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Samsung Puts Its New Exynos Chip on the Table
April 26, 2012
In a move that would be akin to unveiling an automobile's new engine in advance of an auto show, Samsung on Thursday introduced its new 1.4 GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor for smartphone and tablet devices. While the company did not say which devices would first use the processor -- which is based on the ARM Cortex A9 chip -- it announced that it would power the "next Galaxy" device.
Following Intel's Ivy Bridge Road
April 25, 2012
The tech industry loves the concept of new innovation to the point where product launches all too often call to mind infatuated elders showing off photos of their latest grandkids. But practicality tends to drive the manufacturing side of the IT business, with consistency trumping innovation. As a result, products arrive at market on time, retailers and their customers don't get grumpy, vendors hit their sales targets, and shareholders are happy campers.
Intel Aims to Bridge GPU Gap
April 23, 2012
Intel's highly anticipated Ivy Bridge chips, which offer the promise of significant improvements in speed and power usage along with support for USB 3.0, were officially launched on Monday. The first wave of these new chips, which offer a smaller package compared to Intel's current Sandy Bridge chips, will include 13 quad core processors. These new chips are the first to use Intel's new 22-nanometer manufacturing process and feature its new tri-gate technology.
Samsung to Build $7B Plant in China
April 2, 2012
South Korea-based Samsung Electronics announced Monday that it would spend $7 billion to build a NAND memory chip plan in China. The plant, which will mark Samsung's biggest-ever overseas investment in chip production, is reportedly going to be built in the central-China city of Xian. Before Monday's announcement, analysts had anticipated the plant would cost about half of the $7 billion price tag.
How to Overclock a CPU: Getting Started
March 29, 2012
Overclocking a CPU sounds seductive, right? Adjust a few settings on your phone or tablet, and the device goes faster. Games play without laborious, stuttering, forced slow-motion effects, and everything loads quicker. Well, like everything in life, these adjustments involve a tradeoff. Just as there are risks in taking your car out for a rural run and heavy-footing it, there are implications for a CPU speedup.
Nvidia's New GPUs Could Be Real Game Changers
March 22, 2012
Nvidia has launched the first graphic processing units based on its next-generation Kepler graphics architecture, which offers the promise to deliver superior gaming performance, according to the company. One of the key components of video games on the PC is, of course, the graphics, and as long as there have been games, there have been attempts to take video performance to the next level.
Nvidia's Excellent Linux Adventure
March 15, 2012
Well, spring appears to be springing early here in the Linux blogosphere's Northern reaches, so summer can't be far behind. Sunny personalities and flower lovers across the land are surely rejoicing, but for Linux Girl, it's one more reason to hit the blogosphere's Broken Windows Lounge early. Penguins and heat do not go together, after all.
Internet of Things Close, Thanks to ARM's Reach
March 13, 2012
Chipmaker ARM has announced a tiny product with huge implications. The company unveiled its ARM Cortex M0+, a 1mm microchip it says can push the edge of the Internet beyond your laptop or PC. Everything is on the drawing board -- from a network-enabled fridge to devices powered by your body's heat.
Sandy Bridge Delivers More Processing Horsepower for Integrated Next-Gen Systems
March 13, 2012
Intel's launch of its new Xeon processor E5-2600 product family marked numerous firsts for the company and x86 data centers. The new processors deliver leadership performance, best data center performance per watt, and breakthrough I/O innovation features, according to Intel. Overall, Intel believes E5-2600 processors are not only at the heart of next-generation servers and workstations, but will also power the next generation of storage and communication systems.
Open Source Coopetition Fueled by LF Growth
March 13, 2012
The Linux Foundation has come a long way since initiated in 2007 as the fusion of the Open Source Development Lab and Free Standards Group. It has gained some significant members and new groups of collaborators -- the latest batch including graphics and microprocessor giant Nvidia. I believe the move was driven primarily by Nvidia's desire to participate, integrate and collaborate on Linux as the open source operating system continues to grow.
Holy Semiconductors! IBM Reveals 1Tbps Holey Optical Chip
March 8, 2012
IBM on Thursday introduced a prototype chip dubbed the "Holey Optochip," a wedding of traditional computer chip technology with the use of optical pathways. Able to transmit 1 terabit of data per second, the prototype chipset could eventually result in faster downloads of information like apps and streaming video.
HTC Touts the Power of One
February 27, 2012
HTC revealed a new line of smartphones at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress Sunday, showcasing handsets designed to emphasize audio and sleek, efficient displays. The line will include three handsets under the collective HTC One series: the One X, One V and One S. All will run on Android Ice Cream Sandwich and will come with 25 GB of cloud storage space courtesy of Dropbox.
AMD: Shift Happens
February 6, 2012
Last week was the coming-out party for AMD's new CEO, and his core message was that the market was undergoing a shift -- and when markets shift, leadership changes. His point was that Intel's leadership was at risk and that AMD was poised to take over that leadership. The nature of this change is massive, and I doubt we -- I mean any of us -- are fully aware of how much is changing.
AMD Aims to Shimmy Into Ultrabook Turf With Ultrathins
January 18, 2012
Thin is all the rage in electronics these days, and nowhere is that more evident than in the notebook computer realm, where Intel has created a deafening buzz with its Ultrabook platform. However, Intel's archrival, AMD, isn't sitting on its silicon when it comes to thin computers.
The Future According to CES
January 16, 2012
One of the things that unfortunately doesn't happen much since Bill Gates stepped down is a quintessential talk on what the future will look like, and I find I miss that. So, to fill my own need for such a talk, this week's column will focus on the interesting products I saw come out at CES and the future they represent.
Google's Nettlesome Search Gambit
January 14, 2012
Google has tuned up its search engine once again, but this time instead of shaving a couple of precious microseconds off its response time, it's decided to adjust some back-end systems in a way that changes the kinds of results people get, depending on who they are.
Intel to Make Mobile Incursion via China
January 11, 2012
Intel has finally leaped into the mobile sector. CEO Paul Otellini announced the company's entry during a keynote address at CES. Otellini revealed major agreements with both Motorola and Lenovo to put Intel inside smartphones. Intel will show up in Lenovo phones in China during the first half of 2012 and in Motorola handsets this year.
The Rebirth of the Hybrid Laptop: AMD's Opportunity
January 9, 2012
Last week, an announcement from Lenovo got me thinking of Rory Read, AMD's new CEO, who made some cryptic remarks about AMD going into ARM and no longer chasing Intel. Now, there are a number of hybrid or crossover products that will be coming out this year, with the most interesting being a cross between a notebook and tablet. This design will likely be the showcase for Windows 8.
Intel Gallops Up Cedar Trail
December 29, 2011
Intel announced its third-generation Atom mobile processor-based platform, code-named "Cedar Trail," on Wednesday. It consists of two dual-core mobile processors, the N2600 and N2800, and two that target entry-level desktop and other solutions, the D2500 and D2700. The platform introduces new features such as Intel Wireless Music and Intel Wireless Display.
Intel Takes Medfield-Powered Phone and Tablet Out for a Spin
December 21, 2011
Intel is stepping up the drumbeat around its efforts to penetrate the mobile handheld device market leading up to the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, which will be held in Las Vegas in January. The semiconductor giant recently sent prototype devices, known as "reference designs," to the MIT Technology Review to try out.
Apple's Patent Win: Just a Feather in Its Cap?
December 21, 2011
In a decision 20 months in the making, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Monday that, starting in April, certain HTC smartphones cannot be imported into the U.S. due to a violation of one of Apple's patents. Apple had alleged that HTC was violating 10 technology patents, though the ITC ruled that the Taiwanese smartphone maker was infringing on just one, a data tapping feature.
Thailand's Summer Floods Leave Intel High and Dry
December 12, 2011
Intel has informed its shareholders that its fourth-quarter results will not match its earlier outlook. The reason: a global shortage of hard disk drives, due to flooding in Thailand earlier this year. Now the company expects fourth-quarter revenue to be approximately $13.7 billion, down from the previous estimate of roughly $14.7 billion.
Researchers Create Brain on a Chip
November 16, 2011
Although computers have been called "thinking machines," their internal operations have very little to do with how the original thinking machine -- the human brain -- actually works. That's changing, however, as some researchers at MIT and the University of Texas Medical School have demonstrated in a new computer chip that mimics how the brain learns as it receives new information.
Nvidia Crams Tegra 3 Mobile Chip Chock Full of Cores
November 9, 2011
Nvidia on Wednesday launched the quad-core mobile Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Formerly nicknamed "Project Kal-El," the Tegra 3 has four main cores and a fifth companion core. It distributes the workload among these using patent-pending variable symmetric multiprocessing technology.

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Should humans colonize Mars?
Yes. It's human nature to explore.
Yes. Earth is running out of resources.
No. It's too impractical and risky.
No. We should focus on saving Earth.
Maybe -- but not until a round-trip is possible.
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