Articles about Chips

Apple sued over shoddy iPhone touchscreens

Apple is being sued by a class of former iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who accuse the company of failing to address a design problem that caused the handset's touchscreen to malfunction. A complaint [PDF] filed in the Northern California US District Court accuses Apple of violating both California state and US federal laws for …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Aug 2016
Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Touchy iPhone 6, 6 Plus chips prone to breaking down and giving up

Apple's swanky iPhones can suffer chip failures that can render the touchscreen unusable. This according to a report from DIY repair site iFixit, which says two controller chips on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus logic board can lose their electrical contacts, and when they go, the handset's touchscreen no longer works. The issue …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2016

Stop lights, sunsets, junctions are tough work for Google's robo-cars

Hot Chips After cruising two million miles of public roads, Google's self-driving cars still find traffic lights, four-way junctions and other aspects of everyday life hard work. To be sure, the hardware and software at the heart of the autonomous vehicles is impressive. But it's just not quite good enough yet to be truly let loose on …
Chris Williams, 24 Aug 2016

If you want to build your own Nvidia-powered self-driving car – or hack one – here's a blueprint

Hot Chips Nvidia is channelling Thunderbirds legend Parker for its latest system-on-chip for self-driving cars. Two Parker processors are used in the PX 2 box we saw at the start of the year. This hardware adds a super-cruise-control to vehicles by hoovering up video feeds from onboard cameras and other sensor data, feeding it through …
Chris Williams, 23 Aug 2016

Ovation claps together private cloud storage service with HGST, Versity basis

An Ovation Data Services private storage cloud for media and entertainment and oil and gas industries is based on HGST's Active Archive System and Versity Storage Manager. We wrote about the Versity Storage Manager system in June, saying it was an archiving package with an S3 interface to a backend store. This store could be a …
Chris Mellor, 23 Aug 2016

Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Hot Chips Fujitsu chose 64-bit ARM CPU cores for its upcoming exascale supercomputer for two reasons: Linux and the ability to customize its own processors. It was a bit of a surprise when the Japanese IT giant picked ARMv8-A over SPARC64 and x86 for its Post-K beast, which will be used by Japanese boffins to carry out climate-change …
Chris Williams, 23 Aug 2016

Microsoft's HoloLens secret sauce: A 28nm customized 24-core DSP engine built by TSMC

Hot Chips Microsoft today revealed a first look at the inside of its Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) chip used in its virtual reality HoloLens specs. The secretive HPU is a custom-designed TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores arranged in 12 clusters. It has about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and a …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016
Android Nougat

Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Google is starting its rollout of Android 7, codenamed Nougat, but you're only going to get it if you're running one of the newer models of the firm's Nexus devices. From Monday, the system update will be sent out to Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One users, with Google saying it'll …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016

'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

Hot Chips Samsung has revealed the blueprints to its mystery M1 processor cores at the heart of its S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. International versions of the top-end Android mobiles, which went on sale in March, sport a 14nm FinFET Exynos 8890 system-on-chip that has four standard 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A53 cores and four M1 cores running at …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016

Little ARMs pump 2,048-bit muscles in training for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale mega-brain

Hot Chips ARM is bolting an extra data-crunching engine onto its 64-bit processor architecture to get it ready for Fujitsu's Post-K exascale supercomputer. Specifically, ARM is adding a Scalable Vector Extension (SVE) to its ARMv8-A core architecture. SVE can handle vectors from 128 to 2,048 bits in length. This technology is not an …
Chris Williams, 22 Aug 2016

OpenFlow controller design killing SDN, say network boffins

OpenFlow's architecture is inefficient, and caps performance while sucking unnecessary power. That's the conclusion of a bunch of Comp. Sci boffins from researchers at Australian brain box Data61 and Sydney University, who assessed four major OpenFlow controllers – NOX, Maestro, Floodlight and Beacon. Their paper is at Arxiv …

Apple beats off banks' bid for access to iPhones' NFC chips

Apple has had a partial win in its attempt to prevent banks using iPhones' NFC chips for payment services other than Apple Pay. Four Australian banks applied to local regulators to bargain with Apple as a cartel. Apple argued against their application by claiming iThings' security would be badly compromised by allowing third- …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2016

The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

AMD is continuing to drip feed information about Zen, its long-awaited designed-from-scratch x86 processor microarchitecture. Zen is a big deal, or rather needs to be a big deal, for AMD because its previous Bulldozer microarchitecture was, well, bulldozed by Intel's Core series. Thus, AMD needs Zen to succeed in order to win …
Chris Williams, 18 Aug 2016

Qualcomm piqs 'Centriq' as specifiq honorifiq for slicq ARM server chip

Qualcomm will today announce it has picked the name Centriq for its forthcoming family of 64-bit ARMv8-compatible server processors. The chip designer, headquartered in San Diego, California, applied for "Centriq" and "Qualcomm Centriq" as US trademarks on July 27 this year. In its application paperwork, Qualcomm said it will …
Chris Williams, 18 Aug 2016

Intel teases geeks with 2017 AI hyper-chip: Xeon Phi Knights Mill

IDF16 Intel is working on a powerful Xeon Phi processor for servers and workstations that is "optimized" for artificial-intelligence software – and it's codenamed Knights Mill. Chipzilla's data center group boss Diane Bryant flashed up this slide during this morning's Intel Developer Forum keynote in San Francisco: The chip is …
Chris Williams, 17 Aug 2016

Light at the end of Intel's Silicon Photonics: 100Gbps network tech finally shipping, sorta

IDF16 Intel is beginning volume shipments of its fabled Silicon Photonics networking technology, which uses light through thin glass fibers to replace copper wires. This tech can shuttle up to 100Gbps over 2km or more of cable that's just a few millimeters thick, creating a high-speed nervous-system for clusters and data centers. As …
Chris Williams, 17 Aug 2016
Robot AI Woman

Chip giants pelt embedded AI platforms with wads of cash

Analysis Artificial intelligence and machine learning engines are underpinning many emerging applications and services, from making sense of big data for enterprises, to supporting hyper-personalized consumer content, or virtual reality gaming. The current challenge is to move AI from the supercomputer to the mobile device, supporting …
Wireless Watch, 17 Aug 2016
Android patch

Blackberry beats the vendors it trails, finishes Quadrooter patches

It may now live in the frozen wastes of the “other” in smartmobe market share sales charts, but Blackberry has moved faster on Quadrooter than the rest of the Android OEMs. The company's announced a patch for both its PRIV and its DTEK50 Android mobes. Its announcement notes that “three out of the four” vulns were already …
Sydney Harbour Bridge in the cloud

Android Pay now works for paying speeding fines

The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) has adopted Android Pay at is “Service NSW” one-stop-services-shops. The decision to use Google pay means the State's citizens can now use their phones to pay traffic, fines vehicle registration fees and myriad other payments with a mere swipe of their phones. The Register imagines …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Aug 2016

Intel fabs to churn out 10nm ARM chips for LG smartphones next year

IDF16 Intel's chip fabs will roll out 10nm ARM-compatible processors starting next year. The state-of-the-art factories will produce the mobile system-on-chips for LG Electronics using a 10nm process, with the door left wide open for other ARM licensees to jump in and use the assembly lines. At the heart of the collaboration deal …
Chris Williams, 16 Aug 2016

Intel's Optane XPoint DIMMs pushed back – source

In the week of Intel's Developer Forum we have heard its Optane XPoint SSDs and DIMMs may be delayed. We are hearing that the first version of XPoint chips can only be used for SSDs. A second, more developed version is needed to make XPoint for DIMMs. That means XPoint DIMMs may not appear until 2018, which would give …
Chris Mellor, 16 Aug 2016
hong kong fuey

Flipping heck! Virtual machines hijacked via bit-meddling Feng Shui

Security researchers at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam have found a way to subvert virtual machines using a combination of hardware and software shenanigans. The end result is the ability to flip bits in another VM's memory to weaken its encryption or mess with its operation. The attack, dubbed Flip Feng Shui, works by …
Iain Thomson, 12 Aug 2016

Seagate's flash advice: Don't buy the foundry when you can get the chips for cheap

Analysis As well as launching several new flash products, Seagate revealed the four pillars of its flash product strategy at the August 9-11 Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara. These were: Foundry independence Essential IP for system-wide use of flash Portfolio expansion Top-level cloud supplier Let's have a waltz around the …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2016

Samsung points high-speed Z-SSD smack-bang at XPoint

The big flash dog has barked: Samsung did its flash dazzlement show at the Flash Memory Summit, with a 32TB SSD, a 1TB BGA, and a high-speed Z-SSD. The 32TB SSD is built using 64-layer 3D NAND - its V-NAND brand - with TLC - 3bits/cell - orientation. 64-layer V-NAND The 64-layer TLC V-NAND was revealed at the end of July and …
Chris Mellor, 11 Aug 2016

Toshiba flashes 100TB QLC flash drive, may go on sale within months. Really

+Comment The Flash Memory Summit saw Toshiba deliver a presentation about quad-level cell (QLC) technology – adding substantially to the prospect of a product being delivered in the "near future". We heard about QLC NAND last month: it uses four bits per cell to hold your data. After Seagate tantalized us with a 60TB SSD, along comes …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2016
Apple iPhone 6s

Apple says banks can't touch iPhone NFC without harming security

Apple has argued that allowing banks to use iPhones NFC chips independently of Apple Pay would compromise the phones' security. The argument has been aired in Apple's response to the four Australia Banks who have requested permission to negotiate with Apple as a bloc rather than join Apple Pay. The banks want their own apps to …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2016
Venomous snake

Micron brands XPoint as...

Micron revealed at the Flash Memory Summit this week that it will brand its XPoint tech as QuantX. Intel has been splattering the world with Optane XPoint branding for a while. Micron has finally caught up and it will have separate QuantX branding for its XPoint technology-based products. It's talking to SSD manufacturers …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2016

Seagate flashes 60TB (yes, sixty) SSD monster

Don't count us out of the flash drive business. That's Seagate's message at the Flash Memory Summit as it shows off another two new SSD products: an 8TB NVMe drive, and a massive 60TB SSD demo in a 3.5-inch form factor. The 60TB shows what's possible if you cram more than a 1,000 Micron 3D NAND dice into a full-size, 3.5-inch …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2016
A view from Babbage's eye-mounted Picam

Micron smartphone flashery

Micron has got itself 32GB, 32-layer, 3D NAND smartphone flash chips. The chips support the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.1 standard and are for high-end and mid-range smartphones. The UFS 2.1 support should mean good sequential read performance. Hopefully smartphones using these chips get more storage and can keep more …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2016
Newly passed out 2Lts from 6 RIFLES on Salisbury Plain Training Area. Crown copyright, 2013

US military's fake chips battle

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has passed new rules designed to weed out the use of counterfeit hardware. Worried that fake gear such as chips or antenna parts could prove unreliable or pose a security risk (for example, be equipped with spyware by a foreign government), the DoD rules that government organizations and …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2016
Everspin's perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (pMTJ) based ST-MRAM

Non-volatile MRAM coming to servers in early 2017

Non-volatile RAM outfit Everspin says it's almost ready to ship non-volatile 256-megabit DDR3 chips and expects they'll soon find a home in your next server or array. 256 megabits is just 32 megabytes, which doesn't sound worthy of a DIMM slot even if, as Everspin claims, its kit can sustain writes 100,000 times faster than is …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016

Cognitive computing: IBM uses phase-change material to model your brain's neurons

IBM scientists claimed – for the first time – to have created artificial spiking neurons using a phase-change material, opening up the possibilities of building a neural network that could be used for AI. The brain is the biggest inspiration for researchers working in cognitive computing: the exact mechanisms that describe how …
Katyanna Quach, 03 Aug 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update, showing the new three-column Start menu

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

The Big Review One year after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, bringing new features as well as usability tweaks to the operating system. Windows 10 was always more than just another release. Notable innovations include the concept of Windows-as-a-service, with regular updates (free for consumer …
Tim Anderson, 02 Aug 2016

Google-backed Thread, OCF form alliance for Internet of Things sanity

The internet of things standards mess has become a little saner, with the news that the Google-backed Thread Group will interoperate with the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). The two clans have said they will "work together in their mission to advance the adoption of connected home products" and make their technologies " …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Aug 2016
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

Microsoft has revealed how badly its Windows phone business has crashed via paperwork filed with America's financial regulator, the SEC. Nokia was shipping 7.3 million Lumias per quarter when the deal to acquire its phone unit was announced in September 2013. Nokia was shipping over 90 per cent of Windows Phones sold. But in …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016

Huawei P9 Plus: Leica-toting flagship gets a big brother

Review The P9 Plus deserves to be Huawei’s real flagship of 2016, and given the price tag, it’s a belter. Like the iPhone Plus, it feels like a very different beast to its smaller sibling. In a nutshell, you can save a small fortune by opting for the P9 Plus over an iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy S7, but you’ll miss out on the latter’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016

Samsung NAND flashes its hot measurements: 64L 4G 3D 2C by EY

Samsung will have 64-layer 3D NAND in mass production before Western Digital (WD)/Toshiba and is looking into 3D XPoint memory alternatives. With WD/Toshiba announcing that their 64-layer 3D NAND has started production, the timing is exactly right for Sammy to say it will have its own 64-layer 3D NAND in mass production by the …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

You can't make it up: the last industry in Australia to enjoy the privileged status of “protected and guaranteed by government”, the banks, want the country's competition regulator to rubber-stamp it acting as a cartel against Apple. Apple won't let Australia's banks use iPhones for contactless payments without using Apple Pay …
Close up of etched silicon

Brit chip bods ARM quietly piling up cash. Softbank will be happy

Cambridge-based processor design business ARM has posted substantial revenue and profit increases for the months in the runup to the Brexit vote. The company being bought by Japanese megacorp Softbank for £24.3bn, though Softbank has promised that this will be a Brexit in ownership only. ARM will retain its "senior management …
Multi-level burger too big to eat. Photo by Shutterstock

Get yer gnashers round 64-layer 3D NAND, beam WDC and Toshiba

Western Digital, via its acquired firm SanDisk, along with Toshiba, has started pilot production of 64-layer 3D NAND. These third generation BiCS3 chips are being fabbed at the Yokkaichi, Japan facilities, operated in a joint venture between WDC and Toshiba. Currently Samsung is shipping 48-layer 3D V-NAND chips. 64 layers is …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jul 2016
Far Cry 4 in game at 4K

AMD, Nvidia in pro GPU battle

Rival chip designers AMD and Nvidia continue to fight for dominance in the professional graphics processor market. Here's a summary of what's gone down this week: AMD is cooking up a Radeon Solid State Graphics (SSG) card that has 1TB of M.2 flash memory. It'll be powerful enough to scrub through 8K video at 90 frames per …
Chris Williams, 26 Jul 2016

Intel soundlessly emits Broadwell Xeon E5-4600 v4 quad-socket chips

Just because Intel doesn’t make a lot of noise about a product does not mean that it is not important for the company. Rather, it is a gauge of relative importance, and with such a broad and deep portfolio of chips, not everything can be cause for rolling out the red carpet. So it is, as usual, with the Xeon E5-4600 processors …

Remix chomps Marshmallow, updates its Android for PCs

An imminent update to Jide’s Remix OS, for Android, is the first to be based on Marshmallow 6.0 and a bunch of UI enhancements. Remix OS brings what the industry euphemistically calls “desktop productivity” to Android: in other words, multitasking, overlapping windows, true keyboard and mouse support, and file management. …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Battle for ctrl

Washed out summer? Fear ye not: DVDs for DevOps droogs

Stob Hurrah! Summer is at last well under way, so how better to pass the weekends than pulling the curtains on the rainscape, lolling on the sofa and inhaling a few dozen hours of downloaded TV? I am aware that such an introduction sets up certain expectations. However, rather than treat you to ill-informed speculation regarding …
Verity Stob, 26 Jul 2016

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016

The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

Analysis Intel's stock price fell on Wednesday after it became clear the processor maker is not selling quite as many server processor chips as investors had hoped. The Silicon Valley giant reckons its CPU sales into data centers will hit double-digit growth by the end of the year. So far, with half the year gone, we're staring at mid- …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

What do you call a spreadsheet with decent numbers for a change? qualcomm_q3_2016.xlsx

Qualcomm is crediting strong sales in China and an infusion of back royalty payments for a better-than-expected quarterly return. The California-based mobile chip designer said that it was able to turn around a lacking performance last quarter thanks to improved licensing revenues from smartphone sales. Additionally, Qualcomm …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016
Gigabyte fantasy gaming girls

Gigabyte heads ARM push

Motherboard maker Gigabyte has announced a dozen or so standard rack-mountable server systems powered by Cavium's 64-bit ARMv8-compatible processors. The dual-socket mobos can take ThunderX system-on-chips with up to 48 cores per processor, clocked at up to 2GHz. Each box should be able to take up to 1TB of DDR4 RAM at 2. …
Chris Williams, 20 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

South Korea mulls TREEELLION-Won fine for Qualcomm

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has Qualcomm in its sights again, telling the Korea Times the company could be up for a trillion-won fine (nearly US$880 million) over anti-trust violations. The fine (which would set a KFTC record) concerns an ongoing dispute in South Korea over how Qualcomm levies royalties for its …

Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer

Backgrounder Toshiba is pushing flash chip capacity higher on two fronts: through, er, Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) and by increasing a cell's bit count to four. We covered the TSV notion here and now take a look at quadruple level cell (QLC) flash technology. Toshiba will present on this and TSVs in a keynote session at the August 8-11 …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jul 2016