The head of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group abruptly quit on Monday, dealing another blow to the chipmaker’s attempts to penetrate the cellphone market. Anand Chandrasekher, a 24-year veteran who was leading that assault as senior vice president and general manager, announced he was leaving Intel “to pursue other interests”. Read more

If there was still any doubt that events have taken a definite turn for the worse for PC makers since the end of last year, February revenue numbers from the world’s biggest contract manufacturers should put them to rest.

Hon Hai, maker of Apple products (and also desktops for Dell), saw revenues fall by 18 per cent month-on-month. Taiwan’s Compal and Quanta, the top two contract notebook makers, saw revenues decline by 18 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, compared to January. All came in well below analysts’ expectations. Read more

Intel has found a multi-national backer for its Classmate PC, with Lenovo promising wider distribution of the laptop for schoolchildren. Intel and Lenovo announced today their partnership would begin with the deployment of 158,000 Classmate+ laptops to students in Argentina this spring. The model is the same as existing Classmates, but Lenovo says its scale as a PC maker means it can offer it in many different hardware configurations, depending on each country and education body’s requirements. It will cost in the region of $300-$400. Read more

Intel and Apple raised a storm on Thursday for a new connection standard called Thunderbolt – formerly codenamed Light Peak. It sounds lightning fast and it is – with data transfer speeds of 10 gigabits per second. But it is not being widely embraced initially and competes with the more generally supported USB 3.0 standard. That provides an ample 5Gb/s of connectivity – 10 times as fast as the previous USB 2.0 generation. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is lowering its minimum spend from advertisers on its iAds advertising platform from $1m to $500,000, says AllThingsDigital. The move, which follows the first run of iAd campaigns, is designed to appeal to smaller-scale advertisers who originally couldn’t afford the platform.

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Intel’s “Moorestown”-codenamed Atom chip aimed at smartphones has turned out to be a lost generation for the world’s biggest chipmaker, with handset makers completely shunning the processor and the company now pinning its hopes on a next-generation chip for a breakthough in the market. Read more

Aside from the flashy phones and tablets unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, chipmakers have been giving us a taste of things to come with announcements on future technologies such as quad-core mobile chips, new user interfaces and breathtaking graphics capabilities. A summary of the news from Qualcomm, Marvell and Nvidia, as well as a note on the serious lack of any major news from Intel, follows. Read more

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has for the first time laid out its roadmap for moving to bigger silicon discs to drive down chip manufacturing costs.

The world’s biggest chipmaker said on Thursday that it plans to have a trial production line using 18-inch wafers ready by 2013 or 2014. Full production would begin in 2015 or 2016. Read more, front man for the Black Eyed Peas, is following Dr Dre and Lady Gaga in lending his pop-star credibility to technology companies. It has to be a sound and vision thing. As technology companies try to figure out how best to sell their growing multimedia firepower to consumers, they are turning to creative types like for ideas, insight into the tastes of a younger demographic and looking for their star power to add some sheen to their products. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Yahoo is looking to allow users to create new accounts using their Google and Facebook identities, reports TechCrunch. This follows a successful trial on Flickr last year, where after Google credentials were allowed to be used, the site saw a 20 per cent increase in sign-ups.
  • The Seattle Times says that Starbucks is to expand its “pay-by-phone” program to 6,800 of its US stores, plus more than 1,000 outlets inside Target outlets, following a trial in Seattle. The coffee company’s cardholders load an application onto their iPhone or BlackBerry smartphones which then displays a barcode that’s scanned at the register to pay for drinks.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • The launch of the Daily, News Corp’s news service for the iPad has been put back by a few weeks, All Things Digital reports. Apple supposedly needs extra time to tweak its new subscription service for publications sold through iTunes.
  • BGR has the details of the two latest BlackBerry smartphone handsets: the Dakota, which it claims will “sit right at the head of the BlackBerry family dinner table”, and an upgrade to its Torch model.

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Intel will make inroads into the tablet and smartphone markets in 2011 and their growth will drive increased sales of it server chips. That was the defiant win-win message from Paul Otellini, chief executive, on Thursday as he responded to concerns that the world’s biggest chipmaker was missing out on the next big wave for consumer technologies. Read more

Intel, which has made slow progress to date in tablet devices, pointed on Wednesday to a pickup in 2011 with 35 design wins with manufacturers.

But the world’s biggest chipmaker continues to struggle to break into smartphones, with Paul Otellini, chief executive, telling Barclays Capital’s Global Technology Conference in San Francisco that its first would not appear until the second half of next year. Read more

Microsoft and Intel’s close bonds on the operating system and processor that dominate PCs became known as the Wintel partnership,  but Wincomm is now the name of the game on mobile phones.

All nine Windows Phone 7 smartphones announced globally on Monday will run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets and the two companies are making much of the exclusivity. Read more

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. Read more

A new Dell tablet with an innovative swivel-screen that turns it into a netbook grabbed all the attention at Intel’s developer forum on Tuesday.

But smartphones running the chipmaker’s Atom processor were notable in their absence again, suggesting Intel is making heavy weather of breaking into the key mobile handset industry. Read more

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. Read more

Arm’s unveiling of the capabilities its Cortex-A15 processor design, previously codenamed Eagle, expands the possibilities for Arm-based chips well beyond the mobile phone industry they dominate.

The launch in San Francisco on Wednesday night also expanded Arm’s share price in London on Thursday as it rose 4 per cent to a new 52-week peak of 403p – 200 per cent higher than a year ago. Read more

Intel and Nokia have announced the University of Oulu in Finland, which has expertise in 3D interfaces, will be the home of their first joint research lab.

The news is an indication of progress on software in the partnership announced in June last year between the biggest chipmaker and handset maker, but there remains no evidence yet of the exciting new hardware that was promised. Read more

Intel is literally exploding our concepts of computers with a new optical connection that could scatter the innards of a PC far and wide.

The chipmaker expects wide usage of light beams rather than electronic signals to link the parts of PCs by 2015 and says their long range means components could be spread throughout a building rather than contained in a box. Read more