Feb 07 - NVIDIA Launches GeForce4 GPUs. NVIDIA®
Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today unveiled the all new GeForce4(TM)
family of Graphics Processor Units (GPUs), the fastest, most innovative
and powerful GPUs in the world. The GeForce4 GPU brings innovative
and performance leading technology to multiple markets, including
the desktop PC, the Mac and notebook computers.
People are changing the way they use computers,
stated Dr. Jon Peddie, President of Jon Peddie Research, the leading
market research company tracking multimedia and graphics technology.
With the introduction of the new iMac and the Sony Vaio MX
its easy to see what consumers want a flat screen
for brighter, sharper graphics; a digital interface to the electronic
world of MP3s, DVDs and other consumer electronics; and of course,
performance. The new GeForce4 GPUs are the engines of that emerging
This new family of GPUs delivers revolutionary new technologies,
Worlds Most Powerful Graphics Delivering
up to four times the performance over previous GeForce generations.
Accuview Antialiasing(TM) (AA) New and innovative AA technology
provides the best visual quality possible without a performance
nView(TM) Display Technology New display technology provides
the ultimate in multidisplay flexibility and user control.
This is the deepest, widest product announcement in NVIDIA
history, said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA.
Normally we attack one segment of the market at a time, but
with the GeForce4, we are launching, for the first time ever, revolutionary
new products at every price point of our desktop, mobile and Macintosh
In addition to bringing NVIDIA performance to
every market segment, the GeForce4 family is built around one of
the most exciting trends in the PC industry--flat panel-based multimedia
PCs, continued Huang. Whether corporate or consumer,
21st century PCs are now multi-display, multimedia devices, and
our Accuview Antialiasing and nView technologies are just two of
the GeForce4s innovative features that will drive this contemporary
revolution in PC functionality and performance.
The new GeForce4 family includes:
GeForce4 Ti 4600, 4400 and 4200 The GeForce4
Ti GPU is the first consumer GPU capable of driving complex geometries
and character animations. With its advanced nfiniteFXÔ Engine,
superior Accuview Antialiasing techniques, and flexible nView multidisplay
technology, the GeForce4 Ti GPU allows end users to experience radically
immersive graphical environments, complete with unique visual effects
and the most realistic, life-like images ever.
GeForce4 MX 460, 440 and 420 The GeForce4 MX GPU brings new
levels of graphics performance and display flexibility to the mainstream
desktop PC. By incorporating NVIDIAs innovative nView multidisplay
technology, highly efficient Lightspeed Memory Architecture
(LMA) II and advanced Accuview Antialiasing techniques, the GeForce4
MX GPU is the most feature-rich, cost-effective, highly integrated
GPU available for the mainstream market.
GeForce4 440 Go and 420 Go The mobile GeForce4 GPUs integrate
innovative power management techniques for unsurpassed battery life,
a Video Processing Engine and revolutionary antialiasing technology
for superior display quality, and an ultra efficient memory architecture
for the fastest computing experience ever realized on a mobile PC
Video games used to be a kind of step-child to film and live
TV, said David DeMartini, Executive Producer for Golfing Simulations
at Electronic Arts. Today, by delivering high-resolution,
high frame-rate, full scene antialiasing in a complete family of
GPUs, NVIDIA has provided us with the tools to deliver breakthrough
performance and image quality for the gaming industry. This helps
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2002 achieve a level of realism that rivals
film and video and gives the player the sense theyre in the
NVIDIAs GeForce4 family includes Lightspeed Memory Architecture
(LMA) II, an advanced 128-bit Double Data Rate (DDR) memory interface,
and other sophisticated memory enhancement technologies to double
available memory bandwidth and increase overall memory efficiency.
LMA II includes NVIDIAs second-generation Z-occlusion culling,
a hardware technique that pre-determines which objects in a scene
are visible to the eye, and which objects are hidden by other objects
in the scene. By only rendering the parts of the objects that are
visible to the eye, Z-occlusion culling maximizes memory bandwidth.
LMA II can also compress the values of distances between objects
that are stored in the GPU Z-buffer at a ratio of four to one, without
any degradation in accuracy. In addition, NVIDIAs LMA II features
four individually dedicated and optimized memory caches, known as
Quad CacheÔ, allowing for instant rendering pipeline access,
which can be reused and refreshed instantaneously.
Improve Your Image Quality
For the best possible performance, compatibility and visual quality
without the jaggies associated with objects rendered
with pixel based displays, the GeForce4 Ti features NVIDIAs
proprietary Accuview Antialiasing engine, which utilizes hardware-implemented,
high-resolution multisampling techniques, including 2x, 4x, Quincunx(TM)
and a new 4XS mode. This brand new Accuview Antialiasing engine
affords end users the greatest choice in AA modes and performance,
delivering up to five times the antialiased performance of previous
NVIDIA solutions. With its performance and quality, end users are
expected to run applications and games with Accuview Antialiasing
technology enabled all the time.
We were amazed at the new full screen antialiasing
of GeForce4, said Paul Olshen from Novalogic, the creators
of Comanche 4. For the first time ever, there is no perceptible
decrease in performance of the game with AA enabled. You get a far
better looking experience, especially on today's flat-panel displays.
Flexible Multidisplay Technology
NVIDIA has applied its unmatched software and hardware expertise
to create the most flexible multidisplay technology on the market.
Known as nView, NVIDIAs multidisplay technology supports arrangements
of CRTs, televisions, and digital flat panel displays that can be
combined to drastically increase a computers desktop workspace.
More than a multidisplay subsystem, nView incorporates built-in
attribute and performance tuning for each of the individual display
devices it supports. nViews smart and flexible interface has
built-in usability features to maximize productivity and minimize
set-up. Features such as hot key binding, smart Windows management
enhancements, and the ability to name and save up to 32 different
desktop configurations make nView the most advanced, flexible and
user-friendly multidisplay management system available.
OEM systems featuring GeForce4 MX are already shipping, with retail
board availability in the next two weeks. OEM systems featuring
GeForce4 Ti will be available in 60 days, with retail boards available
in 30 days. GeForce4-based notebook computers will be available
For more information on NVIDIAs GeForce4 series
of GPUs, visit www.nvidia.com.
Feb 07 - NVIDIA Ships World's
Fastest Mobile GPU. In conjunction with todays launch
of the Companys new GeForce4 family of Graphics Processing
Units (GPUs), NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) is pleased
to announce that the worlds fastest mobile GPU, the GeForce4
440 Go, is now available as a standard offering in the new Toshiba
Satellite 5005-S507 notebook.
The new Satellite 5005-S507 combines the power of
NVIDIAs breakthrough mobile 3D graphics performance with a
15-inch, high resolution, UXGA (1600x1200) personal theatre display;
on-board Harman/Kardon® high fidelity sound system with a built-in
subwoofer; S/PDIF Dolby® Digital Optical-Out for digital recording;
and a 5.1 Dolby Digital output for connection to home theater sound
systems. The Toshiba Satellite 5005-S507 notebook is available for
immediate online ordering from www.shoptoshiba.com and computer
retail outlets nationwide.
We are ecstatic to be the first major notebook
manufacturer to use NVIDIAs GeForce4 440 Go mobile GPU,
said Oscar Koenders, vice president of product marketing, Toshiba
CSG. We anticipate a huge demand for the Satellite 5005-S507,
largely in part to the GeForce4 440 Gos unprecedented features,
including the built-in Video Processing Engine, Accuview Antialiasing
technology, and stellar battery power management techniques. Clearly,
the GeForce4 440 Go provides both the power and performance that
mobile users have been demanding and has raised the bar in which
notebook computers must be compared.
NVIDIAs GeForce4 Go family of mobile GPUs (formerly
code-named NV17M) incorporate a variety of power saving techniques,
including voltage and frequency scaling, to maximize battery life
while providing optimal graphics performance. Dedicated hardware,
including an integrated Video Processing Engine (VPE), Accuview
Antialiasing engine, and an ultra efficient memory architecture,
ensure end users of the fastest computing experience ever realized
on a mobile PC platform. Available in different configurations including
a 64-bit and 128-bit memory interface and 16, 32, or 64MB frame
buffer memory, the GeForce4 Go family of mobile GPUs delivers gripping
graphics for all notebook PCs, ranging from thin-and-light sub-notebook
PCs to traditional desktop replacements.
The GeForce4 440 Go mobile GPU dramatically
raises the bar for notebook graphics performance, said Jeff
Fisher, vice president of worldwide sales for NVIDIA. Consumers
looking for the ultimate in portable PC functionality and performance
need look no further than Toshibas exciting and very innovative
The Toshiba Satellite 5005-S507 with 32MB frame buffer is available
now. Systems from other leading OEMs will be announced shortly.
For more information on NVIDIAs GeForce4 series
of GPUs, please visit www.nvidia.com.
Feb 07 - NVIDIA GeForce4
GPUs Power Next-Generation Graphics Boards. NVIDIA® Corporation
(Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced that the NVIDIA GeForce4(TM) family
of graphics processing units (GPUs) has secured design wins with
the industrys top PC OEMs and add-in card manufacturers. The
launch of the GeForce4 family of GPUs, the industrys first
simultaneous introduction of a complete, top-to-bottom product line-up
for the graphics board market, has been met with broad acceptance,
and ensures GeForce4 GPUs will power next-generation personal computer
systems and graphics boards.
In coming weeks, the following PC OEMs and add-in
card manufacturers will be offering products based on NVIDIA GeForce4
Compaq Computer Corporation
Toshiba Computer Systems Group
Add-in Card Manufacturers
The GeForce4 family marks the first time a
graphics semiconductor company has introduced a top-to-bottom product
family that will significantly improve the visual quality of applications
and the realism of animation and special effects for Compaq Presario
PC customers, said Brett Faulk, Director of Consumer Desktop
Product Marketing at Compaq Computer Corporation. The fact
that NVIDIA has increased performance and added cutting-edge features
by simultaneously delivering two new architectures is truly a testament
to their graphics expertise.
GeForce4 GPUs have redefined the graphics industry
by combining the unmatched performance NVIDIA is world-renowned
for with a new collection of technological innovations including
Accuview(TM) Antialiasing and NVIDIAs revolutionary nView(TM)
Multidisplay technology, said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president
of sales at NVIDIA. The roll-out of the GeForce4 family of
GPUs demonstrates that NVIDIA meets the challenge presented to it
as the technology and performance leader in 3D graphics.
The GeForce4 family of GPUs includes the GeForce4
Ti and GeForce4 MX GPUs. The GeForce4 Ti is the only performance
GPU capable of driving complex geometries and custom animations.
For more information on NVIDIAs GeForce4 series of GPUs, please
Feb 07 - AMD Acquires Alchemy
Semiconductor. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced that it will acquire
Alchemy Semiconductor, a privately held company that designs, develops,
and markets high-performance, low-power MIPS-based microprocessors
for personal connectivity devices such as personal digital assistants
(PDAs), web tablets, and portable and wired Internet access devices
and gateways. The acquisition is expected to be completed during
the first quarter of 2002.
"The market for Internet access devices and gateways
is one of our industry's great growth opportunities," said
Hector Ruiz, president and chief operating officer of AMD. "Today
our customers are looking to AMD for non-PC solutions in addition
to PC solutions for Internet access. AMD is one of the few companies
in the world with the experience, customer relationships, and intellectual
property to provide complete connectivity solutions for both PCs
"The founders of Alchemy have created some of
the most innovative and commercially successful processors in the
industry, including the Alpha and StrongARM processors," Ruiz
continued. "By joining forces, AMD and Alchemy can supply the
building blocks of connectivity --computing solutions from Alchemy
coupled with wired and wireless technologies and flash memory devices
from AMD. Alchemy's MIPS-based solutions provide the ideal combination
of high performance and low power for the Internet access device
market," said Ruiz.
"Today's combination is a validation of Alchemy
Semiconductor's technology, innovation, and business plan,"
said Jim Moore, chief executive officer of Alchemy Semiconductor.
"There is a great synergy between the customers, technologies,
and cultures of these two companies that makes AMD and Alchemy a
natural fit. This combination will allow Alchemy to continue its
strong growth trajectory while invigorating our business plan with
resources that only a large company like AMD can supply."
"OEMs are looking for high-performing, low-power
processors for their small-footprint, wireless Windows-powered devices,"
said Scott Horn, director, Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group
at Microsoft Corp. "The acquisition of Alchemy will help AMD
meet this demand, enabling them to provide embedded developers with
a compelling solution to power these next-generation smart devices."
AMD has established the Personal Connectivity Solutions
business unit to focus on products for non-PC connectivity devices.
Dr. William T. ("Billy") Edwards, is vice president and
general manager of the new business unit. Edwards previously served
as chief executive officer of Hesson Labs and as senior vice president
of Motorola. Edwards holds Ph.D, MS, and BE degrees in materials
science engineering, and a BS in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt
The founders of Alchemy Semiconductor include industry
veterans Rich Witek and Greg Hoeppner. Witek was the co-architect
of the Alpha processor and the architect of the StrongARM processor
while at Digital Equipment Corporation. Hoeppner was the implementation
lead for the Alpha processor and the site and engineering director
for the Austin, Texas, design center for Digital Equipment Corporation.
Both Witek and Hoeppner will join AMD, reporting directly to Edwards.
For more AMD news and product information, visit www.amd.com.
Alchemy Semiconductor can be found on the Web at www.alchemysemi.com.
Feb 07 - AT&T Offers "Unlimited"
Long Distance Calling. AT&T today announced AT&T Unlimited,
a revolutionary new way for consumers to use long distance.
This unique service enables AT&T residential long
distance subscribers to place an unlimited number of long distance
calls from home to all other AT&T residential long distance
customers in the United States and talk as long as they want, any
time they want - all for one low monthly fee of $19.95. All other
domestic direct-dialed calls they place are priced at just 7 cents
"Imagine the convenience of placing calls any
time you want without worrying about how long you talk or how much
it will cost," said Betsy Bernard, president and CEO of AT&T
Consumer. "With over 50 million subscribers and nationwide
availability, we're leveraging our strength to 'change the game'
in long distance service and provide our customers an innovative
offer that we're sure they will love."
AT&T Unlimited is not just another residential
long distance calling plan. Subscribers don't need to worry themselves
with pre-determined buckets of minutes, or with the time of day
or day of week that they call. There are no per-call charges, per-minute
charges, roaming charges or gimmicks like connection fees when calling
other AT&T residential subscribers. The plan's $19.95 monthly
fee simply includes all direct dialed calls placed from an AT&T
Unlimited customer's home telephone to the residential home phones
of any and all other AT&T residential long distance subscribers,
regardless of how long people talk.
"Since AT&T has over 50 million residential
long-distance customers, far more than any other company, there's
a fairly good chance that calls to your friends and relatives will
be included. And if they're not already AT&T residential customers,
just ask them to switch," said Bernard. "This is a great
way for our customers to stay in touch with the important people
in their lives, and talk about what really matters without worrying
about running up a big bill.
"We're creating the largest telephone calling
community in the nation, where membership has unlimited benefits,"
she added. "Consumers who make even a moderate number of long-distance
calls each month will be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere."
Later this year, AT&T will introduce a patent
pending service feature that automatically will inform AT&T
Unlimited callers when they're phoning other AT&T residential
customers at no additional charge.
AT&T Unlimited can be ordered immediately in all 50 states.
Due to billing issues and other reasons, consumers served by AT&T
Broadband telephony and some consumers served by independent telephone
companies will not be eligible to receive this offer. For more information
and to enroll, visit www.att.com.
Feb 06 - Fujifilm Introduces
Versatile FinePix 30i Digital Camera. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.,
Inc., the first manufacturer to pair MP3 digital audio technology
with a high-resolution digital camera, has announced that it is
bringing the FinePix 30i digital camera to the United States.
A hit in Europe and Asia, this wallet-size successor
to the noted FinePix 40i is one of the most versatile digital cameras
on the market, offering a choice of digital features:
-- Powerful CCD sensor - The FinePix 30i offers consumers
million effective pixel CCD (2.1 million total pixels)
vibrant, colorful prints of up to 8x10 inches.
-- Digital Picture Voice Annotation - Speaking into
built-in microphone, picture-takers can attach 30-second voice
notes to each photo, enabling picture-takers to further
enhance their memories with additional commentary.
-- MP3 Digital Music Player - In addition to taking
pictures, the FinePix 30i can perform like a portable MP3
player by allowing users to download and listen to near
CD-quality playback of their favorite MP3 files. The included
16MB SmartMedia(TM) card can store up to 20 minutes of music
while an optional 128 MB card can hold up to 160 minutes.
-- Multi-Purpose Remote Control - The enhanced, back-lit
control of the FinePix 30i lets users include themselves in
pictures, scroll through photos, and display the titles and
artist names of their favorite MP3 tracks.
-- Digital Audio Recording and Playback- The FinePix
record up to 33 minutes of audio on the bundled 16MB
SmartMedia card; 272 minutes on a 128MB card.
-- Digital Video with Sound - The FinePix 30i's digital
recorder can take up to 20-second bursts of AVI video with
sound, a nice feature for capturing that fleeting special
-- Videoconferencing - The FinePix 30i can double
as a PC-cam,
allowing consumers live face-time via computer with friends
and loved ones.
-- Extremely Compact - The camera measures a mere
3.3"W x 2.9"H x
1.2"D and weighs only 5.6 ounces without batteries.
"The introduction of the FinePix 40i was received
with great enthusiasm and showed the world the technological prowess
of Fujifilm," said Darin Pepple, Product Manager, Consumer
Digital Products, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "The FinePix
30i picks up where the FinePix 40i left off, bringing digital mulit-function
to a new level of performance and convenience."
The FinePix 30i will come bundled with two, high-powered,
rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, charger, 16MB
SmartMedia(TM) card, shoulder strap, USB cable and headphones with
remote control. Apple(R) QuickTime 5.0, VideoImpression(TM), RealJukebox(R)
2 Plus for Windows and MacMP3 for Macintosh(R) are also included.
The FinePix 30i will be available in April 2002 at
a price of $399. For more information on Fujifilm products, access
the Fujifilm USA Web site at www.fujifilm.com.
Feb 06 - Paramount and
EarthLink Join Forces to Create Startrek.net ISP. Paramount
Digital Entertainment and EarthLink (NASDAQ: ELNK) have joined forces
to create StarTrek.net powered by EarthLink, the universe's only
Star Trek-themed Internet access service (visit www.startrek.net).
Embracing Star Trek's huge popularity, the new service is designed
to provide fans with fast and dependable access to the Internet
and the Star Trek universe through themed dial-up and high-speed
The service launch is in conjunction with the premiere
season of UPN's ENTERPRISE, the fifth installment of the Star Trek
television series franchise.
Subscribers to StarTrek.net will receive the same
award-winning Internet access that EarthLink subscribers receive,
along with authentic Star Trek theming of their Internet access
software and browser, a StarTrek.net email address (i.e., email@example.com),
desktop customization options, and exclusive access to specially-created
Star Trek content -- all at no additional cost to EarthLink's regular
prices. StarTrek.net Internet access is offered in addition to the
existing and extremely popular StarTrek.com site, which remains
a free Web site.
StarTrek.net's Internet access provides users with
the following benefits:
Internet Service: Unlimited, fast and dependable Internet
access provided by EarthLink, priced the same as EarthLink's basic
offering, and featuring the highest level of award-winning service
provided to all EarthLink subscribers, including, EarthLink's 24/7
technical support, reliable email with EarthLink's spaminator anti-spam
service, Click-N-Build personal Web site building tools, and more.
Customized Access: A StarTrek.net email address, in addition to
an EarthLink email address, a Star Trek-themed version of EarthLink's
popular Personal Start PageSM subscriber portal, a themed browser
and email client, plus downloadable desktop customizations, including
backgrounds, sounds, icons, and more -- all working together to
provide an authentic Star Trek experience every time subscribers
connect to the Internet.
Exclusive Content: Regularly updated programming, including planned
"sneak peeks" at the Star Trek productions, in-depth interviews
with the cast and crew of ENTERPRISE and previous Star Trek series,
fictional documentaries about the Star Trek universe, news articles,
photos, videos, and more.
StarTrek.net powered by EarthLink, will be available
to consumers in the United States and Canada through both dial-up
and high-speed connections. Sign-up is available through various
channels, including Paramount's www.StarTrek.com
Web site, or by visiting www.StarTrek.net.
Feb 06 - UMC Reports 2001
Fourth Quarter Loss, Sees Better Days Ahead. United Microelectronics
Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TSE: 2303), (UMC) today reported a net loss
for the three-month period ended December 31, 2001, that narrowed
to NT$3.75 billion, mainly due to better-than-expected revenues
growth of 16.6 percent experienced in the period.
UMC Chairman & CEO Robert Tsao said: "2001
was a challenging year for UMC and the semiconductor industry in
general. For the first time, UMC posted a pre-tax loss since becoming
a dedicated foundry in 1995."
"As the economy slowed in 2001, our strategic
move to boost our exposure to the communications sector worked against
us with the fall-off in orders at UMC being further aggravated by
our increased exposure to this underperforming sector."
"Despite the overall grim picture in 2001, we
remain optimistic about the future of the foundry industry. We also
remain confident in UMC's ability to rise above its competition
in the long term. In order to ensure our future success, UMC has
stayed loyal to our goal of delivering the most advanced technologies
coupled with the world's finest service. In 2001, we saw great progress
in the delivery of the foundry industry's most advanced 0.13-micron
low-k/copper process technology. By year's end, we had engaged with
over 40 customers for this technology. We expect to see many of
their products entering production at UMC during the coming year.
Furthermore, we continued to strengthen our position as one of the
pioneers in the roll-out of 300-mm manufacturing with the qualification
of processes and products in our brand new 300-mm fab in the Tainan
"Our recent alliance with AMD is the first in
semiconductor history in which a premier foundry company joins forces
in a broad partnership with a leading integrated device manufacturer,"
said Tsao. "We expect the AMD & UMC collaboration will
set the example for success between pure-play foundries and leading
semiconductor manufacturers. Our respective customers around the
world will benefit as we join forces to develop leading-edge technology
and drive down manufacturing costs through rapid, cost-effective
implementation of the most advanced process technologies and manufacturing
"Despite the challenges of the last year, we
believe that the adjustments we have made in response to the current
conditions have made us even more competitive, and we constantly
embrace the challenge of bringing better foundry services to our
UMC can be found on the Web at www.umc.com.
Feb 06 - Satellite Television
'Pirate' Receives Ten Year Sentence. As a part of its continuing
battle against satellite signal "piracy", Pegasus Satellite
Television(SM) worked with state and local law enforcement agencies
in the arrest and conviction of a Dallas, GA, man on several piracy
The pirate had been going door-to-door, disguised
as a DIRECTV(R) employee, switching out subscribers' access cards.
The valid access cards were then reprogrammed and sold as hacked
cards. The pirate targeted subscribers throughout the rural areas
of Georgia during his campaign.
The man was charged in two Georgia courts on a total
of 19 counts, consisting of financial transaction card theft, computer
forgery, and theft by deception. The courts sentenced the pirate
to ten years' probation and to make a $20,000 payment. The payment
was paid on the date of sentencing and will be used to compensate
the victims of the crime spree and to pay various fines and surcharges.
Pegasus has hired a team of private investigators
to track leads, build cases and aid local law enforcement and state
law enforcement in the ongoing battle against satellite signal theft
in the satellite industry. Pegasus periodically conducts advertising
campaigns designed to educate consumers on the legal ramifications
of purchasing and/or using illegally modified access cards.
"Consumers should be made aware that neither
Pegasus nor DIRECTV have representatives that go door-to-door to
switch out access cards," said Scott Blank, Pegasus General
Counsel. "Our team of investigators and state and local law
enforcement are working hard to put an end to satellite signal theft."
Pegasus Satellite Television is a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Pegasus Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: PGTV) (www.pgtv.com)
and serves approximately 1.5 million direct broadcast satellite
(DBS) customers in 41 states.
Feb 05 - SOYO Ships SY-P41
Fire DRAGON Pentium 4 Motherboard. SOYO Computer, Inc. today
announced delivery of its stars and stripes-themed SY-P41 Fire DRAGON
motherboard for Intel Socket-478 CPUs to its worldwide network of
distributors and resellers.
This limited addition motherboard features a red,
white and blue color scheme, and a commitment from SOYO to donate
$5 of the sale of every motherboard to the American Red Cross 911
Disaster Relief Fund.
SOYO's Fire DRAGON with its fast 400MHz system bus,
and i845D chipset, enables Pentium 4 systems to use high-performance
DDR SDRAM memory to make PCs more affordable without sacrificing
In addition to DDR memory support, the Fire DRAGON
features an IEEE 1394 Firewire port; embedded IDE-RAID chip, which
provides RAID Levels 0 (data striping), Level 1 (disk mirroring)
or Levels 0+1; embedded CMI 8738 audio chip to provide six channels
on board sound,10/100 Ethernet controller manufactured by Intel,
and many advanced features for fine-tuning the motherboard.
SOYO also includes its "sigma box" line
of peripherals, which occupies a standard 3.5-inch drive bay for
easily connecting additional devices to the front of any system.
The box included with the Fire DRAGON motherboard
features an IEEE 1394 Firewire port, two extra USB ports, and a
Smart Card reader, which makes available the multitude of smart
card applications/functions such as data entry from cell phones,
secured transaction processing, and secure storage of private information.
Other Fire DRAGON features include an AGP Pro slot;
two 184-pin DDR SDRAM 2.5V DIMM sockets to support up to 2GBs of
memory, and six 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant).
The on board Ultra I/O Chip supports two RS-232 serial ports; one
parallel printer port; one FDD port, IrDA/FIR ports with optional
cable for transceiver, and four USB ports. The Fire DRAGON also
features Ultra DMA IDE ports, which support four independent channels
to accommodate eight IDE devices, including two for RAID.
SOYO has integrated many enhanced system management
capabilities and security features into the motherboard. Users can
customize the Fire DRAGON by adjusting the CPU, FSB, core voltage
& multiplier directly through the BIOS. Support is also included
for on-board hardware monitoring. Among the many hardware monitoring
functions are CPU fan speed and temperature monitoring; WOL (Wake
On LAN) function to simplify network management; software power-off
controls and remote and/or alarm power-on control.
Single board list price of the SY-P41 is $249 (U.S.).
SOYO's U.S. web site is at www.soyousa.com.
Feb 05 - Other World Computing
Introduces 60GB 2.5'' Portable Mac Firewire Drive. Other World
Computing (OWC), a leading provider of products and services for
the Macintosh marketplace, Monday introduced the OWC Mercury On-The-Go
60 gigabyte (GB), 2.5-inch portable Firewire drive -- the largest
2.5-inch portable Firewire storage solution available on the market.
The drive features an Oxford 911 chipset, a 60GB IBM
Travelstar drive and a maximum data transfer rate of 400 megabits
per second. The drive weighs less than 11 ounces and fits in the
palm of a hand.
"OWC is the first to market with a 60GB portable
Firewire storage solution, and we anticipate that the extra storage
capacity, combined with our Firewire drives' well-documented speeds,
will be well received by the market," said Larry O'Connor,
president and chief executive officer of OWC.
"We have tested our Firewire storage solutions
against drives from the industry's leading companies and have often
found that our drives are the fastest in the industry. Our simple
plug-and-play hardware makes it easier for anyone to upgrade their
PowerMacs or PowerBooks with portable Firewire technology."
OWC's Mercury On-The-Go 2.5-inch portable Firewire
storage solutions are available in a variety of speeds and with
different storage capacities, including the 20GB, 30GB and 40GB
drives at 4200 RPMs and 20GB, 48GB, and 60GB drives at 5400 RPMs.
Pricing for portable solutions begin at $199.97, and OWC also offers
a variety of OWC Mercury external Firewire storage solutions beginning
The new 60GB, 2.5-inch, 5400 RPM drive is available
exclusively from OWC at www.macsales.com
for $639.97. All drives come with a one-year warranty.
Feb 05 - RackSaver Builds
a 264 AMD Athlon MP Processor Supercomputer. RackSaver(TM) and
its partners are helping to push the knowledge envelope further
with a new supercomputer cluster for researchers in the fields of
planetary physics and astrophysics at the University of California,
Santa Cruz (UCSC).
The supercomputer, with processing power in excess
of 300 gigaflops, has been dubbed "UpsAnd" for the Upsilon
Andromedae Planetary System, a star orbited by three planets that
provided the first evidence that other solar systems like our own
exist elsewhere in the universe. "UpsAnd" will be used
to help UCSC scientists learn more about planets, stars and the
universe by modeling these systems on their new supercomputer.
The Supercomputer consists of 132 Linux based nodes
configured with 264 AMD Athlon(TM) MP processors, 132 gigabytes
of memory and nearly 8 terabytes of storage. Each node is connected
with Dolphin Interconnect's high-performance WulfKit, which includes
a 64Bit/66MHz SCI card and Scali high-performance MPI and Universe
cluster management software. Only the RackSaver RS-1132 chassis
allows for these specifications to be configured in a 19" 1U
rack-optimized server design.
With performance numbers exceeding 300 gigaflops,
"UpsAnd" ranks among the top 100 supercomputers in the
world, and currently is the most powerful high-performance supercluster
San Diego-based RackSaver has built to date.
"'UpsAnd' is the best example of the success
we've had building RackSaver supercomputer clusters integrated with
the Dolphin Wulfkit," said David Driggers, RackSaver(TM) CEO.
"UpsAnd" is also the most powerful cluster
to date using the Dolphin Wulfkit cluster interconnect. Despite
its substantial computing capacity, the system is contained in just
four standard server cabinets occupying about 24 square feet of
floor space, a major breakthrough for density and performance.
"UpsAnd" was specifically designed to specifications
provided by the UCSC researchers who will be using the supercomputer.
Principal investigator Gary Glatzmaier, a professor of the Earth
sciences at UCSC, computes three-dimensional simulations of the
convection and magnetic field generation in the fluid interiors
of the planets and starts. He produced the first self-consistent
simulation of the Earth's magnetic field, including spontaneous
"UpsAnd" will also be used to compute three-dimensional
models to study asteroid and planetary collisions. Other planned
projects include simulating supernovae explosions, modeling the
evolution of large-scale structure in the early universe, and studying
electromagnetic sound waves through turbulence in the atmosphere
"Critical, compute-intensive enterprise applications
such as those being designed at UC Santa Cruz require the reliability
and stability that an AMD Athlon(TM) MP processor-based system can
provide," said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing at AMD.
"UC Santa Cruz needed a supercomputer cluster that was configured
to its specifications, and through RackSaver(TM) was able to get
the performance they needed in a high-density, space-saving environment
designed with AMD Athlon MP processors."
"UpsAnd" can accomplish such high-level
computations in part because its architecture differs from other
cluster computers. In a typical cluster, the processors perform
parallel tasks to compress the amount of time needed to process
data. "UpsAnd's" 264 processors actually work together
to complete a single task, similar to the behavior of a true supercomputer.
"UpsAnd" is eight times more powerful than its "younger
brother," a 32-node Beowulf cluster delivered to UCSC in March
2001 by RackSaver Inc.
To learn more about RackSaver(TM) and its unique supercomputing
cluster solutions visit www.racksaver.com.
Feb 05 - Cray to Market
Cluster Solutions Using Dell PowerEdge Servers. Global supercomputer
leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) and Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced
a definitive agreement for Cray to market high-performance cluster
solutions and services worldwide using Dell PowerEdge servers.
A cluster is a group of independent computer systems
that work together as a unified computing resource.
The three-year, automatically renewable agreement,
effective immediately, calls for Cray to sell and provide direct
customer support for high-performance computing (HPC) solutions
that combine scalable, cost-effective Dell PowerEdge servers and
storage with value-added HPC technologies and services from Cray.
In addition to installation, maintenance and support,
Cray will offer services ranging from site planning, system integration
and training, to hardware and software customization. Cray will
market the Dell, Linux-based solutions alongside Cray's existing
HPC products and solutions. Through its High-Performance Computing
Clusters (HPCC) program also announced today, Dell will continue
to offer supercomputing capabilities through bundled cluster configurations
to help customers solve their computing challenges quickly and easily.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dell will provide
Cray with current and future Dell products, including a broad range
of networking and storage options; training; and support for Cray's
engineering and service organizations. Cray and Dell will meet as
needed to discuss requirements for specific sales opportunities,
and on a quarterly basis regarding potential enhancements to Dell's
cluster product roadmap.
"Our relationship with Dell fulfills the strategy
we announced in December 2001 to deliver cluster solutions through
Cray's new Professional Services organization," said Michael
P. Haydock, president and CEO of Cray. "Separately, Cray and
Dell discovered an important unmet need for high-quality, cost-effective
cluster solutions surrounded by deep HPC expertise. Through our
Cray T3E(tm) history, Cray has become one of the world's leading
experts at working with customers to make scalable, microprocessor-based
solutions successful," he added.
"Cray's selection of Dell PowerEdge servers is
another example of how industry-standard technology is pushing further
into the enterprise, and now handling a growing range of supercomputing
tasks," said Randy Groves, vice president of Dell's Enterprise
Systems Group. "This relationship promises to expand Dell's
market opportunity in high-performance computing by leveraging Cray's
unrivaled understanding of HPC markets, customers, applications
"This relationship will clearly delight enterprises
seeking production quality high-performance supercomputing at attractive
pricing," said Richard Partridge, vice president of Enterprise
Servers at D.H. Brown Associates. "Cray's HPC cluster solutions
will leverage the scalability expertise honed on its well-regarded
Cray T3E parallel systems. Using Dell's highly successful industry-standard
platforms, these high-performance clusters will offer customers
exciting new levels of cost-effective HPC computing."
Go to www.cray.com for
more information about the company. Information on Dell and its
products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.dell.com.
Feb 05 - GartnerG2 Says Europe's
Broadband Revolution is Still a Dream. GartnerG2, the business
research and advisory service from Gartner, today warned that the
broadband revolution in Europe is on hold.
Based on a new survey conducted across France, Germany
and the UK, it said that consumers are not prepared to pay a premium
for broadband. Unless prices come down dramatically, GartnerG2 predicts
that only 10 percent of households in France, Germany and the UK
will have broadband Internet access by 2005.
GartnerG2 said the broadband proposition faces a dilemma
that will not be solved easily. Although consumers are aware that
broadband offers faster Internet access, there is currently no 'must
have' application to convince the majority of consumers they need
broadband, let alone pay for content. According to the survey, fewer
than 10 percent of Internet households think broadband currently
provides good value. GartnerG2 stressed there are differences between
countries in Europe, and broadband penetration is lowest in countries
where the price is highest.
"The industry has assumed that broadband would
set consumers on fire," said Adam Daum, Vice President and
Chief Analyst at GartnerG2. "However, speed alone is not enough:
there must also be attractive broadband content." He added,
"In the absence of good content, our research shows that consumers
are very price-sensitive. To achieve widespread adoption of broadband,
the price needs to fall from its current level of 45-60 Euros per
month to less than 30." This is a tough decision for European
telcos to make, however. If people switch from narrowband access
to broadband, telcos face a high level of cannibalisation of current
According to GartnerG2, most opportunities for broadband
are either niche or high risk. Teleworking, which is often cited
as an important potential market, remains niche according to GartnerG2.
Only five percent of working adults in the UK currently works from
home. Even with companies reviewing their security and travel arrangements
in light of 11 September, there are no clear signs that this is
increasing the number of people working from home.
Subject to regulatory approval, DSL service providers
could use their networks to deliver pay-TV and telephone services.
However, this requires significant investment and is also a risky
move because it puts DSL providers into head-on competition with
digital cable and satellite TV operators.
GartnerG2 says that three things must happen in order
to drive broadband adoption across Europe:
1. Attractive content: media companies need to develop
applications. Much of this will centre on entertainment, but
there is also an opportunity to use educational content to
help drive broadband into family households.
2. Try before you buy: consumers need to experience
before they commit themselves to regular monthly
subscriptions. Broadband ISPs could help kick-start the market
by providing high-speed connections to public-access locations
such as Internet cafes, libraries and schools.
3. Lower prices: the price differential between narrowband
broadband must be significantly reduced. Based on current
levels of price-sensitivity, broadband would have to be
offered at below 30 Euros per month to achieve widespread
GartnerG2 believes broadband will become a reality,
but it will be adopted more slowly than most people have predicted.
Attractive content will take time to develop, and issues of digital
rights management will need to be resolved. Broadband public access
terminals will help, but they are not a quick fix since less than
10 percent of Internet users access the Web from public locations.
Finally, telcos will be slow to reduce prices due to the cannibalisation
issue discussed earlier.
GartnerG2 is a research and advisory service from Gartner that helps
business leaders guide and grow their businesses. For more information,
visit www.GartnerG2.com .
Feb 05 - BAE SYSTEMS Launches
New Space Microprocessor Line. BAE SYSTEMS is now producing
the next-generation space computer microprocessor - the RAD750 (TM)
microprocessor - the most powerful radiation-hardened general-purpose
microprocessor ever developed, said Dale Hutchinson, Executive Vice
President for the Information & Electronic Warfare Systems unit.
"The processor has successfully passed manufacturing
and environmental testing and is ready for civil, military and commercial
satellite applications," Hutchinson added.
The RAD750 (TM) is a licensed, radiation-hardened
version of the PowerPC 750(TM). It has almost ten times the performance
of current space processors, said Laura Burcin, program manager
for BAE SYSTEMS Information & Electronic Warfare Systems in
The RAD750 advanced architecture and processing throughput
will allow a new generation of high-performance satellite payloads
to solve more intensive computing problems, while using fewer processors.
"BAE SYSTEMS' radiation hardening of the IBM
PowerPC (TM) for space applications is evidence of the processor's
versatility," said Scottie Ginn, vice president, Pervasive
Computing Business Line, IBM Microelectronics. "Their work
takes the processor to new heights, literally and figuratively."
The RAD750 architecture supports an industry-leading
240 million instructions per second (MIPS) and operates at speeds
of 133 MHz and greater. This feature increases onboard processing
capability while reducing the number of processors needed - saving
power, weight and cost.
The RAD750 is available on the 3U CompactPCI space
flight computer (SFC) board design, which was developed under contract
to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). A companion ASIC (Application
Specific Integrated Circuit), the Power PCI, was developed simultaneously
with the board, and provides the bridge between the CPU, main memory
and the PCI bus.
The RAD750 3U CompactPCI board provides the main computational
capability for a spacecraft. This SFC, combined with other I/O and
memory boards, forms the core of a powerful and compact spacecraft
avionics command and data handling system.
The microprocessor is a follow-on to the successful
RAD6000 processor, which currently supports customers in the defense
and scientific community. More than 100 RAD6000s are in orbit today
serving commercial telecommunications, military, and research and
exploration programs, including NASA's Mars Odyssey and Saturn Cassini
The RAD750's rigorous manufacturing testing included
more than one million manufacturing test vectors and complete board-level
testing. BAE SYSTEMS has also conducted temperature and voltage
characterization. Radiation qualification shows that the RAD750
will achieve a single event upset (SEU) hardness level of 1E-10
upsets/bit-day and a total ionizing of greater that 200Krads (Si).
That means a satellite in a geo-stationary earth orbit
(GEO) will, on average, experience only one upset every ten years.
To obtain additional information about BAE SYSTEMS, visit "What's
News" at www.iews.na.baesystems.com.
Feb 04 - ATI Introduces RADEON
8500LE Into Retail Lineup. ATI is refreshing its lineup of RADEON(TM)
graphics cards, bringing exclusive features and adding a shot of
adrenaline to the performance mainstream segment - at an unbeatable
ATI will now offer a retail graphics board featuring its RADEON(TM)
8500LE chip. Based on the award winning RADEON(TM) 8500, and priced
at an unprecedented $199, the RADEON 8500LE is the first and only
graphics card to bring full hardware DirectX(R) 8.1 support to mainstream
users, allowing them to enjoy the same leading-edge features and
effects previously the exclusive domain of enthusiasts.
The mainstream segment is generally defined by price point. Consumers
are eight times more likely to purchase a graphics card that costs
between $100 and $199, than a card that costs between $200 and $299(1).
"With graphics cards performing at levels unimaginable even
one year ago, quality-enhancing features are more important now
than ever," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President of Marketing
and General Manager of Desktop at ATI Technologies Inc. "We
are focused both internally, with our product teams, and externally,
with developers, to ensure that our products enable the best visual
and gaming experiences ever."
TRUFORM(TM), ATI's innovative rendering technology, takes models
in games and brings them to life - curving surfaces and smoothing
edges. SMARTSHADER(TM), ATI's programmable pixel and vertex shader
technology, handles multiple movement, color, lighting and position
functions within the GPU, freeing the CPU to concentrate on other
functions. SMOOTHVISION(TM), ATI's full-scene anti-aliasing feature
minimizes jagged edges and smoothes moving images, bringing an additional
level of realism to gaming.
Featuring 128MB of DDR memory, the RADEON 8500LE will show its true
capabilities when put up against today's GPU-taxing games. The future-readiness
of this card will mean that consumers can be confident that this
product will perform for them well into the future.
The RADEON 8500LE enables customers to fully enjoy leading-edge
games and applications. The features that were beyond mainstream
consumers' grasp are now readily available at a price that they
will be more willing and able to afford. ATI is bringing the richest
set of features into the performance mainstream segment, making
the RADEON 8500LE a very compelling product.
The RADEON 8500 will get a boost as well. It will now also feature
128 MB of DDR memory, increasing memory bandwidth capability and
making this card ready for whatever next-generation games throw
The RADEON 8500, capable of driving three displays simultaneously
through VGA, DVI-I and S-Video connectors, will maintain its suggested
retail price of $299, making this an excellent choice for consumers
that want extreme performance, unsurpassed features, superior quality
and future-readiness, at a very compelling price.
Rounding out the mainstream segment in ATI's lineup is the RADEON(TM)
7500, which is now offered at $149. The RADEON 7500, with its multiple-display
support, will attract users who want a broad range of features and
functions at an excellent price.
Both the RADEON 8500 (with 128MB) and RADEON 8500LE will be available
in March. The RADEON 8500 (with 64MB) and the RADEON 7500 are available
now. For more information on the RADEON family of products including
specific technologies featured, please visit www.ati.com.
Feb 04 - AMD and ASUS
Demonstrate Commitment to Commercial Market. AMD (NYSE:AMD)
today announced that AMD and ASUS Computer International have teamed
up to promote the AMD Assured(TM) Program for the North American
commercial market. ASUS, one of the world's leading motherboard
manufacturers, offers AMD Assured motherboards for system integrators
who build AMD processor-based commercial systems.
The AMD Assured Program is designed to help commercial
system builders identify AMD processor-based motherboards that provide
stability and long-term availability, enable planned technology
transitions, and offer standards-based manageability needed in commercial
systems. AMD Assured motherboards have passed AMD's manageability
and validation tests, and are available for use in commercial systems
powered by AMD processors, including the AMD Athlon(TM) XP and AMD
"The AMD Assured Program demonstrates AMD's continued
commitment to the commercial market, and helps provide a key building
block desired by IT managers and commercial customers," said
Tim Wright, director of desktop marketing at AMD. "The ASUS
A7V266-E/AA motherboard has many excellent features that meet the
standards required by commercial customers. In the future, we look
forward to having additional motherboards as part of the AMD Assured
Program to address other segments in the market."
"ASUS has a strong reputation of delivering outstanding,
high-quality motherboards," said Margaret Chen, sales director
of North America at ASUS Computer International. "Teamed with
AMD for the AMD Assured Program, ASUS will now offer our A7V266-E/AA
to meet the defined needs and requirements of the commercial market.
The ASUS A7V266-E/AA motherboard has passed AMD's stringent manageability
and validation tests, and is an excellent choice for systems used
in government, enterprise, and education segments."
AMD Assured motherboards comply with Microsoft's System
and Device Requirements 2.0, incorporate the essential management
elements of Wired for Management 2.0, and provide an interoperable
solution in any networked environment. In addition, the AMD Assured
Program requests motherboards be available in the market for at
least 12 months.
For more information about the AMD Assured Program,
including a list of motherboards that have met the "AMD Assured"
program requirements, please go to www.amd.com/assured.
Feb 04 - SONICblue Licenses
Patented Technology to Samsung Electronics. SONICblue(TM) Incorporated
(Nasdaq:SBLU), the Company at the cutting-edge of digital audio
and video technology, announced that it has granted Samsung Electronics
Company Ltd. a license allowing for SONICblue's patented Dual-Deck
technology to be incorporated into Samsung Electronics' DVD/VCR
SONICblue pioneered the Dual-Deck VCR and DVD/VCR
combination categories through its Go-Video brand, and is the holder
of many patents covering Dual-Deck technology, including VCR/VCR,
DVD/VCR, and DVD/DVR combination products. The company is seeking
licenses from additional consumer electronics companies planning
to market DVD/VCR and DVD/DVR combination products. Specific terms
of the Company's agreement with Samsung Electronics Company are
not being disclosed at this time.
SONICblue is committed to licensing its technology
and promoting widespread interest in the adoption of Dual-Deck technology
in new generations of consumer electronics products, and plans to
broaden its line of "dual" products to meet the demands
of today's technology-savvy consumers.
SONICblue Incorporated can be found on the Web at www.SONICblue.com.
Feb 03 - Sunday Shopping
This Sunday's 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 12 months of interest free financing
on all computer purchases over $598. Additionally, they are giving
$100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages and notebooks.
City is advertising $100
mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages, and 12 month no
interest financing on all desktop packages and notebook computers.
Office Depot is offering
no interest, no payment financing for 6 months on purchases over
$298. They are also offering 10% off all inkjet printers with in-store
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is giving away 1 year of free
MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering a free 15
inch monitor with any build-to-order Celeron processor system.
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by
almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not
have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon
XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features,
and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well
for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep
in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace
About Windows XP. It has been a little over
4 months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers.
Windows XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th.
For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's
Windows XP home page.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store
before you buy. 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
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
|Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz system with 17 inch monitor
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2 GHz build-to-order system with
17 inch monitor
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1700+ complete system
Best Buy, Circuit City
|Best High-end Athlon XP System
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.06 GHz Celeron with DVD
Best Buy, Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq AMD Athlon 4, 1.2 GHz with combo
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 should help
you make informed buying decisions.
Feb 01 - AMD and UMC to
Collaborate on 300-mm Wafer Fab. AMD and UMC today announced
a comprehensive alliance under which the two companies will establish
a joint venture to own and operate a state-of-the-art, 300-mm wafer
fabrication facility in Singapore for high-volume production of
PC processors and other logic products. AMD and UMC also announced
plans to collaborate in the development of advanced process technologies
for semiconductor logic products. AMD and UMC separately announced
a foundry agreement under which UMC will produce PC processors to
augment AMD's Dresden Fab 30 production capacity for devices produced
on 130-nanometer and smaller-geometry technology.
AMD and UMC will form a joint venture known as AU
Pte Ltd. to own and operate the Singapore facility. The two companies
expect to begin commercial production in the joint venture facility
on 65-nanometer technology in mid-2005.
"Today's agreement reflects an innovative response
to the tectonic shift that has changed the fundamental economics
of the worldwide semiconductor industry," said W.J. Sanders
III, chairman and chief executive officer of AMD. "The advent
of 300mm manufacturing ushers in a new era for the semiconductor
industry. Megafabs capable of producing complex semiconductor devices
in huge volume on advanced process technologies will deliver significant
economic benefits, but also entail significant investment that demands
efficient use of capital. In this new competitive environment, I
believe strategic alliances between leading companies will be the
wave of the future."
"This is the first agreement under which a premier
foundry company joins forces in a broadly unified partnership with
a leading integrated device manufacturer," said Robert Tsao,
chairman and chief executive officer of UMC. "I expect our
collaboration will set the example for success between pure-play
foundries and leading semiconductor manufacturers. In the emerging
arena of 300-mm manufacturing, the traditional boundaries between
these two types of companies will blur as we move toward closer
collaboration. Our respective customers around the world will benefit
as we join forces to develop leading-edge technology and drive down
manufacturing costs through rapid, cost-effective implementation
of the most advanced process technologies and manufacturing practices."
"It is time to revisit the basic business model
in the semiconductor industry," said Hector de J. Ruiz, president
and chief operating officer of AMD. "Flexibility and timing
are still the keys to success - but the way to optimize these has
"In the era of 300-mm manufacturing, flexibility
will be an increasingly important success metric. A 300-mm megafab
can achieve cost savings of substantially more than 30 percent compared
to today's 200-mm manufacturing facilities. The key to realizing
these savings, however, is creating the kind of operational flexibility
necessary to maximize utilization rates," said Ruiz. "By
joining forces with UMC, we expect to achieve utilization rates
that could become a benchmark for the industry."
Ruiz also said that the joint venture with UMC will
enable AMD to make the transition to 300-mm manufacturing at precisely
the right time. "One of the important benefits of working with
UMC on technology development is that we will gain immediate access
to an existing 300-mm wafer fab for R&D activities," said
Ruiz. "In the next few years, we expect to require substantial
additional production capacity. We believe the optimum time for
us to make the transition to high-volume production on 300-mm wafers
is in the mid-2005 time frame when we expect to be starting production
on the 65-nanometer node.
By working together with UMC on technology development
for 300-mm manufacturing, we expect to achieve a very smooth transition,"
Ruiz also cited a process technology development collaboration
between AMD and Motorola as a model for future joint efforts with
"Our activities with UMC will closely parallel
the way we have worked with Motorola," said Ruiz. "With
Motorola, we have shown we can maintain a leadership position in
critical process technology while controlling technology development
costs. The truly extraordinary results of our Fab 30 in Dresden
show that geographically distributed development teams can deliver
results that exceed our expectations, as well as those of our customers,"
AMD can be found on the web at www.amd.com.
UMC can be found on the web at www.umc.com.
Feb 01 - ATI's MOBILITY
RADEON 7500 Wins "Kick Ass Award". Powered by the world's most
powerful mobile graphics processor (www.inqst.com), ATI's MOBILITY(TM)
RADEON(TM) 7500, a new notebook PC has been awarded Maximum PC Magazine's
prestigious 'Kick Ass Product' designation. ATI Technologies Inc.
is the number one supplier of notebook graphics technology worldwide.
"The eyebrow-lifting feature of the Dell Inspiron
8100 is ATI's new MOBILITY RADEON 7500 with 64MB DDR RAM,"
wrote Gordon Mah Ung, Senior Editor, Maximum PC, in the February
2002 issue. "The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 stands as the fastest
graphics chip available..."
The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 delivers nearly twice the
performance of its closest competitor on Mad Onion's industry-standard
3DMark2001 benchmark test (www.extremetech.com). MOBILITY RADEON
7500 is also the first mobile GPU (graphics processing unit) to
support 128-bit DDR (double data rate) memory - double the current
standard and, therefore, dramatically raising the bar for notebook
ATI can be found on the Web at www.ati.com.
Feb 01 - Nextel Wireless Internet
Service Voted Best in U.S. Nextel customers rate its wireless
Internet access better than any other wireless carrier's customers
in the United States, according to a recent Cahners In-Stat/MDR
In its recent Wireless Internet Early Adapter Q3 2001
Customer Satisfaction Results, In-Stat/MDR reports that customers
of Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) and Nextel Partners
(NASDAQ:NXTP) rate the companies' wireless Internet service higher
than customers of Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless.
"We are pleased that our customers place such
value on our data network," said Tim Donahue, Nextel president
and chief executive officer. "We think it's the best 2.5G network
in the world, but it's even more important that our customers think
so. We know that it's not enough to offer a fast and reliable data
system, so we strive to offer applications that are meaningful to
In the study, In-Stat found that Nextel was rated
highest in key attributes that drive customer satisfaction in wireless
data: breadth of applications available, ease of use and quality
and reliability of service.
Nextel operates the only nationwide 2.5G packet data
network in the U.S. and has the highest percentage of wireless data
subscribers of any national carrier. Nextel launched its wireless
Internet service in 2000, and now has approximately 2 million wireless
subscribers on wireless data plans, which is about 20 percent of
Nextel's subscriber base.
"We provide meaningful wireless data business
applications on the Nextel National Network, and our customers have
responded," said Donahue. "We've turned Nextel phones
into a vital productivity tool, and enabled customers to conduct
business virtually anywhere work and life takes them."
"Our customers rely on us to help them conduct
business and stay in touch while on the go. We've worked hard to
anticipate their needs and exceed expectations," said John
Chapple, Nextel Partners president, CEO and chairman of the board.
"These results show the value of our differentiated product
- the only national `four-in-one' fully integrated solution across
the U.S. - and our continued dedication to 100 percent customer
satisfaction." For more information about Nextel, visit www.nextel.com.
In-Stat/MDR can be found on the Internet at www.instat.com.
Feb 01 - Handspring Treo
Communicator Ships in Singapore. Handspring, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAND)
today announced retail availability of the company's new integrated
wireless products, the Treo 180 and 180g, to customers in Singapore.
Treo is a compact communicator that combines the functions of a
mobile phone and a handheld computer with Web browsing and text
messaging. Treo can be purchased for SD 968.00 (with a two year
service plan) at SingTel retail locations and select IT stores.
"Singapore has always been on the cutting edge
of mobile technology and we believe the market will embrace such
a compact voice and data product," said Bill Holtzman, vice
president of international for Handspring. "We are pleased
to be working with SingTel, an established industry leader."
"SingTel is pleased to be Handspring's exclusive
partner in Singapore to offer the much anticipated integrated wireless
Treo at SingTel's hello! and pod outlets. We believe this sleek
device, which combines a mobile phone and PDA, will give a brand
new integrated communications experience to our mobile customers,"
said Ms. Ooi Lay Yong, SingTel's vice president of consumer sales.
Treo is currently available in two versions: the Treo
180, featuring a built-in keyboard for text input, and the Treo
180g for those who prefer Graffiti text input. The product is designed
for anyone who carries multiple mobile devices -- phones, pagers
or handheld computers -- and is looking for a way to simplify communications
with one powerful tool. Even for mobile professionals who rely only
on cell phones, Treo brings a greater level of usability, convenience
and value by adding a powerful organizer and advanced wireless data
applications while maintaining the compact size and weight of a
Handspring sells its Visor line of handheld computers
and Springboard expansion modules and accessories at www.handspring.com
and through select Internet and retail partners in the United States,
Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Middle East.
Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]