Intel Ultra Low Power Skylake-U Lineup Revealed

While much of the attention have been focused on the i7 6700K and the i5 6600K, Intel’s latest 14nm process should shine best in the power limited mobile environment. Intel intends to be mum about their other Skylake chips, but someone has leaked slides detailing the Skylake-U ultra low power lineup.

Starting off, all of the chips are dual-core only given the limited power envelope, with the i3, i5 and i7 having hyperthreading to expose 4 logical cores. We have 2 i7s with 4MB L3 cache that breach the 3Ghz barrier at max turbo while the i5 lineup loses 1MB of cache and tops off at 3Ghz. The i3 is limited to a much more pedestrian 2.3Ghz while the Pentium and Celerons are even slower and lose another MB of cache and hyperthreading. TDP remains low at 15W max with a configurable TDP that drops as low as 7.5W.

On the GPU side, we have the HD 530 for the i3 and above at 300/1000Mhz with the i7 variant boosting an additional 50Mhz. The Pentium and Celeron are paired with the slower HD 510 that clocks slower at 300/900Mhz, with the Pentium iGPU boosting 50Mhz higher. The Intel 520 should have 24EUs (Execution Unit) while nothing about the 510 has leaked yet. It will be interesting to see if the 34% promised gain over Broadwell iGPU will manifest in the 520 or will there be other higher end iGPUs launching later.

While the desktop side of things has shown lower levels of progress, the mobile side continues to show good improvement. It wasn’t long ago that mobile CPUs hit 35W TDPs with anemic iGPUs and poor battery life. Now, we will soon have chips that are leaps and bounds ahead of their predecessors with higher IPC, clock rates and better iGPU performance, all in a smaller, cooler, and more power efficient package.

Thank you FanlessTech for providing us with this information

Synology Officially Announce VisualStation VS360HD

We already had a sneak peek at the VS360HD during Computex earlier this month and now it is official, Synology officially announced the VisualStation VS360HD. It is a compact, durable, and high-performance surveillance companion that supports showing video feeds from up to 36 network cameras within a network when each camera is configured at 720p/10FPS, and also comes with dual Full HD mirrored display output via HDMI and VGA.

If one device shouldn’t satisfy the needs, you just set up more. You can connect multiple VS360HD to a KVM switch and provide a cost-efficient and easy scalable TV wall. Thanks to its fan-less design, VS360HD is completely silent and requires only 4.76W when operating with 36 channels and even lowers power usage down to only 3.61W when idle.

 

The palm-sized system is VESA mount compliant, so finding a way to mount it shouldn’t be any problem, that is if you don’t want it on your desk. It comes with an easy to use interface thanks to the Surveillance Station and has both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

The three USB ports on the VS360HD allows users to connect a mouse, keyboard, and even a joystick to easily operate specific IP cameras with PTZ (Pan-TiltZoom) control.

Synology’s new VisualStation VS360HD is backed with a 3-year limited warranty and comes with a recommended retail price of £360 including VAT.

SanDisk Announces Z400s SATA SSD

SanDisk latest SSD, the new Z400s, is aimed more at the replacement of mechanical hard drives in embedded systems than home systems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it.

The new SanDisk Z400s is available in multiple form factors and capacities. Whether you need a 7mm high 2.5-inch drive, an M.2 2242 and 2280, or an mSATA form factor, SanDisk has it covered. Capacity wise it starts at 32GB and tops out at 256GB.

The sequential performance is rated at 549MB/s reading and 330MB/s writing while the random performance is rated to 33K read and 62K write.

The Z400s strength lies in power consumption where it only draws 50 mW during active power, 20mW in slumber mode and less than 5mW with DEVSLP.

The endurance is rated to 20TB total bytes written for the 32GB, 40TB for the 64GB, and 72TB for the 128GB and 256GB models and all models are backed by a three-year warranty.

There are many areas where this drive could come in handy, from Digital Signage over POS to Security-Surveillance. Effectively anywhere you need fast storage that doesn’t draw a lot of power nor generates much heat. An SSD beats a traditional HDD on every of those aspects and also in reliability.

The new SanDisk Z400s is sampling with customers immediately in all form factors and all capacities.

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

Scientists Want to Help Power Your Phone by Talking to It

A group of scientists from the university of Sungkyunkwan in South Korea have apparently developed a new technology which converts sound waves into electrical energy. With this concept, smartphones will be able to charge from any sound source, from talking to music and even highway traffic noise.

“The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked as a source. This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power.” Dr. Sang-Woo Kim, a researcher involved in the project, stated.

The current outcome involves a prototype that converts around 100 decibels to 50 millivolts of electricity. This is done with a pad which absorbs sound waves and causes zinc oxide wires mounted between electrodes to compress and release, creating an electrical current that can be used to charge a battery.

While the generated electricity so far isn’t enough to power a whole phone, Dr. Kim stated that different materials can be used in the future to get better results. The current prototype however can already be beneficial for small, low-power sensors and implantable devices.

Thank you Huffington Post for providing us with this information

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

MSI Debut AM1 Kabini Mini-ITX AM1 Motherboard

Kabini is a very hot topic this week, the new low power dual or quad core hardware from AMD offers some impressive performance given its super low price tag, something that could revolutionise the lower end of the market.  Now MSI are playing their hand into the Kabini market, although we wouldn’t expect anything less from one of the leading motherboard manufacturers in the world.

The new MSI AM1I motherboard features a single APU slot, suitable for either dual or quad core Kabini offerings, backed up with a solid feature set that is well suited to the new AMD hardware, such as DirectX 11.2 support, H.264 hardware decoding and encoding, 1080p video, Blu-ray playback, 8-channel HD Audio via HDMI and more, perhaps making the AM1I an ideal choice for multimedia based system builds.

On top of the multimedia features you’ll also find support for 16GB of DDR3 1333/1600m SATA 6GB/s, PCIe 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4a. This is complimented by superb build quality, so expect Hi-C CAPs, Solid CAPs, Dark CAPs, SFC and Dark Chokes, pretty much everything you’ve come to expect from MSI’s award winning Millitary Class 4 ranges.

Features

  • AMD 28NM KABINI SUPPORT: Supports AMD Socket AM1 Athlon/Sempron Processors
  • AM1 EXCLUSIVE FEATURES: AMD Mantle Ready, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, DirectX 11.2, 25W
  • SATA 6 GB/s: Up to 6Gb/s Data Transfer Bandwidth
  • LIVE UPDATE 5: Easily Update The Latest BIOS & Drivers
  • USB 3.0: Fully Supports High-speed USB Storage Devices
  • M-FLASH: Simply Update & Backup Your BIOS

With OC Genie 5, Command Center software and rock solid hardware, the Kabini will no doubt feel very welcome in the AM1I. There is no word on price just yet, but expect to see it cropping up at retailers any day now.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Nokia Adds Bluetooth LE To All Windows Phone 8 Lumia Handsets

Nokia is going to release an update which will add the latest low-energy version of Bluetooth to all Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8. It was released for the Lumia 520, Lumia 620, Lumia 625 and Lumia 720, and now will arrive for the rest of the Lumia smartphones through the Lumia Black update, as Nokia calls it.

The Bluetooth LE has a number of features but the most important is low-energy consumption. Built into Bluetooth 4.0, the low-energy technology lets you pair your phone with special accessories designed for health and fitness, among other areas. With Bluetooth LE, the accessory’s battery charge also lasts considerable longer than it would, using an older version of Bluetooth.

The low-power consumption feature is a key factor in today’s smartphones. Having a handset run a variety of apps, including internet connectivity for social media, news apps, etc., and listening to your favorite tunes on wireless headphones will gobble up a lot of battery. Therefore any low-power consumption features are welcome anytime.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information