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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 will bring speed, security and smarts to high-end phones

PCWorld

On Wednesday, Qualcomm revealed its first concrete details of the Snapdragon 845, the next-generation mobile chip that stands a good chance of being in your next smartphone. The 845 will ship in early 2018, and appear in phones sometime after that. Qualcomm calls the Snapdragon 845 a chip to improve both artificial intelligence and immersion, blending the future of smart devices with the past. At its heart lies the Kryo 385, the semi-custom, upgraded CPU. It's still an eight-core device, with four performance cores running at 2.8GHz and four energy-efficient cores running at 1.8GHz.


Huawei Mate 10 Pro review: A great phone that's not quite pro

PCWorld

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro stretches the limits of what justifies the word "pro" in a product name, even in the hype-driven tech world. It might look more impressive than the regular Mate 10, which sports a front-facing fingerprint scanner, but both models have the same chip and camera components. The Mate 10 Pro actually has a lower-resolution screen, and Huawei has abandoned the headphone jack and microSD storage slot that remain on the cheaper model. But even with an identity crisis, the Mate 10 Pro is the kind of flagship phone you'd expect from Samsung and Google: packed with premium features, and oozing with power and performance. While it will no doubt struggle to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2 XL once it releases in the U.S. (mainly due to a lack of carrier support), Huawei has nonetheless proven that it's worthy of its No. 2 position on the smartphone charts.


Google Pixelbook review: Android and Google Assistant transform the Chromebook

PCWorld

The Pixelbook is Google's latest attempt to make the Chromebook cool. Despite two prior generations of flagship Chromebook Pixels and a handful of high-end copycats from other manufacturers, the Chromebook category remains in a rut. Typecast as cheap, disposable browsing machines or easily locked-down classroom computers, Google hasn't figured out how to make the Chromebook essential in the same way the smartphone is for most people. Google's answer is to make the Pixelbook more like a smartphone. It joins the growing list of Chromebook models that support Android apps.


Amazon Fire TV (2017) review: This is a step backward, even with 4K HDR

PCWorld

Amazon started streaming 4K HDR video way back in 2015, and now it has a streaming device to match in the new Fire TV. Assuming you have a 4K HDR television, the 2017 Fire TV streams crisper, more color-rich video for the same $70 price as Roku's Streaming Stick and Google's Chromecast Ultra. It's also a bit faster than the 1080p Fire TV Stick, which remains available for $40. Despite the step forward on video quality, the new Fire TV suffers from some confounding design choices that make basic navigation a hassle. It also requires you to keep a separate remote on hand for TV volume and power, even as those controls become table stakes on other streaming players.


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PCWorld

"The main focus should be on a more personalized experience, proactive and fast customer service." Increasingly, what they want can be boiled down to speed, and a personalized experience.Anja Wagner, social media marketing specialist, says "The main focus should be on a more personalized experience, proactive and fast customer service with the help of messenger chatbots as well as creating valuable content for your customers." "The primary step to enhancing the customer experience are through personalized mobile messaging coupled with direct interaction from the organization, such as customized messaging directly from the organization to the consumer." Mobile messaging's speed an agility means organizations can experiment, says Thomas Keil, Manager Field Marketing at SAS and big data expert.


AMD launches its Epyc server chip to take on Intel in the data center

PCWorld

It's not just the folks at AMD who hope that that the company's Epyc server processor, officially launched Tuesday, will break Intel's stranglehold on the data-center chip market. Enterprise users, web hosting companies and hyperscale cloud providers all want competition and choice in server chips to curb costs and fuel innovation. At the high end, in approximately the $4,000 range, AMD internal benchmarks show the Epyc 7601 single-socket package offering 75 percent higher floating point performance (for spreadsheets, graphics and games, for instance) and 47 percent higher integer processing performance (for whole-number and text processing, for example) than Intel's E5-2699A v4. Interestingly, AMD benchmarks show 70 percent higher integer performance over Intel in the mid-range, $800 price point level, with the Epyc 7301 facing off against the Intel E5-7630.


Amid fight with Apple, Imagination's Series8XT GPU faces challenges

PCWorld

The graphics processor in Apple's upcoming iPhone could have been based on Imagination's new PowerVR Series8XT GT8525. But the company's PowerVR GPUs are used in many low-cost and mid-range phones. Imagination is now building a business around PowerVR graphics processor designs, and that makes the GT8525 critical to the company's future. PowerVR cores, based on the Furian architecture, deliver up to a 35 percent improvement in performance from older GPUs.


ServiceNow taps AI to automate everyday workflows

PCWorld

The machine-learning capabilities will be brought into ServiceNow's cloud services for security, customer service, and HR. The Intelligent Automation Engine's algorithms are based on technology the company acquired through its purchase of DxContinuum in January. ServiceNow's new machine-learning capabilities center around the following areas: The predictive intelligence capability will be brought into the company's IT Service Managment offering first, and be incorporated into the fourth-quarter release of the Now Platform, code-named Kingston. In addition to DxContinuum, ServiceNow has acquired other companies over the past year, including IT security firm BrightPoint Security as well as cloud-management company ITapp.


Intel Xeon chips rebranded to sound like credit cards

PCWorld

Xeon chips being released mid-year will be broken down into Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze processors. The new branding will start with the server chips based on the enhanced Skylake architecture coming mid-year. Earlier this year, Intel released low-end E3 server and workstation chips based on the Kaby Lake architecture, and those chips will hang on to the old moniker. The Xeon Gold tier of processors will add "enhanced performance, fast memory, more interconnect/accelerator engines, and advanced reliability."


Google says its AI chips smoke CPUs, GPUs in performance tests

PCWorld

Four years ago, Google was faced with a conundrum: if all its users hit its voice recognition services for three minutes a day, the company would need to double the number of data centers just to handle all of the requests to the machine learning system powering those services. Rather than buy a bunch of new real estate and servers just for that purpose, the company embarked on a journey to create dedicated hardware for running machine- learning applications like voice recognition. The result was the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), a chip that is designed to accelerate the inference stage of deep neural networks. Google published a paper on Wednesday laying out the performance gains the company saw over comparable CPUs and GPUs, both in terms of raw power and the performance per watt of power consumed. A TPU was on average 15 to 30 times faster at the machine learning inference tasks tested than a comparable server-class Intel Haswell CPU or Nvidia K80 GPU.