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USB 3.0 Trouble with Intel Haswell Processor

Intel has reported a problem between the Haswell processor, the next-generation microprocessor that uses 8-series cor-logic sets. Intel says when a PC system with Core i-series Haswell inside wakes from S3 sleep mode, it experiences issues with devices connected through USB 3.0. Intel defines the issue only as a nuisance for end users, but who will be the real judge of that? Continue Reading

Dell USB Project Called Ophelia

If you haven’t heard,DELL is looking to buy back it’s public shares and go private.  Why you ask?  Going private would allow them to make quick and swift changes with in the company to re-invent itself.  Currently the never-ending demands of the stock holders and investors ties their hands in freedom to create as they wish. DELL, so it is said, started a new code project call Ophelia.  The project is turning a USB key into a portable desktop.  The USB would have the ability to access online software tools and operating systems.  The USB solution from Ophelia will still require a hardware setup (someone’s PC) so think of it as a USB stick high-jacking the processor, RAM, motherboard, video controller etc to run it’s own OS. We’ve seen things like this from smaller, start-up companies,  but DELL has the ability to really make this main stream.  The rumor on target price is $50 US Dollars. I for one believe the ability to high-jack another PCs hardware doesn’t warrant it enough to be more then a complimentary tool to one’s main PC.  Now if DELL can high-jack the Continue Reading

Eliminating Moore’s Law With Phosphorus Atom Transistor

Scientists are trying to break the boundaries of Moore’s law by taking a phosphorus atom and create a working transistor as the gate to control electrical flow. Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computer manufacturing whereby the number of transistors that can be placed in the same amount of space doubles approximately every two years. Michelle Simmons, director of ARC Center for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, Australia, took an atom and etched it into a silicon bed with “gates” to control electrical flow and metallic contacts to apply voltage to start/stop current.  It’s the first such device to be precisely positioned using Continue Reading

Computer On A USB Stick With Processor

For several years we’ve seen many Linux guys post about bootable USB flash drives into portable operating systems like Ubuntu or simplified versions of the OS for children, like Strawberry from SugarLabs via donated USB flash drives. In the spirit of ultra portable operating systems – over the weekend – we learned of Raspberry Pi.  The Raspberry is not only an operating system from a flash drive, but it includes the processor too!  This means the Linux OS is not high jacking the hardware of the host computer, but rather using it’s own processing power to boot into Linux. The developer, David Braben, are shooting for a target price of the Raspberry USB computer to be around $25.  The above prototype isn’t pretty, but hey – what prototype is?  David and his team started this project in the effort to bring ultra low cost computers to less fortunate kids who need and want computer access. A long long time ago, the One Laptop per Child was a program to get $100 computers into the hands of kids who’d otherwise never get a computer. To give you an idea of what this mini USB computer can do, here are the specifications of the prototype:
  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
If you are looking for video to spoon feed you this information, check out the video after the jump: Continue Reading

Toshiba Intro’s Android Netbook

Toshiba announces a slick new Netbook running Android OS and NVIDIA processor.  It boots in about 1 second, yes, that’s right, 1 second…and is it just me, or does that case look like leather? The AC100 has a full sized keyboard, 10.1 LED backlite screen and 512RAM [upgradeable to 1GB] with 8GB of storage.  With the USB port and mini USB port storage should not be a problem as it’s virtually unlimited with USB hard drives and USB flash drives.

Toshiba AC100 netbook

Toshiba claims that the machine is good for up to seven days on standby with mixed use and the machine weighs in at 870g and is 14mm thick at the thinnest point. The AC100 will be released in the UK first with an undiscolsed price point, but can’t be more than $350.  To find a bit more here is the Toshiba PDF. Continue Reading

NEC Intros New Wireless USB Host Controller

nec logoNEC has long had the best performing USB PCI card with their USB host controller chip (uPD720170) and today they are expanding the portfolio to includes wireless USB.  The new wireless USB host controller will allow high speed communication between PCs and peripherals with wireless USB technology such as USB hubs, printers and external storage devices. The NEC wireless USB host controller received approval from the USB Implementors Forum and uses the WHCI protocol developed by Microsoft, NEC, Philips and Texas Intstruments.  The Wireless Host Controller Interface specifications supports data transfer rates of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps) of data, comparable to wired USB 2.0 connections at close range. The NEC wireless USB host controller starts at $10 for sample and development use with prices dropping at higher quantities. Source:  NEC America. Continue Reading

USB Beagle Board Is A Developers Dream

usb beagle boardDigi-Key released their USB Beagle Board today which is a low cost, high performance development board for ground level design work. The USB Beagle Board is 3in x 3in in size, includes a powerful 600MHYz ARM Cortex A8 processor, high speed USB 2.0 port, SD port, C64x+ DSP & video acceleration and supports 1280×1024 DVI-D monitors. The ARM processor will handle over 1,200 million instructions per second (MIPS) making it as powerful as most laptops these days. The USB Beagle Board is only $149 making it the least expensive, most powerful development board on the market. Here is a list of other hardware components for the Beagle Board:
  • OMAP3530 applications processor featuring the ARM® Cortexâ„¢-A8
  • 128MB low-power DDR RAM
  • 256MB NAND flash
  • USB 2.0 high-speed on-the-go port
  • NTSC/PAL TV via S-Video output
  • 6-in-one 8-bit MMC+/SD/SDIO connection
  • Stereo audio in/output
  • JTAG header
  • I2S, I2S, SPI, MMC/SD expansion header
  • Power via USB or alternate jack
Digi-Key has created a developers website where a host of applications can already be found. www.beagleboard.org Continue Reading

Linux Computer is One P.H.A.T. USB Stick

A start-up firm in the French Alps put together one Pretty Hot And Tempting USB stick. This one only has 256MB of memory, but IS a full working computer.
linux computer usb stick
Based off an Atmel processor this SoC (System-On-Chip) design has a 190MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 256MB of memory, USB connectivity and a 10/100 Ethernet port. The company, Calao, didn’t give a price tag but did mention some useful applications like GPS and image processing. I for one saw that lovely USB connector and immediately thought of the new Samsung USB monitors and wondered if this is our future of computing. Not only is the Calao Linux computer PHAT it’s also fat. Measuring at 3.3 inches long and 1.4 inches wide it is much larger then your average UFD…but also clear there is nothing average about this concept. Continue Reading

USB Driver Development Kit for the Non-Tech

Kithara Software has a USB toolkit for quick development of USB devices in the Windows environment. The USB driver development kit also supports the most recent, Vista OS.
usb development toolkit
The biggest claim: non-technical folks can get their hands into USB driver development with little or no previous experience with USB. Simply edit an INF file and configure the USB stack to perform just about any function you desire. Now, I’m no programmer, but have been around enough that I know nothing is quite this easy. None-the-less, with the popularity of USB, development kits such as the Kithara USB toolkit is a welcomed sign. Continue Reading

Buffalo Silicon Flash Drive – It’s the World’s Largest

One year ago, almost to the day, IOCell introduced the self proclaimed “World’s largest capacity flash drive” at the CeBIT 2006 show. Today, you can find 16GB flash drives from Transcend, US Modular and Pretec, so why is the Buffalo 16GB announcement of interest? Well, it uses Silicon HDD Technology.
silicon hdd usb flash drive 16gb
Silicon hard drives are different then normal hard drives in that no magnetic discs are present, rather the data is stored in silicon memory. How the silicon (HDD) hard drive works is by Continue Reading

Wireless USB Controller from LucidPORT

Now that Wireless USB products are starting to ship we’ll see a lot more of USB-IF certified chips and controllers. Take the LucidPORT L800 WUSB Device Controller.
lucidport l800 wireless usb controller
This is an 8 or 16 bit memory mapped DMA slave chip to provide wireless connectivity to 31 devices. The L800 supports all the drivers offered by USB spec such as Mass Storage Device, Printer, Scanner and Video Classes and will auto switch between wired USB and Wireless USB connections. So what does this mean? Here’s an example, the LucidPORT L800 would be integrated into a PC, either onto the motherboard or an adaptor card, from there the L800 can pick up Continue Reading

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