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Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take


■ Semiconductors
Samsung introduces PRAM

Samsung Electronics Co yesterday unveiled a new type of memory chip that it said would allow digital devices to work faster by saving new data more quickly. Phase-change random access memory, or PRAM, is nonvolatile, meaning it will retain data even when an electronic device is turned off, and is about 30 times faster than conventional flash memory, according to Samsung. It is expected to be available in 2008, it added. A 512-megabit prototype PRAM device was introduced yesterday at a news conference in Seoul. Samsung said the PRAM chips use vertical diodes and a three-dimensional transistor structure to create a small cell size. Samsung also unveiled yesterday a 32-gigabit NAND flash memory chip based on finer 40-nanometer process technology.

■ Telecoms

Yahoo adds conference call

Vapps Internet telephone conference calling systems firm announced yesterday that it would be adding the feature to Yahoo's free online message service. The approximately 80 million Yahoo Messenger with Voice users worldwide would be able to make conference calls using online telefony referred to as Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP), according to US-based Vapps. An application referred to as "ConFreeCall" would be added to the software "plug-ins" available for Yahoo users, Vapps CEO Ben Lilienthal said in a release. "We used to look at the conference call as merely a business solution, with the introduction of services such as ConFreeCall, the landscape has changed to be a tool for online communities as well," Lilienthal said.

■ Telecoms

Vodafone offers broadband

Vodafone Group Plc, the world's biggest mobile phone company, will offer high-speed broadband services to consumers by the end of the year using BT Group Plc's phone lines. Vodafone customers will be able to buy combined packages of mobile and broadband services, Newbury, England-based Vodafone said in a statement yesterday. CEO Arun Sarin faces increasing competition as other European telecom firms bundle services to attract customers. UK cable operator NTL Inc bought Virgin Mobile Plc this year to offer wireless services, while pay-TV broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc last month began offering broadband Internet services.

■ Computers

Dell delays filing Q2 report

Dell Inc said yesterday it would delay filing its fiscal second-quarter report and has suspended its share repurchase program because of previously disclosed accounting probes. Dell, the world's biggest PC maker, also said that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has subpoenaed documents related to its financial reporting from 2002 to the present. Dell said it could not file the second-quarter financial report because of "questions raised" in connection with an informal Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into accounting issues and a subsequent internal probe. The investigations have shown that Dell may have misstated prior financial reports, including issues relating to accruals, reserves and other balance sheet items, which may affect previously reported financial results, the company said in its statement. Dell also said it has postponed an analysts' meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

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