Analysis, Event, IDF 2014

IDF 2014 Murmurings: A True Windows Phablet for Content Creationists?

While flying from Taipei to San Francisco for the usual September round of tech events, one story in this month’s MacWorld caught my attention: one of the editors was speculating how nice it would be to have a true full Mac in an iPhone size. Of course, Apple may be a little farther from merging the OS X and iOS than we thought earlier, but, what about looking at the same thing on the Wintel platform? It could be argued that one big mistake Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)  did with Windows Phone is to compete with Android and Apple (NASDAQ: APPL). Windows OS, as imperfect as it is,

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Analysis, Event, IFA 2014, Opinion, Rumors

IDF 2014 Murmurings: A True Windows Phablet for Content Creationists?

While flying from Taipei to San Francisco for the usual September round of tech events, one story in this month’s MacWorld caught my attention: one of the editors was speculating how nice it would be to have a true full Mac in an iPhone size. Of course, Apple may be a little farther from merging the OS X and iOS than we thought earlier, but, what about looking at the same thing on the Wintel platform? Perhaps a Windows Phablet? It could be argued that one big mistake Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) did with Windows Phone is to compete with Android and Apple (NASDAQ: APPL). Windows OS, as

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Audio/Video, Enterprise, Graphics, Hardware, Reviews

Nvidia Quadro vs. AMD Firepro: Professional Graphics Showdown

Since the first graphics processors that hardwired the basic display operations of displays like the NEC 7220 and Hitachi 63484 in the early 1980s, they were followed by the first PC cards – the IBM PGA – some 30 years ago, the need for dedicated graphics processing hardware has set in firmly at the high end of the PC landscape. At that time it was 2D only, yet it still cost a couple of grand per adapter card: a price class that has seemingly kept to this day, if talking about professional graphics cards like the ones from Nvidia and AMD that are included in

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分析

英特爾探勘新視野:目標應對準於會下金蛋的母雞還是與一群ARM架構的對手鹬蚌相争那蠅頭小利?

  希爾斯伯勒的波特蘭郊區是英特爾高檔產品的產區,也是其主要的搖錢樹, 今年此時是異常的熱,有許多天,高溫接近攝氏30攝氏度(華氏90). 所以英特爾內部(雙關語)為了準備在即將推出的全新工作站和伺服器而過熱,當然還有在九月IDF開幕之前,將會公開亮相的高檔桌面風格的Haswell而發熱。這些對媒體界而言,早已成了老掉牙的舊聞,所以在此就毫無意義的重複一些廣為人知的報導了。 英特爾如今將何去何從是很耐人尋味的。公司將會把重心放在Xeon和相關企業以及帶進高利潤的高檔客戶的產品嗎?還是會捲入更深層的“超流行,難獲利”的 ultra-mobile流行之戰呢 這兩個市場的情況簡直就是南轅北轍:第一,英特爾的數據集團,絕對是此行業的領導者,其市場主導地位徘徊在90%左右或更多,在一般的IT硬體業界裡占有最大利潤的市場。經過幾年的風平浪靜之後,又恢復了逐年的推成出新,且如時鐘滴答般有規律。除了胃口越來越大之外,也許要復仇 – IBM公司與其全球推廣的POWER8之外,目前在此業界中,就性能或與表現而言,尚未出現真正的全球競爭者. 英特爾是哀兵,無名小卒 另一方面而言,伴隨著多如牛毛的智慧型手機和平板電腦產品中,ultramobile的利潤最大卻也最可疑,但英特爾於過去以及現在仍然是哀兵一個。或許這比十年前,當AMD 在x86領域裡與英特爾對峙的情況還糟,還有十五年前當Alpha與MIPS與x86對峙一樣。 至少在這些相應的時段過程中,同時努力進身擠進主要的舞台,兩位競爭對手同時皆有著保護的利基市場,使得他們能縱橫四海,並維持了一段時光。在這兩種情況下,皆緣由於與效能與功能的優勢,以及客戶的忠誠度,至少對於特定的應用程式,英特爾在當時是無法與那些對手媲美的。 與今日的ultramobile戰場一比,英特爾為了趕進這個幾乎完全被ARM所主導的市場裡,而早已陷入巨大的財力和工時的深淵。在過去的幾年中,這嚴重的影響了資產負債表的處理過程。但英特爾如與其他對手一樣,有其保護市場:高檔伺服器的基金來支持的低價產品ultramobile的同儕。然而,儘管,基於Atom 處理器的行動產品表現的可圈可點,在相當多的情況下,他們卓越的超越了ARM的競爭以及龐大的投資在Android應用程式的移植植上,結果仍只是寥寥無幾。 吸取經驗教訓 讓我們回溯到Alpha和MIPS 在各自的鼎盛時期,比x86擁有更多的比較性能優勢。 那些額外的性能在高檔領域中,比在智慧型手機裡來的重要多了,智慧型手機其主要功能,畢竟就是通話和傳送簡訊等等。但其背後的公司,無論如何都來頭不小,卻仍無法處理的英特爾市場營銷的競爭和缺乏意願,由其他合作廠商的全力支持他們。因此,至少在中國以外的地區,他們失敗了 現在,英特爾需要一個強大的“中央委員會“來應付全球供應商“,如三星、華為、英偉達、蘋果、LG和高通,一通與寶寶 ARM Plc 合作,以推動ARM的前進。 其實目前ARM跟本不是最好的架構。事實上,如果你真的想找一個性能和架構比x86更差的東西的話,ARM和SPARC就是唯一的真正候選人,除了“good ship Itanic.”以外, 這個架構最初的是為低消費的桌面PC(參見:BBC微電腦系統)和嵌入式系統式應用程式而設計的,從來就非為高性能的運算,可在現實中與ultramobile業界共存,除非有重大的變化,就會與過往的應用程式和目前的發亮發紫的相容性有衝擊。 畢竟花了ARM的近30年 ,從1985年的“Acorn RISC機器”到2014年的Cortex-A57 才有正確的64 位元處理器,而MIPS和Alpha在1990年和1991年就分別是完全的64位元。即使x86到現在,也已經超過十年歷史的64位元。 這些ARM結盟的廠商,每天彼此打擊對方就像無人能敵;他們是彼此的最大的敵人。然而,英特爾的介入回將他們團結起來,以面對不該有機會在此領域裡生存的“共同的敵人”,至少不該在PC業界裡會出現的模式。 英特爾是否需要退場策略 即使伴隨著股東而來的壓力,像是“我女兒的iPad沒有Intel Inside。立刻修好要不就滾蛋!”之類的。問題是英特爾介入智慧型手機和平板電腦的混戰中到何種程度? 像FullHD以UHD2合1在Broadwell ULV上運行是有道理的,因為它本質上是一個具有平板模式的PC Ultrabook,反之亦然。 Windows比Android來說,更像是一個生產力平台,所以會有一定的差異. 然而,ultramobile的戰場上,晶片和最終產品以殘忍的價格互相殘殺,英特爾的進入,未必是件好事。或許,在智慧型手機和平板電腦領域中,建立並維持10%的市場佔有率,是個合理的目標,不同於蘋果在桌上型和筆記本的空間,這將會是最適合的。這市場夠大,足以建立一個獨特的利基價值。以創建一個漂亮的獨特價值, 並有大部分的應用程式都是初出市場,對ARM端而言,並沒有重大的威脅,而其他的事情就基本如常。 然而,那些與ARM廠商相同的高端客戶,對於英特爾那售價四位數字晶片的高利潤而垂涎,英特爾必定要非常果決,並經由加速推出產品和保持龐大性能的領域來對這些廠商說明,這樣的結果是讓他們永遠也不能迎頭趕上的。Broadwell EP不能因每年的更新週期而拖延, Skylake也不應跟進後續。有利可圖的企業級SSD,網絡和互聯程式都同時存在,他們應該用快速的腳步向前邁進。 如果有一種辦法方法來合理化每個插槽的晶片價錢應該更高,跟著更強大的CPU與更密集的數據中心,當功率與空間都是制約條件,那麼或許還有改善的方式. 我們來回頭看看以前那些非x86 RISC的架構,至今仍將ARM拋棄與塵埃中,迅速向英特爾跟前邁進,並同時利用現有的插座和晶片的基礎設施。畢竟,X86就是X86,似乎有某種實際的屏障 – Xeon E7 series 的每一個插槽售價打約5000美元,既是願意接受的價錢。 這仍然只有大約三分之一IBM可以從銷售其頂尖POWER8產品中可得之利潤,更不用提那超快昂貴的MCM版本。如果我們有一個更快的RISC互補,而且是Xeon E7相容插槽的解決方案,因而提供了足夠的額外性能,尺寸和功能的好處,那麼用戶就願意支付10000美元的插座嗎? 尤其是與x86比較,是否可能在每個週期,每個核心可以實現更高的指示說明,甚至僅僅只是一般應用程式?中國的“神威”阿爾法程式,大約在一年的時間創造了相當精致的100 PFlop機器, 也許是正確的暗示。是的,它早已讓ARM望塵莫及了。

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VR World

First Volume Production 8K-Class Quad UHD LCD Panel Comes Out of Beijing

Not satisfied with 4K, and wanting to go beyond to show your SLR photos in their full glory? Well, the answer to your wishes doesn’t come from Japan or Korea this time, but from Middle Kingdom. Beijing Oriental (BOE), the other leading Chinese LCD panel fab besides TCL’s CSOT in Shenzhen, has just unveiled its 98-inch 7680×4320 panel series, the HV098XXX. The 32 Megapixel monster, with 2.23 x 1.30 metre dimensions and 14 cm depth requirement, would easily fill many company conference rooms, not to mention premium home theatres. It would make showing off huge photorealistic city models down to every window or potted plant

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VR World

Intel Transaction Memory Extensions On Hold Until Broadwell?

The Haswell platform, which both Bright Side of News and VR World has covered extensively in the past and will do so in the future, is a big leap forward for Intel in many areas. Features including AVX2 that brings fused multiply-add and full integer computing parallelisation, DDR4 memory and massive internal bandwidth boosts, all help justify the move to the new platform. However, one unique and interesting feature of the Haswell platform, Transaction Memory Extensions (TSX), seemingly had to be disabled. The news we had last month was that there were inconsistent results when using it on some platforms. The assumption was that it

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Analysis

Intel Navigating The New Landscape: Focus On The Golden Goose? Or Fight For Peanuts With The ARM Crowd?

This post originally appeared on Bright Side of News, VR World’s sister publication. The Portland suburb of Hillsboro, where all Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) high end product operations – and its main cash cow – are located, was unusually hot for this time of the year, with temperatures almost touching 30 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) some days. So was Intel inside (pun intended), overheated in preparation for the imminent launch of new workstation, server and, yes, high-end desktop Haswell flavours that will have a public debut before the September IDF opens its doors. These were already well written about by many in the media community, so this time

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Reviews, Video Card Reviews

Nvidia Quadro vs AMD FirePro: OpenGL Professional Graphics Showdown

Since the first graphics processors that hardwired the basic display operations of displays like the NEC 7220 and Hitachi 63484 in the early 1980s, they were followed by the first PC cards – the IBM PGA – some 30 years ago, the need for dedicated graphics processing hardware has set in firmly at the high end of the PC landscape. At that time it was 2D only, yet it still cost a couple of grand per adapter card: a price class that has seemingly kept to this day, if talking about professional graphics cards like the ones from Nvidia and AMD that are included in

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Analysis, Hardware

Mini-ITX 4 GHz Haswell: Climbing the 'Devil’s Canyon' With Size Constraints?

Ever thought of an ultra-small, yet fully overclockable, high speed desktop PC squeezed inside the compact Mini-ITX platform? A combination of Intel’s Core i7-4790X and Gigabyte GA-Z97N board could give you that, just watch the Mini-ITX size and power limits. First, with its jacked up CPU and GPU core speeds, the “Devil’s Canyon” 4 GHz four-core Haswell does have enough muscle to drive a home-theatre UHD 3840×2160 TV platform, in everything minus the 3D games. The latter point would, of course, have to wait for some substantial GPU architecture refresh within Intel, something not likely until Skylake platform a year and half from now. System

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Analysis, Business, Hardware, Mobile Computing

Intel Navigating the New Landscape: Focus on the Golden Goose, or Fight for the Peanuts With the ARM Crowd?

Intel Logo

The Portland suburb of Hillsboro, where all Intel’s high end product operations – and its main cash cow – are located, was unusually hot for this time of the year, with temperatures almost touching 30 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) some days. So was Intel inside (pun intended), overheated in preparation for the imminent launch of new workstation, server and, yes, high-end desktop Haswell flavours that will have a public debut before the September IDF opens its doors. These were already well written about by many in the media community, so this time it’s pointless repeating what’s already widely known. What is interesting is where Intel would

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2014, Analysis, Business, Comic-Con, Enterprise, Event, Hardware, Opinion, VR World

Post-Computex Blues – Yet Another Bloodbath on the Horizon

Computex Taipei_1000

Or… The Vendors Never Learn It’s been a full 2 weeks now since the end of Computex, and the associated roaming around Greater China and certain (mostly Chinese speaking too) neighboring realms. This being at the very least fifteenth Computex for me, I didn’t bother much with press conferences and such, but checking the show floor to see what’s really going on, and then do a real check with selected vendors after the event is done with. The Taiwanese, with diminishing focus on high end ‘added value’ PC stuff, moving towards mainstream consumer things with corresponding reduction in differentiation and ability to charge larger margins,

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Hardware, Mobile Computing, Opinion, VR World

Is Qualcomm Behind the Lack of High-End LTE-enabled PC Gadgetry?

Held in the New York City-sized, yet younger than many of us, Shenzhen metropolis, the last weeks’ IDF provided quite a number of announcements which you can anyway read on the usual press release reprinting web sites. Here’s something that you might not find that easily, though… During my walkabout IDF Shenzhen tours, I had a chat with one high end OEM who was twice evaluating a 2-in-1 very high end LTE enabled Haswell ultrabook & tablet combo device with a built-in full LTE capability and the integrated pop-up SIM card slot. After all, if having a local LTE SIM card, you are far more

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Audio/Video, Hardware

The Haswell Leak and IT Websites? Dilemma: An Insider?s View

This summer it?ll be exactly 28 years and nearly 2,000 articles since I published my first IT feature story, about, what else, high end PC CPUs. It was a paper publication owned by a state company in a slick 15-storey tower in the capital of Slovenia, Eastern Europe, and at that time the respect for IT press was quite high. We, in fact, even had our trips paid by the magazine company, as asking vendors for sponsorship was considered only a matter of last resort. Advertisements rarely, if ever, affected the editorial policy and the trust between the press and the readers was reasonably high,

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Graphics, Hardware

Nvidia takes back the all-round GPU performance title with GeForce Titan?

The intro of GeForce Titan puts to rest the doubts whether Nvidia would be able to release – at least in limited quantities – a gaming version of the Tesla-focused GK110. What impact does it have on the competition? Firstly,yes, it is expected to equal or beat AMD’s HD7970 GHz Edition in almost every performance aspect: from raw GPU and FP (both SP and DP) performance to memory capacity and bandwidth as well. After all, this is the first ‘standard issue’ single GPU card for PCs with 6 GB memory as standard, if you exclude Sapphire HD7970 Toxic 6GB, which was a very special edition.

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Graphics, Hardware

The Era of 4K Supertablets Cometh: Panasonic Leads the Way

At CES 2013, Panasonic unveiled something that I’ve long hoped for, but still it was quite unexpected: a 4K class "Pro Tablet" device, which not only has a PC-size screen larger than any laptop, but also resolution better than anything seen before save those rare 4096×2560 medical displays, and proper Intel Core – not Atom – CPU running the full Microsoft Windows 8 OS (not the restricted RT version). Panasonic 4K Supertablet – 20", 4K resolution, Windows 8 and Intel + Nvidia Combo. The ultimate for modern DCC/CAD/CAM/CAE professional? Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, after all – the world’s first reasonably affordable 3840×2400 monitor,

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Entertainment, Hardware

Taiwanese Enthusiast Company Makes USB Dicks

Taiwan’s memory module vendors have a tough life competing both against each other as well as the big overseas outfits like Kingston or Crucial. The intense competition leads to rapid, frequent releases of often similar products, and a general rush in getting things done. Well, nothing uncommon in fast paced Taipei where many IT professionals work 12 hour days for no real good reason. The rush and resulting tiredness can sometimes result in interesting mistakes, like in the case of this today’s Team Group press release for their new Extreme LV modules, emailed to us – take a look at the underlined word in the

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Business, Hardware

Intel Tick Tock slows down: Sandy Bridge slips into 2011?

Lack of competition hurts the market – AMD’s continuous delays of their next-gen CPU architecture combined with Intel’s ill-fated effort on Larrabee resulted in a slowdown of the Tick-Tock cadence. By now, we all know that AMD Bulldozer should only surface in 2011 – definitely no 2010 major core advances from them above the current cores seen in Phenom and Opteron spread available now. By itself, that’s not exactly good news, but then again it wasn’t unexpected either. Anything missing? Intel’s Desktop Roadmap for 2010 shows Westmere CPUs… Picture Credit: PConline Then, recent Chinese web site coverage about the upcoming Intel Core i7 980X Extreme

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Enterprise, Graphics, Hardware

BSN* The Ultimate Workstation: Of Virtual Cities and Walkthroughs…

Editor’s note: Welcome to the second part in our Ultimate Visual Workstation series. You can read the first part of the series here: BSN* Presents The Ultimate Workstation. Part II In our search for the Ultimate Workstation, out of all components on the market, the choice boiled down to Supermicro’s 8HDA3i, and Tyan’s S7010. If you want to run system with dual graphics cards, Supermicro is the better choice, but the board is not without its negatives. Since we couldn’t enable Quadro SLI due to the certified system restriction [nVidia sells the Quadro SLI certification to selected vendors, just like SLI on P55/X58 motherboards, Ed.],

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Enterprise, Graphics, Hardware

BSN* presents The Ultimate Workstation: Part I

Just as Intel rules the high-end CPU market, nVidia holds a Microsoft-like dominance in the workstation GPU arena. Here, it’s not just the raw GPU speed, but the card-level optimizations like gigantic memory for visualization of large datasets; properly certified and tested drivers and application environments for precise error-free OpenGL display of complex engineering objects in real-time 3D; and, of course, well tuned OpenGL capabilities beyond what you usually see on consumer-class GPUs. And, oh yes, Linux is just as important, if not more, here than Windows – look at how many professional engineering, scientific and multimedia apps work under Linux, and often faster due

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Entertainment, Hardware

Sin-galore in Singapore

Far East is, step by step, becoming the new centre of the world – and that applies to the ‘Generation Y’ time wasting activities like blogging, twittering and such. The multi-billion and growing population here has too little space to go out sometimes in all those dense cities, so electronic social activities on small gadgets have a boom time. Here in super-developed Singapore, the Switzerland of Asia [minus the mountains, plus the extra money], this past weekend saw Intel and Lenovo team up with a famous local department store TANGS [something like Macy’s with a Chinese twist and plenty of saucy lingerie], at the busiest

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