Intel seems determined to become a company that disrupts markets rather than a company whose markets get disrupted by others. Quartz reports that Intel has a very ambitious plan to flood the market with $100 tablets this holiday season in an effort to make tablets more affordable to consumers in emerging markets. Quartz speculates that the upcoming $100 Intel tablets will be 7-inch models that have middling specs but will still be “good enough” for most consumers who don’t use tablets for much more than basic web browsing. The key will be making sure these tablets deliver a strong user experience for the limited number of applications they’re designed to run — as Quartz notes, there are plenty of $100 Android tablets made by no-name manufacturers in the world but most of them deliver demonstrably poor experiences for users.
The next generation of tablets is going to blow earlier generations away in terms of battery life. IDG News, per CITE World, reports that Intel has started shipping its Haswell tablet processors that the company says will deliver up to 50% better battery life depending on usage. The new processors are particularly important for tablets running Windows 8 since they need to have strong batteries to run a full PC operating system on a light and thin form factor. IDG News says that Intel’s Core i3-4012Y processor “draws as little as 4.5 watts in specific tablet or mobile usage scenarios,” so the new Haswell processors could really be game-changers for tablets going forward.
What if TV aired on your schedule, all day, every day? This is the reality Intel will reportedly try to create with its upcoming pay TV service. Add-ons like on-demand content and local DVR services from current pay TV providers are a nice convenience, but Intel will reportedly look to take things to the next level by providing a cloud-based DVR service that records everything, all the time. According to The Wall Street Journal, the killer feature of Intel’s forthcoming pay TV service will “include a server farm to record every piece of programming aired—local, national and international—and store it for at least three days in the ‘cloud.’ ” The paper noted that by using Intel’s set-top box, TV subscribers will not have to manually schedule recordings or even own a DVR. According to an earlier report, Intel’s service will also utilize a video camera and other technology to monitor people’s viewing habits and serve targeted advertisements.
There are numerous areas one might examine when looking for data to support the advent of the post-PC era. Declining PC sales, exploding tablet sales and astronomical smartphone sales are examples, but there are also some interesting less treaded ways to illustrate the rise of mobile computing. Case in point: in a recent report, Bloomberg took a quick look at the market values of Intel and ARM since Apple first debuted the iPhone. Intel rose to power on the back of the PC boom and we all know it failed to pivot when smartphones and tablets based on ARM chips began taking over, but Bloomberg’s observation really puts things in perspective. Since Apple’s first iPhone was released, Intel’s market cap has fallen 27% from $155.7 billion to $114 billion. During the same period of time, ARM’s market value has ballooned nearly 1,000% from $1.7 billion to $18.5 billion as of Thursday’s close.
Intel is hard at work on efforts that it hopes will shake up the pay-TV market and potentially kill cable as we know it today, and those efforts recently took a big step toward become a reality, according to a new report. Santa Clara-based Intel has been confirmed to be working on its own set-top box and associated television service that could potentially change the way viewers consume TV. The company is also looking to shake up TV advertising, and is willing to pay as much as 75% more for content than traditional cable providers because its box will utilize a built-in camera to collect data on viewers’ habits that it will then use to serve targeted ads. Now, according to a new report, Intel’s set-top box and service are being tested by thousands of Intel employees in three different markets. More →
A new report suggests that Intel is preparing to release performance oriented Haswell processors for desktop computers in the second half of 2014. According to a leak from VR-Zone, the company’s fourth-generation Core processors will be available in 6-core and 8-core variants with up to 20MB of L3 cache. The Haswell-E enthusiast grade platform is expected to perform up to 50% better than high-end Ivy Bridge processors. Intel is also expected to introduce new Wellsburg motherboard chipsets that are capable of supporting DDR4 RAM clocked up to 2,133 MHz right out of the box. Although these high-end chips aren’t expected to arrive until late 2014, Haswell processors are available now in a variety of laptops, including the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air.
Intel’s plan to shake up the pay-TV industry looks like it will come at a heavy price. Reuters reports that Intel is willing to pay 75% more than cable company rates for the rights to broadcast live television over the Internet on its upcoming set-top box. Reuters‘ sources say that despite offering such a huge premium, Intel has yet to actually close out deals with any media companies for the rights to stream content. What’s more, Intel has apparently tried to sweeten the deal for broadcasters by suggesting that its set-top box will make it impossible for viewers to skip through commercials the first time they watch a program. We still don’t have any firm details on when Intel’s set-top box and associated service will come out or what they will cost, although the company has said that it will include a Kinect-like sensor designed to collect data for advertisers on users’ viewing habits.
Intel’s next-generation processors have been built from the ground up to deliver both improved performance and battery life. Intel’s Haswell platform is based on the 22 nanometer architecture and is designed to double or even triple graphics performance with its integrated GPU. The chip consumes less power than Ivy Bridge processors and is said to improve battery life by up to 50% with no loss of performance, which roughly translates to 9.1 hours of HD video playback. The company claims Haswell will deliver the “biggest battery life increase in Intel history.” Engadget reports that quad-core Haswell desktop processors will be available beginning this Tuesday starting at $192 for the i5-4570 and up to $339 for the high-end Core i7-4770K.
Like many in the PC manufacturing and component supply business, Intel has been caught flat-footed by the rise of tablets, which have been eating away at PC sales for the past several quarters. An unnamed source tells Reuters, however, that Intel’s losing streak in the mobile world may soon be over because it’s scored a deal to supply chips for the new high-end Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Although Intel chips have been used before in Samsung’s Windows-based ATIV tablets, having its chips in flagship Android tablets would provide a major boost for the company and give its new mobile-centric chips legitimacy in the consumer electronics industry. Reuters says that Intel has been “rushing to adapt its powerful PC chips to use less energy and work more efficiently in mobile devices.”
Windows 8 hasn’t done much to entice people to upgrade their laptop and desktop computers, and PC makers are hurting as a result. While Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update might make the new platform a bit more enticing when it launches later this year, consumers and enterprise users may soon have an even better reason to upgrade. According to Rani Borkar, vice president of Intel’s Architecture group, the firm’s next-generation Haswell processors will help laptops get 50% better battery life during usage and they will last 20 times longer on standby, Computerworld reports. Those numbers already sound too good to be true, but to drop a cherry on top, Borkar says Haswell’s efficiency improvements will come at no cost to performance. Intel is expected to debut its Haswell chips next month at the annual Computex trade show.
A teenager from Saratoga, California took home one of the top prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair late last week after showing off her invention, which can fully charge a cell phone in 30 seconds or less. Eesha Khare was given the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and a $50,000 prize for being runner-up in the competition, which was won by a 19-year-old who unveiled a new spin on self-driving car technology. Khare’s battery technology requires a new component to be installed inside the phone battery itself, and Intel notes that it also has potential applications for car batteries.
Samsung, Intel and Telefónica have joined the likes of Google and invested in a startup company that specializes in speech analysis, IDC News Service reported. The San Francisco-based Expect Labs created a technology that can analyze and understand conversations in real-time, and then uses that data to find related information. The company previously created an iPad application known as MindMeld that can analyze a conversation and automatically display relevant content such as photos, videos and articles. More →
Google hasn’t had much luck so far with selling many Chromebooks but the company is hoping to have better luck selling super-cheap notebooks based on its popular Android operating system. Intel chief product officer Dadi Perlmutter tells CNET that Intel is supplying Atom processors for a line of Android touchscreen notebooks that will be aggressively priced in the $200 range. Perlmutter said that we’re unlikely to see Windows-based notebooks priced in this range, however, since their retail cost “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8” while Android is free for OEMs to use. The Intel executive didn’t provide any release timeframe or specifications for the future Android notebooks.