VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue 2
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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue 2

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VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries. Our inquisitive team of journalists cover ...

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries. Our inquisitive team of journalists cover key international events like CES, CeBIT, MWC, Computex and local exhibitions like CommunicAsia, IT SHOW, PC SHOW, COMEX and SITEX.

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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue 2 VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue 2 Document Transcript

  • December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone extract more performance out of it, Microsoft now has a kernel patch for for its client and server OS. Ever wondered why some benchmark results on Bulldozer and its server version, Interlagos, look not just too low but outright weird? Part of the explanation was that the fancy modular architecture, where two integer and one FP block share one L2 cache and instruction scheduler, wasnt really supported that well by the current operating systems. Add to it the Pentium 4- style long pipeline and high latencies, and you got a problem.Google first unveiled its self-driving car in Oct 2010 andthe company has applied for a patent on a "landing strip"technology which allow the cars to go into auto mode as well asto find parking spots. The patent has been approved by the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office on 13 December. According to Microsoft now has a kernel update solution that solvessources, the "landing strip" is more than an embedded sensor one part of the problem, at least - if you go to http://in the ground, be it radio, QR code, or some other means of support.microsoft.com/kb/2592546/ knowledge base page,transferring information to the car. The key is the information youll notice that there is a patch for Windows 7 and forand how the car uses it. Although Googles self-driving cars use Windows Server 2008 R2.GPS technology to orient themselves, but in certain situationsa GPS signal may not be obtainable. The patent also suggeststhat user could give a set of instruction to the vehicle that This patch updates the thread management logic in the OScommands it to drive itself to specific location. at the kernel level for the Bulldozer, and - interestingly - proclaims it as a multithreading feature. With this update, Windows sees each BD dual core block as A SINGLE MULTITHREADED CORE, contrary to AMDs official positioning. Therefore, BD is seen as a 4-core, 8- thread chip, rather than a fully 8-core processors. This update, nevertheless, brings a definite single-digit % performance jump in lightly threaded applications, but it is still good though as it helps the CPU fight higher speed grades of Intel processors in benchmarks. So, naming or no naming confusion, go ahead and have it, if youre one of the early Bulldozer users.Microsoft comes to AMDBulldozer rescue: WindowsUpdate speeds up thingsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-comes-to-amd-bulldozer-rescue-windows-update-speeds-up-things/14256.htmlDecember 19th, 2011AMD Bulldozer is, to say so, unusual in its modular dual-coreblock architecture compared to the current X86 processors. To 21
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! The question is how much life MHL has now since the USB- VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication IF announced the audio/video devices class, as this allows covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. you to do everything that MHL does, but presumably without the need of extra chips on the mobile device side. That said, MHL is already a somewhat established standard, but as weSilicon Image team up know, its never clear cut which standard will end up beingwith Onkyo to deliver MHL the dominant one and its not always the best one thats the winner.equipped A/V receiverSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silicon-image-team-up-with-onkyo-to-deliver-mhl-equipped-av-receiver/14331.html Intel said to be droppingDecember 22nd, 2011 Sandy Bridge CPU prices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-said-to-be-dropping-sandy- bridge-cpu-prices/14330.html December 22nd, 2011New connectors and interfaces always cause problems whenit comes to hardware compatibility and the Mobile High-definition Link or MHL is one of those interfaces that is farfrom widely adopted on anything but smartphones to date.That seems to be set to change, as Silicon Image, one of the With Intels upcoming Ivy Bridge processors expected todriving forces behind the MHL standard has teamed up with launch in April of next year, it appears that Intel is alreadyOnkyo to deliver A/V receivers with MHL support. concerned about having too much stock of its current Sandy Bridge processors and is as such planning on reducing the price on at least is mobile Core i3 and Core i5 processors. WhatNew connectors and interfaces always cause problems when isnt clear is if Intel is planning on doing the same for theit comes to hardware compatibility and the Mobile High- desktop parts or not.definition Link or MHL is one of those interfaces that is farfrom widely adopted on anything but smartphones to date.That seems to be set to change, as Silicon Image, one of the With Intels upcoming Ivy Bridge processors expected todriving forces behind the MHL standard has teamed up with launch in April of next year, it appears that Intel is alreadyOnkyo to deliver A/V receivers with MHL support. concerned about having too much stock of its current Sandy Bridge processors and is as such planning on reducing theIn practical terms the MHL interface is a combination of price on at least is mobile Core i3 and Core i5 processors. WhatHDMI and USB 2.0 and the advantage it has over a pure HDMI isnt clear is if Intel is planning on doing the same for theinterface is that the device you connect up a smartphone desktop parts or not.equipped with MHL to can power your smartphone. So farits mainly HTC, LG and Samsung that has adopted the MHL Digitimes is reporting that Intel has apparently told itsinterface while Samsung and Toshiba have a handful of TV notebook partners that the company is about to drop themodels that supports it. The downside is of course that you processor pricing by some 10 to 15 percent depending onneed a dongle to connect your phone to an HDMI port, but it model, although for some reason the high-end Core i7s arelooks like this might just start to become less of an issue. apparently not part of this discount deal.Onkyo didnt reveal a lot of details in the press release about its As to how much of an impact this will have on the finalnew receivers as the company is planning on unveiling them product is a different matter, as many notebook makers areat CES in a few weeks time. What we do know though is already offering very cheap notebooks with Core i3 and Corethat Onkyo is using Silicon Images latest MHL chipset with i5 processors and although were expecting that some of thissupports something called InstaPrevue. This is a picture-in- discount will be passed on to consumers, we dont think wellpicture solution for HDMI and MHL which allows a small see an equal reduction in price of the final product.preview window of other attached devices to be overlaid over Even so, it might be worth hanging on for Ivy Bridge if yourewhatever is being displayed on the TV, must as you can do not in a rush to get a new notebook, as the new processors dochannel previewing on some TV sets. offer some advantage over Sandy Bridge, although most are not CPU performance related. As weve seen in the many leaks 1
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneto date, the overall platform as a whole is better than Sandy consumer boom in the cloud led by Apple, high consumerBridge and the cost isnt expected to be any higher than what demand for natural user interfaces, and potential micro-a Sandy Bridge equivalent product costs today. segmentation of the industry that will lead the way to more individualised marketing strategies.AMD marketing chief stepsdown, offers predictions for ASUS sued over "Transformer2012 Prime" trademarkSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-marketing-chief-steps-down- infringementoffers-predictions-for-2012/14329.html Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-sued-over-transformer-prime-December 22nd, 2011 trademark-infringement/14325.html December 22nd, 2011AMDs Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice PresidentNigel Dessau is leaving the chipmaker to work on a book, buthe has made some interesting predictions for the year ahead.AMDs Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President ASUS is now in trouble for using the name "Transformer" andNigel Dessau is leaving the chipmaker to work on a book, but "Transformer Prime". Toy maker Hasbro has filed a lawsuithe has made some interesting predictions for the year ahead. against the Taiwanese company over the trademark on the name that are more known for the toys, cartoons and movies.Dessau said that he is excited about the prospects for AMD,and with the upcoming Radeon HD 7970 and its all-starreviews we are just as excited. However, he said that he hadreached a crossroads and decided to pursue the next phase ofhis career outside of the company.This next step will focus on a book based on his website, the3 Minute Mentor, where he delivers career advice in threeminute podcasts. The new ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet was showcased at the AsiaD: All Things Digital event in Hong Kong, and has garnered great popularity from the name it bears, but this has apparently also brought along some troubles. Toy manufacturer Hasbro has sued ASUS for the use of the name which they had trademarked, and stated that they will defend their brand. While the two companies and their products may be targeting different market, Hasbro does have a series of video games and accessories for PC and Xbox 360 game console which are under the name “Transformer”, thereby providing the toy company with adequate relevancy to be concerned that consumers may be misled into thinking Hasbro had endorsed the ASUS product. As for now, Hasbro is requesting for an injunction against ASUS, and a 21 day period for them to respond.Dessau has worked at AMD for four years, leading the Elpida to begin merger talksmarketing team that has helped keep AMD in a prominentposition within the industry. He will stay on to help in the with Nanya Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-to-begin-merger-talks-with-transition to a new head of marketing. nanya/14328.htmlBefore he departs from the company he made a numberof predictions about what will happen in 2012, including a 2
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 22nd, 2011 December 22nd, 2011Elpida Memory is to begin talks in January with rivalDRAM maker Nanya Technology on a possible merger as Sony has developed a battery prototype that generatesthe companies struggle to cope with falling prices and tough electricity from shredded paper, an achievement that couldcompetition. lead to more environmentally-friendly electronic products.Elpida Memory is to begin talks in January with rival Sony has developed a battery prototype that generatesDRAM maker Nanya Technology on a possible merger as electricity from shredded paper, an achievement that couldthe companies struggle to cope with falling prices and tough lead to more environmentally-friendly electronic products.competition. Sony unveiled the technology at the Eco-Products exhibition inThe Japanese and Taiwanese chipmakers have been losing Tokyo, where a fan was powered by scrap paper and cardboardsubstantial market share to larger rivals like Samsung, which dropped into a mixture of water and enzymes, which was thennow rules 45 percent of the market, making it difficult for the shaken.smaller companies to survive, particularly with DDR3 DRAMprices dropping from $1.50 in July to just $0.90 in October. The bio-batteries turn waste paper into sugar by using the enzyme cellulase, and when the resulting glucose sugar isA report in the Nikkei Business Daily suggested that the two combined with oxygen and other enzymes it turns it intocompanies would begin merger talks next month in a bid to electrons and hydrogen ions, which are used to generaterestore profitability and curb their shrinking market share. electricity.Elpida denied it had made any formal announcement in thisregard, however, and said it was considering multiple options,including refinancing debt and requiring advance payment forproduct orders. "Using a fuel as simple as old greetings cards - the sort of cards that millions of us will be receiving this Christmas - theElpida is in third place in the DRAM market with a 12.1 percent bio battery can deliver enough energy to power a small fan,"market share, behind Hynix 21.5 percent, while Nanya is in said Yuichi Tokita, senior researcher at the Sony Advancedfifth place with just 3.6 percent. Elpida saw a revenue decline Material Research Lab. "Of course, this is still at the veryof 29.8 percent in the third quarter, while Nanya experienced early stages of its development, but when you imagine thean even larger revenue drop of 36.7 percent. possibilities that this technology could deliver, it becomes very exciting indeed."However, the possibility of a merger could be held up bylegal battles between the two companies over the alleged The technology could give people another incentive to recycleinfringement of patents, not to mention a partnership between paper, cut down electricity costs, and help move the industryNanya and Micron, another rival to Elpida. towards renewable and sustainable power, but it will likely be years before a powerful enough bio-battery is developed for use with, for example, mobile phones. However, the potential to recharge your smartphone with a bit of newspaper while onSony develops paper-powered the go is an interesting and useful possibility.battery prototypeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-develops-paper-powered-battery-prototype/14327.html 3
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneScientists make self-repairing Intel Shows Its Atom-basedchip breakthrough Android Smartphone andSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-make-self-repairing-chip-breakthrough/14326.html Tablet Prototypes Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-shows-its-atom-based-android-December 22nd, 2011 smartphone-and-tablet-prototypes/14321.html December 22nd, 2011Researchers are close to developing self-repairing electronicchips, which could revolutionise the technology industry andeven lead to safer space travel. Faced with continuous decline of its Atom series of processors,Researchers are close to developing self-repairing electronic the semiconductor giant from Santa Clara is showcasingchips, which could revolutionise the technology industry and concept smartphone and tablet designs for 2012.even lead to safer space travel. By all standards, Intel had a dream year - the company achieved record revenue and record profits. However, there was one dark spot on otherwise, a spotless record: Atom lineScientists and engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana- of products.Champaign succeeded in creating a circuit that, when cracked,heals itself by releasing a conductivity-restoring liquid metal,which brings the circuit back online in less than a second.The technology works by housing the healing liquid within thechip, and if the chip is damaged it should also damage theliquid container, releasing the liquid so that it can fill in anygaps and restore the flow of electricity. Intel Atom was introduced in 2008 as a byproduct of Intel receiving back the P55C core from US Army. The second byproduct of that heavily modified and optimized core was Larrabee graphics core, which got canceled and is now known as a HPC-accelerator Knights Bridge / Knights Corner. Intel Atom enjoyed a lot of success in 2008-2010, with a lot ofTests using gold and glass circuits with microcapsules analysts writing stories about the rise of netbooks and howcontaining the metallic liquid eutectic gallium-indium showed netbooks will mark the end of PC as we know it. Soundsa drop of voltage to zero when cracked and a return to almost familiar, right?full voltage within one millisecond. These devices retained Fast forward to third quarter of 2011: Intel posted excellenttheir conductivity for months after the damage and repair. sales and profit results, but the company also marked a 32% decline in sales of Intel Atom platform. Indeed, when we look at Atom as a whole, the product actually declined by over 60%The breakthrough could affect every sector of technology, during 2011 alone - as tablets took over the hearts and mindsresulting in super long-lasting products. The scientists also of consumers, sales of netbooks came to a screeching halt.believe it can help with satellites and space travel, since this isan area where manually repairing and replacing electronics is Intels answer to tablets is known for quite some time:extremely difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Intels second SoC design codenamed Medfield (first one being Cedarview, D2x00 Series). Medfield is manufactured in 32nm process node and is consisted out of single Atom core operating up to 1.9GHz clock, integrated graphics subsystem (it is not known which one, but current Atoms utilize PowerVR SGX545), Image Signal Processor, memory controller and 4
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonechipset features. Do note that SGX545 is more powerful than year, even ahead of its move to killing off the Ericsson partSGX543MP2 used inside the Apples A5 Dual-core chip. of its brand name. Details of an upcoming model called the LT28at have leaked courtesy of the Bluetooth SIG and it looks like Sony Ericsson is planning to launch at least one seriously high-end handset next year. Sony Ericsson has had its fair share of troubles this past year, but it looks like the company is about to rebound come next year, even ahead of its move to killing off the Ericsson part of its brand name. Details of an upcoming model called the LT28at have leaked courtesy of the Bluetooth SIG and it looksOn IDF Fall 2011, Intel showed its prototypes of smartphone like Sony Ericsson is planning to launch at least one seriouslyand tablet designs, but the Android operating system was not high-end handset next year.ready for the limelight. Few months after, Android 2.x and 3.xlong gone and the company is optimizing for Android 4.x Ice The expected spec of what will be an as yet un-namedCream Sandwich operating system. Xperia handset targeted for AT&T in the US includes a 4.55- inch Reality display with 1280x720 pixel resolution, LTE, aYou can expect the first smartphone and tablet designs coming 13Megapixel backside illuminated camera sensor and a 720pin the first half of 2012. Second half of 2012 will see the front facing camera for video calls. Other features includeappearance of Windows 8 tablets, where Intel will argue 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, although only 2.1 + EDRcompatibility with full set of applications on Windows 8. Bear and strangely enough support for the Chinese TD-SCDMAin mind that ARM-based tablets wont be able to run software standard.compiled for the X86 instruction set. According to the Xperiablog we can expect to see a 1.5GHz dual core processor of unknown origin. The Xperiablog also managed to track down a few photos snapped in what appears to be San Francisco by the LT28at and although they’re not at full resolution, they’ll give you a good idea of the kind of quality you can expect from the 13Megapixel BSI camera. Hopefully there will be a non US version of the LT28at and there’s really no reason as to why Sony Ericsson wouldn’t have a version with similar spec without LTE. The Xperiablog is expecting theStill, Medfield is just the introductionary part and were LT28at to be unveiled at CES, so we’ll just have to wait and seenot surprised ARM vendors are sound asleep at the market what will happen in a few weeks’ time.acceptance. Real headache for every member of ARM In related news, Sony Ericsson has announced that it’ll beecosystem is coming on CES 2013, the 22nm Silvermont - rolling out its Android 4.0 updates for this year’s Xperiacompletely new Atom architecture, which will go hand in hand handsets from late March next year with some models gettingwith the next-generation 22nm Haswell architecture for high- the updates a bit later in April or May. Full details can be foundperformance computers. on the Sony Ericsson product blog.The Bluetooth SIG leaks Sony Canon Singapore announcesEricsson LT28at details CanonSGLens, free iOS app forSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-bluetooth-sig-leaks-sony-ericsson-lt28at-details/14324.html digital SLR photographersDecember 22nd, 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-announces- canonsglens-free-ios-app-for-digital-slr-photographers/14323.html December 22nd, 2011Sony Ericsson has had its fair share of troubles this past year,but it looks like the company is about to rebound come next 5
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWith this iOS app, Canon photographers can now access - Depth of Field calculatorall the information including specifications on digital SLRlens, learn about the physics behind capturing an picture - In-depth topic with interactive simulators explaining howetc. The CanonSGLens app is free to download and is available aperture and shutter speed affect exposure, depth of field, andon the Apple iTunes App store. motion blur in the various exposure modes CanonSGLens is available on the Apple iTunes App store - http://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/canonsglens/ id490527073?ls=1&mt=8 Nikon Singapore launches two new Facebook applications Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-singapore-launches-two-new- facebook-applications/14322.html December 22nd, 2011Canon Singapore has unveiled CanonSGLens, the companysfree iOS app for digital SLR camera users. Available fromtoday on the Apple iTunes App store, the app features detailedlens specifications of all Canon digital SLR lenses that are Nikon Singapore has announced the launch of two Facebooksold in Singapore. The application also contains a unique applications “Where’s the 1?” and "Psychd by Nikon” contestsinteractive simulator that allows users to compare the field whereby users stand to win attractive prizes including Nikonof view between two camera-lens combinations, using the COOLPIX camera and Nikon 1 J1 with the 1 NIKKOR VRcurrent list of Canon EOS digital SLR cameras and lenses. The 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 lens.CanonSGLens is designed to help beginners and professionalphotographers. Beginners can learn more about the physicsbehind capturing an photo, while professionals can make useof features like the depth-of-field calculator to help themachieve optimum focus.App Features- Highly visual interactive simulators- Bookmark your favourite pages- Add your own notes to any page- Content optimized for both portrait and landscapeorientations- No Internet connection requiredFeatured Content- Detailed lens specifications of all Canon EF and EF-S lenses “Where’s the 1?” is a contest whereby you only have to answersold in Singapore four questions correctly by looking for the hidden Nikon 1 in the picture. If you have spotted all four cameras correctly,- Compare lens specifications side by side, with differences you stand a chance to win the Nikon 1 J1 and 1 NIKKOR VRindicated 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 lens. However, note that there is no lifeline in this game, and you can only play it once a day. There will be a- Compare high resolution MTF charts new set of questions and cameras for you to search every week, and you can play up to once a day to increase your chances- Compare high resolution lens construction diagrams to win the Nikon 1 J1 camera. The contest runs now till 19 January 2012.- Field of View simulator featuring multiple photos takenof the same scene in Singapore using different camera-lens "Psychd by Nikon" was launched in the beginning ofcombinations December, and the app is an easy-to-play contest to find out which Nikon COOLPIX suits you. Just answer a few simple- Depth of Field simulator questions and you can discover the Nikon COOLPIX camera that best suits your needs and lifestyle, and find out if it is true to your personality. One lucky winner with the most referrals 6
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonevia share will stand to walk away with a Nikon COOLPIXcamera.Does PCIe 3.0 matter fortodays GPUs? We test withthe Radeon HD 7970Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/does-pcie-3.0-matter-for-today-s-gpus-we-test-with-the-radeon-hd-7970/14306.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011For months now, certain smaller motherboard manufacturershave been hyping up PCI Express 3.0 compatibility andbenefits to ignorant users, even going to the point of bashingone another with libelous advertisements (lol hammer smashmotherboards into bits). Since the latest Intels Sandy Bridge-E processors and AMDs Radeon HD 7970 officially supportsthe new signalling standard, we put that to the test to see if itdoes improve things.The following is rephrased and quoted from Wikipedias PCIExpress entry:The much delayed PCIe 3.0 standard is supposed tobring signal transfer bitrates to 8GT/s (double that ofPCIe 2.0) and a number of optimizations for enhancedsignaling and data integrity, including transmitter andreceiver equalization, PLL improvements, clock data recovery,and channel enhancements for currently supported topologiesThe BIOS on our favourite ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (X79)allowed us to select the PCIe signalling standard for our tests(Editors note: yes we did use the latest 1004 bios which hasthe CPU Microcode and PCIe 3.0 fixes) PCIe 2.0 Benchmarks:PCIe 3.0 Benchmarks: 7
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneOur conclusions? Only a <1% miniscule benefit thanks totighter clock timings and PLL improvements - todays highend GPU like the HD7970 and GTX590 barely even saturatePCIe x8 lanes (4GB/s). Perhaps we might see a different storywith decent solid state storage setups and CPU interconnects. Testing with FurMark - with the fan left at auto, it was still spinning silently and temperatures maxed out at a comfortable 86 degrees celciusAMD Radeon HD 7970 Review[Part 3/3]: Overclocking,Benchmarks and ConclusionSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review-part-33--overclocking-benchmarks-and-conclusion/14308.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011In the final part of our review, we look into the overclockingabilities of the 28nm Tahiti XT GPU, run extensive butrelevant performance tests, and give an objective conclusion The updated GPU-Z 0.5.7 allows you to read card informationof the AMD Radeon HD 7970. off the 7970s SMBIOSOverclockingThe overclocking potential of the Radeon HD 7970 has beenmuch vaunted in the recent leaks and it certainly didntdisappoint. Even without any software or hardware voltagemods, we managed to bring the CPU core from the default925MHz up to the maximum 1125MHz that CCC would allow.We also turned memory up to 1500MHz and Power Control to+20% to prevent throttling. 8
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone PCI-SIG approved 8+6 pin power connectors for up to 300W of power consumptionEvery increment on the way, we went the extra mile to ensurethat there was actually scaling (and not bs throttling). Withclocks like these on stock voltages and cooling, youll wonderhow much higher it can go when software or hardware voltagemodifications together with better cooling are applied to thiscard. Looks like the 28nm process die shrink did pay off... No PCB Backplate on this reference card - hopefully the actualCheck also retail units will have them as they do provide some shielding against accidental metal contact short circuitsAMD Radeon HD 7970 Review[Part 2/3]: The Card Design(Hardware Components andCooling)Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review-part-23--the-card-design-hardware-components-and-cooling-/14286.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011The AMD Radeon HD Tahiti XT 7970 features a redesignedPCB, 3GB of GDDR5 384bit memory ring bus configurationand an optimized heatsink design. More than a dozen screws binding the card to the heatsink - which was a nuisance when we disassembled itThe dashing looking Radeon HD 7970 measures 11.5 incheslong (29.21cm), which should fit in most modern day gamingcases 9
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone December 22nd, 2011 After a year of less than stellar CPU launches (Bulldozer) and the fallout from the massive company-wide layoffs and manufacturing delays, AMD and their fans finally have something to cheer about this holiday season. Built on the radical 28nm Graphics Core Next architecture and numerous another innovations, the US$549 Radeon HD 7970 flexes it considerable muscles in the high end enthusiast GPU market.3-way Crossfire connectors are still present, as are the dual In the first of a three part review, supercomputing expert andBIOS Switch for flash experiments in-house Serbian Nebojsa Novakovic gives his take on what the new architecture will bring.. When AMD unveiled its GCN - Graphics Core Next - new generation graphics processor architecture as a part of its FSA - Fusion System Architecture - at the last Junes Fusion Developer Summit in Seattle, it was quite a surprise: the next-in-line future GPU was to be transformed into a general purpose compute coprocessor, with far more flexibility and aim at wider range of applications well beyond graphics only - and, not to forget, easier memory space sharing with the CPU. Half a year later, the first implementation of this new architecture already sees the light.Dual-link DVI, HDMI and Mini-DP ports for up to 6displays. The half-height exhaust grill design from 58xx/69xxcards is gone and replaced with a full height panel, whichshould help reduce air turbulance. The Radeon HD7970 is the fastest single GPU card today in most of 3-D graphics runs, but its compute power impresses, too: 3.8 TFLOPs peak single precision FP and,Check also more importantly, 947 GFLOPs double precision FP at the defauly 925 MHz clock. Since the card overclocks easily by another 10% or so without even changing any voltages, you can, for the first time, easily have a true (peak) Teraflop DPAMD Radeon HD 7970 Review FP engine in the PC. The 384-bit GDDR5 memory path with 3 GB RAM gives some 260 GB/s bandwidth to feed all that[Part 1/3]: Meet Tahiti XT from performance, with sufficient local memory for larger datasetsthe Southern Islands than before. And, in those moments when the GPU doesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-review-part-13-- nothing, the idle power drops to below 3 Watts - not bad at all.meet-tahiti-xt-from-the-southern-islands/14307.html 10
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone In addition to compute units, there are still dedicated processing elements for 3-D graphics. Dual Geometry Units, as well as eight render back ends, plus the usual video acceleration hardware, complete the chip here. And yes, the system interface is PCIe x16 v3, finally. Now, how does GCN in HD7970 achieve, as AMD claims, much better actual use of the underlying resources compared to the previous generation? First, youll notice that the chip architecture looks far more symmetric and simpler to understand than the GPUs of the past, which should translate to the programs being able to use it more efficently. Also, the separate dual asynchronous compute engines helpHow did it achieve all this performance? The first schedule multiple tasks in parallel with the graphics commandimplementation of GCN is based on the same Compute Units processor, while dual direct memory access (DMA) enginesthat we described post-AMD Summit in June, 32 of them help in fetching and sending data fast, able to saturate 16 GB/in this chip. Each compute unit, able to execute code from s over PCIe 3 to the system itself.multiple kernels at once, is a processor by itself, in a sensea full-fledged core, the way we describe cores in general In some tests, like AES256, the resulting improvements inpurpose processors. So, each compute unit has a vector and actual performance are over four times, but even many othersstandard scalar processor core, plus a texture block with have speed jumps higher than the theoretical FP speed boostfiltering and fetch units, all this with local registers, 64 KB from the 6970 to the 7970. Two times is a regular occurencedata share memory and 16 KB L1 cache with 64 bytes/clock in many GPU compute benchmarks here. And, very critical forbandwidth. The branching and scheduling units complete the the computing usage, the FP here is fully IEEE754 compliantpicture. while, if aiming for workstation or compute server use, you have ECC protection all the way, for both DRAM and SRAM memory. The new architecture should finally enable easy GPU multitasking, not just many processes on one GPU, but also one task being spread across multiple GPUs, something that HPC users would welcome a lot - and high end PC users as well, since, say, 4 GPUs in Quad CrossFire could be used for more than just gaming FPS. In summary, GCN in AMD Radeon HD7970 went a step further than Nvidia did in its current Fermi GeForce generation in getting the GPU to become a more versatile system compute coprocessor. There are still further steps toThe cache hierarchy is intriguing here: each set of four take in getting the GPU even closer to the CPU, including thecompute units shares an extra 32 KB scalar data cache plus 16 memory sharing and interconnect, however the improvementsKB instruction cache, backed by a common L2 cache, which seen in this brand new chip should be a good note tototals 768 KB in the HD7970 chip across all compute units. both Nvidia and Intel, the latter with its Knights CornerThis L2 then interfaces to the memory controller. A Global accelerators, on the way forward.Data Share unit is there to enable sync among all computeunits at the L1 cache level. This is far more complex cachearchitecture than what youll see in todays general purpose Check alsoCPUs, by the way. ASRock launches Atom D2700 and D2500 mini-ITX motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-launches-atom-d2700-and- d2500-mini-itx-motherboards/14316.html December 22nd, 2011 11
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe ASRock related news arent over quite yet, as alongsideits high-end boards, the company has also unveiled three newentry level Atom mini-ITX motherboards, all with Intels newD2x00-series of Atom processors. One of the new modelssports the 1.86GHz Atom D2500, while the other two comeswith the 2.13GHz Atom D2700.The ASRock related news arent over quite yet, as alongsideits high-end boards, the company has also unveiled three newentry level Atom mini-ITX motherboards, all with Intels newD2x00-series of Atom processors. One of the new modelssports the 1.86GHz Atom D2500, while the other two comeswith the 2.13GHz Atom D2700.Starting at the bottom we have the AD2500B-ITX which is a The third and final board is the most interesting of the threerather plain, almost dull looking board with a large passive and its called the AD2700-ITX, a confusing similar name, butheatsink covering the CPU and a really tiny one covering the an entirely different board in many ways. Although youd beNM10 chipset. The board has, rather unusually a pair of SO- forgiven for thinking its yet more of the same if you take aDIMM slots, although as the new Atoms can accept up to 4GB quick glance at the top down view of the board, ASRock hasof RAM, albeit in single channel mode, the two slots are at least overhauled the rear I/O entirely.somewhat useful. Here were looking at a single PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port. The general board layout is otherwise mostly the same, although theres a pin-header for a parallel port and a serial port not present on the first two models, but thats the only difference we can spot. We checked the manual quickly as we wanted to find out about the display connectivity and the good news is that both the DVI and HDMI port can be used simultaneously. The manual also suggested that there might be a version with the Atom D2500 of this board, although without USB 3.0 and with slower 10/100Mbit Ethernet.Theres also a pair of SATA 3Gbps ports, a single PCI slotand a pair of headers for four USB 2.0 ports. The rear I/Oconsists of a range or ports that feel more like 1991 than 2011with two PS/2 ports, a serial port, a parallel port, a D-subconnector, four USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100Mbit Ethernet portand 5.1-channel audio via three jacks. Overall not the mostimpressive board weve seen recently.Moving up we have the AD2700B-ITX which swaps in theAtom D2700 over the D2500, but its not the only change.Although the board layout remains identical to the AD2500B-ITX, the AD2700B-ITX was upgraded with both GigabitEthernet and a pair of USB 3.0 ports making it an interesting One funny thing in ASRocks specifications is with regardsboard for a home server. to the GPU which ASRock lists as “Built-in Intel PowerVR SGX545” which isnt entirely true as the GPU is by Imagination Technologies and Intel calls it the GMA 3650 or GMA 3600 depending on which processors were talking about. If nothing else, ASRock has at least triple confirmed things for us. Once again we dont have any word on availability and pricing, but wed expect these boards to be out shortly. 12
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone get two front USB 3.0 ports rather than four, again a non-issueASRock does more affordable for most people.8-DIMM X79 motherboard Looking at the rear I/O we have two PS/2 ports, four USBSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-does-more-affordable-8-dimm- 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATAx79-motherboard/14315.html port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with opticalDecember 22nd, 2011 and coaxial S/PDIF out and a clear CMOS button. The difference here is very minor as the only missing feature is the secondary Gigabit Ethernet port compared to the X79 Extreme7. However, because the X79 Extreme6/GB come bundled with the Game Blaster, you get a second Gigabit Ethernet port through it, if you chose to install it.Were not quite sure were following ASRocks X79motherboard line-up as the company has introduced the X79Extreme6/GB, a model inferior to the X79 Extreme7, yetsomehow packing more features and a bundle. The bundle isASRock Game Blaster, the same card that comes with the X79Extreme9.Were not quite sure were following ASRocks X79motherboard line-up as the company has introduced the X79Extreme6/GB, a model inferior to the X79 Extreme7, yetsomehow packing more features and a bundle. The bundle isASRock Game Blaster, the same card that comes with the X79Extreme9.The X79 Extreme6/GB is a peculiar board and were not quitesure what ASRock was thinking about when the companydesigned the board. So ok, it "only" has three x16 PCI Express It might sound stupid to suggest that you shouldnt, but dueslots compared to five for the X79 Extreme7, but at least all of to the slightly moronic slot layout of the X79 Extreme6/GB,the ones on the X79 Extreme6/GB are usable. There are also a if youre using all three x16 PCI Express slots, then its verysingle x1 PCI Express slot and two PCI slots, although strictly likely that you wont be able to use the Game Blaster card,speaking, only one of the PCI slots can be used if you have a as it requires a x1 PCI Express slot. That said, not that manypair of graphics cards with dual slot coolers fitted to them. people are running three way SLI or CrossFireX, so this is most likely not going to affect that many buyers of this board, but its still a peculiar omission in the design by ASRock. Beyond the additional Gigabit Ethernet controller, the Game Blaster also features a Creative Sound Core3D audio chip which adds duplicate set of 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out, which once more makes us wonder about what ASRock was thinking about when they designed this board. We dont know when the X79 Extreme6/GB will be available, nor how much itll cost, but in theory it should end up being similarly priced to the X79 Extreme7 due to the closeness in features and the additional cost of the bundled card. ASRock set to launch Fatal1ty X79 Professional motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-set-to-launch-fatal1ty-x79- professional-motherboard/14314.html December 22nd, 2011Moving on were missing a couple of extra SATA 6Gbps ports,but the X79 Extreme6/GB still manages four SATA 3Gbps andfive SATA 6Gbps ports, more than enough for most users. TheVRM heatsink is smaller, but the phase count is the same andthe X79 Extreme6/GB still sports tantalum capacitors. It alsohas two extra DIMM slots over the X79 Extreme7, but you only 13
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWere still not sold on the whole Fatal1ty brandingfrom ASRock, but the upcoming Fatal1ty X79 Professionalmotherboard from the company is definitely a competitorwhen it comes to high-end X79 motherboards. Its by far notthe most feature rich X79 motherboard out there, but it stillhas enough features to make it an attractive choice for thosethat are digging the colour scheme and branding.Were still not sold on the whole Fatal1ty brandingfrom ASRock, but the upcoming Fatal1ty X79 Professionalmotherboard from the company is definitely a competitorwhen it comes to high-end X79 motherboards. Its by far notthe most feature rich X79 motherboard out there, but it still Around the rear we have a PS/2 port, four USB 3.0 ports,has enough features to make it an attractive choice for those five USB 2.0 ports, a Fatal1ty USB mouse port, two eSATAthat are digging the colour scheme and branding. ports, a FireWire port, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audioThe board hasnt been officially unveiled as yet, but pictures of with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and a clear CMOS button.the Fatal1ty X79 Professional appeared over at TechPowerUp A bracket for the front USB 3.0 ports is supplied with thegiving us a good idea as to what to expect. The good news is board, but the rest of the bundle isnt clear at this point. Nothat the active cooling fan on the chipset is gone, although word on pricing or availability, but we wouldnt expect it to beunlike other high-end X79 boards, ASRock didnt bother too long.with a heatpipe connecting the chipset heatsink to the VRMheatsinks. Speaking of the VRM, were looking at tantalumcapacitors, although we dont know much else about the design SSD prices are falling fasterof it for now. than HDD Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ssd-prices-are-falling-faster-than- hdd/14312.html December 22nd, 2011 Solid state drives (SSDs) are dropping in price much faster than hard disk drives (HDD), according to figures released by website uptime monitoring firm Pingdom. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are dropping in price much faster than hard disk drives (HDD), according to figures released by website uptime monitoring firm Pingdom. The report shows that average HDD prices fell from $56.30/ GB in 1998 to $0.075/GB in 2011, while average SSD pricesThe board has four x16 PCI Express slots in a dual x16 or quad fell from $40/GB in 2007 to $2.42 this year. The lowest pricesx8 configuration and theres also a single x1 PCI Express slot recorded this year are $0.053/GB for HDD and $1.50/GB forand two PCI slots. ASRock went with a standard four DIMM SSD.layout on this board and there are four additional SATA 6Gbpsports in addition to the two from the chipset, as well as fourSATA 3Gbps ports. Other features includes a header for two While SSDs remain very expensive, the difference betweenfront USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire header, a Post80 debug LED them and HDD prices has dropped considerably over the lastand power and reset buttons. number of years. For example, in 2007 SSDs cost 120 times the equivalent HDD storage, whereas that number has dropped to just 32 times more expensive in 2011. 14
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone RIMs co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, do not want the company to be bought, however, despite facing plummeting market share as Apple and Android devices continue to grow. They want to sort out RIMs problems internally, including focusing on BlackBerry Messaging and restructuring the company, rather than relying on a more successful company like Amazon to do the job for them.That trend is set to continue, with SSD prices likely to followHDD ones in a downward plummet, likely helped by theshortage of HDDs on the market at the moment. For example,SSD prices are currently the same on a per GB level as HDDprices were in 2002, suggesting were only a few years awayfrom an affordable alternative to HDD. RIM did not rule out licensing deals or commercialPingdom predicts that in 2012 the average price for HDDs partnerships, however, and this could be an area where RIMwill fall to $0.54/GB, a drop of around 28 percent, though it benefits from the growth of other companies. Apparentlycould be artificially bloated by the current market drought. Amazon is still in talks with RIM over this. If Amazon wasSSD prices should drop to $1/GB, a significant decrease of able to push a BlackBerry Kindle for businesses, or some otheraround 33 percent on this years prices. combination of their assets, both firms could reap significant rewards.While SSD prices are unlikely to ever match that of HDD, itlooks like SSDs are as much party to Moores Law as anything Samsung and Microsoft have also considered bids for RIMelse is in the technology industry. at some point, but interest is likely waning as the company struggles to stay relevant, particularly with the lengthy delayBlackBerry maker RIM refused of its BlackBerry 10 platform.Amazon acquisition offerSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-maker-rim-refused-amazon-acquisition-offer/14311.html Microsoft wins patent caseDecember 22nd, 2011 against Motorola Mobility Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-wins-patent-case-against- motorola-mobility/14310.html December 22nd, 2011Amazon attempted to buy BlackBerry maker Research InMotion (RIM), but the latter turned down the offer and similarones made by other companies, it has been revealed.Amazon attempted to buy BlackBerry maker Research InMotion (RIM), but the latter turned down the offer and similar Microsoft has won a patent battle against Motorola Mobilityones made by other companies, it has been revealed. over the infringement of a patent used in its smartphone products, which could result in a sales ban in the US.The online bookstore turned tablet computer maker hired an Microsoft has won a patent battle against Motorola Mobilityinvestment bank during the Summer to review a potential over the infringement of a patent used in its smartphonemerger with RIM, according to Reuters, but it ultimately failed products.to make a formal offer. 15
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAn International Trade Commission (ITC) judge gave apreliminary ruling that Motorola had infringed one of sevenpatents that Microsoft made claims for. The ruling will haveto be confirmed in April of next year, but generally speaking Rambus settles stockholdermost ITC preliminary verdicts are given the green-light by afull ITC panel. lawsuit for $10.85 million Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rambus-settles-stockholder-lawsuit- for-10.85-million/14309.html December 22nd, 2011The patent in question relates to several techniques toschedule meetings and synchronise group calendars, aparticularly useful feature for the mobile enterprise sector,which Android has been expanding into. Rambus has settled a lawsuit taken against it by a stockholder for $10.85 million, marking a rare turning of the tables in theMicrosoft had previously filed a similar complaint with the companys frequent legal battles.European Patent Office, but the latter dismissed the case Rambus has settled a lawsuit taken against it by a stockholderas it deemed that the technology in question was obvious. for $10.85 million, marking a rare turning of the tables in theMicrosoft is appealing that decision, and the ITC ruling could companys frequent legal battles.impact on that appeal. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2008 by investor Stuart J. Steele, who claimed that Rambus had not correctly dated and accounted for stock option grants prior to 2006, with the majority of these occuring between 1998 and 2001. The case would have went to court in March 2012, but Rambus decided to settle out of court for $10.85 million instead, suggesting it was not confident of winning. This is an ironic twist of fate for the intellectual propertyThe ruling follows a similar verdict by the ITC yesterday which company, which is usually on the other end of lawsuits. It haswill result in a sales ban on HTC products found to infringe an gained notoriety for its numerous lawsuits against a numberApple patent. While both Motorola and HTC have technically of chipmakers, primarily over patents relating to memorylost their cases, they will be pleased that only one of the technology like DRAM. These included Micron and Hynix, asmultiple claims was validated. well as high profile cases against Samsung and Nvidia, which have usually gone in favour of Rambus.Microsoft already licenses technology to HTC, Samsung andother Android supporters, but the case against Motorola has The payout today is relatively minor in the grand scheme ofpotentially huge repercussions for the rest of the smartphone things, but it will likely put a smile on the faces of those whoindustry using Googles operating system, particularly since believe Rambus is abusing its extensive patent collection toGoogle bought the mobile division of Motorola earlier this secure lucrative licensing deals.year. AMD launching new A-seriesMicrosoft is attempting to get a sales ban put in place against a APUs for desktop and mobilenumber of infringing Motorola phones, including the Droid 2, Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-launching-new-a-series-apus-for-Droixd X and Backflip. However, Motorola could escape such desktop-and-mobile/14305.htmla ban by dropping the feature from its devices. 16
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone MSI announces GT780DXDecember 22nd, 2011 gaming laptop Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-announces-gt780dx-gaming-Not quite in time for the holiday shopping season, AMD has laptop/14304.htmlannounced that it will be launching no less than 13 new APUs, December 22nd, 2011of which five are new desktop models and the rest are mobile.Most of the new models are slight speed bumps, but the longawaited unlocked K SKU for desktop is finally here.Not quite in time for the holiday shopping season, AMD hasannounced that it will be launching no less than 13 new APUs, MSI has recently unveiled their new powerful gaming laptop,of which five are new desktop models and the rest are mobile. which comes in the form GT780DX. The gaming powerhouseMost of the new models are slight speed bumps, but the long claims to pack second generation Intel Core i7 quad coreawaited unlocked K SKU for desktop is finally here. processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 570M discrete graphics card with 3GB GDDR5 memory, as well as SteelSeries keyboardThe potentially two most interesting models for consumers and high-end Dynaudio and THX TruStudio Pro for superbon the desktop side are the A8-3870K and the A6-3670K, system, video and audio performance.both being the first multiplier unlocked APUs from AMD. Weshould point out that the GPU core is also unlocked on thesemodels and were of course looking at a pair of 100W TDPchips here. Neither apparently have a turbo frequency, so itsup to the user to overclock these two APUs if more than stockclock performance is wanted. These models will only be soldin retail box as far as we can tell.The other three desktop models, the A8-3820, A6-3620 andA4-3420 are all 100MHz speed bumps over the current modelsand nothing else appears to have changed. Much the sameapplies to the new mobile APUs, with the only exception beingthe A4-3305M which appears to only have a higher clocked The MSI GT780DX gaming laptop features the latest IntelGPU at 593MHz compared to 444MHz for the A4-3300M, Core i7 quad core processor and latest Nvidias top-endalthough for some reason it has a lower Radeon core (read GeForce GTX 570M discrete graphics card with 3GB GDDR5shader) count at 160 compared to 240, so its likely to have a memory, which boast superior gaming experience, even whenslower GPU regardless of the higher clock speed. running the latest games in high resolution and high detail settings. On top of that, the MSI gaming notebook also sports four DDR3 memory slots that can provide an unprecedented 32GB memory. It also comes with RAID 0 accelerated dual hard disk architecture which doubles hard disk storage capacity, while increasing read-write speed by 70%. Incorporating the companys proprietary Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) technology, just one touch of the luminescent Turbo hotkey located above the keyboard instantly revs up theAs for pricing, well, AMD didnt provide any, but the A8-3870K system performance. The GT780DX also features MSIs ownis meant to have an MSRP of US$135 and the A6-3670K should powerful Cooler Boost technology to rapidly reduce systemretail for around US$115. That said, both models are listed temp to enhance system stability. The GT780DX is equippedfor pre-order on Amazon where the A8-3870K is going for US with 17.3-inch full high definition display and comes with$160 and the A6-3670K for US$137 with a list price of US Cinema Pro technology for a rich, vibrant colors, as well as$149.99 for the A8-3870K and US$129.99 for the A6-3670K, high quality Dynaudio and THX TruStudio Pro to provideso in other words, both models are currently retailing for more crisp, and cinematic-quality audio. In addition, MSI hasthan the list price which is fairly unusual for processors. Both collaborated with gaming equipment manufacturer Steelseriesmodels are expected to arrive on the 26th of December, with to create a keyboard for the GT780DX that is rugged with LEDthe rest of the desktop line-up to follow. The mobile models backlighting. No word as to the pricing and availability for thisare already shipping in various notebook products. gaming monster at press time. 17
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneStarHub to offer free preview Chinese high end CPUs areof over 140 TV channels for now in the game - details: Partthe New Year 1Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/starhub-to-offer-free-preview-of- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-high-end-cpus-are-now-in-the-over-140-tv-channels-for-the-new-year/14303.html game--details-part-1/14302.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011 December 22nd, 2011Good news to those of you who are staying at home thisfestive season, and has a StarHub cable TV box at home. Last weeks report on CPUs, mentioning the Chinese new-The Singapore info-communications provider is offering free generation entries, did raise some waves on various onlinepreviews of over 140 TV channels for customers and their forums. Heres a bit more on some of those processors.families. China has now officially gone deep into the core of high end computing, way to the deepest level - designing and manufacturing its own CPUs - to complete the whole vertical stack from the processor to the application. That includes having own designs covering everything from smartphone to supercomputer, based on three main architectural families: ARM, MIPS and Alpha. Our last weeks report, and its coverage of the Chinese CPUs, has sparked quite a few online comments on various forums, from those of encouragement and seeking more diversified CPU futures, to outright dismissal of these chips as copies or inferior designs, or not having, out of all things, X86 architecture - widely regarded as the worst ever CPUFrom 30 December 2011 (12pm) to 3 January 2012 (6am), architecture from a design point of view - as a proof of trueStarHub customers will have free access to over 140 capability.channels ranging from world news, Chinese infotainment,sports, movies to education, entertainment, kids, lifestyle and Well, lets take a look at the three chosen main architecturesinternational programmes. During this period, StarHub TV here. ARM, MIPS and Alpha are all native RISC architectureswill carry exclusive countdown events such as the Taipei 2012 - meaning simple, symmetric, orthogonal instruction sets withCountdown Party on TVBS Asia (StarHub TVChannel 828) only a few addressing modes and options, uniform instructionthat let viewers usher into the New Year. format and easy scalability to both wide cores, multi-cores and a range of speeds from low power to top performance,Other key highlights include Kim Jong-Il: The Forbidden with much lower gate count required than any X86. SinceBiography on HISTORY (StarHub TV Channel 501), Korean China doesnt want to depend on Western software stack forboy band 2AM Concert on E City (StarHub TV Channel its public and, especially, government use, it doesnt need to825), blockbuster movies such as Inception on HBO (StarHub rely on X86 as this architectures winning chip is softwareTV Channel 601) and Let The Bullets Fl on STAR Chinese compatibility with hundreds of thousands of past applications.Movies (StarHub TV Channel 866). Nickelodeon (StarHub TVChannel314) will also be featuring a Spongebob Squarepants So, why bother with the X86 complexities - both technical and48 hours Marathon Special for the young viewers. legal - then? The internal market is more than good enoughIn addition, all 32 channels on StarHub TV on Mobile will be to, coupled with Linux and other open source stacks, provideavailable to StarHub Mobile postpaid and prepaid customers. complete solutions and the volumes required to justify theseStarHub TV on Mobile customers with the supported handsets processors even commercially over long run.can simply sms <LIVETV> to 6757 for postpaid and <SHTV>to 6757 for prepaid to access the 32 free channels. Viewers can Talking about legality: No, these are not fakes or illegal copiesrefer to www.starhub.com/freepreview for more details. right now. The ARM and MIPS processors made in China are fully licensed by the relevant ARM and MIPS IP owningNote: The free preview is not extended to STAR Chinese consortia, while the Shenwei Alpha-compatible chip is basedMovies 2, STAR Chinese Movies HD, Cricket Group, RediGold, on Digital (DEC) IP that is well over 15 years old now - quiteHorse Racing Channel, On-Demand Channels and Video-On- ironic for a CPU that matches the best current X86 processorsDemand titles. based on 2010 IP and in 2 generations later process. MIPS - Dragons Progeny 18
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneLoongson (Godson) is the name for the Chinese MIPS Be Quiet Straight Power E9processors, developed by Institute of Computing Technology CM 580W PSU Review(ICT) at Beijings Chinese Academy of Sciences, with Prof Hu Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/be-quiet-straight-power-e9-cm-580w-Weiwu being the design leader. Prof Hu also happens to be a psu-review/14301.htmldeputy at National Peoples Congress, which surely is helpful December 22nd, 2011in gaining support for the overall project. For the past 9 years,the effort is run as a joint venture between the governmentand private enterprises through a company called BLX, apartnership between CAS and Jiangsu Zhongyi Group.There were 3 major generations of these processors up to now,with the latest one - Loongson 3B - being an 8-core 1.05 GHz Be Quiet is company originating from Germany and forCPU, with each CPU having a 256-bit vector FP unit as well. the past several years has been creating computer relatedDespite the low clock and 65 nm process, the efficient 4-way products for enthusiasts. The company offers a very long list ofout-of-order cores and vector units with dual 256-bit FP ops products, yet their primary focus lies on high quality and silentper core per cycle, allow Loongson 3B to reach 16 GFLOPs power supply units. It is a power supply unit that we will put toper core at 1 GHz, some 130 GFLOPs peak FP rate in double the test today, the 580W version of the highly popular Straightprecision at 1.05 GHz clock. For a comparison, the 3.3GHz Power E9 CM series.Core i7 3960X with AVX would achieve some 160 GFLOPspeak in DP, while the Westmere (Core i7 990X) and BulldozerCPUs would be at not more than two-thirds of this - Core i7 Be Quiet is company originating from Germany and for990X is at 90 GFLOPs peak, and AMD FX8150 at some 110 the past several years has been creating computer relatedGFLOPs peak, all in DP. And, oh yes, the Loongson 3B achieves products for enthusiasts. The company offers a very long list ofthis performance at just 40 watts TDP, less than one third of products, yet their primary focus lies on high quality and silentthe above competing CPUs. power supply units. It is a power supply unit that we will put to the test today, the 580W version of the highly popular StraightSomething even more interesting is that Loongson 3B has Power E9 CM series.over 200 extra instructions in a separate box, which doesntaffect the main core integrity, that speed up execution of X86 Manufacturer features and specificationssoftware when using QEMU translator. The benefit of this, at a5% die area cost, is running lots of X86 software at near native · Extremely quiet operation thanks to SilentWingsspeeds - an approach that Alpha perfected over a decade ago Technologywith FX!32 software that enabled Alpha Windows NT to run · Extremely efficient and economical operation - 80PLUSmany X86 titles at the time at high speed. Gold certification for top efficiency of up to 93%.Anyway, since the core is reasonably efficient already, the · ErP ready. Stand-by energy consumption <0.3W.next step for Loongson 3 is a 16-core version in 28 nm · Active clamp + SR technology for highly efficient andprocess, expected sometime in min 2012. The minor core stable operation.improvements will be there in addition to a much higher clockrate, around 1.6 GHz, as well as larger L2 cache, greater than · Four independent 12V rails.the current 4 MB. The 2 x 64 KB per core L1 caches are · Modular cable management system with numerousexpected to stay on. connection options. · Maximum protection of components (OCP, OVP, UVP,What about the software? Several major Linux distros do run OPP, OTP and SCP).- including Debian, Gentoo, Mandriva and Chinas own RedFlag. The BSD OS ports are done quite a while ago, as well · 5 years manufacturer‘s warranty.as Windows CE port. Since there are quite a few consumer Continuous power (W) 580devices based on the previous Loongson / Godson processors, Peak power 500 ms (W) 650who knows, one day we may even see Android and Windows8 ports, although there doesnt seem to be much pressure felt Form factor ATX 12V ATX12V Version 2.31on the Chinese about it. Form factor EPS 12V EPS12V Version 2.92 Modular cable management YesIn the second part, we cover Alpha, ARM and Chinas own Special technology Active Clamp + SRinstruction set attempts. Voltage (Vac) 100 - 240 Frequency (Hz) 50 - 60 Input current (A) 8-5 PFC Active PF Power factor at 100% load 0.99 19
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneCompliant to Intel C6 mode YesPower consumption in <0.3 Another reason for the rapid growth is because the Kindlestandby (W) Fire is extremely new and launched in the run up to theAverage life time (h / 25°C) 300.000 busy Christmas shopping season, but the figures are still veryOperating temperature (up to 40°C impressive and suggest it could really give the iPad a run for- °C) its money. Android still has the largest market share for ad impressions,Kindle Fire has higher ad taking up 50 percent. iOS is at 30 percent, while RIMs BlackBerry is at 17 percent. If Amazon keeps up with its highimpression growth than Apple growth pace, however, it could become a major contender toiPad both RIM and Apple.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kindle-fire-has-higher-ad-impression-growth-than-apple-ipad/14300.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic launches Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republic- launches/14299.html December 22nd, 2011Amazons Kindle Fire tablet, a rival to the iPad, has seen adimpression growth of 19 per cent per day, a higher growth ratethan that experienced by Apples device following its launch.Amazons Kindle Fire tablet, a rival to the iPad, has seen adimpression growth of 19 per cent per day, a higher growth ratethan that experienced by Apples device following its launch. Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) launches today, delivering an MMO (massively multiplayer online) experience made by renowned game developer BioWare set a long timeApple currently sees ad impression monthly growth on its ago in a galaxy far, far away.iOS platform of just seven percent, significantly lower than Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) launches today,Amazons tablet, according to mobile ad network Millennial delivering an MMO (massively multiplayer online) experienceMedia. Even the higher figures experienced by Apple in its made by renowned game developer BioWare set a long timelaunch days were not as high as that seen by the Kindle Fire. ago in a galaxy far, far away.A major factor in the growth is the fact that Amazon is selling The game, which is BioWares first venture into the worldad-subsidised versions of the tablet and other Kindle devices, of MMOs, has been in development for five years and iswhich cuts back the upfront costs, but brings in plenty of rumoured to have cost a whopping $130 million, making it oneadvertising revenue. This likely more than makes up for the of the most expensive computer games to date.slight loss Amazon is experiencing on the Kindle Fire in termsof manufacturing costs. The pivotal feature that differentiates SWTOR from other MMOs, such as World of Warcraft, is story, the “fourth pillar” to the progression, exploration and combat pillars found in other games. While some games like Lord of the Rings Online go very far to deliver a compelling storyline, they pale in comparison to the sheer scope, complexity and immersion factor of BioWares effort, which is fully voice-acted. 20
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Sony has sold 321,400 units of its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device in the first two days of its Japanese launch, making it a strong contender to Nintendos 3DS. Sony has sold 321,400 units of its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device in the first two days of its Japanese launch, making it a strong contender to Nintendos 3DS. The healthy launch figures come from research firm Enterbrain, which said that the 3DS sold 371,00 units in its first two days, nearly 50,000 more than Sonys latest effort. Sony is still doing well, however, particularly considering the fact that Nintendo is the market leader in this sector.BioWare is not ignoring the other three pillars, however, as Sony is hoping to beat the 3DS sales overall, however,there is plenty of progression to be found in the 50 levels, eight particularly since Nintendo suffered from sharp drops in salesclasses, 16 advanced classes, three skill trees per advanced as the initial launch hype died down. This is likely due to theclass, multiple companions, starships, crafting, group content shift to mobile gaming as smartphone sales boomed and theand raids, to name but a few of the numerous features. fact that 3D is more of a gimmick feature than something that everyone is interested in.Theres lots to explore too, with 19 worlds to visit and plans tohave upwards of 500 worlds by 2025.Combat is the bread and butter of the game, with most of ittaking place on the ground against artificial enemies or real-life people in player-versus-player (PVP) warzones and in openworld PVP, but theres also space combat to break up themonotony.“Today represents an amazing milestone for BioWare, EA andStar Wars fans everywhere and we are confident it has beenworth the wait,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare. The Vita is the successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and“The support and resources going into Star Wars: The Old is backwards-compatible with PSP games, a feature that willRepublic are not ending today. The innovations we’re bringing help secure it some additional sales. Sony has sold 73 millionto the category are just the start of a journey and ongoing PSPs to date, a number it will likely be very happy with for theinvestment in our players that will grow, evolve and transform Vita.based on player feedback over the weeks, months and yearsahead.” The device will launch in Hong Kong and Taiwan within the next few days and in the US, Europe and Australia in lateThe game comes with 30 days of access to the servers, after February.which a subscription is required, costing $14.99 (€12.99/£8.99) per month, $41.97 (€35.97/£25.17) for three months,or $77.94 (€65.94/£46.14) for six months. HTC phone ban in US as AppleMay the Force be with you. wins patent battle Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-phone-ban-in-us-as-apple-wins- patent-battle/14297.htmlSony sells 321,400 units of December 22nd, 2011PlayStation Vita in two daysSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-sells-321-400-units-of-playstation-vita-in-two-days/14298.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011 21
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneApple has won a legal battle against HTC over the infringement December 22nd, 2011of a mobile phone patent, which will result in a sales ban of anumber of HTC devices in the United States of America.Apple has won a legal battle against HTC over the infringementof a mobile phone patent, which will result in a sales ban of anumber of HTC devices in the US.The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that HTC One thing is clear, were not far from the official unveiling ofhad infringed one of the 10 patents that Apple claimed it was AMDs next generation of graphics cards, as more and moreusing without permission. The patent in question relates to a details are appearing on a wide range of websites and wevedata tapping user interface feature, which lets users make use now gotten the first indication on performance, in normalizedof embedded data. figures courtesy of AMD. There are no actual numbers and wed take this with a grain of salt, but if this is anywhere even close to the real deal, then its good news for AMD.Despite the loss, HTC said it was “very pleased” with the resultand intends to respect it. This surprising reaction comes fromthe fact that HTC sees the overall verdict as being made in its One thing is clear, were not far from the official unveiling offavour, since nine of the patent claims were dismissed. AMDs next generation of graphics cards, as more and more details are appearing on a wide range of websites and weve now gotten the first indication on performance, in normalized figures courtesy of AMD. There are no actual numbers and wed take this with a grain of salt, but if this is anywhere even close to the real deal, then its good news for AMD. Alongside with the normalised performance figures we have more slides that covers the Radeon HD 7970 in as much detail as AMD has been willing to share, many of which weve already seen. AMD has come up with some novel new features such as DDM audio or discrete digital multi-point audio which allows the HDMI and DisplayPorts to simultaneously output multiple independent audio streams. With the ability to stream dual HD video streams from one graphics card, this could potentially be used for watching two videos at once on two different displays where each screen had its own audio.HTC said that the ban will cause minimal disruption for thecompany, as it would simply remove the feature from all of itsphones. It also suggested that it might develop a workaroundto achieve the same effect of the feature within the next fourmonths.This result is the latest in a series of legal conflicts betweenApple and rival smartphone and tablet manufacturers, mostnotably Samsung, which recently secured a reversal to anearlier ban of its Galaxy Tab in Australia.The HTC ban will come into effect in the US from 19 April,2012, which is plenty of time for the company to alter itsexisting phones. For gamers well be seeing support for HD3D, i.e. 3D glasses combined with AMDs Eyefinity multi-screen technology with support for up to three screens running in 3D. AMD has also added several tweaks to Eyefinity itself and well no seeCould the Radeon HD 7970 be support for combined resolutions of up to 16k x 16k. Onup to 60 percent faster than a top of that AMD has added customizable bezel compensation and various new grid configurations to allow for easierGTX 580? customization for the user.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/could-the-radeon-hd-7970-be-up-to-60-percent-faster-than-a-gtx-580-/14296.html 22
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone It appears that the much rumoured Radeon HD 6930 is the real deal, as at least one manufacturer has announced a card based on the budget high-end GPU from AMD. HIS has announced its version of the Radeon HD 6930 called the 6930 IceQ X and it appears to be identical to HIS 6950 card with the same cooling in terms of overall design. The main difference is of course a lower shader count (or Stream Processors in AMD speak), although HIS doesnt specify the exact number, it is believed to be 1280, down from 1408 in the Radeon HD 6950. The 6930 also loses out on eight texture units compared to the 6950, but retains all of the ROPs. Unlike the Radeon HD 5830 which had a higher clock speed than the Radeon HD 5850, the 6930 is actually clocked marginally slower than the 6950 with the GPU coreBut the most interesting slide is one thats really blurry and at 750MHz versus 800MHz. The memory is also clockedhard to read, although thankfully someone cleaned it up and 200MHz slower at 4.8GHz (effectively) compared to 5GHz.made it comprehensible and hopefully also still correct. AMD AMD has apparently placed an upper clock limit for partneris expecting a performance lead of somewhere between 25 cards as well where the GPU cannot be pre-overclocked toand 60 percent compared to Nvidias GTX 580 which is no anything higher than 790MHz, although the memory clock issmall claim to make, especially when one of the games with 60 allowed to go up to 5.1GHz (effectively).percent performance improvement happens to be Civilization5 which isnt exactly beating Nvidias hardware using currentAMD graphics cards.Games like Alien versus Predator and Crysis 2 should seeabout 25 to 35 percent increased performance and as we saidat the beginning of this article, wed take these numbers witha sprinkle of salt or two, as they are after all AMDs ownnormalized numbers. Even so, if AMD can come close to whatthe company seems to be promising, then the Radeon HD 7970is going to be an interesting, albeit expensive graphics card andsomething to give Nvidia a challenge for its next generationcards to battle it out with. Its only a couple of days to go untilwe know how close these numbers really are, but considering There have been some questions as to where this card fits intothe major changes AMD has done to its GPU architecture wed AMDs line-up of cards and judging by some slides posted overbe surprised if we didnt see a major performance boost, but at Expreview, AMD is targeting the Radeon HD 6930 as a moreyou can read more about that in our previous piece. feature rich version of the Radeon HD 6870, going as far as stating that it gives Cayman level features at Barts level pricing. We have yet to see any pricing of Radeon HD 6930 cards, butHIS announces the Radeon HD as luck has it, Expreview did get their hands on a PowerColor6930, kits it out with IceQ X card and ran it through some benchmarks at least. Compared to the Radeon HD 6950 were looking at an average of about sixcooling percent slower with 3DMark 11 and Dirt 3 showing the biggestSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/his-announces-the-radeon-hd-6930- performance difference of close to 10 percent, with Left 4 Deadkits-it-out-with-iceq-x-cooling/14295.html 2 showing the least at about 1.5 percent.December 22nd, 2011It appears that the much rumoured Radeon HD 6930 isthe real deal, as at least one manufacturer has announced acard based on the budget high-end GPU from AMD. HIS hasannounced its version of the Radeon HD 6930 called the 6930IceQ X and it appears to be identical to HIS 6950 card withthe same cooling in terms of overall design. 23
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Today, SingTel announced the launch of their LTE mobile broadband service for consumers and business users. CalledCompared to Nvidias GeForce GTX 560 Ti the difference is Broadband on Mobile Prestige 75, the LTE service claimsslightly higher at about seven percent advantage to Nvidia, or to offer theoretical download speeds of up to 75Mbps andalmost 10 percent on average with PhysX enabled. Here some typical download speeds between 3.4Mbps and 12Mbps. Thebenchmarks actually show a minor performance advantage mobile Internet access is said to be more than three timesfor AMD when PhysX is disabled, but in the worst case faster than existing 3G-based services, with one-fifth of thescenarios such as Batman Arkham Asylum the 6930 is over network latency. At launch, the outdoor coverage in the30 percent behind, or some 14fps. According to Expreview central financial district and other areas that experiencethe PowerColor card they looked at is meant to be some 20 high data usage include - Shenton Way, Orchard, City Hall,percent cheaper than an equivalent Radeon HD 6950, so if Marina Bay, River Valley, Tanglin, Newton, Novena, Kallang,you must have a VLIW4 card with EQAA, dual BIOS and Rochor, Outram, Tanjong Pagar, Jurong West, Boon Lay,AMD PowerTune, but cant afford a Radeon HD 6950, then Bukit Panjang, Bedok and Changi.this might be what youve been waiting for. That said, wewouldnt bother with this card at all if youre looking at buying In-building coverage is available in major shopping mallsa new graphics card now, as AMD is coming out with the such as Ngee Ann City, Plaza Singapura, Ang Mo Kio Hub,7000-series shortly which is expected to deliver vastly superior Tampines Mall, West Mall, Parkway Parade and Jurong IMM.performance, although once again the price is an unknown Office buildings such as Republic Plaza and Temasek Towerfactor that might make this a good budget buy for gamers. are also covered. The service will fall back to SingTel’s 3G- based service when users roam outside the LTE coverage area.SingTel launches LTE mobile Broadband on Mobile Prestige 75 will initially be available for USB dongle modems only, and will be enhanced inbroadband service for the near future to support LTE-enabled smartphones and tablets. Existing 21Mbps 3G Broadband on Mobile Premiumconsumer and business users 21 customers can upgrade to LTE with a top-up of S$10 perSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singtel-launches-lte-mobile- month. According to SingTel, the operator is progressivelybroadband-service-for-consumer-and-business-users/14294.html expanding the network, and it expects to provide LTE coverageDecember 22nd, 2011 for 80 per cent of mobile data users by end of 2012. SingTelBroadband on Mobile Prestige 75 LTE Price Plan Price (including GST) S$69.90/month Data Bundle 50GB 3G data (21Mbps) +This afternoon, SingTel announced the launch of 10GB LTE datatheir commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile Excess Charges $0.512/MB, Capped atbroadband which claims to be the first LTE service in $94.16/monthSingapore to be made available for consumer and businesscustomers. Download Speed Theoretical: 75Mbps Typical range: 3.4Mbps to 12Mbps 24
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneComes with free LTE dongle with slide-out keyboard, was launched in August and wasand free Wireless@SG endorsed by famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio. According to(3Mbps) online sources, the company is developing a new smartphone called Find 2, which may incorporate Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual- core processor, 1GB RAM and 4GB internal storage, 4-inch3G Mobile Theoretical Typical Price IPS touchscreen, 10-megapixel rear and 1-megapixel frontbroadband speed download cameras, and run Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwichplan speed range operating system. No details as to how much the OPPO Find 2Classic 3.6 3.6Mbps 0.8Mbps to S$29.90 will retail, and its availability, though it is expected to be about 2.1Mbps the same price tag as the Meizu MXs range of smartphonesPriority 7.2 7.2Mbps 1.4Mbps to S$40 of similar specifications - 2,999 yuan (or approximately US(with Priority 3.7Mbps $472).Pass) AMD named one of 10 mostPremium 21 21Mbps 1.7Mbps to S$59.90(with Priority 4.8MbpsPass) trustworthy companies in America Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-named-one-of-10-most-Oppo to launch Find 2 with trustworthy-companies-in-america/14285.html10-megapixel camera and December 22nd, 2011Android 4.0 ICS?Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/oppo-to-launch-find-2-with-10-megapixel-camera-and-android-4.0-ics-/14293.htmlDecember 22nd, 2011 AMD certainly had quite a turbulent year. The year started with Dirk Meyer being ousted as the CEO, Thomas Seifert consolidating the company as interim-CEO and Rory P. Read sweeping the broom, firing off 12% of the company. That kind of approach has its benefits. Following the big sweep, which resulted in 12% of the companyChinese electronics company Oppo may not be a well-known being let go, Samsung jumping through the air with joy ofname, but their Find X903 is a stylish phone with slideout getting several brilliant CPU architects (former Fusion APUkeyboard and endorsed by famous actor Leonardo DiCaprio. heads) and radical moves such as firing a Chief MarketingThe company may be planning to launch a new smartphone, Officer, the company is looking up and about.supposedly called Find 2, which has a 10-megapixel built-incamera and runs the latest Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Next Decate Inc, a company behind Trust Across America,Sandwich. self-pronounced "think tank dedicated to unraveling the complexities of trustworthy business behavior" announced the results of their second annual study, in which semiconductor companies played a big role. The Top 10 Most Trustworthy Companies in America in 2011 are: 1. Smithfield Foods (SFD), a global food company (http:// www.smithfieldfoods.com) 2. Xcel Energy (XEL), a regional supplier of electric power and natural gas (http://www.xcelenergy.com) 3. Nike, Inc. (NKE), a global marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment (http://www.nikeinc.com) 4. Dole Food Company (DOLE), the worlds largest producer of high quality fruits and vegetables (http:// www.dole.com) 5. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a semiconductor designOPPO Electronics Corp., Ltd is an electronics manufacturer innovator (http://www.amd.com)based in China with product lines including MP3 players,portable media players, LCD TVs, DVD and Blu-ray Discplayers, as well as mobile phones. The stylish Oppo Find X903 25
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 6. Allergan (AGN), a global technology-driven multi-specialty healthcare company (http:// www.allergan.com) 7. Temple-Inland (TIN), a low-cost corrugated packaging and building products company (http:// www.templeinland.com) 8. Herman Miller (MLHR), a designer and manufacturer of furniture (http://www.hermanmiller.com) 9. Texas Instruments (TXN), a developer of analog, digital signal processing, and semiconductor technologies (http://www.ti.com) 10. Lexmark International (LXK), a provider of printing and imaging products and software solutions (http:// www.lexmark.com)Two semiconductor giants, Lexmark and Texas Instrumentsappeared in 2010 as well, while AMD makes a debut Atlas Sound & Vision, distributor of Bose, has introducedappearance on the impressive fifth spot, only two spots below the first soundbar systems from Bose - the Lifestyle 135Nike. The companies are ranked using the FAST method, and home entertainment system and the CineMate 1 SR digitalaccording to the researcher, no company achieved the perfect home theater speaker system. Incorporating proprietary Bosescore of "100", though. In fact, majority of companies didnt technologies, both system claim to offer a new level of audiomanage to achieve 90. Trust Across America the companies performance and placement flexibility for soundbar solutions,have no say in the process, and aren’t even informed theyre in delivering home theater sound from one elegant speaker array,the running. and a new wireless Acoustimass module. The Lifestyle 135 system includes a media console for up to six high definitionFACTS method is split in "Financial Stability and sources (four HDMI inputs), an AM/FM tuner, and a dockStrength, Accounting Conservativeness, Corporate Integrity, for the Apple iPod or iPhone. Featuring the proprietary BoseTransparency, Sustainability". Unify intelligent integration system, the media console actsThen again, a question ponders in our heads… if FACTS is as a central hub and makes connecting devices to the consolereally a valid method of calculation, where in the world are convenient. The CineMate 1 SR system attaches directly tocash cow companies such as Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Vodafone, the TV with just a cable. Both soundbar set-ups feature aVerizon and others? The answer to that question is very simple programmable remote that controls the system and nearly any- they failed in one or more segments of FACTS. connected source, from a Blu-ray Disc player to a cable box.Or... well simply leave you to be the judge. PhaseGuide Technology: Immersive Sound From One Visible SpeakerBose launches first soundbar The Lifestyle 135 system and CineMate 1 SR system represent the first Bose speakers to feature breakthroughsystems in Singapore PhaseGuide sound radiator technology, originally used in theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bose-launches-first-soundbar-systems- company’s revolutionary VideoWave entertainment system –in-singapore/13747.html the industry’s first high-definition television that integratesDecember 22nd, 2011 a complete home theater sound system behind a 46” 1080p LCD display. Combined with proprietary TrueSpace digital processing circuitry, PhaseGuide technology transforms the listening experience: discrete sound can be heard in places where there are no speakers. The new Acoustimass module delivers low notes with cinematic impact. Smaller than previous Bose Acoustimass modules, its wireless link allows itBose is renowned for their headphones, speaker systems and to be hidden,completely out of sight.TVs. Today, the company announced the launch of their Soundbar Setup: Horizontal, Vertical, Anywhere in the Roomfirst soundbar systems in Singapore - the Lifestyle 135 homeentertainment system and the CineMate 1 SR digital home Unlike conventional soundbars, the Lifestyle135 andtheater speaker system. CineMate 1 SR systems have true placement flexibility - they can be positioned near the TV, and in two orientations. Bose FlexMount automatic placement compensation senses whether the speaker has been placed horizontally on a table, or mounted vertically on a wall. It then automatically adjusts the sound, offering users two choices for soundbar setup with the same assurance of spacious, natural sound. The media console included with the Lifestyle135 system serves as the 26
  • December 22nd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonehub for home entertainment sources. The exclusive Bose Unifyintelligent integration system makes connecting devices to theconsole effectively mistake-proof. With Bose ADAPTiQ audiocalibration technology, the system can deliver optimal soundin any room. It first recognises where the system is located,then compensates for how the acoustics of the space affect itsaudio quality – customising the sound for the room’s uniquesize, shape, even furnishings.Pricing and AvailabilityThe Bose Lifestyle 135 home entertainment system and theBose CineMate1 SR digital home theater speaker system areavailable for S$4,999 and S$2,999 respectively. They can bepurchased from the Atlas Experience Audio Visual Boutique@ TripleOne Somerset, and Bose @ Millenia Walk. 27
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.First Looks: MSI Big Bang-XPower II (X79) MotherboardSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-msi-big-bang-xpower-ii-x79-motherboard/14361.htmlDecember 27th, 2011One of the most belated X79 motherboard has finally arrivedin our labs! MSIs Big Bang-XPower II (MS-7737) is a militarythemed and feature packed monster, designed to be theultimate board for both extreme overclockers and gamers. We MSI Big Bang-XPower II (X79) Motherboard - XL-ATX, 7 PCIetake a first look before our full review next month... slots, 8 DIMMsFront of what is a VERY glossy and rainbow coloured box Back of motherboard. Notice the solder points of the PCIe slots - only the 1st and 5th slot will get full x16 PCIe lanes connectivity, while the rest get x8 lanesBack End 1
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneI/O Panel - PS/2 port, 6 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 (NECD720200AF1), Firewire-800 (VIA VT6315N), Dual Gigabit GIGABYTE Issues RecallLAN (Intel 82579V and Intel 82574L) and 7.1 Channel AudioPorts (more on this later) Notice On X79 UD3, UD5, G1.Assassin 2 Motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-issues-recall-notice-on-x79- ud3-ud5-g1.assassin-2-motherboards/14360.html December 27th, 2011Documentation and O/C Guide Gigabyte announced a general recall of three of its front- line socket LGA2011 motherboards from the markets, the X79-UD3, X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2, following increasing complaints of burnt CPU VRM even under stress applied relatively-moderately overclocked setups. In a move that puts a large chunk of its socket LGA2011 motherboard lineup in jeopardy, Gigabyte announced a general recall of the GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2 X79 motherboards, responding to an increasing number of complaints from overclockers that their boards VRM werent able to keep up with the stress theyre supposed to cope with. Last week, an overclocker from Taiwan "japan0827" from the XFastest community posted a video on YouTube showing how the CPU VRM of his X79-UD3 motherboard popped up in smoke when subjected to stress.SLi bridges, SATA Cables, Extenders for voltage monitoringand other common stuff 2
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The LG Spectrum Android 4G "world phone" may be launching soon, but news of the Korean manufacturer having a Windows Phone in development has been leaked. Called LG Fantasy, the Windows Phone will feature a 4-inch IPSThis issue could have been caused by bad firmware to touchscreen display and is the companys third Windowscomplement the boards CPU VRM, and bad-quality VRM Phone; sibling to the LG Optimus 7 and LG Quantum. Fromcomponents in general. In its latest press release issued on its the leaked photo, the LG Fantasy has the standard buttonChinese site, Gigabyte offered two remedies. First, it issued layout below the display - back, home and search - and willa BIOS update for existing owners, which prevents this from run the latest Windows Mango operating system. According tohappening. It does so, however, by thottling the CPU when its sources, the LG Fantasy could show its face at the upcomingunder extreme stress, making these boards practically useless CES 2012, and launched in Q1 next year.to overclockers, and is only recommended for those who runtheir setups with mild overclocking that isnt voltage-assisted.The second remedy, of course, is an unconditional return for LG showcases 55-inch OLEDreplacement. Overclockers can send their burnt boards, aswell as healthy ones that are prone to this issue, for a free displayreplacement, when corrected boards are available. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-showcases-55-inch-oled- display/14358.htmlMeanwhile, Gigabyte will be pulling its affected X79 December 27th, 2011motherboards off shelves worldwide, and replace them withcorrected boards that will most likely be revisions of existingmodels that will sufficiently advertise the issue as beingcorrected.LG Fantasy Windows MangoPhone with 4-inch IPS LG has announced the development of a 55-inch OLED display which claims to be less than 5mm thin, consumes lesstouchscreen leaked power and has higher than 100,000:1 contrast ratio comparedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-fantasy-windows-mango-phone- to the conventional LCD panels.with-4-inch-ips-touchscreen-leaked/14359.htmlDecember 27th, 2011Even though Microsoft has announced the new WindowsMango operating system, it seems that only Samsung and HTChave came up with the new smartphones at launch. However,a new LG Windows Phone has recently been leaked and isreported to sport a 4-inch IPS display. 3
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Known as "Mobile and Communications", this new business unit is headed by Mike Bell and Hermann Eul. The first product coming out of this newly formed division is a 32nm chip called Medfield. Medfield is the codename for Intels first true SoC and first true highly-integrated-solution, since old Intel mentality liked to speak about "vertically integrated platforms" without explicitly mentioning just how much chips you need in order to have a functional platform (we all remember two-chip "platforms" that require 4-5 chips toLG has come up with a new 55-inch OLED display which work).claims to less than 5mm slim, consumes less power andhas higher than 100,000:1 contrast ratio as well as 1,000 Be that as it may, Intels "Medfield" chip is the first true SoCtimes faster response speed than LCD panels. The LG OLED which will compete against Apples A-Series, NVIDIA Tegra,panel incorporates color filters for the light-emitting elements Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung Exynos, Texas Instrumentsof white OLEDs to provide accurate color display, while OMAP and the likes. Out of all the chips mentioned above, onlycompetitor Samsung uses a method in which red, green and Samsungs Exynos is currently manufactured in 32nm process,blue light-emitting elements are applied. The company plans just like Medfield.to showcase the new 55-inch OLED panel at the Consumer Few weeks ahead of the official launch, we now have firstElectronics Show (CES) 2012 at Las Vegas next month. performance numbers of "Medfield Tablet Platform". The actual development has an x86 processing core operating atIntels 32nm "Medfield" Mobile 1.6GHz, 1GB LP-DDR2, WLAN/Bluetooth/FM Radio chip of unnamed manufacturer, 10.1", 1280x800 resolution screenChip Surprising Performance, and eMMC/micro-SD card for removable storage.Power Consumption Leaked The benchmarks were performed on Honeycomb (AndroidSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-32nm-medfield-mobile-chip- 3.x) while the shipping products will utilize the Ice Creamsurprising-performance-power-consumption-leaked/14355.html Sandwich (Android 4.x) operating system.December 27th, 2011 So, what the performance is? Intel Medfield 1.6GHz currently scores around 10,500 in Caffeinemark 3. For comparison, NVIDIA Tegra 2 scores around 7500, while Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 scores 8000. Samsung Exynos is the current king of the crop, scoring 8500. True - were waiting for the first Tegra 3 results to come through.As the launch of next-generation Atom mobile platform looms,Intel is making more and more semi-public and public noise There are more tests being mentioned to us, but needless toabout the new, first true SoC (System-on-a-Chip) from their say - Intel should have a competitive part... at least as far aslabs. performance goes. The second and more important part is how much power does it actually consumes.According to our conversations with various sources insideIntel, the company is taking the task of "becoming mobile" very As it stands right now, the prototype version is consumingseriously. First and foremost, Intel went through an internal 2.6W in idle with the target being 2W, while the worst casereorganization and merged four distinctive business units into scenarios are video playback: watching the video at 720p inone: Mobile Communications, Mobile Wireless, Netbook & Adobe Flash format will consume 3.6W, while the target forTablet PC and Ultra-Mobility. shipping parts should be 1W less (2.6W). 4
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneCan Intel achieve these performance targets in shipping partswith all the limitations that mass-manufactured parts have -only time will tell.Upcoming Dual Xeon E5Socket 2011 boards: Howabout 4 x 16 PCIe slots,native?Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/upcoming-dual-xeon-e5-socket-2011-boards-how-about-4-x-16-pcie-slots-native-/14357.htmlDecember 27th, 2011Some 3 months from now, the new-generation Dual Socket Worried about GPUs that are on PCIe lanes from different2011 Xeon platform will be out now. What to do with the 80 CPUs communicating slowly? Well, dont worry so much.PCIe 3.0 lanes on it? Remember there are TWO QPI links between those Xeon E5s? Each running at 8 GT/s, the same raw lane speed as PCIeSometime in March, after the widely known delays, the Dual v3, for better sync? The 64 GB/s interprocessor bandwidthSocket 2011 processors and boards - the Xeon E5 Romley provided by these two links should support a fair bit of inter-platform - should finally be out. One interesting new feature GPU communication in this case, in parallel with the inter-is, of course, 80 PCIe 3.0 lanes in total on each of those boards, core comms from both CPUs.as each chip has 40 of them. That is, of course, in addition toPCIe 2.0 lanes going to the I/O chips. Anyway, cant wait to see the new stuff - especially if Intel does come out with the unlocked SKUs of these Xeon E5s atNow, you could obviously have four full x16 v3 PCIe slots launch...there for quad graphics card setups, as well as an extra pairof x8 slots for, say, superfast SSD enterprise card and aninterconnect board, but will any boards actually implementthat, and what can be supported on them if you want to set upa parallel graphics rig? Creatives Sound Core3D getsThe EVGA SR-X mainboard is the only one known up to now nekkid in front of the camerato have the support for both SLI and CrossFire among the Dual Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-s-sound-core3d-gets-nekkid-Socket 2011 offerings expected at launch, including of course in-front-of-the-camera/14353.htmlquad-GPU modes of both parallel graphics combinations. December 27th, 2011Other boards expected, such as Intel Crown Pass , have evenmore slots than the SR-X, but, as of now, are only expected tosupport CrossFire from AMD - including the quad mode - atlaunch. Intels mobo is, in a way, more flexible slot-wise thanthe EVGA one as you can put in four full double-width GPUs attheir own x16 slots, and still have one more PCIe slot availablefor other things such as DSP sound or SSD or whatever. And, it Remember that "quad core" sound chip Creative announcedhas full 16 DIMM slots for DDR3-1600+ memory. Either way, back in September? Well, the first reviews are starting to comeboth boards are gigantic size wise, Intel is also there this time in now and were finally getting a look at the actual chip. Itwith the 14 x 15 inch format. turns out that we were almost right in suspecting that the Sound Core3D wasnt quite what Creative made it sound like. Remember that "quad core" sound chip Creative announced back in September? Well, the first reviews are starting to come in now and were finally getting a look at the actual chip. It turns out that we were almost right in suspecting that the Sound Core3D wasnt quite what Creative made it sound like. 5
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe chip is in fact nestling underneath the "heatsink" on the December 27th, 2011boards, but its a rather tiny chip as unveiled by Impress PCWatch. The model name is CA0132 and for those that care, itsmade in Taiwan. The chip we initially presumed was the SoundCore3D is labelled CA0113 and is made in Korea, althoughwere not quite certain what the functionality of it is, especiallyas this chip is missing from ASRocks Game Blaster card, whichco-incidentally was also torn down. ASRock also seems to be Weve already reported on Intels upcoming Centertonusing higher quality capacitors than Creative. Atom SoCs that are expected to arrive around Q2 next year, but it seems like this might be the saviour of Intels Atom processors in the long run. This is one of the few market spaces where Intel can really compete with ARM, as an ARM processor in a NAS doesnt generally offer the kind of performance an x86 chip can, not even that of an Atom processor. Weve already reported on Intels upcoming Centerton Atom SoCs that are expected to arrive around Q2 next year, but it seems like this might be the saviour of Intels Atom processors in the long run. This is one of the few market spaces where Intel can really compete with ARM, as an ARM processor in a NAS doesnt generally offer the kind of performance an x86 chip can, not even that of an Atom processor. Digitimes is reporting that Intel is shifting a lot more of its focus towards Centerton which is designed for the NAS andWhats more is that the Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional is using entry-level server market. As a single chip SoC this is anexactly the same PCB as the standard Recon3D, with the only ideal chip for this market space, although an external storageaddition that we could spot being a pair of red LED lights. You controller is still needed. At least Intel has been smart this timedo of course get a red rather than blue "heatsink" and that around and offered plenty of PCI Express lanes so a wide rangeshielding with a window in it. Its actually quite amusing to see of add-in storage controllers could be added for various marketthat ASRock has managed to squeeze in a lot more on its card, segments.yet the PCB is about half the size. Intel already holds a fair share of the NAS market with its AtomSadly our Japanese is more than lacking, but our gist of the processors, but most are far from ideal as were looking atarticle on Impress PC Watch seems to suggest that anyone that two or three chip solutions with poor support for anything buthas an X-Fi card should hang on to it, as the Sound Core3D software RAID. This is something Centerton would address byis not a step up. Apparently for voice chat/calls the Sound allowing third party storage controllers to be used and we haveCore3D is the better choice, but in terms of audio quality and a feeling Intel will have some solutions of its own to pair of upfor gaming it cant keep up with the older X-Fi based cards. with the new Atom chips.Its not hard to see why when you take into consideration that Its a logical move as there has been a sharp drop in the saleswere talking about a far simpler chip here judging it solely on of netbooks, even though Intel will have a new platform readyits size and packaging. Considering the pricing – at least in before the end of the year which should be more appealingSingapore – is identical between the new Sound Core3D cards to consumers thanks to full HD video playback and HDMIand their older X-Fi siblings, we know what wed get. connectivity to mention a couple of key features Intel hasSource: Impress PC Watch (in Japanese) finally added. Well see how things unfold for Intel, as the company should finally be making a big push into the tablet and smartphone market come next year, but the company isIntel hoping that the NAS going to have a rough time staying competitive here against the latest generation of ARM processors which are also expectedmarket will save Atom, if all to arrive next year.else failsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-hoping-that-the-nas-market-will-save-atom-if-all-else-fails/14352.html Samsung is hoping for 2012 to be the year of transparent LCDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-is-hoping-for-2012-to-be-the- year-of-transparent-lcds/14351.html 6
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 27th, 2011 that replaces the windows in mass transit trains for some large screen browsing, although were most likely having slightly too high hopes here. Sony and Samsung part waysAhead of CES Samsung has been busy pimping all sorts of on LCD partnershiptechnologies, but it seems like the company is very serious Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-and-samsung-part-ways-on-lcd-about transparent LCDs and in this case were looking at large partnership/14350.htmlscreen applications. Were not sure if the world is ready for this December 27th, 2011technology as yet and it looks like weve got a while to go untilits anywhere near to become mainstream.Ahead of CES Samsung has been busy pimping all sorts oftechnologies, but it seems like the company is very seriousabout transparent LCDs and in this case were looking at large The two consumer electronics giants Sony and Samsungscreen applications. Were not sure if the world is ready for this has decided to part ways on their joint LCD manufacturingtechnology as yet and it looks like weve got a while to go until business, S-LCD with Samsung taking the reins. This doesntits anywhere near to become mainstream. come free for Samsung though, as the company is paying aSamsung is trying to convince the world that it needs to fair amount of cash up front to Sony to take over the LCDimplements its LTI460AP01 transparent LCD into various manufacturing business on its own.movie like solutions, although so far it seems like most ofthe applications are in fact for the advertising industry. The The two consumer electronics giants Sony and SamsungLTI460AP01 isnt quite on par with your average 46-inch has decided to part ways on their joint LCD manufacturingLCD display in terms of resolution either, as it only manages business, S-LCD with Samsung taking the reins. This doesnt1366x768 compared to 1920x1080 for your average LCD TV come free for Samsung though, as the company is paying athese days, but thats kind of beside the point here. fair amount of cash up front to Sony to take over the LCD manufacturing business on its own. Samsung has agreed to pay Sony a cash lump sum of around US$940 million for Sonys 50 percent in the joint venture; not exactly a small sum of money, but this is only part of the agreement between the two companies. As it happens, the two companies have signed a strategic agreement where Sony will source LCD panels from Samsung, although at market price. Sonys press release suggests that this is a good thing for Sony, as the company no longer needs to be worried about the actual manufacturing process or the cost of running the factories. Sony will still be working with Samsung on the research and engineering side of things to bring out better and more advanced LCD panels and as such Sony will still have someOne of the selling points according to Samsung is the level of control in terms of the products that Samsung willfact that as long as theres enough daylight/artificial light, be manufacturing. The deal is set to be closed by the end oftheres no need to switch on any kind of backlight. As you January as long as it passes the approval procedures by themightve figured out by now, the backlight is the most power various regulatory authorities.hungry component in an LCD screen and Samsung claimsthat the LTI460AP01 uses only 10 percent of the electricityof a comparable LCD panel with backlight. That said, the Club3D Radeon HD 6870 X2LTI460AP01 isnt void of backlight, as it can be switched on Review - Two Barts XT gowhen there isnt enough light coming from behind the panel. against the big boysSo far weve seen mostly what we feel is fairly tacky attempts Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/club3d-radeon-hd-6870-x2-review--at selling and promoting transparent LCDs where objects are two-barts-xt-go-against-the-big-boys/14349.htmlput behind the panel in a way that they can be seen as a part of December 27th, 2011what is usually some kind of advertisement being displayed onthe screen and Samsungs demo pictures are more of the same.Now were sure that there are applications where a transparentLCD would indeed be useful and were hoping for a day whenyou can connect your smartphone wirelessly to such a display 7
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWhat happens when you slap two mid-range Barts XT (Radeon6870) GPUs on a single board? Not too shabby at all...Netherlands based Club3D products are mainly distributedand sold in Europe and Indonesia - so our predominentlyAmerican and Singapore readers wont find them on localshelves. Needs 2 x 8 pin PCIe power connectors 2 Mini-DP, a DVI-D and DVI-I and a single HDMI port.The 12 inch (30.48cm) long Radeon HD 6870 X2. Its coolingsolution, dubbed "CoolStream", uses 6 heatpipes and 2 silentfans to dissipate heat Accessories and Documentation. The card also comes with a free copy of the DiRT3 racing game 8
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The Hangzhou-based NationalChip licensed the ARM over 3 years ago, with specific focus on derivatives for digital entertainment, mainly digital TV sets and set-top boxes. Considered as one of top ten Chinese IC design companiesChinese high end CPUs are by EETimes China, the company offers GX1100, 1200, 1500, and 3000 families of integrated SoC-approach components fornow in the game - details: Part digital entertainment.3 - ARM and othersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-high-end-cpus-are-now-in-the-game--details-part-3--arm-and-others/14348.htmlDecember 27th, 2011In this final part of the Chinese CPU development coverage, Then, the Shanghai-based Leadcore Technology, the chipwe look at the local ARM processor flavours, as well as Chinas design arm of Chinese communications equipment companyown instruction set attempts aimed at the general market. Datang Group, is working on custom ARM processors basedWhile MIPS and Alpha were at the forefront of RISC high on the Cortex-A9 MPCore, the ARM Mali-400 MP graphicsend architecture development, the sole Europe-developed core and Cortex-A9 optimization pack for the TSMC 40 nm lowsurviving instruction set architecture, ARM, was from the very power process technology. Their focus is putting together unistart in 1985 aimed at the entry level - whether it was the and dual-core versions of such chips with its own basebandBBC micro home computer successor then, or the myriad of chip to target high-end smartphones based on the Chinas 3Gsmartphones and netbooks today. The Chinese have embraced standard, TD-SCDMA.ARM architecture as well for this part of the market, withseveral licenses up to now. These cover the full spectrum ofconsumer devices, from smartphones and tablets to netbooks,DTV settop boxes and car gadgets.The Fuzhou-based RockChip offers Cortex A8-based customARM CPUs and SoC chips for personal entertainmentdevices. Their newest RK29xx is the first chip to decodeGoogles WebM VP8 in hardware. The 1.2 GHz CPU with 512KB L2 cache also has an integrated 60 million polygons/s GPUas well as DSP-accelerated 1080p playback and encoding inmost formats. It supports tablets and smartphones with up to1280x800 displays. A dual-core version is supposedly under Another Shanghai company, Brite Semiconductor Corp., adevelopment as well. fabless startup founded in 2008, has licensed most major ARM processor cores, including Cortex, ARM9, ARM11 and Mali on a long term arrangement. The license also covers Coresight debug and trace technology and peripherals that are compliant with the AMBA on-chip bus. Brite provides design services to electronics companies and works with SMIC, the 9
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonelocal foundry, on the manufacturing side. They have already GPU support for Data parallel, Task parallel, and Functionsuccessfully output 40 nm chips from this foundry earlier this parallel computing with minimised interrupt and contextyear. switch overhead due to multithreading, and heterogeneous GPGPU applications with both OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenCLYet another company from New New York of Asia, support. Each core has 64KB I-Cache , 64KB D-Cache, 64KBShanghai InfoTM Micro-electronics, has licences the ARM11 SRAM and 32-bit GPR file, 8-channel DMA and 16-sourceprocessor core, Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A9 processor cores and interrupt controller. Each core only takes 3.0 mm2, includingthe Mali300 and Mali400 GPUs for 3-D enabled mobile memory, with operating power of about 300mw.computing devices to be manufactured by Shuoying DigitalScience & Technology (China) Co. Ltd. which is its both owner The built in support both homogeneous (OpenMP and such)and main customer. They also have multicore ICs ready as of and heterogeneous (OpenCL and such) parallel programmingnow. APIs through native compiler and MVP drivers is quite a good news here, as a new ISA needs the easiest possibleIn Zhuhai , AllWinner, focusing on HD media semiconductors, programming enablement to ensure software support.took the ARM Cortex-A8 processor and the Mali-400 MPGPU for their own HD-enabed procssors to be used with In summary, China is covering the ground well at thea range of Android OS-based tablets, smart TVs, personal mainstream level as well, ensuring a well varied supplymedia players, eBooks, smart media boxes, IP cameras and of CPUs for all classes of consumer devices, having ARMautomotive multimedia gadgets. The Allwinner Technology compatibility yet local cost, design and manufacturing control.SoC designs are available since this past summer. At the same time, going for its own instruction sets is the next frontier.Finally, we look at the ultimate approach - designing yourown instruction set from ground up, a venture few dare to Images Credits to Products of Respective Vendorstry, especially these days since X86 is pre dominant for thepast decade across the board. ICube, a Shenzhen company,created the Harmony Unified Processor Technology, which Chinese high end CPUs areis supposed to tightly integrate two different processortypes, CPU and GPU, into one unified core - sounds now in the game - details: Partsomewhat like AMD Fusion approach, but with a fresh 2, Alphainstruction set optimised from scratch for the purpose. This Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-high-end-cpus-are-now-in-the-technology consists of the Multi-Thread Virtual Pipeline game--details--part-2-alpha/14347.htmlparallel computing core (MVP), an independent instruction December 27th, 2011set architecture (ISA), an optimizing compiler and the AgileSwitch dynamic load balancer. Earlier, we looked at the background of Chinese high end microprocessor effort, as well as the most widely known of them, the Loongson MIPS family. In this second part, we cover Alpha. Alpha was, for the long time around the turn of the century, the Formula 1 of microprocessors with its very simple, elegant yet extremely scalable RISC architecture focused on raw speed, and pure 64-bitness without any 32-bit modes or compatibility baggage. Between 1993 and 2001, the time of its untimelyEven though these are big-named things reminiscent of murder, it owned the majority of performance records,what you see in servers, ICubes technology is actually used especially when it came to the processor performance - DECin small SoC solutions for the hand-held computing and (Digital Equipment Corp) system designers were sometimescommunication market, with a focus on the Android OS. The too stingy with the memory and I/O systems, allowing otherinitial product, ICube IC1, is a 600 MHz dual core 32-bit vendors to occassionally win the accolades in those tests. TheSoC with 8 threads (4 per core) in parallel and 5160 DMIPs most well known of those cores, the one that had the highestdeclared throughput, a 70 million polygon/s, 600 Mpixel/s comparative performance advantage vs the competition, wasGPU, and a host of integrated features such as FullHD display 21164 a.k.a EV 5 family, which span three semicon processdriver up to 1920x1200 with HDMI/DVI, a camera interface, generations - 0.50, 0.35 and 0.25 microns.720p video acceleration, 5.1 audio, memory card, USB, 3G andWifi connectivity. The most widely spread volume-wise was the 0.35 micron 21164A in 1996-7, reaching up to 667 MHz, and beating theWhats interesting here is not only the fine grained CPU contemporary 266 MHz Pentium II by over two times in mostmultithreading with OpenMP and Pthread (both used in benchmark tests of the time. The 21164 core, a simple but veryHPC and general SMP apps a lot) support , but also the 10
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonehigh clock-optimised four-issue in-order design with two FP such as Jack Dongarra, the man behing TOP500 list andops per clock, was also the most performance efficient of all Linpack FP benchmark.Alphas, taking some 25 Watts at 667 MHz vs 75 Watts forthe 600 MHz Pentium III Katmai which followed few yearslater, still at lesser performance. The subsequent Alpha cores, SW3 aka SW1600 is a 16-core, 64-bit RISC processor, withsuch as 21264 EV6, brought up to double the performance each core looking a lot like an improved version of the 21164Aper-clock, however at three times the power consumption per EV56 Alpha core, plus vector FP unit extension added toclock, a point very important when looking at the choices made each core. While the initial speed range was 1 to 1.2 GHzlater in this story. in the 65nm process, the standard speed grade is a 1.1 GHz chip with 141 GFLOPs DP FP performance. The speed set forThe 21264 out-of order core was also scaled across three the Bluelight Petaflop machines Top 500 run was 975 MHz,processes, including derivatives made by Samsung, the major though. The quad-channel 128-bit DDR3 on-chip memoryAlpha architecture licensee. It, and its successor 21364 EV7, controller offers 68 GB/s bandwidth - yes, equivalent to 8carried the performance torch until 2002 or so, well after channels of DDR3-1066 server RAM.Alphas further public development was stopped. Do note thememory and I/O interconnect revolution with the EV7 - whilethe core was basically the same EV6 type, the on-chip 1.75 MB The L1 and L2 cache sizes are still rather minuscule for modernL2 cache, a 10-channel integrated Rambus memory controller CPUs, being kept at the original 21164 sizes of 2 x 8 KB L1 andwith humongous memory bandwidth basically matching that 96 KB L2, however it has enabled both very small cores andof the L2 cache and enabling that cache to act as a low latency also very, very low cache latencies, down to two clock cycles forbuffer for the memory system, and four parallel 6.4 GB/s L1. You can see the CPU block diagram here.coherent interconnect links to other 4 processors, scaling up to512 sockets with directory support, were a revolution for year2000 computing. Such things were only seen in PCs 5 yearslater with HyperTransport from AMD first, later followedby QPI from Intel. BOTH THESE INTERCONNECTS AREDERIVED FROM OVER A DECADE-OLD ALPHA EV7.Add to that more. The 21464 EV8, aimed for release in2002 if things continued as originally planned, was to bethe first processor with eight-issue wide superscalar out-of-order symmetrically multithreaded core, and we mean fourthreads out of each core here. The EV9 21564 design wasexpected to add multi-core and huge, wide vector unit - upto 1 KILOBYTE wide - capability to the mix, enabling wellover 100 GFLOPS DP floating point performance per core for2004 timeframe. Remember, we are only now reaching suchcapabilities in late 2011, and need 6 to 8 cores for that. Anyway,the multithreading and vector enhancements designed wellahead of their time into the EV8 and EV9, never saw the lightof the day in the open market.In the late nineties, China saw the value and capability ofAlpha, and built a number of Alpha systems, some of themvery large for the time. It also fully licenced the Digital /Tru64 UNIX and related software stack, including getting thefull source code, from Compaq after the latter bought DECthen, giving China the critical software control part. At thesame time, having seen the business instabilities linked tothe Digital-Compaq-HP transition, China seems to have beenworking on having its own Alpha flavour.After over a decade of work and three generations of CPUs,Jiangnan Reseach Lab has shown the ShenWei (Sunway)SW-3 processor, the Chinese flavour of Alpha, not in a smallworkstation, not in a server, but in no less than a huge As mentioned before, 21164 core was the most power efficientpetaflop-class supercomputer machine in Jinan, Shandong - of all Alphas, and also one of the most power/performance 64-the Sunway BlueLight MPP, this past October. The CPU itself bit high end CPU cores of all time, excluding the mainstream,runs for over a year in a variety of systems, but displaying entry level or embedded processors. So, the choice of that coreit running a petaflop machine was probably the best PR one for all these years by the Chinese, although they obviously - ascould get, especially since foreign supercomputing dignitaries the Loongson case shows - had plenty of resources to improve 11
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethe EV6 or even EV8 cores if they wanted to - seems to prove resources to confinue developing Shenwei on its own, withright at this point. Remember Intels Knights Corner, or the sufficient internal market. However, when it decides to go fullyAMD GCN GPU architecture for compute? commercial with the effort, there will be plenty of interested partners worldwide to embrace the old-new Formula 1 ofThe Knights Corner, being a compute version of the microprocessors yet again, this time with a far more stableabandoned Larrabee project, uses a core even simpler - and supplier, business wise, than DECompaq was.slower - than Alpha 21164, basically a 64-bit version of the oldPentium, enhanced with much higher bandwidth, to act as afeeder to a vector unit behing it that provides very very fast FP. The Part 3 will look at the ARM and native CPUs of China.Stick a 50-odd of those on one chip, with the right cache andinterconnect in between, and you got a good accelerator. TheCompute Units in the AMD 7970 arent that much different, Photo Credits: it168.comalthough they are based on a native optimised architecture,rather than cumbersome X86. First Looks: Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1000W PowerSo, in the Shenwei SW3, you have a simple, well proven 4-way (still double the issue of Pentium or Atom per cycle) Supplysuperscalar in-order core with very small die footprint for Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-cooler-master-silent-pro-todays processes, yet improved and with enhanced bandwidth m2-1000w-power-supply/14345.htmlto feed a simple, AVX-like throughput vector unit. Whats the December 27th, 2011vector units speed then? If you normalise the speed to 1 GHz,itd give you 8 GFLOPs DP per core, or 8 flops per cycle - notbad at all for a 2010 chip using an enhanced 1995 core! All thatat very low, below 40 watts (official figures not available) persocket power consumption despite the old 65 nm process. The original Silent Pro M series of power supplies from Cooler Master was a cult hit with overclockers, thanks to its attractiveAnd, the sustained performance and power consumption in pricing, decent efficiency and single 12V rail modular cablethe Sunway Bluelight petaflop system were the proof of the design. It is also the power supply that we feature in mostpudding: the water-cooled 9-rack machine has 8,704 ShenWei of our motherboard and graphic card reviews. We take anSW1600 processors (only 8,575 of them ran the Top100 exclusive look at its 80+ Silver rated successor which will bebench at 975 MHz each) organized as 34 Super Nodes (each coming out next year - Silent Pro M2 1000W.consisting of 256 compute nodes), 150TB main memory, 2PBexternal storage, peak performance of 1.07 PFLOPS, sustained Front of Box. Theperformance of 796 TFLOPS, efficiency 74.37%, and totalpower consumption 1074KW, figures that compare very wellagainst competitive US supercomputer systems such as X86-based Jaguar.What does the future hold for Shenwei? Well, it can eitherconfinue where the Alpha was stopped, moving to 8-issuecores (even in-order architecture can do it these days since thecompiler and scheduling evolved a lot over the past decade)and much faster FP per core, with fresh cache and memoryarchitectures , or just tweak the current core and pack moreof them in a single die at higher clock speeds as well, withwider vector units and more memory bandwidth to feed allthat, a bit like RISC cousin of Knights Corner, but a trueCPU here, instead of just an accelerator. Either can lead toteraflop-on-chip soon too, and either will require a rapid jump Back of Boxin semiconductor process used, down to 32 nm or 28 nm nodes- just like Loongson is expected to do this coming year.Keep in mind that Alpha left behind a strong software library,not forgetting the Alpha-based Cray T3 system series hereas well, and this includes one of the best UNIXes ever, aswell as great compilers, optimised libraries, and much more.Coupled with its own software base, China has sufficient 12
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneSpecifications and ratings - 80A on a single 12v rail! Corsair Force 3 90GB SSD drive review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-force-3-90gb-ssd-drive- review/14346.html December 27th, 2011 Corsair started off as one of the biggest RAM manufacturers but today the company has diversified into several other critical segments of the market. Lately the company has been a very big player in the SSD segment of the technology market, offering a very wide range of products and with ever increasing sales; especially after the Thailand catastrophe which tripled the prices of mechanical drives. A month ago we reviewed the fastest consumer SSD drive Corsair currently produces, the Force GT 180GB drive. Today we are going to thoroughly test and review the 90GB version of the considerably cheaper Force 3 mainstream series the company offers, the Force 3 90GB SSD, a product primarily designed to be used as a stand- alone very fast OS/boot drive.Modular PCIe/SATA molex cables Corsair started off as one of the biggest RAM manufacturers but today the company has diversified into several other critical segments of the market. Lately the company has been a very big player in the SSD segment of the technology market, offering a very wide range of products and with ever increasing sales; especially after the Thailand catastrophe which tripled the prices of mechanical drives. A month ago we reviewed the fastest consumer SSD drive Corsair currently produces, the Force GT 180GB drive. Today we are going to thoroughly test and review the 90GB version of the considerably cheaper Force 3 mainstream series the company offers, the Force 3 90GB SSD, a product primarily designed to be used as a stand- alone very fast OS/boot drive. Manufacturer features and specifications 13
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone· Interface: SATA 3 6Gb/s· Storage technology: Asynchronous NAND· Operating temperature: 0° C to +70° C· Storage temperature: -20° C to +85° C· Operating Humidity: 10% to 90% RH (0° to +40° C)· Maximum Operating Altitude: 3,048 m (up to 10,000 ft.)· Maximum Non-Operative Altitude: 12,192 m (up to40,000 ft.)Unformatted Capacity 90 GB ECS Wi-Bridge does whatRead Performance (max 550 MB/s Intels WiDi does on the cheapsequential) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-wi-bridge-does-what-intel-s-widi-Write Performance (max 500 MB/s does-on-the-cheap/14344.htmlsequential) December 27th, 2011Random Write 4k (max) 85,000 IOPS (4k aligned)Form Factor 2.5”Interface Type SATA 3 6Gb/sOnboard cache NAOperating Temperature 0C to +70CStorage Temperature -20C to +85C Intel has been pushing its WiDi/Wireless Display videoOperating Humidity 10% to 90% RH (0° to +40° streaming over Wi-Fi technology for a while now, but the C) technology has to caveats, as not only does your notebook needStorage Humidity 5% to 90% RH (-10° to +60° to have one of a somewhat limited range of Intel Wi-Fi cards, C) but you also need to have a fairly costly receiver. ECS seems toMaximum Operating Altitude 3,048 m (up to 10,000 ft.) have solved both of these problems at once with its Wi-BridgeMaximum Non-Operating 12,192 m (up to 40,000 ft.) which appears to do everything that WiDi does, just withoutAltitude the limitations. Intel has been pushing its WiDi/Wireless Display videoStar Wars: The Old Republic streaming over Wi-Fi technology for a while now, but the technology has to caveats, as not only does your notebook needPC MMORPG Review to have one of a somewhat limited range of Intel Wi-Fi cards,Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republic-pc- but you also need to have a fairly costly receiver. ECS seems tommorpg-review/14343.html have solved both of these problems at once with its Wi-BridgeDecember 27th, 2011 which appears to do everything that WiDi does, just without the limitations. The Wi-Bridge itself might not be the most stylish piece of hardware weve ever seen, but its a rather unobtrusive looking wedge of plastic with a small Wi-Fi antenna at the back. ThereStar Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) launched this week and are only three physical connectors, a power connector, anwe spent some time in game exploring what it has to offer and HDMI port and a side mounted USB 2.0 port. Details as towhether or not you should free up some time to play in a galaxy what technology or even what chips are inside the Wi-Bridgefar, far away. are things that ECS has conveniently left out at the moment, but it could be based on the Broadcom hardware we saw backStar Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) launched this week and in June at Computex which relies on Wi-Fi Direct.we spent some time in game exploring what it has to offer andwhether or not you should free up some time to play in a galaxyfar, far away.BioWares online game is like many other MMOs, particularlythe leader in the field, World of Warcraft, but it also adds a lotto the table that other games lack, not to mention adding littletime-saving features throughout that make for a more pleasantgaming experience. 14
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Sonys PS Vita arrives in Taiwan, lacks 3G, costs less Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-s-ps-vita-arrives-in-taiwan- lacks-3g-costs-less/14342.html December 27th, 2011 In an unusual turn of events, Taiwan will get Sonys new portable games console – the PlayStation Vita – ahead of the US, something of a rare occasion as Taiwan is rarely seen as a key market for gaming consoles. Although Taiwan is only getting the Wi-Fi version for the time being units are available for purchase now and are expected to ship on Monday.That said, ECS claims that the Wi-Bridge works with not In an unusual turn of events, Taiwan will get Sonys newonly notebooks, but also desktops, smartphones, tablets and portable games console – the PlayStation Vita – ahead of theeven USB flash drives, although presumably it doesnt stream US, something of a rare occasion as Taiwan is rarely seen asfrom the latter over Wi-Fi. What we do know with regards to a key market for gaming consoles. Although Taiwan is onlythe specifications is that the Wi-Bridge has 256MB of DDR2 getting the Wi-Fi version for the time being units are availablememory and 256MB of NAND flash and it currently supports for purchase now and are expected to ship on Monday.English and Chinese. The standard retail price without any games for the Wi-FiThe details on ECS website are sadly in somewhat version of the PS Vita in Taiwan is NT$8980 (US$296/Sincomprehensible Chinglish, but as far as we can make it, $383), slightly cheaper than the expected retail price of the Wi-the Wi-Bridge is meant to work with some kind of remote Fi model in Canada which is expected to be the equivalent ofcontrol and/or wireless mouse to control the playback and US$299. The reason were comparing it to the Canadian modelit comes with some kind of PC software that we presume is that the US will get the 3G model initially, just like Japan.is intended for this purpose. As with Intels WiDi, the Wi-Bridge supports 1080p video playcak and ECS claims a rangeof 10-30m depending on the usual limitations of Wi-Fi. However, buying a games console without games doesnt make a lot of sense, so you can also pick up various bundles that come with a selection of games (one per bundle), a 4GB memory card and an accessory pack for NT$11,350 (US$374/ S$485). Oddly enough, the bundle with Dynasty Warriors: Next is an additional NT$300 (US$10/S$13) than the other bundles.The Wi-Bridge doesnt just allow you to stream video, butit can also be used to either mirror or extend your desktopwirelessly to a second display. ECS is suggesting that its an Radeon HD 7990 coming in Q1,ideal solution for presentations and wed say as much as itcould be an interesting solution for ceiling mounted projectors sports 6GB of GDDR5if nothing else, especially if it works as well as ECS claims with Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/radeon-hd-7990-coming-in-q1-a wide range of devices. No word on pricing or availability, but sports-6gb-of-gddr5/14341.htmlwed presume that ECS will be demoing the Wi-Bridge at CESin a few weeks time and it should be a more affordable solutionthan Intels WiDi either which way. 15
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Targus first with DisplayLinkDecember 27th, 2011 USB 3.0 based notebook dock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-first-with-displaylink-usb-3.0- based-notebook-dock/14340.html December 27th, 2011If the Radeon HD 7970 just didn’t cut it for you, it seems likeyou won’t have to wait long for AMD’s dual GPU card whichshould be known as the Radeon HD 7990, as it’s expected toarrive in Q1. So far not much is known about the specs, apartfrom the fact that the card will have two "Tahiti" GPUs andapparently 6GB of GDDR5 memory. If youre looking to add some more connectivity options to your USB 3.0 equipped notebook, then Targus might have what youve been looking for in the same of its USB 3.0 dualIf the Radeon HD 7970 just didn’t cut it for you, it seems like video docking station. The key feature here is that it sportsyou won’t have to wait long for AMD’s dual GPU card which DisplayLinks new USB 3.0 touting chipset which enablesshould be known as the Radeon HD 7990, as it’s expected to support for much higher resolutions than its USB 2.0 offeringsarrive in Q1. So far not much is known about the specs, apartfrom the fact that the card will have two "Tahiti" GPUs andapparently 6GB of GDDR5 memory. If youre looking to add some more connectivity options to your USB 3.0 equipped notebook, then Targus might haveThe Radeon HD 7990 has so far been known as the "New what youve been looking for in the same of its USB 3.0Zealand" and will as the Radeon HD 6990 sport a pair of GPUs dual video docking station. The key feature here is thaton a single card. The clock speeds will most likely be slightly it sports DisplayLinks new USB 3.0 touting chipset whichlower for each GPU than that of a single GPU card, as despite enables support for much higher resolutions than its USB 2.0the die shrink to 28nm we’re not exactly looking at a halving offerings.of the heat output by the new GPUs. The USB 3.0 dual video docking station has – as the name suggests – a pair of display connectors, in this case a DVI and an HDMI port and Targus claim support for resolutions of up to 2560x1600, the highest possible from DisplayLinks DL-3900 series of chips. The DL-3900 also sports built in support for Gigabit Ethernet and audio, two features Targus has taken advantage of by adding an Ethernet port around the back and a pair of audio jacks on the right hand side of the docking wedge.The for AMD new 384-bit memory interface should have 6GBof GDDR5 memory attached to it, as it’s hard to see AMDgoing for half the memory per GPU compared to the RadeonHD 7970. This adds up to more memory dedicated to a singlegraphics card than what you get in the average PC today.Another interesting aspect is of course AMD’s new ZeroCorepower saving technology which should hopefully allow one of The dock also gives you a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a total ofthe GPUs on the card to be powered down entirely when it’s not four USB 2.0 ports. We should point out that the bandwidthneeded. This should allow for a significant power saving when is of course shared between all the various ports on the dock,non GPU intensive tasks are being performed on the computer so dont expect full speed out of the USB 3.0 ports. Still, thisa Radeon HD 7990 card would be fitted to. We’ll just have to is a compromise were sure a lot of users are willing to livewait and see how things develop, but it looks like we don’t have with. Theres also a security lock slot and a power connectortoo long to wait and if nothing else, AMD seems to be timing to be found on the dock. Targus supplies a 6A power adapterIntel’s Ivy Bridge platform pretty well here too, as there should with the dock and two of the USB ports provides extra powerhopefully be a decent amount of cards in the retail market by and can be used for charging devices without the need of athen. notebook being connected to the dock.Source: TechPowerUp The only downside is that Targus is hoping that youll be willing to shell out US$199 on the dock, not exactly cheap for whats on offer, but at least its a convenient solution for those that need it. In all fairness there are very few options and this is as far as were aware, the first product based on DisplayLinks 16
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDL-3900 chip and as such the first USB 3.0 based "graphics It took 10 staff to build the tree over a two week period, whichcard" to support resolutions up to 2560x1600. makes for a significant investment, but it appears to be paying off, as upwards of 800 people visit the site on a daily basis, which is both good news for the environmental campaign andVietnamese store makes the stores publicity.Christmas tree from 2,500mobile phones The tree will be auctioned off in 2012, with the proceeds goingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/vietnamese-store-makes-christmas- to charity. A larger mobile phone Christmas tree is beingtree-from-2-500-mobile-phones/14339.html planned for next year.December 27th, 2011 Source & Image Credit: Associated Press GIGABYTE X79-UD7 Overclocking ReviewA Vietnamese electronics store is getting in the festive mood Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-x79-ud7-overclocking-with a 15-foot Christmas tree made from 2,500 old mobile review/14332.htmlphones. December 27th, 2011A Vietnamese electronics store is getting in the festive moodwith a 15-foot Christmas tree made from 2,500 old mobilephones.Westcom Electronics, in the city of My Tho in the Tien Let’s take a look at GIGABYTEs latest top dog overclockingGiang province, erected the tree not just to celebrate the LGA2011 motherboard, the X79-UD7. It is equipped with slotholiday season, but to raise awareness about environmental configuration for quad SLI, a new IR digital PWM with a 16issues, including the disposal of hazardous waste materials like phase VRM, tons of cool overclocking features all in an XL-mobile phones. ATX form factor. Follow us as we go over every single feature, test out GIGABYTEs new UEFI BIOS, and overclock this bad boy. We will do a comparison of stock VS a typical high endWith new phones coming out on a regular basis and many overclock for 24/7and see how much performance we gain. Sopeople getting one for Christmas, old phones can often end up let’s take a look at what GIGABYTE has dished out as their newin a dump, rather than being recycled. These devices usually OC board!contain toxic heavy metals that can cause significant harm topeople, wildlife, and the environment, making it increasingly Introduction:important that they are disposed of in a safe manner. Today we venture into the world of GIGABYTEs LGA2011 top overclocking board, the X79-UD7. With all the dazzle of their X58A-OC GIGABYTE has produced a quite similar beast in terms of features and specs. The X58A-OC was a board targeted towards overclockers and only overclockers, since then we heard that GIGABYTE sales decided that a board with the -OC moniker wouldnt sell well. So now it looks like GIGABYTE has replaced their traditional UD7 with a sort 17
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneof hybrid. The X79-UD7 doesnt carry many more features CPU Support 1. Support forthan the other boards when it comes to connectivity, but Intel® Core™ i7it is unique in its own right. Equipped with only 4-DIMMs processors in thecompared to the UD5s 8, and with the ability to run quad LGA2011 packageGPU configurations in an XL-ATX (1 expansion slot more thanregular ATX) package, the UD7 is an overclockers dream or 2. L3 cache varies withso it seems. If you owned or saw the original X58A-OC youve CPUwitnessed GIGABYTEs finest OC board with the exception of Chipset Intel ® X79 Express Chipsetthe X58A-UD9. When you look at the X79-UD7 you see an Memory 1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMMuncanny resemblance to the X58A-OC. It might be because of sockets supportingthe orange/black color scheme, or the frequency buttons and up to 32 GB of systemread points, or maybe the hefty VRM and dual 8-pin power memoryconnectors that give it away but the X79-UD7 is an X79-OC in * Due to Windows 32-disguise. bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB. 2. 4 channel memory architecture 3. Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules 4. Support for non-ECC memory modules 5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules (Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.) Multi-GPU Support Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-The X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine, Way AMD CrossFireX™/except for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0, NVIDIA SLI technologysomething we hope to see with Intels Z77 chipset. Second it Expansion Slots 1. 2 x PCI Express x16is missing all of those SAS/SATA6GB/s ports we saw at IDF! slots, running atThat was a lot of SATA/SAS and now we have none of it, x16 (PCIEX16_1,we basically have a redo of the Z68 chipset just without SSD PCIEX16_2)Caching and iGPU support. What is more interesting about * For optimumthe LGA2011 platform is what is the CPU has in store for us. performance, if only oneEven though the current LGA2011 CPUs lack virtualization PCI Express graphicsand PCI-E 3.0 certification, they still have many features. card is to be installed, beQuad channel memory controller with supreme overclocking sure to install it in theabilities is a plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which cant be claimed until PCIEX16 slot.the second stepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem totake for granted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF 2. 2 x PCI Express x16support. With LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy slot, running at x8the overclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)straps are nothing to push to the side. Today we will take a look * The PCIEX8_2 slotat GIGABYTE’s top LGA2011 board for overclockers, let’s see shares bandwidth withhow it does. the PCIEX16_2 slot. When the PCIEX8_2 slot is populated, theSpecifications: PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode. 18
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 (All PCI Express x16 ports (2 ports on the slots conform to PCI back panel, 2 ports Express 3.0 standard.) available through the internal USB header) 3. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (All PCI Express x1 slots FireWire conform to PCI Express GIGABYTE Unique 1. Support for @BIOS 2.0 standard.) Features 2. Support for Q-FlashStorage Chipset: 3. Support for Xpress 1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s BIOS Rescue connectors (SATA3 0/1) 4. Support for Download supporting up to 2 SATA Center 6Gb/s devices 5. Support for Xpress 2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s Install connectors (SATA2 6. Support for Xpress 2/3/4/5) supporting up Recovery2 to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices 7. Support for EasyTune 3. Support for RAID 0, * Available functions in RAID 1, RAID 5, and EasyTune may differ by RAID 10 motherboard model. * When a RAID set is built across the 8. Support for Smart 6™ SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 9. Support for eXtreme 3Gb/s channels, the Hard Drive (X.H.D) system performance of the RAID set may 10. Support for ON/OFF vary depending on the Charge devices being connected. 11. Support for Cloud OC 2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips: 12. Support for 3TB+ Unlock 1. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s 13. Support for TouchBIOS connectors (GSATA3 6/7/8/9) supporting up 14. Support for Q-Share to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices Back Panel I/O Ports 1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port 2. Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1 2. 1 x CPU overclockingLAN 1 x Intel GbE LAN button (10/100/1000 Mbit) 3. 1 x BIOS switch buttonAudio 1. Realtek ALC898 codec 4. 1 x Clear CMOS button 2. High Definition Audio 5. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports 3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel 6. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports 4. Support for 7. 1 x RJ-45 port Dolby® Home Theater 8. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out 5. Support for S/PDIF Out connectorUSB Chipset: 9. 5 x audio jacks (Center/ 1. Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 Subwoofer Speaker Out, ports (8 ports on the Rear Speaker Out, Side back panel, 6 ports Speaker Out, Line In, available through the Mic In, Line Out) internal USB headers) Internal I/O Connectors 1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector 2 x Fresco FL1009 chips: 2. 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors 19
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 3. 2 x PCIe power December 27th, 2011 connectors 4. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors 5. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors Siemens has revealed that it is developing security fixes 6. 1 x CPU fan header for a number of vulnerabilities in its industrial control products, which could be used by hackers to knock out critical 7. 6 x system fan headers infrastructure like electricity grids, water supplies, oil rigs, 8. 1 x front panel header hospitals and nuclear facilities. 9. 1 x front panel audio Siemens has revealed that it is developing security fixes header for a number of vulnerabilities in its industrial control products, which could be used by hackers to knock out critical 10. 1 x S/PDIF Out header infrastructure like electricity grids, water supplies, oil rigs, 11. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers hospitals and nuclear facilities. 12. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header 13. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper One of the vulnerabilities, exposed by security researcher Billy 14. 1 x power button Rios, allows hackers to bypass password protections on web interfaces, breaking down the most basic layer of security on 15. 1 x reset button the control systems. Rios said that this authentication bypass 16. 1 x onboard voltage could be used by anyone with basic skills, not just experienced measurement module hackers. 17. 1 x Gear button 18. 1 x CPU BCLK Down Siemens industrial control systems are used throughout the button world in a wide variety of industries. The potential risks associated with them were first highlighted in 2010 when the 19. 1 x CPU BCLK Up Stuxnet virus infected Siemens control systems used by Iran, button crippling its nuclear facilities. 20. 1 x CPU Ratio Down button 21. 1 x CPU Ratio Up button 22. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) headeBIOS 1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash 2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS 3. Support for DualBIOS™ 4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0aSupport Disc Drivers GIGABYTE Utilities While the Stuxnet incident is believed to have been Norton Anti-Virus orchestrated by a government, security researchers areForm Factor XL-ATX Form Factor; 32.4cm becoming increasingly concerned that hacker groups could x 25.3cm target essential infrastructure and cause significant damage, such as a potential threat to the worlds oil supply.Siemens to fix vulnerabilities Siemens said that it has not yet seen any exploits of these vulnerabilities, but it has developed some fixes for them andin industrial control systems will release a security update in January.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/siemens-to-fix-vulnerabilities-in-industrial-control-systems/14338.html 20
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Rambus has secured a patent licensing agreement withG.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-1600 Broadcom over the use of integrated circuit (IC) technology,8GB CL9 Dual Channel marking yet another of the companys lucrative deals.Memory Kit ReviewSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-ripjawsx-ddr3-1600-8gb-cl9- Broadcom, which makes semiconductors for the wirelessdual-channel-memory-kit-review/14336.html and broadband communications industry, agreed to payDecember 27th, 2011 intellectual property holder Rambus to use its patented IC technology for the next five years. The deal also resolves all outstanding claims between the two companies, including a lawsuit Rambus filed against Broadcom for alleged patent infringement last December.Today we take a look at a very well priced 8GB dual channelmemory kit from G.Skill. This kit has decent timings for an8GB kit, and we will put it through its paces in terms ofoverclocking and tweaking. Follow us as we test this memoryand see how it does.G.Skill is well known for making great memory, not onlysome of the best overclocking memory, but also memory ata great price. They are a company that prides themselvesin the quality of their product, from their high-end to themainstream products they dont fail to please their customers.Today is no different as this sub $50 8GB memory kit has somedecent characteristics, timings of 9-9-9-24 1T and an operatingvoltage of only 1.5v. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Broadcom, a global leader in the semiconductor industry,” said Sharon Holt, senior vice president and general manager of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. “We are committed to continuing the development of innovative technologies to help our licensees deliver great products to the market.” Rambus has gained a questionable reputation in the industry for its numerous lawsuits against chipmakers, including Samsung and Nvidia. In a rare twist of fate Rambus was forced to pay out $10.85 million earlier this week over incorrectly dated and accounted for stock option grants.Rambus and Broadcom signpatent licensing agreement The financial details of the Broadcom deal were not disclosed, but it likely involved a large up front payment to settle theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rambus-and-broadcom-sign-patent- outstanding legal dispute and a yearly fee to continue using thelicensing-agreement/14337.html technology.December 27th, 2011 Does PCIe 3.0 matter for todays GPUs? We test with the Radeon HD 7970 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/does-pcie-3.0-matter-for-today-s-gpus-Rambus has secured a patent licensing agreement with we-test-with-the-radeon-hd-7970/14306.htmlBroadcom over the use of integrated circuit (IC) technology,marking yet another of the companys lucrative deals. 21
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 27th, 2011 The BIOS on our favourite ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (X79) allowed us to select the PCIe signalling standard for our tests (Editors note: yes we did use the latest 1004 bios which has the CPU Microcode and PCIe 3.0 fixes)Update 23/12: We updated our original article from yesterdaywith more background information and included LuxMark(OpenCL) for completeness. Doesnt change the conclusionsthough... For months now, certain smaller motherboardmanufacturers have been hyping up PCI Express 3.0compatibility and benefits to ignorant users, even going tothe point of bashing one another with libelous advertisements(lol hammer smash motherboards into bits). Since the latestIntels Sandy Bridge-E processors and AMDs Radeon HD7970 officially supports the new signalling standard, we putthat to the test to see if it does improve things.The following is rephrased and quoted from Wikipedias PCIExpress entry:The much delayed PCIe 3.0 standard is supposed tobring signal transfer bitrates to 8GT/s (double that ofPCIe 2.0) and a number of optimizations for enhancedsignaling and data integrity, including transmitter andreceiver equalization, PLL improvements, clock data recovery,and channel enhancements for currently supported topologies PCIe 3.0 Benchmarks:Updated Notes: • Sandy Bridge-E/X79 does support PCIe 3.0, but it is not officially validated by PCI-SIG yet • We did use the latest 1004/1005 BIOS for the Rampage IV Extreme which has latest CPU Microcode and PCIe 3.0 fixes • Weve now thrown in LuxMark (OpenCL transfer intensive benchmark) in the screenshots below, which still shows the same results (minicule difference). • For our upcoming Crossfire review, we will include F@H and Bitcoin benchmarks. If there are any other compute heavy benchmarks you would like to see, put them in the comments section below • An AMD rep got in touch with us - to verify the active PCIe signalling standard, simply run a PCI Configuration Space Viewer like R/W and look for the 0x88 offset. Values are 0x1 = 1.0 speed, 0x2 = 2.0 speed, 0x3 = 3.0, speed 0x0 = undefined 22
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZonePCIe 2.0 Benchmarks: Our conclusions? Only a <1% miniscule benefit thanks to tighter clock timings and PLL improvements - todays high end GPU like the HD7970 and GTX590 barely even saturate PCIe x8 lanes (4GT/s). Perhaps we might see a different story with decent solid state storage setups and CPU interconnects. Western Digital announces WD TV remote control app for improved media player navigation Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/western-digital-announces-wd-tv- remote-control-app-for-improved-media-player-navigation/14334.html December 27th, 2011 Western Digital has announced a WD TV remote control app for Apple iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android mobile devices, which offers WD users improved media player navigation. Western Digital has introduced the WD TV Remote app that is designed to improve the navigation experience for WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub users by turning their Apple iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android compatible mobile device into 23
  • December 27th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonean advanced feature remote control for their WD TV. The WD CINEMA SCREEN that comes with the lustrous chrome stand.TV Remote allow users to navigate the wide variety of digital The 27-inch display is great for users who want to access filesmedia easily, from entertainment services such as Vimeo, on their PC, play some games or watch their favorite movies.Dailymotion, TuneIn Radio, Deezer, Facebook and YouTube, Incorporating an IPS panel, the DM92 series enables greateras well as personal videos, photos or music. depth, consistent color and brightness at wider viewing angles compared to conventional 3D displays.The app also provides all the features of the standard WDTV remote control along with several advanced features, The 23-inch DM82 series exhibits a chic and futuristic design,including a gesture pad to help navigate menu screens and with a metallic neck supported by a square, slim base. It claimsservices, as well as QWERTY keyboard support for text entry to offer superb 3D display quality, with accurate color tonesand search functionality. The Remote app is available in from almost any viewing angle. The monitor also comes with 7-multiple languages, including English, Chinese Simplified, watt built-in speakers to provide great multimedia enjoyment.Chinese Traditional, Korean, Japanese, German, Spanish, The 27- and 23-inch DM52 series offers versatility andItalian, French, Russian, and Portuguese. efficiency in a flexible package. In addition to the IPS panel and immersive 3D experience, the DM52 series provides a rangeThe WD TV Remote app is free to download from the Apple of connectivity options including HDMI and USB for content-iTunes App store, and will soon be available on the Android sharing with external devices. The LG D43 monitor claims toMarket. It works with WD TV Live with firmware release be optimized for 3D. It incorporates SUPER Resolution andversion 1.05.18 or WD TV Live Hub updated with firmware vivid colors through the 3D effect mode for amazing picturerelease version 3.01.19. quality. The D43 can convert 2D content into 3D without any additional software and with a 3D hot key, users can easilyLG to introduce new IPS adjust and control the depth of 3D images.monitors at upcoming CES The LG 2012 IPS monitor line-up will be available globally starting February 2012.2012Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-to-introduce-new-ips-monitors-at-upcoming-ces-2012/14333.htmlDecember 27th, 2011The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 at LasVegas is about two weeks away, and LG will be there tointroduce their new IPS monitors with high resolution, wideviewing angles as well as 3D viewing capabilities. The modelsinclude the DM92, DM82 and DM52 series, and the D43 3Dmonitor.LG will be showcasing their 2012 IPS monitor line-up at theConsumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.The new IPS monitors which include the DM92, DM82 andDM52 series, and the D43 3D monitorclaim to offer highresolution, wide viewing angles and immersive 3D viewingexperience. The DM92 series features a premium design byemploying the slim bezel of LG’s technology and design-driven 24
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! December 30th, 2011 VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.AMDs next-gen GPU familycodenamed Sea Islands Apple developed a prototype for a touchscreen phone as farSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-s-next-gen-gpu-family- back as 1983, but decided not to go through with it, a decisioncodenamed-sea-islands/14391.html that ultimately led to the iPhones release many years later inDecember 30th, 2011 2007. Apple developed a prototype for a touchscreen phone as far back as 1983, but decided not to go through with it, a decision that ultimately led to the iPhones release many years later in 2007.While Southern Islands is only just beginning to roll out, a The prototype was developed by Hartmut Esslinger, founderrecently ex-AMD ASIC designers Linkedin profile reveals the of Frogdesign, which helped design numerous Apple products,possible codename for AMDs next-gen GPU family - Sea including the IIc computer, the first Apple product to featureIslands. the snow white colour that became iconic of the companys design principles.While Southern Islands is only just beginning to roll out, arecently ex-AMD ASIC designers Linkedin profile reveals thepossible codename for AMDs next-gen GPU family - Sea The phone looks like a traditional landline, with a built-inIslands. tablet screen that is operated by a stylus, a feature that SteveDuring his tenure as MTS Design Engineer at AMD, Alexander Jobs dropped from the original iPhone design. It looks prettyShternshain worked on Evergreen and Northern Islands - dated and the screen is particularly dull and unimpressive, butbranded HD 5000 and HD 6000 families, Fusion APUs - the fact that the technology could have been released so longOntario (C/E Series), Llano (A-Series) as well as Krishna, ago opens a lot of what if questions.whose fate is unknown. The final two GPU families mentionedare Southern Islands - which we already have come to know asRadeon HD 7000 family - and the future family, Sea Islands.Unlike the rather vague codenames of Northern Islands andSouthern Islands, Sea Islands directly refers to the chain ofislands on the USAs Atlantic coast. We can thus expect theindividual chips from the family codenamed along the lines ofthe prominent islands in the region.Sea Islands, if that is indeed the final codename, is still a longway away - possibly late 2012/early 2013 at the earliest - whilethe rumour mill is still digesting Southern Islands. We canexpect AMD to build on the GCN architecture with Sea Islandsas TSMCs 28nm process matures.Apple developed touchscreenphone prototype in 1983 The phone industry could have been a very different place if Apple released this product in the 1980s, but it was probablySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-developed-touchscreen-phone- a wise decision to hold off, as the market was likely not readyprototype-in-1983/14390.html for it. It would have almost definitely have been expensive, which is no surprise for Apple, but likely a lot more so than 1
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethe iPhone, given the general lack of availability of suchtechnology at the time. The judges said they were concerned that allowing litigation would encourage companies not to help the government in lawful intelligence gathering requests, which the governmentWith such a potential high price tag, and the lack of consumer claims it needs to make in other to protect national security.loyalty built by the success of the iPod, this device could havebeen a major flop, which could have made Apple think twiceabout developing the iPhone. The decision could have repercussions for similar proposals in other countries throughout the world, which will likely meet with staunch opposition from increasingly privacy awareSource and Image Credit: Ubergizmo citizens.US telcos given immunity toaid government eavesdropping PlayStation Vita salesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-telcos-given-immunity-to-aid-government-eavesdropping/14389.html plummet after one weekDecember 30th, 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/playstation-vita-sales-plummet-after- one-week/14388.html December 30th, 2011US telecommunications companies have been given legalimmunity to help the government eavesdrop on citizens Sales of Sonys PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console havetelephone conversations and emails, raising major concerns plummeted from 321,400 in week one to just 72,000 in weekover the impact on user privacy. two, significantly less than rival Nintendos 3DS.US telecommunications companies have been given legal Sales of Sonys PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console haveimmunity to help the government eavesdrop on citizens plummeted from 321,400 in week one to just 72,000 in weektelephone conversations and emails, raising major concerns two, significantly less than rival Nintendos 3DS.over the impact on user privacy. Sony enjoyed healthy sales for the initial two days following itsA three-judge panel at the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals launch in Japan, but the following week saw a sharp decline,upheld the decision made by a lower court in relation to suggesting the Vita might not have much staying power.a surveillance law passed in 2008 after 33 lawsuits werefiled against telecommunications companies like AT&T, SprintNextel, Verizon and BellSouth. To put the figures into perspective, 371,000 3DS units were sold in its launch week, dropping to 210,000 in week two. A drop is to be expected after the initial flurry of sales, but theThe consolidated case was taken by the Electronic Frontier Vita sales decline is much sharper than that of the 3DS.Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, whichclaimed that the firms in question were violating the law andcustomers right to privacy. They expressed disappointment atthe courts decision. The solution will likely involve following in Nintendos footsteps. When it saw a big sales drop it cut the price of the 3DS from $249.99 to $169.99, only a few months after the initial release. Sony has priced the Vita at $250 for its February release in the US, which means it will need to drop the price 2
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneconsiderably if it is to drum up sales, particularly when its rival the P SKUs to be priced slightly lower than models with builtis significantly cheaper. in graphics, but were not sure where Intel is planning on positioning the 2550K, as in reality its a lesser version to the 2500K, so well see how Intel prices it and explains the lack ofNintendo also released some major game titles like Super integrated graphics as a selling point.Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, which helped the 3DSrecover some sales. The 3DS sold 484,000 units in the pastweek compared to the Vitas 72,000, which raises significant AMD Radeon HD 7770, Core i5questions about how well Sonys latest handheld console effortwill do. 3550K Benchmarked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7770-core-i5-3550k- benchmarked/14386.html December 30th, 2011Intel to launch graphics-lessSandy Bridge CPUsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-to-launch-graphics-less-sandy-bridge-cpus/14387.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 A forum poster at Chiphell has released benchmarks for a system featuring two anticipated next-gen products - AMDs Radeon HD 7770 and Intels Ivy Bridge Core i5 3550K. The HD 7770 featured is the reference design - identical to the previous pictures leaked. While the i5 3550K is as much part of the system, the benchmarks performed are 3D Mark and revealIn a last minute attempt at getting rid of some more Sandy HD 7770s performance most.Bridge processors, Intel will be launching three new SKUs, one A forum poster at Chiphell has released benchmarks for aof which will be the rumoured Core i5-2550K. The big news system featuring two anticipated next-gen products - AMDshere isnt actually the new models themselves, but the fact that Radeon HD 7770 and Intels Ivy Bridge Core i5 3550K. The HDnone of the three new models feature built in graphics. 7770 featured is the reference design - identical to the previous pictures leaked. While the i5 3550K is as much part of the system, the benchmarks performed are 3D Mark and revealIn a last minute attempt at getting rid of some more Sandy HD 7770s performance most.Bridge processors, Intel will be launching three new SKUs, oneof which will be the rumoured Core i5-2550K. The big news The system scores P3421 and X1077 in 3D Mark 11 using betahere isnt actually the new models themselves, but the fact that drivers. This puts HD 7770s performance well ahead of GTXnone of the three new models feature built in graphics. 550 Ti and even HD 6790 and just under HD 6850. HD 7770 features the Cape Verde chip, with 896 SP or 14 CUs. BasedBesides the Core i5-2550K Intel is also planning on launching on the GCN architecture, HD 7770 is DX11.1 and PCIe 3.0the Core i5-2380P and the Core i5-2450P where we presume compliant, and as we had previously seen, powered by a singlethe P has something to do with the lack of an active graphics 6-pin PCIe connector. The poster suggests a TDP as low ascore. Wed guess that these are parts where the graphics core 90W-100W.wasnt working properly, but where the rest of the chips werefully functional and as such Intel decided to launch a fewmodels without graphics. Although a lot of users dont use theIntel graphics that is now part of every single Sandy Bridgeprocessor to date, there are some downsides to this move asfor example you can no longer take advantage of Intels QuickSync technology.The Core i5-2380P is clocked at 3.1GHz, the same as the Corei5-2400 and it has the same Turbo Boost frequency of 3.4GHz.The Core i5-2450P is the odd one out here, as its clockedat 3.2GHz with a top Turbo Boost frequency of 3.5GHz, inother words 100MHz slower than the Core i5-2500. The Corei5-2550K on the other hand is 100MHz faster than the Corei5-2500K at 3.4GHz with a top Turbo Boost clock speed of3.8GHz. All three models have 6MB cache, but none of themhave VT-d or TXT support, a feature all previous non-K SKUshave had in the Core i5 family.Sadly we dont know when these models will launch, but wed What we had not seen before is the reverse side of the PCB,expect them to arrive sometime early next year. Wed expect which reveals 4 more memory modules. This suggests the 3
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneHD 7770 might sport upto 2GB of GDDR5 memory - an So, if wanting a good quad-socket system based on Intel stuffunprecedented amount for a mainstream GPU. The memory in mid-2012, the user will have to decide between the E5will be tied to a 128-bit memory interface, clocked at 1.125 with fast cores and good memory bandwidth with low latency,GHz. The core clock is a startling 1 GHz - the first commercial but potentially lacking sufficient interprocessor bandwidthGPU to break the magic number in reference guise. The for heavy duty SMP jobs; and the E7 with more and slowerexpected price is $150 with release in February 2012. cores and somewhat slower memory system, but darn good interprocessor bandwidth and more RAS features.Meanwhile, the Core i5 3550K will succeed the popular Corei5 2500K in the >$200 market. It scores roughly 6500 in the I havent yet seen the Xeon E5 Socket 2011 dual-QPI processor3D Mark 11 Physics test which stresses the CPU. This pegs it pin-out, but it was bugging me a bit whether theres enough pinjust ahead of FX-8150 and Core i5 2500K, while behind Core i7 count left there non-connected - if any, remember power and2600K thanks to its lack of HyperThreading. However, actual ground pin counts go into many hundreds these days easily -games tend to be much less threaded than 3D Mark 11 so the to fit just one, one more QPI channel in some successor CPU.Core i5 3550K will continue to be the best value for gaming.Recent reports point to a release on April 8th 2012. It actually may not matter, since a Haswell-based midrange Xeon would probably have yet another new socket, but again, since Haswell desktop parts will still use DDR3 memory, andInterconnection dilemma: Haswell server & workstation parts may continue to do the same rather than move to DDR4 yet, the justification to keepshould Socket 2011 successor the Socket 2011 may still be there.get one more QPI to spare? Either way, the addition of third QPI channel wouldSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/interconnection-dilemma-should- accomplish two good things: first, for the midrange quad-socket-2011-successor-get-one-more-qpi-to-spare-/14385.html socket parts, it would enable full proper direct point-to-December 30th, 2011 point connectivity between all four processors, ensuring good interprocessor bandwidth no matter what. Then, for the tightly coupled dual-socket systems in workstation and HPC use, where heavy inter-core communication is likely with new generation finely multithreaded software, an option of all three QPI channels connecting the two CPUs together may be put to good use.The full-blooded Socket 2011 CPUs have two QPI links oneach socket, to connect either doubly to another CPU, or each Think its an overkill? Think again - even Ivy Bridge EP Xeonconnect to one neighbouring processor. With so many pins E5 series chips will have 10 cores, and the Haswell onesavailable, is there use for, say, one more QPI channel? Yes! will obviously have no less than that. A total of 20 coresAs mentioned here before, the dual-QPI Socket 2011 CPUs will wanting to talk to each other a lot, and frequently, will usehave two flavours: the dual-socket Xeon E5 2600 one will use all those channels, especially if you also have a multi-GPUthe two QPI channels in parallel to link the two processors at workstation or HPC node where GPUs attached to either CPUdouble bandwidth, while the otherwise identical quad-socket communicate across the QPI between themselves.E5 4600 series will allow each of the two channels to connect toa different neighbouring processor, for a total of 4 processors Theres actually one more important usage model potential,in a square layout config. even in those dual-socket systems. This third benefit is obvious - Intel is likely to have a QPI-based successor to its KnightsYou notice here that, with only two QPI channels, there will Corner accelerator processor someday soon, for true coherentbe no direct connections between the processors in opposite shared memory processing between the multi-core CPU andcorners of the quad CPU configuration, so any information many-core accelerator. The accelerator would then be ablebetween will have to pass through the in-between CPUs, to address all the CPUs system memory directly and atresulting in both added latency - up to 50 ns extra - as well low latency as if it is another CPU then, assuming it has aas the risk of congesting the QPI lanes if there is a lot of compatible memory management hardware, of course.inter-processor traffic. The Xeon E7 series in the Socket 1567,which in the current 10-core Westmere-EX generation has 4 In this case, the third QPI link would be used for that purpose,QPI links per chip, doesnt have that problem even in 8-socket so each CPU would have one direct QPI connection to theconfigurations. However, it has much higher memory latency accelerator, in the same fashion as Xeon 5500 and 5600 dual-and somewhat lower memory bandwidth per CPU due to its socket 1366 processors have separate parallel, direct QPI linksuse of memory bridge/hub chips between the CPU and DDR3 to the north bridge. At the same time, the other two QPI linkschannels to maximise the capacity. On the other hand, the E7 would still link the two CPUs in parallel at high bandwidth.has - besides much higher price - also more RAS features notrequired for workstations or supercomputing, but critical for In the end, such addition wouldnt impair the sales of theservers. top-end enterprise E7 CPUs, as those have their commercial market anyway, and, well, they could also have even more QPI channels in the future if need be... but, for the workstations 4
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneand supercomputing nodes using mostly the E5 series chips helping avoid glare and eye strain associated with traditionaland their successors, it may be beneficial, as we have bseen screens.here. Price appears to be a dominant factor in the move to ebooks,Tablets and e-readers signal with digital versions of a book costing a fraction of their real-end of real books world price. Normal paperbacks can cost several dollars to print, even moreso for print on demand titles, which drives upSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tablets-and-e-readers-signal-end-of- prices. Tack on warehouse storage costs and delivery charges,real-books/14384.html and it is no surprise that both companies and consumers areDecember 30th, 2011 beginning to prefer ebook versions, which often cost as little as $0.99. Analysts at both Gartner and Creative Strategies believe that it is only a matter of time before ebooks replace ink-and- paper books completely, though the shift might only apply toTablet computers and e-readers may put an end to real younger generations.paper-based books, according to a number of studies on thecontinuing growth of the ebook market. While ebooks are certainly set to boom further, and will likelyTablet computers and e-readers may put an end to real become the dominant form of reading, it is unlikely thatpaper-based books, according to a number of studies on the traditional hard copies will die out altogether. In many casescontinuing growth of the ebook market. they will remain a collectors item, while there will also be a large number of people who prefer the touch and smell of the genuine article.The US Book Industry Study Group (BISG) found that close tohalf of those who bought both print and digital books wouldabandon the hard copies for just the ebook versions, providedthey were released within three months of the physical version. Google adds SVG and CSSJuniper Research projected that ebooks would make $3.2 GPU acceleration to Chrome Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-adds-svg-and-css-gpu-billion this year, and that this figure would more than triple to acceleration-to-chrome/14383.html$9.7 billion by 2016. December 30th, 2011Much of the success of the ebook market can be attributed tothe tablet and e-reader boom in 2010 and 2011, largely due tocompanies like Apple and Amazon, with the latter enjoying its Google has added new GPU acceleration features to its Chromebest Christmas for Kindle sales this year. web browser, following in the footsteps of Microsoft and Internet Explorer 9. Google has added new GPU acceleration features to its Chrome web browser, following in the footsteps of Microsoft and Internet Explorer 9. The Chromium 18 build features a flag that enables hardware acceleration for vector-based SVG graphics and CSS filters, opening the doors for potentially amazing visuals at groundbreaking speeds on websites in the future. The SVG and CSS GPU acceleration support works on Windows, Mac, Linux and Googles Chrome OS, but it is still considered largely experimental, with few websites supporting the feature.Initial concerns over reading books on a digital device havelargely dissipated, particularly with the Kindle E Ink display,which does a relatively good job at imitating real paper, 5
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneUnfortunately this addition does not appear to offer anynoticeable increase in browser performance, with TomsHardware reporting instability and crashes in some of its Among those who are withdrawing their domains fromWebViz HTML5 benchmarks. GoDaddy are Wikipedia, Lolcats owner the Cheezburger Network, and image hosting service Imgur.While it is still early days for the technology, it is likely that wewill see further hardware acceleration added to popular web "Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, whichbrowsers as competition between Google, Mozilla, Microsoft is why GoDaddy has been working to help craft revisions toand others continues to push the boundaries of browser this legislation - but we can clearly do better,” said Warrenspeeds. Adelman, CEO of GoDaddy. GoDaddy previously lost numerous users after its founder andGoDaddy boycotted over SOPA former CEO, Bob Parsons, posted a video of him killing ananti-piracy stance elephant while on holiday in Zimbabwe.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/godaddy-boycotted-over-sopa-anti-piracy-stance/14382.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 Amazon Kindle enjoys record Christmas sales Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amazon-kindle-enjoys-record- christmas-sales/14381.htmlThousands of website owners, including Wikipedia, have December 30th, 2011pledged to boycott web hosting firm GoDaddy over its supportof the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), despite the companychanging its mind on the controversial anti-piracy law.Thousands of website owners, including Wikipedia, havepledged to boycott webhosting firm GoDaddy over its support Amazons Kindle Fire tablet computer and Kindle e-readersof the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), despite the company enjoyed record Christmas sales, with over a million sold eachchanging its mind on the controversial anti-piracy law. week throughout December. Amazons Kindle Fire tablet computer and Kindle e-readersGoDaddy, which is the largest hosting service in the world, enjoyed record Christmas sales, with over a million sold eachinitially gave its support for SOPA, but u-turned after week throughout December.mounting pressure from users and other companies. Manyhigh-profile internet-based companies, including Google,Facebook, Yahoo and eBay, are staunchly opposed to the Act, Kindle devices sold so well that they took the top three slotsciting fears that it will lead to widespread internet censorship. on Amazons best seller charts, with the Kindle Fire in first place, Kindle Touch in second place, and the classic Kindle coming in third. Of course, Amazon was able to aggressivelyA boycott organised for today on Reddit is set to go ahead advertise the devices on its website, in addition to offeringregardless of GoDaddys decision, with the service already substantial discounts for ad-subsidised models, which keptlosing over 37,000 domains in a two-day period. That number them as affordable as possible.could skyrocket as the official boycott gets underway, butGoDaddy is hoping to halt its losses by offering domaindiscounts. Kindle sales were not limited to the US version of Amazon either, as they were also the best-selling products on the UK, German, French, Spanish and Italian websites. 6
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone In the event, XFastest compared the ECS X79R-AX, MSI“We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this X79A-GD45, ASRock X79 Extreme4, ASUS P9X79, andthe best holiday ever for Kindle,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and Gigabyte X79-UD3. Earlier this week, Gigabyte issued a press-CEO of Amazon. release in which it acknowledged that some of its X79-UD3 motherboards may have got damaged by users as a result of bad firmware. It offered free replacements to affected users,The Kindle Fire, Amazons significantly cheaper alternative and strongly recommended others to update the BIOS of theirto Apples iPad, was the best-selling product on Amazons X79-UD3, X79-UD5, and G1.Assassin 2 motherboards to themobile website and through Amazons mobile apps, which is latest one available on the companys support website. It isnot altogether surprising given that mobile users will likely be with this on the backdrops, that XFastest ran this public test.looking to buy portable devices. It recieved quite some attention from the local media, some company representatives were also present to witness the event.Kindle book gifts were up 175 percent over the period fromBlack Friday to Christmas Day compared to the same period in2010, with Christmas Day itself being a record day for Kindlebook downloads, showing that ebook sales are continuing tothreaten the long-term survivability of paper books.Mid-Range X79 Boards VRMTested, Equally Stable, EquallyFlawedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mid-range-x79-boards-vrm-tested-equally-stable-equally-flawed/14380.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 XFastest set a common test bench with common components, which included Intel Core i7-3930K processor, Kingston HyperX memory, Antec PSU and high-performance CPUOn Wednesday, Taiwanese tech community site XFastest ran cooler. The test itself involved subjecting the motherboardsa public event where it tested five similarly-priced mid-range VRM to extreme stress, and measuring stability, performance,socket LGA2011 motherboards for CPU VRM performance and VRM temperatures. This was done by setting CPUand stability. This comes at a particularly-important time for core voltage to 1.4V, maxing out the motherboards load-Gigabyte, when its faced with CPU VRM problems that its line calibration (aggressive V-droop correction), and runningdealing with. The results are in. multi-threaded Prime95 stress test.On Wednesday, Taiwanese tech community site XFastest rana public event where it tested five similarly-priced mid-rangesocket LGA2011 motherboards for CPU VRM performanceand stability. This comes at a particularly-important time forGigabyte, when its faced with CPU VRM problems that itsdealing with. The results are in. 7
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Amazons Kindle Fire in the price-sensitive market segment, while the new tablets are designed for the mid- and high- end segments. The upcoming iPad models will feature 9.7- inch screens with QXGA resolution (1,536 x 2,048 pixels) and dual-LED light bars for improved brightness. Apple would also continue to contract Samsung to manufacture its quad-core A6 processors, which will be used in the next-generation iPads. Traffic simulation systems of the future: a special kind of supercomputer? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/traffic-simulation-systems-of-the- future-a-special-kind-of-supercomputer-/14378.htmlThe parameters on which the motherboards were evaluated on December 30th, 2011were: • CPU VRM temperature, measured using a thermal probe attached to the VRM heatsink • CPU Speed • CPU voltage, effectiveness of the load-line calibration The worst-ever MRT metro line disruption in Singapore affected hundreds of thousands; can custom supercomputer • CPU temperature, measured using software simulation systems cushion the impact of such disasters in real time? This months massive disruption of Singapores two main - and oldest - metro lines, the North-South and East-West MRT, wasApple set to announce two the worst in the citys metro system history. The compoundingnew versions of iPad in of smaller disruptions on the other two lines in the same week didnt help either. Whether the two old lines should beJanuary? re-dug and replaced with underground maglev metro, whereSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-set-to-announce-two-new- the wear and tear like the one with claws and sleepersversions-of-ipad-in-january-/14379.html stops happening, or the signalling systems need change too, isDecember 30th, 2011 another issue beyond our scope here. But, is there a way for high performance computing to help manage such disruptions in real time, and analyse the possible passenger impacts down to the minute detail? Heres a simple scenario: in a city of 5 million like Singapore,Apple may be planning to announce two new iPads at suddenly, really, suddenly, the two main metro lines stopthe iWorld (formerly MacWorld) on 26 January next year. working. Say, half of the population which is around the twoAccording to online sources, the two tablet devices are said to lines corridors is affected. How to avert the chaos and have thebe designed for the mid- and high-end markets. extra bus or other resources deployed exactly there where the traffic needs it, to avert the total transport collapse? Lets go back to that number of 5 million inhabitants. Lets say that each inhabitant, as a person, is an entry in a giant database - the Big Brother datacentres, like the Google or Facebook ones, already do it anyway on a global scale. In the case of Singapores EZ Link, or Malaysias TouchNgo, that database can easily be filled with the transport history of each card holder across a long period of time. Same for the car registration plates tracked via electronic road pricing gantries and such. Add to it the age, income, car ownership and house & work/study location, and you can perfectly well estimate a persons traffic movement during a weekday or weekend on any given day or time. That draws a sort of movement diagram for each of 5 million persons on a given day.Apple is planning to unveil two new iPads at iWorld next year.According to sources, the iPad 2 is competing directly with 8
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneSuch database entry for each person can grow up to 100 Windows Phone users can look forward to more featureskilobytes in size, and, since we got to keep such stuff in memory and improvements next year. According to a leaked roadmapfor full-speed analysis and modeling, it means roughly 500 (which is accurate as of October), Microsoft has been planningGB of main memory, times 2 for space to create alternate for its upcoming Tango and Apollo updates 2012. The Tangomodels, and we talk about a terabyte RAM machine with as update, targeted in Q2 2012, is said to be focused on deliveringmany cores as you can throw at them, since it is highly parallel low-cost Windows Phone to go against iPhone and Androidwork. That little slim 4-CPU terabyte Xeon E5 mainboard from phones. However, this could also mean that Tango could be ayesterdays story comes to mind here... removable of features that most budget users would probably not require. Apollo, on the other hand, claims to be a majorNow, with such system, containing the movement data of all update for smartphones that could include support for LTE,the population and their vehicles, and where they want to high resolution displays and even dual-core processors. Butgo next, we can automatically identify any hot spots in the the Apollo update wont be coming so soon; it is expected to becase of any specific malfunction or shutdown and, in real available in Q4 2012.time, divert the extra resources exactly to these hot spotsof the moment. No, it doesnt replace the extra metro linesthat, maybe, Singapore should have built much earlier when Intel changes configurableit was way cheaper to construct - rather than pouring moneyinto Western investment banks or assets - but, anyway, a fast TDP specs of Ultrabook Ivycomputer for a quick fix, when the problems arise, is always Bridge processorswelcome. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-changes-configurable-tdp-specs- of-ultrabook-ivy-bridge-processors/14376.htmlWindows Phone updates, December 30th, 2011Tango and Apollo, comingsoonSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-phone-updates-tango-and-apollo-coming-soon/14377.html Although good news in a way for Intel, it seems that theDecember 30th, 2011 demand for its Ultrabook specific Ivy Bridge processors have been much higher than Intel initially anticipated and the company has as such had to make some changes to the configurable TDP of said processors. It appears that the company cant meet its earlier targets, at least not if its going to be able to provide large enough quantities of the CPUs.After the launch of Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Although good news in a way for Intel, it seems that theoperating system in October, the company is already planning demand for its Ultrabook specific Ivy Bridge processors havefor the new update next year. And it seems that details of the been much higher than Intel initially anticipated and thenew updates have been leaked, codenamed Tango and Apollo. company has as such had to make some changes to the configurable TDP of said processors. It appears that the company cant meet its earlier targets, at least not if its going to be able to provide large enough quantities of the CPUs. The changes arent big and the nominal TDP remains at 17W and the same goes for the highest configurable TDP for these chips which stays at 25W. However, the lowest configurable TDP has been increased from 13W to 14W and the same goes for the low frequency mode. In addition the low power mode has increased from 11W to 12.5W. This might seem trivial, but for some notebook makers this could potentially mean a re-design of the cooling system, not exactly a non-trivial change. Its likely that Intel has picked chips that would otherwise have been binned differently, but due to the high demand the company had to bin them as U- series processors. Currently Intel is planning on launching its Ivy Bridge Ultrabook platform sometime in May and the new TDP changes arent likely to have a huge effect for most of its partners as theres still plenty of time to make any changes that might be needed. 9
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneGenesys Logic launches USB December 30th, 20113.0 webcam controllerSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/genesys-logic-launches-usb-3.0-webcam-controller/14375.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 As weve already reported, Intel is about to launch Ivy Bridge in early April and although we didnt specify a date in our earlier stories, Digitimes has now confirmed the April 8th launch date that wed previously heard. This information is apparently coming from Taiwanese PC makers and wed say its pretty much spot on, unless Intel makes some last minute changes toUSB 3.0 adoption might be moving slowly forward in the the launch schedule.PC industry, but more and more peripherals are starting toappear in the market and if Taiwanese Genesys has anythingto do with it, then well all be using USB 3.0 webcams soon As weve already reported, Intel is about to launch Ivy Bridge inenough. The company has announced its new GL3620 USB 3.0 early April and although we didnt specify a date in our earlierwebcam controller and it looking at demoing it at CES in early stories, Digitimes has now confirmed the April 8th launch dateJanuary. that wed previously heard. This information is apparently coming from Taiwanese PC makers and wed say its pretty much spot on, unless Intel makes some last minute changes toUSB 3.0 adoption might be moving slowly forward in the the launch schedule.PC industry, but more and more peripherals are starting toappear in the market and if Taiwanese Genesys has anything Not all CPUs and chipsets will launch on the 8th of April, asto do with it, then well all be using USB 3.0 webcams soon some models alongside with the business chipsets are expectedenough. The company has announced its new GL3620 USB 3.0 on the 13th of May according to Digitimes. Most of the desktopwebcam controller and it looking at demoing it at CES in early CPUs will be available in April, although on the mobile sideJanuary. only the quad core Core i7 models are expected to arrive in April, with all other models launching at a yet unspecified date.We have in fact seen a very early prototype demo but this wasusing an FPGA instead of the actual finished silicon and to be Its not entirely clear why Intel is staggering the launch likefrank, we werent impressed. However, Genesys wasnt using this, but as we know, Intel is trying to empty its Sandy Bridgethe best of sensors for the tech demo and itll be down to the inventory and this might very well be part of the reason. Onewecam manufacturers to pick a suitable sensor to show of the interesting piece of information that Digitimes did provide iscapabilities of the GL3620. the cost of the chipsets, with the Z77, HM77 and UM77 coming in at US$48, followed by the H77 and HM76 at US$43, the Z75The chip is capable of delivering uncompressed 1080p and HM75 at US$40 and finally the business orientated B75video at 30fps, something that shouldnt put too much at US$37. The corporate level chipsets start at US$53 with thestrain on the USB 3.0 bus. Apparently a key feature is QS77 followed by Q77 and QM77 at US$48 and the Q75 at USthat the GL3620 supports isochronous transfer mode which $40.apparently guarantees the bandwidth between the webcamand the host controller. This puts the chipset pricing at a similar level to the 6-series where the Z68 chipsets has a list price of US$48 with theThanks to a built-in motion JPEG encoder the GL3620 is also H67 at US$43, the P67 at US$40 and the B65 at US$37. Thebackwards compatible with USB 2.0. The built in HISP or same goes for the mobile parts where the HM67 is listed athardware image signal processor as Genesys calls it, allows US$48 and HM65 at US$40, although the UM67 is actuallythe GL3620 to turn the raw RGB data into interpolated YUV a bit pricier at US$50. That said, these are all list prices andvideo and it can also do things like bad pixel correction, image may not reflect what the actual motherboard and notebookscaling, gamma correction and image quality enhancement manufacturers are paying Intel.among other things.The GL3620 wont go into mass production until the secondquarter of next year, but Genesys will be demoing it at CES As expected, Intel launchesalongside its GL3520 USB 3.0 hub, its GL3321 USB 3.0 toSATA 3Gbps bridge and its GL3220 USB 3.0 memory card Cedar Trail-M Atoms Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/as-expected-intel-launches-cedar-trail-reader, all of which are already available. m-atom-s/14373.html December 30th, 2011Ivy Bridge reportedlylaunching on the 8th of AprilSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-reportedly-launching-on-the-8th-of-april/14374.html 10
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWere fairly certain that none of our regular readers aresurprised to see the arrival of Intels Atom N2600 and N2800Cedar Trail-M based Atom processors today, as we reportedabout it launching at the very end of the year over a month ago.That said, no products will be available for at least a coupleof weeks, although wed expect that the first Cedar Trail-Mnetbooks will be shown off at CES.Were fairly certain that none of our regular readers aresurprised to see the arrival of Intels Atom N2600 and N2800Cedar Trail-M based Atom processors today, as we reportedabout it launching at the very end of the year over a month ago.That said, no products will be available for at least a coupleof weeks, although wed expect that the first Cedar Trail-M According to Anandtech we can expect to see Cedar Trail-Mnetbooks will be shown off at CES. netbooks with a starting price point of as little as US$199-229Weve also covered most of the specifications of the N2600 and and part of the reason for this is that Intel itself has reducedN2800 Atom processors in the past, but well do a brief re- the price of the Atom processors compared to the previouscap here. The N2800 is a 1.86GHz part with its graphics core generation. That said, these machines are likely to be veryclocked at 640MHz and it supports DDR3 memory at speeds basic and lack features such as WiDi. Intels partners areof up to 1066MHz. The N2600 on the other hand is clocked apparently Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshibaat 1.6GHz with a 400MHz graphics clock and it only supports and weve already seen examples of models from Asus andslower 800MHz DDR3 memory. One other major difference is Samsung, despite the latter promising to pull out of thethat the N2600 can be cooled passively thanks to its 5W peak netbook market in 2012.TDP, although Intel is apparently claiming an average powerconsumption of the processor and the NM10 chipset of under2W, whereas the N2800 has a TDP of 8W, although averagepower is meant to be less than 2.7W.As weve already reported, Intel only managed to concoctDX9 drivers for the platform, at least as far as Windows 7is concerned, but we can apparently still expect a doublingof the 3D graphics performance over the previous generationof Atom processors. Not that this is going to make a hugedifference for most netbook users, but at least there shouldbe a decent increase in performance for casual gamers. Moreinteresting then is hardware decode support for H.264 videoand support for Intels WiDi, albeit only at 600p. Still, wed rather pay a little bit more for an AMD Brazos powered machine, despite not having seen final hardware based on Cedar Trail-M, as AMD is likely to have the upper hand in terms of performance even though Intel has finally 11
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonegotten Atom to the kind of level where it should have been from Other companies accused of price-fixing, including AUthe beginning. Intel might have a more power efficient option Optronics, LG Display and Toshiba, have yet to reach aon offer, but there simply are too many things missing to make settlement, but will likely be forced to pay out millions ofCedar Trail-M a competitive platform. dollars.Samsung and others settleLCD price-fixing case for $553 Chinese LG Display staff strikemillion over alleged pay racismSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-and-others-settle-lcd-price- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-lg-display-staff-strike-over-fixing-case-for-553-million/14372.html alleged-pay-racism/14371.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 December 30th, 2011Samsung and a number of other LCD display makers havesettled a price-fixing case for $553 million.The seven firms involved in the settlement include Samsung, Staff at an LG Display factory in China have gone on strike overSharp, Chimei Innolux, Hitachi, HannStar, Chunghwa Picture a dispute relating to alleged racism in the payment of end ofTubes and Epson Imaging Devices, all of which are accused of year bonuses.conspiring to fix LCD panel prices between the years 1999 and Staff at an LG Display factory in China have gone on strike over2006. a dispute relating to alleged racism in the payment of end of year bonuses.Over $890 million has already been paid out by the companies Reports suggest that upwards of 8,000 Chinese workers haveto settle previous antitrust cases, but the latest payment is joined the strike at the Nanjing facility, accusing the Southaimed at resolving claims by indirect purchasers and eight US Korean electronics company of paying higher bonuses tostates. Korean staff compared to local Chinese employees. "We and the Nanjing city government are jointly negotiating with workers to smoothly reach an agreement and we expect the problems to be resolved soon," said LG spokesperson"This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for Claire Ohm, according to Reuters. "Some of our productionbusinesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to has been suspended."pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and This the latest worker dispute in China, where the rising costother electronics," said New York Attorney General Eric of living has prompted numerous protests and demands forSchneiderman. higher pay. Universally low salaries is one thing, but alleged favouritism towards certain nationalities will unlikely go over well with staff or customers.Samsung will pay $240 million, Sharp will fork out $115.5million, and Chimei Innolux will hand over $110.3 million.Smaller payments are demanded of Hitachi, HannStar, Apple iOS and Android tied inChunghwa and Epson, with the companies paying $39 million,$25.7 million, $5.3 million and $2.9 million respectively. A Christmas salesnumber of state penalties, up to $6 million per company, were Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ios-and-android-tied-in-also applied. christmas-sales/14370.html 12
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 30th, 2011 December 30th, 2011 AT&T has completed its acquisition of wireless spectrum from Qualcomm in a deal worth roughly $1.9 billion. The telecommunications company expressed interest inApple iOS and Android devices were popular Christmas gifts buying the spectrum in December 2010, but was held up bythroughout the world, with the two rivals virtually tied in the an investigation by the Federal Communications Commissionheated battle for holiday sales. (FCC). Approval was granted last week after AT&T withdrew its controversial bid to buy T-Mobile.Apple iOS and Android devices were popular Christmas giftsthroughout the world, with the two rivals virtually tied in theheated battle for holiday sales. The 700 MHz spectrum was previously used by Qualcomm for its FLO TV system, a mobile TV broadcasting technology that flopped and was eventually discontinued.There were 12 times more new devices using the mobileoperating systems form Apple and Google over the Christmasweekend compared to previous weekends, according to mobileapp analytics firm Localytics.Despite the two platforms being roughly neck and neck, theirpopularity differed greatly from region to region. For example,Apple devices sold best in the US and Germany, while Androiddevices did better in South Korea and Sweden. The spectrum will cover over 300 million people, giving AT&T a significant boost to its Long Term Evolution (LTE) business. This is particularly important given the general lack of spectrum telecommunications providers have been experiencing in recent years, resulting in numerous bidding wars and acquisitions. The continuing popularity ofiOS devices were up 12.5 times, with a 14 times increase in smartphones and tablet computers will ensure that spectrumiPhone sales, but a massive 21 times increase in iPods, showing demand remains strong in years to come.that Apples classic music player still has some life in it. Spire hack allows Siri to runAndroids increase was not far behind at 12 times more sales,but Android now leads in more markets than Apple, ruling 14 on jailbroken iOS 5 devicesof the top 20 global markets, which will likely see it become Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spire-hack-allows-siri-to-run-on-the overall market leader in the months and years to come. jailbroken-ios-5-devices/14368.html December 30th, 2011South Korea was a particularly strong victory for Android, witha lead of over 80 percent compared to iOS. Sweden and Japanalso saw huge gaps between the two, with Android leading by45 percent and 50 percent respectively.AT&T buys Qualcomm A new hack, called Spire, is said to allow Siri voice assistant to run on almost all jailbroken iPhone or iPad on iOS 5. And thewireless spectrum best thing is, that is legal.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/at-t-buys-qualcomm-wireless- Siri is one of the popular features of the latest Apple iPhonespectrum/14369.html 4S, and it seems that a fully functioning port of the voice assistant is available on almost all jailbroken iOS 5 devices. 13
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDeveloped by Chpwn and Ryan Petrich, the new hack known and see when Mobile World Congress arrived in February nextas Spire, allows Siri to run on jailbroken iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, year.third-gen iPod touch, fourth-generation iPod touch and first-generation iPad. And it seems like it is legal. The Spire app isfree and available to download from the Cydia app store and More on Xeon E5: Terabyte oftakes about 100MB of space, and users are advised to connectto a Wi-Fi network when downloading the app. RAM even at midrange? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-on-xeon-e5-terabyte-of-ram- even-at-midrange-/14366.htmlSamsung to debut GALAXY S December 30th, 2011III at Mobile World Congress2012?Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-to-debut-galaxy-s-iii-at-mobile-world-congress-2012-/14367.htmlDecember 30th, 2011 There will also be a quad-CPU enabled Xeon E5 Socket 2011 version, a quarter later from now. How much memory can it take? How about a terabyte? Two QPI links on Socket 2011 CPUs do enable connecting each processor to TWO other ones, if you accept lesser inter- processor bandwidth compared to just dual-link pairing of two CPUs alone. There will be a separate Xeon E5-4600 seriesNews of the next-generation GALAXY smartphone is out, and covering that particular market segment, which sits betweenit is likely to be the Samsung GALAXY S III. And the Quad- the high end dual-socket E5-2600 and the enterprise RAS-core phone may be showcased at the Mobile World Congress enhanced even higher end E7 series (those fancy 10-core 30in Barcelona next year. MB L3 cache Westmere-EX chips and their followons). These are good for uber-rendering workstations with many threads, as well as SMP server jobs where high per-core performance is more important than RAS capability or huge interprocessor bandwidth - E7 series have, after all, four QPI links on each CPU for that purpose.According to Korean media ETNews, the new Samsungsmartphone, GALAXY S III, will be equipped with a Quad-coreprocessor; possibly the Samsungs Exynos 4412 processor,a 32nm quad-core chip based on the ARM Cortex A9architecture. Other specifications include 4.6-inch Super Now, since the maximum memory load on each Socket 2011AMOLED Plus touchscreen display (1280x720), supports LTE processor is three DIMMs per channel, or 12 in total, it wouldnetwork, 12-megapixel rear camera that can capture full high allow for 48 DIMMs altogether on a quad processor board, asdefinition 1080p video, and runs Google Android 4.0 Ice you can see here on the Lizard Head Pass S4600LH boardCream Sandwich. expected from Intel. A truly lovely platform which, if goodIt was also reported that Samsung is developing 3D liquid cooling system was there, could actually fit into 1Ucapabilities on the smartphone, though theres no details as platform! Else, its 2U, still not bad at all.to what extent will the new phone be equipped with thetechnology. The company could come up with a separate Now, remember those fancy Samsung - and other vendors -smartphone, rather than incorporate it to the GALAXY S III, 32 GB LR-DIMMs at DDR3-1333 speeds and taking just likeand called it the Samsung GALAXY S 3D. We can only wait 5 watts? Well, put 48 of them into this little mobo, and you got... umm... 1.5 TB RAM, yes. Now, inexpensive large memory 14
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonedata mining and analysis ops, not to mention simulations like, weve seen a fair few users reports complaining about the micefor instance, impact of MRT line failure on all the car and bus disconnecting at random.traffic in Singapore down to every person, vehicle and path Source: Ozmo- an increasingly more often required app here, it seems -become very real, especially when coupled with the current lowmemory pricing. MSI launches MultiConnectAnd, oh yes, there are 160 PCIe v3 lanes in total on such panel and Voice Genieplatform. Now, how about an extender box for an 8 x dual- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-launches-multiconnect-panel-and-GPU setup as an accelerator? A eight-set of liquid-cooled OC voice-genie/14364.htmlAMD HD7990 dual GPU cards could give you up to 15 TFLOPs December 30th, 2011of double precision power to assist those Xeons on board...More Wi-Fi mice comingthanks to Wi-Fi Direct A couple of new motherboard peripherals have been launchedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-wi-fi-mice-coming-thanks-to-wi- by MSI, one of which we’d say is far more useful than thefi-direct/14365.html other. First up we have the MultiConnect panel which is a 5.25-December 30th, 2011 inch drive bay unit that sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth among its features, with the second one being MSI’s Voice Genie card which allows you to control your PC by yelling at it. A couple of new motherboard peripherals have been launchedWeve already seen a few Wi-Fi mice from HP, although these by MSI, one of which we’d say is far more useful than thewerent as far as were aware using Wi-Fi Direct to connect. other. First up we have the MultiConnect panel which is a 5.25-A company called Ozmo has announced that it has had its inch drive bay unit that sports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth among itsOZMO2000 wireless mouse reference design certified by the features, with the second one being MSI’s Voice Genie cardWi-Fi Alliance as a Wi-Fi Direct enabled solution onto which which allows you to control your PC by yelling at it.its partners can base their own Wi-Fi Direct mice upon. The MultiConnect panel is an interesting spin on things as although it’s a chunky piece of plastic that slots into a spareWeve already seen a few Wi-Fi mice from HP, although these 5.25-inch drive bay in your case, it not only adds 802.11b/g/nwerent as far as were aware using Wi-Fi Direct to connect. Wi-Fi connectivity, but also Bluetooth 3.0+HS, a pair of USBA company called Ozmo has announced that it has had its 2.0 ports and if you have the right motherboard, an OC GenieOZMO2000 wireless mouse reference design certified by the II button. For one we’re not quite sure why MSI had to makeWi-Fi Alliance as a Wi-Fi Direct enabled solution onto which it so big, as it seems to waste a lot of space.its partners can base their own Wi-Fi Direct mice upon.One feature that stands outs with the Ozmo solution is the factthat the company supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Thecompany has also added support for WPA2 and WPS to makepairing easy. Ozmo doesnt actually make any retail productsthough, but its OZMO2000 chip is ready to ship to its potentialpartners for implementation into Wi-Fi mice.Interestingly Ozmo claims that its Wi-Fi solution offers twoto three times the battery life for the mouse compared toBluetooth mice and a much higher data rate – up to 24Mbps –if needed. The range should in theory be longer as well, but wecant imagine too many scenarios where you need to be able touse a mouse 200-300m away from a computer.One problem we can see though is that Ozmo charges US$3 Secondly MSI missed a major trick here, the USB ports areper OZMO2000 chip even in fairly large quantities, something only 2.0, not 3.0 and considering that many chassis out therethats likely to put off potential partners, although surprisingly shipped pre-USB 3.0 this would’ve been a much more usefulthe company issues a press release back in October stating it addition. The Wi-Fi is also limited to 150Mbps and is a simplehad shipped one million chips back then. Apparently HP is one USB dongle hidden behind the plastic fascia. Admittedly it’sof Ozmos partners, alongside with Intel, Logitech and Targus. neater to have two dongles inside a drive bay than having aAs such its likely well see a driver upgrade for HPs Wi-Fi pair of dongles sticking out the back of your PC, but we’re notmice in the near future with some Wi-Fi Direct support which sold on MSI’s overall implementation.should hopefully make HPs Wi-Fi mice a bit more reliable, as 15
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAs for the Voice Genie, well, this is a small PCB that slots into aPCI Express x1 slot (or any other PCI Express slot at that), butit doesn’t actually interface with the slots electrical connectors.Instead the Voice Genie card connects to a special pin-headeravailable on a selected few MSI motherboards which includemost of MSI’s Z68A models, the Big Bang Marshal and all ofMSI’s X79 motherboards. Luckily MSI has added an option to make your own custom voice commands, but this is limited to a mere eight commands in total. In as much as we think this is an amusing piece of kit and potentially something very useful for handicapped people, we can’t see it being a huge seller for MSI. We’d also hope that MSI comes to its senses and bundles a better microphone than the one in the pictures of the card, as it looks like a terrible piece of kit. Intel said to be letting Thunderbolt loose in April Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-said-to-be-letting-thunderbolt- loose-in-april/14363.html December 30th, 2011 Theres no secret that Intel wasnt going to let Apple keep its Thunderbolt technology as an exclusive forever, but no reports are coming out stating that we can expect Thunderbolt equipped PCs, notebooks and motherboards in April of next year. Weve been hearing rumours for a while, but this is the first solid lead on an actual launch date.At the rear of the card there’s a microphone connector, a pass-through to the mic connector of the onboard audio or sound Theres no secret that Intel wasnt going to let Apple keepcard and a small, sliding on/off switch. Once installed the its Thunderbolt technology as an exclusive forever, but noVoice Genie allows you to issue voice commands to your PC reports are coming out stating that we can expect Thunderboltin either English or “traditional” Chinese, although we’re not equipped PCs, notebooks and motherboards in April of nextquite sure what the latter is in terms of a spoken language. It year. Weve been hearing rumours for a while, but this is thesupports commands even if the system is powered down, so in first solid lead on an actual launch date.other words you can now make your PC start without having As we already know, Intel is planning on launching Ivy Bridgeto touch it. MSI also claims that you can overclock the system, around this point in time and its not a co-incident that themake it start applications and do a wide range of other things company is also trying to get some Thunderbolt equippedby simply issuing voice commands. devices out in the market at the same time. Digitimes is reporting that well see notebooks from Asus, various devices from Sony and motherboard from Gigabyte with Thunderbolt connectivity. Somewhat erroneously Digitimes is quoting Thunderbolt chip cost of more than US$20 a pop, a price that as far as were aware only applies to Intels most expensive Thunderbolt chip know as Light Ridge. This should be replaced at some point next year by Cactus Ridge which should prove to be a fair bit more affordable. Cactus Ridge was meant to be ready in time 16
  • December 30th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonefor Ivy Bridge, but Intel appears to have run into a few snags of memory on board and only left a single DIMM slot forand as such it has been delayed until sometime in Q2 of next expansion, one of the not so good changes.year.As such notebook manufacturers only has the choice of usingIntels Light Ridge or the version of Eagle Ridge that Appleuses for the MacBook Air, but this chip only has half theThunderbolt channels of Light Ridge. For some reason Intelhas discontinued its standard version of Eagle Ridge already,so on the host side theres little other choice for the time being.The good news in terms of growth of Tunderbolt device isthat Intel has finally finished off its Port Ridge peripheralchip, an affordable two PCI Express lane solution that drawsa mere 0.7W (compared to 2-3.8W for its other Thunderboltchips) and which will be far more affordable than previousoptions. This should hopefully see a growth in devices that useThunderbolt as an interconnect, although we still doubt itll beprice competitive with USB 3.0 in many scenarios.There are of course usage cases where Thunderbolt excelscompared to USB 3.0, least not for adding desktop expansioncards to a notebook, be it via a notebook docking station orsome kind of external enclosure. However, Thunderbolt is notthe most affordable route and we doubt there will be the same You still get 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0+HS (apparentlygrowth in Thunderbolt peripherals as there have been with optional on some models), a crummy 0.3Megapixel webcam,USB 3.0 peripherals, as the need for the kind of speeds offered an HDMI port, a D-sub connector, Ethernet, a pair of audioby the interface just isnt there for the majority of computer jacks and a card reader. However, Asus has now upgraded atusers, yet. least some models with a pair of USB 3.0 ports and rather than offering three USB 2.0 ports you know get one to go with theAsus outs the Eee PC 1225B two USB 3.0 ports.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-outs-the-eee- Oddly enough Asus is now rating the battery life at 7h insteadpc-1225b/14362.html of 8h, despite offering what appears to be the same 6-cellDecember 30th, 2011 56Wh battery pack. The weight has gone down slightly thanks to the smaller display, although this apparently only shaves off a mere 10g if the specs on Asus website are correct.The Eee PC 1225B is expected to launch in January and itll be available in either glossy black and white or matte grey, red or silver, although we have a feeling the screen will be glossy either which way.Intels Atom based netbooks might not be overly popular thesedays and to some degree AMD appears to have something todo with it thanks to the introduction of its Brazos platform.Asus is getting ready to launch a refresh of its 12-inch Brazospowered Eee PC 1215B with a slightly updated model called the1225B, although the differences are fairly small.Intels Atom based netbooks might not be overly popular thesedays and to some degree AMD appears to have something todo with it thanks to the introduction of its Brazos platform.Asus is getting ready to launch a refresh of its 12-inch Brazospowered Eee PC 1215B with a slightly updated model called the1225B, although the differences are fairly small.The Eee PC 1225B comes with a choice of either an E450or a C60 APU, something latter models of the 1215B alsooffered. The biggest change is the screen which has beenshrunk slightly from 12.1-inches to 11.6-inches, althoughthe resolution has remained the same at 1366x768. Almosteverything else has stayed the same, but some minor changeshave been done and apparently Asus has fitted 2 or 4GB 17
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! Overclocking is the name of the game for this motherboard, VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication with the ability to run 4-way SLI or CrossFire via four covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. PCI Express Gen3 slots. Renowned overclocker Jon “Elmor” Sandström helped MSI bump up the overclocking abilities of the Big Bang-XPower II.MSI launches Big Bang-XPower II overclocking The board includes 8 DIMM slots, with support for up 128GBmotherboard of RAM, significantly more than most people will ever need orSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-launches-big-bang-xpower-ii- use, but helping to make the motherboard that little bit moreoverclocking-motherboard/14419.html future-proof.January 3rd, 2012 Other features include Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 7.1 high- definition audio, six USB 3.0 slots, 10 USB 2.0 slots, two Intel SATA 6Gb/s and four 3Gb/s slots with RAID support, two ASMedia SATA 6GB/s slots, a multi-BIOS UEFI interface, and several buttons for easy overclocking and resetting.MSI has launched its latest motherboard, the Big Bang-XPower II, offering plenty of overclocking goodness for the LG unveils worlds largestIntel X79 chipset.MSI has launched its latest motherboard, the Big Bang- OLED TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-unveils-world-s-largest-oled-XPower II, offering plenty of overclocking goodness for the tv/14418.htmlIntel X79 chipset. January 3rd, 2012The company claims that this board is its most powerful todate, building on the record achievements of the original BigBang-XPower, supporting Intels latest second generation i7processors. LG will unveil a 55-inch OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, touting it as the largest ofIt is built with Military Class III components, such as DrMOS its kind and the “future of TV technology”.II, Super Ferrite Choke, Hi-c CAP and Solid CAP, allowing LG will unveil a 55-inch OLED TV at the Consumer Electronicsheavy duty use with an extended lifetime. An enhanced Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, touting it as the largest ofthermal design also ensures that no active cooling is required. its kind and the “future of TV technology”. The TV features a huge organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel that is only 4mm thick and weighs just 7.5kg, utilising the technology used by many smartphones at a much larger scale. With an infinite contrast ratio and speeds that are 1,000 times faster than LCD displays, it looks like OLED technology is definitely the way forward for the TV manufacturing industry. It also comes with LGs 4-Colour Pixels, adding white to the traditional RGB mix, and Colour Refiner, which enhances 1
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonecolour consistency across multiple viewing angles to improve expected to be lower than supply for the first quarter of thehues and tones. year. The companies saw their ratings cut from overweight to equal weight, market lingo for Barclays belief that these companies are no longer outperforming and are pretty much on neutral territory, seeing negligible growth or remaining flat. "First quarter should be the trough for semis given the ongoing inventory correction, coupled with supply chain constraints, due to muted end demand visibility," said C J Muse, an analyst at Barclays, whom Reuters cited as being highly reliable.“Working closely with LG Display, we have a product whichnot only delivers on all the advantages of OLED overLCD but at a significantly lower cost than what could beachieved using existing OLED manufacturing technologies,”said Havis Kwon, president and CEO of LG Electronics HomeEntertainment Company. “OLED is clearly the future of homeTV entertainment and LG is very focused on making thisexciting technology as easy as possible for consumers toembrace.”LG previously released 15-inch and 31-inch OLED TV models, Intel cut its fourth quarter forecast last month by $1but those sizes wont satisfy many home entertainment billion, blaming the shortage of hard disk drives (HDD) forenthusiasts who will want something larger than 40 inches. plummeting demand in the entire PC industry, but NomuraWe can likely expect something in the 60 to 70 inch range Equity Research claims there is more to Intels revisedwithin the next year or two, in addition to other sizes between financial outlook than the HDD problem.the existing ranges. Price will be an obstacle, however, evenwith LGs cheaper production method. It was not all bad news for chipmakers, however, as Micron,Barclays cuts Intel and other LSI and Cymer were all upgraded from equal weight to overweight.chipmakers ratingsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/barclays-cuts-intel-and-other-chipmakers-ratings/14417.html Market recovery is expected in the second half of the year, withJanuary 3rd, 2012 end of year growth of five percent, followed by six to eight percent growth in 2013. ASUS to launch the second Jay Chou edition laptop N45JInvestment firm Barclays Capital has downgraded a number Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-to-launch-the-second-jay-chou-of semiconductor companies, including Intel, Freescale, edition-laptop-n45j/14416.htmlMicrochip, Applied Materials and Spansion, as demand is January 3rd, 2012expected to be lower than supply for the first quarter of theyear.Investment firm Barclays Capital has downgraded a numberof semiconductor companies, including Intel, Freescale,Microchip, Applied Materials and Spansion, as demand is 2
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneIt was about six months ago when ASUS announced the JayChou edition laptop N43SL, and it looks like the company isplanning to launch a second laptop endorsed by the Taiwanesecelebrity. SmartDevices has recently unveiled their new SmartQ Ten2 Plus T13 Android tablet. The touchscreen is said to be similar to that of the Apple iPad - 9.7-inch capacitive, IPS panel and has a pixel resolution of 1024×768. Internally, the T13 is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with 512MB DDR2 RAM and 8GB built-in Flash memory. It also has a microSD card slot for expansion, and supports up to 32GB. Other features include 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 3G support, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 2-megapixel front camera. The tablet also comes with a 7500mAh Lithium-ion battery and runs Android 2.3Last year, ASUS announced the Jay Chou Edition N43SL Gingerbread. (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is said to be inlaptop and very soon we would see the second Taiwanese the works). But the most impressive thing about the SmartQcelebrity-endorsed notebook PC in the market. Unlike the first Ten2 Plus T13 is its incredible price tag; it is selling at RMB998model with a piano black finish, the new laptop N45J will be (or approximately US$160) which is value for what it offers.white with similar artistic designs printed at the back of thedisplay. The new design is said to be related to his upcomingalbum. The ASUS N45J will feature a 1600x800 resolution Klipsch Mode M40 headphonesscreen, second generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor, 8GB with active noise-cancelling,memory, Nvidia GT555M graphics with choice of either 1GBor 2GB VRAM, SSD or hard disk storage options and Bang lands in Singapore& Olufsen ICEpower audio technology that is found on the Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/klipsch-mode-m40-headphones-with-N45SF. Specifications would vary depending on country, active-noise-cancelling-lands-in-singapore/14414.htmlalthough it is likely that this new laptop will be focused for January 3rd, 2012the Asia market. According to sources, the ASUS N45J JayChou edition laptop is scheduled to launch in mid January thismonth. No details on the pricing yet.SmartDevices unveils SmartQTen2 Plus T13 9.7-inch Tat Chuan Acoustic, distributor for Klipsch products in Singapore, has announced the availability of the Klipsch ModeAndroid tablet M40 headphones. The stylish M40 claims to incorporateSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/smartdevices-unveils-smartq-ten2- active noise-cancelling technology and provides superbplus-t13-9.7-inch-android-tablet/14415.html quality sound for audiophiles.January 3rd, 2012Chinese manufacturer SmartDevices has announced theirnew Ten2 Plus Android tablet. The tablet sports a 9.7-inchtouchscreen, runs Android 2.3 and retails at an unbeatableRMB999 (approximately US$160). 3
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Digital cameras might very well be on the decline, especially as Smartphones are getting better and better cameras, but that doesnt stop the camera makers from shoving more and more features into cameras. Samsung has announced an updated version of its DualView cameras and its latest model, the DV300F has gained Wi-Fi support for instant uploading of your pictures. Samsung is so far the only company so slap an LCD display on the front of one of its cameras for self-portraits, a clever enough idea, although were not sure if its taken the world by storm. To give consumers easier access to their pictures, Samsung has kitted out the new DV300F with Wi-Fi which in turn allows you to connect the camera directly to the internet and upload your pictures and videos to websites such as Facebook, Picasa and YouTube. You can also email pictures directly as well and luckily the camera appears to have some basic editing options built in.The Klipsch Mode M40 is said to be the companys first activenoise-cancelling (ANC) headphones, designed to providesuperior audio performance. It claims to offer 45 hours of ANCon a single triple AAA battery, which is almost double thetime offered by other ANC headphone models currently in themarket, as well as serves as a high-quality stereo headphoneif you choose not to put in the batteries. Each of the ModeM40 lightweight ear cups are made of premium leather and aspecial high-density memory foam for long hours of listeningcomfort, and has an adjustable headband for secure fit. TheM40 comes with two detachable cloth cables, with one ofthem having a three-button remote and built-in microphonewith echo cancellation; users can make clear conversationsand control the music on their iPhone, iPad or iPhone devicesconveniently.Priced at S$599 (inclusive of GST), the Klipsch Mode M40is available at all Apple Premium Resellers, and comes witha two-year warranty, AAA battery, microfiber carrying case,airline adaptor and 1/4-inch adaptor. A much neater advantage that the Wi-Fi connectivity brings in our opinion is that Samsung has an auto backup feature which will upload the pictures to cloud storage services, althoughSamsung adds a dash of Wi-Fi only Microsofts SkyDrive and Samsungs own AllShare Playto new DualView camera services are mentioned. In either case you would of course need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, although hopefully aSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-adds-a-dash-of-wi-fi-to-new- smartphone with a Wi-Fi enabled hotspot would do the job.dualview-camera/14413.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012 The camera itself doesnt really stand out as such with a 16Megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom with a 25mm wide angle lens, but it should be vastly superior to any camera equipped phone we can think of. The DV300F will come in black, silver, navy and red, although Samsung didnt announce any pricing or launch date.Digital cameras might very well be on the decline, especially asSmartphones are getting better and better cameras, but that HPs Envy Spectre gets teaserdoesnt stop the camera makers from shoving more and more video, almost herefeatures into cameras. Samsung has announced an updated Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-s-envy-spectre-gets-teaser-video-version of its DualView cameras and its latest model, the almost-here/14412.htmlDV300F has gained Wi-Fi support for instant uploading of January 3rd, 2012your pictures. 4
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApart from its Folio 13 it appears that HP has a second, Intels partners arent meant to be showing off any 7-somewhat larger Ultrabook coming which may or may not be series motherboards for a few days yet, but Chinese Wibtekknown as the Envy 14 Spectre. HP has released a short teaser apparently doesnt care much for Intels restrictions and hasvideo of something simply called the HP Spectre. shown off its first Z77 based motherboard. For something from a smaller Chinese motherboard maker its actually not a half bad board, but its not up there with the Taiwanese boardApart from its Folio 13 it appears that HP has a second, makers in some areas.somewhat larger Ultrabook coming which may or may not be The pictures got posted on Expreview and theyre not exactlyknown as the Envy 14 Spectre. HP has released a short teaser high-resolution, but plenty of details can be seen nonetheless.video of something simply called the HP Spectre. The board is called the Hacker Z77 and apparently Wibtek hasSo far next to nothing is known about the new notebook, or jumped on-board the whole gun heatsink theme, albeit in apossibly Ultrabook as it may be and as you can see by yourself little bit more discrete way. The heatsink is meant to be of afrom the video below, HP doesnt exactly give away a lot of “desert eagle” design, although it looks more like some ray gundetails. Some details with regards to the bottom design leaked from a Sci-Fi movie to us. Heatsink design apart, Wibtek hasjust before Christmas, but even in that case its not clear if its gone for a black on dark brown PCB in terms of slot and PCBof the actual model that will be known as the Spectre or not colours and everything looks quite well polished.and by now HP has had the FCC remove even those details. The board has 16 power phases for the CPU, although the CPUIts clear that the Spectre will be a high-end product and wed socket area is quite crowded due in part to the large heatsink.expect something out of the ordinary from HP. The only thing The slot configuration consists of a pair of x16 slots where thethat seems to be agreed upon is that it should be a 14-inch second slot operates in x8 mode, a pair of x1 PCI Express slotsnotebook of some kind and that it should arrive soon, maybe and two PCI slots. Theres also a half-size mini PCI Expresseven ahead of CES. Well just have to wait and see what HP slot located at the rear of the board which will accept a Wi-Fimanages to conjure up, but its about time that HP brings out card or similar. There are no less than 10 SATA ports in total,a high-end ultraportable notebook. six of them SATA 6Gbps (four via two Marvell controllers) and four are thus SATA 3Gbps.Wibtek first to show offalleged Z77 motherboardSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wibtek-first-to-show-off-alleged-z77-motherboard/14411.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012Intels partners arent meant to be showing off any 7- Around the back of the board we find six USB 3.0 ports ofseries motherboards for a few days yet, but Chinese Wibtek which four should be native ports to the Z77 chipset, a FireWireapparently doesnt care much for Intels restrictions and has port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/shown off its first Z77 based motherboard. For something from PDIF out, an HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector and somethinga smaller Chinese motherboard maker its actually not a half else that we didnt manage to identify above the first pair ofbad board, but its not up there with the Taiwanese board USB 3.0 ports. The additional USB 3.0 ports appear to bemakers in some areas. courtesy of a VLI host controller and there are pin headers for what appears to be four front USB 3.0 ports as well as four USB 5
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone2.0 ports and a FireWire port. The board also has power, reset emissions, only remains to be seen (since there are no reliableand clear CMOS button located at the front. data on carbon emissions from datacenters). Enter Asetek. The company known for its legendary VapoChill phase-change system and the LCLC (Low Cost Liquid Cooling) OEM design that today ships in numerous computers such as HP Z800 workstations or retail products such as Corsair H series, Antec Kuhler and many more is now entering the enterprise segment. In order to satisfy the needs and worries of the datacenter designers the company launched not one but three liquid cooling products.There are markings on the board suggesting SLI andCoressFireX support and with the right CPU the board shouldsupport PCI Express 3.0. We should be seeing more 7-seriesmotherboards at CES next week and hopefully well seesomething a bit more exciting than the Hacker 77, even thoughon a whole its not a terrible board. Hit up the source for a fewadditional pictures.Can Aseteks Technology SaveBillions of Dollars and ReduceCarbon Emissions?Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-asetek-s-technology-save-billions-of-dollars-and-reduce-carbon-emissions-/14409.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012 First and foremost, Asetek now offers closed liquid cooling for single 1U rackable server, including cooling for both CPU and the GPU, as demonstrated on Supermicro GPU server. Named Internal Loop Liquid Cooling (ILLC), Asetek created a compact radiator cooled by eight low profile fans. This design does not require any adjustments to the datacenter, so it can be retrofit into any server environment.Asetek launched their concept of liquid cooling for highdensity servers to be used in datacenters. The idea of serverliquid cooling in datacenters is as old as the datacenter itself,but this time were approaching the tipping point.Every time we mention liquid cooling in datacenters, there isa string of skepticism about the durability of hardware andalleged danger of leaks.At the same time, server hardware is the cheapest investmentfrom the whole datacenter budget sheet, since buildinga cooling system will eat up 40% of total build cost.Furthermore, largest portion of the monthly power bill willcome from running the cooling subsystem. How big is thiscost? Well, thanks to air cooling the server CPUs and GPUs,datacenters are now single largest consumer of electricity inthe United States, with the situation not being exactly "great"in other countries around the globe. What this does to carbon 6
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone All of this solutions mean only one thing - death to the power consumer of the datacenter, CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning). Liquid cooling significantly reduces the current need for heavy investing in the cooling infrastructure, leaving room for significant computing density improvements. When it comes to redundancy, it is interesting to know that liquid cooling actually continues to work even if fans fail (most common situation for server technicians). Back to 2003, I started to experiment with liquid cooling for the first time, using components from German Innovatek AG. One of things that I forgot was to switch two 120mm fans on, so the system worked for three months (throughout the whole summer) without the active exchange of heat. Yet, Pentium 4 2.4@3.3GHz and two liquid cooled Gainward GeForce FX 5900 boards operated at 60C without hassle. Once this "genius" figured the fans were off, the temperature dropped to 32C for the CPU and 42C for the GPUs. You all remember the temperatures on those parts if they were air cooled. If youre a computer enthusiast, and run liquid cooling for as long as you can remember - today is the day to celebrate - since you were right. Liquid cooling is better than air, and now enterprise management can select best performing coolingIf you are designing a new datacenter or remodeling the solutions for the datacenter.old one, Rack CDU (RCDU, Coolant Distribution Unit) is amultistage system which either connects high-performance 1Uand 2U servers with the delivery of fresh coolant to be chilled Asus Eee Pad 7-inch tabletby the rack itself, or by using additional blade chassis systemcalled Sealed Server Liquid Cooling (SSLC). expected at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-eee-pad-7-inch-tablet-expected-The Sealed Server Liquid Cooling blade chassis fits 10 blades at-ces/14410.htmlwith quad-socket motherboards. Since liquid cooling is much January 3rd, 2012more efficient than air, you can forget about the common 95WTDP limitation for the Blade CPUs and go with fully fledged130W, 150W TDP processors in the same space, increasingthe computing power density by up to 58.7%, as calculated byAsetek. Back at CES last year, Asus showed off a device called the Eee Pad MeMo which later got a 3D suffix tucked onto its name at Computex, however the device itself never made a retail appearance. Now rumour has it that Asus will be launching it, or rather a pair of reworked versions of it at CES. Back at CES last year, Asus showed off a device called the Eee Pad MeMo which later got a 3D suffix tucked onto its name at Computex, however the device itself never made a retail appearance. Now rumour has it that Asus will be launching it, or rather a pair of reworked versions of it at CES. Notebook Italia has not only managed to dig out some brief specifications, but also a picture of what is said to possibly be the new device. Were still looking at a 7-inch display and we can apparently expect a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The source claims that there will be a 3D and a non 3D version of what might still be known as the Eee Pad MeMo. 7
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone An unnamed former member of the WebOS app development team said the main problem was not WebOS itself, but a leadership and engineering failure to secure outside programmers to develop apps for it.The processors is rumoured to be a 1.2GHz Qualcomm chipand it should be paired with 16 to 64GB of flash memory. Otherfeatures include Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, although this ishardly surprising. Apparently we can look forward to a 7-inchTransformer tablet as well (of which the picture could be of), atleast if were to believe Notebook Italia, although the site hassomething of a track record when it comes to Asus leaks and Another issue was the numerous shortcuts taken over thetheir authenticity. Its not long to wait, so well just have to see nine month development period it took to give life to WebOS,what happens next week. including leaving app development kits until the last minute, which were then overhauled twice, which meant programmersWebOS developers say HP had to relearn how to make apps for the platform several times.TouchPad was doomed from Other problems included a lack of staff to appropriately dealstart with such a large-scale project, with particular difficultiesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/webos-developers-say-hp-touchpad- finding programmers who really understood WebKit. Thiswas-doomed-from-start/14408.html shortage led to a situation where the initial launch wasJanuary 3rd, 2012 achieved, but updates and bug fixes could not be developed at a quick enough pace. When HP bought Palm many of the core team left, leaving the company with an even bigger manpower problem on its hands. Given these blunders with the software it is no surprise thatDevelopers who worked on WebOS have revealed that HPs the TouchPad failed to compete with Apple and Google basedrival to Apples iPad, the TouchPad, was doomed from the products. Mercer said that as long as WebOS depends onstart, thanks to a number of design flaws. WebKit it will continue to linger far behind its rivals.Developers who worked on WebOS have revealed that HPsrival to Apples iPad, the TouchPad, was doomed from thestart, thanks to a number of design flaws. Googles Chrome browser to overtake Internet Explorer thisPaul Mercer, the former senior director of software at Palm,which HP acquired for $1.2 billion in 2010, said that his yearcompany was ahead of its time and just was not able to achieve Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-s-chrome-browser-to-overtake-the ambitious outcome it aimed for with the mobile operating internet-explorer-this-year/14407.htmlsystem. January 3rd, 2012According to Mercer, who previously worked on a number ofApple products, one of the fatal mistakes of WebOS was itsreliance on the open-source software engine WebKit, which Googles Chrome web browser will overtake Microsoftsultimately slowed down apps, making it less appealing to opt Internet Explorer (IE) this year, becoming the most usedfor WebOS over faster rivals like iOS and Android. browser across the world, according to figures by StatCounter. 8
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneGoogles Chrome web browser will overtake Microsofts the memory. We also flashed the R4Es latest 0001 bios, whichInternet Explorer (IE) this year, becoming the most used has further PCIe 3.0 signal tweaks for the HD7970.browser across the world, according to figures by StatCounter.Currently Chrome has a market share of 27 percent, puttingit in second place behind IE, which still rules a healthy 38percent of the industry.By June or July of 2012, however, Chrome is expected tooutgrow Microsofts former glory. This will be particularlybad considering the year Chrome launched in, 2008, saw IEdominate the market with a 70 percent market share.Mozillas Firefox, which was once the most popular alternativeto IE, has dropped more than five percent since last year to25.27 percent, putting it in third place behind Chrome.The remaining web browsers are significantly behind theothers, with Safari gaining a small increase from 4.79 percentto over six percent, and Opera coming in fifth place with nearlytwo percent.The figures show how quickly and easily the market can change Results:when new competition enters, especially if the established 3DMark 11 v1.03 Performance Preset (single card scorescompanies fail to adapt and push out better products. P9532)AMD Radeon HD 7970 Tri-FireResultsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-tri-fire-results/14406.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012We are still missing one card for quadfire (Kim Jong-un aidesprobably hijacked the package for his Christmas present), buttill then, here are some 3-way Crossfire results... 3DMark 11 v1.03 Extreme Preset (single card scores X3219)Test Setup:As the software voltage tool we used for our 1.26GHz coreoverclock yesterday didnt work with multiple cards, weclocked all the cards to 1100Mhz on the core and 1500Mhz on 9
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneUnigine Heaven 2.5 (single card scores 78.3fps) Battlefield 3 (DX11) 1080p Ultra Preset Going Hunting Single Player Level Fraps Runthrough Verdict:Computemark (single card scores 6951) With such stellar performance already on 3 cards, we really cant wait for our 4th card to arrive and extended voltage options to be available for multiple cards! A quick check on our power meter showed around 900W power usage while in Battlefield 3 (quite the GPU waller) - which again outclasses previous generation cards. AMD have really shut the door on its competitiors this time... AMD Postpones Radeon HD 7950 Until February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-postpones-radeon-hd-7950-until- february/14404.html 10
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneJanuary 3rd, 2012 Front of Box - one of the nicer boxes aroundWhen AMD pushed the introduction of the Radeon HD 7970from January 9, 2012 to December 22, 2011, the only thatactually launched were the reviews by selected press. Now,AMD is making sure the same thing does not happen with7950.By all standards, the introduction of Southern Islands GPUarchitecture is proving to be a success: the first card, RadeonHD 7970 launched on December 22, 2011 with the worldwideavailability coming next week (on the original launch date:January 9, 2012).However, while the Radeon HD 7970 is delighting us with Back of Box - Jonathan Fatal1ty Wendels face only appearsthe performance achieved and fantastic overclocks on air (we once here and his endorsement message. We also noticedcannot wait to see the water-blocks and LN2 cooling results), an alarming lack of any technical specs like DAC/ADC SNRthis was the first paper launch in ages. For reasons unknown, rating or sample rate/resolution - which even TaiwaneseAMD introduced the part without actual hardware availability. motherboard makers are eager to boast about on their RealtekKnowing that this came from the company that openly based implementations.criticized its competitors in the past for doing so, we wonderedis AMD planning another paper launch in the form of valuepart, the Radeon HD 7950.Not anymore: according to an e-mail from AMD, the companyis making sure that Radeon HD 7950 launches on the samedate as the retail availability, which is 1st week of February.Thats right, no 7950 coming on January 9, 2012.In a way, this is an appropriate delay as well since NVIDIAis widely expected to introduce its GK104, its first part basedon 28nm Kepler architecture in the last week of January or inearly February.From the looks of it, even though were still going throughthe hangover of New Years party, 2012 is looking even moreexciting on the GPU front. It looks like 28nm process fromTSMC is nothing short of brilliant. Quick Start leaflet and Driver CDQuick Look: Sound BlasterRecon3D Fatal1ty ProfessionalSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/quick-look-sound-blaster-recon3d-fatal1ty-professional/14401.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012Almost three months ago back in September of 2011, Creativeannounced their Sound Core3D™ "quad core" chipset, and ithas since featured in their latest gaming focused sound cardsand headsets as well as on motherboards like the ASRockX79 Extreme9. We got the Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1tyProfessional PCIe sound card in our labs today to see if itpleases the audiophilles or the hardcore gamer groups. Beamforming Microphone Array 11
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Hackers are working on sending their own satellites into orbit around the Earth as part of an effort to combat the rising threat of internet censorship, and are also planning to put an amateur astronaut on the moon. Hackers are working on sending their own satellites into orbit around the Earth as part of an effort to combat the rising threat of internet censorship. The Hackerspace Global Grid was revealed at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The proposals include developing and launching satellites in addition to a grid ofThe Card - Metal housing with a plastic window. Uses a PCIe x1 ground stations for tracking them. The idea is to have theinterface, which is good as legacy PCI slots are almost extinct ground stations built by individuals or small groups, dividing the cost and control. "The first goal is an uncensorable internet in space. Lets take the internet out of the control of terrestrial entities," said hacktivist Nick Farr, who put out a call for contributions to the project in August. The major obstacle to this endeavour is funding. Hobbyists have previously managed to get small satellites into orbit, but they are usually unreliable and difficult to track, which would be no good for the internet. Other obstacles include the technical difficulties of low-orbit versus geostationary satellites and the potential for governments to interfere with and disable satellites.Colour coded outputs for 5.1 audio, 600ohm ampedheadphone jack and TOSLINK Optical In/Out ports Three prototype ground stations are being planned for the first half of 2012. The group also hopes to give away working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress, with the aim to keep ground station costs around €100, making itHackers to build satellites to affordable for many people to participate in this space project.combat internet censorshipSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-to-build-satellites-to-combat- The hackers suggested they would even like to put an amateurinternet-censorship/14405.html astronaut on the moon within the next 23 years, though howJanuary 3rd, 2012 feasible this is remains in question, particularly given the technical and monetary barriers, as well as the potential safety threat. 12
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe idea of making space open to more than just governmentagencies is an interesting and welcome thought, however, and The Generation 7.5 graphics core in Haswell is, as thecould pave the way to some of humanitys greatest triumphs naming convention hints, a point upgrade of the seventhand discoveries. generation Ivy Bridge graphics engine. Up to 20 execution units, each 128 bits wide, are to be supported, and these are supposedly enhanced with a new GPU compute architecture. The other major additions include a new internal GPU cache,Haswell graphics hierarchical Z, as well as improved encode & decode pipelinesexpectations: A quantum leap for more hardware formats.or just another small step A very interesting productivity enhancement is the processorsforward? ability to simultaneously manage external display connection both by its own integrated graphics and the external PCIeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/haswell-graphics-expectations-a- GPU over up to two displays, avoiding the need for externalquantum-leap-or-just-another-small-step-forward-/14399.html switching hardware.January 3rd, 2012 How about the performance? It seems that the initial performance expectations arent that high - compared to each matching Ivy Bridge graphics level, were talking of maybe 20% average performance improvement. Two possible explanations come to mind, one being that Intel team is happy enough with the Ivy Bridge graphics speed-up, and focusesAs the Ivy Bridge processors from Intel comes out four months instead on features and power saving in Haswell (rememberfrom now, its graphics, with reportedly double the Sandy the power-focus on Haswell from their IDF keynote?), whileBridge GPU performance, would have an impact on entry level the other one is that the actual speed-up is to be way higher,discrete GPUs. Will Haswell continue with the same major especially in the high-graphics GT3 version, and that futureperformance jump, or just some moderate improvements? driver improvements should help as well.By now, we know that Ivy Bridge graphics, integrated in theCPU, will be quite a refresh compared to the current Sandy Well look more into the possible additional features andBridge capabilities. The performance, DX11 compatibility, and capabilities expected from Haswell generation graphics overhigh resolution multi-display capability should satisfy most time, however we also have to keep in mind that graphics is onemainstream users needs, somewhat reducing the entry-level capability where AMD has very strong credentials, includingdiscrete GPU market at that point. integrating it on the CPU. If, say, Llano graphics is roughly 2x that of Sandy Bridge (i.e. similar performance as Ivy Bridge),A year later, in early 2013, the next generation Haswell yet Haswell is another 20% or 70%, depending on the version,platform should see the light of the day, again first in the that would roughly match the performance of AMD Trinitymainstream PC and mobile arena. Haswell will again include graphics, which is, however, due much earlier - at about thegrapghics enhancements, but how far are those likely to go? same time as the Ivy Bridge itself. On the other hand, AMDHere we share some insights on the graphics side of Intels next is unlikely to have a Fusion integration with a Bulldozermajor X86 PC microarchitecture revision. follow-on on the high end desktop yet by early 2013, so the only competition that would beat Haswell at the time in the GPU department is another mainstream follow-on to Trinity, maybe in 20 nm GloFo process? AMD Radeon HD 7970 Voltage Mod - 1.26GHz flying on air Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-voltage- mod--1.26ghz-flying-on-air/14398.html January 3rd, 2012 One week ago, Santa Claus brought us the red themed AMD Radeon HD 7970, which practically smoked previous generation cards and showed great overclocking headroom. 13
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone For our first feature in 2012, we sacrificed our holidayweekend to bring you an exclusive look at some benchmarkresults achieved with a slight voltage bump and coreclocks raised to nearly 1.26GHz. Stay tuned also for ourrecord breaking 4-way Crossfire tests which should bedone this upcoming week! Update: "Lousy" Furmark Results(settings: http://imgur.com/WAuyP) spotted by sharp eyedviewers - even on the other benchies and BF3 (which walls theCPU to 99%), didnt see the temps go above the magical 66degrees (toasty Singapore ambient), measured by onboard i2csensor and ma fingers.If you recall our Radeon HD 7970 reference board review nottoo long ago, we got our card to overclock to 1125MHz core and1500Mhz memory, limited by a bios controlled clock ceilingand lack of voltage mod tools. Things changed on this NewYears weekend though...With core voltage bumped from 1.15v to 1.25v using publiclyavailable software and a special bios (9th Jan reveal), we gotthe core clock speed up to 1267MHz At 100% fan speed and overvolted, the GPU temps were still only a lukewarm 66 degrees celcius - which implies that the reference cooling solution could probably handle a lot more voltage Update 2/1/12: These were the latest Furmark 1.9.2 XtremeTest Setup: burn-in settings used (http://imgur.com/WAuyP) - different card but same settings. Even on the other benchies and BF3 (which walls the CPU to 99%), didnt see the temps go above the magical 66 degrees (toasty Singapore ambient), measured by onboard i2c sensor and ma fingers. 3DMark 11 1.03 Performance Preset (stock is P8227) 14
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone ComputeMark (stock is 5920 marks)3DMark 11 1.03 Extreme Preset (stock is X2764) The 28nm process and new GCN architecture have really done wonders for the performance and frequency headroom (VR- Zone Legend Shamino has achieved way better - 1.7GHz+ on LN2). Considering that the the temperatures were still in the 60s on full load, we simply cant wait for the software controlled voltage ceiling (currently 1.25v on the software we used) to be raised to push our clocks higher!. If you have a 7970 and good soldering skills, visit Shaminos Lair at kingpincooling forums for his guide on the HD 7970Unigine Heaven 2.5 (stock is 69.6fps) measuring points and hardware vmods. STAY TUNED FOR OUR POTENTIALLY RECORD BREAKING HD7970 4-WAY CROSSFIRE FEATURE THIS UPCOMING WEEK! Collins Dictionary now available online Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/collins-dictionary-now-available- online/14396.html January 3rd, 2012 Famous English dictionary by Collins is now avaliable online. The new beta website is designed to facilitate your referencing needs. Updates are on the way to expand the range of definitions and translated languages. Collins English Dictionary is the first dictionary to publish their contents online. Previously available with a major publisher, the beta website allows user to search for words to match some 120,000 entries available for free, including a list of possible leads for misspelled words. It supports 15
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonetranslations to French, German and Spanish, available viathe tabs above the entry field. With an expanding range ofthe word definitions, the online dictionary will be addinganother 100,000 entries by March, along with translations to35 different languages. For a year and a half, the Scotland-based team had been preparing the online publication. Headof digital at HarperCollins, Alex Brown, said: “We’ve broughttogether the web designers’ creativity with our own experienceof language and how it’s used to create a really nice, userfriendly but sharply designed website.”Sapphire Readies HD 7970with 1335 MHz GPU ClockSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-readies-hd-7970-with-1335-mhz-gpu-clock/14397.htmlJanuary 3rd, 2012We tend to be skeptical about AMD or NVIDIA claiming stellaroverclocking capabilities of their upcoming GPUs, but thistime, it seems AMD wasnt playing the same old PR games.Sapphire is readying a non-reference design HD 7970 graphicscard that boasts of 1335 MHz GPU clock speed. Out of the box!You read that right, 1335 MHz GPU core clock speed, out ofthe box! A leaked company document belonging to AMDsbiggest add-in board (AIB) partner, Sapphire, disclosed details Both "Atomic RX" and "Atomic WC" have the same exactsuch as clock-speeds, of pretty much every non-reference clock speeds - 1335 MHz core, 5735 MHz (1433 MHz actual)design Radeon HD 7970 graphics card that company has, in memory. The "Atomic RX" could be an air-cooled model,the works. These include Sapphires using brand markers - while the "Atomic WC" could be a liquid-cooled one. SapphireAtomic, Toxic, FLEX, Vapor, and Dual-Fan. The cards that will most likely use a closed-loop, pre-fitted water-coolingcaught our eyes are "Atomic RX" and "Atomic WC". solution. Other variants include Toxic 3G, with 1125 MHz core, 5600 MHz (1400 MHz actual) memory; FLEX 6G, with a flexible display output configuration of six mini-DisplayPort connectors, AMD reference clock speeds of 925/5500 MHz (core/memory effective), but with a whopping 6 GB of memory on board; VaporX 3G with 1010/5500 MHz (core/memory effective), Dual-Fan 3G, with a cost-effective double-fan cooler and AMD reference speeds; and "Da Original", which is the vanilla card that sticks completely to AMD reference board design. Boy, are we excited. Intel to offer seventh mobile 7- series chipset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-to-offer-seventh-mobile-7-series- chipset/14395.html January 3rd, 2012 16
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneQuite unexpectedly we got our hands on details of a seventh for the notebook makers than Anti-Theft technology andmobile chipset for Intels upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, a additional SATA ports and PCI Express lanes.model that has us wondering what Intel is playing at. Thechipset appears to be another budget model, yet it offers someadditional features compared to chipsets with higher model Elpida samples 4Gbit Wide IOnumbers. Mobile RAM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-samples-4gbit-wide-io-mobile- ram/14394.htmlQuite unexpectedly we got our hands on details of a seventh January 3rd, 2012mobile chipset for Intels upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, amodel that has us wondering what Intel is playing at. Thechipset appears to be another budget model, yet it offers someadditional features compared to chipsets with higher model 2012 is so far looking like itll be a great year for mobilenumbers. devices with plenty of quad core ARM implementationsThe chipset in question is the HM70 and it appears to be arriving, higher resolution screens expected, faster flashsomething of a request from OEMs as its something of a mix storage memory at ever increasing capacities and now, super-between the UM77 and the HM75. For starters it only has four fast, low power memory, at least if Elpida has anything to dolanes of PCI Express 2.0, the same as the UM77 chipset, yet it with it. The company has announced that it has started to shiphas support for two USB 3.0 ports, a feature lacking entirely samples of its new Wide IO Mobile RAM as well as its Mobilefrom the HM75. That said, it still only has half the USB 3.0 DDR3 RAM in 4Gbit capacities.ports of the other 7-series chipsets. Intel has also cut the totalnumber of USB 2.0 ports down to a mere six, again the sameas the UM77 chipset. 2012 is so far looking like itll be a great year for mobile devices with plenty of quad core ARM implementations arriving, higher resolution screens expected, faster flash storage memory at ever increasing capacities and now, super- fast, low power memory, at least if Elpida has anything to do with it. The company has announced that it has started to ship samples of its new Wide IO Mobile RAM as well as its Mobile DDR3 RAM in 4Gbit capacities. Lets start with the Mobile DDR3 or LPDDR3 as its also known as (not to be confused with Low Voltage DDR3) which is the next generation of "standard" DRAM to be used in mobile devices and its a simple evolution from LPDDR2. Were looking at a doubling in the data rate from 800MHz to 1600MHz, or from 3.2GB/s to 6.4GB/s if you prefer. LPDDR3 still uses a fairly narrow 32-bit bus and it will be available in sizes of 512, 1024 and 2048MB down the line, although initial sample shipments will be 512MB. LPDDR3 can of course be configured in dual-channel which effectively doubles the bandwidth and this is something wed expect to see in some high-end tablets where PCB space restrictions arent as much of a concern as they are in smartphones. So what about Wide IO Mobile RAM? Well, as the nameAs we move down the feature list we find that the HM70 only suggests it has a much wider bus than regular DRAM, in factsports four SATA ports of which only one is SATA 6Gbps, once its 512-bit wide, thats 16 times wider than that of LPDDR3 inmore mimicking the UM77. However, theres no support for single channel mode. However, the operating speed is a mereRAID or Smart Response, something it shares with the HM75 200MHz, but thanks to the wide interface data transfer speedsand HM76. Almost other features are present though with still hit 12.8GB/s. Elpida claims that the vastly lower clockthe exception of Anti-Theft technology and the ones intended speed of Wide IO Mobile RAM allows for up to a 50 percentfor corporate and business notebooks. Were not sure why power saving compared to todays LPDDR2. Just as with itsIntel would do a chipset without support for its Anti-Theft LPDDR3, well see capacities of 512, 1024 and 2048MB, buttechnology as this seems rather backwards. with initial shipments being limited to 512MB modules.What we dont know if package size or cost, but wed guess that The interesting thing here will be once clock speeds increase,were looking at pricing similar to the HM75, so somewhere as even fairly minor increases in the speed of Wide IO Mobilearound the US$40 mark. A very peculiar addition indeed, RAM (they really need to come up with a catchier namebut a chipset we have a feeling well be seeing in a lot more though) should result in big performance improvements.notebooks than the HM75, despite its omissions as we have Hopefully well see a widespread adoption of Wide IO Mobilea feeling that USB 3.0 will be a more appealing selling point RAM, but its not clear how easy it is to add support for it for 17
  • January 3rd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe SoC manufacturers, but its clear that it would require a January 3rd, 2012different memory interface than what is widely used today.Lenovo gives us a sneak peek Weve managed to dig out a few details of an upcoming mini-of its upcoming IdeaPad S110 ITX motherboard from Asus featuring Intels Atom D2500Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-gives-us-a-sneak-peek-of-its- processor and although this isnt the most exciting platform inupcoming-ideapad-s110/14393.html the world, Asus has created something a little bit different. InJanuary 3rd, 2012 fact, anyone looking at building a home server with some fancy features might just want to consider this board. Weve managed to dig out a few details of an upcoming mini-If a teaser video posted by Lenovo on YouTube is anything to ITX motherboard from Asus featuring Intels Atom D2500go by, Lenovo should be one of the first companies to launch processor and although this isnt the most exciting platform ina Cedar Trail-M netbook, although Lenovo seems to have the world, Asus has created something a little bit different. Inditched the term netbook in favour of "mini notebook". The fact, anyone looking at building a home server with some fancyIdeaPad S110 should feature the new Atom N2600 processor features might just want to consider this board.as well as a few other additions that most netbooks dont have. The model name is D25NM10-I/CSM and its quite different from the boards weve seen from ASRock, as Asus is targetingIf a teaser video posted by Lenovo on YouTube is anything to quite a different market segment. In reality this ought to be ango by, Lenovo should be one of the first companies to launch industrial PC motherboard judging by the fact that it has ana Cedar Trail-M netbook, although Lenovo seems to have LVDS connector, five serial ports (of which two are RS422/485ditched the term netbook in favour of "mini notebook". The compatible) and even a pin header for a parallel port. However,IdeaPad S110 should feature the new Atom N2600 processor Asus has also included a PCI Express x1 and a mini PCI Expressas well as a few other additions that most netbooks dont have. expansion slot, a DVI port and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet portsThe video gives away the fact that the IdeaPad S110 will come making this an interesting solution for a home server.in a choice of red, blue, white or black. It has a 10.1-inch screen, Other features include an on-board DC-DC converter, 5.1-but this is apparently an HD resolution screen, although by channel audio, a pair of SATA ports, a total of eight USB 2.0this we presume Lenovo means 1366x768 at the most. It also ports (four via two headers), a PS/2 port, a D-sub connectorcomes with an optional 720p webcam, USB 3.0 connectivity, and a pin header for S/PDIF out. Sadly we dont have a pictureWi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity. of the board, but we can imagine it being a fairly crampedA few other features were also dug out thanks to some helpful board considering the amount of features Asus has squeezedonline retailers that have already listed the IdeaPad S110 for in. Intel has finally allowed for up to 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3sale and as such we know we can expect 1GB of RAM and RAM to be supported by its Atom processors and this furthera 320GB hard drive as standard. A bit sting in our opinion makes this a decent little server board.especially considering how cheap RAM is these days, but The CPU is passively cooled and with an external powertypical for a netbook. Lenovo also claims that the IdeaPad S110 adapter theres no noise from the PSU either. The onlyweighs in at 1.15kg and measures in at 16mm thick/thin and limitation as far as a server is concerned is the two SATA ports,that it comes with "long battery life for extended use" without but at least a PCI Express RAID card could be connected to thegoing into any details. PCI Express slot if need be. The question is how much Asus isWe managed to dig up some official pricing and at least in planning on charging for this board, as we have a feeling itllCanada the list price excluding tax is CAD$299.99 (S$382) be quite expensive due to all the industrial PC features, but wewhich isnt terrible, but one should take into consideration that might be wrong here. No word on when itll be available, butIntel is offering its Cedar Trail Atom processors at a much wed expect it to arrive shortly.more affordable price than the previous generation with anAtom N2600 having an Intel list price of a mere US$42 whichshould be compared to US$86 for either of the Atom N550 orN570, a US$46 price difference that would be directly reflectedin the price of the actual device.Asus to launch Atom D2500mini-ITX motherboardSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-to-launch-atom-d2500-mini-itx-motherboard/14392.html 18
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! in terms of what the user would notice in terms of delay, yet VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication big in terms of power saved. covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. An added bonus is that the host controller PHY would also be powered down, saving further power. The problem here is thatSATA-IO announces DevSleep it wouldnt work with todays SATA controller, as a DevSleep side-band signal would be needed to allow the host and devicefor reduced power draw of to communicate as to when to go to sleep and when to wake up. As such its not likely that well see DevSleep support inSATA devices any SATA devices this year, although the information providedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sata-io-announces-devsleep-for- by the SATA-IO doesnt really explain what is needed to addreduced-power-draw-of-sata-devices/14451.html the extra side-band signalling, so its entirely possible that thisJanuary 5th, 2012 is a very minor addition that could easily be implemented in current SATA hardware. Google drops Intel in favour of ARM for Google TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-drops-intel-in-favour-of-arm-We seem to be living in the age of power frugality when it for-google-tv/14450.htmlcomes to mobile computing devices and although this is by no January 5th, 2012means a bad thing in most cases, were starting to wonder if thetechnology companies arent looking in the wrong directionsometimes. Now the SATA-IO is the latest organization tojoin with a new power saving feature called DevSleep which is In a surprise to no-one move, Google or rather Marvell hasmeant to help reduce the power of SATA devices. come clean on the fact that Google TV will be moving away from Intel and onto ARM. The first new Google TV boxes should be based on the Marvell Armada 1500 HD media SoCWe seem to be living in the age of power frugality when it and should make a debut at CES next week.comes to mobile computing devices and although this is by nomeans a bad thing in most cases, were starting to wonder if thetechnology companies arent looking in the wrong direction In a surprise to no-one move, Google or rather Marvell hassometimes. Now the SATA-IO is the latest organization to come clean on the fact that Google TV will be moving awayjoin with a new power saving feature called DevSleep which is from Intel and onto ARM. The first new Google TV boxesmeant to help reduce the power of SATA devices. should be based on the Marvell Armada 1500 HD media SoCAccording to Microsoft and Intel the two most power hungry and should make a debut at CES next week.devices in a notebook is the hard drive and the display and its The Armada 1500 (also known as the 88DE3100) is a brandclear that the SATA-IO is trying to address the first one of these new SoC from Marvell and an up to date version of the oldertwo categories. What DevSleep enables is the ability for a SATA Armada 1000, a chip that found its way into some Blu-raydevice such as an SSD or hard drive to more or less power itself players among other things. The Armada 1500 sports a customoff entirely when not in use. This is quite different from the PJ4B dual core ARM v6/7 processor designed by Marvellvarious slumber modes currently available for SATA devices. which is said to be Cortex-A9 compatible. Marvell claimsOne problem with DevSleep is that new device and host 2.61 DMIPS per MHz per core, somewhat faster than the 2.5controllers would need to be made that supports DevSleep, DMIPS for a standard Cortex-A9 implementation. Accordingas the PHY and other parts of the storage device would be to the spec sheet, each core is clocked at 1.2GHz which givescompletely powered off when the device is in DevSleep mode. us a performance of just over 6200 DMIPS. Marvell has alsoIn DevSleep mode a SATA device is meant to draw less than included Neon support and support for Intel WMMX in the5mW, yet have a response time of less than 20ms. This is a lot Armada 1500.quicker than resuming a notebook from standby and should Marvell has also added a 3D graphics core to the Armada 1500,equate to a similar power draw. A SATA device today would although this is not an in-house design, as Marvell has licenseddraw in the region of 50-100mW in its lowest slumber mode, the GC1000 from Vivante. According to Anandtech this is anyet still take 10ms to respond, so the trade-off here is very small OpenGL-ES 1.1/2.0 port with a core clock of 750MHz, but 1
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe details are fairly thin with regards to how this GPU core A file-sharing organisation has gained official recognitioncompares to that seen in other Cortex-A9 SoCs. Marvell has in Sweden as a religion, an unusual move that could haveof course also included its own Qdeo post processing engine repercussions on the debate about the illegal downloading ofwith supports per-pixel 3D noise reduction and de-interlacing, files.scaling and a wide range of other post processing features. A file-sharing organisation has gained official recognition in Sweden as a religion, an unusual move that could have repercussions on the debate about the illegal downloading of files. The Church of Kopimism considers “kopyacting”, or file- sharing, to be a religious service, despite most people seeing itOther hardware features include support for 32-bit DDR3 as little more than a digital act.800MHz memory, support for various types of Flash memory,HDMI 1.4 support, SATA 3.0 (were not sure if Marvell refersto 3Gbps or 6Gbps here), 10/100Mbit Ethernet, SDIO, USB Kopimism gained recognition as a religion just before2.0 connectivity and interestingly support for digital video Christmas after applying three times to the Swedishinput. In the latter case it seems like Marvell is hoping for its government agency Kammarkollegiet. Not only is file-sharingArmada 1500 to end up in some TVs and as such it would need considered its central sacrament, the CTRL+C and CTRLto have HDMI inputs, although it will be interesting to see if +V shortcuts for copying and pasting are viewed as sacredanyone will create a device that will allow for recording from symbols.the digital input.Marvell has also included support for a ton of codecs in itsVMeta video engine and it can decode two streams at once.It handles just about every format out there including HighProfile H.264, VC-1 Advanced profile, DivX-HD, VP6/8 in HD,Real Video 9/10 up to 1080p and a bunch of other formats.We should point out that theres support for Blu-ray 3D video,although we dont expect this to be a feature of any newGoogle TV products, but it should as such also handle 3D TVbroadcasts. On the audio side of things the Armada 1500 willhandle multi-channel Dolby and DTS up to 7.1-channels.Beyond Google TV, Marvell is also claiming support forAndroid and various Linux operating systems. The plannedimplementations are as weve mentioned Google TV, smartTVs, set top boxes of various kinds, Blu-ray players and allkinds of media players. Marvell appears to have a well featuredsolution here, albeit maybe not quite as flexible as an x86 The group is run by Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old student ofsetup, but vastly cheaper. Marvells own demo system that you philosophy, who is now the spiritual leader of Kopimi, thecan see pictured above might not look that impressive, but people who follow the tenets of this new religion, whichremember that this isnt what Googles partners products will does not explicitly support illegal file-sharing, but the generallook like. Time will tell of Google TV 2.0 will be a success or not, free exchange of information. There are likely millions ofbut if the price can be brought down to something much more unknowing adherents of Kopimism throughout the world.reasonable than the first generation hardware and if Googlecan put together slightly better software, then we see no reasonbar that of Google being shut out by the content providers that While this might sound like something akin to the idea ofthe new Google TV boxes shouldnt be a success. the Jedi religion, it could have a monumental effect on the legality of various laws against illegal file-sharing, as internetSwedish file-sharing group cuts and website blocks could be seen as religious persecution, a violation of a fundamental human right.recognised as a religionSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/swedish-file-sharing-group-recognised-as-a-religion/14449.html File-sharing remains one of the big debates of modern society,January 5th, 2012 with widespread opposition to various proposed laws that many see as internet censorship. Political groups like the Pirate Party have formed in recent years, and now advocates of file-sharing can add the divine to their list of supporters. 2
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApple hires Adobe executive AMD Radeon HD 7970 Quadfor iAd position CrossfireX: The Stock AirSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-hires-adobe-executive-for-iad-position/14447.html Cooling Champion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-quad-crossfirex-January 5th, 2012 the-stock-air-cooling-champion/14444.html January 5th, 2012Reports suggest that Apple has hired Todd Teresi, an Adobeexecutive, for its iAd advertising platform, an ironic move Armed with only our fists, we slayed the murderous fireconsidering the companies past rivalry. breathing dragon and rescued the princess (actually the last HD 7970 to complete our 4-way quadfire feature). This time,Reports suggest that Apple has hired Todd Teresi, an Adobe we have also included 5760x1080 Eyefinity tests in Battlefieldexecutive, for its iAd advertising platform, an ironic move 3 and DiRT3, complete with videos!considering the companies past rivalry. Test Setup: This time weve upgraded our CPU cooling to a XSPC RX360Teresi previously held the role of vice-president of Adobes kit and clocked it higher at 4.8GHz (LinX 4gb 10 runs stable).media solutions group and is now working as vice-president Unfortunately we still couldnt get any of the availableof iAd, despite the lack of a formal announcement of the overclocking tools to set voltages or core clocks beyondemployment shift. 1125MHz on simultaneously all 4 cards without running into BSODs or weird artifacts, so we were forced to use theThe position opened up after the founder of Quattro Wireless, restrictive AMD Overdrive to run our cards @ 1100/1500MHzthe firm Apple acquired and turned into iAd, stepped down,suggesting all was not well in Apples mobile advertisingdivision.The move is particularly interesting given strained relationsbetween the two companies after Steve Jobs dismissed Flashas outdated and insecure.Apple launched iAd in 2010 in an attempt to monopolise onthe potential ad revenue that could be made from the boomingsmartphone and tablet sectors, an area that Google has beenquite successful in. Some believe iAd has failed to achieve whatApple set out to do, however, with criticisms over its high costand limited exposure.“Charging premium prices and reaching only Apple devices is amuch harder sell,” said EMarket analyst Noah Elkin, accordingto Bloomberg. “That has been a huge stumbling block.”This might explain why Apple brought Teresi on board, ashe has extensive experience in the media and advertisingsector, working for both Adobes digital publishing businessand Yahoos publishing sales. Whether or not he can turn iAdinto the number one mobile advertising business remains tobe seen. 3
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3DMark Vantage Performance Preset (http://3dmark.com/3dmv/3788612) Unigine Heaven Benchmark (hwbot.org Submission)The Tests:3DMark 11 v1.03 Extreme Preset(http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2480832) LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark Tool (single card scores 19238)3DMark 11 v1.03 Performance Preset(http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2480813) 4
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone The 14-inch ThinkPad T430u offers the portability of an ultrabook with a number of useful business features, suchLenovo announces ThinkPad as Intels Small Business Advantage productivity and securityHybrid laptop and business tools. Users can choose from a variety of Intel Core processors, Intel integrated or Nvidia graphics, and an SSD or HDD. It alsoultrabook has a fast boot and resume feature and a battery life of up toSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-announces-thinkpad-hybrid- six hours.laptop-and-business-ultrabook/14446.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012 The X1 Hybrid will be available in the second quarter for around $1,599, while the T430u will come out in the third quarter for roughly $849. Broadcom launches its firstLenovo has announced its first ThinkPad Hybrid laptop 802.11ac Gigabit 5G WiFiand first business ultrabook, combining portability with chipsenterprise-class features and power-saving options. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-launches-its-first-802.11ac-Lenovo has announced its first ThinkPad Hybrid laptop and gigabit-5g-wifi-chips/14445.htmlfirst business ultrabook. January 5th, 2012The 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Hybrid features manyimprovements over its predecessor, the X1, such as double theCPU speed and quadruple the GPU performance. Its already been five years since 802.11n arrived, althoughOne of the more interesting elements of the X1 Hybrid is back then in its draft standard and things have progressedits instant media mode, which doubles the battery life to 10 slowly since then, although some 450Mbps hardware startedhours and effectively gives the laptop some PC functionality, to show up last year. This year looks set to be the launch forexplaining the Hybrid name. This mode, which can be the 802.11ac standard, also known as 5G WiFi which promisesaccessed instantly by clicking an icon on the homescreen, Gigabit speeds, better coverage, improved reliability and lowerutilises a Qualcomm dual-core processor, up to 16GB of RAM, power usage and Broadcom looks set to be one of the first chipand a custom Linux-based operating system. The battery can makers for the new standard.also be charged up to 80 percent in half an hour. Its already been five years since 802.11n arrived, althoughThe X1 Hybrid comes with some business features like back then in its draft standard and things have progressedencrypted hard drives, remote management support, and a slowly since then, although some 450Mbps hardware startedfingerprint reader, in addition to having everything required to show up last year. This year looks set to be the launch forfor voice and video conferencing. the 802.11ac standard, also known as 5G WiFi which promises Gigabit speeds, better coverage, improved reliability and lower 5
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonepower usage and Broadcom looks set to be one of the first chipmakers for the new standard.Weve already written about the 802.11ac standard, althoughthat was nearly a year ago and things seem to have progressedquicker than originally anticipated. To do a quick recap andcatch-up 802.11ac will operate on the 5GHz band, althoughoriginally it was said to operate at 6GHz and below, althoughno specific frequency was given. By now its clear that 802.11acwill be using the same 5GHz band as 802.11a/n, althoughwith some significant differences. For starters 802.11ac willuse 80 and 160MHz channel width compared to a maximumof 40MHz for 802.11n. Next up we have the BCM4352 and BCM43526 which supports two streams and speeds of up to 867Mbps. The feature set is the same here, although the BCM4352 has a PCI Express 2.0 interface, while the BCM43526 gets to make do with USB 2.0 and clearly will never reach its advertised speeds due to the USB 2.0 bottle neck. That said, its possible that the BCM43526 will still perform better than the BCM43516 in some environments thanks to its dual antenna configuration. The BCM43526 is intended for use in PCs, TVs and other A/V products according to Broadcom, while the BCM4352 is802.11ac also supports twice as many MIMO spatial streams intended for PCs, access points, routers and internet gateways.as 802.11n (8 vs. 4), an increase of the QAM (Quadrature The fourth and final product is the BCM4360 which supportsamplitude modulation) count from 64 to 256 and it three streams and speeds of up to 1.3Gbps. Interestingly itswill support multi-user MIMO which allows for further still only using 80MHz per channel, so it appears that wellincreased performance depending on the configuration of the have to wait for 160MHz per channel to make an appearancetransmitting and receiving end. Not all devices will support either from one of Broadcoms competitors, or at a later pointGigabit speed, as smaller devices are likely to end up much in time. The BCM4360 uses a PCI Express 2.0 interface and isslower than that due to the inability to fit enough antennas. intended for use in PCs, access points, routers and gateways.This is one of the downsides of 802.11ac, as to reach reallyhigh speeds, at least two, preferably three or four antennas Broadcom will be demoing partner products at CES andneed to be used, although eight antenna configurations are judging by the quotes in Broadcoms press release we canalso planned. expect products from Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link, Huawei, Lenovo, Motorola, Netgear, Ubee and ZTE that supportsBroadcom has announced four new chipsets starting with the 802.11ac. As to how many will actually use BroadcomsBCM43516 which is intended for PCs and other consumer solutions is a different matter, but it looks like wirelesselectronics devices. Its a single chip solution that offers speeds networking is set to get a significant speed boost this year, evenof up to 433Mbps using 80MHz channel width, dual-band if wired Ethernet isnt likely to be disappearing any time soon.support with current Wi-Fi networks and a USB 2.0 interface.Wed say Broadcom is pushing it a bit here, as USB 2.0 hasa theoretical peak bandwidth of 480Mbps and although we More Cedar Trail Atoms onwouldnt expect to see wireless speeds of 433Mbps, there isntmuch life left in the old USB 2.0 standard when it comes to the waynew high-speed wireless technologies. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-cedar-trail-atom-s-on-the- way/14443.html January 5th, 2012 6
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneIntel has only just gotten its Cedar Trail-M processors out ofthe door, but the company is already planning new, slightly Intel Prepares for Ivy Bridge:faster models in the mobile space, as well as a new desktop EOLs 25 Desktop Processorspart. Intel has kindly leaked all the details of the three Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-prepares-for-ivy-bridge-eols-25-upcoming models in a spec sheet that recently got updated and desktop-processors/14439.htmlif you were considering getting a new netbook, it might very January 5th, 2012well be worth holding off a little bit if you can wait.Intel has only just gotten its Cedar Trail-M processors out ofthe door, but the company is already planning new, slightlyfaster models in the mobile space, as well as a new desktoppart. Intel has kindly leaked all the details of the threeupcoming models in a spec sheet that recently got updated and The company is getting ready to unleash the 22nm Ivy Bridgeif you were considering getting a new netbook, it might very processors to the world by choosing to kill a lot of 32nmwell be worth holding off a little bit if you can wait. processors which currently make the desktop mix.The three new models are the D2550, N2650 and N2850. Thedesktop focused D2550 is clocked at the same 1.86GHz as theD2500, but Intel bumped the GPU clock speed from 400 to640MHz giving the D2550 the same GPU spec as the D2700.The increased GPU clock means that the D2550 will supportBlu-ray playback, something the D2500 doesnt. The overallTDP hasnt increased for the D2550, although according toIntels spec sheet, the idle TDP is up, albeit a mere 0.02W. In order to prepare for the launch, the company announcedAs for the mobile parts, the N2650 has been given a fairly the discontinuation (EOL, End of Life product status) fornominal speed bump of 100MHz, something that increased 25 various desktop models based on LGA1155, LGA1156 andthe TDP by 0.1W compared to the N2600. We should point LGA1366 sockets. All of the EOLed models are based of 32nmout that the N26x0 parts only supports 2GB of memory and as Westmere and Sandy Bridge architectures:such only a single DIMM, a move by Intel that we dont quite As you can see, this is a thorough cleanup of all sockets,understand. with LGA1156 and LGA1366 essentially being terminated (i7The N2850 got bumped 140MHz, again a very small 970, 980, 980X were all EOL’ed during 2011), simplifying theperformance increase and as with the N2650 the TDP lineup to only feature the LGA1155 and LGA2011 sockets.increased by 0.1W, although in this case over the N2800.Interestingly Intel is listing the average power draw as 0.11Wless than the N2800 despite the higher clock speed. Both of the Arctic Comes Out with a newnew N models also supports DDR3L, something were not sureif the first two models do and the spec sheet isnt clear here as High-Performance Cooler forit mentions the refreshed SKU which we presume is the N2650 Radeon HD 7970and N2850. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arctic-comes-out-with-a-new-high- performance-cooler-for-radeon-hd-7970/14438.html 7
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone MSI announces new powerfulJanuary 5th, 2012 GT685 gaming laptop Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-announces-new-powerful-gt685- gaming-laptop/14442.html January 5th, 2012As the retail launch of Radeon HD 7970 approaches (January9, 2012), the ecosystem is forming around the product: liquidand air cooling solutions.As the retail launch of Radeon HD 7970 approaches (January9, 2012), the ecosystem is forming around the product:while we already saw waterblocks from Slovenian EK and MSI has announced their new ultimate gaming laptop, theGerman Aqua Computer, Far East is waking up with the high- GT685, which features the second generation Intel Core i7performance air cooling: this time around, news are coming quad processor, 32GB DDR3 memory, and Nvidia GeForcefrom Hong Kong. GTX 580M, the worlds fastest discrete graphics card in a laptop. This latest MSI gaming laptop features top-of-the-line hardware, including Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M, which claimsArctic launched Accelero Xtreme 7970, a high-performance to be the most powerful discrete graphics card in a laptopcooler featuring a combination of copper base, six copper that provides superb display performance. The graphics cardheatpipes (6mm diameter), 84 aluminum fins and three boasts 384 more CUDAs than the previous generation, giving92mm fans that operate from 900 to 2000 rpm, depending on it 256-bit memory bandwdith and 2GB GDDR5 VRAM. Thisthe mode selected. The copper base features a MX-4 thermal translates to seamless experience with crisp and clear graphicscompound, so you don’t need to look for additional high- and more detailed 3D images, and you can enjoy seriousperformance TIM (Thermal Interface Material). gaming without worrying that your laptop can’t keep up. Powered by second generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with support of Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, the GT685 offers superb computing performance. On top of that, it comes equipped with four DDR3 memory slots to give a total of 32GB memory, as well as RAID 0 accelerated dual hard drive architecture that can increase hard drive read speeds by 70%. Other features include Dynaudio sound technology for faithful stereo reproduction, THX TruStudio Pro technology that provides cinematic-quality audio, and full high definition 16:9 widescreen display. The MSI GT685 also comes with an HDMI port for your to output your videos on any large-screenTrue, the potential show stopper is massive weight of the LCD televisions.heatsink - at 653 grams or almost 1.5 pounds this triple-slotheatsink definitely requires to be mounted inside the case.If you’re interested in getting a 3rd party cooling for your HP unveils new consumerprecious new 7970, this beast comes to market just before PCs, including Omni27, theChinese New Year (shipping as of week starting January 30)for a price just below USD100 mark - $97.95 in the US, €73.83 companys first 27-inch all-in-in European Union and 126 SGD in Singapore. one PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-unveils-new-consumer-pcs- including-omni27-the-company-s-first-27-inch-all-in-one-pc/14440.html 8
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneJanuary 5th, 2012Just few days into 2012, HP has recently announced theirnew line of consumer PCs and a notebook docking monitorthat offer stylish design and superb performance. Among theproducts is the HP Omni27, which is the companys first 27-inch all-in-one PC. HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9 The HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9 is the company’s most powerful Pavilion PC to date, with futuristic design and superb performance for users who enjoy content creation and immersive gaming. It has an armor plating that extends across the top and front of the bezel and attention-grabbing lighting in red, which makes the HPE Phoenix stand out among today’s desktop PCs. The HPE Phoenix has room for up to 16GB of DDR3 memory and three internal hard drives, as well as optional liquid cooling system to draw heat away from high-performance processors. It also comes equipped with high-end discrete graphics cards that can support multipleHP Omni27 all-in-one PC displays, while delivering amazing video performance and picture quality. Gamers can enjoy RIFT Digital Collector’sHP has announced their new line-up of consumer PCs, Edition, the latest massively multiplayer online role-playingas well as notebook docking monitor with enhanced game (MMORPG) from Trion. With every purchase of HPdesign, performance and convenience for consumers and Pavilion HPE Phoenix, users can download and enjoy freeprofessionals. The HP Omni27 all-in-one PC is designed access to RIFT for sixty days, and following that a monthlyspecifically for users who want stylish design, simplicity and subscription of around US$15 for continuous access to theperformance. It has a brilliant 27-inch high-definition flat game. The HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9 PCs are expected topanel display with edge-to-edge glass and can tilt up to be available from end January 2012 in APJ at a starting price25-degree to suit users viewing preference. The all-in-one of approximately US$1,599.claims to be the companys first non-touch PC to featureHP’s Magic Canvas software, which allows the desktop toexpand horizontally and accommodate photos, videos as wellas applications.With convenient features such as HP LinkUp Technology,users can easily access and edit content from a notebook PC onthe Omni27’s large display with little hassles. The HP Omni27offers multi-core processors, advanced high definition (HD)graphics and up to 2TB of storage, and standard featuresincluding Beats Audio, Blu-Ray disc drive and optional TVtuner. The HP Omni27 All-in-One PCs are expected to retail inAPJ at a starting price of approximately US$1,199. 9
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneHP Compaq L2311c Of course this rebrand was expected considering previous reports and HD 7000M announcements. In addition OEMThe HP Compaq L2311c 23-inch Notebook Docking Monitor versions of HD 7500, 7400 and 7300 are all expected tois targeted at mobile professionals who wants a desktop be rebrands, while HD 7700 up will feature GCN 28nmexperience via an easy connection with a USB cable to their GPUs. Of course, the gap between HD 7600 and HD 7700notebook PC with a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. The Notebook will be disproportionate, and might create a gap in AMDsDocking Monitor sports a full high-definition (HD) LED Radeon HD 7000 line-up. Judging by NVIDIAs strategy wihbacklit LCD display and features HP Smart AC Technology GeForce 600M it is likely NVIDIA will also follow a similarthat powers and charges HP notebook PCs while also detecting strategy - rebrands for entry-level to mainstream GeForceand regulating the capacity of the electrical current. It also 600M products.features a built-in 720p HD webcam and is equipped with HPMyRoom business edition software and Cyberlink YouCam, For now, the HD 7670 remains an OEM only product.a productive webcam tool that eases communication with However, it may eventually make it to the retail market - asco-workers and clients in any location. The HP Compaq HD 6700 did.L2311c is expected to be available in APJ at a startingprice of approximately US$319. The availability date will beannounced at a later stage. Nakamichi introduces cube-The HP LV1911 and LV2011 are the latest LED backlit LCD sized "My Mini Plus" for musicmonitors that claim to provide business performance atbudget-friendly prices. The monitors come in attractive, slim on the go Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nakamichi-introduces-cube-sized-my-form factors, and consumes lesser power compared to CCFL mini-plus-for-music-on-the-go/14437.htmlpanel monitors. The HP LV1911 and LV2011 have a 18.5- and January 5th, 201219.5-inch respectively, offer VGA inputs, 3,000,000:1 dynamiccontrast ratios and 5ms response times. Both monitorsare expected to be available in APJ at a starting price ofapproximately US$125 and US$135, respectively.Availability date for all HP products will be announced later. Small, portable speakers looked to be the in-thing these days.AMD releases OEM Radeon HD Japanese audio company Nakamichi has launched "My Mini7670 Plus", a new range of stylish looking mini speakers with built- in radio in Singapore.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-releases-oem-radeon-hd-7670/14441.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012AMD has quietly announced the second desktop product in itsRadeon HD 7000 range - HD 7670 for OEMs. Theres nothingnew about the 7670 OEM however - it is simply a rebrandedHD 6670.AMD has quietly announced the second desktop product in itsRadeon HD 7000 range - HD 7670 for OEMs. Theres nothingnew about the 7670 OEM however - it is simply a rebranded Renowned Japanese high fidelity audio company, Nakamichi,HD 6670. has launched a collection of stylish mini speakers with radioThe specifications and performance are identical to HD 6670. for music lovers on the go. The cube-sized speaker, whichBoth are based on Turks XT, featuring 480 VLIW-5 SP, 24 measures 5cm on every side and weighs 139g, claims to offerTMU and 8 ROPs running at 800 MHz. Upto 1GB GDDR5 exceptional audio quality. The Nakamichi "My Mini Plus" fitsat 4 GHz is mated to a 128-bit interface. HD 6670 held the easily into your bag, charges via a USB connection to your PCdistinction of being the fastest graphics card not requiring an or laptop and on full charge, it can provide up to five hoursaddition PCIe connector (i.e. it draws all its power from the of non-stop music playback. The speaker can also play musicPCIe slot) which is what made it popular with OEMs. The HD from microSD card and it has built-in FM radio function for7670 powers HPs upcoming Phoenix products and is likely to you to listen to your favorite channel. Available in eight colors -show up in a few OEM desktops around CES 2012 time. Light Pink, Fuchsia, Purple, Red, Blue, Black, Lime Green, and Silver; The "My Mini Plus" by Nakamichi will be available at CK Tang, Technobay level 3, epi lifestyle, and other premium 10
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneNakamichi authorized reseller stores from mid January 2012 January 5th, 2012at S$69.90 (inclusive of GST)Nokia plans to launch Lumia900 at CES 2012Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-plans-to-launch-lumia-900-at-ces-2012/14436.html Its hard not to get a bit frustrated with Intel and its manyJanuary 5th, 2012 proprietary technologies, although at least a few things seems to be changing slowly but surely when it comes to WiDi, Intels video streaming technology over Wi-Fi. Weve managed to dig up a fair bit of news as to what to expect in 2012 from WiDi and some things are being improved while others remain the same.The Nokia Lumia 900 Ace was recently spotted on Nokia Pulse Its hard not to get a bit frustrated with Intel and its manywebsite which has the capacitive touch buttons that are placed proprietary technologies, although at least a few things seemscloser to the edge, compared to the Lumia 800. It was also to be changing slowly but surely when it comes to WiDi, Intelsreported that the Finnish company would be launching the video streaming technology over Wi-Fi. Weve managed to digphone at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas up a fair bit of news as to what to expect in 2012 from WiDi andnext week. some things are being improved while others remain the same. For starters Intel has decided to take advantage of Wi-Fi Direct for the discover, pairing and connect part of WiDi which should make it easier for its partners that built the receivers. Intel will also be supporting Wi-Fi Display, but only for basic features. If you want to be able to play back 1080p video, especially copy protected content, then you need full-on WiDi support on the receiving end. This year Intel is also adding support for 3D video and 24fps video such as certain Blu-ray discs. It will also be possible to set up an extended display over WiDi, something that could actually be quite handy in certain situations. One interesting thing is that Intel is planning on offering WiDi support on desktops, a feature we can see at least a few people wanting. That said, if you were hoping for WiDi support in theAccording to sources, Nokia will be announcing the new Lumia upcoming Windows 8 tablets, then it looks like youre out of900 Ace (codenamed Eloko) at the 2012 Consumer Electronics luck, as this isnt likely to happen this year at least. Beyond theShow (CES) next week. Weighing 160g, the phone is said to small adapters youve had to connect to your TV so far to getbe equipped with a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB memory and WiDi support, Intel is apparently hoping to get its technology8-megapixel rear camera. The Lumia 900 will feature a 4.3- into TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players (really?) and variousinch WVGA Nokia ClearBlack AMOLED display, which is other devices of which some will simply be able to have a pieceslightly bigger than the 3.7-inch of the Lumia 800, although of software loaded to enable WiDi support.the resolution is the same as its older sibling. It will also come Were still not sold on Intels WiDi technology, mostly becausewith 1830mAh battery, and runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango so few notebooks in the grand scheme of things are sold withoperating system. No word on the pricing or availability yet, Intel Wi-Fi cards that support WiDi and this is one of thethough all could be revealed at CES next week. The company is biggest failings of the technology. We fully understand Intelsalso expected to announce a mid-range device, the Lumia 719. argument here, but many notebook vendors would simply not put Intel Wi-Fi cards in their notebooks due to the costIntel WiDi to get cheaper, difference compared to the many other options available to them. Still, if more Wi-Fi enabled devices will start to supportbetter and maybe inside TVs WiDi theres a chance that things will change, but were hopingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-widi-to-get-cheaper-better-and- for a more open standard to take over what Intel has started.maybe-inside-tvs/14435.html Roku goes tiny with its upcoming Streaming Stick Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/roku-goes-tiny-with-its-upcoming- streaming-stick/14434.html 11
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneJanuary 5th, 2012Its really a shame that Rokus products are only available inthe US due to the technicalities of streaming content over theinternet, something the traditional TV companies obviouslyare very much against even though they are allowing for it toa degree. The company has come up with a simple and elegantsolution that would turn any TV into a smart TV, without theneed of a clunky box.Its really a shame that Rokus products are only available inthe US due to the technicalities of streaming content over theinternet, something the traditional TV companies obviouslyare very much against even though they are allowing for it toa degree. The company has come up with a simple and elegantsolution that would turn any TV into a smart TV, without theneed of a clunky box.The device in question is called the Roku Streaming Stickwhich is said to be about the size of a USB flash drive, yetit packs so much more inside. Roku hasnt gone into toomuch with regards to the specific hardware, but the Streaming Roku is expecting the Streaming Stick to retail for somewhereStick will feature an SoC, memory and Wi-Fi as well as some between US$50-100 (S$65-130) when it arrives later this year,software of course. However, unlike a USB flash drive the although Roku is also hoping to bundle it with some TVs. OneStreaming Stick sports an HDMI port, or rather an MHL port. problem Roku has though is the small install base of MHLIf you remember, MHL or Mobile High-definition Link is a equipped TVs, but it shouldnt be too hard to make some kindcombo port that offers HDMI and USB in one. of power adapter. We can see a lot of companies coming up with their own versions of this, as if the technology can be compacted down to this size, why would you want a larger box sitting around next to your TV? Broadcom announces smart TV chips Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-smart-tv- chips/14433.html January 5th, 2012In the case of TVs it appears that this port is a standard sizeHDMI port judging by the pictures from Roku and not a microUSB port as it is on smartphones. Plonk the Roku StreamingStick into a TV with one of these ports and youve got all the Just ahead of CES, Broadcom has announced four newfunctionality of a Roku box without having to find space for solutions related to Smart TVs which will be displayed at thethe box itself. The only problem we see with this is how you show. Some of the chips are intended for integration inside theactually control the Streaming Stick unless its done over Wi- TV unit while others are destined for media streamers or whatFi or some other wireless technology, as it would be hidden Broadcom calls Over-the-Top media players.behind the TV and as such an IR remote wouldnt work. Just ahead of CES, Broadcom has announced four new solutions related to Smart TVs which will be displayed at the show. Some of the chips are intended for integration inside the TV unit while others are destined for media streamers or what Broadcom calls Over-the-Top media players. It would seem that smart TV is not a sexy word any more as Broadcom is using the term hybrid TV instead, although for what its worth, its pretty much the same thing. What is 12
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonecommon between all three of the new SoCs from Broadcom is pretty clear from the small sizes of the SSDs that they werentsupport for Broadcoms own Web 2.0 application framework, intended as a main storage option.Adobe AIR, Qt and Android. This should allow for some varied The Deneva 2 drives sports a SandForce 2141 or 2181 controllerimplementations from the device makers at least. (OCZs website lists both options) and are as such SATA 3GbpsThe most basic SoC is called the BCM7219 and as with its drives. The max read speed is rated at up to 280MB/s with thehigher-end siblings this is a 40nm chip (yes, SoCs are getting write speed following closely behind at up to 260MB/s. OCZsmaller and smaller too), although it lacks any really cool apparently has a 120GB model as well as the company is alsofeatures. That said, itll handle 1080p HD video, both decoding targeting the Deneva 2 series for embedded applications in theand encoding which means that we should hopefully be seeing enterprise, industrial and automotive industry.more devices capable of recording HD video in the future. Weve already seen Asus utilize mSATA SSDs from Adata,Moving up a step we have the BCM7220 which gains OpenGL although these werent intended for caching, but are in fact theES 2.0 support for 3D UIs and maybe even some casual main SSD of Asus Ultrabooks. Were still not convinced thatgaming. The third and final model is the BCM7221 which Intels Smart Response technology is the way forward though,supports 3D TV MVC (Multiview Video Coding) which means especially as SSDs continue to come down in price whereasthat it can handle 3D TV broadcasts/streams. It can also be at the same time pricing for hard drives are likely to remainset up to support video conferencing if the TV has a built in quite high for much of this year. So far SSDs seem favourablecamera. in Ultrabooks, but as prices come down, wed expect to seeThe three chips have been designed to support a wide range of more hard drive equipped models and maybe this is when SSDother technologies such as DLNA, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Display, NFC, caching will come into play.HomePlug and bog standard Ethernet. Apparently Netgear isone of the first companies that are ready to get on board assoon as the new chips hit mass production as the company Samsung secures approval foris already working with Broadcom. As for other partnerswell just have to wait until CES, although half of the time Chinese Flash memory plant Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-secures-approval-for-chinese-you wouldnt know what chip is inside these type of devices flash-memory-plant/14431.htmlanyhow. January 5th, 2012OCZ announces mSATA SSDfor Ultrabook hard drivecachingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-announces-msata-ssd-for- Samsung has been granted permission to build a Flashultrabook-hard-drive-caching/14432.html memory chip plant in China worth in the region of 5 trillionJanuary 5th, 2012 won ($4.5 billion) as the smartphone and tablet computer markets continue to boom. Samsung has been granted permission to build a Flash memory chip plant in China worth in the region of 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) as the smartphone and tablet computer markets continue to boom.Being in the retail SSD market isnt a money maker and OCZhas been trying to work its way into the OEM market space for The Korean electronics giant announced the plan early lastsome time. Now the company has announced a new mSATA month, but was forced to seek approval from the South KoreanSSD under its Deneva 2 brand that the company is targeting government, which regulates foreign investment. The go-towards Ultrabooks for some Intel Smart Response caching ahead was given this week on the provision that Samsung setaction. up a committee to prevent potential leaks of its technology.Being in the retail SSD market isnt a money maker and OCZ The location of the factory has yet to be decided. It will producehas been trying to work its way into the OEM market space for NAND chips using 20nm processing technology and will servesome time. Now the company has announced a new mSATA the growing Chinese market, which many see as a lucrativeSSD under its Deneva 2 brand that the company is targeting region for smartphone and tablet sales.towards Ultrabooks for some Intel Smart Response cachingaction.The mSATA version of the Deneva 2 (OCZ is already offeringstandard 2.5-inch SATA drives in the Deneva 2 series) isavailable in 30 or 60GB and OCZ claims that the drives havebeen optimized for Intels Smart Response technology. Its 13
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone It is not yet clear how much Google paid for these, but we can likely expect it to be hundreds of millions of dollars. The move might also signal plans to buy further patent stashes from other companies, and perhaps more from IBM, throughout 2012. Google previously bought over 1,000 patents from IBM last year and a huge portfolio of around 25,000 patents in an acquisition deal with Motorola Mobility worth $12.5 billion. The company is still awaiting final approval from regulators before that acquisition can go ahead.Samsung dominates the NAND Flash market with a 40 percent Googles patent spending spree is largely seen as an effort toshare, with many of the major players in the industry, such as protect its interests, which have been threatened by a numberApple, relying on it for memory chips. of lawsuits taken by Apple against its partners, such as HTC and Samsung. Google is quickly putting itself in a position where it cannot be sued for technology it uses or can atMass production at the Chinese factory is expected to begin in least counter-sue or offer a trade with some of its valuablelate 2013, with plans to produce 100,000 wafers every month. collection.Google buys more IBM patents Official Launch of VR-ZoneSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-buys-more-ibm-patents/14430.html Chinese Edition - AttractiveJanuary 5th, 2012 prizes to be won! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/official-launch-of-vr-zone-chinese- edition--attractive-prizes-to-be-won-/14429.html January 5th, 2012Google has bought another 187 patents and 36 patentapplications from IBM in efforts to remain ahead of rivals likeApple in the bitter legal wars engulfing the industry.Google has bought another 187 patents and 36 patent VR-Zone is excited to announce the launch of our officialapplications from IBM in efforts to remain ahead of rivals like chinese edition @ http://chinese.vr-zone.com. To mark thisApple in the bitter legal wars engulfing the industry. watershed moment, we will be giving away to some lucky readers an ECS X79 motherboard, Corsair power supply and SteelSeries products!The patents include several related to social networks, such asa system for using semantic networks and a method to identifycommon interests between users of a communication network.This is particularly interesting, as it means Google is preparingnew things for its social network Google+, which launched lastyear and became a viable alternative to Facebook.There are also patents related to web applications and mobiletechnology, areas that Google has had major success in withits Chrome web browser and Android operating system. VR-Zone is excited to announce the launch our official chinese edition @ http://chinese.vr-zone.com, which will have its own 14
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneeditorial team (headed by industry veteran Chris Low) to The Samsung GALAXY Nexus was announced in October toproduce quality original content and translate selected pieces be the worlds first smartphone to run Google Android 4.0from our main site. Based in Taiwan where most of the Ice Cream Sandwich. Equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, thegroundbreaking tech stories and product launches are at, the phone features a 4.65-inch high definition Super AMOLEDteam aspires to serve the rapidly growing North Asian market, display and comes with various new innovations includingand provide exclusive stories for our international readers. Face Unlock, photo taking with zero shutter lag as well as Near Field Communication (NFC). However, for those who are eagerly waiting for the Samsung GALAXY Nexus willSamsung announces launch of have to wait a while longer. The company said that Androidnew smartphones and tablets smartphone is expected to be available in February next month.in SingaporeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-launch-of-new-smartphones-and-tablets-in-singapore/14425.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012 On the first week of 2012, Samsung has announced their newlineup of smartphone and tablets which include the GALAXYNexus, Omnia W, GALAXY W, GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus andGALAXY Tab 7.7. While the GALAXY Nexus touts itself as the worlds first smartphone with Android 4.0, this new Samsung GALAXY Tab 7.7 claims to be the worlds first tablet to feature the Super AMOLED Plus display. The tablet is extremely slim and portable, measuring 7.89mm in thickness and weighing 335g. It is powered by 1.4GHz processor with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. If thats not enough, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 has a microSD card slot for expansion. The tablet runs Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb and has a 5,100mAh battery that can provide up to 10 hours of video playback. Like the GALAXY Nexus, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus will be available in February. 15
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneSamsung releases audiophile- January 5th, 2012grade dock speakersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-releases-audiophile-grade-dock-speakers/14426.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012 We have seen smartphones and tablet devices running Google Android mobile operating system. And apparently SiriusXM has recently introduced their new Android portable satellite radio called Lynx.An audiophile-worthy speaker dock for iOS devices andGALAXY S smartphones will be joining the ranks of Samsungproducts soon. The Samsung DA-E750 may sport a hybridvacuum tube system akin to high-end audio equipment, butwill it make the cut amongst audiophiles? The SiriusXM Lynx claims to do everything you want it to - you can use it as satellite radio in the car or at home, or turn it into a portable player via a 3.5mm audio or Bluetooth headphone. It supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and can record up to 200 hours of your favorite music. With "ShowAudiophiles will be glad to know that Korean company Finder" electronic programming guide, you can access theSamsung is offering a new speaker dock, the DA-E750, with complete list of what’s on over the next seven days by channel,a hybrid vacuum tube amplifier technology that will interface with the ability to set reminder alerts when favorite shows arewith both iOS devices and GALAXY S smartphones while being broadcast. The SiriusXM Lynx will be available soon andcharging their batteries. For those not certain of audiophile priced at US$250.jargons, a vacuum tube amplification system is usually presentonly in premium audio systems, which is said to produce oneof the richest sound and has the best audio representation in Fujis mirrorless camera leaksclarity, despite the technology’s age. Sangchul Lee, senior vice again ahead of next weekspresident, Samsung Electronics says “As the leader in homeentertainment, we wanted to create products that are unique, unveiling Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fuji-s-mirrorless-camera-leaks-again-highly-functional and beautifully designed, yet offer the crystal ahead-of-next-week-s-unveiling/14423.htmlclear, rich sound that consumers can enjoy, regardless of the January 5th, 2012portable device they store their music on.” The 2.1-channelspeaker supports analog (composite) and USB inputs, as wellas wireless and Bluetooth audio playback, while thumpingaway with its built-in 100-watt subwoofer. More details maybe released at the upcoming Consumer Electronic Show. Weve already seen what was meant to be some picture of an unfinished version of Fujus upcoming mirrorless digitalSiriusXM unveils Lynx, Android camera and now additional pictures have appeared, including a full-on frontal shot of the camera. There are still a lot ofportable satellite radio things that arent known about the camera, but one thingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/siriusxm-unveils-lynx-android- is certain, Fuji is really digging retro styling on its high-endportable-satellite-radio/14424.html cameras. Weve already seen what was meant to be some picture of an unfinished version of Fujus upcoming mirrorless digital 16
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonecamera and now additional pictures have appeared, includinga full-on frontal shot of the camera. There are still a lot of Intels slim-ITX motherboard incentive appears to have spilledthings that arent known about the camera, but one thing over into other markets than the all-in-ones that Intel targetedis certain, Fuji is really digging retro styling on its high-end the standard for initially. Tranquil PC, a UK company thatcameras. specializes in low-noise media centers and home media serversThe camera which is expected to be called the X1 or LX10 has taken advantage of the form factor in its new 4cm thinshould be officially unveiled next week at the PMA show MMC-12 system.which takes place at the same time as CES, although it wont The system specifications arent what wed call mind blowing,actually be launched until sometime in February according to but the MMC-12 should be more than capable at doing its job.Photorumours. The camera looks set to be something quite The motherboard in question is Intels own DH61AG and asspecial, at least as long as you dont mind the retro rangefinder the name implies this is based on the Intel H61 chipset. Instyling. terms of connectivity youll find a pair of USB 2.0 ports (both high current), two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a pair of audio jacks, a DVI port and an HDMI port. Oddly enough theres no S/PDIF connector on the board which spoils things a little bit when it comes to media center usage. To the board, Tranquil has added a 35W Core i3-2100T processor which is a 2.5GHz part, a single 4GB SO-DIMM and an 80GB mSATA SSD which we presume is also an Intel made product. The system also sports a slot loaded DVDIn the single picture of the camera we can see the 35mm f/1.4 drive and theres space for one internal 2.5-inch drive for alens which was rumoured, something which should please larger internal drive to compliment the SSD. The entire systemmany a photographer. Fuji has included a viewfinder as we is powered by an external power adapter and its passivelyreported previously, although this is apparently not a hybrid cooled, so this is a true zero noise system, despite its lowviewfinder as seen on the X100. Were also curious about the profile. The downside you ask? Well, Tranquil wants a fairlyinclusion of what appears to be an LED light which might be steep £649 (S$1,300) for the MMC-12, a steep price for whatintended for when youre shooting video with the camera. We in reality is a very basic PC, but in this case youre paying forcould be wrong, but the picture seems to suggest that there is the custom chassis which you wont find elsewhere.a pair of built-in microphones for stereo audio on each side ofthe LED. Theres also what appears to be an auto focus lightjust below the viewfinder. Well have to wait a few more days Asus promises Android 4.0 forto see what the official word is. Transformer Prime from nextUpdate: The picture above is apparently not the real deal,but rather a mockup of what the camera might look like. week Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-promises-android-4.0-for-Photorumors has a blurry picture from an odd angle of the real transformer-prime-from-next-week/14421.htmldeal. January 5th, 2012Tranquil launches 4cm thinmedia center PCSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tranquil-launches-4cm-thin-media-center-pc/14422.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012 For those lucky few that has managed to get their hands on an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime the company has announced that it will start rolling out Android 4.0 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich beginning on the 12th of January. On top ofIntels slim-ITX motherboard incentive appears to have spilled that, the company is working on a solution that will allow usersover into other markets than the all-in-ones that Intel targeted to unlock the bootloader, with one small caveat.the standard for initially. Tranquil PC, a UK company thatspecializes in low-noise media centers and home media servershas taken advantage of the form factor in its new 4cm thin For those lucky few that has managed to get their hands on anMMC-12 system. Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime the company has announced 17
  • January 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethat it will start rolling out Android 4.0 also known as Ice Toshibas press release didnt reveal too much about theCream Sandwich beginning on the 12th of January. On top of specific devices, but we can apparently expect tablets, laptopsthat, the company is working on a solution that will allow users and smartphones featuring TransferJet. As youd expect,to unlock the bootloader, with one small caveat. Toshiba is one of the driving forces behind TransferJet alongside Sony, but many other companies are standingThe details were posted on Asus Facebook page and contain behind the technology including Canon, JVC, Nikon, Olympus,some confusion as it mentions an over the air update with Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony Ericsson to mentiona version number of 8.8.3.33 which will apparently improve a few of the promoters of the standard. So far most of thethe auto focusing of the camera, the fluidity of the touch companies are Japanese and this is part of the reason why theexperience and the APK capabilities in the Android market. technology hasnt taken off.Then it goes on to talk about the Android 4.0 upgrade whichis also an over the air update, but its not clear if this contains Another reason is the relatively high cost and this isthe aforementioned fixes or not, or if thats a separate update what Toshiba is hoping to address with its new LSI, thefor those not wishing to move on to Android 4.0 as yet. TC35420 which is a single chip solution for TransferJet that incorporates bot the IC and the RF part. This should notThe post also contains a disclaimer about the GPS and the fact only help simplify the implementation, but also help drivethat its not as good as people expected it to be. Asus is making down cost, although at US$5 a pop in sample quantities onesome excuse about the metal chassis of the tablet blocking the can hardly accuse Toshiba for selling the chips on the cheap.signal as well as the usual excuses as to why you wouldnt get a Compare this to a USB 3.0 host controller which by now wedgood GPS signal. Either which way it appears that the company expect to be below US$2 in large quantities and you can seehas removed the GPS from the spec and its now a feature that why TransferJet is struggling a bit.is included but may not work to everyones satisfaction. Oddto say the least. Actual transfer speeds of TransferJet are close to that of USB 2.0 at 375Mbps (USB 2.0 has a theoretical data speed ofAs for the bootloader and the complaints about Asus locking 480Mbps), so as long as you dont mind plugging in a cable,it down, Asus is making some fairly lame excuse about Google there are much faster alternatives. In as much as were all forDRM, yet Googles own phones arent locked down as tightly ease of use, its hard to justify the extra cost and getting sloweras the Transformer Prime. Asus is also claiming that bricking speed than a wired connection can offer at lower cost. Still,is one of the reasons why Asus decided to lock down the itll be interesting to see what Toshiba and the TransferJetTransformer Prime, but anyone that has tried to flash a recent consortium will demo at the show.Android device knows that its relatively hard to brick it. Evenso, Asus will apparently be offering a tool that unlocks thebootloader, but this means that you can no longer watchGoogle video rentals and other similar DRMed content onyour tablet. Not a big loss in our opinion, but it might be forsome.Toshiba to promoteTransferJet at CESSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-to-promote-transferjet-at-ces/14420.htmlJanuary 5th, 2012You may or may not be familiar with TransferJet, a technologythat allows for short range wireless data transfer speeds of upto 560Mbps using the 4.5GHz band. So far there isnt much interms of devices that supports the standard, but Toshiba andthe TransferJet consortium are set to change this at CES wherethey will be showing off a range of new devices that supportsthe technology.You may or may not be familiar with TransferJet, a technologythat allows for short range wireless data transfer speeds of upto 560Mbps using the 4.5GHz band. So far there isnt much interms of devices that supports the standard, but Toshiba andthe TransferJet consortium are set to change this at CES wherethey will be showing off a range of new devices that supportsthe technology. 18