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Broadcom to Acquire Digital TV Business from AMD

Silicon Power Announces Ultima II I-Series USB Drives with ReadyBoost

WD Adds RE3 750GB and 1TB 3.5-inch SATA HDDs to Its Enterprise Product Lineup

Thermaltake Announces Toughpower QFan 750W/850W PSUs, Previews BigTyp14 Pro Cooler

Epson Develops USB Host Controller LSI with Dedicated USB Software

Dell Designs New Vostro Laptops and Desktops

Daily Mailbox

Broadcom to Acquire Digital TV Business from AMD

Broadcom Corporation and AMD today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Broadcom to acquire AMD's digital TV (DTV) business.

The acquisition of AMD's DTV business is expected to enable Broadcom to immediately scale its DTV business, and, in conjunction with its existing products, to offer a complete product line that covers all segments of the DTV market ranging from low-end value and mid-range quality to high-end interactive platforms and panel processors. The acquisition also is intended to expand Broadcom's existing tier one customer base, which includes the top DTV brands worldwide. This deal aims to enhance and strengthen Broadcom's innovative DTV system solution offerings while delivering the scale and focus needed to forge a market-leading DTV business.

In connection with the transaction, approximately 530 members of AMD's dedicated DTV team, in addition to certain employees directly supporting this team, located in six primary design centers around the world, will be invited to join Broadcom. AMD's DTV product line includes all Xilleon integrated DTV processors and complete turnkey reference designs, as well as NXT receiver ICs, the Theater 300 DTV processor, and a line of panel processors that perform advanced motion compensation, frame rate conversion and scaling.

"AMD is executing a strategic plan to transform the company, becoming leaner and more focused while seeking to create a business model to deliver sustainable profitability," said Dirk Meyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMD. "The sale of our DTV business is a key step in AMD's transformation, helping to strengthen our balance sheet, lower our breakeven point, and hone our focus in order to take full advantage of our position as a leader in both microprocessors and graphics technology. Broadcom will be a great fit for our talented DTV employees and the DTV products they have created."

In connection with the acquisition, Broadcom will pay approximately $192.8 million in cash in exchange for AMD's DTV assets. A portion of the consideration payable to AMD will be placed into escrow pursuant to the terms of the definitive asset purchase agreement. The board of directors of each company has approved the transaction and shareholder/stockholder approval of the transaction is not required by either company. The closing, which is targeted to occur during Broadcom's fourth quarter ending December 31, 2008, remains subject to customary closing conditions and review by relevant regulatory organizations. Broadcom may record a one-time charge for purchased in-process research and development expenses related to the acquisition in the quarter in which the transaction closes. The amount of that charge, if any, has not yet been determined.

Source: AMD

Silicon Power Announces Ultima II I-Series USB Drives with ReadyBoost

Silicon Power today released its new Ultima II I-Series USB flash drives with the ReadyBoost feature. Novelties come in "titanium blue" and black colors and 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities. The recommended retail price is 45 USD for a 16GB drive.

Like most other Silicon Power pen drives, Ultima II I-Series is supported by SmartKit software pack available at the company website.

Other features and specs:

  • RoHS-compliant
  • Bundled with SmartKit
  • Dimensions: 60.60mm x 17.45mm x 8.15mm
  • Weight: 10g
  • Durability: 10,000 insertion/removal cycles
  • USB 1.1 & 2.0 compatible
  • Works under Windows Vista, Win98/ME (drivers required), Win2000, WinXP, Mac OS 9.0 & higher, Linux 2.4.0
  • Operating temperature: 0C ~ 70C
  • Storage temperature: -40C ~ 85C
  • Lifetime warranty

Source: Silicon Power

WD Adds RE3 750GB and 1TB 3.5-inch SATA HDDs to Its Enterprise Product Lineup

WD added 750 GB and 1 TB WD RE3 SATA hard drives to its family of WD RE hard drives.

Intended for server and storage application environments, WD's RE3 750 GB and 1 TB high-capacity enterprise SATA hard drives combine 32 MB cache, enhanced vibration and shock tolerance, and deploy new electronics to increase performance by approximately 20% and by as much as 60% in high-vibration environments. WD RE3 enterprise hard drives also include improved reliability features that help protect the drive and the data stored on it, and run cooler and quieter than previous generation enterprise drives.

WD RE3 drives feature 1.2 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF), native command queuing (NCQ), time limited error recovery (TLER), and an extensive and enhanced testing process to ensure long-term reliability for demanding enterprise applications.

WD RE3 features:

  • StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations.
  • Dual processor - Twice the processing power that results in a 20 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
  • RAFF technology - Resulting in up to 60 percent performance improvement over previous generation drives, WD's fourth-generation RAFF technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration simultaneously in real time for maximum performance in high vibration environments.
  • IntelliSeek technology - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration in active seek modes without degrading performance.
  • Multi-axis shock sensor - An additional third sensor has been added to RE3 models to detect automatically the subtlest shock events and to compensate to protect the data.
  • RAID-specific, Time-Limited Error Recovery (TLER) - Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
  • Third-generation dynamic fly height - With this next generation dynamic fly height technology, each read-write head's fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability.
  • Thermal extended burn-in test - Extended burn-in testing with thermal cycling added to ensure only the most robust drives are produced as RAID Edition.
  • NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.

WD RE3 1 TB (model WD1002FBYS) and the 750 GB (model WD57502ABYS) hard drives are available now through select distributors and resellers. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD RE3 1 TB is $249 USD and the 750 GB is $199 USD. WD RE3 drives are covered by a five-year limited warranty.

Source: WD

Thermaltake Announces Toughpower QFan 750W/850W PSUs, Previews BigTyp14 Pro Cooler

Thermaltake released new Toughpower QFan 750W/850W PSUs and posted a video preview of its BigTyp14 Pro cooler.

The QFan PSU Series was named upon the patented 14cm silent QFan with unique blade and 360 open-frame design featured on power supplies. Also, the patented 5-way air intake housing design further enhances ventilation and thermal dissipation ability of these power supplies.

Toughpower QFan Series PSUs feature 2 x 6-pin and 2 x 8-pin PCI-E connectors and support all the latest NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards. They are 80Plus compliant and have energy efficiency of up to 85%. Besides, the Active Power Factor Correction feature maintains high power factor at 0.99 to minimize electrical waste.

Toughpower QFan 750W/850W PSUs will be available in the market late in Q3'2008.

As for the second novelty, the new BigTyp14 Pro cpu cooler, it builds on the popular BigTyp 120VX cpu cooler and promises upgraded features. A video preview is available.

According to Thermaltake, cooler's innovative stream shape fan cover design is not only eye-catching, but also greatly speeds up air circulation. 6 copper heatpipes -- a signature feature of the BigTyp family -- effectively transfers heat conducted by the mirror coating copper base to the combination of fins and fan. At that, cooler noise level is as low as 16dBA.

Source: Thermaltake

Epson Develops USB Host Controller LSI with Dedicated USB Software

Seiko Epson Corporation has developed the S1R72U01, Japan's first USB controller LSI that includes dedicated software for connecting a mouse or keyboard. Sample shipments of the S1R72U01 have already begun.

Recently, the principles of universal design have been employed in various devices, highlighting a growing trend towards ease of use. As interface tools that are very inexpensive and easy-to-use, the mouse and keyboard are increasingly being used with embedded devices other than personal computers.

However, before connection between a mouse or keyboard and an embedded device can actually be achieved, developers must deal with the following issues:

  • Acquisition of USB know-how;
  • USB software development requires a lengthy time period and many man-hours;
  • Inexpensive CPUs in the 8-bit and 16-bit class are not equipped with USB host functions.

Epson's newly-developed S1R72U01 incorporates all the USB software to enable connection with a mouse or keyboard in the chip, thus making it unnecessary for developers to have any knowledge at all about USB. Moreover, this product is able to connect with and control inexpensive CPUs in the 8-bit and 16-bit class and allows quick and easy connection with a mouse or keyboard and embedded devices.

Main features

  • Requires absolutely no knowledge of USB; control is possible with UART serial interface;
  • Control is possible with 8-bit or 16-bit CPU; package is small; compatible with various clocks;
  • Equipped with human interface device class and USB host stack; development of USB software is completely unnecessary;
  • UART serial interface allows for easy connection with CPU;
  • Operates on single 3.0V to 5.5V power source;
  • QFN, 7mm square, 48pin; QFP, 9mm square, 48pin.

USB host specifications:

  • Equipped with 1 USB host port
  • Incorporates USB software
  • USB host stack; Human interface device class
  • Full-speed mode (12 Mbps) and low-speed mode (1.5 Mbps)
  • Incorporates host termination function
  • VBUS power supply (when using this function, 5V power supply is necessary)

Other specs:

  • CPU interface UART serial interface
  • Power supply voltage Single 3.0V to 5.5V power supply
  • CPU interface = 1.8V to 5V
  • External clock 12MHz and 24MHz crystal oscillator and ceramic resonator (direct input of 12MHz and 24MHz is possible)
  • Package QFN package: 7mm square, 0.5mm pitch, 48pin
  • QFP package: 9mm square (including lead), 0.5mm pitch, 48pin
  • Operating temperature range -40C to +85C
  • Samples Now shipping ($6.00 US)

Release of an all-round model compatible with USB memory (master storage class) is scheduled for spring 2009.

Source: Seiko Epson Corporation

Dell Designs New Vostro Laptops and Desktops

Dell today unveiled two new Vostro laptops and desktops designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses, governments and educational institutions operating on limited budgets in the world's emerging economies.

The new Vostro products include two pre-configured laptops and two desktops. Additional Vostro products designed for emerging economies will be introduced in coming months. The new Vostro products being introduced today include:

  • Dell Vostro A860 laptop -- an affordable 15.6-inch laptop equipped for handling everyday business tasks. It offers an HD widescreen LCD with anti-glare coating, the choice of a variety of Intel processors from Celeron to Core 2 Duo and the choice of Ubuntu Linux or Microsoft Genuine Windows Vista operating systems. The laptop also offers an integrated network, modem and wireless connectivity with optional Bluetooth capabilities.
  • The Dell Vostro A840 is a 14.1-inch version of the A860 laptop with an anti-glare WXGA widescreen LCD. It offers the same practical technology for mobile business computing, but for small business customers who value mobility and compact size at an affordable price offering.

  • The Dell Vostro A180 is an affordable, practical desktop solution for everyday business computing. The system offers Intel Celeron and Pentium dual core processors to optimize office application performance and simple multi-tasking, in addition to the option of Ubuntu Linux or Microsoft Windows Vista.
  • Dell Vostro A100 is a reliable, entry-level desktop designed for basic business productivity. The system comes standard with an Intel Atom processor and Ubuntu Linux operating system.

Pricing for the new Vostro products will vary by configuration.

Source: Dell

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