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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Dec 2011 Issue


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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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  • 1. December 1st, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! That would have been all well and good were it not for the fact VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication that the dentist then overcharged him, sent his records to the covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. wrong insurance company, and refused to provide a new copy of those records so he could give them to his actual insurance company.Dentist fines customer forposting negative review online The incident was so bad for Lee that he decided to postSource: a negative review of Makhnevichs practice on both Yelpnegative-review-online/14116.html and DoctorBase, saying: “Avoid at all cost! Scamming theirDecember 1st, 2011 customers!” Of course, the anti-defamation agreement meant that he was required to never say a bad word about his dentist, no matter how poorly he had been treated.A New York dentist has fined a customer for posting a negativereview online, highlighting the underhanded nature of anti- Makhnevich then sent Lee a number of $100 fines, allegingdefamation contracts and how they are being abused to ensure he had infringed her copyright. It is not exactly clear why thea companys good reputation in spite of poor treatment. dentist went with this argument, as the case appears to be one of contract violation rather than copyright infringement. The case raises significant questions over the rampant use of anti-defamation contracts among certain businesses, which employ underhanded legal wrestling to ensure that their reputation remains intact, regardless of the actual treatment of customers. Lee filed a lawsuit against Makhnevich, which has resulted in the medical law agency Medical Justice Services, which wrote the contract in question, cancelling it and telling all of its clients to stop using it. Lees lawyer, Paul Alan Levy, said: “It is outrageous that a patient would have to sign away his constitutionally protected right to get treatment for a toothache.”A New York dentist has fined a disgruntled customer forposting a negative review online after it was revealed that hehad inadvertantly signed an anti-defamation contract beforehaving a toothache addressed. Safari was fastest then, now the slowest according toThe bizarre case began when 42-year-old Robert Lee visited Futuremarks PeacekeeperStacy Makhnevichs dental practice to deal with a bad Source: and tooth infection. Lee claims he was given slowest-according-to-futuremark-s-peacekeeper/14112.htmla contract to sign, the terms of which included an anti-defamation clause, which he said he questioned, but ultimatelyagreed to in order for Makhnevich to treat his pain. 1
  • 2. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 1st, 2011 • Firefox is most popular with Peacekeeper users, accounting for almost 30% of all results. • Chrome has held the title of fastest browser since May 2009 but Opera is closing the gap. According to Futuremark, with the updated Peacekeeper, evenFuturemark has released a new version of the Peacekeeper, the most outdated of hardware will have a proper place inwhich is a web browser benchmarking program to keep up- with the increasingly recognized HTML5 standards.Along with this new release, Futuremark also reveals someinteresting data on how the browsers landscape has changed Samsung announces PM830over the last two and a half years. Read on to find out more. series of mSATA SSDs for Ultrabooks Source: msata-ssd-s-for-ultrabooks/14115.html December 1st, 2011 Samsung has been a long time OEM/ODM of notebook SSDs, least not to Apple, but not the company has announced that its about to break into the Ultrabook market with its new PM830 series of mSATA SSDs. The company also has a model for hard drive caching, suitable for Ultrabooks, notebooks andLeader of performance benchmarking software Futuremark desktops.has just released their latest version of the Peacekeeper, afreeware to measure and compare web browser operation Samsung has been a long time OEM/ODM of notebook SSDs,speeds. least not to Apple, but not the company has announced thatThe Peacekeeper is completely reconstructed to support its about to break into the Ultrabook market with its newHTML5 standards, and can accurately compare any browsers PM830 series of mSATA SSDs. The company also has a modelon a large variety of hardware configurations. It utilizes for hard drive caching, suitable for Ultrabooks, notebooks andJavaScript functionality to assess the speed of the browser, desktops.which is a good thing, as it is one of the most common The PM830 series will be available in capacities of 64, 128programming languages for websites today. Through this and 256GB, with a 32GB version for hard drive caching. Themethod, Internet connection speeds and latencies will not drive uses Samsungs latest 20nm class toggle mode DDRaffect scores for each comparison. NAND flash and Samsung is promising read speeds of up toHardware comparisons can be made with the Peacekeeper via 500MB/s and write speeds of up to 260MB/s over a SATAa control browser used across all devices to be benchmarked. 6Gbps interface. The press release didnt mention which SSDThis is due to the fact that the power of the processor is highly controller was being used and the picture below doesnt revealassociated with the browser performance. any details beyond the Samsung NAND flash.Here are some interesting facts that have surfaced throughdata collected from Peacekeeper over two and a half yearsperiod: • 2.6 million results submitted since Peacekeeper launched in March 2009. • 3140 different browser versions tested. • Safari was fastest when Peacekeeper launched. It is now the slowest on Windows and Mac. • IE has shown the greatest improvement with an average score increase of almost 450%. • Safari has shown the least improvement, just 160% faster in two years on Windows systems. 2
  • 3. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The revelation came at the Reuters Global Media Summit, where Antoine Brachet, marketing chief of Total Immersion, said that his company is working closely with Intel on its chipset to introduce some augmented reality features like gesture recognition. This is a highly significant move, as it means that augmented reality technology would come as part of the hardware itself and not require software downloads to work, which will help with the growth and adoption of the technology. Intel invested in Total Immersion in March, signalling a vote of confidence in the relatively new augmented reality sector. That investment might pay off with a new feature that Intel can tout over competitors, but Total Immersion has not limited itself toIn addition to that, Samsung has also included 256-bit AEI Intel, as it also inked a recent deal with rival chipmaker Texasencryption to keep the data safe for government people that Instruments.leave their notebooks in the back seat of taxis. Samsung is onlyplanning on selling the PM830 to OEM partners which is ashame, as it looks like it could prove to be a nice upgrade option Augmented reality works by overlaying real life images andfor some Ultrabooks and what not. It looks like the future of videos with digital information, including text and graphics.notebooks SSDs is mSATA, for better or worse. For example, check out this magicians use of augmented reality to enhance a card trick.Intel and Total Immersion planaugmented reality chips Augmented reality has yet to expand to become a major consumer technology, but it has shown a lot of potential, withSource: UK supermarket chain Tesco introducing it to help people seeDecember 1st, 2011 products before they buy them online. It is not yet clear when we will see the new Intel chips, but Brachet suggested that it would be between two and three years, depending on how well consumers accept the technology.Chip giant Intel is teaming up with Total Immersion tointroduce augmented reality features into its upcomingcomputer chips, potentially giving it a further edge over thecompetition. ZiiLABS to showcase Android 4.0 based JAGUAR tablet at CES 2012 Source: based-jaguar-tablet-at-ces-2012/14111.html December 1st, 2011 ZiiLABS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd. is ready to break the ground at CES 2011 with their JAGUAR reference tablet based on the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Equipped with quad-core Cortex-A9Chip giant Intel is teaming up with Total Immersion to based ZMS-40 media processor, it is touted to possess Blu-rayintroduce augmented reality features into its upcoming quality high-profile 1080P H.264 and WebM support. Read oncomputer chips. to find out what it is capable of. 3
  • 4. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneMedia processor and platform company, ZiiLABS has Corsair Vengeance SO-DIMM modules make use of high layerannounced that they will be showcasing their JAGUAR count PCBs (higher number of PCB layers contribute to greaterreference tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at the electrical and signalling stability), the PCBs are colored black,upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2012 which will start to give them a premium feel. Theres no room for a thickfrom 10th of January. heatsink, but Corsair used millimeter-thick metal plates to serve as heatspreaders.The JAGUAR is said to “deliver a comprehensive range ofOEM ready 7-inch and 10-inch tablet solutions that combineexcellent performance, battery life and industrial design”. Itfeatures two variants of the Cortex-A9 processor which is theZMS-20 Dual-Core and the ZMS-40 Quad-Core processors.ZiiLABS is confident of the new tablets media capabilities,thanks to its Blu-ray quality 1080p High-Profile H.264 videocapabilities and WebM support. It also provides high qualityvideo conferencing capabilities via its dual camera system,and uses standard APIs such as OpenCL and Renderscript toperform real-time image processing. Corsair will be launching three kits consisting of theseCorsair Intros Vengeance SO- modules, two of which are 8 GB (2x 4 GB), and one being aDIMM Memory Modules single 4 GB module kit. Among the two module kits, theres a DDR3-1866 MHz kit, and a DDR3-1600 MHz one. TheSource: lone module kit consists of a DDR3-1866 MHz stick. Thememory-modules/14110.html modules dont require more than 1.5 volts DRAM voltage,December 1st, 2011 though achieve their rated speeds at rather loose timings, by desktop standards of course. Part numbers and specifications are tabled below. Size Speed # of DIMMs Part NumberCorsair introduced a new line of DDR3 memory modules 8GB 1866MHz, 2 CMSX8GX3M2A1866in the SO-DIMM form-factor, targeting high-performance 10-10-10-27,notebooks, gaming notebooks, and mobile workstations. 1.5VCorsairs new modules promise to bring a similar level of 8GB 1600MHz, 2 CMSX8GX3M2A1600tuning headroom as their bigger standard DIMM cousins. 9-9-9-24, 1.5VCorsairs Vengeance family struck a fine middle-ground 4GB 1866MHz, 1 CMSX4GX3M1A11866between the overclockability of its high-performance yet 10-10-10-27,expensive Dominator series, and the affordability of its XMS3 1.5Vseries. For obvious reasons of space and electrical constraints,Corsair couldnt port the design ideology of Dominator to the Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair, saysSO-DIMM form-factor, but doing so for Vengeance seemed "As more complex applications and games are available inpossible. Hence, Vengeance SO-DIMM family. the market, many laptop users are looking for an easy way to improve their system performance in order to have the best experience.Our new Vengeance high-performance laptop 4
  • 5. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonememory kits allow performance-minded customers to boosttheir memory performance and capacity in an instant."Although launched, we dont have prices of these kits at hand,as they are not listed on popular stores just as yet.Cubitek Has Big AluminumCase Plans for 2012Source: 1st, 2011 Pictured above is the main facade. You can find four exposed 5.25-inch drive bays, and a dust-protected inlet for the 200 mm intake fan. You can also get an idea of the outer texture of the aluminum body, dark brushed aluminum.Cubitek wants to play in the big league of premium all-aluminum PC cases, targeting almost every consumer form-factor: ATX mid-tower, EATX full-tower, HPATX, micro-ATX,and even mini-ITX. All part of the companys new ICE series,these cases will be fabricated with extruded aluminum thatsas much as 3 mm thick in some parts, making the cases bothsturdy, and radiate heat better. We got to take a peak at eachof these.The series starts off with the most common PC form-factor,the ATX mid-tower. The ATX Ice is larger than most mid-towers, treading very close to being categorized a full-tower.It measures 230 x 508.5 x 513 mm (WxHxD), weighing inat 7.1 kg (net.). As mentioned earlier, Cubitek designed thesecases with aluminum sheets as thick as 3 mm to give them thesturdiness of 1 mm thick SECC steel. The internals dont used anodized aluminum, rather exposed. This helps with radiating heat. Although some cable management holes are rubber-valved, there are some wide open holes, such as the one next to the PSU bay, a cutout over the CPU socket area (to help with handling coolers with backplates), and one on the top-left corner of the motherboard tray (for CPU power capbles. You can immediately tell that Cubiteks Ice cases are not tool-free. 5
  • 6. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone South Korean scientists Hyun Gyu Park and Byoung Yeon Won have found a way where by people can place a sample of their own saliva on their touchscreen for analysis of their health. “Since these touchscreens can detect very small capacitance changes, we thought they could serve as highly sensitive detection platforms for disease biomarkers,” the scientists mentioned. Through the demonstration of a prototype screen, they managed to show that the detection of various concentrations of bacteria is possible.Improvements still have to be made to allow the system to sense different kinds of bacteria, and giving a more accurate assessment of the disease involved. Perhaps we can hope that when the technology is ready, people with severe or prolonged illness can monitor their own health status comfortably from home, as well as diagnose a serious issue early enough to receive help with this kind of convenience.Theres nothing "loud" about the rear panel. You find theusual PSU bay at the bottom, a 120 mm grilled fan exhaust,two rubber-valved holes for water cooling tubing, and the Apple iPhone 4 on fire, twiceexpansion slot bays. Beating the ATX specification, there Source: eight bays instead of seven. This should help with twice/14106.htmlmulti-graphics card setups in which one of the graphics December 1st, 2011cards occupies the bottom-most expansion slot of an ATXmotherboard.Spit on your phone for good In two bizarre accounts, two separate Apple iPhone 4 ignitedhealth themselves in dangerous proximity to users, but ultimatelySource: causing nothing more than the inconvenience of losing thehealth/14108.html phone and some disruptions of the moment. Will Apple findDecember 1st, 2011 out if this is just a duo of accidents or a flaw in manufacture process?Technological advancements empower our phones to do somany things, but soon you can spit on your phone to know ifyoure down with flu, quite literally. A new developement fromKorean utilizes capacitative screens like those on smartphonesto detect the presence of bacteria. 6
  • 7. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneApple’s iPhone 4 is hot, by every sense of the word. Inone week, two iPhone 4 have been reported to combustspontaneously, but luckily no one was hurt. In the latestincident, a lady by the name of Ayla Mota had her iPhonecharging as she slept, when the phone suddenly released Andrew Koh, senior director and general manager,sparks and smoke. While the phone was dangerously close consumer imaging and information products division, Canonto her, she was awakened quickly enough and resolved the Singapore, who is also the lead spokesperson for Projectsituation before any harm came to her. Homecoming, gave an insight on the background ofJust a few days before, a similar situation occurred onboard a the recycling initiative. Started in Japan in 2008, sixflight in Australia, which was dealt with by the flight attendant printer brands (Epson, Canon, Brother, Dell, HP andpromptly, ensuring that no one was hurt. It seems a little too Lexmark) came together, with cooperation from Japan Postclose to be taken as coincidence, but it is good to keep in mind Office, to provide convenient location for public to recyclethat Apple’s iPhone 4 has one of the largest market share in their cartridges. The project was called "Ink Cartridgethe world, so this statistics amount to nothing more than one- Satogaeri" (which directly translated to Homecoming). Inoff incidents. While the Cupertino company has yet to make a Singapore, Project Homecoming is an expansion to thispublic statement about the incidents, it can be expected that similar scheme and is first in the region to launch. Publicthorough investigation and compensation be carried out. simply needs to go to one of the 13 designated libraries - Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Geylang East, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Marine Parade, National Library @ Victioria Street, Queenstown, Tampies Regional, Toa Payoh and Woodlands Regional - and dispose their ink cartridges or toners into the recycling box (picture below).Project Homecoming, In case you are wondering why HP has been left out fromSingapores first joint the original recycling intiative, that is only because the company has their own Planet Partners program. HP hasrecycling initiative, launched also introduced the industry’s first “closed loop” ink cartridgeSource: recycling process, combining plastic from post-consumerjoint-recycling-initiative-launched/14107.html recycled original HP ink cartridges and other sources, such asDecember 1st, 2011 recycled water and soda bottles, in the manufacturing of new original HP ink cartridges.This afternoon, five major printer companies - Brother, Canon,Dell, Epson and Lexmark; with support of National LibraryBoard and National Environment Agency, jointly announcedthe launch of Project Homecoming, Singapores first jointbrand ink and toner cartridge recycling initiative. 7
  • 8. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAccording to Elaine Ng, chief executive officer of National December 1st, 2011Library Board (NLB), at least one recycling bin can be foundat 13 designated libraries. There are plans to introduce therecycling bin to the remaining 10 libraries in Singapore,though that would be the next phase of the project. Increasingly, our phones are becoming our best assistants. A recent discovery, however, begins to question just how much of our privacy is compromised as a factory-installed program is found to reveal every infomation from our phone to the respective companies that made it. Are our personal infomation as safe as we think it is? Recently a program has been unveiled to be embedded deep into some Android phones which records just about every single thing a user can do with his or her phone. All the data goes back to the hardware manufacturers of the phone, which includes account passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive infomation. There is also no way to opt out of being monitored. This discovery was first made when an Android developer Trevor Eckhart used a packet sniffer program to track all data that enter and exit his HTC EVO 4G smartphone. At the center of all this is the software developer Carrier IQ, the company that created this monitoring method for almost all mobile device manufacturer. Upon realizing that Trevor had branded their software as a “rootkit” (a term equivalent to malware) in community sites, Carrier IQ promptly sued him, only to back off when an International digital rights advocacy organization Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped in to help Trevor. In their apology letter to Trevor, Carrier IQ mentioned that their software does not record keystrokes, amongst other inputs, but a video circulated by Trevor shows that this is not true. As of now, there is no easy way to remove the program other than to install a new operating system on your phone. That, of course, generally involves removing the warranty from the phone, so it is not a good solution for most people. For now, much remains to be seen from the response of various companies responsible for the implementation of suchYou may be spied on by your a program.own phoneSource: 8
  • 9. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone and larger battery capacities ascending with screen sizes.Lenovo storms China with The Android Honeycomb 3.2 mobile platform completes thethree new mobile devices package for these two tablets.Source: While the prices are not known yet, Chinese sources state thatmobile-devices/14096.html the LePad S2005 may be for sale within the week.December 1st, 2011 Intel planning wireless dock for Ultrabooks using WiGig Source: ultrabooks-using-wigig/14104.htmlLenovo has announced three new mobile devices for the December 1st, 2011Chinese market. The LePad S2005, S2007 and S2010 are thenew tablets and phones to represent the Chinese company, butwill they meet the mark of their fellow countrymen? It looks like Intel is having big plans for Ultrabooks, at least as far as docking stations are concerned as beyond the wired Thunderbolt docking stations weve already reported about, it appears that Intel is also working on a wire-free option. The peculiar thing here though is that Intel is planning on using WiGig technology courtesy of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance. It looks like Intel is having big plans for Ultrabooks, at least as far as docking stations are concerned as beyond the wired Thunderbolt docking stations weve already reported about, it appears that Intel is also working on a wire-free option. The peculiar thing here though is that Intel is planning on using WiGig technology courtesy of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance. Never heard of WiGig before? Let us give you a quick introduction as to what WiGig is. The Wireless GigabitLenovo has recently unleashed a trio of tablets in China. The Alliance consists of a wide range of technology companysLePad S2007, LePad S2010 and LePad S2005 are set to help including among others, Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, NEC,the Chinese company gain grounds in their own country. Marvell, MediaTek and Qualcomm to mention a few of theIn accordance to the data network available in China, all key hardware manufacturers, although many others suchthe tablets are WCDMA enabled to access data network via as Microsoft, Nvidia, Dell, Samsung, Nokia, Panasonic andChinese telco Unicom. Toshiba are also involved. What these companies are workingThe LePad S2005 is a worthy mention as it belongs to the on is an extension of the 802.11 standard that will allow foremerging category of devices that comes between a phone wireless speed of an expected 7Gbps in the end, some thenand a tablet, owing to its 5-inch screen, which is similar to times faster than what 802.11n is expected to peak at.Dells Streak 5 and Samsungs Galaxy Note. It has a Low WiGig is transmitting at 60GHz, otherwise known as UltraTemperature Polycrystalline Silicon Display with a resolution Wide Band, although its also backwards compatible with theof 800 by 480, featuring a 178-degree viewing angle. This 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, but the highest speeds are onlyphone is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB expected at very short range using the 60GHz band. So whatof memory, giving it processing capabilities on par with most does this have to do with a docking station for Ultabooks? Well,high-end smartphones. Other specifications include a 1.3- to keep things simple, it allows for a high-speed, short rangemegapixel front camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, WiFi wireless signal to be used to connect the Ultrabook to the dockconnectivity, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) sans any kind of wires. There are some limitations though, assupport and a 1650mAh battery. It is said to come with youd still have to plug in power to the Ultrabook sooner orAndroid Gingerbread. later and in Intels specification you still have to plug in theThe LePad S2007 and S2010 are tablets with 7-inch and 10- Ethernet cable into the Ultrabook itself if you want to takeinch screens respectively. Each of them possesses a 1280 by advantage of Intels network features such as vPro.800 resolution In-Plane Switching display with a contrastratio of 1500 to 1. They run on 1.5GHz dual-core processorsand 1GB of memory, with other similar hardware to thatof LePad S2005 except for the 8-megapixel rear cameras 9
  • 10. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone going to start to see some serious competition in the entry- level notebook segment once Microsoft launches Windows 8 for ARM. The Exynos 5250 is but a stepping stone for Samsung, yet the company claims that it offers twice the processing power over one of its Cortex-A9 based Exynos chips clocked at 1.5GHz, or some 14,000 DMIPS compared to 7,500 DMIPS. Beyond that, Samsung has doubled the memory bandwidth to 12.8GB/s, twice than not only of current dual core Cortex- A9 ARM processors, but also twice that of Intels latest Atom processors. Samsung didnt specify the graphics core in the press releaseThe upside of going wireless is of course the fact that you but the company did mention that the GPU used is moredont need to plug anything in to the system to dock it. than four times faster than what we presume is the ARMWiGig should also provide enough bandwidth to cope with Mali-400 MP used in its current Cortex-A9 based processors.just about everything youd need from a dock including display That said, were not sure thats going to be good enoughinterfaces, USB connectivity and audio. The downside is as Samsung is making some bold claims of WQVGA orincreased cost, as not only do you need a WiGig compatible 2,560x1,600 resolution support and youre going to need onechip in the Ultrabook, but also in the dock. Of course in the beefy GPU to run 3D stuff at that kind of resolution. Samsungfuture we might see displays with built in WiGig support into also claims that the extra memory bandwidth is needed to bewhich youd plug an external mouse and a keyboard and that able to handle these kinds of resolutions. That said, on deviceswould be all youd need, rather than having to connect it all to with 3D displays, were still expecting to see resolutions ofyet another device. 1,280x800 as that would be exactly half of WQVGA, ideal forConsidering that the WiGig standard has anything but 3D displays in other words.launched as yet, it seems like this solution is one for thefuture, but its nonetheless interesting to see where thingsmight be heading. One thing appears fairly certain though,Intel is set to make Ultrabooks succeed, one way or anotherand if consumers dont want them, then business users willhave to take them as a replacement for sub-notebooks whichhave been quite popular with people that travel a lot.Samsung announces the firstARM Cortex-A15 based SoCSource: 1st, 2011 But wait, theres more, a lot more. The Exynos 5250 also sports an embedded DisplayPort interface that supports panel self- refresh technology which in simple terms means that static pages doesnt require the GPU to be powered up so that they can be displayed, instead this is handled by the frame buffer in the timing controller. Shall we keep going?If there was every any doubt that ARM based processors weregoing to be limited in terms of performance, Samsungs new For those interesting in snapping pictures and video the32nm Exynos 5250 Cortex-A15 based 2GHz dual core SoC Exynos 5250 should impressive with the ability to shootshould put a lot of doubters minds at rest. This is but a first 8Megapixel stills at 30fps and 1080p video at 60fps. Theresstep of what we can expect over the next couple of years from also a hardware video codec, HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 connectivitythe ARM camp and we have a feeling that the x86 guys are (finally!) and SATA, eMMC4.5 and eSD3.0 support so theresgoing to start to see some serious competition in the entry- no shortage of storage options available for the device makers.level notebook segment once Microsoft launches Windows 8 Although Samsung claims that the Exynos 5250 was designedfor ARM. specifically for high-end tablets, we can easily see this chip ending up in some Android or Linux based notebooks in the not too distant future, especially when you consider the SATAIf there was every any doubt that ARM based processors were support as it makes it easy for the notebook makers to usegoing to be limited in terms of performance, Samsungs new standard components. The Exynos 5250 is currently sampling32nm Exynos 5250 Cortex-A15 based 2GHz dual core SoC to Samsungs customers and is expected to go into mass-should put a lot of doubters minds at rest. This is but a first production in Q2 next year which means that by this time nextstep of what we can expect over the next couple of years from year we should have products in the market sporting the newthe ARM camp and we have a feeling that the x86 guys are 10
  • 11. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneprocessor. It will be interesting to see how much better the same shield as the Fatal1ty cards, but with a blue tintedARM Cortex-A15 core performs and what kind of device the window. Were not entirely sure what else has changed, buthardware makers can come up with. Creative Japan is touting this as a mid-range model. It comes bundled with a 3.5mm to dual RCA cable and an optical Toslink cable as well as Creatives Media Toolbox software,Creative announces additional something you dont get with the basic Recon3D model.Sound Blaster Recon3D cardsin JapanSource: 1st, 2011Weve already seen the Sound Blaster Recon3D and SoundBlaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional, but it looks like Japanis getting an exclusive on no less than two additional models,the Sound Blaster Recon3D Professional Audio and the SoundBlaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion edition. Both cards areof course based on the new Sound Core3D chip from Creativewhich the company was touting as a quad core audio processor It also appears that all the two new models will be bundled witha little while ago. a "beamforming microphone array" in Japan which is meant to allow for clearer sound during things like voice calls or video conferencing. The two new cards arent expect to arrive untilWeve already seen the Sound Blaster Recon3D and Sound January, so we might see them in other regions as well by thenBlaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional, but it looks like Japan and sadly Creative Japan didnt provide any pricing for the twois getting an exclusive on no less than two additional models, new addiotions.the Sound Blaster Recon3D Professional Audio and the SoundBlaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion edition. Both cards areof course based on the new Sound Core3D chip from Creative Report: Production of AMDswhich the company was touting as a quad core audio processora little while ago. desktop Trinity APUs fromThe Fatal1ty Champion is quite similar to the Fatal1ty March 2012Professional and the main difference as far as we can tell is Source: inclusion of a front mounted I/O bay that appears to be trinity-apus-from-march-2012/14099.htmlidentical to the one supplied with the older Sound Blaster X- December 1st, 2011Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series. Apart from that the twocards appear to be identical. AMDs next-generation A-Series APUs for desktops are set to enter mass production in March 2012. First to production will be 65W APUs, to be branded A10-5700, A8-5500, A6-5400 and A4-5300 series. Higher performance 100W APUs will be produced two months later, from May 2012, branded as A10-5800 and A8-5600 series. Considering the 65W APUs go into production with a two months headstart, we can expect the 65W Trinity SKUs to release before their 100W counterparts. However, AMD may choose to hold out for a simultaneous release. Previous rumours suggested that Trinity may release before Ivy Bridge, but this report concludes a release around the same time- frame, if not later, than Ivy Bridge.The Professional Audio version on the other hand ends up New to the A-Series will be a new segment - A10, while the A8,somewhere between the Sound Blaster Recon3D and the A6 and A4 segments from Llano will continue. AMD expectsSound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional, as it has the improved supply for Trinity thanks to higher yields and greater 11
  • 12. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonenumber of wafer starts at GloFos 32nm. The report did notmention details about Trinitys notebook release - arguablythe most important market for Trinity. All information thusfar suggests the market maintaining status-quo, with Intelretaining CPU performance leadership abd AMD continuing tooffer far superior graphics and good price/performance ratio.Before Trinity releases, AMDs Llano range will see a finalrefresh with A8-3870K, A6-3670K, A8-3820, A6-3620 andA4-3420 set to release in January 2012.Cedar Trail-M In DecemberAfter All?Source: 1st, 2011 Sources in the industry are still optimistic about Atoms future. Despite dwindling netbook sales, there is still room for it, particularly in the emerging markets. The Atom netbook ecosystem suffered a huge setback earlier this year, with Samsung deciding to discontinue selling netbooks. The development left netbook at the hands of only two notable companies who can deliver in large volumes, Acer andFaced with increasingly tough competition from ARM- ASUStek.powered tablets, mediocre Q3 2011 sales (-32% YoY), and In December 2011, ASUS will unveil 10-inch netbook modelsother difficulties, launch of 32 nm "Cedar Tail-M" Atom based on Cedar Trail Atom processors, the Eee PC 1025Cprocessors has so far been a troubled affair. At one point this and Eee PC 1025CE. By the end of this year, ASUS will havemonth, there were even strong indications that the new Atom shipped an estimated 4.6-4.8 netbooks, and is expected to shipchips wont make it before Christmas. A fresh report, however, 4-4.2 in 2012. Acers volumes will be similar to ASUS, sourcescomes brings back some hope for a December 2011 launch. note.Faced with increasingly tough competition from ARM-powered tablets, mediocre Q3 2011 sales (-32% YoY), andother difficulties, launch of 32 nm "Cedar Tail-M" Atomprocessors has so far been a troubled affair. At one point this Australian court overturnsmonth, there were even strong indications that the new Atomchips wont make it before Christmas. A fresh report, however, Samsung Galaxy Tab ban Source: brings back some hope for a December 2011 launch. galaxy-tab-ban/14097.htmlIntels Atom N2800 and N2600 processors designed for December 1st, 2011netbooks and ultraportable mobile PCs might still be launchedby Intel in December 2011, according to a recent report byDigiTimes. Sources told the industry observer that any delaysin the launch of the new chips could have only been becauseof weak demand for Atom processors and chipsets, sincethe target platforms of these chips are reeling with intensecompetition from tablets and other mobile computing devicesrunning ARM processors. An Australian court has overturned a preliminary injunction that banned the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the country, but Apple has indicated that it will appeal the decision, which could lead to further difficulties for Samsung. An Australian court has overturned a ruling that banned the sale of Samsungs Galaxy Tab in the country, giving the Korean consumer electronics giant some relief in a hotly contested patent battle. The Federal Court ruling said that there was little evidence to suggest that Samsungs tablet computer infringed a touchscreen patent that Apple had secured a preliminary injunction on. 12
  • 13. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe court went further by dismissing the original ruling as“clearly wrong”, according to a report by the Associated Press. Berg Little Printer prints in aThe full bench argued against Federal Court Justice Annabelle big wayBennetts October ruling, stating that she failed to properly Source: Apples case, which the court now believes would be way/14095.htmlunlikely to win if the matter went to trial. December 1st, 2011 Berg Little Printer doesnt produce a whole lot of photographic prints in a minute, but it can bring concise news to you by your bedside, along with some social gossips, if you want. Check out how this small box can pack a big surprise.Bennetts preliminary ruling banned the sale of the 10.1-inchversion of the Galaxy Tab, based on Apples long-standingclaims that it “slavishly copied” its design for the iPad. Berg, a design studio based in London, has recently unveiled a new printer. No, it is not your typical consumer fare that shows off its infinitely dense dots-per-inch rating or its ultra-Todays decision comes just in time for the lucrative Christmas fast print speeds for the fast-paced and impatient season, which Samsung will be keen to take The Berg Little Printer is a lifestyle product which may attractadvantage of. people with its fun and personal take on printed matters. No bigger than a Rubiks cube, it serves up your daily subscription of various contents such as news, puzzles, social updates,However, Apple said that it will appeal the ruling at the messages sent from friends, and much more, with the pressAustralian High Court, so the injunction will remain standing of a button. All of them will be neatly styled into receipt-sizeduntil Friday to allow time for that to take place. prints. Management of the subscription can be carried out easily with its included smartphone app, while contents are distributed to the printer via wireless connection and CloudThe Galaxy Tab is largely seen as the primary competitor the iPad, leading some, including the European UnionsCompetition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, to question The printer itself comes in a minimalist package bearingthe potentially anti-competitive nature of these kinds of urban-style design, a rising trend in design-orientedinjunctions, which have also resulted in a sales ban of the communities. Inside, an inkless thermal printer head doesGalaxy Tab in Germany. the work and takes away the need to replace cartridges. The prints produced take after the style of graphic design which includes “visual cues from traditional halftone lithographySamsung indicated that it was happy with this latest turn of and modern pixel art”. Berg’s product does seem like anevents, claiming that it proves Apples case lacked any legal elegant marriage of advanced technology and modern stylingmerit. primarily motivated by human intuition. While it may not be the thing for every geek out there, it is likely to have a fair amount of market appeal, especially to ladies. Unfortunately, pricing and availability details have yet to be revealed, but you can sign up on their mailing list to get the latest updates. 13
  • 14. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIntel delays Ivy Bridge to Q22012Source: 1st, 2011Few months ago, rumors due to process problems appearedthat Intel is going to delay the launch of their 22nm Ivy Bridgeprocessors from January to March 2012. Ultimately, even therumors of that March delay came untrue: Intel pushed the Furthermore, the platform just needed development timelaunch into the second quarter of 2012. to complete the complete 2012 platform (Maho Bay) andIntel processors for 2012 carry the codename Ivy Bridge. These processor (Ivy Bridge). This wasnt helped by a wave of and22nm processors will be known as the 3000 series, for example process problems and retirements that recently started toCore i3-3200, i5-3330 or the i7-3770 (regular and K, S, T happen at Intel, as the original baby boomers (joined Intel ineditions). The clock speeds will vary from 3 to 3.5GHz, while 1970 and 1980s) are beginning to leave the company.the models now officially support the prevailing DDR3-1600 Additionally, the company needs time to develop drivers formemory standard. the graphics part. After all is said and done, the new Ivy Bridge processors should debut in April-May 2012 timeframe alongside Maho Bay platform i.e. B75, Q75 and Q77 chipsets. Android Ice Cream Sandwich coming to LG phones Source: to-lg-phones/14087.html December 1st, 2011The parts were scheduled to debut in January 2012, but as LG has promised updates of Android Ice Cream Sandwich tothe time passed by, Intel wanted to extract as much money as their top-tier phones, but will they fail to meet the mark againpossible from the existing Sugar Bay platform and the Sandy as they had with Android Gingerbread? Read on to find outBridge architecture, with both bringing record profits for the which of your phones will be blessed with the new Bear in mind that Sandy Bridge lost almost a quarterafter the infamous chipset recall at the beginning of 2011. Intelmarked a billion dollar loss with the recall costs and obviouslydecided to milk the existing products for as long as possible.The fact that AMDs Bulldozer processors failed to light upthe market only increased that reason. Ivy Bridge will come tomarket only when necessary to do so. A good number of smartphones from the LG Optimus series released in 2011 have been promised upgrades to Android 4.0 14
  • 15. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIce Cream Sandwich (ICS). The release dates of the updates noise-canceling headphones that reduce ambient noise andare not known yet, but the Korean company has said that they comes with a detachable cable with in-line microphonewill unveil their upgrade schedule by December, along with a for voice communication on the iPhone. The concealedlist of additional phones that will be receiving the new OS. microphones in the ear-cups pick up surrounding noises and these are electronically negated, effectively reducing the noiseAmongst the family of Android elite models, it was mentioned by up to 85%. With the absence of unwanted sound, the finely-that the Optimus 2X, Optimus Black, Optimus 3D and the tuned 40mm Neodymium drivers offers great details of musicOptimus LTE will be graced by the highly anticipated software or entertainment. The Creative HN-900s audio cable alsofrom Google. LG will also follow up with updates for as comes with an in-line microphone and switch for a convenientmany phones as they can, which is good news for owners of one-click call function for voice communication on the iPhone.older phones. LG’s Facebook page mentions: “We are also If the headphones run out of battery power, they can stillcontinuing to evaluate the ICS OS to determine whether it is be used in the passive mode without the noise-cancellationcompatible with the functionality, features and performance function.of other LG smartphones to make the ICS OS available on asmany LG smartphones as possible.” The Creative HN-900 noise-canceling headphones are currently available at the Creative online store atThese are big promises to be kept, as the owner responses and The CREATIVE Stores outlets atfollowing the annoncement show that previous update cycles International Business Park, Marina Square and authorisedof Android Gingerbread for many of their phones are either dealers in Singapore from end Nov 2011 onwards at theslow or lacking. Hopefully, LG would take this opportunity to suggested retail price of S$129.fulfil their promises and regain more customer confidence. Celebrate Christmas withCreative announces HN-900 Limited Edition SOULheadphones with active noise- by Ludacris SL-150CScanceling for clear voice calls headphonesSource: Source: edition-soul-by-ludacris-sl-150cs-headphones/14093.htmlDecember 1st, 2011 December 1st, 2011 Looking for a new headphones this festive season? Check outCreative Technology has recently announced their new the limited edition SOUL by Ludacris SL-150CS headphonesHN-900 headphones with active noise-canceling technology in chrome finish.and full-size ear-cups that can reduce ambient noise by upto 85%, offering superb audip experience anc clear voicecommunications. Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, the person behind the brand "SOUL by Ludacris" personal audio products, together with his design team, has created a Limited Edition of the SL-150CS headphone in chrome.Creative Technology has recently announced the new Creative This beautiful SL-150CS headphone comes with two differentHN-900 noise-canceling headphones, a set of full-size active detachable 3.5mm headphone cables. The standard 3.5mm 15
  • 16. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneheadphone cable with two ring sleeves allows the user to use the primary graphics interface. Results will be comparablethe SL-150CS as a stereophonic headphone for audio playback, through Futuremarks ORB database.compatible with all 3.5mm jack audio devices. The additionalin-line 3.5mm headphone cable with three ring sleeves comeswith a built-in remote control and microphone, and allows the Seagate announces second-user to enjoy heart-thumping stereophonic bass to his or herfavorite music and audio tracks, while providing the capability gen Momentus XT Source: answer phone calls on Apple iOS devices such as iPhone, momentus-xt/14092.htmliPad and iPod as well. The SL-150CS is a headphone that folds December 1st, 2011down easily, and comes with a semi-rigid pouch for portabilityand protection.3DMark 2012: Android devicesinvade a Windows worldSource: For Seagates sake we hope that the second time is the charm,a-windows-world/14089.html as its first generation of Momentus XT hard drives with aDecember 1st, 2011 small SLC SSD cache didnt exactly take the world by storm. Currently the new Momentus XT is only available in a single size of 750GB, plus 8GB of SLC NAND flash of course, although the real change is actually the software part and here Following on the footsteps of the recently announced Seagate has spent a lot of time optimizing things."3DMark for Windows 8" benchmark, Futuremark hasrevealed that the company is developing a new 3D benchmarkcalled "3DMark for Android". Youve guessed it right, For Seagates sake we hope that the second time is the charm,Futuremark is developing one 3D benchmark to rule them all. as its first generation of Momentus XT hard drives with a small SLC SSD cache didnt exactly take the world by storm.We have received press release stating that Futuremark Currently the new Momentus XT is only available in a singleCorporation is announcing the foundation of its Benchmark size of 750GB, plus 8GB of SLC NAND flash of course,Development Program for tablets powered by Android although the real change is actually the software part and hereoperating system. Seagate has spent a lot of time optimizing things.The first product coming out of that BDP is a next-generation Seagate claims that the new Momentus XT is close to 70benchmark "3DMark for Android" (working title), with the percent faster than its predecessor and up to three times fastergoal of becoming an industry standard gaming benchmark for than a comparable hard drive of the same size. That said, attablets. With this announcement, its official that the targeted the moment the caching only applies to read performance andplatforms for 3DMark 2012 are both Android 4 tablets and even in this case only under ideal scenarios where the SSD partWindows 8 devices - an interesting prospect. of the drive has a chance to cache the data. Even so its noFuturemark wants to attract "companies involved in the slouch compared to other mechanical drives, although its nomanufacture of Android powered devices are invited to join match for an SSD. For a few benchmarks of the Momentus XT,Futuremarks Benchmark Development Program to play a head over to role in the development of 3DMark for Android, frominitial specification to final delivery."Jukka Mäkinen, CEO of Futuremark said, "in 2012 we willbring 3DMark to the Android platform with a professionalgrade benchmark that can be trusted by manufacturers,suppliers and vendors to provide the definitive measure ofgaming performance on Android while showcasing the verybest in real-time graphics and effects."We also caught up with Oliver Baltuch, President ofFuturemark about the promised result compatibility betweenthe two. While the benchmark development is in veryearly stages, the company wants to have comparable resultsbetween the two platforms and in about a year from now,the traditional "AMD vs. Intel" or "AMD vs. NVIDIA" debatesmight take a backseat to "3DMark Android 4 vs. 3DMarkWindows 8".The benchmark will measure gaming performance using CPU,GPU rendering and physics tests, using OpenGL ES API as 16
  • 17. December 1st, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe Momentus XT does have one upside compared to mostSSD caching solutions, its platform agnostic thanks to allthe software being stored in the drive firmware. ApparentlySeagate will be offering future upgrades for the Momentus XTthat will allow for write caching as well, although 8GB of flashis still a fairly small amount even compared to Intels SmartResponse which requires a minimum of 18GB of SSD storagespace. Beyond all this, the current price point is all wrong, asSeagate is asking for US$245 (S$320) for the Momentus XT,money that would easily buy you a fast 120GB SSD these days.Ok, so theres a trade off in terms of storage space, but overallyoull get vastly better performance. 17
  • 18. December 6th, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.Australians use Facebook inthe bathroom, in church, andduring sexSource: 6th, 2011Australians use Facebook during some of the most intimatemoments of life, according to a recent survey, suggesting thatsocial networking is becoming a growing obsession.Australians use Facebook and other social networks while inthe bathroom, in church, and during sex, according to a recentsurvey, suggesting that social networking is an obsession for Somehwat surprisingly, however, 21.5 percent of people usesome. social networks while in the bathroom, which might make you think twice about borrowing someones phone to make a call.Social media marketing firm Tick Yes conducted the surveyof close to 900 people and found out some surprising things Even more shocking is that 3.2 percent log onto Facebook,about peoples online habits. Twitter and other social networks in a place of worship, such as a church, synagogue or mosque. This will probably be the next big faux pas instead of snoring during a sermon.We all know that people check social networks at work, andthis was confirmed in the report, with 51.6 percent logging onduring office hours. And finally 2.8 percent of those asked said they used social networks while having sex. Out of those, nearly two thirds were men. We can only imagine what they were tweeting about.41.9 per cent check status updates and tweets while watchingTV, which is probably driving television advertisers crazy. It is not surprising then that 4.9 percent admitted that they were addicted to social media. We expect the real number is33.8 percent use social media while in bed and 23.3 per cent probably much higher than that.use it during meals. We might also see the shopping lists of14.8 per cent of people, who might be better off browsing pricecomparison websites instead. “The survey confirms a number of things,” said Peter Applebaum, managing director of Tick Yes. “We weren’t surprised that Facebook is far and away the most popular social media site, nor that almost half of those surveyed said that their social media usage has increased in the last year. But what did raise a few eyebrows is the extent to which Australians will stop what they’re doing – however enjoyable it may be – to respond to a tweet or post or update.” 1
  • 19. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone $10 billion factory in South Korea. It hopes to have its Chinese plant open by 2013.Source: Press ReleaseImage Credit: Wiki CommonsSamsung to build Flash Bose announces SoundLinkmemory chip factory in China Wireless Mobile speaker inSource: Singaporefactory-in-china/14153.html Source: 6th, 2011 mobile-speaker-in-singapore/14149.html December 6th, 2011Samsung has revealed plans to build a Flash memory chipfactory in China as the lucrative smartphone and tabletcomputer markets continue to grow.Samsung has revealed plans to build a Flash memory chip Bose and Atlast Sound & Vision, Singapores premium audiofactory in China as the smartphone and tablet computer visual retailer and distributor, have launched the SoundLinkmarkets continue to grow. Wireless Mobile speaker in Singapore. The SoundLinkThe Korean electronics giant will spend upwards of 5 trillion Wireless Mobile speaker Bluetooth speaker that claims to offerwon ($4.5 billion) on the new plant, which will produce 20nm superb audio performance, mobility and durability in aFlash memory chips. The exact location of the facility has yet compact form be decided.The move signals a vote of confidence in the Chinese market,which many see as an increasingly pivotal region for electronicgoods. Samsung is already investing in China with plans tobuild a factory that will produce flat-screen TVs, one of itsstrongest industries.The plans will need to be approved by the South Koreangovernment, which monitors foreign investment made byKorean firms. However, it appears likely that it will be giventhe go-ahead.Samsung is a major player in the memory market, producingFlash chips for a number of portable devices, including Appleshighly successful iPhone and iPad ranges. The expansion intoChina will help secure deals with Huawei and ZTE, both ofwhich are increasing tablet and smartphone output.Samsung has also increased chip production at its other plants,including its only foreign facility in Austin, Texas, and a new 2
  • 20. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWith the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker, According to Dr. Michael Tien, CEO of Atlas Sound & Vision,you can connect wirelessly with your Bluetooth-enabled introduced the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker andsmartphone, tablet or other devices and stream music at said that the Bluetooth connectivity works even up to 10mthe touch of a button. It measures two-inches thick, and away. "There are three key benefits that Bose has focused oncan fit easily in your bag or briefcase. It is equipped with and put their effort to, on the SoundLink Wireless Mobilea rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that provides power for speaker. First, its quality sound to enjoy your music wherevermore than three hours at high volume, and more than eight you go; second is spontaneous mobility to take your musichours at typical listening levels. anywhere and easy to set up; and third is elegant durability whereby it looks great, works well and lasts for a long time,"It has an integrated cover that unfolds easily into a stand Tien said.for instant setup, and once opened, the system is ready to beplayed. Close the cover and the system shuts off automatically.At the top are buttons including volume controls, mute,Bluetooth (for pairing), Aux and power. The Bose SoundLink Patent Wars: HTC phones toWireless Mobile speaker also comes with Auxiliary input, face ban in USA?micro USB port for firmware upgrades and power connector. Source: in-usa-/14150.htmlThe Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker with the December 6th, 2011standard trim level and dark gray Cordura nylon cover isselling at S$549, while the LX model with a premium trim leveland a dark brown leather cover is retailing at S$639. Accessorycovers in nylon (bright red or royal purple) and leather(burgundy or tan) are available separately at S$59 and S$99though the color options are not available yet at press time.The SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker can be purchasedfrom selected partners and the Atlas Experience Audio Visual HTC smartphones may soon be barred from being importedBoutique @ TripleOne Somerset, and Bose @ Millenia Walk. into the US due to a patent infringement dispute with Apple.For more information, go to or www.atlas- This is a big problem for the Taiwanese based handset and will send shockwaves throughout the entire Android ecosystem. The patent war between electronics giants Samsung and Apple have dominated headlines for quite a while now, but it seems that a new development might cause a big impact to the entire Android ecosystem - Taiwanese handset maker HTC may face a import ban in the US market due to technologies which infringe on Apple’s patents. Specifically, the said patent states of a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data”. An example is the ability to search and highlight a contact number on a website which is opened from the web browser of the mobile device, which can then be followed by a tap to make a phone call to that number. 3
  • 21. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAnother infringement details a “real-time signal processing to the moon, where it will utilize Martins patterns running onsystem for serially transmitted data”, which is frankly, all NVIDIA Tegra 3 hardware.encompassing in modern day tele-communications. There is still a lot of work to be done, but seems like NVIDIA-If the ban is passed by a six-member panel at the International powered hardware just might win the $30 million prize.Trade Commission in Washington next week, HTC will take abig beating of its holiday sales, which will hit the company’smarket share. Apple iTV in three sizes Source: rest of the (Android) industry can only hope for a major December 6th, 2011patent reform movement by the Obama administration soon...NVIDIA Goes to the Moon withCUDA and Tegra 3Source: With a long trail of speculations following the possibleDecember 6th, 2011 emergence of an Apple branded television, a new insider infomation suggests that it will come in three sizes, including a 32-inch and 55-inch model. Will this be enough to go head- to-head against Microsofts recent television-oriented updates for Xbox 360?Semiconductor products are used on numerous scientific andmilitary projects. However, this is the story we just hadto share with you. NVIDIA Tegra 3 is heading where nocontemporary semiconductor chip has gone before - to theMoon.While there is a lot of discussion on forums what manufacturerdoes what, regardless of if we talk about cars or soccer teams,there is no denying that sometimes, something magical ishappening with the semiconductor products.A privateer team called Synergy Moon is getting ready for theirentrance for the Google Lunar X-Prize challenge, a $30 millioncompetition of privateer teams who are working on launchinga rocket into space putting human crew in an orbiter aroundEarth. This is followed by a sending a rover to land on theMoon. An insider report originating from Japan suggests that Apple will be producing three sizes for the Apple iTV, which includes a 32-inch and 55-inch model. Much of the speculations are aligned with another separate piece of unconfirmed information that Japanese electronics maker Sharp is now in charge of making LCD screens for Apple. It is also possible that they will introduce their IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide)In order to develop the lunar rover, Team Synergy Moon screen eventually, which is capable of competing againstwas joined by Martin Peniak, young scientist famous for his OLED screen on the Mars Rover Simulator developed in conjunctionwith ESA (European Space Agency). Impressed with an article With the existence of Siri as a viable candidate for the Appleabout neural network using NVIDIAs GPU acceleration, iTVs primary input interface, it is easy to see how the piecesMartin selected CUDA to be the base of all future work. of the puzzle are nearly complete for it to come forth and dominate living room spaces. Rumours are still rumours,One of his projects is the Tesla Lunar Rover and Tesla however, as it is not the first time that Apple had revealed aSurveyor, both of which are going to utilize multiple Tegra product that is different to what the associated speculationssystems to achieve autonomy of movement while had suggested. The truth will be revealed next year as it is saidCurrently, the launch is scheduled for December of next year, that the Apple iTV will go on sales then.consisted out of Earth orbiter inhabited by astronauts such Looks like the flames of another television war is about toas team leader Mr. Miroslav Ambrus-Kis and documentary be fuelled, just when we thought the platform was becomingproducer Nebojsa Stanojevic, while the autonomous Lander obsolete.packing several Lunar Rover will be launched from the orbiter 4
  • 22. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIntels mobile Ivy Bridge CPUline-up revealedSource: 6th, 2011Weve already seen what Intel has for us as far as desktopsystems are concerned for most of 2012, Ivy Bridge-E not beingpart of that roadmap, but what about the mobile market space?Well, we have plenty of details for you with regards to whatIntel has in store, ranging from high-end Extreme Editionmodels to new Ultrabook processors. So what about the CPUs? Well, Intel is planning a wide range of new models and starting at the top we have the 2.9GHz quad core Core i7-3920XM, a part which is 200MHz faster than theWeve already seen what Intel has for us as far as desktop current Core i7-2960XM, although the top turbo frequency issystems are concerned for most of 2012, Ivy Bridge-E not being only 100MHz higher. Not much else appears to have changed,part of that roadmap, but what about the mobile market space? although the IGP is now of course based on the new Intel HDWell, we have plenty of details for you with regards to what Graphics 4000 architecture.Intel has in store, ranging from high-end Extreme Editionmodels to new Ultrabook processors.Lets start with a brief overview and then go into more details.As with the current mobile product range, Intel will offerstandard Voltage CPUs and low power models, although atleast for the time being it appears that the company has killedits line of Low Voltage or LV processors that were rated at25W and instead well only see Ultra Low Voltage or ULVprocessors rated at 17W, now simply known as Ultra or U-series processors. The standard Voltage processors will be theM-series from now on and will come with 35, 45 and 55W TDP.Do remember that Intel now offers programmable TDP on itsmobile CPUs and this is likely part of the reason as to why Intelhas killed of the 25W TDP models. Dropping down one step we have two more quad cores, the 2.7GHz Core i7-3820QM and the 2.6GHz Core i7-3720QM, both models have been given a decent clock speed bump compared to the fastest Sandy Bridge quad cores and a 400MHz increase compared to the Sandy Bridge launch models. As with Sandy Bridge theres also a dual core Core i7, namely the Core i7-3520M which is a 2.9GHz.When it comes to the Chief River platform were moving fromthree to four consumer chipsets with some new peculiaritieskudos to Intel and its product differentiation schemes. Thereare three main chipsets now, the HM75, the HM76 andthe HM77, with the UM77 being specifically for low powernotebooks. The HM75 and HM76 are nearly identical, thebig difference being the HM75 lacking USB 3.0 support, anomission we dont really understand as its integrated into thechipset. The HM77 gains RAID support – something neither ofthe two lesser models offer – as well as Smart Response and forsome reason support for two extra USB 2.0 ports. The UM77 isfairly similar to the HM77, except it only has four SATA portsof which only one is SATA 6Gbps and it drops four PCI Expresslanes and four USB 2.0 ports. That takes us to a pair of Core i5s, the 3360M and the 3320M clocked at 2.8 and 2.6GHz respectively, not a huge step up from the current Core i5 models. What should be pointed out is that all the dual cores now support DDR3 memory speeds 5
  • 23. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneof 1600MHz; something that isnt the case for Sandy Bridge info coming on the Chief River platform, so stay tuned if yourebased mobile CPUs. Its also interesting to note that all the planning on getting a new notebook next processors so far have higher max graphics clocks thantheir desktop equivalents. LG announces the X-Note Z330 in Korea Source: korea/14147.html December 6th, 2011 LG Electronics has joined the Ultrabook crowd – if you can call a handful of companies a crowd that is – with its X-Note Z330 which appears to be limited to the Korean market for now. At first glance LGs X-Note Z330 could easily be mistaken for an Asus Zenbook, as the general design is quite similar, but notIt looks like Intel will only offer two U-series CPUs at launch, identical.the 2GHz Core i7-3667U and the 1.8GHz Core i5-3427U. Thecore i7 model will turbo to 3GHz in dual core mode and 3.2GHzin single core mode whereas the Core i5 will top out at 2.6GHz LG Electronics has joined the Ultrabook crowd – if you can callin dual core mode and 2.8GHz in single core mode. Both a handful of companies a crowd that is – with its X-Note Z330models feature a base GPU clock of a mere 350MHz, but it will which appears to be limited to the Korean market for now. Atgo all the way to 1150MHz. Note that the Low Voltage CPUs first glance LGs X-Note Z330 could easily be mistaken for anare missing from Q212 as Intel no longer produces any CPUs Asus Zenbook, as the general design is quite similar, but notin this range. identical.While were talking about graphics, as with the desktop IvyBridge processors, the mobile processors also support up tothree independent displays, although one of these will bethe built in display in the notebook, but hopefully well seenotebooks with a DisplayPort connector as standard comenext year.As youve noticed theres nary a mention of lower-end Corei3 and Pentium processors and the reason for this is simple, The Z330 has a very similar brushed aluminium finish to thethey werent included in the roadmaps weve seen. As for the Zenbooks, although in LGs case the finish extends out fromCelerons, well Intel is keeping Sandy Bridge here, but well see the top corner with the rings spreading from the corner out,a couple of faster SKUs come early next year, at least in the rather than from the middle out as per Asus Zenbooks. As withultra-low power segment with the introduction of the dual core most Ultrabooks the Z330 is a wedge shape and this meansCeleron 867 which is a 1.3GHz part, but otherwise identical to LG has the same limitations as everyone else in terms of ports,the current Celeron 857 as well as the single core 797 which is a although were not entirely sold by LGs combination here, as1.4GHz part which is otherwise identical to the current Celeron you get a single USB 2.0 port, a single USB 3.0 port, an HDMI787. port, a combined headphone/mic jack and a micro SD cardAs for a tentative launch date were hearing May for the mobile slot, not exactly an ideal range of options.platform and as you can see from the slides, this is also whatall but the quad cores are being earmarked for. Were not quitesure why the quad cores are listed as being available in April,but its possible that Intel is doing a staggered launch whichthe high-end models being pushed out earlier. Weve got some 6
  • 24. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Head of RIM Indonesia faces possible jail time over promotion stampede Source: jail-time-over-promotion-stampede/14145.html December 6th, 2011 The head of Research In Motion (RIM) in Indonesia faces possible jail time after a BlackBerry promotion turned into aThat said, LG has also managed to cram 802.11b/g/n Wi- disastrous stampede that left many people injured.Fi (although sadly only at 150Mbps) with WiDi support and The head of Research In Motion (RIM) in Indonesia facesBluetooth 3.0 + HS into the Z330. As the name implies the possible jail time after a BlackBerry promotion turned into aZ330 has a 13.3-inch screen, although it sports the typical disastrous stampede that left many people injured.1366x768 notebook resolution unlike Asus 13-inch Zenbookwhich has a 1600x900 resolution display. LG claims to have Andrew Cobham, president director for RIM Indonesia, hasslimmed down the screen bezel to a mere 8mm and as such the been named a suspect for negligence by the Indonesian police,company claims the Z330 is the size of a 12-inch notebook. LG and he could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.has managed to get the weight down to a mere 1.21kg, thats90g lighter than Asus 13-inch Zenbook. The move follows a promotion in Jakarta just over a week ago where the first 1,000 customers of the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 would get the device at half price. 5,000 people showed up in hopes to grab a bargain, but most were left waiting for hours, some overnight, as RIM struggled to cope with the numbers.There will be two SKUs of the Z330 both featuring 4GB ofRAM, where the first one comes with a Core i5-2456M (1.6GHzwith turbo to 2.3GHz) and a 120GB SATA 6Gbps SSD andthe second one with a Core i7-2637M (1.7GHz with turbo to2.8GHz) and a 256GB SATA 6Gbps SSD. LG claims a sub 10second boot time for either model running Windows 7 HomePremium 64-bit. Cost wise the Z330 is expected to retail for1.7million Won (S$1,936) for the Core i5 model, with the Core Eventually frustration turned to anger and a stampede brokei7 model coming in at 2.6million Won (S$2,962) making it out, resulting in many people being crushed and trampled byone of the most expensive Ultrabooks out there. Check out the the advancing crowd. Over 40 people were injured and 20 werevideo below for some additional details. knocked unconscious, making it one of the most disastrous product launches in history. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) Cobham is only one of a number of suspects, including security consultant Terry Burkey and two unnamed individuals, all of 7
  • 25. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonewhom have not yet been detained, but are not permitted toleave the country and are required to report to the police on a The internet firms were reluctant to comment on the issue,regular basis. but indicated that they would follow any laws on the subject, but could not decide on what is or is not legal to post online. This suggests that they are staunchly against the idea ofThe idea that RIM might have been negligent in this case monitoring content and would rather remove illegal materialcomes from the belief that it ignored proper safety protocols, when complaints are made, as is currently the case.a matter that even the Indonesian government expressedconcern over before the promotion went ahead. India has been stepping up efforts this year to monitor and control the transmission of data online, with new rules for ISPs that require them to delete offensive material, and a planIndia wants Google, Microsoft, for a government-run monitoring unit for websites and socialYahoo and Facebook to censor networks. The country also tightened controls last year on encrypted calls and messages over phone networks like thatinternet supplied by RIMs Blackberry.Source: 6th, 2011 This level of censorship has given the country a negative image abroad, particularly considering the complaints focus on comments made about political figures, which raises questions about the possible violation of the right to free speech.India wants search engine and social networking firms tocensor the internet, claiming that it is “unacceptable” thatoffensive content is allowed to remain on their websites.India wants search engine and social networking firms to AOC and DisplayLink launchcensor the internet, claiming that it is “unacceptable” that 15.6-inch portable monitoroffensive content is allowed to remain on their websites. Source: acting minister of telecommunications, Kapil Sibal, is portable-monitor/14142.htmlmeeting officials from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook December 6th, 2011today to discuss the proposed censorship.Sibal cited examples where political leaders were, in his view,unfairly maligned by people online, and he asked that Googleand the others properly monitor what is posted online. AOC and DisplayLink have launched a 15.6-inch USB 2.0 portable monitor, designed to help anyone running multipleThe monitoring suggestions go so far as to include special applications on their PC or laptop.people with the responsibility to approve or reject contentbefore it goes online, instead of the existing monitoring AOC and DisplayLink have launched a 15.6-inch USB 2.0technology already in place, which Sibal clearly believes is portable monitor, designed to help anyone running multiplefailing to do the job. applications on their PC or laptop. The monitor, codenamed e1649fwu, employs a DL-125 chip supplied by DisplayLink and display technology by AOC. The screen has a maxmum resolution of 1366x768 at 60Hz. It does not need to be plugged into a mains, as it is powered directly through the USB port, which means it can feed off a laptops battery power when out and about. 8
  • 26. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Notebooks with AMD Radeon HD 7600M Listed Source: hd-7600m-listed/14141.html December 6th, 2011 The first 28nm GPUs have been listed by HP and Asus, to feature in their upcoming notebooks. The listed GPUs are Radeon HD 7670 and Radeon HD 7690 - both based on the Thames XT chip. HP has also listed drivers for Radeon HD 7470 on their website, on the eve of the London media event for AMDs London series of Radeon HD 7000M GPUs.The monitor is also very light at just over two pounds, makingit not much heavier than a typical tablet computer. It also looks The Thames XT chip features 128-bit GDDR5 memory.very similar to an iPad or Galaxy Tab, with a sleek design and a PCGamesHardware suggests it utilizes the VLIW-4fold out and rotatable stand that makes it operate like a picture architecture, while other rumours point to a GCN basedframe. London series. HP Envy 17-3030ew features Radeon HD 7690M with 1GB GDDR5, working with a Core i7 Sandy Bridge based quad-core CPU. The Asus X53TK-SX058V is a moreThe monitor can be used in both landscape and portrait forms, budget oriented notebook, featuring Radeon HD 7670M inwith the image adjusting to the orientation of the device thanks addition to a Llano a built-in accelerometer. AMD is expected to officially announce the London - branded Radeon HD 7000M - series today at a media event in London. All evidence point to the London series to be the first 28nm GPUs to launch, and also sets the scene for their desktop counterparts - Southern Islands - in early 2012. Xbox 360 updates will focus on TV Source: tv/14139.html December 6th, 2011The display will work on most operating systems, includingXP, Vista, Windows 7, OSX Tiger, Leopard and Lion, and many The new Microsoft Xbox 360 update is yet another stepversions of Linux. It should be a simple case of plug and play. towards the companys vision of an integrated entertainment solution. Now, the Xbox Kinect lets you control your television“With DisplayLink technology, AOC was able to rapidly bring with voice and gesture too. A slew of new content providersto market this productivity-enhancing, versatile monitor for will bring a new lease of life to the aging system.both mobile professionals and the home office user,” saidRobert Velez, head of marketing at AOC. “The market forextended displays is growing rapidly, and this offering with itslow power consumption, cord-independence and value pricemakes multi-screen computing more practical than ever.”Currently the monitor is only available in the US, with a pricetag of $139. 9
  • 27. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneMicrosoft has announced the much anticipated update totheir Xbox 360 dashboard interface which allows users touse voice commands and evoke actions such as ‘pause’ or‘play’ on the television, as well as voice search on theInternet for relevant videos, music, and games, amongst othercontent. The upgrade also enables gesture control whichallows scrolling across options with the wave of the hand.These new capabilities come with refreshing visual layout,inspired by Windows Phone.With a new range of 40 over content providers supportingXbox 360 such as online movie rental portal LOVEFiLM andInternet television Sky Go, consumers will find it hard to beat a lack of entertainment options despite the ommision oflive television. Microsoft says: “a new technological era in liveTV in the home where the user becomes the remote controlthrough voice and gesture control”, and added that “the newsoftware update will create the biggest interactive TV servicein the world”. The Plantronics Marque M155 claims to be the companysPlantronics launches Marque smallest headset ever and offers superior audio quality for hands-free calls. Available in Jet Black and Artic White,M155 headset in Singapore the Marque M155 weighs just 7g and is compatible withSource: both iPhone and Android smartphones. It boasts a talk timeheadset-in-singapore/14138.html of up to five hours, standby time of up to nine days andDecember 6th, 2011 features Bluetooth 3.0 wireless for pairing with your phone.This afternoon, Plantronics has announced the launch of theMarque M155 in Singapore. Designed for iPhone and Androidsmartphones, the compact headset offers voice-guided pairingas well as voice recognition for answering or ignoring callshands-free. 10
  • 28. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone and seamless experience. "Smartphones have now become the de facto standard when you buy a headset communication device. The message behind the Marque M155 is - just as we are being introduced the technology in a certain way, and because you need to look at the phone in order to retrieve information required, you need a way to enable your smartphone to get hands-free. So that you can communicate via voice while still being able to refer to your smartphone. And there is no way to do it without using an external audio device" Kiew said. A fact you may not know about Plantronics: The words spoken by U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong as he stepped on the moon were transmitted through a Plantronics headset. Tablet to help elderlyThe Plantronics Marque M155 recharges via a micro USB remember the pills, and moreconnector at the top, while on the sides are the power switch Source: volume/mute button. On the front is the call button pills-and-more/14132.htmlwhereby you can take a call with either a tap, or say "Answer"; December 6th, 2011reject call with a one second press, or say "Ignore"; redial withtwo taps; initiate phones voice dialing with two-second press;and even reconnect lost Bluetooth connection with a tap if theheadset cannot automatically reconnect.According to the company, there are also various apps Good news for the elderly and memory-challenged has arrivedavailable on Android Market and Apple App Store, which do in the form of the Memo Touch tablet, a repackaged versionsound checks, familiarize you with added functionality of the of Archos 101. The new tablet allows family members to assistheadset including streaming of music etc. The Plantronics and guide their elderly family members across the day withMarque M155 will be available from mid December at S$119 reminders and daily task updates from the Apple Stores (EpiCentre, iStudio, Infinite, Juzz1, Macshop,Nubox), Challenger, Harvey Norman (Funan, Millennia Walk,Suntec City), Newstead, Sprint-Cass (Changi InternationalAirport T1, T2, T3), Stereo (ION, Plaza Singapura, CausewayPoint), Funan DigitalLife Mall (AAAs Com, DIGIVUE,Inforcom Technologies, PK Computers, South Asia) and SimLim Square (AAAs Com, idt Gallery, Million Mobile, MillionTech, Song Brothers, Vision 1). We’ve seen tablets for specific groups of people from business- oriented users to children, but it seems a new flavor has just emerged. The Memo Touch, a device derived from the Archos 101, is a new tablet for the elderly. Our senior citizens will be able to benefit from its ability to keep track of their daily lives through consistent but gentle reminders to visit the doctor or consume medicine, amongst other medically related tasks or appointments, while family members can update the calendar, phone numbers, to-do notes and share photos or messages remotely from a browser-Alvin Kiew, senior regional manager, south-east Asia, based interface which is connected to the company website.Plantronics Singapore, introduced the Marque M155 and It is available at US$299 (S$384) but requires a subscriptionsaid that it is designed as an entry-level headset that is not to the website which comes in a six-month plan of US$174for the road warriors, but for people who want simplicity (S$223) or a twelve-month package of US$300 (S$385). 11
  • 29. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneLuckily, an inclusive three month satisfaction policy ensures social network, because so far it will not let her enter it ontothat customer can choose to refund the tablet or restore it to her profile.the default Google Android platform.While it appears a little pricey, this system is a good step Facebook is also censoring her attempts to raise awarenessinto discovering ways to take better care of our parents with about the issue, as it refused to create the “Please get mymaximum convenience. hometown Effin recognised” page, telling her that it was “offensive”. Perhaps what is more offensive is Facebooks insistence that a genuine name is in some way profane.No Effin! - Facebook bansIrish town name for being There are many unusual place names around the world, some of which mean different things in different languages. While"offensive" Facebook is obviously trying to avoid people using swearSource: words on its website, the process can be taken so far that itname-for-being-offensive-/14137.html becomes more of an obstacle than an asset.December 6th, 2011 What is particularly ironic about this incident is that Facebooks European headquarters is in Ireland and has been since 2008, but we suppose it has yet to get used to the weird and wonderful names for certain parts of the Emerald Isle.Facebook has banned the name of an Irish town, labellingit as “offensive”, which raises questions over whether or not All we can say about this incident is: what an Effin joke.profanity filters are causing more problems than they solve.Facebook has banned the name of an Irish town, labeling Source and Photo Credit: Limerick Leaderit as “offensive”, which raises questions over whether or notprofanity filters are causing more problems than they solve. Think Different: Apples SocialThe town, Effin, bears the same spelling as a common Media Guidelines leakedalternative to using a certain “F” word, but it is actually a Source: place in County Limerick in Ireland that has existed for guidelines-leaked/14136.htmlhundreds of years. December 6th, 2011In fact, the name comes from the Irish pronunciation of SaintEimhin, a Bishop from early Irish Christian history. Apples internal social media guidelines have been leaked, revealing that it can sack any of its staff for posting on social networks, websites, and other online communities. Apples internal social media guidelines have been leaked, revealing that it can sack any of its staff for posting on social networks, websites, and other online communities. The document shows that working at Apple means that certain things are off the table when it comes to sharing your views online. For example, staff can have their own personal websites, but none of them are allowed to discuss Apple on those websites, despite the so-called right to freedom of speech.A University of Limerick employee, Ann Marie Kennedy, hasbeen campaigning to get her home town recognised by the Apple will not permit employees to comment on speculation or rumours, including confirmations or denials regarding new 12
  • 30. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneproducts and services. This is in line with Apples tendency to A US judge has rejected an attempt by Apple to get Samsungsnot respond to media inquiries. Galaxy Tab and several smartphones banned in the United States, signalling a major setback in Apples legal dispute. A US judge has rejected an attempt by Apple to get Samsungs Galaxy Tab and several smartphones banned in the United States, signalling a major setback in Apples legal dispute. District Judge Lucy Koh decided that a ban against the Galaxy Tab and three Samsung smartphones was not appropriate, adding that she failed to see how it would stop Apple from being irrepairably harmed, as the latter claimed in its lawsuit. The US lawsuit, which was filed in April, is just one of numerous cases Apple has filed throughout several countries around the world, most of which have yet to return a verdict.In case any Apple staff want to participate in Apple fancommunities, that is not permited either, even if they neverreveal that they work for Apple. So no discussing their iPhoneor Mac, even if they want to sing praises about them.The rules are so strict that Apple said it “retains the right todiscipline (up to termination of employment), or cut ties of anythat do not comply with these regulations.”There are also guidelines for how employees should conductthemselves on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Thislanded one Apple worker in deep trouble last month when heposted negative comments about the company on Facebook,ultimately leading to his dismissal.While it is easy to see why Apple does not want its staffgiving it a bad name through their words or actions, this levelof censorship has to be bad for morale, not to mention the There is still potential for a ban in the US, however, as Kohcompanys public image. indicated that Apple was likely to prove patent infringement for the Galaxy Tab and at least one of the smartphones in question.Picture Credits: Cult of Mac However, in a vouch of confidence for Samsung, she also saidUS judge rejects Apple that Apple needs to demonstrate that the patents are actuallyattempt to ban Samsung valid, which she believes it has so far failed to prove in the face of Samsungs legal challenges.Galaxy TabSource: The patent battle between the two technology giants appearedDecember 6th, 2011 to initially be going in Apples favour, with bans secured in Germany and Australia. However, recent rulings have sided with Samsung, ending the preliminary injunction in Australia and now preventing an injunction in the US. The EUs Competition Commissioner has also expressed concerns over the German ban. 13
  • 31. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone store user search data, and no Sony Computer EntertainmentEurope proposes global data to lawsSource: Kwasny was quite clear that Europe has a good data protectionprotection-laws/14129.html reputation and that the proposals are not designed to replaceDecember 6th, 2011 the existing convention, but rather to keep the current framework and update it for the modern world. She said that the old Convention was “not fully relevant” anymore, but qualified this by saying that “its still up to dateThe Council of Europe has proposed a revised convention on in the sense that the formulations and the principles are notdata protection, which the majority of European countries will out of date, so its still matching the reality, but nevertheless obliged to follow. We interviewed Sophie Kwasny, secretary we can strengthen the individual rights, ... we can increase theto the Consultative Committee of the Council of Europe data pro-active actions of the private sector on this, so lets do convention, about the proposals, the difficulties This will increase the protection in a way it wasnt foreseenfaced, and the potential impact on national sovereignty. 30 years ago, but now that were tackling this we definitely think its necessary to complement the current text with thoseThe Council of Europe has proposed a revised convention on points.”data protection, which the majority of European countries willbe obliged to follow. So far 43 countries employ the existing convention, including all 27 European Union Member States. A number of otherWe interviewed Sophie Kwasny, secretary to the Consultative countries have also expressed interest, such as Uruguay, whichCommittee of the Council of Europe data protection would be the first non-European country to accede to theconvention, about the proposals, the obstacles Europe faces data protection, and the potential impact of pan-Europeanlaws on national sovereignty. The United States, Japan, Canada, and Mexico were also present for talks. However, Kwasny told us that the United States made it clear that it would be an observer to the committee, but would not be party to the convention itself, due to major differences in the way it approaches data protection. We asked if part of the reason why the Council of Europe is proposing an update to its convention on data protection is the fact that there have been so many incidents of privacy abuse by companies with access to peoples information, not to mention the numerous data breaches of companies throughout the world by groups like Anonymous. “I think that certainly the fact that you have more and moreBringing things up to date privacy issues on the news, its raised first general public opinion on those issues, but indeed also the fact that we know that we have a protective framework which is there,The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard but maybe we need to make sure that those cases are notto Automatic Processing of Personal Data is a somewhat repeated,” Kwasny said. “All those cases have definitely raiseddated international treaty aimed at addressing the right of awareness ... of the fact that some of the legislations in placeindividuals to the protection of their personal data. It was did not sufficiently cover some of the new threats to privacy.”originally drafted in 1981, making this year the thirtiethanniversary, and Kwasny said that the Council decided thatit would be appropriate to check if the principles of the Micron teams up with IBMconvention are still fully in line with the modern use of data. for Hybrid Memory Cube manufacturingWhen the original convention was written the internet did not Source: exist, nor did the majority of the problems people face memory-cube-manufacturing/14131.htmlin terms of the proper use of their data. For example, therewas no Facebook to house personal information, no Google to 14
  • 32. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 6th, 2011 we see this technology being used in all sorts of consumer devices. The traditional DIMM might very well be a dying species in the PC ecosystem in the not too distant future, replaced by something far smaller with much higher capacity. Acer announces the IconiaIf anyone thought the memory industry couldnt get any worse,it looks like Micron is about to obliterate the competition with Tab A200 Tegra 2 tabletits Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology that is built using Source: vias (TSVs) and Micron has now signed an tegra-2-tablet/14128.htmlagreement with IBM to start manufacturing. This technology December 6th, 2011if proven successful in mass production would easily be thebiggest leap in memory technology for the past decade andmaybe even for the next decade.If anyone thought the memory industry couldnt get any worse, Just in time for the holidays, Acer has announced its Iconiait looks like Micron is about to obliterate the competition with Tab A200 tablet powered by Nvidias Tegra 2 processors.its Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology that is built using The 10.1-inch tablet is a more affordable sibling to the A500,through-silicon vias (TSVs) and Micron has now signed an although the specifications are in fact quite similar.agreement with IBM to start manufacturing. This technologyif proven successful in mass production would easily be the Just in time for the holidays, Acer has announced its Iconiabiggest leap in memory technology for the past decade and Tab A200 tablet powered by Nvidias Tegra 2 processors.maybe even for the next decade. The 10.1-inch tablet is a more affordable sibling to the A500,The advantage of stacking the memory chips using TSVs is not although the specifications are in fact quite similar.only that it takes up one-tenth of the space of a traditional The Iconia Tab A200 will ship with Android 3.2 initially,memory chip if you compare how much memory you get in a although Acer is expecting to start shipping Android 4.0 inset amount of PCB space. Thanks to some built in logic, were January as well as providing an update for those that got thealso looking at reduced latencies, up to a 70 percent reduction tablet with Android 3.2. The Tegra 2 processor is a standardin power usage compared to standard DDR3 and a claimed 15 1GHz dual core model and it has been paired up with 1GB oftimes performance improvement or more for a DDR3 module RAM and eight or 16GB of eMMC memory for storage.built using HMC technology. Other features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS, a 2Megapixel front camera, a micro SD card slot, a micro USB port and a USB port for USB OTG, a headphone jack, a G-sensor and a gyrometer. The battery is said to beThe gold layers consist of DRAM with the blue part at the good for about 8h of usage, the same as the A500. The A200bottom being the logic measures 260x175x12.4mm and weighs in at 720g. Were notIn all fairness were not there yet and prototypes made by entirely sure how much more affordable itll be compared toMicron have "only" had a bandwidth of 128GB/s, about 10 the A500, as Acer didnt provide any pricing.times faster than high-end DDR3 memory. Production willkick off using IBMs 32nm high-K metal gate process in thecompanys facility in East Fishkill, New York; although nospecific date was giving as to when production will start.The bad news you ask? Well, at least initially it looks likeHMC is destined for the server market, where large amounts ofDRAM is often needed, but we can see it taking too long before 15
  • 33. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone IBM saw a slight decline in market share from 12.8 per cent inGlobal external disk storage the third quarter of 2010 to 12.7 per cent this year, but revenuemarket grows 10.8 per cent in was up from $667 million to $735 million.Q3Source: NetApp was in joint second place with a 16.5 per cent increasegrows-10.8-per-cent-in-q3/14127.html in revenue in the third quarter, up from $601 million toDecember 6th, 2011 $700 million. Its market share grew from 11.5 percent to 12.1 percent. HP was next with a 13.1 percent increase in year on year revenue for the third quarter, up from $575 million to $651 million. It also saw a marginal increase in market share fromThe global external disk storage systems market has seen 11 percent to 11.3 percent.revenue growth of 10.8 per cent in the third quarter, accordingto an IDC report, as businesses return to spending on IT Hitachi and Dell were almost neck and neck in terms ofupgrades. revenue and market share, which were $505 million andThe global external disk storage market has seen revenue $459 million, and 8.8 percent and eight percent respectively.growth of 10.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year, However, revenue growth was significantly different, asaccording to a report by the International Data Corporation Hitachi saw an increase of 22.1 per cent, while Dell saw(IDC). a 2.6 per cent drop instead. Market shares also differeed,The external disk storage systems industry made roughly $5.8 with Hitachi gaining 0.8 percent, while Dell dropped a wholebillion in revenue for the third quarter, making up the largest percentage point compared to this time last year.chunk of the $7.6 billion in revenue made in the overall diskstorage sector. Source: Press ReleaseMuch of the strong growth was attributed to increasingdemand for external storage amongst businesses, which IDC NVIDIA Reaches 7,000believes marks a return to a business as normal scenario for Employees, Wants (at least)companies that were previously struggling to cope financially.However, it said that this high growth is likely to slow and 475 Morereturn to the same levels seen before the global economic Source: wants-at-least-475-more/14117.html December 6th, 2011 Yesterday we posted news about AMD hiring top talent with the focus on SOC (System-On-a-Chip) engineering team. We got an email from NVIDIA employee saying theyre hiring too... If you are in the business of creating and manufacturing great technology and products, there is no doubt that you need top people to make it happen. After publishing the news about AMD hiring top talent in order to deliver on the new product strategy, we got interested in how other companies are doing. One of our readers got back to us and said that while AMD is hiring about 60 job positions (through LinkedIn), his company is hiring almost 500 people. Given that company was NVIDIA, we asked around and learned several interesting things. First and foremost, the company just reached a 7,000 employee milestone. This is the first time in history of NVIDIA to have 7,000 employees at the same time and they wantEMC experienced third quarter growth of 22 per cent year on to hire at least additional 7%. At the time of writing, thereyear, with revenue up from $1.351 billion to $1.649 billion. Its are no less 475 job openings at NVIDIA on LinkedIn Jobsmarket share also grew from 25.9 percent to 28.6 percent. Search, with positions in marketing, engineering, support - 16
  • 34. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethe company is evenly hiring across the board and across December 6th, 2011continents.Jobs are located in Santa Clara (California), Theale (UK),Shenzen (China), Moscow (Russia), Berlin, Taipei and manyother locations. NVIDIA has offices in 20 countries, so itsno wonder they need continuous influx of fresh brains. Forexample, here are the jobs which we consider most interesting: Western Digital has begun producing hard drives after monthsExascale Program Director, Santa Clara, CA - "NVIDIA of halted production due to extensive flooding in Thailand. Theis searching for a world-class Program Director for an announcement has sent shares skyrocketing as the companyexciting role helping NVIDIA deliver the next generation gears up for the Christmas shopping season.of supercomputing solutions. This position requires deep Western Digital has begun making hard drives again afterexperience and expertise in the management of large and months of halted production due to disastrous flooding incomplex US government funded programs. " Thailand.Tesla GPU Computing General Manager, Santa Clara, CA -"You will the primary leader for the Tesla business unit at The data storage company said it had begun partial productionNVIDIA including business strategy, product development of hard drives a week ahead of schedule at one of its plantsand cross functional leadership of multiple groups within in the Bang Pa-in district. This facility had been flooded sinceNVIDIA." October.WW Tegra Community Manager, Santa Clara, CA - "TheWW Tegra Community Manager serves as the primary pointof contact for the Tegra community to provide initiatives Other Western Digital facilities in Bang Pa-in andthat use community, social networking, advertising and other Navanakorn, which were also damaged, are still being workedtechnologies to increase community participation." on at the moment and may not reopen until March of next year or later.GPU Infrastructure Architect, Shanghai, China - "TheGPU Infrastructure Architecture group is looking fortop programmers to drive the development of our coreinfrastructure for modeling, analysis and debugging in thedevelopment of GPU products. A key part of NVIDIAs The Thailand floods, which began in July, have had a majorstrength is our proprietary internal tools & flows for the impact on the storage market, with many of the major hardmodeling, analysis, debug and verification of applications drive makers operating from the country. Supply plummeted,on various functional and performance simulations of future sending prices through the roof, with many hard driveschips. " doubling in price.Field Application Engineer - Automotive, Munich, Germany -"RESPONSIBILITIES:- Pre & Post customer sales support for focused embeddedcustomers (Europe)* Product testing and qualification at customer premises* Weekly and monthly project and product reviews - Milestoneupdates* Weekly top 5 issues to management- Product roadmap reviews"If you are interested, head to LinkedIn Job Search page and seewhat you can find for yourself. If AMD or NVIDIA arent yourcup of tea, there is always... Intel or Apple. But dont expect bigbucks at Apple, as our sources tend to say. At Apple, you cash The timing of Western Digitals renewed production isout with your next job. important, as many people will want to buy new hard drives over the Christmas shopping season. The company revisedWestern Digital partially its gross margin forecast for its fiscal second quarter, which includes the month of December, up from 18 percent to 23recovers from Thailand floods percent, with an expected revenue of $1.8 billion.Source: “The passion, perseverance, ingenuity and execution exhibited by the WD team has been extraordinary and enabled us to 17
  • 35. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonemake substantial progress in partially restoring our operationsin Thailand, well in advance of our earliest expectationswhen the floods hit,” said John Coyne, president and CEOof Western Digital. “Much work remains to be done but we Slim 12.1-megapixel sensor tocouldnt be more pleased with the effort and results thus far,including tremendous support from our supply partners and dominate mobile markets Source: customers.” dominate-mobile-markets/14121.html December 6th, 2011Western Digitals early return to operation could even give itan edge over rivals like Seagate, which are still experiencingsignificant supply issues due to the flooding.At the time of writing Western Digitals shares were up 8.38 A 12.1-megapixel camera module was revealed by Japanesepercent to $31.70. manufacturer Sharp recently, sporting a series of features packaged into a very slim form, suitable for use on compactSource: Press Release smartphones, which have dominated the mobile market recently.Rumour: AMD preparingRadeon HD 6930Source: 6th, 2011 Not to be outdone by NVIDIAs recent GeForce GTX 560 Ti448 Core release, AMD is preparing a salvaged GPU of theirown. According to reports from Chinese forums, the new cardwill be branded Radeon HD 6930, and based on Cayman. The The megapixel firefight between phone cameras is about toHD 6930 will fill in the gap between HD 6870 and HD 6950, heat up. In the latest report, electronics giant Sharp hasand will retail in the $180-$200 price range. announced a 12.1-megapixel CMOS camera sensor in the form of an 11 by 11 by 5.47 millimeter module, pushing the limits ofHD 6930 cuts down 2 more SIMDs over HD 6950, leaving only mobile camera technologies. The system is capable of image-20 of 24 Caymans SIMDs ienabled. This translates to 1280 SP stabilization and possesses a backlit sensor, standard auto-and 80 TMU. ROPs and memory are left untouched to 32 and focus, and full 1080p High Definition video capture. The new256-bit respectively. The 6930 features a downclock to 750 camera module, also known by its designation RJ63YC100,MHz, with 1GB or 2GB GDDR5 clocked at 4.8 GHz. The TDP is currently ready for mass production by January. Thisis not mentioned, but should requires 2x PCI-e connectors, means that we can expect to see wonderful imaging solutionssuggesting a TDP of over 150W. packaged with newer phones but retaining their slim lines in the near future. This is good news, as it is increasingly often to find peopleBoth pice and performance are expected to fill the gap between taking pictures with their phone cameras than with theirHD 6870 and HD 6950. In doing so, it will also fill in the gap point-and-shoot. When camera technologies become morebetween GTX 560 and GTX 560 Ti. advanced while maintaining a small form, mobile imaging solution becomes a viable option that may be able to replace traditional cameras in certain market segments. After all whoHD 6930 will surely be the last HD 6000 series product to would want to carry two devices when they can use one torelease, with HD 7000 series rumoured to be announced on achieve the same tasks?ecember 5th. Like the GTX 560 Ti 448, the 6930 is most likelyto be a limited edition SKU. Judging by AMDs past history,theres a good chance that the HD 6930 will be China-exclusiveor otherwise available in limited regions. 18
  • 36. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The cause of the malfunction is believed to be similar to thePhone on fire again. Culprit: kind which caused the iPhones to self-combust. This involvesSamsung GALAXY S II faulty Lithium-ion batteries that accumulate heat to the point where surrounding material could melt or burn. While it takesSkyrocket quite a dent to cause a Lithium-ion battery to fail in thisSource: manner, it is also noted that both iPhones had previouslygalaxy-s-ii-skyrocket/14120.html visited areas of high altitude before being showing signs ofDecember 6th, 2011 severe problems. Until the problems have been fully rectified, perhaps it is wiser to keep the phone at more common operation elevations.A Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket nearly burnt the ownerin his pocket due to a malfunction. Is this just seemingly BlackBerry Bold 9790 cominghumorous collection of incidents of very hot phones, or is therea serious flaw which smartphone makers should look at? to Singapore on 8 December Source: singapore-on-8-december/14119.html December 6th, 2011 For those of you who are waiting for the new BlackBerry Bold 9790, well, the wait is over. Research in Motion has announced the launch of the BlackBerry smartphone in Singapore and will be available from 8 December.We recently saw a fair share of drama where Samsungwas allegedly copying various Apples technology and designfrom their iPhone and iPad on Samsungs GALAXY seriesof mobile devices, but it seems one GALAXY S II Skyrocketeven mimicked the recent string of events where AppleiPhones caught fire spontaneously. It was reported that theLong Term Evolution (LTE) enabled smartphone heated upand emitted smoke while still in the pockets of an independentdeveloper associated to mobile developer website and forumXDA. Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the launch of the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone in Singapore. Featuring a compact design, high resolution touch display and tactile keyboard, the smartphone will be available in Singapore on 8 December through authorized partners. Built with premium materials and finishes, the full-featured BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone is equipped with BlackBerry 7 OS and powerful 1GHz processor for fast performance when surfing the web, running apps, working with documents, and enjoying multimedia content. It comes with 8GB onboard memory and 19
  • 37. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonean expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32GB 178-degree. The tablet also comes with built-in SRS Soundadditional storage. technology for dynamic 3D stereo audio experience, with superb bass response and wide sound field. And in case youThe BlackBerry Bold 9790 also features built-in support for didnt know, it won our VR-Zone Editors Choice.Augmented Reality and NFC. With the Wikitude AugmentedReality application, you can find nearby BlackBerry Messenger Price: S$1,099 (32GB 3G model), S$898 (16GB Wi-Fi)(BBM) contacts, read reviews on restaurants near them, or get Where to buy - AAAs Com Solution, IT Harvest, Microware,information of interesting landmarks and points of interest. Newstead Technologies,, MC2, Digital Asia,NFC alows you to make mobile payments, pair accessories or Microware, South Asia, Matrix IT Gallery, Netpro, Best Denki,read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the smartphone. Challenger, Courts, Harvey Norman, Carrefour, Gain CityFor pricing information, the company advised checking withthe individual carriers. Toshiba AT100VR-Zone Christmas Gift Guide- TabletsSource: 6th, 2011Ever since the Apple iPad was introduced to the market, tabletshave become one of the popular technology gadgets for contentconsumption; you can use it to surf your favorite web sites,watch videos or play some games. Well, besides the iPad, thereare other choices that run Google Android as well as MicrosoftWindows 7 operating systems. This week, we look at some of Enjoy a unique multimedia experience with the new Toshibathe tablet offerings which you could consider getting for your AT100 Android tablet. Available in six colorful back covers -loved ones this Christmas. Blue Moon, Raspberry Fusion, Lavender Bliss, Silver Sky and Green Apple - the tablet features a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2ASUS Eee Pad Transformer dual-core processor and 10.1-inch high definition touchscreen that offers seamless multitasking and superb graphics. The AT100 also comes with full-sized HDMI, two USB ports and a SD card reader, and boasts up to seven hours of battery life for your enjoyment. Price: S$699 Where to buy: Toshiba authorized retailers Apple iPad 2The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer was launched inSingapore few months back, and is able to transform into afull-fledged notebook with full QWERTY keyboard with theoptional docking station. Powered by NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the Eee Pad Transformer lets you browsesyour favorite webpages at blazing speeds, with fast responsetime and superb performance during multi-tasking. It uses Based on the success of the iPad, Apple unveiled the iPad 2an IPS panel with durable scratch-resistant glass and offers earlier this year which is 33% thinner than its predecessor andcrisp and vibrant images, as well as viewing angles of up to comes equipped with a more powerful dual-core A5 processor 20
  • 38. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonefor user to surf the web, check emails, watch movies and behind the scenes. Bear in mind that some of these ads aremultitask quickly and easily. It boasts 10-hour battery life searching not just for one job position, rather several talentedand features two cameras (front and rear) that lets you do engineers at the same time (depending on interview results).FaceTime video calls, as well as capture images and high Engineers are even looked for on Twitter.definition videos. If you do not want the black-bordered So, who is AMD looking for? The positions are mostly locatedversion, the iPad 2 is also available in white, which suits the in Austin (TX), Sunnyvale (CA), Boxborough (MA) and Fortfestive season. Collins (CO) and we have to say that job descriptions arePrice: S$668 (16GB Wi-Fi), S$798 (32GB Wi-Fi), S$848 intriguing. This is just a small sample of jobs available:(16GB Wi-Fi+3G) Video Architect, Sunnyvale CA - "Responsible for the designWhere to buy: Apple Online Store and development of x86/SSE and GPU-based Software video codecs, such as MPEG-2, H.264 and SVC"AMD starts hiring world class SOC Integration Engineer, Austin TX - "Own floorSoC engineers planning (estimates & actual), C4 planning, packaging requirements, top level interconnects, implement overlays,Source: full chip assembly along with associated physical verificationengineers/14113.html of assembled chip for next generation AMD Server andDecember 6th, 2011 Fusion microprocessors." SOC Design Verification Engineer, Austin TX "This position is for an experienced verification engineer in AMDs SoC verification group working on next generation high performance x86 client and server microprocessors. The location is the Lone Star Design Center in southwest Austin."After all the doom and gloom of recent cleanup operation System Software Development Engineer, Austin TX - "Systemthat culled 12% of its workforce, AMD has started to open Optimization Engineering team is seeking an experiencedjob positions for engineers, especially ones in the field of SoC system-software developer to join AMDs modeling team fordesign (System-on-a-Chip). software-based simulation of AMDs future server, notebook,In order to go forward, AMD executives know that Wall Street tablet and desktop platforms."investors wont be impressed with the 1400 layoffs - if the Learning and Development Manager, Austin TX - "The L&Dmarket success of Apple, Nokia, Intel, BMW, Audi, Airbus (and Manager (Finance Transformation) position will supportthe list goes on) show anything is that engineering excellence us in the transformation of our global Finance what is required for success. Engaging our employees globally, you will support theAMDs Rory P. Read will announce his Project WIN strategy transformation of the Finance organization through theat Financial Analyst Day in February 2012, but until then, project management, facilitation, and coaching of the teamsome serious head hunting is taking place. Bear in mind that via process and culture change specifically through trainingAMD did not just lay people off, the company had internal development, delivery, and sustainment."reorganization and it was good to hear that several former The list goes on, and if you want to check it out, hit this link. As"directors of engineering" (GPU, CPU, Memory architects) far as AMD goes, we can only hope that the new faces in AMDwere promoted to VP, CVP and C-level executives. will make their products even more competitive on the market. Intels desktop roadmap for the next 12 months leaked Source: next-12-months-leaked/14118.html December 6th, 2011 Generally roadmap leaks tend to entail various snippets here and there or a few slides, but as it happens, Intels desktop roadmap for the next 12 months have turned up online and although its far from complete, it gives us a really goodThus, it comes as no surprise that AMDs LinkedIn page is now look at what Intel is working on. Weve tried to sum up thefilled with job posts and there is active recruiting taking place 21
  • 39. December 6th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonemost important parts here, although theres far too muchinformation to cover in a single post.Generally roadmap leaks tend to entail various snippets hereand there or a few slides, but as it happens, Intels desktoproadmap for the next 12 months have turned up online andalthough its far from complete, it gives us a really goodlook at what Intel is working on. Weve tried to sum up themost important parts here, although theres far too muchinformation to cover in a single post.The roadmap appeared over at HWbot and its already acouple of weeks old, but stretches all the way until Q4 of nextyear. That said its not covering every single product Intel hasplanned for the desktop space until then and in general theinformation should be good for at least the next two quarters.Weve already posted the specifics regarding the Ivy Bridgeprocessors, but there are some things wed still like to highlight The only thing we know for sure is that Intel is set to release thethat the full roadmap has made clear. Celeron G460 come the 11th of December which is Intels first Sandy Bridge based Celeron processor with Hyper Threading support. Its a 1.8GHz part with a peculiar 1.5MB of cache; otherwise it appears to be identical to the Celeron G440. Moving on to the Atom processors Intel has come up with a tweaked version of the D2500 called the D2550. Its something of a hybrid between the D2500 and D2700 with the same core clock speeds as the D2500 (1.86GHz) but the same GPU as the D2700 which is clocked at 640MHz rather than 400MHz for the D2500. The simple reason this model even exists is because the D2500s GPU is apparently too slow to handle Blu- ray playback. There appears to have been some confusion as to what will launch when as well and we did some asking around to try and clear things up. The consumer desktop parts will arrive in April as suggested for quite some time by now, with the Z77, Z75 and H77 chipsets. It looks as if itll be a slightly limited launch with Intel focusing on the K SKU CPUs. The business chipsets,The Ivy Bridge launch in Q212 will not consist of the entire the Q77, Q75 and B75 alongside with the standard Wattageline-up of CPUs, as a few of the models were already aware of mobile parts arent expected to arrive until May though, butwont arrive until Q3, more specifically the Core i5-3570 and its possible that well see the ULV parts for Ultrabooks arrive3470. As such, if you want the fastest Core i5 at launch, you earlier due to Intel seeing this as the future of notebooks.have to go with the K SKU. What wasnt part of the earlierleaks were the lower-end processors and it looks like Intelwill introduce a few Ivy Bridge based models in Q2, withmore arriving in Q3, although no specifics are detailed in thisroadmap. As for the Pentiums we have to wait until Q3 andonly a single SKU appears to be launched then.As for Sandy Bridge, it looks like Intel will phase out its high-end Core i7 and Core i5 parts almost immediately after thelaunch of Ivy Bridge with the Core i5-2300 being the first oneto go, whereas when it comes to the Core i3 market segmentthey get to live on until Q3. As for the Pentiums and CeleronsSandy Bridge looks set to be around until at least the end ofnext year. Intel should be launcher higher clocked iterations ofmany of these CPUs before then, although the roadmap onceagain doesnt provide any specifics as to what to expect. 22
  • 40. December 8th, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! PCI-e power connectors on the PCB - or upto 375W power. VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication However, both cards are powered by the SIG approved 6-pin + covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. 8-pin configuration, powering upto 300W. The two cards are powered by a 850W power supply. This is no doubt a power hungry card, and all this power seems to be fed through aAMD Southern Islands (Tahiti / mammoth 20 phase VRM.HD 7900) Pictured The first Southern Islands / AMD Radeon HD 7000 seriesSource: 28nm GPUs are set to release in January 2012, most likelypictured/14183.html around CES 2012 time. Whether it will be the above picturedDecember 8th, 2011 enthusiast Tahiti / HD 7900 or the performance Pitcairn / HD 7800, as previously rumoured, remains to be seen. Microsofts Bill Gates in talks with China for safer nuclearA mysterious picture has been posted by a member of reactorsBeyond3D forums, capturing two next-gen AMD graphics Source: in Crossfire. These new graphics cards are certainly china-for-safer-nuclear-reactors/14182.htmlenthusiast (and power hungry) products of the upcoming December 8th, 2011Southern Islands family, most likely to be Tahiti XT - expectedto be branded Radeon HD 7970.A mysterious picture has been posted by a member ofBeyond3D forums, capturing two next-gen AMD graphicscards in Crossfire. These new graphics cards are certainlyenthusiast (and power hungry) products of the upcoming Bill Gates, former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, isSouthern Islands family, most likely to be Tahiti XT - expected in talks with China on how to build a safer and more efficientto be branded Radeon HD 7970. nuclear reactor. Bill Gates, former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, is in talks with China on how to build a safer and more efficient nuclear reactor. Gates announced the venture at a talk at the Ministry of Science and Technology in China, where he said that he is helping Chinese scientists to come up with a design for a fourth generation reactor that will be both cost effective, extremely safe, and generate very little waste, addressing three of the biggest concerns with existing nuclear reactors. Gates involvement comes through his company Terrapower, which attempts to find new solutions to energy problems. He said that Terrapower was still in the early stage of talks with Chinas National Nuclear Corporation.The first visual observation is that these cards are hefty andapproximately 10 inches long - or around the same length asHD 6970. They contain 12 memory chips (as demarkated onthe picture - the 12th being at the edge of the PCI-e connector),which suggests a memory interface of 384-bit - a novelty forAMD/ATI GPUs. There seems to be a provision for 2x8-pin 1
  • 41. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone and asking if they wanted to report any of these. This led to a situation where the reporting feature could be abused deliberately to expose private photos.He expects that that research into the new reactor will costupwards of $1 billion, but the payoff could be significant,as countries around the world struggle to cope with energydemand, the environmental concern of high carbon emissions,and the safety concerns of nuclear reactors, demonstrated bythe disaster in Japan earlier this year. “This was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time,” Facebook said in a statement. “Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled thePart of the new design will involve building the reactor to system, and will only return functionality once we can confirmwithstand tidal waves and earthquakes, to help avoid a repeat the bug has been fixed”scenario of the Fukushima incident. The most ironic thing about this bug is that it was used to“All these new designs are going to be incredibly safe,” said gain access to 14 pictures of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder ofGates. “They require no human action to remain safe at all Facebook, who has frequently attempted to dismiss privacytimes.” concerns about his social network. Maybe he will push for bigger privacy changes after this latest mishap.Facebook fixes private photobug Google to invest $300 millionSource: in Hong Kong data centre Source: 8th, 2011 kong-data-centre/14180.html December 8th, 2011Facebook has fixed an embarassing bug that allowed privatephotos, including those of founder Mark Zuckerberg, to be Google is to invest $300 million in a data centre in Hong Kong,accessed by anyone using the website. as the company launches plans to expand to a number of AsianFacebook has fixed an embarassing bug that allowed private, including those of founder Mark Zuckerberg, to be Google is to invest $300 million in a data centre in Hong Kong,accessed by anyone using the website. as the company launches plans to expand to a number of AsianThe bug, which was first discovered by users of a bodybuilding, allowed people to access a number of recently uploadedphotos, even if the user had set them to private or shared them The Hong Kong data centre will employ 25 full-time staff and isonly with a select group of friends. expected to be operational by early 2013. The investment will cover the cost of land, construction and technical equipment.The glitch worked only if people reported a picture, showingthem additional pictures, which should not have been seen, 2
  • 42. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneHong Kong is a major technology centre in the region andrepresents a move into China without having to face thestricter rules and regulations imposed on the mainland.Google already has strained relations with the Chinesegovernment over an alleged hacking of its email servers andGoogles vocal concerns about censorship in the country. Thisled to Google redirecting users of the search engineto instead. Luxury phone label Vertu may be sold by Nokia soon as the Finnish company intends to focus on smartphones and devices for budget consumers. After more than ten years in operation, Nokia’s luxury division is up for sale, with various private equity firms and luxury brands already indicating interest. Vertu phones are known for their use of expensive materials together with daring and luxurious design language, and the devices also feature exclusive ‘concierge’ service which allows owners to make various requests such as making restaurant reservations and booking hotel rooms, which is the center piece to the phone’s appeal. Hopefully, we will be able to see more innovations from them in the face of the burgeoning andGoogle also announced plans in September to build data fickle smartphone market even when Vertu lands in the handscentres in Singapore and Taiwan, which are expected to take of another to two years to complete. It has not yet revealed what kindof money it will pump into these. Compact Flash Association“Were working as quickly as we can to get this facility unveils new XQD format Source: so we can keep up with rapid growth in capacity new-xqd-format/14177.htmldemand across the region,” said Simon Chang, head of December 8th, 2011hardware operations at Google Asia.Nokia puts Vertu up for saleSource: A new Compact Flash format, dubbed “XQD”, is in theDecember 8th, 2011 pipework and will be available for licensing soon. The XQD claims to improve almost every aspect of media recording, primarily with faster write speeds, larger capacity, and flawless high definition video recording.Smartphone manufacturer Nokia is currently seeking buyersfor their luxury phone division, Vertu, after more than adecade since its creation. Amidst the Finnish company’srestructuring efforts, it seems that Nokia is planning todedicate its resources toward the smartphone and devices forbudget users. 3
  • 43. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneCompact Flash Association (CFA) has announced a new line barrier. The only existing APU to not receive a direct refreshof storage solutions under the moniker XQD. The new format is the A8-3510MX clocked at 1.8/2.5 GHz, which presumablyis said to be slightly smaller than the current Compact Flash will continue to fill in the void left between A8-3520M @(CF) cards but still thicker than the Secure Digital (SD) 1.6/2.5 GHZ and A8-3550MX @ 2/2.7 The current CF card we know is fairly large, though it A similar refresh is expected for A-series Desktop APUs inis more robust and faster than SD cards; the CF card has early Q1 2012. Following these, the next stop for AMDs A-only managed to dominate the professional market segment. Series will be Trinity, releasing in first half 2012.CFA intends to refine these advantages by giving the newformat a transfer speed of around 125 megabytes per second(MBps), which is a 25% improvement, via its PCI Express Microsoft Windows 8 publicdata pathway technology. Initial suggestion of XQD includethe capability to go up to six terabytes in capacity and transfer beta scheduled for Februaryspeeds of 600MBps. 2012 releaseAdding to the prospects of improvements, XQD seeks to Source: Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) certified, which scheduled-for-february-2012-release/14176.htmlmeans that they can capture perfect high definition video December 8th, 2011without missing any frames, all done with a write speed ofat least 20MBps. With camera giants such as Nikon beinginvolved in the development and Canon endorsing the system,professionals using high-end DSLR cameras can expect theperformance boost from the next generation format in amatter of months. Microsoft has announced the release of Windows 8 public beta in February next year. The software giant has recently revealedAMD refreshes Notebook this during a developer’s conference, and adds that their app portal, dubbed the “Windows Store”, will also launch togetherLlano A-Series range with the beta, and offers free Metro-styled apps.Source: 8th, 2011AMD has quietly rolled out incremental upgrades to the A-Series APU line-up for notebooks. This refresh will be the lastfor Llano before Trinity ships in H1 2012. In general, most ofthe new models increment CPU clock speed by 100 MHz forboth base and turbo, while the GPU part remains unchanged. Microsoft has announced during a developers’ meeting on 6 December at San Francisco that a public beta version of Windows 8 operating software will be released in late February. Based on the announced date, it appears thatThe first refresh, A4-3305M, is the only one which does not Windows 8 should be on schedule to launch near the end offollow the general pattern. It features the same clock speed as 2012. Since last year in September, some 13 million copies ofthe A4-3300M, but with only 1MB L2 cache. While branded Windows 8 Developer Preview had been distributed, which isHD 6480G, the GPU is different from that in other A4 APUs. a considerably large fraction in the entire market of Windows-Instead of 240 SP @ 444 MHz, A4-3305M features 160 SP @ powered PC, given its infant stage of release.593 MHz. This suggests that unlike other A4 APUs, which arequad-cores with 2 cores disabled, A4-3305M is based on the While news of the beta release is certainly delighting, most ofnative dual-core Llano die, which features only 160 SP. the limelight during the conference falls on Microsoft’s new app portal called the "Windows Store", which will launch onThe remaining new models follow a similar pattern - one the same day as the Windows 8 beta. If there is one thing tomodel for 35W and 45W APUs each, for A4, A6 and A8 be happy about, it will be the fact that all the apps are free,series, each advancing clock speed by 100 MHz over exisiting at least for now, though it is reported that all of it will caterLlano APUs. The top 35W APU will be A8-3520M, with the to the tablet-oriented Metro-styled application, while legacy45W flagship being A8-3550MX - finally breaking the 2 GHz 4
  • 44. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneapplications for Windows 7 or earlier will be sold through thedevelopers on their own websites.ASUS Rampage IV GeneLooking GoodSource: 8th, 2011Last month, ASUS went all guns blazing with its socketLGA2011 "Sandy Bridge-E" motherboard lineup, with all threeof its major brands: ROG Rampage, TUF Sabertooth, and its The expansion slot area completely does away with ye oldemainline P9X79 series. The ROG Rampage series included just PCI slots, it consists of three PCI-Express Gen 3.0 x16 slots,one model, the top-end Rampage IV Extreme, with Rampage and an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot wired to the X79IV Formula and a then possible Rampage IV Gene slated for PCH. Among the long slots, the top two are x16 capable, whilelater. We now know the Gene is not just possible, but a reality. the bottommost one runs at x8 speed at all times. In terms ofIt was detailed in a channel partner presentation by ASUS. SATA connectivity, the Rampage IV Gene gives you a total of 7 internal ports and one eSATA. Among these six internal portsThe Rampage IV Gene is a micro-ATX form-factor (red) are SATA 6 Gb/s, two from the X79 PCH and two frommotherboard based on the Intel X79 chipset, supporting Core an ASMedia-made SATA 6G controller; three internal portsi7 processors in the LGA2011 package. It aims to give you (black) are SATA 3 Gb/s wired to the PCH. The eSATA port iseverything the X79 platform can, 3-way SLI and CrossfireX wired to the PCH, and runs at 3 Gb/s speed.included. The top half of the board is laid out like any other X79motherboard. The LGA2011 socket sits in between two setsof DDR3 DIMM slots with two slots each, supporting quad-channel DDR3 memory, with speeds of up to DDR3-2400MHz by overclocking. ASUS implemented its SupremeFX III audio solution, which can also be found on the Rampage IV Formula. It uses a high- SNR HD audio CODEC (probably ALC898 for all we know), sitting on a tiny PCB thats laid on top of the boards main PCB. This isolates the CODEC from the ground layer of theDespite severe space constrains of the micro-ATX form-factor, main PCB. In conjunction with a 1500 uF capacitor, this designASUS did not compromise on the power delivery one bit. The eliminates background electrical noises typically associatedCPU is powered by an 8-phase Extreme Engine Digi+ II VRM with onboard audio solutions. To top it all off, the 8+2 channelwith at least 8 phases, and 4-phase memory VRM, cooled by CODEC is backed by Creative X-Fi MB software that providesa robust heatsink set that makes use of a heat pipe to spread EAX 5.0 HD, X-Fi Crystalizer, CMSS-3D, and THX TruStudiothe heat around. To the right side of the socket is the OC Zone, Pro.which gives you consolidated voltage measurement points,onboard OC control buttons; phase LEDs, and POST codereadout. 5
  • 45. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone generally more intuitive. Theres also a new notification bar at the top which shows when you have new messages and notifications and you can respond to these without leaving the Facebook page youre on.Other connectivity features include an Intel-made GbEconnection, four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear-panel, Last but not least the photo albums have been given antwo via standard USB 3.0 header), a number of USB 2.0 overhaul and Facebook is claiming up twice the performanceports, and a PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port. PS/2 is still compared to the current photo album, which is quite sluggishindispensable, as PS/2 keyboards are free from ghosting and to put things in a nice way. Its also meant to be easier torollback flaws associated with USB keyboards. This board share pictures, read comments and edit captions from mobileincludes several ROG exclusive features such as ROG Connect, devices and we hope that itll also be able to rotate pictures inROG GameFirst, USB BIOS Flashback, etc. The board is driven the photo album, something thats been missing in the Androidby ASUS UEFI BIOS firmware. Unfortunately, we dont have version.a specific release date. Convertible Ultrabooks are inFacebook announces new the pipeline Source: app pipeline/14173.htmlSource: December 8th, 2011app/14174.htmlDecember 8th, 2011 Intel and partners are said to be showing off some 50If youre one of the millions of users that are running into all Ultrabooks at CES early next year and some of those are likelysorts of problems with Facebooks Android app weve got some to feature a convertible form fact that allows for them to begood news, Facebook has announced a new app for Android used both as notebooks and tablets. This is by no means a newthat should be available by the time youre reading this, or development in the notebook world, but it wasnt a form factornot long thereafter. The app is a total re-design in many ways, that was expected for Ultrabooks.although its hard to see what Facebook has done from thescarce selection of screenshots provided. Intel and partners are said to be showing off some 50 Ultrabooks at CES early next year and some of those are likelyIf youre one of the millions of users that are running into all to feature a convertible form fact that allows for them to besorts of problems with Facebooks Android app weve got some used both as notebooks and tablets. This is by no means a newgood news, Facebook has announced a new app for Android development in the notebook world, but it wasnt a form factorthat should be available by the time youre reading this, or that was expected for Ultrabooks.not long thereafter. The app is a total re-design in many ways, One problem with building a convertible notebook is that thealthough its hard to see what Facebook has done from the hinge mechanism and the touch panel in the screen adds toscarce selection of screenshots provided. the overall thickness to the system and Intel has some prettyImprovements to the new app includes a new menu which is strict restrictions in terms of what qualifies as an Ultrabook.located on the side that is meant to allow for quicker access Anything with a screen below 14-inches in size cant be thickerto the news feed, groups, games and apps and to make things than 18mm and for models 14-incher or larger the thickness is 6
  • 46. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonelimited to 21mm in Intels books. As such Intel has generously ·Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99allowed for an extra 2mm of additional thickness regardless of ·Universal AC input from 90~264Vthe screen size for convertible Ultrabooks. ·No more hassle of flipping that tiny red switch to select theFurther to our own findings, Digitimes has corroborated the voltage input!fact that there will be Ultrabooks with touch screens, althoughthe publication didnt specify convertibles, but went as far ·A dedicated single +12V rail offers maximum compatibilityas saying that this is expected to be done in preparation for with the latest componentsWindows 8 which will come with the touch friendly metro UI. ·Over-voltage and over-current protection, under-voltageSamples of touch modules are apparently already sampling to protection, and short circuit protection provide maximumnotebook makers, although were not expecting touch enabled safety to your critical system componentsUltrabooks to be part of the first Ivy Bridge based models sincewithout Windows 8 it would be hard to convince consumers ·High-quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromisedand business users alike to go for a convertible Ultrabook. performance and reliability ·Completely modular cable system allows you to use only the cables you needCorsair AX650 PSU reviewSource: ·Power supply upgrade and replacement is easy, as the cablesDecember 8th, 2011 only need to be disconnected at the power supply ·Low-profile, flat cable design reduces air friction and helps maximize airflow through your computers chassis ·A seven year warranty and lifetime access to Corsairs legendary technical support and customer service ·Dimensions: 150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 160mm(L) Corsair might have started off as a RAM manufacturer buttoday they diversified into several other market areas. One ·MTBF: 100,000 hoursof those areas is the power supply market, with the company ·Safety Approvals: UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC,today offering tens of products divided into five different C-tickproduct series. Today we are having a look at a product fromtheir best series, the AX650, a 650W 80Plus Gold certifiedpower supply of fully modular design. The AX650 is the least C orsairpowerful unit of the series, with Corsair pointing out that it was AX650designed for enthusiasts requiring a medium wattage power AC 90-264Vsupply but will settle for nothing less than top performance. INPUT ~ 15ALet us see if the AX650 can deliver what Corsair promises. 50/60Hz DC +5V +3.3V +12V -12V +5VsbCorsair might have started off as a RAM manufacturer but OUTPUTtoday they diversified into several other market areas. One MAX 25A 25A 54A 0.5A 3Aof those areas is the power supply market, with the company CURRENTtoday offering tens of products divided into five different MAX 125W 648W 6W 15Wproduct series. Today we are having a look at a product from COMBINEDtheir best series, the AX650, a 650W 80Plus Gold certified WATTAGEpower supply of fully modular design. The AX650 is the least TOTALpowerful unit of the series, with Corsair pointing out that it was POWER:designed for enthusiasts requiring a medium wattage power 650Wsupply but will settle for nothing less than top performance. @ 50°CLet us see if the AX650 can deliver what Corsair promises. ambient temperatureManufacturer’s features and specifications New SiSoft Sandra 2012 SP1·Supports the latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards andis backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 brings Optimizations for AMDsystems Bulldozer, Intel SNB-E and Ivy Bridge·An ultra-quiet 120mm double ball-bearing fan deliversexcellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varyingfan speed in response to temperature Source: optimizations-for-amd-bulldozer-intel-snb-e-and-ivy-bridge/14152.html·80 Plus Gold certified to deliver at least 90% efficiency at 50%load 7
  • 47. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 8th, 2011 Samsung has launched a concept demo for a flexible, translucent AMOLED display that can run 3D, potentially becoming the next big thing since the iPad. The Korean electronics giant has already demonstrated flexible display technology, some as thin as 0.3mm, but thisPrior to taking a Holiday break, we received word from Adrian latest project shows just how far the company could go.Silasi about the first Service Pack for SiSoft Sandra 2012.Needless to say, the SP1 brings a lot of improvements to the While this is still in the early conceptual stage and maypopular benchmark / system utility. never become reality, the demonstration is pretty impressive. Samsung shows how a user can bend the screen, which looksNo doubt about it, the past couple of months were quite like a thin piece of plastic. It can be seen through, which meansexciting for the benchmarking community, with new products no more walking into lamp posts while staring at a tabletdebuting from AMD and Intel, as well as next generation screen.products getting ready to launch in first quarter of 2012.In order to keep up, SiSoftware released the first Service Packfor Sandra 2012, and the SP1 brings important improvements, It can also display glasses-free 3D that is vastly superior tofixes and performance optimizations. 3D technology that currently exists. In the demonstration itProbably the most important fixes belong to Cryptography and initially looks like augmented reality, and this might also be aMemory Bandwidth tests for contemporary AMD Bulldozer proposed feature, but since people on the street appear to reactand Intel Sandy Bridge-E processors, as well as upcoming to the projected image it seems to be much more than that.Piledriver and Ivy Bridge based processors.Furthermore, all benchmarks now show IPC (Instructions It may be years before we see anything like this, but with fiercePer Clock) in addition to standard aggregate score. This will competition in the tablet computer sector, Samsung mightcertainly help to see what are the benefits and pitfalls of tested be willing to invest a lot of money to make this a reality.architectures, as well as how more cores or threads influence Samsung suggested we could see the first flexible smartphonesthe achieved IPC (for example, dual versus quad-core Sandy and tablets next year.Bridge with and without Hyper-Threading).The rest of improvements include:* AVX2 and further FMA3/FMA4 support: DhrystoneAVX2, Multi-Media FMA3/FMA4/AVX2, Memory/Cache Chinese court rejects AppleBandwidth AVX2. iPad trademark claims* Export all User Benchmark Results with 1 click (thanks Source: S @ Lost Circuits). trademark-claims/14168.html* AMD GP(GPU) Bandwidth fix for Catalyst 11.9+ drivers December 8th, 2011(not sure reason for change but not getting fixed so workedaround it).You can download SiSoft Sandra 2012 SP1 from here. A Chinese court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Apple,Samsung launches concept which alleges that Proview Technology is infringing its iPad trademark, spelling potentially disastrous news for the iPad indemo for flexible translucent the country.3D display A Chinese court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Apple, which alleges that Proview Technology is infringing its iPadSource: trademark.December 8th, 2011 The Intermediate Peoples Court in Shenzhen said that Proview had legally registered the iPad trademark in 2000, ten years before Apples tablet launch.Samsung has launched a concept demo for a flexible, The ruling is disastrous for Apple, as it could mean it will betranslucent AMOLED display that can run 3D, potentially forced to change the name of the product in China if Proviewbecoming the next big thing since the iPad. counters the lawsuit with a trademark infringement case of its 8
  • 48. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneown. Currently Proview wants 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) forinfringement and may seek a licensing deal with Apple worthseveral billion more.Apple has suffered numerous problems in China relating tocounterfeit goods. A number of fake Apple shops were closeddown in July, but iPhones and iPads remain extremely popularon the black market.China is also seen as a pivotal emerging market forsmartphone and tablet sales, with many people in the countrystill using the increasingly less popular feature phones. Failureto tap into this market could have a negative impact on Applesrevenue growth.Apple is involved in countless lawsuits around the worldover copyright, trademark and patent infringement, includingnumerous cases against rivals HTC and Samsung, but many ofthese cases are starting to turn against the company.Huawei unveils Honor andVision in SingaporeSource: 8th, 2011Huawei has introduced their new Android smartphones inSingapore - Huawei Honor and Huawei Vision. Both phonesare running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and are available thismonth. The Huawei Vision claims to be the companys most stylish smartphone yet, and features 3D user interface and carousel animation display. It has an aluminium alloy uni-body in silver and crystal sculptural curve lens, and a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen. The Vision measures 9.9mm at the thinnest point and weighs a mere 135g. Powered by 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, features 5-megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash and supports 720p video recording. The 9
  • 49. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneHuawei Vision also comes pre-installed with Shazam and"Order & Chaos" 3D online game. It is available from selected US court bans Research incarriers and retail stores at S$438 (w/GST) without contract. Motion (BlackBerry) from using BBX trademark Source: blackberry-from-using-bbx-trademark/14167.html December 8th, 2011 A US court has banned BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) from using the name BBX for the latest version of its mobile operating system after BASIS International filed a trademark lawsuit against it. A US court has banned BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) from using the name BBX for the latest version of its mobile operating system after BASIS International filed a trademark lawsuit against it. The Federal Court of Albuquerque granted a temporary restraining order against RIM, barring it from using the trademark at its DevCon event in Singapore, and signalling an end to RIMs marketing of the BBX name. The court ruled that while RIM and BASIS are not direct competitors, their products are “highly related and target the same class of consumers”.The sleek and slim Huawei Honor is equipped with 1.4GHzQualcomm Snapdragon processor and 8-megapixel HDR-enabled camera for capturing good quality images and videos.The smartphone run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features4-inch full Wide VGA capacitive touchscreen. Powered by a1,900mAh battery, the Huawei Honor offers up to three daysof normal usage on a single charge. The Huawei Honor isalso DLNA-certified, which means it can interoperate withother DLNA-certified devices including game consoles, TVsand digital cameras. Owners of Huawei Honor will also haveaccess to Huawei CloudDrive (free 16GB) which allows usersto share their files seamlessly; the CloudDrive will be available One of the major reasons for the ruling was that consumersby end Q1 next year. might be led to wrongly believe that BASISs software will only run on RIMs BBX operating system.The Huawei Honor will retail on 16 December at S$528 (w/GST) at selected carriers and retail stores. According to thecompany, the Honor is upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream The Court said that “all factors weigh in favour of BASIS”.Sandwich next year. Unfortunately, no specific dates havebeen announced yet. BASIS had previously asked RIM to stop using its trademark, but RIM refused, leading to a bitter legal dispute. 10
  • 50. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneBASIS owns the BBX trademark, which represents its Business The opening keynote speech by Dr Marek Michalewicz,BASIC eXtended software products. These run on a number of Director of A*CRC, as well as technical brief by Stephenplatforms, including the BlackBerry OS. Wong, the Deputy Director, focused on supercomputing in Singapore as well as next generation large computer challenges respectively, in a broad sweep from visualisingAfter the judgement RIM announced that it will now call its when Singapore should have its first petaflop system to theBBX platform BlackBerry 10. new platforms that we may see in such machines this coming year.Image Credit: TechonzoEvent Overview: NextGeneration ComputingExperience Forum 2011 by VRMedia and A*STARSource: 8th, 2011Last Tuesday, VR-Media and A*STAR A*CRC held theirinaugural event, the first in a series focused on various aspectsof high end computing. Here we bring the summary and keyhighlights.After a long lull in the processor and system field, wherethe usual was just happening, i.e. yet another generation ofIntel Core XX processors taking over the performance leadfrom one another, and AMD vs Nvidia on the GPU front, thispast year brought along some refreshing news. AMD FusionAPU approach is one of them, whose tight integration of CPUand GPU will likely be followed by other processor vendorsin the 2012 as well. And, since that year is to see strongermarket entry by Chinese RISC CPU vendors as well, the multi-platform excitement of the years long gone by is likely to comeback again.Such innovations often find their first home in scientific On the other hand, the two AMD evangelists, Sasa Marinkovicand research High Performance Computing centre sites - in and Terry Makedon, both themselves GPU gurus from theirSingapore and this region, A*STARs A*CRC is the leader in ATI days, described the usage and programming benefits ofthe field, both in the variety of large systems they have, as well the Fusion approach to a great detail. Their coverage alsoas the expert staff strength. VR Media, the parent company of touched on how the end users and everyday consumers wouldVR-Zone now presents the new development in system level benefit from the new approach. Other speakers from AMD andtechnologies together with A*CRC through a series of events, HP covered the new server CPUs as well as the systems usingthe first of which was sponsored by AMD, HP and Kingston to them.coincide with the launch of Interlagos, the server version ofthe famed Bulldozer CPU platform. 11
  • 51. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe event saw over 80 HPC experts from Singapore, and a Overall, in the course of a few days after this inaugural event,few more from the region, gather at A*Stars Biopolis in this the feedback was excellent and we are on course for more suchfirst of our joint events. After the event, the feedback from events. Our readers are welcome to suggest, from your pointthe attendees, especially those involved in system design or of view, what could be interesting topics for the future forumsprogramming, was that the new programming approaches - we are OpenCL for Fusion Systems Architecture open up a lotof latent unused performance in current systems, enablingsome supercomputing code to even run on laptops, but Creatives new sound cardsthe challenges are quite high still on how to extract thatperformance in the most efficient way until fully shared and headphones - a stage formemory between CPU and GPU is enabled - something the grand comeback?next generation of GPUs and accelerators should enable. Also, Source: heterogeneous computing idea, where the application can headphones--a-stage-for-grand-comeback-/14165.htmlefficiently use the different types of CPUs, GPUs, in clusters of December 8th, 2011hundreds of them both locally and in some kind of HPC cloudwhere the different latencies, performance and architecturetypes have to be handled, can be a dream from the pointof literally unlimited performance pool available, yet a verystressful exercise in actually getting to use all that capacity. After its roughest times in years, Creative seems to be coming back to what created it, pun intended - the most advanced sound cards around. The already powerful X-Fi chippery is now supplanted by their Sound Core3D multicore audio processor under the new Sound Blaster Recon3D line, and yes there are matching headphones - all mostly focused on gamers and movie watchers tis time Creative went ahead with just two new cards this time, one a Fatal1ty branded gamer model with metal shield, another 12
  • 52. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethe base feature card - the HD Audio versions, a follow on toX-Fi Titanium HD, will wait for a later release I guess. The Intel stuffs Centerton Atomnew audio processor has THX hardware acceleration plus a in servers - Repelling the ARMhost of voice enhancement (CrystalVoice) and noise reductiontechnoligies implemented. Interestingly, the cards raw signal threatto noise ratio is 102 dB, more than good enough for gamers Source: movies, but a little less than the music oriented 109 dB on servers--repelling-the-arm-threat/14166.htmlthe X-Fi Titanium cards. December 8th, 2011 While ARM started in desktops many years ago, its mainstay is now in mobile devices. However, it is aiming at higher ground, including wrestling away a part of server market from the X86 vendors. What is Intel doing to keep them at bay, and what impact will it have? Anyone of the old guard still remembers the 1985 Acorn Risc Machine, or, in shortform, ARM? From my teenageAnother interesting observation, looking at the cards days, it was a memory of an exciting new processorthemselves, is far higher level of integration in the audio architecture, completely different from its contemporaryprocessor itself. There are noticeably less ICs and other complex instruction set competitors - just like in modernelectronic circuitry on the board. This may lend the new chip buildings, simplicity was the answer, and complexity was lefteven more attractive to mainboard vendors for integration on to the compilers. The first ARM was 32-bit, just like its follow-the top-end boards as the choice sound chip, directly on the ons 26 years ago now.chipsets PCIe links. This could in a way be another grandcomeback for Creative, providing the company an alternative After staging a grand revival through the smartphone andlifeline as high end IC provider for PC system boards. tablet markets, and becoming the definite No. 2 CPU platform in the world, ARM has now set its sights higher, to the mainstream mobile, desktop and yes, even server markets. And thats where it hits the X86 leaders, Intel and AMD, spot on. Now, ARM has no software base to speak of in the server field, and its architecture not only is still 32-bit, but also lacks all those error correction, reliability and durability features expected in servers. However, the application specific green micro servers, used just for serving web page accesses, dont need any of these. They just require the ability to put hundreds of energy-saving simple CPUs in a single rack, each serving a group of web requests in a small local memory, 2 GB - the 32- bit direct addressing limit after I/O space is taken - being more than enough for it. This a relatively small part of server market, and a low-margin one, an equivalent of generic corporate desktop in the PC market. But an entry is still an entry, very worthy for ARM CPUThe headphones in this range are also seemingly focused vendors to get a foothold before they are ready for more, onceon the ultimate gaming and video experience, with noise the Windows 8 and, then, the 64-bit ARM arrive.cancellation, bass amplification and other enhancementsusually reserved for this user base. More on the new hardwareas we get our hands on it soon... So, the danger is there - remember that X86 core consumes more power and die size than an equivalent performance RISC, so it needs to be compensated through system design. On the other hand, Atom is 64-bit from the start, keep in mind - an enormous benefit when handling any sort of shared 13
  • 53. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonememory mapping between hundreds of processors in a singleserver, something impossible for ARM for another 2 years orso. Not to mention all the X86 software support built over theyears, something ARM will not have in foreseeable future.And thats where Intels 2012 answer to ARM comes, in theform of Bordenville Atom microserver platform around theCenterton chip, optimised from ground up for this segment,especially at the system level. The quadruple density comparedto even the lowest voltage Xeon, with over 2,000 processorsin one rack, and the simplest ever system design of any X86processor, are aimed at creating a formidable wall against theARM entry into this market. What impact would this launch have? Well, it hits ARM in the two weakest spots: lack of 64-bitness and software support. The extra server features like RAS and virtualisation, which ARM takes time to implement, are also native here. And, despite the complexity of the clumsy x86 core, the overall power consumption per node will be similar to the best ARMs in class - and this is a 32 nm chip, mind you. Also, for dense green supercomputing, this chip may have some allure, as it can even allow tight interconnecting of many of them together via PCIe switches on local boards, then further via InfiniBand or Ethernet. On the other hand, the vendors like HP and Dell are anywayThe Centerton chip itself is a simple dual-core 32 nm 64-bit waiting to diversify their offerings a bit, and not just dependCPU. It contains just two Saltwell multithreaded 1.6 GHz on X86. HP is already promoting such microservers, andAtom cores with 512 KB L2 cache each, a single-channel ARM will have some foothold, like it or not. Either way, theDDR3-1333 ECC low voltage memory controller for up to 8 GB 2012 microserver market will be the first battle of the largeron a single SO-DIMM, and 8 PCIe v2 lanes, with legacy I/O and upcoming high end market war between X86 and ARM.SMbus included on-die as well. This removes the need for anysort of chipset. Simply, just use PCIe v2 lanes to attach whatyou really wish, like a Gigabit Ethernet, storage controllers like Lenovo launches IdeaPadSAS, InfiniBand or even one of those PLX PCIe v2 switchesto let multiple processors talk to each other directly over PCIe Tablet A1 in Singapore Source: at ultra low latency! singapore/14162.html December 8th, 2011With this kind of compact footprint, we are talking about just5W to 8W total TDP for the whole system on a chip (SoC), andan enormously efficient footprint with CPU modules just aboutthe size of a credit card! And this is a chip with full memoryRAS features including scrubbing; with full virtualisationimplemented as well, and 64-bit address space. Computer maker Lenovo has just released their new IdeaPad Tablet A1 in Singapore with a very attractive price tag. With a integrated offline GPS Navigation system, this new tablet may well be a big bang for bucks. 14
  • 54. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneLaptop and computer manufacturer Lenovo has justannounced the launch of the IdeaPad Tablet A1, an 11.95mm At the event, George Staikos, VP of web technologies, Researchthin slate weighing just 400g. The new tablet sports a 7- in Motion, said that the BlackBerry App World has reachedinch 1024 by 600 resolution LCD screen with an integrated over one billion downloads, with over five million happening0.3-megapixel front and back camera. It comes pre-loaded everyday. And with BlackBerry OS 7 on seven handheldswith various apps including the full version of Documents including the BlackBerry Bold 9790, BlackBerry Curve 9380To Go, and is also supplemented with Lenovo App Shop, a which were launched first in Asia. Staikos said that indedicated portal for a variety of country-oriented apps as well BlackBerry 7.1, the company will continue to evolve theas other special selections. One special feature of the IdeaPad platform with the addition of powerful new APIs includingTablet A1 is the ability to carry out offline GPS navigation, Near Field Communications (NFC). The APIs will open upwhich allows it to pinpoint its own location without needing more rich capabilities of the BlackBerry 7 platform andto depend on the Internet. This makes it a great item to have handheld and application developers.when traveling in areas without any network coverage. The "BlackBerry 10 is the official brand name of our nextLenovo IdeaPad Tablet A1 is now available in selected stores generation platform. Initially previewed at DevCon Sanfor S$299. Francisco just two months ago, it will power the future generation of BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. Our visionBlackBerry DevCon Asia 2011 is a single, converged next generation BlackBerry platform built from the core up, and it will enable most powerful mobileSource: social communication experiences the world has ever This is BlackBerry 10."December 8th, 2011 The BlackBerry 10 platform is based on three fundamental components. The first is the BlackBerry 10 operating system software that powers phones, tablets, automobiles and more; connecting people, devices, content and platformThe BlackBerry Dev Con Asia 2011 was supposed to be held together. The second element the BlackBerry 10 servicesin Bangkok, Thailand this year, but due to the serious impact that extends the BlackBerry DNA, collaboration andof rain and floods, the conference has thus been relocated to communication, and enable full access to BBM, enterpriseSingapore. This morning. Research in Motion had made some server and BlackBerry Internet service, from push toannouncements at Dev Con Asia 2011 which include the next payment, security and beyond. And thirdly, BlackBerry 10generation BlackBerry 10 platform. is a transformational new application developmental bundle. The native software development kit allows developers to build high performance BlackBerry experience with best-in- class HTML 5 implementations. As the company moves to BlackBerry 10, HTML 5 will be the technology that can rapidly deliver rich, connected applications across a range of devices. According to Staikos, HTML 5 is something BlackBerry has embraced since day one. 15
  • 55. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone NVIDIAs new products include GeForce GT 635M, GT 630M and 610M. There are no changes whatsoever and are direct rebrands of GeForce 500M GPUs. The GT 635M replaces all the variants of GT 555M, GT 540M is rebranded as GT 630M and GeForce 520MX is now GeForce 610M. For everyone expecting true next-gen 28nm GPUs with new architectures, this will be a disappointment. However, due to greater risk and higher costs with a new and risky process like TSMCs 28nm, both AMD and NVIDIA have opted to play it safe for the entry-level and mainstream segments. The true next-gen will most likely find its way as HD 7700M, 7800M and 7900M, as well as GT 635M to GTX 690M, in 2012. Senseg reveals textured touch screen prototype Source: Saunders, VP of developer relations and ecosystems prototype/14160.htmldevelopment, Research in Motion, introduced the BlackBerry December 8th, 2011Jam, which isdesigned to help developers thrive and buildbusinesses on the BlackBerry platform. Saunders also gavesome statistics about the BlackBerry App World, which issupported by over 148 markets and growing, with over fivemillion average daily downloads. There are over 50,000 appsavailable, with over a billion downloads reached in June 2011.Carrier Billing is also available with 20 carriers worldwide, and Soon, our favourite smart phones may not just be good at26 currencies supported. displaying sharp photos; they may even feel like the object represented in the photos too. Touch screen technologyAMD Radeon HD 7000M / company Senseg has just unveiled its prototype “Feel Screen”, a hint that we may soon experience the display with our fingerNVIDIA GeForce 600M tips as well.mainstream GPUs announcedSource: 8th, 2011AMD and NVIDIA have both introduced their first next-genproducts - mainstream GPUs for the Radeon HD 7000M andGeForce 600M. However, they are next-gen only in branding- they continue to be 40nm GPUs based on HD 6000M andGeForce 500M, with the true next-gen reserved for higher endproducts. Touch technology company Senseg has just revealed a prototype touchscreen which is capable of creating a varietyThe AMD refreshes include Radeon HD 7600M, 7500M of physical impressions on the skin, and in essence, applyingand 7400M. The HD 7400M series is based on the same different textures to the same surface. Dubbed the “FeelSeymour XT chip powering HD 6400M. The same applies Screen”, it utilizes electrostatic fields which can be felt by ourfor HD 7600M, based on Whistler, which powered HD fingers to induce a tactile response. According to Senseg, this6600M/6700M. However, in both cases, the HD 7000M parts is done by creating and controlling a small attractive forceshould end up faster due to higher clocks. HD 7600M should between the screen and the finger generated from this field,end up performing more like HD 6700M. HD 7500M is now thus producing a range of effects such as rough textures, edgesbased on 480SP Whistler, over 400SP Capilano for the HD and vibrations, just to name a few. We can expect to have6500M, and also introducing GDDR5 memory albeit with this experience across devices of various screen sizes as thea 64-bit memory bus (net effect should be similar memory company states that the system is scalable.bandwidth). However, some SKUs in the HD 7500M series willcontinue to utilize DDR3. The technology has promising applications in enhancing user interfaces such as creating a touchscreen keyboard that has a perceptible separation between each key as depicted visually 16
  • 56. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneon-screen. It may also become an important piece in bridging records at 240fps in Quarter Video Graphics Array (QVGA)tablet technologies to the blind. While the technology is ready quality or 120fps in VGA be mass produced by 2012, devices incorporating such As a final touch, an integrated GPS system logs the locationscreens will probably appear in 2013 or later. of each photo produced, as well as the journey taken between the shots, which is a great feature for travellers. The CanonCanon launches new Powershot S100 will be available in stores today (7 December 2011) at justS$699.Powershot S100Source: 8th, 2011 Meizu officially joins the fray with the MX smartphone Source: the-mx-smartphone/14151.html December 8th, 2011After a long wait, the new Canon Powershot S100 is officiallylaunched in Singapore. With a slew of upgraded features fromits predecessor, the Powershot S100 will represent yet anotherstep closer to professional photography in a pocket-sized form. Chinese electronic manufacturer Meizu has officially announced the release of their MX smartphone. Prior to this, the Meizu MX had its share of rumours and leaked photos unveiled on the Internet. It is now confirmed that the smartphone will feature a 1.4GHz processor and penta-band network support.Electronics giant Canon has launched the new Powershot S100compact camera for photography enthusiasts in Singapore.The new pocket-sized powerhouse will feature a highperformance lens with an ultra-wide coverage of 24mm, a5x optical zoom, and a maximum aperture of f/2.0. TheCanon boasts excellent low-light performance together with its Meizu has officially unveiled their new MX smartphoneDIGIC 5 image processor and High-Sensitivity (HS) system. which will add another member to the Google AndroidUsers can expect increased details, reduced image noise, and army. Arriving in 2012, the 10.3mm thick Meizu MX willbetter color accuracy from the Powershot S100. The Multi- come equipped with 1.4GHz Samsung Exynos 4210 dual-corearea White Balance function will also contribute to a natural processor, 1GB LPDDR2 memory, 16GB of storage, a frontappearance of the image when area-specific corrections are facing camera, and a built-in noise cancellation system, all ofapplied for a scene with multiple light sources. which is powered by a 1600mAh battery. Contrary to previousThe Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) system is an rumours, the MX will not feature an optical track pad. Instead,impressive feature which includes a group of seven IS modes, a physical home button will take its place. The smartphoneall of which can be automatically selected by the system when will serve the needs of frequent travelers with its penta-a suitable scene is detected. The Powershot S100 is also able band 3G and HSPA plus network support, eliminating theto record full High Definition (HD) 1080p videos at 24 frames need for different phones for different networks. The MX willper second (fps) while being zoom-capable across the session. don a highly modified version of Android 2.3.5 GingerbreadIt also comes with the Super Slow Motion Movie mode which 17
  • 57. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonesoftware, though the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update Dont you just hate when your wireless peripherals run out ofis en route. battery? And theres never a spare set around when you need them either. Well, this may soon just be a bad memory, at last if Broadcom has anything to do with it, as the companyReport: AMD Radeon HD 7000 has developed a new Bluetooth low energy based chip forPrices keyboards that the company claims will enable up to 10 years battery life.Source: 8th, 2011 Dont you just hate when your wireless peripherals run out of battery? And theres never a spare set around when you need them either. Well, this may soon just be a bad memory, at last if Broadcom has anything to do with it, as the company has developed a new Bluetooth low energy based chip for keyboards that the company claims will enable up to 10 years battery life.DonanimHaber has leaked preliminary pricing information The chip in question is called the BCM20730 and Broadcomfor AMDs upcoming Southern Islands / Radeon HD 7000 claims that its backwards compatible with previous Bluetoothseries. The pricing covers Radeon HD 7650 at $119 to the dual- standards, although presumably at increased power drain. TheGPU 7990 flagship at over $700. In general, pricing for the BCM20730 is one of the first implementations of Bluetoothentire HD 7000 range will be above the equivalent HD 6000 4.0, a standard that so far has only shown up in a few mobileparts they are succeeding. devices, but which is promising greatly increased batteryThe flagship will be HD 7990, a dual-GPU product based on performance at the cost of data transfer speeds.two Tahiti chips. The pricing is expected to be above $700. The The BCM20730 emulates a USB HID device and Broadcomfastest single-GPU HD 7970 will be $499, with performance claims that thanks to its ZeroTouch configuration technologyexceeding GTX 580 but below todays dual-GPU flagships - HD there shouldnt be any need for pairing up a device built6990 and GTX 590. HD 7950 rounds up the Tahiti range at around the chip to the computer its being used with. Another$399. benefit of Bluetooth 4.0 is a vastly reduced latency from idleThe most popular series is expected to be HD 7800, with HD to an active state. This should make Bluetooth 4.0 peripherals7870 at $299 and HD 7850 at $199. These price points are feel much more responsive than older Bluetooth devices. Oneidentical to the very popular HD 4800 series back in 2008. The concern we have though is the vastly reduced data rate, asmainstream HD 7600 series will be priced at $119 and $179 for Bluetooth low energy is limited to a mere 260Kbps, whichHD 7650 and HD 7670 respectively. doesnt seem ideal for a wireless keyboard, but wed have to tryDonanimHaber suggests only Tahiti will use the GCN a device out before we can say for certain.architecture, while all/most other HD 7000 GPUs will be Beyond being used for keyboards, Broadcom is suggesting thatbased on VLIW-4. Tahiti will feature 384-bit memory - a the BCM20730 would work well with 3D glasses, mice, gamenovelty for AMD/ATI GPUs - tied to 3GB GDDR5. It will controllers and just about any other kind of wireless devicealso support DirectX 11.1, which will release with Windows 8. controller. Broadcom has even built in an ARM Cortex M3 SoCHowever, theres no mention of whether the other HD 7000 to remove the need for any additional processing being doneGPUs will support DX 11.1. by a third party chip in wireless devices. With a bit of luck itThe first HD 7000 products are expected to be announced at shouldnt take too long until we see some Bluetooth low powerCeBIT 2012, with availability some time in January. Needless devices in the market and well hopefully get our hands onto mention, such reports contain preliminary information and some for testing to see if theyre better than older Bluetooth 2.1a lot of the details are likely to change before the final release. devices in terms of responsiveness and power usage.Broadcom promises 10 year Intel and Micron announcesbattery life for Bluetooth worlds first 20nm 128Gbitkeyboards NAND flash Source: first-20nm-128gbit-nand-flash/14155.htmllife-for-bluetooth-keyboards/14156.html December 8th, 2011December 8th, 2011 18
  • 58. December 8th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIf all goes well, then we can look forward to much larger SSDscome the second half of next year as Intel and Micron hasannounced that their joint venture IM Flash Technologies willbe launching 128Gbit NAND flash sometime in the second halfof next year. In the meantime, well have to make do withIMFTs 20nm 64Gbit NAND flash which the two companiesannounced has gone into mass production.If all goes well, then we can look forward to much larger SSDscome the second half of next year as Intel and Micron hasannounced that their joint venture IM Flash Technologies willbe launching 128Gbit NAND flash sometime in the second halfof next year. In the meantime, well have to make do withIMFTs 20nm 64Gbit NAND flash which the two companiesannounced has gone into mass production. It looks like the latter half of 2012 will be an interesting timeThe 64Gbit parts are built using IMFTs brand new 20nm for SSDs and the good news is that IMFT is expecting to sampleprocess which should for the time being, be the most advanced 128Gbit devices to its partners as early as January. Were fairlyflash memory manufacturing process. However, this is merely certain that Intel and Micron will get first dibs on these parts,a stepping stone to the 128Gbit parts which are made using the but as long as production quantities ramp as expected, IMFTsame process, but with quite a few technical advances in terms is going to bring some serious competition to Samsung andof everything else. the other NAND flash makers. Whos up for a smartphone or a tablet with 128GB of built in storage?For starters, IMFT is promising terabit storage in a chip usingeight 128Gbit NAND flash devices in a single package and ifyou dont know your bits from your bytes, then that is 128GB,i.e. a standard size SSD on a chip. The 128Gbit chips will alsofeature ONFI 3.0 which will boost the interface speed to 333megatransfers per second which should see SSDs gain furtherperformance next year as multiple chips are used to make upSSDs.With a move to more storage capacity per chip it shouldbecome more affordable to create larger size SSDs for the drivemakers, as you could make a 1TB SSD out of a mere eightchips. As for concerns about data retention and product life,IMFT has developed what they call "planar cell structure" thatis meant to make the 20nm chips as reliable as current 25nmchip if were reading the press release correct. The new NANDflash devices are also made using Hi-K metal gate, which isapparently another first in NAND flash production. 19
  • 59. December 12th, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! There should be more OEM models coming and well keep you VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication posted as we find out more details. covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. AMD Radeon HD 7900 seriesExclusive: Mobile quad core to launch January 9th 2012OEM Ivy Bridge processors Source: january-9th-2012/14209.html December 12th, 2011Source: 12th, 2011 Turkish website DonanimHaber have received confirmation for final release date of the much anticipated Radeon HD 7900 series - January 9th 2012. This puts the big release one dayA week ago we gave you Intels mobile Ivy Bridge roadmap, before CES 2012 commences.but it seemed to be missing a few CPUs, specifically the much Turkish website DonanimHaber have received confirmationexpected 35W quad cores. Well, today we bring exclusive for final release date of the much anticipated Radeon HD 7900details of a few additional mobile quad core Ivy Bridge series - January 9th 2012. This puts the big release one dayprocessors destined for OEMs, the kind of CPUs that Intel before CES 2012 commences.doesnt put in its official price list. The previous rumoured date, Jan 10th, co-incided with CES 2012. However, AMD has decided to release on Monday,A week ago we gave you Intels mobile Ivy Bridge roadmap, instead of the traditional Tuesday/Thursday release days.but it seemed to be missing a few CPUs, specifically the much More details about AMD Radeon HD 7900 / Tahiti can beexpected 35W quad cores. Well, today we bring exclusive found in our speculation round-up.details of a few additional mobile quad core Ivy Bridgeprocessors destined for OEMs, the kind of CPUs that Inteldoesnt put in its official price list. Intel lowers Q4 financialThe additional quad core models are similar to the lower- outlook over HDD shortageend Sandy Bridge quad cores such as the Core i7-2630QM all Source: way up to the 2675QM, models youll find in notebooks hdd-shortage/14208.htmlfrom big brand name players such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo December 12th, 2011etc. The OEM Ivy Bridge models are the Core i7-3615QM,Core i7-3612QM and Core i7-3610QM, all of which sports 6MBL2 cache, support for DDR3 1600MHz memory and a basegraphics clock of 650MHz which for reference is very similarto the Core i7-3720QM.Intel seems to have gone and made things all confusing with its Intel has announced that its financial results for the fourthmodel numbering scheme here though, as the Core i7-3615QM quarter of 2011 will be lower than expected due to the hard diskis a 2.3GHz part with a top turbo boost speed of 3.3GHz and drive (HDD) shortage.unless theres a typo or two in the information weve seen,then this CPU is identical to the Core i7-3610QM. The Core Intel has announced that its financial results for the fourthi7-3612QM on the other hand is slower with a base clock of quarter of 2011 will be lower than expected due to the hard disk2.1GHz with a top turbo boost speed of 3.1GHz. That makes drive (HDD) shortage.these by far the lowest clocked Ivy Bridge processors and The chip giant revised its fourth quarter revenue expectationsalthough we dont have any TDP specifics, we have a feeling down from $14.7 billion to $13.7 billion, showing thethat these are the 35W parts Intel has mentioned in the past. monumental impact the flooding in Thailand has had on its business. 1
  • 60. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIntel said that PC sales are expected to be higher in the fourthquarter compared to the third, but added that the entire globalPC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessorpurchases due to the HDD shortage, which Intel predicts willcontinue into the first quarter of next year. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is an upgrade version of the popular Xperia Arc with similar form factor and hardware components, except that this one is powered by a faster 1.4GHzLast week IHS iSuppli forecast that there would be by 3.8 processor (to 1GHz of the Xperia Arc). Measuring 8.7mmmillion fewer PCs in the first quarter of 2012 due to the slim, the smartphone runs Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, thoughHDD supply issue, despite some recovery in the industry by the company has said that the phone will be upgradeablecompanies like Western Digital. to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in future. It sports a 4.2-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 8.1- megapixel camera with high definition (HD) video capability,With Intel feeling the impact of the Thailand floods, we can and features Sonys Exmor R mobile image sensor thatlikely expect other chip makers and companies dependent on enhances still images and videos even in low light conditions.hard drive supply to also lower their revenue expectations. Comes in Pure White, Midnight Blue and Sakura Pink, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is available now from all three telcoIntel will announce its fourth quarter results on 19 January, operators and Sony Ericsson Concept stores.2012. Price: S$788 (before telco subsidies) Where to buy - All three telco operators - SingTel, M1 and StarHub, and Sony Ericsson Concept stores at Junction 8, AngVR-Zone Christmas Gift Guide Mo Kio Hub and Parkway Parade Shopping Centre.- Mobile PhonesSource: 12th, 2011 Stand a chance to win a Sony Ericsson Xperia rayThe mobile phone has evolved from being a device to make andreceive calls, as well as send SMS (short message service), to Sony Ericsson Xperia rayone packed with a wide range of features - built-in camera forcapturing videos and pictures, gaming, accessing the Internetand email etc. On top of that, the phone manufacturers are alsocompeting in making their devices slimmer, lighter and witha decently huge display. Well, if you are looking to upgradeyour phone or planning to get your loved ones a new phonethis Christmas, read on.Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S 2
  • 61. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone RIM met with the Indonesian government on Thursday about progress made since January, but the government claims that while it fulfilled some requests, it did not go far enough, especially in regards to its main demands. Indonesia wants RIM to establish an aggregator and customer care centres in the country, block pornography on devices, and give the government access to encrypted data that is being transmitted on the network.Designed for youths and especially the ladies, the SonyEricsson Xperia ray features a unique quality design, andclaims to offer great ease of use. Measuring a mere 9.4mmthin, the compact smartphone comes in a stylish anddurable aluminum frame, and sports a 3.3-inch RealityDisplay with Mobile BRAVIA Engine for superb visuals. TheXperia ray also packs a powerful 1GHz processor, 8.1-megapixel camera with Exmor R image sensor for mobile andhigh definition video functionality, and runs the latest Android2.3 Gingerbread operating system. If black isnt your favoritecolor, the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray is also available in Goldand Pink.Price: S$598 (before telco subsidies)Where to buy - All three telco operators - SingTel, M1 andStarHub, and Sony Ericsson Concept stores at Junction 8, AngMo Kio Hub and Parkway Parade Shopping Centre. RIM said it was receiving mixed messages from Indonesia,Indonesia threatens to shut claiming it was never formally asked to build a centre in the country. It said it complied with all of the governmentsdown BlackBerry service requests, including a router in Indonesia which acts as anSource: aggregator.blackberry-service/14206.htmlDecember 12th, 2011 As for access to encrypted data, an issue that arose in other regions like India, RIM is working with law enforcement agencies, but the Indonesian goverment indicated that it was unhappy that the company wont reveal exactly who it is working with.The Indonesian government has threatened to shut down the Indonesia is one the biggest markets for BlackBerry devices,BlackBerry service in the country as it continues a disputre making this ban potentially disastrous to RIMs revenue. RIMwith Research In Motion (RIM) over access to encrypted call also got into trouble in the country recently after a botchedand text data. promotion led to a stampede.The Indonesian government has threatened to shut down theBlackBerry service in the country as it continues a disputrewith Research In Motion (RIM) over access to encrypted calland text data. Samsung breaks record withThe Indonesian Telecommunication Regulatory Body said 300 million mobile phone salesthat it will cut RIMs BlackBerry data services if it does not Source: the governments demands. million-mobile-phone-sales/14205.html 3
  • 62. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone NVIDIA Project Denver "Lost inDecember 12th, 2011 Rockies", to Debut in 2014-15 Source: to-debut-in-2014-15/14204.html December 12th, 2011Samsung sold over 300 million mobile phones this year,breaking its company record. The Galaxy S smartphones areprimary contributors to the achievement.Samsung sold over 300 million mobile phones this year, a There is a lot of virtual ink spilled over the upcoming NVIDIArecord figure in the companys entire history. CPU architecture which company calls "Project Denver". Not aThe Korean electronics giant issued a statement on Sunday lot is known though, on when the design is expected to debut.saying that it had broken its sales record at the end of last There is a lot of virtual ink spilled over the upcoming NVIDIAmonth, which means that the total number for 2011 will be CPU architecture which company calls "Project Denver". Noteven bigger, thanks to the strong Christmas shopping period. a lot is known though, when the design is expected to debut. According to Jen-Hsuns talk at the third quarter financialThe figure is significantly higher than the 280 million sales results conference call, NVIDIA is working on Project DenverSamsung recorded in 2010, which was a positive year for to "supplement, add to ARMs capabilities by extending thethe smartphone industry. It claims that its Galaxy S series of ARMs architecture to segments in a marketplace that they aresmartphones were primary contributors to the achievement, not themselves focused on".with the Galaxy S II selling 10 million units alone since its April It is no secret that NVIDIA sees Project Denver as a processorlaunch, another record for the company. not oriented towards tablets and netbooks, but rather desktops and high-performance computing. According to information available, the first product based on the 64-bit Denver architecture will be Stark, i.e. Iron Man - Tegra SOC set for introduction in late 2014, with real availability in 2015. Prior to the debut of NVIDIAs own 64-bit architecture, the company will launch Kal-El and Kal-El+ (28nm die-shrink),“We look forward to extending this success going into 2012,” both based on 32-bit ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, followed bysaid J.K. Shin, President and Head of Mobile Communications Wayne (Cortex-A15) and Logan, all before Stark comes Samsung. NVIDIA is developing Project Denver for better part of the past decade. The company acquired Colorado-based Stexar in 2006, with a plan to develop a binary compatibleSamsung is the second largest handset maker in the world, architecture with the x86 instruction set, with or withoutbehind Nokia, which has been losing market share as Intels permission/license. The original architecture called forsmartphones overtook feature phones. A decade ago Samsung a similar approach used by Transmeta with a translationwas in fourth place, and if Nokia fails to recover sufficiently layer being the core part of the architecture. However,with its planned Windows Phone 7 smartphone range, luckily for NVIDIA, then tiny ARM started its ascent intoSamsung could end up creeping into the top spot. the contemporary computing with the new generation of smartphones. As such, NVIDIAs R&D shifted focus from being binary compatible with x86 into an extended ARM architecture. Needless to say, this practically required starting from scratch. 4
  • 63. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneGiven that NVIDIA takes four years to develop a new GPU andthat typically, CPU requires five years of development, the firstsilicon coming out of Stexar will only come after eight yearsof development. One of terms we heard about Project Denverfrom a highly ranked executive in a competing firm was "Lostin Rockies".Yet, NVIDIA cannot take any chances and needs a proprietary,ARM-compatible architecture to extract X86 out of theirGPGPU servers. Project Denver is expected to bridgethe performance gap between Tegras oriented towardssmartphones and other mobile devices with the desktop andserver performance requirements. According to Jen-Hsun,ARM currently has no plans to do that in mid-to-long term.The project shares similar fate to Intels own Haswell, whichchanged its description and architecture for about four times,first being on the map as a NetBu(r)st architecture, only tolaunch half a decade later as a completely new architecture.In any case, Stexar team has full support of NVIDIAmanagement, and Stark should arrive on the market only afterthe market accepts 64-bit ARM as a mainstream computing The Deskstar 4 TB (model number: HDS5C4040ALE630) isarchitecture. part of the 5K4000 series. It is based on the standard 3.5- inch form-factor, and features a SATA 6 Gbps interface. It is designed more with storage in mind, with a spindle-speed inHitachi Makes 4TB Deskstar the range of 5400 RPM. As the picture might show you, it packs 5 platters and 10 recording surfaces. The 5400 RPMand Touro HDDs Official design brings about energy efficiency of about 28 percentSource: compared to a hypothetical similarly-speccd 7200 RPM drive.hdds-official/14203.html Naturally lower spindle speeds also contribute to lower noise.December 12th, 2011 The Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB packs 32 MB of fast cache, which should take advantage of the 6 Gb/s interface bandwidth for high burst speeds.First spotted in the bylanes of the Akihabara district ofTokyo last week, Hitachis uber-capacious Deskstar 4 Terabyteinternal hard drives were finally announced to the world today.Along with it, Hitachi also announced its Touro avatar, aportable HDD that makes use of one of these drives.Increasing hard drive capacities are inevitable, but these areturbulent times in the hard drive industry, with a huge chunkof it gone for a swim in the recent Thailand floods. Hitachi gotahead of bigger players Western Digital and Seagate in beingthe first HDD vendor with an internal hard drive with 4 TB ofunformatted capacity. Incidentally, Hitachi was also the firstto market with a 1 TB HDD. 5
  • 64. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone the high-end Core i7-3770K thats been put through its paces in a somewhat limited selection of benchmarks, but if the results are anything close to the final CPU revision, then we can look forward to a decent performance boost over Sandy Bridge. If you, like us, have eagerly been awaiting the first Ivy Bridge benchmark numbers then we have good news for you, theyve arrived as an early Christmas present courtesy of Chiphell. Its the high-end Core i7-3770K thats been put through its paces in a somewhat limited selection of benchmarks, but if the results are anything close to the final CPU revision, then we can look forward to a decent performance boost over Sandy Bridge. The CPU was fitted to an un-named Z77 chipset motherboard –an early revision with an early BIOS/UEFI – and paired up with 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. As we know, the Core i7-3770K sports Intel HD Graphics 4000 and the integrated graphics was being used for the tests, so were looking at early graphics drivers here too, in best case were looking at an Alpha driver here, at least according to information we have at hand with regards to Intels driver release schedule and judging by the driver revision used.The next launch from Hitachi is the Touro 4 TB, a portablehard drive that packs the Deskstar 5K4000 launched today.Measuring 129mm (W) x 183mm (H) x 60mm (D), this driveprovides you capacities that could only be achieved by portableHDDs twice its volume, because they needed two internaldrives to achieve its capacity. The new drive takes advantage Lets start with 3DMark06, not really the most taxingof the new USB 3.0 SuperSpeed interface to ensure there are benchmark these days, but as you can see from the screenshotno interface bottlenecks, and that its performance is nearly on below, we got a score of 6841, a respectable improvement inpar with that of the Deskstar running inside your computer. performance compared to the Core i7-2600K which ends up somewhere around 5000 points, although we had a bit of aThe Deskstar 5K4000 4 TB is priced at US $399.99, and is hard time tracking down some comparable figures, especiallyreleased to retail markets in limited quantities (go figure!). It using recent drivers. Looking at the CPU score for 3DMark06will be released to OEMs in early 2012. The Touro 4 TB, on the the Core i7-3770K scored 7170 which should be comparedother hand, will be released to the retail channel in January to about 6700-6800 for a Core i7-2600K, so only a minor2012, and will be priced at $419.99. performance increase here. Moving on we have a couple of runs of Cinebench 11.5 where inIvy Bridge benchmarks single core mode the 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K scored 1.65 easilybrought early by Santa besting a Core i7-2600K which scores 1.53 – co-incidentally the 2700K is barely any faster at 1.54 points here – althoughSource: moving on to using all available cores were looking at a scoreby-santa/14202.html of 7.52 for the Core i7-3770K which is a decent performanceDecember 12th, 2011 bump over the 2600K which scores just under 7 points whereas the 2700K scores just over 7 points. Ivy Bridge is by no means a Sandy Bridge-E beater here where the Core i7-3960X manages 11.44 points with all cores enabled at stock clock, although due to the lower clock it only manages 1.58 points inIf you, like us, have eagerly been awaiting the first Ivy Bridge single core mode.benchmark numbers then we have good news for you, theyvearrived as an early Christmas present courtesy of Chiphell. Its 6
  • 65. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe third and final benchmark is Fritz Chess and here the Corei7-3770K scores 13869 points whereas a Core i7-2600K scoresaround 1000 points slower. None of these numbers are that20 percent performance advantage Intel suggested Ivy Bridge Dancers can now rejoice as Pioneer releases STEEZ Dancewas going to offer over Sandy Bridge earlier this year, but it Gears series, a line-up of portable audio equipment to powerdoes seem to line up with the lower end of the spectrum that their groove. The term “boombox” is given a new definitionwe saw from Intels own benchmark figures that were part of with the STEEZ Audio series, consisting of the Type S, Typethe leaked roadmap from a couple of weeks ago. The publisher T, and Type Z portable speakers. Featuring an in-built 4GBof the benchmarks over at Chiphell is expecting Ivy Bridge storage capacity and connections for iPod dock, USB andto hit 5GHz quite easily, although none of the benchmarks auxiliary 3.5mm jack, the STEEZ Audio series plays your MP3,are at anything but stock clock speeds. Weve still got another WMA, AAC and WAV music files loud and proud.four months to wait until well know how final silicon behaves The real shine comes from a nice mix of play functions,alongside final BIOS/UEFI and drivers, but wed expect a such as Auto Battle Mode, which automatically plays a listsmall performance increase between now and then. Hit the of your favorite music of the same genre, accompanied by asource link below for some additional screen shots. countdown timer to signal the end of the session. Other play mode features include Tempo Control Function, Dance CUEPioneer introduces STEEZ function, and Eight-beat Skip to fast forward or reverse by eight counts in the music for choreographic practices.Dance Gears audio solutions STEEZ PortableSource: 12th, 2011A new dedicated line of audio equipment made specially fordancers has been unveiled by Pioneer. The attention grabbingseries of speakers, music players and headphones celebratethis urban youth culture by empowering street dancers withthe beat to match theirs skills.STEEZ Audio The STEEZ Portable is a music player with a 4GB storage capacity and touch panel interface. It is equipped with play functions such as Non-Stop Mix Play for automatic queuing of similar tracks; Tempo Control Search which queues tracks of similar temp; Tempo Control; and Bookmark function to add tracks to the current playlist while listening to music. Pumping continuous music becomes fast and hassle-free for seamless dance sessions. STEEZ Headphone 7
  • 66. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Last week, we visited EVGAs headquarters in chilly Taipei to check out the latest and greatest creations from Vince "k|ngp|n" Lucido and crew. It turned out to be a fruitful affair as new 3DMark 11 world records were being made on their new Classified range of X79 motherboard and GTX580 Graphics Card. We also snagged a preview of a pre-production overclocking mammoth Super Record X (Dual Xeon Socket 2011) motherboard. 3DMark Overclocking Legend Vince "k|ngp|n" Lucido doing what he does best - breaking records at workThe STEEZ Headphone delivers crisp sound with rich low-pass bass, bringing out dance beats effortlessly. It is easy tostore in your bag with its foldable design, along with a varietyof monitoring styles thanks to its housing reversal and swivelmechanism built around the drivers.MIXTRAXPioneer brings their experience in producing DJ equipmentby offering the MIXTRAX music management application.Analysis technology gathers information of all kinds of musicsuch as melody, beat positions and chorus blocks, thus placingall music into various relevant categories and enabling theexecution advance play functions. The user-friendly interface The 3DMark 11 WR LN2 Setup - Intel SNB-E 3960X, X79makes sure import of your library is a breeze. The good news Classified, 4 X GTX580 Classifiedis it’s free, right here.Pricing:STEEZ Audio TYPE S - S$399STEEZ Audio TYPE T - S$499STEEZ Audio TYPE Z - S$699STEEZ Portable - S$199STEEZ Headphone - S$99A Visit to EVGA Labs - X79Classified 3DMark WR Setupand SR-X PreviewSource: 12th, 2011 X79 Classified Motherboard - it will be coming to stores soon after a slight delay due to Japanese earthquake induced component shortage. 8
  • 67. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone A sensible and practical UEFI bios layout and design for overclockers EVBot for useful Voltage/Temp readouts and controlThe GTX580 Classified has a reworked PCB and features 14+3Phase power design that can deliver over 1000W of power. LN2 pots 9
  • 68. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone memory interface, tied to GDDR5 memory. This should lead to memory bandwidth around 250 GB/s. Based on the PCB shots of Tahiti, forum members have used Photoshop to estimate the die size. As we speculated previously, the die size is now reported to be similar to Cayman - around 380 mm2. Considering Tahiti will be manufactured at TSMCs 28nm process, this puts the estimated transistor count at a whopping 4.5 billion transistors. Heres another die size estimate from Beyond3D forum :Rumour: AMD Tahiti / HD 7900Specifications & DetailsSource: AMDs Radeon HD 7900 series has been heavily rumouredDecember 12th, 2011 for a release during CES 2012. The release date is now being pegged at 10th January 2012, Tuesday, and also the day CES 2012 commences. HD 7800 series is expected to release in February, with the dual-Tahiti New Zealand / HD 7990 flagship in March. The rest of the HD 7000 series will be rounded up by Q2 2012.To conclude one of the quietest years for the GPUindustry, the rumour mill has been working overtime, fueledby speculation about AMDs upcoming HD 7900 series, Turbo overclocking on Highcodenamed Tahiti. 3DCenter has compiled expected andrumoured specifications, and also mention a tentative release TDP CPUs; the 8-core Inteldate - 10th January 2012. Sandy Bridge EP exampleThe Tahiti chip is rumoured to debut the GCN (Graphics Core Source: architecture, featuring 32 Compute Units with a total the-8-core-intel-sandy-bridge-ep-example/14197.htmlof 2048 shaders. TMU count could be 128. The clock speed December 12th, 2011is likely to be under 1 GHz, providing a theoretical computepotential of around 4 single precision GFlops. Performancefor Tahiti XT / HD 7970 could be close to todays dual-GPUsflagships, and considerably faster than GTX 580 and HD6970. Both Intel and AMD now include automatic overclocking-style Turbo performance enhancements in their CPUs. Once you reach the very high TDP territory, like what it is with the Bulldozer or will be with the upcoming 8 core Sandy Bridge EP, what would make best sense? Turbo, Overdrive, call it whatever you want - Intel and AMD alike figured out the potential of that built in headroom that is available in most of their CPUs well beyond the stock clock. The overclocking enthusiast community used it for years now to achieve some incredible results. However, we should distinguish between suicidal overclocking including some LN2 and other exotic deeds, where the dies become pretty much unusable after sustainedWhile most of the above information should be considered as exposure to such stresses, and so called productiverumours, what we do know is that Tahiti features a 384-bit overclocking where a measurable performance enhancement 10
  • 69. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneis achieved by upping the clocks and tightening other application users; and high-frequency traders - will want evenparameters without major voltage increases or other stresses more. After all, lets not forget who bought most of the EVGAon the CPU or system, leading to expected long term SR2 mainboards over the past year or so.productive usage at that higher speed. Obviously, the vendorsare interested in the latter one. When we have such high TDP figures at default, is it better to just leave things as they are and rely on Turbo, or get an unlocked version and reach into the overclocking realms with TDP going beyond 250W per socket? Remember, here youll also have a 4-socket version, the E5 4600, which would then mean a kilowatt just for the four overclocked CPUs... Based on what could be done with the Core i7 3960X, which after all is just a reduced 6-cores-out-of-8 version of this same die, and assuming progressively better cooling and power delivery to be provided for the full 8-core version, there is no reason why there cant be 4 GHz productive overclocking dual-socket Sandy Bridge-EP systems at very reasonable minimal voltage and system tweaks, providing 25% performance above the baseline. With further cooling and tweaks, even 4.3 GHz should be OK for medium to long term use. Anything beyond that, we need to wait for D-stepping, I guess. In summary, Turbo will provide a decent performance hopOf course, they have to be far more careful with Turbo, since even on super high TDP CPU like the Xeon E5 top of theit, unlike overclocking, falls within the warranty specs. Its range in the 150W range, however, the cooling and mainboardautomatic adjustments also vary depending on the cooling design choices have progressed so far now, together with theefficiency, power delivery from the mainboard, and of course overclocking experience, that it would be a pity not to openthe compute load on the CPU. What happens once your TDP up the headroom to those willing to make the best use of it -at default state reaches 150W, like the upcoming high end of whether to reach new records in suicidal overclocking of 16 fullthe Xeon E5 2600 Sandy Bridge EP line? cores at one go, or productive enhancement to monetize the extra GHz for those who need it - engineers, designers, gamers or traders alike.At that point, the default speed is already hot in every senseof the word. Sandy Bridge already implements power spikecontrol in its Turbo mode management to avoid breaching HP makes webOS open-sourcethe Icc_max value, and ensures that everything is ran within Source: capacity of the CPU die, packaging and voltage source/14195.htmlregulation circuitry - all in 1 millisecond sampling intervals. December 12th, 2011It can also use transient thermal headroom to exceed theperformance further for a limited time.With all these enhancements, Intel is expected to providesubstantial Turbo power and thermal headroom limits for itsupcoming flagship processors of the Sandy Bridge EP line. If Hewlett Packard has finally come to a conclusion for the fatewe look at the 150W top end part, the one that enthusiasts of their ailing WebOS. In the footsteps of rivaling softwarewould like to see unlocked in mainboards such as EVGA SR- Android, the company have decided to make WebOS an open-X, it by default allows for constant usage at 180W TDP, and source project. While developer communities are celebratingmaximum usage at 230W TDP - not to say that, with the right the decision, much remains to be seen if HP will carry out theirmainboard and cooling, it couldnt run consistently at 230W commitments as well.If we assume the starting frequency is, say, 3.1 GHz , andwe can go all the way to 3.5 GHz when using all the cores ifthe system power and cooling allow, this by itself is not badimprovement over the base line. However, three categories ofuses - enthusiasts including gamers; workstation 3-D & HPC 11
  • 70. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Sony Ericssons rumoured upcoming flagship was sighted yet again, and this time it is from a Chinese source. The amazingly thin profile and a mysterious illumination strip along the bottom of the phone certainly leads one to wonder what the phone manufacturer is up to this time.In a surprising turn of events, computer manufacturer HewlettPackard (HP) has officially declared their mobile platformwebOS released for for open-source development. This meansthat they are taking a similar approach to rivaling operatingsystem (OS) Android, whereby the entire source code of the OSis available to consumers and developers to be modified and Yet another image of Sony Ericsson’s smartphone-in-improved on. The webOS feature various benefits to different development, the Xperia Arc HD (codenamed “Nozomi”), hassegment of its market. Developers will find applications easy surfaced. It is reported to be undergoing carrier tests in Hongto construct from standard web technologies, while device Kong. From the image, it can be seen that the Xperia UI hasmanufacturers will enjoy the seamless integration to multiple been tweaked considerably, while the phone remains true todevices with its web-centric platform. its predecessor’s slimness. The seemingly illuminated strip“WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to around the phone near the bottom looks like an interestingbe mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said Meg Whitman, decoration but perhaps there is more than meets the eye.HPs president and chief executive officer. “By contributing The source of this leak also claims that the phone willthis innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source be announced during the upcoming Consumer Electronicscommunity to advance a new generation of applications and Show in January. Reports state that the specification ofdevices.” the new phone include a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GBIt is also mentioned that the resulting developments and new of memory, a 4.3-inch 720p resolution screen, and a 12-versions of the software can be released in the marketplace, megapixel camera, in line with previous rumours. If all thesuggesting the level at which HP is supporting distributions information turns out to be true, Sony Ericsson might just haveof open-source enhancements. HP promises to deliver ENYO a winner in their hands.soon, a Javascript app framework with native hardwareacceleration and fast app loading speed, and the rest ofthe user space elements after that. With yet another open- OCZ ZS Series 650W PSUsource program, a healthy dose of competition and consistentinnovation will hopefully arise and bring progress to the entire Review Source: ecosystem. review/14172.html December 12th, 2011Sony Ericsson "Xperia Arc HD"images surfaced againSource: It has been over half a decade since OCZ has begun marketingDecember 12th, 2011 performance power supplies. The company turned into a major player in the PSU market after they acquired PC Power & Cooling, a company which specialized on the field. OCZ currently markets three series: The premium ZX series, the modular ZT series and the value range ZS series. A few weeks ago we had a look at the ZT 550, a high performance modular power supply designed to please hardcore enthusiasts and modders. Today we are going to put to the test the 650W 12
  • 71. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneversion of a ZS series power supply and see what the valuerange of OCZ’s power supplies can offer. Thailand floods lead to 3.8It has been over half a decade since OCZ has begun marketing million fewer PCs in Q1 ofperformance power supplies. The company turned into amajor player in the PSU market after they acquired PC Power 2012 Source: Cooling, a company which specialized on the field. OCZ fewer-pcs-in-q1-of-2012/14194.htmlcurrently markets three series: The premium ZX series, the December 12th, 2011modular ZT series and the value range ZS series. A few weeksago we had a look at the ZT 550, a high performance modularpower supply designed to please hardcore enthusiasts andmodders. Today we are going to put to the test the 650Wversion of a ZS series power supply and see what the valuerange of OCZ’s power supplies can offer. There will be 3.8 million fewer PC shipments in the firstManufacturer features and specifications quarter of 2012 due to the disastrous flooding in Thailand over the last few months, according to a report by market analysis· 550W, 650W, and 750W Configurations firm IHS iSuppli.· Single +12V Rail There will be 3.8 million fewer PC shipments in the first· Continuous output rated at 40°C quarter of 2012 due to the disastrous flooding in Thailand over the last few months, according to a report by market analysis· 150 x 160 x 86mm (W x L x H) firm IHS iSuppli.· ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V· Non-Modular IHS had previously predicted that there would be 88 million· 80 Plus® Bronze Certified shipments of PCs around the world in the first quarter, but it· High Efficiency: 85% at typical load has revised this figure downward to just 84.2 million. 2012s overall shipments have also been lowered from the previous· Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection expectation of 399 million to 376 million. As a result, global· Active PFC growth in the PC market will drop from 9.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent next year.· MTBF:100,000 hours· 135mm temperature and load controlled double ball-bearing fan The primary reason for the drop is a severe shortage in hard drisk drives (HDD) caused by the Thailand flood. Without· 3 year warranty backed by OCZs exclusive this storage it is impossible to ship ready-made computers to· PowerSwap Warranty replacement program. consumers and businesses. The shortage has led to existing HDD prices doubling at most shops.OCZ ZS650WAC 230VINPUT ~ 10A 50HzDC +5V +3.3V +12V -12V +5VsbOUTPUTMAX 22A 22A 46A 0.3A 3ACURRENTMAX 130W 552W 3.6W 15WCOMBINEDWATTAGE TOTAL POWER: “The PC supply chain says it has sufficient HDD inventory 650W for the fourth quarter of 2011. However, those stockpiles will Continuous run out in the first quarter of 2012, impacting PC production during that period,” said Matthew Wilkins, senior principal analyst of compute platforms at IHS. 13
  • 72. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThere is some hope for the HDD market, however, withWestern Digital recently announcing a return to productionat one of its previously flooded plants, but it will still take anumber of months to restore supply.IHS expects that by the end of 2012 HDD supply will havereturned to normal or could even surpass normal capacity,leading to an inventory surplus, which would be an ironic twistof fate compared to the worlds current predicament. There is a crucial difference from the previous leak - thisMore AMD Tahiti / HD 7900 sample consists of 2 x 6-pin PCI-e connectors, as opposed to the 8-pin + 6-pin configuration previously captured. ThisPictures could suggest that this is either an advanced production readySource: sample, or Tahiti Pro, or HD 7950, which should feature apictures/14193.html lower TDP than Tahiti XT / HD 7970. This card thus has a TDPDecember 12th, 2011 somewhere between 150W and 225W. Hackers threaten worlds oil supplyNot long after the first pictures of AMDs Tahiti leaked, we Source: a detailed shot of Tahitis PCB, which reveals more supply/14192.htmldetails. The 12 memory chips are clearly visible, confirming the December 12th, 2011384-bit memory bus. It also offers a first glimpse at the Tahitidie.Not long after the first pictures of AMDs Tahiti leaked ,we have a detailed shot of Tahitis PCB, which reveals moredetails. The 12 memory chips are clearly visible, confirming the384-bit memory bus. It also offers a first glimpse at the Tahitidie. Hackers are threatening the worlds oil supply in an increasing wave of cyber attacks, according to top oil company executives, spelling potential devastation for the economy and the environment. Hackers are threatening the worlds oil supply in an increasing wave of cyber attacks, according to top oil company executives. Oil companies are warning that they are facing more and more attacks on their systems, which could lead to a situation where valves are accessed. This could result in a scenario where oil rigs are set on fire, people are killed, the environment is damaged, production is halted, and oil supply to industrial nations is cut, which in turned would have a monumentallyThe card most likely features 1.5 GB GDDR5. The 5+1 phase negative financial impact.PWM is also visible. Most importantly, we get the first glimpse “We see an increasing number of attacks on our IT systemsof the Tahiti die. It is rotated by 45 degrees and covered by and information and there are various motivations behind ita partial heatspreader. However, the die itself is exposed to - criminal and commercial,” said Ludolf Luehmann, managerthe heatsink. Tahiti is a big chip - at first glance a similar of IT at Shell, Europes largest oil company. “We see ansize to Cayman. However, it is still visibly much smaller increasing number of attacks with clear commercial interests,than NVIDIAs previous flagships, GF100/GF110 or GT200/ focusing on research and development, to gain the competitiveGT200b, so AMD continues to dismiss NVIDIAs big die advantage.”strategy.The card features 2x CF connectors as well as the dual BIOSswitched introduced with the HD 6900 series. 14
  • 73. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone A French court has refused Samsungs request to ban Apples iPhone 4S in the country, the latest twist in an ongoing legal dispute between the two companies. A French court has refused Samsungs request to ban Apples iPhone 4S in the country, the latest twist in an ongoing legal dispute between the two companies. The court said it would not impose a preliminary sales ban on the latest iPhone, but Samsung can still pursue a normal lawsuit against Apple over the alleged patent infringement. Samsung was ordered to pay €100,000 in legal fees, but it escaped a fine, despite Apple asking for the court to award damages in its favour.This might sound like science-fiction to some, but the reality isthat most industries operate on computers that are vulnerableto attack, and hackers are increasing in numbers, becomingmore knowledgeable, and making more daring attacks onsystems.The Stuxnet worm, which crippled Irans nuclear reactors,showed the potential devastation that could be caused by cyberwarfare. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, this kindof attack can be replicated on many essential infrastructuressystems, including water supplies, electricity grids, and oilproduction and distribution. This is the latest decision in the bitter patent war, withRiemer Brower, head of IT security at Abu Dhabi Company for Apple alleging that the Galaxy Tab is a rip-off of its iPad andOnshore Oil Operations, said that the oil industry has so far that several of Samsungs smartphones infringe its patents.avoided any major incidents, but qualified this by saying that Samsung has responded in kind by claiming that the iPhonethe companies in charge are no longer really in control. 4S uses some of its patented technology.French court denies Samsung Even if Samsung had won its case in France, it could haverequest to ban Apples iPhone easily been overturned, just as Apples injunction against sales of the Galaxy Tab was overturned in Australia last week. That4S case was further affirmed today with the formal lifting of theSource: 12th, 2011 Samsung is awaiting the decisions for other injunction motions against Apple in Australia, Japan, France, and Italy. 15
  • 74. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone cores. The report from Fudzilla also mentions that VisheraReport: AMD Radeon HD 7800 will be compatible with the AM3+ platform and 900 series(Pitcairn) in February 2012 chipsets. AMDs earlier Zambezi successor, Komodo, whichSource: is reportedly canceled, was planned to fit into the FM2in-february-2012/14191.html platform, shared with Trinity. AMD is also preparing 1000December 12th, 2011 series chipsets, with 1090FX and 1070, which will likely be the chipset of choice for Vishera. Trinity will be the first AMD product to feature Piledriver cores, releasing in Q2 2012, and will give a good indication to Visheras performance characteristics. Vishera will continue to be manufactured at GloFos 32nm process, which should hopefully be mature by Q3 2012. Rumours indicate Vishera will continue to contain 4 Piledriver modules, although the canceled Komodo it replacesAMD is planning to introduce their next-gen performance was said to feature 5 Piledriver modules.part, replacing the HD 6800 / Barts series, in February 2012. Intels Ivy Bridge-E enthusiast CPUs are also slated to launchThe rumoured date is the week of February 20th, the week around the same time, although AMDs Vishera will mostafter Chinese New Year. Codenamed Pitcairn, there will be two likely battle Intels Ivy Bridge quad-core CPUs, particularlySKUs at launch - Pitcairn Pro and Pitcairn XT, expected to be Core i7 3770K, unless Piledriver brings unexpectedly massivebranded Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7870 respectively. improvements over Bulldozer.AMD is planning to introduce their next-gen performancepart, replacing the HD 6800 / Barts series, in February 2012.The rumoured date is the week of February 20th, the week Samsung to launch monsterafter Chinese New Year. Codenamed Pitcairn, there will be two tablet in 2012?SKUs at launch - Pitcairn Pro and Pitcairn XT, expected to be Source: Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7870 respectively. in-2012-/14187.htmlPitcairn Pro is rumoured to cost $199, with Pitcairn XT December 12th, 2011at $299. These are the same price points at launch as theimmensely popular Radeon HD 4800 series, hitting the price/performance sweet-spots.The first Southern Islands cards are still expected to be Tahiti /HD 7900 series, to release at CES 2012. They will be followedby Pitcairn, with the dual-GPU flagship New Zealand (possibly Korean manufacturer Samsung may be unveilng a new tabletHD 7990) releasing at CeBIT 2012, in the early March. The with improved specification next year at the Mobile Worldfirst Kepler GPUs from NVIDIA are also expected to show up Congress in Barcelona. Along with a recent announcement ofin March, although rumours suggest NVIDIA might release the Exynos 5250 processor and its whooping 2560 by 1600mainstream GPUs first, with performance parts coming later screen resolution, the pieces for a new beast of a tablet seemsin Q2. to be in place.Report: AMD Vishera (next-genFX) in Q3 2012Source: 12th, 2011AMD is planning to release their next-gen FX CPUs in Q32012. Codenamed Vishera, these CPUs will feature Piledrivercores, and todays FX-Series Zambezi CPUs with Bulldozer The recent patent war has not dampened the spirits ofcores. The report from Fudzilla also mentions that Vishera electronics giant Samsung as they are reported to be readyingwill be compatible with the AM3+ platform and 900 series an 11.6-inch tablet for announcement at the Mobile Worldchipsets. Congress in February 2012. The tablet is said to have a resolution of 2560 by 1600 with a 16:10 wide aspect ratio,AMD is planning to release their next-gen FX CPUs in Q3 which will position itself to compete effectively with Apple’s2012. Codenamed Vishera, these CPUs will feature Piledriver upcoming tablet device, which is rumored to incorporate acores, and todays FX-Series Zambezi CPUs with Bulldozer 16
  • 75. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneRetina Display. Despite the bigger screen, a thinner bezel willhelp to keep the overall size of the tablet within the familiarityof 10.1-inch tablet users.From Samsungs recent announcement about theirnew Exynos 5250, it is no doubt that the 2GHz processorwill be capable of supporting high screen resolutions,including this 11.6-inch impressive display. Other features ofthe monster tablet may include Android Beam for convenientmedia syncing and a wireless docking mode for gaming inconjunction with a HDTVs, which will probably help Samsungto compete against the upcoming television race.Garena launches League To celebrate the launch, Garena will also promote a special boxed game set for fans and collectors. Only 3000 sets areof Legends Dominion in available in selected stores (including Comic ConnectionsSingapore and Malaysia branches) across Singapore and Malaysia, and it costs S$4.90.Source: It comes with a comprehensive Dominion handbook and adominion-in-singapore-and-malaysia/14186.html bundle of premium in-game items worth over S$20, such asDecember 12th, 2011 the Champion Ranmus the Armordillo, a 10-win experience boost, a four-win Influence points boost, and 100 Riot point boost. Players can get their hands on these goodies from 16December.Game publisher Garena has launched Dominion, a new game MIPS Architecture Crashesmode for the popular multiplayer game, League of Legends, ARM, X86 Party: 28nm chips to operate at 1.5GHz, Runin Singapore and Malaysia. The refreshing game mode will bereleased together with limited-edition boxed sets containingvarious character boosts and other goodies. Android 4.0 ICS Source: party-28nm-chips-to-operate-at-1.5ghz-run-android-4.0-ics/14170.html December 12th, 2011 The debate between "PC Everywhere" and "Post PC" is currently raging in the boardrooms and between consumers and there are mostly two bases everybody discusses: X86 or ARM architecture. Well, not anymore…Asian online game publisher Garena has launched a newgame mode “Dominion” for their multiplayer game League ofLegends for Singaporean and Malaysian players. The playerversus player (PvP) mode takes place on the “Crystal Scar” mapin which five strategic nodes in a circular formation must betaken over by two opposing teams. The objective is to secure asmany of these nodes than the opponent. When this is achieved,it will reduce the opponent’s base points over time. If the basepoint of any team reduces to zero, from a start of 500, they willlose the game. Opposing teams can attack and take away thesenodes to turn the tides of war. 17
  • 76. December 12th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAfter spending most of their time outside the limelight, MIPS products next year, and 64-bit is only expected in 2013-2014Technologies marked a very strong week by announcing timeframe.that the company successfully started the manufacturing of While MIPS originally worked with their own licensors usingthe brand new high-performance, three-way microprocessor less advanced processing nodes, the launch of 28nm partchip using 28nm-SLP (Super Low Power) process node at which targets as high clock as the fastest clocked Cortex-GlobalFoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany. A9 speaks volumes. While SOC needs to be bundled withThe chip was a development between MIPS Technologies and a powerful graphics, image processing and connectivityeSilicon Corporation, with the expected clock between 1GHz as systems, ARM just might find themselves in dead heatworst-case scenario, while the optimal clock target is 1.5GHz. with MIPS Technologies. Also, bear in mind that QualcommGiven that the chip is in manufacturing right now, it will take already heavily modifies Cortex architecture and flat outabout three months to deliver first chips to customers. Still, refuses to specifically name ARM in their marketingbear in mind the 1GHz minimum, 1.5GHz optimal figure. materials, NVIDIA is developing its own 64-bit ARM-based architecture… the number of companies using future referenceThe week continued with MIPS Technologies making another Cortex cores in high end parts might drop to just a few players.joint announcement, this time with Chinese manufacturerAionovo (no relationship to Lenovo). Aionovo debuted Good Enough Computing coming back to haunt ARM?NOVO7, worlds first android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" tablet By launching the already mentioned Aionovo NOVO7 tablet,for the non-subsidized price of $100, i.e. you can expect that the 32-bit JZ4770 is already operating at 1GHz, while thecarriers will be offering them for free with subscription. upcoming 28nm parts are expected to scale to 1.5GHz andThis tablet is powered by Ingenic Semiconductor JZ4770 SoC, beyond. Should the company optimize their 32-bit and 64-bitcontaining a single MIPS32-based processor core operating MIPS architecture alongside 28nm-SLP and introduce 20nm-at 1GHz, paired with Vivante GC860 GPU featuring complete LP and -SLP nodes at GlobalFoundries and TSMC, MIPSFull HD acceleration (video processing engine). Technologies just might have a ticket to ride to pressure ARM and their gigantic ecosystem. Naturally, Intel is also coming toWhile this 7" tablet wont be sold out of China until the mix with 22nm based Silvermont, who is set to debut inat least spring-to-summer period, the magnitude of this 2013.announcement speaks volumes. Our industry sources workingat companies that manufacture x86 and ARM-based solutions Power consumption also seems to be the strong side ofalmost unanimously expressed their concern. If Ice Cream the MIPS architecture. The JZ4770 SOC consumes onlySandwich ends up working smooth on a tablet for $100, all it 0.25W under 100% CPU and video engine load (1080ptakes is a decent CPU upgrade, capacitive touch-screen instead playback), which is significantly less than ARM competitors.of the ultra-cheap resistive one and voila, a competitor for the Naturally, as you beef up the GPU and add a second core,current and future ARM and X86 based designs is born. the power consumption will go up, but still below ARM- based products. And when ARM posed a question of "goodMIPS is not a small player either. While ARM likes to boast enough" computing to counter Intel and AMD claims ofthat the company ships billions of devices per year, MIPS high-performance requirements for desktop computing, didalso powers numerous set-top-boxes, TVs, network switches, the company thought that a competitor might say the sameautomotive and avionics systems - competing against ARM. question to them? Is MIPS making lower power consumingMIPS Technologies had management issues through their long parts than ARM for "good enough computing"?history but things started to change last year, after Sandeep Vijwas named CEO. The company went through reorganization While we wont know the answer for this for quite some time,and the result is a more nimble competitor. but the battle is on. MIPS vs. ARM vs. AMD vs. Intel.One of people giving thumbs up to MIPS is Andy Rubin, SeniorVP of Mobile, Google Inc. He stated that he is "thrilled tosee the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into themarket". Furthermore, Andy stated that Google wants to seemore high-performance MIPS solutions, as "low cost, highperformance tablets are a big win for mobile consumersand a strong illustration of how Androids openness drivesinnovation and competition for the benefit of consumersaround the world."MIPS already speaks 64-bitUnlike ARM, MIPS developed a 64-bit architecture quite sometime ago, with the products based on MIPS64 shipping insidenetworking equipment. According to information available,Cavium Networks, NetLogic Microsystems and even CISCOare either shipping or evaluating MIPS64 architecture for theirnetwork products. In comparison, ARM is now talking about64-bit but the company did not announce 64-bit part as oftoday. 32-bit Cortex-A15 and derived products will debut in 18
  • 77. December 15th, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! a very limited launch, with the real availability only coming VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication on January 9, 2012 - which should be the launch date for the covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. Radeon HD 7950. The interesting bit about the Radeon HD 7950 is that the boardAMD Brings the Launch of is coming out as a custom part, and AMD gave freedom to partners to clock the part anyway they want, there is flexibilityRadeon HD 7900 Series in terms of amount of memory, 3rd party cooling - just like GeForce GTX 560 launch, expect a lot of different parts comingForward: December 22nd, from all the usual suspects.2011 As far as HD 7950 availability is concerned, several sources inSource: the know gave out conflicting information. One informationhd-7900-series-forward-december-22nd-2011/14255.html floating around claims a limited launch on December 22 forDecember 15th, 2011 HD7970 only, with widespread availability of HD7970 and HD7950 coming on January 9, 2012, and another rumor is that both HD7970 and 7950 are coming on December 22, 2011, albeit in very limited quantities. Again, both sides of the coin revolve around Dec 22nd and Jan 9th.According to conversations with fellow journalists and AIB The truth will be known on next Thursday, December, AMD brought forward the launch of HD 7970, whilethe availability and HD 7950 should launch on January 9, 2012- one day before CES. Microsoft signs up to US andLast minute decisions can turn in quite a mess when people EU cloud standards for Officeinvolved arent afraid to speak up and voice out their concerns.Yesterday, there was flurry of activity on various chat boards 365 Source: board vendors and journalists, all trying to figure out cloud-standards-for-office-365/14253.htmlwhat happened. December 15th, 2011 Microsoft has signed up to US and EU cloud standards with its Office 365 software suite, making it one of a small handful of companies that meet data protection and security requirements for cloud computing in both regions. Microsoft has signed up to US and EU cloud standards with its Office 365 software suite, making it one of a small handful of companies that meet data protection and securityAccording to the information at hand, AMD wishes to end the requirements for cloud computing in both regions.2011 year by winning the accolades for the best microprocessorand the best graphics processor in the world. In order to dothat, the company brought forward the launch of Radeon HD The company has received compliance with the7970, which was revealed here. As you know, AMDs CEO Rory Data Protection Directive established by the EuropeanP. Read proudly announced that the company started to ship Commission. It has also previously agreed to the Healththe 28nm GPUs for revenue, and there are numerous leaked Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the US,pictures, pricing rumors and an alleged specifications slide addressing concerns by some about moving healthcare data toleak. the cloud.Now, it looks like the Radeon HD 7970 will launch onDecember 22, 2011, bringing a Christmas gift to all the current The ISO/IEC 27001 certification means that Microsoft willAMD users and those that want to become one. This will be have to agree to yearly audits of its information security policy 1
  • 78. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneby an independent expert and share the results of these withcustomers. Transfers were also sent from Seattle to other US locations and even Brazil and South Korea, showing that vast distances are not an issue with this latest discovery.The move will also result in increased safeguards for its onlineservices, both on a physical, administrative and technical level,in order to meet the US requirements. The technology used included highly tuned servers running over a 100Gb/s circuit set up by Canadas Advanced Research and Innovation Network (CANARIE). The California Institue“Developing cloud-based productivity tools that meet the of Technology, University of Michigan, Florida Internatonalneeds of European businesses means more than simply University, and the European Centre for Nuclear Researchbuilding apps in a browser,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, (CERN) also participated.president of Microsoft International. “Microsoft has a morecomplete approach to European data protection and securitylaws than any other company, and we’re proud of the work The breakthrough will affect scientific research, big businesseswe’ve done to ensure the widest range of organizations can and consumer life, as the technology could be used bymove to the cloud with confidence — or choose an equally the Large Hadron Collider for physics developments, byfunctional on-premises option.” companies like Google and Amazon that depend on high speed transfers, and by broadband customers who are still struggling with paltry speeds in the low Megabits.Microsoft also announced the launch of its new Office 365Trust Centre, a website which provides detailed informationabout the privacy and security policies relating to the latest To put the speeds into perspective, the highest speed availableOffice software. in the UK is 1.5Gb/s, and that is only a limited trial by Virgin Media in East London. Some people are lucky to get 1.5Mb/Scientists break data speed s, with the average speed throughout the UK being just under 7Mb/s. Within a few years we could all be downloading files atrecord with 186Gb/s transfers speeds over 100Gb/s.Source: 15th, 2011 Apple to sell 190 million iPhones in 2012 Source: have broken the world record for data speed over in-2012/14252.htmla long distance with a transfer of a whopping 186Gb/s, the December 15th, 2011equivalent of sending over 4,000 Blu-ray discs worth of datain just one hour.Scientists have broken the world record for data speed overa long distance with a transfer of a whopping 186Gb/s, theequivalent of sending over 4,000 Blu-ray discs worth of datain just one hour. Apple could sell upwards of 190 million iPhones next year,The achievement was made by researchers at the University according to a report by financial services firm Morganof Victoria in British Columbia and the Washington State Stanley.Convention Centre in Seattle, who transfered data backand forth over a 131 mile distance at speeds of 186Gb/s,significantly faster than the previous 2009 record of 119Gb/s. 2
  • 79. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneApple could sell upwards of 190 million iPhones next year, December 15th, 2011according to a report by financial services firm MorganStanley.The Cupertino, California-based company is expected to shipbetween 31 and 36 million iPhones in the final quarter of thisyear, up to 30 per cent more than other analysts project.That figure is projected to jump to 41 million in the first quarterof 2012, with up to 190 million sales predicted for the entireyear, showing that demand is increasing, rather than falling,for iPhones, despite strong competition from rival Androidsmartphones. Special anniversary edition GTA 3 now available on Android and iOS Source: available-on-android-and-ios/14249.html December 15th, 2011 The popular Grand Theft Auto III, by game developer Rockstar, is now available as a special anniversary edition on both Android Market and Apple iTunes App Store. The game offers high definition graphics with some improvements from the original, and is priced at an affordable US$4.99.Apple is also enjoying high sales for its iPad range, withforecasts that the company will sell 52 million iPads in2012. This figure could almost double to 90 million if Apple iswilling to cut $100 off the price-tag, particularly consideringthe entry of Amazons Kindle Fire tablet will present peoplewith a choice that is significantly cheaper.Whether or not Apple is willing to reduce its profit marginremains to be seen, but it might be forced to do so if Amazonsteals a large chunk of its market share.3DMark and PCMark Graphics Fans of popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) games could nowand Synthetic Benchmark get their hands on this special anniversary edition of GTA III which is now available on both Android and iOS smartphonesFiles mirrored by and tablets. The special anniversary edition of the RockstarSource: game is almost identical to the original, except that controls are all touchscreen, with graphics enhanced to high definition, and improvements on the game play including mission retry and autosave modes. You can purchase the game at US$4.99 on Android Market or Apple iTunes App Store. According to the game developer, Galaxy Nexus owners can also expect to get a version of the game in the near future. 3
  • 80. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe list of support devices include:- Celebrate Christmas withApple - iPad 1, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod Touch 4thGeneration Atlas Sound & Vision Source: Phones - HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola vision/14245.htmlAtrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung December 15th, 2011Galaxy R and T-Mobile G2xAndroid Tablets - Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, DellStreak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung GalaxyTab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S and Toshiba ThriveJoin Now! GIGABYTE If you are planning to get some superb quality audio productsBattlefield 3 Cup Asia Season for your loved ones this Christmas, check out the offerings from Bose, brought to you by Singapore distributor, Atlas1 Online Competition Sound & Vision.Source: Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker systemasia-season-1-online-competition/14247.htmlDecember 15th, 2011 Everything in a nutshell: Battlefield 3Online Competition, 8v8 Conquest Format, USD$3,400 PrizePool, 8 x GTX580 SOC Graphics Cards, and PremiumGIGABYTE gaming peripherals to be won! More details can befound at http://battlefield.gigabyte.asiaAMD: 28nm GPUs shipping forrevenueSource: 15th, 2011 Make your music, games and movies come to life with the surround sound performance of the Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system. Featuring a simple, elegant design, the Companion 5 is easy to use. Users simply have toAt the IT Supply Chain conference, AMD CEO Rory Read connect it to their computers through a single USB port – noconfirmed that AMD has begun shipping 28nm GPUs, fabbed adaptors, no complicated wiring and no sound card upgradeat TSMC, for revenue. This should come as no surprise, as the required.release for Radeon HD 7900 - on 9th January 2012 - is just Usual price: S$749over 3 weeks away. Christmas promo: S$639At the IT Supply Chain conference, AMD CEO Rory Readconfirmed that AMD has begun shipping 28nm GPUs, fabbedat TSMC, for revenue. This should come as no surprise, as the Bose MIE2 / MIE2i mobile headsetrelease for Radeon HD 7900 - on 9th January 2012 - is justover 3 weeks away.CEO Rory Read stated, "We are ramping 28nm [products]with TSMC in Taiwan and shipping the products here and now.We are very excited about the products".At this point we have some information about the RadeonHD 7900 series - some concrete, some speculation. We haveseen pictures, speculatory specifications, pricing rumours anda purported specifications slide leak. However, as usual, littleinformation has been publicly announced by AMD. 4
  • 81. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Christmas promo: S$199 Bose SoundDock 10Enjoy music and make calls on your mobile phone withhigh-quality audio with the Bose MIE2 mobile headset.Featuring proprietary Bose StayHear tips for comfort andstability on the go, the MIE2 mobile headset ensures acomfortable fit for hours of listening or phone calls. The Featuring new and existing Bose technologies, the BoseMIE2 is compatible with any mobile phone, while the MIE2i SoundDock 10 is a digital music system that deliversis designed exclusively for listening to and control of select audio performance previously unattainable from a one-pieceApple products, including the iPhone, iPod, iPad and MacBook speaker system for the iPod. Boasting a small, elegant design,Pro. Its in-line microphone provides access to certain voice the SoundDock 10 maintains dock-and-play simplicity, yetapplications in Apple products, and the in-line remote lets plays from the iPod or iPhone with exceptional clarity acrossusers adjust volume and navigate through stored music the full musical range, while at the same time delivering thedirectly from the headset. low-note performance and volume levels of much larger soundUsual price: S$199 systems.Christmas promo: S$169 Usual price: S$1,249 Christmas promo: S$999Bose On Ear headphones Video of Samsung GALAXY S II with Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich leaked Source: google-android-4.0.1-ice-cream-sandwich-leaked/14243.html December 15th, 2011 A leaked video of a Samsung GALAXY S II running the latest Google Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich indicatesFeaturing a comfortable design with the added convenience that development for integration is underway. Andof fold-flat earcups and a collapsible headband for increased needless to say, the Korean company will incorporateportability and easy storage, the Bose On Ear headphone is the their proprietary TouchWiz user interface onto the operatingperfect accessory for music lovers on the move. Earcups rotate system to provide a unique user experience.front to back and top to bottom, resulting in uniform pressureon the ears that enhances audio performance and comfortable An insider report reveals that Samsung is currently workingfit of the headphones. to integrate the Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich mobileUsual price: S$225 platform on their GALAXY S II smartphone. The video reveals 5
  • 82. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethat Samsung is still inclined to layer most of their TouchWizuser interface (UI) over the Android 4.0.1 OS at this point,which may be a little disappointing to those who prefer thestock Android experience.Some nice features were demonstrated such as the lock screenwhich now conjures a lock icon at the very spot where thefinger has contact with the screen. The improvement is mostlycosmetic, however, as unlocking still utilizes the currentmethod of sliding the finger across the screen. While the homescreen generally looks the same as the current Google AndroidGingerbread version, a new multitasking interface, call forthby a long-pressing of the home button, appears to makescrolling and closing running programs more intuitive andvisually pleasant. Now, the obvious use in graphics, with - hopefully finally -Face unlock was also unveiled with its setup option present 4K resolution displays coming to the PC world, and the extrain the video, although demonstrations of the setup and usage refresh loads of stereoscopic 3D, comes to mind. However, thewere not shown. It may appear that most of the TouchWiz UI current memory subsystems on high end GPUs actually takein Android 4.0.1 resembles the current one, but it should be quite a good care of that, aside from of course getting highernoted that the system is still in development. frame rates with faster memory. Whats then the other use then for this width increase? Well, GPUs have very very high peak FP compute rates, butNew-generation GPU memory the real performance in FP-heavy code is greatly affected bybandwidth increases: more for the available memory bandwidth. While a game may get a 5% FPS boost from a 33% memory bus width jump, a vector FPcompute than for graphics? run may gain over 20% from the same enhancement, all otherSource: things staying the same. So, whatever the vendors primarybandwidth-increases-more-for-compute-than-for-graphics-/14244.html intentions are for widening the graphics local memoryDecember 15th, 2011 buses on new GPUs, the extra bandwidth - and yes, extra capacity headroom from being able to add more chips and keep things in local RAM - will have the greatest benefit exactly for GPU compute apps. The impact? More HPC-like stuff running oh so fast on your PC, and more true HPC apps running faster on GPGPU arrays.New GPUs will have even wider and faster memory buses thantheir predecessors, with AMD moving to 384 bits from 256bits, and Nvidia hopping even further, to 512 bits, in their high Globalfoundries and ARMend SKUs. But is it more beneficial in the usual graphics tasks, announce 2.5GHz 28nm SoCor for the future vector FP math jobs in GPGPU operations? successYou must have noticed by now how the next generation of high Source: GPUs, both AMD Tahiti 7900 series and Nvidia Kepler announce-2.5ghz-28nm-soc-success/14241.htmlGK100 processors, have further increased their memory December 15th, 2011bandwidth and even bus width as well. AMD is now one stepup from the 6900 series, with its 256 bit GDDR5 memory busbeing widened to 384 bits in the 7900 series coming early nextmonth. The Nvidia GK100, a quarter or two later, will have Weve already reported about Globalfoundries and ARMsa 512 bit wide memory bus, a hop from 384 bits seen now relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back inin the GTX580 and its Quadro & Tesla brethren. Now, this September and back then the two companies had 2GHzdoesnt seem as complicated a job as widening the CTE over Cortex-A9 test chips up and running. Fast forward threeand over again for our LTA here in Singapore, but it is still quite months and the two have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, againa work, as those wider buses require more pins, power drive on test chips, but theyve also announced that theyve tapedand present board layout challenges to get both the speed and out 20nm technology qualification vehicles based around thewidth. Cortex-A9 architecture. Weve already reported about Globalfoundries and ARMs relationship when we visited GTC Taiwan back in September and back then the two companies had 2GHz Cortex-A9 test 6
  • 83. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonechips up and running. Fast forward three months and thetwo have achieved speeds of 2.5GHz, again on test chips,but theyve also announced that theyve taped out 20nmtechnology qualification vehicles based around the Cortex-A9architecture.The big news here is that we should be able to expect both32nm and 28nm ARM based processors to be manufacturedby Globalfoundries in large quantities come next year, atleast as long as there are customers. It should be notedthat the current chips are based on Globalfoundries 28nmhigh performance technology and the company is expectingfurther performance improvements one it moves to its highperformance plus (HPP) platform. The press release talksabout the HPP parts to be for “wired networking applications” The PRADA phone by LG 3.0, finished in classic black, featuresrather than smartphones, although the 2.5GHz chips that were a glossy touchscreen on the front and PRADA’s signatureannounced should be suitable for a wide range of mobile Saffiano pattern at the rear. Measuring just 8.5mm thin, theconsumer devices. phone incorporates LG’s NOVA high brightness display, which claims to be one of the biggest and brightest screenAs for the 20nm technology qualification vehicle or TQV, at 4.3-inch and 800-nit brightness. Powered by dual-corewell, Globalfoundries is expecting a 35 percent increase 1GHz processor with dual-channel architecture for superbin performance and nearly half the power consumption performance, it also comes with dual-band Wi-Fi for high-compared to a 28nm counterpart, much higher than what speed mobile surfing. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 alsowas said back in September. This isnt likely to be something features an 8-megapixel camera that is capable of 1080p highwell see until 2013 of Globalfoundries roadmaps are anything definition video recording, and runs Android 2.3 go by. Were still curious about the fact that the two According to the manufacturer, the phone is also upgradeablecompanies hasnt mentioned the Cortex-A15 architecture at to Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when the updateall, as were expecting the first SoCs based on ARMs next becomes available.generation core to arrive towards the end of next year, butmaybe its not that different to manufacture from the Cortex- The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will be available for pre-A9, or the two arent willing to give away too many details at order in January 2012. Consumers who purchase thethe moment. The good news for Globalfoundries is that the phone through pre-order will also receive a PRADA-brandedcompany should be able to find a few additional customers accessory with the phone. Details on the pre-order will bethis way, as were fairly certain that ARM would recommend made available via the LG Singapore homepage and the LGto go with Globalfoundries over say TSMC due to the closer Mobile Singapore Facebook page.relationship between Globalfoundries and ARM. Specifications:LG and PRADA unveil PRADA Network 2G GSM / GPRS /phone by LG 3.0 EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 /Source: 1900December 15th, 2011 3G HSPA+ 21 900/1900/2100 Chipset Application OMAP4430 Processor 1.0GHz Dual Core / ChannelLast month, PRADA and LG announced the renewal of their Memory RAM 8Gb LP DDR2collaboration to develop the new PRADA phone by LG 3.0, as ROM 1Gb + 512MBwell as released a teaser picture of the phone. Today, the two User 8GB eMMCcompanies unveiled the highly anticipated smartphone, which External Slot Micro SD (up tois the third model from the partnership. 32GB) Display Type TFT Size (Inch) 4.3 inches Resolution WVGA (800 x 480) Brightness 800nit Camera Main 8MP AF Connectivity Bluetooth 3.0+HS USB 2.0 7
  • 84. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n which will accept either a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard driveA-GPS Yes or one of Seagates GoFlex 2.5-inch hard drives. Theres also aSW Spec OS / UI Android 2.3 USB 2.0 port hidden in here somewhere. Gingerbread / P UICodec Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+Video: MPEG4/H.264/DivXVideo Recording: 1080P@30fpsPlayback:1080P@30fpsBrowser Web-kit basedFeatures Dimension 127.5 x 69 x 8.5 mmBattery 1,540mAh / Li-IonSpeaker 1810Receiver 1208 As with the Pogoplug Mobile the Series 4 sports Gigabit Ethernet and an SD card slot, but it also adds a pair of rearAudio FM Radio USB 3.0 ports for further storage expansion. Were not sure if3.5mm Headset the ARM processor inside the Series 4 has received an upgradeJack as well, but its entirely possible that Pogoplug is using theColor Black same PLX NAS7820 SoC as it did in the Pogoplug Video, a product that is now discontinued and that sold for twice that of the Series 4, especially as this dual core ARM11 SoC (ARMv6 architecture) has a PCI Express interface which would allowPogoplug launches Series 4, it to connect to a USB 3.0 host controller. Its also entirelyads USB 3.0 connectivity and possible that were looking at the same Marvell 88F6192 Kirkwood ARMv5 SoC as found in the Pogoplug Mobile, as thisUSM two has SATA and PCI Express support, although its only aSource: single core SoC.usb-3.0-connectivity-and-usm/14240.htmlDecember 15th, 2011The latest addition to Pogoplugs growing family of devices isadding quite a few new features and it looks like the companywants to take a serious slice out of the home storage/homecloud market with the Series 4. That said, the price has alsogone up and you still have to add your own hard drives, butat least the Series 4 comes with a little twist to make this a lottidier. Pogoplug is making a big deal out of the fact that its productsThe latest addition to Pogoplugs growing family of devices is features infinite storage expansion, although this is only trueadding quite a few new features and it looks like the company in as far as you can plug in additional storage devices until youwants to take a serious slice out of the home storage/home run out of ports. As with previous products, the Series 4 comescloud market with the Series 4. That said, the price has also with 5GB of cloud storage, something that was announced lastgone up and you still have to add your own hard drives, but month by the company. Were not sure why you need to useat least the Series 4 comes with a little twist to make this a lot another could service when the Pogoplug is meant to be a cloudtidier. storage device, but such is life and not all things make sense. The Series 4 Pogoplug appears to be the same as the recently In as much as we think the Pogoplug Series 4 is a neat device,announced Pogoplug Mobile, but with a few additional especially as it allows you to stream media around your homefeatures. However, the two are only sharing the same look and or share it over the internet as well as use it as a simple NAS,basic features as the company has made quite a few changes. we cant but wonder why anyone would be willing to spend USFirst of all were looking at a larger device, as the top comes off $99.95 (S$130) on one when you can pick up a two bay NASto reveal a SATA/USM (Universal Storage Module) connector for little more. The ability to share files might be better than 8
  • 85. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonewith a basic NAS, but theres no data redundancy and we doubt 0.4 billion below its estimate for 2011. This means that 2012the performance will be as good as that of even a cheap NAS. could see a decline in growth for Intel as it continues to struggle with falling demand and other external issues.Investment firm claims IntelQ4 cut is not due to HDD IDT announces low-powershortageSource: timing solution for Intelnot-due-to-hdd-shortage/14237.htmlDecember 15th, 2011 Romley server platform Source: solution-for-intel-romley-server-platform/14236.html December 15th, 2011Investment firm Normura Equity Research claims that Intelsdecision to revise its fourth quarter sales revenue downwardswas not just due to the hard drive shortage caused by theflooding in Thailand, but due to a general lack of demand forIntel chips. Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has announced whatAn investment firm claims that Intels decision to revise its it claims is the industrys most complete and lowest-powerfourth quarter sales revenue downwards was not just due to timing solution for the Intel Romley server platform.the hard drive shortage caused by the flooding in Thailand, but Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has announced whatdue to a general lack of demand for Intel chips. it claims is the industrys most complete and lowest-power timing solution for the Intel Romley server platform, due forNomura Equity Research believes that Intels downgrade from release next year.$14.7 billion to $13.7 billion is due to “weak sell-through”caused by poor performance in the Chinese market, low The system consists of three chips: a main clock (932SQ4xx),overall demand compared to ARM chips, and low volumes of a peripheral clock (9FGP20x), and a Z-buffer (9ZXxxxxx),ultrabooks. all of which feature a number of configuration options to help optimise a motherboards bill-of-materials to suit theThis contradicts Intels statement on Monday that the $1 varying sizes and power requirements of cloud computing,billion shortfall for the last three months of this year is enterprise servers, blade servers, workstations, storage andprimarily due to the lack of hard disk drives, which is causing security overall supply issue for the entire PC chain. The main clock is available in 64-pin, 56-pin, and 48-pin versions, while the peripheral clock has an option to come with wake-on-LAN support. The Z-buffer is available in 19-output, 15-output, or 12-output versions, with an option for a low- power model.Nomura admitted that hard drive shortages are a concern, butit believes that the real issue has nothing to do with that. Itwas particularly critical of Intels failure to compete with ARM,which it said delivers more power-efficient processors.Nomura likewise cut its estimate of Intels fourth quartergrowth to $13.7 billion and also shaved off $3 billion from itsestimated growth for 2012, which is now set at $53.4 billion, 9
  • 86. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone as a standard feature in the next version of Android – while pulling support for it from iOS.All three chips enable PCIe Gen3, SAS 12G and QPI 9.6Gb/s. The Z-buffers also meet the low-drift requirement ofIntels Romley platform, while the low-power version reduces “The journey has been nothing short of incredible,” said Babakconsumption by up to 1 watt and cuts out 40 discrete Pahlavan, co-founder and CEO of Clever Sense. “Our visioncomponents, making it more efficient. has only become bigger, and our commitment stronger. With Google and Clever Sense working together, our entire team looks forward to building more intelligent, serendipitous and“Our new family of timing devices provides OEMs the options magical services!”and flexibility they need to develop the best-performance andcost-optimized motherboards,” said Ram Iyer, VP and GMof the Computing and Multimedia Division at IDT. “These The financial details of the transaction were not products complement IDT’s extensive lineup of industry-leading PCI Express switches, bridges, flash controllers, andsignal integrity products to complete their Romley platform AMD Radeon HD 7970designs.” specifications slide leaked Source: chips are now available for sampling via the IDT website slide-leaked/14238.htmlor sales representatives. December 15th, 2011Google buys Clever Senseto compete with Apples Siripersonal assistant A slide purportedly to be part of the press deck, detailingSource: Radeon HD 7970, has leaked online. As previously rumoured,with-apple-s-siri-personal-assistant/14235.html the HD 7970 features the GCN architecture with 32 CUs.December 15th, 2011 A slide purportedly detailing Radeon HD 7970 has leaked online. The slide resembles AMDs standard presentation design, and is seemingly part of the press deck held. As previously rumoured , the HD 7970 features the GCN architecture.Google has bought Clever Sense, the developer of personalassistant software Alfred, a move that will likely see Androidcompeting directly with Apples Siri.Google has bought Clever Sense, the developer of personalassistant software Alfred, a move that will likely see Androidcompeting directly with Apples Siri.Alfred is a free mobile app for Android and iOS built on theClever Sense Platform. It acts very similary to Siri in that it canfind places, such as restaurants and shops, in the real worldand learns more about user taste over time, becoming more The HD 7970 features 32 CU containing 2048 ALUs, clockedpersonalised and more accurate. at 925 MHz. This amounts to 3.5 TFLOPS (Single Precision). TMUs are upped to 128, as expected. However, ROPs remain at 32 compared to Cayman, which is odd considering theThe software features a score based on how good it is at making memory bus, as we have observed, is 384-bit. Memory speeda match, and it also provides reviews, directions, and other remains unchanged at 5.5 GHz, meaning a 50% boost inthings you would expect from a personal assistant. memory bandwidth. The TDP is rated under 300W, while the idle power is incredibly only 3W. This means a 8-pin + 6-pin power connector configuration. HD 7970 features 4 display outs - 1x DVI, 2xmini-DisplayPort and 1x HDMI. Finally, theGoogles decision to buy Clever Sense is clearly a reaction to slide mentions the embargo release date - 9th January 2012.Siri, one of the selling points of the iPhone 4S. Alfred is not Needless to say, faked slides are nothing new for the rumourquite as broad in scope as Siri, but it shows great potential for mill, so the information contained within this slide mustdevelopment under Google, which could roll out the software 10
  • 87. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonebe considered with caution. However, most of the details consumption by providing a consistent, accurate and reliablecontained are realistic, and the image of the shroud looks testing and measurement tool created with Futuremarksidentical to the leaked pictures. deep experience in quality benchmarking software." The test consists out of complex suite of benchmarkFuturemark Launches routines which emulate the operations performed by various applications, such as Windows startup etc. For the first timePowermark: Good Bye to since we follow Futuremark, the end result is not an index ofMobileMark? some kind, but rather a runtime of the tested product.Source: Nokia to launch 4G-capable Lumia 900 in February 2012?December 15th, 2011 Source: lumia-900-in-february-2012-/14233.html December 15th, 2011After year and a half of work in complete silence, Futuremarkreleased Powermark 1.0.0. This is the first generation batterytesting benchmark based on PCMark7.With the advancements of notebooks, reviewers often felt left The Lumia 800 Windows Phone was announced at Nokiaout in terms of software choice for benchmarking. If you need World in October, and was only recently launched into benchmark a processor, graphics card or even a whole Singapore. And from online sources, it looks like the Finnishsystem such as a desktop or a workstation - the choice of company could be announcing a 4G-capable Lumia 900 inbenchmarks is nearly endless. February next year with a larger touchscreen display.However, selecting benchmark applications for testingnotebooks is always a challenge… what benchmark is the best LG introduces Optimus LTEfor testing the battery life? For years, the only realistic solutionwas to use MobileMark by BAPCo, which solely focused smartphone in Japanon business applications performance and is not without Source: in-japan/14232.html December 15th, 2011Alternative method was to manually create a benchmark byrunning infinite loop of 3DMark or a movie or some sorts anduse the chronometer until the battery expires, but this methodwas quite tough on testers.Luckily, after months of development, Futuremark came outwith another benchmark of their own: after having 3DMarkas a reference 3D benchmark and PCMark as a overall system The LG Optimus LTE was recently launched in USA andbenchmark - Powermark is a PCMark7-based benchmark that Korea. And now, the company, in collaboration with NTTmeasures complete system performance on a notebook. Docomo, has brought the Android smartphone to Japan.According to Jukka Makinen, CEO of Futuremark, "Batterylife is critical to delivering a positive user experience.Powermark helps PC industry OEMs and their suppliersstrike a balance between performance and power 11
  • 88. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The Blackberry Bold 9900 smartphone claims to be the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone when it was launched a few months ago. And it looks like Research in Motion has announced the launch of the white version of the Bold 9900 which would be available in stores this weekend. Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the Pure White BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone in Singapore. It claims to be the slimmest BlackBerry smartphone yet at only 10.5mm, and the first to offer QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen display. It is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to include built-in support for Near Field Communications (NFC) that can pair with NFC-enabled accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the phone. It runs the latest BlackBerry 7 operating system with nextKorean manufacturer LG, in collaboration with NTT Docomo, generation BlackBerry browser that provides significantlyhas introduced the Optimus LTE smartphone (model:L-01D) faster, more fluid web browsing experience. Otherin Japan, following the launches in North America and Korea. enhancements to the browser include optimized zooming andBoth LG and NTT Docomo have collaborated to make the panning for smoother web navigation and optimized HTML5Japanese Optimus LTE unique, with a red color available on performance for incredible gaming and video experiences.the Japanese edition of LG Optimus LTE that would only The Pure White BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone isbe exclusive to Docomo customers, including the 1seg Digital expected to be available from all RIM’s authorized partnersTV and Near Field Communication (NFC) features. The LG on 17 December 2011. For pricing details, please checkOptimus LTE sports a 4.5-inch True HD IPS touchscreen with respective operators.(1280x720) that is capable of displaying sharp and crispimages, is equipped with 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1024MB Twitter for BlackBerry updates now available on BlackBerryRAM and 4GB built-in storage, supports up to 32GB micro-SD App Worldcard, and runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread.RIM launches whiteBlackBerry Bold 9900smartphone in SingaporeSource: 15th, 2011 12
  • 89. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone bandwidth requirements does affect the component choices at the board level, especially when it comes to the memory modules. Right now, entry-level Brazos and mid-range Llano APU families form the current spread of AMD Fusion offerings. In short, they each offer a balanced CPU-GPU combination, with Brazos combining a very low power dual-core CPU with an entry level GPU, and Llano having a quad-core Phenom-class CPU with a mid-range Radeon 6500-class GPU. From the system architecture point of view, both Brazos and Llano are not very demanding parts, fitting well within the expected limitations of their respective target markets. Since Llano doesn’t have a L3 cache, the benchmark in the reviews up to now showed quite a bit more load on the memory systemTwitter for BlackBerry update v2.1 is now available on from the combined CPU and GPU access pattern, so youBlackBerry App World. will very likely notice more substantial overall performance improvements when integrating faster memory – both lowerTwitter for BlackBerry smartphones v2.1updates include: latency for the CPU-bound apps, and higher bandwidth where- Multi-Account Support - Have up to five accounts on your CPU and GPU parts share the access paths. Think of it asTwitter for BlackBerry smartphones app. Switch between a 20% or more performance headroom when moving fromaccounts and cross-post Tweets and Retweets from one DDR3-1333 CL7 to DDR3-1866 CL8.account to another without switching the current accountview. As the first Bulldozer core for the desktop doesnt seem to have the impact on the market as expected due to its performance- Enhanced “Share with BBM™” functionality - Easily share issues, the next Fusion APU from AMD will have an updatedTweets with BBM Contacts and Groups. ‘Piledriver’ core which, hopefully, will address some of the- View multiple Twitter accounts in a single timeline - View a problems that the initial Bulldozer has. If we do get somestream of Tweets from up to five Twitter accounts in the Social 20% extra performance there over the current Bulldozer, theFeeds timeline, or opt to filter individual Twitter accounts. Trinity CPU portion should show good performance jump vs the current Llano one. Else, we may have a problem...- Post a Tweet to multiple Twitter Accounts – Publish a Tweetto one or more Twitter accounts simultaneously using Social The more critical aspect of Trinity APU is the higherFeeds. bandwidth with the CPU portion, as well as tighter interconnect to the GPU portion, which by itself shouldFusion APUs to continue to be be up to 50% faster than the one in the Llano. At the same time, the socket compatibility with Llano requires thememory speed-sensitive? dependence on the very same dual-channel memory system,Source: restricting any performance improvements there to the usagememory-speed-sensitive-/14230.html of faster DDR3 modules above DDR3-2000 to provide theDecember 15th, 2011 extra bandwidth needed especially to the GPU portion. I would in fact recommend supporting as fast as DDR3-2400 CL10 memory speeds on this platform to maximise the graphics performance gains in particular. Why? Well, since the socket compatibility limits us there to just two memory channels, speeding that memory up is the only way to obtain more juice.The current AMD Fusion APUs, Brazos and Llano, do providea good balance of integrated CPU and GPU performance, The same bandwidth issue would even more affect thealthough the system designers, or the PC assemblers using eventual future Bulldozer based high end APUs for server andthem, should note that there is quite high performance HPC markets, although those are still far, likely not beforedependence on the memory speed used, especially for the 2014 - an eternity in the computer world. Fusion approach keyquad-core Llano. This is expected to be even more the case for benefit, where it will ultimately make the graphics processorthe upcoming Trinity successor to Llano just a tightly attached coprocessors with in-line standard programming and shared main memory space, just like anyThe AMD Fusion philosophy has come to its initial fruition this other execution unit within the CPU, results in both CPU andpast year, with the first two generations, the entry level Brazos GPU having one single main memory pool at the physicaland midrange Llano, having successfully been unveiled by level and, if you have both a fast multi-core CPU and anow. The challenge of putting together two distinctly different many-core GPU on the same die, with a common memoryprocessing unit types with nearly opposite performance and 13
  • 90. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonemanagement unit and memory accesses, how fast do youhave to go to maximise the performance? I guess, if it was,say, a 4-module Piledriver core setup, plus an equivalent ofRadeon HD7700 graphics (with double precision FP extra) ona single die, as a speculative assumption, we would need six-channel DDR3-2000 memory for a truly good performancemaximising the execution resources potential.If an efficient and large - not an AMD strength recently,though - L3 cache was in place, handling both random CPUaccesses and buffering of GPU streaming loads, then four-channel DDR3-2400 could still do a fair job. However, eitherway, new sockets are the must for AMD to prepare for suchfuture high end APU infrastructure upfront. Else, we get stucklike right now with AM3 generation dual-channel memory dueto socket compatibility pressure. The GPU clock for the Core i7-3612QM will also have a lower max dynamic frequency of 1100MHz, whereas the Core i7-3615QM and most likely the Core i7-3610QM will comeIntels Core i7-3612QM verified in at 1200MHz, 50MHz slower than their retail 35W part Other differences between the retail CPUs and the OEM CPUs include lack of support for vPro, Intel TXT and VT-d, justSource: like some OEM Sandy Bridge parts. All the other featuresas-35w-part/14229.html appear to remain mostly the same, but its clear that theres aDecember 15th, 2011 disadvantage for some users to get a notebook with an OEM CPU. Intels DX79TO motherboardYesterday we broke the news about Intels mobile quad core finally arrives, disappointsOEM Ivy Bridge processors and we now have confirmation Source: the Core i7-3612QM is a 35W part. Oddly enough the Core arrives-disappoints/14228.htmli7-3615QM and the Core i7-3610QM are not despite being a December 15th, 2011mere 200MHz faster.Yesterday we broke the news about Intels mobile quad coreOEM Ivy Bridge processors and we now have confirmationthat the Core i7-3612QM is a 35W part. Oddly enough the Corei7-3615QM and the Core i7-3610QM are not despite being a We dont quite know what to say, but Intels Extrememere 200MHz faster. motherboards are getting less and less extreme by everyThe only difference between the Core i7-3615QM and the Core iteration and after a slight delay Intels more affordable X79i7-3610QM appears to be the packaging, usually something motherboard, the DX79TO has arrived, but it fits more intoIntel doesnt have different model numbers for, but it seems Intels lower-end motherboard ranges than in the extremelike the company has decided to change things for Ivy category in our opinion. In fact, the DX79TO is a featureBridge. The Core i7-3610QM is a socketed part whereas the stripped DX79SI, something we didnt quite expect, especiallyCore i7-3615QM and Core i7-3612QM are BGA parts that as the DX79SI wasnt exactly breaking new territory so to say.are soldered onto the notebook PCB, much like the Corei7-3720QM and Core i7-3820QM. We dont quite know what to say, but Intels Extreme motherboards are getting less and less extreme by every iteration and after a slight delay Intels more affordable X79 motherboard, the DX79TO has arrived, but it fits more into Intels lower-end motherboard ranges than in the extreme category in our opinion. In fact, the DX79TO is a feature stripped DX79SI, something we didnt quite expect, especially as the DX79SI wasnt exactly breaking new territory so to say. So what are we looking at here? Well, for starters Intel has gotten rid of the x8 PCI Express slot and in lieu of that you get a x1 slot. Gone is also the front USB 3.0 ports, the secondary 14
  • 91. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneGigabit Ethernet port, two audio jacks and the optical S/PDIF additional motherboards alongside with pictures, all of whichout. The two lower heatinks appear to no longer be connected were expecting should arrive before the end of the year fromvia a heatpipe, instead a piece of metal connects them and its Sapphire.possible that Intel has removed the top PWM heatsink as itsmissing in the manual, but still present in the product brief.Also missing is the bundled Wi-Fi/Bluetooth ad adapter thatcomes with the DX79SI. The Pure Black 990FX may be late, but at least is has someStripping out all of those features makes the Intel DX79TO competitive features such as six x16 PCI Express slot – in aa really poor purchase, especially as its listed for a retail dual x16 or four x8 configuration with two x4 slots – and nineprice of around US$230 (S$300), i.e. not much cheaper internal SATA 6Gbps ports. Other features include two frontthan the DX79SI which retails for around US$260 (S USB 3.0 ports – bracket included – a Molex connector for$340), not to mention plenty of much more feature rich extra power to the PCI Express slots, a POST80 debug LED,motherboards from Intels motherboard partners. It looks like manually selectable BIOS and a power and reset button.Intel decided it wasnt worth putting too much effort into itsX79 motherboards, possibly due to the fact that Intel isntexpecting to sell a ton of them, but the DX79TO really is alame duck that should never have been put into production.Apologies for the poor resolution picture of the board, but itwas the best we could find.Sapphire readying three newmotherboards, AM3+ launchedSource: 15th, 2011 Around the back the board has a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Bluetooth 2.1 dongle, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports via Marvell chips and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. TheWhen it comes to its range of motherboard products, Sapphire downside is that the board is quite expensive at around €160 (Shas been quite slow to bring new products to market and $275/US$210) which makes it fairly uncompetitive unless youtoday the company finally announced its AM3+ motherboard, really want a board with the specific slot layout on offer here.the Pure Black 990FX. However, we have details of threeadditional motherboards alongside with pictures, all of whichwere expecting should arrive before the end of the year fromSapphire.When it comes to its range of motherboard products, Sapphirehas been quite slow to bring new products to market andtoday the company finally announced its AM3+ motherboard,the Pure Black 990FX. However, we have details of three 15
  • 92. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone December 15th, 2011 Apple is in talks to buy flash storage company Anobit for upwards of $500 million in a move that could give it more control over the storage element of its successful iPhone and iPad ranges. Apple is in talks to buy flash storage company Anobit for upwards of $500 million in a move that could give it more control over the storage element of its successful iPhone and iPad ranges. The Cupertino, California-based company is allegedly in “advanced negotiations” with Israeli company Anobit to acquire the firm for between $400 million and $500 million, according to a report in Israels financial newspaper The Calcalist. Anobit develops flash chips that enhance performance viaSo what about the other three models? Well, continuing on the signal processing. These are already used by Apple in itsAMD theme we have the Pure White A55M which unlike what iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air devices.the name suggests is another black and blue motherboard (no-ones beaten it up as far as were aware). This is set to beSapphires budget FM1 motherboard, but at least Sapphirehasnt skimped on all the features here. The board is a mATX Apple is apparently looking to buy Anobit in order to increasemodel and it has a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI the memory volume and performance of its devices, whichExpress slots and a PCI slot. Add six SATA 3Gbps ports, dual could double with the use of Anobit chips.BIOS, power and reset buttons and a feature Sapphire callsMemory Free which appears to be some kind of push buttonmemory configuration solution and things arent looking too This marks an unusual departure for Apple, whichbad. traditionally has bought software firms instead of hardware. It may mean a shift in direction following the death of Apples iconic leader Steve Jobs in October. Anobit also supplies chips to companies like Hynix andAround the back we find a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, Samsung, the former of which makes flash memory for thea pair of USB 3.0 ports via an ASMedia host controller, a iPhone 4S and the latter of which manufactures the A4Gigabit Ethernet port, three audio jacks for 5.1-channel audio, processor chips for Apple. If the Anobit acquisition goesa D-Sub, DVI and HDMI port. Note that the DVI and HDMI ahead it would mean that Apple would become a supplier toports on this board can most likely not be used at the same Samsung, a move which could either strengthen or worsentime. One thing that did catch our attention was a pin-header relations between the two companies.labelled FUSB3 which appears to be for front USB 3.0 ports,but it doesnt look like the standard USB 3.0 pin-headers, nordoes there appear to be a second USB 3.0 host controller onthe board. That said, the silk screening on the board reads Google launches Street ViewPW-A8A75M so its possible that Sapphire is/was planning anAMD A75 chipset version of this board and its possible that for tsunami-stricken Japansome things will change before launch. regions Source: in talks to buy flash tsunami-stricken-japan-regions/14225.html December 15th, 2011storage firm AnobitSource: 16
  • 93. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneGoogle has launched Street View for the tsunami-stricken December 15th, 2011parts of Japan, providing a digital archive of the effects of thedisaster that hit earlier this year.Google has launched Street View for the tsunami-strickenparts of Japan, providing a digital archive of the effects of thedisaster that hit earlier this year.The project involved over 44,000 kilometers of driving in Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced theGooglemobiles to map the affected areas, delivering on a launch of its Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise storage device,promise the search giant made in July to deliver a record of which it claims is the industrys fastest 10K hard drive, toutingevents called Build the Memory, a special website that displays high capacity and strong encryption features.before and after images of destroyed towns. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the launch of its Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise storage device,Users can check Street View via Google Maps for a 360-degree which it claims is the industrys fastest 10K hard drive.panoramic view of destroyed buildings and landscape left in The Ultrastar C10K900 is up to 17 percent faster inthe wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country random performance and 18 percent faster sequentially whenin March. compared to competitors. It also touts a high-performance SAS 6Gb/s interface, a 64MB cache buffer, and average seek times and latency times of 3.8 milliseconds and 3.0 milliseconds respectively. The 2.5-inch hard drive is available in 900GB, 600GB, 450GB and 300GB capacities, with the 900GB being one of the highest for a 10K hard drive.The images display a month and year from when theywere taken, which could prove valuable for historical workin documenting the effects of the tsunami. The timestampfeature, which Google said was much requested, has also beenrolled out to other Street View images across the world.Some people might see this as an insensitive move by Google,but the company believes that this digital archive will beof value to researchers and scientists studying the effects of The device also boasts of good power efficiency, utilising 28natural disasters. It also ensures that the devastation and loss percent less power than other hard drives, thanks to Hitachiof life will not be forgotten, and it will hopefully go a long Advanced Power Management technology. This results in anway to helping prevent such destruction in the event of future operating power specification of 5.8 watts and an idle mode ofnatural disasters. 3.0 watts. The hard drive also comes with Bulk Data Encryption, whichHitachi launches fastest 10K gives the user the option to turn on self-encryption for enhanced data security. This meets the Trusted ComputingRPM enterprise hard drives Group Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption specification.(Ultrastar C10K900)Source: 17
  • 94. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneXiaomi M1 smartphone December 15th, 2011running Android 4.0 ICSspottedSource: Turkish website DonanimHaber has revealed the Europeanandroid-4.0-ics-spotted/14220.html pricing of AMDs upcoming Radeon HD 7970. As per reliableDecember 15th, 2011 sources, the current pricing for the HD 7970 stands at just over 500 Euros. Turkish website DonanimHaber has revealed the European pricing of AMDs upcoming Radeon HD 7970. As per reliable sources, the current pricing for the HD 7970 stands at just over 500 Euros. Given European pricing trends, this could equateChinese company Xiaomi is reportedly preparing their M1 to a US retail price of upto $550. If so, the HD 7970 could besmartphone for an update with Google Android 4.0.1 Ice the most expensive single GPU Radeon ever, and certainly theCream Sandwich operating system. Initial reports claim that most expensive since the ATI Radeon X1800 XT launched atthe phone runs well with the new software, while a video shows $500. This also a heavy upswing from HD 5870 and HD 6970 -some exciting interface enhancements are in the works. the previous fastest single GPU cards - which launched at $379 and $369 respectively. The Radeon HD 7970 will release on 9th January 2012 with 3GB GDDR5 memory. The HD 7000 series will also bring a 3D version of Eyefinity to take on NVIDIAs 3D Vision Surround. Rumour: NVIDIA GK104 Specifications, release in Q1 2012 Source: release-in-q1-2012/14222.html December 15th, 2011Chinese company Xiaomi has been tinkering with their Not long after the rumour mill at 3DCenter came up withrecently launched M1 smartphone and has produced images specifications and details for AMDs Tahiti, they have nowand a video of the phone running on Google Android 4.0.1 Ice moved onto NVIDIAs first next-gen 28nm chip - rumoured toCream Sandwich mobile software. be GK104. Succeeding GF114 and the GeForce GTX 560 cards (except the 448 Core version), GK104 is rumoured to releaseInitial reports claim that the phone runs very well with in Q1 2012 with a smaller die than GF114.Google’s latest operating system (OS), and would be due to bereleased very soon. It is also apparent from the video that most Not long after the rumour mill at 3DCenter came up withof the user interactions are smooth, with advancements in the specifications and details for AMDs Tahiti , they have nowrendering of cascading gallery animations in the home screen moved onto NVIDIAs first next-gen 28nm chip - rumoured toand a more elaborated widget resizing animation. It will also be GK104. Succeeding GF114 and the GeForce GTX 560 cardsinclude MIUI V4 user interface, an Android launcher layout (except the 448 Core version), GK104 is rumoured to releasecreated by a Chinese developer. If the upgrade arrives soon in Q1 2012 with a smaller die than GF114.enough, Xiaomi M1 may become the first smartphone in China GK104 is reported features between 640 and 768 SP, 80-96to be powered by Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and TMU and either 256-bit or 384-bit memory interface. Thequite possibly the second in the world, just after Samsung performance is likely to be a bit faster than GeForce GTX 580.Galaxy Nexus. To make an early launch possible, the speculation mentions GK104 could be a hybrid between Fermi and Kepler, with the first true Kepler part coming with GK100. GK104 alsoAMD Radeon HD 7970 Pricing aims at a die size smaller than GF114, presumably to undercutRevealed AMDs Tahiti and increase yields for an early release. If GK104 does release in early-mid Q1 2012, as rumoured, it will goSource: up directly against Radeon HD 7800 series / Pitcairn, alsorevealed/14224.html releasing around the same time. Meanwhile, the flagship GK100 chip could release in Q2 2012, with early speculation pointing towards estimated 18
  • 95. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonespecifcations of 1024 SP, 128 TMU, 64 ROP and a 512-bitmemory interface, and performance closing in on GTX 590.Much of the information coming from 3DCenter is contraryto the previously leaked roadmap by 4Gamers. At this earlystage such contradictory speculation is the norm, and all suchrumours must be taken with a grain of salt.NVIDIA: Kepler on track, 28nmsamples in houseSource: 15th, 2011In a conversation with Fudzilla, a Senior Product PR Managerconfirmed that NVIDIAs next-gen 28nm Kepler GPUs were Dell has unveiled their new Alienware Aurora gaming desktopon track, and samples were in house. However, there was no computer today, which is said to be the company’s mostspecific information as to a timeline of "on track". advanced desktop to deliver extreme gaming performance and experience that game developers intended for their players.In a conversation with Fudzilla, a Senior Product PR Managerconfirmed that NVIDIAs next-gen 28nm Kepler GPUs were In a sleek, stylish and compact form factor, the Alienwareon track, and samples were in house. However, there was no Aurora’s chassis houses the new second generation Intelspecific information as to a timeline of "on track". Core i7-3000 series six-core CPUs, factory overclocked with high performance CPU Liquid Cooling and Active VentingThe PR Manager said, "We are on track with our Kepler system that provides additional heat dissipation during heavyroadmap. We have 28nm silicon in house now. Our transition gaming; Intel X79 Express Chipset, Quad Channel DDR32to 28nm is going better than 40nm, and yields are better memory and the latest SATA technology. The desktop alsothan our original plan." However, it is worth noting that supports AMD CrossFireX technology, and is capable ofKepler wasnt specifcally mentioned as sampling - the in house housing two graphics cards to offer beyond 1080p highsamples were simply described as "28nm silicon". definition resolution with immersive multi-display and 3DWhile AMDs Southern Islands / Radeon HD 7000 series gaming experience. All Aurora graphics cards use GDDR5releases first in January, the delay to NVIDIAs competitor graphics memory, and combined with Microsoft’s DirectX 11is likely to be shorter than the 40nm HD 5000 vs GTX 400 graphics API, complex virtual worlds look to come alive.generation where AMD beat NVIDIA by 6 months. Fudzillasuggests that NVIDIA could have its first Kepler GPUs outsome time in Q2 2012. Also, more information may be The Alienware Aurora, like its laptops and desktops siblings,presented at CES 2012 - also the time for AMDs big release. comes complete with the Alienware Command Center, which provides intuitive, user?friendly access to exclusive applications and controls, including AlienFX lighting effects,Dell launches Alienware Thermal Controls and AlienFusion power managementAurora gaming desktop PC system. AlienFX allows users to customize the exterior lighting zones on the chassis with over 25 billion color combinationsSource: for a one-of-a-kind personalized experience.gaming-desktop-pc/14219.htmlDecember 15th, 2011 Pricing and Availability Alienware Aurora is available now on with a starting price of S$3,499. Detailed information 2nd Generation 3000 series Intel Core i7 Six Core ProcessorToday, Dell launched their most advanced desktop, the OptionsAlienware Aurora, which claims to deliver extreme gaming - New Intel X79 Express Chipset with Unlocked BIOS forperformance and immersive experience to users. In a stylish Overclockingcompact form factor, the gaming machine supports AMDCrossFireX technology and is capable of housing two graphics - Single and Dual Graphics Options:cards for maximum graphics performance. 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 68702 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 69502 19
  • 96. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone1.25GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti21.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 58023GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 5902Dual 1GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6870 - AMD CrossFireX2Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 6950 - AMD CrossFireX2- 4GB Dual Channel 1600MHz up to 32GB Quad Channel1600MHz DDR3 Memory Options2- Up to 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive with Native CommandQueuing4 (Standard is 1TB)- Single and Dual Optical Drive Options; Including Blu-rayDisc Reader and Burner- High Quality Audio Options:Internal High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio with WavesMAXX Audio Software (Standard)Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio (Optional)Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (Optional)- System Dimensions: height: 16.77” (426mm), depth:25.39” (645mm), width: 9.85” (250mm); weight: starting at45lbs (20.41kg)AMD Enthusiasts Dinner Event(29th November 2011) ReportSource: Hands-on Battlefield 3 Eyefinity Setup on display with ASUSnovember-2011-report/14217.html and Kingston hardwareDecember 15th, 2011A few weeks ago, 60 VRForums power users and Sim LimSquare retailers were invited to our inaugural AMD EnthusiastDinner which was held at IBIS Hotel Bencoolen. Alongwith the mandatory sumptuous buffet spread, the event wasgraced by senior AMD evangelists Sasa Marinkovic and TerryMakedon, and also attractive lucky draw prizes generouslysponsored by ASUS Singapore and Kingston.Registration Booth 20
  • 97. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Personal robot for you, expertise not required Source: required/14216.html December 15th, 2011 Ez-Robot from Canada has recently released a complete Do- It-Yourself (DIY) robot kit which is suitable for anyone to assemble and manipulate via an easy-to-use software. The small but versatile kit has more sensor functions than meets the eye and will surely give hours of tinkering fun. EZ-Robot, a Canadian start-up company, has recently releasedLucky Draw Prizes - ASUS HD6970 DirectCU II Graphics a complete modular Do-It-Yourself (DIY) robot kit capableCards, Kingston HyperX SSDs and Memory, AMD Water of supporting various modifications easily. The kit is suitableCooler to all users, from typical consumers with no programming background, to the most hardcore tinkerers. Arduino and iRobot Roomba users will be glad to know that the kit also supports elements from their systems. The complete setup comprises of a Bluetooth-enabled wireless robot controller, EZ-Builder control software, tracking camera, ultrasonic distance sensor, five servos, a battery pack and other essentials. The advantage about having this robot kit is the wide variety of modification options that are open when building from it. The fundamental components allow users to add various parts to create a robot that will look and respond the way they want. A range of tutorials for these modifications are present here, and the website also includes some famous robot characters such as Wall-E and Dalek from television show “Doctor Who”. High End CPU Battle in 2012: Back to the Future Source: the-future/14215.html 21
  • 98. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 15th, 2011 and the seeming need to diminish the companys value before its bought, saw Alpha literally murdered at the peak of its prime, for HP to justify its - later proven foolish - Itanium move, which also killed its own HP-PA RISC architecture. That reminded everyone of an equally foolish move a few years earlier by Silicon Graphics, today known as SGI, killing the MIPS RISC architecture it helped create to subscribe to theIntel, AMD and, at the very top, IBM, had the total Itanium story - which we all know how is ending now, and Iperformance and feature lead in high end general purpose advised everyone on that outcome exactly ten years prior tomicroprocessors for a decade now. However, few strategic now.mistakes that the US microprocessor and system vendorsmade a decade ago now haunt them back, as China and Japanembraced the superior technologies that the US discarded for For the sake of the later read, do note that MIPS architectureshort-term interests of the time. was the close second best to Alpha in performance, simplicity,By now, you are almost certainly used to hear the words Intel intra-core and, see today, inter-core scaling, and it was trulyand AMD, and sometimes IBM, if talking about big machines, 64-bit since 1989!! Alpha was, of course, 64-bit only, withoutwhen it comes to high end microprocessors. These 10 past any 32-bit modes, since 1991, and, guess what, ARM will onlyyears, the general purpose X86 CPU leadership was with be 64-bit in shipping products in 2013... tells you something,Intel for 7 years, and with AMD for 3 years. On the other doesnt it? Add that MIPS cores are faster and smaller yet thanhand, IBM firmly had the RISC - and overall - microprocessor ARM, and have vector FP for ages already...performance lead per socket with its POWER 4, 5, 6 andPower7 CPU families, of course at the matching prices. Do not Fast forward to 2011: China, which saw the true goodness ofconfuse these with much lower performance PowerPC CPUs what were the best CPU architectures of the time, and withoutused in PowerMac systems of the past. the software support pressures of companies like Microsoft, or the corporate plays that saw the best things go, continuedLooking at the current roadmaps, that domination is expected to develop both MIPS - read: Loongson - and Alpha - read:to continue, with all the Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Shenwei - all this while. With the ground-up approach, andHaswell and so on microarchitectures being followed by (fast shrinking) semiconductor process gap, it took them aAMD Bulldozer, Piledriver and so on, and IBM keeping the decade, over multiple generations, to perfect things up. I haveperformance lead with Power8 and beyond. Aside the now very seen what Shenwei and Loongson can do, and the commitmentcommon delays - as you can see in our stories nearly daily - of their teams with the huge resources of central governmentthings sound pretty simple. Or, do they? behind them. Even at the 65 nm process, the FP power per socket of each of these CPUs is matching or exceeding that of current Intel and AMD high end processors. What do you thinkLets rewind the clock back some 13 years ago, to 1998, when they will do at 32 nm, and then 22 nm?yours truly was busy creating systems based on the 64-bit The 8-core and 16-core Loongson and Shenwei CPUs mayAlpha microprocessor, the Formula 1 of CPUs for the whole not have catchy marketing names as their US counterparts,of late 90s. Being much faster than not just Intel, but also but they have the performance, low power consumption - theother processors at the time, yet offering extremely compact Jinan Petaflop Shenwei system consumes less than 1/3 powerand elegant RISC architecture - simpler than Power or Sparc per teraflop compared to its US counterpart Jaguar - and cleanor ARM - with comparatively small but fast cores and high (both technically and legally, IP-wise) vector-enhanced RISCsystem bandwidth, coupled with excellent compilers, Alpha architecture that can ultimately scale well from smartphonewas popular in the high end computing circles - and also in the to supercomputer. Add to this the indigenous Chinese ARMnascent 64-bit PC community, since it had native Windows NT architecture design companies, and youll see that, despite itswithout all the X86 viruses - around the world. Even Samsung low starting position, China is managing to catch up with theand Mitsubishi were making the Alpha CPUs, including their US on the trophy prize high end microprocessor front.own derivatives. Japan is not giving up, either - Fujitsu, which for years designed faster SPARC RISC CPUs than Sun Micro (nowDo note that one of the most interested parties in the Alpha Oracle) the original SPARC creator, used a vector version ofwas, of course, China. It even officially licensed the complete its SPARC64 to make a 10 PFLOPs K-system in Kobe, theDigital-Compaq Tru64 UNIX OS, one of the best at the time, worlds fastest this year. The incredibly fast memory andand the associated software stack. The Chinese saw the benefit interconnect systems come along as well. Interestingly, theof a superb architecture and its programming model, and, I design approach is similar to the vector-enhanced units thatwas told at the time in the internal meetings, would have loved Chinese develop as well. Some common thinking to continue the development at a maximum pace. Now, as far as I understand from the people in charge, the 2012 may be the year when China starts more aggressively marketing the fruits of its design. Isnt it an irony that the bestThat was not to be then, unfortunately. The US corporate that US design long ago, and then foolishly discarded, now,shenanigans surrounding the buyout of Compaq by HP and its many years later and IP rights expired, appears new, enhancednasty boss at the time, the political pretendent Carly Fiorina, and sped-up, from China, to compete at the global level? Well, 22
  • 99. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonemaybe it is about time for some more variety in this business,or "back to the future".Next Generation ComputingExperience Forum 2011Source: 15th, 2011Have you ever wondered how science has thosebreakthroughs, like the sequencing of dna or computingweather patterns? Well, it takes a little more than just Dr Marek Michalewicz commented that most Superscience it takes raw computing power and that power doesnt Computing needs are driven by nationalistic requirementscome cheap as it requires a lot of resources in terms of and since Singapore does not really have a need driven bymanpower and actual electrical power. Imagine the next leap Mission Critical Research, Simulation modeling or Complexin computing power, the Petaflop may require power from a computations, it is probably the reason why Singapore doesdedicated nuclear power plant. not have a Super Computer.What do you get when you put six high profile speakers inthe same room to talk about high performance computing? Leica unveils V-Lux 3 compactYou get a heterogeneous group of minds each with their ownideas on how to make heterogeneous computing work. Each of digital camerathe six speakers will undoubtedly have their own thoughts on Source: the performance envelope. Would any one of them be camera/14213.htmlright or wrong or is it one of those cases of any answer could December 15th, 2011be the right one.The first part of the morning was graced by Dr MarekMichalewicz, Director A*STAR Computational ResourceCentre (A*CRC). Dr Marek Michalewicz spoke a little ofthe history of computing showing off some interesting Leica has announced a new compact digital camera, Leica V-virtual models from the past and fast forward to the now Lux 3, which claims to be a versatile all-in-one camera forwith a conceptual image rendering of the Next-Generation creative stills and videos, and an ideal companion to take withSupercomputer with 705,024 Cores and requires a whopping wherever you go. The V-Lux 3 will be available early next year.12,659 Kilowatts of power. The computer is the K computer atRIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science. 23
  • 100. December 15th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Intel gets Panther Point USB 3.0 certified Source: certified/14212.html December 15th, 2011 Look at that, the USB-IF has issued a press release about four months early, well at least if youre Intel and dont want details of your upcoming products out in the open. The press release is merely an announcement that Intel has passed the USB-IF certification for USB 3.0, although its with regards to IntelsLeica Camera AG, Solms, have introduced the Leica V-Lux upcoming 7-series chipsets as well as the Xeon friendly C2163 compact digital camera that comes with an extensive range chipset which has not been announced as yet.of features. The V-Lux 3 features a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit4.5-108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. 24-fold super-telephoto zoom Look at that, the USB-IF has issued a press release about fourlens with a wide range of focal lengths equivalent to 25– months early, well at least if youre Intel and dont want details600 mm in 35 mm format, which is ideal for photographers of your upcoming products out in the open. The press releasewho enjoy shooting landscapes, architecture, sport, travel, is merely an announcement that Intel has passed the USB-IFportraits or wildlife. It also incorporates a newly developed certification for USB 3.0, although its with regards to Intels12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor that promises exceptional upcoming 7-series chipsets as well as the Xeon friendly C216image quality for all applications. On top of that, the V-Lux chipset which has not been announced as yet.3 also has an extensive range of video options and videoquality comparable with that delivered by premium-range The actual USB-IF database lists Intels single entry by its codevideo camcorders. name, Panther Point, but as we all know by now, this is Intels 7-series chipsets, although the specific model for Intels nextThe Leica V-Lux 3 can capture full High Definition (HD) video generation of entry level Xeon processors will be known as thein AVCHD format at 1920×1080 pixels and 60 full frames C216, something that as far as were aware, have been underper second. It is also capable of 24-fold zoom range during wraps so far. The press release detailed the C216 chipset, butvideo recording and has an integrated stereo microphone didnt point out any specific 7-series chipsets which is a littlewith electronic wind noise filter to provide a clear audio. bit strange, as we know that one of the models in the Intel 7-Another highlight of the V-Lux 3 is its high-speed burst- series of chipsets doesnt support USB 3.0.shooting capability - burst mode of 12 frames per second atfull resolution, or 60 frames per second at a resolution of 3.5- This pretty much makes Intel the last company to receivemegapixel. USB-IF certification for a USB 3.0 host controller, although were expecting second generation products from many ofThe camera is compact, lightweight and offers simple the host controller makers come next year, especially if a x2handling. It has a 3-inch LCD display (460,000 pixel PCI Express interface becomes reality. There are still a lot ofresolution) that can be twisted and turned in almost any unknowns with regards to Intels USB 3.0 implementation asdirection, even in the most unusual angles, and an integrated well and were still hearing rumours about it being a two porthandgrip that keeps your shot steady. All its controls are solution with an internal hub/splitter for a total of four ports,clearly laid out and simple to use; for example, video recording although this is something Intel is officially refuting to be thecan be started quickly and easily at the touch of a button on case. We also heard rumours that Intel had some performancethe top deck of the camera. issues about five months ago and didnt follow the USB 3.0Bundled with the V-Lux 3 includes a comprehensive specification to the letter, but again, its not something we havesoftware package. The image-processing software Adobe seen first-hand. That said, we should find out soon enoughPhotoshop Elements offers users options for viewing, how well Intels USB 3.0 implementation compares to thirdorganisation and administration in addition to a wide range party solutions.of image-processing solutions. The high-quality softwareAdobe Premiere Elements is especially designed for videoprocessing. Both programs are available as free downloadsfrom the Leica website after registration of the camera.The Leica V-Lux 3 will be available from authorised Leicadealers from January 2012. 24
  • 101. December 19th, 2011 Published by: | Stuff for the Geeks! down in their next batches of hard drives in order to bump up VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication production to deal with the supply crisis, and that this is why covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. the warranties are being butchered.Seagate and Western Digital However, it is far more likely that they simply dont want to have to replace old hard drives right now when theycut HDD warranties desperately need to provide new ones to consumers and PCSource: manufacturers to address the market drought.warranties/14290.htmlDecember 19th, 2011 The question, of course, is whether or not they will increase the warranty periods to what they were when supply returns to normal, and if this could become a selling point for some rival brands that keep their warranty periods intact.Seagate and Western Digital are cutting their warranties for The lower warranties will likely only add to the problemshard disk drives as demand and prices soar following extensive facing the HDD market and push more people to buy SSDsflooding for months in Thailand. instead.Seagate and Western Digital are cutting their warranties forhard disk drives as demand and prices soar following extensiveflooding for months in Thailand. Nvidia selects low-powerSeagate is chopping its warranty period from five years to three LVDS transmitters for Tegra 3years on its Nearline, Baraccuda XT and Momentus XT drives, Source: five years to two years on consumer electronics, and from transmitters-for-tegra-3/14289.htmlfive years to just one paltry year on a number of desktop and December 19th, 2011notebook bare drives.Western Digital is cutting its warranty from three years to twofor its Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives. Nvidia will use THine Electronics low-power LVDS transmitters on the Tegra 3 platform, making the processor anThe Seagate changes will take effect from 31 December, while even better fit for power-hungry mobile devices.the Western Digital ones will come into play on 2 January. Nvidia will use THine Electronics low-power LVDS transmitters on the Tegra 3 platform, making the processor an even better fit for power-hungry mobile devices. The THC63LVD827 and THC63LVDM87 transmitters come in small form at 7mm x 7mm and 5mm x 5mm, in 72pin and 49pin models respectively. Power consumption is 83mW for the former and 43mW for the latter. They also tout a flexible input/output mode, power down mode, and the input clock triggering edge can be selectable by an R/F pin. The partnership represents a union of world records, as theThe cynical among us might wonder if the manufacturers Tegra 3 is the first quad-core mobile processor and THinesintend to put inferior components that are more likely to break LVDS transmitters consume the lowest amount of power, up to 1
  • 102. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonetwo thirds less, compared to similar products, enhancing the Were still about four months away from the actual launch, butexisting low power features of Nvidias mobile platform. now we have one of the last pieces to the Ivy Bridge puzzle, pricing. The good news is that Intel seems to be pretty much sticking to its current pricing structure for Sandy Bridge with a few minor changes compared to the Sandy Bridge launch pricing. According to CPU World were looking at identical pricing as for Sandy Bridge for most of the models, with the K SKUs being the exception from the rule here. The upcoming Core i5-3570K is US$9 more than the current Core i5-2500K; although it might be priced the same as the expected Core i5-2550K suggesting that Intel is trying to squeeze out some more cash from high-end consumers that want to overclock their system."THine has accumulated its high-speed interface technologiesand has achieved the world lowest power consumption ofLVDS transmitters," said Mr. Fumitaka Nishikawa, CTOand MD of THine. "We are proud that Nvidia recognizesTHines low power technologies and know-how in high-speedinterfaces for mobile devices. Nvidia has unveiled Tegra3s record-breaking performance and energy efficiency. Bycollaborating with such terrific technologies, THine would liketo contribute consumers exciting experiences with convenientbattery life." The other model that gets more price is the Core i7-3770K, atThe technology is significant as mobile devices are becoming least if you compare it to the Core i7-2600K launch price ofincreasingly powerful at a rapid rate, while batteries are $317, but its in fact priced the same as the recently launchedstruggling to keep up. Until we get to a stage where batteries Core i7-2700K at $332. As for the rest of the range, well, noare capable of powering quad-core mobile devices for a long big surprises are expected although the pricing only cover thetime, we will need to rely on manufacturers of the other initial launch models and as such well have to wait and seecomponents to make them as energy efficient as possible. how Intel prices the rest of the range which is expected to launch later next year.Volume production of the new transmitters will begin in thefirst quarter of 2012. THine also plans to work on furtherenergy-saving developments for the tablet and smartphone Apple supplier hit by explosionindustry. in China Source: Ivy Bridge pricing china/14287.htmlleaked, stays mostly the same December 19th, 2011as Sandy BridgeSource: 19th, 2011 Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61 employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised. The incident could affect Apples supply chain.Were still about four months away from the actual launch, but Pegatron Corp, a supplier of iPad 2 back panel parts to Apple,now we have one of the last pieces to the Ivy Bridge puzzle, has reported an explosion at its plant in China, which left 61pricing. The good news is that Intel seems to be pretty much employees injured, 23 of which needed to be hospitalised.sticking to its current pricing structure for Sandy Bridge witha few minor changes compared to the Sandy Bridge launch The companys CFO Charles Lin said that the plant ispricing. currently closed to production while it carries out pre- operation inspection. Both Pegatron and Apple indicated that they were investigating the incident. 2
  • 103. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe plant, which belongs to Pegatron subsidiary Riteng December 19th, 2011Computer Accessory Co, is in the Songjiang industrial park inShanghai. Some machinery is reported to have been damaged,but it is believed to be minimal.This could cause supply problems for Apple in the next quarterif the plant does not go back into production very quickly, but This festive season, ASUS is giving away some great prizesit will also have a knock-on effect on Apples image, which has to their Facebook fans. A top prize stand to be won everybecome increasingly tarnished by association with poor safety week with prizes including the recently launched ASUSand working conditions in Chinese factories. ZENBOOK and ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. So, what are you waiting for?This is the latest in a series of accidents at plants in China,which has raised safety concerns and questions over whetheror not big businesses like Apple should be outsourcingproduction to the region. To celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as to thank fans, ASUS has recently launched a massive giveawayApple has particularly been criticised for employing Hon Hai on their official Facebook page ( Industry, better known as Foxconn, to assemble its ASUS). Fans who joined will be automatically included in eightiPhone and iPad ranges. Foxconn has gained notoriety for its weekly draws starting from December 12, 2011 to Februarypoor working conditions, which led to a series of suicides over 5, 2012. Fans who share this giveaway with friends stand athe last few years. chance to win Super Prizes as well. Prizes include a wide range of ASUS products including the highly anticipated Eee Pad Transformer Prime, ZENBOOK, and the PA238Q Pro SeriesThere were explosions at two of Foxconns plants in May and display.September, adding possible safety negligence to the list of In addition to the main prize giveaway each week, ASUS is alsoconcerns about the company and others like it. Pegatron will giving away a more valuable Super Prize. To win the Supernot want to gain as poor a reputation as Foxconn has over this Prize, the participating fan must invite his or her friends tolatest incident. join. If any one of the friends wins the main prize for the week, the participating fan will automatically win the Super Prize.* Don’t miss the chance to win some exciting prizes from ASUS during the holiday season.Massive giveaways forASUS New Year Facebook ASUS Transformer Prime tocelebration launch in Italy with AndroidSource: 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Source: italy-with-android-4.0-ice-cream-sandwich/14283.html 3
  • 104. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 19th, 2011 ASUS has stated that their Italian release for the EeePad Transformer Prime will be delayed, but the tablet willbe preinstalled with the highly anticipated Google Android 4.0Ice Cream Sandwich. Only the Wi-Fi capable version of thetablet will be available, however. 2K Games has announced that as of today in Singapore, all pre-orders of "The Darkness II", the sequel to the million unit- selling "The Darkness" in 2007, will receive a free upgrade to the Asia exclusive steel book with lenticular sleeve limited edition. Inspired by the supernatural horror comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, and developed by Digital Extremes, "The Darkness II" takes players down a brutal and personal path as Jackie Estacado, wielder of "The Darkness" – an ancient and ruthless force of chaos and destruction. TheASUS has just announced that the Italian release of Eee Pad Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence thatTransformer Prime will be delayed to the end of January next breaks from the traditional first person shooter conventionsyear, but for good reason. Sources state that the release will with its uniquely stylized gameplay. The fervid Quad-Wieldingcome with Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), gameplay empowers players to slash, grab, and throw objectswhich gives credibility to the recent reports of ASUS readying at enemies using ruthless Demon Arms, while simultaneouslyAndroid 4.0 upgrades for existing tablets in the coming firing two weapons.months. Thus far, the only device that is officially known It has been two years since Jackie Estacado, now theto be running Android ICS is the Samsung GALAXY Nexus Don of the Estacado crime family, used The Darkness tosmartphone. The release will probably make the Transformer kill the men responsible for the murder of his girlfriend.Prime one of the first tablets with the new mobile operating Estacado continues to have haunting visions of his belovedsystem. It has also been confirmed by ASUS that that WiFi- Jenny since her death and tried to cope by bottling up hisonly version will be launched, which shadows the release supernatural power, and now The Darkness wants out. Astrategy of Germany, in view of the redundancy of mobile sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start ofdata capabilities on tablets whereby smartphones and their a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated bytethering technology can cater adequately. some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for The Darkness to re-emerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hellFree upgrade to exclusive Asia and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness steel book edition of The Darkness II Asia exclusive limited edition box set willThe Darkness II for all pre- include:orders in Singapore - Asia exclusive steel book with lenticular sleeve packaging - Poster illustrated by Marc Silvestri (co-creator and originalSource: artist of The Darkness)limited-steel-book-edition-of-the-darkness-ii-for-all-pre-orders-in-singapore/14282.html - Free digital download of The Darkness Origins Volume 1 andDecember 19th, 2011 2 trade paperbacks via comiXology (can be read on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and web provided via redemption code in-box) - Exclusive alternate darkling outfitHave you pre-ordered The Darkness II yet? 2K Games has - Exclusive talent pack: Gourmet Hearts (provides essenceannounced that all pre-orders in Singapore will be entitled to bonus for eating hearts), Relic Hunter (locates relics within thea free upgrade to exclusive Asia limited steel book edition of world)the first-person shooter game. 4
  • 105. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe Darkness II will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation last year, and about 1.1 million of the total are 60-inch LCD3and Windows PC on 10 February 2012 in Singapore. The can be pre-ordered from leading gaming outlets inSingapore from December 19, 2011 at the following retailprices: Jabra Christmas Gift Ideas Source: 360: S$69.90 December 19th, 2011PlayStation 3: S$79.90Windows PC: S$59.90Sharp plans to sell 90-inchLCD TV in US, 80-inch in Chinaand Japan Go hands-free this festive season with these wireless Jabra headsets - Jabra Halo2, Jabra Supreme and Jabra BT2090.Source: The headsets give clear conversations as well as let you enjoyus-80-inch-in-china-and-japan/14281.html superb multimedia and music from your smartphone andDecember 19th, 2011 tablet.LCD TVs are getting bigger by the months. Japanesemanufacturer Sharp has recently announced plans to sell the90-inch LCD TV in US, and 80-inch LCD TV in China andJapan. Jabra Halo2 Rock out in style to holiday tunes with Jabra Halo2 where the sound is even more divine now with Virtual Surround Sound and Power Bass. Never miss a call or beat: this wireless headband-style headset seamlessly switches between phone calls and music and offers up to 8 hours of talk time and/ or playtime. Control your music experience directly from the headset through touch sensors.According to Japanese media report on a recent interview withSharps president, Mikio Katayama, the company is planning Usual price: S$148to push their 90-inch LCD TVs in USA next year 2012. The Christmas special: S$133.20model will be Sharps largest LCD TV product to date. Sharp isalready selling their 80-inch products in USA, and is currentlythe market leader in the country on large-size LCD TVs.Katayama said that the company is planning to introduce their80-inch LCD TVs in China and Japan, in the first half of 2012;Sharp is already retailing their 70-inch in both countries. TheSharp president also expressed that the company intends touse the AQUOS branding for large-size LCD TVs.On December 8, Kozo Takahashi, executive managing officerof Sharp, North and South America Group, said that it wasthanks to the 60-inch LCD TVs that the companys sales haveexceeded expectations. This year, the sales in US has reached1.9 million units, which is almost a 40% growth compared to 5
  • 106. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Bluetooth technology headsets but sense it’s time to cut the cords and go wireless. Usual price: S$68 Christmas special: S$48 Expensive hard disks boosting SSD sales? Source: sales-/14279.html December 19th, 2011 The effect of last months Thailand floods is still felt far and wide in the storage industry as well as the computer market in general. Prices triple that of usual are still not uncommon for many hard disk drive types, as the componentry for them was coming from flood-affected areas - even then, its hard to find them. Now, SSDs dont suffer from the same problem, itJabra Supreme seems, so what to make out of it?Got to make calls in between the feasting, partying or chilling Yes, it does seem that there is benefit for SSD sales, evenwith loud-talking pals? Top-of-the-line Jabra Supreme has the biggies like Intel have privately acknowledged that. Theactive noise cancellation technology that cuts out the din – immediate benefit for them is that, coupled with some SSDso you hear your caller better, almost as if you’re in a quiet price reductions and Xmas period promotions, having a 120room. With Noise Blackout and Wind Noise reduction to cater GB-class SSD is now not exactly unaffordable even for ato noisy outdoor conditions, your caller also hears you loud mainstream PC. A 240 GB one may still feel a little pricey, butand clear. Use your voice to issue the commands, such as not nearly as much as it was a quarter ago when the price-making, answering, ending, redialing or rejecting calls, all per-GB vs hard disk was like five times higher. And, when youwithout having to touch your phone. HD Voice-ready, Jabra take into account that exponentially higher read performanceSupreme also boasts a 24mm speaker and an advanced design - writes can still be a bit of problem sometimes depending onpatented boom arm that “flips” to power on/off. the controller youre using - and the cool factor of having aUsual price: S$198 solid state drive to show off, the sales would improve surely.Christmas special: S$178.20 With the differential being much lower now, having the first system drive as SSD, and using your old - no extra price to pay - HDD as the second drive for the paging file and often-rewritten documents or data, means good sense. However, keep in mind that, within a quarter, the HDD supply situation should come back to normal, so SSD vendors better figure out the way to maximise the use of the current hard disk supply doldrum before their comparative price benefit diminishes again. AMD Radeon HD 7770 Pictures Leaked Source: leaked/14278.html December 19th, 2011Jabra BT2090Need more time to talk even while on the road? Now its easier A forum member at Rage3D has leaked the first pictures ofthan ever to keep those two hands on the wheel while taking AMDs performance GPU - Cape Verde XT - to be brandeda phone call. Jabra BT2090 is designed to be the most user Radeon HD 7770.friendly, cost-effective, quality headset in town, providing all Cape Verde is the direct replacement to Juniper - first soldthe basic functionality and comfort you need with ease of use. as Radeon HD 5770 and then rebranded to HD 6770. AMDWith BT2090, it’s never the wrong moment for an incoming will finally give its mainstream performance class products ancall. BT2090 is an excellent gift for those unfamiliar with performance upgrade for the first time in over 2 years. 6
  • 107. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone December 19th, 2011 A month has passed since the relatively uneventful launch of the Socket 2011 based Sandy Bridge-E and X79 Patsberg platform. We gave our Editors Choice award to the madcap enthusiast oriented ASUS Rampage IV Extreme for its outstanding engineering and overclocking ability, which is a tad expensive for most buyers. Fret not though, because if youre not into setting world records, then the ASUS P9X79The Radeon HD 7770 reference design inherits its overall Pro we have here today is the next best cues from the HD 7970. The standard cooling design Introductionfor AMD GPUs in this range - blower fan at one end - has been We have previously did a preview of the P9X79 Pro and itsreplaced by a large diameter fan pushing air down vertically. more feature-filled Deluxe brother. Still well take a quick lookThis design is very similar to the one first introduced with again...GeForce GTX 460. The length of HD 7770 is also similar to theGTX 460 - and by extension HD 5770/6770 - around 8.25". Dont we just love the ASUS boxes? They never fail to use hyperactivity-inducing colours and graphicsHD 7770 features 3 display outputs - DVI, HDMI andminiDisplayPort. Like Juniper XT, it is requires a single 6-pinPCI-e connector, with a power consumption somewhere in theearly-100s Watts. A single Crossfire connector enables multi-GPU with a maximum of 2 GPUs. The reference PCB features4 memory chips - which indicates a 128-bit memory interface,as in HD 5700/6700. Of course, we can expect the GDDR5memory to run at a higher frequency. Back of boxFinally, the Cape Verde die itself is relatively small for thissegment. While Juniper XT weighs in at 166 mm2 and GF116 at230 mm2, Cape Verde at first glance appears to be well under150 mm2.Cape Verde is expected to be the cheapest GCN based product.Everything below HD 7700 series - from HD 7600 and down -is expected to be rebrands with minor tweaks from HD 6000series featuring the VLIW-5 architecture.ASUS P9X79 Pro MotherboardReview - The Next Best X79ChoiceSource: 7
  • 108. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe Board - Despite being an entry level model, the P9X79 Accessories and ManualPro retains the full 8-dimm memory slot configuration that theplatform can support. We particularly liked the large heatpipecoolers over the VRMs and X79 PCH, which can get toastyduring full load. Specifications TableBehind Specifications P9X79 PRO CPU Supports Intel LGA2011 Processors Chipset Intel X79(Patsburg) Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB Quad Channel Memory Architecture * Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Install a 64- bit Windows® OS when you 8
  • 109. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone want to install 4GB or more Two months ago, we previewed an engineering sample of the memory on the motherboard. much anticipated RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router fromMulti-GPU Support Supports AMD CrossFireX™ ASUS which was first spotted at COMPUTEX 2011. After going Technology, nVidia SLI through some hardware and software changes, we finally have Technology the final version in our labs to be stripped bare again, and it isExpansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 expected to hit local retail shelves soon. 2 x PCIe 3.0 x8 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1Storage Intel X79 chipset : 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports, white 4 x SATA 3Gb/s ports, blue Support Raid 0, 1, 10, JBOD Marvell: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, whiteLAN Intel 82579V Gigabit LAN Controller(s)Audio Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking Audio Feature : - DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panelUSB Ports USB 3.0 - 6( 2 front, 4 rear) via 2x ASMedia USB 3.0 controller + 1x VIA USB 3.0 Hub USB 2.0 – 12 ( 8 front ; 4 rear; 1 white port shared with USB BIOS Flashback)Form Factor ATX Form Factor 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )ASUS RT-N66U Dual BandGigabit Router Preview (FinalRetail Revision)Source: 19th, 2011 9
  • 110. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone A stand is bundled with the router so that it can operate upright.3 Reversed BNC connectors for the antennas, Power Button,2 USB ports, config reset button, WPS setup button, Gigabit A shot of the power adapter, capable of up to 30W of outputWAN and LAN RJ-45 portsBack view - the screws for disassembly are under the 4 rubberfeet Report: AMD to rebrand Low- end Radeon HD 7000 for OEMs Source: radeon-hd-7000-for-oems/14276.html 10
  • 111. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 19th, 2011 AMD products have built a dubious reputation to be supply constrained most of the times. By splitting the range between 28nm and 40nm, AMD is distributing resources and ensuring greater wafer starts at 28nm dedicated to the high-end GPUs. Another reason could be the costly nature of a cutting-edge process, and low-end GPUs are better off at 40nm. With Fusion APUs effectively replacing the lower end, the demandAMD is planning to rebrand their low-end Radeon HD 7000 is decreasing as well. In addition, AMD is also moving theseproducts, for OEMs only. Every AMD product from Radeon parts to OEMs, and retail availability of the same is unknown.HD 7600 down will essentially be using GPUs from NorthernIslands and even Evergreen families. As expected, a largefactor behind this significant restructuring is the rise of APUs. Cascading the reschedules: IfAMD is planning to rebrand their low-end Radeon HD 7000 Sandy Bridge EP comes later,products, for OEMs only. Every AMD product from Radeon so will Ivy Bridge EPHD 7600 down will essentially be using GPUs from Northern Source: and even Evergreen families. As expected, a large bridge-ep-comes-later-so-will-ivy-bridge-ep/14275.htmlfactor behind this significant restructuring is the rise of APUs. December 19th, 2011AMD and NVIDIA have both announced their low-end "next-gen" mobile parts - Radeon HD 7000M and GeForce 600M.Both featured rebrands. While AMD slightly re-specced theHD 7000M parts, the 600M GPUs were direct rebrands fromthe 500M series. The rumour mill had strongly suggestedthat the 7000M/600M rebrands were largely foreshadowing a Now that the cream of the crop of the Sandy Bridge generationsimilar fate for the desktop market - so it is not as surprising moves towards the end of Q1 2012, whats the point of rushingthat AMD is making this move. its socket-compatible follow-on? After all, time has to be given for the platform to run its course and the only real competition is Intel themselves... Happy with your current Dual Westmere Xeons - especially if running overclocked above 4 GHz on EVGA SR-2 maybe - but hungry for more power? Well, you may have to wait a while longer, since it is still roughly three months till their successors, the Xeon E5 class Sandy Bridge EP chips in the Socket 2011 platform appear. These are, as we wrote countless times here, the true fully enabled 8-core 20 MB L3 cache chips, unlike their early desktop brethren with some1/4 of the chip disabled to allow high core speeds with adequate desktop TDP. To make the platform surely available at that point in time, Intel is also expected to allow the Patsburg chipset versions without 6 GBps SAS support to stay on permanently available and endorsed during the Sandy Bridge EP generation, and the full feature versions later in 2012. All would support the 10- core, 25 MB L3 cache follow on Ivy Bridge EP as well. Talking about Ivy Bridge EP, should we expect it earlier then,The performance and enthusiast end still continue to feature since it shouldnt be affected by the Sandy Bridge EP delays?brand new, GCN-based, 28nm GPUs. From Radeon HD 7900 Well, the deep throats tell us a firm no, suggesting roughlydown to HD 7700. However, the rebrands begin with HD a firm year or even a bit more space between the two. If, say,7600. Replacing the HD 6670 will be HD 7670 - both based on Sandy Bridge EP is officially with us three months from now,Turks XT while Turks Pro will feature in HD 7570. HD 7450 the Ivy Bridge EP may take as much as 18 months from todaywill be based on Caicos. The lowest-end HD 7300 series will to publicly appear on the shelves - yes, were talking of close toreprise Cedar - first released as HD 5400 nearly two years ago. mid of 2013 here, about the same as Haswell desktop platform.We can expect some minor clock boosts to slightly differentiatethem from their predecessors. The line-up looks sparse withlots of empty spaces for a good reason - it will be filled by The implications? Well, when purchasing that Xeon E5, goTrinity APUs. ahead and get the speed bin you really need for a long time,One of AMDs main problems in recent years has been dont just get the cheapest bin to save money, and then waitsupply, rather than demand. From GPUs, APUs to CPUs, in hope for the Ivy Bridge EP replacement in the same socket. 11
  • 112. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAfter all, once the Ivy Bridge EP does appear, the newer chipset Nokias first Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 800revisions as well as newer boards with optimised memory smartphone, has failed to impress European consumers,layout to support DDR3-1866 support by Ivy Bridge will be out according to a report by investment research firm Exane BNPthere, so may as well just replace it all. Paribas. Of those surveyed only a paltry 2.2 percent of people said they were interested in getting the Lumia, a figure that cant beAlso, count on at least two stepping-based clock-boost updates reassuring for Microsoft and Nokia, which joined forces earlierto Xeon E5 within the Sandy Bridge EP generation itself. One this year in a deal worth $1 billion.would obviously be the mid-year D stepping as usual, andthe other one - especially if pigs can fly and somehow the Exane cut its prediction of Lumia sales from two million tocompetition churns out something truly competitive - would just 800,000 for its launch quarter, a huge drop from the fourbe the last breath stepping like the Core i7 990 or Xeon million sales of the N8, Nokias previous flagship model, in its5690 from the Westmere generation. That one, as we all know, first three months. The N8 was powered by Nokias now retiredprovided extra one-step clock boost and also further improved Symbian operating system.overclocking capabilities. In this case, who knows, the PCIe v3validations could also benefit with further steppings, although- officially - there may never be anything stated to that extent.And, yes, the unlocked version for OC on boards like EVGASR-X too.Finally, for the desktop user populace, it is almost definite thatone of these two likely future major steppings will now enablea true fully enabled 8-core 20 MB L3 desktop Core i7 39XX of asort, once the yields and TDP at the top allow that. The currentLGA2011 high end cooling solutions can handle 200W+ ofTDP without much problems, and the top mainboards fromAsus, Gigabyte and EVGA provide the power drive needed aswell. So, a 4.5 GHz 8 core Sandy Bridge E desktop should bea reality by mid-2012.Either way, Intel doesnt really lose anything, as more time will Exane also trimmed its price target for Nokia shares frombe there for the Sandy Bridge EP to recoup the investment, €3.70 to €3.30. It classes Nokia as “underperforming”,and those chips arent cheap anyway. Yes, theyll sell for suggesting that 2012 wont be too much better for the companythousands of bucks per socket at the high end, but then this than 2011 was.platform was one of the most complex and troublesome in Of the close to 500 people in the survey who intend to buythe recent history for Intel, it seems - both the behemoth of a smartphone within the next month, most were drawn bya die for the microprocessor itself, stretched across multiple the big names like Apple and Samsung. Nokias previoususage markets, and then the chipset platform with its own set dominance in the phone market is quickly fading and it doesntof issues. If AMD had their Piledriver core updated products seem that Microsofts mobile operating system is going to fill in the competitive void faster, maybe then things wouldspeed up, though... RIM delays BlackBerry 10Nokia Lumia 800 fails to lineupimpress in Europe Source: lineup/14272.htmlSource: December 19th, 2011europe/14273.htmlDecember 19th, 2011 Research In Motion (RIM) is delaying the launch of its new lineup of BlackBerry smartphones until late 2012, a year after they were expected to hit shelves and help put the companyNokias first Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 800 back into a prominent market position.smartphone, has failed to impress European consumers,according to a report by investment research firm Exane BNP Research In Motion (RIM) is delaying the launch of its newParibas. lineup of BlackBerry smartphones until late 2012, a year after 12
  • 113. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethey were expected to hit shelves and help put the companyback into a prominent market position. Microsoft to automatically“We ask for your patience and confidence,” said Mike upgrade old versions ofLazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, at an investor meeting. “We realizeweve not met expectations.” Internet Explorer Source: old-versions-of-internet-explorer/14271.htmlRIM reported a 70 percent drop in profit last quarter, making December 19th, 2011this delay even worse timing. Many were looking forward todevices with the BlackBerry 10 operating system, previouslycalled BBX, and some analysts projected that it would set thecompany on the road to recovery. Microsoft has announced that it will automatically upgrade old versions of its Internet Explorer web browser, addressing one of the big security problems facing many business users. Microsoft has announced that it will automatically upgrade old versions of its Internet Explorer web browser, addressing one of the big security problems facing many business users. The plan will involve a trial run in Australia and Brazil in January, where obsolete versions of Internet Explorer will be upgraded to the latest version that will work on their computer, which will be IE9 for Vista and Windows 7 users, and IE8 for XP users. Microsoft has been trying for years to get people to upgrade to the latest version, but many people are still using IE6 and IE7, the former of which even Microsoft has labelled as a security threat, due to the fact that it is no longer providing updates for it.RIM claims that its huge loss in market share is due to poormarketing and advertising, which it plans to overhaul in thenew year. However, it is far more likely that the plummetingdemand is because people are buying iPhones and Androidphones instead, both of which have dominated the consumermarket and are beginning to eat into the business market,where RIM previously reigned supreme. IE6 is used by 8.6 percent of internet users, a shockingly high number considering its over a decade old. This is down 5.9 percentage points compared to 2010, however, thanks to anBy the time the new BlackBerrys are out Nokia will have initiative by Microsoft to get people to upgrade, including aproduced a full lineup of Windows Phone 7 devices, adding countdown website. Automatic upgrades for those who havefurther competition to the smartphone arena. While RIM Windows Updates enabled is the next logical step in killing offmight have started off as one of the leaders in this sector, it will the zombie web browser be playing catchup, which could mean game over for thecompany if BlackBerry 10 doesnt take the world by storm. “Automatic updates are a very good idea based on every piece of security research Ive seen,” said Jeremiah Grossman, CTOAt the time of writing RIMs shares were down $1.64, or 10.84 and founder of WhiteHat Security. “Keeping software up topercent, to $13.49. Its no wonder shareholders are furious date - particularly Web browsers - is critical for online security.with the poor performance of the company. With that in mind, Im pleased that Microsoft is moving toward an automatic update model, particularly since their approach balances the needs of enterprise customers who still need a mechanism to manage software updates.” For individuals and companies who are crazy enough to want to stick with an outdated browser, Microsoft is providing an Automatic Update Blocker. Those who have already refused 13
  • 114. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneto update to IE8 or IE9 via Windows Update will not be "An update to optimize the performance of AMD Bulldozerupgraded. Considering the significant benefits to security, it CPUs that are used by Windows 7-based or Windows Serverwould probably be better if these users were also forced to 2008 R2-based computers is available"upgrade, but Microsofts approach is, at least, a step in the As we reported previously, this kernel hotfix properly detectsright direction. the Bulldozer processing cores, which was not the case since the product launched. Bulldozer CPU architecture is closely tied to optimizing the Turbo mode as much as possible, andReport: Intel preparing Core i5 Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 dont recognize2550K the FX and Opteron processors as they are supposed to. Do note that 2012 operating systems such as Windows 8Source: and Windows 8 Server already built-in the proper threadingi5-2550k/14270.html scheduler.December 19th, 2011 According to Microsoft, this patch increases performance anywhere between 2-7%, which is not bad for a software update. However, upon releasing the update into the wild, there were users that reported problems and even performance decrease. In order to address the matter, Microsoft pulled down the patch.Intel is reportedly preparing a refresh for its popular Core i5 The KB2592546 page is still live on Microsoft Support, and2500K. Branded Core i5 2550K, it features a 100 MHz speed it states that there is a "hotfix download available." If you trybump over 2500K - up to 3.4 GHz base and 3.8 GHz turbo. to download the patch, you will be taken to the EULA pageIntel is reportedly preparing a refresh for its popular Core i5 in which you give permission to "sell your soul" and proceed.2500K. Branded Core i5 2550K, it features a 100 MHz speed Unfortunately, the next page is not going to give you what youbump over 2500K - up to 3.4 GHz base and 3.8 GHz turbo. came for. As you can see on our screenshot - the patch simply isnt there anymore.In every other way, the features and specifications are identicalto the Core i5 2500K - 4 cores without HyperThreading, 6MBL3 cache, HD 3000 graphics, unlocked multiplier 95W TDP.However, it is not known whether this is a direct replacementto the Core i5 2500K or a new complementary product at ahigher price point (similar to the relationship between Core i72600K and 2700K.Interestingly, the Core i5 2550K did not feature in the latestofficial roadmaps and has only recently been conceived. Apossible explanation is that it is a last minute response toAMDs FX-series refresh, due in Q1 2012. We can expect the i52550K release around the same time. Core i5 2550K will surelybe the last Sandy Bridge CPU before Ivy Bridge / Core ix 3000releases in April 2012.Microsoft Pulls Down the AMDBulldozer Multi-ThreadedPatchSource: 19th, 2011 Win a Club3D Radeon HD 6870X2! ( Exclusive) Source:, Microsoft released a hotfix download under thecode KB2592546. Not 24 hours passed, and Microsoft pulleddown the patch due to unforseen problems. 14
  • 115. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 19th, 2011This holiday season, we have partnered with Netherlandsbased graphics card maker Club3D to give away their cool andinnovative Radeon HD6870x2! Read more for details...The Club 3D Radeon™ HD 6870 Dual GPU graphic processorharnesses the power of dual GPUs to unleash unrivaledperformance and flawless image quality, making it thedefinitive solution for those who refuse to compromise.Featuring 2 GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory, the Club 3D Product Page:™ HD 6870 Dual GPU is the definite solution for ultra- reader.en/product/radeon-hd-6870-dual-gpu.htmlhigh resolution gaming across up to six simultaneous displays.Play the most advanced DirectX® 11 capable games inuncompromising "Eye-Definition" with the Club 3D Radeon™HD 6870 Dual GPU.Custom CoolStream cooler with 6 heatpipes for increasedperformance. ASUS X79 OC Challenge! Source: December 19th, 2011Club3D Radeon HD 6870X2 Winners of the "ASUS X79 OC Challenge!" will walk away with high end motherboards from ASUS such as the Rampage IV Extreme with Battlefield 3, Sabertooth X79 and P9X79. First Prize: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme with Battlefield 3 Full Game Second Prize: ASUS Sabertooth X79 15
  • 116. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone For more details, please refer to the forum thread: ASUS X79 OC Challenge Enjoy your music with the new Philips DJ-Style headband headphones Source: philips-dj-style-headband-headphones/14265.html December 19th, 2011 Targeted at deejays and music lovers, the Philips headband headphones SHL9700/10 claim to offer superb audio quality with comfortable ear cushions for long hours of enjoyment. It comes with 1.2m optimal cable and is available at all major electronics retail outlets in Singapore.Lucky Draw Prize: ASUS P9X79 The new Philips Headband Headphones SHL9700/10 features a sleek and subtle over-the-head design with soft ear cushions that provide comfortable usage even after long hours. Whether you are listening to house music or trance, the headphonesASUS and VR-Zone will be having another online competition claim to provide deep bass and clear treble for deejays andbefore the year ends. ASUS X79 OC Challenge is already audiophiles. The Philips SHL9700/10 incorporate studio-on-going and will end on 8 January 2012. Participants are grade 40mm speakers and superior drivers that can deliverrequired to make a submission each week. The ASUS X79 OC precised and enhanced audio quality. With its foldable designChallenge is divided into 4 weeks. makes them extremely convenient to bring along for travelling, and comes with a 1.2m optimal cable length that gives you the • 1st week: 12th December 2011 - 18th December 2011 freedom of movement. The Philips SHL9700/10 Headband • 2nd week: 19th December 2011 - 25th December 2011 Headphones are available at all leading electronics retail outlets in Singapore with a recommended retail price of S$119. • 3rd week: 26th December 2011 - 1st January 2012 • 4th week: 2nd January 2012 - 8th January 2012 Key Radeon HD 7970 SlidesPoints are awarded at the end of each week! The deadline forthe 1st weeks submission is 18th December 2011, 2359H. Be Leakedsure to make a submission before the deadline to be eligible Source: the Lucky Draw! leaked/14259.html 16
  • 117. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDecember 19th, 2011A little earlier this week, AMD conducted its usual pressbriefing of the upcoming Radeon HD 7900 series, acrossvarious market regions. DonanimHaber scored and posted keyslides from that presentation, with information that mattersthe most to enthusiasts.To begin with, specifications. AMDs Radeon HD 7900 familywill make use of a brand new high-performance GPU builton the 28 nm fabrication process, codenamed "Tahiti". Thischip is said to pack no less than 4.3 billion transistors. The cooler uses an aluminum channel design, to which heat isWith Tahiti, AMD makes its first big architecture change fed by a vapor chamber plate that draws heat from the GPU,since Radeon HD 2000 series, a change from scalar VLIW- memory chips, and VRM. The aluminum channels are thenbased computing GCN Quad SIMD, which is said to improve ventilated by a blower. AMD improved its blower design toperformance per mm2 die-area (a fascinating new way of have higher air-flow and better acoustics. Reference HD 7970measuring architecture efficiency). will feature dual-BIOS, much like reference HD 6900 seriesTahiti packs 2,048 stream processors, all of which are did. The two BIOS ROMs can be toggled using a small switch.enabled on the Radeon HD 7970. These stream processors The first BIOS ROM can be flashed, the second one is "locked,are arranged along 32 computing units, each holding 64 SPs. and packs a fail-safe reference BIOS.AMD gave Tahiti a wide memory bus. This chip has a 384-bit wide memory interface, which is said to dole out memorybandwidth upwards of 260 GB/s. It is populated with 3 GB ofGDDR5 memory using twelve 2 Mbit memory chips. RadeonHD 7970 draws power from two PCIe power connectors, an 8-pin connector, and a 6-pin one. Radeon HD 7970 will have a core clock speed of 925 MHz, which AMD claims can easily be overclocked to 1 GHz, "and beyond". Well see about that.AMD reference board design retains the black + red color Dell kills off Mini 10 netbooksscheme, and will use black colored PCB. The cooler shroud Source: is a bit more curvy, compared to the boxy HD 6900 netbooks/14261.htmlboard design. Display connectors include one each of DVI December 19th, 2011and HDMI; and two mini-DisplayPort connectors. All fourconnectors are confined to a single expansion slot area, leavingthe second slot area dedicated to the coolers hot-air vent.Board partners are required to include HDMI to DVI andactive-DP dongles. Looks like Dell has quietly killed their Mini 10 netbooks. If you go to Dell Online Store and try to search for it, you would either not find it, or find that the product is still listed, but no longer available for purchase. 17
  • 118. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Better cooling seems to be the primary objective around HD 7970s reference design. Unlike HD 5870 and HD 6970,Just a few years ago, netbooks dominated the portable which had the second slots exhaust vent partially takencomputer market with their small form factor and affordable up by a DVI connector, HD 7970 dedicates the secondprice tags. But that has changed with the increasing popularity slot completely to cooling. This results in improved airflow.of tablet devices, and the slim and stylish Ultrabooks which The card continues to feature 4 outputs, in HDMI + DVIwere launched recently. The netbooks have gone quiet + 2xminiDP configuration. HDMI-to-DVI and Active mini-and slowly becoming non-existent. According to a Dells DisplayPort adapters (which enable 6 outputs in total) arespokesperson, the product line is finished and the focus would included so theres no compromise. The fan is noticeablybe shifted to "thin and powerful" notebooks, which may mean wider, with new blades. This results not only in a higherthat the company is also releasing their own line of Ultrabooks. CFM, but also quieter acoustics. Finally, an improved vapourWith the entry-level netbook product line being killed off, it chamber heatsink further improves cooling and acoustics.leaves the question on what would occupy in that place. Well,the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just weeks away, andperhaps the company would have some announcements onthat.More AMD Radeon HD 7970DetailsSource: 19th, 2011 AMD is actively pushing overclocking for HD 7970. The base clock is indicated to be 925 MHz - making it the highest clockedTurkish website DonanimHaber has leaked more official slides GPU. It should be no surprise then that it will overclock to "1from AMDs Radeon HD 7900 press deck. These slides detail GHz and beyond", as AMD puts it. As previously glimpsed, HDHD 7970s reference design and also presents its overclocking 7970 continues to feature the dual-BIOS feature introducedcapabilities. with HD 6900 series - for safe BIOS overclocking. The reference design will feature 3GB GDDR5 and require 6-pin + 8-pin power connectors. AMD Radeon HD 7970s launch has now been moved forward to December 22nd. However, this will be a limited release with wide availability only in January. The HD 7950 could still launch on the original release date - January 9th. Interestingly, the HD 7950 will not feature a reference design, and there will be great variety from AIB partners, which could be a reason for its later release. 18
  • 119. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone all your gadgets to it and back up the data directly from thePlextor announces PC free device and/or memory card. Plextor claims that the PlexEasyDVD burner is compatible with most digital cameras as well as Android, iOSSource: and Blackberry devices, but the press release doesnt mentionburner/14262.html Windows Phone or other mobile operating systems, but theyreDecember 19th, 2011 most likely going to be supported. However, theres a catch, the PlexEasy only works with mass storage devices, so if you dont have a mass storage setting on your phone, its not going to work.When it comes to backing up data, most of us arent doingnearly as good job as we should and these days we have somany different devices that needs to be backed up that mostof us just dont bother. Plextor has come up with a somewhatinteresting solution to the problem of backing up files onsmartphones, tablets, digital cameras and just about anythingelse, without the need of a PC, namely the PlexEasy PC freeDVD burner.When it comes to backing up data, most of us arent doing As an added bonus the PlexEasy can be used as an opticalnearly as good job as we should and these days we have so drive for your notebook, although it apparently requires twomany different devices that needs to be backed up that most USB port for power which might not be ideal when it comes toof us just dont bother. Plextor has come up with a somewhat Ultrabooks which tend to have one USB port on each side ofinteresting solution to the problem of backing up files on the notebook. Were not sure DVD media is the way forwardsmartphones, tablets, digital cameras and just about anything for backing up data though, as even your average SD card theseelse, without the need of a PC, namely the PlexEasy PC free days is about 8GB and most higher-end phones comes withDVD burner. at least as much internal storage memory making the not so old silver disc feel quite dated with its 4.7GB. However, as an easy way to archive photos directly from a camera or a phone/ tablet it might not be such a bad solution. One critical piece of information is missing though, price and knowing Plextor its not going to be cheap. MSI releases second X79 motherboard with 8 DIMMs Source: with-8-dimms/14260.html December 19th, 2011 Were not sure if Intels X79 motherboards and accompanying processors have taken the high-end PC world by storm, but apparently theres still room for more motherboard models, at least MSI seems to think so. The company has announced a new eight DIMM model called the X79A-GD45 and youd be forgiven for thinking its simply a slightly changed version of the four DIMM version, but that isnt the case. Were not sure if Intels X79 motherboards and accompanying processors have taken the high-end PC world by storm, but apparently theres still room for more motherboard models, atThe Plexeasy is in essence a laptop size optical drive with a least MSI seems to think so. The company has announced acouple of USB ports, an SD card slot, an LCD display and a new eight DIMM model called the X79A-GD45 and youd becouple of buttons. What it allows you to do is to connect up 19
  • 120. December 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneforgiven for thinking its simply a slightly changed version of when 16GB DIMMs become readily available. As such yourethe four DIMM version, but that isnt the case. “limited” to a mere 64GB for the time being if you fill all the DIMM slots, although keep in mind that youll limit the speed The X79A-GD45 8D as the board is officially known is MSIs of the memory to 1333MHz with all eight slots populated duefifth X79 motherboard to launch and it actually seems to have to the way Intel has designed its memory controller. That ismore in common with the higher-end X79A-GD65 8D than the of course without overclocking the memory, but its also theX79A-GD45. For starters, the two eight DIMM boards share reason why most X79 motherboards only have four DIMMS.the same slot layout with a total of five x16 PCI Express slots No word on pricing as yet, but wed expect it to retail close toand a single x1 PCI Express slot. It should be noted that two the same as the two DIMM version, as the two GD65 modelsof the x16 slots only have one lane worth of bandwidth each retail for close to the same price and the overall differencewhich doesnt really impress. Both of the eight DIMM boards between the two boards arent that big, especially consideringalso have an additional power connector for extra power for that the four DIMM version has some additional features thatthe PCI Express slots, something the four DIMM version lacks. the eight DIMM version lacks. MSI has also keeps teasing its upcoming Big Bang XPower II on its Facebook page and this will be MSIs third model with eight DIMMs. The only additional piece of information provided by the new picture is that MSI is going for a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers. However, we did find someThe GD45 models lack tantalum capacitors and features like pricing for the Big Bang XPower II and if it proves to be correctdebug LEDs and FireWire are missing alongside with the bus then were looking at the most expensive X79 motherboard tospeed adjustment buttons, although the power button and OC date as a pair of European online stores are asking for aboutGenie buttons are present alongside a pair of front USB 3.0 €450 (S$775/US$595) for it, which is a horrendous amount ofports. For what is a fairly high-end board its a poor show from money to spend on a motherboard and only just cheaper thanMSI side to only include the standard six SATA ports provided a Core i7-3930K processor in the chipset, as most competing products have at least a pairof extra ports. Around the back things are fairly spartan withtwo PS/2 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Google patents technology forEthernet port (Intel chip), 7.1-channel audio with optical andcoaxial S/PDIF and a clear CMOS button. self-driving car Source: driving-car/14258.html December 19th, 2011 Google has recently patented a "landing strip" technology for its self-driving cars, which allows the vehicles to go into autonomous mode and find parking spots.MSI is making a big deal about the fact that the X79A-GD458D supports up to 128GB of DDR3 memory, but that is only 20