News of the day (January 25, 2010)

 Phenom II X6 confirmed as Thuban
  Posted on 1264455587 by Marc

The official name of the forthcoming AMD Thuban processors, that have 6 cores, seems to have been confirmed if you go by a table available on the Xtremesytems forum and subsequently confirmed by AnandTech. Three models planned for the second half of the year:

- AMD Phenom II X6 1075T (125W)
- AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (125 and 95W)
- AMD Phenom II X6 1035T (95W)

Samples will be available in March and mass production should begin in April. Unfortunately we don’t have information on clocks or prices yet. In addition, in the second half of the year, AMD is also likely to launch the AMD Phenom II X4 960T which is based on the “Zosma” core. We don’t yet know what differences there are with the Deneb but it may in fact be a Thuban with two cores disactivated… and therefore possible to reactivate in some cases!

AMD is moreover planning to increase the clocks on the Athlon II X4s in the course of the months to come, while, strangely, no Thuban 975 is mentioned, the 955 95W appearing instead, against 125W for the current version.

 NVIDIA loses case against Rambus
  Posted on 1264426828 by Benoit

Rambus is as well known for the numerous court cases it has launched over the years as for its memory (initially for use with the Pentium 4 and now Playstation 3).

One of these actions was brought against NVIDIA, with Rambus claiming that NVIDIA was violating 5 patents asserted by Rambus, notably on NVIDIA graphics cards. The International Trade Commission has just given its verdict and determined that 3 of Rambus’s five asserted patents are valid, regarding memory controllers used by NVIDIA.

NVIDIA has appealed the decision and we’re likely to see an amicable settlement between the two parties before long. If this doesn’t happen, NVIDIA could see the sale of these cards and import into the United States forbidden! There is however little chance that this will happen and the only question is how much Rambus will ask for for usage licences for its patents.

 A clone of the Eee keyboard
  Posted on 1264413757 by Benoit

We recently told you about the Asus Eee Keyboard, an original concept seemingly nicely produced. Just like for the original Eee PCs, it hasn’t taken the competition long to announce its reaction.

You’ll soon be able to obtain, in China, the “Cross PC U510”, a keyboard with a touch screen that runs Windows XP. It comes with a 5-inch screen but we don’t yet have any information on resolution. With an Atom 1.6 GHz CPU (probably an N260 or N270), there are also 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive and an NVIDA ION chipset.

In terms of performances, the copy seems to outdo the original, but with some other differences also. While the Eee Keyboard works perfectly with a dual-screen set-up (required for using Windows XP), the U510 cannot support this. Also, where the Asus offers the option of a secondary OS adapted to the size of the touch screen, the U510 is powered only by Windows. Asus also offers wireless HD support to read content on an external screen, the U510 doesn’t.

The Cross PC U510 is likely to cost $569 and be available in black or grey. No information has yet been given with respect to international availability.

 AMD has announced 5 new CPUs
  Posted on 1264411886 by Benoit

After the arrival of the core i3 and core i5, AMD owed it to itself to react. No major announcements but a gain in clock of 100 MHz compared to the old models.

The Phenom II X2 555 ups the ante on the 550 with a clock of 3.2 GHz (3.1 GHz for the 550) at $99 per thousand units. Additions to the Athlon II range include an X4 635 at 2.9 GHz, an X3 440 at 3 GHz and an X2 255 at 3.1 GHz. They are priced at $119, $84 and $74 respectively. Lastly, AMD’s announcement includes the Phenom II X4 910e (energy efficiency) clocked at 206 GHz for a TDP of just 65 Watts. Pre-announced last week, it takes over from the 905e.

While the Athlon and Phenom II architecture is less efficient than Intel’s Nehalem, this doesn’t mean AMD can’t compete when it comes to performance/price ratios. Aggressive pricing and higher clocks seem to be the basis of AMD’s strategy to face up to Intel, while waiting for true innovations to be ready. This will perhaps come with Thuban, the only major announcement expected in the medium term.

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