Seagate, who originally planned to serve up enterprise SSD products in 2008 and later changed its target date to sometime in 2009, has suffered a setback in SSD development that may end up delaying the release until at least 2010, according to an investment bank briefing note.
"Notably in the last two weeks, we heard that Seagate (the company we think is closest in terms of market penetration) had another setback in its efforts to design an enterprise storage drive to compete with ZeusIOPS," wrote Kevin D. Vassily, an analyst at investment bank Pacific Crest Securities.
It remains unclear exactly what kind of setback Seagate is running into, but Vassily did bring up LSI in his note, the company Seagate picked to design and supply controller silicon for its SSDs. If Seagate is forced to find a new supplier, it might be mid-2011 or later before Seagate is able to ship SSDs in any volume, Vassily says.
Freedman believes manufacturers will have to ultimately “go with a metal case” to achieve that ultra-thin form factor they are after. However, the use of metal cases will make ultra-thin notebooks costlier.
A reference to Intel’s CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) technology – meant for ultra-thin notebooks - in Freedman’s report elucidating the design issues prompted Intel to clarify that the “case design issues reported to be found by an ODM, not consumers, in early production units for ultra-thin laptops have nothing to do with Intel processors whatsoever.”
Freedman had said that some manufacturers are more interested in manufacturing 11-inch and 12-inch netbooks with the Atom processor rather than ultra-thin notebooks with Intel’s CULV technology.
AMD has its head in the cloud, and that may not be such a bad thing. The chip maker this week released another Opteron 1000 Series processor, codenamed Suzuka, with performance per watt and compatibility taking center stage.
"The flexibility of four cores and a low-cost infrastructure gives customers an edge when designing for a cost-effective or power-efficient platform," John Freuhe, director of business development for server and workstation products at AMD, wrote in a blog post.
Suzuka, which was designed for cloud computing, Web servers, small business servers, and other applications where lower power consumption is the primary focus, runs at 2.9GHz with 6MB of cache. And because Suzuka is based on the same core as Shanghai, existing AM2 platforms should only need a BIOS update to run the chip.
Optoma picked an appropriate moniker for its Lilliputian-size video projector. The Pico PK101 isn’t just small, it’s almost inconceivably tiny. It measures just 1.97 inches wide by 4.06 inches long by 0.59 inches thick, and it weighs only four ounces.
Texas Instruments’ DLP (Digital Light Processor) technology deserves much of the credit for making such a product possible. DLP projectors create an image by bouncing light off microscopic mirrors arranged in a matrix on a semiconductor. Each mirror represents a pixel in the image and swivels to either reflect light through the lens or to an internal heatsink. Toggling these two states on and off creates a grayscale. Color pixels are created by using either a color wheel or a colored light source. Optoma uses a non-replaceable LED for its light source, which it claims should last for 20,000 hours. There’s a tiny speaker and a 0.5-watt amp onboard, too.
There's been a major push this past year in being more energy conscious when it comes to computing, and one way Philips plans to do that is by making sure your LCD monitor doesn't consume more power than it needs to.
Called the Brilliance LCD, the upcoming display will feature a built-in sensor capable of detecting whether or not you're sitting in front of your monitor. Get up to grab a cup of coffee or go powder your nose and the monitor will dim its display, a move Philips says will cut power consumption by half. Once you return, the display lights back up and all is as you left it.
Because not everyone sits the same distance from their monitor, the sensor comes configurable for anywhere between 30cm and 120cm, and is completely independent of the host system's software or operating system.
SpeedFan is still our favorite software program for adjusting fan speeds and maintaining an optimal balance between cooling and noise, but software solutions don't have anywhere near the sex appeal as some dedicated hardware fan controllers, the newest being NZXT's Sentry 2.
The Sentry 2 installs in a 5.25-inch drive bay and works with any fan that uses voltage control. But it's the sleek looking touch screen that might be the biggest draw. NZXT claims an "ultra fast selection and response time," with the display including temperature readout in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Up to 5 fans can be either manually controlled or automatically adjusted based on temperature. Settings are stored after the power is off too, so you needn't worry about finding the best balance of noise to performance only to have it go by the wayside during a power outage.
NZXT tells us the Sentry 2 will be available later this month with an MSRP of $30.
EVGA set out to prove it's not the size of the motherboard that matters, but how you use it. And with the release of the X58 SLI Micro, you can use any speed grade Core i7 processor you want along with a pair of Nvidia graphics cards all in a micro-ATX package.
In addition to 2-way SLI support, the new mobo also crams 6 DDR3 memory slots (supporting up to 12GB of triple channel DDR3-1600MHz+) and 6 SATA II 3GB/s ports onto the mATX board. Other features include 100-percent solid state capacitors, VDroop control, an onboard temperature monitor, support for up 12 USB ports, a single LAN port, a passive heatsink for cooling the chipset, RAID 0/1/0+1/5 and JBOD support, and 8-channel onboard audio, all decked out in a red and black color theme.
We’re unabashed fans of HP’s Touch-Smart desktop machines, so we were really looking forward to getting our digits on the new technology in a convertible touch-screen notebook PC. But our eager anticipation only made the reality of the TouchSmart tx2 all that more disappointing.
This is the first convertible touch-screen PC designed for the consumer market, and its underlying hardware—which in our review unit included AMD’s best mobile CPU—delivered enough horsepower for this machine’s touch-screen elements. Benchmark performance, on the other hand, was dismal (more on that later).
You can use the TouchSmart tx2 as a conventional notebook PC or rotate its 12.1-inch screen 180 degrees, lay it flat, and use the machine’s tablet functionality. The 1280x800 touch screen uses active digitizing technology and supports the use of either a fingertip or a digital pen (as opposed to the simple stylus that HP shipped with its first-generation TouchSmart desktops). The digital pen delivers hover feedback (it doesn’t have to touch the screen to activate user-interface elements, such as tooltips) and considerably more precision than a fingertip.
Good news for storage buffs - Micron today said it has begun mass producing 34nm flash memory products, resulting in 16Gb (gigabit) and 32Gb NAND chips that will push high end storage capacities to new levels.
"Our industry-leading NAND products are opening new possibilities for some of the world's most popular consumer electronic devices," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. "With our new 16- and 32Gb NAND chips in mass production, we are enabling customers to design cost-effective, high-capacity storage in their small-form factor products, using less space and fewer die."
Micron says its 32Gb MLC NAND chip is 17 percent smaller than its first -generation 32Gb chip, and that both new chips offer transfer speeds of up to 200MB/s.
As a result of the new product, mainstream SDHC cards may double in capacity from 4-8GB to 8-16GB, with 64GB or more leading the high-end market.
We'll admit that a soundcard isn't the first thing that came to mind when we heard you could order the "Tube Delight" online. But that's exactly what it is, and it's the funkiest USB audio solution we've ever seen.
The portable PC soundcard comes encased in a transparent vacuum tube with a fade-in-out blue LED for power-on and idle status indication. It supports 16-bit 16KHz/32KHz/48KHz recording and playback with both rated at THD+N -73dB and SNR 85dB, and comes with the obligatory 3.5mm headphone and microphone ports.
Hong Kong vendor Brando has the USB soundcard on sale now for $32, which is as cheap as you'll ever find anyone selling anything having to do with a Tube Delight.