NAND Flash shortage coming

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.

Intel worried about GPU viruses

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.

Geforce GT220 to launch October 12

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.

Nvidia doesn’t plan new AMD chipsets

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.

HD 5800 cards still suffering availability issues

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.

Nvidia releases Geforce 191.07 WHQL driver

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.

TDK develops 320GB optical disc

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.

SSD to catch up mechanical drives by 2012

In both price and performance

The charismatic CEO of OCZ technology Ryan M. Petersen has told Fudzilla that he expects SSD to overtake mechanical drives in in terms of price, capacity and of course performance.

The manufacturing roadmaps for SSD storage devices should enable three to four bits per MCL cell in late 2011 or early 2012 and this should be the point when SSD should catch up mechanical HDD drives in storage and price.The performance is already on SSD side.

4.2 Update causes a Wii problem

Seems that non-modded consoles are having issues. We have been getting some reports from the Wii faithful that the 4.2 update is causing problems for Wii units. We suspected that these were illegally modified Wii consoles that were causing the grief, but a closer look at the complaints seems to suggest that some Wii consoles that are not modded are being bricked by the update.

Consumers spending again

At least Best Buy’s CEO thinks so. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is sounding a bit more upbeat and optimistic about the holiday season with current comments that he made. At a recent media conference in New York Dunn was quoted as saying “consumers are back out spending again” and, of course, this is good news.

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