Jun 1 2010

Intel Executive Forecasts His Company’s Direction

Intel employee David Perlmutter, the executive vice president and co-general manager of the architecture group, has recently spoken about his company’s future direction.

Perlmutter says that the computer market is continuing to grow, as are data centers and cloud computing. Due to the increasing amount of devices people will own, Intel will also grow because it makes a lot of the chips for these devices. Many of the devices at the Computex trade show in Taipei (which Perlmutter attended) are going to be based on Intel’s Atom processor.

Perlmutter also added that in 2011, most of Intel’s revenue will come from chips in personal computers and data centers. The company also plans to ship one billion chips within five years. Though it sounds like an almost unachievable goal, Intel plans to ship over 350 million units in 2010 and hopes to double that number in 2011.

Perlmutter says his company is at least a year ahead of some other chip companies and all in all, he sees a rosy future for Intel.

Via The Wall Street Journal, image via Intel.

May 19 2010

Will Intel Influence the Size of Future Netbooks?

Netbooks have not been able to do too much in terms of cannibalizing notebook sales, and we have Intel to partially thank for this.  Intel has imposed a limitation on netbook screen sizes, i.e. netbooks that are powered by processors in the Atom N series have been restricted to screen sizes no larger than 10.2″.  This may change soon, as Intel may lift this restriction in the latter half of 2010, particularly with devices that are powered by the dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor.

Surprised?  I’m not.  Netbook sales have started to level off recently, so Intel is looking for a way to keep netbooks interesting.  Some consumers believe that netbooks are too small to be efficient, so by enlarging the overall size of netbooks, sales in this area of the market would potentially be much greater.

In addition, ARM-based smartbooks with screen sizes larger than 10.2″ will be coming in the near future.  Intel wants to keep ahead of its competition, so it’s loosening the restrictions on which netbook sizes their processors can support.

Of course, increasing the size of a netbook would further blur the line between such a device and a notebook, leaving us with one question… when is a netbook no longer a netbook, but instead an ultraportable or a notebook?  Check out one of our previous articles for some details.

Via Arstechnica.

May 16 2010

Intel Atom N550 Dual-Core Processors to Come Later This Year

The Intel Atom N550 will be one of the potential dual-core processors that Intel will be releasing, and the company’s current plans are to release it in the third quarter of 2010.  These powerful processors will not only be available for netbooks, but also for all-in-one PCs as well as other low-powered devices, such as ultraportables.

The Intel Atom N550 dual-core processor will come with a clock speed of 1.5GHz, 1 MB of L2 cache, and a couple of cores to support hyperthreading.  Thankfully, even though these processors will be more powerful, power consumption will be minimal.  In fact, they’re said to require less power than the standard Intel Atom N450 and Intel Atom N470 single-core chips.

Via UberGizmo.

May 16 2010

Intel: Dual-Core Atom Netbooks On the Way

At the company’s investor meeting in Santa Clara, California this past week, Intel showed off a netbook that was equipped with the company’s very own Intel Atom dual-core processor.  The webcast event also showed off a new tablet computer that would be equipped with an Intel Atom chipset.

New netbooks and tablets featuring Intel chips will be displayed at Computex 2010.  According to Mooly Eden, the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, the company wants to raise the bar in netbook performance and they’re aiming to do that with the release of dual-core Atom processors.  Essentially, this technology will allow users to more efficiently run multiple applications on their netbooks at the same time.

Netbooks have been around for a while, and people are no longer willing to sacrifice their relatively poor performance (at least compared to laptops) for the added portability and convenience.   Eden says, “People are not willing to compromise anymore. We do not think about one thing, we think about several things at a time. We expect our computer to do the same thing.”

According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, the netbook market is continuing to grow, so improving the performance of netbook technology is very important.

Via PCWorld.

May 5 2010

Intel Releases Smartphone and Tablet Chip

Intel has announced on Tuesday that it is releasing a chip for smartphones and tablets that will hopefully open the door for Intel chips in the smartphone market. The chip, called Atom, has been primarily used in netbooks so far and has been a major hit.

The Atom chip differs from Intel’s PC processors in one major area: the Atom chip is not nearly as power-hungry. Standby time in phones with an Atom chip is supposed to be ten days, according to Intel.

The Atom chip also delivers impressive performance and is supposed to render web pages faster than other chips do. The Atom chip is also supposed to support different operating systems, including Intel’s Moblin, Nokia’s MeeGo, and Google’s Android. The first two operating systems mentioned are Linux-based.

If this new chip is as good as Intel’s other chips, the company should do very well indeed.

Via CNET, image via Intel.

Apr 18 2010

Netbooks To Get Intel Dual-Core Atom Processors

Intel has been rumored to be working on dual-core Atom processors for netbooks, and within the past few days, Intel CEO Paul Otellini confirmed that the company will indeed be bringing this product to market this coming year.

Currently, Intel produces the 1.6GHz Atom 330 microprocessor and rumor on the street is that Intel’s new dual-core processors will join the Atom 500 series of chips.  These new chips will have integrated memory controllers and integrated graphics, and potentially support 720p.

According to Otellini, “there will still be significant growth in the netbook business year-over-year.”  The dual-core Intel processors will be released in the second quarter, right before the holiday season.  Netbooks featuring dual-core chipsets are expected to start selling before the end of the year.

Via TechTree.

Apr 17 2010

Rumor: Apple May Adopt AMD Chips

Apple began to make the transition to Intel chips a little over four years ago, changing from the PowerPC processors to Intel x86 processors. This was one of the best moves Apple has ever made, as it greatly improved Apple computers. Though there were inconveniences at first with certain software only running on the old PowerPC processors and not on the new Intel processors (or vice versa), by and large these problems have been solved.

According to the latest Apple rumor, Apple may be considering switching over to processors made by an Intel competitor, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Apple does use AMD chips right now as graphics processors, but the rumor refers to chips that would replace the Intel microprocessors.

Apple has allegedly been dissatisfied with Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors because these processors require the use of Intel chipsets instead of Nvidia chipsets that previous models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro contained.

Via CNET, image via AMD.

Mar 19 2010

Internet Video on PC Not Good Enough For Google, Now Headed For TV

It was not that long ago that Google acquired internet video giant YouTube. At a price of a staggering $1.7B, it was unsure if Google would really profit all that much from bringing YouTube under its wing.  The advertising revenue from internet video is indeed massive, but it is constrained to primarily PC markets.  Google wants more revenue, and it is looking at the true and tested world of television to get it from.

It was revealed that Google would be joining forces with Intel and Sony to create a set-top box called Google TV, to deliver internet content into the dens and living rooms of families everywhere.  The situation is supposed to be a win-win for all parties involved.  Sony wants to integrate the technology into its own TVs first, Intel would be providing the hardware such as Atom chips, and Google would have a whole new stream of advertising revenue.  Furthermore, Logitech, creators of the Harmony series of remotes, is joining in with a brand new specific remote controller designed to make Google TV easy to use.  It is a monumental effort, incorporating the titans of multiple fields.

Not much has been released about this project. Google TVs will naturally use Android OS and Chrome as a browser.  The users could watch TV shows, stream movie rentals, interact with social networking, or surf the web.  Currently, there is small-scale testing with Dish Network, and an SDK is to be released soon.  Even so, Google will need to do much to prevent its product from becoming the laughing stock that is Apple or MSN TV.

Via DailyTech

Mar 14 2010

Origin PC’s Overclocked Core i7-980X Delivers An Unholy 4.3 GHz

Intel turned heads in the hardware world with its release of the Core i7 980x. With a stock 3.33 GHz and a ridiculous hex-core (that’s right, 6 cores) it easily is the number one consumer processor.  Even with the premium price of $999, AnandTech raved as the chip blew out benchmark after benchmark.

If for some peculiar reason you weren’t astounded by the sheer power of that, Origin PC has the solution for you.  On its Genesis desktop, it is offering the Core i7-980x overclocked to an astonishing 4.3 GHz.  Let us restate for added emphasis: 6 cores at 4.3 GHz.

And since the 980X is an Extreme Edition, it has overclocking covered in the warranty.  Have fun trying to max it out, if you can pay the price.  Just the processor option for the OC 980X is $1044.  So if you have over a thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, be my guest. I shall envy you.

Via Engadget.

Mar 13 2010

AMD’s Fusion Chip Will Compete Against Intel’s Atom Processors

Intel Corporation is widely considered to be the technological giant regarding computer processors. However, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) plans on challenging Intel’s consistent dominance in the market.

With the recently announced development of the new “Fusion” chip designed for netbooks, we are led to believe AMD plans on making its mark by targeting the “portable computer” community.

The new chip offers a relatively normal TDP of 10- 15 watts as well as decent graphics performance without requiring a separate GPU. Most importantly, this chip will fit in a netbook with a screen less than 12 inches long.

Nigel Dessau, AMD’s senior vice president, said “It will have a good processor integrated with graphics, so you won’t need the Ion graphics to give it half-decent performance… If we’d had a part, we’d have been in this space. We didn’t have a part so we went and worked on a part for the thin and light space. The plan is to come to market next year with a Fusion part that fits it nicely in a netbook type thing.”
The Fusion chip will be available sometime next year, so unfortunately, we can only speculate on its performance now.

Via Nexus404.

Mar 11 2010

MeeGo To Have Public Code By March

It was announced last month that Nokia and Intel were going on a joint venture to create an open-source Linux based mobile platform.  This effort, dubbed “MeeGo”, would be a combination of Intel’s Moblin OS, shipped on various netbooks, and Nokia’s Maemo platform, at the heart of the N900 Phone.  It is to be used on all sorts of products with both ARM and x86 architectures. By the end of this month, the companies hope to be able to release the source code to the public.

MeeGo is arguably the first truly open developed mobile OS.  Intel and Nokia are asking the Linux Foundation to watch over the development process, in order to dispel worries of corporatism and encourage 3rd-party involvement.  The first step will be to reconcile the differences between Moblin and Maemo.  Fortunately, they both have the same technical core, but ideological differences on direction and methodology will need to be addressed before MeeGo has a shot of becoming a coherent platform.

Nokia plans on supporting N900 users to MeeGo, at least initially.  This will allow a bounty of Linux enthusiasts to jump into the development cycle at the early stage. MeeGo will also stay in line with the fundamental Linux kernel build cycle, meaning it will eventually stand in stark contrast to Google’s Android platform.  Android uses a heavily modified Linux kernel, and is showing signs of diverging from the development tree entirely.

There are other major differences between Android and MeeGo.  Google, while making Android’s source code public, had a tightly closed development cycle, dumping onto developers massive amount of code with every release.  Intel and Nokia seem to be taking the more traditional route of Linux development; like Canonical’s methodology with Ubuntu, they will try to get 3rd party involvement from Linux and MeeGo users to help direct efforts.  Google now has real competition for the open source community’s blessing.

Via Ars Technica

Feb 26 2010

The Time Has Come for the Atom N470 Netbook Processor

Netbook buyers and enthusiasts should be happy to know that this coming Monday Intel will be releasing the Atom N470 Processor, which will be Intel’s most powerful chip yet for netbooks. The processor will enhance both the performance speed of the machine and longevity of the battery.

The chip will run at a speed of 1.83GHz and integrate a graphics processor and memory controller. These features will give netbooks superior graphics and processing performance compared to their predecessors. The fact that the new chips are also more efficient could result in an increase for some netbooks’ battery life performance. The chip’s integration also results in a decrease of size, which could allow smaller and lighter netbooks to be made.

Though this new chip is a great step, there are still strides to be made in the effort to increase efficiency and utility. For example, Nvidia graphics processors and Atom CPU will be coupled together to bring better high-definition video to some netbooks in early March, and it’s this kind of innovation that will drive the industry forward.

Via PCWorld.

Feb 17 2010

Whole-Disk Encryption For Intel Atom Netbooks

People do a lot of work on their computers, and that means that a lot of sensitive information ends up being stored on them. People want at least basic security on their laptops and netbooks.

Secuware now offers C4KNetbook, a utility written from the ground up to enable transparent hard disk encryption on netbook-level processors. This particular encryption emphasizes processor I/O, which UK distributor Security IP claims will leave the machine performing at pre-encryption levels. However, it’s still FIPS 140-2 certified  – a standard for government and industry required encryption.

Now, most people won’t be rushing to the stores to pick up a copy of C4KNetbook (Approx. $70 on a one-off basis) any time soon, but public sector organizations might be lining up to get their hands on it in the near future. Most of their workers really only require a machine that will allow them to run email and maybe another business application or two, and laptops cost two to three times more than netbooks.

The information many companies deal in, however, is usually quite sensitive, so portables must often be FIPS-140-2 compliant. Unfortunately, C4KNetbook only runs on Intel Atom Processors right now, so it could be a while before we see large scale security-modules for netbooks.

Via PC World

Feb 9 2010

AMD’s Llano Platform Announced

AMD Llano

After a long wait, it seems that the marriage of AMD and ATI has finally conceived a child worthy of their merger.  The Llano platform is AMD’s answer to Intel’s integrated graphics, and it has successfully turned heads. AMD doesn’t call the Llano a CPU or GPU, but rather some peculiar marketing term dubbed the “Applications Processing Unit” or APU.  It may not be the catchiest phrase, but we all know what it really is and it actually could give the Intel IGP a legitimate challenge.

On the CPU side, the Llano will have a quad core on a 32 nm die. Each core will have 1 MB of L2 cache, and AMD is most likely targeting under 3 GHz for clock speed.  Tag that along with with a fully DirectX 11 capable GPU (details not yet revealed) cast on the same die as the CPU with parallel vector hardware, and you get a potential Intel laptop killer.

Sampling will occur in the second half of the year and OEMs will get access in 2011.

Via Ars Technica

Jan 26 2010

AMD Expands Processor Share, Bright Future in General for Chips

AMD Turion
AMD has begun to make comeback in the CPU market, according to a study today by market research firm IDC.  AMD recorded major gains beginning in the first quarter of ’09 and has aggressively made inroads into the notebook market.

It expanded from a 10.2% share to 12.7% from Q4 ’08 to Q4 ’09, gnawing down Intel from 89.1% to 87.3%.  This is likely the result of the Turion II X2 and Athlon line, but Intel still seems to sit on top of the mobile market.  Only time will tell as both companies scramble for dominance over CPU and integrated GPU chips in laptops and netbooks.

Overall, 2009 has been a largely successful year for chipmakers, who shipped 31.3% more processors in Q4 ’09 compared to Q4 ’08.  Processing lightweight VIA was the exception, shrinking from 0.4% to 0.1% over the past year.  A major area of growth was mobile PCs (including of course netbooks), rising  by 11.7% over the same period.  The IDC remains optimistic for the coming year, forecasting a 15.1% growth in CPUs sold.

Via PC World.

Jan 19 2010

Intel Plans Huge Update To Classmate PC Netbook Line

The Intel Classmate PC is getting some updates, including new Pine Trail CPUs and a sleek redesign by Intel. Designated the Convertible Classmate, Intel’s school-centric netbook currently features a 10.1-inch swiveling touchscreen.

The new Atom CPUs are 60% smaller and 20% more efficient than the old versions. The netbook will also feature optional 3G and WiMax connectivity. Larger screen sizes could be in the works for the Intel Classmate PC.

The Classmate PC began in 2007 as a response to and competitor to the OLPC XO netbook. It was redesigned once in September 2008, but this time around, the netbook could feature better graphics and 720p video.

Intel says Argentina is going to buy 250,000 Classmate PC netbooks later this year, to be delivered to 1500 schools by the UN. Brazil and Turkey have purchased Classmate PCs as well.

Via PCWorld, image via CrunchGear.

Jan 15 2010

Intel Rocks This Quarter Due To Netbook Boom

Intel did something right this quarter, despite industry-wide cutbacks following the recession. This quarter was one of Intels’ best ever, as the company saw 65% profit margins and spent more than $7 billion on new US chip plants.

Strong netbook sales were responsible for much of Intel’s success. Other companies delayed investments and product lines while Intel delivered its all-new Pine Trail processors. Netbooks were such a big boon for Intel this year because they didn’t seem to cannibalize processor sales or sales of more powerful computers.

Intel is expecting slightly contracted margins of around 61% in 2010.

Via WallStreetJournal.

Jan 12 2010

Apple’s Upcoming MacBooks

Apple is expected to update its MacBook laptop line in the near future to include Intel’s new Core i5 processors. These processors, called “Arrandale,” are i3 and i5 CPUs that include new graphics silicon. Before this, Intel graphics were located in a separate chipset. The benefits of amending the setup are many; putting graphics with the CPU gives better battery life and performance, and the new processors are faster than the old Core 2 ones.

The new i5 processors will have a feature called Turbo Boost that allow them to run faster if an application requires faster processing. Intel has not revealed when Apple will be using the new processors, or how Apple will use them. One possibility is that Apple will get them made to order, as they have in the past.

Intel also has managed to offer a standard processor in special packaging that allows it to be used in a one-inch laptop. These are the same processors that are used in thicker laptops, so performance is not compromised.

Finally, with the new Core i processors, Apple could possibly put a quad-core processor (the Core i7) into a 17-inch MacBook Pro.

Via CNET, image via Apple.

Dec 25 2009

Asus Might Release a 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop with Intel’s Core i5-430M Processor

It is rumored that Asus will release a new gaming laptop early next year, which will allegedly use Intel’s powerful dual-core i5-430M Processor. Another supposed feature of the Asus laptop is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 GPU that can surely handle the most advanced graphics.

The Asus X77 laptop’s features include:

  • 1,600 x 900 17.3-inch LED screen
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 GPU with DDR3 Memory
  • Two 500GB hard drives
  • 4GB of RAM
  • eSata Port
  • HDMI Port

This new machine is a full-fledged gaming laptop that should run most of the latest games. The Asus X77 will be priced around $1435.

Via Engadget.

Dec 24 2009

Intel Says The Nvidia Ion Is Too Expensive For Netbooks

There’s no question that the Nvidia ION is a powerhouse – this little chip can get a netbook running a 1.6 GHz Intel chip to run HD video and allow for modestly intensive gaming. But is it worth the cost?

Intel netbook marketing director Anil Nanduri says no:

“To run multimedia you don’t need a huge graphics chip. And that’s what those third-party decoder solutions will show in the marketplace… We believe (Ion) adds unnecessary additional cost and the other trade-offs make it less desirable. Our customers have the option to design netbooks how they want to but ultimately the market is going to decide.”

Nanduri says there are better ways to crank multimedia power while saving energy on a smaller computer, because “netbooks are not meant for gaming.” Still, if you can game on a netbook, why not?

And gaming’s not the only thing an ION can do – even YouTube has HD options now, and netbook users are going to want in. At the end of the day, Nanduri’s comments may have some accuracy but seem to be motivated by competition rather than genuine concern.

Via TechSpot, image via Nvidia.

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