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Andrew Thomas

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Another ISP pulls the plug

Unmetered ISP 24-7 SpinolaVista has thrown off all its remaining users, claiming they had been abusing the service's terms and conditions. Launched in August, the service broke new ground in value for money Web access by offering £2 million cashback with every £60 annual subscription. The company has now disconnected both users …
Andrew Thomas, 19 Dec 2000
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Intel, Rambus beefing up legal departments

Intel is advertising for more lawyers to work on intellectual property and patents. The list of vacancies at the chip behemoth at HotJobs includes vacancies for an additional four attorneys. Meanwhile, Rambus is also looking to hire another patent attorney here, whose job description includes the phrase "You will also perform …
Andrew Thomas, 18 Dec 2000
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Celeron 800 tips up in Japan

Japan's Akiba Hotline is advertising the new 800MHz Celeron, the first Celery to sport a 100MHz front side bus. The part isn't scheduled for launch until January, but Akiba has a tradition of being the first store on the block with new processors. Intel famously doesn't comment on unannounced products, but OC Workbench has a …
Andrew Thomas, 16 Dec 2000
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Pentium 4 castrated to keep costs down

Not even Intel could afford to build Willamette aka Pentium 4 as it was originally designed, admitted a senior Intel engineer yesterday. Darrell Boggs, Intel's principal engineer for the desktop platform group, told delegates at the Micro-33 conference in Monterey that the original P4 design would have been too large to build …
Andrew Thomas, 16 Dec 2000
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Reg staffer cut off by 24-7 Freecall

Troubled UK unmetered ISP 24-7 yesterday dumped another 1000 users from its service for alleged 'abuse' yesterday, including yours truly. It's difficult to tell precisely how I abused them, as I wasn't given the courtesy of an email telling me what was going on. The service worked yesterday and this morning it didn't. A call …
Andrew Thomas, 15 Dec 2000
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Infineon buys into Ramtron

German chipmonger Infineon has taken a $30 million, 20 per cent stake in Ramtron, comprising $10 million in cash and $20 million in shares. The two companies have also signed a cross-licensing agreement to give Infineon access to Ramtron's ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) memory technology, while granting Ramtron use of Infineon FRAM …
Andrew Thomas, 15 Dec 2000
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Taiwan snaps at heels of Jap LCD market

Top Japanese LCD makers are losing out to aggressive Taiwanese competition. Hitachi and Toshiba, second and third biggest flat panel display makers, are losing market share to Taiwanese suppliers who have nearly doubled production this year, say analysts. Acer Display Technology and Chunghwa Picture Tubes, are tipped to become …
Andrew Thomas, 15 Dec 2000
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AMD, Alliance patch up differences

AMD and Alliance Semiconductor have agreed settlement terms for AMD's patent infringement lawsuit filed in 1996. Alliance and AMD will drop their claims and counterclaims against each other and Alliance will pay AMD an undisclosed sum for past damages. AMD had originally claimed that Alliance's flash memory devices infringed …
Andrew Thomas, 14 Dec 2000
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Intel Irish fab to slip a year

Updated Chipzilla has delayed starting production at its new Fab 24 in Leixlip, Ireland, by 12 months to the second half of 2002. Plans for the $2 billion, 135,000sq ft fab were unveiled in June when it was announced that the factory would be used principally to build Pentium 4s on a 130nm process. But a slump in chip demand has given …
Andrew Thomas, 13 Dec 2000
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Software fault forces Ford recall

Car giant Ford has instigated a recall of 110,000 Explorer and Mountaineer sport utility vehicles because of a programming glitch in the car's cruise control equipment. A month ago, Ford denied claims in a UK TV show that cruise control problems had caused a number of Explorers to accelerate suddenly without warning. At the …
Andrew Thomas, 13 Dec 2000
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Athlon, Duron get new mobile chipset

VIA has added PowerNow! support to its Apollo KT133 chipset, ready for the launch of AMD's Palomino and Morgan mobiles next year. The KT133A is pin-compatible with its predecessor and supports both 200 and 266MHz FSB. The mobile Athlons and Durons are due in the first half of 2001, but the KT133A is also suitable for desktop …
Andrew Thomas, 13 Dec 2000
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More DDR chipsets coming RSN

Another brace of DDR chipsets are on the way. SiS' 635 and 735 are designed for Intel Socket 370 and AMD Socket A processors respectively. The 635 will also support Intel's forthcoming 0.13 micron Pentium III die shrink, Tualatin. The 635 and 735 support DDR 266, DDR 200 and PC133 SDRAM and integrate the South and North Bridges …
Andrew Thomas, 12 Dec 2000
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World's smallest wine glass boost for drink drivers

NEC boffins have built a wine glass 200,000 times smaller than normal. 'Why?' might be one immediate response. 'Do the laws of physics allow the formation of a drop of wine that small?' could be another. Researchers built the glass from carbon with an external diameter of 2750nm, approximately 200,000 times smaller than a …
Andrew Thomas, 12 Dec 2000
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Car black box privacy threat

Car giant General Motors is facing a lawsuit claiming that it has violated privacy laws by installing black box recorders in its vehicles to record information about speed, braking and seat belt use in the moments leading up to a crash, reports Bloomberg. The suit claims that the world's largest car company failed to tell …
Andrew Thomas, 12 Dec 2000
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1.3GHz P4 priced at around $300

US distributor Tech Data now lists the baby P4 1.3GHz with 128MB RDRAM, despite Intel maintaining its official response of refusing to comment on unannounced products. Tech Data lists the part as follows: "INTEL Manufacturer Part# BX80528JK130GR Description BOXED PENTIUM 4 1.3GHZ 128M 800MHZ NECC RDRAM TD Part# 277354" The …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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Rambus growls at Nvidia

Graphics behemoth Nvidia warns in its quarterly SEC form 10Q filing that it has been advised by Rambus it may be in breach of patents. Nvidia's SEC filing says: "We have been advised by Rambus Inc. that it believes our products infringe certain patents owned by Rambus and requesting that we agree to certain licensing terms, …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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AMD chops chip costs

Not to be outdone by Chipzilla's price cuts today, AMD is chopping its prices too. A 1.2GHz Athlon is now $254, while other Athlons are reduced as follows: 1.1GHz - $223 1.0GHz - $179 950MHz - $161 900MHz - $143 850MHz - $125 800MHz - $110 750MHz - $95 700MHz - $85. Duron prices go down too. An 800MHz part is now $79, …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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Intel plans $1500 10GHz PC

Intel has built what it claims is the world's smallest and fastest CMOS transistor. The company says that within the next five to ten years (nice accurate bit of futurology there) it will be able to build microprocessors containing more than 400 million transistors, running at 10GHz and operating at less than 1V. Intel boffins …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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Rambus-Infineon legal spat delayed

Legal rottweiler Rambus' pending court case against Infineon has been postponed due to the judge being promoted. The court in Mannheim, Germany has rescheduled the case, originally set for 22 December, to May next year due to the judge originally assigned to hear the patent infringement suit being promoted to the appeals court …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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New Intel processor prices

Intel's 1Ku tray prices have been chopped today, bringing a 1.4GHz P4 down by 11 per cent to $574. The 1.5GHz part remains unchanged at $819. Unlike boxed P4s, tray processors - aimed at the largest PC makers - do not come bundled with 128MB of RDRAM. PIII Xeons are unchanged, but desktop PIIIs are reduced by up to ten per cent …
Andrew Thomas, 11 Dec 2000
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Chipmongers vie for chip of the year crown

Chipmakers are readying their tuxedos for January's big event - the announcement of the winners of Microprocessor Report's Analyst's Choice Awards. Awards are given in eight categories and are aimed at recognising excellence in semiconductor innovation, design, and implementation. To be selected for the shortlist, the product …
Andrew Thomas, 08 Dec 2000
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Baby Pentium 4 materialises

Intel's IPD Web site, the prime source of information for small system-builders, now lists a 1.3GHz Pentium 4 alongside the 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz parts launched last month. The new baby P4 is aimed at plugging the price/performance gap between the top of the Pentium III range and the existing P4s - a space briefly occupied by the …
Andrew Thomas, 08 Dec 2000
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IBM resurrects 1970s memory technology

IBM and Infineon are jointly to develop a memory technology dating from the 1970s that could significantly increase the battery life of portable computing devices and help the spread of 'instant-on' PCs. Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) uses magnetic charges to store data and the two companies claim commercial products …
Andrew Thomas, 07 Dec 2000
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VIA up, Creative down

Chip designer VIA Technologies had net sales for November 2000 of US$89 million, up almost 32 per cent on the same period in 1999. Sales from January to November 2000 of $938 million were 193 per cent up over the same period last year. But Creative Technology shares fell 4.3 per cent following analyst downgrades. The sound …
Andrew Thomas, 07 Dec 2000
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Intel's Barrett: P4 the ‘king of processors’

It's one thing having faith in one's products, but that faith should not be of the blind persuasion. In an interview in Hong Kong yesterday, Intel boss Craig 'Five Speeches' Barrett told Bloomberg that the Pentium 4 is the "undisputed king of microprocessors". Asked to comment on analysts claiming that poor execution had given …
Andrew Thomas, 06 Dec 2000