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Ryzen Boosts Q2 AMD Results

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AMD publishes its Q2 2017 financial results-- overall revenues are up by 19% Y-o-Y to $1.22 billion while profit totals $25 million, even if the company remains in the red with losses reaching $16m.

AMDThe company is divided in 2 major segments, Computing and Graphics, and Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom. This quarter Computing and Graphics is the star, with revenues growing by 51% Y-o-Y to $659m thanks to demand for graphics and Ryzen desktop processors. The operating income for the segment is $7m, an improvement over the $81m loss of Q2 2016 thanks to what AMD describes as an "improved product mix."

Since Q2 2017 is the first full quarter of Ryzen processor shipments, it also sees an increase in desktop processor ASPs. GPU ASPs are also on the up, the result of a short supply (and growing demand) for desirable gaming-targeted graphics cards.

USB Gets 3.2 Update

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The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announces the USB 3.2 specification-- an incremental update defining multi-lane operation for USB 3.2 hosts and devices, allowing for faster communications over USB-C cables.

USB PortThe update allows USB 3.2 devices to handle up to two traffic lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps operation. As a result, a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device is capable of data transfers reaching over 2GB/s over an existing USB-C cable certified for Super Speed USB 10Gbps.

In addition, USB 3.2 continues to use existing SuperSpeed USB physical layer data rates and encoding techniques, while a minor hub specification update addresses the increase in performance for seamless transition between single and two-lane operation.

LG Presents Q8 Smartphone

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LG announces a smaller, splash-proof version of the flagship V20 smartphone-- the Q8, a 5.2-inch handset with all features from its bigger sibling, including the always-on second screen on top of the main display.

LG Q8The Q8 carries all the high-end internals from the V20, such as the Qualcomm 820 processor, 32-bit DAC, 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS display, secondary 160 x 1040 always-on display and dual-camera setup. Further internals include 4GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable to 2TB via microSD card) and 3000mAh battery.

Connectivity comes through wifi, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, NFC and USB-C. A fingerprint sensor is included, while the body is IP67-rated for resistance against splashes, drops and other such hazards.

How to Add a Touchscreen to the MacBook Air

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Neonode announces a 13-inch MacBook Air version of the AirBar-- a plug-and-touch means to add touchscreen functionality to non-touch laptops via what the company calls zForce AIR technology.

AirBar MacThe AirBar is a slim aluminium bar one magnetically attaches to the bezel underneath the MacBook Air display. It plugs in via USB, and users may either immediately plug-and-touch or install multi-touch software, and it allows users to touch the screen with anything from a gloved finger to a paintbrush.

Supported interactions include scrolling through emails, reading eBooks and zooming in on images. The AirBar requires 17mm of free space below the display, which is why it is not compatible with the MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook or 11-inch MacBook.

Nanomaterials for Faster Charging Batteries

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Researchers at the Drexel College of Engineering present a new kind of battery electrode made with MXene, a highly conductive nanomaterial promising faster charging chemical batteries.

MXeneThe MXene material is nearly two dimensional material similar to a sandwich. It combines oxide "bread" with a conductive carbon and metal "filling," with layers stacked on top of each other like a Pringles. However the structure, while highly conductive, makes it difficult for ions, the chemical carriers of charge, to diffuse to through the battery. To resolve the issue, the researchers combined the MXene with a hydrogel, turning the Pringles into a swiss cheese through which ions can flow freely.

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