Hardware & Machines

Create your own phone sized Raspberry Pi-powered Linux computer with a keyboard and display

Create your own phone sized Raspberry Pi-powered Linux computer with a keyboard and display

This Raspberry Pi-powered Linux computer comes with a keyboard and display built into a phone-sized case

The Raspberry Pi Zero W was launched at the end of February 2017 with all functionalities of the original Pi Zero along with added connectivity, such as 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Now, a maker who goes by the name ‘Node’ has built a homemade project called the ‘Zero Terminal’, wherein he has converted the Pi Zero W into a phone-sized computer with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen display. The aim to build this project is to develop a small, all-in-one computer that is both portable, and usable.

The basis of the Zero Terminal is the Pi Zero W, and an iPhone 5 sliding keyboard case. Instead of using the default phone OS, Node uses the Linux-based system, Raspbian in the Zero Terminal to run a full desktop.

The Zero Terminal is powered by a rechargeable 1,500mAh battery. It has a full sized USB port, and a mini HDMI port, which also can be used to connect the Zero Terminal to a monitor and mouse. Further, it also includes a micro USB port for charging, below which there is a micro SD card slot. The switch to turn the device on is hidden in the camera hole of the case. While the phone case of the Zero Terminal is 3D printed, Node has plans to release the 3D files once he has finished refining the design of the chassis.

On the down side, the specifications of Zero makes it better suited for easy tasks such as coding, word processing or running old games in emulators, working in the command line, rather than using the web browser and other desktop programs.

However, Node has plans to build an alternate model of the Terminal, which will include a slightly larger and powerful Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which can run a desktop OS reasonably comfortably along with a bigger battery.

Let’s have a look at the features in a glance:

3.5″ Screen (480×320)
1GHz, 32-bit single-core ARM-based Broadcom BCM2835 CPU
Full QWERTY Keyboard
1,500mAh Battery
Micro SD Slot
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
Mini HDMI Out
1xUSB Port
Micro USB charging port

If the above concept has interested you and you fancy yourself building your own version, then click here to get started for more information.

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Intel Releases First 375GB Optane SSD That Can Also Be Used As RAM

Intel's Optane SSD: 375GB can also be used as RAM

Intel Unveils Optane SSD DC P4800X Series For Data Centres

Intel on Sunday introduced its first Optane “3D XPoint” (pronounced 3D Crosspoint) storage product, the SSD DC P4800X for the PCI Express or NVMe slots in servers. It’s basically a datacenter-focused product with high read/write loads and low latency, and can also be used as RAM. Its primary beneficiaries are data centres and companies that require high-speed storage and store huge amounts of data.

The new Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series will drive new solutions with applications such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, faster trading, deeper insights into medical scans, and expands the reach of cloud computing solutions.

Intel also promises higher endurance than your typical SSD. The inaugural Optane model can withstand stresses normally associated with RAM, writing about 12.3 petabytes of data in its lifespan.

“Delivering an industry-leading combination of low latency, ultra endurance, high QoS, and high throughput, the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X Series is the most responsive data center SSD. Built with the revolutionary new 3D XPoint memory media, the SSD DC P4800X is the first product to combine the attributes of memory and storage. This innovative solution is optimized to break through storage bottlenecks by providing a new data tier. It accelerates applications for fast caching and storage, increases scale per server, and reduces transaction costs for latency sensitive workloads. In addition, data centers can now also deploy bigger and more affordable datasets to gain new insights from large memory pools,” said the company.

Intel is offering the 375GB P4800X in PCIe add-in card form factor for $1520 starting yesterday with a limited early-ship program, which will be followed by the broad availability in later 2017. During the second half of the year, a 375GB U.2 model will ship, as well as a 750GB add-in card, according to Ars Technica. The company also intends to release a 1.5TB PCIe card, and 750GB and 1.5TB U.2 stick in the second half of 2017.

Source: Ars Technica

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AMD’s Zen goes mainstream with Ryzen 5 processors

AMD’s Zen goes mainstream with Ryzen 5 processors

AMD announces Ryzen 5 processors line-up, starts at $169

After the Ryzen 7 Zen microarchitecture, AMD recently announced the Ryzen 5, which also marks its entry into the mainstream market of gaming PCs. AMD has four members in the Ryzen 5 family scheduled to go on sale from April 11.

Unlike the Ryzen 7 series, which consists entirely of 8-core/16-thread processors, the Ryzen 5 family has two tiers consisting of 6-core/12-thread and 4-core/8-thread processors. There are two with 4 core/8 thread processors: the Ryzen 5 1400 processor at 3.2/3.4GHz for $169; followed by the 3.5/3.7GHz Ryzen 5 1500 X processor for $189. Then, there are two with 6 cores/12 threads at 3.2/3.6GHz with the Ryzen 5 1600 for $219, and finally the top-end processor is the Ryzen 5 1600 X with a base of 3.6GHz and a turbo of 4.0GHz, for $249.

AMD’s Ryzen 5 processor line-up will work with the very same AM4 platform as the higher-end Ryzen 7.

Most Ryzen 5 processors sold at retail will also include AMD Wraith coolers. The 65W Ryzen 5 1400 will ship with a Wraith Stealth, while the Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600, which are also 65W processors, will include a Wraith Spire for high-ambient conditions. However, note that these coolers do-not feature built-in RBG light rings. Only the AMD Wraith coolers included with Ryzen 7 processors have the built-in lighting. Like the high-end Ryzen 7 1800X, the 95W Ryzen 5 1600X too will ship without a bundled cooler. AMD fully expects their Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 1600X offerings to appeal to enthusiasts who will go out and buy their own custom cooling solution.

All the Ryzen 5 parts will support DDR4 ECC and non-ECC memory, and the memory support is the same as Ryzen 7, and will depend on how many modules and the types of modules being used.

Ryzen 5, both the hex-core and the quad-core variants, will use the same eight-core base Zeppelin silicon that Ryzen 7 does. The silicon design consists of two core complexes (CCX) of four cores a piece, and each with 8MB of L3 cache that is an exclusive victim cache. Moving down-market from the 6-core Ryzen processors are the quad core, eight thread Ryzen 5’s. In an effort to maintain some separation between their product series, AMD is seen manipulating frequencies. The 1500X still uses a pair of enabled CCXs, but with a pair of cores on each disabled, despite it using a different product name. That means it still receives a full 16MB allotment of L3 cache. In the meantime, the 1400 part only has 8MB cache.

So, the high-end Ryzen 5 1600X, at $249, is competing with Intel’s Kaby Lake i5-7600K, a 4-core, 4-thread processor running at 3.8/4.2GHz retailing at around $242. Similarly, the Ryzen 5 1400 priced at $169 is pitted against the i3-7350K, a 2-core, 4-thread part running at a fixed 4.2GHz selling for around $174.

It will be interesting to see how Ryzen 5, which is more targeted towards mainstream gamers and users perform and also how the core counts and frequency will affect gaming performance.

Source: Ars Technica

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Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review

Nvidia recently unveiled the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card (Founders Edition) at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2017 in San Francisco, CA, which was later launched for $699 on March 9. The GTX 1080 Ti is NVIDIA’s big Pascal refresh for the year, finally rolling out their most powerful consumer GPU, GP102, into a GeForce video card.

The GTX 1080 Ti is almost just a rebranded version of the latest Nvidia Titan X card. It uses the same Pascal-based GP102 GPU (graphics processing unit) as the Titan X but with a slightly faster clock speed. The GTX 1080 Ti is the fastest gaming graphics card clocking at an outstanding 2.481 GHz on LN2 cooling. The GTX 1080 Ti depends on 12 billion transistors, 3584 CUDA cores and 11GB of memory. While it has got 11Gbps of cutting-edge GDDR5X memory clock with a 352-bit memory bus as opposed to the Titan X’s 12GB and 384-bits, respectively, it runs a bit quicker, resulting in slightly more memory bandwidth.

The GTX 1080 Ti is the first graphics card since the Titan XP that can play many games in 4K at 60FPS without having to make changes to Settings. It is also worth mentioning about the memory overclock since we are looking at more than half a terabyte worth of bandwidth on a reference card, which is more than anything that’s currently offered to consumers on GDDR5X and HBM2 designs.

Nvidia’s also tweaked the GTX 1080 Ti’s power delivery system compared to other GTX 10-series cards, moving to a 7-phase 2x dual-FET power design intended to deliver cleaner power for higher clock speeds. The GTX 1080 Ti packs all the same underlying features and software details as the rest of the GTX 10-series line-up, from enhanced DirectX 12 support to cutting-edge memory compression to those supercharged Ansel screenshots.

However, GTX 1080 Ti cards are aimed more at professionals in the content creation and data visualisation than gamers, and are therefore ridiculously overly priced. But that doesn’t stop them from being absolute beasts at gaming, though.

You can order the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition graphics card directly from Nvidia’s website, while AIB partner cards from the likes of MSI, GIGABYTE, ZOTAC, ASUS, EVGA, and more will roll out over the coming weeks.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X sets a new world record in performance benchmark

AMD's Ryzen 7 1800X sets a new world record in performance benchmark

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Breaks Cinebench R15 Multi-Thread World Record

AMD – the processor chip manufacturer – officially unveiled details of its new line of Ryzen CPUs at its Tech Day event in San Francisco, CA on Tuesday. It displayed the new Ryzen 7 series processors, an eight-core 16-thread family of CPUs that will feature three SKUs: the 1800X, 1700X, and 1700.

Just a day after the release, AMD’s new Ryzen 7 1800X has broken the world record for performance in CPU benchmarking suite Cinebench R15. The multi-threaded run of Cinebench R15 was completed at 5.2GHz on a Ryzen 7 1800X on all 8 cores with LN2 (liquid nitrogen) cooling that ensured the chip remained operational at -200°C. This model works with a base clock of 3.6 GHz and boost clocks of 4.0 GHz. Other details include an L2 + L3 cache of 20 MB (4 MB + 16 MB) and a TDP of 95W.

The testing not only achieved the amazing clock speed but also managed to get a Cinebench score of 2449 in multi-threaded tests. AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X scored 2449 Cinebench points at 5.2GHz, beating out the previous world record of 2410.

Considering the price tag of AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is just $499, which is much, much lower price compared to Intel alternatives (i7 6900K going for $1,049), it is truly an amazing feat and a promising sign indeed for how the CPU might compare to its competition.

Processor will be available for pre-order and will receive their purchase starting March 2.

Source: Wccftech

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NVIDIA’s new Quadro GP100 graphics card will change your ordinary computer into a ‘supercomputer

NVIDIA's new Quadro GP100 graphics card will change your ordinary computer into a 'supercomputer

NVIDIA launches Quadro GP100 graphics card having 16GB of HBM2 video RAM

NVIDIA has released its new Pascal-based Quadro graphics cards along with the flagship Quadro GP100 at SOLIDWORKS World annual trade show in Los Angeles.

“Professional workflows are now infused with artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and photorealism, creating new challenges for our most demanding users,” said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. “Our new Quadro lineup provides the graphics and compute performance required to address these challenges. And, by unifying compute and design, the Quadro GP100 transforms the average desktop workstation with the power of a supercomputer.”

The most interesting high-end product in NVIDIA’s updated Quadro family is the GP100. It features 16GB of second generation high bandwidth memory (HBM2), so that users can carry out simulations during the design process and gather realistic multiphysics simulations faster than ever before. It also has the latest superfast two-way NVLINK interconnect, which helps get data in and out of the GPU faster. NVLINK allows for a pair of the GPUs to be combined for 32GB of HBM2 on tap in a single PC.

The new Quadro GP100 offers all of GP100’s core functionality, including ECC memory, half-speed FP64, and double-speed (packed) FP16 instructions. It also provides ‘unprecedented’ double precision performance, going over 5TFlops which is nearly triple the speed of the Quadro K6000. NVIDIA says that single precision (FP32) performance is 10 TFLOPs, doubled to 20 TFLOPs when in half precision (FP16) mode. The Quadro GP100 has four DisplayPort 1.4 slots and one DVI slot. NVIDIA sees this card being used in VR applications and for deep learning tasks in Windows and Linux.

NVIDIA’s other desktop Quadro cards powered by Pascal include the P4000, P2000, P1000, P600, and P400. They complete the entire Pascal-based Quadro line-up, including the previously announced P6000 and P5000 for desktop, and mobile GPUs.

The Quadro P400 and P600 are aimed at mainstream users of tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, while the P1000 and P2000 are for more demanding users of Photoshop and Illustrator tools – or entry-level users of video or animation software such as 3ds Max, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Maya or Nuke. Further, there is the P4000, which has ‘VR Ready’ certification for powering the likes of Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive (including creating content for those platforms). These GPUs don’t have the NVLINK interconnect or HBM2 memory.

Quadro P4000
Quadro P2000Quadro P1000Quadro P600Quadro P400
FP32 CUDA Cores / GPU17921024640384256
Base Clock?????
GPU Boost Clock1480 MHz1470 MHz1400 MHz1430 MHz1170 MHz
Texture Units11264323232
Memory Interface256-bit160-bit128-bit128-bit128-bit
Memory Size8GB5GB4GB2GB2GB
TDP105 W75 W47 W40 W30 W
Manufacturing Process16nm16nm16nm16nm16nm

Pricing for the new Quadro cards has yet to be confirmed, with availability scheduled for March. Check out for more information from NVIDIA’s official press release.

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Apple to ditch Intel, working on its own ARM-based Mac processor

Apple to ditch Intel, working on its own ARM-based Mac processor

Apple giving up on Intel processors, said to be working on new Mac chip to help improve battery life in the company’s laptops

After powering Apple Macs for nearly three decades, Apple is giving up on Intel. Apple is reportedly designing its own chips for the upcoming Mac laptops that would lessen its dependence upon Intel, according to a Bloomberg report. Apparently, the new chip that is being built using ARM architecture would work alongside the Intel processors. If all go according to Apple’s plans, its next range of Macs would finally ditch Intel processors in favour of the new in-house ARM manufactured chips.

Known internally as T310, the chip is being designed to handle low-power mode functionality. The chip itself is said to be a variant of the T1 SoC that Apple first introduced on the recently released MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. Apple new chip is being designed to carry more of the system load for certain tasks.

Apple engineers are planning to offload the Mac’s low-power mode, a feature marketed as “Power Nap,” to the next-generation ARM-based chip. This function allows Mac laptops to retrieve e-mails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use. The feature currently uses little battery life while run on the Intel chip, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, according to one of the people.

The Cupertino company already produces processors for its iPhones and iPads, and it made another chip, dubbed W1, for its AirPods.

While the current configuration uses very little power but Apple’s chip will apparently conserve even more battery. Additionally, the report says the new chip will power storage and wireless components, freeing Intel’s processor up for more additional power management tasks.

By developing its own chip, Apple would get the flexibility to integrate hardware and software functions. The new chip is expected to be available in an upgraded version of the MacBook Pro, which is likely to release later this year. However, Apple is said to have no intention of abandoning Intel chips in its laptop and desktop computers.

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Asus Quietly Launches Raspberry Pi’s Rival – ‘Tinker Board’

Asus Quietly Launches Raspberry Pi’s Rival - 'Tinker Board'

Asus Launches 4K-Capable Tinker Board Computer

The Taiwanese company, Asus has upped the competition level by quietly releasing its own card-sized single-board DIY computer ‘Tinker Board’ to rival the popular British company, Raspberry Pi. While Asus’s company website does not have a product page for the Asus 90MB0QY1-M0EAY0 Tinker Board, it has made available in the UK and Europe via a Farnell page on January 20. The device is expected to go on sale in the US by the end of January.

Compared to the current Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board, the Asus Tinker Board is definitely more powerful than the former, as it has a much faster processor. It also supports 4K video as well as 192Khz/24-bit audio.

Let’s have a look at the specifications of the Tinker Board given below:

• Rockchip RK3288 Quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A17 CPU
• Quad-core 600MHz ARM Mali-T760 MP4 GPU
• 2GB LPDDR3 RAM (dual channel)
• Gigabit LAN
• 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth 4.0
• HDMI 2.0 port supporting 4K output
• 3.5mm audio jack and four USB 2.0 ports
• Micro SD card slot
• Micro USB (for power)
• Debian Linux support

There’s also a 40-pin internal header with 28 GPIO pins, which means the Tinker Board can be used to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Further, the Tinker Board’s max power consumption is five watts.

Commenting on the launch, Asus said: “Raspberry Pi has been in the market for so long, we’re here to expand users’ choices with more options. And this board has 4K support, higher SoC performance, faster Ethernet transmission, and flexibility for the memory size.”

As for operating systems, while the Tinker Board will run a version of Debian, it will also offer support for Kodi. Asus also plans to expand the current OS support with the likes of Ubuntu and openSUSE, reports Hexus.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is selling for $35, which is the same price as the Raspberry Pi 2. On the other hand, the Asus Tinker Board is priced higher at $68 (£55, VAT inclusive) at Farnell.

What do you think of Asus’ mini board? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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World’s first ‘exascale’ supercomputer prototype will be ready by the end of 2017, says China

China developing World's fastest supercomputer capable of doing 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second

China’s exascale supercomputer prototype will do 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second

China has revealed that it plans to build a computer so powerful that it will be able to perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations every second, according to state news agency Xinhua. In other words, the Chinese government is looking to build the world’s first prototype exascale (1,000-petaflop) computer.

An exascale computer is capable of at least 1 quintillion (a billion billion) calculations per second, and could deliver vast dividends in deep learning and big data across a wide range of disciplines as varied as nuclear test research, code breaking, and weather forecasting.

The Chinese government claims that the exascale computer will be a staggering 200 times more powerful than its first supercomputer Tianhe-1, which was recognized as the world’s fastest in 2010. Last year, the country revealed the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight.

“At 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second, exascale supercomputers will be able to quickly analyse massive volumes of data and more realistically simulate the complex processes and relationships behind many of the fundamental forces of the universe,” says the U.S. government on its website.

“[E]xascale supercomputers will more realistically simulate the processes involved in precision medicine, regional climate, additive manufacturing, the conversion of plants to biofuels, the relationship between energy and water use, the unseen physics in materials discovery and design, the fundamental forces of the Universe, and much more.”

China hopes to unveil a prototype computer before the end of 2017 with Zhang Ting, application engineer with the Tianjin-based National Supercomputer Center confirming that a “complete computing system of the exascale supercomputer and its applications can only be expected in 2020,” the Xinhua news agency reported.

A petaflop system can perform one quadrillion arithmetic operations per second. An exascale system is 1,000 petaflops. The exascale computer could have applications in big data and cloud computing work, he added, noting that its prototype would lead the world in data transmission efficiency as well as calculation speed.

Currently, China is leading the way by owning the most powerful supercomputer in the world, the Sunway TaihuLight, which has a processing speed of 93 petaflops. At its peak, the computer can perform 93,000 trillion calculations per second. In total, China has 167 of the most powerful 500 computers in the world, which are used in fields ranging from research to defense initiatives.

The U.S. Department of Energy, which is also in the race of creating exascale supercomputers, is said to have an exascale system operational by 2023. Japan is also heavily investing in supercomputing technology and has said it will spend 19.5 billion yen (£139 million) on a 130 petaflop computer.

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Foldable gun which looks like iPhone puts Europe police on alert

Foldable gun which looks like iPhone puts Europe police on alert

Foldable iPhone Gun To Be Released In US, European Police On High Alert

The European Police are on high alert after it received a warning of potential arrival of a 9mm double-barrel gun, similar in design to an iPhone, which could be flooded illegally into the continent when it goes on sale in the US next week.

It is believed that the weapon will be imported to European criminals within days, as officials fight to control the borders amid terror fears following a series of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent months.

Made by the Minnesota-based manufacturer, Ideal Conceal, the 9mm double-barrel pistol known as the “iPhone Gun” has been pre-ordered 12,000 times.

The company behind the legal gun said: “In today’s day and age, carrying a concealed pistol has become a necessity. But what if you didn’t have to conceal?”

“Smartphones are everywhere, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment. In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.”

Head of the company Ideal Conceal, Kirk Kjellberg, said he got the idea after a child saw his own gun in a restaurant and got scared.

“There are some people that would take serious issue in the workplace or somewhere else to see a gun on you, and I think it gives people the opportunity to avoid that conversation,” he said last year.

Priced half than an iPhone 7, the device will open for sales around 330 pounds. Even though no copies have been found in the country, the authorities in an alert Belgian police at the weekend, say that it might be expected to turn up on European streets soon.

“To the eye, nothing can distinguish it from a mobile telephone,” said the Belgian police alert, reported by Derniare Heure newspaper.

“Most people possess a smartphone, meaning that it can pass completely overlooked.”

In July last year, a passenger travelling through Stansted Airport in Essex for possessing an iPhone case that was designed to look like a gun.

Source: Evening Standard

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