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News of the day

  • Gdium: the Ultra portable without x86
  • Elpida: 32 bit DDR2 at the end of the month
  • Inexpensive DDR3. And the latencies?
  • The GeForce 8200 in mini-ITX format
  • Seagate: 320GB & 7200 rpm in 2'' ½
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     Gdium: the Ultra portable without x86
      Posted on 20/05/2008 at 21:50 by Nicolas
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    The Eee PC wave, which will soon be followed by that of the Atom, seems to have given Linux a boost in the MID and UMPC segments. At any rate, it has been enough to oblige Microsoft to prolong the life of Windows XP and sell it at an attractive price to OEMs that respect the rather strict conditions (small diagonal sizes, low end processor, a maximum of 1 GB of DDR2, etc…). However, it seems to have also have given others some ideas. Linux functions on many more platforms than Microsoft’s ex-flagship OS and EMTEC has taken advantage of the situation to launch the Gdium, a netbook which uses a particular version of Linux Mandriva and is based on an MIPS-64 processor produced by ST.

    While we are more used to seeing this type of CPU based on RISC architecture in game consoles (the Nintendo 64, Playstation 1 & 2, PSP), Cisco routers or Silicon Graphics stations, it seems well adapted because autonomy is announced at more than 4 hours.

    Another detail also makes us think of certain game consoles: the totality of the operating system, memory (4 to 16 GB) and applications are found on a bootable USB key which is inserted on the front. In terms of components, the Gdium will have a 10" screen (native resolution of 1024x600), 3 USB ports, a SD HC card reader, a Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g module, an Ethernet port as well as an integrated Webcam and VGA output. Availability is planned for September for a price inferior to 400€.

    In order for the concept of this product to be successful, developers (in the larger sense of this word) will have to follow while the frame of mind found in the Free community could also be precious asset. The only thing is that the Wintel platform has a more solid base...

     Elpida: 32 bit DDR2 at the end of the month
      Posted on 20/05/2008 at 21:21 by Nicolas - source: Elpida
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    The Japanese memory manufacturer Elpida has announced that it should deliver the first samples of 32 bit DDR2 at the end of this month. Up until now, it was necessary to use 16 bit modules in pairs to function with 32 bit memory controllers.

    This should enable reducing power consumption by roughly 20%, the size of modules by 25%, packaging costs and improve the quality of the signal as electromagnetic interferences are reduced.

    These 64 MB modules are engraved in 70nm and offer a memory bandwidth between 1 GB and 4.2 GB/s. They should amongst other things be found in digital televisions, set-top boxes, personal navigation devices and printers.

     Inexpensive DDR3. And the latencies?
      Posted on 20/05/2008 at 20:04 by Nicolas
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    1 GB modules of DDR3-1333/PC3-10666 are starting to be found for around 40€ taxes included in France. This is quite good news because up until now DDR3 has been expensive and therefore of little interest compared to DDR2 which is often half the price of its bigger sibling.

    However, for 40€ we currently find at best OCZ3V13331G modules with latencies of 9-9-9-27. This is quite a bit because 11 months ago OCZ launched a Platinum Dual Channel kit certified to hold latencies of 7-7-7-20 in DDR3-1333. For comparison, we find DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with timings of 4-4-4-12 for the same price. In short, DDR3 is finally becoming affordable, but we should be conscious of what we are buying.

     The GeForce 8200 in mini-ITX format
      Posted on 20/05/2008 at 19:38 by Nicolas - source: bit-tech
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    While the GeForce 8100, 8200 and 8300 are theoretically only destined for motherboards in microATX format, Jetway has managed to make Nvidia’s DirectX 10 IGP hold on the AMD platform with a motherboard in mini-ITX format called the JNC62K.

    Obviously for this to be possible, sacrifices were made. PCI-E ports were abandoned and there is only a single Dimm port to take a maximum of 2 GB of DDR2. Otherwise, for the CPU there is support for the Phenom X4 but the TDP should not surpass 65W. Either way, there is still a PCI port, an IDE, four SATA-II, a VGA and DVI/HDMI output, ten USB 2.0 ports and two Gigabit Ethernet. There is also the Realtek ALC883 value 7.1 channel High-Definition audio codec.

    Curiously, the motherboard has a bios designed for overclocking, which in actuality will not be too useful as it should more be destined for a Home Theatre PC. We can only hope that a manufacturer will have the good idea of offering a motherboard in this format with a PCI-E port cabled in x8 or x16.

     Seagate: 320GB & 7200 rpm in 2'' ½
      Posted on 20/05/2008 at 18:15 by Nicolas
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    While Hitachi, Samsung and Fujitsu have already commercialized hard drives in 2" 1/2 format with a capacity of 500 GB but with rotation speeds of 4200 or 5400 rpm, Seagate seems to have favored performance over capacity with its announcement of the Momentus 7200.3 whose size can attain 320 GB.

    Besides the higher rotation speed, these models will have a cache of 16 MB, an SATA-II interface and will enclose a maximum of 2 platters. The sustained transfer speed is announced at 80 MB /s with latency times of 11 and 13ms in reading/writing for an average power consumption of 2.1 Watts in these operations and a sound level of 23 dBA in stand-by.

    They are now featured in Dell’s XPS laptops and those of its subsidiary Alienware should soon integrate them. Otherwise, prices and the availability date for ordinary mortals have not yet been revealed.

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