ThyssenKrupp Reveals MULTI Elevators That Would Make Wonka Proud

We love a good bit of tech here at eTeknix. Much of that tech is for gaming systems, PCs, mobiles and much more, but every now and then we see something a little bigger that stands out from the crowd. The common elevator hasn’t changed in terms of functionality for around 150 years, one technique or another has been used to propel them, but they still just go up or down and you only get one cab (typically) per shaft, but all that is about to change.

ThyssenKrupp revealed their MULTI concept over a year ago, but now they’re back to demonstrate how it works and why we will likely be seeing elevators that can go up, down, sideways, around circuits of a building and allow for many more cabs per shaft.

“With severe restrictions on space, mid to high-rise developments have proved to be the most economically and environmentally viable developments to accommodate these rapidly growing urban populations.” said ThyssenKrupp CEO Andreas Schierenbeck

Their demo model is only a one-third full scale working model, but it does a great job of showing what MULTI is capable of. The cabs ride on tracks, rather than using a pulley system. Their linear induction motors means that they can work independently of each other, even at different speeds to each other, even when on the same track. Cabs can even leave the track for maintenance, while a fresh cab takes its place.

What’s even more crazy is how the horizontal movement could be used to link buildings. If you’re in a side building of a skyscraper, hop in the lift, it moves over to the right shaft, then up to the top. This means that shafts won’t have to be limited to the central columns of each building.

“In a manner similar to a metro system operation, the MULTI design can incorporate various self-propelled elevator cabins per shaft running in a loop, increasing the shaft transport capacity by up to 50% and making it possible to reduce the elevator footprint in buildings by half… The overall increase in efficiency also translates into a lower requirement for escalators and additional elevator shafts, resulting in significant construction cost savings and increased rent revenues from the greater availability of usable space.”

https://youtu.be/KUa8M0H9J5o

Pretty cool, don’t you think?

Wales Has First ‘Energy Positive’ House in Britain

Wales has become home to Britain’s first ‘energy positive’ house, so-called because it can generate a surplus of electricity which its owner can then sell on. The three-bedroom detached property in Cenin, South Wales, cost £125,000 to build, according to its designers from Cardiff University.

The house is lined with heavy insulation to retain heat during cold months, with solar panels covering the roof and mounted in the garden. For eight months of the year, the house is expected to generate £75 more electricity than it will use, which can then be sold back to the national grid or stored within the property’s batteries.

It was developed to serve the low-carbon housing bill, proposed by Labour in 2006. Current Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, however, has recently scrapped the bill. “It was disappointing to see Osborne scrap the plans,” said Professor Phil Jones of the Welsh School of Architecture. “But the devolved Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish governments can set their own building standards. One reason we built this house was to demonstrate to builders that you could meet the standards at an affordable price with off-the-shelf technology. The housebuilders could do it too if they wanted to.”

Jones says that building his ‘energy positive’ design en masse could bring the cost of each property down to £100,000. “We save money and space by making the photovoltaic panels the roof itself and by dispensing with radiators and making the air collector part of the wall,” he added. “The building demonstrates our leading edge low carbon supply, storage and demand technologies at a domestic scale which we hope will be replicated in other areas of Wales and the UK in the future.”

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Helio X20 Shows More Gaming Performance and Power Improvements

MediaTek has just revealed what the Helio X10 successor, Helio X20, packs under the hood and it is just amazing. The major highlights of its improvements are reflected in 40% more gaming and multimedia power and up to 40% power improvement compared to the X10.

First of all, the Helio X20 is based on the 20nm architecture and comes with 10 cores. They are made out of four Cortex-A53 running at 2.0 GHz, another four running at 1.4 GHz and two more Cortex-A72 cores running at 2.5 GHz. Now the first four Cortex-A53 cores are made for low to medium application processing needs, including UHD video playback.

However, The extra two Cortex-A72 cores aim to help out with the more intensive applications such as games, which do not need more than two cores to run on a mobile device. Even so, the 2.5 GHz clock speed deals with everything on the market so far.

In addition, the 10-core architecture is based on what MediaTek calls the ‘Tri-Cluster’ architecture that aims to cut power consumption by 30%. Also, Mali-T880 graphics processor offers an extra 10% power improvement compared to the previous generation that adds up to having 40% power improvement in total. A perfect illustration of what the new architecture brings is shown in MediaTek’s pic below:

The X20 also comes with support for a 32-megapixel single camera or 13-megapixel dual cameras with 3D depth engine and 4K recording, 10-bit colour depth and support for HECV and VP9 hardware decoding, as well as LTE Cat-6 technology, C2K with SRLTE and 70% improved modem power compared to the Helio X10. More information about the X20 can be found on its web page here.

Images courtesy of MediaTek News

AMD’s Official Roadmaps Reveals the Company’s Plans for the next 5 Years

AMD has revealed what the company plans to do with its GPUs and CPUs in the next 5 years at the PC Cluster Consortium event in Osaka Japan, where AMD’s Junji Hayashi revealed the company’s roadmap.

During the event, AMD has focused on its graphics IP and the products that involved it, including discrete Radeon graphics cards and Radeon powered Accelerated Processing Units. There have been talks about AMD’s upcoming K12 ARM as well as the x86 Zen CPU core, including a strategy of how the company plans to introduce both x86 and ARM powered SOCs to the market in a pin for pin compatible platform code-named SkyBridge.

It is said that both CPUs are 64-bit capable parts coming in a 14nm FinFET ‘shell’, but one is based on the ARMv8 architecture while the other is based on the more traditional x86 AMD64 architecture, having them target the server, embedded, semi-custom and client markets.

AMD has also talked about “many threads” revealing that the K12 will come with Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) technology in contrast to the company’s Clustered Multi-Thread (CMT) technology we are able to see in the Bulldozer family. SMT essentially takes advantage of the various resources in the core which are underutilized and dedicate to an additional, slower, execution thread for added throughput. In contrast, CMT is looking for opportunities to share resources between two different CPU cores, instead of doing it inside a single CPU core.

Hayashi also revealed AMD’s GPU roadmap, which reveals that the company is employing a two-year cadence to updating its GPU architecture inside APUs. It looks like the company will add Accelerated Processing Units with updated GPU architectures once every two years. The roadmap also reveals that AMD plans to introduce what it described as a High Performance Computing APU which carries a 200 – 300 watts TDP, having the company stating that the APU in question will excel in HPC applications.

AMD apparently did not attempt to go with newer APUs in the future because it was not viable in terms of memory bandwidth. Instead, the company’s stacked High Bandwidth Memory will be used as an alternative, making the design extremely effective. The second generation of HBM is said to be 9 times faster than GDDR5 memory and 128 times faster than DDR3 memory.

The company has not revealed any code names for the GPU architectures, but a previous leak pointed out that the architecture will debut on 16nm FinFET and will be code-named Arctic Islands. More specific details about AMD’s products will be revealed in May at the Financial Analyst Day event.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Intel Skylake Said to Have Support for Both DDR3 and DDR4

Some leaked pictures of Intel’s Skylake mini-ITX boards have indicated a significant feature. The board might have support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory modules.

First spotted by Bits ‘n Chips, Intel’s board might be a good option for easing the transition between the cheaper DDR3 and the “soon-to-be-cheaper” DDR4 memory technologies. WCCF also explains that Intel might be planning to implement this by using Double IMC on the processors rather than offering SKUs with DDR3 and others with DDR4.

Intel predicts that DDR4 prices will remain high, so as demand for Skylake processors. Although the company encourages customers to switch to DDR4, the board would also provide an alternative for people who would rather stick with DDR3 and focus more on upgrading to the new micro-architecture.

DDR4 not only offers faster RAM memory with double the density, but it also achieves this at a lower power consumption rate. The modules have the ability to be clocked at 3200 MHz and require just 1.2V power to operate, having CAS latency varying from 9 to 24 and a density increase of 8GB at 16 banks.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Apple’s Latest Store Has a Floor That Floats in Mid-Air

Apple’s latest store, one in Hangzhou, China, has a first floor that appears to float, with no visible supports.

The store was co-designed by British architecture firm Foster + Partners, founded by legendary architect Norman Foster – the same people who worked alongside Steve Jobs to design the new ‘spaceship’ campus that Apple is building to replace its current headquarters.

Apple’s new campus is scheduled to open next year, with construction well underway and with foundations largely finished.

Source: Wired

Intel Announce 10nm Chips Capabilities and Release Plans

We reported early in 2014 of Intel’s 14nm “Fab 42” plant remaining closed and the rumors surrounding 10nm chip manufacturing that came with it – from recent reports it now seems like it’s a a reality.

As IBM and NVIDIA have teamed up to win the next generation of top-level US government supercomputers, Intel is not to be left in the dust. After 50 years of global supercomputing, the Intel platform occupies a massive 85.5% of all machines, with a reported 97% ownership in new age systems. Today, Intel have announced the details of some of their planning in high-performance computing.

The announcements have come to us thanks to CNBeta and Chiphell, these are listed in dot point form as:

  • The third-generation Xeon Phi family, codenamed “Knights Hill”, will use Intel’s 10nm process. This is the first publicly identified 10nm product, as well as Intel Omni-Path fiber optic interconnection technology. Intel’s upcoming second generation “Knights Landing” will be the first commercial system set to debut early next year.
  • The industry’s interest in Xeon Phi is more concentrated. There are already a large number of customers looking to order Knights Landing, of which more than 50 percent will use the processor version, and the rest set to utilize the PCI-E accelerator card version. The total computing capacity is said to contain more than 100 PFlops (10 quadrillion floating-point calculations).
    NOTE: Using the Intel Xeon Phi to accelerate your system is done through a PCI-E expansion card, this card must be used with Xeon processors and can only be used as a coprocessor. The next generation will have separate processor and coprocessor versions.
  • Knights Landing’s latest implementations include: Los Alamos, Sandia Supercomputers “Trinity”, the US Department of Energy National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) ultra-count “Cori”, Earth Science Enterprise DownUnder GeoSolutions, large-scale cooperation projects in SGI and the National Supercomputer Center IT4 Innovations projects in Europe (to deploy large clusters).
  • Omni-Path Interconnect architecture with provides 100 Gbps of bandwidth, fiber-optic switching and medium-sized clusters. Comparing this to the now popular InfiniBand, latency can be reduced up to 56%. The product architecture will use a 48 switch chip, in comparison to InfiniBand using up to only 36.
  • Intel Fabric Builders project has started, created based on the ecosystem Omini-Path. The Intel Parallel Computing Center also announced their expansion will be the construction of 40 facilities in 13 countries and regions.
  • Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre v2.2 has been scheduled for release.

That’s quite a lot of information to take in one hit, so we will continue to report on this as the story develops. We’re sure that Intel will now sit down and take a look at these siz points one by one in the near future, so help keep it streamlined and easy to track for consumers.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

No New CPU Architectures From AMD Until 2016?

It looks like AMD have been taking the easy route as far as R&D is concerned, as the company doesn’t plan on releasing any new CPU architectures until at least 2016! This flys right in the face of Intel who are forever pushing new architectures, having just released their ultra high-end Haswell-E platform, and by the sounds of it, they’re not interested in a trying to keep up.

AMD CEO Rory Read revealed this when speaking with Bloomberg, where he revealed that new hardware will be coming out next year, although that too will be based on existing architectures.

“AMD engineers are now proving they can deliver new designs on time, something that didn’t happen in the past.” said Read.

Next year we can expect new APUs from AMD that will be based no their low-power Puma+ and Steamroller architectures, but will focus on refining heat output and power consumption rather than pushing for higher performance.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

DARPA Working on Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel

DARPA is said to be working on an Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program, which is said to be the first robotic autonomous vessel designed to locate and track even the most quiet diesel submarines at the most extreme depths.

The national security, health and engineering company, Leidos, is part of the DARPA program tasked with building the ACTUV. Based in Reston, Virginia, the company is said to have been granted the ‘OK’ back in February in order to start work on the autonomous unmanned vessel, having it built at Christensen Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington, under the supervision of Leidos and Oregon Iron Works. Actual work on the vessel is said to take 15 months, with a launch date set for 2015 on the Columbia River.

“ACTUV’s advanced sensor technology should allow for continuous surveillance which, combined with the vessel architecture and design, is expected to provide autonomous safe navigation supporting Navy missions around the world,” says Leidos Group President, John Fratamico.

The ACTUV is said to be built out of carbon composite, using a modular design and a parallel workflow method in order to speed up assembly. In addition to the latter, the ACTUV is equipped with navigation and piloting sensors, electro-optics, as well as long and short-range radar. Leidos states tat the ACTUV’s modular design allows it to carry out anti-submarine warfare operations, having the ability to be refitted for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gizmag

Samsung Rolls Out its Exynos ModAP SoC with Integrated LTE

South Korean smartphone manufacturer, Samsung, has just announced its latest SoC addition, the ModAP chip, which features an integrated 4G LTE radio. While the company was mostly focusing on their handsets in the past, it looks like it now wants a big piece of the SoC market as well.

The processor itself is said to boast only a Quad-Core processor on a 28 nm HKMG process architecture, compared to its Exynos 5 chips which boast Octa-Core processors. Looking at the SoC market, the only manufacturer available to produce LTE-enabled SoCs was Qualcomm, having Samsung’s flashgrips powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. However, Samsung seems to want to stop depending on Qualcomm’s SoC and start making their own hardware for their handsets, with the possibility of making their SoC available to other smartphone manufacturers as well.

It is said that the Exynos ModAP SoCs have the ability to support the 4G LTE Release 9 of 3GPP and Cat 4, FDD and TDD, as well as legacy 2G and 3G mobile interface support. Although Samsung did come a long way with its SoCs, it is still behind Qualcomm and its Cat 6 LTE-enabled chips, capable of speeds up to 300 Mbps. Even so, Samsung states that thanks to the Exynos ModAP SoC, handsets will be able to boast high-resolution cameras and offer features such as video recording in high quality or playing back graphics in higher quality.

Thank you The Times of India for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Daily Tech

Apple’s A8 Processor Rumoured To Hit the 2 GHz Clock Speed for The First Time

While Android devices have been passing the 2 GHz clock speeds for some time now, Apple’s gear and its latest 64-bit A7 has been steadily hanging at the 1.3 – 1.4 GHz speeds. Rumour now has it that the company’s latest SoC, the A8, will change all of this.

It is said that Apple’s latest iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 featuring the A8 chips will be able to reach the 2 GHz speed for the first time in the franchise’s history. There has been word that the iPad Air 2 will be available with a processing speed of 2.6 GHz, but that is to be expected since the iPad devices are the company’s ‘heavy gear’ compared to the iPhone devices.

The A8 chipset series is said to sport two cores and a 64-bit architecture as the previous A7 SoC. People might say that three, four or even eight cores are the future, as found in the Android devices, but the truth is that the extra core support is not noticeable in terms of a mobile handset’s speed. In time, as developers continue to make more and more complex mobile application, we will see the need for more than two cores on a handset. Until then, the extra cores are said to be there for ‘bragging purposes’.

The chip is said to be made by TSMC, having Apple replacing its Samsung supplier. The SoC is rumoured to be based on a 20 nm architecture, which would indicate a visible increase in performance and a decrease in power consumption compared to the current 28 nm chips. Other than that, Apple is said to release the handsets powered by the A8 chip this fall.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TabletGuide.nl

Qualcomm To Launch the Adreno 420 GPU Dedicated towards Android Gaming

Qualcomm is said to be launching the latest high-performance Adreno 420 GPU along with the Snapdragon 805 on Wednesday at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, having it be the first addition to Qualcomm’s next-gen SoC GPU series to actually become a final product.

It is said that the Adreno 420 GPU will boast OpenGL ES 3.1 and Direct3D 11 features, having Samsung adding the SoC to its later Samsung Galaxy S5 Broadband LTE-A handset. Also, Qualcomm’s Adreno 420 is the first SoC from the Adreno 400 architecture and the first one to slightly achieve desktop GPU performance by integrating Direct3D 11.2 functionality along with the OpenGL ES 3.1 feature.

Qualcomm apparently has even surpassed NVIDIA’s GPU standards by integrating the FL 11_2 architecture, compare to NVIDIA’s FL 11_0, using a fully unified shader architecture in addition to the appropriate feature implementations. A new feature present in the Adreno 400 architecture is support for tessellation, including the hull and domain shader stages, as well as compute shaders and draw indirect support.

While OpenGL ES 3.1 is limited compared to Direct3D 11, this does not mean that it will be useless. The ES 3.1 is said to provide its functionality alongside a number of Direct3D features as extensions. Mobile developers should also be pleased to know that the Adreno 420 is the first Qualcomm SoC to support Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC), which is the next generation OpenGL compression technology.

Qualcomm is expected to praise the Android gaming possibilities at Google’s I/O Developer Conference, along with the low-power nature of mobile devices as well as the SoCs which power them. However, while the Adreno 420 and Snapdragon 805 will not match the desktop variants in performance (only in features), it does bring mobile computing a step forward compared to the previous Adreno 330 GPU.

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

Rumor: Nexus 6 To Feature 64-bit 8-core Processor

Whether or not it is true, rumors still remain and they point to the next (Google) Nexus 6 handset having a high-end 64-bit Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. It is still too early to make presumptions at this time, though Digitimes cites an article from China’s Economic Daily News.

Reports say that Qualcomm is planning to launch its high-end Snapdragon 810 with a 64-bit architecture somewhere in the second half this year, boasting eight cores and said to run on an ARM big.LITTLE configuration which boosts its speeds and battery performance simultaneously.

Making a quick recap of what was specs were released for the Snapdragon 810, it is said to have four cores made out of ARM Cortex-A57 CPUs and the remaining being made out of ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs. All of them combined powering a Nexus handset, not to mention the upcoming Nexus 6, would definitely be something worth seeing.

However, take the information with a grain of salt since the Nexus 6 handset is bound to be released at the end of 2014, somewhere in early Q4 at the very least. New rumors are bound to change and make this recent rumor redundant, or could add up and consolidate it into something concrete. Time will tell.

Thank you Ubergizmo and Digitimes for providing us with this information

Rockstar Games Pointing Hints Towards Upcoming Grand Theft Auto PC Release

Rockstar Games had kept it quite when referring to “GTA V” on PC by not answering any queries and refusing to even acknowledge the fact that a decision about GTA V PC might be in the works. Now however they have suddenly started replying to everyone with the following message “Keep an eye out for info on that on our newswire page: http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire “. This is not a confirmation but its a major improvement over their no-comment motto so far. It also means that the probability of an announcement coming has skyrocketed in a split second.

Also take the news with a grain of salt, because there is always the chance that Rockstar finally decides not to go ahead with that. Given the news that the Next Gen consoles’ architecture is strikingly similar to the PC architecture, and that Rockstar, like every other gaming company, strives to make a lot of money, then it would only be logical for the PC version to come out at the same time or later after the Next Gen release.

As a conclusion, an exclusivity agreement to Next Gen consoles will be the only thing stopping the Grand Theft Auto V to be released on PC, and the probability of that ever happening is next to nothing.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF