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Top Stories for April 19, 1999 (details below)
Wall Street Joural Intel legal ploy angers judge
PC Week Online 466MHz Celeron next on Intel's agenda
Electronic Buyers' News ADI- Intel DSP core will be available next spring
ZD Net News Can FTC enforce Intel settlement?
The Register Files
The Register Intel bang to rights on questionable business ethics
The Register Raw Coppermine, K7 benchmarks found in school
The Register Intel readies more Rambus stop-gaps
The Register FTC commissioner thinks Intel settlement hard to police
The Register AGP Pro and 81x chipset specs leak out
The Register How Intel's geese lay golden eggs
The Register Cyrix 370 socket support tips up


Microprocessor Headline News

Collected By Robert R. Collins

Week of April 19, 1999

Older News

April 19, 1999

Intel legal ploy angers judge

By Dean Takahashi

April 16, 1999
Wall Street Joural

Intel Corp. has used many tactics to protect its patents. But the chip maker recently countered a rival patent claim with a maneuver unusual enough to anger a Texas bankruptcy judge and surprise some experts in legal ethics.

The giant semiconductor maker secretly used a shell company in the Cayman Islands to argue on its behalf in the federal bankruptcy case of International Meta Systems Inc., a tiny El Segundo, Calif., computer-chip-design company. As part of the Chapter 11 proceedings, now under way in Austin, the Cayman company challenged IMS's sale last year of a patent to a Northbrook, Ill., law firm called TechSearch LLC. The law firm is using the patent as the basis of a separate patent-infringement suit against Intel, now pending in federal court in San Francisco.


466MHz Celeron next on Intel's agenda

By John G. Spooner

April 16, 1999
PC Week Online

Intel Corp. is gearing up for its next Celeron processor, slated to hit the street late this month.

Accompanying the new 466MHz chip will be a new chip set, called the 810 (formerly code-named Whitney), which integrates such features as graphics and audio to lower costs.

While the new Celeron will be available almost immediately from OEMs, the chip set won't ship until June, sources said. Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) is announcing the two at the same time because they are designed to work together, the sources said. It's also no secret that Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(NYSE:AMD) will ship its first AMD K-7 chips in June.


ADI- Intel DSP core will be available next spring

By Richard Richtmyer

April 16, 1999
Electronic Buyers' News

Analog Devices Inc. and Intel Corp.'s joint effort to develop a next-generation DSP-core architecture is on track, and products based on the new architecture should be available in about one year, according to Maria Tagliaferro, marketing manager for ADI's DSP programs.

The two companies forged their partnership in early February, promising to deliver a new design that uses ADI's 16-bit DSP core as a “starting place” to create a fixed-point, low-power, cost-competitive core.

The effort is being spearheaded by a combined ADI/Intel design team that has been formed in Austin, Tex. The new core will be used within integrated ICs targeted at embedded communications and computing applications, such as Internet-enabled cellular telephones. Each company will separately market and sell the products.


Can FTC enforce Intel settlement?

April 16, 1999
ZD Net News

The Federal Trade Commission will have a difficult time enforcing its proposed antitrust settlement with microchip giant Intel Corp., says the sole agency commissioner who opposed the government's original complaint against the company.

FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle, the dissenter in the 3-1 vote last summer, also expressed doubt on whether the government would have won its lawsuit had it not settled with the company in March.

"Given my reservations about the merits of the complaint, I would be more concerned about the order, comprising a difficult-to-enforce mandate to 'sin no more,' with a major proviso and some significant exceptions, if it seemed likely to impose real and significant restrictions on Intel," Swindle said in a written statement released Thursday.

The Register Files

Intel bang to rights on questionable business ethics

April 16, 1999
The Register

Sometimes, we think that local New York paper The Wall Street Journal is too worthy by half.

But, on occasions they write really good stuff. Credit where credit's due.

The newspaper has just published a fab story showing that Intel set up a shell Cayman Island company in order to get hold of some patents it wanted.

In the course of so doing, it really cheesed off a Texan judge trying to wind up the affairs of a company called International Meta.


Raw Coppermine, K7 benchmarks found in school

By Mike Magee

April 16, 1999
The Register

We promised yesterday that we'd post the URLs we discovered on the World Wide Web that seem to give benchmarks for Intel's Coppermine and AMD's K7 chips.

The data is at Stanford University but quite frankly we find it quite bewildering.

However, a kindly reader has pointed us to this Ars Technica article which is helpful. The benchmarks are SPEC benchmarks, he said.


Intel readies more Rambus stop-gaps

By Tony Smith

April 16, 1999
The Register

Intel is to introduce what it's calling a "memory hub" to allow PC vendors using its upcoming Camino chipset to use PC100 SDRAM in place of next-generation Rambus Direct DRAM while RDRAM parts remain thin on the ground.

According to News.com, the memory hub technology will allow a Pentium III to operate a system bus clock speed of 133MHz but access the memory at slower speeds to retain compatibility with the current memory spec.

However, Intel is also known to be working on a 'S-RIMM' technology, which allows PC100 SDRAM chips to be placed on a RAMBUS Inline Memory Module, as reported by The Register earlier this year.


FTC commissioner thinks Intel settlement hard to police

By Mike Magee

April 16, 1999
The Register

FTC commissioners involved in the accusation that Intel holds a monopoly in the chip market have given some of their reasons for settling with the chip giant.

In a statement on the FTC Web site, Robert Pitofsky, Sheila Anthony and Mozelle Thompson review the decision while commissioner Orson Swindle, who dissented against issuing the complaint last year, claimed the case was hard to prove and will be difficult to enforce.

Swindle claims in his statement that while "Intel has long bestrode the market" for microprocessors, there is doubt whether the market "is as unassailable" as the complaint suggested.


AGP Pro and 81x chipset specs leak out

By Mike Magee

April 18, 1999
The Register

The good ship Intel is developing leaks across the world and the latest holes in its hull are the AGP Pro specification and the 810, 810e and 820 chips specifications.

If you go to Kbench, you'll see all sorts of delicious details about the AGP Pro slot specification. The information is in Korean but the diagrams are in English.

And if that's not enough for you, try the same site, but this time go to Kbench again, where this time you'll find some juicy info about the 810, 810E and 820 chipsets.


How Intel's geese lay golden eggs

By Mike Magee

April 18, 1999
The Register

Just after last Christmas, adverts started appearing in the UK press for Celeron processors, with an egg-related theme.

The ads may have run elsewhere than in the UK, and showed eggs in an eggbox, each branded with the Intel Inside logo.

At the time, we dismissed this as just another bit of Intel tomfoolery but it has occurred to us since Easter that we were deeply mistaken.


Cyrix 370 socket support tips up

By Mike Magee

April 18, 1999
The Register

One swallow does not make a Spring here in the UK, nor does one picture of a daughterboard make a Cyrix 370 pin CPU.

We said this would happen at the beginning of this year. (Stories: Cyrix decides to socket and see and Cyrix to go 370 pin in April)

But over at Akiba, we do have a very nice and clear picture of a 370-pin socket on a daughterboard with wording on it which indicates support for both Intel and Cyrix chips.