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MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Now Available

MSI, world leading in motherboard technology, is pleased to announce its unleashing of the Z97 GAMING 9 AC motherboard to the public. The Z97 GAMING 9 AC from MSI is a custom designed motherboard, decorated with luscious new heat-sinks and unique Dragon Armor that highlight an arsenal of new features found on the board. It's masterpiece being Xtreme Audio DAC, a premium dedicated onboard sound card with specially selected high quality audio components, set up and tuned by professionals delivering 120dB Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) 192kHz / 32-Bit of purest sound quality for studio-grade Hi-Fi solutions and gaming headgear. The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC also comes with an Intel Wi-Fi AC module with Bluetooth 4.0 and Intel WiDi support.

Having superior sound quality while gaming is the decisive factor between a kilI or be killed. The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC motherboard comes with a premium Hi-Fi sound card, delivering 192kHz / 32-Bit 120 dB SNR bit-perfect audio quality, onboard! Premium audio components like a C-Media HD Audio Processor, Wolfson WM8741 DAC and Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 amplifier are selected for the truly amazing sound quality. Enjoy pure sound quality and a breathtaking, never heard before, gaming sound experience that gives you the upper hand on your enemy.

Creative Launches the Sound Blaster E Series USB Audio Solutions

Creative Technology Ltd today launched an all-new series of small but powerful USB audio solutions for PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets -- The Sound Blaster E Series. Consisting of the Sound Blaster E3 and the Sound Blaster E1, the Sound Blaster E Series builds upon the popularity of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!Pro. They utilize USB plug-and-play connectivity to provide PC, and now even Mac users, with access to a powerful USB audio experience through real-time advanced audio processing.

Top audio quality is ensured even on smartphones and tablets through the Sound Blaster E Series' high SNR levels and 600Ω headphone amplifiers that supply more power than a standard headphone jack. The Sound Blaster E3 can also function as a high performance USB DAC for selected smartphones and tablets, and users can alternatively enjoy high quality wireless audio by pairing with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth.

STREAMZ Introduces World's First Smart Streaming Headphones

STREAMZ, a Mozaex spin-off company, announced today it has released the world's first smart streaming headphones called STREAMZ. STREAMZ are breakthrough headphones that allow you to play music and audio from multiple sources, including onboard stored music, streaming online radio, streamed phone music, plus audio from your TV, movie, and game player.

The company will be demonstrating STREAMZ and their BLUWAVS 7.1 HDMI Surround headphones during the 2014 CES Expo, held in Las Vegas from January 7-10, booth #54009 (inside the iLounge of the LVH Hall).

Audioengine Introduces New Desktop Speakers

Audioengine today announced the Audioengine 2+ (A2+) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers. The award-winning Audioengine 2 speakers just got better. With a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine 2+ allows you to bypass your computer's headphone output and send music directly through USB for improved sound.

Upgrade your audio
The Audioengine 2+ sets a new standard for computer audio and these small, but high-performance speakers are the perfect upgrade for your computer.

ASUS Xonar Essence STU USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier Launched

ASUS today announced the Xonar Essence STU USB external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier, based on the acclaimed design and quality of Xonar Essence ST/STX internal sound cards and going beyond their already high standards. Offering audiophile-grade performance, Xonar Essence STU delivers USB connectivity and accessible external controls.

It offers clear sound with a 120dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), strong 600ohm headphone amplifier, asynchronous USB audio and swappable Op-Amps for DIY sound modification. Precision clock tuning technology further enhances audio fidelity, making Xonar Essence STU a great choice for discerning music lovers who need a quality DAC and headphone amplifier to drive the full capabilities of high-end headphones.

OPPO Digital Shows Off New Headphones and Headphone Amplifier

Like many technology companies in Silicon Valley, OPPO Digital is continuously working on bringing new ideas and new products to customers. Over the past 8 years, OPPO has developed and released a series of award-winning universal DVD and Blu-ray players. We have built a team with experience and expertise in designing high performance audio and video products. Just as video has entered an Ultra HD era, audio is evolving with the rise of high-resolution music and a renewed interest in personal audio. We believe that our knowledge in high performance product design and quality manufacturing can bring benefits to customers in the personal audio space. The first two products in this category will be our PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone and HA-1 Headphone Amplifier.

ASUS Launches Essence III Preamplifier, USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

ASUS today announced Essence III, a USB digital-to-analog (DAC) converter with a fully balanced design and the latest Direct Stream Digital (DSD) playback designed for those who demand the purest audio quality and listening flexibility.

High-precision clocks and asynchronous USB virtually eliminate jitter, while separate printed-circuit boards for digital, analog and power ensure that the Essence III's audio delivery is crystal-clear and free of crosstalk. Remote-controlled volume driven by stepped attenuators allow output levels to be set with great precision - even from the far side of the listening room.

GIGABYTE Introduces the H81.AMP-UP Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the latest addition to its 8 series motherboards, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP. Supporting the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP motherboard boasts outstanding audio features never seen before on an mainstream platform motherboard. These include an upgradable onboard OP-Amp, exclusive USB DAC-UP which provides noise-less USB power for digital-to-analog converters, switches to boost overall gain levels, high-end Nichicon capacitors and more.

"The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP is like no other motherboard currently available, addressing the important market of audio enthusiasts that don't necessarily require high-end PC gaming features," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "Delivering a potent combination of our exclusive audio technologies, and backed by our signature Ultra Durable design philosophy, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP has certainly upped the ante in terms of must have features for mainstream H81 motherboards."

ASUS Unveils ROG Maximus VI Impact Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASUS announced its first Republic of Gamers (ROG) motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, the Maximus VI Impact, which could go on to become choice number one for SFF gaming PC builders. Arguably the most feature-rich mini-ITX motherboard ever made, the Maximus VI Impact is a socket LGA1150 motherboard based on Intel Z87 Express chipset, which supports 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors.

The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it using a 10-phase VRM that off-shoots into its own little PCB, with heatsink. The other three daughterboards on the Maximus VI Impact include the SupremeFX Impact, a sound-card with an audiophile-grade 115 dBA DAC, OPAMPs, and audio-grade capacitors; and an mPCIe combo card that lends it 802.11 ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0; and an ImpactControl card that gives overclockers POST diagnostic readouts and CMOS reset/restore at the push of a button, right from the rear panel.

ASUS Announces Xonar Essence STU External Sound Card and Headphones Amplifier

ASUS today announced the Xonar Essence STU USB external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier, based on the acclaimed design and quality of Xonar Essence ST/STX internal sound cards and going beyond their already high standards. Offering audiophile-grade performance, Xonar Essence STU delivers USB connectivity and accessible external controls.

It offers clear sound with a 120dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), strong 600ohm headphone amplifier, asynchronous USB audio and swappable Op-Amps for DIY sound modification. Precision clock tuning technology further enhances audio fidelity, making Xonar Essence STU a great choice for discerning music lovers who need a quality DAC and headphone amplifier to drive the full capabilities of high-end headphones.

ASUS Introduces the Xonar U7 USB Soundcard and Headphone Amplifier

ASUS today announced the compact Xonar U7 USB external soundcard and headphone amplifier, which offers powerful and clear 114dB SNR audio with USB convenience. It incorporates a headphone amplifier, Dolby Home Theater v4 support, plus dedicated microphone and volume controls.

Xonar U7 serves the needs of PC gamers who want to enjoy strong and clear sound via headphones, and is also ideal for listening to music as it produces much more impactful and detailed audio than onboard hardware. Connecting via USB, it requires no standalone power supply and works instantly setup-free with no need to open the PC case.

Now, A Dongle That Converts D-Sub to HDMI and Vice Versa

If you're feeling the pinch of lack of HDMI inputs on their monitors, you'll find this little dongle from the bi-lanes of Tokyo's Akihabara shopping district handy. The TEC HDCOM-001, as it's called, has a male D-Sub connector on one end, which plugs into the D-Sub connector of your monitor, and an HDMI input. The HDMI connection can carry both video to the monitor and up to 6 channels of audio, which are given out by the dongle as analog audio outputs. The gadget could come handy when pairing Ultrabooks (which lack D-Sub, and provide HDMI) with analog monitors, or those which lack HDMI inputs. It can also be used the other way, to convert D-Sub to HDMI, using an included male to female cable. Its DAC supports display resolutions as high as 1920 x 1080, with 60 Hz refresh rate. Measuring 41 x 72 x 18 mm, it weighs about 120 g. It is priced at 5,480 JPY (US $68).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Arduino Due ARM Kit Launched

Arduino announces the release of the new Arduino Due board based on the Cortex M3 ARM processor. The release of the 1.0 Arduino platform in 2011 represented a milestone for Open Source Hardware: after six years of development, Arduino is declared mature and stable.
Once this was achieved, the team applied itself to the new version of Arduino designed to provide more creative options to users. The result of this work is the Arduino Due, a board that provides increased performance and faster connectivity at an affordable price (49 USD MSRP).

Arduino Due is ideal for those who want to build projects that require high computing power such as the remotely-controlled drones that, in order to fly, need to process a lot of sensor data per second. Arduino Due gives students the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the ARM processor in a cheaper and much simpler way than before.

ASUS Intros the Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition

The ASUS Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition USB digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier carries on the award-winning tradition established by previous Xonar Essence products. It includes acclaimed MUSES 01 Op-Amps from New Japan Radio Co. Ltd., generating bigger, bolder, and livelier sound to meet the highest audiophile standards. The product maintains a swappable Op-Amp approach, and includes highlights such as WIMA capacitors, linear power delivery, XLR connectors, symmetrical 8X upsampling, a dedicated 600ohm headphone amplifier, and 120dB SNR. Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition proves ASUS Xonar products continue to lead the way in marrying audiophile-grade hardware with PC-based multimedia.

Follow up to winner of CES Innovations Awards
The latest Xonar offering improves on Xonar Essence One, winner of a 2012 CES Innovations Award in the audio component category. Xonar engineers and product managers continuously aim to improve sound quality, resulting in Xonar Essence One Plus Edition launching in June 2012 with an Op-Amp DIY kit, which allows customers to easily tune sound to their preference. The third Xonar Essence One offering, Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition maintains this pursuit of sound excellence, integrating some of the best audio components in the industry.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Silicon Validates 28nm AMS Production Design

At next week’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco, Calif., GLOBALFOUNDRIES plans to demonstrate an enhanced silicon-validated design flow for its 28nm Super Low Power (SLP) technology with Gate First High-k Metal Gate (HKMG). The flow provides proven and complete front-to-back support for advanced analog/mixed-signal (AMS) design using the industry’s latest design automation technology. In addition, the company will reveal jointly developed design flows with its EDA partners in certifying both analog and digital “double patterning aware” flows for its 20nm process, with silicon validation expected in early 2013 at that technology node.

As a result of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ commitment to silicon validation of flows before releasing them, customers have the confidence to produce signoff-ready 28nm digital and analog designs using the industry's most advanced set of design tools, tool scripts, and methodologies from the leading EDA suppliers. The company’s tight collaboration with the design tool and IP ecosystem also accelerates its ability to develop working flows for advanced nodes such as 20nm, providing their advantages in gate density, performance, and lower power to customers ahead of other foundries.

New Rubicon DAC Uses Atomic Clock for Jitter-Correction

A new DAC by Rubicon, the Rubicon Antelope, seeks to address the problem of jitter using a rubidium atomic clock instead of a crystal oscillator. Modern electronics rely on oscillators and clock-generators to time the flow of everything from signals to well-structured packets of data. Often the accuracy of these could impact on signal quality (think of a packet "missing the bus" due to bad timing), during digital to analog conversion. External DACs tend to suffer jitters during digital to analog conversion, which could ruin the experience for extreme-Audiophiles.

Rubicon used the most accurate clock generation technique known to man, by implementing a rubidium atomic clock. This clock, Rubicon claims, is 100,000 times more stable than conventional crystal oscillators. Although it sounds gimmicky to the mainstream, atomic clock-based equipment very much are used in big-budget professional mastering studios. Other features include 64-bit acoustically-focused clocking jitter management technology; 384 kHz D/A and A/D converters; ultra-linear, dual stage headphone amps; de-jittered audio S/PDIF output; DLNA streaming capabilities through an Ethernet interface.

Source: Gizmodo
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