Sony PS3 to receive firmware update in early 2012, allows 4K still support

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Oct 4, 2011 3:00 AM CDT

Sony are planning to update their PlayStation 3 to allow it to have support for 4096x2160 (4K) content. It will only be still content, but showing off some super high resolution photos on a 4K-capable screen or projector will look insanely awesome. The firmware update is planned for early 2012 and will let the PS3 support native output of 4K stills. The PlayStation store in Japan already has a PlayView "visual magazine" which supports both 4K and 3D.

Sony PS3 to receive firmware update in early 2012, allows 4K still support | TweakTown.com

This new update will allow any high resolution image to blow up to 4K resolution. Obviously you need a 4K-capable display or projector, but at least if you have the cash to spend on a 4K screen you now have something to use your PS3 for other than gaming and Blu-ray movies.

Continue reading: Sony PS3 to receive firmware update in early 2012, allows 4K still support (full post)

Fusion-io intros new drives, ioDrive 2 and ioDrive2 Duo

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Oct 4, 2011 2:00 AM CDT

Fusion-io have today announced the next evolution of their ioMemory platform for powering application acceleration and data center optimization. Fusion-io previously broke performance barriers when they released their first enterprise MLC products which dramatically enhanced reliability metrics for enterprise flash, and redefined server-side flash have done it again by introducing their new ioDrive2 and ioDrive2 Duo.

Fusion-io intros new drives, ioDrive 2 and ioDrive2 Duo | TweakTown.com

David Flynn, Fusion-io CEO and Chairman says:

Customers have grown to expect nothing but groundbreaking products from Fusion-io. Today, we are proud to raise the bar once more with the ioDrive2. Just as many competitors gauge success by Fusion-io performance standards, we developed the ioDrive2 to outperform the original ioDrive on all measures. Companies around the world trust ioMemory to supply critical data to their trading platforms, ERP systems, virtual environments, enterprise applications and databases, and now, they can rely on the ioDrive2 to accelerate even more of the data that powers our information economy.

Continue reading: Fusion-io intros new drives, ioDrive 2 and ioDrive2 Duo (full post)

Is Apple ready to unleash its own GPU design?

Apple seem to change their mind quicker than most companies, and this news is no different. It looks as though Apple might be working on its own GPU technology which would see an Apple-based GPU that would power more than just desktop systems, but quite possibly any future iteration of their iOS-based devices. It might seem like a stretch, but the smartphone and tablet industry is moving more and more away from CPU-based designs to GPU-based designs.

Is Apple ready to unleash its own GPU design? | TweakTown.com

As we see the industry move away and we have companies like NVIDIA making strides in the market, Apple will obviously want a piece of this pie. Apple would obviously not want to create its own CPU as that is quite the engineering effort, and it would be a copy cat design of another company like Intel, AMD or Arm. Graphics allows innovation in new and unusual ways - plus production can be offloaded to places like TSMC.

We have NVIDIA and AMD fighting in the DirectX corner, but an open graphics platform allows for much more flexibility - if you can be certain of what kind of hardware you're targeting. With Apple, there is no option, so it would be a very fixed/stable environment - this is perfect for introducing a slew of new and unusual features and methodologies in a GPU. It would be very different to anything else on the market, because of Apple's very tight grip of its environment.

Continue reading: Is Apple ready to unleash its own GPU design? (full post)

Battlefield 3's social networking features explained

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Oct 3, 2011 7:59 PM CDT

Battlelog is currently experiencing a love/hate relationship with gamers - some love it, some hate it. But the below trailer shows that there's more to Battlelog than just a server browser and front end. Battlelog expands on the franchise's history of stats tracking, combining it with new social networking features that look like they're ripped right out of Facebook. Another major benefit of Battlelog is that its free, absolutely free. Where the competition (Call of Duty) charges a monthly charge to use the "Elite" service.

Battlelog displays so many options its hard to list them all here, but stand-out displays show different stats on weapons, accuracy, awards, time spent on weapons, win/loss ratios, you're able to comment on games after you've played them (great feature!) which makes Battlelog a serious addition to the Battlefield 3 universe. Battlelog can be used on not only the PC, but consoles and even mobile devices.

Continue reading: Battlefield 3's social networking features explained (full post)

New beta release of MSI Afterburner has a hefty change log

Steve Dougherty | Software & Apps | Oct 3, 2011 9:30 AM CDT

Do you overclock your graphics card via software? Chances are these days you're most likely using MSI's own Afterburner for it, seeing as it's one of the most complete, useful tools around these days for not only GPU overclocking, but other various things like video capturing, temp monitoring, setting profiles for different scenarios etc.

New beta release of MSI Afterburner has a hefty change log | TweakTown.com

With that said, you may like to know that the folks over at the Guru of 3D have released a new updated version of it to the public, albeit in beta form. The changelog is quite extensive, though, with a ton of fixes, tweaks and additions that should have you quickly wishing to update to this 2.2.0 Beta 8 build.

Continue reading: New beta release of MSI Afterburner has a hefty change log (full post)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus unveiled, 7-inch Honeycomb tablet

Samsung has expanded its Galaxy Tab range with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. From the name, you would obviously guess its a 7-inch tablet, but it sports a PLS (Super Plane to Line Switching) display with a 1024 x 600 pixel display, running Android 3.2 Honeycomb and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which is looking to be the Exynos 4120. Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus also sports quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support and tri-band 3G with 21Mbps HSPA as well as two cameras.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus unveiled, 7-inch Honeycomb tablet | TweakTown.com

First up there's a 2-megapixel, front-facing camera and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera capable of taking 720p video. We also see 1GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery that is standard on all models. Honeycomb gets Samsung's splash of TouchWiz UI wonder, and size wise we get options of either 16 or 32GB. Both include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS and Bluetooth. The 7-inch tablet is quite small, measuring in at 192.65 x 122.37 x 9.96 mm and weighs in at only 0.76 pounds, or just 12.16 ounces.

JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business chimes in with:

Samsung pioneered the seven-inch tablet market with the launch of the GALAXY Tab, marking an innovation milestone in the mobile industry. Building on the success of the GALAXY Tab, we're now delighted to introduce the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus reloaded with enhanced portability, productivity and a richer multimedia experience.

Continue reading: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus unveiled, 7-inch Honeycomb tablet (full post)

Microsoft to receive $444 million per year from Android patent licensees, making cash like a boss

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 2, 2011 2:30 PM CDT

A few days ago, Microsoft signed a major licensing agreement with Samsung over the use of some its patents on Android-based smartphones and tablets. The deal is similar to what other manufacturers have agreed to, which avoid a court battle. But, there's a requirement of a fixed fee to be paid to Microsoft for every Android device sold. Goldman Sach's tech analyst team think that this number is around $444 million per year.

Microsoft to receive $444 million per year from Android patent licensees, making cash like a boss | TweakTown.com

Goldman estimates that Microsoft receives roughly $3 - $6 per Android device, and calculated the multi-million dollar figure based on the number of Android devices expected to be sold by Microsoft's licensees between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The companies that Microsoft receive the (virtually free) dollars from are HTC, Acer, U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron, and Samsung, which yesterday became the latest licensee.

Microsoft claims that certain Android features contain technologies over which it owns patents. Considering that two of the largest Android device makers have agreed to pay royalties which puts some concrete into this claim. The only one in the US without a license from Microsoft is Motorola Mobility, in which the two are in court battling it out.

Continue reading: Microsoft to receive $444 million per year from Android patent licensees, making cash like a boss (full post)

QNAP intros "budget-friendly" Turbo NAS solutions

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Oct 2, 2011 12:30 PM CDT

QNAP have announced three new Turbo NAS models, with a four-bay, dual-bay and single-bay solution available. The models are TS-419P II, TS219P II and TS-119P II which are all aimed at corporate workgroups, SOHO and home users who are after a budget-friendly solution for backup and file sharing. No pricing has been announced from QNAP, so we don't know how "budget-friendly" they really are. But, the models closest to them (which sport 1.2GHz chips instead of the included 2GHz chips) are very decently priced.

QNAP intros

The new models look virtually identical to the predecessors, but they sport upgraded chips tech. QNAP have used a 2.0GHz Marvell CPU and also included 512MB of DDR3 memory which is a bit quicker than the 1.2 and 1.6GHz Marvell CPUs used in previous models. QNAP also say the added speed will enable Windows-based file transfers of up to 109MB/sec. QNAP claim idle power consumption is as low as four watts.

Continue reading: QNAP intros "budget-friendly" Turbo NAS solutions (full post)

Samsung talks about the 32nm 1.5GHz Exynos SoC

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Oct 2, 2011 11:00 AM CDT

Samsung's latest Exynos 4210 SoC is a great piece of tech, it powers their super smartphone, the Galaxy S II and is a very, very fast phone. The 4210 sports two ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1.2GHz along with an ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU. The A9 chip is equal to that of TI's outing, and a bit better than NVIDIA's Tegra 2. In various tests, the Mali-400 MP4 beats out all other smartphone GPUs that have been tested.

Samsung talks about the 32nm 1.5GHz Exynos SoC | TweakTown.com

Samsung have today announced a 32nm addition to the family, the Exynos 4212. CPU clock speeds get a nice bump up to 1.5GHz, but GPU clocks are unknown. Samsung is however claiming that GPU performance improves by up to 50% "over the previous processor generation". The move to 32nm could have allowed a 50% increase in clock speed. Samsung's 32nm process uses high-K + metal gate transistors, similar to Intel's transition to 45nm.

Continue reading: Samsung talks about the 32nm 1.5GHz Exynos SoC (full post)

Intel and IBM invest $4.4 billion in chip manufacturing plants in New York

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 2, 2011 10:30 AM CDT

Intel and IBM have announced a $4.4 billion investment which is being put into a manufacturing plant to create the next-generation of cutting-edge computer chip technology. It's all being done in New York, with a five-year investment expected to generated and retain 6,900 jobs paying an average of $100,000. Gov. Cuomo who was previously suing Intel, where he filed an anti-trust lawsuit against them, has done a 180-degree turn and has now called this new move "a really, really big deal" and part of his effort to "create a more confident environment for doing business in New York".

Intel and IBM invest $4.4 billion in chip manufacturing plants in New York | TweakTown.com

The aforementioned lawsuit included Cuomo - as attorney general - trying to sue Intel for trying to monopolize the computer chip industry. He charged Intel with violated state and federal anti-trust laws by trying to keep a monopoly over the market for microprocessors, which as most people know are the heart of computers and servers alike. The suit charged Intel with paying computer makers billions of dollars in exchange for using the company's microprocessors instead of competing products from AMD.

The suit is currently pending with Intel back in May filing three motions seeking to have the suit dismissed.

Continue reading: Intel and IBM invest $4.4 billion in chip manufacturing plants in New York (full post)

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