Despite being de facto leader of processors for desktops and laptops, Intel never made a large impression in the smartphone SoC market. The company spent around $10 billion attempting to compete with Qualcomm and other companies, but ultimately gave up in 2016. According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel is reportedly looking into purchasing Broadcom, assuming Broadcom's hostile takeover of Qualcomm works out. Read More
A report from The Register yesterday claimed that Windows and Linux developers were scrambling to fix a "fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips." The flaw theoretically allows any program to view the layout or contents of protected kernel memory areas, which often contain passwords, login keys, cached files, and other sensitive data. Even a web app could potentially read kernel-protected data. Read More
Last year at CES, New Balance announced that it would be releasing an Android Wear watch by the end of 2016. The company missed the schedule by a month or two, since the new watch has just been officially unveiled. It's called RunIQ and like the name and the brand behind it, it's focused on running.
The RunIQ packs the 3 features that were hinted at last year: GPS, an Intel processor, and integration with the Strava platform to add a social and competitive element to running. But now we have more specific details. The GPS chip is coupled with a built-in heart-rate sensor that can work for up to 5 hours with continuous monitoring and map tracking. Read More
In a shocking turn of events, Asus has officially released the Chromebook Flip C302CA. An all-aluminum entry into the ever-growing world of Chromebooks, the newest Flip will come in a few different configurations depending on needs and budget. This little beauty has been leaked a few times and even went up for sale just a bit early, but now it is officially official. Read More
In a blog post today, Intel announced its planned acquisition of Movidius, a "vision" chip manufacturer that focuses on low-power hardware and algorithms to give machines sight. Having seen a market for its technology at its founding, Movidius set out to develop its own processing architecture to tackle large workloads and image processing while keeping expenditure low. This eventually became the company's Vision Processing Units (VPU), which allow for tracking, navigation, and mapping all while sipping at power. Because of the success in its endeavors, the company was able to partner with some big names in the tech space, including Google and its Project Tango. Read More
If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.
CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play. Read More
Intel hasn't been very fortunate in the smartphone chipset business. Despite dominating the personal computing semiconductor space, the company failed to gain traction in mobile in time and struggled to catch up afterward despite trying to crack the entry code from different angles: wearables, IoT, tablets, phones, and so on. Eventually, Intel sort of threw in the towel and decided to close its Atom business and take its time to regroup and think of other ways to tackle the issue.
Its foundry business seems to be the key. See, aside from offering platforms and architectures for chipsets, Intel also has a small side business, Intel Custom Foundry, which produces chipsets for other chipmakers. Read More
After years of insignificant adoption among manufacturers, Intel is apparently throwing in the towel on smartphone chips. The company's ultra-low-power Atom line of processors has had a tough time competing with low-cost players like MediaTek and, obviously, the incumbent mobile SoC juggernaut, Qualcomm.
Specifically, Intel is cancelling the upcoming Broxton platform and the already-delayed SoFIA fully-integrated mobile chipset, both of which were slotted in the "Atom x3" family and designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. The tablet-focused Atom x5 and x7 currently based on the Cherry Trail platform will continue to ship, though it is unclear if that platform's successor - Willow Trail - will enter production or if it, too, has been axed (Intel did not comment on Willow Trail, as it was not expected to ship for some time). Read More
Part of the attraction of things like laser tag and paintball is that they bring the team-based combat that's become so popular in online shooters into the real world. After some notable success with its embedded heads-up display for snowboarders, Recon Instruments (recently acquired by Intel) is bringing a modified version of the Android-based system to the enthusiast paintball market. The Empire EVS "smart mask" includes a tiny Google Glass-style display in the visor that relays various bits of battlefield information to the player. Read More
When big companies buy small companies, there's always a chance that the smaller company will more or less disappear, along with its products. Some good examples in the mobile space would be HP's acquisition of Palm or Microsoft's similar purchase of Nokia. Not all tech companies do this - Amazon and Facebook seem to be pretty hands-off with their acquisitions - but Intel certainly does. Less than a year after Intel acquired the company that makes popular password manager PasswordBox, the company announced via its blog that the product will be abandoned sometime in 2016.
The PasswordBox team is already working on Intel's similar service, True Key, and they'll be transitioning both team members and software features over to the Intel side. Read More