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Welcome to InfoHQ Computer 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 Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.
InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index Date (Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.) Apr 23 Intel Introduces Pentium 4 Processor at 1.7 GHz Apr 23 MicronPC Introduces New 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 Desktop Apr 23 LaCie Unveils USB/Firewire DVD-RAM/R Drive Apr 23 BIOS manufacturer Phoenix Technologies Introduces `'FirstWare Rescue'' Apr 22 Sunday Shopping Watch Apr 21 U.S. PC Market Posted Negative Growth in First Quarter 2001 Apr 21 ADS Technologies Announces PYRO 1394 DVD-R/RW and USB Instant Video Apr 20 E3Expo 2001 to Unveil Never-Before-Seen Interactive Products Apr 20 Transmeta Corporation Announces 50% Increase In First Quarter Revenues Apr 20 NVIDIA Completes its Purchase of Certain 3dfx Graphics Assets Apr 20 AMREL Introduces Three-Piece Ruggedized Portable Apr 20 InfoHQ Editorial - Intel's Latest Pentium 4 Performance Tests Apr 19 AMD Sales Grow on Record PC Processor Sales Apr 19 IBM Announces First-Quarter Earnings Increased 18% Apr 19 Evergreen reveals New CPU Upgrades for PII & Early PIII Systems Apr 19 Despite Broadband Services Growth, Dial-Up Access Dominates Consumer Market Apr 18 SONICblue announces New V.92 SupraMax USB Modem Apr 18 Epson Introduces Printer for Digital Cameras; The Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX Apr 18 Intel Reports First Quarter Sales Slowdown Apr 18 Dell Offers Flat Panel Monitor for Less Than $500 Apr 17 Dell Debuts $1,049, Full-Featured Notebook Computer Apr 17 Acer America Announces TravelMate 210 Notebooks Apr 17 QPS Introduces the Que! LS-240 32MB SuperDisk Drive Apr 17 ViewSonic Shatters $500 Price Point for LCD Displays
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April 23 - Intel Introduces Pentium 4 Processor at 1.7 GHz. Intel Corporation today introduced the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 1.7 GHz, the company's highest performance microprocessor for desktop computers. Computer makers worldwide will be launching systems based on this new Intel microprocessor, which is available immediately.
As the Pentium 4 processor ramps into high volume, computer makers are providing a range of system choices and price points. For consumers, the Pentium 4 processor delivers high performance for processing video and audio, exploiting the latest Internet technologies, and displaying 3-D graphics. As they connect entertainment and productivity devices, users get even more value from their high-performance Pentium 4 processor-based systems. For business users, the Pentium 4 processor provides the performance, longevity and return on investment they need.
"The Pentium 4 processor is destined to become the center of the digital world," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Desktop Platforms Group. "Whether encoding video and MP3 files, doing financial analysis, or experiencing the latest Internet technologies -- the Pentium 4 processor is designed to meet the needs of all users."
The Pentium 4 processor at 1.7 GHz is Intel's highest performance desktop processor as measured by the SPEC CPU 2000 benchmark. The Pentium 4 processor at 1.7 GHz earned a SPECint_base2000 score of 573 and a SPECfp_base2000 score of 598. For more information on Pentium 4 processor performance, visit www.intel.com/procs/perf.
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
April 23 - MicronPC Introduces New 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 Desktop. MicronPC (www.micronpc.com) today announced the addition of a new personal computer to their award-winning power computing line, the Millennia MAX XS.
The Millennia MAX XS features the latest processor technology from Intel -- the Pentium 4 processor. Designed for high-end consumers and small to medium-sized business power users, the Millennia MAX XS offers the ultimate solution for today's demanding computing environment and the Millennia MAX XS has plenty of headroom for the next generation of technologies.
With a 400MHz-system bus, the Pentium 4 based Millennia MAX XS boasts three times the peak bandwidth of today's Pentium III based systems. Complimenting the core processing architecture, MicronPC will augment the Millennia MAX XS with offerings of the latest high performance graphic cards, displays, system bus and input/output technology, combined with the company's usual high standard of engineering.
Sample configuration and price:
Case Tool-less Mini Tower, 4 USB Ports Processor 1.7GHz Intel Pentium 4 Memory 128MB RDRAM Hard Drive 60GB ATA-100 Controller Card Integrated ATA-100 CD-ROM 12x10x32 CD-RW Variable Speed Drive 16x48 DVD ROM Variable Speed Drive Video Card NV 15 64MB GeForce2 Value Keyboard 104 Key-Enhanced Mouse Microsoft Intellimouse Productivity Software Microsoft Office 2000 SB Sound Card Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live Speakers Altec Lansing ACS33-3 Piece With Subwoofer Modem v.90 56K Modem Operating System Microsoft Windows Me Warranty One Year, On-site, NBD Parts & Labor Price: $2294
More information can be found at www.micronpc.com.
April 23 - LaCie Unveils USB/Firewire DVD-RAM/R Drive. Focused on meeting the needs of the professional graphics and prepress markets since its founding nearly fifteen years ago, LaCie has become the first to offer a combination DVD-RAM/R drive that incorporates both USB and FireWire connectivity.
The new drive incorporates all of the functionality of DVD-RAM and DVD-R drives, including optimum compatibility for media playback on today's DVD-ROM drives, DVD players and DVD recorders. Priced about the same as LaCie's earlier external DVD-RAM drive, the combo drive is available with LaCies unique U&I(tm) (USB and IEEE 1394) interface for compatibility with almost any Mac(r) or Windows(r)-based computer.
LaCie's new DVD-RAM/R drive provides users with a single solution for home video, personal computer, business storage/archiving, prepress and graphic storage as well as development/testing of master DVDs. Using 4.7GB DVD-R General media, the LaCie combination drive provides a transfer rate of up to 11.08Mbps. With random-access 4.7GB DVD-RAM media, the drive delivers a data transfer rate of 22.16Mbps. Seek times for DVD-RAM are 75ms and 65ms for DVD-R, DVD-ROM or CD media.
By incorporating U&I connectivity, the LaCie DVD-RAM/R drive can be used with USB-equipped computers. such as Apple(r) iMacs, iBooks and most PCs. It can also be connected to the Apple FireWire(r) ports on the most recent Macintosh(r) G4 workstations and Cubes, PowerBooks, and iMacDV systems as well as the 1394 ports of PCs with Windows(r) 98 Second Edition or Windows 2000 (such as new models from Compaq and Sony).
The LaCie U&I DVD-RAM/R subsystems will be available mid-year through leading distributors and resellers across the country. Starting at $599, the external drives ship complete with cables, software drivers for Macintosh operating systems, one 4.7GB DVD-R General disc and one 4.7GB DVD-RAM disc. LaCie also offers 4.7GB DVD-R General media at $15 as well as DVD-RAM media at $29 for the single-sided 4.7GB disc, and $49 for the double-sided 9.4GB disc.
Visit LaCie's Web site at www.lacie.com.
April 23 - BIOS manufacturer Phoenix Technologies Introduces `'FirstWare Rescue''. Phoenix Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:PTEC), the global leader in system software products for connected digital devices, today announced FirstWare Rescue, the first of the next generation "platformware" products designed to provide new functionality for end-users as well as reduce manufacturing costs for PC manufacturers, OEMs, and resellers.
Phoenix FirstWare Rescue embeds recovery capabilities and diagnostics directly onto the hard drive, eliminating the need for end-users to store recovery CDs that are usually shipped with the PC.
In addition, FirstWare Rescue helps reduce costly system returns and unnecessary calls to technical support organizations, potentially saving additional millions of dollars for both branded and "white box" suppliers of PC products.
FirstWare Rescue is a collection of "instant-on" features, accessible even in cases when the Operating System (OS) is not present or is unable to launch. FirstWare Rescue comes equipped with Sight, Recover, Vault and Check features.
To access all of FirstWare Rescue's features, Phoenix has incorporated Sight, a graphically enhanced launch screen. A familiar graphical interface with recognizable icons and mouse support from power on provides an environment for users to easily access all FirstWare Rescue features.
The Recover feature allows for system recovery in the case the OS becomes corrupted or is unable to launch. When failure occurs, the user will launch Recover and restore the OS to the original factory installation, eliminating the need for OEMs and resellers to include recovery CDs with the system, thus decreasing their manufacturing costs.
The factory-installed images are restored from the system's hard drive allowing recovery capabilities anywhere, anytime.
The Vault feature allows the OEMs or resellers to store additional CD content (such as software applications which would normally ship with the system) in a protected area of the hard drive, eliminating the cost of corresponding CDs. This provides the user with the ability to access the content of the CDs without having to carry and keep track of them.
To help reduce technical support costs, Check is a systems diagnostics feature designed to verify hardware integrity and identify specific problems prior to phoning for technical support.
For example, if the end-user is having a problem with the system, Check will locate the problem immediately, reducing or eliminating costly returns and unwarranted technical support calls in cases where the problem can be fixed by the end-user.
The technology at the core of FirstWare Rescue provides two key advantages:
1. All FirstWare Rescue features are "instantly" available at power-on, typically less than two seconds.
2. All FirstWare Rescue features are protected against corruption by viruses, Trojan horses, and potential end-user mistakes through a new FirstWare hard-disk storage capability that allows a portion of the hard drive to be segmented for use only by the system platformware.
Phoenix Technologies can be found on the Web at www.phoenix.com.
April 22 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering a $100 instant savings on all 1 GHz or faster desktop computer packages, and 18 month no interest financing on all computers and notebooks.
Circuit City has a 12 month no interest financing on all Intel processor based build-to-order systems.
Office Depot has no special incentives this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering a $250 rebate on any Intel processor based complete system on April 22&23 only. They also have no payment, no interest financing for 12 months on any HP purchase above $299.
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg is advertising 10% off (instantly) all Compaq, HP, and Sony computer packages and notebooks..
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in depth discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete system/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 Vendor's store. 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).
* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
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.
Best Deals this Sunday Category Product Description Price* (see above) Store Best Celeron Deal HP 800 MHz complete system $649 CompUSA Best Pentium III System HP 866 MHz complete system $849 CompUSA Best Pentium 4 System HP 1.3 GHz complete system $1649 CompUSA Best Duron System None Advertised Best High End Athlon System HP 1.2 GHz complete system $1549 CompUSA Best Low Cost Notebook Toshiba 700 MHz Celeron $999 Best Buy Best High End Notebook Compaq 1 GHz Pentium III build-to-order with DVD/CD-RW $2399 Best Buy
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 the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.
April 21 - U.S. PC Market Posted Negative Growth in First Quarter 2001. Because of a maturing PC market and a downturn in the economy, the U.S. personal computer industry posted a growth rate of negative 3.5 percent, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT)(NYSE:ITB). The weaker-than-expected growth in the U.S. market affected the worldwide PC market, which had shipments of 32.5 million units in the first quarter of 2001, an increase of 3.5 percent over the same period last year.
"The effects of the U.S. economic slowdown are beginning to spill over into other regions as shown by their slowing growth, with the 3.5 percent world growth being the slowest since we began compiling statistics," said Todd Kort, principal analyst of Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group.
Dell assumed the No. 1 worldwide ranking with market share of 12.8 percent. The current PC component surplus helped Dell jump into the top spot because the company can pass on component price declines to its customers faster than its competitors because of a more efficient supply chain. Compaq slipped into the No. 2 spot with 12.1 percent of the market after posting flat growth. Dell and IBM were the only top-tier vendors to have positive growth in both the worldwide and U.S. markets.
Table 1 Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q01 (Thousands of Units)Company 1Q01 1Q01 Market 1Q00 1Q00 Market Shipments Share(%) Shipments Share(%) Growth(%)Dell 4,160 12.8 3,097 9.9 34.3 Compaq 3,943 12.1 3,931 12.5 0.3 Hewlett-Packard 2,381 7.3 2,467 7.9 -3.5 IBM 2,000 6.2 1,869 6.0 7.0 NEC 1,455 4.5 1,463 4.7 -0.5 Others 18,580 57.1 18,582 59.2 0.0 Total Market 32,520 100.0 31,410 100.0 3.5Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and PC servers. Source: Gartner Dataquest (April 2001)
While economic factors were a major influence on the U.S. PC market, inventory overhang from the fourth quarter of 2000 was also an issue. Shipments during the first quarter of 2001 were suppressed as vendors worked to sell off existing inventory before shipping new products.
Dell increased its lead in the United States, garnering 23 percent of the market. Compaq and Hewlett-Packard lost market share as both were affected by inventory overhang issues. Gateway also lost market share and will pursue a more aggressive pricing strategy as it refocuses on selling hardware profitably, rather than services along with hardware.
For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
April 21 - ADS Technologies Announces PYRO 1394 DVD-R/RW and USB Instant Video. ADS Technologies Inc., a leader in 1394/FireWire and USB devices, today announced PYRO 1394 DVD-R/RW and USB Instant Video.
Both will be demonstrated at NAB 2001 at the Sands Convention Center, Upper Level Booth T1025.
PYRO 1394 DVD-R/RW
The PYRO DVD-R/RW is the latest in DVD Recordable/Re-recordable drives. Featuring the third-generation DVD recorder from Pioneer, the PYRO 1394 DVD-R/RW utilizes the FireWire interface and enables users to publish their own DVD video projects. This will be offered at substantially lower cost than previous DVD-R solutions and breaks a significant price barrier for home users and small businesses interested in creating their own DVD videos.
Projects written with the bundled DVD authoring solution, Sonic Solutions' MyDVD, to DVD-R media can be played on most DVD set-top players and DVD-ROM drives. Available in late June; estimated MSRP will be just over $1,000.
USB Instant Video
USB Instant Video is an external video capture device that connects analog camcorders to computers so users can transfer their analog video and create their own home movies on the PC. With the USB interface, users can capture high quality video and stereo audio on a desktop or notebook computer or use their analog camcorders as live Web cams for videoconferencing over the Internet.
The software bundle includes: USB Instant Video with USB Cable, Audio Video connection cable, Ulead Video Studio 5 Basic SE, Video Producer by VideoShare (for publishing video to Web), Microsoft Net Meeting, Microsoft Media Encoder, Microsoft Media Player, Photo Island by ArcSoft. Available in May; estimated MSRP $70.
Visit the ADS Technologies Web site at www.adstech.com.
April 20 - E3Expo 2001 to Unveil Never-Before-Seen Interactive Products. More than 750 never-before-seen computer, online and video games and related products will debut at the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo), according to an exhibitor survey fielded by the show's owner, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA).
Overall, about 400 companies, including 123 first-time E3Expo exhibitors, will showcase thousands of games and products at this year's show, which will be held May 17th to 19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
"E3Expo exhibitors tell us that almost 80 percent of the products that will be displayed at this year's show are expected to be on store shelves in time for the 2001 holiday season," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the IDSA, the trade association representing U.S. entertainment software publishers. "So, if you want to know what the more than 60 percent of Americans who play computer and video games will be asking for this holiday season, you need to be at E3Expo, the world's most important forum for the launch of interactive entertainment products and technologies."
Approximately one-third of E3Expo exhibitors responded to this year's annual E3Expo exhibitor survey. Reflecting the fact that interactive games appeal to a continually broadening audience, survey respondents reported that approximately 90 percent of their game titles being shown have been developed for families and children. Nineteen percent of respondents' titles have been published specifically for women and girls, and about eight percent for seniors.
In a year of booming consumer excitement about next generation video game consoles and the most advanced software for all platforms, survey respondents reveal that all types of game platforms continue to draw interest. While more than 40 percent of never-before-seen game titles at E3Expo 2001 have been developed for consoles, more than one-third have been developed for computer CD ROM, approximately 15 percent for handheld devices and almost four percent for online/Internet only games. In addition, these E3Expo exhibitors report that less than one percent of the titles set to launch for the first time at the show have been created for DVD and set top box respectively, and less than two percent for personal data assistants and cellular phones combined.
On the technology front, survey respondents rank wireless capability as one of the most important breakthrough industry developments of the recent past (38 percent), followed by games that are accessed via multiple platforms and/or devices (36 percent), and advanced graphics (32 percent).
E3Expo is a trade event, and is not open to the general public. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted, including infants. This policy is strictly enforced.
More information about E3Expo 2001 can be found at www.e3expo.com.
April 20 - Transmeta Corporation Announces 50% Increase In First Quarter Revenues. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2001.
Revenue for the first quarter of 2001 was $18.6 million, compared with zero for the same period last year and an increase of 50.2% from the fourth quarter of 2000 revenue of $12.4 million. Pro forma net loss, which excludes the effect of amortization of deferred charges, was $13.2 million or $0.10 per share for the first quarter of 2001. This is compared with a pro forma net loss of $16.7 million or $0.56 per share for the first quarter of 2000.
"We are extremely pleased with the dramatic increase in revenues for the quarter, which reflects continued customer adoption of our Crusoe microprocessor," stated Transmeta President and CEO, Mark K. Allen. "Since we began volume shipments of products two quarters ago, we have seen a number of our major customers introduce Crusoe based notebooks in Japan and expect customers to offer our products in the United States and Europe later in 2001. We look forward to continuing to bring the low power and long battery life Crusoe platform into the mobile space and servers in 2001."
Transmeta can be found on the Web at www.transmeta.com.
April 20 - NVIDIA Completes its Purchase of Certain 3dfx Graphics Assets. NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, NVIDIA US Investment Company, completed its purchase of certain graphics assets of 3dfx Interactive (Nasdaq:TDFX).
On December 15, 2000, NVIDIA US Investment Company, NVIDIA and 3dfx signed an asset purchase agreement for NVIDIA US Investment Company to purchase from 3dfx certain graphics assets, which include, but are not limited to, patents, patent applications, trademarks, brand names and other graphics related assets. At the closing, NVIDIA US Investment Company paid $55 million in cash to 3dfx.
Subject to the satisfaction of certain additional conditions, 3dfx may receive additional consideration from NVIDIA US Investment Company in the form of cash and/or shares of Common Stock of NVIDIA Corporation. As a result of today's closing, the patent infringement litigation between NVIDIA Corporation and 3dfx will be jointly dismissed with prejudice.
NVIDIA can be found on the Web at www.nvidia.com.
April 20 - AMREL Introduces Three-Piece Ruggedized Portable. AMREL Systems LLC today announced the release of its ROCKY Mobile, the FIRST three-piece modular mobile computing solution utilizing a DVI cable connection for component-to-component communication.
As a pioneer in ruggedized mobile computing, AMREL developed the ROCKY Mobile in response to a lack of mobile computing solutions having the ability to effectively address the spatial and operational issues of in-vehicle computer applications.
After evaluating products currently in the market, AMREL was able to determine the areas of neglect and deliver a superior product. AMREL's choice to incorporate the DVI cable was made after research concluded that RGB cables stretched beyond five or six feet resulted in signal distortion. Through the utilization of a DVI cable, AMREL has extended the distance that can be placed between the display and system units to 32.8 feet.
Unlike other systems restricted by RGB connections, this allows ROCKY Mobile's system unit to be installed in out-of-the-way locations, such as a vehicle's trunk (trunk placement requires approximately 20 feet of cable -- making trunk placement unfeasible for RGB dependent systems). ROCKY Mobile's distinctive design enables the system unit to support additional DVI cables for the purpose of multiple LCD and keyboard use.
The ROCKY Mobile is also unique in that it consists of three cohesive, yet individually distinct functional units: a System Unit, a Display Unit and a backlit 89-key keyboard. The system unit is equipped with an Intel SpeedStep CPU, a FDD and CD-ROM dual function drive, an internal Mini PCI slot and an assortment of other features. It is also ruggedized to military (MIL-STD 810E) and industrial (IP52) standards.
ROCKY Mobile's Display Unit features self-illuminating LCD control buttons, two standard USB ports for expansion capabilities and AMREL's Alpha-Star(TM) sunlight-readable touchscreen. The Display Unit is available with a swivel platform to accommodate users' personal viewing preferences. Dust and water resistant, ROCKY Mobile's backlit 89-key keyboard features: a layout that emulates the standard desktop keyboard, near standard spaced keys, windows keys and an integrated PS/2 compatible trackpoint.
Pricing was not announced. AMREL can be found on the Web at www.amrel.com.
April 20 - InfoHQ Editorial - Intel's Latest Pentium 4 Performance Tests. Intel has released new test data outlining the speed advantages of the Pentium 4 over the Pentium III. These tests can be found on Intel's web site.
Highlights from the testing of a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 against a 1 GHz Pentium III include:
-- The Pentium 4 is 27% faster than a Pentium III at certain Internet applications which include Adobe Acrobat, Flash, XML, and Java.
-- The Pentium 4 has 35% faster "3D visualization". Examples of this include graphic rendering and video frame rates. (Note that the Pentium 4 has not been shown to play most 3D games any faster than a Pentium III. - Ed)
-- The Pentium 4 can run Adobe Premier 5.1 (a graphics creation program) 30% faster.
-- The Pentium 4 can run Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7 about 62% faster.
From these tests, one can only conclude that a graphics professional would have the most to gain from using a Pentium 4. Unfortunately, in everyday applications and games, the Pentium 4 has not shown significant speed advantages over the Pentium III, and in most cases, the AMD Athlon Thunderbird has been shown to out perform the Pentium 4. Instead of its hoped for effect of showing superiority over the Pentium III, these tests support the conclusion that the Pentium 4 is a niche CPU.
April 19 - AMD Sales Grow on Record PC Processor Sales. AMD today reported sales of $1,188,747,000 and net income of $124,837,000 for the quarter ended April 1, 2001. Net income amounted to $0.37 per diluted share. The company reported record sales and record unit shipments of PC processors, led by strong sales of its seventh-generation AMD Athlon(TM) and AMD Duron(TM) processors.
Total sales grew by 9 percent over the like period of 2000 while increasing by 1 percent from the immediate-prior quarter.
AMD sold more than 7.3 million PC processors, including 6.5 million seventh-generation AMD Athlon and Duron processors. Average selling prices (ASPs) increased from the immediate-prior quarter on the richer product mix. Total PC processor sales, at $661 million, increased 17 percent from both the comparable quarter of 2000 and the immediate-prior quarter.
"AMD had an excellent quarter in a challenging economic environment," said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive officer. "The superiority of our seventh-generation PC processors enabled AMD to achieve record PC processor sales in both dollars and units even as the industry worked through inventory issues in a softening economy. Our success in the PC processor arena reflects continuing excellent execution as well as our ability to supply products with more delivered performance that enhance the competitiveness of our customers.
"New product introductions during the quarter strengthened and broadened our PC processor portfolio," Sanders continued. "We commenced volume shipments of our newest, power-managed AMD Athlon processors, code-named `Palomino,' for the mobile PC market segment. Palomino processors feature an enhanced core and our proprietary PowerNow! technology, which dynamically adjusts the frequency and voltage of the processor based on the performance demands of the software, enabling a significant reduction in power consumption in mobile applications. PowerNow! technology is just one example of the better ideas from AMD that have elevated us to contention with IBM for the number two global ranking in U.S. patent issuances relating to large-scale integration processes and devices in 2000.
"AMD also introduced 1.3-gigahertz (GHz) and 1.33-GHz desktop versions of the AMD Athlon processor in the first quarter. Earlier this month, AMD introduced a 900-megahertz version of the AMD Duron processor, the industry's highest-performance processor for the value segment of the desktop market.
"With these additions to our PC processor offerings, we have a compelling solution for the performance mobile PC market where we have heretofore lacked a competitive offering while extending our performance leadership for desktop PC applications," Sanders continued.
"Sales of flash memory products, reflecting a sharp decline in demand from the communications sector of the economy, declined by approximately 10 percent sequentially to $411 million," Sanders continued. "Our broad product offering, excellent relationships with major customers, and long-term purchase agreements helped to mitigate the effects of this challenging environment and achieve 26 percent growth in flash memory product sales over the like period of 2000.
"We gained market share last quarter in both PC processors and flash memory, the focal points of our growth strategy," Sanders said.
"Sales of our seventh-generation processors (AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processors) grew 27 percent sequentially and 126 percent year-on-year. Demand for our highest-performance AMD Athlon processors remained strong and we shipped more than 2 million 1-GHz and faster devices. Going forward, we plan to continue our aggressive production ramp in Fab 30 in Dresden, which will be the source of our highest-performance AMD Athlon processors, including the new power-managed versions," Sanders concluded.
The company's outlook statements are based on current expectations. The following statements are forward-looking, and actual results could differ materially. The company's current outlook is based on the following projections.
The company currently expects that, in the seasonally slow second quarter for PC sales, the enhanced competitive position of AMD-based solutions will enable maintenance of PC processor unit sales at near-record levels comprised totally of seventh-generation products. The company currently expects PC industry unit growth in the high single-digit range for 2001 as a whole.
Uncertainties regarding the level of demand for flash memory products in a continuing soft communications sector makes forecasting memory product sales extremely difficult. The company currently projects that second quarter sales of flash memory products will decline sequentially.
AMD's other IC products and foundry services, which currently account for less than 10 percent of corporate revenues, will continue their decline both in absolute terms and as a percentage of total revenues.
Accordingly, in this uncertain climate, AMD expects that overall second quarter revenues could decline by as much as 10 percent sequentially, depending on market conditions.
For the year as a whole, on modest sales growth in a declining market, the company expects to earn $1.50 per diluted share, consistent with First Call consensus earnings estimates.
AMD will provide a real-time audio broadcast of its financial achivements on the Investor Relations page of its web site at www.amd.com or www.streetfusion.com. The webcast will be available for two weeks after the teleconference.
April 19 - IBM Announces First-Quarter Earnings Increased 18%. IBM today announced first-quarter 2001 diluted earnings per common share of $.98, an 18 percent increase compared with diluted earnings per common share of $.83 in the first quarter of 2000.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., IBM chairman and chief executive officer, said: "The momentum we saw building in the latter part of 2000 continued in the first quarter of 2001. In the face of weakening economic conditions, the validity of the strategies we put in place over the last five years was underscored time and time again. For example, services revenues, excluding maintenance, grew 21 percent while our technological leadership drove microelectronics OEM revenues up 117 percent and our Shark storage revenues grew 82 percent. Within distributed software, revenues increased 53 percent for our leading Web management software, WebSphere, and our database revenues grew 36 percent.
"At the same time, our UNIX-based pSeries revenues were up 33 percent, our PC-based xSeries revenues grew 14 percent, and z900 mainframe MIPS grew 40 percent. In addition, our global presence proved, once again, to be a unique competitive advantage, with revenues from Asia up 18 percent, Europe up 11 percent, and the Americas up 7 percent. Although industry data is not yet available, it seems probable that we gained market share in nearly all of our strategic businesses.
"Times like these play to our strengths as a diversified, services-led company," Mr. Gerstner said. "Moreover, many in our industry have gotten a bit carried away over the last few years by the exaggerated expectations for the Internet world. During that same period, we have remained totally focused on two things: building the world's most powerful services company and creating real technology breakthroughs that now give us leadership products in components, software and hardware.
"However, not all the news was good in the quarter. The desktop segment is hurting -- and it is not just a cyclical issue. This is a mature business, and it no longer drives the economics of the IT industry. Related to this, our hard disk drive and display businesses, which sell to the PC segment, were also weak. Finally, while we are pleased with our 14 percent revenue growth, we have not lost sight of the fact that the first quarter of last year was quite weak.
"Looking forward, we are no better than others in predicting how the current economic uncertainty will unfold," Mr. Gerstner said. "IBM is certainly not immune to broad cutbacks in customer spending. However, based on recent results, we expect we will outperform most of our competitors in whatever market emerges this year."
For more information, visit www.ibm.com.
April 19 - Evergreen reveals New CPU Upgrades for PII & Early PIII Systems. Evergreen Technologies, Inc., a leader in PC performance upgrades since 1989, today announced two new CPU upgrades which rev up early Pentium III systems, as well as Pentium II systems running at 350 MHz or more. (These systems feature a 100 MHz front side bus speed.)
Evergreen's new Performa 850 and Performa III 850 processor replacement upgrades boost these older PIII and PII systems to the speeds available in brand new value PCs, at a fraction of the cost. They offer enhanced 3D performance for graphics, video and sound, which is demanded by today's leading business and gaming software.
Evergreen's new Performa III 850 provides the processing power of Intel's full Coppermine PIII core, which delivers the latest MMX and SIMD video enhancement instructions along with 256K of L2 cache memory.
Evergreen's Performa upgrade line provides the processing power of the Intel Celeron(TM) II flip-chip processor, the value-based (128K vs. 256K L2 cache) derivative of the full Coppermine PIII core. Evergreen's new Performa 850 (and 800 version also) feature the recently introduced Celeron II, which supports a full 100 MHz front side system bus. Previous Performa 766 and 700 MHz upgrades were based on a 66 MHz front side system bus to boost performance of earlier PII and Slot 1 Celeron systems of 233 MHz or more.
Evergreen has designed an easy-to-install processor upgrade for virtually all generations of desktop systems. From www.evergreennow.com, users are invited to "Take the Test, Find an Upgrade Now!" When they click, they can download Evergreen's exclusive System Information Utility. Once executed, the program displays complete system information and links to the most appropriate compatible upgrade products for the user's specific machine.
Performa III (based on Coppermine PIII) and Performa 850 and 800 (based on new Celeron II with 100 MHz front side system bus) upgrades for early PIII and PII systems running at 350 MHz and above:
-- Performa III 850 -- $389.99 list
-- Performa III 800 -- $359.99 list
-- Performa III 700 -- $279.99 list
-- Performa 850 -- $329.99 list
-- Performa 800 -- $269.99 list
For more information, call 800/733-0934, visit www.evergreennow.com.
April 19 - Despite Broadband Services Growth, Dial-Up Access Dominates Consumer Market. It has taken less than a decade for ISP services to find a place in over half of all U.S. households, according to Cahners In-Stat Group.
However, the high-tech market research firm predicts that this pace of growth will slow over the next five years as the number of households interested in these services continues to shrink.
Despite strong forecasted growth in broadband access by In-Stat, most households will still be using dial-up access in the year 2005.
"By the year 2005 there will still be just as many households without Internet access, as those using cable modems or DSL," said Daryl Schoolar, senior analyst with In-Stat's ISP Service. As a result, consumer ISPs will still find a significant portion of their revenues coming from dial-up access.
ISPs will not be able to afford to turn their backs on dial-up consumers altogether as they will continue to make up a substantial share of the market. These providers will find their future growth potential in migrating dial-up users to broadband access. The higher access fees associated with broadband will help to continue to grow ISP revenues.
Cahners In-Stat Group research also identifies the following consumer ISP trends:
-- 30% of U.S. households state that they still have no need or desire for Internet access.
-- E-mail is the number one use for Internet access in the home.
-- AOL continues to be the market leader in consumer ISP services.
Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at http://www.instat.com.
April 18 - SONICblue announces New V.92 SupraMax USB Modem. Access, a division of SONICblue(TM) Incorporated (Nasdaq:SBLU), unleashed superior dial-up modem speeds today with the launch of its new Diamond SupraMax(TM) USB modem. Through support for the new ITU V.92 and V.44 technologies, the SupraMax USB combines the industry's highest Internet speeds with advanced features and functionality to provide the best dial-up modem solution available today.
In addition to faster Internet speeds through use of V.92-based dial-up connections(1), the new SupraMax USB modem adds four important new features: Quick Connect, Modem-on-hold, PCM Upstream and V.44 data compression.
-- Quick Connect reduces the amount of time it takes for the modem and server to link, cutting connect time by up to 66% and putting users online almost instantly.
-- Modem-on-hold enables a standby mode that allows users to take an incoming voice call, or even place a call, without losing their Internet connection.
-- PCM Upstream increases maximum upload speeds to 48Kbps and allows users to choose the fastest downstream speed for faster and smoother two-way transfer of large e-mail messages, documents, spreadsheets, presentations or photos.
-- V.44 Compression delivers compression technology that increases the throughput of HTML, text and other common Internet data types by 30 to 40%.
The SupraMax USB dramatically simplifies modem installation, using a simple one step USB connection process that eliminates the PCI card installation procedure. The SupraMax USB is supported by all major operating environments including Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000 and upcoming releases.
The Diamond SupraMax USB Modem will be available through national retailers on April 26, 2001 at suggested retail price of US$69.99. Additional information about the SupraMax USB modem is available at www.supra.com.
April 18 - Epson Introduces Printer for Digital Cameras; The Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX. Epson America Inc., a leader in high-quality, award-winning imaging products, today announced the EPSON Stylus(R) Photo 785EPX ink jet printer.
Developed for digital camera owners, this new printer delivers convenient photo printing with and without a computer, compatibility with popular digital camera memory cards and Epson's patented BorderFree(TM) photo printing.
The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX is Epson's first printer to include PRINT Image Matching(TM), a breakthrough technology that ensures digital cameras and printers work perfectly together to produce the best possible prints.
The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX features up to 2880 x 720 dpi and Epson's Advanced Micro Piezo(TM) ink jet technology, a six-color photo ink system creating incredible detail, beautiful skin tones, sharper contrast and an ultra-wide color range designed ideally for photography. This printer also offers four-picoliter droplets, delivering the best in virtually continuous tone quality for prints that appear indistinguishable from traditional photos.
"The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX is a digital photographer's dream come true with its amazing quality and so many convenient features," said Lisa Graham, product manager, photo imaging, Epson. "Our customers will be able to share more prints, more often with unbelievable results. This printer has the same incredible photo quality that our current line of photo printers have, as well as specific features that will make digital photography even more exciting and easy."
About the EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX
Specially designed for digital photographers, the EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX offers the most flexible and easy-to-use solution for printing photographs at an affordable price. The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX includes a built-in PC card slot that makes the printer compatible with virtually any digital camera by using the appropriate memory card adapter.
Compatible digital camera memory types include CompactFlash(TM) Type I and II, IBM Microdrive(TM), Memory Stick(R), Secure Digital and SmartMedia(TM). The printer comes standard with a CompactFlash Type I adapter that can be exchanged through Epson for either a Memory Stick or SmartMedia adapter.
The built-in PC card slot makes it possible for digital camera owners to print photos without a computer. It also acts as a card reader when connected to a Windows or Macintosh computer system to copy and save images to the computer hard drive for organizing, editing and archiving images.
View, Select and Print Photos without a Computer.
The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX is the ultimate digital photography tool with a control panel that allows customers to make selections such as paper type, paper size and number of copies without having to use a computer. The printer's innovative control panel provides the flexibility to choose from five paper types and sizes, six page layouts, various frames for sticker printing and a choice of quality settings. Images can also be easily enhanced without a computer by utilizing settings such as brightness and sharpness, as well as monochrome and sepia tones.
For viewing photos, the EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX's optional 1.6" color Preview Monitor attaches to the printer enabling customers to review and select images for printing. With an estimated street price of $99, this high-quality monitor includes a screen saver function, a brightness adjustment knob and a tilt mechanism for easy viewing of images.
PRINT Image Matching
The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX is the first printer to feature PRINT Image Matching technology, which ensures that the printer works perfectly with PRINT Image Matching enabled digital cameras to produce the best quality prints possible. Essentially, this new technology provides a built-in assurance for the customer that the image they capture will come out of the printer looking the best it can without any complicated procedures. A new level of simplicity has emerged in producing stunning, frame-ready photos.
Pricing, Availability, Warranty and Support
The EPSON Stylus Photo 785EPX will be available in June for an estimated street price of $249 and can be purchased through Epson authorized dealers, mail order, resellers, computer superstores, photo specialty stores and on the Epson retail Web site (www.epsonstore.com).
April 18 - Intel Reports First Quarter Sales Slowdown. Intel Corporation today announced first quarter revenue of $6.7 billion, down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2000 and down 23 percent sequentially.
All Intel business groups reported lower sales for the quater as follows:
Intel Architecture Group
-- Microprocessor unit shipments were lower than the fourth quarter.
-- Chipset unit shipments were lower than the fourth quarter.
-- Motherboard unit shipments were lower than the fourth quarter.
Wireless Communications and Computing Group
-- Flash memory unit shipments were lower than the fourth quarter.
Intel Communications Group (formerly the Network Communications and Communications Products Groups)
-- Unit shipments of Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connections were lower than the fourth quarter.
-- Unit shipments of network processing components, which include embedded Pentium(R) III processors, network processors and I/O processors, were lower than the fourth quarter.
-- Unit shipments of microcontrollers were lower than the fourth quarter.
-- Average selling prices of microprocessors in the first quarter were lower than the fourth quarter.
"Our microprocessor business appears to have stabilized and we expect to see normal seasonal patterns going forward from our current business level," said Craig R. Barrett, president and chief executive officer. "In our communications businesses, we are experiencing continued softness. Looking beyond the current environment, we believe our aggressive investment in new manufacturing technologies and the development of cost-competitive, leading-edge products is the winning strategy."
Copies of this earnings release and Intel's annual report can be obtained via the Internet at www.intc.com.
April 18 - Dell Offers Flat Panel Monitor for Less Than $500. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced that it is offering 15-inch flat panel monitors for $499 when purchased with a Dell OptiPlex(tm) desktop or Precision(tm) workstation system.
The new, lower price is a result of Dell carrying only five days of inventory and being able to quickly pass savings from component price decreases directly to customers. The same monitor sold for as much as $999 in September 2000 and $699 in February 2001.
"This is the Dell direct model in action -- we're able to get customers the technology they want at the lowest possible price," Jeff Clarke, vice president, Relationship Product Group, said. "Flat panel display technology offers so many advantages that the only thing preventing many customers from buying has been price. Dell is breaking that barrier today."
The Dell 1503FP flat panel monitor features a 15-inch screen that delivers a crisp, clear image and supports dual mode analog and digital (DVI) input. The 1503 FP flat panel monitor delivers 100 percent viewable screen image, which means it provides almost as much useful screen area as many conventional 17-inch CRT monitors. And compared to a 17-inch CRT monitor, the Dell 1503FP flat panel monitor takes up 61 percent less desk space, uses 73 percent less electricity and produces 53 percent less heat, which can help lower total cost of ownership.
Dell's 1503 FP flat panel is immediately available in the U.S. for $499 when purchased with any Dell OptiPlex desktop or Dell Precision workstation system. The 1503FP monitor is also available at $549 without a system purchase. Additional product information can be found at www.dell.com.
April 17 - Dell Debuts $1,049, Full-Featured Notebook Computer. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL), a leader in affordable mobile computing, today introduced the Inspiron(tm) 2500 notebook computer designed to appeal to the value-oriented customer.
It provides all the essentials of a portable computer and remains affordably priced with a standard configuration cost of $1,049. This configuration includes a bright, 12.1-inch SVGA TFT display, 700-MHz Intel(R) Celeron(tm) processor, 64 MB SDRAM memory, 5 GB hard drive(a), 24X max CD-ROM and the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Me operating system.
"With the introduction of our new Inspiron 2500, Dell offers budget-minded consumers choice, value and a variety of service offerings," said Brad Blietz, Inspiron marketing director. "Dell's direct model allows us to provide a better value to our customers."
The Dell Inspiron 2500 can be customized with options customers actually want. Three display options are available, offering a full range of screen sizes at affordable prices. A system with a 15-inch XGA TFT display starts at only $1,449. All Inspiron 2500s include current technologies such as active matrix screens and long-life lithium ion batteries. In addition, there is a range of choices for the system's optical bay including an 8X CD-RW drive.
All Inspiron 2500 systems include two USB ports for fast, easy connections with peripherals like digital cameras and electronic organizers. Four AccessDirect(tm) buttons provide a quick and efficient link to online support, e-mail and Web pages when systems are connected to the Internet. The buttons also control the CD or DVD player functions.
Matt Sargent, mobile computing analyst at ARS Inc., said the Inspiron 2500 is aimed directly at one of the highest-growth segments of the personal computer market.
"The budget-conscious computer buyer has traditionally been directed to desktop computers instead of notebooks due to the fact that notebooks have consistently been priced much higher than desktops and with the belief that these users were willing to trade the space and ease of use considerations notebooks offered for less-expensive desktops," Sargent said.
"Manufacturers are now challenging this thinking with several new notebooks which are designed exclusively for the budget-conscious computer buyer," Sargent said. "With this move, manufacturers are tapping what ARS believes to be the strongest growing portion of the computer market -- that being the consumer notebook space. Such systems will quickly make notebooks a much larger share of the overall personal computer market and will allow the vast majority of consumer users to choose between desktop or notebook based upon requirements of the users rather than available budget."
The Inspiron 2500 completes the Inspiron line by adding a value system with a range of feature options to fit an array of budget requirements. More information on the Inspiron product family can be found at www.dell.com/Inspiron.
April 17 - Acer America Announces TravelMate 210 Notebooks. Acer America Corporation today announced the addition of the TravelMate 210 series to its award-winning line of TravelMate notebooks.
Replacing the TravelMate 200 series, the new TravelMate 210 is the first entry-level notebook to offer a complete multimedia package in a leading thermal and power management design with a built-in CD-RW. The CD-RW feature is only available with select TM 210TER models. The TravelMate 210 series, 3-spindled all-in-one notebooks are targeted towards mainstream users looking for a solid performance notebook at a reasonable price.
The TravelMate 210 series delivers the latest multimedia capabilities featuring Intel(R) Celeron(TM) Processor running at up to 900MHz, integrated with 128K L2 cache. For accelerated data transfer rates and demanding applications, the TravelMate 210 utilizes a 100 MHz front side bus and holds up to 512MB SDRAM memory. The TravelMate 210 also features a high quality 12.1" SVGA or 13.3" XGATFT LCD display with 16.7M Colors and Dual View Technology that allows the LCD and monitor to provide different screen displays simultaneously. The TravelMate 210 notebook provides 2.5 hours of battery life with two hours rapid charge for extended use on the go.
The TravelMate 210 is loaded with Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Millennium Edition and is bundled with PC-Cillin 98, PC Doctor and Acer Notebook Manager, which provides a centralized control panel for user's preference setting. Acer's unique DASP (Disk Anti-Shock Protection) is designed to absorb shocks and vibrations and protect the hard disk from accidental drops and dangers of transportation. In addition to superb protection, the Acer TravelMate 210 comes with 10GB user removable hard drive and user replaceable CD-ROM/ CD-RW, providing the user excellent serviceability.
The Acer TravelMate 210 series will be available through Acer authorized resellers throughout North America starting at $1,099. For more information about Acer America, please visit the website at www.acer.com.
April 17 - QPS Introduces the Que! LS-240 32MB SuperDisk Drive. QPS Inc. today introduced its Que!(TM) LS-240 SuperDisk(TM) external drive.
The latest-generation SuperDisk drive, the Que! LS-240 uses FD-32MB technology, which allows up to 32MB to be stored on a single disk. The new drive's USB interface makes it compatible with both PC and Mac computers -- and backward compatible with 1.44MB and LS120MB disks. QPS will begin shipping the drive worldwide in May 2001. The U.S. price is $179 MSRP.
"With the new FD-32MB technology, users get twice the disk-storage capacity of an LS-120 SuperDisk, and they get about 22 times the capacity of a conventional floppy-disk. The Que! LS-240 Drive is a great solution for storing sound, picture and presentation data. We think it will be well received, particularly in the education market where there is heavy usage of the LS-120," said Pierre Abboud, vice president of QPS.
QPS will also offer the Que! LS-240 SuperDisk as an option for its Que! D2 Dual Drive, the most versatile FireWire storage solution available. The D2 combines an external hard drive with a built-in removable media drive, which can be either an LS-120/LS-240 SuperDisk or a 640MB MO drive. By connecting the D2 with one FireWire cable, the user can quickly access both the hard disk and the removable media drive.
The Que! D2 is Mac and PC compatible. QPS can be found on the Web at www.qps-inc.com.
April 17 - ViewSonic Shatters $500 Price Point for LCD Displays. In a move that is expected to further bolster growth in the LCD display market, ViewSonic(R) Corp., a leading worldwide Visual Technology(TM) provider, today announced breakthrough pricing on its popular LCD ViewPanel(R) 15-inch display, the VE150.
With an estimated street price (ESP) of $499, the VE150 ViewPanel is now the lowest-priced 15-inch LCD monitor from a major display manufacturer.
"With this aggressive pricing, the performance, value and reliability of ViewSonic LCD displays are more affordable to more customers," said Herb Berkwits, LCD Product manager for ViewSonic. "LCD displays are now a viable alternative to CRT technology and with the combination of strong supply and the $499 price point, there is no better time to buy."
In addition to its breakthrough price, the VE150 features the latest in flat-screen technology, delivering edge-to-edge precise images, minimal glare and superior color richness. The VE150 also boasts a fast video response time to meet the display needs of demanding video applications.
In addition to the savings that customers will reap with this price drop, the VE150 offers operating savings over traditional CRT displays. Weighing less than 13 pounds and using only 25 watts (typical) of power, the VE150 also requires much less workspace and is much more energy efficient than conventional monitors, using only about 25 percent of the energy needed to power a CRT display with a similar-sized viewing area.
The VE150 is currently offered at $499 ESP through authorized ViewSonic resellers and distributors. The VE150 is backed by a three-year warranty on parts, labor and the backlight. ViewSonic also offers a 48-hour Express Exchange(R) Service for the first year of the warranty period. The company offers toll-free technical support seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
For further information, visit ViewSonic Corp. at www.viewsonic.com.
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