MediaFile

CES: HP demos Android smartbook

qualcommThe nascent smartbook market got a big nudge forward on Friday, courtesy of Hewlett-Packard, the world’s biggest personal computer maker.

Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s PC division, turned up on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show during a keynote address by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs to demo a device based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip and running Google’s mobile Android software.

There was no formal product unveiling, but HP showed off a smartbook with multitouch capability, and Bradley spoke with apparent interest on the  category, which is just beginning to build steam.

“We’re not going to make any announcement today but you know how interested and focused and frankly committed we are to this space,” Bradley said.

Smartbooks run on low-power ARM-based processors like Snapdragon or Nvidia’s Tegra, as opposed to netbooks, which run on Intel’s x86-based Atom platform.

AMD gains on Intel as intrigue swirls

New data from research group IDC shows Advanced Micro Devices gained on arch rival Intel in the first quarter PC microprocessor market. There is of course still a huge gap between the two — Intel earned a 77.3 percent unit global market share, a loss of 4.7 percent, while AMD held 22.3 percent, a gain of 4.6 percent — but it’s all the more interesting given the intrigue swirling around the two companies.

EU antitrust regulators are expected to issue a ruling Wednesday that Intel illegally paid PC makers to postpone or cancel the launch of products using chips made by AMD, sources have told Reuters. The European Commission believes the violations occurred during a period stretching back eight years, the sources said. Intel could be hit with a sizable fine.

Intel, with revenue of $37.6 billion in 2008, dominates the microprocessor market. AMD posted revenue of $5.8 billion in 2008.

Acer, Nvidia unveil pint-sized desktop PC

Nvidia and Acer on Tuesday unveiled a low-cost, full-featured desktop computer the size of hardback book, the first device based on Nvidia’s Ion platform.

The new Acer AspireRevo features an Nvidia graphics processing unit along with Intel Atom microprocessor. (Although they might sit comfortably together in the new PC, Intel and Nvidia continue to be bitter rivals in the chip world and battle each other in court.)

Nvida says the AspireRevo uses one-quarter the power of standard desktops and is 10 times faster than comparably priced PCs.  The system can do most things a full-sized PC can, including play high-definition video and games, share digital pics and Web surfing.

CES: “Green” envy on Day 2

Fuji EnviroMAX batteries

Several exhibitors took up the “green” theme at CES 2009 as the “Pre” party continued. Any chance Dell had to upstage Palm disappeared in a cloud of secrecy with the “Adamo” laptop it briefly presented, but gave no details about.

Fuji said its EnviroMAX alkaline batteries were made of more than 90 percent recycled materials, had no mercury, cadmium and were PVC free.

Singapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies said their “HydroPack” water-activated and portable power system HydroPak could provide 4 to 5 hours of 50 watt emergency power without pollution or noise.