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GIGABYTE has just kindly let us know about a firmware update for the NEC USB 3.0 controller found on many of its latest motherboards. The update is primarily for the purposes of improving USB 3.0 device compatibility.
The new firmware is inclusive of an executable update tool which you simply run from within Windows to have your controller updated to the latest. Please note; this Update Tool is only suited to Windows 7 and Vista.
If you have one of these boards from GIGABYTE, then you have NEC's USB 3.0 controller which can be updated with the use of this firmware update tool :-
I would presume this firmware update tool is also fine to use on other manufacturers boards running NEC's USB 3.0 controller, or any standalone PCI-E cards with the chip for that matter.
Getting in on the initial stages of USB 3.0 market growth, Sumbeamtech has just unveiled three USB 3.0 products including the USB3.0 Airbox, USB3.0 HDDPAL and and SuperSpeed USB3.0 expansion card.
Beginning with the USB3.0 Airbox, this is an external HDD enclosure constructed out of aluminum and supports 3.5-inch SATA HDDs up to 2TB.
It also includes an 80mm blue-LED fan working at 1600RPM to assist in keeping your drive cool.
Sunbeamtech's new HDDPAL is a convenient HDD/SSD docking station for both 2.5 and 3.5-inch sized drives. The unit allows for hot plug and play use and measures 132 x 94 x 69 mm.
Last up is the SuperSpeed USB3.0 expansion card which is not unlike other USB 3.0 PCI-E x1 cards we've seen pop up in the market already.
No word on availability or pricing for these USB 3.0 based products as yet.
Most technology fans have been out and about with their mobile phone or MP3 player and started to run out of power. When this happens, you can either head to the nearest AC outlet to recharge or just stop using your device.
Scosche has announced a new solar powered battery charger called the solBAT II that will charge any device that can get power via USB using the power of the sun. The battery inside the charger is a 1500mAh unit with a 5V output.
The battery will work with Blackberrys, iPhones, and iPods along with numerous other devices. It ships with a windshield mount and a clip to hang the charger on a bag. The solBAT II will sell for $29.99.
We have been able to get some 3D games on our PCs for a while now thanks to stereoscopic drivers that were a bit hit and miss and the NVIDIA 3D Vision glasses. 3D content is coming to the home theater and computers in a big way this year and the HDMI Licensing LLC has announced that the 3D portion of HDMI 1.4 is now available.
The 3D section of the specification can be downloaded now and gives the public and corporations access to the spec that don't have a HDMI Adopter Agreement in place. Once the full 1.4a HDMI spec is finished it will all be released along with an update to the 3D portion.
This is the next step towards getting the new HDMI spec out and devices coming to market that support 3D. The specification can be downloaded now from the HDMI.org website.
Many computer users want to be able to use a second monitor with their system to get more screen space. Some users also want to be able to connect additional sources to their existing screens as well. Atlona has announced a new converter that changes a dual link DVI to a mini DisplayPort.
The device is model AT-DP400 and while it is compatible with Mac and PCs, the device is specifically designed for the 27" iMac. When used with the iMac the converter supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1440. On PC systems, it supports up to 2560 x 1600.
The device will allow 1080p full HD resolution and gets all the power it needs from a USB port. The converter is HDCP compatible for Blu-ray playback and can be used to connect a PS3 or Xbox to the 27" iMac at 720p resolution. The converter will ship in March for $199 and can be pre-ordered now.
One would think it's inevitable Apple will be implementing USB 3.0 into upcoming generations of its MBPs or Mac Pros, but a report from the folks at Digitimes states that while Genesys Logic has begun sampling USB 3.0 device controllers for a client of which sources are claiming to be Apple, Genesys has denied this claim.
So, we're left wondering exactly what's going on, but given how fast Apple has adopted new technologies in the past (when thinking back to USB, Firewire/800 and more recently DisplayPort), one would think it safe to assume USB 3.0 is well and truly on the horizon.
Moving promptly with the times, ECS has just introduced both USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps PCI-E x1 expansion cards to market.
The U3N2 USB 3.0 expansion card uses NEC's controller chip to deliver up to 5Gbps transfer rates to supporting USB 3.0 devices. It provides two ports and is of course backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
The S6M2 makes use of Marvell's 6Gbps controller and provides both an internal SATA 3.0 port as well as an eSATA 3.0 port for external connectivity.
Full details can be found within the press release here folks.
Sharing peripherals in an office or a home with many computers across a network can be a challenge. However, sharing things like printers and external hard drives can save lots of money compared to buying multiple devices.
Silex Technology has unveiled a new way to share up to 15 USB devices across a network using a Gigabit connection. The Silex adapter is called the SX-3000GB. The device has two USB ports and a single 10/100/1000 Ethernet port to connect to a wired or wireless network.
You have to use a USB hub to share all 15 devices the adapter can support. The two USB ports built-in have a combined power output of one amp. The adapter works on Windows and Mac systems and is available now for $99.
VESA revealed a new spec for its DisplayPort interface at CES which it simply calls DisplayPort 1.2.
With the bandwidth being doubled to 21.8 Gbit/s (more than twice that of the current HDMI 1.4 standard), this allows DisplayPort 1.2 to handle 3D-signals, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audiostreams and also USB 2.0 and network data with speeds of up to 720 Mbit/s.
Further to that is the ability to take on higher resolutions (up to 3840 x 2400 pixels) with superior color depths and increased refresh rates (2560 x 1600 pixels on a 120 Hz 3D-screen).
It's also worth noting that the new standard is backward compatible with the first DisplayPort spec so there won't be a need for new cables or connectors.
CES 2010 - Seagate had an updated version of the BlackArmor portable HDD here at CES. The new model uses USB 3.0 but is just as small as the original.
This was the first look we had at the new mini USB 3.0 connector.
The receiving end of the plug looks like this. The pins are sideways on the mini and much smaller than the full size USB 3.0 plug.
The performance of the Seagate BlackArmor with USB 3.0 was actually better than the build in HDD. Here we see the BA USB 3.0 on the left, the onboard HDD in the center and a BA USB 2.0 on the right.