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The first few details of Intel's upcoming sixth generation Core processor have arrived, with Skylake shaping up nicely so far. Skylake is coming this year, but we haven't known many details on the new architecture until now.
WCCFTech has found some slides, with PC Perspective going over them and showing us that Intel's codename Skylake will arrive as the LGA 1151 socket. We will be greeted with three new chipsets, the Z170, H170 and H110, too. Intel has built Skylake on its 14nm process, which is the same node that Broadwell was made on, but it will feature a new microarchitecture for both the IA cores, and the graphics system.
Skylake will have support for both DDR3L and DDR4 RAM, with enthusiast systems pushing toward the latter. We should see an enthusiast focused 95W quad-core SKUs that will be capable of overclocking, as well as "enhanced" BCLK overclocking with Intel using the term "full range" which means we might not see a wall of 125MHz.
Intel has provided more details on its upcoming Xeon Phi line of processors, which will see up to 72 cores on a single processor, thanks to the Silvermont architecture. Not only that, but we can expect up to 384GB of DDR4, too.
Not only that, but the current prototype of the Xeon Phi coprocessor is capable of handling up to 32 cores, with each core capable of handling four threads for a total of 128 threads. Currently, we 8-core processors with 16 threads in total thanks to Hyper-Threading on the consumer side of the market. These new Xeon Phi processors would handle up to 36MB of shared L2 cache, and up to 16GB of the new stacked High Bandwidth Memory (HBM).
All in all, we can expect a six-channel DDR4 memory controller that can handle 2400MHz, and up to 384GB of DDR4 RAM. This is up from the quad-channel memory architecture we know and love with the X99 chipset from Intel, and the current flagship processor: the Core i7-5960X. It's interesting to note that we're seeing Intel move into HBM quickly.
The Silvermont architecture has Intel being able to promise 300% more single threaded performance over the previous generation of Xeon Phi co-processors, and up to 300% better power efficiency.
Samsung is already pushing out 14nm technology, using its own Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones to demonstrate its impressive new fabrication technology. But most don't know that the South Korean electronics giant has partnered with GlobalFoundries, with the latter now spinning up its production of 14nm technology.
Mubadala Development Co. is an Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company that owns GlobalFoundries, with the company releasing a statement in regards to its 14nm production. Mubadala said: "GlobalFoundries announced a strategic collaboration with Samsung to deliver capacity at 14nm, one of the industry's most advanced nodes, as Fab 8 in Malta, New York began ramping production for customers".
Samsung developed both the 14LPE (low-power early) and 14LPP (low-power plus) technologies, licensing them to GlobalFoundries. Both of the manufacturing processes use FinFET transistors, but they still fall back on back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnects which are fabricated on the 20nm node. Both fabrication technologies don't radically reduce costs of the chips compared to the previous-gen node, but they do provide a nice 20% boost in performance at the same power usage, or reduce power consumption by up to 35% without a performance hit.
It looks like AMD has some interesting things coming in 2016, with the current rumor is that its next-gen APU would arrive as a 16-core processor based on its Zen architecture, as well as a "Greenland" GPU with HBM memory.
The new APU will replace the Godaveri platform which we were introduced to with the Carrizo APU, with the Carizzo-based notebooks arriving in the next couple of months, but most likely at Computex 2015 in June. The new Zen APU would feature quad-channel DDR4 support, up to 16 processor cores based on the Zen architecture, and the HBM-powered Greenland GPU.
We should expect Greenland to be based on the Fiji architecture, which will be powering AMD's upcoming flagship video card: the Radeon R9 390X. We don't know if AMD will be using HBM1 or HBM2 on the Zen APU, but with the R9 390X using HBM1, we should expect AMD to quickly shift to HBM2 sometime in 2016.
We just got back from a briefing of the Knights Landing platform at Intel Jones Farm. This new platform compacts a large number of cores into a small package that consisted of 1U blades.
Here is the basic Knights Landing (KNL) information screen. Knights Landing will be based on 14nm process node and have a TDP of ~300watts. The number of cores shown on the slide shows over 60 cores, we assume there will be several different SKU's with different core counts and other spec's.
The KNL core itself is based on Silvermount, these cores have full Xeon capability and features which have been modified to meet the new design platform. The system itself will have both Windows and Lunix capability with very little code modification to applications if any. While running a Windows OS on this platform you can see all the logical processors in the task manager which shows the OS actually sees all the cores unlike Knights Corner which was a PCIe coprocessor.
As seen on the Watercooled PC Facebook page, one users' comment to the following photo is that it "looks like the pins were at a football game doing the wave." All we know is that someone messed up - badly.
We've seen plenty of incompetent PC builders throughout the years, however this one almost takes the cake. Not only have they put their thermal paste on the pins, they've obviously pushed either the wrong socket processor in or not lined it up properly, bending many pins involved. But maybe there's something we're missing here - more thermal paste might be the solution we've all been looking for.
Don't try this at home people, unless you've got a lot of money to throw around.
With tongues wagging over the announcement of the Galaxy S6, we haven't seen any real-world performance numbers - with the biggest question being the battery life of Samsung's super-powered handset.
Analysts with Moor Insights & Strategy took to their blog over Mobile World Congress, which we're only getting around to now, with an article titled "Not All 4G LTE Modems Are Created Equal According To Tests With Qualcomm And Samsung". Where most are talking up the internal power and benchmarking abilities of the Galaxy S6, the hit on battery life thanks to Samsung baking in its own modem could be a bigger problem than previously thought. It looks like Qualcomm has the better modem chops, but Samsung has decided to use more of its own components than ever in its latest flagship.
The blog post covers this, where they said "Some companies, like Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics, have developed their own front end solutions in order to improve their modem solutions and make vast improvements in all aspects. They have accomplished these improvements in multiple ways, including increased throughput going from Category 4 150 Mbps download speeds to Category 6 300Mbps and Category 9 450 Mbps download speeds as well as reducing power consumption at the same time". While that might not sound like much, what they say next should have you opening your eyes a little wider.
MWC 2015 - Qualcomm had some interesting things to talk about during Mobile World Congress this year, apart from having its chips in various new flagship handsets like the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.
Qualcomm confirmed the existence of its new 'Kryo' processor, a 64-bit chip that would be manufactured on the FinFET process, and sampled sometime in the next 6-12 months. The new Snapdragon 820 processor will be the first SoC to use Qualcomm's new "cognitive computing platform", something known as 'Zeroth', writes Patrick Moorhead for Forbes.
Moorhead expects to see Snapdragon 820 samples in the next 6-9 months, with a Snapdragon 820-powered smartphone to be unveiled in "December 2015, worse case October 2016". It could happen even sooner, with Snapdragon 820-powered devices shown off at MWC in March 2016.
Intel will soon be launching its new Atom processors, the "Braswell" based chips later this year, but before that happens we're going to see a new classification of its current mobile chips. This will help consumers have a better understanding of the power inside of the Atom processor.
Later this year Intel will be offering three different types of Atom processors, naming them like their Core processors with Atom x3, Atom x5 and Atom x7. Currently, Intel offers the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The Atom x7 for example, will feature more cores, better graphics engines and higher clock speeds than its Atom x3 processor.
At the bottom end of the scale we'll soon have the Atom range of processors, in the middle we'll have the Core M processors for "PC-level performance in tablet-thin designs" and the usual Core range of processors for everything else.
The International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) has just kicked off in San Francisco, where Samsung has just unveiled the world's first 10nm FinFET technology. Samsung Electronics Semiconductor Business chief, Kim Ki-nam teased the future for Samsung when he took the stage.
Ki-nam teased the company's 10nm DRAM technology, as well as a sneak peak at its 3D V NAND technology. Samsung expects that its technology will be used in countless devices going into the future, where Kim said Samsung is "expected to come in the future advent of IoT (Internet of Things) spread into a wide range of IT equipment, including the age of the data center (Data Driven World) 'and the silicon semiconductor technology it is possible to ensure the performance and low-power solution for the semiconductor chip that can process these data through the innovation".
We should hear more about Samsung's 10nm FinFET process as we move deeper into the year, as well as what devices and products will be powered by the 10nm technology. Exciting times!