PC briefs: Intel, Sun, Hewlett-Packard

PC briefs: Intel, Sun, Hewlett-Packard

Chip turns 30

Chipmaker Intel is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the microprocessor after Intel engineer Ted Hoff developed a general-purpose logic device for a Japanese manufacturer of calculators in 1971. Known as the Intel 4004 microprocessor, it contained 2300 transistors on an area smaller than a fingernail. At the time it was used for applications such as automatic traffic light controllers and blood analysers. Today, Intel's Pentium 4 processor operates at two billion cycles per second and is 18,000 times more powerful than the 4004 microprocessor.

Sun cracks 1GHz

Sun Microsystems has passed the 1GHz barrier with its UltraSparc III chips and will begin shipping workstations early next year with the speedier processors, the company said. Sun's latest benchmark results show the UltraSparc III Cu 1050 processor running at 1.05GHz. The new chips are 17 per cent faster than those currently shipping in Sun servers. Sun has gradually upgraded its entire server line with 900MHz UltraSparc IIIs. The company earlier added the 900MHz on its high-end Sun Fire 15K and started shipping mid-range servers with the 900MHz chips this month. The vendor is now looking to boost speeds even higher to offer users more processing power.

HP server phase-out

Hewlett-Packard has dropped the hammer on users of its HP e3000 systems, disclosing plans to stop selling the decades-old computer line in two years and to cease support at the end of 2006. The future of the HP e3000 has long been a source of concern for its large installed base. But HP's move still stunned and angered many IT managers, who said they have built their corporate back-end computing environments, and staked their careers, on the venerable mid-range system. Some said the phase-out plan is especially hard to swallow because HP laid out a five-year development roadmap for the HP e3000 at a US conference in August.

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