"Will your next portable computer be a tablet PC? Microsoft hopes so, and it has lined up a handful of partners that are showing prototype models of its reference design and plan to ship the real thing in mid-2002. For the second year here at Comdex, the software behemoth is pushing tablet computing that combines the portability of a laptop, the convenience of pen and paper, and of course Microsoft software." Read the rest of the news report at PCWorld.
Another excellent series of articles at ExtremeTech. This time, they are discussing the Bus technologies of the future. "It's almost counterintuitive, but serial buses are blowing away parallel buses in the PC. We tell you why and take you beyond the hype."
Motorola has released the latest update to its PowerPC 8500 - aka G5 - processor that ups AltiVec performance and delivers consistent 1GHz and up clock speeds, TheRegister rumours, based on their Apple sources. "Indeed, the source claims, two of the chips in the sample set of CPUs sent to the Mac maker, clocked at 2.4GHz. Most, however, ran at 1GHz, 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz, and some - a "considerable number", says our Deep Throat - operate at 1.6GHz." In related news, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has again upped the stakes in its processor performance race with rival Intel. AMD launched the new Athlon XP 1900+, its highest performance desktop processor issued to date.
"Surely one of the biggest success stories in technology has been the hard disk drive. Invented in the 1950s, and an absolute requirement for PCs since the mid-1980s, hard disk drives have an impressive record of increasing capacity and speed, shrinking physical size and cost, and finding new ways to shatter barriers to continued progress. If you think storage capacity is amazing now, take a trip with us--three to five years down the road." ExtremeTech features a special series of four articles regarding hard drives and their future.
Motorola's PowerPC 8500 - aka the G5 - continues to move steadily toward its scheduled release, TheRegister reports. The G5 is the next major version of the PowerPC architecture and includes a new internal bus structure, a longer, ten-stage instruction pipeline, redesigned integer and floating-point maths units. It will be offered in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and fabbed using silicon-on-insulator technology at 0.13 micron. Check out the SPEC CPU benchmarks which show that the G5 outperforms the current versions of Pentium 4, by a large margin.
Apple will probably be satisfied this month, seen Motorola completing the G5, the next generation of PPC CPUs, which it will be 64-bit, but it will also run 32-bit code in almost full speed. Apple is preparing a 64-bit version of MacOSX and they insist that porting the OSX apps over to the new CPU, it will be as easy as recompiling the app for the new CPU. The CPU will clock from 1 GHz to 1.6 GHz for its first generation. For now, Apple has released a long awaited dual 800 G4 machine, while it upgrades the iBook and PowerBook series of laptops with more RAM, speed and features. In the meantime, Transmeta announced yesterday their new Crusoe CPU which it will clock 1 Ghz and it will be available sometime next year. Intel is getting ready to release the first mobile Pentium4, which it will start clocking at 1.5 Ghz, while AMD strugles to produce new products that can compete with Intel directly and finds refuge in marketing tricks, renaming their line of CPUs as Athlon XP or Athlon 1800+. Same tricks Cyrix was doing 3-4 years ago when they could not produce CPUs with faster clock speed than the competition.
PC World compares the newest processors from AMD and Intel for high-end notebook computers and two computers that sport the new chips. The short version: the Intel chip is faster, has some nifty new features and is very expensive. The AMD is a solid performer at a more affordable price. Both chips suck battery power, though. Read the PC World article for more info.
On the heels of its stunning acquisition announcement, HP announced the release of new Jornada handhelds. They're the first to sport Intel's new StrongARM 206 MHz processor, and the first machines to run PocketPC 2002. One would suppose that the Jornada and the iPaq lines are going to go head to head internally to see which one has a future. If this announcement is any indication, the Jornada team isn't ready to roll over and concede to the more-popular iPaq now that they're in the same company. Read Internet.com's coverage.
FiringSquad takes a look at nVidia's first offering of motherboard chipsets, the nForce, which reportedly has some interesting features including 3D capabilities. The reviewer concludes that "Now that you've seen everything NVIDIA is offering with nForce, you see why we feel this is a groundbreaking product -- quite literally there isn't anything else on the market with such powerful features! Even if you don't like them, you've got to give NVIDIA a lot of respect With nForce, NVIDIA has turned itself into a powerful competitor in a little over a year!"