Friday Tech Roundup (2 November 2012)

Intel 335 Series SSD

By on November 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Intel’s new line of SSDs slash power draw in half

Intel are shortly set to release a new range of SSDs — the new 335 Series — that boast the same speeds as before, but with one important difference: they’ve implemented new 20nm NAND flash modules.

The smaller sized modules mean that the 335 Series need only draw miniscule amounts of power: 350mW under load and 275mW idle are the figures provided by Intel, which is a substantial drop down from the 850mW under load and 600mW idle that their current 25nm range require. By comparison, the OCZ Vertex 4 draws 2,500mW under load. Dang.

As PC Gamer points out, this should hopefully mean that high-end laptops featuring SSD’s will become even more of a possibility: lower power draws and increased efficiency through Windows 8 stands to bring an even longer battery life. Good stuff.

IBM demonstrates carbon nanotube transistors: five to ten times faster than modern CPU’s

It’s still a ways off being real, applicable technology, but let’s not that stop us from getting righteously excited: IBM have demonstrated a new way to build transistors out of carbon nanotubes that were as small as 10nm. And they’re confident they can go even further, possibly down to 5nm.

IBM’s modelling of the process, shown at the recent Intel Developer Forum, suggests that a chip made out of carbon nanotubes could offer performance anywhere from five to ten times better than current CPU models, which only go as small as 22nm (although Intel’s Broadwell CPU’s are aiming for 14nm in 2014).

Carbon nanotubes are currently just a Wacky Science Thing that people look at occasionally, but IBM thinks they’ve found a way to solve the problem of controlled, precise transistor placement that has made carbon nanotube chips infeasible before. Time will tell!

Apple releases snarkiest court-ordered statement in the history of court-ordered statements

Image via Android Authority.

Unless you are, or have been living under a rock then you’d be aware that Samsung and Apple are currently slugging it out in the courts of almost every major country in the world over patent infringements related to the iPhone and the Galaxy S. Recently, Apple lost out to Samsung in the UK, and as a result were ordered to publish an statement acknowledging their defeat. You probably won’t have seen it, because it’s only on their UK site, and it’s in the tiniest text possible, buried at the bottom of the screen.

In their statement, Apple make brief mention of how they lost, before going on to say that the judge mentioned the Apple products had “a cool design” and were “understated, smooth and simple”. Meanwhile, Apple points out that the judge said Samsung’s products were “not as cool” and “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity”. Apple then go on to point out that German courts think that Samsung copied the iPad, and a United States jury found that Samsung actually did copy the iPhone. It’s essentially the snarkiest thing I’ve ever seen a company release — so snarky in fact, that the UK court has ordered them to rewrite it.

Let’s all take a moment to remember that Apple pays Samsung literally billions of dollars every year to buy microprocessors from them for use in their iPhones. Now, let’s all scream together, into this cupboard (thanks, Jagji).

Microsoft goes ahead with plans to allow gold members only to browse the internet on Xbox 360

Spkypwnsuall writes in to point us to this Xbox LIVE newsletter, which seems to confirm what Microsoft announced back in June: Xbox 360’s will only be able to browse the web if they pay for a gold membership. This recent change came into effect with the release of Windows 8, and means that the Xbox 360 is now the only console on the market that makes you pay money to browse the internet.

Quite why you’d use an Xbox 360 and not, say, your computer, tablet, smartphone, PS3 or even Wii is beyond me, but hey! Those gold memberships don’t pay for themselves. Thanks Spkypwnsuall!

The Microsoft Surface and the iPad Mini launch, reviews start to come in

The last week has seen the launch of both the Microsoft Surface and the iPad Mini, with tech sites around the world putting up their reviews for both.

Anandtech calls the Surface “the most flexible tablet we’ve ever used”, praising its inclusion of Office, USB ports, and ease-of-use of the touch-type cover screen. The same review also criticises the Surface’s HDMI output, with complaints of screen tearing, poor scaling and frame rate issues. Meanwhile, CNET calls it an “innovative tablet stranded in an app desert”, complaining that while the Metro interface may be perfect for tablets and the keyboard is perfect for typing, the Microsoft Store is a “ghost town” and the “desktop interface is clunky and useless”. Wired was very enthusiastic about the hardware design, while criticising the laggy, “junk” cameras and the total lack of usable software.

As for the iPad mini, The Verge claims that “there’s no question that the screen does look lower res” and saying it was overly expensive, but praised the rich selection of apps and great battery life. CNET say the size is perfect, but also offer a round criticism of the expensive price saying that “good alternatives are available for less money.” On the flip side, Engadget criticise the iPad Mini’s size, saying it’s too big for just one hand, but praised its “astonishing” battery life of over 12 hours continuous video playback and says that “to consider it just a cheap, tiny iPad is a disservice”.

Thanks to our tireless tech moderator steve_rogers42 for sending through a bunch of links, as usual!

7 comments (Leave your own)

Glad to hear Microsoft got it mostly right with their Surface, the software problems will be a damn sight easier to fix than hardware issues, hopefully they do so.

 

yurtles,

I kinda feel they need to learn to compete if they are going to enter this market. You can’t shove a new product up there for the same price as a true and tested product and hope to come out on top.

The Microsoft Surface will retail for $559, latest iPad $539 and newer android tablets are $350-450.

 

I can see MS Surface doing reasonably well (not gangbusters but reasonable for an untested, new market contender). Windows 8 on the desktop wont however. The problem is Metro makes the whole experience feel disjointed. From an interface point of view its almost as if there you are using two operating systems. You’ve got the native apps which work well with the tiles, the MS programs which are launched well enough from metro, and then every thing else you need to access the desktop to use.
The constant switching between the interfaces in my mind works in a way that screams flexible on a tablet, but jarring on a desktop pc.

 
spkypwnsuall

Carbon nanotubes, is there anything they can’t do?

And thanks guys :3
Yay for special mentions!

 

spkypwnsuall:
Carbon nanotubes, is there anything they can’t do?

And thanks guys :3
Yay for special mentions!

Weelll technically carbon nanotubes is exactly what they can’t do, they just think that the may have found a way around that.

 

spkypwnsuall:
Carbon nanotubes, is there anything they can’t do?

Be manufactured into a long strand so I can’t make a space elevator :(
But very interesting material. They are also being investigated as a potential cure for cancer.

Good guy nanotubes.

 
Little_LerroYY

I’m especially interested in the Carbon Nanotubes transistors. Claiming they are 5x to 10x faster than current CPU’s.

I thought Intels Sandy Bridge i7 was a monster.

 
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