Monthly Archives: October 2008

Chris Nuttall

Freescale chipNearly four years after its spin-off by Motorola, Freescale Semiconductor could be spinning off itself the cell phone chip business that represented its best-known ties to the mother ship.

Freescale became the subject of the biggest tech buyout in history two years ago, when private equity firms Blackstone Group, Carlyle, Permira and TPG paid $17.6bn for the Texas-based company. Read more

Chris Nuttall

SIA august 08 chip salesThey may be pre-financial meltdown figures, but the latest stats for worldwide PC and semiconductor sales may provide some comfort in Silicon Valley today.

The research firm iSuppli says HP and Dell continued to increase PC unit shipments in the first half. HP had 13.4m shipments in the second quarter, up 20 per cent on a year ago, while Dell shipped 11.2m units, up 21 per cent. Read more

Chris Nuttall

SiBeam WirelessHD demoWirelessHD can not only eliminate much of the spaghetti of wires behind your TV set, it can also take away the boxes sitting under it.

I came rather late to this realisation during a demonstration by John LeMoncheck, chief executive of SiBeam, the Silicon Valley company behind the technology. Read more

Richard Waters

ibm-three-day-chart.pngIBM has been the stand-out among big technology stocks this year, the company which has shown itself best positioned to withstand the storm spreading from the financial markets. So it’s a mark of Wall Street’s bleak new pessimism that even Big Blue is taking a pasting this week (according to Reuters, there has been speculation that IBM is about to cut its financial projections: when investors are in a mood to sell, that kind of rumour is like a spark to dry kindling.)

The deflation in tech has come in distinct stages. The eye-catching drop this year in the shares of companies like Google, Research in Motion and Apple has been mainly the result of compressed multiples: confidence in stretched valuation levels tends to evaporate at times like this. That took a new twist this week, with fears about weaker consumer spending taking a dent out of Apple directly. Read more

Robin Harding

The joys of tape - Getty ImagesObsolete technologies such as film never die, they just go back to the lab to reincarnate in a new application.

Films and tapes are rapidly going the way of the dodo: audio tape was wiped out by compact disc, DVD has all but finished the video cassette, and digital cameras are hunting down the last few surviving models that use film. But the businesses that perfected magnetic tape and photographic film are still around – although sometimes in reduced circumstances – and they are busy thinking of new ways to use the stuff. Read more