The battle for the long-awaited next generation of graphics cards is about to get real.After Nvidia came out swinging with the Titan-slaying GeForce GTX 1080, a badass graphics card built around the company s cutting-edge 16nm Pascal GPUs, all signs point to AMD preparing its Radeon counterpunch.The brief announcement doesn t indicate in detail what will be on show in the livestream which are typically reserved for large product launches , but Radeon graphics guru Raja Koduri will host alongside AMD CEO Lisa Su.That being said, the release only promises Polaris updates, so AMD might not necessarily reveal hard information about Polaris-based graphics cards, much less initiate a hard launch.The story behind the story: It ll be interesting to see what, exactly, AMD unveils at Computex if it indeed launches new Radeon graphics cards.Take note, chip geeks: Bristol Ridge s CPUs will be built using the same 28nm technology as 2015 s Carrizo APUs, rather than moving to the new high-performance Zen architecture AMD s rolling out later this year.
Xilinx, Mellanox also join CCIX Consortium to give data centre CPUs an open sharing architecture to boost speed and efficiencyA High Council of seven data centre heavyweights has forged a new consortium to develop a platform that will let the processors from different vendors work together whilst sharing the same memory.Representing a milestone in the industry, a single interconnect technology is being developed that will provide exactly that open framework, said Qualcomm.Does it matter to your business whether your data is stored in the EU?Applications such as big data analytics, search, machine learning, NFV, wireless 4G/5G, in-memory database processing, video analytics, and network processing, benefit from acceleration engines that need to move data seamlessly among the various system components.NVIDIA also has its own technology, NVLink, which boost connectivity between GPUs and IBM POWER.Still, the alliance of vendors who have chosen to work together is a wise move, especially ahead of the Intel acquisition of Altera that will increase its accelerator technology, as noted by Moore Insights and Strategy analyst Karl Freund.
AMD has also released a new driver update for their Radeon graphics cards that's performance optimized for Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment's latest and highly anticipated multiplayer first-person shooter.Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.3 includes optimizations for Overwatch along with two other games: Total War: Warhammer, and Dota 2 with the Vulkan API update.Interestingly, AMD has managed to optimize their driver for Total War: Warhammer ahead of Nvidia, who mentioned there were some issues with the game while using the GeForce 368.22 driver.This new driver also includes Crossfire profiles for Overwatch and Total War: Warhammer, and addresses a number of bugs with games like Fallout 4 and The Division.As always, you can let Radeon Settings perform an automatic update to grab these new drivers, or you can get a manual installer from our driver download section.
Valve has added a Vulkan mode to its popular MOBA Dota 2, as it seeks feedback on performance and stability.Valve has released an update for its popular multiplayer online battle arena MOBA title Dota 2 which brings support for the Vulkan application programming interface API , potentially improving its performance.Sadly, support is currently thin on the ground: with the beta release this week, Dota 2 becomes only the second mainstream game to add Vulkan support.Available through Steam's downloadable content DLC feature as a free beta for anyone who owns Dota 2, the update doesn't use Vulkan by default: to enable the functionality, players must ensure that the game is set to launch with the flag '-vulkan', removing any existing render mode flags if present.The Vulkan renderer also requires Windows 7, 8, or 10 64-bit or a Linux 64-bit operating system, 2GB of GPU memory, and an Nvidia 600 series or AMD Radeon 7700 or better graphics card.Valve is actively seeking feedback on the performance and stability of the Vulkan version of the game, and has warned that there is at least one known issue: the first time the Vulkan version is launched, the game is likely to stutter as shaders are cached to disk.
HP has added a new gaming desktop and a new gaming display to its Omen line.The Omen desktop can be fitted with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 inside as well as other NVIDIA graphics options.Buyers can choose to fit the gaming PC with liquid cooling to help the machine run cooler when overclocked and under high gaming demands.Up to 32GB of RAM can be fitted inside the machine and it has enough graphics outputs to support up to four monitors at once.SSD drive options are available up to 500GB along with up to 3TB HDDs.HP has also launched the Omen by HP Display and has offered little in the way of detail on the monitor.
Top Of The Order: And Now In This Corner…: Well, if the latest reports about the Peter Thiel vs. Gawker war are true, then Gawker has just gotten a powerful, and very rich ally of its own.The New York Post reported late Friday that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his First Look Media online news company are working to rally other media groups to file friend of the court briefs in support of Gawker as it appeals a $140 million award given to wrestler Hulk Hogan in an invasion of privacy case that was bankrolled by billionaire investor Peter Thiel.Now, if you take a deep breath, remember that it was disclosed this week that Thiel had secretly been cutting the checks to support Hogan s lawsuit against Gawker, and that Thiel has had it in for Gawker since the publication outed him as gay in an article written in 2007.It should be stressed that, as of now, Omidyar isn t publicly financing Gawker s appeal.So Thiel agrees with Trump s plan to muzzle press that criticizes government, obviously.Omidyar tweeted on Wednesday.The two billionaires also have a business history, as it was Omidyar s eBay which acquired Thiel s PayPal back in 2002 for approximately $1.5 billion.As if the chance for two billionaire businessmen to get into the ring, figuratively, anyway, weren t enough, Gawker founder Nick Denton, issued a long open letter to Thiel late Thursday, in which he took Thiel to task for what Denton called a vindictive decade-long campaign against the media company.Maybe it s a good thing this is all happening on the brink of the Memorial Day weekend?And by Tuesday, who knows what the circus might just bring to town?Middle Innings:A Lifeline For Lending Club: Just when you thought you were going to make it until the end of the week without another twist in the Lending Club saga, along comes a report that says the San Francisco-based online loan marketplace may just be about to get a helping hand from one of the biggest banks on Wall Street.Lending Club is reported to be in talks with Citibank regarding the possibility that it my buy some of Lending Club s loans, or provide the company with some other new financing.Lending Club has been on the ropes, and seen its loan fall out of favor for most of the past month.Wall Street analysts had previously forecast Palo Alto Networks to earn 50 cents a share on $389 million in sales.Rising expenses and slowing revenue growth were cited as some of the main reasons for Palo Alto s Friday stock slide.Bottom Of The Lineup:Here s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Friday…Movin On Up: Marketo shares climbed 11.3 percent, and other gains came from Veeva Systems, Ixys, Advanced Micro Devices and Twitter.In The Red: Decliners included SolarCity, NeoPhotonics, Aemetis, Workday and Fortinet.The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.7 percent to 4,933The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to finish the day at 17,873.And the broad-based Standard & Poor s 500 Index added 0.4 percent to reach 2,099.Quote Of The Day: The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Credit: Robert HallockThis weekend, AMD held a Polaris Tech Day for press and analysts in Macau, judging by the Twitter feeds of top AMD executives.The timing makes sense with the annual Computex tradeshow scheduled to begin early next week, complete with an AMD livestream event that promises updates on Polaris, the cutting-edge 14nm FinFET graphics processors slated to power forthcoming Radeon graphics cards.In a tweet late Saturday evening, Radeon technical marketing manager Robert Hallock may have given us a glimpse of what s in store.The post ostensibly shows off the Lenovo Y27F, a 27-inch 1080p FreeSync display pumped out 144Hz.But the system sheet next to the monitor reveals a more interesting tidbit: The Doom demo running on the display is powered by no other than the Radeon 480, a GPU that hasn t officially been announced yet.Seeing Doom running on a Radeon 480 and a 144Hz monitor suggests two things: First, that as rumored, AMD may indeed plan to attack the long-awaited new graphics generation from a more mainstream price point rather than taking Nvidia s fearsome GTX 1080 on head-to-head out of the gate, as the Radeon x80 line has typically hovered around the $200 to $250 price point.
Here s what to expect from one of the proper old-school tech shows.That, and Asus recently launched its new X99 chipset motherboards that will feature the LGA2011-v3 socket, which is, as yet, unlaunched by Intel.Don t expect to hear anything about the company s more consumer-level kit, though: I d imagine Kaby Lake will be announced at IDF later this summer, as is tradition with Intel.I personally think that it ll be a big fat laptop with a desktop GPU; everyone s making them for 900-series Nvidia GPUs, and if Asus can get theirs out of the gates first, they ll steal the headlines and a few sales to boot.More Asus phones and Acer laptops: Taipei is home ground for Asus and Acer, so the companies are sure to launch a load of products simultaneously, sending journalists including myself scuttling to get their hands on them.Keynote talks from ARM CEO Andrew Seggars and Qualcomm's Rahul Patel will be highlights, as the world of tech grapples with how to make sure we don't end up in a mess of technical standards.
As the largest computer exhibition in Asia, Computex sees attendance of around 130,000 and includes over 1,600 exhibitors, numbers that put it just behind CES, North America s largest electronics trade show.Sound measuring equipment designed to curb public disturbances.New PCs, new graphics cards, and even more hardwareAs one of the biggest shows in the world, and certainly in Asia, Computex is the obvious place to launch new products.If Intel does launch Broadwell-E, then we ll also see a lot of new motherboards based on the X99 chipset.From the show floorThe internet may allow for instant, global communication, but it doesn t entirely erase the boundaries between regions.Keep an eye on Digital Trends for the latest, and follow me on Twitter, where I ll be posting updates from all the major keynotes.
When you installed your Linux distribution of choice, you got the default Radeon driver.This driver was completely open-source so it could easily be distributed and developers could help improve it and keep it compatible with the latest software.It effectively plugs into the underlying open-source driver.It may be for a variety of reasons—the source code may include code licensed from other companies that can t be open-sourced, for example.At the moment, only Ubuntu 16.04 is supported.This driver also enables Vulkan support for supported AMD GPUs on Linux, which is a big deal for SteamOS.
They re not primarily intended for desktop applications, though some low-power desktops and all-in-ones may opt for them.Less-powerful versions will retain the features, core counts, and graphics capabilities of their more powerful brethren, but run at a lower clock speed.That s because AMD is upgrading these entry-level processors to the Excavator core architecture.AMD says all of the chips will include full support for hardware decoding of VP9 up to 1080o, and H.265/HVEC up to 4K.This, too, is more beneficial to the entry-level chips, which have less CPU grunt to go around.Buyers of FX, A12, and A10 hardware can choose one from a list that includes Blobs Attack, Gucamelee!, Dirt Rally, Sonic All-Stars Racer, Eve Online, LEGO Batman 3, The Banner Saga 2, and Winning Putt.
In a press event taking place on Wednesday during Computex 2016 in Taipei, AMD Senior Vice President and Chief Architect Raja Koduri took to the stage and told the press that the company set out to make virtual reality available everywhere and accessible by anyone.AMD is going to help drive that adoption forward even more by bringing their high-end VR GPUs to the $199 price point.Additionally, the company confirmed in a Q session immediately after the presentation that there will indeed be multiple tiers of the RX 480 at different price points, addressing all levels of PC gamers and consumers.These tiers will be defined by varying RAM counts, clock speeds, and cooling solutions.Zen s momentThe only other big news coming from AMD s press conference on Wednesday was an update on its Zen high-performance, low-power x86 processor core platform.The first chip to be based on this platform is code-named Summit Ridge, and slated for the company s all new AM4 desktop processor platform.
While Nvidia kicked off the new graphics card generation with the overwhelming firepower of the enthusiast-only $600 GeForce GTX 1080 and $380 GTX 1070, AMD s attacking the mainstream instead.The first Radeon graphics cards based on its forthcoming Polaris graphics processors will start at just $200, the company told the Wall Street Journal, and be available by the end of June—potentially June 29, a non-disclosure date leaked by attendees of AMD s recent Polaris Tech Day in Macau.Assuming that proves accurate, the massive performance leap stems from the adoption of 14nm FinFET technology in Polaris, a leap forward by two full technological generations for graphics processors.Both AMD and Nvidia which uses 16nm FinFET tech in its new Pascal GPUs were previously stuck on the 28nm node since late 2011, after 20nm technology proved to be a bust for graphics cards.Dragging previously high-end performance down to an affordable $200 price point will let AMD dominate for the crucial mainstream graphics market until Nvidia releases a GTX 1060.It will also expand the total overall market for virtual reality—a key new battleground for computing.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD -0.65 % is angling to lower the cost of virtual reality, targeting the field with a new line of graphics hardware priced at $199—half or less the cost of comparable products.The company aims to help push the starting cost of PCs that can deliver VR experiences as low as $799 from above $1,000.Less than 1% of PC users have systems that are capable of doing VR, said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect of AMD s Radeon technologies group.Mr. Koduri said AMD hoped that breaking from tradition by starting with a lower-cost model could have a bigger impact.An Nvidia spokesman had no immediate comment.AMD, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., plans to formally announce the new chips early Wednesday at the Computex trade show in Taiwan.
As the notebook PC becomes ever more important to the company s future, AMD debuted its Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge integrated graphics APUs for laptops as the Computex show in Taipei kicked off.Combined, AMD s new 7th-generation APUs represent a total of nine new products intended for low-end, budget notebooks on up to premium devices.This time around, both the Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge APUs pack AMD s Excavator core, which will be paired with AMD s Radeon R7 graphics cores on the FX and A12 lines; AMD s R5 graphics on the A10 and A9 lines; and R4 and R2 graphics on the low-end A6 and E2 series, respectively.Why this matters: AMD s future increasingly depends on the notebook PC.It also cherry-picked some head-to-head comparisons—the A12, AMD said, will outperform the Intel Core i5-6200U with 31 percent more gaming performance.To give you a sense of how the chips stack up, AMD is positioning the A9 chips against the Intel Core i3-6100U.
The new A Series and E series previously code-named Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge, respectively are targeted at next-generation laptops.The new chips have DirectX 12 graphics support, AMD FreeSync, and AMD Dual Graphics technologies.At AMD, we are inspired to make every second people use their PC more immersive, productive, and energy efficient, said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of computing and graphics at AMD, in a statement.We love the PC, and we show it in the compelling mobile experiences made possible by our 7th Generation AMD FX, A-Series, and E-Series 2 AMD Advanced Power Management APM technology boosts performance to th Generation AMD A-Series Processors enable a premium Microsoft th Generation AMD FX and A-Series Processors, which are the culmination of our ongoing pursuit of leadership graphics and computing capabilities in the most energy efficient processor designs.The A-Series processors use Excavator x86 central processing unit cores for high-speed computing, plus built-in Radeon graphics.AMD isn t going for the highest performance or priced solutions out there with their new 7th generation APUs, said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.The 7th generation APU is exciting, but what the industry is holding its breath for is Zen, but I don t expect to see that in big volumes until 2017.
AMD s long-awaited high-performance Zen desktop CPU will feature 16 threads across 8 physical cores and begin sampling later this year, the company proudly announced Tuesday evening.Zen is alive, Zen is on track and we are extraordinarily excited about what Zen will bring to the market place, AMD CEO Lisa Su said during a press conference at Taiwan s annual Computex trade show.Zen was taped out earlier this year, Su said, and the simplistic video for the chip's presentation was even produced with a Zen CPU.AMD's expected to begin sampling the processors to limited partners within a few weeks, with a wider round expected for the third quarter of this year.Why this matters: After a disastrous few years of getting its nose punched in by Core processors, AMD created Zen from scratch to go toe-to-toe with Intel's CPUs.AMD will abandon the architecture of its Vishera chips in favor of a simultaneous multi-threading approach similar to Intel s Hyper-Threading.
At Computex 2016, AMD has revealed some details about their upcoming Polaris graphics cards, in particular the RX 480.In comparison, AMD's own Radeon R9 390 provides just over 5 TFLOPs of performance but costs $329; the RX 480 is expected to exceed the performance of this card while costing more than $100 less.Compared to Nvidia's cards, the RX 480 will probably slot between the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980: cards that also retail for well over $300 right now.The card will feature 36 compute units for 2,304 stream processors, and a TDP around 150W.There will also be a 256-bit GDDR5 memory system providing 256 GB/s of bandwidth to either 4 or 8 GB of VRAM.We won't be seeing AMD's new high-performance cards until later on – the last-gen R9 Nano achieves over 8 TFLOPs, which is still well above the RX 480 – but we are starting to see what Polaris is made of.
Everyone keeps saying "virtual reality is here," but the price of an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, coupled with building a high-end PC, remains fantastical barrier to entry.It costs $199 about £135, AU$275 for this 256Gbs graphics card that runs at more than 5 Teraflops.Rumors suggest it'll be 5.5 TFLOPS, but AMD isn't being specific in its official announcement.It's all backed by AMD's 14nm FINFet Polaris architecture and the first of its kind to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift certified, aiming to compete with GPUs that cost $500 about £342, AU$690 .An estimated 100 million consumers are going to enter into the virtual reality space over the next 10 years, according to AMD, calling this card a "catalyst."It's not only AMD's way of accelerating VR growth for a mainstream audience, but a way to compete with Nvidia's Pascal-based GTX 1070 GPU.
As expected, Bristol Ridge comes with four excavator cores and eight Radeon graphics cores.Some of the underlying improvements include HEVC support to help decode high-resolution video content, 128-bit support for DDR4 or DDR3 memory and 12 lanes of PCI-e Gen3.However, what makes AMD's 7th generation chip evolutionary is the way company is tuning each individual APU to perform at its absolute limits.It's a small tweak, but by caring less about the internal temperature of the chip makes it easier to squeeze another 10% of added power performance.Add in the 12% performance increase from reliability tracking and another quarter percent from Shadow Pstates a frequency and voltage operating point , and you have the makings of a much more capable APU indeed.There's no word on when or in what laptops Bristol Ridge will first appear, but we expect to hear more from AMD soon.