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Happy 40th birthday, Intel 4004!

On November 15, 1971, 40 years ago this Tuesday, an advertisment appeared in Electronic News for a new kind of chip – one that could perform different operations by obeying instructions given to it. That first microprocessor was the Intel 4004, a 4-bit chip developed in 1970 by Intel engineers Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and …
Rik Myslewski, 15 Nov 2011
DVD it in many colours

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part Two

Before Steve Jobs introduced the iMac on May 6, 1998, his life – as we detailed earlier – had been a roller-coaster of ups and downs. After the iMac shipped on August 15 of that same year, however, he and the company he led traded that carnival ride for a rocket. The iMac was an immediate success. "We have had a phenomenal …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Oct 2011

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part One

When sober, F. Scott Fitzgerald may have been devastatingly intelligent, but he got it dead wrong when he wrote "there are no second acts in American lives". Think Elvis, for example. Or lefty sinkerballer Tommy John of the eponymous surgery. Or, for that matter, Grover Cleveland, whose two acts as US president were separated by …
Rik Myslewski, 6 Oct 2011
Toshiba Portege Z830 Ultrabook

Ultrabooks vs tablets: tablet demise greatly exaggerated

If you read stories on the interweb, almost all of them sourced from a DigiTimes article, that tablet sales will be whammed next year by Ultrabooks, consider. The claim is primarily made by Acer VP Scott Lin who, not at all coincidentally, announced Acer's Aspire S3 Ultrabook in Taiwan the day before the Digitimes article …
Tony Smith, 29 Sep 2011

AMD spills secret to World Record clock speed

On August 31, a team of AMD-sponsored overclockers cranked a Bulldozer-based AMD FX processor up to an unearthly 8.429GHz, setting a new world record. This week, The Reg sat down with the leader of that processor-torturing team to find out exactly how they did it. "This is an extreme technology sport," Simon Solotko, AMD's …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Google's Moto move spells iPhone doom

Open...and Shut Mergers and acquisitions used to be how a company bought revenue, customers, or cool technology. In the mobile world, it's increasingly a way to buy defensive patents. This was clear in Google's $12.5bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility, and it will unfortunately fuel many of the strategies Apple, Google, and others employ to …
Matt Asay, 16 Aug 2011

Grow up, Google: You're threatening IT growth

Comment Google's stroppy-teenager ethos to intellectual property has been noted here before. But the company's truculent and immature approach is having really serious consequences on its home turf. Google now poses a serious threat to the future of the most explosive new sector in IT hardware: the consumer tablet. And if Google doesn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Aug 2011
DVD it in many colours

Tablets will overtake consumer PCs, says Fujitsu CTO

Content consumption rules for consumers and tablet sales will overtake consumer PC and notebook sales. That's the view of Dr Joseph Reger, Fujitsu's chief technology officer. Reger thinks tablet sales are going to cannibalise consumer desktop and notebook sales, because consumers want to consume content more than they want to …
Chris Mellor, 2 Aug 2011
server room

Intel gets into Comcast product catalog

While Motorola’s announcements at the Cable Show in Chicago last week shows that it has come alive and is hellbent on keeping its major cable customers, in Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the emergence of an Intel chip in an announced set top box at Comcast must set Broadcom firmly back on its heels and send the shivers up …
Faultline, 20 Jun 2011

Xeon E7 servers run with the big dogs

Deep Dive Intel has come a long way in the server racket, and the new "Westmere-EX" Xeon E7 processor, launched in April and making its way into systems now, is arguably its most sophisticated processor for servers to date. The Xeon E7 processors cram ten cores onto a single die, but the Xeon E7 design is a bit more than taking an eight- …
For Sale sign detail

AMD targets tablets and cloudbooks in Intel showdown

Computex Devices that combine the power of a notebook with features of a tablet were one of the themes of last week's gadget-fest, Computex 2011 in Taiwan. Intel is pushing its new "ultrabook" concept, and the stage is set for the mobile PC market to split into three emerging form factors: touchscreen tablets; a new wave of more …

Why are Microsoft and Intel slapping and pulling hair?

Analysis For all the cloudy proclamations Microsoft's boss Steve Ballmer has been making of late, the company's bread 'n' butter products remain on the desktop. And that's a fact that Intel, whose lengthy and prosperous partnership with Redmond recently took a major knock, knows only too well. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 May 2011
Intel electron-microscope photo: planer 32nm versus tri-gate 22nm

Intel's Tri-Gate gamble: It's now or never

Analysis There are two reasons why Intel is switching to a new process architecture: it can, and it must. The most striking aspect of Intel's announcement of its new Tri-Gate process isn't the architecture itself, nor is it the eye-popping promises of pumped-up performance and dialed-down power. And it certainly isn't the Chipzillian …
Rik Myslewski, 9 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Did PlayStation Network hackers plan supercomputer botnet?

The dearth of details from Sony about a criminal intrusion into its PlayStation Network is fomenting plenty of speculation about the methods and motives behind the attackers, and some of it isn't pretty. The most dire scenario is that attackers gained, or tried to gain, control of the part of Sony's network that issues updates …
Dan Goodin, 29 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

Photos The Osborne 1 – the first mass-market portable computer – turns 30 years old this month. And what better way to celebrate than by tearing one apart? One problem: I couldn't get my hands on an original Osborne 1. But I was able to tear into the next best thing: the slightly remodeled follow-on to the original, also known as the …
Rik Myslewski, 8 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Steve Jobs screws my wife (out of $944)

Comment I couldn't tell who was more excited about our new electronic toy: me or my wife. She snuck out of bed at 3 am local time on March 11 to order me an iPad 2, and considering how much my wife likes sleep, that probably means she still likes me, even after sixteen years of dating and marriage. At least enough to shell out $729 for …
The Register breaking news

HP's 'vision' should embrace Apple, not copy it

Open...and Shut Hewlett-Packard needs to grow, but its chief executive Leo Apotheker has made it very clear that he intends to boost HP's fortunes in a very non-Oracle sort of way. That is, rather than buying the past - snapping up legacy software companies and essentially buying their customer relationships and maintenance revenue streams - he …
Matt Asay, 18 Mar 2011
RH Leader

Intel and Apple: tablet d'hôte

Leader Intel's Android efforts: products, please, not prototypes Is it really news that Intel is encouraging Asian netbook and tablet makers to use its processors in their Android products, as Taiwan's DigiTimes and the many sites citing it believe? We'd think it news if the chip giant wasn't making such a move. Intel is in the …

No toys to throw from the PRAM

Comment Phase-change memory (PCM or Phase-change RAM - PRAM) seems to be changing its phase, from promising-newcomer-technology to fading-candidate-going-nowhere. PCM is a memory technology involving a change of material state and electrical resistance in a memory cell's chalcogenide layer. The theoretical attractions are that it is non …
Chris Mellor, 10 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

iPad 2? Let's be kind and call it iPad 1.5

Analysis When introducing the iPad 2 on Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs referred to it as an "all-new design." That assertion could kindly be called debatable. More accurately, the iPad 2 is a refinement and speed bump to the original iPad. Its new higher-performance processor and improved graphics are, to be sure, welcome upgrades. Its …
Rik Myslewski, 3 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Nvidia four-core chip to power quad-res Apple iPad

Comment Nvidia's move to go public on its four-core processor plans come, some readers will recall, just a month or so after it was claimed Apple's second-generation iPad will sport just such a chip, and weeks after it was suggested the iPad 3 will be out as early as the autumn. Nonsense, said some. Apple wouldn't release iPad 2 this …
Tony Smith, 16 Feb 2011
Blackberry Torch 9800

BlackBerry OS 6 – Red Star Rising

It would be both right and wrong to describe the new BlackBerry Operating System as just eye-candy on the existing java based system. Correct in that what it does is make the OS look very much better. Incorrect in that in making it look better it also works better and is easier to use. The most significant change is the …
Simon Rockman, 15 Feb 2011

Now, Nokia, what about the hardware?

Comment If Symbian is Nokia's "burning platform", has the Finnish phone giant thrown itself into the frying pan to escape the fire? There's undoubtedly something desperate in the move. Nokia is spending way too much money promoting a platform, Symbian, that is commanding less and less market share. Where once it led, now Nokia has been …
Tony Smith, 11 Feb 2011
DEc co-founder Ken Olsen

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems

Opinion Which were the greatest DEC computers and why? Which were the worst - and why? Everyone has their own definition of greatest and worst, and exemplars of each, but I'm looking at the machines that had the most or the least influence. Since DEC under Olsen got a lot of things right, it's quicker and easier starting from the bottom …

Should Apple enter the flat TV market?

Comment In February 2009, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said what we were all thinking: that if Apple is a part of the consumer electronics market, why doesn’t it produce a TV with Apple TV (and a DVR) incorporated? The first time Faultline predicted this was a full two years earlier, but we’re not followed quite as assiduously as …
Faultline, 11 Feb 2011

HP rocks Redmond with webOS PC play

When the world's largest computer maker announced that it plans to equip laptops and desktops with its own operating system, you can be sure that the squeals emanating from Redmond's corner offices were not squeals of delight. And we're guessing the denizens of Cupertino's executive suites pricked up their ears as well. On …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Feb 2011
Flash Gordon

Flash versus HTML 5

“The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his notorious Thoughts on Flash. “New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too).” Adding to the confusion, every non-Apple …
Tim Anderson, 2 Feb 2011

ARM Holdings eager for PC and server expansion

RISC chip designer ARM Holding has closed out a record Q4 and 2010, and is laying the foundations to expand into desktop PCs and servers through the aggressive and enlightened self-interest of its growing licensee base. In the fourth quarter ended in December, ARM (the company) had £113.9m in total revenues, up 34 per cent. …

Smarter security for smartphones

Mobile phones are emotive devices. They have your kids as the wallpaper, texts saying who loves you and both your work and personal lives in one. Even if it’s a company device there is an emotional bond between the user and the device that is unlike any other. Very few people feel precious about their laptop. Mobile phones are …
Simon Rockman, 26 Jan 2011
fingers pointing at man

Flashy fists fly as OCZ and DDRdrive row over SSD performance

Two solid state disk SSD suppliers are arguing about NAND flash performance drop-off. OCZ supplies NAND flash solid state drives (SSDs) and regularly announces high-performance products. DDRdrive has recently exited stealth mode and makes the X1 hybrid DRAM/NAND SSD. It criticises OCZ and other flash suppliers for products …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2011
Broken CD with wrench

Without Meyer, what will AMD do next?

Analysis Things seemed poised to turn around for AMD in 2011. But the abrupt departure of CEO Dirk Meyer on Monday afternoon – at the exact same time that rivals Intel and Nvidia ceased their hostilities and a week after Nvidia jumped into the processor racket – indicates that AMD's board of directors sees challenges that aren't obvious …

Windows on ARM: leading from the rear

Analysis Bill Gates may have long departed, but he's still in charge at Microsoft, in spirit at least. Every year Chairman Bill would return from a "reading week" – I prefer to think that Bill got lost on his annual trip to the shopping mall – having noticed that there were lots of newfangled TVs / watches / phones / pacemakers about, …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

PlayStation phone coming, hints Sony chief

CES 2011 OK, so Sony's networking chief Kaz Hirai didn't announce the PlayStation Phone - or even confirm that this eagerly anticipated gadget is on the way, but he came darn close during his Consumer Electronics Show (CES) presentation this evening in Las Vegas. He did confirm - twice, in case assembled hacks and analysts missed it …
Tony Smith, 6 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Video games go off quicker than tomatoes

We are grateful to Which? for working out that video games lose value faster than cars. The organisation bought a copy of COD: Black Ops from a retail outlet for £44.99 - and then tried to sell it three days after its release to seven high street retailers. The buyback offers ranged from £16.70 to £33, with the worst …
Drew Cullen, 5 Jan 2011

Intel aims flash at tablets, netbooks

Comment Intel has implemented its X18-M and X25-V flash products in a tablet and netbook form factor with the m-SATA SSD 310 line. The 40GB 310 has exactly the same I/O performance as Intel's 40GB X25-V with 25,000 random read IOPS, 2,500 random-write IOPS, and 170MB/s sequential-read and 35MB/s sequential-write speeds. Its 80GB …
Chris Mellor, 3 Jan 2011

Intel claims 35 Atom tablets about to hit the market

Intel sees tablets as a strong route for its Atom processor, into the mobile device market, because of the need for high performance and the similarities to PC functionality. However, the first commercial tablets, such as iPad and Galaxy Tab, have run on ARM-based chips, and indeed, both of these processors come from Intel‘s …
Faultline, 19 Dec 2010

iPad media apps: Stealthed hobbits thwart Google's flaming Eye

Opinion Tablet media applications have a Google invisibility cloak around their stories. As this spreads a deadly revenue-denying dart could penetrate Google's media business model. eyeofSauron 'There is no hope in the void' The worldwide web is wide open, and Google takes full advantage of that, indexing everything it can find and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2010
NFC Forum

NFC mobe-touchpay trial does end run round handset makers

A bank, a network operator and a transport company will be deploying a payment infrastructure based on Near Field Communications (NFC) technology in mobile phones, but without inviting handset manufacturers to the party. StarHub will be running the invitation-only trial of NFC payments in Singapore with DBS Bank, featuring …
Bill Ray, 3 Dec 2010

IBM chips the laser light fantastic

Boffins at IBM have come up with a better way to embed laser communications onto processor and memory chips using plain vanilla CMOS manufacturing processes, paving the way for three-dimensional chips integrating hundreds of processors, their main memory, and on-chip optical networks that will, it is hoped, allow for the …

Multi-colour e-ink to splash down in six months?

Electronic ink is going colour - but you should probably wait a bit for your rainbow-friendly e-reader. A year ago we looked at e-ink technologies, and suggested it would be 2011 before we saw colour e-ink devices on the shelves. On this occasion it seems we got it about right; though if you can wait until the latter part of the …
Bill Ray, 14 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

The forgotten, fat generation of Mac Portables

This Old Box One of Apple's oddest machines just turned 21, meaning that here in California we can now legally buy it a pint and raise a toast — if not to its success, at least to its good intentions. Apple Macintosh Portable The year was 1989, when Apple still had "Computer" in its name (click to enlarge) No, we're not talking about …
Rik Myslewski, 9 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

All hail Barbie Stalker Girl!

I am the father of four daughters, aged 23-10, and have learnt a thing or two over the years about Barbie dolls. The most salient thing is the "generational split" within my family - the two older girls owned Barbies and played with Barbies - the two younger junked the hand-me downs and never played with dolls. Of any kind. Ever …
Drew Cullen, 2 Nov 2010