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ATI delivers HDTV reception on the PC

Do-it-yourself 3-megapixel DSLR from iXBT / Digit-Life: important addition

Seagate officially announces 2.5" Savvio HDD series

IDF Spring 2004: Intel High Definition Audio, initiatives of Dolby and Microsoft

NVIDIA unveils GeForce PCX GPU family for PCI Express cards

IDF Spring 2004, Craig Barrett states: "Intel´s 64-32 extensions will work on the same platform as AMD64 instructions do"!!

ATI delivers HDTV reception on the PC

HDTV broadcasts can be enjoyed now on the PC with the new HDTV WONDER™ announced today by ATI Technologies Inc. North American customers will be able to tune in and watch high-definition television (HDTV) programs on the PC without having to purchase an expensive TV that could cost more than $2,000. HDTV in North America offers up to 5.5 times the pixels as standard TV resolution resulting.

In addition to supporting analog NTSC cable, the HDTV WONDER graphics cards allow consumers to experience the new ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) digital, free-to-air HDTV broadcasts without having to subscribe to cable or satellite subscription services. HDTV WONDER offers the advanced personal video recorder (PVR) enabling consumers to watch, pause and record both analog and HDTV programs. Additionally, HDTV WONDER offers the ability to archive content directly to DVD for personal use.

HDTV WONDER incorporates ATI´s own NXT2004™ VSB/QAM receiver designed to receive off-air DTV signals in a wide variety of signal reception environments. NXT2004 integrates features such as advanced multipath cancellation, tuner control and all-digital carrier recovery circuitry that eliminates the need for any other external components.

Starting this spring, HDTV WONDER will be available as a bundled purchase with selected ALL-IN-WONDER graphics cards and separately on ATI´s website followed by broad distribution in retail stores. Additionally, HDTV WONDER will be offered in Hy-Tek´s Tekpanel 300HD and the Tekpanel 370HD, wide-screen all-in-one multimedia computers for home or office.

Do-it-yourself 3-megapixel DSLR from iXBT / Digit-Life: important addition

Right after we published about our Do-it-yourself 3-megapixel DSLR, as our Forum at iXBT gathered lots of sceptics. If you remember, the camera features Sony ICX 252 sensor and can work with M39X1/28.8 (GOST1032-72) lenses. In its manual mode the camera can work with almost any lenses designed for rangefinder, reflective and medium-format cameras as well as with microscopes.

So, addressing all unbelievers that can´t wait until the fully-fledged article is released, here´s a photo gallery with sample images obtained with various lenses. Enjoy :)

Sample images, M39

Seagate officially announces 2.5" Savvio HDD series

At IDF Spring 2004 today Seagate officially announced its 2.5" Savvio HDD series designed purely for server systems.

As I already mentioned, Savvio products are designed for 24x7 operation in server systems. These drives work at 10,000rpm and have up to 1,4 million hours of MTBF

Savvio key specs:

  • 2.5" form-factor
  • Fibre Channel, Ultra320 SCSI, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interfaces
  • Dual-disk design
  • 36GB, 73GB capacities
  • 4.1ms average seek
  • <9W energy consumption
  • 26dB standby noise
  • Up to 60G operating shock, up to 275G non-operating shock
  • FDB bearing
  • 111x70x15mm size
  • ~200g weight
  • Expected late in Q2 2004; SAS models — late in Q3 2004

IDF Spring 2004: Intel High Definition Audio, initiatives of Dolby and Microsoft

We can state that Dolby Laboratories and Intel set a new milestone in the PC multimedia features evolution. Two companies launched the joint initiative of advancing sound and entertainment features of modern consumer electronics into personal computers supporting Intel High Definition (HD) Audio. This standard, formerly codenamed Azalia, exists currently as a draft version 0.9 to be finally approved in H2 2004.

Within its Dolby PC Entertainment Experience initiative Dolby announced the new Integrated Audio Codec Licensing and PC Logo programmes introducing Dolby Surround Sound technologies. Dolby Integrated Audio Codec Licensing will enable audio codec developers to create Intel HD Audio solutions.

As for Dolby PC Logo, it will enable buyers to purchase PCs supporting the necessary Dolby technologies meeting personalized requirements. HD Audio codecs compatible with Dolby technologies will provide system-level support of Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Digital Live, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx technologies.

Dolby PC Logo will host the following variants:

  • Dolby Sound Room — Dolby Digital, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logic II without 5.1 systems
  • Dolby Home Theater — 3D 5.1-channel home theatre sound, Dolby Digital, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator.
  • Dolby Master Studio — the most advanced set of 7.1-channel 3D sound, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logic IIx and Dolby Digital encoding

As for Intel High Definition Audio support, already this Spring we should see Microsoft´s new UAA HD Audio Class Driver that will be supported by Intel ICH6 Southbridge and Windows 2000 (SP4), Windows XP Home/Pro/MCE (SP1), Windows Server 2003 Standard, Windows Codename Longhorn, etc.

We´ll naturally get back to Intel High Definition Audio as soon as we have more information.

NVIDIA unveils GeForce PCX GPU family for PCI Express cards

NVIDIA introduced a new GPU family, GeForce PCX, designed for PCI Express graphics cards. Actually the company "moved" its existing NVIDIA GeForce FX series to PCI Express.

GeForce PCX family includes:

  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5950 — DX9 GeForce,
  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5750 — PCI Express GeForce FX5700
  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5300 — PCI Express GeForce FX 5200
  • NVIDIA GeForce PCX 4300 — (GeForce 4000 / GeForce 4 MX 440)

Besides, NVIDIA announced that last week GeForce PCX solutions passed the final validation tests for compatibility with motherboards, chipsets and BIOSes from leading manufacturers.

GeForce PCX graphics cards are expected in the market in H2 2004 alongside PCI Express 16x motherboards on Alderwood/Grantsdale-class chipsets. Graphics cards will be produced and shipped by NVIDIA´s usual partners: Albatron, AOpen, Anextek, ASUS, Chaintech, Gainward, Gigabyte, Leadtek Research, MSI, Palit Microsystems, Pine, XFX, Prolink, and Sparkle. But actually AOpen already had time to introduce its own Aeolus series based on NVIDIA´s novelties. These include enthusiast Aeolus PCX 5950, performance Aeolus PCX 5750, mainstream Aeolus PCX 5300, and vaue Aeolus PCX 4300.

IDF Spring 2004, Craig Barrett states: "Intel´s 64-32 extensions will work on the same platform as AMD64 instructions do"!!

So, the first day of IDF Spring 2004 started and, according to our Alexander Vorobyev, the very first keynote speech of Craig Barrett caused the long-anticipated sensation: Yes, Intel´s 64-32 extensions (IA32E) will actually work on the same platform as AMD64 instruction set works on!!

Please excuse us for such an inconsequent beginning, actually the aforesaid was confirmed only during the question-answer session after the speech alongside other breathtaking news. But you see, we just couldn´t put the similarity of Intel´s and AMD´s 64-bit instructions in the second place. :-)

Now let´s introduce some order and start with Craig Barrett´s keynotes. According to it, the primary trend is the digital homes. Just look at the images below:

  • Already the next generation of server 90nm Intel Xeon processors with Nocona cores supporting 800MHz FSB and SSE3 will work with 64-bit address extensions.
  • Microsoft´s Steve Ballmer also stressed during this speech that along with usual 32-bit processing, the support of new 64-bit extensions will enable to speed up workstations and servers.
  • There´s already a beta of Microsoft Windows supporting Intel´s 64-bit extensions. We believe it´s that very beta for AMD64 that was introduced to public for 360-day beta-testing some time ago.
  • Intel is to present 64-bit extensions for desktop processors closer to the year-end in Prescott products (perhaps, Barrett meant Tejas? Anyway, it must be the LGA775 design), and also in dual-core server Potomacs early next year.
  • They showcased software handling 64-32 extentions that provided obviously better details of the image processed.
  • As for Itanium 2, the speaker confirmed that such systems are now shipped to over 50 OEM partners. In the nearest future Itanium-based systems are to obtain multithreading and PCI Express support.
  • Barrett showcased a LCOS-based prototype (already mentioned in our recent news) and a wireless USB port utilizing an Ultra Wideband channel with up to 500Mbps throughput.
  • We´ve also heard about Wi-Fi and WiMax, and 3G/4G cellular developments, and were shown a tri-band GSM system on Intel Xscale with a built-in digital camera and 802.11 and Bluetooth interfaces.
  • They for the first time showcased Florence mobile platform on Pentium M Dothan that featured GPRS, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g, integrated display controller and a biometric sensor.

My, this first keynote speech was really rich with hot news! Getting back to the compatibility of Intel´s and AMD´s 64-bit extensions, Barrett marked, in particular, that despite some implementation differences, both platforms will successfully work under the same operating systems. By the moment 64-32 Nocona and Prescott chips are announced, Intel is to also introduce new BIOSes and other system utilities. Besides, Barrett stressed that it was senseless to draw analogies between the new 64-bit extensions and 64-bit Itanium architecture because these were totally different things.

Here we pause our live report from IDF Spring 2004, as there´s so many interesting news, we could continue until the evening. Therefore we better publish it "partwise", so stay tuned!

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