PC Briefs: AMD, Hitachi

PC Briefs: AMD, Hitachi

AMD releases new Durons

Amid the countdown to the launch of its highest-performing processor yet, AMD has quietly released three Duron chips for low-end desktops. AMD had been phasing out the Duron, and hadn’t released a new model for desktops since January 2002. But the vendor said the Duron was still in demand from system builders, especially in emerging markets such as China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. The new Duron comes in 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz, and 1.8GHz models. They are built on a new core with a 266MHz front-side bus, with AMD’s 130-nanometer process technology. This is an improvement on the 200MHz front-side bus in older Durons, built on 180-nanometer process technology. Locally, Avnet Applied Computing has received shipments of both the 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz Duron chips. Dealer prices are $62 for the 1.4GHz and $72 for the 1.6GHz.

Hitachi to ship bigger microdrives

Hitachi will begin selling 2GB and 4GB versions of its Microdrive miniature hard disk drive later this year. The new drives, which like previous models fit inside a type II Compact Flash case, double and quadruple the data storage capacity possible with a Microdrive. Samples of the 4GB drive are currently in the hands of a number of companies including some of the major digital camera manufacturers. Hitachi said it hoped to begin commercial shipping of the drive in November. It will carry a price tag of $US500. The Microdrive is based on a FAT32 file system. This is because the commonly used FAT16 file system has a limit of 2GB. Currently, only a handful of devices support FAT32 although this is expected to increase in the future.

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