Sandeep Venugopal’s Weblog

August 11, 2008

Intel Larrabee, own graphic chip line!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 7:39 pm
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Intel has unveiled details of the chip that will spearhead its move into computer graphics. It has revealed blueprints for the Larrabee chip that is scheduled to first appear in finished products in late 2009 or early 2010. Larrabee will be a stand-alone graphics processor unlike the onboard chips it produces for many PC makers. The move will bring Intel into direct competition with graphics specialists Nvidia and the ATI division of AMD. Intel is aiming to put Larrabee into graphics cards for PCs that help show games and video in very high detail. Like existing graphics chips from Nvidia and ATI, Larrabee is expected to have many separate processing cores onboard.

So far Intel has not said how many processing cores Larrabee will have onboard at launch or in subsequent generations. Future Nvidia and ATI graphics chips are expected to be made up of several hundred cores. While Intel will initially target the PC graphics card market, it expects the raw computer power in the chip to help with oil and gas exploration, medical imaging and financial services in the future. Many scientists and researchers already use coupled graphics cards as a desktop supercomputer that helps them carry out simulations far faster and cheaper than on a larger dedicated machine. Intel said it would release more details about Larrabee at the upcoming Siggraph computer graphics conference due to be held in Los Angeles from 12-15 August.

Source: BBC,  Martin


June 2, 2008

nVidia released Tegra, chip for small gadgets! Sweet!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 5:42 pm
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Nvidia Corp on Sunday announced a processor line-up it believes will power a new class of fast, small devices with long battery life that can surf the full Internet, play high-end games and display high-definition video. The graphics chipmaker is calling the Tegra 600 and Tegra 650 processors “computers on a chip” for highly portable, visual devices, and it is aiming squarely at a market also targeted by No. 1 chipmaker Intel Corp. Nvidia hopes the Tegra chips, which also include its previously announced application processor APX2500 used in smartphones and handsets, will go into a broad array of computing devices. But it’s aiming first for an emerging category called mobile Internet devices, or MIDs.

Intel was among the first to start bandying about the term, and its Atom family of chips is targeted at MIDs. But Intel and Nvidia both say people are still unsure exactly what a MID is. Mike Rayfield, general manager of Nvidia’s mobile business, said MIDs have screens of four to 12 inches in diameter and may have a touch-screen or keyboard, a connection for a game controller or a wireless high-speed Internet connection. Nvidia says it is more than a dumbed-down notebook PC or super-portable notebook with keyboards suited more for the hands of Smurfs than humans. He said prices for MIDs with Tegra would range from $200 to $250 and be on store shelves by the holiday shopping season.

Source: Reuters, Martin

April 29, 2008

Apple introduced new iMac product line!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 9:03 pm
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Apple has unveiled new all-in-one iMac systems, sporting an updated processor, more standard memory and a faster graphics card. Retail customers will be offered new systems with Intel Core2 Duo chips ranging from 2.4GHz to 2.8GHz. Apple will also offer a new 3GHz Intel chip as an option for built-to-order 24in iMac systems. All the new iMacs will feature a faster 1066MHz system bus and 6MB of level 2 cache. All but the cheapest of Apple’s three standard iMac offerings will now ship with 2GB of Ram. The $1,199 20in model will sport 1GB of Ram and an ATI Radeon 2400 XT graphics card. The $1,499 model will have a Radeon 2600 Pro card, as will the $1,799 24in iMac.

Apple will also offer the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GS card as an option on built-to-order 24in systems. The new offerings mark the first major update to the iMac since August 2007, when a redesign offered a slimmer profile and a brushed aluminium casing. Apple’s latest financial report showed flourishing Mac sales, helping to boost the firm to record profits in the most recent quarter. Philip Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing at Apple, said: “With the latest Intel processors, a faster new graphics option and more memory, customers now have even more reasons to love the iMac.”

Source: Vnunet, Martin

March 30, 2008

NVIDIA driver causes 30% Vista crashes!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 4:12 pm
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Nearly 30% of logged Vista crashes were due to NVIDIA driver problems, according to a Microsoft data included in the bundle. That’s some 479,326 hung systems, if you’re keeping score at home, and it’s in first place by a large margin — Microsoft clocks in at number two at 17.9 percent, and ATI is fourth with 9.3 percent. The data points in the table cover an unspecified period in 2007, and Microsoft makes no attempt to break the aggregate data down into which device drivers, specifically, returned the highest number of crashes. If the number of failures were split by month and then graphed, we’d presumably see the number of NVIDIA driver failures per month decreasing as the company slowly brought its driver issues under control.

The data clearly indicates that NVIDIA had a driver problem, but it’s impossible to quantify the scope of that problem given the numbers above. NVIDIA holds a greater percentage of the market than ATI, which means that there will inevitably be a higher percentage of NVIDIA driver crashes than ATI driver crashes; however, the degree to which such market share considerations have affected the results above is hard to determine in the absence of more data. There’s also the matter of data collection; Microsoft’s charts do not clarify if multiple crashes from a single system each counted as separate events. In theory, NVIDIA’s proportion of total driver crashes could be inflated by a relatively small handful of systems with severe driver issues.

Source: Neowin, Martin

March 18, 2008

NVIDIA reveals GeForce 9800 GX2!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:32 am
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NVIDIA today unveiled what it now calls its fastest single-slot video card. The GeForce 9800 GX2 is the company’s second card to combine dual chipsets and merges two 9800-series chipsets into a single design that is said to be faster than two GeForce 9600 GT cards. While clocked lower at 600MHz versus the 650MHz of the less expensive card, the much larger 512-bit memory interface and 2GHz effective video memory help edge out most two-card solutions.

As part of the 9 series, the GX2 also inherits the other benefits of the lineup, including full HD video decoding in hardware, PCI Express 2.0 support, and support for quad SLI by using a second GX2 for a total of four video chipsets in a single system. The added performance requires extra power and should see at least a 580-watt power supply for a single card and a full 850 watts for a system with two of the cards installed.

Video cards are to be available today from ASUS, BFG, and several other high-profile manufacturers with an estimated price of $600. Most will include two dual-link DVI outputs as well as an HDMI output with a separate SPDIF output for routing surround sound as well as graphics to a home theater system.

Source: electronista

March 16, 2008

Acer intros 1080p Gemstone Blue notebooks! Niceee…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 11:40 pm
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As promised, Acer on Wednesday launched a radical overhaul of its Aspire notebook line targeted at the high-end notebook market normally occupied by companies such as Apple and Sony. Nicknamed the Gemstone Blue, the new design centers around a deluxe media console known as the CineDash: the touch-sensitive control lets users navigate music, videos, and menus without having to resort to the trackpad. Each system also sports a unique “weave” finish and an advanced speaker system that generates virtual Dolby 5.1-channel surround, including a 10-watt subwoofer.

The two systems being released today are also the first notebooks anywhere to ship with a true 16:9 ratio display. Both the 16-inch Aspire 6920 and 18.4-inch Aspire 8920G can output at the same 1080p (1920×1080) resolution of Blu-ray or an HDTV tuner (options on both models) and are fast enough at 8ms to avoid the ghosting artifacts that surface on many notebook LCDs. Their color gamuts are also a full third richer than conventional notebooks, Acer claims. The Aspire 6920 has the option of a less costly 720p (1366×768) display.

Outside of screen differences, the systems are primarily separated by graphics and storage. The simpler 6920 is driven by NVIDIA’s next-generation GeForce 9500M GS, while the larger 8920G steps up to a GeForce 9650 GS. Storage runs up to 320GB on the 16-inch system but can be doubled to 640GB on the larger model courtesy of a second hard drive bay. Either system comes with HDMI video output as standard, though only the 8920G has a VoIP phone that allows it to more naturally place calls through Skype or other services.

Despite the high-profile launch, Acer has not said which Core 2 Duo processors it will use or when it expects the new Aspires to ship, though past comments by the company have priced the systems between $1,900 and $2,200 and would have both ship in the spring.

Aspire 6920
Aspire 8920G
Source: Electronista

March 4, 2008

Kingston success with ultrafast RAM: 2.1 GHz!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sandeep @ 10:31 pm
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Kingston Technology, a leading supplier of memory modules, demonstrated on Thursday its ability to overclock its HyperX DDR3 memory modules to unprecedented clock-speed with the help of a mainboard running Nvidia Corp.’s next-generation core-logic that supports DDR3 memory. The memory module maker overclocked its HyperX PC3-16000 (KHX16000D2K2/2G) memory modules from their default clock-speed of 2.0GHz to 2.13GHz using a mainboard powered by yet unannounced Nvidia nForce 790i core-logic for Intel Corp.’s processors. At press time it was unclear which latency and voltage settings were set. Back last year A-Data and Walton Chaintech introduced their 2GHz Vitesta DDR3-2000X and Apogee GT Blazer DDR3 2000 memory kits that could operate at 2.0GHz with 2.10V or 2.15V voltage setting.

The ultra high-speed memory modules utilize 6-layer print-circuit boards, which are often used to manufacture rather expensive graphics cards and mainboards, which automatically makes such memory devices pretty expensive.In mid-February this year Corsair Memory also joined the 2GHz club with its new Dominator-series memory modules. Back last year very few platforms could actually handle 2.0GHz memory speed and hardly all end-users who acquired such memory modules could actually make them work at their frequency. However, as Intel X48 and Nvidia nForce 790i SLI chipsets are approaching the market, it is expected that considerably more enthusiast-class platforms will be able to boast with 2.0GHz memory clock-speed. Currently unannounced Kingston HyperX PC3-16000 (KHX16000D2K2/2G) memory modules will be available in Q1 2008.

Source: Xbit Labs

February 12, 2008

APX 2500 cellphone applications processor from NVIDIA! Niceeee…


It’s been a long while since we’ve seen anything from NVIDIA on the cellphone front, but the company has changed that in a fairly big way today, with it showing off its first major cellphone applications processor: the APX 2500. As CNET points out, that chip is largely the result of NVIDIA’s acquisition of PortalPlayer back in 2006, and represents the company’s first attempt at building a true computing processor for cellphones. From the looks of it, they sure look to have gotten off to a decent start, with the chip itself (based on an ARM11 core) able to run at speeds up to 750MHz, and encode and decode 720p high-definition video, opening up the possibility of some pretty capable cellphone / video camera hybrids. Of course, this being NVIDIA, they also squeezed in some of their GeForce graphics technology designed especially for low-power devices, which they say is to allow for 3D interfaces, but we’re sure could also be put to some other uses as well. No exact details as to when and where we can expect to chip just yet, but it’ll apparently start to make its way into phones sometime next year, with Windows Mobile in particular able to exploit the technology in the chip — no surprise there, given Microsoft’s hand in the chip’s development. Follow the break for a shot of NVIDIA’s totally trippy demonstration interface that’s in use on the APX2500’s reference platform.






The concept phone is also hooked up to a big plasma screen outputting full HD video (720p H.264).

NVIDIA is keen to stress the efficient power management of the APX 2500 too:

“Not including the screen, just the power of the chip, you can run 10 hours of HD,” says Clark. “The reason we don’t include the screen is you don’t know the variables involved in the connector and the screen. I could hazard a guess, but I’d get in trouble…”

Enough for a movie? “Oh certainly, enough for a movie at a quality halfway between Blu-ray and DVD.”

Here’s a shot of the phone (at the bottom of the pic) outputting HD video to the big plasma screen:




NVIDIA is working closely with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system to get this tech into phones. “It’s in four of the five major manufacturers’ handsets now, after Sony Ericsson announced Xperia last night,” says Clark. “For us, working closely with Microsoft is a speed to market thing.”

Here’s the APX 2500 demo clip. Checkout its true potential.

Source: nvidia, tech dig, eng net

January 29, 2008

AMD introduces new HD card: Radeon 3870 X2

AMD on Monday launched a two-chip graphics card that it hopes will give it a lead in price and performance over rival Nvidia.The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 combines two graphics processors on a single board, giving it nearly double the performance of the single-chip Radeon HD 3870 introduced in November 2007, according to AMD. The latest graphics card tops a Teraflop, or 1 trillion floating point operations per second, which is the equivalent of a trillion mathematical calculations per second. AMD’s latest product would compete with Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 Ultra that starts at $630. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 has a suggested retail price of $449.


AMD’s new graphics card will also support the company’s CrossFire X technology, which makes it possible to use up to four cards on a single computer to further boost performance. CrossFire X competes with Nvidia’s scalable link interface, or SLI. AMD plans to release software to enable CrossFire X support for the HD 3870 X2 late in the current quarter. Market researcher Jon Peddie, head of Jon Peddie Research, said AMD’s new card is 170% faster than the single-chip HD 3870, making the new product faster than having two separate cards on a motherboard, which only increases performance by 150%.

Source: Martin, InfoWeek 

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