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Intel rumored to acquire FPGA giant Altera for $10 billion

Intel is preparing one of its largest acquisitions to date, with Altera. Altera is a well-known manufacturer of SoC and FPGAs, and could seriously bolster Intel's already strong position in the market.

 

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The rumored acquisition would give Intel even more control of the server market, of which it already dominates with 98% market share. Datacenters are moving toward FPGA-based products, as they are reprogrammable chips that can run specific tasks faster than Intel's own chips on their own. Microsoft and Baidu are already shifting into Altera's FPGA chips, alongside Intel's own chips with good results.

 

Considering Intel manufacturers Altera's FPGAs, Intel acquiring the company could see them integrating FPGA onto their chips for additional performance. One of the big reasons for Intel to splash out $10 billion on Altera is that companies like Microsoft and Baidu could integrate FPGA with ARM-based solutions, which is Intel's biggest threat right now. Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said: "If Intel owns Altera, the chance of that happening is zero percent".

PayPal adjusting strategy, needs to close the gap in mobile payments

Google, Apple and other companies want to grab control of the mobile payments market, and there is suddenly a lot of competition. PayPal, which is preparing to spin off from eBay, is looking for options in an evolving mobile payments system - and could push its own mobile wallet while working on it increasing its own payment infrastructure.

 

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PayPal has worked on digital wallets, mobile payments and its own point-of-sale (POS) terminal for years, but must adapt to changing times. The company powers transactions for Airbnb, Uber, Houzz and others, working relatively quietly and out of the public spotlight.

 

"While other vendors need to gain consumers' trust, PayPal needs to come first of mind when it comes to mobile, as I do not think your average users naturally think of them," said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel, in a statement published by The Street.

Russia teases new trans-Siberian highway from New York to London

The Siberia Times is reporting that Russian Railways' President, Vladimir Yakunin, has proposed a plan to build a gigantic trans-Siberian highway that would stretch from London, to New York.

 

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The project has been called the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, or TEPR, which would see a major highway constructed alongside the existing Trans-Siberian Railway, right next to a new train network, and oil and gas pipelines. Siberian Times quoted Yakunin as saying: "This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project. The project should be turned into a world 'future zone,' and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies".

 

Yakunin has said that the proposed TEPR would run across the entirety of Russia, linking up to the existing road systems found in Western Europe and Asia. Yakunin also added that it would connect Russia directly with North America through its own far eastern Chukotka region, and then across the Bering Strait, through to Alaska's Seward Peninsula.

Continue reading 'Russia teases new trans-Siberian highway from New York to London' (full post)

Intel veteran leaves the chip maker after 33 years

The man behind some of Intel's biggest technologies such as Centrino, the Pentium M processor, Core 2 and even the Pentium MMX has left the company. Shmuel "Mooly" Eden was the Senior Vice President of Intel Israel, leaving the company after 33 years to "seek new challenges".

 

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Mooly held various technical and management positions with the chipmaker throughout the three decades, where he says: "I have had the privilege to lead many Intel groups in a long line of jobs. Beyond that I was privileged to work with creative people who over the years became good friends". Eden joined the company back in 1992, where he was quickly put to work on the new Pentium MMX processor at the time.

 

After that, he worked on Centrino, and is considered the 'father' of the original Pentium M, as well as the Core 2 Duo which saw Intel doing incredibly well from 2003-2010. From 2009-2012, Eden was the Vice President and General Manager of the PC Client Group for Intel, where he was in control of platform planning, architecture, enabling and marketing Intels' PC solutions for the desktop, as well as mobile computing solutions.

Samsung rumored to acquire AMD, to battle against Intel and Qualcomm

A super hot report has arrived today, where it's being alleged that Samsung will acquire AMD. The deal would see the South Korean giant acquire the chipmaker, merging AMD with one of its subsidiaries to better fight Qualcomm and Intel.

 

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The report states that Samsung wants AMD's CPU and GPU properties, where it would use AMD's IP to expand its growth and to battle against the likes of Intel and Qualcomm. The report also hints that Samsung thought of acquiring AMD back in 2007, where in 2007, Samsung's Head of Telecommunications said: "it is necessary to consider the AMD acquisition in order to secure a new growth engine".

 

If Samsung were to acquire AMD, we could see some great things come from it. We could see the Radeon IP used in Samsung's mobile offerings, giving them a big injection of performance. Samsung's fabrication could get right into things, shifting AMD's technology into smaller processes much quicker than TSMC offers AMD at the moment. We could see some big changes in the GPU department and its competitiveness against NVIDIA, too.

Spotify being pressured by record industry to limit free music streams

The Universal Music Group isn't a big fan of Spotify's "freemium" model that allows its users to listen to ad-supported music for free. Spotify has previously noted a growing number of free subscribers end up turning into $10 per month paid users - but UMG wants to pressure Spotify in current contract negotiations to further limit free service.

 

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"Ad-funded on-demand is not going to sustain the entire ecosystem of the creators as well as the investors," said Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of UMG, in a statement last month. Other music companies also want to see changes made to the current ad-supported free radio services - especially as more users go mobile.

 

The record industry has struggled to try to keep up with modern times, and its fight against online radio is nothing new. However, it is trying to find new ways to put pressure on Pandora and Spotify, despite both services noting how many paying subscribers they now have.

The BBC has reportedly offered Jeremy Clarkson a return to Top Gear

We all know about the huge controversy over Jeremy Clarkson, the BBC and Top Gear, but it looks like the infamous presenter could return to the series, as the BBC has reportedly laid out its specific terms for Clarkson's return to Top Gear.

 

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It has him needing to agree to their conditions, which Clarkson is reportedly not happy with. The Daily Mail is reporting that an executive will be placed as Clarkson's "minder", as they want to have someone looking after him at all times in order to ensure we don't see an incident that had him removed from the series in the first place.

 

The Daily Mail quotes the BBC as saying: "I think that people do see a way to resolve this, and that is by putting someone strong in to manage the show and manage Clarkson. He is a brilliant broadcaster, everyone can see that". With his co-hosts in James May and Richard Hammond reportedly refusing to film the show without him, the BBC has its hands tied behind its back right now.

NSW, Australia is looking into digital drivers licences

The premier of Australian state New South Wales (NSW), Mike Baird, has promised a change to digital drivers licenses over the next four years if his Liberal government sees a re-election come voting time.

 

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According to Baird this move will save the state tens of thousands of dollars whilst thrusting NSW into the forefront of digital license technology - allowing users to display their credentials on their smartphones.

 

Baird has also stated that physical plastic licenses will still be made available to consumers who wish to carry one.

 

As you're legally obliged to carry a license on you at all times whilst operating a vehicle in Australia, here's hoping that you've got a backup phone battery or portable charger with you - otherwise we could see people gathering fines for having flat phones. Thankfully there is a choice, so as the famous meme says - Why not both?

IDC: PC outlook for 2015 dips, but long-term potential is there

Worldwide PC shipments could fall by 4.9 percent in 2015, a higher slowdown than previous estimates of 3.3 percent, according to the IDC research group. The group predicts 293.1 million PCs will ship by the end of the year, as consumers rely on aging hardware and mobile products.

 

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Growth projections for 2016 and 2017 saw slight increases, while the release of Microsoft Windows 10 will hopefully generate additional buzz.

 

On the bright side for the PC industry, tablet growth has also slowed down - even with consumers spending more money on smartphones and mobile devices. However, consumers in the emerging market are expected to purchase smartphones instead of laptops and PCs - a trend that the PC industry must find a way to address.

Continue reading 'IDC: PC outlook for 2015 dips, but long-term potential is there' (full post)

AMD reportedly license Radeon graphics IP for MediaTek SoCs

According to the latest rumors, AMD is working with MediaTek to provide better mobile SoC graphics. AMD would see itself getting back into the ultra-low power graphics market in a very big way, while MediaTek will receive a huge injection of mobile graphics horsepower.

 

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Right now, it's a big war between Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and MediaTek. MediaTek, until now, hasn't been able to keep up in the graphics department, but with AMD providing its Radeon technology to MediaTek, this could change quite quickly. We won't see the fruits of this labor for quite a while yet, but the results could definitely be interesting for the entire market.

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