computers and palystation

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Light Peak to enter mass production early 2010

During last month's IDF, Intel showcased a high-speed optical cable interface for PCs. With a 10Gb/s transfer rate -- or twice the speed of USB 3.0 -- Light Peak's potential application is pretty broad. The technology could effectively consolidate the plethora of modern interface standards, including USB, FireWire, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet and so forth. At the time, Intel said Light Peak-enabled devices could be ready to ship as soon as next year, but there weren't many details beyond that.

CNET is reporting that Foci, a Taiwanese optical networking company, is well on its way to selling Light Peak cables and other fiber-optic gear. According to Foci vice president of business development Janpu Hou, the company will have a pilot run ready by the end of November 2009, and will be ready to mass-produce at the start of 2010.

Foci's cables use USB connectors, and Hou said the cables themselves are flexible and strong, able to be bent in a loop just over an inch in diameter. Cost is still up in the air, though. While the company is trying to bring it down to an acceptable level for consumers, its attempts to reduce cost by using plastic fiber has produced poor results.

Intel is also continuing its push to roll out the technology, confirming Wednesday that it is working with the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) to standardize Light Peak.

HIS Radeon HD 5850 Review

Having just recently reviewed the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and bearing witness to its power, cut-down version known as the Radeon HD 5850. Though both cards were announced last September 23rd, AMD waited an extra week until the Radeon HD 5850 could be showcased. And now - admittedly a bit late -the have finally dug up a production model from HIS to put to the test.

The more affordable HD 5850 shares the same technological advances as its higher-end sibling. That includes support for DirectX 11, HDMI bitstreaming, Eyefinity, angle-independent anisotropic filtering, and supersample anti-aliasing. A slightly toned down configuration, however, allows it to sell for just $260.

At this price the Radeon HD 5850 is not much more expensive than the HD 4890 or Nvidia's GeForce GTX 275, and it is considerably cheaper than the GeForce GTX 285. It's also about $120 more affordable than the Radeon HD 5870, which currently holds the fastest single-GPU graphics card crown.