In what's being billed as "Design Excellence for Engineers," 3DConnexion, maker of 3D input peripherals, launched the SpacePilot Pro this week. It's one of the grooviest looking mice we've ever seen and comes with a ton of goodies for CAD professionals, including an integrated color LCD display.
"The SpacePilot Pro's LCD Worldflow Assistant gives at-a-glance visibility, whether it's email, calendar events, or RSS feeds," said Deiter Neujahr, 3DConnexions president. "It's push technology but the user can easily customize what they do and don't want to see. The intention is to focus you on your design work, with fewer interruptions to your workflow and less clutter on your main display."
Other features include keyboard modifiers (ESC, CTRL, ALT, SHIFT), 3D mouse keys, a SpaceNavigator knob capable of left/right, up/down, forward/backward, tilt, spin, and roll maneuvers, function keys, several applets, and a bunch more.
Gamers need not apply, but if you're into CAD, the svelte SpacePilot Pro might be just what you're looking for, provided you're willing to drop $500 on an input peripheral.
In what amounts to a virtual corporate staring contest, only less exciting, both Sun Microsystems and IBM appear unwilling to blink first and wants the other to make the first move towards an acquisition. For Sun's part, the company is now saying it would be willing to resume takeover talks with IBM, provided IBM makes a stronger show of commitment to seal the deal.
IBM had previously offered close to $7 billion to acquire Sun, but Sun, skittish that IBM would change its mind in the face of an antitrust review or other barriers, as well as feeling that the amount was too low, rejected the bid and said it would no longer negotiate with IBM exclusively.
Since the talks broke down, Sun's shares have fallen, causing the company to lose about 28 percent of its value. IBM's shares have fallen too, but to a much lesser extent.
Both Sun and IBM refused to comment on what progress, if any, is being made.
IBM this week announced that members of its Bulk Process Alliance -- Globalfoundris, Chartered Semiconductor, Sasmung Electronics, ST Microelectronics, Infineon Technologies -- have begun jointly developing 28nm, high-k metal gate, low-power bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology (forgot about saying that three times fast, try doing it just once!).
"Clients can begin their designs today in leadership 32nm HKMG technology and then transition to 28nm technology for density and power advantages, without the need for a major redesign," IBM said. "By assuring a path from 32nm to 28nm technology, this migration methodology offers clients lower risk, reduced cost, and faster time-to-market."
The move to 28nm is an important one that purports to provide 40 percent better performance than current 45nm parts, while also reducing power consumption by 20 percent. Moreover the HKMG technology offers better power leakage characteristics for longer battery life, which added altogether will be a boon for mobile devices.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
After pricing out $1000 and $1500 gaming systems, we wanted to go a bit on the high-end and see how we would configure a $2000 gaming PC. $2000 may be more than a lot of you are willing to spend on a new home-built PC, but there are plenty of people out there who spend more than $2000 on custom-designed boutique systems from OEM builders. And for those fat-walleted gamers, this article will show that you can get a whole lot more if you build it yourself (though putting the pieces together is another matter). Just as with the $1500 PC, this build leans heavily on the CPU and GPU side to optimize the rig for high-res gaming, though it'll perform more than admirably with video encoding and other productivity tasks. And as always, we write this with a disclaimer that your own personal configurations and preferences may differ from ours, which does not make them any less valid. In fact, we encourage you to use our guide as a template so you can create your own spreadsheet to swap out the parts we chose with what may suit your needs and budget.
Read on for our parts and price list, and please leave your feedback in the comments section to get the conversation started!
As the price of NAND flash memory drops to record lows, more and more hardware vendors are getting into the solid state drive business—and why wouldn’t they? A standard hard drive has lots of moving parts, but a solid state drive is nothing more than a few NAND flash modules, a controller chip, some PCB, and an enclosure. CSX is well known in Europe as a producer of aftermarket RAM for Apple products, and its Diablo gaming RAM has started making waves in the United States. But this 128GB multilevel cell (MLC) SSD marks the company’s first foray into the solid state market.
Single-level cell (SLC) SSDs typically have better write speeds than multilevel cell drives, but MLCs are more common because they’re much cheaper. We’ve tested a few standout MLCs, including Intel’s X-25M, but most of the multilevel cell drives we’ve benchmarked have suffered from poor write speeds.
If you're to take Intel at its word (and earnings report), then forget any talk of the PC industry continuing to decline. According to CEO Paul Otellini, the immediate future looks bright, especially for the No. 1 chip maker.
"We believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns," Otellini said in a statement. "Intel has adapted well to the current economic environment and we're benefiting from disciplined execution and agility. We're delivering a product portfolio that meets the needs of the changing market, spanning affordable computing to high-performance, energy-efficient computing."
Backing up his claims, Intel reported a first quarter profit of $647 million, or 11 cents per share, on revenue of $7.1 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 2 cents on revenue of $6.98 billion.
But does Intel's success translate to a recovery in the PC market as a whole? While Intel has been riding high on sales of its Atom processors and managed to beat expectations for Q1, the company wasn't as forthcoming when it came to forecasting Q2.
Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
Keeping the likes of Razer and OCZ on their respective toes, Microsoft today added to its gaming mouse lineup with the addition of the Sidewinder X3, an entry-level rodent that won't chew through your wallet. Sporting an ambidextrous design, Microsoft's latest Sidewinder looks to sway budget gamers with a respectable feature-set, including a 2,000 DPI laser with on-the-fly sensitivity switching.
"Our research shows that in-game comfort continues to be the main consideration for PC gamers," said Bill Jukes, product marketing manager for Microsoft Hardware. "We designed this mouse to be ambidextrous and small in size, providing comfort to a wider variety of people and making it ideal for gaming as well as everyday use."
The Sidewinder X3 also comes with five programmable buttons (eight buttons in all), a wide, detented scroll wheel, and wide-glide feet "for smooth handling and a light, balanced feel."
Microsoft says the Sidewinder X3 will ship in May for about $40.
Apple is reported to have put NAND flash supplies under considerable strain by placing an order for 100 million 8Gb NAND flash chips with Samsung Electronics.
Taiwanese website Digitimes was the first to report on the issue. Sources told Digitimes that NAND supply will remain sparse until the end of May. NAND prices are expected to continue their upward trend on the back of this huge order. This is because NAND flash chip manufacturers are not keen on increasing production.
According to Daniel Amir, an analyst with Lazard Market Capital, Apple’s gargantuan order comprises both 16Gb and 8Gb NAND flash chips. Amir believes Apple’s order for 16Gb NAND is a harbinger of 32GB iPhones being around the corner. The same analyst had reported last month that industry insiders had told him that 32GB iPhones would become available in June, 2009.