Tag Archives: ARM

Microsoft discloses weak Surface revenue

Microsoft’s Surface tablet has earned the company less in revenue than it paid to write down unsold stocks of the device.

The company said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the Surface had earned revenue of US$853 million in its fiscal year ended June 30. The Redmond, Washington, software company did not disclose how many units of the tablet it had shipped during the year.

Microsoft announced earlier this month it took a charge for Surface RT inventory adjustments of approximately $900 million. The company also saw a $898 million increase in advertising costs, associated mainly with the Windows 8 operating system and Surface, according to the filing.

Aimed to compete with Apple’s iPad and other tablets, the Surface RT built around a ARM-based processor and running Windows RT operating system was generally available from October. The Surface Pro, which runs Windows 8 on an Intel processor, became available in February.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Duane Hinnen: Utilite, a $99 quad-core ARM-based PC running Ubuntu

Recently I have been reading about the quad-core ARM-based PC running Ubuntu called Utilite. Utilite packs a single-, dual- or quad-core Freescale i.MX6 Cortex-A9 MPCore processor (up to 1.2 GHz), up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM (1066MHz), an mSATA SSD (up to 512GB), WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI 1.4 up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz, and DVI-D up to 1920×1200 @ 60Hz, Video Processing Unit supporting multi-stream 1080p H.264, VC1, RV10, and DivX decoding, Graphics Processing Unit supporting OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0, OpenVG 1.1, and OpenCL EP, two Gigabit Ethernet sockets, four USB 2.0 ports, one micro-USB OTG connector, audio jacks (analog and S/PDIF), a micro-SD XD slot and two ultra-mini RS232 serial ports interfaces. All this in a chassis mesuring just 5.3 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches

ports on back

The PC can be purchased with either Ubuntu Linux or Android.

CompuLab and its resellers will start accepting orders for the little computer in August. Originally full pricing wasn’t announced, with CompuLab saying only that “Utilite will be offered in several configurations starting from $99.” I did find this page with Utilite models, specifications and pricing.

To receive notification when Utilite is available for sale, please send us an email to sales@utilite-computer.com or follow Utilite on Twitter or Utilite on Google+

Please if you have anything to add or comments on the new box please share. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet Ubuntu

Chip Designer ARM Echoes Strong iPhone Sales, Beating Revenue Estimates

By Parmy Olson, Forbes Staff

Financial results from Apple, and now ARM Holdings, may help dispel recent concerns that the market for high-end smartphones has already reached its peak. ARM, which designs chips for a range of mobile products including the iPhone and iPad, announced that its second quarter sales had increased by more than a quarter to 171.2 million pounds ($263 million), above the 165.1 million pounds expected by analysts, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Oracle and ARM to tweak Java

Oracle and ARM are working together to make the Java programming language more suitable for ARM processors, in order to encourage its use for embedded systems and enterprise software.

The work will customize the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) for ARM 32-bit platforms, making it more suitable for embedded systems, and the Java SE for ARMv8 64-bit platforms, where it could be used to build enterprise software and networking firmware to run on ARM servers and networking gear.

While Java was originally developed to work across different platforms, the new work will focus on improving the throughput and scalability of Java applications on ARM multicore systems.

In the market for embedded systems, Java could play a role in the emerging, so-called Internet of things, where it could be used in conjunction with energy-efficient ARM chips to build industrial control and factory automation systems.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Microsoft must stick with Windows RT, analysts say

Microsoft’s massive $900 million Surface RT gaffe may have been, as one analyst put it, “an absolute abomination” in operations, but the company will not—cannot—give up on the ARM-based platform, experts contend.

“They haven’t given up, not yet,” said Frank Gillett, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Maybe in a year or two if, in fact, they’re still struggling, but this is a determined company with a lot of cash and a large market presence.”

Last week, Microsoft took a $900 million charge against earnings to account for a drop in the value of its remaining Surface RT inventory. As explained by Amy Hood, the company’s new CFO, in a call with Wall Street Thursday, the charge accounts for a 25 percent to 30 percent discounting of the tablet as well as a write-off of an unspecified quantity of components and accessories, likely including some already-purchased parts that have not yet been used to assemble more devices.

But the company, which has repeatedly confirmed that it will remain in the hardware business, gave no hint that it would either dump the Surface RT specifically or scale back its plans to become a devices-and-services vendor.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Microsoft should yank Windows RT for Windows RT's own good

Okay, Microsoft. You had your fun fling with ARM processors, serenading your newfound love with glitzy dubstep ads full of creepy dancing schoolgirls. Thin and light tablets packing a—gasp!—free version of Office? Freedom from Intel and AMD’s x86 processors? Sanctity from traditional Windows malware? How dreamy.

But the honeymoon is over, and reality ain’t happy with the frivolous romp. Thursday, Microsoft announced that it took an accounting hit to the tune of nearly $1 billion—yes, with a B—thanks to the steep discount it had to apply to the millions of Surface RT tablets lying around unsold. The dream has become a nightmare, and not just for Surface.

Microsoft, it’s time for Windows RT to take a vacation.

Like rats from a ship

The writing has been on the wall for Windows RT for a while now, but this week really crystallized that its time is not now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Source: Microsoft Surface RT isn't dead

Microsoft recorded a $900 million charge against its fourth-quarter earnings for “inventory adjustments” on its Surface RT tablet. Does that mean that the Surface RT is dead? No, a source close to the company told PCWorld.

Instead, Microsoft expects that the recent price cuts, when it lowered the price of the Surface RT by 30 percent, to have a positive impact on the tablet, the source said. (The entry-level 32GB Surface RT model now sells for $349; the 32GB device, for $499; and the 64GB configuration is priced at $599.) The $900 million charge reflects the financial impact of those price cuts, the source said. Typically, when a price cut occurs, it spurs demand; Microsoft hopes that the same trend will occur with the Surface RT.

Analysts say Microsoft’s moves are indicative of Windows RT’s value to the company. “For Microsoft, Windows RT is a long-term, strategic play,” Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy, said recently, explaining why Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is so critical to the company’s future. Moorhead characterized the Surface RT, which ran on ARM processors, as a wakeup call for Intel and its own low-power Atom architecture.

Intel heard that call, Moorhead said, and with the upcoming “Silvermont” Atom architecture, the chip maker is expected to challenge ARM. While Microsoft is expected to refresh the Surface RT at some point, it’s not clear whether the company will select Intel’s Atom—which runs Windows 8 and Google’s Android OS, as well as Windows RT.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Time To Stop The Insane Smartphone Benchmark Practices

By Patrick Moorhead, Contributor

Benchmarks are used in every market as one way to show why one company’s widget is better than another company’s widget.  Whether it’s MPG on a car, energy ratings on appliances, or a Wine Spectator rating, it’s a benchmark.  The high-tech industry loves benchmarks, too, and there is an industry full of companies and organizations that do nothing but develop and distribute benchmarks.  With high-tech benchmarks come controversy, because the stakes are high as all things equal, the widget with the highest benchmark scores will typically receive more money.  The recent spat about Intel versus ARM in smartphones illustrates what is wrong with the “system”.  I want to explore this and offer some suggestions to help fix what is broken. The first thing I want to highlight is that getting benchmarks “right” is important to the buyer.  If a buyer makes a choice based on a benchmark and either the benchmark isn’t representative of a comparative user experience or if the benchmark has been manipulated, the buyer has been misled.  The first case would be like a buyer buying a racing boat based on the number cup holders and the second would be an auto MPG test during 100 mph tail winds.   The smartphone benchmark blow-up has accusations of both and reminds me a bit of a Big Brother episode. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

ARM "All-In" With Mobile GPU Compute

By Patrick Moorhead, Contributor Unless you have been living under a rock the last few years, you know that smartphones and tablets have been blowing the doors off of the tech market compared to the personal computers.  Inside of every one of these devices is what’s called an “SoC”, or system on a single chip. Each SoC has distinct blocks of intellectual property and functionality that do different tasks depending on the type of software.  These are blocks like the processor, graphics, video, camera, audio, DSP, connectivity, GPS, etc.  For years, ARM has had the dominant instruction set for processors, but companies like Qualcomm and Imagination Technologies have dominated in graphics mobility.  I had the pleasure of researching a graphics white paper (you can find here) with ARM, Samsung, Aptina and Codeplay, and wanted to share a few of the highlights with you.  Let me start with some background first. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

FTSE Shares That Soared This Week

By Alan Oscroft, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

LONDON — The FTSE 100 was more upbeat this week, after a number of positive earnings reports from some of the U.K.’s biggest public companies helped send it up 140 points (2.2%) to 6,426. That’s still some way down from the five-year high of 6,534 points that the index of top U.K. stocks set on March 12, but it’s a nice pullback from recent falls.

Here are four of the companies that gave the FTSE a boost this week.

Standard Life
Insurer Standard Life led the FTSE 100 with a rise of 53 pence (16%) to 387 pence over the week, after the company announced that its total assets under management rose 7% to 233 billion pounds during its first quarter. The company also told us business was doing well in Canada, saying it “remains well placed in the growing pension market.” Forecasts for the full year put Standard Life on a P/E of 15, just slightly ahead of the FTSE‘s long-term average of around 14, and there’s a dividend yield of about 4% expected.

ARM Holdings
A bumper set of first-quarter results sent the price of chip designer ARM Holdings soaring on Tuesday, and it ended the week up 106 pence (12.2%) to 979 pence. Earnings per share surged by 58% to 5.31 pence, after the number of ARM-based chips shipped during the quarter climbed by 35% to 2.6 billion and helped push revenue up 28% to 170 million pounds and pre-tax profit up 44% to 89.4 million pounds. CEO Warren East told us that “ARM‘s royalty revenues again outpaced the wider semiconductor industry.”

Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group, which is the result of a series of mergers of Lloyds Bank, Trustee Savings Bank, and HBOS, announced on Wednesday that it is to split off the TSB arm again. A total of 632 of Lloyds’ branches will be rebranded as TSB Bank, and the new division will be floated on the stock market. The cooperative had originally agreed (in non-binding terms) to acquire the branches, but Lloyds confirmed that it has pulled out of the deal. Lloyds stock gained 5.4 pence (11.4%) to 52.9 pence by the end of Friday.

Associated British Foods
Associated British Foods, which owns the successful Primark clothing chain, pleased the market with an upbeat first-half report, sending its stock up 78 pence (4.2%) to 1,925 pence. The six months to March 2 saw revenue up 10% to 6,333 million pounds, with adjusted EPS up 22% to 41.9 pence, and the interim dividend was lifted by 10% to 9.35 pence per share. These results, according to the board, “exceeded our expectations at the start of the year.”

What now?
Dividends form a core part of many a successful long-term portfolio. Whether you need that income to live on, or want to reinvest it for the long term, there’s nothing wrong with collecting robust and attractive payouts. And that’s what the Fool’s

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

3 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

By now you should’ve heard that PC sales haven’t exactly been booming. In the first quarter, IDC estimated that PC shipments fell 13.9% year over year, marking the worst quarterly decline ever for the PC industry. Between tablets that are cannibalizing the low-end notebook and the lackluster reaction to Microsoft‘s Windows 8, it’s not surprising to hear that the PC has seen better days. Despite Microsoft‘s efforts to expand its reach in mobile, the health of the PC industry remains central to the company’s overall profitability and growth prospects.

With Windows 8, Microsoft attempted to reorient the PC experience to embrace an increasingly mobile and touch-friendly world. However, the sales pace of Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been stellar. Thus far, Windows 8 is shaping up to be one of Microsoft’s biggest flops, surpassing Windows Vista in the process. In other words, Microsoft needs to find a way to reverse the trend and get users to wholeheartedly embrace the modernized Windows experience.

Here’s how Microsoft could prevent Windows 8 from being an epic failure.

Kill Windows RT
Windows RT has been a nightmare since the beginning. It has utterly confused consumers since there are inherent differences between the full version of Windows 8 and Windows RT. For one, Windows RT devices are powered by ARM Holdings designs, which to the consumer means that legacy Windows applications are not compatible. However, devices powered by ARM offer the promise of smaller form factors and improved battery life over Intel -powered designs.

Microsoft has done a poor job relaying these and other subtleties between Windows 8 and Windows RT to consumers. The Verge investigated the topic and found that Microsoft failed to properly educate its employees, which naturally damaged consumer perceptions about the product. As a result of this confusion, Samsung decided not to launch any Windows RT devices in the U.S. and stopped RT sales in Germany. Acer has delayed introducing any Windows RT devices in the U.S. until it had a better sense of how Microsoft Surface RT sales fared. When major OEM partners don’t even want to embrace Windows RT, how can Microsoft really make it a success story?

If only Microsoft would have just stuck with Intel’s x86 architecture the whole time …

Introduce a $200 Windows 8 tablet
Not only would a $200 Windows 8-powered tablet do wonders for Microsoft’s mobile prospects, but it would also probably give Apple and Google a run for their money in the tablet space. Both Apple’s and Google’s tablet experience lack the level of productivity that that would be possible on a Windows 8 tablet powered by Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail processor. With a few added peripherals, such a device could become an impromptu, yet highly capable, PC in a pinch.

Speaking of Bay Trail, the future of the PC also hinges on Intel’s ability to introduce technology that enables a compelling

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Supercomputer dedicated that is fastest one owned by a college

Indiana University has dedicated the fastest supercomputer owned by a university to date — the new Big Red II system.

Speaking at the dedication, the eminent HPC scientist Paul Messina said that Big Red II is a unique advantage for Indiana.

[ MORE SUPERCOMPUTERS: Dell working on ARM supercomputer prototypes ]

“It’s important that this is a university-owned resource. … Here you have the opportunity to have your own faculty, staff and students get access with very little difficulty to this wonderful resource,” he said.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

ARM wins more Big.Little licensees

More companies have signed on for ARM‘s Big.Little chip design technology, which mixes low-power and power-hungry cores for more efficient energy use of chips in smartphones, tablets, servers and other equipment.

Seventeen companies have so far licensed Big.Little, ARM said in a statement Wednesday. That is a jump from seven companies announced at the Mobile World Congress in February.

Big.Little is meant to preserve battery life on faster smartphones and tablets. Its design reserves high-power cores for demanding tasks like video playback, while the low-power processors take on mundane tasks like answering phone calls or playing audio. That effectively provides power-efficient use of processors and better performance per watt.

Samsung is using the Big.Little design in its Exynos 5 Octa chip, which combines four high-power ARM Cortex-A15 cores with four low-power ARM Cortex-A7 processors. The Octa 5 chip is used in some Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones. A prototype tablet displayed by ARM at MWC also demonstrated the processor, with the low-power cores largely handling background tasks.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035552/arm-wins-more-biglittle-licensees.html#tk.rss_all

5 Favorite Sessions from Collaboration Summit Attendees

By libbyclark

Now more than halfway through the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, attendees have started to weigh in on the best sessions and experiences so far. Some cited Monday’s keynote presentations from heavy hitters such as Samsung and Jaguar Land Rover. Others focused on the technical discussions in Tuesday’s sessions, which covered a range of topics from Automotive Grade Linux to kernel scheduler load balancing. And for some, simply meeting the developers on the other side of an email list provided the best experience at the conference.  


“It’s been great learning about the open source projects, in particular Jaguar and Samsung and the collaboration they’re looking for and that we can offer.

“Whether you work for a different company or not, it seems like you can really participate. I’m looking forward to some of the other technical presentations where I can learn about Linux and how it’s changing.” – Carol Sanders, Vyatta. 






“The subjects are great, but what’s even greater is getting to meet people and have discussions with people on the other side of engineering from different companies. I got to meet people I’ve been working with for several years but I’ve never met with them.

“Even some of the presentations we had that weren’t direclty related to what our company does triggered a lot of good ideas that I can bring back to the company and gave me some ideas for changes.

For cloud computing we talked about what’s missing and what can be done and especially from a storage perspective. We know we’re doing a lot on our end that’s really good but there are parts of the Linux kernel that need to be added as well.” – Abdel Sadek, NetApp.




“I was particularly interested in the Linux weather forecast by Jon Corbet yesterday. It presented some challenges that we’re going to face this coming year. Some of which I wasn’t aware, particularly in the new architectures with big.LITTLE and how that will imply changes in course scheduling code. Me working in performance issues, I find that attractive and challenging.

“I’ve been impressed with the keynotes and event organization as well. I hope tomorrow will be just as good.” – Davidlohr Bueso, Hewlett-Packard. 






“Today I attended ACPI 5.0 improvements, which is really interesting. I’ve been kind of watching the Linux mailing lists on Linux LKML. It gave me insight into balance bewtween ARM and ACPI and how we can use the same infrastructure to transparently implement.

“Also, being able to add GPIO interrupts and such, and see where I can contribute, possibly. The second one I heard about was power scheduling which was very insightful. There are a lot of questions to be answered in terms of getting it to primetime.

“And the big thing I’m getting out of this conference is

From: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2013/04/5-favorite-sessions-collaboration-summit-attendees

Dell remains committed to Windows RT

Dell remains committed to Microsoft’s Windows RT, despite the poor market reception to the OS and a decline in prices of related tablets.

The company has “future generations” of its XPS 10 tablet, which runs Windows RT, under development, said Neil Hand, vice president at Dell.

The upcoming tablets will be lighter and faster, though Hand did not provide any further details on release dates or specifications of the XPS 10 successor.

Microsoft shipped Windows RT for ARM-based devices and Windows 8 for Intel-based devices in October last year. The XPS 10 was released to positive reviews shortly after, with prices starting at US$499. The tablet now starts at $449, and Windows RT tablets are offered by Samsung, Asus and Microsoft, whose Surface RT starts at $499.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034675/dell-remains-committed-to-windows-rt.html#tk.rss_all

ARM-based chips to improve network performance and keep power use in check

Chipmaker LSI is hoping to improve networking performance and flexibility with its ARM-based Axxia 4500 processor family, announced Monday.

ARM-based processors are best known for powering smartphones and tablets. But the British company’s technology will also be used in next-generation switches and routers for enterprises and data centers, if LSI is successful.

The Axxia 4500 processor family are based on up to four ARM Cortex-A15 cores and use ARM‘s new CoreLink CCN-504 interconnect, which can prioritize time-sensitive traffic and offers up to one terabit of usable system bandwidth per second, according to ARM. The Cortex-A15 is ARM‘s most powerful processor to date, and is used in products like the Nexus 10 tablet from Google and Samsung Electronics and the Galaxy S4.

LSI‘s Axxia processors have been based on PowerPC processors in the past, but the move to ARM will bring better performance while keeping power consumption in check, according to LSI.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034658/armbased-chips-to-improve-network-performance-and-keep-power-use-in-check.html#tk.rss_all

AppliedMicro, Altera team to speed up ARM servers

Applied Micro Circuits is aiming to make its 64-bit chip for ARM servers more powerful and flexible through a collaboration with specialized chip maker Altera.

Applied Micro on Monday said it would combine its 64-bit X-Gene chips with Altera’s FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) in ARM servers. Applied Micro‘s X-Gene is expected to ship later this year or early next year, while Altera is a market leader in FPGAs.

FPGAs are reprogrammable circuits typically used for specific applications. For example, FPGAs are used alongside the Cell CPU in PlayStation’s PlayStation 3 to help boost gaming. While FPGAs are expensive and limited in scope, they are heavily used for simulation of processor designs and testing of applications. Applied Micro‘s X-Gene chip was first publicly demonstrated via an FPGA.

The collaboration will lead to development of hardware and software products for data centers, including enterprise networking and storage products, the companies said in a joint statement. The announcement came after Applied Micro on Monday sold its TPACK subsidiary, which works on FPGAs for networking, to Altera. The company did not officially announce the sale price, but the transaction is expected to close this month.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034648/appliedmicro-altera-team-to-speed-up-arm-servers.html#tk.rss_all

Dell: Little momentum in ARM servers until 64-bit processors

The low-power capabilities of ARM-based processors have created high expectations for their use in servers, but one of Dell’s top engineers said they are unlikely to take off until 64-bit versions hit the market.

“I don’t think you’ll see any serious momentum in ARM until 64-bit comes out,” said Jimmy Pike, vice president, senior fellow and chief architect of Dell’s Data Center Solutions division. ARM has said it expects 64-bit server chips based on its processor design to start shipping next year, with servers shipping in volume starting in late 2014 or early 2015. Pike is highly regarded in low-power server design and the Dell division he’s in was among the first of the top-tier server providers to experiment with very low-power servers for hyperscale data centers.

ARM processors are being used in most smartphones and tablets, but are being investigated for use in servers as a way to cut electric bills while efficiently processing large volumes of Internet transactions. To counter ARM, Intel is offering Atom server processors as low-power alternatives to its power-hungry Xeon server chips, which dominate the data center landscape today.

But Intel has an early advantage over ARM. Hewlett-Packard last week announced its Project Moonshot dense server with Intel’s Atom processor and Dell is already offering dense servers with low-power x86 chips. The companies are relegating ARM servers to the labs, where they are offered to customers for testing.

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From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2034178/dell-little-momentum-in-arm-servers-until-64bit-processors.html#tk.rss_all