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  (Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC)
We catch up with some our favorite IT and enthusiast component hardware makers at IDF

While much of the juicy material at the 2013 Intel Developer Forum (2013 IDF) was soaked in at Intel's keynotes and technical sessions, many hardware partners were showing their upcoming wares on the show floor.  We caught up with some top enthusiast and IT brands and checked out what's in the pipeline.

I. Super Micro

Super Micro Computer, Inc. (SMCI) continues to offer some of the best reliability in the server industry, and is seeing heavy adoption from mobile industry clients looking to push or store large volumes of data via packed mini-blade clients.

At IDF, Super Micro was showing off a new design based on Intel's upcoming Avoton Atom processors.  The server brethren of Bay TrailAvoton packs the new Silvermont cores, which should be powerful enough to drive micro transactions at a health pace.

Supermicro Atom Silverton servers

Super Micro manages to pack four Atom chips, each with up two sticks of laptop-style DRAM into compact blade.  Each chip also gets its own hard drive.  The overall case supports 2 x 12 blades, for up to 96 Atom processors.

Supermicro Atom Silverton Server

Super Micro also showed off a variety of products ranging from storage solutions that merge pairs of hard drives into unified visible volumes, and servers for more computationally intensive transactions which pack Haswell chips and/or Intel's parallel computing solution, Xeon Phi.

II. Adaptec

Adaptec once had a much broader product mix, but it's found greater success with a narrower focus on storage acceleration for enthusiasts and enterprise clients.

While not for the casual PC buyer, Adaptec's new Series 8 RAID adapters should offer mean PCI-express RAID capabilities.  The new drives are so-called "SAS 3" technology, offering up to 12 Gb/s data speeds, if your SSDs can keep up.

Adaptec SAS3 RAID cards

Adaptec's Series 8 is the only 16 port RAID card in the industry to squeeze into the compact MD2 form factor (featuring a height of 167.64 mm (6.6 inches)).

Adaptec Max Cache
[Image Source: Adaptec]

The new cards use specialist signal processors loaded as soft designs into Xilinx, Inc. (XLNX) FPGAs.  These SPs offer S.M.A.R.T. support (Self Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology) to protect against disc failures/errors, and the company's proprietary maxCache 3.0 technology, which promises reduced latency.

Pricing on the cards was not announced, but Adaptec plans to ship them in Q4 2013.

III. GSkill and Kingston

Rounding out my tour was a pair of companies who typically duke it out in the enthusiast DRAM market -- Kingston Technology Corp. and G.Skill International Enterprise Comp., Ltd.

G. Skill was showing off its Trident X Series, an eight-stick (4 GB per stick) package, which offers 32 GB of DDR3 clocked at 3000 GHz MHz (Ed.- whoops).  In a demo, G.Skill achieved 12-13-13-35 timings with this speedy device.

I'm guessing you won't see much lag on that system, no matter how many tabs you have open.  About the only downsides are price and the amount of case real estate occupied by this beefy DDR3 solution.

Gskill Trident Memory

As component makers push up against the limits of what DDR3 can deliver performance-wise, they are already looking ahead to DDR4 -- four channel DDR memory.

At CES Micron Technologies Inc. (MU) demoed its DDR4 sticks for us.  At IDF both G.Skill and Kingston were displaying DDR4 solutions.  While these sticks are nearly ready to ship with some minor revisions, the key holdup is when Intel will add support for DDR4.

While it remains to be seen whether DDR4 support is added to next year's 14 nm Broadwell, Intel's roadmap shows the 2014 Haswell-E refresh (the X99 chipset) will support DDR4 (DDR4 2133, precisely) at last [support].  Whenever Intel rolls out support for this new memory standard, G.Skill and Kingston look to be ready to fulfill enthusiast demand.

[All Images (c) Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]




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