Friday Briefing: How Intel’s Staying Ahead of the Curve
With Friday comes a fresh batch of charts from Louis Basenese and another rundown of the week’s top technology trends from yours truly.
Please be sure to cast your vote at the end, as this allows us to get to know what our readers want to see.
Here are this week’s topics of interest…
Technology Trend #1: Intel’s Chip Strategy Taking Shape
We already know that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is developing groundbreaking computing technology at breakneck pace. Take its processor lineup, for example. In May 2011, it developed the world’s first 3-D transistor to be used in its “Ivy Bridge” microprocessor (now found in new Ultrabook laptops). This processor costs less, runs faster and uses less power than traditional chips.
Then, by September, Intel was already laying the groundwork for its next chip, “Haswell,” which is efficient enough to run on solar power alone.
The problem is, as these chips get more advanced, it becomes more difficult to produce them on a large scale. Intel’s planning ahead, though. It announced on Monday that it’s buying a 10% stake in ASML Holding (Nasdaq: ASML), which makes equipment for chip manufacturers.
Intel’s goal is to speed up production of a chip-making process that allows semiconductors to maintain power as they get smaller. It will also work with ASML on transitioning to a new chip-building process involving larger silicon wafers. Simply put, this would speed up the production time for semiconductors, and reduce costs by 30% to 40%.
Technology Trend #2: A Potential Reprieve From the Patent Litigation Frenzy
In February, Matthew Weinschenk discussed how the seemingly endless patent lawsuits are stifling innovation. Well, there might be a solution on the way…
According to BusinessWeek, “In October, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will hold ‘a high-level roundtable discussion’ with both standards organizations and mobile device manufacturers in hopes of removing barriers to continued mobile innovation.”
In other words, companies will be working with the ITU to arrange a better system for settling patent disputes and coming to licensing agreements.
Some of patent litigation’s heaviest hitters are joining the festivities, including Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Motorola, HTC (TPE: 2498), Samsung (LON: BC94) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). So here’s hoping that they finally come to some understanding.
Technology Trend #3: Amazon Phone in the Works?
You’ve no doubt heard talk that Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is working on its own smartphone. Both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal have discussed the possibility. It makes sense, since it’s the next natural move after entering the tablet space with the Kindle Fire last year. But the company hasn’t officially confirmed the rumors.
However, it did just make a new hire that certainly boosts the likelihood of an Amazon smartphone launch in the near future. The company scooped up Richard Williams, Director of Business Development for Microsoft Windows Phone. Williams has now signed on as Director of Amazon’s Appstore.
He’s not the only smartphone-related employee Amazon took from Microsoft, either. The company hired another Windows Phone director, Brandon Watson, back in February.
Does an Amazon phone sound intriguing to you? Or are you already a diehard iPhone or Android fan? After voting, let us know how you feel about Amazon’s potential plans in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn.
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Let us know which topic interested you the most…
That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!