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Posted by Christo [PCD]
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Misc

Saturday 01 July 2006
SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF MAXTOR CORPORATION
Christo [PCD] , Saturday 01 July 2006 - 12:41:25 //

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.—22 May 2006—Integration to be Substantially Completed by Early Calendar 2007
EPS Accretion Target of 10-20% Confirmed

Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX) today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Maxtor Corporation. The combined company retains the Seagate name and continues to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as "STX." Maxtor common stock has ceased to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The integration of former Maxtor operations into Seagate is expected to be substantially completed by early calendar 2007, with an earnings per share accretion target of 10-20% after the first year of combined operations.

"This is an exciting time for Seagate and for our industry," said Bill Watkins, Seagate president and CEO. "The demand for storage is at record levels globally and is continuing to grow. The past twenty years was about digitizing the workplace; the next decade will be focused on digitizing your lifestyle. As a result of this acquisition, we believe Seagate has the enhanced scale and capacity to better drive technology advances and accelerate delivery of a wide range of differentiated products and cost-effective solutions to a growing customer base."

"Our integration teams have made excellent progress on addressing customer requirements, continuity of supply, the optimization of manufacturing and production capacity, and workforce planning," said Dave Wickersham, executive vice president and COO. "As a result we have an opportunity to substantially complete our integration plan in six to nine months."

"We are encouraged by the dialogue we've had with customers and are confident that the combined company will deliver more compelling products and services more efficiently to them," said Brian Dexheimer, executive vice president, Global Sales and Marketing. "Our integration plan is designed to ensure revenue retention by executing a seamless transition to Seagate products for Maxtor customers and by continuing to meet the product, supply, quality and cost demands of our total combined customer base."

Seagate estimates that approximately 50% of Maxtor's worldwide employees will be offered positions with the combined company moving forward, with the vast majority of those located in Asia Pacific manufacturing operations.

Adding to Seagate's own line of branded products, Seagate will retain a full range of Maxtor branded retail solutions. Maxtor is the leading brand name in the retail space and it will significantly strengthen Seagate's overall position in this burgeoning market. The combination of the two brands and the associated product lines represents the widest, most differentiated storage offering available to consumers today.
[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]

1 1151750462 SEAGAT


Tuesday 06 June 2006
ATI Physics Revealed
ScubaSteve , Tuesday 06 June 2006 - 20:25:45 //

ATI has used the Computex show in Taiwan to debut its physics solution for gaming. The Canadian graphics company aims to challenge Ageia, the only PPU manufacturer currently offering a product for desktop PCs and any future offering from team Green. The solution, apparently, is to add another graphics card to the mix. This means that if you desire top-notch performance you will have to use 3 ATI graphics cards in one high-end gaming PC setup, sounds noisy and expensive.

Traditional PC games face two principal constraints: they're sometimes CPU-bound, limited by how much the processor can handle; or they're sometimes GPU-bound, limited by the amount of information the graphics cards can process. The same processing limitations also impact how well games can imitate reality. Recently, the PC industry has witnessed a steady building of interest in configuring PCs with more than one graphics processing unit. More and more motherboards are now shipping with multiple high-bandwidth PCI Express slots. This trend has addressed some of the limitations of CPU and GPU functioning and has improved the imitation of reality.

However, as GPUs have become more flexible and powerful, their potential for handling a wider range of processing tasks beyond just 3D rendering is starting to be realized. It can no longer be assumed that the GPUs in a system will necessarily be processing a single task at any given time. Asymmetric processing technology is a new feature of CrossFire that addresses this new environment, by allowing two or more GPUs with differing capabilities and feature sets to simultaneously handle different data parallel computing tasks, such as rendering and game physics, in a single system.

44 1149618303 ATI Ph

At Computex ATI showcased the CrossFire X1900 multi-GPU solution in combination with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and how the setup effectively addresses both the CPU and GPU-bound scenarios producing impressive image quality and performance in games, while a single ATI GPU works to deliver realistic physics. ATI named the result boundless gaming. It is expected that AMD based setups will also surface very soon.
[Submitted by ScubaSteve]


Intel announces P965 Core 2 Duo chipset, sub-1 watt processor
ScubaSteve , Tuesday 06 June 2006 - 07:14:29 //

Taipei (Taiwan) - Intel senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher officially introduced the P965, a chipset that will be offered for various computer platforms based on Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo E6000 processor ("Conroe"). Chandrasekher also said that Intel will be offering a new ultra-low voltage version of its current Core Duo processor, which will consume less than 1 watt on average.

There is more! Click here to see all Computex 2006 stories!

Intel is counting down the days until the launch of its new Core microarchitecture - industry sources recently suggested that Intel will introduce the desktop version Conroe on 23 July - so it's no surprise that we will be seeing lots of Core 2 Duo systems at Computex. In his opening day keynote, Chandrasekher officially announced not that much, but at least another puzzle piece of the Core 2 Duo environment.


P965, formerly code-named "Broadwater," is one chipset that will be available with Core 2 Duos; according to roadmaps recently seen by TG Daily especially with computer systems built around consumer systems and Intel's Viiv entertainment PC specification. The P965 apparently will be offered alongside the 975X chipset for "premium" systems, while mainstream computers will rely on a different 965 variant, the G965. A third 965 chipset, the Q965, will surface in business PCs and higher end desktop systems that are equipped with Core 2 E6000 and Core 2 Extreme CPUs.

All 965 chipsets support DDR2 memory up to 800 MHz and FSB800 and FSB1066. There is a persistent rumor that the Q965 version as well as the 975X chipset will also be used in supporting FSB, but Intel has yet to confirm such statements. At this time, Intel documents distributed to partners only differentiate the Q965 by support Active Management Technology "with a circuit breaker."

Chandrasekher did not provide new information about the availability of Core 2 Duo processors, but confirmed that server, desktop and laptop processors based on the Core microarchitecture will be shipping to system builders this month, in July and August, respectively. "We are bringing a massive amount of new products and technologies to the market starting today that will change the game in terms of what technology can do for you," the executive said.

As previously reported by TG Daily, Chandrasekher also officially disclosed that Intel will introduce the Intel Core2 Extreme processor at speeds of 2.93GHz in July, and a faster 3.2GHz version later in the year.

Another official announcement was the note of a new ultra low voltage Intel Core Duo processor, which the company claims will consume just about 0.75 watts on average "while still delivering high-performing computing power." Sources told TG daily that this new processor will be named Core Duo U2500, has a clock speed of 1.06 GHz and uses 2 MB L2 cache and a 533 MHz FSB. The chip will be priced at $289 at launch sometime this summer.
[Submitted by ScubaSteve]


Monday 05 June 2006
ATI Ageia and nVidia - It's Physics
Christo [PCD] , Monday 05 June 2006 - 08:29:33 //

Description ATI has struck back at announcements made by rivals nVidia and Ageia at GDC regarding game physics and claims that both its R520 and R580 architectures already have the ability to process physics; an ability that can be utilised through software drivers. ATI also goes on to claim that not only will the Havok FX add-on work on its cards as well as nVidia's but that it will perform better on ATI hardware. Ever since Half-Life 2 marketing demonstrated how important physics is for gaming, the race has been on between the big players in gaming hardware to figure out how to improve the experience. Both ATI and nVidia currently process physics in a similar way by loading and processing some of the physics calculations on to the GPU or, in cases of Crossfire or SLI setups, by loading all physics calculations onto one of the GPUs. There are some obvious limitations to this method such as the lack of a dedicated processor and that's where Ageia found its niche and claims that its stand alone physics processor will greatly improve gaming physics. ATI however, claims that its X1900 GPU has more than enough residual processing power during gameplay. This statement suggests that developers are not focused on getting the most out of the graphics processors and may be limiting the end user experience of their product. To add to the confusion nVidia and Havok went through a very detailed song and dance about how great they both are at GDC and demonstrated Havok FX, an add on to the Havok API that we were told will do wonders for in-game physics on nVidia hardware. ATI, anxious to respond to such claims, claims that since in-game physics relies heavily on floating point arithmetic, its R580 architecture is ideally suited to it since it features 48 pixel shaders and suggests that it has 375 GFlops per card available for such calculations. This number compares favorably to the 10 GFlops available in the fastest widely available CPUs and the 100 Ageia will offer. Other aspects of ATI architecture such as dedicated branching logic, unified shader units and a 3:1 shader/pipeline ratio also offer advantages when performing physics calculations. Although ATI claims it will support Havok physics fully however, its real secret weapon, it seems, will be its own physics API which it plans to offer to developers soon. The first major and obvious benefit of this is that current owners of X1800 and X1900 boards will only require a driver update to be able to enjoy the benefits. ATIs own low-level physics API will offer developers the opportunity to program for its GPU directly, skipping Direct3D and OpenGL. Developers will also have the option of using D3D and OpenGL. Advocates of ATI's, nVidia's, or Ageia's plans claim that these benefits are enough to guarantee each of the companies will claim the physics crown but there are some voices of concern regarding the bigger... physics picture. The developemnt of the technology is fairly new and we may not be aware of all facts, one example is that although floating point calculations are important for physics, memory bandwidth also plays an important part in collision detection performance and a dedicated processor such as Ageia can deliver 2 Tb/sec, a figure that ATI's current GPUs cannot even begin to approach. The real point that we need to stress about game physics is that the gamer has to see beyond the exuberant claims made by the manufacturers. Before you rush to buy another USD 500 card or add-on give it some time until you see how these big words find their way into games. Will all games support all forms of physics? Will the new hardware support all that? The market needs to mature before anyone can claim to be winning or even competing for that matter in the physics race. Those of you thinking of buying a card now however may be justifiably tempted by the promise of longevity given by the X1800 and X1900 range.
Submitted by Toxic Dust [PCD]



AMD - ATI Merger Likely
Christo [PCD] , Monday 05 June 2006 - 08:29:03 //

Description The, usually reliable, Forbes website is reporting that AMD may be looking into buying ATI in a move that, according to experts, makes sense. At the root of the story lies a recent AMD statement claiming that the company aims to ...increase capacity over the next few-years.... This has led to speculation about how the company plans to achieve such a target and the most obvious way is through an acquisition. ATI appears to be the most eligible target and is described by analysts as a ...rare-buy in the semiconductor space. It appears that the idea of a microprocessor company buying one of the two graphics companies has been on the table for some time now but the current market conditions favor an AMD attempt as Intel is looking at the communications-space instead. AMD seems to be recovering well from Intel's recent price-cut comeback and deals, with Dell, expected later this year, should boost the company even further. According to most of the analysts questioned by Forbes an AMD-ATI merger is likely to benefit the graphics sector and boost AMD's fight against rivals, Intel.
Submitted by Toxic Dust [PCD]


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