QuoteAfter having slid lately, contract prices for 2GB DDR3 modules are likely to be further dragged down by continued weak end-market demand, according to sources at DRAM makers. Contract quotes for mainstream DRAM modules may trend down to near US$20 by the end of 2010, driving the price of 1Gb DDR3 chips to almost US$1 close to the "break point" for Taiwan-based providers, the sources indicated.
Late October contract prices for 1Gb DDR3 chips plunged to average US$1.53, with quotes in the low range falling below the US$1.50 mark. For 2GB modules, quotes were in the US$26-27 range, down 10-15% sequentially.
QuoteLet's look at the new Mac Pro first: priced at $2,499 for the quad-core version and $3,299 for the eight-core version, those Intel "Nehalem" Xeon processors run at 2.93 GHz, and the interior of the machine has been cleaned up to make physical expansions easier. On the green front, it meets the new Energy Star 5.0 requirements that will go into effect later this year.
The new iMac desktop is a 24" machine that is priced at $1,499, the cost of Apple's previous 20" iMac. The 20-inch is now $1,199. The 20" is powered by a 2.66 GHz processor; the 24" has processor speed options of 2.66 GHz, 2.93 GHz (for $1,799), or 3.02 GHz (for $2,199). The 24" comes with a 640GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM expandable to 8GB; the 20" comes with a 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM expandable to 8GB.
QuoteBut the growing popularity of notebook PCs spells big trouble for the future of white-box manufacturing. The "white-book" market has dwindled from an already-small 8.5 percent share to a 5.6 percent share between 2003 and 2006. That comes while notebooks have, over the same period of time, become the dominant PC form factor for top vendors Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer, accounting for two-thirds of consumer PC sales. The smaller PC assemblers can't participate as easily in the notebook market. That's because their bread and butter--an oversupply of parts they can buy at a discount--are intended more and more for specific notebook models.
QuoteFrench Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin announced this week that the government plans to provide a "good quality and good value" PC, a cheap Internet connection, training and support for $1.27 (1 euro) per day, for up to three years. The plan will work as a public-private partnership and is scheduled to begin in early 2007.
QuoteMost of those on the site started noticing the stains just a few weeks after they began using the MacBooks, which went on sale in mid-May. The Intel-based replacement to the iBook and 12-inch PowerBook comes in three models. The two lower-end models (starting at $1,099 and $1,299) come in white; the top-of-the-line model (starting at $1,499) comes in the apparently unaffected black.
QuoteIBM plans to announce on Monday that the Blue Gene will be available immediately with a starting price of $1.5 million. Monday is also the opening day of the SC2004 supercomputing show in Pittsburgh.
QuoteIn addition, the new speed definitively bested a Japanese system, NEC's Earth Simulator, that has led the Top500 list for two years. The Blue Gene/L lead could increase when the system quadruples in size from its current configuration with 16 racks and more than 16,000 dual-core processors. The improvement will be made by May, IBM says.
QuoteThe ads will tout the notebooks' ability to "unwire," or detach, from a power line and a modem or an Ethernet network cable, and to check e-mail or surf the Web using wireless networking. The Centrino bundle includes an 802.11 wireless module, along with the Pentium M processor and an Intel chipset. Centrino offered only the 802.11b standard, at first, but Intel recently upgraded it with a dual-band 802.11b/g module. The module has since been working its way into new notebook models.
QuoteThe 20-inch iMac comes with a 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce FX Ultra 5200 graphics chip and Apple's SuperDrive DVD recorder/CD burner. It is available now for $2,199, Apple said.
QuoteIBM has begun building the chips that will be used in the first Blue Gene, a machine dubbed Blue Gene/L that will run Linux and have more than 65,000 computing nodes, said Bill Pulleyblank, director of IBM's Deep Computing Institute and the executive overseeing the project. Each node has a small chip with an unusually large number of functions crammed onto the single slice of silicon: two processors, four accompanying mathematical engines, 4MB of memory and communication systems for five separate networks.
QuoteThe device is slightly larger and heavier than a CD-ROM drive found on a standard desktop PC, so it may not be the smallest desktop computer on the market. However, it is likely to be the smallest based on a standard mainboard design, as other tiny PCs use specially designed, one-off mainboards.