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Aug 30, 2012

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU

The new GK106 graphics chip from Nvidia seems to be ready for primetime, as many samples have already left the TSMC gate and ended up getting photographed on the internet. This graphics processing unit will enable Nvidia to make more money, as the GK104 on the GTX 660 Ti takes up quite a large chunk on a 28nm wafer.

Nvidia’s GK106 was rumored to have 768 CUDA processing units, but we have a feeling there will be more than double the units on the GK107 GPU used on the GT 640 video cards. We believe there will be 1152 CUDA cores present inside the new Kepler GPU from Nvidia, but not all of them will be activated.

The hardware experts from videocardz.com have managed to get their hands on some clear pictures of the new GPU, VideoCardz reports. It doesn’t seem that much smaller than the GK104, but there is the possibility that the comparison images were not scaled properly.

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU
Image credits to ArabPCWorld

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU
Image credits to ArabPCWorld/VideoCardz

ASUS Transformer Book

ASUS seems to be on a launch spree at this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The company is again presenting the Transformer Book that will be available once Microsoft launches the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system with native touch interface support.

Many may be confused, as the company launched numerous “Transformer” devices during the past few months and a lot of other UltraBooks and various devices also. Basically, the Transformer Book is a powerful x86 tablet that won’t be powered by low-performing CPUs like Intel’s Atom, but rather by the company’s best mobile processors. The Transformer Book is just like an ASUS ZenBook U500VZ that we presented here, but with a detachable screen. The only display sizes that will be available are 11.6”, 13” and 14”.

The main competition for the Transformer Book will be Samsung’s similar Series7 Slate and the powerful SONY VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet along with Toshiba’s U925t convertible tablet. Samsung’s Series7 Slate is strikingly similar and we expect a patent law suit between the Taiwanese mainboard manufacturer and the Korean electronics giant. All the versions will use a high-quality FullHD IPS display and will have a 5MP back camera and a front facing 720p webcam.

Compared with convertible mobile devices, the Transformer Book has the clear advantage of being much lighter once the keyboard dock is left behind, as this is a feature the “sliders” can’t have. Readers should be reminded that there is a huge performance difference between the Transformer tablets and the Transformer Book. The former uses low-power ARM processors and the Android operating system, while the latter is powered by x86 mobile performance leaders like Intel’s Core i7. We must say that we eagerly wait to see AMD-based implementations ready for the winter holidays sales.

ASUS' Tranformer Book Powerful Detachable x86 Tablet
Images credits to ASUS

Toshiba Satellite U925t Convertible Tablet with 12.5” Gorilla Glass Display

Japanese company Toshiba has just revealed its innovative Windows 8 convertible tablet during this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The new mobile device comes with a rather big 12.5” display that slides above the keyboard.

We’re quite pleased that Toshiba has decided to use the high-quality Gorilla Glass for its display and we’re also happy to see manufacturers making bigger screens. The processors powering the U925t models will be Intel’s Core i5 chips. These are not as powerful as SONY’s VAIO Duo 11 or Samsung’s Series7 Slate, but they are completely superior to any Atom or ARM CPU.

The iGPU will luckily be Intel’s HD4000 and storage will be handled by a 128 GB SSD. We would prefer some Trinity implementations with these, but we’re sure those will follow later, as Intel’s marketing money and market clout are powerful enough to force manufacturers to put AMD products on the backburner.

Toshiba Satellite U925T Convertble Tablet/Notebook
Images credits to Toshiba

ASUS ZenBook Prime UX21A with Touchscreen and Windows 8

ASUS knows when something is coveted by the potential buyers and clearly knows how to make it even more desirable. The famous UX21A UltraBook, also known as the Zenbook Prime UX21A, gets a capacitive touch matrix and the promise of a new Windows 8 operating system.

Touch-enabled devices are getting extremely popular this year and ASUS clearly doesn’t want to see its already popular ZenBooks left behind. Therefore, the company is upgrading and re-announcing some improved products like today’s hero.

The new Zenbook Prime UX21A now is officially called “Zenbook Prime UX21A Touch” and the company promises it will sport Microsoft’s famous Windows 8 operating system when this is released by the Redmond-based software giant. ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A Touch comes with USB 3.0, Dual Band WirelessN and a nice FullHD Super IPS+ screen.

ASUS ZenBook Prime UX21A Touch
Images credits to ASUS

AMD GPU Die Shots of Southern Islands Series

The famous fabless CPU and GPU designer, American company Advanced Micro Devices has succeeded in launching the powerful GCN graphics architecture more than half a year ahead of its main competitor in this field.

AMD was not keen on showing Nvidia how it’s done so, at first, the traditional microchip semiconductor die shots were not available and what was released during the past months were very low-quality pictures. The Texan company has decided that the time has come to show off the Southern Islands family in “full monty.”, Anandtech reports.

Check out the gallery below to see how each 3D and GPU computing powerhouse looks on the inside. The head picture depicts the full 4.3 billion transistors inside AMD famous Tahiti GPU built in TSMC’s 28nm manufacturing technology.

AMD Tahiti GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7900 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

AMD Cape Verde GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7700 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

AMD Picairn GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7800 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

ASUS Powerful ZenBook U500VZ

World’s greatest mainboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company ASUS has just launched its new 15” UltraBook during this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The quality mobile system is not quite as slim as its “Prime” brothers, but it comes with much more performance and a bigger screen.

The company has updated the screen to a high-quality FullHD IPS panel and the keyboard is just like the one used on the famous ZenBook Prime. Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 CPUs will power the new model, but we don’t have the specific information on what version will be integrated. What we do know is that there will be an optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 650M GPU available and there will be two 2.5” storage bays, which we think is absolutely great.

This allows buyers to order configurations with up to two 256 GB SSDs included or a 128 GB SSD and a 500 GB HDD. We believe that all notebooks and netbooks should come with two 2.5” storage bays. Keep an eye on this space, we’ll be back with more information as soon as it is available.

ASUS ZenBook U500VZ 15" UltraBook
Images credits to ASUS

Samsung Powerful Series 5 and 7 Convertible Slate PCs

The Korean giant doesn’t want to be left behind in all the Windows 8 tablet/touch craze and has just announced two new convertible tablets using the highly anticipated Microsoft operating system. Both units use the popular tablet-to-clamshell netbook format.

It seems that ASUS should have patented the clamshell netbook/tablet concept introduced with the famous Transformer series, as all big PC makers in the world seem keen on imitating the idea. Some might claim that this is only a tablet with a dock, but ASUS was the first that specifically designed the dock to make the whole assembly look exactly like a whole notebook and not like a docked tablet. Therefore, Samsung’s new Series 5 and 7 Slates look just like HP’s ENVY x2. The nice surprise is that Samsung’s most powerful Series 7 Slate is powered by Intel’s Ivy Bridge, just like SONY’s VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet. The processor of choice is Intel’s Core i5-3317U that is running at a default frequency of 1700 MHz with the Turbo ability to run at 2400 MHz with both cores active. It can even reach 2600 MHz when only one thread requires maximum performance.

It comes with 3 MB of level 3 cache and can handle up to four threads using Intel’s HT technology. The integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU) is Intel’s HD 4000 with acceptable performance for the amazingly low 17 watts TDP with the interesting mention that the minimum programmable TDP is 14 watts. Basically, the Intel’s Core i5-3317U consumes almost the same, no matter whether it runs at the default frequency of Turbo speed. The Series 7 Slate from Samsung features a 11.6” screen with 10-point multitouch support, that has a quality 1920 by 1080 FullHD pixel resolution and an impressive 300-nit brightness that’s somewhat inferior to HP’s ENVY x2’s 400-nit.

The tablet comes with a default 4 GB of RAM, and there’s no info on any upgrade capability. It also sports a 128 GB SSD. GigabitLAN, WirelessN and Bluetooth 4.0 are there and all this will be available in October for $1200 (€956). The Series 5 Slat is more of a convertible netbook, just like HP’s ENVY x2 as it’s powered by Intel’s Atom Z2760 processor. It also comes with 2 GB or RAM and a 64 GB SSD with the same connectivity options. On the Slate 5, the screen features a more mediocre 1366 by 768 pixel resolution, but it will be available for “just” $750 (€600) together with the keyboard dock.

Samsung Series 7 and Series 5 Slate Tablets
Images credits to Samsung

IBM 5.5 GHz CPU with 48 MB L3 Cache and 20 Billion Transistors

Computing giant IBM once again proved it is the most advanced semiconductor, server and processor manufacturer in the world and launched the fastest and, probably, the most complex CPU in the world today.

IBM has just announced the new zEnterprise EC12 server mainframe that took $1 billion to develop. The most interesting aspect about the new servers is the new zEC12 processor. This is actually a multi-chip module (MCM) containing six processing units (PU) that run at an amazing 5500 MHz and two storage controllers, each featuring 3.3 billion transistors. The PUs are designed with single-threaded performance in mind, and thus, we have the amazingly high frequency.

There are 6 processing units (PUs) on the z12 along with two storage controllers with their own level 4 cache. Each PU has 2.7 billion transistors, which means that the whole MCM has around 20 billion transistors in total. The six PUs on the z12 processors from IBM have a huge 48 MB L3 cache, but the storage controllers have even more cache available.

IBM's old Power 5 MCM Processor Module
Image credits to berkeley.edu

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