PC Briefs: Intel, Microsoft, Toshiba

PC Briefs: Intel, Microsoft, Toshiba

Intel unleashes mobile chip

Intel last week unveiled its latest microprocessor aimed at mobile telephones and PDAs (personal digital assistants). Best known for its line of processors used in desktop and notebook computers, Intel is keen to grab a share of the mobile device marketplace. It has been selling StrongArm processors for mobile applications for some time, and stepped up its efforts in February this year when it launched its XScale processors. Intel has also promised to deliver a new version of its XScale processor, code-named Manitoba, later this year. That chip combines a processor with a DSP (digital signal processor), a vital component in mobile phones.

Xbox on Linux

A group of developers has released a version of the Linux OS for Microsoft's Xbox game console in Europe, promising to turn the device into a full-featured PC. Developed by a German group called, the distribution for the Xbox is based on MandrakeSoft's Mandrake 9.0 Linux. A keyboard and mouse can be added through the console's USB ports, the developers said. To run Linux, the Xbox requires a mod chip to be installed on the main circuit board. Microsoft representatives in Australia have previously said the company is investigating legal options to stop distribution of mod chips for the Xbox.

Armed to the Bluetooth

Toshiba has married its card-sized hard disk drive with Bluetooth wireless technology to come up with a portable storage device aimed at PDA users who need large-capacity storage. The Hopbit was unveiled at the World PC Expo show in Tokyo this week. It contains a 5GB version of one of Toshiba's 1.8-inch hard disk drives and offers about 80 times the memory storage space offered by Toshiba's Genio 550 PDA and 10 times the capacity of the largest memory card on the market. A Bluetooth transceiver embedded in the Hopbit means it can be accessed from the PDA and also from other devices equipped with Bluetooth.

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