Exclusive Tour: Gigabyte's Anechoic & Thermal Test Chambers

The Silent Front
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It began as a casual chat in June with old acquaintances over a beer at a pub at a pre-Computex press party organized by Cameron Wilmot of TweakTown. Cam, a young Aussie, moved to Taipei a couple of years ago to be closer to his sources and to the PC hardware industry; a smart move for a PC hardware website operator. The beery event at The Tavern near the Taipei Conference Center was sponsored by Gigabyte. Tim Handley was one of Gigabyte's PR men at the event. Tim's history with SPCR goes back to the days when he was working in marketing for VIA. He helped to make VIA the first advertiser on SPCR and initiated a good working relationship that remains to this day. Naturally we spent some time catching up with each other over a few drinks.


TweakTown's beery pre-Computex press party at The Tavern in Taipei, sponsored by Gigabyte

Conversation turned at some point to my long-standing, half-serious fantasy of building an underground anechoic chamber under my back yard and garage in Vancouver, a topic that rarely fails to amuse folks who hear it the first time. This prompted Tim to mention Gigabyte's anechoic chamber, located somewhere deep underground, below their main headquarters building in Taipei. Tim admitted he had never seen this anechoic chamber or the other test facilities in that section of the building, and promised to see if a visit could be arranged for me. The next day, my memory of the previous evening's details were blurred by large quantities of alcohol but Tim's faculties evidently remained intact, as he followed up with a call to say an exclusive visit had been arranged.

After a general conference for tech journalists at Gigabyte's main office on Beixin Road some days later, Tim Handley wisked me to the back and introduced me to Bruce Yeh, manager of the OEM/ODM product R&D department. They led me down into the bowels of this modern office building, down and around the back stairs to an area that even most of the Gigabyte staff do not know well. Two levels below the main floor is Bruce Yeh's realm. It begins with a hallway that must be the valley of death for some of Gigabyte's products: Controlled temperature test chambers abound in this corridor.


Two large temperature-controlled rooms for testing high temperature performance of various products.
They're often "cooked" (burn-tested) while in operation not just for hours but days.
One room is set at 50°C, and the other is at 43°C.


Here's what it looks inside one of the big thermal test chambers.


Bruce Yeh, Gigabyte's OEM/ODM product R&D manager, and Tim Handley look into one of the smaller thermal test chambers.


Here's what we see inside one of the smaller thermal test chambers.



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