Call it the dawn of a new era or the beginning of the end, but however it turns out, AMD has officially closed the deal to finalize its processor manufacturing spinoff. Previously coined The Foundry, the new company will now be called Globalfoundries and led by former AMD executives.
"With the close of this historic transaction, AMD and its committed partners have conceived two strong industry-leading companies capable of charting future courses that will dramatically improve the technology industry,” said Dirk Meyer, president and chief executive officer of AMD. "Our ‘Asset Smart’ strategy is about more than providing AMD with long term access to world-class, leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing that is foundational to our growth strategy. It is about transforming the industry."
The finalized deal improves AMD's cash position by about $825 million, and as previously reported, the spinoff will be responsible for AMD's manufacturing needs. Globalfoundries also said it will offer an expanded roadmap of technologies to third-party customers, giving them early access to volume chip production when traditionally new technologies would be limited only to high-end microprocessor makers.
A new $4.2 billion manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY is also being planned. The facility will focus on 32nm and smaller technologies, and according to Globalfoundries, it will be the only independently-managed, advanced semiconductor manufacturing foundry in the U.S.
A lot of people already have iPhones and iPod Touches, and it looks like now this gigantic target audience can double these handy devices as an Amazon Kindle, all thanks to a free app.
The Amazon Kindle app, which is currently available on Apple’s App Store, is completely free and gives users of it full access to the 240,000 eBooks currently available on Amazon.com (for the same price as Kindle users, of course).
While there are plenty of people that have already adopted the Kindle, one can’t help but think that plenty of them that have both are kicking themselves right now. After all, a backlit screen alone can turn the tide of battle!
This looks to be a good year for the Network Attached Storage (NAS) market. Western Digital this week announced its new WD ShareSpace NAS with a massive 8TB capacity, and at CeBIT, Acer's showing off its Atom-based Altos easyStore NAS box with support for four hot swappable hard drives, meaning it too should be able to hold 8TB.
Inside the little box sits an Intel Atom 230 embedded processor using Intel's 945GC chipset. Other specs include a single PCI-E x4 slot, five USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, and a single eSATA port.
Not much else is known about Acer's upcoming easyStore, including when it will be available or at what price point(s). However, Engadget has a bunch of pictures for you to ogle at, which you can view here.
Spouses and cars may come and go, but the internet is where the true passion lies. Or at least that's how the overwhelming majority of respondents felt in a new survey by German broadband association Bitkom.
According to the study, a whopping 84 percent of respondents between the ages of 19 and 29 admitted they would rather give up their significant other or automobile rather than become untethered from the web. And don't even think about taking away those cell phones - all but 3 percent couldn't fathom going through their day-to-day routine without a mobile phone.
Just don't mistake the findings for social indifference, says Bitkom president August-Wilhelm Scheer. Out of the 1,000 people who participated in the survey, about half of them attributed web forums and internet communities to having made new friends. And 8 percent said they found a partner online
Apparently this whole internet thing might catch on after all.
To the surprise of many (including ourselves), Symantec shed its old bloaty ways with the release of Norton Internet Security Suite 2009, a svelte security suite that earned a 9 verdict and KickAss award in our Antivirus Software Roundup. Now Symantec says its ready to do it again with a revamped version of its Norton 360 software. Has the world turned topsy-turvy?
"Norton 360 has become one of Symantec’s most popular consumer offerings in just two years due to the all-in-one convenience it delivers and the solutions value we have built directly into the suite,” said Janice Chaffin, group president of Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit. “With version 3.0, we are combining the unmatched performance of our 2009 security products with Norton Safe Web to create even more convenience and value for our customers."
Just like NIS 2009, Symantec says its new Norton 360 version 3.0 takes about a minute to install and consumes less than 10MB of system memory. Not only that, but the company claims users will see faster boot times once 360 turns off "unnecessary" startup programs. Other new features shipping with version 3.0 include pulse updates, idle backup routine, botnet protection, and a web rating service called Norton Safe Web.
Coinciding with the 360 v3.0 release, Symantec also announced the official launch of the Norton Users Discussion Forum. Prior to the launch, the forum had been in beta since April 2008 and currently boasts 1,200 new users and 7,000 posts every month.
Norton 360 is available now with an MRRP of $100 (includes 25GB of secured online storage) for the Premier Edition, $130 for the Small Business Edition 5 User Pack (plus 10GB), and $250 for the Small Business Edition 10 User Pack (plus 25GB).
During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco earlier this week, Nvidia revealed intentions of getting into the x86 business, saying it was a matter of 'when', and not 'if.'
"I think some time down the road it makes sense to take the same level of integration that we've done with Tegra," said Michael Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications. "Tegra is by any definition a complete computer on a chip, and the requirements of that market are such that you have to be very low power, very small, but highly efficient. So in that particular state it made a lot of sense to take that approach, and someday it's going to make sense to take the same approach in the x86 market as well."
For the here and now, Nvidia is content to pair its Ion platform with Intel's Atom processor, but for how long? Hara explained that it might make sense to approach the x86 market in two or three years, and while he wasn't willing to offer a more concrete timeframe, he did say "there's no question it's on our minds."
No doubt Intel's x86 license is also on Nvidia's minds, as the two companies tussle over whether or not Nvidia is allowed to build chipsets for Nehalem. How the current dispute plays out could play a big role on how Nvidia approaches the CPU business.
Do you like the idea of Nvidia building CPUS? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
First things first - if you haven't already, read through our comprehensive mega-roundup of nine browsers, which includes both stable and beta releases, and even a browser still in the alpha stage. Up to speed? Good, let's move on.
As noted, we didn't see too much terribly different with Firefox 3.1 beta 2 over the currently shipping version, 3.0.6. A third beta was originally scheduled for an early January release, but lingering bugs prompted Mozilla to hold off on taking Firefox 3.1 beta 3 live. Left to bake a little while longer, Mozilla now appears ready to serve up the third beta, which it plans to do on March 10th at 2PM PST, according to the company's updated release schdule.
In other words, beta 3 might not be as fully cooked as Mozilla hoped, but at least some developers were feeling frustrated with the development process taking too long. Combined with 3.1's expanded scope, the question has been raised whether it might make more sense to rename the final version 3.5 instead of 3.1, just as Firefox 1.1 was renamed to 1.5.
Stay tuned, as we'll continue to follow the development of Mozilla's browser, no matter what version number the company settles on.
You hear that, GameStop? Capcom thinks you’re all washed up. Maybe it’s time to let the younger, prettier, and – most of all – immaterial new generation start helping you across the street, because your time’s running short. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Capcom VP of strategic planning Christian Svensson explained why.
“Absolutely. No question in my mind. Digital distribution on PC ties directly into our strategy," Svensson replied when asked whether or not digital beats retail. “We will probably do as much digital selling as retail in the current climate,” he later added.
“To that end, on the PC side, I’ve spent the past year building up a digital distribution channel that has about twenty different partners. We’re ready on the console side, and we were the first Japanese publisher to do anything on Steam.”
Just in time, too. Our collection of game manuals was starting to get a little out of hand.
Developer Creative Assembly’s new-er RTS, Stormrise, isn’t a simple, no-strings-attached type of girl like its sister franchise-in-arms, Total War. No sir – while Total War only aims to please (and succeeds, by the look of things), Stormrise won’t relinquish the key to its post-apocalyptic chastity belt without a little wining and dining first. However, whereas Windows XP’s reliable charms might’ve brought the princess back to your castle back in middle school, Stormrise wants – nay, needs – more.
"Stormrise has been designed for DirectX 10 and Vista only right from the start," said Stormrise lead designer Artem Kulakov."Vista only. DX10 only. No fallback option. We have never suggested this or hinted at it, so it shouldn't be a surprise."
But why bet the success of a new franchise on a pie-in-the-sky setup that only 25% of PC gamers can even access? Short answer: consoles.
"DX10 has offered a lot of advantages over DX9," Kulakov added. "First of all, DirectX 10 allowed us to simplify the rendering engine. It matches capabilities of next generation consoles better than DX9, which is important for us considering that Stormrise is a multi-platform title. We had fewer driver-specific compatibility issues with Stormrise compare to our previous games released with DX9."
Person-with-bad-idea-during-a-recession-says-what? Consoles and RTSes (especially those of the obscure, generically titled variety) are notorious for their inability to play nice together. Really, it's like putting all of your eggs in one basket with a gaping hole in the bottom; the expected outcome is as clear as day, so why even do it?
At CeBIT yesterday Asus unveiled the Eee PC 1008HA, a 1-inch thick netbook that weighs a mere 2.4 pounds.
The diminutive netbook, which was formerly known as the Eee PC Shell, is about as thin and light as the Eee PC S101, but it will supposedly have a smaller price tag. It will also feature an impressive 92% size keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad (like Dell’s Mini 10). Asus is yet to release any conclusive hardware details.
As far as pricing and availability goes, the only information that we have to go off of is the speculation that it’ll be cheaper than he Eee PC S101. No word on availability.