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VT6655 — VIA´s WLAN controller

IWILL ZMAX — SFF workstation with 2 AMD Opterons

i.mega HDC-401 — 4 Mpix Hitachi´s entry-level DSC

IMEC stuffed 9 bits in a memory cell

VT6655 — VIA´s WLAN controller

VIA Networking Technologies, a developer of network solutions, today announced the VIA Networking VT6655 WLAN Controller, a single chip solution featuring an IEEE 802.11g media access controller (MAC) and integrated baseband processor. Enabling data rates between wireless devices of up to 54Mbps, WLAN modules based on the VIA Networking VT6655 can deliver the bandwidth necessary for real-time streaming of high-definition digital multimedia content in home networks, and provide high-speed email, web and LAN access to multiple mobile users in corporate environments or public hotspots.

Designed with flexibility in mind, the VIA Networking VT6655 is compatible with a choice of PCI 2.2, Mini-PCI or Cardbus interfaces, and offers seamless compatibility with the leading RF chips currently available, ensuring WLAN module makers benefit from a wider choice of RF vendors and potentially lower development costs. Backwards compatible with the 802.11b standard, VIA Networking VT6655 based devices enable smooth migration for all 802.11b-based networks, without the need to sacrifice existing WLAN infrastructure.

In addition to providing high-speed wireless communication between devices, the VIA Networking VT6655 ensures optimum data security through the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) specification. The forthcoming WPA 2.0 specification is also supported, which will be enabled through a downloadable software update. The VIA Networking VT6655 is Wi-Fi certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly WECA), the global organization that oversees the Wi-Fi interoperability certification program. In order to receive official Wi-Fi certification, all IEEE 802.11 products must undergo rigorous independent testing.

IWILL ZMAX — SFF workstation with 2 AMD Opterons

IWILL announced NVIDIA nForce3 Pro 250Gb — based ZMAXdp barebone that will be equipped with two AMD Opteron. Samples of the system will be available in July, volume production is planned in September, with a suggested price of $499.

As it is mentioned in official press release IWILL plans to get attention in workstation market. ZMAXdp will include proprietary form factor motherboard, 300W power supply, up to 2x3.5" HDD bay, and 1xAGP; PCI and SI can offer various configurations for workstation market demand. At Computex 2004 IWILL plans to unveil more than 50 products and solutions under 3 major categories, Workstation, HPC/ Server Appliance and Creative Form Factor Desktop. There is not so much technical data about the barebone.

According to the photos the SFF Workstation will have 2 USB and 2 FireWire ports on its front panel, and only IWILL knows what we can find on the back one.

i.mega HDC-401 — 4 Mpix Hitachi´s entry-level DSC

Japanese Hitachi announced its new ultracompact entry-level DSC, i.mega HDC-401 with 4 Mpix sensor, fixed-focus, fixed focal length, fixed aperture lens (but pricing still hasn´t been announced.

Here are some specifications of the toy:

  • Sensor 1/1,8" CCD (total pixels: 4.08 mln, effective — 4 mln.)
  • Lens composition 5 elements, 3 groups, one aspheric element
  • Focal length 7.7 mm(35 mm equiv. about 37 mm), F3,5
  • Zoom — digital, 2x
  • LCD 1,5" TFT, 60,000 pixels
  • Focusing range 110 cm~infinity, 55-110 cm in macro mode
  • Shutter 1/4~1/1000 s
  • Sensivity ISO 100/200, auto setup available
  • Interfaces USB 1.1, mini-B, video out (NTSC/PAL)
  • Power supply two alkaline batteries, NiMH rechargeable battery (option), AC adapter (option)
  • Image format JPEG (conforms to DCF 1.0, EXIF2.2)
  • Image resolutions 2304x1728, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
  • Video 320x240 pixels @ 24 fps, format MPEG1 (w/o sound)
  • Memory built-in 16 MB, SD card (32, 64, 128, 256, 512 MB)
  • Dimensions 96x30x51.5 mm
  • Weight 110 g (excluding battery)

IMEC stuffed 9 bits in a memory cell

As they report at Silicon Strategies, IMEC, the independent research organization that specializes in design and manufacturing processes for integrated circuits, has developed a prototype non-volatile memory cell, that can store 9-bits.The technique could potentially be used to achieve a four-fold increase in memory density compared with leading floating gate memories in deployment today for a given manufacturing process. Normally a single memory bit is stored in each memory cell of a flash memory although Saifun Semiconductor Ltd. (Netanya, Israel) has demonstrated the ability to store a single bit at each end of a flash memory floating gate. This type of flash memory is called ´MirrorBit´ by FASL LLC and ´Nbit´ by Macronix International Co. Ltd.

Well, actually Saifun is rather aggresive as announced a plan to extend the technique to 4-bits per memory cell by combining two storage sites with two voltage levels per memory cell. Anyway, IMEC engineers still rocks with a device they call a ´ScanROM´ that can store 9-bits per memory cell. Details of the device are to be presented in a paper due to be presented at the Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits to be held at Honolulu, Hawaii in June 15-17, 2004.

By now it is known that the ScanROM is based on a dual-gate transistor with oxide-nitride-oxide (ONO) charge-trapping dielectric underneath the drain-side gate. In a prcis of the paper published ahead of the symposia the authors stated that multple bits are stored along the width of the device. By contacting the gates from both sides and applying an appropriate bias difference to each, the individual bits are addressed for both reading and writing. "We experimentally demonstrate reading and writing of 9-bits in a prototype cell," the authors said in the prcis.

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