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PowerColor Radeon R9 290X PCS+ Unveiled

PowerColor may have been the first AMD add-in board vendor to launch a custom-design Radeon R9 290X graphics card with its R9 290X LCS, which is basically an AMD reference PCB with a factory-fitted EKWB FC-R9-290X water-block; but its air-cooled non-reference cards have been nowhere in sight, until now. PowerColor posted these pictures of the Radeon R9 290X PCS+, its premium factory-overclocked and air-cooled graphics card based on AMD's flagship GPU. The company's Radeon R9 290 (non-X) PCS+ is expected to look identical.

Pictures reveal the card's PCB to be largely based on AMD's reference design, perhaps with variations on the choice of components. PowerColor has a knack of splurging on expensive, high-quality components on its PCBs (think International Rectifier and Coilworks VRM components, Samsung and SK Hynix memory chips, etc.), and we expect a similar treatment for the R9 290X PCS+. The two-slot cooling solution featured on this card is making its debut with it. It features a network of aluminium fin stacks to which heat is fed by copper heat pipes, and which are ventilated by a trio of 80 mm fans. PowerColor didn't reveal clock speeds, launch date, or pricing.

MSI Radeon R9 290 Series Gaming PCB Pictured

Here's the first picture of the PCB under the hood of MSI's Radeon R9 290X Gaming OC graphics card, which was unveiled in Japan, over the weekend, and which was detailed in a slightly older article. It turns out that MSI will use the same board design (including the back-plate) on both the R9 290X Gaming OC and the R9 290 Gaming OC, both of which have been put up for pre-order by Canadian e-tailer NCIX. The R9 290X Gaming OC is priced at $699 CAD including taxes (US $660); while the R9 290 Gaming OC is priced at $529.99 CAD including taxes (US $500).

The PCB itself is a slight variation of MSI on AMD's reference design. The layout is identical, but there are subtle differences in component choices MSI made. For example, it ditches Coiltronics-made chokes for MagicTech. Appears to use SK Hynix made memory chips (instead of Elpida on a vast majority of retail R9 290 series boards), etc. It also appears to retain dual-BIOS. According to NCIX, both cards will feature untouched memory clock speeds of 5.00 GHz, yielding memory bandwidth of 320 GB/s, but feature 5-7 percent overclocks on the GPU. The R9 290 Gaming OC features GPU clock speeds (possibly PowerTune boost) of up to 1000 MHz (vs. 948 MHz reference), while the R9 290X Gaming OC features 1040 MHz.

SK Hynix Started Full-Scale Mass Production of 16 nm NAND Flash

SK Hynix Inc. announced that it has started full-scale mass production of 16 nm 64 Gb (Gigabit) MLC (Multi Level Cell) NAND Flash, which uses the industry's thinnest process technology.

SK Hynix has been mass producing its 1st version of the world's first 16 nm NAND Flash since June and recently has started to mass produce the 2nd version which is more cost competitive due to its smaller chip size. In consequence, the Company geared up for strengthening its competitiveness in NAND Flash.

SK Hynix Develops Industry-Leading 6 Gb LPDDR3 Memory

SK Hynix Inc. announced that it has developed 6 Gb (Gigabit) LPDDR3 (Low Power DDR3) using its 20 nm class process technology. This product is a high-performance mobile memory solution that features low power consumption and high-density, which is ideal for next generation premium mobile devices.

Four 6 Gb LPDDR3 products can be stacked up and realize a high density of maximum 3 GB (Gigabytes, 24 Gb) solution in a single package. In consequence, this package reduces the operating power as well as the standby current by 30% and the height of the package becomes thin compared to the Company's 4 Gb-based one. In addition, it works at ultra low-voltage of 1.2V thus it satisfies low power consumption which mobile applications demand.

SK Hynix Established Flash R&D Center in Taiwan

SK Hynix Inc. announced it established a research and development (or 'R&D') center 'SK Hynix Flash Solutions Taiwan Ltd.'. The Company will strengthen global R&D competence and customer support by adding the R&D center in Taiwan.

The Taiwan R&D center will focus on intensifying its competence in development of high value added NAND Flash memory products. The center is located in Hsinchu, the hub of Taiwan IT industry, so it is expected to become a base of the technology support for Chinese and Taiwanese clients.

Massive Fire at SK Hynix Facility in Wuxi, China

A massive fire broke out this afternoon (local time), at a SK Hynix production facility in Wuxi, China. At this moment, pictures and videos of the fire are swarming through local social networks, and there are no official announcements by either the local authorities, or the company itself. Incidentally, this isn't the first fire accident at an SK Hynix manufacturing facility, a Korea-based fab suffered one in February 2008. The facility hit by fire is rumored to be one that handles packaging (placing bumped dies inside ceramic or plastic shells, and labeling them). If the extant of damage to the facility is high, it might affect NAND flash prices more than DRAM, since the company recently prioritized NAND flash over DRAM for the facility.
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