OnePlus: Dual Product Lines, Cost of 5G, and Translation Errors

One of the key announcements at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in the past week was around OnePlus: CEO Pete Lau stood on stage and stated that the company would have the first Snapdragon 855 enabled device to market. Due to some special sleuthing, this isn’t the case. OnePlus also expanded on its plans for 5G, as well as what it expects to cost.



Source: AnandTech – OnePlus: Dual Product Lines, Cost of 5G, and Translation Errors

LG Launches 32QK500-W QHD Display: IPS and Freesync for $300

LG has introduced its new entry-level display designed for the mainstream market but supports a number of premium features such as AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate tech. The 32QK500-W relies on an IPS panel and features a larger size and a higher resolution than most monitors in the ~$300 class. 


High-end displays for enthusiasts and gamers evolve at a rather rapid pace with improved and larger models introduced every year. On the other hand, workhorses used for everyday work and play are updated on a much longer cadence. In fact, the most popular LCD models on the market still feature 23.5-inch to 27-inch 8-bit Full-HD panels and do not support any modern technologies. While not being a high-tech breakthrough, LG’s 32QK500-W changes what we come to expect from a budget monitor produced by a renowned brand.



The 32QK500-W relies on an 8-bit + FRC 31.5-inch IPS panel with a 2560×1440 resolution, 300 nits brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 75 Hz refresh rate (with FreeSync), an 8 ms response time, and 178°/178° viewing angles. The monitor can display 1.07 billion colors (a rare feature in this class) and is rated at 72% NTSC CIE1931 (roughly equals to 100% sRGB).



Being aimed at SOHO market, the LG 32QK500-W does not omit gaming features. In addition to already mentioned AMD FreeSync (works only over HDMI), the monitor also supports LG’s Dynamic Action Sync that skips some of the internal image processing to cut down input lag when activated. There is also the Black Stabilizer motion blur reduction tech that makes fast-paced scenes look sharper by inserting a black image between frames (though it remains to be seen how well it is going to work with a 75 Hz panel), and the Crosshair overlay to simplify lives of FPS gamers.


As far as connectivity is concerned, the LG 32QK500-W has one DisplayPort, one Mini DisplayPort, and two HDMI inputs. In addition, the display has a 3.5-mm audio connector for headphones.



Like premium monitors from LG, the 32QK500-W features the company’s stylish Edge-ArcLine stand that in the case of the particular display enables to adjust tilt. Alternatively, the stand can be detached and the LCD mounted to the wall using VESA 100×100 mm mounting holes.





















Specifications of the LG 32QK500-W 31.5-Inch Display
  32QK500-W
Panel 31.5″ IPS
Native Resolution 2560 × 1440
Maximum Refresh Rate 75 Hz
Dynamic Refresh Rate AMD FreeSync
Response Time (Grey-to-Grey) 8 ms
Brightness 300 cd/m²
Contrast 1000:1
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Pixel Pitch 0.2727 × 0.2727 mm
Pixel Density 93 PPI
Color Gamut 99% sRGB (tbc)

72% NTSC CIE1931
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort

1 × Mini DisplayPort

2 × HDMI
Audio 3.5-mm headphone jack
Stand Can adjust tilt
Power Consumption Standby 0.5 W
Typical 46 W
Maximum 50 W

The LG 32QK500-W is currently listed at many of the company’s websites around the world. Considering the fact that the product does not feature any unproven technologies, it is likely that the display will hit the market shortly. The price of the new unit in Japan is estimated to be ¥34,800 ($307) without tax, so it is safe to say that the monitor will retail for $299 in the US.


Related Reading


Sources: LG, PC Watch



Source: AnandTech – LG Launches 32QK500-W QHD Display: IPS and Freesync for 0

Mike Rayfield, General Manager of AMD’s RTG, to Resign by Year’s End

Mike Rayfield, senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group, will leave the company by the end of the month to spend more time with his family. David Wang will head the business unit while the company is looking for a new GM for RTG, which is left without a formal leader for the second time in one year.


Mike Rayfield, who previously led NVIDIA’s Tegra business unit and Micron’s mobile storage business unit, became the business lead of RTG serving as SVP and GM of the group.



“Mike is retiring at the end of the year,” confirmed AMD in an email. “He has made the decision to spend more time with his family and pursue his personal passions. David Wang will be interim lead for Radeon Technologies Group while we finalize search for a new business leader.”


David Wang, a renowned GPU engineer who worked at ATI/AMD from 2000 to 2012, contributing to all GPUs starting from the R300 down to the GCN 1.0, became senior vice president of engineering at RTG under the dual leadership model after Raja Koduri left. He will assume Mike Rayfield’s duties until a replacement is found.



Related Reading


Source: AMD



Source: AnandTech – Mike Rayfield, General Manager of AMD’s RTG, to Resign by Year’s End

Talking Snapdragon: An Interview with Cristano Amon, President of Qualcomm

It has been difficult to move around in 2018 without bumping into someone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845-powered smartphone. The success the company has seen in capturing most of the Android market has been exciting for the executives and helped accelerate a large number of use cases and experiences for users. With 2019 fast looming, and Qualcomm recently announcing both its new Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and a good chunk of its next-generation 5G partnerships, we were able to spend some time with Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm, about recent developments and upcoming opportunities for the company.



Source: AnandTech – Talking Snapdragon: An Interview with Cristano Amon, President of Qualcomm

ASUS Chief Exec Jerry Shen Steps Down

ASUS on Thursday announced the resignation of its long-time CEO, Jerry Shen. The step down follows a major change in the company’s smartphone strategy and precedes the company’s switch to a co-CEO management model. Meanwhile, Mr. Shen will be moving on to lead iFast, an AI+IoT startup, which will be partly funded by ASUS.


Starting from January 1, 2019, ASUS will be headed by two people: SY Hsu, who is currently heading up the company’s PC business, and Samson Hu, who is leading customer care services. The board of directors reportedly hopes that the co-leadership structure will enable the company to better compete against rivals and achieve its goals.


The co-CEOs have completely different skill sets and will therefore bring a unique combination of expertise to the table while avoiding internal competition. Just to put the particular people into context: SY Hsu certainly knows how to build products and how to manage the supply chain, whereas Samson Hu knows how to make these products more appealing to the customer and build competitive services. Considering the potential for disruption in the PC market because of the US-China trade feud, ASUS and other companies need to alter their supply chains and make their products more attractive to buyers because at some points they may have to increase their prices, which may lead to a lower demand.



In addition to the management reorganization, ASUS is shifting its smartphone strategy, as announced in mid-November. From now on, the company will focus on specialized smartphones aimed at gamers and ‘power’ users, as opposed to focusing on mainstream handsets. The company apparently wants to address gamers and other users with unique needs (and currently do not have a lot of choice) with its upcoming smartphones, though ASUS needs to detail its strategy going forward. The company will take a one-time charge of NT$6.2 billion (~$201 million) to cover losses from inventory, various costs, advance royalties, and other expenditures incurred by the strategy shift. The charge will affect the company’s profitability for the year, which will be considerably lower than expected, all of which weighs on Jerry Shen’s tenure with the company.


When it comes to smartphones, ASUS already tried unorthodox approaches to this market: the company released a number of specialized handsets in partnership with Garmin between 2008 and 2010, then it tried to wed a smartphone and a tablet with its PadFone hybrid in 2012 – 2014. With its ZenFone launched in early 2014, ASUS has gained some presence on various markets where its brand has been strong for a long time. However, the company has found itself between a rock and a hard place when the competition between premium brands and new entrants like Xiaomi started to heat up in the recent years.



During Mr. Shen’s tenure as CEO, ASUS has accomplished a number of goals, introduced multiple new product lines (ZenBook, ZenPhone, Transformer, Vivo, etc.), and became Taiwan’s most valuable international brand. While he is usually credited as the father of ultra-affordable Eee PCs back in 2006, he will also be remembered as the man who split ASUS into three companies. Shortly after becoming the CEO of ASUS in 2008, he split the tech giant into three independent companies: ASUS, focused on branded products; Pegatron, focused on contract manufacturing of various electronics; and Unihan, focused on contract manufacturing of various non-PC components.


After 25 years with ASUS, Jerry Shen will lead iFast, a startup developing IoT products featuring AI (an AIoT startup, as ASUS puts it). ASUS intends to buy a 30% stake in the company and allocate NT$10 billion (US$324.22 million) on developing its AIoT projects in the coming years.


Related Reading:


Sources: Business Next, DigiTimes, Engadget, Engadget China, Focus Taiwan


Image Source: Sogi.com.tw



Source: AnandTech – ASUS Chief Exec Jerry Shen Steps Down

ADATA Announces XPG Gammix S11 Pro: SM2262EN, 3D TLC, Up to 3.5 GB/s

ADATA on Thursday introduced its highest-performing SSD to date, featuring sequential read speeds of up to 3.5 GB/s and random read speeds of up to 390K IOPS. The enthusiast-class PCIe 3.0 x4 drive, whose formal launch had been expected for quite a while, is powered by Silicon Motion’s range-topping controller.


The ADATA XPG Gammix S11 Pro is based on Silicon Motion’s SM2262EN controller, which is a seriously revamped version of the SM2262 (eight NAND channels supporting up to 800 MT/s data transfer rates, four ARM Cortex-R5 cores, NVMe 1.3, LDPC ECC, RAID engine, etc.) that operates at higher clocks and features some additional firmware-based optimizations to drive performance up.


SMI officially introduced this controller in mid-2017, but the chip took a long time to see adoption as we’ve only recently seen SSD vendors use it. ADATA is one of the adopters of the SM2262EN that have decided to pair it with proven 64-layer 3D TLC NAND memory in a high-end SSDs. Over time, we expect the controller to be used with other types of flash as well.



The XPG Gammix S11 Pro drives come in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB configurations, all featuring a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. The SSD is outfitted with the company’s aluminum heat spreader to ensure consistent performance (assuming that airflows in the PC case are organized properly).


Speaking of performance, ADATA’s numbers are similar to those published by Silicon Motion: up to 3.5 GB/s sequential read speed and up to 3 GB/s sequential write speed when SLC caching is used (data based on CDM benchmark), as well as up to 390K/380K random read/write 4K IOPS.


Moving on to endurance and reliability of the Gammix S11 Pro SSDs. The new drives are covered with a five-year warranty and are rated for 160 TB, 320 TB, as well as 640 TB to be written, depending on the SKU.





















ADATA XPG Gammix S11 Pro Specifications
Capacity 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB
Model Number AGAMMIXS11P-256GT-C AGAMMIXS11P-512GT-C AGAMMIXS11P-1TT-C
Controller Silicon Motion SM2262EN
NAND Flash IMFT 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Sequential Read 3500 MB/s
Sequential Write 1200 MB/s 2300 MB/s 3000 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 220K IOPS 390K IOPS
Random Write IOPS 290K IOPS 380K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer Yes, capacity unknown
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management DevSleep, Slumber (0.14 W).
Warranty 5 years
MTBF 2,000,000 hours
TBW 160 TB 320 TB 640 TB
Additional Information Link
MSRP $110 $170 $270

ADATA did not disclose when it plans to start sales of the XPG Gammix S11 Pro SSDs, but keeping in mind that competing products are already here, it is in the company’s best interest to start shipments of the drives as soon as possible.


When it comes to pricing, the 256 GB version has an MSRP of $110, the 512 GB SKU carries a price tag of $170, whereas the 1 TB model is set to be priced at $270.



Related Reading:


Source: ADATA



Source: AnandTech – ADATA Announces XPG Gammix S11 Pro: SM2262EN, 3D TLC, Up to 3.5 GB/s

GIGABYTE Launches R161-Series Overclocking Servers: 1U, Core X, Liquid Cooling

GIGABYTE has released its first servers based on overclockable Core X-series processors that offer a higher single-thread performance when compared to regular server CPUs. The new Overclocking Servers R161-series will be just what the doctor ordered for those who need to maximize per core performance and software investments.


GIGABYTE’s R161-series servers support Intel’s Core X-series processors in LGA2066 packaging with up to 18 cores and are based on the Intel X299 chipset. Each R4 socket is outfitted with apparent high quality 11-phase VRM comprising of solid-state capacitors to ensure high overclocking potential and long-term stability and reliability.


The machines are outfitted with eight DIMM slots that support up to 128 GB of overclocked DDR4 memory, two M.2-2280 slots for PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, two U.2. connectors for 2.5-inch PCIe SSDs, four SATA connectors for 2.5-inch storage devices (alternatively, an SAS add/on card can be used for SAS SSDs/HDDs), and two PCIe 3.0 x16 low-profile slots (connected to the CPU through a PCIe switch and requiring a riser car) for SSDs, network controllers or other components.



As for I/O capabilities, the servers feature two GbE ports controlled by the Intel I350-AM2 silicon, one MLAN port (for the Aspeed AST2500 BMC), four USB 3.0 connectors, a D-Sub VGA output, and an RS-232/COM port. The devices can be optionally outfitted with GIGABYTE’s CTM000 TPM2.0 module.



GIGABYTE’s lineup of Overclocking Servers consists of two R161 machines powered by the same MR11-LC0 motherboard. Designed for extreme overclocking, the R161-R12 comes equipped with a liquid cooling system for the CPU featuring 11 high-speed fans (at 23,000 – 25,000 RPM) and a redundant 1.1 kW PSU. The manufacturer claims that the Core i9-7980XE can be overclocked all the way to 4.6 GHz using said machine. Meanwhile, the more moderate R161-R13 server is outfitted with air cooling comprising of eight high-speed fans (at 23,000 RPM) as well as an 850 W power supply.



Servers running overclocked CPUs are not common, but they can be used in a wide variety of use-cases. Furthermore, both AMD and Intel release their EPYC and Xeon processors with reduced core counts running at higher clocks and featuring larger per-core caches to maximize their single-thread performance.


High ST performance is important for a variety of applications, including HPC, electronic design automation, high-frequency trading, and other. Furthermore, since many applications (e.g., Windows Server, SQL Server, etc.) are licensed on per-core basis, high-frequency CPUs enable operators to maximize their performance and software investment per core. This is particularly important for parties that can afford using more machines and do not need to maximize density of their CPU and memory.


GIGABYTE’s R161-series Overclocking Servers are already listed and are available to select customers of the company. Prices are unknown.




















GIGABYTE’s Overclocking Servers R161 Series
  R161-R12 R161-R13
CPU Intel Core X, LGA2066
Memory 8 DDR4 DIMM slots

Up to 128 GB of DDR4-3200+ per box
Graphics/Management Aspeed AST2500
Storage Bays 6 × hot-swappable 2.5″ bays
Drives 2 × U.2 + 4 × SATA/SAS hot-swappable HDD/SSD
SAS add-on SAS card
RAID Intel RAID 0/1/10/5
M.2 2 × M.2-2280 slots
Ethernet 2 × Intel I350-AM2 GbE

1 × GbE management LAN port
Expansion Slots 2 × low-profile PCIe 3.0 x16 slots via CRS1024 riser card
Internal I/O 3 × Power supply connectors

5 × SlimSAS connectors

2 × fan headers

1 × USB 3.0 header

1 × TPM header

1 × VROC connector

1 × Front panel header

1 × HDD back plane board header

1 × IPMB connector

1 × Clear CMOS jumper

1 × BIOS recovery jumper
Front I/O 2 × USB 3.0

LEDs, buttons
Rear I/O 2 × USB 3.0

1 × VGA

1 × COM (RJ45 type)

2 × GbE

1 × MLAN
Cooling Liquid-cooling system

1 × 40-mm fans at 23,000 ~ 25,000 rpm
8 × 40-mm fans at 23,000 rpm
PSU 2 × 1100W redundant PSUs

80 PLUS Platinum
1 × 850W PSU

80 PLUS Platinum
System management Aspeed AST2500 management controller

Avocent MergePoint IPMI 2.0 web interface:

Network settings

Network security settings

Hardware information

Users control

Services settings

IPMI settings

Sessions control

LDAP settings

Power control

Fan profiles

Voltages, fans and temperatures monitoring

System event log

Events management (platform events, trap settings, email settings)

Serial Over LAN

vKVM & vMedia (HTML5)


Related Reading:


Source: GIGABYTE (via Hermitage Akihabara)




Source: AnandTech – GIGABYTE Launches R161-Series Overclocking Servers: 1U, Core X, Liquid Cooling

EKWB Reveals Velocity: A Water Block for Custom LCS with RGB Lighting

Custom liquid cooling systems are built by hardcore enthusiasts who want to get absolutely no-compromise style and performance. Meanwhile, one of the trendiest features for enthusiasts introduced in the recent years, addressable and customizable RGB lighting, has so far only been supported by factory-built all-in-one liquid coolers. This week EKWB changed this by introducing its EK-Velocity, its first CPU water blocks with RGB LEDs.


EKWB’s EK-Velocity D-RGB CPU water blocks feature the company’s brand-new internal design that relies on a nickel-plated electrolytic copper cold plate covered with black acetal or transparent plexiglass. Besides, the water blocks use a reinforced mounting bracket with smaller screws for additional style.



The EK-Velocity D-RGB are outfitted with 24 LEDs that can be programmed using software from leading motherboard makers (ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Lights, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and ASRock Polychrome Sync) and is compatible external digital RGB controllers featuring a 3-pin LED connector.



The manufacturer will offer versions of EK-Velocity D-RGB compatible with AMD’s AM4 as well as Intel’s LGA115x and LGA2011/2066 processors/platforms.



EKWB’s Velocity D-RGB water blocks are now available at €95 – €100 directly from the company and will hit shelves of various retailers across the world in the coming days and weeks, depending on the market.



Related Reading:


Source: EKWB



Source: AnandTech – EKWB Reveals Velocity: A Water Block for Custom LCS with RGB Lighting

IO Data Announces M4K651XDB: A 4K 64.5-Inch Display with HDR10

As the world’s largest display suppliers are primarily focusing on popular sizes of LCDs, such as 27 or 32 inches, the smaller players tend to address and fulfil the demands of smaller niche markets.


IO Data, a Japanese supplier of monitors, this week formally announced its first 64.5-inch display. The M4K651XDB is aimed at a variety of applications, including desktop PCs, game consoles, and digital signage.


The IO Data M4K651XDB is based on a 64.5-inch ADS panel with a resolution of 3840×2160, 400 nits brightness, 1200:1 contrast ratio, 60 Hz refresh rate, 178° viewing angles, and a low 5-8 ms response time.


ADS panels are not used widely, but IO Data claims that its monitor can reproduce 1.07 billion colors (with 10-bit color input), so we are most probably dealing with an IPS-class panel with rather decent capabilities. Meanwhile, the manufacturer does not make mention of the color gamuts that the LCD supports. Given the fact that this is a PC monitor, sRGB support is a must, though there are no official claims about that.



The key selling feature of the M4K651XDB display is naturally its size that is 10 inches larger compared to 55-inch LCDs found in Japan and some other countries. The large dimension is also a double-edged sword for the monitor, because it has a rather large 0.3718 mm2 pixel area resulting in a pixel density of only 68.31 PPI, which is similar to that of 31.5-inch Full-HD displays that have never gained popularity. Obviously, IO Data’s display will hardly be a good choice for people looking for smooth fonts and pixel-level accuracy.


One of the notable features that the M4K651XDB has is an integrated processor that can upconvert SD and HD content to the LCD’s native Ultra-HD resolution without substantial blurring. The same chip is also allegedly responsible for the monitor’s Enhanced Color function that can improve colour saturation of an image. Finally, the display can also automatically adjust brightness according to environmental conditions, so the device is probably equipped with an ambient light sensor.


Like many modern monitors, IO Data’s M4K651XDB supports HDR10 transport, though the quality of the HDR experience is something that remains to be seen give the display’s peak brightness of only 400 nits. Meanwhile, despite being positioned as a solution for gaming, the LCD does not support any dynamic refresh rate technologies.



Moving on to audio capabilities of the monitor. The M4K651XDB is outfitted with two 10 W stereo speakers, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and an optical connector.


As for general connectivity, the LCD features one DisplayPort 1.2 input, one HDMI 2.0 input, as well as two HDMI 1.4 inputs. The HDMI ports fully support CEC, so the remote bundled with the display can control various consumer electronics devices and therefore the 64.5-inch beast can be used as a regular TV once attached to a BD player or an STB.


Unfortunately, the only USB connector on the monitor seems to be able to serve as a maintenance port for firmware updates as it cannot serve as USB hub, and likely lacks any OS or hardware that would be capable of playback of media off external storage.





















IO Data’s 64.5-Inch UHD Display
  M4K651XDB
Panel 64.5″ ADS
Native Resolution 3840×2160
Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Response Time 5 – 8 ms
Brightness 400 cd/m²
Contrast 1200:1
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Pixel Pitch 0.3718 mm2
Pixel Density 68.31 ppi
Color Gamut 1.07 billion
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2

1 × HDMI 2.0

2 × HDMI 1.4
Outputs 3.5 mm headphone output

SPDIF
USB Hub None
Audio 10 W × 2
Power Consumption (idle/active) Idle: 0.5 W

Typical: 89.4 W

Max: 225 W
Modes Web, Photo, Movies, etc.
Launch Price ¥168,000 ($1,483)

IO Data’s M4K651XDB will ship in January at an MSRP of ¥168,000 ($1,483) without taxes. Given the features of the product, this price seems quite high. In the meantime, the manufacturer covers the display with a five-year warranty and guarantees that the backlight will operate for 30,000 hours, which equals to ~3.42 years of continuous operation (Yes that is a weird selling point).


Related Reading:


Source: IO Data (via Hermitage Akihabara)



Source: AnandTech – IO Data Announces M4K651XDB: A 4K 64.5-Inch Display with HDR10

SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I 400GB Memory Card Capsule Review

Almost all content capture devices employ memory cards (flash-based removable media) for storage. Hand-held consoles and many other computing systems (PCs as well as smartphones) also employ them for augmenting the available storage capacity. Last year, we saw the introduction of high-capacity memory cards (more than 256GB) in the retail market. We take a detailed look at one of the first such cards today – the SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I 400GB.



Source: AnandTech – SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I 400GB Memory Card Capsule Review

Intel Adds B365 Chipset to Lineup: The Return of 22nm

Intel has quietly added a new chipset that is made using the company’s 22 nm fabrication process to its 300-series lineup. As the name suggests, the Intel B365 PCH for desktop PCs has a similar positioning with the company’s B360 chipset, but the two products have many differences apart from their manufacturing technologies. Meanwhile, the launch of a 22 nm product is expected to free up some capacity for 14 nm products, such as CPUs


Intel’s B365 PCH belongs to the 300-series chipsets, so it has to support Intel’s latest processors and select platform features. At the same time, the chip is made using Intel’s 22 nm fabrication process and therefore formally belongs to the Kaby Lake family. In fact, key specs of the B365 resemble those of the H270 with some minor differences. Therefore, we might be dealing with a renamed and re-certified silicon here, and although Intel has not confirmed this, there are some unofficial indicators about the rename.


The new B365 chipset supports 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes, up from 12 supported by the B360. Furthermore, the B365 PCH also supports hardware RAID for PCIe and SATA storage devices, something that the B360 lacks.


Meanwhile, the B365 does not feature an integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller and does not support CNVi Wi-Fi + BT companion RF modules (such as the Wireless-AC 9560 that supports up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 160 MHz channels), essentially losing two major advantages that Intel’s 300-series platforms have over predecessors. To enable USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds, motherboard makers will have to install standalone controllers, which will consume PCIe lanes and increase BOM costs of motherboards as well as PCs.






















Intel’s 300-series PCH
  Z370 H370 Q370 B365 B360 H310
Launch Oct ’17 Apr ’18 Apr ’18 Dec ’18 Apr ’18 Apr ’18
Market Consumer

Consumer

Corporate


Corporate
Consumer

Corporate
Consumer

ME Firmware 11 12 11 12
HSIO Lanes   30 24 14
Total USB   14 12 10
Max USB 3.1 G2 4 6 0 4 0
Max USB 3.1 G1 10 8 6 4
SATA 6 Gbps 6 4
PCH PCIe 3.0 Lanes 24 20 24 20 12
PCH PCIe 2.0 Lanes 6
Max RST PCIe Storage 3 2 3 2 (?) 1 0
RAID PCIe 0, 1, 5
SATA 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Optane Y N
Integrated 802.11ac N Y N Y Y
Intel Smart Sound Y N
Intel vPro N Y N
TDP 6 W

The B365 is not the first Intel 300-series chipset to be made using the company’s 22 nm process technology. Earlier this year the company quietly launched its H310C, which is allegedly fabbed using the same tech.


By moving production of chipsets to an older node Intel frees up its 14 nm capacities for higher-margin products, such as Intel Core and Intel Xeon CPUs. Given the fact that the company is struggling to meet demand, it is clearly logical for Intel to use older process nodes for chipsets that are rather simple and barely make use of any of the significant advantages of the latest nodes.


Related Reading:


Source: Intel (via Tom’s Hardware)



Source: AnandTech – Intel Adds B365 Chipset to Lineup: The Return of 22nm

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition: Streaming for Videos, Games, & VR

As 2018 winds down, once again it’s time for AMD’s annual major feature update for their graphics drivers, Radeon Software. Going by the unassuming title of ‘Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition’, today’s release is more of an evolution on last year’s Adrenalin Edition, bringing improvements and further integrations with AMD Link and Radeon Overlay. The headlining feature is the new capability to game stream to a mobile device or VR headset, powered by ReLive and AMD Link. Additionally, Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 also brings WattMan overclocking/undervolting profile presets, WattMan controls in AMD Link and Radeon Overlay, ReLive improvements for streamers, and ‘Radeon Advisors’, which are new game/settings optimization tools for entry-level users.



Source: AnandTech – AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition: Streaming for Videos, Games, & VR

MediaTek Announces New Premium Helio P90 SoC

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about MediaTek – the Helio P60 was the last release in the more visible “premium” range that the company now focuses on. The P70 released later this year seemingly was the same P60 chipset binned at a higher clock-speed. With new generation manufacturing processes around the corner, as well as Arm’s new Cortex IP cores, I’ve been expecting a new release from MediaTek for a while now.


Today’s announcement is about the new Helio P90: The new chipset is quite a surprise as it isn’t exactly what I had expected. The P90 naming seemingly positions the chipset at the very high-end of the “P-series”, yet its specifications aren’t exactly matching this positioning.


Let’s start on the specifications of the P90:












MediaTek Current P-Series
SoC Helio P90 Helio P60/P70
CPU 2x Cortex A75 @ 2.2GHz

6x Cortex A55 @ 2.0GHz
4x Cortex A73 @ 2.0/2.1GHz

4x Cortex A53 @ 2.0GHz
GPU PowerVR GM 9446 @ 970MHz Mali G72MP3 @ 800/900MHz
APU / NPU / AI Proc. / Neural IP 2x +140GMACs

(Tensilica DSP)


+ In-house Inference Engine

1127GMACs total

2x 140GMACs

(Tensilica DSP)
Memory
2x 16bit LPDDR4X @ 1866MHz
1x 32bit LPDDR3 @ 933MHz


2x 16bit LPDDR4X @ 1800MHz

ISP/Camera 1x 48MP or 2x 24+16MP 1x 32MP or 2x 20+16MP
Encode/

Decode
2160p? H.264 & HEVC 2160p30 H.264 & HEVC
Integrated Modem Category 12/13


DL = 600Mbps

3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM, 4×4 MIMO


UL = 150Mbps

2x20MHz CA,64-QAM

Category 7/13


DL = 300Mbps

3x20MHz CA, 64-QAM


UL = 150Mbps

2x20MHz CA,64-QAM

Mfc. Process 12FFC 12FFC

At the heart, the new P90 is now MediaTek’s first Arm DynamIQ CPU configured SoC. The Arm Cortex A73 and A53 cores of the P60 and P70 have been replaced by the newer generation Cortex A75 and Cortex A55 cores. The A75 cores are clocked in at 2.2GHz, while the A55 cores come at a similar 2.0GHz clock as its predecessors.


What is very surprising here for MediaTek is the core-count for each core type: MediaTek has moved on from a 4+4 configuration to a 2+6 configuration, mimicking Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 670 and 710 chips. In terms of multi-threaded performance this should represent a downgrade over the P60/70, even though the new A75 cores should represent a good boost over the A73 cores. MediaTek talks about including a “large L3” in the new chipset, however doesn’t disclose its exact size, neither talks about the L2 configurations of the CPU cores.


On the GPU side, we see a big shift for MediaTek as for the first time in a long time we see the company putting aside Arm Mali GPU in favour of Imaginations new PowerVR GM 9446 GPU running at up to 970 MHz. This is Imagination’s biggest 9XM configuration and comes with 2 USCs for a fillrate throughput of 8 pixels per clock as well as a total compute throughput of 128 FLOPS/clock. To put this into perspective, this is roughly over double the fillrate of the P60’s Mali G72MP3 GPU and represents either a 77% increase in FMADD throughput, or an 18% increase in FLOPS/clock depending on if you also count FADD units.


On the machine inferencing side, MediaTek makes a big jump in terms of computational performance: Here we still see continued use of Tensilica’s DSP in the P90, the unit that was able to also handle machine learning inferencing workloads on the P60 and P70. This unit continues to be used in the P90, but on top of this MediaTek now for the first time integrates a dedicated inference engine that was designed in-house. MediaTek doesn’t break the figure down, but says the total performance of the units total 1127 GMACs. In the more conventional counting methods, a MAC is equivalent to two OPS, so in other words the P90 should be able to deliver about 2.2TOPs. It’s to be noted that the new inferencing engine seems to be dedicated for FP16 operations as the INT8 performance of the SoC is quoted to having been increased by only 10-20% – meaning such operations are still relegated to the Tensilica IP.



In terms of bandwidth, MediaTek still remains quite conservative in this regard as the P90 continues to still only feature a 32-bit wide memory controller in the form 2x 16b LPDDR4X channels running at up to 1866MHz, resulting in a theoretical bandwidth of 14.92GB/s.


Connectivity wise, we integrated has seen an upgrade from Category 7 to Category 12, doubling downstream peak download speeds to up to 600Mbps with the help of new 256QAM and 4×4 MIMO.


Lastly, imaging pipelines as well as the ISP are said to have seen big upgrades as the new chipset now offers multi-frame noise reduction, now supports larger sensors up to 48MP in single-camera mode or 24+16MP in dual operation along with acceleration for dual-sensor depth sensing and new software stacks making use of the new inferencing hardware, improving features such as edge detection.


So overall the MediaTek P90 looks to be a healthy upgrade in all regards- however it’s still very much a conservative SoC. Here MediaTek still lags behind in terms of integrating the newest IPs such as Arm’s new Cortex A76 GPU for example. The SoC is also manufactured on TSMC’s 12FFC process node – which does represent a disadvantage to MediaTek’s direct competition that the P90 positions itself against: the Snapdragon 670, 710 and even the newer 675. Because MediaTek markets the P90 this high up the P-series, I have to wonder if that we’ll soon maybe see a return of an X-series SoC featuring the higher specifications for a 7nm chipset next year.


The Helio P90 is said to be available to partners and we’ll be seeing first commercial devices announces towards the end of Q1 2019.



Source: AnandTech – MediaTek Announces New Premium Helio P90 SoC

Implementing 5G in the UK: EE Trial Sites and First Cities

As a Brit, having one of our local companies get on stage at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit and talk about the deployment in the UK was certainly an interesting twist in the proceedings. Fotis Karonis, The BT/EE Group Executive Advisor on 5G, presented a list of the first cities in the UK to get 5G as well as the second wave, but before this we also got a peak at the first 5G trial sites in London.



Source: AnandTech – Implementing 5G in the UK: EE Trial Sites and First Cities

Samsung’s 5G Smartphone Prototype: Don’t Mention The Notch

In the Verizon 5G demo area at Qualcomm’s recent Snapdragon tech summit, there was a station that was streaming 4K video through a 5G smartphone. That device was a Samsung prototype, and it was kept very hush-hush. They were serious: a completely dark screen and a thick case so none of the discernable details could ‘leak’.



Source: AnandTech – Samsung’s 5G Smartphone Prototype: Don’t Mention The Notch

ADATA Unveils Ultra-Compact UE700 Pro External Flash Drives: Up to 360 MB/s

ADATA has released a new lineup of USB flash drives that combines compact dimensions, high capacity, and high performance (in case of high-end models). The UE700 Pro drives come in a metallic chassis and are aimed at those who always carry a flash drive and need a sturdy enclosure. Meanwhile, the product is USB 3.0 Type-A only and will need an adapter to work with modern laptops.


The ADATA UE700 Pro flash drives come in 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB configurations. The range-topping 256 GB model features read and write speeds of respectively up to 360 MB/s and 180 MB/s, allowing it to be amongst the fastest USB 3.0 flash drives ever released.


ADATA does not disclose which controller or flash memory it uses for its UE700 Pro, but considering how fast the drive is, it is logical to assume that the company installs 3D NAND with a relatively high I/O speed.



The UE700 Pro drives come in a brushed aluminum enclosure that is 7 mm thick, 63 mm long, and weighs 11 grams. This is hardly the most compact chassis around, but the positive of relatively larger flash drive is that it is harder to lose. The USB Type-A connector of the drive can be slided in and out in a bid to protect it while carrying the device around.



ADATA already lists the new UE700 Pro flash drives on its website, so expect them to hit various markets in the coming weeks. The company has not announced pricing, but expect the lower-capacity models to fall in the same cost range as competitor offerings featuring similar capacity and performance, whereas the 256 GB SKU will carry a premium price tag due to its speeds and increased capacity.


Related Reading:


Source: ADATA



Source: AnandTech – ADATA Unveils Ultra-Compact UE700 Pro External Flash Drives: Up to 360 MB/s

Dell Shareholders Vote to Make Company Public Again

Dell’s shareholders on Tuesday voted to make the company public after five years of being a private company. The decision is expected to simplify the raising capital and to allow Dell to pursue stock-based acquisitions, which in turn will help the company to grow further by gaining IP and expertise it needs. In addition, by going public Dell is going to gain mid and long-term institutional investors, reducing pressure on the management. Dell’s shares will return to New York Stock Exchange in late December.


A $23.9 Billion Deal


In a bid to become a public company, Dell needs to unify all of its assets first. To do so, the company needs to acquire all of the tracking stock of subsidiary VMWare (DVMT), a company that it controls following the acquisition of EMC in 2015. On Tuesday the majority of investors voted for the deal, under which Dell will acquire the stock at $120 per share. The transaction will cost Dell $23.9 billion, which will be paid in cash and Dell stock. The cash part will be financed by Dell and a special dividend by VMWare. To a large degree, Dell will essentially need to buy back stock of the subsidiary it controls. In turn, this will allow Dell to become a publicly traded company without an IPO because VMWare is essentially a public trading company.


There is a rationale behind Dell’s moves. In 2013 in a bid to transform itself from a PC maker to a large high-tech company akin to IBM or HP, the company went private in order to break free from conservative institutional investors who are first and foremost focused on the balance sheet. This gave Dell the freedom it needed to reorganize internally and purchase the necessary outside talent and firms.


After the acquisition of EMC and VMWare, Dell became a leading supplier of PCs, servers, storage, software, cloud services, and so on. This has changed Dell’s position in the market substantially, and the company’s hope is that with its new busienss focus, traditional long-term investors will now consider Dell differently than back in 2013. This despite its $52.7 billion debt leftover from its acquisition of EMC for $67 billion three years ago. Meanwhile, the company still needs money to acquire smaller players to stay relevant in the long term.


Always Changing


Dell is not new to transformations. Originally started as a private PC workshop in a dorm room in 1984, Dell began to expand globally by the late eighties. The company was among the first to adopt online sales of built-to-order PCs in the mid-1990s and was rapidly gaining market share till mid-2000s despite economic turmoil of the late nineties and dot-com crash in the early-2000s. In the process the company has outlived numerous rivals, including Compaq, Gateway, IBM’s PC business unit, Packard Bell and many others, who were acquired or forced to leave the market. For a number of years Dell was the No. 1 PC maker in the world. Around the time, Dell also began to sell its own servers, televisions, PDAs, printers, and other products expanding beyond desktops and laptops.


Because of commoditization of the PC market, Dell’s direct sales model ceased to thrive starting from mid-2000s as many consumers preferred to buy laptops from retailers, which mostly carried PCs from Dell’s rivals. In a bid to become competitive again, Dell had to close down its manufacturing facilities around the world, including the U.S. and start relying on contract makers of electronics, just like other PC makers, in 2008 – 2009. Meanwhile, the company never returned to the top spot on the PC market, partly because it was not lucrative enough and partly since Dell wanted to lessen its reliance on PC business.


In a bid to renovate the company once again, Michael Dell decided to make it private in 2013 and successfully did so later that year with the help of Silver Lake Partners, Microsoft, Blackstone Group, Carl Icahn, and others. While being private, Dell acquired EMC and VMware and transformed itself internally in a bid to become a vertically integrated company that provides a variety of devices and services. As ironically as it might seem, in a bid to continue its transformation, Dell needs to become public once again, which is exactly what it is doing.


Dell’s shares will reappear at NYSE under the ticker “DELL” on December 28, 2018.


Related Reading:


Sources: Dell, Bloomberg, Statesman, Reuters



Source: AnandTech – Dell Shareholders Vote to Make Company Public Again

Intel's Architecture Day 2018: The Future of Core, Intel GPUs, 10nm, and Hybrid x86

It has been hard to miss the fact that Intel has been vacuuming up a lot of industry talent, which brings with them a lot of experience. Renduchintala, Koduri, Keller, Hook, and Carvill, are just to name a few. This new crew has decided to break Intel out of its shell for the first time in a while, holding the first in a new tradition of Intel Architecture Days.

Through the five hours of presentations, Intel lifted the lid on the CPU core roadmaps through 2021, the next generation of integrated graphics, the future of Intel’s graphics business, new chips built on 3D packaging technologies, and even parts of the microarchitecture for the 2019 consumer processors. In other words, it’s many of the things we’ve been missing out on for years. And now that Intel is once again holding these kinds of disclosures, there’s a lot to dig in to.



Source: AnandTech – Intel’s Architecture Day 2018: The Future of Core, Intel GPUs, 10nm, and Hybrid x86

Snapdragon 855: 802.11ax-Ready / Wi-Fi 6 Demonstrations

While the headline features of the new Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform might be the 5G connectivity, or the Cat 24 LTE modem, or the new CPU/GPU combination, further down the list is the fact that the S855 chip is also 802.11ax-ready. Under the new branding, this is ‘Wi-Fi 6’. Qualcomm had a demo to show it in action at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit.



Source: AnandTech – Snapdragon 855: 802.11ax-Ready / Wi-Fi 6 Demonstrations

Greenliant Launches EnduroSLC SSDs with Up to 250K P/E Cycles

Greenliant, a developer of special-purpose NAND-flash storage devices, this week introduced its new lineup of SSDs featuring ultra-high endurance. The NANDrive SSDs use the company’s proprietary EnduroSLC technology that is enabled by its in-house controllers and are aimed at write-intensive industrial applications.


Greenliant’s NANDrive SSDs featuring EnduroSLC offer endurance of 50K, 100K, and 250K per-cell program/erase (P/E) cycles, which is well beyond everything offered by “conventional” NAND flash memory manufactured today (SLC is typically rated for ~100K, MLC ~10k, and TLC ~3k).


Right now, the only other storage solutions from Greenliant that offer 250K P/E cycles are the GLS85VM eMMC 5.1 drives featuring capacities of 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32GB as well as sequential performance of up to 185 MB/s read speeds and up to 140 MB/s write speeds in HS400 mode. The drives are designed to operate at industrial temperatures between -40°C and +85°C, so they can address virtually any type of application.


Typically, SLC NAND is rated for 100K P/E cycles, but Micron and Sun introduced SLC NAND rated for a million of P/E cycles almost exactly 10 years ago. Companies like Samsung and Toshiba these days offer enterprise-grade Z-NAND and XL-Flash memory that is designed to physically withstand tens of thousands of P/E cycles while offering high performance.


Greenliant does not make its own memory dies, so the EnduroSLC tech allegedly uses enterprise-grade NAND chips produced by an unnamed manufacturer. The company does not disclose a lot of information about its technologies, but as far as we can tell, Greenliant uses a lot redundant raw NAND memory along with a special in-house-designed controller supporting an elaborate feature set and sophisticated algorithms.


Greenliant’s GLS85VM eMMC 5.1 NANDrive SSDs with endurance of 50K, 100K, and 250K P/E cycles are currently available to select customers with select product engagements.


Related Reading:


Source: Greenliant



Source: AnandTech – Greenliant Launches EnduroSLC SSDs with Up to 250K P/E Cycles