News Posts matching "UEFI"

Return to Keyword Browsing

MSI Z77A-GD55 Motherboard Pictured

Here are the first pictures of MSI's Z77A-GD55 motherboard. The GD55 is a notch below the GD65 in terms of its feature-set, and will likely hold a cost-benefit sweetspot. The motherboard is designed to support today's "Sandy Bridge", and tomorrow's "Ivy Bridge" Core processors in the LGA1155 package, and is based on Intel's Z77 "Panther Point" chipset. The CPU is powered by a lighter 9-phase VRM compared to the 12-phase VRM on the GD65. It retains the expansion slot layout of its elder brother, consisting of two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), four PCIe x1, and one PCIe 2.0 x4 (physical x16).

The Z77A-GD55 has two fewer SATA 6 Gb/s ports compared to the GD65, all its internal ports are wired to the PCH. That's two SATA 6 Gb/s and four SATA 3 Gb/s. There are no eSATA ports. Further, there are no third-party USB 3.0 controllers, either. All four of the USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two via front-panel header) are wired to the PCH. Display connectivity includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. 8-channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF outputs, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of its connectivity.

Shuttle Launches New Mini-PC with Z68 Chipset

Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, the European subsidiary of Shuttle Inc., one of the leading developers and manufacturers of compact PC solutions such as the world-renowned XPC Mini-PC barebones, today announces its new top-of-the-range XPC Barebone model SZ68R5.

It is the first time a Shuttle Mini-PC integrates Intel’s Z68 high-performance desktop chipset with Smart Response Technology (SSD caching). An SSD is used here to speed up the boot process and to ensure ultra-rapid application startup. Space-saving mSATA-SSDs can be fitted in the corresponding Mini-PCIe slot on the motherboard.

GIGABYTE Releases its First Entry-Level Motherboard with Dual-UEFI BIOS

After trying to avoid UEFI BIOS by sticking to "HybridEFI" workarounds to its existing AwardBIOS code on most of its socket LGA1155 and AM3+ motherboards, GIGABYTE reluctantly transitioned to UEFI with its socket LGA2011 motherboards, on which it fused its innovative Dual-BIOS technology with UEFI to come up with Dual-UEFI technology. One can imagine this to be particularly tough to implement on lower-end models, since UEFI with graphical setup program requires higher-capacity EEPROM chips, and since Dual-UEFI would need two, it would stress component costs, but GIGABYTE did it anyway.

In Japan, the company released the latest revision of the GA-H61MA-D3V (rev. 2.0), an entry-level socket LGA1155 motherboard based on the Intel H61 chipset, which features Dual-UEFI. Apart from this, the board also features GIGABYTE's Ultra-Durable 4 Classic component loadout, which consists of a new fiberglass fabric weave PCB that's more resistant to humidity that causes short-circuits, high ESD-resistance ICs, anti-surge ICs located on critical circuits, low RDS (on) MOSFETs, and a 100% high-grade solid-state capacitor design.

ECS Enables X79-Driven SAS Ports on its X79R-AX Motherboard

Intel's X79 chipset for Sandy Bridge-E platform was originally designed to have four SAS (serial-attached SCSI) channels apart from its usual loadout of SATA ports. Early prototypes of socket LGA2011 motherboards displayed at last year's Computex event (June), carried a large number of chipset-driven ports. However, Intel found the chipset-integrated SAS RAID controller (independent device from the SATA RAID controller) to have "unreliable performance", and hence changed its specification at the last moment. So the production specification of X79 ended up having the same SATA port loadout as P67 (two SATA 6 Gb/s + four SATA 3 Gb/s).

This specifications change did not result in a design change of the X79 PCH package, its die remained the same, so did its package and pin-map, which motherboard vendors had for nearly an year. So ECS decided to implement the SAS ports despite being out of specifications. LegitReviews discovered that its X79R-AX sample very much did have SAS ports wired to the PCH. With firmware of the SAS RAID controller and drivers, it could enable and use those ports. Although the SAS ports are physically present on the board, users have to enable them via the UEFI firmware setup program (BIOS).

ZOTAC Also Displays Intel Z77-based Mini-ITX Motherboard Geared for Overclocking

ZOTAC also displayed an upcoming socket LGA1155 motherboard based on Intel Z77 chipset, in the mini-ITX form-factor, which is geared for overclocking, that's right, overclocking. ZOTAC has, in the past, designed a similar motherboard based on the Z68 chipset. This mini-ITX board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, it supports upcoming "Ivy Bridge" Unlocked LGA1155 Core processors out of the box.

The LGA1155 socket (LOTES Black, powder-coated to prevent shrinking when subjected to subzero cooling), is powered by an 8-phase VRM circuitry, complete with a feature-rich controller, Pulse-made inductors, and driverMOSFETs (DrMOS), and High-C capacitors. The DrMOS chips are cooled by a high-density heatsink that shares some of its heat with the heatsink over the Z77 PCH, over a heat pipe.

GIGABYTE Unveils Next Gen Motherboards with Latest Technologies At CES

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced its participation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where it is debuting a number of new and exciting motherboard technologies that will be central to it’s motherboard design in 2012 and beyond. International media and customers will get a sneak peak of GIGABYTE’s new technologies at their suite in The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, from January 10-13.

GIGABYTE is showing forthcoming 7 series motherboards featuring the very latest in CPU power delivery with GIGABYTE’s unique Digital Power Engine called 3D Power. Offering digital control over all the main onboard power zones, this new digital PWM design allows users to manipulate and monitor the power provided to 2nd Gen Intel Core and Next Gen processors for the LGA 1155 socket.

Sapphire Launches the Pure Black X79N Motherboard

Sapphire Technology, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of graphics, mainboard and multimedia solutions has just announced a new mainboard developed to support the latest family of CPUs from Intel, the Sapphire Pure Black X79N.

The Sapphire Pure Black X79N is a full ATX sized board that supports the latest generation Intel processor family using socket LGA 2011. It has 4 DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of quad channel memory, including the latest high speed types.

Password Security The Windows 8 Way

Windows 8 implements a radical new user interface called Metro for desktop PC's, which has so far received a mixed reception. However, there's many other changes under the hood and one of those is how password security is handled, which we look at here. It's a fact of life, that in today's modern world, we have to remember a plethora of passwords and PIN's, which can be daunting. This leads to security issues as users end up writing down passwords and/or create very insecure ones which can be easily guessed. Windows 8 aims to uphold strong password security, while at the same time, easing the burden on the user. Also, passwords can be obtained in various ways by miscreants, such as phishing, keylogging, guessing, and cracking. Windows addresses each of these problems in three main ways:

Phoenix Technologies Working on SCT 2.2 System Firmware for Windows 8

BIOS developer Phoenix Technologies announced its latest SecureCore Tiano (SCT) version 2.2 UEFI firmware that will be designed for PCs running Windows 8 operating system. The desktop client motherboard BIOS industry is currently dominated by AMI with its AMIBIOS and AMI-UEFI solutions, although Phoenix' AwardBIOS is still found on certain channel PC motherboards. It's with mobile computing devices that Phoenix' firmware solutions get a lot more prevelent. SCT 2.2 is looking to mark the company's bid to return to competitiveness in the PC motherboard BIOS market.

SecureCore Tiano 2.2 is a UEFI BIOS/firmware that conforms to UEFI 2.3.1 specifications, TCG 2.0, 1.2 (Trusted Computing Group) specifications, ACPI 4.0 and 5.0, SMBIOS 2.7, NIST-SP800-147, and USB 3.0 native, making it a feature-packed solution. In addition to Windows on x86 PC platforms (Win32, Win64, WoW64), Phoenix will develop firmware support for the upcoming Windows on ARM (WoA) platform. It is collaborating with ARM majors Qualcomm and Texas Instruments in this regard.Source: DigiTimes

Windows 8 Secure Boot Feature: Not So Secure?

We have brought you the potential perils of the upcoming UEFI Forum-implemented - www.uefi.org - Windows 8 secure boot feature here, here and here. However, it appears that it may not be so 'secure' after all, since there appears to be a surefire way to circumvent it, at least for the moment, while it's in development.

Softpedia has scored an exclusive interview with security researcher Peter Kleissner, who has created various Windows (XP, Server 2003 etc) "bootkits", which allow OS infection at the highest privilege level, giving unrestricted access to the whole of the PC. His latest one, called Stoned Lite, shows how the Windows 8 secure boot process, still in development, can be subverted, as it stands. He is planning to release details of how the code works at the upcoming International Malware Conference (MalCon) - http://malcon.org - that will take place in India on November 25th. It appears that the real vulnerability exists in the legacy BIOS boot procedure, not in Microsoft's implementation of secure boot, as Kleissner said:
The problem with the legacy startup is that no one verifies the MBR, which makes it the vulnerable point. With UEFI and secure boot, all the boot applications and drivers have to be signed (otherwise they won’t be loaded). You can compare it to TPM, although Arie van der Hoeven from Microsoft announced that the secure boot feature is mandatory for OEMs who want to be UEFI certified. It is a good message that security is not an option.
Return to Keyword Browsing