While it’s presently believed that 22nm will be the maximum achievable process shrink using silicon, recent discoveries might allow chip makers to cut the 2020 goal set by Moore’s Law loose.
The discoveries come in the form of a manganese-doped germanium substrate, which will allow the creation of nanowires that can be easily magnetized. The magnetizing effect is reportedly showing “the potential of using these nanowires as building blocks for electronic devices,” such as “ferromagnetism above 300 K and a superior performance with respect to the hole mobility of around 340 cm2/Vs and other industrially relevant parameters.”
So what does all this mumbo-jumbo mean? Well, in short there’s a chemical element (number 32 on the periodic table, if you’ve got one handy) that, when mixed with a magnetic field, is showing some promise for chipmakers looking to break the 22nm barrier. With any luck, in the 10 years between today and the marked date for the 22nm barricade, the research will come full circle.
This past year we've seen a major push by several manufacturers to move solid state drives (SSDs) into the mainstream market, but the lower pricing has often come at the expense of performance. Enter Intel, who did away with any notion of bang/buck and instead focused on lightning-fast read speeds with its X-25M SSD.
Now OCZ is getting into the high performance SSD game with the introduction of its new Vertex series. Unlike the company's existing Core series SSDs,which target average users, the Vertex is aimed squarely at enthusiasts.
"The new Vertex Series of SSD drives are a premium MLC based SSD solution that are designed for consumers that require fast, rugged, and reliable solid state storage,” commented Eugene Chang, Director of Product Management for the OCZ Technology Group. “The Vertex makes use of our newest architecture and controller design complete with 64MB of cache to offer faster transfers and superior overall system response times in a broad range of applications and games."
Write speeds have traditionally been a weak spot for MLC-based SSDs, but that doesn't appear to be the case with the Vertex drives, at least on paper. OCZ claims read and write speeds of up to 200MB/s and 160MB/s respectively. By comparison, Intel claims up to 250MB/s and 70MB/s read and write speeds for its X-25M, making the Vertex appear to be a more balanced higher performance solution.
No word yet on availability, but OCZ did say the Vertex series will come in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB capacities. MSRPs for the 30GB-250GB will be set at $130, $250, $470, and $870 respectively.
According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group the use of malware on websites intended to steal passwords and other personal information has jumped significantly over the past year.
The exact number of pages sporting hidden code meant to get your secret goodies has almost tripled between July 2007 and July 2008 to a staggering 9.529. And of those, there are 442 different types waiting for you.
The financial crisis is at part to blame for this huge boost in malware-oriented sites. “The current financial crisis has also been used by phishers to create new scams that try to scare consumers into entering their usernames and passwords into sites that mimic those of well-known distressed financial institutions,” said Dave Jevans, the AWPG Chairman. “As the economy degrades, we are seeing a continual increase in malicious and criminal activity on the Internet.”
Not even a moment after Microsoft fixed 28 vulnerabilities in their software this past Patch Tuesday, a brand new exploit popped up in Internet Explorer 7.
The new exploit allows attackers the ability to execute arbitrary code whenever someone visits a malicious website. Currently only users running Windows XP and Server 2003 are being targeted, so you Vista users haven’t a thing to worry about. Microsoft said they’re currently working on a patch to fix the issue, but they were unable to set a date.
“Internet Explorer remote code execution vulnerabilities have very high impacts since the source of the malicious payload can be across any site on the Internet,” said eEye's director of Research and Preview Services, Andre Protas. “An even more critical problem is generated when clients are administrators on their local hosts, which would run the malicious payload with Administrator credentials.”
Until this issue is taken care of, those of you that are using IE7 can go and snag eEye’s Blink Software for protection from this threat. Or, you could go snag one of the other browsers, such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome. I hear they’re not too shabby!
Two months ago AMD made the decision to split into separate design and manufacturing companies. Under terms of the deal, which involved significant investments from the Abu Dhabi government, AMD was to own 44 percent of the new entity involved with chip making, temporarily known as the Foundry Company.
More recently, AMD cut its 4Q revenue forecast by 25 percent citing a sluggish global economy as the culprit. In an effort to reduce its manufacturing costs and realign itself with the current state of the economy, AMD said it will own less of the Foundry Company spinoff.
Abu-Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) was already a majority owner in the Foundry, and under terms of the new deal, ATIC will increase its share to 65.8 percent, with AMD dropping down to 34.2 percent. Other changes to the original deal include a restructured agreement that now says Mubadala, a minority owner, will purchase 58 million shares of AMD's common stock at a revised purchase price.
"All other material economic terms of the transaction agreements remain unchanged. ATIC will still invest $2.1 billion to purchase its stake in the Foundry Company, of which it will invest $1.4 billion directly in the new entity and will pay $700 million to AMD," the chipmaker said in a statement.
Yesterday, Logitech announced that they’ll be releasing the G13, a gameboard keypad peripheral designed to streamline PC gaming by allowing one-handed access to dozens of programmable keys. It’s akin to niche controller products like the Belkin Nostromo Speedpad or Zboard Fang. Well, it just so happens that today we got a shiny new G13 delivered to our office, which we were more than happy to playtest. Read on to find out what we thought of the device.
VIA has announced the ARTiGo A2000 barebones storage mini-server, a tiny box with a small price tag. The compact mini-server offers a high capacity, low power power storage system while also claiming to keep noise levels below 26.8 dB.
1.6GHz VIA C7-D processor
VIA VX8000 Unified Digital Media IGP chipset
1 x DDR2 SO-DIMM Socket (up to 2GB)
2 x 3.5" SATA II
1 x CF socket
3 x USB 2.0 ports (1 on front panel)
Other specs include a LAN port, audio ports, wireless LAN support, built-in HD audio, and support for Windows XP/Vista, and Linux. But perhaps the ARTiGo A2000's biggest appeal is it's small stature. The mini-server is designed using a custom Nano-ITX form factor and up to 3TB of data can be crammed into a chassis no higher than a CD and only 10.2 inches long.
Included software gives uses the ability to create up to 10 encrypted virtual drives, with the encryption being "performed with virtually no CPU load."
Several e-tailers have begun offering the device on pre-order for $299, and depending on where you order it from, could ship as early as this month.
President-elect Barack Obama has yet to officially take office, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has already begun briefing him with its political wish list, which is available for all to see. New transition team policies means that the Obama transition team is publicizing its meetings with interest groups and making all materials provided by those groups available on the change.gov website.
In the one-page MPAA document, Canada and Spain are singled out for "priority trade policy attention," and a call is made for more pressure on other countries to curb camcording in theaters, which the MPAA claims "remains the major source of pirated motion pictures." But the most interesting part of the document is a section titled Fighting Internet Piracy.
"One of the MPAA's top priorities is attacking internet piracy, through vigorous investigation and enforcement worldwide, as well as working with governmens to ensure that their laws provide adequate remedies to stop internet piracyand are in full compliance with the WIPO Treaties," the MPAA writes.
The MPAA goes on to point out recent efforts by the governments of France and the UK as having useful models, which is a reference to the controversial 'three-strikes' rule (officially dubbed 'graduated response') the music industry has been pushing in Europe, according to ArsTechnica.
You know what they say about not being able to play with the big dogs, and not only does Acer have what it takes to hang out on the porch, it now sits on the top step. The PC maker now sells more netbooks than Asus, whose Eee PC has been synonymous with the big selling little genre.
What's most interesting about Acer selling more netbooks than Asus is that Acer only sells one model - the Acer Aspire One. Despite having just a single offering, Acer has shipped 2.16 million units of its Aspire One in Q3 2008, giving the company a 38.3 percent share of the market. Asus' entire line of Eee PCs trails in second place with a combined 1.7 million units shipped in the same quarter for a 30.3 percent market share. From there, the drop off becomes significant, with HP's Mini 1000 netbook in a distant third with .33 million units shipped for just 5.8 percent of the market.
The fight for the top spot could be an important one, as netbooks continue to defy a struggling economy. According to DisplaySearch, the netbook category grew a staggering 160 percent from Q3 to Q4, with 14 million units expected to ship by the end of 2008.
Don't fret if you just plunked down a wad of cash for a 45nm processor, you're still ahead of the curve. And while 32nm chips aren't 'just around the corner,' they have officially moved into the production phase and it looks as though Intel will make the transition on schedule. The first commercial processors on the shrunken die process are expected to debut by the end of 2009.
Moving to 32nm isn't without its technological challenges, and Intel will use a second-generation high-K gate material to contain leakage current, TGDaily reports. The chip maker will also transition to a 193nm immersion lithography production technology to print the circuits on the chips, something AMD already does on its 45nm parts.
Should Intel not run into any product-delaying roadblocks, the switch to 32nm will put the chip maker at least a year ahead of AMD, whose roadmap shows a 32nm server processor scheduled for 2010 (consumer processors built on a 32nm manufacturing process aren't expected until 2011). And looking past 32nm, 22nm technology has moved out of research and into development, putting it on pace for a 2013 release.
Intel will give more details on its next generation chips at the International Electron Devices meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco on December 15th.