by Marshall Gunnell

Computex 2019 Roundup

Computex 2019, an annual event held in Taipei which focuses mainly on AI & IoT, 5G, Blockchain, Innovations & Startups, Gaming & XR, Computing Technologies, Storage, and so on, took place this week and we were on the show floor. Over 1,600 exhibitors were there with more the 5,500 booths, all showcasing their latest technology. In addition to what was going on at the Nangang Exhibition Center where Computex is held each year, some companies opt to rent suites at the Grand Hyatt Hotel or showcase their products at their local office. This means that it’s nothing short of a Herculean effort to see everything there is to see, especially since the event lasts only 5 days.

Regardless, we managed to visit the companies we feel are important to our audience (along with a few others you may or may not have heard of). Here’s a brief overview (in no particular order) of what we were able to see.

Gigabyte and Bigtera

GIGABYTE made an appearance at Computex this year. “An appearance” may be a bit of an understatement, beings that GIGABYTE had one of the largest booths at the event. They also had a representative from one of their partners, Bigtera, supporting the booth. GIGABYTE covers a large scope of products (which explains their behemoth booth), but what we were particularly interested in was their VirtualStor Scaler solution. If you’ve been keeping up with our recent publications, you may have noticed we did a deep dive on the VirtualStor solution

VirtualStor Scaler Rack

Something else that made me do a double take was their Smart Agriculture IoT Gateway System, the IO-3815. GIGABYTE has worked to make a smart IoT ecosystem for agriculture, and it’s really impressive. The IO-3815 uses wireless environmental sensors, photo-monitoring systems, and equipment controllers. After collecting data at the front end, users are able to access the crop growth environment in each batch. You can also connect the IO-3815 to the VirtualStor appliance where the environmental data will be stored.

PNY

PNY was camping out at the Grand Hyatt this year. They were showing off a lot of their PC gear, USB’s, MicroSD cards, and so on. They were also showing off their XLR8 CS3030 NVMe SSD drive. Apparently this drive hit the market in Europe months ago but has only recently made its way to the US. The CS3030 NVMe Gen3x4 SSD comes in an M.2 form and quotes some pretty impressive numbers with sequential read and write speeds at up to 3,500MB/s and 3,000MB/s, respectively. The 1TB drive will only run you about $160 USD, which is fantastically priced. It also come available in 250GB, 500GB, and 2TB capacities.

In addition to the CS3030, they were also showing off the CS4040 which is their next generation NVMe SSD. This drive hasn’t been released yet (and we didn’t get an official date), but it quotes sequential read and write speeds at up to 4,800MB/s and 4,000MB/s respectively. This is a significant increase from their CS3030 model. We’re looking forward to seeing if it holds up to its claims.

Kingston

Kingston had a nice line-up of SSD’s on display. Two that are already on the market were the DC500 and KC2000 drives. There were a couple that have yet to hit the market, though. First up is their DC1000M. This is a PCIe NVMe Gen 3x4 2.5” SSD that uses a U.2 interface and has hardware-based power fail protection. It comes in capacities ranging from 960GB to 7.68TB.

Next up is the A2000. This drive is a PCIe NVMe Gen 3x4 M.2 SSD with a capacity up to 1TB and utilized Intel’s 3D TLC 64-layer NAND technology. Sequential read/write speeds are quoted to reach up to 2,000MB/s and 1,500MB/s, respectively. No official launch dates have been released, but both drives are expected to hit the market in H2 of this year.

ADATA

ADATA had a whole slew of products being showcased, from PC peripherals, fans, and storage. One of the more interesting products being displayed was their PCIe 4.0 NVME SSD. This drive has a quoted read/write performance of 4,000MB/s and 3,000MB/s, respectively, and comes in a capacity of up to 8TB.

Another point of interest was their external SSD, the SE800, which uses the USB 3.2 Type-C Gen2 interface. Read and write speeds are quoted up to 1,000MB/s. This external SSD is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, and comes in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities.

Official launch dates for these drives haven’t been announced.

Delta

Delta had a nice set up at the exhibition hall this year showing off their NextGen Open Network Switches, as well as a single UPS. Their networking switches are geared towards carriers, cloud services, and enterprises, and come preloaded with 3rd party NOS which allows for high programmability and scalability.

Here are the key features they had listed out for their Networking Switches:

  • 1G/10G/25G/40G/100G/400G connectivity
  • High programmability and scalability
  • Support OpenFlow and Overlay Network
  • Support ONL, SONiC, and ONF’s Stratum

The UPS they were showcasing is their RT Series, Single Phase, 1/2/3 kVA (Face-Lift Model UPS, which is an online double-conversion UPS that provides consistent sine-wave power to your equipment. It features an output power factor of 0.9 and AC-AC efficiency up to 94%. You also have the option for connecting an external battery pack for longer backup time.

LatticeWork

LatticeWork was an interesting experience. These guys are doing some really cool stuff with their pilot product known as Amber, an AI-Powered Smart Storage Platform. A LatticeWork rep told us what they are trying to achieve with Amber is “bringing the cloud back down to earth.” Simplicity is key here, and it’s little more than plug-and-play. They currently have two models: Amber One and Amber Plus. The difference here is capacity. Amber One comes in a 2TB capacity (x2 1TB drives), while Amber Plus comes in a 4TB capacity (x2 2TB drives).

What’s really cool here is that this smart storage platform also acts as a wireless router (AC2600). It’s like a 2-in-1 package (storage and wi-fi) and, for the price, you really can’t beat it. While you can definitely expect Amber to mature over time, here are the apps that it currently comes with:

Backup

  • Desktop: Real-time folder backup via EzBackup
  • Mobile: Auto Camera Roll Backup (realtime)

Sync

  • Desktop: Sync folders between Amber and your desktop

Casting

  • Output: HDMI + Chromecast + DLNA
  • Media Format: Videos + Images

Video Streaming

  • HLS streaming for video playback with Smart Play
  • Adaptive streaming resolution based on the quality of connection
  • Support for up to 4 concurrent video streams

AI Indexing

  • On-Device AI object recognition of file contents

Accessibility

  • Companion apps can access Amber from the Internet or Local Network

File Versioning

  • VPHome versioning file system
  • Version Quantity: Limited only by disk space
  • Version Retention: 30 days

Cloud Service

  • Free 2GB LatticeNest Cloud Storage

This company hasn’t even officially launched yet, but they plan to officially launch sometime in mid-June.

NVIDIA

NVIDIA was showing off their latest NVIDIA EGX server that was announced this past week. The EGX is an accelerated computing platform that enables users to perform low-latency AI at the edge and was created to meet the demand to perform instantaneous, high-throughput with guaranteed response times while reducing the amount of data that must be sent to the cloud.

ASUSTOR

ASUSTOR was showing off their newly released Nimbustor 4, the 4-bay NAS geared towards gamers. This NAS comes equipped with an Intel Celeron J4105 Quad-Core 1.5 GHz (2.5 GHz turbo) processor and 4G DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM (expandable up to 8GB). Here’s some key takeaways:

  • Supports iSCSI to store less demanding titles to play across multiple devices simultaneously
  • Download videos from YouTube and Twitch for archival purposes with Takeasy and download all public content from a channel
  • Download StreamsGood and start streaming and interacting with your favorite streamers

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