TechSummit Rewind #062

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Intel cuts Atom chips

An employee walks past an Intel logo during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei

According to a company spokesperson, Intel is immediately canceling Atom chips, codenamed Sofia and Broxton for mobile devices.

Resources originally dedicated to the chips will be moved to “products that deliver higher returns and advance our strategy,” according to an Intel spokesperson.

This gives the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company a mobile chip hole, with the company’s mobile chips aging and having no replacements in sight.

Intel is also phasing out its Atom X5 line of Cherry Trail tablet chips, which is being replaced by hybrid-centric Pentium and Celeron chips codenamed Apollo Lake chips.

“We no longer look at tablets as a standalone segment. Our product roadmap reflects that. We will continue to support our tablet customers with Sofia 3G/3GR, Bay Trail, and Cherry Trail now, and later with Apollo Lake and some SKUs from our Core processor family.”

-An Intel spokesperson, in an email

Samsung working on standalone VR headset

Samsung Gear 360

Samsung is working on a standalone virtual reality headset that incorporates positional tracking similar to the technologies found on higher end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

“We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone. VR is amazing, but the industry is still at its infancy.”

-Injong Rhee, Samsung head of R&D for software and services

This could pit the company against Facebook-owned partner Oculus, which developed the software platform that powers the Gear VR, or as a broader pivot for Oculus as a platform operator.

Apple dominating smartwatch sales


According to new data from research firm Strategy Analytics, 4.2 million smartwatches were shipped globally in Q1 2016 – up from 1.3 million in Q1 2015. The Apple Watch might owe a lot to the market’s adoption.

The watch’s sales dipped slightly in Q1 2016, compared to the last quarter of 2015, snagging 52 percent of smartwatch sales. However, this is expected with the product’s age and a new Apple Watch launch expected in the coming months.

For perspective, Apple is outselling Samsung three times over, selling 0.6 million units in the quarter.

Cypress acquiring Broadcom’s IoT business for $550 million


Cypress has announced a $550 million acquisition of Broadcom’s Internet of Things division.

This includes Broadcom’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee IoT products and property, along with its WICED brand and developer system.

“Cypress is a significant player in the IoT today because of our ultra-low-power programmable system-on-chip technology, but we’ve only been able to pair it with generic radios so far. Now we have the Broadcom IoT business – that will transform us into a force in IoT and provide us with new market opportunities as well.”

-T.J. Rodgers, Cypress CEO

Twitter retires Magic Recs

Magic Recs

Twitter has retired Magic Recs, a bot account that sent DMs recommending viral accounts or tweets to follow based on an algorithm measuring how many others you knew were following an account or tweet in quick succession.

Instead, notifications are being delivered via mobile push notifications.

This makes sense considering that you had to follow @MagicRecs to get its recommendations, and the roughly 112,000 followers of the bot adds up to a small fraction of the overall Twitter user base. Meanwhile, push notifications are open to the company’s roughly 257.3 million mobile users (83% of Twitter’s overall user base).

Judge rules for Fitbit in Jawbone patent dispute


Fitbit has won a legal ruling invalidating patents Jawbone was using to block it from importing its foreign-made fitness bands to the U.S. This reduces the chance of Fitbit to face an import ban from the U.S.’ International Trade Commission, but the judge is letting Jawbone sue Fitbit for stealing trade secrets.

In a statement on the court decision, Jawbone said that the patents ruled on represent just a portion of the company’s case and the ruling will be appealed.

The corporate espionage case is scheduled for trial on May 9 in Washington, D.C.

Google testing Trips app for better vacations


Google is testing its new Trips app for aggregating travel info like plane tickets and hotel rooms from your Gmail account and/or other apps.

The app also provides a list of recommended activities, and info for getting around (public transportation, traffic updates, walking/biking directions, etc.)

Google Trips is currently in testing by select local guides that provide info for Google Maps.

FTC investigating Venmo over ‘deceptive/unfair practices’


According to a PayPal SEC filing, Venmo, the PayPal-owned peer-to-peer payment service, is currently being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.

“The [Civil Investigative Demand] requests the production of documents and answers to written questions related to our Venmo service. We are cooperating with the FTC in connection with the CID.”

-PayPal, in a SEC filing

According to PayPal, depending on where FTC goes with the investigation, legal fees to potential changes in the way Venmo works could be in store.


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