PC Briefs: Chips, Fujitsu, Samsung

PC Briefs: Chips, Fujitsu, Samsung

Chip sales hit bottom

Worldwide sales of semiconductors continued to decline in January following one of the worst years ever for the industry, but signs of a recovery are beginning to emerge. The combined revenue of nearly 70 global chipmakers totalled $US10.01 billion in January, compared with $16.63 billion in January 2001, a drop of nearly 40 per cent year-on-year, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported. However, the sequential decline from December to January was only 1.7 per cent, slimmer than the drop that occurred from November to December. "The figures show that the industry has bottomed out and that it is definitely working its way toward a recovery," said investment analyst Eric Rothdeutsch.

Fujitsu to launch PDA

Fujitsu has taken the wraps off a personal digital assistant, the company's first, which will be sold worldwide from the second quarter of this year. The Pocket Loox is based on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 software and an Intel PXA250 XScale microprocessor. The Japanese model will be equipped with 64MB of RAM, a 3.5-inch (87-millimetre) 240 x 320-pixel reflective LCD (liquid crystal display) capable of displaying 65,536 colours, a Compact Flash memory card slot, a Secure Digital card slot, and will be Bluetooth-enabled. The specifications for the product will vary somewhat by region, Onagi said. The Pocket Loox will be priced around $US467 in Japan and is expected to have a similar price in other markets.

Samsung's sample DDR

Samsung Electronics has begun shipping sample DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) memory chips that are two steps faster than those used in personal computers today. The DDR400 chips use a 200MHz memory bus (the connection between the processor and memory) and can handle data transfer rates at speeds of up to 3.2Gbps. In comparison, current DDR266 chips, standard in most new desktop PCs, offer data transfer speeds of 2.1Gbps.

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