This Week in Geek: CPU News and Farewell to Two Tablets
While there's been a ton of buzz about the iPhone 4G prototype saga (police raids! Navy cryptologists! ), this last week has seen some developments in the tablet and chip worlds, including canceled projects and cheap six-core processors. Read on for some stories that were shadowed by the iPhone drama!
Microsoft announced that they're bailing on their Courier project, a "digital journal" tablet that uses a stylus for input. Will Microsoft revisit the Courier's form factor and mixture of voice, pen, and keyboard for input in future devices? Or will they stick to tablet and traditional netbook form-factors? Either way, it appears that while Microsoft is rethinking its tablet market strategy, we won't be seeing any new tablets from Redmond.
Things must be rather hectic at HP's headquarters in Palo Alto: first, they acquired Palm for nearly $1.2 billion. Then rumors began to circulate that they're canceling their Windows 7 tablet project, the HP Slate. After debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Slate was touted in some circles as an "iPad killer", so this rumored abandonment of the Slate is raising a few eyebrows. Is HP going to develop a tablet that runs on WebOS, or is something else up their sleeves? We've dropped HP a line and will keep you updated on the saga of the HP Slate. As it stands, it's a bad week to be a hypothetical tablet project.
Would you rather spend $300 or $1000 on a six-core processor for your desktop gaming rig? AMD is betting you'll go with their less-costly Phenom II X6 1090T over Intel's more expensive, multi-core Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor. PCWorld's Nate Ralph explores a tale of two chipsets, and if the $700 difference is worth it for the Intel processor over the AMD chip.
Intrinsity, widely believed to have designed the iPad's CPU, has been snatched up by Apple. What does this mean for Apple and its future products? Neither Apple nor Intrinsity offered much in terms of comments, but we do know that the Austin, Texas-based chip designer has been responsible for creating highly efficient CPUs that use a variety of different architectures, including the ARM family that powers many of Apple's mobile devices.