Monthly Archives: January 2018

  1. Windows 10 build 17074.1002 now in the Fast ring with a fix for AMD PCs

    A week ago, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17074 to the Fast ring with quite a few new features. Since then, the company has been releasing fixes for current versions of the OS that fix an issue that was causing PCs with AMD processors to become unbootable.

    Now, that fix is coming to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, in the form of build 17074.1002. When 17074 was first released, there was a block on AMD machines installing it for this very reason, so if you've got an AMD chip, you're finally free to install the latest build from the Fast ring.

    There was also...

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  2. Intel fix causes reboots and slowdowns

    Intel chipImage copyright Reuters

    Intel says devices are rebooting more than usual after being patched with fixes it has issued to the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in its chips.

    The company said it had reproduced the problem and was "making progress toward identifying the root cause".

    It also shared information about how the patches might affect computer performance in data centres.

    One financial industry expert told the BBC he was concerned about the numbers being quoted...

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  3. What the newest laptops tell us about 2018 trends

    Each and every year we see more and more laptops at the Consumer Electronics Show. We’ve seen insanely small and light ones, giant gaming machines, ones that flip and spin, and then just regular plain old laptops. At this year’s show the laptops haven’t been as insane, but a few of them might give us some hints at what’s to come for the rest of the year.

    Two of the more interesting new laptops this year are HP’s Spectre x360 15 and Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1. Both of these new models include Intel’s new AMD-powered chips, that combine Intel’s latest core processors with...

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  4. Ubuntu 17.10.1 ISOs available with corrupting BIOS fix

    Canonical has a now made Ubuntu 17.10.1 available on its servers but is yet to list it on its main download page as of Saturday evening (GMT). The new ISO comes with the SPI kernel driver disabled in order to avoid damaging the BIOS on some computers. People have been unable to download the latest iteration of Ubuntu for the past three weeks while Canonical fixed the issue.

    The re-spin comes just in time because, today, Ubuntu 17.04 has reached end of life, meaning that it will no longer receive updates. Due to this, users either have to move to Ubuntu 17.10 or do a clean install and downgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 until April when the next long-term release...

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  5. Intel NUC6CAYH (Arches Canyon) Apollo Lake UCFF PC Review

    Intel has enjoyed great success with their NUC lineup of ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) PCs. They have segmented the NUCs into three markets - the entry-level, mid-range, and enthusiast. The enthusiast segment is served by H series processors and the mid-range by the U series processors with the Core architecture. The entry level is served by Atom-class SoCs. Intel launched the Apollo Lake SoCs with the Goldmont CPU architecture in the second half of 2016. The NUC models employing one of the Apollo Lake SoCs was given the Arches Canyon codename.

    Introduction and Product Impressions

    The NUC6CAYH targets the entry-level and developing markets. It employs the same form factor as the previous-generation NUCs, and supports a 2.5" SATA drive (indicated by the H in the product code). Intel's Apollo Lake SoCs improve upon Bay Trail and Braswell by adopting a newer microarchitecture (Goldmont) for the CPU cores and also getting fabricated in a more power-efficient / mature 14nm...

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  6. Europe puts 1bn euros into supercomputer research

    Car productionImage copyright Reuters
    Image caption Car makers have had help from supercomputers which have been modelling manufacturing methods

    The European Commission has unveiled plans to spend 1bn euros creating "world class" supercomputers.

    The project was needed, it said, because European contributions to existing high-performance computing projects was "insignificant".

    The cash will be spent developing machines that carry out a billion...

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  7. Intel's fix for Meltdown and Spectre had a bug of its own

    Intel took a beating this month as reports of critical vulnerabilities in the operation of its processors going back two decades caused its stock price to go in a nosedive, and led to a massive erosion of confidence in the company's processors.

    The chipmaker's troubles aren't over yet, however. Reports of a bug in the firmware updates aimed at mitigating these issues, rolled out a week ago, are now causing the company to recommend some of its bigger customers and OEM partners to delay installing the latest...

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  8. Intel CEO Addresses the Industry on Meltdown and Spectre Issues in Open Letter

    Brian Krzanich on Thursday published an open letter addressing its partners and customers regarding the aftermath of the Meltdown and Spectre exploits publication. Chief executive of Intel reiterated the company’s plans to release security updates for its recent CPUs by early next week and mentioned the importance of collaborative industry-wide security assurance and responsible disclosures regarding security vulnerabilities going forward.

    Intel intends to release software and firmware patches for 90% of its CPUs launched in the past five years by January 15. By the end of the month, Intel plans to issue software updates for the remainder 10% of processors introduced in the same period. After that, Intel will focus on releasing updates for older products based on requests and priorities of its customers. The company confirms that patches have an impact on performance and says that it varies widely based on workloads and mitigation technique. 

    Going forward, the world’s larg...

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  9. AMD starts rolling out its own Spectre processor fixes

    AMD has kept a low profile throughout the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability crisis. It has maintained that Meltdown poses near zero risk because of the architecture of its processors, while a Spectre exploit would also be highly unlikely. However, that is not keeping the company from issuing firmware updates for its Ryzen and EPYC chips this week.

    "We have defined additional steps through a combination of processor microcode updates and OS patches that we will make available to AMD customers and partners to further mitigate the threat,” AMD's Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster said in a blog post on the official site in reference to Spectre.

    While continuing to maintain that Meltdown (Variant 3) presents no t...

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  10. Samsung Starts Production of HBM2 “Aquabolt” Memory: 8 GB, 2.4 Gbps

    Samsung this week announced that it had started mass production of its second-generation HBM2 memory code-named “Aquabolt”. The new memory devices have 8 GB capacity and operate at 2.4 Gbps data rate per pin. To hit the new data rate, Samsung had to apply new technologies related to TSV design and thermal control. Samsung intends to offer the new memory to customers for use in next-gen HPC, AI and graphics solutions.

    General architecture of Samsung’s new 8 GB HBM2 “Aquabolt” memory is similar to the company’s previous-gen 8 GB HBM2 “Flarebolt” devices: each KGSDs (known good stacked die) is comprised of eight 8-Gb memory ICs (integrated circuits) interconnected using TSVs (through silicon vias) in an 8-Hi stack configuration. Every KGSD features a 1024-bit bus and with a 2.4 Gbps per pin data rate, it can offer up to 307.2 GB/s of memory bandwidth per stack.

    ...
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