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Dec 20, 2011

AMD Vision 2012 Lineup Will Include A10-Series APUs – Report

In 2012, AMD will continue to increase its portfolio of accelerated processing units (APUs) based on the company's Fusion design with a series of new chips, including a new processor series that will go by the name of A10.

The existence of this new APU range was uncovered by SemiAccurate who entered into the possession of an image showcasing AMD’s 2012 Vision processor lineup.

Besides the FX-Series and all the other familiar sights, the most interesting appearance is the A10 APU range, which according to the source of this information most probably will be the designation used by AMD for a series of chips based on the Trinity design.

As many of you know, Trinity is built around AMD's second generation of the Bulldozer core which is said to offer a 20% increase in performance over the current Llano architecture, while also bringing a series of new features into view.

These include support for the AVX and AES-NI instruction sets as well as the third version of AMD's Turbo Core technology that automatically adjusts the core speed depending on the number of threads run by the processor.

In addition to the switch to Piledriver, AMD also operated a few changes to the integrated memory controller that was now updated to feature support for DDR3-2133 memory and energy-efficient DIMMs that work with 1.25V.

The graphics core was also the subject of a thorough redesign in order to switch to the VLIW4 architecture, which a series of AMD documents leaked at the end of October stated that it will deliver a 30% performance increase over Llano.

Other features introduced by AMD in the Trinity GPU include a new Video Compression Engine and support for AMD's EyeFinity technology.

The first Trinity APUs (or A10 if you wish) are expected to arrive in late Q1 or early Q2 2012, as the chips will enter mass production in January of next year.

New AMD Radeon HD 7970 Pictures Arrive

A new series of pictures showcasing AMD's next-generation Radeon HD 7970 graphics card were just published online presenting it in much more detail than before.

The images were posted on the Chinese Chiphell forum and present both the front as well as the back of the graphics card, including the rear of its printed circuit board (PCB).

As those of you familiar with the Radeon HD 7970 will be quick to point out, the pictures provided seem to be consistent with the card depicted in the AMD presentations slides leaked to the web in these last few days.

What is strange however, is that unlike what we were told so far, the card seems to pack two 8-pin PCIe power connectors and not an 8-pin and a 6-pin as previously thought, but this could be just something AMD decide to include in its engineering samples.

For those of you in need of a quick refresher you should know that the Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT core.

According to a recent leak this GPU feature 32 Compute Units, for a total of 2048 streaming cores, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

This will be connected to 3GB of GDDR VRAM working at 1.37GHz (5.5GHz effective), while the GPU will be clocked at 925MHz.  

The load TDP of the Radeon HD 7970 is rated at 300W while the idle board power is rated at an incredibly low 3W thanks to AMD’s ZeroCore technology, which completely turns off the card when the system is in idle with the monitor shut down.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is expected to be announced on December 22, with availability being scheduled for January of 2012.

Samsung Confirms Android 4.0 ICS Update for Galaxy Tab Series

Samsung has just confirmed that its popular Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 tablets, as well as some other more compact models, will get updated to Android 4.0.

Also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, this latest version of Google’s mobile operating system brings a huge number of improvements to the tablet including enhanced speed and performance.

As Netbook News reports, Samsung hasn’t revealed exactly when the updates will arrive, but we would say that H1 2012 is a pretty safe bet.

For those of you that are familiar with Android’s internals however, this could happen even sooner since traditionally Samsung has the habit of leaking its firmware before the official release date arrives.

More info about the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update should be available in the coming months, so we’ll make sure to keep you up to speed. 

AMD Confirms A8-3870K and A6-3670K Unlocked Multiplier APUs

We already talked about AMD’s upcoming A8-3870K and A6-3670K Llano APUs in several articles published earlier this month, but now AMD has made the existence, as well as the specifications of these unlocked chips, official.

Both of these APUs were recently added by the Sunnyvale-based company to its product database, where the processors were spotted by the CPU-World publication.

As we pretty much know by now, the two AMD APUs greatly resemble their predecessors , the A8-3870K coming as a 100MHz higher clocked version of the current A8-3850, which means that it now runs at 3GHz.

The second unlocked APU to be released by AMD is called the A6-3670K and this also is an almost exact copy of the A6-3650 it is meant to replace apart from the 2.7GHz operating speed, again 100MHz higher than that of its predecessor.

Outside of the higher operating clock and unlocked multiplier, both of these chips will feature similar specifications as they sport quad processing cores with 4MB of Level 2 cache memory, an integrated dual-channel DDR3-1866MHz controller, and built-in Radeon HD graphics.

The power consumption of the two AMD accelerated processing units was also left untouched which means that is rated at 100W.

Performance wise, a series of leaked slides that have popped up the last week show the APUs coming pretty much on par with Intel Core i3-2120, apart from graphics tasks where the integrated Radeon HD core is much powerful that Intel’s HD 2000 GPU.

According to the same source, the recommended pricing for the A8-3870K and A6-3670K is set at $135 (104 EUR) and $115 (89 EUR), respectively.

Their launch is scheduled for the second day of Christmas, December 26, when they will arrive together with the AMD FX-6200 we presented in a previous report.

Alleged Nokia Lumia 900 Render Emerges

Nokia is gearing up for the launch of new Windows Phone devices, and it might unveil them as soon as January 2012, during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

One of these handsets is expected to be the long rumored Nokia Lumia 900, which is said to have just popped up in a leaked press shot.

The photo, available courtesy of WMPoweruser, shows a device that bears a very close resemblance with the currently available Nokia Lumia 800.

They are so alike that one might even say that this is, in fact, the Lumia 800, and not the yet unofficial Windows Phone device.

The photo attached to this article shows different lower-set capacitive keys, though no front camera is visible on it, which makes us doubt the authenticity of the image.

Rumors on the hardware specifications of this device also emerged, suggesting that it might pack a large 4.3” ClearBlack AMOLED touchscreen display, which would be complemented by a 1.4 GHz application processor inside.

The handset will be single core, which does not come too much as a surprise. After all, it might take a while before Microsoft decides to load Windows Phone on dual-core chips.

The specifications list of Nokia 900 is expected to include an 8-megapixel photo snapper too, with HD video recording capabilities, just as the Lumia 800 does. A front-facing camera should be included into the mix as well.

Moreover, the handset is said to sport 16GB or 32GB of internal memory, along with gyro sensor and enhanced connectivity capabilities.

For the time being, no official info on when or where the smartphone will be launched has emerged, but rumor has it that it might be launched on AT&T’s network in the United States, and that this could happen in the first quarter of the next year.

Nokia has just started to send out invites to a CES 2012 press event focused on Windows Phone, and we might be able to learn more on the matter at that time.

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Could Deliver Staggering Compute Performance

The leaked slides detailing AMD’s next-generation Radeon HD 7970 graphics card don’t seem to ever come to an end as recently the ones available so far have been joined by a series of new documents detailing the card’s performance in compute applications as well as some other details.

These new slides from AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 presentation deck were published by a user on the XtremeSystems forum which goes by the name of Vipeax.

One of the most interesting pieces of information uncovered by these new documents were found in a presentation slide entitled “Utilization and Efficiency,” which details the Radeon HD 7970 compute performance per square mm when compared to the HD 6970.

As one can clearly see from the pictures included bellow, in all the test scenarios run the HD 7970 came out on top, with differences varying between 1.5x in SHA56 and about 4.5x in an AES256 encryption benchmark.

The leaked AMD documents also come to detail a new anisotropic filtering algorithm that the company has included in the HD 7900 series GPUs and which it claims that can deliver improved image quality without any performance costs.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT core which is built using the company’s new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture designed specifically to improve the compute performance of its cards.

A recent leak revealed that this GPU would feature 32 Compute Units, for a total of 2048 streaming cores, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

This will be connected to 3GB of GDDR VRAM working at 1.37GHz (5.5GHz effective), while the GPU will be clocked at 925MHz. The graphics card is expected to be announced on December 22, with availability being scheduled for January of 2012.

Sabily 11.10: Ubuntu 11.10 for Muslims, With Unity

The Sabily developers proudly announced on December 19th the immediate availability for download of the Sabily 11.10 operating system, based on Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot). 

Dubbed Uhud, Sabily 11.10 is based on the recently released Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system and features the Unity desktop interface. The release includes lots of new features and artwork, as well as various system improvements.

"The Sabily team is proud to announce the release of the new version of Sabily 11.10, codename "Uhud"." - was stated in the official release announcement by the Sabily developers.

Highlights of Sabily 11.10:

  • Based on Ubuntu 11.10;
  • New artwork and wallpapers;
  • New login manager theme;
  • New boot screen theme;
  • Added GNOME Shell;
  • Improved support for GNOME 3;
  • Added support for configurable themes;
  • Added Prayer times reminder and azan player;
  • Added Arabic Naskh-style typographically oriented font.

The following apps were added in Sabily 11.10:

  • Alfanous, an Quranic search engine;
  • gnome-shell-extension-islamic-datetime: a GNOME Shell extension that provides Islamic time/date functions;
  • GNOME Tweak Tool: an utility to customize GNOME 3 options.

The following features were borrowed from the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) release:

  • Linux Kernel 3.0;
  • GNOME 3;
  • Mozilla Thunderbird as the default email client;
  • Déjà Dup system backup utility;
  • LightDM login manager;
  • Improved Gwibber.

Sabily 11.10 also includes Gnome Nanny, the popular parental web control software. In order to add blacklists to Gnome Nanny you can follow the instructions provided by the Sabily team on the release announcement.

About Sabily

Sabily is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution intended specifically for Muslims. It comes bundled with a number of dedicated applications like Quran study tools and prayer time notifications. Sabily also comes with great support for the Arab language and with an Islamic calendar.

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