Alright! Let’s start with AMD. The first Vega GPUs have been unveiled. Radeon Vega Frontier Edition will come in two flavors: the air-cooled Blue version, and the Liquid cooled Gold version, but in terms of specs, they’re essentially the same, with 64 Compute units, 16GB of HBM2 memory on a 2048-bit bus and around 12.5 teraflops of single-precision performance, slightly higher than the GTX Titan Xp’s 12 teraflops. Like the Xp, these cards are geared more towards professional uses than for gaming, but I’m sure they’ll do just fine at that as well. No price or clock speeds have been revealed yet, but we’ll no doubt learn more at Computex before the cards release in June, followed by another gaming-grade Vega card.
Wow! Couldn’t be much bigger news than that today, I guess that’s it – NOPE! AMD also officially confirmed its consumer focused high-end desktop CPU line called Ryzen Threadripper that was leaked earlier this week, with core counts of up to 16 cores with 32 threads, and aimed at taking down Intel’s 10 core i7-6950X when it launches this summer. Ok, this is taking too long, we’re gonna have to speed things up here.
Also on the way are Ryzen Pro desktop and mobile CPUs, which will somehow offer enhancements over regular Ryzen processors for “Pros”. Mobile APUs are also on the way, coupling Ryzen CPU cores with Vega graphics cores.
Something completely new that was announced are AMD’s EPYC with a Y datacenter processors, which were codenamed Naples in leaks. No real specs or concrete numbers yet, but AMD says a single socket system could run a full complement of six GPUs, where a comparable Intel Xeon system would require two chips.
But perhaps the BIGGEST news of day has nothing to do with CPUs. The Radeon RX 560 has finally arrived, the wait IS OVER. Pre-order that bad-boy
Ok time for my second-least favorite company right now for saddling me with too much tech news, Google! The company had their annual I/O conference today, and announced a PLETHORA of things. A plethora. Quickly now!
The beta for Android O is available to download now – new features include: smart copying and pasting – a double tap will intelligently select text without a long press and provide sharing options; Some apps will now support autofill just like Chrome; and Notification Dots above app icons which can be long pressed to preview any standing notifications.
Android Go is a lighter version of Android meant to run on devices with less than 1GB of RAM.
Google Play Protect will scan Play store apps more often and more thoroughly, and will integrate a find my device feature directly
And Kotlin is being added as an official supported programming language for Android.
One thing we didn’t learn today: what the heck Android O stands for. So this may have all been a waste of time.
In VR news, Google is working with HTC Vive and Lenovo to make untethered, standalone Daydream VR headsets that don’t require a phone to operate, with Qualcomm developing a reference model. They’ll track your movement with sensors in the headset itself, using a technology called “WorldSense”. The Samsung Galaxy S8 will also be getting Daydream compatibility via an update this summer.
Google announced quite a few updates to Google Home – the device can now make calls for free in the US and Canada, either using a connected phone or by itself, using a private number. Bluetooth support means it can be used as a wireless speaker. More voice commands are now supported, like setting reminders and calendar entries, and more subscription services have been added, including HBO Now, Spotify Free, Hulu, and Soundcloud. Google Home now has notifications, which the company is calling “proactive assistance”, giving you alerts ahead of time for things like traffic, and will automatically send directions to your phone if you ask for them through Home. It can also connect to your TV to display a visual interface of what you’re using it for, and the device is coming to Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan this summer.
Google Assistant is also getting some updates – the app now supports transactions, so developers can build that functionality into their own apps. This means you’ll be able to order pizza, for example, or anything else. The Assistant will now accept typed queries if you, you know, don’t want to ask it about your diarrhea out loud, and it now supports new languages – French, German, Japanese, and Brazilian-Portugese. The Assistant is coming to iOS as a standalone app, and it could be coming to a lot of other things – the Assistant SDK is now public, so anyone can build it into their own devices. LG and GE are leading the charge with Assistant-enabled appliances. And Android TV will soon get Google Assistant as well.
Something completely new is Google.AI, a new initiative by Google to foster open-source AI development. The company is making their 2nd gen Tensor Processing Units available in the Cloud for anyone to use for research. Google also mentioned that it will be using neural nets to build other neural nets. .. Sounds like Skynet to me, but Google has our best interests at heart, guys. Google is using their deep learning resources to power a new canera app called Google Lens, which uses AI-enabled image recognition to do some amazing things, like google search results for whatever you’re looking at and remove unwanted objects from photos. It even connected to a wireless network by pointing the camera at the login information printed on a router.
But again, I take back what I said earlier about the biggest news of the day – Google Photos can make printed photo books now. So. Should have just talked about that the whole time.
OKAY! Guys, as you may have guessed, there’s no Quick Bits in this episode as that was PLENTY of tech news to ruminate over for one day. Sources for all of today’s stories can be found in the forum post linked in the description. BUT we still got time for a hashtag ncixyodawg.
My Friends call me Germany because I’m always Berlin. Ballin? Or Berl, which is, according to Google, the name of both a Rebel X-wing pilot and a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars expanded universe. But that’s not canon anymore. So I don’t know what you mean.
Anyways, if you want us to say something on Netlinked, tweet a #ncixyodawg, why don’t ya.
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