May 23 - Dell Announces Two New Dimension Desktop
Computers. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today announced two new Dimension(tm)
desktop computers, the Dimension 4500 and Dimension 4500S, to suit
wide-ranging customers needs from microprocessor and video high performance
to being able to fit in small places.
The first, the Dimension 4500S, is designed for customers who need
powerful Intel(R) Pentium(R) P4 or Celeron(R) technology in a compact,
mini-tower chassis that can be positioned horizontally or vertically
in tight spaces. Priced starting at $789(a), the Dimension 4500S currently
features an Intel Celeron 1.7 GHz processor, Intel's new 845G chipset,
which incorporates the next generation of extreme integrated graphics
utilizing up to 48 MB of dynamic system memory, and features six integrated
USB 2.0 ports. Later this month, Pentium 4 processors will be generally
available. Combined with a P4 processor, the chipset provides an affordable,
yet powerful, video and audio capability.
The second, the Dimension 4500, provides expandability for a wider
selection of audio cards, graphics cards and processor speeds. It
also features Intel's new 845E chipset, a Pentium 4 at 2.26 GHz along
with more memory bandwidth that enables better graphics, multitasking,
integrated USB 2.0 support, and Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP performance.
Prices for a typical configuration start at $1,089(a).
Dimension desktops quickly bring new technologies to the consumer
and small business markets, offering a complete selection of customized,
built-to-order computing solutions for every budget. Complete product
details can be found at www.dell.com/dimension.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.
May 23 - U.S. Army Introduces 'America's
Army" PC Game. The U.S. Army today unveiled "America's
Army," an innovative, realistic computer game providing civilians
with an inside perspective and a virtual role in today's premier land
force, the U.S. Army. "America's Army" players will experience
soldiering in a state-of-the-art new manner.
The "America's Army" game blends two vivid simulations:
"Soldiers," a role-playing portion in which players navigate
life's challenges to achieve goals, and a first-person action game,
Developed by the U.S. Army and a world-class team of Department of
Defense experts in simulations and virtual environments, "America's
Army" will be available in August. The Army will distribute "America's
Army" for free in response to requests at www.americasarmy.com
and www.goarmy.com, through distribution
partners that include leading computer game magazines, at Army events
and recruiting stations and through Internet download. The game is
rated "T" for Teen by the Entertainment Software Ratings
Anticipating large-scale distribution this summer, the Army unveiled
the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the computer and
video games industry's major convention in Los Angeles.
In the "Soldiers" role-playing portion, players undergo
Army training and adventures while encountering tactical, technical
and physical challenges - similar to issues soldiers might face in
their first tour of duty while on and off duty.
Importantly, players manage their character's goals, values and resources.
Each player chooses specific soldier attributes, career, and personal
goals to achieve. As each goal is met, another is set. Values are
integral to how the player guides a character while they coordinate
six resources to determine how fast their character reaches a goal.
Each time a soldier-character encounters a new challenge or life
choice, the game uses a revolutionary real-time story engine to generate
new screenplays, dialogue, scenes, sounds and actions to carry the
character through a personalized story. This link between player's
actions and choices results in nearly infinite story possibilities.
The game features text-to-voice technology allowing for personalized
simulations while combining animation with photo-realistic background
The action-packed "Operations" portion allows up to 32
players to enter into "virtual service" with the U.S. Army
on the same unit mission. Players begin their virtual Army experience
as a recruit with an anonymous user name to experience challenging
Army missions from a first-person perspective. Developed using the
latest version of Epic Games' "Unreal Engine(R)" and optimized
for NVIDIA GeForce2(TM) graphics processors, "Operations"
features 20 single and multiplayer missions. Training missions build
player capabilites -- from navigating Fort Benning's obstacle course
to parachute drops in preparation for assignment to the 82nd Airborne
Division. Multiplayer missions are played free on a virtual playing
field online with web servers hosted by HomeLAN.
Multiplayer missions are organized into assignment tours, such as
being part of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) or the 75th
Ranger Regiment. To join a multiplayer game, the players must complete
the appropriate training. Gamers use realistic equipment and authentic
military hardware. Teamwork, leadership and the benefits of training
are emphasized. As in any team effort, communication is key: gamers
use different speech, whispers, shouts, radio messages and -- in a
game industry first -- genuine military hand and arm signals. Borrowing
a page from Army force-on-force training methods, players always perceive
they always are on the U.S. team.
The two games are interlaced, with experiences and attributes accumulated
during gameplay in one game shaping adventures and opportunities in
the other. Players can jump from one game to another to find out additional
mission and career information and learn hints to help them advance.
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
is the proponent for "America's Army." Game development
was directed and managed by the U.S. Military Academy's Office of
Economic & Manpower Analysis at West Point. The staff of the Modeling,
Virtual Environment and Simulation Institute, masters and doctoral
students at the military's post-graduate education facility in Monterey,
Calif., developed the game's highly realistic simulations and situations.
The development team worked with leading firms such as Epic Games,
NVIDIA(R), THX Division of Lucasfilm Ltd., Dolby Laboratories, Lucasfilm
Skywalker Sound, HomeLAN, and GameSpy Industries.
May 23 - Kodak Introduces EasyShare
Digital Picture Printing. Eastman Kodak Company today introduced
the new Kodak EasyShare system, combining enhanced software, digital
cameras and an enhanced camera dock to take digital photography beyond
e-mail and take the challenge out of obtaining high-quality prints.
Until today, printing photos from digital cameras was difficult,
time-consuming and frustrating. With the new EasyShare system, making
high-quality prints becomes fun and easy because of EasyShare's one-touch
The new EasyShare system provides the industry's broadest number
of integrated printing options that allow consumers to easily print
at home using One Touch to Better Pictures and Kodak inkjet paper,
from home by choosing to upload to either the EasyShare print service
or another retail online photofinisher of choice, or at retail using
Kodak digitally-enabled kiosks or over the counter.
A recent worldwide survey conducted by the research firm Market Facts
confirms that easy uploading and the ability to print high-quality
photos are the two most important purchase considerations for potential
digital camera buyers. Last year, Kodak unveiled the award-winning
EasyShare system, which made it simple to transfer images from a camera
to a computer - at the touch of a button. The enhanced Kodak EasyShare
system introduced today makes getting prints simpler than ever, letting
consumers print at home, from home or at retail - driven by software
that offers the widest range of printing choices available on the
"Kodak set the standard for consumer satisfaction a century
ago, and today the enhanced EasyShare system has set a new standard
for ease-of-use in the digital age," said Chairman and CEO Daniel
A. Carp. "Kodak offers consumers more ways to get high-quality
prints more conveniently than ever before."
For additional information, visit www.kodak.com/go/easyshare.
May 23 - Study Shows Video Games are
Here to Stay. Offering striking confirmation of the staying power
of computer and video games as a force in popular culture, the Interactive
Digital Software Association (IDSA) released new data today at E3Expo
showing that six out of ten of today's computer and video game players
expect to still be playing games ten years from now.
"There's no doubt that video games are deeply imbedded in our
society," said Doug Lowenstein, president of the IDSA, the trade
group that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers and
the owner of E3Expo. "It's clear that the industry's surging
growth is no passing fancy and that the millions of Americans who
played video games yesterday play them today, and will still be playing
Specifically, the data shows that 56 percent of the most frequent
computer and video game players have been playing games for six or
more years and that 60 percent expect to be playing games as much
or more ten years from now as they do today.
According to Lowenstein, the explanation for both the continued growth
of the $6.35 billion game industry and the connection so many consumers
have with video games stems from the emergence of two generations
of Americans between the ages of 6-35 for whom interactive entertainment
"is as natural and basic as watching TV or listening to the radio
were for previous generations."
Other results of the IDSA's seventh annual consumer survey, released
today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo), show that people
enjoy playing games throughout their lives because they're fun and
challenging, and because games can be played with friends and family.
Specifically, the survey found that people who play games do so because
computer and video games: are fun (88 percent); are challenging (71
percent); can be played with friends and family (42 percent); offer
a lot of entertainment for the price (36 percent); and offer a way
for players to keep up with the latest technology (19 percent).
Additional survey highlights include the following.
-- Mobile Gaming: More than one-third (37 percent) of Americans
who own consoles or computers report that they also play games
on mobile devices like handheld systems, PDAs, and cell
-- Online Games: Thirty-one percent of game players say they play
games online, up from 24 percent last year and 18 percent in
-- Types of Games Played Most Often: Console game players say
that their favorite games are: driving/racing games (39
percent); action games (38 percent); sports games (38
percent); and role-play/adventure games (31 percent).
Computer game players say their favorites are: puzzle/board/card games
(35 percent); action games (28 percent); sports games (23
percent); and simulations (23 percent).
-- Number of Games Owned: Consoles game players report that they
own an average of 14 games, while computer gamers report that
they own about 13 titles.
-- Player Demographics: Sixty-two percent of computer game
players are male, while 34 percent are under 18 years old, 26
percent are 18 to 35, and 40 percent are over 36. Seventy-two
percent of console game players are male, while 45 percent are
under 18, 36 percent are 18 to 35, and 19 percent are over 36.
-- Women Gamers Entering the Market: Sixty-two percent of people
who have been playing computer and video games for less than a
year are women, concrete evidence that more and more women are
being drawn to games.
-- Buyer Demographics: Ninety-six percent of those who purchase
console games are over the age of 18, and 90 percent of
computer game buyers are over 18. Forty-six percent of console
game buyers and 55 percent of computer game buyers are women.
-- Parental Involvement in Purchases: The vast majority of game
players under the age of 18 say they get their parents
permission before buying games (86 percent) and that their
parents are usually present when they make a game purchase (91
The IDSA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business
and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games
for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and
the Internet. IDSA members collectively account for more than 85 percent
of the $6.35 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in
2001, and billions more in export sales of American-made entertainment
software. For more information, visit www.idsa.com.
May 23 - ViewSonic Introduces High Brightness
Displays. ViewSonic® Corporation, a worldwide Visual Technologies
leader, today added to its award-winning line of monitors with four
displays that provide enhanced viewing capabilities, including up
to three times brighter images than current displays.
The displays' features create brilliant, precise edge-to-edge images
with great detail and color fidelity, giving users optimum viewing
of graphics, video, games or TV.
Two CRT displays, the P95f+ and the P75f+, and two LCD monitors,
the VE510+ and the VX500+, are the first in ViewSonic's line to feature
UltraBrite technology. With the touch of a button, users can
increase screen brightness up to three times higher than normal, making
these displays ideal for demanding professionals who require high-end
performance and superior color richness when working on graphic or
web design, video or photo editing, desktop publishing or gaming applications.
"Computer and video applications are becoming more complex,"
said Seth Ngin, product manager, ViewSonic Corporation. "Our
high brightness capabilities provide professionals with an essential
tool to not only help them design more intricate images, but view
exceptional video, graphics or photography elements."
To complement current computing technology, the P95f+ and P75f+
are available in black or beige, and have an estimated street price
of $345 and $235 respectively. TheVE510+ and the VX500+ retail for
$499, and $539 respectively.
The P95f+, P75f+ and VE510+ will be available in June through authorized
ViewSonic resellers, distributors and mail order catalogs. The VX500+
will be available in July. For further information, visit www.ViewSonic.com.
May 22 - Intel Announces
845 Series USB 2.0 Chipsets. Intel Corporation today announced
a trio of chipsets that deliver excellent performance for desktop
computer users, enabling richer digital media, gaming and broadband
Available in PCs today, the Intel(R) 845G, 845E and 845GL chipsets
include integrated Hi-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, which
increases bandwidth up to 40 times over today's USB 1.1 interface.
With USB 2.0, users will be able to burn CDs up to six times faster,
and back up data up to 11 times faster. For businesses, the flexibility
and expandability of the technology enable high-bandwidth peripherals
such as scanners and writeable DVD players to be added quickly and
The Intel 845G chipset, designed for Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor-based
PCs, incorporates a new generation of integrated graphics -- dubbed
Intel(R) Extreme Graphics -- and is targeted at the high-volume business
and consumer desktop market segments. "Offering both next-generation
integrated graphics performance and high-quality, stable software
drivers, the Intel 845G chipset is an outstanding solution for both
corporations and mainstream consumers," Burns said.
The Intel 845E chipset works with discrete graphics components to
provide flexibility for consumers. A third chipset, the Intel 845GL,
is designed for Intel Celeron(R) processor-based PCs. All of the new
chipsets enable surround-sound with enhanced 20-bit audio, resulting
in an audiophile-level experience.
With a 533 MHz system bus, the Intel 845G and 845E chipsets offer
faster pathways within the PC, balancing overall platform performance
to take full advantage of the Pentium 4 processor's speed. Computers
based on the Pentium 4 processor with the 533MHz system bus make it
easier and faster than ever to edit and play digital video, view and
edit family photos, play games and edit and listen to music.
For computer makers and system integrators, Intel also announced
availability of four desktop motherboards: ATX form factor Intel desktop
boards D845GBV and D845EBG2, and the smaller micro-ATX form factor
Intel desktop boards D845GRG and D845EPT2.
Additional technical information on these chipsets is available at
May 22 - Dell Brings Gigabit Networking
to Desktop Computers. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today introduced the
OptiPlex(tm) GX260, the first desktop computer system to integrate
an Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet controller
on the motherboard.
In concert with Gigabit connectivity on Dell PowerConnect(tm) switches
and Gigabit controllers on Dell PowerEdge(tm) servers, the GX260 enables
an end-to-end Gigabit network, all from a single vendor.
"Gigabit networking on a client product has major implications
to both the end user and system administrator," said Jeff Clarke,
vice president and general manager of Dell's Client Products Group.
"System administrators can deploy images or applications over
the wire at several times the speed of fast Ethernet, and users can
enjoy network access speeds comparable to a local hard drive. Integrating
Gigabit on the motherboard helps prepare desktops for increased bandwidth
requirements for the next several years, and at an outstanding value."
The GX260 features Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 or Celeron(R) processors
with low-cost, high-performance DDR-SDRAM system memory and six integrated
USB 2.0 ports, two in front and four in the back. Flexible graphics
options include an embedded 4X AGP chip that shares up to 48MB of
system memory, or a selection of higher performance graphics cards.
The OptiPlex GX260 also includes ASF support, an industry-standard
technology that monitors system health and can notify a system administrator
about potential problems or security compromises regardless of whether
an operating system is installed or functioning.
OptiPlex desktops are designed for networked business environments,
with long product lifecycles, standards-based technology and a full
suite of user-friendly management tools, making them easy to deploy
and maintain. Complete product details can be found at www.dell.com/optiplex.
May 22 - IBM Ships 100 Millionth Silicon
Germanium Chip. IBM today announced it has shipped the 100 millionth
chip made with silicon germanium (SiGe), a technology pioneered by
IBM that is revolutionizing the design of cell phones and other wireless
The 100 millionth SiGe chip was produced at IBM's Burlington, Vermont
facility, the company's primary chip manufacturing site and exclusive
IBM SiGe production facility, and was delivered to Tektronix (NYSE:
TEK), a world leader in advanced test, measurement and monitoring
The milestone underscores the growing use of SiGe technology in chip
applications that demand a combination of very high speed, reduced
power consumption and the economies made possible by SiGe's production
on standard silicon-based semiconductor tooling and manufacturing
lines. Earlier this year, IBM announced the use of SiGe in building
the then world's fastest integrated circuit, running at over 110 GHz.
"We're translating SiGe's benefits into real customer applications,"
said Dr. Bernard Meyerson, IBM Fellow and chief technologist, IBM
Technology Group. "With multiple SiGe technologies, a full suite
of design tools, and our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility we
have the resources to help anticipate and meet our customers' requirements.
SiGe adoptors such as Tektronix are turning to IBM because we are
the premier volume supplier of advanced SiGe technology."
SiGe is a process technology in which the electrical properties of
silicon, the material underlying virtually all modern microchips,
is augmented with germanium to make the chips operate more efficiently.
This technology is already widely deployed in a range of both high
speed wired and low cost wireless gear. In addition, SiGe provides
increased integration capabilities, enabling designers to reduce the
size and cost of electronic products.
More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/chips.
May 22 - Microsoft Unveils Xbox Live Online
Gaming. Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft
Corp. became the first video game company ever to announce a comprehensive
online game service fully dedicated to fast-action, always-connected
broadband gaming experiences.
The online console gaming service, named Xbox Live, launches
in North America, Japan and Europe this fall for the Xbox video game
system and ramps up with consumer beta programs starting this summer.
Xbox Live will enable all gamers to find their friends easily; talk
to other players during game play through the Xbox Communicator headset;
download current statistics, new levels and characters to their Xbox
hard drive; and play online.
"Online technology is the next revolution in video games, and
it will fundamentally transform gaming into a new form of social entertainment,"
said J Allard, general manager of Xbox at Microsoft. "Together
with our partners we will combine exceptional gaming experiences,
a world-class service and a viable business model so all parts of
the online ecosystem thrive."
Jump-starting the online title announcements, Allard said Xbox Live
will support five Xbox Live-exclusive games this year: "Unreal
Championship" (Infogrames); and "MechAssault,"
"Whacked!," "NFL Fever 2003" and "Midtown
Madness® 3" (Microsoft Game Studios).
To date, 60 game companies have committed to create games for Xbox
Live, and at least
50 Xbox Live-enabled games are planned to release by the end of next
year. Some upcoming Xbox Live titles include "Shaun Palmer's
Pro Snowboarder 2" from Activision, Inc.; "Tom Clancy's
Ghost Recon," "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six RavenShield"
and "XIII" from Ubi Soft; and "SEGA Sports NFL
2K3," "SEGA Sports NBA 2K3" and "Phantasy
Star Online" from SEGA® of America, Inc.
As the grand finale to the Xbox Live unveiling, Allard announced
a lineup of games in the works for the future of the service, including
"Star Wars® Galaxies" (LucasArts Entertainment
Company), "Counterstrike" (Valve Software for Microsoft
Game Studios), and future versions of Xbox original blockbusters like
"Halo," "RalliSport Challenge," "Amped"
and "Project Gotham Racing."
With the service approach, Xbox Live is poised to deliver the most
seamless, easy-to-use and consistent online gaming environment for
gamers, developers and publishers alike. It was designed by gamers
for gamers and includes features such as delivery of real-time scores
and statistics so gamers can compare themselves to the best players
in the world; quick and easy game launches; fast downloads; the ability
to find friends online across games with only one click; and the ability
to maintain a single identity across all games with a single password.
Microsoft is building four datacenters - in Seattle and Tukwila,
Wash., Tokyo and London - in order to run a scalable, secure and gamer-friendly
service. Xbox will assist publishers by managing the hosting, networking,
security and billing so that game creators can focus on creating awesome
Key, consistent features of the Xbox Live service across games include
- Gamertag. Gamertag is a gamer's unique online ID for all games across
the global gaming service.
- Friends list. This feature allows gamers to find friends online
and invite them to a game - no matter which Xbox Live game they're
- Xbox Communicator. Voice communication is integrated with all Xbox
Live multiplayer games and enables voice interaction with teammates
and opponents. Key elements of this feature exclusive to Xbox include
voice masking, global muting and parental control.
- Matchmaking. QuickMatch enables players to enter a multiplay experience
with a single button-click, and OptiMatch, an Xbox Live exclusive,
helps them select games and opponents based on similar skill levels.
- High-speed content downloads to the Xbox hard disk. Only Xbox offers
console gamers the ability to download and permanently store both
free and for-a-fee content that can include new levels, characters,
missions and statistics.
Allard painted a bullish picture for the future of online console
gaming and the promise of Xbox to lead the category. "Within
five years every important game will be online," he said. "There
will be new categories of collaborative and competitive console games
that are possible only online. The ability to download new worlds,
levels, characters, weapons, vehicles, teams, statistics and missions
will change the way developers think about creating games, and will
change the way gamers play them."
At launch, U.S. consumers can purchase a starter kit for $49.95.
For the estimated retail price of a single game, the consumer receives
a year's subscription to Xbox Live, an Xbox Communicator that plugs
into the Xbox controller and facilitates all voice communication with
other players, and "ReVolt," a fun online racing game from
Acclaim Entertainment Inc. Pricing and specific offers in regions
outside the United States will be announced locally at a later date.
More information on Xbox can be found at http://www.xbox.com/.
May 22 - Sega.Com Enters Wireless Gaming
Market. Sega.com, Inc., today announced the launch of Sega Mobile,
a new division of Sega.com dedicated to bringing the thrills and excitement
of Sega gaming to cellular phone and PDA users in North America.
Taking advantage of the phenomenal successes of the mobile gaming
market in Japan and the burgeoning wireless and 3G network adoption
in North America, Sega Mobile is well positioned to lead the market
in wireless gaming content.
"Staying true to our history of innovation in the gaming industry,
Sega.com continues to push the boundaries and expand the video game
market into new territories with the launch of the Sega Mobile division,"
said Mr. Ryoichi Shiratsuchi, CEO of Sega.com and general manager
of Sega Mobile Japan. "Bringing great Sega content to wireless
platforms is another step toward Sega.com's goal of bringing networked
gaming to all devices and thereby extending the pastime to mainstream
audiences across the world."
Sega Mobile draws upon both Sega's heritage in the video game industry
and its current successes in the Japanese wireless gaming market.
Relying on the experience that comes from more than 2.5 million subscribers
to wireless games and other entertainment related content in Japan,
Sega Mobile is well prepared to lead the next wave in gaming in the
U.S. Wireless gaming is widely expected to take off in the next few
years, with Ovum, a leading analyst and consulting company, estimating
that the global revenue for wireless gaming will reach $4.4 billion
by 2006, up from $124 million in 2001.
Sega Mobile is tapping into Sega's extensive content library launching
classic titles such as Pengo, Flicky, Puyo Puyo, and Baku Baku Animal.
Beginning this summer, Sega Mobile will be bringing the hit title
Monkey Ball to wireless devices nationwide. Appealing to the more
mainstream wireless user with familiar and fun content, Sega Mobile
will round out the launch repertoire of games by publishing new puzzle,
sports and entertainment titles.
Sega.com, Inc. can be found online at www.sega.com.
May 21 - Toshiba's Computer
Systems Group Unveils Business Plan. Today Rod Keller, executive
vice president of Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG), laid out
the company's strategy for growth and success in 2002 and beyond --
a bulls-eye focus on mobility, wireless and digital convergence.
Drawing on the proven strength of its mobile technology and design
heritage, Keller explained that Toshiba will only design, manufacture
and market products and services that map to its core mobile computing
and communications strategy.
From research and development to marketing and sales, Toshiba's mission
is to spearhead the evolution of mobility by bringing the best customer
solutions, product bundles and business practices to the U.S. market.
In support of the new strategy, Keller defined his top organizational
goals for the company: drive costs out of the business model and establish
a dynamic supply chain, while increasing purchasing flexibility and
technical and sales support for its customers and partners.
Keller's direction also includes a renewed focus on listening and
responding to the "voice of the customer," which means letting
the customer define purchasing convenience and developing the products,
technology bundles and services that solve real customer needs.
"Since my appointment in October 2001, I have charged the team
with one overriding goal -- reclaim Toshiba's legacy position as a
mobile computing and communications leader," Keller said.
"We've begun executing on this mission and have already made
great strides in refining our business model, matching our strategies
with our core strengths and customers' needs, and turning our focus
back solely to mobility. We will be focused and relentless in pursuit
of our goal."
According to Roger Kay, industry analyst with International Data
Corp.: "The future of personal computing is mobility, and research
shows that mobile sales growth is expected to exceed desktop sales
over the next few years and beyond. Wireless communications also will
become an increasingly important element of the computing infrastructure
-- both in the corporate environment and in the home."
Visit the company's Web site at www.csd.toshiba.com.
May 21 - Matrox and UMC Collaborate
on Matrox Parhelia-512 Graphics Chip. Matrox Graphics Inc., the
leading professional graphics company, and UMC (NYSE: UMC), a world
leading semiconductor company, today announced collaboration on the
new Matrox Parhelia(TM)-512 graphics chip.
A high-fidelity GPU, Parhelia-512 uses UMC's 8-layer 150nm (0.15um)
process technology, which allows for reasonable power dissipation
and a manageable die size. Bringing a new level of visual quality,
excellent performance and a wide range of innovative new technologies
to market, this AGP 4X device supports frame buffers of up to 256MB
in size and integrates two 400 MHz RAMDACs, a TV encoder and support
for dual TMDS transmitters.
"The constant introduction of evermore sophisticated graphics
programs is placing great demand on today's graphics chip companies'
to innovate," said Dr. Fu Tai Liou, chief officer of worldwide
sales and marketing, UMC. "We are pleased to be able to help
Matrox deliver Parhelia-512, a highly competitive graphics solution,
within critical market windows."
"We chose to base Parhelia-512 on an 8-layer 150nm (0.15um)
process technology in order to achieve high-routing density,"
said Ed Dwyer, executive vice president, Matrox Graphics Inc. "We
are pleased to be working with UMC because of its ability to quickly
ramp up production and reach a high yield for our extremely complex
Information on Matrox products, drivers, technical support and more
can be found at: www.matrox.com/mga.
UMC can be found on the web at www.umc.com.
May 21 - MicronPC Introduces New Millennia
TS2 at 2.53 GHz. MicronPC, a Gores Technology Group company, today
announced the introduction of the Millennia TS2.
The Millennia TS2 is a new premium performance desktop computer designed
for PC enthusiasts who demand extreme speed for applications like
gaming or digital video. The Millennia TS2 is one of MicronPC's most
powerful desktop computers and features the latest processor technology
from Intel(R) -- the Pentium(R) 4 processor with 533Mhz system bus
The Millennia TS2 is a powerhouse whose processor-speeds can be scaled
up to 2.53GHz. Also, with the addition of the latest 533MHz system
bus technology, benchmark testing shows a 9% performance increase
when compared to the previously available 400MHz system bus. Complementing
the core processing architecture, MicronPC has combined the Millennia
TS2 with the latest high-performance graphic-cards, DVD-re-writeable
drives, high performance RAID options, large hard drives and sharp,
Designed for PC enthusiasts and power users, the Millennia TS2 offers
the ultimate solution for today's demanding computing environment.
"Delivering powerful computing systems to our customers has always
been one of our trademarks," said Paul Petersen, vice president
product marketing and development at MicronPC. "And, launching
time-to-market with the latest Intel Pentium 4 processor confirms
MicronPC's commitment to deliver the latest in computing technology
to our most demanding PC customers."
In addition to the latest processor technology, the Millennia TS2
incorporates other cutting edge components including Intel's 845E
and ICH4 chipset, DDR 266 memory, integrated Hi-speed USB 2.0, 1 IEEE
1394a Port, integrated IDE RAID 0 or integrated IDE RAID 1 controller
options and integrated 6-channel premium surround audio.
The Millennia TS2 is available for order directly from MicronPC at
May 21 - AMD's Austin Fab 25 Producing
Flash Memory Devices. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the company's
Fab 25 manufacturing facility in Austin is in volume production of
advanced Flash memory devices.
The Austin facility is benefiting from significant capital investment
to enable its transition from microprocessor manufacturing to Flash
memory production. The conversion is nearly complete with the last
microprocessor output planned for the third quarter of this year.
Flash memory is a critical enabling technology for a wide variety
of products such as cellular telephones, personal digital assistants,
telecommunications devices, and Internet and global positioning systems.
Flash memory retains information in the absence of power.
Fab 25 is producing 32 Megabit and 64 Megabit Flash memory devices
using 0.17 micron technology. The 0.17 micron dimension describes
the size of the smallest component within the Flash memory device.
The facility is currently equipped for high volume production of 0.13
micron devices. The use of 0.13 micron technology is planned to begin
by the end of the year.
"AMD's investment in Fab 25 will make the facility a leading-edge
Flash memory factory," said Bertrand Cambou, group vice president
for AMD's Memory Group. "This capability, combined with MirrorBit(tm)
technology, can deliver the lowest manufacturing costs for Flash memory
devices in the industry. The Austin fab is outfitted to carry us well
into the future and is a strategic asset that will serve the needs
of the large and growing wireless market."
AMD's MirrorBit(tm) architecture is a breakthrough technology that
doubles the density of standard Flash memory devices without compromising
performance or reliability. More AMD news and product information
is available at www.amd.com.
May 21 - Bitstream Releases ThunderHawk
Wireless Web Browser for Pocket PCs. Bitstream Inc. (NASDAQ: BITS)
announced today it is releasing ThunderHawk(TM) -Bitstream's wireless
Web browsing technology.
ThunderHawk brings full-featured Web browsing to mobile devices, enabling
users to view the full text and images of any Web page. Users get
complete wireless access to real Web pages that maintain full text
ThunderHawk brings the desktop Web browsing experience to mobile
device users. It allows a Pocket PC, which typically has a 320x240
color LCD screen, to display a legible VGA screen (640x480) of a Web
page. Side-by-side comparisons of ThunderHawk and today's browsing
experience on Pocket PC devices can be viewed at www.bitstream.com/wireless.
"ThunderHawk makes Web browsing more intuitive. You don't have
to learn anything new to use it on mobile devices. It just works.
You connect to your ISP, start ThunderHawk, and surf Web pages as
you normally would. The only difference is you use a stylus instead
of a mouse," said Anna Chagnon, President of Bitstream.
"Companies developing new wireless and handheld gadgets now have
a solution that will give them a great looking browser on their displays.
ThunderHawk enables people to stay connected. We are very pleased
to announce the product release of ThunderHawk, the first step in
making access to the wireless Web a reality."
The product release of ThunderHawk for the Pocket PC is now available
for purchase and for a free 30-day trial. Customers who have a Pocket
PC can download, test drive, and purchase ThunderHawk from the Bitstream
Web site at www.bitstream.com/wireless.
May 21 - THQ Unveils Game Line Up at 2002
E3. THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) is set to debut its 2002 product line
up, its strongest and most diverse to date, at the Electronic Entertainment
Expo (E3) in Los Angeles May 22-24, 2002.
The company will unveil games in all genres across multiple platforms
for every type of video game fan. From original content like "Red
Faction(TM) II," "Alter Echo(TM)" and "Tak and
The Power of JuJu(TM)," to the most expansive mass-market kids
product portfolio in the industry, featuring favorite television,
music and motion picture characters like "SpongeBob SquarePants,"
"Scooby-Doo!," "World Wrestling Entertainment(TM)"
and "Britney Spears," THQ has something for everyone.
All viable game platforms will be represented in the THQ booth (Petree
Hall #4001), including the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment
system, Xbox(TM), Nintendo GameCube(TM) and Game Boy(R) Advance, and
PC/Mac. In addition, THQ Wireless will demonstrate several new games
on the latest mobile devices.
"This year marks the beginning of the broad, mass-market adoption
of PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo's GameCube and Game Boy Advance,
with more than 35 million of these systems projected to be in U.S.
households by holiday," said Brian Farrell, president and CEO
"THQ has been building its portfolio of brands with broad consumer
appeal for the past five years in order to take best advantage of
the explosive growth of these hardware systems in the marketplace.
Our games target every segment of the market with original titles
like `Red Faction II,' `Alter Echo' and `Summoner(R) 2,' as well as
compelling licensed products such as `Britney's Dance Beat,' `Tetris'
and games based on popular Nickelodeon, Mattel and Disney properties."
The THQ Web site is located at www.thq.com.
May 20 - IBM Creates World's Highest
Performing Nanotube Transistors. IBM today announced it has created
the highest performing nanotubes transistors to date and has proven
that carbon nanotubes (CNTs), tube-shaped molecules made of carbon
atoms that are 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, can outperform
the leading silicon transistor prototypes available today.
As reported in the May 20 issue of the journal of Applied Physics
Letters, IBM researchers have improved carbon nanotube transistors.
By experimenting with different device structures, the researchers
were able to achieve the highest transconductance (measure of the
current carrying capability) of any carbon nanotube transistor to
date. High transconductance implies that transistors can run faster,
leading to more powerful integrated circuits. Furthermore, the researchers
discovered that the carbon nanotube transistors produced more than
twice the transconductance per unit width of top-performing silicon
With today's announcement, IBM is taking carbon nanotubes, the strongest
and most conductive fibers known, another step closer to becoming
a viable option for replacing silicon transistors in future devices.
"Proving that carbon nanotubes outperform silicon transistors
opens the door for more research related to the commercial viability
of nanotubes," said Dr. Phaedon Avouris, manager of nanoscale
science, IBM Research. "Carbon nanotubes are already the top
candidate to replace silicon when current chip features just can't
be made any smaller, a physical barrier expected to occur in about
10 to 15 years."
Today's achievement builds on a series of major research breakthroughs
by IBM scientists using carbon nanotubes to make tiny electronic devices.
Last April, IBM became the first to develop a groundbreaking technique
to produce arrays of carbon nanotube transistors, bypassing the need
to meticulously separate metallic and semiconducting nanotubes. Last
August, IBM announced the world's first logic circuit within a single
IBM can be found online at www.ibm.com.
May 20 - 3Com Delivers
Industry's First Bluetooth Wireless Printing Kit. 3Com Corporation
(Nasdaq: COMS) announced today the availability of the 3Com(R) Wireless
Bluetooth(TM) Printing Kit in the United States. This new 3Com Business
Connectivity Company solution is an innovative package that allows
users to quickly enable wireless connectivity to existing printers
and PCs - all with Bluetooth wireless ease.
"3Com's Universal Connectivity solutions mean extraordinary user
experiences with wired and wireless innovations for desktop and mobile
PCs and, with today's announcement -- printers," said Dennis
Connors, president, Business Connectivity Company, 3Com Corporation.
"As a pioneer in wireless standard technologies, 3Com gives yet
another option for Bluetooth device connectivity with today's delivery
of the Bluetooth Printing Kit. First, we delivered the 3Com Wireless
Bluetooth PC Card, then the 3Com Bluetooth USB Adapter, and now, the
3Com Wireless Bluetooth Printing Kit."
"Given that the issues of interoperability, functionality, and
user applications are important for the Bluetooth market, In-Stat/MDR
evaluated and rated Bluetooth products by leading vendors. 3Com's
Bluetooth Wireless PC Card and USB Adapter both earned a five-out-of-five
rating for a `very good to excellent user experience'," said
Joyce Putscher, Director of In-Stat/MDR's Converging Markets and Technologies
Group. "The products that will take the Bluetooth market by storm
will offer a simple, familiar, intuitive user interface, quick and
easy setup, combined with chat, printing, and additional applications
that consumers find compelling, productive and fun."
The new 3Com Wireless Bluetooth Printing Kit is ideal for first-time
wireless users in business or home networks because practicality and
simplicity are the solution's key design elements, featuring several
built-in capabilities for ease of use and ownership. The 3Com Bluetooth
Connection Manager gives users an intuitive interface for discovering
and connecting to other Bluetooth devices - it only takes a few clicks
on icons to connect seamlessly. To protect customers' investment,
the Bluetooth Printing Kit is fully software and firmware upgradeable
so to make it easy and cost-effective for users to download new features
when they become available. In addition, the new 3Com Wireless Bluetooth
Printing Kit gives optimal reliability for connectivity without wires
with ranges up to 10 meters (32 feet) indoors.
The 3Com Wireless Bluetooth Printing Kit (3CRBB0196) is available
immediately in the US for $250 U.S. list price. It includes one 3Com
Wireless Bluetooth USB Adapter and one 3Com Wireless Bluetooth Parallel-Port
Printer Adapter. Additional 3Com Wireless Bluetooth USB Adapters (3CREB96)
and 3Com Wireless Bluetooth PC Cards (3CRWB6096) are available individually
for $149 U.S. list price.
For further information, please visit www.3com.com.
May 20 - Nintendo GameCube
Price Set At $149.95. Less than one year after successfully launching
NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) at a mass-market price, Nintendo of America
Inc. is dropping the MSRP to $149.95, effective Tuesday, May 21, 2002.
To date, Nintendo has shipped more than 4.5 million systems worldwide
and its hit title, Super Smash Bros.(TM) Melee, has topped the 2.5
Today's announcement comes as the $27 billion interactive entertainment
industry gathers in Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo
(E3) to preview the latest and greatest games coming out this holiday.
"It's simple, really: Nintendo is committed to offering our players
the best games and the best price," says Peter MacDougall, executive
vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "We
were the first manufacturer to reach the $199 price level and now
we're leading the industry to $149 -- allowing even more players around
the world to get their hands on our legendary favorites like Mario,
Zelda, Star Fox and Metroid this year."
For more information about NINTENDO GAMECUBE or any
other Nintendo product visit the company's Web sites, www.nintendo.com
May 20 - Photo Print Solutions
Driven by Digital Photography. Nearly half of all photo kiosks
to be shipped in 2002 will be designed exclusively for digital camera
users, according to a new report from InfoTrends Research Group. This
is a dramatic change from last year when only 16% of photo kiosk shipments
were digital camera exclusive.
"As digital camera users begin to use photo kiosks, print volumes
on photo kiosks will increase dramatically," says Kerry Flatley,
research analyst. "Our research shows that currently photo kiosks
are mainly used by customers making just a few copies or enlargements
from prints. Digital camera customers, on the other hand, will use
photo kiosks as a high-volume source for their original photo prints."
While the print volume at photo kiosks will increase, growth in the
installed base of photo kiosks is expected to be modest, reaching
33,000 in 2006. Sales of replacement units will contribute to an 8%
compound annual growth rate in unit shipments.
Future photo kiosk developments include placement in more convenient
locations, faster print speeds, and connectivity to the Internet or
to local digital minilab equipment. With more user education and awareness,
these improvements will attract more digital camera users to print
at retail instead of at home. As of November 2001, only 9% of U.S.
photo kiosk users had printed from digital photo files and only a
small percentage of those were from digital cameras.
Furthermore, in the coming year, photofinishing retailers will increasingly
adopt in-store digital minilabs to print images from digital camera
memory cards. Unit shipments of digital minilabs are expected to double
this year as more retailers make the transition from analog to digital
InfoTrends Research Group, Inc. can be found online at www.infotrends-rgi.com.
May 20 - First Quarter Video
Game Rental Revenues Up 9%. The video game rental market is booming
with a flurry of new game titles and the introduction of two new game
platforms, according to Bo Andersen, president of the home video and
entertainment industry's international trade group -- the Video Software
Dealers Association (VSDA).
"The video game rental business enjoyed a strong first quarter
due, in part, to increased competition and consumer choices fueled
by the introduction of Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube,"
According to VSDA's VidTrac program -- the video industry's most accurate
video rental point-of-sale tracking technology for measuring national
consumer video rental spending, based on actual rental transactions
-- video game consumers rented 49.2 million games and spent $201 million
during the first quarter of 2002.
Compared to a year ago, video game rentals are up 9.8% from 44.8 million
and revenues were up 9.2% from $184 million. Revenues for the first
quarter of 2002 were also up significantly, 24.5%, from the previous
quarter (fourth quarter of 2001) at $161.4 million.
"With limited platforms and games available, the video game rental
market was slipping into a quiet slumber. However, GameCube, PlayStation
2 and Xbox have reawakened consumer interest in experimenting with
new game titles," added Brad Hackley, Director of Research for
Sony, through its platforms PlayStation and PlayStation 2 products,
dominated the market in the first quarter of 2002, and remains the
video gamer's platform of choice, occupying 64% of the overall video
game rental market. In fact, all ten of the Top 10 Video Game Rentals
for the first quarter were PlayStation 2 products (see Top 10 list
below). Nintendo's N64 platform ranked number two.
In just four and a half months on the market (debuting November 15,
2001), Microsoft's Xbox soared from zero to 9% of the market, winning
the #3 spot. Xbox's success was fueled by the popularity of Activision's
"Wreckless: Yakuza Missions" (#15 game of the first quarter
2002) and Microsoft's "Blood Wake" titles (#20 game of the
first quarter 2002). Nintendo's GameCube, which streeted November
18th, ranked #4 with 4.5% of the rental market.
Top Ten Rentals
1 PS2-Grand Theft Auto 3 3-Oct-01 Take 2 Interactive
2 PS2-Max Payne 20-Nov-01 Take 2 Interactive
3 PS2-State Of Emergency 18-Feb-02 rockstar games
4 PS2-Agent Under Fire 14-Nov-01 Electronic Arts
5 PS2-Final Fantasy X 28-Dec-01 Electronic Arts
6 PS2-Metal Gear Solid 2:
Sons Of Liberty 14-Nov-01 Konami
7 PS2-NBA 2K2 15-Jan-02 Sega Of America
8 PS2-Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 31-Oct-01 Activision
9 PS2-Simpsons Road Rage 22-Nov-01 Electronic Arts
10 PS2-WWF SmackDown Just Bring It 2-Nov-01 THQ Inc.
Source: 1/6/02-3/31/02, VSDA/VidTrac
Established in 1981, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA)
is a not-for-profit international trade association for the approximate
$19 billion home entertainment industry. VSDA represents more than
1,700 companies throughout the United States, Canada, and a dozen
other countries. Membership comprises the full spectrum of video and
video game retailers (both independents and large chains), as well
as the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture
studios, and other related businesses that constitute and support
the home video entertainment industry.
The VSDA can be found online at www.vsda.org.
May 19 - Sunday Shopping
Deal of the Week - Best Buy is offering a HP
1.2 GHz complete system for $599.
Notebooks - Prices remain high on notebooks.
This week's best deal is a HP 1.2 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW for $1149.
This still seems high compared to the deal from 3 Sundays ago, an
Athlon 4, 1 GHz laptop advertised below $1,000.
High-end Athlon, Pentium III-M, and Pentium 4-M processor notebook
prices appear unchanged.
Desktops - Prices are a little higher on Pentium 4 desktops
compared to last week. Prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops
went down $100 compared to last week.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton,Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
BestBuy is giving away 6 months of free MSN with any computer
purchase. They are also offering 12 months of interest free financing
on any computer purchase over $298. Additionally, they are giving
$100 mail-in rebates on all desktop packages and notebooks.
City is giving 12 months
of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase. Additionally,
they are offering a $150-$350 mail-in rebates on Intel Processor notebooks,
$100-$350 mail-in rebates on all AMD desktop packages, and no interest
for 12 months on AMD computer packages.
is offering no interest, no payments, for 6 months on any computer
purchase over $298.
CompUSA is offering 12 month
interest free financing on any computer purchase. They are also offering
a $150 CompUSA gift card with any Pentium 4 1.8 GHz complete system.
Staples is also giving 6 months of free
MSN with any computer purchase.
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost
all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have
integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon
XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features,
and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well
for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in
mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.
About Windows XP. It has been a little over 5
months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows
XP became available for separate purchase on October 25th. For more
information on Windows XP see our Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before
you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth
discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A desktop 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).
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.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.2 GHz complete
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2 GHz Build-to-order complete system
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
HP 1600+ complete system
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 1900+ complete system
Best Low-cost Notebook
HP 1.1 GHz Celeron
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 1600+ Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4 1.6 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears
every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our
News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer
chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local
chain store has the same items, this article should help you make
informed buying decisions.
May 17 - Infineon, AMD,
and DuPont Photomasks Partner on New Chip Technology. Infineon
Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:
AMD) and DuPont Photomasks, Inc. (NASDAQ: DPMI) today announced plans
to establish and operate a new advanced photomask facility in Dresden.
This move is to help ensure their continued edge in the worldwide
race to create the next semiconductor generations with increased functionality
in ever smaller geometries. The facility will be used to develop and
pilot-manufacture next-generation lithographic photomasks for exposing
patterns on semiconductor silicon wafers. For this purpose, the three
companies are creating a new, equally-owned joint venture, Advanced
Mask Technology Center GmbH & Co. KG (AMTC). The AMTC facility
will be co-located with a new commercial photomask production facility
that DuPont Photomasks will establish in Dresden as a separate entity.
The building, which is planned to house the two companies, has a
useable floor space of 17,500 square meters. It will be constructed
in the immediate vicinity of Infineon's and AMD's Dresden-based semiconductor
fabs. The completion date for construction is scheduled for early
2003. As soon as the building is in place, AMTC and DuPont Photomasks
plan to install the necessary equipment and begin start-up of the
operations in the second half of 2003.
The amount of investment required for AMTC is estimated at around
EUR 360 million over the next 5 years. AMTC expects to employ around
170 people. Key engineers from all three companies are expected to
staff the AMTC and will collaboratively develop a roadmap for technology
nodes of 90/65 nanometers and below.
Infineon already operates a photomask development and production
facility with around 230 employees in Munich producing masks exclusively
for Infineon's world wide production facilities. With this strategic
shift Infineon is pulling out of the complete mask development on
its own in favor of a cooperation model in the area of high-end-masks
designed to speed up development cycles and to reduce costs.
Infineon's leading-edge photomask technology, as well as AMD's and
DuPont Photomasks's technology, will be used in the new venture in
Dresden. Employees of the Infineon Munich photomask facility will
be encouraged to apply for comparable jobs at the AMTC, at the new
DuPont Photomasks facility in Dresden or at Infineon in Dresden.
In a separate agreement announced today, DuPont Photomasks has been
selected as Infineon Technologies' strategic photomask supplier, as
the two companies entered into a 10-year supply agreement. As part
of that agreement, DuPont Photomasks plans to build a state-of-the-art,
commercial production photomask facility in Dresden, to support the
advanced photomask needs of its global customers, including Infineon.
Dr. William Siegle, AMD Senior Vice President, Technology Operations
and Chief Scientist, stated: "AMTC, which builds on our successful
past relationship with DuPont Photomasks, is an ideal supplement to
our AMD Fab 30 semiconductor facility, and will contribute to further
strengthening Dresden as a microelectronics center. We see its mission
to be a world-leading mask provider for future-generation technologies.
"As early as 2003 we expect the AMTC to support one of the world's
most successful fabs - our Fab 30. The advantages of having a photomask
facility in immediate proximity to our fabs is self-evident: it means
the shortest possible distance between the AMTC development center
and our plants, which depend on "just in time" deliveries
of increasingly complex photomasks. Thanks to the direct feedback
between our wafer fabs and the photomask facility, all three partners
will be able to help ensure high-level performance on the part of
AMTC. In the global semiconductor industry, this is an important key
Photomasks are an integral component in the lithographic process
of semiconductor manufacturing. High-purity quartz or glass plates
containing precision images of integrated circuits (or chips), photomasks
are used as masters to optically transfer these images onto semiconductor
wafers. Current advanced lithographic tools, such as deep-UV (DUV)
steppers and scanners, project light through a photomask and a high
The intensity of the light casts an image of the device's design
- the pattern on the photomask - onto a silicon wafer coated with
a light sensitive material called photoresist. Using negative photoresist,
the unexposed, or masked, portion of this material is then removed
so it can either be etched to form channels or be deposited with other
materials. Chips are manufactured layer by layer, so these selective
deposition/removal steps are repeated until a circuit is built. The
current generation of semiconductors has 25 or more layers, each requiring
a unique photomask.
Photomasks, requiring sophisticated manufacturing techniques and
complex mathematical algorithms to design, are at the forefront of
the microminiaturization of chips, enabling more functionality to
be embedded within a smaller area. This trend in making devices as
powerful and as small as possible facilitates the proliferation of
handheld and other portable electronic applications. Although photomasks
have always been a necessary component in the chip making process,
today they are a true enabler of semiconductor technology.
Advanced semiconductors are being built at the sub wavelength level.
Sub wavelength manufacturing requires advanced photomasks because
the circuit images printed on the silicon wafer are actually smaller
than the wavelength of the light source used to expose the pattern.
Current state-of-the-technology, DUV steppers and scanners use a krypton
fluoride laser with a wavelength of 248 nm, (0.248 micron), to build
advanced chips with feature sizes of 180 nm (0.18 micron) and below.
To meet this sub wavelength challenge advanced photomasks utilize
reticle enhancement techniques, such as optical proximity correction
(OPC) and phase shift features (PSM). These and other technologies
will continue to enable the extension of optical lithography as the
industry transitions to 193 nm and then 157 nm optical lithography
over the next decade.
May 17 - 1394 Trade Association Praises
New Firewire Enabled Chipset from SiS. Leaders of the 1394 Trade
Association said today that the introduction of a new 1394-equipped
chipset from Silicon Integrated Systems represents a breakthrough
in 1394/FireWire technology that will encourage the use of the 1394
multimedia standard in computer and peripheral applications.
SiS in March unveiled the industry's first chipsets with integrated
1394 host controller, the SiS745. In an effort to promote the adoption
of the 1394 infrastructure in the PC platform, SiS has integrated
the 1394 controller, in current products as well as future solutions.
The SiS745 is an open architecture single chip supporting the AMD
This contrasts with competitive solutions that adopt independent north
bridge and south bridge. The SiS745 is now in production. By integrating
the state-of-the-art 1394 technology, the SiS745 provides a high performance
1394 host platform to the market that could significantly propel the
application and adoption of 1394 in PCs, consumer electrical appliances
and in home networking scenarios.
SiS has also introduced its SiS962 MuTIOL(R) "South Bridge"
chipset, which includes a 1394a LINK controller and supports up to
three 1394 devices with external PHY.
"The integration of the 1394/FireWire standard into the chipsets
is a significant development which advances the proliferation of 1394
across multiple product lines at leading PC makers," said James
Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "We
anticipate that other chipset manufacturers will follow the lead of
SiS, which is an innovative leader in the industry. This is a vital
market and an important development for the FireWire standard."
For further information, please visit the SiS website at www.sis.com.
For more information about 1394/FireWire and the 1394 Trade Association,
May 17 - Dell's Q1 Results Beats Estimates.
Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) further increased its appeal to enterprise computing
customers and again demonstrated a unique ability to manage costs,
en route to better-than-expected revenue and earnings per share for
the fiscal first quarter, which ended May 3.
The company has met or exceeded its guidance to investors for five
consecutive quarters, and expects to achieve year-over-year growth
in both revenue and EPS in Q2.
Total first-quarter shipments of Dell standards-based servers, storage
products and workstations jumped 16 percent. The company gained more
than two points of server market share worldwide and three in the
United States. Dell's U.S. server share reached 30 percent for the
first time, as the company continued to lead that strategically important
market category even after recent industry consolidation.
At the same time, Dell further enhanced the efficiency of its customer-focused
direct business model, driving operating expenses as a percent of
revenue below 10 percent for the first time in company history.
Dell achieved 17-percent first-quarter growth in product shipments
and a 3-percent increase in revenue in the United States. Without
Dell, U.S. industry volumes declined 10 percent. The company's share
of the world's largest market was five points higher than one year
ago. Notwithstanding recent industry consolidation, Dell leads the
U.S. market in all major product categories -- servers, workstations,
and notebook and desktop computers.
Revenue from U.S. consumers remained strong in the period, rising
26 percent from a year ago; combined sales to U.S. education and government
customers were up 16 percent.
In Asia-Pacific and Japan, Dell's shipments grew 8 percent; absent
the company, industry volumes dropped 6 percent. Similarly, Dell server
units in Japan were up 10 percent; excluding the company, server volumes
fell 4 percent. Dell posted double-digit unit growth and higher revenue
in China, Australia and New Zealand.
The company also outperformed the industry in Europe, the Middle
East and Africa (EMEA). Dell product shipments in the region increased
5 percent overall and 8 percent in servers from year-ago levels; the
balance of the industry was off 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
The company sustained momentum in Germany, as shipments climbed 19
percent -- the industry was down 4 percent without Dell -- and revenue
rose 9 percent.
Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World
Wide Web at www.dell.com.
May 17 - TDK Mediactive Unveils Most Extensive
Lineup Ever at 2002 E3. TDK Mediactive, Inc. (OTCBB:TDKM), a global
publisher of interactive entertainment software, is set to debut its
2002 product lineup, its strongest and most impressive to date, at
the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles May 22-24, 2002.
The company will showcase games of all styles across multiple platforms
and genres, including titles created with some of the biggest licenses
in the industry.
From "Shrek(R)" and "Robotech(R)" to Mercedes-Benz(TM)
and "Dinotopia(TM)," TDK Mediactive has something for everyone.
Furthermore, every viable game system will be represented in the TDK
booth (South Hall #1446) including the Nintendo GameCube(TM) system,
PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment system, Xbox(TM) video game
system from Microsoft, and PlayStation(R) game console, as well as
the Nintendo Game Boy(R) Advance and Game Boy Color handheld systems.
"The presence of TDK Mediactive will be felt at this year's
E3 like never before," said Vincent Bitetti, chief executive
officer, TDK Mediactive. "Our lineup is more powerful than it
has ever been, packed with new titles featuring globally recognized
brands like `Shrek,' `Robotech' and `Aquaman.' Plus, we've got a few
more surprises that we plan to unveil at the show."
More information about TDK Mediactive and its products is available
May 16 - Fujitsu Announces New LifeBook
S Series Notebooks. Fujitsu PC Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary
of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today unveiled the latest addition
to its award-winning "thin and light" LifeBook(R) S Series
notebook, incorporating new features to increase its appeal to mobile
Unmatched in size, performance and functionality, Fujitsu's LifeBook
S Series has earned a great deal of recognition since its debut, winning
CNet's prestigious Editor's Choice award three consecutive times.
The latest LifeBook S Series continues this legacy by retaining many
of the same features and chassis, but now offers better overall system
performance, incorporating a faster Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III
processor-M running at 1GHz and two DIMM slots for up to 1GB of system
memory. The notebook also features Intel's 830MG chipset to increase
its processor-to-system speed to 133MHz and deliver up to 48MB of
shared memory for low power, high performance 2D and 3D graphics on-demand.
"Fujitsu's LifeBook S Series was the first ultraportable notebook
to include a built-in modular bay and has become one of the most popular
lines among mobile users for its design and functionality," said
Sara Nelson, vice president of marketing, Fujitsu PC Corporation.
"Continually pushing the edge of innovation, the LifeBook S Series
now incorporates performance enhancements and integrated wireless
capabilities to continue the tradition of no-compromise mobility."
With integrated WiFi(TM)-compliant wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b) capabilities,
in addition to its existing modem and Ethernet ports, the LifeBook
S Series offers mobile professionals a level of connectivity in any
type of office or computing environment.
The LifeBook S Series retains the same impressive design and dimensions
users have come to expect. A spacious 13.3-inch XGA TFT display is
easy on users' eyes and its less than four-pound weight makes it practically
effortless to carry. The notebook measures just 11.5 inches wide by
9.3 inches deep by 1.3 inches high, yet incorporates a built-in modular
bay for a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, DVD, CD-ROM, second bay battery or
weight saver. For those requiring prolonged battery life, the second
bay battery extends the LifeBook's computing life to up to eight hours.
It comes preinstalled with Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition,
Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional or Windows 98 Second
Edition and comes with either a 40GB, 30GB or 20GB hard drive. In
addition, the notebook comes with an IEEE 1394 port for lightning
fast digital video and data transfer, two USB ports and one Type I/II
PC Card slot.
This thin and light notebook is available in two recommended configurations
and can be customized using Fujitsu's Configure To Order (CTO) program
with the price starting at $1,499. It can be purchased through Fujitsu's
retail and reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com.
May 16 - Socket Delivers Bluetooth Connectivity
Enhancements for Pocket PCs. Socket Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT)
(PSE:SOK), the Mobile Connection(TM) Company, today announced the
availability of its enhanced Bluetooth Connection Kit for Pocket PCs.
The product creates a cable-free link between a Pocket PC, or other
Windows CE device, and a Bluetooth-enabled phone, allowing a user
to exchange email, browse the Internet, send a fax, or access the
company network by using the mobile phone as a wireless modem. Enhancements
to the CompactFlash Bluetooth card include upgraded firmware that
is Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) 1.1 compliant, providing
increased compatibility with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
"The increasing number of Bluetooth-enabled devices entering
the market indicates that Bluetooth technology is coming of age,"
said David Hayden, president of MobileWeek, a mobile and wireless
consultancy. "As more and more people become part of the mobile
workforce, they need an easy and cost-effective way to access email,
browse the Internet, fax, print, and do all the other computer-related
tasks they can perform with their wired connections. Socket's Bluetooth
Connection Kit gives them that capability."
"Socket is proud to provide users with the most Mobility Friendly(TM)
products on the market," commented Patti Cassalia, Product Marketing
Manager for Socket's Bluetooth product line. "Using a Bluetooth-enabled
phone as a modem in conjunction with their Pocket PC is easy and cost-effective.
Users save money because they don't need to add an extra account for
data as they would with a wireless modem. Plus, the cable-free link
and fully integrated antenna mean less hassle for the user."
The Bluetooth Connection Kit is compatible with Windows CE 3.x for
Pocket 2000, Pocket PC 2002, and Handheld PC 2000, and it will operate
in any of those devices with either a Type I or Type II CompactFlash
A similar solution for Windows powered notebooks will be available
in June. The product is available through Socket's website (www.socketcom.com)
for a suggested retail price of US $179. Current owners of the Bluetooth
Connection Kit can upgrade by downloading the software from www.socketcom.com/support/support_bluetooth.htm.
May 16 - WLAN Market Gets Off to a Promising
Start in 2002. The Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) market began
2002 in a promising light, experiencing a greater than 10% growth
in total unit shipments over the first quarter of 2002, according
to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
End-use revenues managed to squeak out a slight growth over the quarter,
even in the midst of plummeting prices for popular Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b)
"Although the economy was stagnant and business budgets were
relatively tight in 1Q02, the WLAN market grew for two main reasons,"
said Gemma Paulo, an analyst with the high-tech market research firm.
"First, end-users in the home and in the business are increasingly
attracted to the mobility that WLANs offer, and secondly, the cost
of implementing Wi-Fi networks continues to fall, as an increasing
number of vendors enter the market, and a wider variety of equipment
is released into the market."
In-Stat/MDR also found that:
-- Cisco continued to dominate the market in terms of overall
revenue, although Linksys, Buffalo, Agere and D-Link showed
considerable strength in overall unit shipments.
-- For the first quarter, non-trivial shipments of 802.11a
Network Interface Cards (NICs) and Access Points (APs) were
recorded, from the likes of Intel, SMC, Netgear, Proxim,
D-Link & Actiontec. Although many of these 802.11a pioneers
had announced that they were shipping in 4Q01, most did not
have product ready to ship until 1Q02, needing additional time
to refine products.
-- The home market continued to drive overall WLAN market growth,
with total home shipments growing almost 20%, spurred on by
the popularity of low-cost wireless broadband gateway products
(combo AP and router devices often with multiple Ethernet
ports and optional print servers).
-- The business market was helped along by Agere's noticeable
recovery in 1Q02, emerging from a lackluster 2H01, namely with
its ORiNOCO-branded products. However, the growth in business
WLAN shipments was primarily driven by low-cost providers that
were also strong in the home market, including Buffalo,
Linksys, D-Link and Netgear.
-- Europe and Asia Pacific remained extremely significant markets
for WLAN growth. Hot markets outside North America included
Japan, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and
the Nordic countries.
May 16 - Despite Economy, Voluntary Departure
Rate Among IT Workers Remains High. In tough economic times, the
gainfully employed typically stay put. Not so in tech, according to
an annual study released today by META Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:METG),
a worldwide IT research and consulting firm.
According to META Group's 2002 IT Staffing and Compensation Guide,
respondents from more than 600 medium-sized to large American corporations
reported surprisingly high voluntary departure rates and a critical
shift in their focus from recruiting to retention and the optimization
of human assets.
"Surprisingly, given the difficult economic climate, voluntary
departure rates at technology companies continue to be high, with
the average turnover for all reporting companies at 10%," said
Maria Schafer, program director of META Group's Human Capital Management
(HCM) and author of the study. "That's down by only a single
percentage point from 2001. Although turnover has improved for many
companies, concerns about retaining valuable employees are quite high."
The seriousness with which respondents viewed the retention issue
is split nearly evenly, with more than half of 2002 respondents indicating
it is a "very serious" or "fairly serious" issue.
Interestingly, when asked about types of bonuses rewarded to IT staff
in 2002, survey respondents indicated that the number of retention
bonuses rewarded in 2002 grew from 12% to 44% in 2002. Among the IT
skills that were considered most difficult to retain were e-commerce/Internet
skills (24%) and application development skills (20%).
Respondents also indicated that the need to demonstrate HR's profit
to the bottom line has become increasingly important, as a continually
uncertain economy forces business to reassess and realign their HCM
focus. In fact, many reported recognizing that an organization's staff
can be measured and leveraged to drive profitability, much like any
"Managing human capital as a competitive asset in both good
times and bad is critical to the survival of Global 2000 companies,"
said Schafer. "The data clearly indicates that those who don't
aggressively court and develop IT staff through the downturn and into
the long term will find themselves in crisis mode."
Trend Spotting: Findings at a Glance
-- IT Organizations Are Hiring: Surprisingly, despite the
downturn, more than one-third (34%) of IT organizations have
increased their total number of IT staff.
-- Boomers Retiring: Employers are preparing for the legions of
"baby boomers" expected to retire soon, leaving many legacy
skill positions empty. The federal workforce will be
especially hard hit, with more than 50% of its workforce
expected to retire during the next five to seven years.
-- IT Employee Compensation Levels Remain High: IT compensation
levels are still higher than for non-IT employees.
-- Number of Retention Bonuses Increased 32%: Signing bonuses
continue to be used at roughly the same rate as last year (22%
in 2002 vs. 20% in 2001). Retention bonuses were much more
frequent in 2002, with 44% of respondents reporting they
issued a retention bonus (vs. 12% in 2001).
For more information about the 2002 IT Staffing and Compensation
Guide, visit www.metagroup.com.
May 16 - Electronic Arts to Support PlayStation
2 Online Initiative. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world's
leading video game software publisher, today announced that it will
bring Madden NFL(TM) 2003 to the PlayStation(R) 2 computer entertainment
system for online play.
EA's worldwide studios also have plans for additional EA SPORTS(TM)
and EA GAMES(TM) franchises that will take full advantage of the PlayStation
2 console's online capabilities.
"We are very excited to be partnering with Sony Computer Entertainment
of America to bring Madden NFL Football and other popular EA franchises
online through the PlayStation 2," said EA Chairman and CEO Larry
Probst. "We believe that console-based online play is in its
infancy but will grow in the next several years. Early applications
on the PlayStation 2 offer a great experience for consumers and a
chance for developers to find out what gamers like about online play.
We feel confident about the business model presented by SCEA and their
choice of an open technology infrastructure for providers and consumers."
"We are thrilled to have Electronic Arts announce online support
for PlayStation 2 as we firmly believe that well-known franchises
are key to bringing the console gamer online," said Andrew House,
senior vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America.
"Our goal is to help lead the PlayStation 2 customer base online
with an experience that is consumer friendly and content driven, requiring
little or no additional investment. In keeping with the open environment
of the Internet, our approach to PlayStation 2 connectivity will encourage
the creative community to drive and determine content offerings, as
well manage its own customer relationships and distribution models.
With EA on board we are one step closer to making this a reality."
Madden NFL 2003 for the PlayStation 2 console will allow gamers to
find and challenge opponents anywhere on the Internet, chat with friends
and other football fans and download up-to-the-minute player statistics
and trades, team rosters and information on injuries and position
More information about EA can be found at www.info.ea.com.
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