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

AMD takes a Valentine's Day swipe at Intel

Update: AMD adds some additional V-day fun with chocolate processors. See below for details.

Any holiday is an excuse for tech companies to send out little reminders to those likely to write about them, and Valentine's Day is no exception.

During the first half of today, only one V-day swag package arrived, and that was a box of Mortal Kombat candy, encased in an edible chocolate box. This was shortly followed by a somewhat more mysterious package--a single rose, wrapped in paper, hand-delivered from a local florist.

Except, this rose seemed a bit off. It was dark red, almost black, and had an odd scent. A dead rose? A poisoned flower? The only clue to its origin, a note quoting Edgar Allan Poe. Clearly some sort of teaser item for a video game, but off the top of my head, I'm not sure which one. Also--a dead rose is terrible for Valentine's Day regifting.

Finally, the guys at AMD joined the party with a ceramic mug with an I [heart] APU logo, touting the combo CPU/GPU platform known as Fusion, and currently found in laptops such as the HP Pavilion dm1.

What really made this worth mentioning was the snarky note that accompanied it. It reads:

Dear Dan, I heard that Sandy B. broke your heart and wanted to let you know that I'm here for you. Oh, and I have a cousin from Llano, Texas I'd like to introduce you to soon--I think you two will really hit it off!


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AMD more upbeat about chances in tablet market

Advanced Micro Devices executives made relatively upbeat statements about tablets and seemed to go beyond previous comments by former CEO Dirk Meyer, who was ousted earlier this month.

AMD posted fourth-quarter earnings today of 14 cents a share (non-GAAP basis), higher than the 11 cents per share that analysts had expected. Net income fell to $375 million, or 50 cents a share, from a year earlier when it reported net income of $1.18 billion, or $1.52 a share. Revenue was $1.65 billion, flat compared with the previous year.

A sore point for AMD was servers. Interim CEO … Read more

iPhone 4, Nexus S--rivals with a common core

Apple's iPhone 4 and Google's freshly minted Nexus S share a critical core component inside, underscoring Samsung's presence in some of the most popular devices on the market and how it triangulates relationships between its own products and chip customers.

Google makes no bones about what's inside its slick Samsung-manufactured Nexus S: a 1GHz "Hummingbird" processor. That's a close cousin of--if not identical in many respects to--the processor inside of Apple's A4 system-on-a-chip, as a TechInsights analysis (PDF) revealed earlier this year.

"It's common in the electronics industry for competitors … Read more

AMD's new 'Llano' chip targets sleek designs

Advanced Micro Devices showcased its upcoming Llano chip today, a highly integrated design targeted at sleek computers.

At the AMD Technical Forum & Exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, the chip supplier held the first public demonstration of its future AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) codenamed "Llano." Due in the first half of next year, Llano integrates the main processor and graphics function onto a single piece of silicon and is targeted at ultrathin and mainstream laptops, among other designs.

Llano will use 32-nanometer technology, feature up to four CPU processor cores, and integrate AMD's 5000 series graphics … Read more