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Hercules sound card roadmap

Panasonic SV-SD50 — a new portable 3 player

Logitech QuickCam family updated

Gloves instead of a mic

DDR400 to be discussed at September JEDEC in Vancouver

New external 48x CD-RW from Plextor

VIA and SiS prepare P4X600 and SiS655 to September

GVC refutes rumours about Ericsson R600 cancellation

Dual-processor ProLiant BL p-Class blades from Hewlett-Packard

Contactless FeliCa ID cards from Sony

New AMD Athlon MP 2200+ officially

New Intel Pentium 4 processors officially



Hercules sound card roadmap

Some days after the official press release from Hercules about the 7.1-channel Gamesurround Fortissimo III 7.1 we have information on the full sound card line planned for the market in the nearest future:
  • Gamesurround Fortissimo III 7.1 — already being shipped, the suggested retail price is $50;
  • Gamesurround DIGIFIRE 7.1: to be released in the middle of September, the expected retail price is $80. The card is fully supports Dolby Digital Ex and has 3 FireWire ports;
  • Game Theater XP 7.1 — to be released in the middle of September, the expected retail price is $100. It´s the updated, 7.1-channel version of Game Theater XP 6.1.

Panasonic SV-SD50 — a new portable 3 player

In the beginning of September we expect new Panasonic SV-SD50 MP3 player in retail. It will support MP3, WMA1 and AAC2, and it´s main advantage is the low power consumption — an battery is said to be enough for 30 hours of operation.



According to the technical info, SV-SD50 doesn´t have a USB interface, but it´s compensated by a supplied Secure Digital card reader. The supplied 64MB card can contain up to 64 minutes of 128 Kbps music.

Player´s suggested retail price is $150.

Logitech QuickCam family updated

Logitech presented two new QuickCam webcams.

QuickCam Pro 4000 supports 640x480 resolution in the video mode and interpolates 1.3-megapixel images. It also features 5 digital zoom.


QuickCam Zoom features the same as Quickcam Pro 4000, but also lets user control digital zoom by a mouse wheel, that´s suitable for videoconferencing.

The approximate retail price of QuickCam Zoom and Quickcam Pro 4000 is 120 and 80 euro, respectively. Packages include IM Video Companion utility, adding videoconferencing to MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger.

Gloves instead of a mic

A scientist from Australian New Wales University plans to create gloves to transmit sign language to considerably facilitate communications of surdomute people.

Gloves feature a 3D motion sensor connected to a PC controlled by special software. Recognizing moves, PC translates gestures to written English. Waleed Kadous, the inventor, claims 95% translation accuracy.

The next, according to Kadous, is to equip the system with voice playback to speak translated words aloud.

DDR400 to be discussed at September JEDEC in Vancouver

The future of DDR400... What are the prospects of this yet non-standardized memory? EE Times published a summary of all known facts about DDR400, and this is what we have:
  • Currently three memory vendors: Nanya Technology, Samsung Electronics and Winbond Electronics already volume-produce DDR400 SDRAM;
  • Micron plans to produce its own DDR400 products closer to the year-end;
  • Elpida Memory and Infineon Technologies still doubt about DDR400, considering transition from DDR333 SDRAM to DDR-II in the beginning of 2004 more rational and preparing for it;
  • SiS, NVIDIA and Via Technologies have already announced their DDR400-enabled chipsets;
  • Currently memory, chipset, mobo vendors organize their own certification programs, as JEDEC hasn´t yet approved DDR400 standardization. Their main purpose, according to western analysts, is to differentiate hi-end DDR400 systems on the background of large brands;
  • In case the trend spreads widely, leading mobo makers might support DDR400 even without JEDEC certification;
  • JEDEC lobby actively discusses DDR400. The discussion is expected to become the main theme at September JEDEC in Vancouver, British Columbia;
  • Latest Intel roadmaps plainly indicate that the company plans to pass DDR400 on the way from DDR333 to DDR-II;
  • Analysts believe: DDR400 can become mainstream only if Intel supports it.

New external 48x CD-RW from Plextor

European Plextor today announced the release of a new external PlexWriter 48/24/48U CD-RW drive supporting USB 2.0.


PlexWriter 48/24/48U specifications:

  • 48/24/48 speeds
  • Access Time <65 ms
  • 48x Audio CD recording (CAV)
  • BURN-Proof buffer protection
  • Mount Rainier support
  • 4MB data buffer
  • VariRec Technology (Variable Recording)
  • Nero, InCD, Plextor PlexTools software
  • Two year full warranty
  • Suggested retail price (w/o taxes) — 255 euro
  • Expected availability — October

The retail package includes PlexWriter 48/24/48U drive, 5 CD-R blanks, a CD-R/W blank, power adapter, USB cable, CD Nero + InCD software, PlexTools and multilanguage user´s guide.

VIA and SiS prepare P4X600 and SiS655 to September

VIA and SiS reported plans to ship samples of their P4X600 and SiS655 chipsets in the end of September. New boards are expected in the market in the fourth quarter.

VIA P4X600 will be equipped with VT8235 Southbridge, AGP 8x and USB 2.0, and, most important, will support dual-channel DDR memory.

SiS655 will feature SiS962 Southbridge, supporting USB 2.0, AGP 8x and IEEE 1394. By the way, it will support both single- and dual-channel memory like R658, designed for RDRAM. Both P4X600, and SiS655 will support DDR333.

Intel is also reported to release dual-channel DDR chipsets. Most likely they´ll be based on the Granite Bay core and designed for workstations and servers. Granite Bay availability date hasn´t yet been defined. Another desktop chipset supporting dual-channel memory — Springdale — should appear only in the beginning of 2003.

GVC refutes rumours about Ericsson R600 cancellation

GVC, Sony Ericsson mobile vendor, reported that Ericsson R600 shipments follow the plans and refuted rumours about production pause due to phone software errors.

Such rumours appeared about GVC together with messages from Taiwanese analysts and phone makers about software incompatibility found out by European providers. The company agreed that shipments were cut a bit, but claimed this had happened due to logistics and warehousing problems and that the production is curently at peak.

GVC refused to disclose any information about the amount of currently shipped R600, but reported that total shipments made 300,000-400,000 units in July (mostly Sony Ericsson T200). This value is expected to grow by the end of August, at that T200 shipments are expected to make 300,000 units.

Dual-processor ProLiant BL p-Class blades from Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard announced the release of its dual-processor ProLiant BL p-Class blades serie.


Each HP ProLiant BL p server features one or two 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium III, ServerWorks HE Lite system board, two "hot-plug" SCSI HDDs, up to 4 GB ECC SDRAM, integrated RAID controller with nonvolatile cache.

Shipments of HP ProLiant BL p-Class servers have already started, a BL20p server with a single 1.4 GHz Pentium III and 512 MB RAM costs $2539.

Contactless FeliCa ID cards from Sony

After the successful implementation of its contactless Suica cards as electronic tickets on East Japan Railway, Sony decided to promote the new standard more actively and announced personal FeliCa ID cards.


FeliCa cards meet the RC-S833 standard for Contactless Smart Cards, are sized as a usual business card (85.6x54.0x0.76 mm, ISO/IEC7810ID-1), feature a built-in transceiver and an antenna. Naturally, cards get energy from card reader signals. The chip features an 8-bit RISC processor, EEPROM, RAM, ROM, cryptoprocessor and a radio-frequency unit.


The external card reader (supporting RC-S441, RC-S445, RC-430 and RC-S480) features a control unit and an antenna. Operation distance between a card and a reader is determined by antenna type. Reader also features a chip, including 32-bit processor, cryptoprocessor, radio-frequency unit. System uses 13.56 MHz frequency range, data transfer rate makes 211 Kbps, FeliCa (EPROM) memory capacity is 1536 bytes (16 bytes 96 blocks).

New AMD Athlon MP 2200+ officially

Today AMD officially announced its new Athlon MP 2200+ CPU for dual-processor systems. Athlon MP 2200+ is the first of Athlon MP family made using 0.13-micron process technology and copper interconnects.


Systems on the new processor are expected closely. According to the press release, over 34 makers reported their intentions to use AMD Athlon MP 2200+ in their products. In wholesale consignments (over 1000 units) AMD Athlon MP 2200+ will cost $224.

Currently AMD Athlon MP processors wholesale prices are formed like this:

AMD Athlon MP
Wholesale price
2200+ $224
2100+ $206
2000+ $178
1900+ $170
1800+ $161
1600+ $149
1.2 GHz $150

New Intel Pentium 4 processors officially

Yesterday late at night Intel announced four new desktop Pentium 4 processors with up to 2.8 GHz clock rates.



All new chips are made using 0.13-micron process technology.

Pentium 4 L2 cache FSB Wholesale price
2.80 GHz 512KB 533 MHz
$508
2.66 GHz 512KB 533 MHz
$401
2.60 GHz 512KB 400 MHz
$401
2.50 GHz 512KB 400 MHz
$243

Besides, Intel also cut prices for its previous processors. The comparative table of old and new prices is here.

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