AMD to acquire microserver vendor SeaMicro--a user of Intel chips

Advanced Micro Devices will acquire server vendor SeaMicro in an attempt to make a run at Intel in the microserver market.

AMD said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SeaMicro, a company that supplies energy-efficient microservers, for approximately $334 million.

To date, SeaMicro servers have been using Intel's Atom and Xeon processors. Future plans call for SeaMicro to build servers with AMD's Opteron chips.

"AMD plans to offer the first AMD Opteron processor-based solutions that combine AMD and SeaMicro technology in the second half of 2012. The company remains firmly committed to its traditional server … Read more

How the two flavors of Windows 8 will be different

One thing was made crystal clear today by Microsoft. Windows 8 on ARM will not be the same experience as Windows 8 on Intel-AMD--despite a big effort by Microsoft to be consistent.

Windows 8 ARM devices will run on processors from Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Nvidia--marking the first time that a mainstream Windows operating system will run on processors from ARM chip suppliers in addition to those of Intel-AMD.

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky said today that Windows 8 on ARM (WOA) will launch at the same time as Windows on Intel-AMD (x86)--though he didn't say when--and that ARM-based … Read more

AMD spells out Windows 8 tablet strategy

So, does AMD have a solid Windows 8 tablet strategy this year? I'll let the reader decide, but AMD needs to be extra aggressive on the power-efficient chip front because it's not just an Intel-AMD fight now.

Windows 8 will bring ARM chip players like Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Freescale into the market, presenting AMD with plenty of heavyweight Windows competition.

Earlier in the week, I spoke with John Taylor, director of client product marketing and software at AMD, who cited two major chip designs for tablets, Hondo (2012) and Temash (2013). AMD now calls its chips … Read more

Is Windows 8 on Intel coming sooner rather than later?

Listening to Intel's CEO Paul Otellini over the last couple of months, one can't help but wonder whether Windows 8 isn't coming sooner rather than later.

Sooner as in not next year (as in October?) Next year being a scenario pitched by some analysts.

And I do mean Windows 8 on the tried and true Intel and Advanced Micro Devices X86 platform--not ARM necessarily--as that's all Otellini cares about.

Otellini's chipperness started back in November when he made a very upbeat presentation about how Windows 8 will transform laptops into tablets--or what is now being … Read more

So, will that be an Intel or AMD ultrabook?

Though Advanced Micro Devices will not be inside branded ultrabooks, it is making a play for that market. Will consumers care which chipmaker is inside?

The quick answer: yes, if you're price sensitive. "They'll come into a market behind Intel and then do what they do at a lower price," said Deron Kershaw, an analyst at Gap Intelligence.

Ultrabooks are skinny, light laptops that attempt to combine the portability of a tablet with the productivity of a laptop.

How low can AMD-based systems go? "Our...solution will enable a full featured, high-performance user experience well … Read more

Quanta sues AMD over defective chips

Quanta has sued Advanced Micro Devices over a defective chip used in an NEC laptop.

Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract manufacturer of laptop computers, sued AMD for breach of contract, alleging the chipmaker sold defective products, as first reported by Bloomberg.

The suit is centered on the ATI RS600ME, an integrated graphics solution, an AMD spokesperson told CNET. Integrated graphics chips include other circuitry and also act as a chipset, which supports the main central processing unit or CPU.

"AMD and its ATI Technologies Inc. unit sold chips that didn't meet heat tolerances and were unfit … Read more

Apple slated AMD chip for MacBook Air?

Here's one strictly for the rumor hopper: Apple was on the verge of coming out with a MacBook Air packing a processor from Advanced Micro Devices.

The reasoning put forward by chip-centric Web site Semiaccurate is that AMD offered better graphics horsepower. Today, the Air--and all the MacBooks--use Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.

"If you are wondering why the Air wasn't really revamped much this last time, it is because you are looking at plan B. Plan A was basically a low power [AMD] Llano in an Air shell, and that would have been a really tasty … Read more

Cray supercomputer taps AMD 16-core processor

The University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has contracted with Cray to provide the supercomputer for the National Science Foundation's Blue Waters project. That computer will tap AMD's new 16-core processor.

Blue Waters will be composed of more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets based on the AMD's Opteron 6200 Series processor (formerly code-named "Interlagos") and more than 30 cabinets of a future version of the recently announced Cray XK6 supercomputer with Nvidia Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs), Cray said. All of this will be combined into a single, powerful hybrid supercomputer.

The … Read more

Google, TI cozy up on Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Texas Instruments and Google are hooking up on Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android that will run on both phones and tablets.

Though TI has been a player in Android phones (most notably the Motorola Droid series), it has been largely absent from Android tablets, which are populated with Nvidia's Tegra chips mostly. That is expected to change with Ice Cream Sandwich, however, which will finally fuse the phone and tablet versions of Android into one.

Ice Cream Sandwich will allow developers to create apps once. The operating system, due in the fourth quarter, will be smart … Read more

Intel Sandy Bridge chips land in sub-$400 HP, Toshiba laptops

Intel's Sandy Bridge processors aren't just for Apple MacBooks and elite Windows laptops anymore. The latest and greatest Intel chip technology is now landing in sub-$400 lappies from Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba.

To wit, behold HP's $349 Pavilion g4-1104dx. In addition to goodies like a 14-inch LED display, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB hard disk drive, a multiformat optical drive, a Webcam, and integrated Ethernet, you get a Pentium processor B940 with integrated Intel graphics silicon.

No, that's not the Pentium processor of yore. The new Pentium is a bona fide Sandy Bridge processor, which … Read more