AMD Fiji Comes with Two GPUs

AMD’s latest GPU, AMD Fiji, has been announced a while back that it will come with High Bandwidth Memory. Shortly after CES in Las Vegas, Oculus was said to be toying around with the latest AMD hardware and we even saw it in action in the “Showdown running on the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay, being powered by an unannounced Radeon R9 flagship ultra-enthusiast product”. Even Valve and HTC are rumoured to have a Fiji-powered demo, but have yet to confirm or give any sort of detail about it.

However, a few suspicions were raised once AMD has released the news about LiquidVR SDK, where it was clearly stated it needs two GPUs. The slide below also confirms that it needs Affinity multi-GPU rendering in order to reduce latency and increase content quality.

“Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.”

This makes more sense now and it clarifies how AMD got to 8GB of RAM. Nobody thought it would be 4GB times two, meaning two separate GPUs, each with their 4GB of HBM1 memory. Also, AMD confirmed that it is already working on a next generation High Bandwidth Memory HBM card that is smaller than 20nm, but it is no clear just yet what type of note or memory it will use. It could be HBM1 or HBM2.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Story Develops – iPhone TLC and MLC Memory Tests

Yesterday we reported on initial tests of Apple’s TLC and MLC memory capabilities. This was due to the news being released that Apple had disabled all TLC memory in various iPhone models due to a high failure rate – without any warning to consumers or word of a replacement.

Through these findings, we were able to determine that TLC is a much faster ‘burst’ option of flash memory. Greatly out performing MLC in the beginning to middle of a ‘zero fill’ test on a 64GB iPhone 6, but falling off majorly toward the end. The conclusion of this information is that TLC memory is good for opening applications quicker and processing small amounts of data, whereas MLC will provide you a steady rate of transfer or speed no matter what the task. If you’re looking to run multiple applications at once – MLC is for you.

New data has come to light thanks to ‘Gforgames’ reporting on further findings where the TLC results are quite interesting. This goes to prove that you shouldn’t always judge a product just one method of testing – look into it further before making a choice. A random fill test was completed, seeing random amounts of data poured into the same iPhone models as reported on yesterday, this time the results were significantly in MLC’s favor – seeing a steady upwards curve in transfer speed, whereas TLC stayed consistent for the most part, with a slight decline toward the higher sized transfer files.

Following these results, they also reported that while these transfers were happening, memory usage of each device was quite interesting. Below you will see a MLC operational phone pouring most of it’s resources into the data transfer (left image). This is comparable to the TLC alternative which you can see has over 200mb of inactive memory sitting idle (right image).

We will continue to report on these findings as the story develops.

Images courtesy of Chiphell

Pebble to Push new Modular Smart Watch in 2015

2015 will see smart watch manufacturer Pebble release their next generation highly customizable product choices. Not only will they reportedly contain the ability to be strapped to your wrists via a plastic, metal case or leather strap – but advanced customization options are ticking in the pipeline.

Pebble was introduced to the world thanks to a Kickstarter campaign reaching great success, ensuring they could begin pitting their best against the plethora of smart watch offerings by multi-billion dollar tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, ASUS and LG.

Following the high-profile release of Apple’s first smart watch, Pebble have decided to entice customers to their brand by providing alternatives in styling, features and operation to these big-name competitors. The next models of Pebble watches will feature many secret developments in design and application, but unfortunately it’s very hard to get information out of them at this stage as to any specifics.

The most popular rumor is that of Pebble releasing modular smart watches, giving users the ability to do things such as change their wrist bands on-the-run and utilize different watch faces. It’s a smart concept as it then creates a product to suit many different users needs. Imagine a watch that you can dress up for a job interview, then simply change the fact and strap for a dance in a dingy nightclub.

At this stage there isn’t any more information available to us, including no set release date or pricing structure – we will report as the story develops here on eTeknix.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Leaked CPU-Z Images Reveal AMD Carrizo APU A10-8890K Specs

A CPU-Z image which appears to detail AMD’s next-generation APU, the A10-8890K, has apparently been leaked. WCCFTech has found the image via Guru3D, but at this point it should be taken as a rumour, since nothing has been officially announced.

The CPU-Z image appears to show that AMD is still keeping the current APU name, having it part of the A10 series, possibly the A-10 Elite. The K suffix at the end shows that the APU in question has an unlocked multiplier and the ‘Elite Hexa-Core’ present in the AMD logo indicates that the APU comes with 6 cores. Also, the 95W TDP and 4.4 Ghz core clock makes it an impressive piece.

The latest AMD APU appears to be based on the FM3 socket, which has been stated to come in 2016, which leads to two possibilities here. The first is that the report from AMD was inconclusive and the APU might come early than reported, or the leaked CPU-Z image does not display an actual Carrizo APU.

The CPU is said to boast Excavator cores, the latest revision of the Bulldozer architecture. This might be the case in the leaked image, having it show a high core clock and number of cores. However, the L2 cache appears to show 3 x 1024 KB, which is said to be very low for a 6-core CPU. AMD might have something up its sleeve with some stacked DRAM lifting the L2 Cache, but nothing is sure at the moment.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of WCCFTech

Steam Machines Delayed Until 2015

A lot of rumours had been circulating about the Steam Machines and the latest news regarding the non-Windows powered machines refer to the Steam-based gaming machines being pushed back until 2015.

Some prototypes have been revealed in the past, including the Alienware version powered by NVIDIA. From what is known so far, the machines will run on Steam OS, giving users the ability to run Steam games while having the machine plugged into the living room TV. They also have the option of installing Windows in a dual-boot configuration, having the operating system run on a separate hard drive.

Valve has recently announced that they are going to push back the launch date, having set a 2015 release date. Steam machines are reported to be quite tricky to sell, since we already have PCs and consoles for gaming and other computerised activities. The launch date push might be the sign of Valve attempting to implement new features to the Steam OS or even the machines themselves.

The delay also comes at a rather strange time, since NVIDIA, AMD and even Intel have working drivers for the Linux-based Steam OS. However, it might also indicate the complexity in making the drivers work with all games running in a Linux environment. AMD has also updates its Steam OS drivers to the latest version, namely 14.4, indicating that AMD cards should run without any significant issues.

In addition to the driver releases, reports also indicate that more than a dozen manufacturers have announced their own Steam OS machines. Alienware, GIGABYTE, Origin PC, iBuyPower, Zotac, CyperPowerPC, Maingear and Alternate are just a few of the manufacturers announcing their dedication towards manufacturing Steam OS machines.

AMD might even have an advantage with the current pushback, having more time to prepare their hardware and software for the final release. However, there is also no guarantee that the Steam OS machines will ever be launched, since the concept of the Steam Machine is seen as nothing more than a PC not powered by the Windows operating system.

On the other hand, since users use Windows-powered PCs to surf the web, access their social media applications or use multimedia applications for music and movies, Steam OS machines can offer all of that including gaming without the need to deal with Windows or even pay for the operating system. However, the success of the Steam Machine will remain to be seen.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information