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Welcome to InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news by clicking on the link below. Previous computer news articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the right-hand column.
InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index Date (Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.) Mar 23 AMD Introduces 1.33GHz AMD Athlon Processor Mar 23 QPS Shows USB 2.0 Storage Products at CeBIT Mar 23 Xircom Launches Family of Bluetooth Wireless Access Products Mar 23 Toshiba announces New 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drive Family Mar 22 Cypress Ships High-Bandwidth QuadPort RAM Mar 22 Ericsson Introduces T39 GPRS Phone With Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology Mar 22 Dell, Samsung Electronics Enter $16 Billion Alliance Agreement Mar 22 AMD Announces Agreement With Wavecom to Develop Integrated Wireless Technology Mar 21 Intel ships 900 MHz Large Cache Xeon Processor Mar 21 Intel announces its PCA Wireless Internet Standard Mar 19 Sony announces new SuperSlim VAIO Notebook and Docking Station Mar 19 Boeing luanches Satellite for XM Satellite Radio Mar 18 Sunday Shopping Watch Mar 17 Rambus continues patent infringement litigation against DRAM manufacturers Mar 17 BrightCom Puts Intelligence Into Bluetooth Wireless Technology Mar 17 Findings Show Koreans the Keenest Internet Surfers in the World Mar 16 Fujitsu PC Corporation Introduces New High-Performance LifeBooks Mar 16 IBM eServer z900 Provides Energy Saving Alternative to Server Farms
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March 23 - AMD Introduces 1.33GHz AMD Athlon Processor. At CeBIT, AMD today announced its continued industry leadership position by introducing the 1.33GHz and 1.3GHz AMD Athlon processors.
AMD claims that 1.33GHz AMD Athlon(TM) processor-based platforms with Double Data Rate (DDR) memory outperform the Intel Pentium(R) 4 processor-based platforms by up to 40 percent on a variety of benchmarks, including video encoding, audio, video and image editing, and 3D modeling and animation.
Systems featuring AMD's newest processors are available now from leading U.S. manufacturers such as Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Company and micronpc.com, as well as from top manufacturers abroad, including German-based MAXDATA.
"With its innovative and intelligent core design, systems based on the AMD Athlon processor and DDR memory continue to surpass all competitive PC processor systems in overall performance," said Dirk Meyer, group vice president for AMD's Computation Products Group. "The 1.33GHz AMD Athlon processor, in conjunction with DDR memory technology, provides performance unrivaled by any Intel Pentium 4 processor-based platform available in the market today."
"With this addition to the Presario 7000Z family, consumers will discover thrilling overall system performance. The powerful combination of the 1.33GHz AMD Athlon processor and DDR memory offers unheralded levels of performance for power users who demand a realistic 3D experience, cutting-edge broadband technologies like streaming audio and video, and the ability to quickly create and edit professional quality videos," said Mark Vena, director, CTO Desktop Product Marketing, Compaq Consumer Group.
With the launch of the 1.33GHz and 1.3GHz AMD Athlon processors and the growth of a long-lasting, stable infrastructure for AMD Socket A processors, AMD continues to take advantage of new technology, like DDR memory. In October 2000, AMD launched the AMD-760(TM) chipset, the world's first commercially available DDR chipset for the PC platform. Since then, infrastructure for DDR has grown to include more than 50 different motherboards, either available or in development, based on four different chipsets from four different manufacturers, including AMD.
The 1.33GHz and 1.3GHz AMD Athlon processors are based on the Socket A infrastructure, giving commercial customers a stable and reliable platform to design standardized software images, lowering the total cost of ownership and setting the standard for unparalleled business productivity. Designed to provide tangible performance benefits for users who create digital content, perform engineering or scientific simulations, use 3D modeling, animation, and rendering applications, or carry out complex financial analysis, the 1.33GHz and 1.3GHz AMD Athlon processors give you the all-day, everyday computing power you need.
The 1.33GHz AMD Athlon processor, featuring a 266MHz front side bus, is priced at $350 in 1,000-unit quantities. The 1.3GHz AMD Athlon processor, featuring a 200MHz front side bus, is priced at $318 in 1,000-unit quantities. For more information on the AMD Athlon processor visit http://www.amd.com.
March 23 - QPS Shows USB 2.0 Storage Products at CeBIT. QPS, Inc. exhibited its USB 2.0 storage devices for the first time in Europe at CeBIT 2001 in Hanover, Germany.
The products included QPS Que!(TM) CD-RW, DVD-RAM and hard drives, including the Que! D2 Dual Drive (hard drive plus removable media drive). By adding the new USB industry standard connector to its product line, QPS offers PC users the fastest possible external storage devices. The first of the new USB 2.0 products will be available in April 2001.
"We are among the first to offer cutting-edge storage solutions incorporating USB 2.0," said Pierre Abboud, vice president of QPS.
"The development of peripherals using this standard will be an important issue this year." USB 2.0 will extend the speed of the peripheral-to-PC connection from 12 Mbits per second, on USB 1.1, to up to 480 Mbits per second --40 times faster than present capabilities. The higher bandwidth will support applications, such as digital image creation and Web publishing, where multiple high-speed peripherals are run at the same time.
QPS, Inc. can be found on the Web at www.qps-inc.com.
March 23 - Xircom Launches Family of Bluetooth Wireless Access Products. Xircom(R), an Intel(R) company and the leading provider of mobile information access solutions, today announced a complete line of Bluetooth(TM) access products that provide wireless synchronization between devices within a personal-area network (PAN).
Xircom will offer mobile professionals a breadth of Bluetooth access solutions within its popular product lines including the RealPort2(TM) Integrated PC card and CreditCard(TM) PC card. A USB Adapter model and SpringPort(TM) module for the Handspring(TM) Visor(TM) handheld will also be available later this year.
"Xircom is drawing upon its established expertise in the mobile information access market as one of the first companies to offer its customers a complete line of Bluetooth products," said Sharon Bosse, worldwide product manager for Bluetooth at Xircom. "These products will significantly simplify the lives of mobile professionals by providing cable-free, wireless synchronization of information between Bluetooth-enabled devices."
The Xircom family of Bluetooth products facilitates reliable data transfers between devices within a 32-foot (10m) radius, reducing the time spent connecting and synchronizing mobile devices. Using Xircom Bluetooth access products, mobile professionals can create a wireless PAN that travels with them and their devices, in the office, on the road and at home. Notebook PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones within a PAN workspace emit short-range radio signals that trigger links between Bluetooth devices to seamlessly communicate and synchronize information without cables.
RealPort2(TM) Integrated PC card
The flexible RealPort2 Integrated PC Card form factor offers integrated connectors that can be used alone or in conjunction with a variety of RealPort2 modules, including Ethernet, 56k modem and ISDN modem. This form factor, with completely integrated antenna, enables Bluetooth users to expand their options as wireless technology matures. The RealPort2 Bluetooth adapter has a suggested retail price of $159 and will be available in April.
CreditCard(TM) PC card
This easy-to-use, high-performance PC card is designed for computers with only one Type II PC card slot. Bluetooth capabilities in this form factor offer mobile professionals a simple, streamlined solution for wireless connectivity. Xircom's Bluetooth CreditCard will be available in May with a suggested retail price of $149.
USB Bluetooth Adapter
The Xircom USB Bluetooth Adapter extends the benefits of wireless communication to both mobile and desktop personal computers. The flexible design makes it easy to connect on the road, or set up on a desktop. All of the benefits of Bluetooth wireless technology can be attained wherever there is a USB port. The module will be available in Q3 2001.
SpringPort(TM) Module for the Handspring(TM) Visor(TM) Handheld
The Xircom SpringPort Bluetooth module fits into the SpringBoard slot of a Handspring Visor handheld, enabling users to synchronize with a PC and communicate with other Bluetooth devices without wires or cables. This module will be available in Q3 2001.
-- Eliminates the clutter of cables and expense of cable replacement
-- Provides automatic communication and seamless connections within a radius of 32 feet (10 meters)
-- Enables fast, easy access and data communication, at speeds up to 721 Kbps
-- Offers secure data transmission with built-in authentication and data encryption
-- Features proprietary BlueView(TM) software which streamlines the process of sharing data between devices and provides complete user control for Bluetooth device management
-- Increases employee productivity by providing real-time access to network materials
Visit www.xircom.com for more information.
March 23 - Toshiba announces New 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drive Family. Toshiba America Electronics Components (TAEC), Storage Device Division today announced its newest family of embedded compact 1.8-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) in 5GB and 10GB capacities.
These drives provide higher-capacity storage options for a range of notebook PC and non-PC applications.
"Our new generation of slim, rugged 1.8-inch HDDs puts storage in places where it has always been needed but never able to go -- it literally opens the door to a whole arena of options that no HDD has ever achieved," said Amy Lian, director of Toshiba's HDD business unit.
"With the right mixture of power consumption, shock tolerance and a compact footprint, this 1.8-inch HDD technology can be integrated into a wide variety of mobile and handheld products that require high-capacity and reliable storage, including Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), inboard computing systems, tablet computers and MP3s, just to name a few."
With a sleek design measuring in at 54 mm wide and 78.5 mm deep and weighing in at a mere 50 and 60 grams, Toshiba's new 5GB (MK5002MAL) and 10GB (MK1002GAH) HDDs have a smaller footprint than a credit card and are lighter than a traditional pager.Both the 5GB and 10GB HDDs interfaces are ATA-5 compliant to support high transfer rates of 66.7 megabytes per second and can withstand operational shock of up to 200g and non-operating shock of up to 1000g.
Toshiba's 5GB MK5002MAL and 10GB MK1002GAH HDDs are already in production and will begin shipping in April. For additional information visit www.sdd.toshiba.com.
March 22- Cypress Ships High-Bandwidth QuadPort RAM. Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE:CY) today announced the availability of production volumes of its 1 Mbit QuadPort(TM) RAM, the next-generation, bandwidth-optimized family of synchronous memories designed for applications in the wide-area and storage-attached networking (WAN and SAN) markets. The family was developed in conjuction with EMC, the world's leading provider of information storage infrastructure systems, for a new storage application.
The QuadPort RAM's four completely independent ports can simultaneously access its 1 Mbit (64K x 18-bit) memory array and operate in different frequency domains. Each port can write at 133 MHz, giving the device up to 9.6 Gbps of data throughput or bandwidth. The QuadPort RAM provides simultaneous access to the memory array by up to four separate processors, ASICs, complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs), physical layer transceivers (PHYs), or buses.
The 1 Mbit QuadPort RAM (CY7C0430V) is offered in a 272-ball BGA package measuring 27 mm x 27 mm with a 1.27 mm lead pitch. Production quantities are available now, priced at $98.00 in volumes of 10,000.
More information about Cypress is accessible on the company's World Wide Web site at www.cypress.com.
March 22 - Ericsson Introduces T39 GPRS Phone With Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology. Today, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) presented the T39, a small and attractive triple band mobile phone. It has GPRS for fast data transfer, Bluetooth(TM) wireless technology and advanced Personal Information Management (PIM) applications with calendar, contacts, tasks and a host of other innovative features.
The Ericsson T39 will be available on all GSM-markets in second quarter 2001. The T39 can be used on GSM 900/1800/1900 networks in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas - everywhere in the world where GSM frequency is prevalent.
The T39 supports General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and is one of the first mobile phones to offer the fastest available mobile Internet connection. Using the T39 built-in modem, users can enjoy 'always on' connectivity to the Mobile Internet, with instantaneous delivery of e-mail, high-speed Internet access and efficient mobile connections to corporate LANs.
With built-in Bluetooth wireless technology, the T39 communicates with a Bluetooth Headset, laptop, PDA or other device via a radio link instead of a cable. It is the future standard for wireless connectivity between devices and has been adopted by all the major computer and telecommunications companies. The breakthrough technology of the T39 gives it very strong performance with regards to stand-by and talk-times. The T39 has a standby time of up to 300 hours (12 days) and a talk time of up to 11 hours.
The T39 supports High Speed Data (HSCSD) a technology designed to bring the Internet to your T39 several times faster than a standard GSM connection. Its emergence along with GPRS means that mobile Internet behavior and usage patterns will change as large-file transfer become possible with a mobile phone.
PIM applications are exciting features built into the T39. They enable you to organize your contacts, calendar and tasks in a systematic way similar to that commonly used in computers. The advanced T39 calendar lets you store detailed information about appointments, attendees and tasks. The PIM applications can be effectively synchronized with a computer, laptop or PDA using the multi-connectivity options of T39.
The T39 has a WAP 1.2.1 browser giving you fast and secure access to thousands of informative and interactive Internet-based services. As well as using it to surf the growing number of WAP sites, you can also use it as a high-speed modem to connect your laptop or PDA to the web.
Ericsson can be found on the Web at www.ericsson.com.
March 22 - Dell, Samsung Electronics Enter $16 Billion Alliance Agreement. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced that they have entered into a strategic, multibillion dollar technology and research-and-development agreement. Terms of the $16 billion dollar global agreement call for Samsung to ensure supply of memory components, liquid-crystal displays (LCD), monitors and optical disk drives to Dell for use in the manufacture of its line of computer system products.
The companies also have agreed to collaborate on research and development efforts focused on providing Dell customers with world-class products at competitive prices.
In October 1999, Dell expanded its strategic relationship with Samsung to ensure a long-term supply of LCD panels used in notebook computers and flat-panel monitors.
"Samsung has consistently provided us with leading-edge technology for the array of products we customize and offer directly to our customers," said James T. Vanderslice, co-president and co-chief operating officer, Dell. "As we broaden our strategic relationship to also include research and development activities, we believe we are positioning ourselves to further extend our ability to meet the evolving needs of those customers."
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.dell.com.
March 22 - AMD Announces Agreement With Wavecom to Develop Integrated Wireless Technology. AMD (NYSE:AMD) and Wavecom SA today announced an agreement to develop an integrated wireless solution for the personal computer that will be designed to help enable worldwide wireless Internet access.
Based on Wavecom's WISMO technology and the AMD Athlon(tm) processor, both companies plan to develop GPRS-based communication technologies, based on the GSM standard, to make high-speed data and multimedia features available for wireless Internet connectivity.
GPRS, which stands for General Packet Radio Service, is an enhancement to the GSM mobile communications system that supports data packets at rates approximating those of hard-wired modems. Currently, GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is the cellular technology with the highest global coverage and the highest number of global subscribers.
"The need to transmit data digitally across great distances from any location is driving communications technologies in the PC environment like never before," said Mike Johnson, vice president of AMD's Advanced Architecture Lab. "AMD is excited to be using its microprocessor technologies with Wavecom's expertise in the GSM/GPRS arena. We look forward to developing communications solutions that will meet consumer communication needs and drive the platforms of the future."
"The increased demand for the integration of wireless functionality in a variety of devices and the rollout of GRPS infrastructure by the operators are making GPRS services more widely available and have created a market need for a new type of wireless architecture that supports more data centric applications. The collaboration between AMD and Wavecom is designed to result in a very cost effective solution that will support data services and address the end user needs," said Aram Hekimian, chief executive officer of Wavecom SA, based in Issy les Moulineaux.
AMD can be found on the Web at www.amd.com.
March 21 - Intel ships 900 MHz Large Cache Xeon Processor. Intel Corporation today announced it has begun shipments of its 900 MHz large cache Pentium® III Xeon™ processors.
Featuring 2 Megabytes (MB) of "on-die" level-two (L2) cache, the processors deliver new levels of performance for high-end, Intel-based server platforms based on 4 and 8-way multiprocessing systems.
More than a dozen server manufacturers worldwide, including Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett Packard, IBM, NEC, and Unisys, are expected to start shipping platforms using the new processor in the first half of 2001.
Depending on applications and configurations, the processor's increased frequency speed combined with its unique cache design boosts overall system performance up to 20 percent* when compared to existing Intel-based large cache platforms.
Servers, featuring the 700 MHz Pentium III Xeon processors, currently lead the world in raw performance verses systems based on other proprietary architectures. These systems hold the top four positions in transaction processing performance in the world as measured by the Transaction Processing Performance Council, benchmark C (TPC-C).
Intel's high-end Xeon processor family is specially designed to meet the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the server market segment. The 100 MHz system bus, faster clock speeds and larger cache configurations provide headroom for computation and I/O-intensive workloads. The 2 MB Advanced Transfer Cache memory with Advanced System Buffering increases the width of the data pathway to the processors and reduces cache latencies.
The processors are built using the SC330 cartridge, which enables server manufacturers to use existing server platform components for a faster time to market. On-cartridge voltage management and manageability features provide increased system reliability along with remote monitoring and system diagnostic capabilities.
Pricing and Availability The Pentium III Xeon processors at 900 MHz with 2 MB cache are priced at $3,692 in 1,000-unit quantities.
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
March 21 - Intel announces its PCA Wireless Internet Standard. Intel Corporation Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett yesterday outlined key issues the wireless communications industry must address in order to advance to the next growth cycle.
"The challenge in enabling the wireless Internet is to be able to deliver services to the customer across multiple devices," said Barrett. "The only feasible way to provide the same content in a variety of form factors is by relying on standard platforms and architectures."
In addition, wireless applications are currently based on a model that forces applications to be written specifically for each particular device, requiring them to be qualified for specific networks. This makes it difficult for handheld communications devices to share information with each other and slows the development of new applications and uses.
As one of Intel's four architectures for the Internet, the company has introduced the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA), a platform that allows different computing and communications equipment to work together seamlessly. Consisting of interchangeable hardware and software building blocks, the architecture enables wireless hardware and software solutions providers to offer a wide range of enhanced services across standards, generations and geographies.
By separating the communications and computing elements within a device, PCA provides a platform for quickly building new applications without having to qualify an entirely new communications device for deployment. PCA aims to put the power of thousands of individual software vendors behind creating new and innovative applications for wireless communications.
In a related announcement, Intel Corporation and IBM today announced that Intel has selected IBM as the premier provider of embedded software for its Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA) for wireless devices and other Internet appliances. The two companies will work together to deliver standards-based hardware and software solutions for next-generation, Internet-ready devices, targeting device manufacturers, application developers and carriers.
IBM will support Intel PCA by porting IBM's WebSphere Everyplace Suite Embedded Edition, which is cross-platform embedded middleware, and tools for devices to the Intel StrongARM processor and future processors based on Intel XScale™ microarchitecture. Intel will feature and distribute IBM's device middleware with its Intel PCA software developer kit and hardware reference design guide that will be issued to the industry later this year. Embedded middleware manages communications, enables content and service creation and provides secure, reliable transactions between a device and a backend server. Application developers are then free to create compelling applications across multiple devices more rapidly, with fewer bugs and a lower total cost of development.
"In the PC era, there was one predominant platform. Today, there are many different devices, and as everyday items from phones to cars to appliances are becoming more intelligent, open standards are crucial to ensure common interfaces, applications and services across them," said Michel Mayer, general manager of IBM's Pervasive Computing Group. "IBM will continue working with leading vendors, like Intel, so that our products support different platforms, including IBM's own PowerPC microprocessor."
IBM can be found on the Web at www.ibm.com.
March 19 - Sony announces new SuperSlim VAIO Notebook and Docking Station. Reinforcing its status as a bellwether brand and a trend-setter in design in the ultra-light notebook PC category, Sony Electronics is today announcing the incorporation of two firsts into its SuperSlim Pro(TM) VAIO(R) notebook PC line. The new PCG-R505 computer model features the fastest mobile processor available today in a super-thin design and the world's first combination DVD and CD-RW drive in a notebook PC docking station.
"We've revolutionized the design and redefined the capabilities of our 505 in a way that affords mobile executives the best notebook PC in the business," said Mark Hanson, vice president and general manager of VAIO PC Marketing for Sony Electronics. "We asked how we could enhance the travel, productivity and entertainment experience for PC users. Now, we're giving them what they wanted, which is significantly better battery life; multiple ports for efficient, cable-free connectivity; and all-in-one DVD and CD-RW capabilities for the first time in a micro-notebook."
Weighing just 3.75 lbs. and featuring a super-thin profile, the PCG-R505TS is the star of the R505 lineup. It features the fastest mobile processor available in an ultra-light notebook today -- the Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 850 Mhz with SpeedStep(TM) technology. It also offers the world's first combination DVD and CD-RW SlimDock(TM) docking station, which easily transforms the notebook into a versatile, adapter-free system capable of playing DVDs or recording music, images and data to a CD-RW disc in one easy click.
The SlimDock docking station is an optional accessory for R505 enthusiasts that, with its all-in-one DVD and CD-RW capabilities, retails for about $600. Full of ports for enhanced connectivity, the SlimDock features two USB ports, a serial port, printer port and VGA-out for easy, direct hook-up to projectors or monitors. It comes with a convenient 10Base-T/100Base-TX integrated Ethernet port with an RJ-45 interface, which eliminates the need for separate Ethernet PC cards. The docking station also comes in a DVD-only model that retails for around $400.
In addition to its fast processor speed, the PCG-R505TS comes equipped with 128 SDRAM (expandable to 384 MB maximum) and a 20 GB hard drive. Featuring a new, high-capacity, six-cell lithium-ion battery, this new model offers almost double the battery life of its predecessor. Users now get between two-and-one-half to four hours of standard battery life -- or five to eight hours of battery life with an optional double capacity battery -- allowing for extended work time or ample viewing of DVD movies while on the road.
The PCG-R505TS ships with a Windows(R) Millennium Edition operating system for about $3,000. Its Windows 2000 counterpart, the PCG-R505TSK, will cost about $3,100. Both systems should arrive on store shelves in April.
For additional information about Sony computer products, visit Sony's web site at: www.SonyStyle.com.
March 19 - Boeing luanches Satellite for XM Satellite Radio. XM-2, a Boeing 702 satellite -- designated "Rock" -- built for XM Satellite Radio, Inc. was successfully launched today on board Sea Launch platform at the Equator in the Pacific Ocean. Liftoff occurred at 2:33 p.m. PST, and the spacecraft's first signals were received 70 minutes later at Perth, Australia confirming that systems are operating normally.
"Rock" is the first of two satellites built for XM Satellite Radio, Inc., Washington D.C., by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), Inc., a unit of The Boeing Company, (NYSE:BA). The second satellite "Roll" is scheduled to launch in May.
The satellite will be turned over to XM Satellite Radio, Inc., in approximately two months to begin the operational phase. XM Satellite Radio system will deliver up to 100 channels of digital quality music, news and information to cars, homes and other listening environments.
We are extremely happy to launch the first of two XM Satellite Radio spacecraft," said Randy H. Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems. "I like to congratulate Hugh Panero and the entire XM team on this historic day. Boeing is looking forward to launching `Roll' in May and completing the final testing on the spare third satellite. Having `Rock' and `Roll' as two powerful Boeing 702 satellites on orbit will help XM Satellite Radio ensure maximum signal quality and system reliability to each user. We are proud to be a part of the first generation of digital radio."
The XM "Rock" satellite has two 16.4 ft folding deployable S-band transmit reflectors and one X-band global receive antenna. The satellite spans 132.5 feet in length and 46.6 feet in width, with antennas fully deployed, and has a total spacecraft power of 18 kilowatts. To generate such high power, each of the satellite's two solar wings employ five panels of high-efficiency, dual-junction gallium arsenide solar cells developed by Spectrolab, Inc., a Boeing Satellite Systems subsidiary.
XM will create and package up to 100 channels of digital-quality sound and provide coast-to-coast coverage of music, news, sports, talk, comedy and children's programming. XM's strategic investors include America's leading car, radio and satellite TV companies --General Motors, American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Clear Channel Communications, DIRECTV and Motient Corporation (Nasdaq: MTNT), the company's largest shareholder. XM has a long-term distribution agreement with General Motors to integrate XM-ready radios into its vehicles commencing in 2001.
Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, and is also a major provider of space systems, satellites, and payloads for national defense, science and environmental applications. The company can be found on the Web at www.boeing.com/satellite.
March 18 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this weekend.
Best Buy is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering a $100 instant savings on any Intel processor computer packages, and 1 year no interest financing on all build-to-order notebooks.
Circuit City has a $100 mail-in rebate on any desktop computer package with an AMD processor.
Office Depot has no special store-wide sales this weekend.
CompUSA is offering for 2 days only, a $250 mail-in-rebate, on any AMD Duron complete system. They are also offering $100 off any advertised Intel processor laptop.
Staples is also giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase.
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in depth discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete system/package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A built-to-order system is customized at eh 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 Micron 667 MHz complete system $799 Best Buy Best Pentium III System Compaq 933 MHz complete system $1249 Best Buy Best Pentium 4 System Compaq 1.3 GHz complete build-to-order system $1699 Best Buy Best Duron System Compaq 750 MHz Duron complete system $549 CompUSA Best High End Athlon System Compaq 1 GHz complete system $1399 Circuit City Best Low Cost Notebook Toshiba, Compaq 700 MHz Celeron $1099 Circuit City, Best Buy, Office Depot Best High End Notebook Compaq 1 GHz Pentium III with DVD $2349 CompUSA
Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of the highlights of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store have the same items, this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.
March 17 - Rambus continues patent infringement litigation against DRAM manufacturers. Yesterday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a pre-trial ruling involving the Infineon case.
In this ruling, the court interpreted the scope of disputed terms in the four Rambus patents in suit. Based on this interpretation, Rambus maintains its allegation that Infineon has infringed these four patents. Rambus is prepared to protect its intellectual property from those who infringe and looks forward to presenting its case to the jury.
Infineon's press release stated, "Today the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered Infineon to conduct a full document search and provide full disclosure before the start of the Rambus patent infringement trial against Infineon. The judge's action was based on new evidence introduced to the court shortly before the trial was to commence.
The new evidence consists of Infineon documents provided by Infineon to Rambus only days before the trial was to commence and months after discovery closed. This new evidence bears directly on Infineon's positions in this litigation. In light of the new evidence, the court has rescheduled the trial date to April 10 for the purpose of conducting the court-ordered full document search by Infineon, thorough analysis of all documents produced, and allowing additional depositions from Infineon and others."
Infineon is one of several DRAM manufacturers that are standing up to Rambus' claims that it holds the key intellectual property rights to Rambus and various DDR SDRAM manufacturing techniques. Many companies have knuckled under to Rambus' claims and have chosen to settle with Rambus instead of facing them in court.
Rambus' legal actions have unnerved Intel, because it appears that Rambus is bullying DRAM manufacturers that are desperately needed tp produce RDRAM for the Pentium 4.
Intel's backing of Rambus DRAM over competing double data rate (DDR) SDRAM is probably one of its biggest and most expensive blunders. Intel has poured millions of dollars into DRAM companies to help them make the costly Rambus DRAM.
AMD has profited immensely from Intel's blunder and has enjoyed much success pairing its Athlon with the more standard, and less litigated, DDR SDRAM.
March 17 - BrightCom Puts Intelligence Into Bluetooth Wireless Technology. The era of Bluetooth(TM) wireless technology and the cable-less world is starting to dawn with the first consumer products starting to appear in stores.
One of the pioneers of this technology, BrightCom Technologies from Israel, has announced that it will soon be shipping the next generation of Bluetooth Application Processor chips with built-in intelligence.
The first generation Bluetooth chips provide a simple wireless replacement for a cable between, for example, two PCs, a PC and a printer, or mobile phone and a headset. This simple solution hits a problem when it encounters a new device such as a printer for which the computer or PDA does not have a printer driver. The printer is a "dumb" device as it now lacks the connection to the processor in the host computer that normally provides any intelligence that is required. It does not know how to print unless it receives instructions in the precise format as specified by the printer driver.
BrightCom solves such cases by building intelligence into its chips, thereby setting a new standard with second generation, intelligent Bluetooth solutions. This added intelligence means that devices are no longer "dumb" and can sort out problems for themselves by means of a software application. An example would be to send the correct printer driver that it always has stored in memory.
"Adding a little bit of intelligence has no impact on the price of our Bluetooth solutions," David Barach, president of BrightCom's Calif.-based subsidiary, "But it makes all the difference in making products more user friendly. For Bluetooth to take off in the way that everyone is predicting, Bluetooth devices have to deliver a very easy to use, convenient, connected environment. Our intelligent chips can make this a reality."
BrightCom is producing families of these new IntelliBlue(TM) chips optimised for use in different Bluetooth application areas, such as networking devices, network access and audio, with the first chips being available in March 2001.
The company can be found on the Web at www.brightcom.com.
March 17 - Findings Show Koreans the Keenest Internet Surfers in the World. Nielsen//NetRatings, the world's largest and fastest growing Internet measurement service, today released inaugural findings of home Internet usage in South Korea, showing that the country is one of the world's biggest Internet economies.
Koreans are the most active Internet surfers in the world and they put Korean web properties among the top global sites alongside Yahoo! and MSN. Korean Internet users lead the world in the number of times they visit the world wide web, the number of unique sites visited, the number of page views downloaded, and time spent on the Internet per session and per month.
Nielsen//NetRatings findings from 21 countries, covering some 88% of global Internet surfers, show that South Korea is one of the world's largest Internet markets. Sixty-three percent of Korean households have PC's at home, 46% have access to the Internet, and 23% have acquired Internet access in the last 12 months. In comparison, in the UK only 43% of households have PC's at home, 30% have access to the Internet and 16% acquired this access in the past 12 months.
In January, 11 million Koreans logged onto the Internet, representing an almost 50% active rate among the 22.3 million people who have access to the Internet from home.
"In terms of market size, that puts South Korea next only to Japan in Asia Pacific and among the top 5 globally. Korea is clearly one of the leaders in Internet services - especially broadband - and will be a major market for advertisers and Internet companies alike," said Forrest Didier, executive director, ACNielsen eRatings.com, North Asia.
The average Korean Internet user spent in January over 16 hours online in 21 visits to the world wide web (www), went to 27 unique sites and downloaded 2008 pages. Every time he or she was online, s/he spent an average of 46 minutes 35 seconds viewing 96 pages. This is the most time spent online in the world, significantly ahead of the most advanced Internet economy of the US, where people spent an average of just under 10 hours online in January in 18 visits.
For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.
March 16 - Fujitsu PC Corporation Introduces New High-Performance LifeBook. Fujitsu PC Corporation (FPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu, Ltd., today announced the release of its next generation of notebook computers with the LifeBook(TM) E Series. FPC's new product line is a high-performance, desktop replacement and is available in three recommended configurations or customizable for users requiring an individualized mobile computing solution.
All of FPC's LifeBook E Series, both the recommended and customizable models, feature a mobile Pentium(R) III processor with Intel(R) SpeedStep(TM) technology. Users have the option of selecting a processor with speeds of 650MHz, 750MHz or 850MHz to better meet an individual's computing requirements and making it the most powerful notebook available from FPC.
The notebook incorporates a standard flexible bay for added computing functionality to allow users to swap devices, such as a CD-ROM, DVD, CD-RW, SuperDisk(TM), floppy disk drive adding to the units flexibility. In addition, to the optical and storage device options users can utilize the flexible bay to house a second battery. This extends battery life up to 8 hours2. The bay also supports previous generation accessories enhancing the new notebook's total cost of ownership.
The LifeBook E Series integrates leading-edge audio and video capabilities, including ATI Rage Mobility(TM)-M4D graphics controller with 16MB video RAM, a modular 8X DVD player, a 14.1" XGA TFT display and audio chip with wavetable technologies to provide desktop equivalent multimedia services in a notebook form factor. The integration of the new ATI Rage Mobility-M4D supplies users with the best graphics controller available in the marketplace to enhance high-resolution graphics and video presentations.
The LifeBook E Series is shipping in volume. Prices for the notebooks range from $1,499 to $2,399 MSRP. More information can be found at www.fujitsupc.com.
March 16 - IBM eServer z900 Provides Energy Saving Alternative to Server Farms. New reports from technology analysts Hurwitz Group and Matterhorn Group recommend the IBM eServer z900, the reinvented mainframe, running Linux, as an effective energy saving alternative to server farms.
The need to conserve energy and space in computer data centers has taken on new urgency with recent power shortages in California and pending plans for energy deregulation across the nation. The analysts, looking for alternatives to energy-guzzling server farms, found that one z900 could do the job of hundreds of other servers combined.
The zSeries offers significant energy cost advantages over traditional UNIX server farms," Hurwitz Group concludes in their report, "zSeries: Economic e-business Server." The report goes on to say that in a comparison between a Sun server farm and a zSeries-based implementation for an Internet Service Provider "it is clear that the zSeries enjoys an advantage." What makes the IBM eServer an energy-efficient alternative is its ability to run thousands of virtual Linux servers within one box. Application service providers, Internet service providers and Web-hosting companies that in the past required a large number of individual servers and a huge investment in real estate can now save by using one z900 to do the same job.
While a typical configuration of 750 Sun servers costs approximately $620/day in electricity to run, a single z900 -- running the same workload -- costs only $32/day, a power saving ratio of nearly 20-1. The savings are even more dramatic when floor space requirements of a server farm are considered. The average server farm requires some 10,000 square feet of floor space compared with only 400 square feet for a single IBM z900. At an average of 100 Watts per square foot, the savings can be significant.
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