Analysts were expecting Intel to make some money, but the chipmaker beat everyone's expectations, including their own. According to All Things D, Intel reported revenue of $11.5 billion with sales up 8% year over year. But with that sales increase, profits were up 48%. As you might expect, Intel's shares are selling up on the news. Gartner is reporting that PC sales ended up weaker than expected in the 4th quarter, so these results are even more impressive.
Most of Intel's divisions were seeing increased sales. Even Atom chips are still moving nicely. Although, the coming year may be difficult with new Windows on ARM initiatives and mobile chips from Nvidia and Qualcomm exploding. But Intel still expects to maintain in 2011. They are predicting the same $11.5 billion in revenue for next year. Only time will tell if Intel's mobile parts can gain market share to return those numbers.
To the PC doubters and doomsayers throughout the land, we have but one thing to say. You are incorrect. Misguided. Flat-out wrong. As we started to investigate the technologies, products, and processors that will appear in PCs and related devices in the year ahead, we realized that, from this moment on, our beloved Personal Computer is more important and more relevant than ever.
It’s not that the times aren’t changing. They most assuredly are, and the infusion of so many new platforms and usage models into the home and the personal-computing equation is concentrating a lot of power and flexibility in our hands.
Most Maximum PC readers have a hard time using netbooks. We understand they serve a certain market, but when your used to getting more CPU cycles out of your over clock than an Atom can even produce, you tend to favor a more powerful mobile experience. If you fall into this category, you'll be relieved to know more ULV processors are on the way to fill out the slightly bigger than a netbook category, and the new Intel parts will fall under the Core i3 & i5 banners.
Details are still a bit sketchy, but according to an Intel road map that was webcast late last week, it appears as though notebooks featuring the new parts could start shipping by Q2 2010, and will likely range between $400-$800. Performance is expected to fall into the "slightly more powerful than a netbook" but "slightly less powerful than a full featured notebook" range. This category is typically a bit more profitable than netbooks, so we expect Intel to put forward a fairly competitive offering. The new chips will be made using the latest 32-nanometer process, and will offer power savings far beyond previous ultra portable offerings.
Market research firm iSuppli said in a statement on Thursday that they expect the ultrathin category to grow to 14.5 million units in 2010, a 93 percent increase from 2009. If you're on the market for a thin and light laptop that isn't running an Atom processor, you might want to hold out just a bit longer.
It’s a pretty good question, and we really don’t have a ton of ideas. There might not be a lot of real world use cases for a 48-core setup, but maybe you could come up with a few if the price was right. Like for instance, if AMD would give you those 48 cores if you came up with a good one. Well, that’s just what they’re doing.
AMD wants people to submit essays, videos, or blog posts explaining how they’d use a monster 48 core server to “make the world a better, more interesting place”. The contest is seemingly meant to promote the upcoming Magny-Cours based Opteron CPUs AMD will be releasing this quarter. If you can come up with the best idea, AMD will provide you with four new AMD Opteron 6174 12-core CPUs, a TYAN S8812 motherboard, and a copy of Windows Server 2008.
So what'll it be? Super powered Folding@home box to cure cancer? Rendering farm for underprivileged, inner-city video producers? Check out the full rules here before you formulate any plans. Anyone planning on submitting an entry? Drop us a line if you win…
It hasn’t been that long since Intel released their updated Pine Trail Atom chips, but already there are some indications they may be refreshing the Atom platform. The word is that Intel’s new core is called “Oak Trail”. These new chips would replace the ailing ultra low-power Atom Z series. These are the Z5xx chips we’ve seen in the likes of the Sony Vaio P and Asus Eee PC T91MT tablet.
Atom N450 and N470 are the most common versions of the Pine Trail chips, most often found in netbooks. The Atom N series chips are higher power and not in danger of being replaced. The Oak Trail chips are said to consume much less power, but still remain capable of running a Windows device. Still no firm details, but it’s probably still safe to buy products running the N series Atom chips.
The Asian press got a sneak preview of AMD’s processor roadmap at the launch event for the new Phenom II and Athlon II chips. It’s no secret that AMD has been lagging behind rival Intel, but if the slides are to be believed, AMD could still come back.
It looks like AMD plans to release the “Leo” platform later this year with a 6-core 45nm process. This would be in competition with Intel’s Clarkdale CPUs at 32nm. The Leo is slated to be replaced with the 32nm Scorpius platform in 2011. This platform would apparently be equipped with a “next-generation discrete graphics solution”, Bulldozer Zambezi CPU, and up to eight cores. We will also see the mid-range Lynx platform in 2011 with "next-generation integrated graphics". Could this be what happened to Fusion?
Sure, this is just a quick presentation of a theoretical roadmap, but maybe AMD has an ace up their sleeve. If the Leo platform make the scene in 2010, that will be a good start.
Nvidia has announced today that they are releasing a new version if their powerful Tegra chip. This one has been specifically designed for the higher power requirements of tablets. The new chip promises hardware acceleration of Adobe Flash 10.1 for 1080p video streaming. Nvidia claims the new Tegra will also be capable of running high resolution 3D graphics while maintaining battery life.
The Tegra uses eight independent processors including an industry first 1Ghz dual-core ARM CPU. Also on board are dedicated HD encoding and 3D graphics processors. Overall performance is said to be 10 times that of current smartphone processors, and 4 times faster than the original Tegra. Nivdia plans to show off a number of Tegra-packing tablets at CES, so stay tuned.
In the Intel galaxy, the CPU is an inexorable black hole. A gravity well so strong that nothing can escape it as it consumes every function of the PC.
Don’t believe us? Witness add-in MPEG-2 decoders, hardware modems, hardware-accelerated soundcards, and Ethernet controllers, all of which have been swallowed by the all-powerful CPU. With Intel’s last CPU, the Lynnfield LGA1156 processor, the memory controller and even PCI-E functions were eaten by the CPU, too.
Now with Intel’s new Clarkdale (and its mobile equivalent, Arrandale) the company is taking the first step in trying to eat a gas-giant of functionality by moving a GPU core directly inside of the CPU.
But not only is Clarkdale the first Intel chip with graphics, it’s also our first glimpse at a CPU using Intel’s new, smaller-process technology. Current Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs are based on the original 45nm Nehalem design that Intel introduced more than a year ago. Clarkdale uses a newer 32nm process that is part of the Westmere family. For the most part, Westmere is an evolutionary step forward and a simple die-shrink of Nehalem, but Intel did add some interesting performance enhancements.
Read on for details about what makes Clarkdale unique.
AMD revealed new mobile and desktop platforms for the coming year, confirmed that it is launching a new dual GPU card next week codenamed “Hemlock,” and even gave the public a glimpse of its upcoming Fusion products that combines a traditional CPU and GPU in a monolithic die, at its annual briefing to financial analysts.
AMD is dubbing its upcoming Fusion products as the “APU” or Accelerated Processor Unit, the first of which will be codenamed “Llano.” Llano will combine a DX11, gigaflop-capable, graphics core with a quad core processor on a single die. Interestingly, Llano will not be based on the company’s new Bulldozer core. AMD will instead use an improved 32nm version of the current Stars core which currently powers the Phenom II.
Llano will be used in upcoming desktop and mobile platforms. The bad news for Llano is that it will not see the light of day until 2011. Intel is expected to beat it to the punch with its CPU cum GPU late next year. AMD officials, however, pooh poohed Intel’s approach.
Even the Intel fanboys have to hand it to AMD once in a while. After Intel deftly dropped a Core i5 anvil on Phenom II’s head, AMD did a quick drop to floor and now fires back slo-mo style with its own chip: a $99 quad core.
Dubbed the Athlon II X4 620, this 2.6GHz quad core isn’t just leftover parts swept off the factory floor, either. The Athlon II X4 is based on the familiar K10 microarchitecture in the Phenom and Phenom II, but it’s actually a newer, smaller die. In fact, the new chip has less than half the transistors of a Phenom II X4 processor. Much of the shrinkage comes at the expense of cache. While the Phenom II packs 6MB of L3, the budget Athlon II X4 features none.
The TDP of the new Athlon II X4 chips (there are two, but only one is sub $100) is also considerably lower than the top-end Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip at 95 watts versus 140 watts. Other than the TDP and lack of L3 cache, the CPUs are essentially the same as their Phenom predecessors.
Read on for our full analysis, review, and benchmarks!