Technology

Teardowns confirm Nintendo Switch is built on standard Tegra X1 processor

Ever since Nintendo announced the Switch, it’s been cagey about the exact details of the platform. That’s nothing new for the company, which frequently goes out of its way to obfuscate its own hardware’s capabilities. But there’s been some question as to whether the Switch contained a bog standard Tegra chip, or if there was something a little more exciting inside it. Doing custom work on a chip is also nothing new for Nintendo; the Wii U had an unusual custom triple-core processor with an asymmetric L2 cache, alongside on-die ...

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AMD has a fix coming for fused-multiply-add (FMA3) Ryzen bug

Not long after AMD launched Ryzen, a group of forum users at HWBot.org began noticing something strange. A benchmark designed to measure a CPU’s performance in floating point operations (FLOPS) that made use of the FMA3 instruction set was hard-locking on Ryzen systems. The application typically hung when it reached the “Single-Precision – 128-bit FMA3 – Fused Multiply Add:” section of the test. Given that the test is open-source and hosted on GitHub, there’s no reason to suspect bad faith or improper coding, and AMD has actually confirmed that there’s ...

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Apple announces a new, cheaper iPad in hopes of stopping sales slump

Apple doesn’t move iPads like it used to, but that’s true of all tablets. The Cupertino company has been hard at work trying to come up with reasons for people to upgrade. Make it bigger? Offer a stylus? Now Apple is just trying a lower price. The new iPad (it’s just “iPad”) was announced Tuesday without an event. Apple likes its events, but I can see why they’d skip it this time. The new iPad is almost an admission that tablets simply can’t cost $ 500-600. This is not technically ...

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PSA: Starting a new game in Breath of the Wild will permanently delete your saves if you don’t switch accounts first

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an amazing game by all accounts, with an incredibly high sell rate (as of last week, something like 93% of Switch owners bought BotW). Much has been written about the game, from how turning off Wi-Fi may improve performance to an in-depth comparison of how it plays against the Wii U version. But there’s one potential issue to be aware of, should you choose to hand the game to a different player to start from scratch. If you try to start ...

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Everything you need to know about the Android O developer preview

The annual Google I/O conference isn’t for a few months yet, but Google has just taken the wraps off the latest version of Android. It’s called Android O. We don’t know what the official name is, or even what the version number will be. However, the feature set is out in the open with the release of a developer preview build for recent Google devices. Google is making a number of big changes to the user experience with some cool video stuff, revamped notifications, improved power savings on background processes, ...

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Rumor: AMD may be planning a 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen titan to challenge Intel’s Broadwell-E, Skylake-X

AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X, and 1700 all debuted earlier this month, officially putting Intel on notice that Team Green was back and ready to fight. Now, there’s a rumor making the rounds that Ryzen 18 may not be the end of AMD’s desktop ambitions. Supposedly, there’s a chip coming that would go toe-to-toe with Intel’s HEDT line. Obligatory reminder: Take this with enough salt to kill a donkey. Here’s the text of the rumor, as reported by FLCLimax, at Overclock.net: Public knowledge by now but AMD has a new ...

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More than 300 Cisco switches models vulnerable to CIA hack

A cache of CIA documents was dropped on the internet two weeks ago via WikiLeaks. It was a huge volume of data, some of which detailed CIA tools for breaking into smartphones and even smart TVs. Now, Cisco has said its examination of the documents points to a gaping security hole in more than 300 models of its switches. There’s no patch for this critical vulnerability, but it’s possible to mitigate the risk with some settings changes. Cisco’s security arm sent out an advisory on Friday alerting customers that the ...

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Mass Effect: Andromeda has performance issues on both Xbox One and the base PS4

With this latest installment in the Mass Effect franchise, BioWare has moved the story 2.5 million light-years away from the controversial ending of the original trilogy. Thanks to a lengthy development period, a new engine, a new crop of consoles, and a fresh narrative start, the expectations of fans are fairly high. We’re all dying to see if BioWare delivered the goods. Here’s the story: After a 600-year journey, ships from the Milky Way are arriving in Andromeda in the year 2819. The Citadel races (Humans, Turians, Asari, and Salarians) have ...

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Stanford researchers accidentally discover a whole new role for the cerebellum

The cerebellum, that weird wrinkly bit of brainstuff at the back of the skull, is sort of the ugly stepsister of the brain. While the cerebrum gets the glory, because it’s the bit we think with, the homely cerebellum toils away unappreciated for its role in motor coordination. But all that is about to change. Scientists from Stanford have stumbled onto a new and different role for the cerebellum — and they found it while they were looking for something else entirely. “Given what a large fraction of neurons reside ...

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Qualcomm declares Snapdragon processors aren’t ‘processors’ at all

Qualcomm acknowledges that “processor” is an accepted and broadly used generic term for a wide range of products, including ASICs, CPUs, DSPs, GPUs, MICs, and probably at least a few others. It also admits that we already have a term to describe microprocessors that integrate a wide range of functionality, including Wi-Fi, I/O, cellular radios, cache, and memory controllers. We call that an SoC (System on Chip). Nevertheless, Qualcomm no longer feels that term is big enough, either. Its argument is below: The Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform takes our offerings beyond ...

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