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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #9431

    Anandtech: US Dept. of Energy Announces Frontier Supercomputer: Cray and AMD to Build

    The history of the computing industry is one of constant progress. Processors get faster, storage gets cheaper, and memory gets denser. We see the repercussions of this advancement through all aspects of society, and that extends to the top as well, where national governments continue to invest in bigger and better supercomputers. One part technological necessity and one part technological race, the exascale era of supercomputers is about to begin, as orders for the first exaFLOP-capable are now going out. It’s only fitting then that this morning the United States Department of Energy is announcing the contract for their fastest supercomputer yet, the Frontier system, which will be built by Cray and AMD.



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    #9432

    Anandtech: Microsoft Build Day 1: Windows Subsystem For Linux Gets More Linux

    Today at Microsoft’s Build developer conference, the Redmond company announced some major changes to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, as well as some improvements to Windows 10 command line with the Windows Terminal. Both expand the already robust ways to develop on Windows, and offer some fantastic features and additions.


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    #9433

    Anandtech: Google Announces Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL - Mid-Range Phones With Flagship C

    Google’s Pixel smartphone line-up has been a mainstay of the industry for a few years now. We’re all familiar with devices such as the latest Pixel 3 which is Google’s latest entry in the high-end flagship market. In particular Google puts a lot of emphasis on the cameras of the Pixel devices, and last year in particular, Google, along with Huawei, have raised the bar in terms of what is possible to achieve thanks to computational photography.
    While the Pixel devices definitely have their strengths, one inarguable competitive weakness of the phones is their pricing. At an official MSRP and current Google store price of $799 for the Pixel 3 and $899 for the 3 XL, Google demands quite a lot, especially in view of other newer possibly more attractive options from the competition.
    In an attempt to widen its product range and adhere to a more price-sensitive audience, today we see the introduction of the new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. The two new phones are very much placed at more mid-range price-points, yet without compromising much on what Google sees as the keystone of the Pixel phones: the camera.
    Going over the specifications of the two new phones:
    Google Pixel 3a's
    Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL
    SoC Snapdragon 670

    2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
    @ 2.0GHz
    6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
    @ 1.7GHz

    Adreno 615
    DRAM 4GB LPDDR4X
    Display 5.6" OLED
    2220 x 1080 (18:9)
    6.0" OLED
    2220 x 1080 (18:9)
    Size Height 151.3 mm 160.1 mm
    Width 70.1 mm 76.1 mm
    Depth 8.2 mm 8.2 mm
    Weight 147 grams 167 grams
    Battery Capacity 3000mAh 3700mAh
    Wireless Charging -
    Rear Cameras
    Main 12.2MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PDAF
    f/1.8 76° lens with OIS
    Telephoto -
    Wide -
    Extra -
    Front Camera 8MP 1.12µm
    f/2.2 84° lens; fixed focus
    Storage 64GB
    I/O USB-C
    3.5mm headphone jack
    Wireless (local) 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi
    Bluetooth 5.0 LE + NFC
    Cellular UE Category 11 (DL) / Category 5 (UL)
    600Mbit/s DL (3xCA 2x2 MIMO)
    75Mbit/s UL
    Other Features Dual Speakers, 18W Fast Charging
    Dual-SIM 1x nanoSIM
    Launch Price $399 / £399 / €399 $479 / £469 / €479
    At the heart of both phones we find a new Snapdragon 670 SoC from Qualcomm. The chip was announced last August and comes with a 2+6 CPU core configuration consisting of 2 Cortex A75 cores at 2GHz and 6 Cortex A55 cores at 1.7GHz, accompanied by an Adreno 615 GPU. The chip is manufactured on Samsung’s 10LPP process node.
    It’s actually quite odd to see Google go with the Snapdragon 670, given that Qualcomm offers a slew of other newer options such as the Snapdragon 675. Here it’s possible that the Pixel 3a phones just come at an odd timing between generations and weren’t able to employ the newer SoC.
    Google fits the Pixel 3a’s with 4GB of LPDDR4X, which is a fair for mid-range devices. In terms of storage, the devices comes with a single 64GB option without expandable storage.
    Design-wise, both phones looks night identical to the smaller Pixel 3, using the same design language and characteristic features. It’s interesting that for the bigger Pixel 3a XL, Google also opted to use the notch-less design, avoiding this much critiqued aspect of the Pixel 3 XL.
    Both phones continue to employ OLED panels. The smaller Pixel 3a comes with a 5.6” 18:9 screen with a resolution of 2220 x 1080. The larger 3a XL has a 6.0” screen with the same resolution.
    Instead of using a glass back like on the Pixel 3 series, the new Pixel 3a’s come with unibody polycarbonate designs. On one hand, this reduces the weight of the phones, with the Pixel 3a coming in at 147g and the XL at 167g, but also should result in a more scratch prone phone.
    Battery capacity for the smaller 3a is 3000mAh while the XL gets a notably larger 3700mAh battery.
    Even though Google removed the port 2 years ago in the Pixel 2, the new Pixel 3a sees the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. We live in quite the weird world today where vendors decide that removing a feature on the more premium models is something the consumers should want, but at least it’s all good for the Pixel 3a’s.
    Google continues to employ dual front facing speakers with stereo playback capability.
    An important aspect of the Pixel 3a’s is their cameras: Inherently, the single rear module is exactly the same as found on the Pixel 3, meaning the Pixel 3a should have the same imagining capability as its higher end sibling. The 12.2MP sensor has 1.4µm pixel pitches and employs full sensor dual pixel PDAF, with the optics being an f/1.8 lens with a 76° viewing angle and keeps the OIS mechanism – something that is quite rare in mid-range devices.
    One thing that isn’t clear is if the Pixel 3a’s employ Google Visual Core. Inherently there shouldn’t be need for it for the mid-range phone to have the same photography features as its higher end sibling as computation can be picked up by the Snapdragon’s DSP cores – although they might be slower at the task. Indeed Google continues to promise the same key features as on the high-end model, including Night Sight and Portrait Mode.
    The Pixel 3a comes in “Just Black”, “Clearly White” and “Purple-ish” for $399, while the Pixel 3a XL comes in at $479. In the US, the device will premier not only on Verizon, but also T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular, alongside the Google Store in various other countries.
    Related Reading:



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    #9434

    Anandtech: The Larrabee Chapter Closes: Intel's Final Xeon Phi Processors Now in EOL

    Intel this week initiated its product discontinuance plan for its remaining Xeon Phi 7200-series processors codenamed Knights Mill (KML), bringing an end to the family of processors that have now been superceded by the likes of Intel's 56-core Xeon Platinum 9200 family. Xeon Phi parts have been used primarily by supercomputers during its lifetime.
    Customers interested in final Intel Xeon Phi 7295, 7285 and 7235 processors will have to place their final orders on these devices by August 9, 2019. Intel will ship the final Xeon Phi CPUs by July 31, 2020. Intel’s Knights Mill processors feature 64, 68, or 72 upgraded Silvermont x86 cores paired with AVX-512 units and MCDRAM. The parts were essentially Knights Landing parts optimized for Deep Learning applications.
    Intel launched several generations of Xeon Phi over the years, including Knights Ferry, Knights Corner, Knights Landing, Knights Hill (never released), and Knights Mill. The product started off as the Larrabee project, aimed at designing a general purpose x86 compute graphics solution for Intel. We had a first glimpse of the initial architecture way back in 2008, however the graphics part of the project was killed by mid 2010, and the product lived on as a many-core processor with large vector compute units.


    In 2016, one of the original developers of Larrabee, Tom Forsyth, wrote an piece detailing the project, some of its goals, and how far the part had been developed with graphics in mind, before being released as a many-core processor. Here's a quote, and it's well worth a read.
    PRIMARY GOAL: VIRTUAL SUCCESS! It would have been a real success if it had ever shipped. Larrabee ran Compute Shaders and OpenCL very well - in many cases better (in flops/watt) than rival GPUs, and because it ran the other graphical bits of DirectX and OpenGL pretty well, if you were using graphics APIs mainly for compute, it was a compelling package. Unfortunately when the "we don't do graphics anymore" orders came down from on high, all that got thrown in the trash with the rest. It did also kickstart the development of a host of GPGPU-like programming models such as ISPC and CILK Plus, and those survive and are doing well.
    AVX-512 Support Propogation by Various Intel CPUs
    Newer uArch supports older uArch
    Xeon General Xeon Phi
    Skylake-SP AVX512BW
    AVX512DQ
    AVX512VL
    AVX512F
    AVX512CD
    AVX512ER
    AVX512PF
    Knights Landing
    Cannon Lake AVX512VBMI
    AVX512IFMA
    AVX512_4FMAPS
    AVX512_4VNNIW
    Knights Mill
    Cascade Lake-SP AVX512_VNNI
    Cooper Lake AVX512_BF16
    Ice Lake AVX512_VNNI
    AVX512_VBMI2
    AVX512_BITALG
    AVX512+VAES
    AVX512+GFNI
    AVX512+VPCLMULQDQ
    (not BF16)
    AVX512_VPOPCNTDQ
    Source: Intel Architecture Instruction Set Extensions and Future Features Programming Reference (pages 16)
    As for the Xeon Phi family, Knights Mill was the last product. Last year Intel discontinued its Xeon Phi 7210, 7210F, 7230, 7230F, 7250, 7250F, 7290, and 7290F processors, known as Knights Landing. The final shipments of Knights Landing for old systems will be made by July 19, 2019, with Knights Mill on July 31, 2020.
    Related Reading


    Source: Intel
    Gallery: Intel Begins EOL Program for Remaining Xeon Phi Processors





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    #9435

    Anandtech: Intel Details Manufacturing through 2023: 7nm, 7+, 7++, with Next Gen Pack

    At Intel's Investor Day today, CEO Bob Swan and Murthy Renduchintala spoke to the ability of the company with respect to its manufacturing capabilities. Intel has historically been strong in its ability to execute on its process technology, however the delay of its 10nm process has obviously raised multiple question marks, and has done for several years. The two Intel executives went into a little detail about what Intel was doing in the interim, and how it has learned from the issues.

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    #9436

    Anandtech: Intel Process Technology Update: 10nm Server Products in 1H 2020, Accelera

    Intel provided an update regarding its upcoming fabrication technologies at its 2019 Investor Meeting. The company is on track to produce server-class products using its 10 nm manufacturing technology already in the first half of 2020, which is something that the company implied on for a while now, but never confirmed officially. What is relatively surprising is that Intel intends to start production of ccommercial chips using its 7 nm process already in 2021.



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    #9437

    Anandtech: Samsung Unveils 64 MP & 48 MP ISOCELL Bright Image Sensors for Smartphones

    Samsung has introduced two new 0.8-μm image sensors for use in upcoming smartphones. The new sensors are the 48 MP ISOCELL Bright GM2 for advanced handsets as well as the 64 MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 for flagship phones. Both 0.8-μm image sensors not only feature very high resolutions via use of very small pixels, but they support a number of technologies designed to improve image quality.


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    #9438

    Anandtech: Intel Xeon Update: Ice Lake and Cooper Lake Sampling, Faster Future Update

    Emerging workloads will require considerably higher performance, and in order to solve upcoming challenges Intel has adjusted its product roadmaps quite significantly. One of the key things that Intel confirmed during its Investor Meeting event this week is shortening its Xeon introduction cadence from 18-24 months down to 12-15 months, thus accelerating its server CPU roadmap.



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    #9439

    Anandtech: Corsair Releases The New Ironclaw RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse

    Adding to their ever-growing range of PC gaming peripherals, Corsair has unveiled its Ironclaw RGB wireless gaming mouse. Similar to its predecessor, the Ironclaw RGB, the new wireless variant adds its Slipstream Wireless technology and features an 18,000 dpi optical sensor.


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    #9440

    Anandtech: SMART Modular Announces 32 GB SO-DIMMs for Extreme Environments

    SMART Modular has introduced the industry’s first industrial-grade 32 GB DDR4 SO-DIMMs. The memory modules are aimed at ruggedized computing applications that require top-of-the-line capacity modules with improved reliability.



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