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AMD teases new Fusion processors

Advanced Micro Devices gave reporters a first look at its upcoming Fusion processors on Wednesday in a demonstration calculated to reveal as few specifics about the chips as possible, lest the information fall into the hands of rival Intel. AMD is readying two versions of Fusion for release during the first half of 2011, one of them designed for low-power systems. The company also showed off a silicon wafer filled with Fusion chips, but would not let reporters take pictures of it in case a high-definition photo of the wafer found its way into the hands of Intel. That could reveal how many Fusion chips can be produced on a single wafer, offering some insight into manufacturing costs of the chip, an executive said.

Canada investigating Google WiFi data collection

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has started an investigation into Google’s collection of data from unsecured wireless networks. Data protection authorities in France, Italy and Germany are already investigating Google’s Street View service. Google said last month that its camera cars mistakenly recorded traffic from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks while compiling images of city streets for its Google Maps site. The company had previously said that it had only collected Wi-Fi network names and MAC addresses. That data helps it locate users of its mobile services when they connect over a Wi-Fi network.

Google plans Chrome OS release for Q4

Google plans to release its Chrome operating system in the fourth quarter, initially targeting laptop users. At the same time, it will open the Chrome Web Store so people can download and install Web applications on the Chrome OS. Chrome is, confusingly, also the name of a web browser developed by Google, now in its fourth version.

Taiwan researchers want cheaper data centers

Taiwanese researchers hope to halve the cost of data center constructions by standardizing the components used to build so-called containerized systems. Several companies now sell portable data centers in standard-sized 20-foot shipping containers of the kind that can be seen on trucks and cargo ships the world over. While the dimensions of the containers are standardized, what goes inside is not, something the Taiwanese team hopes to change with its Container Computer 1.0. This will contain thousands of servers made using commodity computer parts to keep costs low, and will include a package of software called Cloud Operating System 1.0.

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