Jun 9 2010

Alienware M11x Gaming Netbook Gets New Intel Core i5, i7 Processor

Dell boasts that the M11x gaming netbook is the “world’s most powerful 11-inch gaming laptop” and they’re now competing against themselves to create an even better netbook.

The new M11x gaming netbooks will have the same graphics cards (Nvidia GeForce GT 335M) as before, as well as feature new Intel Core i5-520UM and Intel Core i7- processors.  Of course, the options now are also more expensive — $949 for the i5 model and $1,099 for the i7 model (versus $799 and $899 for their predecessors).

Both netbooks will feature TurboBoost technology, as well as an integrated Intel HD Graphics Media Accelerator.  The M11x netbook definitely is a heavyweight performer in its 4.4 pound weight class and doesn’t totally break the bank.  If you’re interested in gaming and on the market for a netbook, get out there and check it out!

Via ZDNet.

Jun 1 2010

Intel Executive Forecasts His Company’s Direction

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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 24 2010

Netbook and Notebook Distinctions Keep Blurring

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For a long time the difference between a netbook and notebook was fairly clear. With a netbook you have limited processing and graphical power, but you had reduced cost, wonderfully enhanced portability, and a notably higher battery life. As predicted however, advancements in the tech industry have created even smaller, cheaper, and more efficient chips that can fit into both netbooks and notebooks. The major push has been by Intel, who has finalized their 2010 Intel Core Ultra-Low Voltage processors for thin laptops.

This kind of advancement is critical: as the tablet industry is expanding, the need to bring high performance to portable devices is a must in order to stay competitive.  Mooly Eden, the vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, said in a press release that “Intel’s leadership in 32nm high-k metal gate process technology, combined with breakthrough architecture and design has enabled thinner, lighter and faster notebooks than previous models, with terrific battery life. Not only are laptops becoming ultraportable, but with the new processors inside, users will see faster response times and less waiting.”

Via PCWorld

May 16 2010

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

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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 15 2010

Kids Computers to Launch Classmate Tablet Netbook

We haven’t seen the release of a kid-friendly tablet/netbook device in a while, but Kids Computers has a remedy to that.  Their newest device that is aimed at kids is the Intel Classmate Tablet, which can be used both as a tablet and as a clamshell netbook.  This computer features a 10.1″ LCD screen with 1024×600 resolution, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive.  Other options for memory and storage are 2 GB and an SSD hard drive, respectively.

The tablet’s keyboard is water resistant and the screen is touch sensitive.  There is also a pen that’s included with the device so that kids can draw on the screen.  Other features of the tablet/netbook include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Windows XP Home.  If 2 GB of RAM is purchased with the tablet, it can also be upgraded to the Windows 7 version for an additional cost.  The Intel Classmate netbook will be equipped with a 4-celled battery.  Pricing starts at $649 for the base model.

Via I4U.

May 13 2010

Intel CEO Otellini Foresees Growth in Netbook Market

With the introduction of its Atom chip, Intel has been a significant player in the netbook marketIntel CEO Paul Otellini is optimistic about the future performance of this market.  He see revenues and earnings from netbooks increasing from single digits this year to low double digits within the next few years.

According to Otellini, computers are in “a growth industry,” especially with the growth of the technology in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil.  “We’re on top of a growth engine and we intend to deliver.”

What does Otellini have to say about Apple and the new iPad’s impact on netbook and notebook sales?  Otellini believes that tablets and netbooks offer additional means for consumers to stay connected, “I don’t think they will take away market share from other devices.”

Really?  We’ll have to see about that — only the future can tell.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments.

Via MarketWatch.

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 22 2010

Apple A4 Chip Could be a $1 Billion Investment

A report in The New York Times has estimated that Apple’s new A4 chip was a $1 billion investment for the company. The report was profiling the rise of competitors to Intel such as Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm.

Intel has been trying to get companies to use its Atom processor for mobile devices, but Atom chips cost more and use more power than competing ARM chips, like Apple’s A4. The upcoming iPad will contain a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor. New laptops from HP and Lenovo will also contain ARM chips.

Apple first invested in chip-making when it bought P.A. Semi for $278 million. Of course, if the A4 really did cost $1 billion to build, then Apple’s investment went beyond the buying of P.A. Semi.

Apple has claimed that its chip is extremely power-efficient and will give users 10 hours of battery life on the iPad and up to a month on standby. Apple’s claims about battery life are always exaggerated, in my experience, so I would not expect the iPad to have that kind of battery life.

Via AppleInsider, image via AppleInsider.

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

Feb 6 2010

New App By Newsy For Netbooks With Intel Atom Chips

So yeah. I admit it. I had no clue as to what Newsy.com was until I read the wiki article. And now that I have, I might have to frequent their site more often.

Newsy is now available to download from the Intel AppUp Center for free, offering 2-3 minute news videos for quick and easy viewing for owners of netbooks with Intel Atom chips. Users of the app will enable users to share videos via the traditional methods – Twitter, Facebook, and email – as well view and post comments which are, needless to say, synced to the site. Considering that a netbook is made for people 0n-the-go and that Newsy is designed for the same,  this could easily become a hit. Of course, it’s also one of the first applications available for netbooks, so that might not be saying much. Still the iPhone app seems to be climbing the ladder, maybe we’ll see a repeat performance.

Via PRWeb, image via IELab.

Feb 3 2010

Intel Atom Netbook CPUs To Get DDR3 Compatibility

Intel's ProcessorsThe quintessential netbook processor, Intel’s Atom, is due for a real upgrade. For now, rather than clean the slate completely, Intel seems to be taking another slow step forward by announcing two DDR3 compatible CPUs with the same power rating.

The two new processors are going to be the N475, clocked at the reasonably fast (at least for a netbook) 1.83 GHz, and the N455 with the standard 1.6 GHz. Both chips plan on maintaining their thermal design power (TDP/fancy talk for heat) ratings and are scheduled for a Q3 launch.

The only thing these chips will bring is DDR3 to netbooks, so don’t plan on that alone really changing performance.  Still, it is a sign at least that the netbook market is moving away from the older DDR2 RAM to DDR3, which all parties will undoubtedly welcome. Perhaps this also heralds the last iteration of the current generation of netbook processors, so it may be time to look forward to real innovation after this.

Via Engadget

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