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The Last Editorial of 2011

Posted: 12.27.11

It’s been quite a year for all the com­puter segments from mobile phones and tablets to game consoles, PCs, servers, and supercomputers. Mobile phones with two and four cores running at a GHz or higher were introduced during the year, tablets and phones got thinner, phones got bigger and they got higher resolution displays and full HD capability. Game consoles got S3D, and PCs got thin and light notebooks, all-in-one desktops and killer powerful game machines. Servers got four to sixteen core processors, GPU-compute sub-systems, and Japan’s K Computer hit 10.5 PetaFLOPS and Oak Ridge said their Titan will exceed 20 petaflops, maybe even hit 30 putting exaFLOPS in the sights of super computer builders.

AMD introduced the A8 APU, ARM rolled out the Mali T658 GPU and unveiled its 64bit architecture V8, Freescale showed the iMX6, Intel started shipping Medfield and Oaktrail and introduced Tri-gate at 22nm, Nvidia introduced Kal-El, said they’d develop an ARM based server chip named after the mile high city and would build an SoC with a modem in it, Qualcomm brought the A-series Snapdragons, while Samsung announced the Exynos processor.

Other highlights of the year

DMP went public.

HP went nuts, got in and then out of the tablet market, got out and back in the PC market, hired fired and hired a CEO.

Lenovo went to Germany and bought electronics retailer Medion AG and soared to number two in market share.

Nvidia went to the UK and bought modem designer Icera.

Qualcomm went straight up and climbed to number one in market share while TI slipped badly.

Nokia and RIM went down down down and almost ran out of bullets shooting themselves in the foot. RIM was declared the winner managing to shoot off all its toes.

Intel got jilted by Nokia who thought Microsoft was prettier—and richer.

In a bodacious move Google acquires Motorola.

Khronos introduced WebGL only to have Apple and others tell them to go away we’ll use HTML5 if you don’t mind.

HTC gets bitch slapped by Apple and buys Dashwire and S3 to protect itself. Judge doesn’t buy it—fail.

Apple sucker punches Samsung shutting down its export machine.

Intel and Logitech quit GoogleTV and look for new adventures.

What a year

Are we finished yet? 2011 was a test like no other year with the possible exception of 2009—and yeah they most certainly are related.

The stock market, highly manipulated by computer trading and clever algorithms (from the same folks who brought us the recession) has swung up and down daily on news from Europe or the US’s do nothing but backbite Congress, impacting 401s and consumer’s sense of security. You can’t get out of a recession in the US without the consumer buying engine, and they’re not going to start maxing out their credit cards until the roller coaster rides stop. Magic won’t happen at the click of midnight no matter what time zone you’re in. But at least you’ll be able to laugh, have a drink, and be happy for a little while.

Happy holidays and hopefully happy New Year