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Game

No Man’s Sky Endurance update focuses on freighters and fleets

Hello Games shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to . The studio just released the 20th major update, which is called Endurance. The previous big update, titled Outlaws, . The focus this time is on fleets and freighters.

With Endurance, Hello Games has overhauled freighters. There’s a new bridge with a quick-access teleporter that will take players to and from the new-look hangar in a jiffy. There’s the option to teleport between the capital ship and a fleet to carry out repairs on frigates too.

You’ll be able to quickly put together a space base with new parts and customizable themed rooms. Cultivate crops in a dedicated chamber, or add a catwalk, observation deck or glass corridor to gaze out at the cosmos. Using the Planetary Probe freighter module, you can remotely discover all celestial bodies in a given solar system.

Players can hire captains and pilots, and they may see engineers, biologists and technicians walking around their freighter. Hello Games upgraded freighters’ exterior visuals as well. Additionally, there are new effects for black holes and visual enhancements for nebulae — a perfectly timed update after NASA released the from James Webb Space Telescope last week.

Asteroids have been improved too. They’re more varied in shape and size and you may see thousands of them on screen simultaneously. Some may even nest creatures. Also new are procedurally generated organic frigates, which you can add to your fleet and deploy on missions. The game , which can now leech energy from enemy vessels.

Organic frigates in No Man's Sky

Hello Games

Elsewhere, a new expedition called Polestar will start soon. You’ll be tasked with taking your capital ship across the galaxy on a cruise. Rewards include new base parts (such as a flaming barrel), a jellyfish companion and a unique cape design. The update introduces new multiplayer missions too.

In the coming months, No Man’s Sky will arrive on yet more platforms. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch and macOS . A version is in the works as well.

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Categories
Computing

TSMC focuses on power and efficiency with the new 2nm node

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has just officially unveiled its 2nm node, dubbed the N2. Set to release sometime in 2025, the new process will introduce a new manufacturing technology.

According to TSMC’s teaser, the 2nm process will either provide an uplift in pure performance compared to its predecessor, or, when used at the same power levels, will be much more power-efficient.

TSMC

TSMC talked about the new 2N technology at great length, explaining the inner workings of its architecture. The 2N is going to be TSMC’s first node to use gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFETs) and will increase the chip density over the N3E node by 1.1 times. Before the 2N is ever released, TSMC will launch 3nm chips, which have also been teased at the 2022 TSMC Technology Symposium.

The 3nm node is going to come in five different tiers, and with each new release, the transistor count will go up, therefore increasing the chip’s performance and efficiency. Starting with the N3, TSMC will later release the N3E (Enhanced), N3P (Performance Enhanced), N3S (Density Enhanced), and lastly, the “Ultra-High Performance” N3X. The first 3nm chips are said to hit launch in the second half of this year.

While the 3nm process is nearer to us in terms of the launch date, it’s the 2nm that’s slightly more interesting, even though it’s still a couple of years away. TSMC’s goal with the 2nm node seems to be clear — increasing the performance-per-watt to enable both higher levels of output and efficiency. The architecture as a whole has a lot to recommend it. Let’s take the GAA nanosheet transistors as an example. They have channels surrounded by gates on all sides. This will reduce leakage, but the channels can also be widened, and that brings a performance boost. Alternatively, the channels can be shrunk to optimize the power cost.

Both the N3 and the N2 will offer considerable performance increases compared to the current N5, and all of them give the choice of balancing power consumption with performance-per-watt. As an example (first shared by Tom’s Hardware), comparing the N3 to the N5 nets an up to 15% gain in raw performance, and an up to 30% power reduction when used at the same frequency. The N3E will bring those numbers even further, up to 18% and 34%, respectively.

TSMC's wafer.
TSMC

Now, the N2 is where things start to get exciting. We can expect to see an up to 15% performance boost when used at the same power draw as the N3E node, and if the frequency is brought down to the levels provided by the N3E, the N2 will deliver an up to 30% lower power consumption.

Where will the N2 be used? It will likely find its way into all kinds of chips, ranging from mobile system-on-a-chips (SoCs), advanced graphics cards, and equally advanced processors. TSMC has mentioned that one of the features of the 2nm process is “chiplet integration.” This implies that many manufacturers may use the N2 to utilize multi-chiplet packages to pack even more power into their chips.

Smaller process nodes are never a bad thing. The N2, once it’s here, will deliver high performance to all manner of hardware, including the best CPUs and GPUs, while optimizing the power consumption and thermals. However, until that happens, we’ll have to wait. TSMC won’t start mass production until 2025, so realistically, we are unlikely to see 2nm-based devices entering the market before 2026.

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Categories
Tech News

Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 865 mobile chip focuses on 5G

Qualcomm uncorked this year’s version of its Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii, by announcing the names of its two new upcoming Snapdragon chips, the Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 765/765G. Not surprisingly, the emphasis this year is on 5G, and the “AI” those chips will apply for software enhancements.

Because this is the Snapdragon Technology Summit, we expect to hear more details of each of these chips in the coming days. For now, however, Qualcomm is just teasing the names and their basic capabilities. 

Qualcomm opened its keynote by talking about the potential of 5G.

“One year ago, we were talking 5G future. In 2019, we’ll be talking about 5G,” said Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president. Forty operators and forty OEMs across the world are investing in 5G, he said. By 2021, there will be more than 2.8 billion subscribers, with more to come.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Mark Hachman / IDG

Qualcomm expects the world to be blanketed with 5G in two years.

“The best 4G smartphone you can buy is a 5G smartphone,” Amon added. 

Amon made the case that converting from 4G LTE to 5G will be easier than expected, with the possibility for mmWave to be added to 65 percent of San Francisco cell sites, for example. With dynamic spread spectrum (DSS), basestations can radiate both 4G LTE and 5G at the same time, he said. “Reports are comng out that mmWave are performing better than anyone thought. Non-line-of -sight, 200Mbits, 14 hours of power” for handsets, he said.

“We’re going to have a faster migration to 5G than any other generation of wireless,” Amon said.

The high bandiwdth of 5G is pushing the cloud closer to edge devices like phones and PCs, creating “super apps,” and making the operating system less important, Amon said. “The ability to connect the cloud to the device will crate a entirely set of new experiences,” he said.

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