a "truly next-gen" approach. Pressure from EA's bean-counters will also ride heavy on DICE to make at least one of the components of the game to be e-sports optimized, and feature a battle royale multiplayer mode. We predict the implementation could be similar to the current Call of Duty, which features a nested "Warzone" mode in addition to a AAA campaign experience. EA DICE is targeting a Holiday 2021 tentative release for "Battlefield VI."

Update 08:17 UTC: Apparently the image above is fan-art. EA did not reveal any details about the premise of the game.

Microsoft: Only Consoles Supporting Full RDNA 2 Capabilities Are Xbox Series X and Series S, Excludes PlayStation 5

Microsoft has today published another article on its Xbox Wire blog, dedicated to all the news regarding the Xbox consoles and its ecosystem. In the light of yesterday's launch of AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards, Microsoft has congratulated its partner and provider of processors SoCs for their next-generation consoles. Besides the celebrations and congratulations, Microsoft has proceeded to show off what the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are capable of, and how they integrate the RDNA 2 architecture. The company notes that there are hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading units built-in, so game developers can take advantage of it.

Another interesting point Microsoft made was that "Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today." What this translates into is that Microsoft is the only console maker that uses the full RDNA 2 potential. This could leave Sony out in the dark with its PlayStation 5 console, meaning that it does not support all the features of AMD's new GPU architecture. There are not any specific points, however, we have to wait and see what Sony has left out, if anything.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" RDNA2 Graphics Card Launch Liveblog

After thoroughly appetizing us with its "Where Gaming Begins: Episode 1" event announcing the Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors that offer up to 19% IPC gains, in the second Episode, we see the company announcing its next-generation Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture that introduce full DirectX 12 Ultimate readiness, including real-time raytracing hardware. In the run up to the RX 6000, NVIDIA is already reportedly preparing product-stack updates. In this liveblog, we uncover what has NVIDIA riled up, and whether AMD can pull off better pricing and availbility than the RTX 30-series.

Update 15:59 UTC: It is time! Welcome to the Radeon RX 6000 Series live blog.
Update 16:01 UTC: AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su takes centerstage, fresh off a good quarterly results announcement, and that big Xilinx acquisition announcement.

Seagate: 20 TB HAMR Drives Arrive in December, 50 TB Capacities in 2026

In its latest earnings call, Seagate, a manufacturer of high-capacity drives, has revealed several interesting points about its upcoming releases of next-generation hard drives. More specifically, the company has disclosed a shift to a new generation of HDDs based on so-called heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology. This technology is set to bring many improvements compared to the one currently used by Seagate's rivals like Western Digital. The rivaling company uses energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording (ePMR) and microwave-assisted (MAMR) technologies and it already has a 20 TB drive in the offering. Seagate announced that they will unveil a 20 TB HDD in December this year, with the use of HAMR technology, which will bring many improvements like better speed and more efficient disk read/write.

"We remain on track to ship 20-TB HAMR drives starting in December, which is an important milestone, as we believe HAMR technology will be the industry's path to scaling a real density and increasing drive capacities," said Dave Mosley, CEO of Seagate. "Seagate will be the first to ship this crucial technology with a path to deliver 50-TB HAMR drives forecast in 2026."

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Benchmarked, Conquers Intel Core i5-10600K

Since AMD announced its next-generation Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors based on Zen 3 core, everyone has been wondering how the new processors perform. For a detailed review and performance numbers, you should wait for official reviews. However, today we have the scores of Ryzen 5 5600X CPU. Thanks to the popular hardware leaker @TUM_APISAK, the Ryzen 5 5600X performance numbers in the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark suite have been leaked. When digging under the hood, the new Ryzen CPU contains six of Zen 3 cores with 12 threads, paired with as much as 32 MB of level three (L3) cache. These cores are running at 3.7 GHz base frequency, while the boost speeds are reaching 4.6 GHz.

In the test results, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU has scored Processor Arithmetic and Processor Multi-Media scores of 255.22 GOPS and 904.38 Mpix/s. These scores are not much on their own until we compare them to some of the Intel offerings. When compared to the Intel Core i5-10600K CPU, which is likely its targeted competing category, it scores 224.07 GOPS and 662.33 Mpix/s for Processor Arithmetic and Processor Multi-Media tests respectively. This puts the AMD CPU ahead 13.9% and 36.5% in these tests, indicating the possibility of Zen 3. Another important note here is the thermal headroom both of these CPUs run. While the Intel model is constrained withing 125 W TDP, the AMD model runs at just 65 W TDP. This could be an indication of the efficiency that these new processors harness.

Intel "Tiger Lake" Based Pentium and Celeron to Feature AVX2, an Instruction the Entry-Level Brands were Deprived Of

Intel's next-generation Pentium Gold and Celeron entry-level processors based on the "Tiger Lake" microarchitecture could finally receive the AVX2 instruction set. Intel had segmented AVX and AVX2 to be exclusive to the Core and Xeon brands, with the Pentium Gold and Celeron products based on the same microarchitectures to artificially lack these instructions.

Intel updated its ARK product information database with entries for "Tiger Lake" based Pentium Gold and Celeron products. The page for the Pentium Gold 7505 and Celeron 6305, mention support for AVX2 besides SSE4. Both are mobile chips with 15 W TDP, and are built on the same 10 nm SuperFin process as the rest of the 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processor family.

AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" "Vermeer" Launch Liveblog

AMD is announcing its next-generation Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors in the Socket AM4 package. These 7 nm processors see the implementation of the company's new "Zen 3" microarchitecture, and are expected to push the performance envelope. AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su takes centerstage in a pre-recorded launch event stream which we are live-blogging. These are facts as they appear, along with our analysis.

Update 16:01 UTC: Looks like this is a pre-recorded stream made to look live (a premiere).

Arm Highlights its Next Two Generations of CPUs, codenamed Matterhorn and Makalu, with up to a 30% Performance Uplift

Editor's Note: This is written by Arm vice president and general manager Paul Williamson.

Over the last year, I have been inspired by the innovators who are dreaming up solutions to improve and enrich our daily lives. Tomorrow's mobile applications will be even more imaginative, immersive, and intelligent. To that point, the industry has come such a long way in making this happen. Take app stores for instance - we had the choice of roughly 500 apps when smartphones first began shipping in volume in 2007 and today there are 8.9 million apps available to choose from.

Mobile has transformed from a simple utility to the most powerful, pervasive device we engage with daily, much like Arm-based chips have progressed to more powerful but still energy-efficient SoCs. Although the chip-level innovation has already evolved significantly, more is still required as use cases become more complex, with more AI and ML workloads being processed locally on our devices.

AMD Confirms Ryzen 5000 Series Nomenclature for "Vermeer"

AMD earlier today made public its YouTube live-stream link for its next-generation Ryzen desktop processor. Its title reads "Where Gaming Begins | AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors." This confirms the Ryzen 5000 series nomenclature for the company's Socket AM4 desktop processors based on the "Zen 3" architecture, based on a multi-chip module codenamed "Vermeer." This would effectively make these chips "5th Generation Ryzen." Rumors of the 5000 series nomenclature first surfaced in mid-September, when the running theory was that with the "Zen 2" based "Renoir" taking up many of the model numbers in the 4000 series (eg: 4700G, 4750G, etc.,) AMD would want to segment its next-generation chips in a higher number series. The AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" launch event is set to go live in under 13 hours from now.

AMD Big Navi GPU Features Infinity Cache?

As we are nearing the launch of AMD's highly hyped, next-generation RDNA 2 GPU codenamed "Big Navi", we are seeing more details emerge and crawl their way to us. We already got some rumors suggesting that this card is supposedly going to be called AMD Radeon RX 6900 and it is going to be AMD's top offering. Using a 256-bit bus with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, the GPU will not use any type of HBM memory, which has historically been rather pricey. Instead, it looks like AMD will compensate for a smaller bus with a new technology it has developed. Thanks to the new findings on Justia Trademarks website by @momomo_us, we have information about the alleged "infinity cache" technology the new GPU uses.

It is reported by VideoCardz that the internal name for this technology is not Infinity Cache, however, it seems that AMD could have changed it recently. What does exactly you might wonder? Well, it is a bit of a mystery for now. What it could be, is a new cache technology which would allow for L1 GPU cache sharing across the cores, or some connection between the caches found across the whole GPU unit. This information should be taken with a grain of salt, as we are yet to see what this technology does and how it works, when AMD announces their new GPU on October 28th.

AMD "Big Navi" GPU Die Pictured? Allegedly Measures 536mm²

Coreteks, in a video presentation on Sunday, released what is possibly the very first picture of the AMD "Big Navi" GPU silicon, which could power the company's next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series flagship graphics card. The grainy, blurry-cam picture reveals a mostly square package with a large, rectangular die at its center, which Coreteks estimates to be 536 mm² in die-area, with 29 mm x 18.5 mm (LxW) dimensions. The channel used an unusual method for measuring the die size. The chip is rumored to feature around 80 compute units based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture, which includes fixed-function hardware for real-time raytracing, as RDNA2 is designed to meet DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements. We'll know more about the chip in the run up to its October 28 unveiling.

Microsoft Introduces Surface Laptop Go, New Updates to Surface Pro X and New Accessories

The idea of working and learning from home, which at one point felt temporary, has for many of us started to feel more permanent. Even as some people in cities around the world return to work and schools in person, many others have found themselves reorganizing homes to create makeshift offices and classrooms. Whether your commute is across the house or across town, the PC continues to play an integral role in keeping all of us connected to our work, school, and lives - and each person in the household needs one.

As we continue to expand our Surface family of devices with the new Surface Laptop Go and updates to Surface Pro X, our goal is to design a Surface for every person, work style and location. To give every person in your household or organization a laptop that's not just something you need to use, but something you want to use. A virtual office you want to be in, a virtual classroom that engages you to learn, a place you can play your favorite game or watch a movie - with a bright vibrant screen, a fluid and comfortable keyboard, high quality cameras and mics, and the versatility of touch screens.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Announces new Intel-based Supercomputer Called Crossroads

The Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES), a partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, announced the details of a $105 million contract awarded to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to deliver Crossroads, a next-generation supercomputer to be sited at Los Alamos.

"This machine will advance our ability to study the most complex physical systems for science and national security. We look forward to its arrival and deployment," said Jason Pruet, Los Alamos' Program Director for the Advanced Simulating and Computing (ASC) Program.

Xbox Series X Pre-Orders Also Out of Stock; Xbox One X Sales Skyrocket

In the latest episode of "next-generation gaming issues", the Xbox Series X console pre-order has also seen its stock depleted from all online merchants. Following issues with both the RTX 3080 and PS5 supplies, now it's the time for Microsoft to be in the spotlight, as the question of low stock or fundamentally impressive demand arises once again. This is likely an answer we won't ever have; however, it also has to be said that there is plenty of time for stocks to be replenished for both Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5 before their respective launches. I wouldn't worry too much for now.

At the same time as Xbox Series X pre-orders made stock go the way of the dodo, the usual scalpers have already surfaced on the common secondhand marketplaces, looking to sell their "pre-order" confirmed consoles for prices that usually sit around at double the MSRP (set at $499 by Microsoft). Remember to not let yourself be a part of this chain; save yourself money, and be part of the solution to scalpers by not engaging with their offerings. You still have time to secure your console.

AMD Radeon "Navy Flounder" Features 40CU, 192-bit GDDR6 Memory

AMD uses offbeat codenames such as the "Great Horned Owl," "Sienna Cichlid" and "Navy Flounder" to identify sources of leaks internally. One such upcoming product, codenamed "Navy Flounder," is shaping up to be a possible successor to the RX 5500 XT, the company's 1080p segment-leading product. According to ROCm compute code fished out by stblr on Reddit, this GPU is configured with 40 compute units, a step up from 14 on the RX 5500 XT, and retains a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface.

Assuming the RDNA2 compute unit on next-gen Radeon RX graphics processors has the same number of stream processors per CU, we're looking at 2,560 stream processors for the "Navy Flounder," compared to 80 on "Sienna Cichlid." The 192-bit wide memory interface allows a high degree of segmentation for AMD's product managers for graphics cards under the $250-mark.

ASUS ROG Launches Partnership with ACRONYM on Special Edition Zephyrus G14

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today launched a collaboration with ACRONYM, a leading technical apparel design agency, to create a special edition ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop that melds top-of-the-line hardware with a radical new vision for what technology can be. Available for sale worldwide starting today, this device is based on a design concept grounded in Errolson Hugh's vision of a more empowered user: not just a gamer, but a thinker and a creator.

ACRONYM 's co-founder Errolson Hugh has been a pioneer in the technical apparel industry since the company's founding in 1994. In the 26 years since, their agency has built an extensive design portfolio dedicated to fusing singular style with the latest technology. Whether they're designing product lines for Nike and Arc'Teryx, virtual video game gear for Square Enix / EIDOS, or creating clothing under their own flag, ACRONYM has a proven track record as a visionary in the apparel industry with a commitment to sourcing top notch materials to create utilitarian designs that go far beyond style.

AMD "Vermeer" Zen 3 Processors Branded Under Ryzen 5000 Series?

AMD is allegedly preparing to market its next-generation Socket AM4 desktop processors based on the "Vermeer" MCM, under the Ryzen 5000 Series. The "Vermeer" MCM implements the company's "Zen 3" microarchitecture in the client segment. It features up to two 7 nm-class CPU complex dies with up to 8 cores, each, and a refreshed cIOD (client IO die). AMD has allegedly improved the cIOD with a new memory controller and several new toggles that improve memory bandwidth. The cIOD combines a PCI-Express Gen 4 root complex with a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. With "Zen 3," AMD is also introducing an improved boosting algorithm, and an improved SMT feature.

Coming back to AMD's rumored nomenclature, and we could see the company bumping up its processor model numbers to the 5000 series for equivalent core-counts. For example, the Ryzen 9 5900X is a 12-core/24-thread part, much like the 3900X; whereas the Ryzen 7 5800X is an 8-core/16-thread part. This flies in the face of rumors that AMD could take advantage of the 8-core CCX design of the "Zen 3" microarchitecture by carving out 10-core parts using two CCDs with 5 cores enabled, each. The reason AMD is skipping the 4000 series numbering with "Vermeer" probably has something to do with "Renoir" taking up many of the 4000-series model numbers. "Renoir" is based on "Zen 2," and recently made its desktop debut, albeit as an OEM-exclusive. The company is planning to introduce certain 4000G series models to the DIY retail segment. AMD is expected to announce its first "Zen 3" client-segment processors on October 8, 2020.

TSMC 5 nm Node Supply Fully Booked, Apple the Biggest Customer

TSMC has hit a jackpot with its newer nodes like 7 nm and now 5 nm, as the company is working with quite good yields. To boast, TSMC has seen all of its capacity of 7 nm being fully booked by customers like AMD, Apple, and NVIDIA. However, it seems like the company's next-generation 5 nm node is also getting high demand. According to the latest report from DigiTimes, TSMC's N5 5 nm node is fully booked to the end of 2020. And the biggest reason for that is the biggest company in the world - Apple. Since Apple plans to launch the next-generation iPhone, iPad, and Arm-based MacBook, the company has reportedly booked most of the 5 nm capacity for 2020, meaning that there are lots of chips that Apple will consume. TSMC can't be dependent only on one company like Apple, so the smaller portion of capacity went to other customers as well.

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform Commercially Debuts in Oculus Quest 2

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, is powering better-than-ever virtual reality (VR) gameplay and experiences with the launch of Oculus Quest 2, the first-to-launch VR device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform. Oculus Quest 2 is a culmination of years of collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and Facebook to create the most advanced and immersive gaming VR experiences for consumers to-date.

Purpose-built for extended reality (XR), the Snapdragon XR2 Platform unlocks staggering improvements including twice the CPU and GPU performance compared to its predecessor which powers the original Oculus Quest headset. The Snapdragon XR2 Platform delivers significant performance enhancements in Oculus Quest 2 including:
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