MIT's DAWG Mitigates Spectre and Meltdown

Researchers at MIT have built a new security measure on top of Intel’s Cache Allocation Technology. Dynamically Allocated Way Guard, or DAWG, is built to isolate programs from each other without the performance overhead of Intel’s CAT. The technology only requires “minor modifications to the underlying operating system to implement,” but unfortunately, it won’t protect against all known attacks. The developers say it will mitigate most of them with more development, and hope to see integration of similar systems into future software. The full research paper can be downloaded here.

‘We think this is an important step forward in giving computer architects, cloud providers and other IT professionals a better way to efficiently and dynamically allocate resources,’ claims lead author Vladimir Kiriansky. ‘It establishes clear boundaries for where sharing should and should not happen, so that programs with sensitive information can keep that data reasonably secure.’


Source: [H]ardOCP – MIT’s DAWG Mitigates Spectre and Meltdown

Motion Smoothing Feature in SteamVR Allows Lower-End GPUs to Become VR Ready

Valve Software has added a new feature to SteamVR that has the potential to allow many lower-end GPUs to become VR ready, while improving performance on higher end GPUs. Motion Smoothing senses when a VR application isn’t going to make framerate and synthesizes the missing frame by looking at the last two delivered frames to estimate motion and animation. From that information a new frame is extrapolated. These synthesized frames allow the application to run at a full frame rate, eliminates judder, and keeps motion moving forward.

The reward is that the GPU only needs to render 1 out of 2 frames which lowers system performance requirements. If the system still can’t keep up, Motion Smoothing can even synthesize 2 or 3 frames for every 1 frame delivered. It can even allow high-end GPUs to run at a higher resolution. Motion Smoothing is currently only available for systems running Windows 10 and an NVIDIA GPU. Valve Software’s Alex Vlachos had this to say about AMD cards “We have this mostly working on AMD. We just have a few issues to sort out. AMD support is coming. Sorry I can’t provide an exact timeline, but we are working on it.”

What it means for you
From the player’s perspective, what was previously a game that would hitch and drop frames producing judder is now a game that constantly runs smoothly at 90 Hz. SteamVR Motion Smoothing improves upon the previously released Asynchronous Reprojection to enhance the overall experience for customers across a wide variety of VR systems. Not only can lower-end GPUs now produce smooth frames in applications that were previously too expensive, higher-end GPUs can now render at an even higher resolution increasing the fidelity of all experiences on all VR systems.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Motion Smoothing Feature in SteamVR Allows Lower-End GPUs to Become VR Ready

Samsung Begins 7nm EUV Production

Samsung announced their 7nm EUV process some time ago, and it looks like production came right on schedule. In a press release, Samsung announced that it finished development of its 7nm LPP EUV process, and is starting wafer production. The new process uses extreme ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength of 13.5 nm, as opposed to the 193nm wavelength used in previous processes. According to Samsung, chips produced on the new process will have a 40% area efficiency advantage over previous 10nm FinFET chips, as well as 20% higher performance or 50% lower power consumption. Like TSMC, Samsung is also offering advanced packaging services with the process, including support for HBM2/2e memory interfaces and 112G SerDes interfaces. Initial production takes place at Samsung’s S3 Fab in Hwaseong, Korea, but the company hopes to get more factories up and running in 2020.

“With the introduction of its EUV process node, Samsung has led a quiet revolution in the semiconductor industry,” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president of foundry sales and marketing team at Samsung Electronics. “This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Samsung Begins 7nm EUV Production

Intel to Split Manufacturing Branch Into Three Divisions

The Oregonian says that Intel will split its manufacturing and technology group into three different segments. Mike Mayberry, head of Intel labs, will lead the technology division. Ann Kelleher will lead manufacturing and operations, while Randhir Thakur will run the supply chain branch. Sohail Ahmed, who led the manufacturing division since 2016, will retire, and former Qualcomm executive Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala will supervise all three divisions. This shakeup comes after long delays of the deployment of Intel’s 10nm process, which was supposed to be ready in the second half of 2016.

“Thanks to the efforts of Sohail and the entire Intel team, we are making good progress on 10nm,” Renduchintala wrote to employees Monday. “Yields are improving consistent with the timeline that we shared in April, and we continue to expect systems on shelves for the 2019 holiday season.” Intel has been without a chief executive since June, when Brian Krzanich abruptly resigned after the company uncovered “a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee” in violation of corporate policy. Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan is serving as interim CEO.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel to Split Manufacturing Branch Into Three Divisions

Some Citizens Are Concerned About New Robotic Patrols in NYC

New York City has begun experimenting with allowing robots to patrol areas. Rosie the robot has 5 cameras, thermal imaging, artificial intelligence, self-driving car technology, analytics and is directly connected to law enforcement. Her job is to observe people walking on the streets, record license plate and cellphone serial numbers, detect heat in objects, and of course patrol a certain neighborhood. Knightscope says that the robots so far have caught an accused sexual predator, robbery suspect and vandals in the act.

The robotic protectors can see what you’re doing and even talk back to you, but the machines created by a New Yorker have prompted serious privacy concerns, CBS2’s Clark Fouraker reported Tuesday. The company said it costs between $6 and $12 an hour for a new robot to hit the streets. They’re currently deployed in 16 states to come alongside local security teams to help reduce crime.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Some Citizens Are Concerned About New Robotic Patrols in NYC

A Nude Mod for Shadow of the Tomb Raider Has Been Released

A nude mod for Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been released. Modder Fonglee of the Untertow Club has graced us with his vision of what Lara looks like in the buff. Needless to say the art contained in the link is NSFW.

The mods span a smorgasbord of options, this includes the complete nude mod version of Lara Croft from Angel of Darkness, a sheer version of the Angel of Darkness Lara, a desert tank top version wearing a sheer shirt, a sheer version of Lara from Tomb Raider II, a green-eyed version of Lara, a Lara wearing tactical shorts, and a variety of sheer dresses, shirts, and ripped pants based on the outfits from Shadow of the Tomb Raider.


Source: [H]ardOCP – A Nude Mod for Shadow of the Tomb Raider Has Been Released

Tesla Secures Land for $2 Billion China Gigafactory

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has successfully purchased the land for its Shanghai Gigafactory. The 860,000 square meter plot in China cost the company $140.51 million and will be home to a $2 billion factory. The annual output of the factory is estimated at 500,000 electric cars. China has an insatiable desire for new-electric vehicles.

Tesla signed a long-anticipated deal with Shanghai authorities in July to build its first factory outside the United States, which would double the size of its global manufacturing and help lower the pricetag of Tesla cars sold in the world’s largest auto market. “Securing this site in Shanghai, Tesla’s first Gigafactory outside of the United States, is an important milestone for what will be our next advanced, sustainably developed manufacturing site,” Robin Ren, Tesla’s vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Tesla Secures Land for Billion China Gigafactory

Atomic Heart Artistic Trailer

Mundfish has released its latest trailer for the game Atomic Heart. The trailer emphasizes the art style of the game where good can quickly turn to evil in a blink of the eye.

Atomic Heart is an adventure first-person shooter, events of which unfold in an alternative universe, during the high noon of the Soviet Union. The main character of the game is a special agent, who was sent to a highly secret object by the Soviet government after it went radio silent. Soviet setting with a pitch of insanity, action-packed gameplay and a thrilling story will keep you entertained for the whole duration of your journey into the world of Atomic Heart. Unfold the secrets, restore peace and order, and show the Motherland what you got!


Source: [H]ardOCP – Atomic Heart Artistic Trailer

Amazon Posts Environmental Footage from Their MMO

Tech giant Amazon has their fingers in a lot of pies, and now they want to make their own games. The company bought Double Helix back in 2014, and after posting some screenshots earlier this year, Amazon Games Studios uploaded some environmental footage of an MMO called “New Worlds”. According to PCGamer, the game will utilize Amazon’s massive AWS backend to host thousands of players at once. Amazon has a habit of going big whenever they enter a new market, so even if MMOs or battle royale games aren’t your thing, Amazon’s entry could have a significant impact on the rest of the gaming industry.

Welcome to Windsward, a region of New World composed mostly of grasslands and forests that are packed with harvestable resources. Sign up for Alpha at


Source: [H]ardOCP – Amazon Posts Environmental Footage from Their MMO

Jeff Bezos Interview at Wired25 Summit

Jeff Bezos was interviewed at the Wired25 Summit and the discussion touched on a myriad of subjects. He discussed topics such as his space company called Blue Origin, sending civilians into space, Amazon, Montessori schools, working with the Department of Defense, why new technological innovations should always be pursued, the need for humans to think long term and more. The Youtube video below has stops and stutters, but the video in the article doesn’t.

Bezos said he remains optimistic about technology, arguing that the potential for harm should not stop progress because humans are resilient. “The reason that we have pulled ourselves up as a species–by our bootstraps–is because we have continued to make technological progress,” he said. “Technologies always are two-sided. There are ways they can be misused.” As an example, Bezos pointed to the printing press. “The book was invented and people could write really evil books and lead bad revolutions with them and create fascist empires with books,” he said. That “doesn’t mean the book is bad.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Jeff Bezos Interview at Wired25 Summit

Netflix Criticizes EU Quota Plans

Netflix’s stock price surged after they released a strong quarterly earnings report this week. However, KitGuru spotted another interesting bit in that report: the EU has plans to institute content quotas, and Netflix isn’t particularly happy about it. According to the company, being forced to produce some arbitrary amount of European media would limit the creativity of their producers, even if they can meet the quotas in the short term. It’s possible, if unlikely, that similar legal requirements could spread overseas.

The European Union is currently rewriting its audio visual rules, which will eventually require subscription streaming services to devote a minimum of 30% of their catalog to European works. In addition, some member states are looking to require services like ours to invest some portion of local revenues into European works. We anticipate being able to meet these requirements by evolving our content offering. We are heavily investing around the world to share stories broadly and to strengthen local production capacity and opportunity. We’d prefer to focus on making our service great for our members, which would include producing local content, rather than on satisfying quotas, but we anticipate that a regional content quota which approximates the region’s share of our global membership will only marginally reduce member satisfaction. Nonetheless, quotas, regardless of market size, can negatively impact both the customer experience and creativity. We believe a more effective way for a country to support strong local content is to directly incentivize local content creators, independent of distribution channel.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Netflix Criticizes EU Quota Plans

Haas F1 Team uses Epyc Supercomputers

The Haas Formula 1 team is using the computational power of a Cray CS500 supercomputer with AMD’s EPYC 7000 series processors to run computational fluid dynamics simulations. Beginning in the 2019 season, the team will use those simulations to improve the aerodynamics of their cars, which is critical in a hyper competitive, technologically advanced sport like F1 racing. The F1 regulators actually restrict the amount of time teams can spend performing CFD simulations, and the Haas team seems to think the Epyc Processors will maximize the work they can get done under those restrictions.

The Cray CS500 supercomputer, equipped with a Cray ClusterStor L300 storage system and AMD EPYC processors, is planned for delivery to Haas F1 in December 2018. The combination of the system’s design and ability to handle the most demanding simulation and analytics workloads and the high-performance computing expertise of Cray helps the Haas F1 team optimize aerodynamics and more accurately predict and reduce drag, downforce and flow patterns around its race cars. “Having led the industry in designing the most advanced supercomputing systems in the world over the last four decades, Cray understands the simulation, performance and scale requirements the Haas FI team needs to meet their mission requirements,” said Fred Kohout, senior vice president and CMO at Cray. “We’re proud to provide the Haas F1 team with our best-in-class HPC and storage solutions, so the team can benefit from on-track performance in building winning Formula One race cars.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Haas F1 Team uses Epyc Supercomputers

Researchers 3D Print Lithium Ion Battery

Traditional lithium ion batteries are produced in fixed shapes, which limits their applications and often forces designers to build devices around a battery. However, a 3D printed battery could not only fit in any form factor, but be used as a more prominent structural element in devices. Researchers have developed such a battery, infusing plastic with a mix of ethyl methyl carbonate, propylene carbonate, and LiClO4 to achieve the conductivity needed for a battery. Theoretically, the conductive polymer could also be used to print other devices, such as circuit boards. Unfortunately, the capacity of the test batteries were “about 2 orders of magnitude” lower than commercial lithium ion batteries, but the researchers think that some alternative materials could bring the capacity up to practical levels.

Different electrically conductive (Super P, graphene, multiwall carbon nanotubes) and active (lithium titanate, lithium manganese oxide) materials were blended into PLA to determine the relationships among filler loading, conductivity, charge storage capacity, and printability. Up to 30 vol % of solids could be mixed into PLA without degrading its printability, and an 80:20 ratio of conductive to active material maximized the charge storage capacity. The highest capacity was obtained with lithium titanate and graphene nanoplatelets in the anode, and lithium manganese oxide and multiwall carbon nanotubes in the cathode. We demonstrate the use of these novel materials in a fully 3D printed coin cell, as well as 3D printed wearable electronic devices with integrated batteries.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Researchers 3D Print Lithium Ion Battery

Sean Bean is a Hitman 2 Target

Sean Bean has a reputation for dying in films and series he’s in, and IO Interactive decided to capitalize on it. The actor will appear as Hitman 2’s first Elusive Target. Check it out in the trailer below:

Sean Bean stars as Mark Faba in HITMAN 2’s first Elusive Target mission, The Undying. Releasing November 20th, you only have 10 days to take down Faba.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Sean Bean is a Hitman 2 Target

Seasonic FOCUS PLUS Gold 550W Power Supply Review

Small computer power supplies that are entirely modular are the cornerstone of Seasonic’s Focus Plus series. We are reviewing the Gold variant today rated at 550 watts that has a modern design and with hybrid silent fan control with a fluid dynamic bearing fan. Is the smallest PSU in the Focus Plus series making the cut?

Source: [H]ardOCP – Seasonic FOCUS PLUS Gold 550W Power Supply Review

Texas Company Uses Oculus Go in Training Flights

A Texas company called Thrust Vector is using an Oculus Go inside airborn training aircraft to simulate various scenarios. The cofounders say they’ve flown “probably 2 dozen full approaches in full VR, all the way down to about 50 feet above the runway.” The current incarnation of the system uses Unity, Mapbox, and an ADS-B sensor called Stratux to generate the simulation, but the company says they want to use more powerful headsets in the future. Check out a video of the system below:

The idea is that with a “PC-driven VR system such as the Oculus Rift, we can create an endless array of training scenarios; poor weather, equipment failures, even combat scenarios with virtual ground and aerial targets. And unlike a simulator, the trainee will feel every stick input for real. The irony here is, many people using VR flight simulators experience nausea, because they’re seeing movement that their body doesn’t actually feel. Having VR in-flight can actually prevent nausea, because your sight is now in total agreement with your vestibular system.” Nagle added that he believes “FAA approval is usually relegated to things which are permanently mounted in the cockpit. Nonetheless, we look forward to working with the FAA as we refine the technology to make sure we stay within the boundaries of common sense and the regulations. After all, ultimately the goal is to improve safety, not compromise it.”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Texas Company Uses Oculus Go in Training Flights

The Discord Store is Open

Discord launched a beta version of a gaming storefront back in August, but it was limited to 50,000 people in Canada. Now, the Discord Store Beta is open to everyone. While they don’t mention competitors by name, Discord seems to be pitching a more organized approach to shopping than Steam, offering a ” curated selection, editorialized content, and surfacing of social information” as opposed to browsing “endless lists of anime titles.” And, in addition to their store exclusives, Discord is adding a selection of free games for Nitro subscribers.

Discord Nitro now includes a growing library of critically acclaimed games that we think you and your friends should play. Subscribing to Nitro now costs $9.99 a month. As of today, there’s over 60 curated games for you to download and play at a total value of over $1000. We are going to add games at a regular cadence to keep the Nitro library fresh and growing. Games may sometimes leave the Nitro selection (due to our contracts with the developers/publishers expiring without renewal). With our cloud saves, your save data will remain even if games rotate out of our library. We also want an option for those looking to support us but don’t want games. Enter, Nitro Classic. At $4.99/mo, get access to a slew of chat perks like animated avatars, ability to choose your tag (the #0000 next to your username), higher quality screen share, custom emoji anywhere, animated emoji, larger file upload limit (50mb from 8mb), and a badge to show how long you’ve been supporting us.


Source: [H]ardOCP – The Discord Store is Open

Google Responds to Antitrust Charges

Back in July, the European Commission slapped Google with a $5 billion dollar fine for forcing Android handsets makers to include Chrome if they want access to the Play Store. The commission also accused Google of suppressing AOSP and paying large manufacturers to push Google search. The European regulators promised to hit Google with even more fines if they don’t comply. In a blog post, Google finally announced plans to meet the demands.

First, we’re updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers that set out how Android is used to develop smartphones and tablets. Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA). Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA. Android will remain free and open source. Third, we will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome. We’ll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Google Responds to Antitrust Charges

Otoy Uses Gamer GPU Cloud to Render Content

VentureBeat reports that Otoy is using a gamer GPU “cloud” to collaboratively render graphics on the cheap. RNDR harnesses over 14,000 GPUs that would normally be sitting idle in PCs, and connects them using “cloud, blockchain, and cryptocurrency technologies,” The company claims the whole system obtained a combined OctaneBench score of 1.5 million, compared to a score of 37 for a single Amazon EC2 instance with Nvidia Tesla GPUs. The project has already received support from JJ Abrams and Ari Emanuel. Interestingly, Otoy announced a “fusion cloud” rendering project with AMD back in 2009, and this appears to be the fruit of those efforts.

In an email, Urbach said, “In one week, we have amassed more GPU rendering power, from small individual users on the RNDR network, than we have ever been able to offer in the five years since we launched Otoy’s public cloud services. This indicates that our network will only continue to grow and expand, especially once we allow larger mining facilities onto the network, and also offer MESA/MPAA certification guidelines for studio work. The cost and scale of GPU rendering and compute has been turned on its head through the RNDR platform, just 10 years after I first made the case for this with the CEO of AMD on stage at CES 2009. Through RNDR, we now have the capacity to process jobs for holographic rendering (100 times the compute of VR or film rendering) for games and volumetric media (such as for our partnership with Facebook 360).”


Source: [H]ardOCP – Otoy Uses Gamer GPU Cloud to Render Content

1st Sign of the Apocalypse – Youtube Down

Is Youtube down for everyone? Even Is It Down is down with people checking. Dexerto says it is down.

In a very rare occurence, video sharing website has completely gone down, not loading any videos or menus on desktop or mobile versions.

Reports from around the world quickly came in, shared on social media as users complained that they were unable to watch videos on Tuesday evening.

YouTube has not had a major crash of this kind in recent memory, with only small bugs and glitches typically affecting the site’s status.

YouTube is on average the 2nd most visited website in the world, and this is the first major crash of the website in years.

It comes on the same day that Twitter also had a major malfunction, sending out strange spam notifications to users mobile devices.

Source: [H]ardOCP – 1st Sign of the Apocalypse – Youtube Down