Apple’s next mobile chip might rely on 5nm+ process, 4nm silicon likely arrives in 2022

Apple took a lead in the smartphone industry with the A14 Bionic processor this year, which happens to the first smartphone chip based on the 5nm chip. As expected, the A14 Bionic set new performance benchmarks for a smartphone chip. Now, it appears that Apple will likely maintain its lead in the smartphone industry by opting the even more efficient 5nm+ process next year, and might shift to TSMC’s 4nm process in 2022.

The latest speculations come courtesy of a TrendForce report which claims that Apple will tap into TSMC’s advanced 5nm+ foundry for making the A15 Bionic chip that will make its way to next year’s iPhone and iPad line-up. More importantly, the pace of innovation will continue in the following year, as TSMC is expected to further shrink the node size to 4nm, with Apple being among the first parties to lap it up for its A16 Bionic chip. 

Apple M1

As a general rule of thumb, a smaller process means higher efficiency and better performance when it comes to processors. “Looking ahead to 2021, in addition to Apple’s 5nm+ wafer input for the A15 Bionic SoC,” the report said regarding Apple’s switch to the 5nm+ process next year. “based on current data, Apple is highly likely to continue manufacturing its A16 SoCs with the 4nm process technology,” it added. In addition to the company leveraging TSNM’s smaller nodes, trial production for a test batch of AMD’s upcoming 5nm-based Zen 4 CPUs might also begin next year.

However, it also quite likely that Apple will rely on TSMC’s 5nm+ and 4nm process for manufacturing newer in-house silicon for future Macs, after creating the 5nm-based Apple M1 chip that has already made its way to the new Macbook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. It will interesting to see how much performance gain can Apple deliver chrome its in-house PC chips following the switch to ever smaller and more energy-efficient nodes. 

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Samsung Galaxy S20+, latest M1 13-inch MacBook Pro and more devices on sale

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We start today’s deals with a generous selection of smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G unlocked with 128GB storage is currently getting a $250 discount, leaving it at $950, which is $50 less than what you would usually pay for the vanilla Galaxy S20. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is also getting a $250 discount, meaning you can get one for $850 in its unlocked US variant with 256GB storage. And the unlocked Galaxy S10 Lite with 128GB storage is currently available for $500 with $145 savings.

We then move onto Apple deals, where we find the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with the new M1 chip with $49 discounts. The entry-level model with 256GB storage is selling for $1,250, while the 512GB version with 8GB RAM is selling for $1,450.

Logitech gaming keyboards and mice are also on sale. We start with the LogitechG305 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse getting a $10 discount, leaving it at $40. The Logitech G703 Lightspeed is getting a $16.70 discount, leaving it at $83.29, and the Logitech G903 Lightspeed is available for $127.57 with $22.42 savings.

Now, moving on to keyboards, the Logitech G613 Lightspeed is selling for $78 after a $52 discount. The G513 Carbon LIGHTSYNC is currently available for $127.70 with $22.29 savings.

Finally, we have several Samsung products on sale, including the Samsung 27-inch CRG5 240Hz curved gaming monitor with a $120 discount, leaving it at $280. The Galaxy A7 tablet for $169 with 32GB storage or $260 with 64GB. The Samsung Galaxy Buds are selling for $100.08 with $29.91 savings, and you can score the 1TB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 internal SSD for just $130 with $40 savings.

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Samsung Galaxy S20+, latest M1 13-inch MacBook Pro and more devices on sale

We start today’s deals with a generous selection of smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G unlocked with 128GB storage is currently getting a $250 discount, leaving it at $950, which is $50 less than what you would usually pay for the vanilla Galaxy S20. Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is also getting a $250 discount, meaning you can get one for $850 in its unlocked US variant with 256GB storage. And the unlocked Galaxy S10 Lite with 128GB storage is currently available for $500 with $145 savings.

We then move onto Apple deals, where we find the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro with the new M1 chip with $49 discounts. The entry-level model with 256GB storage is selling for $1,250, while the 512GB version with 8GB RAM is selling for $1,450.

Logitech gaming keyboards and mice are also on sale. We start with the LogitechG305 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse getting a $10 discount, leaving it at $40. The Logitech G703 Lightspeed is getting a $16.70 discount, leaving it at $83.29, and the Logitech G903 Lightspeed is available for $127.57 with $22.42 savings.


Now, moving on to keyboards, the Logitech G613 Lightspeed is selling for $78 after a $52 discount. The G513 Carbon LIGHTSYNC is currently available for $127.70 with $22.29 savings.


Finally, we have several Samsung products on sale, including the Samsung 27-inch CRG5 240Hz curved gaming monitor with a $120 discount, leaving it at $280. The Galaxy A7 tablet for $169 with 32GB storage or $260 with 64GB. The Samsung Galaxy Buds are selling for $100.08 with $29.91 savings, and you can score the 1TB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 internal SSD for just $130 with $40 savings.

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Pocketnow Daily: Samsung Galaxy Note 21 is MISSING! (video)

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Early Black Friday deals are live, with tons of Apple deals

The official news today begin with Apple deals because, we know you guys adore them. Beginning with the previous MacBook Air which is $80 off, that leaves the Intel core i3, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD model for $920 shipped. The 16in MacBook Pro is also $250 off, that leaves the Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD for $2150 but, you might not want to go for it depending on how these M1 MacBooks do. The latest iPad Pros are also on sale, for example, the 11in WiFi only version, with 128GB of storage is $50 off, leaving that for $739. Finally, the Apple Watch Series 6 is $50 off, that leaves the 40mm GPS only variant for $350. The SE is $20 off, but you can get the GPS+Cellular variant for $309. We have more deals on Garmin Watches, AirPods Pro, Galaxy Buds and more in the links in the description.

Users reporting serious MacBook Pro problems after macOS Big Sur update

Last week we finally got the macOS Big Sur update but, which I was really looking forward to given the efficiencies, but according to several users, not everything has been sunshine and rainbows. Several users who own 2013 and mid-2014 13in MacBook Pros upgraded to Big Sur and it has reportedly bricked their machines. According to them, their computer is stuck on a black screen and there’s no way to bypass this this as, the hot key combinations for NVRAM, SMC, Safe Mode and Internet Recovery are inaccessible after they installed the update. Apparently some of these users have been asked to take the laptop in for servicing so, we’ll see what happens. Also keep in mind that these are the oldest MacBook Pros to have Big Sur available so if you’re on the list, you might want to hold off. Obviously gotta hand it to Apple for their in-store support, but the problem is that it’s crazy irregular right now given the pandemic.

Apple’s M1 chip is better than the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and Radeon RX 560 in Graphics performance

Speaking of Macs, let’s talk about the M1 Macs which I’m currently waiting on. They were supposed to arrive today, but I guess UPS was just playing with me. They keep going through Benchmarks, and according to a new submission, the M1 Macs just went up against the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and AMD’s Radeon RX 560. It was compared to these two to match Apple’s claim of the M1’s GPU handling close to 25k threads and delivering 2.6 TFLOPS. Well, in most tests, the M1 beats both of these graphic cards while reaching up to 300 FPS in some instances. Some of the results are pretty close like in the first Aztec Ruins Setting where it actually lost to the Radeon. But then you get other cases where it just breezes through, like in Manhattan 3.1. Now, we know that these are older GPUs but, they are desktop GPUSs as well. That said, the reason why this is not the hottest news is because the benchmark tests are designed more for mobile than anything, so we’ll take them with a grain of salt.

OnePlus 9 Pro’s alleged Geekbench listing reveals SD 875 SoC

Possible design of the new OnePlus 9 has been leaked

Let’s move on to OnePlus as, we’ve already gotten the OnePlus 8 and the 8T, which means rumors for the 9 should start coming in. For starters, the Pro variant was reportedly just spotted on Geekbench revealing some new details. According to the listing, it will pack the upcoming Snapdragon 875, or whatever it will be called, and it performed pretty well in both single core and multi-core. Now, not much of the specs have been revealed, but some things we’re expecting include a Flat AMOLED Display with up to 144Hz refresh rate, and a battery that supports 65W charging. Speaking of the display, we also have some CAD renders of the device and, they’re… something. These apparently belong to the regular OnePlus 9 and it packs a flat display with a small punch hole at the top left and a near bezel-less experience. On the back, you get a triple camera array that kinda looks like if the iPhone 12 and the Galaxy S20 FE had a baby. According to these renders we’re getting a new white color variant that actually looks pretty cool. We’re expecting these phones to come out some time in March so, everything should just intensify from here.

Samsung Galaxy S21 specs and features have been leaked

Now let’s talk about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Series as we have possibly the biggest leak yet for it, and it’s both good and bad. There’s a full list of specs for the entire line up from Android Police that reveal.. Pretty much everything. Just to get it out of the way, all of these will pack the Snapdragon 875 or the Exynos 2100, as well as 5G, and One UI 3.1 based on Android 11. Alright, starting with the regular Galaxy S21, we’re looking at a 6.2in FHD+, LTPS display running at 120Hz. You’re also getting a 4000 mAh battery and a triple camera setup which consists of a 12MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra wide and a 64MP telephoto. Moving on to the S21+, you’re getting a 6.7in FHD+, LTPS display running at 120Hz, as well as a 4800 mAh battery and the same camera setup as the smaller variant. But finally, moving on to the Ultra, we have a 6.8in WQHD+, LTPO display running at up 120Hz. Here, you’re getting a 5000 mAh battery and a 5 camera array that consists of a main 108MP sensor, a 12MP ultra wide, a 10MP 3X Optical lens, and a 10MP 10X optical lens. The color variants include Phantom Violet, Pink, Grey, White, Black and Silver, and they vary depending on which variant you pick. Ice Universe also says that the Ultra packs the strongest optical system known to date when it comes to the telephoto, with both sensors being 1/2.8in and 1.22μm. We’re getting closer to that January or February launch so, we’ll see what we get but so far so good.

Story of the day:

Samsung could kill off the Galaxy Note series in 2021

And finally the hottest news today have to do with Samsung again, but this time because we have some confirmation of the beginning of the end. For years, there’s been tons of rumors that Samsung might get rid of the Note line and stick to the S Line and now with the Z Fold line, it makes a ton more sense. Well, we’ve learned from interviews with company executives that, a smartphone can be ready pretty much 9 months before the actual launch and, the problem is, the Note is currently nowhere to be found. We have a new tweet from Max Weinbach where he gives a detailed list of the Samsung flagships we’ll be getting next year. The list includes, the Galaxy S21 FE, the S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, the Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and the Z Fold FE. Nice. Now, where it gets interesting is when he tweeted out that 3 of these devices will have S Pen support, and there’s no Note on that list. A day earlier, Ice Universe tweeted “an unusual clue: there is currently no information on the development of the Note 21 Series”. Of course, we are still far away from the Note’s usual launch frame but, by this point we usually have the codenames at least, and having tipsters saying there’s no information at all on the development is kind of a huge deal. By the looks of it, unless Samsung figures out how to bring the Stylus to the Folds, it looks like the S line might bring the S Pen next year.

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Pocketnow Daily: Apple´s NEW M1 MacBooks: What You Should Know! (video)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro and more on sale today

The official news today begin with deals, and you know today is mainly going to be an “Apple” Show, so what kind of a host would I be if we didn’t begin with Apple deals. The latest iPad Air is already $50 off, that leaves the Wi-Fi only, 256GB of storage variant at $699. The iPad Mini is also $166 off, that leaves the 256GB variant for $512 shipped. AT&T also has this deal where you can get an iPhone 12 Mini for free if you trade in a device and of course, get a pretty long installment plan. The regular Galaxy Note 20 is also $200 off, that leaves the entry level, US model for $799. We also have more deals on iPad Pros, the Galaxy Watch and more in the links in the description, as well as the full list over at Pocketnow.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could feature a new 108MP camera and 120Hz at 2K

And, don’t worry, we won’t talk Apple all day. Let’s talk about Samsung for a minute as, we’re getting closer to the rumored launch date which is slated for January. According to some Ice Universe tweets, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be a small, improved version of the S20 Ultra. When it comes to the cameras, they´ll be using the 108MP HM3 sensor, with single pixels at 0.8 microns, laser autofocus and no time of flight. Meaning some of those lenses we saw on the renders are still a mystery and this also allows them to give us much better autofocus. Moving on to the display, a different tweet claims that we´ll be getting a 2K display running at 120Hz. We’ll keep you posted as, rumors should only keep getting better as we get close to December.

Apple unveils its first in-house silicon: Meet the M1 chip for Macs of the future

But alright, let’s move on to why you’re here, the Apple Event. Apple had their One More Thing Event today which was all about Apple Silicon Macs. The company started the event by announcing their new M1 chip, which is based on a 5nm process and packs 16B transistors. I know, 26 letters in the alphabet and they pick the one for their motion co-processors. This SoC packs 8 cores with 4 performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores. According to Apple, the 4 performance cores are the fastest and they actually deliver the best performance per watt in the industry which we’ll talk about in a second. You’re also getting an integrated GPU which “is the world’s fastest”. This GPU also packs 8 cores along with 128 execution units. This means that it should deliver 2x more graphics at half the wattage. We’re also getting a new 16 core Neural Engine, which you guessed it, is the fastest in the industry. Other components include Thunderbolt and USB 4 support, a better audio processor and more. Cupertino is promising blazing fast performance without compromising power efficiency and battery life, oh and it also let’s you natively run iPhone and iPad Apps on your Mac. These Macs should be significantly faster than their predecessors, but let’s talk about them.

Apple announces Mac mini refresh with in-house M1 chip

Let’s begin with the first one, which we kind of got a hint to at WWDC. The new Mac mini brings the same 7.7in squared design but, it’s now powered by the new M1 Chip. That means you’re getting all of the bells and whistles we described in the previous segment along with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage. The new SoC allows for the Mac Mini to do things like support two displays, one with up to 6K at 60Hz via thunderbolt and one up to 4K at 60Hz via HDMI. So yeah, you can fully use the Pro Display XDR but, it seems kind weird to get a Pro Display XDR for a Mac Mini, considering the stand is more expensive than the computer. The M1 will give this computer a 3x faster performance over its predecessor, Final Cut now has 3.4x faster ProRes transcode and 6.6x faster timeline render performance. Logic Pro and other heavy apps like Photoshop are also getting a boost. It’s also getting cheaper, starting at $699, with pre-orders beginning today.

Apple’s new MacBook Air with the M1 chip has a fanless design and starts at $999

Now probably the update that I was looking forward to most was Apple’s new MacBook Air, powered by the M1. It brings the same slim design so, all of the upgrades are really under the hood. Beginning with the fact that this is a fan-less design thanks to the M1 chip. According to Cupertino, this MacBook Air has a 3.5x higher performance when compared to the previous Air, and it also delivers a 5x boost in graphics. This translates to letting you edit multiple 4K video streams at once, as well as a boost in gaming performance. The company is also promising 15 hours of wireless web browsing and 18 hours of video playback when it comes to battery life. They’re also improving your video conferences by making the battery last twice as long when you’re in video calls, and it brings a better camera which is also thanks to the M1 chip. The new Retina Display now supports a P3 Color Gamut, it also brings secure enclave Touch ID, a new SSD which delivers 2x faster performance, and a crazy 9x faster machine learning. Some of the new improvements promise up to 3x faster exports in iMovie, 2x faster Lightroom exports and 5x faster 3D effects in Final Cut. This new MacBook Air starts at the same $999and is also available for pre-orders today and shipping next week.

Story of the day:

New 13-inch MacBook Pro with new Apple Silicon is jaw dropping

But finally, the hottest news today have to do with a refresh to the computer that started this show off. I didn’t think Apple was gonna refresh a pro computer with the M1, but it did with the 13-inch MacBook Pro.. Sort of. This is the entry level – two Thunderbolt port variant, no the higher tier. For starters, it promises a 3x faster performance, 5x faster graphics, and 11x faster machine learning with the 16 core Neural Engine. It also packs a new active cooling system to ensure better performance. The display delivers 500 nits of brilliance, 25% more colors and True Tone technology to adjust to its environment. When it comes to the battery, Apple is promising a crazy 20 hours of video playback, and 17 hours of wireless web browsing. Other hardware improvements include studio-quality mics to improve noise ratio, and a camera that delivers sharper video with less noise. It includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB 4, and thanks to Big Sur it features Secure Enclave, which brings features like Activation Lock to protect your Mac if it gets stolen. This new MacBook Pro will start at $1299 and is currently available for purchase, they’ll arrive in about a week. Oh and macOS Big Sur will FINALLY be available in two days.
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Pocketnow Daily: iPhone 12 Pro Durability Tests & Secret Features Revealed! (video)

Google Pixel 4a, iPads and more devices are on sale today

The official news today begin with deals as per usual, cause even installment plans actually make sense right now. For example the Google Pixel 4a is currently available for a $5 a month on Verizon. Of course there’s specific restrictions but, you’ll be getting an Unlimited Plan and you’ll end up paying $128 for the 128GB variant. I know international kids, don’t laugh about how expensive plans are in the US. Moving on to B&H, the LG G8 ThinQ is currently $450 off, leaving it at $500 from it’s original price tag. Moving on to Amazon, we have your daily dose of Apple deals, for example the latest 11in iPad Pro is $50 off, leaving the 128GB of storage variant for $750. The Apple Watch Series 5 is also $79 off, leaving the 44mm variant for $350. We have more deals on Apple products, Razer peripherals. Jabra earbuds and more in the links in the description.

Insta360 ONE X2 launches as the ultimate personal 360-degree camera

Now let’s move on to official news, and particularly for one of the companies that continues to have my favorite approach to action cams and that keeps 360 degree video alive. Insta360 just launched their new One X2. This is a pocket camera designed to replace a multi-cam setup to give you ultra wide video, panoramas, and of course, 360 degree video. It brings several changes from the original model, like a new 1630 mAh battery which let’s you shoot for up to 80 minutes, a new HD touch screen to preview your shot and that also includes 360 degree video, It’s also water resistant up to 33 feet with no case and it brings four microphones. The camera also brings improved performance, and their new AI tech let’s you change focus and other things while editing it, which you couldn’t do before. It’s currently available for $430 in Adorama and B&H. Really the only thing I’m curious about is if you still need to use their software to be able to edit their videos, cause that’s the only thing I still struggle with.

AMD unleashes Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture

And would you look at that, the cool part about TechTober is that official news actually superseed the typical rumor mill. AMD just unveiled three new GPUs for their RX 6000 series. Basically these 3 graphic cards bring RDNA 2 architecture and they undercut Nvidia’s RTX 30 series in price tag and manage to still bring somewhat of a comparable performance as well as lower power consumption. For context, this is the same architecture powering the PS5 and the Xbox Series X. This new lineup starts at $579 with the RX 68000 which competes with the $1199 RTX 2080 Ti which is from last generation. Next up, you get the Rx 6800 XT which directly competes with the Nvidia RTX 3080, offering you 4K and 1440p gaming with 16GB of GDDR6 memory for $649. Finally, you get the RX 6900 XT flagship which is aimed at 8K gamers, and it’ll set you back at $999. We got more technical details in the description but with these prices, why would the average consumer go for the Nvidia cards? Of course, they’re still crazy powerful but, AMD’s prices just make more sense.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 could still arrive in the first half of 2021

Now let’s move the spotlight over to Samsung, for those of you that thought we weren’t gonna cover leaks today. Ross Young is already talking about the Galaxy Z Flip 2. According to his latest tweet, he claims that the Z Flip 2 won’t be launched with the Galaxy S21 but it will be launched in the Spring and he is impressed with the upgrades we’re getting. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense because all of the rumors hint to the Galaxy S launching way earlier, either late January or February, so a later Spring launch for the Z Flip would help Samsung stay in the spotlight. We’re expecting this Z Flip 2, to bring both 4G and 5G connectivity but other than that, we don’t have a lot of information on this Z Flip 2, other than these upgrades Ross Young is talking about, which he doesn’t really mention. I know I want a larger outer display but let us know what you guys would like to see to care about this phone.

Apple could be working on its own search engine to replace Google

Now let’s flip on over to the boring politics section, and what companies are doing about it. If you remember, about a week ago we covered how Google was being sued and one of the reasons was, the deal they have with Apple to be their exclusive search engine. Well, as of now, Google reportedly pays $10-12B to be Apple’s main search provider but, thanks to this lawsuit, it may end. And now a new report claims that Cupertino is silently working on a new Search Engine to replace Google in case their deal is blocked. It’s still unclear whether this engine will be a full-blown website like Google, or just an enhanced Spotlight Search, which is already linking websites directly, bypassing Google. These payments from Google reportedly make around 20% of Apple’s revenue which is, a huge deal. Apple will most likely try to build this new solution around privacy so, let’s see what we end up getting cause if Siri is going to be the backbone of this service, who knows if it’ll actually work out.

Story of the day:

iPhone 12 Pro’s Ceramic Shield doesn’t help against scratches

Apple iPhone 12 series supports reverse wireless charging, but it’s hidden: FCC filing

And finally the hottest news today have to do with Apple, and the things they don’t tell you until they’re discovered in teardowns. And yes, it happened, the iPhone 12 Pro just went through Zack’s JerryRigEverything’s Durability test, revealing some stuff that we were waiting to confirm. If you follow me on Twitter, and you definitely should, you probably saw that I scratched my 12 Pro within the first 5 minutes after unboxing it because I stacked the phones together and it obviously made me question the Ceramic Shield. Well, on Zack’s teardown he confirmed that even with the new technology it still scratches at a level 6 with deeper grooves at level 7, however he did say that the level 6 scratches aren’t as noticeable when compared to other glass panels. And he also said that thanks to the build and the ceramic shield this phone should be more drop resistant, which other channels have confirmed. His video will be linked in the description but, let’s move on to other things we didn’t know about the iPhone 12. According to a new FCC filing, the iPhone 12 has a “dormant” reverse wireless charging feature through MagSafe at 360kHz, “perhaps for an external Apple accessory in the future”. A couple of days ago we covered how we should be getting new AirPods soon so, maybe Apple is waiting until they release those for them to enable the feature and advertise it, and since the iPhone has magnets, it might actually make sense
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AMD unleashes Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture

AMD has unveiled its new Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs based on the RDNA2 architecture, and all of them are aimed squarely at NVIDIA’s top-of-the-line RTX 3000 series graphics solutions. The latest offerings from AMD include the Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and the fire-breathing Radeon RX6900T. AMD touts a 3x boost in performance and up to 54% higher performance per watt when compared to GPUs based on the first-gen RDNA architecture. Oher innovations include more energy-efficient compute units, the new AMD Infinity Cache technology, hardware-accelerated ray-tracing, and support for DirectX12 Ultimate among others. 

Price starts at $579, hits the shelves early next month

AMD has 1440p as well as 4K gaming in mind, and from the benchmark comparisons we saw on-stage, these are the GPU duels AMD has in mind – Radeon RX 6900 XT vs NVIDIA RTX 3090, Radeon RX 6800 XT vs NVIDIA RTX 3080, and Radeon RX 6800 vs NVIDIA 2080 Ti. Here’s a quick overview of the three new AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards detailing their clock speeds (base and boost), number of CUs, cache, and more.

16GB GDDR6 memory and 128MB cache for all three GPUs

All three AMD Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs pack 16GB of graphics memory, but it is the GDDR6 standard we’re talking about, and not the faster (and more power-hungry) GDDR6X modules inside NVIDIA’s latest cards. Plus, the cache memory is set at 128MB on all three offerings, backed by the AMD Infinity Cache technology that is claimed to deliver higher bandwidth performance at lower power and latency. The company claims that its new solution offers up to 3.25x higher effective bandwidth compared to 256-bit 16 Gbps GDDR6 setup. 

Image
Image: AMD

AMD noted that the in-house FidelityFX toolkit will work in tandem with DirectX Raytracing to deliver improved post-process visual effects for offering superior control over shadows, lighting, and reflections in games. Variable Rate Shading is also onboard, and support for Microsoft’s DirectStorage API is there to ensure quick load times. The new Radeon Anti-Lag feature will also be there to provide a faster response by reducing input-to-display response times while gaming. 

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Image: AMD

The Radeon RX 6800 is priced at $579, while the Radeon RX 6800 XT will set you back by $649. Both the aforementioned graphics cards will be available starting November 18 from the AMD website and authorized retail partners. As for the enthusiast-class Radeon RX 6900 XT, it costs $999 and will hit the shelves starting December 8. AMD’s new graphics cards arrive merely a few weeks after the company unveiled the Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors that will also go on sale early next month. You can check out the detailed comparison of the new AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards here

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Intel sells its NAND memory business to SK Hynix for a cool $9 billion

South Korean semiconductor giant and memory chipmaker SK Hynix has today announced that that it is acquiring Intel’s NAND business for a sum of $9 billion. The acquisition will give SK Hynix ownership of Intel’s NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, as well as the Dalian manufacturing facility in China. Intel, on the other hand, will retain the Optane business alongside the memory trademark and will continue to work on it. Both the companies will seek regulatory approval for the deal next year, following which the acquisition will take another four year years to complete in 2025

Intel will retain its Optane memory business

Once SK Hynix gets the approval, it will pay Intel an initial sum of $7 billion to acquire its NAND business, which includes the transfer of NAND SSD-associated intellectual properties and employees in that division, as well as the Dalian facility. The ownership of the remaining assets – which include IP related to manufacturing and designing of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees, and the Dalian facility’s entire workforce – will be transferred in 2025 subject to payment of the remaining $2 billion. 

The deal will see completion in 2025

This will also mark the deal’s completion. But until then, Intel will keep manufacturing NAND wafers at the Dalian facility, and will also retain all the NAND flash-associated design and production IPs. SK Hynix mentions in its press release that the deal will help sharpen the competitive edge of its storage solutions with a special focus on the domain of enterprise SSDs. The South Korean company aims to leverage Intel’s technology to strengthen its portfolio of 3D NAND solutions. 

Both companies are currently awaiting regulatory approval

“I am proud of the NAND memory business we have built and believe this combination with SK Hynix will grow the memory ecosystem for the benefit of customers, partners and employees.” Intel CEO Bob Swan was quoted as saying regarding the deal. “By taking each other`s strengths and technologies, SK hynix will proactively respond to various needs from customers and optimize our business structure, expanding our innovative portfolio in the NAND flash market segment, which will be comparable with what we achieved in DRAM,” said SK Hynix CEO Seok-Hee Lee about the acquisition. 

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AMD unveils Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors, arriving on November 5

AMD has just launched its latest lineup of the desktop processors in the Ryzen 5000 series based on the new Zen 3 architecture. The new AMD Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors are based on the 7nm process. The company has launched a total of three mainstream processors – the hexa-core AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, the octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, and the beastly 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. Plus, AMD has also launched a 16-core enthusiast-class processor called the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, which has a boost frequency of 4.9GHz and is claimed to offer the highest single-thread performance out there in the market.

ModelCores /
Threads
TDP
(Watts)
Boost / Base
Freq. (GHz)
Total
Cache
Price
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X16C/32T105WUp to 4.9 / 3.472MB$799
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X12C/24T105WUp to 4.8 / 3.770MB$549
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X8C/16T105WUp to 4.7 / 3.836MB$449
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X6C/12T65WUp to 4.6 / 3.735MB$299

All four Zen 3-based AMD Ryzen 5000 processors will be up for grabs starting November 5.

Talking about the performance boost, AMD says that the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 9 5900X offers up to a 26% improvement in gaming performance compared to an AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor. The company also claims that its unified 8-core complex will allow direct access to 32MB of L3 cache, almost double that of its previous generation Zen 2 processors. AMD says that the Zen 3 architecture helps the Ryzen 5000 processors achieve a 2.8X more performance-per-watt

During the presentation, AMD wasn’t shy of making comparisons against Intel’s top-of-the-line processor when it comes to benchmark or gaming scores. The company showcased on video that the AMD Ryzen 5900X and the Ryzen 9 5950X are the first processors to break the 600 points barrier in single-thread performance (via Cinebench 1T Run test). When it comes to gaming, the Ryzen 5900X is said to offer up to 21% higher performance against the Intel Core i9-10900K at FHD resolution and image quality preset set to high. 

AMD is calling Ryzen 9 5950X the world's best gaming processor.

AMD’s new Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series processors offer a peak L2+L3 cache of 72MB and a maximum TDP of 105W. Listed below are a few slides that compare the generation-over-generation performance gain of the Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors and how they stack up against what Intel has to offer:

Source: AMD

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Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake desktop processors arrive in Q1 2021

Barely a few weeks after the first wave of laptops powered by Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake Core processors started hitting the market, the company is now moving towards it next avenue – desktops. Intel has so far been silent about its plans regarding 11th Gen desktop-class processors, but has finally made a brief announcement that acts more like a teaser for a bigger reveal to come. In a Medium post , John Bonini – Intel’s VP and GM of Client Computing Group Desktop, Workstations and Gaming – revealed that 11th Gen Intel Core desktop processors falling under the Rocket Lake family will arrive in the first quarter of 2021

While Bonini didn’t delve into details such as performance improvements or new capabilities, he did mention that Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors will offer support for the new PCIe 4.0 standard. “It’ll be another fantastic processor for gaming, and we’re excited to disclose more details in the near future.,” he added. Right now, official details are slim, but there are few leaks floating around that give us an idea of what to expect. 

As per a VideoCardz report, the Rocket Lake-S family will reportedly be the last lineup of processors based on the 14nm process and will reportedly debut in March next year. However, don’t expect a huge jump after that, as Intel has reportedly pushed back its 7nm plans to 2022. Also, the Rocket Lake-S processors will reportedly employ the Cypress Cove architecture and will come with the Intel Xe graphics akin to the Tiger Lake processors. The series will reportedly peak at 8 cores (16 threads) with a maximum TDP of 125W

As per an alleged Geekbench listing (via Twitter / @_rogame), one of the upcoming Rocket Lake processors will offer a peak clock speed of up to 4.8GHz. Other rumored upgrades include Thunderbolt 4 support, attached Intel optane memory, increased DDR4 speeds, Wi-Fi 6 and HDMI 2.0 compatibility. The upcoming 11th Gen Intel Rocket Lake processors will reportedly go against AMD’s Zen 3-based family that is rumored to go official in the next few weeks. 

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SK Hynix launches the world’s first DDR5 RAM modules with up to 64GB capacity

Almost two years after announcing the development of the world’s first 16GB DDR5 DRAM, South Korean memory supplier SK Hynix has launched the world’s first DDR5 RAM modules. However, before you start dreaming about fitting them inside your bulky gaming PC, it will take at least a year or two before they can be equipped inside consumer hardware as SK Hynix is primarily targeting data centers as the core application area. The company notes that the demand for DDR5 memory will only begin to surge next year and is expected to achieve a measly 10% market share in 2022. 

Talking about improvements that the next generation of DRAM modules bring, SK Hynix touts a transfer rate of 4,800 ~ 5,600 Mbps, which is said to be 1.8 times faster than what DDR4 sticks can deliver. It is said to be capable of transmitting nine full-HD movies per second at a transfer rate of 5,600Mbps, assuming each file is around 5GB in size. The DDR5 RAM modules also reduce the operating voltage to 1.1V, down from the DDR4 standard’s 1.2V, reducing power consumption by a 24% margin. 

SK Hynix’s DDR5 RAM is also claimed to offer an Error Correcting Code (ECC) feature baked inside the chip that can correct 1-bit level errors on its own, thereby boosting the reliability of apps by a factor of 20X. The South Korean company’s new DDR5 DRAM modules will be offered in capacities ranging from 8GB to 64GB, but sticks of up to 256GB capacity can also be configured by using the through-silicon-via (TSV) technology. 

The evolution of DRAM modules up to the DDR5 standard.

SK Hynix claims that its DDR5 RAM modules are tailored for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) applications. Plus, they also help reduce power consumption and operating costs of data centers, which means they are also more eco-friendly compared to their previous-gen iterations. Meanwhile, over in the world of smartphones, devices packing LPDDR5 RAM have already arrived in the hands of consumers.

Source: SK Hynix

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G Compute Platform brings a plethora of new features

Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform. The company says that users will benefit from superior performance and multi-day battery life, 5G connectivity, enterprise-grade security and AI acceleration, as well as advanced camera and audio technology.

The new platform is brings advanced power and performance to personal computer users. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G delivers over “50% greater system-wide performance and battery life versus competing solutions.” Further, it is the second compute platform from Qualcomm Technologies to offer 5G connectivity through both Sub-6 GHz and 5G mmWave. It also supports Wi-Fi 6.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform supports a clear audio experience by utilizing Qualcomm Aqstic echo cancellation and noise suppression (ECNS) technology to intelligently focus on the sounds coming from the PC and the user’s environment. Devices powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform can also utilize high-resolution camera modules.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G

It comes equipped with Qualcomm Spectra ISP that enables mobile camera technology, with up to 4K HDR and support for up to 32 MP camera. Devices powered by Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G also support dual 4K displays through a single Type C cable to a dock.

Further, utilizing Qualcomm AI Engine, he Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform will support AI accelerated experiences on the PC. Users can experience stronger video conferencing interactions through tools such as accelerated eye contact and expressive avatars.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G will “drive a new standard of security and manageability for enterprises, small businesses, and education,” says Qualcomm. Lastly, the new platform also supports Microsoft Secured Core PC and Windows Hypervisor. It is expected to be in commercial devices in late 2020.

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Intel unveils 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors with new integrated Xe graphics for laptops

Intel has today lifted the wraps from its 11th Gen Tiger Lake mobile processors for thin and light laptops, featuring the new Xe graphics. The chipmaker is launching a total of nine SKUs across the Core i3, Core i5, and the Core i7 range, all of which will appear in laptops from Samsung, Acer, Dell, Asus, and Lenovo among other brands in the holiday season.

The processors employ Intel’s 10nm SuperFin process and also serve as the launch platform the new Willow Cove architecture. The company is touting over 20% improvement in CPU performance and twice the graphics prowess, thanks to the new integrated Xe graphics architecture. Additionally, Intel says users can expect 5x better AI performance with new DP4a instructions on the GPU. Talking about raw figures, Intel says the new mobile processors will reach a clock speed of up to 4.8GHz.

Other upgrades introduced by the new 11th gen Tiger Lake mobile processors include support for Thunderbolt 4 standard with USB 4.0 compliance and Wi-Fi 6 that promises 3x faster connectivity. Intel says the new silicon is also the first mobile processor with PCIe Gen 4 enabling direct SSD attached with up with 32 Gbps output and display support for up to four 4K monitors.

More notably, Intel is highlighting the gaming prowess of its Xe graphics, marking the first time that the company’s integrated solution is going head-to-head against AMD in that department. Intel says that an 11th Gen processor with integrated Xe GPU performs better than a 10th gen Intel processor with a discrete NVIDIA MX-series graphics and those from AMD. Here are some of the comparisons Intel showcased:

tgl live blog 043
GRID game comparison
tgl live blog 045
Gear Tactics game comparison

Intel has also introduced the Intel Evo certification platform and here’s how the company defines it:
Intel introduces the Intel Evo platform brand for laptop designs verified to the second-edition specification and key experiences of the Project Athena innovation program on Sept. 2, 2020. All Intel Evo platform designs are powered by 11th Gen Intel Core i7 or i5 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, feature best-in-class wireless and wired connectivity with Thunderbolt 4 and Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), and deliver exceptional audio and display to make each experience premium.”

Source: Intel

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NVIDIA announces RTX 30 series GPUs based on Ampere architecture for next-gen gaming

NVIDIA has just launched its RTX 30 series GPUs based on the new Ampere architecture, which succeeds the Turing architecture on which the RTX 20 series was based. The company has introduced three new graphics cards – the beastly RTX 3090 for 8K gaming, the RTX 3080 which is positioned as the flagship for the masses and the RTX 3070 which is for the mainstream segment.

NVIDIA says the GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs pack second-gen ray-tracing cores, third-gen Tensor Cores and more capable multiprocessors that deliver faster frame rates and more detailed visuals in games. The new NVIDIA GPUs are the first to support up to 24GB of graphics memory and to utilize the faster GDDR6X VRAM modules. Other firsts include support for 8K gameplay and 4K gameplay at high refresh rate, HDMI 2.1 interface and support for AV1 codecs.

NVIDIA says the GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs employ dual axial flow through a cooling solution that features two fans, but it runs quieter than traditional dual axial coolers while delivering 2X better thermal output. The new second-gen ray-tracing cores are also claimed to twice more efficient, while the third-gen Tensor cores are also said to 2X more capable when it comes to AI-based workload.

Here’s how the three new GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs stack up against each other:

Source: NVIDIA

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NVIDIA teases a mysterious launch for August 31

NVIDIA took to Twitter to post a teaser for something that will be announced on August 31. The tweet posted from NVIDIA GeForce Twitter account simply says “#UltimateCountdown,” accompanied by a video of a star going supernova. Further, the account has updated its header image with another teaser that mentions “21 days. 21 years.”

The graphics card maker is likely to announce something big, as indicated by the supernova tease. Rumors have it that the company might be planning to launch its new Ampere graphics cards on September 9. Before that, it could be launching RTX 3000 Series cards including a GeForce RTX 3080 successor to the RTX 2080.

Moreover, Wccftech speculates that the teaser mention of 21 years might be related to the original GeForce 256 GPU. It’s been almost 21 years since the GeForce 256 launched back in 1999. Moreover, if you multiply 256 by 21 you get 5,376, which is a core count that was leaked recently, as noted by Wccftech.

Via: The Verge

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