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News Headlines For Monday February 28th 2000
Internet News
  • X-Box to ship fall 2001, nuke Sony, Nintendo et al
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    With Bill Gates' attendance at next month's Games Developers' Conference now confirmed (and Microsoft having registered the xbox.com domain, apparently; x-box.com having being snapped up by some crafty Germans) we shouldn't have to wait too long to find out whether the much-rumoured specifications for Microsoft's X-Box PlayStation killer are correct.

    Veteran IT pundit John D Dvorak, writing for Forbes put in his tuppence worth this week in true "my sources tell me..." style. Dvorak's deep throat trotted out the now standard line: high-speed x86 CPU (a 600MHz Athlon, according to the sources), 3D accelerator chip, DVD drive, game controller and hard disk.

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  • Hardware Roundup Online sites do CeBIT a favor
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Hardware News Roundup

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  • Pine trails MP3 on CD
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Pine Group will have a portable CD and MP3 player in UK shops from 1 April, the company said today -- no joke, honest.

    The Hong-Kong vendor is claiming a world first with the product, which will let users play CDs made by downloading music from the Internet via a CD writer, as well as being able to play normal music CDs.

    With a retail price of Ł199.99, the D'Music SM-200C on show at CeBIT today was the size of a Discman, but able to play CDs holding ten hours of music -- more than 100 songs.

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  • Intel whacks Pentium III, Celeron prices
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: CNET Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Intel has cut prices on its Xeon, Pentium III and Celeron chips for desktop PCs by around 25 percent, a discount that will shortly be followed by PC price cuts and faster processors.

    The price cuts, which range from 10 to 29 percent, are targeted at the desktop market and, as usual, will likely lead to discounts across the industry.

    Although processors are much cheaper than they were three years ago, microprocessors--which can range in price from $69 to $647 in volume quantities--are still one of the more expensive components inside a computer. Chip price cuts, therefore, typically reduce PC prices, or at least counteract inflationary costs caused by rising prices of other parts.

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  • Why Rambus has been a slow starter
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Despite Intel Corp.'s lobbying efforts and the more than $1 billion it has invested in memory chip makers to spur adoption of Rambus technology, the memory architecture remains a minor player in the PC marketplace.

    Analysts predict that over the next two years, Rambus dynamic RAM (RDRAM) will continue to be overshadowed by synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM), a less expensive and battle-tested memory technology.

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News Headlines For Friday February 25th 2000
Internet News
  • MS shows GSM Pocket PC, plans games for devices
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Microsoft is to launch its next rev of Windows CE pocket computer, now dubbed 'Windows-powered' Pocket Pcs, before the middle of the year, company mobile device division marketing manager Brian Shafer said at CeBIT yesterday.

    Shagfer demoed a unit produced by Siemens and Casio with integrated GSM and running Pocket Internet Explorer, which was also unveiled yesterday, although like Pocket PC it had been well-telegraphed. Siemens and Casio both have a long-term commitment to the operating system formerly known as CE, and Casio more recently has struck an alliance with Vodafone to provide all-singing, all-dancing multimedia PDA-phone handset units.

    Pocket PCs are also to be shipped by Compaq, HP and Symbol Technologies. Shafer also provided some hints about the future direction of Microsoft's OS strategy by indicating that Microsoft was investigating the possibility of producing games for Pocket PC. Aside from mobile telephony the new version of the platform is being aimed at mobile audio and digital books, so it's multimedia capabilities have to be rather more advanced than previously.

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  • Motorola unveils phone in a watch WAP device
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Motorola was showing off the future of telecomms today with a mobile phone watch.

    The prototype device is a single band phone that is worn like, as well as designed like, a watch.

    It has a cord attached to the tiny phone which runs up the arm under clothing and has a headphone socket attached. The battery is also located in the strap.

    The nifty product, as yet unnamed and with no planned launch date, can be connected to a Palm Pilot and also offers a WAP browser. Voice activated, it can be programmed to be used by up to 20 different people. The user can choose to be alerted to a phone call by a ring or by a vibration on the wrist.

    Motorola said it intended to test customer demand before releasing the 900 GSM device onto the market.

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  • Seagate launches 'world speed record' 15,000rpm hard drive
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Hard drive Specialist yesterday unveiled what it claims is the fastest hard drive in the world.

    The Cheetah X15 breaks no records for capacity -- it's an 18GB unit -- or size -- it has a 3.5in form factor -- but it does take drive speeds to a new level. The X15 spins at 15,000rpm, 50 per cent faster than current high-speed drives, which typically rotate at just 10,000rpm.

    For the X15, that translates to data transfer rates of up to 48MB per second. It also brings drive latency down to just two milliseconds. By comparison, 7200rpm drives typically have latencies of 4.17ms and 10,000rpm drives 2.99ms, Seagate said.

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  • CDMA phone tech suspended in China
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    The government gave no clear reason for halting the rollout of U.S.-made CDMA mobile phone networks.

    A Chinese official confirmed on Friday that Beijing has suspended the rollout of CDMA mobile phone networks, casting a shadow over the future of the U.S. technology in one of the world's most important markets.

    The official in the Ministry of Information Industry's Comprehensive Planning Department offered only vague reasons for the suspension and declined to say when a rollout could resume.

    "It has just been suspended," the official told Reuters.

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  • Pocket PC Poised to Take on Palm
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Will Pocket PC devices compete with each other, not with Palm?

    Palm Computing may be the current champion of the handheld computing market, but Microsoft is prepping for a battle.

    Microsoft is confident that the soon-to-be-released Pocket PC software package will allow the software giant to gain on its competitors, a company official said on Friday.

    To be sure, Pocket PC will be playing catch-up with devices based on the Palm operating system, which in the U.S. according to estimates have as much as 80 percent market share in the palm-size device segment.

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  • The Future of RAM: RDRAM vs. DDR Explained
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: HardwareCentral Posted By: Corey Gouker

    If we wish the performance of today’s PC to continue to increase, all components of the system must progress equally. PC performance is not dependent on just one factor, rather on a number acting together. A powerful processor is key, but is not the only issue of importance--a Pentium III 800, if restricted to a 486 platform, would not perform up to potential. To attain, and keep, top levels of performance, we must attempt to anticipate and eliminate potential bottlenecks.

    Although not at a critical stage at present, memory subsystem performance is quickly becoming a bottleneck in today’s high-test PCs. Processor and graphics technology continues to progress at a much greater rate than memory technology, and as a result memory technology is beginning to hinder throughput. Both Intel and AMD have recognized this, and have acknowledged that if we are to continue to accelerate performance, a stronger, faster memory subsystem will be required.

    Of course, no problem has only one solution, and this dilemma has proven no different. While Intel and AMD both agree that faster memory performance is essential, they vehemently disagree on how to achieve that increase. Intel continues to push RDRAM, while AMD, and others, are backing DDR technology. The purpose of this article will be to examine and discuss the merits and faults of each.

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  • Intel's Willamette, a wolf in sheep's clothing?
    Time: 10:30P PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: HardwareCentral Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Willamette is the code name for the next generation of Intel CPUs, the first member of a new family of CPUs that are successors to the Intel P6 family. The Intel P6 family started off with the Intel Pentium Pro a few years ago, laying the foundation of a whole new Intel CPU family.

    The Pentium Pro came in a wide variety of clockspeeds and L2-cache configurations, with its external L2-cache running at full clockspeed. Its well-known successor, the Intel Pentium II, was the logical follow-up, adding MMX technology to the P6 CPU core as well as an external L2-cache running at half CPU clockspeed. The Intel Pentium III added a number of enhancements to the P6 CPU core, such as: SSE, Streaming SIMD Extensions for enhanced floating point and 3D application performance and the Intel Processor Serial Number, a feature that enables the user to be identified by the serial number of its CPU.

    The Intel Pentium III Coppermine heralded the return of the L2-cache running at full clock speed, much as in the original Pentium Pro. Whereas with the Intel Pentium Pro the L2-cache was mounted inside the CPU package, with the new Intel Pentium III the L2-cache is actually on-die, reducing cost as well as improving cache latency and throughput.

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News Headlines For Wednesday February 23rd 2000
Internet News
  • News about Cyrix III
    Time: 7:15P PST/ 10:15P EST News Source: Forwarded Email Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The new Cyrix III, formerly known as Joshua, will not work in a dual or multiprocessor platform.  It will work by itself in a socket 370 motherboard if the 2.2V required are provided for on the motherboard and the correct FSB which is clearly marked on top of the processor.

    Additionally, the BIOS will need to support the performance features in order for the Cyrix III to operate optimally.

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  • AMD, Via, Intel chipsets -- FIC's future view
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    A presentation of First International Corporation (FIC) of its motherboard offerings during the year 2000 has cast light on future technology arriving from Intel, Via and AMD.

    Our information is that AMD has decided to make the Athlon 700 its sweet spot -- cutting the price by a staggering 60 per cent next week.

    According to the document we have seen, AMD has just started sampling an Irongate 4 chipset, which will start to be produced in volume in June of this year. In the second quarter of this year, Via will go into production of KM133 chipset, and start providing samples of its Apollo FX266M chipset, with Solano production, which supports PC133, IGT and AGP4x, starting in April. Via is also releasing a Pro Media 2 product late in this quarter.

    In the second half of the year, Camino II (the 820e) will go into production, supporting ATA100 and 2, 4 and 6 channel audio. The Via FX266H production will start in the same time period, and so too will Solano II, which again is ATA100, and supports 2,4, and 6 channel audio.

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News Headlines For Tuesday February 22nd 2000
Internet News
  • AMD Athlon at heart of Microsoft X-Box spec
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Upstart graphics firm Gigapixel has beaten off S3, Nvidia, ATI and other big-name rivals to win the contract to design the graphics chipset for Microsoft's X-Box.

    And it in turn has awarded the contract to build the chipset to AMD.

    An AMD Athlon CPU, a hard drive, DVD ROM and a modified version of Windows will form the other major components of the X-Box, according to sources cited by the IT Network.

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  • Motorola buys network processor pioneer
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Motorola is to buy network chip developer C-Port in a stock swap that values the acquisition at $430 million.

    Founded in 1997, C-Port's work has centered on the development of programmable processors designed to replace ASICs in high-end networking hardware: high-speed switches and routers, that kind of thing. The advantage of a directly programmable chip over a hard-wired ASIC is clear: it takes less time to develop applications in the first place, and upgrades can be installed far more quickly, because no one has fab a whole new chip.

    C-Port's key offering is the C-5 "digital communications processor".

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  • Psion, Nokia, Palm et al push mobile data sync standard
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Various friends of Symbian, including Nokia, Psion, Palm and Motorola, have kicked off an effort to develop an open industry spec for universal data synchronization of remote data and personal information. Other founders are IBM and its subsidiary Lotus, and Motorola sub Starfish (whose raison d'etre is of course synchronization).

    The SyncML Initiative will be open to all, but you could say that there's maybe less to it than meets the eye. It's intended to produce an XML-based synchronization protocol, so essentially it will be building on the XML industry standard and providing mobile appliance manufacturers with a standardized way to communicate and synchronize data with Web servers, PCs and enterprise servers. XML itself is likely to meet SyncML more than half way here.

    But that's not to say the Initiative isn't laudable. The partners intend to support email, calendar, contact management and data synchronization, and as people find themselves more and more using multiple devices to communicate their need for simple and standard synchronization systems will increase massively. ®

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  • Crusoe to dominate Taiwanese production, says Transmeta
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Transmeta CEO Dave Ditzel and VP marketing Jim Chapman did have something new to say when they showed up in London yesterday, but history will judge whether or not it was smart. According to Chapman, Transmeta's Crusoe and Mobile Linux combo is being adopted by the entire Taiwanese IT industry for Web pad-type devices.

    By a strange coincidence Taiwan's National Science Council last week announced that it would be investing around $650 million (US) in order to boost Taiwan's Internet Appliance industry over the next five years. In the view of the NSC the IA industry is the Next Big Thing, and the Taiwanese government intends to have the island producing somewhere in the region of $5 billion (US) worth of them by 2005.

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  • Hardware Roundup Love that Athlon 850MHz floating performance
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The IT Network awards a big pat on the back for the Athlon 850MHz, primarily for its better floating point performance, compared with its 800MHz little brother. The new processor is "ideal for high-end desktops and single processor workstations - and is also cheaper than the fastest Pentium III currently available". The full Athlon 950MHz review is at http://www.itnetwork.com/article4301.

    There's a review of the extremely sexy Yamaha CRW8424 IDE CD-RW at Hardware One which is well worth a gander. Do names make a difference to bits of hardware? Yamaha don't think so...

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  • Color Palm IIIc ships
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Palm IIIc

    Palm Computing launched its much-anticipated color Palm IIIc this morning -- a mere two days after leaks from US retailer Best Buy said it would.

    As expected, the device sports a 256-colour active-matrix LCD, 8MB of memory and contains a built-in rechargeable battery. The price -- again as anticipated -- is $449 in the US. European pricing will be released later in the spring, when the device ships over here.

    And while the IIIc's dark plastic case is slightly larger than other models in the III family, it is compatible with add-ons designed for those machines, Palm said.

    A handful of color-enabled Palm apps became available today, too, including AvantGo's Web browser and a digital photo viewer, Album To Go.

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  • Intel chipset roadmaps more like road works
    Time: 10:30A PST/ 1:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    If you're currently scratching your head over whether to buy a Pentium III or an Athlon now, or wait until next week or for a couple of months when the prices drop and the performance rises, and when everything's .18 micron whatever that is, you might think you've already got problems.

    But your problems are as nothing compared to motherboard and PC manufacturers, who are, as we write, trying to make sense of Intel's chipset strategy for both the consumer and desktop market for the rest of the year.

    They, remember, don't only have to compete against each other, but also have to time their product introductions to take advantage of "seasonal fluctuations" and try and make a decent margin on the whole mess. (Pity, for example, NECX Direct, which has a plaintive message on its direct Web site saying that there's a temporary shortage of Pentium III/733MHz processors -- click ETA for that message)

    Intel is currently showing its Asia Pacific partners two chipset roadmaps: one for the consumer (read Celeron, Timna), and one for the business (read Coppermines &c) markets.

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News Headlines For Monday February 21st 2000
Internet News
  • AMD to slaughter Intel on Athlon pricing
    Time: 6:00P PST/ 9:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    As we revealed earlier on today, AMD has decided to take its price war right to the gates of Chipzilla central and has further revised its pricing on the Athlon in a bid to make Intel hurt.

    Our information is that AMD has decided to make the Athlon 700 its sweet spot -- cutting the price by a staggering 60 per cent next week.

    Here is the latest distributor pricing, which will hit on the 28th of February next. OEM prices, for quantities of 1000, will be even less expensive.

    The Athlon 550 is now terminated. The 600MHz will cost $190, the 650MHz $226, the 700MHz $270, the 750MHz $350, the 800MHz $530 and the top of the range model, the 850MHz Athlon, will cost $750 from next Monday.

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News Headlines For Friday February 18th 2000
Internet News
  • Via fires back at Intel, readies new chip
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: CNET Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Via Technologies fired back at Intel in one of the many lawsuits between the two companies as the Taiwanese chipset maker prepares the release of its first microprocessor.

    Via this week said it disputes Intel's claim that it has violated the chip giant's intellectual property and said that it plans to contest the suit. The challenge was filed in a London court.

    "We are going to vigorously fight the court actions that Intel has brought against Via," said Richard Brown, director of marketing for the company. "We strongly believe that the patent infringement claims they have made against us are totally without merit."

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  • DRAM spot prices fall through the floor
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Spot DRAM prices in Korea are tumbling toward $5 per 64Mb unit, Asiabiztech reports.

    What it calls the "benchmark 8Mb x 8, PC-100 chip" is currently trading in the $5.80-6.15 per unit range.

    Falling prices throughout the first half of the year will mean that chip vendors are likely to cut back on production -- but not quite yet, according to industry watchers cited by AsiaBiztech. ®

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  • Microsoft to launch X-Box next month
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Microsoft will unveil its would-be PlayStation 2 killer, X-Box, next month during the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California.

    At least that's what UK trade title CTW is predicting. It reckons Bill Gates will play second fiddle to Lionhead co-founder (and look-alike to The Register's own Mike Magee) Peter Molyneux who will be on stage to demo his upcoming online multiplayer Black and White running on the X-Box.

    Since X-Box is increasingly looking like nothing more than a low-end PC with a high-end processor and a black set-top case, such a launch is entirely plausible. Certainly the rumors of late do tend to suggest a finalization of the machine's basic spec at the very least.

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  • Hardware Round-up
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Hardware News Round Up

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News Headlines For Wednesday February 16th 2000
Internet News
  • Willamette won't launch at 1.5GHz this autumn
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    We were privileged this afternoon to have a round table briefing from Dr Albert Yu, a senior VP at the Intel Corporation, and the man who unleashed a 1.5GHz on the world stage earlier today.

    We had some of those pesky questions to ask him about the product, and in the process, unearthed some interesting anomalies.

    Dr Yu refused to say how much on-die cache was on the processor he introduced today, would not give a delivery date for the product and when we asked him about the die size and how many additional transistors were on the Willamette, he said the die size was "slightly bigger" than the Coppermine.

    However, he did say it was unlikely that when Willamette launches on the 1st October or thereabouts, it would reach such 1.5GHz speeds. He said: "It's unlikely it will launch at that speed. This is a very first raw look at the silicon."

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  • Rambus share price goes absolutely crackers
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Shares in Rambus Ink soared by over $40 on US markets today but no-one can exactly understand why.

    Intel fired up a 1.5GHz Willamette at its bi-annual jamboree earlier today, confirming details of its throughput revealed here a fortnight ago.

    But Willamette, despite the synchronisation of its bus speed suiting Rambus memory perfectly, will not exclusively use chipsets which just support that memory standard.

    Paul Otellini, senior VP at Intel US, is on record as saying today that the company will offer both synchronous memory and Rambus in future chipsets, depending on what the market -- that is its PC customers -- want.

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  • Will Intel's Timna be a graphics turnoff?
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    When Timna is introduced, it will be incorporated in sub-$600 devices but will include a subset of the 810 graphics capabilities.

    And there's no way this solution, which hasn't appealed to many people because of its limited functionality, can be tweaked to switch the graphics function off, Intel confirmed today.

    The inclusion of 810 graphics capability is also unlikely to appeal wildly to a number of third party graphics chip firms, which already feel that their margins are super slim and their market is over competitive.

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  • Yu rips opens Willamette kimono
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Senior Intel VP Albert Yu has outlined Intel's roadmap for the rest of the year and promised that by next year, millions of Willamette processors will ship.

    By the end of the year, 100s of thousands of Willamettes will be available, said Yu.

    Earlier, during chairman Andy Grove's speech, Yu had demonstrated a system running at 1.5GHz, and showed a small chip which he said was a Willamette.

    Yu said that Willamettte will use a 400MHz system bus, use Screaming Sindie 2, which will allow 128 bits (2 x 64) to be used by the floating point unit. The integer arithmetical logic unit (ALU) runs at twice the clock speed allowing for higher clock speeds, said Yu. Willamette is optimised for the Rambus platform.

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  • Jobs unveils new hardware in Tokyo
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the wraps off new iBooks and professional PowerBooks and bumps up speed of the Power Mac G4 line; the new hardware will be available immediately.

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs confounded naysayers during Wednesday's Macworld Expo/Tokyo keynote presentation when he took the wraps off new iBooks and professional PowerBooks and nudged up the processor speed of the Power Mac G4.

    Jobs said all the new hardware will be available immediately through retailers and Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) online store.

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  • Sun, Intel war brewing over IA-64
    Time: 12:00A PST/ 3:00A EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Intel accuses Sun Microsystems of not being serious in supporting forthcoming Itanium chip.

    Intel Corp. said today it is considering dropping Sun Microsystems from its roster of partners supporting Intel's upcoming IA-64 platform. Intel and Sun have a contract for Solaris on Itanium, which is the first member of Intel's IA-64 family and is due this year. But an Intel spokesman said that while Intel will honor that contract, it dropped Sun's name from its marketing materials in December and is already putting its resources behind other operating systems, including Linux and Project Monterey from IBM.

    The spokesman confirmed published remarks by Intel executive VP Paul Ottelini, who told the San Jose Mercury News that Sun is not serious about supporting the Intel platform.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 15th February 2000
Internet News

News Headlines For Monday 14th February 2000
Internet News
  • Toy Fair 2000: Technoplay
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Call it kiddie convergence. For the first time ever, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere is dedicating an entire exhibit area to high-tech playthings. Will Barbie ever be the same?

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  • Developers urged to port apps to Willamette
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Intel will this week begin to outline to software developers the reasons why they should start to take advantage of the additional multimedia/internet extensions in the next generation of its IA-32 processor, Willamette.

    At the same time, the company will provide software developers with a number of tools and algorithms to optimize existing applications for the chips, which some say will debut on the 1st of October this year.

    Developers are being advised to use the Fortran, C, and C++ compilers, said Kea Grilley, director of platform marketing of Intel's desktop products group, today.

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  • AMD to axe Athlon prices Feb 28
    Time: 2:00P PST/ 5:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    We know from an Intel document that it will chop prices on its chips on February 28th. And now we learn that AMD will also slash its prices across all members of its Athlon range, and on the same day.

    These will be the AMD prices on its premier Athlon K7 line of processors in a fortnight.

    The 500MHz Athlon will drop to $54, the 533MHz to $70, the 600MHz to $189, the 650MHz to $243, the 700MHz Athlon to $344, the 750MHz Athlon to $474, the 800MHz Athlon to $672 and the newly released 850MHz to…err $850.

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  • AMD profits from PIII famine
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    AMD is clearly doing rather nicely out of The Great Coppermine Shortage. The company announced on Friday it expects chip sales for the current quarter (due to end next month) to at least match, if not exceed, those of the previous three-month period.

    That quarter included Christmas and all the extra spending on new PC kit that goes with it. Holiday quarters are typically so strong, they make for a slow sales between January and March. It's quite something to see this period's sales get close to those of the Christmas quarter, let alone match or even surpass them.

    Taking a decidedly unconfrontational tone, AMD simply highlighted stronger than expected demand for low-end CPUs and "robust" trade across the range. AMD has done much of late to grasp the speed lead from Intel, but the company's currently much-expanded sales are really more down its arch-rival's weaknesses than its own strengths.

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  • Proto-Itaniums reach proto-Forum
    Time: 9:00A PST/ 12:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The Intel Developer Forum starts tomorrow but the chip company has already announced that there will be eight Itanium (Merced) systems being displayed at the bi-annual jamboree.

    Compaq, Bull, Dell, Siemens Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NEC and Silicon Graphics as was will all show prototype server and workstation prototypes.

    Just in case we blink and miss it by accident, Intel will claim that there are now thousands of prototype server and workstations using the Itanium chip and running OS's including 64-bit Linux, Monterey 64 and 64-bit Windows.

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News Headlines For Sunday 13th February 2000
Internet News
  • DVDead?
    Time: 5:30P PST/ 8:30P EST News Source: 3D Hardware Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The FMD-ROM disc planned for release has 10 (!) layers, compared to a maximum of 2 for a CD, and maximum of 4 for a DVD. What’s even scarier about the disc, which is of the same size as a CD or DVD, is that it can store up to a massive 140GB!

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News Headlines For Friday 11th February 2000
Internet News
  • Hardware Round-up
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    A Hardware News Round up for the week from various sites.

    [Submit News]  [Return To Headlines]

  • Three Intel mobos scrapped because of chipset probs
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Documents Intel has sent its system manufacturers are outlining its plans for the phasing in of the flip chip technology and the departure of the Slot One configuration (SECC2).

    According to the documents, Intel will offer Slot One versions of its Coppermine processors within 30 days of offering equivalent processors in the FC-PGA (flip chip configuration). It will do so until the end of this year. The 1GHz frequency is likely to be the last in the Coppermine series. Intel has acknowledged it may not be able to provide wide availability of Slot One, however.

    Intel is also scrapping three server motherboards based on the i820 and i840 chipsets, according to the inside documents, which were supposed to launch in the next couple of weeks. These, apparently, are called Pine, Hemlock and Willow and are server motherboards. Lancewood may be re-worked to support Coppermine processors. The memory translators for these chipsets do not work as well as Intel wanted. The chip giant could have redesigned the mobos, but instead has decided to recall the whole caboodle.

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  • AMD jumps gun in MHz wars
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    AMD has launched its 850MHz chip, the fastest Athlon to date, a whopping three days ahead of schedule.

    Originally slated for a Valentine's Day debut, 850MHz -powered PCs are on sale from IBM, Compaq and Gateway today in the US.

    It will take a little longer for delivery - Compaq is quoting upwards of 20 days overnight for its 850MhHz offering, the same as for the 800MHz, one webmaster informs us. Not so bad, when you consider the PC vendor is quoting 45 days overnight for delivery of Intel PIII 800s.

    In OEM quantities (of 1,000), the Athlon 850MHz costs $849. ®

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  • PlayStation-on-Mac developer gets sales ban lifted
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Connectix has been granted the right to resume shipments of its Mac-based PlayStation emulator, Virtual Game Station (VGS), more than a year after Sony launched its copyright and intellectual property infringement case against the developer.

    The judgment, made yesterday by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also paves the way for the release for the Windows version of the emulator, which was in development throughout 1999.

    The Appeals Court ruling reverses a preliminary injunction granted to Sony last April. That decision was centered on the District Court's acceptance of Sony's claim that Connectix used copies of the PlayStation BIOS in its VGS development program.

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  • Via sets date for Joshua Celeron rival
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Via's Joshua chip is to be formally unveiled on 22nd February, according to company sources. The low-cost chip is aimed at Intel's Celeron, uses Socket 370, and will initially run at speeds of 433MHz and 466MHz.

    Clock speeds of 500MHz and above are due later this year. With the launch of the chip Via will have the opportunity to prove that the low-cost Intel cloning market isn't automatically a bone-yard. Joshua is based on Cyrix's Cayenne core, Via having bought Cyrix from NatSemi last year. Cyrix had been relatively unsuccessful in making inroads into the market, as had Centaur, which Via also bought last year. .

    It remains to be seen whether Via has sufficient extra advantages to be able to succeed where Ciyrix and Centaur failed, but greater integration opportunities and the rise of the appliance-like PC may help. Joshua is being fabbed at 0.18 micron by NatSemi.

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News Date: Wednesday 9th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Internet News
  • Copper supercharges IBM supercomputers
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    IBM Wednesday will unveil a new generation of supercomputers it says offers a major performance increase by using IBM Power3 processors with copper interconnect technology.

    Called RS/6000 SP, the new supercomputer will offer up to 20 percent greater performance than its predecessor, according to IBM (NYSE: IBM). IBM's supercomputers, which are generally very large and very expensive, tackle computing tasks that require enormous amounts of data by breaking up the data into smaller pieces and processing it in parallel on a number of nodes. The new RS/6000 SP will have up to 144 nodes and 1,152 375MHz Power3-II chips. Each node will cost about $46,000.

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  • Sony confesses PlayStation 2 won't play all PSX 1 games
    Time: 1:00P PST/ 4:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sony has admitted that the upcoming PlayStation 2 may not be quite as backwardly compatible as the consumer electronics giant has previously claimed.

    According to a Bloomberg report, Sony Computer Entertainment director Kenichi Fukunaga said some older titles may not run on the new console after all.

    Potential problems with the PlayStation 2's ability to play original PlayStation games was first mooted by Japanese gaming publisher Jiji Press. It claimed some games don't work with the new console's video system.

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  • Intel could revisit Socket Seven
    Time: 11:00A PST/ 2:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sources at a Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer said today that Intel engineers are working on a subset of the Socket Seven market.

    If true, and Intel could not be contacted at press time, for a confirm or deny, this means that the company has completely reversed out of its Slot One strategy only to drive back into its old Socket Seven strategy. This may well be a question of competitive market forces.

    Socket Seven was abandoned by Intel apparently because it could not support high clock speeds. It so happened at the time that its competitors AMD, Cyrix and IDT had Socket Seven solutions.

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News Date: Tuesday 8th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Internet News
  • AMD fires up its 1.1GHz Athlon demo
    Time: 11:00A PST/ 2:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    AMD holds the chip demo speed crown for now, after showcasing its 1.1-gig, next-generation Athlon processor ... one week before Intel pulls the wraps off Willamette. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. on Wednesday one-upped rival Intel Corp. in the chip demo wars, showing off an upcoming 1GHz-plus Athlon processor.

    The 1.1GHz Athlon chip was demonstrated in a system built by AMD with off-the-shelf parts, including its AMD 750 chip set, with a 200MHz system bus. AMD ran a utility called MyCPU, which showed how fast the chip was running.

    The processor was produced at AMD's Fab 30 manufacturing plant. It included two new features that are due in future Athlon chips. Those include copper interconnects and integrated Level 2 cache.

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  • Say hello to hologram RAM
    Time: 11:00A PST/ 2:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Japanese researchers have finally figured out how to plug the data leak that is preventing the widespread use of holographic memory -- a high-density, high read speed storage optical system that works on the same principle as the 3D security labels on credit cards.

    Holographic memory itself isn't new. Just as a visual hologram can record a complete three-dimensional object in a single sheet of photographic film, it can also be used to store data to a very high density. The data is written with a laser beam which pulses on and off to represent binary 1s and 0s. A second beam crosses the first at a set angle generating an interference pattern -- a pattern that's recorded in a special storage material as positive and negative charges.

    Whole stacks of interference patterns can be laid on top of each other, each pattern being produced by setting the first, data laser and the second, reference beam at different angles. Reading the data back is simply a matter of shining a laser onto the material. It interacts with the interference pattern to reproduce the original pulsing data beam.

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  • 1999 a record year for chip sales
    Time: 11:00A PST/ 2:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The world clearly can't get enough silicon, as demand for products made out of it shows. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global sales of semiconductors hit a record $149 billion during 1999, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year.

    The big sellers were memory chips and embedded processors targeted at communications and Internet applications, the SIA said, pushing way ahead of traditional bestsellers like PC microprocessors.

    So while December 1999's chip sales were up 23 per cent on the December 1998's figures, PC processors accounted for only 25 per cent of the total number of chips shipped, down from around 50 per cent in 1995, when records began. Last December's chip sales totaled $14.7 billion, up from $14.2 billion in November.

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  • Boffins beat Moore's Law with quantum magic
    Time: 5:30A PST/ 8:30A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    IBM scientists believe they may have found a way to beat the physical limitations imposed on microprocessors as the chips' circuits become too small to support an electrical current.

    The technique, dubbed the Quantum Mirage Effect (QME), is positively mind-boggling. Essentially, information about an atom at point A appears at point B even though there is no physical connection between the two points.

    "We call it a mirage because we project information about one atom to another spot where there is no atom," said Donald Eigler, head of the research project at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. "This is a fundamentally new way of guiding information through a solid."

    QME is analogous the way sound and light can be guided by curved surfaces, such as parabolic reflectors, from one point to another, except this time the information is transmitted by electrons, which, according to quantum theory, can behave either as particles (which they do in a traditional electrical circuit, say) or as waves.

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  • Intel unveils cunning network mobo plan
    Time: 5:30A PST/ 8:30A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Chip giant Intel yesterday said it had designed a specification for ATX motherboards to support modem, networking and audio elements in chip sets.

    The communication and networking riser (CNR) specification will be made available to OEMs with the idea that they include it in future PCs used at home.

    The spec offers a riser interface for microATX, ATX and FlexATX mobos, said Intel, apparently with the aim of cutting down costs.

    CNR will provide interfaces for multi-channel sound, v90 modems, twisted pair home networks and 10/100 Ethernet networking.

    The specification is available on this Intel page.®

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  • Internet Radio Dumps the PC
    Time: 5:30A PST/ 8:30A EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    New stand-alone devices let you listen to Web-based broadcasts, from CDs to radio stations.

    PALM SPRINGS, California -- Thanks to the Internet, you can listen to your favorite New York radio station even if you live in Timbuktu. With new stand-alone devices, now you don't even need a PC to hear it.

    In October, Kerbango announced its Internet audio directory, Kerbango Tuning Service (KTS) and disclosed development of a stand-alone product. At IDG's Demo 2000 conference here this week, Kerbango unveils its Internet radio, scheduled to be available this spring priced at less than $300.

    AudioRamp.com also showed off Internet radio products at Demo. You can preorder the $399 iRad, which lets you play streaming audio, CDs, or MP3 files. A stereo component version offers the same features minus the built-in tuner.

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News Date: Monday 7th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Intel claims volume 1GHz on Coppermine RSN™
  • Intel claims volume 1GHz on Coppermine RSN™
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Peter Green, design manager of the logic design group at Intel in the US is, as you read this, delivering a technical paper at the Solid State conference demonstrating how 1GHz can be delivered on the existing Coppermine Pentium III core.

    He is telling the delegates that Intel has succeeded in producing the chip using existing aluminium interconnects, but confirmed today the process is much simpler if you use copper. Copper will not be used as the interconnect until 2001.

    Green described Intel's breakthrough as a "holistic approach", while other personnel said that 1GHz chips using the notched poly approach will be on the market very soon, although they declined to give an exact date.

    "You have a transistor budget that allows the scaling of voltage to reduce power in the design," said Green. "Smaller dimensions translate to higher core performance." Plus, said Green, Intel had overcome an architectural bottleneck in its re-fresh of the Coppermine design -- which will still have a 256K level two cache.

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  • Teledesic's McCaw to pump $20m into Iridium
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Iridium looks set to receive the long-anticipated cash injection from satellite comms entrepreneur Craig McCaw this week, according to the New York Times. The investment will run to at least $20 million, the paper reckons.

    This first payment represents little more than the what the loss-making and creditor-protected (via Chapter 11) Iridium needs to tide itself over for a couple of months. Back in December its biggest investor, Motorola, in conjunction with others also pumped in $20 million to keep Iridium operational.

    Further funding is likely -- not to say vital -- since many of Iridium's original investors seem unwilling to fund the debt-ridden 'mobile phone by satellite' company further.

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  • Online ads in the palm of your hand
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Just as advertising on Web sites is starting to establish itself, online advertisers are being swept away on the new wave of handheld devices.

    With the prices of WAP phones falling and more and more content providers queuing up to service the new market's needs, WAP is thought likely to become the standard mobile phone platform within the next three to five years.

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, this provides advertisers with a whole new mobile audience, all expressing preferences as to the type of content they're interested in. But it's a double-edged sword. While analysts expect there to be around 80 million WAP phone users in the US alone by 2003, there's only so much information you can display on the screen of a phone. Getting around this problem to make advertising on WAP's more credible – and therefore a more viable long-term proposition – has become the ad agencies' latest headache.

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  • Welcome to the post-PC era
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sales of PCs will soon be outstripped by Net devices, if research giant IDC is to be believed, ushering in the dawn of the post-PC era.

    In the US last year, sales of Net devices stood at 11 million units, with a value of $2.4 billion. But by 2004, that figure is expected to rocket to 89 million units, with a value of $17.8 billion.

    Pointing to interest in Sega's Dreamcast, Web-enabled TV sets and the introduction of Net access to PDA's and mobile phones, IDC reckons the PC market will be playing second fiddle to Net devices within three years. IDC claims that by 2002 the US consumer PC market will stand at around 23 million units, with the combined market for Net-enabled devices at around 25 million.

    While the development of such devices is likely to bring Internet access to the masses via a number of hardware routes, the market will only reach its potential if manufacturers work to keep prices down, says IDC. With prices generally at the sub-$500 mark, IDC reckons that this needs to stay much lower than $500.

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  • Big Blue boffins to unveil 4.5GHz CPU breakthrough
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    IBM chip scientists will this week use the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) to unveil what they claim is the world's fastest microprocessor -- a beast capable of reaching 4.5GHz clock speeds.

    That's over five times faster than the current top-speed Pentium III -- and, given Intel's production shortages, just as readily available. That said, with "three to four" more years of development work required to get the IBM chip to the point where it can be sold in volume, Chipzilla has plenty of time to catch up.

    The key to the chip's speed are multiple clocks. Unlike current CPUs, different parts of the chip operate at a pulse set by their own clocks, all of them ticking independently of each other. It's not clear yet whether that implies a multi-core CPU or whether the various clocks are simply applied to specific groups of circuitry.

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  • Linux-on-PowerPC team update distros' reference release
    Time: 1:30P PST/ 4:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Linux-on-Mac development team the Linux/PPC Developers have updated their reference version of the open source OS to support a greater range of PowerPC-based computers and peripherals, and bring many of the OS' core components to their most recent versions.

    Derived from Red Hat Linux 6.1, the PowerPC Reference Release 1.1 is based on version 2.2.14 of the Linux kernel, though it provides USB support through code taken from the pre-release kernel 2.3.41. Also included in the new release are glibc 2.1.3pre3, gcc 2.95.2, XFree86 3.3.6, Gnome 1.0.54 and KDE 1.1.2.

    The Linux/PPC Developers' goal here is to provide a basis for Mac and PowerPC-oriented Linux distributors' own open source OS offerings. As Tom Rini, the Reference Release project manager puts it, "the ultimate goal of this project is to allow any company to make a release that will be compatible with all other existing packages".

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News Date: Sunday 6th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
First .18µ Athlon's hit Japanese high street
  • Willamette is Intel's favourite petzilla
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    "A year is as a day in the mind of Chipzilla" -- Book of Remembrances

    It is nearly a year since Dr Albert Yu, a senior VP at the Intel Corporation, showed an assembly of hacks a machine running a chip at 1GHz at its bi-annual Developer Forum.

    What a difference a year makes. When we attend the Intel Developer Forum next week, we are confident that we will see a machine being demoed that runs at 1GHz, but this time Chipzilla may open its kimono, and dispel any doubts that liquid nitrogen is making it clock.

    This will be the fabled Willamette IA-32 processor, which Intel has talked about for quite a long time now. It has actually demoed the processor to chip boffins already, as we reported last year. The product taped out about a month ago.

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  • First .18µ Athlons hit Japanese high street
    Time: 12:00P PST/ 3:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    The Akiba PC hotline has spotted .18µ (micron) Athlon 550MHz parts being sold in the technology area Akihabara, in Tokyo.

    At the same time, a motherboard using Via's Apollo KX-133 motherboard, designed for Athlon's, is already available in Akihabara, while a SiS 300 video card has also made a debut.

    The Athlon product part number is AMD-K7550MTR51B A, and the news is significant because it demonstrates that AMD is moving its process technology rapidly away from .25µ technology to .18µ technology in the timeframe it said it would last year. The company will sift through yields of .18µ parts and grade them at different speeds.

    A .18µ process allows the die of a microprocessor to be smaller, and also gives significant power consumption benefits, which reduce the need for massive heat sinks, huge power supplies, and loud, noisy fans.

    There are pictures, Japanese text, and prices of the .18 micron part here, with pricing for the 550MHz Athlon at Ą25,800.

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News Date: Saturday 5th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Internet News
  • System builders back Athlon 850
    Time: 2:30P PST/ 5:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Carrera, Evesham Micros, Mesh and Time Computers will be among PC builders launching machines with AMD's 850MHz Athlon chip.

    Carrera is adding an 850MHz machine to its existing Octan range of Athlon machines from the chip's launch date of 14 February.

    Carrera's PC will have 128MB memory, 20GB hard drive, 19in monitor and will run on Windows 98. It will be priced at Ł1899 inc. VAT.

    Evesham Micros will be offering four 850MHz Athlon PCs from March -- the TNT 2, TNT 2 Plus, GeForce and GeForce DDR.

    "AMD can hold its own and now beat Intel in the megahertz race," said Luke Ireland, operations director at Evesham.

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  • Free iMac company blames Apple for failure to ship
    Time: 2:30P PST/ 5:30P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Freemac this week put the blame squarely on Apple for its inability to deliver on a promise to supply one million folks with a gratis iMac each.

    According to Freemac's president, Jonathan Strum, when interviewed by CNet, the company's plan to give away one million iMacs over a two-year period came to nothing when Apple refused to supply it with the machines, either directly or through the channel.

    "What we're telling our customers -- well over a million people who signed up -- is that Apple won't let you have a free computer," said Strum.

    Is it just us, or does this strike others as more than a tad suspicious? The simple fact is, Strum and Co. should have been certain that they could supply that number of computers before they launched Freemac with so much hooplah.

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  • Coming soon: Faster wireless Web access
    Time: 2:30P PST/ 5:30P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Lucent will debut wireless local area network technology offering people high-speed Net access in public places.

    Speedier wireless LANs are coming soon to a public space near you.

    Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) plans to debut this month 11Mbps wireless LAN-access devices that include a set of products to provide wireless Internet access from airports, hotels and other well-traveled terrain, sources close to the company said.

    Lucent is the latest wireless LAN hardware provider attempting to team with Internet service providers (ISPs) to offer full-fledged access to the Internet.

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News Date: Friday 4th February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Processor News - Internet News
  • Samsung at work on $200 'disposable' PC
    Time: 1:30A PST/ 3:30A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Samsung plans to use Intel's upcoming system-on-a-chip silicon to produce what it reckons will be the first disposable PC, coming in at a price -- under $200 -- that makes upgrading unnecessary.

    "At an under-$200 price point, the PC has no need to be upgraded -- it will simply be replaced," Bob Eminian, VP of marketing at Samsung's US-based Samsung Semiconductor subsidiary, told Electronics Buyers' News.

    In other words, Samsung is attempting to revive the early 80s' home computer. The only snag is that that's precisely what Sony is doing with the PlayStation 2, a system that's likely to be way more powerful than any Wintel kit Samsung can come up with.

    Samsung's scheme has its sub-$200 (ie. $199) PC shipping in time for Christmas 2001. It's likely to be based on Intel's Timna CPU, which combines key PC components -- CPU, memory manager, north bridge, I/O and 3D graphics -- on a single sliver of silicon. Eminian said the Samsung machine's chip would be like Timna, though he wouldn't say whether Intel will indeed supply the PC's CPU. Timna itself is due to be released in the middle of the year.

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  • AMD spells out mobile plans for 2000
    Time: 1:30A PST/ 3:30A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    While mobile Athlons will not arrive until close to the end of this year, AMD aims to bridge the gap by introducing Gemini-based chips before June, it said today.

    Gemini is similar technology to Intel's SpeedStep mobile processors, which help to increase the length of time a notebook will stay active.

    Richard Baker, marketing director at AMD Northern Europe, said that the mobile K6-III+, a 100MHz front side bus part with 256K of on-die level two cache, and using .18 micron technology, will appear before June. The K6-2+ will have 128K of on chip cache.

    At the same time, Baker showed figures that suggested AMD has over 50 per cent market share in the US retail market. For sub-$1,000 notebooks, AMD has 88 per cent market share in the US in the retail market, the company claims. Toshiba, Compaq, HP and Fujitsu use AMD products in some of their notebooks.

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  • Dell Launches New Consumer Notebook
    Time: 3:45A PST/ 6:45A EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    New Inspiron 5000 offers performance, mobility, and a killer display.

    Dell continues its consumer product line expansion with the announcement Wednesday of a new Inspiron notebook geared towards home and small-business users. The new Inspiron 5000 has an all-in-one design plus the option of a 15-inch, high-resolution super XGA-plus display.

    Ready to take orders, Dell will build the Inspiron 5000 to your specifications, but already offers some sample configurations and prices.

    The base 5000 C466GW sells for $1899 and includes a 466-MHz Intel Celeron processor, 32MB of memory, a 6GB hard drive, 4MB of video memory, a 24X CD-ROM drive, V.90 modem, and a 14-inch XGA display. It includes Microsoft Works Suite 2000 with Money 2000 and Norton AntiVirus 2000. All of the sample configurations include Windows 98 Second Edition.

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  • Dell Satisfies the Most Corporate Buyers
    Time: 3:45A PST/ 6:45A EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Study finds direct vendor is tops in corporate desktops, notebooks, and Intel-based servers.

    Despite some supply problems last year, Dell still outperformed its competition when it came to satisfying corporate buyers of desktops, notebooks, and Intel-based servers, according to a study released Wednesday.

    The Corporate IT Buying Behavior and Customer Satisfaction Study is a quarterly tracking service conducted by Technology Business Research. From October 1999 to January 2000 the company interviewed 389 IT managers at companies that buy 500 or more PCs a year, says Julie Perron, manager of primary research at the company. The weighted customer satisfaction scores are based on a scale of 100 points.

    In corporate desktops, Dell increased its lead in the desktop satisfaction poll with a score of 88.17, easily besting second-place finisher Hewlett-Packard's score of 83.73. Third place went to IBM with 83.25; Compaq scored 82.69, and Gateway placed fifth with 80.96.

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  • More Intel chip, chipset details leak
    Time: 3:45A PST/ 6:45A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Overclocking site Hard OCP has published details of up and coming announcements from Intel during the year.

    According to the story, Solano II and Camino II will be designated the 815e and the 820e, while a 1GHz Pentium III is slated for the third quarter of this year. The roadmap shows a 933MHz Pentiun III in June, although our information is that will arrive in May, while an 866MHz Pentium III will click in by the end of this quarter.

    Willamette and Foster are now likely to clock at 1.4GHz at launch time, said editor Kyle Bennett, while the 133MHz system bus will disappear at the end of the year.

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  • Motorola's 500MHz G4 yields very low indeed claim sources
    Time: 3:45A PST/ 6:45A EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Motorola continues to experience major problems producing 500MHz PowerPC 7400 (aka G4) CPUs, with yields down to as little as one per cent, according to industry sources cited by AppleInsider.

    Said sources claim that the problem lies with the G4's architecture and Motorola's copper fabrication process. Regular readers may recall that it was concerns over just these issues -- and the possible effect on the scheduled introduction of the G4 -- expressed by The Register last June that prompted Motorola to contact us and expressly state that it wasn't having any difficulties with either.

    Our copper process works just fine, senior semiconductor spin doctor Will Swearingen told us, and we've been using it successfully in memory products for some time now.

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News Date: Wednesday 2nd February 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Intel's 'Willamette' heats up GHz race
  • Intel's 'Willamette' heats up GHz race
    Time: 8:00P PST/ 11:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Curtain is about to be lifted on chip giant's upcoming 1GHz-plus processor, which will fuel home computers linked via broadband to the Web.

    The race to -- and past -- 1 gig heats up in two weeks. That's when Intel Corp. will lure developers to Palm Springs, Calif., for some winter golf and the semiannual Intel Developer Forum, where the company will unveil the latest in its processor technology.

    The highlights will include two new processor architectures along with a new -- yet familiar -- one, Itanium. "Willamette," the code name for Intel's next-generation desktop processor, will headline the show and will offer clock speeds of "well in excess of 1GHz"

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  • Intel buys in fab capacity to help tightness
    Time: 8:00P PST/ 11:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Chip giant Intel said today it will buy a fabrication plant (factory) from Rockwell International, and the idea is that it will be able to assist the company to satisfy demand for its microprocessors in the short term.

    The fab is based in Colorado Springs, which presumably has an aquifer below it. Large chip companies need lots of water to make CPUs, which are sometimes described as the brains of a computer.

    The Rockwell Fab has been mothballed, and Intel said that it will spend $1.5 billion to bring everything up to speed. It will manufacture .18 micron chips there.

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  • Sony, Toshiba upgrade notebooks
    Time: 8:00P PST/ 11:00P EST News Source: CNET Posted By: Leo Nelson

    Sony and Toshiba released new notebooks today amid continuing optimism for the portable market.

    Although there are still more desktops sold than notebooks, notebook sales are growing at a faster rate in a variety of markets, according to various estimates. One big sticking point is that a shortage of displays kept notebook prices relatively high last year. Although opinions vary, the shortage has improved, which could lead to lower prices and greater market penetration.

    Consumers as well as PC makers benefit from increased sales. Laptops generally deliver higher profit margins because, among other reasons, manufacturers can more easily add features or use design to differentiate their products from competitors.

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