Tag: marvell

Marvell settles with Carnegie Mellon University

US court in texas

US court in texas

A long running patent battle between Marvell and Carnegie Mellon University over chips used in hard disk drives has finally ended.

The pair have buried the hatchet and reached an agreement where Marvell pays US$750 million, with no ongoing royalty payments. This figure is far lower than the $1.54 billion that a court in Pennsylvania had awarded the university.

US Patent No. 6,201,839, titled “Method and Apparatus for Correlation-Sensitive Adaptive Sequence Detection,” and No. 6,438,180, titled “Soft and Hard Sequence Detection in ISI Memory Channels” relate to methods to improve accuracy in the detection of recorded data when certain types of errors are likely due to the recording medium and reading mechanism.

The jury had awarded the university about $1.17 billion, corresponding to a 50-cents-per-chip royalty on Marvell’s sales. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a judgment of roughly $1.54 billion and a continuing royalty at 50 cents per Marvell-sold chip.

CMU said in a statement that a “substantial share” of the proceeds from the settlement will go to the inventors, José Moura, a professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former doctoral student of Moura and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Hawaii.

The university expects to receive about $250 million from the settlement after legal fees and related costs, most of which it will use to benefit students.

Marvell kills off its mobile business  

63935Chipmaker Marvell plans to cut its mobile business and will lay off nearly one in five of its staff.

The company’s mobile and wireless business makes connectivity chips, and processors for smartphones and tablets.

Marvell said it would now focus on emerging opportunities in businesses such as automotive and Internet of Things, the concept of connecting household devices to the Internet.

The company said on September 11 a slowdown in the personal computer market had led to a weaker-than-expected demand for its hard-disk drive products.

Marvell had a total of 7,163 employees at the end of January.

The chipmaker said on Thursday that it expects to take a charge of $100 million to $130 million related to the restructuring.

The restructuring is currently expected to result in annualised operating savings of $170 million to $220 million, the company said.


Marvell loses ground with the slow death of 3G

Mobile chipmaker Marvell is suffering as demand for 3G chips slowly dies as the rise of 4G LTE demands different chips.

The company announced that its quarterly gross margin fell as demand for its chips used in third-generation mobile communication outweighed a rise in sales of its more profitable 4G LTE chips.

Marvell did better than expected in the first-quarter but overall the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street are predicting worse to come.

Smartphone sales growth is shifting away from North America to China where buyers favour handsets priced below $200.

Chief Financial Officer Michael Rashkin said in a post-earnings conference call that the company’s mix was skewed to 3G even though LTE did well and its margins came slightly below what was expected in the quarter.

Marvell’s gross margin shrunk to 48.4 percent for the first quarter ended May 3 from 54.3 percent a year earlier.

The company said it expects second-quarter adjusted profit of 28 cents per share and revenue of $940 million-$980 million.

Wall Street was expecting a profit of 26 cents per share on revenue of $930.1 million.

The company has benefited from the multi-billion dollar rollout of long-term evolution (LTE) 4G networks in China, which accounts for a third of Marvell’s total revenue.

Marvell’s first-quarter net income rose to $99.5 million, or 19 cents per share, from $53.2 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, earnings were 27 cents per share.

Revenue jumped 30 percent to $957.8 million. 

Oxford Uni holds Silicon Valley 2013 bash

In Oxford, there’s a building which was the original home of Research Machines. Although Cambridge is more associated with technology than Oxford, the university is making strenuous attempts to fix that perception.

Silicon Valley comes to Oxford, held at the Saïd Business Centre, bang across from the railway station, is in its 13th year and will be held on Sunday and Monday the 24th and 25th of November 2013.

The speaker line up this year includes the following luminaries: Jack Shulman – Global Director of Research and Development, Sony Playstation; Keely Stevenson – CEO, Bamboo Finance; Stacey Chang – Associate Partner and Director, IDEO’s Health and Wellness Practice; Malay Ghandi – Chief Strategy Officer, Rock Health; Paula Dowdy – Senior VC of Cisco Services (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia); Kim Cerrone – CEO, Tiatros Research; Kim Polese – Chairman, Clearstreet; Joe DiNucci – Founding Partner, Surviving Success LLC; Mike Malone – Co-founder and Director, PatientKey Inc; Tom Hayes – Founder and CEO, Mepedia; Kal Patel – Member Executive Committee, LRN; Gary Lauer – Chairman and CEO, eHealth Inc; Phil Libin – CEO, Evernote; Anthony Wood – Founder, Roku and Renu Bhatia – EVP, Marvell.

There’s also a debate at the Oxford Union between two teams on the subject of technology and healthcare over the weekend.

The news in reviews – another hardware roundup

Razer, the gaming accessory maker, has branched out into gaming laptops, bringing forth the Razer Blade 17.3-inch notebook. Not being a notebook specialist, it has accomplished a great deal, with Anandtech going to the point of calling it the Windows answer to a 17-inch MacBook Pro. Slim, powerful but pricey, though. It goes to show that the powerful notebook makers really need to roll up their sleeves and get with the program.

Asus uses its Direct Copper II cooling systems on Guru 3D to eke out all the performance it can of an already massively performing Radeon HD 7970. This huge tri-slot card will fulfil your graphics cravings, for sure, but be ready to drop a pretty penny.

Tom’s Hardware has updated its “Best graphics for the money” feature for March. You can find there what the best product is for every pocket, from the sub-$100 category to the gargantuan $400 plus. The update includes the newly-releases Pitcairns and Cape Verde aka HD 7800 and HD 7700 series graphic chips.

Hardware Canucks is having a long hard look at forthcoming Asus Z77-based motherboards. It’s a full lineup of enthusiast kit, Republic of Gamers inclusive. You can expect some good things coming out of the Asus design shop.

Shortly after your traditional reference design graphics card reaches the market, add-in board partners are sure to start churning out their unique take on the original récipe. Hardware Heaven has reviewed the Sapphire HD 7970 OverClock Edition Dual-X graphics card. The dual-fan behemoth is very silent and a huge improvement over the reference design.

Coinciding with Marvell’s announcement of a new SSD controller, Xbit Labs has thrown together a review of several Marvell-based SSDs. Crucial, Corsair and Plextor fight it out against some SandForce units. It’s quite interesting to see that Marvell’s server experience passes on down the food chain.

Expreview has its first-hand look at Nvidia’s GTX 560 SE. It’s an OEM product that’s cut from the same block as the GF114, like the GTX 460. However, it performs a lot worse than a 1GB GTX 460, and no one will mourn its passing when the time comes.

The Sapphire Edge HD3 is a mini-PC based on AMD’s Brazos E-450 CPU. It’s a tiny little thing that SilentPCReview thought of reviewing. The Edge HD3 packs 4GB of DDR3, a 320GB HDD, Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n wireless, front USB 3.0 ports to expand storage, HDMI and above all… FreeDOS.

TrustedReviews got its hands on some serious business with the HP Folio 13 Ultrabook. Folios aren’t new-new to the market, but the Ultrabook classification says it looks and feels more and more like a MacBook than anything else. It carries a full assortment of audio and video features, plus the still odd Wi-Di connection. Since this is a business kit, it also comes with Intel’s Trusted Platform Module 1.2.

One Laptop Per Child announces $100 XO 3.0 tablet

While many tablet makers are now looking to churn out low cost devices, it appears one manufacturer may be way out in front in price stakes.

This is because non-profit organisation One Laptop Per Child has managed to hit its price target of a low cost and low power tablet device at the $100 mark, unveiling the XO 3.0 at CES.

It had previously been announced back in 2010 that OLPC was working with chipmaker Marvell to produce a tablet version of its educational devices.

The XO 3.0 tablet is an update on previous versions, like the XO 1.75 laptop, and using Marvell’s ARMADA PXA618 processor should help further lower power consumption.

Avoiding power drain is, of course, vital to the usability of the tablet devices, with solar panels and hand cranks used to boost battery life.

Recipients of the new tablets will likely be pleased to find out that XO3.0 will use just half the power to achieve the same functionality.  This means an arm-knackering one hour and forty seven minutes of hand cranking minutes should be cut down.

Buyers will have a choice of either  Android or Linux OS for the tablet, and it will feature Avastar Wi-Fi SoC and have an option to include a sunlight readable screen like the XO 1.75.

According to the Telegraph the tablet will cost in the region of $100, a target which previous versions have not quite been able to reach, with the XO 1.75 costing roughly $165.

OLPC has been developing a variety of products which are aimed at use in developing countries, often where access to power supplies are scarce.  This has led to over 2.4 million children in 42 countries picking up the technology, according to Edward McNierney, OLPC’s Chief Technology Officer.

This figure is set to increase, with Marvell and OLPC also announcing that the XO 1.75 will ship to customers in March.  OLPC projects have already ordered up 75,000 laptops in Nicaragua and Uruguay.

It is expected that another low cost PC, albeit for a different application, the Raspberry Pi, will also be releasing its ultra-cheap USB-based computer at the end of the month.

Scales fall off entrepreneurs’ eyes

The final plenary session of Silicon Valley comes to Oxford was all about “scaling”.  This is biz jargon for coping with your company as it gets bigger and bigger. And the first to speak was Tom Hayes, who works for Marvell now but has also worked for HP, Applied Materials and AMD.

He pointed out the seemingly rather obvious point that not every company should get bigger. “You shouldn’t go down a path that may ruin you,” he said. Then followed what must surely be the equivalent of Zen and the Art of being an MBA. “When Applied was tiny we acted like we were a $10 billion company. Success kills more companies than failures do.”

Next up in the hot seat was the winsome Julie Hanna, chairman of Kiva.  She said that whatever market you are in, everything has to be done faster, better and cheaper. But the internet has changed everything radically. The power of peer to peer cannot be underestimated, she said. “Morality is not an add on feature,” she said, possibly another quote from Zen and the Art of being an MBA.

Frost & Sullivan hove into view in the shape of David Frigstand – he frankly acknowledged that it had never preducted the success of Apple and Skype. And here’s more from what is rapidly becoming a runaway hit,  Zen and the Art of Being an MBA: “We’re seeing an increase in chaos. We started off with a blue ocean strategy.” He thought that most companies failed because they failed to understand their customer base. It’s difficult to talk about scaling if a company doesn’t know its customer base.

Next up was the magnificently named Padmasree Warrior, from Cisco. You’ve encountered her in these pages before, at the Oxford Union. Cisco, she said, had got bigger (“scaled”) through acquisition, in fact by buying 125 companies. She asked herself how easy it is to keep the entrepreneurial spirit in a large company. Innovation is obviously not the answer, for once. “We went too far on the innovation side. That’s a lesson learned.”  And her contribution to Zen? It has to be: “Research tells us [that people between] 18 to 30 would be willing to work for less money as long as they could use their favourite social networking site at work.”

LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, who was so eloquent in the Oxford Union debate the other night, had nothing to say at all. A very Zen statement, that.

Kal Patel used to work for Best Buy and when Circuit City went out of business in 2008, his company got complacent. Zen? “When you’re very successful you have to replicate substance, not form”.

Marvell man accused of being “master debater”

I got expelled from school when I was 16 so I guess I was an average worker. But, my, how did the sparks fly at an Oxford Union debate tonight, the prelude to tomorrow’s top conference, Silicon Valley comes to Oxford.

Those folk who proposed the motion, to wit Erik Brynjolsson, Andrew McAfee (no relation, we think), Reid Hoffman and Patrick Chung proposed to the Oxford Union that “this house believes that the average worker is being left behind by advances in technology”.

Presiding was the very president of the union, one Izzy “let’s get busy” Westbury, who we suspect is a mean spin bowler in her spare time.

Against the motion were Kim Polese – she is no Esther Dyson; Tom Hayes (at Marvell); Kal Patel and the incredibly well named lass from Cisco, Padmasree Warrior.

The debate kicked off with Izzy asking the question whether “debt is the route (we think she said route) of all evil.”  She then graciously invited Erik Brynjolsson, from MIT (Massachussetts thingie) to kick off. And kick off, he sure enough did. Introducing McAfee (no relation), Erik invited the house to consider whether the forces of light, truth and wisdom would prevail.

Reid Hoffman, an entrepreneur in his own right, described Cisco as part of the forces of darkness. He claimed Cisco had made its Q2 profits as part of massive layoffs. The MIT guy claimed there were no clear differences between Cisco and Huawei. As an observer, we could sense there was trouble coming. Sure enough, it arrived, bang on time.

Next, the proponents of the motion – see above – had a good old go at Terry Gou, the CEO of Foxconn, that small Taiwanese ODM. “Foxconn’s Gou has pledged to replace his workers with robots,” said the person speaking on behalf of the motion.

It was Tom “Mr Marvell’s” turn to speak. This is what we wrote down him saying: “Until tonight, I respected MIT. I find it ironic these four gentlemen can be standing out on a limb to make unspecifiable remarks. The academic world is nothing to do with the real world.

“MIT is anti-technology. MIT are Luddites. Technology didn’t leave us [in the US], we left it.

“MIT wants to blame technology [we, Marvell] The only reasonable vote tonight is no.”

Hoffmann responded with facts and figures but at the culmination of the evening, the incomparable Cisco lass, Padmasree Warrior, from Cisco had her say at length.

Of course, she said, we tech companies have made things better.  She went to school in a rickshaw so she knew hardship. Her dad got a boat from Kenya and villages in Congo are very grateful. She quoted a villager in the Congo who, she said, was very grateful for adding airtime as part of her shoppping list, otherwise the fish would have gone off.

We haven’t got round to what Mr Chung said about technology yet, he’s a VC on the side of the proposition, but we will, we will, there’s another day of this stuff to go, starting early tomorrow. No one knows the result of the vote because we all had to file out in two doors, the ayes and the noes. No respite for neutral journos, then. It’s all about debate. I am just an average worker.

Intel, Marvell, Freescale sued over power management

A case started in a Delaware District Court accusing Freescale, Marvell and Intel of infringing a power management patent.

The case was brought by Power Management Solutions, which alleges that the three semiconductor firms infringed patent number 5,504,909. This patent has the catchy title: Power Management Apparatus Collocated on the same Integrated Circuit as the Functional Unit that it manages.

Freescale, it’s alleged, breaches this patent with ICs including the i.MX595.

Intel, it’s alleged, breaches this patent with the Atom Z6xx series of microprocessors. “Intel does not have a licence or other authorisation to practise the claims set forth in ‘909 Patent,” the filing said.

Marvell also is claimed to breach this patent by selling integrated circuits using the PXA940.

Power Management wants a jury to find against the three defendants and dole it out large sums of money.

Texas Instruments usurps Marvell in RIM contract snatch

Chip company Marvell, or Mei Man, or Beautiful Harmony may not be feeling too beautiful or harmonious after all – with reports that it has lost its Blackberry contract with RIM to Texas Instruments.

Marvell already had a contract snatched from under its nose in March this year, again by Texas Instruments.

According to our sources at the time, it was a last minute U-turn before RIM left it hanging. 

RCR Wireless‘ Sylvie Barak says the Blackberry 9900 will be running on Texas Instrument’s OMAP SoC. Quite a knocking for poor old Marvell, then – with one employee admitting to Barak under condition of anonymity that “it’s a painful hit to us.”

RIM also confirmed to RCR that the new range will be running on TI designs.