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Analyst: Nvidia Ampere Will Boost Performance, Slash Power Consumption by 50 Percent

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Ever since AMD launched its high-end Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT GPUs on 7nm, there have been questions about when Nvidia would make a similar move. Competitively, Nvidia was able to respond to the 5700 and 5700 XT by launching refreshes of its RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 GPUs as “Super” variants of the original models, but kept using TSMC’s 12nm process for the new GPUs.

The Taipei Times has reported that the Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Company has issued an investment note to its clients advising them to expect big things from Nvidia’s next-generation architecture, codenamed Ampere. The note states: ” Nvidia’s next-generation GPU based on the Ampere architecture is to adopt 7-nanometer technology, which would lead to a 50 percent increase in graphics performance while halving power consumption.”

That’s a pretty significant set of improvements, but one of them is a lot more likely than the other. [H]ardOCP has gone offline, but the site previously conducted an extensive investigation of Nvidia scaling over time. While the full articles are no longer archived online, the pages that were available show that the GTX 1080SEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce is often much faster than the GTX 980, particularly when the two were compared in newer titles. Anandtech’s “Bench” results for the GTX 1080 versus the GTX 980 also show strong general uplift.

Data and graph by Anandtech. Blue is GTX 980, orange is GTX 1080.

In this case, the GTX 980 – GTX 1080 comparison may be more accurate than the 1080 – 2080 comparison, because Nvidia got the benefit of a node shrink when it went from 980 to 1080, while the RTX 2080 is built on an optimized version of TSMC’s 16nm, with a smaller level of improvements compared with the shift from 28nm planar silicon to 16nm FinFET. The GTX 1080 – RTX 2080 Super comparison looks a bit more like the GTX 980 – GTX 1080 figures do, but the RTX 2080 Super is far more expensive than the typical GTX 1080 was, outside of cryptocurrency-fueled GPU price hikes.

The idea that Nvidia would cut absolute power consumption by 50 percent, however, seems unlikely and ahistorical. GPUs tend to sell into TDP bands up to ~300-350W (AMD has historically been more willing to push TDP a bit harder than NV). If you compare power consumption figures for modern GPUs, they don’t tend to fluctuate by nearly this much, and there’s been a steady upward trend. Anandtech records full-system loaded power consumption in Shadow of the Tomb Raider as 205W with the GTX 980, 225W with the 1080, 314W with an RTX 2080, and 350W with an RTX 2080 Super. The RTX 2080 Super scores 127.5fps in SotTR according to Anandtech, compared with 52.3fps for the GTX 980, which means it’s definitely a more power-efficient GPU, with a calculated 2.44x increase in frame rate in exchange for a 1.7x increase in power consumption. But it still uses more power in absolute terms.

It’s also possible that Nvidia was speaking about a specific part, workload, or intended market segment with its 50 percent power consumption improvement. We’ve seen companies leverage these sorts of metrics when discussing power improvements as well.

It’s going to be a busy year in GPUs. We’ve heard repeated rumors that Ampere will launch in 2020 and AMD’s “Big Navi,” aka Navi 20, is expected this year as well. It’s not clear yet if Navi 20 will have the chops to challenge Ampere — the RX 5700 XT compares well against the RTX 2060S / RTX 2070, while the 5700 beats the RTX 2060.SEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce Slap an additional 1.5x performance on these cards and the situation changes significantly. On the other hand, AMD will have its own opportunity to introduce further improvements to RDNA and its 7nm process node with Navi 20, and the original Navi 10 GPU from last year was an impressive improvement in terms of power consumption and efficiency over GCN. The power-efficiency improvements, however, only put Navi 10 (built on 7nm) on approximately equal terms with Nvidia’s Turing (built on 12nm).  The question of how effectively Navi 20 can match Ampere will almost certainly come down to power efficiency improvements and how well AMD can scale its new silicon. It’ll also be interesting to see how Nvidia prices Ampere, given the hostile reception to its price increases with Turing, and how much it can improve ray tracing performance. All of these are likely to be significant factors in how the two GPUs compare with each other.

Thanks to Hot Hardware for spotting this news.

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CRA moves to slash ‘excessive’ fees charged by disability tax credit companies

The Canada Revenue Agency is proposing to dramatically slash what it calls “excessive” fees some companies charge to help Canadians apply for the disability tax credit, nearly five years after it was told to do so.

The move, which according to the CRA could put millions of dollars back in the hands of disabled people, is being applauded by some advocates, but panned by companies that last year collected up to $ 25 million in fees.

“The government of Canada decided that measures were needed to protect Canadians living with disabilities and their supporting family members from being charged more than what is considered adequate compensation for the services rendered,” according to a CRA analysis released earlier this month.

More than a million Canadians receive the disability tax credit, which can be worth thousands of dollars and is designed to provide help for people who have mental or physical impairments that are “severe and prolonged.”

Up to 40% in contingency fees

Over the years, businesses have sprouted up to help people apply for the tax credit. They charge anywhere from 15 to 40 per cent in contingency fees and last year collected between $ 9.5 million and $ 25.4 million, according to the CRA.

The proposed restrictions will significantly reduce that take. Companies will only be permitted to charge $ 100 for an application to determine eligibility, another $ 100 to actually apply, and then $ 100 for each year the credit is retroactive.

One of the biggest disability tax credit companies in Canada is National Benefit Authority. It has advertised in Halifax. (Susan Allen/CBC)

There have long been calls for a crackdown. Legislation introduced by the Harper government in 2014 intended to tighten the rules, but it’s only now that federal officials have released draft regulations.

“I think it’s a great change,” said Eastern Passage, N.S., resident Cathy Publicover.

Publicover has several disabilities and initially sought the help of a Toronto company called National Benefit Authority to apply for the tax credit. But after being told the company would charge her 30 per cent to submit the application, she decided to do it herself. She found it easy and simple to complete.

“At that time it would have taken $ 970 from me,” Publicover said, adding it is money she uses to pay for her medication and other health-related bills.

Those who apply for the disability tax credit are required to fill out a small portion of a form with their personal information, while the remainder is completed by the patient’s doctor or nurse practitioner.

Patrick Curran, national executive director of Independent Living Canada, calls fees in the thousands of dollars “unconscionable.” (Submitted by Patrick Curran)

Companies currently charge as much as $ 4,663 to help an adult, and $ 7,383 for an eligible minor, depending on the amount of the disability tax credit and the number of retroactive years, according to the CRA.

Those kinds of fees are “unconscionable,” said Patrick Curran, the national executive director of Independent Living Canada. The organization advocates for the disabled and has 25 offices across the country that help people fill out the disability tax credit (DTC) forms for free.

“Our position has been that there should not be any charge whatsoever for the filing of an application for a DTC,” Curran said.

He welcomes the proposed changes and said he’s fine with setting the fee at $ 100 an application.

Monique Brooks operates a one-person business helping people apply for the disability tax credit. She said the process can take more than a year and she doesn’t get paid if the tax credit is not approved. (Paul Brooks)

But Monique Brooks, who owns and operates Disability Tax Credit Consultant Services in Harrowsmith, Ont., told CBC she was “horrified” when she learned about the plan to replace contingency fees with a $ 100 flat rate per application.

“Some of these businesses have employees and so therefore it’s going to cause job loss,” she said.

One of the biggest companies is National Benefit Authority. It has not replied to a request to comment on this story.

Brooks, however, is a one-person operation.

She charges 20 per cent for helping people access the disability tax credit, although she said she provides free advice in other areas where people may need help. She said the government makes people in her business sound like “we’re vultures, and it makes it sound like we’re taking advantage of the disabled.”

She said while that may be partly true of some companies, people who are denied the tax credit need help reapplying from those who know “the ins and outs of the system.”

She said 20 per cent is reasonable because “that same Canadian without my support might have a 90 per cent chance of being denied and then they would get zero.”

The Canada Revenue Agency said it is working to simplify the disability tax credit application process. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

She said the application process is not as easy as the government makes it sound, and she’s spent two-and-a-half years helping applicants get approval. She notes she does not get paid until the application is approved and receives nothing if it’s rejected.

The executive director of an organization that represents companies like Brooks’s calls the regulations “an unprecedented move.”

Nicola Moorhouse, with the Association of Canadians Disability Benefit Professionals, said in a news release that taxes are complicated and “dealing with CRA can be a nightmare.”

She said the direct result will be unavailability of services to disabled Canadians, near total job loss within the industry and fewer benefits for those who need them most.

“It should be obvious that the intent and effect of the proposed regulations is to wipe out the service-provider business and reduce the availability of the DTC to disabled Canadians.” Moorhouse said.

CRA ‘balancing act’

A CRA spokesperson calls the regulations “an important balancing act.” On the one hand, it wants to protect persons with disabilities, who can be some of Canada’s most vulnerable people, but it also recognizes that some may need help with their tax credit requests and that companies can play a role.

“While we recognize that reaction from various stakeholders will be varied, the CRA believes it has found the right balance,” Dany Morin said.

He added the CRA is also continuing to work to simplify and clarify the disability tax credit application process and expects to make significant progress on this front in the coming months.

Morin said once the consultation period has ended, the CRA will consider the feedback and may revise the proposal. It will then be up to the minister of national revenue to approve it.


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Judge's bat comes to life as Yankees slash ALCS deficit to 2-1

Back in the Bronx, the big guys delivered.

Greeted by an array of “All Rise” signs in a ballpark that fits their style, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the AL Championship Series.

Game Wrap: Judge leads Yankees to Game 3 win over Astros1:35

Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer into the short porch in right field in the second inning against Charlie Morton.

The 6-foot-7 Judge entered in a 4-for-31 (.129) post-season slump that included one home run, four RBIs and 19 strikeouts. The slugger capped a five-run fourth with a laser of a drive to left field off Will Harris and robbed Yuli Gurriel and Cameron Maybin of extra-base hits.

“You see a guy put his head basically through the wall and then dive,” Frazier said. “The ground is going to shake when he hits the ground.”

Sabathia, almost as big at 6-foot-6, allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first post-season win in five years. The Yankees stopped a seven-game ALCS losing streak dating to Sabathia’s victory over Texas in 2010 — when Judge had just started his freshman year at Fresno State.

After a pair of 2-1 losses in Houston, the Yankees led 8-0 after four innings.

“Just the energy, the fans,” Sabathia said. “We can kind of feed off their energy.”

New York improved to 4-0 at home this post-season. The Yankees were an AL-best 51-30 at home this season.

“We’re somewhat built for this ballpark,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before post-season star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.

Sonny Gray starts Game 4 for New York in the best-of-seven series on 11 days’ rest Wednesday against Lance McCullers Jr.

Frazier got the Yankees rolling, taking an awkward hack at a low, outside fastball and slicing an opposite-field drive over the right-field scoreboard.

“You don’t think it’s going, just because how unorthodox the swing was,” Frazier said.

Judge used his height and long left arm to make a leaping catch with his left shoulder slamming into the right-field wall against Gurriel starting the fourth.

Being a rookie, he politely waited outside the dugout for all the veterans to descend the steps after the third out — as he always does — then capped a five-run bottom half with a laser of a line drive that just cleared the left-field wall.

Then in the fifth, he sprinted into short right for a diving backhand catch on Maybin.

On the first chilly night of the autumn with a game-time temperature of about 14 C, Sabathia relied on the sharp, slow slider that has helped revive the former flamethrower’s career.

Pitching with caution to Houston’s dangerous lineup, he walked four, struck out five and pitched shutout ball for the first time in 21 career post-season starts. During the regular season, he was 9-0 in 10 starts following Yankees’ losses.

“It’s weird, me being 37, smoke and mirrors, getting a shutout,” Sabathia said.

Adam Warren followed with two hitless innings, Dellin Betances walked his only two batters and Tommy Kahnle finished. Houston had four hits, leaving it with just 15 over the first three games, and is batting .169 in the matchup.

Morton was chased after 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs and six hits: three infield singles, a bloop single to centre, a double that Maybin allowed to fall in left and Frazier’s homer.

“If you were to show me a video of the swing, show the pitch speed and the location, I would have never thought that,” Morton said. “That was unbelievable.”

A New Jersey native who grew up a Yankees fan, Frazier entered 7 for 18 against Morton with two home runs. With Frank Sinatra’s version of “Fly Me to the Moon” as his walk-up music, Frazier hit not-quite a moonshot, driving a pitch just 18 1/2 inches above the dirt 365 feet with pretty much just his left arm. That gave the Yankees their first lead of the series.

Frazier motioned to his family in the stands and looked at his left wrist.

“I’m pointing to them and saying: What time is it? It’s my time,” he said.

He remembers sitting in the seats at old Yankee Stadium watching Jim Leyritz’s 15th-inning home beat Seattle in the 1995 playoffs.

“It’s such a cool feeling,” Frazier said. “I wish everybody could feel basically what I’m going through.”

Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the third on a pair of two-out walks around Alex Bregman’s single. But Carlos Correa popped out on a fastball in on his fists.

“I know he likes to get his hands extended,” Sabathia said.

All rise

Sabathia raised both arms and pointed toward Judge after his catch in the fourth.

“I don’t know what got hurt worse, the wall or him,” plate umpire Gary Cederstrom was heard to say by one of Fox’s microphones.

New York broke open the game in the bottom half. Chase Headley hit a run-scoring infield single — ending an 0-for-28 slide by New York designated hitters in the post-season. Brett Gardner was hit on a leg by a pitch, loading the bases, and Harris came in and threw a wild pitch that allowed Frazier to come home from third.

“Judge did what Judge has done 50-plus times, which is hit the ball out of the ballpark when he gets a pitch to hit,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

Altuve’s web gem

Altuve made two fine stops on Did Gregorius, first a backhand stop on his third-inning grounder and then a shuffle pass to Harris covering first for the final out of the fourth after a hard grounder off first baseman Marwin Gonzalez’s glove.

Girardi, booed by fans after failing to call for a replay in Game 2 of the Division Series, was cheered when introduced.

“It’s a reminder of how quickly things can change in your life,” he said.

RHP Luis Severino is on track to pitch a Game 6 for the Yankees. He was removed after four innings and 62 pitches in Game 2 because Girardi felt he was “underneath” the ball. Girardi said Severino did not need any tests and is OK.

Asked whether Severino was understanding, Girardi said: “I think two days later, yes, a little bit more.”

“I asked him if he still hated me, and he said, ‘no,”‘ Girardi added.

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