Intel's Thunderbolt is already one of the fastest interfaces available for connection of additional devices to the computer. Theoretical bandwidth of the current version of the standard is 10 Gbps, but Intel has announced a further improvement.
After creating quite a stir a couple of months ago the specter of Intel BGA CPUs for the “Desktop” has risen from the internet again. This time the new is in a form that many would see as confirmation that Intel will be phasing out the traditional socket in favor of the non-upgradable BGA package. According to information posted over at VR-Zone Intel already has three BGS CPUs on the map that could launch with Haswell in the next few months. As you might expect there are already articles claiming that this is (or could be) the beginning of the end for the desktop socket. Fortunately for the DIY market even a quick look at the CPUs listed rules out that chance. From the specifications Intel will be sticking to the lucrative desktop socket for a while.
The third generation of Intel ultrabooks, based on the Haswell processors, will be available to customers in three price categories. Ultrabooks based on Intel's concept so far mainly belonged to the upper market segment, while the division into categories could make choice easier on customer, and help manufacturers to increase sales.
The fourth generation of Intel Core processors, codenamed Haswell, should be found in stores by mid-year. However, users could initially have some problems with the USB 3.0 interface and connected devices.
Intel intends to introduce three lower-end processors for the lower segment of the market very soon which will be based on existing architectures. In the plan are the Celeron G470 chipset, Core i3-3245 and Core i3-3250, with the Celeron model based on the Sandy Bridge architecture, and the remaining two have Ivy Bridge processor design.
The Irish agency for construction planning An Bord Pleanala approved Intel’s plans to build a new factory for the production of processors. It is a facility in which they should produce processors built on the 14 nanometer process, and should be located in the Intel campus in Leixlip County Kildare.
The consumer electronic market is an interesting one. It is probably one of the only markets (with the exception of possibly the auto industry) to have the massive number of incorrect segmenting of products. One of the biggest areas of segmentation (incorrect segmentation) is in the “PC” market. Here the competition for products is insane. Back in the early days (the days when we had IBM Compatibles) things were relatively simple; at least they were on the surface. When you walked into a store and looked for a computer (if you were at all interested in having one back in the mid-90s) you saw IBM’s and their clones. One of the first computers I was exposed to was the Osborne One which actually predates the original IBM PC and the consolidation of the market in the early to mid-80s. In fact it was the introduction of the IBM PC combined with the Kaypro II portable that ended up killing Osborne and their chance in the market.
Today Anandtech had an announcement from Intel about a reduction to their desktop motherboard business with a ramp down planned over the next three years. This means that Intel will begin to bow out of this market slowly with an expected exit sometime around 2016. Intel will continue to work with third party manufacturers in the design and build of their boards including the development of reference boards for new form factors (like the one used for the Next Unit of Computing). The question is; what will this mean to both Intel and the rest of the desktop market? In truth it means very little to the majority of the market, but it is significant in many ways.
The rise of the ARM architecture has been a meteoric one and came as something of a shock to many of the mainstream players in the mobile industry. The concept for the ARM based SoC (System on Chip) is pretty simple: build a small, energy efficient device that is able to use memory and processor cycles as efficiently as possible. This is what x86 CPU manufacturers are trying to do as well. So why are there more manufacturers of ARM based SoCs than there are x86? Well, the problem here is one of licensing. You see, it is much easier and less expensive to license the ARM architecture than it is x86. Right now there are very few players that even have an x86 license. This limits the competition down quite a bit and also (unfortunately) slows progress. However, the fight between Intel and ARM is just heating up. And despite the small number of players in the x86 market, things are far from certain in this area as we enter into a new round of combat between RISC and CISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing and Complete Instruction Set Computing).
Intel plans to launch another line of processors specifically designed for tablets in the first quarter next year. This is a core chip from their Y series based on the Ivy Bridge architecture and in BGA packaging, while in the third quarter of next year Haswell versions of the same series should appear.