Items tagged with x86

Rumor has it--er, has had it--that the Xbox 720 “Durango”, which is potentially slated to debut in May, would have AMD silicon inside. A Bloomberg report further points to that rumor as being highly likely. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg says that the Xbox 720 will run on an AMD “Jaguar” SoC, which means that the Xbox will shift from IBM’s Power PC technology to an x86 architecture. That’s great news for game developers, who previously had to deal with creating games for the PC and then retooling them for consoles. (Sony’s PlayStation 4 will also have... Read more...
When the Xbox 360 and PS3 first debuted, one of the major differences between them was how easy it was to access the underlying hardware. Kaz Hirai, then President of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed that the PS3 was far more difficult to program -- and that this was intentional. "We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" In other words: "We made developers... Read more...
When Microsoft announced that it would build an entirely separate version of Windows for ARM processors in 2011, it galvanized the entire computing industry. For decades, Windows and x86 had been synonymous terms, so this move to support alternative architectures was seen as a fundamental change in how Microsoft would approach future product development and software compatibility. Fast forward to the present day, and the future prospects for Windows RT are dimming fast. Samsung -- already having decided not to bring its Ativ RT tablet to the US due to low sales -- has now given notice that it won't... Read more...
Fitch, the debt rating agency, evidently wasn't pleased with what it heard during AMD's last conference call. The agency has cut AMD's debt rating from a B to a CCC-. That's the last step above default, and it echoes the agency's skepticism over whether or not AMD can continue as a going concern. The agency writes: The ratings reflect Fitch's expectations that negative free cash flow (FCF) in 2013 will drive cash below AMD's target level and potentially approach the company's minimum operating level. Beyond the near-term, Fitch believes a strong end market recovery and adoption of AMD's new products... Read more...
Nearly two years ago, Facebook launched the Open Compute Project. The initiative was intended to rethink all aspects of data server design, including cooling, racks, and server configuration. The coalition has gathered steam and support from a number of companies; AMD announced its own Open 3.0 Platform at today's OCP Summit. AMD's hardware is designed to meet the OCP's Open Rack standard and to be much more configurable than typical servers. To understand the significance of that, you need to understand that servers are typically fairly specialized. If you buy your servers from Dell, you buy Dell's... Read more...
It's been more than seven years since Apple began putting Intel inside its systems, and that relationship might be coming to end. Rumors are running rampant on the web this morning that Apple is seriously considering embracing ARM for its Mac lineup, with a version of the chip that it's already using in its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Citing "three people with knowledge" of the situation, Bloomberg says Apple engineers are fairly confident the Cupertino company will port its mobile device chips over to its desktop and laptop lines, the only unknown is when it will happen. If that's indeed... Read more...
One of the questions that's been kicked around since Microsoft debuted Surface last summer is how much Redmond would charge for the systems. Rumors have ranged from the ridiculously low ($299) to $1200 or more. Microsoft briefly posted prices on its own store, and while the numbers and listings have been pulled, the price targets were extremely reasonable. They've also been confirmed by a handful of journalists who attended a Microsoft early briefing. The tablet version of Surface will debut at $499 for a 32GB tablet running Windows RT (that's the second-class ARM flavor). The Touch Cover keyboard... Read more...
Today at the Hot Chips Symposium, AMD's CTO Mark Papermaster is taking the wraps off AMD's upcoming CPU core, codenamed Steamroller. Steamroller is the third iteration of Sunnyvale's Bulldozer architecture and an extremely important part. Bulldozer, launched just over a year ago, was a major disappointment. The company's second-generation Bulldozer implementation, codenamed Piledriver, made a number of important changes and was incorporated into the Trinity APU family that debuted last spring. Steamroller is the first refresh of Bulldozer's underlying architecture and may finally deliver the sort... Read more...
At the International Supercomputing Conference today, Intel announced that Knights corner, the company's first commercial Many Integrated Core (MIC) product will ship commercially in 2012. The Descendent of the Processor Formerly Known as Larrabee also gets a new brand name -- Xeon Phi. The idea behind Intel's new push is that the highly efficient Xeon E5 architecture (eight-core Sandy Bridge on 32nm) fuels the basic x86 cluster, while the Many Integrated Core CPUs that grew out of the failed Larrabee GPU offer unparalleled performance scaling and break new ground. Sounds interesting enough doesn't... Read more...
At the International Supercomputing Conference today, Intel announced that Knights corner, the company's first commercial Many Integrated Core (MIC) product will ship commercially in 2012. The Descendent of the processor formerly known as Larrabee also gets a new brand name -- Xeon Phi. The idea behind Intel's new push is that the highly efficient Xeon E5 architecture (eight-core Sandy Bridge on 32nm) fuels the basic x86 cluster, while the Many Integrated Core CPUs that grew out of the failed Larrabee GPU offer unparalleled performance scaling and break new ground. The challenges Intel... Read more...
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) managed to lessen the gap between it and Intel in the x86 space, even if just by a smidgen. According to Mercury Research's latest data, AMD's x86 market share jumped nearly a full percentage point from 18.2 percent to 19.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to Intel, which dropped from 81 percent to 80.2 percent, nearly the same margin as AMD's gain. These figures represent x86 market share prior to Intel's Ivy Bridge launch, which became official earlier this week. Ivy Bridge is Intel's newest processor line built on a 22nm manufacturing process using... Read more...
Intel made headlines last year when it announced that it would fab 22nm products for FPGA designer Achronix. This week, the company has unveiled an additional 22nm partner. Santa Clara will also be building parts for Tabula and will build that company's new Spacetime microprocessors. Tabula claims that its new chip "uses time as a third dimension to deliver unmatched capability and affordability. Tabula achieves this breakthrough by combining the Spacetime hardware that dynamically reconfigures logic, memory, and interconnect at multi-GHz rates with the Spacetime compiler that manages this ultra-rapid... Read more...
Fresh news out of Taiwan is that Intel and AMD, despite their keen interest in the tablet market, "cannot compete with solutions from ARM in terms of price." The statements, purportedly from various notebook manufacturers, are meant to imply that the two manufacturers (especially Intel) must reduce costs if they ever hope to gain any traction in the market. Then the article at DigiTimes coughs up this gem:  "Intel debuted 32nm-based Medfield processors with power consumption reduced to 11W to match Android 4.0 in January 2012 and will launch Atom processors with power consumption of less than... Read more...
If there's one fact that's emerged after Steve Jobs' death this fall, it's that the man hated Android. Really hated. As in, declared thermonuclear war on it and dedicated himself (and Apple's bank account) to wiping it from existence. In light of Steve's Khan-like level of loathing for Google's operating system, it's a wee bit surprising to hear the "other" Steve sing its praises. “My primary phone is the iPhone,” Woz said. “I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do." According to Woz, the iPhone is a better option for anyone who's... Read more...
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