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On The Vast Amount Of X800 Products

Freescale Introduces New Hot Swap Controllers

3D Graphics Vendors Look Forward To 4Q

On The Vast Amount Of X800 Products

As you know, ATI has recently extended its X800 series with X800 GTO. Considering there are two variants, with 256MB @ 490MHz and 128MB @ 350MHz, the total number of X800 products makes nine. On the one hand, X800 GTO looks slightly more powerful than GT due to 12 pipelines instead of 8. On the other hand, the memory is identical and X800 GT's core clock is 75MHz higher.

Compiling the primary specs of X800 series, we get the following table:

  Pipelines Core clock, MHz Memory clock, MHz
X800 XT PE 16 520 560
X800 XT 16 500 500
X800 XL 16 400 500
X800 Pro 12 475 450
X800 GTO 12 400 490
X800 GT 8 475 490
X800 12 400 350
X800 SE 8 425 400

From the angle of real performance being a function of price, X800 GTO 256MB is located between X800 XL 256MB that costs about €300 and X800 GT 256MB (€180). So why did they release yet another modification of X800? The real (though unspoken) reason is, perhaps, that ATI is trying to sell previous-generation GPUs as fast as possible before Radeon X1600 and X1800 arrive.

Is there anything good for customers? There is. And it's better than it might seem at the first glance. As you know, GTO will be based on different GPUs. So, if you obtain such a card on R480 GPU that doesn't have pipelines blocked by hardware means, you will be able to turn it into a 16-pipeline product (by updating BIOS, or running a special utility). Add the fast memory (e.g. 1.6ms like in Sapphire RADEON X800GTO Fireblade) and you will get a nice purchase. Pity, but it's impossible to predict the success of these actions regarding each certain card, since identically looking cards will be based on R480, R430 and R423 GPUs. Besides, not all R480 chips allow unlocking pipelines by software means. Moreover, the time during which you will be able to unlock pipelines is also limited - most likely, GTO production will be cancelled late this or early next year. According to some information we have, the unlocking is unambiguously possible on Sapphire GTO² cards.

Source: HardWare.fr, HKEPC, VR-Zone, Sapphire, iXBT

Freescale Introduces New Hot Swap Controllers

Two advanced power management integrated circuits (ICs) from Freescale Semiconductor are available now to help designers of telecommunication and networking equipment reduce board space and cut system costs.

Freescale's MC34652 and MC34653 single-chip hot swap controllers provide the load current control and protection needed to help prevent severe and permanent damage that could result from power surges. This is important for users of telecom and networking systems, servers, electronic circuit breakers and central office switching equipment who need the ability to insert or remove circuit boards in live -48 volt back planes without powering down the system. These devices also are designed to provide system protection by intelligently limiting any inrush current that might damage equipment.

The MC34652 and MC34653 hot swap controllers integrate the power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFET) required by most applications.

Other features include:

  • Maximum output current of 2.0 Amps on the MC34652, 1.0 Amp on the MC34653
  • Input voltage operation range from -15 volts to -80 volts on the MC34652, -39 volts to -74 volts on the MC34653
  • Over-current limiting with auto retry (default or programmable)
  • Charging current limit independent of load capacitor (default or programmable)
  • Start-up and retry delay timer (programmable option on the MC34652)
  • Over-voltage and under-voltage detection (programmable option on the MC34652)
  • Active high- and low-power good output signals
  • Disable input control
  • Thermal shutdown
  • RoHS-compliant

Production quantities of both devices are available now. The MC34652 is in a 16-lead small outline integrated circuit (SOIC) narrow body package for a suggested resale price of $2.15 (USD) in 1,000-piece quantities. Housed in an eight-lead SOIC narrow body package, the MC34653 has a suggested resale price of $1.82 (USD) in 1,000-piece quantities.

3D Graphics Vendors Look Forward To 4Q

Demand for high-end graphics cards will peak in the fourth quarter of this year, driven by the introduction of high-end graphics processor units (GPUs) from Nvidia and ATI Technologies, according to Taiwan graphics card makers. This rise in demand for the high-end segment is expected to drive up graphics card ASPs (average selling prices), the makers believe.

Nvidia launched its flagship G70 GPU, the GeForce 7800 GTX series, in June. ATI is expected to begin volume shipments of its R520 flagship GPU by October. In addition, the makers indicated that an integrated chipset shortage from Intel should also encourage the market to adopt high-end graphics card products.

Pure graphics card players Leadtek Research and Tul suffered sliding product ASPs and losses in the first half of this year, due to higher inventory levels in the second quarter. Ted Chen, CEO of Tul, anticipates that high-end product lines will drive shipments for the fourth quarter of this year.

Tul experienced a pre-tax loss of NT$158 million (US$4.8 million) in the first half of this year, whereas Leadtek had a loss of NT$215 million (US$6.5 million). The two Foxconn-affiliated graphics-card makers had profits during the same period last year, with pre-tax profits of NT$30 million (US$0.91 million) for Tul and NT$46 million (US$1.4 million) in profits for Leadtek.

Drew Henry, General Manager of Nvidia’s Platform Products Division, stated that high-end GPUs will see significant adoption on rising demand for new-generation audio/video 3D applications and the upcoming launch of Viiv PCs based on the Microsoft Window Media Center OS for digital home applications.

According to ATI, the Aero Glass interface of Microsoft’s upcoming Vista OS will encourage users to buy higher-end graphics cards.

Micro-Star International (MSI), whose motherboard and graphics-card division contributes 70% to its current sales, predicts ASPs for its graphics card line will go up on increasing shipments of the high-end segment later this year.

Source: DigiTimes

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