NVIDIA Tesla V100 gains widespread acceptance

NVIDIA’s Volta architecture is leaving quite an impression. According to a NVIDIA press release issued at SC17, the Volta-based NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU is available through every major computer maker and chosen by every major cloud to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) and high performance computing.

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GeForce GTX 1070 Ti arrives on November 2

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 TiNo matter how hard NVIDIA tries to keep things quiet, it always seems that some sites out there know something about unannounced products. Case in point is the much touted GeForce GTX 1070 Ti.

Media frenzy was already high in the weeks running up to the announcement, thanks to drips of information that were permeating the Web.

NVIDIA finally announced it hours ago in a blog post. Truth be told, it sounds like a good product with its award-winning Pascal GPU architecture, 2,432 cores and 8GB of memory running at 8Gbps for a total bandwidth of 256 GB/s. And it performs twice as fast as the immensely popular GeForce GTX 970.

 

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Singapore’s AI agenda gets double boost!

NVIDIA Fellow Dr David Kirk
NVIDIA Fellow Dr David Kirk delivers the keynote address at the NVIDIA AI Conference.

Singapore’s aim to be an artificial intelligence (AI) hub has been boosted with two initiatives — the setting up of a shared AI platform for researchers and the awarding of scholarships to develop AI talents.

At the NVIDIA AI Conference in Singapore yesterday, NVIDIA and Singapore’s National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) agreed to establish a platform to bolster AI capabilities among its academic, research and industry stakeholders and in support of AI Singapore (AISG), a national programme set up in May to drive AI adoption, research and innovation in Singapore.

Called AI.Platform@NSCC, it will provide AI training, technical expertise and computing services to AISG, which brings together all Singapore-based research and tertiary institutions, including the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore University of Design and Technology (SUTD), Singapore Management University (SMU), as well as research institutions in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

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All 3b Yahoo accounts breached in 2013

This. Is. Serious. Yahoo has revealed that ALL of its three billion user accounts were affected by the August 2013 data theft.

The number is three times the one billion accounts that Yahoo said were impacted last year. The data stolen included names, birth dates, phone numbers, passwords, and the security questions and backup email addresses used to reset lost passwords.

In a press statement, Yahoo pointed out that it has taken “action to protect all accounts, including directly notifying impacted users identified at the time, requiring password changes and invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers so that they could not be used to access an account.” The company also notified users via a notice on its website.

Changing role of CIO

The role of the CIO is changing, according to a Gartner survey of 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries.

The findings revealed that the CIO role is transitioning from delivery executive to business executive, from controlling cost and engineering processes, to driving revenue and exploiting data.

Ninety-five percent of CIOs expect their jobs to change or be remixed due to digitalisation. While world-class IT delivery management is a given, it will take up less and less of the CIO’s time.

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China’s tech giants bet on NVIDIA Volta

China’s top technology companies are betting big on the NVIDIA Volta platform.

Alibaba Cloud, Baidu, and Tencent are incorporating NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators into their data centres and cloud-service infrastructures to accelerate AI for a broad range of enterprise and consumer applications.

At the heart of the new Volta-based systems is the NVIDIA V100 data centre GPU. Built with 21 billion transistors, it provides a 5x improvement over the preceding NVIDIA Pascal architecture P100 GPU accelerators, while delivering the equivalent performance of 100 CPUs for deep learning. This performance surpasses by 4x the improvements that Moore’s law would have predicted over the same period of time.

Inspur, Lenovo and Huawei are using the NVIDIA HGX reference architecture to offer Volta-based accelerated systems for hyperscale data centres. Using HGX as a starter “recipe,” original equipment manufacturer and original design manufacturer partners can work with NVIDIA to more quickly design and bring to market a wide range of qualified GPU-accelerated AI systems for hyperscale data centres to meet the industry’s growing demand for AI cloud computing.

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More NVIDIA GPU offerings on Google Cloud Platform

Google has expanded its NVIDIA GPU offerings on the Google Cloud Platform. These include:

  1. Performance boost with the public launch of NVIDIA P100 GPUs in beta
  2. NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs available on Google Compute Engine
  3. Introduction of sustained use discounts on both the Tesla K80 and P100 GPUs

According to a Google Cloud Platform blog, cloud GPUs can accelerate  workloads including machine learning training and inference, geophysical data processing, simulation, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics and many more high performance compute use cases.

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HPE to cut 5,000 jobs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) plans to shed 10 percent of  its workforce, accounting for at least 5,000 workers globally, according to a Bloomberg report.

Expected to start before the year end, the move is in line with reducing expenses in the midst of global competition.

 

HPE Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman has been pushing to delayer the organisation in a bid to become more efficient.

Dell and Asus posts solid growth in monitor market in Q2

Dell and Asus are the leading lights in an overall weak PC monitor market in Q2.

Total shipment was 28.5 million units in Q2, a 6.4 percent decline from the corresponding period last year, according to IDC. Some of the market softness can be attributed to a strong Q2 last year.

IDC currently forecasts 117 million PC monitor units will be shipped for the full year of 2017 and expects to see a 2.2 percent decline year-over-year in worldwide shipment to 27.8 million units in Q2 2018. By 2020, worldwide shipment is expected to be less than 112 million units as the adoption of mobile devices at lower price points is expected to continue.

NVIDIA to hold first AI-focused conference in Singapore in October

With artificial intelligence (AI) being a hot topic this year, NVIDIA is organising its first AI-focused regional conference in Singapore on October 23 and 24.

The event will be held in two parts with the first day focusing on Deep Learning Institute (DLI) workshop where participants will received hands-on training on deep learningl and the second day filled with keynote addresses, panel discussion and three tracks. It is targeted at data scientists and senior decision makers in the field of AI in both public and private sectors.

“Singapore is aiming to be the world’s first smart nation and AI is playing a critical role. NVIDIA is well positioned to help drive the government’s Smart Nation initiative with the development of solutions based on AI. Our GPUs are making headlines across the world by enabling many breakthroughs in various industries using deep learning,” said Raymond Teh, Vice President of APAC sales and marketing at NVIDIA.

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Australia PC market bucks global trend by inching up 3.3%

Consumer and enterprise PC purchases are driving growth in the Australia PC market, which includes desktop, notebook and workstation.

The consumer segment grew 8.6 percent year over year (YoY) in Q2, according to IDC.

“The retail channel was negatively impacted by Dick Smith’s exit last year. This year however, promotional events such as Modern PC program run by Harvey Norman spiked growth in the consumer space. AMD’s new Ryzen series launch and EOFY sales further fuelled growth in this segment,” said Sagar Raghavendra, Client Devices Analyst of IDC Australia.

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March ending for Google Drive

Google Drive on the PC and Mac will cease to exist in its current form from March 2018. According to a blog post by Google, the app will no longer be supported starting on December 11, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12, 2018.

“We encourage you to use Drive File Stream. As an alternative to or in addition to installing Drive File Stream, you can upgrade to the new version of Drive for Mac/PC, called Backup and Sync,” wrote the blog.

Drive File Stream is for business users while Backup and Sync, which combines Google Drive and Google Photos functionalities, is for consumers. However, the Google Drive service will still work on the web and smartphone apps.

Sun slips into history

Some may have already forgotten about Sun Microsystems, the company that introduced the SPARC processor and developed Java. The once mighty workstation maker was bought by Oracle in 2010.

It seems that the last of Sun will be disappearing as Oracle is laying off staff in its hardware division, which contained remnants of the former Sun team.

For those who have followed the rise of Sun in the 1980s, it’s an eventuality that is really sad. Based in Santa Clara, the company once competed against the likes of IBM and HP for a slice of the workstation market. However, by the time it was acquired by Oracle, Sun had outsourced its manufacturing operations.

AMD Vega price hike irks reviewers

When AMD launched the RX Vega 64 and 56 last month, reviewers were impressed by its price-performance and thought that the new GPUs could give NVIDIA a run for its money.

However, it has turned out that the prices were promotional rates with the actual prices around US$100 more. This has drawn the ire of several influential reviewers who felt misled and are considering updating their reviews.

This looks like a PR disaster for a company trying to rise again to compete in the high-end GPU market.

 

Worldwide semiconductor market to grow 10.2% in 2017

Global semiconductor market is expected to grow 10.2 percent in 2017, to US$77.7 billion, according to Gartner.

This growth rate is up from the previous quarter’s forecast of 1.4 percent, due to continued aggressive investment in memory and leading-edge logic which is driving spending in wafer-level equipment.

“Spending momentum is more concentrated in 2017 mainly due to strong manufacturing demand in memory and leading-edge logic. The NAND flash shortage was more pronounced in the first quarter of 2017 than the previous forecast, leading to over 20 percent growth of etch and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) segments in 2017 with a strong capacity ramp-up for 3D NAND,” said Takashi Ogawa, Research Vice President of Gartner.

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More graphics power for creative professionals

One of the flaws of notebooks is the lack of upgrading capabilities. This is especially so for creative professionals whose work are increasingly more demanding and complex, requiring more graphics processing power.

NVIDIA has solved that with the newly-announced external GPU (eGPU) chassis that lets professionals easily add a NVIDIA Titan X or NVIDIA Quadro graphics card.

“While more computer power than ever is needed for VR, photoreal rendering and AI workflows, mobile systems are getting thinner and lighter, with limited performance and memory. Our eGPUs can now solve this problem, enabling creatives to plug into our most capable GPUs so they can do their best work on the most graphically demanding applications,” said Bob Pette, Vice President, Professional Visualisation, NVIDIA.

AMD back in the game

It’s been a long time coming but AMD has finally launched its new high end Radeon graphics cards. And it has done it in style, at Los Angeles to a gathering of global media, with three models — the Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition with 64 compute unitsthe Radeon RX Vega 64 with air cooling, and the Radeon RX Vega 56 which starts at US$399.

These new additions are pitted against the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, making for an interest battle, especially as NVIDIA is not known for sitting back and letting others take over its mantle.

“The enthusiast gaming experience is defined by high resolutions and a tear-free, buttery smooth 60 frames per second, something that only approximately 600,000 gamers are capable of enjoying today. But there are four million more gamers who aspire to enjoy that same enthusiast gaming experience without breaking the bank, and with Radeon RX Vega graphics cards we’re working to give them that,” said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD.

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Flash to be switched off in 2020

Adobe Flash will be phased out by 2020. Improved open standards pushed by the World Wide Web Consortium have prompted Adobe to pull the plug on Flash, which enables video and interactive contents to be delivered on browsers.

It’s starting out to be a difficult week for sentimentalists in the light of Microsoft’s plan to remove Paint from the next Windows 10 update. Microsoft has since clarified that Paint will still be available for free in the Windows Store.

 

There’s hope yet for Paint

After an initial report that Microsoft plans to remove Paint from the next update of Windows 10, there is hope yet for Paint users.

In a blog post on Monday, Microsoft allayed fears of the tool’s demise. “Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app,” said Megan Saunders, General Manager of Microsoft.

“Amidst today’s commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news: MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free,” she added.

Students’ demand drives Aussie IT spending

Australian educational institutions are increasing information technology (IT) spending in response to dramatic changes in student expectations, according to IDC.

Spending by Australian educational institutions is expected to peak at US$1.6 billion by 2020, driven by software and services related investments. Education practices are shifting away from the classroom towards e-learning and virtual instructor-led training approaches as students are demanding anytime-anywhere remote access.

In its recently published Australian education sector report, IDC highlights the need to overhaul existing ICT management models in schools and universities so that a step-change improvement in delivery efficiency can be achieved.

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APAC PC market down 5.1% in Q2

PC shipment in the Asia-Pacific region surpassed 21,5 million units, down 5.1 percent in Q2 compared to the same period last year, according to Gartner.

The dip was due to primarily due to market dynamics in India and China. In India, the pent up demand after the demonetisation cooled down after Q1, coupled with the absence of a large tender deal compared to a year ago and higher PC prices, brought about weak market growth. China was hugely impacted by the rise in PC prices due to the component shortage.

Overall, global PC shipment totaled 61.1 million units in Q2, a 4.3 percent decline from the same quarter last year.

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Full PC backup with Google

Google has launched the Backup and Sync tool for users to easily back up practically all files on their computer. This new tool will replace the Google Photos desktop app and the Google Drive client applications for both Mac and PC.

According to a Google blog post, “Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they’re no longer trapped on your computer and other devices”.

Backing up is done by simply clicking on the desired folders. Once done, these folders are automatically backed up and synced across all devices.

NVIDIA invests in Deep Instinct

NVIDIA is investing in Deep Instinct, an Israeli-based startup that uses deep learning to thwart cyber attacks.

Deep Instinct uses a GPU-based neural network and CUDA to achieve 99 percent detection rates, compared with about 80 percent detection from conventional cyber security software. Its software can automatically detect and defeat the most advanced cyber attacks.

“Deep Instinct is an emerging leader in applying GPU-powered AI through deep learning to address cybersecurity, a field ripe for disruption as enterprise customers migrate away from traditional solutions. We’re excited to work together with Deep Instinct to advance this important field,” said Jeff Herbst, Vice President of Business Development of NVIDIA.

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Device market to dip in 2017

Global demand for devices — PCs, tablets and smartphones — are expected to dip slightly this year, with Gartner projecting shipment exceeding 2.3 billion units, a decline of 0.3 percent from 2016.

However, the market is forecast to return to growth in 2018 with a 1.6 percent increase in shipment.

“Overall, the shipment growth of the device market is steady for the first time in many years. PC shipments are slightly lower while phone shipments are slightly higher — leading to a slight downward revision in shipments from the previous forecast, “said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director of Gartner.

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Petya ransomware cripples networks

Just like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, one computer after computer shut down without notice during a meeting. That’s what happened at one of the organisations hit by the Petya ransomware attack.

The strike is malicious and deadly with many affected organisations struggling to recover lost data — some, if not all, of which may never be restored.

IT security teams are still working to get their networks and computers up and running. Some have turned to Apple computers, which are relatively unscathed, to work on the recovery process.

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Taiwan: Home of GeForce!

At the keynote of NVIDIA AI Forum, NVIDIA CEO and Founder Jensen Huang called “Taiwan is the home of NVIDIA’s GeForce system”.

Video gaming is a US$100 billion industry and “GeForce PC gaming is the number one platform, nearly 200 million GeForce installed base,” declared Huang.

He announced the new NVIDIA Max-Q platform which lets gaming notebook makers produce faster, slimmer and quieter machines.

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Deeper into AI

The keynote address at Google I/O yesterday showed that Google is much more than just a search company. It is becoming more artificial intelligence (AI). Google is specifically using deep learning to help in many areas of everyday life.

 

Here are some as shared on Google’s blog post:

Google Assistant can help answer your questions and find information—but it can also help you get all kinds of useful things done. Today we’re adding a few more:

  • Schedule new calendar appointments and create reminders. Starting today on Google Home, you can schedule appointments and soon you’ll also be able to add reminders. Since it’s the same Google Assistant across devices, you’ll be able to get a reminder at home or on the go.
  • Make your home smarter. We now have 70+ smart home partners supporting the Google Assistant across Google Home and Android phones, including August locks, TP-Link, Honeywell, Logitech, and LG.

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Voila, Volta!

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announcing Tesla V100.

NVIDIA has pulled yet another trick out of its always-filled hat of technology goodies with the launch of Volta, the world’s most powerful GPU computing architecture. At his keynote address at GTC in San Jose, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang dubbed it “the next level of computer projects”.

Volta is created to drive the next wave of advancement in artificial intelligence (AI) and high performance computing.

The first Volta-based processor is the NVIDIA Tesla V100 data centre GPU, which brings extraordinary speed and scalability for AI inferencing and training, as well as for accelerating HPC and graphics workloads.

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No more IDF

After nearly two decades, Intel has decided to bring the curtains down on its annual Intel Developer Forum(IDF). Even the China edition has been canned.

A highly anticipated and popular event, IDF was the platform for new product announcements.

“Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions,” according to the official IDF website.