128 GB Quad Layer Blue-ray Discs Are Coming

Blue-Ray-BDXL One can never have too much of storage space. 32 GBs might have seemed to be a monstrous amount a decade back, but it has become a standard fare in this day and age of HD content. Now, the Blu-ray Disc Association has published the final specifications for the new BDXL standard.

The new BDXL standard will support re-writable or write-once triple layer Blue-ray discs (100 GB) and write-once quadruple layer Blue-ray discs (128 GB). “The BDA worked diligently to create an extension of the Blu-ray Disc format that leverages the physical structure of the design of the disc to create even more storage capacity,” said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. “By using the existing Blu-ray technologies, we have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images. We expect further growth of the Blu-ray Disc market as the introduction of 100GB/128GB discs will expand the application of Blu-ray Disc technologies.”

Of course, as you might have already guessed, the BDXL discs won’t work with existing hardware. So, if you want to be among the early adapters, you better start saving now, as bleeding edge technology is never cheap.

iPhone 4 Torn Apart To Reveal Components by iFixit

The folks at iFixit have been known to spend money on new devices only to break them down gently piece by piece to let us know the real technology and hardware that drives a device.

iPhone 4 Components

iFixit has already disassembled several previous versions, and this time they have disassembled the too. Based on the tear down, here are some of the components which are being used in iPhone 4.

  • 3.7V 1420 mAh Li-Polymer battery which allows for up to 7 hours of talk time on 3G or up to 14 hours on 2G
  • iPhone 4 has a whopping 512 MB!
  • A rear-facing 5 MP camera with 720p video at 30 FPS, tap to focus feature, and LED flash.
  • Apple has integrated the UMTS, GSM, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth antennas into the stainless steel inner frame.
  • A4 processor 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 core, manufactured by Samsung.
  • AGD1 the new 3 axis gyroscope
  • Skyworks SKY77542 TxRx iPACâ„¢ FEM for Dual-Band GSM/GPRS: 880915 MHz and 17101785 MHz bands.
  • Samsung K9PFG08 flash memory
  • Texas Instruments 343S0499 Touch Screen Controller
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS are all provided by Broadcom
  • The front glass panel of the iPhone is constructed of Corning Gorilla Glass

Phew, there are lot more intriguing details that you would be better reading and viewing at the iFixit iPhone 4 Teardown.

How to Choose a New Laptop Hard Drive

Guest post by Manas Pandey

hd-001 Your laptop’s hard drive is the major source for storing all your data. It is the place where all your applications, files and other data are stored. A typical laptop hard drive measures 2.5 x 2.5 inches in size and is smaller and lighter compared to a desktop hard drive. It is also available with different storage and data access capabilities.

Generally, people change their laptop hard drives only when the original hard drive gets corrupted or stops functioning. However, changing hard drives just to increase the storage capacity of laptop is also very common. Whatever the reason for changing the laptop hard drive, the following factors should be kept in mind while choosing a new one:

Form factor and interface:
The laptop hard drive is available in different form factors and has different interfaces. Form factor primarily refers to the external dimensions of a hard drive. It is important that you opt for a laptop hard drive with a form factor and interface that is compatible with your laptop. If you are not aware of the process to install or uninstall hard drive, you must contact the laptop manufacture or get a professional to help you with the process.

Capacity and Performance:
A hard drive with large capacity allows to you to store more data. It is therefore essential that you choose a hard drive with enough storing capacity. In my opinion, for an average user a hard drive with 250GB storage space is sufficient. The performance of the drive depends on the spindle speed of the disk. The faster the spindle speed, the faster the data is accessed and the better your hard drive will perform.

The RPM (Rotation per Minute) value refers to the spindle speed and is a vital factor in determining the functional capacity of the hard drive. The spindle speed of a typical hard drive is about 5,400 RPM. A laptop hard drive with faster spindle speed has better performance but consumes more powers and heats up quickly. For example, a hard drive with 7,200 RPM consume more power and gives better performance than a hard drive with 4,200 RPM. You must therefore choose a hard drive, which offers reasonable RPM, consumes less power and delivers good performance. It is also advisable that you confirm from your laptop manufacturer that the hard drive will work with your particular laptop configuration. Not all laptops will support a high RPM hard drive.

Cache:
Cache helps to improve the functioning of a hard drive by keeping the data intact for temporary or instant use. A hard drive with larger cache will hold more data and thus the functional capacity of a hard drive is greatly increased. Generally, laptop hard drive comes with different cache options starting from 2MB and 8MB to 16MB.

Finally, if you have selected the model and brand of the hard drive, keep in mind that newer versions of the drive will always be better than older versions. So make an informed decision on your new hard drive.

About the author:
Manas Pandey writes technology related articles, providing useful information on
Laptops, Smartphones, Tablet PCs and other handheld computing devices.

Know Your System’s Details With Speccy [Hardware Analysis]

[Windows Only] Coming from the same guys who made CCleaner and Defraggler, this one called Speccy from Piriform sure takes a hit at being simple and doing just what it should. Speccy is a hardware information tool that scratches your system for details and lists down everything about your hardware in a neat and tidy interface.

For people using Windows, CCleaner has been a clear favorite when it comes to quick system maintenance. Falling in the same league, Speccy allows you to have a glance of all the system details swiftly without any fuss required at the user-end.

greenshot_2010-04-26_01-17-31

The application caters to all aspects of hardware, from the CPU to Network to Graphics and whatever comes in between. There’s a summary page where you can see all the details in brief and then click through them to have them explained. If you’re the regular forum bird, Speccy can come in handy in a lot of situations where you need to hand over your system specs to another party, for Speccy allows you to take a screenshot’ of your configuration and have it saved to a file. This screenshot is not a jpeg as many would have assumed. It is a .speccy file which you can send over to another party and can only be opened with the Speccy application. When opened, it will present a duplicate copy of configuration as snapped from your PC.

Like other Piriform apps, Speccy is available as an installer and a portable zip file which, again, can come in handy if you’re the de facto tech support for everyone around you!

Thanks to Lee at DownloadSquad for the hat tip!

Nvidia’s Tegra 2 Delivers Mind Blowing Performance, Runs Unreal 3

Nvidia-Tegra2

Tegra 2 is the latest iteration of Nvidia’s system-on-chip mobile processor, which was unveiled during CES 2010. Nvidia has made it clear that with Tegra 2 they are hoping to gain significant traction in the mobile market. If early benchmarks are an indication, then they may have a winner in their hands.

With Tegra 2 Nvidia has shifted to 40nm manufacturing process (compared to 65mn used earlier). It incorporates a Cortex-A9 CPU from ARM and is the first dual core A9 processor. Cortex A9 is an extremely capable platform which was able to match an Intel Atom processor coupled with a GPU. Have a look at the video embedded below. The real surprise here was that a Cortex A9 clocked at 500 MHz was comparable to an Intel Atom clocked at 1.6 GHz (coupled with a GPU).

Tegra 2 is a real winner when it comes to graphics. It was able to run Unreal 3 engine with ease. In fact Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeny, went so far as to proclaim that the next generation Tegras are nearly as capable as modern consoles when it comes to 3D rendering.

Nvidia failed to make much of a dent with Tegra. In fact, Zune HD almost solely carried Tegra on its back. However, Tegra 2 seems to be mind-blowing at the very least. It was able to smoothly play 1080p HD videos and managed to provide astounding battery life. According to reports, it is optimized enough to allow devices 16 hours of HD video playback and 140 hours of audio playback on a single charge. We already know that it will be powering

Microsoft Introduces Wireless Arc Keyboard

The Microsoft Arc mouse is definitely one of the better designed mice available in the market, Microsoft has now unveiled an Arc keyboard to complement the Arc mouse. Like the mouse that is all about sleek design with basic functionality, the Arc keyboard is good looking with basic keyboard features and functionality. The wireless transceiver is smaller in size compared to that of the Arc mouse and can be placed at the back of keyboard. The Arc keyboard comes with a built-in battery life indicator and is expected to retail at a price of around $60 starting February. Some images of the keyboard:

arc-keyboard-01

arc-keyboard-02

arc-keyboard-03

Microsoft Arc keyboard Product page

Tilera Announces World’s First 100-core Processor

Tilera-Worlds-First-100-Core-Processor The Gigahertz war may be over, but it is making way for a new battle – the battle of the cores. Both Intel and AMD have been busy cranking up the number of cores in their latest line of processors. Nehalem-EX from Intel will feature 8 cores while Opteron Magny-Cours from AMD will include as many as 12 cores. But all of them will pale in comparison to the 100 core processor a relatively unknown start-up called Tilera is developing.

TILE-Gx Family of processors from Tilera is set for commercial release in 2011 and will be available in 16, 36, 64 and 100 core variants. All the processors are based on 40nm architecture, and according to Tilera, will outperform high-end Intel processors by a factor of four. TILE-Gx will reportedly consume between 10 to 55 watts of power, which is about a third of the power burned by a Nehalem. Tilera’s CEO, Omid Tahernia, expects these ultra-high performance processors to “open completely new computing possibilities”.

Tilera is a start-up specializing in scalable multicore processors. It started off as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology project funded by DARPA/NSF and became a start-up in 2007. Tilera’s processors are primarily aimed at commercial applications like cloud computing and video conferencing. While touching the 100-core mark is an achievement, only time will tell if Tilera can really deliver.

Applications To Monitor Your Hardware

The hardware that runs your computer needs to be monitored and analyzed at times, but which are the best tools to do it?

Rajesh has put up a list of 4 hardware monitoring and analyzing softwares that will help you monitor your CPU, temperatures and more at our Gadgets Buzz blog.

Read: Few Must Have Applications for All Your Hardware Monitoring Needs

Gadgets Buzz Updates Edition #1

Here are some updates and news from our Gadgets Buzz blog where we cover the latest hardware and gadgets news, don’t forget to subscribe to the Gadgets Buzz RSS feed to get regular updates, it is separate from the regular Techie Buzz feed.