Have you ever dreamed of a future where you could hold fully functional x86 computer in the palm of your hand capable of playing back not just one, but two 1080p video streams at once? We can’t imagine why you would, but hey it certainly makes for an awesome tech demo right? A little known company by the name of Habey has released the SOM-6670 E6XX, a post it note sized computer module sporting the Atom E600 1.0 Ghz CPU, along with an integrated GMA600 GPU.
AMD began shipping 40nm C- and E-series Fusion APUs (accelerated processing unit) to vendors back in Novemeber, 2010 and products featuring these integrated chips began entering the market in late January. The Fusion chips currently on the market are only meant for netbooks and low-cost notebooks. That is set to change very soon, though. AMD has begun shipping the more powerful A-series “Llano” chips to vendors, the company said Monday.
Two of the oldest names in the electronics industry have announced they’re getting together. Texas Instruments is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion. That's a pretty hefty 77% premium over the company's $3.4 billion market cap. The deal is about infrastructure as much as it is about technology, sources say.
This really isn't much of a surprise as the SoC is expected to hit the market in early 2011. The intial product will feature an Atom Z670 processor and SM35 chipset. The tablet-centric SoC will support MeeGo, Android and Windows 7. But as you'd expect, vendors opting for Windows will end up paying a lot more compared to those opting for MeeGo or Android. As per the report, the Oak Trail-MeeGo combo will cost $25.
Hazy mobile plans notwithstanding, the chip maker has signed up for the MeeGO mobile operating system project. It will be lending its engineering expertise to the open source Linux-based OS project, which already includes the likes of Intel, Nokia and the Linux Foundation as its backers.
“MeeGo represents an exciting, open-source mobile operating system we expect to be adopted by mobile and embedded device makers over time,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president, software development, AMD. “We are glad to provide engineering resources to joint industry efforts like MeeGo and expect that this operating system will help drive our embedded plans and create expanded market opportunities for our forthcoming Accelerated Processing Units.”
Microsoft's newer, slimmer Xbox 360 250GB console is fast becoming old news, except that up until now, the software giant hasn't been particularly willing to detail the system-on-a-chip (SoC) that powers the device.
Details of the SoC were unveiled at the Hot Chips symposium yesterday, and it was there that Microsoft showed off the inner workings of the 45nm part produced by IBM and GlobalFoundries. Even if you're not a console gamer, you have to appreciate that this is essentially the first mass-market, desktop chip to squeeze a CPU, GPU, memory, and I/O logic onto a single unit.
Microsoft's new SoC boasts 372 million transistors, which would have been much more impressive five years ago when the Xbox 360 first debuted. The 45nm chip realizes a more than 60 percent power savings over the original 90nm chip from 2005 and measures 50 percent smaller.
One interesting thing about the new design is the inclusion of a "FSB Replacement" block. IBM/GlobalFoundries could have just connected the GPU and GPU with a low-latency internal connection, but doing so would have made the new Xbox 360 faster than previous versions. The FSB Replacement block actually adds latency to the mix and introduces a performance hit to keep the new model from outpacing older versions.
The first consumer products powered by Advanced Micro Devices' upcoming Fusion chips will be available early next year, officials at the chip maker said today. The Fusion family consists of chips, or APUs (Accelerated Processing units), that combine CPU and GPU cores onto a single die.
The Ontario (codename) System-on-Chip, which combines two Bobcat CPU cores and a DirectX 11-capable GPU core, will be the first Fusion chip on the market. Onatrio is aimed at netbooks and ultra-portable laptops, with the chip maker promising “90% of today’s mainstream performance in less than half of die area.” According to Dina McKinney, vice president of design engineering at AMD, Bobcat's CPU core will consume less than 1 watt of power.
British chip designer ARM, which currently enjoys an almost unchallenged run in the mobile and embedded device markets, has announced a new deal with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). Termed the “broadest agreement” between the two companies that happen to go back a long way, it will yield nimbler and more power-efficient chips.
"I am pleased that ARM and TSMC will be working together to enable ARM processor based SoCs leveraging both companies' advanced technologies," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president and general manager, ARM Processor Division.
Advanced Micro Devices has said that it remains ahead of schedule with its Fusion chips - or APUs (accelerated processing unit) as it likes to call them. The low-power “Ontario” SoC (System-on-Chip), aimed at netbooks and low-end notebooks, will be the first Fusion chip on the market when it makes its debut during the fourth quarter.
AMD has, in fact, pushed in Ontario’s launch, which was previously scheduled for next year, citing accelerated development owing to great interest from consumers. However, the company plans to steer clear of the burgeoning tablet market for now, restricting Ontario to netbooks and low-end notebooks.
The FCC took a stand back in 2003 saying that Selectable Output Control (SoC) was unnecessary, and could harm consumers. But a recent petition from the MPAA has resulted in a partial waiver, allowing SoC to be implemented in certain circumstances. SoC is an anti-counterfeiting technology that would force digital content to be output only to an HDCP compliant HDMI port.
The FCC will allow SoC to be used only on "high value" content. Specifically, any digital content (i.e. video on demand or streaming) that is not available on DVD or Blu-ray at the time, can be protected with SoC for up to 90 days. The rationale for this is a bit confusing. The FCC statement says, "Consumers simply cannot expect to be able to access something that does not yet exist." In short, the FCC doesn't need to fully protect people with older TVs because the expectation of getting this high value content is not assumed.
What this comes down to is that for owners of older TVs without an HDMI, you may be denied access to some special content that is made available before an official DVD release. Those with newer TVs however, may be able to get pre-release access to upcoming movies. How do you feel about this? Is it a reasonable trade-off, or should the FCC have held firm?