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Windows 7 pics…

Posted by mylow on June 9, 2008

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Toshiba’s First Laptops with New AMD Platform, are Out

Posted by mylow on June 5, 2008

Toshiba on Wednesday introduced laptops powered by the new Puma-based processors recently announced by Advanced Micro Devices.

AMD’s new Turion X2 Ultra ZM processors will be included in Toshiba’s new Satellite PCs, which will ship later this year, a Toshiba spokesman said.

The Turion X2 Ultra processor is part of the Puma platform launched by AMD on Tuesday. The processors come in two speeds: the ZM-80 runs at 2.1GHz and comes with 2M bytes of cache, while the Turion X2 Ultra ZM-86 runs at 2.4GHz and includes 2M bytes of cache.

Along with the Turion Ultra ZM, Toshiba said two other chips from AMD — Athlon Dual Core QL and Turion Dual Core RM — will be offered in the Satellite P300D, Satellite A300D, Satellite M300D, Satellite U400D, Satellite L300D and Satellite L350D laptops. It wasn’t immediately clear what processors each laptop would come with.

During the Puma launch, AMD said it had won notebook designs for the platform from PC makers including Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, NEC and Toshiba. About one-third of laptop designs have 15-inch screens, with other models having screen sizes from 12 inches to 18 inches.

Puma laptops are designed to run Windows Vista, AMD has said.

The Puma platform also includes the mobile AMD 7-series chipset and ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series graphics cards. The Puma platform supports hybrid graphics technology, which boosts the platform’s graphics performance by running both the integrated graphics processor and a separate graphics card.

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GIGABYTE to Showcase Lineup of New Motherboards

Posted by mylow on June 5, 2008

GIGABYTE United is set to showcase its range of new motherboards for Intel and AMD CPUs. On display at Computex will be the live demo of GIGABYTE’s flagship P45 motherboard, the GA-EP45-EXTREME that is designed for extreme overclocking.  Based on the latest Intel P45 chipset with support for Intel multi-core processors up to FSB 1600MHz, the motherboard makes one supports ATI CrossFireX Technology with 2 PCI Express 2.0 x 8 interfaces, and dual LAN.

The GA-EP45-EXTREME is also equipped with GIGABYTE’s unique Hybrid Silent-Pipe slot cooling system which utilizes the natural convection of air inside and outside the chassis to dramatically and noiselessly cool down the North Bridge, South Bridge and CPU MOSFETs without the use of a fan. The GIGABYTE Hybrid Silent-Pipe can also be used with water block cooling systems for additional enhanced thermal performance.

Also on display will be the GIGABYTE GA-EG45M-DS2H, an integrated graphics solution based on the Intel G45 chipset. It is meant for building digital home theater systems and features the latest GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver technology and Ultra Durable 2 design, providing optimized power savings, ultra cooling performance and extended system durability.

On the AMD side, the GA-MA790GP-DS4H features AMD 790GX chipset with integrated ATI Radeon HD 3300 DirectX 10 graphics engine and support for the latest AMD Phenom quad-core processors including a 4+1 phase power design to support 125W TDP and above processors.

In addition to support for HDMI 1.3, DVI and HDCP interfaces, the GA-MA790GP-DS4H includes support for ATI’s Hybrid CrossFireX and CrossFireX technology as well as dedicated 128MB DDR3 SidePort memory. GIGABYTE also includes the ALC889A high performance audio codec and powerful Dolby Home Theater suite of audio technologies making it suitable for ultimate home theater usage.

GIGABYTE Ultra Secure and Ultra Power Efficient Technologies

New GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced
According to GIGABYTE, its new Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced provides better energy saving capabilities and enhanced system performance. The company says, GIGABYTE Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced is the world’s only motherboard energy saving technology with hardware-based Dynamic 6-Gear* Switching. With support for VRD 11.1, GIGABYTE’s DES Advanced allows the motherboard to switch to 1 Gear phase switching during idle, allowing for a dramatic increase in power savings.

Ultra TPM – Dta Security via onboard TPM

With a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip built-in, GIGABYTE provides TPM hardware-based encryption and decryption with digital signature keys to ensure a maximum level of data protection with 2048 bit encryption. GIGABTE’s Ultra TPM provides an added layer of security by allowing users to store their digital signature key on a USB thumb drive, so that when they step away from their system, they can take the key with them, locking up their data and preventing unauthorized access while they are away.

Gigabyte products are distributed in India by Avnet (India), Ingram Micro and Redington. The Gigabyte GA-EP45-EXTREME is priced at Rs. 21,000.

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HTC Intros Touch Pro, a Business-Centric Version of Touch Diamond

Posted by mylow on June 5, 2008

High Tech Computer on Wednesday announced the Touch Pro, a business handset a similar design to the iPhone rival, HTC Touch Diamond revealed last month to great fanfare.

Touch Pro shares the curved diamond backside of its sister handset, but it’s thicker due to the Qwerty-keypad that slides out for easy thumb typing. The keypad also includes a fifth row, a top line with numbers, which HTC handset keypads have not had in the past.

Also like the Touch Diamond, the Touch Pro is a 3G (third generation mobile telecommunications) smartphone running Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS. The 2.8-inch screen on front is made for easy touch navigation using HTC’s TouchFlo touchscreen software.

Touch Pro marks the second 3G touchscreen handset HTC has announced head of the 3G iPhone. Last year, the company launched its popular Touch smartphone a few weeks ahead of the iPhone and has sold 3 million since then.

Apple has not formally announced a launch date for its 3G iPhone, but some speculate it may be out this month.

Touch Pro is aimed at business users who need the keypad and message/e-mail functions. An HTC representative said the device will be out globally around August.

The smartphone works on WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) networks. For mobile Internet access, it offers data rates up to 7.2M bits per second using HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) on cellular networks, or via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g.

HTC Touch Pro also includes a video-out port so people hook the device up to a larger screen or television and project a bigger image, a boon for activities such as giving presentations.

Price information was not immediately available for the device. As a reference, Touch Diamond will cost around NT$26,000 ($857) when it launches in Taiwan next month. An EDGE-based (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) version of the Touch Diamond launched in India last month at a price of Rs. 27,500 ($646).

The price reflects some of the expensive features on board the device, which are similar to the Touch Pro; including GPS (Global Positioning System) and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

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Intel’s Centrino 2 Processor Details Leaked

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

Details of the first few processors belonging to Intel’s latest Centrino 2 mobile platform have been leaked on a PC maker’s Web site, preempting Intel’s official launch of the platform at the middle of this year.

The Centrino 2 platform, codenamed Montevina, is an upgrade to Intel’s current Centrino platform and will include five Core 2 processors running at clock speeds between 2.26GHz and 3.06GHz.

The processors will be offered by an Australian PC maker, Pioneer Computers, in its DreamBook Style 9008 Centrino 2 laptop, one of earliest based on Intel’s latest mobile platform.

The Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor running at 2.26 GHz will include 3MB of cache, and the Core 2 Extreme X9100 processor, running at 3.06GHz processor, will include 6MB of cache.

Other Centrino 2 processors listed on Pioneers’ Web site include the Core 2 Duo P8600 running at 2.4 GHz with 3MB of cache, the Core 2 Duo P9500 running at 2.53GHz with 6MB of cache and the Core 2 Duo T9600 processor running at 2.8Ghz with 6MB of cache.

The chips, which belong to the Penryn family, are manufactured using the 45-nanometer process.

Intel has said that Centrino 2 includes a chip that combines both wireless and WiMax capabilities. Pioneer is offering both capabilities as options with the laptop. The laptop, priced starting at $1,303 supports up to 4G bytes of memory and weighs 2.8 kilograms (6.2 pounds).

At the Intel Developer Forum last year, Intel talked about shrinking the size of chips by up to 60 percent for the Centrino 2 platform. Intel has small-form-factor chips will be released shortly after the normal-sized chips.

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IBM Lays Claim to Cheaper, Faster Memory

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

IBM is developing a type of memory that it says could one day be faster and more reliable than today’s hard drives and flash memory.

Called “racetrack,” it is a solid-state memory that aims to combine the best attributes of flash, like having no moving parts, and the low cost of hard drives for an inexpensive form of nonvolatile memory that will be stable and durable, said Stuart Parkin, an IBM Fellow.

Racetrack memory stores information in thousands of atoms in magnetic nanowires. Without the atoms moving, an electrical charge causes data to move swiftly along a U-shaped pipe that allows data to be read and written in less than a nanosecond, Parkin said. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second and commonly used to measure access time to RAM.

The memory reads 16 bits of data through one transistor, so it reads and writes information 100,000 times faster than flash memory, Parkin said.

“In flash memory and hard drives, one transistor can access 1 bit, or with flash, maybe 2 or possibly even 4 bits, that’s it. We are going to use … a transistor to access many bits of information.”

Racetrack is still in its early days. The concept was proposed four or five years ago, Parkin said, and IBM hopes to be able to provide terabytes worth of storage from such devices in a few years.

“It will take two to four years to build a prototype in which we build these reading-and-writing elements on a nanoscopic scale. In four years we can perhaps demonstrate it works and then manufacture it,” Parkin said.

Racetrack memory has no moving parts, it is “virtually unbreakable” and will never wear out, unlike flash drives, which could wear out after 10,000 read-and-write cycles, Parkin said. He likened the U-shaped design of horizontal pipes to a racetrack.

The memory keeps atoms constant, making it more durable than hard drives or flash. “Whenever you start to move atoms you have problems and devices wear out from fatigue after a time,” Parkin said.

Racetrack memory’s storage capacity is similar to flash’s and may soon exceed hard-drive capacities, Parkin said.

Hard disks rotate to access information, while racetrack memory uses an electrical charge to read and write data, so it also uses less electricity, he said.

It will be inexpensive to manufacture because fewer transistors will be required and each memory chip will hold thousands of nanowires in a small footprint, Parkin said.

The premise behind racetrack memory is spintronics, a technology that manipulates the charge and spin properties of electrons. Using spintronics, hard-drive makers have developed drives that read data from a microscopically small area.

Parkin is widely noted for his work on spintronics and helping double the density of hard drives every year. Scientists Albert Fert, of France, and Peter Grunberg, of Germany, won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2007 for their spintronics research.

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Nikon Intros Three new Coolpix Digital Cameras

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

Nikon on Thursday introduced three new models to its Coolpix digital camera line. The P80 will be released in April for $399.95. The S52 and S52c are coming in May for $249.95 and $299.95, respectively.

The P80 is a 10.1 megapixel model featuring an 18x optical zoom lens that offers a 27 – 486mm focal length (35mm equivalent). It also features optical vibration reduction. Other features include an all-new Sports Continuous Mode, which lets you shoot up to 30 consecutive pictures at four, six or 13 frames per second (depending on resolution). It has light sensitivity up to ISO 6400 and a 2.7-inch LCD monitor with anti-reflective coating and 230,000 pixel resolution.

The S52 and S52c both sport 9.0 megapixel sensors, 3x 38-114mm zoom lenses, optical vibration reduction and ISO 3200 sensitivity. They also have 3.0 inch LCD displays and use Nikon’s “Expeed” image processing, which the company claims reduces noise in images.

The S52c can send images through e-mail using a built-in Wi-Fi connection and supports Nikon’s “My Picturetown” online service and Flickr. The S52 uses USB 2.0 to connect to a host Mac or PC, instead. The S52 will be available in red or black; the S52c will come in black only.

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Buffalo Intros External Blu-Ray HD DVD

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

(Check my blog for more interesting news)

Buffalo recently announced the MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD (BRHC-6316U2), its first external Blu-ray HD DVD player. It is the first device of its kind from Buffalo in the market that allows users to both read and write Blu-ray content. It provides the ability to save high-definition content, giving users an all-in-one solution to meet their entertainment needs.

Users can also connect the player to a notebook or other mobile device via USB and view their favorite video content while on-the-go. In addition, the player allows for playback of HD DVD content.

The Blu-ray HD DVD player also comes with Nero’s proven software for playback and burning, which allows for seamless integration with all recent versions of Microsoft Windows. Backed by a limited one-year warranty and toll-free technical support, the MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD will be available in May 2008 for Indian market at a price of Rs 45,000.

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Microsoft Fixes Vista SP1 Reboot Bug

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

(Check my blog for more interesting news)

Microsoft Monday said it has fixed a Vista SP1 reboot bug that had caused some users to suspend migrations and that the revised software will again be offered via automatic distribution.

The Vista Servicing Stack Update (SSU) was a prerequisite for installing Vista SP1 via Windows Update that was made available by Microsoft in February. The software, designed to ease installation, instead had the opposite effect by throwing some users into an endless reboot cycle.

At the time, Microsoft called negative reaction to the issue “a feeding frenzy.”

Microsoft says the problem is fixed and it will again offer the SSU prerequisite code starting April 8th. Users who have already successfully installed SSU do not need to reinstall it. In addition, users who have a copy of SP1 acquired by any means other than Windows Update do not need to install SSU.

Microsoft is fixing the problem by issuing a fix that installs prior to the installation of the SSU, a prerequisite for the prerequisite.

The new piece of code will ensure a “smooth install of the SSU by working to prevent the system from rebooting during the SP1 SSU installation,” according to the Microsoft Product Update Team Blog. The blog also says Microsoft made additional changes to the SSU installer code that will ensure the pre-SSU is installed before it attempts to load SSU.

The company said the original problem occurred during some “unknown and rare” instances when the SSU thought it needed to reboot when it did not. The resulting reboot try then touched off a never ending cycle of attempts and failures.

Microsoft says users with Windows Update activated do not have to take any action before April 8 to receive both the pre-SSU and the SSU code.

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AMD Finally Ships Quad-Core Opterons

Posted by mylow on April 11, 2008

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday announced it was shipping the quad-core Opteron chip in volume after fixing a bug, but concerns are being raised about AMD’s abilities to stick to its product roadmap, analysts said.

The chip, code-named Barcelona, was delayed in December because of a bug in the L3 cache that caused applications to fail. The chip maker started shipping the chip in September in limited quantities to vendors running high-performance computers.

The new chip is shipping in volume to computer makers including top server vendors Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, IBM and Dell.

AMD didn’t feel comfortable shipping a chip with the problem, said Steve Demski, AMD Opteron product manager. “We’re glad to have this one errata behind us. This is a product we’ve been waiting to offer for a long time.”

The Barcelona chip created much enthusiasm 18 months ago as the first quad-core chip when it broke away from Intel’s traditional multicore architecture, said Richard Doherty, research director at The Envisioneering Group. In an industry that has its own challenges, customers were waiting for Barcelona and still kept waiting until interest waned, Doherty said.

“The goodwill and camaraderie and enthusiasm at a peak two years ago has more than waned. In the silicon [industry] you have to ship on time,” Doherty said.

Computer makers want to offer customers an alternative, but need from chip makers a clear message and dependable delivery schedule from which they can plan shipments. “Nearly everyone wants a robust competitive economy besides Intel,” Doherty said, referring to Intel’s dominant position in the chip market.

However, AMD did not deliver chips on time, and customers shifted to Intel quad-core processors, which have stayed on schedule and fairly faithful to their roadmap. Intel currently has a sizeable lead over AMD in the global microprocessor market. Meanwhile, AMD has filed antitrust lawsuits and complaints globally accusing Intel of anticompetitive behavior.

The Envisioneering Group, which benchmarks chips, hasn’t yet received a Barcelona chip from AMD for benchmarking despite requests.

“[It] is not good because every vendor who has said we are going with multiple suppliers wanted [AMD] to succeed better. Now there’s just tremendous doubt,” Doherty said.

Barcelona’s bugs and delays cost AMD momentum, time, money and credibility, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Insight 64. The company has a lot of work to do with customers and computer makers to build back its reputation, he said.

“Now that the product is available and [AMD] put the chips in systems, they can get back on track” and compete with Intel, Brookwood said. “There’s been a lot of concern, and what AMD’s saying here, is we’ve got it under control.”

The Barcelona delays have also generated concern about AMD’s ability to deliver its next quad-core server chip, Brookwood said. Code-named Shanghai, the chip will be manufactured using the 45-nanometer process and is due to go into production in the second half of 2008, he said.

“They said they will be able to. It’s just not enough to say that, they have to do that. If they can, they can be back in the game,” Brookwood said.

Intel is also making moves in the multi-core game. As the quad-core Shanghai goes into production, Intel plans to ship a Xeon server chip, code-named Dunnington, which will have six cores. Intel will start shipping server chips based on its new architecture, code-named Nehalem, in the second half of 2008. Nehalem chips will come with four and eight cores.

AMD said that in the “latter half” of 2009 it will ship its next server chip, code-named Montreal, which will come with four and eight cores.

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