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SanDisk Ultra II — new line of CF and SD unveiled

Dell readies slim Axim X3

Samsung Electronics launches volume production of 256Mbit GDDR2

Visioneer expands Slimline scanner series with OneTouch 9320

Intel Pentium M roadmap: a wait for new prices

HGST moves media manufacturing operations to China

Will Intel setup R&D center in Korea? Unlikely

HDD data destruction. The way of Samurai

Taiwanese NAND flash demand reported to exceed supply by 20-25%

SanDisk Ultra II — new line of CF and SD unveiled

SanDisk Corporation introduced the SanDisk Ultra II line of CompactFlash (CF) and SD flash memory cards. Each card features a minimum write speed of 9 megabytes per second (MB/sec.) and a minimum read speed of 10MB/sec.Results based on testing with the popular HDBENCH benchmark software.

The new SanDisk Ultra II CF card will initially be available in three capacities —- 256MB, 512MB and 1 gigabyte (GB). The 256 and 512MB SanDisk Ultra II CF cards started shipping this month while the 1GB cards will be sent to retail outlets in the next thirty days. SanDisk Ultra II SD cards will be available in 256MB and 512MB capacities in October and November, respectively.

Suggested retail prices for the three SanDisk Ultra II CF cards capacities —- 256MB, 512MB and 1GB —- are $104.99, $209.99 and $429.99, cuggested retail prices for the SanDisk Ultra II SD cards are $129.99 and $289.99 for the 256 and 512MB cards, respectively.

Dell readies slim Axim X3

As it is rumoured at brighthand, citing a variety of sources, Dell´s Axim X3 Pocket PC will one of the most interesting PDA series to be announced this Fall. According to an undisclosed source, it will be announced on October 15, expected to be available a about week later.

Generally, X3 is some pared-down version of Axim X5 without CF slot — only SD — to make the device thinner. The SD slot will support SDIO, which enables usage of different peripherals. Supposedly, there will be two models in this series — with 300MHz and 400MHz processors. This source does not know what processor will be used in these models (although XScale and Samsung S3C2410 are rumoured) or how much RAM they will have, but according to Pocket PC Italia, both models will have 64Mb RAM and 48Mb ROM. The 400 MHz model will support some form of wireless networking, but it is not known what it will be. However, if these models are going to be slim and light, they´ll likely have Bluetooth.

The X3 series´ design points at Hewlett-Packard´s popular iPAQ h1900 series, including slim and light handhelds equipped with SD slot only.

Samsung Electronics launches volume production of 256Mbit GDDR2

Today Samsung Electronics launched volume production of 256Mbit Graphics Double Data Rate2 (GDDR2) SDRAM chips. This memory will allow to simplify the production of new-generation graphics cards with up to 512Mb of memory.

Samsung´s GDDR2 SDRAM chips meet JEDEC specs and are packaged into 144-pin Fine-pitch Ball Grid Arrays (FBGA). They support all the technical features mentioned in GDDR2 specs, including:

  • 1.8V voltage
  • Differential strobe
  • Off-chip output driver calibration (OCD)
  • On-die termination (ODT)
  • Programmable CAS Latency: 3, 4, 5, 6 — Optional; Programmable Additive Latency: 0, 1 , 2 , 3 and 4, impulse interrupts
  • Write Latency(WL) = Read Latency(RL) — 1
  • Burst Length — 4 (Read/Write Interrupt Prohibited but only Read interrupted by Read & Write interrupted by Write are allowed), or 8 (Interleave/nibble sequential) Programmable Sequential / Interleave Burst Mode
  • 4 words per clock with Read/Write Latency disabled (enabled in single-phase modes only)
  • 8 words per clock with sequential alternating / interrupted phases at fully programmable switching between sequential and alternating bursts
  • Bidirectional strobe, (Single-ended data-strobe is an optional feature) with Off-Chip Driver(OCD) Impedance Adjustment
  • Auto Refresh, CBR, Self Refresh; Refesh Period 7.8ms, 8192 regeneration cycles / 64ms)

Samsung states that its 256Mbit GDDR2 SDRAM chips also support GDDR3 standard that is expected to be approved by JEDEC next month. Shipments to graphics card makers have already started.

Visioneer expands Slimline scanner series with OneTouch 9320

Visioneer announced the latest addition to the Slimline scanner series, the Visioneer OneTouch 9320 USB color flatbed scanner. The model has the ability to scan up to 3200 x 6400 dpi in 48-bit color and is equipped with a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 backward-compatible) interface. A suggested retail price of the scanner is $149.99. As the other scanners, this model features Visioneer´s patented FlashBackTM Bi-directional AutoScan Technology, Built-In 35mm Transparency Adapter.

The Visioneer OneTouch 9320 USB comes with ScanSoft´s PaperPort 8.0 SE with built-in TextBridge OCR and ArcSoft´s PhotoImpression 3.0. ScanSoft´s PaperPort Deluxe.

Intel Pentium M roadmap: a wait for new prices

According to the latest rumours collected by British The Inquirer, new Pentium M processors with Dothan core made using 90nm process might not arrive this year. There´s still no confirmed information about 2.0GHz chips. In Q1 2004 Pentium M is expected to achieve 1.80GHz, reaching 1.90AGHz in Q2.

First Prescott-based chips are expected in Q1 2004 with 3.46GHz initial clock to achieve 3.73GHz by the year-end. In Q2 2004 we should see Prescott-based Mobile Celeron starting from 3.06GHz.

The closest Intel Pentium M price cut is expected on October 5, with HT-enabled Mobile Pentium 4 to get cheaper on September 21.

  Q1 2004 Q2 2004
Dothan 1.80 GHz, 1.70A GHz 1.90 GHz
LV/ULV Dothan 1.30 GHz LV and 1 GHz ULV ULV 1.1 GHz
Mobile Prescott 3.46 GHz — 2.66 GHz 3.46 GHz+

Pentium M Current price October 5
1.80 GHz - $637 (when released)
1.70 GHz $637 $423 (-33%)
1.60 GHz $423 $294 (-30%)
1.50 GHz $294 $241 (-18%)
1.40 GHz $241 $209 (-13%)
Mobile Pentium 4 HT September 21 October 26
3.20 GHz $650 $433 (-33%)
3.06 GHz $433 $295 (-31%)
2.80 GHz $294 $235 (-20%)
2.66 GHz $234 $202 (-13%)

Source: The Inquirer

HGST moves media manufacturing operations to China

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) announced a three-year initiative to relocate the majority of its media manufacturing operations from San Jose, CA and Odawara, Japan to its facility in Shenzhen, China.

The media is the key component of the hard drive upon which electronic data is written in the data-recording process.

Hitachi acquired IBM’s hard disk drive business in December 2002 and launched Hitachi GST on January 1, 2003. The initiative is an essential element of Hitachi’s overall plan to integrate its operations.

Hitachi GST expects to begin media manufacturing at its Shenzhen facility by the fourth quarter of 2004 and will be in full production by the first half of 2006. San Jose and Odawara will continue to be the primary media facilities through the end of 2005. At that time, the company will assess the current business conditions to determine if redeployment of personnel and other resource actions may be necessary in San Jose and Odawara.

The company plans to keep critically skilled media development and manufacturing pilot lines in San Jose and Odawara for innovative drive technology such as perpendicular recording. Hitachi GST’s media organizations have approximately 800 employees worldwide.

Will Intel setup R&D center in Korea? Unlikely

The South Korean government will ask U.S.-based chip giant Intel Corp. to consider finalizing a major investment project that might include the establishment of either a research center or a chip factory in Korea, informed sources said yesterday.

Intel Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett visits Korea today and is set to hold a meeting with President Roh Moo-hyun, government officials said yesterday. Intel Korea said no formal press conference was scheduled, as Barrett´s visit to Korea is a part of his regular Asian tour and he does not have any new announcements to make.

But people more into the matter say Barrett is likely to discuss the possibility of investment into Korea and clarify his position at a meeting with the president, who is now coming under pressure due to the sluggish economy and a dearth of new foreign direct investment.

Korea´s FDI has been faltering markedly, which some people blame for labor unrest and a surge in labor costs. The public is now looking to the president to reverse the FDI downturn that started in 1999.

Local media reported yesterday that Intel might set up a research and development center in Seoul, with the IT complex in Sangam-dong being the candidate site. But the Ministry of Information and Communication´s spokesman Koh Kwang-sup denied saying that nothing had been decided yet.

He stated, however, that Intel is unlikely to set up a research center in the Sangam IT complex that should be completed in 2007.

HDD data destruction. The way of Samurai

Japanese Hitachi unveiled an essential device for destroying information stored on HDD drives. The "Disk eraser" will go on sale in September. Alongside the company announced a similar service for those not ready to buy such a thing.

Instead of software solutions Hitachi chose a more reliable way. The information is destroyed by a strong magnetic field of 7000 oersteds (Oe). Such method complies with the DoD standard. According to the press release, it usually takes 15 to 20 minutes to destroy all data on HDD.

Afterwards one can verify the results by disassembling the processed drive using tools necessary are supplied with the device. Eraser dimensions are 400 x 231 x 155 mm, weight – 8 kg. Packed in special case the system weights 15 kg and is sized 600 x 420 x 210 mm.

Taiwanese NAND flash demand reported to exceed supply by 20-25%

As Digitimes reports, referring to Power Quotient International president Richard Lee, the NAND flash demand in Taiwan is exceeding supply by 20-25%. This is expected to last until year-end, as the global supply continues to shrink.

Manufacturers of products that require NAND flash are concerned about the shortage and say their shipments will be seriously affected, if major suppliers like Samsung Electronics and Toshiba are not able to increase supply in the near future.

The strong demand for memory has pushed prices for 1Gb NAND flash to US$26 recently from about US$16 in May, according to local memory distributors. Despite the surging prices, some local module traders have been forced reportedly to reduce shipments due to the insufficient supply.

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