intel

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.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Research@Intel Day features fascinating concepts that may never evolve into full-blown products. But this year’s event, held at the Computer History Museum on Wednesday, had one great idea for the home that is already in limited production.

In a demonstration of Simple Energy Sensing, the “rock star” researchers of the world’s biggest chipmaker showed off a plug-like device that can be inserted into any socket in the home to provide comprehensive information on how every electrical device on the power grid is operating. Read more

Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president of the Intel Architecture group, used a curious turn of phrase during his presentation at Computex on Tuesday when describing Intel’s role in the future world of computing.
Besides highlighting Intel’s traditional strengths in designing and manufacturing advanced processors, Mr Perlmutter (pictured) said Intel sought to be the “port of choice” for various operating environments. Read more

Even for people who keep more of an eye out on upstream chip companies rather than downstream device makers, the focus for this year’s Computex has been very much on tablet PCs. This is because of the general consensus that while Intel will find it difficult to break into the Arm-dominated mobile phone and smartphone markets, Arm, too, will struggle to break into Intel’s stronghold in personal computers.

This leaves the tablet as just ambiguous enough a category – is it an oversized mobile device? Or a keyboard-less netbook? – for the two to fight over. This is certainly happening – Intel unveiled Canoe Lake (pictured), a new ultrathin platform that can support both single and dual-core atom processors for tablets and netbooks – at its Computex keynote on Tuesday.

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Computex, the world’s second-biggest IT trade fair, does not officially start until Tuesday but already the hype about which tablet personal computer will challenge the iPad as the hottest product of the year is in full swing.

The chief executive of Nvidia, the specialist graphics card company that is also a big supplier of chips for tablet PCs, kicked things off by making the prediction that within five years “tablets will be the world’s biggest computing category”. Jen-hsun Huang said tablets could even surpass netbooks and notebook PCs in terms of volume. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Roku added a mixed martial arts channel to its lineup on MondayWith Google, Intel, Logitech and Sony expected to announce a new internet TV platform on Thursday at Google’s annual developer conference, the latest View from the Valley column in the FT’s Digital Business section looks at how companies are fighting over the keys to the digital home:

“You can seal up the letterbox and lock all the doors, but it won’t help you resist the next digital revolution invading your home. Technology companies, retailers, content makers and service providers are fighting over the digital keys to the house, but their mode of entry will be subtle and largely invisible to the consumer.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Tablet computers may be all the rage with the introduction of Apple’s iPad, but they will not have a big impact on the PC industry, according to Intel.

“Everybody says tablets are going to eat the notebooks’ and netbooks’ lunch,” Paul  Otellini, chief executive, told the leading chipmaker’s investor meeting on Tuesday. “On the scale of the PC industry,  they’re relatively insignificant.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel has begun its big push into mobile phones and tablet devices by unveiling the details of an Atom processor platform that uses 50 times less power in idle mode than its current-generation chips.

Excessive power usage has been the chipmaker’s Achilles’ heel in trying to break into smartphones. It needed to reduce consumption to make Atom competitive with Arm-based chips in handheld devices, but the paucity of partner products announced to date suggests it still faces a long haul to make a dent in these new markets. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Schoolchildren can safely spill water on the keyboard and even drop a new ruggedised version of Intel’s Classmate PC, but they may be tempted to take more care of it anyway.

The Classmate is no longer cheap in looks or price and has features that would not shame a $600 laptop. In fact, according to an Engadget review , that is precisely the cost of  the version they tested, running Windows 7 Professional. Read more

Intel CFO Stacy Smith has been doing the rounds after last week’s sector-boosting record first quarter sales announcement, writes Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, FT Media Editor.

He was in New York on Tuesday, but his thoughts were in China, which is already Intel’s second largest market and on course to overtake the US some day. Intel will open its first plant in China in about six months, a $2bn site in Dalian, but Smith was as focused on the prospect of faster-growing demand from the Chinese market. Read more

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. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A year after launching its “awesomely spectacular” four-core Xeon 5500 server processor, Intel is coming out with its six-core successor, the 5600.

Its debut today represents the beginning of a new battle with Advanced Micro Devices over “volume servers” – a key market segment where the bulk of server chips are sold for systems that run applications and processes in data centres and company IT departments. Read more

Chris Nuttall

With a never-ending need for better battery life and performance from netbooks and eReaders, there was welcome news this week from chipmakers Intel, Nvidia and Freescale on more efficient processors.

Intel released a faster version of its latest “Pine Trail”-codenamed Atom processor, lifting it to a 1.83Ghz clock speed from 1.66Ghz. Nvidia said its new ION separate graphics processor would give a 10x graphics performance improvement over Pine Trail netbooks that just use integrated graphics.Freescale promised faster page turns , higher resolution and longer battery life on eReaders from its new chip. Read more

Joseph Menn

In what may be the first of many such formal disclosures, Intel included an unusual admission in its annual 10k filing to the SEC on Tuesday: It had been subjected to a “sophisticated incident” of computer hacking that might have been an act of “industrial or other espionage”.

The top semiconductor manufacturer said that the incident in question occurred last month, around the same time Google made a startling and more detailed announcement along similar lines. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said there was no definitive link between the attempt to break into Intel and the spying campaign that targeted Google and as many as 30 other technology companies, including Adobe and Symantec. Read more

Chris Nuttall

We may have got our handson the new Apple iPad , but analysts have yet to break one open and see what’s inside.

However, guesses can already be made as to the winner and losers among component makers. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show and the launch of an assault on its mobile strategy, Intel has announced an upgrade to its Atom microprocessor.

Atom has dominated the netbook category but it faces a challenge at CES from smaller, leaner-on-energy smartbooks featuring Arm-based processors. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Data centres are the modern version of the original mainframe computers, taking up vast amounts of space, with racks and racks of servers delivering high-performance computing.

As any engineer will tell you, a mobile phone now has more processing power than a room-filling mainframe of old, with its cost and electricity consumption infinitely leaner.

On Wednesday, Intel showed off a new 48-core chip that could crunch the size of data centres down in a similar way, describing it as a “‘single-chip cloud computer’ that rethinks many of the approaches used in today’s designs for laptops, PCs and servers.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

So Intel’s Paul Otellini was right after all – PC sales should rise this year, according to the Gartner research firm, despite the recession.

At the Intel Developer Forum in September, the chipmaker’s chief executive said he thought the market was poised for resurgence and PC units could be flat to slightly up in 2009.

Today Gartner changed its forecast from September’s 2 per cent decline in shipments to a 2.8 per cent increase on 2008. Read more

Chris Nuttall

An ARM race is beginning to take shape in smartphones, as the latest models demand faster processors to deal with an expanding range of computing and multimedia activities on devices.

Marvell announced today it would overtake Qualcomm’s 1GHz  Snapdragon processor with a new family of Armada processors, based on ARM of the UK’s designs, capable of speeds up to 1.2Ghz.

That is twice the clock speed of the 600Mhz iPhone 3GS and the new Motorola Droid, reported to contain a 600Mhz Texas Instruments processor. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel, which reports third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, has been talking up the emerging markets prospects for  WiMAX, with the technology it has heavily backed failing to gain much traction so far in the US and Europe.

But, according to a new report by the Ovum consultancy, WiMAX will only be a niche technology in emerging markets as well. Read more