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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

February 24-28 2002

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
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 top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
Feb 28 Intel Demos Future Processors at IDF
Feb 28 AMD Affirms First Quarter Guidance
Feb 28 Timex Watch to Feature Speedpass System
Feb 28 AMD Announces SuSE Linux Support for Hammer Processor
Feb 27 AMD Demonstrates Next-Generation `Hammer' Processor
Feb 27 Intel Unveils New XScale Network Processors
Feb 27 Conexant Announces Bluetooth-Enabled Digital Camera Platform
Feb 27 Fujitsu Unveils World's Smallest Touch Screen Notebook
Feb 27 AOL Selects Inktomi Personal Edge to "Speed" Web Content
Feb 27 Dexxa Recalls a Speaker 80 Model
Feb 26 Samsung 19-Inch TFT-LCD Sets New Standard on the Desktop
Feb 26 Eurologic Systems To Demonstrate Serial ATA Storage Technology
Feb 26 Samsung RDRAM Has Highest PC Bandwidth
Feb 26 Alias/Wavefront Announces Free Use of 3D Computer Graphics Engine
Feb 26 1394 Trade Association to Show Latest PC Storage Technology
Feb 25 IBM Creates World's Fastest Semiconductor Circuits
Feb 25 Sony's Vision for the Future of Photography is ``All Digital''
Feb 25 Adobe Introduces Photoshop 7.0
Feb 25 Minolta’s DiMAGE Digital Camera Line Offers Something for Everyone
Feb 24 Sunday Shopping Watch

 
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Feb 28 - Intel Demos Future Processors at IDF. Intel Corporation today highlighted innovative new technologies that will deliver better experiences for users of desktop computers, mobile PCs and wireless computing devices.

The technologies include Intel's next generation desktop processor and the forthcoming mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor -- M, along with details of 2.5 and 3G communications processors for wireless devices.

Intel executives, in remarks at the Intel Developer Forum, Spring 2002, also outlined the progress of several industry initiatives such as 3GIO, a high speed interconnection technology between devices within the computer; the Intel(R) Personal Client Architecture (PCA) developer network, a support network for wireless developers; and a new Mobility Enabling Program, designed to enhance the future of mobile PCs.

Desktop PCs: the Digital Home

In remarks to the developer community, Louis Burns, vice president and co-general manager, Desktop Platforms Group disclosed plans for Intel's upcoming desktop processor, code-named Prescott. The processor, slated for 2003, is Intel's next generation processor based on the Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) microarchitecture. Prescott will, among other things, include Hyper-Threading technology, an Intel technology that allows operating systems to view a single physical processor as if it were two, significantly increasing platform performance. Additionally, Burns demonstrated a Pentium 4 processor running at clock rates up to 4 GHz.

"The Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor has become the desktop platform of choice for both consumers and business," said Burns. "Intel is driving a number of innovative technologies over the next year that will accelerate the digital convergence at home and continue to enhance our desktop platform capabilities, including higher performing processors and revolutionary new form factors."

Burns discussed technology that enables small form factor computer systems without comprising performance or scalability. He announced a new initiative to standardize form factors for systems based on 3GIO building blocks. Intel plans to support the 3GIO architecture across a wide range of product segments with initial silicon scheduled to be available in the second half of 2003.

Mobile PCs: On The Go

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager, Mobile Platforms Group, highlighted Intel's efforts in the mobile market and outlined the future of mobile PCs where secure wireless connectivity, high performance and increased battery life offer a variety of new usage models for consumer and business. He urged the industry to design technologies and mobile PCs that address and reinforce this vision and announced the Intel Mobility Enabling Program, an Intel-led initiative to bring the industry together to create guidelines for a new generation of mobile computers.

"Intel is leading the industry to support the Mobility Enabling Program," said Chandrasekher. "Together the industry can deliver exciting new platforms that meet the promise of anytime, anywhere computing and secure connectivity."

Additionally, Chandrasekher discussed technical benefits of the forthcoming mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor -- M and demonstrated the processor's performance with the first public demo of a soft decode of 1080i (HDTV quality) content on a notebook PC. While incorporating all the advanced technologies of its desktop counterpart, the mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor -- M 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.

Banias, the code name for Intel's next generation mobile processor architecture, will also incorporate these technologies along with other innovative features designed specifically for mobile computing. Banias will be available in the first half of 2003 and will be based on a new core chip design. Chandrasekher demonstrated a working sample of a chipset, code named Odem, designed for the mobile market segment, which will be introduced along with the Banias processor.

Wireless Devices: Anywhere, Anytime

Ron Smith, Intel senior vice president and general manager, Wireless Communications and Computing Group, focused developers' attention on Intel's wireless client product strategy. Intel's wireless products are built around three core technologies -- the Intel(R) XScale(TM) microarchitecture for applications processing, the Intel(R) Micro Signal Architecture for signal processing and Intel Wireless Flash Memory. These technologies are optimized for higher performance and lower power consumption for users of wireless devices. These technologies are the key ingredients of the Intel(R) Personal Internet Client Architecture, Intel's development blueprint for designing wireless handheld communication products that combine voice communications and Internet access capabilities.

Future wireless technology from Intel will integrate communications functions, outstanding processing power and leadership memory features onto a single "Wireless Internet on a Chip," -- the foundation for Intel's GSM/GPRS (2.5G) and WCDMA (3G) communications processors currently under development. Intel has a 3G communications processor test chip in its labs and will be introducing a 2.5G version based on the Wireless Internet on a Chip technology later this year.

"Our next-generation technology will provide new levels of performance at low levels of power to enable a class of wireless Internet applications that will help drive the next wave of growth for the wireless industry," said Smith.
For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Feb 28 - AMD Affirms First Quarter Guidance. Robert Rivet, senior vice president and chief financial officer of AMD (NYSE:AMD), said today that AMD continues to expect that sales in the first quarter of 2002 will be in the range of $900 million, which would result in a small net loss for the quarter.

Rivet said he expects that sales of AMD PC processors will be in line with seasonal patterns for the first quarter. He also said that the company remains on track to return to profitability in the second quarter and to achieve profitability for the year as a whole.

Rivet spoke at the Robertson-Stephens conference in San Francisco, California. Information about AMD is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at www.amd.com.

Feb 28 - Timex Watch to Feature Speedpass System. New technology may soon allow you to carry your wallet on your wrist, and purchase everything from gas at the pump to fries at McDonald's simply by waving your watch. It will mean the ultimate in convenience, without the need to carry cash or credit cards.

Just released in test, the new Speedpass(TM) Timex watch looks and functions just like a regular watch. But -- shades of Dick Tracy --inside the timepiece is a miniature Speedpass radio frequency transponder that is capable of allowing customers to instantly pay for purchases at Exxon and Mobil gasoline stations nationwide and at over 400 Chicagoland McDonald's restaurants. The new watches will be tested in the Chicago area over the next two months.

Today, most Speedpass customers use a miniature device that attaches to a key chain. The new Speedpass-enabled watch gives customers a hands-free option that allows them to pay for purchases by simply waving their watch in front of an electronic reader located at the pump, the checkout counter or the drive through.

"Timex is committed to the philosophy of helpful innovation through watch advancements that truly make life a little easier, a little less complicated," stated Phil Brzezinski, director of advanced products at Timex. "We are equally committed to working with the best technology partners. The new Timex watch with Speedpass is an excellent example of a watch where those two strategies come together to benefit the consumer."

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) research reports that more than 92 percent of the 5 million people who use Speedpass devices are highly satisfied with the technology. First introduced in 1996 at the fuel pumps of Mobil-branded service stations, Speedpass is now accepted at over 7,000 Exxon- and Mobil-branded service stations and 400 Chicagoland McDonald's. Drug, grocery and video chains may also soon be equipped with the Speedpass system.

Feb 28 - AMD Announces SuSE Linux Support for Hammer Processor. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that SuSE Linux AG, one of the world's leading providers of the Linux operating system, has submitted enhancements to the official Linux kernel to support AMD's x86-64 instruction set. The Linux kernel is the fundamental source code upon which all Linux operating systems are based.

AMD's next-generation processor, code-named "Hammer", is designed to provide unprecedented levels of performance for both 32-bit and 64-bit software applications. "Hammer" processor-based systems will grant business and home users the benefit of long-term investment protection as these systems are designed to enable seamless transition from a 32-bit to 64-bit environment. AMD expects to begin shipping the first version of the "Hammer" family of processors at the end of 2002.

SuSE Linux AG has been the primary developer working to add support of AMD's x86-64 technology to the Linux kernel, Linux development tools, and other Linux software. AMD expects the changes to be incorporated into Linux's retail operating systems based on the Linux kernel version 2.6 or later.

"We are excited to be working with AMD to support their next-generation processors based on the x86-64 technology. We have reached an important milestone today towards the future availability of 64-bit Linux operating systems on the `Hammer' platform," said Andreas Jaegar, lead project manager, SuSE Linux AG.

"With support for AMD's future processors in the official Linux tree, Linux users everywhere will appreciate being able to run their native x86-64 applications and their existing 32-bit x86 applications," said Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux.

More information on SuSE Linux can be found at http://www.suse.com.

Feb 27 - AMD Demonstrates Next-Generation `Hammer' Processor. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today demonstrated their vision of the future of computing with their next-generation processor, codenamed "Hammer."

"Great architectures are built on strong foundations, and 'Hammer' is rock solid. Based on AMD's x86-64 technology, the 'Hammer' processor will be the industry's first and only 64-bit processor for x86 computing, and is designed to offer unparalleled performance on both 32-bit and 64-bit software," said Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group. "Beyond performance, 'Hammer' will give users a smooth migration path to the 64-bit software of tomorrow, all the while preserving the billions of dollars of today's 32-bit software applications."

"Hammer" processors are expected to be AMD's first x86 processors to have a fully integrated DDR memory controller and "Hammer" processor-based solutions are expected to be the first to incorporate a full HyperTransport(tm) technology-based chipset. Both technology advancements help remove bottlenecks and speed the flow of information through the PC. The "Hammer" processor family will also be extremely versatile, with processor versions planned to power systems from thin-and-light notebooks to 8-way enterprise servers.

AMD's demonstration featured "Hammer" running both a 64-bit Linux and 32-bit Microsoft(R) Windows(R) operating system. The AMD "Hammer" processors were manufactured on 0.13 micron, Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology, which together enable higher performance and lower power consumption.

"'Hammer' remains true to AMD's traditions. We're innovating within industry standards, innovating with compatibility, and innovating with users in mind," said Fred Weber, chief technical officer of the Computation Products Group of AMD. "Because it is based on the long-established x86 instruction set architecture, software developers, engineers and IT personnel don't have to start over from scratch."

AMD expects to begin shipping the first version of the "Hammer" family of processors at the end of 2002. For more AMD product information, visit www.amd.com.

Feb 27 - Intel Unveils New XScale Network Processors. Intel Unveils New XScale Network Processors. Intel Corporation today unveiled a family of network processors and a processor for networked storage application based on the advanced Intel(R) XScale(TM) technology.
Combined with the recent introduction of Intel XScale core-based processors for handheld communications devices, today's announcement demonstrates the versatility of Intel's XScale technology.

The new Intel XScale technology-based products include the industry's broadest line of network processors, which are up to 16 times faster than previous offerings. The network processors are designed for applications extending from the home and office to service providers' central switching office. Intel also unveiled an integrated I/O processor, boasting more than twice the speed of previous Intel I/O processors, aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of designing networked storage devices.

"These products combine the best Intel has to offer -- the performance and low power of the Intel XScale cores, Intel's advanced manufacturing processes, the broadest ecosystem support in the industry, and the advanced feature sets that equipment makers are demanding," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Communications Group.

The new family includes the Intel(R) IXP2800 network processor for network core applications, such as ultrahigh-speed switch/routers; the Intel(R) IXP2400 network processor for multiservice switches and similar equipment at the network edge; and the Intel(R) IXP425 network processor for equipment that brings digital subscriber line (DSL), cable Internet service and wireless networking to homes and offices.

The common thread in the new products is the Intel XScale technology, which combines high performance and programming flexibility so developers can add powerful features, with reduced power consumption so products will not overheat in densely packed equipment racks. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Feb 27 - Conexant Announces World's First Bluetooth-Enabled Digital Camera Platform. Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNXT), a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions for communications applications, today announced that it is demonstrating the industry's first Bluetooth(TM)-enabled digital still camera platform this week at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) conference in Orlando, Fla.

The company's comprehensive solution combines a camera processor, baseband controller and Bluetooth radio, plus all necessary firmware for capturing and wirelessly transmitting images from digital still cameras to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as personal computers, mobile phones, PDAs and printers. This dramatically simplifies the sharing and printing of digital photographs.

Standards-based Bluetooth connectivity for digital cameras promises to eliminate the need for costly and proprietary camera docking stations for personal computers, as well as opening up a whole new world of connectivity to non-PC devices for viewing, communicating and printing digital pictures.

"The Internet continues to transform the way people capture, store and share digital images," said John Gerard, director of marketing for Conexant's Digital Imaging Group. "Conexant is leading the way with Bluetooth-enabled solutions that provide the new direction for image transfer using cellular handsets, digital still cameras, personal digital assistants and other wireless devices."

During the demonstration, images captured on Conexant's Raptor II CX11637 Bluetooth-enabled digital still camera platform are transferred using Conexant's CX81400 baseband controller and CX72303 Bluetooth radio, and connected to Lumero's FotoConnected(R) MediaShare technology for viewing. Lumero's software will deliver the resulting images to any type of display device connected to the Internet through any wired or wireless standard. To learn more, visit www.conexant.com.

Feb 27 - Fujitsu Unveils World's Smallest Touch Screen Notebook. Fujitsu PC Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today announced the release of its newest addition to the LifeBook notebook line with the LifeBook(R) P-1000.
The LifeBook P-1000 is the smallest touch screen notebook PC available and is designed to support special-purpose applications, such as healthcare, and sales and field-force automation. To further enable these high-mobility users, the LifeBook P-1000 offers outstanding battery life and wireless LAN capability.

The LifeBook P-1000 increases customer choice by offering a full Windows PC-based solution at pricing comparable to Windows CE-based notebooks. With the LifeBook P-1000 and the LifeBook B Series, Fujitsu now offers two touch screen-enabled notebook PCs to meet diverse customer pricing and functionality requirements. The LifeBook P-1000 is a single-spindle design that measures only 9.1 inches wide by 6.2 inches deep by 1.36 inches high and weighs only 2.2 pounds.

Despite its compact form factor the LifeBook P-1000 features an 8.9-inch wide-format XGA TFT display with a touch screen. This combination of a 15:9 aspect ratio display and Fujitsu's touch screen technology provides users with the maximum viewing area and a unique method to navigate and to easily access and update data.
Increasing its functionality, Fujitsu's new ultra-light LifeBook P-1000 will be one of the first notebooks in its class to offer integrated WiFi(TM)-compliant wireless LAN capabilities (IEEE 802.11b), allowing users to stay connected in the field and office. Users have the option of a built-in modem and wireless LAN option or built-in modem and integrated 10/100 base-Tx Ethernet.

"The new LifeBook P-1000 reaffirms Fujitsu's commitment to our customers who require touch screen capability for their productivity applications," said Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing for Fujitsu PC Corporation. "More companies than ever before are enlisting the services of technology to automate their everyday business activities. We are confident this new addition will provide the functionality and portability required in this consistently expanding environment."

Like Fujitsu's LifeBook P Series P-2000, the LifeBook P-1000 also incorporates the services of a Crusoe(TM) processor from Transmeta Corporation (NASDAQ: TMTA). (The LifeBook P-2000, winner of COMDEX Fall 2001's Best Notebook and Best of Show awards, is the world's smallest, full-featured notebook PC incorporating a built-in combo drive.)
The notebook is powered by Transmeta's 700MHz Crusoe TM5500 Processor with LongRun(TM) Power Management specifically designed to save energy while still providing full processing power in battery-mode. The LifeBook P-1000 offers users two different battery configurations, including the standard main Lithium ion battery for up to 4.5 hours of battery life or high-capacity main battery increasing computing life up to 9 hours.

The LifeBook P-1000 will ship at the end of February in two recommended configurations and is also available via Fujitsu's Configure To Order (CTO) program. With an estimated street price starting at $1,499, the mini-notebook will be initially offered through Fujitsu's reseller channel. Fujitsu can be found online at www.fujitsu.com.

Feb 27 - AOL Selects Inktomi Personal Edge to "Speed" Web Content. Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq:INKT), developer of scalable network infrastructure software, today announced Inktomi(R) Personal Edge(TM), new software that extends Inktomi's leading infrastructure technology to the desktop for accelerated Web performance over the last mile.

AOL has selected Personal Edge to provide AOL members with substantial performance enhancements. With this software, service providers and enterprises can significantly speed the delivery of Web content over the last mile to their end users. An independent test has proven that Personal Edge software speeds the delivery of Web pages by more than 30 percent.
With Web performance ranked as the number one consumer priority in selecting or retaining an ISP, the new Inktomi software enables service providers to compete more effectively by reducing customer churn, increasing the profitability of their existing customers and extending the life of their last-mile network investments.

"AOL has selected Inktomi Personal Edge as part of our continued commitment to deliver the best online experience for AOL's community of more than 33 million members worldwide," said Mark Muehl, vice president for Internet Operations at AOL.
"AOL has already been independently measured as having the fastest Web performance in the online industry, and Inktomi's innovative Personal Edge technology will even further enhance our members' online experience in this key area. Internal testing of Inktomi Personal Edge on the America Online service has demonstrated more than 30 percent acceleration in display times for Web content, and we look forward to offering this optimized performance to our worldwide community of members."

While broadband usage continues to grow, analysts predict that more than 50 percent of all Internet users will still be accessing the Internet via a dial-up connection in 2005. Keynote Systems recently reported that the average time for dial-up users to access the 40 top consumer sites has increased by almost seven seconds since 1999, to an average of more than 21 seconds today.
Web performance problems are not unique to dial-up users as broadband users can experience slowdowns resulting from network over-subscriptions and satellite users must contend with the inherent latency of satellite distribution. Personal Edge software is designed to overcome the last-mile bottleneck for dial-up, broadband, satellite and enterprise users.

The Inktomi Personal Edge suite consists of the following components:

-- Personal Edge Agent: Works with the Web browser to speed up static and dynamic Web page delivery through intelligent caching at the desktop that is coordinated with a parent cache located in the network. (Note that this caching (copying) of Web pages will use up space on your hard drive and will actually slow your system down unless you go back to view a page again. --Ed)

-- Personal Edge Page Server: Limits the amount of data transmitted to a user by sending only updated information in response to subsequent requests for a Web page.

-- Personal Edge Extension: Provides the communication link between a Traffic Server parent cache and the other Personal Edge components.

For more information on Personal Edge, visit: www.inktomi.com/products/cns/personal_edge.html.

Feb 27 - Dexxa Recalls a Speaker 80 Model. Dexxa are recalling Dexxa Speaker 80, with model number M/N S-LL8. The model number is found on a sticker at the rear of the main speaker unit:

Defective wiring inside the product may pose a risk of electric shock or fire.

Please disconnect this product from the electricity supply and from your computer.

To arrange the return of this product with a full refund, please telephone:

+49 0800 1 860 508

Please note that only Dexxa 80 speakers with the above model number are affected. Dexxa 80 Speaker with any other model number are NOT affected and should not be returned.

Further information on this recall, including pictures of the product involved, can be found at: www.dexxaweb.com.

Feb 26 - Samsung 19-Inch TFT-LCD Sets New Standard on the Desktop. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. today announced the availability of a 19-inch high-resolution SXGA (1,280 by 1,024 pixels), Patterned Vertical Alignment(TM) (PVA) TFT-LCD display that it is positioning as the next-generation desktop standard for high-end PCs.

PVA technology provides Samsung's new 19-inch TFT-LCD display with a high contrast ratio of 500:1; an enhanced brightness of 250 nits; a fast 25ms response time, capable of running full-frame-rate video; and a wide 170-degree conical viewing angle for easy readability.

Samsung's plans to market the new 19-inch PVA TFT-LCD display as the next-generation desktop standard for high-end PCs and expects the availability of the new display to increase the company's lead in the TFT-LCD market. This will enable the company to achieve its goal of selling 200,000 19-inch PVA TFT-LCDs in 2002 and 500,000 units in 2003. Samsung's extensive manufacturing capacity enables the company to produce nine 19-inch TFT-LCDs from a single substrate on its fifth-generation production line.

(PVA) Technology Samsung's patented Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA) TFT-LCD display technology has its liquid crystal molecules aligned at 90 degrees vertically to the electrodes. The passage of an electric field deflects the molecules off-vertical, producing the required image. The deflection required for this is much less than that required for traditional LCDs, allowing faster operation. This results in a display with a higher contrast ratio, a wider viewing angle, and a faster response time that allows it to run full-frame-rate video.

Samsung officials forecast that the new 19-inch TFT-LCD display will accelerate the industry trend towards standardization of flat-panel TFT-LCD displays for PC desktop use, a movement driven by TFT-LCD displays' much smaller bulk, lighter weight, lower power consumption and lower heat generation, than that of CRT displays commonly in use today.

With a 23 percent overall market share, Samsung is the world's leading producer of large TFT-LCD displays. The company has more than a 60 percent market share of 17-inch TFT-LCD displays and has been the industry's leading large panel display manufacturer since 1998.

In 1997, Samsung introduced the industry's first 17-inch TFT-LCD display, which succeeded the 15-inch TFT-LCD as the desktop display standard. The company recently introduced the world's first 40-inch TFT-LCD television display and continues to lead the industry in TFT-LCD technology. Samsung offers the most extensive TFT-LCD display product portfolio which spans the entire range from 1.8-inch to 40-inch.
For more information, please visit : www.samsungusa.com/semiconductors.

Feb 26 - Eurologic Systems To Demonstrate Serial ATA Storage Technology . Eurologic(TM) Systems, a leading worldwide provider of network storage solutions for the vertical, channel and server markets, is continuing to advance the development, co-validation and marketing of high-quality, Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (S-ATA) network storage solutions for the enterprise and departmental-level markets and will be demonstrating these technologies at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CA.

Early feedback from customers on the technology further validates the belief shared by Eurologic and Intel - that S-ATA solutions will deliver the performance and cost advantage that the market is demanding. Eurologic is continuing to work closely to integrate S-ATA I/O building block technologies from Intel into Eurologic's cutting-edge storage systems technology.

"We are seeing that S-ATA is set to create a new value point for the market, providing advanced-level capabilities at a new price point "Said Ken Claffey, Product Manager for Eurologic Systems. "By offering customers a comprehensive feature set at a significantly lower cost, S-ATA will enable customers to choose the storage solution that is most appropriate for their application and market. At this stage and in the coming months the industry will need to work together to support the development of this technology through to the delivery of fully functional S-ATA based solutions."

About Serial ATA

A high performance storage connectivity interface, Serial ATA will have initial transfer rates of up to 1.5Gb/sec with future plans to support a 6Gb/sec transfer rate. In addition, Serial ATA delivers a number of new features and improvements, including thinner and longer cabling, better cable connections, lower power requirements, and lower pin counts.

"The shared vision of Eurologic and Intel will bring to the market a S-ATA solution that combines value with performance" Said Scott Goble, Intel's Director of Advanced Development. "We will continue to work with the industry to ensure our customers have a clear time to market advantage with tested and validated solutions, at an attractive price point." Eurologic and Intel will demonstrate S-ATA technology at the Intel Developer Forum, to be held in San Francisco, California, from February 25-28.
For more information, visit Eurologic's web site at www.eurologic.com.

Feb 26 - Samsung RDRAM Has Highest PC Bandwidth. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., the world leader in advanced technology semiconductor memory, announced today it is supplying the RDRAM(R) devices to demonstrate RIMM(TM) 4200, the world's highest bandwidth PC memory module, at the Intel Developers Forum in the Rambus booth #404.

The RIMM 4200 module integrates two RDRAM memory channels to deliver 4.2GB/s of memory bandwidth from a single module. Using standard RDRAM components, RIMM 4200 modules operate with existing RDRAM controllers and enable single module upgrades of dual channel memory systems. As both memory channels are upgraded at the same time, RIMM 4200 modules provide a very simple and straightforward way to increase the memory capacity of an RDRAM-based PC.

"As the leading provider of RDRAM solutions, Samsung is the first to produce the next speed bin of current production RDRAM devices running at 1066 MHz," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "This, in combination with the dual channel RIMM configuration, delivers the highest performance available to date from a single PC memory module."

"Once again Samsung demonstrates their technological leadership in the semiconductor memory arena with their 1066 MHz and 1200 MHz RDRAM which they are sampling right now," said Frank Fox, vice president of the RDRAM Solutions Division at Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS). "With Samsung's long-term support, RDRAM is clearly the memory technology of choice at forward-looking companies demanding optimum price-performance PC systems."
For more information, visit www.usa.samsungsemi.com.

Feb 26 - Alias/Wavefront Announces Free Use of 3D Computer Graphics Engine. Alias/Wavefront(TM), an SGI (NYSE:SGI) company and leader in 3D software for the entertainment and design markets, today announced that it has made available the Maya Personal Learning Edition(TM) which provides users of Microsoft(R) Windows(R) and Mac(R) OS X with free access to a personal-use, non-commercial version of its award-winning Maya(R). This 3D animation software, was used to produce visual effects and character animations in the Oscar nominated films Lord of the Rings, Pearl Harbor and Shrek.

Maya Personal Learning Edition gives 3D graphics and animation students, current industry professionals, and those interested in breaking into the world of computer graphics (CG) an opportunity to explore the award-winning Maya Complete(TM) software, in a non-commercial capacity. Current support for those using Maya Personal Learning Edition takes the form of a web-based resource center that provides access to learning materials, discussion forums, content exchanges where users can share work and download free sample files, and galleries in which Maya Personal Learning Edition users may exhibit their projects. The resource center also becomes available effective immediately at www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/ple/resource.

"A risk free way to learn Maya on my own? It's an incredible thought," enthuses Alias/Wavefront Ambassador, Mark Sylvester. "Making Maya easily and instantly available, with a full feature set, is a major step forward in our efforts to promote continuing education for the marketplace. Animators have precious little time on the job to expand their skills - now they can learn more about Maya at their convenience. Students can easily find out if a new media career could be in their future. I'm thrilled that there is finally a program that allows animation enthusiasts around the globe access to the world's most sought after 3D animation program, Maya."

Maya Personal Learning Edition

Maya Personal Learning Edition grants anyone with the desire to learn more about Maya, or 3D computer graphics in general, a free version of Maya for personal, non-commercial use. It is Alias/Wavefront's intention to enable users to renew their Maya Personal Learning Edition licenses annually. Those using the Personal Learning Edition will have full access to the toolsets of Maya Complete including NURBS modeling, animation, inverse kinematics, Maya Artisan(TM), Maya Paint Effects(TM), particles, dynamics and Maya's advanced rendering capabilities. Also included is the capability to author and preview interactive 3D content for Macromedia(R) Director(R) 8.5 Shockwave(R) Studio via special implementations of the Maya Shockwave 3D Exporter(TM) and the Maya Real-Time Author(TM).

Maya Personal Learning Edition users are contractually confined to personal, non-commercial applications; moreover, the display of a watermark on images and the use of a special non-commercial file format enforce these restrictions. Also, Maya Personal Learning Edition does not ship with the Maya API and cannot be used with standard plug-ins. Use of the software is restricted to personal, non-commercial applications only: educational institutions and training facilities should contact their local sales office for more information about Alias/Wavefront's academic programs or visit the "just for schools" section of the Alias/Wavefront website at www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/students.

Pricing and Availability

Maya Personal Learning Edition may be downloaded free of charge beginning today at www.aliaswavefront.com/freemaya. By the end of March, CD copies will be available from the Alias/Wavefront online store, www.aliaswavefrontstore.com at a cost of USD $5 plus shipping and handling.

Feb 26 - 1394 Trade Association to Show Latest PC Storage Technology. The 1394 Trade Association will provide demos of the latest FireWire technology in booth 122 at the Intel Developers' Forum in San Francisco's Moscone Center Feb. 25-28.

New storage products equipped with the IEEE 1394 standard, which is marketed as FireWire(TM) and i.LINK,(TM) will be on site. "Despite the current economic slowdown, the 1394 standard continues to make steady progress in the consumer electronics, PC and peripherals markets, with more new 1394-equipped products every month," said Trade Association Executive Director James Snider. New technical developments this year include the arrival of the 1394b version of the standard, with its 800 Megabit/second bandwidth and 100-meter distances, along with support for 1394 in the XP platform.

For more information, please visit the 1394 Trade Association web site at www.1394a.org.

Feb 25 - IBM Creates World's Fastest Semiconductor Circuits. In a keynote address here today, IBM announced it has created the world's fastest semiconductor circuit, operating at speeds of over 110 GigaHertz (GHz) and processing an electrical signal in 4.3 trillionths of a second.
The circuit was built using IBM's latest silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-making technology, extending basic silicon to speeds never thought possible. IBM is now making the technology, dubbed "SiGe 8HP," available to top-tier communications equipment makers to help increase the speed of today's networks.
The first chips built with the technology are expected to appear later this year.
"Many chip-makers are just starting to show they can build SiGe transistors, while we're into our fourth generation of the technology," said Dr. Bernard Meyerson, IBM Fellow and vice president of the IBM Communications Research and Development Center in his keynote address to the 2002 Compound Semiconductor Outlook Conference. "We're translating SiGe's benefits into real customer applications. With multiple SiGe technologies, a full suite of design tools, and a significantly expanded R&D operation, we have the resources to help anticipate and meet our customers communications requirements."
Sierra Monolithics, Inc. has been working with IBM on SiGe integrated circuit designs for a variety of communications applications since 1996 and will be one of the first companies to design circuits based on IBM's new technology.
"IBM continues to push Silicon Germanium technology to new levels," said David Rowe, co-founder and chief technology officer for Sierra Monolithics. "IBM's experience in reliable SiGe process technology and SMI's heritage in high-frequency analog mixed signal IC design, give us an edge in bringing products to market for incredibly high performance applications."
For more information on IBM products and services, visit: www.chips.ibm.com.

Feb 25 - Sony's Vision for the Future of Photography is ``All Digital''. Sony Electronics demonstrated its "all digital" vision for advancing the photography industry and put its entire line of digital cameras, camcorders, photo printers, and flat-panel LCDs on display here at the 2002 Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Exposition this week.

"All of us here at PMA share one overriding objective," said Greg Young, general manager of digital still camera marketing for Sony Electronics, as he spoke before the photography industry's largest gathering. "And that is to unleash imagination and spark the creative genius in everyone so that more people take more pictures more often."

Young pointed out that the massive consumer acceptance of digital cameras and camcorders has created new opportunities for the entire industry as people demand new ways to share, store, print and display their photographs.

Emerging Digital Lifestyles

The big difference between film and digital photography has to do with what Young called "emerging digital lifestyles" in which digital imaging is woven into the fabric of people's lives. During the presentation today, he demonstrated several untraditional avenues for displaying digital images, including Sony's CLIE(TM) handheld, an Xplod(TM) car stereo system, and the new line of WEGA(R) televisions -- calling them all "21st Century photo albums."

"Each has the ability to display crisp, clear, high-resolution digital images directly from media removed from digital cameras," Young said. "Digital imaging isn't a novelty anymore. It's a tool for making a very personal imprint with technology."

Print by Sony(TM)

One emerging opportunity Sony is focusing on this year is the demand for high-quality photo print alternatives. For consumers, the latest breed of Sony digital photo printers can "develop" and print digital photos in moments, without having to connect to a PC.

Four such Sony digital photo printers are on display at PMA 2002. The diminutive DPP-MP1, along with the DPP-SV55, DPP-SV77 and DPP-SV88 (with CD-R/RW) digital photo printers, all enable photographers to view, edit and enlarge images without connecting to a PC. These easy-to-use printers feature high-resolution dye sublimation technology, which helps create rich, borderless 4" x 6" and 3 1/2" x 4" bordered prints in about 90 seconds.

Digital Still Cameras

Among the other products being displayed here are Sony's new line of digital still cameras, including the Cyber-Shot(R), FD Mavica(R) and CD Mavica(R) cameras with the capability to take photographs with up to five megapixels of resolution, capture MPEG video, and easily connect to a television, desktop PC or laptop computer.

"Sony offers three different digital camera lines, which all offer their own benefits," Young said. "The CD Mavica product line in particular is a great option for those looking to step up to digital, because it conveniently burns digital photos directly onto a CD in the camera -- a relatively inexpensive and highly compatible digital medium."

Digital Camcorders

Sony is also showcasing its entire line of Handycam(R) digital camcorders at PMA, ranging from the popular MiniDV(TM) models to new MICROMV(TM) units that are small enough to fit in a coat pocket.

According to Young, "Sony's digital camcorders are designed with Worry-free(R) features, to make them easy for people to pick up and use. They also come with advanced digital effects, extended battery life and, on some models, wireless connectivity."

Sony can be found online at www.sony.com.

Feb 25 - Adobe Introduces Photoshop 7.0. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE), the leader in network publishing, today announced Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) 7.0, a major upgrade to the world's professional image editing standard. Photoshop 7.0 boasts an extensive set of new features that allow photographers, Web and graphic designers to work more efficiently, explore new creative options and produce the highest quality images for print, Web and other media. Native on Mac(R) OS X and Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP, Photoshop 7.0 provides enhanced multi-processor support and interoperability with other native Adobe applications.

Photoshop 7.0 software delivers a comprehensive toolset that helps users meet any creative or production challenge. The new Healing Brush revolutionizes the process of retouching images, effortlessly removing dust, scratches, blemishes and wrinkles, while automatically preserving shading, lighting, texture and other attributes. The new File Browser allows users to quickly locate, organize and visually manage images, as well as view EXIF information from digital cameras, including date captured, exposure settings, and associated metadata (such as creation and modification dates).

The creative tools in Photoshop 7.0 help design professionals generate compelling visual effects and stay ahead of the competition. A new painting engine lets users create custom brush presets, simulate techniques like pastels and charcoal, and add special effects such as grass and leaves, while the new Pattern Maker plug-in can create patterns such as rocks and sand. An enhanced Liquify plug-in provides even greater control over image warping with zoom, pan and multiple undo capabilities.

"Photoshop 7.0 does a beautiful job of building on the advances of previous versions to make 7.0 the most powerful, most amazing, and most useful release of Photoshop ever," said Scott Kelby, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. "The new Healing Brush may be the single coolest tool in Photoshop ever, and when you use it, all you can do is shake your head and say, 'How in the world does it do that?' It's that cool."

Including ImageReady(R) 7.0, the advanced Web component, Photoshop 7.0 provides new output enhancements so Web designers can apply extra compression to images while maintaining the quality of text and vector shape layers, as well as exercise greater control over how transparency is maintained online. New support for the WBMP format enables optimization for display on PDAs and other wireless devices. For interactive authoring, ImageReady software now allows all slices, rollovers, image maps and animations in one palette, and an expanded set of rollover types allows for the creation of more effective navigation bars.

To streamline the management and updating of large image libraries, Photoshop 7.0 integrates with Adobe AlterCast(R), Adobe's dynamic imaging server software. Photoshop 7.0 supports Adobe's XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform), an open framework that standardizes the creation and processing of content across publishing workflows. Photoshop 7.0 is also tightly integrated with Adobe Illustrator(R), Adobe InDesign(R), Adobe GoLive(R), Adobe LiveMotion(TM), Adobe Premiere(R), Adobe After Effects(R) and Adobe Acrobat(R).

Pricing and Availability

In the United States and Canada, Adobe Photoshop 7.0 will ship in the second quarter of 2002 for all platforms. The estimated street price is US $609. Registered users of earlier versions of Photoshop can upgrade to version 7.0 for the new reduced price of US $149. Upgrades from Adobe Photoshop Elements and Photoshop LE are available directly from Adobe for $499. Information about other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade and support policies for other countries, is available on Adobe's Web site at www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.

Feb 25 - Minolta’s DiMAGE Digital Camera Line Offers Something for Everyone. Minolta Corporation has a full line of digital cameras – the DiMAGE line – which provide superior image quality without compromise, and meet the varied demands of today’s consumers’ digital photography needs and budgets.

“These new digital cameras rely on the application of Minolta’s core competencies in superior autofocus technologies, light metering and exposure control, color metering, compact zoom lens design, digital image processing technology and ultra miniaturization.” said Jon Sienkiewicz, vice president, digital imaging products, Minolta Corporation’s Consumer Products Group. “From Minolta’s new stylish and ultra-compact DiMAGE X to the high resolution SLR-type DiMAGE 7 to the easy-to-use DiMAGE S404, there’s a camera available for every photographer at every budget.”

Minolta DiMAGE X

The new Minolta DiMAGE X is the smallest, lightest and thinnest digital camera in the world.* The unique design of the 3x optical zoom lens allows it to move, or “zoom,” vertically within the camera body. That means that when the lens moves from wide angle to telephoto, it always remains inside the camera body. The 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 37mm - 111mm on a 35mm camera, and with the incorporation of the DiMAGE X’s 2x digital zoom, the camera has up to a 6x seamless zooming capability.

Minolta DiMAGE S404

The new DiMAGE S404 is Minolta’s top-of-the-line compact digital camera, combining high quality images and automatic features which allows users to obtain the best photographic results with point-and-shoot design and easy camera operation.

Based on the popular design of the DiMAGE S304, the DiMAGE S404 features a 1/1.8-inch type CCD with 4.0-megapixel effective resolution. The camera incorporates a 4x zoom, all glass apochromatic Minolta GT LENS with anomalous dispersion (AD) glass for color accuracy and dual aspherical elements which, combined with a 2.2x digital zoom, provides a compact lens design with a wide image capture range.

Minolta DiMAGE 7 and DiMAGE 5

The DiMAGE 7 and DiMAGE 5 share Minolta’s new technological developments designed to provide high-quality images as well as a wide array of digital functions for creative photography. Many advanced features that were found only on high-end professional digital cameras are now offered at more affordable prices.

The award-winning DiMAGE 7, with 5.0 megapixel resolution (effective number of pixels), is equipped with a 2/3-inch type CCD with a total of 5.24 million pixels. The DiMAGE 5 features 3.2 megapixel resolution (effective number of pixels) based on a 1/1.8-type CCD with a total 3.34 million pixel resolution.

For more information, visit Minolta’s Web site located at www.minoltausa.com.

Feb 24 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Weekly Comparison. This Sunday prices fell back down on 1 GHz notebooks. Prices went down $200 from $1099 to $899.
Pentium 4 desktops went up about $100, the low-priced Celeron desktop stayed the same at $599, and Athlon XP desktops are again being advertised this Sunday.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

BestBuy.com is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase or you can get a $200 shopping spree if you sign up for 24 months of MSN. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing on all desktop computer purchases over $598 or 18 months of interest free financing on all notebooks $299 and up. Additionally, they are giving $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages.
Circuit City is advertising $100 mail-in rebates on all desktop complete packages and Intel processor notebooks. They are also giving away 1 year of free CompuServe with all notebook and desktop complete package purchases.
Office Depot is offering $100 mail-in rebates on all Pentium 4 desktop packages and Pentium III notebooks.
CompUSA has no ad this Sunday.
Staples is also giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
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 it.

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
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
$599
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.6 GHz complete system
$1199
Office Depot
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Sony 1.8 GHz complete system
$1399
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1700+ complete system
$1149
Best Buy
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2000+ build-to-order system with 17" monitor
$1439
Office Depot
Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1 GHz Celeron with DVD
$899
Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Sony AMD Athlon 4, 1.2 GHz with combo DVD/CD-RW
$1699
Best Buy

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of 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.

 

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