Even for a company as powerful as Intel, with $13 billion in cash on the books, $1.25 billion is a lot of money. So why drop that huge quantity of money in the lap of its biggest rival, Advanced Micro Devices?
The payment is, of course, to settle the antitrust suit AMD brought against Intel five years ago. AMD's stock surged 22 percent Thursday after the chipmakers announced the agreement, but Intel's share price dropped 1 percent, indicating which company the investors thought got the better deal.
Intel (NSDQ: INTC) and Numonyx say they have achieved a research milestone in computer memory that could one day lead to a less expensive and higher-performing alternative to the technology used today. The accomplishment stems from the work the two companies have been doing together on a type of non-volatile memory called phase-change memory, or PCM. The research partners say they have successfully stacked multiple layers of PCM arrays within a single 64 Mb die.
In all of our recent solid state disk (SSD) coverage that featured one of Intel's X25-M drives, a common, underlying performance trend consistently emerged. The Intel drives were always amongst the top performers in read performance, and were unquestionably the best with regard to random writes. However, in sequential write performance Intel X25-M SSDs always seemed to trail competing offerings.
Tilera on Monday announced new general-purpose CPUs, including a 100-core chip, as it tries to make its way into the server market dominated by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.
The two-year-old startup's Tile-GX series of chips are targeted at servers and appliances that execute Web-related functions such as indexing, Web search and video search, said Anant Agarwal, cofounder and chief technology officer of Tilera, which is based in San Jose, California. The chips have the attributes of a general-purpose CPU as they can run the Linux OS and other applications commonly used to serve Web data.
Larrabee gets inoculated
According to Xbit Labs, Intel is a bit worried that specialized viruses targeting GPUs could soon appear, as GPGPUs become increasingly popular.
We've talked about the potential benefits of GPGPU computing on numerous occasions. Although there's still not enough useful GPGPU applications for average desktop users, the concept is quite promising. Both Nvidia and ATI have GPGPU video encoding software, and Nvidia recently informed us that it's thinking about using its Fermi GPUs to power antivirus software.
Nvidia has delayed the development of chipsets that work with Intel's microprocessors, citing "unfair business tactics" employed by Intel, the company said on Thursday.
Nvidia's move also intensifies an ongoing patent-licensing battle in which both companies have accused each other of breaching a chip-licensing agreement signed in 2004. Nvidia currently makes chipsets -- a set of integrated circuits -- for Intel and Advanced Micro Devices CPUs, to help processors communicate with components like network and storage controllers.
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Intel has begun producing 32-nm "Westmere" chips, the focus of the company's Intel Developer Forum in two weeks.
Intel plans to announce on Sunday night that is has begun manufacturing its 32-nm shrink of its Core microprocessor line, which the company refers to by the umbrella code name of "Westmere". Those chips will be spearheaded by the so-called "Dales" chips -- "Clarkdale" for the desktop, and "Arrandale" for the notebook -- which will contain an Intel CPU and graphics core together in the same package. Arrandale is expected to ship during the fourth quarter of 2009.
The European Commission's $1.45 billion fine of Intel should be struck down or severely scaled back because the commission ignored crucial evidence, failed to prove the chipmaker stifled competition, and never established that any consumers were harmed, according to a summary of Intel's appeal in the case.
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