Tag: POWER

AMD claims impressive power savings for Carrizo

AMD-Technician-Poses-With-Chip-WaferAMD has been talking up its upcoming Carrizo chip for notebooks and low-power desktops claiming that it will cut power significantly over Kaveri.

Although AMD still is not saying what the actual power consumption or the performance of the Carrizo chip will be it hinted that will offer double-digit improvements in performance and battery life compared to Kaveri.

Since AMD positioned it as competitive to Intel’s midrange Core i5 chips in January 2014 it is likely that Carrizo will be heading towards the same place.

This has led some people to suggest that AMD is skipping on performance improvements to improve battery life – which is a good way to reduce battery consumption without having to make many changes.

Sam Naffziger, an AMD fellow claimed AMD was just as concerned with performance, it was just that it was more interested in performance per watt. “But most of the form factors that are in the market today are power constrained.”

AMD is expected to release a Carrizo paper to International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week.

AMD’s Carrizo APU is made up of an undisclosed number of “Excavator” CPU cores and eight AMD Radeon cores that serve as an integrated graphics chip.

It measures 250.04 square mm. AMD said and the Excavator cores execute five percent more instructions per clock than  Kaveri, consuming 40 percent less power across 23 percent less die area—3.1 billion transistors in all.

Most of Carrizo’s power savings are due to optimising the chip’s voltage, using adaptive voltage and tuning the GPU portion for low power.

The voltage optimisations eliminated the need to overcompensate for unexpected voltage drops in the chip. Adaptive voltage and frequency scaling (AVFS), also includes proprietary speed sensors, that allows each APU to “adapt” to its own environment, and scale power accordingly.

Carrizo will be fully HSA 1.0 compliant, meaning that it will deliver on the Heterogenous Systems Architecture that AMD has talked about for some time.

Using HSA, the GPU can also be used to perform compute functions, which the company claims will deliver far more performance than the speed increases from moving to finer CPU manufacturing technologies alone.

HSA integration will help the chip reach 3.5 times the transcode performance of Kaveri, AMD said. It will support H.265 video encoding.

Comcast gets customers to pay its power bill

nikolapic US telco Comcast has a wizard way to set up public Wi-Fi hotspots on the cheap.  It thought it could get its customers to use their home routers to send a “secondary signal” and get a decent coverage.

Now it appears that some people have a problem with the comms company effectively powering its network on their electricity bill. They also feel that they are inviting a security problem and stuffing up their own internet connections.

Two East Bay residents are suing Comcast for plugging their home’s wireless router into what they call a power-wasting, Internet-clogging, privacy threatening network of public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Toyer Grear and daughter Joycelyn Harris, claims Comcast is “exploiting them for profit” by using their Pittsburg home’s router as part of a nationwide network of public hotspots.

Comcast is trying to compete with major mobile phone carriers by creating a public Xfinity WiFi Hotspot network in 19 of the country’s largest cities. The company is activating a second high-speed Internet channel broadcast from newer-model wireless gateway modems that residential customers lease from the company. It plans to spread to 8 million hotspots by the end of the year.

The secondary signal is supposed to be separate from the private Wi-Fi channel customers use, and it was intended for houseguests or Comcast subscribers who happen to be in range and using mobile devices.

But Comcast started activating the secondary channel in the Bay Area this summer and although Comcast has said its subscribers have the right to disable the secondary signal, the suit claims the company turns the service on without permission and places “the costs of its national Wi-Fi network onto its customers.”

The suit quotes a test conducted by Philadelphia networking technology company Speedify that concluded the secondary Internet channel will eventually push “tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers.”

Under heavy use, the secondary channel adds 30 to 40 percent more costs to a customer’s electricity bill than the modem itself.

The suit also said “the data and information on a Comcast customer’s network is at greater risk” because the hotspot network “allows strangers to connect to the Internet through the same wireless router used by Comcast customers.”

Although Comcast has said it has enough bandwidth to handle the extra traffic Grear and Harris have suffered from “decreased, inadequate speeds on their home Wi-Fi network.

The suit asks for unspecified damages and an injunction preventing Comcast from using home wireless routers for its hotspot network.

 

 

 

Internet of things means $100 billion spend

Nuclear power plant - Wikimedia CommonsGovernments around the world are waking up to the security implications as the internet of things is set to pervade the world and will spend an immense amount of money to improve cyber security.

The internet of things is a catch all term for a time when just about anything you care to imagine has semiconductors inside, able to communicate with just about everything else.

ABI Research said that it estimates that cybersecurity spending will hit $109 billion by the end of this decade, with governments in North America and Europe spending and spending again on security for network, for systems and for data.

The governments, said ABI, will concentrate on security for the financial, energy and defence sectors as they are the ones most targeted.

The energy sector is under particular threat, with attacks on industrial control systems.

However, there are sectors which are particularly vulnerable, including utility companies, said Michela Menting, practice director at ABI Research.

She said: “IT spending will dominate cyber security investment for critical infrastructure protection to the detriment of securing operational technologies in industrial settings.”

Lenovo “at crossroads” in servers

lenovo_hqA report from Patrick Moorhead’s Moor Insights & Strategy has asserted that, although the server market is dominated by Dell, HP and IBM at present, Lenovo is well positioned to break out of the “other” category and start making a serious dent in market share.

Players like Cisco and Fujitsu, 4th and 5th in the server market respectively, could even be overtaken by Lenovo in the near future. But it has some hurdles to leap and if it is to do so, Lenovo will have to prioritise servers.

Looking at Lenovo’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT), it’s clear the company can compete on price and has a robust supply chain behind it. The company is leading in the growing China market, performing well with SMBs, and there remains a perceived tie with IBM when Big Blue sold off a chunk of its hardware.

However, Lenovo doesn’t offer cloud services or a complete product line outside of its home turf and is somewhat lacking on the ineternational enterprise stage. It has no small core direction, according to Moor Insights, a weak storage offering, and no apparent network switch or fabric offering.

Moor Insights & Strategy believes Lenovo will have the opportunity, although not without challenges, to pick up IBM’s x86 server business, which could address some of the above concerns. There is also a window for Lenovo to expand its SMB offerings within EMEA, particularly western Europe, where small to medium businesses are highly concentrated.

If Lenovo decided to buy IBM’s x86 business, Moor thinks it’s likely it’d go for the whole lot, while IBM could minimise damage to its own bottom line by maintaining blade IP, which it could then license to Lenovo. An acquisition would propel Lenovo to #3 in the server charts, way ahead of Fujitsu and Cisco, but the buy would have to be twinned with serious efforts to maintain previous IBM customers to prevent seduction over to rivals like HP or Dell.

Moor Insights suggests Lenovo focus on the cloud, where it is underrepresented, as well as building a portfolio it can extend to the large business market.  It must also underline its “message” – although it’s understood Lenovo performs well in client devices, the message is “not translating in the server market,” according to Moor. Lenovo needs to reinforce its position to potential enterprise customers.

Lenovo, the report says, is “at an interesting crossroads in the server market”. While there is ample opportunity for the company to really cement its position and overtake some of the competition, it will need to invest heavily.

“Lenovo has an opportunity to break out of its position and quickly move up in the market, as well it remains a company that could disrupt the market the way that Dell did years ago. But in order to do that, it needs to get into the market in a serious way,” the report concludes.