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Chartered's fab utilization rate is expected to fall to the mid-20% range in the current third quarter, causing the company to push out the start of Fab 7 by one year until 2003 (see July 20 story). Looking at the bright side of a very bleak market, Chartered executives said the delay will enable the silicon foundry to shift its 300-mm ramp to more advanced 0.13-micron technologies, which by 200 be more mature, and the company can install second-generation tools that will have fewer bugs. –J.R.L.

0936060271_Datasheet PDF

T he problems with global positioning system (GPS) chip and system technologies may be worse than originally thought.

Verizon Wireless this week became the latest carrier to ask for a delay in meeting an October deadline for so-called Emergency 911 (E911) wireless services. Verizon joins Cingular , AT&T , Nextel , and other that have asked to U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay their E911 services. By October of this year, the FCC has set a mandate that carriers must integrate GPS-based E911 services in their handset offerings.

But the GPS-based chip set vendors do not seem be ready. As recently reported, Qualcomm, SiRF and other GPS chip makers are experiencing problems, causing delays in the E911 rollouts in the U.S. (see Jul 10 story). –M.L.

0936060271_Datasheet PDF

I n Japan, Centillium Communications Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. are reportedly the leading contenders for a major ASDL chip set contract at Softbank Corp. , according to DSL Prime , an online newsletter that follows the digital subscriber line (DSL) market.

0936060271_Datasheet PDF

Softbank is in the process of deploying one of the world's least expensive asymmetric DSL (ADSL) networks for consumers in Japan, and several chip makers and systems manufacturing are scrambling to get the business.

Cisco Systems Inc. will reportedly get a piece of the ADSL-equipment business, according to DSL Prime. Cisco is an investor in Softbank and the two companies have a join investment fund as well, according to DSL Prime.

Next page: Urmson’s choices

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The availability of a Pentium 4 SDRAM chip set has Taiwan's main motherboard manufacturers predicting a quick changeover from Rambus-based systems by the end of the year. At that time they say SDRAM boards will represent the majority of their P4 motherboard shipments.

Intel Corp.'s 845 chip set for cheaper SDRAM-based computer systems is expected to inject a little verve into the sales of Taiwan's top motherboard makers next month. However, optimism over the new chip set triggering sales for P4 systems is being tempered by concerns over Intel's ability to provide stable supplies. Moreover, there is also some nagging worry about whether there will be enough Socket 478 CPUs on the market to ensure a smooth transition away from Rambus-oriented Socket 423 systems.

The Socket 478 boards will start to ship at the tail end of August from Taiwan and will be used with Intel's PC-133 Brookdale chip set. Brookdale will eventually work with double-data-rate DRAM as well and will face competition from products offered by Via Technologies, Acer Labs and Silicon Integrated Solutions. Those three Taiwanese manufacturers will release DDR chip sets in the second half.

The availability of Intel parts has been an intermittent problem in the past for motherboard makers in Taiwan, especially second-tier companies, and is sometimes given partial credit for Via's success in striking more deals for chip sets. But since top-tier motherboard makers have generally agreed to use Intel's SDRAM chip set first, they are hoping that Intel will be able to come through with deliveries.


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