We still live in a world controlled by mostly 28nm technology, but 20nm is popping its head over the horizon, and 16nm is floating in over that same mountain. Samsung has reportedly moved into volume production of its 14nm FinFET technology, which is a big deal.
Samsung will be building its next-gen Exynos processor on its own 14nm process, but both Apple and AMD will be benefiting from Samsung's super-small process. Intel is moving toward the mass production of 14nm 3D transistor technology, with its Broadwell-based Core M processors already shipping, but Samsung is right behind them ready to go for AMD, Apple and of course, itself.
Comparing 14nm against 20nm, we can expect the core area to be reduced by 15%, reduced power consumption by up to 35%, or an increase in processor frequency of 20%. Samsung will be the first to use its 14nm process, but I'm sure Apple will be right behind it with its upcoming A9 processor, which Samsung will build for its arch rival. So we can expect Apple's next-gen iPhone to have Samsung's technology at the heart of it, again.
Ubisoft has been springing leaks all over its Assassin's Creed franchise, with various reported problems in Assassin's Creed: Unity, but with Patch 3, the developer has simply watered down the graphics on the PS4 version at least.
The news is coming from Reddit, and EXPreview, where Patch 3 has been pushed out to the PS4 version of the game, watering down the graphics to increase the performance. You can see the differences between the game before the patch was released, and after Patch 3 was deployed. You can see that most of the light is gone, with the texture detail dropping considerably.
I guess that's one way of increasing the performance of your obviously, still very broken (and possibly unfixable) game - disable things. Next stop, buildings?
ASUS has been doing some good things with its smaller video cards, but the latest one could be one of the hot-sellers during the holiday season. The new ASUS GeForce GTX 970 DirectCU Mini is based off of NVIDIA's second-generation Maxwell architecture, with the GTX 970 at the center of it.
On top of that, we have a 17cm long video card with the DirectCU II cooling from ASUS, using a single fan. It uses hot plate technology to improve thermal efficiency, which provides 20% more cooling than traditional, reference coolers. We also have Core Clocks of 1088MHz, while Boost Clocks are set at 1228MHz. We also have 4GB of RAM at its stock frequency of 7010MHz.
Connectivity wise we have one dual-link DVI port, a DVI-I port, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2. The ASUS GeForce GTX 970 DirectCU Mini requires just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, which will be a perfect fit to Mini-ITX gaming systems. When it comes to pricing, we should expect similar pricing to GIGABYTE's GeForce GTX 970 ITX, which is on Amazon right now for $339.
AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 is still a champion of a GPU, even up against the likes of the single-GPU card from NVIDIA in the form of the GeForce GTX 980. Better yet, the R9 295X2 can now be found on Amazon for as low as $679, down from its introductory price of $1499.
The XFX Radeon R9 295X2 is currently $679 on Amazon, down from $1039 - a saving of $360. This is not too bad at all, especially when you consider you're getting two GPUs here. This card is still a great card for high-res gaming, especially 4K and beyond, and perfect for smaller systems where you can only install the single card.
Rumored to be due to either Black Friday sales, a DDoS attack succession or a combination of the two - Blizzard's Battle.net servers are reportedly experiencing major lag issues in several different forms.
You may have noticed that by trying to log in to the Battle.net client will you experience a wait of up to 25 minutes. Once you have finally managed to connect to their service, you'll likely see that not only are you unable to connect to view or chat to your friends, but you're unable to launch any games within.
Sony has announced that it will unleash its new Alpha 7 II mirrorless camera into the US next month, starting at $1699. The mirrorless shooter will go on sale on December 2, with two offerings; the body-only for $1699 or the pack with the FE 28-70mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 OSS zoom lens for $1999.
The Alpha 7 II is the successor to the Alpha 7, which offers some nice upgrades on the previous model. We have the latest 5-axis in-body stabilization system, some design improvements which help reduce camera shake no matter which lens is connected to the camera body. There's also an enhanced autofocus system that uses 117 phase and 25 contact points to provide 30% faster autofocus responsiveness, as well as high bit-rate XAVC-S recording.
Some of what made its predecessor a great camera are still found in the Alpha 7 II, such as its 24.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the 3-inch tilting LCD on the back which offers a 3:2 aspect ratio providing 1.24 million dots, the ability to tilt the screen 107 degrees upwards and 41 degrees down, shutter speeds as low as 1/8000 second, and an ISO sensitivity that hovers between 100 and 25,600.
Toyota will begin testing its autonomous vehicles on open roads starting in December, using a system compromised of six laser radar devices mixed with higher-accuracy map data. The vehicle is able pass through electronic toll collection gates and main roads, while safely maintain its lane location.
"We will actively continue the development of autonomous driving technologies, but we are considering commercializing autonomous driving technologies that do not change the sovereignty of the driver," said Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota Chief Safety Technology Officer. "For Toyota, advanced driving assist technologies are for safety and realizing zero traffic deaths."
Last year, Toyota publicly showed its automated highway driving assist (AHDA) technology, with the ability for the car to automatically control gas and steering.
After studying groups of 12-year-old and 13-year-old students, and how they develop 3D role playing games, it was discovered girls are able to create more complex programs, according to a study compiled by the University of Sussex. Using Neverwinter Nights 2, Flip translated all written script into plain English so they were able to understand what was programmed.
Overall in the UK, there are more women than men gamers - especially with women between the ages of 25 and 44 downloading mobile puzzle and trivia games.
"Given that girls' attainment in literacy is higher than boys across all stages of the primary and secondary school curriculum, it may be that explicitly tying programming to an activity that they tend to do well in leads to a commensurate gain in their programming skills," said Dr. Kate Howland, Flip programming language developer. "In other words, if girls' stories are typically more complex and well developed, then when creating stories in games, their stories will also require more sophisticated programs in order for their games to work."
Robotics research has focused on factory automation, greeting customers in malls and shopping centers, but could one day soon have a new purpose: flying your meals and drinks to you while you dine at restaurants in Singapore. Infinium-Serve is the new fleet of autonomous flying robotic waiters that will be able to serve as waiters - and help reduce burden on labor problems in Singapore.
The robotic waiters could be deployed by the end of 2015, with Infinium Robotics currently trying to receive government grants to help pay for the project. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saw an in-person test of the Infinium-Serve earlier this year, however, it remains unknown where he stands on the research.
"Introducing this technology into restaurants would take away mundane tasks of serving food and drinks," said Woon Junyang, Infinium Robotics CEO, in a statement. "It will allow human waiters to focus on higher-value tasks such as getting feedback from customers. This will result in an enhanced dining experience, which will eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants."
BlackBerry has been granted approval to purchase German-based encryption company Secusmart, with the Canadian smartphone manufacturer agreeing to a "no-spy" agreement. As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will grant the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) access to the BlackBerry operating system.
In addition, BlackBerry executives have given the German government assurance that no data will be passed along to the NSA, GCHQ, and other foreign intelligence branches.
"The German government has examined the planned purchase of Secusmart by BlackBerry and given its approval for it to go ahead," said a spokeswoman from the German economy ministry.