Articles about Chips

US Federal Communications Commission Headquarters in Washington, DC. Pic: editorial use only/Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

Why I had to sue the FCC – VoIP granddaddy Dan Berninger

Interview One of the grandaddies of VoIP is taking America's comms watchdog, the FCC, to the US Supreme Court over net neutrality – and he's told us why. It’s life or death, says Dan Berninger, whose startup works on high quality voice services, and could be killed by the regulator at a stroke. Berninger led the Bell Labs team that …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Feb 2017
Itanium_9500_die

Next Superdome CPU chips amble into HPE

There have been reports that Intel has already started shipping its latest, Kittson version, Itanium processor chip. The current Itanium processors are the 9500 series, code-named Poulson, and introduced in 2012. There are four versions: 9520, 9540, 9550 and 9560. HPE uses Itanium chips in its high-end Superdome 2 servers, …
Chris Mellor, 15 Feb 2017

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems. By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017
Stealth_bomber

Say a stealthy 'hi' to Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data

Analysis Three storage startups have hoved into view: Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data. Gluent is a data silo virtualiser, liking RDBMS to Hadoop data for easier and simpler data analysis. Tachyum aims to, it appears, defeat Moore's Law by devising a new data processing architecture, and VAST Data, the stealthiest of the three, must be …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017

Soaring sales, healthy fat profits... Simply not good enough, Nvidia

Nvidia continues to ride the AI hype wave, raking in $2.17bn in sales in three months – its best quarterly results yet, apparently. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and cofounder of the graphics chips biz, told investors and analysts on a conference call on Thursday “we’re at the beginning of an AI computing revolution.” Well, at least he' …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Feb 2017
Venus Longwave IR camera

NASA bakes Venus-proof electronics

NASA boffins have found a way to make electronics that can survive on the surface of Venus, at least for a few weeks Venus is a hell-planet. It's about 460°C (860°F) on the surface. Atmospheric pressure is about 9.3 Megapascals, 93 times Earth's air pressure. Some clouds are rich in sulphur dioxide, which can produce rain of …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
Toshiba

Oh my Tosh: Bids up to $3.6bn for memory biz as deadline approaches

Reuters is all over the Toshiba memory division 20 per cent stake sale, reporting incoming bids up to $3.6bn. The money is needed to offset a multibillion-dollar ($5-6bn) writedown of Toshiba's US nuclear power station business following disastrous overruns, and it's needed by March due to Toshiba's corporate financial and …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2017
Intel Atom C2000 family

Intel Atom chips have been dying for at least 18 months – only now is truth coming to light

Exclusive The flaw in Intel's Atom C2000 family of chips has been vexing Intel's hardware customers for at least a year and a half, according to a source at one affected supplier, but it wasn't immediately obvious that Intel's silicon was to blame. The well-placed insider, who spoke to The Register on condition of anonymity, said the …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Feb 2017
AMD underwater

AMD's daring new money-making strategy: Sue everyone! Mwahaha

Advanced Micro Devices has accused a handful of companies of infringing patents it holds on graphics processor technology. The beleaguered designer of CPUs and GPUs claims that LG, Vizio, MediaTek and Sigma Designs have ripped off three rather generic-looking patents it has owned since it acquired ATI in 2006. AMD wants the …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Feb 2017

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Updated Intel's Atom C2000 processor family has a fault that effectively bricks devices, costing the company a significant amount of money to correct. But the semiconductor giant won't disclose precisely how many chips are affected nor which products are at risk. On its Q4 2016 earnings call earlier this month, chief financial officer …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Feb 2017
NASA's Mike Krainak with the silicon-photonic chip

Second time's a charm? WD tries again with 3D NAND, doubles capacity

WD is firing up an early production run of its 512Gbit 64-layer 3D NAND chip at its Yokkaichi, Japan, foundry, with its partner Toshiba. The silicon uses a triple-level cell (TLC) flash design, which stores three bits per cell. Progressing from this pilot job to mass manufacturing will take at least six months, so don't expect …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2017
indicator on car dsah. photo by shutterstock

See that flashing taillight? Micron CEO has signalled a move

Two exec moves have flashed up in the solid state world. Micron CEO Mark Durcan told analysts he was going to stop being CEO and Kaminario’s CTO has quit. Shachar Fienblit has flagged up his Kaminario CTO slot departure on his Linked webpage. His Kaminario history is VP Engineering from April 2009 to the end of 2014, and CTO …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2017

Wow, what an incredible 12 months: 2017's data center year in review

Comment The data center market is hot, especially now that we are getting a raft of funky new stuff, from promising non-Intel chips and system architectures to power and cooling optimizations. Since we're all thinking several quarters ahead anyway, we're practically in 2018. So from that point of view, we may as well look back at 2017 …
Shahin Khan, 06 Feb 2017
CHiPs

Apple weans itself off Intel with 'more ARM chips' for future Macs

Apple is believed to be developing another ARM-based processor that will challenge Intel hardware in its Mac line. The Cupertino maker of ClarisWorks is reportedly working on a chip to handle operations when a future Mac machine goes into low power mode and the main Intel processor goes to sleep. A Bloomberg report cites …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Feb 2017

Samsung is on fire, overtakes Apple as world's #1 chip-shifter

Samsung overtook Apple in Gartner's "total addressable semiconductor" market. The list largely reflects smartphone vendors, with strong growth for Huawei and BKK, although Dell retains a presence. Apple's share of the global chip business fell for the first time since 2008, according to one measure. Gartner's tally includes …
Team Register, 01 Feb 2017
Penn State's micro-electro-mechanical mirror chips

Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

Microsoft-supported boffins hope to eliminate cables in the data centre entirely. They're not, however, deluded enough to think that Wi-Fi is the answer. With thousands of switch ports in a decent data hall, connections have to be uncontested and point-to-point, so the Penn State University researchers have been working on …

Apple kills activation lock check, possible dirty stolen device hack

Video Apple has closed its iCloud activation lock check in a possible move to neuter a bypass method that allowed stolen devices to be reactivated at the expense of legitimate devices. Cupertino's shuttered iCloud activation lock feature allowed users to check if a second-hand device was registered and locked to a previous owner, a …
Darren Pauli, 31 Jan 2017
L200_Slim

Memory loss: Toshiba puts chip biz up for sale

Toshiba says it will sell off its memory semiconductor business as it looks to recuperate from the write-off of losses to its nuclear power business. The Japanese electronics giant said on Friday that it wants to flog its flash chips and SSD divisions of its storage and electronic devices solutions company by March 31 of this …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2017

ENTA founder Tsai gets banhammer as company director for 13 years

Thirteen is certainly unlucky for Jason Tsai, one-time owner of distie Changtel Solutions UK – formerly ENTA Technologies (ETL) – as that's the number of years he's been barred from being a company director. The “disqualification” was due to Tsai’s participation in a VAT carousel – also commonly known as missing trader intra- …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2017
Beijing skyline

Apple goes global in Qualcomm license war: Patent spat hits China

Apple has taken its legal battle against Qualcomm international with a pair of lawsuits in China. The suits, filed with the Beijing Intellectual Property Court, accuse the chip designer of breaking China's anti-monopoly law and challenge the patent-licensing contract between Apple and Qualcomm in China. The filings seek …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jan 2017
Close up of elephant family, including cute calf. Photo by Shutterstock

Cutting Hewlett-Packard Labs down to size

Comment When Martin Fink resigned from his positions at HPE in August 2016, the announcement said: "Martin Fink, our chief technology officer and head of Hewlett-Packard Labs, will be retiring from HPE at the end of the year, after more than 30 years with the company." He was retiring, we were told, but he was just 51. In Fink's time …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2017

Furby Rickroll demo: What fresh hell is this?

Here's your future botnet, world: connected kids toys that will Rickroll their owners while hosing big servers and guessing the nuclear codes. Hacker Jake Davis, once known as "Topiary" of LulzSec, plucked out the work of Florian Euchner, who pulled apart the Bluetooth variant that toy-maker Hasbro uses to update its "Furby" …
Burned chips. pic by shutterstock

We burned chips in 2016... but then semiconductor sales got healthy again. Whew

Global semiconductor revenue is set to rise 7.2 per cent over 2016 because of ramping demand for DRAM and app-specific standard products for the IoT and allied markets, according to Gartner's digital witch-doctors. ASSPs (app-specific standard products) are like ASICs but for general customers, not individual ones. "After a …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017

Trumping free trade: Say 'King of Bankruptcy' Ross does end up in charge of US commerce

Storage Blockhead Say hello to Wilbur Ross, "King of Bankruptcy" and the likely next US Secretary of State for Commerce – the man charged with implementing President Trump's promise to bring home the jobs stolen by cheap labour countries using free trade policies. Suppose he has his minions look over the storage industry, what will they see? …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017
Apple iPhone 6s

One BEEELLION dollars: Apple sues Qualcomm, one of its chip designers

Following the lead of the FTC, Apple has filed suit against Qualcomm alleging it was charging excessive patent royalty fees for cellphone technology. The Cupertino maker of AirPods says in a lawsuit [PDF] filed with the Southern California District Court on Friday that Qualcomm has for years been gouging it with excessive …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jan 2017
Jiangsu_Provincial_Party_Committee_Secretary_Li_Qiang_(right)_and_Tsinghua_Unigroup_Chairman_Zhao_Weiguo_(left)

Chinese chip shop looks hot to trot as Tsinghua drops $30bn on factory

China’s flash-fancying Tsinghua Unigroup is going to build a $30bn-plus flash fab. This comes just two-and-a-half weeks after we learned that China's Yangtze River Storage Technology (YMTC) has started building a $24bn 3D NAND flash plant in Wuhan. As Tsinghua Unigroup owns 51.04 per cent of YMTC, its flash enthusiasm is …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017

Is Qualcomm price gouging phone makers? Not everyone thinks so

Analysis America’s competition commissioners didn’t want to prosecute Google, which operates a monopoly in over a dozen markets, so why are they complaining about Qualcomm? Yesterday, the FTC filed a complaint against the San Diego chip giant following a South Korean indictment, and two EU probes into Qualcomm’s practices. Qualcomm …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2017
Are you being served?

Irish flash extender startup goes 3D

Flash drive life extender NVMdurance has enlarged its market by developing techniques for extending the life of 3D flash drives. Its current Pathfinder product is a suite of machine learning algorithms that can be applied to planar (2D) MLC (2bits/cell) and TLC (3bits/cell) flash to find the best way register values for NAND …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017
Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

US watchdog sues Qualcomm for 'bribing' Apple to swallow chips

America's trade watchdog the FTC has sued Qualcomm, alleging the California-based biz trampled over US laws on fair competition. The three-count complaint [PDF] accuses the chip designer of strong-arming smartphone makers (cough, cough, Apple) into dodgy deals by abusing its war chest of patents. Qualcomm designs not only the …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017

Prepare for ReRAM speed! Crossbar samples SMIC chips

ReRAM startup Crossbar has sample embedded ReRAM chips from SMIC that are currently undergoing evaluation. SMIC is using a 40nm process and there are plans for a 28nm process in development but Crossbar envisages scaling at least to 16nm and 10nm but then lower. The chip design uses non-conductive amorphous silicon (a-SI) …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Nantero NRAM chip

Market researchers big up NRAM

A market-research report suggests carbon nanotube storage developer Nantero could be on the verge of a breakout after years of disappointment and struggle. A tipping point could be its licensing deal with Fujitsu, which the BCC Research report, "Is NRAM Creating Market Volatility?" mentions. Nantero did not sponsor the BCC …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

Google has published a Infrastructure Security Design Overview that explains how it secures the cloud it uses for its own operations and for public cloud services. Revealed last Friday, the document outlines six layers of security and reveals some interesting factoids about the Alphabet subsidiary's operations, none more so …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017

AI shoves all in: DeepStack, Libratus poker bots battle Texas Hold 'em pros heads up

DeepStack is the first AI computer programme to beat professional poker players in a game of hands-on no-limit Texas hold’em, a team of researchers claim in a research paper out this week. The use of games to train and test AI is prolific. Surpassing human-level performance in a game is considered an impressive feat, and a …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Jan 2017

Smart fingerprint padlock startup to $320k backers: Sorry for the radio silence

TappLock, a startup promising the "world's first smart fingerprint padlock" has claimed that issues with manufacturing in China were behind the months of silence which provoked aggrieved backers to contact The Register, fearing fraud. The padlock business had managed to raise over $320,000 on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo …

IBM: Cognitive computing needs flash arrays, mark our words

IBM has announced all-flash versions of three DS8880 monolithic arrays revealed last year, with increased flash capacities and a coat of cognitive marketing paint. The previous systems were the DS8884, DS8886 and DS8888. Now we have all-flash variants, denoted by an "F" suffix. These arrays are tailored to provide storage for …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2017
Car polishing photo via Shutterstock

Qualcomm/NXP, Nvidia and Intel: The race to define the car platform

CES 2017 So the stakes are high, and many companies are already playing hard. There were important announcements from two of the most established chip suppliers in the auto sector, NXP and Nvidia – the former particularly closely watched because it will soon be part of Qualcomm. Its launches reminded the industry how strategic an …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jan 2017

Renault goes open source with next-gen electric buggy you might generously call 'a car'

Renault is embracing open source with its new car – an electric vehicle named POM. As the car industry unveils its latest and greatest at the North American International Auto Show, the French carmaker is pushing the POM – which stands for Platform Open Mind – as the future of cars. The space-age golf cart, pictured above, …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jan 2017

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

Pics It's that time of year again, when over 100,000 people cram into the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off the latest in consumer electronics gizmos, make deals, and exchange interesting viruses to get the inevitable conference cough. This year's CE has been about par for the course – dull keynotes, some interesting gadgets …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jan 2017
Twitter Trump photo via Shutterstock

China to Donald Trump: Twitter diplomacy 'undesirable'

Incoming US president Donald Trump has been reprimanded by China for indulging in “Twitter diplomacy”. State-media service Xinhua is reported to have run a commentary on Trump’s tweets, saying: “An obsession with ‘Twitter foreign policy’ is undesirable.” The Chinese-language version of Xinhua is reported to have continued: “ …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Jan 2017

What's that surging down the Yangtze? It's a 3D NAND flash flood

China's Yangtze River Storage Technology (YMTC) has started building a 3D NAND flash plant. YMTC, through its ownership of contract chip manufacturer XMC, has started building a memory semiconductor fab on a 13-hectare site at the Donghu New Technology Development Zone in Wuhan. Tsinghua Unigroup, which owns 51.04 per cent of …
Chris Mellor, 03 Jan 2017
Lester poses with the Vulture 2

The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Obit "So what are going to say about him now that he’s gone? Are you going to say he was a good man? Will you be saying he was a happy man?...  Fuck no." Legendary Vulture Lester Haines Lester Haines: 1960-2016 Lester Haines was born in London in September 1960, and was the eldest of five: he had three brothers and a sister. …
John Oates, 27 Dec 2016

Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Lawmakers in South Carolina are mulling over banning the sale of computers, tablets and phones unless they have a device that automatically blocks pornography from popping up on-screen. The Human Trafficking Prevention Act amendment, introduced by State Representative Bill Chumley (R‑Spartanburg), calls for manufacturers and …
Iain Thomson, 19 Dec 2016

SK Hynix and Seagate exploring flash hookup

+Comment SK Hynix has revealed it is thinking about creating a joint venture with Seagate focused on flash memory. A filing with the Korean regulatory authorities that was reported in The Korea Herald said: We are looking into various options, including setting up a joint venture with Seagate Technology PLC, to strengthen the mid and …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2016
The Soyuz blasts off from Baikonur

Check your privilege: CoreOS's container tech rkt gets priv-escalation defense on Intel chips

CoreOS's Linux container manager rkt – pronounced "rock-it" for those willing to pay for a few vowels – can now defend against privilege escalation attacks on virtual machines hosting Intel Clear Containers. Clear Containers, launched last year, represents Intel's effort to combine the isolation provided by virtual machines …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Dec 2016
Nantero NRAM chip

Someone just chucked another $21 million at carbon nanotube memory techies

Nantero’s 16-year march to carbon nanotube memory products just got another slug of cash to help it on its way, over $21m, to be specific. NRAM (non-volatile RAM) is a DRAM replacement and not a DRAM-flash gap-filler, like, for example, Intel and Micron’s 3D XPoint. The firm was founded in 2000 and its technology involves a …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2016
Surface_ripples

Let's talk about NVMe, let's talk to Dell EMC: Let's talk about $1bn baby DSSD

Interview The most high profile NVMe-using array is Dell EMC's all-flash, 10 million IOPS D5, the much anticipated product of its billion-dollar acquisition of DSSD. We asked Mike Shapiro, VP Software for DSSD, questions about how DSSD views NVMe as part of our NVMe interview series. His answers are below. During the process, news hit …
Chris Mellor, 12 Dec 2016

Arista: We only violated two out of six patents that Cisco contested!

The United States International Trade Commission last Friday has issued a new ruling (PDF) in the patent litigation between Cisco and Arista, finding that the latter company is in violation of two Switchzilla patents. The two patents are U.S. Patent 6,377,577 (“Access Control List Processing In Hardware”) and U.S. Patent 7,224 …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016
graveyard_648

Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Comment We just didn’t know it at the time, but Pebble’s fate was sealed in May 2013 when it surrendered control to outsiders who saddled it with debt. Yesterday Pebble’s new owner Fitbit lost no time in closing down the operation, not merely snuffing out any prospect of new products, but warning Pebble owners that they’re not going …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016
Huawei_600GB_SSD_inverted_colours

Huawei says its NVMe arrays with NVMe drives will be out in 2017

Interview Huawei is a believer in the use of NVMe drives and fabric. Yet it thinks that shared array controller software and hardware will need upgrading to take full advantage of NVMe drives. It does not believe customers are ready to adopt NVMe over fabric-accessed arrays because of problem areas such as routability for ROCE. We asked …
Chris Mellor, 08 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Xen 4.8 debuts, gives ARM servers vendors a reason to hope

A new version of the Xen Project's hypervisor has emerged blinking into the light. The Project reckons the best bit of version 4.8 is support for live patching of ARMv8-A CPUs, noting that such silicon is likely to appear in servers. And server users, of course, love anything that avoids operational disruptions. So Xen has …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2016