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Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope Exits Early Access on Steam

Today, 09:27 AM

Eleven months ago Croteam, put Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope on Steam Early Access and today the developer has fully launched it. To mark the occasion, it is 25% off on both Steam and the Oculus Store. Part of this final update is the addition of playable character Serious Sammy and randomly generated missions, providing limitless gameplay for the serious players.

With this game players can visit five different planets and try to survive the game modes with the various weapons, upgrades, and powerups. In the Arena mode you face 8 arenas that have 4 waves of randomly generated enemies, and if that sounds easy, you can always try increasing the difficulty, as there are 20 difficulty modes. Beating an arena difficulty gets you a weapon upgrade.

The Endless Wave game mode has you just trying to survive as long as possible, hoping to claim a spot on the global leaderboards. The Daily Challenge provides an endless wave scenario but on a specific arena map each day, for more direct competition between players.



Source: Croteam

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RX Vega Custom Cards Might Not Be Coming Until October

Yesterday, 10:37 AM

Last month AMD launched the gamer-targeting RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 GPUs, which are currently only available as reference cards, when you can find them in stock. With various reports of the Vega 64 especially running hot, many are recommending and waiting for custom from various AIB manufacturers. To date though, only Asus has announced a custom Vega GPU, the STRIX Vega, and while initially available was said to be early-September, there is still no sign of it.

As reported by VideoCardz, Hardware.fr has been asking hardware partners about when we might see custom cards launched or even announced, and they were not able to get a solid answer. Apparently one of the manufacturers said it is waiting on the chips for a custom card to arrive yet. If you are hoping to pick up a custom card, the estimation is you might have to wait until mid-October or later.

On the bright side though, the manufacturers had engineering boards as early as June, so there has been time to prepare the custom designs.

Source: VideoCardz

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Wireless Data and Power Combined

18 September 2017 - 10:02 AM

In recent years there has been a trend for technologies to go wireless for both form and convenience. Wireless charging is among the advancements being added to technologies, but it often comes at increased cost and weight because it requires special components be added to the device. While there is a reason these parts need to be added, instead of using those already present, researchers at North Carolina State University decided to see if it was possible to work around this reason, and succeeded.

Wireless systems, for data or power, require the use of antennas and radios and typically these parts will be tuned design for their intended purpose for greatest efficiency. For wireless power the parts are tuned to a narrow bandwidth, which minimizes power loss but makes them unsuited for data transfer. What dawned on the researchers is that while the wireless power system does require narrow band antennas, the whole system bandwidth does not need to be so small. By combining narrow-bandwidth components with a wide-bandwidth system, the researchers were able to achieve both power and data transfer.

When the researchers tested this new design, they were able to transfer 3 W of power while transmitting 3.39 MB/s with only a 2.3% loss in efficiency due to the data transmission. If only 2 W of power was transferred though, the efficiency only dropped by 1.3%. These tests were not done with the device resting directly on the charging pad with, but a little more than six inches away, demonstrating that this system can work over a distance.

Source: North Carolina State University

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Threadripper CPU Opened and Dies Examined

15 September 2017 - 11:21 AM

At this point, if you have been following what AMD has been doing with its CPUs, you may know the entire stack of CPUs, from Ryzen 3 to Threadripper and Epyc, are all using the same Zeppelin die, with binning deciding where the dies. Those Zeppelin dies feature eight cores between their two core complexes (CCXs), 32 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and dual-channel memory support. By disabling cores we get the six core and four core parts, but by leveraging Infinity Fabric, AMD is able to combine multiple dies to create the Threadripper and Epyc chips, with up to 32 cores, 128 PCIe 3.0, and eight-channel memory. Some quick math there shows the Epyc chips are using four Zeppelin dies, and with Threadripper having 16 cores, 64 PCIe lanes, and quad-channel memory support, it uses two dies. When it was discovered Threadripper chips are hiding apparently four dies under the IHS, there were questions about the status of those other two dies, so der8auer decided to take a (second) look on his YouTube channel.

Initially der8aurer had put up a video where he delidded a Threadripper to find these four dies, but was asked to take it down for a bit, as the chip he used was an engineering sample. Now he has a new video up because there have been some claims that two of those dies are 'dummies' and are just spacers, even blank silicon. This time, instead of just popping off the IHS, der8auer went further to remove the dies from the packaging and then remove layers from the die to see if there were circuits underneath.

It turns out those claims of the dummy or blank dies are apparently false, as all four dies der8auer pulled out did in fact have circuitry in them; they are not dummies. They are definitely disabled though and likely defective, because why would you waste a usable die or silicon?



Source: der8auer YouTube

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Raja Koduri Taking Sabbatical from AMD, Returning in December

13 September 2017 - 07:24 AM

This news was somewhat surprising to see today as Raja Koduri, the head of Radeon Technologies Group, the GPU division of AMD, is going to be taking a sabbatical from September 25 into December. This follows closely behind the release of the RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 GPUs, but as Raja notes in the email he sent to RTG colleagues, the last quarter of the year is the best time to take off, before there is new excitement over what 2018 will bring. He also explains he has been considering taking this time off for a while, so he can spend more time with his family, instead of working on Vega.

Until Raja's return, Lisa Su, the President and CEO AMD, will be heading RTG. Interestingly, one line in the email does state he will be shifting his "focus more toward architecting" and "rebalancing my operational responsibilities," so perhaps when he returns his role might be different.

Here is the email for you to read:

RTG Team,

You haven't heard from me collectively in a while - a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn't believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja

Source: https://www.tweaktown.com/news/59104/rtg-boss-takes-sabbatical-lisa-su-over/index.html

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