Single-Chip Linux Computer

From EP&P: “Axis Communications, a global leader in network technology, announced today the availability of the AXIS ETRAX 100LX MCM 2+8, a new generation system-on-a-chip that integrates 2MB Flash, 8MB SDRAM and an Ethernet transceiver into a single chip with a 27mm x 27mm footprint. The chip, which is designed for networked devices such as wireless access points, digital video recorders and access control and security systems, enables developers to reduce costs in both the design and production cycles.” [Slashdot thread]

Am thinking if this can be used to make low-cost thin clients: all we need there is a Pentium I-class CPU, 8/16 MB RAM, a network interface and a video out for the display.

Rising Cash Piles for Tech Cos.

Writes WSJ:

Just five tech giants — Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and Oracle Corp. — now hold a staggering $87 billion in cash and liquid investments. That is up from $77 billion a year ago, and suggests that these companies, whose revenue declined as much as 35%, aren’t as sick as conventional wisdom dictates.

To the contrary, these tech companies will likely emerge from the long slump in stronger competitive positions, compared with cash-starved and debt-ridden rivals. The titans are wielding their cash as competitive weapons. Microsoft is pouring billions into far-flung searches for new growth markets, such as Internet service, video-game consoles and cellphone software. Intel is investing $12 billion in new and retooled factories, hoping to expand its lead in semiconductor technology. Dell is grabbing market share and expanding into new products.