Toshiba Launching 20 Million Pixel CMOS Smart Phone Sensor

Ever since the Motorola Razr’s debut in 2004, the phone industry has been all about making your devices thinner, lighter and faster. Thanks to Toshiba, we can now possibly see slimmer phones being produced due to their new 20 million pixel sensors as announced recently. How is a phone generally engineered to be razer thin? Often things like size of casing, thickness of battery and placement of components is taken into account – but what about your phones camera?

This sensor release by Toshiba isn’t their first 20 million pixel variant, but this one can be labeled as ‘new and improved’ – offering a frame rate increase to 22 fps, maximum supported resolution of 5384 x 3752 and an overall claim of an 83% performance boost alongside it being thinner than previous editions. Said to be sitting at only 6mm in thickness, this new camera technology may see our next generation of phones as wide as a broadsword, but thinner than a hair on your head.

On top of these factors, Toshiba have claimed that digital zooming through this new sensor will provide “almost no perceived loss of image quality” and will be shipping out as of February 2015.

We haven’t however, received any information as to which manufacturers will be taking up Toshiba on their new offering, but we’re very interested to see who takes up this slimming opportunity.

Image courtesy of  PR Newswire

USB 3.0 Promoter Group Announces New Slimmer Type-C USB In The Works

The next-gen USB is in the works according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The upcoming version will be built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB, according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group.

“Intel is excited to see the development of the new thin Type-C connector as it will enable an entirely new super thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops and a multitude of other more specific usage devices,” said Alex Peleg, Vice President, Platform Engineering Group. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”

“The new Type-C connector furthers USB’s lead in addressing customer desire for more flexibility and higher performance,” said Roland Sperlich, TI Consumer and Computing Interface Product Line Manager. “This allows USB to increase performance and continue to deliver ease of use to several evolving product categories for years to come.”

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, formed by Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Renesas Electronics and Texas Instruments, developed the USB 3.0 specification that was released in November 2008. In addition to maintaining and enhancing this specification, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group develops specification requirements to extend or adapt its specifications to support more platform types or use cases where adopting USB 3.0 technology will be beneficial in delivering a more appealing, richer user experience.

“While USB technology is well established as the favored choice for connecting and powering devices, we recognize the need to develop a new connector to meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “The new Type-C connector will fit well with the market’s direction and affords an opportunity to lay a foundation for future versions of USB.”

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group report that the USB Type-C specification is due for industry review in the first quarter of 2014 and a final specification is expected to be published by mid 2014. For more information regarding the specification and plans for pre-release industry reviews, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) website can provide more detailed insights.

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include:

  • An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs
  • New smaller size – similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements – users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in
  • The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging
  • Scalability – the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance

Thank you USB.org for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechFever

VESA Working On micro-DisplayPort, To Bring 4K And Beyond Resolution

The Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort and miniDisplayPort are on the market but it looks like the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has just announced that it is working on defining a micro-DisplayPort standard which will still be backward-compatible with existing DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort devices and offer beyond 4K Ultra HD connectivity for phones, tablets, and ultra-portables.

VESA won’t solely concentrate on the port itself. Instead, it will be figuring out the final design for the docking connector, receptacle, and cable as well. The new standard is “designed to support data rates for future display bandwidths beyond today’s 4K resolutions” as VESA states, while another goal is to support passive cables up to 1.5m ( 5 feet ) in length, without requiring any sort of repeater or other active component, tech which would be particularly important in smartphones and other portable devices.

The micro-DisplayPort will also allow laptop, tablet and smartphone manufacturers to make even thinner devices. That said, it remains to be seen how Apple and Intel will respond to the smaller connection. Currently, the Thunderbolt technology used on the Mac line-up, with a full six Thunderbolt 2 ports, relies on a mini-DisplayPort connector, which is also backward-compatible with traditional DisplayPort monitors.

A switch to micro-DisplayPort could allow Apple to trim its notebooks even further, and looking at the MacBook Pro 13″ with Retina Display for instance, having a spec of just 3.46 pounds and 0.71-inches thick, who knows how light or thin they could get if the micro-DisplayPort gets standardized.

Thank you Slashgear for providing us with this information