■ Flat Panels
Samsung has largest PDP
South Korea's Samsung SDI said yesterday it has developed the world's largest, 102-inch plasma display panel (PDP) flat television screen. "This product will enable us to bring forward the popular use of super-large PDP TVs and dominate the global market," the company said in a statement. The new screen features a host of advanced technologies based on some 100 patents and is suitable for public display areas like shopping malls, airports and small theaters, it said. Samsung SDI plans to start the production of the super-large PDP in the first half. It has also developed what it claims is the first technology permitting the production of four 50-inch PDPs from one sheet of glass panel.
Intel hires HP's engineers
Intel Corp has reached an agreement to hire hundreds of Hewlett-Packard Co engineers who helped design the Itanium microprocessor, a massive joint project between the two technology companies since the early 1990s. As a result, all Itanium processor design work will now be done entirely within Intel, though HP on Wednesday announced it plans to invest more than US$3 billion over the next three years to continue its commitment to the chip. The HP team, which is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, will not have to relocate, said Intel spokesman Robert Manetta. Other terms of the agreement, which was to be formally announced yesterday, were not released. Itanium was conceived as a processor for high-end computers like servers and workstations.
DoCoMo offers new phone
Vying to catch up with rivals, NTT DoCoMo will start selling third-generation cellphones that can be used overseas, Japan's top mobile carrier said yesterday. The handset, expected to go on sale for about ?40,000 (US$380) on Dec. 25 in Japan, can make calls in 115 countries and regions without changing phone numbers, and also offers a short-messaging service. Third-generation, or 3-G, cell phones can relay information at much faster speeds than current models. The phones are rarely seen in most parts of the world, but they have gradually started to catch on in Japan. The new DoCoMo handset accesses 2,100 network data sites in 26 countries, including the US, Hong Kong, the UK, Germany and Puerto Rico. It works as a videophone in Hong Kong and Britain.
■ High-speed Rail
S Korean train sets record
A South Korea-designed bullet train broke the 350kph barrier in a test run yesterday, putting the country at the forefront of high-speed railway technology, officials said. The train, based on French technology and jointly developed by South Korea's Rotem Co and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, recorded a speed of 352.4kph, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation said. Only three other countries, France, Germany and Japan, have built trains that can travel at 350km per hour or faster. South Korea spent some US$200 million and eight years of efforts to develop the country's first high-speed train which went into commercial service in April. The project was a result of an accord signed in 1994 between South Korea and Alstom, which defeated Siemens of Germany and Mitsubishi of Japan to win the contract.