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Samsung Licenses Lexar Flash Controller Technology

FREMONT, CALIF. — Samsung Electronics and Lexar Media announced that they have signed a licensing agreement giving Samsung a non-exclusive, worldwide, non-transferable, royalty-bearing license for Lexar Media's patented controller technology. Lexar Media's controller-based technology will enable Samsung to develop a wide variety of flash-based products.

Samsung will also have the right to purchase Lexar Media's flash memory controllers for resale and agreed to license its patents pertaining to flash controller technology to Lexar Media.

In addition to the licensing deal, the companies have signed a supply agreement, whereby Lexar Media will purchase a substantial portion of its flash memory needs from Samsung. Samsung, in turn, has guaranteed a certain allocation of flash memory and agreed to provide flash memory to Lexar Media on a consignment basis, insulating Lexar Media from potential fluctuations in pricing and availability.

Digiscents Snuffed Out

OAKLAND, CALIF. — Digiscents, the company that wished to add smell to a PC owner's multimedia experience, had its financial feet pulled out from under itself and earlier this month is shuttering its operation. The sharp economic downturn of late caused its financial partners to pull their support leaving the company executives no alternative, but to close its headquarters and layoff its 70-person staff. The technology now may be sold or licensed, said a source close to the company.

HP Expects 2-4% Drop In Sales For Fiscal Q2

PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Hewlett-Packard, faced with rapid deterioration in global consumer information technology spending, now expects to report a revenue decline of between 2 and 4 percent in the second fiscal quarter ending April 30, compared with the year-ago period.

These numbers also reflect about 4 percent in adverse currency effect, since expected currency improvements did not materialize during the quarter.

HP, which will eliminate as many as 3,000 management positions, said the downturn in the U.S. consumer market is now spreading to Europe.

"Recent European PC market data suggests the European slowdown is beginning to mirror the pattern we saw in the United States — growing softness in the retail sector and increasingly competitive pricing," said Carly Fiorina, chairman/CEO.

Fiorina said HP has limited visibility in this economic environment, but current planning assumptions for the third quarter call for flat revenues year-over-year, with gross margins tending upward. These assumptions are subject to change based on evolving market conditions.


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