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IBM, hard at work obviously, have developed the smallest carbon nanotubule transistor, measuring in at just 9 nanometers (nm) across. Currently, the smallest transistors possible using silicon is 10nm across, so while it doesn't sound like a huge achievement, when talking in nm, it's actually quite the achievement.
IBM claims that the new transistor consumes less power, all while being able to carry more current than today's technology. John Rogers, Professor of Materials Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says:
The results really highlight the value of nanotubes in the most sophisticated type of transistors. They suggest very clearly, that nanotubes have the potential for doing something truly competitive with, or complementary to, silicon.
The smallest production-grade transistors are currently limited to 22nm.
Ivy Bridge is just weeks away, but this hasn't stopped Intel from releasing some new parts. Intel updated their processor price list over the weekend, debuting three new Core i5 desktop parts, and four single- and dual-core Celeron mobile parts.
The new Core i5 models are: Core i5-2550K, Core i5-2450P, and Core i5-2380P, with prices of $225, $195, and $177, respectively. All three of the new Core i5 models are quad-core models, which handle four concurrent threads, include 6MB of L3 cache, and a TDP of 95W. All three models do not include integrated graphics.
Clock speeds on the new models are 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost speeds of 3.8GHz, 3.2 and 3.5GHz, 3.1 and 3.4GHz for normal and Turbo Boost for the Core i5-2550K, Core i5-2450P, and Core i5-2380P, respectively.
The new Celeron mobile parts are the Mobile Celeron B815 (1.6 GHz, 512KB L2, 2MB L3, two cores, $86), B720 (1.7GHz, 512KB L2, 1MB L3, two cores, $70), ultra-low voltage 867 (512KB L2, 2MB L3, 2 cores, $134) and 797 (1.4GHz, 512KB L2, 1MB L3, single core, $107).
Globalfoundries CEO has called last quarter a "remarkable quarter," stating that Globalfoundries is back on track to "keep the momentum going," after a rough 12 months.
Globalfoundries' new fab in upstate New York is expected to ramp up 20nm tech in June, with Globalfoundries expected to spend more than $3 billion in capital expenditures this year alone. Last year, GloFo spent $5 billion on capex, so $3 billion doesn't seem as much now.
GloFo's Dresden-based facility is said to continue with its 32 and 28nm manufacturing, with plans to shrink all the way down to an insane 14nm. GloFo's CEO said during an interview with EE Times, that their competitors have only shipped "a few thousand wafers" when compared to GloFo's 700,000-plus.
Overclocking kills chips, we all know it does. It's never happened to me, because I'm l337, y0. But, it can happen and if it does, under Intel's new protection plan, you'll actually be covered. Intel already have a standard three-year warranty on its processors, but are now launching a new initiative aimed at protecting those who feel the need, the need for speed.
Intel call it the Performance Tuning Protection Plan, which gives you a free replacement CPU if you burn or blow yours up. It has started at four resellers today: CyberPower, Scan Computers, Altech Computers as well as Canada Computers and Electronics. The service is offered exclusively for K, X, and LGA2011-socketed boxed processors, with prices varying dependant on the chip.
For the i5-2500K, i7-2600K, i7-2700K, i7-3920K, and i7-3960X, it will cost you $20, $25, $25, $35, and $35, respectively. Not bad considering those chips are worth either hundreds, or over $1000 (in some countries). There are conditions, though. Intel only cover the chip for one replacement, and the failure must happen within its standard three-year warranty. You cannot rebuy the plan for the replacement chip, and you cannot buy several plans for a new processor.
Intel shook the hands of its two new partners at CES last week, with Lenovo and Motorola Mobility both at the hand-shaking end of that deal, where Intel also let ARM know its intentions of competing in the low-power consumption smartphone and tablet markets.
Lenovo went on to show off its K800 smartphone, sporting an Intel 32nm Medfield Atom Z2460 single-core processor with hyper-threading clocked at 1.6GHz. Motorola's product is currently in the final processes of preparation and is due to be delivered for carrier validation this summer.
Warren East, CEO of ARM, shrugs off Intel's attempt to strong arm them [that pun actually wasn't meant to be a pun, but I looked back and it works surprisingly well, so it stays] and says:
Intel has taken some designs that were never meant for mobile phones and they've literally wrenched those designs and put them into a power-performance space which is roughly good enough for mobile phones.
Microsoft have shuffled their feet a little bit and released two patches for AMD's Bulldozer platform according to the AMD Blog. AMD note that the AMD FX processors sport a unique dual-core module architecture codenamed "Bulldozer", which current versions of Windows 7 were not specifically architected to utilize.
In AMD's initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, they've seen performance improvements of up to 10-percent in some applications when compared to Windows 7. This comes down to the fact that the system correctly recognizes the AMD FX processor architecture, and cores. AMD put this down to a close collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, where Microsoft completed back-porting of some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors and baked it into a hotfix, now available, for Windows 7.
Well, well. It seems the F7 BIOS update to some Gigabyte boards is really made out of something quite special. I covered the BIOS problem yesterday with an updated post to you, our readers, and to Gigabyte and today I find news of an overclocking record set with their board.
Overclocker "Hicookie" has achieved a new high clockspeed on Intel's Sandy Bridge-E Core i7-3930K by pushing it up to an insane 5.6GHz using Gigabyte's GA-X79-UD3 motherboard, the world's first motherboard to achieve a multiplier of 57x.
Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at Gigabyte says:
These new world records underline how the Gigabyte 3-way digital power engine on existing X79 motherboards makes breathtaking performance possible on our X79 series enthusiast platforms. They should also erase any skepticism regarding the performance and overclocking capabilities of our new F7 BIOS for Gigabyte X79 motherboards.
It feels as though there's a launch from Intel every few months now, but I guess that's the benefits of a tick, tock-based release schedule. The latest news from Digitimes' Taiwanese sources is that the first batch of Ivy Bridge gear coming will include no less than 25 processors.
Out of these 25 processors, 17 of them will be desktop models and the remaining 8 will be notebook/ultrabook chips. 8 chipsets will also launch, (Z77, H77, Z75 and B75 for desktops, HM77, UM77, HM76 and HM75 for mobile PCs. More Ivy Bridge-based products will also launch, including the Core i5-3470T CPU and the A77, Q75, QS77 and QM77 chipsets, which are said to be launching in May.
Let's talk dollars, the upcoming CPUs should cover the same spectrum as the current Sandy Bridge-based Core models, ranging from $184 to $332, while chipsets will go from $37 for the B75 to $53 for the QS77 (the Z77 desktop 'flagship' is supposed to cost $48). If you don't already know, the Ivy Bridge CPUs are manufactured on a 22nm process technology which sports Intel's 3D Tri-Gate transistors. They'll feature DirectX 11 graphics, sport the current LGA 1155 packaging which allows them to work on current, 6-Series-based motherboards.
All you'd need is a BIOS update which will be supplied by manufacturers. The 7-Series, which launched, will include native USB 3.0 support.
PCI-Express 3.0 has been here for a little while now, but it has only been with the launch of the PCI-Express 3.0-capable AMD Radeon HD 7000-series that there has been some proper testing. The world's first 28nm GPU to support PCI-e 3.0 is here, people!
PCIe 3.0 increases per-land bandwidth from 500MB/sec to 1GB/sec, this means for an x16 slot, double the bandwidth from 8GB/sec to 16GB/sec. Impressive, but will we see anything close to double the performance? Not now, and not in games. GPU compute tasks do see a difference in performance, however.
Improving bandwidth and latency between the CPU and GPU is always a good thing, but for high-performance GPU compute tasks, this is the difference between night and day. AnandTech tested AMD's AES Encrypt/Decrypt sample application. The test bed consisted of an EVGA X79 SLI motherboard, with a BIOS provided by EVGA for the PCIe 3.0 toggle on/off.
With this in hand, AnandTech saw a 9-percent increase in performance on the Radeon HD 7970 which told them two things. First, you can get PCIe 3.0 working on a Sandy Bridge-E/X79 board with the Radeon HD 7970, and secondly, PCIe 3.0 will definitely be useful for GPU compute applications.
AMD have today updated their A-Series line-up of desktop and notebook APUs (Accelerated Processing Units), which include not only speed and performance improvements, but AMD Steady Video update makes this unique feature more compelling than ever. AMD have also included the ability to overclock the APU, so for the first time users can now tune both x86 and graphics settings within the single processor for boosted performance.
The new updated AMD A-Series APUs combine up to four x86 CPU cores with up to 400 Radeon cores, where it delivers DirectX 11-capable, discrete-level graphics and dedicated HD video processing, all on a single chip. The new A-Series APUs deliver a bigger performance punch when compared to the existing A-Series APUs.