Chips

Sounds like a bad week for Moore’s Law at the microchip industry’s big annual Silicon Valley get-together. Read more >>

The six-month search is over. Intel’s board has picked Brian Krzanich, current chief operating officer, as the chip maker’s new chief executive, replacing Paul Otellini who left Intel after 8 years, Reuters has reported.

As Chris Nuttall wrote at the time of Mr Otellini’s exit, Mr Krzanich was an early favourite for the top job. He was promoted to chief operating officer in January last year, a role occupied by Craig Barrett, Mr Otellini’s predecessor, before he took the top job. As executive vice-president, Mr Krzanich already occupied the most senior role below the chief executive. Read more >>

Maija Palmer

There is no doubt that Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer, plays in the big league now. The Cambridge-based company’s designs are in most smartphones, and in coveted Apple products such as the iPad.

So it is appropriate that they have a weighty name for their new chairman. Sir John Buchanan, knighted in the recent New Year’s honours list, is chairman of Smith  and Nephew, which makes artificial knees and hips.  Read more >>

Tech news from around the web:

IBM claim that they have finally broken one of the most frustrating trends in computing history – that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, known as Moore’s Law – by creating a memory bit about 100 times more dense than current memory systems. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, announced on Tuesday $4.4bn of investments involving chipmakers that would make his state “the epicentre for the next generation of computer chip technology”. Silicon Valley may be surprised to hear it has been dethroned and, cutting through the political point-scoring, the real significance here for semiconductors seems to be a readiness of the main players to cooperate on moving to the next-generation of silicon wafers. Read more >>

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. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Bill Watkins’ brain has still not been reformatted since he left Seagate and his chief executive post in January, in a management reshuffle at the world’s leading hard-drive maker.

He has carried on thinking about hard drives and, in March, joined the board of Vertical Circuits, a neighbour to Seagate in Scotts Valley and a company he had followed closely, out of interest in the trend towards Flash memory and solid-state drives (SSDs). Read more >>

  • Faced with industry-wide overcapacity, Taiwan announced it was restructuring the nation’s memory chip companies and creating a new government-backed group. The move comes two days after AMD and Abu Dhabi investors created a new company to take on the Taiwanese. Demand for chips is falling precipitously as consumers and companies cut spending on computers, cameras and mobile phones.
  • Although there is evidence that gamers are growing tired of music games such as Activison‘s Guitar Hero, one title may revive the genre. “The Beatles: Rock Band” will ship in September, and is an almost guaranteed blockbuster for the companies behind Rock Band, which include Electronic Arts, Viacom‘s MTV and Harmonix. The Beatles, who have sold more than 600m albums worldwide, have rarely licensed their music.

 Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

If the daily bad news about semiconductors continues much longer, Silicon Valley may shrink to a gulch.

The headlines were unrelentingly dismal on Tuesday as the industry reeled from collapsing demand.

Consider these lowlights: Read more >>