New technologies entering the PC space

DQW Bureau
08 Feb 2011

If the Indian PC market
touched a new high in 2010, then the year 2011 is expected to put
India among one of the frontrunners market in the world. According to
Gartner, the PC components market grew by 16 percent in 2010, and is
expected to grow by 25 percent in 2011. It is not only because of the
urban population, that is getting hooked to a digital lifestyle, but
also the tier-1 and tier-2 cities are becoming lucrative business
destinations for digital product vendors. Almost all major players in
this category are strengthening their product portfolio and are
coming out with new and feature-rich models at regular intervals with
India-specific pricing.

Growth demand mainly
arrives from devices requiring external storage. Apart from
notebooks, it is likely that more storage will be demanded for other
portable devices, ranging from cameras, tablets, media players, etc.
“Most of the notebook users find built-in storage sufficient during
the initial one to three years, after which the demand for storage
catches up. Thus, they look for portable (2.5”) external HDD (Hard
Disk Drive) to meet their demands,” said Tatsuya Nonogaki,
VP-Storage Device Division, href="">Toshiba
Singapore. He added that it is
expected that solid state drives (SSD) will take over the role of HDD
for in the years to come. SDD is more prominent these few days
especially in tablets, like the iPad and other Android devices. Also,
according to SanDisk, it is believed that emerging markets like India
are going to bypass the desktops completely and adopt the mobile PCs
(notebooks) directly and the SSD are also going to give tough
competition to hard drives. “However, the data that is being
transferred to these devices over the Internet (Cloud), has to be
stored somewhere and the traditional HDD is still the choice due to
its long history of reliability. In fact, the storage demand will
grow with more tablets being sold and more users joining the Cloud
computing space,” said Nonogaki.

“It is inevitable. All
major hard drive companies have agreed to adopt a new sector size,
known as Advanced Format, as the new standard defined and maintained
by IDEMA (The International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials
Association). The Advanced Format standard mandates that hard drive
sector sizes migrate from the current 512 bytes to 4096 bytes, or 4K.
This change will help the industry deliver higher capacity points
along with improved error correction as a result of improvements in
format efficiency,” said Rajesh Khurana, Country Manager-India
and SAARC, Seagate Technology.

The growth in PC sales,
not only leads to a mushrooming demand and increasing innovation in
the hard drive space, it also echoes in the motherboard industry.
“There have been many transitions happening this year in the PC
motherboard. The shift from DDR2 to DDR3 has been more prominent.
Also, people now prefer higher-end chipsets for their PCs and USB3
and SATA 6 is gaining momentum and will be the standard next year,”
said Vinay Shetty, Country Head-Component Business, Asus India.
Pioneering numerous innovation that have gone on to become industry
standards, some of the technology innovation of Asus include-the
Xtreme Phase Power Design, Stack Cool 3+ PCB, and anti-EMI shielding
for safe operations. Also, recently, the vendor has come up with ASUS
Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM - consisting of the
Energy Processing Unit (EPU) and TurboV Processing Unit (TPU), this
unique technology delivers a potent combination of streamlined
system-wide energy consumption and enhanced PC performance.
Second-generation Dual Intelligent Processors 2 technology adds the
innovative DIGI+ VRM design to set a new standard in digital power
management. DIGI+ VRM replaces analog voltage regulator module (VRM)
controllers with a digital programmable microprocessor that fully
integrates Intel's VRD 12 CPU power delivery system to eliminate
digital-analog conversion. “Since it works at such a fundamental
level, DIGI+ VRM improves PC performance from the ground up,
improving overclocking capabilities while increasing power
efficiency, system stability and reliability,” said Shetty.

Though currently Core i3
is gaining popularity but the latest technology has been unfurled and
shall be soon be the major trend of the market. The new Intel Core i5
and Intel Core i7 are the latest on the block. Following the above,
Motherboards are also entering a new space of LGA 1156 and LGA 1366.
“This year shall witness a complete transformation of the
Motherboard technology. The new chipsets are designed to equip the
user with remote access, manageability and security. The performance
levels have surpassed and the boards support high definition display
and faster performance,” said Sushmita Das, Country Manager-India,
Kobian Infotech.

Furthermore, with a
growing demand of various applications, the need for higher capacity
CPUs is also in the limelight, and then it become s mandatory for
users to add a GPU to their current setup to optimize utility.
“Consumers in India have realized that their CPU-GPU combination is
a better and cost-effective measure to enhance the performance of
their system,” said Vikas Gupta, Proprietor, TAG. Cuda, parallel
computing, Fermi are some of the technologies which are gaining
momentum in the PC Component space. Recently, ASUS has introduced in
India its new offering of its successful Fermi series from NVIDIA
with the new ASUS ENGTX580/2DI/1536MD5 Graphics Card, featuring 512
CUDA cores and achieving the most impressive DirectX 11 performance
ever fielded by a single NVIDIA GPU.

Talking more about the
newer technology trend in the PC component space, Das said that
hybrid disks shall be getting the limelight. A hybrid disk includes a
flash memory that works like a buffer between the computer system and
the hard disk. The memory is used for short-term storage heading both
to and from the disk. It takes advantage of the capacity of the
hard-disk drive and the snappiness of solid-state technology. When
the PC comes out of hibernate it has the correct data in the flash to
come out much quicker. “ With more technology getting added every
day, the second decade of the 21st century is all about evolving
technology wherein we will see a complete convergence of electronics
and telecom,” concluded Gupta.

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