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Samsung Going HBM 2 In 2016

August 28, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) will define the future of graphics and it looks like Samsung will be ready to release products using the technology soon.

Our friends at Computerbase have broken the story about Samsung making High Bandwidth Memory HBM 2 memory. HBM 2.0 will find its way to HPC and Graphics cards in 2016 and Samsung expects that by 2017 this super-fast type of memory will reach the network market.  The plan is to see HBM 2.0 mainstream by 2018.

Our well placed, camera shy sources within the computer graphics industry have confirmed that SK Hynix and Samsung will be providing the memory for graphics cards in 2016. Hynix has started shipping the first generation HBM to AMD for its Fury X products and has a head start over Samsung.

Usually Samsung doesn’t fall that far behind and is quick to learn. We hear that both companies are competing for graphics cards designs in the 2016.

AMD has the Greenland high end GPU lined up while Nvidia has pinned its hopes in its first ever High Bandwidth Memory 2.0 product codenamed Pascal.

The second generation HBM offers 8Gb per DRAM die, 2Gbps speed per pin, 256 GB/s bandwidth and Four Hi Stack of 4GB or 8 Hi Stacks of 8GB per chip.

HBM2 means that there can be cards with four HBM 2.0 chips, 4GB per chip, or four HBM 2.0 chips with 8GB per chip. This results in 16GB and 32GB cards. This sounds like an appropriate amount of memory for high end GPU in 2016.

It was naive to believe reports that AMD will have SK Hynix love since it had a head start with the Fiji codenamed Fury X branded cards. Nvidia has close to 80 percent of the market, memory manufacturers including SK Hynix or Samsung cannot ignore that. They are in the business of making money.



Memory Chips Appear To Be Dropping In Sales

August 21, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The production value of memory chips in Korea fell by a percent on the previous quarter, affected mainly by a low bit growth of DRAM and NAND flash chips from SK Hynix.

Beancounters at Digitimes Research said that sales totaled US$12 billion in the second quarter of 2015, increasing 1 per cent from the previous quarter,

Server-use DRAM products became the primary product line for SK Hynix for the first time in the second quarter as sales of its PC-use DRAM chips suffered a significant decline compared to a quarter earlier.

Price reductions of PC DRAM chips were greater than market expectations in the second quarter due to an oversupply in the market, affecting sales performance of SK Hynix.

Samsung was less affected by declining PC DRAM prices because mobile DRAM products accounted for 35 per cent of its total DRAM income.

Samsung memory and semiconductor revenues hit a record high in the second quarter.

For the third quarter, the bit growth rates of NAND flash shipments at Samsung will rise 10 per cent and SK Hynix will increase 13 per cent on quarter.

SK Hynix will manage a five to eight per cent growth while Samsung is expected to see shipments of its DRAM chips grow 12-14 per cent.

Digitimes Researcher flipped their iChing coins and came to the conclusion that Korea’s memory products are expected to increase 3 per cent on quarter and 12 per cent on year in the third quarter of 2015.


Is Intel’s Skylake Processor Creating Issues?

August 20, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

There is no doubt that Skylake is rather impressive architecture with a huge focus on mobile. At the same time, the Skylake Core i7 6700K desktop part seems to be the most disconnected product launch Intel did in the last few years.

The desktop part has been launched, but only one of the two CPU’s launched can be purchased. There is a serious shortage of desktop processors, and when we asked around everyone we know thinks that the product launch came a big prematurely. The Skylake desktop CPU comes just months after Broadwell, which totally confused the channel.

Broadwell, now “previous generation” processor, has faster graphics performance then the top end desktop Skylake at the moment. Broadwell Core i7 5775C was launched on June 2nd for $366 on LGA 1150 socket and with a 65 W TDP. We are still scratching our heads to see Broadwell launching on June 2nd only to be replaced by Skylake in early August.

Skylake was launched with 91W TDP, with the highest CPU clock of 4GHz but slower GPU performance compared to Iris graphics of Broadwell. This is not all, as Skylake requires more expensive DDR4 memory, a new Z170 motherboard and yet again new 1151 socket. Two sockets in two months, this is a new high for Intel. The GPU is called Intel HD Graphics 530 this time around. Intel gets away from four digit to three digit graphics differentiator, and this is not confusing at all. I wonder what might be faster, Iris Pro 6200, Haswell’s HD 4600 or Intel HD Graphics 530.

All of the above creates quite a mess in the channel, as end users don’t know what is compatible with or comparable to what. Well, your new motherboard that you got a few months ago won’t work with your brand new Skylake processor, that’s for sure.

It just looks that Intel gets away pretty easy with all the mess that it creates occasionally. The press is usually faster to point out what AMD did wrong then to point out obvious issues with Intel desktop strategy. It might be that many looked trough Intel’s fingers as people see Intel fighting with Qualcomm / Apple for its place under the hood. Most of the press have been busy enough with Qualcomm for Snapdragon 810 and AMD for its market value.

Intel Skylake looks like it is going to turn into quite a good processor, but it is questionable whether it will bring enough of a performance upgrade versus Haswell and Haswell refresh to make the purchase viable.

It is interesting that none of the deep dive articles about Skylake have found their place on the internet. We expect this to happen after IDF 2015 as it started on Tuesday August 18th.


Ready For Mind Controlled Movies?

August 20, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Watching a movie, until now, has largely been a passive experience. But what if the person watching could influence what happens on-screen via their brainwaves? An experimental short-film called ‘Scanners’ aims to create a platform that bridges the gap between digital arts and neuroscience.

Using a wireless brain scanner that reads both muscular and brainwave data, the system allows the user to manipulate the film’s structure. Creator Richard Ramchurn said the audience can subconsciously project their feelings onto the film and have these feelings visualized by the shape the film takes.

“Scanners is a film platform that uses live data from people’s brains to cut and mix a film where you have an effect loop – a two-way effect loop – whereby, watching the film you change it and it changes you,” Ramchurn told Reuters.

Based in Manchester, Ramchurn was inspired to developed the experimental system after reading ‘In the Blink of an Eye’, by acclaimed film editor Walter Murch. In the book, Murch theorizes that the rates and rhythms of blinking relate to the rhythm and sequence of thoughts and emotions.

Using a commercially available electroencephalography (EEG) headset from company NeuroSky, Ramchurn’s first prototype set out to prove the platform’s potential. The next step was to create video specifically for the project, including shooting the 15-minute film with enough footage for all the varying narrative strands that each viewer could bring to it.

“The initial prototype used off-the-shelf footage and basically just proved to us that there was something there with brain signals feeding back a film experience. Our next stage was to try and really make a film specifically for the platform. And that involved making something that was much bigger than the duration called for. I mean; we made a 15 minute film but it was more like making a feature,” said Ramchurn.

“The opportunities that allowed us was rather than making a linear film, we made a film that was much more quantum. We had multiple stories or happenings at the same time. And we were able to show what’s happening inside somebody’s mind, what’s happening in, almost, their imagination at the same time as the reality,” he added.

The EEG headset reads the different brainwaves; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Theta. Ramchurn said he is specifically using the Alpha brain waves, which are important for creativity.

The headset has two sensors; one that sits on the forehead and one that clips to the ear lobe. The forehead sensor picks up both muscular and brainwave data, while the sensor on the ear lobe just picks up muscular data. With this information, the processor inside the headset can separate the muscular data to isolate and identify the various brainwaves.

Ramchurn said that the rhythms of the editing and the way the film jumps from scene to scene depended on the mindset of the person watching it; and this is largely out of the person’s control.



Are Smartwatches A Security Risk?

August 17, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

That smartphone you might be using may not be as secure as you thought, according to security research.

The doomsday prophet here is Trend Micro, which said that big name providers are not taking your arm armory seriously. We’ve heard HP wax lyrical on this as well.

Trend Micro apparently took its study seriously, and measured the preventative efforts on hardware including the Apple Watch, Motorola 360, LG G Watch, Sony Smartwatch, Samsung Gear Live, Asus Zen Watch and the Pebble.

Devices were all upgraded to the latest OS versions for the study, and each was paired with its related device: an iPhone 5, Motorola X or Nexus 5.

Physical protection has something like a wet paper bag ranking, and Trend Micro said that the obvious weaknesses will become apparent should a wearable be pinched. Apple seems to do the best work here, and is credited with using a timeout function to prevent easy bad man activation.

However, the Apple device contains the biggest chunks of user data, the firm said, which could cause problems if someone managed to break their way into the Watch and a partnered iPhone.

“Across all of the smartwatches that were tested, it is clear that manufacturers have opted for convenience at the expense of security,” Bharat Mistry, cyber security consultant at Trend Micro, commented.

“On the surface, a lack of authentication features can make devices appear easier to operate, but the risk of having personal and corporate data compromised is much too big an issue to forget about.”

The security company has some top-line, high-concept advice for hardware firms, including the suggestion that “simple security features” should be adopted.

“Manufacturers must ensure that simple security features, such as limited password attempts, are enabled on devices by default,” said Mistry.

“This considerably reduces the likelihood of data breaches. Smartwatch manufacturers must be cognizant of the fact they can slash data breaches by employing this best practice.”

It is estimated that wearables, and the security losses associated with them, will contribute to a criminal cost to the industry of a whopping $2tn by 2019.


Samsung Rolls Out 256Gb V-NAND

August 13, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Samsung has started mass producing what it claims is “the industry’s first” 256Gb 3D Vertical NAND, or V-NAND, in a race with the likes of Intel, Micron, Toshiba and SanDisk to become the industry’s flash memory champion.

Based on 48 layers of three-bit multi-level cell (MLC) arrays for use in solid state drives (SSDs), Samsung’s 256Gb 3D V-NAND flash doubles the density of conventional 128Gb NAND flash chips.

The new V-NAND chip consists of cells that use the same 3D Charge Trap Flash structure in which the cell arrays are stacked vertically to form a 48-story mass that is connected electrically through some 1.8 billion channel holes, punching through the arrays thanks to a special etching technology.

Samsung said that each chip contains over 85.3 billion cells, which can store three bits of data each, resulting in 256 billion bits of data in total, “in other words, 256Gb on a chip no larger than the tip of a finger”.

A 48-layer three-bit MLC 256Gb V-NAND flash chip delivers more than a 30 percent reduction in power compared with a 32-layer, three-bit MLC, 128Gb V-NAND chip when storing the same amount of data.

The new chip also achieves approximately 40 percent more productivity over its 32-layer predecessor during production, bringing greatly enhanced cost competitiveness to the SSD market while mainly using existing equipment.

In addition to enabling 256Gb, or 32GB, of memory storage on a single die, the firm’s new chip is said to double the capacity of Samsung’s existing SSD line-ups, providing a better resolution for multi-terabyte SSDs.

“With the introduction of our third-generation V-NAND flash memory to the global market, we can now provide the best advanced memory solutions, with even higher efficiency based on improved performance, power use and manufacturing productivity, thereby accelerating growth of the high-performance and the high-density SSD markets,” said Young-Hyun Jun, president of Samsung’s memory business.

“By making full use of Samsung V-NAND’s excellent features, we will expand our premium-level business in the enterprise and data centre market segments, as well as in the consumer market, while continuing to strengthen our strategic SSD focus.”

Samsung introduced the second-generation V-NAND chips a year ago, which consisted of a 32-layer three-bit MLC, and has patted itself on the back for ushering in the next generation “in just one year”.

The Korean chip maker plans to produce third-generation V-NAND throughout the remainder of 2015 in a bid to accelerate the adoption of terabyte-level SSDs. Samsung also plans to increase its high-density SSD sales for the enterprise and data centre storage markets with PCIe NVMe and SAS interfaces.

The announcement comes just days after Toshiba and SanDisk started production of the first 48-layer Bit Cost Scalable (BiCS) flash memory chip.

The joint venture, announced in March, will begin pilot production of BiCS, a two bit per cell, 128Gb (16GB) device with a 3D-stacked cell structure flash, in the second half of this year as planned.

BiCS is said to improve density and significantly reduce the overall size of the chip, and uses a ‘charge trap’ that stops electrons leaking between layers, improving the reliability of the product.

Toshiba is already using 15nm dies so, despite the layering, the finished product will be competitively thin and is expected to find its way into the usual suspects, including consumer and enterprise SSD drives, smartphones, tablets and memory cards.

Intel and Micron also announced big plans in memory for the year ahead. The firms have promised to deliver 3D NAND flash memory that has three times the capacity of that currently on the market, which is sampling now and is said to allow for up to 10TB SSDs in a standard 2.5in format.


Intel Plans To Bring Xeon Processors To Laptops

August 11, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel is bringing its Xeon server processor technology to notebook computers.

The Xeon notebook chip is designed for “professionals who needs workstation-class capabilities in a portable device”, Intel said, and will launch in the form of the E3-1500M v5 processor family based on the recently-launched Skylake architecture.

The chipmaker’s decision to bring server chips to notebooks is down to the increasing number of creative professionals and engineers needing a more portable machine for power-hungry applications.

“This family of processors … will deliver high precision computing horsepower in notebook form factors, delivering the right balance of power and mobility,” said the firm.

“[The] Xeon-based mobile workstations will have key features such as error-correcting code memory that automatically detects and repairs errors on-the-fly that cause data corruption and system crashes for peace-of-mind reliability.”

The new systems, dubbed “mobile workstations”, will also have the benefits of the unique hardware-assisted security, manageability and productivity capabilities of Intel vPro Technology, Intel said. They will feature Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C connectivity for faster and simpler I/O.

Intel said that it is “not quite ready to unveil all the details” regarding the new processor, but promised that the announcement is something that a large number of content creators, designers and engineers “can get excited about”.

Intel announced the first wave of processors based on the 14nm Skylake architecture last week, naming them the ’6th-generation Core’ family.

The chipset is the first mainstream Intel desktop platform to support DDR4 memory, and is claimed to deliver 30 percent better performance than a three-year-old PC based on Ivy Bridge architecture, 20 percent better performance than a two-year-old PC (Haswell), and 10 percent better performance than a one-year-old PC (Broadwell).

Skylake is the successor to the chipmaker’s Broadwell architecture, and was first put on the radar at Intel’s Developer Forum last year when the firm previewed the chip, touted to deliver significant increases in performance, battery life and power efficiency.

Processors based on the Skylake architecture have a new chip design, despite being fabbed on the same 14nm process as Broadwell, making Skylake a ‘tock’ iteration in Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ chip architecture cadence.


Intel Shows Off 6th Generation Processor Based On 14nm Skylake

August 6, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel has announced the first wave of processors based on the 14nm Skylake architecture, naming them the ’6th-generation Core’ family.

Intel’s latest chipset is the first mainstream Intel desktop platform to support DDR4 memory, and is claimed to deliver 30 percent better performance than a three-year-old PC based on Ivy Bridge architecture, 20 percent better performance than a two-year-old PC (Haswell), and 10 percent better performance than a one-year-old PC (Broadwell).

Skylake is the successor to the chipmaker’s Broadwell architecture, and was first put on the radar at Intel’s Developer Forum last year when the firm previewed the chip, touted to deliver significant increases in performance, battery life and power efficiency.

Processors based on the Skylake architecture have a new chip design, despite being fabbed on the same 14nm process as Broadwell, making Skylake a ‘tock’ iteration in Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ chip architecture cadence.

Arriving on the market today, the new quad-core chip designs are the Skylake-K variants of Intel’s latest generation of processors, comprising the Core i7-6700K and the Core i5-6600K.

These SKUs are aimed at gamers and computing enthusiasts, and Intel said that the rest of the product family, which will make up the bulk of Skylake processors, will arrive later this year.

The Core i7-6700K has a base clock speed of 4GHz and a max Turbo speed of 4.2GHz, supporting eight threads. The Core i5-6600K has a base clock speed of 3.5GHz and a max Turbo speed of 3.9GHz, supporting four threads.

The chips also support DDR4 memory at up to 2133MHz, or DDR3 at 1600MHz in two memory channels, with two DIMMS per channel. These can be fitted with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory.

The driving force behind releasing these two chips first is the gaming market, Intel said, as customers will see a noticeable performance improvement.

The chips cost $350 (£224) for the Core i7-6700K and $243 (£156) for the Core i5-6600K.

Intel also introduced a new chipset, the Z170, and a new LGA 1151 motherboard socket. The firm said that this will offer up to 40 percent more I/O interfaces, including storage attached to the PCI Express bus that is now supported by Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced last month that the firm’s shift from one transistor size to another is stretching from two to 2.5 years, putting Moore’s Law into question.

Moore’s Law is the prediction made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that computing power would double every two years. The law turned 50 earlier this year, and Intel said that the best is yet to come, and that the law will become more relevant in the next two decades as everyday objects become smaller, smarter and connected.

Intel has adhered to this in the past, using a ‘tick-tock’ strategy when launching new processors. The ‘tick’ refers to a shrinking of the manufacturing process, while the ‘tock’ is an improvement of the design and architecture at the same size.

However, Krzanich casted doubt over this during Intel’s earnings call in June, saying that manufacturing processes haven’t advanced at the same rate as in the past.

“The [tick-tock] strategy created better products for our customers and a competitive advantage for Intel,” said Krazanich.

“It also disproved the death of Moore’s Law predictions many times over. The last two technology transitions have signalled that our cadence today is closer to 2.5 years than two.”

He added that to address this, Intel plans to introduce a third 14nm product, codenamed Kabylake, in the second half of 2016 built on the foundations of the Skylake micro-architecture but with performance enhancements.

The firm will then launch its first 10nm product, codenamed Cannonlake, in the second half of 2017.


Is Samsung Starting To Focus On Tizen?

August 4, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Samsung might be gearing up to push its home grown operating system which sounds like a sneeze.

Tizen was launched in 2012 and appears to be slower than an asthmatic ant with a heavy load of shopping at starting off.

The Samsung Z1 Tizen-powered smartphone has also sold over 1 million units which is not bad but it seems that Samsung has bigger plans for Tizen.

The Linux-based operating system also powers smartwatches, cars, TVs, and refrigerators, among other devices and it might be part of Samsung’s push into these markets.

At its first Tizen Developer Summit in Bengaluru, India, the company shared the advancements it has made to the operating system and also the roadmap of things to come and appealed for developers to support it.

The company unveiled new Tizen SDKs for phones, smartwatches, and smart TVs. It has now brought in the capability to have floating buttons on its mobile operating system, and also added support for DALi (Dynamic Animation Library), a 3D engine that improves the animation capability of a phone.

Samsung is providing TV developers with the ability to use HTML5, JS, CSS technologies to make new apps.

The company wants to improve the built-in integration for apps to use system features. The new SDK also has an improved TV simulator, which developers can use to code apps and test them out for different screen sizes.

Samsung also revealed that all 17 smart TVs it launched this year are powered by Tizen.

It could be that Samsung really is planning to walk away from Android and put some weight behind Tizen.



Is Google Glass 2 Coming By December?

August 3, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

A recent rumor suggests that Google is planning to release its new version of Google Glass by the end of the year.

According to 9 to 5 Google It appears that Glass II has already been distributed to the company’s Glass at Work enterprise partners.

The new model can fold up like a traditional pair of glasses and is more rugged for outdoor use. It still sports a small screen to the upper right of the user’s vision, rather than displaying an image in the centre of one’s view like the ODG R7 or Microsoft HoloLens.

One source said the update would cost much less than the original Glass’ $1,500 price tag, to stay competitive with other smart glasses in the enterprise.

The focus for now is all about enterprise-specific augmented-reality applications, because those markets are ready and willing to buy and try smart glasses, rather than the consumer use cases that originally surrounded Glass’ launch.



Yahoo Unveils Livetext Mobile Messaging App

July 31, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Yahoo unveiled a mobile messaging app that combines texting with live one-on-one video.

The app, named Livetext, is video calling with a twist: there’s no audio. To communicate, users type texts and emojis that are overlaid onto the screen during the call.

The app’s format might sound restricting, but Yahoo says Livetext will help users to communicate more freely. The lack of audio, the company says, removes inhibitions that people might feel when they otherwise receive video calls in public.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between the simplicity and ease of texting, with the live feeling of calling,” said Adam Cahan, senior vice president of video, design and emerging products at Yahoo, during the app’s unveiling at an event in New York on Wednesday that was webcast.

Livetext was developed from scratch at Yahoo. Its development was aided by Yahoo’s acquisition last year of mobile messaging app MessageMe, the company said Wednesday. It’s yet another messaging app in a sea of competitors like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Still, Livetext is the latest attempt by Yahoo to provide a messaging app that resonates with users. It became available to download for free on Thursday for iOS and Android, in the U.S., U.K, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Users will be able to text in English, French, German and Chinese using the app.

The app streams video only when two people are connected through the app at the same time. Users can search for friends in the app through their Livetext user name, or through the contacts list on their phone.

There is no time limit on calls placed through the app, and no way to save or archive the sessions. The video quality will depend on the strength of the data connection, although connections at 3G and above should suffice, Yahoo said.

It’s available on Android and the desktop, but not on iOS.





Samsung Plans Price Cut For Galaxy S6 Phones

July 31, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Lukewarm demand for its flagship Galaxy S6 smartphone and higher marketing costs led Samsung Electronics to another quarter of declining sales and profits in the April to June period.

In the key smartphone market, an area led by Samsung until recently, the popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets and the rise of lower-cost phones from Chinese vendors squeezed Samsung at both the high and low end of the market.

The company said Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge sales were lower than expected.

It still managed to make money but not nearly as much as the same time last year. Operating profit for the quarter was 2.8 trillion won, down about 38 percent on the same period of 2014.

The results come against a backdrop of continuing record quarterly results at smartphone rival Apple. It sold 47.5 million phones in the quarter and recorded sales of $49.6 billion and a quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion — both squarely ahead of sales and profits at Samsung.

For the rest of this year, Samsung said it will attempt to boost smartphone sales by reducing the price of the Galaxy S6 and introducing new large-screen models. This time more than ever before, the company is under intense pressure to score a hit with a new phone to help turn around its declining business.



Twitter Woes Continue, User Growth Rate Slows

July 30, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc’s shares continued to drop after the microblogging company said its number of monthly average users grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2013.

“This is unacceptable and we’re not happy about it,” Jack Dorsey, who stepped in as interim chief executive on July 1, said on a call with analysts.

Twitter said it had 304 million core users in the second quarter, up from 302 million in the prior quarter.

Twitter’s struggles to increase its audience worries investors, who are focused on the company’s growth potential, and the latest figures did little to reassure them.

The data on users overshadowed the company’s second-quarter earnings and revenue, which exceeded expectations, and its bullish projections for future revenue.

Executives also made clear it would be a long process, and were candid about problems with the service.

“We do not expect to see sustained meaningful growth (in monthly active users) until we start to reach the mass market,” Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said on the call.

“We have not clearly communicated Twitter’s unique value. And as a result non-users continue to ask, ‘Why should I use Twitter?’ “Simply said, the product remains too difficult to use.”

Twitter recognizes “there is an issue that needs to be worked on,” Evercore ISI analyst Ken Sena said. “They were giving investors a sense of the challenge and I think the stock sell-off that you saw just reflected that.”




Is Intel Trying To Divide To Conquer?

July 30, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Intel is trying to boost promotion of its desktop CPU platforms by dividing the market into six pieces.

According to Digitimes which has its paws on the cunning plan said that Intel is talking about something called an Enthusiast Tower.

An Enthusiast Tower, is not a ride at Disneyland, it is the gaming, video/audio content and high performance sector. What Intel defines as “mainstream” has high performance-price ratios.  “All-in-one (AIO) PCs”, “Mini PCs (NUC)”, “Portable AIO PCs” and “Compute Sticks” make up the remaining pieces of Intel’s marketing pie.

The Enthusiast Tower part of Intel’s business is doing well.  It is seeing growing sales, while demand for NUC products and Compute Sticks is also gradually picking up.

Intel said that its MiniPCs will support both Windows and Chrome OS, and the other five only Windows 8.1/10.

In early August, Intel will announce several K-series processors including Core i7-6700K, and Z170 chipsets and will unveil Skylake-S and Skylake-U series processors and H170/B150 chipsets in early September.

Intel will start mass shipping Skylake processors in October and November. Its top-end six-core and eight-core Broadwell-E processors will be in the shops in the first quarter of 2016. They will use LGA 2011-3 and supporting the X99 chipsets and DDR4 memory.


Nokia Unveils Virtual Reality Camera

July 30, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Finland’s Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, has debuted a spherical camera designed for making 3D movies and games that can be watched and played with virtual reality headsets.

The device, showcased at an event in Los Angeles, takes video and audio in 360 degrees with eight sensors and microphones, and is the first from Nokia’s digital media solutions business — one of its new focuses for future growth.

Nokia is going through restructuring after selling its mobile phone business to Microsoft last year and following that up with a proposed 15.6 billion euro ($17.2 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which is set to boost its main network equipment business.

“We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other,” Nokia executive Ramzi Haidamus said in a statement.

In May, GoPro introduced a similar system using 16 cameras and Google’s software, while several other technology companies such as Facebook and Samsung have announced different plans to enter the virtual reality market.

Nokia is also planning to come back to the phone business by designing and licensing handsets once its deal with Microsoft allows it to do that late next year.