AMD, the one company in a position to give Intel a run for its money, has seen just how hard it is to keep up. Ever since Intel woke up from its Netburst slumber, the mostly two-man CPU market has been dominated by Intel and its Core 2 architecture, and that doesn't look to change any time soon. Is there room for another contender?
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Computing Technology are talking about a new microprocessor they hope will make major headway in China by 2010. Backed by government funding, the chip was developed by more than 200 researchers.
"Twenty years ago in China, we didn't support R&D for microprocessors," said Zhiewi Xu, deputy director of ICT. "The decision makers and IT community have come to realize that CPUs are important."
China knows its getting a late start, but this isn't brand new territory for ICT. The group first began designing a single-core chip back in 2001, with Godson-1, China's first general purpose CPU, making a debut one year later. Now in its third iteration, engineers have added 200 additional instructions to Godson-3 to simulate a x86 chip, which will allow it to run more software than either of its predecessors.
It's worth noting that China's goal with the new processor isn't to take down Intel, a Herculean task by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, Tom Halfhill, an analyst at research firm In-Stat and Maximum PC magazine columnist, points out that "China wants to be independent. They don't want to be dependent on outside countries for critical technologies like microprocessors, which are, nowadays, a fundamental commodity."
Dell CEO Michael said Wednesday at the Citigroup Technology Conference that notebooks will eventually become subsidized by wireless telecom carriers, who will no doubt sell the devices with 3G service and capabilities in an effort to profit from the growing mobile market.
The prediction merely came off as an indication of the company’s strategy to stay afloat among the sea of competition infiltrating the notebook market, especially considering that the company has had less than expected profit margins. With the rising popularity of 3G, Dell expects that telecom carriers will take over the laptop market in order to sell the services and prepare for the eventual initiation of 4G. Notebooks will ultimately become netbooks.
At the conference, Citigroup said that netbooks will account for about a third of global notebook sales. Dell agreed, saying that “(Netbooks are) a market expansion,” according to ZDNet. Dell will no doubt follow this strategy as it attempts to reinitiate itself into the notebook market.
If Samsung is to be belieived, the future for Blu-ray doesn't look so bright. Despite burying its rival, HD-DVD, and gaining market penetration thanks to Sony's Playstation 3 console, Samsung sees the high definition format as being on life support.
"I think it has 5 years left, I certainly wouldn't give it 10," said Andy Griffiths, director of consumer electronics at Samsung UK.
With such a pessimistic outlook, Samsung must be looking towards digital downloads as the next big thing, right? Surprisingly, no. According to Samung, the successor to Blu-ray will be OLED displays. Huh? Odd as it sounds, the company is touting high definition displays while downplaying a media format that could show off the new displays.
"We will launch the OLED technology when it's at a price that will be appealing to the consumer, unfortunately that's not yet," explained Griffiths.
Griffiths went on to say that OLED could be become a mainstream technology by as early as 2010.
If nothing else, give PNY points for creativity. In an attempt to differentiate its USB keys from other companies, the memory maker will attempt to sell a 2GB USB flash drive with the movie Ghostbusters pre-installed.
"As a market leader in the USB market, PNY's focus is to offer consumers added value by providing enjoyable blockbuster content on their USB," said Stefanie Summerfield, UK and Nordic sales and marketing director for PNY Technologies.
It remains to be seen exactly how many people will be interested in receiving a free 20-year-old movie with their USB key, but if it proves popular enough, it's conceivable that the partnership between PNY and Sony could lead to more flicks on more flash drives. That's assuming consumers won't be put off by the DRM scheme. According to a PNY spokesperson, customers will be able to download Ghostbusters to their laptop or PC, but they'll have to have the USB key plugged in if they want to watch the movie.
Is PNY on to something here, or are pre-loaded movies ultimately just a marketing gimmick? Hit the jump and post your toughts.
If you've been waiting for Dell to officially release its Mini 9 notebook line, your wait is now over. On the high end, a starting price of $449 buys a Mini Inspiron 910 with an Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside-bus, 512K cache), 1GB of DDR2 RAM clocked at 533MHz, a 16GB SSD, and other odds and ends tied together with Windows XP. Cut the hard drive and RAM in half and you can knock $50 off the price, or drop down to the Inspiron 910u for $349. It comes with the same goodies as the higher end models, except with a 4GB SSD, 512MB DDR2, and Ubuntu 8.04 instead of Windows XP.
For those willing to wait one more day, Dell's blog claims that as of 6 a.m. Central tomorrow, "you'll be able to get a Mini for only $99with the purchase of a Studio 15, XPS M1530, or XPS M1330 laptop through 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9 (U.S. only)."
On September 15th, Intel is expected to unveil its Xeon 7400 series Dunnington processor. What makes the server chip so special is it will be the first six-core processor, and likely the last Penryn to make a debut before the Nehalem microarchitecture takes over starting with the Core i7.
In another first, Dunnington will be the first Intel chip to sport a monolithic design, meaning all six cores will come on one slice of silicon. By contrast, the Core 2 Quad and four-core Xeon processors to date integrate two dual-core chips in a single package.
In addition to having six cores, the server market hopes to get big performance gains from the large 16MB of shared L3 cache. According to Intel senior vice president Pat Gelsinger, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell will have product announcements related to the Xeon 7400 series in September.
At times it is easy to forget that Intel Atom is not the only power-efficient processor aimed at the netbook segment. Incase you had forgotten, Via is also vying for the same market segment. Only a couple of weeks after Via received a big order for Nano processors from HP, it has announced that leading Chinese PC OEM Tsinghua Tongfang is going to deploy the VIA C7-M processor in its S1 mini-notebook.
The S1 features a 1.6 GHz VIA C7-M processor, 1GB memory and an 80GB hard disk drive. With its weight of 1.2kg, the S1 is certainly a little bulky for its stripe. It has a rather convenient 10.2” screen and runs Windows Vista Home Basic – quite audacious to even attempt Vista on a netbook. Its Chinese price translates to $583. With Intel struggling to meet the staggering demand for Atom, the door is ajar for Via.
The external drive does have some limitations when used over a USB 2.0 connection – understandably so, and can only manage write speeds up to 6.5x. You should set aside anywhere between $350 to $400, if you want this drive. However, very few people might have a craving for a Blu-ray burner at this point in time. The prices are still uninviting, though gradually waning, and Blu-ray is far from inheriting the ubiquity enjoyed by its predecessors.
We've all been there: you're softly striding through a craggy cavern, imperceptibly thin rays of light squeezing their way through cracks in the ceiling. Your eyes pierce through the black just in time for you to notice a vaguely cylindrical enemy galloping your way. Steel clangs against claws and fangs, and your foe slumps to the ground. A thick liquid oozes from the beast's mangled form, but the scent of blood is curiously absent. You decide to take a closer look, and dab your fingers in the liquid. One tentative lick later, you realize what the cave-dweller was dispensing -- the smooth taste of Coca-Cola! Visibly excited, you bottle up a sample. And with that, it's quest complete. Time to head back to Doct R. Peppyre's place for your brand new, Sunkist-orange tabard. Awesome!
But then, while emerging from the cave, you spot a poster on a nearby tree. Turns out, it's a blatant ad for McDonald's. "What the hell?" You wonder aloud. Then, sense of immersion annihilated, you rage-quit the game.
Obviously, the above situation is completely ludicrous. In-game advertising is never so out-of-place or in-your-face. And, in a fairly roundabout way, that's the point I'm trying to make: in-game advertising isn't as bad as gamers seem to think. Given a decent context, true-to-life ads can even make a game more immersive, while also putting extra cash into publishers' pockets.
But what's your take? Are in-game ads a detriment to your experience, or is Human Billboard your favorite race/class combination?
Well, today's Roundup is loyal only to you, fair reader, but could use some extra money and aims its commentary straight at the pleasure center of your brain. Inside, you'll find the latest news on a public E3, the oft-delayed Firefly MMO, EA's secret plans, and more.
With social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook featuring in the list of top online display ad publishers, Yahoo must be unhappy for having missed out. Not only has Yahoo seen both its social networking ventures – Mixd being the other one – fail miserably, but it also failed in its bid to acquire Facebook. Don’t forget to pay homage to Mash.