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Elpida ships first FB-DIMM samples

Dual-TV cards: exotics or trend?

Elpida ships first FB-DIMM samples

Elpida Memory, Japanese system memory vendor, shipped the first samples of Fully-Buffered Dual in-line Memory Moduless (FB-DIMM) designed for new-generation servers. As you know, JEDEC already has specs for such modules, which offer performance higher than that of existing registered DIMM modules: up to 6.4 GB/s bus bandwidth vs. 3.2 GB/s of existing server memory chips.

FB-DIMM is packaged into standard DDR2 SDRAM chips that also have all signals — clock, address, command and data — to and from the DRAM on the module buffered at Advanced Memory Buffer (AMB) chip located on the DIMM. Besides, FB-DIMM bus supports Point-to-Point connection of memory controller and module. Same is used to connect entire modules. This reduces path length and thus increases bus performance. It also increases the amount of modules per bus (up to eight 2-rank) at almost the same signal quality.

The Japanese vendor is going to offer 2 GB, 1 GB and 512 MB FB-DIMM solutions. The production is planned to H2 2005.

Dual-TV cards: exotics or trend?

Japanese NOVAC updated its series of internal TV tuners with such an interesting "Dual-TV" solution — NV-TV300D. This time "duality syndrom" touched even conservative TV tuners.

On the board that is slightly larger than usual (160 mm) there are two LG Innotek TALN-H202T modules supported by dedicated Philips´ 9-bit SAA7133HL ADC. PCI interaction is provided by PLX Technology PCI 6140 bridge. The device doesn´t support A2 and NICAM and is designed for BTSC, SAP and EIAJ, while selectors support only NTSC signals.

Summing up all of the above, what does the customer get? A possibility to work with two video streams simultaneously without additional contrivances. This finally provides natural PIP (picture-in-picture) and its derivatives, so now you doesn´t have to watch the same show you are recording. The board features two S-Video (RCA adapters bundled), but the manufacturer warns about the impossibility to record from two sources at once.

In Japan NOVAC Dual-TV sales will start on December 25 for about $120.

By the way, in European online stores they offer a higher-end WinTV-PVR-500MCE TV tuner from Hauppauge:

It´s interesting that radio units are now situated across the board. Besides the TV antenna input, the device also has a jack for FM antenna. But unlike NOVAC´s novelty, this "combine" supports simultaneous MPEG1/2 encoding from two sources! This feature is provided by a couple of Conexant CX23416-12 chips and a couple of buffers (Samsung memory chips). ADCs are two chips from Conexant, which are coupled with the same PCI 6140 bridge. As for audio, WinTV-PVR-500MCE has a couple of RCA connectors instead of a mini-jack.

According to the name, the tuner is designed for Windows XP Media Center Edition that supports up to 3 TV tuners per system, so this dual solution should not be a problem.

Another nice thing is that Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE can feature both NTSC and PAL modules (multistandard PAL I, PAL B/G, Secam), so we can use it in Russia as well.

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