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Microsoft unveils iPad competitor, enter 'Surface' tablets

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 8:22 am

After the teases we had last week regarding Microsoft's secret event, the curtain has been raised on their new self-branded tablets. The new Microsoft-branded tablets have been referred to as "Surface", and sports an ARM-based processor running Windows RT and wants some of that iPad marketshare.




Powered by a 10.6-inch display, and 9.3mm-thick magnesium chassis, the weight is kept down to a slender 1.5 pounds. Microsoft also plan to offer a Windows 8 Pro edition, but the Intel internals are making it thicker than 13mm. The 10.6-inch display gives users a wider aspect ratio when compared to Apple's iPad, while optical bonding between the display panel and outer layer of Gorilla Glass claims improvements to readability.


Microsoft have crammed a 1920x1080 Full HD resolution for the Intel-based model, instead of trying to compete with the Retina display-powered third-gen iPad. The ARM-based Microsoft-branded tablet has a resolution of 1280x720. I'm very excited about these new tablets, I must say!

Samsung's new CEO wants software improvements in order to continue their leading position in the tech industry

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 6:19 am

Samsung's new CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun has said that his company needs to beef up their software competence in order to continue their leading position in the technology industry. This isn't the first time the company has talked of their need to inject some improvements to their proprietary software, as over the past year they've talked about it.




Some analysts have shown Samsung surpassed rival Apple in the first quarter where they became the world's biggest seller of smartphones. During his inaugural speech, Oh-hyun said:


A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design, and solutions.


The fresh CEO hasn't teased with how much Samsung would spend on their venture into strengthening their software division, but it would be hefty if I were to guess. Samsung had their feathers rustled when Google acquired Motorola, as they then, and still have, the best of both worlds: hardware, and software.

Continue reading 'Samsung's new CEO wants software improvements in order to continue their leading position in the tech industry ' (full post)

Huge HTC One X update is on its way, Android 4.0.4 gets included

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 4:43 am

HTC's One X looks to be soon receiving an update that should include the latest build of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0.4. This should definitely close that nasty gap between HTC's One X and Samsung's GALAXY S III.




As usual in this world of Internet craziness we have, ROM developer and XDA member 'Football' has received the leaked ROM and has stirred up a ROM based on the firmware. The new update will be 2.05.401.2, and should be a noticeable update over the current 1.29.401.11.


Android version number gets an update up to Android 4.0.4, which includes some default stability improvements, also baked in are updated kernels, radios and software drivers, too. Early adopters of the new ROM have been happy, with some reporting a better web browsing experience, tweaked auto brightness settings, a smoother user interface and faster unlock speeds - can't complain at that!

Continue reading 'Huge HTC One X update is on its way, Android 4.0.4 gets included ' (full post)

U.S. military are looking at iOS and Android-based phones, could ditch RIM

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 3:08 am

If BlackBerry makers Research in Motion weren't already in enough trouble, it seems that the U.S. military could switch over most of their mobile devices from BlackBerry's to those running Apple's iOS or Google's Android mobile operating systems.




BlackBerry's are, as it stands right now, the device of choice for Pentagon among other U.S. military branches. It's also worth noting that RIM's biggest customer is... the U.S. military, but officials within the military have already voiced their opinion on RIM's BlackBerry platform not being able to keep up with the iOS and Android technology.

Continue reading 'U.S. military are looking at iOS and Android-based phones, could ditch RIM ' (full post)

Toshiba lays down 64-core SoC plans for Embedded Application

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 19, 2012 1:34 am

Toshiba have just made quite the leap, announcing they have developed a low-power, 64-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for embedded application in some areas which could be destined to automotive products and digital consumer products.




The insane chip sports 64 cores, claiming to feature eight times as many as its multi-core predecessor unveiled in 2008 and operates at an insane 14 times faster. The 64-core chip sits on a die area of 209.3mm2, two 32-core clusters are then integrated with dynamically reconfigurable processors, hardware accelerators, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and other peripherals.


In one cluster, we'll find processor cores that share 2MB of L2 cache connected through a three-based network-on-chip (NoC). The high scalability and low power consumption is accomplished by the parallelized firmware for multimedia applications.

A slow motion video of working hard drive interior, incredible speed and accuracy

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Storage | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 10:31 pm

We often forget just how incredible the technology in a spinning drive is. We just take for granted that the size and speed of said drives will just keep increasing without thinking of the incredible speeds already present in the drives. Take for example the actuator arm in the video: it moved back and forth 22 times in just a mere 0.25 seconds.



That works out to just over 0.01 seconds per movement. Incredible. It's not recommended that you try this at home as opening the case of an HDD will allow dust in and will kill the drive extremely quickly. Additionally, most people don't have cameras capable of 1000fps just laying around in their homes.


That said, the video shows just how incredibly nimble and beautiful the inner workings of a disk drive are. That said, a solid state drive is faster and still one of the best upgrades you can do for a computer.

Continue reading 'A slow motion video of working hard drive interior, incredible speed and accuracy' (full post)

Knight's Corner gets a product name, will be for sale as Xeon Phi

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 9:32 pm

Take a quick stroll down memory lane and find Larrabee. Larrabee was Intel's failed discrete graphics creation designed to go head-to-head with the likes of NVIDIA and AMD. The Larrabee project was canned but Intel decided to continue the work with a change of focus. Instead of being a discrete GPU, Intel decided to target the HPC and supercomputing markets.




This new chip is an in-development chip known as Knight's Corner and is designed to be massively parallel. The product has clearly made significant progress as Intel has officially attached a brand name to the product. That brand name is Xeon Phi and will also be attached to future many-integrated-core (MIC) products.


Intel chose Xeon Phi as they wanted it to be part of the Xeon family. As for the Phi part, Intel says it's because it "evokes many concepts in science & nature including the 'golden ratio' in mathematics." Along with the brand name, Intel has released some technical details of the upcoming MIC chip.


The chip will be in production "in 2012" and be fabricated on Intel's 22nm process. The chip will feature more than 50 cores and "8GB+ GDDR5 memory" on a PCI Express card interface. Intel has asserted that the chip is capable of 1+ teraflops of double-precision compute throughput in Linpack. Intel has built a Knight's Corner cluster capable of producing 118 tflops as a proof-of-concept.

AMD to use 28nm Bulk CMOS process for products in 2013

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 8:27 pm

AMD's Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer of AMD, has said that they will be making a major change to its manufacturing process in 2013. AMD is planning on switching from its current SOI process to a 28nm Bulk CMOS process for the 2013 line of products. This, however, should not affect GPU manufacturing.




The current 7000 series "Southern Islands" GPUs currently makes use of TSMC's 28nm process. The upcoming "Sea Islands" GPUs will continue to make use of TSMC's 28nm process. The Sea Islands GPUs have already entered tape-out and should begin being manufactured in the end of 2012. The product should release first quarter of 2013.


Additionally, Papermaster pointed out that AMD is not opposed to working with other manufacturing houses as long as they benefit AMD in product launches. Papermaster furthermore commented that the HSA foundation was not directed at any specific competitor and ARM and AMD are only working together to combine ARM's TrustZone into AMD's APUs.

Intel acquiring 1,700 Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE patents from InterDigital for $375 million

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 7:27 pm

Intel has agreed to buy 1,700 patents relating to Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE from InterDigital. Last year, there were murmurs about a treasure chest of patents relating to those technologies being up for sale by InterDigital. The cost for these key patents? Only a cool $375 million in cash. Apparently, Intel has been after these patents for a while.




Intel's Senior Vice President, Doug Melamed, had this to say about the transaction: "These patents will support Intel's strategic investments in the mobile segment. The addition of these patents expands our already large, strong and diverse portfolio of intellectual property."


Interestingly enough, InterDigital refers to these as only a small portion of its overall collection of patents. How much more value is included in the other patents that they have? Senior Executive Vice President at InterDigital, Scott McQuilkin, had this to say about the upcoming transaction:


The acquisition of this portfolio of InterDigital's technologies by a global technology leader like Intel affirms the efforts of our research and development team which actively shares our innovations with the worldwide standards bodies, defining technologies that are central to the world's major wireless systems and devices.


The deal should close in the third quarter. These patents will add to Intel's war chest to be used in case of an assault by another technology company's war chest.

Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 18, 2012 6:27 pm

Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.




"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."


So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).

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