Continued restructuring, refocusing will save $450 million annually
Chip manufacturer Texas Instruments is slashing 1,700 jobs in an effort to cut costs as it migrates its business model away from smartphone chips. TI said it expects to take a charge of about $325 million related to the job cuts and other associated cost reduction methods in the current quarter. Previously-announced fourth quarter predictions did not include these costs.
Amazon said to be in serious talks with TI over mobile chip business
Amazon is reportedly in Ďadvanced negotiationsí with Texas Instruments to buy out its mobile processor business, according to TNW. If the report is accurate, such a deal could be said to be in the Ďbillions of dollards,í but would help Amazon gain more control over the design of future devices. Amazon is TIís largest customer and uses its mobile processors throughout its Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets.
Company drops OMAP5 after seeing Apple's A6
Earlier this week, Texas Instruments announced that it was getting out of the consumer-product chip business and focusing on embedded industrial chip uses, a blow to rivals who had been looking at the company's forthcoming OMAP5 chip as a rival to Apple's speedy A6. TI had been supplying Open Multimedia Applications Platform (OMAP) chips based on ARM designs to phone and tablet makers such as Amazon, Motorola, Nokia, LG, RIM and other companies, but was feeling the heat of increased competition and pressure to keep pace.
Company allegedly fueling chip production
A number of US suppliers are already seeing increased business from Apple, according to sources for AppleInsider. One person in the industry notes that chipmakers like Avago and Texas Instruments have been increasing US production during the past year because of orders from "a large personal electronics manufacturer" that continues to find record-breaking sales. Because they're afraid to single out Apple by name, the person explains that some people in the industry like to joke about growing orders from an unnamed "fruit vendor."
A number of chip makers have already started stocking parts intended to be used in production of Apple's next-generation iPhone, according to industry sources for DigiTimes. Qualcomm and Broadcom are said to be producing 4G and Wi-Fi chips using a 28nm process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. OmniVision is also said to be hunting for production at TSMC's 12-inch fab, contributing to limited production capacity. OmniVision specializes in camera components, and has supplied cameras for Apple handhelds in the past.
TSMC to fire up 20nm chip line by year's end
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which supplies many large electronics makers with computer chips and components, has reported that its first quarter net profit fell by 7.7 percent compared to last year. The revenue for the quarter was slightly higher than expected, however. It has also said it expects to see profits grow later on in the year thanks to an improved economy and chip orders that are greater than expectations.
Allows real time 2k and 4k video processing
Earlier today, Texas Instruments announced the industry's first multicore digital signal processor (DSP) implementation of the JPEG-2000 video codec. Four TI 6678 digital signal processors (DSPs) will soon be available on a half-length PCI Express x2 (PCIe) card tailored for use in data-intensive digital video broadcast and other video implementations, such as surveillance and the medical industry.
TI, China clues may have 2012 iPhone clues
The slowly building rumors surrounding the 2012 iPhone were joined by another after claims late Wednesday. A source at Texas Instruments told iPhone maintenance outlet RepairLabs that the company had started producing the power management chip for the next iPhone. Senior staffers in the company were referring to Apple's project as the iPhone 5, the source said, although it's more likely this is a placeholder name.
Products competitive with Qualcomm's Snapdragon
ST-Ericsson is expected to unveil its plans to restructure its operations within the next two weeks. Reuters sources now claim that the reorganization of the joint venture between Sweden's Ericsson and France's STMicroelectronics is in line with the company's plans to be acquired by another chipmaker. Potential buyers named include AMD, NVIDIA, Intel, and Texas Instruments.
Reference hardware brought to MWC
Texas Instruments has brought its OMAP5 reference hardware to Mobile World Congress, stepping up the competition with other chip makers. After stopping by Qualcomm's booth to check out their quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro hardware, we strolled over to TI's booth to see how the S4 Pro it stacks up against OMAP5 technology.
Ti WiLink 8 preps for NFC mobile future
TI kicked off the week with a new all-in-one wireless chip that could make NFC (near-field communications) much easier. The WiLink 8.0 is the first of its kind to build NFC into the chip alongside Bluetooth, FM radio, GNSS positioning, Wi-Fi, and even ANT+ for exercise and . It both shrinks the size of a chipset with NFC by as much as half and, as a complete design, can offload much of the work that would normally go to the main processor.
Eolas sees web patent lawsuit claim tossed
Eolas' attempt to patent the "interactive web" may have been dealt a permanent blow after a jury in the normally patent lawsuit-friendly town of Tyler, Texas ruled that the patent was invalid. The decision negated both any attempts at claiming damages and also negated three future trials. The rejection came in part after testimony from the spiritual creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, as well as individual creators whose work predated that of Eolas owner Michael Doyle.
China tests LG Prada K2 early in December
LG's upcoming Prada K2 handset, also known as the Prada phone by LG 3.0, has been tested in China just three days ago. Apart from the scores, the Antutu numbers also reveal some specs. They include Android 2.3.7 and a 1GHz processor, believed to be a dual-core TI OMAP4430.
Windows 8 tablets led by Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba
Microsoft is taking the unusual step of letting ARM processor designers choose their own partners for Windows 8 systems, part suppliers stated Monday. NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments were each being told to pick one major and one minor partner, Digitimes understood. Among the major partners, NVIDIA had picked Lenovo, Qualcomm had chosen Samsung, and TI had selected Toshiba.
Chip paired with $89 developer platform
Texas Instruments has expanded its processor lineup to include a new ARM Cortex-A8 chip that can be purchased for as little as $5. The company claims to be the first to offer an A8 processor at such prices, compared to alternatives that cost more than $15 per chip. The Sitara AM335x SoC design is said to be geared for embedded devices such as navigation, handheld gaming, or home automation systems.
Android flagship to use TI next-gen mobile CPU
Sharp has announced its latest flagship Android smartphone, the Aquos 104SH. The 104SH is an extremely thin (8.7mm/0.34in.) handset and features a 4.5in., 720 x 1020 HD touchscreen. It will use the same Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor as the Google Nexus Prime, a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU that has been optimized for the next release of Android, version 3.2 "Ice Cream Sandwich." The main camera is a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor that can shoot full HD video at 30 FPS. The auxiliary camera has a 3 megapixel CMOS sensor. It will ship with a 2GB MicroSDHC memory card.
Watches expected to arrive in September
Fossil's MetaWatch wristwatches have been approved by the FCC, despite the company's recent admission that the devices are facing production delays. The Commission tested the watches' Bluetooth capabilities, which enable communication with Android smartphones, tablets or other devices. TI's ultra-low-power chips are also paired with white-on-black OLED displays, a three-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor and vibrating motor.
TI may be new preferred chipset for Android 4.0
Texas Instruments revealed part of a presentation with a customized Android logo that the company will use in a promotional campaign this fall. The slide shows the Android mascot in a Western costume and elements of TI's brand and a second, Ice Cream Sandwich-styled Android. The timing of the campaign suggests a much closer bigger role in Android computing for TI. Earlier rumors have suggested that Ice Cream Sandwich would be optimized for TI's OMAP4 chipset.
Move expected to expand Netflix on Android
Texas Instruments has announced that its OMAP 4 platform has received official certification for Netflix HD content on Android devices. The chip maker claims it is the first company to secure official blessings for a 1080p Netflix application on any mobile device. Although current smartphones and tablets lack displays capable of presenting content in native 1080p resolution, the feature will be supported via HDMI output using HDCP encryption.
TI settles lawsuit with Wi-LAN over BT patents
Texas Instruments is the latest company to agree to settle a patent lawsuit with Canadian company Wi-LAN. TI is one of about 15 large tech companies that got named in a lawsuit that alleges these companies violate a patent Wi-LAN holds related to Bluetooth technology in electronic devices. The financial details of the settlement aren't being disclosed, however.
LG Optimus Black coming to most US CDMA carriers
LG's Optimus Black is now known to be coming to virtually every US CDMA carrier after FCC listings gave its plans away. A core LS855 model is headed to Sprint, while AS855, US855, and VM855 should reach Alltel, US Cellular, and Virgin. In every case, the chief updates are the expected switchovers to CDMA and EVDO for phone calls and 3G.
Amazon tablet to start off with huge 2m shipment
Amazon's plan to launch its tablets in September could involve a very aggressive opening month, part suppliers said Wednesday night. HannStar, J Touch, and Wintek are expected to supply touchscreen panels for the Android slates with a goal of shipping 1.5 million to two million just for that month alone. Earlier Digitimes sources had already penned in estimates of four million for 2011, hinting that Amazon is counting on a large-scale launch but slowing down quickly later on.
Google Nexus Prime gets detailed in leak
A follow-up scoop has filled in details of Google's third-generation Nexus phone. Currently nicknamed Prime, it may be built by Samsung for the second time in a row but would have less of Samsung's imprint than the Nexus S. The processor has been narrowed down by BGR's source to a 1.5GHz TI OMAP4460 and has fueled talk that TI is the reference for Ice Cream Sandwich just as NVIDIA's Tegra 2 was the basis for Android 3.0, or Honeycomb.
Archos 80 G9 and 101 G9 tablets arrive
Archos took its turn at entering the full Android tablet category Thursday with the formal unveiling of its ninth-generation slates. The eight-inch and 10-inch 80 G9 and 101 G9 will both run Android 3.1 from the start and are unique in depending on spinning hard drives rather than flash. Either uses Seagate's Momentus Thin drives to fit as much as 250GB of storage.
Motorola Droid 3 previewed in China first
Motorola's Droid 3 was given an effective full reveal through the launch of its international version in China. Called "the third Milestone" or the XT883, the Android 2.3 headliner is Motorola's first dual-core slider and uses a TI OMAP4430 chip underneath. Veteran owners get genuine functional upgrades with a four-inch, 540x960 display and a fifth keyboard row with dedicated number keys.
Google Nexus 4G may use LTE, dual-core, 720p
Google's promised Nexus phone may be one of the most advanced phones ever when it ships this fall, according to a detailed rumor on Wednesday. Tentatively called the Nexus 4G, it would be a centerpiece for Ice Cream Sandwich's all-touch interface with a "monster-sized," 720p screen. It would also pack LTE-based 4G and could even be the first cross-carrier LTE device since it will follow after AT&T's LTE network launch.
Imagination PowerVR 6 gets six licenses
Imagination Technologies hinted strongly at the roadmap for Apple and other mobile device makers late Tuesday with word that it had handed out the first licenses for PowerVR 6 series graphics. It confirmed that ST-Ericsson's future Nova chips, as well as later TI OMAP processors and unnamed hardware from MediaTek, would use the new technology. Three others were also onboard but were being kept secret, alluding to Apple as one of the clients.
Texas Instruments lowers forecast for Q2
Texas Instruments has lowered its outlook for the next quarter this year citing weaker demand from one of its principal customers, Nokia. Although Nokia will be using TIís ARM-based OMAP 4 chips in its Windows Phone 7-based phones starting later this year, it has in the meantime been dropping market share at an alarming rate. However, any upturn that Nokia may experience when its WP7 will not arrive in time to impact on TIís guidance for the coming quarter.
Microsoft Windows 8 tablet would use TI chip
Microsoft may be hoping to more directly challenge Apple with a self-branded Windows 8 tablet, part suppliers asserted in a rumor on Tuesday. The company would collaborate directly with TI, possibly using its 1.8GHz OMAP4470 chip, and brand it much the way the company has the Xbox 360 or Zune. The company was said by Digitimes to be keeping a "low profile," in part to give it the opportunity to scrap the project without much attention.
Motorola Droid 3 videos show early
Motorola's Droid 3 has popped up through a set of leaked Motorola tutorial videos (below). The clips confirm that it will have the new Blur interface from the Droid X2, although it's not sure if it will ship with Android 2.3. An eight-megapixel camera with 1080p recording is also very conspicuous in the PhonePads discovery along with the newly expanded five-row QWERTY keyboard.
TI OMAP4470 brings next-gen dual ARM for Windows 8
TI upgraded its OMAP chips on Thursday with a much faster model. The 1.8GHz, dual-core OMAP4470 is about 80 percent faster on the web than the older 4430 and brings in the new PowerVR SGX544 for graphics, which is theoretically 2.5 times faster than what it replaces. The extra headroom gives it better performance not just for Android 3 and other mobile platforms but Windows 8.
OMAP 4 said to be next reference platform
Google may be planning to switch its preferred chip maker for the upcoming Android update, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Although the company has focused on NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 components for tablets running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the search giant is said to be considering a transition to Texas Instruments' OMAP 4 chips for the next major revision to the mobile OS.
New Motorola Droid Bionic hits benchmark
Allusions to a completely redesigned Droid Bionic have been supported by a new benchmark run. A device identifying itself as the new Motorola phone has shown up at NenaMark using PowerVR SGX540 graphics attached to a 1GHz processor, a giveaway that the phone has changed over from the original NVIDIA Tegra 2 to a TI OMAP chip, most likely the 4430 or 4440. Its presence helps confirm Motorola's comments that 4G was delaying the Bionic and Xoom and that the issue was a major conflict between the Tegra 2 and Motorola's choice of 4G hardware.
NVIDIA buys Icera for 367 million
NVIDIA made the leap into making its own complete mobile chipsets on Monday with a deal to buy Icera for $367 million. The mutual agreement gives it access to cellular baseband chips for 3G and 4G phones and tablets. NVIDIA expected to become a one-stop shop for mobile makers who could get the main processor and its cellular link from the same company, both speeding up launch times and roughly double NVIDIA's cash from each sale.
LG Optimus Black headed to North America
LG chose an unusual Sunday timeframe to detail launch plans of the Optimus Black. The headlining Android phone is now known to be coming to North America some time after the European release this month. It hesitated to identify carriers by name.
Watch integrates Bluetooth, TI processor
Texas Instruments and Fossil have disclosed fresh details surrounding the Meta Watch, a "wearable development system" that is designed to connect with smartphones and other devices. The watches, which were first previewed in March at an HP event, will be available in two flavors, including an analog option with a tonneau case and an all-digital variant with a rectangular shape.
TI buys National Semiconductor for 6.5b
Texas Instruments late Monday said it was buying out National Semiconductor. The deal, worth $6.5 billion in a straight shares-for-cash deal, was described as mutual and already approved by the boards of both companies. They expected the deal to be cleared by government regulators in six to nine months.
New flagship Nspire CX calculator due in spring
A web conference hosted by Texas Instruments and attended by TechPoweredMath revealed the company is revamping its TI-Nspire line of scientific calculators. The flagship CX model will sport a 16-bit, 320x240 backlit display that can show 64,000 colors. The device can load images loaded up by the user and then superimpose curve-fitting functions or regressions onto these images.
We play the first live PlayBook games at MWC
RIM used the opportunity of Mobile World Congress not just to unveil plans for HSPA+ and LTE versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook but to get its first genuine 3D game roster ready. EA will be first out of the gate with native ports of titles like Need for Speed: Undercover and Tetris. We had the chance to try them ourselves and have a quick round-up of performance and whether it's a better experience than on an iPad or a Galaxy Tab.
We try the LG Optimus Pad and 3D at MWC 2011
LG's MWC 2011 event this morning saw it bring out just two devices, but some of its most important: the Optimus Pad tablet and Optimus 3D. The tablet (also known as the G-Slate in the US) was undoubtedly the highlight for most and is a design experiment for Android: it's the first Android 3.0 device with a less than 10-inch screen and a gauge as to whether 8.9 inches is a good balance between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab. Read on for our hands-on impressions of the Pad and the Optimus 3D smartphone.
LG Optimus 3D confirmed ahead of MWC
LG joined in pre-show Mobile World Congress introductions today by detailing the Optimus 3D. The Android-based leader is now known to have a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP4 chip that not only enables the stereoscopic 3D recording and playback but to claim a performance crown of its own. The graphics core is touted as twice as fast as the "nearest competitor" and has four times as many video decoders.
TI details OMAP 5 processors with ARM Cortex-A15
TI today detailed what could be one of the fastest phone or tablet processors to date in the OMAP 5. The design will be one of the first to use ARM's new Cortex-A15 with dual 2GHz cores and also has a pair of low-power Cortex M4s to juggle low-demand tasks. The approach not only leads to about a 50 percent leap in speed over even the new two-core Cortex-A9 but uses 60 percent less power than the single-core OMAP 4.
TI confirms PlayBook using OMAP 4430 chip inside
Texas Instruments on the show floor today identified the mystery dual-core 1GHz processor inside the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM's tablet uses the OMAP 4430, the first generation of TI's new ARM Cortex-A9 processors. The chip is key to the tablet supporting 1080p video playback both by itself and while juggling many simultaneous tasks.
Wi-Lan trial pushed to February for settlement
Wi-Lan on Friday arranged for a last-minute delay in the trial for its 2007 Wi-Fi lawsuit in an attempt to negotiate settlements. The company's complaint will now go to trial on February 2, almost a month later than the originally planned January 4. It wasn't clear which of the companies, including Apple, Best Buy, Dell, HP, Intel, Sony, Texas Instruments and Toshiba, were involved in the talks.
EU settles on micro USB for universal phone power
The European Union on Wednesday formally established its micro USB charging standard for phone charging. The approach proposed over a year ago will guarantee that phones and phone chipsets from at least 14 companies, including Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia and RIM, will support charging over a micro USB connection without needing to switch chargers. The measure was implemented to cut back on both wasted chargers and to let users switch chargers without risking damage or undercharging.
TI unveils dual-core OMAP 4440 for phones, tablets
TI teased a major performance boost for smartphones and tablets today by unveiling the OMAP 4440. The design uses a dual-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor at its heart, already representing a leap, but also adding two Cortex-M3 cores to shoulder tasks that need to be handled in real-time. It marks a 50 percent overall speed boost over current chips and is fast to enable 3D video, even in 1080p, and 3D photos from two 12-megapixel cameras.
Moto Droid 2 Global gets early launch
Earlier than expected, Verizon has launched the Motorola Droid 2 Global. The new version adds both GSM and tri-band HSPA 3G support to roam outside of the US, including at full speed on Canadian carriers. It also represents a performance upgrade: the Global's TI OMAP processor clocks up to 1.2GHz from the original 1GHz.
Moto Droid Pro gets priced and dated for Verizon
Verizon today officially set down launch details for the Motorola Droid Pro. The Android 2.2 rival to the BlackBerry will be available to pre-order on Tuesday and should ship November 18 for $180, albeit after a $100 rebate and a two-year contract. It needs a smartphone plan and can also support world roaming plans through its GSM support.
Barnes and Noble to approve Nook Color apps itself
Barnes & Noble in a follow-up to the launch of the Nook Color has said it will have its own, separate app approval process. Similar to Apple's own approach, it will take submissions and get approvals within "weeks" of their arrival. It should have a typical revenue split, which Gizmodo interpreted as falling along the 70/30 division Apple and others use.
Could prove more profitable
The overhauled Apple TV costs less than $64 to make, even though it sells for $99, says iSuppli. The research firm notes that the most expensive part in the set-top is actually Apple's custom A4 processor, valued at $16.55. By radically reducing the cost of components in the new model, it should theoretically be more profitable than the older one. iSuppli comments that the use of the A4 may provide special savings, since the chip is already installed in the iPad, iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch.