For years, Intel has provided the power behind the best Chromebooks money can buy. This includes all of Google’s own Chromebooks, ranging from the original CR-48 prototype device to their latest release, the Pixel Slate. Now, evidence has come to light suggesting Chrome OS is skipping Intel’s next generation of processors, Cannon Lake, altogether.
Google Glass has devolved into nothing more than a meme. What was once a genuine — and quite frankly, noble — attempt at building the first mainstream augmented reality glasses, is now the butt of every AR joke. But whatever you think of it, Glass has one thing going for it. Every single pair of AR glasses that come out in the coming years (and yes, I would bet my right eye that we’re going to see lots of these things) is going to be compared to it, and that includes a mysterious new pair from Intel.
Last week, Google revealed that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL contains a “custom-designed co-processor” for machine learning and image processing. This Pixel Visual Core is not yet enabled, but when activated it should result in better processing, among other tasks. A new report today reveals that Google worked with Intel on their first consumer chip.
Google Clips was one of the only genuine surprise announcements from Google’s October 4th event earlier this week. Designed to unobtrusively capture moments, it has a strong focus on privacy thanks to on-device machine learning. This cloud-free processing is in part thanks to a chip that Intel’s Movidius group calls a “vision processing unit.”
In trying to compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud has been moving at breakneck speed. After a strong push into machine learning and AI earlier this week, Google has announced a strategic alliance with Intel to increased enterprise cloud usage.
A tax dispute between Intel and the IRS currently headed to the appeals court could set a precedent that would see Google’s parent company Alphabet reclaiming $3.5B in tax benefits – more than all the tax the company paid last year. The WSJ reports that Google is one of a number of tech giants following the case closely.
The case, which the IRS appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week, is being closely watched in the tech industry and elsewhere. At least 20 companies, including Microsoft and eBay, have disclosed they’re monitoring the outcome of the case involving share-based compensation.
In essence, the case hinges on share compensation packages paid by overseas subsidiaries. The IRS says that the cost of these should be offset against the expenses of the overseas companies; Intel says no, the cost should be deducted by the U.S. parent company – reducing its tax liabilities in its home country.
The IRS introduced the rule in 2003. Companies like Google have abided by the rule but reserved the right to reallocate costs if a court ruling went against the IRS, giving them a huge potential windfall.
FreedomPop is about to step in to the hardware game thanks to some cash and processor, provided by Intel and its investment arm, Intel Capital. So far, the FreedomPop brand has been used purely to launch incredibly affordable smartphone data plans in the US, and recently launched in the UK in partnership with Three. This would mark the first time the company has launched its very own hardware…
Watchmaker Fossil is about to launch a new Android Wear-powered smartwatch in collaboration with Intel and today we get our first look at the device during Intel’s IDF developer conference in San Francisco (via Engadget).
The Android Wear smartwatch, which is scheduled to arrive later this year, comes alongside two other wearables from the companies including other wrist worn devices — a bracelet and a more traditional-looking, connected watch that aren’t powered by Android Wear.
It’s not exactly much to look at, as it appears to have a design a lot like the rest of the round Android Wear devices on the market. But apart from looking a lot like a Moto 360, we do get a sneak peek at some variations planned for the device including a selection of metal and leather bands.
No word on pricing or exact availability, but you can expect to hear more in time for the holidays later this year.
While Android Wear has not yet set the world alight, Google is not sitting idly by while Apple grabs all the media attention with its Apple Watch. The company has announced a deal with Tag Heuer and Intel to create a smartwatch version of one of the watchmaker’s best-selling models, the Carrera.
TAG Heuer, Google and Intel have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company’s respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware.
While the company did not go into details, Reuters reports that the watch “will be a digital replica of the original Tag Heuer black Carrera, known for its bulky, sporty allure, and will look like the original.”
Sincere or not, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver says that he welcomes the launch of the Apple Watch … Expand Expanding Close
Chromebooks have taken the bottom of the market sub-$300 category of laptops by storm over the last couple of years, and they’re expected to continue with that trend going into 2015. One of the devices that will be heading the charge is the Acer C740, which got leaked last week (via OMGChrome), and it’s said that at least one variation of it will be sporting one of Intel’s fifth-generation codename Broadwell chips—expected to be launched at CES in January.
The WSJreports that Google will be launching a new model of Glass next year, with a new low-energy Intel chip designed to increase battery-life. The processor in the current model model is a Texas Instruments one, the headset battery lasting around one day of typical use.
Intel currently makes its own wearable device, the fashion-oriented MICA bracelet aimed at women, its low-energy chip offering a claimed two days of battery-life … Expand Expanding Close
Samsung released a new Intel-powered Chromebook today, as part of its Exynos-based Chromebook 2 series. The company’s new notebook ships with an 11.6-inch display, an Intel Celeron N2840 Bay Trail processor clocked at 2.58GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage space. Priced at $250, Samsung’s revamped Chromebook sports a faux leather backing similar to what we’ve seen on some of its mobile devices.
Basis, a company backed by Intel, has announced a new smart watch compatible with iOS devices that places a focus on health and fitness applications. The device is capable of keeping track of several health-related data points, such as steps, calories, heart rate, prespiration, the temperature of your skin, and in-depth information about your sleep habits.
The Peak doesn’t yet support basic smart watch features like email and text notifications, but Basis says those functions will come in a future software update.
The company says that the device will be available by the holidays. Pricing information hasn’t been revealed yet. You can see photos and the full press release for the Peak below:
A new Chrome OS board named “Auron” based on Intel’s Broadwell chip line recently showed up in the Chromium code repository. Spotted by Googler François Beaufort, this appears to be one of the first devices to use Chipzilla’s 14 nanometer system-on-a-chip. Not a lot is known about this mystery board, but it manages to follow the trend of being named after a popular video game character. Beaufort recently outed a Chrome OS board referred to as “Ryu” from Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise and Auron is a character from the world famous Final Fantasy series.
The lawsuit was brought against the tech giants in question by current and former employees who believed (correctly) that their employers had created agreements to avoid attempting to hire engineers from one another. The idea was that if no competitors were making offers, each company was free to pay its employees whatever it wanted without having to worry about them jumping ship for a better offer.
As was rumored earlier this month, Google today announced its new Google Fit platform. The service, similar to Apple’s HealthKit, will track all of your health metrics, including sleep, steps, biking, and much more. Google Fit will be built directly into the upcoming “L” version of Android. The “L” version of Android is expected to come out at the same time as iOS 8 and Apple’s HealthKit Platform.
Today in San Francisco, Google and Intel announced a brand new fleet of Chromebooks in various shapes and sizes. While some of these devices will be powered by Intel’s familiar Haswell processors, the big news today is that the chip maker is bringing its newer Bay Trail platform to Mountain View’s take on the notebook. Partners like ASUS, Lenovo, LG, HP and Acer will all be producing Bay Trail-powered Chromebooks.
In addition to the new ChromeOS and Intel-based ChromeBook announcements this morning, Intel announced an important new manufacturing initiative for its computer microprocessors. The company announced via a video that it will be moving production of its processors to completely lack conflict materials. These new chips, including the more efficient Bay Trail, will be conflict free in the new ChromeBooks. Intel’s video explicitly mentions materials such as gold, tungsten, and tin coming from war zones in the Congo. The video says that Intel is choosing to completely revamp its processor manufacturing operations and to assist these zones rather than abandoning them and moving to already conflict-free zones for sourcing materials.
Google just blessed our inbox with an invitation to an Intel- co-sponsored media event in San Francisco where the topic will be Chrome OS. Set to take place on May 6th, the mega-chip maker will have a panel of speakers, which include Google’s VP of product management Caesar Sengupta and Intel’s own VP and general manager of the mobile computing group, Navin Shenoy.
The timing couldn’t be better for the Education-heavy Chromebook market – educators tend to make big buying decisions over the summer so vendors will want to strut their best stuff.
Intel shared some news this week about its upcoming processors and more this week at an event held in China.
As CNET reports, Intel’s senior vice president Kirk Skaugen revealed that the company’s follow up to its Chromebook-friendly Bay Trail processor is being called Braswell and will feature the usual jumps in battery efficiency and performance.
Intel also discussed optimizing Android for 64-bit:
Intel released Android KitKat 4.4 with a 64-bit kernel optimized for Intel Architecture devices. “With this release, the company ported, validated and tested the Android Open Source code on IA, taking on the work that developers typically would need to do on their own. This release will provide the ecosystem with 64-bit kernel support for development of next-generation devices,” Intel said. (The chipmaker noted that Android KitKat is a 32-bit OS.)
The Environmental Protection Agency has published its list of the top 30 tech and telecom companies in the U.S. that take advantage of the most renewable energy sources, placing Google near the top of the bunch at third place. Google’s green power consumption reached 737,364,727 kWh, according to the EPA’s report.
Only Intel and Microsoft managed to beat Google in total green power usage.
The study also notes that around 32% of Google’s total power usage comes from “green” sources, such as wind and solar, while the other 68% comes from non-green sources. Many companies easily beat the 32% statistic, but Google’s total power consumption, including non-green sources, is the highest of any other company on the list.
Just a few minutes after announcing the hybrid Transformer Book Duet, Asus has unveiled an entirely new line of Android devices dubbed ZenFone. Asus hasn’t had much luck in the Android phone market, due in large part to its odd choice to only release phones that dock in tablets. The company hopes that these ZenFone devices will bring it some commercial success, though.
The ZenFone devices will come in three sizes, 4-inches, 5-inches, and 6-inches. All models will be powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor and be available in a wide-variety of colors. The devices will ship with Android 4.3 on board, but don’t get too excited, as Asus has decided to overlay its ZenUI on top of the operating system. Asus promises that ZenUI will be simply, beautiful, and easy to use. One feature Asus is heavily promoting is a What’s Next feature that keeps track of your daily schedules.
Microsoft’s renewed nervousness about Chromebooks was likely influenced by advance knowledge of Dell’s announcement that it would be joining Acer, HP and Samsung in manufacturing the ultraportable laptops in January.
The machine will have a Celeron 2955U processor, a choice of 2GB or 4GB RAM and 16GB of flash storage. The screen will be an 11-inch 1366×768 display with 720p front-facing webcam. You’ll get two USB 3 sockets plus HDMI in a case less than an inch thick and weighing under three pounds. Battery-life is said to be around 10 hours … Expand Expanding Close
A Georgia Fire Chief is singing the praises of Google Glass. It isn’t hard to see why a heads up display would be a big benefit to Firefighters but a less Beta product would probably more optimal for bigger rollouts. (which are probably a year out at least).
At Intel’s Developer Forum today, Google and Intel announced three new Chrome OS devices running on the latest Haswell processors. On the Google Chrome blog, Google says the new processors “sip less power to improve battery life by more than 2X over previous generations, while offering increased performance.”
Sadly, no prices or dates were announced for these devices, but these will probably be hitting the shelves shortly to join the touch-screen Pixel.
Intel is hoping to help schools make the transition to electronic learning with the announcement of two low-spec Android tablets intended to be cheap enough for bulk purchase, reports PhoneArena.
The smaller and presumably cheaper of the two comes with an Atom Z2420 chip running at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, and a 7-inch, 1024 by 600 pixel display. There are also 8GB of storage, a built-in speaker and mike, basic front and rear cameras, and a sealed battery that should last through 8 hours of usage. That the tablet is resistant to some water and shock damage, bearing IP41 certification, is worth noting.
The larger of the two Intel Education Tablets is powered by a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 processor backed by 1GB of RAM and its 10.1-inch display has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. It offers twice the built-in storage, 16 gigs … Expand Expanding Close
While we knew from earlier reports that Samsung was planning on unveiling a new high end tablet with an Intel processor, today Samsung has officially announced the device alongside a new 8-inch variant of its Galaxy Tab 3 line.
Adding to the 7-inch variant that it launched back in April, Samsung today announced the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 (which it later confirmed is indeed using a 1.6GHz dual-core processor from Intel), as well as an 8-inch variant of the device with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU.
Inside the 10.1-inch model you’ll find 1280 x 800, 149PPI WXGA TFT display, a 3-megapixel main camera and 1.3-megapixel front facing cam, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD slot, and a 6,800 mAh battery. It weighs in at 510g for the WiFi only model, but will also be available with 3G and LTE capabilities when it launches running Android 4.2 later this month.
The 8-inch version comes with a 1280 x 800, 189PPI WXGA TFT display, 5-megapixel cam on the back, 1.3-megapixel on the front, Bluetooth 4.0, a 4,450 mAh battery, microSD expandable to 64GB, and the rest of the usual specs you find in Sammy’s tablets.
Samsung said both devices will be arriving in 16GB and 32GB variants sometime at the beginning of this month. Full specs for both devices below: Expand Expanding Close
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose to give a deposition related to an ongoing private lawsuit that claims Apple, Google, and others entered “no-poach” agreements, as reported by Bloomberg. Cook isn’t the only executive named in yesterday’s order. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will also be deposed on Feb. 20, as well as Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month.
The judge said she was disappointed that senior executives at the companies involved hadn’t been deposed before yesterday’s hearing over whether she should certify the case as a group lawsuit. The class would include different categories of employees whose incomes, their lawyers argue, were artificially reduced because of the collusion. Koh didn’t rule on class certification.
At Koh’s request, the lawyers also agreed that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will be deposed Feb. 20. Lawyers for the employees will depose Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini later this month, lawyers said.
In the video above, you are seeing the Tizen operating system. It is an open source project backed by Intel and Samsung, which runs Android apps thanks to a little help from OpenMobile. The video above comes from TheHandheld Blog (via GigaOM). Tizen, which Samsung now plans to merge with its Bada platform, just launched version 1.0 this month and it recently received support from Sprint. In the demo video below, we see what might be our first look at the Tizen platform running on an Android device; although, the integration with OpenMobile to run Android apps is not an official feature of the OS yet.
GigaOM suggested Samsung could buy OpenMobile outright to integrate the technology and enable the roughly 400,000 existing Android apps to run on the up-and-coming platform. Go past the break for a the video of Tizen running on a Samsung Galaxy SII HD from the recent Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco (via Engadget).
Update: Scalado won’t confirm publicly what partners use its technology, but we’ve managed to confirm with a source close to the situation that RIM is using Scalado’s Rewind technology in BlackBerry 10.
If you happened to catch the highlights from RIM’s unveiling of BlackBerry 10 this morning, you probably noticed that slick new camera app with the ability to “rewind” time and capture the perfect expression of each person in the image. If you thought it looked familiar, it was probably because it looks almost identical to the Rewind technology from Swedish mobile imaging company Scalado.
The company has been showing off its tech on Android and other platforms from partners such as Qualcomm and Intel for over a year. A video of Scalado’s Rewind tech is above, and BlackBerry 10’s is in the video above at the 8:30 mark or below at 1:15. Scalado appears to have already partnered with at least HTC for some of its other tech and works specifically with OEMs and developers to implement its apps.
It looks like RIM may have partnered with Scalado to implement its tech, which would mean BB 10’s coolest new feature is likely headed to Android and other platforms soon. We reached out to Scalado and will update if we hear back.
Late last week we told you that the U.S. Justice Department apparently had evidence that Google, along with Apple, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Intel, Walt Disney and Lucasfilms, entered “no-poach” agreements as part of an antitrust investigation from 2010. U.S. District Judge Lucy H Koh made a statement yesterday at the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., confirming the companies must face a lawsuit. According to the report fromBloomberg, Koh said she would allow plaintiffs to re-file their complaint even if an initial request by the defendants to dismiss the claims is granted.
Judge Koh’s decision yesterday will result in Google and the other companies having to provide a detailed account of the agreements made with other companies. They must also allow lawyers to take depositions. One lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Joseph Saveri, said, “We get to see what really happened,” claiming the case could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Google provided statements to Bloomberg claiming they have “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent,” while the others have declined to comment.
Handset maker Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google, and is subject to approval from regulators in the United States and Europe, said at CES 2012 yesterday that it would release fewer phones in 2012. The company also announced a multi-year strategic mobile partnership with Intel to make Android smartphones powered by the chipmaker’s struggling Atom platform.
According to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha’s roundtable meeting with reporters at CES yesterday, Motorola no longer sees value in dispersing its efforts by flooding the market with countless devices:
A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place. […] I made this decision independent of what the others will. We’re doing what we think is the right thing.
Motorola issued a warning last week on fourth-quarter results, and the company said numbers would come in below the $3.9 billion that most analysts expected. As for the Motorola-Intel partnership…
Intel has had little luck putting its chips into smartphones and tablets, as the devices continue to rely predominantly on silicon designs based around Britain’s ARM Holdings technology. Its easy to see why: ARM-licensed chips built by the likes of Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments are famous for their efficiency in terms of CPU performance versus power consumption.
Nevertheless, the world’s largest chipmaker is hoping to turn the tables with the Medfield platform: a 32-nanometer Atom processor for tablets and smartphones. Google and Intel announced a partnership at the Intel Developers Forum 2011 in San Francisco that promises to put Medfield chips in Android devices beginning January 2012.
Intel unveiled a reference design today for Android smartphones using the Medfield architecture. According toTechnology Review, prototype hardware is speedier than today’s flagship smartphones without taxing the battery heavily. Medfield-driven Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones and tablets, performance-wise, should be able to play Blu-ray-rated high-definition video, stream to the tube over a wireless network, and take up to 10 8-megapixel images in burst mode. Do not mistaken the above image for an iPhone 4S, because it is just a reference prototype design meant as a guidance for OEMs looking to incorporate Intel’s chips into their products.
TIMNreports that Google’s head of mobile, Andy Rubin, dropped a bombshell during his on-stage appearance at the Intel Developer Forum, by announcing that all future versions of Android will be optimized for Intel chips top to bottom. Intel also showed off a prototype Android tablet and phone running on the Medfield chip. Medfield is Intel’s fourth-generation mobile Internet device platform based on a 32-nanometer Atom processor.
The news prompted former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky to observe on Twitter that Google is cozying up to Intel’s x86 platform at a time when Microsoft is adding support – for the first time in its history – for ARM’s mobile platform in Windows 8. Of course, we remember that Intel promised on numerous occasions that we’d see phones running on Intel chips in “early 2012,” even if everyone assumed the company was referring to Windows 8-powered devices. Google here wants to cover all bases with future versions of Android and it’s likely that the announcement will spark more competition between Intel and chip vendors that manufacture mobile chips based on ARM’s processor blueprints.
It’s no secret patent-related legal disputes have become the subject of most media coverage lately…Whether it’s Apple halting sales of Samsung’s tablets, HTC going after Apple, or Google snatching up Motorola to beef up their patent portfolio, it’s clear the company with the most patents will have an advantage over others in the legal proceedings that we’re bound to continue encountering down the road. This is why we’re intrigued by the graphic above (via GigaOM)from mobile analyst Chetan Sharma charting the number of issued patents (in the US and Europe) between 1993 and 2011.
While these estimates of mobile communications related patents don’t take the quality of patents into account (which is obviously a huge factor in determining their long-term value), you can see from the breakdown below that Nokia and Samsung top the list, with the other expected players including IBM, Microsoft, Sony, Motorola, and Intel following.
Noticeably far down the list is Apple, the one company who seems to have had more success than others fighting patent-related issues recently. Again, these numbers in no way represent the quality of patents and the ability for companies to protect their IPs in the courtroom… which is also a good indication that perhaps we should be looking more closely at the quality of patents rather than the sheer number. Expand Expanding Close
So Intel has showcased six Honeycomb tablets at the Computex show, all of them engineered around the company’s latest 32-nanometer silicon code-named Medfield, the chip maker’s first system-on-a-chip engineered specifically for tablets and smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the demos fell on deaf ears with the veteran journalists who have seen it all.
Sean Moloney, Intel’s new president for China, flashed six Honeycomb 3.0 tablets and a smartphone during his opening keynote. He said reference designs for Medfield tablets and smartphones include both Android and ill-fated Meego software that Intel and Nokia co-developed for high-end mobile gear.
Intel has been trying for years to penetrate the potent mobile market where ARM-based processors designed by Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Apple and others woe device makers. Be that as it may, we don’t see Intel’s latest technology competing effectively with market incumbents – neither this nor next year. Why?