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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

August 27 - 31 2001

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Aug 31 ATI and Intel Support IEEE 1394 as Multimedia Connection Standard
Aug 31 NVIDIA Announces Breakthrough Power Saving Technology for Mobile GPUs
Aug 31 IBM Delivers Servers to Small Business for Less Than $700
Aug 31 Phonex Broadband Ships Evaluation Kits of NeverWire Home Powerline Product
Aug 30 Intel Highlights New Technologies at IDF
Aug 30 Intel Introduces High-speed Wireless Networkng Products
Aug 30 AMD Updates Third Quarter Outlook
Aug 30 Matrox Ships Millennium G550 Dual DVI Graphics Card
Aug 30 Survey Shows 61 Percent of U.S. Households Actively Using the Internet
Aug 29 Intel Outlines Future Technology Directions
Aug 29 Intel Demonstrates `Hyper-Threading' Breakthrough Processor Design
Aug 29 Sony and Ericsson Complete Joint Venture Agreement
Aug 29 Intel Announces Technology Middleware to Accelerate Peer-To-Peer Capabilities
Aug 28 Intel Makes Innovative PC Awards
Aug 28 NVIDIA Launches Integrated TV/Video/Graphics Appliance for PCs
Aug 28 Lexmark first to offer both interactive TV and PC users a "stackable" printer
Aug 28 AOpen First to Market Motherboards for Intel's Pentium 4 845 Chipset
Aug 28 459 Million People Have Internet Access Worldwide
Aug 27 Intel Launches Pentium 4 Processor At 2 GHz
Aug 27 ATI Introduces World's Fastest Mobile Graphics Processor
Aug 27 AMD Announces Support for Microsoft Windows XP
Aug 27 Plextor Introduces Ultra Portable 8/8/24 USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive
Aug 26 Sunday Shopping Watch


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Aug 31 - ATI and Intel Support IEEE 1394 as Multimedia Connection Standard. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSE:ATY), a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions, and Intel Corporation today announced their support of the IEEE 1394 standard for multimedia device connection to the personal computer.
The 1394 standard, more popularly known as FireWire(R) and i.LINK(R), is growing in acceptance as the best method to connect peripheral devices, such as digital video camcorders, to PCs.
ATI's newly announced ALL-IN-WONDER(R) RADEON(TM) 8500DV, features 1394 to broaden the multimedia capabilities of the ALL-IN-WONDER family.
"ATI and Intel are raising the bar for PC Multimedia devices by making IEEE 1394 as the connection standard. Together with Intel, ATI is promoting 1394 as the best solution to connect high bandwidth devices to the PC," said Godfrey Cheng, Director of Marketing, Multimedia Products, ATI Technologies Inc. "ATI is committed to deliver innovative 1394 solutions as demonstrated by the ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV and the DV WONDER(TM) add-in card."
"Intel has long been a proponent of IEEE 1394 as the way to bridge consumer PCs to the emerging class of digital consumer electronics devices, starting today with DV camcorders," said David Fair, Extended PC Technologies Initiative Manager, Intel Corp. "Intel is pleased that ATI is creating new ways to bring 1394 to the PC platform with its ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV graphics and multimedia solution."
ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV features the industry-leading powerful and innovative family of graphics technologies offering the ultimate in pure gaming power, 3D quality of the highest order and unparalleled price-performance. Available this Fall, ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV uses one expansion slot to replace the functionality of several separate cards, including a high-end graphics and video board with DVI (Digital Video Interface), a TV tuner board, a DVD (digital versatile disc) board and a Video Output scan converter box. With a 1394 connector, ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 8500DV provides industry-leading graphics together with the best multimedia features.
Now shipping in North America and Europe, DV WONDER, ATI's first 1394 offering, fits easily into any free PC desktop PCI (peripheral component interconnect) slot and offers high performance connection of 1394 peripherals to PCs. For example, DV WONDER enables digital video camcorder users to swiftly transfer and edit high quality digital video on their desktop computers. Visit ATI's Web site at

Aug 31 - NVIDIA Announces Breakthrough Power Saving Technology for Mobile GPUs. Looking to extend battery life in notebook PCs, NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA) today introduced PowerMizer(TM), a radical new mobile technology that allows end users to extend battery life by way of a flexible power management system integrated in both the hardware and software.
"PowerMizer complements the performance of our award-winning mobile GPUs by extending the battery life of the notebook, whether using traditional office solutions or running state of the art 3D applications," said Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "With NVIDIA's PowerMizer, a typical system's power consumption can be reduced by more than four watts when running demanding graphics applications without sacrificing performance."
PowerMizer enables features already built into NVIDIA's family of GeForce2(TM) Go mobile GPUs and provides users with the optimal balance between performance and power. PowerMizer includes a simple but flexible interface that gives users control of the power management settings that best fits their personal computing environment. PowerMizer reduces system level power consumption by reducing CPU load as well as saving power within the graphics subsystem. Instead of increasing voltage to deliver peak performance, PowerMizer uses an industry low 1.575V to minimize power consumption while delivering the industry's fastest graphics solution. In the maximum battery mode setting, the average graphics power consumption is a remarkably low one-half watt for standard office applications.
NVIDIA's PowerMizer technology will be featured in notebooks powered by NVIDIA's GeForce2 Go, Quadro2(TM) Go, and next-generation mobile GPUs.
NVIDIA can be found on the Web at

Aug 31 - IBM Delivers Servers to Small Business for Less Than $700. IBM today announced the industry's most powerful small business server that delivers more processing power, along with self management technologies, with prices starting at $699.
IBM also announced that eServer x200 and x220 are now available with the new Intel(R) Pentium(R) III-S processors with 512K cache and a speed of 1.26 Ghz creating the most powerful line of entry-level small business servers in the industry.
The IBM eServer x200VL is the only system available in the entry-level space that offers businesses the power of an 850 MHz Intel Celeron (TM) processor and 20 GB IDE storage. Designed as a general purpose or interconnected department server, the new x200VL system also features IBM Director, an intelligent system management program with Project eLiza self-diagnosing and self-healing technologies. Project eLiza is IBM's program aimed at creating a world of self-managing systems and technologies that enhance performance.
"None of our competitors can match the technology and services we offer to small businesses," said Jim Gargan, vice president, IBM eServer xSeries. "IBM helps growing businesses stay competitive by offering products at affordable prices coupled with technologies that will help manage their IT environment."
Project eLiza technologies featured in the new system include Predictive Failure Analysis(R) (PFA) which enables a server to self-diagnose potential problems and then alert IT staff so that they can avoid a potential server crash. Also included in the x200VL are Software Rejuvenation which can automatically predict and repair software problems before they occur, and IBM ServerGuide(TM) software simplifies system set-up and installation.
Offering native support for Linux(R) and Microsoft(R) Windows(R), as well as support for additional operating systems, the IBM eServer x200VL gives customers the flexibility to choose their operating systems and applications that best meet their needs.
For additional information, please visit

Aug 30 - Phonex Broadband Ships Evaluation Kits of NeverWire Home Powerline Product. Phonex Broadband Corp., the Utah-based world leader of Power Line Carrier (PLC) voice and data communication devices, Thursday announced that it is shipping evaluation kits of its much-anticipated NeverWire 14(TM) high-speed home powerline networking product to an allocated number of strategic accounts.
Phonex has had to move to allocation of NeverWire 14 evaluation kits because of the overwhelming demand for the product. "We are planning a production run in October of this year to correct this allocation backlog," said John Knab, chief executive officer of Phonex Broadband.
In December, Phonex expects volume shipments will be available for the mass market, making it possible for the first time, for consumers to transmit data at 10Base-T speeds over home electrical wiring.
NeverWire 14, which was unveiled in New York City just six weeks ago, is the only freestanding powerplug-to-Ethernet data network device that turns any AC outlet into a 10 BASE-T Ethernet port, transmitting voice and data signals over standard electrical wiring.
The product, which the user simply plugs into any networkable device and then into an AC power outlet, makes broadband powerline home networking available from any Ethernet protocol device including cable modems, PCs, set-top-boxes, and residential gateways.
NeverWire 14, which uses Intellon Corp.'s Power Packet(TM) chip technology and is compliant with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance 1.0 specification, is the first high-speed networking device to extend the reach of the Internet and broadband access networks to every electrical outlet within the home.
Knab explained that many of Phonex Broadband's strategic partners are those designing applications for the high-speed digital home, but who are also struggling with the wiring and installation of these applications.
"NeverWire 14 makes it easy to provide ultra high-speed communication for the nearly 9 million homes with cable modems and DSL Internet service since it transmits signals to any outlet in the home without wires," said Knab.
"The number of homes with broadband applications is growing by 16 percent a year in the U.S., so it's crucial that Phonex help our technology partners solve installation problems, and to make high-speed networking easy and affordable for the mass consumer."
NeverWire 14 products have a U.S. suggested retail price of $99.95 per node. Phonex Broadband Corp can be found on the Web at

Aug 30 - Intel Highlights New Technologies at IDF. Intel Corporation today described new client-based technologies and initiatives that are designed to meet the increasingly varied needs of computer users. Intel showcased new technologies in platform architectures and advances in mobile processors, and announced a new program to enable delivery of wireless devices and applications.

Architecting for Mobility

Frank Spindler, vice president, Intel Architecture Group and general manager of the Mobile Platforms Group, highlighted the company's industry-leading efforts in manufacturing and designing advanced mobile processors to deliver the highest performance and low power for the mobile market segment. Spindler conducted the first technology demonstration of the mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor. While incorporating all the advanced technologies of its desktop counterpart, this processor will also include mobile-specific features such as Enhanced SpeedStep(TM) technology, and Deeper Sleep for low power state and small mobile packaging for thinner, lighter mobile PCs. Additionally, Spindler discussed the potential for new features, such as wireless Internet communications, and new innovative form factors that will enable design flexibility, such as the Tablet PC, that will help drive mobile PC growth.
"We expect to see a variety of mainstream full-size and thin-and-light performance notebooks based on the mobile Pentium 4 processor in the first half of 2002," said Spindler. "These systems will combine the benefits of the world's fastest mobile PC processor and the most advanced power management technologies, to deliver great performance and long battery life for productivity applications, rich multimedia, and new usage models."

Desktop Platform Architecture for Today And Beyond

As digital technology becomes increasingly pervasive, higher speed connections between devices that are based on open standards will accelerate technology, improve computing platforms, and increase performance for all Internet clients. Louis Burns, Intel vice president and general manager, Desktop Platforms Group, outlined the evolving role of I/O architecture to meet the needs of a balanced PC platform. In his discussion, Burns released details on the preliminary third-generation I/O specification, demonstrated new Hi-Speed USB 2.0 products that improve client download speeds, and announced the release of the Serial ATA final 1.0 specification.
Third-generation I/O is a serial architecture that will connect computing subsystems and I/O peripheral components at high-bandwidth speeds. It will be a general-purpose interconnect with a low pin count interface enabling cost-effective bandwidth across all market segments, such as desktop, mobile, server, communications and embedded applications. Additionally, it will be compatible with the existing PCI software model and enable smaller form factors.
"Intel is delivering innovative I/O architecture solutions with well-managed evolutionary paths," said Burns. "We are meeting the needs of the industry with solutions that will be scalable for the next decade and offering cost-effective bandwidth for high performance platforms."
An industry work group that includes Compaq, Dell, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, along with an additional 22 newly announced developers, will work together to develop a draft 1.0 third-generation I/O specification to deliver to the PCI -SIG in the first quarter of 2002.
Burns noted that later this year, Gateway will ship an Intel Pentium 4 processor-based PC featuring Hi-Speed USB 2.0 with an Intel motherboard. Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is the evolutionary connection to PC peripherals that is 40 times faster than its predecessor. This will enhance end-user experiences with imaging, music and video applications.
During his keynote, Burns demonstrated the first Hi-Speed USB 2.0 digital video camera connected to an Intel Pentium 4 processor platform based on an Intel prototype chipset with an integrated USB 2.0 controller. Burns said the chipset would enable broad deployment of Hi-Speed USB 2.0 next year. The Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface provides the bandwidth necessary to deliver the real-time video from Opteon's USB 2.0 camera, and will allow a single person to create TV-broadcast quality videos in real time.
Burns also highlighted the release of the final Serial ATA 1.0 specification. The technology replaces the parallel ATA physical storage interface, and was developed by the Serial ATA Working Group. The Serial ATA interface will be used to connect such internal storage devices as hard disks, DVDs and CD-R/Ws to the motherboard in desktop and mobile PCs, value servers, and network storage. Scalable performance (starting at 1.5 gigabits per second) and full software compatibility with current operating systems allows the technology to provide a storage interface that meets the needs of computers for the next decade.

Accelerating the Wireless World

Intel is also working to enable the next generation of wireless communications devices that will accelerate the delivery of wireless applications and services that take advantage of voice-and-data communications over the Internet. Ron Smith, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of the Wireless Communications and Computing Group, introduced a new program designed to help developers build and market wireless applications, services and devices based on the Intel(R) Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA). The newly formed Intel PCA Developer Network offers wireless companies development, technical and marketing support -- including access to more than 300 software design tools -- for building cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other mobile Internet devices and applications supporting Intel PCA.
Visit for more on the IDF conferences.

Aug 30 - Intel Introduces High-speed Wireless Networkng Products. Intel(R) Corporation today announced at the Intel Developer Forum, Fall 2001, the AnyPoint(TM) Wireless II Network family of products that provide high-speed wireless network connectivity and shared Internet access for the home, home office and small office environments.
The AnyPoint Wireless II Network product family consists of a USB model, a PC card and the Intel(R) Wireless Gateway. Based on the IEEE 802.11b standard, the products provide data transfer speeds up to 11 million bits per second (Mbps), ample bandwidth for simultaneous Internet access, video streaming, MP3 sharing, photo sharing, file sharing and other demanding applications.
The AnyPoint Wireless II Network products incorporate the AnyPoint Connectivity Software Suite and are Intel's first 802.11b products specifically designed for consumer installation and ease of use. The Connectivity Suite supports file and printer sharing and includes Internet security features such as Web site filtering for parental control, integrated firewall protection, and 128-bit 802.11b Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) encryption.
The products also include the AnyPoint Connection Manager for mobile connectivity. The AnyPoint Connection Manager provides a convenient way for laptop users to switch between different 802.11b networks. Laptops equipped with the AnyPoint Connection Manager and the AnyPoint Wireless II Network PC card can surf the Web from around the home, at work or from public hotspots such as Starbucks, hotels and airports that offer 802.11b connectivity.
The Intel Wireless Gateway combines the functionality of an access point, Internet router and firewall into a single device. It is optimized for homes and small offices sharing an Internet connection among desktop PCs, mobile PCs or handheld devices. The gateway features both Ethernet and 802.11b wireless connectivity, and includes 128-bit WEP encryption, an embedded firewall to help protect against network intrusions, and AnyPoint software to simplify installation.
The Intel Wireless Gateway expands the options for setting up a wireless network. The gateway can connect multiple PCs to a single broadband modem. The Intel Wireless Gateway can also be used as an access point for adding wireless connectivity to an existing Ethernet network. These configuration options are in addition to simply using the AnyPoint Wireless II adapters to enable a PC to serve as an Internet gateway in a PC-to-PC wireless network.
"The AnyPoint Wireless II Network products and the Wireless Gateway provide the simplest, most flexible way for non-technical consumers and small businesses to set up a wireless network and share a single Internet connection," said Barry Bonder, director of residential networking products at Intel. "These additions to Intel's extensive wireless product line allow consumers to use the same wireless networking standard at home as they use at work, and many locations in-between."
All of the products are compatible with high-speed Internet access specifications such as digital subscriber line and cable modems. The products are certified by the Wireless Interoperability Compatibility Alliance (Wi-Fi) and are interoperable with other products based on IEEE 802.11b High-Rate industry standard, including the Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 802.11b products that are designed for business.
The AnyPoint Wireless II Network products are now available in North America from leading retailers, e-tailers and on the Web at Suggested retail prices are $129 for the PC card and $149 for the USB model. The Intel Wireless Gateway is now available for business use and will be available for consumers in October with suggested retail pricing to be announced at a later date.

Aug 30 - AMD Updates Third Quarter Outlook. Rob Herb, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer of AMD (NYSE:AMD), said today that AMD continues to expect that sales of flash memory products will decline by approximately $100 million -- or 30 percent -- from second-quarter levels. He projected aggregate sequential revenues will decline in the 15 percent range. In the company's second-quarter release, it had projected a revenue decline of 10 to 15 percent. As previously stated, a revenue decline in this range would result in an operating loss for the third quarter. Herb said the company continues to believe that PC processor unit sales in the current quarter will remain at or near the record level of the second quarter, when AMD sold 7.8 million units. Herb spoke at the Wit Soundview Semiconductor Conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

Aug 30 - Matrox Ships Millennium G550 Dual DVI Graphics Card. Matrox Graphics Inc. is now shipping its new Millennium G550 single-chip Dual DVI graphics card, providing business consumers with the most flexible, forward-looking DVI graphics card on the market.
Targeting the corporate market of IT professionals and managers, the Millennium G550 Dual DVI graphics card is the first and only accelerator which outputs to either two analog or two digital monitors from a single chip--no external TMDS (transition minimized differential signaling) transmitters required. Supporting crystal-clear images at a resolution of up to 1280x1024 on both panels, the Millennium G550 Dual DVI's flexible design allows corporate users to easily upgrade from dual-analog output to dual-digital output through the addition of an external Dual DVI cable. This means that Millennium G550 corporate customers can be DVI-ready at any time, without the added costly and time-consuming task of installing new graphics cards once flat panel support is desired.
A low-profile board supporting both ATX and low-profile brackets, the Millennium G550 Dual DVI is a versatile, powerful 2D/3D accelerator, which in addition to the visionary HeadCasting(TM) engine, supports ultra-crisp text, the highest quality digital and analog output in the industry and explosive 2D performance. Additionally, the Millennium G550 is supported by Matrox unified and WHQL-certified drivers for the utmost in system stability.
Matrox DualHead(R) is also the only dual-display technology with integrated support for independent resolutions and color depths under Windows(R) 2000, maintaining Matrox's leadership in dual-display technology.
"Matrox is dedicated to being the choice for the corporate market by developing technology and products which respond specifically to business needs," says Dan Wood, vice president of marketing. "The Millennium G550 Dual DVI graphics card offers a hassle-free and economical solution to business customers, allowing them to upgrade their systems with no intervention whatsoever."
The Matrox Millennium G550 Dual DVI graphics card and the Dual DVI cable are shipping now. Current list pricing for single-piece units of the Millennium G550 Dual DVI graphics card, without Dual DVI cable, is US $150. The Dual DVI cable is also available from for US $59.

Aug 30 - Survey Shows 61 Percent of U.S. Households Actively Using the Internet. Despite Internet service provider (ISP) and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) failures, U.S. consumer demand for Internet access continues to grow, according to survey results by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
A Gartner Dataquest survey from June 2001 found that 65 million U.S. households are actively using the Internet. There has been an increase of 8.4 million users since Gartner Dataquest's previous survey in November 2000. Sixty-one percent of U.S. households are actively online, and when they get online, they usually get hooked and continue to subscribe to the Internet. Ninety percent of online households said they were likely to continue their Internet subscription -- indicating that the Internet is becoming a staple in the household.
"While U.S. businesses and consumers have been cutting back and restructuring their debt to weather the economic slowdown, the U.S. consumer has not yet reduced their seemingly insatiable appetite for Internet access," said Amanda Sabia, industry analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide Telecommunications and Networking group. "In fact, there is no indication that this demand will abate over the next 12 months. An even higher growth rate for broadband connectivity would be achievable if the regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) were deploying DSL more aggressively."
High-speed Internet access achieved a penetration rate of just less than 25 percent of online households. Cable modem subscribers comprised more than 50 percent of all online high-speed households. Nearly 20 percent of dial-up households said they expect to subscribe to some form of high-speed connectivity by mid-2002.
"Cable providers are making a more concerted effort to sell cable modems, while the RBOCs, the main purveyors of DSL services, have not taken up the cable TV challenge in the residential market, focusing instead on the business segment," said Peggy Schoener, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's worldwide Telecommunications and Networking group. "Cable modem providers have also provided a better customer installation experience than DSL. The price of DSL has also been raised and the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), specifically the RBOCs, have cut back their plans for more aggressive rollouts."
To keep up to date on the latest telecommunications issues, please visit Gartner's Telecommunications Focus Area at

Aug 29 - Intel Outlines Future Technology Directions. Intel Corporation Executive Vice President Paul Otellini today outlined how the company is driving computing capabilities to promote future industry growth. Otellini, in a speech to 4,000 technology industry engineers, developers and designers, said Intel will expand its product and technology development focus beyond sheer processor speed to bring to market fundamental technologies that will enable greater productivity and better experiences for computer users.
Yesterday, Intel introduced the world's first 2 gigahertz (GHz) microprocessor and during his speech, Otellini demonstrated an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor operating at 3.5 GHz. Otellini noted that the Pentium 4 microarchitecture is expected to scale to 10 GHz during its lifetime.
"Intel will continue to invest in the product development, manufacturing and process technologies that will allow us to lead in microprocessor speed," said Otellini. "While this focus on raw processor speed is important, it's not sufficient to drive the levels of growth and innovation that will allow our industry to prosper."
As the computing industry has grown and new technologies have evolved, purchasing criteria are changing. While processor speed is of primary importance, buyers now look to features such as style, form factor, security, power consumption, reliability, communications functions, price and overall user experience. Combinations of these features and others are driving end-user technology requirements in individual market segments. Intel plans to develop technologies that will help address these changing requirements in each of the key market segments.

Hyper-Threading Technology and Banias Processor Architecture

As an example of the innovative approach Intel will bring to the server market segment, Otellini demonstrated an advanced technology the company calls Hyper-Threading. The technology allows microprocessors to handle more information at the same time by sharing computing resources more efficiently.
"Intel's Hyper-Threading technology effectively enables multiprocessing on a single chip," said Otellini. "We believe this technology represents a significant advance in computing."
During his remarks, Otellini demonstrated that the breakthrough in processor design delivered a 30 percent increase in performance in certain server and workstation applications. Intel plans to bring Hyper-Threading technology to market first in its Xeon(TM) processor family next year and migrate it throughout the product line over time as software is tuned to take advantage of its performance benefits.
Otellini also disclosed details regarding plans for Intel's upcoming "Banias" mobile processor architecture. Banias processors will be based on a new core design initially optimized for mobile applications and will incorporate innovative low-power technologies to extend Intel's leadership in mobile processors. Banias will deploy new low power circuitry and design techniques to deliver higher performance at lower power. It will also incorporate technology to help enable a new generation of notebooks that will be capable of seamlessly connecting to the Internet and other networks.
The technology is expected to be available in the first half of 2003 for the mobile market segment. Over time, Banias will also be incorporated into ultra-dense server products and small form-factor desktop systems.

Itanium Reliability Features for Servers

Otellini also demonstrated an enterprise server system based on the company's next generation Itanium(TM) processor family product (code-named McKinley), to emphasize the reliability features Intel is building into its high-end server products. The system was running typical enterprise applications and databases and had intentional errors introduced as it processed information.
Intel's machine check architecture (MCA) technology allowed the system to continue executing transactions as it recovered from several error conditions. A key feature of MCA is its ability to detect and correct errors by allowing the process to be recognized by operating system software and other important elements of the server system. MCA is capable of analyzing data and responding to it in a way that enables higher overall system reliability and availability.
The Intel MCA, which is an open technology that developers can customize to meet unique needs, is a key feature that is being built into Intel's Itanium processor family to help meet the reliability requirements of the systems that businesses and organizations rely upon.
Intel is also working to accelerate other technologies designed to improve computing platform, bus and interconnect performance. Some of these technologies include 3GIO, Serial ATA, USB 2.0 and AGP 8X. Intel's active role in standard setting along with its own development efforts related to these technologies are further examples of the company's drive to enable a broader range of computing capabilities.
"By extending our vision beyond traditional measures of performance and tailoring processor and platform enhancements to specific market segments and customer requirements, Intel will help bring more intelligence, greater capabilities and a new level of pervasiveness and usefulness to computing," said Otellini. "We're urging the developer community to join with us to develop the products and services that will help us realize this vision."
Additional information about Intel is available at

Aug 29 - Sony and Ericsson Complete Joint Venture Agreement. Sony Corporation and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) today announced that they have agreed terms to merge their mobile phone businesses worldwide, subject to final approval of the Boards of the two parent companies and subject to regulatory approvals.
The two companies which signed their Memorandum of Understanding in April are well on schedule and set to establish the joint venture, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, as planned on October 1, 2001. The joint venture's global management will be based in London and, after necessary approvals, Sony and Ericsson will start to merge their respective operations.
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will begin its activity with global product, marketing and sales operations and an initial workforce of 3,500 employees. On a pro-forma basis, the combined mobile phone businesses achieved annual unit sales of approximately 50 million units and sales of $7.2 billion last year.
The companies' Web sites can be found at and

Aug 29 - Intel Announces Technology Middleware to Accelerate Peer-To-Peer Capabilities. Intel Corporation today announced the forthcoming availability of peer-to-peer (P2P) technology building blocks to help accelerate P2P capabilities in software by next generation software application developers.
The announcement marks the first technology development of Intel's P2P program, announced at IDF Spring 2001 by Pat Gelsinger, vice president and chief technology officer of the Intel Architecture Group. The goals of this program is to catalyze the P2P industry, create momentum for P2P, and deliver P2P technology building blocks to drive adoption of P2P capabilities within applications.
"P2P computing offers tremendous potential to expand enterprise and consumer computing based on the power of the desktop PC and Pentium(R) 4 microprocessor," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel's Desktop Products Group. "Intel is developing additional building blocks to address the issues of IT and consumers and reduce time to market for application development."
The first release of the technology is targeted for XML Web services and improves the creation and deployment of peer-to-peer services, utilizing existing industry standards (e.g. SOAP) and development tools while also supporting interoperability between peer-to-peer enabled applications. The technology will be instrumental in aiding the addition of collaboration, knowledge management / P2P search, and efficient content distribution capabilities to XML Web services applications. The technology middleware includes support for location independence, encryption and availability. This will help ISVs prototype and develop new peer-to-peer capabilities within their applications on the Microsoft .NET Framework. The Microsoft .NET Framework was chosen for the first release due to its support for P2P capabilities.
"Microsoft supports Intel's efforts to target the innate P2P capabilities of the .NET Framework," said David Stutz, group program manager at Microsoft Corp. "Intel's P2P technology highlights the .NET Framework's features for integrating P2P and XML Web services and will provide a solid step on the road to building interoperable P2P applications."
Intel has been working with application developers to help craft the technology and ensure that critical P2P issues are addressed. DiamondCluster International, a global business strategy and technology solutions firm, and Lante Corporation, an information technology consulting company focused on helping companies collaborate via the Internet, are working with Intel in the development of P2P technology to accelerate general peer-to-peer adoption.
"While we have found current peer-to-peer technology solutions helpful in delivering value to our clients, Lante is eager to see improved standards and reference implementations," said Marvin Richardson, Lante's chief technology officer. "We're pleased to be working with Intel to help bring the same benefits to peer-to-peer platforms that Intel has delivered for computing platforms -- greater industry productivity and widespread technology adoption."
The P2P technology middleware will be available for evaluation in Q4'2001.
Software developers interested in working with Intel on this and future rounds of P2P technology should visit

Aug 29 - Intel Demonstrates `Hyper-Threading' Breakthrough Processor Design. Intel Corporation today announced and demonstrated Hyper-Threading technology, a new processor design breakthrough, improving system performance by 30 percent. Intel's simultaneous multithreading design, originally code-named Jackson Technology, allows a single processor to manage data as if it were two processors by handling data instructions in parallel rather than one at a time. Using Hyper-Threading technology, data instructions are "threaded" as parallel streams for processing.
Designed to improve system performance and efficiency, Hyper-Threading technology is expected to be introduced in Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors for servers in 2002 and incorporated into a variety of Intel products over the next few years. In addition to increased performance, initial validation tests have shown that Hyper-Threading technology can significantly improve the number of Web transactions and users that Intel-based servers can handle at the same time. The technology also holds promise for increasing the speed and quality of multitasking capabilities for PC, workstation and server users who run unique applications simultaneously.
Hyper-Threading technology was demonstrated at Intel Developer Forum in a keynote address by Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager, Intel Architecture Group.
Otellini used the demonstration to illustrate the kinds of leadership technologies Intel plans to bring to market to provide additional performance for specific market segments.
"The development of Hyper-Threading technology signals a landmark in Intel processor technology design and exemplifies our leadership in delivering world-class technology beyond sheer processor speed," said Otellini. "The significant jump in performance that this technology enables will enhance processors in all segments of the computing industry and allow users to maximize their processing power."

One Processor Appears as Two

Hyper-Threading technology signals a fundamental shift in processor design. The multithreading design techniques allow an operating system to view a single physical processor as if it were two logical processors. To accomplish this, processors enabled with Hyper-Threading technology can manage incoming data from different software applications and continuously switch from one set of data instructions to the other, every few nanoseconds, without losing track of the data processing status of each set of instructions.
Current processor technologies queue up individual instructions and handle them one at a time and in a logical order, much like a person who is trying to watch television while talking on the phone. In the current scenario, the person takes in data from each medium, handling it piece by piece. Hyper-Threading technology allows the viewer to accomplish both activities simultaneously without impacting the quality or speed of either experience.
For more information on Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, visit

Aug 28 - Intel Makes Innovative PC Awards. Intel Corporation today announced the winners of the Fall 2001 Intel Innovative PC Awards, which honor mobile, business and consumer computer designs that exemplify the best mix of performance, simplicity and individuality. For the first time, Fall 2001 Intel Innovative PC Awards implemented independent testing by Ziff-Davis PC Laboratories.
At a ceremony held during Intel Developer Forum, Fall 2001, in San Jose, Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel Desktop Platforms Group, presented Innovative PC Awards for the HP Omnibook 6100, HP Vectra VL800, IBM ThinkPad A Series, IBM NetVista X Series, IBM TransNote, Samsung Matrix II+GT-9000, and the SOTEC PC Station E4150AV.
"This year's award recipients were selected not only for their innovative features, but also for high test scores in ease of use," said Burns. "These mobile, business and consumer computing systems improve performance without sacrificing simplicity."
HP Omnibook 6100

The HP Omnibook 6100 prevails in the mobile category. Its innovations include a dual pointing system, a one-touch presentation button that allows easy setup of VGA port, and presentation software. The 6100 comes with built-in 802.11b wireless Ethernet networking, an easy-to-find on/off switch and an LED indicator. The HP Omnibook 6100 also shares Media Bay components with other HP laptops in the Omnibook product family. The Omnibook 6100 is driven by an Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor running at 1.13 GHz and backed by 128 MB of RAM.

HP Vectra VL800

The HP Vectra VL800 is a business desktop PC that offers innovative features such as Instantly Available PC, fast boot-up, a lockable tooless case, easily accessible front bays, and tooless PCI slots. The HP Vectra VL800 is designed for convenience and ease of use, with HP's TopTools software included to allow a quick overview of vital system specifics and information, as well as intrusion protection. The HP Vectra VL800 is powered by a Pentium(R) 4 processor, running at 1.7 GHz with 128 MB of RAM.

IBM ThinkPad A Series

Defying the trend of "less is more," the IBM ThinkPad A Series comes packed with innovative features. The ThinkPad A series has a large (15") video screen with UXGA (1600x1200) resolution, special keys to launch applications and retrieve e-mail, and a slide-out expansion bay to accommodate a numerical keypad or synchronizing cradle. The laptop also features fast wake-up from standby and an energy saving hibernate mode.

IBM NetVista X Series

The IBM NetVista X Series is a business desktop computer that presents a departure from the past. Its innovative features include an "all-in-one" design with a small footprint and half-height PCI expansion slots integrated into the back of the PC's LCD monitor. In addition, the Net Vista's CD ROM is integrated into the PC using a drop-down media bay. Although compact, the NetVista X Series doesn't sacrifice performance. It comes with an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor running at 1.7 GHz, with 128 MB of RAM.

IBM TransNote

The IBM TransNote is a combination computer and electronic notepad with built-in optical character recognition. The innovative IBM PC has multiple inputs from the keyboard, a stylus or a finger. This innovative PC can also record on its tablet when disconnected from the notebook. It features an LCD panel that is adjustable for viewing from the opposite side -- for one-on-one presentations. It doesn't lack power with a high-performance Pentium(R) III processor running at 600 MHz with 64 MB RAM.

Samsung Matrix II + GT9000

The Samsung Matrix II + GT9000 is a laptop with style, class and incredible features. It combines true business features with biometric security, including built-in fingerprint reader to control access, a fast resume/wake-up system, and built-in 802.11b networking. The Matrix II+ also comes with a large screen size to complement the IEEE 1394 ports. When combined with available USB ports, this system is ready to tackle your various digital media tasks.

SOTEC PC Station E4150AV

The SOTEC PC Station E4150AV's metallic silver and blue case is pleasing to the eyes and captures attention. This stylish little PC appeals to the multimedia entertainment aficionado. The SOTEC PC station has a television tuner with a video remote controller, along with front panel USB, an (IEEE) 1394 port and an audio optical port to make this a self-contained entertainment center. The E4150AV's innovative combination of PC functionality and consumer electronics components makes it truly a PC designed for fun with a Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor running at 1.5 GHz with 128 MB of RAM.

About the Intel Innovative PC Recognition Awards

The Intel Innovative PC Awards were first given at IDF Fall 1999 and have grown to receive worldwide recognition. As part of the Intel ease of use initiative, Intel works with the PC industry to make mobile, business and consumer PCs easier for people to use. The Innovative PC Awards are a way to highlight superior PC designs that measurably advance PC setup, use, expansion and maintenance. For more information about the Intel Innovative PC Recognition program, visit

Aug 28 - NVIDIA Launches Integrated TV/Video/Graphics Appliance for PCs. NVIDIA(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA) today introduced NVIDIA Personal Cinema, the industry's most complete digital entertainment solution, offering consumers an sophisticated blend of consumer-friendly video functionality, industry leading DVD playback and award-winning 3D graphics technology all in one consumer friendly package. NVIDIA Personal Cinema is the first product of its kind to implement a multi-function remote control, ensuring users of a simplified and intuitive interactive PC/video experience.
"With the universal remote and seamless integration among DVD, DVR, and live TV viewing, using Personal Cinema appeared to bring a new level of user-friendliness to multimedia PC functions--making it more like a traditional consumer electronics device," said Patrick Megenity, contributing editor of the Stereophile's Guide to Home Theater.
With its impeccably integrated hardware and software suite, NVIDIA Personal Cinema allows users to watch, record, and control live TV, enjoy superior DVD playback, and use the PC to create personal home movies. Personal Cinema's Intelligent TV feature allows users to pause live TV, instantly replay an exciting scene, skip over a commercial, or automatically program the PC to record future shows or movies. Users will also be assured of the outstanding graphics, fast frame rates and superior performance that are synonymous with NVIDIA.
"Personal Cinema is the first product from NVIDIA targeted at delivering a full-range of multimedia and graphics technologies in one package to the PC home entertainment market," said Dan Vivoli vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "By merging high-end graphics and professional level video features with a consumer friendly, universal remote control, Personal Cinema is a breakthrough in both power and ease of use for all-inclusive video/graphics solutions."
Consisting of an NVIDIA based graphics board, a video-in/video-out module, a high quality TV Tuner, a breakout box which connects to the PC via a single nine pin cable, and the multifunction remote for controlling all Intelligent TV and DVD playback features, NVIDIA Personal Cinema is the premiere digital entertainment solution for any PC user.
NVIDIA Personal Cinema will be available in the fall of this year and from VisionTek and Compro Technology.
NVIDIA can be found on the Web at

Aug 28 - Lexmark first to offer both interactive TV and PC users a "stackable" printer. Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) today announced a revolutionary printer for both computer and interactive TV users. Combining Lexmark's signature photo-quality output and ease-of-use features with a stunning new design, the Lexmark i3 color printer offers consumers a whole new way to print. Measuring only four inches in height and resembling a small VCR, the compact i3 is space efficient, allowing it to fit any environment.
When attached to an interactive TV set top box, the i3 allows users to print photos, email, and email attachments, as well as document t-commerce activities such as banking and online shopping. With a self-contained, stackable(a) front-loading paper tray, front access for all print functions and easy cartridge installation, the i3 offers the utmost in convenience and usability. The LEDs on the front panel automatically alert the user when ink levels are low, helping to ensure timely purchases of replacement cartridges. The i3's sharp black cover and silver detail give the printer a contemporary, modern look - ideally suited to complement today's home entertainment centers.
"Lexmark has built its business around delivering industry-leading resolution, fast print speeds and advanced features at breakthrough price points," said Tim Craig, Lexmark vice president and president of the company's Consumer Printer Division. "The i3 is a dual-purpose printer that meets the growing needs of consumers looking to print via interactive TV as well as those looking for a photo-quality inkjet that fits virtually anywhere, thanks to its exclusive stackable design."
The i3 is capable of achieving industry-leading 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) in black and color on all paper types and boasts a seven picoliter drop size for smooth and even color transitions. The i3 can be upgraded to a dual-head printer with the addition of a black cartridge that adds laser-sharp text to the photo quality achieved with the color cartridge shipped in the box. With fast print speeds of up to eight pages per minute (ppm) in black and four ppm in color, and Lexmark's signature features, such as the Accu-Feed(TM) paper handling system, the i3 is well suited to handle traditional home printing needs. The i3's capabilities and features may vary depending on your set top box and cable operator.
For added functionality and value, the i3 offers USB connectivity and can be used with a traditional PC. Thin and stackable, this design is a must-have for those with limited office space.


The i3 color printer connects directly to set top boxes from the following interactive TV operating systems: MSTV(b), PowerTV(b) and Linux(b). When used in PC-attached mode, the i3 is compatible with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP(c).

Price & Availability

With an estimated street price of $139, the i3 will be available later this year. Lexmark cna be found on the Web at

Aug 28 - AOpen First to Market Motherboards for Intel's Pentium 4 845 Chipset. Timed with the current introduction of Intel's Pentium 4 platform with the 845 chipset, AOpen Inc. announced today that it is the first board manufacturer to ship two new motherboards built specifically to take full advantage of the newest Pentium 4 processor's power and functionality. In addition, the new boards -- combined with Intel's new processor -- offer mainstream application developers new opportunities in what they can offer their users.
"PC System builders in North America will appreciate AOpen's continued commitment to design/manufacturing dependability and reliability with our new P-4 Series boards," said Bernie Tsai, CEO of AOpen Inc. "Although our motherboards practically sell themselves by wearing a long-standing badge of quality, the real benefit of choosing an AOpen P-4 Series board as the keystone for building a PC is more than just the board. The fact that we're the first ones out the gate with boards supporting the Pentium 4 845 chipset proves our dedication to giving our channel partners an extra boost to stay ahead. Our superior technical support, coast-to-coast localized service and blanket 3-year warranty make our boards some of the best you can buy through the reseller channel at a margin-sustainable price."
The MX4BS and the AX4BS both sport a unique black PCB and come with Socket 478 and Intel 845 chipset designs, and use PC-133 SDRAM memory. Both boards come with one AGP slot; one CNR slot; support for four USB ports (two front/two rear); two IDE ATA33/66/100 controllers; an AC97 audio interface; and LAN on-board. The MX4BS comes with three PCI slots and a uATX form factor (244mm x 244mm), while the AX4BS comes with five PCI slots and an ATX form factor (305mm x 220mm).
The MX4BS has an estimated street price of $139 USD -- the AX4BS $149 USD. Both boards fully support ACPI 1.0 and APM 1.2 specs, come bundled with Norton Anti-Virus 2001 software, and feature AOpen's standard three-year warranty. They are available through all authorized AOpen channel partners.
More information about AOpen, AOpen Products, services, and business partners is available on the World Wide Web at:

Aug 28 - 459 Million People Have Internet Access Worldwide. Nielsen//NetRatings, the world's fastest growing Internet audience measurement service, today released its Second Quarter 2001 Global Internet Trends report on Internet access and penetration, estimating that a total of 459 million people now have home-based Internet access around the world.
The Q2 results show an increase over Q1 of 30 million people worldwide with home-based Internet access.
The report measures the Internet populations in 30 countries in North America, Europe/the Middle East/Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. With the addition of Argentina, India, South Africa and Israel this quarter, Nielsen//NetRatings now measures 93% of the estimated global home-based Internet access.
In Q2, the US and Canada accounted for 40% of the world's Internet population, down slightly from 41% in Q1. Europe/the Middle East/Africa remained static with 27% of the world's Internet population, followed by Asia/Pacific with 22%, up from 20% in Q1, and followed by Latin America, also static at 4%.
The Q2 Global Internet Trends report also found substantial opportunities in the global PC consumer market.
"In terms of penetration levels, about 65% of households with telephones in South Korea, Sweden and Australia have PCs at home," said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "It is interesting that a number of well developed European markets are way behind these levels: Germany with 48%, UK with 46%, Italy with 41% and France with 34%. Because of their relatively large population bases and their high disposable incomes these markets present a great opportunity for PC manufacturers in the consumer market. Through increased marketing efforts they should be able to lift the penetration rates of these countries up to at least 50%, generating about 18 million sales."
Goosey also noted that a number of other European and Asia/Pacific markets present similarly strong growth opportunities while the developing markets of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, with their low percentage of households with home PCs, have a long way to go to catch up. "Global PC manufacturers face considerable challenges relating to product differentiation through marketing, distribution channels and the equity of their brands in each market," he said. "But at the other end of that challenge is the opportunity to increase sales by millions of units at a time when the US PC market is leveling off."
For more information, please visit

Aug 27 - Intel Launches Pentium 4 Processor At 2 GHz. Intel Corporation today introduced the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor at 2 gigahertz (GHz) -- or two billion cycles per second -- crossing a key technology milestone and extending the PC's ability to meet evolving user requirements for today and the future. Computer makers worldwide launched systems today based on the new Pentium 4 processor and on other Intel technologies.
"The rapid ramping of technology and industry support for the Pentium 4 processor reflect the strength of the underlying architecture and the headroom it provides for the demands of new and evolving usage models," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "The combination of Intel processor and platform technologies and industry innovation provides the foundation for the next decade of desktop computing."
Intel and more than 40 software vendors and computer manufacturers demonstrated a range of new applications and products optimized for the Pentium 4 processor for both consumers and business users. The company also highlighted key Intel platform elements, including today's high performance 850 chipset and the upcoming low-cost 845 chipset that deliver the performance of Pentium 4 processor-based systems across all mainstream price points. These are enabling computer makers to offer a variety of Pentium 4 processor-based systems, ranging from the highest-end configurations to systems under $1,000.
Systems based on the Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz can create and share digital media up to 81 percent faster than a computer with a Pentium III processor at 1 GHz. The Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz also enables business users to increase productivity more than 50 percent compared to a Pentium III processor at 1 GHz, especially in multitasking environments where background tasks like virus checking, encryption and file compression increase the processor workload.
Platforms based on the Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz feature many of Intel's latest technologies, including the high performance 850 chipset. The Intel 850 chipset's dual RDRAM* memory banks complement the Pentium 4 processor's 400 MHz system bus, handling up to 3.2 gigabytes of data per second. For computer makers and system integrators, Intel also announced availability of two desktop boards today, the "ATX" Intel Desktop Board D850MV and the smaller "Micro-ATX" Intel Desktop Board D850MD.
Intel also previewed its upcoming 845 chipset. The new SDRAM-based 845 platform will provide key cost reductions and greater user choice, enabling a new, high volume mainstream platform for business.
The Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz is the world's highest-performance desktop processor as measured by the SPEC CPU* 2000 benchmark. The Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz delivers the world's highest desktop processor score on SPECint*_base2000, with a score of 640. In addition, the Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz delivers a SPECfp*_base2000 score of 704. For more information on Pentium 4 processor performance, visit

Pricing and Availability

The Pentium 4 processor at 2 GHz is manufactured on Intel's high-volume, 0.18-micron process technology, and is available now. In 1,000-unit quantities, the 2 GHz version is priced at $562; Intel also launched a 1.9 GHz version priced at $375. Intel is shipping boxed Intel Pentium 4 processors up to 2 GHz to distributors and system builders worldwide.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

Aug 27 - ATI Introduces MOBILITY RADEON 7500 - World's Fastest Mobile Graphics Processor. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT), the world's number one notebook graphics vendor, today unveiled the MOBILITY(TM) RADEON(TM) 7500, ATI's next-generation mobile graphics processor and the most powerful, feature-rich mobile solution in the world.
The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 delivers almost twice the performance of its nearest competitor on a range of industry standard benchmark tests, according to a study by Inquest Market Research(1). MOBILITY RADEON 7500 is also the first mobile GPU (graphics processor unit) to support 128-bit DDR (double data rate) memory - double the current standard and, therefore, dramatically raising the bar for notebook 3D performance.
When operated in power-saving mode using ATI's ground-breaking POWERPLAY(TM) voltage and frequency scaling technology, the new chip consumes less than half a watt in a light usage scenario. ATI's unique POWERPLAY technology, which further refines ATI's industry-leading power management technology, produces the lowest power consumption levels in typical 2D, 3D and DVD (digital versatile disc) modes. For example, POWERPLAY extends DVD playback on battery power by up to 25 percent, enabling, for example, full playback of feature-length movies. POWERPLAY modulates clock speeds and voltage settings automatically when users switch between AC (alternating current) and battery operation, and includes the option of user-selectable voltage/frequency scaling, which allows for maximum-performance even when running off battery power.
"The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 is an unprecedented leap forward in mobile graphics performance, video features and power saving technology," said Phil Eisler, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Integrated Business Unit, ATI Technologies Inc. "With ATI's POWERPLAY technology, notebook users with the MOBILITY RADEON 7500 will now be able to enjoy extended battery life when watching DVDs, playing 3D games or working in Microsoft Office."
MOBILITY RADEON 7500 also extends ATI's leadership in integrating key mobile features and components directly into the graphics processor. This saves ATI's OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers vital motherboard space, while reducing power consumption and cost, contributing to thinner and lighter designs with the highest available performance. MOBILITY RADEON 7500 incorporates an integrated TV-out encoder, TMDS (transmission minimized differential signaling) transmitter for connection of DVI (digital video interface) flat panels, iDCT (inverse discrete cosine transform) and motion compensation as well as spread spectrum. MOBILITY RADEON 7500 is available with up to 32MB integrated memory and 64MB external DDR memory.
Visit ATI's Web site at

Aug 27 - AMD Announces Support for Microsoft Windows XP. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced, in conjunction with Microsoft's release to manufacturing of Windows(R) XP, support for Windows XP on AMD Athlon(TM) and AMD Duron(TM) processor-based systems. AMD collaborated with Microsoft during the development of the Windows XP operating system including the new versions of Windows Media Encoder and DirectX. AMD has provided systems and support for specific processor optimizations to enable Microsoft to maximize the digital media experience end users can receive from AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processor-based systems. Furthermore, AMD and Microsoft are working together on go-to-market plans targeted at computer users in the office and at home through a variety of channels.
Microsoft Windows XP is well suited to take advantage of the award-winning AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processor families, particularly when using digital media, such as audio, video, photo and entertainment software. Microsoft Windows XP, the new version of Windows due out this fall, is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 engine and features exciting applications that offer PC users new ways to create, connect, and communicate with digital sophistication.
"The multimedia processing capabilities of the AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processors will provide a great basis for the digital experience," said John Frederiksen, General Manager of PC Experience, Microsoft Corporation. "We are excited to work with AMD as we build momentum towards the launch of Windows XP."
"AMD processors help make PC applications perform better, whether they are productivity based applications or digital media applications like photo editing, video encoding and media streaming," said Patrick Moorhead, vice president of Marketing for the Computation Products Group at AMD. "Systems using AMD Athlon and AMD Duron processors with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional will provide an outstanding user experience."
In its 32-year history, AMD has shipped more than 175 million PC processors worldwide. One out of five PCs sold worldwide to consumers and small- medium-sized businesses worldwide is powered by an AMD processor. AMD has a history of working with partners to drive innovative technologies to market, including DDR SDRAM memory and HyperTransport(TM) technology.
For more AMD product information, visit

Aug 27 - Plextor Introduces Ultra Portable 8/8/24 USB 2.0 CD-RW Drive. Plextor(R) Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today announced the immediate availability of the portable PlexWriter(TM) 8/8/24U CD-RW drive. The PlexWriter 8/8/24U is lightweight, compact -- almost pocketsize -- and connects via Universal Serial Bus (USB) to any laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac). Recording and storing music, archiving digital photographs, and copying files on the road has never been easier.
The external drive features 8X CD-Write, 8X CD-Rewrite, and 24X-max CD-Read, making it one of the fastest portable CD-RW drives available on the market today. Housed in a highly stylish yet durable silver-and-blue enclosure case, the portable drive measures just 5.55-inches by .87-inches by 6.73-inches and weighs only 1.10-lbs. The drive is also labeled with the Hi-Speed USB(TM) logo, which allows consumers to verify that the product they are buying has passed the USB 2.0 compliance program instituted by the USB Implementers Forum.
With the new PlexWriter 8/8/24U drive, both business "road warriors" and consumers on the move can now record custom CDs or backup files from any USB-enabled computer located anywhere. With plug and play simplicity and the convenience of hot-plug/unplug capabilities, this portable CD-RW drive makes transferring and storing data much faster and easier from any location.
"The PlexWriter 8/8/24U is one of the most exciting CD-RW drives that Plextor has ever introduced," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "It is the very first portable drive to come from Plextor, yet it offers the same high quality and performance as other Plextor CD-RW drives. The PlexWriter 8/8/24U is also the first Plextor CD-RW to support the high-speed USB interface, which means that users can easily share a single drive among multiple PC and Apple Mac platforms for a highly cost effective data storage solution."
The portable PlexWriter 8/8/24U CD-RW drive with Universal Serial Bus interface is currently shipping to OEMs, resellers, and distributors with a $289 manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP). For more information visit

Aug 26 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering $150 mail-in rebates on in-store AMD processor desktop packages, $100 mail-in rebates on all advertised notebooks, and 12 month no interest financing on all Pentium 4 desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering $100 instant rebates on all desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot has no store-wide sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering no payments or interest for 6 months on purchases over $499.

Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price. We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate, however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 800 MHz complete system
Circuit City
Best Pentium III System
HP 1 GHz complete system
Best Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2 GHz build-to-order complete system
Best Buy
Best Duron System
Compaq 900 MHz complete system
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1.3 GHz DDR complete system
Best Buy
Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Celeron with DVD
Best Buy
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium III 1 GHz with DVD
Circuit City

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.


[ Previous Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]


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