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Thursday, October 30th, 1997
Worlds Smallest DVD Player
Samsung develops worlds smallest DVD player called P-Theater. This prototype unit weighs only 0.9 kg and has measurements of 20 cm long, 16 cm wide and 5.5 cm thick. The P-Theater can be connected to a regular TV or projection TV for use in the home. The player can also play music CD's. Samsung Electronics invested 1 billion won ($ 1.1 million US)to develop the P-Theater prototype. The DVD player will be available in the second half of next year. Here is the press release.
 
Tuesday, October 28th, 1997
New Breakthrough Technology In TFT-LCD Monitors
Fujitsu releases a new 15-In TFT LCD monitor using breakthrough MVA technology. Unprecedented image quality, widest viewing angle and fastest response time in the industry. The product is priced at $2,930 US, and it will ship in early December. Not exactly a breadthrough in price! The monitor supports a resolution of 1,024 x 768 in 16 million colors, and shows almost no distortion when displaying pictures with a resolution less than 1024 x 768 because it uses a microchip that compensates for image quality. Here is the press release.

IBM Is To Announce 1.1 GHz CPU
In February at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, IBM is going to announce a processor that has a clock rate of 1.1-GHz! This processor will be part of the 64-bit PowerPC family and use 1 million transistors and a design of just 0.15 microns. Compare this to current Pentium chips that are manufactured in 0.35 microns. IBM's processor is at the cutting edge of technology so do expect to see it in the marketplace for years to come.
 
Monday, October 27th, 1997
VideoLogic Group Plc was named as a defendant in the 3Dfx vs. Sega and NEC lawsuit.

In the lawsuit 3Dfx alleges that NEC and VideoLogic: 

  • Induced Sega to breach its agreement with 3Dfx.
  • Caused through their actions Sega to switch to NEC and VideoLogic as the provider of 3D graphics technology for its forthcoming game console. 
  • Interfered with the agreement so it could obtain benefits originally intended to flow to 3Dfx. 
  • Engaged in unfair competition
  • May have misappropriated 3Dfx trade secrets 
3Dfx claims damages against NEC and VideoLogic in aggregate of $105 Million US Dollars. The basis for the calculation of these sums is unspecified. 
Here is the press release.
 
Friday, October 24th, 1997
PCI 64 Channel Sound Chip
State of the art in audio processing by ESS Technology called the Maestro-1. A single chip capable of an amazing 500 MIPS with its DSP Wave Processor, able to deliver 64 separate channels of high fidelity sound. The Maestro-1 maintains full DOS legacy audio compatibility with the SoundBlaster standard over the PCI v.2.1 bus. This chip makes efficient use of the PCI bus by being able to deliver two 16-bit 44.1 KHz channels of sound while only using less than half of one percent of the bus.  This chip also will relieve the host CPU in processing DirectSound and DirectSound3D so that the host CPU can do other processing. Videologic is offering a sound card in November called SonicStorm for $99 US that will be using the Maestro-1. In the 4th quarter of 1997 ESS Technology will be offering a version of the Maestro-1 called the Maestro-3 which will be able to do modem processing along with the audio processing.
 
Tuesday, October 21st, 1997
Three New Games From Core For Saturn 2
Core Design, the company in England that is responsible for Tomb Raider, is going to produce 3 games for the Saturn 2. This information is a bit preliminary as Core has not confirmed this openly with any announcements. There has been news by Core already that the Tomb Raider series is exclusive to Sony for their Playstation game console. So we wonder what future games will Core produce for Sega's new super console? Hopefully something along the line of Tomb Raider. Visit Core Design.
 
Monday, October 20th, 1997
"Human" Robot From Honda
"On Dec. 20, 1996 Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Tokyo announced the development of the first robot capable of decision-making according to terrain conditions.The battery-powered robot, with two arms and two legs, is capable of changing direction according to conditions, as well as climbing stairs or slopes. It also can balance itself automatically if pushed, and keeps itself upright according to the angle of a slope." Check out other info and quicktime videos of the robot in motion: Honda Introduces "Human" Robot.

Sega Seeks Developers For Saturn 2
There is  report on Next Generation that Sega is seeking developers for the Saturn 2 and enticing them to produce for the machine by showing them what it is capable of doing. It seems that Sega has a port of the Model 3 game, Super GT running on the Saturn 2. Here is the article.
 
Sunday, October 19th, 1997
Quake II Test Demo Released
The boys at Id software have released the Quake II test demo onto the world. Worker's productivity the world over comes crashing down.
 
Friday, October 17th, 1997
15 GByte DVD From Pioneer
The latest news in optical media relating to DVD.  Pioneer Electronic Corp showed a DVD enhanced player that can store up to 15 GBytes on one side as oppose to 4.7 GBytes for current generation DVD players. This player will have the capacity to store a movie in HDTV resolution of about 1920 by 1080 pixels. Pioneer wants to have this player on the market by the year 2000 using a blue laser(400nm) as the optical pickup device. The article is here.
Here is a great site with lots of DVD news: DVD info.
 
Wednesday, October 15th, 1997
Cassini Takes Off Towards Saturn
The Cassini space probe left today onboard a Titan IV rocket in a 7 year voyage to the planet Saturn. This 3.4 billion US dollar mission will be the most expensive probe in NASA's history and the last big project to the planets as NASA now has a overall objective that smaller is better. 

"This mission's objective is a four-year, close-up study of the Saturnian system, including its atmosphere, the magnetosphere surrounding Saturn, those rings, its many icy moons and the large moon, Titan," said Wesley Huntress, NASA's associate administrator for space science. 

I will provide additional details on the mission when the space craft arrives in orbit around Saturn on July 1st, 2004. Do not forget to tune in here. Check out NASA's website.

200 MByte Floppy Drive
BootNethas an article on a new floppy drive from Sony and Fuji that can store up to 200 MBytes of data. Data transfer rates of 3.6 MBytes/second.The drive is going to be called "HiFD" and will be available in the spring of 98. Pricing has not been set yet, but it would be interesting to see if it is competitive to the 100 MByte Zip drive(parallel port version)(1.4 MBytes/second transfer rate) or the 120 MByte LS-120 drive(0.6 MBytes/second transfer rate). The internal IDE version of the Zip drive has a transfer rate of 11.2 MBytes/second. Here is the article: Sony And Fuji Team Up For The Floppy Of The Future. Here is some more info on this new floppy drive at FujiFilm.

VLIW Processor From Matsushita
More and more companies are coming out with Very Long Instruction Word(VLIW) processors. Matsushita has a VLIW processor called the "Media Core Processor" which can do many tasks in parallel. Matsushita's processor includes a on-chip DSP for serial processing. The chip can be configured for different products like a DVD controller/decoder, a set-top box decoder, or a 2D/3D graphics processor. No specs have been released yet, but I will post some up when I see them.

Congratulations to the British!
ThrustSSC sets the first supersonic
World Land Speed Record

763.035 m.p.h

Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA
October 15, 1997
Driver: Andy Green

ThrustSSC Web site

Tuesday, October 14th, 1997
New Memory Technology
BootNet has an article on a new memory technology called "Enhanced Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory" (ESDRAM). Will this high performance memory be the next standard for the PC? Get the details of this new memory type here: ESDRAM

Speculation Begins On Playstation 2
Next Generation  has an article, where they ask some developers what they would like to see in terms of hardware for a Playstation 2. Nothing too specific in this article, but something you might want to look at, since some of these developers will be developing for the Saturn 2. Here is a direct link to the article: Special: Developers On PlayStation 2.
 
Monday, October 13th, 1997
Saturn 2 Prototype?
Check out  GameFan  for information by someone that goes by the name of  Lee Tang. Seems he has the lowdown on a new console system by Sega. Specs are quite different then the ones we have been hearing lately. Here is the article: The Sega System...That Never Was?

Speculation On Playstation 2
Next Generation  has information on the possible specs for the Playstation 2. Looks like this is going to be Sega's main competition. Here is the article: PlayStation 2 Tech Speculation Begins.

OpenGL Drivers Available For PowerVR 2
BootNet indicated that NEC has released beta OpenGL drivers for the for PowerVR PCX-2 3D accelerator. This can only be good news for any new console from Sega using the PowerVR architecture. It should mean at the very least a easy port of Quake I and Quake II to the new system along with any other game that uses OpenGL.
 
Monday, September 29th, 1997
Microsoft Announces Windows CE Version 2.0
Microsoft announced its new embedded OS platform, Windows CE 2.0. The operating system is designed to empower a variety of computing appliances, including set-top boxes, DVD players, Handheld PCs, and smart phones. Windows CE 2.0 includes support for 32-bit color displays, international character sets, LAN connectivity, printers, ActiveX, Java, and more. It is available for licensing by OEMs in third-party products and embedded systems.