In early January AMD showed the world itís manufacturing potential by opening the doors of their Fab 30 facility in Dresden, Germany to inquisitive journalists following the announcement that AMD and IBM would be joining forces in manufacturing semiconductors using the SOI, Silicon On Insulator process. Unfortunately it also commented a few weeks later that the long awaited 64-bits successor to the Athlon XP would be postponed once more. In the meanwhile Intel continued to lead the x86 processor race by launching their Centrino mobile technology, incorporating the speedy mobile Pentium-M.
Fig 1. A look inside one of AMDís clean rooms, the bunny suit is are a requirement to keep them dust-free.
January also marked a clash of the titans as Microsoft and Sun resumed to legally battle each other over the inclusion of the Java virtual machine in Windows. The dispute was finally settled when a judge ruled that Microsoft had to include Sunís Java with Windows XP within 120 days. Obviously Sun declared to itís defense that Microsoft is using its monopoly position to further promote their .NET software which is a competitor to Suní Java. Obviously Microsoft appealed and the outcome of this power struggle is that Microsoft will not be offering a Java virtual machine with Windows XP but end users can download it from Suní website.
Fig 2. A look at the GeForce FX' core, generating up to 50-watts of heat, requiring a rather large heatsink.
Nvidia made a come back in January as they finally shipped their long awaited successor to the GeForce Titanium series videocards, the GeForce FX. The next generation Nvidia card however proved to be less of a performer than Nvidia had initially promised, as our and other peopleís findings showed, it barely managed to keep pace with the older Ati Radeon 9700 Pro. On top of that the videocard was outfitted with a rather bulky cooling solution that takes up the adjacent PCI slot next to the AGP connector. To make matters worse this cooling solution was soon dubbed the Ďdustbusterí due to its excessive noise production.
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