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.
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.
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.
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
IBM might have fallen from the spotlight of the computer world, but it remains an integral figure in its innovation. And to prove this, behold: IBM has announced it successfully developed a graphene transistor that is clocked at an insanely fast 100 GHz. Needless to say, this is the fastest transistor ever made and silicon might just have lost its spot as the number one semiconductor.
The best silicon transistors have only managed to make to 40 GHz, and it is becoming exceedingly difficult to continue down the current path without some sort of breakthrough. It looks like graphene will be IBM’s answer to this dilemma and with good cause. Not only is it much faster, but IBM used the same silicon fabrication techniques in order to make it. This removes a major hurdle to transitioning to graphene.
Still, this is only the early stages of the process. As with all technological breakthroughs, it will be some time before it trickles its way down to personal computing. Nevertheless, it has been a good week for technological breakthroughs.
Physicists at MIT have broken new ground in the exciting field of lasers. They have successfully shown that germanium laser technology can be extended to use in personal computing, sometime in the near future. This will have vast implications in the world of hardware.
Many hardware analysts are noticing that we appear to be reaching a sort of limit for data transfer speed. The solution thus far has been reducing and optimizing the semiconductors that transfer the electrical signals. MIT’s new potential solution: germanium lasers.
Germanium lasers operate at a frequency capable of transmitting data through optical signals as opposed to the traditional route of electrical signals. This manages to save energy, because there is no need for additional power to send data faster. This also removes traditional lasers from computers which have undesirable materials, like gallium arsenide.
So far this is more of a proof of concept than a market prototype. The cost of implementing this will likely be highly expensive, as it requires intricate patterns to be etched onto silicon chips. Nevertheless, we can always wait for the promise of the glamorous future and its germanium lasers.
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.
Special chips from Nvidia and Broadcom will soon become available for netbook lovers and will enable them to get faster HD video on their new machines. This is a relief, considering that the Pineview line of Intel Atom processors is not yet beefy enough to run the best HD.
Intel Netbook Merketing director Anil Nanduri explained that Intel chips will work in conjunction with the new Broadcom MCM70015 Crystal HD chip, a component offering support for Windows Media Player 12 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
Furthermore, more netbooks packing the Nvidia ION should become available in the near future, according to Nvidia product line manager David Ragones:
“With Ion you’ll be able watch Hulu HD or YouTube HD at either 720 or 1080. With standard Intel components without Ion you won’t be able to do that… Another category is Blu-ray video. If you want to watch the latest Blu-ray movie that just came out, you can absolutely do that on an Ion Netbook.”
Gaming is another category that will become available on Nvidia ION netbooks.
Via CNet, image via Broadcom.
New VIA netbook chips will use less power and take netbook speed up a notch, according to a statement by the company on Tuesday.
The new processors, known as the Nano 3000 series, are 20% faster than earlier Nano CPUs. One, the Nano L3100, runs at 2.0 GHz while the Nano L2100 runs at 1.8 GHz.
The company is currently supplying vendors with the chips and they should go into new machines soon.
Word has it that the new Atom N450 Pine Trail M processor, complete with a new (but relaxed) set of restrictions for netbook manufacturers will be available by January 2010. the 1.83 GHz chip will feature an increase in the memory limit from 1 GB to 2 GB, with manufacturers being encouraged to use 20 or 30 GB SSDs in conjunction with the new chips.
Intel and Microsoft have put some weird restrictions on netbooks running the Intel Atom in the past, resulting in a massively annoying lack of ingenuity in spec combinations for most machines. Some of us dared hope that the Intel Atom N470 CPU would take it easy on OEMs this time around but, unfortunately, it looks like our hopes have been squandered.
On the other hand, the restrictions have eased up for the new netbook CPU. Machines running the Intel Atom N450 can only have 2 GB of RAM, but N470 netbooks can run up to 2 GB DDR2 memory. Other guidelines suggest “a 160GB hard-drive (or 20-32GB SSD) and Moblin as the OS.” Moblin, eh? That could be interesting.
Naturally, manufacturers will also get a choice between Windows XP Home and Windows 7, provided they keep display sizes between 7- and 10.2-inches and keep MRSP between $299 and $349. That price range leaves very little room for manufacturers to make more interesting machines, so if you expected something new from Intel and Microsoft come the release of the Intel Atom N400 series, you’re going to be disappointed.
The ION 2 is designed for more platforms than the original ION processor, meaning notebooks and desktops – not just netbooks – are in the headlights this time around.
Nvidia execs confirmed that our good friend the Atom will be joined by other processors, including the Celeron, Core 2, and Pentium families in support by the Nvidia chipset. HD video improvement will be the first likely result of the release.
The ION 2 could also be much faster than the Nvidia ION, afford more shading effects, use less power, and smaller in general. Sounds pretty good so far – if the price tag is reasonable, Nvidia could be looking forward to an enjoyable holiday season.
Good news people, the Core i7 desktop microprocessor – yes, the very same Core i7 featured in Intel’s recent desktop competition – just got mobile. Under the name of Clarksfield, the new chips are comparable to their desktop counterparts in many respects, and are actually better in the range they have for Turbo Boost*. At the risk of sounding like a TV ad, this chip will allow you to run demanding applications on your laptop concurrently and use computing power (and battery power) efficiently.
*Turbo Boost: a technology implemented by Intel which allows CPU performance to be dynamically increased on demand, courtesy of Intel
As prices drop in the PC market due to competition by netbooks, the demand for netbooks has been a tremendous boon for the rest of the tech sector. Chip stocks seem to have felt the greatest effect so far.
Gartner recently reported that the worst of the recession may have passed for PC makers. With netbook projections initially set at 21 million, Gartner raised the number to 25 million for 2009.
iSupply analyst Len Jelinek has corroborated Gartner’s findings in an email to TheStreet:
“Intel with its Atom processor is definitely increasing sales and is poised to continue growth as they drive technology and performance with their next generation technology.”
Month-to month sales also boomed in every region in August – it was 5.4% greater in the Americas and 5.3% in Asia. So why the sudden increase?
You guessed it – SIA President George Scalise credited the gains to recoveries in consumer spending and netbooks. Netbooks’ low cost has been a big factor in increasing consumers’ purchasing power in a tough economy:-
“Notwithstanding the slow recovery of demand from the enterprise sector, we are encouraged that industry momentum has turned positive following the steepest downturn in more than a decade.”
The upcoming holiday season should be a further boon to the industry, when holiday shopping augments consumer spending.
Intel has announced that the new Pineview chips for netbooks and nettops will ship 4Q this year.
The announcement came at IDF in San Francisco from Jeff DeMuth of Intel platform marketing. He didn’t say when Pineview netbooks would make their ways in to stores, but first quarter 2010 seems like a likely option.
The new Pineview chips will be faster, allowing for thinner netbook designs and better battery life.
Intel is king in the netbook CPU world, but ARM has always tried to get an edge in on what seems to be an unbreakable market. However, the new 40nm Cortex-A9 MPCore processors by ARM may just change that.
The Cortex-A9 ARM chip has two cores and runs at 2 GHz – faster than the 1.6 GHz and 1.66 GHz Atom models. While it will be available for a number of form factors, netbooks are clearly in ARM’s headlights.
The A9 has some perks the Atom doesn’t. It’s 60% smaller, uses two cores, and may offer “up to 5x the performance of Atom for a lower cost and comparable power consumption.” It sounds like an attractive package, and with no limits on the components it can be combined with, ARM may just have found the formula we’ve all been waiting for.
The MenQ EasyPC E102 made an appearance at Berlin’s IFA earlier this week, and has been making its rounds in tech blogs ever since. It looks quite a bit like an HP Mini 1000 netbook, and has an x86-compatible RISC-architectured chip, available in1.2 GHz or 1.6 GHz.
It supports Windows XP, though not all applications you’d ordinarily be able to run on it. Other features include the EasyPC’s 10.2-inch display in standard 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, a 4-6 GB SSD or 160 GB HDD, 256 MB to 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, 3 USB ports, Ethernet, a webcam, a flash card reader and a 3-cell battery.
So, why use the RISC processor? I haven’t a clue. However, the Easy PC E102 netbook will hopefully be as cheap as industry voices are projecting – $200 to $300 USD.
DigiTimes is saying that Intel will soon stop taking orders for the chip from netbook makers, so it’s time to say our goodbyes.
Or is it? According to some rumors, the chip could live on in MIDs and smartphones, rather than netbooks.
Though the Atom N270 and N280 CPUs are king in the netbook industry, the Atom N450 might not swoop into the market quite so readily. Why?
It turns out that some manufacturers are feeling reluctant to mass produce until they know what big players like ASUS and Acer are planning in terms of new netbook offerings. Unfortunately, bulk availability of the N450 might take until the first half of 2010 even though engineering samples of the Intel N450 are readily available.
Demand for netbooks was lower than expected in the first half of 2009, due in part to segment saturation and the bumps of a rickety economy. Vendors are taking the hit in stride, but tend to prefer a cautious attitude and watch the heavyweights before throwing money at R&D.
Q4 2009 should bring Acer and ASUS’ announcements concerning the Atom N450, as well as increased commitment by manufacturers of the new Intel CPU.