This Day in Geek History: October 14
At the Microprocessor Forum, AT&T Microelectronics unveils its Hobbit processor, implementing the CRISP architecture. The formal name of the processor is ATT92010. The processors are available in speeds of 20MHz – 30MHz, depending on voltage. Price: US$35 in 10,000 unit quantities
At the Microprocessor Forum, Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) introduces the ARM250 chip, combining the core ARM processor with memory controller, video controller, and I/O interface. CPU speeds will range from 12MHz to 16MHz. The chip uses under 100,000 transistors, built in a 1-micron CMOS process. Price: US$255 in 10,000 unit quantities
At the Microprocessor Forum, International Business Machines (IBM) and Motorola formally announces that production of PowerPC 601 microprocessors, in 50MHz and 66MHz versions has begun. PowerPC stands for “Power Performance Chip”, and features an integer unit, a floating-point unit, and a 32MB cache. IBM produces the processor using 0.6-micron CMOS technology, with 2.8 million transistors per chip.
At the Microprocessor Forum, Motorola gives details of its next processor, the Motorola 68060, featuring two integer units, 8KB instruction and data caches, over two million transistors, 0.5-micron CMOS process, and clock rates of 50 to 66MHz.
The e-mail account servers of Yale University are hacked using a sniffer.
Integrated Device Technology (IDT) unveils the IDT WinChip C6 processor, designed by Centaur Technology. The processor incorporates 5.4 million transistors in a 0.35-micron process. Price: US$90 (180MHz) and US$135 (200MHz) in 1,000 unit quantities
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reveals plans to release a K-7 processor in 1999 that will operate at 500MHz and integrate technology licensed by the Compaq Computer Corporation.
Apple announces its annual financials hours ahead of the close of the stock market, after which, such announcements are traditionally made. Steve Jobs announces its fourth consecutive profitable quarter, with profits of US$106 million on revenues of US$1.56 billion for the fourth quarter ending September 30. It’s the company’s first profitable year since Michael Spindler was CEO in 1995. Jobs explains that the reason behind the rally is that demand for the newly introduced iMac line has been extraordinarily high. Over 278,000 iMac computers were shipped within just six weeks of the system’s release. According to an independent survey, more than forty percent of those iMacs were sold to entirely new Apple customers. Of that number, only 29.4% are first-time computer buyers, marking a significant increase in the rate of Windows converts.
At the Microprocessor Forum, Intel reveals the details of its 64-bit processor. It features a new instruction set, a new cache memory architecture, a three-level cache hierarchy, and a new floating-point unit. A target release date in mid-2000 is announced. Code-named: Merced
New Science magazine reports that James La Clair of Berlin has developed a molecule that can be switched on and off by nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The discovery may lead to computers that need only gases and light to perform calculations.
The Enhanced PSX emulator (ePSXe), a freeware PlayStation emulator, is first released. It is a breakthrough in the PSX emulation scene, largely because it boasts revolutionary compatibility and speed over other emulators. Visit the application’s official website.
At the Microprocessor Forum, IBM unveils the the 1.8GHz 64-bit PowerPC 970 processor, which features up to 7.2GBps front-side bus transfer speed and SIMD inputs. When Apple Computer adopts the processor the company dubs it the PowerPC G5.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) releases the Athlon 64 3000+, Athlon 64 3200+, and Athlon 64 3500+ processors, which operate at 1800MHz, 2000MHz, and 2200MHz relatively, and feature a 512KB Level-2 Cache and a 1,000MHz hypertransport.
Artica ST first releases Pandora FMSVisit the application’s official website.
The Gen Con UK 2004 is held October 14 – 17 in Minehead Butlins, Somerset, England.
Google releases a beta version of Google Desktop, a utility that indexes documents stored on a user’s local hard drive, along with chat sessions, e-mails, instant messages, photos, and web browsing history for later searches. Read more at CRN. Visit the official Google Desktop website. Code-name: Fluffy Bunny
Richard Eldridge files a class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts for including the controversial SecuROM DRM software in the free demo version of the free trial edition of the Creature Creator for the god game Spore. The game trial secretly installs SecuROM without informing the user, and once installed, it cannot be uninstalled.
Researchers at UCLA announce the results of a study that reveals that searching the web doubles the brain activity of adults ages 55 to 78, specifically in areas associated with decision making and complex reasoning. In the study, researchers report that, “Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading — but only in those with prior Internet experience.” The study will be published in the next issue of American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Read more at WebMD.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announces a new Wi-Fi specification called Wi-Fi Direct (formerly Wi-Fi Peer-to-Peer) that allows Wi-Fi devices to communicate with each other directly without connecting to a network hotspot through a router. Devices will be able to make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several devices can connect simultaneously. The technology is designed to provide an alternative to Bluetooth. Read the official press release.
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