HTC may be looking to follow in Samsung and Apple’s footsteps in developing its own processors, according to a rumor from China Times. The Taiwanese vendor has reportedly signed a “memorandum of cooperation” with ST-Ericsson to co-develop a new dedicated chip for low-end smartphones that will come out in 2013. The joint venture will help HTC reduce its reliance on Qualcomm and NVIDIA processors, which are predominantly featured in the company’s current smartphone offerings. HTC, which has seen slumping sales, focused previously on the high-end market. The company’s market share has declined by more than 60% in the past five months, however, forcing the manufacturer to rethink its mobile strategy. More →
Intel’s next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will be the first to feature a “3D Tri-Gate transistor,” The BBC reported on Sunday. The company plans to initially release 13 quad-core processors for desktop computers that it promises will offer more computational power while using less energy. Intel hopes its new transistors, which have been in development for 11 years, will help it challenge ARM’s reputation for energy efficiency. “This is the world’s first 22 nanometre product and we’ll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power,” the company said, adding that dual-core processors aimed at ultrabooks will be announced “later this spring.” Intel promises that “there will be 50% more supply than we had early in the product cycle of our last generation, Sandy Bridge, a year ago. And we’re still constrained based on the amount of demand we’re seeing in the marketplace.” Digitimes on Monday reported that shipments of the company’s latest processors will still be lower than expected, however, and it will not be able to satisfy the strong demand anticipated from PC vendors. More →
Reports that Intel was notifying partners about plans to postpone mass shipments of Ivy Bridge processors turned out to be only partially true, according to VR-Zone. The new report claims that desktop processors are still on schedule and “only the dual-core [mobile] models have been pushed back.” The reason behind the the delay is said to be tied to the massive stock of Sandy Bridge CPUs Intel still has on hand. Intel reportedly has large quantities of leftover CPUs that have not yet been shipped to its vendor partners. The first dual-core Ivy Bridge models will not arrive until some time in May, meaning updated Ultrabooks won’t launch until early June. More →
Intel recently notified partners of its plans to postpone mass shipments of the company’s Ivy Bridge processors, reports DigiTimes. The company still plans to announce new products that will ship in small volume in April according to the report, although mass shipments are not expect to occur until after June. The supposed delay comes as a number of notebook vendors are seeing weakening sales from the diminishing global economy and other factors. Both vendors and Intel are said to have large inventories of Sandy Bridge processors, so the delay could be seen as a way to minimize the impact of leftover CPUs. More →
Intel could be preparing to unveil most of its next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge processors “on or around” April 8th according to a recent rumor. The company is set to introduce 25 different models in total, DigiTimes reported, including 17 chips designed for use in desktop PCs and eight for notebooks and ultrabooks. Intel will announce the following desktop processors in April according to the report: the Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T as well as the Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450. The desktop processors will reportedly range in price from $184 to $332. The following notebook CPUs will also be announced: Core i7-3920Qm ($1,096), 3820QM ($568) and the 3720QM ($378). Intel is allegedly working on the Core i5-3520M, 3360M, 3320M for notebooks and the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U for ultrabooks, but those processors may not be announced at the same time; the company is expected to unveil several other models for both notebooks and desktops in May. Intel has said its Ivy Bridge chips will offer a 37% performance increase over its 32nm chips.
On Monday, Huawei officially announced the MediaPad, a 7-inch tablet powered by Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). The MediaPad sports a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chats, support for HSPA+ and 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, HDMI-out, and a microSD card slot for adding up to 32GB of storage. Huawei also says the MediaPad’s 4,100mAh battery should provide more than six hours of battery life. The MediaPad is expected to launch this fall, although Huawei did not provide a price. More →
During the Computex trade show in Taiwan on Tuesday, Intel’s executive vice president Sean Maloney discussed a new category of laptop computers called “Ultrabooks” that Intel says will dominate 40% of the consumer market by the end of next year. Ultrabooks will blend the performance of today’s laptops with a tablet-like experience in a thin and light product, and the first such product is ASUS’ brand new UX21 laptop, which is due out by the 2011 holiday season. Initially, Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s latest Core processors, but they will also be powered by the firm’s new 22nm Ivy Bridge processor by the first half of next year. By 2013, Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s next generation “Haswell” processors. Maloney also said that its Atom processor family will “outpace Moore’s law” and that Intel will accelerate the processor from 32nm through 22nm to 14nm in just three years. The move will allow for more powerful and more battery-efficient Atom processors for tablets, netbooks, and smartphones. The firm also said that Android and MeeGo tablets running its Medfield processor will hit the market during the first half of 2012, and that Medfield will enable sub-9mm designs and products that weigh under 1.5 pounds. Hit the jump for Intel’s full press release. More →
In a “Monday Note” blog post that questioned Intel’s new 3D transistors and the company’s lack of presence in the mobile space, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee took some stabs at the chip maker and stated that the PC market is dying. “Now that the PC market is in its twilight, with mobile devices proliferating and stealing growth from the PC, surely Intel has to get into the race,” Gassee argued, pointing out that every time Intel launched a new low-power processor for mobile devices, ARM had a better one up its sleeves. Intel has its Atom processor, designed for mobile use, but it’s been primarily placed in Windows tablets and netbooks instead of in smartphones. “For the past four years Intel has told us we’d see x86 mobile devices Real Soon Now,” Gasse wrote. “The company developed its own mobile version of Linux, MobLin, and they made a big deal of joining forces with Nokia’s Maemo to create MeeGo. But Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, kicked Meego to the [curb], wisely decided to focus on one software platform, his ex-employer’s Windows Phone 7.” Gassee also took a moment to address rumors that Apple will ditch Intel for ARM-based processors in 2013, and argued that “there’s no roadmap for ARM chips to beat Intel in computationally intensive areas,” such as CAD, Photoshop, and FinalCut, today, but that multicore ARM chips could power mid-range Apple laptops in the future.
According to an unconfirmed report originating in the Korea Economic Daily newspaper, Apple will become Samsung’s largest customer in 2011. Citing anonymous industry sources, the report states that Apple is poised to spend $7.8 billion on parts from Samsung, which is one of the largest component suppliers in the world. Apple is known to have parts contracts in place with Samsung, but this staggering sum would make the Cupertino-based company Samsung’s single largest customer this year. The report states that liquid crystal displays, mobile application processors and NAND flash memory chips are among the parts Samsung has been contracted to supply for Apple. Apple and Samsung are also rivals in the mobile space, of course, with Apple’s iPhone and iPad competing directly with Samsung’s mobile phone and tablet lines. More →
According to a fresh press release by NVIDIA, a “new wave of super phones” will be “announced shortly at CES.” Touting the specification prowess of the LG Optiums 2X, the company writes that these new super phones will “use powerful multi-core CPU processors, lightning-fast GPUs and ultralow power requirements – which create magical video and gaming experiences.”
“People are looking at their mobile device as a computer first and a phone second,” said Michael Rayfield, General Manager of mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra’s brought the super phone to another level with new mobile experiences that haven’t been possible before.”
CES officially kicks off tomorrow, so expect handset announcements to accelerate then. As always, keep it locked on BGR for all the latest and greatest. NVIDIA’s full press release is after the jump. More →
It’s no secret that the next delicious chapter in Android will be made out of Gingerbread, but until today we didn’t have much of an idea about its ingredients. Thanks to Russian mobile guru Eldar Murtazin, we believe we now know. First and foremost, it’s important to note that Android 3.0 is designed exclusively for high-end devices. For the foreseeable future, everything else will advance no further than 2.1 or 2.2. As much as that might rub people the wrong way, there’s a very good reason behind it: 3.0 has a strict set of hardware requirement that must be met. Specifically we’re looking at a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, and a minimum display size of 3.5″ (presumably WVGA). If a manufacturer wants to build a Shaq-sized phone with display in excess of 4″, resolutions of up to 1280×760 will be supported. Curious to know what 3.0 will look like? Thanks to Google’s actually paying attention to updating the UI, 3.0 will expand upon the UI seen in the Photo Gallery on the Nexus One. That is definitely a redesign we don’t take issue with. Excited? Well you should be, but apparently you’re going to have to sit tight a while as Android 3.0 Gingerbread is said to be headed towards an announcement on or around the 15th or 16th of October, with the first handsets going on sale in time for Christmas. More →
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of powerful mobile chipsets, but Intel is hoping to change that with the launch of its next-generation Atom processing platform. Better know as Moorestown, the Z6xx Series Family of processors pack an impressive amount of processing power, with clock speeds ranging from 1.5 GHz for smartphones to 1.9 GHz for tablets. Featuring a 45nm core with support for 3D graphics, decoding at 1080p and video capture at 720p, the CPUs also fully support Wi-Fi, HSPA and WiMAX. When it first went public with information about the Moorestown line, Intel was estimating up to 24 hours worth of use out of mobile devices, but…now that everything’s finalized, it looks like a 1550 mAh battery will be good for: 10 days of standby, 48 hours of music playback, 6 hours of talk-time, and 4-5 hours of web browsing and video playback. For those who can never get enough stats, Intel says the new chips are have a 50x reduction in idle power, 20x reduction in audio power, and a 2-3x reduction with video and web. Intel isn’t willing to discuss just who it is that has taken delivery of these chipsets and who has orders being fulfilled, but so far we know that the Z6xx Series Family of processors will be powering Android, MeeGo and Moblin devices at the very least…hopefully in the not-so-distant future. More →
ARM Holdings, the Cambridge-based company which holds the licensing rights to the majority of processors found in modern mobile devices, is said to be in Apple’s shopping list. Apple, purported to be ARM’s largest customer, pays the company royalties for each iPod and iPhone sold. An unnamed trader speculated to The Evening Standard that Apple would likely offer ARM 400p per share, or £5.2 billion ($8 billion USD). Shares in ARM Holdings closed Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange at 250.5p, up 3.09%. Last April, Apple acquired chipmaker PA Semi for $278 million. Earlier this month rumors began circulating that Apple had bought out the privately owned and Texas-based ARM design firm Intrinsity, a company which built its reputation a upon its energy efficient microprocessors. Many believe that Intrinsity’s acceleration technology plays a key role in the A4 processor found in the iPad. If Apple were to acquire ARM, there is every possibility it could fall victim to an anti-trust legislation as it would be in a position where it could exert undue influence upon its competition which also rely heavily upon ARM. One thing is for certain, almost every mobile device manufacturers is probably sweating at the thought of this actually happening… More →