VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks 2012 Issue 1


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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, internet

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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks 2012 Issue 1

  1. 1. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.Sapphires Pure Platinum Z77motherboard picturedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphires-pure-platinum-z77-motherboard-pictured/15425.htmlApril 2nd, 2012With less than a week to go until the official launch ofIntels new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphiresupcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared Sadly the colour scheme is still fairly un-coordinated andand one thing is certain, its not the same board as the one could do with some work, but its really a minor issue. Thethat was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. Pure Platinum Z77 sports a rather unusual slot layout, as itThe Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of has no less than four x16 PCI Express slots, yet it doesntmotherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with have a bridge chip of any kind. This is done by splitting theto date and one of the first boards from the company that 16 lanes from the CPU into a x8, x4, x4 configuration for thewed seriously consider owning. three blue slots and the grey slot is connected via four lanesWith less than a week to go until the official launch of to the chipset. The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots,Intels new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphires but these are inaccessible if more than two graphics cardsupcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared are being used.and one thing is certain, its not the same board as the one The only reason this kind of configuration works is becausethat was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. the board has very few peripheral chipsets. In fact, weve onlyThe Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of been able to spot two. Unlike its previous motherboards,motherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with the Pure Platinum Z77 sports a Qualcomm Atheros Ethernetto date and one of the first boards from the company that controller, but Sapphire has also kitted out the board withwed seriously consider owning. one of the new Killer NIC E2200s, the same chip used byThis time around its the little things that make a big impact Gigabyte on its G1.Sniper 3 board. The board also sports theand compared to the Pure Platinum Z68 it almost looks like standard six SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports and whateverSapphire has found itself some new engineers. For starters else comes courtesy of the Intel chipset. Sapphire has addedthe board mostly use regular chokes instead of the ones a POST80 debug LED, Voltage readout points, power, resetwith small heatsinks cut out of the top, alongside various and clear CMOS buttons and a manual BIOS switch.other changes to the general PCB layout. Visually the biggestchange is the heatsinks and we have to give credit wherecredit is due, as the new heatsinks look so much better thanwhat Sapphire has used to date. The MOSFET heatsinks areconnected via a small heatpipe, whereas the chipset heatsinkappears to be screwed in place rather than using plasticpush-pins. The rear ports are made up out of a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1
  2. 2. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone7.1-channel audio, an optical S/PDIF out and a DisplayPort,HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector.The people from Sapphire we spoke to at CeBIT didnt soundtoo optimistic about Sapphires upcoming motherboardmodels, but the Pure Platinum Z77 is a big step in the rightdirection for the company. Its not a mind blowing product,but its at least a competitive product that has been given amuch needed facelift in terms of the heatsink design. Wellhave to wait and see what else the company has in storefor us, but we know that theyre working on at least a B75motherboard and potentially also that Pure Black Z77 model,although we have a feeling that might have been canned bynow.Intels H77 media creationmotherboards pictured indetailSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-h77-media-creation-motherboards-pictured-in-detail/15424.htmlApril 2nd, 2012Last week we posted some detailed pictures of Intelsupcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you theH77 models. This time around we have one ATX board,one mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewingpleasure. Moving on we find the mATX DH77EB and although it comes with an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot, it has spaceLast week we posted some detailed pictures of Intels for a second mini PCI Express slot just below the x16 PCIupcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you the Express slot, so its possible Intel will have multiple SKUs ofH77 models. This time around we have one ATX board, this board. The rear connectivity is almost the same as theone mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewing DH77KC, with the exception of a missing PS/2 port.pleasure.Going in order of size, we start with the DH77KC which as wementioned shares the same PCB as the DZ77SL-50K, but thistime around you actually get some features for your money.Nothing much appears to have changed since we wrote aboutthe specs for this board back in February, but compared tothe DZ77SL-50K were missing one power phase and theheatsink on the MOSFETs. That said, the board has gainedan mSATA/mini PCI Express slot as well as a DVI port anda DisplayPort connector, as well as a full set of audio jackswith an optical S/PDIF out. 2
  3. 3. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe third and final model is the DH77DF which is a prettyfeature packed little board. Intel seems to be pushing its As long as youre not interested in overclocking, IntelsmSATA SSDs for caching pretty heavily as even this tiny H77 motherboards arent half bad. In fact, wed say thatboard has an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot and judging by these models are far more impressive than Intels Z77the board layout, it only just fitted as Intel has only allowed motherboards which appear quite poorly equipped to takefor one screw to hold down the card, rather than the usual on the competition, something we cant really say about itstwo. Around the back no big changes have taken place, but H77 models.one thing we noted was the fact that Intel has added a pairof high current USB 2.0 ports which as far as we knowshould deliver 1A and as such allow for faster charging of Intels upcoming 7-seriescertain mobile devices. Rather unusually for a product thesedays, Intel has also kitted out the DH77DF with FireWire chipsets pricedconnectivity. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-upcoming-7-series-chipsets- priced/15423.html April 2nd, 2012 When it comes to official pricing, Intel isnt a very imaginative company, for better or worse. Pricing details of the upcoming 7-series chipsets have been revealed and they mostly look the same as for the current 6-series of chipsets. When it comes to official pricing, Intel isnt a very imaginative company, for better or worse. Pricing details of the upcoming 7-series chipsets have been revealed and they mostly look the same as for the current 6-series of chipsets. First out are the Z77, Z75 and H77 chipsets which are priced at US$48, US$40 and US$43, exactly the same as for the Z68, P67 and H67 chipsets. That said, our understanding is that the pricing to the motherboard makers differs from Intels official pricing and in as much as the Z68 chipset pricing was lower than anticipated about a year ago, were hearing that the price difference between the Z77 and Z75 chipsets might not be as high as the official pricing is suggesting. This is also the main reason as to why there have been so few Z75 motherboard announcements. Alongside the already mentioned chipsets, Intels B75 chipset will launch at US$37, the same as the little used B65 chipset. This time around there appears to be vastly more interest from the motherboard makers and once again actual pricing seems to be someway off the official list price, as were hearing its closer to the H61 chipset which has a list price of US$30. Intel will launch these four chipsets on Sunday, but depending on where you live, you might already be able to get your hands on a motherboard based on them. 3
  4. 4. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneCome May the 13th – which is not a Friday – Intel will April 2nd, 2012officially launch the Q77 chipset at US$44 and Q75 chipset atUS$40, again identical pricing to the Q67 and Q65 chipsets.These models are intended for use in desktop system for thecorporate and business sector and comes with a wide rangeof features for remote management and security that theconsumer SKUs lack. Microsofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720 or codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, twoEtron starts shipping its GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internet connection, according to sources close to the company.first USB 3.0 flash drive Microsofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720 orcontrollers codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, twoSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/etron-starts-shipping-its-first- GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internetusb-3.0-flash-drive-controllers/15422.html connection, according to sources close to the company.April 2nd, 2012 VG247 cited anonymous sources claiming that the new console will effectively be “like two PCs taped together,” thanks to the inclusion of two GPUs and a powerful processor.Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flash The exact specs are not yet known, but the GPUs are believedcontrollers at CES, but only now has the company started to to have horsepower equivalent to an AMD 7000 series chip.ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB They wont employ CrossFire or SLI, but will instead work3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while independently to render graphics simultaneously.still offering decent performance.Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flashcontrollers at CES, but only now has the company started toship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, whilestill offering decent performance.The EV268-series of two and four channel USB 3.0 flashdrive controller ICs should start to appear in various retailproducts over the coming months. Both models supportSLC, MLC and TLC NAND flash built on 3xnm and 2xnmtechnology. Transfer speeds of up to 230MB/s is possiblewith the four channel controller and fast enough flashmemory, but its likely that well see much more modestspeeds until fast flash memory comes down in price.Digitimes is reporting that the global flash drive market isaround 80-100 million units a year – we dont know how The CPU is expected to have between four and six cores, onemany of these products are promotional material, but wed of which will be reserved for the OS, and another for theexpect it to be at least half – and although its not a highly Kinect. Of course, if a Kinect does not come bundled with theprofitable market to be in as far as USB 2.0 flash drive main console and players dont buy one separately this couldcontrollers are concerned, the USB 3.0 flash drive market mean that one core is going to waste. However, the reportis still in its infancy. Etron is hoping to help transition suggests that the new Kinect will come as standard and mayconsumers towards USB 3.0 flash drives, but the company actually be built into the console in some manner.recons that for this to happen, the price difference between aUSB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 flash drive has to be less than US$2.We have a feeling that more USB 3.0 equipped computers The device will also apparently come with a Blu-ray playerwould also be needed, but thats a problem thats slowly but and will require users to have an always-on internetsurely solving itself. connection, designed to stop piracy of games. This supports early reports that Microsoft is abandoning physical games and wont allow players to use pre-owned games.Microsofts Xbox 720 tofeature six-core CPU, two The Xbox 720 is expected to release around Christmas 2013,GPUs, Blu-ray, and more a year after the release of Nintendos Wii U console.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-xbox-720-to-feature-six-core-cpu-two-gpus-blu-ray-and-more/15421.html 4
  5. 5. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone clear what these platforms are, but we expect they will beSamsung officially launches available on mobile operating systems, PCs, and possibly asdisplay business spin-off downloads on Xbox Live and on other consoles.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-officially-launches-display-business-spin-off/15420.html "I am happy to say we are going to roll out a weeklyApril 2nd, 2012 animation series this year of short format content," said NickSamsung has officially launched Samsung Display, its spun Dorra, head of animation at Rovio. "Its a great way for usoff display business, which became the worlds largest to connect with our existing fans, to give them more anddisplay manufacturer overnight. keep them engaged. But its also important for acquiring new fans because not everyone might want to play the game or is not able to play the game. We want to offer peopleSamsung Display held its inauguration ceremony yesterday, different points where they can interact and experience ourattended by over 350 employees, and will begin business characters."operations tomorrow, 3 April, after its incorporationregistration is approved.Dr. Donggun Park, EVP and former head of Samsungs LCDbusiness, has been named as CEO of the new company. Parkhas been with the company since 1983, before it entered thedisplay market, and has led the companys LCD businesssince July of last year. Rovio is also working on an Angry Birds film, set for release in 2015 or later. No details about this project are known and it is likely that the studio is waiting to see how people respond to the animated series before investing too much in this area.The company brought in revenue of 22.7 trillion Koreanwon ($20 billion) in 2011 when it was still Samsungs LCD The game studio bought Finnish animation firm Kombo indivision, and with more than 20,000 employees and five 2011, when it announced it was first considering an animatedproduction facilities throughout the world, it is now the top series. Given the style of the artwork employed in the gamesproducer of displays. and the popularity of Angry Birds merchandise, a series like this could really work and help broaden the appeal and popularity of its birds versus pigs franchise.Samsungs foray into the display market began in 2011 withresearch and development, but over the years it has quicklybecome not just a major contender in the market, but the Rovio also hinted that this new approach to Angry Birds willleading maker of displays. Now that Samsung Display is affect its games in future. It said its focus will be less onworking as a separate company it can continue to focus on flinging birds at pigs and more on the characters and theirgrowing and maintaining its dominance in the industry. adventures, suggesting that story will become a key part of future games.Rovio to make Angry Birdsanimated seriesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rovio-to-make-angry-birds- Samsung Galaxy S III (i-9300)animated-series/15419.htmlApril 2nd, 2012 to Launch in 2-5 Weeks,Game developer Rovio is turning its popular Angry Birds Immediate World-Widegames into an animated series. Availability Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-i-9300-to- launch-in-2-5-weeks-immediate-world-wide-availability/15417.htmlThe studio is working on 52 short cartoons for release ona variety of platforms, beginning this year. It is not yet 5
  6. 6. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 The question now stands - can Samsung Galaxy SIII beat the iPhone 5 in number of units sold during 2012? Sony and Panasonic to use LGs 3D technology in theirIt is rumored that Samsung will launch Galaxy SIII TVssuperphone at the Samsung Unpacked event (May 22). Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-and-panasonic-to-use-lg-s-3d-However, weve been told that the launch is being moved technology-in-their-tvs/15416.htmlforward, with immediate world-wide availability (excluding April 2nd, 2012USA, which will follow in Summer 2012).A lot of ink, both virtual and physical was spent onspeculations what the specifications of one of hottestsmartphones, or "superphones" will be. Samsung i9300or Galaxy SIII was originally planned to launch on May22, 2012 at the Samsung Unpacked event, but it looks thatSamsung moved forward the date when the new smarphone With LG having great success in their 3D TV sales in Chinawill be released. and North America, it is no wonder Japanese electronics companies Sony and Panasonic, who are struggling inFurthermore, the new Galaxy SIII will follow with almost this market segment, have opted to incorporate LGs 3Dimmediate retail availability in APAC and EMEA, with North technology into their future line of TVs.America to follow. Samsung allegedly decided to enter theEuropean market ahead of the American market due toa multiple sports events that will take place throughoutsummer.Samsung is a major sponsor of Olympics 2012 and one of According to Nho Seok-ho, head of LG Electronics’ LCDtheir largest competitors, SHARP - is the key sponsor of TV division, Panasonic and Sony have plans to expandEuro 2012. However, Samsung and its marketing agencies their lineup of 3DTVs this year, and that their upcomingare preparing to blanket the airwaves with Samsung Galaxy models will use LG’s 3D technology. There is a battle for 3DSIII taking the key place with telco partners such as Orange, technology supremacy, between LGs Film Pattern RetarderVodafone and T-Mobile. First and foremost, Galaxy SIII will (FPR) and Samsungs Active Shutter. And it seems thatbe advertised with soccer players from Samsung-sponsored LG has an advantage over its rival as it is more affordableclubs (not country representatives, as Samsung has no rights to the battery-powered glasses, though in terms of visualfor EURO 2012), and then those ads will be replaced with 3D quality, it is still very much debatable. Sony has rarelyOlympics 2012 signage. mentioned that it has been selling 32- and 42-inch 3DThe phones will be in stores during early weeks of May, and TVs with film-patterned 3D technology in China since thiswe expect a major push. Remember, rumored specifications year, while Panasonic is relying more on LG for 3D screenscite a 4.7" HD Ready (1280x720) Super AMOLED+ display, for many of its TV models. The Korean manufacturer is alsoquad-core Exynos processor ticking at 1.5GHz, 1GB of planning to add a 60-inch model to its 3D TV lineup of a 65-system memory and 16-32GB Storage (expandable to 64GB and 72-inch set in June.with microSDHC cards).When it comes to connectivity, it was originally rumored DeNA and Walt Disney tothat the Galaxy SIII will only support LTE at 700MHz (USMarket). That however, is not true. Galaxy SIII will support bring mobile social games toLTE over European 1800MHz band as well, which is thereason why the European telecoms are eager to get as much users worldwide Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dena-and-walt-disney-to-bring-units as possible. mobile-social-games-to-users-worldwide/15415.html 6
  7. 7. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 cards with Marvel characters developed by Marvel and fight against enemies. D-Link DIR-605L mydlink Cloud Router Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-dir-605l-mydlink-cloud-Japan’s leading mobile social gaming platform operator router-review/15411.htmlDeNa and Walt Disney company have jointly announced that April 2nd, 2012they will be bringing mobile social games to users worldwide,through DeNA Group’s Mobage social gaming platform. D-Link offered their mydlink cloud services last year and it allow users to effortlessly access, share, view and control the mydilink-capable devices on their home network from anywhere, at anytime. The company has also made the products as simple to set up as they are for use. Simply attach them to your network and associate them to a mydlink account; its that simple. The DIR-605L is an entry level wireless router for the consumer market, and is one of the few wireless routers that features mydlink cloud services.Dena and Walt Disney have recently launched their firstjointly-developed social game, Disney Party, last week inJapan, which serves over 35 million users in the country. Thetwo companies planned to launch their second title "DisneyFantasy Quest" today and the third title based on MarvelComics characters this summer. According to reports,localized versions of Disney Party, Disney Fantasy Questand the Marvel-based title are also scheduled to launchafter July on the Mobage networks outside Japan - in NorthAmerica, Europe, China and South Korea. The three titleswill be DeNA’s first jointly developed titles to be releasedoutside of Japan and both companies are consideringdevelopment of new titles for worldwide market in future. The front side of the router has the LED indicator for power,Disney Party is a free-to-play social game for mobile wireless, WAN and LANphones and players can organize parties and decoratetheir interiors with various "gifts" that will attract Disneycharacters. When the characters pay visits, players cangreet or take photos with them, which can be shared withother users. Optional virtual items are available for purchasethough. Disney Fantasy Quest is a social card-collectiongame whereby players collect cards of popular charactersfrom Mickey and Friends, princesses and other Disney seriesto compile “magic books” in a quest to make the worldhappier. The title is also free-to-play with optional virtualitems for purchase. The Marvel-themed game is slated to bea free-to-play social card-battle game where players collect 7
  8. 8. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone some fans when it revealed that player-versus-player (PvP) combat would not make it into the launch version. Another Blizzard blunder involved a community manager telling players to lower their expectations of the game, a claim that was countered by the games director, Jay Wilson. Todays announcement, however, shows that the game must remain in a very uncompleted state, and Blizzard is well- known for its reluctance to release projects that it is not happy with.The rear side of the router has a pair of 5dBi fixed diapole “No one likes to disappoint players,” said Wilson. “We takeantennas, four LAN ports, a WAN port and a power jack. great pride in the millions of fans of our games throughout the world. However, we also want to deliver a quality product. We feel that by pushing back the release date into 2013 we can create a game that fans will truly enjoy, one that will be remembered for many years to come.”The DIR-605L is powered by a Realtek RTL8196C SoC anda Realtek RTL8192CE 802.11b/g/n 2T2R WLAN System on Some of the features that are expected to go back intoa Chip (SoC). It also has 32MB of RAM and 4MB of flash the game include PvP, an as yet unnamed class thoughtmemory. to be a mix of the other classes, a command option to access the admin features of the game, and a World of Warcraft character import feature. The latter is believed toBlizzard delays Diablo III be an attempt to boost falling subscription numbers for therelease until next year companys popular MMO title.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-delays-diablo-iii-release-until-next-year/15413.html Blizzard did not hint at exactly when it expects to releaseApril 2nd, 2012 Diablo III, whether it is early or late 2013. It could even surprise fans and announce a pre-Christmas 2012 release, but given the scope of some of the planned features, we would not be surprised if it was further delayed. Fans will just be hoping that the game does not become the next Duke Nukem Forever, the ill-fated title that spent 15 years in production thanks to numerous delays.Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcominghack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will bedelayed until next year, due to unfinished features. Edit: We did a survey of one Diablo fan and found that 100 percentApril Fools :) were unhappy with Blizzards decision. We cant say we blame them.Edit: April Fools :)Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcominghack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will be Intel quietly unveils its newdelayed until next year, due to unfinished features. 7-series motherboardsAfter 11 years in production, the company finally announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-quietly-unveils-its-new-7-a release date of 15 May a few weeks ago, but angered series-motherboards/15410.html 8
  9. 9. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 As for the DZ77GA-70K, well, beyond the specifications weve already mentioned, the pictures do reveal some additional features, although thanks to Intel blanking out the text on all the peripheral chipsets on the board, its a little bit hard figuring out what they all are. It appears that the additional SATA 6Gbps ports are via Marvells second generation SATA 6Gbps controllers if were notWith just over a week until the official launch of the Z77, H77 entirely mistaken and there also appears to be a PLX PCIand B75 chipsets, Intel has posted details of its upcoming Express bridge chip on the board. Amusingly it seems likemotherboards on its website. Generally Intel motherboards Intels motherboard division has run into the fact that thearent all that much to get excited about, but the new companys chipset division doesnt like adding a sufficientSkulltrail board, known and the DZ77GA-70K looks better amount of PCI Express lanes to it chipsets and as such hadthan what weve been used to see from Intel. to add the PLX bridge.Well take a quick look at Intels Z77 models in this articleand follow up with the H77 and B75 boards in a separatepost. Weve already given you all the technical details of theseboards back in February, but sadly we lacked pictures to gowith the specifications back then. Its all good and well toread a spec sheet, but it doesnt give you a full impression of aproduct in the same way a picture does. Intel also appears tohave changed the model names slightly and we have no ideawhat the 70K in the DZ77GA-70K model name stands for,but its higher-end sibling is now known as the DZ77RE-75K,so it seems like Intel is trying to bring in a higher numberequals better scheme for its motherboards, just as it has donefor its CPUs.The DZ77RE-75K and the DZ77GA-70K shares the Power and reset buttons are also present, alongside varioussame PCB and largely the same feature set with the LEDs and four 4-pin fan headers, hardly generous on amajor difference being that the DZ77RE-75K will sport board in this price range, but at least they all support PWMThunderbolt support. However, as Intels Cactus Ridge fans. The VRM design appears to feature 10 phases, plus twoThunderbolt chipset isnt quite ready as yet, it looks like this additional phases for the IGP. Most of the VRMs are coveredmodel will launch later in the year. Looking at the PCB of the by a large heatsink, with a smaller one covering the topmostDZ77GA-70K on can clearly see a missing chip just left of the part, but theres no heatpipe to be seen here. The unusualtopmost x16 PCI Express slot and a missing connector right positioning of the HDMI port is also an interesting featurenext to the audio jacks. in itself, as you dont see too many boards with a vertical HDMI port. Intel will also supply a front USB 3.0 bracket with the board and a RazerZone discount voucher. Overall no big surprise on a whole, but at least it confirms our earlier specs were indeed correct. Moving down a to the Media series we find the DZ77BH-55K which compares quite favourable to the DZ68DB that it slots in above. Again, weve already covered the specifications for the DZ77BH-55K and its sibling, the DZ77SL-50K back in February, although back then the DZ77SL-50K was called 9
  10. 10. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe DZ75SL, but it seems like even Intel decided it waspointless making a Z75 chipset motherboard. All four models, at least as soon as the DZ77RE-75K launches, will come with a copy of LucidLogix Virtu Universal, McAfee Antivirus Plus and Splashtop remoteThe DZ77BH-55K is still adorned with heatsinks, albeit a desktop. The DZ77RE-75K and DZ77GA-70K will both comefair bit smaller than the ones on the DZ77GA-70K. The with Intels new Visual BIOS at launch, a feature the otheradvantage here is that you get an extra SATA port over your models will get later in the year.average Intel motherboard, although Intel has dropped thex4 PCI Express slot of the DZ77GA-70K in favour of a regularx1 PCI Express slot. Theres no need for a PLX bridge chip ASMedia is aiming foron this board, due to the reduced feature set. Oddly enoughthe reset button is missing, but theres at least a power Thunderbolt compatiblebutton on the board. For those looking at taking advantage solutionsof Intels integrated graphics, the good news is that the Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asmedia-is-aiming-for-thunderbolt-DZ77BH-55k has an HDMI port as well as a DisplayPort compatible-solutions/15409.htmlconnector of which the latter wasnt mentioned in our earlier April 2nd, 2012specifications. What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intels Thunderbolt standard. Updated with a correction from ASMedia What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intels Thunderbolt standard.The DZ77SL-50K is something of a peculiar beast, as just as Digitimes is reporting that ASMedias president, Linwith the DZ75SL that it was once intended to be, it only has Che-Wei said that the company is planning to producea single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, but theres an open ended Thunderbolt compatible peripherals for the second half ofx4 PCI Express 2.0 slot on the board, as well as a x1 PCI this year, but sadly no details as to the specific types ofExpress 2.0 slot and three PCI slots. A very peculiar board devices were revealed. So far, Intel hasnt seemed to be verylayout to say the least, at least until you realise that it shares keen on sharing the Thunderbolt specification with anyone,the same PCB as the DH77KC. The shared PCB doesnt mean but weve been hearing rumours for quite some time that thethat the two boards are identical, as the DZ77SL-50K is quite company is considering opening up the peripheral chipseta feature light board. Changes from our previous specs of end of the standard. Even so, Intel will remain the solethis boards include the loss of the mini PCI Express slot, manufacturer of the host side chipsets and as weve reportedbut most of the other features seems to remain unchanged, several times already, the company appears to be havingexcept possibly the audio outputs which now only appears some issues getting its upcoming Cactus Ridge chipset outto offer 5.1-channel audio without the optical S/PDIF out. the door.Were not entirely sure why anyone would go for this model, In addition to whatever Thunderbolt compatible chipsas it makes very little sense compared to the DZ77BH-55K ASMedia is working on, the company will continue toor for that matter just about any other Z77 motherboard. 10
  11. 11. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonemake USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps solutions. Both Seagateand Western Digital are using ASMedias SATA to USB3.0 bridge chips in their external hard drives and this iswhere ASMedia is likely to be making its biggest sales whenit comes to USB 3.0 chipsets once the third party hostcontroller market dies down. ASMedia was planning onmaking a new host controller, but in the end decided thatit wasnt a worthwhile endeavour due to more and moremotherboard chipsets featuring integrated USB 3.0 support.Well make sure that we catch up with ASMedia at Computexin June for a closer look at what the company is working on.Update: After contacting ASMedia about their so calledThunderbolt solution which Digitimes reported about lastweek, we were informed that the reporter at Digitimes gotthings somewhat mixed up. What ASMedia was in factsaying, is that their SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 controllersare all going to be compatible with Intels Cactus RidgeThunderbolt controllers. The company is also workingon some higher-end SATA solutions for external RAID The B100 supports MP3, WMVA, OGG, FLAC, APE, ASFenclosures that will work over Thunderbolt, as well as and WAV audio files which is at least a fairly comprehensivein NAS and DAS type devices and of course directly on range. On the video side of things –where the B100 offersmotherboards as a high-end version to the ASM1061 SATA up to 8.5h of playback time – youre looking at MPEG1/2/4,6Gbps controller. WMV7/8/9 and H.264, although it only supports simple profile or advanced simple profile MPEG4 files and baseline profile H.264 files, so no high quality content. It does handleiRiver set to launch touch all standard containers though, such as AVI, WMV, MP4,enabled B100 PMP ASF, 3GP, MOV, MKV and M2TS, but video resolution is limited to 720x480 at no more than 30fps. As far asSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iriver-set-to-launch-touch-enabled- supported audio formats in combination with video, theb100-pmp/15408.html selection is fairly meagre as the B100 inly supports MP3,April 2nd, 2012 WMA, WAV and AC3. Its also possible to display JPEG, BMP, PNG and GIF images on the B100 and it can also handle PDFm EPUB and TXT files. The B100 will initially be sold via Japanese website Rakuten with the 4GB version coming in at 11,800 Yen (SBy now the market for PMPs have to have shrunk to one $179) and the 8GB versing at 13,800 Yen (S$210), so notthats barely worth making new products for, although a exactly cheap for what you get. The glory days of iRiverdedicated PMP still has one advantage over your average seems to have passed and we cant say that the B100 makessmartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash us want to run out and buy a PMP, even though its far fromits B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and the worst device of its kind that weve seen.with 36h battery life for music playback and a touch screeninterface, there might still be some takers. Most desktop Ivy BridgeBy now the market for PMPs have to have shrunk to onethats barely worth making new products for, although a systems wont support threededicated PMP still has one advantage over your averagesmartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash its displays Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/most-desktop-ivy-bridge-systems-B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and with 36h won-t-support-three-displays/15407.htmlbattery life for music playback and a touch screen interface, April 2nd, 2012there might still be some takers.Sadly it looks like iRiver hasnt been pulling out any stopswith the B100 as it sports a fairly mundane 480x320resolution display that measures a measly 3.1-inches. Ontop of that the B100 only comes with 4 or 8GB of built inmemory, but theres at least a microSD card slot to make Despite the fact that Intel has been banging its drums aboutup for this. The rest of the "features" on offer include an support for up to three displays on the upcoming 7-seriesFM radio, a mini USB port, a built in microphone and a motherboards in combination with a shiny new Ivy Bridgeheadphone socket. based CPU, this isnt likely to be the case. The simple reason behind this is that very few, if any motherboards will sport a pair of DisplayPort connectors. For most people this isnt likely to be much of an issue, but if Intel delivers on its graphics performance claims for Ivy Bridge, we have a feeling that at least some people will 11
  12. 12. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonewant to connect additional displays via the ports on the The shared PLL would still be able to drive DVI and HDMImotherboard. Add Lucidlogix Virtu MVP software in the displays at resolutions of up to 1920x1200 without a problemmix which allows for discrete graphics card signals to be and the DisplayPort would be able to drive a 2560x1600routed via the motherboard display connectors when extra display.3D power is needed, as well as being combined with the Ivy Of course, the other approach of using DP++ wouldve beenBridge GPU for an extra performance boost and maybe weve to include passive adapters and equipped a motherboardfound a slight flaw in the motherboard makers plans. with mini DisplayPort connectors, something most recentThe issue to this specific problem is that Intel has moved graphics cards support. The end result wouldve been theaway from TMDS support and towards the DisplayPort same as above, but less space wouldve been taken up by thestandard. However, Intel has only incorporated two PLLs connectors at the rear of the motherboard. Were still notand although this isnt an issue for DisplayPort connected sure about DP++ support when it comes to the DisplayPortmonitors, its a whole different matter when were talking connector on the upcoming 7-series motherboards, butTMDS interfaces like DVI and HDMI, as well as of course weve asked some motherboard makers about it and weregood old analogue output. So if a motherboard maker was waiting to hear back from them with regards to this.to make a board with three DisplayPort connectors – or one In the world of notebooks things are slightly different, aseDP interface with regards to notebooks – one of the three here the built in display could be connected via the eDPdisplays would be able to have a resolution of 2560x1600 interface and as we have yet to see a consumer notebook withand the other two would still be able to work at 1920x1200, a higher resolution than 1920x1200, the issue of sharing adue to the fact that they share one PLL. PLL isnt really an issue. Were not entirely sure what theOnce we start throwing in other interfaces things get limitations are on displays with a higher refresh rate thancomplicated, as TMDS and analogue interfaces dont like 60Hz, or for 3D content, but Intel is supporting HDMI 1.4sharing PLLs. As such on a system where both the DVI and so we have a feeling that this would force a limitation of twoHDMI ports are used – or if the D-sub connector in lieu displays regardless of the interface used.of one of the other two interface – no third display can Hopefully all of this has proven to be of some use. Despitebe attached. The problem is that the DisplayPort interface the fact that Intel actually supports up to three displays viais far from commonplace and as such most motherboard the IGP in its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, it looks likemanufacturers have opted for more traditional interfaces. various limitations is at least for the time being preventingThe chart below will hopefully help to clarify things slightly, three displays from being used. Once Thunderbolt equippedeven though its somewhat confusingly laid out. motherboards arrive, this could potentially change, at least if the Thunderbolt equipped motherboards also sport a DisplayPort interface as well as a DVI, HDMI or D-sub connector. At the end of the day, the easy way around this problem is to connect your displays to a graphics card, but as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are finally some good reasons as to why youd want to use the ports on the motherboard. Facebook working on social search engine to rival Google Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-working-on-social-search- engine-to-rival-google/15406.html April 2nd, 2012The entire DisplayPort issue is a bit of a chicken and eggproblem, as due to a fairly limited availability of DisplayPort Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements toequipped monitors, the motherboard makers dont want to its as yet untapped search engine, with the project beingadd the connector, but without the connector being more spearheaded by a former Google engineer.commonly available; its unlikely that well see a lot moreDisplayPort equipped monitors. That said, it seems like the Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements tomonitor makers are finally starting to catch on and hopefully its as yet untapped search engine, with the project beingwell see more DisplayPort equipped screens this year. spearheaded by a former Google engineer.A relatively easy way around this problem wouldve been totake a leaf out of the graphics card makers book, specifically Bloomberg cited anonymous sources at the company, whoSapphire which has been making quite a few cards that revealed that Facebook is hoping to make it significantlyimplements Dual-mode DisplayPort or DP++ as its also easier to search through status updates and shared content,known as. What Sapphre has done is to take the low-cost as well as anything that has been “liked” using Facebookscompenents used in a passive DP++ adapter to turn a buttons across the web.DisplayPort signal into a TMDS signal and as such an extraDVI port has been usable on its cards. The motherboardmakers would be able to use the same passive components The project is being worked on by 24 Facebook engineers,for the shared DisplayPort PLL to drive both a DVI and an led by Lars Rasmussen, an ex-Google employee, hinting atHDMI port on the motherboard, without any real limiations. the rivalry between the two internet firms. 12
  13. 13. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe move is largely seen as an attack on Googles dominance The changes come as the Fair Labour Association (FLA)in the search engine market, a retaliation to Googles entry found that there were a number of violations of Chineseinto social networking last year with Google+, which many labour laws, including working too many hours and notpeople see as the biggest threat to Facebook. getting paid for overtime work, a stark contrast to its initial hints that Foxconn conditions were good.Google+ already has a fairly advanced search feature,leaving Facebook to rely on a partnership with Microsoft forBing search results, which has not been fully explored ormonetised.Facebook remains the dominant social network, however,and if it can develop a true social search engine that takesadvantage of the huge amount of user content and data at itsdisposal it could become a major feature that helps retain itsusers and steal back some lost to Google. Apples CEO, Tim Cook, visited Foxconn factories recently, an event widely seen as an attempt to show that Apple took this problem seriously. It appears that it was not just forApple and Foxconn show, however, and the company has managed to secureagree worker condition improvements at the Foxconn plants.improvementsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-and-foxconn-agree-worker- Some analysts believe that this change could rock the entirecondition-improvements/15405.html industry, with many companies relying on cheap labour inApril 2nd, 2012 China and other countries in order to cut costs and maximise profits. These firms may be forced to follow suit, improving the working life of many people, but hitting the bottom line for these multi-billion dollar technology companies.Apple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working In fact, Apple is far from the only companyconditions in Chinese factories after an independent employing Foxconn to manufacture and assemble electronicinvestigation found a number of labour law violations. equipment. Amazon, Dell, HP, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba are among a large number of big names thatApple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working outsource to the Chinese companys factories.conditions in Chinese factories after an independentinvestigation found a number of labour law violations. There is undoubtedly still room for improvement at Foxconn plants, but this decision will go a long way to improvingAs part of a new agreement, Foxconn, which assembles working conditions and showing the industry that productiPhone and iPad devices for Apple, will cut illegal overtime, innovation should not come at the price of ignoring the well-improve safety protocols, upgrade housing and amenities for being of staff, no matter who they are or where they work.workers, and hire thousands of new staff across the board tomake up for lost work.The maximum working hours will now be 49 per week, BlackBerry maker RIM deniesincluding overtime, down from the over 60 hours per weekthat an average Foxconn employee works when factories are consumer market exit claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-maker-rim-denies-at peak production. consumer-market-exit-claims/15403.html April 2nd, 2012Wages will remain the same, but they have already beenincreased several times since a series of suicides causedscandal at the company and damaged the reputation ofApple. Some employees are not happy that wages are notrising, however, as low pay was the reason they worked Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerryinsane hours in the first place. smartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoning 13
  14. 14. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quoteout of proportion.Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerrysmartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoningthe consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quoteout of proportion.After an abysmal quarter, where the company lost awhopping $125 million, CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIMwould refocus on enterprise and stop trying to be all thingsto all people.Understandably, news outlets throughout the worldinterpreted this as meaning that RIM was planning to leavethe consumer market, where it has been struggling for sometime against more popular Apple and Android devices. The HTC One X features a a polycarbonate unibody that has a unique matte exterior at the rear, while the sides are of a glossy "piano" finish. Because of its unibody design, theHowever, Patrick Spence, managing director of Global Sales phone battery is not removable, and the micro-SIM cardand Marketing, said that RIM “remains committed to all tray is at the top; together with the 3.5mm audio jack andof our customers (consumer and enterprise),” adding that power button. On the left is the microUSB connector whilereports of a consumer market exit were “wholly inaccurate.” the volume controls are on the right.BlackBerry is planning some new BB7 devices this yearbefore the release of its much-anticipated BlackBerry10 operating system, which it might license to rivalmanufacturers in an effort to bring in more revenue. Thecompany still has potential in the enterprise market, whereit will be putting its primary focus, but with how bad thingshave been going, we wonder why it considers the consumermarket an option for it at all.HTC Asia launches One X inSingaporeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-asia-launches-one-x-in-singapore/15341.htmlApril 2nd, 2012 The phone sports a 4.7-inch 720p touchscreen display with durable Corning Gorilla Glass, has three touch-sensitive buttons below the display (back, home, and recent apps) as well as 1.3-megapixel front camera and on the rear, an 8-megapixel with LED flash that can record videos at full high definition 1080p resolution. It is equipped with the new 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processorThe HTC One X is one of the Android smartphones that was and runs Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operatingannounced at the Mobile World Congress last month. And system. The company has incorporated the latest HTC Sensetoday, the phone has officially landed in Singapore. 4.0 UI that offers improved user experience, though it 14
  15. 15. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonehas "quietly" removed the People Hub and OnLive apps.HTC has also improved their Music Hub as it is now a one-stop place for your playlist as well as online streaming radiostations; you can add your favorite streaming sites to the listtoo. This 9.7-inch tablet runs a 1024 x 768 IPS display not unlike the iPad 2 and TouchPad with a 1.3MP camera, 4GB storage (+ SD Card slot) and a thickness of 9mm. One would hope the U.S. release will come with a serve of Ice Cream Sandwich, but I certainly wouldnt be counting on it. RIM admits defeat in consumer smartphone space Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-admits-defeat-in-consumer- smartphone-space/15401.htmlThe camera function has also seen some advancements. In April 2nd, 2012capture mode, both the camera shutter and video recordonscreen buttons are available immediately rather than theneed to switch between modes. According to HTC, evenwhen you are already in video recording mode, you can stillchoose to snap still images at any time, though the imageresolution will be that of the video. The camera can alsoshoot in continuous burst mode, up to 100 images at a time. Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in MotionThe HTC One X has a suggested retail price of S$898 (before (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it willcontract), and will be in stores from 2 April. The model that recede from most consumer markets due to Apple andis selling here is not 4G-capable; the 4G version will only Google dominating most of the market share - nothingbe using dual-core processor and there is no news as to unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it willwhether it will come to Singapore. (Not that Singapore has be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primarywidespread 4G network yet). strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers.ViewSonics ViewPad 10E Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in Motionhits FCCs database, coming (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it will recede from most consumer markets due to Apple andto the U.S. soon Google dominating most of the market share - nothingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-s-viewpad-10e-hits-fcc-s- unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it willdatabase-coming-to-the-u.s.-soon/15402.html be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primaryApril 2nd, 2012 strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers. RIMs CEO Thorsten Heins said, "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment. We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeedFollowing availability in limited parts of the globe post its if we tried to be everybodys darling and all things to allinitial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonics people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength."VS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to be Yesterday RIM also said that co-CEO Jim Balsillie hascoming to the states soon with an entry appearing via the resigned from its board as well as David Yach, chiefFCCs database that tends to indicate the items presence on technology officer for software and Rim Rowan, chiefstore shelves within a few weeks. operating officer for global operations both leaving afterFollowing availability in limited parts of the globe post its some acute management manouvres.initial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonicsVS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to becoming to the states soon with an entry appearing via theFCCs database that tends to indicate the items presence onstore shelves within a few weeks. 15
  16. 16. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Windows Phone future roadmap, the company has been divided into two. The "next billion" strategy would rely on the companys Series 40/Asha department to fulfil, though Android devices may pose a threat with the cutting of prices to cater to the emerging markets. The Nokia N9 was said to be the first and last MeeGo device. And it looks to be a pity for the company to just call it quit on future MeeGo development, especially with its favorable reviews and acceptance in the market. Intels Haswell to push the desktop PC CPU packaging frontiers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-haswell-to-push-the-desktop- pc-cpu-packaging-frontiers/15399.html April 2nd, 2012There is no denying that BlackBerry retains a strong footholdin the corporate smartphone market with the phones beingrenowned for their security and reliability and a lot ofbusiness customers depending and trusting in them fortheir portable email needs. RIMs BlackBerry 10 OS seeingdelay after delay hasnt helped them at all and the hype onthis one is also minimal with general knowledge being that Got used to the simple packaging migration from LGA1156BlackBerry drags its feet a little in the performance stakes, to LGA1155? Intels next generation - Haswell - is widelyparticularly when running third party apps. expected to up the ante in the PC CPU packaging excellence, and offer a spread of choicesThe particularly sad thing is that even in the business realmBlackBerrys are slowly losing their share in the market with For a typical mainstream or mid-high end desktopmore employees requesting iOS or Android-running phones user, Intels CPU packaging policy was pretty clear: thethese days. LGA1156 socket for Nehalem and Westmere based quad- core processors was replaced by LGA1155 socket for theIn all, things are looking pretty grim for this once top tier Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generation, and then theplayer in the smartphone market. Its all about iOS and LGA1150 socket (another five pins or, more correctly, holes,Android these days, with a sprinkle of Windows Phone in gone) will come for the Haswell and Broadwell processors inbetween. 2013.Nokia to release two low-end So, every microarchitecture has its own socket and the associated chipset and board platform that, with the BIOSMeeGo phones? updates and reasonable advance design fixes allowing easySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-release-two-low-end- upgrades, should also span the extra process shrink withinmeego-phones-/15400.html each microarchitecture - about a 2 year lifespan.April 2nd, 2012 While keeping one package and socket standard for its microarchitecture, theres much more to Haswell than just the outside package. Namely, Haswell will have more than one die variant, as discussed here before. For the desktop, the usual dual core and quad core die choices are obvious,The Nokia N9 was the first MeeGo phone to go to market just like they were on the Sandy / Ivy Bridge. However, therelast year. But after that, the Finnish company said that it is the third and the most exciting die choice here, which wewould focus on Windows Phones. While Nokia had gone also covered: the very high end quad core plus GT3 graphicsquiet for many months with regards to the development of with an additional L4 cache die, very likely an eDRAM largenew MeeGo devices, rumors had it that the manufacturer cache (16+ MB) connected via a separate backside bus to thecould be launching two low-end MeeGo phones. main CPU die.According to reports, Nokia may be launching two newlow-end MeeGo smartphones to accomplish their "next The purpose of this cache wouldnt be just minimising thebillion" strategy. The so-called "next billion" strategy can be bandwidth contention between the CPU and GPU, bothattributed to the billions of users in the emerging markets more powerful than before here, for the usual dual channel Nokia is targeting with its affordable mobile phones, with DDR3 memory - of course, that is still a very importantthe majority of these users being based in China. And the factor, since even DDR3-2500 dual channel cant easilycompany is looking to maintain its leadership position in satisfy both CPU and GPU together. That cache, after somethis market. Last year, when Nokia has announced their thinking, could also deliver the extra sustained bandwidth 16
  17. 17. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonefor the AVX-enabled high throughput floating point, with procurement and distribution. John Stefanac, vice presidentextra FMA (Fused Multiply Add) that comes in Haswell and of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Southeast Asiadoubles the peak FP execution rate. To truly double the and Pacific is quoted saying that "The expansion of ouractual obtained FP rate, the extra memory bandwidth is presence in Singapore demonstrates Qualcomms deepenedneeded and, in absence of higher bandwidth main memory, commitment to the Asia Pacific region and builds on morethis large cache would be VERY helpful to achieve this goal. than a decade of successful operations here."Back to the packaging: fitting all this in one socket meansgoing back to the future and the MCM multi chip moduleapproach seen in Pentium Pro far in 1995, then in PreslerP4 and, of course, initial Westmere entry level CPUs: here,the CPU and L4 cache dies would be on a single highspeed substrate allowing half clocked or possibly even sameclocked external L4 cache, but the outside world will notsee the L4 cache, only the usual CPU stuff, just like onother Haswell CPUs. No big problems here, since the powersavings from the 22 nm tri-gate process should easilyleave plenty of TDP headroom for the L4 cache to beaccomodated, without any clock speed sacrifices necessaryby the processor.Do keep in mind MCMs are always seen as a sort of high endtechnology frontier here, and such packaging excellencewill add a bit of extra price. Now, imagine how many choiceswould there be on the mobile side of the story?Qualcomm to open R&Dcentre in Singapore for ICdesign and engineeringSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-to-open-r-d-centre-in-singapore-for-ic-design-and-engineering/15398.htmlApril 2nd, 2012There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip designcompanies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nationto be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre.The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what iscommonly known as 3G.There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip designcompanies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nationto be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre.The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what iscommonly known as 3G.According to the press release, Qualcomm will be focusingon "analog and power design; mixed signal design; digitaldesign; mask layout design; and pre and post siliconverification" at its Singapore facility. The local governmentchimed in and Mr. Teo Ser Luck, the Minister of Statefor Trade and Industry said that "[w] e are excitedthat Qualcomm, the worlds largest fabless semiconductorcompany, is setting up an IC Design & Engineering R&DCentre in Singapore, further establishing Singapore as aninternational hub for its chipset business."Considering the local expertise when it comes to ICdesign, it’s clear that this move by Qualcomm isn’t oneby chance. Beyond IC design and R&D, the new facilitywill also be home to business planning and development,marketing and administrative functions as well as sourcing, 17
  18. 18. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! There is, however, an "In Case You Leave Something Behind" VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly mode that can be activated to alert you whenever the LBT- publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the MPVRU01 is outside of your iPhone 4Ss connectivity range. geeks. Both devices will ring at once. If your PC is equipped with a BlueTooth 4.0 USB adapter, theLogitecs new Bluetooth 4.0 LBT-MPVRU01 can also be paired to that, allowing you to automatically lock your Windows 7 PC whenever the gadgetaccessory helps you find is out-of-range.missing keys (or iPhone 4S)Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitec-s-new-bluetooth-4.0-accessory-helps-you-find-missing-keys-or-iphone-4s-/15394.htmlApril 5th, 2012If youre an iPhone 4S (or a new iPad) owner and often findyourself spending time searching for misplaced keys or othersuch items, Logitecs new Bluetooth 4.0 accessory - the LBT-MPVRU01 "Burutag" (which translates to "vibrating tag")may just be the solution youve been looking for. The idea itself is not entirely new. Cobra Tag for Android and BlackBerry provided pretty much the same functionality a couple years back. Although in Cobra Tags case, when your device is out of range it will notify you via email instead.Pair the LBT-MPVRU01 to your iPhone 4S via Bluetooth,download the Burutag app from the iTunes store, and youll That said, Burutag does take advantage of Bluetooth 4.0sbe able to tap a virtual button in the app to make the low-energy profile, consuming significantly less power bothaccessory play a melody or vibrate, depending on its setting for your iPhone 4S and the gadget itself - which is powered(changeable through a switch on the device). by a single CR2023 cell battery. Logitec rates the gadgets battery life at approximately two years.Conversely, if you have the Burutag with you, and cant locateyour iPhone 4S, hitting a button on the accessory will make Unfortunately, this also means that the accessory is notyour handset play its ringtone. compatible with any prior iPhone or iPad models (the 4S and the new iPad are the only two IOS devices equipped withThe LBT-MPVRU01 and your iPhone 4S must be within 10 Bluetooth 4.0). Nevertheless, if youre keen on picking onemeters for the functionality to work (assuming there are no up, the gadget is open to preorders at Logitecs web store insolid walls), so if you left your vibrating-tagged keys in the Japan, priced at 3,490 (in retail shops its open-priced).office, well, youre out of luck. 1
  19. 19. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe LBT-MPVRU01 Burutag is available in three colours(black, red, and white), and goes on sale in Japan in mid-to-late April. Logitec has not yet announced any plans to sellthe gadget outside of Japan.Preview: GIGABYTE GTX 680OC WindForce 3X 2GBSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/preview-gigabyte-gtx-680-oc-windforce-3x-2gb/15433.htmlApril 5th, 2012 One obvious improvement is the doing away of the vertically stacked 6+6pin PCIe connector design from the referenceWhen the GK104 based GeForce GTX 680 was first card, with GIGABYTE instead opting for a more generousreleased, many pundits pointed out that the reference 8+6 pin layout, which means the card can theoretically takedesign had much room for improvement, especially in the 300W of peak power instead of an underwhelming 225W,power circuitry department which comes into play when allowing for more ambitious overclocks.overclocking. The GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3Xthat we have today attempts to address some of the shortfallswith a beefed up VRM and their custom triple fan cooler.GIGABYTE needs no introduction - they are one ofthe largest motherboard and component makers in theindustry and pride themselves in engineering excellence.The WindForce brand is their line of non-reference graphicscards from both AMD/ATi and Nvidia, decked out witha custom cooler and trademark blue PCB design toimprove overclocking mileage and durability. Today wehave their GTX 680 version in our labs, which is factoryoverclocked at 1071 MHz (base)/1124 MHz (boost), 50MHzmore than regular cards. 2
  20. 20. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone users running non ICS-running devices. Google says that by updating to the latest version on an Android 3.2 Honeycomb device you will be given the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich experience with the ability to swipe to move between newer and older conversations, tap your account to access Recent labels and set custom notifications for individual labels. Further to the above, Honeycomb users can now sync the last 30 days of messages allowing them to read and search messages faster whether on or offline. Froyo and Gingerbread users can reap some of the benefits as well with performance improvements and a new labels API for third party app devs. The latest version of Gmail for Android can be freely downloaded via Google Play for all devices running Android 1.6 and up.GIGABYTE didnt change the I/O Panel on their GTX680 WindForce, sticking with full-sized HDMI/DP ports NVIDIA Prepares Cut-downand dual DVI (one of them single link only, which wethink is redundant and spoils the prospect of single slot GK104 Chip: GTX 670 Ti towater-cooling). The obvious improvement from the previous Compete Against HD 7950generation GTX 580 flagship is that we can now run triple- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-prepares-cut-down-gk104-display 3D Vision Surround from a single card (previously chip-gtx-670-ti-to-compete-against-hd-7950/15440.htmlonly possible on SLi setups), although it might be hampered April 5th, 2012on graphically intensive games by the 2GB of framebuffer. Its no secret that the GK104 originally started its life as a mainstream i.e. performance SKU, but not the high-end kind. Chip originally designated for GeForce GTX 670 Ti will get that name, albeit in a cut down shape. All viable silicon vendors are always working on maximizing their yields (percentage of working dies). One of most common moves is to fuse off non-working parts of the chip and rebrand the product one or two notches down. Intel and AMD are doing that with its CPUs and quite naturally, AMD and NVIDIA are doing that with GPUs. For example, you can read how Intel deals with faulty Ivy Bridge dies in this article.Gmail for Android updatedwith ICS experience forHoneycomb usersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gmail-for-android-updated-with-ics-experience-for-honeycomb-users/15453.htmlApril 5th, 2012Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmailfor Android application which is of particular benefit tousers running non ICS-running devices. Google says that byupdating to the latest version on an Android 3.2 Honeycombdevice you will be given the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwichexperience with the ability to swipe to move between newerand older conversations, tap your account to access Recentlabels and set custom notifications for individual labels.Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmailfor Android application which is of particular benefit to 3