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Qualcomm Intros Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms

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Qualcomm has announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., has introduced two new mobile platforms, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630. Both the platforms are designed to support a leap in performance enabling advanced photography and enhanced gaming, in addition to long battery life and fast LTE speeds.

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 mobile platforms include the Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs, which encompass the baseband functionalities. It also includes software and hardware components including RF front end, integrated Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec and speaker amplifier, all to support a comprehensive mobile solution.

Qualcomm 660 - 1

“With the introduction of the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms, we are thrilled that features such as improved image quality and fast LTE speeds will now be available in a wide array of devices without sacrificing performance or quality,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This ensures that a greater number of consumers will be able to take advantage of higher quality user experiences in camera, audio and visual processing, connectivity, improved CPU and GPU performance, fast charging, security and machine learning.” 

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms focus on seven categories of features:

  • Camera: The Qualcomm Spectra 160 premium camera ISP supports improved photographic image quality for more natural skin tones, superior low light photography, as well as better power efficiency and higher throughput for dual camera smartphones. Also supported are features like smooth optical zoom, bokeh effects, dual pixel autofocus, and improved camcorder video stabilization. 
  • Audio/Visual Processing: The Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP featuring vector extensions (HVX) on the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform enables high performance, power efficient processing of imaging, computer vision, and machine intelligence workloads, another first in the 600 tier. Optimized software libraries include support for TensorFlow and Halide. Both platforms also support Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology with support for the Google Awareness API. This technology provides Qualcomm Technologies’ next generation of always-on contextual experiences and uses very low power running on the Hexagon DSP. 
  • Connectivity: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 both feature a Snapdragon X12 LTE Modem, paired with the new SDR660 RF transceiver, which support peak downlink data rates of 600Mbps to the 600-tier lineup of SOCs for the first time. The Snapdragon 660 supports 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi for twice as much data throughput and 60 percent lower download power consumption as the Snapdragon 652. It also offers improved coverage, especially in homes, and offices with hard to penetrate brick and concrete walls as well as advanced features such as LTE/Wi-Fi antenna sharing, and Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) operation. Both platforms also come with advanced RF front-end support including Qualcomm TruSignal adaptive antenna tuning with carrier aggregation, designed to dynamically optimize signal quality in varying user conditions for wide network coverage and more consistent data and voice experience. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 are the first 600-tier chipsets with envelope tracking technology, including high-power user equipment (HPUE) support, for superior power efficiency and thermal performance. Both platforms also integrate powerful location engines with better sensitivity and support for new constellations (Galileo and QZSS) for faster location fix, enhancements to support mandatory emergency service requirements, as well as smoother pedestrian navigation with up to 50 – 75 percent lower power consumption (compared to previous generation). Both platforms also feature Bluetooth 5 support, which doubles the amount of data that devices can transfer compared to the previous iteration.

Qualcomm 630 and 660 - 1

  • Improved CPU and GPU: The Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform is the successor to the Snapdragon 653 and features a 20 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Kryo 260 CPU and 30 percent improvement in the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU performance, ensuring a better gaming and multimedia experience for end users. The Snapdragon 630, which succeeds the Snapdragon 625, offers a 30 percent increase in the Adreno 508 GPU performance over its predecessor, as well as a 10 percent increase in CPU performance over its predecessor. Both platforms are designed to offer excellent battery life. 
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 4: The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms feature the latest innovations in Quick Charge technology, which supports up to 5 hours of talk time in just 5 minutes of charging and up to 50 percent battery life in just 15 minutes of charging. 
  • Security: Both platforms support Qualcomm Mobile Security, which provides security focused hardware-based protection, user authentication and device attestation on the mobile device. 
  • Machine Learning: OEMs and developers can also power immersive and engaging user experiences with machine learning on the Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK. This heterogeneous software framework offers support for Caffe/Caffe2 and TensorFlow, making it easy to target and run neural networks on the Snapdragon core that matches the power and performance profile of the desired feature – CPU, GPU or DSP/HVX.

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 Mobile Platforms share the same modem and camera architecture, and are pin and software compatible, making it simpler and easier for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build, test and calibrate their devices. Both platforms use a 14nm FinFET process and provide 4K video capture and playback capabilities, along with 8GB maximum memory and Vulkan API support. Additionally, the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform supports displays up to QHD (2K) resolution, whereas the 630 supports FHD/QXGA (1080p).

The Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform is now shipping and the Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform will begin shipping towards the end of this month. 

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Kingston FURY Releases New Special Edition RGB DDR4

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Kingston FURY, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, announced today it has unleashed a new member of the pack, Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition. The white heat spreader with striking RGB lighting makes these modules unique amongst the Kingston FURY line.

Enhance not just the performance of your system but keep it fresh with the library of preset RGB lighting patterns and effects or personalise the settings to create a look that makes your system truly one of a kind with Kingston FURY CTRL software. Along with the patented Infrared Sync Technology, trust your tailored RGB effects stay aligned.

Whether you are gaming, video editing, or anything in between get the most out your system with Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition. It is Intel XMP Certified, offering advanced pre-optimised timings, speeds and voltages to overclock with ease by a single selection of one of the built-in profiles. As well as being ready for AMD Ryzen, Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition will effortlessly integrate making it a hassle-free upgrade for any Intel or AMD-based system.

“As Kingston sets to enter our 35th year we’re happy to offer this Special Edition of the favorited Kingston FURY Beast line for those who want to update the performance and style of their system,” said Iwona Zalewska, DRAM business manager, Kingston, EMEA. “With speeds of 3200 & 3600MT/s and the bright RGB effects illuminating the unique white heat spreader Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition will do just that.”

Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition is available in single module capacities of 8GB and 16GB, and kit capacities of 16GB and 32GB.

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EVGA Ends Partnership with Nvidia

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Graphics card manufacturer EVGA has made a name for itself manufacturing and selling Nvidia’s GeForce GPUs for two decades, including some of the more attractively priced options on the market. But according to the YouTubers at Gamers Nexus, analyst Jon Peddie, and an EVGA forum post, EVGA is officially terminating its relationship with Nvidia and will not be manufacturing cards based on the company’s RTX 4000-series GPUs.

EVGA’s graphics cards have exclusively used Nvidia GPUs since its founding in 1999, and according to Gamers Nexus, GeForce sales represent 80 percent of EVGA’s revenue, making this a momentous and arguably company-endangering change. But EVGA CEO Andrew Han told Gamers Nexus that the decision was about “principle” rather than financials—Han complained about a lack of communication from Nvidia about new products, including information about pricing and availability.

Nvidia’s pricing strategy was apparently another sore point for EVGA. Nvidia’s first-party Founders Edition cards could often undercut the pricing of cards offered by EVGA and other vendors, forcing them to either lower prices or lose sales as a result.

Nvidia may not be entirely at fault here—the wider dynamics of the GPU market are also tough to navigate. As Peddie also points out, even as GPU costs have gone up, profit margins for the board partners that manufacture Nvidia GPUs have gone down. Modern high-end GPUs have massively higher power, cooling, and PCI Express signaling requirements than cards from just a few years ago, making them more expensive to design and manufacture, and reporting about the RTX 4000 series indicates that that trend is only going to continue.

The end of the EVGA-Nvidia relationship could also hurt Nvidia—Peddie says that EVGA represents about 40 percent of Nvidia’s GPU market share in North America—but in the medium term, the company is unlikely to be fazed much. Nvidia has other partners, and despite differences in cooler design and clock speeds, GPUs in the same series tend to perform similarly regardless of which of Nvidia’s partners actually made them. In other words, an RTX 3070 is an RTX 3070, and people who want one are just going to buy one from another company if EVGA’s products aren’t available.

EVGA will continue to sell its other products, including power supplies, though Han told Gamers Nexus that the company doesn’t plan to return to the GPU market at all—not with AMD’s or Intel’s GPUs, and not with future GeForce product generations. Han also said that EVGA would continue to sell cards based on older GeForce GPUs, including the RTX 3000 series until they run out of stock toward the end of 2022. The company will also keep enough inventory of these cards on-hand to fulfill any warranty repairs or replacements for currently supported cards.

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TEAMGROUP Launches ELITE PLUS DDR5 Memory Modules

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TEAMGROUP has launched the ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory with a brand new heat sink design to effectively increase reliability. Furthermore, TEAMGROUP has announced a new frequency of 6,000MHz for ELITE DDR5 to further increase operating performance and deliver an ultra-smooth user experience.

ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory is equipped with a sleek, simple, and asymmetric aluminium heat sink that has been specially designed to be non-conductive and to protect against scratches, acids, rusting and rotting to provide full protection for the DDR5 module. ELITE PLUS DDR5 Desktop Memory is also equipped with a 1.1V standard working voltage which further reduces energy consumption for each unit of bandwidth compared to the 1.2V in DDR4, providing a more efficient power usage.

The DDR5 module is equipped with PMICs for effective power distribution, reliable power supply, and minimal noise interference. The IC supports on-die ECC, a feature that self-corrects DRAM cells for enhanced stability and reliability by reducing risks of information errors. The ELITE PLUS DDR5 modules are designed to be perfectly compatible with Intel and AMD systems and come with three frequencies: 4800MHz, 5600MHz, and 6000MHz, in single/dual channel options from 8GB to 32GB of storage capacity to satisfy a wide range of user demands.

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