Hello again TweakTown - this week's been an odd one, with our News Ed taking a trip to Silicon Valley for the first time for GTC 2011 - so here's some of that and more.
At GlobalFoundries' GTC 2011, TechEye heard a lot about GloFo blowing its own trumpet on all of its achievements with High-K Metal Gate manufacturing. Several top execs claimed it has "tamed the beast", which will give it a real edge on other competitors, including top rival TSMC. Meanwhile, the upstart assured us that it's sitting on a treasure-trove of patents in the semiconductor industry and it has plans for the 14nm process just around the corner. We spotted some bunnies, too.
Ex-Windows chieftain Paul Maritz, who left to become Chief Executive at VMWare, thinks that the PC is on its way out. "Steve Jobs likes to say we're entering the post-PC era," he said at a conference, adding "we agree with that". The problem is in defining a PC - Apple wants the catch-all abbreviation out of the window so it can replace it with branding, but if tablets are anything, they're Personal Computers. Maritz went on to say that we really need a world where the web and applications are joint up together and can handle convergence over a bunch of different devices. Developers don't like complexity anymore, and neither does anyone else. Of course, Maritz benefits from cloud adoption, os there's that, too.
There's more confusion from HP as its head honcho, the SAP export Leo "Action Man" Apotheker announced the TouchPad had ceased to be. Elsewhere in HP, executives realised that it was actually selling quite well at the cut-down price and there may be life in the old dog yet, so it will return for one last run. There is certainly no shortage of components stockpiled at manufacturing houses in Taiwan.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California Department of Fish and Game and the California Regional Water Quality Control are all teaming up against technology bigwigs based in the state, including Intel, to be found in Burbank, Huntington Beach, Lompoc, Monrovia, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Diego, Sunnyvale and more. The boards complain that the many defendents, among them also Coca Cola, Nestle and National Semiconductor, argue that hazardous waste and substances were dumped at the Casmaliafacility, a treatment and disposal unit in Santa Barbara County. It's alleged Intel sent 2,686,641 lbs of hazardoes material to the facility.
Well, aside from the GloFo news, it has been a very Intel week, again. It's rumoured that Intel is going to push back Ivy Bridge until March 2012 and ditch a 22nm fab upgrade at its Fab 24. Intel, of course, says otherwise.. The Fab 14 facility project still stands, and it did not confirm a specific node for Fab 24, Intel tells us. "These reports are just speculation. We had never confirmed a release date for Ivy Bridge, and have still not done so," a spokesperson said. Ivy Bridge is touted as a low power, high performance chip - is there something Apple-y going on here? Certainly it'd miss some MacBook releases, but there are whispers about other Apple releases in that time of the year.