AMD

Chris Nuttall

Intel told its investor day last week it would be producing 2m units a week of its latest “Ivy Bridge” processors by the end of June, but the chipmaker faces fresh competition from Tuesday’s consumer and business announcements by rivals AMD and Nvidia.

AMD launched its second-generation “Trinity” processors, touting longer battery life and lower prices than Intel’s offerings for notebooks and PCs, while Nvidia threatened to challenge Intel in the data centre and enterprise with the unveiling of its VGX graphics processing unit (GPU) platform

Chris Nuttall

Intel has launched its next-generation server processor to boost its presence in data centres and cloud storage, while at the same time pooh-poohing an acquisition by rival Advanced Micro Devices in the same area.

At a launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel said the Xeon E5  product family represented up to an 80 per cent performance improvement over its previous generation. It said it was not impressed with the server technology of SeaMicro and declined to buy it before AMD announced a $334m deal last week. 

Tech news from around the web:

Google is profiting from illegal advertisements on its search engine, even though it takes them down, alleged a report published on the BBC website on Tuesday. 

Joseph Menn

Apple updated its flagship desktop iMac computers on Tuesday, giving them more powerful components, including Intel processors with four engines and AMD graphics chips that it said make video as much as three times faster. 

Chris Nuttall

Much of the excitement around HP at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is over whether it will unveil a long awaited tablet powered by Palm’s webOS. No sign of it yet, but, in the meantime, HP has announced its new notebook, netbook, PC and monitor lineup with the Pavilion dm1 looking the pick of the bunch. 

Chris Nuttall

AMD has followed Intel in warning that revenues suffered in the third quarter due to slackening consumer demand.

The news on Thursday reinforced the view that PC makers and their microprocessor partners have suffered a tough “back to school” season. With tablets, eReaders and smartphones exciting the consumer imagination more than laptops, it could be an equally tough holiday season ahead. 

Chris Nuttall

Intel introduced “Sandy Bridge” on Monday as a chip that would revolutionise the PC, with analysts agreeing it was part of a graphics trend that could reshape the industry.

Sandy Bridge will compete with rival products from AMD and Nvidia, with chipmakers focusing on consumer interest in watching and processing high-definition video as the best use case for the extra capability they are adding to processors. 

Chris Nuttall

The splurge in server sales, which Intel highlighted on Tuesday as a revival of corporate hardware spending, is also benefiting its rival AMD.

On its second-quarter earnings call on Thursday, the Silicon Valley neighbour said shipments of its new Opteron 6000 server chips nearly quadrupled compared to the first quarter “ramping late in the quarter as our largest customers transitioned the bulk of their AMD-based offering to the new platform.” 

Chris Nuttall

HP emphasised compelling designs and colours, but also its expanded use of AMD processors in its back-to-school laptop lineup this week.

Ultra-thin laptop concepts pushed by AMD could literally be the shape of things to come, with netbooks suffering a setback in the first quarter and Intel taking another shot at this higher-end category. 

Chris Nuttall

Servers, whether the tall wardrobe type or those pizza-box slices of hardware that slide into racks in data centre ovens, seem suddenly almost sexy.

We have had lavish beauty-contest launches from AMD and Intel on Monday and Tuesday of new high-performance server chips at San Francisco’s De Young Museum and the old Federal Reserve building respectively.