AMD Core Logo
Hardware

AMD has just posted their “Core is Back” teaser over at their Facebook page which hints at an imminent CPU announcement. Now this may sound crazy but this actually coming from AMD’s official Facebook and Youtube pages makes this so much more interesting that we couldn’t wait to find out what this announcement is about actually.AMD Core is Back

AMD CORE IS BACK Teaser Video

AMD Teases “Core Is Back” Teaser and Core Evolution Video

AMD is teasing their upcoming CPU announcement with a picture on their Facebook page and a CGI Video on their YouTube channel. The Facebook page and Youtube Video lists down the following statements:

The war continues to rage and battles may be lost but heroes will evolve.#AMDEvolved via AMD Facebook

“In your PC, applications battle for resources. While powerful CORE hardware fights to maintain the balance. But the war never ends. And the applications only get stronger. Battles may be lost. But heroes will EVOLVE. CORE IS BACK!” via AMD YouTube

When I first saw this picture, I thought it was some fan prompting AMD to release a new CPU but after looking at the teaser video, I become quite excited myself. As you can note, the “Core is Back” title is a conformation that a new CPU announcement is coming and some might even say that core can also be used for GPU but if you take a look at the video, you will notice that applications and CPU have a mutual relationship and makes it the only device to do such a teaser announcement for. The video itself is called “Core Evolution” which hints that the new core technology is an evolution of an existing architecture. So this could be a new FX launch, an updated Kaveri APU or a FX APU based on Steamroller architecture with the iGPU disabled for faster core clock speeds.

AMD Kaveri APU
Hardware

Evidence regarding stacked DRAM on next generation AMD APUs has surfaced once again which gives hints that the upcoming Carrizo APU or its successor will be the first APUs to enable high-bandwidth stacked DRAM design on-chip.AMD APUs Carrizo APU Stacked Memory

Evidence Regarding AMD APUs Featuring High-Bandwidth Stacked Memory Surfaces

It has been known for a while that AMD is sampling their first generation HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) and we can find official specifications in slides dating back to December 2013. While there was no mention of what product or application may make use of HBM back then, the latest slides from AMD’s official Fast Forward presentation talks regarding stacked DRAM specifically on APUs. The Fast Forward project’s objectives are to enhance the high volume APU architecture and investigate in next generation processor and memory tech for exascale and consume scale systems.

Within the presentation, you can find several references of stacked memory and new APU technologies such as HSA+, PIM (Processing In Memory) and Two Level memory. Some of these are already part of the current AMD APU family such as Kaveri which introduced several new features such as HSA on software and steamroller, gcn or hardware side.

Intel-Logo
Hardware

Intel’s upcoming Braswell Processors are quite something. They are basically very power efficient SoCs for the entry level segment of Desktop Computing. Basically Intel did not have any real offerings in the “HTPC (Home Theater PC) Segment” and is ready to get a piece of the pie. Intel has started taking mobile computing seriously only in these past few years and the consequences of the same are already becoming apparent ( in a good way).intel-braswell-tablet-mobile-cpu-processor-chip-620x354

Intel Braswell SoCs (14nm) Have Possibly Been Delayed to Second Quarter of 2015

Currently the only core that comes near the archetype of Braswell is the Bay Trail Core however the Braswell will be one performance tier above the Bay Trail processors while still retaining the same power efficiency (which is quite a feat). Now here is the thing, our source CPU-World.com tell us that even though the 14nm Braswell SoCs were coming in Q1 2015, the “ready to ship” timeframe for the same might have moved to Q2 of 2015. The reason for this being that Intel is working in mysterious ways this year. This also means that we would be catching the first glimpse of these processors in mid march or mid may of next year.

Intel has already released two refreshes of the Bay Trail platform, each iteration more powerful than the previous. There is another refresh coming in Q4 2014 to top it all of.  However, a power vacuum remains between the mainstream Desktop Processors (currently Haswell Refresh) and the atom processors. It is this vacuum that Braswell will fill. We also have the Core M processors coming soon along with Cherry Trail so it looks like Intel is going all out on the mobility spectrum of computing which is about damn time. Currently this particular segment is dominated by AMD’s APUs and it is clear that Intel wants in on the action. These processors are an ideal choice for people who want a “streaming box (Steam’s inHouse Streaming) ” in their lounge in an ultra small form factor. With your real rig somewhere else in the house, an HTPC serves as the ideal “front end”.

Intel Logo
Hardware

Intel’s HEDT (High End Desktop) has always been somewhat of a roller coaster ride with its loyal consumers one or two architectural generations behind the mainstream consumer processors. Intel offsets this lag in the process by giving a higher core count which translates to 4 threads on the high end model. However this does not come cheap because even though we had authentic reports that most of the Haswell-E pricing wouldn’t change, an online retailer Shopblt.com has listed them far more expensive than Ivy Bridge-E.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Haswell-E Intel HEDT Processors Price List Spotted at Online Retailed

Now here’s the thing. Intel has adopted a two year architectural life span for HEDT instead of the mainstream yearly strategy. So that means Intel either has to skip generations for its HEDT spectrum or let it fall behind the mainstream spectrum. Ofcourse the profit motive dictates that Blue follows the latter. However with Haswell-E, modest IPC gains will get blown away by not 2 but 4 more cores than consumers. That is twice the cores that mainstream offers and that’s 8 more threads for an absolutely stunning total of 16 threads. This is how Intel compromised and tried to get into the good graces of the hardcore enthusiasts. It all seemed to make sense when we heard that pricing wont change except for the i7-5820K and that was only because it was getting two more cores (i7-4820K was a Quad Core). However, if this online retailer Shopblt.com is correct than it would appear that Intel is getting ready to squeeze some extra cash again.

AMD APU
Hardware

AMD’s Carrizo APU “Mobile” platform specifications and details have been unveiled in a slide posted by VR-Zone. The slide confirms pretty much everything we have known about Carrizo and will end much of the confusion that has been build around the information regarding AMD’s 5th generation of accelerated processing units for their mobile platforms.AMD Carrizo APU Platform Details

AMD Carrizo APU “Mobile” Platform Details Unveiled

The platform details regarding AMD Carrizo APU have been unveiled for the Mobile platform rather the desktop platform but we will believe that the desktop platform will be similar in terms of architecture and design as was with Kaveri generation of processors, earlier this year. If you look at the picture of the slide posted by VR-Zone, you will note that it is very similar to the SteamrollerB powered Kaveri 2.0 platform slide which was leaked almost 8 months ago and turned out to be true at the time of Kaveri’s launch since most of the details reported were accurate.

AMD’s Carrizo APU would become the fifth installment in the Accelerated Processing Units family which will feature the latest Excavator core architecture. From previous leaks, we have come to know that Excavator is based on a 28nm process probably based on GlobalFoundaries since AMD chose it the node for Kaveri too. Powering the CPU side, these new x86 Excavator modular cores will leverage the IPC for greater performance compared to Steamroller. The mobile platform will feature both Quad Core and Dual Core variants but right now, we are looking at a glimpse of the top-end variant which shares 2 MB L2 cache.

weekly shorts logo
Hardware

We are back with the second installment of WCCF’s Weekly Shorts. The rules are simple, of the many articles we post, we shortlist not more than 7 entries and summarize them in not more than 5 lines. The previous episode of the WCCF’s Weekly Shorts can be found here.weekly shorts main image

Weekly Shorts – Peeping EA, AMD Carrizo, PS4′s 60FPS Optimization, Benefits of Sand, Anti-Theft Protection Debunked and the GM200 Core

1. EA is Spying on You by File Snooping with the Origin Client – Official Investigation Begins

Origin is one of the biggest gaming clients out there and it turns out that it does more than just let you play EA Games. In this report we take a look at what some dedicated gamers have uncovered. Basically the Origin Client is also an accomplished file snooper and is actively spying o your usage habits. Origin Reps have stated that they have begun an official investigation. Read More about Origin’s File Snooping.

Intel-Logo
Hardware

Details of Intel’s next generation Skylake-S platform have been revealed by VR-Zone, unveiling that the new processors will be available in 2H of 2015 and a new motherboard series featuring the latest 100-Series chip. Configurations of various Skylake series processors were unveiled not long ago which mentioned that the time span between the launch of Broadwell and Skylake generation would be small and both platforms would be available to consumers by 2015.Intel Skylake-S Desktop Z170 Chipset

Image Courtesy of VR-Zone!

Intel Skylake-S Desktop Platform Detailed – Z170 Chipset Replaces Z97 in 2H 2015

While the current Z97 series motherboards do add support for Broadwell processors, Intel won’t have the chips ready for consumers till at least Q2 of 2015. The first iteration of Broadwell processors which will launch for PCs will be in the form of Intel Core-M and Broadwell Y-Series which will arrive in holiday 2014 and are aimed toward the tablet and laptop market. The actual desktop processors won’t be available till 2015 which is a bit surprising since at the time Intel launches Broadwell-K series, they will be shipping Skylake-S to consumers in the exact same quarter or a bit late (moving in early 2H 2015). This was showcased in the latest Intel Desktop roadmap leak for consumers.

The transition to Z170 chipset will not be a massive upgrade and would be similar to what the Z97 was to Z87 with a little added features such as more PCI-e lanes, Super Speed USB and up to 10 USB ports compared to 6 standard ones found on the current iteration of motherboards. There will be a total of six 100-series chipset SKUs which will include the Z170 (Performance) replacing the Z97, H170 (Mainstream) replacing the H97, H110 (Value) replacing the H81, B150 (Small and medium Business) replacing the B85 and the Q170 plus Q150 chips with Intel vPro / SIPP which will replace the Q87 and Q85. So as you can note, Intel has the entire replacement plan ready which will update the current desktop chipset stack in 2015. Intel is already phasing out their Ivy Bridge-E and Z77/H77/H75/Q75 chipsets in early 2015. This transition won’t eliminate support for Z97 or Z87 in 2015 since there would be a majority of consumers who will still be running Broadwell and Haswell processors since these platforms have spanned a longer shelve-time in the market and will cease to exist along side each other for a couple of years.

AMD Kaveri APU
Hardware

[RUMOR] Notice the shiny tag at the start. Continue. We have received some information regarding AMD’s upcoming APU Carrizo, this information is unverified so I will be treating it as a rumor. The report comes from the Italian site bitsandchips.it and states that AMD’s upcoming flagship APUs will have Stacked DRAM while maintaining the 28nm Node.

Carrizo APU RoadmapThe Quite Old ‘Leaked’ Roadmap

Carrizo APU will be based on the 28nm Node and have HBM (High Bandwidth Memory)

Now it goes without saying, that you need to keep that pinch of salt handy throughout this post. However this news, if true, is very interesting. We know for a fact that APUS benefit a lot from good memory and if these APUs will truly support HBM then we can expect to see some very substantial performance per clock gains while jumping from Kaveri to Carrizo even while staying on the same node. Another important point to note is that with the Carrizo APU the implementation of HSA will be perfected resulting in probably significant in compute as well as gaming.

Now we already know that AMD is working with Hynix to create Stacked DRAM.  We also know that this memory will come in two types, namely 3DS and HBM (Don’t be fooled by the lack of 3D in this name, both are stacked). The memory that is in question here is the HBM variant type which will feature the highest bandwidth and I know for a fact that there are two types already in production. Namely the 2-Hi and 4-Hi variants. You can find the detailed analysis of the same in my Pascal Architecture Analysis. Now the max bandwidth of a single HBM is 128-256 GBps (compare this to the 28GBps of GDDR5), so we are looking at an insane growth in bandwidth, albeit at reduced clocks (most probably around 1000Mhz).

Intel Quark Logo
Hardware

Intel’s Quark and Edison Projects marked the beginning of Intel’s next step in the miniaturization of the smart PC. However much like the early days of Atom, its not being taken very seriously at the moment with progress slow and lathargic. However, we just received an update from CPU-World.com that the Quark will be replaced by Dublin Bay sometime in 2015.intel galileo with quark soc x1000

 

Intel Quark X1000 SoC to be replaced by Dublin Bay Platform in Mid 2015 – 1-2W TDP

Now the quark is all about tiny devices. Where Quark covers both embedded and wearable applications, its smaller sibling, the Edison, covers mostly wearable. It was near the end of 2013 that the first Quark SoC (the X1000) was launched although it wasn’t until February 2014 that developers actually received the Galileo board (Intel’s Raspberry Pie rival) which sadly however could not make a significant dent in the market occupied by its competitor. The Quark chips had a very simple die layout. The specs are as follows:

  • 1 Core
  • 16KB L1 Cache
  • DDR3 Controller
  • 512KB On-die SRAM
  • PCIE 2.0 and USB 2.0 Supported
  • Price: $9-$12
VIA Logo
Hardware

The company Centaur Technology, which is a subsidiary of VIA Technology (which is not a very known incorporated, ill admit) has recently demoed (via benchmarks) the capability of its brand new upcoming x86 architecture processor to rival AMD and Intel directly.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

VIA’s Isaiah II x86 Architecture Allegedly Sweeps the Floor with AMD and Intel

Now the benchmarks we received appear to get the upper hand on both Intel and AMD processors alike, but since there are some very serious points of contention,  we shall approach that in a minute. Now the x86 architecture codenamed Isaiah II is basically being developed by Centaur Technology and will be revealed in approximately two months. You can find the exact countdown over here. Now the x86 processors made from this architecture will be targetted to the same market sector that is currently housing AMD’s Kabini and Intel’s Bay Trail processors. So we are looking at a low end product primarily for embedded uses and maybe some very low-end Dekstops.

Intel-Logo
Hardware

[Editorial] It would seem that what is probably the first time in many years, Intel’s Delays are following a never-before-seen pattern. It always troubled me that the ultra high end spectrum of the consumer processors (HEDT) was one microarchitectural generation (is that even a term?) behind.  At any given time there were at least two architectures in the same consumer spectrum which is slightly odd. However after these delays, we might see three microarchitectures spanning the generations, which in my humble opinion is simply capitalistic insanity.

Intel Broadwell Delay Analysis

A Big Wibbly Wobly Mess of Concurrent Processor Architectures – Intel’s Roadmap Delay

So here is the problem, according to latest reports, Intel’s Skylake processors will be arriving in Q2 of next year (I don’t  know whether its still valid anymore after the latest Broadwell-K delay or not) and Broadwell-K is actually slated for arrival after Skylake-S (which will consist entirely of locked processors) is released. So here we have our first oddity, an older architecture is slated for arrival after a newer generation? The obvious solution is ofcourse that the Broadwell-k delay to Q3 has also shifted the release of Skylake-S so that both the locked and unlocked siblings can release at the same time. Admittedly that would make slightly more sense. Basically around this same time, we would be looking at Haswell-E which is the successor to Ivy Bridge-E (Intel’s current HEDT spectrum) which as the name betrays is the Ivy Bridge architecture. So in Q2-Q3 2015 we will have Haswell-E on the 22nm node, Broadwell-E on the 14nm node and Skylake-S (which is a different architecture) on the 14nm node. Quoting something Dr.Who never said, its an absolute wibbly wobbly mess of Processor Microarchitectures.

Intel Logo
Hardware

So we just received an update on the status of Broadwell processors via the reliable Chinese VR Zone. This particular architecture of Intel has met with delay after delay, resulting in a constantly updated Intel roadmap. Well the same has just been given a new revision. Broadwell processors who should begin volume production sometime this month have been delayed a bit further.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Intel Broadwell Architecture Roadmap – Mobile Processors Arriving by Year End; Broadwell-K, a Full Year Later in Q3 2015

Intel is receiving criticism from critics as well who claim that the delay is of an artificial nature. The reason being of course that with the information publicly available, there is no discernible cause for any delay. Just yesterday we learned the details of the Broadwell Core M processors which will be featured in slim tablets and some All -in-Ones. These were formerly ‘Y’ 2+2 processors which are now being called ‘Core M’. These are expected to debut by the end of September this year. Intel is expected a new refresh of these processors by the end of this year and the exact date is stated to be sometime around New Years Day. It is somewhat surprising to me that Intel is releasing a new revision (Stepping Version F.) so soon after the initial batch.

Note that Intel’s nomenclature is defined as Core + Graphic Tech. So a 2+2 configuration means that a processors will have 2 physical cores and GT2 graphics. Keeping that in mind the U series 2+2, 2+1(Pentium/Celeron) and 2+3 processors will debut by the end of this year or very early 2015. Although for the 2+3 processors you will have to wait by February 2015.

Intel-Logo
Hardware

Intel Core M series processors is an upcoming lineup that will use the Broadwell architecture and will debut for slim tablets. These processors are more powerful than their Atom siblings while being less powerful than the consumer Core i series. This leak details the three variants of Intel Core M.Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Intel Broadwell Core M 5Y70, Core M 5Y10 and Core M 5Y10a Variants Detailed

Noe one of the most trickiest things of these processors is the TDP, but we will get to that later. Basically these processors are expected in the fourth quarter of 2014 and have yet to begin volume production. However since Intel has its own fab, you can be rest assured that it is of little consequence to the road map. The Y series currently consists of the three variants namely Core M 5Y70, Core M 5Y10 and Core M 5Y10a. Do note that Intel may decide to change the nomenclature of the said SKUs to something completely different, like Core M 70 instead of Core M 5Y70. These SKUs will be followed by 2 more SKUs in around Q1 2015.

AMD Kaveri APU
Hardware

AMD has just recently launched the A10-7800 APU of the Kaveri family. The APU is the locked sibling of the Kaveri A10-7850K and features a massive reduction in TDP (30W) taking it down from the 7850K’s 95W to a much more reasonable 65W. The only downside being that the multiplier is locked, though you can still mess with the BCLK. The A10-7800 should be priced around the $145 price point.

AMD Mobility Kaveri APU Features

Kaveri A10-7800 APU Launches – Locked Multiplier, 512 GCN Cores and 65W TDP

Now the APU is based on the Kaveri architecture and actually features the full shader count of the flagship. On the CPU side the APU features steam roller cores that are divided into two blocks. It features the Radeon R7 series graphics with the full 512 GCN 2.0 core count. It supports Mantle API and Direct X 11.2. Basically, more or less the specs are identical like support for DDR3-1866Mhz memory.  The APU is clocked at 3.5Ghz with a Turbo frequency of 3.9 Ghz while the GPU side is clocked at 720Mhz.

The only other differences between the A10-7800 and A10-7850K are  that the flagship is clocked 200 Mhz higher on the base clock and 100Mhz higher turbo clock. Apart from that, the 7800 is the splitting image of the Kaveri flagship with the added bonus of having a much lower TDP rating. Needless to say that for HTPC builds and very casual gaming rigs, this is a god sent chip. The pricing as I already mentioned will be somewhere between 140 and 150 US dollars.

weekly shorts logo
Hardware

We are starting an experimental weekly series where we handpick a select few posts from the past week and aggregate them into one post. We will list not less than 5 and not more than 7 posts in this weekly roundup of our news. Each post will be given a brief summary which will not exceed 5 lines. So without further ado, our weekly short:weekly shorts main image

Weekly Shorts – Android L’s Release, Mantle API, FX-Series Comeback, Hawaii XTX Benches and CPU Showdown

1. Android L Announced at I/O Today – “Biggest Release”

Android L is one the biggest releases in Android history mostly for two primary reasons. Reason number uno being that it fully supports 64 bit memory addressing, which as you can guess is a pretty big deal. The second feature is that the ART runtime becomes a default, replacing the Dalvik runtime. Where apps were once compiled when opened (Just in Time Compiler) now they will be pre-compiled (Ahead of Time Compiler) and open insanely fast resulting in a much smoother GUI experience. Read More about Android L’s Release.

2. Baikal Processors to Cleansweep AMD and Intel Processors in Russian Government

This is one of the more interesting paradigm shifts in the Industry,  since Russia (or rather Vladmir Putin) has decided that Intel and AMD x86 processors are too unsafe to be used in Russia for fear of a low level backdoor. The solution? a homegrown Prussian processor based on the ARM architecture. Read More about Baikal Processors.



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