For the past couple of years, a team of HP scientists have sat tucked away in a laboratory with the sole goal of pushing memristor research. What exactly is a memristor? Put simply, it's an electrical resistor with memory properties, and according to HP, memristors could push the speed of flash-based media tenfold or higher.
"This is sort of the missing element of the processor puzzle. It takes its place alongside the resistor, capacitor and inductor [as the fourth basic circuit element in chip engineering]. And it could change the way we do IT," said Stan Williams, HP senior fellow and Director of quantum Science Research.
Williams made those comments during the Flash Memory Summit in August 2009, and now less than a year later, Williams said they have discovered that the memristor "has more capabilities than we previously thought." No longer do Williams and Co. think memristors will just apply to storage devices, but they say "the memristor can perform logic, enabling computation to one day be performed in chips where data is stored, rather than on a specialized central processing unit."
If they're right, this could end up extending Moore's Law even after it's no longer possible to shrink transistors, Williams said.
Do you find yourself utterly unimpressed with Apple's iPad, yet intrigued by the prospect of handheld tablets? Perhaps HP's Slate is everything you hoped the iPad would ultimately be, but isn't. That appears to be the message HP is trying to send with its latest video and blog post showcasing their upcoming tablet.
"Think about the last time you chatted with friends over Skype on your notebook," HP writes. "Or uploaded a picture from your mobile phone to Facebook or Flickr. How about the last time you viewed images or video from an SD card or a USB device. We know that you expect to be able to capture and share digital content on your mobile devices. And the HP slate device excels there."
HP went on to say that they're putting a lot of thought into the Slate's design so that the end product delivers an optimal mobile experience, and from the short 30-second video, it appears they're well on track. Powered by Windows 7 and equipped with a built-in camera, HP's video shows the Slate recording video, taking a conference call in Skype, swallowing a 16GB memory card into its side, and even streaming content to a big screen TV. And Flash? It does that too.
Still no word on price or release date, but we're hoping for 'competitive' and 'soon.'
Could this really be the iPad killer HP is hoping for? Hit the jump and post your impressions.
Good news for Hewlett Packard, who said it has reached a settlement agreement with Print-Rite Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based firm accused of running afoul of HP's inkjet cartridge patents.
"We are pleased with this amicable settlement, which serves as a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to protecting HP's investments in intellectual property," said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Web Services Business, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.
As dictated by the settlement, Print-Rite legally acknowledges that HP's patents are valid and agrees to stop selling products involved in the dispute.
HP settled similar patent disputes with three other firms last month, and is in the process of settling numerous complaints with other companies that sell similar inkjet cartridges.
Hewlett Packard on Wednesday said it has expanded its workstation series to include several desk-side, mobile, and small form factor models.
The company says its HP Z200 SFF breaks new ground with a space saving design nearly two-thirds smaller than the Z200 minitower workstation. These can be configured with Intel's latest chips, including dual-core parts based on the Intel Core i3 and i5 series, as well as quad-core processors based on the enterprise-class Xeon 3400 series.
"HP has invested in research and development through the economic downturn, innovating on top of our industry-leading workstations to provide an undeniably differentiated experience in our new products," said Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, Workstations Global Business Unit, HP. "HP customers are famous for pushing the limits of innovation, and as their industries undergo digital transformations, their next generation of breakthroughs is being powered by HP technology."
HP is also offering new six-core, 32nm Intel Xeon 5600 series processors on its HP Z800, Z600, and Z400 workstations, while its EliteBook 8740w Mobile Workstation boasts a range of Intel chips, including the Core i7 Extreme Edition, and support for up to 16GB of memory.
Hewlett Packard on Thursday said it has reached a "substantial resolution" in the patent case, with the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in HP's favor.
HP's dispute involved 11 companies, each of which was accused of importing into the U.S. and selling patent-infringing products.
Two of the companies -- InkPlusToner.com and Comptree Ink --entered into a settlement agreement with HP in which they will no longer sell the disputed cartridges and pay HP an undisclosed sum of money. A settlement with a third company is expected, and a fourth company agreed to stop importing the disputed cartridges. As for the remaining companies, a judge entered default judgments against them.
"HP is pleased with the outcome on these matters, and remains committed to vigorously pursuing legal enforcement against practices that do not respect HP’s IP rights," said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Web Services Business, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.
HP came under fire recently when it was reported that several laptops sold in China were faulty. The problem stemmed from overheating videocards, prompting affected consumers to seek out a law firm to help handle the issue. They may not need it.
HP said it is extending the warranties on motherboards in certain laptop models, covering Chinese owners for two years if the mobo was already repaired. The OEM is also offering to test laptops for free, and is currently discussing potential compensation for buyers who already paid postage or repair fees for their motherboards.
"We believe this [plan] will eliminate clients' concerns," HP said in a statement.
But is it enough? Not according to Liu Yongbin, a lawyer at Beijing Yingke Law Firm, which prepared the initial complaint. Youngbin claims that the "warranty extension cannot fundamentally solve this problem," and instead wants HP to recall the affected laptop models.
In this week's edition of Extreme Tech Makeover, Hewlett Packard will spend $40 million overhauling its image. Helping them do that is rapper Dr. Dre, who will appear in one of the new ad spots.
"Most people think we are just a printer company," says Michael Mendenhall, HP's chief marketing officer. "Awareness of what we do has not kept pace with [our] expansion."
That expansion includes scooping up companies like Electronic Data Systems and 3Com, and to help push the message that HP is a multi-talented company, the $40 million "Let's Do Amazing" ad campaign will feature several different celebrities. In the one starring Dr. Dre, the rapper talks about how HP rebuilt his PC to make his music sound better. Ad spots like this will help give the company what it lacks, which is "a real differentiation in personality and distinction."
Look for the commercials during high-traffic broadcasts, including the NCAA March Madness championship and series finales of shows like "24."
HP could soon find itself in court, as over 100 Chinese consumers are none too happy with what they claim are faulty laptops, a lawyer for the group said this week.
According to Reuters, Jiang Suhua, a lawyer at Yingke Law Firm in Bejing, claims the problems have to do with overheating videocards ultimately causing the laptops to malfunction. Suhua said there are about 170 complaints so far for a problem that apparently dates back to 2007.
"Yes, we can bring it to court, but right now it has not reached that state," Suhua said.
HP says it had a program in November 2007 to offer a free repair to anyone with an affected laptop, but the OEM stopped short of commenting on this specific complaint.
In the highly competitive enterprise storage sector, IBM this week had reason to celebrate, saying it achieved the highest growth among the top three storage vendors.
According to a market share report by IDC, IBM's external disk storage systems revenue grew by 9 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter of 2009, putting the company's growth rate well ahead of the competition. By contrast, EMC stayed relatively flat with a 0.7 percent decline, while Hewlett Packard's revenue took a backwards slide to the tune of 7.3 percent during the same quarter.
Big Blue also noted gains in the Windows and Linux OS segments in 2009, boasting a 24 percent increase in Linux storage. What makes this particularly noteworthy is that the overall Linux storage market was down 4 percent.
Acer has never been shy about sharing its goals with the public. On more than one occasion, company chairman J.T. Wang has expressed lofty expectations for his company, including a desire to become the No. 1 notebook supplier by 2011 and the biggest PC vendor of them all in 2012. Standing in its way of both goals is HP, so what's the fastest way to surpass the competition?
According to some market watchers, scooping up Fujitsu would make the most sense. Acer needs to see more than 40 percent on-year growth in 2010 to start to achieve its goals, and it's fairly unlikely that will happen with some major maneuvering.
Acer shipped some 32 million notebooks in 2009, up 32 percent on-year and enough to claim 18 percent of the market. HP, meanwhile, shipped 37 million units.
Acquiring Fujitsu, says market watchers, would not only give Acer the boost it needs to become No. 1, but it's also the most likely target since Fujitsu has a strong sales presence in both Western Europe and Japan.