The first thing to understand is that Amimon isn’t using a typical data model involving compression (we’ll add lossy to this, since the technology still sounds like a form of lossless compression), transmission, and decompression on the receiving end. Instead, the company classifies its technique as a specialized video mode, which prioritizes the video data (similar to what a compression algorithm might do) and allocates channel resources. All of the data is sent all of the time, according to Amimon, so nothing is ever lost. However, “the most important” information will always be first in line for transmission.
Inevitably, wireless link capacity will dip for fractions of a second, during which time the transmitter continues sending all data and the receiver attempts to receive all data. The result, in fact, is a loss in quality, starting with the data deemed least important by Amimon’s engine. Naturally, the frequency of those dips and the bandwidth available will depend on the distance between the transmitter/receiver and obstacles in the way. But it doesn’t seem like Amimon ever intended for the technology to broadcast content throughout a house. Rather, it’s much better suited to hitting a television on the other side of a room.
We had the chance to test its next generation of wireless technology, which will emerge this quarter, and were unable to correctly guess the TV connected directly and the set operating wirelessly.
A Small Small Form Factor Update
Although we dashed off to eight other meetings/events on the first day, the only other project that really caught our eyes (other than Microsoft’s Windows 7 beta, which we’ll revisit soon), was Shuttle’s display of X58-based small form factor boxes.
Its first wave of Core i7 barebones employs the company’s existing chassis design. The first system will be called the SX58H7, and is reported roomy enough for a pair of AMD or Nvidia cards in CrossFire/SLI. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to peek inside to see if the claim includes dual-slot cards.
Shuttle also had its next-generation design on display and it’s quite sharp. Rather than using flip-down doors to cover externally accessible drives, it employs a small stealth door that swings open.
We had hoped to write this month’s System Builder Marathon series a little differently, using compact enclosures for each of our price points. But because there weren’t any X58-based micro-ATX motherboards available yet, we had to put that project on hold. Now it’s looking like Shuttle will follow up the i7’s launch, lagging by just a couple of months, with a complete barebones platform that might wind up serving LAN party aficionados well.