<p>The problem is Intel is trying all these different specs,” added David Chang, president of Agama Systems Inc. in Houston. 733 MHz, 750 MHz, 800 MHz, Slot 1, FC-PGA, 100-MHz bus, 133-MHz bus-how are you going to tell your customers which one to use?”</p>

We're in the early stages of the move to change the storage media from analog tape to digital hard disks,” said Vincent McNeil, worldwide network-camera business manager at TI. DSPs are ideal for processing images and visual data, and there's an explosion now in what you can put on the Internet with the increase in broadband connectivity.”

But market politics and supply issues are testing relationships between suppliers and OEMs. At one point Gateway debated whether even to design an AMD-based system. The decision paid off when AMD reserved its 1-GHz Athlon chips for Gateway, while Intel chose to ship its limited quantities of 1-GHz chips to customers like Dell Computer Corp.

Now, the increase in orders places Gateway more firmly inside the AMD camp. We are moving a ton of [Gateway's product] mix towards AMD and Jabil, and in [terms] of magnitude we'll probably double our mix of AMD and Jabil in the current quarter in the consumer space,” Todd said.

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Todd was quick to emphasize that Intel has met its shipment obligations. But he added that Intel has been unable to provide additional processors to meet demand beyond its commitment, a situation Intel has openly acknowledged since early this year. We asked for a significant number of chips…for whatever reason [Intel] couldn't deliver,” Todd said. It's not a Gateway issue, but an industry issue.”

Todd said the supply of Intel microprocessors should improve by the third quarter, just as DRAM prices are expected to rise driven by a growing shortage. The rise in DRAM pricing could push average-unit-prices (AUPs) upward as well, Todd said. We don't know what the future will look like, but it will probably get better before it gets worse,” he said.

HSINCHU, Taiwan — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. here today announced that it is expanding its multi-project wafer (MPW) program to encompass 0.15- and 0.13-micron process technologies. The foundry giant also said it plans to more than double the volume of prototypes that it offers through the program this year.

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The CyberShuttle program, as it is called, enables designers to explore the benefits of leading-edge technology without committing to large-volume wafer starts. A shuttle, or lot, can consist of up to 20 wafers, and customers are guaranteed 40 die or, as an option, packaged parts. The program can dramatically reduce NRE (non-recurring engineering) charges for small wafer volumes, enabling fast, low-cost prototyping.

TSMC will launch 50 wafer shuttles this year, after launching 20 in 1999. So far, it has launched 29 in 2000. Among the launches set for all of this year, about 40% will feature 0.25-micron processes and another 40% will be targeted to TSMC's 0.18-micron process.

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Most of the remainder will employ TSMC's 0.15-micron process, with at least one shuttle launch aimed at TSMC's advanced 0.13-micron process by year-end. TSMC is the first foundry to offer a shuttle at this advanced technology node.

In addition, the program targets shuttles to a number of process options, including logic, mixed-signal, embedded memory and RF, as well as low-voltage and low-power options.

The VSC9142 contains performance counters and monitoring capabilities such as error-marking, packet discarding and label-filtering.

The IC is packaged in a 25-mm, 320-pin TBGA and is priced at $325 in quantities of 1,000. Samples will be available in July, with production quantities in the last quarter of this year.

IRVINE, Calif. — In a strategic move to extend its reach into interface silicon for consumer systems, Broadcom Corp. announced Wednesday (May 24) that it has acquired Pivotal Technologies Corp. (Pasadena, Calif.), a fabless chip company known for its work in Digital Video Interface and RF CMOS technology. The acquisition would lend Broadcom's growing weight to the momentum arising behind both DVI and the Bluetooth short-haul networking scheme.

The $250 million stock deal signals Broadcom's commitment to push consumer acceptance of DVI, originally designed as a display connection standard between a PC and a monitor for sending uncompressed digital signals. Broadcom's goal is to further penetrate the non-PC consumer arena with DVI, applying the interface — already proven in the PC world — to consumer devices including TVs, cable set-top boxes and DVD players. Broadcom also hopes to launch cost-effective, scalable Bluetooth solutions by using Pivotal's expertise in radio-frequency CMOS technology.

The acquisition will help Broadcom, a leading supplier of broadband communication chips, to solve the final 10-meter” connectivity issue — or, how to bring broadband data to a set-top box, TV or PDA once it has reached the home. Pivotal's expertise — both in wireless and wired technologies — nicely filled out the holes we had,” said Rich Nelson, director of marketing at Broadcom, based here.

Despite a 1999 global revenue jump of 36%, providers of semiconductor intellectual property face major growth hurdles and must continually update their IP portfolios to meet customer needs, according to a report released last week by Dataquest Inc.

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