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Computer News and Rumors

May 24-31 2002

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

InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors Article Index
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to the Index.)
May 31 Fujifilm Introduces Ultra-slim FinePix F401 Digital Camera
May 31 Sierra Wireless and Casio Join Forces to Provide Wireless Solutions
May 31 e.Digital Announces New Digital MP3 Audio Players
May 31 Samsung Announces Tabletop Projection Digital TVs
May 31 ICQ Reaches 200 Million Download Milestone
May 30 Samsung Ramping 533 MHz RDRAM to Meet Surging Demand
May 30 Industry Leaders Support Standardized Business Linux
May 30 IBM Scientists Rely on Principle of Uncertainty to Protect Your Privacy
May 30 Toshiba Increases Investment in U.S. Wireless Market
May 29 Intel Projects Record-Setting Itanium 2 Processor Performance
May 29 PSS Delivers World's Fastest 1Mb Flash Memory
May 29 SanDisk Introduces Combination Software -- Flash Card for Handhelds
May 29 Cell Phone Handset Sales Decline
May 29 HP says Americans ``Can't Live Without'' Printers
May 28 Samsung Develops Industry's First DDR-II SDRAM
May 28 Bull to Demonstrate 16-Way Intel Itanium 2-Based Server at IDF
My 28 IP3 Networks Launches NetAccess for Wireless Hot Spots
May 28 Mobile Automation Announces Enterprise Support Tool for Pocket PC
May 28 Plextor Ships External 40/12/40 CD-RW Drive
May 27 60,000 Game Industry Professionals Attend E3Expo 2002
May 27 Ubi Soft Expands Internet Strategy with Myst Online
May 27 ATI chosen to power DOOM III for E3 2002
May 27 PCs more popular than video game consoles
May 26 Sunday Shopping Watch
May 24 ATI's RADEON Products To Support Eighth-Generation AMD Platform
May 24 Sonic and Adaptec Ink Worldwide Distribution Pact
May 24 Netscape Launches Preview Release of Netscape 7.0 Browser
May 24 Siemens' Start-Up Develops Ultra-Miniature Motors
May 24 `Chipworks Inside' the Intel Pentium 4 Processor

 

 
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May 31 - Fujifilm Introduces Ultra-slim FinePix F401 Digital Camera. Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. continues its tradition of exceptional photo quality and distinctive styling with the new FinePix F401 digital camera.

The FinePix F401's ultra-slim, trend-setting metallic body is sure to turn heads. It is one of the smallest 2.1-effective-megapixel zoom digital cameras in its category and features Fujifilm's third-generation Super CCD sensor and optional PC-sync cradle. Boasting a third generation Super CCD sensor system with 2.1 million effective pixels, the FinePix F401 can deliver 2304 x 1728 (3.98 million) recorded pixels for clear, colorful 11 x 16-inch prints.

"Fujifilm continues to expand its extensive portfolio of digital cameras that are designed to make the digital photography experience easy and fun for consumers," said Darin Pepple, Brand Manager, Consumer Digital Products, Consumer Markets Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. "The FinePix F401 is ideal for the on-the-go photographer who wants a choice of features and point-and-shoot simplicity in a sleek, stylish package."

The FinePix F401 will be available in August 2002 at a MSRP of $499.99. In addition, an optional PC-sync PictureCradle, for fast camera-to-computer photo transfer via USB cable, PC-cam videoconferencing and easy recharging of the camera's battery will be available for $79.99.
For more information on Fujifilm products, visit www.fujifilm.com.

May 31 - Sierra Wireless and Casio Join Forces to Provide Wireless Solutions. Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq:SWIR) (TSE:SW) and Casio announced today that it will further develop their relationship into the North American and European marketplace with a bundled wireless solution operating on new voice and data networks.

The Sierra Wireless AirCard(R) Series, including the new AirCard 555 CDMA2000 1X and AirCard 750 GSM/GPRS wireless network cards, bundled with Casio's CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300, offers a complete wireless solution for the mobile user while on the road or away from the office. Sierra Wireless and Casio will continue to work together to offer complete mobile solutions - from personal applications to the extension of corporate LAN and field force applications.

The combined wireless solution provides mobile users the ability to stay connected to all of their important information while on the road or away from the office. The solution offers fast and reliable access to e-mail and corporate applications through Sierra Wireless AirCards operating on both existing and new voice and data networks including high speed CDMA2000 1X and GSM/GPRS global networks.

Both the AirCard 555 and AirCard 750 wireless network cards are a complete communication solution designed to keep the mobile user connected with SMS (Short Message Service) messages, voice calls, and email access. In addition, the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager BE-300 provides significant expandability while carrying a high-volume of data and capable of transmitting received data to projectors and portable printers on par with a PC in a small-scale portable size device.

"Sierra Wireless's diverse product line is the perfect fit for the CASSIOPEIA Pocket Manager. This solution provides a complete wireless tool for the mobile user who can now access information on new global networks allowing them to stay connected in an increasingly wireless world," said Yozo Suzuki, Managing Director of Casio Computer Co., Ltd. "We look forward to working with industry leaders like Sierra Wireless who provide mobile users the freedom to access information anywhere, anytime."

As mentioned in an announcement earlier this year, Casio named Sierra Wireless as its preferred provider of GSM/GPRS wireless PC card modems. Currently, the AirCard 750 wireless network card connects Casio's Pocket PC 2002 E-200 to the global GSM/GPRS network. Future plans for the companies include expanding their mobile relationship into high-speed data distribution of high-volume data transmission such as streaming video and audio multimedia.

For more information on Casio Computer Co., Ltd., visit its web site at http://world.casio.com. For more information on Sierra Wireless, visit its web site at www.sierrawireless.com.

May 31 - e.Digital Announces New Digital MP3 Audio Players. The gap between PC and Mac(TM) users will be bridged by the new Odyssey(TM) line of digital audio players coming from e.Digital Corp. (OTCBB:EDIG).

Each of the three new Odyssey pocket-sized, flash-memory-based digital audio players have unique features, giving consumers in many budget categories reason to sing. All come with embedded flash memory, a SmartMedia(TM) card expansion slot allowing consumers to add up to 128 MB of additional storage, and e.Digital Odyssey Manager software, which is compatible with both PC and Macintosh(TM) platforms.

The Odyssey 100 MP3 player features up to 30 hours of battery life from a standard AA Alkaline battery. With a standard 64 MB of embedded flash memory, stereo earphones, and an intuitive user interface, this stylish MP3 player squeezes every last minute out of a standard AA battery, making it the ideal choice for economy-minded consumers. The Odyssey 100 is priced at $129 and is both compact and durable, making it a perfect travel companion.

The Odyssey 200 features not only MP3 file playback, but also an FM tuner, 20 customizable FM station presets with digital tuning, and high-quality voice recording using the built-in omnidirectional microphone. Students, businesspeople, and writers of any kind can create and store over eight hours of voice recordings using the Odyssey 200's standard 128 MB built-in flash memory. A SmartMedia card expansion slot lets consumers add up to 128 MB of removable flash. The Odyssey 200 is priced at $179 MSRP.

The Odyssey 300's direct MP3 encoding allows users to rip files from their CD collection without the use of a computer, and play them back immediately. This tops the list of its features, but its digital voice recorder, FM tuner, FM recorder, and up to 12-hour battery life make it the premier design of the Odyssey line. With a standard 128 MB of flash built-in, the Odyssey 300 holds voice, music, and FM recordings totaling up to 8.5 hours, and users who choose to add a SmartMedia card via the expansion slot can double that amount. The Odyssey 300 will sell for $229 MSRP.

For more information on the company, visit www.edig.com. To shop at the e.Digital online store, visit www.edigital-store.com.

May 31 - Samsung Announces Tabletop Projection Digital TVs. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., an established innovator in digital television, is making cutting-edge digital entertainment technology an affordable reality for today's home theater or living room.

Samsung is introducing the first large-screen, tabletop Projection DTVs that incorporate Texas Instruments next-generation DLP(TM) technology and the new DVI (digital video interface) HDTV interface for true digital connection, and a stunning picture quality that rivals any display technology on the market today.

Many leading movie theaters feature DLP Cinema(TM) technology, a development of DLP(TM) technology designed specifically for the cinema. Now Samsung brings the revolutionary DLP(TM) technology into the home with two slim and light DLP(TM) technology-based HDTV monitor designs, the 43" HLM437W and the 50" HLM507W. Both models will be available for under $4,500 in select stores this summer and widely available in Q4. Demonstrations of Samsung's first TVs to feature DLP(TM) technology will take place at Home Entertainment 2002, May 30-June 2nd, in the Murray Hill Room A at the New York Hilton.

The 43" HLM437W weighs in at a mere 75 lbs, with a 15.7" back-to-front footprint, while the 50" HLM507W weighs just 84 lbs and boasts a slim 18" back-to-front footprint. Both models feature a 16:9 aspect ratio, the ideal format for viewing wide-screen video from DVDs and the growing availability of DTV broadcast programming.

Steve G. Panosian, Senior Marketing Manager for Samsung's Visual Display Group, said "Samsung's DLP technology-enabled projection DTVs are the ultimate tabletop home theater solution, combining state-of-the-art digital picture quality and features such as the DVI interface, a slim and attractive design, and pricing that's unbelievably affordable for this kind of advanced performance and technology.

" Viewers get the best of all possible worlds: the theatre-like experience of a projection TV in a manageable size, the defined picture of a direct-view TV, and the large screen sizes of a plasma display at less than half the cost. We are delighted to be working with Texas Instruments and are extremely impressed by the ability of DLP technology to deliver not only clear, sharp images but also the affordability the market demands."

The 43" HLM437W will be available for $3,999.99 (MSRP) and the 50" HLM507W will be available for $4,499.99 (MSRP). Visit www.samsungusa.com for more information.

May 31 - ICQ Reaches 200 Million Download Milestone. ICQ ("I Seek You"), the popular online communications community and international service from America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), and CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET) today announced that ICQ reached the 200 million download milestone on CNET Networks' industry-leading Download.com Web site. With this development, ICQ continues as the most downloaded product ever on Download.com (http://www.download.com).

Since its pioneering role in offering the first Internet messaging software in 1996, ICQ has evolved into a complete communications portal with an avid and loyal community of over 130 million registered users worldwide. ICQ has grown rapidly and continues to gain popularity primarily through word-of-mouth and viral marketing as its users are Internet savvy and enthusiastic about utilizing instant messaging to its fullest. After its initial posting on Download.com in 1996, the instant messaging product offered several new versions, the latest one being ICQ 2002a, and has regularly appeared on Download.com's "Most Popular" list.

"The worldwide adoption of ICQ has been tremendous, and the popularity and authority of Download.com has played an important role in our growth," said Sefi Visiger, co-founder of ICQ. "The ICQ phenomenon is based on our continuous innovation and our users' enthusiasm for our products and community. Our ability to maintain a unique experience has enabled us to stay connected with the Web's most enthusiastic consumers who are always eager to download our latest versions. We're delighted to have reached this milestone of 200 million downloads with Download.com and look forward to keeping the momentum going."

The latest version of ICQ available on Download.com is ICQ 2002a and introduces a new suite of search options that make it easier than ever to find and connect with other ICQ users with similar interests. A robust and full-featured communications tool, ICQ 2002a lets users stay in touch with new online acquaintances wherever they are, whenever they want, in a variety of ways.
ICQ 2002a also includes improved firewall support, an upgraded interface and additional user preferences. ICQ 2002a builds upon the key features introduced in the critically acclaimed ICQ 2001b client, which included document and file sharing options, improved email integration and multi-lingual two-way SMS text messaging for cellular phones, PDAs and other wireless devices.

The product is available for free at www.ICQ.com.

May 30 - Samsung Ramping 533 MHz RDRAM to Meet Surging Demand. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., the world's leading supplier of advanced memory technology, today announced that it is ramping production of its full range of PC1066 RDRAM to fully meet surging demand for these high speed memory modules.
This move is expected to strengthen the company's industry leadership position by ensuring that customers receive ample supplies of 1066 RDRAM, the highest speed memory products available, in a timely manner.

<Editors note: The Intel® 850E chipset supports 533MHz/400MHz front-side-bus Pentium 4 processors, as well as PC1066 RIMM (533 MHz).>

As the newest addition to Samsung's DRAM portfolio, the 1066Mbps (533MHz) RDRAM RIMM modules, available in 128MB and 256Mb densities, provide the highest performance memory currently on the market for use in PC, workstations and serious gaming machines.

Samsung is now delivering rapidly increasing quantities of 1066 RDRAM RIMM to the major PC mother board companies that are leading the market with PC system boards built on the Intel 850E chipset. As CPU speeds advance beyond 2GHz, RDRAM will become the high-speed system memory of choice due to its clear-cut performance advantage.

"For performance that is truly leading-edge, use Samsung 1066 RDRAM exclusively," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing for Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Samsung's advanced memory technology empowers our customers to build the fastest PC-based machines available."

Samsung is currently the largest volume supplier of RDRAM RIMM modules and is the world's leading supplier of RDRAM memory, with more than a 60 percent share of the market. The company intends to continue its leadership role in RDRAM memory by being first-to-market with leading-edge products in a wide range of configurations and densities.

For more information, visit www.usa.samsungsemi.com.

May 30 - Industry Leaders Support Standardized Business Linux. Linux Industry leaders Caldera International, Inc. (Nasdaq:CALD), Conectiva S.A., SuSE Linux AG, and Turbolinux, Inc., today announced the organization of UnitedLinux, a new initiative that will streamline Linux development and certification around a global, uniform distribution of Linux designed for business.

UnitedLinux addresses enterprise customers' need for a standard, business-focused Linux distribution that is certified to work across hardware and software platforms, accelerating the adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Under terms of the agreement, the four companies will collaborate on the development of one common core Linux operating environment, called UnitedLinux software. The four partners will each bundle value added products and services with the UnitedLinux operating system and the resulting offering will be marketed and sold by each of the four partners under their own brands.

Nearly every vendor supplying a piece of the technology infrastructure used by businesses has expressed support for UnitedLinux, including systems and software vendors AMD, Borland Software Corporation, Computer Associates, Fujitsu Siemens, Fujitsu Japan, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, Progress Software, and SAP.
Independent hardware and software vendors spend considerable effort certifying their products and services on individual Linux distributions to ensure product compatibility for their customers. UnitedLinux will significantly diminish the number of distributions that vendors are asked to certify and will provide a true standards-based Linux operating environment.

For additional information on UnitedLinux, contact Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE or Turbolinux or go to www.unitedlinux.com.

May 30 - IBM Scientists Rely on Principle of Uncertainty to Protect Your Privacy. If you're an online merchant, ask a visitor to your site a simple question, and you are likely to get a misleading answer, if you get anything at all.
That's the dilemma prompting a new privacy-enhancing data mining technique being developed by Dr. Rakesh Agrawal and Dr. Ramakrishnan Srikant, researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center.

The research project -- one of several underway at IBM's Privacy Research Institute -- scientifically addresses the Catch-22 created by Web users entering false personal data on sites to protect their privacy and e-businesses relying on the data to develop data models and deliver customized services. "Our research institutionalizes the notion of fibbing on the Internet, and does so to preserve the overall reality behind the data," says Dr. Agrawal.

Called Privacy-Preserving Data Mining, the research relies on the notion that one's personal data can be protected by being scrambled or randomized prior to being communicated. By applying this technique, a retailer could generate highly accurate data models without ever seeing personal information.
"The beauty of this research is that retailers and other Web businesses are able to extract the valuable demographic information they need without necessarily knowing the underlying personal consumer data", said Harriet P. Pearson, IBM's Chief Privacy Officer. "I believe we'll see technological approaches such as this playing a larger role in managing the privacy issues of today and the future."

How It Works:

A Web user decides to enter a piece of personal data -- e.g., age, salary, weight. Upon entry, that number, say age 30 is immediately scrambled or `randomized' by IBM software: the software takes the original number that was input and adds (or subtracts) to it a random value. This randomization step is performed independently for every user who opts to enter their age. So, a 30 year old's age may be randomized to 42, while a 34 year old's entry may be randomized to 28. The randomization differs for every single user.

What does not change is the allowed range of the randomization. And, the range is directly linked to the desired level of privacy. Large randomization increases the uncertainty and the personal privacy of the users. However, at the same time, larger randomizations can cause loss in the accuracy of the results that are, at the end, produced by a data mining algorithm that uses the randomized data as input. According to Dr. Agrawal, it is clearly a trade off. Experiments indicate only a 5-10 percent loss in accuracy even for 100 percent randomization after the data mining algorithm has applied corrections to the randomized distributions.

IBM can be found online at www.ibm.com.

May 29 - Intel Projects Record-Setting Itanium 2 Processor Performance. Intel Corporation today revealed performance estimates for its forthcoming Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor that address the most demanding aspects of enterprise computing.
With higher data speeds and microarchitectural enhancements, servers and workstations based on the Itanium 2 processor are expected to deliver up to 1.5 to two times the performance of today's Itanium-based systems, significantly extending the product line's performance over RISC-based systems on key enterprise-class applications.

"With Itanium 2-based systems, Intel will deliver on the promise of the Itanium architecture with industry-leading performance on a broad range of demanding enterprise computing and technical applications," said Mike Fister, senior vice president and general manager for Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group. "As system availability begins mid-year and grows throughout 2002, IT and line of business users will be able to deploy high-performance, standards-based technology for their most data-intensive, business-critical applications.

"The Itanium 2 processor, formerly code-named "McKinley," will be the second in a family of enterprise-class processors from Intel that brings the performance and volume economics of the Intel Architecture to the most demanding segments of computing. The Itanium processor family enables a broad choice of reliable and scalable platforms and software for high-end servers and workstations at significantly lower costs and greater performance than proprietary offerings.

Intel expects the Itanium 2 processor to deliver exceptional processor and system performance:

-- Memory bandwidth: Single-processor Itanium 2-based systems using the Intel E8870 chipset are expected to deliver 3.7 GB/s on the Stream* benchmark, which is more than 2.5 times that of a comparable Itanium-based system and more than four times the performance of a comparable UltraSparc III system at 0.891 GB/s.
-- Floating point: On the SPECfp2000* benchmark, single-processor Itanium2-based systems are expected to achieve industry-leading performance with a base result of 1350, almost doubling the base result of 701 on comparable UltraSparc III and Itanium-based systems.
-- Integer: Intel estimates that on the SPECint2000* benchmark, single-processor Itanium 2-based systems will have a base result of 700 or higher, approximately 30 percent better than a comparable UltraSparc III system.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor's outstanding performance is achieved through microarchitectural enhancements -- including 3 MB of on-die level 3 (L3) cache and additional execution units and issue ports -- and improved data speeds, including a three-fold increase in system bus bandwidth, 1GHz frequency and improved cache latencies. The Itanium architecture also maintains generation-to-generation software compatibility, enabling software compiled for the Itanium processor to run on the Itanium 2 processor with significant performance increases.
For more information about enterprise performance and benchmarks, visit www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/backgrnd/itanium2.htm.

May 30 - Toshiba Increases Investment in U.S. Wireless Market. Toshiba Corporation today announced that it would increase its minority interest in U.S. based Audiovox Communications Corporation (ACC), the distributor of wireless products for Audiovox Corporation.
Toshiba will raise its stake in ACC to 25%, a move that will strengthen ACC in the fast growing wireless communications market and also allow Toshiba to establish its presence in the North American CDMA market.
Toshiba and Audiovox Corporation, ACC's parent, have partnered in the cellular business since 1984, when they were among the first companies to enter the industry in the United States. Audiovox Corporation launched ACC in 1993 to reinforce marketing of wireless products and in 1999 Toshiba took a 5% interest in the company. Today's announcement reflects the continuing strength of the long-standing Toshiba-Audiovox relationship and the determination of the partners to continue as a major presence in the fast growing CDMA market.
Commenting on the agreement, Tetsuya Mizoguchi, Company President of Toshiba's Mobile Communications Company, said: "We welcome this strengthening of our strategic alliance with Audiovox. Over the years, we have developed a mutual trust and understanding that has supported our progress in the wireless market. This new agreement strengthens the ties between us and paves the way to a strong presence in 3G and future cellular products."
Mr. Philip Christopher, President and CEO of Audiovox Communications Corp., stated, "Success in the wireless market depends more and more on strategic alliances that combine the key elements of technology and distribution. The access to technology that Toshiba provides us should prove valuable as the 3G market develops."
CDMA terminals already account for the majority of sales in the North American cellular phone market. Toshiba estimates more than 30 million CDMA handsets were sold in North America in 2001 and predicts a market of almost 60 million units in 2004, following the launch of CDMA2000.
ACC is a leader in the North American market, with a record of dramatic growth that has taken it to the No. 2 position among suppliers of CDMA handsets. On the basis of its increased interest in ACC, Toshiba will proactively work with ACC to enhance timely delivery of products that meets North American market needs and support continued business expansion. In future, the companies will also investigate extending sales to Latin and South America.
Toshiba is a leading presence in the CDMA market, known for bringing innovations and enhancements to standard handsets. The company is the No. 1 supplier of CDMA handsets in Japan and strongly positioned in the U.S. through its supply to Audiovox. In coming years, as CDMA continues to gain market share, Toshiba will continue to work to become the No. 1 CDMA vendor in the world market.
Toshiba can be found online at www.toshiba.co.jp.

May 29 - PSS Delivers World's Fastest 1Mb Flash Memory. Programmable Silicon Solutions today announced it has begun shipping to customers a new ultra high-speed flash memory, featuring random access times of less than 20ns, that becomes the fastest 1Mb random-accessible flash memory chip in the world.

The new flash memory chip, the PS29FS001, is twice as fast as any previously developed random-access flash memory and opens up a new era of cost-effective high-performance system designs. The chip is fully optimized for today's critical applications where very fast and fully random read access is critical to meet the requirements of popular DSP and 32-bit RISC processors. This technical breakthrough enables system designers to operate fast processors directly from the flash memory, thereby eliminating the need for an intermediate buffer SRAM.

"We are excited to bring this new family of memories to the marketplace and are encouraged by initial customer feedback," said Dr. Ting Wong, president of Programmable Silicon Solutions. "We believe that the PS29FS001 creates new opportunities for the design of current and next-generation products employing high-performance RISC processors, for applications in computing, communications and networking, including wireless LAN."

Wong said the new product will provide system designers with a high-density flash memory that can `talk' directly to the processor without slowing it down. "By providing a `flash as fast as cache,' the PS29FS001 eliminates the need for a shadow SRAM in many RISC-based systems, thereby saving board space and system power," he said. "These savings directly translate to cost-effective system-level products that are simpler, easy to use and require less power to operate."

More information is available at www.ps2tech.com.

May 29 - SanDisk Introduces Combination Software -- Flash Card for Handhelds. SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) today introduced its first combination software -- flash memory expansion card for Palm OS devices -- a 32 megabyte (MB) Secure Digital(TM) (SD) card pre-loaded with the popular BackupBuddy VFS(TM) software application from Blue Nomad Inc.

The SD Expansion Card was launched in conjunction with the introduction today of the new Handspring(TM) Treo(TM) 90, a sleek and lightweight organizer with a built-in keyboard, full-color display, 16MB of memory and Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard expansion capabilities.

The new software -- flash memory SD card will allow Palm OS devices with an SD slot, including the Handspring Treo 90, to easily backup, store and encrypt their data on the SD card with the touch of one button.

"The SD Expansion Card gives Treo 90 owners and other handheld users significant peace of mind," said Wes Brewer, director of business development at SanDisk. "By automating and simplifying the important but tedious process of backing up data, users can keep their data protected. Handspring has made significant contributions to the handheld organizer market, and customers can now use our products with Handspring's Treo 90."

"SanDisk provides a simple, easy-to-use solution for backing up data and adding memory to the Treo 90," said Rita Sharma, business development manager for Handspring. "SanDisk is a trusted and valued name to consumers and its 32MB Expansion Card coupled with the best backup and restore utility on the market will provide a great value to our customers."

The 32MB SD Expansion Card will be sold under the SanDisk label and will be priced at $49.99. It is initially available on SanDisk's website at www.sandiskstore.com.

May 29 - Cell Phone Handset Sales Decline. Despite having experienced a myriad of difficulties over the past year, the global handset industry will grow from $60 billion this year, to more than $100 billion in 2006, according to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
In 2001, handset sales were plagued by overproduction, delays in the arrival of handsets with the desired feature sets, and a faltering worldwide economy.
However, according to Ray Jodoin, a principal analyst with the high-tech research firm, "We can still look forward with a moderate amount of enthusiasm. Now that prepaid subscribers are being de-emphasized in many regions, the percentage of low-featured, low-margin, handsets are on the decline and prices are expected to remain reasonably stable over the next 5 years."
For handset sales growth to rebound to previous levels, a number of conditions will be necessary:

-- Reasonably priced and desirable content. Ideally, without a "cover charge."
-- 3 1/2 x 5 CM (minimum) color display.
-- Intuitive operation.
-- Multi-functional Global Positioning System (GPS).
-- Multi-band roaming capability.
-- The ability to replace a cordless phone in both home and office (Desk/Countertop nano-basestation).

"Content is key," said Jodoin. "While voice will continue to drive the worldwide market for the foreseeable future, data can help drive handset sales, not to mention margins, as well as carriers' Average Revenue per Users (ARPUs), upward. This is contingent, however, on whether the content and price are right, which they currently are not."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:

-- In 2002, The Americas will account for the activation of 25.8% of the worldwide handset uptake.
-- Latin America will take an increasingly important roll in handset activations, as their share of the worldwide market climbs to 10.2% in 2006.
-- In 2002, Rest of World (ROW) will account for the activation of 43.4% of the worldwide handset uptake.

May 29 - HP says Americans ``Can't Live Without'' Printers. The "paperless office" is still a myth according to research by HP (NYSE:HPQ). In fact, printers top the list of home office tools that consumers "can't live without" (43 percent) -- outranking additional phone lines (19 percent), fax machines (10 percent) and electronic calendars (8 percent).

Printing is more than just a matter of black and white in this digital age as people are increasingly printing more color documents: more than nine out of ten (94 percent) printer owners say they use printers for a variety of creative projects.

In particular, more than half of Americans polled say they print color photographs from email or digital cameras (58 percent). Other creative printer uses include making greeting cards, invitations or announcements (72 percent), creating arts and crafts projects (53 percent) and developing custom CD and DVD labels and covers (23 percent).

"The market for photo printers and all-in-ones has never been hotter. Consumers are seeking multi-functional, easy-to-use devices that work well with digital cameras," said George Brasher, product marketing manager, HP Personal Printing Organization.

More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.

May 28 - Samsung Develops Industry's First DDR-II SDRAM. Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., the world's leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, today announced the industry's first DDR-II device, a high-density 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM, that it expects to be the next-generation mainstream DRAM technology for high-speed systems.
Samsung's 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM fully satisfies the JEDEC DDR-II standard set in March 2002. The device has a low 1.8-volt Vdd and has data transfer rates of 533Mbps that can be extended to a maximum of 667Mbps for networks and special system environments. With the availability of Samsung's new 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM device, high-speed, performance-enhanced, next-generation memory designs are now a reality.
Samsung's 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM device incorporates JEDEC's DDR-II specifications by adding core functions that include off-chip driver calibration (OCD) to maintain optimum driver strength; on-die termination (ODT) to ensure optimum signal waveform; and posted CAS, a command control method to enhance bus efficiency. The device's chip-scale, 60-ball BGA package maximizes performance.
In March 2001, prior to the development of the 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM, Samsung created a 2.5V, 128Mb DDR-II prototype. In parallel with Samsung's device design, and in an effort to validate the key DDR-II technology attributes, IBM developed a first-generation DDR-II memory interface chip in conjunction with a new registered DIMM.
IBM, widely acknowledged as a world-class system manufacturer and technology leader, has jointly completed characterization of the early DDR-II prototype devices in this memory subsystem with Samsung engineers. All key functional and performance objectives were attained. The validation of next-generation DDR-II technology in a system environment marks a significant accomplishment for both companies.
"This is an important technological achievement for Samsung," said Gary Tressler, IBM manager for Memory Technology and Qualification. "It is also an important step forward in the ongoing effort to deliver solutions that help customers meet the ever-increasing, memory-intensive demands of a network-centric computing world. We are pleased to contribute to this effort and will continue to work with Samsung and others to reduce costs, improve time to market, and ensure the broad availability and adoption of open standards for future advances in DRAM technology. "
"Samsung will continue to aggressively support the DDR-II design as a future mainstream technology to satisfy customer needs for high-density, high-performance memory," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing for Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "The verification project on DDR-II has greatly reduced the lead time for introducing this new design as a next-generation solution. The board-level evaluation stands as concrete evidence to the reliability of the technology."
Samsung will commence volume production of the new 512Mb DDR-II SDRAM device in Q3 2003. The timely introduction of these next-generation DDR-II sample devices is in line with the company's strategy to expand its DDR DRAM market share to more than 50 percent in 2002. Samsung intends to maintain its leadership stance in high value-added memory by being first to market with leading-edge technologies in a wide range of configurations and densities.
Samsung is an industry leader in the development of DDR technology. In December 2001, JEDEC presented the company's engineering force with a technical recognition award acknowledging Samsung's contribution to the standardization of DDR-SDRAM.
Samsung has also set major milestones in the market introduction of DDR devices. The company's first 64Mb device, launched in 1997, is followed by a series of timely market presentations: DDR266 in 2000, and DDR333 in 2001. Samsung currently has more industry-validated DDR SDRAM devices than any other manufacturer, testimony to the performance and reliability of the company's DDR SDRAM products.
According to Dataquest, the DRAM market is expected to reach 21.1 billion US$ in 2002 and grow to 41.1 billion US$ by 2004. The DDR market will comprise 40 percent of the DRAM market in 2002 and reach 66 percent by 2003.

For more information, visit www.usa.samsungsemi.com.

May 28 - Bull to Demonstrate 16-Way Intel Itanium 2-Based Server at IDF. Bull will demonstrate at the Intel Developer Forum during the keynote speech of Mr. Mike Fister, Senior Vice-President & General Manager, Enterprise Platforms Group, Intel Corp, a 16-way Itanium 2 -based SMP server.
The demonstration will enable the visualization of the power of this system thanks to the POV-Ray algorithm, well known in High Performance Computing. This prototype pre-announces a full range of enterprise servers based on the forthcoming Intel Itanium2 processor.
"The Itanium 2 processor is designed for scalability and reliability, enabling system manufacturers like Bull to build enterprise-class servers using standards-based building blocks. In today's 16-way prototype demonstration, Bull is delivering on the high-end promise of this processor family. As Itanium 2-based system availability begins mid-year and grows throughout 2002, IT users will have an increasing choice of high-end platforms based on the Itanium processor family." said Mike Fister.
"We take pride in our ongoing relationship with Intel, since 1998. Bull's engineers work in close collaboration with those of Intel labs to design and develop platforms and infrastructure solutions in line with tomorrow's large servers requirements. In this collaboration, Bull brings its recognised savoir-faire in scalability, reliability and openness" said Michel Guillemet, Chief Technical Officer, R&D of Bull.
Bull can be found online at www.bull.net.

May 28 - IP3 Networks Launches NetAccess for Wireless Hot Spots. IP3 Networks Inc. is shipping NetAccess for Wireless Hot Spots, an Internet gateway that allows coffee shops, bars, airports, convention centers and hotels to set up hot spots -- providing high-speed, wireless connectivity for mobile users.
IP3's NetAccess for Wireless Hot Spots is the first gateway to provide full IPsec VPN support that allows any 802.11-enabled laptop or PDA user to access the Internet without having to change network settings.
Integrators and solutions providers hailed the VPN support.
"We performed extensive testing on all of the gateways on the market and found that IP3's NetAccess is the only product that doesn't require end-users to change their settings even when they have a static IP pre-set," Larry Rhone, president, Protel Services, said. "Combined with other unique features such as billing, service policy management and bandwidth control, IP3's NetAccess gateway allows us to meet strict RFP requirements and win large contracts."
NetAccess acts as a control point for billing with support for PMS interfaces, credit card authorization and radius authentication. Service policy management allows businesses to offer multiple price plans based on user criteria such as connection speed and duration of usage.
Bandwidth rate control lets property managers control the speed available to users and manage bandwidth consumption. For example, businesses can provide customers free access at 128K and offer faster connection speeds for a daily or hourly fee charged to their credit card. These features increase revenue and bottom-line profit.
"Property owners that have added high-speed Internet access have found ease-of-use their greatest obstacle. The average user doesn't know how to change their network settings and doesn't want to learn," Mike Lee, president and CEO, IP3 Networks, said. "NetAccess lets anyone with an 802.11 wireless card simply fire up their system and launch their browser to get Internet access."
Businesses are using hot spots to generate both revenue and customer loyalty. According to IDC, a major industry-marketing firm, more than 55 million laptop and PDA users seek Internet access away from the office.
Additional information can be found at www.ip3networks.com.

May 28 - Mobile Automation Announces Enterprise Support Tool for Pocket PC. Mobile Automation, Inc., a leading provider of secure management solutions for mobile and desktop computing devices, announced today an innovative new addition to its award winning Mobile Automation 2000 mobile infrastructure product.
The new feature of Live Support for Pocket PC allows corporate help desk technicians to remotely control and assist Windows Powered Pocket PC device users wirelessly, or through docking cradles, regardless of their location.
Many corporations that are adopting Pocket PC devices for improved productivity of their mobile employees are finding their help desk support call time increasing significantly. Users are simply not familiar with how to use a device. Mobile Automation 2000 Live Support for Pocket PC (which comes with Mobile Automation 2000 Enterprise Edition) allows remote control of Pocket PC devices from its management and web console, using unique smart device recognition technology to handle DCHP configured devices and cradled devices.
"Mobile Automation's Live Support for Pocket PC extends the Windows Powered platform's power to administrators by enabling them to manage each mobile employee's device remotely," said Scott Gode, director for Mobility at Microsoft Corp. "In essence, it helps companies rapidly deploy Pocket PC-based solutions that will increase their work force productivity."
Pricing and availability was not announced. For more information visit.www.mobileautomation.com.

May 28 - Plextor Ships External 40/12/40 CD-RW Drive. Plextor(R) Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance CD-related equipment and software, today announced the immediate release of the PlexWriter(TM) 40/12/40U CD-RW optical disk drive.
Uniting Hi-Speed USB 2.0 data transfer rates with unparalleled reliability and easy-to-use software, Plextor's new external CD-RW drive makes duplicating, storing, and sharing digital content more productive than ever before.
The versatile 3-in-1 PlexWriter 40/12/40U delivers industry leading performance with 40X CD-Write, 12X CD-Rewrite, and 40X CD-Read, making it the fastest external Plextor drive available. With superior 40X Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) rates and 40X CD-Recording speeds, the new drive can burn a 650 MB disc in less than three minutes while maintaining the industry's highest quality.
The PlexWriter 40/12/40U connects to any laptop or desktop computer (PC or Mac) via the Universal Serial Bus (USB 2.0/1.1), so installation is faster and easier than ever before. The new PlexWriter is also Plug & Play compatible with Windows(R) 98SE/ME/2000/XP(TM) for easy setup. Users can typically begin recording custom CDs within minutes of opening the box.
"The new PlexWriter 40/12/40U is an extremely fast, highly reliable, external drive that delivers top performance for all applications," said Howard Wing, vice president of sales and marketing for Plextor. "The new drive strengthens our product lineup by providing customers with an upgrade or add-on product for any system with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 or legacy USB 1.1."
The external PlexWriter 40/12/40U CD-RW drive with Hi-Speed USB 2.0 is scheduled for shipment to distributors and resellers immediately. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $209.
More information can be found at www.plextor.com.

May 27 - 60,000 Game Industry Professionals Attend E3Expo 2002. Sixty thousand interactive entertainment professionals from more than 70 countries converged in Los Angeles for the eighth annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo), according to the show's owner, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA). Approximately 400 exhibitors showcased thousands of new computer and video games and products, including more than 1,000 never-before-seen titles.

"This year, E3Expo focused on the ever-evolving, highly-advanced interactive software that reflects why millions of Americans have made video games their entertainment of choice for the 21st century," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the IDSA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers, and the show's owner. "E3Expo 2002 showcased the computer and video games that will be on consumer shopping lists this holiday season. In fact, according to show exhibitors, about 75 percent of the products shown at E3Expo will launch in time for the coming holidays."

E3Expo 2002, "A World of Its Own," which covered 509,000 net square feet of exhibit space, concludes today at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year's show included a newly expanded conference and workshop program featuring a faculty of more than 125 of the industry's most accomplished and respected leaders. E3Expo 2003 will be held in Los Angeles the week of May 12, 2003.

E3Expo, now in its eighth year, is owned by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), 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.

Visit www.e3expo.com for more show information.

May 27 - ATI chosen to power DOOM III for E3 2002. Id Software(TM) has chosen ATI's next generation graphics architecture as the platform for previewing their unbelievably realistic and much anticipated DOOM III(TM) at this year's E3 Expo.

ATI's chip was chosen because it offers the most advanced, high-performance graphics architecture to power the demonstration at E3 2002. DOOM III(TM), scheduled for release in 2003, has been highly anticipated both as an unbelievable game and as a true measure of today - and tomorrow's - graphics architectures. Also highly anticipated, ATI's next generation product, scheduled for release this fall, will cement ATI firmly as a leader in the ultra-high-end 3D and gaming graphics market.

"ATI's next generation hardware has an ideal feature set for the DOOM III(TM) engine, and at the moment is the fastest platform to run the game on," said John Carmack, Chief Technical Officer & co-founder of Id Software, Inc.

"We want users to be blown away by their gaming experience," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "Our next-generation product will move gamers a quantum leap forward in realistic and immersive gaming. Gamer's won't just play DOOM III(TM) with ATI's next generation hardware - they'll live it."

Visit ATI at www.ati.com. Check out more about id Software at www.idsoftware.com.

May 27 - Ubi Soft Expands Internet Strategy with Myst Online. Ubi Soft(R) Entertainment, one of the world's leading videogame publishers, today announced an exclusive worldwide deal with Cyan Worlds, Inc., to publish and operate Myst(R) Online (working title).
The Myst franchise has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and is the most widely recognized game brand in the world. Known for their artistic beauty, immersive atmosphere and ease of use, the Myst games represent a high benchmark of the video game industry. Now, the visually stunning Myst universe will be featured in a persistent online world-based adventure featuring state-of-the-art technology, innovative design and a rich social experience. Myst Online is slated to launch in 2003.

Devotees of the Myst series, fans of traditional massively-multiplayer online games, and non-gamers alike are sure to be captivated by Myst Online. The game features visually stunning real-time 3D graphics, rich storylines, continually updated content, real voice communication and traditional text chat. Myst Online will have an easy learning curve, enabling players of all skill levels and interests to experience the expansive Ages and history of Myst in a uniquely social environment.

"This is the culmination of years of world building. Everything we've learned from our earliest worlds we've poured into Myst Online, building a universe that is growing, breathing, and alive. The Myst Online universe will provide players with a journey that will never end," said Rand Miller, founder of Cyan Worlds, Inc. "Myst Online uses our proprietary technology to build a place that is so responsive and immersive, people will feel impelled to share their adventure, both in the game, and the next day at work or school. It's a massive undertaking, and we're excited about working with Ubi Soft to make it a reality."

Myst Online will be played on ubi.com which is expanding its online infrastructure to serve customers anywhere in the world. One of the top ten worldwide online gaming portals, ubi.com supports all of Ubi Soft's multiplayer titles and is the only game portal to support both PC and console-based games. Ubi.com reaches millions of unique visitors each month and has over one million registered users since its launch in November 2001. Screenshots and artwork for Myst Online can be found on www.mystonline.com.

May 27 - PCs more popular than video game consoles. Just over 70% of the nation's households with kids 19 or younger use computers in 2002, up significantly from 55% in 2000 and 43% percent in 1995, according to preliminary results released today by MetaFacts from the 2002 Technology User Profile report.

"The PC has continued to weave itself into the American family's life, as a hub of entertainment, a source for news and information, and a way to stay in touch with others," said MetaFacts Principal Analyst Dan Ness.

The presence of both kids and PCs in the household is related to the increased use of other technology products in the home sector. Digital cameras have quickly increased in penetration of PC Households with kids, rising to over three in ten (31.3%) from less than one-quarter (22.5%) only last year. "Many parents have discovered the ease with which pictures can be taken with a digital camera and shared with friends and other family members via email," continued Ness.

The growth of videogame systems, however, was effectively flat in PC households with kids over the past year. Nearly four in ten (39.7%) of households with PCs and kids owned a videogame system in 2001, compared to 39.2% in 2002. "Kids have discovered they can have fun on PCs, the Internet and handheld game systems, challenging the traditional videogame console," said Ness. "Videogame console makers need to figure out how to have their systems play well with other platforms. Consoles continue to have a place among households with kids but without PCs, reaching into nearly a third of these homes."

While it appears that the presence of children in the household helps to drive the use of PCs, "the age of children in the household was not a factor in whether households were more or less likely to have a PC," said Ness. "Households with Toddlers have the same PC penetration rate as those with Preteens and Teens."

Socioeconomic factors influence the use of PCs among households with children. Where either the male or female head of household has graduated college, the penetration of PCs into homes with kids is 84%, in contrast to those households who have heads of household without a High School education where the penetration is less than half. Household income is also a factor. Eighty-two percent of households with kids with $50,000 or more in annual income own a PC compared to only 58% of households with kids with income under $50,000. Marital Status is also related. Married couples with kids are more likely to own a PC (75%), than divorced (63.5%), separated (54.2%), unmarried (51.2%) or widowed (41.7%) parents.

Of the households with kids who do not own a computer at home, Heads of Households cited several roadblocks to purchasing: a lack of experience in buying consumer electronics, perceived high risk in buying electronic products, not feeling they can keep up with current events, and financial concerns.

Other findings from the report include:

-- Suburbs have the highest percentage of households with kids
that use PCs, followed by city centers. Households with kids
in areas outside of metropolitan areas have the lowest PC
penetration.

-- The four states with the highest percentage of households with
kids using PCs are Vermont (91%), New Hampshire (86%), South
Dakota (86%) and Arizona (84%).

-- Cellphone use among households that have kids and PCs also has
increased remarkably over the past year, rising from 73.3% in
2001 to 81.9% in 2002.

MetaFacts can be found online at www.metafacts.com.

May 26 - Sunday Shopping Watch. Memorial Day Weekend .

Best Sunday Deals - Circuit City is offering a Compaq 1.3 GHz complete system for $599. CompUSA has a Compaq Athlon 4 1600+ Notebook with a DVD/CD-RW drive for $1299.

Weekly Comparison.

Notebooks - While prices remain high on notebooks, this week's best deal, a Compaq Athlon 4 1600+ with DVD/CD-RW for $1299, is a very good buy.
High-end Athlon, Pentium III-M, and Pentium 4-M processor notebook prices appear unchanged.
Desktops - Prices continue to fall on Celeron desktops as can be seen by this week's 1.3 GHz Celeron system going for $599.
Prices are a little lower on Pentium 4 desktops compared to last week and prices on Athlon "+" processor desktops went down about $50 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.
Circuit City is giving 12 months of free CompuServe on any in-store computer purchase and no interest fro 12 months on purchases over $298.. Additionally, they are offering $100 instant rebates on all notebooks and desktop complete packages. They are also advertising an additional $100 instant rebate on all Compaq desktop packages and notebooks.
Office Depot no ad today.
CompUSA is offering 12 month interest free financing on any Pentium 4 notebook or desktop complete system.. They are also offering $100 off any Compaq complete system or notebook, and an additional $100 off any AMD 1600+ notebook or AMD complete system.
Staples no ad today.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday Ad prices to those being offered at 160 online computer stores.

Shopping Alert on Lower Priced Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron desktops made by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated before purchase.
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot, no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade, and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more dollars for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another 3 years.
If you choose the $700 Celeron system to save a few bucks, keep in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.

About Windows XP. It has been a little over 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 weeks.

Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Store
Best Celeron Deal
Compaq 1.3 GHz complete system
$599
Circuit City
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
HP 1.8 GHz complete system
$1149
Circuit City, Best Buy
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
Compaq 2.26 GHz build-to-order complete system
$1275
Best Buy
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1600+ complete system
$799
Circuit City
Best High-end Athlon XP System
Compaq 1900+ complete system
$1049
Best Buy, CompUSA
Best Low-cost Notebook
Compaq 1 GHz Duron with DVD
$999
Circuit City
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 1600+ Athlon 4 with DVD/CD-RW
$1299
CompUSA

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of 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 24 - ATI's RADEON Products To Support Eighth-Generation AMD Platform. Continuing its support of leading industry standards, ATI today announced that its RADEON(TM) family of products will offer 32-bit and 64-bit driver support for AMD Opteron(TM) and eighth-generation AMD Athlon(TM) processors.
The eighth-generation AMD platform sets the standard for performance PC processors, delivering the ultimate computing experience for commercial users and consumers.

ATI's full family of RADEON desktop graphics products will support 64-bit computing from the RADEON 7000 to the RADEON 8500. The ATI products will work with the Opteron processor to deliver solid, stable solutions for commercial and consumer use. The performance gained by 64-bit architecture will support applications that address large amounts of physical and virtual memory, such as database management systems, and CAD tools.

"Users want seamless solutions whether it is for a commercial environment or a home setting," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing and General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "By working with industry leaders like AMD and optimizing our RADEON graphics products for use with ground breaking products like the Opteron processor, we provide just that."

"The AMD eighth-generation platform and ATI RADEON family of products will provide customers optimized 32-bit performance, and the flexibility to seamlessly migrate to 64-bit environments," said Rex Meek, Director of Hardware Infrastructure Enablement Group. "System flexibility and increased graphics data throughput will benefit consumers for gaming and broadband use, as well as companies that require improved performance for CAD or digital content creation."

Visit ATI at www.ati.com.

May 24 - Sonic and Adaptec Ink Worldwide Distribution Pact. Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq:SNIC), the world leader in DVD creation software, announced today it has entered into a distribution agreement with Adaptec, the leader in desktop I/O solutions, to bring Sonic's popular MyDVD(TM) and DVDit!(R) applications to retail channels throughout the world. Under the agreement, Adaptec will be the exclusive distributor of co-branded versions of MyDVD and DVDit! in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, excluding Japan.

"With the growth of DVD players, introduction of new lower-cost DVD burners, and the growing consumer appetite for sharing and preserving home movies, the retail market is poised for a great consumer DVD software solution," said Jeff Loebbaka, Vice-president and General Manager of Adaptec's Desktop Products Group. "Sonic was our top choice as they have the best DVD technology, the leading DVD software applications and the largest installed base among the PC and peripheral OEMs. With Adaptec's brand strength and channel reach and Sonic's exceptional products, we believe that we have the winning video solution for retailers."

"Adaptec has the brand awareness and strong relationships that we have been seeking in a retail partner," said Mary C. Sauer, Senior Vice-president of Business Development of Sonic Solutions. "Adaptec pioneered the market for CD burning software, and together with their strong retail experience, their desktop I/O and video solutions, and our DVD product line-up, we will create and expand the market for consumer video and DVD creation software."

Since its introduction in 1997, DVD has enjoyed the fastest growth of any consumer electronics format: over 120 million set-top and DVD-equipped PC players are now in the market, the number of replicated discs in North America will top the one-billion mark in 2002, and new lost-cost DVD recorders are hitting the market with a potential of over 4 million units being sold this year.

Sonic was the first to offer professional DVD production systems, and over 75 percent of Hollywood movies available to consumers today are created using Sonic's DVD technology. With millions of DVD titles created by Sonic's professional film and corporate users, Sonic offers the greatest compatibility among the myriad of set-top and PC players.

More information on Sonic MyDVD(TM) can be found at www.mydvd.com.

May 24 - Netscape Launches Preview Release of Netscape 7.0 Browser. Netscape Communications, a subsidiary of America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), today announced the Preview Release of Netscape 7.0, the latest version of Netscape's browser software, designed to allow consumers to get the most from their time online. In addition, Netscape announced the redesign of its popular Netscape.com web site, featuring richer graphics and a streamlined design throughout the site that showcases best-of-the-Web content from AOL Time Warner online properties and other leading content partners.

With the Preview Release of the Netscape 7.0 browser, Netscape has taken web browsing and communications to a new level of convenience, efficiency and Web standards compliance. Netscape 7.0 is optimized for the activities people most frequently engage in on the Web -- browsing, searching, communicating, downloading, shopping, and listening to music. Along with an unmatched level of customization and convenience, Netscape 7.0 delivers enhanced performance and stability with a fine-tuned Netscape Gecko browser engine that speeds the most common online activities.

Netscape 7.0 Preview Release offers consumers a faster, more convenient experience through features such as "Quick Launch," which speeds the start-up time for the browser and allows consumers to get online faster than ever. Within Navigator, timesaving new features such as Tabbed Browsing, Click-to-Search and Download Manager make the online experience more efficient and enjoyable than ever before.
More powerful Netscape Mail enables consumers to efficiently organize and manage all their online communications, with enhancements such as Quick Search and simplified Mail Filters.
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), the number one instant messenger with more than 150 million registered users, is available through Netscape 7.0, meaning online friends, family and co-workers are always just one click away. Netscape 7.0 also features the new Radio@Netscape accessible right from the toolbar, so Web music fans can easily select and play stations that match their tastes.

The Preview Release of Netscape 7.0 is available for free download at: www.netscape.com/browsers.

May 24 - Siemens' Start-Up Develops Ultra-Miniature Motors. It's about the size of a penny, low cost, virtually silent, and has the potential for being used in scores of applications from toys, to vents, track lighting, and CD ROM players.

The miniature piezoelectric "Elliptec motors" from Elliptec AG, a Siemens Technology-To-Business Center LLP start-up, may soon replace millions of electromagnetic minis currently in use in a wide range of applications. Large-scale production and shipment of the motors is expected this summer.

The Elliptec motor uses a piezoelectric element to generate high-speed ultrasonic vibrations (up to 100,000 times per second) that in turn can spin a wheel or move a rod. At one-twelfth the weight, and one-fifth the size of standard electromagnetic minis, the Elliptec is more powerful and smaller. Additionally, they require only 3-6 volts to operate and have only three parts (piezoelectric element, mounting spring and vibration frame). Patents are pending on the technology.

The Elliptec motor does not need a gearbox--required in DC motors-- to control its speed. Rather, the Elliptec can produce slow motion directly via an electric control signal, which is used to set the speed. The Elliptec's motion control is comparable, in terms of quality, to more expensive stepper motors. The new motor is a cost effective alternative to conventional DC mini motors in applications where it is connected to an electronic chip or when bi-directional motion is needed, as it requires less than one-third of the electronic components. This feature of the Elliptec motor is especially advantageous in applications where there is little room, such as toys, where slow or very well-controlled motion is required.

"As production volumes increase over the next few years, we expect prices to drop significantly and go below the one dollar level," says Bjoern Magnussen, President and CEO of Elliptec AG. "The technology has tremendous potential in applications requiring very small motors used to provide motion in toys, open and close air conditioning vents, or move CD ROM trays in and out," notes Dr. Magnussen. The first motor models, he added, will be used in applications where the size, weight, or noise of conventional mini motors can pose problems.

For futher information about the company, visit their web site at: www.elliptec.com.

May 24 - `Chipworks Inside' the Intel Pentium 4 Processor. Chipworks, a world class leading supplier of reverse engineering services for the semiconductor, photonics and electronic systems markets, today announced that they have released their findings describing the breakthroughs in desktop processor technology discovered inside the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 "Northwood" processor.

"The Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4, 2.4 GHz, 1.5V microprocessor is fabricated with Intel's advanced copper metal, 130 nm process," stated Dave York, Chipworks' manager, process analysis. "Published information indicates it is designed for high performance desktops and entry-level workstations and is 9 percent faster than its predecessor at 2.2GHz. The device has 8KB of Level 1 cache (data) and 512KB of Level 2 cache (advanced transfer cache), with a total of 55 million transistors."

According to Mr. York, "the device is manufactured in a full CMP, 130 nm process (60 nm gate lengths) with six levels of damascene copper (all copper) and one level of polysilicon. It uses STI (Shallow Trench Isolation) and twin wells in a P-epi on a P substrate. Cobalt silicide is employed on the polysilicon and diffusions (salicide process). Intel(R) indicates that the 60 nm transistors have a gate oxide thickness of approximately 15 Angstroms.

"What makes this chip particularly interesting is the use of Low-K dielectric material between the copper conductors. Additionally, put under a microscope, the device presents unique and innovative circuitry providing its creators a strong competitive advantage," said Mr. York.

Chipworks can be visited via the Internet at www.chipworks.com.

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