At the same time that Intel settled Advanced Micro Devices' antitrust lawsuit for $1.25 billion, the chipmaker settled another legal matter as well by hiring A. Douglas Melamed as its new top lawyer.
Melamed, who most recently worked as a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale, is expected to assume his new role this month, said a source familiar with the situation. Melamed has been based in Washington, D.C.
He has extensive antitrust experience, which could come in handy given Intel's remaining legal issues with the European Commission, the New York attorney general, and the Federal … Read more
Even for a company as powerful as Intel, with $13 billion in cash on the books, $1.25 billion is a lot of money. So why drop that huge quantity of money in the lap of its biggest rival, Advanced Micro Devices?
The payment is, of course, to settle the antitrust suit AMD brought against Intel five years ago. AMD's stock surged 22 percent Thursday after the chipmakers announced the agreement, but Intel's share price dropped 1 percent, indicating which company the investors thought got the better deal.
AMD does indeed come away with some serious perks--not just … Read more
Creative's ZiiLabs announced on Monday the ZMS-08 processor, its third-generation product that brings 1080p H.264 decoding to the table.
According to ZiiLabs' specifications page, the second-generation ZMS-05 is capable of H.264 720p video decoding at 8Mbps, while the new chip does H.264 1080p at 40Mbps and also boasts OpenGL ES 2.0 support, an integrated HDMI controller, and Flash acceleration.
This chip is powered by a 1GHz Arm Cortex A8 processor. It's targeted at media-rich applications, yet is supposed to have low power requirements. ZiiLabs does not make any consumer products itself but intends for … Read more
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Intel that accuses it of paying computer makers rebates to illegally maintain its monopoly power, the newest among several such attacks that have dogged the chipmaker in recent years.
"Intel has engaged in a systematic worldwide campaign of illegal, exclusionary conduct to maintain its monopoly power and prices in the market for x86 microprocessors," the suit asserts. "By exacting exclusive or near-exclusive agreements from large computer makers in exchange for payments totaling billions of dollars, and threatening retaliation against any company that did … Read more
And you thought computer chips were pervasive now.
In conjunction with a conference in Europe this week, Xerox has announced a new ink technology for printing electronic circuitry on everything from clothes to roll-up computer displays.
Xerox's process uses ink containing silver metal that can be used to wire up processing circuitry. It works on surfaces such as plastic that earlier have shown an inconvenient tendency to melt under the high temperature of liquid silver; Xerox's process works with an ink compound with a much lower temperature, the company said.
"We've found the silver bullet that … Read more
The failures included RISC processors, media processors, and intelligent RAM chips, which all sank in spite of clearly demonstrable advantages over alternative solutions. The great success is the programmable graphics processing unit (GPU), which has succeeded in spite of the sometimes wrenching shifts in programming methods and PC system architecture that have been required to support it.
So what's the secret? Simply this: a factor-of-two advantage, even if it'… Read more
In the first part of this series, I claimed that a great secret in the microprocessor industry largely determines whether new products succeed or fail.
I noted that this secret shouldn't be a secret at all because many people (including myself) have talked about it over the years, but clearly a lot of people are in the dark because they continually disregard it and develop products that are doomed.
I gave several examples of products that failed because their creators didn't know the great secret. Those products included RISC processors, media processors, and intelligent RAM chips, in which processor cores were integrated with memory to eliminate one of the great bottlenecks in computer performance.
During my eight years at Microprocessor Report, I covered the markets for media processors, 3D-graphics chips, network processors, and what I coined extreme processors--chips with large numbers of simple cores running in parallel. Many of these chips were cheaper, easier to design, and twice as fast as competing products--and still failed.
However, some did succeed. The critical factor that made the difference in most of these cases is the essence of the so-called secret.
One of those successes is the graphics processing unit, or GPU.
I was reminded again of the secret at Nvidia's recent GPU Technology Conference, where many of the talks dealt with GPU computing.
(Disclosure: I recently wrote a technical white paper for Nvidia.)
Although the GPU field dates back only five or six years, GPUs have already earned a place alongside CPUs. Each is clearly superior for certain kinds of applications.
This is true in spite of the fact that GPUs aren't nearly as easy to program as CPUs. Like other forms of parallel programming, GPU programming requires new hardware (the GPU itself), significant new extensions for programming languages, and a different mindset for programmers--one that simply wasn't part of standard computer-science curriculum for most of the last 50 years.
AlfaClock2 is a basic program that adds a bit of extra functionality to the standard Windows System Tray clock. Although some of the program's features were quite nice, others were confusing and difficult to access.
Many of the program's functions are accessed by right-clicking on the clock, which is simple enough. From there, a menu appears and users can view a multi-month calendar or a desktop clock, copy the current date to the clipboard, or have the program speak the date and time aloud (we were especially impressed with the realistic and pleasant voice used for this feature). … Read more