Samsung ruled the global solid state drive (SSD) market last year with a market share double that of its main rival Intel.
According to beancounters at market research outfit HIS on April 20, Samsung Electronics had US$3.996 billion in sales last year in the global SSD market with a market share of 34 percent, while Intel posted US$1.99 billion in the same period with a market share of 17 percent.
So Intel’s figure was just half of that of Samsung.
Intel is not doing that badly. In 2014, Intel’s sales increased by almost 50 percent to beat Sandisk by a small margin and maintain the number two position. But at the same time Samsung’s growth rate was even higher with 53 percent as it started mass-producing SSDs based on its vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology.
IHS also expected that Samsung’s market share will reach 35 percent this year, while Intel will maintain its current market share to around 17 percent. Also, the figures of Samsung and Intel in 2016 are expected to be 35 percent and 16 percent.
This year Samsung Electronics introduced a new cutting-edge product line-up including Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe)-based SSDs and the portable SSD T1.
It also started the mass production of TLC-applied 3-bit V-NAND which is expected to shake up the next-generation SSD market.
According to the IHS forecast by need of demand of NAND flash in the market in the next five years from 2014 to 2019, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of demand for PCs, including SSDs, will reach 51.9 percent, surpassing the figure of mobile devices with 49.7 percent during the same period.
IHS also expected that the USB and flash card market would show a minus growth with 0.2 percent, while the growth of chips for tablet PCs will stay at 39.4 percent.
It is expected that the global SSD market will grow at an annual average rate of 21 percent from 83 million units sold in 2014 to 220 million units projected to be sold in 2019.
Intel has been publishing more information about its Knight’s Landing Xeon Phi (co)processors.
Intel has given WCCF Tech an Intel produced PDF which was released to provide supplementary info for the 2015 Intel Developer Forum (IDF).
The document outlines some spectacularly beefy processors Intel is going to produce as part of its professional Xeon Phi range.
The document, which is short on car chases and scantily clad women tells the story of a 72 Silvermont core Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor.
The coprocessor supports 6 channels of DDR4 2400 up to 384GB and can have up to 16GB of HBM on board. It supports 36 PCIe Gen 3 lanes. Intel’s testing put the Knights Landing processors and coprocessors are up to three times faster in single threaded performance and up to three times more power efficient.
Knights Landing chips are supposed to be the future of Intel’s enterprise architecture for high performance parallel computing. Much of its success will depend properly written software.
Intel thinks that its Xeon Phi coprocessors can compete against the GPU-based parallel processing solutions from the likes of Nvidia and AMD.
Intel unveiled the Atom x3 chip ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress, and revealed a version of the processor designed specifically for IoT devices at its Developer Forum event in Shenzen, China this week alongside a smartphone version that will start shipping later this year.
The Atom x3 IoT processor comes with 3G and LTE connectivity, and an extended temperature range for extreme weather conditions making it suitable for devices such as outdoor weather sensors.
Intel’s Atom x3 IoT chip will be made available to developers in the second half of the year, suggesting that devices are not likely to arrive until 2016, and will arrive with support for Android and Linux.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said: “Intel remains focused on delivering leadership products and technologies in traditional areas of computing, while also investing in new areas and entrepreneurs – students, makers and developers – to find and fuel future generations of innovation with China.”
That isn’t all Intel has planned for IoT, as the firm recently announced plans to bring payment services to connected devices.
The firm has partnered with Ingenico to include mobile payment capabilities in a wide array of connected devices for the IoT, including intelligent vending machines, kiosks and digital signs.
Intel is clearly going big on the IoT, but a roundtable The INQUIRER held with the firm last year highlighted the complications that businesses could face when entering the market.
Martin King, head of IT services at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, said that, first of all, the perception that the IoT is all ‘hype’ needs to be overcome.
“I imagine that, while it could be hype, it’s up to the industry to make it happen,” he said.
“There’s a massive market opportunity there, and I believe the industry will be keen to make it happen and we probably won’t really notice it until it’s actually happening.”
Dr Will Venters, an assistant professor in information systems at the London School of Economics, argued that security concerns will be the IoT’s biggest problem.
“The security argument is always put forward, but there’s a value argument that goes alongside that: maybe you want data in your sensors, but you don’t want the risk of the data on the sensor.”
Apple Inc has reached out to more than a dozen musicians, including British band Florence and the Machine, hoping to sign exclusive deals for some of their music to be streamed on Beats, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The company is in talks with Florence and the Machine to give Apple limited streaming rights to a track from their album set to be released in June, Bloomberg said.
Apple has also approached Taylor Swift and others about partnerships, the report said.
Apple declined to comment.
Beats Music will be re-launched in coming months. There will be a $9.99-a-month subscription for individuals and a family plan for $14.99, according to sources, Bloomberg said.
Music streaming service Tidal, launched last month by rapper Jay Z, is also trying to convince artists to sign exclusive deals for their content, to fend off competition from services such as Spotify and Google Inc’s YouTube.
Apple bought audio equipment and music streaming company Beats for about $3 billion in May 2014, hoping to catch up in fast-growing music streaming industry.
It looks like Intel has managed to squeeze Iris graphics inside 15W Skylake processors.
This is a huge achievement, considering that only 28W TDP Broadwell mobile processors currently support Iris 6100 graphics. The fastest of them is the Intel Core i7-5557U, and this dual-core with four threads clocked at 3.1GHz base frequency and maximum turbo frequency of 3.4GHz is the fastest Intel processor for notebooks to support Iris graphics. This is a 28W TDP processor with a configurable TDP, down to 23W.
Iris graphics 6100 are used in three additional SKUs, the Core i5 5287U, Core i5 5257U and Core i3 5157U. They are all dual-core processors with four threads and a 28W TDP.
We don’t know much about upcoming Skylake parts, so we don’t know the SKUs, but Intel has communicated to its partners that Iris graphics on 15W products will be available starting with Skylake.
At the highest end, the Core i7 5650U Skylake-U based replacement will come with Iris graphics. The dual-core Core i5 5650U works at 2.2GHz and can hit 3.1GHz on turbo, all while staying in the 15W envelope.
The Core i7 5650 comes with Intel HD Graphics 6000, while the next generation Core i7, Core i5 processors with 15W will have the Iris-grade graphics. Intel will launch four Skylake Iris capable 15W processors in Q4 2015, and will follow up with an additional four in Q1 2016.
According to Intel’s official data at Anandtech, the Core i7 5557U with 48 EUs at 1100 MHz can score 844.8 32b FP GFLOPs, 211.2 64b DP GFLOPS or 422.4 32b INT GFLOPs. This is not bad score, but considering that even Geforce GTX 850M with its 1198.1 Gigaflops outperforms Intel’s Iris 6100, you cannot really expect that Iris Pro in 15W notebook processors will replace discrete mobile GPUs anytime soon.
Samsung is not happy with recenlty published stress test that showed the Galaxy Edge S6′s frame bending and screen cracking under applied pressure, saying a smartphone wouldn’t experience such force in normal use.
The Galaxy 6S Edge bent and its screen shattered after being exposed to 110 pounds of force, according to a test conducted by SquareTrade, which sells warranties for smartphones, tablets and other electronics. Even with a shattered screen, the phone still worked. SquareTrade posted a video of the test last Thursday.
SquareTrade also tested the iPhone 6 Plus and the HTC One M9. The iPhone bent under 110 pounds of force, but the screen remained intact. The HTC device bent and became inoperable after it suffered 120 pounds of force.
On Monday, Samsung issued a statement that listed the company’s problems with SquareTrade’s test.
Samsung claimed that smartphones are rarely exposed to that much force, and that 66 pounds is the “normal force” generated when a person sits. It maintains that the Galaxy S6 Edge won’t bend at even 79 pounds of force.
Samsung also said that because SquareTrade only tested the front of the phone, the test failed to show the strength of the phone’s back. It wants SquareTrade to conduct the test again, this time subjecting both the front and back of the phone to applied force.
“We are confident that all our smartphones are not bendable under daily usage,” said Samsung, which also included a video of its Galaxy S6 phones undergoing stress tests.
Intel announced that it is now shipping the Bay Trail system on a chip (SoC) successor codenamed Braswell to OEM partners.
Announced almost exactly a year ago at Intel’s Developer Forum in Beijing, Braswell is a more powerful version of Bay Trail running on the 14nm fab process, designed to power low-cost devices like Chromebooks and budget PCs.
The chip maker said that devices will hit the market sometime in late summer or autumn.
“We expect Braswell-based systems to be available in the market for the back to school 2015 selling season,” an Intel representative told The INQUIRER. “Specific dates and options will be announced by our OEM partners.”
That’s all Intel will give us for now, but we were told that full details regarding the upcoming chip will be revealed at IDF in Shenzhen next week.
Braswell was expected to arrive at the end of 2014 when it was originally unveiled last year.
Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel’s PC Client group, said that it will replace Bay Trail as part of the Atom line, and will feature in over 20 Chromebook designs.
“Last year, we had only four designs on Chrome. Today I can announce that we will have over 20 designs on Chrome,” said Skaugen at the time.
Intel recently announced another 14nm chip, the Atom x range, previously codenamed Cherry Trail, although this will be focused on tablets rather than the value PC market segment and Chromebooks like Braswell.
In terms of power, Braswell is likely to fit snuggly above the Atom x5 and x7 Cherry Trail SoCs and beneath the firm’s recently announced 5th-generation Core products, previously codenamed Broadwell.
Unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Intel’s Atom x5 and x7 chips, previously codenamed Cherry Trail, are also updates to the previous Bay Trail Atom line-up, being the first Intel Atom SoCs on 14nm.
These higher-powered SoCs are designed to bring improved 3D performance to mainstream premium handheld devices running full versions of Windows and Android, such as 7in to 10.1in tablets and 2-in-1 hybrid laptops priced at around $119 to $499.
For example, Microsoft quietly announced on Tuesday that the upcoming Surface 3 tablet-laptop hybrid will be powered by an Intel Atom x7. The device is priced at$500.
Intel has launched Intel N3000 series systems on a chip (SoCs), which will kill off Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D SoCs on the desktop and mobile PCs.
CPU World also has spotted some other chips which have been revealed to the world.
Intel has also launched desktop and mobile Core i3 and Pentium microprocessors. New mobile models are Pentium 3825U, Core i3-5015U and i3-5020U. These ones are based on Broadwell 14nm.
Core i3-5015U and i3-5020U are dual-cores with Hyper-Threading technology, HD 5500 graphics and ultra low 15 Watt TDP. The processors run at 2.1 GHz and 2.2 GHz. This is 100 MHz higher than the i3-5005U and i3-5010U models, that were launched three months ago.
The i3-5015U and i3-5020U chips offer a 50 MHz higher graphics boost. Official prices of these SKUs are $275 and $281.
The Pentium 3825U incorporates a couple of enhancements on the older Pentium 3805U. It supports Hyper-Threading that allows it to process twice as many threads. It also has base and maximum graphics frequencies increased to 300 MHz and 850 MHz.
The 3805U and 3825U operate at 1.9 GHz and have 2 MB L2 cache. The 3825U processor is rated at 15 Watt TDP, and priced at $161.
Mobile malware is a growing problem, but researchers from University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have developed a new way of detecting when suspicious mobile apps start trouble, such as trying to call premium-rate numbers unbeknowst to a phone’s owner.
The technique relies on using the phone’s motion, position and ambient sensors to learn the gestures that users typically make when they initiate phone calls, take pictures or use the phone’s NFC reader to scan credit cards.
Some mobile malware programs already abuse these services and security researchers expect their number will only increase.
The technology developed by the UAB researchers can monitor those three services and can check whether attempts to access them are accompanied by the natural gestures users are expected to make. If they’re not, they were likely initiated by malware.
The research, which involved collecting data from real-life scenarios to train the technology, showed that detecting different gestures and using them to differentiate between user-initiated actions and automated ones can be done with a high degree of accuracy. As such, the technique can be a viable malware defense.
The technology doesn’t require root access on the device and it’s better than the signature-based approach used by most mobile antivirus programs, according to Nitesh Saxena, director of UAB’s Security and Privacy In Emerging computing and networking Systems Lab.
Online video platform Vessel officially debuted its paid subscription service on Tuesday, offering programming at least three days before other websites in a bid to reshape an industry dominated by free content on Google Inc’s YouTube.
Vessel, which costs viewers $3 a month, was founded by former Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar and Chief Technology Officer Richard Tom. They aim to create an early window for a selection of web video, similar to the way movies are released in theaters before they arrive on cable TV or the Internet.
“Early access is very valuable,” Kilar said in an interview. “There are a lot of consumers who would love to see something early.”
More than 130 creators will provide early access to content on Vessel. After the exclusive period ends, videos can go to YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo or other free, ad-supported sites, and are free on Vessel.
YouTube stars such as Ingrid Nilsen, Rhett & Link and Shane Dawson are among creators whose videos will make their debut on Vessel. Other programming comes from online networks such as food-oriented Tastemade and celebrities such as Alec Baldwin.
Video creators on Vessel keep 70 percent of ad revenue, compared with 55 percent that is typical on YouTube, plus 60 percent of Vessel subscription revenue.
With those incentives, the new service will be an easier sell to creators than offering viewers who are used to watching videos for free, said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates.
“Vessel must rely on content creators’ popularity and self-marketing to entice their loyal viewers into paying a monthly fee,” he said.
The service is free for one year for viewers who sign up within the first three days.
It is unlikely YouTube will lose significant revenue from a migration to Vessel, Sappington said. YouTube made its debut a decade ago and has more than 1 billion users.
Cadence Design and Intel announced that the two companies have hammered out a 14nm (nanometer) library characterization reference flow for customers of Intel Custom Foundry.
The library characterization reference flow is centered on the Cadence Virtuoso Liberate Characterization solution and Spectre Circuit Simulator and enables accurate 14nm logic libraries.
The reference flow for 14nm logic libraries enables the creation of Liberty libraries, AOCV de-rating tables, library validation and reliability views.
The reference flow was developed using Virtuoso Liberate, Virtuoso Liberate LV, Virtuoso Variety characterization solutions and Spectre Circuit Simulator to deliver accurate logic libraries, including advanced timing models (ECSM, CCS), advanced noise models (ECSMN, CCSN), and advanced power models (ECSMP, CCSP).
The reference flow enables Intel Custom Foundry customers to re-characterize the logic libraries for custom process, voltage or temperature corners or to characterize custom cells following a similar characterization methodology.
Intel Custom Foundry has an extensive design platform on Intel’s 14nm Tri-gate process technology for systems-on-chip (SoCs) targeted at cloud infrastructure and mobile applications.
Intel’s 14nm platform is the second generation to use 3D Tri-gate transistors that enable chips to operate at lower voltage with lower leakage, providing an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency compared to previous state-of-the-art transistors.
Ali Farhang, vice president, Design and Ennoblement Services, Intel Custom Foundry said that accurate logic libraries were required to enable customers to implement and verify differentiated SoCs on Intel’s 14nm design platform.
“Intel Custom Foundry’s 14nm characterization reference flow includes best characterization practices jointly developed by Intel Custom Foundry and Cadence and can accelerate the ramp-up time for customers who need to re-characterize libraries,” he said.
That’s the word from industry analysts after Google announced that it’s opening what is going to be called the Google Shop in Currys PC World, a well-known electronics store in London.
“This is about marketing, not selling,” said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. “While Apple’s stores are real stores with huge volumes, this is about building the brand and exposing people to Google who don’t know about all the Google offerings.”
The Google shop is set up to offer customers the chance to see and try out Google’s range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecast streaming-media devices, as well as learn about how they work together, according to the company.
Store visitors also will be able to try out Google’s software tools and apps, using a series of immersive features, like a Chromecast Pod that allows users to play movies and YouTube videos, as well as an immersive surround-screen installation called Portal, designed to let users seemingly fly through any part of the planet using Google Earth.
“It’s more an amusement park than a shop, which is what, I think, Google intends,” said Gottheil. “Google is doing a very good job with its brand, but it can always be better. You can’t be too rich, too thin or have good enough marketing.”
Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, noted that as popular as Google’s products, like Android, and services, like Google Maps and Google Earth, are, there’s always room for improvement.
“I think that Google sees the need to make their products even more accessible and sees the store as one method to explore,” he added. “However, they have to realize that these are going to be loss leaders. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to measure the actual value of the stores to Google’s bottom line… If I were them, I’d look at store traffic as the major metric. If they’re getting people into the store, then it’s a win.”
While app makers are passionate about developing for the Apple Watch, some are skeptical about the prospects of coming up with a big idea for the little computer on a wrist that hits stores on April 24, said Markiyan Matsekh, product manager at software engineering firm Eleks.
A killer app that grabs consumers’ attention will be key to the success of the Apple Watch and could spawn new companies, as the iPhone did. The photo-sharing app Instagram grew into a $1 billion business bought by Facebook Inc, and Snapchat has gone from a mobile messaging app to a company valued at $19 billion.
Apple has blocked some features, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, on the development kit, and the watch simulator cannot test all functions, developers said. Apple declined to comment on why developers cannot access certain features.
“The limitations are discouraging,” said Matsekh, who helped develop a Watch app to control a Tesla Model S without involvement from the electric carmaker.
App designer Mark Rabo believes Apple is spurring creativity though restraint.
The challenge he believes is “not trying to take a phone app and cram it into a Watch.”
Rabo is developing an app called “Revere,” that ties notes to calendars. The Watch will recognize the wearer is walking into a meeting and pull up previously dictated notes about the attendees, for instance.
Apple listed about 40 apps on its website as it unveiled its smartwatch on Monday with “thousands” more in the works, it said.
HBO’s standalone streaming service will launch on Apple Inc devices in April, ahead of the season premiere of hit series “Game of Thrones,” the network said, a move to reach millions of viewers who do not subscribe to pay television packages.
The new HBO Now service will cost $14.99 a month. It will include the network’s past, present and future series plus its lineup of Hollywood movies, HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler said at an Apple event in San Francisco.
It is the first time the premium network will be available to people with Internet access who shun traditional TV bundles with dozens of channels. Other media companies including CBS Corp and Dish Network Corp also are taking steps to reach those audiences.
“This is a transformative moment for HBO,” Plepler said after an introduction by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The move by Time Warner Inc’s HBO could threaten the video businesses of cable and satellite companies, which are fighting to keep customers from dropping their TV packages. It also amps up competition with streaming services such as Netflix Inc. HBO’s library of hits includes “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”
Starting in early April, HBO Now will be available through the Apple TV box and on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch. The fifth season of “Game of Thrones” premieres April 12.
Apple will be the exclusive digital provider of HBO Now for three months. The network also is aiming to convince traditional TV distributors to offer the service as early as April.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference that the the new Core M chips are due in the second half of the year and will also extend battery life in tablets, hybrids, and laptop PCs.
The new chips will mean much thinner tablets and mobile PCs which will make Apple’s Air look decidedly portly. Intel’s Core M chips, introduced last year, are based on the Broadwell but the Skylake chips should also improve graphics and general application performance.
The Skylake chips will be able to run Windows 10, as well as Google’s Chrome and Android OSes, Krzanich said. But most existing Core M systems run Windows 8.1, and Intel has said device makers haven’t shown a lot of interest in other OSes. So most Skylake devices will probably run Windows 10. Chipzilla is expected to give more details about the new Core M chips in June at the Computex trade show in Taipei.
Skylake systems will also support the second generation of Intel’s RealSense 3D camera technology, which uses a depth sensor to create 3D scans of objects, and which can also be used for gesture and facial recognition. The hope is that the combination of Skylake and a new Windows operating system will give the PC industry a much needed boost.
In related news, Intel announced that socketed Broadwell processors will be available in time for Windows 10.