Items tagged with Bobcat

If you're planning to hike in the mountains or if your work takes you to locales that are off the beaten path, you may want to bring something a bit more durable than a standard tablet. That's where Xplore Technologies comes in -- the company just announced its Bobcat, a fully-rugged Windows 8.1 tablet with MIL-STD 801G certification and IP65 rating. Despite being rugged and tolerant of things like multiple drops from up to five feet and operating conditions of minus 4F (minus 20C) to 140F (60C) degrees, this silicon-filled slab is relatively lightweight and sleek. It measures 11.05 inches by 7.07 inches by 0.86 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds. That's not bad for a tablet that can take a beating.... Read more...
There's a bit of quoted wisdom that's been making the rounds in tech news, recently. Up until now, I've ignored it, in the hopes that it would die out and go away. Instead, it seems to be showing up with greater frequency. It looks something like this: "Like Intel, AMD was caught flat-footed in recent years with the emergence and fast growth of mobile devices..." This is the sort of sound byte analysis that's often spread by analysts who really ought to know better. The rationale behind it, we'll assume, is the following: Smartphones and tablets are really popular Intel and AMD don't dominate those markets Intel and AMD aren't going to dominate those markets in the next 12 months Therefore, Intel... Read more...
AMD is launching its first tablet-optimized APU today, in a bid to challenge Intel's de facto dominance of the Windows 8 tablet market. Dubbed Hondo, the new Z-60 draws less power than any Brazos-based part AMD has launched before. Some of you may remember that AMD launched a tablet processor last year, but the Z-01 -- codenamed Desna -- was an ordinary Brazos core that binned well enough to run within a lower power envelope. It was more a proof-of-concept chip, meant to demonstrate that AMD could, and would, compete in the tablet market. Hondo, in contrast, is a new spin on the original Brazos design. AMD took its first-generation APU and removed all the I/O blocks that a tablet wouldn't need,... Read more...
Rumor around the 'Net is that AMD's Bulldozer follow-up, codenamed Vishera, could drop in early Q4 this year. The new AMD 8350, as its known, will supposedly be a four-module/eight-core design clocked at 4GHz (4.2GHz Turbo Mode) with a 125W TDP. Vishera could potentially deliver what last year's Bulldozer didn't; AMD's latest CPU was widely panned for failing to meet most of its performance, clockspeed, and power consumption targets. Given that Vishera is based on the already-launched Trinity core, we can make a few predictions concerning the chip's performance -- and whether it can measure up. Definitely Maybe AMD's Trinity AMD's Trinity incorporated two technologies that substantially reduced... Read more...
At Computex this week, AMD has launched a refresh of its popular Bobcat APU. The new Brazos 2.0 chips are slipping in at the top of the Bobcat product stack and offer marginal speed increases as well as an assortment of new features. On the performance side of things, virtually nothing changes. The new E2-1800 is 50MHz (three percent) faster than the E-450 it replaces, while the E1-1200 is 7.6 percent faster than the E-300. GPU speeds were tweaked a bit more at the top end; the E2-1800's Radeon is up to 13 percent faster than its Brazos 1.0 counterpart. Neither component is fast enough to change Brazos' use case:  If the chip wasn't fast enough for your workloads before now, Brazos 2.0 isn't... Read more...
Rumors about next-generation consoles like the Xbox 720 (codenamed Durango) and the PlayStation 4 have been milling about for several months, but the Sony side of the equation has just gotten a significant update. New information suggests that the PS4 is codenamed Orbis, will be built around an AMD x86-64 CPU and GPU, and will require all new games to registered with a PSN account. The codename likely means something to Sony; the orbis.scedevnet.com address resolves correctly whereas ps4.scedevnet.com does not. Let's tackle the report, starting with the hardware specs. Rumors that AMD would provide the GPU tech behind all three consoles date back to last June. Of the three, only Nintendo has... Read more...
When AMD held its Analyst Day a few weeks ago, the company focused on how it was fundamentally changing its approach to semiconductor research and product development. Years of attempting to compete with Intel drained company coffers and exposed it to tremendous competitive pressure. Consumers unquestionably profited -- Intel's prices for various parts dropped dramatically in the early 2000s as AMD entered specific markets -- but Sunnyvale took a ferocious beating in the process. Forbes has published a major article on the company's turbulent last few years and current plans. It credits Dirk Meyer with saving the company after Hector Ruiz's tenure as CEO ended in mid-2009, but quotes no less... Read more...
AMD announced its fourth quarter and 2011 results yesterday. The figures aren't bad in and of themselves, but the company's overall position headed into 2012 is decidedly uncertain. Yearly revenue was flat at $6.57B, with total net income for fiscal 2011 at $495M, up four percent from 2010. "AMD shipped more than 30 million APUs in 2011, resulting in record annual notebook revenue," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. "The unmatched combination of computing and graphics capabilities in our low-power "Brazos" platform has made it our fastest ramping platform ever, paving the way for continued growth in key segments and geographies. Our server business has regained momentum, delivering two consecutive... Read more...
AMD's initial layoff announcement yesterday implied that the dismissals would occur across the company's global sales force. While that may still be true, it has become clear that AMD has slashed its PR and marketing departments in particular. The New Product Review Program* (NPRP) has lost most of its staff and Director of Product Planning, Carell Killebrew, who played an integral role in rescuing AMD's GPU division after the disaster of R600, also got the axe. Key members of the FirePro product team are also gone. None of the staff had any idea that the cuts were coming, or that they'd focus so particularly in certain areas. An email, purportedly from CEO Rory Read, sheds additional light on... Read more...
Windows 8's primary feature (at least thus far) is its ability to run on ARM processors and, by extension, its tablet-centric UI. According to analyst firm IHS-iSuppli, official Windows support will give the ARM architecture the ability to do what no other CPU design has ever done: break the x86 monopoly. "Starting in 1981, when IBM first created its original PC based on Intel’s 8088 microprocessor, the X86 architecture has dominated the PC market," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of compute platforms for IHS. “Over the next generation, billions of PCs were shipped based on X86 microprocessors supplied by Intel and assorted rivals—mainly Advanced Micro Devices Inc. However,... Read more...
With Bobcat and Llano launched, AMD has one more major product overhaul set for this year. The company's Bulldozer CPU will launch in the next few months, and after years of waiting, enthusiasts and IT industry analysts are both curious to see what AMD has in its high performance pipeline. A Turkish website, Donanim Haber, recently got its hands on what they claim is a Bulldozer FX processor--but while we're going to talk about the site's findings, we'd recommend readers take them with some caution. The new octal-core processor is an AMD FX-8130P running at 3.2GHz base speed, what's reported as a 3.7GHz Turbo speed, and a 4.2GHz clock speed if only half the CPU's cores are in use. This implies... Read more...
Microsoft's tablet strategy (or complete lack thereof) has drawn significant criticism, but the rumor mill suggests the manufacturer may take unprecedented steps to establish itself as a player in this space. DigiTimes, quoting unspecified industry sources, claims Microsoft may build and market its own tablet. MS is allegedly cooperating with Texas Instruments to design and market the device and plans to compete against its own industry partners. If true, it wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has tossed its hat into the hardware ring, but the company's track record in this area is anything but good. Its keyboard/mouse products have performed well, but the Zune ultimately failed to gain traction... Read more...
VIA introduced its dual-core Nano just four months ago, but the company is already demonstrating that processor's big brother. The newly minted VIA QuadCore is--you guessed it--a quad-core processor that connects two dual-core Nano cores in an MCM (multi-chip module). The new chip won't actually ship for some months, but it may become a higher-performance alternative to both Atom and Brazos when it does... VIA Launches New Low Power QuadCore Nano CPU... Read more...
VIA introduced its dual-core Nano just four months ago, but the company is already demonstrating that processor's big brother. The newly minted VIA QuadCore is--you guessed it--a quad-core processor that connects two dual-core Nano cores in an MCM (multi-chip module). The new chip won't actually ship for some months, but it may become a higher-performance alternative to both Atom and Brazos when it does. The dual-module chips are the quad-core, the single dies are the Nano X2. VIA's share of the x86 market is small in comparison to Intel and AMD, but Centaur, the company's CPU design team, has been building x86 CPUs for more than a decade. Centaur, led by the redoubtable Glenn Henry,... Read more...
Earlier this week, we covered AMD's announcement of its upcoming OpenCL programming conference and how it plans to offer information on making the most of its Llano APU and that processor's capabilities. One of the rumors rumbling around since then has been whether AMD and ARM would pursue any sort of cross-licensing agreement. AMD's director of client products, John Taylor, has since shot down the idea that AMD might build an ARM-based processor, noting: "We've made a big bet on APUs, which are x86." AMD may not be planning an ARM core, but the two companies have been making nice for several months. ARM's vice president of media technologies, Jem Davies, is scheduled to keynote the upcoming... Read more...
AMD has released its Q1 financials, giving us a look into the company's execution through what is normally considered a down quarter, as well as an opportunity to judge the impact of Brazos on the company's bottom line. The results are quite good relative to AMD's financial performance these past few years. The company reports revenue of $1.61B (up two percent from Q1 2010), a net income of $510 million, and an operating income of $54 million. AMD, therefore, is in the black—even if just barely. According to acting CEO Thomas Seifert, Llano is "the most impressive processor in history." Overall sales in Q1 were driven by demand for Llano products. "First quarter operating results were highlighted... Read more...
AMD has revised its purchase agreement with Global Foundries in a move that will allow the CPU design firm to recognize a $492 million non-cash gain in Q1. Instead of purchasing 45nm and 32nm wafers on a "cost-plus" basis, Sunnyvale will pay GlobalFoundries a fixed price for products through the end of the year. Reactions to the change have been mixed. The fixed-price model allows AMD to only pay for viable 32nm parts, but raises questions about GlobalFoundries' 32nm yields. AMD's ownership stake in GF has fallen considerably in the past two years, but GloFo remains Sunnyvale's premier foundry partner by a sizeable margin. According to the company's presentation, the original wafer purchase agreements... Read more...
Two weeks ago, we discussed Asus' claim that certain AM3 motherboards would function properly when paired with AM3+ processors. We've since spoken with both companies and have a (slightly) clearer idea of what to expect. Asus' announcement is not, in any way, a refutation of AMD's previous comments on Bulldozer support. According to Sunnyvale, Bulldozer will only be supported on AM3+ motherboards. AMD directed all other questions to Asus while Asus, once we spoke with them, informed us that they were under NDA not to discuss any details of their previous announcement. We were, however, able to learn a few additional tidbits of information. Previously, we noted that AMD could theoretically transfer... Read more...
One downside of the upcoming Phenom II - Bulldozer transition is that the new processors won't be compatible with current AM3 motherboards. This news disappointed certain AMD enthusiasts, given that Sunnyvale typically focuses on chipset longevity, but the company justified the mood by stating that the only way to fully exploit the power of Bulldozer's core was to switch to a new socket--AM3+. A recent announcement from Asus has thrown a wrench into this scenario. We've reached out to both Asus and AMD for additional information; neither has gotten back to us as of this writing. Asus' website states:Current owners of an AM3-based board* will make their AMD 8-Series motherboards compatible with... Read more...
Today, Intel formally announced a new class of low-power Xeon processors meant to fill the growing demand for cloud computing servers. Intel has dubbed such servers micro servers, and believes they'll be the major source of server market growth in the next four years. Micro servers are defined by the company as follows: "Micro servers are an emerging type of shared infrastructure server designed for unique data center workloads where many low-power dense servers may be more efficient than fewer, more robust servers." Put in simple terms, a micro server is to a blade server what blades once were to traditional rackmounts. According to Intel's own Xeon predictions, product segmentation demand will... Read more...
Both TSMC and GlobalFoundries have released new information on their respective plans for the next few years. TSMC has announced its intention to double its 2011 R&D capital expenditure to $700 million, while it simultaneously spends $7.8B over the next year in order to increase its manufacturing capacity by approximately 20 percent. This is presumedly over and above what the company has spent thus far on constructing its new "gigafab" foundry, Fab 15. TSMC began work on Fab 15 last summer, but the plant isn't scheduled to come online until 2012; TSMC is most likely building out capacity at an already established plant. TSMC's production growth over the past few years. Information provided... Read more...
AMD has released its fourth quarter 2010 financial results and they're nice numbers to end a year on. The company's revenue of $1.65B was up two percent quarter-on-quarter and flat compared to 2009. Despite the sales plateau, AMD's position has substantially improved over the past 12 months; the company reported a Q4 net income of $375M for the quarter and $471M for the year. Part of that improvement is due to trimming costs—the company's yearly R&D expense was just $352M compared to $432M in 2009—but a hefty chunk of AMD's net income for the year comes courtesy of a legal settlement. AMD evidently settled a patent dispute with an as-yet-unknown company who paid AMD $283 million... Read more...
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