Intel Hit With a Massive Antitrust Suit, In the US This Time

via Gizmodo by John Herrman on 11/4/09

Remember how Intel got smacked in the face with a $1.45 billion fine in the EU for shadily suffocating AMD into submission? Today, New York’s Attorney General has brought the fight to the US. This is going to get messy.

From the looks of it, this case will mirror the European Commission’s case almost exactly:

“Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.”

The AG even echoes some of the same cases used in the EC’s investigation, like the time Intel allegedly paid $130 million to keep IBM from selling AMD-based servers, which IBM execs considered as much a business deal as a way to avoid incurring the “wrath of Intel.” I too avoid the wrath of Intel, by using AMD chips. Bam! Also: no. But still, dick move!

Cuomo is working with the same body of evidence that the European Commission was, and probably quite a bit more—the FTC’s been breathing down their necks for over a year now—so I’d expect this to get pretty uncomfortable for Intel. And by uncomfortable, of course, I mean very, very expensive.

[NYT]

Fujitsu rolls out Venus, world’s fastest processor

via DVICE Atom Feed by Charlie White on 5/14/09
Fujitsu rolls out Venus, world's fastest processor

Look out, Intel. Fujitsu just unleashed the fastest processor in the world, a startling 2.5 times quicker than Intel’s speediest chip. Supercomputer users will love “Venus,” the eight core processor that’s capable of 128 billion computations per second.

What all those numbers mean? While its 45-nanometer architecture doesn’t pack its components together as tightly as Intel’s latest 32-nanometer configuration, it accomplishes that world-record blistering speed while sipping one third the power of Intel’s flagship chip.

Alas, this monster processor is not for you and me — it’s destined for enormously expensive supercomputers doing high-end research, and won’t see practical application for “several years.” But its power and design gives us a sneak preview into what’s possible, and hints at Intel’s next move to answer Fujitsu’s slam-dunk.

Via CrunchGear

AMD Phenom II X4 955 and 945 benchmarked to high heaven

via Engadget by Paul Miller on 4/23/09

Just when you though you’d had your fill of insanely detailed benchmarks of processors you may or may not have ever heard of, AMD’s new Phenom II X4 955 and 945 hit the scene to get those overclockers all in a tizzy. The top of the line is the 955 “Black Edition” at 3.2GHz, while the 945 plays with a petty 3GHz. And the verdict? They’re clearly AMD’s fastest so far, but that might not be fast enough. AMD offers great value, but only really matches Intel’s Core 2 offerings on performance — Core i7 is still out in front. There is the fact that Phenom II offers a nice upgrade path for certain people who already do the AMD thing and are looking to upgrade, along with “enthusiasts” who are “enthused” by easy-access overclocking, but overall it looks like AMD is still playing catch-up with Intel.

Gateway intros four new gaming desktops

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 2/25/09

While Gateway‘s been on the laptop bandwagon of late, it’s good to see the company doing its thang on the desktop front, too. Kicking things off is the bargain-priced LX6810-01, which houses 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics, a built-in TV tuner and a $799.99 price tag. The even more affordable DX4200-11 gets going at just $609.99 and features an AMD quad-core CPU, ATI Radeon graphics, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. Stepping things up quite significantly is the FX6800-09, which sports a Core i7 CPU and a $1,649.99 sticker. Rounding out the bunch is the $1,299.99 FX6800-11 and the currently unpriced entry-level FX6800-01e. If any of these caught your fancy, head on past the break for a look at the full release.

Continue reading Gateway intros four new gaming desktops

11.6-inch Acer Aspire One inches closer to our hearts, reality

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 3/22/09

It’s very possible that we’re just reading too far between the lines here, but a recent post over at macles* lines up awesomely with specifications gleaned from a recent Acer FCC filing. Basically, what we’re probably looking at is a forthcoming Aspire One with an 11.6-inch panel (as opposed to the 10-inch versions available now), a 1,366 x 768 resolution and very strangely placed Ethernet and VGA ports. Furthermore, we’re also told that this bugger will house an Atom Z530 CPU, Intel’s SCH USW15S chipset (Poulsbo) and GMA500 integrated graphics. Oh, and there’s also an extended battery option that should provide up to eight hours of life. Interested yet?

Overclocking guide shows what Intel’s Core i7 is / isn’t capable of

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 12/29/08

Oh sure, we’ve seen just how far Intel’s most potent Core i7 chip can be pushed under the most extreme conditions, but honestly, how’s that helping you? In short, it’s not. To that end, HotHardware has whipped up a useful, easy-to-digest guide on overclocking the Core i7 920, complete with benchmarks, recommendations and tips for dealing with excess heat without hooking up a liquid nitrogen tank. Interested to see how to crank a stock 920 to a level that outpaces the pricey 3.2GHz Core i7 Extreme Edition? The read link, friends — hit it.

Intel patent attorneys kick some dirt at AMD

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 10/9/08
AMD’s breakup into two separate companies is certain to have wide-ranging impact in the industry, and unsurprisingly, Intel’s among the first to react — it’s warning that it has “serious questions about this transaction” as it relates to its patent cross-licensing agreement with AMD and that it’ll “vigorously protect” its intellectual property rights. That’s about as aggro a patent attorney can get without coming to your house and peeing on the lawn (or, uh, filing a lawsuit), so we’ll see how this shakes out — for its part, AMD says that it’s taken the deal into account, and that it’ll “continue respecting Intel’s intellectual property rights, just as we expect them to respect ours.” That’s a respect throwdown, right there — you gonna take that, Intel?

Intel’s Insanely Tiny Processor Roadmap: "Clear Path" to 10nm Chips

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 7/3/08

Think Intel’s breakthrough 45-nanometer chips are impressive stuff? Intel thought at one time dipping below 100nm would be miraculous, but Intel exec Pat Gelsinger says that “today we see a clear way to get to under 10 nanometers,” and it’ll be within the next 10 years.

The next die shrink is the 32nm Westmere chips next year, followed by 14nm a few years later and then the crazy sub-10nm chips after that. But they’re probably going to have to make use of something like carbon nanotubes or spintronics to get below 10. The result of all that processing power, says Gelsinger, will be “a dramatic restructuring of the user interface.” Yes! I’ve always wanted true 3D computing goggles.

Demand for Intel’s Atom already outstripping supply?

via Engadget by Nilay Patel on 4/30/08

There’s a ton of upcoming laptops and devices based around Intel’s Atom processor, and it looks like all the early interest is causing that best of all possible problems for the chipmaker: it’s gotten too many orders. Intel told the WSJ that it’s planning on producing “millions” of Atom chips this year, but that it’s “seeing better-than-expected demand” as production begins and that it’s “we are working quickly to address it.” Still, it looks like manufacturers are expecting a shortage to last for a while — ASUS predicted that supply would be constrained until the third quarter during its quarterly conference call, for example — and various Chinese trade publications have reported the same. That’s definitely not encouraging news, and with AMD’s Puma and VIA’s Isaiah nipping at Atom’s heels, Intel might want to kick things into a higher gear.

Intel patents cosmic ray detectors on-a-chip. What a relief.

via Engadget by Paul Miller on 3/8/08

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That great perpetrator of worldly ills, the cosmic ray, has at last met its match. Intel has patented the concept of an on-chip detector of cosmic rays which would auto-correct for soft errors caused by the cosmic ray’s interference. Apparently Intel is concerned that cosmic rays — those perky particles from space that blast through the Earth’s atmosphere and tamper with your precious bodily fluids — are going to become “a major limiter of computer reliability in the next decade” as chips get smaller and smaller. The rays have already been proved to interfere with electronics in small ways, so while Intel doesn’t have method for building an actual cosmic ray detector yet, they’re certainly getting a jump on the problem with this patent. We know we’ll certainly be sleeping better at night.

[Via Slashdot]