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MEX-1HD — the automobile HDD-based CD receiver from Sony

S3 Graphics: on Columbia release and Alpha Chrome family evolution

Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition — KT333 board from Soyo



MEX-1HD — the automobile HDD-based CD receiver from Sony

Sony presented such an interesting product for car owners. The Sony MEX-1HD CD receiver features built-in 10 GB hard disk and is capable of "ripping" music from CD, CD-R, CD-RW discs to MP3 format at 8 speed.



The device also features 4-channel amplifier (4 23 W RMS / 52 W peak), Sony EQ7 equalizer (7 presets plus 7-channel adjustable equalizer), G-Protection system, MagicGate slot for Memory Stick cards, etc. ID3tag onscreen is supported.

Sony MEX-1HD is supplied with a remote control. The retail price is about $1500.

S3 Graphics: on Columbia release and Alpha Chrome family evolution

There´s info about more exact plans of S3 Graphics, the subdivision of VIA Technologies concerning its graphics core line development.

The new Alpha Chrome graphic cores supports DirectX 7 specifications, being made according to the 0.15 micron process technology including 6-layer metallization. So, what products will this line include?

S3 Graphics plans to release four Alpha Chrome modifications:

Alpha Chrome A separate GPU
Alpha Chrome M16 16 MB GPU
Alpha Chrome 333 For integration into Pentium 4 / Banias chipsets
Alpha Chrome 333k For integration into Hammer chipsets

A single-chip Alpha Chrome works at 166 MHz (183 MHz memory). Alpha Chrome M16 chips will feature 16 MB of memory, packaged using MCM technology.

The company also plans to produce an advanced Alpha Chrome Prime core using process technology, different from used for Alpha Chrome: the new chip wil feature 7 instead of 6 layers; it will also have higher clock rate of 200 MHz. The new chip is expected before the end of 2002.

The chipset-integrated Alpha Chrome 333 version makes its debut as the solution for Intel´s platform — P4N333 chipset. Then, in the first half-year of 2003, the company plans to release Alpha Chrome 333k — for Hammer platform. Perhaps, there will be 16 MB or 32 MB variants (MCM), decision pending.

It´s already known that there will be two versions of Alpha Chrome 333k: without external AGP support and supporting AGP 4x/8x.


The release of DirectX 9 Columbia chip is to become the next important event. Its samples are expected in the 4Q, 2002, and the mass production is planned to the first half-year of 2003, almost at the same time with the production of DirectX 9 Xabre II chip from SiS.

Columbia chips are expected to feature about 300 MHz clock rates (300 MHz memory clock rate as well), being made according to the 0.13 micron proccess technology. Besides, mobile and desktop PC versions are also to be presented.



Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition — KT333 board from Soyo

Here we present photos of an interesting board made by Soyo — Dragon Ultra Platinum Edition.




First, specifications:

  • Socket A AMD AthlonXP, Athlon, and Duron support
  • design
  • VIA KT333 + VT8233A chipset bundle
  • Memory: 3 DDR DIMM slots, up to 3 GB DDR 333/266/200 SDRAM PC2700/PC2100/PC1600 non-ECC, unbuffered DDR SDRAM)
  • Add-in slots: 5 PCI V2.2, AGP Pro supporting AGP 1x/2x/4x
  • 4 independent IDE channels, up to 8 IDE devices (2 RAID)
  • Built-in IDE RAID controller from Hipoint, ATA-133 IDE-RAID 0,1,0+1
  • PIO mode 5 and Ultra DMA 66/100/133 support
  • Integrated 6-channel CMI 8738 audio, optical digital output, SPDIF support
  • Integrated 10/100 Mbps Ethernet controller (Realtek 8100B)
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Overclocking / tuning: SOYO Wizard On Hand III, 100-233 MHz FSB, 1 MHz step; Vcore 1.1-1.85 V, 0.025 V step; DRAM voltage — 2.5 V, 2.6 V, 2.7 V, 2.8 V, AGP voltage — 1.5 V, 1.6 V, 1.7 V, 1.8 V





Besides, this board revision (there´s also the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black version) features an additional special bonus:

  • External SPDIF connector
  • Remote Sigma Box module (SB-P4SX, for 3.5" bay) with CF/SM card reader and 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 8-in-1 CD, including: Norton Anti-Virus 2002, Ghost 2002, Adobe ActiveShare, Acrobat Reader, Acrobat eBook Reader, WinDVD 2000, AutoSave and Imagemore trial versions
  • Three ATA-100 IDE cables

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