Microsoft Reveals Xbox Series X Specifications

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox Series X Specifications
Number 1075
Broadcast Date MARCH 16, 2020
Episode Length 5:34
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Microsoft reveals the full specifications of the Xbox Series X, Alphabet’s Verily launches its pilot COVID-19 screening and testing website for the San Francisco Bay area, and the US FCC announces the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” with ISPs.


Microsoft revealed the full specs of the upcoming Xbox Series X. The next-gen console includes a custom 7nm AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores clocked at 3.8GHz, a AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12 teraflops of performance and 52 compute units clocked at 1.825GHz, with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and a 1TB NVMe SSD. Console storage can be expanded with 1TB expansion cards on the rear of the machine, and it includes USB 3.2 external hard drive support and a 4K Blu-ray drive. Games states can be saved directly to the SSD to be resumed up to weeks later after system updates, and Microsoft is using a “Xbox Velocity Architecture,” to allow developers to dynamically load large environments from the SSD into memory. Microsoft demos load time on the console, with State of Decay 2 loading 40 seconds faster compared to the Xbox One X.
Microsoft announced that 1 billion active machines now use Windows 10, including PCs, laptops, Xbox One consoles, and HoloLens devices. The milestone comes less than 5 years after the OS launched, although Microsoft originally set a three year target, based on projected installs on Windows Phone devices. Microsoft also disclosed it has 17.8 million Windows Insider testers.
AMD announced new top end mobile processors, the Ryzen 9 4900H and 4900HS. Both are built on a 7nm process, offer 8 Zen 2-based cores and 16-threads, and 8 GPU compute units. The 4900H has a TDP of 45W, a base frequency of 3.3GHz, with a turbo up to 4.4GHz, while the 4900HS offers a 35W TDP, a base clock of 3GHz, and a turbo up to 4.3GHz. Both are expected to hit the market in Q2 2020.
Alphabet's Verily subsidiary launched its pilot COVID-19 screening and testing website on Sunday night. The site is limited to the San Francisco Bay Area and requires sign in with a Google account. The site allows those 18-years and older to take a screener survey, and can direct people to available mobile testing facilities based on capacity in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, with test result available in a few days. Verily plans to scale the site to other areas as more testing kits and sites become available.
The US Federal Communications Commission announced the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” signed by dozen of telecom providers, who agreed to not terminate service or assess late fees on customers and businesses over the next 60 days and open wi-fi hot spots to any American. FCC Chair Ajit Pai also urged telcos to take further steps on their own like relaxing data caps, which AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Comcast have suspended for the next 60 days.
In December, Amazon announced it would contribute code to a new networking operating system designed for switches called Dent, a project maintained by the Linux Foundation. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon plans to use Dent to open source parts of its "Just Walk Out" cashierless technology, according to sources. Amazon also reportedly met with Target and Walmart to discuss the technology, but neither has plans to test the technology currently.
Microsoft has decided to make its BUILD developer conference a digital conference May 19-21. The event had been scheduled to take place in Seattle. And Apple announced its Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC will be held online in June with the usual keynote and developer sessions delivered over the internet. Apple did not announce specific dates.
The French Competition Authority fined Apple 1.1 billion euros for anti-competitive practices regarding agreements with wholesalers Tech Data, and Ingram Micro. The ruling found that Apple and the two companies agreed not to compete with each other, that Apple stopped premium resellers from lowering prices, and unfairly limited supply to those resellers. Tech Data and Ingram Micro received fines of 76.1 million euros and 62.9 million euros respectively. The complaint that sparked the probe into Apple's practices came in 2012 from the premium reseller Apple plans to appeal the ruling.
Bloomberg reports that, according to sources, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department suffered a cyber-attack on Sunday night. The attack reportedly was a distributed denial of service designed to slow the agency's systems down, but didn't appear to do so in a meaningful way. It doesn't appear that any data was lost or exfiltrated, and it is unknown what party was behind it.
Steam recorded a new record of 20.3 million concurrent users over the weekend, with a record 6.4 million actively playing a game. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the post popular game with over 1 million simultaneous players, followed by Dota 2 and PUBG.
Microsoft announced that co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates is stepping down from its Board of Directors. Gates plans to spend more time on philanthropic activities, and will continue to serve as Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella. He served as Microsoft board chairman from 2000 to 2014.


Preceded by:
"Week in Review for the Week of 3/9/20"
Microsoft Reveals Xbox Series X Specifications
Followed by:
"Amazon Will Prioritize Household and High-Demand Product Shipments"