Tag Archive: Intel


Samsung has quickly become one of the largest smartphone makers globally, helped by its strong offering of devices using Google’s Android platform.

Analysts said Wednesday’s deals signaled Samsung’s aim to lower its exposure to Android following Google’s $12.5 billion August acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

“The Google Motorola deal certainly gives Samsung some motivation to lessen the dependence on Android,” said Matthew Thornton, analyst at Avian Securities.

Microsoft and Samsung signed on Wednesday a new deal for development and marketing of Windows phones, while also agreeing on a wide patent cross-licensing deal. Samsung has also used Microsoft’s software in the past.

Earlier on Wednesday two Linux software groups, one backed by Samsung, another by Intel, said they have joined forces to develop a new operating system for cellphones and other devices.

Under the deal, the LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation are effectively merging their LiMo and Meego mobile operating systems and hope to gain wider industry and consumer support, but analysts said the new Tizen platform is likely to struggle.

It would have to attract wide support from developers and manufacturers to compete with the dozen or so other mobile operating systems available in a smartphone market currently dominated by Apple’s in-house software and Google’s Linux-based Android.

“The best hope for them is that big operators get worried by Android … and decide to consciously switch their allegiances to rival platforms to restrict Google’s huge influence over the mobile market,” said analyst Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics.

Earlier this year Nokia, the biggest phone maker by volume, ditched its own Symbian operating system in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

Currently Windows Phone has a smartphone market share of 2-3 percent, according to industry analysts, and LiMo and Meego have less than 1 percent apiece, while Android’s share is almost 50 percent and still growing.

“This (Tizen) is driven by necessity. Linux rivals to Android have failed to gain traction and Samsung needs to reduce its dependence on Google,” said Geoff Blaber, an analyst at London-based telecoms industry consultancy CCS Insight.

The world’s second-biggest cellphone maker behind Nokia, Samsung is the leading user of the Android platform, which has been one of the reasons for its escalating court-room fight over patents with Apple.

Microsoft said the definitive agreement with Samsung to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, provides

broad coverage for each company’s products, and it will get royalties for Samsung’s devices running the Android platform.

“It’s probably a win-win. Microsoft is leveraging its patents to get customers while Samsung is looking for ways to lessen its dependence on Android,” said Avian’s Matthew Thornton.

2012 LINUX STORY

LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation said the new Tizen platform is an open-source, standards-based software platform that supports multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle ‘infotainment’ systems.

A spokesman for Samsung said: “We’ve been a core Linux partner … and this is in line with our strategy of supporting many platforms.”

The initial release is planned for the first quarter of 2012, enabling the first devices using Tizen to come to market in mid-2012, the two groups said.

The world’s largest semiconductor firm Intel and Samsung Electronics, the second biggest maker of cell phones and one of the key contributors to LiMo, will head the technical steering committee developing Tizen.

Earlier this month Intel and Google launched a development partnership to adapt Android for Intel’s Atom processor chips, with a view to having the first Anroid phones featuring Intel chips in the first half of next year.

Linux is the most popular type of free, or open-source, computer operating system which allows the public to use, revise and share. Linux suppliers earn money selling improvements and technical services.

Source: Reuters

Intel and Google will work together to optimize new generations of Android for the chipmaker’s low-power Atom processors. The move means Intel will take a step in a different direction from Microsoft and its mobile platforms, and Google will help Intel establish more of a presence in the mobile space dominated by ARM processors.

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel CEO Paul Otellini showed a Android smartphone using his company’s Medfield chip, which is based on Atom. The 32-nanometer Medfield is the company’s flagship processor for smartphones, and succeeds the 45-nanometer Moorestown processor, which was Atom-based but had size and power issues.

Intel/Android Smartphones Next Year

The giant Intel is expected to reduce its mobile processor line to 22-nanometer within the next year, which would result in a smaller size and, most likely, a lower power need.

Intel has dominated the market for desktop and laptop PCs, and its integration with Windows was so powerful that the combination was dubbed Wintel. But the dominant processors for smartphones and tablets are those based on designs from the U.K.-based ARM Holdings. ARM chips are used in smartphones and tablets from Apple, Samsung, HTC and Research In Motion.

Intel and Google said that they expect Intel-based, Android smartphones to appear by the middle of next year. The arrangement with Google gives the chipmaker an endorsement that its new chips will be competitive in the challenging mobile environment.

Otellini told news media that the smartphone business “is not established” in terms of permanently dominant players, and he noted as evidence the speed with which Android has risen to become the leading mobile operating system.

‘Will Anyone Care?’

Microsoft’s coming Windows 8 operating system, unveiled to developers earlier this week, will have a version that runs on ARM processors. In fact, although Microsoft has been insisting that Windows 8 will be one operating system running on many platforms, there will be a branch just for ARM. The company said that Windows 8 on PCs will run all Windows 7 apps, but Windows 8 on ARM tablets may not be able to do so. Metro apps, designed specifically for Windows 8, will run on all Windows 8 machines.

Michael Gartenberg, research director at the Gartner Group, said the announced arrangement between Google and Intel makes sense for both companies, but the key question is “will anyone care?” He said Intel “has a lot to prove about whether it can make a mobile processor” that OEMs will want.

Avi Greengart, research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis, said the announcement showed “really, truly, nothing new.” Intel has, in the past, worked to some degree with other operating systems, while Microsoft has worked with other hardware makers, Greengart said.

One question is whether this new alliance with Google means that Intel’s own Meego mobile operating system, developed with Nokia, is now history. Greengart said it is “still around, but Intel is positioning it more for embedded applications.” When Nokia committed its product line to Windows’ Phone 7, he said, that “kind of killed any momentum.”

Source: NewsFactor

A hinted-at Acer ultrabook may have had its first public sighting through leaked renders and details in Vietnam. The 13.3-inch Aspire 3951 would borrow more than a few cues from the MacBook Air Intel’s ultrabook spec is meant to imitate and would have a supposedly 0.51-inch thick, aluminum, 3.09-pound shell. In a nod to the Dell Adamo, however, Sohoa‘s look showed that most of the ports would be moved to the back, where the hinge design would make sure they stayed available.

The system would also make the solid-state drive optional. Buyers could pick the likely Intel-made 160GB SSD or opt for more traditional 250GB and 500GB hard drives. Not much is known about the choice of processor other than using a 2011 Core chip, although the Aspire would follow Apple into including Bluetooth 4.0 while swapping out the Thunderbolt for a plainer HDMI output. A card reader is in view on the right-hand side.

Acer is believed to be focusing on longevity, offering a competent though shorter six hours of battery use as well as 30 days of standby; the long idle time might only be true for the SSD option. Moving from sleep to wake should take 1.7 seconds.

Earlier rumors have had Acer’s ultrabook shipping at the very end of the year. The 3951 might undercut the MacBook Air with estimated prices of between $769 to $961 depending on the model, although it’s not clear what a base model would involve. Any lower pricing is likely to entail a slower rotating hard drive and might go below the 1.7GHz Core i5 Apple uses in its own system.

Intel devised the ultrabook spec as a way of sustaining notebook sales in the face of tablets through taking a cue from the Air. The decision may have triggered a pushback from Windows PC builders who have been fighting to lower the price after they were worried they would have no choice but to match Apple’s price after Intel set similar quality and performance goals.

Source: Electronista

In an era of smartphones and tablets, Intel is banking on the Ultrabook to breathe new life into the PC. Intel execs have said this new class of powerful, affordable ultra-thin notebooks could represent as much as 40 percent of consumer laptops by the end of next year.

But what exactly makes the Ultrabook different from, say an Apple MacBook Air, hasn’t been clear. Part of this is because the Ultrabook will take several years to fully evolve. The first Ultrabooks from the likes of Asus, HP, Lenovo and LG Electronics are due in time for the holidays. But from the start Intel has said that it will require several generations of new silicon, and hardware and software engineering, to realize the concept.

Now Intel is providing more details on how the Ultrabook will evolve. In a blog post this week, Becky Emmett, a media relations manager at Intel, wrote about the “substantial changes to the way Intel and its partners design, produce and market devices and their components” to enable the Ultrabook.

The first Ultrabooks, based on ultra-low voltage version of the second-generation Core processor (better-known as Sandy Bridge) will arrive in time of the holidays. The basic features of these Ultrabooks are already well-known:

  • Less than 0.8 inches thick
  • Fast start-up from hibernation with Intel’s Rapid Start technology
  • Five to eight hours of battery life
  • Enhanced security features to secure laptops and prevent identity theft

The Asus UX21, an 11.6-inch laptop, is expected to be the first when it ships this fall, followed by the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s and LG P220. But lately there have been rumors that computer makers are having trouble putting these together for less than $1,000 so the ramp of these first-generation Ultrabook may be slower than anticipated.

The second wave of Ultrabooks, due in the first half of next year, will be based on Intel’s first 22nm processors, known as Ivy Bridge. Intel claims these will have longer battery life, better performance, beefier security and high-speed data transfers with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, the I/O technology in several Apple Macs and the Sony VAIO Z Series.

Finally the third phase will be based on a new microarchitecture, Haswell, which Intel should release in 2014. With Haswell, Intel plans to change the basic design of its processors so that they use around half the power of today’s CPUs. In other words, you’ll get the performance (and price) of a mainstream processor combined with the battery life of today’s low-voltage versions. They should also be able to fit into even thinner and lighter systems that require less cooling.

PCs are always getting thinner, lighter, faster and cheaper. Intel is promising something bigger here comparing the Ultrabook with major shifts of the past such as the introduction of the Pentium processor in 1995 and the Centrino mobile platform in 2003. Intel says that eventually he Ultrabook will become “a tablet when you want it, a PC when you need it.” As someone who has spent a lot of time using convertible tablets, with mixed success, I can tell you that would be “an historic change” if Intel and the rest of the industry can pull it off.

Source: ZDNet

A Chinese Web site has posted a slide showing a new Intel chipset that’s designed to work with the company’s forthcoming Sandy Bridge E processors (”E” standing for “enthusiast”). The X79 Express will replace the X58 as the top desktop chipset when the new high-performance CPUs are launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

Along with the new processors and chipsets, Intel will roll out a new socket, the LGA2011. The X79 fully supports two PCIe x16 lanes, has 14 SATA ports — including 10 of the 6Gbps flavor — and possesses 8 ports that support SAS. There are 14 USB 2.0 ports, but no mention of USB 3.0 connections — or Thunderbolt ports, for that matter. PCI x1 support is eliminated.

Sandy Bridge E processors will replace the Gulftown-based Extreme six-core CPUs as the top performers in Intel’s desktop lineup. Needless to say, one of the new processors, along with an X79 Express motherboard, will set you back a pretty penny or two (or, more accurately, thousands and thousands of pennies). Start saving.

Source: ZDNet

Intel’s MeeGo software seems destined for obscurity, in the wake of the Nokia-Microsoft agreement announced yesterday.

Why do I say that? Intel made a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show last year by flourishing an LG phone with an operating system that would later be called, under joint ownership of Intel and Nokia, MeeGo. LG’s phone was due in the second half of last year–according to this video taken at the 2010 CES. But it has yet to appear.

That’s not in the least bit surprising. Why would LG build a phone with software that was being developed by a competitor (Nokia)? A high-ranking Intel executive confirmed this sticky situation to me last year in a meeting.

Needless to say, a MeeGo phone from Nokia is increasingly unlikely now.

“This is a Nokia decision. Yes, we’re disappointed with it,” said an Intel spokeswoman yesterday, reacting to the Nokia-Microsoft announcement. “But we still believe there’s a smartphone component to [MeeGo]. And we’re talking to other partners. But it’s also Netbooks, tablets, set-top boxes, automotive systems. So, it’s a lot more than just the phone element,” she said.

That statement notwithstanding, there’ a quick moral to this story. MeeGo is not an operating system for mass-market consumer devices, no matter how strenuously Intel would tell you otherwise.

I had a brief debate at the Consumer Electronics Show last month with Intel marketing chief Tom Kilroy about this. He put up a good defense. But he didn’t change my mind. And, quite obviously, Intel has not impressed Nokia.

So, what is MeeGo and why does Intel continue to hold on to it with a vise grip? MeeGo is what is called a reference platform. It’s a way for potential customers to try out Intel chips on an open source platform with full support from the chipmaker.

“That’s what Intel is known for. Building a lot of reference designs to show the industry what is possible. With MeeGo, they needed to get out there and demonstrate that their platform was viable,” said Richard Shim, an analyst with market researcher DisplaySearch. “That it could sustain and help nurture a robust mobile experience. They wouldn’t have objected if it had taken off as a full-fledged platform, but it wasn’t being taken up (by device makers) very rapidly. It definitely took a hit with the Nokia Microsoft announcement,” he said.

What else is MeeGo? It’s an operating system for the so-called embedded market, such as in-car devices and industrial equipment, where it is doing well, according to Kilroy.

So, MeeGo will be sticking around but don’t expect to pick up a consumer device at your local electronics retailer running the software. Friday’s announcement made that a moral certainty.

Source: CNET

HP, the world’s largest PC vendor, said customers can return their PC and either “choose a comparable product” or receive a refund.

Intel said Monday it had found a defect in chips used with its new Sandy Bridge line of processors. The company said the defect was discovered after it shipped more than 100,000 of the chips to computer makers.

In a statement on Wednesday, HP said the chip flaw affects only a small fraction of PCs sold or ordered since January 9, when the Intel technology became available commercially.

HP said certain consumer desktops and laptops were affected, along with one commercial desktop PC model sold to small-business customers in the Europe-Middle East-Africa market.

HP said it stopped making PCs with the flawed Intel chips on Monday, and put a hold on product shipments.

Dell Inc, the No. 2 PC maker, said on Tuesday that four Dell products on the market were affected: XPS 8300, the Vostro 460, the Alienware M17x R.3 and the Alienware Aurora R.3.

“We’re committed to addressing this with customers who have already purchased one of the four products,” the company said in a statement, without providing further details.

Source: Reuters / Yahoo!

Intel will gain access to Nvidia’s patents while paying the graphics chip supplier $1.5 billion in licensing fees as part of a new six-year agreement.

“For the future use of Nvidia’s technology, Intel will pay Nvidia an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees payable in five annual installments, beginning Jan. 18, 2011,” Nvidia announced today.

Furthermore, Nvidia and Intel have agreed to drop all outstanding legal disputes between them.

The crux of the agreement is that Intel gains access to all of Nvidia’s GPU (graphics processing unit) patents but Nvidia gains access to only certain Intel patents. To compensate for the lop-sided patent access (which favors Intel), Intel pays Nvidia $1.5 billion.

Intel and Nvidia had both sued each other in early 2009 in a dispute that originally centered on a chipset license agreement. Intel had contended the cross license does not extend to Intel’s future-generation processors, and Nvidia countersued blocking access to its patent portfolio.

In effect, Nvidia was barred from building Intel-compatible chipsets beyond the Core 2 Duo generation of processors. For example, the second generation of Apple’s MacBook Air used an Nvidia chipset along with Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor. However, Nvidia could not build chipsets for the newest generation of Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. This, in effect, forced Apple to stay with Intel’s older-generation Core 2 Duo processors in its newest MacBook Airs because it allowed Apple to legally continue to use Nvidia chipsets.

The agreement announced Monday still bars Nvidia from using any of Intel’s x86 technology and, as a result, Nvidia cannot build x86-compatible chipsets, according to Intel. But Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made it clear he’s not interested. “We’ve already said many times that we have no intention to build chipsets for Intel processors,” he said in the conference call Monday afternoon. And many PC makers (including Apple) still use discrete (standalone) Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) that attach to Intel chipsets.

Huang expounded on its traditional strong suit GPUs–which hold patents that Intel is paying for and which Nvidia incorporates into its ARM processors. GPUs excel at parallel processing, whereas CPUs (central processing units)–such as Intel’s x86 chips–do sequential processing. Both types of processors have their merits, though GPUs have the potential to be much faster than CPUs at doing visual processing and scientific number-crunching, for example.

“I don’t think you can build a modern computer today without a state-of-the-art GPU technology. Anytime you can do something in parallel, it’s better than sequential,” Huang said.

“Our cross license with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies. It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing,” said Huang in an official statement today.

Huang went on to say the company’s focus is now on ARM processors–which compete with Intel’s x86 chips in small devices like Netbooks and tablets. “It’s a foregone conclusion that ARM is the most important [chip] architecture. ARM will be the largest installed-based processor. It’s pervasive and open. We will extend the ARM processor with our GPU,” he said.

Huang pointed to Microsoft’s announcement at CES to port its next major release of Windows to ARM processors and Nvidia’s CES announcement of Project Denver, in which it will design high-performance ARM chips for desktops and supercomputers. Those future Nvidia chips will be hybrids–much like Intel’s just-announced Sandy Bridge processor. “Project Denver…features an Nvidia CPU running the ARM instruction set, which will be fully integrated on the same chip as the Nvidia GPU,” Bill Dally, Nvidia’s chief scientist, said last week.

 

Source: CNET

For those who want serious performance without spending hundreds of dollars on Intel’s Core i7 processors, AMD offers the Phenom II X6 CPU series — six cores for under $300. Intel’s rival has just delivered a new version, the 1100T Black Edition, that benchmarking sites have found to be the fastest desktop processor AMD has released to date.

The 1100T is a few tweaks ahead of its predecessor, the 1090T Black Edition, and based on the same Thuban 45nm core. For the uninitiated, Black Edition means that the processor has an unlocked multiplier, which aids in overclocking. While the 1090T has a 3.2GHz core clock speed and a Turbo Core frequency of 3.6GHz, the 1100T bumps these up to 3.3GHz and 3.7GHz, respectively.

The 1100T continues the Phenom II X6’s assault on Intel Core i5 CPUs, with Hot Hardware finding that it could surpass the Core i5-750 quad-core on a number of benchmarks and Anandtech concluding that it could even hang close to the Core i7-860. Just don’t expect it to get anywhere near the performance of Intel’s six-core Core i7s.

The good news is you won’t have to pay anywhere near $1,000 for AMD’s top six-core CPU. The 1100T is listed at just $265, which means that the 1090T is now priced even less at $235. You might not get the ultimate processor bragging rights, but you’ll get a better price-for-performance deal.

Source: ZDNet

The graphics processor, known as Kepler, will deliver faster performance and be followed two years later by another generation called Maxwell, said Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang at an event in San Jose, California.

“We expect to go to production later next year, the design is progressing very rapidly,” Huang said. “There are hundreds of engineers working on it.”

Nvidia, which specializes in high-performance graphics cards favored by gamers, faces pressure as Intel Corp early next year launches a microchip that combines a traditional core processor with a graphics processor.

Investors are also concerned about the health of the microchip business after Intel warned in August that third-quarter revenue could fall short of its own estimates by more than $1 billion because of weak demand for PCs.

To diversify, Nvidia is moving into the fast-growing mobile business, combining low-powered processors designed by ARM Holdings Plc with its own graphics processors under the Tegra brand name for telephones and tablets.

“The Tegra business is probably a year behind my goals. However, the Tegra 2 uptake, as I hope you will see later in the year, is really quite phenomenal,” Huang said, referring to a chip unveiled at the start of the year.

Nvidia shares gained 5.42 percent on Tuesday to close at $11.29 on the Nasdaq.

The Kepler processor will be three to four times faster than Nvidia’s current Fermi chip generation, Huang said.

Intel, which makes the microchip brains for 80 percent of the world’s computers, would like to see its new chip, called Sandy Bridge, counted on to handle the mainstream graphics needs of computers built over the next few years.

But Nvidia says consumers and PC manufacturers will continue to demand specialized graphics chips like Kepler, which will be based on 28 nanometers, and Maxwell.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices also plans to release a microprocessor with integrated graphics.

Intel’s new chip is not expected to satisfy high-end users, like gamers willing to splash out hundreds of dollars separately for top-of-the-line graphics cards designed by Nvidia and AMD.

Source: Reuters / Nvidia