Intel announced it has signed an agreement with RealNetworks to purchase approximately 190 patents and 170 patent applications worldwide, along with next-generation video codec software, for a cool $120 million. The deal fleshes out Intel's patent portfolio for streaming media to portable devices as the Santa Clara chip maker gets ready to make a serious run at the smartphone and tablet markets.
Microsoft appears to want to make better use of its time, and that doesn't involve hopping around from place to place attending various events. Less than two weeks after making its final appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Redmond software giant announced the cancellation of its MIX 2012 conference, and will instead merge the the event into a BUILD-like conference later this year.
In 2010, the semiconductor spending crown belonged to Hewlett-Packard, more than logical considering HP is the world's largest PC manufacturer. But in 2011, it was Apple that took the No. 1 spot by spending nearly $17.3 billion on semiconductors, up a whopping 34.6 percent over what it spent in 2010 and enough to grab hold of 5.7 percent of the total semiconductor market, according to data released by market research firm Gartner.
In May 2011, Hewlett-Packard said it hadn't found a "value proposition" in Intel's Thunderbolt (formerly known as Light Peak) interface, and come to find out, Thunderbolt controllers are 10 times more expensive than USB 3.0 chips. Big whoop, HP's stance isn't getting in the way of other system makers jumping on the high-speed interface.
We'd love it if you spent the bulk of your online time right here on MaximumPC.com, and we're constantly working hard to deliver awesome online content to keep you coming back. But hey, the Web is big -- really big -- and there are some worthwhile destinations out there. One of our favorites is iFixIt.com, a site dedicated to DIY electronics repair enthusiasts, and these guys aren't afraid to crack open the latest gear to see what makes 'em tick. We dig that kind of mindset. So when our friends at iFixIt told us they were launching a new website, they had our full attention.
Samsung late last night put the word out that it's started producing embedded multi-chip package (eMCP) memory for use in entry-level and mid-range smartphones. The new eMCP solutions are offered to manufacturers in a wide range of densities and utilize LPDDR2 (low power double-data-rate 2) DRAM made with 30nm class process technology and NAND flash memory using 20nm class technology, Samsung said.
Built-in webcams are everywhere these days, some of which are better than others. Whether it's for integrated webcams or standalone models, there's still room for innovation, and Logitech is at the forefront of pushing through new technologies. The latest fad in webcam technology is Full HD 1080p support, one of a handful of features Logitech is introducing to business users.
One thing you can't say about Globalfoundries is that it's afraid to spend money. After being spun-off from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in 2009, the contract chip maker went on to spend $8 billion through 2011 and now plans to spend an additional $3 billion on fabs and related equipment, with most of the funds going towards finishing a plant in New York and filling it with equipment.
IBM was awarded 6,180 patents in all of 2011, more than any other company in the world and nearly 1,300 more than Samsung, which was granted the second most patents with 4,894. After that, the Top 50 list compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services starts to drop off with Canon (No. 3) having added 2,821 patents to its portfolio last year, followed by Panasonic (No. 4) with 2,559 and Toshiba (No. 5) with 2,483. IBM has led the pack for 19 years straight, but don't hate the player, hate the game.
Another Foxconn factory worker in China nearly committed suicide before being talked out of lunging himself off a building rooftop to almost certain death. He is one of about 300 Foxconn workers who reportedly organized a mass suicide as part of a pay raise protest at a factory that makes Xbox parts for Microsoft.