Articles about Chips

Apple iPhone 6 and 6s

Apple admits the iPhone 6 Plus has 'Touch Disease'

Apple has admitted that the iPhone 6 has “Touch Disease”, a glitch that leaves the handset's touch screen inoperable. The problem surfaced in August when repair site iFixit diagnosed a problem with controller chips that lost electrical contact with the phablet's motherboard. Apple, as is its wont, remained silent … until …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Man jumps out of window of burning building. Pic by Shutterstock

British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

The UK's largest retail bank, Lloyds, has withdrawn its app from the Windows Store, and the bank's web page now redirects to a 404. TSB's Windows mobile app has also disappeared. Although the Windows Store has mobile apps for Barclays and RBS's NatWest – both have around 18 per cent market share – Lloyds is far and away the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Nov 2016
Man heaves giant rock above his head in the middle of the woods. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Analysis Nine months after announcing its Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Facebook has held its first summit and unveiled new partners and a first concrete project, a white box transponder/router for fibre backhaul, called Voyager. This is an indication, if any were needed, that the social media giant was not just tub-thumping …
Wireless Watch, 17 Nov 2016
Road Closed sign

Qualcomm asks for US ban on 'infringing' smartmobes

Qualcomm's trade troubles have taken a new twist, with the company launching a trade complaint to get some Chinese vendors banned from the USA. In an action filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the chip company takes issue with two companies operating under smartphone maker Zhuhai Meizu's banner, along with …
soviet_socialism_train_teaser_lighter

Nostradamus, what do you see in 2017?

Facebook and Apple will start buying sports and movie rights. The internet startup bubble will burst. And lots of people will buy a Nokia phone. What do you reckon? Yes, it’s that time of the year when CCS Insight goes all Nostradamus on us, picking key technology and telecomms trends for the year (and years) ahead. As ever, …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Nov 2016
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Slacker or Team playa? Microsoft's Mr Business takes on messaging's corporate raider

The early days of the internet provided ways to chat, bicker and "collaborate" with others in the world, and decades later we're still working on making that experience better. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) ruled the roost for many years but never really found a place in the enterprise world. It isn't complicated to use yet …
Adam Fowler, 11 Nov 2016

Mellanox: We're gonna make InfiniBand great again – 200Gbps great

InfiniBand will go from 100Gbps to 200Gbps next year – and The Register spoke to Mellanox's marketing veep Gilad Shainer to find out what to expect. What's coming from Mellanox is a bottom-to-top offering for the 200Gbps HDR InfiniBand spec, Shainer said, covering switches, chips, NICs and suitable cabling. The upcoming …

The state of today's machine learning: Short, wide, deep but not high

Comment Remember that kid in middle school who was deeply into Dungeons & Dragons, and hadn't seen his growth spurt yet? Machine learning is sort of like that kid – deep, wide, and short – and not so tall. But on the serious side, machine learning today is useful for a wide variety of pattern recognition problems, including the …

IBM: Why our Power9 CPU is going to make data centers great again

HPC blog Rani Borkar, IBM’s vice president of OpenPOWER development, gave attendees at the OpenPOWER Foundation Summit in Barcelona at the end of October a sneak peek at the vendor's upcoming Power9 processor. I captured it on video (see below) to show you what to expect. The first Power9, due in 2017 (probably mid-year but IBM didn’t …
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Even if IoT hits 20bn devices by 2020 mobile operators still won't care

LPWAN Forum Cloudy data-crunchers and mobile operators will take over the Internet of Things by 2020 even though there's comparatively little money in it. So said Nick Hunn of independent consultancy Wifore at LPWan Forum London on Thursday. By following the money and taking a broad view of the terms "IoT" and "value", Hunn painted a …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Nov 2016
Trump placard, image by Olya Steckel via Shutterstock

Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

Comment It's tempting and all too easy to sneer at Silicon Valley for being out of touch with not just the world but the US as well. Huge salaries, a high concentration of a single industry and a self-referential culture oblivious to how its ideas could do anything but change mankind don't help either. The sight of tech's leaders …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Nov 2016
Bored cat on computer, photo via Shutterstock

Insecure IoT networks for medical data? Easily fixed, shrugs Arqiva

LPWAN Forum Transmitting medical data over an unsecured network? No problem, we can build security around it. This was the suggestion of Arqiva’s Ian Stewart at the LPWAN Forum in London this morning. Speaking on behalf of French outfit Sigfox’s UK reseller Arqiva during a panel discussion about the merits of proprietary and open cellular …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Nov 2016
Backpack

Facebook opens up, shares blueprints for its 100Gbit network switch

It’s odd thinking of Facebook as an infrastructure company rather than a purveyor of cat pictures and fake news. However, the web giant is rapidly becoming one of the key leaders in telecommunications design – as demonstrated with the firm’s latest release. The Backpack is a second-generation modular open switch platform …
Iain Thomson, 08 Nov 2016
A man handcuffed to a briefcase

Chinese chap in the clink for trying to swap US Navy FPGAs with fakes to beat export ban

A Chinese national starts a 15-month stretch behind bars for trying to swap reprogrammable chips destined for the US Navy with fakes, and smuggle the real gear out of the country. Xianfeng Zuo, 38, was sentenced on Friday in Connecticut after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. Zuo, of Shenzhen, …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Nov 2016
Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego

Qualcomm makes China pay

Qualcomm has had quite a boffo quarter to round off a pretty sound year. The California-based mobile processor and cellular modem designer says it now has nine of the top 10 Chinese handset manufacturers paying it royalties in one form or another on its wireless technologies. (Qualcomm has had a colorful history with Chinese …
Chris Williams, 03 Nov 2016
polygonal canary

ARM draws new Mali GPUs

ARM has drawn up a couple of new Mali GPUs – the V61 and the G51 – for next-generation chips in smartphones and other handhelds. The Mali-V61's unique selling point, we're told, is its ability to efficiently handle live streams of 4K video, which is useful if you're broadcasting from your cellphone to the internet. It can do …
Chris Williams, 31 Oct 2016

Bristol AI chip upstart Graphcore scores $30m in VC dosh

A Bristol upstart backed by Samsung and ARM daddy Hermann Hauser has raised $30m to make chips designed especially for machine learning. Graphcore, led by CEO Nigel Toon, says it has "created a complete software and hardware system, based on our Intelligent Processing Unit (IPU), that will accelerate the full range of current …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Oct 2016

Intel's new chip targets industrial IoT

Intel has made a big play for the expanding internet-of-things market with an updated Atom processor that offers double the computing and three times the graphics performance. The E3900 family of three chips is an update to the E3800 from 2013 and, according to the VP of Intel's Internet of Things Group, Ken Caviasca, has been …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Oct 2016

Qualcomm agrees to acquire semiconductor biz NXP for $47bn

Chip designer Qualcomm has agreed to purchase Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors for $47bn. As rumoured, the San Diego-based business and its Eindhoven-based target announced on Thursday that they had come to a definitive agreement to see Qualcomm acquire NXP in an all-cash deal worth $47bn, including debt. NXP Semiconductors is …
Samsung Artik

Samsung ties Thread into two new IoT Artik chips

Samsung has expanded and updated its IoT hardware with the release of the low-end Artik 0 and high-end Artik 7 modules – both of which support the Thread protocol for the first time. The Artik 0 is aimed at the very smallest IoT devices and will replace the Artik 1, which was launched in April last year. The Artik 7 will sit …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Oct 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Want to use 3D XPoint DIMMs with Intel Purley Xeons? Wait a couple of years for second-gen

Intel will fab Xeon processors that support 3D XPoint DIMMs in two years, its CEO signaled to analysts on a conference call this month. 3D XPoint is Micron and Intel's post-NAND, non-volatile memory technology that is claimed to be faster than NAND, with near-DRAM speed, and denser and longer endurance. It is intended to fill …
Chris Mellor, 25 Oct 2016

ARM: Hold my beer, we'll install patches for your crappy IoT gear for you

ARM TechCon Processor designer ARM will squirt security fixes directly into internet-connected gadgets to hopefully keep them defended from hackers. Manufacturers of Internet-of-Things gizmos and other embedded products have complained that updating gear in the field is too much hard work. That means devices are rarely patched when …
Chris Williams, 25 Oct 2016

SUSE: Question. What do you call second-place in ARM enterprise server linux? Answer: Red Hat

ARM TechCon SUSE is claiming victory over Red Hat by announcing – and these caveats are all crucial – "the first commercial enterprise Linux distribution optimized for ARM AArch64 architecture servers." In plainer English, SUSE has developed an enterprise-grade Linux distribution that runs on 64-bit ARM servers (should you happen to ever …
Chris Williams, 25 Oct 2016

App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it

Security researchers have demonstrated how to gain root privileges from a normal Android app without relying on any software bug. The unprivileged application is able to gain full administrative permissions by exploiting the Rowhammer vulnerability present in modern RAM chips. Essentially, malicious code can change the content …
John Leyden, 24 Oct 2016

Hitachi ups its array game with new hardware and software

Hitachi Data Systems has a new enterprise all-flash array and a faster hybrid array, doubled flash drive capacity and updated its Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS). Its Virtual Storage Platorm F (VSP) products are all-flash arrays with the G series being hybrid - both flash and disk. The new, high-end VSP F1500 …
Chris Mellor, 24 Oct 2016
AMD CEO Lisa Su speaking at the firm's 2015 financial analyst day

AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all

On Tuesday, Intel said it expects to bank in the final quarter of the year $15.7bn in sales, plus or minus $500m. That's a billion-dollar swing. Two days later, on Thursday, AMD proudly revealed that its entire revenue for the three months to September 24 was $1.3bn. Just over a billion dollars. AMD is little more than …
Chris Williams, 21 Oct 2016

Boffins exploit Intel CPU weakness to run rings around code defenses

US researchers have pinpointed a vulnerability in Intel chips – and possibly other processor families – that clears the way for circumventing a popular operating-system-level security control. ASLR (address space layout randomization) is widely used as a defense against attempts by hackers to exploit software vulnerabilities …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2016

EU legal eagle: Euro court should review Intel's €1.6bn fine

An EU High Court Advocate General has recommended a review of the case that saw Intel slapped with a record fine after it was found to have coerced OEMs to avoid using rival companies' x86 CPUs. Back in 2009, the EC imposed a €1.06bn penalty - 4.15 per cent of Intel's turnover - following a multi-year legal battle but …
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Will rush for New Radio compromise 5G quality?

Analysis The US operators have ended their long love affair with sub-1 GHz spectrum, which was so important to their LTE coverage roll-outs, and are leading the world in harnessing high frequency bands to address the challenge of the expected capacity demands of the 5G era. While regulators and operators in some areas – many in Europe …
Wireless Watch, 20 Oct 2016
Avalanche

Flash reaches the enterprise tipping point

Comment The use of disk drives to store performance data for enterprises is declining and, flash drives - SSDs - are taking their place. A wave of all-flash array (AFA) to disk array migration is starting to wash across data centres as generations of disk drive arrays give way to ones built with NAND flash drives. The tipping …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2016
LeSEE

China's LeEco eyes up US, takes on, er, Apple, Samsung, Netflix, Tesla

Pics Chinese tech maker LeEco (pronounced Le Echo) has made its entrance into the US market – with a lavish press conference in San Francisco that showed the Middle Kingdom isn't afraid to take on some of the biggest names in technology. The giant unveiled a high-spec smartphone that massively undercuts rivals Apple, Samsung, and …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2016
Drunk

Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful

Drunk driving costs thousands of lives every year and, as El Reg tests have shown, personal breathalyzers aren't that reliable. But now government-funded boffins think they've cracked a way of stopping people driving when they've had a skinful. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2016

Intel stock falls on glum Q4

Intel's share price is down 5.22 per cent to $35.78 apiece in after-hours trading today after the biz predicted a slightly less rosy fourth quarter than expected. Analysts had hoped Chipzilla would promise to deliver a $16.1bn quarter in the final three months of the year – the processor giant instead said it's aiming to bag $ …
Chris Williams, 19 Oct 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

New Snapdragons coming

Qualcomm has crafted three new ARM-compatible Snapdragon system-on-chips. These aren't the next-gen 800-series processors you may be expecting for 2017's top-of-the-line Android smartphones – instead they're extensions to Qualy's mid- and lower-tier designs. There's the new Snapdragon 653 which is a slightly faster version of …
Chris Williams, 18 Oct 2016

Samsung to fab 10nm FinFET SoCs for next year's exploding phones

Pocket explosives maker Samsung claims it has started the "mass production" of the world's first 10nm FinFET system-on-chips. These SoCs are expected to be next-generation Samsung-designed Exynos chips, and possibly Qualcomm Snapdragons, which are at the heart of today's ARM-powered Android handhelds. The South Korean giant, …
Chris Williams, 17 Oct 2016
Intel's Stratix 10 ARM-base FPGA

Microsoft boffins: Who needs Intel CPUs when you've got FPGAs?

Microsoft hooks up reprogrammable chips directly to its data centers' internal networks to ramp up the performance of its web applications. The Windows giant is so impressed by the tech, it reckons the customizable hardware could eventually take on more computational work than the Intel workhorse processors that today fill its …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 2016

Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Google has gently increased pressure on Intel – its main source for data-center processors – by saying it is "looking forward" to using chips from IBM and other semiconductor rivals. The web advertising giant said it hopes to use a mix of "architectures within our cloud" in the future. Back in April, Google revealed it had …
Chris Williams, 15 Oct 2016
Elvis in Las Vegas. EDItorial use only - photo by Maridav via Shutterstock

Casino cops are coming if we can't move all this cash in a hurry

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, El Reg's Friday foray into readers' reminiscences of things that went wrong in the night. This week, meet “James” who once worked “for a company that provided accounting systems for Las Vegas casinos.” As James reminds us, “Casinos, or 'gaming' as it's called in Nevada, are a 24/7 operation and never …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2016
Johnnycab with Arnie. Screen shot from Total Recall

Without new anti-robot laws, humanity is doomed, MPs told

RotM Robots will destroy humanity unless we write new laws to control them, a UK Parliamentary committee has been told. “The key question is: if something goes wrong, who is responsible?” pondered the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology, in a report released today. Microsoft's Dave Coplin, the firm's “chief …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Oct 2016
Credit: Richard Reininger / Next Thing Co

Pocket C.H.I.P. makers go Pro with cloud-linked ARM-flexing module for IoT gizmo builders

Pics The team behind the popular $9 C.H.I.P. single-board-computer has come up with a version for engineers, startups, and larger organizations to embed in their products. Essentially, if you're an aspiring gadget maker and you want to stick a small Linux-flavored computer into your thing and sell it, the C.H.I.P. Pro aims to be …
Chris Williams, 11 Oct 2016

Smell burning? Samsung’s 'Death Note 7' could still cause a contagion

Analysis Samsung’s rivals in the cut-throat flagship phone market shouldn’t pop open the champagne just yet. While in the short term, Sony, HTC and Google could see some upside from Samsung’s now-deceased “Death Note”, in the long term the market and the consumer benefit from a high margin leader. But it would be a dead cat bounce: a …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Oct 2016
1nm_transistor

Boffins eschew silicon to build tiniest-ever transistor, just 1nm long

Boffins from the United States Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and beyond say they've cracked a new way to make very, very, small transistors. As explained in their Science paper MoS2 transistors with 1-nanometer gate lengths, the authors explain silicon is a lovely substance with …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2016
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Linus Torvalds believes ARM has little chance of usurping x86, because the latter has built an open hardware ecosystem that the former just doesn't look like replicating. Torvalds voiced his opinions in a fireside chat with David Rusling, chief technology officer of ARM tools vendor Linaro, at the end of September. Rusling …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2016

Samsung's profits may not be as explosive as its products, says firm

Samsung Electronics has told investors to expect a modest increase in its operating profits between July and September this year, despite the costly recall of its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. Profits for Q3 2016 are expected to have grown by more than 5.5 per cent to between 48tn and 50tn Korean won (£5.7bn), although actual …
Man with YOLO tattooed on his knuckles prepares to punch the viewer (of the pic). Photo by Shutterstock

BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Episode 13 "So I just need a bit of help with the O.I.A.A.P." the new Boss blurts, bowling into Mission Control with a folder tucked under his arm. ... "The Overarching Information And Architecture Project," the Boss says, too green to know whether our blank expressions are genuine or whether we're being obstructive. "You know you're …
Simon Travaglia, 07 Oct 2016
Kaleao_KMAX_server

Kaleao's KMAX ARM-based server has legs. How fast can it run?

Kaleao is a startup developing ARM-based servers and hyper-converged appliances under a KMAX brand. Its marketing-speak says it has a “true convergence” approach, it involves “physicalization” and there is a “microvisor” – oh dear, what does this mean? The KMAX product comes in server and appliance forms. The servers use 64- …
Chris Mellor, 04 Oct 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

Chip-fryer hits 48 layers

SK Hynix is set to produce 48-layer 3D NAND. It has been reported that SK Hynix is completing a 3N NAND fab to produce 48-layer NAND chips. Stacking 2D or planar NAND in vertical layers increases the flash chip’s capacity without increasing its footprint. All NAND foundry operators are moving to 3D NAND as shrinking 2D NAND …
Chris Mellor, 03 Oct 2016

BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

Episode 12 "Look, all we want you to do is take this simple test which will tell us your personality type and the things you respond to," the Boss burbles. "Angry, and Free Beer!" the PFY chips, strolling into the conversation. "Oh good, I was hoping to catch you," the Boss says, turning to the PFY after a fruitless 10 minutes trying …
Simon Travaglia, 30 Sep 2016
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm eyes NXP lunch

California chip designer Qualcomm is considering buying Netherlands-based NXP for something like $30bn, allegedly. We're warned that the deal could fall through, and if it does happen, it could be done and dusted within the next two to three months. Qualcomm designs system-on-chips and modem components for smartphones and …
Chris Williams, 29 Sep 2016
Curser icon over a news paper folded

More 20nm MRAM

Spin Transfer Technologies (STT) has fabricated perpendicular MRAM magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) at the 20nm size. The startup, a competitor to EverSpin, is developing Orthogonal Spin Transfer Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory technology (OST-MRAM), MRAM chips with MTJs as the primary component. STT has moved its MRAM …
Chris Mellor, 29 Sep 2016