PC Briefs: Intel, Microsoft

PC Briefs: Intel, Microsoft

Intel ships new XScale high-end PDA chipsIntel has begun shipping the first chips based on its long-awaited XScale architecture: the PXA250, aimed at high-end PDAs (400MHz, 300MHz and 200MHz), and the PXA210, aimed at mobile phones and entry-level PDAs (200MHz and 133MHz). Both chips are based on a core from chip design house ARM and are expected to be available in devices by the middle of the year. But don't expect XScale to immediately kill Intel's current family of handheld-device chips, called StrongARM. While the smaller, faster and less power consuming XScale chips will eventually take over for the three-year-old StrongARM family, Intel spokespeople promise they will be keeping it around for "the near term". Unlike the 0.35-micron StongARM chips, the XScale chips are built using the 0.18-micron manufacturing progress, which means they can be built in any of Intel's plants that make processors of the same size.

Microsoft, Sony sued over game controllersImmersion, which develops technology used in making video game controllers vibrate, has caused a legal rumble by suing Microsoft and two Sony subsidiaries for alleged infringement of its intellectual property. Immersion said it sued Microsoft, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment of America over their alleged use of Immersion's so-called "haptic" technology in Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2, as well as associated games and devices. The technology lets users receive touch feedback from electronic devices. The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Sony Computer Entertainment of America has not seen the complaint and declined to comment on it, but did assert that it does not infringe on Immersion's technology or patents, said Sony spokeswoman Monica Wik. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment on the issue before seeing the complaint.

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