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InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
May 22 Intel Introduces new Xeon Processors Based on NetBurst Microarchitecture
May 22 Intel Delivers New Low Power Processors for Ultra-Portable Mobile PCs
May 22 IBM's 'Pixie Dust' Breakthrough to Quadruple Disk Drive Density
May 22 Tyan Announces Motherboard for new Intel Xeon Processor
May 22 Iwill Corp. Introduces DX400-SN Xeon Motherboard
May 21 Sharp introduces fingernail sized bluetooth modules
May 21 Fujitsu introduces new family of IEEE1394 controllers
May 21 Mushkin High-Performance DDR Memory Hits 333 MHz
May 21 Microsoft Unveils Games Lineup for Xbox, PC and
May 20 Sunday Shopping Watch
May 19 Sony Introduces VAIO PC with TV and DVD Recorder and other New Desktops
May 19 DVD+RW Alliance Adds Write-Once Capability to DVD+RW Format
May 19 Forecasting Company Predicts Evolution of Web
May 18 AMD Athlon Processor Gaining Global Recognition for Supercomputing
May 18 Intel Creates Technology to Enable `Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip'
May 18 IBM Selected to Build Europe's Most Powerful Supercomputer
May 18 Sega Unleashes Content Onto All Video Game Platforms
May 18 Transmeta Wins Sharp As Notebook Customer
May 17 Sony Updates VAIO PictureBook PC with Latest Transmeta Crusoe Processor
May 17 TRW Micro-Thruster Fires on Sub-Orbital Test
May 17 AMD Announces Support for Next-Generation HyperTransport Bus
May 17 MoSys' 1T-SRAM Memory Used in Nintendo's GAMECUBE
May 17 Trend Micro Offers Free Version 2.0 of Palm Wireless Antivirus Software
May 16 Epson Announces Its First Print Image Matching Digital Camera
May 16 Fujitsu Announces New 15,000 RPM Enterprise Hard Drives
May 16 3Dlabs Confirmed as Workstation Graphics Leader
May 16 Solagent Introduces Data Protection for Lost or Stolen Mobile Computers
May 16 Handspring brings fast, full web access to handheld computers
May 16 Semiconductor Market Forecasted to be Down 15.8 Percent in 2001

Electronic Gaming Monthly Free Year Subscription to Electronic Gaming Monthly!! While it Lasts....

May 22 - Intel Introduces new Xeon Processors Based on NetBurst Microarchitecture. Intel Corporation today introduced its first generation of the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors based on the NetBurst(TM) architecture. The processors will initially target high-performance and mid-range, dual-processor enabled workstations and ship at frequencies up to 1.7 GHz.

Intel expects Intel Xeon-based workstations to achieve performance increases between 30 and 90 percent over systems featuring the Pentium(R) III Xeon processor, depending on applications and configurations. The company expects dual-processor server platforms based on the Intel Xeon processor to be available in the second half of 2001.

"The new Intel Xeon processor line is the premier high-performance product for workstations, offering customers a choice of operating systems and applications as well as top performance at affordable prices," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group.

A number of workstation manufacturers worldwide -- including Compaq, Dell, Hewlett Packard and IBM -- are expected to start shipping platforms based on the new processor this quarter -- many starting today. According to International Data Corporation, Intel-based workstations made up more than 70 percent of all workstation shipments in the fourth quarter of 2000.

The Intel NetBurst Microarchitecture and Intel 860 Chipset

Workstations based on Intel's new Xeon processors use the Intel NetBurst microarchitecture to deliver processing power for video, audio and the latest Internet technologies and 3-D graphics. The Intel Xeon processor platform is based on the high-performance Intel(R) 860 Chipset. This chipset features dual RDRAM(1) memory banks to complement the Intel Xeon's 400 MHz system bus, which provides up to 3.2 gigabytes of data per second.

Intel's Xeon processor family is specially designed to meet the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the high-performance workstation market segment. In the future, faster clock speeds and larger cache configurations will provide further headroom for computation, graphical and I/O-intensive workloads.

Pricing and Availability

The Intel Xeon processor at 1.7 GHz is priced at $406, the 1.5 GHz version at $309 and the 1.4 GHz at $268 in 1,000-unit quantities. All have 256 KB level 2 Advanced Transfer Cache.

Additional information about Intel is available at

May 22 - Intel Delivers New Low Power Processors for Ultra-Portable Mobile PCs. Intel Corporation today introduced new mobile processors designed specifically for the smallest, lightest mobile PCs, delivering the industry's lowest power consumption and highest performance for the ultra-portable mobile PC segment. Mobile PCs powered by these new processors offer longer battery life and great performance to run today's demanding applications.

These new low-power mobile processors are shipping today, with systems available from: Compaq Computer Corporation, Dell Computer Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, Gateway, Inc., Hewlett Packard Company, IBM Corporation, NEC, Matsushita-Panasonic, Sharp, Sony Corporation, Sotec and Toshiba Corporation.*

"Every leading PC maker who designs ultra-portable notebooks has embraced Intel low-power processors and is introducing a variety of exciting new systems based on Intel products," said Don MacDonald, marketing director, Intel Mobile Platforms Group. "Mobile PCs based on Intel low-power processors deliver the best combination of performance, portability and longer battery life, so buying a smaller notebook won't mean sacrificing performance."

Today's announcement includes the Ultra Low Voltage mobile Pentium(R) III processor at 600 MHz, the world's lowest power PC processor, and the Low Voltage mobile Pentium III processor at 750 MHz. Both processors feature Intel SpeedStep(TM) technology, combining the industry's highest performance and extended battery life. These new processors are optimized for ultra-portable mobile PCs.

Additionally, Intel announced the Ultra Low Voltage mobile Celeron(TM) processor at 600 MHz, the Low Voltage mobile Celeron processor at 600 MHz and mobile Intel Celeron processor at 800 MHz. These new processors enable PC makers to design every size mobile PC at affordable prices.

Intel Mobile Processor Families

Intel has three different families of Pentium III and Celeron processors that are specially engineered to meet the performance, power, cooling and size requirements for every size mobile PC.
For the full-size and thin-and-light segment, the most popular categories for mobile PCs, Intel offers the mobile Pentium III processor at speeds up to 1 GHz. Intel has shipped hundreds of thousands of the mobile 1 GHz processor and every leading PC maker has introduced one or more systems based on this high performance mobile processor.
For the mini-notebook segment, Intel delivers a performance boost to the Low Voltage mobile Pentium III processor at 750 MHz, while the Ultra Low Voltage mobile Pentium III processor 600 MHz is optimized for the emerging sub-notebook category.

All mobile Pentium III processors feature the Intel SpeedStep technology, which offers two modes of operation: Maximum Performance Mode for high levels of performance and Battery Optimized Mode to help extend battery life. The Intel SpeedStep technology automatically detects whether AC power is available and scales the clock frequency to deliver the optimum balance between performance and longer battery life.
In addition, Intel's QuickStart technology can power down the processor to less than a tenth of a watt during any application --even between keystrokes. The processors feature a 100 MHz system bus, 256 Kilobyte full-speed Advanced Transfer Cache, Advanced System Buffering and Streaming SIMD extensions and are based on Intel's 0.18 micron process technology for low voltage operation.

Additional information about Intel is available at

May 22 - IBM's 'Pixie Dust' Breakthrough to Quadruple Disk Drive Density. IBM today announced that it is using just a few atoms of "pixie dust" to push back the data storage industry's most formidable barrier.
The company is first to mass-produce computer hard disk drives using a revolutionary new type of magnetic coating that is eventually expected to quadruple the data density of current hard disk drive products -- a level previously thought to be impossible, but crucial to continue feeding the information-hungry Internet economy. For consumers, increased data density will help hasten the transition in home entertainment from passive analog technologies to interactive digital formats.
The key to IBM's new data storage breakthrough is a three-atom-thick layer of the element ruthenium, a precious metal similar to platinum, sandwiched between two magnetic layers. That only a few atoms could have such a dramatic impact caused some IBM scientists to refer to the ruthenium layer informally as "pixie dust."
Known technically as "antiferromagnetically-coupled (AFC) media," the new multilayer coating is expected to permit hard-disk drives to store 100 billion bits (gigabits) of data per square inch of disk area by 2003. AFC media is shipping in volume beginning today in IBM's Travelstar notebook hard disk drive products with data densities up to 25.7 gigabits per square inch. In time, IBM plans to implement AFC media across all of its disk drive product lines.
The increasing data densities enabled by AFC media are expected to simplify processes for storing consumers' rapidly growing volumes of digital data (music, photographs, presentations and video); accelerate an industry trend toward smaller disk-drive form factors that consume less energy; and stimulate the creation of new and more capable digital-media and data-intensive applications.
In the past decade, the data density for magnetic hard disk drives has increased at a phenomenal pace: doubling every 18 months and, since 1997, doubling every year, which is much faster than the vaunted Moore's Law for integrated circuits. But the designers knew they were accelerating toward a barrier that could suddenly halt further progress: When magnetic regions on the disk become too small, they cannot retain their magnetic orientations -- the data -- over the typical lifetime of the product. This is called the "superparamagnetic effect," and has long been predicted to appear when densities reached 20 to 40 billion bits (gigabits) per square inch, which is near the data density of current products.
"AFC media is the first dramatic change in disk drive design made to avoid the high-density data decay due to the superparamagnetic effect," said Currie Munce, who holds the dual positions of director, Advanced Hard Disk Drive Technology at IBM's Storage Technology Division and director, Storage Systems and Technology at IBM's Almaden Research Center. "Our deep understanding of the complex physical phenomena of how the AFC media works enabled us to be first in the industry to ship AFC media in products, and we're working to extend this technology to perform magnetic recording at 100 gigabits per square inch and beyond."
The 100-gigabit density milestone was once thought to be unattainable due to the superparamagnetic effect. A natural solution to this problem is to develop new magnetic alloys that resist more strongly any change in magnetic orientation. But recording data on such materials becomes increasingly difficult.
AFC media solves this problem. The ultra-thin ruthenium layer forces the adjacent layers to orient themselves magnetically in opposite directions. The opposing magnetic orientations make the entire multilayer structure appear much thinner than it actually is. Thus small, high-density bits can be written easily on AFC media, but they will retain their magnetization due to the media's overall thickness.
With AFC media, 100-gigabit data density could allow the following capacities within two years:

-- Desktop drives -- 400 gigabytes (GB) or the information in 400,000 books;
-- Notebook drives -- 200 GB, equivalent to 42 DVDs or more than 300 CDs;
-- IBM's one-inch Microdrive -- 6 GB or 13 hours of MPEG-4 compressed digital video (about eight complete movies) for handheld devices.

IBM is a pioneer in the research, development and manufacture of antiferromagnetically-coupled structures, which have remarkable properties due to the "spintronic" interactions between the materials' electrons and magnetic fields. In 1990, IBM scientists discovered that a thin layer of ruthenium atoms created the strongest anti-parallel coupling between adjacent ferromagnetic layers of any nonmagnetic spacer-layer element. The structure was used in the first giant magnetoresistive read element for disk drives, which was introduced by IBM in 1997. GMR heads are now used in virtually all disk drives.

About IBM's Travelstar disk drives

The following IBM Travelstar (2.5-inch-disk form factor) products announced on March 27 are shipping with AFC media:

Travelstar 48GH -- 48GByte capacity, 5,400 rpm; 21.7 gigabits/inch2 maximum areal density

Travelstar 30GN -- 30/20 GB, 4,200 rpm; 25.7/23.2 gigabits/inch2 maximum areal density

Travelstar 15GN -- 15/10/6 GB, 4,200 rpm; 25.7/21.2/21.2 gigabits/inch2 max. areal density

For more information, visit

May 22 - Tyan Announces Motherboard for new Intel Xeon Processor. Tyan Computer Corporation(R) today announced it will begin shipments tomorrow of its Thunder i860, one of the first dual processor platforms for the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor.
In addition to supporting two Xeon processors, the Thunder i860 features a total of eight RIMM sockets. This flexible design allows the Thunder i860 to support up to 4GB of memory, twice the capacity of other competing platforms. It also includes dual-channel Ultra160 SCSI, 10/100BaseT Ethernet, two 64-bit 66MHz PCI slots, and provides leading-edge graphics performance through an AGP Pro slot.
Intel's Xeon processor features the Intel NetBurst(TM) microarchitecture, 3.2GB/sec of peak bandwidth, 256kB Advanced Transfer Cache, and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) for enhanced floating-point performance. The combination of the Xeon processor with its blazing 400MHz system bus and the i860 chipset provide the highest system performance to power today's workstation applications.

Thunder i860 Features:

-- Dual PGA603 ZIF sockets support up to two Intel Xeon


-- Intel 860 chipset supports an industry-leading 400MHz system


-- Memory Expansion Card (MEC) features eight 184-pin RIMM

sockets, which supports up to 4GB of PC800 Rambus(R) memory

-- One AGP Pro, two 64-bit 66MHz PCI and three 32-bit 33MHz PCI


-- Integrated dual-channel Ultra160 SCSI, 10/100BaseT LAN and PCI

audio controllers

-- Extended ATX form factor (13" x 12")

For more information, visit the company's web site at

May 22 - Iwill Corp. Introduces DX400-SN Xeon Motherboard. Iwill Corp. today announced DX400-SN, the "Ultimate Workstation" motherboard based on the Intel(R) 860 chipset supporting 400MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) and Quad Channel Rambus(R) memory providing up to 3.2 GB/s throughput.

Designed as a performance motherboard, Iwill DX400-SN is suited for professionals intent on exploiting the full performance capabilities pairing the latest generation Intel(R) Xeon(TM) 1.70GHz processors in Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) mode.

Ultimate Workstation features include: Support for Dual Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors of 1.40GHz-1.70GHz speeds, Ultra-Fast 400MHz FSB, 64-bit PCI, AGP Pro 50 & 100/4X Support, and Quad Channel Rambus RDRAM Support. Additional features such as built-in Intel(R) 82550 LAN, Audio Codec AC'97 sound and QLogic(R) Dual Channel Ultra 160 SCSI support help round out the full capabilities of the Iwill DX400-SN "Ultimate Workstation" motherboard.

Designed for running multithreaded applications in multitasking environments, professionals can expect superior processor and memory performance required by today's workstation platforms.

Iwill DX400-SN is designed around the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processors with the Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) micro-architecture which includes several new performance enhancing features such as Hyper Pipelined Technology for higher clock speeds, Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) for improved video, encoding and internet applications, Execution Trace Cache and Rapid Execution Engine for executing instructions at twice the core frequency and 400MHz Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) System Bus.

The 400MHz Intel(R) NetBurst(TM) system bus will run three times faster than today's Intel(R) Pentium(R) III Xeon(TM) processor system bus.

Dual Processor Support for socket 603 Intel(R) Xeon(TM) 1.4GHz-1.7GHz processor speeds. Symmetric Multi-Processing allows significant performance improvements by sharing the workload over two processors. The ability to perform more than one task at a time is called multitasking and simply put, dual processing naturally allows better multitasking for performance workstation platforms that use multi-threaded software.

In addition, processor intensive applications and benchmarks such as 3D Studio Max from Discreet(R) and CliBench MKIII SMP can take significant advantage of the dual processor capability to process more than one transaction at a time within a single program. The more intensive the applications, the faster and better DX400-SN will perform.

Rambus(R) Technology -- Rambus RIMM modules offer an impressive 1.6GB per second of peak bandwidth per Rambus channel, with the ability to support higher performance using multiple channels and transfers at speeds up to 800MHz. To fully take advantage of the Rambus(R) experience, DX400-SN integrates two Intel(R) RDRAM-based memory repeater hubs (MRH-R).

The accompanying Memory Expansion Card (MEC) supports 8 RIMM slots to a current maximum memory support of 4GB RDRAM. Memory Support for higher than 4GB RDRAM may be achievable when larger qualified RIMM modules become available in the market. The combination of Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor and Rambus(R) memory platform will provide a highly advanced computing experience for professionals as e-commerce, data visualization, streaming audio, video and speech recognition applications become more pervasive.

Ultra Fast 400MHz FSB runs three times faster than currently available Intel(R) Pentium III Xeon(TM) platforms. Through a process of Quad Pumping -- the data transfers over a 100MHz clocked system bus and buffering scheme allowing for sustained 400MHz data transfers supporting the industry's fastest available system bus delivering a whopping 3.2GB of data per second in and out of the processor.

Maximum Expansion opportunities are now available in the new DX400-SN series design. Expansion slots are available for 2 x 64 bit/66MHz PCI, 3 x 32 bit PCI, 1 AGP Pro 50/100/4X port, an 8 RIMM Memory Expansion Card is also provided currently supporting up to 4GB of RDRAM.

Dual Ultra 160 SCSI channels from QLogic(R) deliver the ultimate in Ultra 160 SCSI performance and reliability required by high performance workstations and servers. Powered by the QLogic(R) ISP12160 chipset, achieving an awesome 320MB per second data transfer rate over today's fastest 64 bit/66MHz system bus is possible. You know you can count on QLogic(R) to handle critical data transfers.

Onboard Intel(R) 82550GM LAN and AC'97 Audio Codec are supplied to support 10 and 100Mbps network support and high performance AC'97 sound to provide the basic necessities for high performance workstations and servers.

With a feature-rich design engineered for the professionals and specifications demanded by the industry, the Iwill DX400-SN Dual Intel(R) Xeon(TM) motherboard truly is the "Ultimate Workstation" motherboard.

For more information, visit Iwill's Web site at

May 21 - Sharp introduces fingernail sized bluetooth modules. In the long term Bluetooth is set to become very inexpensive compared with other wireless networking systems. Its outstanding features are its especially small components and a present maximum data transfer rate of 1 Bit/s. Thanks to its low transmission power, its energy requirements are also low, but its range is also correspondingly short at up to 10 metres. There are already plans for up to 2 Bit/s in Release 2.0 of the Bluetooth standard, however, and for special requirements it is possible to extend the range of Bluetooth to as much as 100 metres by increasing transmission power.

SHARP can already supply components conforming to Bluetooth standard V1.1, as documented on the certification website Measuring only 15.5 x 15.5 x 2.5 mm, the SMD modules DC2D1BZ001 (UART port) and DC2D1BZ003 (USB port) under Bluetooth standard 1.1 permit data rates of either 433.9 kBit/s symmetric or 723.2 kBit/s / 57.6 kBit/s asymmetric at an output power of 0 dBm. The supply voltage at 100 mA (typical) is in the region of 3.3 V for complete modules with HF unit, quartz, flash memory, baseband processing and modulator/demodulator plus UART or USB interface.

The module DC2D1BZ002 includes only quartz and HF component without flash memory and modulator/demodulator. This reduces power consumption to barely 40 mA (typ.) and the dimensions to 16.0 x 13.8 x 2.5 mm. A special feature of this receiver is its great sensitivity of -85 dBm.

The DC2C1BZ001 is a plug-in Bluetooth module of Compact-Flash design which is based on the technologies outlined above and can be used for uncomplicated wireless networking of PDAs and other mobile devices such as digital cameras or MP3 players.

Bluetooth components use frequency hopping spread spectrum technology with up to 79 separate channels. 1600 hops per second guarantee interference-free communication. As well as the consumer equipment market, there are also countless applications in trade and industry, such as barcode scanners in the material management sector or in the checkout field with wireless links to the electronic stock management system: as soon as a purchased article is scanned at the point of sale it is deducted from the stock level. In this way the system can be set to initiate replenishment orders in good time.

Areas of application include not only logistics, but also security systems, industrial automation, automotive applications, audio/video, sensor technology. In fact, wherever information transfer by cable can be replaced by SHARP Bluetooth modules.

Sharp can be found on the Web at

May 21 - Fujitsu introduces new family of IEEE1394 controllers. Fujitsuís new family of IEEE1394/FireWire controllers target the very widest range of applications, including PCI interface for personal computers, SBP-2(Serial Bus Protocol) interface for PC peripherals, SCSI interface for hard disk drives and high speed universal interface for transmission of audio and video data.

Firstly, the MB86613 is a high performance, triple port, OHCI controller for data transfer between PCI and 1394 buses, integrating 1394 transceiver, comparator and PLL to provide 1394 bus protocol control. Conforming to the PCI v2.1, IEEE 1394-1995 and Open HCI v1.0 Standards, the device has PCI/DMA, OHCI (Open Host ControllerInterface) and 1394 blocks.
It incorporates the latest OHCI and 1394 features, including Fairness Control and Physical Upper Bound registers, Fly-by Arbitration, Suspend/Resume, Ping Packet, and Second Cycle Limit. The PCI/DMA block includes a power management function compliant with PCI v1.0 Standard.The OHCI driver to control this device is already included in the Microsoft Windows Operating System. The family also includes the MB86613L, a single 1394 interface device offering ultra low power consumption in standby mode.

The MB86614A is a low cost,two-port IEEE 1394 serial bus controller integrating an SBP-2 (Serial BusProtocol) interface with differential transceiver and comparator, making it ideal for use in equipment usually connected to a PC, such as a printers, scanners and digital cameras. Including a 16-bit asynchronous/isochronous dataport, the MB86614A is capable of automatic separation of received header anddata, and packetisation for data transfer continuity.

The MB86616 is a protocol exchanger to enable connection between SCSI interface devices and the IEEE 1394 bus and is primarily intended for use with hard disk drives.

Integrating an IEEE 1394 controllerand a SCSI controller supporting the Fast-20 SCSI standard, the chip has two cable ports with differential transceiver and comparator to support S100, S200and S400 data rates. A Fujitsu F2MC-16F CPU core is incorporated for controlling the individual on-chip controllers. The 8-bit Fast-20 SCSIcontroller is capable of data transfer up to 20MB/sec. Furthermore, the IEEE 1394 controller supports Chain Transfer to enable consecutive transmission and receipt of requested packets of data. The SCSI bus interface contains a totem-pole type, single-ended driver and receiver to allow the bus to bedirectly driven.

Finally, the MB86617 highspeed universal serial bus controller can be directly connected to MPEG devices via an IEEE1394 transport stream interface and has been developed forvideo/audio set-top box, game console and DVC (Digital Video Cassette) applications such as DVC Camcorders. It also provides an LSI interface to a copy protection circuit.

Further information on Fujitsu Microelectronics Europeís products is available at

May 21 - Mushkin High-Performance DDR Memory Hits 333 MHz. Mushkin Enhanced Memory Systems, a subsidiary of Ramtron International Corporation (Nasdaq: RMTR), today announced its newfamily of High-Performance DDR memory modules available in 128 and 256MB densities.
The modules combine the fastest available memory components with a custom heat spreader for operation at the highest data rates. Mushkin offers the fastest and most stable memory products for computer gaming systems,graphic workstations, and high-end server applications.

A DDR Game Machine showcased the Mushkin High-PerformanceDDR memory module running at 333 MHz data rate (2.7GB/Second) in a VIA ApolloPro266-based Pentium 3 system. The DDR Game Machine was on display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the premier gaming industry tradeshow, in the Los Angeles Convention Center, KentiaHall, booth number 7020, from May 17-19. Combining low latency DDR memory with high front side bus frequency and VLink interconnect increases CPU and system performance to new levels for the richest experience in the most challenging gaming applications.

Mushkin High-Performance DDR memory modules are designed for superior stability to 300 MHz and beyond with CAS-2 latency. The custom heatspreaders molded around the new High-Performance modules eliminate thermal runaway even under the most challenging operating conditions.

“Our new High-Performance DDR memory modules feature custom heatspreaders for reliable operation at the highest data rates supported by theindustry,” said Bill Mushkin, vice president and general manager of Mushkin Enhanced Memory Systems. “Mushkin continues to deliver top performance along with great customer service.”

Mushkin High-Performance DDR is a higher performance version of the industry standard DDR SDRAM. It provides lower latency and faster clock rates than the industry standard PC2100 memory modules for better stability and performance in real systems.

Visit Mushkin at

May 21 - Microsoft Unveils Games Lineup for Xbox, PC and With the goal of offering console, PC and online game players the most powerful games experiences available, Microsoft Corp. showcased great action-adventure, strategy, sports, sci-fi, fantasy and simulation games last week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2001 in Los Angeles.

“We’re committed to creating world-class PC and Xbox" video game system games that excite the imaginations of all game players, said Ed Fries, vice president of the games division at Microsoft. Xbox will revolutionize video games in living rooms around the globe, and the PC will continue to be the hotbed of innovative gameplay experiences.”
At this year’s show, Microsoft is exhibited some of its most anticipated Xbox games for 2001 — all Xbox exclusives.

Unleashing the creativity of the world’s top games artists, Microsoft’s future-generation video game system will deliver some of the most powerful game experiences that blur the lines between fantasy and reality like never before. Some of the first Microsoft® games to be published for Xbox include the following:

“Halo.” One of the most highly anticipated games coming to market this year, “Halo” is set against the backdrop of a mysterious alien ring-world. This sci-fi shooter invites players to uncover its horrible secrets and to destroy mankind’s sworn enemy, the Covenant. Players choose from a variety of missions where a breadth of experiences awaits them — on foot and in vehicles, inside and outdoors, with human and alien weaponry.
“Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee.” The latest in the best-selling franchise brings Oddworld to life in full 3-D, weaving a journey through a changing world of strange creatures, off-the-wall action and outlandish goons. Players guide Mudokon champion Abe and his aquatic Gabbit partner Munch in their third adventure using special psychic powers, cool power-ups, way-out vehicles and other special abilities to deliver payback as they rescue Abe’s captured mommy. Oddworld’s new intelligent cinematic camera, auto-targeting system and no-stick navigation system make playing a breeze.
“Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding.” This is the first snowboarding game focused on freestyle riding down runs from real mountains. The game’s goal is simple: achieve enough international exposure to become one of the world’s snowboarding media superstars. Jib and spin off of a huge variety of jumps and rails for a different ride every time. Players pull insane tricks in front of roaming sponsors and camera crews to get their face on magazine covers and in videos.
“Azurik — Rise of Perathia.” This is one of the deepest, most immersive 3-D action-adventure games developed for Xbox. Players assume the role of Azurik, a young apprentice sworn to protect the sacred elements — fire, water, earth and air. As Azurik, players travel the vast realms of the elements on a mission to stop the progress of an apocalyptic prophecy already in motion.
“Fuzion Frenzy.” A nonstop party game with an edge, combining the continuous, frenetic action of a futuristic street sport with the action-packed fun of minigames set in a dynamic 3-D urban environment. With six arenas and more than 45 minigames, “Fuzion Frenzy” provides competitive fun for up to four players.
“NFL Fever 2002.” Designed exclusively for Xbox, this sports sequel combines fast and hard-hitting action with deep-season and career modes. Stadiums from all 31 NFL teams are re-created, and gamers can participate in up to 25 seasons. Players can amass both individual and team trophies and build their own dynasties, season after season. The fast-playing NFL tempo lets gamers explode through the holes and break loose, just like real NFL players.
“Nightcaster.” A fast and furious action-adventure game featuring intense real-time spell combat and exploration. Players take on the role of Arran, a young boy chosen by the force of Light, who grows in age, skill and magical powers as he progresses throughout the game. Throughout his quest, Arran must find and learn over 40 different spells for combat against more than 30 different types of enemy creatures. His ultimate goal: to defeat the forces of Darkness and bring Light back into the world.
“Project Gotham.” A future-generation racing game where fun and reward come from focusing equally on speed, flair and risk-taking. Enjoying circuit-based racing in photo-realistic downtown environments, players can race against up to three friends* at a time through realistic time-of-day and weather conditions. Players can choose from 20 different cars and compete on more than 300 city-based circuits. With more than 100 individual and wheel-to-wheel racing challenges and a separate arcade mode, gamers can expect hundreds of hours of gameplay.
“Blood Wake.” This is a fast-action vehicular combat game fought with powerful boats and big guns. Boats engage in combat with other boats, forts and shore batteries in exotic locales. Players assume the role of a naval lieutenant who is betrayed by an evil kingdom. With the help of an outlaw band of sea-raiders they must overthrow the devious army and restore order to the land.

PC Games
Strengthening its goal to become the world’s top PC games creator, Microsoft Games brings a slate of titles to E3 that includes both fresh content and extensions of best-selling franchises:

“Dungeon Siege.” This action-fantasy role-playing game combines the immersive elements of an RPG with over-the-top intensity, awe-inspiring vertical landscapes and nonstop action. Seamlessly traveling from wind-swept castles to secret underground lairs without interruptions from loading screens, players embark on a quest to stop an army of evils. Beginning with a single fully animated 3-D character and gathering a maximum party of eight, players can enjoy the experience as designed or customize their own characters, spells, dungeons or entire worlds. Scheduled availability is fall 2001.
“Zoo Tycoon.” Lions and tigers and . . . pandas? This easy-to-learn strategy and resource game challenges players to design and build the most healthy and vibrant zoo possible, working to ensure animal happiness, customer satisfaction and profitability. Gameplay includes building habitats, adopting animals, hiring staff and monitoring guest satisfaction. A freeplay mode allows players to build the zoo at will with few constraints, while the scenario mode provides a variety of challenges and objectives. Scheduled availability is fall 2001.
“Sigma: The Adventures of Rex Chance.” Set in the 1930s, this 3-D real-time strategy game pits players against an evil madman in a fast-paced campaign across a chain of remote and diverse islands. More than 50 familiar animals can be combined into a huge number of mutant creatures, which together create a formidable army. A variety of ecosystems determines which animals are available and the performance of the units deployed in each environment. With more than 15 missions, single or multiple players can engage in unprecedented, streamlined and intense gameplay. Scheduled availability is fall 2001.
“MechCommander® 2.” Waging strategy from above, players take command of an entire company of mercenary MechWarriors and wage a battle of supremacy against three warring noble houses. This real-time 3-D game of power, combat and treachery is set in the venerable BattleTech universe, providing ample new challenges and thrills. Packing the heat of up to 16 BattleMechs — from the nimble Raven, equipped with sensors and electronic countermeasures, to the massive Atlas, bristling with deadly firepower — players must leverage the unique strengths of each ’Mech and MechWarrior to create advantages. Scheduled availability is July 2001.
“Freelancer.” Adventure, intrigue and opportunity await in this intensely epic and fascinating universe. Set in the dawn of the 30th Century, the game provides an environment in which humanity focuses its efforts on expansion into frontier worlds. Four houses vie for territory and control of frontier worlds, each seeking survival as the ultimate prize. Billed as an action and space simulation game, “Freelancer” combines a fully immersive, 3-D space flight system with real-time 3-D interaction, giving players complete control over buying and selling of commodities, accepting missions for hire, and customizing spacecraft. Scheduled availability is spring 2002.
“Age of Mythology.” Ensemble Studio Inc.’s new 3-D engine adds a deep richness of graphical detail to the acclaimed real-time strategy features of the “Age of Empires®” series and creates a unique new title based on the fabled history of the Greek, Norse and Egyptian cultures. Transporting players to a time when people believed gods were real and a well-placed meteor could devastate a massive army, mythology enters the game when players call upon the gods to act on their behalf. Whether petitioning Zeus to rain bolts of lightning upon approaching enemies or persuading Thor to trap opponents in a snow squall, players face new and intriguing gameplay strategies in nine detailed civilizations. Scheduled availability is spring 2002.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002.” The professional edition of Microsoft’s best-selling PC flight simulator gives players the most realistic experience ever. Players can climb into the cockpit of a Boeing 747-400 and fly in real time across the ocean or engage in a bush pilot adventure in a Cessna Caravan on amphibious floats. Veteran fliers will feel right at home in 3-D cockpits replete with working instruments and interactive Air Traffic Control and can test their skills through a new flight analysis feature. All players will appreciate the auto-generated scenery and other amazing visual details. Scheduled availability is fall 2001.
“Microsoft Train Simulator.” Why should Casey Jones have all the fun? Players can harness the power and romance of the world’s most famous railroads in this detail-packed simulator that allows them to be engineers, passengers or bystanders. The terrain covers six routes across nearly a century of rail travel — from the Orient Express steam train of 1930s Europe to America’s ultra-modern Amtrak Acela “bullet train.” While working the fully functional controls and choosing from a variety of scenarios, players can enjoy carefully re-created landscapes and hear distinctive train and track sounds. Scheduled availability is spring 2001.

About The Zone
The Zone ( continues to evolve while maintaining its position as the largest multiplayer gaming site on the Internet, with 18 million registered members around the world, more than 123,000 concurrent users at peak times, and in excess of 130 games available for play.

May 20 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy
is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer purchase. They are also offering 12 month no interest financing on all desktops, notebooks, and build-to-order computers.
Circuit City no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
Office Depot no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA Has $200 rebates on any Intel processor based complete desktop package and $150 rebate on any Intel CPU based notebook. They also have no payment, no interest financing on all Toshiba notebooks.
Staples no special store-wide computer sales (individual items may be on sale).
HHGregg has 10% off all open-box computers.
Internet Rebates. All stores continue to offer 3 year, $400 Internet Rebates. Please see our article, What You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in depth discussion of Internet Rebates.

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

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

Best Deals this Sunday
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 766 MHz complete system
Best Pentium III System
HP 866 MHz complete system
Best Pentium 4 System
HP 1.3 GHz complete system
CompUSA, Staples
Best Duron System
Sony VAIO 850 MHz complete system
Best High End Athlon System
None Advertised
1. Best Low Cost Notebook
Toshiba 766 MHz Celeron with DVD
2. Best Low Cost Notebook
Toshiba 700 MHz Pentium III
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz Pentium III with DVD\CD-RW
Best Buy
New Software Releases Microsoft Office XP
Diablo II Expansion
May 31
June 29

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

May 19 - Sony Introduces VAIO PC with TV and DVD Recorder and other New Desktops. The first PC in the U.S. to include a DVD-RW drive and a TV tuner with built-in recording capabilities, the VAIO Digital Studio PC with Giga Pocket Personal Video Recorder combines television and DVD entertainment with computing.

Announced today, the new PCV-RX490TV allows the consumer to watch TV and home videos when they want, where they want.

"This is the industry's first PC with integrated video recording," said Rich Black, director of desktop PC marketing for Sony Electronics' Information Technology Product Division (ITPD). "For consumers who want the latest in entertainment and technology devices, the VAIO Digital Studio PC with Giga Pocket Personal Video Recorder allows them to do two things at once -- watch TV on the PC and record TV programs onto a hard drive."

The system is equipped with a 1.70GHz Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor, an 80GB hard drive, a DVD-RW and a CD-ROM drive, and 128MB of RDRAM. The included Ethernet port enables a high-speed Internet connection, and up to 100 hours of video can be recorded onto the hard drive. The PCV-RX490TV, which will be available in June, will sell for about $2,600, $2,500 after a $100 mail-in rebate. A remote control is included for added convenience.

Sony's new desktop PC enables users to watch TV streamed from cable or other analog sources onto the monitor, and record home videos or TV programs onto the hard drive. Once stored on the hard drive, digital video content can be exported and written onto a DVD using DVD-RW technology. The exported video can then be viewed on a big screen TV or, for the mobile user, on a DVD-equipped notebook computer.

To further enhance the system, Sony's free iEPG (Internet Electronic Program Guide) service provides easy Internet access to a TV program guide and allows for one-click recording setup. Weekly or daily shows can be programmed in the Giga Pocket Personal Video Recorder and set to record on a regular basis.

New Mid-Range RX System Offers Expandability Option

Also announced today as part of the Sony VAIO RX series, the PCV-RX450 features an AMD Athlon(TM) processor, 128MB of SDRAM (expandable to 512MB), DVD and CD-RW Dual Drives, a 10Base-T/100Base-TX Fast Ethernet connection and external stereo speakers. VAIO PC users are easily able to create custom CDs with stereo sound and enjoy quick network connectivity. This expandable mid-range system offers the ability to upgrade for consumers who want to store even more content. The PCV-RX450 model will be available in June with an estimated price of about $1,100, $1,000 after a $100 mail-in rebate.

New Digital Studios Offer More Computing Power

The latest additions to the VAIO Digital Studio series announced today, the PCV-RX470DS and PCV-RX480DS models feature the powerful Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor, Microsoft(R) Word 2002, and external stereo speakers. Movie editing and video e-mail is made easy for VAIO Digital Studio PC users with 32MB of video memory and MovieShaker(TM) software. The PCV-RX470DS and the PCV-RX480DS PCs will also be available in June for about $1,700 and $2,100 respectively, $1,600 and $2,000 after $100 mail-in rebate.

New J-Series Model Provides Even More Value

The final product of the summer line-up, the PCV-J200, features a combo drive CD-RW/DVD, which allows users to download and store music, watch DVD movies and create and rewrite CDs. With an estimated price of about $850, $800 after $50 mail-in rebate, this entry-level system features a small form factor and is a great value -- perfect for the first-time desktop purchaser.

All desktop systems announced today include Microsoft Windows(R) Millennium Edition Operating system (upgradeable to Windows XP), 10Base-T/100Base-TX Fast Ethernet, and Sony's original MovieShaker(TM), DVgate(TM), Media Bar(TM), OpenMG(TM) Jukebox, PictureGear(TM), Smart Capture and VisualFlow(TM) software.

For additional information about Sony products, customers can call 888/222-SONY, or visit Sony's Web site at:

May 19 - DVD+RW Alliance Adds Write-Once Capability to DVD+RW Format. The DVD+RW Alliance, a group of companies committed to the benefits of the DVD+RW format, today announced the addition of write-once (DVD+R) capabilities to rewritable DVD+RW products slated to be introduced this summer.

The DVD+RW Alliance discussed DVD+R during an Alliance-sponsored conference with software vendors in San Francisco.

"With rewritable CD technology, consumers preferred a choice between rewritable discs and those that can be written only once, for permanent storage," said John Spofford, vice president and general manager, HP Personal Storage Solutions. "Given this, the DVD+RW Alliance will support a write-once DVD+R capability that allows consumers to safely archive their scanned documents, presentations, home videos, and photos."

DVD+R discs will offer seven times the storage capacity of a CD-R, can be written and read by DVD+RW drives, and can be played back in the majority of DVD-ROM drives and DVD Video players in use today. Because of this, the DVD+RW Alliance believes DVD+R is the logical extension of CD-R technology and will enable a new level of convergence for digital video.

"CD-R and CD-RW gave the world a seamless media exchange between the personal computing and consumer electronics environments for data and music," said Spofford. "Now, DVD+R and DVD+RW will do the same for digital video and images."

Further information about DVD+R and DVD+RW can be found by visiting

May 19 - Forecasting Company Predicts Evolution of Web. Web browsers have brought Internet services to millions of people. As a result, Internet usage has boomed. However, according to a new Report from Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), the Web's days are numbered as the Internet moves to a second round of expansion beyond the browser. Two new waves of innovation -- which Forrester defines as the X Internet -- will eclipse the Web: an executable Net that greatly improves the online experience, and an extended Net that connects the real world.

"The problem with today's Internet is that it's dumb, boring, and isolated," said George F. Colony, CEO and chairman of Forrester. "News, sports, and weather imparted on static Web pages offer essentially the same content presented on paper, which makes the online experience more like reading in a dusty library than participating in a new medium. Now that the novelty has faded, business executives and consumers are going back to reading newspapers and watching TV. Ultimately, the Net hasn't truly become a part of our real worlds."

The first stage in the X Internet is an executable Net. Users will get real-time, interactive experiences over the Net through disposable code -- programs you use once and throw away -- downloaded to their PCs and handheld devices. These quick downloads will allow users to carry on extended conversations with Net services, a stark contrast to today's transactional Web services.

"Today, users are trapped in Web-only thinking," said Carl D. Howe, research director and principal analyst at Forrester. "It's a little like the early days of television when programming was just radio with pictures of announcers. But executable applications will give users tools to experience the Net in more entertaining and engaging ways. For example, imagine a corporate buyer navigating a virtual marketplace with a Doom-like user interface -- buyers could simply shoot the deals they want. That's a far cry from today's Web."

The executable Internet is just half the story. Forrester also sees an extended Internet emerging through Internet devices and applications that sense, analyze, and control the real world. With cheap chips and a worldwide Internet backbone, nearly every device that runs on electricity will have an Internet connection, through both wired and wireless networks. The result: The number of Internet devices will boom from today's 100 million to more than 14 billion in 2010.

"The extended Internet will reshape technology's role in business," added Howe. "Most firms struggle to understand and act upon what is happening in their business now -- they're lucky if they know what happened last week or last month. Extended Internet devices will provide real-time information about what is going on and provide knobs and levers for companies to control their businesses. A data center business in California might combine real-time data from both the power company and customers to reduce the power consumption of their air conditioners when power demand peaks -- all through extended Internet devices."

Additional information about Forrester Research can be found at

May 18 - AMD Athlon Processor Gaining Global Recognition for Supercomputing. AMD today announced that five more academic institutions have each installed new supercomputers using the award-winning AMD Athlon(TM) processor.

Cited for their powerful performance, scalability, and flexibility to expand in a cluster environment, a series of AMD Athlon processor-based supercomputers have been employed for research programs at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) funded program at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC), as well as National Science Foundation (NSF) funded programs at Western Michigan University and Calvin College. These wins demonstrate how the AMD Athlon processor is continuing to expand its reputation as a powerful, innovative and reliable solution for supercomputing platforms used for scientific research.

"This once again proves our AMD Athlon processor is a great choice for cutting-edge computer platforms targeted for computation-intensive applications created by academic researchers," said Ed Ellett, vice-president of Workstation and Server Marketing for AMD. "As the need for increased performance and bandwidth continues, we are committed to developing more powerful processors to meet that challenge. We eagerly look forward to supporting critical research projects with leading academic institutions around the world."

The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Hong Kong, has developed a supercomputer featuring 80 AMD Athlon processors.

"This AMD processor-based cluster provides a powerful tool for the advancement of scientific research," says Associate Professor P W Leung of HKUST's Physics Department. "We can perform realistic simulations, design advanced composite materials through accurate modeling, and also tackle the most challenging problems in modern material physics involving complex materials where the electronic states are strongly correlated."

The Tokyo Institute of Technology, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Japan, has built the PRESTO III, a 78 AMD Athlon processor-based cluster that will be employed at the Matsuoka Laboratory of the Global Scientific Information and Computing Center & Department of Mathematical and Computing Sciences.

"The objective of the PRESTO series of Grid clusters project is to enable cost-effective solutions to empower the computational Grid, investigate effective software used for commodity clustering, and conduct simulation and application studies on the Grid for various scientific applications such as operations research, high energy physics, and neuroscience," said Professor Satoshi Matsuoka of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. "We want to thank the sponsors of Japan's national PRESTO program of the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), and AMD for its processor technology."

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has helped fund a 32 AMD Athlon processor-based cluster node supercomputer located at UCSC. The UCSC supercomputer, developed and built by Racksaver, Inc. through the assistance of Dolphin Interconnect, will be used to study collisional processes in the solar system, and run simulations of planetary dynamos, such as the one responsible for Earth's magnetic field.

"The university's Earth Sciences, Astronomy and Physics departments now have the ability to solve complex research problems 24 hours a day, seven days a week on our own local research cluster," said Erik Asphaug, UCSC principal investigator of the new 32-node research supercomputer. "Also, we can now create, archive, and visualize our data locally, and this removes the data bottlenecks and enhances our student's educational environment."

Another 32-node supercomputer has been installed at the ParInt Research Group at Western Michigan University under an NSF-funded grant. "Very early on in our purchasing decision process we decided to go with AMD Athlon processors, for their performance and pricing, and we have not been disappointed," said Elise de Doncker, Professor in the Computer Science department at Western Michigan University. "The cluster has been very reliable and invaluable to our research efforts in parallel numerical integration, and for class projects in various advanced computer science courses."

"The Department of Computer Science at Calvin College is committed to providing its students with hands-on experience using cutting-edge technologies, including high performance computing," said Joel Adams, Professor of Computer Science, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the location of an 18 AMD Athlon processor-based cluster. "The cluster will also greatly benefit our faculty researchers in their individual research programs. We are grateful to the National Science Foundation, NFP Enterprises, and AMD for their help in making this a successful project."

This trend follows AMD Athlon processor-based supercomputers already installed in the University of Delaware, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Utah, and reflects a growing number of universities obtaining and benefiting from the use of powerful supercomputer systems based on AMD processor technology. Each of these systems employ the Beowulf Cluster design architecture, which involves connecting each processor in parallel to maximize speed and processing power while providing inter-communications between the processors and compute nodes, and use a Linux-based operating system.

More information about AMD's Athlon can be found at

May 18 - Intel Creates Technology to Enable `Wireless-Internet-on-a-Chip'. Intel Corporation today unveiled an experimental computer chip based on a new process technology that combines the core components of today's cellular phones and handheld computers. This integrated, "wireless-Internet-on-a-chip" technology could enable a new era of wireless Internet-access products with extensive battery life and greater processing power.

The new research chips feature logic (microprocessor), flash memory and analog communications circuits on a single piece of silicon built using a single manufacturing process. Each of these types of circuits is traditionally manufactured on separate process technologies in different factories.

Chips produced on the new process may be up to five times more powerful than those used in today's cell phones, capable of operating at speeds of up to 1 GHz and providing up to a month of battery life. Intel engineers expect that the technology will make possible a broad range of wireless devices and a host of futuristic applications that are only imagined today.

"The wireless-Internet-on-a-chip technology extends Intel's existing logic and flash silicon technology leadership," said Sunlin Chou, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group. "By carefully merging Intel's low-power, high-performance logic technology with Intel's high-density flash memory technology and adding precision analog elements, we are able to cost effectively integrate all the key silicon technology elements required for the next generation of wireless devices -- without compromising performance or density."

Said Ron Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Computing and Communications Group: "In the last 10 years of mobile device evolution, we have seen integration technology add significant functionality and battery life while reducing size and cost to users. We believe Intel's new process technology will extend this trend. Within the next five to 10 years, we should not be surprised to see devices such as wearable computers or even video watch phones become widely available."

For more information on Intel silicon technology research, please reference Intel's new Silicon Showcase at

May 18 - IBM Selected to Build Europe's Most Powerful Supercomputer. Germany's most prestigious science institution today selected IBM to build an ultra-powerful supercomputer devoted to solving Grand Challenges of science. Incorporating IBM eServer(a) POWER4 technology, the machine is expected to be the fastest non-classified supercomputer in Europe when completed in 2002.

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences awarded the multi-million dollar contract to IBM after carefully evaluating proposals from several vendors. POWER4 is the advanced microprocessor that powers the next generation of IBM eServer systems, scheduled to begin shipping later this year.

"The new IBM supercomputer gives Max Planck scientists the ability to once again carry out competitive, state-of-the-art research in the field of numerical simulations," said Stefan Heinzel, director of Computer Center Garching, where the supercomputer will be located.

The Max Planck Society's new POWER4-based supercomputer will be designed to achieve a peak performance of 3.8 trillion calculations per second, offering 10 times the application performance of the Society's current supercomputer. The next-generation IBM machine will help researchers tackle a number of Grand Challenges in disciplines such as polymer research, solid state physics and theoretical chemistry, fusion research, astrophysics and biochemistry. Using the machine, scientists expect to achieve a parameter-free description of instabilities at the atomic level in the helical structure of proteins that are assumed to be responsible for diseases such as Creutzfeld-Jakob and Alzheimer`s.

"Joining a long roster of pioneering IBM supercomputers -- from Deep Blue to ASCI White -- this system will represent a quantum leap forward for supercomputing in Europe," said Rod Adkins, general manager, pSeries, IBM eServer. "IBM is proud to have been selected to provide the machine that will help the Max Planck Society address some of the most daunting scientific problems known to man."

POWER4 System

Designed to provide industry-leading performance for both commercial and technical workloads, POWER4-based systems will feature groundbreaking new technology, such as:

-- IBM's POWER4 Gigaprocessor -- the world's first computer chip

containing two processors, the Gigaprocessor incorporates
IBM's copper and silicon-on-insulator technology to operate in
excess of one gigahertz.

-- Massive bandwidth -- each chip delivers more than an order of
magnitude improvement in bandwidth over today's systems.
Bandwidth from Level 2 cache to the processors is in excess of
100 GB per second - the equivalent of downloading 20 full
length DVDs in a single second. IBM has designed POWER4 so
that bandwidth increases in proportion to microprocessor
frequency, ensuring unprecedented scalability.

-- Distributed switch interconnect architecture -- a new method
of connecting devices that dramatically increases scalability
by combining the benefits of bus and switch architectures.

Today's announcement illustrates IBM's growing leadership in the supercomputing market. According to the TOP500 Supercomputer List, IBM systems account for 215 of the world's 500 most powerful high performance computers -- more than any other vendor.

IBM can be found on the Web at

May 18 - Sega Unleashes Content Onto All Video Game Platforms. Sega(R) of America today announced that it is building on its incredible content strengths and laying the groundwork to become the world's leading publisher of interactive entertainment across all video game platforms.

Continuing to set the stage for this success, Sega announced that the company has completed publishing deals with all of the major video game hardware manufacturers for their next-generation consoles -- the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft(R) and the NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM). This fiscal year, the company plans to unleash more than 20 Sega games on multiple platforms, including top titles such as "Virtua Fighter(TM) 4" for PlayStation 2, "Crazy Taxi(TM) Next" (working title) for Xbox, and "Phantasy Star Online(TM)" (working title) for the NINTENDO GAMECUBE.

"Sega has been a third party publisher for only a few months and already, we have an unprecedented lineup for this fiscal year across all platforms," said Peter Moore, president and COO, Sega of America. "Sega has the talent and the experience in making great content to become a publishing powerhouse and once we finish laying the foundation, we will be unstoppable. This is only the beginning for the new Sega."

Capitalizing on its game content and well-known properties and characters -- areas that have been Sega's biggest strength for more than 40 years -- Sega also announced that the company is going beyond next-generation console game development. Sega is also currently developing multiple titles for the Game Boy(R) Advance hand-held gaming system from Nintendo including "Sonic The Hedgehog(R) Advance" (working title), "ChuChu Rocket!(TM)" and "Advanced Columns" (working title).

Additionally, Sega has become an architecture provider of the powerful Dreamcast chip-set technology for a range of devices including the Pace(TM) Micro Technology set-top-box. By embracing technologies including Java, Sega is also taking advantage of different publishing channels and will deliver Sega games to Palm(TM) handheld computers and Motorola(TM) cellular phones. With this new strategy, Sega will be significantly broadening its accessibility to consumers and pave the way to become the leading publisher of interactive entertainment.

Sega can be found on the Web at

May 18 - Transmeta Wins Sharp As Notebook Customer. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced that Sharp Electronics Corporation has introduced the Crusoe-based Mebius PC-SX1-H1 notebook PC in Japan with up to 10 hours of battery life.

With Sharp as a customer, every major Japanese notebook maker has introduced at least one Crusoe-based product less than a year after Transmeta shipped the first Crusoe microprocessors in September 2000.

Transmeta's penetration in the region is significant given the combined market size of Japan and Asia/Pacific for mobile PCs, which is nearly equal to the U.S. mobile PC market. There were 2,194,306 combined mobile units shipped in Japan and Asia/Pacific in the fourth quarter of 2000, compared to 2,206,474 mobile units shipped in the U.S. during the same period. (Source: Gartner Dataquest's Worldwide PC Quarterly Statistics, April 11, 2001.)

"Crusoe-based systems have gained great acceptance and penetration into the Japanese and Asia/Pacific markets in less than a year and many of these units are also shipping in the United States and Europe," said Jim Chapman, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Transmeta Corporation. "The Sharp Mebius is one more great example of the long-battery life mobile PCs that the Crusoe microprocessor is enabling in the marketplace."

Sharp's new notebook uses a 600 MHz Crusoe TM5600 processor and weighs only 3.2 lbs. It offers up to five hours of battery life with a standard battery and up to 10 hours with an optional battery. For a lightweight system, it is packed with a number of unique features, such as three USB ports, Smart Media card slot, SD memory card slot, IEEE 1394 interface and built in modem, network and standard DB-15 video connectors. These features make the Mebius PC-SX1-H1 the first notebook in its category to provide connections with handheld devices and digital cameras.

The system has a comfortable keyboard, 20 gigabyte hard drive, 128 megabytes of memory and a 10.4" TFT screen. Wireless or other additional features can be added using a PC card slot. The Mebius PC-SX1-H1, which runs Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Me, will be available in Japan as of June 30.

To learn more about Transmeta and the Crusoe microprocessor, visit

May 17 - Sony Updates VAIO PictureBook PC with Latest Transmeta Crusoe Processor. Reinforcing its status as a leader in mobile communications and computing, Sony Electronics Wednesday announced the new VAIO(R) PCG-C1VP PictureBook(TM) PC -- its second generation notebook incorporating the energy-saving Crusoe(TM) processor from Transmeta Corp. (NASDAQ:TMTA).
The new Crusoe processor enables extended battery life and contributes to the compact size of the latest VAIO PictureBook PC.
"The PC industry is witnessing a migration of the VAIO PictureBook PC from an out-of-the-box consumer product to an advanced productivity tool," said Mark Hanson, vice president and general manager for VAIO PC marketing for Sony Electronics.
"The PictureBook PC is increasingly being invited into the corporate market, so we have enhanced the product's features for the mobile business user. For the first time, the C1VP will offer a Windows(R) 2000 Professional version to better fit into the corporate market."


Only about one-inch thin, 2.2 pounds and equipped with a 667 MHz TM5600 Crusoe processor, the new PictureBook PC provides the ultimate portable productivity tool for business travelers and multimedia innovation for creative users.
The PictureBook C1VP PC affords up to 20 hours of untethered power (using an optional quad-capacity lithium-ion battery). Users can benefit from additional productive mobile time and freedom from power cords and AC adapters.
Wireless enthusiasts who become new VAIO notebook owners can take advantage of an opportunity to receive a free wireless modem through a promotion that enables them to access business-critical information, browse Web sites, read and send e-mail, obtain stock quotes and check movie listings on their notebook PCs from just about anywhere in the United States.
The promotion, through GoAmerica(TM), enables individuals to customize their Web browsers, add personal links and even disable images for faster wireless browsing experiences -- all of which optimize wireless Internet access for VAIO notebook users.

Multimedia and Convergence Capabilities

Adding to the new PC's unique design is a built-in, progressive scan camera for one-button capture of digital still and video images on a PC. The unit also features a bountiful selection of digital video editing software.
The new PictureBook PC comes with a full suite of business and entertainment applications, including Sony's MovieShaker(TM) movie making software, which enables a simple application for producing digital home movies and music videos. Also included is Sony's PictureGear(TM) software to help manage digital content like panoramic photographs, and DVgate(TM) software to help capture full motion digital video and still photography for multimedia presentations or video e-mail.
The C1VP PictureBook PC is equipped with a 15.0 GB(4) hard drive, 128 MB SDRAM and a MagicGate(TM) Memory Stick(R) media slot for quick and unlimited storage of music, video, digital images and other data.
And to facilitate rapid digital video, audio and data transfer among Sony Digital Handycam(R) camcorders, Sony Cyber-shot(R) digital still cameras and other compatible devices, all VAIO notebooks come equipped with Sony's i.LINK(R) (IEEE 1394)(5) digital interface.
The PCG-C1VP ships with a Windows(R) Millennium Edition operating system for under $2,000. Its Windows 2000 counterpart, the PCG-CIVPK, will cost about $2,100. Both systems will arrive on store shelves in June.
For additional information about Sony computer products, visit Sony's Web site at:

May 17 - TRW Micro-Thruster Fires on Sub-Orbital Test. A micro-thruster array measuring one-quarter the size of a penny, designed by a TRW-led team (NYSE:TRW) for use on micro-, nano- and pico-satellites, has successfully demonstrated its functionality in a live fire test aboard a Scorpius sub-orbital sounding rocket.
Individual micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) thrusters, each a poppy seed-sized cell fueled with lead styphnate propellant, fired more than 20 times at 1-second intervals during the test staged at the White Sands Missile Range. Each thruster delivered 10(-4) Newton seconds of impulse.
"The test proves the technology behind this micro-thruster is well along in its development," said David H. Lewis Jr., TRW's MEMS Digital Micro-Propulsion project manager. "We're very pleased with its performance at White Sands. We believe micro-thrusters have the potential to provide on-orbit propulsion for station keeping, orbital correction and attitude control for future, very small satellites weighing from less than a pound to as much as 50 pounds."
The MEMS design, based on silicon chip fabrication technology, offers several advantages over conventional thrusters: It has no moving parts, utilizes a variety of propellants, is scalable, eliminates the need for tanks, fuel lines and valves, and fully integrates the structure of the satellite with the propulsion to power it. The micro-thruster is being developed by TRW and teammates Caltech and the Aerospace Corp. under a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The MEMS micro-thruster arrays are fabricated as a three-layer silicon and glass sandwich, with the middle layer consisting of multiple small propellant cells sealed with a rupturable diaphragm on one side and an ignitor on the other. Each cell is a separate thruster, and when ignited, delivers one impulse bit. Delivering propulsion in discrete increments by igniting thrusters in controlled sequences has lent the technology the name "digital propulsion."
TRW Space & Electronics builds communications, scientific and defense spacecraft for military, civil and commercial customers; produces, integrates and tests payloads; develops advanced space instruments; and integrates experiments into spacecraft. It is an operating unit of TRW Inc., which provides advanced technology products and services for global automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and information systems markets.
TRW's Web site is at

May 17 - AMD Announces Support for Next-Generation HyperTransport Bus. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced it has identified a test system from Teradyne, a leader in testing technology, to be used for products that will incorporate the next generation HyperTransport(TM) I/O Link data bus.
The Teradyne J973EP VLSI Test System with the inSync Differential Test option provides manufacturers of microprocessors, core logic, integrated processors and graphic devices with the ability to increase the frequency and accuracy of HyperTransport implementations. AMD also disclosed that it has been working with Dolphin Technology to develop HyperTransport physical interfaces or "PHYs", the high-speed circuitry inside of a computer chip that enables it to transmit and receive digital data along wire pairs using analog signaling.
HyperTransport technology, formerly code-named LDT, is an innovative new technology designed to enable the chips and components inside of PCs, networking and communications devices like those that power the Internet, to communicate with each other up to 24 times faster compared with existing technologies.
"Today's announcement reinforces AMD's commitment to drive state-of-the-art technology into the market," said Gabriele Sartori, director of technology evangelism for AMD. "HyperTransport technology support from companies like Teradyne and Dolphin Technology benefit AMD's plans to introduce innovative new products. Such support may be designed to also address the product design and the test needs of other companies who choose to license the HyperTransport bus for chip-to-chip communications. We have selected Teradyne's J973EP with the inSync Differential Test option as one of the testing systems for the HyperTransport bus."
"Teradyne recognized the potential of the HyperTransport bus from the beginning and has worked closely with AMD to ensure that innovative and cost effective test solutions were in place to support the engineering and production ramp of this technology," said Rod Stewart, product marketing manager of Teradyne, Inc. "The HyperTransport bus is designed to enable semiconductor devices to communicate with each other at an unprecedented 1.6 Gbps. This exciting new technology presented new test challenges in the area of speed, accuracy and differential signaling. We are pleased that AMD has selected Teradyne's J973EP inSync Differential Test option, the ATE industry's first 1.6 Gbps differential test solution."
"AMD recognized the importance of having computer chips from different companies communicate with each other," said Mo Tamjidi, president of Dolphin Technology. "At the high speeds within HyperTransport technology, minor electrical variations may create interoperability issues. Dolphin Technologies has worked closely with AMD to develop a physical interface (PHY) that is designed to allow companies to ensure product compatibility."
Although initially developed for high-performance PC and server platforms, the technology is also gaining momentum in networking and communications devices, embedded applications, and other non-PC devices. Multiple products integrating support for HyperTransport technology are in development to support desktop and notebook PCs, workstations and servers, and Internet communication devices.
More than 150 companies are working with AMD to drive the development of HyperTransport technology. An increasing number of these companies, including Acer Laboratories, API NetWorks, Inc., Aralion, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Cognigine Corporation, Dolphin Technology, ESS Technology, Galileo Technology, Hewlett Packard, LSI Logic, Mellanox Technologies, Pericom Semiconductor Corporation, PLX Technology, PMC Sierra, SandCraft, Inc., Broadcom, Sun Microsystems, Tyan Computer Corporation, have licensed the technology to design into their products. A HyperTransport consortium is also planned for later this year.

About HyperTransport(TM) Technology

HyperTransport(TM) technology is a new high-speed, high-performance, point-to-point link for integrated circuits. HyperTransport provides a universal connection that is designed to reduce the number of buses within the system, provide a high-performance link for embedded applications, and enable highly scalable multiprocessing systems. It was developed to enable the chips inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to communicate with each other up to 24 times faster than with existing technologies.
Compared with existing system interconnects that provide bandwidth up to 266MB/sec, HyperTransport technology's bandwidth of 6.4GB/sec represents better than a 20-fold increase in data throughput. HyperTransport technology provides an extremely fast connection that complements externally visible bus standards like the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), as well as emerging technologies like InfiniBand. HyperTransport technology is the connection that is designed to provide the bandwidth that the new InfiniBand standard requires to communicate with memory and system components inside of next-generation servers and devices that may power the backbone infrastructure of the telecom industry. HyperTransport technology is targeted primarily at the information technology and telecom industries, but any application in which high speed, low latency and scalability is necessary can potentially take advantage of HyperTransport technology.
HyperTransport technology also has a unique daisy-chainable feature, giving the opportunity to connect multiple HyperTransport input/output bridges to a single channel. HyperTransport technology is designed to support up to 32 devices per channel and can mix and match components with different bus widths and speeds.

More information about AMD can be found at

May 17 - MoSys' 1T-SRAM Memory Used in Nintendo's GAMECUBE. MoSys, Inc. announced today that Nintendo is using 27 megabytes of MoSys' high-performance, low-latency 1T-SRAM(TM) memory technology in the production of the "GAMECUBE," Nintendo's new generation video game console.
Setting a new standard by incorporating more SRAM-performance memory than any previous consumer product, the Nintendo GAMECUBE realizes the highest level of graphics performance while also enhancing the productivity of games developers.
"The exceptional low latency and high speed, combined with the production benefits of easy manufacturability of 1T-SRAM memory is enabling product designers to set new standards for cost and performance" commented Dr. Fu-Chieh Hsu, MoSys' CEO and president "We are proud of MoSys' contribution to this outstanding product from Nintendo."
By using MoSys' 1T-SRAM technology in the graphics processor's embedded memories, as well as the main system memories, the GAMECUBE avoids the hardware complexities required by the variable-latency and low-performance of other memory technologies. The dependable high-performance and low-latency characteristic of the 1T-SRAM memory technology also simplifies the task of writing and de-bugging games for GAMECUBE. With a sustained latency of under 10ns and 400MHz operation, the 24 megabytes of 1T-SRAM main memory in GAMECUBE delivers performance previously only available in cache memories, while the 3 megabytes of 1T-SRAM memories embedded in the "Flipper" graphics processor chip have under 5ns latency and deliver a sustained bandwidth of over 20 gigabytes per second.
"GAMECUBE has achieved the highest level system-on-chip (SOC) integration for game consoles. We are very pleased with this successful collaboration, combining NEC LSI and process strength with MoSys 1T-SRAM technology in the Flipper system LSI device producing an extremely high performance and highly manufacturable product," commented Hiro Hashimoto, CEO and president of NEC Electronics whose state-of-the-art fabrication facility in Kyushu, Japan is manufacturing the graphics processor and main memory chips that use MoSys' 1T-SRAM technology.
In a recent market research report, Semico Research Corporation estimates the video games console market will grow at over 20% CAGR over the period 2000 to 2005 with over 47 million video games console units to be shipped next year.

About 1T-SRAM

MoSys' patented 1T-SRAM technology offers a combination of high density, low power consumption, high speed and low cost unmatched by other memory technologies. The single transistor bit cell used in 1T-SRAM technology achieves much higher density than traditional four or six transistor SRAMs while using standard logic manufacturing processes. No changes are required to standard logic processes when implementing the 1T-SRAM embedded memory. 1T-SRAM technology also offers the familiar, refresh-free interface and high performance for random address access cycles associated with traditional SRAMs. In addition, this technology can reduce operating power consumption by a factor of four compared with traditional SRAM technology, contributing to making it ideal for embedding large memories in System on Chip (SoC) designs. 1T-SRAM technology is in high volume production in SoC products from MoSys' licensees. The high density of 1T-SRAM memory results in dramatic silicon area savings and manufacturing yields that are much higher than traditional six transistor memories. The high yield is further enhanced by built-in redundancy.

More information is available on MoSys' website at

May 17 - Trend Micro Offers Free Version 2.0 of Palm Wireless Antivirus Software. Trend Micro Inc. (Nasdaq: TMIC)(TSE: 4704), a worldwide leader in network antivirus and Internet content security solutions, today unveiled a new version of its free antivirus software for the Palm OS. PC-cillin(R) for Wireless Version 2.0 for Palm OS now provides automatic real-time launch scanning to prevent viruses that enter the device from every possible entrypoint - beaming, synching, email and Internet downloading.
Real-time launch scanning activates whenever applications on the device are launched and prevents viruses from activating on the device. Now users of the most popular handheld mobile and wireless device platforms, including Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) OS, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Pocket PC (Windows CE), and Symbian EPOC all have free and easy-to-use virus protection at their fingertips from the leader in enterprise Internet virus protection.
Trend Micro's PC-cillin for Wireless, version 2.0 is one of the most complete and effective real-time solutions for Palm OS devices. Unlike other solutions which provide only PC-based protection during synching or device-resident protection that needs to be manually activated by the user, PC-cillin for Wireless Version 2.0 also automatically scans every application on the device in real-time just before it is executed or "launched."
This newest layer of PDA-resident protection complements other protection capabilities already found in PC-cillin for Wireless including real-time scanning during synchronization, and automatic on-demand scanning. Combined with Trend Micro's antivirus solutions that block wireless virus threats as they pass through desktops, email servers and Internet gateways, PC-cillin for Wireless enables organizations to provide complete protection for their wireless device users.
"Since there are so many ways for wireless device users to exchange or download applications, checking for malicious code at `launch time' is ultimately the best way to block them, regardless of how they got there," commented Bob Hansmann, enterprise product manager for Trend Micro. "While there have only been a few wireless `proof of concept' viruses to date, it's really just a matter of time before wireless virus threats become more prevalent. When they do, PC-cillin for Wireless users will be protected."
It is the rare business professional who does not have some kind of personal digital assistant today. According to Gartner Dataquest, nearly 10 million PDAs were sold worldwide last year, close to double the number sold in 1999. Analysts predict that 33 million PDAs will be sold in the year 2004. Based on Trend Micro's award-winning PC-cillin(R) desktop antivirus software, PC-cillin for Wireless resides on Palm OS, Pocket PC, and EPOC handheld devices to protect users from potentially malicious code including viruses, scripts, Trojan horses, and worms. Devices are susceptible to these threats whenever users receive email, browse the Web, or receive information via beaming and synching.
Device users can easily download, install, and use PC-cillin for Wireless to help ensure that their devices are protected from all known wireless malicious code threats. In addition, corporations with employees using these wireless devices should encourage their employees to download and use PC-cillin for Wireless. PC-cillin for Wireless provides organizations with an extra layer of protection to defend their networks against this latest potential virus entry-point.
Trend Micro's PC-cillin for Wireless Version 2.0 is the latest offering from Trend Micro enabling organizations to implement complete multi-layered virus protection, and is the latest in a series of steps that Trend Micro is taking to provide comprehensive protection for both the wired and wireless network. In Q1, 2001 Trend Micro released version 1.0 of PC-cillin for Wireless. In early Q2, Trend Micro made available InterScan(R) VirusWall(R) for WAP gateways. Last year, when the first wireless malicious code threats appeared, Trend Micro updated its entire lineup of network and consumer virus protection products to include detection for all known wireless malicious code. TrendLabs(TM), Trend Micro's 24x7 global antivirus research and support center, continues to research wireless malicious code threats to ensure that Trend Micro is providing the most up-to-date protection possible.
In addition to the new real-time launch scanning feature, PC-cillin for Wireless Version 2.0 also boasts the following user benefits:

-- Familiar User Interface - Device-specific design provides the look and feel of familiar wireless applications, offering comprehensive control with a minimal learning curve.
-- Real-Time and On-Demand Scanning - Features which can identify and remove malicious code before it can cause damage, regardless of entry point.
-- Easy Maintenance - Product and virus pattern file updates are easily accomplished using device standard procedures, making it easy for users to keep protection up-to-date.
-- Minimal Footprint - PC-cillin for Wireless strikes a perfect balance between providing effective security and efficiently using limited memory resources.

Availability and Support

For a limited time, Trend Micro is offering PC-cillin for Wireless Version 2.0 as a free download to the general public through its Web site at

May 16 - Epson Announces Its First Print Image Matching Digital Camera. Epson America Inc. is incorporating a breakthrough technology in its newest digital camera. The EPSON PhotoPC(R) 3100Z will be Epson's first digital camera to include the recently announced PRINT Image Matching(TM) technology.
This technology helps photographers easily produce the best possible prints of the images they capture by ensuring that digital cameras and printers work perfectly together to optimize and better match the input and output.
The EPSON PhotoPC 3100Z three megapixel digital camera is the successor to the award-winning PhotoPC 3000Z and offers several new and advanced features that make getting the best possible prints easier. In addition to PRINT Image Matching, this compact camera provides a convenient way to mark pictures for printing with a print button located on the back of the camera.
The camera also includes Epson's revolutionary HyPict(TM) image enhancement technology, which provides customers with 2544 x 1904 pixel resolution or 4.8 megapixels. This high-quality resolution, coupled with the camera's advanced features, make the PhotoPC 3100Z one of the most compelling digital cameras in the market today for under $800.
"Cameras that capture great images have been available for some time, but the EPSON PhotoPC 3100Z is breaking ground with features that make it easy and convenient for photographers to get great prints of the images they capture," said Lisa Graham, product manager, digital cameras, Epson. "With this camera's new and unique printing tools, incredible performance and quality, it is possible that customers will never use their traditional film cameras again."

Time-Saving Features of the PhotoPC 3100Z

A feature that is especially unique and new to the digital camera market is the print button on the back of the PhotoPC 3100Z. By taking advantage of the Digital Print Order Format (DPOF), the photographer can actually "mark" the images on the memory card by scrolling through the images on the camera's LCD panel. As photos are viewed, they can be selected for printing by pressing the button either once for a single print or multiple times for more than one print of the same image. Once images are marked for printing, the card can be placed in a printer that has a built-in memory card reader and reads DPOF files, such as the EPSON Stylus(R) Photo 785EPX. The printer will automatically detect the marked photos, and the selected images will be printed.
With the PhotoPC 3100Z's USB compatibility, images can be downloaded quickly and easily to any Macintosh or Windows compatible systems. When the USB cable is connected to the computer, the camera shows up as a drive on the computer. Images can be copied to the computer's hard drive quickly and easily. This new process saves time and eliminates the frustration previously associated with viewing and downloading digital images.

The PhotoPC 3100Z will be available in late May for an estimated street price of $799 through various camera retail outlets, mail order and on the Epson retail Web site ( For more information on Epson and its products, visit the company's Web site at

May 17 -

May 16 - Fujitsu Announces New 15,000 RPM Enterprise Hard Drives. Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. (FCPA), one of the world's leading suppliers of hard drives and computer peripherals, today introduced its newest family of enterprise hard drives designed for optimal performance and product quality in high-end enterprise computing environments. Created with the most demanding server and workstation applications in mind, the MAM series, with 15,000 RPM spindle speed, provides an industry-leading maximum internal data transfer rate of up to 88 MB/sec. In addition, Fujitsu has improved the average seek time on the new enterprise drives to 3.8ms.
"Today's high-speed computing processes and bandwidth-hungry applications require faster, more efficient access when reading data," said Mark Geenen, president of leading data storage market research firm TrendFocus. "Fujitsu's new 15,000 RPM design is a competitive offering that gives the company the chance to greatly expand market share in the competitive enterprise storage arena."

The new MAM series from Fujitsu consists of two new enterprise hard drives featuring over 9GB per platter offered at capacity points of 18.4 and 36.7GB. In addition to key capacity points, the series offers a fast maximum internal data transfer rate of up to 88MB/sec. Furthermore, the new enterprise drives will be available with interfaces including Ultra160 and Ultra320 and feature an 8MB, multi-segmented data buffer which allows for consistent data transfers and higher performance.

Fujitsu's Commitment to Reliability

The new MAM series from Fujitsu provides the industry's highest MTBF rating of 1,200,000 hours and is covered by a five-year warranty. Advanced GMR head technology enables Fujitsu to produce, 1-inch high form factor drives with 2 3/4" media at industry-leading areal density of 15.8Gb/ Fewer heads and platters reduce the number of moving parts needed, greatly improving mechanical reliability. The combination of advanced, high-performance features, and efficient design embodied in the new MAM drives provide a compelling solution for customers seeking the best possible price to performance value.


The new MAM series is now available for customer evaluation. Volume shipments are scheduled to start in 3Q01. For more information about Fujitsu products and services, visit

May 16 - 3Dlabs Confirmed as Workstation Graphics Leader. 3Dlabs(R), Inc. Ltd. (Nasdaq:TDDD) today announced that the latest data confirms 3Dlabs' leading position in the market for workstation-level 3D graphics. The market research firm Jon Peddie Associates, a highly respected authority in the workstation graphics marketplace, compiled the data in its April NT/Windows 2001 Workstation Market Study. JPA calculated 3Dlabs' market share as 35 percent, topping all other competitors, including ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corporation. The results confirm 3Dlabs' leadership in meeting the needs of professionals who demand superior performance, functionality and quality when working with the industry's leading CAD, digital media, and visual imaging applications.
"Professional workstation users are increasingly demanding graphics products that are specifically engineered for professional graphics applications, rather than games chips pressed into service as makeshift workstation solutions," said Osman Kent, president and CEO of 3Dlabs. "3Dlabs is at the forefront of this trend, as indicated by this most-recent market share data. We believe that our continued focus on professional requirements will result in further growth in market share for 3Dlabs graphics accelerators going forward."
"3Dlabs is sure to maintain a strong position in the workstation-class graphics market, where graphics add-in boards (AIBs) will continue to dominate, unaffected by trends in the value segments toward integrated graphics," said Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Associates, Mill Valley, Calif. "We are forecasting a 33 percent average annual growth rate in workstation shipments over the next five years, and 3Dlabs is in an excellent position to reap the benefits of this growth. Further, emerging graphics standards such as OpenML should provide more opportunities for product differentiation in the high-end segment, which also bodes well for 3Dlabs with its solid footing in the professional market."

Building Momentum

Despite a nationwide economic slowdown, 2001 is proving to be a remarkable year for 3Dlabs, with major achievements such as:

-- Release of the next-generation Wildcat II 5110 -- the industry's fastest graphics accelerator.
-- Key OEM design wins including Compaq Computer Corporation, Dell Computer Corporation, SGI and Sun Microsystems.
-- A new Wildcat Partner Program that makes Wildcat graphics accelerators available in the reseller channel for the first time.
-- Key certifications from leading software vendors in computer aided design (CAD) and digital content creation (DCC).

For more information, visit

May 16 - Solagent Introduces Data Protection for Lost or Stolen Mobile Computers. Solagent, Inc. today announced the market release of Solagent(TM) Secure, the mobile and wireless computing industry's first remote data protection technology that enables corporations, governments, and individuals to reach out to protect and manage data on their mobile computing devices even after they have been lost or stolen.
The Solagent Secure revolutionary communication protocol allows users to remotely encrypt data and to determine whether any data has been compromised on their laptop or PDA without alerting the unauthorized user. No matter where the computer is located, no matter who is using it, even if it has been stolen, Solagent Secure provides the owner with the control to reach out and protect their data and their privacy.
With the introduction of Solagent Secure, Solagent(TM) has created a new industry category: Remote Data Protection (RDP(c)). Until today, organizations or individuals were limited to hardware tracking services or software that could only identify where a stolen PC was located based on its login information, but were helpless to stop the intrusion of their data on that device. Now, with their technology to remotely manage data, Solagent is pioneering the next generation in remote data security.

Computer Theft -- A Growing Problem

The consequence of a missing laptop or handheld computer has long been a major fear for any executive or professional who carries proprietary data away from their office. According to Safeware Insurance, in 1999 over 319,000 laptops were stolen in North America. A study by the Computer Security Institute/FBI Computer Crime Security Division indicates that the average financial loss due to a laptop theft was $86,920. Another FBI study found that 57% of computer crimes were linked to stolen laptops that were used to break into corporate servers. As Forrester Research estimates that over 50% of the U.S. workforce will be mobile by the end of 2002, the potential threat to corporate security and individuals' privacy will continue to grow.

Control is the Key

Solagent(TM) Secure provides users with the peace of mind that the information on their lost or stolen device cannot be used against them or their companies. By being able to protect your data remotely, even after it is gone, you are in control. Solagent's 24/7 accessible, subscriber web site,, and toll-free Data Protection Center allow users to report their loss and select the protection method that is right for them wherever they are, whenever they need help. With a single command they are able to remotely encrypt their most commonly used files and documents. Likewise, when the laptop is found or recovered the authorized owner can then request that the data be decrypted. Solagent's security procedures are designed to insure that any instructions, whether to encrypt, decrypt or to review if data has been compromised, can only be initiated by the owner of the mobile computing device who is an authorized Solagent Secure subscriber.

Automated Communications Protocol (ACP) -- The Heart of Solagent Secure

The heart of the Solagent(TM) software is an automated communications protocol (ACP). The ACP consists of a host system, an associated database and a small client agent that is capable of residing on multiple operating systems including all versions of Windows, Palm, and Macintosh. The ACP enables automated, secure, personalized instructions to be issued to the computer by its owner from anywhere in the world. The resident agent installed on the user's device is configured to regularly contact the host system. It is able to do this through the device's existing IP or wireless Internet connection. The communication occurs silently, in the background, without interfering with the user's computing activity or alerting hackers. Once connected, the agent certifies itself to the host. The host then issues instructions to perform security actions to that device and then disconnects without the illegal user's knowledge.
"It is important to note that our ACP is not an application," states Ken Stringer, Solagent, Inc. President and CEO, "but is capable of executing other applications or performing a variety of tasks including protective security actions."
Founder and Vice Chairman, Randy Andrews adds, "This technology enables the ACP to occupy very little space and to use very little bandwidth which is critical to our product's flexibility and makes it particularly important to the rapidly growing mobile computing, PDA and smart phone markets."
Solagent's ACP technology has the flexibility to be easily modified, by authorized users, to add tasks or to meet changes in system or communications protocols. Solagent(TM) Secure has also been designed to successfully co-exist with all major anti-virus software products.

Peace of Mind Without a High Price Tag

The data contained on a laptop, handheld or smart phone is a precious asset. Whether it contains confidential business or personal information, in the wrong hands, access to this data can be costly and devastating. With Solagent(TM) Secure, priced at $29.95 for one year or $49.95 for two years, an individual can regain control of sensitive data on a lost or stolen computer or wireless device to get that second chance that until now was impossible.

For more information, visit

May 16 - Handspring brings fast, full web access to handheld computers. Handspring, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAND) today released a new version of Blazer, its award-winning web browser for Palm OS handhelds.
The Blazer browser is designed to provide handheld computers with fast access to a full range of web content. As announced separately today, Handspring will bundle Blazer at no additional charge with the Handspring VisorPhone as part of its new Wireless Internet Access Suite, a suite of applications for wireless e-mail, web browsing and messaging. In addition, Handspring will make Blazer available to users of Palm OS-based handheld computers for $19.95 through software distribution partners Handango and Palmgear.
Using Blazer and a modem, owners of Palm OS handheld computers can get fast access to virtually any site on the Internet, not just those sites designed for mobile access. Support for color graphics, personalization, bookmarks, and strong security enables Blazer to provide users with a rich, full Internet experience. The Blazer browser has been optimized from its original version for enhanced speed and security. Blazer supports all major existing standards, optimizing HTML, WAP, and cHTML content for viewing on a handheld display. Blazer also supports access to secure web sites through encryption technology from Certicom.
Through partnerships with Microsoft and Google, Blazer also provides users with access to rich, handheld-friendly content. A mobile QuickStart page, powered by MSN Mobile, provides users with one-touch access to news, stock quotes, driving directions, weather and more. Search capability provided by Google enables users to conduct fast, accurate web searches. Furthermore, a directory of mobile sites provides Blazer users with a listing of third-party sites that have optimized content for small-screen devices.
"The future of handheld computing is directly linked to fast and affordable wireless access to web-based information," said Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring. "Blazer is a consumer-friendly solution for wireless data access that makes sense for both personal and corporate use. We intend to continue on this path as the handheld computer becomes the primary device for wireless communications and access to the Internet."
The Blazer browser further enhances the functionality of the Handspring Visor product family in conjunction with wire-line and wireless Springboard solutions currently available. By combining a Visor with any of these modules, users can experience true plug-and-play mobile access to the Internet. Blazer runs on handhelds that use Palm OS 3.1 or higher including all models of the Handspring Visor, Sony Clie and Palm series III, V, M100 and M500 connected organizers.
The Blazer browser is available immediately for purchase from Handango and Palmgear for $19.95. Customers who own the Handspring VisorPhone Springboard module can obtain the browser for free by going to the following URL,
In a related announcement today, Handspring announced that VisorPhone is now selling for $249 with a simultaneous service plan activation and $449 when purchased separately without a calling plan from GSM service providers, Cingular Wireless, Powertel, Inc. and VoiceStream Wireless. VisorPhone is a 900/1900 MHz world phone and can be used internationally with a corresponding international roaming service from the respective carrier.

For more information visit

May 16 - Semiconductor Market Forecasted to be Down 15.8 Percent in 2001. Despite the fact that 2000 was a great year for the semiconductor industry, with revenues increasing by 36.8 percent to a record $204.4 billion, that level of growth is unsustainable over the long term, according to Cahners In-Stat Group.
The high-tech market research firm foresees that worldwide semiconductor revenue will decline dramatically in 2001 with early quarters showing a significant sequential downturn and the recovery beginning in the second half as inventories are worked off and the slowing economy remains as the major problem.
"Even though growth in 2001 was bound to be lower, the overall economic slowdown and crash of the dot-coms has caused the semiconductor slowdown to occur sooner and more abruptly than previously expected.
"Instead of slower growth, we expect a reversal of direction in 2001 with worldwide semiconductor revenues falling by 15.8 percent to $170 billion," said Steve Cullen, director of In-Stat's Semiconductor Group.
"Although the sales growth of key end products including PCs, cell phones and networking hardware has slowed, most of these segments will exhibit some unit growth in 2001. However enough of the unit growth will be satisfied by existing inventory that semiconductor unit growth is also expected to decline, by 10.8 percent to 333 billion."
Although there were major additions to semiconductor capacity during 2000, the industry has responded to the current slow down by reducing capital spending more abruptly than ever before. This has minimized over capacity and is expected to result in recovery that will be nearly as fast as the decline.
Accordingly, beyond 2001, In-Stat forecasts both unit and revenue growth in 2002 and a return to more normal growth patterns by 2003.

For more information, visit

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