• Apple's A4 chip a billion dollar investment? That can't be right

    There’s a story going around right now that the development costs for Apple’s A4 chip, which powers the iPad, might be as high as a billion dollars. Let’s not get carried away here. Apple licensed the CPU and GPU from ARM, and the A4 shares a lot of elements with the Tegra 2. The billion dollar investment here is for designing a chip “from scratch.” Is that… Read More

  • Apple's A4 processor is in ARM family tree with Snapdragon, Tegra

    One of the small surprises of the iPad announcement was that it was running on Apple’s own custom silicon. Well, that’s true to an extent, but it’s not like Apple actually invented the processor in-house. It’s just not OEM hardware. In fact, other guys are running with many of the same parts. The A4 is a custom implementation of the ARM A9 processor, also found in… Read More

  • VIA’s 3000-series Nano CPUs promise longer battery, increased performance

    VIA has introduced its updated line of Nano processors, built for netbooks and all-in-one computers. The 3000 series promises a 20% performance boost over existing Nano CPUs while managing to reduce overall power consumption by 20% as well. Read More

  • AMD's official video from the Austin overclocking event

    While I was sliding down bannisters and having -160° alcohol poured on my hands, the AMD camera crew and the overclockers we were all there to see were putting together an honest-to-god documentation of the event. I forgot to post it a few weeks ago when it came out, so it’s not exactly breaking news, but if you’re interested in how these guys did their incredible overclocks… Read More

  • Video: Horsing around at AMD's Austin overclocking event

    Last week AMD invited CrunchGear down to Austin to check out an overclocking event they were holding, at which many, many liters of liquid nitrogen and the much colder liquid helium would be consumed by thirsty processors. They asked us, however, not to video the entire event, since they’d have their official video coming out shortly and some of the technology being used was still in… Read More

  • Live at AMD's Austin overclocking event

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    I'm eating lunch in the conference here in AMD's Lone Star campus while they're getting their custom cooling setup down to -250°F. Yes, -250°F, 120 degrees above absolute zero. Then they’re going to go for a couple world records while pouring liquid… Read More

  • Intel details next-generation 'Pine Trail' Atom platform, intros updated 'Moblin' UI

    Intel just held a teleconference outlining some information on its next Atom platform, code-named “Pine Trail” and introduced a new beta version of its “Moblin” user interface for upcoming Atom-based netbooks, nettops, MIDs, embedded systems, and in-vehicle entertainment systems. Here are some notes from the call… Read More

  • AMD Phenom II overclocked to 7.1GHz, that's a 220% increase

    The Phenom II X4 has been shown to be an excellent overclocker, and recently the world record was set by a group called Limit Team, who took the 3.2GHz stock processor and took it up to an insane 7127Hz. That’s an increase of just over 221%. Of course, while with good ventilation you could probably overclock yours a good 10-15% with no ill effects, this particular hack required… Read More

  • What can we blame for AMD's recent lackluster performance?

    What’s the matter with AMD? The number two chip maker in the whole world just posted some numbers that don’t reflect too kindly on its performance over the last few months. The big, bad Sunnyvale, Calif.-based corp lost $416 million last quarter; about $195 million of that was related to a corporate spinoff (see: GlobalFoundries). When put into scary percentages, AMD’s sales… Read More

  • Xbox-era games to be playable on cell phones soon?

    It is always wise to take these kinds of promises with a grain of salt, but if a company says their chip will allow a phone or similar device to run Xbox-level games, they’ve got to be at least partially serious. That’s just what’s promised in the upcoming batch of ARM processors, although I’m going to want a bigger screen if I’m going to take up Halo Mobile. Read More

  • Hack an extra core into your Phenom II

    It’s an improvement worthy of the greatest trick of all time, the 9800 Pro pencil mod — and probably just as boneheaded of an idea to try. This little hack enables the latent fourth core on certain Phenom processors, assuming you’ve got a certain type of Biostar mobo. Of course, there’s probably a little more to it than that, so I’d hold off on this unless… Read More

  • Nvidia's Ion platform to support VIA this year

    That firecracker CEO of Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, has revealed that Nvidia will be putting out an “Ion 2” platform using VIA Nano processors instead of Intel’s Atoms. The pairing isn’t surprising, considering that the Nano processors are supposed to be quite as capable as Atoms, and Nvidia’s relationship with Intel right now isn’t exactly all fun and games. Read More

  • New form of processor will make errors at hugely increased speeds

    The PCMOS system, designed by Rice University researchers, promises a speed increase of 700% at a thirtieth of the power demands. How, you ask? Well, transistors today are very tiny and use a lot of power to make sure that the intentional signal overpowers the random noise at that near-molecular scale. This is getting harder and harder, as transistor counts multiply and voltage per… Read More

  • New Phenom IIs from AMD drop

    AMD enthusiasts should mark February 9th as a red-letter day. Five new processors have been unleashed by the ailing but effective CPU company, and they look like a serious value. If you’re looking to upgrade your box right now, these new processors are pretty much the only reasonable option. Plus, you can upgrade now with your DDR2 setup, and then move to a new DDR3 setup in six months… Read More

  • Nvidia to try its hand at x86 chips, then get its pants sued off

    While Intel is working on taking on the GPU sector (and may just have a deal with Sony to do it), its main rival, Nvidia, is looking to get into the x86 processor business. The video hardware giant is assembling a team from scratch to make a competitor to the Intel and AMD’s CPUs — but doesn’t seem to care that the technology is proprietary and must be licensed from the… Read More

  • Intel delays GPU-integrated processors until 2010

    The economic crisis and resultant drop in spending has slowed down a lot of tech industries. Even the big players like Intel, NEC, and IBM are taking major hits, part of which is due to, well, people not buying their products. Intel in particular has delayed some rollouts due to a warehouses of Core2 processors and motherboards they expected to have sold by now. One such casualty is their… Read More

  • Run AMD's Fusion utility on any processor

    Although we were a little underwhelmed at what Fusion actually turned out to be (it got a lot of hype), the good news is that it’s helpful anyway, and it’s not bound to hardware. AMD doesn’t want you to do this of course, and the usual caveats of “at your own risk, etc” apply, but there is a way to make Fusion work on your Intel or (I should think) even VIA processor. Read More

  • You'll be waiting a while for consumer-grade Core i7

    It looks like the planned “Lynnfield” mainstream versions of the Nehalem architecture chips won’t be arriving until August or possibly September. That’s bad! But Core2 Duo and Quad chips are expected to receive a price cut very soon. That’s good! If you’re in the market for a processor, wait a couple weeks and save yourself a few bucks. But what could be… Read More

  • Uh oh – AMD's new processors are no match for last year's Intels

    While it has been a sort of unspoken truth that AMD has ceded the performance cup to Intel over the last couple years, they’ve instead provided an extremely compelling value option, with their processors doing nearly the work of the more expensive Intels for far less money. The new Phenom II processor was to be the keystone in AMD’s new Dragon platform, and while the other features… Read More

  • AMD's Dragon platform hopes to reinvigorate the brand

    A lot of attention has been on Intel’s Nehalem/Core i7 lineup, but AMD hasn’t been slacking. They’ve been working on rolling out their next platform, which is really much more of a complete package than I’ve seen in a while. The new 45nm Phenom II X4 processor is designed to work with the Radeon 4000 series of video cards and the newest 790 series of… Read More