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NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU family officially announced

Photo of the day: KT880-based ASUS A7V880 motherboard in our lab

NEC samples MPEG2 coders capable of video capture

Technics SL-DZ1200: digital DJ "itchy-scratchy" from Matsushita

Leadtek unveils WinFast A400 Ultra TDH MyVIVO on GeForce 6800 Ultra

OCZ Technology announces CL2.5 PC-4400 Limited Edition Gold EL DDR550 modules

Intel announces financial results for Q1 2004

NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU family officially announced

It´s time to officially introduce the new GPU generation from NVIDIA and shed the light on its architecture and features.

So, the GeForce 6800 GPU family, codenamed NV40, today officially entered the distribution stage. Initially it will include two chips, GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800, with the same architecture.

The key difference between new GPUs is that GeForce 6800 Ultra has 16 pipelines, while GeForce 6800 features only 12. Besides, most cards on GeForce 6800 Ultra are to have 256MB DDR3, while GeForce 6800 cards are expected to have 128MB DDR. Though, as we know, vendors might make any GPU-memory combination anyway.

These are the key innovations introduced in NVIDIA´s novelties:

  • 16-pipeline superscalar architecture with 6 vertex modules, DDR3 support and real 32-bit pipelines
  • PCI Express x16, AGP 8x support
  • 222 million transistors
  • 400MHz core clock
  • Chips made by IBM
  • 0.13m process

  • 40x40mm FCBGA (flip-chip ball grid array) package
  • ForceWare 60+ series
  • Supports 256-bit GDDR3 with over 550MHz (1.1GHz DDR) clock rates
  • NVIDIA CineFX 3.0 supporting Pixel Shader 3.0, Vertex Shader 3.0; real-time Displacement Mapping and Tone Mapping; up to 16 textures/pass, 16-bit and 32-bit FP formats, sRGB textures, DirectX and S3TC compression; 32bpp, 64bpp and 128bpp rendering; lots of new visual effects
  • NVIDIA HPDR (High-Precision Dynamic-Range) on OpenEXR technology supporting FP filtering, texturing, blending and AA
  • Intellisample 3.0 for extended 16xAA, improved compression performance; HCT (High-resolution compression), new lossless compression algorithms for colors, textures and Z buffer in all modes, including hi-res high-frequency, fast Z buffer clear
  • NVIDIA UltraShadow II for 4 times the performance in highly shadowed games (e.g. Doom III) comparing to older GPUs

  • Extended temperature monitoring and management features
  • Extended display and video output features, including int. videoprocessor, hardware MPEG decoder, WMV9 accelerator, adaptive deinterlacing, video signal scaling and filtering, int. NTSC/PAL decoder (up to 1024x768), Macrovision copy protection; DVD/HDTV to MPEG2 decoding at up to 1920x1080i; dual int. 400MHz RAMDAC for up to 2048x1536 @ 85Hz; 2 x DVO for external TMDS transmitters and TV decoders; Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR); VIP 1.1 (video input); NVIDIA nView
  • NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 for color and image clarity management
  • Supports Windows XP/ME/2000/9X; MacOS, Linux
  • Supports the latest DirectX 9.0, OpenGL 1.5

We have almost received a GeForce 6800 sample, so it´s still early to speak of GPU power consumption. Though a giant core with 222 million transistors imply some high appetite for power. At least NVIDIA recommends testers to use 480W and over power supplies. By the way, GeForce 6800 Ultra reference cards will occupy two standard slots. However, it´s not obligatory for all vendors, so we might see single-slot models as well.

Well, having seen the GPU, we now have to wait a bit for its test results. Please be patient, we are going to publish the respective article in the nearest future.

Ending this news I´ll mention NVIDIA partners that will support the new release by solutions on it. They are Albatron, AOpen, ASUSTeK Computer, Chaintech, Gainward, Leadtek Research, MSI, Palit Microsystems, PNY Technologies, Prolink Computer, Shuttle and XFX Technologies.

While our review is pending, you can take a look at the preview of new nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra posted by our colleagues at Trustedreviews.

Photo of the day: KT880-based ASUS A7V880 motherboard in our lab

We are currently testing Apollo KT880-based ASUS A7V880 dual-channel motherboard designed for AMD Athlon XP processors.

The novelty features int. DDR400 memory controller (VIA DualStream64). Other KT880 features are compared to those of KT600 in the table below:

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

NEC samples MPEG2 coders capable of video capture

NEC Electronics started sampling two new MPEG2 coder capable of video capture. Besides the MPEG2 coder, the new highly-integrated chips, PD61153 and PD61154, feature 3D Y/C divider, PCI interface with 4-channel DMA PD61154 support, and support Dolby Digital.

Both chips are encased into 272-pin PBGA package (21x21mm). The volume production is scheduled to August 2004. By April 2005 the company is going to ship up to 300,000 coders monthly.

PD61153/4 features:

  • MPEG video
    • Realtime encoding (I, B, P frames)
    • MPEG2 (MP@ML, SP@ML) and MPEG1 support (525/60 (NTSC) at 720x480 @ 30 fps, 625/50 (PAL) at 720x576 @ 25 fps)
    • 15Mbps VBR/CBR
    • Programmable GOP length
    • 4:2:2 to 4:2:0 conversion
    • 4:2:0 TBC
    • Noise reduction
    • Scene adjust
    • Adaptive quantization
    • DVD-VR, DVD-video, MPEG2-PS, MPEG2-TS support
    • VBI detection
  • Audio
    • Dolby Digital (AC-3), 2 x channels (PD61154 only)
    • MPEG-1 Layer II
    • 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz sampling rate
    • Up to 448Kbps bitrates
  • Video decoding
    • 3D Y/C NTSC-M dividing
    • NTSC, PAL, SECAM decoding
    • Dual-channel 10-bit ADC supporting composite, component signals, Y/C dividing
    • 2 x selectable composite/Y inputs
    • 8-bit ITU-R BT.656 digital output support
  • Interfaces
    • ITU-R BT-656 and BT-601 (2 max.) external video input
    • Max. 4 x I2S audio inputs
    • ITU-R BT-656 and BT-601 4:2:2 TBC video output
    • I2S audio output
    • MPEG I/O
    • PCI DMA master
    • 128/256Mbit DDR-SDRAM
    • Host interface supporting 32-bit PCI (33MHz), 8/16-bit parallel, 4-bit serial (13-pin) interface
    • Voltage (1.5V internal, 2.5V SDRAM, 3.3V I/O)

Technics SL-DZ1200: digital DJ "itchy-scratchy" from Matsushita

In June Japanese Matsushita plans to launch shipments of this compulsory attribute of modern parties — turntables in its digital incarnation, Technics SL-DZ1200.

By appearance the novelty is identical to popular "analog" Technics SL-1200, released since 1972 and sold in over 3 million quantity. Now its design was used in this "DJ" hardware. The device works with CD Audio sources on CDs as well as MP3/MPEG-2-AAC on SD cards.

The "Catch & Play" feature allows playing and mixing several sources alongside changing their parameters on-the-fly. E.g. playback tempo can vary within 8%, 16%, 33% ranges for CDs, within 8% or 16% ranges for SD media and within 50% range at smooth adjust. The novelty doesn´t introduce anything new for DJs actually, and is more interesting from the angle of design.

Some other console features include: 32-192Kbps MP3/AAC support, 18W power consumption, 320x111x330mm, 5.8kg weight.

Leadtek unveils WinFast A400 Ultra TDH MyVIVO on GeForce 6800 Ultra

So started the wave of new graphics card releases on GeForce 6800 GPUs. Leadtek Research unveiled its WinFast A400 Ultra TDH MyVIVO on NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra.

WinFast A400 Ultra TDH MyVIVO AGP 8X has 256MB of 256-bit GDDR3, supports CineFX 3.0, Intellisample 3.0, Forceware USE, Digital Vibrance ControlTM 3.0, UltraShadow II, VIVO. The card features proprietary Air Surround Fan cooling with up to 30dBA noise.

WinFast A400 Ultra TDH MyVIVO is bundled with WinFast PVR, WinFastDVD, ColoReal Embedded, ColoReal Visual, ColoReal Bright, CYCORE CULT 3D; Ulead VideosStudio 7 SE DVD, DVD MovieFactory 2 SE, Cool 3D 3.0 SE, WinFox II.

OCZ Technology announces CL2.5 PC-4400 Limited Edition Gold EL DDR550 modules

Californian OCZ Technology introduced tis new CL2.5 PC-4400 Limited Edition Gold EL DDR Unbuffered modules also available in 512MB (PN-OCZ550512ELDCGE-K) and 1GB (PN-OCZ5501024ELDCGE-K) kits for dual-channel kits.

PC-4400 Gold base on specially selected DDR550 modules and feature the following:

  • CL 2.5-4-4-8 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
  • 512MB and 256MB capacities, 512MB (2x256MB) and 1GB (2x512MB)
  • 2.85V voltage
  • Gilded coppper heatsinks
  • Lifetime warranty
  • OCZ EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) for safe overclocking VDIMM modes at 3.0V5% without voiding OCZ Lifetime Warranty

Intel announces financial results for Q1 2004

Intel announced its financial results for the Q1 that ended on March 30. According to them, Intel earned $8.1 billion that is 7% less than it did in the previous quarter and 20% more than a year ago. The net profit made $1.7 billion that is 20% less than that of the previous quarter and 89% more than that of Q1 2003. According to provisional calculations, benefit per stock is $0.26. The results include $162 millions spent for legal costs related to patent trials.

According to Intel´s forecasts, this quarter the company should earn about $7.6-8.2 billion, while independent experts foresee $7.9-8.4 billion range.

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