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Last week during E3, AMD launched its new FX-9590 CPU, the world's first factory clocked 5GHz CPU. While the timing was a little odd for such a big deal product, it still managed to make some enthusiasts turn their heads and once again look AMD's way. Unfortunately in another weird move, AMD announced that the new CPU would only be available to system integrators for the time being.
AMD neglected to release any pricing information for the CPU, but lucky for us, a Tier 1 system integrator, PC SuperStore, posted pricing information on the AMD FX-9590 as well as the FX-9370, which is the 4.7GHz little brother. AMD seems to think that the 5GHz FX-9590 is worth a premium of $920, while the FX-9370 will only run consumers $346 for a mere 300MHz drop in clock speed.
As a long time AMD user, the idea of a $920 CPU simply turns me off entirely. I was actually considering sticking with AMD for my new system when the FX-9590 is released to consumers, but at that pricing point, I will just switch over to an Intel Core i7 Haswell 4770K, which may only have four cores compared to the eight of the AMD CPU, but the Haswell will use half the power, and with HyperThreading and Turbo Boost, it will outperform the CPU by leaps and bounds. Just for full transparency, if AMD would have priced the FX-9590 at around $450-$500, I most likely would have stuck with them.
The first half of 2014 will see AMD release its first ARM-based CPU, if the Wall Street Journal is correct. AMD, the company best known for it's APU line of processors is said to be building their first-ever ARM CPU as we speak. The chip is codenamed Seattle and is based on a similar ARM architecture to that used in smartphones and tablets currently.
Rumors have it that the first chip released will be an eight-core version with a sixteen-core model being released later down the line. Both processors will have a clock speed of 2GHz, but no word yet on cache sizes or any other CPU specifics. We do know that Seattle will be aimed at the server industry, which is a fast growing market in desperate needs of power saving CPUs.
This is not the first time that someone has aimed an ARM processor at the server world; Applied Micro Circuits did something similar with their X-Gene "server-on-a-chip," and it worked out fairly well for them. The major question is if AMD can manage to follow in AMC's footsteps and make this a profitable venture. I guess we will have to revisit this in a year to find out.
Intel have just launched their Haswell processors, or fourth-generation Core processor, but they will never stop. The 2014 platform known as Haswell-E will launch as an 8-core processor, oh baby, yeah.
Intel's Haswell-E platform will launch in 2014 and will be their enthusiast platform, we're going to get into some specs now so you'd better put a book on your lap or something. Haswell-E is set to debut in the second half of next year and will be Intel's first 8-core desktop CPU, so expect some serious CPU performance. We should see an offer of between 6- and 8-core CPUs with up to an amazing 20MB of L3 cache.
But, wait, there's more! 8 physical CPU cores means we're still greeted with Hyper-Threading, meaning 16 logical cores. Maximum TDP for Haswell-E should sit at around 130-140W with the processor itself sitting on the 22nm second-generation Hi-k process. Performance-wise, with the additional two physical CPU cores and the usual improvements in the architecture, we should expect a 33-50% performance increase over the 2014 platform.
This morning Broadcom announced the arrival of a new quad-core HSPA+ chipset aimed at the budget minded Android smartphone market. The BCM23550 is a 1.2GHz A7 quad-core processor capable of HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps down and 5Mbps up and is optimized to run on Android 4.2 devices.
The new piece of silicon also supports HD Voice and 12MP cameras with H.264 1080p video capture and playback, and offers the usual litany of connectivity options such as NFC, Bluetooth, 5G Wi-Fi, RFID and GPS. The chip is also capable of supporting dual HD 720p displayport that is compatible with Miracast.
The new chipset is pin-to-pin compatible with Broadcom's existing dual-core BCM21664T which will most certainly free up some R&D time for manufacturers. While this is a chip aimed at the low-end, it is by far not a low-end chip. A year ago, a processor like this would have been featured in flagship phones. This means that even the so-called "low-end" Android phones are getting better and faster every day.
E3 2013 - AMD has just unveiled its most powerful CPU to date, the FX-9590, and eight-core processor that is clocked at 5GHz from the factory. Alongside the FX-9590, AMD also showed off a 4.7GHz FX-9370 both of which feature the company's flagship Piledriver architecture.
"At E3 this week, AMD demonstrated why it is at the core of gaming," said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Products Division at AMD. "The new FX 5 GHz processor is an emphatic performance statement to the most demanding gamers seeking ultra-high resolution experiences including AMD Eyefinity technology. This is another proud innovation for AMD in delivering the world's first commercially available 5 GHz processor."
Do not get too excited though as for now the FX-9590 and FX-9370 are both only being offered to systems integrators. AMD says this is just the initial rollout and that both of the eight-core processors will eventually be available for individual purchase. At the moment no pricing information has been released but as soon as we know more we will be sure to keep you updated.
VRZone has gotten their hands on a leaked Intel roadmap that shows Haswell is in no rush to leave. According to the desktop roadmap, we can expect Haswell to stick around until Broadwell shows up in 2015. Haswell will get a refresh in 2014, but that refresh will likely only boost performance marginally.
Intel doesn't really need to rush out Broadwell simply because they face next to no competition on the desktop CPU front. The mid-life refresh will likely consist of a small speed bump, which is only really important for locked CPUs. The USB 3 bug will also likely be fixed by then, if not before. We also expect an updated chipset, probably the Z97, to be released around the same time.
Of course, mobile could see an update to Broadwell sooner, though it won't likely be more than two quarters ahead of the desktop.
AMD has stated that they are willing to work on semi-custom chips that are capable of running Android or Chrome OS. AMD believes that a market is emerging for the operating systems and their CPUs or APUs could be perfect for the job. This would mark the end of their Windows x86 exclusivity.
"We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it's a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD.
AMD would like to work with companies to provide semi-custom chips tailored to that customer's needs. AMD has already shown their ability and willingness to do this with the three design wins in next-gen consoles. AMD is looking to expand their custom chip manufacturing business as the PC market slows.
The new chips would make use AMD's upcoming designs that combine x86 and ARM architectures onto a single chip. Add in one of AMD's powerful Radeon GPUs and you get a combination that could be hard to beat.
Computex Taipei 2013 - ARM has just unveiled the Cortex A12 at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan. This new system-on-a-chip is the latest addition to ARM's line of processors geared towards the mid-range mobile device market. The Cortex A12 is the successor to the widely popular Cortex A9 which was featured in the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S3.
Sporting four cores, the Cortex A12 is said to be 40 percent more efficient and 30 percent faster than the A9. ARM released this new processor with the expectations of a massive surge in growth for the mid-range mobile market. Mobile phones priced around $200 are expected to ship more than 500 million units by the end of 2015.
The road to domination will not be an easy window as ARM faces ruthless competition from other manufacturers such as QUALCOMM, Broadcom, Samsung, Intel, and Apple. We can expect to see the Cortex A12 arrive on the scene in late 2014 or early 2015.
For most of the last year, Broadcom has focus all of his efforts on creating chips for the high-end and low-end mobile phone and tablet market. This morning, the company has announced three new Wi-Fi 802.11ac chips that are aimed at the PC and set-top box market.
The company has just released the BCM4350, BCM43556, as well as the BCM43558 which all feature the more robust 2 X 2 MIMO antenna that is capable of hitting speeds of up to 866 Mbps. The chips also able to optimize traffic through a process called beamforming.
Broadcom says that the differences in the three chips revolve around everything but the Wi-Fi, with the BCM4350 featuring a more PC friendly set of interfaces that include Bluetooth 4.0, PCI express, and SDIO 3.0. The BCM43558 drops the PCI express and SDIO in favor of USB 3.0. Finally the BCM43556 ditches Bluetooth making it the least featured chip in the lineup.
Intel have officially launched their new Haswell processors, something you can read about in our review. Something a little more interesting though, which comes from Hardware.info in the Netherlands, is that Haswell is seeing issues with USB 3.0.
They've done some very, very extensive testing and confirmed there are USB 3.0 issues with the 8-series chipset. They tested 22 USB 3.0 drives, with 14 of them experiencing issues and were unable to stay connected when a Haswell system woke back up from standby. Hardware.info have an insane round up of 33 Haswell-based motherboards if you'd like to do some weekend reading!