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VMware clobbers the world, while big, solid disks rise

IBM, Intel, AMD - all there

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Solid State and Big Ol' Drives

Solid-state drives for the mass market actually began to appear this year. Oh sure, they were expensive and hard to find — but can you really put a price on smug superiority of owning emerging technology?

No you can't. Unfortunately vendors have no problem doing so.

Big names that got serious about the SSD market this year include Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate and Ssss—Micron.

The fat-walleted could also choose a traditional disk drive alternative reaching 1TB in 2007.

In January, Hitachi claimed bragging rights by announcing "the world's first" 1TB desktop hard drive. Seagate joined soon thereafter with its Barracuda 1TB HDD. Samsung spun its own too, the SpinPoint F1 series.

Because you are doubtlessly curious: a 1TB drive could hold approximately 2,731 separate instances of the video game Doom.

Chips n' Dips

Intel and AMD kept slugging it out.

No sorry, let's rephrase that: One was slugging and the other was out.

Late in the year, Chipzilla released processors based on its 'Penryn' 45nm architecture. The new chips are loaded with almost twice as many transistors as the 65nm variety. Intel also redesigned the transistor materials — swapping out silicon for a metal gate combined with hafnium oxide as an insulator.

While Intel was toasting themselves for the launch, AMD was quietly canceling an event designed to draw attention to its four-core 'Barcelona' rollout.

Barcelona supposedly is out there. Yes, we're sure Bigfoot and Elvis are enjoying it in their secret underground hideout. As for the rest of us...not so much.

AMD is even taking down the SPEC (the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp.) benchmarks performed to date with the chips. The chip maker failed to meet the "general availability" requirements for a product demanded by SPEC due to shipping Barcelonas on a customer-by-customer basis. The units that are shipping have a bug that needs to be taken care of before AMD will ship to a mass audience.

Things we learned this year: AMD doesn't like a smug tone when reporting on bad news.

Note to self: Repair sunshine and rainbow machine if we want AMD to speak to us again.

If the big fellas bored you during the year, then you can read all about the littler types out there making server accelerators.

Anything we missed? ®

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