Issue No. 06 - November/December (2004 vol. 24)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MM.2004.82
Ati Profit Rises on Chip Demand
Graphic chip maker ATI Technologies reported fourth-quarter earnings nearly tripled on increased demand from the personal computer, cell phone, and digital television markets. The company said revenue rose 50 percent to $572.2 million from $380.7 million and net income rose to $61.2 million, or 24 cents per share, in the quarter ended 31 Aug.
Intel Programming Tools Reach New 64-bit Chips
Intel has begun selling programming tools that let developers create software that supports 64-bit x 86 chips, an important step in making the new generation of processors useful.
Intel earlier this year began selling Xeon and Pentium 4 processors with 64-bit extensions called EM64T that enable the processors to easily use more than 4 Gbytes of memory. Intel's 64-bit chips came more than a year after rival Advanced Micro Devices came out with its own version of the idea, called AMD64, in its Opteron and Athlon 64 products.
The compilers create code for either Intel or AMD chips. Intel's compiler will come in versions for Linux, which already is available in 64-bit versions from Red Hat and Novell, and for Windows, which because of delays won't support 64-bit x86 chips until 2005.
Among the customers for the programming tools are IBM and Oracle, who build their database software with it. And even though open-source programmers overwhelmingly prefer the GCC compiler—itself an open-source project—Red Flag Linux and the MySQL database use it.
Hynix Sells Nonmemory Chip Operation
Hynix Semiconductor has completed the sale of its nonmemory chip operation for $827.6 million to the venture capital arm of Citigroup Inc., winning a crucial source of cash to expand its memory-chip facilities.
The nonmemory chip unit makes semiconductors for flat-panel displays and camera-equipped mobile phones. It accounted for $201 million, or nearly 18 percent, of the company's total sales in the first quarter.
In June, Hynix and the Citigroup unit signed an agreement for the sale, which was part of the South Korean company's efforts to raise cash and reduce debt following three years of financial strain.
Smic to Sample Texas Instruments 90-nanometer Chips
Texas Instruments expects to receive chip samples using the most advanced 90-nm technology from China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) around the end of first quarter 2005.
Texas Instruments (China) director Desmond Wong said the company has reached similar deals with Taiwanese foundries Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp.
Texas Instruments has been using SMIC for late-stage processing of 130-nm chips since 2002.
Chip foundries are usually required to provide samples under service contracts signed with integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) such as Texas Instruments before the IDMs commit to orders.
New Oscillators Enhance Performance of Wlan Equipment
SaRonix has developed small crystal clock oscillators for wireless local area networking (WLAN) equipment. The S1633 and S1634 series oscillators have tight frequency stability and low power consumption, all contained within a space-saving 3.2 × 5-mm ceramic package. Optimized for IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless access points and WLAN enterprise networking equipment, these oscillators retain the performance of larger models while offering space and power-saving benefits at 40, 44, and 48 MHz.
Low-voltage 500 Mhz Bus Switches Offered
Pericom Semiconductor has released eight new NanoSwitch digital bus switch products that address the operational requirements of next generation servers, redundant array of independent disks (RAID), super VGA, memory bank switching and high-performance networking/telecom backplanes. The bus switches offer expanded performance capabilities that meet the challenges of advanced performance communication buses such as PCI-X, as well as emerging DDR-I/DDR-2 memory standards, and also simplifies the I/O migration from parallel to serial differential signaling standards.