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Computex 2004 - Tech Tidbits

Computex 2004 - Tech Tidbits  - PCSTATS
Abstract: Computex has always been useful event for companies to gauge the interest of buyers in their new and innovative products.
Filed under: Tradeshows / Events Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Computex Jun 05 2004   Max Page  
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Computex 2004 - Tech Tidbits

Computex has always been useful event for companies to gauge the interest of buyers in their new and innovative products. As such, during Computex 2004 countless manufacturers had mock-ups and prototypes on display. Across the board, the home media PC appeared to generate the most interest, with products ranging from set top boxes by Gigabyte, to the just announced TM8800 1.6GHz Transmeta Efficeon processor powering a WindowsXP Media Center Edition system.

Transmeta burst on the scene in 2001 with the Crusoe processor - a low voltage mobile CPU that followed significant hype surrounding the company. Transmeta Corp. has since seen a slew of notebooks come, and go, and are currently promoting their next generation TM8000 Astro series CPU. PCstats met with Greg Rose, Director of Marketing for Transmeta, and had a first hand look at the new 90-nanometer (0.09 micron) based processor.

The new TM8800 Efficeon CPU operates at 1.6GHz (scaling from 533MHz - 1.6GHz with Long Run 2 enabled), and is currently sampling to customers. The processor was shown operating on three different prototype platforms, but has not yet made it into any notebooks for the retail channel. The TM8800 CPU is shown below, at left.

In addition to this announcement, with the release of WindowsXP Service pack 2, Transmeta's Anti-Virus technology will also help protect PC's from buffer-overrun based viri. This feature will be enabled in the next version of CMS.

Motherboards that Cool Themselves?

With the advent of an industry wide push for silent computing, significant efforts are being made to get rid of that annoying white noise which leaks out of our PC's and Home Theatre systems.

Thermal solution companies such as Zalman have made a name for themselves already by providing low noise, and silent cooling systems, and now motherboard manufacturers are getting into the game.

It may seem a little odd for motherboard manufacturers to be pushing for more low noise products, especially since most motherboards are by default entirely silent. Yet, as new chipsets and higher processor power requirements are introduced, silently cooling components on a motherboard is becoming a serious issue; even more so for companies building products for the enthusiast and overclocking markets.

Components which were once cooled by tiny passive heatsinks, like the Northbridge, Southbridge, or power MOSFETs, are now running hot enough to require active cooling. Overclocking only increases the thermal demands imposed. Two motherboard manufacturers at Computex 2004 demonstrated fairly innovative ways of passively cooling board level components; Gigabyte adopted a copper heatpipe and cooling fins, and ASUS introduced what it calls the "Stack Cool."

Gigabyte's solution is by far the most conventional, so we'll have a look at what ASUS has developed first. PCstats spoke with Mr. Teng, PR manager for ASUSTeK Computer Inc., about the new Stack Cool system, which is essentially a small 5" x 6" section of PCB soldered to the base of the motherboard right below the processor socket, and power MOSFETs. The purpose of this small section of PCB is to conduct heat away from the power circuitry components, and by increasing the PCB surface area which is warmed, net a small convection cooling factor.

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Contents of Article: Computex
 Pg 1.  — Computex 2004 - Tech Tidbits
 Pg 2.  Asus Stack Cooling
 Pg 3.  Evolutionary Step in Videocard Power Supply

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