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May 11, 2013

Sailing-America’s Cup accident highlights risks of high-tech approach

SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 (Reuters) – Less than 24 hours before a British sailor died in an America’s Cup boating accident on San Francisco Bay, billionaire Larry Ellison, the mastermind behind this year’s competition for the world’s oldest sporting trophy, was celebrating his sailing triumphs at a red-carpet gala.

The exclusive party, held Wednesday at a newly completed cruise terminal that is serving as the America’s Cup headquarter, featured a flattering documentary film, “The Wind Gods,” produced by Ellison’s son. The Oracle software company co-founder and CEO beamed as guests sipped wine and chatted about the upcoming races.

May 9, 2013

Chipmaker Nvidia’s quarterly results beat expectations

SAN FRANCISCO, May 9 (Reuters) – Graphics chipmaker Nvidia
posted better-than expected results for the first
quarter including record gross margins, despite a slowing PC
industry, sending its share higher.

With PC sales losing ground to tablets, Nvidia is betting on
its graphics expertise to make high-performance processors for
mobile devices.

May 8, 2013

SanDisk CEO sees extended stability in NAND flash market

May 8 (Reuters) – The rising cost of building
state-of-the-art memory chip factories is making manufacturers
think twice about adding new capacity, increasing the likelihood
of strong prices, the chief executive of SanDisk said.

Sanjay Mehrotra told analysts at a conference on Wednesday
that even as demand grows for flash memory, used in smartphones,
tablets and solid-state drives, chipmakers are adding little new

May 6, 2013

Intel revamps Atom chips in bid to find mobile footing

SANTA CLARA, California, May 6 (Reuters) – Intel Corp
on Monday unveiled the most extensive overhaul of its
Atom mobile processors, with improved performance that the PC
chipmaker expects will help it challenge Qualcomm in
smartphones and tablets.

The new microarchitecture, code-named Silvermont, will be a
key building block in upcoming Intel chips for mobile gadgets,
microservers and car entertainment systems, Chief Product
Officer Dadi Perlmutter told reporters at an event on Monday.

May 3, 2013

Run silent, run deep: The life of Brian Krzanich at Intel

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – It took him 30 years, but Brian Krzanich – the understated, analytical engineer who started his career at an Intel chip factory in New Mexico – quietly worked his way up to the top. Now, the man who once prided himself on halving production times will have to act swiftly to move the company into new areas of growth.

Krzanich will take over as chief executive beginning on May 16 at the annual shareholder meeting, replacing Paul Otellini, who in November unexpectedly announced his plan to retire. Under Otellni, Intel has been sidelined in smartphones and tablets while demand for its PC processors is on the wane.

May 2, 2013

Intel picks insider as CEO, dashing hopes for shakeup

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Intel Corp’s board elected three-decade insider Brian Krzanich as its next chief executive, disappointing some investors looking for aggressive change as the world’s largest chipmaker increasingly finds itself left out of the mobile revolution.

The board also elected software honcho Renée James, 48, to be president of Intel. Her appointment signaled to some that Intel, while likely intending to stick with its formula of intense investment to keep it ahead in the microchip technology game, is willing to explore new growth areas.

May 1, 2013

iPads and low-end rivals propel higher tablet shipments: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Global tablet shipments more than doubled in the first quarter and while Apple remained the top seller, Asian manufacturers making low-end gadgets accounted for a major chunk of the growth, according to a report.

Tablet shipments reached 49.2 million units in the January-to-March period, 142.4 percent more than in the same quarter in 2012, market research firm IDC said on Wednesday. Apple’s iPads accounted for 19.5 million units, an increase of 65.3 percent.

Apr 30, 2013

Qualcomm steps up chip branding campaign, plans TV ad

SANTA CLARA, California (Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc is stepping up its Snapdragon chip branding campaign, including a commercial for movie theaters and television, in a bid to build customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive smartphone industry.

Chief Marketing Officer Anand Chandrasekher showed analysts a commercial playing in US theaters and said it would also be rolled out in other countries, including China. Qualcomm plans to air it on national TV within the next couple of months.

Apr 25, 2013

Tencor sees revenue below expectations, economy weighs

April 25 (Reuters) – Chip equipment maker KLA-Tencor Corp
reported lower quarterly results and said its outlook
for the rest of the year has weakened due to manufacturers’
concerns about the global economy.

KLA-Tencor’s stock fell nearly 5 percent in extended trade
after Chief Executive Rick Wallace said on a conference call he
was seeing a pause in demand from contract manufacturers and
gave a current quarter revenue estimate that was below

Apr 24, 2013

Qualcomm raises revenue forecast, EPS outlook falls short

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Leading cellphone chipmaker Qualcomm raised its full-year revenue forecast as demand for smartphones continues to grow, but its estimate for full-year earnings was shy of expectations and its shares fell sharply.

San Diego-based Qualcomm is benefiting from strong demand for smartphones and a shift by network operators worldwide to a high-speed wireless technology known as long-term evolution (LTE), where the chipmaker is ahead of rivals.

    • About Noel

      "Based in Thomson Reuters' San Francisco news bureau, Noel Randewich covers the semiconductor industry and the growing use of microchips in everything from smartphones to home energy management. Prior to his San Francisco posting, Mr Randewich spent a decade covering emerging markets news in Mexico City."
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