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NVIDIA peers into future, predicts that mobile SoC graphics performance will beat Xbox 360 by 2014

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 8:27 am

Something I've covered in my various editorials, that mobile SoC (system-on-a-chip) graphics performance will pass console level performance soon, and NVIDIA agrees with me. NVIDIA predicts mobile SoC graphics performance will surpass the Xbox 360 graphical capabilities by 2014. More so, mobile GPUs are expected to equal the graphics processing power of the Xbox 360 by next year.

 

NVIDIA provided a slide, which in usual fashion doesn't look like it makes a hell of a lot of sense, to Anandtech, highlighting how far graphics performance has come since 2001, and where they expect it to go by 2014. The solid lines in the chart are estimated performance, while the dotted lines represent trends.

 

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The console line starts in 2001 with the release of the NVIDIA-powered Xbox, and continues with the ATI-powered Xbox 360 released in 2005. You can see it flatline as its released, as the hardware doesn't change. Mobile GPU is shown from 2007 with the release of the first iPhone and moves through to Tegra 2 and existing Tegra 3 parts. The solid green line are presumably NVIDIA GPUs throughout the years.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA peers into future, predicts that mobile SoC graphics performance will beat Xbox 360 by 2014 ' (full post)

End of times, ASUS to completely end ODM production of motherboards by Pegatron

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 8:08 am

ASUS and Pegatron enjoy quite the relationship, but 2012 is the year of the end of everything, and ASUS now have plans to end their ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) partnership with Pegatron. ASUS first have plans to decrease ODM production of motherboards from Pegatron which will start mid way through the year, after which they'll completely end their ODM relationship by Q3 2012, according to component manufacturers.

 

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After ending their ODM partnership with Pegatron, ASUS will have other companies stand up and take ODM motherboard production, these companies are: Thailand-based Cal-Comp Electronics, Taiwan-based Global Brands Manufacture, Info-Tek and Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS). ECS and ASUS aren't strangers to each other, either, as ECS has been an ODM of graphics cards for ASUS.

Continue reading 'End of times, ASUS to completely end ODM production of motherboards by Pegatron ' (full post)

RumorTT: Next iPhone may sport in-cell technology from Sharp and Toshiba

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:35 am

Apple's next iPhone isn't too far off, we should see it this year sometime, but how could it stand out from the crowd and change from the 2-year-plus design of the iPhone 4/S? Well, according to part suppliers claimed to DigiTimes, Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display were "likely" producing in-cell touch panels that have reached yields good enough for the two companies to participate.

 

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The two companies would start production of the in-cell panels sometime this spring, but it's not clear whether this schedule includes Apple. The same tipster pointed toward the actual phone launch in the summer, but as with any rumor, there's no exact concrete proof. Most rumors and talk have pointed toward a September/October release of the next iPhone.

 

In-cell touch has been talked about before, and if it's baked into the next iPhone, it would point toward a significant redesign of the popular smartphone. In-cell tech puts the touch sensors within the display's TFT layer instead of its own surface, which slims down the overall screen quite a lot. It also sports the additional upside of bringing the LCD, AMOLED, or similiar display closer to the surface, which leads to a more direct interaction with what's on the screen, and sometimes a brighter picture.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Next iPhone may sport in-cell technology from Sharp and Toshiba ' (full post)

Max Payne 3's official TV commercial is here

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 7:05 am

Not long until we're all bullet dodging and going into slow mo in the upcoming Max Payne 3, and after various design and technology videos, teasers, screenshots and more, we have the official TV commercial to show you, below.

 

 

The TV commercial had its world premiere during the Lakers/Spurs game on ESPN two nights ago, and it will begin airing internationally over the next week or so. One thing I did have a chuckle at was that they threw in "from the makers of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption", like Max Payne 1 & 2 never happened.

 

I guess because they were never featured during the current-generation console life cycle, they didn't really happen. Not long until we can play this game! I'm actually quite excited and I haven't played games this entire year apart from 5 minutes of the Diablo III Beta two nights ago.

Continue reading 'Max Payne 3's official TV commercial is here' (full post)

Valve confirms DOTA 2 will be a new kind of free-to-play, but with 'twists'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 6:24 am

Valve are continuing their efforts on the free-to-play gaming front, with a new plan to release their sure fire hit, DOTA 2, as a free-to-play title. Good Guy Gabe has come out and said that Valve are not applying a wholly conventional freemium model for DOTA 2.

 

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Usually, freemium games are made available to everyone and then later the company monetises it by selling optional in-game items, Team Fortress 2 has done this for example. In an interview with Seven Day Cooldown, Newell said that DOTA 2 would be "free-to-play [but] it'll have some twists". He continues:

 

The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?

Continue reading 'Valve confirms DOTA 2 will be a new kind of free-to-play, but with 'twists' ' (full post)

NVIDIA has confirmed Tegra 3+, as well as 4G LTE-powered devices and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 6:00 am

NVIDIA have finally started discussing Tegra 4 or "Wayne" in more detail, as well as covering Tegra 3+ at HTC's Freqs event in Seattle on Thursday. NVIDIA didn't give much info on it, but we should expect a clock speed increase or other minor updates to the chip.

 

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Another device 'Grey' should also launch side-by-side with Tegra 4, and will be the first Tegra-based device to sport LTE support. It would also be the first device from NVIDIA to benefit from the company's acquisition of Icera. Original roadmaps pegged NVIDIA to hit up to 2GHz for the Tegra 3+, but the newer roadmaps point to it hitting mid-range smartphones rather than high-end devices.

 

Tegra 3+ devices should be made available by the end of this year, but Wayne and Grey are not expected until next year. Android- and Windows 8-based devices should sport the ability to have Tegra 4, but Grey is most likely going to be limited to Android. It will be good to see what NVIDIA can do for Windows devices, I'm getting more excited by the day for smart devices with news like this.

ASUS Transformer Pad 300 hits Amazon, is available on April 22

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:26 am

ASUS' Transformer Pad 300 should arrive in the US on April 22 if Amazon's site is correct, where it has been listed to be available for $489.99. For those in Europe, it will arrive mid-May for EUR 400 (roughly $525).

 

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The ASUS Transformer Pad 300 (TF300) sports a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 screen resolution, 1.2GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and software-wise rocks Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Compared to the Transformer Prime's specs of a 1.3GHz processor, it's not too far behind. It is however thicker and heavier: 0.39-inch thick and 1.4lbs in weight, compared to the Prime's 0.33-inch and 1.29lbs in weight.

 

There's no word on the keyboard dock yet, but it should be around EUR 149 (or $195) when it hits.

What's in a name? That which we call an Ivy Bridge by any other name would perform just as well

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Apr 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Naming things can be difficult. Think about how hard it was to name your kids. If you don't have kids, think about how hard it was for your parents to name you! A similar crisis plays out when the Intel engineers are trying to come up with the codename for upcoming Intel CPU architectures.

 

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I have to take a moment and apologize for the corny Shakespearean title. It's just that from Intel's perspective, it's true. It doesn't really matter what they call the chip as the name has no influence on the design. The codename just has to be something "nice name that could pass the legal test."

 

Usually Intel codenames are based on locations in North America, so Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge actually break this mold for, what I can tell, the first time ever. To understand how Intel came up with Ivy Bridge, we actually have to look at Sandy Bridge first. Arie Harsat is the Intel engineer who came up with Sandy Bridge.

 

Now, Sandy Bridge wasn't always Sandy Bridge. First it was "Gesher," the Hebrew word for "bridge," because Harsat saw the new architecture as "a bridge into the future." However, this name didn't pass the legal test because Gesher is also a former political party in Israel. The name was changed to its English meaning and the word "Sandy" was tacked on. Harsat doesn't remember where the word Sandy came from. It could be a reference to beach sand, which is one of the main ingredients in silicon.

Continue reading 'What's in a name? That which we call an Ivy Bridge by any other name would perform just as well' (full post)

Want to buy stock right from Facebook? Soon you will be able to

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 20, 2012 11:09 pm

Do you currently own stock? If not, is it because of all the fees and difficulties associated with buying and selling it? Well, it appears that shortly after Facebook goes public, you could be able to purchase stock in companies straight from their respective Facebook page without any fees or brokers. The minimum amount would be $10, so it's not like you have to spend a fortune to start.

 

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All of this is according to former Facebook executive and current director at Loyal3 Chris Kelly. Loyal3 would like to point out that only 18% of American families own stock, a number which they hope to change with this CSOP, or customer stock ownership plan. Direct purchase isn't new, but few companies use it since it isn't cost efficient to oversee millions of tiny share holders.

 

Loyal3 hopes that by making ownership easy and without fees the average person will be more inclined to purchase stock. CEO Barry Schneider points out that ownership changes a persons point-of-view regarding an item. People usually care more about something they care than something they don't. Think about it, have you ever washed a rental car?

 

The ability to buy stock is believed to be available as early as June, but there will be a $2500 cap to discourage people from being daily traders. The idea looks good on the face. I mean, I would buy stock in companies if I didn't have to pay fees.

Continue reading 'Want to buy stock right from Facebook? Soon you will be able to' (full post)

Facebook opens half of new datacenter in Forest City, NC

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 20, 2012 10:34 pm

With construction completed on Facebook's new datacenter in Forest City, NC, Facebook has flipped the switch in one of the buildings and now it is serving Facebook traffic. The new datacenter broke ground in November 2010 and should be fully operational by the end of the year.

 

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The datacenter is composed of two buildings which house the first major deployment of the v2 Open Compute Project web servers. These servers are based on Intel's lower power Sandy Bridge architecture. The whole of the datacenter was designed to conserve energy, hence the new web servers. The climate in North Carolina will test Open Compute's outdoor air cooling system, as the humidity and temperature is outside of what is normally needed inside a datacenter.

 

The datacenter stands as a trophy to Facebook's ongoing success as the servers are needed to power Facebook for its 845+ million users. The timing of the opening of the facility is almost perfect because Facebook is nearing an initial public offering which could value the company somewhere around $100 billion.

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