Monday, we told you about the forthcoming SATA Revision 3.0, also known as SATA 6Gb/s. Given the fact that conventional hard disks still don't saturate the original SATA 1.5Gb/s bus, let alone the mainstream SATA Revision 2.0 3Gb/s bus, why bother with another speedup?
In a word: SSDs. The Inquirerreports that the new Intel solid-state drives introduced this week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) come very close to saturating the SATA 3Gb/s bus with 250MB/s read speed, while blowing the doors off conventional hard disks and third-party SSDs. And, they're not alone. As we reported Monday, Indilinx isn't far behind, offering the 230MB/s Barefoot SSD drive controller.
To learn more about why some SSD drives are faster than others, and what else SATA-IO is working on for the near future, join us after the jump.
So, what makes some SSD drives faster (or slower) than others? SSD drive performance is affected by two factors: the speed of the controller and the speed of the SSD memory chips. Currently, the fastest SSD drives use single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, while drives using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash trade higher capacity for slightly slower performance. As capacities climb and performance zooms, it's going to be an interesting fall and winter in the SSD business.
That's the good news. The Inquirer also reports that the SATA-IO's Power over eSATA initiative, announced in January, is now expected to be released in early 2009 (rather than late this year as was originally expected). Power over eSATA will enable eSATA drives to pull their power from the eSATA port, just as many USB drives get their power from the USB port. Whenever Power over eSATA appears (and let's hope they come up with a cooler acronym than the logical "PoeSATA"), it will be very helpful in getting eSATA to become mainstream.
It will arm 13 data centers with cloud computing infrastructure that will provide cloud computing cushion to its customers in the face of network disruptions or failures. Basically, its clients will be able to access cloud-based computer services when their own networks are down - and even out. So even during network disruptions it would be business as usual for IBM’s clients.
Intel unveiled the Intel Media Processor CE 3100, a System on Chip (SoC) for consumer electronics based on Intel Architecture (IA), at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. This particular SoC has been designed keeping in mind internet-enabled consumer electronics products like optical media players, connected CE devices, advanced cable set top boxes and digital TVs. Intel hopes that the CE 3100 will make it easier for people to stay connected to the internet on their favorite CE devices without feeling any vexing technical constraints.
Gaming, in at least one major way, imitates real life -- and I hate it. Year after year, the game release schedule ebbs and flows with the prototypical real life schedule, and the end result isn't pretty. Spring is simple enough; summer is a time for basking and vacationing. But winter and fall make up for summer with gusto. Papers flutter about as work and/or school top-off on the overwhelming meter, family members get traded amongst households for myriad holiday celebrations, and nothing ever goes according to plan.
Meanwhile, spring showers usually herald games that winter and fall somehow missed, summer deludes us into getting excited about games like Too Human, and fall/winter try to cram as many games as possible into what little free time we have left over thanks to, you know, life. And guess what: everyone's favorite part of the cycle kicks off yet again in only a couple of weeks.
So, my question: as a result of the so-called "most wonderful time of the year," what games do you most regret having missed out on? Are there any games you plan on sacrificing for the greater good this year?
Sadly, if today's Roundup is any indication, don't count on a dam for the annual game flood any time soon. Inside, you'll find a concrete release date for Fallout 3, the first details about the greatly enhanced PC edition of GTA IV, and tons of other news nuggets in between. Give it a read after the break.
Now Google is also providing a widget for webmasters to customize 404 error pages. This is especially handy when certain pages have been moved or removed but keep garnering precious traffic. The widget code is available at Google Webmasters Tools page. Of course, the 404 error widget is fully customizable and so can be easily and seamlessly integrated into your website. Microsoft had released a toolkit that performs the same function in June. Although it might sound like a trivial addition, it will help webmasters woo more users to their websites - or retain them to be more precise.
At yesterday’s Intel Developer Forum keynote, Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group discussed new features of the company's next-generation processor family including a new turbo mode. This turbo mode shifts the processor into a higher gear for ‘mind-blowing performance’ without a heat penalty.
On Nehalem based CPUs, Intel has introduced a technology that it calls ‘power gating’. Basically, when one or more of the cores on a Nehalem chip are not in use and powered down, the processor can divert power to the cores that are running by increasing their voltage and clockspeed.
"Our engineers have put together an incredible processing family here that will include a tremendous amount of new processor features all centered on delivering faster computer performance and terrific energy efficiency," Gelsinger said.
This next-generation Core microarchitecture features Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivering up to 8-threaded performance capability on 4 cores in the initial versions. Nehalem is predicted to offer more cores in future versions. It also contains the much vaunted new QuickPath Interconnect. QuickPath is a technology that connects processors, chipsets and memory together, and delivers up to three times the memory bandwidth of previous generation processors.
It is no wonder that when Gordon Mah Ung did his sneak peek of Nehalem, it was so impressive. I want mine yesterday, please.
The ultraportable craze has been nothing short of ultra popular, and it might get even better next month. While Intel senior VP Pat Gelsinger was delivering his keynote during IDF on Monday, Cnet claims an Intel employee spilled the beans on the company's plans to offer up a dual-core Atom in September, a move that would make the Nettop market even more popular than it already is. Specifics weren't disclosed, but if earlier reports hold true, look for the new hyperthreading-capable chip to come clocked at 1.6GHz per core on a 533MHz front-side bus with 1MB of L2 cache.
Dunnington and Nehalem
On a more official note, Intel revealed plans to also offer its six-core Dunnington server processor in September, which will be the last member of Intel's 45nm Penryn family. And while on the topic of cores, Intel also showed the first eight-core Nehalem chip. Gelsinger said the new chip will be a monolithic design with all eight cores crammed onto a single piece of silicon. Tasty!
Like everyone, Microsoft hates to back a loser. There comes a time though when you have to lick your wounds and suck it up. With the demise of Microsoft backed HD DVD, they are now working on incorporating the new storage option into Windows.
Microsoft is developting a “Windows Feature Pack for Storage” for both Windows XP and Vista. On the Microsoft Connect website they highlight three new technologies each in their own installer for the prerelease beta: Active Storage Platform: This pre-release package enables the Windows platform to restrict access to portable devices (such as a USB Flash Device) via a certificate or password authentication based on the IEEE 1667 standard specification. Image Mastering: API update for Blu-Ray media: This feature enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media.
Smart Card Drive:: This release provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID smart cards.
Maybe official Microsoft and Windows support for Blu-ray will help speed adoption rates for the new storage media.
Dell and Facebook are working up the hype factory as they prep a ‘significant’ announcement by mailing out nice invitations for the event next Tuesday, involving this year’s favorite buzzword; cloud computing.
Cnet speculates the obvious, that Dell’s part is hardware and that from the invitation, it involves "the next generation of cloud computing".
I’m not holding my breath. Maybe I am cynical but I just can’t get excited about the next generation of cloud computing without knowing more about what the announcement is.
Will you be waiting on the edge of your seat for Facebook and Dell’s announcement?
Vista has garnered a plethora of bad press – not a commiseration - and continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Yet another survey has discovered yet another Vista failure. Although it is common knowledge that Vista has to its credit an abysmally dismal adoption rate, a survey by Devil Mountain Software has found that even the ones with Vista are prone to downgrading.