Graphics

Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux? 90

Posted by timothy
from the discriminating-tastes dept.
Bram Stolk writes So, I am running GNU/Linux on a modern Haswell CPU, with an old Radeon HD5xxx from 2009. I'm pretty happy with the open source Gallium driver for 3D acceleration. But now I want to do some GPGPU development using OpenCL on this box, and the old GPU will no longer cut it. What do my fellow technophiles from Slashdot recommend as a replacement GPU? Go NVIDIA, go AMD, or just use the integrated Intel GPU instead? Bonus points for open sourced solutions. Performance not really important, but OpenCL driver maturity is.
Windows

Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-early-adopters dept.
whoever57 writes: In its announcement of Windows 10, Microsoft indicated not all devices would get the updated operating system. Now, Microsoft says its Surface devices running Windows RT won't be receiving full updates, though it does plan to roll some new functionality into them. "Given that Windows RT and RT 8.1 were designed for power economizing devices sporting 32-bit ARM architecture, and never had the same functionality — to many users' frustration — as full-blown Windows 8 and 8.1, it comes as little surprise that the RT versions of the operating system should be left out of the latest update loop. In fact, a week before Microsoft's big Windows 10 reveal on January 21, the company released firmware updates for all three models of its Intel-powered Surface Pro series, but neither of the ARM-based Surface tablets — the Surface 2 or Surface RT — received any new updates this month." The Surface Pro line of tablets, which run a normal version of Windows, will be getting an update to Windows 10.
Open Source

User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux 187

Posted by timothy
from the otherwise-the-city-will-be-destroyed dept.
jones_supa writes A patch was proposed to the Linux Kernel Mailing List to drop support for the old EISA bus. However a user chimed in: "Well, I'd like to keep my x86 box up and alive, to support EISA FDDI equipment I maintain if nothing else — which in particular means the current head version of Linux, not some ancient branch." Linus Torvalds was friendly about the case: "So if we actually have a user, and it works, then no, we're not removing EISA support. It's not like it hurts us or is in some way fundamentally broken, like the old i386 code was (i386 kernel page fault semantics really were broken, and the lack of some instructions made it more painful to maintain than needed — not like EISA at all, which is just a pure add-on on the side)." In addition to Intel 80386, recent years have also seen MCA bus support being removed from the kernel. Linux generally strives to keep support even for crusty hardware if there provably is still user(s) of the particular gear.
Intel

First Look At Dell Venue 8 7000 and Intel's Moorefield Atom Performance 18

Posted by Soulskill
from the awful-product-names dept.
MojoKid writes: Dell has been strategically setting-up their new Venue 8 7000 tablet for cameo appearances over the past few months, starting back at Intel Developer's Forum in September of last year, then again at Dell World in November and at CES 2015. What's interesting about this new device, in addition to Intel's RealSense camera is its Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, which is based on Intel's latest Moorefield architecture. Moorefield builds upon Intel's Cherrytrail Atom feature set and offers two additional CPU cores with up to a 2.3GHz clock speed, an enhanced PowerVR 6430 GPU and support of faster LPDDR3-1600 memory. Moorefield is also built for Intel's XMM 7260 LTE modem platform, which supports carrier aggregation. Overall, Moorefield looks solid, with performance ahead of a Snapdragon 801 but not quite able to catch the 805, NVIDIA Tegra K1 or Apple's A8X in terms of graphics throughput. On the CPU side, Intel's beefed-up quad-core Atom variant shows well.
GNU is Not Unix

Librem: a Laptop Custom-Made For Free/Libre Software 227

Posted by timothy
from the asymptotic-development dept.
Bunnie Huang's Novena laptop re-invents the laptop with open source (and Free software) in mind, but the hackability that it's built for requires a fair amount of tolerance on a user's part for funky design and visible guts. New submitter dopeghost writes with word of the nearly-funded (via Crowd Supply) Librem laptop, a different kind of Free-software machine using components "specifically selected so that no binary blobs are needed in the Linux kernel that ships with the laptop." Made from high quality components and featuring a MacBook-like design including a choice of HiDPI screen, the Librem might just be the first laptop to ship with a modern Intel CPU that is not locked down to require proprietary firmware.

Richard M. Stallman, president of the FSF, said, "Getting rid of the signature checking is an important step. While it doesn't give us free code for the firmware, it means that users will really have control of the firmware once we get free code for it."
Unlike some crowdfunding projects, this one is far from pie-in-the-sky, relying mostly on off-the-shelf components, with a planned shipping date in Spring of this year: "Purism is manufacturing the motherboard, and screen printing the keyboard. Purism is sourcing the case, daughter cards, memory, drives, battery, camera, and screen."
Input Devices

Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-bigs dept.
GhostX9 writes: SLR Lounge just posted a first look at the Samsung NX1 28.1 MP interchangeable lens camera. They compare it to Canon and Sony full-frame sensors. Spoiler: The Samsung sensor seems to beat the Sony A7R sensor up to ISO 3200. They attribute this to Samsung's chip foundry. While Sony is using 180nm manufacturing (Intel Pentium III era) and Canon is still using 500nm process (AMD DX4 era), Samsung has gone with 65nm with copper interconnects (Intel Core 2 Duo — Conroe era). Furthermore, Samsung's premium lenses appear to be as sharp or sharper than Canon's L line and Sony's Zeiss line in the center, although the Canon 24-70/2.8L II is sharper at the edge of the frame.
Windows

Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time? 487

Posted by samzenpus
from the tenth-time's-a-charm dept.
An anonymous reader shares this article about what Microsoft needs to accomplish with Windows 10 in order to make gains in the mobile market and everywhere else. "Later this week Microsoft will provide more details of Windows 10, most likely focusing on how the new operating system will look and feel on smartphones and tablets. According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is likely to unveil a version of Windows 10 that's expected to work on Windows Phones and smaller Windows tablets running ARM and perhaps Intel processors. Microsoft will be hoping that by making it easier for developers to build for tablets and smartphones it can take some of its dominance of the desktop world and port that to the mobile world. That may help a bit, but will not in itself create the breakthrough that Microsoft wants: when it comes to mobile, Microsoft's Windows Phone is still a distant third in a two-horse race."
AMD

Tiny Fanless Mini-PC Runs Linux Or Windows On Quad-core AMD SoC 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-small dept.
DeviceGuru writes CompuLab has unveiled a tiny 'Fitlet' mini-PC that runs Linux or Windows on a dual- or quad-core 64-bit AMD x86 SoC (with integrated Radeon R3 or R2 GPU), clocked at up to 1.6GHz, and offering extensive I/O, along with modular internal expansion options. The rugged, reconfigurable 4.25 x 3.25 x 0.95 in. system will also form the basis of a pre-configured 'MintBox Mini' model, available in Q2 in partnership with the Linux Mint project. To put things in perspective, CompuLab says the Fitlet is three times smaller than the Celeron Intel NUC.
Technology

3D Cameras Are About To Go Mainstream 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the everyone-needs-to-know-what-you're-got-in-your-pockets dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Vox's Timothy B. Lee reports that everyday imaging is about to take a big step forward as 3D photography finally makes it to prime time. Technological advances in 3D processing algorithms have accelerated at the same time the equipment for taking these shots has become significantly cheaper. Those facts combined mean that we're going to be seeing 3D cameras become much more prevalent very quickly. "If things go according to Intel's plan, within a few years all of our tablets and laptops, and perhaps even our smartphones, will have fancy 3D cameras instead of boring old 2D ones." Throw in the fledgling industries of commercial camera drones and autonomous vehicles, and you have a lot of major companies throwing huge amounts of research money into making cheap 3D cameras work. "The result will be a proliferation of devices, from tablets to self-driving cars, that understand and interact with the world around them."
Open Source

Big Names Dominate Open Source Funding 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-open-source-benjamins dept.
jones_supa writes: Network World's analysis of publicly listed sponsors of 36 prominent open-source non-profits and foundations reveals that the lion's share of financial support for open-source groups comes from a familiar set of names. Google was the biggest supporter, appearing on the sponsor lists of eight of the 36 groups analyzed. Four companies – Canonical, SUSE, HP and VMware – supported five groups each, and seven others (Nokia, Oracle, Cisco, IBM, Dell, Intel and NEC) supported four. For its part, Red Hat supports three groups (Linux Foundation, Creative Commons and the Open Virtualization Alliance).

It's tough to get more than a general sense of how much money gets contributed to which foundations by which companies – however, the numbers aren't large by the standards of the big contributors. The average annual revenue for the open-source organizations considered in the analysis was $4.36 million, and that number was skewed by the $27 million taken in by the Wikimedia Foundation (whose interests range far beyond OSS development) and the $17 million posted by Linux Foundation.
Intel

Intel 5th Gen Core Series Performance Preview With 2015 Dell XPS 13 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the separating-fact-from-marketing dept.
MojoKid writes: Intel's strategically timed CES 2015 launch of their new 5th Gen Core Series processors for notebooks was met with a reasonably warm reception, though it's always difficult to rise above the noise of CES chatter. Performance claims for Intel's new chip promise major gains in graphics and more modest increases in standard compute applications. However, the biggest bet Intel placed on the new Broadwell-U architecture is performance-per-watt throughput and battery life in premium notebook products that are now in production with major OEM partners. A few manufacturers were early out of the gate with new Core i5 5XXX series-based machines, however, none of the major players caught the same kind of buzz that Dell received, with the introduction of their new XPS 13 Ultrabook with its near bezel-less 13-inch WQHD (3200X1800) display. As expected, the Core i5-5200U in this machine offered performance gains of anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, in round numbers, depending on the benchmark. In gaming and graphics testing is where the new 5200U chip took the largest lead over the previous gen Core i5-4200U CPU, which is one of the most common processors found in typical ultrabook style 13-inch machines.
Education

Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the will-add-your-biological-and-technological-distinctiveness-to-his-own dept.
AmiMoJo writes: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced plans to improve diversity not just at Intel, but in the wider tech industry. Krzanich wants "to reach full representation at all levels" of the company by 2020. For instance, Intel's workforce is currently four percent black; if the company were to adjust its numbers to reflect the number of qualified workers in the tech industry, that number would increase to about six percent.

To help address one of tech's underlying diversity problems — that there are fewer qualified women and minorities available to hire than there are white or Asian men — Krzanich pledged to spend $300 million over the next three years. According to the New York Times, much of that money will be allocated "to fund engineering scholarships and to support historically black colleges and universities."

"I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age," he said to the NYT. "I want them to have a world that's got equal opportunity for them."
AMD

AMD, Nvidia Reportedly Tripped Up On Process Shrinks 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the stupid-physics-getting-in-the-way dept.
itwbennett writes: In the fierce battle between CPU and GPU vendors, it's not just about speeds and feeds but also about process shrinks. Both Nvidia and AMD have had their move to 16nm and 20nm designs, respectively, hampered by the limited capacity of both nodes at manufacturer TSMC, according to the enthusiast site WCCFTech.com. While AMD's CPUs are produced by GlobalFoundaries, its GPUs are made at TSMC, as are Nvidia's chips. The problem is that TSMC only has so much capacity and Apple and Samsung have sucked up all that capacity. The only other manufacturer with 14nm capacity is Intel and there's no way Intel will sell them some capacity.
Intel

Intel Unveils 5th Gen Core Series Broadwell-U CPUs and Cherry Trail Atom 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
MojoKid writes Intel has officially taken the wraps off its 5th generation Core Series notebook processor, code named Broadwell-U. This new SoC is a "tick" in Intel's tick-tock plan, which means it's mostly a die shrink of the existing Haswell architecture, at least on the CPU side. On the GPU side, there's a bevy of improvements and advances, and the video decoder block has been beefed up with dual bit stream decoders in its high-end (GT3) hardware. Other feature improvements and capabilities are expected, though Intel has been quiet on exactly what they have tweaked and changed to date. Intel is claiming that the architecture will boost battery life by 1.5 hours, speed video conversions, and offer a whopping 22% improvement to 3D performance — a gain on par with what we saw when moving from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. Intel also took the wraps off their next gen Atom CPU, code named Cherry Trail. This is essentially a 14nm Bay Trail die shrink that's been on the roadmap for a while. As with Haswell-Broadwell, the Bay Trail-Cherry Trail shift is aimed at improving CPU power consumption and overall SoC power characteristics, though again, we'll see an updated GPU baked in as well.
Open Source

Linux 3.19 Kernel To Start 2015 With Many New Features 66

Posted by timothy
from the presents-from-linus-and-friends dept.
An anonymous reader writes Linux 3.18 was recently released, thus making Linux 3.19 the version under development as the year comes to a close. Linux 3.19 as the first big kernel update of 2015 is bringing in the new year with many new features: among them are AMDKFD HSA kernel driver, Intel "Skylake" graphics support, Radeon and NVIDIA driver improvements, RAID5/6 improvements for Btrfs, LZ4 compression for SquashFS, better multi-touch support, new input drivers, x86 laptop improvements, etc.
Hardware Hacking

Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the flipping-bits-for-fun-and-profit dept.
New submitter Pelam writes: Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Intel report that a large percentage of tested regular DDR3 modules flip bits in adjacent rows (PDF) when a voltage in a certain control line is forced to fluctuate. The program that triggers this is dead simple — just two memory reads with special relative offset and some cache control instructions in a tight loop. The researchers don't delve deeply into applications of this, but hint at possible security exploits. For example a rather theoretical attack on JVM sandbox using random bit flips (PDF) has been demonstrated before.
Intel

Chromebook Gets "OK Google" and Intel's Easy Migration App 35

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader points out that Chromebook users just got a couple of early gifts. "Chromebooks have had a good run thus far in their history, and most recently they've had a stellar year of sales – famously beating out Apple's iPad. However, Google is not stopping there, as the company has decided to include and integrate 'OK Google' into their Chromebook tablets. As it turns out, the feature was possible all along with the code that had been included in the operating system, but was hidden well from users' direct line of sight. Intel has also shown a lot of support for Chromebooks, and the company has now released the Easy Migration app that will fittingly migrate data between Windows devices, iOS devices, and Android devices. The only catch is that users will have to be running a Chromebook that hosts an Intel processor. Intel has provided a website to check if your device is compatible, but it will surely be a significant hit for the Chromebook."
China

With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions 33

Posted by timothy
from the in-china-intel-gets-you dept.
itwbennett writes The allure of mobile devices has led Intel to take some uncharacteristic moves, partnering with Chinese companies to build some smartphone and tablet chips, and relying on third parties to manufacture those chips. Intel is betting the partnerships will accelerate its business in China, where smartphone shipments are booming. But the company wants to regain complete control over manufacturing, and on Thursday said it was investing $1.6 billion over 15 years in a China plant for mobile chip development and manufacturing.
Mars

Orion Capsule Safely Recovered, Complete With 12-Year-Old Computer Guts 197

Posted by timothy
from the why-that's-barely-a-dozen dept.
Lucas123 writes While NASA's Orion spacecraft, which blasted off on a successful test flight today, may be preparing for a first-of-its-kind mission to carry astronauts to Mars and other deep-space missions, the technology inside of it is no where near leading edge. In fact, its computers and its processors are 12 years old — making them ancient in tech years. The spacecraft, according to one NASA engineer, is built to be rugged and reliable in the face of G forces, massive amounts of radiation and the other rigors of space."Compared to the [Intel] Core i5 in your laptop, it's much slower — much less powerful. It's probably not any faster than your smartphone," Matt Lemke, NASA's deputy manager for Orion's avionics, power and software team, told Computerworld. Lemke said the spacecraft was built to be rugged and reliable — not necessarily smart. That's why there are two flight computers. Orion's main computer was built by Honeywell as a flight computer originally for Boeing's 787 jet airliner. Not only was the launch itself successful, but the sensor-laden craft's splashdown was smooth ("bulls-eye," as NASA puts it), and NASA has now recovered the capsule. ABC News has some good photos, too.
Data Storage

Consumer-Grade SSDs Survive Two Petabytes of Writes 125

Posted by timothy
from the some-of-them-at-least dept.
crookedvulture writes The SSD Endurance Experiment previously covered on Slashdot has reached another big milestone: two freaking petabytes of writes. That's an astounding total for consumer-grade drives rated to survive no more than a few hundred terabytes. Only two of the initial six subjects made it to 2PB. The Kingston HyperX 3K, Intel 335 Series, and Samsung 840 Series expired on the road to 1PB, while the Corsair Neutron GTX faltered at 1.2PB. The Samsung 840 Pro continues despite logging thousands of reallocated sectors. It has remained completely error-free throughout the experiment, unlike a second HyperX, which has suffered a couple of uncorrectable errors. The second HyperX is mostly intact otherwise, though its built-in compression tech has reduced the 2PB of host writes to just 1.4PB of flash writes. Even accounting for compression, the flash in the second HyperX has proven to be far more robust than in the first. That difference highlights the impact normal manufacturing variances can have on flash wear. It also illustrates why the experiment's sample size is too small to draw definitive conclusions about the durability of specific models. However, the fact that all the drives far exceeded their endurance specifications bodes well for the endurance of consumer-grade SSDs in general.