Intel SATA Press Release, Samsung LCD Display and HTPC Goodness....

Good morning friends, welcome back to HH.  Today I took a sick-day in hopes of kicking this flu that has been hanging around for the past while.  *shakes head* I don't understand my immune system; I will be fine all winter but as soon as summer comes, BAMN, I get sick.  Maybe my body is so used to the soothing radiation that emanates from my CRT monitor that it is starting to reject natural sunlight.  Nevertheless, a solid day of coffee, music and benchmarks should do my body good ;)

PRESS RELEASE- Serial ATA Milestones Achieved With Two Completed Specs
Signaling Speed Doubled to 3Gbps, New Cable and Connector Solutions Defined

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, Barcelona, Spain, April 20, 2004 - The Serial ATA Working Group announced today two specification development milestones at the Intel Developer Forum here. One centers on doubling the signaling speed for Serial ATA, the other on new cable and connector solutions to support additional applications and usage models.

The specification for the second generation Serial ATA signaling speed - 3Gbps - has been completed and the release candidate of that specification has started its ratification process. The second-generation speed of 3Gbps (300MB/s) is double that of the first-generation Serial ATA speed which is 1.5Gbps (150MB/s).

A selection of Serial ATA products supporting 3Gbps signaling speeds have already been announced. Once the ratification process is complete in about 30 days, those products that comply with the spec can be marketed as 3Gbps Serial ATA products.

Among the features of the enhanced technology is that no new cables and connectors are required to support the higher signaling speeds.

In addition to doubling the speed for the internal PHY originally defined in the SATA 1.0 specification, the new specification also defines a higher-power version of it for longer-haul external datacenter use. The external phy version defined in the specification only impacts box-to-box applications (not used as a direct disk drive connection) and has been defined to match the electrical parameters for the SAS phy.

Also announced at IDF was that Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specification defining new cable and connector variants has been completed and the release candidate of that specification has started its ratification process.

Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specification adds several new cabling options:

  • An internal multi-lane cable and connector assembly for streamlining connections between multiple internal host ports and internal devices or short backplane.

  • An external consumer cable and connector solution that accommodates use of Serial ATA with external storage devices.

  • External multi-lane datacenter cable and connector solution for connecting multiple Serial ATA channels between chassis in a datacenter.

Products based on the new cable and connector ingredients are expected to appear by the end of the year.

In a clear indication of strong industry adoption of Serial ATA, a plugfest last month saw participation from a record 200-plus representatives from 57 companies. During the 2 1/2-day event in Colorado, 673 interoperability engagements were executed. The plugfest, sponsored by PMC Sierra, Marvel and Silicon Image, was free of charge to both Serial ATA Working Group members and non-members.

Visit for more information.

AOpen AX4SG Max II i865G Motherboard @ PC Stats

"Boasting the i865G's capable set of integrated graphics, businesses, governments and schools interested in powerful systems that do not require any 3D rendering capabilities would be well suited for a motherboard such as the AOpen AX4SG Max II. It retails for about $221 CDN ($169 US), and brings to the table all the raw computing power of higher end systems, but actually saves money because an external videocard is not required. The AX4SG Max II has a 8x AGP port, so a graphics card can still be added if desired. Redundancy comes in the form of dual BIOS's, and with the four-port Silicon Image Sil3114CT176 Serial ATA RAID (modes 0, 1 and 0 1) controller. Despite the high level of integration already present, the AX45SG MaxII still offers up five 32-bit PCI slots for future expansion."

Samsung SyncMaster 173MP 17" @

"Samsung has been delivering products of superior quality in their Syncmaster product line for some time now! Their latest product, the SyncMaster 173MP is no exception. This product has the same distinguished aesthetics we have become accustomed to from Samsung and is a sister model of the 192MP. This 17 inch, HDTV-ready flat screen monitor is going to make some noise in the market. Lets take a look at this newcomer."

Linksys WMA11B Media Reciever Review @ Designtechnica Team

"We really wanted to like this product. We had high hopes for a product that plays both music and images, by the home networking industry leader at a price point of less than $150. We had hoped this would be the product to put networked media devices on the map ? it just isn?t the device to do it. There are just too many design flaws and performance issues."

Tips and Tricks For Building A Home Theatre PC @ GamePC

"Today at GamePC, we've written up an article detailing how to properly spec out a new system for home theater operation. We look over the various decisions which need to be made when building a HTPC, everything from which hardware and operating system to select to which front-end software to load on it. We also give out some tweaks and tips to make Windows XP a friendlier environment for home theater operation."

Okay friends, time to milk the Mr. Coffee; See you back here later today :) - Cheers