Intel and Chinese e-commerce giant jd.com have signed a deal with each other to create a new type of laboratory.
According to the Xinhua news agency, both companies will work on creating 3D product displays and “visual fitting rooms”, smart hardware, and servers for enterprises for promoting online shopping.
Xinhua said jd.com is one of the world’s top 10 internet companies and Intel will help it improve its existing e-commerce services as well as working on new applications related to ID authentication, security, and database monitoring.
Jd.com has something like 25 million registered users.
No financial details of the deal between the two corporations was released.
Intel has been trying to reposition itself in the last 18 months as more of a general purpose corporation, rather than just a manufacturer of X86 chips. It also wants a chunk of the lucrative pie known as the internet of things, and is still desperate to make its mark in the mobile and tablet markets.
This deal, then, is something of an oddity.
Server company Rackspace has joined an IBM inspired server group, snubbing its primary chip supplier, Intel.
The Openpower foundation was formed a year ago and has something like 80 worldwide members, working on producing server technology built using IBM rather than Intel microprocessor architecture.
The group already has members including Nvidia, Tyan and Google.
Rackspace has been working behind the scenes with the group for over 18 months, but openly declared its hand yesterday. Senior director Aaron Sullivan said that Openpower has an open firmware stack, and better access to chips, memory and storage than, for example, Intel.
Other additions to the powerful consortium include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Mumbai Indian Institute of Technology, and worldwide distributor Avnet.
Openpower said its first summit will be held mid March at the San Jose Convention Center in California.
Bitter semiconductor rivals Intel and AMD are set to up the stakes in 2015 with a fresh assault on the tablet market.
Both companies are often seen as the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the chip market, continually foraying into battles where no one actually gets hurt.
But Digitimes, which is privy to both companies’ future roadmaps, said that they’ll foray out once more in an attempt to capture some slice of the tablet pie – estimated to represent 200 million units in 2015.
Intel has been forced to provide subsidies to companies in an attempt to bolster its rather feeble market share in the tablet and mobile markets.
It will kick off the show by releasing a system-on-a-chip (SoC) device codenamed Cherry Trail, which will be built using a 14 nanometre process and may be with the world as early as March next year. The chip will have lower power consumption and support Windows and Android operating systems, said the wire.
But AMD is not going to stand still after receiving that SoC on the jaw. It will introduce an X86 device dubbed Nolan, and an ARM device called Amur in the second half of next year.
While most people haven’t even moved to 4G phone networks yet, manufacturers are already talking about standards for the next faster generation of 5G phones.
Major vendors are engaging with the formal standards process, according to ABI Research. Those include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, mobile operators and academic bodies.
Research director Philip Solis sad: “These companies are all waving their 5G flags, although 5G definitions and visions remain very vague. But this is not merely marketing. These companies are most certainly putting a stake in the ground that will leverage their, work, competitive strengths, and, most crucially, patents.”
He said that Qualcomm in particular is keeping its head low, but other vendors such as Apple and Google are getting actively involved.
Solis said that efforts by vendors to use their patents will be fiercer than for 4G.
But despite the competitive edge, Solis said that companies are working together “so the standardisation process can hit the ground running”.
Intel’s recently announced plans to invest shedloads into its Chengdu plant might be revealing much about its cunning plan for the future.
The move was a little unusual, as it did not come with the huge tax breaks and other sweeteners that Intel has required from Israeli governments and the US. This indicates that Intel needed a plant in China.
The move followed another similar-sized investment aimed at consolidating China’s wireless chip sector. The smart money suggests the two moves are linked Intel wants China to become a major centre for the company’s belated push into wireless chips.
Intel could be positioning both of these plants to manufacture smartphone chips. Intel failed to recognise the importance of mobile devices earlier, with the result that most of the market is now dominated by companies like sector leader Qualcomm, and mid-sized players like MediaTek, which mostly use chips based on an architecture supplied by European chip giant ARM.
Beijing wants to create a homegrown player to take down Qualcomm but its domestic chip sector consists of mostly small design houses that lack the resources to become major global players.
Unigroup, which is based out at the Tsinghua University, merged two of the biggest domestic players, Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics, into a single company. Intel joined that initiative in September, when it purchased 20 per cent of the new company for $1.5 billion. This makes it bigger than China’s largest chipmaker SMIC.
What Intel appears to be doing is getting itself onside with the Chinese and helping their domestic chip making plans with the idea of getting a foot in the door behind the bamboo curtain. Antitrust watchdogs are less likely to snap at its heels, or treat it as a problem, like they do Qualcomm and in the long term, it will have its fingers in the pies of a growing Chinese chip industry.
The Dark Satanic Rumour Mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which claims that Intel has bumped off its Broadwell H range.
The rumour is based on pure speculation and common sense. Earlier this year Intel told the world that it would be launching its low-power Broadwell processors in “early spring” and Kirk Skaugen, who heads up Intel’s PC Client Group, showed a roadmap to prove it.
Spring was expected to see millions of units in preparation for a very early spring fifth-generation Core launch of our traditional Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, i5, i7 which will be on Broadwell-U and Skylake in the second half of 2015.
But the higher-powered quad-core variants of Broadwell such as the Broadwell-H and Broadwell-M were not mentioned but were expected in “work week 29” and “work week 36” in 2015. That would mean late July to early September.
But if Skylake also appears in the second half of 2015, it seems that Broadwell chips is surplus to requirements. Intel could go traight to Skylake for the higher-performance notebook models — after all . Skylake has a better CPU core, graphics and media subsystem than Broadwell.
Axing of Broadwell could also be a return to the “tick-tock” method for Intel. Skylake fully ramped in the second half of 2015 means that Intel could conceivably mean that the 10-nanometer Cannonlake product will be ready for deployment for back-to-school in 2016.
Intel has said that it will write a $1.6 billion cheque to upgrade its factory in the city of Chengdu in western China.
The surprise move shows how Chipzilla is deepening ties in a market that is proving increasingly troublesome for rivals like Qualcomm. It also is unlikely that Intel got the sort of sweeteners for the deal which it expects from the US and Israeli governments to set up shop.
Intel said it will receive local and regional government support for construction, but it would be less likely to be the sort long term tax perks that Intel is used to.
Intel executive vice president William Holt said in the statement. “The fully upgraded Chengdu plant will help the Chinese semiconductor industry and boost regional economic growth.”
The announcement comes three months after Intel purchased a minority stake in a government-controlled semiconductor company to jointly design and distribute mobile chips, an industry that China considers to be of strategic importance.
Intel is doing better in China than Qualcomm which is expected to announce that it is writing a huge cheque to make Chinese antitrust regulators go away.
China’s investigation into Qualcomm and Microsoft have prompted an outcry from foreign business lobbies. They say the Chinese government is increasingly adopting strong-arm tactics to yield technology-sharing or other arrangements beneficial to domestic industry.
Analysts say there is a broad recognition that foreign companies must do more to stay in China’s good graces.
Chipzilla has taken the approach that if you want the Chinese government to like you, you have to invest in the local industry.
Dell and Intel have interviewed over 5,000 people with jobs to find out what they think about technology.
It is stating the obvious to say both Intel and Dell want small, medium and large organisations in the 12 countries they surveyed to buy more tech, rather than less.
What’s completely clear is that the days of X86 dominance are well and truly over. Tablet use is growing, and 81 percent of employees want their devices to perform well. Low powered Celeron, i3 and i5 chips don’t really cut the mustard here.
Although 97 percent of people spend some time in their employer’s office, 35 percent work in public places for at least two hours a week.
Offices are a problem and 48 percent of the employees are continually distracted with one in five people wearing headphones to cut out the white noise.
A staggering 51 percent of people in their offices don’t talk to their physical neighbours but send them instant messages or emails instead.
A lot of people who work from home benefit from the lack of distraction, with 30 percent sleeping more, and 46 percent being less stressed. But even this is no paradise as their time is taken up by nuisances such as spouses, children, parents and pets.
Here’s good news for Intel and Dell. Some feel poor technology holds them back and stops them pursuing their careers.
An astonishing 92 percent believe voice recognition will be used instead of keyboards, 87 percent think tablets will supplant laptops, 87 percent think all computers will use hand gestures and 88 percent think keyboards and mice will be obsolete pretty soon.
Intel has been doing its best to explain why its Braswell chip has been delayed.
For those who came in late, Braswell was supposed to be a 1Q 2015 launch, but it kept being delayed. The latest news is that it will not be seen in the shops until June and August 2015.
Kirk Skaugen, who heads up the company’s PC Client Group said the main reason was cost.
Intel has been having problems getting its 14 nanometer manufacturing technology to yield at economically acceptable levels. Although the company describes the current yield rate of its 14 nanometer technology as being in a “healthy range,” Intel indicated that the yields still are not where the prior generation technology was at this stage of its ramp.
Broadwell costs will actually remain higher than those for the 22 nanometer Haswell family of products until the third quarter of 2015.
This is all very tricky considering that Braswell is intended to be a very low-cost part for entry-level desktops and notebooks. While Intel can take a couple of quarters of elevated costs to get Broadwell right for the higher-value segments of the PC business, it has the luxury of waiting until Braswell’s manufacturing costs are lower than last year’s 22 nanometer Bay Trail’s costs for more cost-sensitive PCs.
Intel has been all about platform cost reduction with Bay Trail-M/D and has been working to reduce the platform bill of materials costs for its Bay Trail-M/D products. Since the low-end PC market is focused more on cost than on performance, these Bay Trail products may continue to hold their own against AMD’s newly announced Carrizo-L until Braswell arrives.
Ahead of the breakup of the company, HP is doing its best to make sure that its big corporate customers do not flee.
The maker of expensive printer ink has announced a cunning plan to help retain important customers by allowing them to leave behind their Integrity.
HP will offer versions of two computer server lines under H-P’s Integrity moniker—Superdome and NonStop—that will be powered by Intel’s Xeon chips. HP’s Integrity machines now use Intel’s Itanium chips.
HP’s new Superdome model has sockets to plug in 16 Xeon chips and offers nine times the performance of a conventional H-P system with eight Xeon chips, the company said. H-P has developed accessory chips and software to speed up communications between chips and improve reliability.
Revenue from these “business-critical” servers, declined 29 percent in the quarter ended in October over a year earlier. However, Superdome and NonStop servers are still used by banks, telecommunications carriers and other companies particularly concerned with reliability.
Integrity only made $929 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended October 31, which was nothing compared to the $12.5 billion generated from more popular x86 servers.
HP needs to keep these customers sweet because they buy software, services and other hardware from H-P that hinges on the applications running on the Superdome and NonStop machines.
Under the plan HP will keep developing Itanium-based systems but will help its clients move Intel’s mainstream Xeon technology.
Intel, which introduced its last Itanium model in late 2012, has disclosed plans for a successor, which is code-named Kittson. The chipmaker hasn’t said when that product will arrive nor described models it may develop after that.
For Superdome, HP is encouraging customers to move to the Linux operating system or other software. HP is porting NonStop software to run on Xeon chips. The company is offering services to help customers migrate to the new technology in both cases.
It looks as though Google Glass will have a fresh leash of life after it has emerged Intel is to get involved in the project.
Reports recently suggested that Glass was on its last gasp, with several employees leaving Google to spend more time with their families.
But, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Intel is going to take an active role in future development of the spectacles.
Firstly, a Texas Instrument chip will disappear from the frame to be replaced with an Intel device based on its Quark X86 technology.
And Intel, which is now a firm believer in the concept of electronic “wearables”, will do some selling and promotion of Google Glass to manufacturers, the healthcare industry and other vertical sectors, said the Journal.
The report said the next version of Glass will have a better battery life and probably more memory.
Intel has had a chequered career in any products outside its core X86 PC business, and was very late to the game in the mobile and tablet markets.
Chip giant Intel has bought a Canadian company that attempts to take the pain out of passwords.
Intel Security – which includes the McAfee unit – didn’t say how much it paid for PasswordBox, which only started business in June 2013.
It’s unclear how many of the company’s 44 employees will be employed by Intel.
Intel will give new and existing customers a premium subscription at no cost until it gets round to releasing products under its own branding.
PasswordBox has around 14 million users worldwide. The software lets you coordinate different logins and passwords in a sort of digital wallet so you don’t have to remember – or write down – all those different passwords that are easy to forget.
Shipments of notebooks are only set to grow 0.6 percent in 2015, amounting to 174.6 million units, while sales of tablets will fall by 3.5 percent to 185.6 million units.
That’s according to Taiwanese market intelligence firm Trendforce, which said that this year notebook vendors struggled to gain market share this year by essentially engaging in a price war.
But Caroline Chen, a notebook analyst at the company, said that next year we’ll see an array of different products with tablets and low priced notebooks facing stiff competition from smartphones and so called phablets.
She thinks notebook vendors need to rethink their strategies.
Tablets didn’t do well this year and overall 366 million mobile PCs – a category that she defines as including notebook computers and tablets – shipped. That’s largely similar to sales last year.
Subsidies from major players like Microsoft, Google and Intel have skewed the market. Chromebooks, she thinks, will account for eight million units in 2015.
She said that because subsidies from Intel and Microsoft lower manufacturers’ costs, the subsidies benefit end users. “It would be better if Microsoft and Intel can find more substantial ways to develop the market,” she said.
A wave of consolidation in the internet of things (IoT) market is assured in the next few years.
That’s according to financial company Hampleton Partners, which said in a report that vendors have spent over $9 billion in the marketplace in the last few years in a bid to put their stake in the ground.
And early players in that market include Google, Samsung, Verizon and others. Apple wants to make a play in the market too.
In the next year, Hammpleton thinks that other companies will make acquistions in the next year or so to get into a market estimated to be worth many billions by the end of the decade.
Those include Intel, TI, Texas Instruments and AT&T.
One of the problems is that when there are countless devices equipped with semiconductors and the ability to be connected to the internet, is that there are few standards and so far few attempts to create such standards.
Estimates vary about the number of devices connected by the end of the decade but it’s certain the number will be in tens of billions. Each device, however, will cost very little – money to be made will be in the way such things are interconnected and structured.
Beancounters at mighty chip behemoth Intel can stop playing with their worry beads as it looks as though servers based on ARM technology are failing to dent X86 server business.
A report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes said that ARM has made serious attempts to invade the server business but hasn’t succeeding in storming the Intel fortress.
And with Intel having an 80 percent share in the PC market, shareholders in the chip giant believe that despite its appalling performance in the mobile space, it will continue to make high margins from its server chip offerings.
AMD is waiting in the wings but doesn’t have a great deal of traction in the server business, the report claims.
Both ARM and Intel hope to make vast profits by being in the vanguard in offering products that will leverage the expected boom in the “internet of things”.
Intel and ARM are relying on cloud based apps to make everything work together. These things are only a tiny fraction of the internet of things, however, and it’s hard to see either company having much of a share in the expected bonanza.