As far as quantum computing breakthroughs go, this latest one by a team of researchers from the U.S., Australia and South Africa is truly special. According to the researchers, a tiny crystal comprising only 300 atoms developed by them has paved the way for a “huge leap” in computing. A leap so vast, these researchers claim, that it would take a supercomputer larger than the known universe to do the kind of calculations possible with their “quantum simulator,” a special type of quantum computer. Hit the jump for more.
Habey USA opted to pair a dual-core Intel Atom processor with Nvidia's Ion 2 GT218 GPU to give its latest nettop that old-school one-two punch. We say "old-school" because all-in-one processors like AMD's Llano platform and Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture have emerged as the popular solution for HTPCs and other embedded applications, but by going with a low power Atom chip, Habey was able to ditch the fan and use dual-heatpipes to build a noiseless, compact system.
The recipe for a successful nettop is fairly easy -- make it small, mix in enough horsepower to tackle 1080p video without any hiccups, and garnish with svelte trim. That's exactly what Acer claims to have cooked up with its new AspireRevo AR3700.
Described as roughly the size of a book, the AR3700 can be mounted on a small foot stand or hidden behind the back of an LCD TV with a VESA mounting system. Inside the small package sits an Intel Atom D525 dual-core processor and Nvidia Ion graphics, which Acer promises is enough to handle some light gaming, 1080p videos, and a bit of photo editing.
"The AspireRevo AR3700 is an excellent pick for consumers desiring an affordable device for enjoying digital media that won’t take up much space and will integrate well with the home entertainment center," said Steve Smith, senior business manager of consumer desktops for Acer America. "When you consider the flexibility in mounting options, quiet operation and performance for the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more practical secondary computer for the home."
Rounding out the spec sheet is 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 250GB SATA hard drive, media card reader, six USB 2.0 ports, Wireless-N, HDMI, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The AspireREvoe AR3700-U3002 is available now for $350.
Asus has managed to squeeze about as much performance as currently possible into its new netbook, the Eee PC 1215N. It all starts with a dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, which is supplemented by Nvidia's Ion graphics chipset. Nvidia's Optimus technology is also part of the package, allowing the 1215N to switch between the discrete Ion chipset and integrated graphics to extend battery life.
Other features include choice of 250GB or 320GB hard drive, 500GB of cloud-based storage (Asus WebStorage), Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and HDMI-out.
With the HDMI-out port and Nvidia's Ion graphics, Asus claims you'll have no trouble playing back Full HD 1080p content on your a large screen TV. Embedded hardware decoders include H.264, VC1, and MPEG2.
Zotac has put an interesting spin on Nvidia's ION graphics by being the first company to offer a user-upgradeable solution. In doing so, Zotac's ION Upgrade Kits consist of a small form factor motherboard and ION graphics card.
"Zotac believes performance and compatibility should never be sacrificed for value. With the Zotac ION Upgrade Kits, you can have a premium computing experience complete with high-definition video playback, image editing, and video processing in a value package," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
Available in mini-ITX and mini-DTX flavors, the Upgrade Kits' graphics cards slip into a PCI-E x1 slot, serving up 16 unified shaders and 512MB of DDR3 memory. The graphics card boasts support for Cuda, PureVidoe HD technologies, DirectX 10.1, DirectCompute, OpenGL, and OpenCL. Other specs include a 589MHz engine clock, 790MHz memory clockspeed, 1402MHz shader clock, and a 64-bit memory interface.
There's been a few question marks raised by Nvidia's next-gen ION chipset, such as why the performance seems to lag behind the original ION. This was indicated by tests run on the Acer Aspire One 532G -- the first officially announced ION 2 netbook -- during the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.
The answer, says news and rumor site Fudzilla, is that Nvidia plans to release two versions of its ION 2 chipset. It's unclear how Nvidia will differentiate the two in terms of marketing and product names, but the slower version will have less shaders than the original -- hence the poorer performance -- while the faster version will sport "a lot more shaders," Fudzilla reports.
As for the above mentioned Acer? That one apparently sports Nvidia's slower ION 2, which certainly explains the puzzling benchmarks. Exactly why Nvidia is planning to release two new IONs, one of which will be gimped, is another mystery altogether.
When you think of Onkyo, you probably picture surround sound receivers and other home theater accessories, but as it turns out, the company also dabbles in home PCs. Once of those includes the just-announced DE411 all-in-one desktop.
A pretty impressive PC on paper, the DE411 boasts a 21.5-inch 1080p Full HD display. Inside the sleek looking AIO sits a dual-core Intel Atom 330 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, Nvidia's GeForce 9400M Ion graphics, 2GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. You'll also find a DVD burner, digital TV tuner, 5W speakers, Wi-Fi, multiformat memory card reader, and a handful of USB 2.0 ports.
Looking short term, Onkyo plans to release the DE411 in Japan for about $985. At that price, we'd like to see a touchscreen included, and so far, there isn't any mention of there being one. There's also no mention of whether or not Onkyo plans on shipping this one to the U.S. market.
Leave it to a company called Sparkle to deck out its latest nettop with a unicorn. We're not sure why, nor do we know what's up with the funky capitalization in the Calibre CUTi's name, but hey, it's the hardware that counts, right?
And on that front, the Calibre CUTi combines an Intel Atom dual-core 1.6GHz processor with Nvidia's Ion platform. It also comes with up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB or 320GB hard drive expandable to 500GB (also supports SSDs), a 5-in-1 card reader, Gigabit LAN, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth, six USB 2.0 ports, 7.1-channel audio, and an HDMI port.
Sparkle says the Calibre CUTi consumes just 14W while idle, or "less than an energy-saving light bulb," and 30W at full bore.
ION released the first desktop keyboard designed exclusively for use with the iPhone. While ION is an unlikely company to be releasing this product due to their history in consumer audio products, iPhone users have been craving a product like this for some time. Though, ION was skimpy on the details.
The battery-powered iTYPE features a standard QWERTY keyboard with full-sized keys. That is where the technical information ends. It is unknown whether the keyboard connects wirelessly to the iPhone (it appears to be a docking mechanism), or what technology lies beneath the keys.
However, if you can forgive the lack of information, the product could be great if executed well. The iPhone can handle most of a commuters technology needs, but touch-typing can be a pain for some.
Yesterday we posted a blurb referencing comments Nvidia made to news and rumor site Fudzilla, in which the graphics chip maker talked up its upcoming Ion 2 platform as being a faster solution than an Atom platform built around Intel's upcoming Pine Trail architecture. So does that mean you should hold off on buying a netbook?
Not at all, Nivida's Ken Brown says, who got in touch with us to clarify a few points. Regarding the performance benefits of Ion 2 over Pine Trail, Brown said all of that is correct, but that "is also true for current generation Ion-based PCs. Pine Trail will not deliver a significantly better experience than current-generation Atom-based PCs (link). Ion based systems which are available today will provide a much better experience than Pine Trail for HD video, games, media conversion, and other applications that people want to run."
In addition, Brown stated that first-generation Ion parts will also deliver anywhere from 5-10x faster graphics performance than Pine Trail, so for anyone who needs a graphically-charged netbook today, waiting isn't necessary.