MojoKid writes: Samsung just wrapped up an event at the IFA expo in Berlin, where the company unveiled two new Gear S3 branded smartwatches. The new Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier leverage many of the design elements from last-year's Gear S2 — like their Tizen OS, rotating control dial, round display, and fast wireless charging. However, other aspects of the Gear S3 have received significant upgrades. Although they are internally similar, there are a few external differences between the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier. The Gear S3 Classic is the sleeker, more streamlined version of the two. The Classic has a polished finish, with round buttons at the 2 and 4 o'clock positions and no addition protrusions on its chassis. The Gear S3 Frontier is more rugged and has a darker, brushed finish, with flat, rectangular textured buttons and protrusions on either side of the body to shield the buttons from accidental presses. Both the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier are also outfitted with Gorilla Glass SR to protect their circular, Super AMOLED displays, and they're both compatible with industry standard 22mm watch bands too. They are also IP68 rated, so they're able to withstand dust and dirt and water resistant for up to 30 minutes under 1.5 meters of water. Depending on how heavily these devices are used, Samsung claims they can last roughly 3 – 4 days on a single charge. They also have support for NFC (compatible with Samsung Pay), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and have built-in heart rate monitors, altimeter/barometer, and GPS as well.
MojoKid writes: Intel is readying a new family of processors, based on its next-gen Kaby Lake microarchitecture, that will be the foundation of the company's upcoming 7th Generation Core processors. Although Kaby Lake marks a departure from Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence, there have been some tweaks made to its 14nm manufacturing process (called 14nm+) that have resulted in significant gains in performance, based on clock speed boosts and other optimizations. In addition, Intel has incorporated a new multimedia engine into Kaby Lake that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding. Skylake could handle 1080p HEVC transcoding, but it didn't accelerate 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding or VP9 decode and had to assist with CPU resources. The new multimedia engine gives Kaby Lake the ability to handle up to eight 4Kp30 streams and it can decode HEVC 4Kp60 real-time content at up to 120Mbps. The engine can also now offload 4Kp30 real-time encoding in a dedicated fixed-function engine. Finally, Intel has made some improvements to their Speed Shift technology, which now takes the processor out of low power states to maximum frequency in 15 milliseconds. Clock speed boosts across Core i and Core m 7th gen series processors of 400 — 500 MHz, in combination with Speed Shift optimizations, result in what Intel claims are 12 — 19 percent performance gains in the same power envelope as its previous generation Skylake series, and even more power efficient video processing performance.
MojoKid writes: A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background. Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. The scam starts with a pop-up labeled as a critical update from Microsoft. Once a user decides to apply the fake update, it extracts files and executes an embedded program called WindowsUpdate.exe. As with other EDA2 ransomware, Fantom generates a random AES-128 key, encrypts it using RSA, and then uploads it to the culprit. From there, Fantom targets specific file extensions and encrypts those files using AES-128 encryption. Users affected by this are instructed to email the culprit for payment instructions. It's not clear how much it costs to decrypt the files or if the person responsible even follows through once payment is received.
MojoKid writes: Intel launched a handful of new SSD products today that cover a broad spectrum of applications and employ 3D NAND technology. The SSD 600p Series is offered in four capacities ranging from 128GB, to 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. The drivers are targeted at consumer desktops and notebooks and are available in the M.2 form-factor. The entry-level 128GB model offers sequential reads and writes of up to 770 MB/sec and 450 MB/sec respectively. At higher densities, the multi-channel 1TB model offers sequential reads and writes that jump to 1,800 MB/sec and 560 MB/sec respectively. The 128GB SSD 600p weighs in at $69, while the 1TB model is priced at $359, or about.36 per GiB. For the data center, Intel has also introduced the DC P3520 and DC S3520 Series SSDs in 2.5-inch and PCIe half-height card form-factors. Available in 450GB to 2TB capacities, the range-topping 2TB model offers random reads/writes of 1,700 MB/sec and 1,350 MB/sec respectively. Finally, Intel launched the SSD E 6000p (PCIe M.2) and SSD E 5420s Series (SATA). The former supports Core vPro processors and is target at point-of-sale systems and digital signage. The latter is aimed at helping customers ease the transition from HDDs to SSDs in IoT applications.
MojoKid writes: Intel unveiled a number of new product innovations out at IDF last week, but the company also stuck to its core product march by teasing its next gen Core series processor. Kaby Lake is the follow-up product to current, 6th Generation Skylake-based Core processors. With Kaby Lake, Intel is adding native support for USB 3.1 Gen 2, along with a more powerful graphics architecture for improved 3D performance and 4K video processing. Kaby Lake will also bring with it native HDCP 2.2 support and hardware acceleration for HEVC Main10/10-bit and VP9 10-bit video decoding. To drive some of those points home, Intel showed off Overwatch running on a next-gen Dell XPS 13 built around a 7th Gen ULV Core i5 processor, in addition to a HP notebook smoothly playing back 4K HDR video. Kaby Lake 7th Generation Core-based products should start arriving to market in the fall.
MojoKid writes: AMD has been talking about the claimed 40% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) improvement of its forthcoming Zen processor versus the company's existing Excavator core for ages. Zen's initial availability is slated for late this year, with lager-scale roll-out planned for early 2017. However, last night, at a private press event in San Francisco, AMD unveiled a lot more details on their Zen processor architecture. AMD claims to have achieved that 40 percent IPC uplift with a newly-designed, higher-performance branch prediction and a micro-op cache for more efficient issuing of operations. The instruction schedule windows have been increased by 75% and issue-width and execution resources have been increased by 50%. The end result of these changes is higher single-threaded performance, through better instruction level parallelism. Zen's pre-fetcher is also vastly improved. There is 8MB of shared L3 cache on board now, a unified L2 cache for both instruction and data, and separate, low-latency L1 instruction and data caches. The new archicture offers up to 5x the cache bandwidth to the cores versus previous-gen offerings. However, after all the specsmanship was out of the way, AMD actually showcased a benchmark run of an 8-core Zen Summit Ridge procesor versus Intel's Broadwell-E 8-core chip, both running at 3GHz and processing a Blender rending workload. In the demo, the 8-core Zen CPU actually outpaced Intel's chip by a hair. Blender may have been chosen for a reason but this early benchmark demo looks impressive for AMD and its forthcoming Zen architecture.
MojoKid writes: Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich took to the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco today kick off this year's Intel Developers Forum. Kyrzanich unveiled a number of new projects and products including a product code named "Project Alloy." The device is an un-tethered, merged reality Head Mounted Device (HMD) that combines compute, graphics, multiple RealSense modules, various sensors, and batteries into a self-contained headset that offers a full six degrees of freedom. Unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Project Alloy does not need to be wired to a PC or other device and it does not require externally mounted sensors to define a virtual space. Instead, it uses RealSense cameras to map the actual physical world you're in while wearing the HMD. The RealSense cameras also allow the device to bring real-world objects into the virtual world, or vice versa. The cameras and sensors used in Project Alloy offer full depth sensing, so obstacles can be mapped, and people and objects within camera range – like your hand, for example — can be brought into the virtual world and accurately tracked. During a live, on-stage demo performed by Intel's Craig Raymond, Craig's hand was tracked and all five digits, complete with accurate bones and joint locations, were brought into the the VR/AR experience. Project Alloy will be supported by Microsoft's Windows Holographics Shell framework.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's new Pascal core graphics architecture is being driven throughout the company's entire product portfolio, as is typically the case. Today, NVIDIA brings Pascal to notebooks with the introduction of the NVIDIA Mobile GeForce GTX 10-Series. What's interesting is that the first laptop-targeted GPUs are actually quite similar to their desktop counterparts. In fact, all three of the Mobile GeForce GTX 10-Series graphics processors NVIDIA is announcing today come sans the traditional "M" tacked on the end of their model numbers. As it turns out, the migration to a 16nm manufacturing process with Pascal has been kind to NVIDIA and the Mobile GeForce GTX 1080 and Mobile GeForce GTX 1060 have nearly identical specs to their desktop counterparts, from CUDA core counts, to boost, and memory clock speeds. However, the Mobile GeForce GTX 1070 actually has a few more CUDA cores at 2048, versus 1920 for the desktop GTX 1070 (with slightly lower clocks). By tweaking boost clock peaks and MXM module power requirements, NVIDIA was able to get these new Pascal mobile GPUs into desktop replacement class machines and even 5-pound, 15-inch class standard notebook designs (for the 1060). In the benchmarks, the new Mobile GeForce GTX 10-Series blows pretty much any previous discrete notebook graphics chip out of the water and smooth 4K or 120Hz gaming is now possible on notebook platforms.
MojoKid writes: AMD is ready today with an entry-level graphics card featuring its Polaris architecture, known as the Radeon RX 460. Unlike the Radeon RX 480 and RX 470, the RX 460 is built around a new piece of silicon called Polaris 11. The Radeon RX 470 and the higher-end Radeon RX 480 are both built around the Polaris 10 GPU but the RX 460's powerplant is the smaller, lower power Polaris 11. Polaris 11 has less than the half the resources of a fully equipped Polaris 10 and it is built using the same 14nm FinFET manufacturing process. There are 896 stream processors active in the RX 460, and it has base and boost clocks of 1090 MHz and 1200 MHz, respectively. In the benchmarks, for a $99 graphics card, the new Radeon RX 460 offers reasonably good performance across the board at 1080p resolutions and high image quality in many of today's leading-edge game titles.
MojoKid writes: AMD is now shipping a new Polaris-based mainstream graphics card, known as the Radeon RX 470, which will retail in the $149 — $179 price range. The Radeon RX 470 is built around the same Polaris 10 GPU as the Radeon RX 480. However, two CUs have been disabled, which results in fewer stream processors. There are 2048 stream processors active in the RX 470 versus 2304 on the RX 480. The 470's clocks are somewhat lower as well, with base and boost clocks of 926 MHz and 1206 MHz respectively. The end result brings peak compute performance for the RX 470 down to 4.9 TFLOPs (compared to 5.8 TFLOPs for the 480). The RX 470's memory is clocked slightly lower as well, which results in a peak 211GB/s, 13GB/s lower than the RX 480. Considering its sub-$200 price point, the Radeon RX 470 puts up respectable numbers in the benchmarks, falling in right behind the more powerful Radeon RX 480, but typically well ahead of AMD's previous-gen Radeon R9 380X. In comparison to NVIDIA's offerings, the Radeon RX 470 outpaces the GeForce GTX 960 and GTX 950 across the board, and even manages to sneak out in front of the GeForce GTX 970 on a couple of occasions but can't catch the more expensive GeForce GTX 1060.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA took the wraps off its new Pascal-based, flagship graphics card, dubbed the Titan X, a couple of weeks ago, but only pictures and specifications were available. NVIDIA Titan X cards are now shipping in limited quantities, however, and the benchmark numbers are in. The new Titan X (the company kept the same branding as its previous Maxwell-based Titan), based on NVIDIA's Pascal architecture, is some 60 percent faster than its older, Maxwell-based Titan counterpart and 20 – 30 percent faster than the new GeForce GTX 1080. On board Titan X are 1024 more CUDA cores versus a GeForce GTX 1080 (3584 versus 2560) and a wider 384-bit GDDR5X memory bus versus the 1080's 256-bit interface. Though the Titan X has the same memory clock as a GTX 1080, it has 12GB of GDDR5X memory, versus 8GB on the 1080. In testing, nothing can touch it and there's still additional headroom for overclocking. The new Titan X's $1200 price point, however, will give even hardcore gamers sticker shock. For graphics professionals and deep learning applications it could be a reasonably good value though, versus pro graphics GPUs.
MojoKid writes: Microsoft is granting a grace period for a free Windows 10 upgrade, for people with accessibility needs who use assistive technologies. For the general public, the yearlong offer expired last Friday July 29 (or July 30 in the wee hours of the morning, depending on where you live), but for anyone who uses an assistive technology product, there's still time. In a FAQ announcing the free offer extension, Microsoft said it hasn't yet announced an end date for customers using assistive technologies, but will give everyone a heads-up prior to whenever the company decides on an extended deadline. In the meantime, there's a special webpage setup where users can go and click on the "Upgrade Now" button to get started.
MojoKid writes: AMD is officially announcing its newest mainstream members of the Polaris graphics family today, known as the Radeon RX 470 and Radeon RX 460. AMD is touting the RX 470 as a perfect companion for 1080p resolution gaming, offering 60+ FPS performance (with anti-aliasing enabled) in popular game titles. The RX 460, on the other hand, is based on Polaris 11 architecture, which has a more budget-minded performance profile. If all you're looking for is an efficient, yet capable eSports gaming card, then AMD claims the RX 460 still has you covered. Peak compute performance for the RX 470 drops in at 4.9 TFLOPs (compared to 5.8 TFLOPs for the Radeon RX 480). The RX 460 has less than half the stream processors and less than half the compute units of the RX 470 and as a result, peak compute performance stands at 2.2 TFLOPs. Pricing for the Radeon RX 470 and Radeon RX 460 is set at $149 and $99 MSRP, respectively.
MojoKid writes: Park the DeLorean, you don't need a time machine to relive those epic gaming moments from yesteryear. There's been a sudden resurgence in classic gaming as of late, with Nintendo announcing a mini NES console pre-loaded with 30 games. If that weren't enough classic gaming goodness to make you feel young again, now Innex has announced the new Retro-Bit Generations plug-and-play console loaded with more than 100 retro titles. These aren't filler games either, with classic big name games from the likes of Capcom, Data East, Jaleco, and others. Among the full-fledged roster of titles you'll find gems like Ghosts'N Goblins, Gun Smoke, Kid Niki Radical Ninja, Kung-Fu, Captain Commando, Kickle Cubicle, Rival Turf, Super R-Type, the Super Bases Loaded series, Knights of the Round, Brawl Brothers, and Ring King, to name just a few of the many games packed into this thing. Unlike previous Retro-Bit consoles, you won't have to mess with cartridges with the Retro-Bit Generations. It's pre-loaded with content, has AV and HDMI ports, an SD card slot so that you can save or transfer archived game progress. The Retro-Bit Generations will be available sometime this fall for $60. Link to Original Source
MojoKid writes: AMD took the wraps off its latest pro graphics solutions at Siggraph today, and announced three new professional graphics cards in the new Polaris-based Radeon Pro WX Series. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 is the entry-level model with a half-height design for use in small form-factor workstations. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 is the middle child, while the Radeon Pro WX 7100 is AMD's current top-end WX model. The Radeon Pro WX 7100 has 32 compute units, offers 5 TFLOPs of compute performance, and is backed by 8GB of GDDR4 memory over a 256-bit memory interface. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 offers 28 compute units and 4 TFLOPs of performance along with 8GB memory over the same 256-bit interface and the Radeon Pro WX 4100 is comprised of 16 compute units at 2 TFLOPs of perf with 4GB memory over a 128-bit memory link. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 has four mini DisplayPort outputs, while the Radeon Pro WX 5100 and 7100 each have four full-size DisplayPort connectors. None of these cards will be giving the new NVIDIA Quadro P6000 a run for its money in terms of performance, but they don't have to. The Quadro card will no doubt costs thousands of dollars, while the Radeon Pro WX 7100 will eek in at just under $1,000. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 and 4100 will slot in somewhat below that mark. AMD also announced the Radeon Solid State Storage Architecture and the Radeon Pro SSG card today. Details are scant, but AMD is essentially outfitting Radeon Pro SSG cards with large amounts of Solid State Flash Memory, which can allow much larger data sets to reside close to the GPU in an extended frame buffer. Whereas the highest-end professional graphics cards today may have up to 24GB of memory, the Radeon Pro SSG will start with 1TB, linked to the GPU via a custom PCI Express interface. Giving the GPU access to a large, local data repository should offer significantly increased performance for demanding workloads like real-time post-production of 8K video, high-resolution rendering, VR content creation and others.