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ARM Announces 64-Bit Cortex-A50 Architecture

Btarlinian Re:Yay Cortex A-15! (160 comments)

Oh, and for the mobile phone market, there's Atom.

Are Intel licensing that to other manufacturers for SOC use? No? Then it's not a real player; cutting the component count at the overall device level is more important than speed to phone makers, as it's cheaper for them like that.

Intel sells full fledged SoCs equivalent to Samsung's Exynos line, etc. with Atom cores. Sure ARM licenses cores, but they aren't even a fabeless chip company they're a processor IP company. They sell Nvidia, Samsung, MediaTek etc. the right right to use ARM IP in their SoCs, which are then fabricated by TSMC, GlobalFoundries etc. Of course Intel isn't going to license you their cores. They want to sell you an SoC they designed, not their IP. That's like saying Qualcomm isn't a real player in the SoC business because they didn't license the Krait core to anyone else.

In addition, on a more general note, comparing margins from fabless guys to Intel is always a bit disingenuous. Intel, being vertically integrated, gets to combine the margins of the foundry, core IP house, EDA guys, and final SoC integrator. Of course they'll have better gross margins.

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (331 comments)

Apple was pretty much the only company that could demand decoupled basebands at that time. As others have mentioned, there are other phones coming out know with standalone Qualcomm basebands. And that still doesn't account for the fact that baseband integration improves power efficiency (assuming everything else is equal, which is not always the case.)

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (331 comments)

As I said, nearly everyone uses Qualcomm's SoCs for their high end phones if they want LTE because Qualcomm has a near monopoly on LTE basebands. (Even the new Exynos based SIII's with LTE use a separate Qualcomm baseband.) It's almost always better for power efficiency if you have an integrated baseband. Until recently, Qualcomm would not sell you a separate LTE baseband, so if you wanted LTE you had to buy their SoC as well. (This was likely due to dedicating their stand-alone baseband supply to the iPhone5 ramp.)

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:parent is WRONG! (331 comments)

Intel has some of it's processor design team in Israel. However, all their manufacturing R&D is done in Portland. All of their other fabs just duplicate the setup they create for each node in Portland. However, I don't think that Intel is in any danger of losing IP in Israel, (unlike the similar dangers that exist when manufacturing in east Asia.)

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:The reason Samsung is using Qualcomm stuff... (331 comments)

No it's because Qualcomm owns the LTE market. In order to sell a phone with LTE you have to buy a baseband from Qualcomm since they make the only capable LTE chips on the market. Qualcomm (i.e., it's foundries) have been capacity constrained for at least a year now so they can insist you buy their entire SoC with integrate LTE baseband if you want an LTE chip. (That's ignoring the fact that you usually have less power consumption if your baseband and SoC are on the same die.)

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:Maybe so ... (331 comments)

Intel has sent nothing overseas. Their manufacturing R&D is all done in Oregon, and most of their leading edge chips are made in Oregon and Arizona with fabs in Israel and Ireland as well. They have exactly one fab in China that makes 65nm products, which now just consists of some old chipsets.

about 2 years ago
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Is Qualcomm the New AMD?

Btarlinian Re:Qualcomm is but a shadow of AMD (331 comments)

Qualcomm manufacture ARM chips, like a dozen other companies, there is nothing special about them.

This is explicitly false. Qualcomm designed their own cores that implement the ARM instruction set. They did not license the Cortex A-x designs and glue them together (like every other ARM SoC vendor, including Samsung.) That also ignores the fact that they are the only ones making usable LTE basebands right now. Qualcomm right now is so dominant that if anything, they're the Intel of the mobile world.

about 2 years ago
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New Manufacturing Technology Enables Vertical 3D Transistors

Btarlinian These are for stacked memory cells (75 comments)

This random article I found has good pictures. This new chamber will allow for precise etch control from layer to layer. It's already in place at customer sites for R&D. (No company usually announces these products without having some placements or at least earlier marketing.) No one really knows how soon 3D NAND is coming; it depends on exactly how low they can scale 2D NAND, which is limited by the number of electrons you can store in a floating gate. 3D NAND designs usually use a charge trapping dielectric layer instead of polysilicon to store charge, the layers are then stacked to allow multiple layers of storage. But to contact each layer separately, you will need to etch through each layer in a sort of staircase pattern, which requires really good control of the etch process.

more than 2 years ago
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Solar Power Is Booming — Why Do We Want To Kill It?

Btarlinian Re:CYA by the White House (415 comments)

Except Solyndra didn't actually outsource their manufacturing to China. They had millions of square feet of factory space in CA.

more than 2 years ago
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NASA Considers Privatizing GALEX Astrophysics Satellite

Btarlinian Re:Caltech is hardly "private sector" (71 comments)

Caltech operates a federal lab, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and receives federal money to do so. The Institute ("Universtiy") is run from that source of funding.

Caltech is not run by money from from the federal government. JPL is run by Caltech using federal money. The chemistry (and other unreleated) labs on campus are not (at least not any more so than at any other university; pretty much every university in the country receives some source of funding from the federal government, through grants from thttp://science.slashdot.org/story/12/02/13/0331221/nasa-considers-privatizing-galex-astrophysics-satellite#he NSF, DOE, etc.)

more than 2 years ago
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AMD Says It's 'Ambidextrous,' Hints It May Offer ARM Chips

Btarlinian Re:sub-45nm ARM? (140 comments)

AMD is a fabless company now. They contract out their manufacturing to their former fabs (including the one in Dresden), which is a separate company that they own ~10% of. That company is building a new fab in Saratoga County in NY. Their former Austin fab was spun off with their flash memory division as Spansion. It's no where close to being a leading edge fab. It still uses 200 mm wafers.

more than 2 years ago
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AMD Says It's 'Ambidextrous,' Hints It May Offer ARM Chips

Btarlinian Re:sub-45nm ARM? (140 comments)

And being ahead of TSMC is arguable in any case.

more than 2 years ago
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AMD Says It's 'Ambidextrous,' Hints It May Offer ARM Chips

Btarlinian Re:sub-45nm ARM? (140 comments)

AMD lost its fabs a while ago. (Their fabs are part of GlobalFoundries now, and they're a bit ahead of TSMC, but not anywhere close to Intel in terms of process capabilities.)

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Btarlinian Re:Well... (891 comments)

Really?! Then what is a government supposed to tax. Any economist will tell you that negative externalities are *exactly* what a government is supposed to tax and then use the money to subsidize positive externalities. The government is certainly not the most efficient body in the world, but I'd argue that compensating for externalities should be the government's first priority.

more than 2 years ago
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Ice Cream Sandwich Ported To X86

Btarlinian Re:Power? (202 comments)

Trust me, Intel is so far ahead of everyone else in process technology, it's not even close. Yeah, someone else will eventually make FinFETs in production but by then I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel with transistors that have III-V and Ge channels. And lithography limitations are already resulting in very restricted design rules for design engineers. As they are pretty much the only vertically integrated company semiconductor company left, they'll have a rather large advantage in knowing exactly how to tune their designs to fit the limitations of their mask sets, etc.

more than 2 years ago
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Open Source CPUs Coming To a Club Near You?

Btarlinian High performance open source CPUs are a while off (54 comments)

One of the problems with open source hardware is that the highest performance chips are designed under restrictive design rules which are a result of fabrication process limitations at the smallest technology nodes. That's one of the biggest reasons the semiconductor industry hasn't moved entirely to a fabless model. The folks making high performance computing hardware need to know exactly what limitations are imposed upon them by the fabrication process. And the fabircation process will never become "open source" (at least not until Moore's law no longer works), there' just way too much money invested in process technology for it to be freely released.

more than 2 years ago
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Has the Second Dotcom Bubble Started?

Btarlinian Re:Picard Facepalm (298 comments)

This is nonsense (or at best an utterly pessimistic view on the value of Google). Let us assume that you currently possess $50 worth of tangible assets. Suppose I signed a contract with you saying that I had to give you $100 for your work on zoology 1 year from today. How much should someone be willing to pay you right now for all to all of your money for time immemorial? Assuming I am perfectly credit worthy, someone should give you ~$150 (actually slightly less accounting for inflation reducing the value of $100 in the future, rates of return on other risk free opportunities, etc.). Now suppose that this fictional investor has noticed that you seem to have been able to get me to sign this contract for $100 every year for the last 5 years. If you knew I was absolutely guaranteed to get $100 every year for the rest of time, and the rate of return+inflation on the best alternative risk-free investment was 7%, someone would be willing to pay 50+sum[100/(1+r)^n,{n,1,Infinity}]=$1478.57 for access to all of your money. Replace all these values on these contracts with the expected value of the profits of Google and the appropriate interest rate and then divide by the number of outstanding shares and you would get how much someone should be willing to pay for a share of Google's stock. The market comes into play by determining the expected value of Google's profits. If the price of Google is going up, it's because they think that the future profits of Google are higher than what the market currently thinks they are going to be. If it's going down then the opposite is true. Your valuation scheme is based on the idea that Google will make no profits in the future, which is so utterly pessimistic as to be silly.

more than 3 years ago
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Huge Amounts of Oil Found On Gulf of Mexico Floor

Btarlinian Re:It's ridiculous. (426 comments)

Chances are you would be one of those people. There's an extremely good chance that some of your retirement savings are invested in some fund that owns shares in BP. Congratulations on your criminal record.

more than 3 years ago
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Free Internet Porn Is Legal, Says California Appeals Court

Btarlinian Re:consequence of bad law (286 comments)

Great post. Furthermore, the law only prohibits these practices when they are undertaken for the purpose of injuring or destroying your competition. And in regards to the history, I'm pretty sure the law was initially drafted to prevent Asian suppliers of microchips from dumping them below cost in the US.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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GLAST Launched Yesterday

Btarlinian Btarlinian writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Btarlinian writes "GLAST (the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope) was launched yesterday at 1605 GMT. GLAST was built in a rather interesting manner, in that much of the work was funded by the Department of Energy. In fact, the main instrument on GLAST, the LAT was assembled at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The LAT, which can detect gamma rays at energies between 20 MeV and 30, uses a rather interesting mechanism for observation. In fact it acts more as a particle physics detector. The telescope also carries the GLAST Burst Monitor, which will observe lower energy gamma rays and x-rays."

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