• Intel's Changing Future: Smartphone SoCs Broxton & SoFIA Officially Cancelled (AnandTech)

    The past two weeks have been a busy – if not tumultuous – period for Intel. After announcing a new company strategy focusing on high growth markets, and company-wide layoffs to reach those goals, we have our first announcements on product changes that will come from Intel’s new strategy. In a report on Intel’s new strategy published by analyst Patrick Moorhead, Moorehead revealed that Intel would be radically changing their smartphone SoC plans, canceling their forthcoming Broxton and SoFIA products and in practice leaving the smartphone market for at least the time being.

    Given the significance of this news we immediately reached out to Intel to get direct confirmation of the cancelation, and we can now confirm that Intel is indeed canceling both Broxton and SoFIA as part of their new strategy. This is arguably the biggest change in Intel’s mobile strategy since they first formed it last decade, representing a significant scaling back in their mobile SoC efforts. Intel’s struggles are well-published here, so this isn’t entirely unsurprising, but at the same time this comes relatively shortly before Broxton was set to launch.

  • The Corsair Carbide 400Q Case Review (AnandTech)

    Today we are having a look at one of Corsair’s latest cases, the Carbide 400Q. The 400Q is a subtle ATX case that is designed with silence in mind, employing noise-dampening measures while boasting excellent thermal performance and versatility.

  • Quand Windows 10 perturbe un bulletin météo (Génération NT: logiciels)
    La mise à jour vers Windows 10 reste un sujet toujours délicat, notamment du fait de l'insistance pesante de Microsoft. Et elle en arrive même à s'inviter sur le petit écran pour semer la pagaille au milieu d'un bulletin météo.
  • Microsoft veut stocker des données sur de l'ADN (MacBidouille)

    Le premier avril 2008 nous vous avions proposé une brève "poisson" dans laquelle nous vous annoncions que le CNRS avait mis au point un système de stockage de données dans l'ADN de moisissures.
    La réalité (sans grande surprise) rejoint maintenant la fiction.
    Microsoft a passé un contrat avec la startup Twist Bioscience spécialisée dans le stockage des données sur ADN. Le but est d'explorer cette voie prometteuse pour l'avenir et ainsi de trouver un moyen d'avoir un système de stockage qui aurait non seulement une densité colossale mais serait aussi capable d'être dupliqué, démultiplié facilement pour en assurer la redondance.

    L'avenir nous dira si l'on s'oriente à terme vers une vraie branche de l'électronique basée sur des biotechnologies.

  • Carl Icahn liquide son portefeuille d'actions Apple (MacBidouille)

    Nous vous avons à plusieurs reprises parlé de Carl Icahn, un requin de la finance particulièrement doué pour faire de l'argent avec de l'argent.
    Ce dernier a jeté son dévolu sur Apple il y a deux ans en achetant en masse des actions et en cherchant ensuite en tant qu'actionnaire non négligeable à forcer le conseil d'administration de la société à distribuer un maximum de dividendes.
    Globalement, il a réussi à faire ce qu'il voulait et maintenant que le cours de l'action de la société semble durablement orienté à la baisse, il en a revendu tout le portefeuille. Malgré la baisse récente du cours il va quand même engranger sur cette vente quelques centaines de millions de dollars de bénéfices.

  • L'Apple Store de Marseille ouvrira le 14 mai (MacBidouille)

    Apple a officialisé la date d'ouverture de l'Apple Store de Marseille. Ce sera le 14 mai prochain.
    Pour rappel, il prendra place dans le nouveau centre commercial les Terrasses du Port.

    La société a d'ailleurs revu à cette occasion les statuts de la société Apple Retail.

    Dans la foulée, elle en a aussi changé le gérant, qui nous le rappelons est une des personnes du service financier de Cupertino.

  • Mise à jour d'iMovie (MacBidouille)

    Apple propose une mise à jour 10.1.2 d'iMovie. Au programme:

  • Seagate Begins Volume Shipments of Helium-Filled HDDs, Reveals Their Final Specs (AnandTech)

    Seagate has started volume shipments of its first helium-filled hard drives. They were announced earlier this year. The new HDDs are available to all interested parties, which means that Seagate’s biggest customers have already evaluated and validated them. Volume shipments of the 8 TB and 10 TB helium-filled hard drives will help Seagate to improve its financial results and margins, since the new HDDs will be amongst the most expensive drives in the company’s lineup.

    Brand New Platform

    The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 helium-filled hard drive is based on the company’s brand-new hermetically-sealed platform feature fourteen heads and seven perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) platters with up to 1.43 TB capacity each. Seagate claims that the new HDD platform is based on a special wide-weld hermetically sealed drive enclosure with a design based on a multi-step forging process. Besides, it uses a motor attached to both top and bottom covers, in order to better handle vibrations and maximize reliability. Sensors for humidity, temperature and helium pressure ensure that the helium-filled drive is always being monitored for reliable operation.

    Seagate has incorporated PowerChoice and PowerBalance technologies in the new drives. PowerChoice helps datacenter operators to manage power consumption during idle time by either reducing spindle speed, or even stopping disks completely, after an admin-defined interval of idle time. Meanwhile, PowerBalance technology helps the administrators to balance the power consumption and IOPS (input/output operations per second) performance of hard drives prior to installation.

    The Enterprise Capacity 3.5" helium hard drive sports a 256 MB multi-segmented cache. The platters rotate at 7200 revolutions per minute (RPM). The host interface is SATA 3.2 (6 Gbps), and supports hot-plugging.

    Seagate claims that its multi-segmented cache helps the Enterprise Capacity 3.5 (Helium) HDD to improve performance compared to its predecessors and rivals and enables burst transfer rates at up to 600 MB/s (for small chunks of data, of course). The company does not reveal many details about its new caching algorithms, but 256 MB of memory is still a rather huge buffer.

    Lineup and Performance Numbers

    Seagate will offer multiple versions of its Enterprise Capacity 3.5" Helium HDDs HDDs, including models with 8 TB capacity, 4K and 512e sectors as well as self-encrypting (SED) options.

    Lineup of Seagate's Enterprise Capacity 3.5" Helium HDDs with SATA Interface
      Standard 4KN Standard 512e Self-Encrypting 4KN (SED) Self-Encrypting 512e (SED)
    10 TB Capacity ST10000NM0006 ST10000NM0016  ST10000NM0056 ST10000NM0046
    8 TB Capacity ST8000NM0006  ST8000NM0016 ST8000NM0056 ST8000NM0046

    Seagate declares fairly high performance numbers for its Enterprise Capacity 3.5" Helium HDDs: 243 or 254 MB/s maximum sustained transfer rate as well as 4.16 ms average latency, which is higher than the numbers listed by competing drives from HGST and Western Digital.

    Comparison of Helium-Filled HDDs
      Seagate Enterpise Capacity
    HGST Ultrastar He10
    WD Gold
    Capacity 10 TB 8 TB
    RPM 7200 RPM
    Interface SATA 6 Gbps
    DRAM Cache 256 MB 128 MB
    Maximum Sustained Transfer Rate 243 MB/s
    254 MB/s
    225 MB/s
    249 MB/s
    205 MB/s
    Average Latency 4.16 ms unknown
    Rated Workload (Drive Writes Per Day) 0.189 unknown 0.189
    Equivalent of 550 TB of Writes per Year unknown Equivalent of 550 TB of Writes per Year
    Acoustics Idle 28 - 30 dBA 20 - 36 dBA 20 dBA
    Seek 32 - 34 dBA unknown 36 dBA
    Power Rating Idle 4.5 W 5 W 5.10 W
    Random Write 6.5 W 6.8 W 7.4 W
    Random Read 8.5W 6.8 W 7.4 W
    MTBF 2.5 million hours
    Warranty 5 Years
    Price $695 at Amazon unknown $629

    Usage of helium inside a hard drive helps to reduce the drag force acting on the spinning disk stack and lower the fluid flow forces affecting the disks and the heads. As a result, HDD makers can install up to seven platters into a standard drive and also use lower-power motors and mechanics. This reduces the power consumption of the HDDs. For example, power consumption of Seagate’s 10 TB hard drive is actually lower than power consumption of the company’s 8 TB drive for nearline applications (8.5 W per drive vs. 10.4 W per drive).

    For cloud datacenters, power consumption of HDDs is as important as their capacity. Increasing the capacity of the top-of-the-range hard drives from 8 TB to 10 TB automatically boosts total capacity per rack by 25% (which means an increase from 1920 TB to 2400 TB per standard rack that holds 240 drives). Going helium additionally reduces the power consumption of such a rack by up to 456 W. An increase of storage capacity amid reduction of power consumption not only maximizes data storage capacities of a particular facility, but also shrinks its total cost of ownership (TCO), an important metric for companies with multiple large datacenters.

    Broad Availability, But No SAS Models Yet

    It should be noted that when Seagate introduced its Enterprise Capacity 3.5" 10 TB HDD in January, the company announced models with Serial ATA-6 Gb/s and SAS-12 Gb/s interfaces, which were aimed at different environments. At present, Seagate only ships models with SATA interface, meaning that customers, who need SAS, may still be evaluating the drives and will come to market later. By contrast, HGST offers different models of its 10 TB HDDs: with SATA and SAS interfaces.

    While Seagate said that its 10 TB helium-filled HDDs are available from its distributors worldwide, it did not reveal their actual prices. Amazon currently sells the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5" HDD 10TB (ST10000NM0016) for $695.98 (note that this is not an MSRP), which is far from affordable. Still, keep in mind that we talking about exclusive products based on a brand-new platform. Such HDDs make a lot of sense for datacenters, but, currently, not so much for desktops or NAS units.

  • Apple lance sa plateforme CareKit (MacBidouille)

    Annoncée le mois dernier, la nouvelle plateforme iOS CareKit est lancée. Pour rappel, il s'agit d'un jeu de bibliothèques destiné à développer des applications axées sur la santé.

    De nombreux modules permettent des intégrations sur mesure de suivi médicaux, que ce soit pour des soins à court ou long terme.

    L'avenir nous dira si Apple aura un rôle à jouer dans cet énorme marché qu'est celui de la santé et si ses initiatives pourront à terme améliorer le confort ou l'espérance de vie des populations détentrices d'iPhone.

  • A Look At QD Vision's Color IQ And The Philips 276E6 Monitor: Quantum Dots for Wider Color Gamuts (AnandTech)

    At this year's CES Josh and I sat down with representatives of QD Vision to discuss their quantum dot display technology, along with where they see the television and monitor market moving in the next few years. QD Vision offers a quantum dot solution for displays, which is branded as Color IQ. The interesting proposition that QD Vision brings to the table with their technology is that it's not just usable in high end displays, but also in less expensive ones where it can be used to bring features that were traditionally limited to high end displays down to a lower price point.

    After our meeting with QD Vision, we were informed that Philips would be launching a new line of monitors that use QD Vision's Color IQ technology. Given that these are some of the first computer monitors to come to market with quantum dot technology, I was quite interested in taking a look at it. The monitor in question is the Philips 276E6 monitor, which has a 27" panel and claims to cover 99% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Read on for more info about Color IQ, and to find out how well the Philips 276E6 performs.

  • Un mort par arme à feu dans un centre de conférence d'Apple (MacBidouille)

    La presse rapporte que la police s'est rendu au siège d'Apple à Cupertino après la découverte d'un corps dans un centre de conférence de la société.
    Les détails sont loin d'être clairs mais une arme à feu a été retrouvée à côté de la personne décédée, ce qui semble indiquer une mort violente. On ignore en revanche s'il s'agit d'un suicide ou d'un meurtre.

    [MàJ] Il s'agissait bien d'un salarié de la société.

  • Un mort par arme à feu dans le centre de conférence d'Apple (MacBidouille)

    La presse rapporte que la police s'est rendu au siège d'Apple à Cupertino après la découverte d'un corps dans le centre de conférence de la société.
    Les détails sont loin d'être clairs mais une arme à feu à été retrouvée à côté de la personne décédée ce qui semble indiquer une mort violente. On ignore en revanche s'il s'agit d'un suicide ou d'un meurtre.

  • Western Digital lance une nouvelle gamme de disques durs "Gold" (MacBidouille)

    Western Digital a annoncé la création d'une nouvelle gamme de disques durs, les WD Gold.

    Ces disques sont censés être le nec plus ultra du savoir-faire de la société en terme de disques durs 3,5" et sont destinés aux professionnels et centres de données.

    Disponibles en 4, 6 et 8To (sous atmosphère d'hélium pour ce dernier modèle seulement), ils tournent à 7200 tours par minute, ont 128 Mo de cache, un MTBF de 2,5 millions d'heures et une garantie de 5 ans avec la certification qu'ils pourront supporter 550 To de volume d'écriture par an.
    La société y a intégré une nouvelle électronique censée assurer jusqu'à 15% d'économies d'énergie et les prix vont de 309$ à 629$.

    L'électronique est d'ailleurs certainement le seul point commun à ces disques. En effet, la gamme Gold reprend des densités de plateau différentes en fonction de la capacité. En gros, elle semble avoir repris le meilleur de chacune de ses gammes et l'avoir "rebaptisé" pour en faire un produit premium.

    Pour le moment ces disques ne seront disponibles qu'en SATA III et pas en SAS.

  • Apple: entre passion et passions (MacBidouille)

    Si vous lisez ces lignes, c'est certainement que vous avez ou avez eu de la passion pour le monde Apple, sa communauté et ses produits.
    Hélas (ou tant mieux selon le point de vue), Apple si elle parfois réussi à susciter la passion a aussi toujours réussi à provoquer des passions, des sentiments souvent incroyablement puissants pour sa marque et ses produits.
    L'annonce des premiers résultats en baisse de la société a été l'occasion de voir combien ces passions sont puissantes. Là où la presse spécialisée aurait commenté une mauvaise passe pour une société, pour Apple, les choses sont bien plus larges et étendues. Tout le monde en parle, décrivant la fin d'un monde, d'une époque ou d'un géant qui a trop vite grandi.
    Est-ce réellement la fin du monde ? Certainement pas, bien entendu. En revanche, c'est incontestablement un nouveau tournant pour Apple et nous vous avouons que nous sommes impatients de savoir ce qui se prépare.

    En effet, si les années de croissance folle de la société ont été passionnantes quand on a connu une action dont le cours était à 12$, elles ne l'ont pas été autant au niveau intellectuel. Certes, l'iPhone, les Mac et les services ont progressé régulièrement, mais pour prendre l'exemple de l'iPhone, Apple le faisait évoluer progressivement selon ce qui ressemblait à une feuille de route pluriannuelle, se contentant chaque année de proposer un produit capable d'assurer la relève du précédent, sans rupture.

    En fait, si l'on y regarde d'un peu plus près, Apple ne s'est permis aucune rupture ces dernières années, alors qu'elle en avait tant osé par le passé. C'est tout à fait compréhensible, on ne change pas une recette qui marche, on se contente de tout faire pour qu'elle continue à marcher.

    Or, maintenant, il semble que la recette qui a assuré cette croissance ne soit plus assez au goût des consommateurs. Il va donc falloir en changer et c'est là que les choses sont intéressantes et que Tim le cuisinier va devoir passer de second chef promu par le départ du premier et qui a repris servilement sa carte à un autre qui va devoir proposer des produits inédits.

    Bien entendu il va devoir prendre des risques, chose qu'il n'a pas encore eu l'occasion de faire réellement, mais après tout, c'est ce qui a fait la réussite d'Apple par le passé, réussir le pari de proposer des produits différents, inédits, que les autres ne voulaient même pas concevoir car trop en rupture avec les habitudes pour tenter leur chance.

    Maintenant, et nous finirons là dessus, le vrai risque pour Apple serait de refuser d'en prendre.

  • SanDisk Announces Z410 Client SSD (AnandTech)

    SanDisk has introduced a new low-end drive to their line of client SSDs targeted at business and OEM customers. The Z410 is positioned closely to Z400s but is not a direct replacement. Instead, the Z410 focuses on offering just the most popular capacities for mainstream PC usage while the Z400s continues to serve other markets with mSATA and M.2 versions and capacities as small as 32GB.

    First announced almost a year ago as the first 15nm TLC SSD, the Z400s sought to cut costs in order to break into new parts of the embedded and client PC markets. The Silicon Motion SM2246XT controller it uses is a DRAM-less two or four channel design that limits potential performance and capacity. The SM2246XT also lacks encryption support and LDPC error correction.

    The SanDisk Z410 abandons the mSATA and M.2 form factors to focus specifically on 2.5" with capacities from 120GB to 480GB. The only significant performance difference from the Z400s is a substantial increase in sequential write speed, while sequential read speeds are rated slightly lower and random read and write specifications are similar. The Z410 does benefit from a controller upgrade that allows for LDPC error correction and SLC caching, but it seems the latter's impact on write amplification has kept the write endurance ratings from increasing substantially. The three year warranty period on the Z410 is also shorter than the five years offered for the Z400s.

    SanDisk OEM Client SSD Comparison
    Drive X400 Z410 Z400s
    Capacities 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 120GB, 240GB, 480GB 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
    Controller Marvell 88SS1074 ? Silicon Motion SM2246XT
    Sequential Read 545 MB/s 535 MB/s 546 MB/s
    Sequential Write 520 MB/s 445 MB/s 342 MB/s
    Random Read IOPS 95k 37k 37k
    Random Write IOPS 75k 68k 69k
    Form Factors 2.5", M.2 2280 2.5" 2.5", mSATA, M.2 2242, M.2 2280
    Encryption TCG Opal (optional) None None
    Endurance 72-320 TBW 40-120TBW 20-72 TBW
    Warranty 5 years 3 years 5 years

    The introduction of the Z410 puts SanDisk in the unusual position of having three tiers of TLC NAND-based SATA SSDs. While their consumer-oriented product line still includes the MLC-based Extreme Pro, SanDisk's business/OEM line tops out with the TLC-based X400. The X400 distinguishes itself with clearly higher performance and endurance and the availability of a 1TB capacity, but the Z400s and Z410 are close enough to cause some confusion. The Z410 will probably end up displacing the 128GB and 256GB 2.5" Z400s while the rest of the Z400s line sticks around for the less competitive niches.

  • Une nouvelle fournée de beta (MacBidouille)

    Apple propose une nouvelle vague de beta dont OS X 10.11.5 e, beta 3 ainsi qu'iOS 9.3.2 en beta 3 également.

  • MSI Cubi 2 Plus vPro Skylake mini-STX PC Review (AnandTech)

    The desktop PC market has been subject to many challenges over the last few years. However, the miniaturization trend (including the introduction of the ultra-compact form factor - UCFF - NUCs) has provided some bright spots. The recent introduction of the mini-STX (5x5) form factor has provided yet another option between the NUC and the mITX form factor for PC builders. The ECS LIVA One was one of the first mini-STX PCs to come to the market. MSI also introduced the Cubi 2 Plus models around the same time. The lineup consists of two models - the consumer-focused Cubi 2 Plus, and the business-focused Cubi 2 Plus vPro. Read on for our review of the two versions of the mini-PC.

  • Le FBI avertit Apple d'une faille de sécurité dans iOS et OS X, une première...mais qui était déjà corrigée (Génération NT: logiciels)
    Pour la première fois, le FBI a communiqué à Apple l'existence d'une faille de sécurité dans ses plates-formes iOS et MacOS...qui avait été corrigée neuf mois plus tôt.
  • Le FBI dévoile des failles de sécurité iOS et OS X à Apple (MacBidouille)

    Reuters rapporte que le FBI a dévoilé à Apple des failles de sécurité. Elles l'ont été dans le cadre d'un programme appelé "Vulnerability Equities Process". Ce programme est en fait un système décisionnel interne qui décide si des failles obtenues par le FBI doivent être communiquées à l'éditeur de logiciel ou exploitées à des fins d'enquête.

    Les failles dévoilées par le FBI n'ont pas un grand intérêt étant donné qu'elles concernent d'anciennes versions d'iOS et d'OS X et qu'elles ont disparu des versions plus récentes. Donc soit Apple était au courant, soit elles concernaient des pans de code depuis abandonnés.

    De son côté Apple a annoncé qu'elles ne seront pas comblées, les appareils faillibles étant en nette minorité, 20% pour les iPhone.

  • Des résultats Apple en net recul (MacBidouille)

    Comme prévu, Apple a annoncé des résultats en baisse conséquente.

    Durant le dernier trimestre échu la société a vendu 51,1 millions d'iPhone, soit 18% de moins que l'an dernier à la même période.
    Pour les iPad on est à 10,2 millions d'unités, soit -19%. Pour les Mac, 4 millions (-9%).

    Le chiffre d'affaires global est de 50,6 milliards, en baisse de 13% par rapport à l'an dernier.

    Apple a quand même annoncé quelques bonnes nouvelles, comme le fait qu'elle ait 13 millions d'abonnés Apple Music, que la croissance d'Apple Pay est très forte et que les actionnaires vont toucher plus de dividendes.

    Toutefois, la société prévoit encore des revenus en baisse pour le prochain trimestre.

  • Apple Announces Q2 Fiscal Year 2016 Results: iPhone Sales Slowed But Services Gain (AnandTech)

    This afternoon, Apple released their Q2 earnings for fiscal year 2016, which ended on March 26. The company saw revenues decline for the first time since Q1 2003, according to CNN. The results today did not meet expectations, but that was quite a run to go over 13 years without a year-over-year decline in revenue. Revenue for the quarter was $50.56 billion, which is 10% lower than the $58.01 billion announced a year ago. Gross margin was $19.9 billion, or 39.4%, which was down from the 40.8% gross margin in Q2 2015. Net income was down 22.5% as well, coming in at $10.5 billion for the quarter. This resulted in earnings per share of $1.90, down from $2.33 a year ago.

    Apple Q2 2016 Financial Results (GAAP)
      Q2'2016 Q1'2015 Q2'2015
    Revenue (in Billions USD) $50.557 $75.872 $58.010
    Gross Margin (in Billions USD) $19.921 $30.423 $23.656
    Operating Income (in Billions USD) $13.987 $24.171 $18.278
    Net Income (in Billions USD) $10.516 $18.361 $13.569
    Margins 39.4% 40.1% 40.8%
    Earnings per Share (in USD) $1.90 $3.30 $2.33

    iPhone sales have certainly slowed, but Apple was almost destined to falter after reporting such strong quarters a year ago. The launch of the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus triggered year-over-year growth in iPhone sales of 40% a year ago, and 46% growth the quarter before that. Strong growth in China helped fuel a lot of that gain, since it was practically an untapped market for Apple, but revenue from China fell 26% from a year ago. With Apple being a company that has struggled to expand it’s market outside of iPhone, when the one segment falters it can make a big impact on the results, which is exactly what happened here.

    Pretty much every earnings report, sales of the iPhone dominate the discussion, and today is not really any different. Apple sold 51.2 million iPhones this quarter, which is a drop of 16% year-over-year. That brought in revenue of $32.86 billion for the quarter, which is a drop of 18% year-over-year. A larger revenue drop than unit sales means that of the iPhones it is selling, the average selling price is also down. Apple still gets 65% of its revenue from the iPhone, even on a down quarter, but the other segments are not pulling up the slack.

    iPad sales continue their downward trajectory, with sales of 10.251 million units this quarter, which is down 19% from a year ago. Revenue for the iPad was $4.4 billion, also down 19%. This has been a common trend with the iPad over the last year or two, and what originally looked to be another strong growth segment for Apple has quickly become a market where sales keep declining. Eventually they will bottom, but even with the solid new entries in the iPad Pro, the smaller iPad Pro 9.7, and even the new iPad Mini, the Apple tablet market has quickly reached a point where people are not upgrading as quickly as the iPhone market does, and you have to start to wonder when sales of the iPad are going to bottom out.

    The PC market is certainly declining, but the Mac has soldiered on, generally outperforming the PC market even in the down times. That trend also stopped this quarter, with Mac sales down 12% year-over-year, to 4.0 million devices. Revenue for the Mac was $5.1 billion, which is down 9% compared to last year, so the average selling price has increased a bit while sales have fallen. We’ve not seen Apple refresh the Mac for some time though, with only the MacBook getting Skylake, so sales may be affected by this as well.

    Services, which include internet services, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and others, are now the second largest revenue source for Apple, with revenues up this quarter 20% over last year, for a total of just a hair under $6 billion for the quarter. Even compared to the holiday quarter, which was Q1, sales were pretty much flat, and all of the other segments dropped significantly (and expectedly) compared to last quarter. You likely don’t think of Apple as a services company, but iTunes sales, Apple Music, and their other services are now the number two product at Apple, and that’s pretty surprising. It may not be number two next quarter, but with Apple having over a billion people using their services now, sales here should stay strong.

    The final segment from Apple is “Other Products” which includes Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPod, Beats, and accessories. This segment also grew significantly year-over-year, to $2.2 billion, which is up 30%. Although Apple doesn’t break down the products inside here, the addition of Apple Watch likely makes up a good portion of this, since it wasn’t part of the category a year ago.

    Apple Q2 2016 Device Sales (thousands)
      Q2'2016 Q1'2016 Q2'2015 Seq Change Year/Year Change
    iPhone 51,193 74,779 61,170 -32% -16%
    iPad 10,251 16,122 12,623 -36% -19%
    Mac 4,034 5,312 4,563 -24% -12%

    Apple announced they were going to be adding an additional $50 billion to their capital return program, bringing the program up to $250 billion in cash returned to shareholders by the end of March 2018. The dividend will be increased to $0.57 per share, and they will buy back $175 billion in shares, up from the original goal of $140 billion in shares.

    They also announced guidance for the next quarter, where they expect revenue between $41 and $43 billion (Q3 2015 revenue was $49.6 billion) and gross margin is expected to drop again to between 37.5 and 38%. With this guidance, next quarter may be very similar to this one.

    Apple Q2 2016 Revenue by Product (billions)
      Q2'2016 Q1'2016 Q2'2015 Revenue for current quarter
    iPhone $32.857 $51.635 $40.282 65.0%
    iPad $4.413 $7.084 $5.428 8.7%
    Mac $5.107 $6.746 $5.615 10.1%
    iTunes/Software/Services $5.991 $6.056 $4.996 11.8%
    Other Products $2.189 $4.351 $1.689 4.3%

    I don't think we have to worry about Apple going bankrupt just yet, but today’s earnings are a big change in what we’ve gotten used to in the last 13 years or so. All things must come to an end, and today it was Apple’s amazing track record over the last decade or more. They are certainly not alone in having their struggles this quarter, but the drop is pretty significant nonetheless.

    Source: Apple Investor Relations

  • L'Inde va imposer un nouveau bouton spécifique aux smartphones (MacBidouille)

    Alors qu'il se dit qu'Apple voudrait se séparer aussi rapidement que possible du bouton "home" de son iPhone, l'Inde a voté une loi qui va poser des problèmes à tous les fabricants de smartphone.
    Cette loi va imposer à tous les fabricants de téléphones mobiles d'ajouter un bouton spécifique dont l'utilisation provoquera automatiquement l'appel des secours avec la localisation de ce dernier. Le but est de venir en aide au plus vite aux personnes en danger.

    L'idée n'est pas mauvaise, mais les services de secours auront certainement à gérer un nombre incalculable d'appels déclenchés par erreur et qui risquent de les déborder assez rapidement.

  • L'onde va imposer un nouveau bouton spécifique aux smartphones (MacBidouille)

    Alors qu'il se dit qu'Apple voudrait se séparer aussi rapidement que possible du bouton "home" de son iPhone, l'Inde a voté une loi qui va poser des problèmes à tous les fabricants de smartphone.
    Cette loi va imposer à tous les fabricants de téléphones mobiles d'ajouter un bouton spécifique dont l'utilisation provoquer automatiquement l'appel des secours avec la localisation de ce dernier. Le but est de venir en aide au plus vite aux personnes en danger.

    L'idée n'est pas mauvaise, mais les services de secours auront certainement à gérer un nombre incalculable d'appels déclenchés par erreur et qui risquent de déborder les services de secours assez rapidement.

  • (MacBidouille)

    Depuis plusieurs années le marché de la DRAM est en crise. La demande est systématiquement moins forte que la production, ce qui a fait dégringoler les prix de la mémoire vive à des niveaux toujours plus bas.
    Afin de continuer à gagner de l'argent sur ce marché, Samsung a réussi à fabriquer de la DRAM en 18nm. SK-Hynix n'a visiblement pas le courage de payer très cher pour réussir la même prouesse sans être certain de la rentabiliser. La société a annoncé qu'elle allait réduire la voilure sur ce segment de son activité. Elle ne va plus chercher à gagner coûte que coûte des parts de marché mais tenter de se retourner vers d'autres moyens de rendre ses activités plus rentables.

    Le candidat est probablement tout trouvé, il s'agit de la Flash NAND dont on fait des usages de plus en plus larges et surtout de la mémoire qui va lui succéder dans quelques années et qui promet de nouvelles possibilités inédites, surtout en terme de performances. La vraie difficulté actuellement est de miser sur le bon cheval car plusieurs technologies concurrentes sont sur les rangs pour succéder à la Flash, mais à terme, une seule gagnera la course, comme toujours.

  • L'USB Type-C supportera aussi l'audio digital (MacBidouille)

    Intel a annoncé son intention de faire amender la norme régissant l'USB Type-C afin d'y ajouter le support de l'audio numérique.

    Difficile de dire si cette décision a été motivée par les rumeurs de l'abandon futur de la prise jack par Apple pour de l'audio via le lightning.
    En tout cas, si Intel réussit à imposer sa volonté, et qu'Apple est sur la même ligne de conduite, on pourrait assister à une révolution, celle de la disparition programmée d'un des connecteurs qui avec les prises de courant aura réussi à durer le plus longtemps dans l'histoire.

  • Attention à votre mot de passe Wi-Fi si vous revendez votre Mac (MacBidouille)

    Nous donnons la parole à Superfred:

    Je découvre ce jour et je ne suis pas certain que beaucoup d'utilisateurs soient au courant que les mots de passe Wi-Fi restent stockés sur la NVRAM.
    Je voulais, en effet, effacer et reformater le DD d'un macbook pro destiné à être revendu et au redémarrage sur la partition recovery, je découvre que ce mac est encore connecté à mon réseau Wi-Fi perso...

    Après de nombreuses recherches sur Internet, cela se confirme :


    Pour éviter cela, il faut également vider la NVRAM d'un mac destiné à être vendu.

    Dans le cas contraire et même après reformatage secure (7 passages) du DD, on vend un mac qui aura encore accès à notre réseau Wi-Fi...

    La chose est bonne à savoir.

  • Intel Proposes to Use USB Type-C Digital Audio Technology (AnandTech)

    USB Type-C has a number of chances to become the standard for data and charging connector for smartphones and tablets running either Android or Windows. However, in the long-term future, Intel wants USB-C to be even more universal (and therefore pervasive) than it is going to be, which is why at IDF Shenzhen part of one of the talks evolved around using Type-C for audio.

    Audio receptacles on PCs and mobile equipment are virtually the last remaining analog interfaces of modern devices, requiring certain techniques to maintain a high audio quality and remove interference. Intel proposes to replace things like 3.5 mm mini-jack with USB Type-C which will help to add features to headsets and will simplify connections of multi-channel audio equipment to various gadgets. This is not the first time a company has proposed to replace analog audio on PCs and mobile devices, but so far, nobody has succeeded due to the ubiquity of 3.5mm. Since the industry may still not be ready to go all-digital, there seems to be a backup plan.

    Various types of audio jacks to connect headphones to audio equipment have been around for decades. For example, the original 6.35 mm connector, which is still widely used by audio equipment, was invented in 1878. Meanwhile, two-conductor miniature 3.5 mm audio connector (which is the most widely used audio connector at present) has been around since 1960s. Headphone jacks have evolved; they have gained contacts to support microphones and even basic programmable capabilities to enable remote controls. However, fundamentally, the ability to listen to audio through a speaker has remained the same for over a hundred years: completely analog and barely any smart functionality. Today's smartphones are used for all sorts of different purposes and are connected to a variety of devices, which requires sophisticated interconnection technologies with high data-rates. At the same time, as phones and devices get thinner, or even to simplify some of the internal design, it gets harder to install multiple ports for various purposes. If there were to be a universal connector that does it all, including audio, Intel and some other players want USB Type-C to be that universal connector.

    In fact, USB-C can be used to transfer analog audio in accordance with the specification of the connector. It all comes down as to how that audio is transmitted.

    The USB-C has sideband use pins (SBU1 and SBU2) which can be used for analog audio in audio adapter accessory mode. Use of the sideband pins should not impact data transfers and other vital functionality of USB-C cables, which should make them relatively simple from the engineering point of view. In this case, the USB-C connector will just replace the 3.5 mm mini jack and may even gain some additional features, such as a thermal sensor in an earpiece could measure temperature for fitness tracking.

    The concept is not completely new and we saw it years ago - back in the 2000s, Motorola used the mini-USB connector on its feature phones to enable charging, data transfers and a headset connection. The idea to use one connector for everything was not entirely bad, however, it left users without a choice of headsets. However, if the makers of devices (as well as producers of audio listening equipment) adopt USB-C, the is potential that the problem will not occur again. In the advent of digital signal transfer, this allows the headset to drive the digital-to-analog conversion, removing electronic interference from the host and potentially offering a wide array of audio results.

    However, transferring analog audio using USB-C’s SBU pins is not the only thing that Intel is working on.

    At present, Intel is finalizing the USB Type-C Digital Audio technology and plans to release its specification later in Q2. The company does not reveal a lot about the standard right now, but notes that it is working on updating the USB Audio Device Class 2.0 specifications to support new connector, expand the list of recent audio specifications and features, improve power management and simplify the discovery and configuration model to make the upcoming headsets as easy to use as today’s headsets.

    In fact, one of the important issues with streaming audio over USB is the synchronization of data streams from the host to the receiver. The USB Audio Device Class specification solved the problem in the past and because Intel mentioned the USB Audio Device Class 2.0 in its presentation at IDF, this may mean that the new the USB-C Digital Audio spec will rely on this synchronization mechanism as well. Intel wants its USB-S Digital Audio to be backward-compatible with USB Audio (1.0 and 2.0), but naturally plans to add support for new music formats.

    Usage of digital audio means that headsets should gain their own amplifiers, DACs and various other logic, which is currently located inside smartphones. Intel proposes to install special multi-function processing units (MPUs), which will perform beam forming, noise suppression, acoustic echo suppression (AES), acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), non-linear processing and other operations. The MPUs will also support HDCP technology, hence, it will not be possible to make digital copies of records using USB-C digital headset outputs. It is unlikely that audio processing will be offloaded to external headsets completely, but the latter will clearly gain their own chips. This may, however, see a spike in cost, especially at the super-low end.

    A good thing about USB Type-C headsets with MPUs is that they are going to be software upgradeable and could gain functionality over their lifespan. Intel admits that such MPUs will make digital headsets more expensive compared to analog devices, but high volumes and new process technologies will help to reduce the cost of digital headsets over time. In fact, USB Audio headsets and audio chips for them are not something completely new. For example, Plantronics Audio 655 DSP headset costs $49.99, whereas CMedia’s HS-100 chip for headsets is available $1. Therefore, from the cost perspective, digital headphones should not be too much more expensive in general. Meanwhile, Intel wants USB-C digital audio headsets to offer “significant value at higher end” and have improved functionality in a bid to become popular among consumers.

    The industry has successfully replaced analog cables with HDMI for video equipment in the living room and in the coming years will retire the D-Sub interconnection for computer displays. However, audio jacks have survived multiple generations as other standards have changed. In fact, Intel itself eliminated analog audio jacks in its first-generation NUCs PCs, but had to return them in subsequent generations. With USB-C Digital Audio Intel may not be alone. Google’s Android 5.0 already supports USB DAC devices and thus digital headsets. Moreover, last week LeEco released several smartphones without audio jacks, so, there are attempts to eliminate them from mobile devices already. One maker will not make any difference, but a coordinated move by market leaders, such as Samsung, LG or HTC, could have a significant impact.

  • The Riotoro Prism CR1280 Case Review (AnandTech)

    In this review we are having our first encounter with Riotoro, a new manufacturer of PC cases and peripherals. The Prism CR1280 that we are putting to the test today is the world’s first RGB case, a very large tower primarily designed for advanced gaming systems.

  • AMD Releases Radeon Pro Duo: Dual Fiji, 350W, $1500 (AnandTech)

    These recent years we have seen a slow but steady buildup of VR from both technological developments to growing enthusiasm shown by consumers and the industry. Today AMD is releasing the Radeon Pro Duo to the market as their first card targeted at VR developers. This card is not being directly aimed at gamers, despite the capability under the hood, but focuses on official support for professional software. Additionally, multiple initiatives are being both spearheaded and supported by AMD and others to encourage growth in the VR sector.


    The AMD Radeon Pro Duo was first announced back in March, with the card is being marketed for VR content creation first and foremost. With this card, AMD is promoting the ability to allocate one GPU per eye while powering VR experiences. This way the case is opened up for performance beyond what any other single card can offer today. Another use case for developers is offloading compute work to the second GPU while the first is used for graphical work which can make for a much smoother experience during demanding a workflow.

    Gaming is definitely possible on Radeon Pro Duo and alongside the FirePro drivers for content creators, Radeon drivers will be available. The Pro Duo will not see validation for as many applications as a true FirePro card, but official support will be provided for applications important to gaming content creation such as Autodesk, Maya, and Blackmagic Davinci Resolve.

    AMD GPU Specification Comparison
      AMD Radeon Pro Duo AMD Radeon R9 Fury X AMD Radeon R9 Fury AMD Radeon R9 295X2
    Stream Processors 2 x 4096 4096 3584 2 x 2816
    Texture Units 2 x 256 256 224 2 x 176
    ROPs 2 x 64 64 64 2 x 64
    Boost Clock 1000MHz 1050MHz 1000MHz 1018MHz
    Memory Clock 1Gbps HBM 1Gbps HBM 1Gbps HBM 5Gbps GDDR5
    Memory Bus Width 2 x 4096-bit 4096-bit 4096-bit 2 x 512-bit
    VRAM 2 x 4GB 4GB 4GB 2 x 4GB
    FP64 1/16 1/16 1/16 1/8
    TrueAudio Y Y Y Y
    Transistor Count 2 x 8.9B 8.9B 8.9B 2 x 6.2B
    Typical Board Power 350W 275W 275W 500W
    Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
    Architecture GCN 1.2 GCN 1.2 GCN 1.2 GCN 1.1
    GPU Fiji Fiji Fiji Hawaii
    Launch Date Q2 2016 06/24/2015 07/14/2015 04/21/2014
    Launch Price $1499 $649 $549 $1499

    The Radeon Pro Duo is essentially and effectively two Radeon R9 Nanos together on a single PCB. At a high level, the Pro Duo should give us up to twice the performance at twice the power consumption (plus a bit extra for PCIe switches). To remove heat, the card comes with a closed loop cooler similar to that found on AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X. This cooler, unlike the one found on the R9 295X2, provides a complete liquid cooling solution covering the VRMs on both GPUs along with the GPUs themselves. For reference, the pipes on this one are 540 mm long, and the double-thick radiator with fan comes in at 63 mm

    Moving past the cooling solution we get three full sized DisplayPort connectors and one full-size HDMI port. On the side of the card there are three 8-pin PCIe power connectors which will do more than an adequate job of supplying the rated 350W power draw. Note that 350W is the equivalent of dual R9 Nano cards (rated at 175W a piece), and will be clocked similarly. The reactive frequency adjustments to heavily loading, by inference, are likely to be similar but we expect AMD to be using low-power binned parts for their new high-end card.

    The Radeon Pro Duo is launching today at $1500, or three times the current price of the R9 Nano. That’s a $500 price premium to combine two cards into one. Even with the price, AMD is keen to admit that the Radeon Pro Duo is now the single fastest graphics card on the market since the competition doesn’t offer a similar product at this time. From our perspective at AnandTech, we still advise that users are better off investing in a single powerful GPU first, and only scaling out into SLI/CF when requirements for extreme performance are such that a single GPU solution cannot provide. With VR, it stands a good chance at pushing gaming machines harder than anything we’ve seen so far, especially when trying to maintain a smooth and low latency experience. It all depends on the workflow and subsequent frame rendering methods used.

    Alongside all of this news and information is renewed attention for several initiatives AMD is taking part in. AMD has placed the Radeon Pro Duo as the first card in their AMD VR Ready Creator Line. The goal being that the Pro Duo, coupled with Liquid VR, will create a powerful and capable platform to develop future VR experiences. The AMD VR Ready Creator Line is also the platform of choice for Crytek’s VR First initiative, which intends to foster growth in the VR industry by supporting developers by powering virtual reality labs in colleges and universities around the world.

    We are approaching a crossroads between the outgoing GPU generation and the upcoming cards coming out later this year. The Radeon Pro Duo is part of an outgoing generation but aims to provide a competent platform for VR content creation following known architecture guidelines. Along with the new hardware released today, there are many initiatives in motion that aim to encourage growth in VR, and new hardware will continue to be an important tool for creating innovative experiences moving forward.

    We have already seen Tmall post up an early listing for an XFX variant of the Pro Duo, and retailers should be showing other OEMs variants today as well. At current, AMD's base design is expected to be the sole variant of the Pro Duo.

    Source: AMD

  • AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2 Hotfix (AnandTech)

    With a couple of weeks since their last driver release, AMD has handed us another update. Alongside a list of fixes, and a focus on a narrow set of issues, the new version has now been given full support for external GPU docks using Thunderbolt 3 via AMD's XConnect platform.

    Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2 brings the Driver version to 16.15.2401. With the new driver version comes a list of gaming updates with a heavy focus on Crossfire. Along with new Crossfire profiles for both Elite Dangerous and the new Need for Speed title, we have a list of 12 other fixes: eight of them are for various issues related to stuttering, flickering, or corruption in various games while playing with Crossfire enabled, and the other four target adjustments to Radeon software settings. These fixes include issues such as games failing to show up in the supported list, the power efficiency toggle showing up for some unsupported products, and some DX9 applications being unable to run with AMD Crossfire disabled. The last two relate to some users of the Radeon R9 380 experiencing slower than expected fan speed and GPU clocks on some AMD products remaining in a higher clock state after recovering from an application crash.

    More importantly, this driver provides full support for AMD XConnect technology. With XConnect support, a system can have TB3 dock compatibility with either a Radeon R9 Fury, a Nano or a 300 series GPU housed in the external enclosure. As reported previously, AMD does make clear that a system also requires BIOS support alongside compatible drivers alongside the external TB3 dock. AMD also states in the fine print that not all external enclosures are pre-configured with an AMD Radeon GPU (so your mileage may vary), and also some external enclosures may not feature user upgradability.

    As always, those interested in reading more or installing the updated hotfix drivers for AMD’s desktop, mobile, and integrated GPUs can find them either under the driver update section in Radeon Settings or on AMDs Radeon Software Crimson Edition download page.

Une femme qui est belle a toujours de l'esprit ;
elle a l'esprit d'être belle.
-+- Théophile Gautier -+-