Wednesday, August 19


Daily News Stuff 18 August 2020

Old Lamps For Old Edition

Tech News

  • Looking for a 4K laptop but don't want to spend $1500 on that rather nice HP model?

    How about $559?  (Amazon)

    The Chuwi AeroBook Pro has a 15" 4K display, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD.  The RAM is not upgradeable but it has two M.2 slots, one SATA which is used by the included SSD, and an empty NVMe slot.

    The CPU is a dual-core Core i5 6287U, and the graphics are...  Integrated.  So nice screen aside you do get what you pay for.

  • IBM's Power10 provides a number of cores per socket with a number of threads per core and a number of sockets per system.  (AnandTech)

    This is slightly complicated.  The chip - a 600mm2 device built on Samsung's 7nm process - comes in two variants.  The first has 15 cores and 8 threads per core - SMT8; the second has 30 cores and 4 threads per core - SMT4.

    The SMT8 cores have double the everything of the SMT4 cores - twice the execution units, twice the cache, twice the issue width, but in exchange you get half as many.  Both versions of the chip total 30MB L2 cache and 120MB L3 cache.

    The processor package itself comes in two variants, with either one or two of those dies, which in turn come in the two variants mentioned above.  These two package variants are single-chip modules - SCM - and dual-chip modules - DCM - respectively.

    A server built on SCM can have up to 16 sockets; a server built on DCM is denser but can only have 4 sockets, because some of the CPU-to-CPU links are used to link the two dies inside each socket.

    It supports PCIe 5.0, and uses an off-chip memory controller with up to 1TB per second bandwidth, so the same CPU can support DDR4 and DDR5 with the right memory controller.

  • Meanwhile the z15 is a 12-core processor with hardware gzip.  (AnandTech)

    IBM's latest mainframe CPU is built on a 14nm process - the mainframe parts are always one generation behind, deliberately - and runs at 5.2GHz.  It's not hugely faster than the z14 on standard benchmarks, but adds dedicated acceleration hardware for common bottlenecks such as sorting, compression, and encryption.

    And it has 960MB of L4 cache on a second die.

    The reason for running one of these is that it can detect hardware failures in the middle of an instruction, and swap the thread to a good core without missing a beat.

    Which means that instead of 99.9% of your problems being software rather than hardware, 99.9999% of your problems will be software rather than hardware.

    Which is in turn why companies still run Cobol.

  • Marvell's ThunderX3 delivers 60 Arm cores and 90MB of cache in a single chip.  (AnandTech)

    The cores are SMT4 as well, which Marvell says gives them a 60% performance boost on heavily-threaded workloads, for only a 5% increase in die area over a single-threaded design.  It looks like that's where much of the engineering effort went; the core is otherwise a relatively standard 4-issue design, where Arm's newest is 5-issue and Apple are doing 6-issue.

    Still, that means that ThunderX4 could add some significant single-threaded performance gains to that 60% multi-threaded improvement.

  • The memory controller on the Xbox Series X chip is bigger than the CPU cores.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Looking at that die photo, it's not even close.  Of course the chip is mostly GPU, but the CPU cores don't even make it to second place.

    Microsoft hasn't done their Hot Chip presentation yet, but released the slide deck in advance, so there will be more info on this one tomorrow.

  • Quite appropriately, a new biography of Dave Brubeck doesn't mention his birth until page 302.  (The TLS)

    Even his life story runs to unconventional time signatures.

  • Apple and Google are back to playing notice me senpai with antitrust regulators.  (Engadget)

    Epic Games - a sucky company itself - put an option into Fortnite to buy fortbux or whatever they're called without paying Apple and Google their 30% protection fee.

    Google removed Fortnite from the Play Store, though it can still be side-loaded.

    Apple removed Fortnite from the iOS App Store, from the Mac App Store, and has threatened to pull all of Epic's developer access and revoke their code-signing certificates, which would kill Fortnite for everyone who already has it installed on iOS.

    Epic, who were already suing Apple over their removal from the App Store, has filed another lawsuit over the developer access issue.

    Apple are being absurdly heavy-handed here.  I don't know who is handling developer relations at Cupertino, but whoever it is, is very, very, very bad at their job.

  • In other Apple antitrust fuckery news, the company has expanded its independent repair program to include Macs.  (Tech Crunch)

    Let's see what our friend Louis has to say about this program:

    Oh.  So it's more of a non-independent non-repair program.  How non-typical.

  • Oracle is in talks to acquire TikTok.  (CNBC)

    For the love of God, why?

Anime Music Video of the Day

In honour of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

Bonus Anime Music Video of the Day

This was the one I planned to post before all the stupidity erupted.

Special Bonus Crack Team of Science Babes Anime Music Video of the Day Just for Brickmuppet

Disclaimer: She blinded me with science, and a 5W laser pointer.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:32 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 Trump probably called in to ask a favour of Ellison.

Posted by: normal at Wednesday, August 19 2020 01:59 AM (LADmw)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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