We've learned from industry sources that AMD / ATI has already won the GPU deal for the next generation XboX console. It looks like Microsoft was happy with first Xeons GPU and it wants to continue using the same, especially since the new ATI GPU should keep the compatibility with legacy games.
The consoles refresh was supposed to happen in 2010 but due to the recession both Microsoft and Sony have decided to push its plans for 2012 and keep the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 alive for more than it was originally planned.
And GTX260... Several Nvidia partners have confirmed that they had to decide to cancel GTX 285 and GTX 275 based products, as availability was simply disastrous.
We still don’t now if this is Nvidia's strategy to keep the market hungry for Fermi or they simply didn't order enough wafers, but availability of GTX260, GTX275 and GTX285 was so bad that many decided to drop these products and wait for Fermi.
The lucky ones can sell Radeon HD 5870 and 5850, as they are selling good, but the 5870 is mainly on allocation and that doesn’t really help a lot.
Taiwan memory module makers in a panic
Memory manufacturers are at panic stations after news has been building of a NAND Flash memory shortage.
Digitimes reports that memory module houses are moving to diversify their NAND flash suppliers to minimise procurement risk. The shortage has been caused by major chip producers Samsung, Toshiba, Micron and Hynix allocating huge amounts of NAND flash for lucrative Apple devices.
Larrabee gets inoculated
According to Xbit Labs, Intel is a bit worried that specialized viruses targeting GPUs could soon appear, as GPGPUs become increasingly popular.
We've talked about the potential benefits of GPGPU computing on numerous occasions. Although there's still not enough useful GPGPU applications for average desktop users, the concept is quite promising. Both Nvidia and ATI have GPGPU video encoding software, and Nvidia recently informed us that it's thinking about using its Fermi GPUs to power antivirus software.
40nm DirectX 10.1
Nvidia plans to launch a “new” generation of what´s exclusively been a OEM product and this new card will get a Geforce GT220 brand name.
The launch date is October 12th, which is just one day before the launch of Radeon HD 5770 and 5750, both DirectX 11 cards that might dominate this market segment.
Geforce GT220 works from 615MHz all the way to 700MHz depending on the configuration, while most of the cards use 1GB of 790MHz clocked 128-bit DDR3 memory. This is a single slot card with shader clock at 1335MHz.
The cards we've found listed should be selling from €57 to €72 which sounds quite affordable. Nvidia's DirectX 11 Fermi-based entry level won't arrive until first half of 2010.
No point. It is not only that Nvidia canceled its DMI chipset projects and won’t have its Lynnfield, Nehalem refresh chipset, it doesn’t want even to make a new AMD chipset. Mr. Drew Henry has explained us that since AMD's CPU business is doing so badly and since its market shrunk so much, it is simply not economically viable for Nvidia to continue developing chipsets for AMD. They simply cannot make enough money.
Getting better though
AMD's recently introduced Radeon HD 5870 is readily available in most European markets. After a somewhat bumpy launch, distributors are starting to get new shipments and they are finally coping with demand. Speaking of demand, there seems to be plenty of early DirectX11 adopters to go around. Prices range for the HD 5870 range from just under €300 in Blighty to €315 or €330 on the mainland, depending on the region.
Performance boost for games and OpenGL
Nvidia has released a new set of WHQL certified drivers with support for all Geforce GPUs ranging from Geforce 6 to Geforce 200 series, as well as the ION IGP. The new driver mainly brings performance boost in various games and the most important new feature is the support for OpenGL 3.2 on Geforce 8, 9, 100, 200 series and Nvidia's ION GPUs.
The performance boost includes ARMA 2, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood with SLI, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Prototype, and of course, Batman: Arkham Asylum when GPU PhysX is enabled. The performance boost ranges from eight percent in Batman to up to 50 percent in Call of Juarez. The performance boost results are taken from the 191.07 vs. 190.62 comparison.
The new driver also brings SLI support for Aion, Darkfall, Dawn of Magic 2, Dreamkiller, Fuel, Need for Speed: Shift and bunch of other titles. In addition to these performance boosts, the new driver also brings numerous bug fixes.
The new driver can be downloaded at Nvidia's website, here.
Ten layers, plenty of space
TDK Corp seems to be keen on sending the Blu-ray packing, as the company developed a 10-layer optical disc with capacity of 320GB, where each layer is capable of storing up to 32GB of data. Just for comparison, Blu-ray discs can store up to 25GB per layer.
Apparently, the more layers the medium has, the weaker the signal gets, so expanding optical drives by introducing more layers requires improved transmittance, something that TDK effectively tackled by enhancing the composition of used materials.
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