May 31 - Leading Linux Companies Announce Alliance
to Help Linux Mature. Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi Limited, IBM, and
NEC Corp. today announced a partnership that will capitalize on the
companies' global resources to refine features needed to drive Linux
further into the enterprise. The companies, implementing a shared
common plan to help Linux mature, will work together with the Linux
community to develop various open source projects.
By working on open source projects, the partnership will ultimately
offer customers added Linux features to deploy in their enterprises.
One of the first projects the companies will work on will be a serviceability
project designed to enhance problem isolation, the ability to quickly
and precisely isolate problems in running systems. Other projects
planned include scalability, and NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access)
capabilities for Linux. The companies plan to work closely with the
open source community to gain its insights and acceptance, while delivering
simple, modular, high-quality, serviceable results.
Today, enterprises and research institutions are increasingly looking
to Linux to meet their critical e-business applications. Linux is
the fastest growing server operating system, growing at 166 percent
last year according to IDC; with the number of users growing from
about 1,000 in 1992 to about 9 million last year. By working together
and with the Open Source Community, IBM, Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC
hope to accelerate that growth.
"Linux is rapidly becoming an enabler of e-business," said
Dr. Daniel Frye, Director, IBM Linux Technology Center. "This
move today will help ensure that Linux gains in functionality and
will ultimately provide technology decision makers a greater choice
for their server environment."
"Linux has proven itself to be a promising operating environment
for Internet businesses. Hitachi believes it will continue to grow
as an essential component for enterprise systems," said Nobumasa
Mori, general manager of Open Platform Solutions Operational Division.
"Hitachi provides a wide range of Linux servers, from PC to Mainframe.
We will also provide a variety of middleware products on Linux, so
that Linux can easily be deployed both in the Internet and enterprise
environments. Hitachi has experience and many achievements in the
enterprise system area. By making the most of its technology and experience,
Hitachi is ready to contribute to the Linux community."
"Having been cultivated in the open source community, Linux
has risen with remarkable speed to become an Internet server standard,"
said Akira Ozora, general manager of Fujitsu Limited's Linux Division.
"Fujitsu will supply robust and efficient hardware and software
components to penetrate the enterprise and public system Internet
server markets. In this regard, we consider Linux to be an extremely
important enabler of the Internet, and we intend to contribute as
much as possible to improving the reliability, stability and scalability
"In addition to network servers, the usage of Linux is now being
expanded to the enterprise servers," said Hiroshi Katayama, Chief
Manager, First Computer Software Division, NEC Solutions. "NEC
will be able to contribute to its acceleration by providing its technology
accumulated through long experience in this market under this alliance."
May 31 - QPS Ships USB 2.0
External CD-RW Drive. QPS Inc. announced today that its Que! USB
2.0 8x8x32 external CD-RW drive, for USB 2.0-equipped PCs, is now
The fast, new drive is also backward compatible with USB 1.1 (for
USB 1.1-equipped PCs) at speeds of 4x4x8. The Que! USB 2.0 allows
users to utilize the high-speed capabilities of USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed
USB) to easily and quickly record, erase and rewrite CDs -- and is
ideal for archiving and exchanging any kind of data including MP3
Que! is the first USB 2.0 CD-RW drive for PCs to arrive at major
retailers such as CompUSA and Fry's Electronics.
"Our new Que! USB 2.0 drive capitalizes on the new Hi-Speed
USB format, which supports transfer rates up to 480Mbps, allowing
use of devices that demand much higher bandwidth, such as fast CD-RW
drives and hard drives," said Pierre Abboud, vice president of
QPS. "This unique ability gives consumers more choices and the
option of using our faster CD-RW drive, now with a USB 1.1-equipped
computer, and to use the same drive at even faster speeds when they
upgrade to USB 2.0 or buy a new computer equipped with the Hi-Speed
USB 2.0 interface."
In addition to 8x write and rewrite speeds, the Que! offers up to
32x read performance on both CD-R and CD-RW media. Complete and ready
to install, the plug-and-play drive comes with 2MB of buffer RAM for
application flexibility. It also includes CD mastering software, CD-R
and CD-RW media, a protective carrying bag and all necessary accessories.
The U.S. price is $249 MSRP.
The company can be found on the Web at www.qps-inc.com.
May 31 - Pioneer Supplies DVD-R/RW Drives
to Sony for VAIO Computer Line. Pioneer New Media Technologies
Inc., the leader in recordable DVD technology, today announced that
Pioneer is now supplying its DVR-103 combination DVD/CD Recordable/Re-recordable
drives to Sony Corp. on an OEM basis for the VAIO line of computers.
The drive supports reading and writing on CD-R/RW discs and DVD-R/RW
discs, meeting all reading and recording needs with one drive. Pioneer
has been supplying the drive to major computer manufacturers including
Apple, Compaq and NEC/Packard Bell since the fourth quarter of fiscal
year 2001 (January to March 2001).
"We're very pleased to see our drive reaching end-users through
multiple OEM channels," said Hani Gabriel, senior vice president
of sales and marketing, optical systems division for Pioneer. "We
believe our DVD-R/RW drives offer consumers the best possible option
for recording data or video to DVD discs. The addition of this drive
will greatly enhance any OEM's product offering."
Demand for large-capacity media and drives capable of storing edited
data files has been growing rapidly with the proliferation of computers
and software that allow users to edit digital image data.
There is also a strong demand for CD-R/RW drives and discs now that
they have become more affordable. Since Pioneer's DVD-R/RW drives
are capable of reading and writing both DVD and CD media, Pioneer
offers a single computer peripheral suitable for digital audio and
video editing and recording.
"Pioneer has a proven track record of bringing new technology
to market," said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of product
development and technical support. "Our DVD-R/RW drive offers
three key features -- multiple format support, compatibility with
most existing video players and DVD-ROM drives and a price that reflects
a 94% reduction from our first generation DVD-R drive released in
During its current fiscal year, Pioneer will significantly expand
the production capacity of DVD-R/RW drives in China, operation of
which has just begun in May, in order to attain its worldwide production
objective of more than 1 million DVD-R/RW drives. Renamed the DVR-A03
for the aftermarket, the drive is now shipping to distributors for
the MSRP of $995.
For more information, visit www.pioneerelectronics.com.
May 31 - EarthLink Teams with RadioCentral
For Launch of ``EarthLink Radio". EarthLink (Nasdaq:ELNK),
the nation's second largest Internet service provider (ISP) as ranked
by paid subscribers, and RadioCentral, a pioneering provider of custom
interactive radio programming for commerce and content Web sites,
have launched EarthLink Radio.
The fully-interactive online radio station caters to EarthLink's
4.8 million subscribers while serving the entire online community
via www.earthlink.net. Powered by RadioCentral, EarthLink Radio lets
`Net surfers enjoy the same popular music found on many of America's
top radio stations.
Combining great sound with a range of programming, EarthLink's new
Internet radio feature represents a growing shift in the way audio
content is used on major commercial Web sites. The music is professionally
programmed and typical radio station commercial interruptions are
minimized. Instead of a barrage of radio chat and commercials, listeners
hear only brief mentions of products, services and promotions between
every few songs.
"Because it requires no downloads or external media players,
EarthLink Radio makes it extremely easy for EarthLink subscribers
and other visitors to enjoy the popular music whenever they surf the
`Net," said Erika Jolly, EarthLink's vice president of consumer
products and services. "This latest EarthLink feature enriches
our user experience while giving us a great avenue to promote our
products and services."
"EarthLink is among the first Web sites in the world to have
its own live, truly interactive radio stations," said Eric Rhoads,
president and chief executive officer of RadioCentral. "RadioCentral
blends the proven efficacy of terrestrial radio with the accessibility
of the Internet to create high-quality, leading-edge radio stations
that listeners can't always get locally."
EarthLink subscribers and visitors can listen to EarthLink Radio
from the EarthLink homepage (http://www.earthlink.net/),
the EarthLink Entertainment page (http://entertainment.earthlink.com/),
and the newly redesigned Personal Start Page(SM) (http://start.earthlink.net/).
May 31 - PC Connection to
Acquire Cyberian Outpost. PC Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCCC),
a leading direct marketer of information technology products and solutions,
and Cyberian Outpost, Inc. (Outpost.com)
(NASDAQ: COOL), a leading Internet provider of consumer technology
and e-business services, today announced they have signed a definitive
The transaction is structured as a stock-for-stock, tax-free merger
and will be accounted for under the purchase method of accounting.
The Boards of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction
and expect it to close in the third quarter of 2001. The merger is
subject to approval of the Cyberian Outpost stockholders and to other
In announcing the transaction, Patricia Gallup, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of PC Connection, Inc., stated, "We welcome Cyberian
Outpost to the growing family of PC Connection companies. This acquisition
is consistent with our stated growth strategy and complements our
existing business. Based on anticipated cost savings and gross margin
enhancements, we believe the transaction will be accretive to PC Connection's
earnings per share in the first year."
May 30 - Dell Launches 64-Bit
Itanium Workstation. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL), the world's leading workstation
provider, today announced availability of the Dell Precision(tm) Workstation
730 -- based on the Intel(R) Itanium(tm) processor -- for U.S. customers
who plan on transitioning to an industry-standard 64-bit computing
Dell plans to make the product available worldwide later this year.
The Dell Precision Workstation 730 marks a key development in creating
an open market for 64-bit workstations. New 64-bit systems can accomplish
roughly double the amount of work as 32-bit systems in a given amount
of time. Previously, customers had to purchase expensive UNIX workstations
based on proprietary hardware and operating systems -- often making
them dependent on a single vendor --to get the high-end capabilities
of 64-bit computing.
"This is good news for customers. It is an economic fact that
open markets create competition, and competition means customers get
better products at lower prices," said Jeff Clarke, vice president,
Client Product Group. "This is our first step in bringing the
efficiency, simplicity, and low cost structure of Dell's direct business
model to the 64-bit market. We will compete aggressively to provide
the best possible service and value to workstation customers."
Dell designed the Dell Precision Workstation 730 for large business
customers, software developers and scientific users to take advantage
of the new Intel Itanium 64-bit processor.
The Dell Precision Workstation 730 provides an ideal development
and testing platform for customers who intend to migrate applications
to the new architecture. Customers running technical scientific applications
with large data sets should see an immediate benefit from the large
amount of system memory and impressive floating point performance
-- a measure of how many mathematical computations per second the
processor can handle. These features are also critical to digital
content creation, computer-aided engineering and design, fluid simulation
and dynamics, and other compute-intensive applications.
Dell is working with numerous independent software vendors including
SolidWorks, Unigraphics Solutions, Newtek, SDRC, MSC Software, Monis
Software, and Cakewalk as they develop 64-bit versions of their applications.
For more details on the Dell's Itanium-based systems, visit www.dell.com/itanium.
Pricing and Availability
Starting at $7,999(a), the Dell Precision Workstation 730 comes with
a single Intel Itanium processor at 733 MHz, 1 GB SDRAM, Matrox Millenium
G450 graphics card, 18 GB(b) SCSI hard disk drive, and a one-year
next-business day onsite service(c). The Dell Precision Workstation
730 is available for order today from Dell's direct sales teams.
Dell Precision Workstations
Dell Precision Workstations are intended for professional users who
demand exceptional performance in the digital content creation (DCC),
computer-aided design (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS),
computer animation, software development and financial analysis markets.
For more information about Dell Precision Workstations visit www.dell.com/precision.
May 30 - IBM Delivers New Itanium-Based
Systems. IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced new Intel(R) Itanium(TM)-based
eServer(a) and IntelliStation(R) workstations which will form a new
Linux(R) supercluster at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
(NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Capable of 1 trillion calculations per second, a cluster of 160 new
IBM Itanium-based systems will be the most powerful Linux supercluster
Scientists will use NCSA's IBM eServer clusters to study a wide range
of research problems, from how gas flows over surfaces at supersonic
speeds to simulations of black hole collisions, which demonstrate
principles of Einstein's General Relativity Theory. The new Itanium-based
eServer cluster will complement the cluster of 512 eServer x330's
installed earlier this year.
"Linux, Itanium and IBM create a very strong combination,"
said Dan Reed, director of NCSA and the National Computational Science
Alliance. "We have been running Linux on IBM Itanium-based servers
and workstations for quite some time and have seen very good performance
on applications. These new systems will provide great additions to
the eServer x330 based-Linux Supercluster that is already installed."
The new eServer x380, IBM's first Itanium-based server, was designed
as the industry standard reference platform for IA-64 development
efforts. Available with up to four processors, the x380 delivers increased
performance for data intensive applications such as data mining and
data warehousing, online transaction processing and security applications.
In addition, the x380 is available with up to 64GB(1) of memory permitting
in-memory processing of data intensive applications, which helps avoid
bottlenecks. System also includes hot swap and redundant fans and
four power supplies, along with hot-swap PCI technology.
Targeted towards bringing high-end Intel computing into the technical
environment and data center, the x380 can scale up to four processors
and scale out to hundreds of nodes using industry standard clustering
New IntelliStation Z Pro
The new IntelliStation Z Pro announced today is IBM's first workstation
to take advantage of Itanium, creating new solutions for engineers,
media creators and scientists. Working in collaboration with the University
of Minnesota, NCSA scientists using the new IntelliStation Z Pro to
study gas flow dynamics have achieved single-processor performance
in excess of 650 megaflops. Engineers can take advantage of floating
point performance to run compute-intensive applications, such as finite
analysis, on lower-cost platforms. And media creators can design more
life-like animations while reducing rendering time.
"Few tasks are more complex or demanding of the capabilities
of the host platform," says Chris Ford, senior product manager,
Alias 5/8Wavefront, a leading software developer of 2D and 3D graphic
technology for film and video, interactive media and industrial design.
"Maya's unparalleled capabilities in physical-based simulation
utilize the Itanium processors floating point performance to maximize
throughput of the most complex problems imaginable."
The IntelliStation Z Pro is one of the most reliable workstations
available, with rigorous testing in design and manufacturing, a three-year
limited warranty (2), and the opportunity to communicate directly
with the engineering development team through the "Ask Engineering"
program. Systems will be available June 29, and prices start at $16,799
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is the leading-edge
site for the National Computational Science Alliance. NCSA is a leader
in the development and deployment of cutting-edge high-performance
computing, networking, and information technologies. The National
Science Foundation, the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois,
industrial partners, and other federal agencies fund NCSA. For more
information see http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu
For more information, visit www.ibm.com/eserver
May 30 - Red Hat Announces Red Hat Linux
7.1 for Itanium Processor. Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq:RHAT), the leader
in developing, deploying and managing open source solutions, announced
today the availability of Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium(TM) Processor.
Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor features the Red Hat
Linux 7.1 operating system with the new 2.4 kernel. This configuration
supports the very large address space of Itanium-based systems and
scales efficiently to eight or more Itanium processors running as
a single system image. New configuration tools and security enhancements
are also available in this new release from Red Hat.
Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor is designed for developing
and porting applications that require superior performance on high-end
servers and workstations. This release is equally suited to porting
32-bit applications or RISC applications to Itanium-based systems,
as well as developing new applications for Itanium-based processor
systems that are designed for superior performance on high-end servers
and workstations for mission-critical reliability.
"Intel recognized very early that Linux was going to be a very
important operating system in the future, and we are pleased that
they chose to work with Red Hat as a strategic technology developer.
Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor will enable the enterprise
and technical computing communities to take full advantage of Intel's
new technology running on the industry's standard Linux platform,"
said Michael Tiemann, CTO, Red Hat.
"With the release of Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium processor-based
systems, developers should be confident that the technology, support
and leadership is in place to successfully develop, deploy and manage
64-bit Linux applications and services," said Victor Krutul,
Linux Technology Mgr, Intel Corporation.
New Features and Benefits of Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor:
-- 2.4 Kernel positions Red Hat Linux as an enterprise class
operating system. Provides significantly improved
multiprocessor support, makes virtual memory effectively
limitless, supports 64 GB of physical RAM, supports greater
number of users and groups, includes revised scheduler to
handle more processes, carries increased and improved device
support, as well as an improved multi-threaded network stack
and virtual filesystem.
-- Heightened Security delivers secure default settings that
keep ports closed and Internet utilities inactive until
needed. A new firewall screen enables users to turn on or off
as many features as desired for totally customized security.
-- Configuration tools make system administration easier than
ever with BIND (DNS), Apache and Print tool.
-- Installer enhancements improve the user experience by
providing a graphical Kickstart configuration tool for
-- Desktop Functionality includes updated GNOME & KDE, popular
graphical environments where users can choose their preferred
desktop, and Mozilla, a Web browser, email client and news
reader that provides a complete open source Web and messaging
-- XFree86 4.0.3 interface supports 2D and 3D graphics.
-- USB support for "hot pluggable" devices.
-- New 200-page Customization Guide.
Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor will be available for
download and from hardware partners in the coming weeks. For more
information on Red Hat Linux 7.1 for the Itanium Processor, please
May 30 - 3Com's Wireless Bluetooth PC Card
Enables Simple Connectivity. As a step in enabling personal electronic
devices to connect effortlessly without cables, 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq:COMS)
today announced the worldwide availability of its Bluetooth(TM) PC
Card, featuring a radically simple 3Com Connection Manager for Bluetooth
software package and an innovative antenna design.
The 3Com(R) Wireless Bluetooth PC Card allows mobile users to instantly
share information (such as data files, text documents and contact
lists) among Bluetooth-enabled personal devices including notebooks,
desktop PCs, cell phones and handhelds.
As one of nine promoter companies in the Bluetooth Special Interest
Group, 3Com has been a driving force in determining the latest industry
standard Bluetooth specifications. 3Com's Wireless Bluetooth PC Card
is among the first to market based on the new Bluetooth 1.1 specification.
The new specification includes a number of enhancements to the original
1.0 specification, and is intended to ensure compatibility among Bluetooth
products regardless of the vendor.
"The simple and ad hoc nature of Bluetooth connections is ideal
for personal devices such as mobile phones and PDAs and is also a
perfect complement to the inherent structure of a local area network
(either wired or wireless) for computing devices like laptops. Bluetooth
is an integral component of 3Com's complete communications solutions
that enable simple, reliable and secure mobile connectivity,"
said Rick Maule, vice president and general manager of 3Com's Mobile
"3Com's Bluetooth products demonstrate our solid heritage in
serving the connectivity needs of the mobile worker, and with our
distribution channels, we will be a powerful force in placing standards-based
Bluetooth products in the hands of consumer, road warrior and enterprise
Delivering on the Promise of Bluetooth
3Com's wireless Bluetooth products enable users to conveniently connect
without cables, share files among personal devices, establish a quick
dial-up Internet connection via a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or
print to a Bluetooth-enabled printer without logging onto the local
network. With this new technology, exchanging files in a conference
room or checking email on the road can be accomplished without cables,
in a matter of seconds.
In April 2001, Cahners In-Stat Group estimated that shipments of
Bluetooth-enabled products will soar to 955 million units by 2005.
"For Bluetooth to successfully live up to its potential of universal
adoption, it must be easy to install and manage. We are encouraged
that 3Com's products are simple to use. The future is bright for this
emerging technology with enormous potential, and 3Com is on the leading
edge of what is sure to be the future of personal wireless networking,"
said Joyce Putscher with Cahners In-Stat.
3Com's Radically Simple Software
Building on its rich history of innovations in mobile connectivity,
the 3Com Connection Manager for Bluetooth software ships with each
PC Card and provides radically simple connectivity for the mobile
-- Exchanging files or printing is a simple, one-step,
-- Recognizing other Bluetooth devices requires no user
interaction. Discovery is done automatically by the 3Com
Connection Manager for Bluetooth software.
-- Multiple security options allow users to control access to
- A fully discoverable setting enables other Bluetooth
devices to recognize and transact with the Bluetooth
- A medium level of security enables other Bluetooth devices
to recognize the Bluetooth device, but requires a password
- The highest level of security cloaks the Bluetooth device
from other devices, and transactions are only possible
with a password from authorized devices.
-- The 3Com Connection Manager for Bluetooth software and
firmware are flash upgradeable, providing a future-proof
upgrade path as additional profiles are added to the Bluetooth
specification, protecting customers' investment in this new
Innovative Antenna Design
3Com's Wireless Bluetooth Type II form factor PC Card features 3Com's
patented XJACK(R) antenna, which folds conveniently into the PC Card
when not in use. This innovative design eliminates the need to remove
the card from the notebook. When extended, the XJACK antenna reduces
dead zones and interference by providing true omni-directional coverage.
3Com's card is also functional with the antenna retracted, so it does
not interfere with other PC cards using the second PC Card slot.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi(TM) (802.11b) Wireless Networking
As a leading provider of both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless
products, 3Com recognizes the complementary nature of the technologies,
objectively playing to the advantages of each, and enabling them to
coexist. Bluetooth is designed for quick bursts of low-bandwidth information
in a cable replacement scenario, while Wi-Fi is the ideal wireless
LAN technology for transferring high-bandwidth files or for always-on
Internet and network connectivity. Bluetooth's purpose and design
allows small computing equipment such as notebooks, cell phones and
handheld computers to complete small data transfers using a less expensive,
smaller-footprint device and significantly lower power consumption.
Pricing & Availability
The 3Com Wireless Bluetooth PC Card, including the 3Com Connection
Manager for Bluetooth software, (model No. 3CRWB6096) is scheduled
to be available in June 2001 for a US list price of $149. 3Com's Wireless
Bluetooth PC Card will be sold through standard 3Com channels, including
traditional retail partners, distributors, resellers, VARs, catalog
and at 3Com.com. The PC Card and software comes with a limited lifetime
For further information, visit www.3com.com.
May 30 - Ressearch Firm Warns Intel Must
Use Caution During Pentium 4 Transition. Intel is in the midst
of a processor generational change that is as important as any previous
change (486 to Pentium, Pentium to Pentium II), according to Cahners
In light of this, the high-tech market research firm finds that,
despite the company's dominance in the market, several issues will
have an impact on Intel's success. "Intel must carefully manage
the transition to Pentium 4, as any miscalculations could further
reduce ASP and/or shipments.
"To spur demand for Pentium 4, the company must identify and
promote applications that make effective use of a 2.0GHz processor,"
said Kevin Krewell, senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR's Intel Microprocessor
In-Stat/MDR projects that Intel's biggest competition will come from
AMD, which had a stated, but now unreasonable, goal to double its
market share (to nearly 30 percent) by the end of 2001, with additional
competition coming from non-PC devices. Intel hopes to compensate
by increasing its penetration of the highly profitable server market,
but it faces several entrenched competitors in that segment.
In addition, Intel's dominance will force many other companies to
keep tabs on its products and roadmaps. According to Krewell, "Increases
in processor performance affect the plans of both software applications
developers and system component makers, which must design their products
to take advantage of available CPU performance.
"Software vendors are specifically concerned about when to use
new instructions, such as 3DNow, SSE, and IA-64. PC and system-logic
makers need to know what sockets Intel and other CPU vendors will
be targeting during the next few years."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- In 2001, Intel will drive the Pentium 4 microarchitecture into
mainstream performance desktop PCs and obsolete the Pentium
III (in this market segment) by 1Q02. The larger die of the
initial Pentium 4 (Willamette) will limit its ability to
replace the Pentium III, but the next process generation
(0.13-micron) will shrink the Pentium 4 to a manufacturable
-- Intel's desktop ASP should deteriorate during 2001 and
stabilize in 2002 on the strength of the Pentium 4 processor
and its ability to maintain a substantial lead over AMD during
that time. Intel will compensate for lowered ASPs by reducing
-- Intel's chip sets will continue to focus on RDRAM for the high
end of the performance desktop but will add SDRAM in late 2001
and provide DDR SDRAM support in 2002. Intel will also add
integrated graphics to a Pentium 4 chip set in 2002 to support
a lower-cost infrastructure as Intel migrates the Pentium 4
microarchitecture into its value (Celeron) desktop segment.
Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at www.instat.com.
May 29 - Manufacturers to
Ship First Intel Itanium-Based Systems in June. Computer manufacturers
are expected to introduce initial Intel(R) Itanium(TM)-based servers
and workstations in June, Intel Corporation said today. The company
expects approximately 25 computer manufacturers to offer more than
35 models this year, as hundreds of hardware, software and application
vendors provide products that support Itanium-based systems.
Targeted at the most demanding enterprise and high-performance computing
applications, the Itanium processor is the first in a family of 64-bit
products from Intel. The Itanium processor's Explicitly Parallel Instruction
Computing (EPIC) design enables breakthrough capabilities in processing
terabytes of data, speeding protected online purchases and transactions,
and processing complex computations.
These features address the growing needs for data communications,
storage, analysis and security while providing performance, scalability
and reliability advantages at significantly lower costs than proprietary
offerings. Application segments include large databases, data-mining,
e-Commerce security transactions and mechanical computer-aided engineering,
as well as high-performance and scientific computing.
Four operating systems will support Itanium-based systems, including
the Microsoft Windows* platform (64-bit Edition* for workstations
and 64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition 2002* for servers);
Hewlett Packard's HP-UX 11i v1.5(a), IBM's AIX-5L(a) and Linux. Caldera
International, Red Hat, SuSE Linux and Turbolinux plan to provide
64-bit versions of the Linux operating system.
Itanium-based systems deliver world-class performance and reliability
through a number of product and architectural innovations. For example,
database and data-mining applications used by corporations and online
stores can take advantage of the large cache memory, 64-bit addressability
and the EPIC technology's ability to execute more operations simultaneously
to speed data queries and transactions for up to 16 terabytes of data.
The Itanium processor's floating point engine enables industry-leading
performance for complex computations such as those required by data-mining,
scientific and technical computing applications.
According to independent testing results, Itanium-based systems can
provide up to a twelve-fold performance improvement for online security
transactions over proprietary RISC designs**. The Itanium Architecture
also includes unique reliability features via its Enhanced Machine
Check Architecture, enabling error detection, correction and logging
as well as Error-Correcting Code (ECC) and parity checking features.
Itanium processors will feature 2 and 4 MB of L3 cache and 800 and
733 MHz frequency speeds at prices ranging from $1,177 to $4,227.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer
of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information
about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
May 29 - HP Announces Itanium-Based
Systems, Services and Solutions. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP),
co-developer of the Intel(R) Itanium(TM) Instruction Set Architecture,
today announced a broad portfolio of Itanium Processor Family (IPF)-based
systems, services and solutions designed to provide customers with
an easy transition to Itanium-based platform technology, the flexibility
to choose among various operating systems, and protection for their
information technology investments.
"HP is confident that the Itanium Processor Family is the future
of computing," said Duane Zitzner, president, HP Computing Systems
Organization. "Today's announcement of HP's Itanium-based solutions
demonstrates HP's leadership in the future of computing technology.
Our customers will be the real beneficiaries of this new processor
"The introduction of Itanium-based servers marks a new chapter
in enterprise-class computing and establishes a solid foundation to
deliver the performance, innovation and price essential to businesses
for many years to come," said Paul Otellini, executive vice president
and general manager, Intel Architecture Group. "HP's broad support
for the Itanium processor family -- with workstations, servers and
operating system support -- exemplifies the momentum behind the Itanium
Workstation, Servers and Operating Systems
HP's first Itanium-based systems include the HP Workstation i2000
with up to 2 processors, the HP Server rx4610 with up to 4 processors
and the HP Server rx9610 with up to 16 processors.
HP offers customers the freedom to choose their operating system by
supporting HP-UX, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) and Linux. This choice provides
customers with the flexibility, cost effectiveness, scalability, application
availability and interoperability required to meet their business
HP-UX is currently the only 64-bit UNIX(R) system that provides compatibility
of customers' binary software applications as they transition from
Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) to the Itanium architecture.
HP-UX is optimized for the Itanium architecture to provide the performance,
scalability and reliability customers have come to expect from the
HP-UX operating environment well into the future. HP also currently
has the only RISC-based hardware that is upgradeable to IPF without
recompiling applications or software.
Availability and Pricing HP's Itanium-based systems are expected
to be available in late June with an estimated U.S. street price beginning
at $7,000. Information about HP and its products can be found on the
World Wide Web at www.hp.com.
May 29 - Hitachi HDTV
Monitors Feature Advanced Digital Signal Processing. The Home
Electronics Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi,
Ltd. (NYSE:HIT), www.hitachi.com/tv,
today announced its 2001 television line featuring UltraVision(R)
and UltraVision Digital(R) television products. New for 2001 is Hitachi's
proprietary digital signal processing technology that brings the highest
quality picture possible to Hitachi's digital televisions.
"Hitachi's expanded 2001 product line includes both new 16:9
and 4:3 offerings to address the demands of today's digital television
consumer," said Bill Whalen, Senior Product and Marketing Manager
for Hitachi America, Ltd., Home Electronics Division. "Hitachi
enjoys a unique advantage by producing the core elements of HDTV Monitors,
including wide neck CRT's and 6 element lens systems. These core technologies
allow us to present the consumer with an exceptional visual experience.
The next step in product development is to introduce D3VirtualHD processing
to convert today's conventional signals to match our HDTV Monitors
high resolution display capability." Hitachi's D3VirtualHD processing
is included in 5 new widescreen and 4 new standard aspect ratio HDTV
Monitors for 2001.
Hitachi's new D3VirtualHD circuit offers the consumer a choice of
different display resolutions to suit their individual preferences.
The D3VirtualHD circuit offers the choice of 1080i or 540p display.
"Conventional 480p line doubling left too much 'real estate'
untouched in our high resolution CRT's. By increasing the signal to
1080i or 540p, we are able to present an image that has more than
twice as much information vertically. When combined with our horizontal
oversampling, we can utilize more of the display's high resolution
capability and produce an image that is crisp and clear," said
Whalen. "Visible scan lines are the film fan's enemy, and with
our new D3VirtualHD circuitry the image is both smooth and detailed."
Digging a little deeper into Hitachi's D3VirtualHD technology reveals
two separate systems to match signals to the higher resolution display.
One is designed specifically for video-based sources such as sports
programming. With a video source, the D3VirtualHD circuit literally
looks through space and time with 8-point motion detection to accurately
determine the new "scaled" image. The second system addresses
film sources by detecting the film frame sequence and creating the
new image based on reconstructing the original film frame. "We
are now able to incorporate a display processor that just a few short
years ago cost in the 10's of thousands of dollars," said Whalen.
May 29 - Survey Reveals
20 Million Web Users Have Paid for Online Content. About 20 million
U.S. Web users say that they have paid for online content, according
to a Web study conducted by Lyra Research's Content Intelligence Group.
The study's respondents identified two key reasons that motivated
their payment decisions: (1) the paid site was the only place where
they could get what they wanted (43 percent), or (2) they paid because
they were curious about the content (39 percent).
Underlining the fact that 90 percent of Web users who admitted paying
for content were motivated by personal interest or entertainment desires,
the research shows that 45 percent of those who paid for Web content
bought adult-related material. Nevertheless, the survey also points
out that the next two most popular paid-for Web content categories
were work-related subjects: industry-specific business sites (27 percent)
and online database services (18 percent). The probe found that premium
music/video sites or specialized/premium news sites also drew about
10 percent of the paying audience.
The study is showcased in the lead story, "Media Power Shift,"
in a new publication, Content Intelligence. Commenting on the findings,
John Mc Intyre, managing editor of Content Intelligence, explains,
"The research indicates that successfully selling content on
the Internet requires not only developing a compelling and unique
content offering but also careful targeting of an audience's personal
desires or business needs." Mc Intyre adds, "The research
clearly shows that as the length of Web experience grows from one
year to four, the likelihood of buying content more than doubles.
This is good news for the future of an industry that has endured a
tidal wave of failed business models."
May 27 - Sunday Shopping
Watch - Memorial Day Weekend.
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 instant discounts of up to $250 on all in-store
desktop complete systems.
City is offering $100 instant
rebates on all computer packages and notebook computers.
Office Depot no ad this Sunday.
CompUSA Has 2 day sale (Sunday
and Monday) offer of $250 mail in rebates on any Intel processor based
complete desktop package and $150 rebate on any Intel CPU based notebook.
Staples no ad this Sunday.
HHGregg no special store-wide computer
sales (individual items may be on sale).
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
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 766 MHz complete system
Best Pentium III System
Compaq 1 GHz complete system
Best Pentium 4 System
HP 1.4 GHz complete system
Best Duron System
Best High End Athlon System
Compaq 1.2 GHz complete system
1. Best Low Cost Notebook
Toshiba 700 MHz Celeron
2. Best Low Cost Notebook
Compaq 766 MHz Celeron with DVD
3. Best Low Cost Notebook
Sony VAIO 800 MHz Duron with DVD
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 800 MHz build-to-order Pentium III
|New Software Releases
||Microsoft Office XP
Diablo II Expansion
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 26 - AMD and Transmeta
Announce Cooperation On Future Microprocessor Standards. AMD (NYSE:AMD)
and Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA) today announced that they
have signed licensing agreements that promote industry standards for
next generation microprocessors.
Specifically, Transmeta has licensed AMD's x86-64(tm) technology
and AMD's HyperTransport(tm) interconnect technology for their future
x86 processors and technology initiatives.
HyperTransport interconnect technology is an innovative solution
that moves information faster, enabling the chips inside of PCs, networking
and communications devices to communicate with each other up to 48
times faster than with existing technologies.
AMD's x86-64 technology is a straightforward approach to 64-bit computing.
It builds upon the x86 instruction set, and seamlessly integrates
into the current 32-bit computing and support environment.
Compatible with today's 32-bit computing environment, AMD's x86-64
technology approach will enable enterprises to transition to 64-bit
environments while preserving the billions of dollars in 32-bit hardware
and software investments.
"AMD's x86-64 instruction extensions provide the best upward
compatible path for adding 64-bit address capabilities to the x86
instruction set for the PC industry, and we applaud AMD for taking
leadership on this issue," said David R. Ditzel, vice-chairman
and chief technology officer of Transmeta Corporation.
"We also believe that the HyperTransport interconnect technology
is the right choice for the next generation input/output bus standard.
By cooperating together on these technologies, customers will be the
winners," added Doug Laird, executive vice president of product
development of Transmeta.
"Cooperative alliances such as the one we are announcing today
with Transmeta yield tremendous benefits for the entire industry,"
said Fred Weber, vice president and chief technical officer for AMD's
Computation Products Group. "AMD welcomes Transmeta to the group
of companies adopting HyperTransport technology and we look forward
to them introducing products incorporating the technology.
Transmeta's endorsement of x86-64 technology demonstrates growing
support as we move toward a new industry standard for 64-bit computing.
We hope others in the industry will recognize the potential rewards
from this collaboration and follow our cue as we advance these new
"Transmeta's move to license AMD's x86-64 technology will simplify
the lives of software developers, and increases the likelihood that
the x86-64 architecture will attract the software support it needs
for market success," observed Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst
at Insight 64 in Saratoga, Calif. "Similarly, Transmeta's decision
to adopt AMD's HyperTransport technology adds to the momentum building
behind that standard, and expands the market for HyperTransport-based
About AMD's x86-64(tm) Technology
The x86-64 technology approach to 64-bit computing builds upon the
x86 instruction set, one of the industry's most proven and widely
supported technologies. Old PC applications will continue to run without
a performance impact and new applications can take advantage of the
larger address space.
AMD x86-64 technology is designed to support applications that address
memories as large as 2 to the 64th power, such as high performance
servers, database management systems, and CAD tools. The x86-64 technology
seamlessly integrates into the current computing and support environment,
and is designed to enable enterprises to deploy high performance 64-bit
capable systems that build upon the billions of dollars already invested
in 32-bit software.
AMD enhanced the current x86 instruction set by introducing two major
features: a 64-bit extension called long mode, and register extensions.
Long mode consists of two sub-modes: 64-bit mode, and compatibility
mode. 64-bit mode supports new 64-bit code through the addition of
eight general-purpose registers and widens them all along with the
It also adds eight 128-bit floating point registers. Compatibility
mode supports existing 16-bit and 32-bit applications under a 64-bit
operating system. In addition to long mode, the architecture also
supports a pure x86 legacy mode, which preserves binary compatibility
with existing 16-bit and 32-bit applications and operating systems.
About HyperTransport(tm) Technology
HyperTransport interconnect technology is a new high-speed, high-performance,
point-to-point link for integrated circuits. It was developed to enable
the chips inside of PCs, networking and communications devices to
communicate with each other up to 48 times faster than with existing
Compared with existing system interconnects that typically provide
bandwidth up to 266MB/sec, HyperTransport technology's bandwidth of
12.8GB/sec represents up to a 48-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
and 10Gb Ethernet.
The HyperTransport connection is designed to provide the bandwidth
that the new InfiniBand and 10Gb Ethernet standards require to communicate
with memory and system components inside of next-generation servers
and devices that may power the backbone infrastructure of the telecom
Additional information on the x86-64 instruction set is available
May 26 - InfoHQ new article, Building
a 1.2 GHz DDR Athlon with the Iwill KA266-R Motherboard. InfoHQ
has posted a new article, Building a 1.2
GHz DDR Athlon with the Iwill KA266-R Motherboard. It
is a complete guide to building a DDR GHz class Athlon with many pictures
The article also includes a review of the Iwill KA266-R motherboard
and other peripherals. (6 pages of information)
May 26 - IBM Builds Linux Supercomputer
to Speed the Search for Oil. IBM today announced that a major
seismic acquisition, processing, and reservoir imaging firm has selected
a powerful IBM (R) Linux (R) supercomputer to substantially increase
its ability to assist oil companies in their search for new oil reserves
hidden deep beneath the earth's surface. The supercomputer will power
WesternGeco's sophisticated seismic imaging system and will be comprised
of a cluster of 256 IBM eServer systems, all running Linux.
With the high cost of oil exploration, particularly the drilling
effort, dry holes are not an option. That is why more companies are
turning to sophisticated methods of seismic imaging that allow scientists
to create detailed 3D maps of hidden oil and gas reservoirs before
"The use of IBM systems running Linux has greatly expanded our
ability to provide oil companies with detailed images, or to assist
oil companies in imaging potential drill sites," said Trevor
Gatus, data processing manager of WesternGeco's Houston Land Processing
Center. "With excellent performance, we are now able to more
fully utilize our most technically demanding imaging routines to assist
oil companies with their oil exploration efforts."
WesternGeco is not alone in its use of seismic imaging. As evidence
of the technology's growing popularity, in 1989 only five percent
of wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico were based on seismic imaging.
By 1996, that figure swelled to nearly 80 percent. Today, seismic
imaging precedes virtually all drilling expeditions.
xSeries-based Linux clusters are highly scalable from 4 to 1024 processors
and can be fully adapted to meet the high performance needs of the
petroleum market. Linked by a fast network, the clusters can be easily
managed from a single point of control and can act as either a single
machine or a multiple node system. The cluster at WesternGeco is comprised
of 256 eServer xSeries 330 systems, each powered by two 933 MHz Intel
Pentium III processors.
"Even with the best techniques available, oil is difficult to
find," said Dave Turek, vice president, Linux emerging technologies,
IBM. "Petroleum companies need to do everything they can to stack
the odds in their favor when making million-dollar decisions on where
to drill. "Through the use of high-performance Linux clusters,
companies like WesternGeco can image more area in less time."
For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.
May 26 - Low Income Users
are Largest Group Online in UK. More than a quarter of all Internet
users (26.9 per cent) earn less than (pound)600 per month, according
to new figures from Internet monitoring company NetValue.
Those who earn (pound)4000 or more per month make up 8.3 per cent
of all Internet users.
"The Internet is not reserved for a rich elite," NetValue's
Alki Manias said. "These figures show that the web is being welcomed
by low income earners. Online businesses have to recognise that the
Internet market is every bit as diverse as the high street market,
and not limited to big earners."
The UK gained 800,000 new home Internet users in April, taking the
national total to more than 13,500,000 home users. More than 2,300,000
have gone online at home since the beginning of the year.
The total number of people who accessed the Internet anywhere in
the UK in April (home, work, school, university, Internet cafe etc)
was just under 18,000,000. Of these, 45.5 per cent connected only
from home and 18.2 per cent connected both from home and work. 12.6
per cent of users connected only from work.
Men make up 59.1 percent of users and almost one in five users (19.2
per cent) is aged over 50.
NetValue's website can be found at www.netvalue.com.
May 25 - American Megatrends
Inc. Announces Testing Program for AMIBIOS8. American Megatrends
Inc. (AMI), leading developer of innovative BIOS solutions worldwide,
today announced the start of beta testing for AMIBIOS8 with a select
group of partners and customers.
American Megatrends' beta testing program for AMIBIOS8 has been designed
to ensure full testing of all functional areas of its newest product
in a real world environment. The testing program will be conducted
over a designated period of time with customers ranging from small
embedded device producers to high end server manufacturers focusing
on high availability solutions. Testing will be done on a range of
real products covering the industry's most "in demand" chipsets
and platforms and will concentrate on rendering AMIBIOS8 the most
complete, tested, and stable offering by AMI to date. The testing
period is expected to last for three months but may be extended or
terminated earlier than scheduled based on initial results.
AMIBIOS8 offers the full range of support for traditional industry
initiatives and technologies that AMI's current customers have come
to expect in addition to new innovations in architecture and build
design. The scalable architecture of AMIBIOS8 is targeted to the embedded
market as well. By allowing consumers to choose the functionality
they need for their solutions, AMIBIOS8 is the solution for companies
that are looking to build a solid firmware base in however small a
footprint is needed. AMIBIOS8 is an ideal solution for a host of industry
segments such as consumer electronics, industrial PCs, telecommunication
servers, internet/appliance servers and web access devices.
The enhanced Visual Development Environment, which ships with AMIBIOS8
provides an enhanced and intuitive feel to the design and development
of the OEM Solutions. AMIBIOS8 also ships with built-in high-end features
such as an Internal Debugger, Remote Manageability and Configurable
IO Subsystem, in addition to all industry standard features such as
ACPI and USB.
Built from the ground up as a scalable solution based on functional
need, AMIBIOS8 represents an innovative approach to BIOS. Providing
companies with a single firmware solution that can be utilized in
any environment, from the smallest devices to the largest and most
sophisticated server-oriented machines, AMIBIOS8 is the latest evolutionary
step of BIOS. AMI recognizes and is addressing the ever shrinking
pool of resources for BIOS programming by allowing its components
to be created in either the traditional assembly, or in C level languages
that are recognized as the future of the BIOS industry.
"It is our goal to provide the best BIOS solution for any industry
segment," said Bill Clark, Strategic Accounts Manager, Software
Division. "The modular architecture of AMIBIOS8 assures that
customers will have the ability to purchase only those modules they
need, therefore making AMIBIOS8 a cost-effective decision for customers
on the front end, and providing ROI by reducing time to market."
For more information on AMI, its products or services, visit www.ami.com.
May 25 - Two in Three
Companies Plan Upgrades to Cabling Infrastructure. Nearly two
in three companies are planning to upgrade their cabling infrastructure
within the next two years according to a recent survey of 130 US businesses
published by Sage Research, Inc. "Premises cabling is in a state
of flux," notes Kathryn Korostoff, Sage's President. "With
the ever-growing demands being placed on networks, it is not all that
surprising that businesses are aggressively planning changes to their
cabling infrastructure, both to support new sites and workgroups and
to replace existing cabling."
The study finds that previous plans by companies to replace Category
5 cabling in their vertical risers and horizontal networks were over-optimistic.
"When Sage conducted a similar study two years ago, many businesses
reported aggressive plans to replace Cat 5 with fiber or higher-performance
copper," notes Ms. Korostoff. "The reality is that 87% of
companies surveyed in the current study still use Category 5 in the
horizontal network, and of those that have Cat 5, it averages more
than 70% of the horizontal cabling in place."
In addition to quantifying Cat 5's dominant position, the study also
finds significant growth in adoption of multimode fiber and Cat 5e.
As shown in the graph, Cat 5e is now the second most common cabling
type in horizontal networks:
For the study, IT professionals from 130 US organizations were surveyed
about current and planned use of cable types on the premises, including
campus backbones, vertical risers, and horizontal networks. These
IT professionals, surveyed this month via the Web, primarily represent
businesses with more than 100 employees, ranging to more than 10,000
employees. The study also gathered data on wireless LAN (WLAN) adoption,
since this is clearly becoming a substitute technology for some companies.
For more information about Sage Research visit www.sageresearch.com.
May 25 - DSL's Value-Added
Services Will Position Industry for Revitalization. The DSL industry
is experiencing hard times. Service providers and equipment manufacturers
are struggling to remain financially viable. These struggles are not
a reflection of the technology per say, but the growing pains of a
Can the implementation of value-added services breath life into the
struggling DSL industry? The latest report from Pioneer Consulting,
"Enabling Value-Added Services Over DSL Networks: Market Opportunities
for Service Providers and Equipment Suppliers," takes a comprehensive
look at these value-added services and the sizeable market opportunities
they represent for DSL service providers and equipment manufacturers.
According to Pioneer's new study, over 16 million DSL
customers will subscribe to over 25 million value-added services by
2005. Value-added services are defined as enhancements to a basic
DSL access product that are enabled by that product. Some examples
of these services include: Video-On-Demand (VOD), Voice-Over DSL (VoDSL),
MPEG Music, Multi-Player Gaming, Videoconferenceing, Broadcast Television
and Virtual Private Networking (VPN). Pioneer estimates that value-added
services represent a market opportunity varying from $15.8 billion
to $26.6 billion per year, depending on pricing selected by service
"Each of the value-added services mentioned in the report will
generate considerable interest among subscribers. However, VPN services
will clearly lead the pack in terms of revenue and number of subscribers,"
said Michael Lowe, senior market analyst on emerging broadband research
at Pioneer Consulting. "This is because VPN services have become
so important to the operations of many businesses where other services
will be seen as more of a luxury. It is important to note though,
that many of these services will be delivered in the form of a bundle."
More information can be found at www.pioneerconsulting.com
May 24 - Dell Readies Itanium-Based
PowerEdge Server. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) announced its plan to deliver
an Intel(R) Itanium(tm)-based PowerEdge(tm) server today that the
company anticipates will help redefine the economics of how companies
run demanding applications, such as very large databases, enterprise
resource planning (ERP) and Internet commerce.
The PowerEdge 7150, available later this year, is a rack dense server
designed from the ground up to offer the performance, availability,
management and scalability characteristics of proprietary RISC architectures,
but at a fraction of the cost. According to Intel, early tests reveal
that Itanium-based servers significantly outperform some of the fastest
proprietary RISC-based systems when running high-end applications
that provide security for Internet commerce transactions. Additionally,
servers based on Intel's industry-standard technology typically are
less expensive to purchase and operate than proprietary systems because
of the large number of software vendors, service providers and consultants
that exist to support them.
The Itanium processor and its 64-bit architecture extend the capabilities
of Intel servers by exponentially increasing the amount of memory
that the microprocessor can interact with, meaning the system is able
to process more information at a faster rate than ever before. Additionally,
the new processor enhances floating-point performance, the system's
ability to perform complex calculations, for faster execution in scientific
applications, such as in engineering programs used for modeling and
testing. The new processor incorporates error-correcting technology,
known as machine check architecture, which enhances the system's ability
to compensate for processing errors automatically and ensures greater
levels of availability and data integrity.
"New Itanium systems will accelerate the process whereby industry-standard
systems continually and methodically push proprietary architectures
into smaller and smaller niches of the computing landscape,"
said Michael Lambert, senior vice president, Dell Enterprise Systems
Working with the Industry
A major impetus compelling customers to migrate from proprietary
RISC/UNIX systems to Itanium-based systems running Windows or Linux
will be strong industry support and the availability of applications
for the new architecture. Dell is collaborating with Intel, independent
software vendors (ISVs) and customers to ensure market readiness for
its new PowerEdge 7150 servers. The company is working with more than
20 leading software companies, such as IBM DB2, SAP and Veritas Software
to convert applications for use on Itanium servers and has placed
pilot systems with more than 25 customers, including Cornell University,
Motorola and Nasdaq. Dell is contributing to the development of 64-bit
versions of Microsoft(R) Windows(R) and Red Hat(R) Linux(R) with feedback
from field-based customer testing and will offer these operating systems
when they become available.
"Dell has put together an exciting combination of servers, programs
and services to help customers exploit the architectural advancements
of the Itanium processor," said Paul Otellini, executive vice
president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group. "Dell's
customers will soon have more powerful and affordable Itanium-based
platform solutions customized for today's most demanding business
Nasdaq is testing a prototype Dell PowerEdge 7150 system for two
classes of mission critical applications. The first is a class of
memory intensive applications used to replicate and distribute stock
market data on an internal data "pipeline." The second class
of applications deploy Microsoft SQL Server in support of Nasdaq's
ever growing Internet and intranet presence. According to Gregor Bailar,
executive vice president and chief information officer, Nasdaq, "With
daily transaction volumes on our network peaking at more than three
billion shares per day, we are looking for systems that will support
those transaction volumes and our need to access huge amounts of data
dynamically. We expect the Itanium-based systems to allow us to grow
our capacity and be responsive to our customers, while lowering our
cost of ownership and administration."
Lambert said Dell will deliver exceptional value to its customers
by offering these systems at some of the most competitive prices in
the industry. Dell, he said, will also deliver a series of value-added
services to both make product transitions easier and to provide the
levels of support, consulting and deployment demanded by enterprise
The PowerEdge 7150 will be capable of supporting up to four 733 MHz
or 800 MHz Intel Itanium Processors, up to 64 GB of memory and up
to four hot-plug, redundant hard drives for up to 144 GB of internal
storage. Complete technical details are available at www.dell.com/itanium.
Customers purchasing the PowerEdge 7150 can choose Dell's Premier
Enterprise Support Service Platinum and Gold Tiers with technical
account management, engineer-to-engineer support, and extensive hardware
and software support. Consulting and deployment services are also
Dell, the world's leading workstation provider, expects to announce
a Dell Precision Workstation based on the Itanium processor at the
end of this month. Dell's Itanium workstation will provide an ideal
development and testing platform for software engineers and large
corporate customers who intend to migrate applications to the 64-bit
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World
Wide Web at www.dell.com.
May 24 - NEC, Sony, and Fujitsu
Choose AMD Processors for New Notebooks. AMD today announced that
NEC, Sony Corporation and Fujitsu, three of Japan's largest computer
manufacturers, are expected to feature notebook PCs based on seventh-generation
mobile AMD Athlon(tm) 4 and mobile AMD Duron(tm) processors.
Collectively, these companies commanded over 50 percent of total
PC shipments, including notebooks and desktops, for the year 2000
in Japan. Japan is the world's second largest consumer of PCs. NEC,
the country's leading PC maker, is the first to adopt the newly introduced
1GHz mobile AMD Athlon(tm) 4 processor in Japan.
The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor is the world's highest performance
processor for the notebook PC market and features the innovative AMD
PowerNow!(tm) technology, which can extend system battery life up
to 30% without compromising performance and offers up to 50 percent
more performance than competitive systems running on batteries.
Sony and Fujitsu have both announced systems based on the mobile
AMD Duron processor. NEC is also offering systems based on the mobile
AMD Duron processor.
"We are very pleased these prestigious companies have chosen
the mobile AMD Athlon 4 and mobile AMD Duron processors," said
Kazuo Sakai, president, AMD Japan. "With notebook PCs comprising
approximately 50 percent of the PC market in Japan, these key notebook
systems establish AMD in both performance and value mobile computing."
The mobile AMD Athlon 4 and mobile AMD Duron processors support AMD's
Socket A platform architecture, providing stability and reliability.
The Socket A platform provides a cost-effective migration path to
the latest technology for both business and consumer users.
NEC plans to use the 1GHz mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor in its "LaVie
G" series. An 800MHz mobile AMD Duron processor will also be
featured in the "LaVie G" series, as well as the "LaVie
L" series. These consumer systems are expected to ship later
Sony is announcing a "VAIO note" system for the Japanese
consumer market that features a 700MHz mobile AMD Duron processor.
Sony plans to ship these systems later this month. Sony currently
offers a VAIO FX210 notebook PC that incorporates the mobile AMD Duron
processor in the U.S. retail channel.
Fujitsu is introducing a consumer notebook PC using an 800MHz mobile
AMD Duron processor in its "FMV-BIBLO" series notebook in
Japan. These consumer systems are expected to ship later this month.
AMD can be found on the Web at www.amd.com.
More information on AMD mobile processors can be found in our Laptop
May 24 - Electronic Component Manufacturers
Don't Expect Relief Until Q4 2001 or Q1 2002. Representatives
from manufacturers attending a forum sponsored by the Electronic Components,
Materials and Assemblies Association (ECA) said they don't expect
to see market improvements until the fourth quarter of this year or
the first quarter of next.
"End products drive the industry and the automotive, computer
and mobile phone markets do not look good," says Glyndwr Smith,
assistant to the CEO and senior vice president of Vishay Intertechnology,
the world's leading supplier of passive components.
Nor do other areas of consumer electronics. Wholesale color television
sales were off 35 percent in April compared to this time last year,
according to Alex Hepburn, manager of research and business planning
for Thomson Consumer Electronics' Americas Tube Operations.
Consumer debt, rising energy costs, and unemployment that could soon
hit five percent are further causes for concern on the consumer side,
according to Hepburn.
The ECA monthly index of component orders continues to reflect excess
inventories in the supply channel. Orders for the first quarter were
less than 25 percent of the record levels of the same period in 2000.
These levels have stabilized, however, indicating that the market
will remain flat, then begin to grow in the later part of this year.
Manufacturers expect no immediate relief from Japan or Europe for
the slumping U.S. market. Vishay's Smith says that Europe is expected
to go through the same slowdown as the United States did four months
ago. Consumer weakness in Europe is exemplified by auto manufacturing,
which is down by four percent according to Howard Witt, president
of Littelfuse Inc.
Good News in Taiwan, Materials
Witt does see light in some areas of the Far East, where PC and motherboard
production is up. Lambert Hilkes, chief executive officer of Yageo
America, is bullish on Taiwan, where over the past several weeks production
of PCs and motherboards increased 60-percent over the same period
last year. "We're more concerned about consumer confidence in
China," says Hilkes. "Any excess inventory could be absorbed
by China immediately."
One area not hurt by the economic downturn is chemicals. Richard
Russell, president and CEO of TechSpray, a leading producer of chemical
cleaners and anti-static products, said that his company is performing
above forecasts. While the automotive market is down, Russell says
that consumer products are "going crazy," up by 20 percent
over last year. "I see tremendous opportunity in new products,"
Smith speculates that greater visibility in the supply chain might
make up and down cycles in the market occur more frequently and in
shorter duration - three or four weeks vs. three or four months -
than they have in the past.
John Denslinger, senior vice president of sales for Murata Electronics,
sees the volatility of the market creating greater incentives for
manufacturers to eliminate inefficiencies. "There's a shift in
manufacturing of goods such as PCs from Mexico to China," he
says. "Compared to China, even Mexico is too costly."
ECA represents manufacturers and producers of passive and active
electronic components, component arrays and assemblies, and materials
and support services. It is part of the Electronic Industries Alliance
(EIA), which comprises more than 2,100 members that represent 80 percent
of the $550-billion U.S. electronics industry. ECA and its sector
partners benefit from a dynamic link into a network of programs and
activities in areas such as business and technical information, market
research trends and analysis, access to industry and government leaders,
technical and education training, and others.
May 24 - Send Internet
Photos Five Times Faster With PhotoStreak. Compression Engine
Technologies Inc. has introduced PhotoStreak that allows dial-up users
to greatly speed the sending of their images over the Internet up
to five times faster than currently possible.
PhotoStreak, an Internet Photo Accelerator, is a full-featured PC-based
software program that provides fast and easy yet powerful image compression.
It is available for a limited time for free, although usually priced
$24.95, at www.photostreak.com.
Internet usage at home now includes 58 percent of U.S. households,
or 162 million Web users, however, 88 percent of them are still using
modem speeds of 56 Kbps or less. (Source: Nielson/NetRatings).
Sending digital images over the Internet, whether as an e-mail attachment
or to a photo-sharing site, is usually a time-consuming and frustrating
experience for dial-up users. PhotoStreak makes the sending and uploading
fast and easy. It does so by providing a much smaller file size than
JPEG that is sent faster over the Internet. A PhotoStreak image is
up to five times smaller -- and thereby up to five times faster to
send -- than the comparable-quality image in JPEG.
PhotoStreak can reduce a 2MB BMP or TIFF file to 20 KB (a ratio of
100:1) or smaller while maintaining excellent image quality. A comparable-quality
JPEG file for the same image would be around 100 KB. On some images,
PhotoStreak can compress at ratios of up to 200:1 while still maintaining
acceptable image quality. Another powerful benefit of PhotoStreak
is that its image files consume up to 80 percent less hard drive storage
space than JPEG images.
May 24 - FIC Teams With Silicon Wave To
Develop Global Bluetooth Market. FIC today announced an agreement
with Silicon Wave, a leading developer and manufacturer of Bluetooth(TM)
wireless components, that allows FIC to use Silicon Wave's Bluetooth
1.1 qualified SiW1502(TM) radio modem IC in its communications and
computing product modules.
"Silicon Wave's expertise in Bluetooth IC design is second to
none," commented Gene Sheu, president of FIC's Network and Information
Group. "Joining forces with such a world leader is vital to accomplishing
one of FIC's key goals of positioning ourselves as a top global provider
of Bluetooth solutions. We also want to take this opportunity to encourage
our customers to promote Bluetooth technology, because we are very
excited about how much potential there is for the market to expand
"FIC has an excellent track record for high-tech products and
we have consistently been impressed with the innovative and reliable
Bluetooth wireless solutions they provide," said David Lyon,
chairman and CEO of Silicon Wave. "We are extremely positive
about our collaboration with FIC. This agreement reinforces Silicon
Wave's mission to ensure a superior user experience by providing robust
Bluetooth 1.1 qualified components that enable high-performance with
The agreement will involve close cooperation on a number of levels,
particularly new product development for a range of Bluetooth modules
and devices. As FIC ramps up mass production of these devices, the
company has committed to having 100 samples of the latest module at
Computex 2001 for its key OEM customers and industry partners. These
are Class 2 modules, based on Silicon Wave's SiW1502 Bluetooth radio
modem, and can be used for a wide range of interfaces (USB, PCMCIA,
UART) and devices (PDAs, Notebooks, Cell phones, motherboards etc).
The latest information about FIC products and services can be found
May 23 - IBM Delivers New Affordable Thin
Servers and Web Appliances. IBM today announced new systems in
its eServer family; a powerful and affordable thin 1U (1.75")
server and a new series of server appliances that can provide up to
a five-fold increase(a) in the speed of delivering web content to
Big Punch in a Small Affordable Package
The new IBM eServer xSeries 300 builds on the industry leading technology
of the x330, the world's first 1U server capable of packing two Intel(R)
Pentium(R) III processors combining for over 2 Gigahertz(b) of power
in a single system. Designed as a high-volume, entry-level thin server,
the eServer x300 is priced under $1,500 and addresses two key concerns
of many businesses - space and budget. Ideal for easy expansion of
web and network infrastructures, the x300 also includes support for
two fixed hard drives.
This system supports IBM's Project eLiza initiative, a multi-billion
dollar program aimed at creating a world of self-managing servers
requiring little or no human interaction with the goal of making global
computing networks as easy to manage as today's kitchen appliances.
The new eServer x300 includes features such as IBM Director and Software
Rejuvenation, a systems management package that includes advanced
self-healing computing tools that can help predict and repair software
failures before they happen. The x300 leverages IBM's best eServer
technology to provide industry standard servers with the performance,
reliability and scalability needed to run multiple operating environments
for customers of all enterprises.
Dialtone Internet (www.dialtoneinternet.com), a dedicated hosting
provider has selected the x300 to provide customers dedicated servers
running Linux or Windows e-mail, e-commerce and other web hosting
applications. "The IBM eServer systems solve our space density
problem and give us a very high level of application flexibility,"
said Alvaro Albarracin, CEO of Dialtone Internet. "Our customers
can select applications on Linux or Windows knowing that they will
be fully supported by IBM."
Speedy Web Content Delivery
IBM eServer is also introducing a family of Internet Caching Appliances
(ICA) that deliver up to a five times performance increase over the
fastest web response time currently available. Frequently visited
Web pages are stored on the Appliance where they can be quickly accessed
as opposed to accessing them on the original Internet server. In addition
to getting information to the end user quicker, the new appliances
also help to reduce overall Internet traffic. By incorporating theses
appliances into e-business infrastructures, companies can save money,
as they will require lower bandwidth. For example, an organization
that currently uses two high-speed Internet connection lines, such
as a T1, could realize a bandwidth savings that could enable them
to gain the same result with only one T1 line in place when using
The eServer Internet Caching Appliances allow customers to easily
add on the latest technologies in media streaming and content filtration.
Content filtering - or the ability to restrict access to inappropriate
content - is a feature in great demand from both schools and businesses,
two of the early adapters of caching technology.
These appliances, which incorporate the industry leading Volera Excelerator
2.0 caching engine(c), deploy rapidly and features an innovative "headless"
design that requires no keyboard, mouse or monitor.
"Volera's technology with the new IBM appliances is a real win
for our customers," said Simon Khalaf, president of Volera. "The
superior eServer architecture is engineered for optimal performance
with our Excelerator software, and coupled with IBM's world-class
customer support, there is no better Web acceleration solution on
Powered by Intel's Pentium III 866 MHz processors, the new Appliances
are available in six models ranging from a 1U thin-server workgroup
model capable of handling up to 5,000 requests per second to a 3U
enterprise rack model that can handle up to 15,000 requests per second.
Tower and Department models are also available.
New eServer Options
IBM also unveiled two new ServeRAID(TM) controllers for Intel-based
systems. The IBM ServeRAID-4Lx Ultra160 and ServeRAID-4Mx Ultra160,
which both feature an Intel GC 80303 100MHz processor and 66MHz PCI
controller. Both ServeRAID controllers help optimize performance in
mission-critical RAID data storage applications, and deliver performance,
scalability and control for entry-level and midrange storage environments.
For additional information, please visit www.ibm.com/eserver
May 23 - CSR To Bring Bluetooth
Functionality to Compaq Notebooks. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio)
today announced that its BlueCore single-chip Bluetooth solution has
been incorporated into Compaq Computer Corporation's Bluetooth MultiPort
module for the Compaq Evo(TM) Notebook N400c, via the ALPS pre-qualified
The Bluetooth MultiPort, an interchangeable module designed by Compaq
is integrated into the Compaq Evo notebook display panel to enable
wireless communication with other Bluetooth enabled devices such as
mobile phones, PDAs or printers.
Bluetooth technology has enabled the implementation of a number of
major applications to the Compaq Evo Notebook N400c, including wireless
synchronization of information between handheld and notebook computers,
file transfer between handheld and notebook computers, and dial-up
networking to Bluetooth mobile phones.
"Compaq is enabling real world applications of Bluetooth with
the MultiPort module. You will be able to compose emails on your laptop
while flying and as soon as you've landed and switched on your mobile
phone, all messages will be immediately sent," said John Hodgson,
CEO of CSR.
The MultiPort solution is a class 1 qualified Bluetooth device. Its
interface is based on industry standard USB technology, which provides
the flexibility to develop numerous solutions. Compatible with all
2001 generation Compaq Evo c series notebooks, the MultiPort is integral
to the notebook display for optimal RF performance. This design also
keeps PC Card and Mini-PCI slots free so that MultiPort users do not
have to trade-off other functionality to get a wireless enabled notebook.
CSR's BlueCore01 is the only production ready single-chip Bluetooth
solution and it includes the industry's first integrated CMOS based
radio, baseband and microcontroller. By utilizing standard CMOS technology
it can give cost and size advantages to designers of Bluetooth enabled
end products. BlueCore has the capability of running with the full
Bluetooth stack on-chip. This provides users with the flexibility
to run some Bluetooth applications in a stand-alone mode on a single
More information about CSR can be found at www.csr.com.
May 23 - Dell Launches New, Easy-To-Use
Workstation Design. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced worldwide
availability of the Dell(tm) Precision(tm) Workstation 530 for power-hungry
professionals such as computer-aided engineers and designers, software
developers, digital content creators and financial analysts.
The Dell Precision Workstation 530 offers maximum performance with
up to two new Intel Xeon processors at 1.7 GHz. The system employs
an innovative clamshell chassis designed for easy expansion and accessibility.
Because of its expandability, the Dell Precision Workstation 530 will
replace both the current mid-range and high-end Dell Precision Workstation
models, making it easier for customers to choose the system that best
suits their needs.
"In one visually compelling, easy-to-use chassis, Dell makes
it simple for customers to configure and purchase mid-range to high-end
workstations," said Jeff Clarke, vice president, Dell Precision
Workstations. "Dell's customer focus is why more of them choose
to buy their workstations from Dell than any other vendor."
New System Design
Dell developed its latest workstation with performance, style, expansion
and ease-of-access in mind. Features include:
Clamshell chassis -- Opening the chassis is a "no tools required"
operation that uses a latch, similar to lifting the lid on a
laptop, making it quicker and easier to access internal
Performance and scalability -- The system offers customers a wide
range of key component options:
-- Supports two Intel Xeon processors
-- Provides up to 4 GB of RDRAM(e)
-- Holds up to 292 GB of internal SCSI storage
-- Supports optional high performance RAID
-- Supplies three 32-bit and two 64-bit PCI slots for
exceptional system throughput
-- Houses three 5.25-inch external bays for removable devices
such as CD/RW and DVD drives
Extensive graphics options -- AGP Pro110 4X supports a broad range
of 2-D, 3-D and multi-monitor graphics cards such as 3D Labs
Wildcat II 5110, ATI Fire GL2, NVIDIA Quadro2 Pro, NVIDIA GeForce
2 GTS, and the Matrox Millennium G450.
Visual ID -- The distinctive Dell Precision Workstation shield,
contoured casing, and midnight gray color reflect Dell's emphasis
on taking industrial design beyond the "putty-colored box."
Front-mounted ports and diagnostic LEDs -- Customers can plug two
USB devices and one IEEE 1394 device into the front of the system
instead of reaching around to the back. An LED display on the
front makes for easy viewing to help improve diagnostic accuracy,
speed repair and reduce downtime.
Easy to follow color coding -- Dell helps customers accelerate
system setup and maintenance with color-coded connectors, cables
and internal components.
Easy to add/remove components -- Customers can simply and quickly
swap internal components such as hard disk drives, memory and
graphics cards without tools.
For a Web-based tour, or to download a photo, visit www.dell.com/precision.
Customers can order the Dell Precision Workstation 530 with up to
two Intel Xeon processors at 1.4, 1.5 or 1.7 GHz. The Intel Xeon processor
provides outstanding workstation performance for customers running
multiple, complex and compute-intensive applications such as 3-D visualization,
scientific calculations, financial analysis and image processing.
Dell Precision Workstation 530 pricing begins at $1,799(a). An example
configuration includes the Intel Xeon processor at 1.7 GHz, 256 MB
RDRAM(tm), NVIDIA(R) Quadro2 Pro(R) graphics card, 20 GB(b) IDE hard
disk drive, 48X-maximum CD ROM drive, three-years onsite next-business-day(c)
service, Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 -- and a 17-inch flat panel
monitor -- for $3,813(a).
For more information about Dell Precision Workstations visit www.dell.com/precision.
May 23 - IBM First to Offer Wireless Access
Across All Its Product Lines. IBM today announced the industry's
first all-wireless line of products and services, making it easier
for companies to extend their business to mobile devices.
As part of today's announcement, IBM is wirelessly enabling its lines
of ThinkPad notebook computers, pervasive devices and servers. The
company is also providing software, support and services to give customers
mobile access to critical applications in the office, on the road,
or anywhere in between. Additionally, IBM is adding programs to enable
its network of 90,000 business partners to sell and develop wireless
"Wireless is having profound implications for e-business,"
said Michel Mayer, general manager of IBM's pervasive computing division.
"The potential explosion of people and devices connecting to
the network is driving the need for customers to build infrastructures
that are massively scalable, more reliable and that possess more intelligence
than they do today. This is IBM's sweet spot."
According to Gartner Group, in the next two to three years the average
worker will use at least three devices on the job -- notebook computer,
phone and handheld computer. These and future mobile devices will
not only need to be outfitted with wireless capability, but integrated
with existing IT infrastructures to take advantage of enterprise applications
already in place.
This announcement builds on the significant investment IBM has made
in developing and deploying wireless solutions over the past few years.
According to Evans Data's 2001 Developer Survey, 75 percent of ISVs
expect to deploy wireless applications by 2002. To meet this demand,
IBM is also supporting the development of wireless applications by
independent software vendors, with increased personnel and testing
facilities at IBM Porting Centers for IBM's 58,000 developer partners.
"With today's announcement, IBM is staking a strong claim for
leadership in the wireless space," said Andy Seybold, President
of Outlook4Mobility. "The combination of a visionary strategy
and innovative mobile products, along with IBM software and support
gives mobile users a comprehensive product and services offering,
clearly raising the bar for the rest of the industry."
IBM's new wireless infrastructure offerings include:
Wireless Portables: IBM has extended wireless capability across its
ThinkPad and WorkPad lines. IBM Researchers developed a new innovative
dual antenna design that places the antenna in the screen to provide
IBM's wireless ThinkPads with integrated support for 802.11 wireless
LANs, providing stronger(1) signal strength than that offered by other
wireless integrated notebooks(2). Also available are two new sleek,
slim IBM WorkPads -- including IBM's first handheld computer with
a color display -- based on the Palm Computing platform.
Wireless Technology for IBM Servers: New and advanced remote wireless
management technology is now available for IBM's eServer line. The
IBM eServer Wireless Remote Management technology allows system administrators
to wirelessly control servers from afar with common, portable devices
like Internet phones, PDAs and Web browsers, as well as extend server
applications to wireless devices.
Wireless Infrastructure Services: IBM Global Services is introducing
a new "Instant Wireless LAN" service that helps companies
quickly get up and running with wireless facilities. The service is
a bundled hardware/software/installation package that wireless enables
facilities for high-speed, reliable wireless data transport. This
announcement extends the broad portfolio of IBM's existing wireless
Services offerings to help companies of all sizes, across all industries,
implement wireless e-business to enhance professional and operational
productivity and improve customer relationship and supply chain management.
Wirelessly-Enabling Components: IBM, with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation,
is developing advanced low-power microchips for third-generation (3G)
cellular telephones. IBM will manufacture the components using its
industry-leading silicon germanium (SiGe) communications chip technology,
which Mitsubishi intends to incorporate into its next-generation cellular
Wireless Business Partners: IBM is announcing a variety of programs
designed to bring its wireless solutions to market through the company's
network of 90,000 Business Partner firms, which now drive on-third
of IBM revenues. IBM will support the development of wireless applications
by independent software vendors; and wireless education and training
for solution providers on IBM hardware and software platforms, including
WebSphere Everyplace Suite and Lotus Domino Everyplace Family software.
IBM also unveiled new customers that are using its wireless offerings
to roll-out innovative applications. This summer the Venetian Hotel
in Las Vegas intends to use IBM eServer iSeries systems for a pilot
to provide wireless check-in for guests -- eliminating the need to
wait in line to receive room assignments, credit authorizations, room
keys and receipts -- all from a handheld device. In addition, HypoVereinsbank,
Germany's second largest bank, has developed a Linux-based system
management concept for the IBM eServer z900 mainframe that continuously
monitors system availability using Wireless WAP and PDAs to ensure
24 by 7 system uptime. Like any bank, IT system outages must be avoided
under all circumstances. Using IBM wireless technology, IT administrators
at the bank can respond quickly to system messages, improving customer
satisfaction and productivity.
More information about IBM can be found on the web at www.ibm.com.
May 23 - 1394 Trade Association Introduces
Newest Version of the 1394 Multimedia Standard. The 1394 Trade
Association today introduced the new 1394b specification, the updated
version of the industry's most important multimedia bus.
The new version will supplement the original IEEE 1394-1995 and 1394a
specifications, and will lead to expanded adoption of the multimedia
standard in many new applications. IEEE 1394, also known commercially
as FireWire(TM) and i.Link(TM), is now used in desktop and notebook
computers, PC peripherals, and a wide range of consumer electronics
products, including camcorders and digital cameras. It also is being
adopted for automotive, industrial, and instrumentation applications.
1394b provides significant bandwidth, speed, distance and cost-efficiency
improvements over the original IEEE 1394-1995 specification. It enables
the extension of the standard first to 800 Megabits/second and 1.6
Gigabits/second, then on to 3.2 gigabits/second, using plastic optical
fiber. It supports audio and video transfer over plastic optical fiber
to 50 meters at 200 Megabits/second, to 100 meters at 400 Megabits/second,
and over glass optical fiber at up to 3.2 Gigabits/second. A new,
highly efficient bus arbitration scheme, known as BOSS (Bus Owner
Supervisor Selector) implements overlapped, pipelined arbitration,
so the arbitration protocol runs in parallel with data transmissions.
Hybrid bus operation enables backward compatibility with 1394-1995
Costs of 1394b silicon and 1394b-enabled products are expected to
be lower than products using earlier versions, according to Michael
Johas Teener, chief technology officer at Zayante, Inc. and one of
the originators of the FireWire standard. Gate counts for 1394b ICs
will double to between 20,000 and 25,000. But its analog design is
much simpler because the 'b' version uses unidirectional arbitration
signaling instead of common-mode signaling, which improves efficiency
and reduces voltages. (See 1394b at a glance, at the end of this news
The introduction of 1394b caps more than 18 months of technical effort.
The final specification is now in recirculation for approval by all
members of the 'b' committee.
"1394b -- the newest version of the industry's most exciting
multimedia bus -- is ready," said 1394 Trade Association Chairman
Max Bassler of Molex, Inc. "It provides the bandwidth, distance
and overall performance to make 1394 the ideal choice for home networking,
for many industrial applications, and for a new generation of computer
peripherals. 1394b also is gaining momentum among the leading vehicle
manufacturers, who want to use it as the network bus for consumer
electronics in automobiles. We expect to see the first 800 megabit/second
devices this summer, and accelerated design activity by the autumn,"
Beta, Bilingual Versions Supply Versatility
The new version provides two modes of transmission, the pure 1394b
'beta' mode, and the versatile 'bilingual' mode, which guarantees
backward compatibility with 1394a and 1394-1995 devices and products.
The term "bilingual" means that it will connect both in
beta mode or with the data-strobe signaling method used in previous
1394 implementations and in legacy products.
Products and Applications Due This Year
Products and technology based on 1394b will become available soon.
Major serial bus semiconductor suppliers including Texas Instruments
Inc., NEC, Panasonic and Agere are at work on 1394b devices. Omneon
Video Networks has demonstrated a 300 meter 800 Mbit/second connection
using multimode glass fiber, and NEC has shown a plastic optical fiber
system. Zayante has begun shipping 1394b silicon IP for early adopters.
The advent of 'b' also will stimulate new applications for and development
with IEEE 1394, Bassler said. These include the automotive sector,
where the 1394 Trade Association's Automotive Work Group has defined
a widely accepted specification for in-vehicle consumer electronics
networking. The in-vehicle video-audio network includes a customer
convenience port that lets passengers connect their CD players, games,
and other 1394-equipped devices and peripherals to the network with
one plug-in cable.
Another key application enabled by the 'b' version of the specification
is "casual" storage, the kind of hard drives and mobile
storage users hook up at random times. 1394b provides significant
amounts of bus power, so users with portable PCs and peripherals and
want to use casual storage will not require either a battery-powered
drive or any power bricks.
In addition, 1394b also will enhance the attractiveness of the Device
Bay technology for consumer and multimedia applications that incorporate
advanced set-top box and digital television.
About the 1394 TA
The 1394 Trade Association includes more than 170 companies worldwide
dedicated to the proliferation and enhancement of the IEEE 1394 standard.
For more information, please visit the TA web site at www.1394ta.org.
1394b Benefits at a Glance -- Speeds beginning at 800 Megabit/sec.,
up to 1.6 Gigabit/sec,
with architectural changes that allow future specifications to
go over 3.2 Gigabit/second;
-- Node-to-node distances to over 100 meters using various media.
100 Megabit/second is supported for category 5 unshielded
twisted pair (CAT-5 UTP), 200 Megabit/second over plastic
optical fiber, and a full 3.2 Gigabit/second, using 50 um
multimode glass fiber;
-- Cost reductions over the existing 1394-1995 and 1394a
implementations are possible since the new "pure beta" mode
specified by 1394b allows simple galvanic isolation. This
significantly reduces the complexity of the analog circuit,
and enables easy integration of the PHY and Link components;
-- A 'greener' standard. Emissions from 1394b-based products will
be lower than products based on earlier versions;
-- New media, but all compatible above the media dependent level;
-- The "pure beta" copper connector is almost as small
existing 4-pin connector, yet is capable of carrying power,
indicating speed capabilities of the media, and is capable of
carrying a full 3.2 Gigabit/second signal.
Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]