If you’re in the market for a luxury car in the next few years, they might try to upsell you an Atom-based “infotainment” system. BMW and Mercedes-Benz expect to get the units in cars sometime in 2012. Mercedes-Benz will make the systems available to buyers of its S-Class and C-Class vehicles. BMW will have them in the 7-series.
Intel’s Paul Otellini said these would be just the first of many in-vehicle entertainment systems based on the Atom platform. It’s possible this is the beginning of a trend. Maybe these carputers won’t be relegated to luxury models for long. This is yet another creative use for the Atom chip, but will anyone be interested?
Earlier this year, the European Commission nailed Intel with a record setting $1.45 billion fine for what it construed as anticompetitive practices, and on Monday the EC published a non-confidential version of its Intel Decision laying out all the details that led to the hefty fine.
The EC seems to have taken particular exception to conditional rebates offered by Intel, listing no less than five scenarios, including rebates to Dell from December 2002 to December 2005 in exchange for purchasing exclusively Intel CPUs. But according to the paper, Intel also dangled the conditional carrot in front of Acer, HP, NEC, Lenovo, and Media Saturn Holding during various times from 2002 up until as recently as 2007.
Not only did Intel dictate how much AMD-based product each OEM could sell, but the chip maker also had clear directions on how AMD systems could be sold, according to the paper. For example, Intel payments to Acer were conditioned on Acer postponing the launch of an AMD-based notebook from September 2003 to January 2004. Lenovo was also advised to postpone a notebook launch, while payments to HP were conditioned on the OEM selling AMD-based business desktops only to small and medium enterprises, and only via direct distribution channels.
And that's only a portion of the paper. Get all the gory details here, then hit the jump and tell us whether you think the $1.45 billion fine was warranted or if Intel was doing what any company in its position would do.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Taiwan-based netbook vendors have started slashing prices for their netbooks built around Intel's Atom N270 and N280 processors as demand shifts over to ultra-thins. This includes the major players, such as Acer, Asus, BenQ, and MSI.
It isn't clear whether price cuts loom for U.S. shoppers as well, but if you're on the fence about picking up a netbook, it might be worth your while to hold out and see how the market shapes up this holiday shopping season. While the average selling price of netbooks in Taiwan has dropped from around $490 to below $460, some specific models have seen much sharper price cuts. BenQ's 10-inch Joybook Lite U101, for example, used to sell for about $550 but can now be had for around $325, or 40 percent less than its launch price.
And it's not just BenQ. Asus' Eee PC S101H, originally priced at about $525, now sells in the vicinity of $415. MSI-'s 10-inch Wind U100 can now be found for around $340, while Acer's Atom N280-based Aspire One D150 sells for a little over $350, DigiTimes reports.
It seems as though Intel dominates every sector of the PC market, from netbooks and nettops (Atom processor) on up to ultra high-end setups (Core i7 975). But one area in which AMD seems to have the edge is in 20-inch and above all-in-one PCs.
Citing un-named sources at PC vendors, DigiTimes says vendors are shying away from Intel's Atom platform for larger all-in-one desktops due to the chips under performing graphics. And while some will end up adopting Intel's regular platform for 20-inch and larger all-in-ones, most are expected to turn to AMD, who can offer a better price-to-performance ratio.
To some extent, this is already happening. Acer's Gateway ZX2301 with an 18.5-inch display is built around AMD's Athlon 2650e processor, BenQ's nScreen i91 and i221 with 18.5-inch and 21.5-inch displays utilize the chip maker's Sempron U210 CPU, MSI's AE2010 with a 20-inch screen is powered by the Athlon 2650e, and HP's TouchSmart IQ780tw with 19-inch display comes equipped with a Turion 64 X2 TL-58 CPU.
Should all-in-ones become a bit more prominent, it will be interesting to see how Intel responds.
Some sources are saying that, at least internally, Intel is talking about shipping one million Lynnfield processors for desktops by the end of 2009. Should Intel meet its goal, it would put the pressure on motherboard makers to keep up.
Asus and Gigabyte are each on pace to ship 400,000 P55-based mobos by the end of the year, leaving 200,000 units for other manufacturers to pick up the slack. MSI, ECS, and ASRock are expected to ship around that many mobos, but all it takes is for one manufacturer to miss its goal for there to be more CPUs than there are mobos.
Asus looks to be the most active for the rest of the year. According to company VP Joe Hsieh, Asus' expects to ship between 5.5 to 6 million motherboards in the third quarter, 6 million in the fourth, and 22 million total. Going forward, Asus says P55-based boards will account for 10 percent of all shipments.
WiMAX provider Clearwire has expanded its Silicon Valley network to cover the Google and Intel campuses. This development is a long time coming as the two tech behemoths are principal investors in Clearwire. Cisco is another partner and expects to have Clearwire coverage soon. Everyone else in the San Francisco Bay Area can expect the 4G service at some point in 2010.
The service is capable of up to 10 Mbps down, with an average of around 3-6 Mbps. That’s probably a few times faster than any 3G wireless data service you’ve used in the US. Leading up the public launch, select developers will be given free access, provided they live or work in the so called "Innovation Network" coverage area. They need only purchase a $50 USB modem. Certainly a good deal if you’re a developer who wants to work with WiMAX. So, how much would you pay for WiMAX service like this?
No doubt helped in large part by the explosive growth of netbooks (and, by association, Atom processors), Intel in the second quarter pushed its lead over AMD and everyone else to levels not seen in nearly four years, says market research firm iSuppli.
The No. 1 chip maker accounted for 80.6 percent of global microprocessor revenue, compared to 79.1 percent during the same period in 2008. That was enough to give Intel its largest share of global microprocessor revenue since the third quarter of 2005, when it claimed 82.4 percent of revenue.
Even still, Intel actually suffered a decline in microprocessor revenue compared to a year ago due to still stagnant PC shipments, noted Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of compute platforms research for iSuppli. But so did AMD, whose Q2 market share stands at a distant 11.5 percent.
Its next-generation microprocessors, which are based on its Westmere microarchitecture, are codenamed Clarkdale (desktop version) and Arrandale (notebook version). The “Dales” chips are a multi-chip solution featuring 45nm integrated graphics cores. Intel is also expected to shed light on a new system-on-chip technology, besides announcing transistor improvements. The event might also feature some updates on the company’s Larrabee platform.
Times are good for Intel, who continues to dominate the desktop market with its Core i5/i7 platform and pretty much owns the netbook sector with its Atom lineup, but big changes are expected to take place behind the scenes, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
According to the report, Intel today is expected to announce that Pat Gelsinger, the senior vice president in charge of Intel's enterprise group, is walking away from the company after 30 years of service in a number of roles. He's found new employment over at EMC, where he will head up the company's storage product operations.
Sean Maloney, Intel's head of sales and marketing, will see his role increase. Following Geisinger's departure, Maloney will be in charge of all of Intel's major chip business, including PC, graphics, and server processors.
Stock cooling is for chumps, but until cooling manufacturers either update their existing coolers with socket 1156 brackets or come out with new products that support the Core i5 platform, you might not have much choice. Enter Asetek, who just launched a liquid cooling system capable of cooling every major Intel socket currently available.
“Asetek’s robust liquid cooling can now easily be configured for any Intel desktop motherboard. A single mounting ring enables flexible manufacturing in both high and low volume PC manufacturing settings,” said Gary Baum, Asetek's SVP of Marketing. "The new retention ring helps our OEM customers reduce inventory costs by providing a single solution to support Intel's entire mix of socket types."
The one-size-fits-all mounting bracket features a single mounting ring and multiple screw inserts so there's no fumbling around the box to find the correct part.
No word yet on price or availability, but if past products are any indication, expect to see Asetek's new liquid cooler used primarily in OEM systems.