Load"*",8,1. Look familiar? If so, then like myself, you can remember cutting your tech teeth on the Commodore 64. I can't honestly say it's my favorite PC of all time, but it was my first, and you always remember your first.
Well guess what, folks. The C64 is back, at least in form, and in function it's purportedly "better than ever!" An upstart called Commodore 64 has licensed the Commodore name from Commodore Gaming and is bringing back the classic PC as a modern day nettop.
On the outside, it looks mostly like the Commodore 64 you remember from way back when. But its guts are completely different. There's a mini-ITX motherboard inside with an Intel Atom 525 dual-core processor nestled as snug as a bug in a keyboard. Other updated amenities include Nvidia Ion 2 graphics, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a pair of SATA 3Gb/s ports, a tray load DVD writer (Blu-ray optional), multi-card reader/writer, and five USB slots.
On the software side, there's a C64 emulator pre-installed so you can stop waxing nostalgic and relive all those classics. All that's missing is a price and a release date.
Information on Intel's next-generation Atom platform codenamed "Cedar Trail" has started to leak out, and not all of it is good news.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, the next batch of Atom processors still won't support DirectX 11 graphics, not unless Intel is planning to make a surprise announcement at the last minute. Cedar Trail D (for Desktop) and Cedar Trail M (for Mobile) will support DirectX 10.1, however, with a core that will look somewhat similar to Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge part.
More importantly, early indications suggest that the new Atom chips will have enough horsepower under the hood to handle Full HD decoding and hardware acceleration for MPEG2, VC1, ACV, and H.264. Cedar Trail will also support the Blu-ray 2.0 profile, which includes picture-in-picture functionality and some online goodies.
Fans? MSI don't need no stinkin' fans, not for Intel's Atom platform, anyway. The motherboard maker just announced its latest 3.5-inch small form factor (SFF) slice of silicon, the I3-945GSE-D.
This new board kicks it old school with an Intel Atom N270 processor slapped onto an Intel 945GSE chipset. It has "onboard power and a fanless design, making it an excellent all-in-one, high-end solution for use in custom enclosures and embedded applications," MSI says.
Feature-wise, the new board supports up to 2GB of DDR2 400/533 SODIMM memory and comes with a single SATA 3Gb/s port, onboard LAN, a mini PCI-E slot, Realtek ALC887 HD audio, CF slot, and "supports onboard watchdog timer for added system redundancy and security."
This really isn't much of a surprise as the SoC is expected to hit the market in early 2011. The intial product will feature an Atom Z670 processor and SM35 chipset. The tablet-centric SoC will support MeeGo, Android and Windows 7. But as you'd expect, vendors opting for Windows will end up paying a lot more compared to those opting for MeeGo or Android. As per the report, the Oak Trail-MeeGo combo will cost $25.
Most of the tablet PCs we're likely to see in the coming months will be running on ARM-based CPUs. In fact, most mobile devices use these chips. The mobile CPUs from companies like Qualcomm and Samsung are often based on ARM designed cores. Intel has been looking to move their Atom low-power chips into phones and tablets, but hasn't had much success yet. According to the Financial Times, ARM is not being sheepish when it comes to talking about the competition.
ARM CEO Warren East said of Intel's Atom chips in mobile devices, "Atom designs are just not good enough in terms of power consumption." Intel might be missing the boat because of this. Gartner is expecting 54 million tablet devices to be sold in 2011. Intel is not usually one to give up on a market, but time may be running out. Intel CEO Paul Otellini has previously said Intel will do whatever it takes to secure the mobile Market. We wish them luck; they're going to need it.
A new agreement with the FTC settles antitrust complaints against Intel and paves the way for the world's largest chip maker to ship its Oak Trail Atom platform without the required PCI Express interface, eWeek reports.
The original complaint dates back to December 2009, in which the FTC alleged that Intel abused its position as a market leader to bully the competition from doing business with AMD, VIA, and Nvidia by offering special discounts and rebates. Intel was also accused of altering some technologies in order to hinder performance of AMD products. Intel eventually reached a settlement with the FTC, which included a provision that the chip maker had to implement the PCI Express interface in all chips for at least six years.
Since Intel began developing Oak Trail before the settlement was in place, the FTC is granting an exception to the PCI Express clause, at least until June 2013. After that, all future versions must support the spec.
Do you like your tablet screens at 7 inches or 10.1? How about your tablet OS—Windows or Android? And what about the CPU—Intel Atom or a trusty, ARM-based system-on-chip? Within the next few months, ViewSonic will be offering two new tablets bearing various combinations of hardware specs that check all of the boxes above.
The ViewPad 7 includes 3G data connectivity, doesn't include freakishly well-manicured hand.
Let’s start with the smaller ViewPad 7, which should be shipping late Q4 this year at a street price of $479. The ViewPad 7 will have a 7-inch, 800x480 touch screen, and run Android 2.2 on top of a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. There’s 512MB of onboard memory, and a microSD slot grants up to 32GB of additional storage space. A rear-facing camera will clock in at 3MP, and a front-facing chat cam will be a wee 0.3MP.
For more on the ViewPad 7, and details on the Windows-packing ViewPad 10, hit the "Read More" button.
With tablets stealing the lime light, netbook announcements are few and far between, but not absent altogether. Later this month, Acer will begin shipping its new Aspire One AOD255 netbook built around Intel's dual-core Atom N550 platform.
"We have enhanced our best-selling Aspire One netbook line with the improved performance and better power efficiency to improve the mobile computing experience for consumers," said Pete Dailey, senior product marketing manager for netbooks. With the new Aspire One AOD255, users are able to multitask, explore the Internet, connect with friends, and enjoy entertainment applications, without worrying about battery life or being tethered to an electrical outlet."
Acer didn't throw us for any curve balls with the AOD255. The standard configuration applies: 250GB hard drive, 10.1-inch LCD screen, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 1.3MP webcam, 1GB of DDR3 memory, and Windows 7 Starter. Microsoft Office Starter 2010 is also included.
Despite a few vendors building servers around hundreds of low-cost Atom processors, Intel said it isn't planning on actively targeting the server market with its Atom platform.
"We are not opposed to an Atom-based server, but we just don't see broad adoption of the Atom as a server chip," Kirk Skaugen, Intel's vice president and general manger of its Data Center Group, said earlier this week.
Intel's stance hasn't stopped companies like SeaMicro from building Atom-based servers on their own. At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in September, SeaMicro showed a server with 512 Atom processors capable of Ethernet switching, server management, and application load-balancing.
Nevertheless, Skaugen contends that customers want energy-efficient, raw performance such as what's found in Intel's Xeon line, and that the Atom architecture just isn't ideally suited for highly parallelized computing.
Riding in a cab is becoming quite the open-ended adventure. Will you end up on an episode of Taxi Cab Confessions? Maybe you'll get a chance to score some cash on Cash Cab. But if you're playing the odds, you'll most likely end up in a taxi outfitted with custom signage designed to serve up ads based on your destination.
It's part of a new initiative by Intel India, Meru Cabs, and iWave System Technologies, three companies which have jointly "announced a partnership to develop an Intel Atom processor-based mobile digital signage solution that will allow advertisers to target passengers with tailored content."
Head to the airport and maybe you'll be shown deals on flights or car rentals. And should you head to the local gentleman's club, perhaps you'll see a pair of...cocktails flash across the screen. Whatever the case may be, the signs are being built with a little bit of ruggedness in mind.
"The ability for the Intel Atom processor to withstand extreme weather elements will help keep the digital signs operating well in varied climates," Intel said.