Intel and Micron announce new ‘3D XPoint’ memory solution 1,000 times faster than current NAND flash storage

3D_XPoint_Die_1000

Intel has just announced a new breakthrough in computer storage technology developed in collaboration with Micron that is 1,000 times faster than the current-generation NAND flash chips upon which modern solid-state drives are built. The tech is called 3D XPoint (that’s “crosspoint”), and is the first new type of non-volatile memory created since 1989.

Incredibly, 3D XPoint isn’t just a theoretical product being developed, or an end-goal for a current project. It’s already in mass production and is expected to go on sale in 2016. Intel says the technology will enable a whole host of new applications, ranging from real-time disease tracking to 8K-capable gaming PCs if built into GPUs.

Read more

USB-C likely to be used across the future MacBook range as Intel integrates with Thunderbolt

usb-c-thunderbolt-3

The USB-C port first introduced by Apple in the new 12-inch MacBook looks likely to be used across the MacBook range as Intel has adopted the standard for Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt was developed to simultaneously support the fastest data and most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while also supplying power. Then recently the USB group introduced the USB-C connector, which is small, reversible, fast, supplies power, and allows other I/O in addition to USB to run on it, maximizing its potential. So in the biggest advancement since its inception, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps, fulfilling its promise, creating one compact port that does it all. 

Apple was an early adopter of the Thunderbolt standard, which allowed a single port to be used for both high-speed data transfer and DisplayPort monitor connections. Intel’s integration of the two standards would allow Apple to replace the Thunderbolt port in the MacBook Pro range while still maintaining full compatibility with existing peripherals …  Read more

Did Apple invent USB Type-C? Maybe a little bit

Lightning and USB Type-C Connectors

Yesterday on his Talk Show podcast, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber suggested that his Apple sources told him that Apple invented USB Type-C. Known for often insightful but always ‘not negative‘ Apple commentary, Gruber sometimes peppers his stories with info he’s gained from inside Apple which he calls “little birdies” (that admittedly haven’t been 100% recently, but used to be spot on).

The quote, taken from TheTechBlock about 54 minutes in:

I have heard, can’t say who, but let’s call them “informed little birdies”, that USB-C is an Apple invention and that they gave it to the standard bodies. And that the politics of such is that they can’t really say that. They’re not going to come out in public and say it, but they did. It is an Apple invention and they do want it to become a standard.

That’s a bit weird, because if Apple did invent USB Type-C, it would seem like a no-brainer for replacing Lightning. But Gruber noted in a post earlier this week that he didn’t think Apple would replace Lightning with USB Type-C.

I think the answer is probably “No, Apple is not going to switch the iPhone and iPad to USB-C”. I think Lightning is a more elegant design, including being slightly thinner. And I think Apple likes having a proprietary port on iOS devices.

But, if they did move iOS devices to USB-C, then you could charge your iOS devices and MacBook with the same cable. And within a few years, all phones and tablets from all companies would charge using the same standard.

A few minutes of research into the matter yields a wealth of data about the genesis of USB Type-C and while Apple does play an active role, it appears they had a lot of help – to put it charitably… Read more

Seagate zaps Thunderbolt drives, LaCie to continue lineup

Seagate-Thunderbolt-drive

Seagate will discontinue its lineup of Thunderbolt storage products in favor of pushing Thunderbolt under its premium LaCie brand, 9to5Mac has learned.

A company spokesperson confirmed the move noting that the product life cycles for the company’s USM technology, which allowed integration of interfaces like Thunderbolt through adapters, is “coming to a conclusion.” Read more

Intel CEO says relationship with Apple strong amid rumors of Apple-designed Mac processors

Apple Intel

As we reported earlier this week, often reliable KGI is predicting that Apple will bring its in-house designed A-series processor to an entry-level Mac sometime in 2016 with TSMC and Samsung expected to fab the potential A9X and A10X chips, respectively. As the move to put non-Intel chips in the Mac lineup would be a departure for the company, CNBC asked Intel CEO Brian Krzanich about the chip-maker’s business plans with Apple… Read more

KGI: Apple is designing its own Mac processors; Intel and Global Foundry added to Apple’s chipmaking stable

keyboardsilver-copy

Is an A-series chip destined for a future model of the 12-inch MacBook Air?

A KGI report predicts that Apple will begin using its own processors for Macs “in the next 1-2 years,” with a specific prediction of a Samsung-fabbed A10X chip powering at least one Mac made in 2016. The wording appears to suggest an entry-level machine–possibly a future model of the 12-inch MacBook Air.

Apple may launch Mac products that use own AP [Application Processor] in next 1-2 years. This prediction is based on the assumption that Apple’s self-developed AP performs at a level between Intel’s Atom and Core i3 and is good enough for Mac. Using self developed AP can help Apple better control the timing of Mac launches and Mac product features.

With performance between an Atom and Core i3, the chip would not be suitable for mid- to high-end Macs.

An accompanying table (below) shows an A10X chip made with a 10-nanometer process to be made by Samsung at some point during 2016 …

Read more

Intel-owned Basis announces new iOS-compatible ‘Peak’ smart watch

 

Screenshot 2014-09-30 12.22.43

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, meaning it will beat Apple’s own market entry to shelves. Pricing? $199 in either black or white finishes, which means it comes in under the Apple wearable. You can see photos and the full press release for the Peak below:

Read more

Intuit debuts redesigned Quicken 2015 for Mac with free mobile apps

Quicken 2015

Intuit is out today with a new version of its personal finance app with the release of Quicken 2015 for Mac. The latest version of Quicken boasts an overhauled design to simplify the app as well as “new investment capabilities”, Intuit says. The new Mac version is accompanied by a sync compatible, updated Quicken Money Management app for iPhone which supports snapping and saving receipts as well as displaying charts on-the-go…

Read more

Intel details MacBook-destined Broadwell 14nm chips, should ship by holidays

Broadwell_Package_Diagonal1

Apple has been developing some revamped Mac laptops for several months and years, such as an ultra-slim 12-inch Retina MacBook, and the key to shipping these products is the availability of Intel’s upcoming Broadwell chip. Why? Because the new 14nm Broadwell Core M chip is fanless, small, and according to Intel, the most energy-efficient Intel processor yet. These facts about the processor lineup directly with the rumors of a fanless and light MacBook. Today, Intel has disclosed some new key points about the Core M Broadwell processor:

  • The combination of the new microarchitecture and manufacturing process will usher in a wave of innovation in new form factors, experiences and systems that are thinner and run silent and cool.
  • Intel architects and chip designers have achieved greater than two times reduction in the thermal design point when compared to a previous generation of processor while providing similar performance and improved battery life.
  • The new microarchitecture was optimized to take advantage of the new capabilities of the 14nm manufacturing process.
  • Intel has delivered the world’s first 14nm technology in volume production. It uses second-generation Tri-gate (FinFET) transistors with industry-leading performance, power, density and cost per transistor.
  • Intel’s 14nm technology will be used to manufacture a wide range of high-performance to low-power products including servers, personal computing devices and Internet of Things.
  • The first systems based on the Intel® Core™ M processor will be on shelves for the holiday selling season followed by broader OEM availability in the first half of 2015.
  • Additional products based on the Broadwell microarchitecture and 14nm process technology will be introduced in the coming months.

Notably, as Intel executives hinted earlier this year, Intel is still on track to ship out chips in time for new products to hit this holiday season, and it seems likely that the new 12-inch MacBook will be one of the first major computer launches with the new processor. Intel says that increased availability for the Broadwell processor will occur in the first half of 2015, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect various other new Macs (perhaps MacBook Pros or Airs) with more powerful Broadwell chips to hit the market during that timeframe next year.

Read more

Court rejects earlier $324 million anti-poaching settlement between Apple, Intel, Google, and Adobe

opening_remarks19__01__970-630x420

Image via Bloomberg

A judge has rejected a settlement that was reached earlier this year between employees of Apple, Intel, Google, and Adobe and their respective companies, CNBC reported today. According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the settlement was not high enough and should actually be $380 million.

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.

Read more

Apple support page also listed as yet unseen ‘mid-2014 iMac 27′

imac27-mid2014

The same Bootcamp support page that either reveals an upcoming Mac mini refresh or a misprint also listed an iMac 27-inch mid-2014′ model before the page was updated – spotted by French site Consomac.

The model was listed above the 21.5-inch mid-2014 iMac released last month. That model was a low-end one, with a 1.4GHz dual-core i5 processor and 500GB hard drive. That might suggest a new entry-level 27-inch iMac is on the way – though Apple doesn’t generally offer a low-spec version of the larger iMac …  Read more

Mid-2014 Mac mini listed on Apple Support page, but no 2014 Mac mini in sight

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 20.10.39

 

Apple seems to have inadvertently referenced a new model of Mac mini on an Apple Support page. The page was last modified yesterday, presumably to include information on the new MacBook Pro’s but instead lists “Mac mini (Mid 2014)” as a supported machine. There is a possibility that this is simply a human error on Apple’s part, of course, confusing the MacBook Pro and the Mac mini updates. There haven’t really been rumors of a new Mac mini being in the works, but due to the relative unimportance of the product in the Mac lineup, it is not of the question for it to have slid under the radar.

Read more