THIS WEEK marks the return of Taiwan's Computex, one of the biggest technology shows in the world.
Computex, unlike the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, is predominantly about computing, and the biggest names in the industry have showcased their latest CPU offerings, laptops and 2-in-1 devices.
We've rounded up the biggest news from Computex 2016 so far, and will update it as soon we hear more. µ
Chipmaker AMD took to this year's Computex to announce its Intel Skylake-rivalling 7th-gen Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge APUs. AMD claimed that the new APUs offer a 50 per cent hike in performance over the previous generation Carrizo APUs, and that its silicon is faster than rival chips from Intel, including the i3-6100U found in several ultraportable laptops.
The firm also launched the Polaris–powered Radeon RX 480 GPU. The RX 480 comes with 4GB or 8GB of rapid GDDR5 memory, and packs 36 compute units, a 256-bit memory bus and over five teraflops of performance. AMD is aiming the GPU squarely at VR, saying it's capable of powering high-end headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
VR was big on this year's Computex agenda, with Microsoft using the tech show to announce plans to open up Windows Holographic to VR hardware and software makers. The idea is to get more companies building mixed reality devices, apps, displays and PCs that allow people to interact with virtual objects superimposed on the physical world.
Microsoft also announced a partnership with Chinese phone maker Xiaomi that will see its Office and Skype applications pre-loaded on future Android devices out of the firm.
Cambridge-based chip designer ARM has used this year's Computex to show off its latest premium mobile CPU.
The ARM Cortex-A73, along with the Mali G71 GPU, will appear in virtual reality (VR)-ready smartphones in 2017, and the firm has worked closely with Google and its new Daydream framework to ensure high-end experiences in VR and augmented reality.
PC maker Asus has had a busy Computex so far. First up is Zenbo, the company's first automated butler. The robot, as well as being extremely adorable, is designed to take control of smart home appliances, help with household chores and act as a robotic assistant. The machine has voice recognition tech, and can be told to play songs, make video calls and stream films.
Next, Asus set its sights on Apple's 12in MacBook with the launch of the skinny, powerful and, er, MacBook-like ZenBook 3 laptop. The Intel-powered ultrabook is just 11.9mm thick, and has a 12.5in Full HD screen, up to 16GB of RAM and USB Type-C connectivity.
Asus also has Microsoft on its hit list, outing the Surface-like Transformer 3 Pro. The hybrid device takes on the Surface Pro 4 with its Intel Core i7 innards, 12.6in 2880x1920 resolution display and 8.35mm chassis.
Computex 2016 has seen the launch of the world's first 17in 2-in-1 device, courtesy of Dell. The Inspiron 17 7000 (above) has a 360-degree hinge, a 6th-gen Intel Skylake processor up to Core i7, USB Type-C connectivity and an infrared camera on the front so that you can unlock the device using your mug with Microsoft's Windows Hello.
The firm also unveiled a bunch of 11in, 13in and 15in Windows 10-powered devices, including the $249 Dell 11 3000 hybrid.
VR and 4K gamers, rejoice! Intel's Computex keynote saw the firm unveil its first 10-core desktop CPU, the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition, which it claims will revolutionise high-end gaming.
The Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X offers a 35 per cent increase in performance compared with the last-generation Haswell-based Intel Core i7-5960X and is 25 per cent faster than the previous i7 for gaming and 4K video editing, the firm said.
Chipmaker Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 1100 CPU, a processor for low-end fitness trackers and smartwatches aimed at children and the elderly.
The chip focuses on the basics, ensuring long battery life, smarter sensing, secure location and an "always-connected" experience, all while ensuring that wearable devices are as small as can be. µ
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