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Archive for December, 2011

Professor Utonium, I see what you did there…

December 31st, 2011

Professor Utonium

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Fancy shitting at 500km/h on land? Then try out China’s new train that looks like a hornbill

December 31st, 2011

Fancy shitting at 500km/h on land? Then try out China’s new train that looks like a hornbill

China has unveiled a new high-speed train which is capable of reaching 500 km/h or 311 mph, according to media reports.

While China has several other high-speed trains in operation, including monorails traveling at more than 265 mph, this new train is the first that has been entirely developed and built in China by state-owned train maker CSR.

China’s bullet trains have been routinely traveling at 186 mph, but have been heavily criticized since July when two trains collided and at least 40 people died as a result of the crash. According to media reports, flaws in the control system of the trains, a lack of security checks and failures in emergency management led to the accident. Reports also stated that 54 people that were found to be responsible for the crash will be “punished”.

It was unclear when the new train, the design of which is apparently reminiscent of ancient Chinese sword, will go into operation and how fast it will travel. Typically, high-speed trains run substantially slower than their maximum speed allows. For example, the Transrapid 09 monorail, which connects Shanghai downtown with the Pudong airport can hit 313 mph, but is limited to a maximum speed of 267 mph in regular operation and typically runs at only 217 mph.

SOURCE via News.com.au

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TV makers planning new sizes and backlights for 2012, the Ultra-Definition (UD) Age has arrived!

December 31st, 2011

TV makers planning new sizes and backlights for 2012, the Ultra-Definition (UD) Age has arrived!
DisplaySearch vice president David Hsieh said that TV panel makers will be introducing new sizes in an effort to reduce costs and increase the “value” of LCD TVs. The new sizes will include 36.5-inch W, 39-inch W, 43-inch W, 48-inch W, and 50-inch W. There will also be new backlight designs, including direct-type LED backlights, thick backlights, and scanning backlights.

In particular the 2012 TV lineup will see brightness reduction, LED package reduction, new slim bezel borders, timing controller reallocation, new PSU designs, as well as thick direct-lit CCFL backlight and thick direct-lit LED backlight development and integration. 2012 could bring a fundamental change to the way TVs are being developed and sold. Instead of bringing the latest and greatest and face immediate price erosion, the industry may be looking at new form factors and more cost-efficient production.

Hsieh thinks that some regions of the world may not care so much about the thickness of a TV and some additional screen sizes may fit better in smaller living spaces. But sizes may not replace brand and price as key criteria for a purchase decision and as we are getting used to thin LED designs, we may not be willing to accept thicker TV designs at this point. Innovation has driven the industry at a fast pace and even if we are still waiting for decent smart TVs and naked 3D TVs, the decline in TV prices has put panel and TV makers in a tough spot. Focusing on cost efficiency is a matter of survival for some manufacturers.

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Gigabyte’s X79-UD3 with new F7 BIOS sets X79 records at 5.6GHz

December 31st, 2011

Gigabyte's X79-UD3 with new F7 BIOS sets X79 records at 5.6GHz

Earlier on, reports surfaced around the Web that certain Gigabyte X79-based motherboards were having hardware issues that, in some cases, could lead to failure. Gigabyte reached out to us to refute that claim, clarifying that the issue was limited to its firmware, which could be easily fixed via a BIOS update.

Gigabyte's X79-UD3 with new F7 BIOS sets X79 records at 5.6GHz

To further prove its claims that all is well across its X79 line, consisting of the G1.Assassin 2, GA-X79-UD7, GA-X79-UD5 and GA-X79-UD3, Gigabyte passed along results demonstrating an Intel Core i7-3930K overclocked with a 57x multiplier running on a GA-X79-UD3 with Kingston HyperX Genesis PC3-19200 2 GB x 4 (@ 2376 MT/s) and a Corsair AX1200 PSU.

Overclocker “Hicookie”, equipped with the recently-issued F7 BIOS and liquid nitrogen cooling, was able to push to a frequency of 5643.3 MHz, producing record scores for the Super Pi 1M and 32M and PiFast benchmarks. Check out Hicookie’s most recent records on HWBot for the numbers and the video below of the overclock in action.



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He’s got the moneh! Obey!

December 31st, 2011

He's got the moneh! Obey!

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Report: Apple revealing two iPad 3 tablets in January

December 31st, 2011

Report: Apple revealing two iPad 3 tablets in January

Apple will reportedly reveal two iPad 3 models during the Macworld/iWorld expo scheduled for January 26-28, 2012, in San Francisco. Sources claim that both will offer the same 9.7-inch QXGA screen (1536 x 2048), but one will feature a 5MP camera lens while the other will sport a larger 8MP lens. Both will provide dual LED light bars to strengthen the brightness of the screens.

According to sources at Apple’s supply chain partners, via Digitimes, the iPad 2 will also join the two newer models during the show. It will supposedly represent the entry-level tablet in Apple’s iPad line, followed by the 5MP iPad 3 (mid-range) and 8MP iPad 3 (high-end). It will also reportedly compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, thus indicating that Apple could introduce a cheaper, 8 GB version to better compete with the Kindle Fire’s $199 pricetag.

Sources also claim that Sharp has signed on to provide the majority of the iPad 3 display panels, with Samsung and LG Display picking up the slack. Minebea, the company which provides backlight units (BLUs) to Sharp, has also entered Apple’s supply chain for the new iPads. Outside the display, according to reports, Samsung will provide both the quad-core A6 processor and the CMOS image sensor (CIS) for the 5MP lens, whereas Sony will serve as the CIS supplier for the 8MP lens. The iPad 2 will presumably retain the current dual-core A5 SoC.

Apple unveiled the iPad 2 on March 2, 2011, and then began selling the device online and in retail shops on March 11. The original iPad was first introduced back on January 27, but didn’t release the tablet until April. More than 15 million iPad units were sold by the time the sequel hit retail shops the following year March.

SOURCE via DigiTimes

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How bad can it be?

December 31st, 2011

How bad can it be?

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Google Chrome uses graphics card to accelerate SVG and CSS

December 31st, 2011

Google Chrome uses graphics card to accelerate SVG and CSSVector-based SVG graphics as well as CSS filters are now accelerated via the GPU and can be activated via chrome://flags in a recent nightly build. The feature is mainly for developers as there are very few websites that could take advantage of accelerated CSS filters.

Chromium supports SVG and CSS acceleration on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. Additional experimental GPU acceleration features include GPU accelerated painting as well as GPU compositing on all pages. We were not able to determine any performance gains as those new features appear to be unstable and produced crashes in HTML5 benchmarks such as WebViz.

IE9 was the first browser that introduced SVG acceleration with the first platform preview of IE9 in March of last year

SOURCE via Google

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Apple has idea for fuel cell battery that would last weeks

December 31st, 2011

Apple has idea for fuel cell battery that would last weeks

Claiming to have determined a way to eliminate “the need for a bulky and heavy battery,” Apple has made public two patent proposals, originally filed in 2010, that combined would enable the manufacture of fuel-cell batteries that could boost the life of handheld device batteries by a matter weeks. “Such fuel cells and associated fuels”, the proposals promise, “can potentially achieve high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, which can potentially enable continued operation of portable electronic devices for days or even weeks without refueling.”

Though neither component of the proposed technology would require hydrogen to function, they indicate the strong possibility that hydrogen fuel-cell batteries can be lightweight enough to be commercially feasible, and their statement accompanying the proposals indicates this is where they intend to focus their efforts. The first proposal, Parallel Fuel Stack Architecture, is for a battery that would arrange fuel cells in a stack, promising to boost voltage significantly. This would be accomplished by allowing adjacent fuel cells to share electrodes, shrinking the number of electrodes required per battery, which would allow for the use of lighter components. The second patent application is for a method of creating a reduced weight fuel cell plate that would incorporate the technology proposed in the first application.

Aside from the obvious advantage to the consumer that longer-lived batteries would provide, Apple’s eye is very much on the continuation of a good public image and the bottom line. “Our country’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels,” one of the applications says, “has forced our government to maintain complicated political and military relationships with unstable governments in the Middle East.” This relationship, Apple continues, “also exposed our coastlines and our citizens to the associated hazards of offshore drilling.” All true, and these problems are well worth the effort it would take to mitigate them. Not mentioned in the patent applications is the problem of increase fossil fuel usage stemming from an over-reliance on offshore child labor, but as they say, one problem at a time.

Patently Apple has posted the full statement.

SOURCE via Telegraph UK

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ARM pitches tri-gate transistors for 20nm and beyond

December 31st, 2011

ARM pitches tri-gate transistors for 20nm and beyond

According to a blog post by Jean Luc Pelloie, the company’s Fellow Director of SOI Technology, 20 nm may represent an inflection point in which it will be necessary to transition from a metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) to Fin-Shaped Field Effect Transistors (FinFET) or 3D transistors, which Intel refers to as tri-gate designs that are set to debut with the company’s 22 nm Ivy Bridge product generation.

Pelloie explains that it is “increasingly difficult to control the vertical electric field between the gate and the substrate while maintaining the channel depletion below threshold and then minimize the leakage current” when shrinking transistors. FinFETs are considered a solution to solve this problem. The engineer wrote that FiNFETs could be used on either bulk or SOI wafers. However, ARM still has work to do and especially investigate the scalability of this technology. “However, 3D devices are clearly on the road for sub-20nm nodes … and FinFET’s time may finally be here,” Pelloie wrote.

FinFET history goes back to a December 2000 paper published in IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices entitled “FinFET – A Self-Aligned Double Gate MOSFET Scalable to 20 nm“. Intel was first to move to tri-gates and take this technology into mass-production, but was accused of having switched to 3D transistors only because it was not able to scale its SRAMs, which the company traditionally uses to unveil a manufacturing process, from 32 nm to 22 nm. Intel’s tri-gate technology was announced back in May of this year. Intel hopes that tri-gate technology will keep up with Moore’s Law and especially drive low-voltage and low-power features.

SOURCE via ARM

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