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Realtek and Intel to Demonstrate Wireless USB Single-Chip Solutions at CES 2008

Realtek will demonstrate its RTU7105 Wireless USB device with Intel Wireless UWB Link 3480 Single-Chip CMOS Wireless USB host solution at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 7~10, 2008, providing the industry's first public multi-vendor demonstration of interoperability based entirely on single-chip solutions. Wireless USB has been developed to extend the convenience and widespread market penetration of wired USB to wireless operation, enabling wireless connection of PCs and PC peripherals, CE, and mobile devices. The demonstration will take place in the Intel booth in WiMedia Techzone South Hall #31642. For more information please be sure to check the full press release here.

OLPC and Intel Part Ways

More bad news for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, fortunately this time nobody asks for $20 million in lawsuit. After only six months Intel has announced it is leaving the One Laptop Per Child project. According to Intel, Negroponte asked the chipmaker to stop selling its Classmate PC while it was part of the OLPC, which is currently shipping its XO laptop based on a chip from AMD. Even more surprising, Intel is saying that the OLPC actually asked the chipmaker to stop working with any company that produces low-cost laptops, such as Asus' Eee PC. "It is basically a philosophical impasse and, as a consequence, we've decided to go our separate ways," said Intel Asia-Pacific spokesman Nick Jacobs. "Despite many months of work to align Intel and OLPC, fundamental differences remain in our respective approaches to the challenge of bringing technology into education. Intel remains a strong supporter of OLPC's philanthropic goals, but we were unable to agree to some of their requests ... most notably that we cease support for non-OLPC platforms including the Classmate PC."

Intel and STMicro Flash Venture Delayed by Cash Problems

The giant memory chip firms confirmed yesterday in separate statements that the planned partnership, dubbed Numonyx, has been pushed back to 28 March next year. The deal had been expected to be completed by the end of this year, but serious cash problems will put the deal on hold for a while. In May $1.55bn had been offered in debt financing for the new Geneva-based company. Lenders have now significantly reduced that figure, to $650m along with a further $100m in a revolving credit facility. Intel said: "We are in the process of renegotiating credit agreements, and clearly [the total] will be less. "The markets have changed significantly since we first announced the deal." The new venture could have annual revenue of up to $3.6bn and will create products for mobile devices such as MP3 players and digital cameras. Once the deal finally completes, Intel will take a 45.1% stake while STMicro will take 48.6%. Francisco Partners, a Silicon Valley-based private equity group, will invest $150m for a 6.3%.

Foxconn to be OEM Maker of Intel P45 and G45 Motherboards

Intel plans to release own-brand P45 and G45 motherboards in the second quarter of 2008 with Foxconn to be the OEM partner. Although shipments of Intel's motherboards are still far behind first-tier brands, the company is not giving up pushing its own-brand business to maintain leadership in design, development and marketing. The codename of Intel's P45 motherboard is Skyberg (DP45SG). The product will support 45nm-based 1333MHz FSB Core 2 Extreme, quad-core and dual-core CPUs. The G45 motherboards, codenamed Icedale (DG45ID) and Fly Creek (DG45FC), will feature support for HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI. Both will support 1333MHz FSB quad-core and dual-core processors. The major difference between Icedale and Fly Creek is that the former will support up to four DIMMs per memory channel while the latter only two.

Intel to get CrossFireX on P45 Chipsets

After the merger between AMD and ATI last year, some doubt was cast upon the relationship between ATI (the firm's graphics division) and major CPU rival Intel. However, it looks like any fears have been put to rest according to DigiTimes, which is claiming that Intel has received a license to support CrossFireX on its upcoming P45 chipsets. Both AMD and Intel have declined to comment.

Intel Delays Three 45nm Quad-core CPUs Intentionally

Intel has recently adjusted its product strategy and will postpone three 45nm quad-core CPUs that were originally scheduled to launch in January next year. Intel has already notified its partners that it will push back the launch of the three CPUs to February or March next year, depending on AMD's schedule for triple-core and the upcoming Phenom CPUs. Launching the CPUs now will not benefit Intel much in its battle with AMD, while they could cause damage to Intel's 65nm quad-core CPUs, therefore the company has decided it is in no rush to release new products until AMD is able to present more of a threat. The three CPUs that Intel plans to delay are the Core 2 Quad Q9300, Q9450 and Q9550.

Intel to Postpone X48 Chipset Launch

Intel was originally going to launch the X48 chipset in January next year, however the company may postpone the chipset launch by 1-2 months because of the large volume of X38 chipsets. Motherboard makers fear that the X48 chipset will slow down clearance of its X38 chipset inventory and have negotiated with Intel to delay the launch of its X48 chipset. The story also says that motherboard makers have already received X48 A1 test samples from Intel.

Intel Introduces Industry's Smallest Solid-State Drive (SSD)

The Intel Z-P140 PATA Solid-State Drive is smaller than a penny and weighs less than a drop of water. These ultra-small devices are fast, low-powered and rugged, with the right size, capacity and performance for ultra-small mobile internet devices, digital entertainment and embedded products. The Intel Z-P140 PATA SSD is part of the proposed Intel "Menlow" platform. The chips come in 2 Gigabyte (GB) and 4GB densities, extendable to 16GB.

Intel and LSI Announce Expanded SAS/SATA RAID Agreement for Intel Products

Intel Corporation and LSI Corporation today announced a multigenerational SAS/SATA RAID agreement to broaden the worldwide availability of LSI RAID-On-Chip (ROC) and MegaRAID solutions for Intel's worldwide channel network. Intel has selected LSI to supply 3 and 6Gb/s solutions for server and workstation products. The two companies have collaborated since 2003, and under this expanded agreement Intel will make available to its channel customers a wider range of SAS/SATA RAID products for Intel servers and workstations.

Intel Marks 60th Anniversary of the Transistor

Intel Corporation on Dec. 16 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the transistor, the building block of today's digital world. Invented by Bell Labs and considered one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, transistors are found in many consumer electronics and are the fundamental component used to build computer chips, or the "brains" of the personal computer (PC).

AMD Worth Less than it Paid for ATI

More bad news for AMD I'm afraid, this time it's in terms of company value. AMD's share price dropped to its lowest for more than four years last week, leaving the company with a total value of $5 billion US - that's $400 million less than it paid for ATI a year and a half ago. To put things into perspective, AMD's main rival Intel is worth $162 billion, which is more than 32 times more than AMD. Meanwhile, graphics card competitor NVIDIA is worth almost four times as much as AMD with a company value of $19 billion. These are tough times for AMD, and it will be hoping its Phenom processors and its HD 3000 series of graphics cards can get it out of trouble, although the former has not been particularly well received so far.

Dual-Core Celerons on January 20th

Intel is set to release its first dual-core desktop Celeron CPUs, known as the E1000 series, on January 20th next year. First to be released will be the 1.6GHz E1200, which will have a 512KB L2 cache and a price tag of $53 US when bought in bulk quantities of 1,000 units. Intel is also expected to release four new dual-core CPUs based on the Wolfdale core that day, and three new quad-core Yorkfields were planned, although those may now have been delayed due to a FSB issue. Full product details and pricing for the new processors is below, remember that those prices are not retail.

Yorkfield Launch Delayed

AMD hasn't seen the launch of its Phenom processors go as smoothly as it had hoped after the early batches of processors were found to feature an erratum that lead to problems such as system instability and data loss, but now it's Intel turn to solve a few problems. The chip-giant looks set to delay the launch of its upcoming 45nm Yorkfield CPUs because the integrity of the FSB frequency is not satisfactory and may even cause crashes. This shouldn't be a major setback as it has only occurred when forced in a lab rather than in normal everyday computing, but it is likely to add at least a few weeks delay before the Yorkfields become available. The Wolfdale cores are unaffected by this and still on-target for a January release.

Intel Penryn Mobile Processors Revealed

Intel's Core-based architecture will be updated on January 6, 2008 with the introduction of the new mobile 45nm Penryn-based Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme dual core processors, according to DailyTech. It's highly possible that the chips could make their first appearance at CES 2008 (January 7, 2008) with further unveils at MacWorld 2008.

Intel Adds Low-end Member to 4 Series Chipsets

Intel is planning to add one more member to its 4 series (Eaglelake) chipsets which will be launched in the second quarter of 2008. In addition to its original premium G45 IGP and mainstream P45 chipsets, Intel will add the G43 chipset to replace the previous G35, P35, G33 and G31 chipsets in the value segment. The G43 will adopt a 65nm process and have a built-in Intel GMA 4500 graphics engine, supporting DirectX 10, Shader Model 4.0 and OpenGL 2.0. The chipset will also have built-in HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI support along with HDCP. The difference between the G43 and G45 are that the former has reduced high-definition video decoding and memory support. Only the G45 will support MPEG2, VC1 and H.264 decode acceleration meaning systems with the lower-end G43 chipset will see higher CPU utilization when playing back high-definition formats such as HD DVD and Blu-ray. Both the G45 and G43 will support dual-channel memory.

Intel and AMD Benefit from Strong Demand

Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) in the third quarter both managed to gain share in the global microprocessor market due to robust sales of PCs and servers and the cessation of the companies' brutal price war, according to iSuppli Corp.'s final ranking. In the third quarter, Intel accounted for 78.7 percent of global microprocessor revenue, up 0.3 of a percentage point from 78.4 percent in the second quarter. AMD fared even better, with its share rising by more than the twice the level of Intel's to reach 13.9 percent, up 0.6 of a percentage point from 13.3 percent in the second quarter. The two microprocessor suppliers gained at the expense of their smaller rivals, whose collective share of global revenue declined to 7.4 percent in the third quarter, down from 8.2 percent in the second quarter. Please note that this ranking accounts for sales of all types of general-purpose microprocessors, including RISC chips as well as the PC-oriented x86 devices sold by Intel and AMD.

Intel Quietly Acquires Graphics Software Firm Neoptica

Intel has quietly acquired Neoptica, yet another graphics software company like Havok. "Neoptica has been acquired by Intel, where we are working on a number of exciting efforts in interactive computer graphics," a short statement from Neoptica's web-site reads when you try to search the home page in Google. Previously, Neoptica developed software tools for development of advanced "interactive graphics". Based in San Francisco, California, the company was founded by ex-NVIDIA and ex-Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. employees who used to work on software development positions. Besides, some of Neoptica's employees were involved into GPGPU (general purpose computing on graphics processing units) projects.

Intel Upgrades Software Tools to Support Mac OS X Leopard

Intel Corporation today announced an upgrade of its popular software tools suite for Mac OS X Leopard, the sixth major version of Apple's advanced operating system. The latest 10.1 version of the Intel C++ Compiler and Intel Fortran Compiler, as well as the Intel Threading Building Blocks, Intel Math Kernel Libraries and Intel Performance Primitives, have been optimized for Apple's Leopard and Xcode 3.0 development environment launched last month.

AMD Drops Out of Top 10 Chipmakers

More bad news about AMD. According to the research firm iSuppli Intel will increase its market share by the end of 2007 to 12.5 percent, keeping its place as the world's top chipmaker, while rival AMD will drop out of the top 10. Samsung Electronics will remain the world's second-biggest chipmaker with 7.4 percent of the market while Toshiba will rise to third place, pushing Texas Instruments to number four, iSuppli said. Infineon will rise from 15th to 10th place thanks to its wireless business.
Intel successfully defended much of the market share that it won from AMD in the first quarter in the PC microprocessor segment due to the success of its lines of dual- and quad-core chips,
said iSuppli's head of market intelligence, Dale Ford. Read the full report at eWeek.

New Havok Physics Engine Disables Proprietary GPU Physics

It's pretty obvious that nowadays, gamers want more than just pretty graphics in their games. The likes of Crysis, Half Life 2, Call of Duty 4 and BioShock all show that gamers really crave and enjoy realistic physics in their games. To make rendering physics easier, and to compete with Ageia's PhysX, both AMD and NVIDIA planned out physics rendering via the graphics card. Unfortunately for both of their plans, Havok is soon going to release the Havok FX engine. The Havok FX engine is responsible for calculating physics without any GPU support whatsoever, regardless of brands. If Havok FX is adopted across the board, then the prospect of GPU physics is off-limits until at least DirectX11. This is great news for Ageia, which would leave physics to physics processing units, and very bad news for AMD and NVIDIA, who have likely been perfecting their physics engines for the past two years.

NVIDIA to Launch Intel-based nForce 780i Chipset in December

NVIDIA is planning to launch its Intel-based nForce 780i chipset in December this year, however mass shipments will not occur until January next year. The nForce 780 SLI chipset will be available to two forms, the nForce 780i SLI (C72 XE) supporting Intel and nForce 780a SLI (C72 P) supporting AMD. The nForce 780i will target Intel's X38 chipsets as its major competitor. It will support PCI Express 2.0 and 3-way SLI technology with three PCI Express x16 slots. Motherboard pricing will be around US$200. With most of the features of the 780i similar to those of the X38 with the added benefit of 3-way SLI, some motherboard makers expect the chipset to have a good chance of performing well in the market. The chipset will also feature NVIDIA's ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture) to monitor the PC hardware status. In related news, NVIDIA's support for DDR3 will show up in the first quarter next year.

Intel Adds One More 45nm CPU to E8000 Family

Intel will add one more 45nm desktop processor to its E8000 family in January 2008. In addition to the E8200, E8400 and E8500 processors of the E8000 family, Intel plans to launch the E8190. The CPU will have a frequency of 2.66GHz, L2 cache of 6MB, and FSB of 1333MHz. It will be priced at US$163 in 1000-unit quantities. Although E8190's specification is similar to that of the E8200, the CPU does not support virtualization or Trust Execution Technology, and will only focus on the OEM market where it will be slightly cheaper when purchased in large volumes. Intel is also planning to launch the Core 2 Duo E5000 family to replace the previous E4000 family in the entry-level market. The first product from the E5000 family will launch in April next year priced at US$133 in 1000-unit quantities. Specifications are still unknown.

Infineon Announces Technology Collaboration with Intel to Develop HD SIM Cards

Today at the Cartes Trade Show in Paris, Infineon Technologies AG announced a strategic technology collaboration for the development of optimized chip solutions for high-density (HD) SIM cards with Intel Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, Infineon will architect modular chip solutions with Intel offering memory capacities from 4MB to 64MB (Megabytes). Infineon contributes its vast expertise in security hardware and will develop a 32-bit security microcontroller based on its existing SLE 88 family for use with HD SIM cards. Intel is contributing its leading-edge flash memory technologies, capabilities and manufacturing.

Intel to Launch Shelton'08 Low-cost Desktop Platform Next Year

Intel is expected to launch its Shelton'08 low-cost desktop platform for systems priced as low as US$100 next year and target emerging markets. Even though it is a desktop platform, its improved heat dissipation and power consumption will have Shelton'08 first being adopted for sub-US$300 notebooks in the third quarter of 2008, and shortly afterward for US$100 desktop systems. According to DigiTimes, the platform will use 45nm Diamondville processors, with either Intel's 945GC or SiS 671 chipsets. The Shelton'08 platform will support Microsoft Vista Basic.
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