• Intel CPU shortage

    The impact of Intel’s chip shortage is almost behind us

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    In both Q3 and Q4 of 2018, overwhelming demand for Intel’s 14nm processors meant that both consumers and suppliers of products reliant on Intel chips were faced with considerable stock constraints. Now well into 2019, we’re still feeling the effects of the CPU shortage, which only looks set to continue into the next quarter. This does sadly mean that both the prices and lead times of our products are still being impacted, but we are doing everything we can to alleviate this issue for our customers. This may even influence previously issued quotes, so if you have recently received a quote from us for any upcoming projects that involve an Intel chip, please contact us for an updated quote.

    Why is there a chip shortage?

    Intel’s chip shortage is down to a number of different factors surrounding the supply of their 14nm 8th generation processors. Due in large part to a record demand for the CPUs, as well as a delay in the 10nm manufacturing process, this resulted in a significant supply gap in the latter half of 2018 which has since rolled over into 2019. This is likely to be augmented in Q2 ‘19 by an anticipated demand for Chromebooks containing Intel’s lower-end CPUs, which may mean their i3 processors could overtake the highly sought-after i5 quad-core Kaby Lake-R chips as the hardest to get your hands on.

    Things are looking up for Q3 ‘19

    According to DigiTimes research, however, the worst of the shortage may be over by Q3 of this year. Acknowledging that their shift in capacity for high-end processors was one of the causes behind the chip shortage, Intel has been taking steps to address the problem and it’s now predicted that we’ll see a new 14nm capacity expansion of around 25%, which will supposedly mean the end of the issue for good. Likewise, with the data centre boom seemingly almost over, things could be looking up for the supply of Intel’s chips as we move further into 2019.

    It’s always darkest before the dawn

    We’re hoping that the shortage won’t last much longer and are working to ensure this has a minimal impact on our customers’ orders. If you would like to better understand how Intel’s chip shortage will affect the prices and lead times of your G2 order, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Fanless NUC

    ISE saw the launch of our new Fanless NUC

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    The exhilarating atmosphere of Integrated Systems Europe 2019 not only provided the platform for our debut as an exhibitor, but also the official launch of our brand-new Fanless NUC. Having recognised a gap in the market for a fanless variant of the extremely popular Intel NUC as well as a growing demand for this within the audio-visual industry, we’ve built a solution that provides AV and digital professionals with greater flexibility than ever before.

    The many fortes of the Fanless NUC

    The result of an extensive research and development project, the Fanless NUC is a high-performing, compact PC ideal for sound-sensitive installations where controlling noise is crucial. Thanks to the removal of the frequently noisy cooling fan, the unit is rendered practically soundless, running almost silently and with a minimal build-up of heat over time. Being fanless, the PC benefits from one less point of failure, reducing the risk of any internal damage and vastly increasing its reliability. At only 180mm deep, it’s a perfect fit for smaller comms cabinets but can also be rackmounted with ease, our uniquely designed chassis and front panels enabling users to rackmount two of the fanless units side-by-side in 1U. A nifty internal 60W power supply also keeps the PC tidy, condensed, and robust.

    Flexible, feature-rich, and fanless

    The Fanless NUC, although compact, is overflowing with great features:

    • Support for latest Intel 8th Generation i7, i5, and i3 NUC motherboards
    • Industrialised 60W 110-230VAC internal power supply
    • Additional multi NIC capability
    • 1 x M.2 (2280) & 1 x 2.5’’ SSD/HDD
    • M.2 Dual Gigabit Ethernet card
    • Wi-Fi connectivity options
    • Optional RS232 port

    Creating a whole wealth of new possibilities for NUC users, the Fanless NUC achieves something few of our competitors are able to offer. With no moving parts and a ruggedised case, it’s portable, resilient, and highly versatile – an excellent choice for any industrial or more challenging applications.

    If you’d like to learn more about the latest addition to our line-up of compact and rackmount PCs and why it’s ideal for AV and digital media professionals, get in touch with the team today.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, News, Products

  • Farewell Amsterdam ISE

    Farewell Integrated Systems Europe, until next year!

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    February 2019 marked the biggest and best Integrated Systems Europe yet, with a record 81,286 attendees and over 1,300 exhibitors, which included our own debut appearance. It was thrilling to be able to exhibit alongside some of the most well-known names in the AV industry, which included the likes of Epson, Bang and Olufsen, Panasonic, Sony, and many more. The four-day show more than delivered on its promise of a complete and utter audio and visual spectacle – from Hall to Hall, walls of enormous screens, titanic speakers, interactive displays, and ground-breaking technologies amazed and astonished visitors from the moment they stepped through the door.

    Intel Fanless NUCSpotlight on our stand

    Our own stand successfully captured the imaginations of many – our unique range of attractive compact and rackmount PCs took centre stage while a feature wall dedicated to our latest Intel-based product, the Fanless NUC, allowed visitors to see its impressive capabilities in action as it powered our 60” TV screen. If you happened to stop by our stand at ISE, you will have no doubt also seen our Pick ‘N’ Mix wall – something which proved very popular among AV and digital professionals! We were really pleased with the outcome of our first time exhibiting at the event, and wanted to extend our thanks to everyone who took the time to visit us.

    AVTV

    Ready for our close-up

    While at ISE, we were delighted to find out that two of our newest products – the Fanless NUC and the Bantam – had both featured in separate editions of the ISE Daily, the event’s main magazine. We also spent some time with AV Magazine, both at their annual cocktail party, and in front of their cameras filming for AVTV! Our very own director, Chris Hollidge, was interviewed to reveal his insights into why our products are such a great fit for AV integrators and what developments we have on the horizon. Watch the final cut here.

    Things that made us go ‘wow’

    ISE never fails to impress us, and this year was no different. We were blown away by LG’s OLED Falls, an absolutely stunning display of AV magic, as well as Epson’s super-cool Epson Vortex, their interactive projected tunnel application. The best by far, however, was Sony’s gigantic Crystal LED screen. 9.5 meters wide, the screen was so high-definition that for a moment we believed we were actually witnessing a live carnival. It stopped us all in our tracks.

    Sony at ISE

    Bring on 2020

    We had an incredible time in Amsterdam, and are really looking forward to doing it all again next year. We’re already full to the brim with ideas for our future stand and have booked our place at the show in readiness, so if you missed us this time around, there’s always 2020!

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Fanless NUC

    Meet the Fanless NUC – reliable, robust, and resilient

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Following a recent upgrade to our highly popular 1U NUC PC to provide important support for Intel’s 8th generation i7 NUC motherboard, we are now pleased to also be able to offer our customers a fanless variation to the product. We’ve seen a lot more demand for fanless NUCs, and for good reason.

    Why go fanless?

    Fanless PCs offer even more versatility versus their fan-cooled cousins, and as a result are growing in popularity. While making our NUCs fanless doesn’t necessarily have any particular impact on their core specs or performance, what it does do is offer even more flexibility, expanding the range of different environments they can be used in.

    No noise

    A lot of the noise emitted from your average PC originates from its fan(s). This almost goes without saying, but by removing the fan from a NUC, noise is eliminated and the unit is able to run almost silently. This makes it ideal for sound-sensitive environments or for use in AV production where noise can prove disruptive.

    One less point of failure

    On occasion fans can also malfunction or breakdown because of trapped dust or debris, particularly in industrial applications, which can end up having an adverse effect on the electrical components within a PC. Going fanless eradicates this issue entirely, protecting the machine against dust, shavings, and even water penetration, meaning the risk of damage or downtime to the PC is minimised. The fact that the unit is completely sealed also makes it perfect for use in sterile environments such as hospitals or laboratories.

    Less moving parts

    Minus its fan, the number of moving parts in the 1U NUC is significantly reduced, making it far more robust, resilient, and durable – a ruggedised PC ready for use in more challenging environments. Because the PC is so compact, it also offers flexible mounting options, meaning two fanless NUCs can be rackmounted side-by-side in a 1U space.

    Energy efficient

    Due to the fact that the PC no longer has a fan, the NUC needs to find alternative ways to cool. Because of this, the machine is built to use much less power and consequently generate less heat in order to minimise the energy used to run it.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of a fanless 1U NUC PC, then please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, Products

  • 2018

    What a difference a year makes: what 2018 looked like for G2

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    G2 Digital is constantly growing. In 2016, we created the 2U Nano and the 1U PC. In 2017, we expanded our offices and refreshed our website. As we start to move towards the New Year, we’re proud to look back on 2018 at the broad spectrum of new and exciting developments that have happened over the past year, as well as taking a sneaky peek into what the future holds for our business.

    Welcome to the family

    Two huge projects came to a head for us in early 2018, resulting in the birth of the latest additions to our product range – the Bantam and the 4U Nano.

    The Bantam offers all of the benefits of a Rack PC within the compact case of a Mini PC. Taking the best from both worlds, it’s built to handle high-demand applications in space-sensitive environments. A high-performing machine, it’s got some serious punch, as well as incredibly flexible mounting options.

    Our 4U Nano was the very first 4U machine to join our product line-up. Able to accommodate more dual-width graphics cards in a single unit than any of our other PCs, it’s powerful, reliable, and ideal for supporting high-end GPUs.

    Always evolving

    This year hasn’t just been about introducing something new, however. Very often our customers come to us with a specific requirement or demand that they need our PCs to fulfil. It’s so important to us that we therefore ensure our products evolve and grow over time so that they’re always able to meet these emerging needs. This year alone, this has led to the redesign of our popular Tiny PC to allow for greater expansion opportunities, the implementation of Dual HD-SDI input in 7th gen NUCs, and new redundant power supply (PSU) options for both our 2U Nano and 4U Nano. More recently, we’ve also introduced reverse-mounting into the design of our PCs, providing our AV and Digital Media customers with impressive flexibility for compact installations.

    We’re in the chips!

    Not only have we made certain our PCs always have the latest Intel CPU technology available, including the most recent Xeon E-Series and 9th generation chips, but are now able to offer AMD’s state-of-the-art Ryzen 7 and Threadripper processors too. This sees our customers get even more choice, versatility, and speed from their CPUs than ever before.

    We became an AV Awards Finalist

    Our short-depth 2U Nano rackmount PC was shortlisted back in August for the AV Awards’ Production Product of the Year. We’re hugely proud that the 2U Nano was recognised by such prestigious experts from the AV and Digital Media arena; a testament to all of the hard work we’ve put into building it and ensuring that it directly addresses the needs and challenges of the AV industry.

    Integrated Systems Europe

    2018 also marked our first trip to Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Amsterdam. We enjoyed our experience so much that we decided almost immediately we wanted to exhibit there. And now, ten months on, we’re in the throes of getting ready to display and demonstrate our products there alongside the titans of our industry. What’s more, we’re inviting you to join us at the RAI on the 5th – 8th February – as a guest of G2 you can gain free entry to the sought-after 4-day event, and can now book a meeting with us for a one-to-one product tour.

    Come and find us on stand 5-W114 in the Audio & Live Events Technology Hall!

    Bring on 2019

    2018 has been a year of great progress for G2, and as such, we’re approaching 2019 with huge optimism. We’re very excited about the opportunities that ISE 2019 will present in particular, and can’t wait to start showing off exactly what our PCs can do. Among these PCs will be our brand-new Fanless NUC, which we’ll be officially launching at the show, meaning you’ll get the chance to meet it straight out of the blocks. 2019 will also bring with it a new 2U product that we’re currently working on, so watch this space for more news on any developments.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • 2U reverse mount

    Our Rack PCs are now reversible!

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’ve always prided ourselves on providing flexible mounting options for our products. It’s in large part because of how our products get used in environments where physical space is often at a premium.  It’s with this idea of flexibility in mind that we have made a dramatic change to our Rack PCs.

    Revolutionary reverse-mounting

    For the first time, several of our units can now be rack-mounted from both the front and the rear of the machine. Put simply, this opens up the option for customers to reverse-mount their PCs if this is a preference, ensuring that the PC’s connectors are facing the front of the rack, as opposed to the glowing power button. Users can therefore enjoy better cable management, easier access to connectors, and a quick means of reaching the machine’s power and LED switch, meaning greater convenience overall.

    Although our units are typically mounted in short-depth rack cabinets, being able to rackmount from both the front and the back of the PC proves a large advantage for deeper cabinets. The versatile mounting option can mean up to two units could be mounted within the same rack – one reverse-mounted and one forward-facing, resulting in a much tidier cabinet and better utilised rackspace.

    Take advantage of reverse-mounting

    This option to reverse-mount is currently only available in our 1U PC, 1U Nano, 2U Nano, and 4U Nano, however we’re already working on extending this innovation to the remainder of our product portfolio. As well as this design change, an ultra-short-depth 370mm case and new redundant power supply unit (PSU) options make our extremely compact 2U Nano and 4U Nano PCs ideal for use in AV and digital media productions where high-performance output is required in a space-sensitive environment.

    If you would like to learn more about the changes to our units or the benefits of reverse-mounting a Rack PC, get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, Products

  • Intel 9th gen

    Intel’s 9th gen CPUs now available in G2 PCs

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Officially unveiled earlier this month at Intel’s Fall Desktop Event, we’re excited to announce that their brand-new 9th generation of chips is now available in selected models of our Rack PCs. While the 9th gen Coffee Lake CPUs are still based on a 14nm architecture, these have now been dubbed “14nm++” and offer serious power and performance boosts over their 8th gen predecessors.

    The wow factor: i9-9900K

    Boasting 8 cores, astounding clock speeds, and compatibility with LGA1151 Coffee Lake desktop boards, we’re particularly impressed with Intel’s flagship i9-9900K processor. With a fairly standard base clock (for an i9 chip) of 3.6GHz, it is the first ever Intel CPU to have a Turbo speed of 5GHz, which is really setting it apart as a monster of a processor.

    Hailed as potentially the best gaming processor in the world today, it’s got some awesome specs:

    • Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
    • 16 Core Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
    • Intel L3 SmartCache 16MB
    • Up to 16 PCIe lanes
    • Intel UHD graphics 630

    More future-ready

    Helpfully, the 9th gen CPUs are backwards compatible with all of Intel’s 300-series chipsets, as well as the latest Z390 motherboard, meaning less restrictions and far more flexibility than previous generations. The chips have also been built with silicon-level hardware fixes to tackle some of the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities that were exposed at the start of this year, and see the welcomed return of Intel’s Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) over paste.

    Hot off the press

    Due to the fact that the 9th gen chips now offer seriously advanced overclocking, particularly the i9-9900K, the resulting power can mean the CPUs get very hot, and therefore need an equally powerful cooler to contain the excess heat. Talk to us about how best to optimise your PC for a 9th gen CPU.

    If you would like to learn more about Intel’s 9th generation of chips and how to maximise their potential within a G2 PC, contact us and speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products