CTIA 2006 Wrap-up: Phones, laptops and even some skateboarders

Los Angeles (CA) - Last week's CTIA Wireless convention at the Los Angeles Convention center drew thousands of attendees and exhibitors. Companies showed off their latest phones, laptops and other electronics in a setting that seemed eerily like the Consumer Electronics Show or the now defunct COMDEX convention. If you couldn't attend CTIA, the following picture gallery and links will help fill you in on the major product news.

Intel quad-core Kentsfield to be named Core 2 Quadro

Intel is expected by the end of this month to officially name its Kentsfield quad-core desktop processor as the "Core 2 Quadro," with the first model to be an Extreme version, the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, which will be available starting in mid-November, according to sources at leading Taiwan motherboard makers. The QX6700, which will be clocked at 2.66 GHz, will target the high-end gaming market as well as to counter AMD's fourth quarter introduction of its Socket-AM2 Athlon 64 FX-64 CPU (3.0 GHz core speed, 2x1MB L2 cache), the sources noted.

ATI to launch RD600 in October

ATI Technologies, set to be acquired by AMD, has rescheduled the launch of its RD600 chipset supporting the Intel platform until October, with motherboard makers showing reluctance to roll out products based on the new chipset, according to sources.

Dual-core Celeron M to arrive in Q1 2007

Intel is expected to introduce a lineup of 64-bit dual-core Celeron M processors to the notebook market in the first quarter of 2007, according to sources at Taiwan notebook makers.

Asustek announces availability of R2H UMPCs and R1H tablet PCs

Asustek Computer announced the availability of its two tablet PCs, including a 7" touch-screen Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC), the R2H.

Real Networks embeds Rhapsody music service into Sandisk MP3 players

Real Networks and Sandisk have partnered up to offer MP3 players with pre-loaded music and Real Networks' Rhapsody music service. A new "Sansa Rhapsody" player, based on the Sansa e200 player, will come with almost 32 hours of music from popular artists. The players will also synchronize purchased songs from Rhapsody into the players.

The hidden potential in your graphics card: A supercomputer?

Redwood City (CA) - The most powerful computing device in your PC may not be that dual-core processor, but your average graphics card. Interest in tapping the hidden processing power in graphics processor has been growing over the past two years, but Peakstream is the first company to actually offer a solution to create a supercomputer based on graphics cards.

Virgin Atlantic bans Apple and Dell laptop batteries

Virgin Atlantic Airways says it will ban passengers from using Apple and Dell laptops running on battery power for all international flights. Passengers on the U.K.-based airline carrying the laptops can bring them aboard only after removing the battery and storing it in carry-on luggage, according to the company. Read the complete story here. (Newsfactor)

New version of Adobe Acrobat headed for November

Adobe announced a new version of its document management software Acrobat. Version 8 introduces the ability to connect to a virtual meeting room for real-time Web conferencing.

Wilson Cellular shows of cellphone signal booster in a box - video

Los Angeles (CA) - At the CTIA Wireless convention in Los Angeles, Wilson Cellular showed us its mobile phone repeater kit that can add up to 3 watts of power to a phone signal. The kits contain amplifiers, antennas and enough battery power to give 12 hours of talk time. Company representatives showed off the kit in the following video.

Track people and valuables within 1 inch accuracy - video

Los Angeles (CA) - Lost and stolen electronics are a fact of life for many businesses, but UK-based and aptly named Covert Asset Tracking Systems Ltd (CATSeye) promises to help recover items with itsline of electronic tracking devices. The company makes matchbook-sized transmitters that can be tracked with GPS, GSM phone towers or even radio frequency. Company reps gave us a quick video demo at the Los Angeles CTIA Wireless convention and even claimed to find items down to one-inch accuracy.

Nvidia beats ATI to 80 nm

With availability of the GeForce Go 7700 graphics processing unit (GPU), Nvidia has beat ATI Technologies to the punch in the 80 nm manufacturing process.

HP needs more discs for Lightscribe to keep edge, say disc makers

Hewlett-Packard (HP) needs to convince more Taiwan-based makers of optical discs to increase production of Lightscribe CD-R and DVD discs in order to remain competitive against Labelflash, the other competing direct disc labeling technology, according to makers of optical discs in Taiwan.

Qimonda and Nanya achieve qualification of 75 nm DRAM technology

Qimonda and Nanya Technology announced the successful qualification of its 75 nm DRAM trench technology and that they will first offer a 512 Mbit DDR2 memory chip as the first product using the technology.

80 nm may be transitional process in DRAM migration to 70 nm

DRAM makers using either trench or stack technology seem to be facing a bottleneck on their migration to 70 nm from 90 nm processes, and are putting out 80 nm products as a transitional process in the meantime, according to industry sources.

Throw away your pens, OCR hits mobiles phones - video

Los Angeles (CA) - Optical character recognition, the automatic conversion of typed or written text into digital format, has grown up - or more accurately shrunk down to mobile phones. ABBYY has developed an SDK that converts mobile phone pictures into digital text that can then be automatically entered into the phone's address book.

Sierra Wireless shows off USB-based wireless broadband card - video

Los Angeles (CA) - Mobile high-tech workers can't always stop by a wireless hotspot to get an Internet connection. In coming months, carriers will be widening coverage while offering faster, almost wire-speed, service to phones and laptops. Sierra Wireless will make several new laptop adapters and showed them off at the CTIA Wireless convention. Company officials demonstrated an EVDO and HSDPA card and even gave us a sneak preview of an upcoming USB-cradled WWAN modem.

Nvidia chips speed video decoding on mobile phones - video

Los Angeles (CA) - Mobile phones are now able to show smooth, high-quality video thanks to Nvidia's mobile graphics chips. The Nvidia GoForce 5500 chips can decode full-length movies and television shows in H.264 format. At the CTIA Wireless convention in Los Angeles, Nvidia representatives showed us just how good the video can look. See for yourself in the following video.

Netgear shows off Skype Wi-Fi phone at CTIA - video

Los Angeles (CA) - Big network companies are furiously adding mobile phones to their traditional routers, switches and network cards. At the CTIA Wireless Convention in Los Angeles, Netgear demonstrated its Skype-enabled Wi-Fi phone and showed it off on video. The SPH101 connects with 802.11g wireless and doesn't require a computer.

1 GB on the tip of your finger - Kingston's MicroSD Card on video

Los Angeles (CA) - How small can flash memory go? Well, Kingston has released a 1-GB MicroSD card that can fit on your fingertip. At the CTIA Wireless convention, Mike Sager of Kingston told us the card is mainly meant for mobile phones, but it does come with an adapter to fit an SD card slot. We show on video just how small the cards are... just don't sneeze or you may never find the card again.