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IDF Fall, day 1: Montecito

Soltek Qbic EQ3801-300: a barebone with 300W PSU

IDF Fall in San Francisco, day 1

New exhibits for our Hardware Museum: Matrox PG-1281 graphics card



IDF Fall, day 1: Montecito

As we´ve already mentioned, the IDF Fall opening speech was focused on two trends: transition from MHz to parallelism and wireless networking intensification. This is how the first trend looks on the example of Montecito:


This processor has 1.72 billion transistors, 26.5 MB L3 cache. Each of two cores owns about 12 MB of cache, while the remaining 2.5 MB is dedicated for buffer needs. To improve parallelism efficiency Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) Montecito has two new instructions, and a part of L2 is dedicated to instructions.


Besides ILP, the performance is optimized by thread switching using thread-level parallelism (TLP) to reduce fetch latencies.


Montecito developers are also focused on energy consumption. Max. dissipated heat is 100W, but CPU is able to increase voltage and clock (self-overclocking) or, vice versa, declock down to 70W.

Finally, another interesting technology SilverVale. It enables several OS to work simultaneously.

Soltek Qbic EQ3801-300: a barebone with 300W PSU

Having considered growing power requirements of system components and peripherals, Soltek announced new barebones: Qbic EQ3801-300 and EQ3401-300P with 300W PSUs.


Qbic EQ3801-300 bases on NVIDIA nForce3-250Gb chipset, supports AMD Socket 754 processors, has Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE1394, SATA RAID, USB2.0 controllers, 8-channel audio. EQ3401-300P has similar features, but is designed for Intel Pentium 4.

EQ3401-300P
  • 215x330x200 mm size
  • Front panel: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Mic-In, 1 x Line-Out, 1 x IEEE1394, 1 x S/PDIF
  • Back panel: 1 x VGA, 1 x Serial, 1 x Parallel, 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 Mouse, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN, 1 x Line-In, 1 x Front-Out, 1 x Side Surround-Out, 1 x Center-Sub Woofer-Out, 1 x Rear Surround-Out, 1 x IEEE1394
  • 300W PSU
  • 2 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" bays
  • SL-B8E-FGR motherboard:
    • 180x270 mm
    • Intel P4 (Socket 478) CPU
    • Intel 865G+ICH5R chipset
    • 2 x 184-pin DDR DIMM, up to 2 GB unregistered non-ECC DDR 400/333/266, dual-channel
    • 1 x AGP 8X/4X, 1 x PCI slots
    • 8-channel C-Media codec
    • Gigabit Ethernet
EQ 3801-300
  • 215x330x200mm size
  • Front panel: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Mic-In, 1 x Line-Out, 1 x IEEE1394, 1 x S/PDIF
  • Back panel: 1 x VGA, 2 x Serial, 1 x Parallel, 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 Mouse, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN, 1 x Line-In, 1 x Front-Out, 1 x Side Surround-Out, 1 x Center-Sub Woofer-Out, 1 x Rear Surround-Out, 1 x IEEE1394
  • 300W PSU
  • 2 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" bays
  • SL-B9A-FGR motherboard:
    • 180x270mm size
    • AMD Athlon64 (Socket 754) CPU
    • NVIDIA nFORCE 3 250Gb chipset
    • 2 x 184-pin DDR DIMM, up to 2GB unregistered non-ECC DDR 400/333/266, dual-channel
    • 1 x AGP 8X/4X, 1 x PCI slots
    • 8-channel C-Media codec
    • Gigabit Ethernet

IDF Fall in San Francisco, day 1

Yesterday in San Francisco Intel launched the Intel Developer Forum (IDF). In his opening speech company´s CEO Paul S. Otellini stressed two matters.


First, he specified sales date of the first WiMax chips — Rosedale — made using SoC (system-on-a-chip) technology and meeting IEEE 802.16-2004 requirements also known as IEEE 802.16REVd. These chips will go on sale early in 2005, while samples are already available. Rosedale features 802.16-2004 and Ethernet 10/100 Mbps MAC controllers and OFDM PHY.


Second, he stated the new approach to processor development — "moving beyond MHz to parallelism". According to the accompanying press release, besides performance, much attention will be paid to multitasking, reliability, security and manageability as well as wireless interface integration.

He underlined that now Intel focuses on multi-core (dual-core to be exact) processors, so we might hear of these more during IDF. For example, something is already known about Montecito that will have 1.7 billion transistors and 24 MB cache (L3?).

Stay tuned.

New exhibits for our Hardware Museum: Matrox PG-1281 graphics card

Maxim Polyansky from Saint-Petersburg sent us a real rarity — Matrox PG-1281 graphics card:






Made in 1987 (!), this full-size ISA EGA card has 1.5 MB memory (uber capacity for that time), of which 1MB is located on PCB, while 512 KB is located on a daughterboard.

The product was initially designed for professional CAD projects and was optimized for Unix.

Maxim told us that the card was working in an Olivetti machine, from which it was taken out.

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