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GIGABYTE G1.Gaming Z97 Motherboard Pictured

GIGABYTE is giving final touches to its next G1.Killer series motherboard, the G1.Gaming Z97. Branded in an uncanny way to MSI's Gaming series, the G1.Gaming is a mid-range ($150 - $200) socket LGA1150 motherboard based on Intel's Z97 Express chipset, which can run Core "Haswell" Refresh processors out of the box. The board features most of the stuff you've come to expect from "gaming" grade motherboards. To begin with, its draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and uses an 8-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU. The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory; and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated). Three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and two legacy PCI make for the rest of its expansion area.

Display connectivity on the G1.Gaming Z97 includes DisplayPort and HDMI. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s, and likely one M.2 slot. A total of six USB 3.0 ports are on offer, four on the rear panel, two by header. The board features 7.1-channel Creative Sound Core3D audio with user-replaceable OPAMPs, a 115 dBA DAC, audiophile-grade electrolytic capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The wired networking on this board is equally special, a Broadcom-Killer E2100 PCIe NIC with packet prioritization that's optimized for multiplayer gaming. For those with USB headsets that come with their own DACs, GIGABYTE is offering a special USB 2.0 port with extra power output, and electrical noise filter. GIGABYTE's dual-UEFI BIOS is at the helm of this board.


Source: Expreview

Broadcom Doubles Wi-Fi Speeds with First Six Stream 802.11ac MIMO Platform

Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the industry's first six stream 802.11ac MIMO platform for home networks. Broadcom's 5G WiFi XStream is up to 50 percent faster than MU-MIMO routers and gateways. The new platform has twice the bandwidth of existing 802.11ac routers and gateways, and provides advanced software to double performance of today's best-selling Wi-Fi devices for high-definition (HD) streaming and data consumption. By offering Wi-Fi data rates up to 3.2 Gbps, Broadcom's 5G WiFi XStream delivers an ideal experience for users who are simultaneously consuming more data, connecting Internet of Things devices and streaming HD content to multiple screens.

Broadcom's Intelligent Quality of Service (iQoS) advanced software identifies incoming traffic and allocates bandwidth so that applications like Netflix or YouTube get the highest priority while other applications, like file downloads, run at a lower priority. Broadcom's SmartConnect software automatically ensures that 802.11ac devices in the home are not sharing airtime with slower Wi-Fi devices. This process doubles the performance of all devices in the network.

Micron Collaborates With Broadcom to Solve DRAM Timing Challenge

Micron Technology, Inc., one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced its collaboration with Broadcom Corporation to develop the industry's first solution designed for customers challenged by an intrinsic DDR3 timing parameter called tFAW, or four activate window.

tFAW refers to a DDR3 timing parameter that restricts data throughput in server, storage and networking applications and can compromise bandwidth by 15 to 35 percent. With every new DRAM generation, the access granularity is becoming double, causing some timing parameters like tRDD and tFAW to restrict data throughput. This creates challenges for high-performance applications because no more than four bank activate commands can be issued in any given tFAW period.

"The search for improved performance among network providers remains a challenge in the midst of continuous data overload," said Mike Howard, senior principal analyst of DRAM and memory at IHS iSuppli. "Architecture solutions that can open up bandwidth for high-performance applications will serve to extend operational efficiencies and boost overall network performance."

ASUS Announces the World's Fastest Wireless Router is Available for Pre-Order

ASUS is excited to announce that the RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual-band router is now available for pre-order at select resellers. Capable of delivering speeds up to 1.3 Gbps over 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n thanks to Broadcom TurboQAM technology, the RT-AC68U is the world's fastest dual-band wireless router.

Powered by a dual-core processor, the RT-AC68U eliminates the performance drops that plague other routers with busy networks. So even on the busiest home networks HD video streaming is always smooth, low latencies enhance online gaming and VoIP calls, and file downloads are not interrupted.

Sapphire Unveils Three APU-based Innovations

While Sapphire's LGA1150 motherboard lineup came across as a little lukewarm, the company more than made up for that with its fleet of motherboards that take advantage of AMD's newest A-series and E-series APUs and SoCs. First, there's the PGS A320M, a micro-ATX motherboard that ships with a FirePro A320 socket FM2 APU pre-installed. Largely identical to an A10-5800K, and based on the "Trinity" micro-architecture, the A320 features FirePro-branded professional graphics that's certified for most modern 3D productivity applications, and can give display output at resolutions as high as 4096 x 2160. The board features one each of DisplayPort 1.2, dual-link DVI-I, and D-Sub display outputs. Other features include eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet (Broadcom controller), and 8-channel HD audio.

Things get interesting with a contraption called IPC-FS1r2A75. This board comes in a proprietary IPC form-factor, features an FS1 rev 2.0 socket, which seats R-series APUs, an embedded AMD Radeon E6000 series GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext arhitecture, with its own dedicated GDDR5 memory on-package, and AMD A75 FCH chipset. The board offers six mini-DisplayPort and four HDMI outputs, two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot, four mPCIe slots (in stacks of two), five SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six USB 3.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet connections, and 6-channel audio.

AMD Open 3.0 Delivers Premium Server Performance at Half the Cost

AMD today announced availability of servers based on its AMD Open 3.0 specification, defined as part of the Open Compute Project, delivering workload versatility and performance equal to competing proprietary OEM servers at significantly lower cost. In comparison to benchmarks running virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the AMD Open 3.0-based system supported just as many virtual desktops and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) by 57 percent: $4,589 versus $10,669 for just a single server. This cost effectiveness translates into a dramatic reduction in cost per virtual desktop, from $91.19 to only $38.24 per desktop. More details on the findings are available online and will be discussed at a roundtable event tomorrow in New York City and other select cities. The servers will be available through distributor partners.

"Global IT organizations have the difficult task of choosing between price and performance when investing in servers," said Bob Ogrey, cloud evangelist and fellow, AMD. "We don't believe organizations have to compromise one for the other. Using systems based on the AMD Open 3.0 specification -- the first open source, modular platform for the masses -- enables high performance and energy efficiency at a reasonable price, making it the best choice for organizations.

D-Link Selects Broadcom HomePlug AV Technology for New Powerline Adapters

Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced that D-Link, a global leader in connectivity, is now shipping a new line of Powerline Adapters powered by Broadcom innovation. Achieving superior network reliability and range with two Ethernet ports for maximum flexibility and convenience, the D-Link DHP-328AV offers consumers a low-hassle, high-value way to stream media, surf the web or connect to multiple devices like media players. Visit www.broadcom.com to learn more.

D-Link selected the Broadcom BCM60321 HomePlug AV Powerline Communications (PLC) system-on-a-chip (SoC) for its higher level of integration and performance. Optimized for the toughest network conditions where electrical interferences are high, the BCM60321 offers improved Internet coverage and more reliable Internet streaming throughout the home. With Broadcom technology, the user experience also improves when using high-bandwidth, delay-sensitive applications like media streaming, videoconferencing, VoIP and online gaming.

IEEE 802.3-2012 "Standard for Ethernet" Expands to Address New Markets

IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, today announced the approval of IEEE 802.3-2012 “Standard for Ethernet.” IEEE 802.3 defines wired connectivity for Ethernet local area, access and metropolitan area networks around the world.

“’IEEE 802.3 technologies and the varied Ethernet networks that they enable are found everywhere, and the standard’s application horizon continues to expand,” said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished engineer with HP Networking. “When Ethernet networking was conceived in the 1970s and the IEEE 802.3 standard was first published in 1985, its founders could not possibly have foreseen the global transformation that their ideas and efforts would ultimately set into motion. The standard has helped spawn whole new business models, industries and ways of life. And that cycle of innovation continues today.”

ITC Issues Notice of Final Determination in Rambus Matter

Rambus Inc. (RMBS), one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, today announced that the International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued its notice of final determination in the action brought by Rambus against LSI Logic, ST Microelectronics and other Respondents. In its notice, the ITC affirmed the initial determination of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Theodore R. Essex that there was no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 with respect to the asserted patents. The Commission also reversed the ALJ’s determinations that Rambus demonstrated the existence of a domestic industry, that certain asserted Dally claims were invalid, and that those claims were infringed. The action is Investigation Number 337-TA-753.

Rambus has not yet received the full opinion by the Commission. A copy of today’s summary is available here.

IEEE Forms Study Group to Explore Next-Generation IEEE 802.3 BASE-T

IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced the formation of the IEEE 802.3 Next-Generation BASE-T Study Group. The new group is designed to measure industry interest and needs in the next generation of the IEEE 802.3 BASE-T family of technologies for Ethernet transmission over twisted-pair cabling.

Widely deployed for physical-layer connectivity in data centers, IEEE 802.3 BASE-T represents the highest-volume Ethernet port type today. IEEE 802.3 BASE-T technologies typically utilize server-uplink data rates of Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet today, but platform transitions and systems innovation on all fronts are driving new networking requirements.

Belkin Debuts 802.11ac Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Gigabit Routers

Belkin, creator of people-inspired consumer technology products, today launched its new line of advanced wireless routers featuring 802.11ac technology for speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11n technology. As one of the first to market with routers that support the new 802.11ac networking standard, Belkin’s AC1000 DB and AC1200 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Gigabit Routers provide enhanced reliability, greater speeds, and enhanced streaming capabilities.

“With a majority of video content being consumed on devices such as smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets instead of a home computer, today’s tech-savvy families have an increasing need for simultaneous connections to multiple devices throughout their homes,” said Mike Chen, senior director of Belkin’s networking business. “The enhanced speed and expanded coverage of Belkin’s AC routers enable families to achieve the truly seamless online experiences they crave.”

ASUS Working on World's First Notebook with 802.11ac

According to Broadcom vice-president Michael Hurlston, the upcoming ASUS Republic of Gamers G75VW will be the world's first notebook PC with an integrated 802.11ac WLAN adapter. It will be the "world’s first 5G Wi-Fi laptop," according to Hurlston. Yet to be released to the market, the G75VW will be equipped with a Broadcom-made 802.11ac adapter, although its product page currently only mentions 802.11n support. The notebook will pack dual-antennae MIMO support, and will be capable of theoretical network speeds in the 800 to 850 Mbps range. Hurlston made this statement at the Computex 2012 company booth.

Source: The Verge

Buffalo's 802.11ac Wireless Solutions Available Now

Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network and direct attached storage solutions, today announced that the AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router and WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge are now available for purchase from select retail partners. Based on Broadcom's 5G WiFi chips and first unveiled on the show floor at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, WZR-D1800H and WLI-H4-D1300 offer speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n and are fully backward compatible with 802.11a, 11b, 11g and 11n to ensure interoperability with legacy devices.

Operating in the 5 GHz spectrum, 802.11ac offers transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, ideal for uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access. Along with gigabit speeds, Buffalo's 802.11ac products with improved radios will feature improved reliability and produce better in-home coverage for ultra-portable devices such as tablets and smart phones. As 5G WiFi proliferates into phones and tablets, the WZR-D1800H will enable even better coverage as well as incredibly fast download times, improving the battery life of clients.

Belkin Announces Entry Into 802.11ac Wireless Networking Market

Belkin International, creators of people-inspired products and technology solutions, today announced plans to become one of the first to market with a line of wireless dual-band routers supporting the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard. New Belkin products will feature Broadcom's fifth generation (5G WiFi) 802.11ac chips, which enable speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11n technology.

"802.11ac technology provides the wireless networking backbone needed to reliably handle the increasing amount of mobile devices and streaming content on today's home networks," said Mike Chen, senior director of networking at Belkin. "We are excited to partner with Broadcom to bring cutting-edge Wi-Fi products to market this summer that not only provide great speed and coverage, but also enhance the online streaming experience for videos, movies, and music throughout the home."

Broadcom Unveils World's Highest Density 100GbE Switch Solution

Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the BCM88650 series, the world's highest density 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switching solution, enabling the design of switching platforms with densities up to 4,000 100 GbE ports. With the industry's highest level of integration, the BCM88650 system on chip (SoC) combines the features and functionality of a complete line card into a single chip. Together with Broadcom's leading FE1600 (BCM88750) fabric, the BCM88650 SoC enables a new generation of high density networking solutions exceeding 100 terabits per second (Tbps). See the technology in action at INTEROP 2012 or visit http://go.broadcom.com/interop12 to learn more.

Worldwide Semiconductor Market Grew 3.7% in 2011 to $301 Billion

Worldwide semiconductor revenues increased more than 3.7% year over year to $301 billion in 2011, according to the latest version of the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF). The industry weathered the macroeconomic uncertainties in the U.S and Europe, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, China's slow down in the second half of the year, and floods in Thailand. Meanwhile, device applications, such as smartphones, media tablets and e-readers, automotive infotainment, notebook PCs, datacenter servers, and wireless and wired communication infrastructure drove robust consumption of semiconductors.

IDC's SAF tracks more than 100 semiconductor companies. Over 40 of these companies experienced year-over-year revenue growth greater than 5%, while about the same number of companies saw their revenue decline by more than 5%.

NETGEAR Introduces Industry's First 802.11ac WiFi Router

NETGEAR, Inc., a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today announced the availability of the NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router; the first 802.11ac dual band gigabit WiFi router enabling 5th generation WiFi (5G WiFi) at gigabit speeds. The router is also backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n which provides optimum interoperability with legacy WiFi devices.

The NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router, powered by Broadcom's 5G WiFi IEEE 802.11ac chips, is up to three times faster than today's 802.11n routers. With an elegant new design that fits perfectly in consumers' living spaces, the router increases the coverage area for HD streaming in the home. The NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router has speeds of up to 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz and 450 Mbps on 2.4 GHz enabling consumers to download web content from any device in the home in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device.

Broadcom Introduces Industry's First 100 Gbps Full Duplex Network Processor

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced the industry's first 100 Gbps full duplex network processor unit (NPU). Enabling the next wave of 100GbE optimized switches and routers for service provider networks, the fully programmable BCM88030 family features 64 custom processors running at 1GHz, delivering more than 2X the throughput of any NPU on the market. With the industry's highest level of integration, the BCM88030 solution eliminates costly external components, dramatically reducing system cost and power by up to 80 percent per 10 GbE port.

In 2012, the number of connected devices is set to exceed the world's population with an estimated 7 billion devices connected to the network(1). By 2015, 90 percent of content viewed on mobile devices will be streaming video and application downloads are expected to reach 47 billion per year(1). To satisfy this overwhelming appetite for bandwidth, service providers around the globe are racing to transform their networks by adopting higher bandwidth links. Analysts estimate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 170 percent from 2011 to 2016 for 100G Ethernet ports as service providers rush to meet this demand(2).

ASRock X79 Fatal1ty Champion Motherboard Detailed

ASRock is readying its second Fatal1ty-branded socket LGA2011 motherboard, the X79 Fatal1ty Champion. The company's first LGA2011 Fatal1ty motherboard is the X79 Fatal1ty Professional, which was launched in February. The new X79 Fatal1ty Champion will be launched on April 27. Those familiar with Creative Sound Blaster Fatal1ty line of sound cards will note Fatal1ty Champion as being a more feature-rich version of Fatal1ty Professional. In this case, the X79 Fatal1ty Champion is based on a completely new PCB, with the design idea of more expansion, and the latest Creative Sound Core3D audio solution.

The X79 Fatal1ty Champion features eight DDR3 DIMM slots (X79 Fatal1ty Professional has four), and a PCIe-only expansion slot layout. The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 12-phase DigiPower VRM, similar to the one on the Professional. The VRM heatsink is assisted by two other secondary heatsinks, to which heat is conveyed by a heat-pipe. One of these is connected to the PCH heatsink. Power is drawn by 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and one 4-pin Molex (angled, optional). The board features consolidated voltage measurement points, which are socketed to hold your multimeter's leads in place. The board will be augmented by a feature-rich UEFI BIOS setup program, and ASRock-exclusive features such as XFastLAN, XFastUSB, and XFastRAM will be included.

Edimax Shows Off 802.11ac Router, USB Dongle

Taiwan-based Edimax, which is known more for its low-cost networking hardware, took a big leap, by unveiling its first 802.11ac wireless networking hardware. These include a static router, and a USB adapter. The router uses a Broadcom-made 600 MHz Intensi-fi MIPS32 central processor. This chip has two PCI-Express interfaces, a built-in USB 2.0 host controller, and DDR2 memory controller. It has two WLAN modules, the Broadcom BCM4331 handles 802.11 b/g/n in the 2.40 GHz band, while a Broadcom BCM4360 handles 802.11ac in the 5 GHz band. This module supports network bandwidths up to 1.35 Gbps. Then you have a wired LAN interface, with one gigabit uplink port, and four gigabit downstream ports.

Moving on, Edimax showed off one of the industry's first USB 802.11ac adapters. This dongle uses Broadcom BCM43526 chip, and offers dual-band operation. In the 5 GHz band, it offers bandwidths of up to 900 Mbps, while in the 2.4 GHz band, it offers 300 Mbps. Sadly for this adapter, the USB interface is USB 2.0 HiSpeed, which poses a host bandwidth bottleneck of 480 Mbps. When you factor in things such as the various protocol overheads, the actual bandwidth yield could be much lower. Edimax is yet to name its products, so quite some development is left.

Source: VR-Zone

ASRock Unveils Jaw-Dropping X79 Extreme11 Motherboard

A serious player in the PC motherboard industry, the world's 3rd biggest (in terms of volumes) at that, ASRock is one brand that has accumulated the engineering potential to make anything. It's far from finished with its LGA2011 motherboard lineup, and made sure visitors at its CeBIT booth had their jaws on the floor. Enter, the ASRock X79 Extreme11. This motherboard is designed for not just extremely-overclocked PCs, but battlestations holding their own huge storage arrays. This monster is built in the EATX form-factor.

The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 16+2 phase DigiPower VRM, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors. It is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR3 memory with speeds of over DDR3-2400 MHz by overclocking. The memory areas are powered by 4+4 phase VRM. Apart from the 24-pin ATX connector, and the two EPS connectors, the board also draws power from two 4-pin Molex connectors. The board makes use of Japanese-made solid-state capacitors almost throughout.

ITC Administrative Judge Issues Initial Determination in Rambus Matter

Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS), one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, today announced it received notice that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for its U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) action against LSI Logic, MediaTek, ST Microelectronics and other Respondents has issued an Initial Determination. According to the notice, ALJ Theodore R. Essex found there to be no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for the patents in question. The action is Investigation Number 337-TA-753.

Rambus may request a full Commission review of the ALJ’s Initial Determination. If the Commission grants a petition for review, it may affirm, modify, reverse, set aside, or remand all or part of the ALJ’s decision in developing the ITC’s final determination.

ASRock Introduces Fantastic Scout Mode in its Top Gaming Sound Card - Game Blaster!

World's top 3 motherboard manufacturer, ASRock Inc., specially partners with Creative Technology Ltd, the worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for the personal computer, to introduce the most trusted sound card in mobo industry - Game Blaster!

Gamers need so much more from their rigs. ASRock Game Blaster was designed to exceed the expectations of even the most dedicated gamer. It is the first sound card coming with both Creative 7.1 CH HD Sound Core3D Audio and Broadcom Gigabit LAN in the world.

$25 Raspberry Pi Hobby Computer Doubles iPhone 4S GPU Performance And Beats Tegra 2

We have previously reported on the super cheap ARM-based Raspberry Pi hobby computer that's been under development from the Raspberry Pi foundation. However, it's now going into production and is generating a lot of interest, so gamesindustry.biz interviewed its founder, Eben Upton, about it (free registration required).

The computer's primary purpose is as a computer science teaching aid in schools and colleges and also for home brew use by enthusiasts who want to tinker with it and make specialized solutions out of it. However, it seems that enthusiasts will have a nice surprise in that the onboard GPU is surprisingly good. The actual ARM implementation is a Broadcom BCM2835 System on Chip (SoC) containing an ARM 11 CPU and a custom graphics core, which has been designed by the Raspberry Pi team, including Upton. In the interview, Upton claimed that it can double iPhone 4S performance and handily beats NVIDIA's Tegra solution, because of its tile mode architecture.

Broadcom Launches First Chips for Gigabit Speed 802.11ac, Foundation of 5G WiFi

Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced its first family of 802.11ac (5G WiFi) chips designed for a broad range of product segments. The new IEEE 802.11ac chips are three times faster and up to six times more power efficient than equivalent 802.11n solutions. Visit Experience Broadcom @ CES for more news, blogs and multi-media from CES and www.5GWiFi.org for more information on consumer advantages of 802.11ac.

5G WiFi is the next generation Wi-Fi standard required for today's mobile and video era. Based on 802.11ac, 5G WiFi is a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks. Broadcom's 5G WiFi dramatically improves the wireless range in the home, allowing consumers to watch HD-quality video from more devices, in more places, simultaneously. The increased speed enables consumers to download web content from a mobile device faster and quickly synch large files, such as videos, in a fraction of the time it would take on a similar 802.11n device. Since 5G WiFi transfers the same volume of data at a much faster rate, devices enter low-power mode faster, which results in significant power consumption advantages.
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