Thought Thunderbolt was the only superfast interconnect in town? Well, it is and will be for a little while yet, but the PCI Special Interest Group has just held its annual meeting and developer conference in California, where plans for a 32Gbps PCIe cable were revealed. Details are still fluid on precisely what such a connector would look like and do, but the expectation is that it’ll be built out of copper wire, will be flatter and thinner than Thunderbolt’s rotund construction, and will be able to channel power as well as data through to devices up to 10 feet (3m) away. Targeting consumer applications, and extra skinny tablets and laptops in particular, this cabled variety of PCI Express will start off based on the 3.0spec in 2013, but will then move on from there to PCI Express 4.0 and, potentially, optical data conveyance. Oh yes, PCIe 4.0 also got announced by the PCI SIG, though that’s at least four years away at this point — no need to sweat about having it in your next motherboard, not yet anyway.
If you were religiously awaiting the fruition of last month’s Intel leak, brace yourself: we’ve got another one. Although Intel’s updated roadmap hasn’t changed anything per se, it does offer a few specifics. Whereas the previous schedule only suggested we’d be crossing the Ivy Bridge in the first half of 2012, the new roadmap shows the 22 nanometer processor penned in at the end of the first quarter. The Sandy Bridge E series is still on schedule for Q4 however, so unless you just have to have native USB 3.0 and DirectX 11 support, you still have plenty to look forward to. Otherwise, we’ll see you in April.
As you’ll no doubt be aware, Qualcomm currently enjoys a stranglehold on processing hardware inside Windows Phone handsets. Its Snapdragon chip stars in both Microsoft’s original and updated chassis spec for the platform, but its hegemony may soon be coming to an end. STMicroelectronics (the ST in ST-Ericsson) boss Carlo Bozotti is cited by Forbes as saying that Nokia will use ST-Ericsson hardware to power at least some of its Windows Phones. The dual-core U8500, a long-time Nokia favorite, is touted as the first such system-on-chip to appear, with its successors helping to populate Nokia’s expansive WP lineup in 2012. The only intel we’ve had so far on Nokia’s initial handsets for the new OS revolved around Qualcomm-based devices, so even if ST-Ericsson is indeed going to infiltrate the Windows Phone ecosystem, it doesn’t look likely to be among the very first Nokias out of the gate.
You know how we said that 780bhp electric pipe dream Jaguar had last year wasn’t going to be anything more than a concept? Well, we were wrong. Sort of. You see, the British automaker has just announced its intention to produce a limited run of 250 C-X75 supercars in partnership with Formula 1 team Williams, however the retail model will eschew the craziest aspect of the original design — the twin turbine engines at the back. Those will be replaced with a four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which will aid the four electric motors (one attached to each wheel). Don’t worry, though, this tweak has actually made the C-X75 accelerate even faster, as it’s now rated to go from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds. 2013 is when the earliest production of this road-faring beast is expected to commence, with prices starting at £700,000 ($1.15 million), and there’s even a glimmer of hope that a version with the gas turbines will also be built at some point down the line. Crazy, just crazy. Check the C-X75 out on video after the break, where Jay Leno gives you a tour around its dramatic design.
Formula 1 cars set to go all electric in the pit lane from 2013 onwards, racing purists outraged already
Formula 1, the pinnacle of gas-powered racing, is more often at odds with the eco-conscious electric car movement than in tune with it, but here’s an exception to that rule. The FIA, the sport’s governing body, announced back in December of last year a move to a hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is still on track to be introduced in the 2013 season, and Williams boss Adam Parr has now enlightened us on some of the benefits of the new power setup. Noting that future cars’ kinetic energy recovery system will be four times as powerful as on current models, Parr says enough electric juice will be available to power each one-seater through its journey into and out of the pit lane. That would mean that at least for the tame, speed-restricted portions of a race, the F1 gas guzzlers you know and love will be humming along in almost perfect silence while using good old electricity. Unfortunately, it’s exactly that lack of vroom vroom that old timers like Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo are afraid of, describing the new hybrid stuff as sounding “terrible” and insisting on the sport sticking to its V8 roots. Then again, as Parr says, if you don’t move with the times, the times leave you behind.
Nokia transfers Symbian development and 3,000 employees to Accenture, will downsize workforce by further 4,000
Nokia’s already done quite a bit to cut ties with last year’s big push for Symbian and Qt development, though this is perhaps the biggest step yet. The Finnish company has announced it’s transferring responsibility for Symbian development to consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture, which sounds odd given the latter outfit’s inexperience in delivering mobile OS updates, but the good news is that the 3,000 devs Nokia had working on Symbian will continue their jobs under the new employer. That basically means that Nokia will live up to its unhappy promise that there’ll be “substantial reductions in employment” within its own ranks, while still keeping the men and women responsible for updating Symbian employed. Unfortunately, there will still be a further 4,000 job cuts in the company’s global workforce, primarily in Finland, Denmark and the UK, which will “occur in phases” between the beginning and end of next year. Nokia’s agreement with Accenture also involves continued collaboration on delivering mobility software and services on the Windows Phone platform. You can read more about that in the PR after the break.
We were just pondering this very thing yesterday — would Intel dedicate itself to Thunderbolt and give USB 3.0 the cold shoulder — and now we have our answer from the Santa Clara crew, albeit delivered from Beijing. The Chinese capital is the site of Intel’s currently ongoing developer conference, which is where Kirk Skaugen, VP of the company’s Architecture Group, assured the world that the promise for native USB 3.0 support in Intel chipsets will be fulfilled. Not this year, mind you, but it’ll be with us in 2012 as part of the Ivy Bridge CPU refresh. That matches AMD’s plans to support USB 3.0 in Fusion APUs, and was augmented with a strong word of endorsement from Skaugen about the connector’s future. He urged developers to embrace USB 3.0 on an equal footing with Intel’s proprietary Thunderbolt interconnect, describing the two technologies as “complementary.” If you say so, captain.
We’re filling the time between now and the NGP’s holiday season release the best way we know how: by hunting down yet more information about it. Andrew House, the man in charge of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has delivered the latest tidbit in an interview with MCV, where he states unequivocally that every game on the next PlayStation Portable will be available to buy as a download. Notably, he also expresses Sony’s desire to have simultaneous distribution in both digital and physical channels, but that sounds a lot less concrete than his promise that every game will be downloadable. Digital-only games also figure prominently in Andrew’s vision of the NGP’s future, as he expects them to diversify choice for consumers alongside the big time titles like Uncharted. To learn more about Sony’s replacement of UMDs with flash memory and the reasoning behind the PlayStation Suite, follow the source link below for the full interview.