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Lenovo Completes Initial Closing for Acquisition of IBM's x86 Server Business

Lenovo and IBM today announced that they have completed the initial closing for Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business under the terms described in their announcement on Monday, September 29, 2014. Lenovo is acquiring System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM retains its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances.

As part of the agreement, Lenovo and IBM have also established a strategic alliance where Lenovo will serve as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to IBM and will resell select products from IBM's industry-leading storage and software portfolio. These include IBM's entry and midrange Storwize storage product family, Linear Tape Open (LTO) products, and elements of IBM's system software portfolio, including Smart Cloud software, General Parallel File System and Platform Computing solutions.

Lenovo Set to Close Acquisition of IBM's x86 Server Business

Lenovo announced today that conditions for Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business have been satisfied and the parties anticipate they will begin closing the transaction effective on October 1, 2014. The acquisition will make Lenovo the third-largest player in the $42.1 billion global x86 server market. Lenovo is acquiring System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, PureApplication and PureData appliances.

"With the close of the x86 acquisition, Lenovo will add a world-class business that extends our capabilities in enterprise hardware and services, immediately making us a strong number three in the global server market," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. "Now, our priorities are to ensure a smooth integration and deliver a seamless transition for customers. By combining Lenovo's global reach, efficiency and operational excellence with IBM's legendary quality, innovation and service, I am confident that we will have competitive advantages to help us drive profitable growth and build Lenovo into a global enterprise leader."

Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance (PBBA) Market Revenue Declines -2.5%

Worldwide purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) factory revenues declined -2.5% year over year to $664.5 million in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Tracker. In addition, the total PBBA open systems market fell -2.6% year over year in 1Q14 with revenues totaling $598.9 million while the mainframe market experienced a decline of -1.1% for the same period. Total worldwide PBBA capacity shipped for open systems and mainframe PBBA systems reached 398,280 terabytes, increasing 7.1% year over year.

"The worldwide PBBA market is showing maturity coupled with a typically slow first quarter of the calendar year," said Robert Amatruda, Research Director, Data Protection and Recovery. "We expect the PBBA market will resume growth over the months ahead as customers continue to embrace appliance form factors to meet their growing data protection and recovery challenges."

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Names Tom Caulfield as GM of its New York Fab

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a leading provider of advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology, today appointed Dr. Thomas Caulfield as senior vice president and general manager of the company's latest leading-edge 300mm semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility (Fab 8), located in Saratoga County, NY. Caulfield, an accomplished industry leader with more than 20 years of technical and global executive experience, will lead the operations, expansion and ramp of semiconductor manufacturing production at Fab 8, where GLOBALFOUNDRIES supports customers on the world's most advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology platforms including 28 nanometer (nm), 20 nm, and the recently announced 14 nm FinFET platform.

"We are expanding our Fab 8 manufacturing campus, strengthening strategic partnerships, and deepening customer relationships so we can offer our customers leading-edge technology and a more flexible and cost-effective way of doing business," said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Sanjay Jha. "Tom is a proven and respected industry leader with more than two decades of semiconductor technology and manufacturing experience and we are excited to have him join our team to drive the next phase of growth at Fab 8."

IBM Board Approves 16 Percent Increase in Quarterly Cash Dividend

The IBM (NYSE:IBM) board of directors today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $1.10 per common share, payable June 10, 2014 to stockholders of record May 9, 2014. Today's dividend declaration represents an increase of $0.15, or 16 percent higher than the prior quarterly dividend of $0.95 per common share. This is the 19th year in a row that IBM has increased its quarterly cash dividend, and the eleventh year in a row of double-digit percent increases. IBM has increased its dividend by over 800 percent since the beginning of 2000 and doubled the dividend in the past five years. With the payment of the June 10 dividend, IBM will have paid consecutive quarterly dividends every year since 1916.

Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer said, "Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to delivering value to shareholders. We will continue to invest aggressively in our strategic growth areas including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security to position the company to drive growth and higher value for our clients."

IBM Creates Big Data & Business Analytics Center of Competence in Greece

IBM has announced that it will establish a new Big Data and Business Analytics Center of Competence in Athens, Greece advancing its ability to deliver Big Data and Business Analytics technical and consulting capabilities in the region, drawing on an emerging generation of highly skilled local expertise.
The new center will help companies to better leverage analytics and cognitive computing capabilities, improving business operations and enhancing their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

The new Center will lead Big Data and Business Analytics client engagements in the region, working closely with IBM's global network of Business Analytics Centers in Berlin, Beijing, Dallas, London, New York, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich.

Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium Releases HMC 2.0 Specification

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC), dedicated to the development and establishment of an industry-standard interface specification for the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology, today announced its continued work to build the HMC ecosystem and support for the industry adoption of this groundbreaking technology through the development of a new interface specification. Today the HMCC also released a first draft of the new specification to a growing list of consortium adopters that now numbers more than 120. The new specification supports increased data rate speeds advancing short-reach (SR) performance from 10 Gb/s, 12.5 Gb/s, and 15 Gb/s, up to 30 Gb/s. The new specification also migrates the associated channel model from SR to VSR to align with existing industry nomenclature. The ultra short-reach (USR) definition also increases performance from 10 Gb/s up to 15 Gb/s.

The HMCC, founded by leading memory providers Micron Technology (Nasdaq:MU), Samsung Electronics, and SK hynix, has begun circulating this draft specification to a broad range of adopters, with the goal of incorporating adopter members' input and targeting a completion date of May 2014 for the final version. The first-generation specification was completed and released publicly in April 2013; several developer and adopter companies, including Altera, Xilinx, and Open-Silicon, have already begun leveraging the specification to design products and solutions that incorporate HMC technology.

Lenovo Posts Third Quarter 2013-14 Results

Lenovo Group today announced record results for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2013, driven by strong global execution, an innovative product portfolio and an increasing mix of PC Plus revenues. Quarterly revenue was US$10.8 billion, a 15 percent increase year-over-year, passing the US$10 billion milestone for the first time ever. Third quarter profit grew even faster with pre-tax income increasing 30 percent year-over-year to US$321 million, while earnings also grew 30 percent year-over-year to US$265 million. Lenovo shipped a record 32.6 million devices in the quarter or nearly 5 devices every second. Lenovo's third quarter mix of sales from its Mobile Internet and Digital Home division which develops PC Plus products such as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, was 16 percent of total revenues, up from 11 percent one year ago and seven percent two years ago, with steadily improving profitability.

For the third straight quarter, Lenovo was the world's largest PC vendor, with its highest-ever quarterly market share of 18.5 percent, up 2.4 points year-over-year. Record high share in EMEA, Asia Pacific and China with number one positions in five of the seventh largest PC markets globally - supported this strong performance. Lenovo's PC shipments for the third fiscal quarter were 15.3 million units, again making it the fastest growing of the top five PC vendors. This was also the 19th quarter in a row that Lenovo outperformed the industry as a whole, growing at a 14 point premium to the market.

Sony to Sell VAIO Brand, PC Division

Sony is reportedly disposing of the iconic VAIO brand, and with it, its PC division. The brand and its assets will be sold off to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), much in the same way as IBM disposed its PC business and Thinkpad brands over to Lenovo (which was a major supplier to IBM at the time). We won't see the last of VAIO notebooks, Ultrabooks, tablets, and convertibles, only that they won't be sold by Sony. The deal is part of Sony's larger efforts to shed underperforming businesses.

JIP could establish a new PC company from the assets it buys off Sony. In all likelihood, the VAIO brand could be retained, although the company's name itself hasn't been finalized. The new company will see Sony transfer 300 of its employees, to jump-start operations. The MoU signed between Sony and JIP seems to suggest that the company will prioritize Japan over global markets, in what is a similar strategy to Lenovo's. The Chinese company, after acquiring IBM's PC assets, focused its efforts on capturing the Chinese domestic markets with not just PCs, but also smartphones and tablets.


Source: Sony

Lenovo Plans to Acquire IBM's x86 Server Business

Lenovo and IBM have entered into a definitive agreement in which Lenovo plans to acquire IBM's x86 server business. This includes System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. The purchase price is approximately US$2.3 billion, approximately two billion of which will be paid in cash and the balance in Lenovo stock.

IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances. The agreement builds upon a longstanding collaboration that began in 2005 when Lenovo acquired IBM's PC business, which included the ThinkPad line of PCs. In the period since the companies have continued to collaborate in many areas. IBM will continue to develop and evolve its Windows and Linux software portfolio for the x86 platform. IBM is a leading developer of software products for x86 servers with thousands of products and tens of thousands of software developer and services professionals who build software for x86 systems.

IBM Reports 2013 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced fourth-quarter 2013 diluted earnings of $5.73 per share, compared with diluted earnings of $5.13 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 12 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings were $6.13 per share, compared with operating diluted earnings of $5.39 per share in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 14 percent.

Fourth-quarter net income, which includes benefits from tax audit settlements, was $6.2 billion compared with $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 6 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was $6.6 billion compared with $6.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 8 percent.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013 of $27.7 billion decreased 5 percent (down 3 percent adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2012.

IBM, NVIDIA to Supercharge Corporate Data Center Applications

NVIDIA and IBM today announced plans to collaborate on GPU-accelerated versions of IBM's wide portfolio of enterprise software applications on IBM Power Systems. The move marks the first time that GPU accelerator technology will move beyond the realm of supercomputing and into the heart of enterprise-scale data centers. The collaboration aims to enable IBM customers to more rapidly process, secure and analyze massive volumes of streaming data.

"Companies are looking for new and more efficient ways to drive business value from Big Data and analytics," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain. "The combination of IBM and NVIDIA processor technologies can provide clients with an advanced and efficient foundation to achieve this goal."

IBM Reports 2013 Third-Quarter Results

IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced third-quarter 2013 diluted earnings of $3.68 per share, compared with diluted earnings of $3.33 per share in the third-quarter of 2012, an increase of 11 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings were $3.99 per share compared with operating diluted earnings of $3.62 per share in the third-quarter of 2012, an increase of 10 percent.

Third-quarter net income was $4.0 billion compared with $3.8 billion in the third-quarter of 2012, an increase of 6 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was $4.4 billion, as compared with $4.2 billion in the third-quarter of 2012, an increase of 6 percent. Total revenues for the third-quarter of 2013 of $23.7 billion were down 4 percent (down 2 percent, adjusting for currency) from the third-quarter of 2012.

"In the third-quarter we continued to expand operating margins and increased earnings per share, but fell short on revenue. Where we had identified high growth opportunities and pursued them aggressively --- cloud, mobile, business analytics, and security --- we continued to show strong growth. This underscores our strategy to continuously transform the company to high value," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.

IBM Commits $1 Billion to Fuel Linux and Open Source Innovation on Power Systems

At LinuxCon 2013, IBM announced plans to invest $1 billion (USD) in new Linux and open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. The investment aims to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era.

A new IBM Power Systems Linux Center for developers, clients and partners opened in Montpellier, France today. Joining similar centers in Asia and North America, the Montpellier center is an immediate result of a larger initiative by IBM to commit $1 billion towards Linux ecosystem growth on IBM's Power Systems line of servers. (Credit: IBM)

IBM Acquires Daeja Image Systems Ltd.

IBM today announced it has acquired Daeja Image Systems Ltd., a leading provider of software that makes it easier for business and IT professionals to view large documents and images. Daeja is a privately held software company with headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As unstructured business data continues to grow exponentially, business users need not only access to information, but a compelling user experience as well. By putting content in the context of how people work every day, professionals can solve problems and make decisions that deliver better outcomes, faster.

Google, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA, Tyan Announce Development Group for Data Centers

Google, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan today announced plans to form the OpenPOWER Consortium - an open development alliance based on IBM's POWER microprocessor architecture. The Consortium intends to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology aimed at delivering more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers.

The move makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time as well as making POWER IP licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. The consortium will offer open-source POWER firmware, the software that controls basic chip functions. By doing this, IBM and the consortium can offer unprecedented customization in creating new styles of server hardware for a variety of computing workloads.

UMC joins IBM chip alliance for 10 nm process development

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TWSE: 2303) ("UMC"), a leading global semiconductor foundry, today announced that UMC will join the IBM Technology Development Alliances as a participant in the group's development of 10nm CMOS process technology.

"Established over a decade ago, the IBM alliance allows the partners to leverage our combined expertise and collaborative research and innovative technology development to address the demanding needs for advanced semiconductor applications," said Gary Patton, VP, IBM Semiconductor Research & Development. "UMC is a strong addition to the alliance."

IBM, STMicroelectronics and Shaspa Advance Smarter Home Initiative

IBM, STMicroelectronics and Shaspa today announced a collaboration to tap cloud and mobile computing for manufacturers and service providers to provide innovative ways for consumers to manage and interact with their homes' functions and entertainment systems using multiple user interfaces such as voice recognition and physical gestures for a smarter home.

A "smart home" brings networking functions together, creating a gateway that connects a television, computer or mobile device with smart meters, lights, appliances, plugs and sensors within the home as well as services from outside. Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected on the home network by year-end 2015.

IBM to Acquire StoredIQ

IBM today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire StoredIQ Inc., a privately held company based in Austin, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. StoredIQ will advance IBM's efforts to help clients derive value from big data and respond more efficiently to litigation and regulations, dispose of information that has outlived its purpose and lower data storage costs.

With this agreement, IBM adds to its prior investments in Information Lifecycle Governance. The addition of StoredIQ capabilities enables clients to find and use unstructured information of value, respond more efficiently to litigation and regulatory events and lower information costs as data ages.

IBM Lights Up Silicon Chips to Tackle Big Data

IBM announced today a major advance in the ability to use light instead of electrical signals to transmit information for future computing. The breakthrough technology – called "silicon nanophotonics" – allows the integration of different optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on a single silicon chip using, for the first time, sub-100 nm semiconductor technology.

Silicon nanophotonics takes advantage of pulses of light for communication and provides a super highway for large volumes of data to move at rapid speeds between computer chips in servers, large datacenters, and supercomputers, thus alleviating the limitations of congested data traffic and high-cost traditional interconnects.

Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Maintain Steady Growth in Third Quarter: IDC

Worldwide external disk storage systems factory revenues posted year-over-year growth of 3.3%, totaling just over $5.9 billion, in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker. For the quarter, the total disk storage systems market posted just under $7.9 billion in revenues, representing 3.7% growth from the prior year's third quarter. Total disk storage systems capacity shipped reach 7,104 petabytes, growing 24.4% year over year.

"The external disk storage system market continues to exhibit steady growth, posting solid third quarter factory revenues of just over $5.9 billion," said Liz Conner, senior research analyst, Storage Systems. "End users continue to invest in storage infrastructures despite persistent concerns surrounding global and regional economies. Helping to drive the worldwide market in the third quarter was the double-digit growth in multi-protocol storage architecture and strong demand for upper mid-range and high-end storage."

AMD Announces Opteron 4300 and 3300 Series Processors

AMD today unveiled nine new mid-range and entry-level AMD Opteron 4300 Series and 3300 Series server processors increasing performance per watt versus the previous generation to maximize compute capabilities in power-constrained environments1, while delivering outstanding value to cloud providers and web hosts. The AMD Opteron 3300 Series processors provide enterprise-class features in a low power envelope at a desktop processor price, making it ideal for web hosts and small- and medium-sized businesses.

The AMD Opteron 4300 Series processors offer up to 15 percent better performance versus the prior generation, based on SPECint benchmark results2. And SPECpower results show up to a 24 percent improvement in performance per watt. As with the AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors, these are socket compatible with the previous generation processor, providing an effortless upgrade path for customers.

Worldwide Server Market Revenues Decline 4.0% in Q3

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market decreased 4.0% year over year to $12.2 billion in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). This is the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue decline, as server market demand continued to soften following a strong refresh cycle that characterized the market in most of 2010 and 2011. After declining in 2Q12, server unit shipments increased 0.6% year over year in 3Q12 to 2.1 million units. This was the 11th time in the past 12 quarters that server units have grown on a year-over-year basis.

On a year-over-year basis, volume systems experienced a 0.5% revenue decline. At the same time, demand for midrange and high-end systems experienced year-over-year revenue declines of 14.0% and 8.9% respectively in 3Q12. All three segments were impacted by difficult year-over-year compares combined with transitions in the technology refresh cycles.

IBM Board Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend; Authorizes $5 Billion Stock Repurchase

The IBM (NYSE: IBM) board of directors today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.85 per common share, payable December 10, 2012 to stockholders of record November 9, 2012. With the payment of the December 10 dividend, IBM will have paid consecutive quarterly dividends every year since 1916.

The board today also authorized $5 billion in additional funds for use in the company's stock repurchase program. IBM said it will repurchase shares on the open market or in private transactions from time to time, depending on market conditions.

IBM Researchers Demo Initial Steps toward Commercial Fabrication of Carbon Nanotubes

IBM scientists have demonstrated a new approach to carbon nanotechnology that opens up the path for commercial fabrication of dramatically smaller, faster and more powerful computer chips. For the first time, more than ten thousand working transistors made of nano-sized tubes of carbon have been precisely placed and tested in a single chip using standard semiconductor processes. These carbon devices are poised to replace and outperform silicon technology allowing further miniaturization of computing components and leading the way for future microelectronics.

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