PC briefs: Rambus, Via, Intel, Gateway

PC briefs: Rambus, Via, Intel, Gateway

Vendors drop Rambus

Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway have all announced new PCs with a common attribute: they are the first Intel Pentium 4 systems from these manufacturers to incorporate SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) memory using Intel's new 845 chip set. Pricier Rambus DRAM shipped on all previous PCs equipped with the Pentium 4, officials said. The arrival of PCs with the less expensive memory is one of the last stepping stones toward fulfilling Intel's desire to get the majority of Pentium 4 PCs priced at or near $US1000. Other PC vendors that follow the Intel processor road map, such as Compaq and MicronPC, are expected to introduce systems with the 845 chip set shortly. The less expensive 845 chip set helps PC makers achieve a saving of approximately 10 per cent by using SDRAM over Rambus memory.

Via, Intel in patent war

Via Technologies blasted back at rival Intel last week filing lawsuits alleging patent infringement, fair trade law violations and destruction of Via property after Intel filed patent infringement complaints against its Taiwanese competitor. Via filed lawsuits alleging patent infringement by Intel in its Pentium 4 processor and companion 845 chip, but no Via representatives were prepared to say exactly what intellectual property has been infringed upon. Just three days earlier, Intel filed a lawsuit alleging that Via's P4X266 and upcoming P4M266 chip sets violate five patents associated with Intel's Pentium 4 processor.

Gateway exits Europe

Following its exit from Australia, New Zealand and the rest of Asia, Gateway has closed its 14 stores in the UK and Ireland and laid off 1085 employees. The 12 stores in the UK employed 185 people, while 900 people worked in Gateway's factory and two stores in Ireland. A further 35 people across what Gateway calls SEEMEA (South Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) will lose their jobs, said a Gateway spokeswoman last week.

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