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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)

RumorTT: iTunes loses Podcasts, could we see a dedicated Podcasts app?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 7:28 am

It looks like with the impending release of Apple's mobile OS, iOS 6, that we could see a change in the podcasts section of Apple. Sources have revealed to AllThingsD that Apple are planning to release a native app that focuses solely on podcasts.




iOS 6 is said to have a dedicated podcasts app, which will let users discover, downloads and play podcasts on mobile devices. This is a similar move Apple played when they decided to split iTunes into a video and music app on iOS, as well as launching the iBooks app with the iPad release.


If this ends up happening, it may explain the disappearance of podcasts from the version of iTunes that Apple has been showing off to developers.

Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 6:31 am

Bret Taylor was Facebook's chief technology officer, but won't be for much longer. The CTO was in charge of both platform and mobile development at Facebook. Once he's gone, two of his underlings will take over his two posts, with Mike Vernal taking on platform development and Cory Ondreijka going after mobile.




Taylor is an ex-Google employee, too, leaving the company in 2007 where he founded FriendFeed. Facebook acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and two years later he was donned as CTO of Facebook. Taylor spoke to AllThingsD saying that the time he spent with Facebook "has been among the most fulfilling times of my career".


With the troubled IPO and problems the social networking are having at the moment, one would think this is quite a bad time for Taylor to leave, but his departure is no surprise to Facebook management. Taylor has always said that he "had always been upfront with Mark [Zuckerberg] that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that".

Continue reading 'Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup' (full post)

Ex-Goldman Sachs executive gets convicted on Apple, Intel insider trading

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 5:30 am

Late last week, a federal Jury convicted Rajat Kumar Gupta of trading inside information in a case that involves industry heavy weights Intel, Apple, and others. He was up on six possible charges, with prosecutors securing four charges, Gupta being acquitted of two.




Gupta was previously a director at Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble, and is the biggest figure yet to be caught in the government's efforts to stop the flow of information into Wall Street. The ex-director of Goldman Sachs was convicted on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for passing along confidential boardroom information about Goldman Sachs to a hedge fund, as well as confidential information on Intel and Apple.


Armed with the information, the hedge fund earned millions of dollars, but its founder is now serving time following an insider trading conviction last year. Gupta was acquitted on two securities fraud charges. Gupta faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charges, and up to 20 years for each of the three securities fraud convictions.

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