A monolithic semiconductor substrate

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According to Sun, its mergers and acquisitions – unlike Oracle's, Adobe's, and AT&T's – aren't quick fixes aimed at instantly growing its customer base. They're "thoughtful, strategic acquisitions that complement and enhance our historic strengths." Sun Microsystems, McNealy claims in a memo sent to Sun's customers this week, takes a different approach from the rest of the industry giants. But hold on. Sun has completed no fewer than nine acquisitions during the past three years. McNealy points out as much in his memo. So what's so different between its approach and the approach of, say, Adobe/Macromedia, Oracle/PeopleSoft, HP/Compaq, and the pending AT&T/SBC deal? According to McNealy, it's this: "Our team ... looks to acquire companies that will give Sun a strategic advantage in terms of intellectual property, new technologies, and human capital. We are looking ... (more)

Is IT Outsourcing Worth It?

Over the past 20 years the economy has lost over four million jobs. Although some of these jobs have disappeared because of increased productivity, most of them have been exported overseas to countries with low-cost labor such as China and Pakistan. As the world becomes smaller, high-tech services have soon followed. Forrester Research, in a much-quoted study issued late last year, estimated that 3.3 million jobs representing $136 billion in wages would move overseas from the United States by 2015. Everything from computer programming to chip design to support will be affected, m... (more)

Sun Reveals Open Source Plans for Niagara Chip

While it was busy launching its new Niagara-based servers in New York Tuesday, Sun Microsystems said it would open source the UltraSparc T1 processor that was code named Niagara. It's calling the project OpenSparc. At this point it's more a statement of intent than a fait accompli. The program isn't supposed to kick off until late in the first quarter after Sun addresses key issues such as implementation and governance. Back in 1999 Sun released its complete MicroSparc IIep design for free under the Community Source License, also used for Java to try to make its chip designs more p... (more)

Think Linus Torvalds Will Defer to Sun on GPLv3? The Answer May Hinge on a Bottle of Wine

Linux creator Linus Torvalds thinks the last GPLv3 draft is better than earlier drafts, but he still doesn't like it much, preferring the existing GPLv2 that the Linux kernel is currently licensed under. He has problems with the GPL 3's ban on so-called "tivoization" - Tivo shuts down if users mess with its DRM software - and deals like the Microsoft-Novell pact. " All I've heard are shrill voices about 'tivoization' (which I expressly think is OK)," he wrote Sunday on the Linux development mailing list, "and panicked worries about Novell-MS (which seems way overblown, and quite ... (more)

Intel ATOM Design

Orchid Technologies on Ulitzer Intel Corporation's ATOM processor and low power chipset solution is a technology choice which cannot be overlooked. With the potential for wide application in deeply embedded, low power, fanless industrial, medical, communications, automotive and consumer applications this technology demands attention. Orchid Technologies, a developer of custom electronics product solutions, can help. With their new ATOM processor technology core design, that combines your custom electronic hardware with an ATOM processor core. The result is a highly integrated c... (more)

EC Cuts Deal with Rambus

Chip Design Journal  The European Commission has come to terms with Rambus, which has pledged to put a cap on the royalties it charges for its DRAM patents in exchange for the regulator dropping its monopoly abuse investigation without a fine. Rambus currently charges 3.5%. From now on royalties on earlier chip standards will go to zilch and later ones just 1.5%, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rambus has spent a lot on lawyer to persuade regulators on both sides of the pond it didn’t commit patent ambush by getting its IP written into standards without disclosing it held... (more)