Controversial computer company Atom Chip has said it will open the claims it makes about its ultra-compact memory technology and its 6.8GHz notebook CPU to independent scrutiny.
The catch? Any such investigation must be made in the presence of company officials - just in case someone attempts to open the chip or the host computer to find out what makes it tick.
As The Register reported in September, Atom Chip attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this week. The company's stand was small and unprepossessing when compared with the larger, flashier booths nearby, but it caught our eye and we stopped by for a look.
Alas, our attempt to verify that Atom Chip's two "super notebooks" - one a Flybook from Taiwanese vendor Dialogue, the other a less readily identifiable laptop that turned out to be an Elitegroup machine - do indeed clock to 6.8GHz and sport 1TB of Atom Chip's non-volatile Quantum-Optical RAM plus 2TB of the same memory as storage proved futile. Both machines were sealed in a perspex display case, and company officials Shimon Gendlin (president) and Arthur Gendlin (vice-president) seemed unwilling to make either available for closer inspection.
Both machines' screens were showing Windows XP's Disk Properties panels, each clearly showing the notebooks contain disks holding multi-terabyte storage capacities formatted for the NTFS file-system, but without getting our hands on the machines, it's impossible to confirm or reject Atom Chip's own claims - or those of the skeptics, who maintain the images are doctored graphics pasted onto the computers' desktop wallpaper images.
Apparently each machine runs four instances of Windows XP simultaneously - or Linux, if you prefer - so Atom Chip's miracle processor now does virtualisation, too.
Atom Chip was also showing its 1TB CompactFlash form-factor memory card, installed in a suitably equipped camcorder. Again, the Gendlins were unwilling to allow us to fit the card into a camera of our own to verify the device's capacity. When we asked, we were told that while the card has a CompactFlash casing, the pin-out isn't CF-compatible. The company claimed it had modified the camcorder's CF slot pins to match the requirements of the memory card. Handy, that.
Arthur Gendlin said the company was currently seeking deals with computer manufacturers to build systems based on Atom Chip technology, primarily its memory offerings, but no one has yet signed up to do so.
That could be because few observers seem willing to accept the company's claims at face value. Certainly, reader responses to The Register's first story about Atom Chip were unified in their deep skepticism of the claims. Still, the company does appear willing to have them verified independently - a step toward convincing the doubters. We look forward to the first report from Atom Chips' Westbury, New York HQ. ®