Taiwanese motherboard maker Abit Computer wants to make the task of keeping PCs healthy and running smoothly a bit easier.
To do this, the company had begun building a microcontroller, called µGuru, onto some motherboard models to improve system monitoring without draining resources from the processor, Abit spokeswoman, Janet Webskowski, said at the Computex exhibition in Taipei.
The first ATX boards to incorporate the new chip were on display at the show.
The µGuru has four main functions: hardware monitoring, over-clocking management, BIOS (Basic Input Output System) update and troubleshooting assistance.
The hardware monitoring function tracks voltage, fan speed, over-clocking settings and temperature. The µGuru is able to shut down the system, even when the CPU (central processing unit) hangs, and can alert users when a PC is not operating properly, according to Webskowski.
The Intelligent Over-clocking function is a Windows-based application, which allows users to over-clock their systems without having to reboot and can provide automatic recovery when over-clocking fails. When over-clocking fails, the µGuru automatically reboots the PC with the previous clock speed setting. The chip also allows users to save three preset over-clocking profiles, which can be used for different user profiles or to meet specific needs, such as gaming.
The Smart BIOS Flash utility is a Windows-based BIOS update utility, which lets users download and install the latest BIOS updates to their PC.
The fourth function of µGuru is the Black Box feature, which allows users to record system operating conditions in the event of a hardware failure or if a PC is not running in a stable fashion.
When a problem occurs, Black Box makes it easier for users to receive help from Abit's technical support by sending all of the system information to Abit via e-mail.
Users could also configure Black Box to submit system information to other hardware vendors when help was needed, the company said.
A comprehensive guide to new products and announcements at the Computex exhibition will be in next week's issue of ARN.