Wednesday, September 09

Geek

Daily News Stuff 8 September 2020

Napoleon Has Entered The Chat Edition

Tech News

  • The Sbox has been announced.



    From the pictures, the Series S is about half the size of the Series X, which measures 6" x 6" x 12".

    Tech specs according to Wikipedia - not sure of the source - include the same 8 core 3.8GHz Zen 2 CPU as the X, 20 Navi 2 CUs delivering 4 TFLOPS, 10 GB of GDDR6 RAM, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD.

    For $299.

    They're targeting 1440p with this; it will certainly breeze through 1080p games, with about three times the performance of the Xbox One.  The GPU is within 5% of the raw performance of the PS4 Pro, and on a newer architecture, with more memory bandwidth and a much, much faster CPU.

    Wonder what it would take to get Imagine-Emu to run on it...


  • SiPearl's Rhea has 72 Zeus cores.  (AnandTech)

    Zeus is a new Arm server core, but I don't know any details and a quick search failed to turn up anything.  It might well be a server version of the client-oriented Cortex X1, because the codename for that is Hera.

    If so, this will be the fastest Arm Chip yet; the X1 is expected to be 30% faster than the current A77.


  • Yet another lake emerges from Intel.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Jasper Lake is the new Tremont-based Atom lineup.  It's expected to deliver 30% better IPC than current Goldmont-based Gemini Lake Refresh chips, and the same TDP and slightly better clocks.

    Which doesn't mean a lot if you don't know that Gemini Lake is already pretty decent on light workloads.  (CPUBenchmark)

    A 6W Pentium Silver N5030 delivers a PassMark score of 1346 single-threaded.  My Ryzen 7 1700 is only 50% faster, and current Ryzens are only 30% faster than that.  Of course with a 6W TDP the multi-threaded performance tails off rapidly - four cores delivering only 18% of the eight core Ryzen 1700 - but if you're only using one or two cores it's not actually terrible.


  • Ryzen 4000 will include 10-core parts. (WCCFTech)

    This is entirely possible.  AMD didn't do this before because it would have meant an asymmetric core layout, which causes scheduling complications.  But with Zen 3 they're moving from two 4-core CCXs per chiplet to a unified 8-core CCX.  That means they could also do 14 cores if they really wanted to segment the market.  That might actually be worthwhile too; dies with only one defective core can be sold at a small premium over those with two.


  • Progress is acquiring Chef, the devops automation tool. (Chef)

    I saw this on Hacker News and said, Progress?  That Progress?

    Yes, that Progress.


  • Italy and now Australia have opened antitrust investigations into Apple over iCloud and the App Store.  (9to5Mac)

    Congratulations, Apple.  Senpai noticed you.


  • Did a little experiment today with translucent playfields for the Imagine - that is, if you have a blue pixel, rather than being opaque to the field behind it, it tints it blue.

    Using a dead simple approach of adding the three three-bit RGB values and reading off the top three bits of the result, something that would have required only a handful of transistors to implement...  It actually works pretty well.  So that's going in.

    The only limitation is that you can either have the tenth bit giving you an extra ½ LSB of brightness on all three colour channels or using it to select alpha mode, not both.

    Colour register 0 on overlays is still transparent; the remaining colours can be any mix of opaque and translucent.


  • If I actually get this working - and working or not I'll release the source code - there's a ton of stuff on Itch.io to build cool games with.

    Looking for a space-based shmup rather than a turn-based strategy game?

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/ImagineShmup.gif

    Or maybe an epic RPG?

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/ImagineFantasy.png?size=640x&q=95

    Or a platformer?



    Oh, there it is.  I found an even better platformer set, but then lost the link.  It's the same artist.  (PixelGameArt)




    Or a...  Map?  This is awesome, but the license precludes using it in a game; you can only use it to create static maps.

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/ImagineHex.png

    Ah, this one isn't pixel art, but anything can be turned into pixel art if you squash it hard enough.

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/ImagineHex2.png?size=640x&q=95

    Like this.

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/ImagineHex2-480-32.png?size=640x&q=95

    That was just quickly squashed to 480 pixels wide and reduced to 32 colours, then resized back up for this page, so it's, well, not perfect.  But it's not a bad start.  32 colours is a bit restrictive, but we do have that 16+16+512 colour mode.


    There's also the Kenney asset packs which are public domain so I could even bundle some parts of those with the emulator, but while they offer a huge number of elements the individual sets aren't that extensive; they don't offer the scope of some of the ones above.


Pixel Game Art Music Video of the Day



Disclaimer: Bleeeeeeeee.

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




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