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steam-logo
Industry

Steam has become one of the major players in the game industry and if all goes according to plan, the console industry via SteamOS and SteamMachines. It seems that Steam reached new heights when it broke its previously held record of most users online. On December 26 Steam had about 7.5 Million users online at that instance, which is approximately 10% of its registered user base.

steam_logo_by_thegreatjug-d41y30s

Steam Achieves Record-Shattering Number of Concurrent Users Simultaneously Online

According to Steam Stats and Site-Metrics the exact number of people was 7,506,008, approximately 7.5 Million and about a Half Million more than the record set on December 2. Whats more this number of concurrent users seems to be holding to the next cycle. More interestingly however is the question of whether the Steam infrastructure can handle such massive fluxes in traffic in Holidays.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Industry

Disclaimer: Please do attempt to retain the knowledge that you are a modern and civilized human being; not a medieval peasant with a pitchfork!

Nvidia has been subtly pushing out serious announcements (notice the apparent paradox) in rapid succession. Needless to say that GameWorks is one of the most prominent of the bunch, and after a closer look it turns out that GameWorks might be more than it looks. Infact if utilized correctly, it could bring about serious losses for AMD.

url

GameWorks – Graphical Feats Performed by Hidden Code Optimized by NVIDIA for both Developers and AMD.

GameWorks Libraries is divided into about 6 categories, out of which nearly all are proprietary. Let me define what i mean by proprietary first. The GameWorks library is basically a set of instructions or implemented behaviors. These can be anything, from lighting instructions to literal ingame VFX such as a lightning strike.If you are wondering why do libraries exist in the first place then its because Developers dont have to repeat the same effect (code-wise) multiple times in different games or even in the same games.

However thing about this particular library is that its code is closed. Developers cannot see the code at all, therefore they cannot modify it. Only Nvidia has the power to modify this particular set of code. Now though it will only be a slight inconvenience and  a mild insult to developers, it can be a much serious threat for AMD.

android_intel-590x495
Hardware Industry

According to a recent rumor the upcoming Nexus 7 which will be released in 2014 will be powered by an Intel SOC. If this is true then Intel may have landed a huge deal with Asus or the next Nexus 7 manufacturer. However improbable this seems, this looks extremely interesting.

Intel SOC May Power Upcoming Nexus 7

Asus looks like the favorite candidate to build the Nexus 7 2014 as it has been doing so since the first Nexus 7. Keeping in mind the time Google gives to another Nexus 7 update, we can expect the upcoming Nexus 7 to be available in Q3 2014.

Nexus 7 2014

The Bay-Trail chips, possibly the Z3740 or the Z3770 will be used if indeed this rumor is true. Asus is familiar with these chips as it utilized them it it’s T-100 convertible Windows tablet also. Anandtech recently reviewed the Z3770. Both the devices performed formidably on the CPU front, acing processors to the likes of the Krait 400 used in the Snapdragon 800. The Z3770 is good for this generation but it may not be enough for the upcoming wave of mobile SOC’s.

iphone 6 rumor roundup
Gadgets Industry

According to a new report Apple will reportedly release a 12.9 inch tablet with a very high resolution in October 2014. It is speculated that just before this release, Apple will launch its next generation iPhone, the iPhone 6. Most probably near May 2014.

Apple iPhone 6 Probable Release Date

According to this report, May 2014 is the most favored date for the release of the Apple iPhone 6. TSMC’s 20nm tech will be used to manufacture the processor which will be housed inside the iPhone 6. Another rumor according to this source is that the iPhone 6 will utilize a 1920 x 1080 resolution matrix in a 4.7 inch display. The PPI with these specification turns out to be 469 which is well above Apple’s Retina standard of around 326 ppi.

Apple iPhone 6

Contrary to popular opinion, curved screens can be ruled out for the upcoming iPhone 6 and even the Samsung Galaxy S5. This is further supported by this source. Apple with its 12.9 inch tablet hopes to replace it’s 11 inch Macbook. In an ever-changing world, analysts predict that tablet sales will boom and exceed sales of desktops and level those of laptops.

A video uploaded to YouTube shows an early AMD’s Mantle API demo that was recorded at the recent APU 2013 developer conference. The demo, done by Oxide Games, shows a game engine (in its alpha state) specifically built for AMD’s Mantle running an increasingly intensive scene.

During the demo, which starts at 25:40, we see a bustling space battle taking place. It’s full of ships, lasers, lights, reflections, and anything else you could imagine that would stress a system’s CPU and GPU. The only problem is, the system remains butter-smooth during the entire demo. Bear in mind this is an R9-290X and an FX-8350, but even with specs like that it’s impressive to see the system appear to keep up regardless of what’s added to the scene.

Mantle slide.

Mantle slide.

Mantle publicly demoed at APU 2013

Mantle heavily reduces the CPU’s workload

As the speaker discloses after the demo (at 37:18), their CPU is actually hardly even being used. The developer presented the audience with a before-and-after frame analysis of how Mantle affects the system’s workload in comparison to DirectX. In the frame analysis taken from the game running with DirectX, we see a chunk of the CPU being used by the driver thread. In the second (the one where Mantle was used), that thread is simply gone.

CES 2014 logo
Gadgets Industry

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Not true for the technology though. The electronic machines, devices and technologies that are showed off every year at Consumer Electronics and Consumer Technology Tradeshow (CES) at Las Vegas slither out to the entire globe. As the “CES 2014″ is right around the corner, here are the few big deals that are expected in this year’s consumer electronics trade show.

ces 2014

The big and the best at “CES 2014″

Steam OS getting tangible:

Steam OS has been called as the first true Gaming OS ever developed among many other things. This is fully independent Linux-based OS released only a week ago. Valve is already going through the testing process by some 300 lucky gamers to test beta builds.

There are several features that make SteamOS stand tall against other competitors which includes the never ending library of Steam games, developers optimizing experiences for SteamOS and Valve exclusive titles based on Source Engine and four great features which include the ability to stream games on large screen TVs from a Windows or Mac OS through your SteamOS machine.

Another year has passed since CES 2013, and what a year it’s been! As always, WCCFTech is here and providing you with the latest news on the biggest companies in the PC and technology space. Without further ado, here’s a brief explanation of each company’s offerings this year at CES 2014.

CES 2014

Intel, AMD, NVIDIA , and the gang!

Intel – Bay Trail & Bay Trail devices

Highly competitive with AMD’s somewhat recent 28nm Kabini chips, Intel’s mobile 22nm Bay Trail ranges from 2W SDP (~3.7W TDP) to 4.5W SDP (7.5W TDP). It’s worth mentioning that in comparison to AMD’s older Kabini architecture it has healthily lower power figures, but Intel also uses the much smaller SDP measurement. The difference between the new SDP and AMD’s TDP measurement could mislead some. When converted to SDP, AMD’s smallest and largest Kabini chips respectively sit around 6W and 10W. Several Atom and mobility chips were leaked in an Intel 2014 roadmap which you can see here.

Intel hopes to use the newly refreshed Bay Trail (with more 64-bit options) to lead their next charge into tablets. Since Bay Trail has made healthy progress in many areas over its predecessor, Intel may just have what it needs to help move the tablet market forward and further toward x86-based chips. In addition to their mobile chips, there’s also a fair chance that we could see more information on Intel’s upcoming 14nm “Broadwell” chips.

AMD has announced that it would be jointly working with memory manufacturer SK Hynix in the development of next generation High-bandwdith 3D Stacked memory products and solutions. Currently, there seems to be a huge need of bandwidth in processors (accelerated processing units) and graphic cards which require huge bandwidth output from the memory to sustain the graphical workload, this issues won’t be fixed until higher bandwidth and stacked memory kicks off to full commercialization.

AMD Hynix HBM Stacked memory

AMD And Hynix Developing High-Bandwidth Stacked Memory

AMD is the first to announce this joint development with Hynix since they noted that 2.5/3D stacked memory has already started shipping in FPGAs and Image sensor devices yet nothing is available on the mainstream and high-performance side which includes graphic processing units, accelerated processing units and several processors.  Bryan Black, 3D program manager at AMD had the following to say:

 “..there is nothing yet in mainstream computing CPUs, GPUs or APUs” but that “HBM (high bandwidth memory) will change this.”  

“Getting 3D going will take a BOLD move and AMD is ready to make that move.” Black announced that AMD is co-developing HBM with SK Hynix which is currently sampling the HBM memory stacks and that AMD “…is ready to work with customers.” via Electroiq

So what is 3D Memory and how will it help solve the bandwidth crisis faced by APUs and GPUs? Die stacking mainly involves several memory chips stacked ontop of each other in a single die through 3D layering. This helps save both power consumption and space as you may have noted that current GPUs have memory arranged on the back when using excess of 4 GB VRAM such as the GeForce GTX Titan. This produces heat on both end so the less scattering of the chips on a board surface would result in lower temperatures for the PCB. The 3D Stacked memory would be used for both graphics, network memory as HBM and 3D Stacked design for Main memory.

m8ye6pfx
Industry

We have just received some very interesting information from a couple of Chinese Sources, notably: it.sohu.com (a big Chinese Tech Site). Luo Jiangchun, CEO of of the online video service Funshion, revealed that the ”Xbox One” would receive a Chinese launch somewhere in 2014. Needless to say this is big news.

An illustration of estimated Chinese impact relative to Current Gen.

Chines ”Xbox One” Launch to happen in Mid 2014 –  Luo Jiangchun, CEO of Funshion, China.

Ofcourse we already knew that China, where consoles are more or less banned countrywide, would be getting a ban lift. This is thought to be a major turning point in Microsoft’s strategy to rival Playstation 4, which is thought to not fare as well. The detailed argument and the calculated impact of a new Chinese market is given here. Apparently Funshion will be working on the Chinese variant of the Xbox One and will be heavily involved in the entire process.

Funshion is the equivalent of Hulu in china and its parent company BesTV is the same which launched a joint venture with Microsoft this year. The console ban has already been partially lifted and it is hoped that by 2014, China would be a completely open market. Also common sense dictates that if Microsoft has an utter monopoly in the Chinese Market, Sony will loose this round (Not counting extenuating unforeseen factors).

Intel-Logo
Industry

PAKISTAN, Lahore, December 12, 2013: 2013 was an exciting year for Intel in the Asia Pacific region. Technology innovation from the region made possible devices with an immersive and personal computing experience. Intel is proud to be a driving force behind this innovation. Creating and extending computing technology to connect and enrich lives has been Intel’s company vision. This year Intel made a leap forward by delivering next generation processors that changed the way people use and interact with computing technology from interactive signs, smart cars to smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks™ and servers. Intel also continued its work to help transform Asia into a global powerhouse through a focus on education, encouraging the adoption of 21st century skills and investing in Asian start-ups and entrepreneurs across the region.

Intel Haswell

Intel Creates and Extends Computing Technology to Connect and Enrich Lives

In 2013 Intel made smarter, faster and more secure computing possible through the integration of revolutionary technology. The highlight of the year was the release of Intel’s 4th Generation Core Processor, enabling a range of 2 in 1 convertible devices that can act as both a tablet and a PC. Intel Labs conducted research that found PC’s are approximately 1.8x faster than they were four years ago.

Apple vs Samsung logo
Gadgets Industry

The Next gen phones, iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 are all the hype nowadays. The Galaxy S5 is touted to be released sometime early 2014, probably Q2. The iPhone 6 on the other hand has a higher chance to be available much later in 2014.

iPhone 6 Or The Galaxy S5?

iPhone 6

Details regarding the specification of Apple’s next flagship are scarce. What we do know is that it will run iOS 8. Even now the iPhone 5s is at the top of the food chain, when considering hardware. It’s A7 chipset utilize the ARMv8 architecture via its dual “Cyclone” cores. Two of A7’s cores make short work of Quad core chipsets such as the Snapdragon 600 and equals the Snapdragon 800. Apple may not go with a Quad-core A8 chipset and stick with dual core although its too early to tell.

iPhone 6 Vs Samsung Galaxy S5

An iPhone 6 concept

The Display of the iPhone 6 is the most speculated piece of hardware right now. With Apple’s recent patent regarding curved displays approved, we may see an iPhone with a curved/round display although the probability of this is quite low. With competition reaching to 2k ( 2560 x 1600) resolution, Apple is also expected to bump up the resolution on the iPhone 6.

Apple-logo1
Hardware Industry

It’s been some time since news regarding the working conditions of Apple’s major suppliers has reached us. Foxconn, a supplier of Apple has been continuously maimed because of the inhumane conditions the laborers work in. Pegatron another of Apple’s supplier is in hot water. An underage worker has recently died at a Pegatron factory.

Apple’s Supplier Accused Of Labor Violations

The laborer “Shi zhaokun” worked at the factory by using a fake id, according to a report he worked more than 75 hours per week which is more than the 60 hour limit per week set by Chinese law.

“Apple’s supplier responsibility statement bars employees of supplier companies in China from working more than 60 hours a week; so does Chinese law. But Mr. Shi worked 79 hours in his first week, 77 in his second and 75 in his third, all apparently in violation of the law, according to documents provided by his family.

Pegatron said that the work logs the family kept are records of when the young man clocked in and out, and may not include breaks. The company said his hours did not exceed the legal limit.”

According to a Pegatron spokesperson, the death was not workplace related. Apple has not released a statement on this issue. Although Apple started the efforts to form a “Supplier responsibility program”, news related to disagreeable workplace conditions are not very uncommon. This is indeed sad news.

 

ubuntu touch mobile os
Industry

ubuntu touch mobile os

Ubuntu Touch mobile OS wins first partner!

Ubuntu has finally managed to seal its first deal to supply the Linux based touch OS for mobile platforms. It is yet to revealed which company Ubuntu is partnering with, but seems like 2014 will see Ubuntu as another major mobile OS platform.

In an interview at LeWeb Conference, Canonical founder and product strategy leader Mark Suttleworth said that the company has signed its first agreement to ship Ubuntu to mobile.

“We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones.” – Shuttleworth.

12 days of gifts us app
Industry

12 Days of Gifts US app:12 days of gifts us app

Apple has released its annual 12 Days of Gifts app for iOS devices today to celebrate Christmas. The Cupertino based company has given its consumers in Europe, Canada, Japan and, some other countries 12 days of Gifts, also known as 12 Days of Christmas, for the past many years. However, 2013 is the first year when the free giveaways

china mobile iphone preorders
Gadgets Industry

China Mobile’s official website is advertising iPhone 5s pre-order sales beginning from this Thursday. A few days back China Mobile and Apple closed a deal to bring the iPhone to China’s largest mobile network – a network which could bring some 24 million iPhone sales in 2014 for Apple!china mobile iphone preorders

China Mobile iPhone preorders: 



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