Connectivity & Communications Posts - Page 1
CES 2020 - Intel kinda teased its next-gen Thunderbolt 4 technology at CES 2020 this week, but didn't go into detail about it -- and now, we know why.
Thunderbolt 4 is essentially a re-branding of Thunderbolt 3, with ex-TweakTown staffer and now Tom's Hardware contributor Paul Alcorn talking with Intel during CES. Alcorn writes: "Intel confirmed it referenced USB 3.1 in the presentation, meaning Thunderbolt 4 is in fact not faster than Thunderbolt 3".
Articles started flying quick and fast out of CES 2020 that Intel had teased Thunderbolt 4, after it had pushed out slides that its new Tiger Lake architecture had integrated Thunderbolt 4. Confusion happened pretty quickly, with Intel trying to clarify by saying: "Thunderbolt 4 continues Intel leadership in providing exceptional performance, ease of use and quality for USB-C connector-based products".
Apple is reportedly looking into launching its own satellites in an effort that would totally bypass wireless carriers here on Earth, according to the latest rumors.
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has its own "secret team working on satellites and related wireless technology, striving to find new ways to beam data such as internet connectivity directly to its devices". This team has just over 10 people working on it so far, with Apple wanting to see their results "within five years".
Apple's satellite plans might fall out of the sky before they're even launched, with Bloomberg adding that Apple CEO Tim Cook is interested in the satellite project... but it could be scrapped as "a clear direction and use for satellites hasn't been finalized". I can see Apple blasting next-gen 5G and other data directly to its devices, bypassing wireless carriers -- but it's a lot easier saying that, than actually doing it -- and doing it to Apple's very high standards.
Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit started today, with the whirlwind announcement of its next-gen Snapdragon 865 mobile platform -- a cemented future in 5G expecting 2.8 billion 5G devices in 2025, and then Verizon took the stage.
Verizon has been a close partner of Qualcomm for many years now, and has been investing into its infrastructure to have it ready for the new world of 5G in 2019, 2020, and beyond. Verizon has been working with partners like the band Chainsmokers on some augmented reality experiences at concerts powered by 5G.
The 5G-powered AR experience was enabled thanks to the multi-gigabit speeds, something that you couldn't do on a sometimes unreliable Wi-Fi connection or much slower 4G connection. Verizon has also been working with Sony on using 5G technology inside of high-end cameras at sports matches to pull high-end video to the post-production office faster.
For those of you excited for the newest high-speed 5G technology, you may be waiting a bit longer. AT&T, which is scheduled to roll out its new 5G service on the 850MHz spectrum, looks to be nothing more than the new band with expected performance similar to the companies' much-despised "Fake 5G" offering of "LTE Advanced" or "5G E".
Users in late 2018 and early 2019 were understandably underwhelmed and upset when they saw a 5G E icon pop up on their AT&T smartphone. they were initially thrilled at the possibility of new insane speeds, only to be met by performance in many cases well under their average 4G LTE speeds.
5G is barely here and while I have a 5G handset myself, Samsung's beefy Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, the speeds aren't doing much for me... so far.
This doesn't mean 5G is goign to stop as it has an unstoppable amount of momentum already, with Qualcomm seemingly leading the 5G efforts globally. This won't stop the development of 6G at all, and now we even know what the 6G logo looks like.
Chinese manufacutrer Vivo Mobile has just registrered a 6G logo with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) recenbtly... like, really recent, as in Octoebr 22. This is very fresh, just like 6G is. Vivo is already dabbling in 5G-enabled smartphones with its recently-unveiled NEX 3 handset.
While it is still a while before we would ever see this on a consumer-level system, it is worth noting that PCI-SIG has announced PCIe 6.0 is already at Rev 0.3.
PCIe 4.0 is just now showing its face on consumer-based systems, and that is after a very long runway for PCIe 3.0 spec. PCI-SIG wants to avoid the kind of long delay like we saw with PCIe 3.0 to 4.0. Many of you may ask why, as modern gaming systems barely can see a benefit from PCIe 4.0 as it is. Well, PCIe, which works excellent for GPUs and now SSD's interface, is used for far more bandwidth-intensive systems such as HPC clusters or large supercomputers. This is where the new spec will be the most needed.
The 6.0 spec should be complete by 2021, according to PCI-SIG, as long as everything goes well. But that does not mean that consumer boards will suddenly be at PCIe 6.0, this all takes time. Sometimes generations of products are needed to get I/O hubs sorted and interfaces laid out to support not just the speed but signal integrity concerns.
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced today that the final technical specifications for USB4 are here, with the first USB4 products to arrive in late-2020.
USB4 ushers in dual-lane 40Gbps speeds which equal the dizzying heights of Thunderbolt 3, and double what USB 3.2 offered. USB4 will continue making our lives easier taking in the USB Type-C standard, and will be fully backwards compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and even Thunderbolt 3.
The new USB4 standard will tackle both data and display connectivity, which means we should (hopefully) see a future of more USB4-powered displays. USB3 was alright, but the transfer speeds didn't match Thunderbolt 3 which became important for content creators and enthusiasts who craved, and actually needed, all that speed.
Huawei isn't the only one in trouble when it comes to 5G technology and its various troubles over the last dew months, as the Trump administration is reportedly looking into requiring 5G hardware and products being designed, and made outside of China.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the story, adding fuel to the fire by writing the move could "reshape global manufacturing and further fan tensions between the countries". A recent executive order from the White House saw restrictions put in place to restrict some networking hardware and services from other countries coming into, and being available in the US.
All of the concerns of cybersecurity in the US led to a huge 150-day review of the entire US telecommunications supply chain, with one part of that seeing US officials asking telco-equipment manufacturers if they can design and produce the hardware and software that is coming into the US, outside of China. Right now, the US is the epicenter of technology, but no major telecommunications equipment is made in the United States. Most of it, is made in China.
It was barely a week ago that Qualcomm and Apple kissed and made up over 5G chips in future 5G-capable iPhones, with Qualcomm pushing Intel out of the deal and now the chip giant is selling its entire modem business.
Intel selling its entire modem business is big news, with sources of The Wall Street Journal stating Apple is a potential buyer, but there are others that have their hat in the ring for Intel's modem business. Apple buying Intel's modem business isn't something that is new, either, as the company stopped when Qualcomm and Apple worked everything out.
Intel will reportedly have 5G modems next year but it really doesn't matter as Qualcomm is already dominating the 5G market with 5G-capable Snapdragon chips in phones and other devices already.
It was getting pretty hairy there for Apple and the future of the iPhone as Intel couldn't muster up anything but smoke and mirrors with its 5G modems, and now that future is secured thanks to Qualcomm.
Qualcomm and Apple have agreed to settle all of their ongoing lawsuits, which puts a bookend at the end of a lengthy slew of lawsuits that spanned the world across multiple countries. Apple has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money to Qualcomm, with a new 6-year global patent licensing agreement, with the option to extend it by another two years.
Apple hasn't been able to offer industry-leading LTE performance from its last few generations of iPhones, and it would've been multiple years behind if it had not secured a deal with the leader in 5G: Qualcomm. Qualcomm would've known this was going to happen and just had to play the long game, waiting patiently and now here we are. Qualcomm 5G technology will be inside of future Apple products, and that's a good thing for everyone involved.