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QNAP Takes NAS to the Living Room with the HS-210

QNAP launched the HS-210 compact NAS for living rooms. Built in a form-factor not too different from your TV shelf regulars, a Blu-ray player, and an HT receiver, the HS-210 tucks in a pair of 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, which it shares over gigabit Ethernet and USB. The NAS can be further expanded using USB mass-storage devices. It runs a Marvell-made ARM-based processor, which is fanless, and so barring the hum of the HDDs, the NAS itself is practically silent. The processor is paired with 512 MB of RAM. The HS-210 runs QNAP's QTS 4.1 firmware, with its own app environment.

AMD Inching Towards an Increasingly ARM-based Future with "Seattle"

AMD is inching toward a possible post-x86 future for itself, beginning with its enterprise product stack. In a blog-post, the company outlined a landmark product bearing its enterprise Opteron branding, codenamed "Seattle," which will be designed for scalar data-centers. Based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture by ARM, the chip will feature either four or eight cores based on AMD's own implementation of ARMv8, and a high-bandwidth integrated memory controller with support for up to 128 GB of system memory with ECC.

Since ARM-based processors are traditionally part of heavily integrated systems on chips (SoCs), "Seattle" will be an SoC, and among other things, will integrate a 10 Gb/s Ethernet controller, with support for AMD's FreedomFabric technology. Linux kernel 3.7 and above will come with ARMv8 architecture support, and Microsoft is already developing a Windows kernel with ARMv8 support that will be implemented on both its client (Windows RT, Windows Phone) product lines, and a future version of Windows Server. That said, AMD won't give up on x86. As the only active x86 licensee apart from VIA, AMD will continue to make APUs with 64-bit x86 cores for as far as the eye can see (in other words 2015). Future of its client CPU (non-APU) lineup based on the AM3+ socket, however, appears bleak.

AMD 2014 Mobile APUs to Deliver Leaps in Performance and Battery Life

AMD, building on its leadership in graphics and gaming, announced its 2014 mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) product roadmap at the APU13 Developer Conference today. Raising the performance bar across fanless tablets, 2-in-1s and ultrathin notebooks, the APUs codenamed "Mullins" and "Beema" are projected to deliver more than 2x the performance-per-watt of the previous generation.

The latest AMD APUs also support Microsoft InstantGo for faster wake times and to ensure data such as email actively refresh in standby. Both new processor families are also the first to integrate an AMD-developed platform security processor based on the ARM Cortex-A5 featuring ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced data security. The new low-power APUs join the previously disclosed high-performance notebook APU, codenamed "Kaveri," in AMD's 2014 mobile lineup.
Image courtesy of Computerbase.de

AMD to Unveil Next-Generation APUs on November 11

As a follow-up to our older article on how December-January will play out for AMD's next-generation APU lineup, we have news that the company will unveil, or at least tease its next-generation desktop APU, codename "Kaveri," on November 11, 2013. It's when the company will host its APU'13 event, modeled along the lines of GPU'13, held in Hawaii this September, where it unveiled its Radeon R9 200 and R7 200 GPU families. On its backdrop, the company will also hold its 2013 AMD Developer Summit, which brings together developers making software that take advantage of both CPU and OpenCL-accelerated GPUs. APU'13 will be held in San Jose, USA, and like GPU'13, will be live-streamed to the web. In addition to new APUs, the company is expected to make some big announcements with its HSA (heterogeneous system architecture) initiative that brought some big names in the industry on board.

The agenda for APU'13 follows.

Lenovo Launches its First Android Laptop, the IdeaPad A10

Multimode computing leader Lenovo, today announced the Lenovo A10, an affordable, ultra-portable, dual-mode laptop and the company's first to run on Android 4.2 OS. Weighing less than 1kg and measuring just 17.3mm at its thickest point, the Lenovo A10 is an ideal companion for users on the go, providing easy access to a wide range of apps on a unique, dual-mode platform, which enhances the user experience for entertainment and Web browsing as well as productivity.

"In laptop mode," users can take advantage of the A10's unique, Lenovo-customized user interface, which provides an app launcher, task bar and status bar for quick, intuitive access to the app library and desktop, as well as convenient multitasking and app switching. File manager software, also included with the Lenovo customized OS, makes it easy to locate and manage a library of documents, videos and music. In laptop mode, the device offers a full-size ergonomic, AccuType keyboard for safe, comfortable use.

Futuremark Announces 3DMark for Windows RT, as a Free App

Futuremark announced 3DMark for Windows RT, the ARM-friendly variant of Windows popularized by the Surface RT, and Surface 2. The 3D graphics benchmark suite includes three tests based on the "Ice Storm" test scene, namely "Ice Storm," "Ice Storm Extreme," and "Ice Storm Unlimited." The "Ice Storm" test stresses DirectX 11 feature level 9 test. "Ice Storm Extreme" runs the same scene at 1080p resolution, and with added detail, such as higher resolution textures and post-processing. "Ice Storm Unlimited" is designed to stress all key components, including the CPU and GPU, display resolution scaling, and other OS-related factors.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark for Windows RT

Shuttle Adds Dual-bay NAS Models to OMNINAS Product Series

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, is expanding its NAS product family. With two new network storage solutions, there is now a whole spectrum of models available for various data backup and storage requirements via Gigabit Ethernet.

Two new machines are coming onto the market - the OMNINAS KD21 and KD22 - offering increased transmission speeds and a greater range of functions. New ARM-based processors with 1.0 to 1.2 GHz and twice the amount of memory enable data transfer speeds of up to 110 MB/s (read) and 75 MB/s (write). Thanks to the enhanced performance of the new processors, all KD21 and KD22 server services can be activated at the same time.

AMD Details Embedded Product Roadmap

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today disclosed its roadmap for the fast-growing embedded computing market, as it becomes the first company to offer both ARM and x86 processor solutions for low-power and high-performance embedded compute designs. The new lineup includes two best-in-class x86 accelerated processing units (APUs) and central processing units (CPUs), a first look at a high-performance ARM system-on-chip (SoC) and a new family of discrete AMD Embedded Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs) expected to launch in 2014. These additions provide the embedded industry's engineering community with more choices to match their exact design needs, and are designed to offer improvements in performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar. Together with the recent launch of the award-winning AMD Embedded G-Series SoC family that set a superior bar for performance-per-watt low-power multicore APUs, these latest additions to the embedded product roadmap further signify a strategic push by AMD to focus on the high-growth embedded market.

Buffalo Launches TeraStation 3000 Series

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 the availability of the TeraStation 3000 Series of high performance NAS and iSCSI unified storage. The new TeraStation 3000 Series delivers a feature-rich solution ideal for small offices and professional users requiring cost-effective network storage to easily share and safeguard assets with the reliability of RAID data protection.

Comprised of two four-drive configurations, including a 1U rack mount, and capacities from 4 TB - 16 TB, the TeraStation 3000 offers high-performance RAID-based network storage, powered by a dual-core ARM processor and 1 GB of installed DDR3 RAM for high performance and efficiency. It offers complete data protection with available real-time replication and 10 licenses of NovaBACKUP Business Essentials software for Windows devices.

Former ARM CEO Joins Micron's Board of Directors

On the 17th of July, Micron Technology announced the appointment of Warren East to the company's Board of Directors, effective immediately. East served as CEO of ARM Holdings PLC from October 2001 to July 1, 2013. "We are extremely pleased to welcome Warren to our Board of Directors," said Micron CEO Mark Durcan. "Warren transformed ARM during his tenure as CEO, and we are confident his contributions will strengthen our board."

East, who also serves as director of De La Rule PLC, joined ARM in 1994 and later became Vice President of Business Operations. Within three years, he was appointed to the Board as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to ARM, East was with Texas Instruments. "I appreciate the opportunity to serve with the Micron team," said East. "With the acquisition of Elpida, Micron is well-positioned to be a growing, dynamic leader in semiconductor memory and a critical contributor to the success of customers in the storage, mobile and computing markets." East is a chartered engineer, Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He earned bachelor and master degrees in Engineering Science from Oxford University and an MBA and honorary doctorate from Cranfield University.

Kingston Technology Ships Memory Solutions for Growing Microserver Market

Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced it is shipping server memory solutions for microservers, a new and growing segment of the server market. Kingston has both 1.35v low-voltage ECC SO-DIMMs and unregistered DIMMs in 1600MHz and 1333MHz frequencies to support both x86 or ARM-based processors and system-on -chip (SoC) designs.

Microservers are quickly gaining in popularity as companies seek powerful, yet more energy- and physical-space efficient solutions that serve specific data center needs or cloud applications. Examples include web and cloud hosting, and big data where terabytes or petabytes of information sets are analyzed per second. Kingston's low-voltage, high-performing microserver memory modules are the perfect match to help accomplish these tasks.

NVIDIA to License its GPU IP à la ARM and PowerVR

Although NVIDIA's Tegra line of SoCs are among the best performing there are on the market; the high-end SoC market is dominated by Qualcomm and Samsung. These chips are built from scratch by the companies, but the underlying CPU and GPU architectures are licensed from ARM, and the likes of Imagination Technologies, respectively. Imagination's PowerVR graphics cores make up over 80 percent of the embedded GPU market-share. There's a big change of plans at NVIDIA. The company is beginning to think that its expertise in GPU is better proliferated in the mobile SoC space not by waiting for Tegra to gain a foothold, but by licencing its GPU IP (intellectual property) to whoever is willing pay up, much in the same way ARM and Imagination do.

NVIDIA spokesperson David Shannon, in a recent blog post, wrote: "our next step is to license our GPU cores and visual computing patent portfolio to device manufacturers to serve the needs of a large piece of the market... We'll start by licensing the GPU core based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, the world's most advanced, most efficient GPU. Its DX11, OpenGL 4.3, and GPGPU capabilities, along with vastly superior performance and efficiency, create a new class of licensable GPU cores. Through our efforts designing Tegra into mobile devices, we've gained valuable experience designing for the smallest power envelopes. As a result, Kepler can operate in a half-watt power envelope, making it scalable from smartphones to supercomputers."

RockChip Builds SoCs on GlobalFoundries' 28 nm HKMG Process

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced that Rockchip's next-generation mobile processors are ramping to production on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28 nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. Based on a multi-core ARM Cortex-A9 design, the RK3188 and RK3168 chips are optimized for tomorrow's high-performance, low-cost tablets that require long-lasting battery life (see product specifications in annex).

The combination of Rockchip's design and GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 28 nm HKMG process technology resulted in a mainstream tablet System-on-Chip (SoC) capable of operating at up to 1.8 GHz performance, while still maintaining the power efficiency expected by mobile device users. The chips began sampling to OEMs in early 2013 and are now ramping to support a wide range of manufacturers.

AMD Unveils Server Strategy and Roadmap

AMD today publicly disclosed its strategy and roadmap to recapture market share in enterprise and data center servers by unveiling innovative products that address key technologies and meet the requirements of the fastest-growing data center and cloud computing workloads.

Additionally, AMD revealed details of its 2014 server portfolio including best-in-class Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), two- and four-socket CPUs, and details on what it expects to be the industry's premier ARM server processor. This is on the heels of announcing the general availability of the AMD Opteron X-Series processor, code named "Kyoto," which dominates the small-core server market on every performance benchmark. These forthcoming AMD Opteron processors bring important innovations to the rapidly changing compute market, including integrated CPU and GPU compute (APU); high core-count ARM servers for high-density compute in the data center; and substantial improvements in compute per-watt per-dollar and total cost of ownership.

HSA Foundation Announces First Specification

The HSA Foundation has released Version 0.95 of its Programmer's Reference Manual. The HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium dedicated to developing architecture specifications that unlock the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in most modern devices. This is the first output from the HSA Foundation, who have been collaborating on this project since its founding in June 2012. It represents an important step in the development of the HSA Foundation's ecosystem because it enables software partners to develop libraries, tools and middleware and to code high performance kernels.

The Programmer's Reference Manual provides a standardized method of accessing all available computing resources in HSA-compliant systems. This enables a wide range of system resources to cooperate on parallelizable tasks. It has been specifically designed to perform in the most energy efficient way without compromising on performance. The goal is to enable a heterogeneous architecture that is easy to program, opens up new and rich user experiences and improves performance and quality of service, whilst reducing energy consumption.

Mionix Launches the New Avior 8200 Gaming Mouse

Mionix, the Swedish manufacturer of professional high-end gaming accessories today unveiled the new AVIOR 8200 high performance ambidextrous gaming mouse. "We developed the AVIOR 8200 to offer maximum customization and engineered with the best technology. Weather you are right or left handed. Use a claw or palm grip we have created the most ergonomic ambidextrous mouse on the market, suitable for any gamer." says Peter Nygren, CEO at Mionix.

The AVIOR 8200 is a sleek rubberized 9 button ambidextrous mouse. The unique designed shape of the mouse allows for right or left-handed use, with either a full palm or claw grip. The 32-bit ARM Processor, the 8200 DPI laser sensor and the other high-end components, will ensure great power, accuracy and durability. Together with the software this provides access to customize the buttons, sensor, LED colors, advanced macros and profiles. While gaming you will feel the smooth, responsive and accurate quality of the AVIOR 8200.

Innodisk Releases World's First Industrial-Embedded SATA µSSD - nanoSSD

Innodisk, a designer and manufacturer of SSDs for commercial and industrial applications, announces a release of the industrial-embedded industry's first SATA device in accordance to SATA µSSD standards - nanoSSD.

Through the integration of a control chip, flash memory and peripheral power components into a single ball grid array (BGA) package, Innodisk has managed to reduce the size of the nanoSSD to approximately 1% the size of a 2.5" SSD. With dimensions of only 16 x 20 x 2 mm (WxLxH), a weight of only 1.5g, SATA III support, capacities ranging from 4 to 64 GB and both x86 and ARM compatibility, nanoSSD can be incorporated into a wide variety of applications where a small form-factor and high transfer rates are important, including industrial mobile devices, embedded systems, tablets, high-end smart phones and Ultrabooks.

TSMC and ARM Tape-Out First ARM Cortex-A57 Processor on 16 nm FinFET Technology

TSMC and ARM today announced the first tape-out of an ARM Cortex-A57 processor on FinFET process technology. The Cortex-A57 processor is ARM's highest performing processor, designed to further extend the capabilities of future mobile and enterprise computing, including compute intensive applications such as high-end computer, tablet and server products. This is the first milestone in the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series on TSMC FinFET process technologies. The two companies cooperated in the implementation from RTL to tape-out in six months using ARM Artisan physical IP, TSMC memory macros, and EDA technologies enabled by TSMC's Open Innovation Platform (OIP) design ecosystem.

ARM and TSMC's collaboration produces optimized, power-efficient Cortex-A57 processors and libraries to support early customer implementations on 16 nm FinFET for high-performance, ARM technology-based SoCs.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Offers Enhanced 55 nm CMOS Logic Process

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced additional enhancements to the foundry's 55-nanometer (nm) Low-Power Enhanced (LPe) process technology platform - 55nm LPe 1V - with qualified, next-generation memory and logic IP solutions from ARM. The 55nm LPe 1V is the industry's first and only enhanced process node to support ARM's 1.0/1.2V physical IP library, enabling chip designers to use a single process that supports two operating voltages in a single SoC.

"The key advantage of this 55nm LPe 1V offering is that the same design libraries can be used whether you are designing at 1.0 voltage or 1.2 voltage power option," said Bruce Kleinman, Vice President of Product Marketing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. "What it means is that same set of design rules and models can be adopted, with no extra mask layer or special process required. This translates into cost saving and design flexibility without compromising on the power and optimization features."

AMD Names Bernd Lienhard as Corporate VP and General Manager, Client Business

AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today that Bernd Lienhard, 48, has joined the company as corporate vice president and general manager of its Client Business Unit, reporting to Dr. Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, Global Business Units. In his role, Lienhard will apply his 22 years of experience in the semiconductor industry to lead AMD's client business as it expands its product lineup to include differentiated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions targeted at high-growth mobility and traditional client markets.

"A pivotal part of AMD's ability to win in high-growth markets is having the right leadership team in place with a diversity of semiconductor industry knowledge. Bernd's track record and experience translating business strategy into operational execution across large teams makes him the ideal leader for our client business," said Dr. Su. "Bernd's deep background of growth across a wide range of markets will accelerate our client business as we bring our strongest-ever line-up of APUs and first SoCs to market in 2013 and continue our expansion into ultraportable and ultra low-power form factors."

Futuremark Unleashes New 3DMark Benchmark Suite for Windows

Futuremark released the newest installment to its 3DMark franchise. It's the first 3DMark to lack a version name, making it a "reboot" of sorts. For starters, the new 3DMark is a collection of three independent benchmark suites, each with its own demos, game tests, physics tests, and combined tests, and scoring.

Among the three suits are "Ice Storm," designed for tablets, mobile devices, and entry-level desktops, which needs nothing more than a DirectX 9.0c GPU to get going; "Cloud Gate," for notebook and home desktops, which needs a DirectX 10 feature-level GPU; and "Fire Strike," an over-the-top suite designed for today's gaming desktops, which can make even the fastest graphics cards sweat (for example, our GTX 680 in the screenshots below). The physics tests of each of these can benefit from having multiple cores and advanced instruction sets. TechPowerUp is a premier launch partner, hosting downloads on behalf of Futuremark. Grab yours below.

DOWNLOAD: 3DMark (2013)

Global Micro Servers Market Worth $26.55 Billion by 2018

According to a new market research report, "Global Micro Servers Market (2013 - 2018), By Processor Type (Intel, Arm, Amd), Component (Hardware, Software, Operating System), Application (Media Storage, Data Centers, Analytics, Cloud Computing) & Geography (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Row)", published by MarketsandMarkets, the total market for next generation memory is expected to reach $26.55 billion by 2018 at an estimated CAGR of 62.3% from 2013 to 2018.

In a simpler terminology, micro servers can be termed as servers that multiple mobile processor chips, consume low power, use less space and are specifically used by small to medium - sized businesses. Micro servers find their major application in media storage and internet data centre especially for applications like lightweight web serving, simple content delivery nodes and low end dedicated hosting. It was identified that cloud computing and analytics are some other applications of micro servers which are growing rapidly. Micro servers presently account for 2.3% of the total server sales however looking at the current growth rate, in the next five years it is expected to reach 25 to 30% per cent of the global server market.

One Laptop per Child Association to Release Three New Products at CES

One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA), the world-renowned project to provide a modern education to children through a connected computing device, announced today that it will introduce at CES three new products. OLPCA will unveil for the first time the XO Learning System, an Android compatible software suite for child-centric learning, which is available by license to computer manufacturers, governments, NGOs and content providers such as book publishers. Tablets under such a license will be called the XO Tablet, the second product announcement. Third, OLPCA will show the fourth generation of its iconic green and white laptop with both a keyboard and a multi-touch screen using Neonode technology.

Every child has dreams and XO Learning directs the child's passion, creativity and energy for these dreams into a new user interface that has 12 dreams. Such dreams include "I want to be" an artist, a musician and a scientist. Each dream features a rich learning experience and applications, books, games and videos that allow children ages 3 to 12 to naturally explore their dreams and learn at the same time.

Etron Technology Launches an Innovative USB3.0 Depth-Map Controller Platform

2013 International CES - Advanced gesture recognition and sensing technology is coming to the 2013 CES! Etron Technology, Inc. (Taiwan GTSM: 5351) launches its innovative Cougar Platform, a hardware-based USB3.0 Depth-Map Controller Platform with two cameras that enables gesture/skeleton control and 3D-video/image capture and works with various middleware and application software. Since the data size of captured images is too large to be managed by motherboard CPUs, Etron developed this platform for intensive data computation immediately post-sensing with a hardware-based depth-map engine. As a result, Etron's Cougar Platform works smoothly with X86-based systems and ARM-based systems. It also provides synchronized dual HD (High Definition) video/image capture through a USB3.0 (uncompressed) or USB2.0 (compressed) interface. Etron will demonstrate its Cougar Platform at Booth No. 35114 in South Hall 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) from January 8th to 11th.

Etron's Cougar Platform supports both short-distance (0.5 - 1.5 m) recognition, such as gesture control, and long-distance (1.5 - 4 m) recognition, such as skeleton control. It realizes full-range recognition by mapping different sensor/lens resolutions with various base lines (i.e., the distance between two sensors).

Etron Technology Launches an Innovative USB 3.0 Depth-Map Controller Platform

Advanced gesture recognition and sensing technology is coming to the 2013 CES! Etron Technology, Inc. launches its innovative Cougar Platform, a hardware-based USB3.0 Depth-Map Controller Platform with two cameras that enables gesture/skeleton control and 3D-video/image capture and works with various middleware and application software. Since the data size of captured images is too large to be managed by motherboard CPUs, Etron developed this platform for intensive data computation immediately post-sensing with a hardware-based depth-map engine.

As a result, Etron's Cougar Platform works smoothly with X86-based systems and ARM-based systems. It also provides synchronized dual HD (High Definition) video/image capture through a USB3.0 (uncompressed) or USB2.0 (compressed) interface. Etron will demonstrate its Cougar Platform at Booth No. 35114 in South Hall 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) from January 8th to 11th.
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