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Latest Company Press Releases

Throughout this page we will post the latest press releases supplied to us from the major companies relating to the High-End peripherals and software that we will sometimes review and test.   Some press releases will contain brief information only have a direct link to the home page of the company for the whole press release.
   
6th June 2012

WD TV MEDIA PLAYERS DELIVER THE MOST WORLDWIDE ENTERTAINMENT CHOICES

New Entertainment Options Complement WD TV Live™ and WD TV Live Hub’s ‘Play Anything’ Popularity

 Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV® media player family, yesterday
introduced a variety of new entertainment options for the WD TV Live™ and WD TV Live Hub™ media players. Current and new customers can now enjoy Red Bull TV, Acetrax™ and AOL HD. They can also watch live and recorded TV with the new SlingPlayer™ app and save their premium HD movies to the WD TV Live Hub’s internal storage with VUDU™ direct movie downloads.

Previously available on the WD TV Live™, BBC iPlayer is now available on the WD TV Live Hub™

WD’s new entertainment choices add to the WD TV media player family’s prodigious ability to play personal content such as videos, photos and music by supporting a wide range of media formats. Customers can watch content located on any networked PC or Mac® computer in the home, from a network drive such as WD’s My Book® Live™ personal cloud storage, and from any directly connected digital camcorder, camera, or USB drive. WD TV Live Hub customers can also save and share pictures and videos from outside the home, using the WD Photos app for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

“WD continuously listens to its customers, and adds the content options they want,” said Scott Vouri, vice president and general manager, WD Connected Home Solutions. “With today’s addition of hot international and domestic channels, live TV through SlingPlayer and direct HD movie downloads through VUDU, to our personal content playback options, the WD TV media players truly provide the most entertainment.”

The WD TV Live Hub is the only media player to offer direct HD movie download service for today’s hottest new movie releases purchased from VUDU’s large library of movies and TV shows. Because it has an integrated 1TB hard drive, the WD TV Live Hub can save and play back purchased digital content from VUDU, including the high-quality HDX™ video format that features 1080p Full HD and rich Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 audio. “By centralising their entertainment on the WD TV Live Hub, our customers get high-performance full-HD movie playback without overloading their home network or cluttering up the hard drives of other PCs in the house,” added Vouri. From “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol” to “The Muppets,” WD brings today’s top movies to the WD TV Live Hub for a cinema-like experience at home.

The new SlingPlayer app creates a whole home entertainment solution by allowing customers to stream live or recorded TV from a network-connected Slingbox[1] to any other TV in the house, simply by connecting a WD TV Live.

Additional New Services[2] Now Available:

·         BBC iPlayer (UK) – now available for the WD TV Live Hub™.

·         AOL HD (worldwide) – AOL HD features high-definition technology, lifestyle, celebrity and entertainment content updated daily from properties across the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone and Huffington Post Celebrity.

·         Red Bull TV (worldwide) – Red Bull TV delivers high-energy action sports, music and entertainment.

·         Acetrax (UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Austria) – Available on the WD TV Live only, this service includes Europe’s largest library of major Hollywood movies and TV shows.

Availability

The WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub can be purchased at select retailers and online at www.wdstore.co.uk .

[1] Slingbox Pro-HD or Slingbox Solo required, sold separately
[2]
Subscription or membership may be required. See service provider terms and conditions for details.

15th May 2012

WD announces the availability of its next generation My Passport® line of portable hard drives
in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities into Europe.

Now available in five popular colours, white, black, silver, blue, and red, with a range of capacities, 500GB, 750GB, 1TB and previously announced 2TB, the new sleeker My Passport portable drives offer digital consumers an appealing array of storage options that reflect their personal style.

With the addition of premium finishes, specially-engineered to make the outer shell more resistant to scratches and fingerprints, the My Passport external drives feature ultra-fast USB 3.0 connectivity; USB 2.0 compatibility; WD SmartWare™ continuous, automatic backup software and WD Security™ for password protection and hardware encryption. The included software offers the flexibility to customise the drive to a user's storage preferences: installing all features, just the components needed, or using the drive without the software. 

With a choice of different capacities and different enclosure designs, My Passport gives our customers an opportunity to express their unique style, in an amazing pocket-sized enclosure, affording plenty of secure storage for all of one's photos, video, music and other important files”, says Tim Anderson, Director of Sales, Northern Europe for WD.

Now shipping in UK at selected retailers, these ultra-portable drives are a stylish and spacious storage solution for consumers to confidently backup, store and carry their entire digital lives; peace of mind for busy consumers on the go!

Pricing and Availability
My Passport drives come with a 2-year limited warranty and are available online at the WD store at www.wdstore.co.uk and at select retailers and distributors.

Recommended retail prices: 500GB - £89.99, 750GB - £119.99, 1TB - £129.99, 2TB - £299.99

Additional information on the My Passport family of hard drives can be found at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/external/portable/
23rd Apr 2012

3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors Bring Exciting New Experiences and Fun to the PC

World’s First 22nm Quad-Core Processors Bring Up to Twice the Visual Performance for Unmatched Overall PC Experiences

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Quad-core processors available starting today in powerful, high-end desktop, laptop, and sleek and beautiful all-in-one designs.
  • Accelerates Intel’s “Tick-Tock” cadence for first time to simultaneously bring to market the world’s first processors developed on 22nm manufacturing process using innovative 3-D tri-gate transistor technology and a new graphics architecture.
  • Up to twice the HD media and 3-D graphics performance, as well as significant processor performance, deliver stunning visual experiences from mainstream gaming to HD video editing.
  • Ultrabook™ devices, all-in-one (AIO) platforms, business PCs and Intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries will benefit from Intel’s newest processors, with formal announcements in the coming months.

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 23, 2012 – Intel Corporation today introduced the quad-core 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor family, delivering dramatic visual and performance computing gains for gamers, media enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. Available now in powerful, high-end desktop, laptop and sleek all-in-one (AIO) designs, the new processors are the first chips in the world made using Intel’s 22-nanometer (nm) 3-D tri-Gate transistor technology.

The combination of Intel’s cutting-edge 3-D tri-gate transistor technology and architectural enhancements help make possible up to double the 3-D graphics and HD media processing performance compared with Intel’s previous generation of chips. As a result of the stunning, built-in visual performance, all the things people love to do on their PCs — from creating and editing videos and photos, surfing the Web, watching HD movies or playing mainstream games — are quicker, crisper and more life-like. With as much as 20 percent microprocessor performance improvements and new technologies to speed the flow of data to and from the chips, the new processors further extend Intel’s overall performance leadership.

In the coming months, additional versions of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors will be available to power a new wave of systems ranging from Ultrabook™ devices, to servers and intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries.

"The 3rd generation Intel Core processors were created from the ground up to generate exciting new experiences," said Kirk Skaugen, Intel vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group. "Our engineers have exceeded our expectations by doubling the performance of media and graphics versus the best processors we’ve built until today, which means incredible new visual experiences are here for new all-in-one PCs and upcoming Ultrabook devices. What makes all this possible is the combination of Intel’s leading manufacturing and processor architecture, and our unwavering commitment to drive computing innovations forward."

“Tick-Plus” – The Intel Advantage.   The performance gains found in the new processors are due in part to the groundbreaking, three-dimensional structure of the new Intel transistors. Until today, computers, servers and other devices have used only two-dimensional planar transistors. Adding a third dimension to transistors allows Intel to increase transistor density and put more capabilities into every square millimeter of these new processors. Intel has once again re-invented the transistor and delivered an unprecedented combination of performance and energy efficiency, thus sustaining the pace of technology advancement and fueling Moore’s Law for years to come.

Intel engineers also reworked the graphics architecture of the 3rd generation Intel Core processors, helping to deliver dramatic improvements in the overall visual experience. Changing the chips’ architecture while at the same time shrinking the size of the underlying transistors is an acceleration of Intel’s “tick-tock” model. Previously, the company adhered to a strict “tick-tock” model in which a new manufacturing process was introduced in 1 year (the “tick”), and the architecture of the chip (the “tock”) was altered the next. The ability to accelerate the roadmap and change both the chips’ architecture and the manufacturing process at the same time was made possible because Intel is one of the few companies that both designs and manufactures its chips, a method called Integrated Device Manufacturing.

 Get Visual and Get Your Game On.   The 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® HD Graphics 4000 delivers up to two times better 3-D graphics performance compared to the previous-generation processor, bringing more gaming fun with richer detail at higher resolutions. Intel® HD Graphics 4000 supports Microsoft* DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1 and OpenCL 1.1.

“The 3-D graphics capabilities in 3rd generation Intel Core processors represent a major step forward for PC gaming,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Software, a leading online game provider. “Mainstream gamers are going to have a blast playing titles like our upcoming DOTA 2 on Intel HD Graphics 4000.”

Great visual experience is about more than just gaming. Online video continues to grow dramatically, and is expected to comprise half of all Internet traffic this year.** The key to making video fun is the ability to quickly convert it for online sharing with friends and family. With Intel® Quick Sync Video 2.0 technology built into the new processors, people can convert their videos up to two times faster than even last year’s processors and up to 23 times faster than PCs just three years old.

Experiences, Secured. Platform, Enhanced.    The 3rd generation Intel Core processor also adds security features, including Intel® Secure Key and Intel® OS Guard to safeguard personal data and identity. Intel Secure Key consists of a digital random number generator that creates truly random numbers to strengthen encryption algorithms. Intel OS Guard helps defend against privilege escalation attacks where a hacker remotely takes over another person's system. These two features join existing platform security features such as Intel® Identity Protection Technology (Intel® IPT) and Intel® Anti-Theft technology (Intel® AT) to help make Intel platforms some of the most secure in the industry. When paired with the Intel® Series 7 Chipset, the new processors with Intel IPT can make a portion of the screen unreadable to spyware with the “protected transaction display” feature, helping prevent a hacker from obtaining login credentials that could lead to identity theft.

Platforms based on 3rd generation Intel Core processors also deliver faster data transfer capabilities made possible by USB 3.0 integrated into the Series 7 Platform Controller Hub (PCH) and PCI Express 3.0 integrated into the processor. These next-generation I/O technologies bring bigger data pipes to the platform to keep data moving, minimizing any interruption to the PC experience.

Processor and System Availability.   Systems based on quad-core 3rd generation Intel Core processor products will be available beginning this month from leading system makers. Boxed versions of these processors will also be available this month from online, retail and channel resellers. Additional versions of the 3rd generation Intel Core processor products for servers, intelligent systems in retail, healthcare and other industries, Ultrabook devices and laptops and more will be available later this year.

17th Apr 2012

NVIDIA Partners Make Ultra-Low Latency a Reality with NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video

NAB 2012, LAS VEGAS — April 17, 2012 — NVIDIA and industry leading I/O board partners such as AJA,

Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Deltacast, DVS, and Matrox are providing unprecedented real time video production capabilities leveraging NVIDIA® GPUDirect™ for Video. The technology provides application developers and their customers seamless, fast accessibility of the graphics and image processing power of NVIDIA Quadro® and Tesla™ professional graphics processing units (GPUs), with ultra-low latency input and output across a wide range of I/O devices.

NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology is the fastest, most deterministic way to get video data in and out of the GPU. Software vendors are now capable of harnessing the graphics and image processing power of GPUs without the latency, often as many as ten frames, previously associated with 3rd party video I/O boards. With this wide range of I/O vendors, customers can choose the best system for meeting their needs.

“The wide range of I/O devices now using GPUDirect for Video makes the power of the GPU that more accessible to the broadcast market,” said Greg Estes, industry executive, Media & Entertainment, NVIDIA. “No longer does a broadcaster or post house need to choose between the imaging capabilities of a GPU or low latency—they can have both when pairing our Quadro and Tesla professional graphics with a GPUDirect for Video enabled I/O board.”

GPUDirect for Video technology eliminates delays of as many as ten frames—an amount easily visible to the naked eye—when transferring video from an I/O device to a GPU, by enabling synchronized communications between the two. Developers no longer have to manage complex buffering schemes, which historically has led to unnecessary CPU overhead and increased latency.

AJA Video Systems, (Booth #SL3305) is a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, acquisition and desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post-production markets. AJA is incorporating NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video in its I/O hardware.

“We’re planning to support NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video functionality for our OEM customers on both Windows and Linux through new SDK drivers,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. “This technology implementation developed in partnership with NVIDIA will enable faster, more efficient communication between the GPU and our video I/O.”

Bluefish444 (Booth # SL9309), manufacturer of the industry’s highest-quality uncompressed 4K/2K/HD/SD SDI video cards, has also announced immediate availability of an extension to its Windows 7 64-bit SDK to support NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video. The extension to the Bluefish444 SDK is available for the entire range of Bluefish Epoch video cards.

“The applicability of low latency transfer leveraging NVIDIA GPUs provides a great benefit to Bluefish444 Epoch SDI I/O developers,” said Craige Mott, managing director of Bluefish444. “Our Epoch customer base can develop and broadcast better graphics using NVIDIA GPUs by an NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video extension to our Windows and Linux SDKs. It’s a tremendous advancement in video technology, and one we know will truly benefit our end-users.”

Deltacast (Booth #SL 8006) recently announced support for NVIDIA® professional graphics processing units (GPUs) available as an official extension of their VideoMasterHD OEM SDK. The SDK extension is now available in release v5.09 of VideoMasterHD on Windows 7 64-bit, and leverages NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video.

“This is another built-in solution, elegantly integrated within our popular VideoMasterHD SDK,” said Christian Dutilleux, CEO of Deltacast. “We continue to provide flexible and universal solutions to meet our customers’ needs, in order to minimize their software development and achieve the performance and specifications that their own customers, in turn, might require.”

DVS (Digital Video Solutions; Booth # SL6815), is a leading manufacturer of high-quality hardware and software for broadcast, digital film and video post production, including the Atomix HDMI, the ultimate video I/O card for handling high resolution video, and the Atomix LT two-channel 3G I/O video card. These DVS Atomix video cards now support NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video via a new SDK.

“We have over twenty-six years of experience in the professional video industry, and we know NVIDIA has the same ‘passion for perfection’ that we do,” said Juergen Heger, senior product manager, DVS. “Adding NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology to our high-performance Atomix I/O cards is the perfect combination for delivering high resolution video streams at extremely low latency, streaming video to and from the GPU at sub-frame transfer times. DVS and NVDIA are redefining what’s possible using workstations in real-time video production.”

Matrox (Booth #SL5115) is a market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software, providing technology that powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post facilities, corporate communicators, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide.

“Matrox supports NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology in the Matrox DSX Developer Products, which are renowned among broadcast equipment manufacturers the world over for 24/7 hardware reliability, a feature-rich SDK, and superior applications engineering support
,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing from Matrox. “The combination of NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs with Matrox video I/O hardware and software development tools gives our OEM customers’ broadcast graphics systems unbeatable performance.”

NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology is advancing the growing adoption of GPUs in film, live broadcast, and video production. Video I/O manufacturers, companies who make their own proprietary hardware, and even companies making video switchers are able to take advantage of these sub-frame, low latency transfers in their own SDKs and commercial solutions for no additional cost.

NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology is available free of charge, directly from NVIDIA for video I/O manufacturers, proprietary hardware providers, and video switcher manufacturers. Video I/O hardware developers can request information and access to the SDK via e-mail: GPUDirectForVideo-registration@exchange.nvidia.com, or they can visit the NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video registration page at http://developer.nvidia.com/gpudirectforvideo. NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video is supported on Windows 7 and Linux, and is designed to work with NVIDIA Quadro 4000, Quadro 5000, and Quadro 6000 GPUs, and NVIDIA Tesla C-Series GPUs.

AJA, Bluefish, Deltacast and Matrox are demonstrating NVIDIA GPUDirect for Video technology during the 2012 NAB show from April 16-19, 2012. To learn more, visit: http://developer.nvidia.com/gpudirectforvideo.

Follow NVIDIA Workstation/Quadro on YouTube, and Twitter: @NVIDIAQuadro.

NVIDIA and Partners Transform Entire Content Creation Workflow at 2012 NAB Show

Creative Professionals increase their Speed, Quality and Productivity through GPU computing

NAB 2012, LAS VEGAS—April 16, 2012—Content creators ranging from 2012 Oscar winners Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd. (Rango) and Pixomondo (Hugo) to up-and-coming independents such as Bandito Brothers (Act of Valor, Waiting for Lightning) and smaller creative services shops such as Dawnrunner Productions and Digital Spatula are increasing the speed, quality and productivity of their workflows through the adoption of GPU computing featuring NVIDIA® Quadro® and Tesla® GPUs.

Visual effects studios, post-production houses, advertising agencies and film studios are under constant pressure to more rapidly deliver better content under tight production budgets. They use NVIDIA GPU technology to transform their content creation workflows, using parallel computing on tasks once reserved for supercomputers or racks of costly CPUs.

“GPU computing is a key component of our innovation roadmap,” said Dave Story, chief technology officer of Lucasfilm. “To achieve the breakthroughs we’re known for, we constantly evaluate the tools and technology that our artists rely on for uncompromising quality and maximum efficiency. To that end, we’re developing our own tools and using commercial software to leverage the immense power available to us through NVIDIA CUDA architecture and both NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs.”

To improve the creation process—from importing and processing high-resolution camera data through the entire post-production process—leading software providers are expanding the breadth and depth of their GPU-accelerated product offerings. One example is Adobe® Systems Incorporated, which is demonstrating at NAB a landmark upcoming new release of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 that uses NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6, Adobe SpeedGrade® CS6, Adobe Photoshop® CS6, and, most notably, Adobe After Effects® CS6, which benefits from a new 3D ray tracing feature that is up to 27 times faster1 on NVIDIA GPUs.

“I use After Effects every day, and 90 percent of my work is post-production with a heavy dose of motion graphics mixed with tons of video editing,” said Steve Taylor, senior creative director of Digital Spatula. “By using the new 3D ray tracing capability in After Effects, running on an NVIDIA Maximus-equipped workstation, I’m getting so much more done in less time, freeing me up to be more creative and thoughtful about the project. I’m no longer interrupted by having to switch to a second 3D application to create compelling, animated 3D text and logos. Not only is it powerfully fast, efficient and easy to use, but After Effects CS6 also gives me more time to focus on delivering higher quality productions.”

NVIDIA Maximus Technology

One reason content creators choose NVIDIA GPU technology is the immediate business value that comes from achieving both high-performance parallel processing and graphics on the same system, often in the same workflow.

NVIDIA Maximus technology combines the power of NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics and NVIDIA Tesla parallel processing in a single workstation, enabling customers to, for instance, create motion graphics while rendering effects in the background – with no impact to the artist’s interactivity.

“Maximus literally saved the day for us,” said James Fox, chief executive officer of Dawnrunner Productions. “We had a client ask us for overnight changes on a job that had taken us 32 hours to render. There was no way we could pull that off. We had just gotten our Maximus system and decided the only way to meet the deadline was to put it into production right then and there. We used it to run Adobe CS5.5 and Autodesk 3ds Max and completed the job with time to spare. No way could we have done that without Maximus technology.”

At the 2012 NAB show, a number of companies are introducing support for NVIDIA Maximus technology, including Adobe, Blackmagic Design (DaVinci Resolve), Chaos Software (V-Ray RT), Cinnafilm (Dark Energy), eyeon Software (Fusion), GenArts (Sapphire) and Quantel (Pablo).

“Blackmagic Design is excited to support NVIDIA’s new Maximus configurations for Windows with DaVinci Resolve,” said Grant Petty, chief executive officer of Blackmagic Design. “By combining a single NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPU with Resolve, customers will be able to enjoy incredibly high performance color correction features, such as the ability to process an uncompressed RGB HD resolution video with five layers of real time color correction and image blur at 24fps. With a single Quadro and four Tesla GPUs, colorists using Resolve are able to color correct more than 20 layers of HD video in real time.”

“We’ve seen the adoption of GPU computing more than double by software vendors in just one short year from NAB 2011 until today,” said Greg Estes, industry executive, media and entertainment for NVIDIA. “It’s pretty clear that customers across the content creation spectrum are embracing NVIDIA CUDA as the architecture of choice for GPU computing, and our software partners are seeing that they can grow their business by being on the forefront of this trend.”

NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs both feature innovative
NVIDIA CUDA® architecture, and NVIDIA Quadro GPUs feature unique stereo 3D capabilities, support for low-latency SDI video I/O, and support for multiple displays of up to 4K resolution from a single system.

A partial listing and descriptions of the various innovations leveraging NVIDIA GPU technology that are on display at NAB 2012 include:

Adobe (Booth SL2624) is demonstrating its upcoming Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium software accelerated with NVIDIA Quadro pro graphics, including NVIDIA Maximus technology, to accelerate Adobe After Effects CS6, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe SpeedGrade CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.  Adobe will highlight its new NVIDIA GPU accelerated 3D ray tracing feature in After Effects CS6. It simplifies and accelerates the motion graphics workflow like never before with a powerful new 3D compositing pipeline that employs ray tracing for uncompromised image quality. Creative pros can now incorporate extruded and beveled text and shapes directly within After Effects CS6, integrate their rendering with its native layers and eliminate the traditional time-consuming back and forth with external 3D tools. Adobe’s new “Ray trace 3D” renderer leverages the NVIDIA OptiX™ ray tracing engine for rendering realistic materials, accurate reflections, soft shadows, depth of field and motion blur. The new ray tracing becomes truly interactive, delivering final frames up to 27x faster when using NVIDIA GPUs, as compared to dual hex-core CPUs alone.1 Adobe Creative Suite 6 software continues to feature the NVIDIA CUDA-accelerated  Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro, providing up to an 8x performance boost2 for fast video editing. Adobe After Effects CS6 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is also being demonstrated in the NVIDIA booth (SL9215).

Chaos Group is constantly working to ensure it creates the best tools for customer workflows. Its industry-leading V-Ray rendering engine now offers support for NVIDIA CUDA architecture. With CUDA, V-Ray RT is now capable of better harnessing the speed and performance of NVIDIA GPUs. This provides higher reliability and performance, and more rapid GPU support than before while providing the responsive experience users have come to rely upon in V-Ray RT.

Cinnafilm Inc., the world leader in GPU-based Standards Transcoding, noise reduction and film simulation, is demonstrating its Dark Energy Professional image texture management and optimization software platform in the NVIDIA booth (SL9215), showing how professionals can accelerate its full potential using NVIDIA Maximus technology.

Elemental Technologies (booth SU10012), a leading supplier of video solutions for multi-screen content delivery to any IP connected viewing device, is demonstrating a high-performance solution for live event production in the NVIDIA booth (SL9215), featuring the new Elemental Live 150 Series powered by dual NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. The Elemental Live 150 Series packs high performance video processing and throughput in either a rack mount or desktop form factor, allowing live event producers to output streams for multi-camera angle viewing.

eyeon Software Inc. offers a complete line of image processing and management applications that utilize NVIDIA GPU technology to provide massive processing power for VFX finishing of feature films, stereoscopic and broadcast production. The eyeon Software Fusion 3D renderer is now running on CUDA architecture, offering incredibly fast performance and cementing Fusion’s reputation as one of the fastest, most comprehensive post-production applications available.

GenArts, Inc. (booth SL2205) provides robust visual effects tools to the industry’s leading artists across every major host application. Its popular Sapphire line of plug-ins, which are GPU-accelerated to leverage NVIDIA CUDA architecture, now support NVIDIA Maximus technology. Industry pros who rely on Sapphire to streamline their workflows can now look forward to the highest levels of productivity while creating visual effects within their video editing or compositing software.

Harris (Booth N2502/Diamond 2/N3400), which serves government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries, is demonstrating new features in both its Inscriber G8 and TitleOne AE live graphics systems. Inscriber G8 is built for high-end graphics creation, and utilizes the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 professional GPU with NVIDIA CUDA technology to significantly reduce channel hardware density for a greatly reduced footprint (2RU), lower power consumption and improved performance and clip playback scalability for the execution of high-caliber, complex 3D graphics and animations. The TitleOne AE improves on previous-generation TitleOne graphics systems by adding a high-performance NVIDIA Quadro 600 professional GPU and enhanced processing for maximum flexibility, offering sophisticated graphics creation features for real-time single-channel HD/SD or SD-only 2D-in-3D graphics.

Marquise Technologies (booth SL9109) creates high-end solutions for the post-production industry. At NAB, the company is demonstrating a new real-time debayering engine, Mosaic, for use with ARRIRAW, Phantom and Adobe DNG Converter, accelerated and processed exclusively with NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs. By harnessing the tremendous processing power of NVIDIA GPUs and CUDA architecture, Marquise Technologies is able to use increased computational complexities in its proprietary debayering algorithms without the fear of bandwidth or processing bottlenecks. This adds additional accuracy when bringing an image from the RAW realm into the RGB world, all in real-time.

Perceptive Pixel (booth SL1629MR), a recognized leader in interaction design, is demonstrating its 27-inch professional-grade, ultra-high-resolution, multi-touch desktop LCD in the NVIDIA booth (SL9215). NVIDIA Quadro GPUs and SDI capture cards help Perceptive Pixel deliver state-of-the-art multi-touch interaction, providing the best possible graphical touch experience.

Quantel (booth SL2415) is an international leader in content creation systems for broadcast, post, and digital imaging, with systems installed at broadcast facilities and post houses worldwide. Its new Pablo color correction software takes advantage of multi-GPU processing, ushering in the next generation of non-linear color correction. Quantel will be demonstrating new Pablo accelerated with NVIDIA Maximus technology, which enables the highest frame rates and most productive finishing workflows—it’s a perfect color correction and finishing solution for colorists working with HD, 2K, 4K and stereoscopic 3D video and film.

Additionally, NVIDIA GPUDirect™ for Video technology is being demonstrated during the 2012 NAB show by AJA Video Systems, Bluefish444 (in
booth SL9309), Deltacast (in booth SL8006), and Matrox (in booth SL5115).

To learn more, visit: www.nvidia.com/workstation.

Follow NVIDIA Workstation/Quadro on YouTube, and Twitter: @NVIDIAQuadro.

16th Apr 2012

WD® VelociRaptor® HARD Drive Reaches New Performance Peak with 1 TB MODEL

10,000 RPM, 2.5-inch, 6 Gb/s SATA Hard Drive Gets Performance and Capacity Boost to Offer the Ultimate Storage Experience for Demanding PC Enthusiasts

Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), today announced it is now shipping the new WD VelociRaptor® 1 TB hard drive, the latest addition to its award-winning drive family, the largest capacity 10,000 RPM hard drive on the market today. Designed for high-performance PCs, Mac® computers and professional workstations that require a balance of high performance and capacity, the WD VelociRaptor drive is a favourite among enthusiasts and creative professionals. The WD VelociRaptor will also come in capacities of 500 GB and 250 GB.

Leveraging enterprise-class mechanics to provide 24x7 durability under high-performance workloads, the new WD VelociRaptor 1 TB hard drive is geared for creative professionals who demand the ultimate SATA drive. Creative pros use write-intensive applications that manage large, dynamic files; for example, video editing and digital content creation and management, which ultimately put a strain on storage devices that utilise write-challenged NAND memory for performance enhancement. WD VelociRaptor’s outstanding read and write performance across the entire disk capacity make it a perfect match for the creative professional and enthusiast who want to optimise their tools, enhance productivity, and increase storage space at the same time.

“WD is committed to providing customers with the best performing and most reliable SATA hard drives and our WD VelociRaptor family of drives underscores that promise,” said Darwin Kauffman, vice president and general manager of WD’s enterprise storage. “With ever-increasing demand for greater capacity, the new 1 TB WD VelociRaptor drive delivers the ultimate combination of speed and storage for the power user.” 

The WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch hard drive comes in the IcePack™ enclosure, a 3.5-inch mounting frame with built-in heat sink - a factory customization that fits the drive into a standard 3.5-inch system bay and keeps the powerful drive extra cool when installed in a high-performance desktop or workstation system.

Features of the WD VelociRaptor hard drives include:

Super speed - SATA 6 Gb/s interface and 64 MB cache optimise the 10,000 RPM WD VelociRaptor.

Higher capacity - WD VelociRaptor SATA hard drives employ Advanced Format Technology to achieve capacities up to 1 TB.

Rock-solid reliability - Designed and manufactured to workstation standards to deliver stellar reliability in high workload environments.

Ultra-cool operation - Consumes less idle power and uses similar active power as the previous generation WD VelociRaptor while offering greater capacity and performance.

Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) - Optimises operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.

NoTouch™ ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection when in transit.

Environmentally conscious - In addition to being RoHS-compliant, this generation of WD VelociRaptor is also a halogen-free design.

Price and Availability

WD VelociRaptor hard drives are available now at select distributors, resellers and e-tailers, and come with a five-year limited warranty. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the WD VelociRaptor 1 TB (model #: WD1000DHTZ) is €279 Euros, the 500 GB version (model #: WD5000HHTZ) is €169 Euros and the 250 GB version (model #: WD2500HHTZ) is €129 Euros. More information about WD VelociRaptor hard drives including terms of the limited warranty may be found on the company website at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20 .

Intel Announces Intel® Solid-State Drive (SSD) 330 Series

 Now Available Through Worldwide Retail and E-Tail Outlets, Intel SSD 330 Series Offers Latest SSD Technology at Affordable Prices

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 16, 2012 – Intel Corporation announced today the Intel® Solid-State Drive 330 Series (Intel® SSD 330 Series), a SATA 6 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) solid-state drive (SSD) that gives consumers a more affordable entry into the accelerated storage performance of SSDs.

Ideal for upgrading desktop or notebook PCs, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers the price-conscious PC enthusiast a brand-name SSD that blends performance, Intel quality and value. Offered in the most popular capacity points, 60 gigabytes (GB), 120GB and 180GB, the Intel SSD 330 Series boosts overall system performance and responsiveness for a broad range of applications.

“An SSD is still the single best upgrade you can make to your existing PC, and the Intel SSD 330 Series gives users the latest Intel SSD technology at a price to meet their budget,” said James Slattery, product line manager for client SSDs, Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “Backed by Intel’s rigorous testing process, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers our users the speed they need at a great price, backed by world-class manufacturing, reliability and tech support.”

Unlike a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) with spinning disks and moveable parts, SSDs offer a more rugged, low-power storage solution that dramatically improves system performance to keep up with today’s I/O-intensive applications. The Intel SSD 330 Series contains Intel 25-nanometer (nm) multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory. Its SATA 6Gb/s interface doubles the bandwidth of its current SATA 3Gb/s Intel® SSD 320 Series, providing up to 500 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 450MB/s sequential write speeds for faster data transfers. Random read performance can go up to 22,500 Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 33,000 write IOPS to boost overall application and system responsiveness, significantly outperforming a typical consumer hard disk drive.

Intel offers a broad range of SSD choices within four product families. The Intel SSD 300 Family is aimed at entry-level, mainstream client users. The Intel SSD 500 Family offers more fully featured, higher-performing client SSDs for computer and gaming enthusiasts. The Intel SSD 700 and Intel SSD 900 Families are targeted for data center applications.

The Intel SSD 330 Series comes in a standard 2.5-inch/9.5mm form factor as a replacement to a slower-performing HDD. It can be used in a dual-drive desktop PC configuration to speed up boot times and applications speeds, or as a single-drive notebook upgrade.

Available beginning today at worldwide retailers and online e-tailers, the Intel SSD 330 Series is offered at the suggested channel price of $89 for a 60GB drive, $149 for a 120GB drive and $234 for a 180GB drive. It is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

13th Apr 2012

Intel® Solid-State Drive 910 Series Delivers High Performance, Endurance and Reliability for Data Center Tiering and Caching

 New Intel 900 SSD Family Expands SSD Product Line with PCIe Interface SSD for Accelerated Data Center Storage

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

·   PCIe-based 400GB and 800GB Intel SSD 910 Series provides extreme performance, endurance and reliability for rigorous data center demands.

·   Intel SSD 910 Series offers easy-to-install, seamless post-deployment server storage upgrade with no changes to existing server design.

·   Using Intel High Endurance Technology, Intel SSD 910 offers 10 full drive writes a day for 5 years for 30x endurance.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Intel Corporation introduced today the Intel® Solid-State Drive 910 Series (Intel® SSD 910 Series), a super high-performing SSD to address rigorous data center storage demands driven by cloud computing, virtualization and online transactions.

 The Intel SSD 910 Series delivers accelerated storage performance, endurance and reliability critical to today’s data center performance applications. It includes Intel High Endurance Technology and optimized multi-level cell (MLC) 25-nanometer NAND flash memory, that allows up to 10 full drive writes a day for 5 years, or a 30x endurance improvement* over its standard MLC-based flash products, for a cost-effective storage solution.

 The Intel SSD 910 is PCIe-based and offers an easy-to-install, seamless post-deployment server storage upgrade that requires no changes to existing server design. It can be used in storage tiering and caching of hot files for high-performance processing and access to mission-critical data. One Intel 910 SSD can replace multiple 15K rpm hard disk drives (HDDs) to not only save on space and power consumption, but also improve sequential performance and storage scalability and reduce latencies. It is built using an Intel controller and Intel SSD management firmware. The firmware is optimized for less wear and includes NAND error reduction and system error management.


“The Intel SSD 910 Series is a complete solution that delivers on all fronts: high  performance, endurance and reliability, making it ideal for replacing I/O-intensive HDDs,” said Roger Peene, director of
data center SSD marketing for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “As a leader in SSD technology, data center IT professionals can have confidence in a tier-one, easy-to-install SSD solution backed by Intel quality, reliability and technical support.”

“Supermicro works closely with leading technology companies so we can offer our customers Data Center Optimized (DCO) server solutions with the highest performance and highest efficiency,” said Tau Leng, general manager of High Performance Computing at Super Micro Computer Inc.With the Intel SSD 910, server systems can achieve higher levels of CPU utilization to take advantage of increased processing power from advanced products like the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 Series. This is yet another example of working with Intel to test and qualify products, so we can lower our customers’ total cost of ownership and reduce their time-to-market.”

The Intel SSD 910 Series expands Intel’s offerings for data center applications with its first entry in the 900 family of its highest-performing, PCIe-based SSDs. The Intel SSD 900 Family joins Intel’s other high-volume SSD solutions for the data center including the Intel 700 SSD Family of SATA-based SSDs with High Endurance Technology and the Intel SSD 300 Family of SATA SSDs for a broad range of server and storage applications.

Performance measures of the Intel SSD 910 Series 800GB drive include 2 gigabytes-per-second (GB/s) sustained sequential reads and 1GB/s sequential writes; up to 180,000 4K random read Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 75,000 4K random write IOPS. It comes in 400GB and 800GB capacities. Samples are now available for data center customers to begin quality and validation cycles. General production availability is scheduled for mid-2012.

Pricing for the Intel SSD 910 Series is $1,929 for the 400GB capacity and $3,859 for 800GB. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty. See full warranty details at:
www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029645.htm.

13th Apr 2012

AMD and PTC® Team Up to Provide Advanced Graphics Performance in  Creo® Parametric 2.0

 – AMD FirePro is the Only Professional Graphics Card to Exclusively Support the New GPU-Accelerated Transparency Functionality in PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 Providing up to 900% Performance Increases –

SUNNYVALE, Calif. April 12, 2012 – AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced its collaboration with PTC, a leading provider of product development
software solutions and services, to enable 900%[1] faster performance in 3D transparency in PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 and shaded 3D frame rates and interactivity by over 4X on AMD FirePro professional graphics cards[2]. In addition, the AMD Catalyst™ Pro driver supports optimisations to ensure AMD FirePro professional graphics cards enable winning performance, reliability and workflow innovation for Creo users at virtually every AMD FirePro professional graphics card price point.

“The latest AMD FirePro professional graphics cards and drivers have been specifically engineered to enhance the productivity of PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 users,” said Antoine Reymond, senior strategic alliance manager, Workstation Graphics, AMD. “Technical designers rely on software and hardware tools to optimise their workflow and enable them to effectively design without performance bottlenecks. Our collaboration with PTC helps ensure design professionals using AMD FirePro professional graphics cards will experience a significant boost in performance, resulting in superior productivity and design intuition.”

Through this collaborative process, AMD and PTC developed an ultra-fast GPU-accelerated 3D transparency mode for Creo Parametric 2.0, as well as GPU-accelerated OpenGL functions, which deliver always-on 3D interactivity increases for Creo users. For design professionals using PTC Creo Parametric 2.0, these innovations are designed to improve decision-making effectiveness, increase workflow efficiencies and build overall awareness throughout the design process.

“PTC and the AMD FirePro team have collaborated to deliver Creo graphics performance and workflow optimisations to help designers create, innovate and deliver products that meet their customers’ needs,” said Brian Thompson, vice president, MCAD Product Management at PTC“The new performance enhancements in Creo Parametric 2.0 include GPU-accelerated transparency and 3D viewport performance enhancements.  AMD FirePro professional performance-optimised graphics cards and drivers help users fully realise the power of Creo 2.0.”

Benefits an AMD FirePro professional graphics card can provide PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 users:

Hardware-accelerated transparency rendering (OIT): Increases 3D interactivity (frame rates) by up to and over 900% while “pixel-accurate” depth
sorting ensures that assembly components are visually represented in context of the surrounding geometry.
1

Hardware-accelerated 3D interactivity performance enhancements (VBO): “Always-on” 3D rendering performance enhancements provide up to and over 4X faster 3D frame rates and interactivity with advanced datasets and workflows.2

·       AMD Eyefinity technology:  Easy and flexible configuration of up to six displays from a single AMD FirePro professional graphics card provides more efficient multi-tasking and greater workflow flexibility.[3]

 AMD GeometryBoost technology: Provides double the raw geometry performance for working with larger datasets with more complexity, ensuring smooth 3D interactivity even as moderately complex datasets and models become more complex.[4]

Supporting Resources
AMD FirePro Product page
PTC® Creo Blog
AMD FirePro Certifications page
Twitter: Follow AMD professional graphics news on Twitter at @AMDFirePro  
Facebook: Become a fan of AMD technology on Facebook


[1] Based on comparison of Creo 2.0 “OIT” mode (30.9 FPS) vs. "blended" transparency mode in Wildfire 5 (3.0 FPS)   running internal benchmark, "AMD_FP_Creo_Fraps_Bench," using AMD’s motorcycle dataset and "shaded" mode.  Configuration: Dell T3500, Intel Xeon W3690 3.47Ghz 6-Core, 12GB, AMD FirePro V7900, Windows 7 x64, 1920x1200, Driver: AMD Catalyst Pro 8.911.3.3. FP-21.
2 Based on comparison of Creo 2.0 (with VBO) (47.3 FPS) vs. Wildfire 5 (without VBO) (9.0 FPS) running internal benchmark,  "AMD_FP_Creo_Fraps_Bench," using PTC’s combine dataset and "shaded" mode., Configuration: Dell T3500, Intel Xeon W3690 3.47Ghz 6-Core, 12GB, AMD FirePro V7900, Windows 7 x64, 1920x1200, Drivers: AMD Catalyst Pro 8.911.3.3. FP-22.
[3] AMD Eyefinity technology works with games that support non-standard aspect ratios, which is required for panning across multiple displays. To enable more than two displays, additional panels with native DisplayPort™ connectors, and/or DisplayPort™ compliant active adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your cards DisplayPort™ or Mini-DisplayPort™ connector(s), are required.  Support for five simultaneous displays may require complementary products compatible with DisplayPort 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport. Maximum number of configured displays may vary - check with your component or system manufacturer for specific model capabilities and supported technologies.  SLS (“Single Large Surface”) functionality requires an identical display resolution on all configured displays.
[4] Raw geometry performance (unshaded triangles), AMD FirePro V5900 and V7900 compared to AMD FirePro V5800 and V7800 cards.

13th Apr 2012

SANTA CLARA, Calif.— April 13, 2012 — Whether in small agencies or the largest media conglomerates, creative pros want tools that let them bring their vision to life as fast as possible, without having to trade off quality for speed and interactivity. Now, with the upcoming release of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 Production Premium with acceleration from NVIDIA® Quadro® and Tesla™ professional GPUs, artists and editors have unprecedented power and interactivity at their disposal. Motion graphics that would take hours to create can now be done in minutes. Effects that used to render a few frames per second now run at full speed. Color grading that simply wasn’t possible at this price point is now within the easy reach of small shops, and much more.

Expanded Breadth and Depth of GPU Accelerated Features
Following the introduction of the innovative NVIDIA CUDA™-accelerated Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in previous versions of Adobe Premiere® Pro, Adobe has now added even more groundbreaking support for NVIDIA GPUs throughout the entire Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium software.  Whether using Adobe After Effects® CS6, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe SpeedGrade CS6, or Photoshop® CS6, artists and editors can see workflow improvements using NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs, and NVIDIA Maximus™ technology, which offer the best performance for accelerating the new and improved tools in the Adobe Creative Suite 6 software.

Adobe After Effects CS6
Adobe After Effects CS6 simplifies and accelerates the motion graphics workflow like never before with a powerful new 3D compositing pipeline that employs ray tracing for uncompromised image quality. Creative pros can now incorporate extruded and beveled text and shapes directly within After Effects, integrate their rendering with its native layers, and eliminate the traditional time-consuming back and forth with external 3D tools. Adobe’s new “Ray trace 3D” renderer leverages the NVIDIA® OptiX™ ray tracing engine for rendering realistic materials, accurate reflections, soft shadows, depth of field, and motion blur. The new ray tracing becomes truly interactive, delivering final frames up to 27x faster when using NVIDIA GPUs, as compared to dual hex-core CPUs alone.1

I use After Effects every day, and 90 percent of my work is post-production with a heavy dose of motion graphics mixed with tons of video editing,” said Steve Taylor, senior creative director of Digital Spatula.By using the new 3D ray tracing capability in After Effects, running on an NVIDIA Maximus-equipped workstation, I’m getting so much more done in less time, freeing me up to be more creative and thoughtful about the project. I’m no longer interrupted by having to switch to a second 3D application to create compelling, animated 3D text and logos. Not only is it powerfully fast, efficient and easy to use, but After Effects CS6 also gives me more time to focus on delivering higher quality productions.”

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
Adobe Creative Suite 6 continues to feature the NVIDIA CUDA™-accelerated Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro, providing up to an 8x performance boost2 for fast video editing. It also features new GPU accelerated features like Uninterrupted Playback, a new and improved Three-Way Color Corrector with additional capabilities, and real-time playback of stabilized video utilizing the new Warp Stabilizer. This enables fluid playback of today’s most challenging video and D-Cinema formats, including DSLR, RED 4, and 5K native footage, with improved multi-cam support for an unlimited amount of cameras. In addition, NVIDIA has created a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 that enables support for NVIDIA Quadro SDI Output cards, which support multiple channels of HD-SDI output at very low latencies.

Adobe SpeedGrade CS6
Adobe Creative Suite 6 will include Adobe SpeedGrade CS6, a real-time, professional color grading tool optimized for NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, with exclusive support for NVIDIA SDI Output cards. Only the Quadro 4000, Quadro 5000, and Quadro 6000 are recommended for Adobe SpeedGrade, giving users maximum precision and performance for color grading RAW and High Dynamic Range content.

Adobe Photoshop CS6
Adobe Photoshop CS6 features the new Mercury Graphics Engine, adding key, new GPU-accelerated features like liquify, puppet warp and intuitive new blur tools. This expands on an already wide variety of GPU-accelerated features to enable faster previews, real-time imaging, and smooth response times for unprecedented speed and fluid editing, compositing, and image manipulation.

Learn more about the top new features in Premiere and the other video tools of the upcoming Creative Suite 6 here:
http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/events/1203_16108_nab.html.

 NVIDIA Quadro SDI Output
Only NVIDIA Quadro GPUs paired with Quadro SDI Output cards enable graphics-to-video output in both Adobe SpeedGrade and Premiere Pro CS6, enabling efficient SDI monitoring of the complete workflow in the same GPU-accelerated system.

NVIDIA Maximus Technology
Combining NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla GPUs and a single unified driver in the same workstation, NVIDIA Maximus-powered systems enable video professionals to create complex, multi-layer projects faster than ever before, transforming their editing workflows by enabling simultaneous high-performance graphics and parallel processing, further increasing their productivity and empowering their creativity.

“With Adobe Creative Suite 6, we’ve innovated even more broadly around GPUs from NVIDIA to further simplify design workflows with new capabilities that enable creative pros to deliver the highest quality productions in the least amount of time,” said Bill Roberts, director of video and audio product management, at Adobe. “Expanding acceleration across a wide range of NVIDIA GPUs creates a powerful ecosystem of editing solutions for creating the best possible results.”

Adobe (Booth #SL2624) is revealing Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium software accelerated with NVIDIA GPUs at NAB 2012, April 16-19, in Las Vegas. In the NVIDIA booth (#SL9215), Adobe is showcasing the 3D ray tracing features of Adobe After Effects CS6, along with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, both accelerated by NVIDIA GPU technology.

NVIDIA GPUs are designed and certified to boost the performance of Adobe Creative Suite 6 for the best possible user experience, with the highest reliability, exclusive Quadro SDI output support, better image quality, and faster performance, with NVIDIA Maximus technology providing up to 6GB of graphics memory for the ultimate performance across Adobe Creative Suite 6.

NVIDIA graphics solutions certified for accelerating the new Adobe Creative Suite 6 include:

Desktop Workstation:                                                                   Mobile Workstation:
Quadro 2000 + Tesla C2075 (NVIDIA Maximus)                   Quadro 5010M
Quadro 6000                                                                                      Quadro 5000M
Quadro 5000                                                                                      Quadro 4000M
Quadro 4000                                                                                      Quadro 3000M
Quadro 4000 for Mac                                                                      Quadro 2000M
Quadro 2000

 Gaming:
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 570
GeForce GTX 470

Quadro professional graphics cards are designed and built by NVIDIA to provide industry-leading performance, reliability, compatibility and stability with Adobe Creative Suite 6 applications. Adobe and NVIDIA recommend Quadro solutions to provide the performance and dependability that video professionals require. Adobe and NVIDIA invest tremendous engineering resources to provide optimized Quadro solutions for Adobe Premiere Pro and ensure the best possible user experience.

To learn more about Adobe Creative Suite 6, and the incredible NVIDIA GPU acceleration features and benefits available, go to
http://www.nvidia.com/cs6.

11th Apr 2012

Intel Developer Forum: ‘Collaborative Innovation’ Key to Growth for Intel and Chinese Markets

 New Technologies and Joint Lab Announcements to Advance More Secure,  Connected Computing Experiences from Devices to the Cloud

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intel® Core™ processors with Intel® Small Business Advantage (Intel® SBA) are now available, providing additional tools for PCs to help small businesses increase security and productivity.
  • Coming this quarter, Intel® HD Graphics 2500/4000 provides amazing 3-D graphics, further enhancing the resolution and visual detail of mainstream games and more.
  • New, lab-to-lab collaborations with Intel Labs China, Lenovo* address the challenges in the mobile Internet area and China Mobile Research Institute* to apply Intel® architecture to wireless base stations to power the next-generation mobile network infrastructure.

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, London, 12th April, 2012 – Throughout Intel Corporation’s developer forum that starts today, company executives emphasised the importance of collaborating with China’s government and industry to help create new business and innovation opportunities for Intel and its 14 million developers worldwide. The management team detailed its vision of how such collaborations could potentially spawn the next-generation of advances in business, consumer electronics and many more industries around the globe.

“The impact of major global trends, such as the rapidly growing middle class as well as the explosive growth of connected, mobile Internet and cloud computing traffic, is playing out ten-fold in China,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corporation and chairman of Intel China.

For example, China became the largest PC market in the world last year, growing a remarkable 13 percent in 2011 and now represents 20 percent of all PC demand, according to IDC, a global industry analyst firm. In addition, IDC shows servers in China are growing at more than eight times the rate of the worldwide average over the past 5 years, making the country the second-largest data centre market segment in the world. With more than 1 billion subscribers**, China is also the world’s largest segment for mobile phones.

To address these and other opportunities, Intel executives speaking in Beijing highlighted several technology advancements and local collaborations designed to bring richer, more connected computing experiences from the cloud to computing devices of all types.

The announcements included the introduction of Intel® Small Business Advantage (SBA) designed to help maintain and protect PCs automatically and improved visual experience with built-in visuals on Intel’s forthcoming 3rd generation Intel Core products with Intel® HD Graphics 2500/4000. The company also revealed that Intel Labs China will work closely with leading Chinese OEMs, operators and municipalities for on-going technology research and development in China.

In his first speech since being appointed chairman of Intel China last year, Maloney opened the company’s largest two-day technical conference in Asia by noting how overcoming barriers in technology represents more than just physics or engineering problem.

“As the world continues to advance, so too must semiconductor technology, and that is never more evident than today with the pending release of Tri-Gate transistors and 22 nm process technology,” said Maloney. “Few individuals and industries will be untouched as powerful microprocessors, Internet-connections, and user experience breakthroughs are applied across the worlds of business, healthcare, education and the society at large.”

Transforming the Personal Computing Experience

During his keynote presentation, Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group discussed how Intel is helping drive a dramatic change in the personal computing experience for consumers and businesses with new hardware, software and solutions. Ultrabook™  devices have already begun this transformation, and Skaugen showcased numerous systems on stage and reiterated that more than 75 designs are planned for 2012 with many touch-enabled systems expected. This next wave of Ultrabook devices, powered by 3rd generation Intel® Core processors with Intel® HD Graphics 2500/4000, will bring significant performance improvements for even greater computing experiences. 

To address the small business segment without IT support, Skaugen also announced Intel SBA will be available on the 2nd generation Intel® Core processors. With Intel SBA, small businesses can maximise business productivity by keeping PCs performing at an optimal level while securing data by reducing the risk of virus disruptions, leakage of confidential data and data loss. Intel SBA is a simple-to-use integrated hardware and software solution that automatically provides regular software updates, strengthens security defences and conducts maintenance tasks after-hours, even if the computer is turned off. OEMs supporting the Intel Small Business Advantage solution include Asus*, Dell*, Fujitsu* and Lenovo* as well as multiple local-OEMs around the world.

To help address online fraud, a common concern for consumers today, all Ultrabook devices will now include Intel® Identity Protection Technology, enabling a more secure and convenient way to access popular websites2. Skaugen announced that RenRen*, China’s most popular social networking website, will incorporate Intel Identity Protection Technology as part of its focus on providing secure online experience for its users. Additionally, he disclosed relationships with Feitian Technologies* and DynamiCode Company*, both leading-edge second factor authentication security solution services that will incorporate Intel Identity Protection Technology into their products. 

Collaborating for Datacenter and Cloud Success

During her keynote on the second day of the conference, Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, will discuss how the rapid growth of users, devices and data is transforming information technology while also creating new opportunities for developers.

With more than 15 billion connected devices expected by 20153 – and the data centre and cloud computing opportunities that support this level of connected devices – Bryant will say the key is open, standards-based solutions such as those defined by the Intel® Cloud Builders Program.

The Intel® Cloud Builders program enables ecosystem leaders to build and optimise the cloud infrastructure using open-standard solutions optimized for Intel architecture. Intel Cloud Builders brings together tools and best practices, including more than 70 reference architectures from a range of industry-leading cloud infrastructure systems and solutions providers, to address key challenges facing data centre and cloud deployments such as security, manageability, and energy efficiency.

Bryant will share that the newly introduced Intel® Xeon processors are at the heart of the data center. The Intel Xeon E5-2600 product family is designed to scale and handle three times more data traffic than today, be more efficient and secure. With 80 percent more performance1,4 and 50 percent more performance per wattpercent1,5  compared to previous generations, the new Intel Xeon processors address the requirements of an ever-growing connected world.

Intel has extended its leadership in data centre technology and product innovation with a strong and well-balanced portfolio of processors, developer resources and support that addresses today’s workload challenges for key segments, including the emerging micro server category. Bryant will outline details of the company’s 2012 processor roadmap for this category, and highlight how it continues to help customers deliver new levels of power efficiency and density while allowing them to also benefit from common software compatibility across Intel-based micro servers and traditional servers.

Intel Labs China: Aligning Research Collaboration and Innovation

Emphasising the importance of on-going research with local partners in China, Intel Labs announced new joint research collaboration efforts with Lenovo* and China Mobile*. Intel and Lenovo’s new lab-to-lab collaborative research efforts will address challenges in the mobile Internet area, such as security, context aware computing, cross screen experience and energy efficiency.

The China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) is applying Intel architecture to wireless base stations to power next-generation mobile network infrastructure. As part of CMRI’s Cooperative Radio Access Architecture (CRAN) vision, Intel Labs China and CMRI are engaging in research and ecosystem development to increase the speed and efficiency telecommunications networks through greater processing power and general computing capabilities.  With CMRI and other ecosystem partners, Intel has produced a reference design prototype that demonstrates considerable improvements for lowering total cost of ownership. For example, IA signal processing-enabled CRAN technology can save telecommunications operators up to 15 percent in capital expenditures and reduce operations costs up to 50 percent, largely through power savings.

Intel Developer Forum

IDF spans the worlds of mobility, digital enterprise, digital home, and technology and research. Held at the China National Convention Center on April 11-12, the event is geared toward the Chinese market in support of local innovation and Intel’s industry leadership in the region. Next up on the IDF schedule is a one-day conference in Brazil on May 15 and a 3-day event in San Francisco, which will be held Sept. 11-13 at Moscone Center West. Further information is available at www.intel.com/idf.

SPECapc updates Siemens NX benchmark 

 

GAINESVILLE, Va., April 11, 2012 – SPEC’s Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group has released updated performance evaluation software for systems running Siemens NX product development software.

 

SPECapc for Siemens NX 6 runs on the Windows 7 64-bit operating system. It can be used to measure performance on systems running various versions of NX 6 and 7, but results have been validated for NX 6.0 only.

 

The benchmark includes six models ranging in size from 56 MB to 521 MB in both wireframe and fully shaded modes. It tests performance for operations such as loading parts, booleans, rotations, zooms, pans, front and back clipping, modifying perspective parameters, full-view generation, different edge modes, translucency and hidden-surface removal.

 

The benchmark is run five times to ensure consistent results. It records results for graphics, CPU and disk I/O operations, as well as a composite number for total system performance.

 

“Our thanks to Siemens for helping us bring this benchmark to closure,” says Allen Jensen, SPECapc chair.We look forward to a much faster development cycle in the future, with a new benchmark for NX 8 planned for Q3 2012.”

 

Available for free downloading

 

SPECapc for Siemens NX 6 is available for free downloading on the SPEC/GWPG web site: www.spec.org/gwpg. The SPECapc group also provides free benchmarks for systems running 3ds Max 2011, Lightwave 3D 9.6, Maya 2009, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0, and SolidWorks 2007. New and updated benchmarks are currently underway for Maya, Solidworks and Creo applications.

  

About SPECapc

 

SPECapc was formed in 1997 to address performance evaluation based on popular workstation applications. Current members include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, NEC and NVIDIA. SPECapc is part of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC), a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of computers. For more information, visit: www.spec.org.

WD® SHIPS SLIM, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HARD DRIVE FOR ULTRABOOK™ DEVICES

New 7 mm 2.5-inch Mobile Hard Drive Delivers Lowest Power Consumption in the Industry

Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), a worldwide storage leader, today announced it is shipping the WD Scorpio® Blue™ 7 mm hard drive, the latest addition to its mobile hard drive family and the 2.5-inch drive with the lowest power consumption on the market today. Specified to a best-in-class 400Gs shock tolerance, the new single-platter WD Scorpio Blue small form factor hard drives are available in 500 GB and 320 GB capacities and the drives’ compatibility with industry-standard 9.5 mm slots make them ideal storage options for mainstream notebooks as well as slimmer notebook and Ultrabook™ devices that require a 7 mm drive height. 

“Consumers want thin and light personal computers, but the limited storage capacity of SSD-based notebooks forces them to pick and choose what files to bring from their library,” said Matt Rutledge, vice president and general manager for WD client storage products. “With the release of the new WD Scorpio Blue 7 mm mobile hard drives, WD is able to offer capacity, reliability and data-protection features combined with excellent power management all in a slim form factor perfect for thin and light notebooks.”

Features of the new WD Scorpio Blue 7 mm hard drives include:

•             Low power consumption - Advanced power management features and algorithms optimise the way the drive seeks data, which significantly
improves power consumption.

•             Shock Tolerance – WD’s ShockGuard™ technology, now increased to a best-in-market 400Gs shock specification, protects the drive
mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks.

•             Cool and quiet - In a notebook drive, silence is golden. WD’s exclusive WhisperDrive™ technology enables quiet performance.

•             Reliable – WD’s SecurePark™ parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down, and when the drive is off. This
ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface resulting in improved long term reliability due to less head wear, and improved non-operational shock tolerance.

•             Compatibility Tested - WD performs tests on hundreds of systems and a multitude of platforms in its FIT Lab™ and Mobile Compatibility
Lab to give customers confidence that drives will work in specific systems.

Price and Availability

Shipping now through select distributors and resellers, the WD Scorpio Blue 7 mm 2.5-inch mobile hard drives are covered by a two-year limited warranty. MSRP for the 500 GB, model number: (WD5000LPVT) is $99.99 USD and the 320 GB, model number: (WD3200LPVT) is $79.99 USD. Additional information about WD Scorpio Blue hard drives and limited warranty terms may be found on the company website at http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=140.

26th Mar 2012

AMD and Rockwell Collins Help Improve Situational Awareness by Providing Pilots with Detailed 3D Imagery

   Rockwell Collins selects AMD Radeon E2400 embedded GPU to support Synthetic Vision in its Pro Line Fusion Avionics System

SUNNYVALE, Calif.  — March 26, 2012 — AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced Rockwell Collins, a leader in innovative communications and avionics systems for the aerospace and defense industries, has selected the AMD Radeon E2400 embedded graphics processor for inclusion in its highly-intuitive, integrated flight deck solution, Pro Line Fusion™. Chosen for its advanced 3D graphics rendering capabilities, the AMD Radeon E2400 helps generate realistic graphical models of the external aircraft environment to help improve awareness of terrain, obstacles and runways in low visibility conditions. With this technology, pilots can now have key information at their fingertips, enabling them to make informed decisions during every phase of flight.

“The rapid and accurate visualisation of data and access to information are essential for professionals in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Richard Jaenicke, director, Embedded Client Business, AMD. “The AMD Radeon E2400 was specifically designed to meet customers’ demand for high-quality graphics with a stable, long-lasting supply, making it ideal for system designers such as Rockwell Collins.”

 Benefits of AMD Radeon E2400 for Avionics Systems

·         High performance 3D graphics technology: delivers realistic, real-time terrain imagery to the 15.1” primary flight deck LCD displays

·         Advanced 3D graphics acceleration: support for OpenGL 2.0, Shader Model 4.0, anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and texture 
  compression

·         Small footprint with on-chip 128MB of GDDR3: helps minimise system space requirements and simplifies system design

·         Sophisticated power management features: flexibility to adjust clock settings to help reduce power consumption as needed

Resources

19th Mar 2012

WD® to show Consumer Products at the Gadget Show Live 2012

Western Digital, the world’s leader in digital storage solutions, will attend the Gadget Show Live 2012 to be held at the UK NEC Birmingham exhibition centre between 11th and 15th of April.  The WD exhibition stand, located at D150 in Hall 10 will have areas dedicated to both external and internal storage products.

The Branded Group will be showcasing their Connected Home products, which will include an area dedicated to a WD TV Live HD Media Player and another set up as a Home Office showcasing their consumer NAS products the My Book Live and My Book Live Duo

The Component Group will have a graphic design suite; complete with a designer who will be giving people the chance to be in a WD advertisement. Consumers can have their photographs taken and then depending on how they use their hard drive and the lifestyle they live, their image will be made into either a Green, Blue or Black advertisement, based on the latest WD campaign layout.

WD will have members of staff at the exhibition to explain the merits and use of the products on show.

15th Mar 2012

WD® SHIPPING MY BOOK® THUNDERBOLT DUO DUAL-DRIVE STORAGE SYSTEM WITH ULTRA-FAST READ/WRITE TIMES
FOR CREATIVE PROS, AND TODAY'S NEED-IT-NOW CONSUMERS

Up to 6 TB Capacities, Double-safe Protection, RAID, User Serviceability, and Dual Thunderbolt Ports for Daisy Chaining and Unparalleled Workflow Efficiency

Western Digital (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, is now shipping its first external hard drive with Thunderbolt™ technology – the My Book® Thunderbolt Duo dual-drive storage system. The new My Book Thunderbolt Duo provides professionals and Mac® enthusiasts with five primary areas of performance, double-safe data protection and flexibility; ultra-fast data transfer rates for greater work efficiency; a 4 TB/6 TB large-capacity; customised dual-drive storage system with RAID 0, 1 and JBOD options; customer serviceable drives; and dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining multiple My Book Thunderbolt Duo devices or other peripherals.

Thunderbolt technology brings a new way to connect high-speed storage devices to any desktop or notebook computer with a Thunderbolt port while delivering unmatched speed for multitasking activities such as, editing video/music, 3D rendering, and completing other high definition graphics-intensive projects.

“The My Book Thunderbolt Duo offers large storage capacities for creative professionals and enthusiasts who produce, edit, or need quick access to large files, including HD video,” said Jody Bradshaw, general manager of WD consumer storage solutions. “Its dual Thunderbolt ports provide amazing creative flexibility while allowing daisy-chaining of up to six My Book Thunderbolt Duo drives or other high performance peripherals for fast and efficient workflow. The combination of storage, backup, security, flexibility and speed  makes the My Book Thunderbolt Duo the ideal choice for creative professionals that need to write, store, protect and edit high-definition and graphic intensive projects.”

My Book Thunderbolt Duo is an ideal, all-in-one external drive for creative professionals, enthusiasts, and consumers who own vast amounts of digital content including videos, music, and photos. The drive serves as a safe and reliable way to backup content stored on your computer while providing the fastest way to get information to and from the WD drive.  In addition, its RAID 1 support allows users to create a second copy of their digital content on the drive for double-safe protection, and peace of mind. The drive also supports a JBOD mode (allocate each disk individually to a specific task) excellent option for users running Windows OS on a Mac.

Additional features found on the My Book Thunderbolt Duo include out-of-the-box compatibility with Mac OS Time Machine and formatting for HFS + Journaled for Mac; capability for multi-stream workflows; and a 3-year limited warranty.

Price and Availability

The My Book Thunderbolt Duo is available now at select retailers and online at www.wdstore.co.uk  starting at MSRP Euro €599.00 (4 TB) and Euro €699.00(6 TB).

9th Mar 2012

Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution Now Available

Solution Combines High-Performance SSD with Large-Capacity Hard Drive into Single Storage

System for Dramatic PC Performance Gains

Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, 8 March, 2012 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of the Crucial® Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution for enhancing Windows® 7-based PC performance. A simple upgrade that allows users to keep their existing hard drive, Crucial Adrenaline enables PCs to boot up to twice as fast and increases data access speeds by up to eight times*. Crucial Adrenaline provides users with the best of both worlds: SSD-like performance with the high capacity of a traditional hard drive, all at an affordable cost.

Comprising a 50GB Crucial m4 SSD, 3.5” adapter bracket, SATA cable, and NVELO Dataplex caching software,** Crucial Adrenaline improves performance by intelligently placing, or “caching,” the most frequently needed files on the SSD and leaves less frequently used files on the hard drive. Crucial Adrenaline is available now through select global channel partners, or directly at www.crucial.com/uk/ssc, with an MSRP of £88.88 (inc.VAT).

“While consumers understand that SSD's provide enhanced PC performance, many still want to maintain their existing high-capacity hard drives,” said Robert Wheadon, worldwide senior product manager, Crucial. “We designed Crucial Adrenaline to be affordable and straightforward, so customers can easily upgrade their PCs to gain the increased speed of an SSD, yet still utilize the higher capacities they’ve come to expect from traditional hard drives.”

To take advantage of the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution, customers may easily connect the SSD to the motherboard with the included SATA cable, start the computer, and install the Dataplex caching software. Once the software is installed and the system has been rebooted, the software seamlessly integrates the existing hard drive and Crucial Adrenaline into a single storage system. The caching software is fully automated, runs in the background, and requires no user management.

“Delivering high-quality software to our customers is a priority at NVELO. Partnering with Crucial was a natural fit. By combining our intelligent Dataplex caching software with award-winning Crucial SSD's, we’re able to provide a forward-thinking, high-performance storage solution to a broad range of users,” said Kevin Silver, vice president of business development, NVELO.

The Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution leverages the industry-leading memory, design, and manufacturing capability of Micron Technology, and is backed by a limited three-year warranty.

WD® COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF HITACHI GLOBAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES

Creates the Industry's Deepest Technology Capability and Broadest Product Portfolio

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) yesterday announced that it has completed its acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd. (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), effective Mar. 8, 2012, for $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of WDC common stock valued at approximately $0.9 billion1. Hitachi, Ltd. now owns approximately 10 percent of WDC shares outstanding, and it has the right to designate two individuals to the board of directors of WD.

The new WD will operate with WD Technologies (WD) and HGST as wholly owned subsidiaries. Aggregated revenues of the two companies in 2011 were $15 billion. As chief executive officer of WD, John Coyne heads up the new office of the CEO, with Steve Milligan as president, Tim Leyden as chief operating officer and Wolfgang Nickl as chief financial officer.

"The completion of this acquisition is a truly momentous event in the 42-year history of our company," said Coyne. "With ownership of two successful companies and the best talent available in the industry, we expect to accomplish great things as we build the new WD to be the world's leading storage solutions provider with the industry's deepest technology capability, broadest product portfolio and best-in-class execution. Similar to successful multi-brand models in other industries, the two subsidiaries will compete in the marketplace with separate brands and product lines while sharing common values of customer delight, value creation, consistent profitability and growth."

A recently updated HDD forecast by IDC predicts industry revenue growth at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6 percent per year from 2011 to 20162. "The growth in demand for digital storage continues unabated driven by the expansion of digital content in consumer and commercial applications," said John Rydning, research vice president, hard disk drives & semiconductors, IDC. "Mobility, cloud infrastructure, social business, and big data analytics are stimulating demand for digital content in new formats and new market segments, creating the need for an increasingly diverse set of storage products and technology capabilities from storage solutions providers."

"With a significantly broadened customer base and expanded resources, the new WD is in a strong position to seize the growth opportunity in stored digital content," said Coyne. "We have acquired a strong presence in the traditional enterprise market, substantially increased our presence in the industry's fastest-growing segments-cloud and mobility-and improved our capability to address new market initiatives such as enterprise SSD, storage solutions for small business and low-profile HDDs and hybrid drives for Ultrabooks™. As a result, WD is better positioned than ever for success."

The cash portion of the purchase price was financed by a $2.3 billion, five-year term loan, short-term financing under a $500 million revolving credit agreement and existing company cash balances. The company expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis, excluding acquisition-related expenses, restructuring charges and amortization of intangibles. In addition, the company expects to maintain a positive net cash position.

Supplemental information regarding the HGST acquisition can be found on the WD website at http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/company/investor/SupplementalInformation.pdf. For additional information, please visit http://www.wdc.com/en/company/hgst/.

6th Mar 2012

WD® and Hitachi Expect to Close Agreement for the Sale of Hitachi's HDD Business to WD on March 8th

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) and Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE:6501) yesterday announced that having obtained all required regulatory approvals for WD's acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd. (holding company of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), they expect the acquisition to close on March 8, 2012. WD and Hitachi will provide more information upon closing of the transaction.

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organisations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and home entertainment products.

WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

About Hitachi, Ltd. 
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE:6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2010 (ended March 31, 2011) consolidated revenues totaled 9,315 billion yen ($112.2 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

Western Digital Safe Harbor 
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used, the words "anticipates", "believes", "expects", "may", "should" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the expected timing of the completion of the acquisition. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that one or more conditions to the closing is not timely satisfied or waived by the parties; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the company's recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on January 27, 2012, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Hitachi, Ltd. Cautionary Statement
Certain statements found in this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such "forward-looking statements" reflect management's current views with respect to certain future events and financial performance and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "estimate," "forecast," "intend," "plan," "project" and similar expressions which indicate future events and trends may identify "forward-looking statements." Such statements are based on currently available information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in the "forward-looking statements" and from historical trends. Certain "forward-looking statements" are based upon current assumptions of future events which may not prove to be accurate. Undue reliance should not be placed on "forward-looking statements," as such statements speak only as of the date of this document.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in any "forward-looking statement" and from historical trends include, but are not limited to:

  • economic conditions, including consumer spending and plant and equipment investment in Hitachi's major markets, particularly Japan, Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as levels of demand in the major industrial sectors Hitachi serves, including, without limitation, the information, electronics, automotive, construction and financial sectors;
  • exchange rate fluctuations of the yen against other currencies in which Hitachi makes significant sales or in which Hitachi's assets and liabilities are denominated, particularly against the U.S. dollar and the euro;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to access, or access on favorable terms, liquidity or long-term financing;
  • uncertainty as to general market price levels for equity securities in Japan, declines in which may require Hitachi to write down equity securities that it holds;
  • the potential for significant losses on Hitachi's investments in equity method affiliates;
  • increased commoditization of information technology products and digital media-related products and intensifying price competition for such products, particularly in the Components & Devices and the Digital Media & Consumer Products segments;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to continue to develop and market products that incorporate new technologies on a timely and cost-effective basis and to achieve market acceptance for such products;
  • rapid technological innovation;
  • the possibility of cost fluctuations during the lifetime of, or cancellation of, long-term contracts for which Hitachi uses the percentage-of-completion method to recognize revenue from sales;
  • fluctuations in the price of raw materials including, without limitation, petroleum and other materials, such as copper, steel, aluminum, synthetic resins, rare metals and rare-earth minerals, or shortages of materials, parts and components;
  • fluctuations in product demand and industry capacity;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to implement measures to reduce the potential negative impact of fluctuations in product demand, exchange rates and/or price of raw materials or shortages of materials, parts and components;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of its strategy to strengthen its Social Innovation Business;
  • uncertainty as to the success of restructuring efforts to improve management efficiency by divesting or otherwise exiting underperforming businesses and to strengthen competitiveness and other cost reduction measures;
  • general socioeconomic and political conditions and the regulatory and trade environment of countries where Hitachi conducts business, particularly Japan, Asia, the United States and Europe, including, without limitation, direct or indirect restrictions by other nations on imports and differences in commercial and business customs including, without limitation, contract terms and conditions and labor relations;
  • uncertainty as to the success of alliances upon which Hitachi depends, some of which Hitachi may not control, with other corporations in the design and development of certain key products;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's access to, or ability to protect, certain intellectual property rights, particularly those related to electronics and data processing technologies;
  • uncertainty as to the outcome of litigation, regulatory investigations and other legal proceedings of which the Company, its subsidiaries or its equity method affiliates have become or may become parties;
  • the possibility of incurring expenses resulting from any defects in products or services of Hitachi;
  • the possibility of disruption of Hitachi's operations in Japan by earthquakes, tsunamis or other natural disasters, including the possibility of continuing adverse effects on Hitachi's operations as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011;
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to maintain the integrity of its information systems, as well as Hitachi's ability to protect its confidential information or that of its customers;
  • uncertainty as to the accuracy of key assumptions Hitachi uses to evaluate its significant employee benefit-related costs; and
  • uncertainty as to Hitachi's ability to attract and retain skilled personnel.

The factors listed above are not all-inclusive and are in addition to other factors contained in Hitachi's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in other materials published by Hitachi.

Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), a leader in the desktop, mobile, high-capacity enterprise and consumer markets for hard drives, today announced the availability of its third-generation WD® S25 SAS hard drives, serving the performance-optimised, mission-critical enterprise server and storage market. Shipping now, the new 2.5-inch, 10,000 RPM, WD S25 with SAS 6 Gb/s interface hard drives offer IT professionals a more advanced array of ultra-reliable and efficient, high-performance storage, available in capacities of 300 GB, 450 GB, 600 GB, and 900 GB. The WD S25 line is designed for the most demanding applications such as online transaction processing and multi-tiered networked storage arrays.

“Continuing our commitment to the industry’s fastest-growing segment -- 2.5-inch drives -- WD is updating our small form factor SAS offering with the advanced technology of our third-generation drive, including a new 900 GB capacity point,” said Darwin Kauffman, vice president of enterprise storage solutions, WD. “Our latest generation of WD S25 SAS drives offer a powerful combination of enterprise-class performance and industry-leading reliability that is ideal for demanding high-performance computing and mission-critical environments. WD is also delivering higher capacity offerings and the power efficiency of the small form factor footprint, providing the most efficient storage solution for IT professionals and enabling lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).”

The new family of WD S25 SAS drives has the speed required to service any enterprise need, delivering high performance with its 6 Gb/s SAS interface. With its small form factor allowing for more system airflow, resulting in lower cooling costs for customers, the latest WD S25 SAS drives require less than 8 watts to operate and have a 2.0 M hour MTBF rating—the industry’s highest.  WD’s third-generation of 2.5-inch SAS drives are also its first to include support for T10 Protection Information (PI) for advanced data integrity, and the first to provide optional models that feature drive-level self-encryption that meets the Trusted Computing Group’s specification for Enterprise Class A encryption.

Availability


WD S25 SAS hard drives are currently shipping to OEMs, with broader availability at select resellers and distributors worldwide later next quarter. WD S25 SAS hard drives are covered by a five-year limited warranty. More information about WD S25 enterprise SAS hard drives may be found on the company's website at http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=10.
2nd Mar 2012

WD® OFFERS CLOUD STORAGE PROTECTION SERVICE TO WD SENTINEL DX4000 STORAGE SERVER OWNERS

Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in digital storage solutions, has announced that it is offering to customers of its WD Sentinel DX4000 storage server an offsite data storage service that improves data protection for the small business owners who rely on WD Sentinel to protect their precious business information. WD partnered with KeepVault®, which was recently added to the AuthenTec® line of services, to serve WD’s Sentinel small office storage server customers.

WD Sentinel storage servers act as an on-site cloud storage solution for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB). The addition of KeepVault provides an integrated offsite backup solution for SMBs’ most important information, providing secure offsite disaster protection. The service integrates seamlessly into the administration dashboard and the user can choose to compress and or encrypt data while backing it up to the cloud, allowing for improved data transfers with increased security. Data from WD Sentinel can be backed-up to KeepVault either real time or as per a user-defined backup schedule and the administrator can choose to throttle the bandwidth to manage network performance, thus providing the SMB a hands-free, peace-of-mind off-site data protection system.

“In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, an SMB could lose everything if its place of business were compromised,” said Thomas Gallivan, vice president of marketing for WD’s SMB solutions group. “By adding KeepVault to the WD Sentinel product, we have provided our customers with an additional tool for protecting their businesses with a system that provides seamless backup and full data restoration, ensuring that an SMB has the insurance to get their business up and running in the event of a crisis.”

KeepVault’s user interface makes it easy for a SMB to track online backup history. It also provides recovery options in the user interface, allowing users one-click recovery, selective recovery, and selected download options to recover the data on the same or a completely new WD Sentinel storage server. KeepVault, a subscription service, will come pre-installed but not pre-activated on all WD Sentinel products, so customers may choose whether or not to use KeepVault as their off-site backup solution for a WD Sentinel storage server. WD and AuthenTec have established special offerings for WD Sentinel customers to “Connect and Protect” their SMB information. 

Customers can sign up for a service plan directly from within the KeepVault user interface pre-installed in the WD Sentinel administration dashboard or by visiting KeepVault’s partner page for WD at http://wdc.keepvault.com.  More information on WD Sentinel small storage servers can be found at http://www.wdc.com/wdsentinel.

28th Feb 2012

And the Oscar Goes to Hugo, Rango…and NVIDIA Quadro

Coming away from the Academy Awards ceremony, it was a great year for animation and visual effects.    And another great year for the NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions that powered many of this year’s nominees and the winners in both categories.

Congratulations to longtime NVIDIA customer Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for their work on their Oscar-winning animated feature film Rango, directed by Gore Verbinski. ILM used a proprietary GPU-accelerated fire and dust tool called Plume to create the fire and dust that permeates the worlds of Rango. ILM uses NVIDIA Quadro GPUs across all of their artists’ workstations.

“Whenever you’re approaching a film of this scale you need to make your production pipeline operate as efficiently as possible — especially when it comes to character animation work,”
said Tim Alexander, VFX supervisor for Rango. “By using NVIDIA Quadro processors and building GPU-accelerated processes into our workflow, we saved a huge amount of rendering time.”

Check out these videos to see ILM’s outstanding, and very entertaining, CG work on
Rango:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ROOjkCebGpQ


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI6984KMSPw&feature=player_embedded

Pixomondo’s Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning were also awarded with statuettes for their magical visual effects contributions to Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. This 3D movie is homage both to early filmmaking and to visual effects pioneer Georges Meliés. NVIDIA Quadro pro graphics are an essential component of Pixomondo’s visual effects pipeline.

Congrats to the company on its first Oscar win.

While Hugo was the winner, all of this year’s nominees produced great visual effects work. And they join a running list close to our heart — every film nominated over the past three years for best visual effects was made using NVIDIA technology.

15th Feb 2012

SPEC moves forward on working group to explore compute-intensive benchmark for handheld devices

 

GAINESVILLE, Va., February 15, 2012 -- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has formed a working group for a proposed new benchmark that would measure compute-intensive performance of handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones.

 

Working group meetings are open to SPEC Open Systems Group (SPEC/OSG) members, including representatives from vendors, application developers, universities and R&D operations. SPEC encourages other interested parties to join the group and participate in benchmark development.

 

Meeting a demand

 

SPEC intends to target handheld devices that support an open community of application developers with access to tools and libraries for native applications. The benchmark would be designed for general consumer devices.

 

“Although smartphones and tablets have been evolving rapidly, the available performance information is often very limited,” says Alexander Carlton, chair of the SPEC handheld working group.  “We believe that SPEC’s experience and tools provide a strong foundation for a new benchmark that can help developers and consumers learn more about the computing capabilities these new devices offer.”

 

SPEC believes a potential compute-intensive benchmark for hand-held devices could be used by device manufacturers, software vendors and application developers to test and market higher-performing products. Consumers, developers and other decision-makers could use the data from benchmark testing to better evaluate the compute capabilities of available handheld devices.

 

Want to participate?

 

Anyone interested in participating in the handheld working group should e-mail SPEC at corporate@spec.org for more information.

14th Feb 2012

NVIDIA Demonstrates Maximum Performance at SolidWorks World

We’re at SolidWorks World 2012 in beautiful San Diego, to meet with users of SolidWorks – a leading 3D computer-aided design application in use by over 1.3 million engineers – and show off NVIDIA’s latest innovations for styling, design, simulation and photorealistic rendering.

If you’re at the show, stop by our booth (#501) to experience NVIDIA Maximus technology, which combines the visualization and interactive design capability of NVIDIA Quadro GPUs and the high-performance computing power of NVIDIA Tesla GPUs into a single workstation. Tesla companion processors automatically perform the heavy lifting of photorealistic rendering or engineering simulation computation. This frees up CPU resources for the work they’re best suited for: I/O, running the operating system and multi-tasking. It also allows the Quadro GPUs to be dedicated to powering rich, full-performance, interactive design.

With NVIDIA Maximus technology, you can perform computational simulation or rendering while continuing to do design work in applications like SolidWorks simultaneously on the same system, at full performance.

Dell, HP and Lenovo are demonstrating workstations based on NVIDIA Maximus technology, so make sure to visit their booths as well.

Other demos include side-by-side comparisons of SolidWorks powered by NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs to show how upgrading to the latest generation of Quadro provides up to 3X faster interactive performance and eDrawings in stereoscopic 3D with NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro. The video below demonstrates the performance benefits of the Quadro 2000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CDjBIt70fp4

And, don’t forget to check out the various breakout sessions about NVIDIA technology:

  • Visual Computing: Redefining the SolidWorks Workstation for Productivity – a primer on the trend toward visual computing. Monday, 2/13, 4:30PM – 6:00PM
  • Break through Development Barriers with Dell Precision and NVIDIA Maximus – learn how Dell and NVIDIA GPU-powered workstations can transform design, simulation, and visualization for CAD engineers, CAE analyst, and industrial designers. Tuesday, 2/14 – 10:30AM-Noon.
  • Workstation vs. Desktop: Making the Switch – see how the industry has evolved over the past decade, and how the tremendous technological advances from earlier systems can benefit your business. Tuesday, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM.

If you’re not attending the show, you can learn more about how our new NVIDIA Maximus technology and NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions work in conjunction with SolidWorks 2012 software by visiting: www.nvidia.com/solidworks.

NVIDIA Maximus Success Story                NVIDIA Maximus Boosts Productivity, Cuts Costs at Parametric Solutions

Parametric Solutions Inc. (PSi) is an engineering services company that performs mechanical design and analysis work for a wide variety of clients, from inventors all the way up to the largest corporations in the world. The industries supported include aerospace, consumer products, medical equipment, green energy, and transportation. Since 1993, PSi has tackled projects throughout the full product development cycle, from initial concept to manufacturing. PSi’s success with such a diverse client and industry base can be attributed to the state-of-the-art design and engineering skills PSi developed in its main field of specialization: the power generation and industrial/aviation gas turbine industry.

Much of PSi’s work entails complex analysis and design: thermal, structural, fluid dynamics, vibration, kinematic synthesis and optimization, and the coupling of these disciplines in fully integrated simulations. The company’s staff of more than 70 engineers, many of whom depend on ANSYS software for their work, have realized a remarkable boost in performance and productivity with new NVIDIA® Maximus™ technology, which lets them run ANSYS compute-intensive processes while continuing to do other work, such as CAD modeling, simultaneously on a single workstation.

“NVIDIA Maximus technology is an extremely powerful tool for the way we work. With the 2x performance boost we saw immediately, our new system has completely changed our workflow and productivity,” said David Cusano, chief engineer and co-owner of PSi.

CHALLENGE.   PSi works with big simulations. For instance, a structural analysis model for a large turbine blade might have between 4 million and 8 million degrees of freedom (DOF). Even a small, “quick” simulation might require 2 million DOF.   “Before we got the Maximus system, the solving requirements for a typical simulation are such that we couldn’t do design and analysis on the same box,” said Cusano. “The ANSYS analyses, in particular, require such large computing horsepower that it would take days to run a single analysis if we wanted to work on the box at the same time – and even running it on its own involved tying up the machine for 8 to 12 hours or more.”

Their solution was to set up a separate “run box” – a quad-core CPU with eight 3 GHz processors, 16 GB of RAM, and zero disk array for storage –to do the heavy computational work. No one would sit in front of the run box, and engineers had to send work remotely or physically walk over to the box to initiate analyses, then return to a separate computer to do other work.   “This process was far from ideal,” said Cusano. “Transferring files over the network back and forth is a hassle, and it was inconvenient to interact with the runs or check them as they went along. But the biggest problem was that it was a shared resource, so engineers could never be sure of when they’d have access to it. If they needed rapid turnaround between design and analysis, they could be out of luck.”

SOLUTION.   PSi installed an NVIDIA Maximus configuration, consisting of the industry-leading, professional 3D graphics capability of the NVIDIA Quadro® 6000 professional graphics processing unit (GPU) combined with the parallel-computing power of the new NVIDIA Tesla™ C2075 companion processor – supported on a Dell Precision T7500 Tower Workstation. NVIDIA Maximus technology speeds compute-intensive processes and allows PSi to run their design and simulation applications simultaneously on the same workstation.

Typically, a PSi engineer’s workflow starts with conceptual design of a component in CAD modeling software such as Pro/E, Unigraphics, CATIA, or SolidWorks. The model must then be analyzed in detail to evaluate the materials, durability, and other requirements for that component. PSi uses ANSYS structural, thermal, CFD, and kinematics modules, as well as similar MSC products.   “The Maximus system allows us to combine those previously separate activities – CAD modeling and compute-intensive analysis – into a single entity on the same box,” said Cusano. “In addition, the performance boost allows our engineers to have a resource that can keep up with the way they need to work.”  

For example, a PSi engineer working on an industrial power turbine module, such as the large blades that attach to a huge steel rotor, needs to perform various thermal, structural and computational fluid dynamics (CFD ) analyses in ANSYS – then feed back the results of this work into the design of the parts. This process is iterative and time-consuming, especially when aspects of the process require moving the analysis to different resources, and waiting for the results.   “That engineer can now do all those analyses on his own workstation using the GPU instead of the CPU, about twice as fast as before, and work on the next step of the process on the computer at the same time,” said Cusano.

IMPACT.   “When you can run everything you need on your own computer, you’re never short of resources like you are when everyone’s forced to share the same run box,” said Cusano. “NVIDIA Maximus technology lets PSi’s engineers control their workflows more efficiently and stay more productive.”   The doubling of performance delivered by PSi’s NVIDIA Maximus-equipped system also provides a big productivity boost.

Previously, PSi’s fastest dedicated run box could solve a job in about 10 minutes per iteration. In a typical 50-iteration process, that’s 500 minutes of time – or more than 8 hours – where the box would be tied up doing a single analysis.

“With the Maximus system, we can run that same process using a much less-expensive workstation – oh, and by the way, that same ‘typical’ workstation can still be used for other jobs at the same time,” said Cusano. “It’s amazing not having to support the dedicated run boxes, separate from the rest of our tasks. It changes the way we work as a company.”   It also translates into cost savings. By using NVIDIA Maximus-equipped workstations, PSi saves the direct costs of not having to use the expensive dedicated run boxes, as well as now getting more productivity from each engineer’s existing workstation.  

“I would never want to go back to pre-Maximus days,” said Cusano. “It would be too much of a performance hit. Doubling the speed of the box for analysis, plus the ability to do other applications in parallel, provides us direct and impressive productivity gains, which is core to PSi’s business. Boosting productivity is the most core thing you can do, and that’s what NVIDIA Maximus delivers.”

Despite the glowing praise for the Maximus platform, when asked if he’d recommend it to others in his industry, Cusano said no. “I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else because it’s such a competitive advantage for us,” he said with a laugh. “But seriously, once everyone else hears about the advantages, there will be no way to stop our competitors from jumping on the NVIDIA Maximus bandwagon.”

NVIDIA Workstation-Quadro/Dell Success Story

The universal challenges faced by Trek in creating a new generation racing bike apply to many companies today:  Create products that are sturdy yet use lightweight materials, spot design defects earlier in the design phase and reduce time from sketch to physical prototype.  Trek Bicycle Corporation, a bike manufacturer located in Waterloo, WI, is one such example of applying the latest in NVIDIA® technology in their Dell Precision™ workstations to get the job done.

Trek faced the classic challenge of finding the ideal weight/stress ratio in developing its Carbon Series 9.9 downhill mountain bike. Road-biking maxim that light weight equals faster performance doesn’t translate for downhill mountain bikes. These bikes need to be tough and stable so they don’t crack under pressure.

“Trek was founded in 1976 with a mission to build the best bikes in the world,” said Michael Hammond, a senior industrial designer who leads the design team for Trek’s Mountain Bike division. “Within Trek, the industrial designers are the advocates for our customers, and are involved all the way through to production. It’s the development team’s job to make sure each new bike’s performance characteristics and ride quality meet the high standards of both Trek and our customers.  By having this responsibility, it also ensures our bikes get into production as fast as possible. Those goals are what led us to the NVIDIA Quadro GPUs.”

Trek’s recently introduced Carbon Session 9.9 is the lightest downhill mountain bike ever made. To create this cutting-edge bike, the Trek designers drew on their unparalleled bike design know-how and employed equally cutting-edge design tools, notably SolidWorks 3D CAD software, powered by NVIDIA Quadro® professional graphics processing units (GPUs) on Dell Precision™ workstations. The result of Trek’s Quadro-powered environment is the fastest downhill bike on the market – designed, prototyped and production-ready in about half the average time – and the model ridden by 2011 World Cup Champion Aaron Gwin.

CHALLENGE.   Bicycle production presents conflicting design goals common among many manufacturers today. The product has to be as light as possible and as sturdy as possible to withstand the heavy demands the rider will put on the bike. “On top of it all, the bike has to look good, from its structure and styling to every detail of its functionality” said Hammond. Every element of our products is clearly visible.”

Trek’s previous generation, the Session 88, featured an aluminum frame and was the fastest downhill bike when it was introduced in 2008. Since then, other companies have introduced their own contenders and Trek’s competitive gap has tightened.

The Trek team had to figure out how to use advanced materials and patented OCLV (Optimum Compaction, Low Void) technology to create a cutting edge product that picked up where the groundbreaking Session 88 left off.

They needed to translate the geometry of the aluminum frame into the lighter but notoriously more fragile and costly carbon fiber material, balancing speed and durability into a downhill racer’s dream bike.

SOLUTION.   Using carbon fiber would allow Trek to achieve many of its goals, however, carbon fiber bikes are much more complicated to design and build than aluminum ones.  Sheets of carbon “fabric” have to be laid, by hand, into open-back steel molds, according to a precise layout schedule. The molds are closed and pressure is applied to create each part. Designing the exacting layout, as well as determining the specs and complicated surfacing for carbon bikes, is a sophisticated process.

To overcome this challenge, Trek used Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks on Quadro-powered Dell Precision mobile workstations. According to Hammond, “We knew we had a lot to handle in creating such a complicated product and had little time to do it.  So we wanted to be able to get to as many design iterations as we could and not get bogged down.  The great thing is that everything works with Quadro.”

IMPACT.   Once they had the initial parameters for the new bike, it took the Trek team only four months to go from first sketch to physical prototype, with about 20 concepts tested and simulated. Before using NVIDIA Quadro GPUs to design their products, they took twice as long to get to the prototype stage and could only test a handful of concepts during the same timeframe.

Previously, the Trek team needed to do full frame model printouts (SLA prototypes) four or more times per project to see the level of surface detail required to perfect everything before building the prototype. Each printout cost upward of $2,000 and took at least a week to complete. The NVIDIA-powered simulation tools allow Trek to skip the printouts and directly save those costs.

Getting the prototype right the first time is also critical to help lower design expenses. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to set up the tooling for a new frame design, and that’s assuming no corrections or re-tooling is needed. The ability to make and simulate changes quickly and to see minute details clearly allowed the Trek team to limit their efforts to a single, just-right prototype – saving them tens of thousands of dollars.

“Being able to see surface deviations and transitions right away in our models and simulations, without losing performance, was critical,” continued Hammond. “Previously, we couldn’t render fast enough to do that detailed checking in software for things like clearance issues for the crank, wheels and derailleurs, or to project the strength of various frame segments. By powering 3D simulations in SolidWorks, the Quadro cards let us see hot spots in the frame structure right away, so we could fix them immediately and not have costly rework later. Faster iterations in simulation meant we were able to design the bike more cost-effectively and get to tool prototype much faster.”

Hammond points out, “Every week we are delayed in getting a bike into production, we’re losing money in potential sales, and with the Carbon Session 9.9, it was important competitively to be out there fast.”

Riding the new Carbon Session 9.9 bike, pro downhill racer Aaron Gwin won the overall World Cup Championship in 2011. “I think the Carbon Session 9.9 is a step ahead of any other bike that’s out there, which is just a big advantage confidence-wise when you get to a race knowing you have the best bike to ride,” said Gwin.

“We succeeded with the Carbon Session 9.9 in building the best carbon fiber downhill racing bike ever introduced, and we couldn’t have done it without the speed and quality of the Quadro GPU,” concluded Hammond.  “The great thing is, we can use these same Quadro-powered tools to improve the quality and time-to-market of all our products.”

11th Jan 2012 More CES News From NVIDIA

NVIDIA Tegra 3 Coming To Audi, Closing Gap Between Consumer and Auto Electronics

The seven-year lag it once took for consumer-electronics technology to find its way into your car is being cut to about a year, through a deep collaboration between Audi and NVIDIA.

At Audi’s press conference at CES 2012, Ricky Hudi, head of electrics/electronics development, announced that the Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor — which powers tablets and phones that are just hitting store shelves – will be in next year’s Audi models.

Consumer-electronics products have a lightning-fast development cycle. But it generally takes years to get new technology into cars, due to a meticulous engineering process that requires many thousands of parts to be seamlessly integrated.

“Audi stands for progressive luxury and our new aim is to adopt the benchmarks of consumer electronics,” Hudi said. He called NVIDIA a strategic partner” that is enabling this to happen.

Coming on stage as Audi’s only guest, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that the secret behind the extraordinarily fast incorporation of NVIDIA’s latest technology into Audi is NVIDIA’s Visual Computing Module (VCM). The 3×3-inch automotive-grade board contains a Tegra processor, memory and I/O controller, as well as a connector, which enable it to be easily integrated into the vehicle.

“Audi is the first car company in the world to keep up with consumer electronics,” Huang said. Gesturing to the VCM being held by Hudi, he added, “What you’re seeing is the latest and greatest architecture from NVIDIA. It’s truly unbelievable for a car company to move this fast.”

Tegra 3’s ultra-low power consumption is one of its key attractions to Audi because it translates to lower fuel consumption. Just as the processor’s fifth “ninja” core enables mobile devices to stay updated when they’re turned off, it will enable cars to sync data – such as music, map destinations or weather forecasts—even when the engine’s switched off.

Hudi called VCM a great example of the kind of collaboration that stems from the companies’ six-year extensive collaboration.

CES News From NVIDIA
  • New $249 Asus tablet, equipped with a quad-core Tegra 3 mobile processor running Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
  • Asus’s Transformer Prime tablet, with Tegra 3, is available immediately with Ice Cream Sandwich. Earlier versions can be updated over the air.
  • Tegra 3, by using the Splashtop app, can remotely connect to a GeForce GTX-based gaming PC and play the world’s most sophisticated titles like Skyrim.
  • The Tegra 3 processor sports three innovations:
    • A fifth ninja core, which draws very little power and is able to run background and ordinary tasks with little impact on battery life
    • PRISM, a power-saving backlight technology that can cut backlight power consumption by up to 40 percent by modulating the backlight per pixel, frame and scene.
    • DirectTouch, which offloads much of the touch panel’s processing to just one of the CPU cores, enabling 6x faster touch processing, lower costs and lower power consumption.
  • Tegra 3 is now powering some of the world’s best cars, including three being shown at CES by NVIDIA: the Tesla 3 sedan, the Audi A7 and the new Lamborghini Aventador.

Or have a look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0vbHVIDdH8c

10th Jan 2012

NVIDIA Press Conference Recap – Ice Cream Sandwich to Unify Android Platform

To Brits, it’s horses for courses. For Yanks, it’s different strokes for different folks. If you’re French, it’s à chacun son gout.

For Jen-Hsun Huang, it’s a tablet for every purpose.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 500 jammed into NVIDIA’s press conference on CES eve, the NVIDIA CEO compared tablets to the car industry (which idles away in a special place in his heart).

Toyota Corolla’s the best-selling car of all time, he observed. But that doesn’t mean everyone, or even most, want one. Compacts, convertibles, coupes and crossovers hold an honored place in millions of garages.

Similarly, a variety of needs are increasingly served by Android tablets in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

Already, Android powers three-inch phones through to 10-inch tablets, with at least seven sizes in between. It reads the swipe of a finger, the tap of an artist’s pen, the thrum of a keyboard, the flick of a game controller. It supports 3D viewing, plus plain old 2D.And that’s after only four short years on the market.

Year of Ice Cream Sandwich

More variety will be fueled by Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. By providing a unified platform that serves both smart phones and tablets, the new OS provides a single, massive installed base for developers to target.

“Ice Cream Sandwich unites, unifies and turns all the Android devices into a single platform, with one enormous installed base,” he said.

It’s no exaggeration to think of 2012 as the Year of Ice Cream Sandwich. Already, 700,000 Android activations occur daily, with 3.7 million on Christmas weekend alone.

Apps Aplenty

Skeptics aver that Android apps lag behind those for iOS. But Jen-Hsun noted that the gap’s closing fast. In fact, Android apps hit 400,000 in November, iOS’s level in mid-2011.

Underscoring this trend, Manuel Wille, Nik Software’s top engineer,came briefly on stage to demonstrate Snapseed – the dazzling photo-enhancement tool named an iPad app of 2011 by Apple that’s coming to Android, exclusively on Tegra devices.

Jen-Hsun also called on stage gaming-legend Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, who showed off the new Splashtop app, which allows you to use a Tegra 3 tablet to play sophisticated games like Skyrim and Battlefield 3 by connecting remotely to a GeForce GTX-based gaming PC, even with a gaming controller. This marks the first time remote PC gaming is available on a portable device.

He made the point that while gaming is among the most popular apps on mobile devices, tablets are about more than gaming apps. They’re a new way to game – a trend not lost on GameStop, which has 200 stores selling Tegra tablets.

Asus Tegra 3 Tablet at $249

Dressed in a trademark short-sleeve black shirt, Jen-Hsun noted that tablets have already been morphing to meet different, specialized, needs.

Sony’s unique Tablet P, featuring a folding design with dual 5.5-inch screens, has found a core following in Japan. Designers like pen-input tablets, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad. And in China, seven-inch tablets are the rage.

That’s likely to be a key market for a new Tegra 3-based seven-incher announced at the press conference by Asus CEO Jerry Shen, who also came to the stage. He said the Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, the Asus ME370T, will sell for $249, which evoked a burst of applause from the crowd.

Jensen also said that the Transformer Prime tablet, which began shipping last month with the Honeycomb OS, is now available with Ice Cream Sandwich. Direct over-the-air updates are also now available.

Innovation Beyond Quadcore

Huang emphasized the innovation NVIDIA’s brought to Tegra 3, noting that the quadcore processor, which has 5x the power of its predecessor. He cited three technologies it utilizes that help tablets get up to 12 hours of battery life.

  • A “ninja” core. Tegra 3’s Variable SMP architecture enables it to switch between the four main CPU cores and a fifth lower-power “companion” CPU core for less demanding tasks and active standby mode.
  • PRISM, a power-saving backlight technology. It deploys sophisticated algorithms that can reduce backlight power consumption by up to 40 percent by modulating the backlight per pixel, frame and scene, all in real time.
  • DirectTouch. It offloads much of the touch panel’s processing to just one of the CPU cores, enabling 6x faster touch processing, lower costs and lower power consumption.

Opening New Windows

Looking ahead, Microsoft’s Aidan Marcuss, senior director of Windows marketing, came on stage to share his company’s excitement for Windows 8’s potential on Tegra-powered devices.

Windows 8, he noted, will be heavily multi-threaded, which Tegra 3 will take full advantage of for a fast, fluid experience. He confirmed that our companies are working together on a developer-seeding program to enable ISVs to quickly begin development on NVIDIA hardware once the next preview of Windows 8 is released in late February.

Jen-Hsun wrapped up by talking about how cars – which he called “the latest consumer device” – are increasingly featuring fabulous capabilities enabled by NVIDIA processors. Among the cars he cited as benefiting from the company’s partnerships are the Tesla S, Audi A7 and the Lamborghini Aventador.

WD® MAKES NETFLIX® IN THE UK AND IRELAND AND A RANGE OF TV AND RADIO PROGRAMMING IN THE UK AVAILABLE ON ITS MEDIA PLAYERS

WD TV® Live Streaming Media Player also Plays Consumers’ Personal Content on the Biggest Screen in the House

London - Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV® media player family, today announced the availability of BBC iPlayer® service in the UK and the Netflix® service in the UK and Ireland on the WD TV Live wireless streaming media player (third generation). The services join YouTube, Spotify® and many other premium entertainment and information services available to customers through WD TV media players, enabling access to a range of TV and radio programmes and films on the biggest screen in their home – the high-definition television.

Additionally, unlike many other streaming media players available in the market, WD TV media players also let customers enjoy a broad variety of digital media they already own, such as photos, video and music, on their home entertainment systems, creating a unified entertainment experience. WD TV devices support a wide range of file formats for streaming content from any connected USB drive, digital camcorder or camera, network drive such as the My Book® Live™ personal cloud storage and any networked PC or Mac® computer in the home.

WD TV Live users in the UK will gain access to over 400 hours of BBC® TV and radio content, including HD programmes, from the previous seven days and as they are transmitted live.

With more than 20 million streaming members globally, Netflix, Inc. is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying films and TV shows. Netflix members in the UK and Ireland can instantly watch unlimited films and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to WD TV media players, PCs, Macs and TVs, as well as other Internet-connected devices. WD TV Live customers with a Netflix membership simply connect to their Netflix account to instantly watch on their TVs.

"Netflix has become a 'must have' for consumer electronics devices," said Netflix vice president of business development Bill Holmes. "We're proud to align with WD to include Netflix on the WD TV Live streaming media players and to provide consumers with another great choice for enjoying unlimited films and TV programmes streaming over the Internet for a low monthly subscription price from Netflix."

“Over 3 million WD TV media players have been sold worldwide to date, fulfilling consumer demand for a product that integrates quality content from providers like BBC, Netflix and Spotify with consumers’ personal content such as photos, videos and music,” said Chris Bull, director of marketing for connected home solutions for WD. “Further, WD personalises this entertainment experience by offering users mobile access to their content and enabling customisation of their WD TV experience. We designed today’s generation of WD TV players from years of feedback from our customers.”

The WD TV line of media players can be purchased at select retailers worldwide and online at www.shopwd.co.uk

9th Jan 2012

Crucial Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite Memory Now Available in 8GB Modules

High-Density Performance Memory Modules Take Advantage of Micron’s Latest 4Gb DRAM Innovations in Support of the Latest Platforms

 Key Messages:

  • New 8GB modules now available across the Crucial® Ballistix® Sport, Tactical, and Elite memory series.
  • Provides advanced users, gamers, and overclockers with the maximum memory density per module by taking advantage of Micron Technology’s latest 4Gb DRAM innovations.
  • New Ballistix modules can be installed in configurations up to 64GB in some systems, including the new Intel® X79 platforms.

Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, 9 January 2012 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of 8GB DDR3 memory modules across the Crucial Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite series. By taking advantage of Micron’s 4Gb DRAM technology, the new 8GB modules provide users with the maximum capacity, performance, and density needed to run data-and graphic-intensive applications smoothly and efficiently.

Available in low-latency DDR3-1600MHz and DDR3-1866MHz modules, Crucial 8GB Ballistix modules can be installed in configurations up to 64GB in some systems, including the new Intel X79 platforms. Additionally, the complete line of Ballistix memory features a new logo treatment and updated heat spreader designs.

Ballistix Sport.  
The new Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1600MHz memory module is designed to provide mainstream users and general PC enthusiasts with an affordable, reliable, no-hassle gaming experience. The Crucial Ballistix Sport series offers timing and voltages for maximum memory stability and system compatibility.

Ballistix Tactical.  
Well-suited for gamers, power users, and performance enthusiasts, the new Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB DDR3-1600MHz memory has lower latencies and features the Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) which enables easy setup. The Crucial Ballistix Tactical series provides high speeds and features a black PCB and enhanced heat spreader design for improved thermal performance.

Ballistix Elite.  
Designed for extreme overclockers and advanced users, the new Crucial Ballistix Elite 8GB DDR3-1866MHz memory utilizes Intel XMP, and features a thermally efficient extruded aluminium heat spreader design, black PCBs, and integrated thermal sensors for real-time monitoring of temperature utilizing the Ballistix Memory Overview Display (M.O.D.) utility.

“The new Crucial Ballistix 8GB modules enable users to take advantage of award-winning Micron® innovations to maximize the installed memory for optimal performance on today’s most advanced systems,” said Jeremy Mortenson, senior product manager, Crucial. “Featuring stylish new designs and an updated logo, Crucial now provides its customers eye-catching and reliable memory solutions for performance enthusiasts at every interest level.”

Crucial Ballistix memory is backed by a limited lifetime warranty and is rigorously tested to meet or exceed the high-quality performance specifications customers have come to expect from Crucial. Crucial Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite memory modules are available now through select global channel partners, or directly at www.crucial.com/uk

6th Jan 2012

New Ultra-Slim Crucial m4 SSD Delivers High Performance for Today’s Thin and Light Laptop Computers

Ultra-thin 7mm SSD Delivers Exceptional Performance without Sacrificing Capacity or Quality

Key Messages:

  • New Crucial® m4 SSD now available in 7mm height, delivering exceptional performance for today’s new thin and light laptops.
  • Meets the needs for slimmer storage devices while delivering the same stellar performance as the standard 9.5mm Crucial m4 SSD.
  • Available in capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
  • The 512GB version is one of the highest-capacity storage drives – magnetic or solid state – available on the market for laptops with a 7mm tall drive bay.

Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, 6 January, 2012 - Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today introduced a 7mm version of the award-winning Crucial m4 SSD to meet the need for thinner storage devices. With the same performance delivered by the standard 9.5mm Crucial m4 SSD, the new ultra-slim 7mm version supports the latest thin and light form factor laptop models, such as the Lenovo® ThinkPad® T420G, Acer® Aspire® 6920G, and new Intel®-inspired Ultrabook devices. The 7mm Crucial m4 SSD is available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. The 512GB capacity offering is one of the highest-capacity storage drives – magnetic or solid state – available in the market today for laptops with a 7mm tall drive bay.

The new, thinner version of the Crucial m4 SSD improves boot-up and application load times to enhance computing efficiency. Ideal for client computing, 7mm Crucial m4 SSD's also provide benefits for notebooks, desktops, workstations, and industrial applications, such as low power consumption, lightweight construction, and resistance to shock and vibration. The 7mm Crucial m4 SSD leverages the industry-leading memory, design, and manufacturing capability of Micron Technology, and is built to the exacting standards demanded by leading OEM computer manufacturers worldwide.

“The demand for thinner, lighter, and lower-cost laptops continues to grow, and many users are demanding reliable storage solutions that offer high performance in these increasingly smaller form factors,” said Robert Wheadon, worldwide senior product manager, Crucial. “The 7mm Crucial m4 SSD provides exceptional performance in a super-thin form factor, is extensively tested in-house, and is the newest offering in our award-winning SSD portfolio.”

The new 7mm Crucial m4 SSD includes a three-year limited warranty, and is currently offered on www.crucial.com/uk at £75.99 for 64GB; £133.99 for 128GB; £262.99 for 256GB; and £508.99 for the 512GB solution. The 7mm Crucial m4 SSDs are available now, along with standard 9.5mm Crucial m4 SSDs, through select global channel partners and direct at www.crucial.com/uk.

5th Jan 2012

Crucial Adrenaline Cache Solution Boosts Performance of Existing Hard Drives to Enhance Overall PC Performance

New Solid State Cache Solution Combines Cost-Effective, High-Performance SSD with an Existing High-Capacity Hard Drive for Dramatic PC Performance Gains

Key Messages:

  • Combines a cost-effective, high-performance SSD with an existing hard drive to enable the best of both worlds: SSD-like performance with the high storage capacity of a hard drive.
  • Comprises a 50GB Crucial m4 SSD, a 3.5” adapter bracket, and caching software.
  • Simple, two-step installation includes connecting the SSD to the motherboard with a standard SATA cable followed by installation of the software.

 Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, 5 January, 2012 – Crucial®, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution for enhanced PC performance. Comprising a 50GB Crucial m4 SSD, a 3.5” adapter bracket, and software, Crucial Adrenaline intelligently places, or “caches,” the most frequently needed files on the SSD and keeps less frequently used files on the hard drive. The combination of a cost-effective, high-performance SSD with an existing hard drive provides users with the best of both worlds: SSD-like performance with the high capacity offered by a traditional hard drive, all at an affordable cost. 

“Many PC users are reluctant to give up their high-capacity hard drives for the performance of a solid state drive,” said Robert Wheadon, worldwide senior product manager, Crucial. “Crucial Adrenaline offers these consumers an affordable bridge between hard drives and solid state drives, so they won’t be forced to choose capacity over performance, or vice versa.

Upgrading a system with Crucial Adrenaline is a simple process. Customers need only connect the SSD to the motherboard with a standard SATA cable, start the computer, and then install the caching software. Once installed, the software combines the customer’s existing hard drive and the solid state cache into a single storage system. The caching software is fully automated, runs in the background, and requires no user management.

“Consumers are storing lots of digital movies, photos, and music on their home PCs, and as the amount of content grows, they want better PC performance for faster access to that content, similar to what SSDs provide,” added Wheadon. “Crucial Adrenaline uses solid state technology as a cache for an existing hard drive to accomplish this goal, and delivers a compelling and affordable upgrade solution.”

The Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution leverages the industry-leading memory, design, and manufacturing capability of Micron Technology. Backed by a limited three-year warranty, the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2012 through select global channel partners and online at www.crucial.com/uk.

14th Dec 2011

NVIDIA Maximus Makes “Design Clinic” A Success for CLEAT Inc.

CLEAT Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, specializes in the delivery of 3D computer graphics (3D CG) services. To meet growing client demands, the company realized it needed to dramatically reduce rendering times while preserving the quality of its graphics.

CLEAT Inc. was founded by Kensuke Yamashita in 1990, following his experience as a car designer at Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Over the last 21 years, the company has landed a multitude of top clients including: Giant, a world-class sports bicycle manufacturer; NIKE Japan, and; SQUARE (SQUARE ENIX).

CLEAT is a leader in creating and presenting 3D CG visual product images for marketing purposes. However, during the recent worldwide economic downturn, competitors went on the offensive in all areas, armed with large scale operations and low prices, creating more competitive challenges for CLEAT. It was in that environment that Kensuke Yamashita, President of CLEAT Inc., conceived “Design Clinic,” a company initiative using 3D CG.

The initiative is offered as a supplement to a manufacturer’s product development process, something that is historically hard for major production companies and publishers to break into. However, as a former industrial designer, Mr. Yamashita had a lot of expertise and personal contacts in this area that helped ease CLEAT’s entry into engaging in it with clients.

“We provide customers with consultants who develop a methodology for better product design, which can be a competitive advantage," said Yamashita.  “This approach is easily understood by clients who are trying to rise above the competition. However, they couldn’t sacrifice the speed of delivery, even for an improved design methodology. As soon as our Design Clinic was presented, manufacturers then demanded more precision and speed.”

The recent emergence of HP Z800 workstations with NVIDIA® Maximus™ technology gave CLEAT a golden opportunity to accelerate its Design Clinic approach.

CHALLENGE

Finding the Right Tools to Accelerate Turnaround.  
In 2000, CLEAT began receiving requests from manufacturers for advice on how to introduce 3D CAD into the field of industrial design. Mr. Yamashita initially responded to these requests for free; however, the demand grew into a specialized consulting business of its own. Today, it’s a fundamental part of the company’s operations.

“We transfer the images formed in our customers’ minds into pictures, which we call ‘image pictures,’” Yamashita said. “That is the core of our Design Clinic business.”

Back in 2004, after hearing Mr. Yamashita speak at a public forum, CLEAT and its Design Clinic struck up an affiliation with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. At the time, Yamaha was looking for competitive advantages in the European market. Competition was growing, and CLEAT’s Design Clinic idea sparked its interest. Yamashita surmised that customers seeking large motorcycles might have been compelled as much by the immediate attraction of the look of a product as they were to its quality.

“Previously, manufacturers concentrated on quality, cost and delivery. Today, as performance and quality are commoditized, emotion has become an essential factor in the purchase process,” he said.

As Yamaha started to engage with CLEAT’s Design Clinic service, the team at CLEAT faced a number of challenges in producing high quality 3D graphics that would evoke emotion and reflect features consumers found ‘necessary’ in market research. The single biggest challenge CLEAT faced in doing this for Yamaha was long rendering times, which made reviews nearly impossible. Yamaha would need to review the shape and color of the product in real time, and CLEAT would need to vary and change it in real time, and rotate the product image 360 degrees in order to review all sides. Unlike marketing/advertising work, which can be rendered as a back-room process, manufacturing work requires near-real time processing. “It was simple,” said Yamashita. “We needed tools that would increase our work speed while preserving the quality of our work.”

SOLUTION

Reducing rendering times and advancing image quality with NVIDIA Maximus.  
In October 2011, CLEAT installed an NVIDIA® Maximus™-powered HP Z800 workstation. The NVIDIA Maximus configuration in CLEAT’s HP Z800 consists of an NVIDIA Quadro® 6000® ultra high-end professional graphics card and an NVIDIA Tesla™ C2075 companion processor. They use Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 Subscription Advantage Pack software that includes the ActiveShade real-time rendering application featuring NVIDIA iray® rendering software. With these new tools, the company was able to provide high quality 3D graphics while also reducing rendering times from 10 minutes to 30 seconds.

“Our previous workstation took about ten minutes to change the color of a wheel. In the new NVIDIA Maximus environment, iray runs smoothly, and at a high speed – improving our workflow. It can complete rendering in about 30 seconds; the amount of speed increase is overwhelming,” noted Yamashita.

IMPACT

“Before utilizing NVIDIA Maximus technology, producing and rendering a movie in which the product could be rotated 360 degrees was an overnight job,” added Yamashita. “Now we can complete the entire movie in 30 minutes.”

He continued, “The most important part of our work is to express the ‘ambience’ of the products. Our previous workstation technology allowed instant preview, but the quality was unsatisfactory and didn’t deliver the right ambience. NVIDIA Maximus technology has finally given us both the quality and speed to achieve this.”


NVIDIA Maximus technology has also helped CLEAT improve the experience of its other clients who use tablets to show images and movies of objects from various angles to test subjects in surveys. When rendering was performed on CLEAT’s previous workstation, it would take two to three minutes for an image to appear, compared to the 30 seconds it now takes utilizing NVIDIA Maximus technology. Also, since the workstation can now be used to perform other tasks while rendering, time can be used more effectively overall.

A stable, stress-free work environment

Shunsuke Nakauchi is a creative artist at CLEAT who’s in charge of producing visual images for product advertising and market survey purposes. “I often am asked to start working on another job while my workstation is already rendering a project. With NVIDIA Maximus, the workstation can now render a job and prepare for the next job at the same time. This means I can work more quickly and efficiently than I was able to before. It’s great for me and ultimately for our clients."

Before CLEAT installed NVIDIA Maximus-powered HP Z800 workstations, Mr. Nakauchi worked on two workstations simultaneously via a server connection: one for the rendering scene and the other for editing the original data for the rendering. This use of two workstations required data sharing, meaning repeated uploading and downloading of data—a cumbersome and time-consuming process. CLEAT’s new NVIDIA Maximus systems have since eliminated this process because all work can be performed on a single workstation.

“The stress of working with two pieces of reference data at more than one gigabyte in size with a rendering scene going on at the same time has been eliminated, said Nakauchi. “The data read and write speeds have also improved immensely. Prior to working with the NVIDIA Maximus system, rendering speeds decreased noticeably when data exceeded one gigabyte in size, but that’s no longer a problem.”

Nakauchi concluded, “With the NVIDIA Maximus-powered HP Z800 workstation and Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 software with NVIDIA iray, I can perform my work while displaying all the set textural quality – a task I simply couldn’t complete before without system errors. The time required for rendering has decreased so much that I can’t even imagine going back to using non-NVIDIA Maximus powered workstations now.”

A new and innovative idea, “communication CAD”

CLEAT Inc. is now working to establish “communication CAD,” a new service that acts as a bridge linking engineering, design, and sales locations. It will enable CLEAT and its clients to view the same picture at the same time, with the ability to change colors and viewing angles. Their NVIDIA Maximus-powered HP Z800 workstations are playing an active role in this project.

Before embracing NVIDIA Maximus technology, design processes took many hours, and changing designs to improve their overall quality and satisfy CLEAT’s clients added even more time to project schedules – resulting in increased client costs. By establishing an NVIDIA Maximus-enabled production environment, CLEAT has improved its customer service and production capabilities, and the company now expects to expand its business.

Concluded Mr. Yamashita, “Since our NVIDIA Maximus-powered production environment now drastically reduces rendering times, our fees charged to clients can now be reduced. Lower fees enable our clients to place more orders and get the most accurate, best images that suit their needs faster than ever before.”

4th Dec 2011

WD UPDATES DECEMBER QUARTER OUTLOOK, REPORTS ON RECOVERY EFFORT IN THAILAND

 Hard Drive Production Resumed This Week in Thailand
Head Slider Production Expected in March Quarter in Both Thailand and Malaysia
Acquisition of HGST Now Expected to Close in March Quarter

 Western Digital Corp. (NYSE:WDC) has updated its financial outlook for the December quarter and the progress to date of its operations recovery effort in Thailand. The company is also providing its view of the industry conditions for the December 2011 quarter and beyond.

Company Fiscal Q2 Outlook:    For the December quarter, the company now expects revenue of at least $1.8 billion and gross margins above the high end of its business model range of 18 percent to 23 percent, and operating expenses of approximately $265 million, exclusive of unusual charges related to the floods, acquisition-related expenses and litigation. Unusual charges related to the floods are expected to be in the range of $225 million to $275 million for the December quarter, exclusive of any insurance recovery. The company expects to file a property damage claim of at least $50 million and an additional claim for business interruption during the December quarter. The accounting treatment of these claims is dependent on their status as of the end of the quarter. The company expects acquisition related charges in the December quarter of approximately $15 million.

The company will be vigorously contesting the arbitration decision announced November 21, 2011, in the legal matter with Seagate and has not yet determined the accounting treatment associated with this matter.

The company expects to maintain its net cash position flat with prior quarter end.

Thailand Flood Recovery Effort:    "The passion, perseverance, ingenuity and execution exhibited by the WD team has been extraordinary and enabled us to make substantial progress in partially restoring our operations in Thailand, well in advance of our earliest expectations when the floods hit," said John Coyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of WD. "Much work remains to be done but we couldn't be more pleased with the effort and results thus far, including tremendous support from our supply partners and strategic customers."

Specifically, the company indicated it:

  • Re-started production of hard drives this week in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand, one week ahead of internal schedules. This facility had been submerged in some six feet of water since October 15, the estate was pumped dry on November 17, main power was restored on November 26 and production restarted November 30;
  • Has removed all submerged slider manufacturing equipment from the BPI facilities for assessment, decontamination and refurbishment and has commenced decontamination and restoration of its remaining buildings in BPI;
  • Expects to recommence head slider production in BPI in the March 2012 quarter (Q3 FY'12) and also begin production in a new WD slider fab location in Penang, Malaysia, in the same time frame; and
  • The company's other Thailand hard drive facilities at Navanakorn remain under approximately two feet of water. The industrial estate is expected to be pumped dry within ten days at which point the work of decontamination and refurbishment will commence.

Industry Conditions:    The company believes that hard drive industry shipments in the December quarter will be limited to approximately 120 million units due to production and supply constraints related to the historic flooding in Thailand. This includes units that were in inventory at the beginning of the quarter. The company believes that demand for the December quarter is in the range of 170 million to 180 million units. The company believes that significant industry supply constraints will continue in the March quarter and beyond.

HGST Acquisition Status Update:    In connection with its planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, the company is working to satisfy the remedy provision included in the European Commission's recent conditional approval of the transaction and to obtain approvals from the remaining regulatory authorities. Subject to completing these actions, the company is now expecting to close the transaction by March 2012. 

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry's pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users' data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and home entertainment products.

WD was founded in 1970. The company's storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD® brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements concerning the industry demand in the December 2011 quarter and the industry's ability to meet that demand in this and future quarters; the company's anticipated revenues, gross margins, operating expenses, acquisition related expenses and the maintenance of its cash position; the amount of its property insurance claim and business interruption claim; the timing of its expected recommencement of head slider production in Thailand and the timing of expected commencement of production in a new slider fab location in Malaysia; the timing of expected commencement of decontamination and refurbishment efforts at its Navanakorn hard drive facility; and the expected timing of its planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including the impact of continued uncertainty and volatility in global economic conditions; supply and demand conditions in the hard drive industry; the extent of damage to the company's and suppliers' facilities and equipment related to the flooding in Thailand; uncertainties about the timeframe for the restoration of the company's operations in Thailand as well as associated costs for such restoration; uncertainties concerning the availability and cost of commodity materials and specialized product components and the adverse impacts of the Thailand flooding on such availability and associated costs; delays in or failure to obtain any required regulatory approvals with respect to the company's planned acquisition of Hitachi GST, or failure to consummate or delay in consummating the transaction for other reasons; actions by competitors; unexpected advances in competing technologies; uncertainties related to the development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; business conditions and growth in the various hard drive markets; pricing trends and fluctuations in average selling prices; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the company's recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on Oct. 28, 2011, to which your attention is directed. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

30th Nov 2011

http://blogs.nvidia.com/2011/12/an-inside-look-at-new-research-on-cg-global-illumination/?sf2649231=1   By Cyril Crassin

An Inside Look At New Research On CG Global Illumination

NVIDIA fans may not realize all the cutting-edge research that takes place behind the scenes, years before a particular breakthrough reaches their home systems. I’m a post-doctoral Research Fellow at NVIDIA, and for the past year I’ve been working on a new approach to indirect illumination – that is, reflected or diffuse lighting – in computer graphics.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAsg_xNzhcQ&feature=player_embedded


Lighting: The Key To Realistic Graphics
  
Lighting in computer graphics plays a huge part in creating a realistic-looking, immersive experience. To create a sense true of realism, you need to show direct illumination as well as indirect illumination. Unfortunately, the latter is hard to get right, and it’s an “expensive” computation in terms of processing and memory.  

You can get good results if you precompute the indirect illumination. But then you have a static image – not exactly ideal for gaming where dynamic objects are interacting with the scene. Or, you can try to render it fairly quickly – but then you lose detail and precision.

I started working on a way to get higher-quality interactive indirect illumination last summer as an NVIDIA DevTech intern. Later, as I worked to finish my PhD in computer graphics at the University of Grenoble, France, I collaborated with several colleagues from academia and NVIDIA to research solutions to some of these problems. You can find our published results in a paper called “Interactive Indirect Illumination Using Voxel Cone Tracing” (you can download the authors’ version here).


How We Solved the Real-Time Lighting Puzzle   Our approach allows you to show changes to environmental lighting as dynamic objects interact with various sources of illumination. We can do this with a level of quality that approaches what you achieve with offline rendering – but in real time.

This research makes possible a whole range of effects in a gaming environment, from color bleeding (when nearby surfaces change color as a result of reflected light) to glossy reflections (when an object moves across a polished floor). Previous approaches were capable of rendering diffuse illumination but not specular effects (like blurry or glossy reflections). Our research allows us to render both diffuse illumination and specular effects. To see some examples of these effects action, check out the YouTube video, featured above.

Algorithms, Voxels and Octrees – Oh My!   The key to our approach lies in a new algorithm and data structure that allow much faster computation. Instead of working on triangles (the traditional way of rendering graphics), we’re using voxels. Each voxel is one value in a 3D grid. The voxels are stored in an octree structure (a tree structure in which each node has eight children), with voxels as the nodes on the tree. Octree structures effectively compact the information stored in large amounts of graphics data. Octree structures use less memory, making them faster and more efficient at rendering tasks such as ray tracing.

Using this structure, our algorithm allows us to very quickly compute effects that have traditionally been quite computationally intensive. For example, previous approaches had difficulty showing a real-time reflection from a glossy curved surface (see time marker 1:20 in the above video). We accomplished this by using the previously mentioned “sparse voxel octree” to speed-up the tracing of “cones”.

Traditionally, you would compute specular reflections by launching a ray from your eye to the reflector, and then launch a secondary ray from the reflector in the direction of reflection. With specular reflections, we want to see all kinds of materials reflecting light realistically. The challenge is to compute these realistic reflections as fast as possible, and with a minimum number of rays.

When it comes to rendering glossy reflections, you would traditionally need to launch hundreds or thousands of scattered secondary rays for each ray launched to the reflector. My research allows us to replace the thousands of secondary rays with just one “voxel cone”. The cone is an approximation of the effect of secondary rays. It results in very realistic results at a much lower computational cost. We also use the same approach to quickly compute color bleeding effect (diffuse materials) with only a few scattered cones.


An Eye Toward The Future   Right now, I’m working on ways to refine the technology to allow more dynamic precision: in other words, allowing you to dynamically add voxels as an object gets closer. That’s a direction I already explored in a slightly different context, with my PhD work on “GigaVoxels”.

So, we’re not production-ready yet. But some companies have already approached NVIDIA to preview the research. I hope that, within a few years, we’ll see our research being used by game engines or by movie studios for realistic lighting effects.

http://blogs.nvidia.com/?p=9429  

Over the past year, we’ve helped designers using Autodesk 3ds Max to build some of the fastest GPU computing rigs possible (often up to 8 GPUs). To quench these designers’ thirst for ever more performance, NVIDIA and Autodesk are working on “Project Pandora” to bring Autodesk 3ds Max and NVIDIA iray rendering to the cloud.

At Autodesk University (AU) 2011 in Las Vegas this week, we’re demonstrating this new, cloud-based technology. Project Pandora harnesses the cloud to bring the compute power of a GPU cluster to any Flash-capable PC. It gives 3ds Max users the flexibility to add virtual dual-GPU machines as they like on a per-hour basis. Unlike “batch” network rendering, where each machine gets a frame of an animation to render, Project Pandora coordinates the entire cluster to accelerate the current frame. Jobs that used to take over a day can now be done in under an hour by leveraging dozens of cloud nodes.

But supercharging iray and 3ds Max production rendering is just the start. Once scenes are in the Pandora cloud environment, they can be interactively viewed from a web browser. With Project Pandora, designers can serve up photorealistic tours from the lightest weight of machines, or simply give clients and colleagues the power to interact and view the scene for themselves from any location.

At AU 2011 Las Vegas, we’re using tablets powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor to show how you can navigate photorealistic scenes of amazing images, composed of millions of polygons, that are being created in under a minute.

While we can’t yet say when Project Pandora will be publicly available, we can say that it’s in private Beta testing now. We are focused on perfecting the details and making Project Pandora as user-friendly and practical as possible. For example, it will work well with moderate Internet speeds, and you’ll never have to upload the same asset twice.

Our Project Pandora demo using 3dsMax and iray at AU 2011 in Las Vegas shows that efficient, on-demand cloud rendering is a reality.

NVIDIA Quadro GPUs Fuel The Muppets’ Comeback for LOOK Effects

On November 23, 2011 Walt Disney Pictures and director James Bobin brought The Muppets back to the big screen after their feature film debut 20 years ago. While the beloved puppets haven’t changed a bit since their last cinematic adventure, the filmmaking process behind the new release is a whole different experience.

“Today, visual effects are ingrained into the business of movies – even a feature like this where there are no CG Muppets and everything is based on puppeteering,” said Max Ivins, visual effects supervisor from LOOK Effects, which created 350 shots for the feature. “Visual effects give filmmakers the ability to do more, to increase the scope of a movie, and to achieve higher quality results faster and more cost effectively. Technology like the NVIDIA Quadro GPU, which enables studios to visualize quickly and iterate more, has helped drive this evolution.”

CHALLENGE:  
LOOK Effects, with facilities in Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver, has been producing visual effects for film, television and special venue projects since 1998. Their work on The Muppets was focused on the shot-by-shot aesthetics of the movie; using visual effects to remove all traces of puppeteers, to extend sets with CGI and to create ambitious visual sequences to give the movie a contemporary feel and scope.  

A massive particle-based CG fireworks finale, an overhead crowd simulation shot, blowing up Mount Rushmore and a subtle sequence when 2D paintings come to life and turn into 3D Muppets are just a few of the sequences that required extensive reviews and iterations to perfect – and high performance technology to execute.

“In a 3D environment, being able to visualize quickly and get iterations back fast is critical. We have to be able to crunch through millions of polygons and that can get unwieldy quickly. For crowd shots we need to be able to see the interaction of individual CG actors; we need time to preview the animations, make suggestions and see them again,” said Ivins. “The NVIDIA Quadro card is the lynchpin of the whole process.”

SOLUTION.   Over 11 months, 18 artists at LOOK Effects relied on workstations equipped with NVIDIA® Quadro® 6000 ultra high-end professional graphics processing units (GPUs) to help them work faster and iterate more efficiently. Compositing was done primarily on The Foundry’s NUKE, with Autodesk Maya as the 3D animation software and NVIDIA mental ray® for rendering.

Said Ivins, “The crowd simulation shot required a lot of horsepower to allow us to finesse it at a fine-detail level. With NVIDIA Quadro we were able to view a tiny model of these people and create the nuances that make them move like a happy crowd – not a rioting mob. We were able to preview the setup and rely on the technology to perform. The Quadro card comes in big for us in those situations – it’s all driven on the GPU.”

NVIDIA GPUs also came in handy for the fireworks finale shot, as artists were able to process a massive particle effect, preview it, tweak it, and play it back in near-real time, and on the over-the-top Mount Rushmore destruction sequence, which combined a CG explosion, practical pyrotechnics and a particle system to take down the famous monument.

“When you’re caching particles, the worst thing that can happen is a crash or reboot. Instead of iterating you’re wasting time getting back to where you were. We standardized on NVIDIA Quadro graphics solutions because we can tap the GPU without impacting reliability. They’re just rock solid.”

IMPACT.   Ivins noted that when working in a 3D environment, being able to visualize quickly and get iterations back fast is the foundation of the studio’s creative power. “Our profession is made possible by graphics acceleration. It’s one of those things we take for granted, but fundamentally, we couldn’t do our job without the power we get from NVIDIA.”.

Michael Oliver, director of Technology at LOOK Effects sees the impact that GPU technology has had on the pace of production and looks forward to future advantages. “As multi-threading appeared on the scene, people got really excited about having access to 300+ cores on the GPU, where the CPU limits you to 16. As more software developers incorporate features that allow us to process effects multiple times more quickly on the GPU we’re able to tweak things creatively versus through rendering.  I’ve seen this trend coming and look forward to things like real-time lighting and time warps.”

He added, “In the end, filmmakers don’t care about things like how much rendering power you have. What they want when they’re working is to see the effect, so they can give you feedback NOW. The NVIDIA GPU is what gives us that result on the screen, on the spot.”

16th Nov 2011 WD® DELIVERS NEW LINE OF NETWORK STORAGE SERVERS FOR SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES

WD Sentinel™ DX4000 Small Office Storage Server Combines Centralised Storage, Backup-and-Restore Protection for 25 Network Devices and Allows SMBs to Connect, Protect and Collaborate.

Western Digital®, the world's leader in digital storage solutions, has introduced WD Sentinel™ DX4000 (photo), a complete network storage solution designed specifically to meet the demands of today's small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). WD Sentinel DX4000 includes the Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials operating system software and the Intel® D525 Dual Core Atom CPU. The WD Sentinel DX4000 is centralised shared storage and automatic server-based backup and restore for up to 25 devices (PC and Mac®) in the network. It offers complete data protection with built-in hardware and software redundancy for all of the connected devices in the network. With capacities including 4 TB and 8 TB, WD Sentinel DX4000 lets small business owners expand small office server storage capacity as their business and storage demands grow. In addition, the WD Sentinel DX4000 small office storage server acts as the "on-premise cloud storage" for the SMB.

"The WD Sentinel small office storage server is the ideal storage, backup, and secure remote access solution for any SMB," said Thomas Gallivan, vice president of marketing for WD's SMB Solutions Group. "The ability to have centralised storage that is both on-premise and offers secure remote access provides a small business owner and employees the flexibility needed for today's mobile lifestyle. WD is providing small business owners with a hands-free solution that offers complete data protection and unparalleled peace-of-mind."

"The requirement for collaboration across multiple devices and locations necessitates the need for a centralised storage solution in today's SMB environment", said David Tuhy, General Manager, Intel Data Center and Connected Systems Group. "Intel is working closely with the industry and companies like Western Digital to provide the technology that is at the core of these storage solutions and provide SMBs a platform to manage, organise and secure their data to ensure business continuity."

"Built on Windows Storage Server, WD Sentinel gives small business customers the storage and file services capabilities of Windows Server, as well as a solution aimed specifically at the SMB segment," said Thomas Pfenning, general manager, Storage, at Microsoft. "We are pleased to see WD Sentinel serve our mutual customers."

Whether they're personal or professional, digital content and important files are invaluable and often irreplaceable if lost or compromised. WD Sentinel small office storage server provides several ways for businesses to protect their information without user intervention. WD Sentinel comes preconfigured with enterprise-class drives, RAID storage protection, built-in server based backup and recovery software, redundant networking ports and a redundant power option. In addition, WD Sentinel offers users the ability to connect to a "public cloud" storage provider, which offers small businesses an economical and integrated disaster recovery solution against earthquake, theft and fire or water damage.

Software included with WD Sentinel provides business owners and their employees the freedom and flexibility to remotely access files and share files with external employees, independent consultants and satellite offices anywhere in the world.

Five Levels of Data Protection

WD Sentinel DX4000 provides five levels of data protection for every device on the small office network and is supported by WD Guardian Services.

  1. The Drives Inside: Pre-configured with WD's award-winning enterprise-class drives for durability and reliability.
  2. RAID: Featuring levels 1 and 5 for data protection and speed.
  3. Daily Backup: Automatic backup and recovery software provides daily full system back ups for up to 25 devices on your network. Simply set it and forget it.
  4. Redundant Network Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet configured in Adaptive Fault Tolerance (AFT) automatically switches to second network port in the event of a network failure.
  5. Optional Disaster Recovery Protection: Connect to the small business cloud provided by optional disaster recovery software and store your data offsite for disaster recovery.

WD Sentinel is certified to be compatible with a variety of Operating Systems (OS) including Windows XP, Windows Vista®, and Windows 7. In addition, WD Sentinel is compatible with Mac OS X® Leopard® and Snow Leopard® for file sharing among Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux operating systems and allows businesses to share files with clients, consultants, and inter-office personnel regardless of the OS used.

WD Guardian™ Services for Small Business

WD Sentinel DX4000 is backed by WD's world-class customer service and support. All WD Sentinel small business customers will receive free tech support for 30 days from the time of the first call. WD Sentinel customers may wish to upgrade their service plan to one of three options:

  1. WD Guardian Express: Offers next-day parts replacement service including shipping and handling costs.
  2. WD Guardian Pro: Offers a one year support agreement with WD service, express parts replacement and priority access to technical support.
  3. Guardian Extended Care: Service that extends the product warranty from the standard three year warranty to five years.

In conjunction with the WD Sentinel DX4000 launch, WD is also introducing SelectWD SMB Partner Programme, a channel programme that supports IT professionals and VARs servicing the needs of small to medium businesses. The SelectWD SMB Partner Programme enables partners to grow their businesses by providing all of the tools and resources required to locally market, sell and support the new WD Sentinel DX4000 and WD Guardian service plans. Partners can learn more by visiting http://www.selectwdsmb.com.

Price and Availability

WD Sentinel DX4000 small office storage server is available from launch partners, Misco UK Ltd and Insight UK. MSRP is £599 for 4 TB and £899 for the 8 TB.

 

 

 

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