Processors

Transcend curries 4K favor with faster SD cards

Memory card maker Transcend announced higher-speed SD cards on Friday that are geared for videographers shooting high-resolution 4K video.

Transcend's new SDHC and SDXC cards are graded UHS-1 Class 3 and come in two varieties. The "Extreme" models have read and write speeds of 95MBps and 85MBps, respectively.

The non-extreme models have read and write speeds of 95MBps and 60MBps, respectively.

The newer UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed) Class 3 specification requires sustained write performance of 30MBps.

Yes, SD card categorization is a bottomless pit of acronyms. Here are two more: SDHC and SDXC, which govern maximum capacity. … Read more

Sony said to fix development, eying Apple, Samsung

Sony is looking to streamline product development as it prepares to make a hard run at Apple and Samsung in the wake its PC business sell-off, according to a Japan-based report.

The Japanese electronics maker will pare the number of component suppliers to 250 from the current 1,000, Nikkei reported on Thursday.

The problem, as Sony sees it, is competing for parts with Samsung and Apple.

"Sony is said to spend almost 2 trillion yen ($19.5 billion) a year on parts procurement. But rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple reportedly shell out more than double that amount, and … Read more

Analysts on Apple: Looking to iPhone 6 upside

Wedge Partners and Pacific Crest weighed in on the rumored iPhone 6 this week, with Wedge also offering speculation on other possible products like the iWatch and a bigger iPad as well as strategies for services at Apple.

Overall, the research note from Wedge Partners' Brian Blair, as posted by Barron's, was upbeat, stating that "Apple's next array of products" provide an "opportunity" for investors. Apple shares have an upside this year of more than 20 percent, he said.

Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest was also optimistic, citing the iPhone 6.

"Apple is … Read more

The Apple A8 'fab' enigma: Is it TSMC, Samsung, or both?

One thing is certain about Apple's next-gen processor. Both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung claim they're making it.

On Monday, Samsung laid claim to its participation, according to a report from ZDNet Korea.

Samsung has signed a "foundry" agreement with Apple for A8 production, the report said.

But wait. Last week, we heard that TSMC had the A8 in the bag.

Wait again. Earlier this month, a chip industry specialist told CNET that Samsung was still very involved in making chips for Apple, though he didn't make any specific reference to the A8.

That … Read more

Hasselblad sets a price for the H5D-50c: $27,500

Hasselblad has begun shipping its new H5D-50c, a high-end medium-format camera geared for professionals, and it's a notch cheaper than the $34,990 IQ250 from rival Phase One.

The Swedish company announced a pre-tax price of 20,900 euros on Monday, which is about $28,800 at today's exchange rate, but B&H Photo gives a $27,500 price tag. If you throw in the company's 80mm lens, the price hops up to $30,000.

Both the H5D-50c and IQ250 mark the shift to sensors made with CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip manufacturing technology. CMOS … Read more

Apple-Samsung silicon union still strong, chip expert says

Call it a habit that Samsung and Apple just can't break.

Their critical partnership in silicon is still strong, according to the CEO of chip industry tracker VLSI Research, Dan Hutcheson, who spoke with CNET in a phone interview, after returning from a trip to South Korea, the land of Samsung.

This came as a surprise to Hutcheson, who last year had all but written off Samsung as a supplier to Apple of future processors and other silicon.

"Just before the holidays I got [told] that this was going on. It was a big surprise," he said. … Read more

Imagination, Apple graphics tech supplier, talks future

John Metcalfe, executive vice president and COO at Imagination Technologies, graphics chip supplier to Apple, chatted with CNET for a few minutes about the future.

Imagination's graphics chip technology -- which must manage, among other things, the millions of pixels on the display -- has been used consistently by Apple in its mobile products, and Imagination's technology appears prominently in the iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, and iPhone 5S.

I asked Metcalfe in a recent interview about the future of its graphics chips and, by extension, technologies that could appear in future Apple products -- though the latter … Read more

The chips of Samsung's Galaxy S5 -- Exynos and Snapdragon

BARCELONA, Spain -- Qualcomm and Samsung are back in the newest Galaxy device, the Galaxy S5.

The Korean electronics giant on Monday unveiled its newest flagship phone with a slightly tweaked design and updated specs. The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch display HD screen and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with a bunch of bells and whistles that are supposed to improve the experience of taking and viewing images. The device also contains a fingerprint sensor and heart-rate monitor, as well as updated components.

When the Galaxy S5 launches in April, it will hit the market with two different processors … Read more

Samsung: We're working on 64-bit chips for this year

BARCELONA, Spain -- Samsung likely will join the 64-bit processor club this year, but it doesn't have the technology ready just yet, CNET has learned.

"64-bit is very important ... in the sense that there's a real demand, whether you need it or not," Kyushik Hong, vice president of marketing for Samsung's system LSI business, told CNET at Mobile World Congress here. "We are very actively working on it."

The Korean electronics giant not only builds mobile devices but also makes many of the chips that power those products. It's the world's … Read more

Freescale's Internet-of-things controller chip cut down to size

BARCELONA, Spain -- Freescale Semiconductor, a maker of small processors called microcontrollers, has a tinier new one it hopes will help companies jump aboard the "Internet of things" bandwagon.

The microchips used in computers cost tens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars. But the Kinetis KL03 is an entirely different class for devices that aren't nearly so big and brawny: it measures just 1.6x2.0mm and costs 75 cents -- for customers buying them 100,000 at a time.

The 48MHz chip is 15 percent smaller than the earlier KL02, the company said. It's just … Read more