News Bits: 3G Centrino?, Intel Merom Pricing and Release Dates, Laptop Batteries Investigated in Plane Fire

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Next-gen Centrino could have 3G connectivity


Intel’s next-generation Centrino platform, codenamed ‘Santa Rosa’, could have 3G mobile phone network connectivity alongside the standard WiFi according to leaked roadmaps.

A posting on HKEPC (Chinese language) says the Santa Rosa platform includes ‘Windigo’, the first wireless WWAN (wireless wide-area network) for Centrino. There was no further information in the roadmaps besides the Q2 2007 introduction time frame.

Whether Windigo will be optional or a key part of the Centrino platform not known.

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Intel Merom slated for release end of July

According to Chinese-language Commercial Times, Intel will launch the Core 2 Duo “Merom” processor by the end of July. Despite the early launch, shipments of the processor will start in mid-August, following the original schedule.

Processor Clock FSB Cache Price
C2D T7600 2.33GHz 667MHz 4MB $637
C2D T7400 2.16GHz 667MHz 4MB $423
C2D T7200 2.00GHz 667MHz 4MB $294
C2D 5600 1.83GHz 667MHz 2MB $240
C2D 5500 1.66GHz 667MHz 2MB $209

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Flash drives could replace hard drives in notebooks

Although flash memory is quite expensive and it lacks capacity, analyst Frank Dickson believes that flash drives, or solid state disks, could “dethrone the hard drive as the top laptop storage choice within 10 years.”

Flash will be introduced to notebooks with Windows Vista, and Microsoft has already made it a requirement that notebooks that come preinstalled with windows Vista Premium use a hybrid hard drive, or a hard drive that has a flash memory bank.

But, beware of the pricetag – Samsung is planning to release a 32GB drive, and PQI said it would be selling a 64GB drive – for $2,000.

Dickson believes that the flash drive market share in notebooks could reach 50% by 2013.

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Second-tier notebook manufacturer clevo to expand in China

The second-tier Taiwan-based notebook manufacturer Clevo plans to invest $767 million USD into expanding its Buynow IT chain stores in China over the next five years. It plans to have 25 chain stores at the end of this year, up from the 10 right now.

Clevo recently suffered a hit to its stocks due to weak notebook sales. Their notebook shipments this year should remain near the same as last year, about 500,000 units.

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NTSB investigating laptop batteries as cause of UPS plane fire

Could laptops have been the cause of a plane catching fire? The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating exactly that – more specifically, the batteries. A UPS cargo plane caught on fire last February, and was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport. The plane was destroyed, along with most of the packages inside.

The cause of the fire is not yet determined, but it is known that lithium batteries and a flammable liquid were in the cargo hold. The investigation is expected to take several months to complete. According to FAA official William Wilkening, there have been sixty incidents since 1991 involving batteries catching on fire, most of which were lithium or lithium-ion. Harry Webster of the FAA Technical Center said lithium-ion batteries could vent flammable liquid and “pose a risk to the cargo compartment.”

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Microsoft Virtual PC Now Free for Windows XP

News has spread all over the web – Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows is now free. Virtual PC allows users to run multiple PC-based operating systems all on the same computer. The free/current version is Virtual PC 2004. The next version (Virtual PC 2007) will be bundled with the Windows Vista Operating System. For further information and to obtain your free copy of Microsoft Virtual PC go here…

Interesting Links

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