Japanese ELSA, the well-known graphics card vendor, unveiled a new card on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU, ELSA GLADIAC FX 736 Ultra, with 128MB DDR3 SDRAM that will go on sale early in April for about $255.
According to the press release, the card features 950MHz memory in 2ns Samsung memory chips, 128-bit bus, 475MHz clock rate. Interfaces include 15-pin D-Sub (up to 2048x1536), DVI-I (1600x1200), and TV-out. The cooling system features dual ball bearing fan of 25dBA.
Creative Japan launched local shipments of two new inexpensive sound cards, namely the external Sound Blaster Digital Music LX USB and internal Ectiva 5.1 PCI. Both novelties are expected in local retail stores early in April. As Creative traditionally makes initial product introductions in Japan, we should expect them worldwide within a month.
The simple and inexpensive ($45 in Japan) external Sound Blaster Digital Music LX works under Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP, has USB1.1, headphones interface, RCA and S/PDIF (AC3/DTS support) outputs, stereo RCA input. The board is bundled with sound software. Sized 119x69x26mm, Sound Blaster Digital Music weighs 116g.
Very inexpensive ($20 in Japan) 5.1-channel Creative Ectiva 5.1 PCI card works under Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP, supports DirectSound and EAX, features analog 5.1-channel output and is claimed to have 90dB SNR.
Source: PC Watch
Lots of motherboards and systems on the new chipsets showcased at CeBIT caused a wave of DDR2 SDRAM announcements. According to SANMINA-SCI, its subsidiary, Viking InterWorks, overclocker memory vendor, was one of the first to ship DDR2 Registered DIMM PC2-3200 modules to OEM customers.
Company´s ECC (x72) series of DDR2 Registered DIMM PC2-3200/PC2-4200 now includes 512MB and 1GB modules on x4 and x8 chips:
Hynix Semiconductor has also made a DDR2 SDRAM announcement and unveiled 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM samples on 0.11µm process. According to the demand expected in H2 this year, samples have 400 and 533 MHz clock rates. The mass production of 1GB DDR2 SDRAM SO-DIMM is scheduled to Q2 2004 and dated to Intel´s respective chipset announcement.
Samsung Electronics introduced its new Dual Voltage MultiMediaCards (DV-MMC) with lower power consumption and are designed for new-generation mobile handsets, digital cameras, etc. Considering 80mA the standard power consumption, the new 1.8V and 3.3V cards require only 20mA for reading. But other specs seem to be usual: 1.8MB/s write, 24x32x1.4mm Dual Voltage MMC dimensions, 24x18x1.4mm RS-DV-MMC dimensions.
Mobile handset vendors will have been considering MMC and RS-MMC for their products, so now it seems they have another memory kind, DV-MMC. Samsung´s series includes 9 models of different capacities: 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 MB DV-MMC, 32, 64, 128, 256 MB Dual Voltage-Reduced Size-MMC (DV-RS-MMC).
Still it seems the company lags behind its competitors, as Hitachi introduced similar media in November 2002. However, considering Samsung had the first MMC cards on hands in mid-April 2003, the situation is not bad.
Renesas Technology announced a new series of 512Mbit superAND (AG-AND) flash chips, HN29V512A, supporting about 4MB/s peak write. New chips are designed for consumer electronics, including mobile handsets and digital cameras. 16-bit HN29V512A0A and 8-bit HN29V512A1A will be sampling in Japan in May. A 1.8V version is also under development for lower-voltage operation, with sample shipments in Japan scheduled for Q3 2004.
According to the press release, the superAND flash memory offers improved ease of use through on-chip memory management functions such as bad-sector management and error correction. Renesas Technology currently has 128-Mbit and 256-Mbit superAND flash memories in mass production, and is now releasing third phase models.
Brief chip specs:
Sony released a new firmware for Ñyber-shot DSC-F828 digital cameras that fixes a number of bugs, including occasional problems with viewing files on cards with two or more partitions. Two other fixes address USB2.0 Hi-Speed issue that might damage files of specific size during PC transfers.
Pity, but at the moment I can give you a link only to company´s Japanese technical support. And I´m not sure if this firmware will do for any Sony DSC-F828 camera worldwide, so be careful! The search at the European technical support didn´t bring any results. Let´s hope more information on the new firmware will be available soon.
Source: PC Watch
No matter how hard GPU vendors try to excel in the high-end segment, the mainstream solutions will always be the bestselling with the market share of about 70%. This has already became a tradition: having been introduced in some powerful and monstrously expensive GPU, the new architecture moves down to the mid-end and then to the low-end to earn its maker some good profits.
NVIDIA´s latest mainstream was GeForce FX5500 and FX5700LE DirectX9 solutions. According to Chinese sources, ATI is to promptly launch the mass production of inexpensive Radeon 9550 GPUs in addition to already shipping Radeon 9600SE products.
The preliminary benchmarks of two Radeon 9550-based cards published at HardSpellindicate that Radeon 9550 is, most likely, a kind of DirectX9 RV350 "rejects" in the same FC-BGA package as Radeon 9600 has, but lower clock rates of about 250MHz. The more powerful sample supports 128MB of 5ns/128-bit/400MHz memory (that´s almost a copy of GeForce FX 5700LE specs, excluding the fact that some of the latter, like Leadtek WinFast A360LE TD, will have 256MB memory). Moreover, Radeon 9550 PCB design resembles that of Radeon 9600 much, so the production launch shouldn´t take long. Radeon 9550 shipments (64-bit and 128-bit memory) are to start this month.
According to our colleagues from GZeasy.com, ATI Radeon 9550 preliminary benchmarks indicated rather good performance for this class. It seems Radeon 9550 will find its niche among other similar products, including NVIDIA FX5500, FX5700LE, Radeon 9600SE. In China they believe that prices for ATI Radeon 9550 cards won´t exceed 600 yuan (about $70).
Introducing you the specs or ASUSTA-2 and TM-2 case series.
TA-2 series is designed for all-purpose PCs on ATX and µATX boards. They feature 4 x 5.25" bays, 2 external and 3 internal x 3.5" bays, 7 x AGP/PCI, 2 or 4 x USB on the front panel, optional IEEE1394 and audio outputs. On the back there is an 80mm or 92mm fan (and a place for the second 80/92mm fan) and 250W or 300W power supply with an optional power-line filter. Sized 190x425x440mm, each case weighs 8.2kg.
TM-2 series is positioned for compact all-purpose PCs on µATX boards and feature up to 2 x 5.25" bays, up to 2 external and 3 internal x 3.5" bays, up to 4 x AGP/PCI, 2/4 x USB on the front panel, optional audio and IEEE1394 interfaces. On the back there is also an 80mm or 92mm fan (and a place for the second 80/92mm fan) and 250W or 300W power supply with an optional power-line filter. Sized 170x355x380mm, each TM-2 case weighs 6kg.
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