Semiconductor Marvell Could be up for Sale

The semiconductor industry is a tough area to operate in and it is a dog-eat-dog world, and now it looks like Marvell Technology Group could be the next to be swallowed by a bigger dog on the market. According to an article in the New York Post, the chip maker could be up for sale and Broadcom/Avago could be the possible buyer.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of Avago’s interest in Marvell. Last July several news outlets reported that Avago was interested in the purchase, but was holding their bid until the Broadcom and Avago merger was completed.

It hasn’t gone all that good for Marvell lately despite them making some great chips that we see all the time here in the office when we review products. For example, last month they reached a settlement with Carnegie Mellon University for $750 million and they have also just been through an audit for alleged fraud. They were however cleared in the audit and there wasn’t found any evidence of wrongdoing or accounting fraud as the allegations said.

Still, the stock has been on a steady decline as the semiconductor business generally has been going down and stockholders demand that the company cuts costs. After the stock dove about 40 percent of the past year, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that the stockholders demand some action.

Whether Broadcom (AVGO) will make an official bid or not is something time will tell and I’m sure that there will be a lot of details to iron out between the two before they’ll reach an agreement, if they do at all. There is however also some doubt on whether such a merger could result in an antitrust scrutiny as some of the areas of the two overlap, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet switching chips, among others.

Super Mario Cluttered Chaos-Calculator Level Anyone?

Creativity is never more alive than when the gaming community decides to invent whole levels based on various creative influences. The Super Mario Maker title has been an exciting and imaginative vehicle that aims to open up a range of possibilities for all kinds of creative mischief, one such level involves a working calculator within the super Mario Universe.

Want to know more? Of course  you do, the project is coined “The Cluttered Chaos Calculator” and has been created by Mario Level Maker  “Giant”, it works out a maths equation (6+6) and is demonstrated by the video below, luckily, there is a reddit guide to explain exactly what is going on.

To put it simply, “this Super Mario Maker level lets you select two numbers between 0 and 7, it lets the player choose their way up and then computes and displays their sum automatically”.

There is also an image via sharing site imgur which reveals the logic behind this fantastic project. It has been noted that similar adding machines have been created in the past using Super Mario Maker, but, this looks to be the “first one with a decimal conversion and proper display of the result”.

It’s an incredibly complex yet educational tool all rolled into one, just reading the extremely detailed breakdown is fascinating, hopefully, we will see many more creative examples as in this case within the future.

Cooler Master MasterGel Maker Nano Review

Introduction


Cooler Master went quiet for quite some time over the last two years, leaving many in the industry to wonder what was going on. Of course, Cooler Master hadn’t given up on the industry, they were working hard reinventing their entire product line, getting back to their roots and creating the “maker” series of products. We’ve already seen their incredible Master Case chassis, as well as their new gaming mouse, and there’s a huge amount of other products on the way, from headsets, chassis, power supplies, coolers and more.

Today I’ll be taking a look at something a little smaller, but still a very vital component in the building of literally every PC. The Cooler Master MasterGel Maker is the all-new thermal paste that looks set to take on the big boys in the high-performance cooling world and with the likes of Noctua, Gelid and a few others already dominating the market, CM has a hard battle to fight here.

The MakerGen is certainly promising in terms of specifications, at least as exciting as a tube of paste can be, of course. Made with nano-diamond particles, the MasterGel Maker should offer great conductivity, but I guess we’ll find that out in our testing.

“MasterGel Maker is developed for users needing the best thermal conductivity for high performance CPUs, GPUs or even chipsets. The non-curing and non-electrical conductive traits help avoid any short circuiting and provide protection and performance for long-term use. The non-abrasive added Nano Diamond particles allow the MasterGel Maker to be extremely lightweight and easy to spread or remove while avoiding auto-oxidation or erosion overtime.”

Going against the MasterGel Maker today are some of the best-known thermal pastes on the market, including the current top-dogs Gelid GC Extreme, Noctua NT-H1 and the also relatively new but very impressive Thermal Grizzly Kryonaugt.

  • MasterGel Maker
  • Thermal Grizzly Kryonaugt
  • Akasa Pro-Grade 460
  • Noctua NT-H1
  • Gelid GC Extreme
  • Arctic Silver 5
  • EK Ectotherm
  • Artic MX-4

The MasterGel Maker Nano comes nicely packaged with an easy to use syringe, as well as a spreader for easy application.

Even better, the paste comes with a grease cleaner, ensuring that you get a spotless CPU before applying new paste.

First, here’s a quick QA from Cooler Master to tell you a little more about the MasterGel Maker.

Q: Do the nano-diamond particles leave scratches on the cooler base or CPU IHS?

A: No, the particles in the MasterGel Maker are too small to leave any scratches.

Q: Why do I need to clean the CPU before applying the MasterGel Maker?

A: When removing a CPU cooler, the old thermal grease is left over. It needs to be removed to improve thermal conductivity, which leads to lower temperatures.

Q: Do I need to use the plastic brush for spreading the grease?

A: No, but it is recommended. You can also press the CPU cooler on the grease and twist it a bit to make sure it spreads over the IHS.

Q: How many applications does one tube last when using the pea size method?

A: It is difficult to precisely determine the number of uses one tube can have. However, if the amount for each time is very close to ‘pea size,’ users should at least be able to apply the thermal grease over 10 times.

Q: How long can the thermal compound be used once opened, but sealed correctly after use?

A: Every circumstance is different depending on various factors, such as the environment. Usually the thermal grease can be preserved for two years without opening. We highly suggest users keep thermal grease in a dry and clean place, and avoid direct sunshine once opened.

Update adds Mid-Level Checkpoints & New Courses to Super Mario Maker

Nintendo’s Successful new hit Super Mario Maker will receive its first major update since its release in September of this year, adding checkpoints, more complicated power-ups and other features.

On the fouth of November, the new patch goes live for Nintendo’s popular new game, this means you will be able to add checkpoint flags to your level to all them painstaking impossible to complete levels you have built yourself. In addition, you will also be able to attach power-ups to make them contingent upon Mario’s current state. So just like the classic games if you collect a mushroom or a fire flower and put them together in a box, Mario will get the mushroom if he’s small and the fire flower if he’s big. Mario Makers will also be receiving special courses in its new events hub. Nintendo stated:

The software update also introduces Event Courses in the game’s Course World online hub. Event Courses will feature levels from partner creators outside Nintendo. One of the first Event Courses will be “Ship Love,” the winning level from the “hackathon” event that was held at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park earlier this year. Facebook is the first outside partner in the United States to design a level for Super Mario Maker; employees had the opportunity to design and present their creations to a panel of judges before the winning level was selected.

They’ll also be adding a section called “Official Makers” that will allow them to send out levels made by Nintendo designers among other VIPs. One of the first Event Courses will be called  “Ship Love,” what was the winning level from the an event called Hackathon that was held at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park earlier this year.

Facebook is the first outside partner in the United States to design a level for Super Mario Maker; employees had the opportunity to design and present their creations to a panel of judges before the winning level was selected.

Anyone else enjoying Super Mario Maker? Let us know in the comments.

Unofficial Zelda Maker is Available on PC

Mario Maker on the Wii U has been described as “Nintendo’s Minecraft” and allows players to let their creativity flourish. The game features a number of advanced tools and user-creations are bound to test your reaction times. Unfortunately, as a Wii U exclusive, the PC will never be able to experience the joy in Mario Maker. However, an independent developer has created a fan-project for PC based around the Zelda universe. Here’s what the project entails:

“Zelda Maker (Temp) is a non-official project started by myself, which will allow players to create and share Legend of Zelda worlds of their own. Nintendo might cease and desist a project like this, so in time, when I’ve got the ability to change the sprites, I will do so, and I will also add things that Zelda games don’t have to make it a somewhat unique experience. Regardless, I won’t be acting like this isn’t going to be a Zelda (Maker?) clone, through and through. I’d just like to add some things that I think official Zelda games could use. This is a very early build of the game, and it does not represent what the final game will look like.”

As an unofficial creation, it’s likely Nintendo will demand its removal given their less-than-stellar track record. Although, the pixel art, and gameplay looks absolutely stunning! I wish Nintendo would support projects like this from fans who invest so much time and skill in honoring memories from their childhood.

Despite being in such an early stage of development, The Legend of Zelda Maker has loads of potential and I could easily spend hours creating dungeons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1OlEyY6e-A

You can download the Alpha release here, but I would be fairly quick as Nintendo lawyers will no doubt shut down the official links quite quickly.

Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 Chassis Review

Introduction


I wonder how many of you have noticed how Cooler Master stopped launching new products for quite a while? It’s been ages since they brought out a new chassis, a new power supply, a new peripheral. If you didn’t notice, we certainly did and it wasn’t until Computex 2015 when we finally found out why the team at CM had gone so quiet; they were cooking up something big, very big! 2015 marks the year when Cooler Master take the PC component market by storm with their Maker concept. They’ve re-tooled everything they do, getting back to their core concepts of design, function and a whole lot more.

Why have one chassis when you can have all the chassis you need in one? The Maker series is moddable by its very nature, need it for NAS, need it for a gaming system, HTPC, LAN rig, office rig, rendering station, its really up to you. Cooler Master will provide you with the parts and configuration options you need to achieve a more personal build all by yourself and really make your rig yours. At least, that’s the promise, but we’ll find out today just how much of this has been achieved.

Cooler master said they channeled their MAKER SPIRIT to design a case that:

1. Gives absolute control over how a case looks and functions through a flexible, modular system.
2. Introduces an eco-system of accessories and add-ons that provide the ability to Customize. Adjust. Upgrade.
3. Was designed in collaboration with a community of makers and power users to inspire self-expression.
4. Redefines the way PCs are designed, made, bought, and used

There’s three editions of this chassis, each with their own unique features and of course, the ability to upgrade any of the lower models to the higher models by buying the extra bits.

Brace yourself, specification overload is coming! The MasterCase 5, Pro 5 and no doubt the TBD Maker 5, come with support for extensive water cooling, air cooling, motherboard sizes, lots of storage, long graphics cards, dust filters and more!


Check out the very interesting video below for more information on how “Maker” works.

We have in our hands today the MasterCase Pro 5, which means we have the same core chassis as the 5, but with the Pro parts pre-fitted. That’s right, you can buy the base model and upgrade anytime! Or you can jump right in and buy the Pro. Of course, the whole concept here is that you can tweak either of them to suit your needs and make the MasterCase into whatever you like.

First impressions of the chassis are very promising and despite the design featuring a lot of strong angles, the chassis still manages to look smart and sleek. There’s a huge side panel window on the left side, perfect for showing off your build.

The right side panel is just a blank panel, but just like the left panel, it is mounted with a pair of easy access thumb screws.

The angular design of the front panel looks really nice, still fresh and modern, but still unmistakably a Cooler Master design. There’s a pair of 5.25″ drive bays, as well as a huge ventilated section for any front mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll see a handle section at the top, matching the one near the front of the top panel; should make carrying you rig to LAN events a lot easier! This is an ATX chassis, so you’ll also find 7 expansion slots on offer; more than enough room for a multi-GPU configuration.

There is a 120/140mm fan mount at the back, with height adjustable mounting and a 140mm fan pre-installed.

There’s a removable bracket at the back to help with mounting the PSU from the rear of the chassis,

As well as a slide out dust filter, which will help provide your PSU with clean air.

The top panel is very sleek-looking and slopes gently towards the back of the chassis. There’s a huge amount of ventilation here and that’ll be great for any top mounted cooling, or removing heat from your system passively.

The front panel is nicely laid out with an almost symmetrical appearance. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, but there’s also quite a lot of space here that could have been put to use; more USB ports perhaps?

The underside features two extra-large and full-width feet, which means the Master Case feels very stable overall. It’s helped even further by four tough rubber strips; two on each of the feet.

The PSU dust filter is a good size and fits in pretty snug. It’s washable too, so maintenance of the filter will be nice and easy.

Cooler Master Unleash HUGE Range of New Products @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: I don’t know where to start with this, Cooler Master blew my mind today and that’s no bad thing! At CES, Cooler Master had literally no knew products, as they were planning something big, today we found out what that was. Their new maker philosophy highlights everything that the company stands for, but now they’re turning you, the consumer, in to the maker you’ve always wanted to be.

Everything in their new range is modular, expandable, moddable, to an extent that we’ve literally never seen before. Their new chassis can be reconfigured extensively to meet your needs. The storage bays have dozens of configurations, there’s extensive cooling configuration options and more.

Then there’s their new cooler, which can be reconfigured, different fan configurations and more. Even the notebook cooler has mods, where you can add USB hubs, wrist rests, different fans and more!

Their new headset, however, is the star of the show, at least in my opinion. The drivers twist lock into place. Want a new sound? Unplug the drivers and lock in another set; I really can’t wait to test this feature out.

Cooler Master are also doing custom loop water cooling gear now too, so basically, no matter the configuration, not matter the requirements, the design, what ever you need, it seems Cooler Master has got you covered!

We’ll bring you more information and featured reviews in the very near future, so stay tuned.

To top off the day, Cooler Master even treated me to a maker beer! As well as allowing me to make my own Lego me, making me a maker too!

Cooler Master Demonstrate “Maker” Concept @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: Cooler Master have been pushing their maker concept in a big way at Computex. Not only have they launched their new maker serious of products, which encourage users to tweak their products to best suit their own needs. On their booth, they had many kinds of “maker”, from chassis modders tweaking the chassis, people using 3D printers, live game codingpmming and even VR development, all using Cooler Master products to reap the benefits of their latest features of course.

Cooler Masters new maker philosophy is a big change for the company, at least in terms of how consumers perceive their products and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop their new product ranges. We’ll be taking a closer look at their new products very soon, so stay tuned!

Nintendo Shows off Wii U Zelda, Mario Maker

Nintendo practically took over last night’s Game Awards, with Reggie Fils Aime, Nintendo of America COO, opening the show alongside Nintendo’s Beethoven of video games, Koji Kondo, composer of the music for most of the company’s legendary titles.

They used the opportunity to provide some updates to two of their 2015 releases – the yet to be titled Zelda game for Wii U and ‘Mario Maker’ for the same console.

They showed off some of the first gameplay footage for Zelda, with lead producer Eiji Aonuma at the controls while Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto asked questions. The video is an intriguing look into what will undoubtedly be a great game. We get to see Link riding a horse and exploring the huge open-world map – a first for Zelda.

There was also ‘Mario Maker’. Obviously a less significant title compared to Zelda, but one that will definitely be a lot of fun. Here we get to see more detail of what the game will entail, courtesy of Miyamoto-san.

Source: Kotaku

Ford Working With Intel on Bringing Face and Gesture Recognition Technology to Cars

Automaker Ford and chip maker Intel apparently have started looking into how people can interact with their gadgets even more. With smart watches and virtual reality already on the way, the two manufacturers apparently are looking into making their own innovative technology, but for automobiles.

“Project Mobii” is the name of Intel and Ford’s little project, having it stand for Mobile Interior Imaging. The project itself is not that “small” either, having a team formed from ethnographers, anthropologists and engineers working to achieve a “more personalized and seamless interaction between driver and vehicle.”

What all of this means is that Intel and Ford are experimenting on new ways people might interact with cars in the future. Cameras could be connected and allow owners to check the car remotely via an app, or gestures might be able to control a car’s features, such as a sunroof or windows, or even have the car implemented with facial recognition software in order to identify the driver or give certain permissions to family members.

Though the project is being worked on, this does not mean we will see sci-fi cars on the streets anytime soon. Intel and Ford have apparently made it clear that the project is currently just for research and exploration purposes for now.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

Breaking News: Motorola Mobility Factory In Texas Closing Down

In recent months we have been hearing news at how Motorola’s Texas factory has been seeing a slow decline in profitably, particularly since sales of the Moto X and the Moto Maker scheme have not been as strong as once perceived. Due to its location in the US, the factory has been able to offer a customisation scheme to US customers, where they can make personal alterations to their handset, including the use of different materials and specifications. Sadly though the Moto Maker scheme and the number of Moto X handsets sold in the US have not been doing that well and from a once packed manufacturing plant, the Google owned property now employs little over 700 people – a sign in itself that times are changing and the time was ticking before a major change was going to happen.

The suspicion that the site’s days were numbered was only made more certain after the word early this year got out the Lenovo were looking to take over the Motorola Mobility division from Google and considering the fact that the site is barely turning a profit, it is easy to understand why such a move would be on the cards. Even though the site’s days are effectively numbered, with the closure likely to happen at the end of this year, production of the Moto X handset will continue at two other factories in China and Taiwan; where manufacturing costs are considerably lower than in the US.

Motorola has made a statement saying that the Moto Maker service will continue to be a pre-purchase service to customers, however there are no further details on how the service will continue to run and where it will be made available.

Source: Tech Geek Forever

Oculus Rift To Aid Ford In Designing New Generation Of Cars

Ford automobile maker apparently is using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to aid in development of new cars, including vehicle color, materials, design, and possible modifications. Ford reportedly is using three systems in Detroit, and plans to expand the next-generation engineering platform to new facilities in the near future.

Ford engineers have the privilege of utilizing the tech in their advantage and are reportedly able to visualize vehicles while manipulating the environment to make improvements inside the 3D environment. Ford worked with Vicon, a company specializing in motion-capture technology, which captures engineer position and orientation from installed motion-capture video recorders.

“Ford can have a group of designers in Detroit reviewing a model while talking to designers in Cologne and Australia, all immersed in the same world at the same time.” says Warren Lester, Vicon product manager.

Each system has an estimated cost of about $30,000, making it a fairly affordable design platform that has great potential for Ford, and other automakers will certainly follow Ford’s progress.
The Oculus Rift Dev Kit has become popular with immersive driving simulators, as it provides gamers with a unique driving experience. It makes sense auto makers are interested in using the same technology to design prototypes.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

Google To Set Compliance Standards For Android-based Portable Navigation Devices

There are quite a few PND manufacturers out there that have succeeded in releasing Android-based navigation gadgets and features, and even embed them into car dashboards. However, Google intends to make a set of compliance standards that the gadgets and devices have to pass in order to be released.

Having certain standards and requirements set will certainly benefit users that make use of the tech and will improve the software. However, it might not be so good for the device manufacturers, having to put more effort and resources into assuring that the requirements set by Google are met. In turn, this will affect vehicle manufacturers as well and possibly have an impact on price, whereas time equals money as they say.

Current android-based PNDs have been rolled out by Garmin, Mitac International and Papago, but since most PND suppliers are not member companies of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), their products are unable to secure verification from Google, or do not have support all Google applications.

Whether PND manufacturers will comply with Google’s requirements, we will have to see. There is still a way for them to evade the compliance area by transforming themselves into white-box Android PND manufacturers as some smartphone manufacturers did to solve problems such as this.

Thank you Digi Times for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Slashgear