Saturday, August 18, 2007

Intel and Symantec Team Up for On-chip Security

Intel and Symantec Companies are busy working on some jointly developed security products, that will use the features of virtualization technologies offered by today’s contemporary CPUs. The partnership, called “Project Hood,” is part of an effort by the two companies to expand their use of virtualization technology. In other words, future security solutions will be of software-hardware nature and will work independently of the operating system.
Instead of designing the security software to run on Microsoft Windows or another operating system, Symantec and Intel are building it so it can directly interact with the Intel chips. "It runs underneath and alongside the operating system," Symantec Vice President Rowan Trollope said on Tuesday.
Appliances are specialized computers that handle tasks such as storing data, streaming music or securing a network. However, at this time the companies’ developments are still targeted only for servers and powerful workstations. In the future these solutions are very likely to find way into the mainstream computer systems, too.

VIA Working on an “Ice-Cold” Processor

The Taiwanese VIA Company is getting ready to launch their new processor targeted at a range of business, industrial and commercial applications such as thin clients, silent desktops, IPCs and set top boxes where ultra cool, ultra quiet, reliable performance is essential. According to a report on Digitimes, VIA will demonstrate the latest technologies enable smaller and cooler feature-rich embedded systems. New to the offering are the ultra-low power processor Eden ULV 500MHz, with maximum power of just 1W.
VIA is currently offering a few models of their Eden and Eden ULV processors with the working frequencies between 400MHz and 1.5GHz, and power consumption between 2.5W and 7.5W. This way, the VIA Eden ULV will set the new economical record.
One-watt Eden ULV 500MHz will be manufactured with 90nm production technology, will use VIA’s brand name V4 bus with 400MHz working frequency and ship in nanoBGA2 package 21x21mm in size. The new solution will work at 0.7V core voltage.
The CPU will feature 128KB of L1 and L2 cache memory, will support SSE3 extensions and feature VIA PadLock Security Engine that enables native security.
In related news, VIA is redoubling its focus on the UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) market with plans to launch its new VX800 chipset before end of this year. Currently, around ten makers have already expressed their interest on using the chipset, the sources pointed out.

Contemporary Mainboards May Have Issues with PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Cards

The upcoming launch of Intel X38 chipset that will support PCI Express 2.0 interface raises some compatibility questions regarding the old and new interface versions. It is quite evident that PCI Express 2.0 interface is backward compatible with the previous version. However, will the owners of older mainboards be able to use PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards? Luckily, PCI-SIG gave a positive answer to this question: "new PCIe 2.0 adapters running at 5.0 GT/S can plug into existing PCIe slots and run at the slower rate of 2.5 GT/S".
Nevertheless, there may still exist some compatibility issues between the contemporary mainboards and upcoming graphics solutions. Asustek Company has actually warned its users against such issues recently.
It turns out that Asus Blitz mainboards based on Intel P35 chipset and using a special CrossLinx chip to support “PCI Express x8 + PCI Express x8” configurations have limited compatibility with graphics cards supporting PCI Express 2.0 bus. In particular, the primary PCIEX16_1 slot complies with the PCI Express 1.1 standard that is why it supports PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards. The secondary PCIEX16_2 slot meets only PCI Express 1.0/1.0a requirements that is why if there is a PCI Express 2.0 graphics card installed in it, the system may not be able to recognize this graphics card as well as the graphics card installed into the primary PCIEX16_1 slot.
In other words, the Asus Blitz mainboard owners should install PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards only into the primary PCI Express x16 slot marked as PCIEX16_1. So, these mainboard cannot have the future PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards working in CrossFire or SLI mode.
Note that these limitations have been revealed only for the Blitz mainboard series that uses CrossLinx chip. Other Asus mainboards on Intel P35 chipset should have no problems with PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards support.

Nintendo Wii May Face Shortages

The popularity of the Nintendo Wii gaming console seems to be backfiring now. According to the Taiwanese Digitimes, the Japanese gaming giant failed to hit the previously planned production increase aimed at preventing the supply shortages.
It looks like the main issue lies with the supplies of some semiconductor chips and Wii PCBs. At first Nintendo intended to increase the console manufacturing volumes in June of this year. Now looks like this schedule need to be corrected. According to the above mentioned source, this problem will hardly be solved even in H2 2007.
And the reasons are pretty evident. Second half of the year is usually a hot season for electronics sales. It will be pretty challenging to get the component suppliers that are already overloaded with orders to increase their shipments additionally.
Despite stock shortages, Wii consoles have been bought by over 10 million people worldwide, and that's before it's even gone on sale in places like South America and parts of Asia. The Xbox 360 is still the biggest selling next-gen console, having launched a year earlier. But the Wii looks set to topple it in the next few months.

Sales of Consumer Electronic Devices with DivX Support Exceed 100 Million Units

DivX, Inc. announced that the company’s consumer electronics partners have shipped over 100 million DivX Certified video devices since the launch of the DivX Certification program in 2003.
DivX has created this digital media ecosystem by partnering with the world’s leading consumer electronics brands, including LG Electronics, Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Electronics, Thomson and more. The 100 million devices represent over 2,500 individual product models that fully support the playback of high-quality DivX video files, including DVD players, DVD-recorders, portable DVD players, digital still cameras, mobile handsets and in-car devices.
Standalone DVD players constitute the largest device category for DivX, and the company estimates that 32% of all DVD player units sold worldwide support DivX video playback. DivX has become a checklist feature for DVD players in many regions, with DivX penetration reaching roughly 90% for DVD player units sold in countries such as France, Spain, Korea and Russia.
"In practical terms, there are now over 100 million devices sitting in the hands of consumers that can easily playback high-quality video from the PC or the Internet. These devices offer a bridge between the exploding online video space and the traditional consumer electronics industry, and were extremely pleased that our partners continue to recognize the value of the DivX brand to global consumers”, - said Kevin Hell, Acting CEO of DivX, Inc.

Blu-Ray Outpaces HD-DVD in U.S.

According to the recent research performed by Home Media Magazine, the movies on Blu-ray disks were selling twice as good in the first half of this as the movies on optical HD DVD media, Reuters reports.
They claim that from January 1 through July 1, 2007 they sold about 1.6 million Blu-ray disks in the US only, using a Sony Corp-backed technology. HD DVD disks sales volumes over the same period of time reached only 795 thousand copies. HD-DVD was developed by Toshiba Corp and backed by Microsoft Corp and film studios such as Warner Bros.
Both formats were launched in spring of 2006. An estimated 3.7 million high-definition discs have been sold, including 2.2 million in Blu-ray and 1.5 million in HD-DVD through the end of July, according to Home Media.
At the same time the sales of Blu-ray disks are picking up outside the United States, too, namely in Singapore, Hong Kong and Eastern Europe. The demand for new-generation consumer DVD players is growing as well. However, HD DVD devices seem to be selling better. The thing is that the best value HD DVD player from Toshiba is currently available for about $300, while the most affordable Blu-ray solutions are offered for $500-$600.
The industry-wide standards war is reminiscent of the VHS and Betamax battle.
Blockbuster Inc, the largest U.S. provider of home movie entertainment, in June set out plans to line its shelves with Blu-ray DVDs, saying Blu-ray rentals were "significantly outpacing" HD-DVD rentals.

Intel X38 Chipset to Launch in September

Intel X38 chipset targeted for high-end desktop systems where it should replace the good old buddy Intel 975X, is expected to debut in the second half of September. According to sources, mainboard manufacturer should already start receiving mass production chipsets next week. Therefore, we can expect the first mainboards based on the new core logic set to start selling in the middle of September already. However, the mass flow of Intel X38 based mainboards will hardly hit the store shelves before early October.
At the same time, according to DailyTech, the official chipset launch is planned for September 23, 2007. On this day Intel will release the official specs of their new solutions and technology web-sites will be free to reveal performance data.
Intel X38 chipset should be considered a top product in the third Intel chipset series, which also includes the today’s popular Intel P35. However, the new solution will offer some unique features that will put X38 one step above P35. First of all, it will support PCI Express 2.0 standard and allow using several graphics cards in Crossfire configuration as “PCI Express x16 + PCI Express x16”. Secondly, Intel X38 chipset will unleash the DDR3 memory modules potential as it will support DDR3 memory with up to 1333MHz frequency ensuring compatibility with SPD extensions called XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles). Thirdly, mainboards on X38 will support special Extreme Tuning Utility for system overclocking.
However, the connection between the Intel X38 chipset and DDR3 SDRAM will be pretty relative because there are a lot manufacturers out there who are willing to design mainboards on this core logic set with DDR2 support. Some mainboard makers are even planning on offering solutions supporting both: DDR2 and DDR3 at the same time. Foxconn Company is even going to bypass the SLI support issue and offer modified drivers.
Intel X38 based mainboards will be priced starting at $200 and very often will exceed $300 price tag.

German Maker of Overclocker Memory Launches High-Speed DDR3 SDRAM

MSC – German manufacturer of high-end electronics and memory modules – today launches their DDR3-lineup under the CellShock brand which will be available immediately. The new product line includes two 2GB memory kits with 1600MHz and 1800MHz nominal working frequencies that boast competitive features compared with the other existing solutions:
CS3222580 - DDR3 1800MHz 8-7-6-21 2GB Dual Channel Kit
CS3222270 - DDR3 1600MHz 7-6-6-18 2GB Dual Channel Kit
?ased on the much sought after Micron DDR3 ICs and binned to aggressive 7-6-6-18 (1600) and 8-7-6-21 (1800) timings both products represent the lowest latency 1600 and 1800 Kits available on the market. This was possible due to Cellshocks advanced binning process and an ultra low noise PCB optimized for Micron DDR3 ICs.

It is important to note that overclocker CellShock modules boast relatively low nominal voltage set at about 1.7-1.9V. It gives us some hope for high overclocking potential above the claimed default specs.
DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1800 kits are already available in stores. Their recommended retail price is set at ?439 and ?499 respectively. CellShock modules come with 5-year warranty.

Wolfdale, Yorkfield to Hit 3.16GHz at Launch.

According to Digitimes, 45nm Penryn desktop processor family that is scheduled to come out in Q1 2008 will include 9 models from the start. Five of them will have two computational cores and four will be quad-core solutions. The maximum working frequency of the Penryn processors will hit 3.16GHz at launch.
Dual-core 45nm Penryn processors also known as Wolfdale will be available with clock speeds from 2.5GHz to 3.16GHz. Typically, they will feature 6MB of L2 cache memory, however the youngest model in the lineup will have a cur down 3MB L2 cache. This processor will also lose Virtualization Technology and Trusted Execution Technology support.
Quad-core desktop processors also known as Yorkfield will launch with the clock speeds between 2.5GHz and 3.0GHz. These CPUs will feature the total of 12MB L2 cache memory except for the youngest fellow in the family, which will have only 6MB of L2 cache.
We have to stress that so many models in the processor lineup result from the fact that they will support fractional multipliers with 0.5x increment. And since all Yorkfield and Wolfdale will support 1333MHz bus, the difference in clock frequencies between the closest models in the lineup will equal 166MHz.
Although the desktop Penryn processor family is scheduled to come out only next year, the first of the promising 45nm processors will be launched this year already. It is expected to be Yorkfield Extreme Edition that should arrive almost simultaneously with the server Penryn family represented by Xeon E54XX processors.
According to sources, until Nehalem CPUs come out, Penryn will increase their clock speeds up to 4GHz. This will be the startup frequency for Nehalem processors in H2 2008.

Dell's Overclocked XPS 720 Monster

It's a good thing Dell's new XPS 720 H2C has some serious cooling going on 'cause otherwise this thing would explode. Not only does it come with an overclocked CPU (up to a 3.73GHz QX6800), but it also has overclocked memory modules and a dual 8800 GTX setup. It's essentially a big brother to the XPS 710 we saw back at CES. Pricing starts at $5,999. Full specs after the jump.

· Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6700 at 2.66GHz (factory overclocked1 to 3.46GHz) combined with nVIDIA nForce 680i SLi MCP
· Dell H2C thermo-electric/liquid cooling system· 2GB 800MHz Corsair DOMINATOR DDR2 memory featuring EPP (factory overclocked1 to 1066MHz)
· SLI-enabled dual 768MB nVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards
· Dual 160GB SATA 3GB/s 10,000RPM hard drives that support RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 54
· 2X Blu-ray disc drive
· Sound Blaster™ X-Fi™ XtremeMusic (D)** sound card· 24-inch UltraSharp™ 2407FPW widescreen digital display with Dell AS50110-watt flat panel speakers
· Choice of Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium or Windows XP Media Center
· 2.44mm-thick aluminum case with high gloss Piano Black paint and 1KW power supply
· One year At Home limited warranty service and support

Optional Upgrades
· Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor QX6800 at 2.93GHz (factory overclocked1 to 3.73GHz)
· SLI-enabled dual nVida GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics cards
· AGEIA PhysX Processor
· 27-inch UltraSharpTM 2707WFP widescreen digital display
· Dell WL6000 5.8GHz Wireless rear 5.1 speaker system with subwoofer

Sony used for Blu-Ray patent infringement

Still reeling over its patent lawsuit with Immersion Corporation over the Playstation rumble technology, another tech firm has sued Sony because it claims Sony’s Blu-ray Disc infringes on its patents. Target Technology Company claims that it holds a patent for reflective layer materials in optical discs, and that Blu-ray Discs use the same technology without TTC’s permission. TTC alleges that its patent, which was filed in April 2004 and approved in March 2006, was deliberately and willfully infringed. It is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a permanent injunction against Sony. Although other companies are also responsible for BD replication, the suit only names Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Pictures, and Sony DADC as the defendants. Several months ago, Sony faced a similar patent headache over the Dual Shock rumble feature used in its Playstation and Playstation 2 controllers. Immersion Corporation claimed it owned patents that were used in the creation of the technology, leading Sony to pay $97 million in damages. Target does not specify in its suit whether it believes all of Sony’s Blu-ray discs infringe on its patent, or the suit applies to just a portion of the discs manufactured. The patent was filed in April of 2004 and granted in March of 2006. Yeah, developing new technologies doesn’t have to be that easy as it looks…

Optimus OLED keyboard

ALMOST TWO YEARS after Art Lebedev studio announced its Optimus keyboard concept, the project is now coming into the commercial arena.Even though much can be said about the changes developers made to the project, one cannot deny that this design is something that PC industry needed.The price is set at staggering $1564, and pre-orders will commence on May 20th. Estimated time of delivery is set for autumn this year, and we can say almost for sure that those guys will sell out first batch completely.

Optimus Maximus in all of its OLED glory. Then again, the original concept was somewhat more daring

This might be an expensive one, but when did you last hear about a keyboard that has active (luckily, silent) cooling?

So whose pockects are long enough to afford this gizmo. Not mine

Nvidia announces the new GeForce GPU for notebooks

The GeForce 8700M GT GPU raises the bar for DirectX 10 graphics and video performance, according to Nvidia. As with the entire GeForce 8M Series notebook GPU lineup, the GeForce 8700M GT delivers DirectX 10 gaming performance, Microsoft Windows Vista graphics, and HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback, pointed out the company.The NVIDIA GeForce 8M series GPUs make DirectX 10 3D games and high-definition (HD) video playback on notebooks a reality with features including a unified architecture that delivers up to a 70% performance improvement compared to previous generation GPUs for Windows Vista and other GPU enabled applications, said Nvidia.Playing HD video on a notebook is a technical challenge alleviated by Nvidia PureVideo HD technology. This technology leverages the video processing engine in the GeForce 8M series GPUs for home-theater-quality playback of HD movie formats, including HD DVD, Blu-ray, and HD video downloads. The new video-processing engine performs 100% of the H.264 HD video decoding, freeing the CPU for other tasks and significantly reducing power consumption, heat and noise, noted the company.The GeForce 8700M GT GPU will be available in notebooks from partners in North America, Europe, and Asia, including Toshiba, Sager, Prostar, Eurocom, Biohazard, Connoiseur, Cybersystem, Hypersonic, MALIBAL, Multirama, rock, Evesham, Falcon Northwest, Plaisio, XS2, Nexoc, Hyrican, Vigor Gaming, and Voodoo PC, said Nvidia.

Cooler Master Introduces the CM 690 PC Chassis

When it comes to PC chassis, no one does it better than Cooler Master. For years now, Cooler Master has been on the leading edge of PC chassis design. Today, Cooler Master is pleased to announce its latest creation – the CM 690 PC chassis. By utilizing a unique mesh design, the CM 690 effectively blends together both form and function, offering users a mid-tower chassis without compromise.When looking at the CM 690, it’s easy to be taken in by its bold lines and superb styling. But don’t let its exterior fool you – the CM 690 is a lot more than just a pretty face. Its unique Cooler Master mesh design not only gives it its modern good looks, but also facilitates excellent thermal performance. Inside, users can install up to seven 120mm fans for high-efficiency ventilation, making the CM 690 perfectly suited for today’s high-powered hardware. A 80x15 mm fan can even be installed at the rear of the motherboard tray to keep the CPU area well cooled. Other innovations like the bottom-mounted power supply, top mounted ventilation holes and retaining holes for water cooling units makes the CM 690 the ideal choice for systems that require the utmost stability

Specifications: -

Available Color :Black
Dimension (W / H / D): (W)213 X (H)482 x (D)524.5 mm
Weight:9.8 kg
Material:Chassis: SECC, Bezel: Metal mesh+ABS
Motherboards:ATX, Micro-ATX
5.25" Drive Bay:5 Exposed (without the use of exposed 3.5
3.5" Drive Bay:1 Exposed (converted from one 5.25
I/O Panel:USB 2.0x2, IEEE 1394 x1, MIC x1, eSATA x 1,
SPK x1 (support HD Audio)
Cooling System:Front :120 mm Blue LED fan x 1, 1200 rpm, 21 dBA,
Rear : 120 mm standard fan, 1200 rpm, 21 dBA,
Top : 120 or 140 mm fan x 2 (optional),
Bottom : 120 mm fan x 1 (optional)
Expansion Slots:7
Power Supply: Standard ATX PS2/ EPS 12V (optional)