One of the most interesting new technologies we experienced at CES this year was in the form of GaN chargers. That is because, not only is the technology fascinating, it makes for some incredibly practical products. Using this technology, for example, manufacturers can produce laptop chargers that are less than a quarter of the size of a traditional power brick. The new chargers are so small, in fact, that we can't even call them a brick anymore. Some of them are as small as a 2-outlet phone charger. For those who travel a lot, or really for anyone who brings a laptop with them, these chargers will make the experience better.
However, it is not just portable chargers where the technology could shine in the future. We've all seen power products, whether it be wall outlets, surge protectors, or even power towers, that include USB charging ports. These are only powerful enough to be able to charge small devices like phones and tablets if you're lucky. They simply cannot produce enough power to charge something bigger, like a laptop. However, with this now miniaturized charging technology, we could potentially see the chargers built into these types of power products. Imagine checking into a hotel room and, on the desk, there is a USB-C outlet ready to power your laptop. Beautiful.
As these new chargers are released, Avram has been putting them to the test with his handy new load tester, Using this device, he can see exactly how much power the chargers are able to produce. If the company says it's a 65-watt charger, are you actually getting that amount of power, or does it fall short? Or, more interestingly, does it over-deliver? It's always exciting to get more than you thought you were paying for. The round-up for GaN chargers will be available soon on Tom's Hardware.
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Monster Smart Illuminessence, an industry leader in home lighting décor, announces a new line of Smart products including the water-resistant Smart Indoor/Outdoor Multi-Color LED Light Strip.
This LED Light Strip features vibrant diffused light and is a staggering 5 meters (16.4 feet) long, which gives you the range to cover large spaces such as decks, walkways, or living rooms. Breathe new life into your environment with the addition of vibrant designs or subtle mood lighting. The flexible water-resistant material makes this LED Strip perfect for adding ambiance to both outdoor and indoor entertaining areas. With multiple warm white and RGB color ranges the color possibilities are seemingly endless.
The Smart LED Light Strip can be controlled through your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to access all of its features through your smartphone or voice assistant devices via the Monster Smart app. This method gives you the greatest control of color, brightness, speed, patterns, and color-changing modes for all of your Monster Smart lighting devices simultaneously. Use the included mounting clips to mount the Light Strip to any surface that you can fasten a screw into, such as wood or drywall. To power the device, plug it into an in-wall outlet, no batteries or recharging necessary. This LED Strip makes it easier than ever to add some ambiance to your indoor or outdoor environment!
Monster Smart Illuminessence, an industry leader in home lighting décor, announces a new line of Smart products including the portable and multi-functional Orb. This new LED lamp offers a modern approach to ambiance and personal expression.
Due to its custom design, Orb creates fun and compelling atmospheric impressions in any setting. Orb can be used on tabletop surfaces, suspended from ceilings, or held in hand by the built-in handle. This multi-functional design gives the user free rein to implement Orb in creative and interesting ways in any environment. Orb is rechargeable and water-resistant, so it can be used outdoors without the need to plug into an outlet.
Orb's lighting effects can be controlled through your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to access all its features through your smartphone or voice assistant devices via the Monster Smart app. This method gives you the greatest control of color, brightness, speed, patterns, and color-changing modes for all your Monster Smart lighting devices simultaneously. Pair multiple Orbs together for uniform control or control each unit individually.
Digit is a modular lighting system that allows you to easily design your own illuminated 3D LED art. Build your own stunning structures with customizable lighting effects and patterns.
Our custom engineered mounting system allows for effortless reconstruction through micro USB ports, repositionable magnets, brackets, and damage-free adhesives. With multiple warm white and RGB color ranges, Digit offers over 16 million color possibilities. Create everything from intricate designs to personalized messages.
Digit's lighting effects can be controlled through your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to access all its features through your smartphone or voice assistant devices via the Monster Smart app. This method gives you the greatest control of color, brightness, speed, patterns, and color-changing modes for all your Monster Smart lighting devices simultaneously.
Prism is a modular lighting system that allows you to easily design your own illuminated 3D LED art. Build your own stunning structures with customizable lighting effects and patterns.
Our custom engineered mounting system allows for effortless reconstruction through interlocking brackets, repositionable magnets, and damage-free adhesives. With multiple warm white and RGB color ranges, Prism's color possibilities are seemingly endless.
Prism's lighting effects can be controlled through your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to access all of Prism's features through your smartphone or voice assistant devices via the Monster Smart app. This method gives you the greatest control of color, brightness, speed, patterns, and color-changing modes for all your Monster Smart lighting devices simultaneously.
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It has been a year since the Raspberry Pi foundation released the Raspberry Pi 4. In that time, the upgraded hardware configurations have allowed the platform to expand into even more project and computing environments. But, with increased ideas comes increased resource demand. To respond to that new demand, a new configuration was released that has 8GB of RAM. Previously, the largest configuration available was 4GB of RAM.
This new hardware will give makers and engineers more memory capabilities, allowing for larger implementations. However, it is important to note just how difficult it is to fill 4GB on a Raspberry Pi 4. Running the official operating system, Avram opened dozens of browser tabs, some of which were playing 4K videos. He also had the photo editor Gimp open. With all of that happening, he was only able to fill 4.6GB of RAM, and that is unusual usage.
There will be uses where the increased RAM will be a big benefit. If you wanted to use the device for a large amount of on-device AI processing, especially of image and video content, you would need the addition RAM to keep the streamed image and video data available. You could also use the device as a media server, and if any encoding is needed, the added resources will help.
With the increase of RAM comes another substantial change: the operating system. For years, the official Raspberry Pi operating system has been Raspbian. However, that OS is developed and maintained by an outside organization and only supports 32-bit processing. To fully take advantage of more than 4GB of RAM, you need to be running a 64-bit OS. As such, Raspbian cannot be the answer for the new device. A 64-bit OS has been developed and released, but it means that it is not a Raspbian build. To respect the intellectual property and naming rights of the other organization, the official builds offered by the Raspberry Pi Foundation will officially be called Raspberry Pi OS going forward. This will be the case for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
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Intel has released its newest processor, the Comet Lake-S Core i9-10900K. This new processor is intended to help fight off the rising threat of AMD's Ryzen processors. AMD has seen a huge rise, especially in the realm of high core count. The new Intel processor attempts to match this move, by including ten cores and, out of box clocks in at 4.9 GHz.
Obviously, with specs like that, the processor is not intended for an average consumer. The 10900K is aimed at enthusiasts, power users, and gamers. While it doesn't match AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X in terms of threaded performance, it does make it for it in overall performance as well as price. The Ryzen 3950X is currently retailing for $709, while the Intel 10900K is retailing for $529.
Intel's newest processor does have some downsides, however. First and foremost, it still uses 14-nanometer architecture, which is generations behind where AMD is on its 7-nanometer architecture. This means that to produce the same result, the power consumption is lower. This is a standard rule of processors - smaller transistors use less power. This processor does not buck that trend at all, being the most power-hungry processor that Tom's Hardware has seen in recent times.
With more power consumption comes more heat generation. That means that it takes more work to keep the processor cool. If you're going to build a quiet PC, either for streaming or just to maintain your own sanity, this processor will provide a bigger challenge. Intel rates the processor for 250W at peak performance, and the review even measured peaks as high as 325W at out-of-the-box settings. That is a massive increase over the previous generation, caused almost entirely because of the continued use of the 14-nanometer architecture design decision.
For the full review, head over to Tom's Hardware.
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NVIDIA has added a new developer kit to its hardware lineup, called the Jetson Xavier NX. This new board is designed to allow developers to integrate artificial intelligence skills into a hardware project without the need for internet access or custom-designed hardware. Built in to the kit is a couple of common demoes, such as human detection, skeleton mapping, and attention tracking.
In addition to the included models, the Jetson Xavier NX is able to be trained for any AI workload. Perhaps you're building a scanner for an airport that verifies official identification versus forged documents. Or, maybe you're letting passengers know that their driver's license doesn't conform to the new REAL ID system, which will be required in 2021. You can train your system on-board or through an external AI training system and import the model into the device.
The most exciting aspect of this product is the ability to do all this AI training and processing live on the device without internet access. Because connectivity is never guaranteed, and speed and access can vary based on time of day, relying on internet access can be a limiting factor for AI. If you're building hardware for a factoring or manufacturing facility that may be deployed in a developing country, being able to use AI while off the grid can be the difference between market success and a bricked platform.
Once you have developed your application and are ready for system deployment, you can get just the Jetson Xavier NX deployment board and integrate it into your own custom hardware. This reduces the size and cost of the device, plus gives you greater flexibility in your deployment scheme. The developer board is available now for $399 and the deployment module will be available soon.