Linksys Introduces the EA7500 AC1900 MU-MIMO Router

Linksys recently revealed their new line of MAX-STREAM devices capable of Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output technology (MU-MIMO) and now they have announced the first of the units becoming available. The newly available router is the Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit router (EA7500).

The MU-MIMO technology helps to ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and it functions as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. That way you will have less lag or interruptions which are especially important when streaming 4K content. The increased bandwidth needed to stream this resolution requires a great connection at all times which the EA7500 should deliver.

Hardware wise the EA7500 is built around a Qualcomm IPQ 1.4GHz dual-core processor and naturally comes with the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO Wi-Fi standard. It is an AC1900 router with up to 600Mbps on the legacy 2.4GHz band and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band. It also comes with four Gigabit ethernet LAN ports for the wired connections and one Gigabit WAN port next to the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

The three external and adjustable antennas should provide maximum coverage in your home while you can manage and monitor your network and easily control Wi-Fi devices remotely on a smartphone with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app. The router features the WPA and WPA2 encryption standards that are the default and also comes with an SPI firewall to help keep your network safe.

“If you have or are planning to purchase a 4K TV you will need a Max-Stream router to ensure you have a seamless 4K online streaming experience,” said Justin Doucette, director product management, Linksys. “A single stream of 4K content takes a minimum of 20 Mbps to maintain a consistent stream, and when you combine that with multiple streams plus normal Wi-Fi use from gaming, internet surfing, IoT connectivity and music streaming, it adds up fast. Max-Stream will enable multiple streams of Wi-Fi to occur so users can have the ultimate 4K and networking experience.”

The Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit router (EA7500) is available now and comes with an MSRP of £149.99 ($199.00 USD).

Microsoft Will Only Support New Processors on Windows 10

Microsoft has recently stated that security updates for Windows 8 will stop this month, and we all know that leaves people with only two fully supported operating systems for windows. Currently, the choice is now between Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, both options that some people may not like. The decision between the two may not be up to you if you want to upgrade your PC though as Microsoft revealed in their blog yesterday.

In the blog article, they start by listing the OEM partners that celebrated success at CES recently, then going on to explain that compared to windows 7 when combined with windows 10 Skylake processors, the 6th generation of Intel core processors, enable “up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life”.

To clarify, the support that will be coming to Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10. While they will be supported till July 17, 2017, Skylake devices will not be supported after this date on windows 8.1 or 7.

As new generations of processors are introduced, Microsoft state “they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support”. To clarify, if you want to use te upcoming processors such as Intel’s “Kaby lake”, QualComm’s “8996” and AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” processors you will need to be on windows 10 to receive support.

Do you feel like choices like this means you are forced to upgrade to windows 10 if you want an up to date PC? Which operating system do you like using and why? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below

Wall Street Analysts Want Qualcomm to Merge with Intel or AMD

Despite being one of the largest firms in the smartphone SoC market, Qualcomm has been seen some trouble recently. Just a few months ago, the firm had considered splitting into separate licencing and manufacturing segments. While that idea silently died a quickly deserved death, it seems like Wall Street still isn’t too happy with the firm’s performance. According to Market Realist, some Wall Street analysts are suggesting that the best course of action would be a merger with Intel, and failing that, one with AMD.

Qualcomm’s troubles stem from a lack of brand recognition and the market failure of the Snapdragon 810. Due to this, the company has seen it’s profits and revenue fall significantly. A merger with Intel would fix some of the problems. First of all, Qualcomm would be able to get access to Intel’s first class fabs. Secondly, Intel brings along its data centre and enterprise connections, a highly lucrative market. For Intel, Qualcomm would provide in-roads into the mobile market, an area Intel ahs had trouble breaking into. Qualcomm would also ensure that Intel is making best use of their expensive fabs.

Unfortunately for Wall Street though, a merger is highly unlikely. First of all, the merger would bring a hoard of anti-trust issues, it being one of the largest tech mergers ever and bringing together the dominant players of their respective markets. The fundamental nature of the struggle of ARM vs x86 also stands in the way, meaning the merged firm would likely have to keep both, negating any benefits of moving into new markets. The ARM side would be stuck in mobile as that is what most customers are using while the desktop/enterprise will continue to use x86 as they are used to that as well. The synergies on paper simply don’t play out in real life.

The only sensible merger would be with AMD, though that would be more of acquisition of the ailing red team. Qualcomm does have enough cash to settle AMD’s debts and give a cash boost but it probably wouldn’t be good for a struggling firm to start throwing money around right about now. AMD does bring the desktop and data centre/enterprise experience though AMD’s marketshare is pretty poor right now. However, the downsides of the ARM/x86 struggle and lack of fabs still remain problems. It remains to be seen if this remains a crazy Wall Street thought exercise or will it actually end up happening.

Qualcomm Officially Unveils the Snapdragon 820 Processor

Qualcomm has officially unveiled its new Snapdragon 820 Processor at an event in New York City. A number of leaks have already revealed the Snapdragon 820’s benchmark, as well as rumours that the chip is prone to overheating.

“As one of the most cutting-edge mobile processors ever created,” Qualcomm’s site reads, “the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 820 processor with X12 LTE supports the ultimate in connectivity, graphics, photography, power and battery efficiency.”

The Snapdragon 820 is X12 LTE-enabled through its new set of modems, capable of achieving Cat 12 downlink speeds of up to 600Mbps vai 3x20MHz Carrier Aggregation support, 33% faster than the X10 LTE equivalent, plus Cat 13 uplink speeds of up to 150Mbps though 64-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) support.

Qualcomm’s chip features a Quad-core, custom 64-bit Kyro CPU (of up to 2.2GHz) and a Hexagon 680 DPS, bringing with them improvements to performance (double the previous iteration) and battery life, plus an Adreno 530 GPU, increasing graphics performance by 40% while drawing less power than the Adreno 430. The chip supports camera sensors of up to 28-megapixels, 4K video capture, playback, and display output, and LPDDR4 1866MHz dual-channel RAM. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0, USB 3.0, and Bluetooth 3.0.

Full specifications for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820:

CPU

Up to 2.2 GHz quad-core (Quad-core custom 64-bit Qualcomm® Kryo)

GPU

Qualcomm® Adreno 530 GPU

Up to OpenGL ES 3.1+

DSP

Qualcomm® Hexagon 680 DSP

Camera

Up to 28 MP

Qualcomm® Spectra Image Sensor Processor (14-bit dual-ISP)

Video

Up to 4K Ultra HD capture and playback

H.264 (AVC)

H.265 (HEVC)

Display

4K Ultra HD on-device

4K Ultra HD output

1080p and 4K external display support

Charging

Qualcomm® Quick Charge 3.0   LTE Connectivity

LTE Connectivity

Snapdragon X12 LTE with Global Mode

LTE Cat 12/13 (up to 600 Mbps DL 150 Mbps UL)

Up to 600 Mbps, 256-QAM DL

Up to 150 Mbps UL, 64-QAM UL

Carrier Aggregation

3x20MHz DL, 2X20MHz UL

Global Mode

  • LTE FDD and TDD
  • WCDMA (DB-DC-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA)
  • TD-SCDMA
  • EV-DO and CDMA 1x
  • GSM/EDGE

Additional features include:

  • LTE/Wi-FI link aggregation
  • LTE-U
  • LTE Broadcast
  • LTE Dual SIM, Dual Active (DSDA)
  • HD Voice over 3G and VoLTE
  • Wi-Fi calling with LTE call continuity

Wi-Fi

Qualcomm® VIVE 802.11ac

2×2 MU-MIMO

Tri-band Wi-Fi

RF

Qualcomm® RF360 front end solution

Location

Qualcomm® IZat Gen8C Security

Security

Qualcomm® Haven Security Suite:

  • Qualcomm® SecureMSM hardware and software
  • Snapdragon StudioAccess Content Protection
  • Qualcomm® SafeSwitch theft prevention solution
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon Sense ID 3D fingerprint technology
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon Smart Protect

Storage

UFS 2.0

eMMC 5.1

SD 3.0 (UHS-I)

Memory

LPDDR4 1866MHz dual-channel

Process Technology

14 nm

USB

USB 3.0/2.0

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.1

NFC

Supported

Part Number

8996

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Also Plagued by Overheating Issues

Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 810 processor has been marred by overheating issues which made a number of premium handsets uncomfortable to use during games or intensive tasks. Thankfully, this has been somewhat resolved in the latest version of Android but continues to add a negative aspect to many devices. Given the negative publicity of the chip’s heat output, you would expect Qualcomm to ensure their successor doesn’t contain the same flaws.

However, according to BusinessKorea, Samsung is supposedly trying to engineer a software patch to eliminate similar overheating problems on the 820 SoC. Additionally, if this isn’t possible, the company plans to integrate a “radiating pipe” to help with heat dissipation. In terms of its specification, the Snapdragon 820 features 40% faster graphics performance and consumes 40% less battery power than its predecessor.

The reports regarding overheating are a cause for concern as the SoC is planned to be integrated into various flagship phones. Clearly, Samsung feels the new chip hasn’t fixed the overheating problems and wants to engineer a solution as a matter of urgency. As a result, some manufacturers could opt for a different CPU to balance heat and performance.

This isn’t doing Qualcomm’s reputation any favors, but it’s still in a pre-production phase. This means the retail samples could have been fixed by the time of release.

HTC Announces A9 Smartphone

HTC has unveiled the A9 smartphone which features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 Octa-core 64-bit processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz while the other four operate at 1.2GHz. The handset supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz and opts for Dolby Hi-Res Audio. In terms of storage, the base unit contains 16GB with 2GB of RAM while the more expensive model utilizes 32GB ROM and 3GB RAM. Thankfully, there is a MicroSD expansion slot which allows the storage to be upgraded to a maximum of 2TB.

This handset will be the first from HTC is support Android 6.0 by default and adopts a similar visual design to the iPhone 6. The 2150 mAh battery is disappointing although it does support Quick Charge 2.0. The handset also features a 13-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and a sapphire cover lens which can shoot video in 1080p. Additionally, there is optical image stabilization to reduce movement during photographs. The front camera’s specification hasn’t been revealed but I would presume the sensor to be around 5-megapixels.

The smartphone’s display is a 5″ 1920×1080 Super AMOLED panel and also utilizes a fingerprint reader. As you might expect, the handset is constructed from a metal uni-body and oozes quality. Pre-orders are currently available from HTC’s website and begin at $399.99 for a limited time only.

Court Rules NVIDIA Did Not Invent the GPU

NVIDIA has lost two patent infringement lawsuits that accused Samsung of building GPUs without its permission – effectively claiming that NVIDIA itself invented the GPU – with a third suit being thrown out as invalid. The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung did not infringe on NVIDIA’s patents because the GPU was not a new invention when those patents were filed.

NVIDIA, however, remains resolute, believing that the company still has grounds for its case. “We remain confident in our case,” Robert Sherbin, spokesperson for NVIDIA, said, adding that the ruling will be reviewed by the commission until February.

The patent infringement lawsuit was filed by NVIDIA in September 2014. It alleged that Samsung and Qualcomm were infringing on patents by producing GPUs, comparable to those registered by NVIDIA in 1999, without permission or compensation, and wanted Samsung’s Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon chips to be subject to an import ban, which falls within the ITC’s authority.

In response, Samsung, true to form, filed a countersuit last November in a Virginia federal court, accusing both NVIDIA and one of its customers of patent infringement.

Samsung has so far declined to comment on the ruling.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Qualcomm Unveils 24 Core ARM Server Processor

Ever since ARM took over the mobile world, we’ve been hearing about how the RISC architecture was trying to expand into other higher performance areas. While ARM first entered the server world via relatively weaker micro-servers, it looks like performance options are coming along soon. Qualcomm, one of the major ARM partners and licensees, has unveiled their first 24-core server processor.

Running off the latest ARMv8-A instruction set, the chip will be part of Qualcomm’s Server Development Platform and part of a stack of server tools. While details on the chip itself have been slim, we do know that it is based off a FinFET process, meaning either TSMC 16nm or Samsung 14nm. The core is also fully custom meaning it is not like the A57/A53 found int he Snapdragon 808/810 and given the server environment, probably isn’t Qualcomm’s in-house 64bit Kyro architecture found in the Snapdragon 820.

Along with the Soc, the SDP  also includes server-class PCIe and storage interconnects. Other hardware requirements like ethernet and FPGA are to be proved by Mellanox and Xilinix respectively. On the software side, SDP comes with a software stack capable of running a KVM Linux hypervisor, OpenStack DevStack, and guest Linux distributions running Apache and WordPress as shown in the demo.

With a complete package available, Qualcomm stands a good chance at breaking into the server market. The biggest question is if ARM will be able to bring the same performance to the table as x86 does while still remaining more power efficient and cheap. This is especially true of single threaded IPC where Intel has historically dominated.

ITC Court Rules in Favour of Samsung in Nvidia Patent Dispute

Nvidia and Samsung have been locked in a bit of a patent war for a while now, with Nvidia filing a class action lawsuit claiming that they effectively invented the modern 3D GPU and that Samsung is using it without their permission. Of course, Samsung wasn’t going to back down from such a fight, as they’ve got a huge business of their own to protect and they filed a counter suit against Nvidia.

Recent developments are certainly looking good for Samsung, as the ITC has declared that Samsung has no infringed upon the Nvidia patents for modern GPUs. Nvidia lost 2 out of 3 patent infringement claims, but to rub salt into the wound, the third claim was thrown out on ground of invalidity, giving Samsung a clean win.

Of course, the battle is far from over and Nvidia won’t be packing up their bags and going home just yet. The case is still under review by the full commission and is subject to revision. The final decision will not arrive until February and an Nvidia spokesperson says that they’re still confident in their case against Samsung.

This is patent trolling on the highest level, and if Nvidia did prove to have created the first modern graphics card, the GeForce 256 (see above) and subsequently hold the patents to them thereafter, it could have huge repercussions on Samsung and also Qualcomm, but again, that remains to be seen.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information.

Amazon India Lists Nexus 5X Specifications Before Official Announcement

Amazon India has mistakenly listed the Nexus 5X prior to Google’s official announcement and provides key information about the handset’s technical capabilities. According to the store page, the Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch full HD display with a pixel density of 423ppi. Additionally, the device utilizes a Snapdragon 808 processor running at 1.8GHz with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. The main rear camera is 12.3 megapixels while the front shooter is a respectable 5 megapixel sensor. Apparently, the handset supports LTE connectivity and integrates a 2700 mAh battery.

The product page also includes information about the various colour options. In total, the Nexus 5X comes in Charcoal Black, Quartz White and Ice Blue. Amazon India displayed the weight at 177g and dimensions of 15.4 x 1 x 7.6cm. Unfortunately, the listing has now been removed and it’s unknown if these specifications are genuine. It does seem a little contradictory though as the weight is heavier than much larger 5.5-inch handsets. Although, I think the core specification is about spot-on and I’m interested to see if there’s any expansion slot for additional storage.

Another issue appears to be the rather mediocre battery. If the listing is true, then I highly doubt the handset will offer the kind of battery life people expect from the Nexus product line. However, this could be a more budget-orientated model.

Thank you AndroidCentral for providing us with this information. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 vs 810 Compared in Leaked Benchmark

The Snapdragon 810 is Qualcomm’s flagship mobile chip and used in a variety of high-end handsets including the LG Flex 2, One Plus 2 and Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. However, many of these devices suffer from overheating and throttling issues on Android 5.0. Thankfully, this has been somewhat fixed in the Android 5.1 update. Nevertheless, the negative media coverage resulted in many manufacturers opting for the 808 or 805 chip instead. It’s no surprise that Qualcomm has been tirelessly working on a new elite-grade chip, the Snapdragon 820.

A leaked report provides an early insight into the performance gains between the Snapdragon 810 and 820. The green field shows the 810’s performance in AnTuTu and the red marker is the latest version of Qualcomm’s new CPU. Interestingly, the orange bar provides information about an earlier prototype and shows how the 820 is progressing. The results are very impressive and features a 1.38x single threaded integer and 1.77x single threaded floating point scores compared to the 810.

It will also be interesting to see how the new 14nm FinFET manufacturing process impacts on battery life and operating temperatures. Apparently, the orange and red columns are two versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7. If this is the case, expect an enormous amount of processing power from Samsung’s upcoming handset.

Qualcomm Cuts Staff and Mulls Break Up after Profits Drop 50%

After years of dominating the mobile SoC industry, Qualcomm has suffered a pretty bad quarter. Compared to the same time last year in 2014, the firm has earned 47% less profit which means they made about half as much as they did the year before. Interestingly, the stock market has not taken the news badly, only falling 1.46% so far though they have been trading down over the past while.

Qualcomm has had a rough start to the year so far. Last quarter, the firm took a $1 billion fine due to an antitrust lawsuit with the Chinese government. Despite, not being burdened with a fine this past quarter, profit did not noticeably improve, only posting $1.2 billion, down from $2.2 billion last year. Revenues also fell sharply, down about $1 billion which is not a good sign. In an effort to cut costs, Qualcomm is planning on cutting 15% of its staff and is even considering a split.

Much of the trouble can likely be traced to the underperforming Snapdragon 810. That chip has been suffering from performance and thermal issues, leading some OEMs to avoid it. Samsung, the largest Android OEM, has also shipped their own Exynos SoCs in their Galaxy S6 globally, removing a major customer. Much of the focus for mobile devices have also been on the budget side, where margins are thinner. With both MediaTek and Intel looking to make inroads, Qualcomm needs to get their newer chips out that will hopefully be more competitive.

Marshall Announces Their Very First Music Dedicated Smartphone

When you hear of Marshall, you are thinking about speakers, headphones or dedicated music gadgets for your instruments. But a Marshall smartphone? That’s something completely new and somewhat interesting.

While Marshall is just ‘borrowing’ the name and not building the actual handset, the thing itself looks pretty good. However, the specs seem a bit low for what they are asking for the flashgrip. It is said that it bears a 4.7-inch 720p IPS LCD screen, Quad-Core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8-megapixel camera and a removable 2500mAh battery. Oh yeah, and it also has a MicroSD slot to help extend your storage, should you want to put more music on it.

The flashgrip’s key parts, being a Marshall and all, stand in its music-oriented parts. The handset is said to come with two (loud) front-facing speakers, two headphone jacks, a dedicated button for launching your favourite music app at the top and, surprisingly, a volume rocker to adjust the handset volume. Also, Wolfson seems to handle the audio hub, coming with a Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub. If you haven’t heard about them, they seem to be named the best in the mobile audio solutions.

What we haven’t mentioned is that the flashgrip is powered by the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS and comes with a lot of customized music apps. The Marshall handset will be released in the UK, Scandinavia and Baltic states on August 21st, with a price tag of £399. But really now, is it worth the money they ask for what they offer? What do you think?

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Qualcomm Looks to Acquire AMD

We all know that AMD is struggling in the current market place, NVIDIA keeps crushing every graphics card they release and Intel are so efficient with releasing more powerful processors that AMD are just running in circles. Intel release on a Tick Tock schedule, while AMD seem to produce on a Tick….tick….tick broken clock schedule. They used to be the top company in both fields; however things have changed, badly.

Another of AMDs sub-divisions is the server sector, probably not what AMD is most well known for, but they are there and a formidable force. Well it seems that Qualcomm wants a slice of the action and are poised to go into talks to buy out the struggling technology giant.

It’s currently unknown whether Qualcomm is looking to purchase just the server side to help itself or if it is looking to purchase the whole company. If Qualcomm was looking at a complete buy-out, it would only need a relatively small $3billion, a fifth of Qualcomms cash position.

With the buy out, we could see more powerful mobile phones to play games on thanks to the integrated graphics of the APU range, or better and high turn over processors thanks to Qualcomms Snapdragon division.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this buy-out would benefit everyone involved or could this be the end of AMD? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to Seeking Alpha for providing us with this information

Google Android One Program Lands in Europe

Google’s Android One, a standard created for Android systems, mainly targeted at a range of customers looking forward to buying their first smartphone. The devices are usually low-end and run the latest version of Android. This program is already up and running in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia.

Google has announced that Turkey will get its first Android One smartphone, the General Mobile 4G on May 15th. The device is mid-end on the basis of specifications. It will run the latest version of Android and will be supported by Google for 2 years from launch; it is priced at $263 off contract.

  • 4G LTE Enabled
  • 13 MP front camera and a 5 MP camera
  • 5 ” IPS with Resolution of 1,280 × 720 and protected by durable Gorilla® Glass 4
  • Qualcomm’s 64 Bit Chipset, Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) with 2 GB RAM

This is one of the biggest launches we’ve done anywhere, not just India, Phillipines and Indonesia. For us Android One was a journey to try and reach the next 5 billion people. And India accounts for a substantial portion of the share where free border trade with Nepal was also included. It was found that nearly 7 percent of Android Ones produced in India were bought by people from Nepal. Android One was conceived deeply with India in mind. VP of Google, Sundar Pichai said in NDTV Interview.

Thank you Google Turkey Blog for providing us with this information.

NVIDIA to ‘Wind Down’ Icera Operations

NVIDIA, graphical dominator in the enthusiast market; has decided to pull out of its lesser known smartphone chip design and manufacturing. This follows the purchase of Icera in 2011 to bring NVIDIA powered technology to the smartphone sector. Taken directly from the NVIDIA website:

“NVIDIA today announced that it will wind down its Icera modem operations in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. The company is open to a sale of the technology or operations.

The company purchased Icera in 2011 to engage the smartphone revolution with a leading integrated application processor and modem platform. Since then, the company has reshaped its strategy to focus on high-growth opportunities in gaming, automotive and cloud computing applications like deep learning, where its visual computing expertise is greatly valued.

The Icera 4G LTE modem meets the company’s needs for the next year or more. Going forward, the company expects to partner with third-party modem suppliers and will no longer develop its own.

The Icera modem operation has approximately 500 employees, based primarily in the U.K. and France, with smaller operations in Asia and the United States.

Further details, including the financial impact, will be provided when NVIDIA’s first quarter financial results are announced on Thursday, May 7. To listen to the conference call with analysts and investors, which will be held that day at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), dial (303) 223-2696; no password is required. A live webcast (listen-only mode) of the conference call will be accessible at NVIDIA’s investor relations website, http://investor.nvidia.com, and atwww.streetevents.com.”

That doesn’t sound too promising for the 500 heavily EU based employees, but it sounds good for those of us who love other NVIDIA products; more effort to be put into enthusiast graphics cards and automotive technology.

Were you looking forward to what NVIDIA and Icera had to offer? Let us know in the comments.

Sony Unveils Xperia Z4

Sony have unveiled the latest phone in their Z range.The announcement arrived on their Japanese website outlining the specs for the new device.

The Z4 will have a 5.2-inch, HD display and is 6.9mm thick. The device will weigh 144 grams and contains a 1920*1080 resolution screen. Sony have made they Xperia range known for their waterproofing and their ability to withstand dust and dirt. The new phone comes with an IP6X dustproof rating and is also IPX5 and IPX8 certified, meaning it is not just splash resistant but can be fully submerged in water for a long period of time. The new device will also have a fully waterproof USB port so there is no requirement for the little caps that were used on earlier devices.

The new device will be available in 4 colours, White, Black, Copper and aqua green but Ssony have not released a price as of yet.

The Z4 will be equipped with a 20.7 megapixel camera on the rear with a 5 megapixel one situated on the front of the device. Underneath the solid construction, the device contains a 2930mAh battery, a 64-bit Qualcomm snapdragon 810 processor, a whopping 3gb of ram and comes with Android Lollipop installed. Sony state that the device will have 32GB of internal memory with an SD card slot that supports up to 128GB.

As yet Sony have not released an international release date.

Thank you to Cnet for this information.

Image courtesy of GSM arena.

Nvidia Wins Round One in Lawsuit Against Samsung and Qualcomm

It’s still early days in the lawsuit launched by Nvidia against rival chipmakers Samsung and Qualcomm for infringing on seven of its patents, but the company can now claim its first victory after the International Trade Commission has returned a pretrial claim construction ruling, also known as a Markman ruling.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of the ruling, in which claim constructions favorable to NVIDIA will be applied to six out of seven disputed claims when the judge considers the question of Samsung’s and Qualcomm’s infringement. This further strengthens the patents we have asserted, and we look forward to a full hearing in late June,” a spokesman for Nvidia said.

This is the first time that Nvidia has started a patent suit in its time and they seem fairly confident in their case. Nvidia claims that the GPUs found in Samsung mobile phones infringe on seven of its patents, no matter whether the GPUs in question are based on ARM’s Mali, Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR, or Qualcomm’s Adreno technology.

Samsung has of course launched a counter suit against Nvidia in Virginia. “We continue to believe Samsung’s claims have no merit, and that Samsung’s effort to sue a small company selling NVIDIA-based products in Virginia is entirely unwarranted,” Nvidia said.

Thanks to Fudzilla for providing us with this information

MediaTek’s Latest Helio SoC Will Let You Record 4K Videos at 120 FPS

The Taiwanese mobile chip maker, MediaTek, is reportedly working on a high-end SoC lineup named Helio, which the company states will compete with its rivals, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The company has revealed its latest SoC at a recent conference in Beijing, where the company’s executive explained how MediaTek is going to grasp the high-end SoC market with its new Helio lineup, which is comprised of the Helio X and Helio P versions.

While the Helio X is stated to be used in high-end smartphones, the Helio P will help the company grasp the budget smartphone market as well. The first Helio lineup is stated to be made up of the MediaTek MT6795, featuring an octa-core package, and the second will come with the ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz.

Mediated is said to be creating more chipsets in the future, which will feature ARM’s Cortex-A72 processor that will allow users to record 4K videos at 120 FPS.

Thank you Etagnet for providing us with this information

Snapdragon 815 Said to Have Lower Operating Temperatures than Its Predecessor

There have been a lot of talks regarding Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 and its alleged overheating problems. However, despite its latter issue claims, no conclusive tests or evidence have been found to pin it officially on the processor being faulty.

It is said that a few reports have been spotted, especially from the HTC One M9, where high operating temperatures have been noticed. The issue however seems to have been fixed in the Snapdragon 815, having an operating temperature of 38°C compared to the 42°C registered for the Snapdragon 801 and 44°C reported on the 810.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

AMD Graphics to Be Licensed by MediaTek

MediaTek is said to have partnered up with AMD on mobile SoC graphics, as announced at the Mobile World Congress. This looks like a big change for both companies, having AMD to return to the ultra-low power graphics market and MediaTek finally getting faster graphics and more demand in the high-end segment.

ARM Mali or Imaginations Technologies GPUs are currently out there for anyone to use, while Qualcomm comes with its own proprietary Adreno graphics and NVIDIA with its ultra-low power Maxwell GPUs. However, a partnership between AMD and MediaTek will add some pressure on NVIDIA, having to compete with both Qualcomm and MediaTek in the future.

Both AMD and MediaTek have declined to comment on the upcoming partnership, but sources say that the companies are already working on future chips which will be announced later on. AMD has sold its Imageon graphics back in 2009 to Qualcomm, which stands as the basis of where the Adreno surfaced.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

MWC: Qualcomm Unviels Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off Sense ID, a new technology that brings ultrasonic fingerprint scanning to mobile devices. The main advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanning is that because it uses sound waves, it doesn’t require direct contact with your finger. This means the ultrasonic sensor can be underneath the device’s front cover glass or potentially underneath the display itself. Now fingerprint scanners aren’t breaking news in the mobile market. Previous iterations include the iPhone 5S with Touch ID. This system, along with all current scanners, require physical interaction with the scanner; pretty annoying if it’s cold and you have gloves on. Golves are a pretty extreme example, the scanner could be made unusable by even water, lotion or dirt; so dry clean hands all round.

This new ultrasonic scanner uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your finger, penetrating relatively large obstacles, like the aforementioned gloves scenario. This scanner uses similar technology to that in the medical sector, just not as powerful, yet. This means that the scanner could potentially scan deeper than just the top layer of skin and retrieve even more biometric data.

“At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off a prototype smartphone with Sense ID beneath the front cover glass. When I asked whether Sense ID could be placed beneath the display—so that you could scan your finger by simply placing it on the screen, just like in all the movies—I got a noncommittal response that is best transcribed as “I don’t see why not.””

Now Qualcomm can’t take all the credit here, back in 2013 the company acquired Ultra-Scan; who already had a similar technology developed for use by the US government. Now that may sound a little alarming, the US government seem to want to harvest as much data as possible, but Qualcomm has made clear that your biometric data is secured to the device via its hardware-level SecureMSM tech; no cloud data snatching here.

Sense ID is compatible with all recent Snapdragon SoCs, including the upcoming Snapdragon 820, but there aren’t any immediate products being released with this technology, the earliest indication is Q3 2015.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for supplying this information.

Cyanogen and Qualcomm Form New Partnership

You typically would expect an SoC manufacturer such as Qualcomm to announce what new technology it has planned next at an event such as the Mobile World Congress. However, this time around, Qualcomm has announced a new partnership with Cyanogen to work on the software shipped on next generation reference devices.

Qualcomm makes special devices with every chipset launch, called Qualcomm Reference Devices or QRDs. The program basically simplifies the process for companies to make and sell a device in as little as 60 days. Although Qualcomm uses Android for its devices, it is usually built from internal software repositories with all the basic necessary software to make it work, which is often not optimized.

This is where the partnership between Cyanogen comes in. There are reports that the QRD program has already been updated and that the Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 series QRDs will be available with Cyanogen OS (not to be confused with CyanogenMod) along with a set of feature options for each device tier.

The partnership would allow manufacturers to be able to customize their experience more on the devices they sell, as well as making the Cyanogen OS more popular on Android devices. Users would also benefit from the partnership, since manufacturers would be able to offer more QRDs with the latest Android and a significantly greater chance for software updates compared to the current QRD.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information

MediaTek Wants to Get under the Hood of Chromebooks

MediaTek wants to take Intel’s place in Chromebooks and expand its reach beyond Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Up until now, MediaTek has been the leading chip manufacturer for Android devices.

Kevin Jou, vice president and chief technology officer at MediaTek, stated that MediaTek’s new high-performance chip, the Helio X10, already has support for Chromebook OS. Google’s low-cost alternative to Windows PCs seems to be growing a lot in popularity and since the Chromebooks require Internet connectivity for most of its applications, it would make sense for MediaTek to grab a piece of the pie.

At the moment, Chromebook applications do not require a lot of processing power to run its cloud-based applications. However, together with MediaTek’s eight-core Helio X10 solution, we could see a lot of potential in Chromebooks, including support for 4K videos and 64-bit architecture support for apps.

The Helio X10 comes with four Cortex-A57 cores set to handle a lot of demanding tasks in applications and four Cortex-A53 for the less demanding operations, such as audio playback. In terms of benchmarking, the Helio X10 is currently competing with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, considered to be one of the fastest mobile chips on the market.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information

Mobile Power Consumption – Attention Turns to Network Connections

In today’s fierce market, manufacturers have designed ever more power efficient processors and displays; this has resulted in attention being turned to another of the most power-hungry components, the modem.

“The modem is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial parts of the smartphone in today’s connected society. With 4G LTE, users consume orders-of-magnitude more data than with 3G. Increased consumption, paired with the advent of cloud technologies, requires that smartphones always be connected to the network—always sending data back and forth. As a result, the modem and RF frontend have become pivotal components of the smartphone in enabling connectivity and doing so without impacting battery life.”

Coinciding with becoming more efficient, modems also strive to become more powerful, something that typically doesn’t go hand in hand without innovative leaps in technology, similar to new nano-processes in processors.

Moor Insights & Society have published a research paper delving in-depth into throughput, power consumption and antenna tuner capability offerings from Samsung and Qualcomm; this research paper can be found here.

Thanks to Moor Insights & Society for sharing this information with us

Samsung Launches Snapdragon 810 Powered Galaxy Note 4

Samsung has just launched a new Galaxy Note 4 variant, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor, with most of the other internal components remaining unchanged.

The previous Note 4 is powered by the Snapdragon 805 processor, but the new Snapdragon 810 is a 64-bit processor that leverage’s ARM’s Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 CPU cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. The CPU cores are joined by an Adreno 430 GPU. The Snapdragon 810 is also the first processor that Qualcomm has made on its still new 20nm process.

The new Snapdragon 810 provides support for Category 9 LTE through an updated integrated modem, with the latest version of LTE Advanced supporting 3x20MHz carrier aggregation, something that allow for a huge 450Mbps downstream bandwidth. This is a big jump on the 2x20MHz Category 6 LTE that the Snapdragon 805-powered Galaxy Note 4 featured, supporting up to 300Mbps.

The updated Galaxy Note 4 can be found in South Korea, but those Cat.9 LTE-A deployments are very limited right now, so don’t expect to see the new Galaxy Note 4 overseas just yet.

Source: TechSpot.

Intel, IBM, and Qualcomm Oppose Title II Net Neutrality

An alliance of 60 tech companies, including the likes of Intel, IBM, and Qualcomm, have signed a letter addressed to US Congress and the FCC opposing Title II reclassification of broadband services.

It was President Barack Obama who proposed classifying internet as a utility service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act in order to ensure net neutrality, but there has been backlash from ISPs, tech companies, and telecoms providers ever since the idea was pitched.

“For almost twenty years, national leadership, on a bipartisan basis, has nurtured the broadband internet with a wise, effective, and restrained policy approach that supported the free flow of data, services, and ideas online while creating a climate that supported private investment in broadband networks,” the letter claims. Then, attacking Obama’s net neutrality plan, it continues, “Title II is going to lead to a slowdown, if not a hold, in broadband build out, because if you don’t know that you can recover on your investment, you won’t make it.”

FCC chair Tom Wheeler had hoped to bring in legislation to protect the internet by the end of the year, but plans have been delayed until 2015.

Source: The Verge