PC Solutions Briefs: Semiconductor, NEC, HP

PC Solutions Briefs: Semiconductor, NEC, HP

Semiconductor sales explode in SeptemberWorldwide semiconductor sales exploded to $US18.4 billion in September, showing more than 50 per cent growth over the $12.6 billion mark set in September 1999, according to a report released from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Driving semiconductor sales to the new record high were Internet infrastructure and wireless technologies, not personal computers, the report said.

Chip sales were strong in all geographic regions. The Japanese market grew 51.2 per cent, with the Asia-Pacific market expanding 46.6 per cent, followed by the Americas' market, which increased 46.2 per cent, and the European market coming in with a 35.9 per cent gain, according to the report.

While PC sales have been lagging behind expectations in the US, "demand remains robust for chips used in the Internet and in telecommunications [worldwide]", said SIA president George Scalise.

NEC recalls faulty Crusoe microprocessor laptopsNEC has announced the recall of about 10 per cent of the notebooks it has produced that were based on Crusoe microprocessors from Transmeta because of a fault inside the chips. The company began recalling a total of 284 computers based on the TM5600 Crusoe processor due to a problem with cache memory inside the processor itself. A representative for NEC said the company suspected the problem was not due to a fundamental flaw with the processor itself, but with a faulty batch of chips. The faulty cache causes problems when Windows 2000 OS is loaded onto the machines, said the representative. Transmeta said it was working with NEC on the issue and the microprocessors NEC is replacing came from a limited manufacturing batch.

HP unveils new server

Hewlett-Packard has introduced its L3000 model entry-level server, intended principally for ISPs, to the US market. Designed as an extension of HP's 9000 L-Class server family, the L3000 offers features previously available only on the company's high-end Unix servers. These features include utility pricing, which involves determining cost based on use and number of processors on the system, and hardware partitioning, enabling the isolation of specific software in the server. Standing seven rack units in size, or 12.25 inches, the L3000 holds four PA-8600 RISC processors and will remain compatible with all future PA-RISC processors, including the upcoming IA-64 Itanium processors from Intel.

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