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Qualcomm Issues Statement on Broadcom Director Nominees

Qualcomm Incorporated today confirmed receipt of Broadcom Limited's nomination of a slate of candidates to replace Qualcomm's existing Board of Directors at the Company's 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Qualcomm is exceptionally well positioned - with technology and leadership positions across mobile, IoT, Automotive, edge computing and networking - and leading the transition to 5G. Qualcomm stockholders are poised to participate in substantial growth and value creation as the Company continues to execute its strategy across its businesses.

Broadcom and Silver Lake are effectively asking stockholders to foreclose options and make a decision now on a non-binding proposed transaction which could not be completed for well over a year, if ever, given the magnitude of regulatory issues, the absence of commitments by Broadcom to resolve those issues, Broadcom's lack of committed financing, and the uncertainty surrounding its transition from Singapore to the United States. Qualcomm's Board is composed of 11 world-class directors, 9 of whom are independent and 4 of whom have been added in the last 3 years, and all of whom are firmly committed to acting in the best interests of all Qualcomm stockholders. Qualcomm believes that this action is a blatant attempt to seize control of the Qualcomm Board in order to advance Broadcom's acquisition agenda. These nominees are inherently conflicted given Broadcom's desire to acquire Qualcomm in a manner that dramatically undervalues Qualcomm to Broadcom's benefit.

Broadcom to Nominate 11 Directors for Election at Qualcomm's 2018 Annual Meeting

Broadcom Limited today announced that it has notified Qualcomm Incorporated of its intention to nominate a slate of 11 independent, highly qualified individuals for election to Qualcomm's Board of Directors and to propose certain other matters for the consideration of Qualcomm stockholders at Qualcomm's 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Broadcom intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proxy statement, accompanied by a BLUE proxy card, in connection with Qualcomm's 2018 Annual Meeting. Qualcomm has announced that its 2018 Annual Meeting will be held on March 6, 2018.

On November 6, 2017, Broadcom proposed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qualcomm for per share consideration of $70.00 in cash and stock, consisting of $60.00 in cash and $10.00 in Broadcom shares. Broadcom's offer represents a 28% premium over the closing price of Qualcomm's common stock on November 2, 2017, the last unaffected trading day prior to media speculation regarding a potential transaction, and a premium of 33% to Qualcomm's unaffected 30-day volume-weighted average price. The Broadcom proposal stands whether Qualcomm's pending acquisition of NXP Semiconductors N.V. ("NXP") is consummated on the currently disclosed terms of $110 per NXP share or is terminated.

ARRIS Breaks the Piggy Bank to Buy Ruckus Wireless & ICX Switch Business

ARRIS International plc has completed its acquisition of the Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business from Broadcom Limited. With this acquisition, ARRIS builds on a leadership position in networking and entertainment for service providers while expanding into new enterprise and vertical markets. The deal strategically positions ARRIS for a new phase of growth by leveraging the companies' combined technology assets to enable next-generation wireless and wired networks. The Ruckus target vertical markets span hospitality, education, government, service providers, multi-dwelling / tenant units, sports / entertainment venues, and transportation centers. Additionally, Ruckus' trailblazing leadership in the small-cell CBRS LTE market represents an opportunity to deploy converged Wi-Fi and LTE using common cloud-based control and management capabilities.

Qualcomm Says No Thank You to Broadcom's $105 Billion Buyout Bid

Qualcomm today announced that its Board of Directors unanimously rejected the unsolicited proposal announced by Broadcom Limited ("Broadcom") on November 6, 2017. "It is the Board's unanimous belief that Broadcom's proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the Company's leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects," said Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated.

"No company is better positioned in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry. We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G," said Steve Mollenkopf, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Broadcom's Latest Qualcomm Buyout Bid is $105 Billion

Broadcom Monday made its latest bid for the acquisition of Qualcomm, with its offer standing at a staggering USD 105 billion, which is a mixture of cash and stock. The Broadcom+Qualcomm combine would become the world's third largest chipmaker, behind Intel and Samsung Electronics. Besides an undisclosed proportion of the bid being in cash, the company offered stock at $70 per share, which is a 28 percent premium over the stock's closing price on Monday. If it goes through, the Broadcom+Qualcomm deal would be the largest tech acquisition, dwarfing the $67 billion acquisition of EMC by Dell, in 2015.

Marvell Looks to Acquire Cavium

Stocks of both Marvell and Cavium rallied over the weekend as reports emerged of Marvell entering talks to acquire the network equipment SoC giant. Cavium specializes in network infrastructure equipment SoCs, such as the famed ThunderX processor, while Marvell holds IP in networking and storage. There are no details as to the value of the acquisition. Shares of Marvell rose 5 percent, and those of Cavium by a staggering 17 percent, as reports of the deal emerged. Tech stocks could rally big on Monday, if Marvell and Cavium close the deal, and Broadcom inches closer to close its $100 billion bid to acquire Qualcomm.

Source: Investor's Business Daily

Broadcom Looks to Buy Qualcomm for $100B, Creating a Silicon Monster

Broadcom, makers of networking equipment, is exploring a deal to acquire mobile technology giant Qualcomm in a USD $100 billion deal, which could be the largest ever acquisition value of a chip-maker. The resulting company could be the world's largest chipmaker, combining Broadcom's IP with networking PHYs and IoT infrastructure, and Qualcomm's SoCs powering IoT devices besides smartphones, tablets, and ultra-portable notebooks. Broadcom is looking to raise a cash+stock bid consisting of shares valued at $70/share. Besides networking infrastructure equipment, Broadcom made its fortunes on the back of Apple iPhone's success, as it supplies its networking chips.

Source: Bloomberg

ASUS Announces the 802.11ax-enabled RT-AX88U Wi-Fi Router

At IFA 2017, ASUS introduced a number of new products, from laptops to routers. One of the more interesting announcements made by the company was the RT-AX88U Wi-Fi router, which packs technology that is actually ahead of its time. The 802.11ax specification is expected to be finalized and publicly released only by 2019, but as with previous improvements to the 802.11 protocol, products supporting the standard are already hitting the shelves. remember that support for unfinished specifications is always subject to change, but if you're looking to purchase a new router and want to be as future-proof as possible, it doesn't get much better than this.

The next-generation RT-AX88U 802.11ax Wi-Fi supports unprecedented combined speeds of up to 5952 Mbps - 1148 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804 Mbps on the 5GHz band, with 4x4 MIMO in both bands. Only three companies - Quantenna, Qualcomm and Broadcom have 802.11ax-enabled silicon as of the end of August 2017; ASUS elected to use Broadcom's solutions. New technologies for the 802.11ax include OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, which should enable better spectral efficiency in convoluted network conditions) and MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO). Thanks to this, the 802.11ax technology provides 4x faster throughput than 802.11ac technology on connected devices in dense environments, while also increasing network capacity and efficiency. This means the ASUS RT-AX88U supports more simultaneous data transfers than 802.11ac MU-MIMO routers, allowing more devices to have faster network access at the same time without waiting for each other - perfect for homes with a growing number of smart, connected devices. RT-AX88U uses TWT technology to reduce unnecessary communications to 802.11ax devices, reducing power consumption and improving device battery life. Pricing wasn't announced at time of writing.

Sources: ETeknix, Network World, Computerbase.de

Toshiba Introduces World's First Enterprise-Class SSDs with 64-Layer 3D Flash Me

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), a committed technology leader, today unveiled the development of two new flagship enterprise solid state drive (SSD) solutions, the TMC PM5 12 Gbit/s SAS series and the CM5 NVM Express (NVMe) series. Development is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Both product lines are built with TMC's latest 64 layer, 3-bit-per-cell enterprise-class TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH2, making it possible for today's demanding storage environments to expand the use of flash with cost-optimized 3D flash memory. With all-new, advanced features, the innovative CM5 and PM5 series raise the bar in performance capabilities and create new opportunities for businesses to leverage the power of flash storage.

Offering up to 30.72TB in a 2.5-inch form factor, the TMC PM5 series introduces a full range of endurance and capacity SAS SSDs enabling data centers to effectively address big data demands while streamlining storage deployments. With the industry's first MultiLink SAS architecture, the PM5 series is able to deliver the fastest performance the market has seen from a SAS-based SSD with up to 3,350 MB/s of sequential read and 2,720 MB/s of sequential write6 in MultiLink mode and up to 400,000 random read IOPS in narrow or MultiLink mode. The PM5 series' 4-port MultiLink design is an additional technology to achieve high performance, close to PCI EXPRESS (PCIe)8 SSDs, enabling legacy infrastructures to increase productivity without having to be re-architected from the ground up. Furthermore, PM5 SSDs support multi-stream write technology, a feature that intelligently manages and groups data types to minimize write amplification and minimize garbage collection, translating into reduced latency, improved endurance, increased performance and Quality of Service (QoS).

Microsoft Advises Against Installing The Creators Update Manually

Apparently, Microsoft is alerting would-be Creators Update takers that doing so manually (as in, before its automatic update roll-out through Windows Update itself) may result in a bad first experience. Microsoft is therefore suggesting that the majority of Windows 10 users should wait for the Windows Update version of the (ahem) update, due to concerns with some hardware compatibility problems.

In a blog post, Microsoft give the example of a user who reported issues between a Bluetooth connectivity accessory (Broadcom-based) for their PC and Windows 10 Creators Update, which resulted in Microsoft blocking all machines with similar hardware from being able to update until issues are solved. I for one must say I manually updated my system on April 7th and found nothing wanting, so these really do seem like hardware-specific snags. Microsoft is apparently doing everything in its power to make sure adopters of the latest version of Windows find a hassle-free experience on the other side of their screens, which is commendable. This does seem like a sensible solution to the problem, with power users (or simply users who don't care about warnings and are confident on their success and hardware compatibility) still being able to update, while less tech-savy customers are left waiting for a proven version for their hardware configuration. Here's hoping that doesn't take long, since the 3D-version of Paint really brought back childhood joy (for some of us, at least.)

Source: Blog.Windows.com, Tom's Hardware

ASUS Unveils the TinkerBoard to Rival Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison

As the world's number one PC motherboard manufacturer by volume, it would be a shame if ASUS didn't pander to the budding engineers and electronics hobbyists among you with a product that rivals the Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison. That product is the TinkerBoard, a card-sized single-board computer with a ton of I/O, including support for 4K Ultra HD displays. At the heart of this board is a Rockchip RK3288 SoC, which embeds a 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, and a Mali T764 GPU. This chip is topped off by 2 GB of dual-channel memory. The most prominent Raspberry Pi competitor to this board is the Pi 3 Model B, with its 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 chip, and a starting price of just $35.

Other features of the TinkerBoard include a GPIO that rivals Raspberry Pi, 4K Ultra HD H.264 video decode capability, gigabit Ethernet, SDIO 3.0, 24-bit/192 kHz HD audio, and a swappable antenna for its 802.11 b/g/n WLAN. While the specifications check out well in favor of the TinkerBoard, it all comes down to pricing. Hobbyists working on robotics projects, for example, purchase Raspberries Pi by the dozens thanks to their low price. ASUS should do well to keep that in mind when pricing this board.

ASUS Also Announces the DSL-AC88U Gaming Grade Modem Router

ASUS today announced DSL-AC88U, an ultra-fast AC3100 dual-band Wi-Fi modem router that supports the latest high-speed G.fast DSL standard as well as all existing ADSL, ADSL2/2+ and VDSL2 standards. DSL-AC88U is our fastest ever modem router, featuring cutting-edge Broadcom NitroQAM technology that delivers 1.25X-faster Wi-Fi speeds than standard four-stream (4x4) routers. This enables data rates of up to 2167Mbps on the 5GHz band and 1000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band - or a combined concurrent bandwidth of up to 3167 Mbps.

DSL-AC88U has family-friendly parental controls that allow users to monitor and filter internet activity, which can help to protect the online safety of younger family members. In addition to its wide compatibility with G.fast and existing DSL broadband services, DSL-AC88U can also connect to the internet via an Ethernet connection, such as those provided by fiber- or cable-modem-based ISPs. These outstanding connectivity options make DSL-AC88U a supremely flexible and future-proof choice for any home user.

Tenda Announces the F3 Mainstream Router

Tenda Technology Inc. a subsidiary of Shenzhen Tenda, announces the F3, a slim, low-profile 300Mbps router that sets up easily for a perfect, economical home wireless solution. The F3 uses a high-end Broadcom networking chip for outstanding, consistent networking performance. This advanced chip makes for a more reliable connection while streaming HD videos, uploading large files, video conferencing, or any of the myriad high-bandwidth demands on today's routers.

Sick of WiFi dead zones? Three external high-gain omnidirectional antennas give the F3 network coverage up to 200 square meters, keeping the many mobile devices, computers, and home media players connected in every corner of the house. The F3 employs IP-based control settings allowing users to allot specific bandwidth allowances for different computers and tasks. These settings can prevent non-critical applications from diluting precious bandwidth when under high demand, ensuring the best use of networking resources in a home network.

Tenda AC15 Performance Router Arrives in the US Market

Tenda Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Shenzhen Tenda, a top networking brand, announces the AC15 performance router. Featuring IEEE 802.11ac, 1900Mbps Smart Dual-band Gigabit, the AC15 is designed for online entertainment, home networking with IoT, and multiple connected devices. The addition of Beamforming+ technology and three high-powered 3dBi antennas let you enjoy lag-free gaming and uninterrupted video streaming anytime, anywhere in your home. Additionally, the Smart WiFi management can turn your router and LED indicator on or off automatically to save power and reduce RF noise.

The AC15 is designed for HD video streaming and online gaming. It uses dual bands, multiple connections, multiple antennas, and dynamic adjustments to ensure each connected device is operating at its maximum speed. The router has a total speed of up to 1900Mbps. It delivers both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently. The Broadcom dual-core processor and DDR3 memory reduce latency for high-bandwidth operations, delivering a smooth, lag-free experience.

Gigabyte Intros Z97X-Game Plus Motherboard

From a sea of black and red, Gigabyte brushed a refreshing stroke of green, with its latest socket LGA1150 motherboard, the Z97X-Game Plus. Designed to compete with $150-ish mainline products such as ASUS Z97-Pro Gamer, which are loaded with gamer-centric features and product design, though barely missing premium gaming brands such as ROG or G1.Gaming; the new Z97X Game Plus could be particularly appealing to gamers with "green" (read: reference NVIDIA) gaming PC builds. The Z97X-Game Plus is a socket LGA1150 motherboard, with out of the box support for 5th gen Core "Broadwell" processors, in addition to Core "Haswell."

The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. An 8-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4). Other expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and one legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two wire out as SATA-Express 10 Gb/s), and one M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2 physical layer). Notable features include Gigabyte's famed AMP-UP onboard audio, with an EMI-shielded 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade electrolytic caps, and an OPAMP with tuning for music and gaming; Broadcom Killer E2200 gigabit Ethernet, six USB 3.0 ports, and dual-UEFI BIOS. Expect a $140-150 pricing.

TRENDnet Launches AC3200 Tri Band Wireless Router

TRENDnet, a best-in-class wired and wireless networking hardware brand, today announces the AC3200 Tri Band Wireless Router, model TEW-828DRU, a next generation WiFi router featuring three concurrent wireless networks -- two separate ultra-performance 1,300 Mbps WiFi AC networks and a 600 Mbps WiFi N network.

The average North American home has almost 10 WiFi-networked devices. Globally, there are currently 16 billion WiFi devices connected to the internet and that number is projected to more than double by 2020. TRENDnet's TEW-828DRU is designed to effortlessly and intelligently manage the tremendous growth of WiFi devices in the home.

ASUS Announces RT-AC87U AC2400 Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless Router

ASUS today announced RT-AC87U, the world's first AC2400-class dual-band 802.11ac wireless router with a four-transmit, four-receive (4×4) antenna configuration. This stunningly-designed, easy-to-use router is also the first in the world to employ multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology. Combined with ASUS AiRadar universal beamforming, adaptive Quality-of-Service (QoS), plus AiProtection with exclusive Trend Micro security, RT-AC87U is expertly-engineered for outstanding performance and coverage in today's multi-device households. Offering 5GHz speeds that are faster than wired Gigabit Ethernet, along with class-leading 2.4GHz speeds and reliable multi-floor coverage, RT-AC87U is the perfect choice for discerning users with busy multi-device home networks who need extreme coverage, lightning-fast performance, rock-solid stability and total peace of mind.

Intel, Samsung, Others Team Up to Drive Seamless Device-to-Device Connectivity

Technology industry leaders Atmel Corporation, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and Wind River, are joining forces to establish a new industry consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining the connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) is focused on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.

NETGEAR Ships the Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router

NETGEAR, Inc., a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, has once again set a new industry standard for router performance by adding to its award-winning Nighthawk family of 802.11ac routers. The new Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router (R8000) (www.netgear.com/R8000) is the first tri-band WiFi router available for purchase incorporating the powerful new Broadcom 5G WiFi XStream platform.

With six high-performance antennas and three network bands, one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz, the Nighthawk X6 delivers the industry's fastest combined WiFi speed, up to 3.2 Gbps (1300+1300+600 Mbps). It balances the network load to ensure the best WiFi performance for each device and deliver the maximum wireless range available today.

ASRock Launches First Socket AM3+ Motherboard with M.2 Slot

ASRock updated its Fatal1ty branded socket AM3+ motherboard. The new ASRock 990FX Fatal1ty Killer gives AMD platform gamers most advancements in onboard connectivity. To begin with, the board is based on the AMD 990FX chipset, with SB950 southbridge. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 10-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 memory.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 wired to the AMD 990FX northbridge, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4) wired to the southbridge; and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes five SATA 6 Gb/s, and one M.2, with a combination of PCIe 2.0 x2 and SATA 6 Gb/s link layers. The board features Realtek's latest ALC1150 HDA CODEC, which boasts of 115 dBA SNR; equipped with ground-layer isolation, and a headphones amp. Wired networking is care of a Broadcom Killer E2200 controller. Four USB 3.0 ports, and gaming peripheral-optimized USB 2.0 ports (stabilized power); make for the rest of it. The board is driven by AMI Aptio UEFI BIOS, supporting Windows 8 Secure Boot.

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.
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