PC Solutions Briefs: Intel, Sony, Tokyo Game Show

PC Solutions Briefs: Intel, Sony, Tokyo Game Show

Intel's silicon breakthrough

Intel is hoping to score bigger profits and hit higher chip speeds early next year by making its silicon at once both bigger and smaller. That was the message as the company announced it had successfully manufactured a 300 millimetre, 0.13 micron wafer.

Deriving more chips from a wafer will result in lower chip prices and greater availability, said Howard High, a spokesman for Intel. The recent announcement from Intel represents a milestone, as the company has been able to produce a wafer from the new manufacturing process, he said.

The techniques used to make the wafer are slated to be introduced into Intel's product line in early 2002.

Along with the benefits of the larger wafer, the smaller micron size will translate to more chips per wafer, as well as faster, cheaper and more reliable chips, High said.

Sony unveils portable CD-RW device

Hardware manufacturer Sony Electronics has announced a new portable CD-RW (compact disc-rewritable) drive.

Called the CRX10U/A2, the new CD-RW drive is a member of Sony's product suite Digital Relay. The drive is battery-operated and can double as a stand-alone CD player, Sony said.

When attached to a computer, the drive can be used for backing up a user's system, recording digital images and creating music CDs. When detached from a computer, the drive can function as a CD player, Sony said.

The Digital Relay drive is bundled with software for both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. It also comes bundled with earphones and a wired remote control with LCD display.

The drive weighs 340 grams without battery. The battery weighs 95 grams and lasts two hours when recording at 4X speed, Sony said.

Major gaming platform

The war of words between Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment may have been top bill at the Tokyo Game Show, but the show also highlighted the growth of handheld gaming and served to remind Microsoft, which will launch its Xbox console later this year, that the PlayStation 2 isn't the only game in town.

More so than ever before, handheld games were in the spotlight at the game show, which takes place once every six months. Some 35.9 per cent of computer games on display were for handheld platforms, up from 24.3 per cent during the previous show in September 2000, according to figures from the organisers, the Computer Entertainment Software Association. The recent launch of two new mobile gaming platforms is largely behind their growing popularity.

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