As part of its first quarter earnings release, Intel revealed it will be investing a lot more money this year. The company's capital expenditure is expected to swell 20 percent to a level of $12 billion. CEO Brian Krzanich attributes the big increase to the ramp up of the company's memory factories:
The increase is “unique, but my guess is we may have to continue it for one more year or so as we build out that memory factory, but I don’t see it continuing,” beyond 2018, said Brian Krzanich, chief executive of Intel on a call with analysts.
Krzanich did not clarify whether he meant the Dalian, China, fab where Intel is ramping 3D NAND or the Lehi, Idaho, fab where it makes 3DXP with Micron. Bob Swan, Intel’s CFO, said Intel will spend $2.5 billion in capex for memory this year.
Over at Twitter, AMD's Terry Makedon apologizes for the inclusion of a Quake Champions game icon shortcut in the latest Radeon Software update. This shortcut was placed on the Windows desktop and provided a bit.ly link to the Quake Champions beta.
Makedon explains he thought gamers would have loved exclusive access to the beta, but that he now realizes it was not a good idea to include this by default in the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.4 driver because it looked too much like advertising. He also stresses AMD did not receive money to include this link.
As a result of the backlash, AMD has issued a new version of the driver without the Quake Champions shortcut.
Some of you didnt like game icons installed so we just updated the Radeon Software package without one. We heard you. Sorry.
Big companies often shelve out billions of dollars to acquire other companies but in many cases these buyouts don't work out as expected. Several years ago, Microsoft hoped the $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's phone assets would help it to reinvigorate the Windows Phone brand, but today it's clear there's nothing left of Microsoft's phone unit.
Neowin analyzed Microsoft's first-quarter financial results and points out that the company's phone hardware revenue has collapsed to a measly $5 million, down from around $1.4 billion two years earlier.
Today, as Microsoft published its earnings report for Q3 FY2017, it revealed that its "Phone revenue declined $730 million". Based on its earlier financial disclosures, that means the company's phone hardware revenue fell to just $5 million for the entire quarter ending March 31, 2017.
During Microsoft's earnings call today, its chief financial officer, Amy Hood, acknowledged this, stating that there was "no material phone revenue this quarter". The outlook for the next few months is similarly bleak, as Hood predicted "negligible revenue from Phone" in the coming quarter.
Overall, not really a surprised as Microsoft has all but abandoned its Lumia phone lineup.
Earnings season is back in full swing and the first of the big hardware makers to announce their figures is Intel. The chip giant reports record first quarter revenue of $14.8 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year, and GAAP net income of $3.0 billion, up 45 percent versus the year before.
On an adjusted basis, Intel saw net income swell 22 percent to $3.2 billion, resulting in earnings per share of 66 cents, an increase of 22 percent versus Q1 2016. The earnings figure is 1 cent better than what analysts had expected while revenue was largely in-line with expectations.
Intel is also more optimistic about the future as the company raised its full-year revenue outlook by $500 million to $60 billion and its earnings per share guidance was raised by 5 cents to $2.85.
Despite the earnings beat and the better outlook, Intel shares are down 3.95 percent to $35.95 in after-hours trading. Part of the reason for this seem to be the weaker-than-expected sales of the data center group.
- Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter revenue of $14.8 billion, up 8
percent year-over-year on a GAAP basis and 7 percent on a non-GAAP basis. Operating income was $3.6 billion,
up 40 percent year-over-year, and non-GAAP operating income was $3.9 billion, up 20 percent. EPS was 61 cents,
up 45 percent year-over-year, and non-GAAP EPS was 66 cents, up 22 percent.
The company also generated approximately $3.9 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.2 billion, and
used $1.2 billion to repurchase 35 million shares of stock. Intel’s board of directors has approved a $10 billion
increase to Intel’s share buyback program, which brings the amount currently available for future buybacks to
approximately $15 billion.
“The first quarter was another record quarter, coming off a record 2016. We continued to grow our company,
shipped our disruptive new Optane memory technology, and positioned Intel to lead in new areas like artificial
intelligence and autonomous driving,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “The ASP strength we saw across nearly
every segment of the business demonstrates continued demand for high-performance computing, which will only
increase with the explosion of data.”
Q1 Key Business Unit Results and Trends Year-over-Year*
Client Computing Group revenue of $8.0 billion, up 6 percent
Data Center Group revenue of $4.2 billion, up 6 percent
Internet of Things Group revenue of $721 million, up 11 percent
Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group revenue of $866 million, up 55 percent
Intel Security Group revenue of $534 million, down 1 percent
Programmable Solutions Group revenue of $425 million, up 18 percent**
“In the first quarter, we achieved growth across the business and increased capital returns with a five percent
dividend raise while investing for future growth,” said Bob Swan, Intel CFO. “We’re off to a good start and raised our
outlook for the year as we also look to further improve Intel’s operating efficiency.
* The first quarter of 2016 had 14 weeks of business versus the typical 13 weeks.
** PSG revenue decreased 7% year-on-year after adjusting for a $99M deferred revenue write-down in Q1, 2016.
Noctua continues its tradition of offering free mounting kit upgrades for its coolers. This time the company announces it will be providing free kits to purchasers of Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors. The new LGA2066 chips uses the same mounting mechanism as the LGA2011, so if your cooler already supports the latter you do not need a new mounting kit.
Noctua today announced that it will continue its tradition of supplying customers with its premium-class SecuFirm2™ mounting kits for novel platforms free of charge. While most current Noctua heatsinks support the new LGA2066 socket of Intel’s ‘Basin Falls’ X299 platform for ‘Skylake-X’ and ‘Kaby Lake-X’ CPUs out of the box, older models can be upgraded with the NM-I2011 or NM-i20xx kits at no additional cost.
"We’re determined to provide the best possible support to our customers and, over the years, we’ve sent many thousands of mounting kits free of charge to users who wanted to upgrade to new platforms", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "With Skylake-X just around the corner, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll extend this offer for LGA2066. Owners of older Noctua retail heatsinks that don’t support LGA2011/LGA2066 out of the box will be able to upgrade to the new socket free of charge!"
Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011 and LGA2066, Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 also support Intel’s upcoming ‘Basin Falls’ X299 HEDT (High End Desktop) platform for ‘Skylake-X’ and ‘Kaby Lake-X’ processors. Most current Noctua coolers already include SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 and can thus be used on LGA2066 motherboards without any upgrades or modifications.
Users of older Noctua retail models that don’t include a SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA2011 can obtain the NM-I2011 kit free of charge on Noctua’s website in order to make their heatsinks compatible with LGA2011 and LGA2066. In order to reflect that the NM-I2011 is compatible with both LGA2011 and LGA2066, the kit will be renamed to NM-i20xx and will be sold under this name, starting in Q3/Q4. The kit is compatible with most Noctua retail coolers produced since 2005 except for the NH-L9i and NH-L9a low-profile models.
To order the NM-I2011/NM-I20xx kit, a proof of purchase (electronic version, screenshot, photo or scan of the invoice) of both an eligible Noctua CPU cooler and either an LGA2066 motherboard or LGA2066 CPU will be required. Users who have lost the invoice for their Noctua CPU cooler may write their full name and the current date on a piece of paper, take a photo of the paper next to their CPU cooler and upload this as proof of purchase. The kit can also be purchased in stores for a low service charge.
Over the last couple of months I've reported several times about the issues with the Intel Atom C2000, which seems to be bricking networking products from a wide variety of manufacturers that use this chip. The bug can cause the chip's LPC clock to stop functioning, which basically renders the entire chip useless as it can no longer boot.
Now Intel has rolled out a new Atom C2000 C0 stepping that should fix the AVR54 issue once and for all. Affected chips included the C2308, C2338, C2350, C2358, C2508, C2518, C2530, C2538, C2550, C2558, C2718, C2730, C2738, C2750 and C2758.
If you currently have a device with the Atom C2000 you should check the website of the manufacturer. The only solution is a hardware replacement but be aware that not all vendors are offering decent support for this issue.
Gaming mousepads with illumination are nothing new but SteelSeries takes the concept a step further by introducing what it claims is world's first dual-surface RGB LED gaming mousepad.
The QcK Prism consists of a rubber base and a dual-textured mousepad, one side of the pad has a cloth surface while the other side offers a hard plastic surface. The mousepad measures 292.4mm x 356.71mm and is 8.68mm thick.
The RGB LED effects can be controlled via the GameSense Lighting software and sync with other SteelSeries Prism gear. It's available today via the SteelSeries shop for $59.99 (74.99EUR).
SteelSeries brings innovation to its 15-year legacy of engineering the best gaming mousepads in the world by introducing the QcK Prism Gaming Mousepad. Built with purpose, the QcK Prism delivers features that go beyond the aesthetics of illumination and presents performance benefits for PC gaming. The new mousepad provides gamers with dual-sided premium surfaces – the first of its kind, 360 degrees of continuous illumination in 12 separate zones, and interference-free USB cable placement.
The QcK Prism is the world’s first dual-surface RGB illuminated mousepad, featuring a premium micro-textured cloth that adds friction for more deliberate movements and a hard polymer surface for a fast-paced glide. The QcK Prism comes with brilliant 360-degree, 12-zone Prism RGB illumination with advanced lighting effects and supports SteelSeries GameSense, providing reactive illumination to in-game events such as low ammo, health, kills, cooldown timers and more.
Jason Christian, Category Manager for Gaming Surfaces, Mice and Keyboards says “Every aspect of this peripheral was built with purpose. It delivers premium surface performance with brilliant lighting and zero mouse cable interference.”
In addition to the millions of colors and lighting effects, the QcK Prism also supports SteelSeries Prism Sync. Gamers can create dynamic multi-color lighting effects between the QcK Prism and all other Prism-enabled gear, including the Arctis 5 headset, Rival 700 mouse and Apex M800 keyboard.
The QcK Prism was made with a game-tested design. Unlike all other RGB mousepads, the cable housing is positioned out of the way, on the left side, where it will not catch a gamer’s mouse cable.
AMD announced the availability of the Ryzen Chipset driver version 17.10. This new release introduces a Balanced power plan that promises a better performance/power efficiency mix.
What does this power plan do?
The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan allows your AMD Ryzen processor to more quickly raise clockspeeds. The plan also prevents your CPU cores from being "parked," an idle state that can negatively impact the performance of many (but not all) games. If you're interested in additional details, our original blog on the topic has lots more to offer.
In parallel, you should also pay a visit to LegitReviews' testing on the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan. Nathan Kirsch noted "6-7 percent performance gains when gaming at both 1080P and 1440P screen resolutions" in a couple games, plus lots of test results for you to pore over. Thanks, Nate!
Microsoft came out and said that it's not a good idea for non-tech savvy users to force an installation of the Windows 10 Creators Update. As with the previous release, Microsoft is rolling out the Creators Update in waves to ensure the new code doesn't break compatibility.
This approach helps to minimize problems as it prevents the installation of the Creators Update on systems with known or potential issues. As such, the software giant recommends regular users to wait until he Creators Update gets offered automatically:
For example, the big update has already run into problems with some types of Broadcom Bluetooth LE radios: the code was killing connections with accessories, apparently. So Microsoft stopped pushing automatic downloads to computers carrying that hardware. However, the operating system can still be fetched manually if folks really want it.
In other words, if people fetch and install the software by hand, they will bypass Redmond's blockades, and potentially run aground on their hardware.
"We continue to recommend (unless you're an advanced user who is prepared to work through some issues) that you wait until the Windows 10 Creators Update is automatically offered to you," John Cable, director of program management for Windows servicing and delivery, said on Tuesday.
After months of speculation, Activision confirmed the next installment in the Call of Duty series will indeed make a return to the game's World War II roots. The new Call of Duty will be set in the European theater of the war and will primarily focus on the actions of a squad from 1944 to 1945. Locations in the game will include France, Belgium and Germany.
Over two years in the making, Sledgehammer Games delivers a gritty, personal experience in the setting of the largest worldwide conflict in history to a new gaming generation in Call of Duty®: WWII. Play through the story of ordinary men turned soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division as they fight to preserve freedom in the face of tyranny. Call of Duty: WWII delivers fast-paced, boots-on-ground combat through iconic locations in the European Theater.
To complement today’s gameplay reveal trailer and touch on more of the action that is coming in Call of Duty: WWII, here’s a few insights on two of the missions from the Campaign:
Hürtgen Forest: An old-growth forest on the German border where Allied forces engage in devastating encounters. In the heat of battle, the German Army uses tree burst bombs that detonate at treetop level, showering soldiers with wooden shrapnel. When your unit is zeroed-in-on by hostile artillery, the forest explodes around you as debris rains down.
Normandy: From inside a Higgins landing boat, your squad will storm Omaha Beach in a visceral audiovisual experience unlike any D-Day landing experienced in a game to date. You and your fellow soldiers must overcome the enemy defenses to serve as the tip of the spear for the Allied invasion.
Call of Duty: WWII will launch on November 3, 2017.