Notebooks will continue to sell well in 2010, and if AMD plays its cards right, the company will see its notebook market share rise to 15 percent by the end of the year.
AMD's Congo platform for upcoming ultra-thin models will play a big role in whether or not AMD meets its target, and the company's off to a good start. In addition to the chip maker's existing partner Hewlett Packard, several other vendors have jumped on the Congo bandwagon, including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI.
Even against some newer Intel Atom-based models, the Congo platform stacks up well. Asus, for example, recently launched its Congo-based 12-inch 1201T notebook with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 6-cell battery.
But while the hardware stacks up, AMD's success will ultimately depend on how aggressively Intel cuts its notebook prices.
As PC games continue their eternal march onward, many a laptop is left in the dust shockingly fast. What’s usually holding them back is the poor graphics solution. Even laptops with dedicated cards find themselves unable to run newer games inside of a year. A new AMD product called ATI XGP could solve all that. The AMD 5000 Series Mobility External GPU would provide the power for a real 3D gaming experience.
The new cards will require a full PCI-e pinout, which isn’t currently standard. However, the existence of MiniPCI-e means this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The new system was demoed on an old Acer Ferrari running a Radeon X1270. The difference was quite clear. The external GPU was able to run Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. on a triple monitor system using the Eyefinity system.
The external box itself has one DVI connector, one HDMI, three display port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 35W power adapter. No word yet on when you’ll be able to get a laptop that supports ATI XGP, but keep an eye out.
Nvidia has been largely silent on their upcoming Fermi GPUs. Now we’re hearing that the new line of consumer DirectX 11 graphics processors will be going into production around the third week of February. Apparently, “low quantities” will be available in mid-March.
Nvidia has fallen behind GPU rival AMD/ATI since the latter released their first DirectX 11 part last September. The Fermi chips were originally slated for a November release. The delays led some to speculate that Nvidia was shifting their business away from consumer level desktop graphics cards, and toward mobile and enterprise solutions.
When the new chip goes into production, yields are expected to be low. They are, however, expected to be higher than current Radeon 5800 yields, which hover around 4%. With all the delays, hopefully Nvidia can at least get it right and really knock our socks off in the performance department.
If you thought Eyefinity with 3 monitor's was overkill, how about 6? If that caught your attention then you'll be pleased to know that an update to ATI's Eyefinity technology is going to enable gamers to take advantage of up to 6 display's.
Given the complexities involved in laying out that many monitors, ATI has teamed up with Samsung to offer an out of the box solution they plan to ship early this year called the SyncMaster MD230. The package can be ordered as either a six or three panel design, with a price of $3,099 and $1,899 respectively. The six monitor setup is capable of displaying a jaw dropping 6x 1080p, with each panel sporting a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080.
In an era when PC gaming seems to be under constant attack on all fronts, its pretty satisfying to be able to claim your rig is spitting out a resolution equivalent to over 12 Xbox 360's. Of course you may need to re-mortgage your house to be able to afford any of this, but hey, our hobby is all about sacrifice is it not? Either way its great to see out of the box three and six monitor packages that make getting Eyefinity up and running that much easier.
Taiwanese chip designer Richtek Technology said Wednesday it has filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against several companies, including uPI Semiconductor, AMD, Sapphire Technology, Diamond Multimedia, and XFX.
Richtek claims the aforementioned graphic chip makers have infringed on three of the company's technology patents, as well as misusing business secrets. According to Fudzilla, the three patents deal with technologies for a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) circuit, a method for current balance in a mulit-phase DC-to-DC converter to produce a respective PWM signal to regulate the corresponding channel current, and for a power metal oxide semiconductor transistor layout comprised of a gate electrode with a lattice pattern on a substrate having a first area and a second area.
Richtek is seeking an injunction and compensation, but the company didn't say for how much.
According to the latest rumors, Nvidia is likely to delay its next-gen DirectX 11 GPU, codenamed Fermi, to March 2010. That's disappointing news for a hyped up chip originally scheduled to launch back in November 2009 before being pushed back to CES in January.
Nvidia hasn't said anything officially, but market rumors suggest the original release was pushed back because of defects, and it would appear the graphics chip maker still has a few bugs to iron out of its Fermi architecture. Assuming smooth sailing from here on out, Nvidia is expected to launch its 40nm Fermi-GF100 GPU in March, followed by the high-end GF104 in the second quarter.
While Nvidia fixes Fermi, AMD is gearing up to launch 40nm Radeon HD 5670, 5570, and 5450 GPUs sometime between the end of January and February 2010.
AMD the other day announced the availability of its ATI Catalyst Software Suite 9.12, though there doesn't appear to be a whole lot that's new in the updated driver package.
Catalyst 9.12 brings full support for DirectCompute 10.1 for the Radeon HD 4800 and 4700 series in both single card and CrossFireX configurations. The new driver package also ushers in OpenGL 3.2 extension support for the Radeon HD 5800 series and on down to the 2000 series.
Other than that, there's a couple of performance boosts, including up to a 9 percent gain in 3DMark Vantage benchmarking, and as much as a 6 percent gain in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat in single card configurations.
Catalyst 9.12 resolves several niggling issues in Windows 7, including fixing a corruption issues with some DX9 apps when AA 8X is enabled, and playing back Blu-ray content on some systems with a 120Hz display no longer results in a black screen.
Nvidia is looking to assuage fears that it is falling behind rival AMD in the GPU race. Nvidia’s Michael Hara said the lead AMD currently has in DirectX 11 is “insignificant”. “To us, being out of sync with the API for a couple of months isn't as important as what we're trying to do in the big scheme of things for the next four or five years,” said Hera.
Nvidia’s next generation Fermi is supposed to appear in the first quarter of 2010. However, few details are available beyond the apparent low production yields. Hera also stressed the importance of Direct X 11 as it will offer tessellation and support for multi-core processes. The new standard will also fully support DirectCompute allowing parallel GPU processing in various applications.
So Nvidia must feel like they have a winner on their hands to be talking up DX11 so much. We can only hope.
There are three main thrusts to the FTC’s complaint against Intel. The first is that Intel used its dominate position in the market to cow computer makers, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, to buy only Intel CPUs. Intel would either threaten to withhold product, or enter into exclusive deals with computer makers that prevented them from marketing computers built with chips from other makers, such as CPUs from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Second, according to the FTC, Intel designed crucial software, which the FTC identifies as a “compiler”, so it deliberately hampered the performance of chips from competitors. Intel failed to disclose their tinkering with the software, thus deceived computer makers about the performance differences between Intel and its competitors.
Third, the FTC says that Intel is now engaging in these same tactics in the graphics processing market. The FTC argues that GPUs are becoming more powerful, lessening the need for sophisticated CPUs, which undermines Intel’s market dominance. To protect its position, Intel is waging its battle against the likes of Nvidia, over which it holds a substantial financial and market advantage.
According to Richard A. Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, “Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The Commission’s action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer.”
The suits over at Sun Microsystems are claiming new world records from the company's new Fire X4640 server built around six-core AMD Opteron chips.
Sun says the Fire X4640 uses up to eight six-core AMD chips in 4RU, "making it the most compact 24- to 48-core system available from tier one vendors." The company claims up to a 65 percent performance boost over previous-gen Sun Fire X4600M2 server, along with up to half a terabyte of memory in 64 memory slots.
As to the in-house benchmarking, Sun says the Fire X4640 server set an eight-processor world record with 10,000 SAP SD Benchmark users running the SAP enhancement package 4 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application. Versus the competition on the two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark, Sun says its new server offers up to 33 percent better performance than a 16-processor NEC Express 5800 server, 2.7x the performance of a four-processor IBM System 550 server, and runs 21 percent faster than an eight-processor HP ProLiant DL785 G6 system.