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Week's Hardware News: Micron Pushes GDDR5X, AMD Zen Grows IPC 40%, & More

Posted on February 16, 2016

The past week of hardware news is mostly industry-driven, with few noteworthy product announcements outside of a few small items. A few critical news items emerged regarding industry, though, like further Samsung vs. nVidia proceedings, Micron's GDDR5X memory (replacing GDDR5, theoretically), Unity's Steam VR support, AMD/HP FreeSync laptops, and AMD Zen details revealed through CERN – the particle and nuclear research group.

We've rounded up this week's news in the below video. You can find quick, bulleted recaps of each item below the video, if you'd prefer that format.

Learn more below!

Week's News in Bullets

NVidia vs. Samsung

  • nvidia first filed a lawsuit vs. Samsung & Qualcomm over GPU patent infringement.
  • nvidia lost a case against Samsung in December, but is appealing.
  • Samsung counter-sued for four counts of alleged memory technology patent infringement.
  • One allegation dropped, two ordered a mistrial.
  • The remaining patent infringement allegation went to a jury, which ruled that the patent was not infringed upon by nVidia.


Micron announces volume GDDR5X in summer of 2016

  • Faster than GDDR5, lower power consumption, and better overall performance. Less throughput and performance than HBM, but much cheaper.
  • Mass production in the summer.
  • First samples received from fab plant. Data throughput at about 13Gbps on GDDR5X. That's a 47% speed difference over the 8Gbps of GDDR5.


Unity Engine adds Steam VR support

  • Steam VR now supported within Unity Engine. Implementation of VR – specifically the HTC Vive VR by Valve – is now easier as a result. Wider scale support of Valve VR.


AMD and HP embrace FreeSync

  • HP announced it is adding FreeSync support to its APU-enabled laptop line-up by the end of the year.
  • The argument is that FreeSync allows better power savings on top of its gaming experience advantages.


AMD Zen details reported at CERN presentation

  • AMD Zen is the first major high-end CPU launch since the 8350 first shipped.
  • CERN, the european nuclear research organization, said in a presentation that Zen CPUs will increase IPC performance by 40%.
  • It was also revealed that simultaneous multithreading is supported up to 32 cores for servers, and that Zen will be on 14nm FinFET process node.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.