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Asustek To Use C-Media Audio Solutions On Motherboards From 2007

Nvidia's Three-GPU Mobo Spied On Web

DirectX 9.L Will Be A DirectX 10 For Windows XP

Online Marketplace Pays Bloggers To Endorse Advertisers' Products

Asustek To Reorganize In Preparation For Spinoff

Life After E3

Asustek To Use C-Media Audio Solutions On Motherboards From 2007

C-Media Electronics and Asustek Computer will extend their partnership with the adoption of C-Media's Dolby/Digital Theater System (DTS) audio IC solutions on Asustek's motherboards from 2007, according to C-Media.

C-Media anticipates that both parties will see benefits from the growing demand for high-end audio solutions in digital home applications.

The audio IC solutions from C-Media will be available only to Asus-brand motherboards and the IC design house will not offer it to other system makers, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report, which cited the company.

In addition to the substantial sales that digital home sector may bring, C-Media anticipates that its market share in the high-end audio IC market will hit 10%, up from the current 1-3%, according to the company as cited in the EDN report.

In related news, Kuro, C-Media's subsidiary specializing in peer-to-peer (P2P) online music sharing, has drawn key players to discuss potential partnership with C-Media.

Source: DigiTimes

Nvidia's Three-GPU Mobo Spied On Web

Nvidia's nForce 680i SLI chipset for Intel processors has leaked out online, with a piccy of the part surfacing on a variety of websites. The chipset is expected to target the chip giant's upcoming quad-core processors, the 'Kentsfield' Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Quad.

Little is known about the board's feature-set, but the picture - as seen on Japanese-language site PCWatch, for example - suggests it's capable of taking three PCI-Express x16 cards.

That implies it's Nvidia's physics processing-oriented board: two of the PCIe slots are for SLI-connected graphics cards for visual rendering, while the third takes another graphics card that's dedicated to handling physical interactions between on-screen objects.

The reference board's pic shows a Firewire 400 port, six USB ports, a pair of Ethernet connecors - presumably Gigabit-ready - two PS/2 ports, two PCI connectors and two PCIe x1 slots. The chipset's the bit in the middle under the heatpipe connected heatsink. There are four DIMM slots.

The PCWatch suggests the 680i may be launched later today.

Source: RegHardware

DirectX 9.L Will Be A DirectX 10 For Windows XP

DirectX 9.0 L is simply a renamed and refurbished DirectX 10 for Windows XP. It will make DirectX 10 games to work on Windows XP.

And games such as the upcoming Crysis won't work on the existing DirectX 9.0 c. they need a DirectX 9.0 L

One of the biggest issues is the fact that Nvidia or ATI won't have any mainstream or entry-level cards until at least mid- to end of Q1 2007. This suggests that if Vista tips up around the beginning of the year, gamers will be turned off by it.

Electronic Arts, the publisher of Crysis, wants to sell hundreds or thousands, even millions of copies and we doubt that Nvidia can produce and sell that many Geforce 8800 GTX and GTS cards.

It will be interesting to see whether the Windows XP Crysis will be different from the Vista ones.

Source: The Inquirer

Online Marketplace Pays Bloggers To Endorse Advertisers' Products

PayPerPost recently landed $3 million in funding for a business model built for the Internet age: paying bloggers to endorse products.

PayPerPost runs a marketplace where advertisers can find bloggers, video bloggers, online photographers, and podcasters willing to endorse their products. "We're a marketplace that connects advertisers together with what we call 'consumer content generators,'" says Ted Murphy, CEO and founder.

How it works: A company with a product or service to advertise registers with PayPerPost and describes what it's looking for. A sneaker company, for example, might post a request for people willing to write a 50-word blog entry about their sneakers or upload a video of themselves playing basketball in the sneakers. The company also says what it's willing to pay.

Bloggers and other content creators sign up with PayPerPost and shop for opportunities they like. They create the blog post (or whatever content is requested), and inform PayPerPost, which checks to see that the content matches what the advertiser asked for and arranges payment.

PayPerPost has stirred up criticism on blogs. The main sticking point: It doesn't require the bloggers to disclose that they're being paid for the endorsements. "We're simply the marketplace," Murphy says. "It's up to each individual blogger to determine what they want to disclose."

In a post to the comments section of the blog TechCrunch, Drew Olanoff says PayPerPost "is absolutely horrific. ... This absolutely cheapens the medium and the power of the Internet."

The approach isn't unique, says Murphy, noting that it's not unusual for radio and magazine advertisers to get editorial coverage.

Source: InformationWeek

Asustek To Reorganize In Preparation For Spinoff

Motherboard giant Asustek Computer, aiming for product diversification in the 3C (computer, communications, consumer electronics) market, will reorganize in preparation for spinning off its branded and manufacturing businesses, according to sources. The company aims to spin off its own-brand and contract manufacturing divisions in 2008.

Market analysts predict that Asustek's own-brand notebook shipments will climb to 2.8-3 million units worldwide in 2006 and may record on-year shipment growth of 80% to rank among the world's top-10 notebook brands. In 2005, Asustek shipped about 1.6 million own-brand notebooks.

Under Asustek's reorganization, the notebook product manager (NB PM) system will be taken over by company vice chairman TH Tung in an attempt to consolidate Asustek's global sales business and branded marketing branch, the sources indicated. The PM team is considered the soul of Asustek's notebook business and will play an important role in backing the company's goal to eventually rank among the world's top-five notebook brands, the sources said. The focus of the NB PM system is to be fundamentally familiar with current market needs and trends and develop design and manufacturing capabilities for new products, the sources added.

The sources noted that the company has set a goal of becoming the seventh or eighth ranked notebook brand in the world in 2007. Statistics compiled by IDC and Gartner Dataquest show that Asustek's on-year growth in unit shipments led the global top-10 notebook brands in the first half of 2006. Despite weaker demand in the worldwide notebook market in the first half of 2006, the company's full-year own-brand shipment goal of three million units should be fulfilled, the sources expect.

According to an October 5 analysis by Merrill Lynch, Asustek will ship 2.5 million branded notebooks in 2006, and the shipments will climb to the 3.5 million mark in 2007.

Source: DigiTimes

Life After E3

Anyone who thought the video game industry would come crashing down because of the demise of E3 as a giant trade show should think again.

For one thing, E3 lives on, though in a smaller, more intimate setting. On Friday, the Entertainment Software Association revealed its first public plans for the reborn E3.

Instead of 60,000 people jammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center each May, the ESA said it will now hold an invite-only event July 11-13 in nearby Santa Monica, Calif.

The three-day event will still allow major video game companies like Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Activision to hold big press events, but it will also enable more intimate meetings in a quieter, less frenzied atmosphere.

The news was the first specific information offered by the ESA since it announced in July that it was planning a major downsizing of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the most famous of the many video game conferences.

And as E3 moves forward with its weight-loss regimen, leaders of several other well-known video game confabs are already looking at ways to fill the huge hole it's leaving behind. They don't sound particularly worried about the alternatives.

"Given the demand we experienced on the (July) news about E3, (we're expanding)," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the annual Game Developers Conference. "In terms of what we can provide to... companies that are wondering what they're going to be able to do with the new landscape, GDC has provided for several years an avenue for people to present games."

Moledina was one of several executives who spoke Thursday on a panel called "Life after E3" at the fourth annual PR for Games conference here.

On Monday afternoon, meanwhile, the Consumer Electronics Association is expected to announce a "major" new video game conference that will be separate from the annual Consumer Electronics Show. CEA is planning a press conference in San Francisco to unveil its plans.

But many in the industry have been questioning what, if anything, would or could replace E3. Some may find such questions unnecessary, given the ongoing presence on the industry's calendar of huge shows like the Tokyo Game Show, the Leipzig Games Conference, China Joy and others. But there has nevertheless been a fair amount of hand-wringing as people have tried to figure out how to replace E3's platform for publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision, Take-Two and others to show off their forthcoming wares.

But to listen to game conference executives, there isn't that much to worry about. It will be up to shows like GDC, the Austin Game Conference (AGC), Leipzig and many other smaller events to provide the industry with enough opportunities to showcase their games that the E3 of old can become an afterthought.

Source: CNET News

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