What’s new? The 5G standard, a new AI and USB 4

Our tech news in March: Two interfaces will become one and the 5G standard is on its way. In addition, we have discovered a fascinating AI and tell you about our exhibition visits.

Bye Thunderbolt 3, Hello USB 4

The USB Promoter Group recently announced the new USB 4 standard. This version is based on Thunderbolt 3 and allows sensational data transfer rates of up to 40 GBit/s, which is twice as much as the current version USB 3.2 Gen2x2. The background: Intel hands over its Thunderbolt specification to the Universal Serial Bus Implementers Forum (USB-IF). In the future, manufacturers will be able to produce suitable chips without paying the license fees that Thunderbolt requires. So far, it is also certain that USB Type C is required in any case. In exchange, the new port can also transmit DisplayPort 1.2 as well as HDMI signals and charge devices with up to 100 watts. It is still unclear, when the first devices with USB 4 will be developed. Maybe with Intel’s new CPU generation Ice Lake, which should come in late 2019.

Sources: golem.de, heise online, GameStar.

10 times faster: The new 5G standard

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the new 5G mobile communications standard was one of the big topics. Samsung, Huawei, LG and other manufacturers have already introduced smartphones that support 5G. But what is the current status? The 5G standard is the successor of 4G/LTE and builds on this. With data rates up to 20 Gbit/s, 10x LTE speed will be achieved. In Germany, there will be the first mobile networks from 2020 onwards, but the priority is initially to open up remote locations. A faster mobile network is less important at first. To make matters worse for the expansion in Germany, the auction of 5G frequencies is delayed. Due to the strict supply requirements, the major mobile operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Telekom have requested to stop the auction.

Sources: golem.de, heise online.

Embedded World and Internet World: spo-comm at exhibition visit

In the last few weeks, two exciting fairs took place in our area, which we didn’t want to miss. At the end of February, several colleagues from sales, marketing and technology visited the Embedded World in Nuremberg. There we learned about the latest trends in the industry and met a few of our customers and partners.

In mid-March, our marketing team went to the Internet World Expo  in Munich. Here we mainly used the extensive lecture offer and heard great speakers on topics such as SEO, SEA, UX and content marketing. We took many new ideas and suggestions with us and will definitely implement some of them in the coming weeks.

Fake faces nonstop: The possibilities of AI

At the end we want to tell you about a topic that shows the exciting possibilities of artificial intelligence and has fascinated us very much: the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. With each refresh it shows a new face, that was artificially created using AI, but looks so realistic, that it cannot be distinguished from a real photo. The algorithm used here uses a so-called GAN (generative adversarial network), which creates new fake examples from a large set of real images. The StyleGAN algorithm was developed by NVIDIA and published last year as open source.

Source: The Verge.

More on this topic

4 Mar 2019 Array ( [id] => 389 [title] => What is CUDA? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => While launching our new Mini-PCs QUADRO P1000 and TEGRA 2 we already talked a lot about NVIDIA CUDA and the so-called CUDA cores. But what is CUDA actually? [description] =>

What means "CUDA"?

The term CUDA is the acronym of "Compute Unified Device Architecture".

What exactly is CUDA?

CUDA is an NVIDIA architecture for parallel calculations. The computing power of a PC is increased by using the graphics processor as well.
In the past, OpenGL and DirectX were the only way to interact with GPUs, but these APIs were mostly suited for multimedia applications. In contrast, calculations were only performed on the CPU.

Since graphics cards are ideal for computation-intensive, parallel processes, new operating systems (Windows 7 and up) no longer use GPUs only for graphics calculations, but as a general-purpose parallel processor that can be accessed by any application. Like that, calculations run parallel on the CPU and the graphics processor, which increases the performance enormously. NVIDIA CUDA supports this and enables easy and efficient parallel computing. There are now thousands of applications, countless research reports and a wide selection of CUDA tools and solutions.

What is a CUDA core?

Usually, CUDA cores are considered equivalent to CPU cores. However, the CUDA cores are less complex and at the same time appear in much larger numbers. While the usual Intel CPUs have between 2 and 8 cores, for example, the NVIDIA Quadro P1000, which is installed in our identically named Mini-PC, has 640 CUDA cores. High-End graphics cards, such as NVIDIA’s Turing generation, often have over 4000 cores. This high number is necessary because often many complex graphics calculations have to be performed simultaneously. However, since GPUs are specialized for this purpose, the cores are also constructed much more specific and are therefore smaller than the cores of CPUs.

A detailed explanation of this topic can be found at Gamingscan. If you want to get even deeper into the topic and are interested in the exact difference between CUDA cores and CPU cores, you should check out the video "Why CUDA 'Cores' Aren’t Actually Cores" from Gamers Nexus.

In which areas is CUDA used?

CUDA is used in a variety of fields. On the one hand in image and video processing, but also in the medical field, for example in CT image reconstructions. The fields AI, deep learning and machine learning also often rely on CUDA, because they require sophisticated development environments. Other topics include computer biology and chemistry, raytracing, seismic analysis and more.

Which is the current version of CUDA?

Since CUDA was introduced in 2006, it has evolved enormously. In October 2018, CUDA 10 was unveiled, along with the launch of the new Turing GPUs. More information about the new features can be found on the NVIDIA Developer Blog.

How is CUDA programmed?

When using CUDA, the programming languages C, C++, Fortran, Python and MATLAB can be used.

How can CUDA be used?

With CUDA you can work under Windows, Linux and MacOS – given that you have the right hardware. These are the graphics cards of the NVIDIA series GeForce, Quadro and Tesla as well as NVIDIA GRID solutions. An overview of CUDA enabled GPUs can be found on NVIDIA’s website. The CUDA Toolkit can be found there as well.

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What is CUDA?

While launching our new Mini-PCs QUADRO P1000 and TEGRA 2 we already talked a lot about NVIDIA CUDA and the so-called CUDA cores. But what is CUDA actually?
28 Jan 2019 Array ( [id] => 375 [title] => What’s new? AMD Ryzen, Windows 10 IoT 2019 and spo-comm IT Monitoring [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Here are the first news of the year 2019 in a spo-comm special edition: With new products for high end digital signage applications, new services, a new KUMO housing and an update for Windows 10 IoT. [description] =>

We love to maintain you: spo-comm IT-Monitoring

Solving a problem before it occurs and saving the customers an avoidable downtime is no longer a dream. We are currently working on a monitoring solution that supervises the entire hardware of our Mini-PCs with numerous sensors. At the ISE 2019 we will give some exclusive insights in our solution. More information can soon be found here.

Innovation and intelligence: Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC & SAC

In October 2018 Microsoft introduced the new Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019. It includes all feature updates since the 2016 release. The previous CBB version, which provides updates every 6 months, has been renamed Windows 10 IoT Enterprise SAC (Semi-Annual Channel). This version also includes various Windows System Apps (such as Microsoft Edge, Cortana) and Universal Apps (such as Mail/Calendar, OneNote, Weather, Music etc.). The LTSC version (Long-Term Servicing Channel) lacks these. As well, for more than ten years only security updates and no feature updates will be provided. The license and price model with the levels Entry, Value and High-End remains in place. Elbacom has a current list of processors for download. More information about the innovative possibilities for the industry offered by Windows 10 IoT can also be found on the Windows Blog.

New in our product range: spo-comm and Ryzen

In our last news we already informed about the problem around the current shortage of Intel CPUs. A solution to this misery? Another manufacturer! In the next few weeks spo-comm will launch two Mini-PCs with an AMD Ryzen V1807 CPU. Our technicians are already raving about the processor’s superior performance, especially in graphics applications.

Knowing what’s inside: New housing for KUMO IV

Since our popular KUMO IV got two additional USB 3.1 ports (one of them Type C), a new housing was needed. In the course of this renovation, we have printed the names of the connections on the housing, so that they can now be recognized and used correctly at first glance. And for all customers who use their KUMO in public places: From now on, a Kensington lock offers protection against theft.

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know-how

What’s new? AMD Ryzen, Windows 10 IoT 2019 and spo-comm IT Monitoring

Here are the first news of the year 2019 in a spo-comm special edition: With new products for high end digital signage applications, new services, a new KUMO housing and an update for Windows 10 IoT.
18 Mar 2019 Array ( [id] => 393 [title] => Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article. [description] =>

Integrated graphics cards (IGP)

A graphics processing unit – or shortly GPU – is integrated when it is a part of the chipset on the motherboard or on the same die with the CPU. The first option is called an onboard graphics card.

Since an integrated graphics card has no own memory, it utilizes – just like all the other programs – a part of the system’s RAM. How high the amount of this part is, can be controlled via the BIOS or dynamically by the system itself.

Our Mini-PCs with an Intel CPU are equipped with the integrated graphics card Intel GMA or the successor Intel HD Graphics.

Pros and cons of an IGP

Because an integrated GPU has no own video RAM it needs just a small amount of space. Combined with the feature of the low power consumption it is perfectly made for the use in small devices such as notebooks or tablets. They also cost less because no separate fan is needed. Such graphics cards can be used for any common office program or the use in the industrial field. Due to the low clock rate and the fact that it shares the RAM with every other application, an IGP has a substantially lower performance than a dedicated graphics card.

Dedicated graphics cards

In contrast to an onboard-graphics card, a dedicated graphics card holds an own video memory, or short VRAM. It is connected to the mainboard via a PCI-, PCIe- or an AGP-port.

At the moment we have four Mini-PCs in our product portfolio with a dedicated graphics card. The KUMO IV and the RUGGED GTX 1050 Ti are equipped with an Nvidia GeForce graphics card. The two other ones are the QUADRO P1000 – which is equipped with the namesake graphics card – and the NOVA Q170 that can be stocked up with an Nvidia Quadro P2000.

Pros and cons of a dedicated graphics card

The biggest advantage of a dedicated graphics card is that is has an own VRAM. That’s why the RAM can be relieved and used for other programs. Another pro is that these peripheral devices are clocked way faster and thus are more performant. Especially for the use in workstations or the demanding digital signage field, where many monitors are controlled simultaneously or programs like Adobe Photoshop or CAD for 3D modeling are used, a dedicated graphics card is absolutely needed. The enormous performance is accompanied by a high power consumption and heat development. That’s why a separate fan is needed, ergo much more space than with an IGP is occupied.

It can be summarized that a dedicated graphics card is not necessarily needed for standard applications as mentioned above. But for demanding implementations or multi-monitor solutions in the digital signage field they are very relevant.

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know-how

Integrated vs dedicated graphics card: features, differences and benefits

We don’t have to explain that graphics cards play a big role for the spo-comm Mini-PCs. Especially in the digital signage field they are significantly responsible whether applications can be realized or not. What exactly are the differences between dedicated and integrated graphics card? And why are dedicated ones better? Find the answers in this article.