Connectivity & Communications News - Page 1
Inside of Starlink's user terminals is a quad-core CPU powered by ARM's Cortex-A53 cores, thanks to a new teardown by researchers working at Belgium's KU Leven University.
It's not the first teardown of a Starlink terminal, but this teardown is different as we have greater detail on the firmware and software inside of the SpaceX tech. Inside, SpaceX is using a processor that packs 4GB of embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) memory that loads up the firmware after bootup.
The researchers accessed the eMMC independently from the processor, finding a chip called a "secure element" that is also inside of the Apple iPhone, and part of the security infrastructure for the iPhone that has code required for secure biometric validation.
Another day, another story where the world that people believe to be so innocent, isn't.
Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has experienced a gigantic, world-changing leak. The Guardian along with 16 other media organizations have run an investigation, showing that NSO's hacking software knock as "Pegasus", crafted to be used against terrorists and criminals -- just like all that "good" "hacking software" -- has been used against the good guys.
But first... what is Pegasus? Pegasus is malware that was made by NSO Group that can infect virtually any iPhone or Android smartphone and once installed, can let the operator pull out messages, photos, emails, record and monitor calls and even secretly activate microphones on the phone.
If you're out in the middle of nowhere or stuck with really crappy internet access... then this will be music to your ears.
Elon Musk has said that Starlink's satellite-based internet will offer gamers some very, very competitive connectivity with latencies that will be under 20ms. This is enough for competitive gamers, with Musk saying that Starlink engineers and SpaceX's production and launch teams have been working around the clock to get Starlink latencies under 20ms.
Musk explains: "Glad it's working! The sheer amount of work done by SpaceX engineering, production & launch teams is amazing. Ping should improve dramatically in coming months. We're aiming for <20ms. Basically, you should be able to play competitive FPS games through Starlink".
SpaceX's ambitious Starlink internet service is accepting pre-orders right now, with users in beta testing right now -- users in Iran are getting duped by a fake Starlink website.
A fake Starlink website has been set up and is accepting pre-orders for internet service, taking payments of $249 and accepting Bitcoin which makes it easier for whoever, or the team that set up the website -- to hide the money that they've taken.
The website isn't far off the official Starlink website, with "www.starlinkiran.com" virtually identical to the official website by SpaceX. There's the same background images, translated text in Persian, and for the most part people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two sites.
SpaceX will have its ambitious Starlink satellite internet service available globally in August 2021, just over a month from now -- globally, apart from the North and South Poles.
The news comes from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who said during the recent virtual Mobile World Congress 2021 that Starlink is "operational now in about 12 countries, and more are being added every month". Musk added: "We are on our way to having a few hundred thousand users, possibly over 500,000 users within 12 months".
Elon has to of course comment on the simultaneous active users on Starlink exceeding the "strategically important" threshold of 69,420 on June 25, 2021. In some follow up tweets, Musk added that all 72 orbital planes activate in August, "plus many other improvements" that will be "enabling global coverage, except for polar regions, which will take another 6 months".
The world of travel was decapitated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a frequent traveler myself (Australia to the US at least 4-5 times a year...) it was in-flight Wi-Fi that needed the biggest upgrade to make traveling those ungodly amount of hours a better experience.
SpaceX's Starlink is wanting to make that better, with the satellite internet network giant in talks with "several" airlines to have their satellites blast super-fast internet onto planes flying through the sky.
SpaceX vice president Jonathan Hofeller explained at a panel during the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit: "We're in talks with several of the airlines. We have our own aviation product in development ... we've already done some demonstrations to date and [are] looking to get that product finalized to be put on aircraft in the very near future".
Intel has just unveiled its very first 5G modem with the new Intel 5G Solution 5000, a new 5G modem through its partnership with MediaTek and Fibocom.
The company announced the news during its all-virtual Computex 2021 keynote, with the new modem will offer up nearly 5x the speeds of a high-speed Gigabit LTE connection, with Intel teasing up to 4.7Gbps download speeds and up to 1.25Gbps upload speeds. If you can't get 5G where you are at the time, the Intel 5G Solution 5000-powered phone that you are using will fall back to LTE Cat 19.
Intel's new 5G modem will work with Windows, Chrome, and Linux systems so it will find Intel (5G) Inside of millions of designs over the coming years.
There are some major changes coming to USB-C and they are very, very welcomed -- the USB Implementers Forum is an industry group that developed the technology, and they've unveiled the USB-C version 2.1 update that supports up to an insane 240W charging over USB-C.
The new 240W charging capacity is called Extended Power Range (EPR) and it will arrive in devices in the second half of 2021, and it'll require new cables that clearly state they support up to 240W charging. The regular lower-power cables are now called Standard Power Range (SPR) and will top out at 60W while delivering an electrical current of 3 amps.
The higher-end 100W cables that you can find today are running at up to 5 amps and will fall into the new Extended Power Range (EPR) family of cables. EPR will range between 100W and 240W with USB-C, meaning you could power a large high-end 32-inch 4K monitor over USB-C or even a high-end gaming laptop or AIO computer.
SpaceX is doing some impressive things with its Starlink satellite internet service, with tests from not long ago now seeing 300Mbps+ connections even when the satellite dish was covered in ice. Now, we're seeing huge 560Mbps download speeds on Starlink in new tests in Germany.
A user on Reddit posted about his experience with Starlink and ran some speed tests through Ookla's Speed Test of course, with download speeds that were hitting 542Mbps and 560Mbps for the first and second speed test on Starlink, respectively. Upload speeds remained at 38Mbps, while the ping was somewhere between 9-13ms which is more than acceptable.
But this is where Starlink download speeds, upload speeds, and latencies are all factors that can be changed at a whim. SpaceX has limited amounts of bandwidth per Starlink satellite, so the speeds and latencies to a particular user can vary depending on different factors -- this can range from the number of satellites in orbit above you, and the ground networks transferring data between the servers on the internet.
It looks like Starlink internet connections are pretty kick ass even in some crazy environments like being covered in ice and 8 inches of snow around it -- whatever, says SpaceX -- it'll throw 300Mbps to your dish from lower Earth orbit.
A user in Colorado, USA has teased her Starlink internet connection with a speed test showing a huge 303Mbps down and 23.7Mbps up -- all while the dish was completely covered in snow. SpaceX said back in November 2021 that their Starlink terminals can operate in temperatures as low as -30C.
Not only that but SpaceX includes pre-built heaters inside of them, which when required will melt snow and ice off of them. The Starlink dish itself is flat, so it will not gather snow or water in its center -- a design tweak by SpaceX which works in extreme environments where snow/ice is an issue.