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The Amazon Kindle is one of the most popular eReaders on the market and sold like crazy over the holiday season. Right now, the only type of content available on the device are books and magazines. Amazon is looking to add active content through.
Amazon has unveiled a new Kindle Development Kit (KDK) that will launch in limited beta next month. A limited number of developers will be allowed into the beta program to start with. They will be allowed to download the KDK to work on active apps for the reader.
The KDK includes code snippets, documents, and a simulator that can simulate both the Kindle and Kindle DX on Mac or PC platforms. Active content is expected later this year and will include games and other content types.
Word has come about that ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Company) based in Abu Dhabi is looking to take full ownership of GlobalFoundries, whereby currently it is shared by both ATIC and AMD with AMD owning 34.2% of the company.
AMD are said to be very content with this as they are looking to leave the manufacturing business and stick to being a fab-less design company. Selling off part or perhaps all of its stake in GlobalFoundries will allow AMD to financially blossom by paying off remaining debts and invest more in R&D.
While no official announcement about the news has surfaced yet, we expect we'll be hearing more about this in the coming months.
Toshiba doesn't care that CES is only a week or so behind us, the company is unveiling some new computers that it is aiming at the business user. However, one of them sounds suspiciously like a gaming notebook having a mid-life crisis and looking for a new gig.
The first of the new notebooks is the Tecra A11. The machine has a 15.6-inch screen and uses a variety of new Intel processors for 2010. The machine can also be optioned with NVIDIA discrete graphics with pricing starting at $879. The Qosmio X500 is at its core a gaming notebook aimed at the user looking for a mobile workstation.
The machine has a Core i7-720QM processor, NVIDIA GTS 360M graphics, 8GB of RAM, and an 18.4-inch LCD. The beast even has Blu-ray with prices starting at $1549. The final two machines are the Satellite Pro L450 and L500 notebooks. The machines can be had with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and sport 15.6-inch LCDs. Windows XP or Windows 7 are the OS choices with pricing starting at $529 to $649.
Major semiconductor foundry TSMC is glad to report today that all prior issues regarding chips built on a 40nm process have now been resolved and yield rates are far improved. Mark Liu who is the senior VP of Operations has stated that the quality of its 40 nm node production is now almost as fine as its 65 nm one.
As TSMC is the supplier for both NVIDIA and AMD's graphics cards, this is certainly good news with AMD having been using 40 nm GPUs since its pre-gen HD 4770 and NVIDIA set to release its first billion transistor 40nm GPU in the GF100 towards the end of this quarter.
Further to the above good news, TSMC has also just finished construction of another new factory situated at the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) in Taiwan; this a part of the company's Fab 12. The new factory is for the purposes of 28 nm volume production by as early as Q3 of this year.
The global economy is down, but it is starting to pick back up. Computer sales increased this holiday season and spending is expected to pick up significantly in 2010 for the computer market and technology in general.
Intel has announced its Q4 2009 quarterly net revenue and the company did very well. Intel posted Q4 revenue of $10.6 billion with an operating income of $2.5 billion and a net income of $2.3 billion. Earnings per share were 40 cents.
For all of 2009, Intel posted revenue of $35.1 billion and a full year operating income of $5.7 billion with net income of $4.4 billion. Intel made a large portion of its yearly income in the last quarter of the year.
The rumors of that Apple tablet continue to make their rounds. The latest rumor has the tablet set to hit the market in the March or April time frame.
According the latest scuttlebutt, the need to make the 10.1-inch screen of the tablet stronger is what forced the tablet to be delayed to a Q1 launch. DigiTimes reports that Innolux will be the screen supplier for the tablet, at least for the initial shipments.
Later devices will reportedly have screens made by Wintek. Foxconn subsidiary G-Tech Optoelectronics is providing a glass strengthening process for the device and Foxconn will provide assembly of the tablet.
This past week rumors have been circulating around the good ole Internet that DFI is quitting the enthuaist and retail motherboard business.
We have heard plenty of rumors on the story that both claim that DFI is quitting and ones saying that DFI isn't quitting the business. I'll put it out in the open that we had it from a reliable source last night over an IM chat that DFI is indeed quitting from January 2010, but is trying to kills the rumors as it still wants to sell the rest of its stock and use the parts its ordered from the likes of Intel and Foxconn.
To be honest, I don't know what to believe. However, we just received an email from Alex Cheng at DFI reiterating that no such decision has been made for DFI to quit the business. Here is what we got from Alex:
We are surprised to hear the rumor, although it's not the first time to see the news. We never heard such decision and were told to do so. Besides, RD still keeps developing new products and releasing new BIOS. Our recent product plans are as follows:
1. Releasing BIOS for X58 to support Intel 6-core 32 nm processor, code-named Gulftown.
2. Promoting and developing Hybrid system and technology.
3. After launching MI P55-T36, we are planning and developing more MI products.
4. For high end market, our product design of AMD 890 was just rendered to AMD for review.
From these plans, it is clear to tell that DFI LANParty is still developing and preparing more innovative products in the market. Such rumors should be just ignored.
We will have to wait and see what happens. These rumors have floated around about DFI in the past and they didn't turn out true. I visited the DFI HQ here in Taipei only a little while ago to get an exclusive look at its Hybrid motherboard (P45 + ION - Two Systems, One Mobo) and things looked pretty active around the office to me, not like a business unit that was about to be shut down. Things change, though...
More to come as the story develops!
Even when the economy was at its worst, sales of some mobile devices were still very robust. Smartphones and netbooks continued to sell very well despite the economy. Research firm ABI Research has released a new report that claims mobile device shipments will almost double by 2015.
ABI reports that 1.2 billion mobile devices will ship this year in all categories of wireless devices from mobile phones to netbooks, and other consumer electronic devices. By 2014, the shipments of these devices will have almost doubled to 2.25 billion.
Cellular modems are expected to grow at a rate of 40% annually and ultra mobile devices will grow at 67%. "The next five years will see a shift in the breakdown between types of mobile devices shipped," comments industry analyst Michael Morgan. "Today, wireless handsets rule the roost, with other mobile devices accounting for only 40 million shipments and cellular modems only 60 million. While handset shipments did actually decrease between 2008 and 2009 due to the global recession, the other two segments in fact grew very aggressively.
If you have a gadget hound or avid reader on your Christmas list that you haven't bought for yet, it's not too late to get them something really cool. Amazon has announced that the Kindle is still available and now has free shipping.
The free shipping is two-day priority and will get the Kindle to your door in time for Christmas as long as you order by December 22. Amazon also says that the Kindle has broken another monthly sales record.
Personally, I wish Amazon would just keep that to themselves. If they won't say home many devices they are actually selling, telling us it broke a record is irrelevant. I just don't understand the secrecy and think if it were selling in huge volumes, they would want to brag.
The poor economy has put the computer industry in quite a bad place over the last year or so. Many of the quarters in 2009 had some of the lowest sales levels in years. Over the last few months, the industry has started to turn a corner.
IDC reports that the computer industry is set to return to growth and is predicting in 2010 that portable computers will grow 18.1%. In Q3 2009 the industry grew 2.3% after three quarters of decline. Portable systems grew the most with a 33.5% gain from the same quarter of 2008.
The netbook market grew the most increasing to 28% of the consumer portable market from 14% the previous year. Net growth for 2009 is predicted to be 1.3%.