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News of the day

  • Light Peak becomes Thunderbolt
  • LucidLogix Virtu Release Candidate
  • Test: Iiyama Prolite E2410HDS / DVersus
  • P67/H67 B3 as of next week!
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     Light Peak becomes Thunderbolt
      Posted on 24/02/2011 at 18:22 by Guillaume
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    Intel and Apple have just jointly announced the technology now known as Thunderbolt. Presented on several occasions last year by Intel under the name Light Peak, it consists of a new high-speed connection technology that runs at up to 10 Gbps in full duplex mode. Intel is supplying modules that can transfer data both through copper cables and optical fibre, one of Intel’s innovations being to have significantly reduced the cost of the optical interface. This is one of the first concrete applications of the research on this subject by Silicon Photonics that Intel has been regularly presenting at IDF.

    Thunderbolt wiring distinguishable by a small flash of lightning

    Cables will mainly be copper at first, with optical fibre cables (two fibres) coming onto the market later. Optical will improve the transmission distance. We’ll have to wait for later revisions to see an improvement in speeds (Intel is hoping to multiply speeds by ten eventually). In terms of connectivity, Intel has chosen to use DisplayPort connectors. Thunderbolt could moreover be seen as a development of DisplayPort as the technology allows the transfer of PCI Express bus type data at the same time as standard video data. Using PCI Express means that all desired protocols can be handled indirectly, from the network controller to the drive controller (and even USB/Firewire, virtually anything is possible). Peripherals connected with Thunderbolt appear on the system as a new PCI Express peripheral, which sill simplify driver issues.

    Thunderbolt can be seen as an extension of the PCI Express bus to external peripherals.

    Apple is the first to put out machines equipped with Intel’s Thunderbolt controller. Other controllers (mainly on peripherals) should soon be announced by Intel’s partners. You’ll find an official presentation of the technology on Intel’s site.

     LucidLogix Virtu Release Candidate
      Posted on 24/02/2011 at 17:50 by Marc
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    LucidLogix has just announced that it has delivered the first Release Candidate of its Virtu technology to motherboard manufacturers, with products using this technology expected to come on sale as of the second quarter.

    Designed for the Sandy Bridge platform, at the same time as connecting the screen to the graphics out on the motherboard it allows you to move from the Sandy Bridge IGP to the additional graphics card on the fly depending on load, like the NVIDIA optimus technology does with laptops. The additional GPU’s rendering is then copied into the Sandy Bridge IGP frame buffer to be displayed on the monitor connected to this.

    We don’t yet know how much Virtu will cost, either price-wise or in terms of performance. We will also have to wait and see to find out how reliable the technology is. How much of a difference it will make on desktop platforms is however doubtful, especially before the Z68 chipset enabling the combination of the SNB IGP and CPU overclocking comes on stream. Even then, you have to say that the moderate energy consumption of modern graphics cards during video playback or simple ‘2D’ display is not crucial on desktop.

     Test: Iiyama Prolite E2410HDS / DVersus
      Posted on 24/02/2011 at 16:05 by Vincent
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    Iiyama's latest 24'' monitor is the new E2410HDS. With a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display that uses a TN panel with a 2 ms response time, it has just two fluorescent backlights in place of the usual four. The aim is to reduce energy consumption without having to rely on LEDs.

    > Iiyama Prolite E2410HDS

     P67/H67 B3 as of next week!
      Posted on 24/02/2011 at 13:49 by Marc
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    Intel and motherboard manufacturers look as if they’ve been working flat out to reduce to a minimum delivery delays on LGA 1155 motherboards equipped with the Intel 6 series B3 revision. Intel tells us that the cards would start to come on stream in low volumes as of next week.

    Contacted on the subject, MSI said that deliveries should be coming from its factories as of next week for Europe, which should mean the first motherboards will appear in stores between now and mid-March. There’s a page on MSI’s site that gives the low down on how to distinguish between a B2 motherboard and a B3 (sticker, designation, software).

    ASUS has released an official communiqué announcing that deliveries are starting again this week, which translates to another one to two weeks before they hit stores. On the same page various ways of checking the chipset revision are described, whether this be on the box, in the bios or via a dedicated piece of software.

    Lastly, Gigabyte is saying that small quantities may start becoming available as of next week, with higher volumes as of mid-March. For now only the Gigabyte 6 Series SATA Check software has been presented as providing the means to differenciate between a B2 and B3 board but other models are in any case distinct and the B3 stepping is indicated on the box.

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