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Intel Makes Interim CEO Swan Permanent, Bucking History of Insiders

Intel made interim Chief Executive Officer Robert Swan’s role permanent on Thursday, marking the first time the chipmaker has picked a leader who did not rise through the company ranks, sending Intel shares down and boosting rivals. Swan, 58, who was previously Intel’s chief financial officer, served as eBay’s CFO for nine years before a stint…

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Intel Makes Interim CEO Swan Permanent, Bucking History of Insiders

Intel made interim Chief Executive Officer Robert Swan’s role permanent on Thursday, marking the first time the chipmaker has picked a leader who did not rise through the company ranks, sending Intel shares down and boosting rivals.

Swan, 58, who was previously Intel’s chief financial officer, served as eBay’s CFO for nine years before a stint in private equity and joining Intel in 2016.

His career in corporate finance marks a sharp break from tradition at Intel, which has typically been led by engineers who spent decades at the company and time in both its microchip architecture and manufacturing businesses.

Intel shares fell 2.6 percent to $46.29 (roughly Rs. 3,300) in midday trading and shares of competing chip firms gained.

Advanced Micro Devices shares jumped 6.7 percent and Nvidia rose 4.1 percent, helping drive the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up nearly 8 percent. Intel shares were the biggest loser in the index.

Swan will be tasked with getting Intel’s manufacturing operations back on track and fending off newer chip rivals that are eating into Intel’s dominance in personal computers and data centres.

Intel intends to keep manufacturing its flagship CPU chips but remains open to using outsiders to make chips in newer markets like chips for cars or artificial intelligence, Swan told Reuters.

“This is a capital-intensive industry, and we always have to evaluate whether it makes sense to have manufacturing for a given technology,” Swan said. “In the high-performance computing arena, we just believe we’re the best in the world at it.”

Given Swan’s short tenure and lack of experience in manufacturing, many analysts believed he was unlikely to be named permanent CEO.

Swan has also publicly said he was not interested in becoming the permanent Intel CEO. But sources familiar with the matter said Swan had privately said he would accept the role if offered.

Swan has kept Intel’s profit consistent with tight cost controls, analysts said. He helped Intel shares rebound after investors were spooked by a July disclosure that the company would miss the target date for its newest-generation chips, though the stock tracked the tech sector lower in the following months.

But questions remain about Intel’s ability to get its next generation of 10-nanometer chips to market by the end of this year in personal computers and early next year in data centres.

“Swan is a rock-solid leader and financial manager,” Chaim Siegel of Elazar Advisors said. “My guess why the stock’s down is investors may have been hoping for someone with more of an operations focus to get them through these (chip manufacturing) transitions.”

In recent decades the chip industry has split between design and manufacturing, with manufacturing firms like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co specializing in factories that make chips while firms like Qualcomm Inc specialize in designing chips but outsource manufacturing.

Intel is one of the few remaining companies that both designs and manufactures chips. But it has lost its lead in making the world’s smallest chip features to TSMC last year and is facing a growing threat from rivals like AMD and Nvidia that do not make their own chips.

Swan will likely continue Intel’s strategy of recent years to identify areas where it can expand beyond its core CPU chips, such as artificial intelligence chips, said Stacy Rasgon, an analyst with Bernstein.

“Bob will keep the ship afloat. The ship is going where it’s going,” Rasgon said. “Hopefully there’s no iceberg.”

But Swan will face tough choices, like whether to keep focusing on businesses like memory and modem chips that connect phones to wireless data networks. Those businesses are much lower margin than Intel’s CPU business, Rasgon said.

Others who analysts saw as contenders, such as Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and a longtime Qualcomm executive, and Intel’s data centre chief Navin Shenoy, have been immersed in the details of the chip business for decades.

Media reports had also said Intel’s board was interested in Johny Srouji, the Apple Inc executive responsible for driving the increasing number of custom chips in Apple’s devices.

“People wanted a Microsoft kind of announcement, like (Satya) Nadella” said Joel Kulina, a Wedbush trader in Toronto. Nadella led a resurgence at Microsoft that has it vying with Amazon.com and Apple to be the world’s largest technology company.

“But what do we get? The CFO, because the CEO search produced nothing. … It’s bizarre for a company like Intel to have a leader who does not have a technical background. He’s a cost cutter.”

Swan told Reuters his skills complement Intel’s existing technologists, some poached from rivals such as AMD in recent years.

“This company is extremely rich in technical talent, both on the design and architecture side and the process and manufacturing side,” Swan said. “My role, and my challenge, is how do we unleash that technical talent going forward to continue to do special things?”

Swan had been in temporary charge of the chipmaker since last June when Brian Krzanich left after an investigation found he had a consensual relationship with an employee in breach of company policy. Swan will be the seventh CEO in Intel’s 50-year history.

Intel said Todd Underwood, vice president of finance, would become interim chief financial officer as the company undertakes an internal and external search for a permanent CFO.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Everything Announced at Ubisoft E3 2021: Rainbow Six Extraction, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Far Cry 6, and More

Ubisoft’s E3 2021 presentation was largely about building on established franchises. The Rainbow Six series is pitting players against AI aliens with Rainbow Six Extraction. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora takes gamers into the James Cameron movie world. Giancarlo Esposito-led Far Cry 6 will place you in the shoes of three villains as part of its…

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Everything Announced at Ubisoft E3 2021: Rainbow Six Extraction, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Far Cry 6, and More

Ubisoft’s E3 2021 presentation was largely about building on established franchises. The Rainbow Six series is pitting players against AI aliens with Rainbow Six Extraction. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora takes gamers into the James Cameron movie world. Giancarlo Esposito-led Far Cry 6 will place you in the shoes of three villains as part of its story-driven DLC. Aiden Pearce and Wrench are coming very soon to Watch Dogs: Legion. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is headed to Paris — but better yet, Valhalla is getting a full year of additional content. The fantastic Mario + Rabbids series is returning after five years on Nintendo Switch. And there’s outdoor sports action in Riders Republic. On PC, all Ubisoft games are available with the subscription service Ubisoft+. Here are the biggest announcements from Ubisoft Forward at E3 2021.Release date: September 16, 2021Platforms: Amazon Luna, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/XBuilding off the legacy of PvP Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft Montreal is now taking its co-op shooter experience into the PvE space. In Rainbow Six Extraction, you can team up with up to two friends to fight mysterious alien creatures Archæans. You can pick from 18 Rainbow Six operators — each of them have unique gear, weapons, and abilities — all of whom will be available from the start if you have played Rainbow Six Siege in the past. Rainbow Six Extraction will offer full cross-play, cross-save, and cross-progression.Avatar: Frontiers of PandoraRelease date: 2022Platforms: Amazon Luna, PC, PS5, Stadia, and Xbox Series S/XThe world of James Cameron’s Avatar is the setting for a new first-person action-adventure from The Division 2 maker Massive Entertainment — also behind an open-world Star Wars game next — that will use The Division’s Snowdrop engine to bring Pandora to life. In Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, you will play as the blue aliens Na’vi in a standalone story in an unseen part of the planet, as you push back against the human forces. All that is to say that the game will not be connected to the Avatar movie sequels, the first of which is due in December 2022.Far Cry 6Release date: October 7, 2021Platforms: Amazon Luna, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/XAt Ubisoft Forward, we got a new look at Giancarlo Esposito’s dictator Antón Castillo and his first meeting with our protagonist Dani Rojas from Far Cry 6. Ubisoft Toronto also unveiled the Far Cry 6 Season Pass — it includes three DLC story packs that lets you play as three villains (Vaas Montenegro, Pagan Min and Joseph Seed) to expand on their backstories, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and seven Blood Dragon items for Far Cry 6.Watch Dogs: Legion — BloodlineRelease date: July 6, 2021Platforms: Amazon Luna, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/XSet prior to the events of the main campaign, the first story expansion Bloodline brings back Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden Pearce and Watch Dogs 2 deuteragonist Wrench. After the latter escapes with a valuable piece of tech, Aiden, who took a routine fixer job in London to reconnect with estranged nephew Jackson, is under fire from all sides. To play bloodline, you will need the Watch Dogs: Legion Season Pass that will also allow you to add Aiden and Wrench to your DedSec outfit.Riders RepublicRelease date: September 2, 2021Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/XIt’s all about outdoor sports — biking, skiing, snowboarding, wingsuiting and rocket wingsuiting — in this Ubisoft Annecy game set across US National Parks, from Yosemite Valley to Mammoth Mountain. You can choose to play by yourself in career and make your way through five different progressions. Or you can join your friends in free roam, or a variety of multiplayer competitions, be it versus mode, 6v6 trick battles, 12-player free-for-all, or — only on next-gen — 50-player multisport races.Assassin’s Creed ValhallaValhalla goes on. At E3 2021, Ubisoft announced that a second year of content is coming for the Viking game, keeping Assassin’s Creed fans busy until the next mainline entry, potentially in late 2022. And in continuation of Odyssey and Origins, education expansion Discovery Tour: Viking Age is on its way, giving players a non-violent experience in Valhalla that puts you in the place of different characters as you learn about their history. Before all that, the second paid DLC, The Siege of Paris, due later in summer 2021.Mario + Rabbids Sparks of HopeRelease date: 2022Platforms: Nintendo SwitchMario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was an unexpected delight, and Ubisoft and Nintendo are now building on that with a new cosmic adventure that will mix turn-based tactics and real-time action to create a new combat style. As for the name, it refers to dozens of Sparks that you must rescue across your interstellar journey. In turn, you can harness each Spark’s unique power as a special ability in battle. As before, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will include normal and Rabbids versions of beloved Nintendo characters.Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Kingston NV1 NVMe SSD (500GB) Review: Good Performance, But Questions Remain

As SSDs edge closer to becoming the default (and only) storage option for desktop PCs as well as laptops, the market has filled with more affordable models. Even M.2 NVMe SSDs, which started out as exotic and expensive options aimed only at enthusiasts, are now extremely common. In addition to being faster than legacy SATA…

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Kingston NV1 NVMe SSD (500GB) Review: Good Performance, But Questions Remain

As SSDs edge closer to becoming the default (and only) storage option for desktop PCs as well as laptops, the market has filled with more affordable models. Even M.2 NVMe SSDs, which started out as exotic and expensive options aimed only at enthusiasts, are now extremely common. In addition to being faster than legacy SATA SSDs, these are tiny, convenient, and save you the mess of extra wires hanging around the inside of your PC cabinet. There is clearly a market for entry-level NVMe SSDs today and Kingston is aiming at exactly that with its new NV series.Kingston NV1 SSD price in IndiaThe Kingston NV1 SSD is equivalent to the SATA-based A and UV series in terms of positioning. It is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, and it’s interesting to see that lower capacities aren’t being offered even though this is an entry-level model. Retail pricing for SSDs usually has nothing in common with the numbers printed on the labels, and also varies often. In India, the former two are easily found selling for around Rs. 5,499 and Rs. 9,499 respectively, while the 2TB version is not as widely available and will cost around Rs. 24,500 which is not as attractive in terms of cost per GB.The simple cardboard pack proclaims that the NV1 is 35X faster than a spinning hard drive, which is not a high bar for any SSD to achieve. You get a code to claim a free copy of Acronis True Image HD, but it’s printed on the inside of the cardboard sandwich. This is almost impossible not to miss unless you already know it’s there, and in fact a lot of people will very likely tear through it while opening the pack, since there’s no indication that anything important is on the inside. The software lets you clone or image a drive, but it doesn’t support incremental backups, scheduling, cloud or mobile backups, etc like retail versions of True Image.The single-sided Kingston NV1 is suitable for slim laptops Kingston NV1 SSD features and specificationsKingston doesn’t make extraordinary performance claims about the NV1, but instead simply aims to deliver high capacities at low prices. What’s most noteworthy about this SSD series, according to trusted source AnandTech, is that Kingston isn’t specifying exactly what controller you’ll get or even what type of flash memory – in order to balance costs and inventories, the company might swap out components in different batches, and the only guarantees you have are that they will meet the advertised performance and endurance figures.Other companies have been found swapping components after SSDs are launched (and reviews are published) without saying anything, and while Kingston hasn’t exactly been loud and clear about wanting to do the same when advertising the NV1, it has at least been upfront with the media that have reported this fact.This of course makes it difficult to review a product, since you might end up with something materially different if you’re making your purchase a month or two down the line, and there’s no guarantee that the review unit sent to Gadgets 360 will even match what’s in the market right now. That said, Kingston is a known and trusted brand, and that alone is enough for a lot of buyers. If you don’t care about TLC vs QLC flash and controller bandwidth, and if you find the capacity you need at a good price, you should be happy enough.Kingston claims 2100MBps sequential reads and 1700MBps sequential writes for all three capacities. This SSD uses PCIe 3.0 and not the faster, newer 4.0 standard. Endurance is rated at 120TBW, 240TBW and 480TBW for the 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities respectively. MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is 1.5 million hours. These figures are all well below what Kingston’s own KC2500, introduced earlier this year, offers. Even the previous entry-level NVMe model, the A2000, offers considerably better endurance ratings.It wasn’t possible to identify the specific controller and flash type on my review unit without peeling off the label covering the actual chips on the module, and Kingston has not published these details. Some third-party reports suggest that the lower capacity drives will use TLC flash while higher ones will use QLC flash, but that could change at any point. We can’t verify what the bandwidth of the controller is, but we can safely assume that there’s no DRAM cache. There’s also no mention of encryption on the official spec sheet. We’ll have to rely on performance alone to evaluate this drive.The Kingston NV1 is a very basic SSD and so it doesn’t come with a heat spreader. The circuit board itself is bright blue and looks nice enough but you won’t see much of it once it’s installed. Since this is a one-sided M.2 module and is only 2.1mm thick, it will fit into tight spaces such as ultra-slim laptops.There’s no high-end heatsink and flashy design elements here Kingston NV1 SSD performance.The Kingston NV1 was benchmarked on an open rig consisting of >. All Windows updates and drivers were the most recent released versions at the time of this review. Windows reported the drive’s formatted capacity as 465.76GB.Starting with CrystalDiskMark 6, we saw sequential read and write speeds of 2,553MBps and 1,959MBps respectively which are a fair bit higher than I expected based on the official specifications. This could be a cushion built in so that future revisions remain within the advertised performance threshold. Random reads and writes were measured at 1370.6MBps and 1447.4MBps which is not bad at all. This is quite a lot faster than today’s premium SATA SSDs such as the Samsung SSD 870 Evo, but behind the impressive Kingston KC2500.The Anvil benchmark reported read and write scores of 4,674.33 and 6,827.63 respectively, for a total of 11,501.96. In a real-world Windows file copy test using an 80GB folder of assorted files, write speed touched 345MBps and stayed fairly steady at about that level with very large files, but dropped as low as 15MBps with assorted small files.It’s worth noting that even the latest version of Kingston’s own SSD Manager software, downloaded from its website, did not detect this drive. It was unable to show diagnostic information or any security-related options. VerdictThere are questions that remain regarding the long-term viability of the Kingston NV1. I would not use this as a boot drive for my main work PC or store my most important data on it without a rock-solid backup plan in place, but that doesn’t mean no one else should choose it. This would be a great inexpensive upgrade for an older PC or laptop that’s serving non-critical needs, and it could also be a very good secondary or tertiary drive for saving large game install folders to since they will benefit from quick loads.What makes it most attractive is its low pricing, but even so, there are other models that are more affordable and have unambiguous spec sheets, most notably the Crucial P1 and WD Blue SN550. Kingston’s own A2000 costs only Rs. 100-200 more. Considering that this model is fairly new in the Indian market, I hope to see much better pricing a few months down the line. This SSD effectively creates a new, lower product tier so with the right pricing, it can certainly carve out a niche for itself.That said, performance is quite good and endurance should be enough for most low-impact home and office PC use cases. You’d save quite a bit of money compared to something mainstream like the Kingston KC2500 or Samsung SSD 970 Evo Plus.Kingston NV1Prices (MOP):500GB: Rs. 5,4991TB: Rs. 9,4992TB: Rs. 24,500ProsGood overall performance Relatively affordableConsCore specifications subject to change Disappointing endurance ratings No encryption No management softwareRatings (Out of 5)Performance: 4 Value for Money: 3.5 Overall: 3.5

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Dell Inspiron 14 2-In-1, Inspiron 15, Inspiron 13 Laptops Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Dell has launched a slew of refreshed Inspiron laptops in the Indian market, expanding its portfolio. The range includes Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, Dell Inspiron 14, Dell Inspiron 15 in Intel and AMD configurations, and Dell Inspiron 13. The new Dell laptops come with slim bezels, spacious touchpad, larger keycaps, and other such enhancements to…

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Dell Inspiron 14 2-In-1, Inspiron 15, Inspiron 13 Laptops Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Dell has launched a slew of refreshed Inspiron laptops in the Indian market, expanding its portfolio. The range includes Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, Dell Inspiron 14, Dell Inspiron 15 in Intel and AMD configurations, and Dell Inspiron 13. The new Dell laptops come with slim bezels, spacious touchpad, larger keycaps, and other such enhancements to improve usability. The screen resolution of the Dell Inspiron series can go up to QHD+ and there’s a fingerprint reader that will verify identity quickly using Windows Hello. All the laptops come with a HD webcam and support ExpressCharge.Dell Inspiron series price in India, availabilityThe new Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 comes in Intel and AMD options and the Intel configurations start at Rs. 57,990 in India whereas the AMD configurations start at Rs. 65,990. The 2-in-1 model will be available in India starting today. Dell Inspiron 14 price starts at Rs. 44,990 and it will be up for sale starting June 18.Coming to Dell Inspiron 15, it has also been made available in Intel and AMD options. The Intel configurations’ price starts at Rs. 48,990 and will go on sale starting June 18, whereas the AMD configurations are priced starting at Rs. 57,990 and will be up for sale starting June 22.Dell has also launched the Inspiron 13 in India and it will be available at a starting price of Rs. 68,990 from July 7 onwards. The entire new Dell Inspiron range will be available for purchase across Dell website, Amazon, large-format retail, multi-brand outlets, and select Dell exclusive stores.Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 specificationsThe new Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 enables users to easily switch between laptop, tent, stand, and tablet mode. As mentioned, it comes in Intel and AMD configurations. Both include a 14-inch full-HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) touch display. Under the hood, the Intel variant can be equipped with up to an 11th-Generation Intel Core i7 processor and up to Nvidia GeForce MX350 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory. The AMD variant comes with up to a Ryzen 7 5700U CPU and Radeon graphics. Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 comes with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Connectivity options include an HDMI port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You also get Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5. Both models are backed by up to 54Whr batteries.Dell Inspiron 14, Dell Inspiron 15 specificationsComing to the refreshed Dell Inspiron 14, it comes with a 14-inch full-HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) display whereas Dell Inspiron 15 comes with a 15.6-inch full-HD (1,920×1,080 pixels) display. The Inspiron 14 is powered by 11th-Generation Intel Core i7 processors and up to Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU. On the other hand, Dell Inspiron 15 comes in Intel and AMD configurations. The laptops can be equipped with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 1TB of M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD for storage. Connectivity options on the Inspiron 14 and Inspiron 15 each include an HDMI port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2 port, two USB Type-A 3.2 Gen1 ports, an SD card reader, a headphone/ microphone combo jack, and Wi-Fi 6. There are two speakers and dual digital microphone array. Both laptops are backed by up to 54Whr batteries.Dell Inspiron 13 specificationsLastly, Dell Inspiron 13 features a 13.3-inch QHD+ (2,560×1,600 pixels) display with 300 nits of peak brightness. Under the hood, the Inspiron 13 can be equipped with up to an 11th-Generation Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, paired with up to Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU with 2GB of GDDR6 graphics memory. Dell Inspiron 13 supports up to 16GB of LPDDR34x RAM and 512GB of NVMe SSD. Connectivity options include an HDMI port, a USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You also get Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5.1. There’s a 54Whr battery on board Dell Inspiron 13 as well. It comes with a fingerprint reader integrated into the power buInterested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.tton. 

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