Rumors of an Atom ban turned out to be true, as the Hackintosh community found out with the latest update to Apple's Snow Leopard OS.
"Well, looks like I was right, again," Hackintosh guru StellaRola wrote in a blog post. "The netbook forums are now blowing up with problems of [Snow Leopard] 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom-based netbooks. My sources tell me that every time a netbook users installs 10.6.2 an Apple employee gets their wings."
While the ban presents a temporary setback, StellaRola reiterated that "this is OSx86 after all," and predicted that a modded kernel is likely just around the kernel.
In the meantime, a user on the MyDellMini forum claims to have found a workaround that entails running 10.6.2 with a 10.6.1 kernel. The process involved booting from a backup, mounting the 10.6.2 partition, and punching in a few commands, all of which you can read here.
Expect to see quite a few netbook and nettop deals this holiday shopping season, especially if Intel forges ahead with plans to fast track the introduction of its upcoming Pine Trail platform.
"Intel is planning for a fast transition to Pine Trail. To generate excitement for the platform ahead of launch, Intel is planning a press release in late December publicly disclosing the details of the platform," X-bit Labs claims to have read in an Intel document.
Should Intel aggressively push Pine Trail ahead of its launch, consumers could see a fair number of pre- and post-Christmas day sales on older Atom platform-based netbooks and nettops. And look for plenty of coverage at next year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Intel's Pine Trail platform will include a bunch of next-gen Atom Pineview processors, which will come with an integrated graphics core, a built-in DDR2 memory controller, a new core-logic set, and other goodies.
It’s no secret that Nvidia and Intel are having a dispute over chipset licenses. Now it seems like Nvidia is getting a little fed up with the whole situation. On a new Nvidia website called “Intel’s Insides”, you’ll find a series of editorial style cartoons with some sharp criticisms of chip maker Intel.
The cartoons take aim mostly at Intel’s legal woes, which have gotten that much more severe with new US federal action this week. The US case is related to the same scandal that ended with Intel receiving massive fines in the EU. Intel is accused of bribing OEMs to keep them from using rival AMD’s chips. It all makes for some good cartoon fodder.
Editorial cartoonist Steve Lait creates the cartoons for Nvidia. The site explains that the series “is intended to be a parody of events occurring within the semiconductor sector, with particular focus on its largest and most commented-upon competitor." In all honesty, the cartoons aren’t that funny. But really, how amusing can the nuances of the semiconductor world be?
Late last month, several owners of Intel's X25-M G2 solid state drives cried foul when a firmware update promising a 40 percent performance boost ended up bricking their drives instead. Oops! That marked the latest in a what's becoming a string of problems plaguing the 34nm SSDs, and once again, Intel says a fix is on the way.
"Intel has replicated the issue on 34nm SSDs -- X25-M -- and is working a fix," wrote Alan Frost of Intel's NAND Solutions Group. "Intel is pursuing the resolution of this as a high priority. Intel is seeking direct feedback on this issue from members of the [Intel Support Community]... asking them to send their drives directly to Intel to expedite the analysis of the issues. This action will enable us to more quickly generate a resolution for this issue."
Frost added that there have been no reports of related issues by users who were able to successfully upgrade to the 02ha firmware via the firmware upgrade tool, which would suggest the problem isn't the firmware itself, but a bug in the loader software.
HP may have jumped the gun a bit when they listed an “Envy 14-1000” on a support page recently. The Envy line of laptops currently come in 13 and 15-inch varieties. The PCs bear a striking resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Pro line with chiclet keys and large trackpads. The Envy 13 packs a Core 2 chip, while the Envy 15 is equipped with a Core i7. Might we see a Core i5 in the new Envy 14? It certainly would fit nicely in the lineup.
No specs were actually listed on the support page. Mobile Core i5 CPUs are expected to make the scene in the first quarter of next year. So, watch for an Envy 14 announcement around then.
It seems like everywhere Intel turns it's being sued over alleged antitrust violations. The latest lawsuit comes from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who claims Intel threatened computer makers and made a series of illegal payments to coerce them into using its chips. In other words, the same accusations AMD has been harping about for a good many years now.
"Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market," Cuomo said in a statement. "Intel's actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitor, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices."
Intel has faced similar lawsuits earlier in the year, and in May, the European Commission hammered Intel with a record $1.45 billion fine for antitrust violations. Intel is currently appealing the ruling.
The latest lawsuit is significant because it's the first formal antitrust action against Intel by any government agency in the U.S. in more than a decade, the New York Times reports. Intel has been under investigation by the FTC since 2008, but that hasn't led to any formal proceedings.
"These are separate investigations, but it would be very surprising for New York Sate to go off on its own without being fairly confident the FTC would pursue Intel as well," a person familiar with the state's investigation told NYT.
It appears AMD is channeling former Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart. Back in 1964, in the case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, the Supreme Court was asked to define hard-core pornography. Stewart conceded it was hard to define, but “I know it when I see it.” I’ll just bet he did.
It’s not pornography this time. It’s netbooks. Just what are those little thingies? AMD tells us they aren’t ultra thin notebooks, except that sometimes they are. The only thing definitive AMD can offer that netbooks make up the web browsing/emailing segment of the market.
Rather than worry about labels, perhaps because Intel has a lock on the netbook market at present, AMD recommends worrying less about “cute” and more about what you want your portable to do.
Intel hopes to eventually make a thunderous entrance in the discrete graphics market with its upcoming GPGPU chip codenamed Larrabee, and to do that, the company needs to line up some chip partners willing to jump on board. Intel CEO Paul Otellini set out to do that recently, talking privately to several China-based videocard makers.
According to what un-named sources have been whispering in DigiTimes' ear, Intel plans to offer preferential pricing for just the GPU by itself, as well as when bundled with other Intel products. This is a similar strategy to what Intel has been doing with its Atom platform, and it remains to be seen how many graphics partners will warm to Larrabee in this manner.
As it stands, some first-tier graphics card vendors are a bit leary about Larrabee on fears that the first release may end up buggy. But within the next couple of years, vendors expect Larrabee will be able to hold its own against what AMD and Nvidia have to offer.
Acer's been talking up a storm about its future notebook plans and how it's going to take on the likes of Dell and HP, and it begins with the release of the Aspire AS8940G-6865 with an 18.4-inch display and Intel Core i7 720QM processor.
Driving the large screen display is an Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated memory. Other specs include 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, a 500GB hard drive, 4X Blu-ray drive, multi-card reader, 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N WiFi, five USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and eSATA ports, and Windows Home Premium 64-bit.
"This new Aspire notebook offers multimedia enthusiasts the ultimate in mobile entertainment -- cinematic quality sound and visuals, an industry-leading feature-set, and the performance to handle demanding digital media," said Preeta Anil, Product Manager, Notebooks for Acer America. "The addition of Intel's new Core i7 processor further boosts the power and performance of the Aspire AS58940G for games, movies, videos, and more."
Acer says its new notebook will be available for purchase in time for the holiday season for $1,350. Not a bad price for the hardware.
Low power consumption is the name of the game in the server market, and Intel thinks it has a winning hand with its upcoming two-core 'Clarksdale' processor. The low-power slice of silicon comes rated at just 30W and is being aimed at "microservers," a new form factor Intel began pushing at IDF.
"We're looking to define a new form factor that allows companies to come up with a uni-processor [machine] that's reasonably capable and cost-effective and easy to deploy," said Jason Waxman, General Manager in Intel's Server Platforms Group. "We want this to become a new building block for the types of applications where you have lots of Web servers or a hosting type of environment or something where you need many images of a server."
Initially, Clarksdale will come clocked at 2.26GHz and take advantage of Intel's Nehalem microarchitecture. This will replace the chip maker's current reference system consisting of hardback-sized PCBs running a 1.86GHz, 45W quad-core Lynnfield chip.
Looking longer-term, Intel will attempt to reduce the power consumption footprint down to just 25W when idle, and no more than 75W under a heavy load.