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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: Kingston Launches HyperX Savage Exo External SSD

    Kingston has announced its new external SSDs. The HyperX Savage Exo drive is uses a USB Type-C interface and are compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, Microsoft’s Xbox One as well as Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles.
    Kingston’s HyperX Savage Exo drive is based on 3D TLC NAND flash memory and comes in 480 GB and 960 GB configurations. The drive features up to 500 MB/s read speed as well as up to 480 GB write speed. Kingston does not name the controller it uses for the drive, but keeping in mind that Kingston works very closely with Phison, it is more than likely that the HyperX Savage Exo external SSD uses one of the solutions designed by Phison.
    Kingston’s HyperX Savage Exo is very light and portable: it weighs 56 grams and measures 123.82 × 48.61 × 10.24 mm. The drive can operate at temperatures from 0°C to 70°C, which looks like rather extreme conditions.
    The HyperX Savage Exo drives are already available. The 480 GB model (SHSX100/480G) is priced at $128, whereas the 960 GB flavor (SHSX100/960G) costs $250.
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    Anandtech: GlobalFoundries Enables Connectivity IP: New RF SOI and Ensigma BLE on 22F

    GlobalFoundries this week made two important announcements concerning its radio and connectivity-related capabilities. First up, the company said that Imagination’s Ensigma connectivity IP is now available for its 22FDX fabrication technology. Besides, the company started to ship chips made using its 8SW RF SOI manufacturing process.
    Ensigma Meets 22FDX

    Imagination’s Ensigma connectivity IP is now available on GlobalFoundries’ 22FDX technology, and includes baseband and RF hard macro blocks for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and IEEE 802.15.4 technologies. Partners of Imagination and GlobalFoundries can license the said IP blocks, quickly incorporate them into their designs, and produce appropriate SoCs in Fab 1 (Dresden, Germany) or in the upcoming Fab 11 (Chengdu, China). Silicon-proven IP will be available already in Q4 2018.
    The Ensigma connectivity IP will be particularly useful for designers of chips for various wearable, smart, and medical low-power devices. Such LP devices are target markets for GlobalFoundries’ 22FDX in particular and FD-SOI in general.
    In addition, Imagination became a part of GlobalFoundries’ FDXcelerator Program that is designed to provide IP and tools to adopters of FD-SOI process technologies that the contract maker of semiconductors offers.
    8SW RF SOI Qualified, in Production

    GlobalFoundries also announced that its 8SW RF SOI manufacturing technology has been qualified and is already used for production of chips for select customers. The fabrication process is designed for today’s 4G/LTE and various upcoming sub-6 GHz wireless standards for front-end module (FEM) applications. Featuring elements of GlobalFoundries’ 45/40 nm technologies, the 8SW enables a 20% smaller die size and a 70% power reduction when compared to GF’s previous-gen RF SOI process. What is particularly important, GlobalFoundries uses its 300-mm Fab 10 (East Fishkill, New York) to make chips using its 8SW technology.
    GlobalFoundries is not announcing its early 8SW customers, but since the process has been fully qualified and there is a certified process development kit available now, more clients may now jump onboard with the 8SW.
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    Source: GlobalFoundries (1, 2)


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    Anandtech: Oculus Quest Announced: A 6DoF Standalone VR Headset

    Oculus VR this week introduced its next all-in-one untethered VR headset, based around a 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) positional tracking system as well as the same optics as the Oculus Go launched earlier this year. Essentially an upscale, more powerful iteration of the Oculus Go, the new Oculus Quest will hit the market next spring at a price starting from $399.
    The key feature of the Oculus Quest is its inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) positional and controller tracking that does not need any external sensors or a PC. The manufacturer says that tracking relies on four ultra-wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms, but does not go beyond that. When it comes to display subsystem of the Oculus Quest, the developer claims that the new unit has the same optics as the Oculus Go, but a display with a 3200×1440 (1600×1440 per eye) resolution (up from 2560×1440).
    Besides graphics, Oculus VR also indicates improvements of built-in audio capabilities of the headset. Last but not least, the Oculus Quest will ship with its own Touch controllers that work just like controllers of the Oculus Rift, which will be a welcome upgrade when compared to the current-gen untethered Oculus Go headset that comes with a very simplistic controller.
    Oculus VR has not disclosed which SoC it plans to use with the Quest, but considering the fact that the chip has to run games in a higher resolution than the Oculus Go and also process computer vision algorithms (unless Oculus VR uses a special purpose chip for them), it is safe to say that the new headset uses something that belongs to the ultra-high-end of the SoC space.
    When it comes to games that take advantage of the Oculus Quest, the manufacturer promises that “over 50” titles will be available at launch, including games originally developed for Rift, such as Robo Recall, The Climb, and Moss.
    The inclusion of Touch controllers as well as a more advanced SoC naturally had an effect on pricing of the new headset. The Oculus Quest 64 GB model will cost $399 (and this price alone implies on a more powerful SoC than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 used for the Go), which means that the unit will sit right above the Oculus Go ($199 - $249), but will still be more affordable than the Oculus Rift ($399) which requires a high-end gaming PC to function.
    Buy Oculus Rift on
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    Source: Oculus VR
    Gallery: Oculus Quest Announced: 6 DOF Standalone VR headset


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    Anandtech: Double Height, Double Capacity DDR4? ZADAK's New 32 GB UDIMMs

    ZADAK, a maker of memory modules from Taiwan, has reportedly published photos of its upcoming unbuffered memory modules featuring a 32 GB capacity. The UDIMMs and SO-DIMMs are the first consumer-grade 32 GB memory sticks to feature RGB lighting. The main intrigue about the modules is how ZADAK managed to build them ahead of many rivals.
    This week the Chinese subsidiary of ZADAK published the first images of the company’s Shield DC Aura2 RGB-branded 32 GB UDIMM and SO-DIMM on its Weibo page. The modules are rated at DDR4-3200 MT/s (unknown subtimings), and are outfitted with large aluminum heat spreaders featuring RGB lightbars.
    So far, only Samsung has introduced 32 GB consumer-grade non-ECC DDR4 UDIMMs and SO-DIMMs. Samsung's modules are based on the company’s 16 Gb DDR4 chips and are available to select customers only. Other leading suppliers of memory modules, including Corsair, G.Skill, GEIL, and others, only offer 16 GB consumer-graded non-ECC unbuffered modules based on 4 or 8 Gb devices. In order for Zadak to impliment 32GB modules ahead of its rivals, it would need one of two things: Samsung's 16Gb chips, or a new technology. By going the double height route, it is clear that they are using a different technology to increase capacity.
    It is worth noting that 32GB-256GB modules already exist for servers and workstations, but these are RDIMMs , with a register chip and ECC, and is a different technology from the standard 'unbuffered' DIMMs for home computers. RDIMMs enable memory controllers to support a higher amount of memory chips without losing stability, which is why almost all RDIMMs typically also feature ECC.
    ZADAK does not disclose which DRAMs it uses for its 32 GB Shield DC Aura2 RGB modules, and we're waiting on more information from them although there is a bit of a translation barrier - when asked for information, we were told 'it's a new technology' without any expansion. Considering how large ZADAK’s 32 GB SO-DIMMs are, it is possible that they are based on 32 8 Gb DRAM and feature a register chip to enable systems to work with the modules stably. It is also possible that Samsung has started to sell its 16 Gb chips to third parties and ZADAK is among the first to start teasing potential customers with high-capacity modules, and the best way to advertise this was super big memory PCBs.
    While 32 GB consumer-grade memory modules certainly look impressive on paper, their practical usability is potentially limited. Mainstream client CPUs only officially support up to 64 GB of memory, and systems that need 64 GB of RAM usually have four DIMM slots. As a result, client PCs do not necessarily need 32 GB modules just now. Furthermore, given the current prices of DRAM, specialty 32GB DIMMs like these will be anything but cheap. However it may point to CPUs that support double current capacity points in the future.
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    Source: PC Watch


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    Anandtech: Intel Investing $1B to Meet 14nm Demand: Prioritizing High-End Core and Xe

    Bob Swan, Intel’s CFO and interim CEO, on Friday issued an open letter to the company’s customers and partners addressing tight supply of some of the company’s products. The high-ranking executive admitted the issue and outlined the set of actions Intel is taking to tackle the problem.
    The head of Intel noted that demand for the company’s chips for PCs and servers has been significantly exceeding expectations throughout 2018. In the first half of 2018 the company’s datacenter business grew 23% year-over-year, whereas Intel’s cloud business grew 43% YoY. Besides, demand for client PCs also grew in the second quarter, increasing demand for Intel’s products. As a result, the company upped its revenue forecast for the year by $4.5 billion in July.
    As a result, Intel had to prioritize production of its high-end Core and Xeon processors over other products at some point, which is why supply of entry-level products made using 14 nm process technology is tight right now.
    In a bid to increase production of its 14-nm chips the company is investing an additional $1 billion in its manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland and Israel that product chips using the said technology.
    This is a breaking news. We are updating the story.
    The full Intel news item is reposted below.
    An Open Letter from Bob Swan, Intel CFO and Interim CEO
    To our customers and partners,
    The first half of this year showed remarkable growth for our industry. I want to take a moment to recap where we’ve been, offer our sincere thanks and acknowledge the work underway to support you with performance-leading Intel products to help you innovate.
    First, the situation … The continued explosion of data and the need to process, store, analyze and share it is driving industry innovation and incredible demand for compute performance in the cloud, the network and the enterprise. In fact, our data-centric businesses grew 25 percent through June, and cloud revenue grew a whopping 43 percent in the first six months. The performance of our PC-centric business has been even more surprising. Together as an industry, our products are convincing buyers it’s time to upgrade to a new PC. For example, second-quarter PC shipments grew globally for the first time in six years, according to Gartner. We now expect modest growth in the PC total addressable market (TAM) this year for the first time since 2011, driven by strong demand for gaming as well as commercial systems – a segment where you and your customers trust and count on Intel.
    We are thrilled that in an increasingly competitive market, you keep choosing Intel. Thank you.
    Now for the challenge… The surprising return to PC TAM growth has put pressure on our factory network. We’re prioritizing the production of Intel® Xeon® and Intel® Core™ processors so that collectively we can serve the high-performance segments of the market. That said, supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly at the entry-level of the PC market. We continue to believe we will have at least the supply to meet the full-year revenue outlook we announced in July, which was $4.5 billion higher than our January expectations.
    To address this challenge, we’re taking the following actions:

    1. We are investing a record $15 billion in capital expenditures in 2018, up approximately $1 billion from the beginning of the year. We’re putting that $1 billion into our 14nm manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland and Israel. This capital along with other efficiencies is increasing our supply to respond to your increased demand.
    2. We’re making progress with 10nm. Yields are improving and we continue to expect volume production in 2019.
    3. We are taking a customer-first approach. We’re working with your teams to align demand with available supply. You can expect us to stay close, listen, partner and keep you informed.

    The actions we are taking have put us on a path of continuous improvement. At the end of the day, we want to help you make great products and deliver strong business results. Many of you have been longtime Intel customers and partners, and you have seen us at our best when we are solving problems.
    Bob Swan
    Intel Corporation CFO and Interim CEO


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    Anandtech: AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G Integrated Graphics Frequency Scaling

    One of the last poignant questions from our previous Ryzen APU coverage is the way that integrated graphics scales with overclocking. As these low-end Ryzen APUs are all about gaming on a budget, our previous looks into core frequency and memory scaling lead naturally into examining how well the graphics overclocks and what extra performance can be had with a light touch of BIOS settings. We pushed both of our APUs to 1600 MHz on the graphics, representing a +45% overclock, which translates into some interesting results.


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    Anandtech: LG Unveils 32UK550: 31.5 Inch 4K Display with DCI-P3, HDR10, & FreeSync fo

    LG has introduced a new 31.5-inch monitor aimed at the midrange market. Dubbed the 32UK550-B, it's an Ultra-HD display that supports HDR10, covers 95% of the DCI-P3 color space, and features AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate tech. The unit appears to be LG’s first HDR-capable large-screen LCD in a sub-$500 price band. For its initial announcement LG focused on Japan, but I have no doubt we'll eventually see for sale in other countries as well.
    The 32UK550-B is based on a VA panel with a native 3840×2160 resolution. The panel can reproduce 1.07 billion colors over 95% of the DCI-P3 color space, or alternatively it can hit 100% of the sRGB color gamut. As an added bonus, the monitor comes factory-calibrated. The panel features a 300 nits typical brightness, a 3000:1 contrast ratio, a 4 ms GtG response time, a 60 Hz refresh rate, and your VA-standard 178°/178° horizontal/vertical viewing angles.
    The monitor also supports HDR10, AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate technology with a 40 – 60 Hz range, and LG’s Super Resolution+ upscaling tech. It's also worth noting that the display features LF’s Black Stabilizer (increases brightness of dark scenes in games) and Dynamic Action Sync (bypasses internal processing to reduce input lag) modes for gaming, so it looks like LG is also aiming the monitor at casual gamers.
    When it comes to input/output capabilities, the 32UK550-B is equipped with two HDMI 2.0a ports, as well as one DisplayPort 1.2 input. All of the display inputs support HDCP 2.2, which of course is required by most major services to watch Ultra-HD and/or HDR10 content. Meanwhile the monitor has two 5 W speakers and a headphone output for audio, however you won't find any USB ports.
    Specifications of the LG 32UK550-B Display
    Panel 31.5" VA
    Native Resolution 3840 × 2160
    Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz
    Response Time 4 ms
    Brightness 300 cd/m² (typical)
    Contrast 3000:1
    Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
    HDR HDR10
    Dynamic Refresh Rate AMD FreeSync (at 40 ~ 60 Hz)
    Pixel Pitch 0.1816 mm²
    Pixel Density 140 ppi
    Display Colors 1.07 billion
    Color Gamut Support DCI-P3: 95%
    sRGB: 100%
    Stand Tilt (5~15°),
    height (110 mm) adjustable
    Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
    2 × HDMI 2.0a
    HDCP 2.2
    USB Hub -
    Audio 5 W × 2
    audio out port
    Launch Price ~$500 (not confirmed by LG)
    Looking at LG's broader lineup, the company has offered sub-$500 31.5-inch 4K displays in its lineup for a while now. For example, the company has been selling its 32UD60-B monitor for around $500 since early 2018. Unlike the flagship 32UD99-W and 32UK950-W, LG’s inexpensive 31.5-inch Ultra-HD LCDs do not use IPS panels, but rely on the VA technology. In the meantime, the 32UK550-B is LG’s first reasonably priced large 4K monitor to support the HDR10 transport format. With that said, while the monitor can take an HDR signal, its 300 nits brightness is barely enough for a quality HDR experience. But at least the tech is supported on paper, right?
    LG Japan will start sales of the 32UK550-B display on October 11 with an MSRP of ¥55,000 w/o tax ($485). Considering the fact that PC hardware is usually a bit more expensive in Japan, I'd expect the monitor to cost around $500 in other countries. In the meantime, LG offers its sans-HDR VA-based 32UD60-B for around $530 in the U.S.
    Buy LG 32UD60-B on
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    Sources: LG Japan, PC Watch


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    Anandtech: In The Lab: The Netgear XS724EM, a 24-port 2.5G/5G/10GBase-T Switch

    For a special occasion, and with what looked like a pricing error, I decided to splash out on a 10GBase-T switch for my testing lab. Coming in at almost £800, reduced from £1700, this beast was not cheap but surprisingly below my personal cost-per-port to get into the 10-gigabit game. Rather than review the switch (how do you review a switch anyway?), I just want to go through what this thing is and what I can do with it, plus some rough point-to-point bandwidth speeds.


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    Anandtech: Apple Found To Violate 1 Qualcomm Patent; US ITC Will Not Ban iPhone Impor

    A bit over a year ago, Qualcomm started the process of suing Apple at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) over alleged patent infringement. At the time, Apple was accused of violating six Qualcomm patents, ranging from power-saving technology to processor design. And while the case is far from over, according to Reuters the ITC has delivered its initial determination, finding that Apple has violated one of the six patents. Importantly, however, the ITC has also ruled that they will not be imposing an import ban, as Qualcomm originally requested.
    All told, Apple stands accused of violating multiple Qualcomm patents due to a complex intermix regarding the use of Intel modems in their phones. Qualcomm’s case does not directly accuse the Intel modems of being infringing, but does claim that the resulting implementation in Apple’s phones violates those patents. Apple in turn pays royalties relating to these patents for phones using Qualcomm’s modems, but not on phones using the Intel modems.
    This latest development comes as the ITC has slowly whittled the case down over the past year. While Qualcomm’s complaints originally involved six patents, earlier this year half of the patent claims were removed from the case, leaving just three patents.
    The ITC, in turn, has ruled today as part of its initial determination that Apple has indeed violated a Qualcomm patent, albeit just one of those remaining patents – what Reuters calls “related to power management technology”. We’re waiting on the ITC to publish the formal decision in order to confirm which specific patent it was, as all three remaining patents are related to power efficiency.
    Qualcomm's Patents Allegedly Infringed by Apple
    U.S. Patent No.
    (Year of Issue)
    Name Abstract Description Qualcomm's Description
    Programmable streaming processor with mixed precision instruction execution. Relates to a programmable streaming processor that is capable of executing mixed-precision (e.g., full-precision, half-precision) instructions using different execution units. Enables high performance and rich visual
    graphics for games while increasing a mobile
    device’s battery life.
    Low-voltage power-efficient envelope tracker. Techniques for generating a power supply for an amplifier and/or other circuits. Extends battery life by building intelligence into
    the system so the antenna is always using just
    the right amount of battery power to transmit,
    whether it be video, text, or voice.
    Compact and robust level shifter layout design. The field of invention relates to a semiconductor device and methods of manufacturing a semiconductor device handling a plurality of voltage, specifically multi-voltage circuits for shifting the voltage level between voltage domains. Maximizes smartphone performance while
    extending battery life by connecting high
    voltage circuits and low voltage circuits with
    efficient interfaces.
    Direct scatter loading of executable software image from a primary processor to one or more secondary processor in a multi-processor system. In a multi-processor system, an executable software image including an image header and a segmented data image is scatter loaded from a first processor to a second processor. Enables “flashless boot” which allows your
    smartphone to connect to the internet quickly
    after being powered on, while extending battery
    life and reducing memory size.
    Power saving techniques in computing devices. As the name implies. Enables the applications on your smartphone to
    get their data to and from the internet quickly
    and efficiently by acting as a smart “traffic cop”
    between the apps processor and the modem.
    Power tracker for multiple transmit signals sent simultaneously. Techniques for generating a power tracking supply voltage for a circuit (e.g., a power amplifier). The circuit may process multiple transmit signals being sent simultaneously on multiple carriers at different frequencies. Enables a mobile device to send high-speed data
    such as live video from your phone by combining
    many lanes of traffic into a data super-highway
    while prolonging battery life.
    Notably however, this initial determination is not final, as it's part of the longer trial process for the ITC. The case will next go in front of the entire commission, who will be reviewing the findings. The commission, in turn, can either agree with the findings or send it back for further review, so the case is far from closed. However for the moment, having avoided an import ban, this is essentially a win for Apple, and both they and Qualcomm (and Intel) are treating it as such.
    The initial determination in this case comes as Apple has begun phasing out Qualcomm modems entirely. The latest iPhone XS models are powered solely by the Intel modems, which for Qualcomm makes the issue all the more important as Apple will be importing an ever-larger number of potentially infringing phones.
    Ultimately the current case will likely be resolved in 2019, assuming that there are no appeals. The ITC has set January 28th, 2019 as the target date to complete the investigation.


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    Anandtech: The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming Review: A $200 Motherboard at 5.1 GHz

    The ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming sits in the middle of its Z370 product stack, intending to deliver users a full assortment of features. The all black board supports both Crossfire and SLI, has USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) ports, two M.2 slots, SupremeFX S1220A audio, and a large heatsink on the power delivery area to help keep it cool. Performance isn't half bad either.


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