2nd Generation Distraction Lithography and 3rd Generation Relaxed Silicon

It’s the S|A weekly roundup!

The crew over at Xtreview spilled the beans on the clock speeds of mobile “Llano” chips this week, and NGOHQ leaked a whole bunch of Llano slides, the most impressive part of them being the 145 design wins number. The graphical dominance of Llano has been widely reported on, but what still remains somewhat of a mystery is the CPU performance of that the chip will bring to the table. AMD’s current mobile quadcores haven’t fared so well, do to their high power consumption and low single threaded performance, let’s see if Llano can remedy those problems, and if the slides are “real”.

Also this week a number of socket FM1 motherboards were leaked/shown off. First up is the Gigabyte A75-UD4H leaked by DomaninHaber, followed by ASRock’s A75 Extreme6 from Sweclockers, and then a Mini-ITX board by ASRock called the A75-ITX. The Extreme6 is the most interesting of the three boards offering 3 physical PCI-E 16X slots. But as with most mid-range motherboards its probably safe to say that the first one is 16X, the second is 8X, and the third is 4X. The Llano motherboard line up looks good, let’s move on to the Bulldozer boards.

NordicHardware’s Anton Karmehed got a hold of the press pictures for ASUS’s 990FX based Crosshair V. While TechConnect’s Cristian had the low down on Gigabyte’s competitor the GA-990FXA-UD7. And LG Nilsson of VRZone covered the release of some photos of MSI’s upcoming 99FXA-G65. These motherboards look quite good, and with the rumored clock speeds of Bulldozer ranging from 3.2Ghz to 3.8Ghz, I think it’s fair to say we’re about to seem some more vigorous competition in the $200 to the $350 price range.

AMD released the Catalyst 11.5b hotfix this week, and after some initial issues with it, the word on the street seems to be that another one is coming next week. Props to the AMD driver team for trying to respond to issues so quickly; even if it doesn’t always go as well as they might have hoped.

The mad scientists at Cray announced their XK6 supercomputing system this week. Based off of AMD’s upcoming “Interlagos” Operton 6200 series and augmented by Nvidia’s new Teslas based off their GF110 chip it appears that the XK6 will be able to bring a lot compute to bear. Despite this Cray is billing the XK6 as a system that blances CPU power with GPU power in order to perform the best in mixed HPC workloads, unlike more GPU centric systems like HP’s SL390s G7.

Intel Logo

Intel officially announced that it is accepting foundry customers that want to build chips around its architecture and then attach their own IP. It would seem that this is to gain more business for its Atom chips and to make up for the supposedly slowing PC market that could leave Intel with an over supply of chips if it didn’t over the extra capacity out to third parties. We did tell you so. We’ll have to wait an see if anything comes of this announcement, but I heard the PS4 is in development.

Nvidia world icon

Forbes blogged this week about HP’s new GPU centric server and used it to point out Nvidia’s dominance in the HPC market. The Tesla line for HPC is one of the last Nvidia market share strongholds left after AMD’s counter attack which won it the mobile market and an overall discrete GPU market share majority. It will be interesting to see if Nvidia manages to maintain its market share in spite of AMD’s new Cayman based chips.

OCZ logo

OCZ released it’s Agility 3 this week. Using asynchronous NAND, the drive offers mostly comparable performance to it’s Vertex 3 sibling, but its performance seems to degrade under heavy loads. Whether you choose the Veterx 3 over this drive really depends on how much more a Vertex drive is going to cost you.

google logo

Google made the news this week with the release of this video detailing their use of sea water to cool their server farm in Finland. It seems like a pretty salty idea to me, but as long as it works better than the sea water on Fukushima did, then I suppose I’m all for it.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.