PC Briefs: Projectors, IBM, AMD

PC Briefs: Projectors, IBM, AMD

Projectors shine on

Worldwide projector shipments will climb from 1.5 million in 2002 to 3.5 million in 2006, according to a study from IDC, but falling prices will impact on the value of the market. Increased pressure to reduce average selling prices will translate to only a 3.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for worldwide revenues over the forecast period. Price and smaller form factors will be the main drivers for growth. The US currently leads the way with shipments and revenues, outpacing all other geographic regions in 2002. But IDC predicts that by 2003, the Asia-Pacific region will experience aggressive growth levels throughout the forecast period, IDC said.

World's fastest transistor

IBM scientists have developed a transistor that can run at 350GHz, nearly three times faster than any transistor available today, IBM said. This "world's fastest" transistor should become part of wireless communications chips running at about 150GHz in around two years and promises better Internet connectivity and lower power consumption. Microchips typically hold millions of transistors. The speed of transistors is determined by how fast electrons pass through them. For its 350GHz transistor, IBM used its silicon germanium bipolar technology. In bipolar transistors electrons travel vertically, as opposed to horizontally in standard CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) transistors.

Wireless chipset from AMD

AMD has developed a chipset for 802.11b wireless cards that will reduce the amount of processing power needed to maintain a wireless LAN connection. The company has also unveiled a mini-PCI card reference design kit. The AMD Alchemy Solutions Am1772 allows manufacturers to develop devices that cost less due to the removal of an on-chip microcontroller that used expensive SRAM or flash memory, AMD said. The Am1772 will be available in the first quarter of 2003.

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