CompuLab, an Israeli outfit specializing in circuit boards for embedded systems used in telecommunication systems, automotive devices, gaming systems, and a bunch of other applications, announced what it claims is the world's smallest dual-Gigabit Ethernet PC.
They'll get no argument from us. The tiny nettop measures a scant 4x4.5x1.05 inches and weighs a measly 13 ounces.Yet despite its diminutive stature, the die cast aluminum enclosure manages to engulf an Intel Atom Z530 (1.6GHz) or Z510 (1.1GHz) processor, 1GB of DDR2-533 onboard memory (optional 2GB), an internal 2.5-inch SATA drive bay to supplement the optional 4GB of onboard Flash storage, and Intel's GMA500 graphics.
Other features include 5.1-channel audio, Wi-Fi, four USB 2.0 ports, and choice between Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Home with SP3, Ubuntu Linux 8.04, or "other operating systems" that you choose to install on your own.
The Fit-PC2i will start shipping in January for an as-yet undetermined price.
When we first saw prototypes of Thermaltake’s Level 10 concept chassis back in May, we were intrigued by its unique design but skeptical as to whether Thermaltake would ever actually produce it—and if it did, whether it would be any good. The answer to the first question is yes—it should be shipping by the time you read this. But is the most inventive chassis we’ve laid hands on since the Antec Skeleton actually a good case?
The Level 10, which Thermaltake designed with BMW, is not your standard ATX full-tower. Instead of a simple box shape, the Level 10 hangs its components from a central wall—basically a reinforced version of a standard case’s right side and frame. From this central wall protrude individual hinged covers: one each for PSU, optical drives, and the main motherboard compartment, as well as six SATA drive bays connected to a vertical aluminum heatsink. All cables between compartments are routed through the central pillar, behind the motherboard and drive trays, just like a standard case, resulting in an incredibly clean look—at least when the covers are closed. Red LEDs light a strip running from the front panel (with its four USB ports, one eSATA port, and audio ports), along the top to the rear. The case is huge, too, weighing 47 pounds and measuring 12.5 inches wide by 2 feet deep by 26 inches high.
If you're hoping to score an LCD monitor upgrade in time for Christmas vacation, you may not want to procrastinate until the last minute. Citing anonymous industry sources, DigiTimes says LCD displays could go up a tick in price this month as retail channels start to restock their inventories.
The sources note that monitor panels have already dropped below costs, so there really isn't much room for any more price drops. This has caused vendors to replenish their stock.
There wasn't a lot of monitor growth in the third quarter, largely the result of rabid demand for notebooks and netbooks. Because of this, retailers ended up with high monitor inventories and lower prices. LCD makers responded by cutting their supply to the monitor segment.
Know of a good deal on an LCD monitor? Hit the jump and share the link!
Intel, who at some point in the not-too-distant future will show socket 1366 owners some love with a 6-core processor, just got through demonstrating a 48-core processor it hopes will usher in a new era of computing with PCs powerful enough to emulate human traits. Did we really say 48 cores? Excuse us while we change our underpants.
Before you soil yours as well, it's important to understand that the cores aren't barn burners likes today's desktop Core i7 chips are. Instead, the 1.3 billion transistor processor, called Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) is the successor generation to the 80-core "Polaris" processor and has more in common with a low end Atom part than a desktop Nehalem.
Unlike Polaris, however, Intel's 48-core chip can run the same standard software as Intel's x86 CPUs. And while each core doesn't pack a punch by itself, combining 48 of them makes it a pretty powerful chip.
"The machine will be capable of understanding the world around them much as humans do," Justin Rattner, Intel CTO, said at a press event. "They will see and hear and probably speak and do a number of other things that resemble human-like capabilities, and will demand as a result very (powerful) computing capability."
This isn't something you'll see on the desktop, but for you Folding fanatics, could you imagine pairing this chip with an upcoming Fermi graphics card or three? Oops, there goes another pair of briefs.
Intel recently announced it was fast tracking the release of its Pine Trail platform, which we expect to see sooner rather than later in 2010. We now have a little more info to share on this Atom platform replacement.
According to Fudzilla, Pine Trail will be significantly smaller when compared to Intel's current netbook platform, largely the result of moving from a three-chip design containing the CPU, Northbridge, and Southbridge, to a two-chip part with just the CPU and Southbridge. The end result is a 64-percent smaller package footprint.
Pine Trail will be designed on a four layer PCB, Fudzilla says, which will cut back on manufacturing costs. However, this doesn't mean that netbooks will become any cheaper in 2010, though you can probably expect vendors to squeeze in more features.
Finally, the Pine Trail platform will consume less power, about 20 percent less than Intel's Atom platform, which will pave the way for even longer battery life.
Intel X25-M G2 SSD owners should be lauded for their patience. Don't believe it? See here, here, and, here. We won't fault anyone who takes this next bit of news with guarded optimism, but Intel's newly released 02HD firmware purports to restore TRIM support, and do so without bricking the previously problematic drives.
So far at least, user response in Intel's support forums have been fairly positive. Nobody yet has reported any major problems in the firmware's main support thread, which is a positive sign given the SSD's past problems.
The 02HD firmware applies to both 80GB and 160GB Intel X25-M G2 SSDs built on a 34nm manufacturing process, and in addition to restoring TRIM support, Intel says it also contains "several continuous improvement optimizations intended to provide the best possible user experience."
Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports that Acer has been working on a new netbook built around Google's upcoming Chrome OS since the middle of this year, and will launch the unit sometime in the second half of 2010.
DigiTimes also claims to have heard it straight from the horse's mouth, with Acer chairman J.T. Wang expressing confidence during an interview that his company will beat all others to the punch and bring the first Chrome-based netbook to market.
And if Wang's saying it, there's reason to believe it. Acer, after all, was the first top-tier vendor to release a Google Android-based nebook. Though demand for the model didn't meet the company's expectations, that apparently hasn't given Acer cold feet when it comes to releasing netbooks not sporting the Windows platform as the sole OS.
Compared to 2008, the worldwide server market has certainly had its struggles this year. According to data released by market research firm Gartner, global server shipments tanked 17.1 percent over the same quarter one year ago, while revenues for the same period dropped 15.5 percent. But it's all about how you look at the numbers, Gartner points out.
"It is important to put the yearly declines into perspective," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "Looking at the third quarter results from the sequential perspective, they showed an increase of 13.8 percent in shipments and 10.2 percent in revenues when compared to the second quarter of this year. That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization as we move toward the end of 2009."
It terms of revenue, IBM lead all others in the worldwide server market for the quarter, claiming $3.38 billion. HP wasn't far behind with $3.2 billion in 3Q revenue, and then it drops off with Dell taking the third spot with $1.42 billion in revenue.
On the server shipment front, HP pumped out more servers in the third quarter than anyone else and now holds 32.1 percent of the market share. Dell came in second with a 22.8 percent share, and IBM a distant third with 12.8 percent.
The LCD price fixing shenanigans continue, at least according to Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker who has filed suit against Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers over allegedly colluding to fix prices, Bloomberg reports.
Filed on November 25, the lawsuit is based on both federal and state antitrust claims and makes essentially the same arguments as AT&T did last month when it filed a suit in the same court, also against LCD manufacturers. According to Nokia, Samsung and more than six other LCD makers conspired to raise the price of displays.
"The liquid-crystal displays were incorporated into Nokia mobile wireless handsets," according to the complaint. The conspiracy "artificially inflated the price of liquid crystal displays ultimately incorporated into LCD products purchased by Nokia, causing Nokia to pay higher prices."
Each of the suits direct the court's attention to a U.S. Justice Department investigation of display price fixing. Hitachi, who pleaded guilty in March in the inquiry, is one of the defendants named in Nokia's suit, but not AT&T's.
Samsung today announced the industry's first mass production of its 30nm class, 32Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte), multi-level-cell (MLC) NAND memory with an an asynchronous DDR interface.
"With the new DDR MLC NAND, double data rate transmission can be achieved without increasing power consumption, giving designers a lot more latitude in introducing diverse CE devices," said Soo-In Cho, executive vice president and general manager of the Memory Division on Samsung.
According to Samsung, its DDR NAND chips will significantly improve read performance of mobile devices. The chips come capable of 133Mbps reads, and would replace SDR MLC NAND chips with read performance hovering around 40Mbps.
The company said its new chips can be used in SSDs for PCs, premium SD memory cards for smartphones, and in Samsung's proprietary moviNAND memory.