CES Storage Roundup Part 3 - Intel Cherryville and IMFT 20nm flash die spotted!

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2012 - 05:33 PM |
Tagged: ssd, micron, Intel, imft, flash, cherryville, CES, 20nm

CES is sort of like a Where's Waldo book. There are thousands of places to look, with new technology spread around all over the place. Some of that unreleased tech shows up right in front of you and you don't even realize what you were looking at until later on. It's how we caught a look at prototype Light Peak (now Thunderbolt) two years ago, and this year we saw some more goodies not previously seen in the wild. I tend to be a bit of a shutterbug, and I take seemingly random pics of things as the PCPer gang runs around the various vendor booths and hotel suites. While going through the pics from my phone, I ran across this shot of what I thought was an Intel 320 Series SSD:

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Definitely not a 320, that's an Intel 520 Series (Cherryville) SSD. While Intel had their 520 Series locked up tight at their Storage Visions booth, this one was powering another motherboard makers product elsewhere in Vegas. Unfortunately this system was only to demo the motherboard itself, without a connected display, so it would not have been possible to run our own benches.

At storage visions, we also saw this display at the Micron booth. It's interesting to see how 16GB of flash memory has shrunk over the past few years. We've certainly come a long way from the good old X25-M:

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Some of you may know that I'm a sucker for a good die shot, so I snuck back out to Micron's suite later on to get my own macro shot of the 20nm IMFT flash die:

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Micron is, like many other vendors, working on their own SSD solution specifically for SSD caching applications. It's currently unreleased, so more to follow on this.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Intel, NVIDIA and AMD; all are having new GPU spring fling

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2012 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: amd, NVIDA, HD7950, kepler, Ivy Bridge, Intel

The arrival of the HD 7970 caused a bit of disappointment to some, not because of the performance of the card, instead it was the price that depressed many would be owners of the fastest GPU on the planet.  That price is fair, currently the competition sells their top card, the GTX 580 for about $500 and as the HD7970 is faster charging a ~10% premium makes perfect sense ... now if only they could do something about the stock problems.

All is not lost GPU fans, DigiTimes has confirmed AMD's HD7950 should be here by the end of the month and will offer the same next generation architecture at a lower price.  If it emulates the style of the HD6950 it will be a very popular card and will mean AMD beat NVIDIA to market with both enthusiast level cards.  It will likely be sometime in April before we start to see Kepler based cards from NVIDIA, of which they are being fairly closed mouth about.  We do know that they will be leading with mobile and mid-range chips, not the enthusiast level cards as AMD did, the reasons for that are widely debated.

Intel is also going to offer competition in the spring as they release Ivy Bridge with its integrated graphics.  That may take a chunk of AMD's Llano market share but their high end discrete GPUs should be safe.  NVIDIA on the other hand is vulnerable, if their mobile chips do not offer a significant advantage over Ivy Bridge's capabilities or cannot work in tandem with the chip then NVIDA's products will not be that attractive.  Even worse, if their mid-range cards do not live up to expectations, they may find AMD's previous generation of cards and Intel's iGPU dominating the market segment NVIDIA hoped to keep share in.

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2011 market shares from Jon Peddie Research

"AMD, after announcing 28nm high-end Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, is set to add a new 28nm member Radeon HD 7950 by the end of January, while Nvidia, considering the yield rates of the 28nm process and its inventory levels, plans to officially release its 28nm Kepler in April, at the latest, according to sources from graphics card makers.

The sources noted that Nvidia wishes to make sure that the power consumption and the manufacturing process of the graphics chip all reach perfection before entering the 28nm generation. Since Nvidia is set to release its 28nm graphics card around the same time as Intel's upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, the sources believe Kepler series GPUs may have a chance to catch up with the demand for Intel's new CPUs."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

CES Day 4 Podcast - 1/11/2012

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 11:04 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, razer, podcast, nvidia, Intel, CES, amd

PC Perspective CES 2012 Day 4 - 1/11/12

Join us tonight as we talk about our final full day of CES 2012 - including yet more Ultrabooks, New products from Razer, and our closing thoughts on this years show.

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Matt Smith and Allyn Malventano

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

 

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CES 2012 Day 3 Podcast - 1/10/2012

Subject: Editorial | January 11, 2012 - 08:36 PM |
Tagged: ssd, podcast, ocz, nvidia, Intel, gpu, CES, amd

PC Perspective CES 2012 Day 3 - 1/10/12

Join us tonight as we talk about our third full day of CES 2012 - including a new entry level Corsair Case, a Thunderbolt external GPU enclosure, and Ivy Bridge motherboards!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Matt Smith and Allyn Malventano

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

 

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Intel Aims For ARM With New x86 Smartphone Reference Design

Subject: Mobile | January 11, 2012 - 01:46 AM |
Tagged: x86, smartphone, Intel, CES, Android

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What do you do if you’re a big company with lots of money, but are having trouble convincing manufacturers to adopt your technology in their products because your competitors are already established in the market?

You build the product yourself.

That’s what Intel has done with its new smartphone reference platform. Revealed at the company’s keynote by CEO Paul Otellini, the reference platform is a fully functional smartphone running an x86 port of Android. It was demonstrated at the keynote and used to play games, watch video and output video to a monitor via HDMI.

Intel has been down this many times before, of course, but never had much success. That was before a fully functional reference platform was made available, however.  The device shown today could potentially be put on store shelves as-is (after a few more months of testing, perhaps). It is thin, it is light, it has a 4-inch display with a resolution of 1024x600 and it runs Android.  This is no thick and bulky test mule – it’s a functional example that can be used by vendors as a starting point so they don’t have to build a device from the ground up.

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Such a strategy can help get Intel’s foot in the door, and in fact already has. After showing the reference design, Otellini announced a multi-year “strategic partnership” with Motorola. If things go as planned, Motorola should be shipping out phones with Intel processors inside them in the second half of this year. 

Lenovo showed another phone even closer to release. Known as the Lenovo K800, it should be out within months. There’s just one problem (for us) – it’s China only. 

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Inside the reference design is an Intel Atom Z2460 running at up to 1.6 GHz. This is not an Atom in brand name only - the architecture is basically the same as any other Intel Atom processor. Unlike almost every other modern smartphone processor, this is a single-core part (for now). 

Though down a core to the competition, Intel suggested that the reference design is generally quicker than all current smartphones. Some early CPU benchmarks from Anandtech seem to back up that assertion. However, the graphics component isn’t up to par with today’s best, a fact that became evident when Intel showed a game demo using the reference device. It looked okay, but was clearly inferior to games running on Tegra 3.

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While the hardware seems to be coming together, software remains a potential roadblock. Intel showed their smartphone running Android 2.3 ported for x86. Because of how Android handles code, most Android apps are compatible despite the change in processor architecture.

Just one problem – some apps make specific references in their code to ARM features, and these apps will not function on x86. Intel is attempting to compensate for that using on-the-fly ARM to x86 code conversion.  It’s hard to judge how well that works without testing it first-hand, but at least Intel has a plan for dealing with the issue. 

My excitement about this announcement is tempered by the lack of available products. Timing is critical. The reference hardware might be quicker than today’s most popular smartphones, but new designs are constantly emerging, each quicker than the last. Releasing this product six months from now may result in a competitive product – but a delay forcing it into the holiday season could yet again spoil Intel’s dreams of smartphone dominance.

But even if Intel’s partners don’t translate this reference platform into products quickly, it at least shows that Intel is headed in the right direction. ARM is entrenched, but Intel has the resources and the engineers required to provide serious competition. CES 2013 could end up being the conference where x86 and ARM devices go toe-to-toe.  

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Intel

Shocking news! Intel is talking up Ultrabooks at CES

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: CES, Intel, ultrabook, Ivy Bridge

It might be hard to believe but the form factor everyone loves to talk about is on the lips on Intel reps everywhere at CES including the GM of the PC Group, Mooly Eden.   The new ultra-thin form factor introduced by Intel this follows the design theory of the Macbook Air while trying to stay a PC at heart and has been received with mixed feelings.  While it is nice to have an ultra-thin, ultra-light machine which is capable of running office productivity tasks at a good level of performance the attached price tag has discouraged potential distributors and buyers alike; the under $1000 specification cannot be reached without sacrificing quality.  That is in part do to the materials used to make an ultrathin laptop that is still rigid enough to stand up to normal usage and in part to the philosophy of 'instant on' which requires an SSD to be used as the main storage medium.  Eden tells The Inquirer that he sees Windows 8 offering huge potential to the ultrabook thanks to its touchscreen friendly design.  He describes devices similar to the ASUS Transformer, a product usable as a touch device like a tablet but with a full keyboard available for when you are doing more than just surfing the web.   New Ivy Bridge internals will probably help as well, bringing increased performance and lowered power usage, though probably not doing anything good to the sticker price. 

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"CHIPMAKER Intel gave its attention at the CES conference to promoting the real-world benefits of ultrabooks.

The company highlighted a design and marketing effort to shift its focus from benchmarks and statistics to examples of real-world capabilities and applications that will be improved by what it hopes will become a growing ultrabook market."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: The Inquirer

CES 2012 Day 2 Podcast - 1/9/12

Subject: Editorial, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 04:45 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Transformer, spectre, podcast, memo, Intel, hp, envy, CES, asus

PC Perspective CES 2012 Day 2 - 1/9/12

Join us tonight as we talk about our second full day of CES 2012 - including Digital Experience, ASUS, more from OCZ, Thermaltake and more!!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Matt Smith and Allyn Malventano

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

ASUS' P9X79 Deluxe, the new baseline for the X79 series

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2012 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: x79, asus, p9x79 deluxe, lga2011, Intel

X-Bit Labs discusses Tick+ and Tock- in their reivew of the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe, as Intel's original Tick-Tock product strategy seems to have been changed recently.  As you can see the board is quite crowded, in part because of the 8 DIMM slots, so crowded that ASUS moved some of the power chokes to the backside of the board.  You get four PCIe 3.0 slots, of which two can run at full 16x speeds when populated, as well as a pair of PCIe 2.0 1x slots.  On the back are a half dozen USB 3.0 ports as well as four 2.0 ports, S/PDIF out as well as 6 analog out provide sound and it even sports WiFi and Bluetooth.  Check out what X-Bit considers the new standard in X79 boards.

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"ASUSTeK mainboards are the leading brand today that is why this particular model seems to be an ideal choice for opening a series of articles dedicated to the new platform. We will dwell on absolutely everything about it: package, accessories, technical specifications, EFI BIOS functionality, new programs and utilities, overclocking potential, performance and power consumption."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: X-Bit Labs

A first look at CES 2012

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2012 - 11:31 AM |
Tagged: CES, storage visions, Intel, sandforce, 520 Cherryville

The theme of this years Storage Visions is 'Heavy Storage for Thin Clients' but that is not the biggest bit of new that Legit Reviews gathered from their meeting with the organizers.  They got confirmation that Intel will indeed be using a Sandforce based controller in an upcoming SSD, the 520 Cherryville, which will replace the 510 series.  As well, Micron was showing off their 20nm NAND, Crucial has a new Adrenaline drive to test and IOSafe will provide you a fire and waterproof housing to keep it in.

Don't forget about OCZ though, the card you can see below is the newest Z-Drive and it sports 8TB of flash storage (12TB max) available in MLC, SLC and eMLC depending on your needs and budget.  It is a PCIe 3.0 compliant card, one of the first available on the market.  You can also read about OCZ and Micron's joint project in the full post at Legit Reviews.

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"OCZ and Marvell have teamed up and are showing off the Z-Drive R5 for the very first time at Storage Visions. The OCZ Z-Drive R5 is the industries fastest PCI Express (PCIe) storage device. The reason that Z-Drive R5 features a jointly developed "Kilimanjaro" OCZ and Marvell native PCIe to NAND flash controller platform, allowing for completely scalable performance and redundancy while eliminating the need for a separate storage controller, thus reducing the cost to deploy high performance solid state storage systems in the data center. It uses a PCI-Express Gen3 x8 slot to get up to 1.6M IOPS!"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2012 Day 1 Podcast - 1/8/2012

Subject: Editorial | January 9, 2012 - 02:34 AM |
Tagged: podcast, CES, Intel, amd, nvidia, ocz, ssd, thunderbolt, hdd, Lenovo, laptop, ultrabook

PC Perspective CES 2012 Day 1 - 1/8/2012

Join us tonight as we talk about our first day of CES 2012 - including Storage Visions, CES Unveiled and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Matt Smith and Allyn Malventano

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

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