This week, Avram Piltch brings us the latest news on AMD's product launches. The company and its partners released new products based on the 7nm architecture. These products include the 3rd generation Ryzen processors, supporting motherboards, and new videocards.
The biggest release is the Ryzen 3000 series, the latest refresh in the company's processor lineup. The new processors are the first products on the market to use the 7nm architecture, with AMD beating Intel by quite a margin. They also outpace Intel's core count for the price, with the Ryzen 9 3900X offering 12 cores for $499, while the closest comparable Intel processor, Intel Core i9-9920X, offers 12 cores for $1199. That's more than double the price for the same core count. The base frequency is higher, with 3.8GHz versus 3.4GHz. Read more specs.
These new processors have moved to the X570 chipset, allowing for big improvements in overall performance. While the processors will work with the previous generation chipset, the X470, the new structure brings PCIe 4.0, which brings with it faster SSDs and higher peripheral throughput. Additional throughput could also make for better videocards in the future, as more motherboards begin to support the chipset.
The last product category is videocards, with the Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700. These new cards compete with the GeForce RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2060 and actually get higher framerates than their comparable GeForce cards. You get 10% and 11% higher framerates, respectively. The RX 5700 runs $350, while the RTX 2060 averages just over $350. While you won't get raytracing with the new card, you will get really good 2K gaming. This isn't a big loss, as there are still very few raytracing compatible titles in the wild. Read more.
This week, Samsung might have misled customers, Amazon might be liable for others' products, and MoviePass might be just about done.
This week, Avram Piltch shows off the newest entry in the Raspberry Pi family: the Raspberry Pi 4. While this new model was not supposed to come out until this year, improved processor sourcing made it possible to bring it to market significantly earlier than expected. The newest model is a welcomed update to the Raspberry Pi 3, with the ability for more RAM, faster processing, and updated ports.
The most notable update is the changing of the video ports. Rather than a single HDMI port, the newest model has dual micro HDMI ports. This change allows for the use of two monitors rather than one on the previous model. In addition, both monitors can be run at 4K, albeit with performance degradation. In dual 4K, the monitors refresh at 30Hz. In single 4K or dual 1080p, the monitors can run in 60Hz, a marked improvement. The dual 4K monitors can also cause a lot of lag on the system itself.
In addition to the updated video ports, the USB ports also saw an upgrade. The center USB ports are now blue, indicating that they are now USB 3, rather than the USB 2 on the previous model. With the addition of USB 3 comes the ability to gain some huge performance improvements on external devices, such as SSDs. It also allows for important peripherals like the Google Coral Accelerator, which makes the Raspberry Pi better at image processing.
The new hardware comes along with a new version of the Raspbian operating system, Raspbian Buster. The new OS was not released ahead of the hardware, meaning that a lot of software does not work with it just yet. Of course, this is not unusual for Linux distributions, so users shouldn't be worried. Updated software will be released over the coming weeks, bringing back potentially lost features.
The Raspberry Pi 4 is available now online and from some local retailers.
This week, Apple's got a new design direction, Switch Online might have an expanded game collection, and privacy has a new antagonist in the government.
The field of engineering has many different branches and the University of South Florida does its best to have degree programs for all engineering disciplines. At ROBOTICON Tampa Bay, the team was joined by Abby, a sophomore biomedical engineering student. The biomedical engineering department was created only a year ago at USF and Abby is excited to be a part of the first class to go through the whole program. Even though the department is new, Abby talked about how she enjoys the coursework, and she looks forward to the more specialized classes such as the biomechanics labs.
Also, Abby is glad that the university is working hard to help the student succeed in the program. She found out about the program during her freshman year and has been involved in it since. The department lets students go down various paths towards their career in the biomedical field. USF lets students choose whether they want to go towards graduate school, medical school, or straight into the technology industry.
Abby started the program with no engineering background and she now she is enjoying it. Her plans are to get into biomechanics industry and gain more experience in the research field. Abby's dream is to work for NASA doing biomechanical research on how space affects the body and how to apply biomechanics to keep astronauts healthy in space. She is currently working in the research lab "CARRT" which specializes in rehabilitation research. She talks about how the bio-medical department can be feed into any engineering branch such as electrical, computer, mechanical or software engineering.
To learn more about the Department of Medical Engineering go to their website.
The FIRST Tech Challenge had their game released two weeks prior to ROBOTICON Tampa Bay and, for some people, this event is the first time they get to see the field with robots running. The team interviewed Anaya from The Pink Team FIRST Tech Challenge 6326. This is her first year as a member and as a driver. The FIRST experience for Anaya hasn't just started, as she explained that her brother was a member of The Pink Team before her and that she is used to being surrounded by robots. Anaya became attached to FIRST through her familiarity with it and because of the influence of her father's creativity. Though she is in her first year, Anaya has already expressed interest in learning to program.
The Pink Team has been around for over 20 years and is still running strong! This team has come all the way from the Space Coast league and is different from others because of their cooperation between three different high schools on one team. It's common for a team to be based in a school, or for a team to be based in a garage, but it's less common for a group of schools to come together to build a single team. They include students from Rockledge, Cocoa Beach, and Port St. John.
The Pink Team has both a FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition team and allows team members to be a part of both, with 45 students this team is large when compared to others. Anaya talked to us about the team and how the FIRST Tech Challenge team has been dedicated to going to meetings twice a week and are working hard on their design for the new robot. Which she states should be done within the next week.
At ROBOTICON Tampa Bay everyone wants to teach and inspire students to be apart of STEM education. While FIRST is active during the school year, students need to find other ways to be involved in STEM activities. The University of South Florida has a summer program called BULLSEYE, it focuses on teaching local middle school students in the Tampa Bay area life and engineering skills.
Our team interviewed Ahmirah, BULLSEYE's program coordinator and learned about the program and her experience while being involved. BULLSEYE is a free 6-week summer camp hosted at USF for local middle school students. It teaches an array of life skills and engineering disciplines. Activities include learning to use a 3D printer, motors, servos and even how to make a functional battle bot. The main focus of the summer camp is to teach practical skills to the next generation of engineers. She also talked about how students who went through the program loved it so much some came back as high school students to help mentor the new minds. BULLSEYE has been around for 5 years and Ahmirah was excited to say that last summer they had their largest camp yet, with over 100 participants.
Ahmirah is a chemical engineer student at the University of South Florida when she was a freshman she knew she wanted to help others. After finding BULLSEYE she explains how she fell in love with what the program did and wanted to help however she could. Even though Ahmirah admits she does not know that much about robotics she still was able to inspire the students and she learned life skills from the children in return. After learning about FIRST Ahmirah was fascinated and said that she now wants to get involved in FIRST.
To learn how you can be involved in BULLSEYE go to their BULLSEYE USF website.
ROBOTICON Tampa Bay is the event to show student's involvement in engineering. That includes the college students at the University of South Florida, especially those studying to be engineers. USF has many different engineering clubs that specialized in certain branches, including one of IEEE student chapters. IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to electrical engineering.
IEEE is the trusted "voice" for engineering, computing, and technology information around the globe.
At ROBOTICON showcasing their Electrathon race car, our team was able to speak with the Vice President of IEEE USF, Cooper. He talked about his place and accomplishment with IEEE USF, and how being involved in a technical professional organization has helped him personally. Cooper was impressed by the students in FIRST, he commented that these kids have a head start and he was in awe by how involved they were in robotics.
Cooper has been in IEEE USF for three years and truly believes IEEE helps foster growth in USF students. He enjoys his responsibility in organizing workshops and presentations for IEEE USF students. Cooper talks about his projects involving an RC car and planning a hackathon at USF. He goes on to explain how being involved in projects have helped him and others outside the classroom. Even job interviews have changed for him since adding his IEEE accomplishment to his resume. IEEE is over hundred years old and continues to be a resource for professionals and students alike. It keeps the professional's informed about the newest technology and helps students socially be apart of a network of engineers.
To find an IEEE student chapter near you go to the IEEE website.
Live from the 2018 ROBOTICON Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center at the University of South Florida. This year's event features 23 FIRST Robotics Competition teams, 16 FIRST Tech Challenge teams, 8 FIRST LEGO League teams, and 5 FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams. We speak with representatives from several of the teams, including some of the most recognizable teams in Florida, as well as rookie teams. We also speak with a software engineer from NASA about the future of space travel, including what is needed to get people to Mars and, more importantly, how to keep them alive once they arrive. We end the show with the Affiliate Partner for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. in South Florida.
This week, Avram Piltch discusses the impending impact of the trade war between the United States and China. The US imposed a 10% tariff on imports from China a while back, but a new and stronger tariff system is going into place now. The new tariffs will be 25% on billions of dollars worth of products, and will almost immediately be felt by consumers.
These new tariffs were felt in full force during Computex 2019. While it is not unusual to hear a company say that they aren't sure what the price point is going to be for a new product, this year the responses were different. Many companies said that they had a target retail price for their products, but that they weren't sure what the actual price was going to be, because they couldn't entirely predict how these taxes were going to affect the prices in the end.
Manufacturers are already beginning to look for ways to prevent these new tariffs. MSI CEO Charles Chiang spoke with Avram during Computex, explaining their plans. They and other larger manufacturers are beginning to look for new countries to manufacture their product in, such as Taiwan and Vietnam. While this would eventually represent cost savings, it is not inexpensive to move a manufacturing line, meaning that costs will still go up in the short term, but hopefully, less than they would with the tariffs. Not everyone can do this, though, so smaller brands might see big challenges in the upcoming months.
Another challenge to moving manufacturing to another country is infrastructure. Countries like Taiwan have a total population less than that of Shenzhen, the province of China where most manufacturing occurs. Add to that the need for roads, shipping, electricity, water, and more, and it creates hurdles that are not surmountable in the short term. The country could ramp up for production eventually, but it won't be able to handle a large influx in the next quarter.
This week, Apple announces a cheese grater, India tries to ban cryptocurrencies, and DirecTV might be on the chopping block.
This week, Avram Piltch is back from Computex 2019 in Taipei with some of the best technology he and his team from Tom's Hardware encountered. From processors to computer cases, Avram's got it all.
First, we've got the big announcements from AMD. In particular, the 3rd generation Ryzen processors. In addition to the Ryzen 3, 5, and 7, this year they have introduced the Ryzen 9, sporting a 12-cores and 24-threads. It will run $499 and compares to an 8-core processor from Intel. This new processor and the rest of the lineup will be available on July 7, 2019. In addition to the new processors, the new boards will support PCIe 4.0, which will allow for significantly faster SSDs. Current benchmarks top out at 5GBps, with future hardware expected to be in the 8GBps range.
In computers, he saw some interesting new products. In particular, is the MSI GT7600 Titan laptop. Rather than using a mobile processor, this beast uses a standard desktop processor and is overclocked to 5GHz. To accomplish this, the company designed special cooling to pipe out all of the additional heat that an overclocked desktop processor is going to add to a laptop. The drawback to this power, of course, is the weight; it comes in at about 9 pounds. If this is what you do for a living, though, the weight is not going to be a concern.
In addition, ASUS showed off the newest model of ZenBook Pro Duo, the laptop with a second screen above the keyboard. The jury's still out on whether this second screen adds anything useful to the experience, but a second screen is always nice. For those looking for a more complete monitor, they also showed off the ROG Strix XG17, a fully portable monitor that can connect to your laptop, or anything with HDMI, as a second screen.
As usual, unique computer cases were all over the floor, from the P200, a mostly open-air design from Thermaltake to a Heineken beer keg that can serve beer and computer power in one. There's a lot more to the Computex 2019 coverage, and it can all be found at Tom's Hardware.