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This week in Intel

European regulators raid the company's office, while Intel is expected to unveil what may be the last batch of single-core Itaniums.

European regulators raided the offices of Intel and a number of PC-related companies as part of an antitrust investigation into the chip giant.

As part of the raid, European Commission officials and national competition authorities in Milan, Italy, Munich, Germany, Madrid, Spain, and Swindon, England, descended on several Intel offices, an Intel representative confirmed. The European officials also visited a number of companies that manufacture or sell computers.

The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading said that it assisted the European competition authorities in an "on-site inspection" of Intel's Swindon offices.

Meanwhile, the chipmaker is expected to announce next week what may be the last batch of single-core Itanium processors. According to a source familiar with Intel's plans, the chipmaking giant will introduce on Monday two Itanium 2 processors from its 64-bit Madison lineup. The chips will run at speeds of 1.66GHz, with computer memory cache sizes of 9MB and 6MB, respectively, and are expected to be snatched up by mainframe computer makers such as Hitachi, Fujitsu and Silicon Graphics Inc.

An Intel representative said that the company does not comment on unannounced products but did say that the chipmaker is working with its manufacturing partners to launch new Madison parts as it starts to prepare for Intel's next-generation Itanium chip, code-named Montecito.

On the Wi-Fi front, Intel is experimenting with ordinary wireless networks to see if they can do the same job on land that GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites do from space. Researchers at Intel are examining ways to triangulate an individual's location with Wi-Fi or cellular networks like GSM.

The main benefit of wireless networks is that they can locate someone in an urban environment. GPS often fails in downtown crystal canyons where tall buildings can block signals. And while GPS determines only the latitude and longitude of an individual, wireless can also determine height and thus figure out what floor of a particular building a person is on.

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