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Toshiba lays down 64-core SoC plans for Embedded Application

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 1:34 am

Toshiba have just made quite the leap, announcing they have developed a low-power, 64-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for embedded application in some areas which could be destined to automotive products and digital consumer products.




The insane chip sports 64 cores, claiming to feature eight times as many as its multi-core predecessor unveiled in 2008 and operates at an insane 14 times faster. The 64-core chip sits on a die area of 209.3mm2, two 32-core clusters are then integrated with dynamically reconfigurable processors, hardware accelerators, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and other peripherals.


In one cluster, we'll find processor cores that share 2MB of L2 cache connected through a three-based network-on-chip (NoC). The high scalability and low power consumption is accomplished by the parallelized firmware for multimedia applications.

A slow motion video of working hard drive interior, incredible speed and accuracy

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 10:31 pm

We often forget just how incredible the technology in a spinning drive is. We just take for granted that the size and speed of said drives will just keep increasing without thinking of the incredible speeds already present in the drives. Take for example the actuator arm in the video: it moved back and forth 22 times in just a mere 0.25 seconds.



That works out to just over 0.01 seconds per movement. Incredible. It's not recommended that you try this at home as opening the case of an HDD will allow dust in and will kill the drive extremely quickly. Additionally, most people don't have cameras capable of 1000fps just laying around in their homes.


That said, the video shows just how incredibly nimble and beautiful the inner workings of a disk drive are. That said, a solid state drive is faster and still one of the best upgrades you can do for a computer.

Continue reading 'A slow motion video of working hard drive interior, incredible speed and accuracy' (full post)

Knight's Corner gets a product name, will be for sale as Xeon Phi

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 9:32 pm

Take a quick stroll down memory lane and find Larrabee. Larrabee was Intel's failed discrete graphics creation designed to go head-to-head with the likes of NVIDIA and AMD. The Larrabee project was canned but Intel decided to continue the work with a change of focus. Instead of being a discrete GPU, Intel decided to target the HPC and supercomputing markets.




This new chip is an in-development chip known as Knight's Corner and is designed to be massively parallel. The product has clearly made significant progress as Intel has officially attached a brand name to the product. That brand name is Xeon Phi and will also be attached to future many-integrated-core (MIC) products.


Intel chose Xeon Phi as they wanted it to be part of the Xeon family. As for the Phi part, Intel says it's because it "evokes many concepts in science & nature including the 'golden ratio' in mathematics." Along with the brand name, Intel has released some technical details of the upcoming MIC chip.


The chip will be in production "in 2012" and be fabricated on Intel's 22nm process. The chip will feature more than 50 cores and "8GB+ GDDR5 memory" on a PCI Express card interface. Intel has asserted that the chip is capable of 1+ teraflops of double-precision compute throughput in Linpack. Intel has built a Knight's Corner cluster capable of producing 118 tflops as a proof-of-concept.

AMD to use 28nm Bulk CMOS process for products in 2013

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 8:27 pm

AMD's Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer of AMD, has said that they will be making a major change to its manufacturing process in 2013. AMD is planning on switching from its current SOI process to a 28nm Bulk CMOS process for the 2013 line of products. This, however, should not affect GPU manufacturing.




The current 7000 series "Southern Islands" GPUs currently makes use of TSMC's 28nm process. The upcoming "Sea Islands" GPUs will continue to make use of TSMC's 28nm process. The Sea Islands GPUs have already entered tape-out and should begin being manufactured in the end of 2012. The product should release first quarter of 2013.


Additionally, Papermaster pointed out that AMD is not opposed to working with other manufacturing houses as long as they benefit AMD in product launches. Papermaster furthermore commented that the HSA foundation was not directed at any specific competitor and ARM and AMD are only working together to combine ARM's TrustZone into AMD's APUs.

Intel acquiring 1,700 Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE patents from InterDigital for $375 million

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 7:27 pm

Intel has agreed to buy 1,700 patents relating to Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE from InterDigital. Last year, there were murmurs about a treasure chest of patents relating to those technologies being up for sale by InterDigital. The cost for these key patents? Only a cool $375 million in cash. Apparently, Intel has been after these patents for a while.




Intel's Senior Vice President, Doug Melamed, had this to say about the transaction: "These patents will support Intel's strategic investments in the mobile segment. The addition of these patents expands our already large, strong and diverse portfolio of intellectual property."


Interestingly enough, InterDigital refers to these as only a small portion of its overall collection of patents. How much more value is included in the other patents that they have? Senior Executive Vice President at InterDigital, Scott McQuilkin, had this to say about the upcoming transaction:


The acquisition of this portfolio of InterDigital's technologies by a global technology leader like Intel affirms the efforts of our research and development team which actively shares our innovations with the worldwide standards bodies, defining technologies that are central to the world's major wireless systems and devices.


The deal should close in the third quarter. These patents will add to Intel's war chest to be used in case of an assault by another technology company's war chest.

Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 6:27 pm

Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.




"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."


So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).

Verizon updates FiOS to FiOS Quantum, increases prices and speeds

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 5:33 pm

If you thought Verizon's FiOS internet was fast, then brace yourself for Verizon FiOS Quantum. Verizon has announced today the pricing and new name for their updated FiOS internet service. The speeds, as we previously reported, have effectively doubled or tripled across the board, but at the time we didn't know the pricing.




We can now officially report the pricing and tell you that the cost will be about $10-15 higher a month for at least double the speed. That is, unless you are on the bottom tier. The Lowest 15/5 tier sees a $10 price increase without any increase in speed. Prices range from $65-210 a month for speeds ranging from 15/5 all the way up to 300/65.


Existing customers won't have to fork over an upgrade fee, but will see their bill go up, depending on bundles and such. If you are willing to sign a two-year contract, prices will drop by about $5 a month, something that's probably not worth being locked into a two-year contract for. Most people probably can't even utilize their current FiOS connection, let alone these massive new speeds.

RumorTT: Kindle Fire to get a price drop to $149 ahead of a refresh

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 4:29 pm

In recent weeks, rumors have been circulating that the Amazon Kindle Fire would be getting a price drop. This is because, the rumor says, the Kindle Fire will be receiving a refresh and could come in new 8.9″ and 10.1″ models. It's likely the price drop would come ahead of the refresh in order to clear inventory.




Reports are claiming the the Kindle Fire is not doing very well in recent weeks. It has even been losing out to Barnes & Noble's competitor, the Nook. Combine that with a Google tablet that is rumored to be coming out this July for somewhere between $149-199, and Amazon has a real problem on its hands.


The Google tablet will run a more stock version of Android than the highly customized one on the Kindle Fire. This would make it more appealing to many users and would force Amazon to drop the price regardless of whether or not it is getting a refresh. Remember, this price drop and refresh are just a rumor, so take them with a grain of salt.

ASUS Nexus 7 shows up online in the form of a camera

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 3:32 pm

The rumored ASUS Nexus 7 has shown up online in the form of two pictures uploaded to Picasa. The two photos, which measure 1280 x 960, were uploaded on June 7 and June 13. The photos could have been scaled down, so don't take that as indicative of the camera's performance. The two pictures are linked to Google+ user Somit Bh.




Furthermore, the geo-location data place the pictures as having been taken in Google Building 44. Of course, this information is fairly easy to fake, but a look as Google+ user Somit Bh's profile offers reason to believe otherwise. His circles contain many people who are affiliated with Google which means this could be legit.


Just two years ago, the Nexus S was revealed in the exact same way. The "Nexus Tablet" has been rumored for a while now, including the portion that ASUS is going to be the one making it. The rumor also said that the tablet would cost between $149-199 and would go on sale this July. It's likely that an announcement is just around the corner.

Google sees 'alarming' level of government censorship

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 2:05 pm

Google continues to be an open company when it comes to censorship and the like and has released its biannual Global Transparency Report which details take-down requests by people. In the past six months, Google said it saw an "alarming" number of Government requests, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 for the period.




"Unfortunately, what we've seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different," Dorothy Chou, Google's senior policy analyst, said in a blog post. "When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not."


Google said that they received 461 court orders for the removal of 6,989 items, of which they agreed to 68% of those orders. They also received 546 informal requests and agreed to remove content from 46% of those. The study leaves out Iran and China who block Google content without notification to the search giant.


"Just like every other time, we've been asked to take down political speech," Chou wrote. "It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect -- western democracies not typically associated with censorship."

Continue reading 'Google sees 'alarming' level of government censorship' (full post)

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