card The Daily VR Zone News Summary   14 June 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • NVIDIA's acquisition of Icera, a developer of wireless modems for 3G and 4G mobile phones and tablet devices, has put it in a position where it is now able to sell both application and baseband processors for smartphones and tablets;
  • Word has it that Intel is reportedly dissatisfied with the way its Chinese branch is conducting its research and development, even going as far as to call its methods "inefficient";
  • Research In Motion is rumored to be considering a partnership with a Taiwanese firm that specializes in the designing of user interfaces in a bid to polish the graphical user interface present on its BlackBerry mobile operating system;
  • Word has it that Microsoft's upcoming operating system, Windows 8, will ship with Xbox Live integration;
  • The PlayStation Vita has been said to make use of a new proprietary storage medium which resembles typical SD cards, but with an added notch at the side, and
  • Halo and Marathon developer Bungie is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year, and it is said that the developer will be making use of the celebration to reveal just what Bungie Aerospace is.

Hardware News

AURAS Shagon' AHC-118 CPU Cooler Review
Description: Following what made the ARC-118 an attractive prospect for your money, Shagon' went to a larger cooler this time. Similarities include the coloring, the use of a top cover that also acts to support the fan, and even the shape of the two coolers is similar. Where this new cooler starts to make a name for itself, it incorporates more heat pipes, more fins, a different fin design with cuts in the main area of flow and while similar, the new cooler takes a unique top cover shape.

In Win Dragon Rider Case Review @ XtremeComputing
Description: Today I will be reviewing the In Win Dragon Rider, a full tower chassis with the same styling's as the Dragon Slayer case we reviewed recently. In Win is not the most well known brand, at least amongst UK enthusiasts, however with the ambitions and working ethic that In Win have set out, I am looking forward to reviewing their latest PC case.

G.Skill Sniper 1866 MHz DDR3 Memory Kit @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: RAM is one of the basic building blocks of a computer system, and although the technology has changed over the years the same basic idea of quick temporary storage has been RAM's main purpose since its inception. Gamers have always wanted the fastest speeds possible but unfortunately that meant that many of the fastest kits were very expensive. Since the introduction of DDR3 prices have plummeted and speeds have skyrocketed and a good set of 2 x 4GB RAM can be had for under $150. G.Skill understands this and has SKU's designed for every price range. G.Skill's most recent addition is its Sniper series of which we will be looking at the 1866 MHz F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR kit which is well priced $104.99 providing users above average speeds with relatively tight 9-10-9-28 timings. Benchmark Reviews will determine if this RAM is worth its price or if users are better off getting slower, less expensive SKU's.

AMD Llano A-Series APU Sabine Notebook Platform Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: AMD has officially announced that the Llano APU is available for mobile platforms with the launch of the A Series APU tonight. AMD sent over a notebook based on the new 'Sabine' platform, so we put it to the test and compared it to a couple Intel 'Sandy Bridge' notebooks and also the first APU released by AMD six months ago. Read on to check out Llano for notebooks and get an idea of how it might perform for desktops down the road.

InWin Wavy Mini-ITX Case @Hi Tech Legion
Description: The InWin Wavy mini-ITX case is ideal as an HTPC due to its size and design. The InWin Wavy comes in either black or white versions and has been updated to have better airflow with the addition of a 90mm fan on the left side panel. Despite the small size, the InWin Wavy has space for one internal 3.5” or 2.5” drive, as well an external 3.5” drive bay and room for a slim optical drive. The InWin Wavy’s external drive bays can be converted to a full-size 5.25” drive bay, perfect for a regular sized DVD or Blu-Ray drive.

Nvidia Completes Acquisition of Icera, Ready to Build-in Modems into Tegra
Description: With the addition of Icera, NVIDIA now offers the two main processors used in smartphones – the applications processor, in the form of the Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, and the baseband processor, based on Icera technology. The combined offerings will help OEM customers improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing, while approximately doubling Nvidia's revenue opportunity within each mobile device.

Intel: Chinese microprocessor development inefficient
Description: According to Jesse Fang, who head up INtel Labs China in Beijing, there is only one group of people and they do both research and development. Jesse Fang is of the firm belief that research and development are two entirely different disciplines requiring different mindsets and different skill sets. Therefore using the same people for both tasks is very inefficient.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

BlackBerry teaming up with UI firm
Description: Research In Motion, the company behind the iconic BlackBerry line of smartphones is rumored to be hiring YOU i Labs, an Ontario-based design firm that helped develop the front-end user experience for mobile phone makers in Taiwan. My sources in the mobile design industry have indicated that a deal was in the works between the two companies. Initially, it seemed RIM was going to buy YOU i Labs, but in the end, it just might be that two companies are rumored to be working together. You i Labs denies the acquisition rumors and any active discussions with the Canadian phone maker.

New MacBook Air Coming Late June
Description: A new version of Apple’s MacBook Air is coming in late June, Taiwan’s Economic Daily said, quoting sources familiar with the company’s plans. The report does not bring any new specifics about the Air itself, but it says that Apple plans to sell 380,000 units of the new Air in the first shipment. This confirms (or recycles, if you will) an earlier report from Apple Insider that also claimed the new Air is coming by the end of June.

Windows 8 will contain Xbox Live
Description: Software king of the world, Microsoft is planning to jack its Xbox Live online gaming and entertainment service under the bonnet of its Windows 8 operating system. Mike Delman, vice president of global marketing for Microsoft's interactive entertainment unit, told the LA Times Xbox Live will be used as the central application through which consumers will buy media across a variety of devices. At the same time, Xbox Live on the Xbox 360 will get a look which uses Vole's "live tile" design seen on Windows Phone 7 handsets, which it has said will be central to the look of Windows 8. Delman insists that Xbox Live has done well on the Windows Phone. If it is put into a PC, it will be the service where you get your entertainment.

The HP TouchPad Gets A Series Of Official Video Demos Ahead Of Its July 1st Release
Description: HP has done what any company looking to drum up a bit of buzz tends to do: release demo videos on YouTube. Not that you can blame them. The HP TouchPad is hitting the US retail market on July 1st and outside our little tech blogging community, it’s probably as well known as the Notion Ink Adam. I’ve yet to see a national commercial advertising the purported iPad killer. These demo videos, embedded for your viewing pleasure after the jump, shows off a bunch of the tablet’s exclusive features: HP Synergy, Palm notification tether, Touch To Share, inductive charging and the sexy webOS.

Toshiba Satellites get new AMD A-series chips
Description: Toshiba has announced its new Satellite series laptops. Entry-level Satellite C600 series, Satellite L700 series, and premium Satellite P700 Series laptops will begin shipping later this month. The Satellite L700 and P700 series offer the choice of Intel Core processors or AMD's new A-series mobile APUs. The Satellite C600 series uses AMD's Bobcat processors exclusively.


Gaming news

Sony PlayStation Vita's removable memory looks like it's an SD card, but it isn't
Description: Sony's seen fit to tell us many of the PlayStation Vita's specs, how much it'll cost ($249 for WiFi, $299 for 3G), and who gets it (everyone). Amidst all the hullabaloo at E3 2011, however, we missed seeing that Sony was showing off the new handheld's internal memory cards. Good thing an eagle-eyed member of the public snapped a pic of the 4, 8, 16, and 32GB cards on the show floor. They look awfully similar to garden variety SD cards, only there's a little notch in the side confirming they hew to Sony's unfortunate habit of using proprietary storage formats. The cost of the cards remains shrouded in secrecy, but life's more fun when a little mystery's involved, right?

Mortal Kombat DLC Dated, Fighters Detailed
Description: It wasn't too long ago that we heard Skarlet — a blade-wielding hottie — would be joining the Mortal Kombat cast, but now we know when she's coming and who will be coming after her. The new trailer below says "download now," but the Skarlet downloadable content will really hit the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on June 21, 2011. The trailer goes on to tease three additional characters — Kenshi, Rain and a fighter to be named later.

Bungie Aerospace Reveal Coming Soon
Description: Halo and Marathon developer Bungie is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year. As some point during the celebration, running from June 23 through Bungie Day on July 7, the developer will be revealing just what Bungie Aerospace is.