PCI Express 3.0 backward compatible with earlier standard

Owners of computer components that use the PCI Express 2.0 standard will be pleased to hear that their existing hardware will still work once motherboards switch to the PCI Express 3.0 standard.  At a recent press conference discussing the interface, SIG chairman Al Yanes disclosed more details about the upcoming connector, which has previously been quoted as managing 8.0 gigatransfers per second.

VIA Mini-ITX 2.0 standard unveiled: HD support a priority

As VIA's energy-efficient mobile processor range gets faster, the chips become more suited to applications other than basic ultraportable notebooks.  That's why the company has developed a new Mini-ITX 2.0 standard, an updated version of the 17cm square motherboard which has proved so popular with case modders and small-form-factor HTPCs.  Mini-ITX 2.0 specifies a CPU such as VIA's own Nano, a 16-lane PCI Express slot for high-definition video support, and a minimum of 2GB DDR2 RAM.


ASUS to preload Express Gate instant-on Linux on all new motherboards

Last year ASUS released a motherboard, the P5E3, with an embedded compact Linux distro it called Express Gate. Basically a fast-boot alternative that, in just five seconds, bypassed Windows and gave you a web-browser, media player and other apps, it was developed by a company called DeviceVM (under the name Splashtop). ASUS were obviously pleased with how the mini-OS performed, as they've now decided to add Express Gate to all of their motherboards.

VIA fanless 500MHz PX5000EG Pico-ITX board

VIA has dropped its already-compact Pico-ITX boards into a hot wash and come up with the PX5000EG, measuring in at just 3.9 x 2.8-inches.  The small size is due to VIA dropping the processor speed down to just 500MHz (compared to the existing 1GHz PX1000G) and thus being able to leave off any active cooling.  It'll still support up to 1GB of RAM, though, and has hardware MPEG-2/-4 and WMV9 hardware decoding acceleration. 

AMD blames motherboards for overheating Phenom X4 CPUs

Processor manufacturer AMD is being forced to field criticism from some users, after reports of compatibility issues between a number of their quad-core Phenom X4 chips and motherboards using a certain chipset. The company confirmed that the issue arises when the 9750 and 9850 Phenom processors, which have a Thermal Design Power (the maximum amount of power the cooling system is required to dissipate) of 125 watts, are used with motherboards based on the 780G chipset. Such boards - which AMD describes as "mainstream" - are only capable of dealing with the lower, 95 watts TDP processors, such as the 9600 and 9550.

AMD ‘Hawkfish’ reference motherboard spotted with faster Southbridge

AMD are planning a refresh to their 790FX motherboard range that should satisfy power users and overclockers' demands for a better-performing Southbridge.  Currently 'boards using the 790FX chipset rely on the SB600 Southbridge, which in comparison to more recent chipsets has relatively poor PCI and SATA performance.  Fudzilla have found the reference design for the upcoming relaunch, which swaps out the SB600 for the newer SB750; codenamed "Hawkfish" it also includes broad RAID support and increased connectivity.

Silicon chips go Gumby thanks to new stretchy circuits

The class of Professor John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made some serious strides in the world of chip technology. One such advancement is that they now have IC’s that you can bend and stretch instead of the strictly rigid chips that Silicon offers up.

You might be wondering why this is such a big deal since your motherboards aren’t going to be coming in origami shapes any time soon, but it matters a lot in the medical markets. For years people have been striving to achieve some method to easily and conveniently get computers and chips inside the body if not to help keep things in order in the body, then to, at the very least, monitor bodily functions and especially such functions that occur in the brain.

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