Articles about Silicon

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Silicon Valley wage collusion case will go to court

Silicon Valley companies will be lining up in front of Judge Lucy Koh to defend themselves over their notorious anti-poaching agreements at the end of May, after the judge denied their attempt to have the case tossed out. Judge Koh has slapped down the attempt by Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe seeking summary judgement in the …

WHY can't Silicon Valley create breakable non-breakable encryption, cry US politicians

Analysis At last week's RSA security conference, the halls were full of government speakers telling the tech community that it must do the impossible: invent a form of encryption that's strong, but also easy for law enforcement to crack. Ever since Apple and Google enabled full-device encryption by default on their mobile operating …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2015

NSA spying will shatter the internet, Silicon Valley bosses warn

Top Silicon Valley execs have warned that the NSA's continued surveillance of innocent people will rupture the internet – which is bad news for business. Oh, and bad news for hundreds of thousands of workers, and America's moral authority, too. The suits were speaking at a roundtable organized by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in …
Iain Thomson, 09 Oct 2014

Silicon Valley powers: Let mass spying die in May 2015 – it's bad for privacy (and business)

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo! – and many, many others – have appealed to American politicians and g-men to rein in mass digital surveillance this May, and bring the intelligence community under some kind of effective oversight. "It has been nearly two years since the first news stories revealed the scope of the …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2015
A class enjoying the early stages of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training.

'Failure is not an option... Never give up.' Not in Silicon Valley, mate

Blocks and Files Consider these two things: "Failure is not an option," the famous words of the Apollo 13 mission controller in Houston, and a college speech by a US Navy SEAL commander in which he recommended that people never, ever give up. Yet Admiral McRaven would say that, wouldn't he – it worked for him. But he appeared to forget that it …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2014
Scrooge McDuck

Silicon Valley scrooges paid staff $1.21 an hour in a 122-hour week

A successful Silicon Valley firm has admitted paying staff $1.21 an hour and working them for more than 120 hours a week. State officials got involved when an anonymous tipster alerted them to the activities of Electronics For Imaging, an international business based in the Bay Area that specializes in printing technology. The …
Iain Thomson, 24 Oct 2014
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO

Facebook snubbed Google's Silicon Valley wage-strangle pact, Sheryl Sandberg claims

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has claimed her company rebuffed Google's attempt to form a pact that would have suppressed engineers' salaries. According to her written testimony to a US court, obtained and published today by CNBC, Sandberg said she met Google executives who were – it is claimed – keen to stop …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 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 …
Pinky and the Brain

Baidu poaches Google Brain inventor for Silicon Valley AI project

The creator of Google's massive machine learning system has been hired by the Chinese search-and-more company Baidu as its new chief scientist. Andrew Ng, who is also the director of Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab, has been hired to set up an AI research project for the Chinese firm that will be carried out at …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2014

Commies copying West again as Vietnam plans own Silicon Valley

Over 35 years after the Vietnam war ended, the communist Asian state is looking to the good ol’ US for its inspiration with a new government backed initiative designed to make a success out of its emerging technology industry. The Silicon Valley Vietnam (SVVN) project will see the government stump up an initial $400,000 in a bid …
Phil Muncaster, 01 Nov 2013

Judge could bin $325m wage-fixing settlement in Silicon Valley

A US judge is reportedly worried about the settlement for tech workers in the no-hire pact lawsuit in Silicon Valley. Judge Lucy Koh has to approve the $324m payout from Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe, after employees sued the four firms along with Pixar, Lucasfilm and Intuit over an alleged conspiracy to keep wages down by …

G.Fast startup readies silicon as standard signed off

With getting formal ITU consent as G.9700 and G.9701, the race will be on to ship production hardware to the standard, and that's helped an Israeli silicon startup raise $US10 million in funding from US and Israeli ventures. Sckipio Technologies, incorporated in 2012, is pitching modem chipset and software bundles at …

Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years

Pics A magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook northern Californians out of bed today at 3.20am, shutting down power and wrecking homes in the state's wine country. The Sunday morning tremor was the biggest to hit the Bay Area since the destructive M6.9 quake in 1989. The epicenter of today's shallow quake was just a few miles from Napa, …
Chris Williams, 24 Aug 2014
Photo by Charles Chan

Chinese dragon Alibaba ramps up cloud war with second US data center

Chinese cloud purveyor Aliyun, a division of the Middle Kingdom's Amazon equivalent Alibaba, has opened its second US data center in Silicon Valley. The move is part of its international expansion plans, with the company having earlier this year signed up a raft of international partners to flog its services globally. Alibaba …
Kat Hall, 09 Oct 2015
Quantum logic gate

Australian boffins say Quantum Pentiums are on the horizon

Australian boffins have overcome one of quantum computing's big problems by building a gate comprised of two qubits in silicon, using techniques very similar to those used to manufacture whatever device you're using to read this story. Building a quantum logic gate in silicon is a big deal because hitherto it's only been …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2015
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has again unloaded on his predecessors in government, saying the swift planing process for the National Broadband Network made it “the riskiest and most complex project the Australian Government has ever attempted to carry out. In a speech delivered yesterday to the Corporate …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Sep 2014

Rise of the machines: Silicon Valley hardware store to deploy ROBOTS for customer service

A California hardware store has decided to bring everyone's dystopian nightmares to life by using robots to perform basic customer service. Home repairs chain Orchard Supply Hardware, a subsidiary of Lowe's, plans to trial a device dubbed the OSHbot, a mobile robot capable of fielding customer requests and guiding DIYers to the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Oct 2014
Steve Jobs, credit Apple site, screengrab

Silicon Valley tech titans beg for more mediation time in wage-fix lawsuit

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have filed a court motion asking for more time in mediation before going to court to fight former employees who claim they were put on secret no-hire blacklists by their bosses. The class action suit claims that from 2005 the bosses of Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, …
Iain Thomson, 04 Sep 2014
VoLTE compatible: LG Revolution

Broadcom sheds 1,150 workers in race to bundle 4G silicon out the door

Chip maker Broadcom will shed 1,150 jobs as it struggles to keep selling 3G tech while getting its 4G product line out of the door. Revenue growth in the third quarter of 2013 was fairly flat for the company, which ships system-on-chips and communications ICs for use in mobile gadgets: sales were up a smidgen on last year to $2. …
Bill Ray, 25 Oct 2013

Intel demos inexpensive 100Gb/sec silicon photonics chip

Intel has demoed what it says it "believes" is the world's only silicon photonics module that uses a hybrid silicon laser – a breakthrough that should allow such advances as vastly improved system-to-system interconnects in the data center. The demo of the 100Gb/sec module was presented via a video during Intel CTO Justin …
Rik Myslewski, 11 Apr 2013

Silicon Valley high rollers toss $36m at 'data centre OS' Mesosphere

A startup building a "data centre operating system" that owes its existence to a former PHD student has landed $36m in funding from some high-tech high rollers. Mesosphere landed the cash in a round led by Khosla Ventures with backing from others including Andreessen Horowitz. This is second shot from Andreessen Horowitz for …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Dec 2014

Silicon Valley 'no-hire pact' lawsuit gets class action status for tech workers

The lawsuit against big tech firms like Google and Apple over their hiring practices has been given class action status, making it easier for the workers to lever greater wads of cash out of the companies if they win. The case alleges a conspiracy between technology firms in Silicon Valley to keep employees' wages down and curb …

Silicon Valley bod in no-hire pact lawsuit urges court to REJECT his OWN lawyers' settlement

One of the plaintiffs in the no-hire pact lawsuit against Silicon Valley tech firms has asked the court to reject a $324m settlement deal negotiated by his own lawyers because he says it’s “grossly inadequate”. Lawyers in the case reached a settlement with Apple, Google and other giants accused of conspiring to keep IT workers' …
Abbott and Costello dressed as policemen

Silicon Valley Cisco reseller charged with $37 million fraud

The boss of Silicon Valley Cisco reseller Network Genesis has been indicted for selling counterfeit kit and sub-price products bought by the networking company's staff. According to the federal grand jury indictment, Cuong Cao Dang, sometimes known as Calvin Dang, bought counterfeit hardware for his San Jose reseller business …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2013

Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

“Instant energy, just add water” – you might expect the expression under an ACME label in an old Warner Bros cartoon, but not from a University. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York have demonstrated that nano-particles of silicon react with water to produce the non-toxic silicic acid and release …
Singapore Condos

Silicon bungalow? Nah, I'll have SK Hynix's 4-storey flash condo

DRAM and flash fabber SK Hynix is set to mass produce 3D NAND by the end of this year, while Micron Technology sees its own 3D mass production kicking in during the second half of 2015. By building NAND chips with layers of current planar cells (known as 2D NAND) the amount of capacity in a chip's footprint can be raised without …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2014

India ponders home-baked chips for defence and nuke plants

India is reportedly pondering a new policy that would see only home-baked silicon used in its military, space program and atomic energy industry. Sources have told the Times of India that government officials have raised the idea with representatives of the three industries mentioned above. Just why is open to speculation. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Quantum Dot demo

Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

The long-awaited arrival of quantum computers could be one step closer, as boffins from Oz have for the first time encoded quantum information in silicon. Unlike conventional computers, which store data on transistors and hard drives, quantum computers encode data in states of microscopic objects called qubits. The arrival of …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
This is graphene-based film on an electronic component with high heat intensity. Pic credit: Johan Liu / Chamers University of Technology

Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down

A graphene-based film could help to cool down overheating microelectronic devices, scientists have claimed in a new study. Researchers at Chalmers University, led by professor Johan Liu, have developed the 20 micrometre-thick film, which apparently has a thermal conductivity capacity of 1,600 W/mK – four times that of copper …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jul 2015
This wafer contains tiny computers using carbon nanotubes, a material that could lead to smaller, more energy-efficient processors.

Is this the silicon chip KILLER? Boffins boot up carbon-nanotube CPU

Look out, silicon: boffins in the US have created a simple working microprocessor out of carbon nanotubes, possibly paving the way for faster and less power-hungry computer chips. Nicknamed Cedric by its creators at Stanford University, it is the first of its kind: it can fetch software written in a subset of MIPS machine code …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Paul Allen gets out wad, plans investments in Silicon Valley firms

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is dipping into his billionaire pockets for an office in Silicon Valley to make new investments in emerging tech and internet companies. The office will be part of Allen's Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Vulcan, which manages the former Redmonder's personal $15bn fortune. The Palo Alto- …
(Another) One of These Things is Not Like the Other, JD Hancock, Flickr, CC-2.0

Facebook Parse adds SDKs for IoT's big names

Facebook has announced that its Parse project has been expanded with new SDKs for silicon vendors like Broadcom, Intel, Texas Instruments, and Atmel. The free content ad network bought Parse in 2013. At that time, the company's business was providing the back end to a claimed 500,000 mobile apps, and in March, Facebook …
Dyson Heater

Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

Inventor Sir James Dyson has criticised the UK government for putting "web fads and video gaming" ahead of more "tangible technology" that Britain can export. In an interview with the Radio Times magazine, the creator of the bagless vacuum cleaner said ministers needed to address a serious lack of engineering graduates in the …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2013
Laser printed transistor

Boffins laser print flexible transistors

Printing transistors is nothing new – silicon fabrication is, after all, essentially a print process – but printing silicon ink onto flexible substrates is usually a problem because there's too much heat for the medium to handle. The difficult step is annealing, as that process turns a silicon ink into the polysilicon that forms …
Tim Anderson, 23 Apr 2015
Broadcom's OpenNSL

Broadcom offers devs a peep-show inside its switches

Open Compute Summit When Facebook started down the path of creating the Open Compute Project (OCP), part of its reasoning was that too many vendors hide the underlying silicon from the world of users. That part of the project seems to be having its desired effect, with Broadcom using the OCP Summit to announce that it's going to give developers API …

Google reaches into own silicon brain to slash electricity bill

Google has worked out how to save as much as 20 percent of its data-center electricity bill by reaching deep into the guts of its infrastructure and fiddling with the feverish silicon brains of its chips. In a paper to be presented next week at the ISCA 2014 computer architecture conference entitled "Towards Energy …
Jack Clark, 05 Jun 2014

Palantir raises $450m in latest fund-raising round

CIA-backed Palantir has raised $450m (£289m) from investors, valuing the biz at $20bn (£13bn). Palantir's software is most famous for reportedly helping the US government track down Osama bin Laden, although this is something it has refused to confirm. It was also backed in its early stages by the the CIA's In-Q-Tel venture …
Kat Hall, 24 Jul 2015
Samsung logo

Samsung puts Silicon Valley on a plate in $100m all-you-can-eat

South Korean leviathan Samsung has ring-fenced $100m to snap up early startups in IT security, mobile tech and remote computing. The globe-spanning chaebol has already set aside a billion dollars for its Samsung Ventures America Fund subsidiary, which will be run along with the $100m "Catalyst Fund" at the new Samsung Strategy …
The Register breaking news

You CAN'T be a Silicon Roundabout hipster... you don't have Bluetooth socks

Hipsters concerned that their footwear is lagging in the cool stakes will soon be ordering Bluetooth-enabled socks, even if they do make them look like a young offender with an electronic tag. The Sensoria sock monitors impact across the toes and heel of the foot as the wearer runs, providing helpful advice about stride and …
Bill Ray, 05 Aug 2013
Micron HMC chip during manufacture

Micron: Our STACKED SILICON BEAUTY solves the DRAM problem

Dratted multi-core CPUs. DRAM is running into a bandwidth problem. More powerful CPUs has meant that more cores are trying to access a server’s memory and the bandwidth is running out. One solution is to stack DRAM in layers above a logic base layer and increase access speed to the resulting hybrid memory cubes (HMC), and Micron …
Chris Mellor, 27 Nov 2013

For just $400 you can have this Raspberry Pi – and MINE BITCOIN

Move over, mega-miners: an Andreessen-backed venture is going to beat off your data-centre rigs with $400 worth of Raspberry Pi-powered brick. Rather than take the magic to the press, the 21 Bitcoin Computer landed direct to Amazon for pre-order by enthusiasts, developers, and suckers. Units will actually ship in November …
Great Wall of China

Move over Silicon Valley, the Chinese are coming

Over 40 per cent of technology leaders think that Silicon Valley will be supplanted by China as the world’s leading tech innovation hub, according to a new report from KPMG. The consultancy interviewed hundreds of tech execs from start-ups to multi-nationals across the globe and found that 44 per cent believe China will replace …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Oct 2012

Australia's Silicon Beach is a wipeout

“If only Australia were more like Silicon Valley,” the entrepreneuriat declaims: “Our startups would be more like theirs, and we'd have home-grown Googles or Apples!” I've heard this for years, and I'm uncomfortable with it. It's not hard to find these sentiments: posts like this one by founder Matt Barrie deliver …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2013
Flying Toaster screen saver rebuilt in CSS

Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

Worstall on Wednesday A couple of weeks back I pointed to some rumours about what the stealth (and hugely VC backed) company 21 Inc was up to, with the idea being, seemingly, to stick a Bitcoin mining chip in your toaster. So, as well as that breakfast comestible you could lose money on your electricity bill by attempting to mine for Bitcoin, …
Tim Worstall, 20 May 2015
Steve Ballmer and Tony Bates

Brit-boy Bates is Silicon Valley's pick for Microsoft's CEO

Comment Could a Briton end up running quintessential American multinational Microsoft, the world’s largest software company? Or, put another way: could an exec who only briefly ran a small loss-making telco end up in charge of a $73bn business? Why the hell not, if you’ve got the Silicon Valley mindset. London boy Tony Bates, born in …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Dec 2013

Hey, Silicon Valley milky drink fans: Starbucks intros wireless charging

Another round of coffee* shops are being fitted for wireless charging; this time in Silicon Valley, as the third wireless charging standard grabs a little more retail estate. Starbucks, who will be wiring up tables in a selection of its Californian drinking holes, has already endorsed charging tech from The Power Matters …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

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

IEDM 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
The Register breaking news

Hold our tiny silicon spheres, say gravity wave detection scientists

A group of scientists from the University of Nevada at Reno says tiny sensors – small enough to be suspended in an optical trap – could pave the way for a new kind of ultra-sensitive gravity wave sensor. That is, of course, if gravity waves exist: predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity, gravity waves have proven …
Baidu Logo

Baidu muscles in on Google’s turf with Silicon Valley deep learning lab

Chinese search giant Baidu has opened the doors to a new research facility in Google’s back yard where it’s hoping to tap the local talent to consolidate early mover advantage in the burgeoning field of “deep learning”. The Cupertino-based Institute of Deep Learning (IDL) is the Silicon Valley counterpart of another facility …
Phil Muncaster, 15 Apr 2013

BT: is fast and we want it FASTER

BT has told a US broadband conference it's confident that will do what it says on the box – so long as ongoing standards work bears fruit. However, The Register notes with interest that the dependencies highlighted by BT Wholesale CTO Colin Bannon are many. As noted at LightReading, Bannon reckons is good for 300 …