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Articles about Microprocessors

IBM 'through-silicon via' stacked chips

ARM cores leg it into body of Big Blue, rub shoulders with Power network chips

IBM has announced it is licensing a basket of processor designs from ARM for its network equipment division. The new deal means Big Blue can make use of ARM's Cortex-A15, Cortex-A12, Cortex-A7 and Cortex-M4 cores, as well as the ARM Mali-450 graphics processing unit. These are aimed at beefy phone and tablet chips, and IBM wants …
Iain Thomson, 25 Oct 2013
Smartphones

¡Viva la Revolution! Geeksphone's new mobe to go on sale this month

Smartphone startup Geeksphone has announced complete specs, pricing, and a selling date for Revolution, its Intel-powered, OS-agnostic handset. The Spanish firm said the device will go on sale in its online store on February 20 with a list price of €239, but "for a limited time" – exact dates unspecified – it will be discounted …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2014

Boffins create bulk-process on-silicon optics

A group of researchers from MIT and the University of Boulder at Colorado say they've moved photonics a step closer to integration with both microprocessors and memory. On-chip photonics offer a number of attractive prospects for chip-makers. Photonic communications generate less heat than electrons moving through copper, and …

OHM MY GOD! Move over graphene, here comes '100% PERFECT' stanene

A US, Chinese, and German research team has come up with a new material dubbed "stanene" that could – theoretically, at least – conduct electricity with "100 percent efficiency" at temperatures at which computer chips operate, raising the tantalizing possibility of highly efficient future chippery. "Stanene could increase the …
Rik Myslewski, 04 Dec 2013

Intel Labs demos crazy-efficient, crazy-fast 'network on chip'

Researchers at Intel Labs have come up with a "network-on-chip" that holds promise for more efficient, faster, and more versatile many-core processors. And no, this use of the term "network" doesn't mean hooking up a bunch of machines in a LAN, WAN, or whatever. This is a network inside a chip – specifically chips designed for …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Feb 2014
Pat Gelsinger

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger's DARKEST FEARS revealed

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published VMware's Form 10-K, the warts-and-all document listed companies are required to file each year offering deep detail on the state of their business. Form 10-Ks are rather less polished than annual reports and therefore offer more penetrating insights into a company' …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Feb 2014

Hey coders – get a sense of hUMA: AMD to free GPU from CPU slavery

AMD is to manufacture microprocessors that connect their on-board CPU and GPU components more intelligently than ever before. The upcoming chips will utilise a technique AMD calls Heterogeneous Queuing (hQ). This new approach puts the GPU on an equal footing with the CPU: no longer will the graphics engine have to wait for the …
Tony Smith, 22 Oct 2013

Intel reveals 14nm PC, declares Moore's Law 'alive and well'

Intel wants you to know that Moore's Law is not dead. And to prove it, CEO Brian Krzanich rolled out his company's next generation of process shrinkage at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. "I'm here to introduce the first 14-nanometer PC," Krzanich said during his Tuesday keynote. The Ultrabook he displayed to his …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Sep 2013
Science of Cambridge MK14 close-up

Ian Williamson: The engineer who gave Sinclair his first micro

Before Sinclair Research and the QL, the Spectrum and the ZX81, before even Sinclair Computers and the ZX80, there was Science of Cambridge and the MK14 microprocessor kit. Released in February 1978 - that’s when the first adverts for the mail-order-only offering appeared, at least - the MK14 entered the SoC pipeline late in the …
Tony Smith, 16 Jan 2014
Intel Pentium 4

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs

Would there have been a PC revolution had Intel decided in the late 1960s to stick to making memory chips and turn its back on microprocessors? Almost certainly, but the company did get into CPUs and IBM chose its 8088 chip to build into its first Personal Computer, the 5150. The 8088 and its sibling, the 8086, evolved from the …
Hard Reg, 12 Nov 2012
Microsoft

Microsoft plots entry into tablet trade

Microsoft will launch its own tablet device next week, entering the booming slate market without the help of a separate hardware manufacturer, it has been claimed. The company has promised to make a major announcement at an event on Monday, 18 June said to be related to its tablet strategy. Sources close to the matter say …
Caleb Cox, 15 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Apple sued for iPhone, iPad chip 'patent rip-off'

Apple has been sued by the Taiwanese fabless semiconductor-design firm VIA Technologies for – what else? – patent infringement. The patents involved, Via's complaint charges, are for technology used in microprocessors in Apple's iOS products that "generally provides efficient loading of data in the microprocessors and efficient …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Sep 2011
Deskstar 7K1000 hard drive

HGST: Nano-tech will double hard disk capacity in 10 years

HGST, the Western Digital subsidiary formerly known as Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, says it has developed a method of manufacturing hard-disk platters using nanotechnology that could double the density of today's hard drives. The new technique employs a combination of self-assembling molecules and nanoimprinting, …
Neil McAllister, 01 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Apple to drop chip-baking partnership with Samsung?

Apple is planning to shift production of its ARM-based microprocessors from Samsung to the Taiwanese chip-baking giant TSMC as early as next year, according to a report by the China Economic News Service (CENS). The report, spotted by MacRumors, cites CitiGroup Global Markets analyst J.T. Hsu as saying that TSMC will be Apple's …
Rik Myslewski, 12 Oct 2012
Intel Smart City

Intel on Europe: The Internet of Things could SAVE US ALL

How will Europe lift itself out of current and future economic woes - and help save the planet while it’s about it? According to chip giant Intel, with hi-tech carrots rather than government sticks. So said the head of Intel’s European R&D operation, Martin Curley, this week at the chip company’s European Research and Innovation …
Tony Smith, 25 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Apple bags chippery guru from rival Samsung

There's already no love lost between Seoul and Cupertino, but that rivalry has surely racheted up another notch now that Apple has reportedly bagged one of the Korean electronics giant's top chip designers. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Apple has hired Jim Mergard, who joined Samsung last June as one of a …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Oct 2012

AMD alllllmost promises profitability by year end

AMD, slapped around by what CEO Rory Read and other corporate honchos like to refer to as "the challenging macro environment," looks to regain profitability in the second half of this year. On a conference call with analysts and reporters after announcing its weak financial results for its fourth quarter of 2012, AMD CFO …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Intel's plans for 1GHz microprocessors

See related story: Intel to demo 1GHz chip by year end
Mike Magee, 13 Feb 1999
John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Britain’s forgotten first home computer pioneer: John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Too few people today remember John Miller-Kirkpatrick, the enthusiastic founder, owner, manager and technical director of Bywood Electronics. He died in December 1978 at the monstrously young age of 32, less than two years before the début of the Sinclair ZX80 and the start of the UK home computing boom – for which he had helped …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

New transistor tech could beat silicon and save Moore's Law

Boffins at MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories have developed the world's smallest transistor made of indium gallium arsenide, a substance they say could replace silicon as the go-to material for building tomorrow's ultra-fast, ultra-small microchips. The tiny transistor is just 22nm in length, according to a report by …
Neil McAllister, 11 Dec 2012

Silicon daddy: Moore's Law about to be repealed, but don't blame physics

Moore's Law, which promises exponentially increasing transistor counts due to chip-manufacturing process shrinkage, is about to hit the wall. As Intel Fellow Mark Bohr once told The Reg, "We just plain ran out of atoms." But there's one industry veteran, however, who looks at the reason for the repeal of the semiconductor …
Rik Myslewski, 27 Aug 2013

NASA's $2.5bn Curiosity rover: An Apple PowerBook on wheels

It's a bit sturdier than the average Apple product, but the Curiosity rover that touched down on Mars on Monday is powered by the same processor family used in Apple's 1997 PowerBook G3 laptop. For its nuclear-powered life-hunting tank, NASA chose a 200MHz PowerPC 750 CPU specifically hardened to withstand radiation and space …
Anna Leach, 08 Aug 2012
HP Nanostore

HP boffin: Honey! I shrank the PC. To nanometre size, dammit

HP boffins have packed layers of RAM, caches and storage into a combined block of memristors and processor cores to create highly scalable "nanostore" systems. It's hoped these little monsters will chew through mountains of data with terrific energy efficiency. A memristor increases or decreases its electrical resistance …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Feds charge US firm with smuggling illegal military tech to Russia

Key personnel in a Texas-based electronics firm are among 11 people arrested over an alleged conspiracy to smuggle advanced microelectronics from the US to Russia. Arc Electronics Inc allegedly acted as a conduit for the smuggling of high-tech components potentially useful in radar, weapons guidance, surveillance and other …
John Leyden, 05 Oct 2012
graph up

Disk fab floods rinse $1bn off Intel's Q4 revenue

Chip maker Intel has slashed its final quarter outlook, admitting it will fall short of the company's previous forecast due to a hard drive supply shortage - sparked by flooding in Thai disk factories. The vendor said it now expects to bank Q4 revenue of about $13.7bn (£8.7bn), compared to an earlier prediction of $14.7bn for …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2011

Intel grazes Q2 numbers, but 'growth will be slower' in Q3

Intel has reported its second-quarter 2012 financial results, and you can almost hear the Wall Street moneymen breathe a muted sigh of relief – although the sound of popping champagne corks is not likely to be heard. Although total Q2 earnings were just under expectations at $13.5bn, the all-important earnings-per-share (EPS) …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Jul 2012

AMD to 'reset' goals: servers, embedded, ultra-low power

After his company announced a $157m loss and its plans to lay off 15 per cent of its global workforce on Tuesday, AMD president and CEO Rory Read explained how he and his brain trust plan to pull Intel's only x86 competitor out of its spiral. First, AMD will "reset and restructure" its business model to reduce expenses by 25 per …
Rik Myslewski, 19 Oct 2012
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

'Regrouping' Android tablet makers extend Apple reign

The iPad 3 will prevent Apple's share of the tablet market from eroding as quickly as once thought, market watcher IHS iSuppli has admitted. Back in February 2011, iSuppli forecast that Apple's share of the tablet business would fall below 50 per cent in 2013. A year on, and it reckons that point won't be reach until 2015. “ …
Tony Smith, 09 Mar 2012
Toshiba LTPS touchscreen LCD

Andrew Fentem: Why I went to an arts quango to fund pre-iPhone multitouch

In the late '90s British inventor Andrew Fentem pioneered multitouch techniques, years before Apple brought them to market in the iPhone and later the iPad. He won backing for his technology from Britain's new innovation quango: but its incompetence meant that Apple ultimately looked elsewhere. We told the story of how the UK …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Dec 2013
IBM DNA chip tech

DNA-carbon nanotube microprocessors — small hope for a big shift?

We may have a long way to go before Moore's Law, which calls for the doubling of transistor counts — and therefore computing capacity — every two years or so, runs completely out of gas on current electron beam and optical lithography techniques. The question is, will the IT industry, which is predicated on the idea that …

Data centers to go bonkers over microservers

Intel can't hold a press conference these days without being harangued about ARM-based servers and the potential for microservers based on low-powered processors to bite into its Xeon server-chip biz. And for good reason: there is a growing consensus that these baby servers are going to catch on because of the inherently …
The Register breaking news

Intel spreads $40 million investment love to 10 companies

Intel Capital has announced $40m worth of investment in 10 companies headquartered from Silicon Valley to Shanghai. "The globe is our oyster," Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani said in a webcast from his investment group's 13th annual Global Summit in Huntington Beach, California, where the announcements were made. From …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Oct 2012
Chris Shelton

UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1

Chris Shelton is not well known today, yet the British microcomputer industry would have been a very much poorer place without him. Never as famous as Sir Clive Sinclair, with whom he worked in the past; Acorn’s Chris Curry, Herman Hauser, Steve Furber and Sophie Wilson; or even Tangerine and Oric’s Paul Johnson. Nonetheless, …
Tony Smith, 21 Aug 2013
Broken CD with wrench

Intel promises '20X' power reduction with 'Haswell' chips

Intel claims that platforms built around its Haswell microarchitecture – the successor to the today's Sandy Bridge, scheduled for 2013 – will use one-twentieth the power of today's stingiest low-power platforms. "Haswell was designed to enable a 30 per cent reduction in connected standby power over the currently shipping …
Rik Myslewski, 13 Sep 2011

PC chip sales up, shipments flat in Q2

Shipments of microprocessors for netbook, notebook, desktop PCs and related x64-based servers and workstations flatlined in the second quarter as the economy stumbled a bit in the United States and Europe. Consumers held back on PC purchases while also spending some of their hard-earned cash on tablets. The good news is that …

Microprocessors are the new cigarettes

Chip companies need to start acting their age, according to a sage analyst. Chris Danely, director of semiconductor research at JP Morgan, thinks the major semiconductor players should behave more like old-line companies in the tobacco, food and oil games. He'd like to see the chip firms manage their cash better and reward …
Ashlee Vance, 06 Jun 2008
channel

Ubuntu hammers out Metal-as-a-Service tool for microservers

Canonical has unveiled a Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering to provision and manage high-density Ubuntu microservers running hyper-scale computing centres and clouds. The Linux shop claimed MaaS would allow administrators to set up and allocate thousands of tightly packed racks to different groups of users, adding the latest …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Apr 2012
graph up

US judge rejects Oracle's fraud claim against HP

A US judge has dismissed an Oracle fraud claim against HP in the companies' ongoing legal battle over the Itanium platform. Last year, Oracle discontinued its software support for Itanium chips, alleging that Intel had made it clear the microprocessors' time was nearly up and that it would now be focusing on its x86 chips. HP, …
The Register breaking news

Energy scavenger eats leftover wireless signals

No, it’s not another cute-but-useless contactless charger: a group of researchers led by Manos Tentzeris at Georgia Tech are working on antennae that could scavenge stray wireless signals to power small sensors or microprocessors. If you’re close enough to a large radio transmitter, harvesting stray energy is pretty …

Chip boffins demo 22-nanometer maskless wafer-baking

An international consortium of chip boffins has demonstrated a maskless wafer-baking technology that they say "meets the industry requirement" for next-generation 14- and 10-nanometer process nodes. Current chip-manufacturing lithography uses masks to guide light onto chip wafers in order to etch a chip's features. However, as …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Feb 2012
Godson-3B processor

China to strut eight-core Godson-3B MIPS chip in early 2013

People talk about Moore's Law as if server chip manufacturers had to obey it like some kind of cosmic speed limit. In reality, Moore's Law is an idealized goal, and one that is increasingly difficult to attain year after year for server microprocessors. This is made clear in the just-released schedule for next year's first big …
channel

Chip sales definitely not down – but almost – in 2011

The chip biz didn't do as badly as many had feared it might last summer, closing out 2011 with $299.5bn in worldwide sales, up four-tenths of a per cent from the record $298.3bn revenue level set in 2010. All the news was not good, however, since global semiconductor sales took a big hit in December, according to stats compiled …
Intel Poulson Itanium Chip, the sequel

Oracle hits reboot on Itanium software development

Software giant and systems player Oracle has restarted software development for Itanium-based machines. That sound you hear is a sigh of relief from HP-UX system customers the world over and from Hewlett-Packard, whose Integrity and Superdome servers fell off a cliff, in terms of sales, after Oracle pulled the plug on Itanium …
2000AD Prog 1 snippet

Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

is an occasional column written at the crossroads where the arts, popular culture and technology intersect. Here, we look back at 2000AD's MACH 1 - the first secret agent with his own, in-body computer. In 1977, Pat Mills, the first Editor of 2000AD comic, created MACH 1, a strip telling the story of John Probe, a super-powered …
Tony Smith, 02 Jan 2013
channel

Intel takes CPU market share from AMD in Q1

The chip watchers at iSuppli say that Intel continued to gain processor market share even though it was hit by a bug in a chipset used with its "Sandy Bridge" desktop, laptop, and entry server platforms. According to the latest stats from iSuppli, both x86 and x64 microprocessors as a group continue to take market share away …
Cat 5 cable

'Tamper evident' CPU warns of malicious backdoors

Scientists have devised a chip design to ensure microprocessors haven't been surreptitiously equipped with malicious backdoors that could be used to siphon sensitive information or receive instructions from adversaries. The on-chip engines at the heart of these "tamper evident microprocessors" are the computer equivalent of …
Dan Goodin, 12 May 2010

Deep inside Intel's new ARM killer: Silvermont

Intel has released details about its new Silvermont Atom processor microarchitecture, and — on paper, at least – it appears that Chipzilla has a mobile market winner on its hands. Yes, yes, we know: you've heard it all before, from Menlow to Moorestown to Medfield. Intel has made promise after promise that its next Atom-based …
Rik Myslewski, 08 May 2013

Intel: Chinese server market second only to US

Intel's earnings call yesterday left server watchers wondering when China will outstrip the US as the world's biggest consumer of server chips. Intel's server business was not immune to shrinkage in the first quarter of 2012, and it would be easy to blame it on the delayed ramp of the Xeon E5-2600 processor for two-socket …

How IT will evolve to photonics

Replacing electronics with photonics will one day be an important way to run IT while consuming far less power than is the case today. But while that idea looks great on paper, the research is still young. The Internet’s voracious appetite for electricity needs some near-term solutions, so asThe Register followed-up the our …

Intel reports (mostly) solid revenue growth

Intel's second quarter of 2011 was a good one, beating Wall Street estimates and showing double-digit revenue growth across all major business segments. But weakness at the low end of the market shows that the world's largest microprocessor maker has its vulnerabilities. "We achieved a significant new milestone in the second …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Jul 2011