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May 8, 2012

Penguin Also Presents Servers Based on New Xeon

The name of the Relion E-series of servers is no doubt a play on “Rely on.” 

Even if it isn't, the product collection should get hyped up just for being one of the few to use 80Plus Platinum PSUs. 

The real reason behind Penguin Computer's announcement is the Xeon E5-2600 processor though. 

In this, the press release resembles that of Dell, which also talks about a Xeon chip, albeit a different model, upgrading a server. 

Speaking of the announcement, it makes a point of mentioning the specially designed heatsinks, the modular, high-density integrated fans, redundant power supply options and the set of management tools shipped alongside each server (BIOS and CMOS setting, server and power management). 

All E-series have four-year warranties and product pages on the company's website. If you run or serve a company in need of some upgrades, drop by and check out the Relion E-series here.

Samsung GALAXY S III Receives Bluetooth 4.0 Certification

The third-generation Galaxy smartphone has just popped up at Bluetooth SIG, before making its way into shelves. Both GT-I9000 and GT-I9000T models have been approved by the organization and are now ready to be released on the market.

Samsung GT-I9000 is aimed at Africa, Asia and Europe, while the GT-I9000T variant will be launched in Australia. 

The device has integrated Bluetooth version 4.0 technology, allowing users to connect wirelessly to optional, compatible hands-free accessories such as Bluetooth technology enabled headsets and car kits. 

Samsung Galaxy S III is expected to arrive in Europe on May 30 for a suggested retail price of £500 ($805 or €620). 

The smartphone will go on sale through all major carriers, retailers and authorized resellers, but prices may vary by region. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Dell PowerEdge C5220 Gets 22nm Intel Xeon Processor

Since Intel is using its 22nm manufacturing process for chips besides the Ivy Bridge consumer series, Dell decided it was high time it actually put them to work.

Dell has a certain line of microservers going by the name of PowerEdge C5220, which is really just one system with customizable insides.

Enterprise customers can now choose to outfit said system with the newest Intel Xeon processors, specifically the Xeon E3-1200 v2.

ECC memory, 64-bit processing, Intel VT-x, full software compatibility and up to 50% density increase over previous-generation microservers are among the best assets.

Shared power and cooling resources can live off less energy now too, even as performance in data bandwidth sensitive applications is heightened, thanks to DDR3-1600 memory speeds.

There already are business-critical web 2.0, cloud and content delivery networks (CDN) that utilize Xeon-based microservers.

Switching old units for the new ones is a natural turn of events, hence Dell's apparent haste.

“We’re constantly inspired by the unique ways our customers are leveraging Dell microserver platforms to drive specialized web 2.0, HPC and cloud computing applications,” said Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager, Dell Server Solutions. 

“As the microserver market and ecosystem have matured, customers like Vibrant Media have validated that microservers are a cost-effective, scalable platform in web 2.0 environments.” 

Dell's PowerEdge C5220 is detailed on its product page, but iterations equipped with Xeon E3-1200v2 won't ship before May 22. The price is of $12,207.84, or 9,374.06 Euro, according to exchange rates.

“We’ve been innovating with Dell on breakthrough microserver solutions based on Intel Xeon processors since establishing the category at Intel Developer Forum in 2009. Today we are excited to see new customers using Dell systems and taking advantage of the most power efficient Xeon processors ever delivered across a broader variety of workloads,” said Jason Waxman, Intel general manager of cloud computing.

Thecus Launches a NAS Management Tablet, of All Things

We've seen tablets being promoted based on their looks, their performance, the content they can access and any combination of these three, but never for their ability to grant control to a network-attached storage device.

It so happens that Thecus has launched a slate whose main purpose is to help owners of Thecus NAS devices better manage their centralized storage.

Called ThecusPAD, it does not seem to have been given a price yet, even though the product page lists everything else worth knowing.

Measuring 7 inches (1024x600 resolution), it relies on the Tegra 2 dual-core platform and runs the Android 3.2 operating system (Honeycomb).

1 GB of low-power DDR2 memory backs up the Tegra 2, but the storage capacity of 8 GB (eMMC) isn't exactly astounding.

Fortunately, a microSD card slot allows for up to 32 GB more to be added at any time.

That said, the multi-touch device has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS and two cameras: 2Mpixel on the front (supports up to 720p HD Video Recording) and 5M on the back (Auto-Focus with Flash Light and support for 720p recording).

Furthermore, Thecus tossed in an eCompass, a g-sensor, stereo speaker, ambient light sensor, a gyro-sensor, audio/mic jacks (3.5mm), USB 2.0 and a micro-HDMI port.

The Thecus Utility software is the one that streams data from the NAS to a TV. This ability actually justifies the low on-board storage space.

Still, don't believe what it says that “streaming seamless data from your NAS to your TV does not even require an adapter anymore.” Unless that TV has a micro-HDMI input or comes with its own converters, you'll need a micro-HDMI to HDMI adapter.

We aren't sure what selling chances the ThecusPAD has. The specs aren't so bad, but Android 3.2 isn't Ice Cream Sandwich, Tegra 2 is pretty outdated now and the tablet isn't exactly thin. The price will have to make the difference, whatever it is.

Script: concrete5

concrete5 is a PHP-based content management system that can be used for any purpose and in any environment.

It's the perfect tool for building an one-page site, a simple landing page, or just the opposite, a huge site supporting an entire online community.

This is all possible due to its mature MVC framework that helps power the concrete5 core allowing complete flexibility, while at the same time providing speed and lots of features.

As any other CMS, concrete5 can be styled with themes to look the part, and also core functionality can be extended with add-ons to fit any customer needs.

It can be installed on any server and for those not owning one, concrete5 is also available as a hosted solution. To preview a demo, go to their trial account setup page and request one. To follow concrete5 development, check their SourceForge page for details.

Download concrete5 here.

ZOTAC Presents Impressive Custom GTX 680 Video Cards

Zotac, Macau-headquartered video card company, has just announced the GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and the GeForce GTX 680 OC 4GB Edition. With these cards, just as usual, Zotac tries its best to differentiate themselves from the other similar products on the market.

As with most of their products, the company is very successful when it comes to the originality of the design and the functionality of the cards.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition comes with quite a large cooling system that has two 90 millimeter fans controlled by PWM, that are blowing air over a large aluminum heatsink.

The heatsink is very efficient thanks to the four copper heat pipes that help the GPU distribute the heat evenly among the fins.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition comes with clock speeds of 1,110 MHz (core base frequency), 1,176 MHz (core boost active), and the usual 6,008 MHz for the memory.

These are quite a bit higher than Nvidia’s reference speeds of 1,006/1,058/6,008 MHz.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 680 OC 4 GB Edition, has the same Nvidia reference board design with ZOTAC’s brand stickers. The card packs double the memory amount when compared to the reference board.

This version sticks to Nvidia reference clock speeds, but the 4 GB of GDDR5 memory will certainly make a difference in very demanding 3D applications.

Both cards have the same display output layout: two dual-link DVI connectors and one HDMI, along with a DisplayPort.

Power is supplied by the two 6-pin PCIe power inputs and both cards include Assassin's Creed 3-game packs.

In Japan, both cards are priced the same – 750 USD. That would be around 580 EUR for the European gamers, which is quite expensive, if we may say so.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4 Officially Announced

The Apache OpenOffice, the original open source office productivity suite, designed for professional and consumer use, is now at version 3.4.0. 

After being adopted into the Apache Foundation and after picking a new name, the Apache OpenOffice project comes with a few new interesting features, such as improved ODT support, including new ODF 1.2 encryption options, new pivot table support in Calc, new graphics, and general improvements in performance and quality.

"With the donation of OpenOffice.org to the ASF, the Foundation, and especially the podling project, was given a daunting task: re-energize a community and transform OpenOffice from a codebase of unknown Intellectual Property heritage, to a vetted and Apache Licensed software suite," - said Jim Jagielski, ASF President and an Apache OpenOffice project mentor. A complete changelog can be found in the official announcement. Available for Windows platform and Linux platform as well

Download Apache OpenOffice 3.4.0 here

Toshiba Excite 10 Tablets Officially Available

Toshiba has just started selling the new Excite 10 tablets, on its official website. These new tablets are powered by Nvidia’s well-known Tegra 3 quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor.

The display is protected with the popular Corning Gorilla Glass and thus, the Excite 10 tablet is scratch resistant and can also resist light physical damage from everyday use.

The featured a 10.1” HD screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 and is branded AutoBrite by Toshiba. The touch matrix offers 10-finger multitouch responsiveness.

The casing is made of aluminum and not only does it give the tablet high style, but it’s also stronger than the usual plastic.

The user can set up a video chat connecting the tablet to the big-screen at home, or share music and photos with friends and family. The Excite 10 is equipped with the essential ports you’ll need to share content and connect with virtually anything.

There’s a Micro HDMI port for connecting to a TV screen, a micro USB PC or Mac connection and backup, along with Bluetooth for easy connectivity with various wireless devices like a mouse, keyboard or headset.

The full SD card slot lets the user easily transfer photos from your digital camera, or simply add extra storage space if the owner needs it.

The Excite 10 tablet also comes with two HD webcams. The one on the back will allow the user to take nice 5 mega pixel photos, while the one facing the user will capture images at FullHD resolution.

The official price on Toshiba’s online store is 449 USD. That’s around 345 EUR for the European mobile fans.

Micron Most Likely to Buy Elpida Now

Elpida put itself up for auction a while ago, but bidders have been backing out of the deal one after another, the latest to do so being SK Hynix. 

Now, according to DRAMeXchange, Micron is the company most likely to win out of the remaining interested parties. 

Getting Elpida's assets would allow it to truly challenge SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics in high-volume DRAM manufacture. 

All it has to do now is offer around 300 billion JPY (US $3.75 billion / 2.88 billion Euro) and everything is ready to go. 

When it abandoned the idea, SK Hynix only said that the acquisition had no strategic value for the members of the board. By all accounts, Micron can't really say the same, so a buyer for the bankrupt Japanese chip maker may have emerged at last.

Google Copied Java Code, but May Not Have Infringed Jury Finds in Oracle Case

The Oracle vs. Google trial has reached a critical state, the jury decided on the copyright infringement matter. The jury did find that Google copied some code from Oracle and the design of the APIs, however, it could not decide whether the copying was "fair use" or not. As such, even though the jury found Google guilty, there can be no talk of damages until the remaining issues are fixed.

The judge now has to decide how to proceed, but Google has already called for a mistrial. In the meantime, with the portion of the trial covering copyright issues over, the trial moved to the patent infringement portion. After this is done, the judge gets to decide on damages awarded to Oracle, if any.

The jury had a week to deliberate on the matter, but could not reach an agreement even after an extension was provided over the weekend.

Google copied Java API design, but it may be fair use and APIs may not be copyrightable
In the first question posed to the jury, they had to decide whether Android infringed on Java APIs. The jury believed so. 

However, they could not agree on whether Google's copying was fair use, leaving the matter undecided. If it was fair use, there can be no infringement to speak of.

Of course, the matter of whether APIs can be copyrighted or not hasn't been decided on, the judge instructed the jury to proceed as if they can be copyrighted. 

So even if they had not deemed the copying fair use, it may not have mattered if the judge decided APIs aren't copyrightable.

Answering the second question, out of four, the jury determined that Google did not copy the documentation for the Java APIs.

Google only copied nine lines of code
The jury was also asked whether Google copied actual code in three instances, the rangeCheck method in two files, some code in eight other files or the comments in a couple of other files. 

Of those, the jury decided that only the rangeCheck method was copied, the rest was not. That's just nine lines of code, in millions, so Google will only have to pay statutory damages at worse. These damages are in the range of $100,000, often less, clearly not the $1 billion Oracle asked for and far less than what they paid their lawyers.

In the end, it seems that the first portion of the trial didn't yield much, given that the things the jury has decided on are subject to matters which are still undecided. For now, the trial is moving forward with the next phase.

KFA2 Launches Overclocked GTX 680 Graphics Cards

Two more versions of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card have appeared, although it might be more accurate to say that two existing cards have gained new names.

KFA2 is the one making the news, having introduced the GeForce GTX 680 EX OC Series, and the GTX 680 Limited Edition OC.

Given that KFA2 is Galaxy's European brand, these two are just the Galaxy GTX 680 GC and Galaxy GTX 680 Hall of Fame under different names.

We'll get the GTX 680 Limited Edition OC out of the way first, since it won't be around for all that long. It is a limited edition after all.

The Kepler GK104 graphics processing unit (GPUs) sits on a white PCB (printed circuit board) and has clock speeds of 1,202 MHz (base) and 1,267 MHz (GPU Boost).

A triple-fan cooler will keep the heat in check for both the chip and the 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM and KFA2 even tossed in an HDMI output, a display port and two dual-link DVI ports.

That's right, the photo is, apparently, wrong in showing those four outputs. The other video card, GTX 680 EX OC Series, can have both 2 GB and 4 GB memory capacities, depending on customer choice.

The base clock speed of the GPU is 1,110 MHz (base) and 1,176 MHz (GPU Boost). Video outputs are the same as above.

For the sake of comparison, the reference card has the GPU clocked at 1,006 MHz (base) and 1,058 MHz (GPU Boost).

The KFA2 adapters run the memory at 6 GHz and will have prices higher than the $499 / 470 Euro of the original. If you live in Europe, but haven't yet made a new PC, or upgraded your old one, you might want to check your local retailers for these two.

First GeForce GTX 670 Benchmarks Revealed

It lasted just a couple of hours, but that was enough for everybody to get a glimpse at what Nvidia’s new rebadged GK104 GPUs can do against AMD’s Radeon HD 7950.

Two benchmarks were run: Futuremark’s 3D Mark Vantage and 3D Mark11.

In the less demanding 3DMark Vantage Performance setting, the GTX 670 was able to outperform both its counterparts, a GeForce GTX 570 and the aforementioned AMD Radeon HD 7950.

Once Extreme mode was set, AMD’s Radeon trounces the GeForce GTX 570 and is practically equal to the GeForce GTX 670.

Moving to the 3DMark11, we can see that the increased complexity of the test is clearly showing Radeon’s superiority to the GeForce GTX 570, as the former moves closer to the GTX 670, but it is not able to equal the GeForce GTX 670 performance level.

Samsung and Qualcomm Partner on Wireless Charging

Samsung and Qualcomm, along with other industry leaders, have announced a partnership on the creation of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). 

The new organization was created to promote the standardization of wireless power transfer technology, to develop product testing, certification and regulatory compliance processes, and to work with regulators on wireless power policy development. 

The new alliance will target a wide range of devices and aims at establishing a worldwide wireless power technology ecosystem.

The A4WP will work on new wireless power transfer technology to offer freedom for charging electrical devices in cars, on tabletops and for multiple devices simultaneously.

The wireless power approach involves a transmitter and receiver antenna design, along with a wireless control system, and the possibility to transfer the power through nonmetallic surfaces. 

The goal is to provide the wireless charging capabilities to a multitude of devices, including Bluetooth headsets or tablet PCs. 

“Wireless power has the potential to increase convenience and improve the user experience in consumer devices like mobile phones by untethering the charging process,” Jason dePreaux, a research manager at IMS Research, stated. 

“For these benefits to be realized, wireless power infrastructure must be deployed to enable wireless charge points in the home, at work, or while traveling without concern for compatibility. Industry alliances will play a critical role in developing this infrastructure.” 

In addition to Samsung and Qualcomm, the A4WP also includes Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies, and SK Telecom.

The alliance is open and welcomes members from the handheld devices industry, as well as those from consumer electronics and semiconductor products, wireless carriers, test equipment and retail. 

"A4WP will accelerate the commercialization of this technology and will contribute to expanding its market,” Executive Vice President KiHo Kim, head of digital media & communications R&D Center, Samsung Electronics, said. 

“As a founding member of A4WP, Samsung is committed to supporting standardization of wireless charging technology boasting spatial freedom, contributing to the eco-system, and exploring possibilities of a variety of services.”

Intel Ivy Bridge Mobile Processor Prices, Launch Date

The quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs released on April 23 were strong and fast, but they weren't exactly cheap, which means that most laptop makers are still waiting for those dual-core models that Intel promised.

What we are looking at here is a confirmation of the launch date, as well as the prices of those very processors, courtesy of CPU World.

Five chips will come forward on June 3, 2012. Three of them will be Core i5 and the other two will be part of the Core i7 line. All will have two cores and four threads.

The Core i5-3320M is the cheapest, at $225 (173 Euro, according to exchange rates), and has 2 MB cache and a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, 3.3 GHz Turbo Boost. The TDP (thermal design power) is 35W.

The second chip is called Core i5-3360M and has the same TDP as above, but frequencies of 2.8 GHz / 3.5 GHz Turbo. The price is $266 (204 Euro).

The third, and last Core i5 chip, Core i5-3427U, priced at $225 (173 Euro) like the first, has clocks of 1.8 GHz / 2.8 GHz Turbo, but a TDP of just 17W. Ultrabooks are going to use it the most.

And now we've finally reached the Core i7 CPUs, both of which possess 4 MB cache memory. The price is $346 (265 Euro).

The Core i7-3520M operates at 2.9 GHz and 3.6 GHz Turbo. Its TDP is 35W.

Finally, the Core i7-3667U gets away with the same price because, even though it has 2 GHz / 3.2 GHz speeds, it features that 17W TDP that ultrabook makers will love.

The 35W CPUs will be released in PGA and BGA packages, but the ULV versions will only be available in BGA.

Now we just have to wait and see how AMD's own upcoming 17W APU stacks up against the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U. Advanced Micro Devices will probably reveal more at its upcoming Fusion Developer Summit, so it's a good thing we'll be there to check things out.

AMD Trinity Confirmed for May

Today it was confirmed that the official AMD Trinity architecture launch is pending this month. The Texas-based CPU maker is reportedly only planning to launch its thin & light laptop mobile APUs, with the desktop versions of Trinity following in August.

Wondering about why is AMD only launching the laptop versions and not the higher clocked desktop versions, we could only come up with the deduction that AMD is expecting great sales and wants to capitalize on Intel’s overpriced UltraBooks.

All Trinity APUs will be able to work and function in the same space-restricted, thin notebooks, similarly to the mobile Ivy Bridge processors, and they’ll also be able to offer the same considerable battery life.

The main differences are the fact that AMD’s Trinity APU won’t probably score that much better in the x86 benchmarks, like their Intel counterparts, and that the price of Trinity-based platforms will be considerably lower than any Intel UltraBook.

Add this to the fact that Trinity is going to trounce the Ivy Bridge in anything 3D related and you’ll a have a very fast selling product.

AMD is already dealing with supply problems now, when they took over 43% of the desktop market using Llano. They most likely don’t want to mess up the higher margins of mobile APU shipments by also having to supply desktop CPUs.

Mobile APUs bring more profits and, generally, SOI manufactured chips show most improvements in power consumption at very low voltages. To better explain this, we’ll give a hypothetical example of a SOI CPU that at 1 V and 2.5 GHz consumes 20 watts, but at 1.4V it consumes 38 watts, while being able to run at 3 GHz.

38 watts is quite decent even for a mobile APU, but the extra heat will require a different cooling system and the extra power consumption will destroy any battery life expectations.

In SOI technologies, the best advantages are revealed at very low voltages. That same APU that requires 20 watts at 1V with a 2.5 GHz frequency will work great at 1.6 GHz with just 0.4 V and a power consumption of just 6 watts. 

And you then add the improved battery life and you have a very successful product.

Therefore, desktop CPUs will have to wait. If we’re lucky, AMD might even have a 4 GHz APU surprise for us, if in the next four months they gather up enough cherry-picked Trinity processors able to run at such a high frequency.

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