IBM, Microsoft unveil XML-based Web standard

IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have proposed an XML-based Web standard, the Web Services Inspection (WS-I) specification, which will describe what services a business offers and how users can access those services. The WS-I specification allows the components of one application to be used by other applications in different locations via the Web and a set of underlying protocols, in this case XML.

Bob Suter, director of e-business standards strategy at IBM, said by using the new standard, businesses will be able to directly find each other’s services over the Internet. For example, a bank can put its credit card authorization utility on an application server enabling other applications to access it as a Web service, rather than building a credit card validation utility for each application that requires one. So a company that needs to do credit card validation as part of its e-commerce services can search and locate the credit validation service by browsing a bank’s Web site. The WS-I standard is the fourth in a series of Web services standards created jointly by Microsoft and IBM. Suter said it’s part of the plumbing needed to move businesses closer to achieving the free flow of information.

Intel to throttle Pentium 4 to 3GHz next year

Chip giant Intel Corp. will take its flagship Pentium 4 desktop processors to speeds reaching 3GHz by the end of next year, a company spokesperson said. Pentium 4 processors hitting the 3GHz mark have already been demonstrated at recent developer’s conferences hosted by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker, but Intel’s goal is to bring the speedy chips to market before 2003.

The onset of smaller 0.13-micron engineering technology from Intel has played a significant role in accelerating the clock speeds of Intel processors. Intel recently opened a new 0.13-micron processor manufacturing facility in Chandler, Ariz. The new facility, known as Fab 22, was a US$2 billion investment by Intel. Certain older, slower desktop Pentium III chips have also begun to ride off into the sunset, the spokesperson said. Intel has given notices of discontinuance to its customers concerning future orders for many Pentium III chips with 100MHz system buses that have clock speeds less than 1.1GHz. But plus-1GHz Pentium IIIs with 133MHz buses are not affected, nor are Mobile Pentium III chips.