PC Solutions- Briefs

PC Solutions- Briefs

PC Solutions- Briefs

Sun outlines plan for new multimedia chipSun Microsystems is developing the first processor based on the MAJC (Microprocessor Architecture for Java Computing) architecture. The company expects to ship the MAJC in the second half of 2000.

The MAJC 5200 will be able to decode two MPEG video streams in real time while simultaneously downloading surround sound audio or running a Web browsing session.

The processor is also expected to be able to run dozens of voice-over-IP channels and encrypt and decompress the calls over an Ethernet connection.

The MAJC 5200 is expected to have a clock frequency of 500MHz, Sun officials said. Its ability to handle several complex tasks at once are derived in part from a design that incorporates two VLIW (very long instruction word) microprocessors onto a single piece of silicon, officials said.

New Presarios add designer-PC fray

Call it the iMac effect. Compaq last week joined the fray of PC vendors vying to attract buyers with designer outsides rather than the latest whiz-bang processors on the inside.

The Presario 3550 is an Internet PC with style that comes in `metallic midnight blue' and is bundled with a 15 inch, active-matrix flat-panel monitor. The main unit's slim tower design takes up 60 per cent less floor or desk space compared to a traditional microtower desktop.

Powered by a 500MHz Intel Celeron processor, the 3550 is available from retail outlets at a price of $US1999.

Compaq also introduced several other new additions to its desktop and notebook Presario lines, ranging from the entry-level 5400 series to the 5900Z that can be ordered with AMD's new 700MHz Athlon processor.

Sun aims cheap workstation at PC buyers

Sun Microsystems last week lowered by 20 per cent the price of its cheapest workstation to $US1995.

The Ultra 5 is a workstation powered by a SPARC processor and comes standard with Sun's 64-bit Solaris Unix-based operating system, Sun said in a statement. It can also be fitted with the SunPCi PC co-processor card to allow the workstation to also run five other operating systems, including Java and Linux as well as Microsoft's Windows NT and 98.

Sun is targeting the Ultra 5 particularly at the application-development community, the company said.

The workstations can be purchased over the Web from the SunStore at http://store.sun.comPalm Computing unleashes Palm VII, cuts pricesPalm Computing is cutting prices and adding services and functions to its Palm III, V, and VII lines.

Last week it announced the rollout of the wireless Palm VII connected organiser, the new Vx special edition, a $US449 limited retail release of the IIIe special edition, and lowered prices on most of its Palm Pilots.

Previously available at the Palm Web site for $US599, the wireless Palm VII is now available in the US for $US499.

Palm also expanded the monthly service plans for Palm VII's Internet access,, and new Web-clipping applications from Amazon, eBay, and Fidelity Investments. You can download as much as 50KB monthly for $US9.

ThinAirMail and IPopper will offer access to POP accounts while MonkeyMail and Visto Briefcase offer forwarding services for the Palm VII.

Sony licenses memory stick technology

Sony said last week that six Japanese electronics makers have licensed its Memory Stick storage technology for use in future audio-related consumer products.

The Memory Stick is a small flash memory card that resembles a stick of chewing gum. The storage medium, available in up to 16MB capacities, can be used to store any digital data including still images, video or music.

By licensing the technology, Sony hopes to expand the number of devices that support the medium.

The licensees announced are Aiwa, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sanyo Electric, Sharp and Fujitsu.

Sony has shipped a total of 1 million memory sticks, a number that is expected to reach 3 million by April, the company said.

Siemens to debut handheld Net device

Siemens AG last week unveiled a new handheld device it plans to show to the public at the Telecom '99 exhibition in Geneva.

Called IC35 - the Unifier, the pocket-sized device combines an organiser, notepad and WAP (Wireless application protocol) terminal. WAP is a new software protocol that allows users to see scaled-down Web pages via mobile phones or other devices.

The 2cm-thick device is about as big as a cigarette case. It is expected to be available in Europe next year.

The Unifier is designed to be used with a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset with built-in modem. The Unifier also doubles as an organiser that can be synchronised with a PC via a docking unit called a SyncStation.

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