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Daily Computer News and Rumors

September 16-22 2003

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Sep 22 Intel Outlines Plans for Wireless Notebook PCs, Cell Phones and Handhelds
Sep 22 Intel Unveils New XScale Technology
Sep 22 Intel Recognizes Most Innovative PCs
Sep 22 ExpressCard Standard Delivered to Industry
Sep 22 Samsung DDR2 Ready To Support Market For Next Generation PCs and Servers
Sep 22 Financial Services Providers Should Take More Aggressive Steps to Combat Identity Theft
Sep 21 Sunday Shopping Watch
Sep 19 Intel Converged Technologies Fuel Future Wireless Communication Growth
Sep 19 Intel Demonstrates Its First PCI Express-Based Silicon
Sep 19 First Mid- and Low-Power AMD Opteron Processors to Debut in 2004
Sep 19 IBM Powers-up ThinkCentre Line of Desktops
Sep 19 Market for Smartphones and Camera Phones Heating Up
Sep 18 Intel Delivers Products, Technologies And Tools For The Digital Home
Sep 18 Transmeta and NVIDIA Announce Strategic Collaboration
Sep 18 Advanced CSR BlueCore Chips Selected for Apple's New PowerBook G4 Notebooks
Sep 18 Denali and Rambus to Deliver PCI Express Design and Verification Platform
Sep 17 Intel Details Convergence Of Computing And Communications
Sep 17 Internet Machines Unveils PCI Express Product Line at Intel Developer Forum
Sep 17 Gartner Technology Demand Index for August Deteriorates
Sep 17 Extending the Life Cycle of Desktop PCs Won't Necessarily Save Money
Sep 17 Wi-Fi Protected Access -- WPA -- Surges to Forefront of WLAN Security
Sep 16 Canon Debuts World's Smallest Four Megapixel Cameras
Sep 16 Logitech Ships its 500 Millionth Mouse
Sep 16 Toshiba Offers Sub-$1,000 Wireless Server for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
Sep 16 Worldwide Flash Card Market Will Grow 38 Percent in 2003


Sep 22 - Intel Outlines Plans for Wireless Notebook PCs, Cell Phones and Handhelds. Intel Corporation today outlined plans for next-generation wireless mobility products designed to improve productivity and drive new growth opportunities.

The new disclosures include enhancements for the next Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor, code-named Dothan; a computing platform based on Intel Centrino(TM) mobile technology, code-named Sonoma; and technology for upcoming Intel XScale(TM) technology-based processors for cell phones and PDAs, code-named Bulverde. The company also announced a chipset with new power-saving features and high-performing integrated graphics for mobile PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology.

Intel Innovates on Four Key Areas of Mobility

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and co-general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, highlighted current and future Intel Centrino mobile technology products and initiatives to improve the four key requirements customers demand for mobile computing: integrated wireless LAN capability, breakthrough mobile performance, extended battery life and thinner, lighter designs.

"Intel and the industry have delivered on the promise of mobility," said Chandrasekher. "More than 130 PC designs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology are expected to be available on the market by the end of this year, and Intel has verified the interoperability of Intel Centrino mobile technology with leading WLAN service providers who operate more than 20,000 hotspots worldwide. We will build on this success and drive continued growth in wireless mobility with our leading-edge manufacturing, new products and platform innovations."

Intel today announced availability of the new Intel 855GME chipset, offering new power-saving features and, when used in combination with DDR-333 memory, delivering enhanced graphics and memory performance for notebook PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology.
The chipset features Intel Display Power Saving Technology (DPST), which maintains apparent visual experience by managing display image brightness and contrast while adaptively dimming the backlight. Depending on the setting and system use, this feature can reduce display backlight power by up to 25 percent with minimal visual impact to the end-user.
When paired with DDR-333 memory, the chipset delivers higher integrated graphics performance over the Intel 855GM chipset and can reduce power consumption with a new graphics core that can automatically adjust frequency when switching between AC and battery power. The Intel 855GME chipset will be included in the Intel Stable Image Platform Program, which aims to give customers greater platform stability and transition planning guidance to help reduce their IT image management and support costs.

The Mobile PC Extended Battery Life Working Group, a worldwide, industry-wide group of companies working together to extend the battery life of mobile PCs, also today announced new recommendations to enable uniform and consistent power measurement of display subsystems across the mobile PC LCD industry. The Display Subsystem Power Measurement Recommendations are designed to promote consistency among display vendors and drive the display subsystems to the milestone of drawing power consumption of three watts or less.

"With the new Intel 855GME chipset, Intel has helped reduce display power consumption and enable power savings for mobile PCs," said Chandrasekher. "Simultaneously, we have worked with the industry to improve the measurement of display power, with the objective of further enhancing mobile power management. These complementary efforts demonstrate Intel's comprehensive approach to improving the mobile PC experience, from industry standards to processors and chipsets to platform-level innovation."

Intel will continue to enhance mobile PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile technology later this year with 802.11a/b and 802.11b/g wireless networking components and the next-generation Intel Pentium M processor, code-named Dothan. Built using Intel's advanced 90-nanometer manufacturing technology, Dothan has smaller transistors and employs a strained silicon technique to enable higher performance headroom. With 140 million transistors, Dothan will also feature micro-architectural enhancements and a 2MB power-optimized, integrated Level 2 cache for faster memory access. Dothan revenue shipments are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Sonoma mobile platform for the second half of 2004, based on Intel Centrino mobile technology, will continue Intel's focus on delivering the best computing experience for mobile PC users. The platform will incorporate a future Pentium M processor; integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN capability, enabling faster wireless communication and support for industry standard security solutions; and a new chipset, code-named Alviso.
The chipset will include a new graphics engine and support new high-performance industry standards such as PCI Express and ExpressCard, next-generation DDR2 memory, next-generation physical storage (Serial ATA), and Intel's new Azalia audio interface.

Intel: Delivering Convergence For Phones and Handheld PCs

Supporting its computing and communications convergence theme during IDF, Intel executives noted that in addition to the number of PCs with wireless communications capability, leading cell phones and PDA makers have introduced devices running Intel silicon with the ability to bring higher levels of computing power to communications devices.

Ron Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group described how Intel is delivering on convergence with newly available phones and upcoming technologies. The company is enabling top brand name phone makers to provide new features and services based on Intel technology and the company's ability to offer complete solutions.

"Success in delivering converged devices means offering far more than just hardware," said Smith. "It requires developing an ecosystem of software and tools to bring new and compelling capabilities and functions. The development community has recognized the key role Intel is playing in this segment and is actively working to help capture the opportunities enabled by the convergence of computing and communications."
In addition to the latest Intel-based designs, current and future technologies will enable convergence well into the future. For example, an upcoming Intel XScale technology based processor, code-named Bulverde, will add camera phone capabilities and enhance low-power and multimedia performance for cell phones and PDAs.
Another example includes the Intel PXA800EF cellular processor, the industry's first highly integrated chip for EDGE networks. Intel's communications expertise and ability allows the company to deliver a wide range of wireless support - from communications protocols such as GSM and GPRS to EDGE - all based on Intel's advanced "Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip" process technology.

About IDF

The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Sep 22 - Intel Unveils New XScale Technology. Intel Corporation today disclosed key technical details of its next-generation of Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology based processors to be used in cell phones, PDAs and other wireless devices.

The upcoming processors, code named "Bulverde," will add several new features that will help enable wireless devices to capture higher quality pictures, extend battery life and deliver fast multimedia performance. Bulverde is a key component of the Intel(R) Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel(R) PCA), the company's development blueprint for designing wireless devices that combine voice communications and Internet access capabilities.

"Cell phone and wireless PDA capabilities are moving well beyond just making a call or organizing personal information," said Hans Geyer, Intel vice president and general manager of its PCA Components Group. "The ability to send and receive pictures, play rich 3D games or download ring tones, video clips and music are growing in popularity. To support the ongoing adoption of data services and applications, the underlying technology must be able to deliver enhanced multimedia capabilities and lower power."

High Quality Pictures and Video on a Cell Phone, PDA

The ability to send and receive digital pictures or video clips has been one of the hottest developments in the cell phone and PDA segments worldwide. Intel developed Intel(R) Quick Capture Technology, an interface that allows imaging devices to connect to a cell phone or PDA, to improve image quality and reduce the overall cost of adding digital image capabilities for mobile devices.

Intel Quick Capture Technology provides the ability to get live video and high-quality still images from a wide range of camera sensors in current and future camera-enabled mobile handsets and PDAs. Intel Quick Capture Technology consists of three primary modes of operation: Quick View mode (providing low power, real time previews), Quick Shot mode (providing high resolution image capture up to four megapixels) and Quick Video mode (providing full-motion, high-quality video capture).

Steps to Lowering Power

First available in the Bulverde processor, Intel will also offer Wireless Intel SpeedStep(R) Technology, a technology which dynamically adjusts the power and performance of the processor based on CPU demand. This can result in a significant decrease in power consumption for wireless handheld devices.

Wireless Intel SpeedStep Technology advances the capabilities of Intel Dynamic Voltage Management -- a function already built into the Intel XScale microarchitecture -- by incorporating three new low-power states: deep idle, standby and deep sleep. The technology is able to change both voltage and frequency on-the-fly by intelligently switching the processor into the various low power modes, saving additional power while still providing the necessary performance to run rich applications.

Advanced Multimedia Capability

Intel(R) Wireless MMX(TM) technology, announced last year, is an advanced set of multimedia instructions that will help bring desktop-like multimedia performance to Bulverde-based clients while minimizing the power needed to run rich applications. Intel Wireless MMX technology builds on the Intel MMX(TM) technology originally introduced in the Intel(R) Pentium(R) processor family, enabling software developers to quickly make their applications such as 2D and 3D gaming, streaming MPEG4 video, wireless encryption/decryption, and voice recognition available for Intel-based cell phones and PDAs.

Additional details surrounding Bulverde are expected to be available in the first half of 2004.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Sep 22 - Intel Recognizes Most Innovative PCs. Intel Corporation announced the winners of the 2003 Intel Innovative PC Awards. This is the fifth year Intel has recognized PC companies for easy-to-use systems, outstanding technology implementation and state-of-the-art designs.

Twelve award winners earned kudos in four categories: consumer desktop PCs, business desktop PCs, mobile PCs, and digital media adapters. This is the first year the Intel Innovative PC Program has recognized digital media adapter designs reflecting the trend to take music, pictures, and even video from the PC and play it back on stereos and TVs in the home. All 2003 entrants were tested and scored by Veritest, an independent testing company.

"The winners of the 2003 awards illustrate how the industry continues to increase the value of the PC to consumers by making them easier to use, designing for specific market segments, and enabling them to connect to other devices such as stereos and TVs," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "This year's desktop PC award winners address the needs of the most demanding PC users with creative new system designs based on the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology, a technology that allows users to simultaneously handle multiple software applications smoothly and more efficiently."

"This year's award-winning mobile PCs deliver on the promise of Intel(R) Centrino(TM) mobile technology: thinner and lighter designs with outstanding mobile performance, integrated wireless communications and features to enable extended battery life," said Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group. "As the popularity of Wi-Fi continues to grow, these innovative mobile PC designs bring more choice and flexibility to business users and consumers who want greater freedom to connect wirelessly in new places and new ways."

The 2003 Intel Innovative PC Award winners are:

Consumer Desktop Category Winner: Alienware* Area-51

The Alienware Area-51 is a state-of-the-art gaming machine, which appears to look like an alien head. This PC includes a Serial ATA drive, 6.1 channel audio and a six-in-one media card reader. It also includes four front USB ports for connecting multiple gaming peripherals such as joysticks, headsets and game-pads. It has a cable management solution for easily managing the jungle of wires at the back of the system. Accessible computer information is available on the desktop and includes a breakdown of available drive/bay space, drivers installed and benchmark scores.

Consumer Desktop Category Winner: HP* Media Center PC

The HP Media Center PC is an all-in-one system for creating and enjoying media in a home or dorm room. One can easily watch and record TV programs for in-home use, pause live TV and show instant replays. The user can create home videos, slideshows or personal music play lists. The HP Media Center PC includes a multi-format memory card reader, wireless keyboard, and key function buttons on the front of the computer that allow switching to TV, guide, music, pictures, and videos.

Business Desktop Category Winner: Dell* Optiplex* SX270

The Dell Optiplex SX270 offers an elegant, small form factor targeted for use with flat panel monitors in tight office spaces. The SX270 features a single, hot-swappable media bay for versatility. "Security" is a theme in this year's business criteria and the SX270 delivers a range of features. Dell's Chassis Intrusion Alert and Configuration Change Alert reliably notify IT managers when a system has been opened or disturbed. An integrated smart card reader option helps ensure user authentication.

Business Desktop Category Winner: HP Compaq* d530 Ultra-slim Desktop

The HP Compaq d530 Ultra-slim Desktop features a small footprint design that requires minimal desktop space and is versatile enough to easily be configured to a tower position using the available tower stand. It also has an under desk or on wall mounting bracket offering additional flexibility to customize for the users' workspace needs.
It is a legacy-free design with USB 2.0 to support ease-of-use. USB and Multibay solutions offer simple peripheral connection and hot-swapping of devices such as CD-RW, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, diskette drives and future removable storage options allowing users to save time and money by sharing drives between their desktop and HP Business Notebook.

Business Desktop Category Winner: Lenovo* YangTian* S6000

The Lenovo YangTian S6000 is a small form factor PC designed specifically for small business users. Its integrated battery provides enough power to save the system state to the hard disk and power off the PC automatically in case of power disruption. The system ships with software that facilitates backups and system restore uses. A personal firewall comes pre-installed and a hidden hard drive partition allows the user to protect important information from accidental deletion or intrusion.

Full Size Notebook Category Winner: Compaq* Presario* X1000 Widescreen Notebook

The Compaq Presario X1000 Widescreen Notebook features a 15.4 inch wide screen display and outstanding graphics making it suitable for movie watching, gaming, side-by-side web page browsing and image editing. The integrated secure digital/multimedia memory card slot allows the quick transfer of digital photos, music, and other files to and from the PC and digital cameras, printers, handhelds and other devices. The stylish aluminum-covered system is 1.3 inches thin and weighs 6.5 pounds.

Thin and Light Notebook Category Winner: IBM* ThinkPad* T40

The IBM ThinkPad T40 weighs in at 4.5 pounds and is only 1 inch thin. It supports secure wireless LAN connectivity using the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0. It offers full functionality with thin swappable media modules, a TrackPoint* pointing device, and the ThinkLight* keyboard light. Its size allows the business professional to take it anywhere and the ThinkLight keyboard light makes it easy to see your keyboard even on late-night plane trips.

Mini Notebook Category Winner: Sony* VAIO* PCG-TR1A

The Sony VAIO PCG-TR1A sports an integrated CD-RW/DVD combo drive, XBRITE* 10.6-inch wide screen, and theater-style sound using Dolby* headphone technology. It also has an integrated swivel camera to capture images, video, or use for videoconferencing. Its sleek design is 3.11 pounds and 1.44 inches thin.

Sub-Notebook Category Winner: Panasonic* Toughbook* CF-W2

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-W2 provides high performance, technological innovation, and durability in a very small, portable design. This notebook includes an integrated DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive and a 12.1-inch XGA anti-glare thin-glass display technology color LCD. It weighs 2.8 pounds and comes in a full magnesium alloy case design with a shock-mounted hard disk drive. The Toughbook CF-W2 includes an integrated secure digital/multimedia memory card slot, which lets one easily upload digital images, music, and other files directly from cameras, handholds, and other compatible devices.

PC Slate/Tablet Category Winner: Gateway* Tablet PC Deluxe

The Gateway Tablet PC Deluxe replaces a writing tablet with built-in handwriting recognition software, Microsoft* Windows* XP Professional Tablet Edition, and also offers peripherals such as a keyboard stand and built-in keyboard cover. It weighs just 3 pounds and is less than one inch thin. It is targeted at professionals who need to use their PC while moving throughout their workplace such as teachers and healthcare workers.

PC Slate/Tablet Category Winner: Panasonic* Toughbook* CF-18

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 is a convertible notebook that features a 180-degree rotating screen. It supports pen use and was designed using MIL-STD-810F test procedures to measure levels of environmental reliability. Created by the U.S. government, the MIL-STD-810F specifications cover a broad range of tests that measure the durability of equipment used under harsh conditions.
It has a full magnesium alloy case, a shock-mounted hard disk drive and weighs 4.4 pounds. The durability and flexibility of this product makes it ideal for workers on-the-road in less than ideal conditions such as military, hospital, or delivery personnel. The Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 can be carried up a ladder, hung on a wall as a tablet or mounted in a vehicle.

Digitial Media Adpater Category Winner: icube* Play@TV*

The icube Play@TV won in this year's first digital media adapter category. The icube Play@TV digital media adapter enables the exchange of digital audio, photos and video between home PCs, TVs and stereos. It can receive digital media from a PC using 802.11b wireless networking, and can connect to TVs and stereos using standard audio/video cables, much like a DVD player. Play@TV's Universal Plug and Play solution enables content to flow seamlessly throughout the home. UPnP automatically discovers content and servers as they become available on the network.

About the Intel Innovative PC Recognition Awards

The Intel Innovative PC Awards were first given at IDF Fall 1999 and have grown to receive worldwide recognition. As part of the Intel Ease of Use Initiative, Intel works with the PC and CE industry to make mobile, business and consumer PCs easier for people to use and integrate with their other consumer electronics devices. The Innovative PC Awards highlight superior PC designs that measurably advance PC setup, usability, expansion and maintenance. For more information, visit http://www.intel.com/go/innovativepc.

Sep 22 - ExpressCard Standard Delivered to Industry. The PCI-SIG(R), the Special Interest Group responsible for PCI Express(TM), PCI and PCI-X(R) industry-standard I/O technologies, has reaffirmed its support for the ExpressCard(TM) standard.

This standard, delivered by the PCMCIA industry group, represents unparalleled collaboration between the PCI-SIG and the PCMCIA to deliver a single blueprint for the next generation client interconnect technology aimed at replacing the PC Card form factor.

By using best-in-breed technology, ExpressCard is expected to expand its adoption across client platforms connecting internally to existing USB and PCI Express silicon. The PCI-SIG and PCMCIA industry groups will continue to work together to define a compliance and interoperability program that best meets the groups' collective members needs.

"The release of the ExpressCard standard signals the start of related product development," said Tony Pierce, chairman of the PCI-SIG. "Our collaboration with the PCMCIA has resulted in a high quality specification that supports the PCI Express architecture, which is widely recognized as a breakthrough I/O technology."

"With PCI Express technology entering client platforms in 2004 it is now possible for the industry to rapidly implement and adopt the ExpressCard technology," said Ramin Neshati, chairman of the Serial Technology Communications Workgroup for PCI-SIG. "We look forward to continuing the collaboration between the PCI-SIG and PCMCIA to deliver world-class compliance programs that will fuel a seamless delivery of interoperable ExpressCard products in client platforms."

"Working with the PCI-SIG on a joint ExpressCard compliance program will give consumers a tremendous advantage," said Brad Saunders, chairman of the PCMCIA. "By leveraging PCI Express silicon, we will be able to provide consumer-friendly features such as plug-n-play and a hot-swap capability for desktop and notebook users."

The PCI-SIG will hold its first PCI Express compliance workshop in December 2003. It is expected that ExpressCard implementations will be available for testing in 2004 when the PCI-SIG will hold additional compliance workshops worldwide.

Further information on PCI Express architecture can be found at www.pcisig.com. For more information on ExpressCard technology, visit www.expresscard.org.

Sep 22 - Samsung DDR2 Ready To Support Market For Next Generation PCs and Servers. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, said today at the Intel Developer Forum that its advanced DDR2 memory solutions are ready to meet the needs of a new generation of high performance PCs and servers. Samsung's DDR2 solutions include 400/533Megabits per second (Mbps) with a low 1.8volt feature for servers and notebook applications and high speed 533Mbps DDR2 for desktop PCs.

"Samsung pioneered the DDR2 memory that today offers PC and server manufacturers faster speeds, lower power and better signaling for an enhanced computing experience," said Tom Quinn, Samsung's US vice president of memory sales and marketing. "We are ready with a range of DDR2 memory solutions to support systems makers as the industry transitions to new technologies early next year. Samsung will also continue to lead advances in DDR2 with future deployment of DDR2 SDRAM at 667 Megabits per second (Mbps)."

"I am pleased to see that Samsung is developing DDR2 memory technology that will support Intel's high performance desktop, workstation, server, and mobile platforms in 2004," said Pete MacWilliams, Senior Fellow, Intel Corporation. "This architecture will also provide the bandwidth headroom necessary to support Intel's product roadmap in the future."

According to market research firm Gartner Dataquest, the global DRAM market by type in 2004 is forecast to be 62.7 percent DDR, 19.4 percent SDRAM, and 10.5 percent DDR2. Samsung continues to provide design-in samples this year and will boost production of DDR2 to 10 percent of its DRAM production in 2004 for the seamless introduction of the next generation technology.

Samsung began shipping engineering samples of JEDEC compliant 512Mb DDR2 SDRAM to major chipset developers last May. For more information, visit www.samsungsemi.com.

Sep 22 - Financial Services Providers Should Take More Aggressive Steps to Combat Identity Theft. Businesses, consumers and the U.S. government are becoming more aware of the prevalence of identity theft, however it is the banks and other financial services providers that must take more aggressive actions to fight these crimes, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends educating consumers to be more careful in disseminating credit information. It said bank regulators should establish "red flags" that creditors should heed when granting credit, and establish stronger criminal penalties and prosecution.

While these actions may be useful, Gartner analysts said it doesn't go far enough. Gartner analysts advocate a more forceful approach that focuses on the source of illegal credit -- credit card issuers, cell phone service providers, banks, and retailers and businesses that extend credit.

"Many financial and wireless services providers will provide instant credit approvals when applicants answer a few personal questions," said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director for Gartner. "Instead, they should conduct checks for identity theft before issuing loans or other forms of credit."

Some of the problems have also occurred because most of the crimes are not classified as identity thefts. This has resulted in earlier perceptions that identity theft was not as large of a problem.

"Banks and financial services providers should consider reclassifying all loans in which a payment date is missed as identity theft, rather than writing off a billable item as a loss if the bill isn't paid for 180 days," Litan said. "Such action will likely raise creditors' appreciation of identity theft fraud, while reducing their loan and credit losses. It will also likely motivate creditors to attack identity theft fraud with effective solutions, and it will ensure that innocent consumer victims remain innocent until proven guilty. Now, it's the other way around."

A recent Gartner survey showed that seven million U.S. adults, or 3.4 percent of U.S. consumers, were victims of identity theft during the 12 months ending in June 2003. A subsequent FTC study released September 4 confirmed Gartner's findings. Until then, the government was reporting less than 700,000 documented identity theft crimes. Because this crime is often misclassified, the thieves have better than a one in 700 chance of being caught by the federal authorities.

"While our recommendations will likely ease the pain and ramifications of identity theft by making it harder for thieves to get credit, we also realize it won't prevent thieves from stealing identity information for other ends," Litan said.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Sep 21 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. Although advertising of computer systems was somewhat limited this weekend, there are still some very good deals to be found.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy is offering 12 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA has another Unadvertised Specials promotion that you need to print and bring to your local store to receive discounts including, 18 months no payment, no interest, financing on purchases over $499.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
Best Pentium 4 System
Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2600+ complete system with 17" monitor
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop

Compaq 2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW

Best Buy
2. Best Low-cost Laptop

eMachines widescreen AMD Athlon XP-M 2400+ with DVD/CD-RW

Best Buy
1. Best High-end Notebook
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD /CD- RW
Best Buy
2. Best High-end Notebook
HP widescreen 2.66 GHz Pentium 4 with DVD - RW dual drive
Best Buy
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 80 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 160 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 160 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 250 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
PNY GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 128 MB DDR
(after rebates)
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9200 Pro 128 MB DDR
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 4X multiformat DVD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Plextor 8X multiformat DVD-RW
(after rebates)
Best Buy


InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime


Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.


Sep 19 - Intel Converged Technologies Fuel Future Wireless Communication Growth. Intel Corporation today outlined its plans to continue to accelerate the convergence of computing and communications through silicon innovation.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, Senior Vice President and Intel Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Pat Gelsinger outlined Intel's "Radio Free Intel" approach for integrating radios into future processors and for developing adaptive radio platforms, making wireless communication ubiquitous. Additionally, Eric Mentzer, Intel vice president and CTO of the Intel Communications Group, discussed Intel's plans to accelerate the deployment of broadband wireless infrastructure worldwide.

"Over the next decade, the majority of the world will communicate wirelessly," Gelsinger said. "Intel is accelerating the convergence of computing and communication by bringing the benefits of lower cost, scalability and faster-pace-of-innovation to radio technology. As a result, wireless communication will become truly ubiquitous and transparent to the user, making a flexible, high-capacity, standards-based wireless infrastructure even more crucial."

The Renaissance of Radios

Intel believes that in the future ubiquitous, wireless communication will be enabled through the deployment of industry standards and will be powered by Intel silicon and technology building blocks. Gelsinger indicated Intel is fueling the "renaissance of radios" by making significant progress to develop silicon radios using industry-leading low-cost, scalable manufacturing process technology.

The company said it successfully developed core radio components using its 0.18-micron digital CMOS process, including the world's fastest voltage controlled oscillator (a radio component that determine the frequency at which signals are transmitted and received) in CMOS operating at speeds greater than 75 GHz. By building these and other analog radio components with a digital manufacturing process, Intel aims to lower the cost of adding wireless capabilities to future products.

While silicon radios are at the heart of the Radio Free Intel strategy, Intel is also developing a radio platform that will adapt to its environment and its user. Intel has already achieved success toward the development of an adaptive radio platform and has created key innovations in the areas of channel estimation, adaptive modulation techniques and smart antennas to optimize the throughput, range, power and ultimately, the performance of wireless communication. These innovations help to ensure development, adoption and co-existence of global wireless standards.

Intel is also playing a significant role in the development of 802.11n, a next-generation WLAN technology with significantly higher throughput. The new WLAN standard would enable approximately three times the performance of current 802.11 solutions, allowing users to transfer more data wirelessly in a set period of time.

In addition, the company is researching adaptive communication technologies for future devices that communicate with each other transparently while also adapting to the dynamic needs of the user. Gelsinger said that this new class of mobile devices, called "universal communicators" will transparently and seamlessly connect to multiple networks and services. He demonstrated seamless roaming across WLAN and WWAN networks using a universal communicator prototype developed by Intel researchers.

Broadband Wireless Infrastructure

In his keynote address, Mentzer explained how wireless technology is an important element of Intel's corporate focus on the convergence of computing and communications. Intel's wireless product plans for 2004 will further advance broadband wireless technology. Future wireless networking products for the Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology platform include an 802.11b/g wireless networking component that will be in production before the end of 2003, and an 802.11a/b/g wireless networking component that will be in production in the first half of 2004.

Intel's efforts to develop silicon based on the IEEE 802.16a standard will provide a broadband wireless access alternative to existing "last mile" methods such as cable and digital subscriber lines (DSL). The IEEE 802.16a standard is a wireless broadband access technology that links Wi-Fi hotspots and provides broadband wireless connectivity to businesses and homes.

"It is expected that networks based on the 802.16a standard will have a range up to 30 miles and the ability to transfer data, voice and video at speeds of up to 70 Megabits-per-second (Mbps)," Mentzer said. Intel has signed agreements with leading OEM's in broadband wireless access equipment to deliver low-cost WiMAX-certified equipment based on Intel 802.16a silicon in the second half of 2004.

About IDF

The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Sep 19 - Intel Demonstrates Its First PCI Express-Based Silicon. Intel Corporation today demonstrated its first chips based on PCI Express technology and provided an update on its roadmap for integrating the new interconnect specification into its computing and communications products. Intel also introduced several new programs and tools to help accelerate adoption of PCI Express Technology, including the PCI Express IT Network cofounded with Dell.

During keynotes at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel demonstrated for the first time its next-generation server and workstation chipsets, codenamed "Lindenhurst" and "Tumwater," respectively, and their advanced PCI Express capabilities. The server chipset demonstration used a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) networking application to show how PCI Express technology enables direct connections to high-bandwidth adapters and other components without a costly I/O bridge chip that was previously required.

The workstation chipset demonstration focused on the capability of PCI Express to replace the AGP8X graphics interface. PCI Express technology doubled the performance possible with AGP8X from 2 GBps to 4 GBps, meeting the requirements of the growingnumber of high-bandwidth applications, such as high-quality digital photography, multimedia, advanced computer-aided design and digital video editing. PCI Express will also be available in next-generation desktop chipsets. All of these chipsets are scheduled to become available in 2004.

Planned PCI Express Products

Intel also provided new insight into its future Ethernet controllers, I/O processors, bridges and motherboards that will incorporate PCI Express. The first wave of products, which are scheduled to roll out in 2004, include:

Intel's future Ethernet controllers, which will use PCI Express to achieve for the first time wirespeed, full-duplex GbE and 10 GbE connectivity on desktop and server platforms. The controllers will roll out with Intel's next-generation desktop and Lindenhurst chipsets.

Intel's next I/O storage processor, code-named Dobson, that integrates PCI Express and Intel® XScale™ technologies to make high-performance RAID on motherboard with SCSI, SATA and Fibre Channel an integral feature of systems based on the Lindenhurst chipset.

Multiple PCI Express technology-enabled server and workstation motherboards that feature both PCI and PCI Express slots for efficient migration to the new interconnect technology.

The new Intel® 41210 Serial-to-Parallel PCI Bridge, a PCI Express-to-PCI/PCI-X 1.0 bridge that enables legacy adapters and add-in cards to work on PCI Express technology-based platforms, and the complementary Intel® 41210 Development Platform to accelerate transition of legacy PCI cards to the new interconnect technology. The bridge costs $32 in quantities of 10,000 and the development platform is priced at $1,300. Both products are expected be available in limited quantities the fourth quarter of this year.

Integrated client chipsets supporting the new PCI Express technology-based ExpressCard and Card ElectroMechanical interfaces, which will supersede today's Cardbus and PCI technologies on future Intel client platforms.

More information about PCI Express technology is available at the Intel® Developer Network for PCI Express Architecture website, www.express-lane.org. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Sep 19 - First Mid- and Low-Power AMD Opteron Processors to Debut in 2004. At the Embedded Systems Conference, AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that it plans to offer customers mid- and low-power AMD Opteron(TM) processors in the first half of 2004. The mid- and low-power AMD Opteron processors, to be available at 55 watts and 30 watts, are designed to provide customers with a wide variety of solutions, extending into the AMD Opteron 100-, 200-, and 800- series product lines.

"AMD is once again entering new markets and offering additional choice to our customers," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "AMD is already a leader in providing low power, high performance processors to the market. With mid- and low-power AMD Opteron processors, AMD will now enable an enterprise to employ a common infrastructure based on AMD64 technology at all levels of its computing environment - from high-performance clusters to blade servers."

Enterprise computing systems that require power conservation, such as blade servers and storage devices, are gaining in popularity due to their scalability, ease of management and cost efficiency. In addition, mid- and low-power processors are a requirement for many server systems housed in large computing centers where power consumption and heat affects operating costs. The AMD Opteron processor's high memory throughput and I/O bandwidth are ideal for products that must quickly move and manipulate large datasets, while consuming minimum power.

"The blade server market is expected to experience tremendous growth in the next few years," said Mark Melenovsky, Director, Server Research with IDC. "The benefits to be recognized by enterprise IT departments in terms of lower total cost of ownership and ease of management will mean more and more companies will turn to blade servers for their data center solutions."

AMD can be found online at www.amd.com.

Sep 19 - IBM Powers-up ThinkCentre Line of Desktops. IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced several new models of its redesigned ThinkCentre desktop line, as well as one of the industry's first DVD burners to support all recordable DVD formats endorsed by the DVD Forum and DVD+RW Alliance.
These new and more powerful ThinkCentre systems also offer IBM's innovative ThinkVantage Technologies designed to help customers reduce system operating costs and increase productivity.

According to many industry analysts, the initial purchase price is only about 20 percent of the cost of owning a PC. The remaining 80 percent represents the cost of deploying, managing, and maintaining the PC. IBM ThinkVantage Technologies can help customers reduce the number of service and support calls, reducing system downtime and the associated expense.

ThinkCentre desktops feature IBM ThinkVantage Technologies that improve security on select models and simplify PC "fleet management" for IT organizations. IBM PCs are the most secure standard PCs in the world when equipped with the Embedded Security Subsystem, which consists of an integrated security chip and downloadable IBM Client Security Software.
This hardware and software-based solution provides a higher level of security for the client, providing a secure repository for storing sensitive keys, identity information and confidential data. No other manufacturer offers stronger security as a standard PC feature.

All ThinkCentre models include Rapid Restore Ultra, a one-button backup and recovery solution that can easily restore previously saved data, settings and applications after a software failure. The ThinkCentre S50, M50 and A50p also feature the Access IBM button, a "portal to IBM support" that taps into a rich set of onboard resources, diagnostic tools, automated solutions, and links to updates and service on-line for customers with Internet access.

IBM ThinkCentre models include a tool-free chassis design, which simplifies and enhances usability. Encased in a durable steel chassis, components inside the machine, such as the hard disk and memory, can easily be removed by the customer, making the PC serviceable and upgradeable, helping to limit the downtime and cost associated with on-site support. ThinkCentre desktops also feature an innovative "caddy" that surrounds the hard disk drive, locking it into place without the use of tools or screws.

Select models of the new ThinkCentre S50, M50 and A50p feature an internal architecture that capitalizes on the hyper-threading capabilities of Intel's Pentium 4 processor, which improves performance by multitasking. Select ThinkCentre S50, M50 and A50p models include the Intel Pentium 4 processor running at speeds up to 3.2 GHz. New models of the ThinkCentre A30 include an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at speeds up to 3.06 GHz. In addition, select ThinkCentre models feature a 48x-32x-48x Max CD-RW drive, enabling customers to burn CD-RW media at a fast speed.

Format Friendly

IBM is also introducing today the Multi-Burner Plus for desktops, one of the industry's first DVD burners to support all recording formats endorsed by the DVD Forum and DVD+RW Alliance, including reading and writing DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW. The Multi-Burner Plus, which also burns CDs, eases customer concerns on purchasing burners that might support obsolete formats and provides fast burn speeds. The IBM Multi-Burner Plus is available today for $249.

Pricing and Availability

The new ThinkCentre S50 models are priced as low as $589; the new ThinkCentre M50 models are priced beginning at $799. Prices for the new ThinkCentre A50p models start at $749, and at $399 for the new ThinkCentre A30 models.
All new ThinkCentre systems announced today are available immediately through www.ibm.com. IBM personal computers are also available through select business partners.

Sep 19 - Market for Smartphones and Camera Phones Heating Up. In recent quarters, shipments of smartphones and camera phones have been heating up, according to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com). The high-tech market research firm reports that, in Q1 of this year, 1.7 million smartphones shipped around the world, and the pace appears to be quickening. Similarly, camera phones have been moving at a rapid pace. For all of 2002, camera phones shipments totaled about 18.2 million units, and Q1 2003 shipments were 7.8 million.

However, according to Neil Strother, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR, "While these two handset categories have bright futures, a look beyond the attractive opportunities reveals some noteworthy threats and hurdles." For smartphones high prices, technical glitches, bulky devices, a lack of compelling enterprise and consumer applications, and inadequate network capacity, are all presenting a barrier to acceptance.
"In addition, the perception that the devices are mainly for mobile professionals still lingers," said Strother. Camera phones, on the other hand, are hindered by the need for better image sensors, more on-board memory for picture storage, longer battery life, and network improvements to make picture sharing easier and interoperability a reality. Privacy concerns are also plaguing the market.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- Both of these handset sub-segments are in for solid growth over the next five years. Smartphones will be commonplace by 2007, and camera phones should be ubiquitous. These handset categories are already starting to merge, and, by 2008, it's likely there will be little to distinguish them. New handsets at that time will be "smart" in a variety of ways, and a built-in camera will be standard.

-- Smartphones will grow 94.5% on a compound annual basis through 2007.

-- Shipments of handsets with an integrated digital camera will show a compound annual growth rate of 53.2% through 2007.

Sep 18 - Intel Delivers Products, Technologies And Tools For The Digital Home. Intel Corporation today showed how the digital home is becoming a reality with new products, technologies and services that move the industry closer to the goal of enabling consumers to enjoy content anywhere, anytime and on any device at home.

During his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum, Fall 2003, Louis Burns, vice president and co-general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group, discussed progress the industry has made on developing industry guidelines for distributing digital media in the home. He also previewed innovative new products, product designs and technologies for the digital home. He encouraged the computing, consumer electronics and entertainment industries to jointly make premium content available to consumers as the next step in delivering a true digital home experience.

Burns demonstrated consumer products that are available today or will be in the near future. This included a high-definition video stream running on a previously unannounced desktop processor, the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor Extreme Edition 3.20 GHz supporting Hyper-Threading Technology1, with an additional 2 Megabytes of cache. This new processor will be targeted at high-end gamers and computing power users.

"The industry has made great progress toward developing interoperability guidelines as well as innovative products and services that are helping make the digital home a reality for consumers," Burns said. "The next step in the digital home is enabling the availability of premium content on the home network, giving consumers access to the type of compelling content they want to enjoy. We're committed to continue to work with the consumer electronics, music and film industries to deliver the capability which, in turn, will create new business opportunities for all."

Innovative Products for the Digital Home

Several new and innovative products will provide consumers with a great experience in the digital home. Gateway will soon make available the LCD Media Center*, which will serve as an all-in-one digital entertainment device. Intel and Gateway have worked closely to bring this innovative product to market. The media center is powered by an Intel Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology2, a technology that allows consumers to simultaneously run multiple programs more smoothly and efficiently. For example, consumers can record their favorite TV show in the background while playing a 3D game in the foreground.

Intel today introduced the Intel® 815 Digital Set Top Box Reference Design, which delivers a powerful platform for software decode to enable a low-cost solution delivering video-on-demand over a broadband connection. The flexible platform will allow OEMs a fast time-to-market solution for the fast growing IP-video on demand market segment today, serving both digital homes, as well as the hospitality industry. The design allows service providers to add further optional services as they develop these market segments such as voice over IP and residential gateway/access point. The design can also be utilized for applications such as networked digital media recorders and personal video recorders. Products based on the Intel design are available from Wyse technology.

Intel also showcased next-generation digital media adapters (DMAs), devices that wirelessly transfer personal digital video, photos and music from a PC to a TV and a stereo. The DMAs included iCube's Play@TV and Lenovo's Media Link.

Emerging PC Technologies

Other product designs and innovative technologies will help make products in the digital home easy and fun to use. Burns conducted the first live demonstration of PCI Express x16 graphics, the next generation I/O standard that will be available in solutions from graphics vendors in 2004.
Intel announced the Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) form factor specification, formerly code-named "Big Water." The new form factor enables the next generation in PC system design, and is expected to supercede the ATX family of motherboard form factors over time. BTX will enable the industry to strike a better balance in thermal management, system size and shape, acoustics, and performance -- all critical attributes to innovate desktop PCs for the digital home. BTX supports traditional desktop sizes and ensures industry specifications-based small form factor PCs.

A new technology available from Intel in mid-2004, will help to simplify home networking by including a wireless access point and router functionality as an embedded feature of the PC to help minimize the need for external equipment or cables to build a small home network. Intel also previewed an instant on/off technology, allowing consumers to press the "on" button and the PC is ready in a few seconds. If the PC loses power, this technology quickly recovers without losing data or rebooting the PC under normal operation. Intel plans to include this technology on platforms in the next few years.

Delivering Premium Content to the Home

To make the digital home a reality for consumers, the ability to share protected content between devices will be an important factor. Companies across the computing, CE and entertainment industries believe that Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) over IP, a content management technology co-developed by Intel, Hitachi, Toshiba, Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic), is the way to accomplish this. DTCP over IP enables digital premium entertainment content to be delivered between digital home products over wired and wireless networks. The DTCP over IP specification revision .9 is now available at www.dtcp.com.

Tools for Developers

In order to accelerate new product development in the digital home ecosystem, Intel is providing a comprehensive UPnP™ technology tools suite for leading industry hardware and software platforms. The Intel 2003 Networked Media Product Requirements (Intel® NMPR) document has also been released today and is intended to provide a framework to improve interoperability among devices in the digital home. Intel will also make available an Intel NMPR conformance and interoperability test capability for developers. These tools and further details can be found on the Intel Developer Network for the digital home on Intel's developer Web site.

About IDF

The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Sep 18 - Transmeta And NVIDIA Announce Strategic Collaboration. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq: TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, and NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced a collaboration where NVIDIA has agreed to develop its highly integrated media communications processors for Transmeta's next generation Efficeon™ processor, enabling exceptional multimedia and graphics capabilities for a wide range of mobile PC platforms.

"Future PC platforms will be integrated multimedia powerhouses that run efficiently and quietly and deliver amazing multimedia capabilities in a small package," said Dr. Jon Peddie, multimedia and graphics industry expert and president, Jon Peddie Research. "The combination of Transmeta's prowess in efficient processing combined with NVIDIA's expertise in multimedia and graphics creates a world-class partnership that will benefit a multitude of PC platforms. Our research shows this category to be the fastest growing and largest segment in the PC market, and we expect a whole new class of products to emerge."

Transmeta and NVIDIA have collaborated to leverage their respective expertise in energy efficient processor design, dynamic power management and graphics. The companies have teamed to deliver an exceptional combination of features, battery life, and a compact platform size for emerging classes of small form factor computers.

"Transmeta's collaboration with NVIDIA, an industry leader, will spur innovative graphics capabilities in mobile devices," said Dr. Matthew R. Perry, president and CEO, Transmeta Corporation. "Transmeta's customers are delivering exceptional efficient computing form factors featuring extended battery life, low heat, award winning designs, integrated functionality and highly competitive pricing."

"NVIDIA's collaboration with Transmeta enables a new class of ultra portable mobile computer," said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and President, NVIDIA Corporation. "As the mobile computer increasingly becomes the primary computing device for many people, the demand for smaller form factor, low power solutions becomes apparent. By closely collaborating with Transmeta, our combined technologies are enabling computer makers to deliver an outstanding multimedia experience in stunningly small, low power devices."

Transmeta's new Efficeon processor, in production during the current quarter, provides industry leadership in delivering power efficiency and high performance for notebooks, tablet PCs, ultra-personal computers, silent desktops, blade servers and embedded systems.

Dave Ditzel, Transmeta's co-founder and chief technology officer, will make a presentation about the new Efficeon processor, including detailed specifications and benchmark data, at Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, October 13-16, 2003.

To learn more about Transmeta, visit www.transmeta.com.

Sep 18 - Advanced CSR BlueCore Chips Selected for Apple's New PowerBook G4 Notebooks. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio), a market leader in Bluetooth silicon, today announced that Apple has selected CSR's BlueCore chips with Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) to Bluetooth-enable its line of professional PowerBook G4 notebooks.
Apple offers its PowerBook G4 customers Bluetooth wireless technology to easily enable wireless exchange of data between other Bluetooth-enabled devices including computers, cellular phones, PDAs and the new Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse.

The BlueCore chip offers AFH, a system that eliminates interference between Bluetooth and other RF devices, such as WiFi (802.11) that operate in the2.4GHz radio frequency band, by coordinating the frequency channels of all 2.4GHz devices. As the number of computers fitted with both Bluetooth and WiFi wireless connectivity increases so does the value of AFH. Interoperability prototypes were made available first by CSR and were used by the Bluetooth lead adopters including Apple to validate the new AFH standard.

"Apple has led a number of introductions of communications technologies to the personal computer world including Ethernet, AirPort (802.11b) and FireWire (IEEE 1394)," said Eric Janson, worldwide vice president, marketing, CSR. "Apple's integration of Bluetooth into their computers will likewise accelerate its mass market adoption and CSR is delighted to be supplying Apple's computer division with Bluetooth ICs for its PowerBook G4 notebooks."

"Apple was first to integrate Bluetooth into its operating system with Mac OS X and now the first to make it a standard feature across our entire line of professional notebooks," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. "We've worked with CSR to be first to deliver adaptive frequency hopping to our PowerBook customers to provide an exceptionally reliable and interference free wireless experience."

CSR's BlueCore silicon was the first single-chip to provide Bluetooth functions, and, alongside the development and implementation of AFH, demonstrates the progressive approach that CSR has taken with its technology. CSR's technology and the ability to deliver in high volumes are important deciding factors when companies like Apple are looking for quality Bluetooth solutions.

More information about CSR can be found at www.csr.com and the partner web site www.btdesigner.com

More information about Bluetooth can be found on the SIG web site at www.bluetooth.com.

For more information on Apple's new PowerBook, Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mouse, visit www.apple.com.

Sep 18 - Denali and Rambus to Deliver PCI Express Design and Verification Platform. Denali Software, Inc., the leading provider of electronic design automation (EDA) tools and intellectual property (IP) for chip interface design and verification, and Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS), a leading provider of chip-to-chip interface products and services, today announced a collaboration agreement to deliver a comprehensive PCI Express(TM) design and verification platform.

This platform will incorporate Denali's PCI Express IP core and Rambus' advanced PCI Express(TM) PHY core technology. As a first step toward ensuring interoperability with PCI Express cores, the Rambus PCI Express PHY will be verified with Denali's PureSpec verification IP suite. This integrated platform will provide PCI Express product developers with quick design turnaround time and will ensure compliance and interoperability with PCI Express architectures.

"To ease the transition from the 66MHz PCI to the 2.5GHz PCI Express standards, chip developers require robust, silicon-proven PCI Express PHY cores," said Jean-Marc Patenaude, marketing director for the Logic Interface Division at Rambus. "Denali is taking a leadership role in solving the verification problem for PCI Express. Using Denali's PureSpec Verification IP enables us to verify that our PCI Express interface is compliant with the specification, and more importantly, that we are interoperable with other designs using the PCI Express standard. This is another step toward delivering fully-tested PHY cores to our customers to help them deliver successful products to the marketplace."

"Rambus has delivered high-speed I/O solutions to its customers for over a decade," said Kevin Silver, vice president of marketing for Denali. "This expertise, which is now being applied to PCI Express interconnects, has resulted in a very strong roadmap for PCI Express PHY products. Denali is currently engaged in over 50 PCI Express design efforts with our Verification IP tools; leveraging this standard solution enables us to remove the compliance and interoperability risks for our customers and the PCI Express design community in general. Rambus' interconnect expertise, combined with our verification IP and PCI Express core, will provide the industry with a rock-solid platform for this emerging standard."

"As a member of technical and communications workgroups within PCI-SIG, Denali has been actively participating in the industry-wide effort to define and refine the PCI Express specification," said Tony Pierce, PCI-SIG chairman. "We appreciate Denali's continuous commitment to further enable PCI Express technology and accelerate adoption of its architecture."

Rambus is committed to continuing its leadership position as a PCI Express PHY IP provider. Rambus' PCI Express IP PHY family supports TSMC 0.13-micron and UMC 0.18-micron processes to address the needs of graphics, chipset, switch and bridge chip applications using the PCI Express standard.
The Rambus PCI Express PHY cell is available in evaluation chips that have been delivered to Rambus' customers for their system development. In addition, Rambus offers engineering services to its customers for chip integration, package, board and system characterization, as well as test, in order to ensure success in the development and bring up of PCI Express-based chips and boards.

Additional information is available at www.rambus.com.

Sep 17 - Intel Details Convergence Of Computing And Communications. Intel Corporation President and COO Paul Otellini today demonstrated that through Intel's and the industry's efforts, the convergence of computing and communications is being rapidly embraced by individuals and has become a mainstream trend. He also described new technologies Intel will bring to computing and communications devices that will add exciting features to Intel products in addition to providing more processing speed.

"Just two years after disclosing details on what was then codenamed Banias, the convergence of computing and communications has gone mainstream," said Otellini. "As one example, the addition of more than 76,000 wireless networking cards a day to the world's computing infrastructure makes it clear that convergence is here to stay. And this isn't just happening in the PC area -- we're estimating by 2010 there will be more than 2.5 billion wireless handheld devices capable of providing communications functions combined with the processing power of today's advanced PCs."

Otellini's comments were made during the opening address of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) Fall 2003. In addition to reviewing the company's focus on convergence, Otellini also described new technologies - the "Ts" - Intel plans to bring to market to provide end-user benefits that go beyond processor frequency.

"It was two years ago at IDF that we committed to deliver fundamental technologies to enable greater productivity and better experiences for computer users," said Otellini. "We said we would continue to lead in microprocessor performance and we've done that. We also said we needed to create technologies specifically targeted to match the ways individuals use computing and communications devices. Hyper-Threading technology, with its innovative approach to enhancing the computing experience, and Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, which delivers breakthroughs in mobile computing, are the first outcomes of this effort."

The company will continue to deliver on its promise to provide greater user benefits by supplying technologies to improve security, reliability and media processing, among others. In the security area, the company's LaGrande technology is designed to be a future enhancement to Intel processors, chipsets and platforms, that when combined with optimized software would protect against software-based attacks on computer systems. The technology should be available in the next two-to-three years.

"At a time when the 'virus of the week' seems to plague us all, making our computing devices more secure through the addition of hardware-based security must become a top priority for the industry in order to ensure future growth," said Otellini. "However, it's important to do this in a way that also respects the privacy rights of individuals. Intel is committed to achieving both goals."

Another technology Intel plans to incorporate into future products is designed to enable multiple, independent software environments in a single PC - similar to the way mainframe class systems operate. Code-named "Vanderpool," it is aimed at improving the end-user experience by increasing system reliability, flexibility and responsiveness, as well as speeding the ability to recover from computer crashes.

The company is also developing similar enhancements to improve the processing of digital media - boosting the performance and lowering the cost of experiencing advanced digital media capabilities. This feature is expected to become increasingly important in the home environment.

Intel's leadership in silicon technology is the foundation for providing benefits beyond processor speed. Advanced silicon technology will allow Intel to meet customer requirements by packing even more new features and functions onto smaller and smaller devices. For example, by 2011 the company plans to be building semiconductors with circuitry 22-nm wide, with transistors smaller than a single DNA molecule. As an example of Intel's investment in technology leadership, Otellini made the first public presentation of an Intel silicon wafer built on the next generation 65-nm manufacturing process.

"Intel is committed to bringing technologies to market that end-users want and can use today," said Otellini. "We will offer technologies such as Hyper-Threading for performance, enhanced wireless to enable true mobile computing, LaGrande for security, Vanderpool to improve reliability, flexibility and the overall computing experience, along with our core silicon expertise, which underpins our ability to enable these and other key capabilities."

Intel is also focusing its technologies and products on three areas that will provide significant opportunities for the IT and consumer electronics industries in the coming years: in enterprise computing, mobile Internet clients and the digital home.

In the enterprise, convergence will create new opportunities as wireless users tap into database and other applications on the Internet. Product highlights from Intel in the enterprise computing area include plans to introduce a dual core Intel® Xeon™ processor MP (code-named Tulsa) and a multi-core Intel® Itanium™ processor (code-named Tanglewood), among other technologies. In the mobile area, Intel is focused on common software that can run across multiple platforms to enable a seamless computing-communications experience.

In the digital home, the development of industry specifications will be essential to sharing content across multiple devices. Intel's involvement with organizations such as the Digital Home Working Group that bring together content providers and the consumer electronics industry, will help shape technology specifications that benefit consumers.
In a different example of industry cooperation, the development of Digital Transmission Content Protection, over Internet Protocol (DTCP/IP) technology by Intel and other companies will enable home users to wirelessly share protected entertainment content among a variety of devices in the home. Through collaboration with content providers such as Warner Brothers and others, this technology is likely to be a cornerstone to expanding digital home entertainment.

For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Sep 17 - Internet Machines Unveils PCI Express Product Line at Intel Developer Forum. Internet Machines Corp., a fabless semiconductor developer of highly integrated communications and I/O interconnect ICs, today introduced its iMpress(TM) line of products at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF).

The iMpress(TM) family of PCI Express-based bridge and switch devices offers the industry's most complete PCI Express interconnect solution for bandwidth-bottlenecked applications, including workstations and desktops, mobile, I/O cards, servers and blade servers, storage, networking, and other embedded systems. Also at the IDF, Internet Machines unveiled recently received silicon samples of its first iMpress(TM) product offering, which is also believed to be the industry's first PCI Express bridge device. The iMpress(TM) bridge chip was fabricated by TSMC using its advanced .13-micron CMOS process technology.

Internet Machines' iMpress(TM) device portfolio is based on an architecture and intellectual property developed and proven with the currently available iMpower(TM) chipset, also from Internet Machines. The iMpower(TM) product line provides a complete solution for implementing packet processing, traffic management and switching in next-generation networking and storage systems.The PCI Express-based iMpress(TM) product family consists of:

-- PCI Express to PCI/PCI-X bridge devices: These devices allow OEMs to transition their products from legacy PCI or PCI-X to the rapidly emerging PCI Express interconnect standard. The iMpress(TM) bridge products have been architected to provide design flexibility, incorporating features such as transparent, non-transparent, forward and reverse bridging, and to address a wide range of applications, including intelligent and non-intelligent add-in cards and a broad range of embedded applications.

-- PCI Express switching devices: These devices provide a flexible interconnect solution for implementing chip-to-chip communication, I/O links, or slots expansion by performing switching between the PCI Express upstream port and downstream ports or peer-to-peer switching between downstream ports. The iMpress(TM) line of switch products spans a wide range of switching capacities, from 5GBps to 30GBps capacity in a single chip, with integrated SerDes transceivers and requires no other external components.

"We are excited about previewing our first PCI Express bridge device at the Intel Developer Forum. Early on, we identified the emerging PCI Express technology as a key market opportunity and quickly took the initiative to establish a leadership position in this space," said Chris Hoogenboom, Internet Machines' CEO and founder. "We believe that the adoption of PCI Express technology will be an important factor in accelerating the convergence of computing and communications."

More information on Internet Machines can be found by visiting our Web site at www.internetmachines.com.

Sep 17 - Gartner Technology Demand Index for August Deteriorates. After three months of consistent IT spending among U.S. businesses, levels dipped precipitously in August because of weakness in small and large businesses, according to the Gartner Technology Demand Index, an index included in a monthly economic indicator service launched by Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). Despite the drop in those segments, the Index shows that midsize businesses are exhibiting strong IT demand.

According to a weekly poll drawn from a 20,000-member Gartner panel of IT decision makers from small, midsize and large businesses, U.S. enterprises spent below their budgeted levels, recording a score of 81 on the Gartner Technology Demand Index for July (an index value of 100 would mean businesses spent exactly what they had budgeted for the month).

The Technology Demand Index had remained above 90 during the months of May through July. However continued sluggish IT spending within small and large sized businesses has caused the aggregate current index to retreat to 81. While medium-sized businesses continue to show strength, an IT spending recovery in 2004 will require renewed growth from large and small businesses.

"While current demand among small enterprises has weakened, their strong projected spending in 2004 strengthens the upward momentum provided by midsize enterprises," said David Hankin, senior vice president and general manager of Gartner. "Only large enterprises appear to be consistently sluggish, which does cause some concern over the depth of any future recovery."

The Technology Demand Index shows that current and projected IT demand for midsize companies has remained strong for the past five months, moving from 95 for the second quarter up to 97 for the third quarter. Within the midsize market, the strongest current IT spending index is in financial and health services organizations. Midsize organizations also exhibited strong demand in all four IT sectors, especially in services and networking/telecom, as both sectors are above the 100 baseline for the third-quarter demand index.

Small companies have shown the greatest unwillingness to spend, dropping to 72 on the index in the third quarter, down from 79 in the second quarter. Gartner analysts said large companies also showed weakness quarter over quarter, but these businesses are not as tight on budgets as small companies. The current spending index for large enterprises slipped to 85, from 89 in the second quarter.

Gartner analysts said the fourth quarter continues to be the critical period. For a strong recovery to begin early in 2004, IT spending needs to be robust in the fourth quarter of 2003.

For more information on Gartner IT Watch, visit www.gartner.com.

Sep 17 - Extending the Life Cycle of Desktop PCs Won't Necessarily Save Money. Many enterprises are extending the life cycle of their desktop PCs, but they may not be saving as much money as anticipated. The average annual total cost of ownership (TCO) for a PC kept for three years is roughly the same as a PC kept for four to six years, but there are changes in who absorbs those costs, the enterprise or the end-user, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT and ITB).

When extending the life cycle of desktop PCs from the typical three years up to four or more, the costs shift from those of direct cost categories such as hardware, software and IS labor to categories of indirect costs such as lost end-user productivity and downtime.

"In the end, the decision comes down to who pays," said Michael Silver, vice president and research director at Gartner. "It's either the enterprise in currency, or the user in lost productivity. Prior to making life cycle decisions, enterprises must fully understand productivity, opportunity and migration costs and come to terms with who is going to incur them."

Enterprises must also understand what factors are not included in TCO, but are still important in determining the appropriate desktop life cycle.

"Most benefits are not included in the TCO, so if an end-user can find real business benefit in having a faster or newer PC, enterprises should quantify those benefits and build a business case to reduce the life cycle toward three years," said Leslie Fiering, research vice president at Gartner. "Enterprises must also consider that keeping PCs longer will probably result in greater hardware and operating system diversity."

Overall, Gartner analysts recommend a four-year desktop life cycle for mainstream knowledge workers and a desktop life cycle of three years or less for high-performance users. Five years is possible in some cases, but Gartner analysts advise trying to extend the life cycle to five years for fixed-function systems only, where the application load is limited and does not change.

Additional information is available in the Gartner Research Note "Desktop TCO for Years 4, 5 and 6: Someone Has to Pay." This Research Note provides a detailed breakout on the TCO for a desktop PC, and provides analysis on the impact older PCs can have for an enterprise. This report is available on the Gartner Web site at www3.gartner.com.

Sep 17 - Wi-Fi Protected Access -- WPA -- Surges to Forefront of WLAN Security. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) has grown from nothing six months ago to the most-used security method for securing WLANs, according to Evans Data Corp.'s Fall Wireless Development Survey.

WPA replaces the inadequate Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) technology, and is based on the 802.11i draft standard. WEP is still used by 14% of the survey respondents, compared to 20% for WPA.

"WEP was flawed from the start, because it was designed by electrical engineers and not cryptographers. Although adequate for home use, its inability to effectively secure enterprise-level wireless networks from intrusion makes it no surprise at all that WPA's newer, more robust solution is finding much higher acceptance within the wireless development community," said Jeff Duntemann, Evans' wireless analyst. "The next survey should show even higher rates of WPA adoption."

Other findings from the August survey of more than 450 wireless developers worldwide:

-- The biggest challenges to developing wireless applications
are: working with a resource-constrained platform followed by
rapidly changing standards, unfamiliarity with device
programming and lack of good development tools.

-- The most important advanced capabilities for wireless devices (respondents were asked to select as many as they wished) include: screen size and resolution, wireless network support, transaction security, support for color and messaging.

-- Testing and debugging tools were the second most important tools for wireless development, but they are also the third worst tools in terms of developer satisfaction with them, ahead of wireless editors and performance tools.

Evans Data Corporation (www.evansdata.com) provides regularly updated IT industry market intelligence based on in-depth surveys of the global developer community.

Sep 16 - Canon Debuts World's Smallest Four Megapixel Cameras. Placed in a purse or stashed in a clutch, nestled in a breast pocket or tucked in a tux, Canon's new PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH cameras get the focus and set the (fashion) scene for imaging excellence and stylish elegance.
These new generation miniature miracles reaffirm the old adage that there is no such thing as being too thin. Tipping the scales at a diminutive 3.5 ounces and measuring a scant 3.6 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches, the new PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH debuts as the world's smallest four megapixel digital cameras.

Image Excellence and the DIGIC(TM) Difference

Despite its diminutive size, the SD10 camera's high-resolution four-megapixel CCD captures brilliant images and then - thanks to Canon's exclusive DIGIC(TM) (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) Imaging Processor - takes image quality to a new level.

Canon developed the proprietary DIGIC image processing technology specifically for use with its line of digital cameras. DIGIC combines the roles of image processing and camera function control into one chip and because it was designed for use in digital cameras, it is also capable of handling JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); Auto Exposure; Auto Focus; Auto White Balance control and most other functions of a digital camera. The DIGIC Processor offers the added benefit of faster display and write-times for each image and low power consumption, saving valuable battery power.

Direct Printing Plus

Direct Printing significantly expands the appeal of the PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH cameras by making it simple, quick and convenient to produce high-quality photos without the need for a personal computer. Beyond its Direct Print capability with Canon's Card Photo Printers and acclaimed Bubble Jet Direct Photo Printers, the camera is also compatible with PictBridge, a new industry protocol that offers the flexibility of direct printing to other brands of PictBridge compatible printers.

The PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH cameras feature a high-quality four-element 6.4mm (equivalent to 39mm in 35mm format) f /2.8 single focal length lens and a 5.7x digital zoom. The camera also features an easy to read 1.5-inch (diagonally measured) color LCD Monitor, and through the lens (TTL) 5-point AiAF autofocus. The camera's shutter speeds (mechanical and electronic) range from 15 to 1/1500 of a second and there are 6 white balance modes including Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Fluorescent H settings.

The PowerShot SD10 cameras offer Super Fine, Fine and Normal JPEG compression modes and features resolution settings of 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480 (VGA) for still images. The PowerShot SD10 cameras can also shoot movie clips with sound up to 3 minutes apiece at resolutions of 320 x 240 or 160 x 120.
Sound memos up to 60 seconds can be recorded with the cameras' built-in microphone and attached to individual still images during playback The camera is supplied with an ultra-compact 32MB SD memory card and features video out and USB ports. Canon supplies a comprehensive software bundle with multiple features, but the SD10 can also be connected directly to Mac OS X and Windows XP computers for basic downloading without installing any software.

Carrying a suggested retail price of $449, the Canon PowerShot SD10 Digital ELPH cameras will be available in stores around mid-October. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Sep 16 - Logitech Ships its 500 Millionth Mouse. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN), the world's leading computer mouse manufacturer, announced today that it has shipped its 500 millionth mouse.

Logitech, which shipped its first mouse in 1982, has helped the mouse become one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous technology devices today, with continued innovation and compelling designs that have made it easier to use, more powerful and more personal. IDC estimates that of the world's 900 million desktop personal computers that have shipped since 1982, a Logitech mouse was shipped with 55 percent of them.

"In celebrating the half-billion milestone -- a number that's difficult to fathom -- we're amazed by the impact of the mouse on our lives," said Guerrino De Luca, Logitech's president and chief executive officer. "We're also aware that, however small the device itself, it represents years of engineering vision and innovation, plus the hard work of the people on our manufacturing lines who turn out a huge quantity of product each day. The milestone also speaks to the strong partnerships that we enjoy with our suppliers and customers worldwide."

The many mouse innovations Logitech has introduced to its customers include award-winning industrial design, high-resolution optical tracking, Fast RF(TM) cordless technology and software that optimizes mouse performance and enhances the user experience. On average, Logitech currently manufactures 270,000 mice daily and 6 million in a month. Placed end to end, 500 million mice would span 38,500 miles, enough to circle the earth more than 1 1/2 times. Looking at it another way, 500 million mice equates to approximately 6 million cubic feet of volume, enough to fill more than 48 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Logitech first sold its mice as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to computer system manufacturers, introducing its first retail mouse in 1985. Combining its OEM strength and retail success, Logitech reached the 100 million mice mark in 1996. It then took only seven years to reach 500 million, in part because of the exploding market for input devices and the final, decisive victory of the graphical user interface across all systems and applications.

For more information on Logitech and its products, visit the Company's website at www.logitech.com.

Sep 16 - Toshiba Offers Sub-$1,000 Wireless Server for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses. Toshiba Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the availability of the Magnia(R) SG25 Wireless Mobility Server.

The Magnia SG25 is Toshiba's most affordable server at $899, and offers full-featured mobile, wireless networking and ease of use allowing small and medium-sized businesses to access the Internet; and share files and peripherals. Moreover, the Magnia SG25 offers the ideal platform for solution developers to create customized applications for vertical markets as part of Toshiba's Magnia Mobile Productivity Solutions program.

Today's announcement underscores Toshiba's commitment to provide affordable wireless solutions to small and medium-sized business, while recognizing the value of vertical applications, software bundling, and add-on devices in boosting users' productivity. In addition, the Magnia SG25's simple deployment and management eliminates the need for continuous IT support, thus contributing to increased time and money savings.

The Magnia SG25 features a serial console port allowing easy access to develop custom software applications, while two PCMCIA slots allow the device to accommodate a wireless LAN PC Card supporting Wi-Fi(R) (802.11b) and other PC card devices. External backup devices can also be added via the two USB ports to ensure that users don't lose vital data. In addition, the Magnia SG25 allows administrators to further protect wireless users with 128-bit encryption, MAC address filtering and WEP keys.

The Magnia SG25 is available immediately via www.shoptoshiba.com or through Toshiba's traditional distribution channels.

Sep 16 - Worldwide Flash Card Market Will Grow 38 Percent in 2003. Despite declining NAND flash memory component prices in the first half of the year, the worldwide flash card market is poised for strong revenue growth in 2003, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). The worldwide flash card market is forecast to reach $2.75 billion in 2003, a 38 percent increase over 2002. In 2002, worldwide flash card revenue totaled $1.99 billion.

"Recent NAND component price declines in 2002 and the first half of 2003 have helped proliferate flash cards in the mainstream because an increasing number of consumers are able to justify the cost and benefit argument," said Joseph Unsworth, industry analyst for Gartner's semiconductor group.
"The flash card market is overwhelmingly driven by the consumer retail channel and is considered a price-point driven market, meaning consumers are willing to pay for as many megabytes as their budget will allow. As average selling prices (ASPs) begin to stabilize through the second half of this year, the consumer's budget elasticity will play an increasing role in the market in determining megabyte demand and flash card capacity transitions."

Unfortunately for consumers, the flash card industry continues to offer a variety of formats, most which are incompatible with each other. Adding to the confusion is further fragmentation within some formats, resulting in card derivatives that target applications with particular attributes.

"The SD Card and Memory Stick (MS) are forecast to be the dominant flash cards, capturing a combined revenue share of 65 percent by 2007. These formats are expected to prevail because they have strong industry support combined with compelling attributes in a small form factor," Unsworth said.

Gartner analysts said the outlook for the flash card market is promising because the outlook for future applications is strong. Current applications such as digital still cameras, will continue to provide the majority of megabyte consumption in the short term as camera resolutions sharpen, increasing the demand for additional data storage capacity. Future applications, such as mobile phones and digital video cameras, are expected to drive the predicted 81 percent megabyte growth from 2002 through 2007, and fuel the flash card industry to the long term.

"In the longer term, applications will require even more data storage capability as increased functionality and security features are incorporated into flash cards. Advancements in flash card performance, in conjunction with decreasing prices at the component level, will drive new flash card usage in applications such as mobile phones and digital video cameras, providing growth opportunities for the industry," Unsworth said.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.


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