News Bits: New Li-Ion Batteries, Thin Blu-Ray Drive from Panasonic, Touchscreen Notebooks

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New Li-Ion batteries deliver 10x more life

Researchers at Stanford have developed a new version of the Li-Ion battery that could extend runtime in devices such as notebook computers up to ten times. The technology is detailed as "High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires" as published online in Nature Nanotechnology on Dec. 16. "Given the mature infrastructure behind silicon, this new technology can be pushed to real life quickly," lead researcher Yi Cui said.

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Panasonic shipping samples of world’s thinnest Blu-ray drive

Panasonic today announced it has started shipping samples of the world’s thinnest 9.5mm height Blu-ray disc drives. The company first introduced a 12.7mm height Blu-ray drive in Spring 2006. The new 9.5mm drives are being shipped to PC manufacturers. The drive can read and write single- and double-layer Blu-ray discs at 2x. It also functions as a DVD burner.

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MSI plans to double notebook shipments next year

MSI is planning to double its own-brand notebook shipments in 2008 while keeping its gross margins above 15%, far higher than the typical 5-6%. MSI plans to be more aggressive pushing its own-brand notebooks worldwide next year.

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Touchscreen notebooks on the horizon?

According to a DigiTimes report, Taiwan-based panel makers are looking to combine touchscreen functions with notebook panels. Some makers are investing in expanding touch panel production capacity. Panel maker CPT showed off a 15.4-inch touch panel that had the same width and thickness of a traditional 15.4-inch panel, meaning notebooks could adopt touchscreen functionality without design changes. CMO, another panel maker, said that demand is not strong enough at current but expects to see demand rise after 2008.

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"Universe at War: Earth Assault" reviewed

Forum member The Forerunner has done a thorough review of the PC Game Universe at War: Earth Assault. The author writes: "Universe at War: Earth Assault (will refer to it as UAW from now on) is a sci-fi real-time strategy game created by Petroglyph and published by Sega. Petroglyph created the Star Wars: Empire at War game and members of the company were actually the creators of the original Command & Conquer. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) It is the first game in the Universe at War series.

Currently it is only available for the PC but in 2008 it will also be available for the Xbox 360 system. It has been confirmed that the game will support cross-platform play through the Games for Windows LIVE service."

Read the full review in the forums



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