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Aug 29, 2012

NETGEAR N750 Premium Wi-Fi Router

American networking company Netgear has just officially launched the new N750 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router – Premium Edition. This one comes with an impressive features set and a maximum cumulated bandwidth of 750 Mb/s.

The new device is designated as model WNDR4300 and can provide dual-band wireless networking by creating a 2.4 GHz network with a maximum transfer speed of 300 Mb/s and a 5 GHz network similar to the WirelessAC standard with a maximum transfer rate of 450 Mb/s. The new device can also act as a print server and has an USB 2.0 port that would make any USB printer available for its clients. Unfortunately, the new router only comes with internal antennas and we really don’t like the fact that the company has not outfitted it with any external antenna connectors.

We believe that each router should come with at least one external antenna connector and if the antenna is not included, it could simply use a rubber cap to cover the antenna port. Coming with 128 MB of RAM and IPv6 support, the new WNDR4300 from Netgear is priced at $120 (€96).

Faster WiFi speed 300+450 -- Up to 750 Mbps†
WiFi range for medium to large homes
Wirelessly access & share USB hard drive & printer
ReadySHARE® Cloud—Access & share USB hard drive remotely

Learn more at www.netgear.com
Video credits to NETGEARChannel

AMD Vishera and AMD Hondo, Previewed in Next Two Weeks

In traditional manner, AMD is likely to show us sneak previews of its up and coming Vishera and Hondo processors that are going to be launched this autumn. The move will apparently try and divert some attention away from Intel’s Developer Forum event.

We reported on AMD’s Vishera desktop processor here and most of you already know that this design will be AMD’s second-generation Bulldozer CPU that will use the already famous Piledriver improvements. The Vishera CPU will feature the same cache sizes as the Bulldozer CPUs that are now available, but it will work at considerably higher clock speeds and likely dissipate less heat.

The Hondo low-power CPU is more of a mystery right now as AMD is still having it built at TSMC in the rather-outdated 40nm manufacturing process, but the targeted market is the Windows 8 tablet sector. AMD will even show us some desktop Trinity processor that we’ve already reported on here, Fudzilla reports. There isn’t much more additional information about the desktop version of the Trinity APU that is not already known, but AMD will certainly steal some headlines from Intel’s IDF.

AMD Desktop Trinity APU
Image credits to akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp

Need for Speed: Most Wanted New All-Gameplay Video

Electronic Arts and Criterion Games have revealed a brand new video from their upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted title, this time showing off 5 minutes of pure gameplay footage from the racing game.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted reimagines the original title from 2005 with new graphics, improved gameplay and, as always, plenty of high performance sportscars. In order to show off the special Find It, Drive It mechanic, which lets players unlock new vehicles by finding them in the game’s open world, the two companies have posted a new video from Most Wanted.

As you can see above, it’s pure unedited footage from the racing title, showing off a couple of stunning supercars, in the form of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. Check out a great look at NFS: Most Wanted in the video above and get ready for its release this October.

Gameplay footage of Criterion Games' highly anticipated Need For Speed Most Wanted showcasing open world gameplay.  In Most Wanted all the cars are open from the start, meaning if you can find it, you can drive it.  
The action starts in an Aston Martin V12 Vantage before jumping into a Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series from a Jackspot. Mods are then added using the EasyDrive menu, instantly giving you a boost over the competition.
In Most Wanted if there's something to do there's someone to beat. Utilising Autolog 2.0, you'll not only receive custom events and challenges, but also see personalised billboards that feature the face of the friend who tops the Most Wanted list.

Video credits to EAvision

Windows 8 Start Menu Revived by Samsung with S Launcher

Gone are the decades-old Microsoft logo and the Windows Start Menu in the upcoming version 8 of the OS, but, in the case of the latter, we may witness a revival.

According to Mashable, Samsung won’t let it die just yet, and is bundling a launcher with its future line of Windows 8 machines called “S Launcher,” with a similar functionality. It is a floating widget that includes the functionality of the Start Menu in Windows. You can pin programs, search for items or access various familiar areas, such as the Documents, Pictures and Music folders, Windows Control Panel, Devices and Printers or the Run menu that was part of the Start menu up to Windows XP.

Microsoft’s reason to kick the Start menu in Windows stems from the fact that telemetry data showed a decreased interest in it, especially in the wake of introducing the app pinning feature.

Samsung's S Launcher on Windows 8 Taskbar
Image credits to Mashable

Samsung's S Launcher Start menu
Image credits to Mashable

Samsung's S Launcher Start menu
Image credits to Mashable

China Already Selling iPhone 5 Clone Knock-Offs

From China with love comes the very first iPhone 5 knock-off which not only runs Android, but actually has the Android buzz-bug stamped on its back, where the Apple logo should be.

China, the land of some of the most gruesome knock-offs, has done it again. Building on the hype surrounding Apple’s next iPhone refresh, a phone manufacturer has decided to apply all the design elements in the reported leaks, and came up with the device pictured above.

The Goophone (yuck!), as it’s called, is the same shape and size as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, so it’s not an exact replica of the forthcoming iPhone, if the 4-inch display rumors are correct. The enclosure seems to be a cheap plastic with a few flaws here and there, a “Made in China” hallmark.

The Goophone
Image credits to nowhereelse.fr

Intel Knights Corner Has More Than 32 MB of Cache

Built in the company’s 22nm manufacturing technology, the novel Many Intel Cores (MIC) architecture is apparently radically different from anything attempted before by the semiconductor giant. The current version of the architecture is called Knights Corner and the industry awaits the famous Xeon Phi cards based on it.

We reported on the latest development regarding the Xeon Phi accelerator cards here and we know that the whole processor will likely have 64 cores, while the Xeon Phi adapters will have some of these cores disabled. Having so many computing cores on a chip requires a lot of coherence and synchronization work to be done internally to avoid stalls, collisions and generally high latencies. When all instructions are perfectly optimized for a specific architecture, top performance can be achieved. This never happens in reality, and a lot of prediction and prevention must take place to run things smoothly no matter how the computing stream varies.

This sort of problem is aggravated on a GPU, as these are massively in-order chips that require data to be similar and not vary too much. A modern CPU is best equipped for variable computing tasks as most have an out-of-order (OOO) architecture. With MIC, Intel is going back to an in-order architecture and the problem of making all the cores collaborate efficiently is much more complex. When communicating with each other, the cores inside Knights Corner use a ring BUS concept, but this is dramatically different from what many would remember. Each of the cores inside the Xeon Phi has its own 512 KB of level 2 cache and this type of cache is set up differently.

There are several “rings” communicating between the cores, but unlike what Intel introduced with Nehalem, the level 2 cache of each core is private. Therefore, there is no situation where a lightly threaded application would see four or eight of those cores benefit from the whole huge 32 MB of level 2 cache. Considering that not all cores will be active, some would say that there won’t be so much cache present on the Xeon Phi. The reality is that, despite being deactivated, the cache is still there taking up die area and if cache in general is the criteria (all levels included), the Knights Corner will certainly have more than 32 MB.

Intel Xeon-Phi Compute Accelerator Card
Image credits to Intel

Kingmax PI-01 Compact 7mm USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Amazingly Small Flash Drive

Not often do we get the chance to see a very simple innovation that brings significant advantages for the end-user. Kingmax’s new PI-01 compact flash drive is just 7 millimeters long and, despite the small size, it can handle up to 32 GB of data.

Being just 0.27 inches long, the Kingmax PI-01 compact flash drive is safe from accidental hits by the user’s own hands and objects being manipulated around the laptop or the port where the USB stick is connected in. It often happens that when working with a normal sized USB flash drive, the user strikes it by accident resulting in a broken stick or, worse, a broken USB port. We would like all USB sticks with less than 128 GB of capacity to be this small, as we’d better be safe than sorry, and we don’t really need any fancy design like a finger shaped USB drive.

The company emphasizes on the small size and the usefulness of it in places where a protruding flash drive wouldn’t be welcomed, like in a car or on a slim tablet. Unfortunately, the Kingmax PI-01 compact flash drive comes with a standard USB 2.0 interface and we really don’t understand why manufacturers insist on building such slow devices when USB 3.0 is omnipresent nowadays.

Kingmax PI-01 Compact 7mm USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Images credits to Kingmax

AMD Doubled FPUs on AMD Jaguar Computing Core

Fabless CPU and GPU designer, Texas-based American company Advanced Micro Devices is working very hard to deliver a new low-power successor to the famous Bobcat computing architecture. The new microprocessor design is called Jaguar and, during this year’s Hot Chips conference, interesting architectural developments were revealed, like we reported here.

Bobcat was AMD’s first microprocessor architecture specifically designed for low-power usage models, as this is the way the company attempts to improve one of its historical weak points. While the Texan company has managed several times during its existence to release desktop and server processors that manifested supreme performance, AMD was never able to conquer the mobile market. Since Intel decided to make so much fuss about low-performance CPUs that were deemed desirable because they had a drastically low power consumption, AMD designed Bobcat as a direct competitor for this market sector. Compared with Intel’s current Atom, AMD’s Bobcat is completely superior when computing performance is the main concern. It is dramatically superior if 3D graphics performance is the main criteria and has admirable low power requirements despite using an older and larger manufacturing node.

Many were eagerly expecting the new Jaguar design, as this was considered to be almost revolutionary because AMD even skipped one generation that was the initial successor to Bobcat and went directly for Jaguar. We wouldn’t call it revolutionary, but the new low-power design is considerably different from Bobcat and there’s no better place to observe this than in the floating point computing units. AMD has added a lot of new SIMD capabilities and lots of new instruction sets to its new design and an overhaul of the floating point unit (FPU) was clearly needed. Jaguar now comes with most – if not all – of Bobcat’s abilities, but it also adds complete architectural computational support for SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES, CLMUL, MOVBE, AVX, XSAVE, XSAVEOPT, FC16, and BMI instructions.

Since most SIMD instructions are 128-bit wide – if not wider, AMD decided to double the width of its FPU pipelines from 64-bit to 128-bit. SSE instructions required two passes on the Bobcat, but they now can be handled in one single pass, and this is no small feat. Ironically for AMD, Jaguar comes with support for AVX and these would be best fit by 256-bit wide FPU pipelines, but this is not the main concern for a mobile-oriented architecture. There isn’t much software that uses the AVX code base right now and, while we’re sure AVX will become increasingly important in the future, AMD will probably have better AVX capabilities when the set becomes an absolute necessity. Therefore, Jaguar comes with lot of new instructions and greatly improved FPU units that will make your multimedia applications and games fly.

AMD Marketing Shot
Image credits to AMD

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