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News briefs

AMD launches ‘Duron' at analyst meeting

Advanced Micro Devices has announced it will put out a new family of processors, AMD Duron, designed for value-conscious home and business computer owners.

The Duron name comes from the Latin and means "long-lasting". AMD, which announced the chip during its annual financial analysts meeting last week in New York, is making a pitch that the chip series will help provide a longer life span for home and business computers, by allowing them to run faster and more sophisticated applications.

This means, according to AMD, that home and business users will be able to extend the life of their investment, even considering the fast innovation in the market of applications.

Sony joins Fujitsu-Hitachi plasma panel ventureEyeing the fast growing flat-panel display business, Sony has announced it will take a 15 per cent stake in Fujitsu-Hitachi Plasma Display, a joint venture established by Fujitsu and Hitachi to manufacture plasma display panels (PDPs).

Sony will pay five billion yen ($US47.3 million) for its stake in the company which was established in April 1999 to combine the technologies of Fujitsu and Hitachi with the hope of lowering costs and speeding development of commercial PDP screens. After Sony's investment, the two original partners will each own 42.5 per cent of the company.

PDP technology is increasingly used instead of liquid crystal displays in several applications, especially where large panels are needed to display information, such as in airports or stock exchanges.

Behind the deal is Sony's desire to add flat panel displays to its product line-up coupled with the slow progress with which its own development in the field is progressing.

PeopleSoft's Q1 profit tops expectationsBusiness software applications vendor PeopleSoft has reported higher-than-expected net income for the first quarter of 2000, handily beating analysts' earnings predictions.

For the quarter ended March 31, PeopleSoft reported net income, excluding one-off items, of $US11 million, or 4 cents per share, an increase of 39 per cent over the $7.9 million and 3 cents, respectively, the company reported for the same period last year.

The per share earnings figure compares to the 2 cents per share consensus estimate of 17 analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

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