Intel and AMD Settle for $1.25B

Intel settles the AMD antitrust and patent lawsuits, with a $1.25 billion payment, stemming from all the way back in 2005. I’m interested to hear how both sides spin this during their conference call this morning, and whether Intel actually takes the blame, or simply decides not to pursue some of the business practices they’ve used in the past, but still deems them legitimate.

That bit is very important, as this settlement doesn’t make the ongoing investigations by the EU as well as the New York Attorney’s Office go away.

Intel’s EU Troubles and Centrino 2 Delayed

Due to some issues with the integrated graphics versions of the new Montevina chipset as well as FCC testing of the wireless cards, Intel’s Centrino 2 platform will be launching more than a month later than expected. The launch has now been pushed out to mid-July to early-August. Fortunately, products will be on the market for the back-to-school buying season.

In an unrelated, but also negative note for Intel, unnamed sources have let slip that the EU has reached some sort of decision in their investigation of Intel. The report noted that Intel could be fined up to 10% of its annual revenues ($4.1B) and be forced to end its advertising and rebate deals with customers. The EU has since come out and denied that a decision has been reached.

Conroe Lands!

Call me sad or call me a geek, but I’m awfully excited tonight. Conroe NDAs lift! Okay, so I know what you’re asking yourself: “What the hell is this Conroe Charlie speaks of and what is a NDA?” Well, I’ll tell you; it’s the ‘codename’ for Intel’s new desktop CPUs which will be launched under the Core 2 Duo brand, destined to replace the age-long Pentium name and NDA is a non-disclosure agreement which many tech sites sign in order to get these items to review before they’re officially released. Just think back to the good old days when we were rocking top of line Pentium 133 processors. Conroe is actually based on the mobile variant, called Merom, which is supposed to launch next month. It’s a huge departure from Intel’s marketing scheme of the late 90s and early 2000s when everything was about higher clock frequencies. Now it’s all about efficiency. More instructions per clock can easily offset a slower overall clock speed. The end result is a very well designed CPU that is significantly faster than previous Intel offerings (at least in the desktop space) and is finally able to compete with AMD’s Athlon64 chips. And to think, all this stemmed from that little Pentium M processor designed for ‘low powered’ notebooks back in the day.

Okay so performance is good, or maybe even great. However, that’s not the only reason I’m excited. Conroe is also going to be coming to retail at very reasonable prices. Of course this has a lot to do with AMD’s gains on Intel in recent years but nonetheless, I’m happy to see some very sweet price-performance levels for these chips. Add on top of that the fact that they consume less power than most competing CPUs and overclock very well just makes me want to impulse buy. Chances are, I’m going to try and pick up a new desktop with a Conroe. I’ve been itching to get a smallish system for a media center and this would be the perfect CPU to do that with. Power in a small form factor. What else could you ask for? Pair it with a 20″ widescreen LCD and I’m in computing heaven.

Well, I did my CDT again today so I can blast off for home at noon tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’ll probably be the last sane one. After this it’s going to be study time for exams. Definitely not looking forward to that…

Core 2 Duo copyright Intel Corp

Trademarked, copyrighted, patented, whatever-ed by Intel Corp.

Morning Tech Reading April 19

One of the biggest pieces of news from yesterday and will spill over to today was the huge run up in the North American stock markets. The Dow gained nearly 200 points and the tech-laden NASDAQ put on a good showing up around 2% as well. After the bell, a good number of tech earnings came in with good numbers from Texas Instruments, IBM, and Yahoo to name a few. Today, the big news will be Intel’s earning after the bell. We’ll be able to see, shortly, just how much market share it lost to rival AMD. AMD has already reported earnings for the 1Q 2006, and they were fairly strong. However their outlook for 2Q06 wasn’t as rosy as analysts had been expecting. One note mentioned by many analysts was the possible deceleration of market share gains from Intel by AMD. However, that most likely came as a result of Intel’s aggressive pricing over the past quarter to stem the loss in share to AMD. The main focus will probably be on the outlook as we know the 1Q earnings aren’t going to be very good (Intel has already lowered their earnings estimates for the quarter).

Intel to Provide Clues About Share Loss

NVidia has announced the launch of their new high-end mobile graphics processors, based on the Geforce 7900 line. Currently only Dell is offering the new top grade Go 7900GTX in their new XPS M1710 laptops, which will run you around $2600 for a base model (which only has the Go 7900GS). In either case, these laptops have gotten so powerful you can easily play any game at high settings. That’s more than I can say for my desktop even…

NVidia Geforce Go 7900

[tags]Intel, business, nVidia[/tags]