16th > January > 1999 Archive

A year ago: IBM, Gateway, AMD, Acer enter rumour mill

AMD promised us that VIA would support its PC 100 fast Socket Seven bus and sure enough that will come to pass this week. But a mole close to Intel told The Register last week that talking about PC 100 and DRAM (as we have), he might as well tell us the truth about why the chip giant posted revised specs. According to him, Intel was under the threat of litigation by three major manufacturers unless it changed its mind on the specifications. A compromise was reached and that was why Intel backed down. Intel refuses to comment on unannounced litigation, of any kind, whatsoever. The problems with DRAM (see earlier issues) caused many a distributor to turn the wallpaper in her or his office blue, we are given to understand. And talking about AMD - we note that its results are a little "lossy" but our contacts at Dataquest assure us that IBM and Compaq would not use AMD chips unless they were absolutely sure that they could supply. And how could they be sure? Well, it could be something to do with the fact that rumours are rife that IBM wants to buy AMD. Something to do with the 6X86 deal with NatSemi-Cyrix, we hear. We also understand that Gateway 2000 is also, once again, touting for business with IBM interested while Acer will secure the deal to make the PCs for Unisys after two of its manufacturing plants close. As always, everyone refuses to comment on unsubstantiated rumours. Good morning, America. ®
Mike Magee, 16 Jan 1999

Samsung-Linux plans emerge as Alpha takes shape

More details have emerged of plans that the Alpha partnership has to grab Intel market share. At the same time, it appears that AMD will introduce its SharpTooth product on the 24th February as a spoiler for the Katmai platform, released later in the month.
Mike Magee, 16 Jan 1999

Trident turns in big Q2 loss

Trident Microsystems reported a drop in sales of 30 per cent for its second quarter but claimed it was on the road to reducing the shortfall. But the better it does, the more likely it is it will fall to market consolidation. The company said that it sold $20,652,000 worth of its product in Q2 1999, compared to $26,939,000 in the same quarter a year ago. That amounts to a loss in Q2 of $2,709,000. Trident is pinning its hopes on the Blade 3D chip it introduced last Comdex/Fall, said Frank Lin, the company’s CEO. It also has alliances with Samsung and wants to capitalise on the importance of the sub-$1,000 market. Other partners include AMD and Microsoft. The company was turning its fortunes round because it was the third consecutive quarter losses had declined, he added. Trident claims a big agreement with a tier one PC manufacturer to use its Cyber 9525D 3D embedded technology in notebooks and said it will soon announce a follup with 4Mb of SDRAM. ®
A staffer, 16 Jan 1999

DDR camp refuses to give up ghost

Memory manufacturers still reluctant to shell out royalties for Direct Rambus technology have announced that 29 assorted components firms have joined what the Double Data Rate SDRAM consortium thinks is the good fight. Towards the end of last year, as reported here, 12 of the biggest DRAM manufacturers, led by Big Blue, said DDR was the way to go. Now the DDR consortium has recruited a string of module manufacturers to support its cause, including Celestica, Dataram, Viking and others. Via and Opti will also make chipsets while Alpha Processor will also employ DDR technology. VLSI will make chipsets for consumer products. According to the statement, Cisco, Hitachi Server, IBM, Real 3D, SGI and Sun will support DDR SDRAM while the usual DRAM mob have all committed to it. For the time being, at least, DDR at the server end is expected to do quite well. The plucky DDR lot just won’t give up, will they? ®
A staffer, 16 Jan 1999

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