Products

  • Intel CPU shortage

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

    Updated 20/03/2019

    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 28/02/2019

    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

  • Fanless NUC

    Meet the Fanless NUC – reliable, robust, and resilient

    Updated 17/12/2018

    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

  • 2U reverse mount

    Our Rack PCs are now reversible!

    Updated 28/11/2018

    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 30/10/2018

    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

  • Intel E-series CPU

    New Xeon E-Series chip from Intel available in our PCs

    Updated 03/10/2018

    While we’ve recently introduced members of AMD’s Ryzen family of CPUs into our Rack and Mini PCs, this doesn’t in any way mean that Intel has been taking a backseat. In fact, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Intel’s latest releases; most notably their new Coffee Lake Xeon E-2100 series of processors. We’re pleased to reveal that these are now available across our 2U and 4U units, and more recently, our 1U Plus.

    Announced back in July, this range of CPUs has been crafted specifically for creative professionals, which is why we think it’s a perfect fit for AV and digital media. The chips promise powerful single-threaded performance, advanced reliability and security, higher max turbo frequency, and much more.

    Meet the E-2100 family

    The new Xeon E-series chip line-up consists of 10 CPUs in total, from the lower spec E-2124, a 4-core, 4-thread CPU with a base clock of 3.3GHz and boost of 4.3GHz, to the range-topping E-2186G, which boasts 6 cores and 12 threads and a boost clock of 4.7GHz from a base of 3.8GHz. The ‘G’ of the latter CPU denotes the fact that this chip also supports Intel UHD graphics, which its lower spec sibling does not. Thermal Design Power (TDP) also ranges from 71W to 95W throughout the series.

    Overall, the Coffee Lake Xeon E-2100 series has a lot to offer:

    • Up to 6 cores/12 threads
    • Up to 4.7GHz using Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
    • Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory
    • Up to 64GB DDR4
    • Up to 40 PCIe lanes
    • Support for USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt
    • Support for Intel Optane memory
    • Hardware-enhanced security with Intel vPro

    Compatibility with Intel C-based chipsets

    Another huge benefit of the E-2100 series is that the Xeon processors are compatible with Intel’s C246 chipset. This wasn’t previously possible, as only Intel’s 8th gen i3, i5, and i7 CPUs were compatible, however both can helpfully now be used with the chipset.

    We’re really excited about the Xeon E-series, and will be introducing this into more of our PCs soon. If you would like to find out more about Intel’s E-2100 chips and how you can get your hands on one in a G2 PC, please contact us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 4U Nano Redundant PSU

    Redundant PSU latest addition to expandable 4U Nano

    Updated 19/09/2018

    We’re pleased to officially reveal that our highly expandable 4U Nano rackmount PC has recently received an exciting upgrade to its design. Following on from the modifications we made to our popular 2U Nano of late, its larger 4U cousin is now also the recipient of a brand-new redundant power supply unit (PSU). The introduction of this optional PSU complements the 4U Nano’s already powerful, high-performing configuration, adding to its existing high output 1500W ATX power supply and augmenting its line-up of impressive features.

    Plenty of power

    Thanks to this new upgrade, the 4U Nano is now more optimised than ever for power and performance. Our first 4U unit, it was built with AV and digital media production in mind, and its clever design only reflects this:

    • 370mm ultra-short-depth chassis
    • Dual Xeon processor options
    • Support for up to 4x dual-width graphics cards
    • High output 1500W ATX PSU
    • 4x 3.5” or 8x 2.5” hot swappable HDD/SSDs

    A PC for professionals

    With dual processor options for Intel’s range-topping Xeon chips and room for multiple dual-width graphics cards, this is a machine that’s primed for performance. Like the 2U Nano, due to its short-depth case and ultra-quiet cooling fans, the 4U Nano is an ideal PC for AV professionals. The addition of a redundant PSU offers added resilience, providing users with reassurance that should their main power supply fail during a show or production, the redundant unit will simply take over as if nothing had happened.

    We’re always making changes to our line-up of Rack and Mini PCs to ensure that we’re providing our customers with innovative, reliable technology that addresses their challenges and lives up to their expectations. We listen to your needs and do whatever we can to create solutions to meet those requirements.

    If you would like to find out more about what a redundant power supply means for the 4U Nano, or else learn about the PC itself and whether it’s right for you, get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products