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TSMC announces a 28nm ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor that can run at over 3GHz

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: May 4, 2012 10:26 am

If you thought the dual-core processor in your smart device was fast, I bet you thought the quad-core processors we're seeing in smart devices like the Samsung GALAXY S III which sports the Exynos 4 Quad is impressive, well, not so much.




TSMC have just announced a 28nm ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor which can run at over 3GHz. These processors are from the high performance for mobile applications (HPM) process node, but will also be made to operate at lower speeds between 1.5GHz and 2.0GHz, for less demanding user markets. The high performance chips are to be baked into tablets, mobile products and networking applications.


TSMC has said that the resulting SoC designs will have the lowest PPA landmark (which is a ratio measure of power to area) available in the market. When compared to the 40nm TSMC-made ARM chips, Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President of R&D has said:


At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions. This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28 HPM is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency.

Continue reading 'TSMC announces a 28nm ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor that can run at over 3GHz' (full post)

Activision are promising "disruptive innovation" for COD: Black Ops 2

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 4, 2012 9:21 am

Activision aren't letting themselves get kicked down by claims by EA that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 looks like a "tired" game, where they've promised it will be "groundbreaking and visceral" and will feature "disruptive innovation".




With both companies going head-to-head for the Christmas season sales, EA with their Medal of Honor: Warfighter launching weeks before COD:BLOPS 2, Activision is putting up a fight. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision says:


Hands down, this is the most ambitious Call of Duty ever. We are bringing disruptive innovation to the franchise and we are doing it on several fronts. We're pushing the boundaries technologically, graphically, and from a narrative and gameplay perspective.



Activision are promising "an experience that Call of Duty fans have never seen before", where they also add that it is challenging assumptions in relation to the single player campaign and its multiple setting, where the multiplayer side of things will sport zombies and more ways to play. Activision tap their storyline, which is set to feature multiple branches and meaningful choices that will impact the narrative, which is something that will set it apart from the competition.

Continue reading 'Activision are promising "disruptive innovation" for COD: Black Ops 2' (full post)

Kindle Fire shipments begin to die down

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 4, 2012 8:29 am

Amazon were once able to stand proud bragging that their Kindle Fire was "the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product", but never gave out any real sales numbers. This should've been a flashing red light in our faces, really.




Kindle Fire sales have been impressive, initially, but have reportedly started to die down. According to IDC's review of worldwide tablet shipments for Q1 2012, Kindle Fire shipments dropped from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, to less than 750,000 units last quarter. Quite the drop, isn't it?


This represents a drop from 16.8-percent to "just over 4-percent" global market share, and is enough to cost Amazon its second-place in IDC's ranking of tablet vendors. Samsung have now replaced Amazon as #2, with Amazon taking the #3 position. Who's #1? Wow, surprisingly, Apple. But so they should be: the company shipped 11.8 million iPads in the first quarter, but this is down from the 15.4 million units in Q4 2011.


Apple now stake claim to 55-percent of the market, down from 68-percent in Q4 2011.

Windows 8 will not include Windows Media Center, if you want it, you'll have to pay for it

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: May 4, 2012 7:50 am

Microsoft are really wanting to make Windows 8 stand out, bigger than most operating systems they've released before. Today, the Redmond-based company have announced that Windows Media Center is not going to be included with Windows 8.




If you'd like to have access to Windows Media Center, you'll need to pay for it. You're thinking this is bad, ridiculous, how could they? Well, Microsoft are promising that Windows 8 will "deliver a world-class video and audio entertainment experience", and they've made it clear that DVDs are not part of this. Windows Media Player will continue to be included with Windows 8, but the ability to play DVDs, will not.


ZDNet's Ed Bott has noted:


There will, of course, be plenty of decoders included with Windows 8. The goal is to "cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content such as YouTube video, Netflix video, Amazon audio/video, H.264 web browsing/streaming, Hulu video, MP4 video, AVCHD video from camcorders, Ultraviolet video, and the HTML5 video tag."


Decoders for H.264, VC-1 (WMV), and MP4 video are included, as are audio codecs for MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM (Wave), and DD+. Metro style apps are free to add their own decoders, the post says, using FLAC, MKV, and OGG as examples.


There's always VLC.

PC gaming hardware market is going well, predicted to generate $23.6 billion in sales by the end of this year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: May 4, 2012 7:01 am

According to the latest reports and numbers from Jon Peddie Research, predictions are being made for PC gaming hardware sales, where the research group are predicting total sales of $23.6 billion and by the end of 2015, this should grow to $32 billion.




They cite strong demand which will fuel growth over the coming years, especially in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries where systems, accessories and upgrades are expected to get close to $4.7 billion this year, and $7.7 billion by 2015.


JPR also expects to see the average selling price for some components to drop in 2013, as competition heats up. This is always good news for end users, with unit shipments expected to rise, which will smash any dip that would otherwise show up as a result of the lowered prices. These numbers should have confidence in them, as this year we're expecting some truly kick-ass titles such as Diablo III, Max Payne 3, and more.


By next year, we should have Crysis 3, Far Cry 3, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and Borderlands 2. We shouldn't forget Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, either.

The Expendables 2 debut trailer, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis, Norris, and more in the same movie

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: May 4, 2012 6:24 am

The Expendables was an all-out 90s action star lover's wet dream, it featured a bunch of muscled-up, washed-up action stars, together again, kicking ass on the big screen. The Expendables 2 amps this up by putting more stars in it, for longer, and introducing more 90s old-school action.



The Expendables 2 features Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, all in the same movie. Yes, I'm out of breath too from excitement.




The trailer doesn't show much, but the bit with Willis and Schwarzenegger in the hybrid, bitching, is hilarious. This movie has nothing to do with technology, but what tech fan doesn't want to see a movie like this? It's the opposite of movies like Transformers, and has some great 90s action stars. The Expendables 2 opens on August 17.

RumorTT: Next iPhone to be thinner, taller, sport 4-inch screen as well as a new dock connector

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 4, 2012 5:58 am

iLounge are reporting they've received information for the next-generation iPhone, that it would sport a 4-inch display by increasing height of the device. In order to accomodate the tallet screen, the body of the next iPhone will also become slightly taller. We should also see a 20-percent (or so) reduction in thickness. They go on, adding:




What we've learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm-a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic. Our artist's rendition provides a rough idea of what this change will look like; it echoes the current-generation iMac design, to be sure.



Continue reading 'RumorTT: Next iPhone to be thinner, taller, sport 4-inch screen as well as a new dock connector' (full post)

Samsung's GALAXY Note flies past 2 million sales in South Korea

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: May 4, 2012 5:11 am

Samsung have proudly announced that their tablet/smartphone mash-up, the GALAXY Note, has sold two million units since its launch five months ago. The GALAXY Note smashed past the two million mark in the shortest period of time for any Korean LTE phone to date.




Samsung's GALAXY Note is set to receive an Ice Cream Sandwich update shortly, where it'll bring a slew of new features to the 5.3-inch tablet/smartphone mash-up device. Before it was released, most people thought it was a gamble pushing a device of this size onto the market. It was met with mixed reactions when it was announced, as it walks a fine line between smartphone and tablet. But, the huge reception it was received not only in South Korea, but the world, has shown that Samsung were right to gamble on a device like this.


Worldwide numbers are also quite impressive, where back in March, Samsung had announced it sold two million GALAXY Note's, as well as shipping over five million units across the world. These numbers would've grown by now, and should continue to do so when the ICS update hits.

Microsoft to drop the "Windows Live" brand when Windows 8 arrives

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: May 4, 2012 4:27 am

Microsoft's next-generation operating system, Windows 8 is nearly here and with it will bring changes to Microsoft's "Windows Live" platform. The Redmond-based company has decided to retire the "Windows Live" brand once Windows 8 arrives.




This means that Windows Live-based services such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Calendar, and Windows Live Mail will be known as Messenger, Calendar and Mail, respectively. Services such as Hotmail will continue to run normally, but Microsoft wants to unify their services under a singular "Microsoft account". This seems like a wise idea.


What happens to accounts? Well, it seems like they'll be merged over onto the new system, with the same Microsoft account capable of being used for signing into Windows 8 and will be used for Xbox Live, Zune, and more. This is what Microsoft wants its services and products to look like under Windows 8:



The Elder Scrolls Online MMO has been announced, hits PC and Mac in 2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 4, 2012 3:24 am

It has been a long time coming, but we're finally hearing about The Elder Scrolls Online, which will be unveiled in the June issue of Game Informer. The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed by the team at Zenimax Online Studios, where the game merges the exploration of rich worlds that the Elder Scrolls franchise is known for, with the scale and social aspects of an MMORPG.




The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1000 years before the events in Skyrim take place, as daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull of Tamriel into his demonic realm. Game director and MMO veteram Matt Firor says:


It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years. The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made - and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.

Continue reading 'The Elder Scrolls Online MMO has been announced, hits PC and Mac in 2013' (full post)

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