For years, PC gamers have needed to pick a poison: Buy a desktop with the most powerful components available, or sacrifice some performance for a laptop they could take on the road. Intel's new six-core mobile Core i9 chip, its fastest notebook CPU ever, paves the way for 5GHz gaming laptops, making that decision even tougher.
Microsoft said Tuesday that it has expanded its ongoing efforts to patch the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in two directions: by providing patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and archiving microcode patches for Intel's Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake chips. To address Meltdown and Spectre, PC owners need patches for both the operating system and the processor on their device.
Microsoft has paused distributing its Meltdown and Spectre security updates for AMD machines after reports of PCs not booting. Microsoft's support forums have been full of complaints from PC owners with AMD processors, and the software giant has acknowledged the issues today. Microsoft is blaming AMD's documentation for the unexpected problems.
NVIDIA has announced plans to cease developing drivers supporting 32-bit operating systems for any GPU architecture in the near future. All NVIDIA GPU drivers published after the release 390 (due in early 2018) will only support x86-64 OSes. The decision marks an important milestone in the transition of the PC industry to 64-bit computing that has been ongoing for over a decade, but may upset some of the users who still run older machines or those that require drivers for embedded systems.
AMD has had a fantastic past year. Its desktop-grade Ryzen microprocessors were successful in grabbing some x86 PC market share from Intel, which, in turn, nudged AMD back into profitability. And this might just be the start of the smaller chip-maker's newfound sales momentum. Advanced Micro Devices is readying up to launch a Ryzen Refresh line-up in the first quarter of 2018 on a slightly improved 12nm node.
AMD announced it has landed Baidu as a customer and partner. It's a significant win for AMD; Baidu doesn't really have a US presence, but it controls 76% of the PC search market in China and 82% of the mobile and tablet markets.
Atari was set to kick off a crowdfunding campaign today on Indiegogo for its Ataribox, a PC tech-based game console powered by a custom AMD processor with Radeon graphics, running Linux. The company even sent out a reminder this past Monday, saying it will offer a limited number of discounted units when preorders go live. But then this morning Atari put the word out that it's delaying the launch. Why? That's a good question.
It seems like Nvidia announces the fastest GPU in history multiple times a year, and that's exactly what's happened again today; the Titan V is "the most powerful PC GPU ever created," in Nvidia's words. It represents a more significant leap than most products that have made that claim, however, as it's the first consumer-grade GPU based around Nvidia's new Volta architecture.
Toshiba said on Friday it had not entered into talks with any company to sell its personal computer business, denying media reports that it was in negotiations to sell the unit to Taiwan's Asustek Computer.
Toshiba has entered into negotiations to sell its money-losing personal computer operations to Asustek Computer of Taiwan, continuing to shed noncore businesses to get its tattered finances back in order.
Nikkei Asian Review
If you're a graphic artist and find yourself needing a ton of power on the go, HP may have the answer. It's unveiling a new detachable tablet today called the ZBook x2 that has the specs of a workstation PC: a quad-core i7 processor (from Intel's Kaby Lake-R line), an Nvidia Quadro M620 graphics card, and up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD.
As mobile devices have taken over our lives, PC sales, and sales of Intel's computer chips, have declined. Intel hasn't had a lot of luck transitioning to the mobile chips business, but it doesn't intend to let the same thing happen in the growing smart home market.In a small lab festooned with smart home gadgets in Intel's Santa Clara, California headquarters, Miles Kingston, general manager of Intel's Smart Home Division, mapped out for me how Intel plans to seize this opportunity.
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), which translates into a slight year-over-year decline of 0.5%, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.
For what Intel's data center chief Diane Bryant called the upcoming "10nm+" node, as well as the 7nm manufacturing node to follow, Intel's data center chips will be first on those lines.
For the coming year, Intel said that revenues would be flat on 2016, in part due to the sale of its security business, but with earnings returning to growth, up from $2.12 a share last year to $2.53 in 2017.
The Financial Times
Samsung's decision to sell its printing business to HP for over $1 billion showed that the company is serious in its efforts to become a leaner organization. A new report out of South Korea claims that Samsung now wants to sell its PC business and that it's talking to Chinese giant Lenovo about a potential deal.
Specifications for DDR5 memory will be released this year, and deployment of the DRAM will begin in 2020, according to a slide deck presented at the Intel Developer Forum this week.
At Computex last month, Asustek showed Transformer 3, which resembles Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet and runs on Kaby Lake.
Japan's NEC will sell most of its interest in a personal computer joint venture with Lenovo Group to the Chinese partner for about JPY20 billion (US$195 million), using the proceeds for growth investment.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
Seagate Technology, a maker of disk drives for computers, said it's cutting about 3% of its workforce in an effort to reduce costs amid a slump in demand for PCs.
Google is seeking to raise between $218 million and $221 million by selling shares in Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo, according to a deal term sheet seen by IFR on Wednesday.
Micron Technology gave a fiscal third-quarter forecast that missed analysts' estimates due to weaker demand for personal computer components.
The outlook for PC shipments continues to call for eventual stabilization as competition from other devices eases, upgrades to new models and Windows 10 boost demand, and economic conditions around the world stabilize or improve. However, the decline in PC volume since early 2012 is still expected to linger through 2016 with later years struggling to boost volumes as economic issues and competing products continue to present headwinds, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
Having trailed behind both Intel and Nvidia in the PC graphics market in recent years, AMD is preparing to go all in on virtual reality.
AMD has introduced XConnect, a form of driver-level support for external graphics cards, as part of its latest Radeon 16.3 driver. XConnect allows users to add and remove a Thunderbolt 3 external graphics device (eGFX) such as the Razer Core, without needing to restart the PC, as well as switch between discrete and integrated graphics on-the-fly.
Vaio, the personal computer maker spun off from Sony Corp. in 2014, is closing in on a three-way merger with rivals to create a producer that can dominate Japan and weather a shrinking global PC market.
Intel's $16.7bn purchase of programmable chipmaker Altera is likely to be a model for future big acquisitions at the company as the semiconductor industry's merger boom continues, according to the US company's chief dealmaker.
The Financial Times
Fujitsu is planning to spin off its mobile phone handset business, as well as the PC operations, next spring so that it can respond swiftly to changes in market trends and boost profitability.
The Japan News
Intel and Microsoft are teaming with three leading PC makers on a new ad campaign designed to make potential computer buyers more aware of all the things a modern PC can do.
Micron Technology's fourth-quarter profit fell sharply as lower selling prices again drove down revenue, underscoring the effects of weakened demand for personal computers.
Marketwatch.com (Dow Jones)
Toshiba Corp (6502.T) may lay off staff in its underperforming home appliances, TV and PC businesses and seek a partner for its nuclear operations to overhaul the company after a $1.3 billion accounting scandal, its chief executive said on Thursday.