Plus: HDMI 2.0 specifications finally detailed.
By Jason Imms on September 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details on Intel’s overclocked solid state drives, how HDMI 2.0 will work, and Google’s Project Loon madness.
Intel demonstrate overclockable solid state drives at PAX Prime
PC users have been overclocking their rigs for years, it’s not a new concept. Having said that, this is the first I’ve heard of a consumer range of overclockable storage devices. Intel invited a number of lucky PAX Prime attendees to attend a demonstration of the company’s SSD overclocking technology, ahead of the public demonstration announced for the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) next month.
Dan Stoltz of Legit Reviews attended the demonstration, and reports that Intel intend to release a K-Series SKU of SSDs. Similar to Intel’s K-Series CPUs, K-Series SSDs will have unlocked parameters, allowing users to increase controller clock speed and NAND flash memory speed. During the demo, Intel overclocked an S3500 Series 480GB SSD from 474.27 MB/s read and 400.82MB/s write, to 493.38 MB/s and 431.32 MB/s respectively. It is unclear how overclocking an SSD will affect longevity, so those hoping to adopt early would do well to apply new rigour to their backup strategy.
HDMI 2.0 will transport 4K content via a single cable
HDMI Licensing, LLC has announced via press release the HDMI 2.0 specification, which shows a massive increase in bandwidth for the humble audio/video transport. According to the specification, HDMI 2.0 will increase bandwidth to up to 18Gbps, which allows support for 4K resolutions (4K@50/60, 2160p), 32 audio channels, and dual videos on one display, all transported by a single cable. The new specification will be entirely compatible with existing HDMI cables, meaning that those with expensive cable runs built into the walls of their homes can rest easy in their investment. HDMI 2.0 is expected to be released before the end of 2013.
Google’s Project Loon to use wind currents to evenly space Internet carrier balloons
Project Loon is an apt name for Google’s seemingly ridiculous plan to use antenna-bearing balloons to provide Internet access to the remote regions of the world. Given the fact that balloons are at the mercy of the winds, it seems infeasible for users to expect to have consistent coverage, right? Dan Piponi of Project Loon has developed a simulation that outlines his proposed method for controlling the spacing of balloons in the stratosphere.
“One of the goals with Loon is to provide coverage for as many people in the world as possible,” says Piponi in the video below, “we absolutely have to have these balloons nicely spaced out over the world.” Piponi’s plan is to dynamically alter the altitude of balloons based on spacing data, thus allowing the balloons to use different wind currents to control their location relative to other balloons in the ‘flock’.
Xbox One CPU clock speed increased by 9%
Following last week’s news that the Xbox One had received a 6% increase in GPU clock speed, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment corporate vice president of marketing and strategy Yusuf Mehdi has announced that the CPU is getting a boost as well. Mehdi made the announcement during the Citi Global Technology Conference, stating that the next-gen Xbox CPU is now running at 1.75 GHz, a 9% improvement over the previous 1.6 Ghz clock speed.
“We recently just went into full production,” Mehdi said, “so we’re now producing en masse Xbox One consoles. We’ve had real good progress on the system. In fact, we just updated the CPU performance to 1.75 GHz on top of the graphics performance improvement, so the system is really going to shine [and] the games look pretty incredible.” (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft IllumiRoom is too expensive to release as a consumer product
Last year, Microsoft announced a proof-of-concept for its impressive Xbox augmented reality projection system, IllumiRoom. The project aimed to expand the visual content of a game being played on a TV into the room, by making use of a paired projector and Kinect sensor. In an unfortunate—if predictable—turn of events, Xbox One head of product planning Albert Penello told AusGamers at Gamescom that IllumiRoom is “just research,” and is too expensive to release to the public, with the cost for average consumers projected to be counted in the thousands of dollars. Take a sad last look at the IllumiRoom proof-of-concept video below.