The runaway train wreck of memory lawsuits started by Rambus may finally be coming to an end. In a U.S. District Court, Judge Sue L. Robinson has ruled that Rambus’s patent suit against Micron Technologies is “unenforceable”. In her ruling she specifically cites “spoliation”, which is defined as the “destruction or alteration of evidence”. Essentially Rambus has been accused of failing to preserve documents that could be admitted as evidence. This news comes as an incredible relief to Micron Technologies, the single largest U.S. manufacturer of memory chips. Though this ruling is specific to the Micron case, if it holds up in the inevitable appeal, several other companies facing Rambus lawsuits such as Nvidia, Samsung, Hitachi, and Hynix may also be spared.
Judge Robinson also voiced her disapproval for Rambus’s aggressive tactics by using lawsuits against competitors. In her ruling she quotes a specific email from September 29th 1999 whereby the author declares the “need to sue a dram company to set an example”. The email also specifically states that they should attempt to publicize the patents and lawsuits to “put all dram/controller companies that use sdram/ddr….on notice.”
Rambus has publically denounced the ruling and according to senior vice president Tom Lavelle, “"We respectfully, but strongly, disagree with this opinion, and at the appropriate juncture plan to appeal." "This opinion is highly inconsistent with the findings of the Court in the Northern District of California which looked at the same conduct and found there was nothing improper with our document retention practices. We are confident in the strength of our position and will continue to vigorously pursue fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions."
When Nvidia unveiled its G200 GPU, we were immediately drawn to the shiny, speedy GeForce GTX 280. Why wouldn’t we be? With high core and memory clocks and 240 stream processors to churn through the toughest shaders, it was sexy and fast. We were less excited about the 260, which sported 192 stream processors and slower clocks speeds but cost about $100 less than the 280 (at the time). Since then, ATI has released its R700-based Radeon 4870, which outperforms the original 260 but costs the same amount.
And that’s where the Core 216 edition of the 260 GTX comes in. With the same stock clock speeds but 24 more shader processors than the original, the new version of the 260 GTX delivers comparable performance to the 4870 at a similar price. The speeds and feeds are about the same as the original 260’s, although EVGA clocked this card’s core at 626MHz (up from 576MHz stock) and includes 896MB of GDDR3 running on a 448-bit bus at 1053MHz (stock is 999MHz).
It may be 2009, but the GeForce 9M series, just introduced last summer, is already last year's news: yesterday, Nvidia announced the new GeForce 100M series at CES.
Engadgetreports that the GeForce 100M series' first three members exceed the performance of comparable GeForce 9M series GPUs by 17 to 35 percent. To learn more about the GeForce 100M family, join us after the jump.
AMD, still in heavy competition with Nvidia, has been looking for ways to gain ground on the graphics giant for some time. Now, it looks like they’re taking the fight to the mobile front with the announcement of their Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series.
The Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series is based off of the RV770 architecture. It will feature up to 800 stream processors, support for GDDR5 and GDDR3 memory, a 256-bit memory interface and CrossFire support (with the choice of switching back and forth between discrete and integrated GPUs without restarting).
Notebooks from Asus and MSI will reportedly be offering the chipset as soon as March.
Today Nvidia announced their wireless 3D solution aimed at games, photos and movies, GeForce 3D Vision.
GeForce 3D Vision will work with “the new pure Samsung and ViewSonic 120 HZ LCD monitors, Mitsubishi DLP HDTVs, and the DepthQ HD 3D Projector by Lightspeed Design, Inc.” And instead of working on the principles of polarized light, it will work with a sequence of high-speed LCD shutters in a pair of special glasses that will alternate on a timed sequence along with the images as they’re displayed on the monitor.
Nvidia’s newest step into the 3D realm will be available starting today from online retailers such as CompUSA, Tiger Direct and straight from Nvidia.com. It’ll be priced at $199.
We’ve made no secret of the fact that we love the pulse-pounding speed that ATI’s Radeon 4870 X2 boards deliver, but there’s a new speed king in town—the GeForce GTX 295. On paper, the two GPUs on the 295 fall somewhere between the GTX 260 and GTX 280, but this board delivers a crushing performance blow to ATI’s fastest part.
Chinese news and review site ExPreview.com claims to have the skinny on Nvidia's upcoming GT212 GPU, which is being positioned to replace the company's GT200 series (GTX260/280). The site says Nvidia's 40nm GT212 will ship with 384 stream processors, up from 240 on the GT200. Texture mapping units (TMUs) will also be bumped up from 80 to 96 on the new part.
Interestingly, ExPreview says Nvidia will slash the memory bus interface from 512-bit to 256-bit, which the GPU maker plans to offset by using GDDR5 memory running at a higher frequency. The GT212 will also come with 1.8 billion transistors, compared to the 1.4 billion found on the GT200, ExPreview says. And with a die area measuring 300mm^2, the site expects power consumption will be "reduced greatly."
Stay tuned, as more information on Nvidia's upcoming flagship GPU will likely be forthcoming during this year's CES.
For those of you using RivaTuner to overclock your Nvidia or ATI videocard, a new version has just been made available. RivaTuner v2.22 includes "a huge number of new stuff to keep you busy," as well as a fully redesigned interface.
The new version squashes a handful of bugs, including a bug in LM63.dll plugin, which caused empty graphs with no data to be displayed in hardware monitoring. Multifunction PCI devices are no longer detected as mutli-GPU devices, and version 2.22 also addresses the pipeline count detection code for Nvidia G98-based GPUs, according to the release notes.
On the feature side, RivaTuner 2.22 brings to the table improved customization features, including the ability for bundling partners to customize the product and system tray icons. Other goodies include simplified beginner oriented profile settings, a better help system, the addition of an on-screen display preview window, improved handling of user profiles, and more.
Read the full list of changes here, and then download RivaTuner 2.22 here.
As we reported earlier this year, Nvidia GeForce 8M series mobile GPUs have seen an abnormally high failure rate . VR-Zone and The Inquirer report that Nvidia has a solution for its OEM laptop partners: buy their new mobile GPUs instead.
The old GPU is known as the NB8E-SE, and is used, according to VR-Zone, in notebooks running the GeForce 8700M GT, 8800M GS, and GeForce 9650M GS. The new GPU, the NB8E-SET (aka the G84-751) uses Hitachi underfill packaging for more reliability.
If you're in the market for a new Nvidia-powered notebook computer, it's worth finding out from the laptop maker if they've switched to the new GPU already. However, what should you do if your new (or not-so-new) notebook has one of the old-design GPUs onboard?
To find out what your options are, join us after the jump.
News and review site VR-Zone claims to have seen documents outlining Nvidia's plan to move to a 40nm process technology on its entire lineup of upcoming videcards starting in Q9 2009. On the high-end side, that includes the GT212 GPU, expected to debut in Q2 and replace the 55nm GT200, meaning a relatively short lifespan for the not yet released GTX285 and GTX295 videocards.
On the mainstream level, both VR-Zone and DigiTimes are reporting the launch of 40nm-based GT214 and GT216 GPUs in Q3 2009, which will replace the current G94 and G96 chips. Fleshing out the lineup will be four desktop SKUs for the GT216 and six desktop SKUs for the GT218, presumably representing different clockspeed and memory configurations.
Looking at the entry level, Nvidia's 40nm GT218 will supplant the company's G98 GPU, also in Q3 2009. Meanwhile, Nvidia's IGP line will see the launch of the iGT209, which is set to replace the GeForce 9300 and 9400 motherboard GPU series.