Tech Giants Come Together to Form Cyber Security Research Alliance

In the wake of the ongoing cyber-warfare, tech giants have come together to form a consortium that will focus on cyber-security. The consortium is called Cyber Security Research Alliance (CSRA) and it counts AMD, Intel, RSA, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell as its members. Problems in cyber-security are getting complex every day, and this private alliance will create a rich knowledge pool to address the security issues of the present and the future.


The primary aim of the CSRA is to bridge the gap between Government-funded R&D efforts and commercial cyber-security solutions. It will bring together expertise from member companies and the R&D efforts of the Government. Chuck Romine, Director of NIST’s Information Technology Laboratory, says,

Putting into practice the exciting cyber security innovations that emerge from research requires active partnerships between government and industry and also among private sector stakeholders. The emergence of CSRA can strengthen both kinds of partnerships and we look forward to working with this new organization to promote a trustworthy cyberspace for our nation and its citizens.

Most of the mega-attacks that we have seen over the last few days have been on control systems (think Flame and Stuxnet). It is good to see that cyber-security efforts for protection of control systems have stepped up, after Stuxnet. Visit the CSRA homepage to know more.

Also, read how Kaspersky is creating a high-availability operating system for control systems that primarily addresses security.

AMD ‘Piledriver’ FX Processors Officially Announced; Octa-Core Processor For $195

Today, AMD announced a refresh to its AMD FX family of processors aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers. The latest FX series processors are based on a new micro-architecture from AMD – Piledriver – that offers up to 15% better performance at a lower price point compared to the previous generation of FX processors.

“Gamers and PC enthusiasts who buy AMD FX processors have even more to cheer about with the increased speeds and value we are delivering starting today,” said Leslie Sobon, vice president of Desktop and Component Products, AMD.  “After introducing the industry’s first and only eight-core desktop processor last year, we now have even faster stock frequencies and an all-new, high-performance x86 core architecture to satisfy power-users.”

As of now, AMD will be releasing 4 different FX processors at key price points. The cheapest, FX-4300, will cost $122 and consist of 4 cores with a max frequency of 4GHz, while the top of the line FX-8350 packs a whopping 8 cores clocked at 4.2GHz with a suggested retail price of $195. The FX-6300 and FX-8320 sports 6 and 8 cores with a maximum frequency of 4.1 and 4GHz, respectively. These processors will couple for $132 and $169, respectively.

While an octa-core processor with such a high frequency within $200 sounds tempting, keep in mind that AMD’s processors are no match for Intel’s Core series in terms of performance. The company has been struggling to catch up with Intel’s tick-tock release schedule ever since the latter released its Core 2 Duo series of processors.

AMD HD 7970 Officially Unveiled; Its A Beast In Every Sense!

AMD today launched its next-generation high-end graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970. The HD 7970 replaces the HD 6970, and is a beast in every word. The card packs in a whopping 4.3 billion transistors, and comes with 3GB of VRAM memory. The core of the 7970 is clocked at 925MHz, and comes with 2048 stream processors with a 384-bit memory bandwith bus.

The AMD HD 7970 is also the first GPU in the world to support the PCIE 3.0 slot and be compatible with DirectX 11.1. Thanks to the new ZeroCore power feature introduced by AMD in the HD 7970, the idle power draw of the GPU while displaying anything on the screen is a mere 15W, and less than 3W with a black screen. The maximum power consumption of the card is stated at 250W, just like its predecessor.

The company officials also state that the HD 7970 has a huge overclocking  potential, and can be easily overclocked to 1GHz+ speeds. Sadly, today’s announcement from AMD was just a soft-launch. The AMD HD 7970 won’t hit the retail stores in the United States before January 9th for a suggested retail price of $549. Interested buyers can read an in-depth review of the AMD HD 7970 over at AnandTech.


AMD Gets Into the RAM Business; Teams Up With Patriot and VisitonTek

Today, AMD has announced the retail availability of the first ever AMD branded memory (RAM) for desktops. The company has tied up with Patriot Memory and VisionTek for the same.

The company has worked hard with Patriot  in optimizing the DRAMs  with their APUs, GPUs and CPUs via the AMD OverDrive performance optimization tool. All memory modules from AMD will meet certain minimum specifications and will be tested comprehensively, before being branded as an AMD memory module.

AMD has been our strategic technology partner for ten years and VisionTek has focused our efforts on bringing their PC upgrade products to the North American market,said Michael Innes, chief operating officer of VisionTek.   The AMD brand means cutting edge technology, as well as uncompromising quality and compatibility for PC users.     AMD Memory will help expand the ability to optimize performance in personal computers of today and tomorrow.

AMD Memory will be available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB size in different categories. The Entertainment category will features RAM modules with speeds of 1333MHz and 1600MHz, which is designed for use in Home  Theater  PCs. The Performance category RAMs will be running at 1600MHz with low-latency and in matched pairs so as to enable Dual-Channel. Finally, the Radeon Edition DRAM will run at 1866MHz and is ‘tuned, tested and certified for specific AMD platforms to enable maximum performance’.

AMD Bulldozer Based FX Series CPUs Announced; 8-core Processor For Less than $250

Today, AMD unveiled its new FX series of CPUs for desktop PCs. This new series of processor from the company is aimed at enthusiast and overclockers, and come with a fully unlocked multiplier. This also marks the return of FX brand from AMD, which had earlier died thanks to the onslaught of Intel’s Core series of processor.


The AMD FX series of processors include the first-ever eight-core desktop processor, to be priced at a mere $245. The FX series of CPUs are based on AMD’s new micro-architecture Bulldozer.

AMD FX CPUs are back with a vengeance, as validated by the recent feat of setting a Guinness World Records ® title for Highest Frequency of a Computer Processor,’said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Group at AMD. While overclockers will certainly enjoy the frequencies the AMD FX processors can achieve, PC enthusiasts and HD media aficionados will appreciate the remarkable experience that AMD FX processors can provide as part of a balanced, affordable desktop system.

All the CPUs under the FX brand will come with unlocked multiplier, and use AMD’s Turbo Core Technology to optimize performance and lower power-consumption.

Below are the specifications and price of the various FX processors announced by AMD today :

  • FX-8150: Eight cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.9 GHz Turbo Core, 4.2 GHz Max Turbo), $245 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-8120: Eight cores, 3.1 GHz CPU base (3.4 GHz Turbo Core, 4.0 GHz Max Turbo), $205 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-6100: Six cores, 3.3 GHz CPU base (3.6 GHz Turbo Core, 3.9 GHz Max Turbo), $165 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-4100: Four cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.7 GHz Turbo Core, 3.8 GHz Max Turbo), $115 suggested retail price (U.S.)

The new FX series of processor should be available at all major online retailers and physical shops near you, by the end of this week.

AMD A-Series APUs Announced; Promises 10.5 Hours of Battery Life

Today, AMD has announced its next-generation of APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit) for users who need more computing power.

AMD offers the new A-series of APUs in two dual-core and five quad-core flavors. The clock speed of these APUs start from 1.9GHz and go all the up to 2.5GHz, under Turbo mode. The Turbo mode kicks in automatically under conditions of heavy load.


The AMD A-Series APU represents an inflection point for AMD and is perhaps the industry’s biggest architectural change since the invention of the microprocessor,said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group. It heralds the arrival of brilliant all-new computing experiences, and enables unprecedented graphics and video performance in notebooks and PCs. Beginning today we are bringing discrete-class graphics to the mainstream.

The A4 range of APUs come with a Radeon HD 6250G clocked at 400Mhz, while the A6 range of chips pack in a Radeon 6250G clocked at 400Mhz. The top rung A8 range of APUs comes with a Radeon HD 6620G, running at 444MHz.

The Radeon chips inside the A series APU are DirectX 11 compatible, and even support standards like HDMI 1.4a, Display Port 1.1 and USB 3.0 and multi-monitor support.

AMD also claims that an A-series APU powered notebook will provide users with a staggering battery life of 10.5 hours. HP has already announced 11 new laptops powered by these new APUs from AMD, scheduled to be launched sometime in June-end, early July.

Apple iMacs Refreshed With Faster Processors, Thunderbolt Port And FaceTime HD Camera

Apple has just updated their beautiful iMacs with the latest cutting-edge hardware from Intel and AMD graphics cards, FaceTime HD camera and a Thunderbolt port.

The newer iMacs still comes with a 21.5-inch and 27-inch screen, with an IPS LCD screen like its predecessor.

The base model of the newer gen iMac comes with a quad-core Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 4GB RAM and 500GB HDD. The top of the line 21.5-inch iMac comes with a 2.7 GHz Core i5 processor, 1TB HDD and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB memory.


The base model of the 27-inch iMac comes has the exact same specs as the top of the line 21.5-inch iMac. The top of the line 27-inch iMac features a faster 3.1GHz Core i5 quad-core processor, and a slightly powerful AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics card.

The base model of the 21.5-inch costs $1,199, while the lowest rung 27-inch iMac costs $1,699. The top of the line 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac’s cost $1,499 and $1,999, respectively. All the new iMac now feature a Thunderbolt port and a FaceTime HD camera, which were earlier seen on the newer gen MacBook Pro(s).

Users who want more performance, can easily customize their iMac to their wish, and can include SSDs with up to 256GB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM. Readers interested in purchasing the newer gen iMacs should head over to Apple Store.

Apple Refreshes The MacBook Pro Line-Up With Faster Processors And ‘Thunderbolt’ Port

It was just a few hours ago that we reported about the leaked specs of the upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro. Now, Apple has updated its online store with the next generation MacBook Pros.

As rumored, the new MacBook Pros sport a faster Core i5 or Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor from Intel. While the 13MacBook Pro sports an Intel 3000HD graphics card, the 15and the 17MBPs sport an AMD 6490M or a HD6750M graphics card, depending on the configuration you pick.


The hard disk storage capacity has been bumped across the range with SSDs of varying capacities being optional. Sadly, the number of USB ports remain the same as found on the older MBPs 2, and no they are not USB 3.0 ports. Apple lists the battery life of the new MacBook Pros at 7 hours. The ‘iSight’ camera has been renamed to Facetime HD’ as well.

As reported earlier, the new MacBook Pros sport a Thunderbolt’ I/O port, which is Apple’s implementation of Intel’s Light Peak technology.The new Thunderbolt port incorporates a Native Mini DisplayPort and can output videos to DVI or VGA using the suitable adapter. The port can also be used to hook up the MacBook Pro(s) to an HDMI monitor/LCD.

Along with the new MacBook Pros, Apple also released a developer preview of the next version of OS X Lion. Users can have a look at all the new features OS X Lion’ will bring here. OS X Lion’ is expected to be released sometime in summer 2011.

AMD Forces CEO Dirk Meyer Out, Stuns Just About Everyone

AMD In a move that has stunned just about everyone, AMD’s board has forced its CEO Dirk Meyer to quit. AMD’s board has never been known to make very smart choices, but this time it has probably outdone itself. Of course, I am assuming that there aren’t any dirty secrets that we are unaware of.

Dirk Meyer replaced Hector Ruiz as the CEO of AMD in 2008. Before that he led the team that designed and developed the Athlon processor. When Meyer took over the reins of the company from Ruiz, AMD was in a desperate state. The company was suffering huge losses, and its stock was plummeting. Intel was beating its current products to a pulp, and the future didn’t look too bright either. In the chairman of the board’s words, “Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market”.

Before Meyer was forced out, AMD’s stock was steadily climbing, and the company had forecast a profit for its next financial quarter. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, AMD’s co-founder Jerry Sanders termed the surprise move by AMD’s board a “disgrace”. AMD’s Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Seifert has been named as the interim CEO.

AMD Announces New Quad-Core And Six-Core Phenom II Processors

Yesterday, AMD announced their Fusion APUs, and today, the company has released a couple of new quad-core and six-core processors for desktops. The AMD Phenom II X4 975 is the fastest quad-core ever released from the company and runs at a whopping 3.6GHz.

The X4 975 is a Black Edition (BE) processor meaning it has an unlocked multiplier thus allowing users to overclock the processor easily.


The second processor released from AMD the Phenom II X6 1065T has six-cores running at 2.9 GHz. This processor aims at striking the perfect balance between performance and power consumption with a TDP of 95W. The processor also features AMD Turbo CORE technology which helps in reducing power consumption and increasing performance under different workloads.

Both the processors will be available effective immediately. However, AMD did not mention the prices of these processors.