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Toshiba Announces New SD Memory Cards

Sapphire Announces Radeon X1600Pro HDMI Card

Matsushita Electric Develops World's First Gallium Nitride Vertical Transistor

Corsair Introduces New DDR2-800 Low Latency Offerings

Intel's Cellular Phone Effort A Huge Failure

Plextor Launches Its First Blu-ray Drive

Toshiba Announces New SD Memory Cards

Toshiba today announced new SD Memory Cards that will extend both the ultra-small and the ultra high-capacity segments of its product line-up. The company will launch new microSD Memory Cards in July and August, and follow up in September with the introduction of SDHC Memory Cards. All the new memory cards will be available in the global market.

The microSD Memory Card is the world's smallest memory card, just a quarter of the size of the miniSD card. It nonetheless provides the high capacities needed to support the must-have high-resolution cameras and digital music players that are increasingly integrated into mobile phones, while also supporting continued product miniaturization. The microSD Memory Card fully complies with the SD Memory Card standard, and can be slipped into an adapter for use in products with slots for standard SD cards. Toshiba will meet growing demand for memory cards in this small format with 256 MB, 512MB and 1GB capacity microSD Memory Cards.

The SDHC Memory Card brings SD card to new level of performance in terms of capacity. SDHC meets the new SD Memory Card Ver2.00 for cards with a capacity of over 2GB, and will boost memory capacity to 32GB in the near future. It also complies with Class 4 of SD Speed Class, a newly defined standard for data processing speed, and it supports maximum write speed of 6MB per second. As a result, SDHC Memory Cards are optimized for high capacity and for such application as digital video and continuous shooting mode for high-end digital still cameras. Toshiba will bring a 4GB SDHC Memory Card to the world market.

Source: Toshiba

Sapphire Announces Radeon X1600Pro HDMI Card

Sapphire Technology announced availability of its first HDMI graphics solution. The Sapphire Radeon X1600Pro HDMI card is now shipping and delivers both audio and video to HDMI compliant displays and televisions.

The X1600 series supports Shader Model 3.0 and Avivo technologies. The new HDMI version is a low profile PCI Express card which supports HDCP. The card ships with both standard and low-profile mounting brackets for use in standard or media center PC enclosures and allows either an external SPDIF or internal cable to be connected so that the audio signal is delivered over the HDMI cable. A standard VGA connector and DVI dongle also allow the connection of PC displays.

The Sapphire RADEON X1600Pro GPU features 12 pixel pipelines. Equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, this model features clock speeds of 500MHz (core) and 800MHz (memory). Crossfire ready, the X1600Pro HDMI card can be used together with any other X1600 series card in multi-GPU systems.

Retail versions of these new Sapphire graphics accelerators will ship with multimedia software including PowerDVD and Sapphire Select.

Source: Sapphire Technology

Matsushita Electric Develops World's First Gallium Nitride Vertical Transistor

Panasonic, the brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is generally known, announced the development of a Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistor with vertical structure which dramatically reduces the chip size comparing with the conventional planar structure. This is the world's first demonstration of GaN vertical transistor applicable to high power switching devices.

The GaN vertical transistor features a submicron channel fabricated using novel self-aligned process. This device configuration effectively reduces the device area down to one-eighth of the conventional planar device. The submicron channel with the width of 0.3 µm serves good pinch-off characteristics that are strongly required for power switching devices. Another feature of the vertical transistor is low on-state resistance by the reduction of contact resistance at the top electrode. Panasonic's proprietary epitaxial growth technology of InAlGaN quaternary alloy enables low contact resistance by using it as a contact layer. The InAlGaN effectively reduces the barrier height from the electrode resulting in one-third lower contact resistance than the conventional one.

In addition, the GaN vertical transistor successfully suppresses current collapse that has been commonly observed in GaN-based transistors. The current collapse is the phenomena in which drain current is reduced at high voltage operation mainly by the charges trapped at the surface. The vertical transistor has smaller surface area so that the effect of the surface trap is fully suppressed.

Applications for seventeen domestic and ten international patents have been filed. These research and development results have been presented at Device Research Conference 2006, held at Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, U.S. from June 26 to 28, 2006.

Source: Panasonic

Corsair Introduces New DDR2-800 Low Latency Offerings

Corsair Memory announced the introduction of two new DDR2-800 low latency 2GB kits. The new TWIN2X2048-6400C4PRO and TWIN2XP2048-6400C4 memory kits are optimized for the current AMD socket AM2 platform and the upcoming Intel platform.

Joining the growing XMS DDR2 product line, Corsair’s TWIN2X2048-6400C4PRO and TWIN2XP2048-6400C4 are aimed at gamers and enthusiasts who demand low latencies of 4-4-4-12 at standard 800MHz frequency. The TWIN2X2048-6400C4PRO features activity LEDs that show the level of memory usage, while the TWIN2XP2048-6400C4 features a proprietary integrated micro-controller with embedded sensors to measure voltage, temperature and frequency on the memory module. Each of these parameters, along with a user-programmable scrolling marquee, can be shown on a big alpha-numeric display that is a part of the memory module. Both the PRO and the XPERT kits are available in Corsair’s signature platinum heat spreaders.

Similar to other new XMS DDR2 products from Corsair, the TWIN2X2048-6400C4PRO and the TWIN2XP2048-6400C4 feature Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP).

The TWIN2X2048-6400C4PRO and TWIN2XP2048-6400C4 are available immediately in matched pairs of 2GB kits through Corsair’s authorized distributors, resellers, retailers and e-tailers worldwide.

Source: Corsair Memory

Intel's Cellular Phone Effort A Huge Failure

Intel on Tuesday finally owned up to one of the most colossal failures in that industry's history when it unloaded its communications and applications processor business to Marvell for $600 million.

It's not surprising that Intel tried to slip that announcement in under the cover of its much splashier Woodcrest server processor extravaganza on Monday. There undoubtedly was a lot of anguish in Santa Clara when Intel finally bit the bullet and dropped its long battle to gain a position as a provider of processors for cellphones.

Intel plowed multi-billions of dollars of investment into the market with a covetous eye towards what is one of the largest volume markets available to processor manufacturers. Research firm Forward Concepts estimates that 830 million cellphones shipped in 2005, and that within two years, more than 1 billion cellphones will ship per year.

One billion units is a lot of processors, and Intel wanted its fair share. During the course of the past decade Intel invested between $3 billion and $5 billion in the assets it sold to Marvell, says Will Strauss, an analyst for Forward Concepts. Intel spent nearly $2 billion on a single acquisition to bolster those communications chip efforts. It was a major rat hole of unparalleled magnitude.

Intel in the late '90s saw Texas Instruments providing processors to more than half of the cellphone market and believed there was no reason it couldn?t squeeze its way into the fray. Although many warned that it was a business that had few similarities to the PC processor market, Intel rushed forward with at least full financial commitment. It exits now with little to show but a bruised ego.

The applications processor market for cellphones totaled $839 million last year, and TI controlled 69% of the market, followed by Qualcomm at 17%. Intel for all its investment and effort had total revenue of $57 million to give it a 7% market share. In the baseband processor market for cellphones, which totals $6.5 billion, the story was even worse. Last year Intel managed less than 1% market share, Strauss says.

Strauss believes Intel may have failed from a lack of total commitment to the cellphone processor market. Intel was built on PC and server processors, and that's where the largest amount of its efforts remained. On numerous occasions over the past few years there were suggestions that Intel would spin-off the communications chip business into a stand-alone business where its fortune might have been different, but those rumors never materialized.

Intel's dalliance with the cellphone market may have been just distracting enough to knock it off its stride in its core business. Is it a happenstance that Intel's fixation with the cellphone market the past few years coincided with a loss of focus on its core processor market which left a opening for Advanced Micro Devices?

Of course there is no other company with the possible exception of Microsoft that could afford to make the kind of unsuccessful gamble that Intel made on the cellphone market. Despite missing the target in the cellphone market, Intel remains strong and profitable. Although it may be true that if nothing is ventured, nothing is gained, you have to think that Intel continues to question itself internally over the magnitude of this miscalculation.

Source: EETimes

Plextor Launches Its First Blu-ray Drive

Plextor announced its first drive to use Blu-ray technology – the PX-B900A . The internal (ATAPI) re-writer drive is capable of writing and re-writing Blu-ray discs at 2x (BD-R and BD-RE) up to a maximum capacity of 25GB for single layer and 50GB for dual-layer.

The PX-B900A not only uses the latest Blu-ray technology, but is also a highly versatile dual-layer DVD drive that combines multiple formats – DVD+/-R/RW and RAM - into one. It can accept both 12cm and 8cm discs (in the horizontal position) and has a large 8MB buffer to ensure there is no data interruption. Write speeds: 2x BD-R/BD-RE, 8x DVD+R/-R/+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 4x DVD+R/-R DL, 5x DVD-RAM, 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW.

The Plextor PX-B900A has been developed to strict environmental and recycling standards – to meet EU RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directives.

The Plextor PX-B900A will be available from September/October 2006 at Plextor’s network of dealers.

Source: Plextor

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