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News Date: Monday, January 31, 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Update on Palm IPO - Intel News - Internet News
  • Palm sets sights on $368 million (minimum) IPO
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Palm Computing gave out a little more information on its upcoming IPO on Friday when it made its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

    According to the filing, Palm's parent, 3Com, intends to issue 23 million shares in its subsidiary, previously revealed to amount to around four per cent of the company. The shares will be priced between $14 and $16, the latter resulting in a valuation of $368 million.

    Given how the share price is likely to rise once the stock goes on sale, we expect that valuation is going to increase by a very healthy margin indeed. The filing says Palm will use its IPO proceeds to fund a dividend payment, debt repayments to 3Com, and increased spending on its own infrastructure, R&D and marketing.

    All of which will leave 3Com, which will be left with just over 93 per cent of Palm, looking very healthy indeed -- it will end up with $8.57 billion on paper, assuming Palm's shares stay at $16. However, 3Com still plans to offer the bulk of its stake to 3Com shareholders six months from the IPO.

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  • Compaq eyes 50% Net sales
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Compaq has outlined plans for almost half of its corporate PC sales to be direct by Q4, while slashing prices on its business desktops.

    The vendor today cut prices by up to a third on its Deskpro EP, EN and Workstation AP lines, including discounts of 19 per cent on the 550MHz EP, 20 per cent on the Workstation AP250, and 30 per cent on the EN Space Saver 600MHz.

    Meanwhile, Compaq's CEO Michael Capellas has admitted the company's ailing corporate PC business needs to be turned on its head and will not be profitable until at least September.

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  • Intel to go for McKinley before Itanium-Merced
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Chipzilla's follow up to the Merced-Itanium platform, McKinley, is likely to beat its predecessor to the market, informed sources told The Register late today.

    McKinley is close to taping out and the IA-64 development team believes that limited clock speeds on Itanium yields have forced Intel to this conclusion.

    The Merced-Itanium has so far failed to achieve over 600MHz clock speeds on the part, although Intel and its partners want it to clock at at least 1GHz. Official HP charts show that they want 800MHz from Itanium-Merced before it can be a viable microprocessor for the competitive 64-bit market.

    In part, that is prompted by AMD's success with its 64-bit chip, codenamed Sledgehammer.

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  • Intel to make major CuMine stepping change April 7th
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Chip giant Intel is set to make a major revision of its .18 micron Coppermine cores on the 7 April next, according to internal documents we have seen.

    The product change notification (PCN 904), dated the 27th of December last, will affect both SECC2 (Slot One) and FC-PGA (Flip Chip) packaging.

    Intel cites the reasons for the changes to improve product performance, allow the introduction of higher CPU frequencies, to change the microcode, and to correct errata discovered since it first started shipping the .18 micron Coppermine processors sometime towards the end of last year.

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  • Intel shortage costing PC makers
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Chip maker's inability to fulfill unanticipated orders is costing box makers hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Intel Corp.'s failure to keep up with customer demand -- coupled with product delays and abrupt changes in product direction -- is costing OEMs hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues.

    Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) last week preannounced a revenue shortfall of as much as $300 million in its fiscal fourth-quarter sales due in part, officials said, to chip shortages.

    Similarly, Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW) last month publicly blasted Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) for chip and motherboard shortages, saying they cost the company up to $250 million in sales.

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  • The Sony Emotion Engine: We're Talking Gigaflops
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    New game console offering giga-computing power is the talk of microprocessor conference.

    Microprocessor engineers, analysts, and journalists gathered for an industry dinner here Thursday night to talk about recent triumphs and future milestones. They discussed the highly regarded Athlon chip from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel's groundbreaking new Itanium processor, and the impending release of 1-GHz chips. But the real buzz was about something completely different: a game machine.

    Specifically, the story of the day was Sony's upcoming PlayStation 2, and the Emotion Engine processor that will run it. Developed by Sony and Toshiba, experts predict the high-tech processor will offer unprecedented gaming power. More importantly, it could provide the processing power for the PlayStation 2 to challenge cheap PCs as the entry-level device of choice for home access to the Web.

    Powerful and traditionally inexpensive, game consoles and their processors haven't had anywhere near the power of even a low-end PC. The Emotion Engine and its accompanying processing chip change all that by excelling at a processing function called floating-point performance, which can help it handle graphics.

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  • Machines Ready to Rule the Net
    Time: 3:00P PST/ 6:00P EST News Source: PC World Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Net connections between machines may automate all aspects of our lives.

    "In the bowling alley of tomorrow, there will even be machines that wear rental shoes and throw the ball for you. Your sole function will be to drink beer." -- Dave Barry

    A lot of people have predicted that a time will come when machines become more important than humans. What few predicted was that machines would seize power on the Net.

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News Date: Saturday, January 29, 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Fresh Intel i820 Chipset - Internet News
  • Fresh Intel i820 chipset close to completion
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Intel's embarrassment over the i820 chipset looks set to be resolved at last. Maybe.

    Sources close to the company's plans have informed us that Intel will ship an updated chipset for sampling to mobo vendors in mid-February which will, at last, support both Rambus memory and synchronous DRAM memory on the same planar.

    The boards will have support for two Rambus sockets and two additional SDRAM sockets, and also will include a revised, B2 stepping of the memory translator hub (MTH) which is now called the memory conversion hub (MCH).

    Reviews of machines using the existing MTH on i820 mobos have revealed a dramatic slow down on performance.

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  • Seagate hands over $45m for floppy patent
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Disk drive giant Seagate has coughed up $45 million (£27 million) to settle a seven-year-long row over patent infringements with one-time drive maker Rodime.

    Rodime claims it pioneered the development of the 3.5in drive in 1983 and that Seagate had used it without paying royalties. A Californian District Court dismissed the case in 1997 but an Appeal resurrected the claims.

    Despite issuing denials that it had infringed any patents, Seagate settled out of court yesterday after the Supreme Court rejected a petition to quash the case.

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  • Dell share price falls on bad Intel news
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    The price of Dell shares fell by nearly $3 on Wall Street yesterday after it issued a report the evening before that shortages of Intel processors combined with Y2K pressures would dent its profits.

    But that does not mean that Dell will start using AMD parts, according to reports on various news wires across the globe.

    Dell is following in Gateway's footsteps only to the extent that shortages of some members of Intel's processor family, coupled with a shortage of Rambus RIMMs, had a negative effect on its sales in the leadup to Yule.

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  • Colour Palm IIIc to ship 20 February -- Best Buy
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    As predicted, Palm Computing will ship its first colour handheld next month, just in time for the 3Com subsidiary's upcoming IPO.

    According to readers of Apple-oriented Web site MacInTouch, US retail chain Best Buy has added the colour Palm IIIc to its product database, which describes the device as possessing a colour screen, 8MB of memory and a price tag of $449.99.

    Best Buy's database also mentions the upcoming IIIxe, apparently an upgraded IIIe with 8MB of RAM and a $259.99 price tag, all the better to compete with the similarly-specced Handspring Visor.

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  • Kingston, Gateway to educate us on W2k memory needs
    Time: 4:00P PST/ 7:00P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Giant memory supplier Kingston Technology has teamed up with Gateway in a campaign to inform the general public that when Microsoft Windows 2000 is launched you will need a lot of memory.

    And both companies do not really care whether it is synchronous memory or Rambus RIMMs you require, although the chances are that you're going to find more of the former than the latter, and much cheaper.

    The joint promotion is intended to tell the world that W2k is a super-duper OS and everyone will want a machine with a super-fast microprocessor and stacks of memory.

    Although Microsoft documentation says that W2k will run on 32MB or 64MB of memory, Kingston said last month that the MS sales force is recommending 256MB as a base configuration, as reported here.

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  • Your Connection is About to Explode!
    Time: 3:45P PST/ 6:45P EST News Source: Hardware Central Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Back in 1981 a 300-baud modem was top-of-the-line, and would cost you approximately $500; today that same amount buys you a cable modem capable of over 5 Mbps of throughput. This may not sound too exciting, as it is the natural course of things, as electronics tends to gradually become better and faster. But bear with me, because there’s more to the story than you might think.

    Almost a decade later, in 1989, a 14.4 K modem was the fastest available, and another six years later, in 1995, ISDN became widely available. For the first time we were able to use 64 Kbps ISDN at home, a big improvement over the modems then obtainable.

    However, we are about to enter the 21st century, and cable modem is the fastest connection publicly offered. Looking back on all of this makes you realize that we’ve gone from 300 to 14400 bps in eight years, from 14400 to 64000 in six years and to 5 Mbps in four years. If this trend continues, we’ll have 25 Mbps before 2002.

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News Date: Wednesday 19th January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
i840 - fishy firing
  • Intel 840 Chipset Review
    Time: 00:00A EST/05:00A GMT News Source: Hardware Central Posted By: Anthony Skorochod

    With the development of the 840 chipset, Intel has introduced yet another high performance architecture.

    The 840 allows workstation and server solutions to extend far beyond standard desktop configurations. It provides increased performance, high scalability and a number of compelling new features such as support for the 133 MHz system bus, dual RDRAM memory channels and AGP4X, as well as dual CPU support.

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  • Intel Plays Catch-up In PC Chip Sets
    Time: 00:00A EST/05:00A GMT News Source: Windows 98 Central Posted By: Anthony Skorochod

    With Rambus-based systems still too expensive for mainstream desktop PCs, Intel next quarter said it plans to release its Solano chip set, supporting 133-MHz synchronous-DRAM technology.

    But Intel's chip set operation is playing catch-up to Via Technologies, which this week began shipping its Apollo KX133 chip set for Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon processor.

    The chip set supports PC133 memory, an AGP-4X graphics port, and AMD's 200-MHz front-side bus.

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  • AMD Zone editor loses Dell job
    Time: 00:00A EST/05:00A GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: Anthony Skorochod

    The joint founder of AMD Zone, Chris Tom, has been forced to find a new job because his former employer, Dell, considered his interest in the Athlon was a conflict of interest.

    Chris Tom, who, together with his brother, built the hardware site into one of the most regularly visited AMD spots on the Web, was called into Dell's HQ in Austin at the beginning of last month to explain his actions, The Register is given to understand.

    Although Chris Tom has consistently refused to comment on the exact circumstances of the meetings with Dell, we understand that he was informed that the Athlon AMD Zone and its companion Slot A site conflicted with Dell's interests.

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News Date: Friday 14th January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Internet News
  • Intel readies 'SpeedStep' chip; cuts prices
    Time: 02:30A PST/05:30A EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    The chip maker is expected to announce the first SpeedStep mobile chips; Celeron prices trimmed.

    Intel Corp. next Tuesday is expected to announce the first mobile chips that make use of the SpeedStep technology for saving battery life in notebook PCs.

    The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is introducing two new Pentium III chips next week, according to sources.

    The first runs at 650MHz when the notebook is plugged into an outlet or a docking station, and at 500MHz when running on a battery. The second runs at a maximum of 600MHz and powers down to 500MHz on battery, the sources said.

    Company officials would not comment on the speeds of unannounced chips but did acknowledge that the chips they are announcing next week will incorporate SpeedStep.

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  • DNA computing out of the test tube
    Time: 02:30A PST/05:30A EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Scientists transfer DNA molecules from the test tube to a glass plate -- show DNA computing can be used to process information and solve mathematical problems.

    Scientists in the United States have taken a major step forward in using DNA, the building blocks of life that carry the human genetic blueprint, to process information and solve mathematical problems.

    DNA computing has sparked intense interest because more information can be stored on molecules of DNA than any silicon computer chip. Scientists estimate that a dried gram of DNA can store more information than a trillion CDs.

    In a report in the science journal Nature, Lloyd Smith and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison described how they have transferred a set of DNA molecules from the test tube to a glass plate.

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  • Surprise! PC prices climb
    Time: 02:30A PST/05:30A EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    For the first time in years, prices of low-end PCs increase as competition drops and the economy rocks.

    For the first time in years, the cheapest home computers are getting more expensive.

    Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (NYSE: HWP) lowest-priced Pavilion today costs $100 more than an equivalent did four months ago. Compaq Computer Corp.'s (NYSE: CPQ) lowest-priced Presario desktop now costs $200 more than its predecessor did last fall.

    All together, average personal computer selling prices rose in November and December, according to market researcher PC Data Inc. After dipping below $800 from August through October, the average price for consumer computers reached a six-month high of $844 in December, the market research company said.

    Driving the price hikes are a huge drop-off in competition, a healthy economy and the PC's growing role in home entertainment. The increases are particularly unusual for January, a month when computer makers routinely cut prices to generate new sales. What's more, newer business PCs are cheaper than their home counterparts, due to a more-competitive corporate market. Compaq's new iPaq business PC costs less than its consumer version.

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  • Intel announces volume production of 800-MHz Coppermine Xeon
    Time: 02:30A PST/05:30A EST News Source: EBN Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Intel Corp. today announced the first of its Coppermine microprocessors in the Xeon family, an 800-MHz product for workstations and servers.

    The chip, which integrates 256 Kbytes of on-chip cache, is designed for "two-way" systems that pair two processors, either in traditional minitower configurations or in new rack-mounted chassis.

    Existing Xeon products for 4-, 8-, 16-, and 64-way systems use up to 2 Mbytes of discrete Level 2 cache for increased performance. Anthony Ambrose, director of marketing for IA-32 products at Intel's Microprocessor Division, said similar Coppermine products would be forthcoming during 2000. "It's going to be a busy year," he promised.

    The new Xeon drops the Single-Edge Cartridge Connector version 2 (SECC2) packaging in favor of a 330-pin version, dubbed SE330, which Intel will also use for 4- and 8-way Xeon configurations, Ambrose said.

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News Date: Sunday 9th January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
Gateway - Apple - Intel
  • Mysterious Intel site seems to sell PCs direct
    Time:20:00 EST/01:00 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: anthonyS

    Mystery surrounds a Web site which Intel appears to still own and which is selling PC kit over the Internet.

    The site, called PC Com, appears to belong to a Singapore company, but information at WHOIS shows that it is an Intel-owned domain name, with the entry last updated on the 6th of January 2000. The domain name was first registered by Intel in 1996.

    Further evidence that this is, indeed an Intel site, can be obtained by clicking on the FTP root at PC COM, which includes a read me file containing this information (and more):

    "Welcome to ftp.intel.com! For Intel product questions/comments/requests, please send mail to support@intel.com For issues or problems with this FTP Server, please send mail to ftp-admin@intel.com" &c.

    The site acts as a merchant site for a number of third party companies, and sells PCs, some Intel networking equipment and notebooks. The only microprocessors the site sells with the PCs are Intel CPUs.

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  • Apple Palm-based PDA release real soon now
    Time:20:00 EST/01:00 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: anthonyS

    The results of Apple's co-development partnership with Palm Computing look set to emerge in the very near future, now that early samples of an Apple-branded PalmOS-based device have already started coming off Taiwanese production lines.

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself confirmed the two companies' close ties this week, during his keynote at Macworld Expo, held in San Francisco. Introducing Palm CEO Carl Yankowski, Jobs told the audience Apple had been "doing a lot of work with these guys lately".

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  • ATI's 64Mb Rage Fury MAXX
    Time:20:00 EST/01:00 GMT News Source: Anand Tech Posted By: anthonyS

    A few weeks ago, AnandTech had it's first experience with the ATI Rage Fury MAXX. That first article focused primarily on performance, and as such, a few issues were left out for the time being.

    In our second look, we'll be looking at these issues, which include the "theoretical lag" that results from ATI's AFR technology, driver features, DVD support, and more.

    Also since that first article, GeForce DDR boards have found their way into the AnandTech lab, so we've included updated benchmarks as well.

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  • Gateway resurrects AMD-powered PCs
    Time: 20:00 EST/01:00P GMT News Source: Ace's Hardware Posted By: anthonyS.

    On Monday, Gateway will resurrect its Gateway Select line of PCs with new models that offer AMD's Athlon processor.

    The Select PC line, which will be for consumers and small businesses, will offer a range of Athlon speeds, sources said. However, details on the exact configurations and pricing were not available at press time.

    The announcement will give consumers a wider range of choice among vendors from which they can purchase Athlon-based PCs. At the same time, it renews the relationship between AMD and Gateway, giving Gateway a second source for high-performance PC processors.

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News Date: Wednesday 5th January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
New Detonator drivers

News Date: Tuesday 4th January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
New Millennium
  • Samsung shows off 288Mb Rambus chip
    Time:23:00 EST/04:00 GMT News Source: The Register Posted By: anthonyS

    Samsung yesterday said it had finished work on a 288Mb DRAM chip based on the Direct Rambus format. The South Korean manufacturer announced plans to start mass production of the semiconductor this month.

    It aims to churn out two million units of the RDRAM component, which is based on 0.17-micron technology, per month, the Korea Herald reported.

    Samsung also said it had developed a 576MB Rambus in-line memory module (RIMM) using 16 288Mb RDRAM chips.

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  • New VIA Drivers
    Time:23:00 EST/04:00 GMT News Source: Ace's Hardware Posted By: anthonyS

    VIA has released new drivers, including the 4-in-1 Driver v. 4.18a, AGP Driver 3.59, and USB Filter Driver for VT82C586B and VT82C596.

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  • AMD's upcoming Socket A
    Time:22:00 EST/04:00 GMT News Source: Full-on 3-d Posted By: anthonyS

    For those who have no clue what Socket A is: Socket A is the interface for the low-cost version of Athlon, codename "Spitfire", which is supposed to debut this year (summer?).

    If you look closely, Socket A resembles the Celeron socket since two (of the four) corners don't have pins. However, Socket A is a 462 pin socket unlike the Celeron's 370 pins.

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  • Compaq favours AMD K6-II for new laptop range
    Time: 04:20P PST/07:20P EST News Source: The Register Posted By: Corey Gouker

    Sources close to Compaq plans have revealed that the firm is set to roll out five laptops using the AMD K6-II microprocessor in the near future.

    Yesterday we reported that Compaq will introduce Presarios which incorporate AMD processors and Firewire 1394, rather than USB desktops.

    This will be a blow to Intel, which is pushing the USB platform for all it is worth, and today's news about the extensive use of the AMD K6-II in Compaq portables will also shake Chipzilla.

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  • Intel rolls out higher-speed Celeron
    Time:
    04:20P PST/07:20P EST News Source: ZDNet Posted By: Corey Gouker

    The first Y2K microprocessor is … a Celeron.

    Intel Corp. introduced Tuesday a 533MHz Celeron processor for value-priced desktop PCs.

    The chip, available today, offers PC users additional performance at little extra cost. A number of PC makers are expected to offer it in their machines.

    It is also a turning point for Intel (Nasdaq: INTC). The new chip is an extension of Intel's current Celeron processor line, meaning it is manufactured using Intel's 0.25 micron process and features 128KB of integrated Level 2 cache and a 66MHz system bus. But it's the last such chip before the company moves Celeron to its 0.18 micron manufacturing process, which is now used for the Pentium III.

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News Date: Saturday 01 January 2000
Today's Top Hardware Headlines:
New Millennium

Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for December and Previous January  News.

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