Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

Microsoft takes axe to Vista prices

SOFTWARE FIRM Microsoft is obviously keen to get Indian users going on Vista.

According to DQ Channels,  it cut the cost of Vista Home Basic to Rs 4,000 ($99), Vista Home Premium to Rs 5,300 ($131) and Vista Ultimate to Rs 11,500 ($284).

This, said a man from the Vole, is to do with a transformation in the way people buy software. So it is nothing to do with the fact that Microsoft needs to push Vista at any price, practically. These Indian price cuts range between 13 per cent and 39 per cent. ♦

AMD drops in top 25 semi league table

MARKET RESEARCH firm Isuppli said that falling memory sales  significantly slowed growth  in the semi market in 2007.

AMD took an inevitable hit in 2007 compared to 2006, while Nvidia rose, as did Intel, which remained in first place, followed by Samsung.

DRAM revenues fell by 19.1 per cent in Q4 compared to the earlier quarter, while NAND flash revenues fell by 3.9 per cent in the period.

Forecasts by the manufacturers had been ebullient, based on the previous year. Dale Ford, senior VP at Isuppli said: “This was a complete role reversal for memory semiconductors compared to 2006.” Sales of memory integrated circuits had helped prop up the growth of the overall semi market, he said.

“If memory were excluded from the revenue total, the semiconductor market would have grown by 2.4 per cent in the fourth quarter. However, due to the influence of the weak memory market, total semiconductor market revenues fell by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter,” he continued.

Nanya and Qimonda were particularly badly affected, with their memory IC revenues falling by 32.4 per cent and 26 per cent for the year.

Data courtesy of Isuppli, figures for revenues are in millions of dollars. ♦

Semiconductor 2007 league table

2006 2007 Firm
Rev
06
Rev
07
%
change
%
total
1 1 Intel
31,542
33,995
7.8
12.6
2 2 Samsung
19,842
19,691
-0.8
7.3
3 3 TI
12,600
12,275
-2.6
4.6
4 4 Toshiba
10,141
12,186
20.2
4.5
5 5 ST Micro
9,854
10,000
1.5
3.7
7 6 Hynix
7,865
9,047
15
3.4
6 7 Renesas
7,900
8,001
1.3
3
14 8 Sony
5,129
7,974
55.5
3
15 9 Infineon
5,119
6,201
21.1
2.3
8 10 AMD
7,506
5,918
-21.2
2.2
9 11 NXP
5,707
5,746
0.7
2.1
11 12 NEC
5,601
5,742
2.5
2.1
16 13 Qualcomm
4,529
5,619
24.1
2.1
10 14 Freescale
5,616
5,264
-6.3
2
13 15 Micron
5,247
4,869
-7.2
1.8
12 16 Qimonda
5,413
4,005
-26
1.5
19 17 Elpida
3,527
3,838
8.8
1.4
17 18 Matsushita
4,022
3,800
-5.5
1.4
25 19 Broadcom
3,668
3,746
2.1
1.4
25 20 Nvidia
2,578
3,466
34.4
1.3
20 21 Sharp
3,341
3,401
1.8
1.3
21 22 IBM
3,172
2,977
-6.1
1.1
26 23 Marvell
2,550
2,777
8.9
1
23 24 Analog
2,603
2,707
4
1
22 25 Rohm
2,882
2,633
-8.6
1
82,401
83,027
0.8
30.9
Total
Revenue
260,355
268,905
3.3
100%

Intel man fiddles with his models

INFORMATION WEEK has a peculiar little article about a bloke at Chipzilla who is experimenting with models – computer models that is.

Apparently Mike Ferron-Jones is manager of Intel’s “Emerging Model Programme” and in this “roll”, as the article puts it, he goes flying down rabbit holes.

He’s not the only Intel employee who dives into holes in the ground. Dr Genevieve Bell told me four years ago that she knows the difference between a snake hole and a lizard hole. This is a useful skill at Intel because you’ve got to know your politics at La Intella to get on. ♥

Optical interconnect to scream at 25 gigabits/sec

NEC AND boffins at the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing chips for a superfast optical interconnect which will be used in a 10 petaflop computer for the Japanese government.

According to nikkei.net (sub needed), the chips will allow transfers of data at 25 gigabits a second, and a prototype uses 1,000 fibres to transmit data between other devices.

Toshiba takes a dive after abandoning HD DVD

ELECTRONICS FIRM Toshiba said weakness in flash memory and costs associated with exiting the HD DVD business will affect its profits in the financial year to March.

Instead of a forecast profit of  of ¥180 billion, it will turn in ¥125 billion in profits.

NAND flash accounts for some of the pain – it is the second biggest worldwide manufacturer after Korean firm Samsung. ♣

AMD gets certificate for Displayport

CHIP FIRM AMD said it has received the first Displayport certification for a number of its graphics products.

Those include the ATI Radeon HD3400, the HD3600, the HD3800 and the AMD 780G integrated graphics chipset.

Dell said it will use the certified products to support its Displayport Ultrasharp 3008WFP and 2408WFP widescreen LCD monitors.

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) supplies the certification for Displayport products. Its director, Bill Lempesis, said the Radeon HD3000 series of graphics cards are the first source devices to get the certification. ♣