"The Santa rally in the sharemarket has arrived right on cue, a gift from the outgoing US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke."
[I can see Intel building momentum here as new products are introduced with Intel inside and B.K. as main keynote speaker at CES]
IMO, this is good news. Fed is confident enough with state of improved economy to scale back.
For Intel, it's also good news. The Enterprise datacenter segment is closely tied to GDP. Intel forecast only slight growth in this segment, but with improve state of the economy, this large segment of Intel's revenue might surprise to the upside.
arm is being attacked on 3 fronts:
1) Windows tablets are gaining traction. Tablets such as the Dell Venue 8 Pro offer tablet mobility, but with a USB hub/dock, can turn into a full desktop experience. Best news is Intel has the Windows tablet market to itself.
2) Windows 2-in-1 devices are becoming HOT sellers. Devices like the Asus T100 and Lenovo Yoga, offer the best of both worlds (tablet and notebook) at affordable prices. There are many people opting to buy or upgrade to these devices instead of a plan old tablet. Latest numbers show Windows devices make up 7% of market, but I suspect that number will be north of 10% when new stats come out.
3) Intel is making steady progress with Android. Intel plans to push 40 million Android tablets into the market next year with Bay Trail. Intel has a big advantage over arm in that it can offer Dual OS (Android and Windows) functionality. Leaks have already shown evidence of Samsung, Acer, Asus (M80TA) and others all having Dual OS Bay Trail offerings. Brian Krzanich - CEO said:
"The fact that x86 works on both Android and Windows is a real advantage to our OEM base. They look at that and say that they can have one architectural design, one set of products and use both operating systems. So it's a unique feature that we are able to provide."
electronicsweekly says "Former picoChip unit moving to Intel"
"Picochip is a venture-backed fabless semiconductor company based in Bath, England, founded in 2000. In January 2012 Picochip was acquired by Mindspeed Technologies, Inc.
The company is active in two areas, with two distinct product families.
Picochip was one the first companies to start placing femtocells, mini cell base stations, in homes and offices. The femtocells help combat reception issues such as: dropped calls, poor sound quality, delays, and slow downloads. The idea is to help with the congestion of cell phone towers by allowing them to hold more cellphone traffic. The femtocell is very cost-effective, which is ideal because it makes connection free and does not interfere with other towers or frequencies."
Agree. Strange that all the current 8" Windows tablets (Venue 8 pro, Miix2, Encore, W4) use the one micro usb port for charging. Hope next batch will add another usb port or separate charging port.
[I'm looking forward to the Dual-OS version. I think an 8" tablet running both Android and Windows will be a hot item. Android for when using it in "tablet mode" and Windows 8 for desktop experience when docked to a USB hub]
Russ Fischer recently wrote an interesting article on Intel, MU and NAND chips:
"Currently, Intel receives the NAND memory chips for the SSDs from a joint venture (IMFT) with Micron Technology (MU). Intel owns 49% of the joint venture and either party can buy the other out entirely by exercising an option to do so. The Lehi UT plant is the IMFT fab. Let's assume the fab is capable of 700,000 wafers of NAND per year. Intel would be entitled to about half of those wafers at a price that, "approximates cost", according to every mention of the IMFT JV. Cost on those 350,000 wafers (at $1500 each) would be about $525 million; made into SSDs at 60% gross margin, the wafers would turn into about $1.3 billion worth of SSDs. The level of Intel SSD business is now about $1 billion and, according to Stacy Smith is expected to double in the next 12 months. At $1.3 billion Intel runs out of supply of those great 20nm and 16nm High K metal gate NAND chips.
"Consider that Intel likes the SSD business AND Intel will very soon run out of the NAND chips it needs to continue to expand the SSD business AND Intel has what might be as much as three million wafers of excess capacity sitting in Oregon AND Arizona. Those "ands" in caps are in the Boolean sense. The only reasonable output of the above three input Boolean expression is the output that… drum roll, please… Intel will use those huge semiconductor fabs to build not just NAND memory, but finished SSDs to begin to satisfy the soon to be burgeoning demand for the advantages that SSDs bring to the computing continuum. This would include near instant boot time, extreme speed performance, low power, ruggedness, etc.
This would certainly bring the growth that Intel shareholders and Intel analysts have been clamoring for."
[He also discuss why Intel might want to buy MU in the rest of the article]
"You will see one or two large brands coming with phones with Intel side in 2014."
Facebook taps Intel's Atoms for SDN switch setup
Facebook has selected low-power Atom processors from Intel to be at the heart of the software-defined networking switches that it plans to implement in its data centers next year. The Atom "Avoton" chip is being separately tested by the social network to serve as a serial-attached storage controller for its disk-drive arrays. Facebook also considered ARM-based processors from Calxeda and Marvell Technology Group to use in its data centers, and chose the Atom processors for their 64-bit addressing capability.
[This deal can help Intel and Verizon build stronger ties and reach further partnerships espcially in light of Intel's purchase of Mindspeed today]
"That’s why Intel sees an opportunity. It hopes that it could offer a unified architecture using Intel’s x86 chips that solve the telcos’ problems. Intel’s Rose Schooler, GM of Intel’s Communications Infrastructure Division, wrote a blog post explaining the purchase.
In it she said that Mindspeed has the IP Intel needs to build out silicon for the cellular base station market. In an interview with me in November she had admitted that Intel was weak in that area and would need to find a partner. It looks like in Mindspeed Intel has found it. However, that doesn’t mean that Intel has what it takes yet to move in this field.
The large equipment vendors building out telecommunications gear for the next generation radio access network already have partnerships with the more traditional telco chip vendors, including Freescale and Texas Instruments. Schooler told me that Intel has 17 pilots in the telecommunications market, but it’s unclear how many of them are for the RAN aspects of the network. The one publicly mentioned trial is with China Mobile, which is also testing gear from Alcatel Lucent/Freescale.
However, Intel sees this as a $16 billion opportunity over the next few years, so in true Intel fashion it will make the investments and put out several generations of silicon as it seeks to take on this market."
PadFone has been around for years, not sure if it is "Something incredible" worthy.
There's a strong possibility that Asus will show off Dual OS tablets.
engadgetDOTcom/2013/12/02/asus-m80t-tablet-fcc/ . But those aren't "Something incredible" either.
CES, one of the biggest consumer electronics venues of the year in the US, kicks off on January 7. It seems that ASUS has been chomping at the bit to get 2014 started, as it's unleashed invites to its CES press event a day before the Consumer Electronics Show officially kicks-off.
It's not uncommon for manufacturers to hold press events prior to actual trade shows, but this one is such a good deal in advance that we have no idea what to expect.
We can only hypothesize what ASUS will showcase, but from a company so in love with out-of-the-box thinking, it could range anywhere from a new Transformer Android or Windows device, to a new PadFone. Hopefully we'll have a clearer picture as next month rolls near.
"The team and technology Intel is acquiring will make important contributions to how Intel Architecture-based solutions are transforming wireless access within mobile network infrastructure," writes Rose Schooler, VP and GM of Intel's Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group in a blog post Monday.
Schooler says that Intel is preparing for the further convergence of telecom and enterprise IT infrastructure with the deal. Intel-based server platforms today currently handle application processing, control processing, and packet processing. Now the aim is to enable basestation-style signal processing on Intel platforms.
"Our goal has always been to consolidate all four workloads to run on IA and we have already made significant steps towards enabling the last one -- signal processing on Intel-based servers -- through collaboration with China Mobile and SKT on designing Cloud Radio Access Network technologies," Schooler writes.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 Sold Out at Many Locations from mashable
With just a week and a half to go before Christmas, shoppers are in full-on spending mode, but those looking to score the new Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 may be disappointed. As of this writing, Microsoft’s online store shows both models and all configurations of the new tablet as “sold out.”
A check for either version of the device on Walmart’s online store also showed the device as “out of stock.” A number of customers are also reporting that the device is sold out at Best Buy. However, a quick check of the Best Buy website shows the device as available.
See also: Surface Pro 2 Is a Workhorse PC Like No Other
In order to untangle the conflicting stories between online commenters and Best Buy’s website, I conducted my own unscientific test to see what would happen if I called local stores looking for either the Surface Pro 2 or Surface 2 in any configuration. In a random sampling covering three Best Buy stores in New York City, Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas each local salesperson told me that neither device, in any configuration, was in stock.
And, for the conspiracy theorists out there thinking that this might be some clever retail stunt to make the new Surface seem more popular than it really is, these didn’t appear to be prepared answers that I received as soon as I asked. Each Best Buy salesperson put me on hold (in one case, for 20 minutes) while they conducted a local fact finding mission, ultimately coming up with nothing available.
When I questioned the salesperson in New York City about the shortage, asking if the device was really that popular, she didn’t hesitate when she said the device is “extremely popular.”
Consumers around the country have begun to post their frustrations on Twitter, in some cases directly asking Microsoft when the tablets will be available again.
"There is also another interesting angle to these in that some of them have docking stations so they can be connected to a monitor, thus making them three-in-ones: a tablet, a laptop and a desktop. The Dell Venue Pro I am testing is an example. This brings a great deal of versatility to this platform. If I go off to a lunch, I just take the tablet. When at my desk, I just dock it to the monitor. In meetings, I take the tablet with the keyboard and use it as a laptop.
This type of versatility is quite compelling and as these products get more powerful, I believe they will literally become the future of laptop computing."
Here's another interesting paragraph from article:
"There is another interesting thing that Intel is doing within this platform: As you probably know, the ecosystem of Windows 8 apps is very small compared to iOS and Android. Unfortunately, developers are just not flocking to Windows to create apps at the same pace as they are for iOS and Android. This is a huge problem for Windows buyers since the lack of apps is a real consideration when thinking about buying a Windows 8.1 system. Some PC vendors are doing something called PC Plus, which will launch at CES. This means that a PC Plus machine will run Windows 8.1 but will also run Android apps as well. They are doing this through software emulation. I’m not sure what kind of performance you can expect, but this is their way to try and bring more touch-based apps to the Windows ecosystem."