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Toshiba late Wednesday said it has set a record for flash storage with the first-ever 2.5-inch 512GB solid-state drive. It makes use of the company's newest 43 nanometer assembly process and particularly dense multi-level cell storage to double the 256GB record only just set earlier this year. The capacity boost also comes alongside faster performance; Toshiba sees peak read speeds of 240MB per second and write speeds of 200MB per second. Longevity is also a focus with a mean time between failures of one million hours (114 years), though the cells themselves will typically wear out sooner.
Philips has recently announced the upcoming release of a new flagship universal remote for home theater systems, the Prestigo SRT9320, which features both a 2.8-inch color touchscreen and physical buttons as the interface method. The remote is able to control as many as 20 separate devices and Philips promises users will not need a PC to program it.
While the Palm Treo Pro is not, as expected, being offered for purchase by wireless provider AT&T, existing owners of the smartphone can now be certified to work on the provider's 3G network, Palm announced on Monday. The Treo Pro is among the first handsets to receive this 3G network certification via AT&T's business user-oriented Specialty Vertical Device program. Alternatively, those who want a Treo Pro that operates on AT&T's 3G network can purchase such a device through AT&T's Business Alliance Channels, including CDW, Insight, CNM Wireless and VOX Mobile.
Samsung will soon be offering the SCH-W690 clamshell handset via one of South Korea's wireless providers, SK Telecom. The handset's most distinguishing feature is its 2.6-inch AMOLED display with 240x320 resolution and 262K colors, as AMOLED technology is still relatively rare in handsets. It offers better color contrast and video playback quality than conventional LCD screens. The smaller 1.5-inch external screen is an OLED display with 128x128 resolution and 65K colors.
Wireless provider O2 Germany has introduced the O2 Xda Guide smartphone on Wednesday, which will replaced the company's current Xda Orbit 2. The 2.8-inch 320x240 touchscreen device features a design exclusive to O2 and is running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. The smartphone supports GSM, GPRS and EDGE data networks as well as UMTS, HSDPA and HSUPA. O2 is bundling the handset with a 1GB microSD card that contains TomTom Navigator 7 software along with map information for Germany, Austria and Switzerland to work in conjunction with its GPS sensor.
ZVOX on Wednesday announced the release of its Z-Base 550 home theater surround sound system, with all amplifiers, speakers and subwoofer as well as all sound processing hardware incorporated into one cabinet that doubles as the base for free-standing flat-panel TVs. The three-inch tall box contains five 2-inch speakers and a 5.25-inch subwoofer that reportedly deliver virtual surround sound thanks to ZVOX' PhaseCue software. Total system power is fixed at 60W, and users get an auto on and off circuit. The sole connection is a pair of analog stereo inputs.
Gaming accessory maker Nyko and Nintendo have announced on Wednesday that they have settled a lawsuit regarding an alleged infringement on Nintendo's patent and intellectual property regarding its Nunchuk controller for the Wii gaming console. Nyko's own, wireless version of the Nintendo Nunchuk controller, called the Kama, prompted Nintendo to take legal action against the smaller company back in June. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, though Nyko will continue to sell the Kama.
Taiwanese PC maker Clevo on Tuesday announced a number of new notebook PCs it will display at the CeBIT show at the start of March. The company will also launch its first netbook entry, the 7-inch convertible tablet TN70M, equipped with a 1024x600 touchscreen. The device will use an Intel Atom Z-series chip along with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS functionality. Tipping the scales at just over 2lbs, users will also get an ExpressCard slot and six hours of battery life with Wi-Fi web browsing. The netbook will have a passive cooling design and not use noisy and power-sapping fans.
AMD, IBM and Toshiba jointly announced on Wednesday that they have developed a foundation for what should lead to 22 nanometer RAM technology. The three have developed static RAM cells that measure just 0.128 micrometers across by using the same high-k, metal gate technology used in newer processors to cut back on electricity leaks and other problems that prevent circuity from getting smaller. Using fin-like field effect transistors, the new format is less than half as large as previous RAM cells based on the same basic transistor technology.
Samsung today rolled out the YP-P3 in its home country. The new iPod touch rival switches from plastic to aluminum on the outside but is notable most for internal changes borrowed from its cellphones; the new model provides haptic (vibration) feedback for interface presses and has a TouchWiz-like interface that lets users place widgets for memos, clocks and other short info on the home screen. New dedicated controls also give users more control over tracks without opening the main interface.
Bolstering its NAND flash memory lineup, Numonyx on Wednesday revealed that it has developed some of its first 32 gigabit (4GB) chips. The storage comes as the result of a newer, smaller 41 nanometer manufacturing process and lets the company double the amount of storage it can offer. Embedded MMC memory and other storage formats can use stacks of up to eight chips to make a single 32GB package, while microSDHC can hold up to 8GB.
iLuv announced on Wednesday that it will show off its wall-mountable i9500 audio system at the CES show in January. The system will feature a dock for Apple devices and has the ability to playback MP3 and WMA files burned onto as many as four CDs in addition to regular CD audio. Connected iPods and iPhones will be charged and can be controlled through the system itself. Other source options include connected SD cards or properly formatted USB external storage.
Early benchmarks have been produced for NVIDIA's upcoming GTX 295 video card, a Chinese website claims. Although the card is expected to officially debut in January, IT168 says it has already managed to find figures pitting the GTX 295 against AMD's similar Radeon HD4870 X2. The 295 is depicted as universally faster, as much as 100 percent in games like Dead Space. In some cases the improvement is marginal; Far Cry 2, for example, is said to be only 15 percent faster.
Okoro Media Systems today signaled itself as one of the first home theater PC builders to use Intel's Core i7 platform for its systems. The TH550 as well as the GX100 and GX300 all use the new quad-core processors combined with faster video cards to produce systems that can both share content across multiple zones, including HD, and also play games on the same level as larger desktop PCs. Every model has dual analog and dual QAM digital tuners that let it pick up as many as four separate wired TV feeds; a separate over-the-air TV tuner catches free broadcasts.
Sierra Wireless on Wednesday released a pair of HSPA mobile broadband network ExpressCard modems, the AirCard 501 and 502. Either has the potential to download data at up to 7.2Mbps and upload at 5.76Mbps and sport internal antennas with no moving parts, which extend just over an inch from a notebook. The AirCard 502 is designed for use in the European market, as it operates on the 900MHz, 1,900MHz and 2,100MHz UMTS bands, while the AirCard 501 supports North America with 850MHz, 1,900MHz and 2,100MHz bands.
NVIDIA today let slip details of its proposed platform for netbooks and nettops through Ubergizmo. Nicknamed Ion, the platform combines both an Intel Atom and a GeForce 9400M on a Pico-ITX mainboard. The design lets NVIDIA reduce the number of main chips for such a system from Intel's three to two by merging the graphics, interface and memory controllers into a single chip and creates a reference design that measures just 3.9in by 2.9in even with expansion ports.
Motorola is planning to launch four phones for Verizon next year that will include at least three touchscreen devices, a leak of prototype renderings from BGR reveals. Two of these, codenamed the Calgary and Flash, will represent major changes in design for the phone producer and both appear partly influenced by the full touchscreen design of the iPhone. The Flash is the most directly comparable and would be controlled almost exclusively by its display; the Calgary would have a Sidekick-style slider which moves the display outwards to reveal a keyboard.
NVIDIA on Thursday was reported as having visited Taiwan computer makers as part of a campaign to pressure Intel into allowing support for the GeForce 9400M and similar chipsets with the Atom processor. The chipset designer is said to be negotiating deals that would have the local firms themselves ask Intel to remove an insistence that Atom run only on its own platform and thus let NVIDIA move in, potentially leading to much faster graphics for netbooks and nettops.
Sprint today claimed to be the first US carrier to offer a device with both 3G and 4G Internet access. The USB Modem U300 gives access to Sprint's recently launched WiMAX network for full 4G access but also carries support for the broader, original-spec EVDO network. The option lets users connect between 2Mbps and 4Mbps in the current 4G coverage area but still get roughly 600Kbps to 1.4Mbps elsewhere.
PENTAX imaging has announced a limited edition white version of the K2000 camera with a double zoom kit. The camera continues to use a 10.2 megapixel sensor and a 2.7-inch wide-view LCD monitor, and is still tailored towards newcomers: a custom image mode containing six preset options and a full auto picture mode potentially take full control of the scene rather than pushing the user into manual control. Other touches include ten different scene modes, a help button, and a dust alert function for the sensor.
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