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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #751

    Anandtech: HP Mulling Spinoff or Sale of its Personal Systems Group

    Alongside the announcement that it would cease operations on webOS hardware and evaluate its options for webOS software, today HP also revealed that it's considering a full/partial spinoff or sale of its Personal Systems Group (PSG). HP's PSG is responsible for all PCs both business and consumer, desktop and mobile.
    Why spinoff the division? Client PCs aren't extremely high margin and the business is extremely competitive. HP appears to want to focus on growth in the enterprise space.


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    #752

    Anandtech: webOS Hardware Division Will Shut Down by Q4 2011

    On HP's Q3 2011 earnings call it clarified both the reason for the shutdown and the exit timeframe for the webOS hardware division.

    HP claimed that webOS hardware didn't meet internal sales goals. Combined with an increasingly competitive marketplace, HP decided that it was in its best interests and the best interests of its shareholders to exit the webOS hardware business. HP will shut down the webOS hardware division by Q4 2011.

    If you're wondering why HP also expressed interest in spinning off/selling its Personal Systems Group. The earnings statement speaks for itself:

    "Personal Systems Group (PSG) revenue declined 3% year over year with a 5.9% operating margin. PSG remains the PC market leader in terms of units, revenue and profit share. Commercial Client revenue grew 9% and Consumer Client revenue declined 17%."
    HP wants to explore areas with higher profit margins (read: enterprise computing). Getting rid of its PC business while it's still doing (relatively) well makes the most sense from a timing perspective.


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    #753

    Anandtech: Intel's Cedar Trail Atom Processors Delayed to November

    Cedar Trail, the next-generation version of Intel's Atom processor, has been delayed from September 2011 to November 2011 because of graphics driver and Windows 7 certification issues, reports DigiTimes.
    As we reported in April, Cedar Trail will be a 32nm chip with both the CPU and GPU on a single die, but otherwise performance and power consumption should hover right around where Atom performance has been for awhile now. The Cedar Trail GPU, which supports DirectX 10.1 and a multitude of video decoding abilities, is probably the highlight of the refresh, though you can find those features combined with better CPU performance and DirectX 11 support in AMD's Brazos APU today (albeit in a slightly higher power envelope).
    The true next-generation Atom architecture won't appear until 2012, but will face heavy competition from AMD on the netbook and nettop fronts and ARM in most other devices (to say nothing of the Ultrabook specification, which aims to bring laptop-class performance to netbook-sized devices). Though Atom does have its niche, it seems to be getting smaller all the time.
    Source: DigiTimes


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    #754

    Anandtech: Google Bolsters Music Beta With New Magnifier Blog

    Google Music Beta, the search giant’s music streaming service, launched earlier this summer to tepid reviews before drifting into the background after the much-ballyhooed release of Spotify in the United States. While garnering praise for its audio quality and Android connectivity, it was knocked for lacking an iOS app and, perhaps more importantly, the ability to purchase music.
    While there’s still no music store, Google’s hoping to renew your interest in Google Music with Magnifier, a new music discovery site curated by the Google Music team. Not only does Magnifier offer daily song recommendations, it can download those tracks for free into your Google Music account.
    Like most of Google Music, Magnifier’s smooth. It took just a few seconds for the song to appear in my library and then just a handful more for the song to start playing. While Magnifier hasn’t been around long enough for me to know if my tastes match up with those of its editors, I can see myself checking back regularly based solely on the ease of use.
    If Google could only secure the rights to actually sell music, a stream of interesting free music coupled with Google’s generous cloud storage (roughly 20,000 songs for free compared to $20 for 10GB on Apple’s iCloud service) could put Google Music on equal footing with iTunes and Amazon’s Digital Marketplace.


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    #755

    Anandtech: It's Not Qualcomm's Fault: Dispelling TouchPad Myths

    There's a whole lot of misinformation on the web right now about reasons why HP had troubles with the TouchPad and eventually had to abandon the entire webOS hardware division. We'd moved on internally after yesterday's news but a bunch of stuff that popped up online today prompted a quick discussion about the realities of webOS hardware.
    Read on for our analysis.

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    #756

    Anandtech: HP TouchPad Reduced to $99 and $149 (16GB & 32GB)

    If you haven't heard by now, HP is significantly reducing the price of the WiFi TouchPad in order to clear all inventories of the tablet. The 16GB WiFi TouchPad will sell for $99, while the 32GB version will be reduced to $149.
    The price reduction is supposed to go into effect tomorrow, however a number of etailers jumped the gun yesterday. At this point I don't believe there is a way to order a TouchPad online at either of those prices - nearly all of the online sources that listed the reduced prices are now out of stock.
    If you missed the opportunity yesterday, there's always the brick and mortar stores as soon as they open tomorrow.
    As we've already reported, HP will cease all webOS device operations by Q4 2011. The TouchPad and Veer won't be made anymore and the Pre 3 has been canceled entirely. HP hasn't announced what it's going to do with webOS, although at this point we're hearing the rights to the OS aren't up for sale.
    Given the lack of support going forward, why even consider a $99 TouchPad? The tablet does work reasonably well as an email/browser client, and it's likely that we'll continue to see 3rd party apps developed for it. The big hope is that the homebrew community will keep at it and perhaps someone will come along and actually do something with webOS one of these days.
    At $99 I feel like the TouchPad is a good buy if you're fine with taking a risk on a platform that has no guaranteed support going forward. In other words, if you can part with the money and forget about it, it's not a bad idea.


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    #757

    Anandtech: AMD Updates Brazos with E-450, E-300 and C-60 APUs

    When AMD first introduced its Brazos platform at the end of last year it promised annual updates to the platform. Today we get the first official update to the platform. Although not a major architectural or process change, the Brazos refresh is significant nonetheless.
    At the top we've got the AMD E-450, a part we previewed at Computex. The E-450 replaces the E-350 and brings with it higher clock speeds. The two CPU cores see a mild increase from 1.6GHz to 1.65GHz, while the 80-core Radeon HD 6320 GPU creeps up from 492MHz to 508MHz. Neither sounds too impressive, but the E-450 has a new trick up its sleeve: AMD Turbo Core. Similar to Llano, if there's available TDP the GPU cores in the E-450 can turbo up to 600MHz. In GPU bound games the E-450 can be up to 22% faster than the E-350.

    The E-450 also adds official DDR3-1333 support (up from 1066). When combined with the faster GPU you might see significantly better gaming performance out of the E-450. Don't expect to get anywhere near Llano's performance, but AMD notes a 36% increase in 3DMark Vantage performance.

    Next up is the E-300, this replaces the single-core E-240. The E-300 has two Bobcat cores, which means the refreshed E-series APUs are all dual-core parts. The CPU clock drops a bit down to 1.3GHz, as does the GPU clock (488MHz) but overall performance should go up as nearly any usage model these days will prefer two similarly clocked cores to one.

    The final update in AMD's Brazos refresh is the 9W C-60. The C-60 replaces the C-50 before it. Both feature two Bobcat cores, but the C-60 adds AMD Turbo Core support - this time on the CPU and GPU. The C-60 runs at the same 1GHz clock speed as the C-50, but it can turbo up to 1.33GHz. The GPU on the other hand can turbo up to 400MHz from its 276MHz stock speed.

    The refreshed Brazos parts are still built on the same TSMC 40nm process and retain the same 18W/9W TDPs. The update to enable Turbo Core is likely only a mild change to the chip and associated BIOS. The higher clock speeds and across-the-board dual-core (E-series) come courtesy of yield improvements. In addition to the extra performance, all refreshed Brazos APUs gain multimode DisplayPort support (DP++). The ++ simply means that you can carry HDMI and DVI signals over the DP connector, allowing OEMs to build systems with only a single DP output and provide passive dongles for single-link DVI and HDMI out.
    The AMD E-450, E-300 and C-60 are available from PC OEMs starting today. No word on when we'll see availability in the channel.


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    #758

    Anandtech: Google Fiber Goes Live Near Stanford

    Google announced last October that they would be beta testing their Google Fiber initiative in a small residential neighborhood affiliated with Stanford University, and one lucky Redditor posted the results. The service is being provided free to the faculty and staff of Stanford that live just off campus and the speeds are mostly unheard of in this country. This beta test, of course, comes ahead of the roll-out of their Kansas City experiment in 1 Gbps fiber internet service. Speedtest results linked and pictured below for you to drool over.
    Source: Reddit


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    #759

    Anandtech: Intel to Release New Itanium CPUs in 2012: New Architecture and Up to Eigh

    Intel held a keynote at Hot Chips conference in Stanford University last week where they announced some details of upcoming Itanium CPUs. Itanium CPUs are meant for enterprises and utilize their own micro-architecture, which is based on EPIC design. While some of you may think that enterprise market is small, Intel claims that Itanium is a four billion dollar business and more than 80% of world's top 100 companies utilize Itanium.
    The codename for the new CPUs is "Poulson" and it is the 10th Itanium CPU lineup. The biggest updates are a new architecture, twice as many cores (up to eight), twice the instruction throughput and 32nm process.
    Comparison of Itanium CPUs
    Poulson Tukwila
    Core/Thread Count Up to 8/16 Up to 4/8
    Frequency TBA Up to 1.73GHz
    L3 Cache Up to 32MB (?) Up to 24MB
    Manufacturing Process 32nm 65nm
    Transistor Count 3.1 billion 2.046 billion
    Die Size 544mm^2 (?) 699mm^2
    What's interesting is that Intel is skipping the 45nm process totally and going straight for 32nm. The process change alone would be huge but throw in a new architecture too and Poulson looks like a major upgrade from Tukwila. Doubling the cores is a very aggressive move as well, although not surprising due to the die shrink.
    Lets look at the new architecture and the features it provides. First, the new architecture will bring a new feature: Intel Instruction Replay Technology. This feature enhances error detection and fundamentally, it allowed instructions to be re-executed from the instruction buffer in order to automatically recover from errors, even from severe ones. This should prevent system crashes and data corruption, which can both be very harmful for enterprises.
    Second, the Hyper-Threading Technology receives some improvements. Intel calls the new feature dual-domain multithreading, and it allows up to 12-issue instruction execution. This allows greater overall throughput and according to Intel, the throughput is up by up to 100% when compared with "Tukwila".
    Since the introduction of Tukwila in 2010, Itanium CPUs have shared the same chipset as Xeon MP CPUs (Becton and Westmere-EX) - i.e. the 7500 chipset. Poulson will continue this pattern and will use the same 7500 chipset as its predecessor. This was and still is a smart move from Intel as it allows clients to reuse some of the components, hence reducing the expenses.
    Source: Intel


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    #760

    Anandtech: TouchDroid Project Bringing Android to HP Touchpad

    The open source community is wasting no time taking ownership of HP's orphaned Touchpad tablet: a new group called the TouchDroid team is looking to bring Android to the Touchpad, breathing new life into a product that died last week before people started buying it in droves due to heavy discounts.
    The project's first goal is to bring Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the touchpad, either using the straight source code from Google or using the popular Cyanogenmod distribution that tweaks Gingerbread to make it more usable on larger screens. Once the new Ice Cream Sandwich version unifies Gingerbread and Honeycomb (Android 3.x) into one OS, the developers will focus their attention on the newer version, which should be better suited to the Touchpad's 9.7" screen.
    It should be noted that the TouchDroid project is brand new - so new that, as of this writing, the project's Wiki page is still using a filler image for its logo, and that many of its developers "don't yet realize they are going to be developers" - and that there is no current ETA on when (or if) the project will produce a usable version of Android for the Touchpad. Still, the open source community is nothing if not persistent - if TouchDroid can't get Android up and running on the Touchpad, someone else probably will.
    Source: TouchDroid Project Wiki


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