Technology giants Intel and Micron hammered out revised agreements to expand their NAND Flash memory joint venture relationship, the two companies announced this week. As part of the agreements, Micron will buy back Intel's stake in two wafer fabrication plants for $600 million, half of which will be paid in cash and the rest deposited with Micron to be refunded or applied to Intel's future purchases.
Technology bigwigs Hewlett-Packard and Dell are keeping a watchful eye on the labor situation in China, the one in which Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Ltd.) has doled out major wage increases to workers who build Apple devices in an attempt to improve much criticized working conditions, and may end up hiking prices if labor costs go up across the board.
Teams of engineers from SanDisk and Toshiba working at SanDisk's Milpitas campus developed a NAND flash memory chip smaller than a U.S. penny, the two companies announced. The 128Gb (gigabit) memory chip, which is currently in production, is the world's smallest and can store 128 billion bits of information on a single die measuring just 170mm2, barely more than a quarter of an inch squared.
With Bill Gates out of the picture, Microsoft and its employees didn't skip a beat in 2011 with its philanthropic efforts, raising over $100 million for more than 18,000 U.S.-based community organizations. It's the most Microsoft has ever raised as part of its employee giving campaign, in which worker donations are matched by Microsoft dollar for dollar.
Rambus, a memory technology licensing company, announced today it has signed a patent license agreement with GPU maker Nvidia that will be valid for the next years. As part of the five-year deal, the two sides agreed to settle all outstanding claims against each other, ending what had become a bitter and stretched out legal dispute over various patent innovations.
Get ready to wave at your PC and welcome the motion control revolution on the desktop, Microsoft just made available the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0 for download. After shedding its beta tag, the Kinect for Windows SDK now supports up to four Kinect sensors on a single computer, skeletal tracking, a Near Mode feature that lets the camera recognize objects just 40cm away, improved stability and audio, and API updates and enhancements.
The European Commission today announced it has opened a formal investigation into Samsung's use of patents and whether the handset maker is running afoul of EU antitrust rules. Samsung's business practices are being examined "as a matter of priority," the Commission said, though it did not say when it expects to complete its investigation.
A new shoe with GPS technology is being pitched as a wearable tracking device to help caretakers keep tabs on patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The kicks have a tracking device nestled into the right sole, along with a GSM/CDMA antenna that extends up behind the heel, all of which is hidden out of sight and implemented in such a way that the wearer won't feel them.
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.