Weekend tech reading: Deciphering AMD's new GPU roadmap

By on February 17, 2013, 10:34 AM

Fate of AMD's Sea Islands obscured in the fog Reports surfaced last weekend that AMD's graphics roadmap for 2013 would keep the Radeon HD 7000 series "stable" throughout the year. The news came out in an unusual way, via an interview with a Japanese website and then several tweets from AMD employees and the official Radeon Twitter feed. Naturally, we had questions about the state of things, so AMD held a conference call for the press today, in an attempt to clarify matters. Prior to last weekend, we expected AMD to be introducing a new generation of graphics cards within the next few months. The Tech Report

The true cost of a Raspberry Pi is more than you think As the Raspberry Pi craze sweeps the internet, you might have found yourself wanting to purchase the little computer to see what projects you can use it for. You may have thought to yourself that even if you can’t think of a nifty project, who cares, because the higher-end Model B is only $35. However, is it really that cheap when all is said and done? I recently ordered my first Raspberry Pi. I could never figure out what to do with it, but have wanted one simply because it’s a cheap, intriguing little computer. ExtremeTech

Locking the bad guys out with asymmetric encryption Encryption, the transformation of data into a form that prevents anyone unauthorized from understanding that data, is a fundamental technology that enables online commerce, secure communication, and the protection of confidential information. Encryption algorithms are the mathematical formulae for performing these transformations. You provide an encryption algorithm with a key and the data you want to protect (the plaintext), and it produces an encrypted output (the ciphertext). Ars Technica

How Nest’s control freaks reinvented the thermostat In 2007, Tony Fadell believed he could see the future. He was an Apple executive who had created the iPod and was a leading figure on the team that had worked on the iPhone, which the company was about to launch. He knew people would soon form attachments to the Internet-connected computers they carried in their pockets, and he kept thinking about that as he started another major project: building an energy-efficient dream home near Lake Tahoe. MIT Technology Review

Is frustration an essential part of game design? I've probably told you this story before, but a couple of weeks ago I almost destroyed my copy of DmC, Ninja Theory's reboot of the Devil May Cry series. I was stuck on a boss fight with a giant demonic baby, and although I understood what I was supposed to do, I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. I knew I had to avoid the infant's gigantic swipes, I knew I had to attack with aerial combos, I knew a weak spot would eventually open up. But I couldn't do it. So I took the disc out and threw it. The Guardian

Microsoft warns of looming retirement for Windows 7 RTM Microsoft yesterday reminded customers that Windows 7's first edition, which shipped more than three years ago, will be dropped from support in early April. At that time, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will become the only officially supported version of the popular PC operating system. The retirement of Windows 7 RTM (for "release to manufacturing," Microsoft's label for its launch editions) will take place April 9, that month's date for Patch Tuesday. Computerworld

Status symbols: MiniDisc The MiniDisc represents Sony at the height of its 1990s arrogance. In 1992, when the MiniDisc was introduced, Sony could do no wrong in consumer electronics: the best TVs were Trinitrons, the Walkman was still booming and the Discman was a hit, and Sony’s legendary hardware design was at the peak of its powers before software changed the world. It’s no wonder the company thought it could launch a quirky new music format around the world through sheer will alone. The Verge

Facebook can stick with its real name policy for now, German court rules Facebook can stick with its real name policy in Germany, and doesn't have to allow nicknames on its platform for now. The regulator that ordered Facebook to change it policy based its orders on inapplicable German law, a German court ruled. Facebook was ordered to end its real name policy and permit the use of pseudonyms on its platform by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ULD) for Schleswig-Holstein last year. ITworld

Apple's podcast disaster Apple's podcast app is, without a doubt, the worst iOS app it's ever made. Others have been poorly received or largely ignored, but this is unprecedented: With nearly 6,000 ratings, the app has just 1.5 stars in the App Store. Reviews range from harsh to despairing: "Horrible in every way," reads the most recent. "Oh, and this app cost me $40 in overage uses on my data plan." Among the most damning reviews: "Worse than iOS Maps." BuzzFeed

Intel shifts gears on Itanium, raising questions about the server chip's future Intel has scaled back plans for the next version of Itanium in a move that raises questions about the future of the 64-bit server chip, used primarily in Hewlett-Packard's high-end Integrity servers. In a short notice posted quietly to its website on January 31, Intel said the next version of Itanium, codenamed Kittson, will be produced on a 32 nanometer manufacturing process... PCWorld

Protecting people on Facebook Facebook, like every significant internet service, is frequently targeted by those who want to disrupt or access our data and infrastructure. As such, we invest heavily in preventing, detecting, and responding to threats that target our infrastructure, and we never stop working to protect the people who use our service. The vast majority of the time, we are successful in preventing harm before it happens... Facebook

Reinstall: Hitman: Blood Money This all started in Chiu Dai park, Hong Kong, twelve years ago. The first mission of the first Hitman game. You’re given a target, a pistol and a disassembled sniper rifle in a briefcase. And something is odd. You’re just a guy, in a street. No one’s shooting at you. No one’s hunting for you. The challenge isn’t to survive, or to get to the exit, or to solve a puzzle. You can just explore, observe, and understand this space, then decide how to make one man dead. PC Gamer

Don’t be a stranger The Internet of 2006 was not much different than it is today, mainly less: a bit slower, sparser, less open for business, like your hometown before the strip mall got put in. It was on this Internet that I met my best friend, Austin (not his real name). I was taking some time off from college in Portland, Oregon and had become an active member of a Portland-based online DIY community called Urban Honking. The New Inquiry

Nintendo fan is unhappy with Nintendo’s $200 answer to his $400 Wii U problem Jon is an enthusiastic Nintendo fan. He buys all of Nintendo's systems. He buys many, many Nintendo games. But he's gotten himself into a jam that he says has cost him access to more than $400 worth of downloadable games he's purchased from Nintendo over the several years. How does one lose access to $400 worth of games? Kotaku

Dead Space 3: are Necromorphs Thetans? I'm a video-game reviewer who insists on playing 90 percent of my games set to the "Hard" difficulty. I'm also an idiot. Why do I do this to myself? I have no idea. Possibly it's just simple masochism, but someone once said to me, long ago, that you're not truly playing a well-designed game unless you've allowed it to nest inside the circuitry of your central nervous system. This stuck with me. Grantland

User Comments: 7

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dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

A+ for AMD's obfuscation.

So, HD 7000 remains the "focus"....

Look for the HD 7970 GHz Edition to be superseded by the HD 7970 with dynamic boost (HD 7980?) ! along with the rest of upper tier models. Sounds as though the HD8000's are going to limited to OEM rebrands, mobile, and big emphasis on lower end desktop that can use the same GPU as the mobile models.

The loss of market share in notebooks to Nvidia must have really stung.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Mini-rant about the Apple Podcast App:

I agree fully - this app makes me want to kill my work iPhone. It is a disgrace.

From work, I got the iPhone and I downloaded the podcast app with glee. I remember always hearing about how podcasts were essentially the lovechild of iPods and music and how iPods always did them best. Oh how wrong of me to think that. Here are just a few things wrong with it:

- It doesn't allow the use of double-tap-home-button music controls all the time. Maybe.. 60% of the time.

- It crashes. A lot.

- Doesn't download podcasts as designed. I've tried wifi, mobile network, plugged in, not..

- There is no progress bar. There is no timer. You have no idea how long is left on the podcast.

Not counting Maps, this is truly the most un-Apple experience I've had with the iPhone. Apple, son, I am disapoint.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The BIG question now is, will Nvidia also slow down and not release any new high end products until 20nm next year?

Or will they just take advantage of the gap in AMD's roadmap and launch the 880/870 so they can grab more market share?

My bet is on Nvidia taking the lazy route. But that's just a feeling, and I'd love some concrete info or even just informed guesses / hard rumors...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The BIG question now is, will Nvidia also slow down and not release any new high end products until 20nm next year?

I think Nvidia were already committed to a refresh of Kepler (GK114 etc.). If that is the case then the wafers are likely already being laid down

Or will they just take advantage of the gap in AMD's roadmap and launch the 880/870 so they can grab more market share?

A big hint is the fact that the GTX Titan carries no model number. A GK114 series of parts would be GTX 780/770/760 Ti. Assuming no radical redesign of the basic die (and that is likely), then Nvidia have the opportunity to launch earlier to pre-empt any AMD revision- or more likely IMO- stockpile the GPUs until current inventory has been exhausted. If Nvidia have a need to increase market presence then they have the option of discounting the present series -which would be out of character for Nvidia, or just slotting in the new parts when and where they are needed.

My guess is that the newer parts would likely be diverted to mobile if AMD are looking to push back into that segment using the Solar System based parts.

Guest said:

Hitman series is decades one of a gem....if stupid revs says it's bad then they should go and play simple,easy,mainstream run-gunner as cod /bf3/crysis(only 4 graphics haha)...portal or hitman-they just don't have the mind to play

give l-gamer Martin a bell-"That's right Crytek. Make the game as shiny as possible,maybe then the people won't notice the shallow as **** game play and sub par story"

and also,bf3-slow run-gunner(better graphics),cod(fast run gunner) but both have shallow as **** gameplay (as gamers with fast hands but no minds,pull trigger and turbo enemies)..

even some devs agreed that mainstream fps brought marketing and money but destroyed intelligent games as a whole...hell even cod bo2 sells billion units and ign always gives it above 9...stupid as **** dollars and propaganda

true traditional gaming been destroyed by moronic,easy,and straightforward shooters for marketing and dollars...

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I had a bad feeling this was going to happen. I'm afraid of Nvidia getting laxy and not releasing anything besides the Titan this year. I want another 680 or a 690 but the prices aren't going down without a new lineup.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

In my new system here has the 7000 series not bad better than prior ones I've used 3200HD and up.

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