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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

April 8-13 2002

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.
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Date
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Apr 13 -20

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Apr 12 Alliance Created for Breakthrough Semiconductor R&D
Apr 12 E-commerce's Growth Is Accelerating
Apr 12 Worldwide Wafer Fab Equipment Market Declined 30 Percent in 2001
Apr 12 Python Software Foundation Announces Python Version 2.1.3
Apr 11 Consumers Adopt Home Networks to Keep up with the Joneses
Apr 11 Rambus Reports March Quarter Earnings Per Share of 7 Cents
Apr 11 Apple Users Like Burning DVDs
Apr 11 Belkin Announces Security Locks for Notebooks
Apr 11 NovaStor Improves Disaster Recovery With New InstantRecovery 3.0
Apr 11 WFX Launches Official Britney Spears Wireless Fan Club
Apr 10 Infineon Technologies Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Apr 10 Belkin Offers USB 2.0 Upgrade Kit
Apr 10 TROY Wireless Announces WindConnect Bluetooth Print Adapter for Palms
Apr 10 Find and Patch All Security Holes on a Single Machine
Apr 10 BuddyPhone Launches New Version 4.08
Apr 9 Tyan Announces Dual CPU Platform for AMD Athlon MP Processor
Apr 9 Mitsubishi Announces New ``Totally Digital'' Television Product Line-Up
Apr 9 Pioneer Launches Professional Video And Audio Products At NAB
Apr 9 Digital AM & FM Broadcasting Launches at NAB

Apr 8 Hitachi Introduces ``superAND'' Flash Memory for Mobile Devices
Apr 8 New Company to Deliver MPEG-4 Entertainment to the U.S. Cable Industry
Apr 8 QPS Ships Three New High-Speed 40x CD-RW Drives
Apr 8 Public Ethernet Market Will Top $4 Billion by 2005

 

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APR 12 -Alliance Created for Breakthrough Semiconductor R&D. Three of the world's top ten semiconductor manufacturers today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding proposing to create a comprehensive alliance dedicated to breakthrough semiconductor technology development. The unprecedented move redefines the industry model for such advanced development, with the goal of creating future-generation technologies and System-on-Chip solutions more quickly and cost-effectively.
The alliance joins together three of the world's leading industry players in semiconductor research and process development - STMicroelectronics, Motorola and Philips - and would include the participation for process development and alignment of the world's largest semiconductor foundry, TSMC. The joint development program will be based in Crolles, France, in the new R&D Center called `Crolles2,' and augmented by each company's existing R&D operations and laboratories. In addition, to further support the alliance, CEA/LETI will increase its research efforts in the Grenoble, France, Labs.
Motorola joins Philips and ST in the 300mm wafer Crolles2 project, significantly enhancing the strength of the existing alliance. This expands the agreement announced last month by Philips, ST and TSMC to jointly develop CMOS process technology. The combined resources of the four companies will be dedicated to development of future generations of CMOS technology from the 90 nanometer node down to 32 nanometers over the next five years. Such reduced circuit geometry sizes will allow the partners to continue to meet customer demand for integrating more intelligence into smaller packages.
Motorola brings to the alliance its portfolio of leading-edge technologies, including SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) and embedded MRAM technologies as well as its know-how in advanced copper interconnect. This contribution builds upon the existing Philips and ST cooperation for core CMOS processes, which includes embedded DRAM, SRAM and analog CMOS.
The expanded commitment and access to 300mm pilot capacity at the Crolles site will allow for rapid introduction of the partners' new products. Motorola, Philips and STMicroelectronics will be equal technology partners in the Crolles2 alliance in terms of capital expenditure, R&D costs and wafer load for the fab. Their joint investment will total $1.4 billion by 2005. TSMC will be a valued participant to achieve alignment of CMOS platform technology between the alliance and TSMC's commercial foundry process.
"Motorola continues to view the future as bright for semiconductor opportunities. This investment will ensure that Motorola and its partners are in leadership positions to supply the highest-value products to our customers," said Fred Shlapak, president of the Semiconductor Products Sector at Motorola. "The beauty of this alliance is that it will dramatically accelerate the development of future technologies, ensure proliferation of those technologies throughout the industry, and at the same time result in lower costs for each member of the joint development project. For Motorola, this kind of teamwork is a critical element for our asset-light strategy."
"The fact that Motorola has joined with us in the development of future semiconductor process and manufacturing technologies is a testament to the level of success that has already been achieved by Philips, STMicroelectronics and the various research institutes involved in the Crolles2 project," said Scott McGregor, CEO of Philips Semiconductors. "Being part of this comprehensive alliance in breakthrough technology development will put us in an unprecedented position to deliver the silicon system solutions that help people effortlessly connect to information, entertainment and services."
"The partnership that we are building around the Crolles Center with Philips, Motorola and TSMC is unique and again demonstrates ST's unsurpassed ability to federate leading-edge expertise from all over the world to fulfill ST's mission to provide customers with strategic independence. In addition to ensuring that ST's R&D continues to be world-class, the partnership will also reinforce the position of Crolles as one of the world's leading centers of excellence for developing the semiconductor technologies that will drive the market recovery," said Pasquale Pistorio, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics.
The companies can be found online at www.motorola.com, www.st.com, and www.semiconductors.philips.com.

Apr 12 - E-commerce's Growth Is Accelerating. E-commerce as an industry is accelerating, not maturing or decelerating, according to new quarterly numbers from BizRate.com, the leading comparison-shopping site and e-commerce research firm.
The just-ended first calendar quarter of 2002 revealed year-over-year online retail sales gains of 41.1% to $11.60 billion versus Q1 2001's $8.22 billion.

This first quarter increase of 41% beat the last three quarters: fourth quarter 2001, which includes the holiday season, grew by 34.5% year over year; third quarter 2001, which was impacted negatively for two weeks from the terrorist attacks, grew at a 19.6% rate; and second quarter 2001 increased by 21.3% versus the prior year. Unmistakably, the online sales growth is up and accelerating as consumers take a stronger affinity to the convenience of online sales, both at work and home.

Contributing to the increased sales is both a greater volume of orders and higher price points per transaction. Online orders grew by 33.9% this past quarter from 68.29 million purchases in Q1 2001 to 91.47 million in Q1 2002. The average online sale in Q1 2002 was $127 per purchase, up 5.3% from Q1 2001's $120.

"There is a still a perception that online industries are faltering, but this is actually the reverse with online retail sales. The trend shows that consumers love buying online and are shifting their purchases from offline to online -- and at ever-increasing levels -- even though their overall spending might not be growing," said Chuck Davis, President & CEO of BizRate.com.

"While a 35% growth rate for e-commerce during the busy fourth quarter season was reason to celebrate," Davis said, "it looks like more champagne needs to be uncorked for this quarter's 41% growth rate. It proves that there is unabated enthusiasm to the 24-by-7 convenience of shopping online, despite the warm winter which probably let shoppers spend more time away from their computers."

Due to the outstanding performance of Q1 online sales, BizRate.com is increasing its estimate for 2002 total online retail sales from 26% to 44%. Total online retail sales, which were $28.91 billion in 2000 and grew by 24% to $35.87 billion in 2001, are now forecasted to be up 44% to $51.48 billion in 2002. BizRate's previous 2002 estimate announced in October was for a 26% increase to $45.22 billion.

"The recession neither penetrated as deeply nor lasted as long as everyone predicted," Davis said. "Furthermore, the growth of e-commerce bucked the whole downward trend and therefore has already come out of the gates stronger than most other industries. "BizRate had forecasted a 27% growth rate for Q1 2002, which instead came in at 41%. Online sales in 2001 grew by 24% versus 2000, so the new prediction of 44% is that much more dramatic."

Davis also attributed this growth to the power of information online and the consumer's desire to research pricing online. "Comparison shopping becomes addictive for shoppers," he said. "Shoppers like price shopping, and once they see the power of pricing information available online, they return to buy more online knowing they can always get a great deal from a great merchant."

For more information, visit www.bizrate.com.

Apr 12 - Worldwide Wafer Fab Equipment Market Declined 30 Percent in 2001. Excess inventories, declining demand and overcapacity issues drove down worldwide wafer fab equipment revenue in 2001, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
Worldwide wafer fab equipment revenue in 2001 totaled $23.3 billion, a 29.8 percent decline from 2000 revenue of $33.1 billion.
"Following the spectacular growth of 2000, capacity shipments virtually ceased during 2001 and the buying focus was on technology and productivity-enhancing equipment," said Bob Johnson, principal analyst of Gartner Dataquest's semiconductor research group. "The 2001 market was kinder to companies in hot technology segments such as lithography, copper interconnect and process control. On the other hand, companies more strongly dependent on capacity buys and greenfield activity were more negatively affected."

All of the regions experienced significant declines in 2001. The foundry regions were hit the hardest as demand suffered. The Taiwan region declined 54percent. DRAM heavy-production regions were also hit hard, with South Korea declining 40 percent. The Asia/Pacific region held up fairly well, declining only 30 percent and Europe and the Americas saw 27 percent and 22 percent declines, respectively. Strengthened by a strong first quarter, Japan saw the least amount of decline at only 13 percent.

"For 2002, macroeconomic pressures have started to ease. With it, a broad recovery pattern is expected to emerge for electronic equipment and semiconductor device demand," said Johnson. "Manufacturing over-capacity remains an issue, but increasing tightness of leading-edge capacity should loosen company purse strings."
For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Apr 12 - Python Software Foundation Announces Python Version 2.1.3. The Python Software Foundation (PSF) has announced release of version
2.1.3 of the Python programming language and standard libraries. This
maintenance release confirms the PSF's commitment to supporting older
Python versions.

"We're happy to offer this maintenance release. This is not the latest
and greatest version of Python, but it introduces several important
improvements for people who prefer to continue running Python 2.1,"
said Guido van Rossum, creator of Python and president of the Python
Software Foundation.

About Python:

Python is a powerful object oriented programming language that is
developed and maintained by a global community of Open Source
contributors, under the oversight of the Python Software Foundation.

Python's unique blend of simplicity and power excels in a wide range of
business and research development tasks, including the construction of
web applications, complex business solutions, and large desktop
applications.

"NASA is using Python to implement a CAD/CAE/PDM repository and model
management, integration, and transformation system which will be the core
infrastructure for its next generation collaborative engineering
environment. We chose Python because it provides maximum productivity,
code that's clear and easy to maintain, strong and extensive (and
growing!) libraries, and excellent capabilities for integration with
other applications on any platform. All of these characteristics are
essential for building efficient, flexible, scalable, and well-integrated
systems, which is exactly what we need. Python has met or exceeded every
requirement we've had," said Steve Waterbury, Software Group Leader, NASA
STEP Testbed.

Python significantly increases programmer productivity over languages
such as C, C++, Java, and Visual Basic. The language's global user base
is estimated in the hundreds of thousands and is growing rapidly.

Key features of Python include:

* Object orientation, modular name spaces, exceptions, and multi-threading
* High-level dynamic data typing and very late binding
* Tight integration with C, C++, and Java modules
* May be compiled to Java byte code for use in any JVM
* String and regular expression processing
* Extensive XML and web services support
* HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, NNTP, telnet, and other IP protocols
* HTML, MIME, base64, binhex, uuencode, and other internet data handling
* GUI development and multimedia services
* Unit testing, profiling, and documentation generation
* Restricted execution security option
* Available third party modules for database access, math, 3D modeling,
image processing, LDAP, WebDAV, jabber, MIDI, and much more

Python runs on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix, OS/2, WinCE,
and many other operating systems. Full source code is available for the
language and associated standard libraries.

About the PSF:

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is a non-profit organization devoted
to advancing Open Source technology related to the Python programming
language. The PSF holds the intellectual property rights to Python.

Additional information and downloads are available at www.python.org.

Apr 11 -Consumers Adopt Home Networks to Keep up with the Joneses. As the popularity of home networking in the United States increases, the demographics of those using the technology are evolving, according to a recent survey conducted by In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).

The high-tech research firm found evidence of increased interest in home networking by nearly all segments of the population, refuting the common perception that their usage is restricted to tech-savvy, early adopters.

"The surge in wireless networking equipment sales and the availability of low-cost home routers to enable broadband sharing shows that this technology is indeed gaining wider acceptance," said Jaclynn Bumback, an analyst with In-Stat/MDR. In-Stat/MDR believes the total percentage of owners who would purchase and install a home network would be higher if they were educated about the benefits."
The vendor community has begun, both individually and collectively (through such efforts as the Internet Home Alliance), to educate end users about the benefits of home networking and broadband. "While we can point to a number of demand drivers, including wider availability of low-cost and easy-to-use networking gear and increased awareness of end users, perhaps the best way to understand the increased interest is to examine what end users are using their home networks for."

In-Stat/MDR's survey found the following:

-- Forty-two percent of those with home networks pointed to
broadband as the primary application. With the number of
broadband users in the United States growing to approximately
13 million by the end of 2001, the home networking industry
has benefited greatly. This is indicative in the strong
end-use demand for affordable broadband sharing devices from
the likes of vendors such as Linksys and NetGear. These two
vendors alone shipped over 2 million cable/DSL routers in
2001.

-- The 45-54 age bracket has become the largest segment of the
home network owner population as they react to the needs of
their tech-savvy late-teen children and home networking
products become easier to install and manage. The segment
accounts for 28 percent of all home-networked households in
the United States.

-- Of the respondents planning to purchase a home network, 41
percent plan to purchase from a retailer. This is a key
opportunity for vendors such as Linksys, D-Link, and NetGear
with strong retail presence. Thirty-seven percent do not know
where they plan to purchase their home network. This
indecisiveness indicates a lack of loyalty to any particular
channel other than retail.

Apr 11 - Rambus Reports March Quarter Earnings Per Share of 7 Cents. Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS) today reported financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2002.
Net income for the March quarter was $6.7 million (29% of revenues), compared to $6.2 million in the previous quarter and $8.0 million in the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter was $23.5 million, down 25% over the same period last year and down 5% from the previous quarter.

March quarter results include $21.8 million in royalties, essentially flat with the previous quarter. RDRAM memory and controller royalties were up 23% sequentially. Royalties from other memory and controllers declined sequentially by about 9%.

Operating expenses in the March quarter declined $2.5 million from last quarter as a result of a significant reduction in litigation costs. Costs associated with litigation were down to $1.6 million in the March quarter versus $4.5 million in the prior quarter. Overall, operating expenses were $14.8 million versus $17.3 million last quarter and $20.4 million in the same period last year.

Rambus Inc. designs, develops and licenses high bandwidth chip-connection technology and provides the comprehensive engineering support necessary for a complete system solution. Rambus' technology and intellectual property are licensed to leading semiconductor suppliers including DRAM, controller and microprocessor manufacturers, ASIC developers, and foundries for use in computer, consumer and networking systems such as personal computers, workstations, servers, game consoles, set top boxes, digital HDTVs, printers, high-speed switches and routers.

Among the reasons which could cause actual results to differ materially are the possibility of inadequate shipments of Rambus RDRAM memory devices and controllers for the Sony PlayStation2 and the PC main memory market, the market response to these products, the continued deterioration in the DRAM market, any delay in the development of Rambus-based products by licensees, any delay in the development and shipment of new Rambus products, any delay in the development and shipment of products compatible with Rambus products, a strong response of the market to competing technology, a lack of progress on price and cost reduction by RDRAM suppliers, a failure to sign new contracts or maintain existing contracts for RDRAM, Yellowstone, RaSer or SDRAM-compatible and DDR-compatible ICs, adverse litigation decisions and other factors that are described in our SEC filings including our 10-K and 10-Qs.
Rambus can be found on the Web at www.rambus.com.

Apr 11 - Apple Users Like Burning DVDs. Apple announced today that it has shipped nearly half a million SuperDrive™-equipped Macintosh® computers and more than 2 million DVD-R media discs to date.
Apple first introduced its SuperDrive, the industry's first high-volume CD- and DVD-burning drive, and its revolutionary iDVD and DVD Studio Pro™ software applications in January 2001.

"Apple is leading the desktop DVD revolution," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing. "SuperDrives are now in iMacs, Apple's recordable DVD media is now priced under $5 US (£3.50 UK) per disc, and our iDVD software makes it easy for anyone to create their own DVDs.

All SuperDrive-equipped Macs include iDVD 2 software, the world's easiest-to-use application for creating DVDs that play in consumer DVD players, and the only consumer DVD authoring application that can create professional-looking DVDs with full-motion menu buttons and backgrounds.

Apple's DVD Studio Pro is a full-featured DVD creation tool offering professional-quality encoding, authoring and output, and is the perfect complement to Apple's Final Cut Pro 3, the world's leading video editing, effects and compositing software. Together, iMovie™ 2, Final Cut Pro 3, iDVD 2 and DVD Studio Pro offer both professionals and consumers a comprehensive, integrated solution for pro-quality DVD creation.
Apple can be found online at www.apple.com.

Apr 11 - Belkin Announces Security Locks for Notebooks. Belkin, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories, today introduced its lineup of security products for notebook computers, dock stations, flat-screen monitors, and other expensive computer devices.

The patented SafeTech(TM) line features two locks that offer the ultimate protection from theft. A keyless version, the SafeTech C100 Combo Security Lock (F8E503 - ESP $24.95) and a keyed version, the SafeTech K100 Security Lock (F8E504 - ESP $29.95) will begin shipping in North America on April 15, 2002.

First, Belkin offers its "keyless" combo security lock, which features a user-resettable combination lock and a press-to-lock mechanism. The SafeTech C100 Combo Security Lock is constructed of a rugged zinc alloy and an attractive yet durable nickel-plated finish.

The exclusive "press-to-lock" feature makes installation easy and simple. Next, Belkin offers users its "keyed" security lock, the SafeTech K100 Security Lock. Unlike other security locks, the SafeTech press-to-lock feature does not require two hands or a key to secure any notebook, docking station, or flat-screen monitor with a security slot.

In addition, both security locks feature a 6-foot, galvanized, aircraft-grade cable that easily loops around any immovable object. All users need to do is press the lock into the security slot found on their notebook computer, docking station, or flat-screen monitor. An anchor plate with screws for additional locking options and a carrying case are also included.

"Unbelievably, nearly 390,000 notebook computers were stolen in 2000," said Steve Bellow, VP sales and marketing at Belkin. "With that in mind, we created our line of SafeTech Security products, which offer effective physical and visual theft deterrence for anyone."
Visit the company's website at www.belkin.com.

Apr 11 -NovaStor Improves Disaster Recovery With New InstantRecovery 3.0. NovaStor Corporation announces the release of InstantRecovery 3.0, a simple and cost-effective disaster recovery program for all versions of Windows, Linux and other Intel-based platforms.
New support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA removable storage devices gives users the broadest compatibility for disaster recovery.

InstantRecovery is a self contained disaster recovery program that runs directly from CD to create backups of any physical hard drive or partition. Since InstantRecovery does not require installation, it does not interfere with the performance of your day-to-day activities.

Backups of hard drives made with InstantRecovery can be restored on the original hard drive or loaded onto a new hard drive to return the users' computer to its exact state when the backup was run. This allows users to recover from several types of problems like virus attacks, system corruption and hardware failure.

New support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA removable storage devices provides users with a wide array of device selections for performing their routine backups. In addition to the existing support for SCSI and IDE attached hard drives, tape drives and CD-RW drives, InstantRecovery 3.0 adds support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA-connected tape drives and CD-RW drives. Now, backup images of almost any system can be conveniently made and stored safely in an alternate location.

InstantRecovery can also be used as a convenient way for users to upgrade to a new, larger hard drive. Users can copy the entire contents of their original hard drive to their new, larger hard drive to maintain their exact working environment while gaining the additional free space.

InstantRecovery 3.0 is included free with every purchase of NovaStor's NovaBACKUP software or can be purchased separately for an introductory price of $39.95 from NovaStor's web site. Existing InstantRecovery users can upgrade to version 3.0 for only $19.95.

Users can download a demo of InstantRecovery 3.0 from NovaStor's web site at www.novastor.com.

Apr 11 - WFX Launches Official Britney Spears Wireless Fan Club.

InfoHQ Editorial Comment: This story thrown in as a, "What will they think of next?" thing. Best effort I've seen yet to turn wireless into addictive entertainment.

Wireless Fan Access, an innovative network bringing wireless phone entertainment to retail, announced today the launch of the official Britney Spears wireless fan club.
In conjunction with marketing and technology partner Samsung, Britney WFX debuts May 5th exclusively in approximately 500 Best Buy stores and provides fans with a "virtual backstage pass" to Britney's world. Fan club members will receive surprise voice and text messages from Britney Spears herself, lifestyle and fashion tips, exclusive logos and picture messages, horoscopes, fan polls and monthly contests and prizes right on their wireless phones.

"WFX is an exciting new way for me to stay connected with my fans," said Britney Spears.

The complete retail WFX package features collectible Britney merchandise, including a unique membership card, which grants access to Britney's exclusive messages, a replica tour laminate card with lanyard and an exclusive static cling decal. Britney WFX has a suggested retail price of $19.99 and includes a three-month, pre-paid subscription. WFX's wireless fan club is compatible with all major digital phones and carriers that support text messaging.

"WFX is first to market with the most powerful application for wireless entertainment we've seen to date," said Dave Sprosty, vice president of personal solutions for Best Buy Co., Inc. "Given our position in the wireless marketplace, combined with Britney Spears, the biggest star of her generation, we're excited to offer this new technology exclusively to our customers."

Apr 10 - Infineon Technologies Celebrates 50th Anniversary. In just a few lines, Ernst von Siemens announced in early April 1952 the intention to build a separate plant for the production of semiconductors.

At that time it was unforeseeable what developments he would trigger off. It was the start of the semiconductor industry in Germany. Today - half a century later - this sector can look back on incomparable developments in both economic and technical terms. And the plant constructed 50 years ago continues to play a part in this development process as one of its pioneers. But today, it is called Infineon. And the original total of 30 employees has become 30,000, one in six of whom, at 29 locations worldwide, is involved in the areas of research and development.

In the relational triangle of miniaturization, increasing productivity and reducing prices

Between 1954 and 2000, worldwide sales of the entire industry increased 40,000 times over from five million US Dollars to 200 billion US Dollars. In the meantime, an average of 60 million transistors is produced per capita and year. In achieving this growth, right from start the semiconductor industry has functioned according to its own rules. Its best-known and, simultaneously, most far-reaching was already formulated by Gordon Moore in 1965. He observed that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit, doubled about every 18 months.

In other words, that means nothing else than that the performance of quite normal PCs also doubles in the same period. In line with this trend, the entire computing volume for the first moon landing in 1969 could now be handled by a conventional laptop. That also involves the continuous miniaturization of the components. 1 GByte of memory, today occupies a module the size of two credit cards, 30 years ago it would have required space of 700 m2 and the electricity supply of an entire village.

Whether for traffic control, telecommunications, information processing or in the programmable coffee machine, the ever smaller and faster components have now become an indispensable part of our everyday life. But that is only possible because prices have not increased analogously to performance - on the contrary. No other sector is characterized by a price erosion comparable to that which the semi-conductor industry has experienced since its start. Whereas in 1972, for the equivalent of around 80,000 Euro, you had the choice between a detached house or 1Mbit of memory, the equivalent value of this memory volume today of just a few cents corresponds to a single piece of chewing gum.

Future factor - research and development

According to Ulrich Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of Infineon Technologies, companies involved in the market can only absorb a continuous decline in prices on this scale through continuous increases in productivity. "The only way to achieve this is through scientific-technological progress", said Schumacher. "In 2001 alone, therefore, we spent 1.2 billion Euro on research and development. That corresponds roughly to the budgets of two large German universities. That clearly shows how seriously we approach the securing of our company's future. And I believe that our average of 12 patent applications per day is impressive proof of success."

For the future too, semiconductor research is preparing revolutionary developments for practically all areas of life. Whether it be medicine, where appropriately programmed microchips, for example, contribute to the early detection of cancer, or in the area of security solutions, where microprocessors offer it possible to produce secure identification documents - the diversity and chances of the practical applications are just as unforeseeable today as they were 50 years ago.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol:IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.

Apr 10 - Belkin Offers USB 2.0 Upgrade Kit. Belkin, the leading manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories, today introduced its Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 Upgrade Kit (F5U900 -- ESP $79.95).
Perfect for connecting new hi-speed and older low-speed USB devices, it includes everything users will need to instantly upgrade their desktop computers to the lightning-fast speed of USB 2.0 -- 480Mbps!

Included in the kit are the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Dual-Port PCI Card (F5U219), the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub (F5U224), and the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Gold Series Device Cable (F3U133-06-GLD).
Ideal for transferring extremely large amounts of data such as real-time video cameras, scanners, portable drives, and others, the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Upgrade Kit allows users to take advantage of their USB 2.0-enabled devices without delay. Backward-compatible with the USB 1.1 specification, the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Upgrade Kit allows users to economically upgrade their computers at their own pace.
For more information, visit the company's website at www.belkin.com.

Apr 10 - Find and Patch All Security Holes on a Single Machine. Software Shelf International, Inc. today releases at Tech Ed 2002 in New Orleans STAT Scanner Single User Edition to detect and patch all security holes on a single computer. Through a strategic alliance between Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) and Software Shelf, individual small business owners and consumers now have access to vulnerability assessment and correction software that was originally developed for the federal government and defense agencies.

STAT(R) (Security Threat Avoidance Technology) Scanner, developed by Harris, is now available at Software Shelf(R) online store in a single-PC version -- the first time such a high-level security assessment tool has been made available for a single computer. Users can purchase the product for $99.00 online at http://www.softwareshelf.com/products/display.asp?p=91

Users can download the free trial version and get an immediate list of every security hole on their computer. The free download is at http://www.softwareshelf.com/products/display.asp?p=91

"This is a big step forward for the small business owner or single user who needs to protect vital information on a single computer," said Dan Feeley, president, Software Shelf International, Inc. "Unlike anti-virus software, STAT Scanner finds -- and automatically fixes --critical vulnerabilities on a computer. Such a comprehensive vulnerability scanner has never been available for a single computer."

"For the first time, an individual user can now purchase a high-level security scanning tool that meets the rigorous security requirements of the federal government," said Lilo Newberry, director of operations for Harris STAT. "Through this strategic alliance, individuals can now download the solution as easily as they would any other type of consumer software."

Apr 10 - TROY Wireless Announces WindConnect Bluetooth Print Adapter for Palms. TROY Wireless, a division of TROY Group Inc. (Nasdaq:TROY) and a leader in short-range wireless connectivity, today announced the TROY Wireless WindConnect Bluetooth(TM) print adapter for use with select Palm(TM) handheld computers -- enabling wireless, "walk-up" printing for the rapidly growing population of mobile Palm handheld users.

Now users can also print from Palm handhelds that feature the Palm Expansion Card Slot, using the WindConnect with the Palm Bluetooth Card (sold separately). Simply insert the Palm Bluetooth Card, which is based on the SDIO specification, into the Palm Expansion Card Slot of your Palm handheld. Install the TROY Wireless Palm Bluetooth printer software, and you can immediately begin printing. Bluetooth printing is designed for ease-of-use with minimal "set-up" hassles, providing the convenience of on-the-spot printing. The Bluetooth wireless technology also uses very little electrical power and conserves batteries.

TROY Wireless' WindConnect print adapter is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of mobile users. The compact device connects to most popular printers, allowing Bluetooth wireless connectivity capabilities within 10 meters (33 feet).

Information about the TROY Wireless WindConnect Bluetooth print adapter can be found at http://wireless.troygroup.com.

Apr 10 - BuddyPhone Launches New Version 4.08. Making calls from PC to PC with the popular BuddyPhone is free, even if you're calling the other end of the world.

And now the telephony software has some extra functions: The more than two million BuddyPhone users can see each other during their calls. All it takes is a webcam (if you want to use video conferencing) and a headset to transform your PC into a (video) phone. And if you want to call someone who isn't at a computer, you can dial any telephone or cell phone number, worldwide, at the lowest rates, like two cents a minute for calls anywhere in the United States.

"The clear transmission and easy operation give us our lead in the competitive market. We are now offering the exciting extra functions of video and data transfer using BuddyPhone," said Nikolai Manek, CEO of BuddyPhone Inc. "The video quality is also superior to everything that's already on the market."

Using BuddyPhone is as easy as using a cell phone. To dial, use the mouse to click on buttons on your monitor. There are also buttons to "pick up" and "hang up," and it keeps a record of every call. To call a telephone, simply type in the usual number on the monitor of your PC. The virtual telephone costs less than a regular telephone, and there are no monthly service charges, hook-up, or cancellation fees. The charges for calls to a regular telephone can be seen online immediately. And, in addition to voice and video, data transfer is as easy as a simple drag and drop.

The telephony program BuddyPhone, is already being used worldwide by over two million internet surfers. All you need is an Internet connection, a sound card, a headset, and, of course, the software that anyone can download for free at www.buddyphone.com.

Apr 9 -Tyan Announces Dual CPU Platform for AMD Athlon MP Processor. Tyan(R) Computer Corporation today announced that they have initiated shipments of their next-generation dual-processor DDR-based platform for AMD's Athlon(TM) MP processors. The Tyan Thunder K7X follows in the footsteps of its highly successful predecessor, Tyan's Thunder K7 --the world's first multi-processing platform for AMD processors.

Tyan, a leading designer and manufacturer of Internet infrastructure products and system board solutions, is the world's leading developer of dual Socket A technology, manufacturing the widest variety of system boards for the AMD Athlon MP processor, including the Thunder K7, Tiger MP and Tiger MPX.

Designed around the AMD-760(TM) MPX chipset, the Thunder K7X includes all of the performance benefits of its predecessor, and provides new levels of throughput for I/O-bound applications. With its 66MHz 64-bit PCI bus, the Thunder K7X can support up to two high-speed PCI devices such as Fibre Channel storage or Gigabit Ethernet controllers. With over 1 gigabyte per second of I/O headroom, the Thunder K7X is ideally suited for today's I/O-intensive server and workstation applications.

The Thunder K7X also features design implementations that enable installation in both pedestal and rackmount chassis. Integrated features such as dual LAN ports, VGA graphics, and 25 degree angled memory sockets are necessary for OEMs and System Integrators that require enhanced functionality in a low-profile form factor.

"Continuing the success of our popular dual AMD platforms, the Thunder K7X delivers improved I/O throughput to customers utilizing 66MHz PCI peripherals," stated Don Clegg, Vice President of Marketing and OEM Sales for Tyan. "This increased I/O headroom, combined with Tyan's unique, rack-optimized server features, make the Thunder K7X an ideal platform for integrators demanding optimum price/performance servers and workstations."

Currently, the Thunder K7X is available in two versions: one with integrated Ultra160 SCSI, and one without SCSI. Volume production is expected in early Q2.

For more information, visit the company's World Wide Web site at www.tyan.com.

April 9 - Mitsubishi Announces New ``Totally Digital'' Television Product Line-Up. At its national news conference and dealer line show, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America (MDEA) announced its "Totally Digital" television product line-up, which eliminates all analog (NTSC only) televisions from its product offerings.

This revolutionary line-up of digital televisions consists of 17 projection televisions, ranging in size from 42-inches to 73-inches (diagonal), including a breakthrough 42-inch true-tabletop high-performance model, as well as an enhanced DLP(TM) projection television.

About half of these models include Integrated Digital Tuners, IEEE 1394 Interfaces, and Mitsubishi's unique NetCommand(TM) icon-based onscreen home theater control system. In addition, the company also announced a full line-up of home theater components including DVD players, D-VHS High-Definition VCRs, and conventional VCRs. In a separate announcement, the company introduced its HD-Upgradeable plasma display with separate receiver.

"Once again MDEA is announcing a breakthrough slate of products to meet the needs of consumers and retailers as our country completes its transition to digital broadcasting," said Max Wasinger, senior vice president of sales and marketing at MDEA.

"We truly believe the consumer benefits of the new digital world -- stunning pictures, life-like surround sound coupled with easy digital control -- creates new excitement in home theater."

MDEA also announced the addition of a second D-VHS High-Definition VCR at a record-breaking suggested value price of $749, and three DVD players and three analog VCRs.

"As the 2006 deadline for the termination of analog television broadcasting comes closer, consumers who buy televisions, which are long-term purchases, are even more interested in purchasing digital televisions with integrated digital receivers.

"This deadline, combined with consumer realization that televisions and home theater products will be transitioning to digital interfaces such as IEEE 1394 that support content protection, home recording and networking is creating tremendous interest in the new digital connections as well," said Robert A. Perry, vice president of marketing for MDEA.

"In the initial years of the digital television transition, consumers were thrilled by great pictures and sound. Now they are interested in recording the increasing amount of HD programming and sharing it throughout the home. This trend is driving farsighted retailers to demonstrate home theater products in a networked environment, so consumers can actually experience these new capabilities.

"And with the IEEE 1394 capability of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, computers can be simultaneously networked on the same infrastructure," Perry added.

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America Inc. manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of premium quality high-definition projection televisions, plasma displays, satellite receivers, DVD players, and digital and analog VCRs for consumer home theater use.

For additional information about MDEA, visit: http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com.

April 9 - Pioneer Launches Professional Video And Audio Products At NAB. Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is launching a series of newly developed products including DVD recorders and plasma displays designed to help professional video and audio users transition from analog to pure digital technology.
New products, which will be showcased at this week's National Association of Broadcasters conference at booth S3320 in the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, offer the flexibility, reliability and compatibility to transition to the digital realm.

Product highlights include:

Professional DVD Recorder (PRV-9000) - Utilizing DVD-R/RW technology, PRV-9000 records discs with the highest level of compatibility of any DVD recording format.

Computer DVD Writer (DVR-A04) - Just-launched, fourth generation DVD burner supports DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW for maximum compatibility at $499.

FlexLibrary Storage System (DRM-7000) - Enhanced DVD media archival system provides double the capacity of previous models for storing up to six terabytes of video material. Disc-flipping mechanism and double-sided media enable increased storage capacity.

PureVision Plasma Displays (PDP-433CMX and PDP-503CMX) - Pioneer's new 43-inch and 50-inch true high definition PureVision plasma displays offer unrivaled image quality in their respective size categories, with open architecture for maximum connectivity today and in the future. First expansion board product for open architecture expansion slot to be unveiled at NAB.

Digital Vinyl Turntable (CDJ-1000) - World's first digital turntable enables users to manipulate a CD in the same way they would a vinyl album, providing reliable digital copies and eliminating the need for expensive dub plates.

Cinema Series Speakers (TSC-3415, TSC-3215, TSC-1118SW) - State-of-the-art exhibition cinema three-way and subwoofer speaker systems using TAD reference quality speaker components.

"Pioneer understands the professional video and audio markets and has created a range of products that help save time, space and money, while maintaining the highest level of reliability," said Paul Dempsey, president of the Business Solutions Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

Pioneer Electronics' headquarters is located in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is www.pioneerelectronics.com.

Aptil 9 - Digital AM & FM Broadcasting Launches at NAB. iBiquity Digital Corporation today announced the beginning of a new era for radio with the introduction of its technology enabling AM and FM stations to begin broadcasting digitally.
Leading broadcast transmission equipment manufacturers Harris, Broadcast Electronics (BE), and Nautel are introducing IBOC exciters (the equipment needed at the radio station to generate the digital signals) at this week’s annual National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, NV.
With today’s commercial introduction of IBOC broadcasting technology, stations can begin the transition to digital that will allow them to offer significantly enhanced audio quality – CD quality on the FM band with AM transmissions matching today’s FM standard – and new wireless data services.

“Today marks an historic milestone in the history of radio as stations can now begin their transition to digital broadcasting,” said Edward Fritts, president and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters. “In this new era, listeners will enjoy unsurpassed sound quality on both the AM and FM dials as well as the availability of information like song title, artist name, local traffic, weather, news and more. Radio’s universal reach and local appeal make it one of our most dynamic and important media; the addition of digital technology will allow broadcasters to make this beloved resource even better.”

“Radio was the first mass media to bring our country together as one, and throughout its history, broadcasters have used the airwaves to educate, entertain and inform our audiences,” said Bob Struble, chairman and CEO of iBiquity Digital Corporation. “IBOC’s significant promise rests in its ability to go beyond radio’s previous contributions to our everyday life. With the enhanced audio quality and new datacasting capabilities that IBOC delivers, broadcasters will have the opportunity to create innovative new programming integrating text with audio. No longer will radio be defined as just a mass media. Today it charts a new course toward becoming a multimedia format.”

iBiquity’s IBOC technology provides the foundation for the radio industry’s transition to digital broadcasting. Through the integration of the digital exciters being introduced today into their existing operations, stations can begin offering the appreciably higher audio quality and enhanced reception made possible by digital technology. In addition, IBOC has been designed to occur simultaneously with the station’s existing analog transmission and within the existing spectrum allocation. As a result, existing radios will continue to receive analog signals while new IBOC-based receivers will have the ability to receive both analog and digital signals with stations continuing to be found at their current locations on the dial.

IBOC-equipped receivers, which will be commercially launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2003, will enable listeners to enjoy superior audio quality and new wireless data services offered by broadcasters. Stations will be able to use these services to transmit programming notes like artist and song identification and local and station information for display within screens embedded in radios.

iBiquity Digital can be found online at www.ibiquity.com.

April 8 - Hitachi Introduces ``superAND'' Flash Memory for Mobile Devices. Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. today announced a new data storage product, the "superAND" flash memory.
They are the industry's first devices to combine single-voltage programmable flash cells with built-in memory management function. The chips are designed to lower overall system cost and allow easier integration to small mobile products such as cellular phones, PDAs and digital cameras.
To ease system design, the flash devices have the popular NAND-type interface. Customers can gain benefits by applying them in designs that previously used NAND-type flash chips, without the memory management overhead burden that standard NAND flash memory imposes on the CPU. The superAND flash products have pin assignment and command-signal compatibility with NAND flash memory. In addition, the new flash products support a power-on read function that allows a system to boot directly from the superAND memory without the need for an external ROM.
According to Victor Tsai, product marketing manager for flash memory products at Hitachi Semiconductor (America), "System designers always look for reduced chip counts, lower system cost, and improved performance and packaging of portable devices. We addressed these needs with the new superAND products by implementing power-on read and on-chip memory management functions with only a marginal increase in die size. The added features make design integration easier and dramatically improve system performance and reliability while reducing system cost."
"The compelling design advantages our new flash devices offer will make them the de facto standard for embedded data storage memory for portable devices," Tsai says.
Readers can find additional product and contact information on Hitachi Semiconductor's Web site at www.hitachi.com/semiconductor.

April 8 - New Company to Deliver MPEG-4 Entertainment to the U.S. Cable Industry. Seven leading consumer electronics and technology companies today announced the formation of a new company in Japan, e-BOX Corporation, that will enable cable television system operators to deliver enhanced video on demand and interactive TV services to subscribers.
Based in Tokyo, the joint venture includes five publicly traded companies: Pioneer Corporation (NYSE:PIO), Sharp Corporation (6753.JP), National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM), Sigma Designs (NASDAQ:SIGM), and CMC Magnetics (2323.TW); and two privately held companies, iVAST, Inc. and Modern VideoFilm Inc.

Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., the third largest cable company in the U.S., is advising the joint venture partners on the technical requirements of the system and intends to conduct field trials of the new services early next year.
Targeting North American and Asia-Pacific cable operators, the joint venture partners will deliver a complete infrastructure that includes head-end equipment, system software, content-protection systems and digital set-top boxes to provide scheduled and on-demand MPEG-4-encoded content and interactive services.

The joint venture has developed a new digital cable solution, based on MPEG-4 technology, that enables exciting new services for consumers. These new services include video-on-demand with the look and feel of interactive DVD, e-commerce, bandwidth-efficient delivery of high definition television, and high-capacity personal video recording (PVR).
The consortium's technology also provides stand-alone benefits for cable operators seeking an economical transition to next-generation entertainment services. Most importantly, cable companies will not have to replace their existing digital cable infrastructure to take advantage of the compression efficiency, content protection and other enhanced capabilities of the consortium's new MPEG-4 system architecture.

Each member of the joint venture will provide products and services reflecting their area of expertise.
Pioneer and Sharp will contribute their knowledge of cable infrastructures, head-end equipment and digital set-top boxes to support the new system.
National Semiconductor will provide silicon processors for the advanced set-top boxes based on its Geode™ technology.
Sigma Designs will provide MPEG-4 decoder and video processing technologies for the advanced set-top boxes.
CMC Magnetics will provide manufacturing expertise for the design and development of head-end equipment and set-top boxes.
iVAST will provide the encoding, authoring, distribution, playback and system software for MPEG-4 based movie and video entertainment content with embedded interactive features.
Modern VideoFilm will provide post-production services and MPEG-4 compression and authoring. In addition, the company will provide the hub for the various "Movie on Demand" and other MPEG-4 encoded entertainment content that will be offered by the new platform.
Comcast will provide technical support to define the architectural requirements and conduct field trials on the initial production systems early next year.

Members of the joint venture will provide additional information about these and other initiatives at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association conference, May 5-8, 2002, in New Orleans.

April 8 - QPS Ships Three New High-Speed 40x CD-RW Drives. QPS Inc. today announced it is shipping three high-speed models of its new Que! 40x CD-RW drive: an external Firewire, a USB 2.0 for PC plus an internal ATAPI IDE model.

The newest blazing fast Que! CD Burner (40x CD-R, 12x CD-RW, 48x CD-ROM) maintains the highest quality and stability while burning a 700MB disc in approximately 3.3 minutes for an 80 minute CD. CD rewriting is a quick 12x, and the 48x max read qualifies the new Que! product line as a full-time replacement for existing CD-ROM or CD-R drives.

The burners can also read/write data and/or record music on CD-R and CD-RW media, which can be played on virtually any CD-ROM drive or CD player.

Que! CD Burners feature BURNProof or a comparable buffer technology that eliminates wasteful buffer underrun errors in fast write modes that can render CDs useless. A minimum of 4MB of buffer RAM supports application flexibility and is ideal for MP3 recording, desktop publishing and data archiving. Plug-and-play compatibility allows users to quickly install the drives and start using them right out of the box.

Bundled software includes Nero CD mastering and In-CD packet writing packages from Ahead Software and Charismac Software's Discribe CD mastering tool for Mac (Firewire model only). MSRP is $299.99 for Firewire, $249.99 for USB 2.0 and $179.99 for the IDE model.
The QPS Web site is located at www.qps-inc.com.

Apr 8 - Public Ethernet Market Will Top $4 Billion by 2005. Public Ethernet services in North America will grow rapidly in the next few years, with revenue reaching more than $1 billion in 2002 and increasing to more than $4 billion by 2005, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
"Public Ethernet is gaining popularity from its low cost, simplicity and the widespread comfort commercial customers already have with Ethernet in the LAN, where it has long been the dominant technology," said Steve Koppman, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Worldwide Public Network Services program.
"Carrier Public Ethernet services allow this same technology, with which most larger businesses are already familiar, to effectively extend their LANs out into a larger metropolitan area or, increasingly in coming years, into long-haul networks as well."
Newly emerging varieties of "Gigabit" Ethernet, which promises bandwidth-on-demand-like capabilities, were championed by small players, the most prominent of which - such as Yipes and Telseon - have already filed for bankruptcy.
The new Public Ethernet will end up extending itself largely through the efforts of major carriers who initially adopted the service to defend themselves against the new competitors, according to Gartner Dataquest.
"The major carriers, building on existing legacy services, will seek to blunt challengers' competitive appeal while preventing undue pressure on incumbent services and prices," said Koppman. "They will also try to lead the market increasingly toward service interworking, a direction that will tend to protect their bases and benefit carriers such as themselves with a diverse service repertoire."
"Growth will be limited below the potential demand, however, by constraints on fiber connectivity and resulting service availability, though this situation will improve over the forecast period," added Koppman. "Partnerships and joint arrangements will emerge over the next few years, both to deliver public Ethernet more widely and better share last-mile Ethernet fiber access to buildings."
Public Ethernet refers to any Layer 2 public network carrier service, whether legacy or emergent, that extends Ethernet beyond the LAN and is marketed as Transparent or Native LAN, Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet or Metro Ethernet service.
For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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