Articles about Silicon

Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president. Pic: Shutterstock

Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

Comment European Commission vice president Andrus Ansip has denied plans to impose “a tax on hyperlinks”, even though the EU can’t tax hyperlinks, and nobody has asked for URLs to be taxed. URLs, as you might suspect, would be very hard, if not impossible, to “tax” anyway. The great Polish writer Stanisław Lem used to disguise satires …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Aug 2016
china_future_648

China's $30bn VC fund

China has announced the creation of a 200 billion yuan ($30bn) venture capital fund to invest in new and innovative technology. There's only one catch: it is, of course, run by the state. The fund's creation was announced by the country's state assets regulator and the money comes from other state-run companies, including its …
Kieren McCarthy, 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

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

'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
A man buried in paperwork

This MySpace investor keeps spamming Google with lawsuits – and the ad giant just wants him to stop

Google has asked a US court to stop a former MySpace investor from repeatedly filing suit against it. The web advertising giant this week told (PDF) the US District Court for Northern California that Brad Greenspan has been burdening its lawyers and racking up its legal bills by constantly filing motions in a lawsuit that was …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2016
scanners

My headset is reading my mind and talking behind my back

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It only takes a minute to capture a 3D model of my orifices. They tell me it’s the only way I can be sure of a tight fit. Perhaps I could order a hologram of my 3D orifices that I can hang on my living room wall. It would make a nice conversation piece for visitors to admire. "Isn’t it creepy how my orifices seem to follow …
Alistair Dabbs, 19 Aug 2016
Transformer, photo by Wasan Ritthawon via Shutterstock

Uber and Volvo take on Ford in race to launch self-driving vehicles

Volvo and Uber are taking on Ford to usher in the next decade with a fleet of self-driving vehicles. The VC-funded ride-sharing service has bought Silicon Valley self-driving vehicle technology start up Ottomotto LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the deal, Otto’s co-founder Anthony Levandowski will head Uber’s …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Aug 2016

Gawker.com to shut down

In the aftermath of losing a $140m privacy lawsuit to Hulk Hogan after publishing a private sex tape of the wrestler, Gawker Media is being sold off – well, nearly all of it. The vast majority of Gawker Media – including websites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker – has been gobbled up by Spanish-language telly giant Univision for $ …
Chris Williams, 19 Aug 2016
Robots with Cursors from Shutterstock

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Analysis Oracle says one of the foundations of Google's legal victory in the Java API copyright trial has exploded – and that means a retrial is needed. Oracle was trying its luck in court yesterday, demanding a retrial – although regardless of its success in forcing a third trial, the outcome of the second trial is on course to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

Updated According to emails released under the US Freedom of Information Act, Google briefed the White House amid an antitrust investigation into itself, breaking a 40-year precedent of the President's office staying well away from competition issues. Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and the web giant's antitrust lawyer Matthew Bye met …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 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

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

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

Microsoft to overhaul Windows 10 UI – with a 3D Holographic Shell

IDF16 First, it scrapped the classic Start Menu and gave us Tiles. Now Microsoft has confirmed it really is working on yet another radical user interface update – one that will allow you to use your desktop Windows 10 PC with virtual reality headsets. The feature, due to arrive next year, is dubbed the Windows Holographic Shell. It …
Chris Williams, 16 Aug 2016

IT security pro salaries: Silicon Valley? You'd be better off in Minneapolis

Minneapolis IT security workers enjoy among the highest salaries of any US city while techies in the heart of San Francisco's tech boom region earn a much lower (cost-of-living-adjusted) wage. Minneapolis, MN tops the list with a $127,757 average (adjusted) salary for a IT Security Specialist (more than 27K more than San Jose …
John Leyden, 15 Aug 2016
iot_internet_of_things

Cisco-backed iOT comms aspirant LoRa ships IoT dev kit

Three companies backing the LoRa Alliance have joined together to push things along with an Internet of Things development kit. LoRaWAN is one of a bunch of low-power wireless communications proposals for IoT, in particular targeting the battery-powered sensor applications. The LoRa Alliance members, silicon developer Semtech …
SGI in Jurassic Park

OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has bought venerable computing firm SGI – formerly Silicon Graphics – for $275m. Over the past few years, SGI has concentrated on the big-iron end of the server market and high-performance computing. It's this technology that HPE wants to bolster its hardware lineup. "At HPE, we are focused on …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2016
Speed

Cisco gives cable industry tech for 10Gbps uploads on DOCSIS 3.1

Cisco has dropped an open reference design for DOCSIS silicon into the CableLabs standards body. The group has been working on Full Duplex DOCSIS for some time, and in February announced that the gigabit up / gigabit down effort was worth pursuing. Switchzilla has been pursuing it, and has handed over its design for a digital …
drawing of live cat and cat skeleton

MIT's chip fires frikkin' laser at qubits

MIT boffins reckon they've cracked one of the more difficult challenges of practical quantum computing – the miniaturisation of components. In a paper at Nature, the Karan Mehta, Colin Bruzewicz, Robert McConnell, Rajeev Ram, Jeremy Sage and John Chiaverini say they've printed an ion trap and optical waveguide together in a …
Smartphone showing Chinese flag

China forms 27-strong alliance to grow silicon standards

27 Chinese semiconductor companies have formed a “High End Chip Alliance” (HECA) aimed at creating a more integrated ecosystem across the Middle Kingdom and with an ambition to create new silicon standards. Some of the members don't have enormous profiles outside China – hands up if you're familiar with Tsinghua Unigroup, …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2016
Big Ben and Underground sign. Pic: Crown copyright/MoD

Violence, vandals and vomit: London's naughtiest tech Tube stations revealed

New figures from Transport for London reveal just how much naughtiness goes on at the Tube stations nearest to London's technology firms. At Old Street station – serving London's Silicon Roundabout tech district – there were two fights major enough for London Underground staff to log them as formal incidents, while on a …
Gareth Corfield, 08 Aug 2016

Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My computer crashed every five minutes this morning. Please can you check what's wrong with it when you get home? This text message does not surprise me in the least. Mrs Dabbsy's computer never goes wrong when I'm nearby. It waits until I'm out of the house. As soon as it knows I'm safely on a train heading off somewhere, it …
Alistair Dabbs, 05 Aug 2016
900cc Fiat 500 should be called the Fiat 900

Samsung Electronics reportedly ponders buying Fiat parts

Samsung Electronics is considering an acquisition of Magneti Marelli, the Fiat-Chrysler-owned automotive parts supplier. Magneti Marelli makes exhausts, suspensions, power trains, internal plastics and other in-car essentials and sells them to auto-makers other than its parent companies. Samsung is probably more interest in …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2016

Intel's smartwatches are so hot right now – too hot: Basis Peak recalled for skin burns, blistering

Intel has recalled every single one of its Basis Peak smartwatches – as well as urging people to stop using them – because they can become dangerously hot. Chipzilla has told everyone who bought a Peak to send back the watch along with any and all accessories for a full refund. Keeping it is not an option: by the end of the …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2016
Giant burger

Juniper Networks grabs silicon photonic developer Aurrion

Juniper Networks is jumping into the silicon photonics business, with the acquisition of fabless designer Aurrion. Founded back in 2008 by Intel/IBM alumnus Dr Alexander Fang, Aurrion has spent the last eight years developing and commercialising indium phosphide-based (InP) transceivers. Integrating InP into silicon …
Twisted light image - University of Rochester

Boffins shrink light-twister to silicon scale, multiply bandwidth 10x

We've known for some time that the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light (colloquially known as “twisted light”) can be modulated to carry information, but until now, it's only been demonstrated on large-scale laboratory lasers. That's changed with work from the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Polytechnic …

VC vampire: Peter Thiel wants to live forever

Just when you thought Peter Thiel couldn't become any more of a megalomaniac, the billionaire VC proves you wrong. The man from Silicon Valley who supports Donald Trump, and who funded Hulk Hogan's sex tape legal saga to hurt the publication that widely outed him, has gone full rich-person-crazy and decided that he needs to …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Aug 2016
Stock market image via Shutterstock

French data wrangler Talend has done it: Voila, it's a tech IPO

Big data upstart Talend rang the bell to open the Nasdaq at 9.30am today in New York City – as the company makes one of the few initial public offerings (IPOs) this year. The data integration business was founded in France in 2005, and although its headquarters are in Redwood City, California, the company is listing on the …

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

QLC flash is tricky stuff to make and use, so here's a primer

QLC flash primer Quad-level cell (QLC) flash stores 4 bits per NAND cell and is very tricky stuff to use, far trickier than TLC (3 bits/cell) which is harder to user than 2 bits/cell MLC which, you guessed it, is more difficult to use than 1bit/cell SLC. Why is QLC the hardest of all to use? It is the slowest to read and write …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2016
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 …
Sun

NASA puts lenses through a different drill to stare at the Sun

NASA Goddard boffins and engineers have taken inspiration from the Fresnel lens to craft a “photon sieve” they hope will help them observe the processes that heat the sun's corona. The diffraction that gives a Fresnel lamp its soft edges is also handy for gathering light. NASA's post here explains that after passing through …
Newsroom

Mirantis Fuels up containers

Clever Mirantis is containerising OpenStack with its Fuel plug-in using Kubernetes for container orchestration. It says it is collaborating with Intel and Google to turn OpenStack into a microservices application, and the three companies will work with the OpenStack community to package OpenStack into Docker containers to be …
Chris Mellor, 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
Plan b, image via Shutterstock

What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

Leaders of many British tech firms were less than thrilled to hear that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. “I was shocked and horrified,” says Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of hosting firm Memset, who we spoke before the June 23 vote. Her comments were echoed by others. Mike Laven, chief executive of fintech …
SA Mathieson, 25 Jul 2016

Silicon Valley's contribution to the US Republican Convention: Gayness

Analysis If ever there was any doubt that billionaire Peter Thiel was a contrarian, he put it to bed last night in a short speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, US. The Paypal cofounder and early investor in Facebook already stood out as a supporter of Donald Trump in Silicon Valley – an industry that despises the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jul 2016

Yahoo! sale! almost! done!

The long-running saga over the fate of Yahoo! may be nearing its end. A report from Bloomberg suggests that Verizon is in the final stages of acquisition talks with the embattled web pioneer. The deal would reportedly top out at around $5bn, which may or may not include the huge tracts of Silicon Valley real estate Yahoo owns …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016

All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Much of the current research on the development of a quantum computer involves work at very low temperatures. The challenge to make them more practical for everyday use is to make them work at room temperature. The breakthrough here came from the use of some everyday materials, with details published today in Nature …

Speaking in Tech: Hyperconvergence hype, Microsoft, ARM and more

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week our intrepid podcasters Sarah, Ben and Amy dish up Silicon Valley product placements, ARM's acquisition and Microsoft’s big quarter. Their special guest this week is Jason Collier, co-founder of Scale. The details… (1:00) Scratchy Ben and Aloha Greg (3:30) HPE …
Team Register, 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
A burning dumpster

Dying! Yahoo! writes! off! half! of! the! $1bn! it! paid! for! Tumblr!

Yahoo! fell short of already-low expectations as the shriveling internet icon continues to limp towards its impending sale. CEO Marissa Mayer had no update on the Purple Palace's quest for a buyer, but said the company was still working on the sale of its core business. "In addition to our efforts to improve the operating …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Jul 2016

Australia gets one-quarter of a minister for national infosec

If you were hoping tech would get some kind of boost in the Turnbull government's third ministry, prepare for disappointment. Mitch Fifield retains communications, and Fiona Nash remains minister for regional communications – which at least means the telcos don't have to spend the time and energy getting to know capturing …

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
Robot touches screen with finger. Photo via Shutterstock

Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

The maker of the security guard robot that allegedly ran down a toddler in a Silicon Valley shopping mall last week has claimed its droid is innocent. Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng hit the headlines worldwide after his parents claimed he was knocked down and run over by a 300lb Knightscope K5 bot at the Stanford Shopping …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2016

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Comment ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Lily Cole, Impossible.com

Lily Cole: Profit still looks almost Impossible.com

Impossible.com, the world-changing “sharing economy” website founded by millionaire supermodel and polymath Lily Cole lost even more money last year. Year end P&L accounts filed with Companies House revealed that I Am Possible Ltd - with Cole as director - was £257,889 in the red for year ended October 2015. That’s worse than …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016