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DigiTimes: Mining Drives Graphics Cards

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According to DigiTimes the want for improved graphics in games is not the only driver for the GPU market-- customers also use graphics cards for Bitcoin mining, following recent price increases for the successful cryptocurrency.

AMD Bitcoin cardFor the curious, this week saw 1BTC reach the record worth of over $2900. Back in March 2017 the price was around $1000, making for nearly a 300% increase in value in the space of 3 months.

As a result, the graphics card market is enjoying "strong" Q2 2017 sales, despite the quarter being the traditionally slow season. The most popular cards for Bitcoin mining are AMD-based, but Nvidia cards also see increased demand despite higher prices. Either way, the increase in the popularity of Bitcoin mining has lead to the two companies planning cards designed specifically for the task.

Wacom Intros Windows 10, iOS Styluses

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Wacom announces a pair of styluses-- the Bamboo Ink, a Windows Ink stylus designed for writing, and the Bamboo Sketch, a stylus with a swappable fine tip for drawing on an iPhone or iPad.

Wacom BambooThe Bamboo Ink is optimised for Windows 10 devices, and comes with 3 different nibs (soft, medium, firm) for different feels. It is compatible with many Windows devices, and as previously detailed at the Microsoft Build conference it allows users to fully interact with the Edge browser, strike through words on Word and even annotate a PDF file.

Qualcomm Presents Quick Charge 4+

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Qualcomm is quick to present an update on the Quick Charge 4 standard-- Quick Charge 4+, a set of enhancements vendors can add to Quick Charge 4-compliant devices.

Qualcomm QuickchargeThe enhancements found in Quick Charge 4+ are Dual Charge (or at least a "more powerful" version of the feature found in the earlier version), Intelligent Thermal Balancing (steers current to the coolest dual charging pathways in order to keep temperatures down) and "advanced safety features" (monitor phone and connector temperature against overheating and short-circuit damage).

Hardware Takes the Stage at WWDC 2017

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Apple presents an unusual keynote at WWDC 2017-- the traditionally software-focused conference hosts a slew of hardware launches, with "the most powerful" iMac Pro, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the HomePod, a cylindrical speaker armed with Siri intelligence.

WWDC 2017Of course, the two-hour keynote also introduces updates of all Apple operating systems, namely iOS 11 (now with AR Kit, support for person-to-person payments via iMessage, HomeKit improvements and a redesigned App Store), watchOS 4 (with a Siri-powered wach face able to customise contents in real time according to user needs), tvOS (not much revealed about this one, other than a new content source in the shape of Amazon Prime Video) and macOS High Sierra (a "perfected" version of the OS with Safari updates, HEVC support and new photo editing tools).

Zotac Intros External GPU Enclosure

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Zotac is the next company to present an external graphics enclosure at Computex 2017-- the self explanatory Thunderbolt 3 External Graphics Dock.

Zotac GPU EnclosureThe device allows customers to connect a graphics card to a host system via Thunderbolt 3. Details on the Zotac enclosure are currently scant, but it appears to support cards up to 9-inch in length, restricting it to smaller graphics cards. Power comes through an internal 400W power supply capable of charging a connected notebook, and it connects via Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C.

Also included are extra connectivity options, with four USB 3.0 ports and a Quick Charge 3.0 port.

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