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PMA2004: Lexar Media unveils new Flash media

Dell Inspiron XPS: mobile gaming platform on 3.4GHz P4 / Pentium 4EE

PMA 2004: 8-megapixel Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom digital camera

VIA officially announces dual-channel Apollo KT880 chipset for Athlon XP processors

PMA2004: Lexar Media unveils new Flash media

Flash media manufacturers continue to bombard the public with new and new press releases. For today the leader is Lexar Media.

Its first announcement is about 8GB Professional CF media that provides 40x 6MB/s sequential write and is positioned for professional digital cameras. The new CF card supports Write Acceleration (WA) technology optimizing the microcode to reduce copy time and increase controller buffer up to 32 data sectors per instruction. For the yet undisclosed price the card will go on sale in May this year.

It seems like a tradition to announce 80x (12MB/s) solutions. Lexar was not an exception and announced such a card at PMA as well. The Professional CF 80x series includes 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB models. For sale these cards will go on in May 2004 for the estimated $100, $200, $400, $700, and $1500, respectively.

Next is the announcement of 1GB Secure Digital (SD) also designed for digital still and video cameras, PDAs, MP3 players, etc. According to the press release, 1GB SD will be enough for about 500 4-megapixel JPEG images, 16 MP3 CDs, or 4 hours of MPEG-4 video. For sale this product will go on in Spring for the estimated $500.

Besides, the company intrdoced 256MB and 512MB SD cards supporting 60x 9MB/s (sequential write). Both models will be available in retail in the Spring for $110 and $270, respectively.

Finally, Lexar unveiled the new Memory Stick series — Enhanced Memory Stick with doubled read performance. The series includes 64, 128, and 256 (128x2) MB models that, according to the press release, perform 4 times faster at reading than rival solutions. Besides the read performance, these products feature MagicGate copy protection technology. No availability dates are disclosed, but the prices are $40, $60, $100 for 64MB, 128MB and 256MB models, respectively.

Dell Inspiron XPS: mobile gaming platform on 3.4GHz P4 / Pentium 4EE

Such an interesting gaming platform was introduced today by Dell. The company announced its new Inspiron XPS notebook series designed for hardcore gamers and enthusiasts. Well, besides the enthusiasm, you will need a fair amount of money to buy Inspiron XPS as its MSRP is $2849.

For this sum, you will get a mobile system featuring 15.4" UXGA UltraSharp display, 3.4GHz Pentium 4 / Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor, ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9700 graphics with 128MB DDR (upgradable), 512MB DDR400 (up to 2GB), 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN, V.92 modem, DVD+RW/+R, 60GB (7200 RPM) or 80GB (5400 RPM) HDD, 4 x USB2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394, S-Video, DVI, PC Card slot, the sound system with a subwoofer. Options include the Wi-Fi (802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g), Bluetooth, and the second HDD or floppy drive.

Inspiron XPS is bundled with a 96 watt-hour Li-Ion battery and a cover from the QuickSnap Color Kit.

PMA 2004: 8-megapixel Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom digital camera

Visitors of PMA 2004 that is now being held in Las Vegas, NV, have a chance to see Olympus´s new digital camera, C-8080. It seems that all digital camera manufacturers decided to add 8-megapixel solutions to their product series. C-8080 Wide Zoom key specs include the new image processor — TruePic TURBO — allowing for short ready time and a hot shoe.

Here are the camera specs taken from company´s North American website:

  • 2/3" 8.31-megapiel CCD, 8 million effective pixels
  • 15 elements in 13 groups, 7.13mm — 35.6 mm (28-140 mm in 35mm equiv.)
  • 5x optical and 3x digital zoom
  • F2.4-3.5 to F8.0
  • 1/4000-16 s exposures
  • ISO Auto, 50, 64, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400
  • EXIF 2.2 TIFF (uncompressed), EXIF JPEG, DCF image formats
  • QuickTime JPEG movies
  • Resolutions incldue 3264 x 2448 TIFF, SHQ, HQ; 2592 x 1944 TIFF, SQ1; 2288 x 1712 TIFF, SQ1; 2048 x 1536 TIFF, SQ1; 1600 x 1200 TIFF, SQ2; 1280 x 960 TIFF, SQ2; 1024 x 768 TIFF, SQ2; 640 x 480 TIFF, SQ2; 3264 x 2176 3:2 SHQ, HQ
  • Video resolutions include 640 x 480 HQ @ 15 fps; 320 x 240 SQ @ 15 fps
  • Black and white, Sepia, Sharpness, Contrast, Color Phase, Resize, Guideline effects
  • Up to 10 frames panoramas, stitched with CAMEDIA Master (when using Olympus xD-Picture Cards)
  • Up to 1.6 fps bursts in any JPEG mode
  • 0.44" EVF, 240,000 pixels
  • 1.8" LCD, 134,000 pixels
  • 0.6m to inf. Normal, 0.1m to 2.0m Macro, 5cm Super Macro focusing ranges
  • 2 EV exposure with 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
  • Digital ESP, Spot, Center Weighted measuring
  • iESP2 auto TTL, presets (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent) white balance
  • Flash modes include Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In (front curtain; front curtain + Red-Eye Reduction), Forced Off
  • 7s flash charge time at normal temperature and with BLM-1 battery
  • Supports xD-Picture Cards (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB), Compact Flash Type I/II; bundled with 32MB xD-Picture Card
  • USB, NTSC interfaces
  • 124x84.5x99mm size
  • 660 g weight w/o batteries and Flash card
  • Expected in North American retail in February 2004
  • MSRP of $999

Besides, Olympus also introduced two converters for C-8080 Wide Zoom installed via a CLA-8 adapter ($44.95):

  • WCON-08D ($219.95), wide, 0.8x factor (22.5mm in 35mm equiv.)
  • TCON-14D ($239,95), tele, 1.4x factor (160mm in 35mm equiv.)

On the photo below you can see Olympus C-8080 Wide with the TCON-14D teleconverter:

VIA officially announces dual-channel Apollo KT880 chipset for Athlon XP processors

VIA Technologies finally announced the new Apollo KT880 chipset (first showcased by as far back as in September 2003) supporting dual-channel DDR and designed for AMD Athlon XP motherboards. The new Northbridge will be coupled with VIA VT8237 Southbridge.

The most interesting feature of the new chipset is the integrated VIA DualStream64 memory controller supporting dual-channel DDR400. KT880 features are compared to those of the older single-channel KT600 in the table below:

AMD Athlon XP 400/333 MHz
Memory DualStream64, 2-channel DDR400 / 333 SDRAM FastStream64, 1-channel DDR400 / 333 SDRAM
Max. memory Up to 8 GB Up to 4 GB

As you can see, most changes are related to the memory controller and the maximum memory size, while other features are the same.

VIA Apollo KT880 chipset is already supported by ABIT, Acorp, Asrock, ASUS, Chaintech, DFI, Epox, Gigabyte, Jetway, MSI, Soltek, and Soyo.

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