News Posts matching "ASMedia"

Return to Keyword Browsing

ASUS Brings Two USB 3.1-Enabled Motherboards to Computex 2014

Just like its rival MSI, ASUS has decided to showcase a little USB advancement at Computex 2014. To do that the company put on display not one but two LGA1150 motherboards (probably Z97-based) featuring USB 3.1 support courtesy of an ASMedia controller.

The USB 3.1 ports on ASUS' boards - codenamed Quicksilver (ATX) and Shadowcat (mini ITX), offer maximum transfer rates of 10 Gbps and up to 100 W for connected devices. Shadowcat also packs two DDR3 memory slots, four SATA ports, one PCI-Express x16 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1 channel audio, and D-Sub, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs.

MSI Also Shows off First Motherboard with 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Ports

In addition to the first motherboard with DDR4 memory support, MSI showed off the industry's first motherboard featuring 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports. The unnamed socket LGA1150 motherboard is based on Intel's Z97 Express chipset, and uses a third-party ASMedia ASM1142 controller to drive two USB 3.1 ports. The controller is wired to the PCH over PCI-Express 2.0 x2. The rest of the board's feature-set appears consistent with the Z97 Gaming 7.

ASUS Demos its HyperXpress SSD

ASUS demonstrated its first SSD, the HyperXpress. As its name might give away, the drive is co-developed by HyperX, the enthusiast memory and storage brand of Kingston. Built in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drive features SATA Express interface, which will hit the consumer space this May, with the arrival of Intel's Z97 Express chipset, and Core "Haswell Refresh" processors. Internally, there's not much to this drive. It's a host-agnostic RAID 0 array of two mSATA 6 Gb/s SSDs, wired to a host controller made by ASMedia. To the host machine, it will look like a single drive. The sample demoed to the press, ASUS claims, is a very early prototype, and future iterations could run two M.2 SSDs instead of mSATA, for even higher throughput. The drive was tested to offer sequential transfer rates as high as 778 MB/s. At Computex 2014, flash memory manufacturers are expected to launch legions of new SSDs in the SATA-Express and M.2 form-factors.

Source: LegitReviews

MSI Rolls Out 760GMA-P34FX Socket AM3+ Motherboard

MSI rolled out the 760GMA-P34FX, a cost-effective socket AM3+ motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, designed with out of the box support for AMD FX "Vishera" processors. Based on the dated AMD 760 chipset with SB710 southbridge, the motherboard still offers modern connectivity, such as SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0, but using third-party controllers.

Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, the 760GMA-P34FX offers two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory. A PCI-Express 2.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and a legacy PCI slot make up its expansion area. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 3 Gb/s ports (from the SB710 southbridge), and two SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from an ASMedia ASM1061 controller). Display connectivity includes one each of DVI and D-Sub. The board offers four USB 3.0 ports, two on the rear panel, two by headers. 6-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of the connectivity. Expect this one to be light on your wallet. Really light.

ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer Detailed

Here's the first detailed body-shot of ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, which was teased by the company earlier today, and which could end up being one of the most feature-rich socket AM3+ motherboards, if the end is neigh for AM3+. Designed for gaming PCs with up to two graphics cards, although it features three long x16 slots, the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer is a full-size ATX motherboard. It's design appears to be more gamer-centric than overclocker-centric. It draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, with an optional 4-pin Molex connection to stabilize power to add-on cards; and conditions it for the AM3+ CPU using a 10-phase VRM that's cooled by an heatsink that's independent from that which cools the AMD 990FX northbridge (i.e. no heat-pipe linking the two). The AM3+ CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, which support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 MHz memory; and to the 990FX northbridge over a 5.2 GT/s HyperTransport link.

The AMD 990FX chipset puts out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots, the third slot is electrical PCI-Express 2.0 x4, and possibly wired to the SB950 southbridge. The southbridge handles five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, the sixth port is wired out as eSATA. The Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, as teased this morning, is among the first motherboards to feature an M.2 slot, extended out of a PCI-Express link. PCIe SSDs tend to be faster, as more interface bandwith is on tap. As many as six USB 3.0 ports are on offer, of which one switches between header and internal type-1 port (for those tuck-away software license keys) all of which are driven by third-party controllers. Wired networking is care of a Killer E2200 network controller, that's optimized for gaming. The board features 7.1-channel HD audio, with a high SNR CODEC, PCB ground-layer isolation (to prevent electrical noise), and an EMI shield for the CODEC; which ASRock collectively labels "Purity Sound." The board is driven by AMI UEFI BIOS, with full support for Windows 8 Secure Boot.

MSI Unleashes Z87 XPOWER Flagship LGA1150 Motherboard

Z87 MPOWER and Z87 MPOWER MAX, two of MSI's top overclocker-targeted socket LGA1150 motherboards, are joined by the company's new flagship motherboard, the Z87 XPOWER. Built in the XL-ATX (345 x 264 mm) form-factor, this board gets you the best MSI has to offer, and is ideal for both CPU and VGA overclocking benches. The CPU is powered by a gargantuan 32-phase digital-PWM power supply, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, in addition to the 24-pin ATX, and an optional 6-pin PCI-Express connector.

The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-3000+ memory, and a PLX PEX8747 PCI-Express gen 3.0 bridge chip, which gives out four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, two of which are x16 capable, all four of which are x8-capable. One of the five x16 slots, the second one from top, is directly wired to the CPU, and plugging a graphics card on that slot will bypass the bridge-chip. This slot is ideal for when you have just one card. Two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots take seat between the x16 slots, wired to the PCH. In addition to 4-way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX, the board includes Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 software.

ASUS P9X79-E WS Socket LGA2011 Motherboard Launched

First sighted in January, ASUS' P9X79-E WS socket LGA2011 motherboard is ready to take on the new breed of Core "Ivy Bridge-E" and Xeon "Ivy Bridge-EP" lines of processors, even if initial versions of its BIOS don't advertise that support. Based on Intel X79 Express chipset, the board is built in the 305 x 267 mm SSI-CEB form-factor. The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 10-phase VRM, with 2+2 phase memory VRM. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, four on its either sides, supporting up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR3-2133 MHz memory. The board features a total of seven PCI-Express x16 slots. 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX are supported.

Storage connectivity on the P9X79-E WS includes two SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the X79 PCH, four SATA 6 Gb/s from a Marvell-made 4-port SATA 6 Gb/s AHCI/RAID controller, four SATA 3 Gb/s from the PCH, and an additional two eSATA 6 Gb/s from an ASMedia-made controller. There are just four USB 3.0 ports on offer, all ASMedia-made controllers. Other connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, both driven by Intel-made controllers, 8-channel HD audio, legacy connectivity such as PS/2 and RS232 COM (header), and a pinch of overclocker-friendly features in the BIOS and on-board. The P9X79-E WS from ASUS is priced at US $499.99.

ASMedia Readies USB 3.5 Host Controllers

ASMedia owes a big part of its brand value to the initial popularity of third-party USB 3.0 host controllers, before motherboard chipsets started integrating it. It's only natural that the company is enthused about the upcoming USB 3.5 standard. At a recent media event, the company announced that it would be among the first to offer USB 3.5 host controllers, when the standard enters the consumer market some time in 2014.

With each new major version of USB, the specification increases interface bandwidth by 10 times. This time however, bandwidth is only being doubled, and so the version numbering is 3.5 and not 4.0. USB 3.5 will offer a bandwidth of 10 Gbps, will be able to deliver higher power to devices, and will maintain backwards compatibility with all older USB standards. USB 3.5 host controllers could compete directly with Thunderbolt. Despite a 2-year headstart, the 10 Gbps Thunderbolt interface is being offered only by one major host controller manufacturer, Intel, and the controllers are expensive compared to USB 3.0 host controllers. Unless that changes, Thunderbolt's future as a mainstream consumer interface will be in jeopardy with the advent of USB 3.5.
Sources: Apple Daily Taiwan, OCWorkbench

USB 3.0 Hub Controller Business Could Heat Up in 2013: Analysts

Following entry of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed specification, chip-makers such as Renesas, ASMedia, Etron, and VIA made a killing selling third-party USB 3.0 host controllers to motherboard, desktop, and notebook vendors, which ended after Intel launched its 7-series chipset featuring an integrated 4-port USB 3.0 host controller, resulting in drop in demand for third-party chips. These companies each have USB 3.0 hub controllers, and could help drive growth of the specification with USB 3.0 hubs, devices which multiply the number of USB ports available. USB 3.0 hub controllers have been slow in receiving USB-IF certification due to difficulties in conducting compatibility tests, which could ease out by 2013, since Renesas' chip already passed certification. Most peripherals and flash drive manufacturers could have USB 3.0 hubs among their product lineups.

Source: DigiTimes

ASMedia Offices Raided over USB 3.0 Controller Design Infringement Allegations

Offices of semiconductor company ASMedia were raided by law enforcement agencies in Taiwan, late last month, over allegations of intellectual property (IP) theft of physical-layer component (PHY) design of USB 3.0 host controllers. While the agencies did not disclose who is behind the allegations, it is rumored to be VIA, which sells USB 3.0 host, hub, and device controllers under the VIA Labs Inc (VLI) brand. Many of ASMedia's engineers are former employees of VIA, who are believed to have trafficked its IP over to their new employers.

Following the raid, ASMedia president Lin Che-wei held a press-conference in Taipei, announcing full cooperation with the authorities over the investigation. It remains to be seen how the investigation affects supplies of ASMedia's USB 3.0 controllers. A PC motherboard maker we spoke with expressed concern over the developments.

Source: DigiTimes

ASMedia Readies Controllers for Thunderbolt Devices

ASUS-subsidiary ASMedia made its mark as a vendor of high cost/performance 2-port USB 3.0 SuperSpeed host controllers, 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, and PCIe-PCI bridge chips, with good adoption by PC motherboard vendors. The company now eyes the emerging Thunderbolt-IO market. Thunderbolt will begin seeing adoption by the PC market starting this year, and the adoption of the interconnect by data storage device manufacturers, particularly of fast external storage, for use in the content-creation industry.

Thunderbolt host controllers are yet to receive widespread adoption due to three factors:
  • Cost of the controller. Intel is yet to bring its Thunderbolt host controllers down to an a reasonable price.
  • Deficiency of alternative controller providers, high scope for price-reductions the moment there are alternative providers
  • A looming transition from Thunderbolt copper-electric to fiber-optic medium, which could make current 10 Gb/s-over-copper standard obsolete
ASMedia could address at least two factors here, it could provide an alternative to Intel-made controllers, and could offer a competitive price (or at least price-performance ratio). ASMedia president Lin Che-Wei told DigiTimes that his company will be ready with Thunderbolt-compatible SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, by the second half of 2012.Sources: DigiTimes, VR-Zone

Sapphire Intros Pure Platinum A55V Motherboard

Sapphire released the new Pure Platinum A55V motherboard to the market. The board offers a value socket FM1 platform based on AMD A55 FCH chipset, in the ATX form-factor. The motherboard supports AMD A4, A6, A8, and Athlon II "Llano" APU/CPUs in the FM1 package. This model is not exactly designed to be "no-frills", as it does pack an interesting mix of features that could help it grab a comfy price-point in the market.

The FM1 socket is powered by a 6-phase VRM, which uses a simple whine-free choke + DPAK MOSFET design, but throws in a heatsink to cool the MOSFETs. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory, with speeds of over DDR3-1600 MHz with overclocking. The APU is also wired to a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Apart from these, you get three legacy PCI slots, wired to the FCH.

Gigabyte Unveils X79S-UD5 Workstation Motherboard

At CeBIT, Gigabyte unveiled what many may have overlooked for bearing a strong resemblance to the GA-X79-UD5, the GA-X79S-UD5. This board is designed to be a 1P workstation-grade motherboard, probably with out of the box support for the latest Xeon processors in the LGA2011 package, apart from Core i7 ones. The upper-half of this board is nearly identical to that of the X79-UD5. The LGA2011 CPU is powered by a 14-phase VRM, wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots (two on either sides), supporting quad-channel memory. There are minor differences (as far as the upper-half is concerned). Tantulum capacitors on the X79-UD5 are replaced with cylindrical solid-state ones on the X79S-UD5, the FrescoLogic-made USB 3.0 controller is replaced with a VLI-made one.

It's the lower half of the X79S-UD5, where all the action is. The expansion slot load-out consists of five long PCI-Express x16 slots. Among these, two are PCI-Express 3.0 x16 capable, one is PCI-Express 3.0 x8 capable (by taking 8 lanes from one of the two x16 links), and two appear to be PCI-Express 2.0 x4. Then there's a legacy PCI slot. The PCH heatsink is identical to the one on the X79-UD5, but what's under it is what counts. Although named "X79"S-UD5, the board is actually based on the Intel C606 "Patsburg", which is an enterprise-grade chipset for Intel's Sandy Bridge-EP platforms. Apart from six SATA ports (2x 6 Gb/s + 4x 3 Gb/s), the C606 PCH provides eight SAS (Serial-attached SCSI) ports, running at 3 Gb/s speeds. The rest of the connectivity is completely identical to that of the X79-UD5.

Source: VR-Zone

Buffalo Readies USB 3.0 Add-on Cards

Buffalo is working on two new 2-port USB 3.0 add-on cards for desktops and notebooks. Slated for launch in late-January, these products are the IFC-PCIE2U3S2, a low-profile desktop PCIe x1 add-on card; and IFC-EC2U3/UC2, an ExpressCard-34 add-on card for notebooks. While USB 3.0 add-on card products may not be new to Buffalo, these cards are probably based on newer ASMedia-made USB 3.0 controllers. The IFC-PCIE2U3S2 includes a low-profile bracket, it draws power from a 4-pin floppy power connector. Both cards will be priced at 3,255 JPY (about US $42), in the Japanese market.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Sapphire Z77 Motherboard Pictured

Here is the first picture of Sapphire's socket LGA1155 motherboard in the works, based on Intel Z77 "Panther Point" chipset. Carrying the model number PT-CI7Z77, the board will probably carry the company's "Pure Black" branding. Its chipset and VRM heatsink designs have not been finalized, yet. To begin with, the LGA1155 socket, which supports upcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors out of the box, is powered by a 10-phase VRM. This VRM uses ferrite-core chokes, Driver-MOSFETs, and a secondary NEC-TOKIN multi-phase capacitor to condition power. Three other phases handle memory and miscellaneous power domains on the board.

The processor is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR3 memory. It is also wired to two PCI Express 3.0 long slots, which are auto-configured as x16/NC or x8/x8, depending on the second slot being populated. Other slots include a PCI Express 2.0 x1, and a PCI Express 2.0 long slot (gray), which is electrically PCIe 2.0 x4, and wired to the Z77 PCH. There are two legacy PCI slots, driven by an ASMedia-made bridge chip.

AREA Also Intros SATA 6 Gb/s Card with Switchable Internal/External Ports

Apart from the powerful little Mr. Clone 3.0 drive-cloning and docking device, Japanese company AREA also launched the SATA 6 Gb/s TwinTurbo Hybrid addon-card. 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s cards aren't new, but they either come in 2-port internal SATA, or 2-port eSATA forms, making you have to choose between the two types. This addon-card from AREA features two internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two eSATA 6 Gb/s ports, and uses a common 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller.

The ingenuity here is a simple jumper-based way of configuring those two SATA channels to individually work as internal SATA or eSATA. So now you can set the card to have two eSATA 6 Gb/s ports, two internal SATA ports, or one internal SATA and an eSATA, whichever way you'd like, by simply toggling two sets of four jumpers switching which way the data traces of each SATA channel end up. The card uses an ASMedia ASM1061 2-port PCIe SATA 6 Gb/s controller, which supports IDE, AHCI, and simple RAID modes. It connects to the host over PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Slated for May 2012, the AREA SATA TwinTurbo Hybrid will be priced at 2,980 JPY, or $38.
Source: Hermitage Akihabara
Return to Keyword Browsing