Apr 23 -AMD Launches the AMD64 Masters Group Featuring Top
Audio & Film Pros. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the
formation of the AMD64 Masters Group comprised of digital production
masters from the entertainment industry. Members include Grammy
Award-winning and nominated audio professionals Phil Ramone, Elliott
Scheiner, Frank Filipetti, George Massenburg, Rory Kaplan, Chuck
Ainlay, Fred Maher, and Robert Hill and Dan Gregoire of JAK Films,
pre-visualization supervisor for Star Wars: Episode III.
The AMD64 Masters Group members are realizing significant performance
benefits and exceptional creative freedom using dual AMD Opteron(tm)
processor-based digital audio workstations (DAWs), non-linear
video editing, special-effects compositing and 3-D rendering systems.
Running off-the-shelf software, these systems are taking host-based
digital content creation to new levels. Host-based software applications
are replacing costly digital signal processing (DSP) hardware
in professional digital audio and film content creation.
Key attributes of dual AMD Opteron processor-based workstations
and servers for digital content creation include a balanced architecture,
leading-edge 32-bit performance, 64-bit capability for tomorrow's
software, outstanding reliability, and optimal 4- and 8-way scalability.
True double-precision floating-point arithmetic enables high audio
sample and rendering rates under heavy loads. Easy and relatively
inexpensive software upgrades can replace the need for costly
new hardware purchases typical of DSP hardware.
Technology-savvy AMD64 Masters Group members desire a balanced
architecture that scales to meet their performance demands. AMD64
technology supports emerging technologies like pervasive 64-bit
computing, I/O-taxing high-definition (HD) content, and software-based
plug-ins and virtual instruments that require low system latency.
"Our AMD Opteron processor-based systems provide incredible
speed in a professional environment," said Phil Ramone, 9-time
Grammy Award winning producer whose credits include Frank Sinatra,
Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Paul Simon and Billy Joel. "Dependability
is always the hope of uninterrupted work. The AMD Opteron processor
has met the new standards we dream of."
"I've found my AMD Opteron processor-based DAW to be extremely
reliable and quick, and the most versatile box I've ever worked
with," said Elliot Scheiner, a 5-time Grammy Award-winning
engineer whose credits include Steely Dan, The Eagles, Fleetwood
Mac, and Beck.
"The AMD64-based workstations we use for pre-visualization
make it possible for George to see more details about his film
earlier and faster than he's ever seen them before," said
Daniel Gregoire, pre-visualization effects supervisor for Star
Wars: Episode III. "The added power of the AMD Opteron processor
allows him to direct digital resources real-time with the pre-viz
artists on the team. It's changing the way he makes his films."
"AMD64 technology and customer-centric leadership is enabling
a revolution in content creation simply because it removes limitations,
providing the artist with extraordinary power to create,"
said Charlie Boswell, marketing director of AMD's Digital Media
& Entertainment group.
"What was once only accessible to the largest studios with
the largest budgets is now available to everyone. AMD64 technology-based
platforms offer talented up-and-comers in the entertainment industry
and average consumers access to the same technology used by the
best of the industry icons. Dads who want to record Junior's garage
band, or want to edit and add music and effects to the family
highlight video, can purchase an AMD64-based desktop PC running
the same type of software."
"With ubiquitous 64-bit computing around the corner and
the weight of the open PC architecture and investment R&D
dollars rolling behind it, the fun is only beginning."
To see what other AMD64 Masters Group members are saying about
AMD64 technology, please logon to:
Apr 23 - Intel Digital Home Fund
Invests In Four Companies. Intel Corporation today announced
that its venture investing organization, Intel Capital, has made
four new investments in companies developing innovative technologies
for the digital home.
Speaking to technology industry engineers, developers and designers
at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel Capital President John
Miner disclosed that the $200 million Intel Digital Home Fund
invested in Digital 5 Inc.; a provider of consumer electronics
networking technology; Staccato Communications Inc., an ultra-wideband
(UWB) wireless solutions developer; Trymedia Systems Inc., a secure
distribution technology and services provider; and Wisair Ltd.,
a UWB wireless chipset and solutions company.
"The Intel Digital Home Fund investments we're announcing
today support Intel's initiatives to enable people to enjoy digital
content - including music, games, photos and video - on multiple
devices in the home and beyond," said Miner. "These
four companies' technologies help solve key interoperability,
bandwidth and distribution issues.
"Intel Capital focuses on breaking down technology barriers
and accelerating innovation by applying its investment, leadership
and cross-industry collaboration capabilities to the greater solutions
ecosystem," Miner added. "Solutions are built by weaving
together innovations from many."
Intel Capital's top investment priorities for this year are related
to communications infrastructure, the digital home, modular computing
solutions for IT departments, and wireless mobility.
Through investments, technology development and cross-industry
collaboration, Intel is driving efforts to eliminate the boundaries
between electronic devices inside and outside the home and apply
the performance, cost and integration benefits of Moore's Law
to the world of consumer electronics.
Financial terms of the new investments were not disclosed.
Prior to launching the Intel Digital Home Fund in January, Intel
Capital had invested in several digital home-related companies,
including BridgeCo, Entropic Communications, Musicmatch Inc. and
Zinio Systems Inc.
Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment program, focuses
on making equity investments and acquisitions to grow the Internet
economy in support of Intel's strategic interests. Intel Capital
invests in hardware, software and services companies in several
market segments, including computing, networking, and wireless
communications. For more information, visit www.intel.com/capital.
Apr 23 - Spansion Begins Initial
Sampling of Flash Memory Based on Second-Generation MirrorBit
Technology. Spansion announced today that it is supplying
an initial group of customers with hundreds of engineering samples
based on second-generation, 110-nanometer MirrorBit(TM) technology.
These standalone and stacked multi-chip (MCP) samples enable AMD
(NYSE:AMD) and Fujitsu (TSE:6702) customers to integrate this
technology into designs targeted for production in the third quarter.
Optimized for 1.8-volt wireless designs, second-generation MirrorBit
technology supports the industry's best price-performance and
enables the broadest feature sets and highest densities of any
NOR Flash technology. This technology enables feature-rich products
with simultaneous read-write operation, a high-throughput burst-mode
interface, Advanced Sector Protection security features and extremely
low energy consumption.
"Second-generation MirrorBit technology will free our customers
from the fundamental price-performance limitations of multi-level
cell (MLC) floating-gate technology," explained Bertrand
Cambou, president and CEO of Spansion. "MirrorBit technology,
which was only a specification in 2001, required just three years
and two generations of development to surpass what competing MLC
floating-gate solutions achieved in seven years and four generations."
To achieve price-performance leadership, MirrorBit technology
leverages fundamental advantages over MLC floating-gate technology
that improve yield, quality and fab throughput:
-- Up to 30% better yield than MLC floating-gate technology for
high-density 128- to 512-megabit die significantly improves the
cost structure of standalone and stacked multi-chip products
-- 40% fewer critical mask layers reduces sensitivity to defects
during the manufacturing process and improves outgoing product
-- 10% faster fab throughput thanks to a simple, streamlined
Spansion designed MirrorBit technology specifically to address
customer needs for superior price-performance across the spectrum
of Flash memory applications. As a result, manufacturers are replacing
single- and multi-level cell floating-gate technology in cutting-edge
mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, servers, television set-top
boxes, printers, networking and telecom equipment, game systems
and navigation devices.
About Spansion(TM) Flash Memory Products
Spansion(TM) Flash memory products encompass a broad spectrum
of densities and features to support a wide range of markets.
Spansion Flash memory customers represent leaders in the wireless,
cellular, automotive, networking, telecommunications and consumer
electronics markets. There are a variety of Spansion Flash memory
products, such as devices based on the innovative MirrorBit(TM)
technology; the award-winning simultaneous read-write (SRW) product
family; super low-voltage 1.8-volt Flash memory devices; and burst-
and page-mode devices. Information about Spansion Flash memory
solutions is available at www.spansion.com/overview.
Spansion was formed by the integration of AMD's and Fujitsu's
Flash memory operations in 2003. It is the largest NOR Flash memory
company in the world. Spansion Flash memory solutions are available
worldwide from AMD (NYSE:AMD) and Fujitsu (TSE:6702).
Apr 23 - ICQ 4.0 Delivers Dynamic
Personal Communications Platform to Its Growing Global Community.
ICQ(R) ("I Seek You"), a world-leading online communications
community and international service from America Online, Inc.,
today announced the introduction of ICQ 4.0, a next-generation
instant messaging service that offers customization to provide
users with a highly personal communications platform. ICQ also
announced the worldwide debut of ICQ Xtraz, the industry's first
open instant messaging platform that supports the creation, delivery
and automatic update of new features for the ICQ(R) client.
ICQ 4.0, which can be downloaded today at (www.icq.com),
brings a new and improved user interface, advanced functionality
and flexible options directly into the messaging window to put
fun new features and advanced instant communications tools at
the fingertips of more than 180 million registered users. ICQ's
new client offers an innovative, multi-function message window
that groups incoming messages and frequent tasks for easy use;
a message forwarding feature that can forward ICQ messages to
users' cellular phones; customizable "ICQ(R) Devils"
(personal expressions), birthday alerts, new single- and multi-player
games and more.
ICQ 4.0 is the first ICQ client release to feature the ICQ Xtraz
flexible platform with an open application programming interface
(API) that inspires creativity and innovation. The ICQ Xtraz platform
enables ICQ to present users with a selection of new services
as they are created, without the need to download a new client.
Xtraz also supports the creation of new ICQ features that can
be built separately from the core ICQ client, and then delivered
and automatically updated over time - without interrupting the
flow of user communications.
"ICQ is an essential personal communications medium that
acts as the primary social gateway for millions of people worldwide,"
said Orey Gilliam, General Manager of ICQ. "With the addition
of new ICQ Xtraz, ICQ has also become a platform for fun and innovation
that can easily and instantly scale and adapt to meet the evolving
needs of our active users."
The introduction of ICQ 4.0 and debut of ICQ Xtraz platform follows
on the successful March 2004 launch of the ICQ(R) Universe (http://universe.icq.com),
the only social networking service built on an established and
global instant messaging service. The ICQ Universe lets users
access a dynamic view of the relationships within the vast ICQ(R)
community, enhance profiles and write friend referrals.
ICQ 4.0 with Xtraz makes it easy for users to take advantage
of ICQ's innovative community services and new features by delivering
automatic updates to the user menu and software client without
adding to its size. ICQ users can now simply choose which 'Xtraz'
feature to activate according to their individual needs and desires.
Among the first ICQ partners to take advantage of the new open
platform are Oberon Media (http://www.oberongames.com/) which
is using Xtraz technology to develop fun and engaging new services
that can be delivered entirely within the ICQ 4.0 messaging interface.
"Gaming applications are perfectly suited to meet the needs
of our young, adventurous and active users, who look to ICQ for
interesting new ways to meet new people around the world,"
added Gilliam. "With our new Xtraz technology, we can instantly
extend our personal communications platform to any number of new
partners who can provide content and services our users need.
We also look forward to the time our users themselves are able
to create new and innovative features for the global ICQ community
Apr 23 - Cryptography Expert Paul
Kocher Warns: Future DVDs Prime Target for Piracy. Movie piracy
today is still immature in the United States, but as available
storage space and bandwidth increase, so will the motivation and
sophistication of movie pirates, warns security expert Paul Kocher,
president and chief scientist of Cryptography Research, Inc. Kocher
believes that future optical media formats the successors
to todays DVD will require dramatically advanced
content protection technology and enforcement measures just to
keep up with the better-funded and more-determined adversary of
Kocher believes the current pay television piracy can be seen
as a harbinger of things to come for optical media. Movies
are still difficult enough to copy, so that for most people, it
isnt worth the hassle, he said. In the United States
today, the movie industry is primarily chasing mischievous college
students, internal leakage and low-quality analog recordings as
the sources of piracy, according to Kocher. By contrast,
in the pay television industry, we routinely face well-funded,
technically sophisticated pirates, many of whom are closely connected
with organized crime networks. Its ultimately a question
of whether people perceive piracy to be worthwhile, he said.
Kocher believes the very thing that makes successors to DVD more
attractive to consumers high-definition content
will also make them more attractive to pirates. Although the larger
file size of new high-quality optical media formats like Blu-ray
or HD-DVD movies will slow many pirate efforts by perhaps two
years, high-definition content is a much more attractive target
for attackers because, in many cases, it represents the best quality
studios have to offer.
While its unfortunate that security on the current
DVD format is broken and cant be reprogrammed, HD is what
really matters. Once studios release high-definition content,
there will be little or no distinction between studio-quality
and consumer-quality, said Kocher. This means that
HD is probably Hollywoods one and only chance to get security
According to Kocher, Hollywood is following a path common to
other industries facing similar problems. Typically, first-generation
security systems fail irrecoverably, but later generations are
designed to recover from failures, Kocher said. As an example,
he cites K-band (big dish) satellite TV systems, which
suffered from devastating piracy because security flaws could
not be corrected. Having learned this lesson, modern pay TV systems
place critical security components in smart cards or security
modules that can be replaced. While this approach is not optimal
because hardware upgrades are expensive, it has enabled the industry
to keep piracy at survivable levels.
For movie studios, optical media has so far followed a parallel
path. The content protection system for DVDs was designed without
renewable security, and has now been broken irrecoverably. Just
as the transition to digital broadcasts provided satellite providers
with the opportunity to change to a better approach for security,
new format initiatives such as Blu-ray and HD-DVD present an opportunity
for the optical media industry to correct its dysfunctional security
architecture, Kocher said.
The problem is urgent because it takes several years for
security efforts to pay off. Everybodys worst fear is that
Hollywood will follow in the music industrys steps and fail
to make progress due to political maneuvering and a lack of technical
leadership, said Kocher. On the other hand, if security
decisions reflect a disciplined analysis of the long-term business
requirements, I still think it is possible to keep piracy at a
manageable level. Even in the best case, though, things are going
to get much worse before they get better.
For additional information, visit www.cryptography.com.
Apr 22 - LSI Logic, NVidia, And Ulead
Provide Key Ingredients For Professional High Definition Content.
LSI Logic Corporation (NYSE: LSI), a leader in innovative digital
media processing technologies for the Digital Home, today announced
that it is working closely with NVIDIA, and Ulead (a top developer
of digital video, DVD and image software), to provide better high
definition (HD) content creation capabilities in a PC workstation
By bringing together each company's industry-leading technologies
for video production, LSI Logic, NVIDIA and Ulead are providing
software/systems integrators with the key ingredients for a best-in-class
HD content creation solution. This combined solution is designed
to meet the needs of a variety of applications, including content
creation for post-production/dailies, HD kiosk advertising, high-resolution
surveillance and telemedicine, digital cinema services via satellite/network,
and HD video servers.
"We're excited to see that other leaders in the industry
share our goal: to help grow the HD market through the availability
of HD content," said Bob Saffari, senior director of marketing
and applications engineering for Advanced Video Products, LSI
Logic Broadband Entertainment Division. "By offering solutions
that are quicker, easier, and more cost-effective, we are all
enabling new HD applications that will benefit the industry and
The combination of LSI Logic, NVIDIA and Ulead content creation
technologies makes it possible for production studios to capture,
edit, preview and prepare for distribution or store HD content
in real-time, all in the convenience of a single PC workstation,
while maintaining high-quality video.
LSI Logic is providing its HDTVxpress Compressor PCI board
for real-time capture and audio/video compression. NVIDIA Quadro
FX professional graphics solutions and nvDVD software eliminate
strain on the PC's main processor, making it possible for producers
to preview HD content in real-time, thereby increasing productivity.
Ulead is offering its MediaStudio Pro 7 HD software for high-quality
content editing and authoring. Each component is designed to fit
into a PC workstation, eliminating the need for large rack mounts
with complex storage and networking requirements. This form factor
makes it more efficient and cost-effective for non-broadcast applications
to produce HD content.
"The performance, precision and quality of programmable
NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics solutions make them ideal for demanding
digital content creation applications like video production,"
said Jeff Brown, general manager of professional graphics at NVIDIA.
"NVIDIA Quadro FX solutions are backed by one of the broadest
professional application certification programs in the industry,
and NVIDIA UDA, a set of backward-and-forward, top-to-bottom compatible
graphics drivers that optimize application performance, stability,
"As HD production equipment becomes increasingly accessible
to the general public, more people will want to create video productions
with the same vivid detail they are beginning to see on TV,"
says Lewis Liaw, president of Ulead Systems, North America. "We're
proud to partner with LSI Logic and NVIDIA to make this a reality.
MediaStudio Pro 7 complements LSI and NVIDIA's best-of-breed solutions
by giving consumers the unique ability to seamlessly edit HD content
directly on the feature-rich MediaStudio Pro timeline without
the hassle of using additional third-party tools or interfaces."
For additional information, visit: www.lsilogic.com,
Apr 22 - New Nvidia Quadro FX 4000
Redefines Standard For Professional Graphics. NVIDIA Corporation
(Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions,
today introduced the NVIDIA Quadro® FX 4000, a professional
graphics solution that shatters all performance and image quality
records, and reaches new heights in programmability and precision.
Armed with a radically new graphics architecture driving twice
the geometry and fill rates and up to five times the pixel read-back
performance of the former industry leader, the NVIDIA Quadro FX
4000 features unlimited programmability and true 128-bit floating
point precision giving developers using it the power to
create visual content that others with competitive boards can
"Designers need their work to be as realistic as possible
as early in the design stage as possible," said Jean-Luc
Cuinier, R&D manager at Dassault Systèmes. "CATIA®
V5 accelerated by NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics allows designers to
create and interact with complex 3D models with ultra-realistic
material aspects in real time. New NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 capabilities
like extended programmability, infinite program lengths, and 32-bit
shader precision promise to further increase CATIA user productivity
and design quality."
The NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 introduces many other new technologies
that drive the highest performance and image quality for OpenGL-
and DX-based professional applications, including:
Rotated-grid full-scene antialiasing significantly increases
the visual quality of lines and edges on 3D models without compromising
Innovative high-precision dynamic range technology sets new standards
for imaging through extended 32-bit floating point capabilities
in shading, filtering, texturing, and blending for unprecedented
rendered image quality in visual effects processing such as motion
blur and explosions.
World's fastest 256-bit GDDR3 memory interface and the industry's
highest memory bandwidth (32GB/sec.) for extremely fast data throughput.
Two dual-link DVI-I connectors, an industry first, drive multiple
very high-resolution displays at up to 3840 x 2400 resolution
rates, satisfying demanding medical, satellite, and geospatial
imaging application requirements.
What Other Industry Experts Are Saying
"Professionals using Adobe software can now take full advantage
of breakthrough computer graphics hardware to drive stunning 3D
animations,' said David Trescot, senior director of digital video
products at Adobe. "The NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 drives great
new features in the Adobe Video Collection like Premiere Pro's
GPU Effects and After Effect's real-time, high-quality 3D compositing."
"The NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 combines complete floating point
performance, extended programmability, and high-precision dynamic
range technology allowing mental ray® customers, for the first
time, to leverage the GPU for dramatically accelerated photorealistic
rendering of complex visual effects," said Rolf Herken, CEO
and CTO of mental images. "To take full advantage of key
new features of the just-released version 3.3 of mental ray, we
recommend the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 as the graphics platform of
"The leading-edge technologies in the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000
will allow the company's traditional CAD, DCC, and scientific
visualization customers to further push the envelope for creating
the next breakthrough in design, animation, and research,"
said Sarang Ghatpande, senior analyst at DH Brown. "The product
also bodes well for the newer high-end markets of energy and medical
looking for a cost-effective, multiplatform architecture
ensuring NVIDIA's leading position in those markets."
"With the performance that we've seen, Alias is very excited
about the radically new graphics architecture within the NVIDIA
Quadro FX 4000," said Rob Hoffmann, senior Maya product marketing
manager at Alias. "With the introduction of many exciting
new technologies, we anticipate professionals using Maya will
be able to take digital artwork created for movies and games to
significantly higher levels of realism."
Rated Highest for Quality
Professionals rate NVIDIA graphics solutions as having the highest
quality available. NVIDIA quality assurance measures include the
industry's broadest professional application certification program
and the NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture, a set of backward-and-forward,
top-to-bottom compatible drivers that optimize application performance,
stability, and reliability.
Available in May, the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 will be sold by
original equipment manufacturers like HP and add-in card partners
such as PNY (US and Europe), Leadtek (Asia/Pacific), and Elsa
(Japan), as well as value-added resellers and system builders.
For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.nvidia.com.
Apr 22 - AMD Launches Two New Automated
Precision Manufacturing Innovation Centers for 300mm Technology.
AMD (NYSE:AMD) announced today that it has formally opened two
new Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) Innovation Centers
located in Austin, Texas and Dresden, Germany.
APM is AMD's patented suite of more than 250 leading-edge fab
automation and optimization technologies used to reduce time-to-yield
on new technologies and decrease manufacturing costs.
The new centers will be used by AMD manufacturing technologists
and software designers to integrate the next generation of APM,
version 3.0, into AMD Fab 36, the company's 300 millimeter (mm)
wafer manufacturing facility currently under construction in Dresden.
"This early APM integration effort will allow us to rapidly
and efficiently bring fully automated processes online in AMD
Fab 36, and will help keep us on schedule," said Gary Heerssen,
group vice president, Corporate Manufacturing Group, AMD.
The APM initiative was started at AMD over a decade ago to establish
the precise manufacturing capabilities required in the fabrication
of highly complex microarchitectures.
The current generation of APM, version 2.0, is tailored to the
unique requirements of 200mm manufacturing and is now in full
operation at AMD Fab 30 and FASL LLC Fab 25.
"APM is another area where AMD is leading the industry --
in this case, with fab automation technologies that reduces time-to-yields,"
added Heerssen. "Thanks to APM 2.0 and the superior work
force in AMD Fab 30, we now ramp our processor products to volume
production using a fraction of the silicon wafers required three
years ago, even though we have transitioned to a new design and
increased the number of transistors three fold to total more than
100 million. The work done in these Innovation Centers is planned
to extend and improve these capabilities to further enhance the
strong cost benefits of 300mm production."
In AMD Fab 30, APM 2.0 today acts as a kind of "central
nervous system" by forming an integrated fabric of communication
and control linkages with the hundreds of tools throughout the
fab. This sophisticated and highly integrated manufacturing infrastructure
constantly monitors the health of microprocessors in production
by collecting and analyzing data from the tool sets as wafers
enter and exit them for processing.
Using this real-time data analysis, APM automatically and consistently
recommends modifications to the routing of wafer groups through
the fab, as well as changes to the recipes used within each tool,
to optimize the resulting chips' performance.
APM 3.0 will serve a similar role in AMD Fab 36, but with increased
precision, greater integration and added levels of automation
beyond those currently found in APM 2.0.
"AMD is perhaps best known today for its leadership in 64-bit
computing. But quietly, consistently, AMD has also been building
a leadership position in something equally important to its growth
plans: high-efficiency, high-output manufacturing," said
Dan Hutcheson, president of VLSI Research. "The forethought
and hard work put into APM has paid off. Today few chipmakers
can come close to AMD's level of fab automation, precision and
Efficiency and precision improvements in APM 3.0 will be primarily
targeted at three key areas:
-- Wafer-Level Control -- Increased level of precise control
allowing recipe adjustments for each individual wafer, rather
than groups of wafers.
-- In-Line Yield Prediction -- Increased granularity of defect
management for more rapid yield learning.
-- Active Scheduling -- Intelligent wafer transport containers,
integrated into the APM communications fabric, automatically decide
which path to take through the fab for optimum processing of the
wafers they contain.
"When today most companies are just starting with the most
basic levels of fab tool integration and automation, AMD is already
extending its lead in next-generation capabilities such as automated
wafer-level process control, in-line yield prediction and active
wafer scheduling," added Hutcheson. "The advantages
these technologies give AMD at 300mm look to be significant."
For more information, visit www.amd.com.
Apr 22 - Canon's Newest Mini DV 2.2-Megapixel
Camcorders Combine Vibrant Video and Advanced Photo Features.
Canon's newest pair of digital aces - the Optura 30 and Optura
40 Mini DV 2.2-megapixel camcorders - unite the worlds of digital
video and digital photography using DV Photo Plus technology.
The versatile new Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders optimize
natural color quality, enhance low light image capture and provide
a powerful array of Canon's digital camera "can do's."
Whether capturing- even simultaneously - the magical motion of
exhilarating events or the deep emotion of a moment frozen in
time, these two versatile DV camcorders combine such innovative
Canon video capabilities as an RGB Primary Color Filter for superior
color rendition, improved audio processing for crisp, clean sound
recording, a high resolution, true 16:9 widescreen mode along
with many of the most sought after digital still camera features
including a built in automatic flash, selectable focus points,
auto exposure bracketing, continuous shooting for up to five frames
per second, streamlined downloading with the print/share button
and PictBridge printer compatibility.
"The Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV camcorders are firmly
rooted in Canon's tradition of digital imaging innovation and
many of their features are outgrowths of the technological advances
originally achieved in the professional and prosumer video and
photo realms," explained Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president
and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon USA,
Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ). "The end result
is a versatile high-quality camcorder that captures brilliant
digital camera quality photos in a compact, lightweight and easy
to use package."
The Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV camcorders feature a 12x
Optical Zoom/240x Digital Zoom and 14x Optical Zoom/280x Digital
Zoom respectively as well as Canon's Image Stabilizer that instantly
reduces camcorder shake even when the user is shooting handheld
with the zoom fully extended.
Among the camcorders' other top-tier video functions are the
new Advanced Color Control System that optimizes color according
to the shooting situations and an RGB Primary Color Filter that
separates light passing through the lens into red, green and blue
color components in much the same way as professional camcorders
process color, yielding truer more natural looking colors. What's
more the camcorders' High Resolution 16:9 Widescreen mode utilizes
the entire width of the CCD (unlike some systems that electronically
stretch the picture vertically) retaining image quality and providing
a wider horizontal angle of view that is ideal for widescreen
Low light shooting capabilities are also enhanced thanks to Canon's
new low noise signal processing IC and a user selectable Auto
Slow Shutter setting (which provides additional noise reduction
when switched on). Adding to their ease of use, both the Optura
30 and Optura 40 camcorders support the Picture Transfer Protocol
(PTP) that enables data transfer with a Windows XP or Mac OS X
(version 10.1) without installing dedicated driver software. This
direct link enables the computer to access the camcorder as if
it was an external card reader. Program AE settings for easy optimal
results. Settings offered are: Easy Recording, Full Auto, Sports,
Portrait, Spotlight, Sand & Snow, Low light and Night.
Equipped with a 2.2 megapixel CCD Image Sensor, both the Optura
30 and Optura 40 camcorders are capable of capturing sharp, high-quality
two megapixel (1632 x 1224) photo images as well as 1280 x 960
and e-mail ready, 640 x 480 resolution images. With the simultaneous
photo-recording feature, 640 x 480 photos are captured to a multimedia
card or SD Memory Card while high-quality video is captured to
the camcorders' Mini DV cassette at the same time. Both camcorders
are also PictBridge Compatible enabling them to transfer images
to Canon's CP line of Compact Photo Printers, Canon Photo Direct
Bubble Jet Printers and any other manufacturers' printers, which
supports the PictBridge standard.
Canon's dynamic Mini DV duo will debut on dealers' shelves beginning
in late May, ready to record Memorial Day parades and picnics
and well-timed for Father's Day and graduation gift giving, making
mementos of June Wedding (and honeymoon) memories, saving (and
savoring) scenes of summer vacations and impromptu excursions.
The Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders carry an estimated selling
price of $899 and $999 respectively.
For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
Apr 22 - Mobile Data Users Now Representing
the Mainstream. With 54% of In-Stat/MDR's (www.instat.com)
Consumer Mobility Study respondents currently using one or more
wireless data services, the high-tech market research firm believes
wireless data in the United States has made it to prime time.
In addition, other results from the firm's survey demonstrate
very few notable differences between basic demographic characteristics
of wireless data users and those of non-data users, indicating
that mobile data usage is now a mainstream phenomenon across multiple
Rather than demographics themselves, the key distinctions between
users and non-users lie in the value that the subscribers offer
to wireless carriers and handset makers. "Mobile data subscribers
offer significant value to wireless carriers, content/application
developers and handset makers," reports Clint Wheelock, director
of In-Stat/MDR's wireless group. "In-Stat/MDR finds that
wireless data customers use 42% more voice minutes than non-data
users, in addition to spending an average of 19% more on their
total wireless bill each month and 64% more on their current handset."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- SMS appears to be the leader among mobile data services used
by survey respondents; however, Internet access services, ringtones
and mobile games all had strong showings.
-- The national wireless carriers are on a relatively even plane
with respect to wireless data adoption. According to survey results,
Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless and Sprint
PCS are evenly represented both among mobile data subscribers
and non-data users. T-Mobile and Nextel show strength with a relatively
higher take rate of data services among their customers.
-- Responses indicate a greater-than-average adoption of wireless
data usage among ethnic minorities, particularly Asian Americans
and Hispanic Americans.
Apr 21 - Adobe, Boeing and Intel to
Develop Universal Standard for Using 3D Graphics in Applications.
Adobe, Boeing, Intel Corporation and more than 30 other companies
announced the formation of the 3D Industry Forum. The goal of
the group is to remove technical barriers and promote the adoption
of a common standard so interactive 3D content can be as widely
used online and in business as digital audio, video and photos.
This cross-industry group of developers and corporate users of
3D graphics technology will work with Ecma International, an international
standards body, on a Universal 3D Format proposal as an ISO standard.
The power of interactive 3D graphics to communicate ideas, to
educate and entertain is widely understood. But even as bandwidth
and computing performance has increased across corporations, a
lack of standards for experiencing and sharing 3D content online
and among standard applications has limited its use outside of
the engineering and design communities.
A universal standard for repurposing 3D content, such as product
designs, would enable companies and educators to make interactive
simulations a common training tool. Electronic owners' manuals
could provide interactive guides for maintaining and repairing
cars, boats, planes and other equipment. Customers of online catalogs
could try products based on the 3D computer models used to produce
"Each time a new media standard has been enabled in computing
and communications, it has led to an explosion of new uses and
new markets," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior vice president
and chief technology officer. "This collaboration between
different industries marks a significant step toward turning 3D
graphics into the next ubiquitous media, the same way the JPG-file
format brought pictures to our PCs, the Internet and even cell
"Boeing is investigating interactive 3D technologies to
provide its employees and customers with enriched media that revolutionizes
how complex product data is communicated," said George Uffenorde,
3D Technology Manager, Boeing. "We are working to develop
very efficient information delivery processes to produce more
cost effective training and improved visualization methods. We
are participating in the 3D Industry Forum because it provides
the necessary framework to collaborate with other thought leaders
in developing and standardizing the infrastructure to enable broad-based
use of 3D."
The 3D Industry Forum
The 3D Industry Forum (www.3dif.org)
began when Intel researchers gathered a group of leading 3D graphics
hardware and software developers together to discuss the implications
of a establishing a common standard for sharing 3D content over
the web. Additional discussions with corporate users of 3D graphics
revealed a common desire to repurpose the 3D assets they developed
for product design across the corporation in training, documentation,
marketing, sales, as well as over the Web. Today, there are more
than 30 members of the Forum. The goals of the 3D Industry Forum
-- Creation of a common standard for sharing interactive 3D content
-- To provide tools and information for the use of these technologies
-- Establish a community for on-going industry initiatives and
development in 3D graphics
-- Promotion of industry growth and ecosystem development for
the 3D graphics market
Apr 21 - Serial ATA Milestones Achieved
with Two Completed Specs. The Serial ATA Working Group announced
today two specification development milestones at the Intel Developer
Forum here. One centers on doubling the signaling speed for Serial
ATA, the other on new cable and connector solutions to support
additional applications and usage models.
The specification for the second generation Serial ATA signaling
speed - 3Gbps - has been completed and the release candidate of
that specification has started its ratification process. The second-generation
speed of 3Gbps (300MB/s) is double that of the first-generation
Serial ATA speed which is 1.5Gbps (150MB/s).
A selection of Serial ATA products supporting 3Gbps signaling
speeds have already been announced. Once the ratification process
is complete in about 30 days, those products that comply with
the spec can be marketed as 3Gbps Serial ATA products.
Among the features of the enhanced technology is that no new
cables and connectors are required to support the higher signaling
In addition to doubling the speed for the internal PHY originally
defined in the SATA 1.0 specification, the new specification also
defines a higher-power version of it for longer-haul external
datacenter use. The external phy version defined in the specification
only impacts box-to-box applications (not used as a direct disk
drive connection) and has been defined to match the electrical
parameters for the SAS phy.
Also announced at IDF was that Volume 2 of the cables and connectors
specification defining new cable and connector variants has been
completed and the release candidate of that specification has
started its ratification process.
Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specification adds several
new cabling options:
-- An internal multi-lane cable and connector assembly for streamlining
connections between multiple internal host ports and internal
devices or short backplane.
-- An external consumer cable and connector solution that accommodates
use of Serial ATA with external storage devices.
-- External multi-lane datacenter cable and connector solution
for connecting multiple Serial ATA channels between chassis in
Products based on the new cable and connector ingredients are
expected to appear by the end of the year.
In a clear indication of strong industry adoption of Serial ATA,
a plugfest last month saw participation from a record 200-plus
representatives from 57 companies. During the 2 1/2-day event
in Colorado, 673 interoperability engagements were executed. The
plugfest, sponsored by PMC Sierra, Marvel and Silicon Image, was
free of charge to both Serial ATA Working Group members and non-members.
for more information.
Apr 21 - InterVideo Demonstrates Double
Layer DVD+R Burning Capabilities. InterVideo(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:IVII),
a pioneer in advancing DVD and MPEG-related software technologies,
announced today that Double Layer DVD+R burning capabilities will
be implemented in the upcoming DVD Copy 2 Platinum Double Layer
edition. InterVideo is demonstrating this Double Layer DVD+R burning
technology at Retail Vision, which is being held at the Hotel
Rey Juan Carlos in Barcelona, Spain April 20-22, 2004.
DVD Copy 2 Platinum is InterVideo's latest release of its award-winning
three-step software for making identical copies of personal unencrypted(1)
DVD and CD videos for sharing or to protect them from damage or
loss. Double Layer DVD+R (DVD+R DL) technology virtually doubles
the storage capacity on DVD-recordable discs from 4.7GB to 8.5GB
while remaining compatible with existing DVD Video players and
DVD-ROM drives. With the new DVD+R DL support, InterVideo DVD
Copy 2 Platinum customers will be able to record 4 hours of DVD-quality
video or 16 hours of VHS-quality video on a single side of a DVD+R
Many of the benefits that InterVideo DVD Copy 2 Platinum provides
are even more compelling when the higher-capacity DVD+R DL discs
-- The latest release is 25 percent faster than earlier versions
-- a key consideration when recording large video files. The software's
performance is also enhanced with direct burn capabilities that
save time and enable users to copy directly from the source to
a blank disc without having to buffer the video to the hard drive
-- Using InterVideo's unique Multiple DVD Merging (M-DVD) feature,
users can conveniently group even more videos onto a single DVD,
complete with automatic menu generation for easy navigation.
-- Burning DVD-Videos or disc images stored on a hard drive to
disc can be simplified by moving DVD titles to a folder, loading
them as a source drive and copying them to a disc. Most competitors
only support one VIDEO_TS folder loading, but with DVD Copy, users
can load as many as they can fit onto a disc.
In addition to supporting the new DVD+R DL format, DVD Copy 2
Platinum can be used to make duplicate videos on all of the established
write-once and rewritable formats, including DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW,
DVD-RAM, and CD-R/RW. Video output formats supported include DVD,
VCD, SVCD, DivX(R), and M-DVD.
InterVideo has equipped DVD Copy 2 with an intuitive, wizard-like
interface that walks users through the three easy steps for creating
identical duplicates of their personal videos. Users simply select
the source, destination and the video output format. The software's
powerful Autofit feature automatically determines how much compression
is needed to produce the best-looking results for the output selected.
To add and delete chapters, remove subtitles and audio tracks
or change the aspect ratio, users just copy the DVD-Video to their
PC's hard drive in the MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or DivX format and click
on the software's Customize Button. Videos that have simple editing
fixes do not have to be re-rendered because InterVideo's revolutionary
UniPass(R) technology integrates DVD creation and editing together.
InterVideo DVD Copy 2 Platinum provides consumers who don't own
the latest DVD burners with a growth path to the future. If they
don't have a DVD burner, they can use DVD Copy 2 to backup their
DVD-Videos to CDs in the VCD, SVCD or DivX CD format. Consumers
who do not have a DVD+R DL drive can use DVD Copy 2 Platinum's
Auto Fit feature to compress a 9.4GB Double-Layer DVD and record
it to a 4.7GB DVD. DVD Copy can also be used to create backup
copies of Double-Layer DVD-Videos onto two blank DVDs.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.intervideo.com.
Apr 21 - 123 Copy DVD First Program
to Allow User Back-up of Any Movie While Remaining Compliant with
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. "Burn, baby burn!"
is the way 123 Copy DVD(TM) describes how easy it is to make high
quality backup copies of movies. The new software package is available
online at www.123copydvd.com or at most major retailers, priced
123 Copy DVD is the first product of its kind that allows the
user to back-up any movie while remaining compliant with the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act, which was signed into law on October
28, 1998. The bill was originally supported by the software and
entertainment industries, and 123 Copy DVD meets all provisions
of the Act.
The software makes perfect, top-quality copies of any DVD-to-DVD-R(W)(R)
discs and is ideal for backing up any DVD movie. The software
obtained at retail will not copy encrypted DVD's on its own. However,
currently there are encryption files on the Web which can be enabled
with 123 Copy DVD at the consumer's sole option.
"Even the newest computer users can easily make backup copies
of their DVD collection," said Zachary Van Doren, founder
of San Francisco-based ZVD Media and recognized new media industry
expert. "It couldn't be any simpler. The user inserts a DVD,
clicks on 'copy DVD' then sits back to enjoy the movie. It really
is as easy as 1-2-3!"
123 Copy DVD at-a-glance
-- Copies any DVD movie to a single DVD, no splitting is necessary;
-- Copies episodic movies and TV shows;
-- Copies all special features of original material;
-- Allows users to copy complete DVD or customize, including
trailers, audio tracks, subtitles and languages;
-- Copies audio in full spectrum Stereo 5.1 surround with DTS
or Digital Dolby.
123 Copy DVD process:
1. Choose your source and target devices
2. Hit the start button.
3. Watch the movie!
System requirements for 123 Copy DVD: Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP,
Intel Pentium 800Mhz, 128MB RAM, Direct X 8.1 or higher, up to
10 GB temporary disk space and DVD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW burner. The
company provides on-line 24-hour technical assistance.
123 Copy DVD is powered by X-OOM, already acclaimed in Europe
as one of the top three backup programs. X-OOM's highly sophisticated
line of products allows users to create, manage, edit, achieve
and present digital media and record them on DVD/CD. The latest
X-OOM technology ensures high quality data and media output.
123 Copy DVD is available now at most major retail outlets or
online at www.123copydvd.com.
Apr 21 - Convenience and Accessibility
Key Factors in Media Use of 18 to 34 Year-Olds. The Online
Publishers Association (OPA) today released the results of a new
qualitative study on the media habits of the elusive 18 to 34
year-old audience. Conducted by John Carey, a long-time research
professor and managing director of Greystone Communications, the
study revealed that media use is largely a function of lifestyle
among this group.
These consumers often have unpredictable schedules and may only
have small slivers of time available to use media. As a result,
the Internet, which is pervasive and accessible on their own time,
has become a dominant medium in the lives of these consumers.
Media Use as a Function of Lifestyle
Specifically, the research identified two distinct lifestyles
that exist among the 18 to 34 year-old audience. These lifestyles
can be described "unsettled" and "newly settled."
The lives of those who are "unsettled," largely the
18 to 24 year-olds within this segment, are characterized by highly
chaotic and unpredictable schedules. For example, a college student
may opt to go to the gym one night, socialize with friends another,
and study still a third. Generally speaking, these "unsettled"
consumers have less of a prescribed routine from day to day. As
a result, convenience and accessibility play a particularly significant
role in influencing media use.
"Newly settled" consumers, who tend to be the 25-34
year-olds, have begun to settle down - that is, get married, start
a family, begin a career. These individuals tend to have a more
prescribed schedule, with distinct and well-defined slivers of
"The fragmented media landscape of the 21st Century calls
for deeper understanding of how consumers take advantage of the
wide array of media sources and devices available to them,"
said Michael Zimbalist, president of the Online Publishers Association.
"In this new study, Professor Carey's findings provide fresh
insights into the profound way in which lifestyle affects media
choices for 18 to 34 year-old consumers."
The Role of Various Media
The study also revealed that various media serve different functions
for these consumers. For example, television is cited as a source
of "entertainment" and "escape," while radio
is equated with "companionship" and "connectedness."
The Web is seen as a source of "information" and - quite
notably - "entertainment," and is described as "accessible"
Clearly, the pervasiveness of the Web is a key contributor to
the prominent role it plays in the lives of these consumers, particularly
as their lifestyles underscore the importance of media use on
their own time. One study participant said that she prefers the
Internet because it's "what I want when I want it."
The Internet is "everywhere," - at home, at work, in
universities, and even in bars, which has not only made it the
dominant medium for these consumers, but the first medium they
turn to for information of any kind.
Changes in Media Use
Eighteen to 34 year-olds consistently report spending an increasing
amount of time on the Web. However, the Internet is not the only
contributor to the fragmentation of media usage observed among
this group. These consumers also heavily use and rely on cell
phones, MP3 players and other digital devices. As a result of
living through a time of rapid technological change, it is clear
that the multitude of media options available to this group are
aggressively competing for their media time - and that those media
that are convenient and pervasive are being utilized most frequently.
Notably, there is a significant amount of simultaneous cross-media
usage among this audience. The proliferation of wireless Internet
access has contributed significantly to this phenomenon, as many
consumers are now online while watching television, or on their
cell phones. In terms of simultaneous television and online viewing,
two types of behaviors emerge. For some, online usage is related
to television viewing. Sports and reality programming are particularly
conducive to this type of behavior. However, Internet use and
television viewing is often times completely unrelated, with consumers
using the Web for e-mail or for information unrelated to the content
they may be viewing on TV.
The Web as Entertainment
Perhaps the most significant finding, and one borne out by quantitative
OPA research, is that the Web is considered a primary source of
entertainment among this audience. Aside for meeting their functional
information needs, 18 to 34 year-olds turn to the Web for "humor"
and for "fun."
Astonishingly, several people referred to their "free time"
and even "prime time" as "computer/TV time."
From music to games to satire, the Web has clearly become an entertainment
For more information about the Online Publishers Association,
Apr 21 - Rockstar Games Ships Manhunt
for PC and Xbox. Rockstar Games, the world-renowned publishing
division of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO),
has shipped Manhunt for PC and for the Xbox(R) video game system
from Microsoft to North American retailers. Manhunt for the PC
and Xbox will reach retail shelves in Europe on April 23, 2004.
Manhunt was developed by Rockstar North, the team behind the global
blockbuster Grand Theft Auto franchise.
"We are extremely excited for PC and Xbox gamers to finally
experience Rockstar North's latest success," Sam Houser,
President of Rockstar Games said about Manhunt. "Manhunt
takes stealth gameplay beyond what anyone has ever seen and we
are extremely proud to bring this superb game to a new audience."
"In addition to reaching new heights with outstanding graphic
and audio achievements, we wanted to make Manhunt the ultimate
stealth-action game," said Leslie Benzies, President of Rockstar
North. "By turning the tables on the player, stripping them
of power and making them fight for their lives with inventive
play mechanics, we have succeeded in making Manhunt like nothing
else out there."
In Manhunt, you are James Earl Cash, a death row inmate that
has been sentenced to death by lethal injection. However, in a
twist of fate, you are revived after a mock execution to the sound
of your own panicked breath. Now, they are going to hunt you down
in an organized blood sport where you are the prey. If you stay
alive long enough, you may discover the identity of your captor.
To survive his deadly game, you must run, fight and hide.
Manhunt is a tale of survival and urban horror that made an immediate
impact on the gaming world when it was released for the PlayStation(R)2
computer entertainment system in November of 2003. Hailed by The
Chicago Tribune as "the most important game of the last five
years," Manhunt has earned critical and commercial success
due to its innovative gameplay and gritty visual style.
Additional information about Manhunt is available at www.rockstargames.com/manhunt.
Apr 20 - Panasonic and Apple Collaborate
to Bring HD over FireWire to the Desktop. Panasonic and Apple
today announced the world's first implementation of IEEE 1394
FireWire with 100 Mbps DV-HD (the native video compression of
Panasonic DVCPRO HD recording systems) to bring unmatched capabilities
and dramatically lower price points to high definition (HD) post-production
and content distribution.
Together, Panasonic and Apple are bringing HD over FireWire capabilities
to desktop and mobile editing with Panasonic's new AJ-HD1200A,
the first HD production VTR to offer a FireWire interface, and
Apple's newly-announced Final Cut Pro HD professional video editing
software, enabling mass adoption of HD resolution images on the
desktop, and even on PowerBooks.
"The implementation of Panasonic's VariCam-native DV-HD
codec in Final Cut Pro HD will revolutionize high definition production
as users know it," said John Baisley, president of Panasonic
Broadcast. "It permits content creators to embrace the film-like
qualities of our Emmy award-winning VariCam acquisition system,
on their desktop, at a cost level that permits the migration of
HD throughout the entire creative process."
"Apple has worked with Panasonic over the past three years
to bring FireWire technology to their DVCPRO50 and DVCPRO HD tape
decks," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications
Marketing. "Now, we're bringing real-time, native DVCPRO
HD editing to Power Macs and PowerBooks at a breakthrough price."
"National Geographic Channel is committed to making extensive
use of the 720p High Definition video format. Until now, postproduction
of 720p was both technically challenging and costly," said
John Ford, National Geographic Channel's executive vice president
of Programming. "Apple's Final Cut Pro HD tackles both of
these factors head on. The ability to now edit footage from Panasonic's
VariCam camera with original quality in the field, on a PowerBook
or in the edit suite, could very well have a profound effect on
how our producers create programming for the channel."
For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access
the company's web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.
Apr 20 - ADS Tech USB Instant DVD+DV
Bridges 1394-based Camcorders and USB 2.0 PCs. Visitors to
the ADS Tech NAB2004 Booth #SL952 this week will see first-hand
how the USB Instant DVD+DV takes the hassle out of capturing video
from any analog or digital video source and archiving it directly
to disc, or editing the video and outputting it to CD, DVD or
tape. With a street price of only $249, USB Instant DVD+DV is
an affordable, real-time solution that businesses, educators,
and small broadcast stations can use to quickly create and manage
their own videos.
Equipped with USB and FireWire® connectors, ADS Tech's plug
and play external video capture device is the first solution that
bridges 1394-based camcorders and USB 2.0 computers.
To enhance productivity, the USB Instant DVD+DV incorporates
advanced codecs that provide the highest-quality, real-time MPEG2
video capture from NTSC, PAL and SECAM video sources including
DV camcorders, analog camcorders and VCRs. By converting video
to MPEG-2 as it is captured, the ADS Tech device saves time and
speeds production. In addition to being able to control the brightness,
contrast, chroma, saturation and hue, users have the option of
capturing video using constant or variable bit rates and other
For professional-quality videos, the USB Instant DVD+DV offers
the latest in temporal and spatial video conversion and filtering
technology to remove noise from old VHS tapes. Instant DVD+DV
also includes ADS Tech's exclusive "Audio-Lock" technology
to provide perfect lip synch through the entire capture, edit
and disc-burning process.
Unlike other DVD products on the market that only provide one
software application for video capture, editing and burning, Instant
DVD+DV includes three applications that can capture video, two
applications that can export video to TV or tape and two applications
to create or author a VCD, SVCD or DVD disc. As a result, users
can choose between getting the task done as quickly and easily
as possible or having more creative freedom.
ADS Tech Capture Wizard 3.0 - In just minutes, users can capture
video with this easy-to-use capture and playback software. With
Capture Wizard, videos can be previewed at up to 720 x 480 full-frame
resolution. The software can also be used to control a DV camcorder
(Play, Rewind, Fast Forward, Stop).
Ulead® VideoStudio 7.0 DVD (SE) - With this leading application,
users can capture, edit and output back to Instant DVD+DV to preview
their videos on a TV screen, record on tape or burn the video
to a CD or DVD disc. Video Studio 7 features an easy-to-use interface
and advanced video editing features such as video speed (fast
motion or slow motion video) as well as integrated DVD authoring.
Ulead DVD Movie Factory 2 (SE) The fastest and easiest
way to burn videos onto DVDs or CDs. With this software, users
can capture video from Instant DVD+DV, add other captures and
burn the video to disc. They can also use the Direct-to-Disc feature
to archive their video tape collection directly to long-lasting
CDs or DVDs. When rewritable media (?RW) is used, the "On-the-Fly"
option records directly to disc, without having to record to a
muvee autoProducer DVD SE Known as the world's only smart
automatic video editing software for the PC, this applications
includes everything users need to make compelling videos in just
5 simple steps.
ADS Tech's USB Instant DVD+DV can be used with Microsoft®
Windows® 98SE, 2000, ME and XP systems and is available for
immediate delivery at leading retailers across the country with
a street price of $249. The complete package includes the Instant
DVD+DV device, Audio/Video and USB cables, a power supply and
a user manual plus a CD containing Capture Wizard 3.0, Video Studio
7 SE DVD, Movie Factory SE DVD, Muvee autoProducer DVD SE.
For more information, visit their Web site at www.adstech.com.
Apr 20 - Battery-Biz Introduces Hi-Capacity®
PowerPlus 60 Universal Laptop Battery Bundle. Battery-Biz,
the leading manufacturer and distributor of rechargeable replacement
batteries, introduced the PowerPlus 60 Universal Laptop Battery
today. The PowerPlus 60 is a 60Wh rechargeable battery that is
compatible with over 2000 laptop models and is the newest addition
to the Hi-Capacity® Universal Product Line. It provides up
to five hours of extended run-time and sells at a price point
suitable for the retail market.
The PowerPlus 60 will be bundled with a universal AC adapter
(a $99.00 value) and will be introduced at a suggested retail
price of $229. Competing brands retail for $249-$299 (without
a universal AC adapter), making the PowerPlus 60 bundle extremely
cost-effective. In addition, the PowerPlus 60 uses Lithium Polymer
technology, an energy source that provides maximum power in a
slim, lightweight design with resistance to overcharge and leakage.
The PowerPlus 60 will outperform batteries based on traditional
Lithium-Ion technology used in similar products.
The PowerPlus 60 offers several notable features:
- Up to five hours of extended run-time
- Fits over 2000 laptops
- Ultra-slim, lightweight design (19.6 oz)
- Advanced Lithium Polymer technology
- Full one-year warranty
- Universal AC adapter included in bundle
Pricing and Availability
The PowerPlus 60 is available now and the suggested retail price
is $229. The PowerPlus 60 product specifications are posted at
Apr 20 - Adobe Debuts New Video Line-up
at NAB. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced
the introduction of the Adobe Video Collection 2.5, which includes
new versions of its award-winning digital video products Adobe®
Premiere® Pro 1.5, Adobe After Effects® 6.5, Adobe Audition
1.5 and Adobe Encore DVD 1.5.
With outstanding cross-product integration and performance enhancements
that take advantage of the latest advances in hardware, Adobe's
new video line-up also introduces more than 200 innovative new
features, including advanced support for high definition (HD)
video in Premiere Pro 1.5.
Adobe Video Collection 2.5 will be debuted at the Adobe booth
(#SL4730) during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
event in Las Vegas from April 19-22.
"With these milestone video product releases, Adobe delivers
a tightly integrated and innovative post production platform relied
upon by broadcast pros, filmmakers and corporate and event videographers,"
said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and
Digital Video at Adobe. "These latest releases extend our
product leadership in digital video and audio editing, motion
graphics, effects, and DVD production - and are optimized to take
advantage of the latest systems advances we're seeing from Intel
and our hardware partners."
Enhanced integration and common interface elements make working
in the Adobe video postproduction environment easier and more
productive. Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe After Effects 6.5, and
Adobe Encore DVD 1.5 support Adobe Photoshop® CS features,
including nested layer sets and non-square pixels. The ability
to copy and paste between Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects
further tightens the integration between these two industry-leading
applications. Sharing effects between Adobe After Effects and
Adobe Premiere Pro extends customers' creative options.
Using the Adobe Video Collection 2.5, Adobe Encore DVD users
can send Photoshop menus to After Effects to create unique motion
menus. Adobe Encore DVD also recognizes timeline markers created
in After Effects 6.5 and Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 AVI and MPEG-2
files, giving users the option to convert markers to DVD chapter
points. In addition to integration features across the Adobe Video
Collection, each of the products announced today offers significant
The Adobe Video Collection is available in two versions, Standard
and Professional. Designed for corporate and event production
professionals, the Adobe Video Collection Standard includes Adobe
Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe After Effects 6.5 Standard, Adobe Audition
1.5, and Adobe Encore DVD 1.5. The Professional edition of the
Adobe Video Collection was created for film and broadcast professionals,
incorporating Adobe After Effects 6.5 Professional and Adobe Photoshop
Pricing and Availability
The Adobe Video Collection available for Windows XP® will
be available in the second calendar quarter of 2004. The estimated
street price for Adobe Video Collection Standard will be US$999.
Upgrade versions from any of the individual products will be available
for an estimated street price of US$799. The estimated street
price for Adobe Video Collection Professional will be US$1499.
Customers who owned the previous version of Adobe Video Collection
Standard or Professional editions will be eligible to upgrade
for an estimated street price of US$249. Adobe Video Collection
Standard customers can upgrade to Adobe Video Collection Professional
for an estimated street price of US$799.
Information about pricing, support policies, and other language
versions is available online at www.adobe.com.
Apr 20 - ZOOtech Launches DVD-EXTRA
STUDIO. The world of DVD-Video production will be completely
altered by ZOOtech, Ltd. with the launch of DVD-EXTRA STUDIO today
at the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention.
This revolutionary DVD-Video production system allows DVD authors
and multimedia developers to produce highly interactive DVD-Video
discs which will play on any standard, set top consumer DVD player.
DVD-EXTRA STUDIO enables developers to unlock the capabilities
of every DVD player and produce titles that exhibit many of the
properties of multimedia CD-ROM on a standard, unmodified, set-top
In addition, DVD-EXTRA STUDIO will allow developers to create
and test current interactive DVD content at a dramatically reduced
cost with a faster time to market. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO also enables
developers to create DVD content with new levels of complexity
DVD-EXTRA STUDIO takes DVD-Video production to an entirely
new level, said Stuart Green, Chief Technology Officer,
ZOOtech, Ltd. The conventional approach to DVD development
is a very labor and time intensive process. The DVD-EXTRA approach
allows various levels of development to be automated or to occur
in parallel, so development of highly interactive products is
more time efficient effectively leveraging skills and assets
to create new interactivity in DVDs.
DVD-EXTRA STUDIO dramatically reduces the economic barriers
and development obstacles associated with producing rich interactive
DVD entertainment. For example, compatibility problem diagnosis
is built in to the product lessening the need to learn coding
strategies. Templates are available to create multiple territory
or regional editions, simplifying the development of multiple
DVD-EXTRA STUDIO also allows developers to change designs easily,
automatically updating projects to reflect the changes. This flexibility
means that designs can now be reviewed and revised during production
without incurring significant re-working costs. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO
also provides benefits unrivalled by the competition, including:
Graphic Design Assets and menus can be created more quickly,
reliably and for less cost.
Authoring Quicker, more reliable authoring with links
and instructions created automatically
Testing Less costly and quicker because you can test sample
groups as opposed to testing each and every button
Production Allows you to do original asset creation and
authoring parallel to one another resulting in higher efficiency
From graphic design to prototyping and testing, DVD-EXTRA
STUDIO sets a new gauge for DVD-Video production, said Green.
Our unique methodology will continue to clearly differentiate
DVD-EXTRA STUDIO from the competing products and establish DVD-EXTRA
STUDIO as the industry standard for development of highly interactive
DVDs for a variety of applications.
For more information visit www.zoo-tech.com.
Apr 19 - Intel First Quarter Revenue
$8.1 Billion. Intel Corporation today announced first quarter
revenue of $8.1 billion, down 7 percent sequentially and up 20
First quarter net income was $1.7 billion, down 20 percent sequentially
and up 89 percent year-over-year. Earnings per share were 26 cents,
down 21 percent sequentially and up 86 percent from 14 cents in
the first quarter of 2003.
"Intel's first quarter results showed healthy growth in
both revenue and earnings compared to a year ago, led by improvement
in worldwide IT spending," said Craig R. Barrett, Intel chief
executive officer. "We ramped our 90 nm process into high
volume with the launch of several new desktop processors, and
plan to substantially increase shipments in the second quarter
including our first mobile and server products. The combination
of these products plus new processors and platform innovations
coming over the course of this year positions us well for continued
On March 30, Intel and Intergraph Corporation announced a settlement
agreement that resolves all of the remaining issues in a patent
infringement case and provides certain rights for Intel customers.
Under the agreement, Intel will pay $225 million to Intergraph.
Intel recorded a $162-million charge to first quarter cost of
sales, which reduced earnings per share by approximately 1.7 cents.
The remaining $63 million represents the value of intellectual
property assets, which will be amortized over approximately five
Key Product Trends (Sequential)
** Intel Architecture microprocessor units were lower. The average
selling price was slightly higher. The average selling price excluding
Xbox* processors was approximately flat.
** Chipset units were lower.
** Motherboard units were lower.
** Flash memory units were higher. Flash revenue information
is available in the supplemental financial information table that
accompanies this release.
** Connectivity product units were lower.
Intel Architecture Business
For the desktop, Intel introduced the first microprocessors
manufactured on the company's 90 nm, 300 mm process technology.
Formerly code-named Prescott, the new Pentium® 4 processors
are available in a variety of speeds and include a 1 MB second-level
(L2) cache memory along with new performance-enhancing software
instructions. Most of these processors also include Intel's Hyper-Threading
(HT) Technology. The company also introduced the 3.4 GHz Pentium®
4 processor Extreme Edition, which provides 2.5 MB of cache memory
for today's most demanding PC applications, along with a 3.4 GHz
version of the company's Pentium 4 processor with HT technology,
both manufactured on 130 nm technology.
In mobile, Intel has begun shipping the company's first 90 nm
microprocessor for mobile PCs, code-named Dothan, with an industry
launch scheduled for May. The company increased the performance
of its low-voltage and ultra-low-voltage Pentium® M processors
for thin-and-light notebook PCs. The company also increased the
speed of the Celeron® M processor to 1.4 GHz and boosted the
speed of the ultra-low-voltage version of the processor to 900
Intel announced that beginning in the second quarter it will
introduce a new naming convention for its desktop and mobile microprocessors.
The processor brand name will be accompanied by a processor number
that represents the technical features of the product, including
design architecture, clock frequency, cache size, bus speed and
For more information you can view a public webcast on its Investor
Relations Web site at www.intc.com.
A replay of the webcast will be available until July 13.
Apr 19 - Xerox Research Results Bring
Printed Plastic Transistors Closer to Commercial Reality.
Semiconductive ink and new materials revealed today by Xerox Corporation
(NYSE: XRX) may make flexible roll-up television screens and computer
displays one step closer to reality.
According to Xerox, it has developed a high-performance, semiconductive
ink that can be used to print the semiconductor channels of transistors
at low temperatures and in open air - a requirement for low-cost
manufacturing. Most materials developed by researchers from other
organizations have required processing at high temperatures and
under inert atmospheres.
In addition to creating the semiconductive ink necessary to print
the semiconductor component of a transistor circuit, Beng Ong,
a Xerox fellow, reported today that his team at the Xerox Research
Centre of Canada has also developed materials for printing the
conductor and the dielectric components. Thus, all three elements
necessary to make a plastic circuit - a semiconductor, a conductor
and dielectric - may now be printed using inkjet techniques.
Companies worldwide have been competing to develop a low-cost
alternative to silicon technology that could print flexible plastic
transistors as easily as printing a newspaper. The technology
could ultimately lead to inexpensive large-area devices like flat-panel
and flexible displays and low-end microelectronics such as radio
frequency identification tags.
The manufacturing dilemma
The Holy Grail for researchers who want to bring flexible plastic
circuits to the masses is a low-cost manufacturing solution that
has two key elements: one, materials that can be processed in
ambient conditions, and two, compatible printing techniques. The
research developments announced today could satisfy both these
According to Ong, if progress continues on this research project
as he expects, Xerox just may have found the missing elements
that could enable commercialized applications of flexible printed
transistors. Ong discussed these research findings in a presentation
at the Materials Research Society spring conference here today.
"Having developed these three critical liquid-processable
materials may make it possible to create low-cost, flexible plastic
transistor circuits using common liquid-deposition techniques
such as spin coating, screen or stencil printing, offset, or inkjet
printing," Ong said. He believes that products based on these
or similar materials will be available commercially in the near
Xerox's advances build on the unique polythiophene semiconductor
previously designed by Ong's team at XRCC, as well as on the Palo
Alto Research Center's method for creating a plastic semiconductor
transistor array using inkjet printing, reported last fall. PARC
is a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox.
For more information, visit www.xerox.com/innovation.
Apr 19 - IBM Reports 2004 First-Quarter
Results. IBM today announced first-quarter 2004 diluted earnings
per common share of $.93 from continuing operations compared with
diluted earnings of $.79 per share in the same period of 2003,
an increase of 18 percent.
First-quarter income from continuing operations was $1.6 billion
compared with $1.4 billion a year ago, an increase of 16 percent.
Revenues from continuing operations for the first quarter were
$22.2 billion, up 11 percent compared with the first quarter of
2003 revenues of $20.1 billion.
Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman and chief executive officer,
said: "The IBM team entered the first quarter with good momentum
and delivered a solid first quarter. Behind the results, clients
are increasingly turning to IBM to help them become on demand
businesses. This is creating demand for integrated services and
high-performance IT infrastructure based on open industry standards
-- areas where we have chosen to lead.
"IBM continued to out-perform the industry in our selected
segments and gained share. We continued our industry-leading work
in services with more than $10 billion in signings after a very
strong fourth quarter of signings, and we grew our software and
systems businesses, with significant progress in zSeries servers
and WebSphere middleware. We delivered double-digit growth in
emerging markets such as China, Eastern Europe, India and Brazil.
Our balance sheet remains strong, with $8.5 billion of cash on
"Despite the strengthening economic recovery, many of our
competitors continue to struggle with the fundamental, changing
dynamics of the IT industry. Because we anticipated these changes
-- in computing and in how enterprises apply technology -- we
made significant investments and repositioned IBM during the downturn.
Those strategic moves are beginning to pay off for our clients
and shareholders. We remain enthusiastic about our prospects for
Revenues grew at double digits in three of IBM's five industry
sectors in the first quarter, as well as sales to Small and Medium
businesses, which led the growth with 15 percent year over year.
Investors may view the earnings Webcast at www.ibm.com/investor/1q04.
Apr 19 - I/OMagic Plans to Ship 12X
DVD Drive in Late May. I/OMagic Corporation (OTCBB:IOMG),
a leading developer and marketer of data storage and digital entertainment
products, announced today that it will begin shipping the next
generation of high-speed dual drives -- an Internal 12X DVD+/-RW/+/-R
Dual Format drive -- into the North American marketplace in late
May 2004 with an introductory price of $129.99.
The new Internal 12X DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format drive burns all
standard media discs, including DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW and CD-R/-RW
and is compatible with a broad variety of DVD players.
"The growing popularity of digital music, photography and
video is driving consumer demand for the best in fast and flexible
optical storage solutions," said Tony Andrews, Vice President
of Engineering and Product Development for I/OMagic Corporation.
"This new drive more than meets these demands and we're excited
to bring it to market so soon.
"No longer will consumers have to worry about what type
of media to buy or the differences between plus and minus rewritable
technologies. Our Internal 12X DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format drive
combines the best of these technologies into one flexible solution."
The Internal 12X DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format drive is a 12x8x12x
DVD Recordable drive and a 48x24x48x CD-RW Recordable drive that
includes premium software. The software allows users to create
and edit videos, burn DVDs and CDs in all popular formats, as
well as watch and store home movies, photos and MP3s on either
DVD or CD discs. Operating systems supported are Windows XP/2000/Me/98SE.
According to NPD Intelect(R) Market Tracking, I/OMagic currently
is the market share leader in unit and dollar sales in the DVD
Recordables category, based on year-to-date February 2004 sell-through
in North America.
For more information, visit the I/OMagic Web site at www.iomagic.com.
Apr 19 - Axentra Launches 'axentra.net'
Free 25 MB Email and File Storage and Sharing Service. Today
Axentra(TM) Corporation launched its new free 25MB email and online
file storage and sharing service called axentra.net.
Based on Axentra's leading Linux-based email, web and file server
technology, axentra.net offers users a complete and unique way
to manage their email, files, addresses and calendar online via
an intuitive web interface, or connecting directly with such native
Windows and Mac applications as Outlook, Entourage, Netscape,
"We are excited to offer the axentra.net online service
free of charge to the many computer users looking for a thorough,
universal and ad-free email and file management service on the
net" says Marc Benglia, CEO of Axentra Corporation. "We
feel that users will see the ease of use and the benefit of such
a service and will naturally migrate at their own pace to get
their own home server appliance giving them full control over
their digital lifestyle."
With axentra.net users can:
- Check their ad-free email, from a web browser or any POP3 or
- Get access to 25 MB of free online storage;
- Easily store and share their files online;
- Publish their Web page easily to the world;
- Publish their photos online;
- Benefit from a powerful web calendar;
- Access their contacts from the web or connect to it with native
LDAP PIM applications;
Pricing and availability:
Axentra.net is absolutely free and immediately available at www.axentra.net.
Apr 18 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. All stores are having
good sales to make up for being closed over the Easter weekend.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide
sales are advertised this week. (Note
that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings
may be different where you live.)
Best Buy is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all
laptops, and $150 mail-in rebate on advertised laptops and desktop
Circuit City is offering
12 months no interest financing, and up to $150 mail-in rebates
on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
is offering rebates on advertised systems and 6 months no payment,
no interest financing on purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering rebates
on advertised systems.
Staples has no store-wide promotions
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices
to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital
cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other
XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.
What You Need to
Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and
cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ
Tech Watch Newsletter; Free
PC and Free Internet Deals.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to
the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping
charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through
the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could
get a better warranty).
Caution about advertised
prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine
print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised
and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete
system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price
for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices
have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 2.7 GHz complete system with
Circuit City, CompUSA
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system
with 17" monitor
Best Pentium 4 System
Sony Pentium 4 3.0E GHz complete
system with HT Technology, 17 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
Compaq Athlon 2800+ system with 17
inch monitor and DVD/CD-RW drive
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
eMachines Athlon 3000+ complete system
with 17 inch monitor and DVD/CD-RW drive
3. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD/CD-RW drive
4. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
15 inch flat panel monitor and DVD/CD-RW drive
5. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with
15 inch flat panel monitor and DVD-RW drive
Best AMD Athlon 64 System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with
15 inch flat panel and DVD-RW drive
Circuit City, CompUSA
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
eMachines 2.8 GHz Celeron with
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, Office Depot
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq Athlon 3000+ widescreen with
1. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, CompUSA
2. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Pentium 4 widescreen 2.8
GHz with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Athlon 64 3000+ widescreen
Best Buy, Circuit City
4. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Centrino 1.5
GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Circuit City, CompUSA
5. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba widescreen Pentium 4 3.0
GHz with HT Technology and DVD-RW
6. Best High-end Notebook
HP Centrino 1.6 GHz widescreen with
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 120 GB 7200 RPM
Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 160 GB 7200 RPM
Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM
Hard Drive with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
XTasy 9600 XT 256 MB
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce 5500 OC 256 MB
Best Sunday Deal
BFG GeForce 5900 XTOC 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 8X DVD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 8X DVD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
Windows XP Professional
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and
Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local
(Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can
not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this
article can help you make informed buying decisions.
APR 16 - Intel® High Definition
Audio Will Be Music To PC Users' Ears. Intel Corporation turned
up the volume for consumer electronics (CE)-quality audio on the
PC today by releasing the final v1.0 specification for Intel®
High Definition Audio.
Expected to replace the aging AC'97 specification developed nearly
a decade ago, the High Definition Audio (HD Audio) specification
ushers in a new era of sound quality on mainstream and performance
PCs, paving the way for broad adoption of next-generation audio.
The HD Audio specification is designed to implement a broader
range of audio, modem and communications functionalities in PCs,
handhelds and CE devices.
More than 80 participating companies, including PC and CE manufacturers,
codec vendors, software providers and other industry leaders have
teamed with Intel to develop the HD Audio v.1.0 specification.
This industry group has worked to enable the vision of a flexible,
dynamic, cost-effective and stable audio architecture with performance
headroom for future expansion.
"The PC will play a vital role in the explosion of home
theater and advanced audio solutions," said Thomas Loza,
Intel technology initiatives manager. "The PC platform remains
a versatile solution for the media applications consumers are
demanding today and High Definition Audio capabilities will propel
the PC to truly top-notch audio performance."
The HD Audio specification will provide an enriched playback
experience as well as deliver better-quality input for voice and
communication applications. This enablement of higher-quality
audio is attributed in part to an upgraded architecture and increased
bandwidth that allows for 192 kHz, 32-bit, multi-channel audio.
Audio input is enhanced with increased support for multi-channel
array microphones, dynamically allocated bandwidth, and audio
device configuration flexibility.
The HD Audio architecture is aligned with Microsoft's Universal
Audio Architecture* (UAA), and engineers from both companies have
been working together closely on specification development. The
Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture Initiative aims to create
and maintain Windows* audio class drivers for High Definition
Audio, USB audio and 1394 audio technologies.
"With the goal of improving the PC audio experience, Intel's
next generation High Definition Audio combined with Microsoft's
Universal Audio Architecture class driver will allow for a greatly
improved user experience, new and exciting usage scenarios, and
vastly better audio fidelity for users of Windows operating systems,"
said Jason Reindorp, group product manager, Windows Digital Media
Division, Microsoft Corporation. "Microsoft is working closely
with Intel and other industry leaders to ensure that the UAA initiative
delivers on this promise."
Intel's HD Audio architecture is designed on the same cost-sensitive
principles as AC'97 and will allow for an improved audio usage
and stability level for onboard PC audio devices. Systems with
HD Audio capabilities, which include those with Intel's next-generation
chipset codenamed Grantsdale, are expected to appear in the market
later this year.
The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier
event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout
the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss
cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications
equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and
Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.
Apr 16 - Apple Announces Faster, More
Affordable eMac. Apple® today announced a faster, more
affordable line of eMac desktop computers for home and schools,
including faster PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 1.25 GHz,
333 MHz DDR memory, faster ATI Radeon graphics and USB 2.0 connectivity
to peripherals. Offering even more power and performance, Apples
most affordable SuperDrive-equipped system is now available
starting at just $999 (US).
The new eMac is the most affordable SuperDrive-equipped
Mac ever, said Greg Joswiak, Apples vice president
of Hardware Product Marketing. Offering incredible value
right out of the box, eMac provides everything you need for todays
digital lifestyle including iLife 04, Apples award-winning
suite of applications for creating and managing digital photos,
music and movies.
Housed in a remarkably compact all-in-one design, eMac has a
crisp 17-inch flat CRT display (16-inch viewable) supporting screen
resolutions of up to 1280-by-960 pixels in 24-bit color. Offering
fast 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processors, eMac comes with either a
Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive for watching DVD movies and burning
CDs or Apples revolutionary 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
for the ability to burn professional-quality DVDs at double the
DVD-burning speed as before. eMac comes with hard drives up to
80GB and high-performance ATI Radeon 9200 graphics with dedicated
video memory for outstanding graphics performance and realistic
Providing the latest in wireless communications, eMac now also
offers an optional internal Bluetooth module, in addition to including
a built-in antenna and card slot to support an optional AirPort®
Extreme Card for 54 Mbps 802.11g fast wireless networking*. With
a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire®
ports, eMac desktops offer easy plug-and-play connections to popular
peripherals such as iPod, digital video camcorders, and
digital still cameras and printers. eMac also includes built-in
10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem.
Every new eMac includes iLife® 04, Apples award-winning
suite of digital lifestyle applications including iTunes®
for managing digital music, iPhoto for organizing and sharing
digital photos, iMovie® for digital movie-making, iDVD
for creating and burning Hollywood-style DVDs and GarageBand,
a revolutionary new music application that turns a Mac® into
a professional-quality musical instrument and recording studio.
The eMac comes with Apples latest operating system pre-installed.
Mac OS® X version 10.3 Panther delivers more than
150 breakthrough features including iChat AV, an easy to use desktop
video conferencing solution; FileVault, which uses the latest
security standards and 128-bit encryption technology to ensure
that data in the home directory is kept secure; Exposé,
a revolutionary new way to instantly view all open windows; Instant
On, which wakes the eMac from sleep in just one second; and Automatic
Networking, which automatically switches the network connections
between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem.
With enhanced Windows compatibility, files, printers and network
services can easily be shared with Windows users. eMac also comes
with a collection of productivity and entertainment titles including
AppleWorks, Quicken 2004 for Mac, WorldBook Encyclopedia 2004
Edition and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4.
Pricing & Availability
The eMac line is available immediately through the Apple Store®
retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in two standard configurations.
The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $799
1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
a 32x Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive;
five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two Firewire 400;
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB video memory; and
a 40GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive.
The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $999
1.25 GHz PowerPC G4 processor;
256MB of 333 MHz DDR SDRAM;
an 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive;
five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two Firewire 400;
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB video memory; and
an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive.
Apr 16 - AMD Reports First Quarter
Results; EPS of $0.12 Driven by Record Sales. AMD (NYSE:AMD)
today reported sales of $1.236 billion and net income of $45 million
for the quarter ended March 28, 2004. Net income amounted to $0.12
per diluted share.
First quarter sales increased by 73 percent from the first quarter
of 2003 and increased by three percent from the fourth quarter
of 2003. In the first quarter of 2003, AMD reported sales of $715
million and a net loss of $146 million, or $0.42 per share. In
the fourth quarter of 2003, AMD reported sales of $1.2 billion
and net income of $43 million, or $0.12 per diluted share.
"Our performance in the first quarter of 2004 was driven
by record sales, solid growth and strong execution," said
Robert J. Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer. "Our Flash
memory and microprocessor businesses delivered solid sales results
in a seasonally down quarter and both business lines were profitable.
Sales were especially strong in Asia Pacific and Latin America.
"AMD continued to increase its market leadership position
in the wireless handset and embedded markets on the strength of
our Spansion(TM) Flash memory solutions. During the quarter, products
based on MirrorBit(TM) technology continued to gain solid acceptance,
reflecting strong customer demand for their compelling price-performance
advantage. In addition, we believe Spansion strengthened its NOR
Flash market leadership position as it outpaced growth of the
overall Flash market.
"Adoption of our leading AMD64 platform continued to accelerate
with processor unit volume shipments more than doubling quarter
on quarter. Responding to strong enterprise demand, AMD Opteron(TM)
processor momentum continued with HP and Sun Microsystems shipping
AMD Opteron processor-based servers for the first time. HP and
Sun joined IBM and Fujitsu-Siemens and many other customers now
offering leading-edge AMD Opteron processor solutions for the
server and workstation markets."
Demand for the AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon(TM) 64 and AMD Athlon
XP families of microprocessors remained strong. ASPs increased
for the fourth straight quarter enhanced by continued penetration
of the enterprise market. The AMD Opteron processor continued
to see strong adoption in diverse vertical segments including
financial services, web infrastructure, government, pharmaceutical,
petrochemical and digital content creation. In addition, AMD Athlon
64 FX processor sales continued to be very strong in the gaming
and PC enthusiasts' markets.
AMD's manufacturing transition to 90nm production for AMD64 processors
is on-track with strong yields demonstrating excellent power consumption
and heat dissipation characteristics. AMD will be initiating volume
90nm production in the second quarter and expects to deliver products
for revenue in the third quarter of 2004.
For more information, visit www.amd.com.
Apr 16 - ZyXEL Prestige Routers with
Firewall/VPN Deliver Secure, Shared Broadband Access. ZyXEL
Communications, Inc., a leading provider of broadband access solutions,
today announced availability of its new Prestige 334 series, wired
and wireless Internet sharing firewalls with VPN. The comprehensive
security features and quick throughput are designed specifically
for Small Office Home Office (SOHO) users, home consumers and
The Prestige 334 (10/100Mbps Ethernet wired) and Prestige 334W
(802.11g wireless) are the latest flagship offerings of ZyXEL's
Prestige home/office gateway product family. The P334 and P334W
offer robust security features similar to those found in ZyXEL's
industry-leading ZyWALL firewall/VPN product line, such as Stateful
Packet Inspection (SPI) and Denial of Service (DoS) attack prevention
as well as 3DES VPN encryption, to protect users against security
attacks and secure data transfer.
The P334 and P334W also provide considerably faster network connections
-- up to 100 Mbps -- that are ideal for network-hosted applications
such as Web/email/gaming servers, video conferencing and VoIP
servers (that require open ports).
With WPA, IEEE 802.1x user-authentication and WEP encryption,
the Prestige 334W has the further advantage of empowering remote
users with advanced, secure WLAN connectivity to an enterprise
network or branch offices. ZyXEL's Vantage network management
software enables enterprise IT managers to centrally control telecommuters
and remote users.
"We've based the design of these routers on the ZyWALL platform's
proven technology and have tailored the features for security-minded
users, both consumer and enterprise-level. Not only are the new
Prestige gateways considerably faster than comparable devices
-- 100Mbps routing throughput -- but they have significant performance
advantages combined with powerful security features," said
Munira Brooks, vice president of sales, marketing and business
"The Prestige 334 and 334W are ideal for SOHO and remote
users who demand a high-performance router with solid security
and safety features. These routers offer the best value available
today at an incredibly affordable price," added Brooks.
Feature and functional highlights of the Prestige 334 and Prestige
High Performance -- With a top speed of 100Mbps, the Prestige
334 series Internet sharing firewalls with VPN are well-suited
for distributing large files, digital pictures and media content
or playing real-time, head-to-head games.
All-in-One Access -- The built-in router, switch, access point,
firewall and VPN ensure a safe and secure Internet sharing networking
environment in the home or office.
Enhanced Security -- Stateful Packet Inspection and Denial of
Service attack prevention protect internal networks from outside
intruders or hackers.
Easy Installation -- ZyXEL installation wizard eases installation
with a friendly web-based configurator.
Both the P334 and 334W are available through ZyXEL's national
network of authorized resellers. More information about the Prestige
product family can be found at www.us.zyxel.com/P334.
Apr 16 - U.S. Army and Ubisoft
Join Forces to Deploy ``America's Army'' Brand Worldwide.
Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers, and
the U.S. Army, the world's premier land force, announced today
that they have entered into a long-term agreement to develop and
publish games based on the U.S. Army's industry leading "America's
This historic agreement marks the first time that the U.S. Army
has ever exclusively licensed its brand to a game maker and will
dramatically expand the reach of "America's Army" to
the vast console game market. The partnership gives Ubisoft unprecedented
behind-the-scenes access to the vast resources of the U.S. Army,
to give console gamers the same realistic, action-packed, military
experience players have enjoyed with the award-winning PC game.
With this agreement, the Army will also exercise ongoing content
review with regard to the same features of realism, character
progression, and gameplay motivated by Army values that have made
"America's Army" one of the most popular online games
in the world.
"'America's Army' is an excellent vehicle through which
young adults can discover how Soldiers are developed and employed
in the defense of freedom," said Colonel Casey Wardynski,
originator and Director of the "America's Army" game
project. "Ubisoft has extensive experience in producing best-selling
military games and we're looking forward to getting their developers
in the field with our Soldiers."
"Ubisoft is in the business of delivering what the consumer
wants, and consumers want officially licensed games," said
Jay Cohen, Vice President of Publishing for Ubisoft Inc. "When
you play a sports game you want to play the game from the official
league, and now, when you play an Army action game, you'll be
able to play the undisputed leader."
This agreement marks the third major announcement from Ubisoft
in the past few days and fires off the defining round in the company's
quest to own the military games segment of the video game market.
"America's Army", "Brothers in Arms(TM)" and
"Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon(TM) 2" are evidence of Ubisoft's
commitment to bring the gamer quality titles from every segment
of the military category, from historical to near future, and
aggressively position itself in the competitive military games
market which accounted for 5 out of the top 10 combat franchises
PC gamers have virtually experienced life as a U.S. Soldier since
July 4, 2002. Now, thanks to this agreement between Ubisoft and
the U.S. Army, console gamers will be able to join the experience
beginning in summer 2005.
The PC version of "America's Army" has consistently
ranked among the most popular PC action games played online. Since
its public release, more than 3.3 million players have joined
"America's Army", completing more than 600 million missions
logging over 60 million hours of gameplay. "America's Army"
is rated T for Teen.
The Army will continue to develop "America's Army"
for the PC with free distribution to end users at local Army Recruiting
stations, ROTC Detachments and Army events, and free downloaded
from various partners listed on the www.americasarmy.com
To learn more, visit http://www.ubi.com.