Podcast #156 - AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900, MSI R6970 Lightning, Intel i7-990x and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: R6970, podcast, nvidia, Intel, firepro, amd, 990x, 990fx

PC Perspective Podcast #156- 5/26/2011

This week we talk about the AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900, MSI R6970 Lightning, Intel i7-990x,Viewer questions and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:02:44

Program Schedule:

Skype fall down, go boom ... doubtful Microsoft has anything to do with it

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: fud, skype, microsoft

According to The Inquirer, at 12:15 GMT (+1 hr thanks to daylight savings), Skype suffered a major network failure that seems to not only have taken out the Skype VoIP client but also impacted the availablitity of their site.  As of right now there is no work around or solution, Skype is investigating the cause but for now other clients are your best bet for communicating over the web. 

Since this has occured 2 weeks after Microsoft purchased Skype, speculation is running rampant that this is some sort of planned interruption.  It seems a little far fetched to think that even a company with as much financial power as Microsoft would dump $8.5 billion just to shut down a competing service.  They are going to want some return on their investment and simply using Skype's patents, some of which are still under review now or its infrastructure to prop up Sharepoint is not going to return that money.  Ad generated revenue on the sidebar of the client and hooking this up to Microsoft's various social and gaming applications seems more likely, which implies that shutting down Skype is the last thing on their mind.

Hopefully it will be fixed in time for This Week in Computer Hardware.

broken-phone.jpg

"VOICE OVER IP (VoIP) and chat service Skype has crashed throughout the world and continues to crash on login, leading many to suspect that its recent acquisition by Microsoft is a definite disaster.

The service began to crash around 12:15pm UK time, kicking people offline and freezing when they tried to log back in again. Other users who remained online had difficulties making calls. Restarting your PC or reinstalling Skype has no effect, as the problem is clearly on Skype's end."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Apple Defender: for better and for worse

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 09:22 PM |
Tagged: Malware, apple

Apple users have been dealing with a bad bout of malware over the last few weeks ironically called Mac Defender. Its modus operandi involves scaring the Apple user with claims of malware in a phony file browser and giving them a magical option to remove all problems. That option is actually the malware, but since the users are convinced they are downloading anti-malware they will often allow it to happen and provide their admin password. At that point, they are prompted to provide their credit card number to actually remove the now-present infection. Apple was actively quiet about the whole experience but has now gone vocal about the experience. Also, a new revision of Mac Defender just got substantially harder to avoid.

 
23-keyboard3.jpg
The most insecure part of your computer.
 
Apple received criticism recently for demanding that their technical support staff would not be able to assist customers suffering from the Mac Defender bug. That stance was apparently leading up to a recent announcement from Apple for how to remove Mac Defender and its known variants as well as a promise to release a software update which will remove and prevent clean users from installing known variants of the malware. This was then offset by the news that a more recent version of Mac Defender, known as Mac Guard, can install without requiring the input of the admin password.
 

It should be noted that admin password or not; Apple or not; patch or not; this form of malware strikes the most vulnerable point of any system: the user’s complacency. It does not matter how good of an antivirus solution you have, or how protected your operating system and programs are (though in many cases both of those are lacking as well) you need to be cautious about what you do with any device that accepts information that is not yours. Food for thought: software that can jailbreak an iPhone steal admin privileges from Apple and give it to you. Even in a locked down system such as an iPhone where the user does not have admin rights, what would have happened had you not been the recipient of the admin privileges?

Source: Ars Technica

Google creates new image format; Mozilla WebPs all over it

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 04:55 PM |
Tagged: webp, mozilla, google

Google made news over the last year by butting heads with MPEG-LA with their royalty-free and open-sourced video codec: WebM. The hope was to provide an alternative to H.264 which was on a temporary royalty-free basis to end-users wishing to encode videos in the format (it has since been changed to a perpetual royalty-free license for end-users, 3 months after WebM’s release). WebM was mostly received with open arms from vendors, especially of free and open-sourced software such as Mozilla, and really shook up the industry. Google is now hoping to catch lightning twice by releasing a similar project for still images to replace the aging JPEG format. Mozilla’s response is suggesting that Google might just end up burnt by this experience.

22-mozilla.jpg

Firefox.jpg

WebP was requested to Mozilla Firefox’s bug tracker, Bugzilla, late last September as an enhancement request for Firefox. Since then, Mozilla closed the bug with a status of “RESOLVED WONTFIX” and a statement that they would not accept a patch for it but will re-evaluate their stance in the future if the format changes. 

So for the near future it is looking like Jpeg, GIF, and PNG will reign Kings of the web. Mozilla’s Jeff Muizelaar goes into quite a bit of detail about their complaints with WebP in their personal blog. If you are a web developer you do not need to rush out and re-encode your images yet; however, you also do not have the option to if you still wish support the majority of web browsers. Typically that is a desire that web designers have.

Source: Ars Technica

Pigs were spotted flying over the frozen banks of the river Lethe; Duke has gone Gold

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming, duke nukem

The Duke is back, or at least at a point where the release is unstoppable.  The master DVD , aka the gold copy, has gone to the manufacturers for mass copying and assembling of the final package.  The arrival is not a guarantee of a good game, but like Ars Technica, we can at least hope.

Ars_Nukem.jpg

"When we say a game has "gone gold," it means that the work on the game has finished, and a master copy has been sent out to the duplication plants to be pressed, packaged, and shipped out to consumers. This used to mean that the development team could take a break, but now going gold is likely to simply start a countdown to the inevitable day-one patch. Let's not be cynical, however, because today is a grand day: Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: Ars Technica

Not the kind of sharing we like to see, the Blackhole exploit kit is available for free

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 11:48 AM |
Tagged: fud, security

The Blackhole exploit kit, which until now required you to have a pocketful of money and enough hacker cred to get onto the sites where was available for sale, is now freely available to any and all.  The exploit kit is a tool that allows misanthropes to commit a type of drive by attack, where clicking on a 'tainted' iframe will allow remote code execution to install a payload on your system.  It was part of the famous US Postal Service attack that occurred recently as well as other incidents The Register mentions.  Even better, the source code for ZeuS was also jsut made available.  Patch early, patch often.

biohazard.png

"A free version of the Blackhole exploit kit has appeared online in a development that radically reduces the entry-level costs of getting into cybercrime.

The Blackhole exploit kit, which up until now would cost around $1,500 for an annual licence, creates a handy way to plant malicious scripts on compromised websites. Surfers visiting legitimate sites can be redirected using these scripts to scareware portals on sites designed to exploit browser vulnerabilities in order to distribute banking Trojans, such as those created from the ZeuS toolkit."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Intel ups their SSD warranty to 5 years

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2011 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: intel ssd, ssd 320, ssd

For those of you following reports of early SSD death from a variety of sources around the web, Intel offers a rebuttal by extending the warranty on their new SSDs to 5 years.  If you already picked up a previous generation of SSD from Intel you still have a 3 year warranty, The Register hypothesises that all future models will sport the extra 2 years.  This makes the smaller drives soon to be released to be used in conjunction with Intel's SRT on Z86 boards even more attractive. 

intel320specs.jpg

"If the Product is properly used and installed, it will be free from defects in material and workmanship, and will substantially conform to Intel's publicly available specifications for a period of five (5) years beginning on the date the Product was purchased in its original sealed packaging in the case of an Original Purchaser or the date of original purchase of a computer system containing the Product in the case of an Original System Customer."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Buy an AMD GPU (or two) and get a free copy of DiRT 3

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: xfx, sapphire, powercolor, msi, his, free, dirt 3, amd

If you haven't heard of DiRT 3 by now, you've been missing one of the more technically innovative games developed recently.  Racing fans will go overboard for the choice of cars, spanning 50 years of racing history, which you can compete with in races across all terrain types and the more artistic will like the freestyle gymkhana events. 

The techies will be impressed by the depth of support for DX11 features and we're not just talking about tessellation added on as an afterthought.  The game was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the best graphics cards and to move the way light and shadows interact beyond DX10 HDR and the features other new games have been using. 

Whichever you are, picking up a new Radeon card from Sapphire, Powercolor, MSI, HIS or XFX nets you a free copy of the game! How can you go wrong with that?

 

 

No doubt you’ve heard that the newest addition to Codemasters’ racing games, DiRT 3 has launched today. The reviews are also in, and they’re great, I mean, they’re really great.

Being a Gaming Evolved title, we worked with Codemasters very closely on this one - DiRT 3 makes advances in graphics technologies, taking full advantage of the DirectX™ 11 API, first supported by AMD Radeon graphics. Here’s a glimpse of what DiRT 3 is truly capable of doing – giving players the ultimate visual experience:

  • Shader Model 5.0 Contact Hardening Shadows
  • DirectCompute Accelerated High Definition Ambient Occlusion
  • Optimized Hardware Tessellation

In addition, DiRT 3 has been validated for various Eyefinity configurations, including the brand new 5x1 setup. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll see some examples of it here.

We believe DiRT 3 is such a great game, that we’ve been working with our AIB partners to make this game widely accessible to everyone who buys an AMD Radeon graphics card from our select AIBs, FOR FREE – please visit www.amd.com/dirt3 for more details.

 

Source: AMD

AMD FirePro V5900 & V7900: Professional Card, 3 Displays, Cheap...ish

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: firepro, amd

There exists a breed of video card users who want power, but not in games. They will pay thousands for the best hardware and not measure success in frames per second, but seconds per frame. There exists: professionals. AMD, NVIDIA, Matrox, and others cater to this market’s desire for top performance, features, and reliability in content production, scientific simulation, and engineering applications. AMD just recently updated their professional line with the V5900 and V7900 cards and are lauding some advantages to going red.

21-Professionals.jpg

Professionals have standards: Be efficient. That is all.

 

There are four main points that AMD boasts for their latest entries into the professional market.

  • Geometry Boost: doubles the amount of geometry that can be processed per clock by the card which should make using large models a smoother experience.
  • EQAA: a new method of antialiasing which allows graphics cards to raise the level of antialiasing, but only for part of the process, and provide quality close to the higher level with a performance hit only slightly larger than the lower level. NVIDIA had CSAA, which is almost identical, for a while though.
  • PowerTune: a method of raising and lowering the clock rate of various components of the card to compensate for the differing load across the card at different times.
  • Single-card triple-monitor: the ability to connect more than two monitors to a single single-slot card allows professionals to have three (or four for the V7900) displays saving money, heat, and space. This is possibly the most compelling feature of the entire line, especially for the professional market. 
21-amd.jpg
 No ATI to be seen here folks.
 
Obviously outside the professional market there is little use for graphics cards like these as gaming cards are cheaper and faster than their professional counterparts. For professionals, however, these cards look to be very compelling especially since performance is said to be within the same ballpark of and sometimes exceeding NVIDIA’s $4000 Quadro 6000. Troubles still exist for AMD as some professional applications such as After Effects and Premiere CS5 are partially coded in NVIDIA’s CUDA which will not be accelerated on AMD’s offering. Still, for programs not specifically written for NVIDIA, AMD’s latest offering looks to be very appetizing. Keep an eye out for our review coming very soon.
Source: Icronic

Leaking Llano and Bulldozer prices

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2011 - 05:01 PM |
Tagged: llano, leak, bulldozer, amd

We now know what to expect from AMD's Llano, as far as pricing and initial model numbers.  None of the Llano chips top $200 which is good as the Intel models that they will be competing against are also in that price range.  Bulldozer is a little more expensive, with the lower end quad-core running $220 up to $320 for the high end octo-core, again bang on with Intel's competing Sandy Bridge parts.  It is a question of the performance gap between Intel and AMD, which unfortunately remains unanswered for now.

llano.jpg

"AMD has started shipping its Llano APUs to notebook clients and will begin to market the APUs to channels in July 2011, according to sources from notebook makers.

AMD targets to ship one million notebook-use Llano APUs in June, 1.5 million in July, and a total of 8-9 million for the whole of 2011, revealed the sources, citing AMD's internal estimates.

If the shipment goals are realized, AMD will be able to boost its share in the notebook CPU segment to 15% by the end of the year, the sources commented."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AMD discusses "Heterogeneous Computing"

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | May 22, 2011 - 11:04 PM |
Tagged: fusion, amd, AFDS

In a little over three weeks’ time AMD will host their AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 (AFDS): a three-day conference with the hopes of promoting heterogeneous computing amongst developers. We have increasingly seen potential applications of using the parts of your computer outside the standard x86 core over the years though much of it was through NVIDIA’s brand. Building up to the summit, AMD’s DeveloperCentral talked with Lee Howes, parallel computing expert and Member of Technical Staff for Programming Models at AMD, about his upcoming session at AFDS.

20-AFDS.png

I can't get over how much AFDS looks like a diagnosis.

In the short five-question interview, Dr. Howes outlined that the goal of his session is to show developers what to expect, good and bad, from developing for a heterogeneous architecture such as that of an APU. The rest of the interview was spent discussing how heterogeneous computing is currently and will eventually look like. Topics spanned from the slow perceived uptake of parallel computing in the home to the technological limitations of traditional CPUs that APUs and other heterogeneous computing systems look to bypass.

While AFDS is (by its namesake) a developer’s conference it is very much relevant to peer at for the end-user. The support for developers of newer computing architectures will help fuel the cycle of adoption between software and hardware which ends up with a better experience for us. What tasks would you like to see accelerated by heterogeneous computing? Let us know in the comments below.

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II Graphics Card

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 22, 2011 - 09:16 PM |
Tagged: gtx 570, giveaway, contest, asus

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The tenth (!!) prize is a wicked ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II card that is a triple-slot design and that supports 3D Vision Surround out of the box!

gtx570cuii.png

What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking ASUS for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as what feature in a graphics card you would most like to see in the future.  Be creative! You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: ASUS

MeeGo to 1.2, YouGo to download?

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 20, 2011 - 02:04 AM |
Tagged: meego

For those who desire an alternative to Windows 7 in their netbooks or Android in their tablet: The Linux Foundation, Intel, Nokia, Novell, and AMD are continuously developing an alternative mobile operating system based on Linux. While there are currently large doubts about how many participants are still active members in this project there must be someone still coding away because version 1.2 was released to the public.

 
19-tux.png
I’m Tuxing over! : D
 
This version contains improvement to the following segments of MeeGo:
  • An updated Netbook “User Experience”
  • An updated in-vehicle “User Experience”
  • Developer preview for those wishing to install MeeGo on tablets
  • And of course an updated SDK
 
Intel and AMD continue to pledge support towards the development of MeeGo though Nokia’s recent partnership with Microsoft puts their support for MeeGo into question. Intel recently took the opportunity to blame Nokia for Intel’s lackluster mobile performance as a whole and is currently in the process of pitching handset designs they developed with Nokia to other manufacturers. Intel is also currently playing with Google’s Android to stake the ground for a foothold on ARM turf. For the nearer future, however, MeeGo claims that they will continue on their approximately 6-month release cycle and will ship MeeGo 1.3 in the October timeframe. 
Source: MeeGo

PC Perspective Podcast #155 - MSI GT680R Notebook, Corsair 650D chassis, VIA Nano Quad Core and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 19, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: pcper, podcast, msi, VIA, Nano, quad core, corsair, 650d, Intel

PC Perspective Podcast #155 - 5/19/2011

This week we talk about the MSI GT680R Notebook, Corsair 650D chassis, VIA Nano Quad Core and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 43:49

Program Schedule:

Source:

ARCTIC drops the Cooling from its name and gets into audio

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2011 - 11:54 AM |
Tagged: arctic, audio, headset, headphone

ARCTIC Cooling is no more, they've rebranded themselves and joined the rest of the industry in providing fragmented product lines.   They'll still make heatsinks for CPUs but are also going to be pushing a line of headsets for a wide variety of uses; they are currently peddling 20 different models.  [H]ard|OCP received three to review, ear can style headphones for listening to music, a Bluetooth set for those on the go and a 5.1 surround gaming headset with mic.  Only one received a recommendation from them, head on over to find out which.

H_ArcticSound.jpg

"ARCTIC is well known for its processor air coolers and its fans alike. In the last couple of years it has greatly diversified its product line to include products from remote control toy cars to computer audio headphones. Today we look at three of its headphone and headset products and let you know the value of those."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA drops $163 million in generated revenue

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2011 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, quarter, income

We have been discussing the changes to the graphics market on the front page and on the Podcast, and as expected NVIDIA's income has shrunk.  Last year NVIDIA was generating $800 million but saw revenue drop bu over $100 million, in perspective SemiAccurate pegs their professional graphics division at about $200 million.  If NVIDIA is going to be able to keep their R&D team working on chips several generations ahead of the current products on the market, which they need to in order to be competitive, they had better hope that their foray into the mobile chip market is lucrative enough to pay the bills.

scroogemcduck.jpg

"Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) published their results last Thursday topping analyst estimates and six days later the stock was down 10%. What happened?

The numbers were pretty good. Revenue was up and Tegra™ finally started to get traction, more than 3 times up but there are some red lights. First their revenues are down YoY. Second, their GPU business is down YoY and last, but not least, their professional business revenue is more or less flat for the last quarter."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: SemiAccurate

Intel Talks Finances And Growth At Investor Meeting 2011

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2011 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: revenue, Intel, cagr

Intel held its annual Investor Meeting today, where the chip maker talked software, the state of the business, as well as new hardware and leveraging microarcitecture leadership. This installment focuses on the business growth and financial aspects.

With 43,905 United States employees and a rank of 62 on the 2010 Fortune 500 list, Intel is a huge company.  And with an over $10 billion dollar Q1 2011, Intel is doing quite well.

During the investor meeting, Intel's CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Stacy Smith took the stage to talk about the company's financial performance and how the company is growing. One of the first points that he talked about was Intel's design and manufacturing advantages. Intel spends a great deal of it's capitol on R&D (research and development). and this investment in itself and the amount of research that is completed, allows the chip maker to maintain it's x86 market leadership. The company has also started acquiring other companies in an effort to differentiate itself from its competitors. For example, the recent McAfee acquisition has brought security and software engineers to Intel's portfolio, and will allow them to create security software solutions that can easily be paired with their hardware.

intelgrowing.png

Intel also stated that it is growing, and expects to sell even more hardware thanks to emerging markets and the rise in "cloud computing" requiring larger and more numerous data centers.  The chart above shows Intel's CAGR (compound annual growth rate), which is a number created by taking the nth root of the total percentage growth rate with "n" being the total number of years calculated.  It is a way for companies to describe the rate of investment growth if it grew at a steady rate (which is unlikely to happen in real life due to a dynamic and constantly changing market).  Including the company's projections for 2011, Intel is looking at a 12% CAGR for revenue and a 35% CAGR in EPS or earnings per share.

Paul S. Otellini, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Intel reaffirmed Intel's growth by stating that 74.5 quintillion transistors shipped in 2010.  This rapid rise in growth can be attributed to cloud computing demands for more data centers, emerging markets adopting more computers, and Intel's interest in the mobile market.

The historic part of the graph above shows the rise in traditional servers from 1995 to its highesd point in 2010 as the Internet becomes further adopted and more and more applications execute server side.  The right side of the graph; however, shows Intel's projections for the future from 2010 to 2015.  They expect to see a massive increase in processor growth for data center market thanks to an influx of new cloud computing applications and networked storage.  Intel also stated that the company's latest Xenon processors are no longer second to Itanium for mission critical applications, and thus Intel expects a rise in Core processors for mission critical servers.  In 2010 alone, the company had $8.4B in revenue and $4.4B of operating profit.  In 2013, Intel forecasts a 15% growth in revenue with operating margins at ~50% for the data center group.

From the PC Client Group, which encompasses both desktops and laptops, Intel had almost $7 million dollars for Q1 2011 revenue, which is at least $1 million more than Q1 2010.  Further, their reported Q1 revenue for 2011 is the highest that it has ever been between Q1 2008 and Q1 2010.  Their operating margins have also increased compared to 2008, with a 17% CAGR.  Intel also revisited the issue of high R&D budgets, and showed that the overall cost across platform segments have declined since 2008.  As research cost for new technologies increase, the cost to make wafers decreases.  Intel forecasts that for the Performance, Mainstream, and Atom platforms, the costs will continue to decrease into 2011 and 2012 while the Value platform will see a slight increase in 2011 and remain stable into 2012.

Emerging markets are also responsible for the company's growth.  Intel stated that "you will see a rapid increase in PC penetration rates in China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe."  Both Brazil and Eastern Europe are projected to reach 80% PC penetration in 2015, for example.  China is expected to attain a 40% penetration rate, while India will have 10%.  Intel stated that this is possible thanks to falling prices in computers along with rising incomes worldwide.  Once a country's incomes reach a level where 4 to 8 weeks is enough to purchase a PC, the penetration rate sees a rapid increase.  Currently, Intel has determined 4.2 WOI (weeks of income) are necessary to purchase a PC worldwide, which is much lower than the 9.9 weeks of income necessary the previous year.  In 2014, Intel projects that only 2.3 weeks of income will be necessary.  Inside the worldwide WOI spectrum, North America has the lowest WOI each year, followed by Japan and Western Europe.  India and China have historically had the highest WOI; however, Intel projects that by 2014, the countries will have greatly reduced their WOI at 10.3 and 2.6 respectively.

While data centers, emerging markets are responsible for the majority of Intel's projected growth, Intel also has both the embedded and software and services group.  On the embedded side, Intel is expecting a 11% CAGR between 2010 and 2013.  In 2010, the embedded group saw $1.5 billion dollars in revenue, and Intel projects almost $2 billion dollars in revenue in 2011.  Intel has stated that they are "making significant investments in SoC, tablet, and smart phone R&D" and that they "expect market segment share gains and growing businesses in tablets, smart phones (application and base band processors), and connected CE (consumer electronics) devices."

The Software and Services Group also accounts for a small portion of Intel's revenue.  The company's software acquisitions include McAfee, Wind River, and Havok among others.  The group is a rapidly growing part of Intel, with a projected $3 billion dollars of revenue in 2013 compared to $330 million dollars in revenue in 2010.  The group is an "upside opportunity as we embed additional security features into hardware and software," according to Intel.

Further, Intel showed a glimpse of it's NAND Solutions Group, and indicated that it forecasts a slightly increased operating profit for 2011 which coincides with Intel lowering the Cost/GB of NAND based devices (such as SSDs) compared to the industry leader.

As a company that diversifies it's products, leads the x86 markets, and invests heavily in itself with acquisitions and R&D, Intel is a profitable company that shows no signs of slowing it's growth.

Source: Intel

Rumor: More details on Amazon tablets, yes: plural

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 18, 2011 - 05:05 PM |
Tagged: tegra, nvidia, kal-el, amazon

At the beginning of the month we reported that Amazon seems to be moving into the tablet space with an order for hundreds of thousands of touchscreens per month. There is now more evidence that the Kindle manufacturer is looking specifically to do an Android tablet due to the processors rumored to be included. We think you will be smiling very soon.

18-Mmm-amazon.png

Roadrunner Stew: Water, Roadrunner, Diced Apple 

According to a source from Boy Genius Report: Amazon will be releasing two tablets potentially as earlier as second-half 2011. Their entry-level model, “Coyote”, will contain an NVIDIA dual-core Tegra 2 which for those following the tablet space knows that is not an entry-level part. Their higher-up model, "Hollywood", is said to contain NVIDIA’s upcoming Kal-El, the quad-core successor to the Tegra 2 with an integrated GPU reportedly 5-fold faster than those found on the Tegra 2.
 
It should be noted that an entry-level tablet for Amazon does not necessarily suggest what price Amazon would be aiming for. Amazon could still have their Kindle line as their true entry-level product which would allow them to skip straight to the higher performing Tegra 2 and Kal-El parts for their actual tablet line as they could point to the Kindle for those who want less than a Tegra 2. So if you happen to be looking for an Android tablet and can wait a few months you might wish to hold off and see what wily Amazon is cooking up.
Source: PCMag

Call it Xenonauts if you want, it's still X-COM done the right way

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2011 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: gaming, x-com, mod

It has been a first person shooter, a flight simulator and a turn based strategy game in a world where even a glass window is utterly impervious to nuclear weapons, but never has X-COM UFO Defense been properly remade or reimagined.  It looks like an indy company will beat everyone else to it with their soon to enter beta testing Xenonauts, which keeps the style of the original, admittedly aged game, and more importantly includes destrucatable terrain!  No word yet on if you can fund your extermination efforts by selling equipment you made from alien tech to world governments but there is a lot of info on the game over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.

RPS_xeno1big.jpg

"It’s been a bit all-quiet for the Cold War-set X-COM reimagining Xenonauts for the last few months, but creators Goldhawk have finally broken cover to show how the major element – the ground combat – looks in action. The answer, you may not be terribly surprised to hear is “quite a bit like X-COM”, but clearly that’s exactly what we want. Higher res and detail is a fine thing, but it’s especially pleasing to see that destructible scenery, something so bafflingly absent from many of the commercial X-COM remakes, is present and correct."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Fermi, Fermi, Fermi! Nobody pays attention to Tesla and the M2090 GPU Coprocessor

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2011 - 11:39 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, gpu coprocessor, tesla

It is always the flashy brother that everyone notices, even if you've never met them ... say the GTX590.  However the other brother shouldn't be ignored because it turns out Telsa is pretty cool among the server crowd.  Where once the humble math coprocessor went the M2090 GPU coprocessor races past, with a specially made, not bin sorted 40nm Fermi GPU running at 1.3GHz and GDDR5 at 1.85GHz which can pull some interesting ECC tricks and of course a ful 512 CUDA Cores.  If you think that is a lot of power, NVIDIA told The Register they are recommending one M2090 per CPU core, not per physical CPU.  

ElReg_nvidia_tesla_m2090_gpu.jpg

"GPU chipmaker Nvidia knows that it has to do more to grow its Tesla biz than slap some passive heat sinks on a fanless GPU card and talk up its CUDA parallel-programming tools. It has to keep delivering price/performance improvements, as well.

And that's exactly what it's doing with the new Tesla M2090 GPU coprocessor."

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Source: The Register