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News of the day

  • CeBIT : SiS starts a line of memory
  • CeBIT : GeForce 7600 and 7900
  • CeBIT : cheaper flash hard drives
  • CeBIT : monitors and TV at 120 fps
  • CeBIT : LCD, VAextreme technology
  • CeBIT : AM2 before official release
  • CeBIT : Core Duo desktop
  • CeBIT : only two X1800 GTO
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     CeBIT : SiS starts a line of memory
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 16:32 by Damien
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    SiS, the low cost chipset manufacturer (but also of the Xbox 360 Southbridge), presented a whole range of DDR and DDR2 memory modules. Particularity of some of the modules: a new packaging for the memory chips (DDR2 800 here), CDFN. It makes possible, according to SiS, to produce high performance and high density chips without the high cost of BGA chips. It is between the BGA and classic TSOP in terms of costs.

    The thing is if the CDFN allow the combination of BGA advantages with the TSOP price we can wonder why the no other manufacturer never showed some interest in it?

     CeBIT : GeForce 7600 and 7900
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 16:14 by Damien
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    All of NVIDIA's partners exposed freshly announced cards: GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7900 GT and GeForce 7900 GTX. Unfortunately, we haven't notice many differentiations between the different brands' products because they all have had to more or less make do with reference cards. To avoid information leaks, partners only receive the first cards and the information very late. It prevents them from developing different models. Also, because ATI and NVIDIA want to have cards available in shops as soon as they are announced, they oblige their partners to sell reference cards. Their role is restricted in this case to boxes and stickers. This isn't of course to everyone's taste.

    Some were however fast enough to present a product different from the reference model. Galaxy and Gigabyte both had a fanless GeForce 7600 GT:

    Asus also announced a similar card even it wasn't present at CeBIT. Galaxy also told us to have in the pipe a 7900 GT fanless and even one 7900 GTX!

    3 different other cards were visible (the total amount of cards was 5 for the entire show!): one GeForce 7600 GT with a red PCB and a different cooling system for ECS that come back in the graphic card market and 7600 GT and 7900 GT cards equipped with Zalman fans for Galaxy.

     CeBIT : cheaper flash hard drives
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 16:03 by Marc
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    If flash memory hard "drives" exist for quite some time now, they were up until today very expensive and only restricted to military use. Super Talent, the US memory manufacturer, is however apparently trying to change this with a new range of 2.5" flash drives from 4 to 16 GB. Of course prices are still quite high, we heard $600 for the bigger version, but knowing that the price of such a disc was several thousands of dollars not so long ago, the price cut is substantial.

    There are several benefits in using flash drives: access time inferior to 1ms, reduced power consumption and no noise. The only problem is that the number of write/read cycle is restricted to "more than one million". Super Talent says that a 32 GB version would be out in 3 to 4 months. For now, there is no information on a possible SATA version.

    Finally, we have to point out that the members of the company present at CeBIT were unable to give us the drive read/write transfer rate. The only transfer rate communicated was the Ultra DMA 4 type interface which is of 66 MB /s. It is however an essential information, knowing that some of the flash drives based on older technologies reach a maximum at 8MB/s whereas others go up to 40 MB/s…

     CeBIT : monitors and TV at 120 fps
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 10:43 by Vincent
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    Samsung calls it MPA on their monitors, Smooth Motion Driver on their TVs, LG calls it Motion Picture Improvement Technology on their TVs, Mirai (CMO) hasn't given it an official name yet, but for us this is all the same thing. Manufacturers are betting on a doubled amount of images in computer monitors and in TVs to reduce – or even as they say remove – the afterglow effect. 60 Hz LCDs would increase to 120 Hz to display two times more images as they produce today: European TVs currently at 50 Hz would increase at 100 Hz and US from 60 Hz to 120 Hz.

    A demonstration made by Samsung : the panel is “cut” in two. On the left it displays 50 images per second and on the right the fps is of 100.

    If we only stick to the manufacturers announcement without questioning them (we will do that later when we will have the products in hand), the afterglow reduction would also come from new backlights that are capable of synchronizing their frequencies to the images. There is also sometime on top a system inspired by CTR monitors and TV: the introduction of an artificial images scanning.

    LG : the two monitors presented are said to include the same panel. The only difference would be the image frequency and backlights.

    The scanning has been developed by Samsung for the first generation of TVs with LED backlight. Images are no longer drawn in full frames but in successive groups of lines proceed by a black stripe of several lines. This area without image would, according to the manufacturer, "clean" our eyes from the natural retinal persistence. This theme is also evoked by BenQ in the BFI technology.

    Samsung's TV LED including image scanning is on the right, on the left a LED TV without scanning. We guess the black stripe in movement on the right.

     CeBIT : LCD, VAextreme technology
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 10:14 by Vincent
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    Amongst panels' manufacturers, we know Samsung, LG-Philips and AU-Optronics. The others are less popular. There is however a fourth "big" one, that has very ambitious plans for the months to come: CMO. Lately they have released wide TN 19" panels. All 19" monitors of this type or using their panels.

    CMO also sells VA panels. The name of their last panel generation was S-MVA. In the future, it will be VAextreme. The response time decreases to 6.5 ms the contrast ratio increases to 1200:1. This new generation is included in several monitor and TV panels and in this very impressive 56" TV which resolution is of 3840 x 2160 pixels!

    32 (!!!) CCFL tubes ensure a brightness of 500 cd/m² to this TV. In comparison, our monitor usually only includes 4.
    The whole is very impressive.

     CeBIT : AM2 before official release
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 02:26 by Marc
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    Even if it will only officially be announced during Computex next June, the Socket AM2 platform was already on several stands at CeBIT. We remind you that the Socket AM2 will require new Athlon 64 that will include a DDR2 and DDR memory controller.

    Almost all motherboards manufacturers presented one model based on existing chipsets such as NVIDIA's nForce4, VIA K8T890, ATI's Xpress 3200 or ULi's M1697 but also on NVIDIA's future nForce 500.

    The latter was also included in ASUSTeK's M2N32-SLI Deluxe. This cards which still has a passive cooling system needs to use two chips NVIDIA to have to PCI Express x16 slots. NVIDIA hasn't increased yet the number of lanes supported by a single nForce (20). EPoX's MNF55P SLI2, also based on the nForce 590 SLI, is in the same situation but there are also cards based on nForce 570 SLI such as Gigabyte's GA-MXE-S4, MSI's K9N Platinum and ABIT's KN9 SLI: these cards are SLI but with only two 8x PCI-E slots.

    ASRock uses the AM2 to introduce the latest version of the CPU Board. The daughterboard includes a Socket AM2 and 4 DDR2 slots that can fit in Athlon 64 ASRock's boards compatible with CPU boards such as the 939SLI-eSATA2 or the K8SLI-eSATA2 respectively based on 939 and 754 Socket. Even if it isn't very elegant, this solution gives the possibility to have a real upgrade possibility without changing of motherboard.

     CeBIT : Core Duo desktop
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 01:33 by Marc
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    The presentation of several ATX and MicroATX Socket 479 motherboards capable of supporting Core Duo processors was one of the good surprises of the CeBIT. Indeed, if there were only a few Pentium M motherboards that were very expensive, the competition is now apparently officially launched.


    There is of course one of the precursor of desktop cards for Socket 479, AOpen. Two cards were presented: the ATX i975Xa-YDG and the MicroATX i945GTm-VHL. ASUSTeK was also there with the N4L-VM DH (Micro ATX) based on the i945GT just like ABIT with the IL-80MV and Gigabyte with the GA-8I945GTMFY-RH. Like AOpen, ECS showed two cards, the i945GT-M (Micro ATX) and the PF23 (ATX) based on the i975x.


    Most of these cards will hit the shops in March/April.

     CeBIT : only two X1800 GTO
      Posted on 11/03/2006 at 01:24 by Damien
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    Recently announced by ATI, these graphic cards were almost nowhere to be found at CeBIT. The reason is because ATI decided to release this product only at the very last minute. Partners weren’t aware of that and were unable to produce these cards in time.

    We remind you that the X1800 GTO is similar to the X1800 XL except for the number of pixel shader processing units decreased from 16 to 12. To have an example of these cards you only have to change their bios to transform a X1800 XL into a X1800 GTO. Physically, the two cards are identical. Sapphire and Power Color are the only one to expose a X1800 GTO or a X1800 XL with a GTO sticker (we don't know if they haven't' only changed the bios …)

    This release decided at the last minute is of course a reaction to NVIDIA's 7600 GT. ATI has the intention to be present on this segment even if they don't make any money out of it. Cards rapidly entered production and ATI announced the product availability before the end of the month.

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