FeTRAM is higher and lower; gives the best of both worlds

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2011 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: ram, FeTRAM, low power, flash

There's a new type of Flash RAM looking to make its name on the street called FeTRAM, which sounds as interesting as the phase change memory that we've been hearing about.  It is an improved version of Ferrous RAM, which is very fast and uses very low power but uses a destructive reading technique.  The T in the new RAM stands for transistor, so instead of the charge on the memory cell being negated by a read, the transistor will hold onto the charge so that the data can be held long term.  That spells the difference between a memory module good only for RAM and a module that can be used in an SSD.  The Register points to an article citing a 99% reduction in power usage when compared to current flash memory technology.

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"Nanotechnology boffins are exploring a new type of nonvolatile memory that not only has the potential of being faster than today's flash RAM, but also requires 99 per cent less energy.

Called ferroelectric transistor random access memory – FeTRAM, for short – the scheme is based on a new type of transistor that combines silicon nanowires with an organic ferroelectric polymer – P(VDF-TrFE) – that switches polarity when an electric field is applied to it."

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Source: The Register

ZOTAC Expands Value GeForce GT 520 lineup

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 27, 2011 - 09:30 AM |
Tagged: zotac, nvidia, low power, GT 520

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HONG KONG – Sept. 27, 2011 – ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and channel manufacturer, today expands the value GeForce GT 520 lineup with new PCI and PCI Express x1 form factors for users with pre-built systems that have limited expansion capabilities. The new ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards breathe new life into older systems by delivering a performance punch and new video capabilities.

“Upgrading your graphics card is the easiest way to boost your system performance and gain new capabilities. The new ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards shows that you can experience good graphics without upgrading the rest of your system,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International.

The ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards provide DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs with dual simultaneous independent display support for an instant dual-monitor upgrade. The low-profile form factor enables the ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI express x1 graphics card to easily fit in compact pre-built systems with height limitations in addition to expansion limitations.

It’s time to play with the ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics card.

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General details

  • New ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 GPU
  • Engine clock: 810 MHz
  • 48 unified shaders 
  • Shader clock: 1620 MHz
  • 512MB DDR3 memory
  • Memory clock: 1333 MHz
  • 64-bit memory interface
  • DVI, HDMI & VGA outputs
  • DirectX 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
  • OpenGL 4.1 compatible
  • NVIDIA CUDA technology
  • Full HD video playback

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Source: Zotac

Obviously these Corsair DIMMs use less power because of the white heatspreader

Subject: Memory | September 15, 2011 - 09:12 AM |
Tagged: corsair, vengeance lp 8gb, low power

Regular viewers of our podcast know that Josh's favourite component right now is RAM, specifically high performance RAM for dirt cheap.  This RAM would certainly count, not only do you get two 4GB sticks for $53, it is low profile and at 1.35V is very low powered as well.  Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB runs 1600MHz stock @ 9-9-9-24 timings and even features a white heatspreader to give you cool running and unique looking RAM.  It doesn't have to stay low power either, when Overclock3D started earning their name and pumped the voltage up to 1.65 they could reduce the timings to 7-8-7-24 or pump the speed to 1866MHz @10-11-10-27.

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"If you're on the lookout for a low voltage memory kit, perhaps Corsair have just the ticket."

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Source: Overclock3D

Everything in your notebook is power saving, why not your wireless mouse?

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2011 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: wireless mouse, low power, apace

The Apacer Blue Engine Mouse M721 will not impress gamers looking for huge DPI ratings.  What separates it from the rat pack are three power saving modes which allow Real World Labs to use the mouse and its two AAA batteries over 4 days of fairly heavy usage without draining it.  As well, it utilizes Bluetooth so you do not have to worry about lines of sight while you are using, especially handy as the mouse wil function on any surface.  Just don't sit at a table with the laptop on top while using the mouse on your jeans below the table ... it will look bad.

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"The latest Blue Engine Mouse M721 by Apacer may not dazzle you with its speed and features but its blue engine tracking sensor and three power saving modes are more than sufficient enough to give it an edge over similar wireless solutions."

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Intel and AMD be warned; ARM could grab up to 20% of the laptop market in the next 4 years

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2011 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: Intel, amd, arm, mali, low power

Those who ignored Microsoft's announcement that Windows 8 will support ARM processors will perhaps take note of Isuppli's claim that ARM could grab 1 in 5 of the laptops sold by 2015.  The extremely low powers System on a Chip design that they have been selling were at the opposite end of the market from AMD and Intel's X86 chips, but with the rise of the APU the market has undergone a fundamental change.  While the X86 makers are trying to lower the power requirements of their APUs, ARM is busy trying to ramp up the power of their chips.  There are already several vendors establishing a relationship with ARM, up to and including Apple

ARM's Cortex A9 and Mali are impressive, but ARM is already talking about console level graphics quality from their next generation of chips which we will see in roughly 18 months.  This improvement will also encompass their next generation of power efficency research, which should keep power consumption and heat well below what Intel and AMD will be trying to reach.  As well, it might provide an interesting opportunity for NVIDIA as the lack of a license to integrate chips with the new X86 based architecture will not stop them from developing graphics enhancements for ARM based laptops.  Drop by The Inquirer for more on this topic

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"CHIP DESIGNER ARM could power over 20 per cent of all laptops shipped in 2015, according to analyst outfit IHS Isuppli.

IHS Isuppli has forecast that the domination of X86 chips in the laptop market will start to diminish as Microsoft releases its Windows 8 operating system. Windows 8 will be the first desktop operating system from Microsoft that will support the ARM architecture that is found in just about every smartphone in existence."

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Source: The Inquirer

Meet Hondo, AMD's soon to arrive 2W TDP Brazos chip for tablets ... and Apache servers?

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2011 - 09:06 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, ontario, low power, hondo, brazos, APU, amd

Thanks to a leak from AMD, we have new information on their plans for tablets and ultra mobile platforms.  Hondo will be a member of Brazos-T, the planned improvement to the current low power version of Brazos which goes by the name of Desna.  This is not so much a new chip as a refining of Brazos and the Ontario APU, the 1GHz APU will still be made on a 40nm process and sport a DirectX 11 GPU at 276MHz also optimized for lower power consumption and heat production.  The Hudson controller is also being tweaked in the same way, with the chipset's TDP sitting at 1W compared to the ~4W the APU will consume.  It should be capable of playing 720p videos at that power setting, though you can expect a bit more power draw if you are streaming the movie wirelessly.  You can read more about the future of the new fanless APU from AMD at The Inquirer.

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Image from donanimhaber

"CHIP DESIGNER AMD is planning to refresh its Brazos platform in time for Microsoft's Windows 8.

AMD launched its Brazos platform last year, though actual products tipped up earlier this year featuring a dual core processor and a DirectX 11 GPU. However with Windows 8 coming out in 2012, it is a little surprising that leaked slides point to AMD planning a refresh of Brazos, codenamed Hondo. According to the slides, Hondo is designed to operate with passive cooling, and have 2W "app power" usage, about half that of the current Brazos chips."

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Source: The Inquirer