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Jul 11, 2014

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan II Maxwell Super Graphics Card Spotted

NVIDIA's Maxwell graphics processing unit generation was supposed to be designed on the 20nm manufacturing process, but with TSMC having big problems with the node, this won't happen. Thus, even the top chip, the one that will be used on the GeForce GTX Titan II, will be built on the 28nm technology instead.

Admittedly, we aren't totally sure that NVIDIA's next-generation top-end graphics card will be called Titan again, but since we've already had a Titan, Titan Black and Titan-Z (dual-GPU), it is highly likely. The Santa Clara, California-based IT player hasn't actually released any information about the card, or really gone into detail about the Maxwell GPU range as a whole. However, it wasn't able to completely conceal all evidence that a Maxwell-based successor to the GeForce GTX Titan Black was in the works. A shipping manifest has been discovered, one that mentioned a video card powered by the GM200 A1 graphics processing unit. Previously, we’ve heard reports that NVIDIA will start the next-generation video board series with the GM204 Maxwell, which will power the GeForce GTX 880 Ti, GTX 880, GTX 870, and GTX 860.

The fact that the new manifest mentions the GM200, which is supposed to be held in reserve for a good while, implies that a Titan board is what we should be looking forward to here. The discovery of the manifest, along with the knowledge that the GM200 will be built on the 28nm process, does, however, debunk the other half of the rumor surrounding the Maxwell line (the one that said NVIDIA would jump to 16nm). Anyway, the GM200 will probably measure around 620 square millimeters, which is quite large even among high-end GPUs. Inside, there will be 4,000 shader processors (probably) and a 512-bit memory interface.

Below you can see a picture of a PCB that was leaked earlier this week, but whose identity was unknown at the time. There seem to be two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors and one 8-pin port available, suggesting a truly high power consumption, not that it's a surprise, although it does make one wonder how much energy a dual-GPU Maxwell card will need. This is even more perplexing considering that energy needs are supposed to go down the more technology advances, instead of up. It is possible that the “Titan II” and the aforementioned GeForce GTX 880 are one and the same unit. However, the 700 series does have a GTX 780 Ti, yet the Titan Black is better than it, so it can actually go either way.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan II PCB (possibly)
Image credits to Guru3D

BBM for Windows Phone Now Ready for Open Beta

A few days ago, the long-expected BBM for Windows Phone application arrived in the Windows Phone Store, only to be tagged as a private beta, but good news has emerged for enthusiasts today.

While getting ready for the full release of the application, BlackBerry has decided to make it available in an open beta, and has already started to accept applications from users interested in testing it out. In a recent post on BlackBerry’s official blog, Jeff Gadway, head of product and brand marketing for BBM, has revealed that users can already head over to the Beta Zone to register for the application. “The BBM team here at BlackBerry has been busy getting BBM for Windows Phone ready to go. We’re preparing for an external beta ahead of our launch and are ready to start accepting applications to participate,” he notes. “Now remember, this is a beta and our expectation is that participants will help us make BBM for Windows Phone great by actively participating. If you’re not ready to report bugs, respond to surveys and provide feedback – better to wait just a bit longer for the full release.”

The stable version of BBM for Windows Phone is expected to become available in the next few weeks with all of the sharing features and capabilities that the service can offer to users on other mobile platforms out there as well. The application will arrive on Microsoft’s operating system with BBM Chats, enabling users to engage into conversations with one or more contacts, while also allowing them to easily share content, including photos, voice notes, contacts and location. BBM Groups will also be available in Windows Phone, so that users could connect and share with up to 50 contacts at the same time.

Moreover, it comes with a private group chat and the option to share a photo album so that group members could chat about pics. Shared calendars and lists will also be included in the application, along with broadcast messages. “We’ll be working to quickly add more features to BBM for Windows Phone such as stickers, BBM Voice, BBM Channels and location sharing powered by Glympse in the months ahead,” Gadway says. BBM for Windows Phone will also arrive with a simplified look and feel, featuring a native user interface, in line with the clean, modern design of the Windows Phone UI.

The app will focus on three major areas, namely Contacts, Chats and Feeds, which can be easily accessible by swiping left and right. A series of common actions can be found at the bottom of the page in the footer, while clicking on the three dots will bring up a menu with additional controls. Overall, BBM for Windows Phone appears set to deliver a highly appealing experience to all users, so head over to the BlackBerry Beta Zone to sign up for the application, if you would like to test it before it rolls out to everyone.

BBM for Windows Phone
Image credits to BlackBerry

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