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Monday, March 10, 2008, 03:55 pm PT (06:55 pm ET)

Charleston store enroute; Radeon HD 2600 fix; Atom roadmap

Apple is taking the first steps to introduce its first store in South Carolina with job postings and retail negotiations. Also, the company has posted a firmware fix for Mac Pro workstations using ATI's Radeon HD 2600 XT video card, and a portion of Intel's Atom roadmap has leaked.

Listings, talks point to Charleston Apple store

Apple is pursuing its first store in South Carolina at the heart of one of its most important cities.

According to investigations by Charleston's Post and Courier, the Mac maker has spoken to the owner of 301 King Street asking about a potential lease for the downtown property but has not committed to any deals.

The location was previously split between a nightclub and a thrift store and will likely undergo Apple's usual storefront alteration, replacing the normal facing with glass and metal.

Despite having yet to formalize any deal, Apple has pledged itself to developing the store through its jobs page: several listings for Mac Specialists, Geniuses, and other employees for a "Charleston - King St" store have surfaced on the company site.

ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Firmware Update

Apple on Monday night issued its ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT Firmware Update (792KB).

The fix is said to improve the reliability of Mac Pro towers using one or more of the video cards. and requires both Mac OS X 10.5.2 as well as the accompanying Leopard Graphics Update before it can be installed.

Owners of Apple's high-end aluminum iMacs, which also use Radeon HD 2600 XT chipsets, are not affected by the upgrade.

Intel Atom roadmap leads to dual-core systems

If a new leaked roadmap is to be believed, the second wave of Intel's Atom technology will include the first ultra-low power, dual-core processor from the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

An entry for an Atom 300-series processor suggests it will run at 1.87GHz with dual cores versus the 1.6GHz, single-core Atom 230, which remains the only officially announced chip from the Atom family. A single-core Atom 200-series model is also listed at the higher clock speed.

The roadmap doesn't mention a release period or power use for either of the new Atoms, which may consume more energy alongside the added performance.

Apple is expected to use Atom in multiple products this year and was previously codenamed Silverthorne.