Microsoft Releases Roadmap for Windows 10

When Microsoft released Windows 10 there were mixed opinions, with many saying that the unstable and unsupported features it presented meant that upgrading came at a risk. People then raised issues when they found that there were no Windows 10 update notes, a decision they eventually changed. Most recently they’ve come under fire due to the UWP, a system that’s been used in both their current releases and has even raised a developer to question their commitment to gamers. In order to help ease our questions, Microsoft has now released a roadmap showing what has, and what is to come.

In development is the ability to use a Windows or Android phone to store remote credentials to unlock your Windows 10 PC’s and use an app to unlock anything that runs Microsoft’s passport or Windows Hello systems. This will then be expanded with companion devices like the Microsoft Band 2 being used in two-factor authentication to unlock your PC’s.

Enjoy viewing your screen somewhere else? Microsoft is currently working on streaming Continuum-compatible devices to any screen connected to a Windows 10 PC while another feature they list is the ability to stream your entire PC experience to another PC. With Picture in Picture mode and the remote display experience also in the works, a key focus seems to be sharing the Windows 10 experience on a variety of devices.

With nothing achieved or cancelled at the moment, it will be interesting to see how these projects go and which ones come alive in the future. You can check out the roadmap here  to see the long list of potential and upcoming features for yourself.

Ubisoft Project 60% Growth – Takes Assassin’s Creed Off Yearly Cycle

Ubisoft has revealed its roadmap for the next three years, over which period it plans to grow its revenues by 60%. The French company’s plan includes scaling back the yearly release of games in its Assassin’s Creed franchise and expanding its intellectual properties into transmedia franchises, following the production of the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed movie, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed during an Investor Day call [PDF].

Guillemot says that the AAA games industry has become less hit-driven to become a more dependable business space, at least for the major players. Ubisoft will also focus on multiplayer games with a long life cycle, high engagement, and year-round and multi-year services as part of “a clear strategic road map that has already started to deliver,” the Financial Times reports.

“We want shareholders to have the right information about where we are going and how we will get there, and to understand how dangerous creeping control could be,” Guillemot said.

Ubisoft has also announced that it will break its yearly release cycle of Assassin’s Creed games, starting this year. Instead, it will “re-examine” its approach to the series, with no new game due in 2016.

A Ubisoft blog post reads:

“This year, we also are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise. As a result, we’ve decided that there will not be a new Assassin’s Creed game in 2016. Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback. We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise. We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”

Ubisoft shares closed up 11 per cent to €22.31 on Thursday (18th February).

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

Overkill Gives 2 More Years of Support for Payday 2

Overkill, Payday 2’s developer, announced that it will continue support for the tittle until 2017. The studio apparently has reached a deal with publisher 505 Games that will allow it to deliver content for two more years. The current model for Payday 2 mixes free updates, optional paid DLCs and new campaigns.

“We’ve seen many of your comments already. At Overkill, we are still celebrating,” producer Almir Listo explained in a new blog post. “We are very excited about this. On behalf of the rest of the crew, thank you everyone for your support through the years! We wouldn’t be where we are without you guys! We will honor your support by continue supporting Payday 2 for two more years. Alright! We have a lot in store for the rest of the year and have no time to rest.”

Overkill stated that it is currently getting ready to release the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title with all DLCs up to date this June. Also, the developer has a detailed roadmap of paid and free content updates laid out and with a database of over 9 million users, it would only make sense for them to continue support for the title and keep its fans happy.

“We could [make Payday 3],” Listo stated. “But it would just bite us back in the end.”We want to build a long-term relationship with the community. Five years ago we barely existed. We’ve always respected them and their devotion to the Payday universe.”

Overkill is said to also be working on a new The Walking Dead title and a mysterious sci-fi project called Storm, which is due in 2016.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information

AMD Updates Roadmap, Toronto to Feature Dual IMC

An interesting update on AMD’s Toronto Platform has appeared. According to a Bitsandchips.it, it would seem that AMD is going to allow both DDR3 and DDR4 support simultaneously on this platform.

The Toronto APU and CPU are part of the AMD Opteron platform and are going to use the Excavator cores. The previously leaked roadmap showed support for either DDR3 or DDR4 memory, but now it would appear that they are going to support both thanks to Dual IMCs (Integrated Memory Controller).

AMD has previously steered clear of DDR4 memory but seem to have reversed their decision. The Opteron platform currently houses the Berlin APU and Toronto is the successor of the same with the next revision of Bulldozer architecture. Both the APU and CPUs will have 4 cores.

Carrizo was supposed to have DDR4 Memory but this was abandoned due to the high cost of the memory in question. With Toronto aimed at the server market, costs aren’t so relevant as to the consumer market. As long as the performance increases relative to the costs, it will be a success. The fact that DDR4 supports a higher memory density at a lower power consumption increases these odds. Future compatibility is guaranteed as well..

As always, rumours should be treated as such and the slide isn’t in the best quality either. It will be interesting to see the official statements from AMD.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of WCCFTech

Intel Roadmap Shows New Line of SSDs Due For Launch Around Q4

During a tech conference over in Italy, where Intel have been displaying their upcoming roadmap for the CPU market, they have also touched on what the SSD side of their business will look like over the next few months. Although Intel does cover both the consumer and enterprise sides of the market as reflected in the roadmap, what is particularly interesting is the consumer trail towards the end of this year.

Not only does the map show that the will be expecting to see the successor to the 730 Series SSD around Q4, known as ‘August Ridge’  at this moment in time, but it also gives us an indication that there will be mSATA and M.2 variants of the 750 series coming to market around the same sort of time – a key move for any SSD manufacturer who wants to stay at the forefront of the market.

Based on our knowledge of their competitors and where the market is targeted, we may expect to see drives ranging from 64GB in a mSATA format and 128GB in M.2 and 2.5″ formats, growing up to around 960GB on the upper end of the scale. Although we do not have detailed information on the drives specifications, we have word that they will be built on Intel’s 20nm NAND although the controller has not ben detailed at this moment, nor pricing for that matter.

Source and image courtesy of TechPowerUp

Devil’s Canyon, Haswell-E and Broadwell Plans Detailed in Intel’s Official Roadmap

Having AMD release its official roadmap, Intel is apparently not far behind in releasing such information. An official roadmap detailing Intel’s plans for this year has been revealed. The roadmap states that Intel is planning to delay its Devil’s Canyon CPU launch date from June 2nd 2014 to Q3 2014.

Intel will only announce its Devil’s Canyon processors at Computex 2014 in June, where sources indicate it will also hold an overclocking competition as well, where users can test out the Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K processors. It is also said that a few retailers have already listed the Core i7-4790K, Core i5-4690K and Pentium G3258 CPUs for pre-order. However, they will not start shipping until September. Also, most motherboard manufacturers are holding out until Devil’s Canyon release before they start shipping the Z97 motherboards.

In terms of specifications for Devil’s Canyon, a list and details can be viewed below:

Intel’s Core i7-4790K apparently will be the first 22nm consumer CPU from the Haswell Refresh lineup to come with a clock speed of a staggering 4 GHz and a boost speed of 4.4 GHz, featuring 4 cores and 8 threads. It is also stated to come with an unlocked design, allowing users to overclock the CPU over its limits thanks to its improved thermal design and updated package material. The Core i7-4790K is said to feature a TDP of 88W and feature the latest Intel HD 4600 graphics chip clocked at 1250 MHz. A price for this chip is suggested by pre-ordering sites at around $359.99.

The Core i5-4690K seems to be the fastest i5 series Intel CPU, with a stock speed of 3.5 GHz and boost of 3.9 GHz. It will feature 4 cores and 4 threads along with an unlocked design as the i7-4790K, having a similar TDP of 88W and HD 4600 graphics clocked at 1250 MHz. The price specified or this Haswell Refresh i5 is stated to be around $249.99.

The roadmap also seems to confirm the Haswell-E shipping date, planned for September 2014. The Haswell-E is dubbed the true HEDT platform targeted for enthusiasts and overclockers alike, featuring support for next generation 8 and 6 core SKUs based on Haswell’s 22nm architecture and also the first to support the latest DDR4 memory.

The last announcement on Intel’s roadmap features the Broadwell, which is stated to have a launch date set for late Q1 2015. Rumors also speculate of the lineup being pushed beyond the Q1 2015 date to Q2, while the Broadwell Mobility lineup is said to be coming somewhere in Q4 2014. The Broadwell lineup will be Intel’s first 14nm consumer chip heading for mobility platforms late this year and desktop platforms somewhere in the first two quarters of next year.

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