Copyright © 2015
Tag - OpenCL
The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the availability of technical previews of the new Vulkan open-standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and computing on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices. This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos' new SPIR-V specification for shading language flexibility.
One of the many exciting new features of the Mac Pro (late 2013) is Apple's choice to opt for dual AMD FirePro workstation GPUs as standard fitment, which certainly caught the eye of many observers. The previous generation Mac Pros included the option to fit dual CPUs, but as you can tell from the radical external redesign of the Mac Pro that Apple has fundamentally rethought its approach to the Mac workstation. Apple has chosen to adopt a dual-GPU configuration as standard fitment to leverage the massive processing power in GPU architecture. The biggest performance gains in certain professional applications come through harnessing the processing power in GPUs, rather than the CPU. To this extent, Apple has worked closely with AMD to develop three custom GPU solutions for the Mac Pro, to help Mac users tap into the power of AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) microarchitecture for parallel processing using the OpenCL framework.
An unofficial, pre-release benchmarking of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge architecture has shown an overall speed up, but most of all in graphics. Testing at AnandTech of a 3.5GHz, quad Core i7-3770K desktop chip has shown that the Intel HD 4000 integrated video is about 20 to 40 percent faster than the 3000 video on a roughly comparable earlier Core i7 using the current Sandy Bridge architecture. While still trailing behind AMD's Fusion in an A8 chip, it's enough to make games playable that wouldn't have been practical otherwise, such as running Skyrim smoothly at 1680x1050 and medium detail.
Imagination Technologies outlined some plans for its far and near futures after Electronista stopped by its Mobile World Congress booth on Monday. The PowerVR developer showed a demo of a real-time raytracing graphics engine, where an app calculates the paths of individual light beams in a scene, that it expects to reach mobile devices. As shown in a demo running on a Mac, it could use surface properties rather than unchanging textures to generate the chrome effect on a car, even reflecting another car which in turn had a reflection of the sky.
In a surprise step, Apple on Thursday gave developers a preview version of OS X Mountain Lion, the next significant update to the core OS. The new version is directly influenced by iOS 5 and includes Notification Center, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, and Twitter integration, with iCloud syncing where it's relevant. AirPlay Mirroring is also new to the Mac and shares exactly what's on screen through an Apple TV.
AMD took its Radeon HD 7000 series to the starter level quickly on Wednesday. The Radeon HD 7750 and 7750 GHz Edition step back in visual processor counts versus the 6700 line, from 720 and 800 cores to 512 and 640 respectively, but make up for it through more than a year's worth of technology. Both the new overall architecture and a shrink to a leaner 28 nanometer building process let the 7750 and 7770 climb to 800MHz and 1GHz core speeds (up from 700MHz and 850MHz).
Apple's long-rumored Mac Pro update could signal a return to NVIDIA for graphics based on claims about production progress on Tuesday. The company had reportedly been soured based on is experience with drivers and hardware failures, MIC Gadget heard. Instead, it would use NVIDIA's Kepler hardware, although which exact parts weren't mentioned.
NVIDIA took a major step towards spurring growth of its CUDA general-purpose code technology for video cards on Tuesday by posting the CUDA source code. Developers and education now have access to a variant on the LLVM compiler that will let them add new processor types and languages. The extension could see CUDA run on AMD's Radeon hardware, Intel's integrated graphics, and even use relatively old code like Fortran.
The desktop versions of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors have most of their details outlined in full through a roadmap discovered this week. The X-Bit Labs copy shows all the chips falling under the 3000 series in the same Core i3, i5, and i7 tiers, with four cores still the maximum for non-Extreme chips. Clock speeds would have a higher baseline, starting with a 2.7GHz Core i5 (3.2GHz after Turbo Boost) and peaking at a 3.5GHz Core i7 (3.9GHz).
Open Computing Language (OpenCL), the framework that allows applications to use GPU cards for non-graphical computing, has been updated to version 1.2, just 18 months after v1.1. Used on all major platforms, OpenCL 1.2 enhances parallel programming flexibility, and now includes support for device partitioning, DX9 Media Surface Sharing, DX11 Surface Sharing, enhanced image support and separate compilation and linking of objects.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ