ASUS today announced Xonar U7 MKII, a high-quality USB sound card and headphone amplifier. The compact Xonar U7 MKII is an upgraded version of the acclaimed Xonar U7 and features true 7.1-channel,192kHz/24-bit high-definition (HD) surround-sound output for incredible audio performance. Xonar U7 MKII comes with ASUS Sonic Studio, a software utility with an intuitive single-screen interface that provides complete control over a wide range of audio features, and Sonic Radar Pro, a feature for gamers that visually maps in-game sounds in first-person shooter (FPS) games to provide a competitive advantage.

asus xonar u7 mkii

ASUS Xonar U7 MKII retains the compact USB-powered design that was a highlight of the original Xonar U7 and delivers true 7.1-channel, 192kHz/24-bit HD audio, outperforming most available USB-powered audio devices. With a high-quality Cirrus Logic CS4398 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and exclusive ASUS Hyper Grounding technology, Xonar U7 MKII has a 114dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), ensuring ultra-pure sound for the best listening experiences.

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Western Digital Corp. today further expanded its data center SSD and HDD portfolio with the introduction of next-generation storage solutions designed to help IT managers address the intensive data and extreme performance demands of today’s enterprise, cloud and hyperscale workloads.

wd enterprise ssd hdd

The new solutions include the blazingly fast HGST-branded Ultrastar® SN200 NVMe-compatible PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) series, which offers class-leading random read performance of up to 1.2 million IOPS in key workloads1, and the company’s fastest and highest capacity SAS SSD to date, the HGST-branded Ultrastar SS200 Series SSD. The company also introduced its fourth-generation helium-based HelioSeal™ enterprise-class hard disk drive (HDD), the 12TB HGST-branded Ultrastar He12 drive. Additionally, the company announced it will extend the He12 platform to 14TB, leveraging Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR).

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VIA Labs, Inc., a leading supplier of SuperSpeed USB and Power Delivery Controllers, today announced that the VIA Labs VL716 USB 3.1 to SATA III Bridge Controller with native USB Type-C support has achieved SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps certification from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).

via vl716 usb sata

Optimized for the latest USB Type-C external storage applications such as USB Type-C optical drives, SSD’s, and HDD’s, the VL716 single-chip USB 3.1 Gen 2 to SATA III Bridge Controller offers blazing data transfer rates up to 10Gbps and is fully backwards compatible with USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB High-Speed, and USB Full-Speed modes. With native USB Type-C support built-in, the VL716 offers advanced features such as USB-C connector orientation detection and USB Mux to enable the reversibility feature without additional components or cost.

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addonics R1825SN 2MSAddonics Technologies today announced two 1U RAID Rack chassis with removable drive systems for easily adding and removing 2.5-inch hard drives or solid state drives.

The new family of products comes bundled with all the necessary connecting cables for attaching to your system. Users can start their RAID Rack with just one drive and expand by adding more drives as their storage requirement grows. Depending on the model, the hard drives can be connected to the system with eSATA, or mini SAS cables and accommodate up to eight 2.5-inch HDDs/SSDs.

There are two models. The R1825SN-2MS allows the attaching of up to eight 2.5-inch SATA hard drives or SSDs with 9-9.5 mm maximum drive height to a computer via two external mini SAS cables. The R1825SN-8ES attaches to the computer via eight eSATA cables. Drives, which will appear as eight independent drives when attached to any system, can be hot swapped when connecting to an eSATA host that supports such a feature. In addition, eight drives can be set to one or more RAID volumes via the OS RAID software utility.

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Akitio, makers of premium, high quality external computer storage solutions, today announced the availability of the new Akitio Thunder3 Quad. The Thunder3 Quad is the industry's first 4-bay, Thunderbolt™ 3 storage device and was designed to unleash the groundbreaking speed and flexibility of Thunderbolt 3. Developed to handle the data protection and performance requirements for today's ever-growing media libraries, the Thunder3 Quad offers fast transfers with the added flexibility of a DisplayPort video output in a form factor small enough for a desktop.

akitio thunder3 quad

"Large storage solutions are an indispensable component for anyone dealing with large amounts of data such as 4K and 8K uncompressed video files. The revolutionary 40Gb/s bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 will continue to transform the storage industry," said Richard Wright, VP of Sales & Marketing for Akitio. "The Thunder3 Quad will allow users to better store, transfer, save, protect, and edit their creative content while also freeing up valuable space on computers."

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Marvell, a world leader in storage, cloud infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT), connectivity and multimedia semiconductor solutions, today announced the Marvell® 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The product line consists of a high performance AHCI RAID on chip (ROC), an innovative NVMe ROC, a DRAM-less input/output (I/O) processor with HW RAID 0, 1, 10 and a cost-effective I/O controller. These products service a range of markets, including cloud infrastructure, enterprise storage arrays, SATA Host Bus Adapters (HBA), networked video surveillance, external directly attached USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt-3 storage (DAS), and entry-to-mid-range servers. The AHCI ROC is currently sampling to Marvell customers; the other products will be available in 2017.

“With this latest product offering, Marvell leveraged customer feedback and the company’s long-term leadership and experience in storage to deliver flexible, high-performance, yet efficient and low power storage controllers,” said Pantelis Alexopoulos, Interim Co-Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the Storage Business Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. “Marvell’s family of 88RC13xx controllers further supports our mission to develop comprehensive storage solutions that address a wide variety of platforms and application across client, enterprise and cloud infrastructure markets.”

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SanDisk Corporation today announced that the Ministry of Commerce of China (“MOFCOM”) has approved the acquisition of SanDisk by Western Digital Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation.

All necessary regulatory approvals for the acquisition have now been received and the transaction is expected to close on Thursday, May 12, 2016. SanDisk stockholders previously voted to approve the transaction at a special meeting of stockholders held on March 15, 2016.

“We are pleased that the final regulatory approval has been received and we can now proceed with the planned combination with Western Digital,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief executive officer, SanDisk. “We thank our stakeholders for their support of this transaction and look forward to contributing to the success of Western Digital as it transforms into the leading storage solutions company.”

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I have bad news for those of that own one of SanDisk's Ultra +Cloud USB 3.0 flash drives. The company sent out an email earlier today, letting +Cloud customers know that the online storage service would not be available after Friday, May 13th.

Hi SanDisk +Cloud customer,

Unfortunately, the SanDisk +Cloud online storage service will no longer be available after Friday, May 13, 2016. You are receiving this message because your email address is listed as a registered user of this service. We very much regret and apologize for this disruption.

If you have data stored in your SanDisk +Cloud account, please download your data to a separate storage source before Friday, May 13, 2016, after which point it will no longer be available.  If you are having trouble retrieving your data, please contact our customer support team.

At this point, we're not really sure why SanDisk would shut down the service after only a few months. The company is trying to make it up to +Cloud users by providing them with a prepaid debit card to cover the cost of the product as well as a 128GB SanDisk Extreme PRO USB flash drive.

Update: We've learned that this is due to Bitcasa's decision to discontinue their Drive service, which was the basis for SanDisk's +Cloud service.

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The SD Association (SDA), a global ecosystem of companies setting industry-leading memory card standards, today launched its fastest speed class, Video Speed Class, which also delivers real-time multi-file recording for many applications and supports the highest video resolutions and qualities available today. With Video Speed Class, 4K, 8K, 3D and 360 degree video recordings are now assured and accessible to consumers and professionals alike.

Consumers will easily capture memories at their devices' best quality by following device manufacturer recommendations and matching the Video Speed Class mark on their device to an SD memory card with the same Video Speed Class mark. The new marks will appear on SDHC and SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards.

The new Video Speed Class maintains the tradition of ensuring guaranteed minimum performance levels as the familiar Speed Class and UHS Speed Class systems do today. Minimum speeds will range from 6MB to 90 MB per second. The fastest options, V60 and V90, support 8K resolution, while V6, V10 and V30 capture high-definition and 4K resolution. All speed classes guarantee minimum video recording speeds to ensure smooth video playback, so actual recording performance may be even faster.

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Broadcom Limited today announced it is now sampling the industry’s first NVMe/SAS/SATA controllers and its unmatched NVMe software portfolio, underscoring Broadcom’s leadership and commitment to data center innovation and excellence. NVMe brings latency improvements in SSD technology. As the market leader in SAS/SATA storage connectivity, Broadcom is delivering on its strategy to enable data centers to take full advantage of NVMe SSD performance. The portfolio includes:

  • PCIe Switches: Leading provider of PCIe Switches with over 120 Million ports shipped.
  • NVMe Server/JBOF Management Software: Used with our NVMe Switches, the solution software accelerates and simplifies the development of robust NVMe based servers/JBOF.
  • NVMe Storage Adapters (HBA/RAID): As the leading provider of SAS/SATA storage controllers, HBA, and RAID adapters, Broadcom is sampling the industry’s first combined NVMe/SAS/SATA storage controllers.
  • NVMe SSD Controllers: Leading manufacturer of custom SSD controllers with greater than 50% share of the enterprise NVMe SSD's deployed and over a dozen NVMe SSD controllers in production.

Broadcom’s 6th generation PCIe Switches (PEX 9700) provide a robust and scalable solution to deploy NVMe drives in servers and external storage systems. The PEX 9700 series offers seven models from 12 to 97 lanes and industry-first features including NVMe surprise add/remove, sharing across multiple hosts with failover, and advanced QoS capabilities. Combining advanced management software and a proven software development tool kit, Broadcom PCIe switches enable server and storage OEM/ODMs to quickly deliver enterprise-ready NVMe storage connectivity solutions.

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