Once upon a time, Virtual Reality meant clunky hardware, patchy software, dodgy films starring Pierce Brosnan, and a seemingly permanent membership of the ‘Next Big Thing’ club. In 2015, however, falling prices and endorsements from the major companies mean that VR is back on the agenda. Film-makers are using VR to make documentaries, Smithsonian is replicating first flight, gaming manufacturers are eyeing up the possibilities, while Mark Zuckerberg has been busy splashing the cash with a $2 billion Facebook acquisition of the Oculus VR start-up firm – which will come out with a retail product in the first quarter of 2016. With Virtual Reality back
It looks as if Nintendo has eyed AMD to craft the processor to power the new Nintendo NX.
NASA’s New Horizons probe shares the same brain as the early PlayStation console.
As we enter the second half of 2015, we are presented with a virtual reality market that is saturated with high-end and entry level products. From the low-cost Merge VR headset to Microsoft’s HoloLens, the VR market has exploded and offers an incredibly diverse array of products for consumers to consider. With this in mind, several of the frontiers opposing virtual reality have been overcome already. Take the suggestion that VR hardware would be prohibitively priced, for example, as while some headsets are relatively costly there are others that have targeted the lower end of the market (think of Google’s simplistic Cardboard invention). There are
Couple of months ago, we exclusively reported that the U.S. government blocked Intel from selling its products to Chinese supercomputer firms such as Inspur, responsible for building the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. Originally, Tianhe-2 was planned to expand all the way to almost 100,000 Xeon processors and Xeon Phi co-processors, targeting to beat the 100 PFLOPS barrier. Initial deployment included 4,096 Chinese Galaxy FT-1500 processors (Chinese SPARC) and 16,000 processor nodes with two 12-core Xeon E2692 processors and three Xeon Phi 31S1P co-processors for a grand total of 3.12 million cores. Full installation of Tianhe-2 was scheduled to feature 48,000 processor nodes, or 9.93 million cores. However, those
Given the slow disintegration or refocusing of its competitors, we were not all too surprised when Intel started to slow down its famous “Tick-Tock” manufacturing cadence. Originally introduced in 2006 with the “Conroe”, Core 2 Duo processors, Tick-Tock was mixed between a new microarchitecture and current manufacturing process (Tock), and a new process, die-shrink processor with some architectural optimizations (Tick). Further separation in Tick-Tock was a cadence between mainstream parts (desktop, mobile) and high-end parts (gaming, workstations) – Tick or Tock would always debut as mainstream parts, followed by high-end 6-12 months after. High end would typically mean Intel Xeon and Core i7 ‘X’ line-up.
Since its inception, GlobalFoundries had a plan to become world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer. From starting as an AMD manufacturing spin-off, the company owners set a multi-decade plan which involved acquiring Chartered Semiconductor and recently, acquired IBM foundry business as well. The capacity grew from initial 60,000 300mm wafers in 2009 to almost quarter billion 300mm and 130+ million 200mm wafers in second quarter of 2015. While the absolute capacity numbers were even higher, the owners (Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi) decided to re-address the capacity and increase volume in processes that make financial sense. In order to stay ahead the company kept on investing in SOI
During E3 2015, AMD launched two lines of graphics cards: Radeon 300 Series and Fiji Series. Radeon 300 Series is mostly based on renaming the 200 Series, with boosted hardware (double the memory, increase the clocks) and software (say hello to Frame Rate Target Control and Virtual Super Resolution) capabilities. Fiji GPU is a completely different beast, with no less than five different products: Few weeks ago, AMD launched R9 Fury X, a liquid cooled version. Sadly, the card was only available in very limited volume and we were unable to obtain one for a review. Now, AMD launched the R9 Fury, an air-cooled version which is available through AMD partner network,
Being at the forefront of ecological and clean transportation, that’s what many car makers stride for today. For BMW the idea has been translated to reality as BMW Group and the SCHERM group will employ 100% electric trucks in their service. This means the BMW Group will be the first automobile manufacturer in Europe to use a 40-ton electric truck for material transport on public roads. It was launched at the BMW Group Plant in Munich by Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner. The 40-ton electric truck is a model from the Dutch manufacturer Terberg which has completed its first test drives. Beginning with
Football Manager (FM) is the best game of all time. It doesn’t matter which instalment you are playing, it is still the best game in the world. For those who have not played the game before, below is a brief overview of this classic franchise. By the end of it you will probably be shelling out for your very own copy. Availability The latest Football Manager – FM15 – is available on Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms. There is no reason to believe that FM16 will be any different. The Basics As you may guess from the title, the game sees you
We have been lucky and were able to use solid state drives for a few years now. This ensured lightning fast performance even in daily usage circumstances. While the solid state drives are fast, they lacked in capacity. Many have argued that you would need an SSD with HDD combination, to fully utilize your computer speed. But with the advent of much faster, larger and better solid state drives, this is all turned in a completely new direction. A few years back, you had to bend over backwards to afford more than 1TB of Solid State Drive capacity in terms of finances. With the release
Earlier today, Falcon 9 rocket exploded after the launch at Cape Canaveral space center in Florida. The rocket was carrying its payload, going to the International Space Station (track current position) and it tumbled out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean. This marks another setback in the space program, exploration and usable cargo delivery overall. After 23 successive successful launches, including six resupply missions for NASA, the first explosion of Falcon 9 marks the biggest setback yet. This might give second wind to proponents of government-controlled, funded (NASA or Russian Federal Space Agency) claiming that the development and rocket manufacturing for successful payload delivery needs to be controlled for successful missions into space. After all, Orbital
If we remove the borders on this planet, the number of Facebook netizens would place it as the largest country in the world. With over 1.44 billion users, it is larger than China (1.39 billion) or India (1.25 billion). As the Facebook platform matured over time, the company added more and more features which are akin to living in a country. You have ability to communicate with your neighbors through all (digital) means – text, voice, video; attend sport events, watch movies (currently relying on link sharing) and voice out your opinions. The next step of maturing the platform was somewhat easy to predict, but hard
Aston Martin has released the DB9 GT, a farewell edition of the current design which is getting a successor in 2016. DB9 GT features several rather interesting design, engineering and luxury solutions. Dubbed clearly as the luxury British sports car maker’s most compelling production ‘DB’ to date, the car is designed to offer the best of what DB9 can be, the new car delivers world-class grand touring and hand-built excellence. In other words, it combines the power of an outgoing, Cosworth-developed 6.0-litre V12 engine which now boasts 547 hp connected to an old six-speed, semi-automatic, single-clutch gearbox (also the weakest spot on the car). Following the path set by DB4, DB5, DB6
The much maligned JSF program and its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet may see some bright light being shined upon it soon! According to some rumors, the much famed albeit rather criticized stealth fighter will probably receive the new Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) engine. This marks the beginning of a new era for the aircraft for several reasons: better fuel efficiency, more power and better utility for the airplane overall. Simply put, it would extend the aircraft’s range and allow it to better fulfill its role(s). With many new potential threats coming online in the next few years, adding range and time on station is