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Sep 19, 2011

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iPhone 5 Already Violates Wireless Patents Owned by Samsung, Says Exec

Korea-based Electronics maker Samsung is attempting to ban the sale of Apple’s iPhone 5 in its home land, in what can only intensify the duo’s already critical spat in court rooms.

Even though one makes processor chips and displays for the other to use in its phones and tablets to sell, Samsung and Apple are not shy of badmouthing each other in court, and the latest such move proves none of them is backtracking on their actions one bit.

After successfully convincing the court to ban Samsung’s portables in several territories around the globe citing patent infringement related to design, Apple is faced with an upcoming charge on behalf of Samsung’s lawyers who will attempt to prove to the court that the iPhone 5, whenever it’s released, infringes upon Samsung wireless patents secured in Korea.

A source has told the Korean Times that Samsung will immediately try to get the iPhone 5 banned in Korea as soon as it’s released, by using a patent lawsuit.

The paper claims to have obtained confirmation from an actual Samsung executive, who reportedly said that Apple’s new iPhone will almost certainly break their wireless patents.

The executive specifically said, "Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents,” according to the report.

"For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights," the Samsung executive added.

Of course, Samsung is yet to succeed banning any iDevice anywhere based on its wireless technology patents, so it won’t be easy to have the phone banned in Korea so soon. Then again, Apple did it, so why wouldn’t Samsung?

Alleged iPhone 5 Processor Photographed, Leaked

Photos leaked on the Chinese version of Twitter appear to offer the first real glimpse at the processor used by Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5, or at least the rumored iPhone 4S.

It is unclear what version of the A5 processor this is exactly (or whether it’s Apple’s A5 at all), but it certainly is different compared to the shipping version of the silicon found inside Apple’s second-generation iPads.

As noted by phoneArena, the A5 logo does appear to be out of proportion, while the letter “A” also seems a tad different from the font used by Apple on the original A5 for the iPad 2.

Perhaps most notably, the markings themselves are not painted in white. It’s almost as if this chip never went through the last stages of production, yet does have a mold for its designation.

While that could happen with prototype hardware, an ounce of skepticism is still recommended until more evidence churns up regarding the innards of Apple’s new iPhones.

The keen Apple fan and accurate observer will have also noticed a battery pack next to that logic board containing the aforementioned chip.

The battery itself is an interesting sight as the part of the battery that is visible lists a capacity of x430 mAh.

Leaving aside this Weibo leak, it is still unclear just what the next iPhone will be like: is Apple is planning to deploy two completely different models, or just one?; will these devices be world phones?; is the iPhone 5 totally different, or will it bear the same appearance as current-generation hardware?

All these questions remain unanswered particularly because of these inconclusive leaks that keep flowing on tech sites and blogs as anticipation grows towards an impending Apple event this fall.

Oh, well. At least we know for a fact iOS 5 and iCloud are launching soon.

iPhone 5 May Pack A6 CPU, 1GB RAM, Says J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz has issued a research note today telling investors to anticipate two iPhone announcements from Apple, one of which consists of a low-cost version of the iPhone 4, which Moskovitz dubs "iPhone 4-Plus".

Weighing in on the lower-specced device, Moskovitz says it’s “based on the current iPhone 4 but with some minor improvements." The handset "could target the midrange and focus on China,” the analyst wrote.

However, while Apple will have a great deal of focus on the Asian country, given the growth it has experienced there in the past year, it is unlikely that this phone will be exclusive to the region, according to the Financial Post report quoting Moskovitz.

The J.P. Morgan analyst said the current-generation iPhone (the fourth-gen handset), for its part, will replace the iPhone 3GS as an entry-level offering, as is tradition at Apple.

On the iPhone 5, his forecast goes as follows:

“The new iPhone 5 stands to be based on the iPad 2′s A5 processor or a newer A6 version. We also expect 1GB of RAM to increase memory access times. Other improvements are increased battery life due to advancement in battery technologies, the printed circuit board (PCB), the touch screen, and LCD power consumption metrics.”

It only makes sense for Apple to double the RAM in its next iPhone, given how software continuously evolves both function-wise, and in terms of graphical output.

The part with the A6 CPU, however, is a tad harder to believe. It is not immediately clear where Mr. Moskovitz draws the conclusion that Apple could skip an A-series generation with the introduction of the iPhone 5.

Unless, of course, the A5 (currently found in the Apple iPad 2) is to be soldered onto the logic board of an iPhone 4S, or iPhone 4-Plus as the analyst calls it.

AMD FX-Series CPUs to Launch on October 13

Keenly expected by gamers and enthusiast computer users alike, AMD's high-performance FX-Series processors based on the Bulldozer architecture are rumored to release on October 13, the Sunnyvale-based company already starting the mass production of these chips.

The launch of the FX-Series has been a roller-coaster ride until now, as the CPUs were delayed a couple of times from June of this year, when everybody expected AMD to come out with its new CPUs.

However, according to Nordic Hardware, it now seems like the chip maker is finally getting ready to release these processors into the market in less then a month's time, on October 13 to be more exact.

The initial launch will include six FX-Series processors, four of them featuring eight processing cores while the two other include six and respectively four cores.

The fastest of these upcoming chips is called the FX-8150 and it sports a base frequency of 3.6GHz, a maximum Turbo frequency of 4.2GHz, 8MB of Level 2 cache memory, and has a TDP of 125W.

Right bellow this CPU stands the FX-8120 that also packs eight processing cores and other similar features, but comes clocked at 3.1GHz (4GHz in Turbo mode).

The FX-8120 will also be the only AMD FX-Series processor to be available in two different SKUs, one featuring a 125W TDP while the other is a 95W part.

The three remaining processors are the FX-8100, which has a base frequency of 2.8GHz and a Maximum Turbo frequency of 3.7GHz, the six-core FX-6100 with a 3.3GHz base speed, 3.8GHz Turbo and 6MB of Level 2 cache memory and the quad-core FX-4100, which is clocked at 3.6GHz and can reach 3.8GHz when Turbo Core is active.

Apart from finding out the release date of the processors, Nordic Hardware also managed to get its hands on a FX-8150 system, which was put through a quick series of benchmarks.

The Best Way to Test Windows 8: Run It on a Dedicated Machine

Run Windows 8 on a dedicated machine in order to properly test the operating system. This is Microsoft’s advice for the testers. 

At the same time, the Redmond company is well aware that there are a large number of early adopters that have already deployed Windows 8 as a guest operating system inside a virtual machine. 

From the feedback I’ve been seeing, including from comments to my articles here, testers using virtualization with Windows 8 have run into a series of problems. 

Microsoft’s Sue Bohn, David Hicks, Cornel Lupu of our ACDC team (App Compat, Device Compat) have a list of virtualization solutions that play nice with Windows 8, including: Hyper-V in Windows 8 Developer Preview, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, VMware Workstation 8.0 for Windows, and VirtualBox 4.1.2 for Windows. 

“Some virtualization products only provide a basic display driver that does not support the high performance graphics used in Windows 8. As a result, you get a noticeably slower, less responsive experience when compared with running the OS natively,” Lupu said. 

“The setup and configuration process can be complicated and error prone when running as a guest OS, especially if you are running it on older hardware that does not support built-in virtualization optimizations featured in the latest generations of Intel and AMD processors.”

According to the software giant, no less than one third of all Windows 8 installations were done on virtual machines. As a reminder, Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102.winmain_win8m3.110830-1739 Milestone 3 (M3) is available to testers since September 13, and was downloaded over 500,000 times on the first day alone.

Here are of the virtualization technologies that early adopters had better not use when testing Windows 8, at least not for the time being: Microsoft Virtual PC (all versions), Microsoft Virtual Server (all versions), Windows 7 XP Mode, and VMWare Workstation 7.x or older. 

Microsoft is currently working with all major manufacturers of virtualization solutions, and the products enumerated above, as well as their successors are bound to become compatible with Windows 8 in the future. 

“We take compatibility very seriously. However, there are categories of software than run “very close to the metal,” and deliberately take dependencies on internal data structures and intricacies of the Windows kernel,” Lupu added.

“These dependencies are not typically publicly supported or exported APIs, and thus must change as Windows changes. We go to great lengths to avoid these changes, but sometimes they are necessary to enable innovation. As a result, some software will require updates when we make significant improvements to Windows.”

As I’ve already said, the best way to give Windows 8 Build 8102 M3 a try is to have it deployed on testing machine used for nothing else.

Here’s Lupu’s explanation why: “Windows 8 takes advantage of hardware acceleration to enable a fast and fluid user interface. If the option of a dedicated physical computer is not available, then using a dual boot setup is a great alternative that preserves your existing OS and setup.” 

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102.winmain_win8m3.110830-1739 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition Now Available from Chinese Store

Even though Sandy Bridge-E processors aren't expected to arrive until mid-November, a Chinese website has already started selling Intel's upcoming flagship processor based on this architecture, the Core i7-3960X, for a whopping $2001 US (1451 Euro).

The processors being sold (more than 15 are available) are actually engineering samples, meant to be used by Intel's partners to test and verify the compatibility of their systems and hardware with Sandy Bridge-E CPUs.

When it will be released, about two months away from now, the Core i7-3960X, will become Intel's most powerful desktop processor.

Just like the current 990X it is meant to replace, this chip also belongs in the company's Extreme Edition range, meaning that it comes with an unlocked multiplier and BLCK to deliver improved overclocking.

As far as its specs are concerned, the 3960X packs six processing cores with HyperThreading support, has a base frequency of 3.30GHz, a maximum Turbo clock speed of 3.9GHz, and includes no less than 15MB of Level 3 cache memory.

The chip is compatible with the upcoming LGA 2011 motherboards based on the Intel X79 Express chipset and also packs an integrated quad-channel DDR3 memory controller.

Together with this processor, Intel will introduce two other Sandy Bridge-E chips, the Core i7 3930K and the Core i7-3820, the first one of these coming with six computing cores, 3.2GHz base, and 3.80GHz Turbo clock speeds, while the latter uses a quad-core design.

Their nominal clock speed is set at 3.60GHz, while maximum Turbo is rated at 3.90GHz, and the CPU includes 10 MB of L3 cache.

When officially released, the Core i7-3960X is expected to retail for $999, or 999 Euros depending on where you live. Pricing for the two other chips is yet unknown. (via WCCFTech)

Gigabyte GA-7TESM Motherboard Supports 288GB of DDR3 Memory

Gigabyte is way better known for its consumer motherboards than for its server solutions, so seeking a little publicity for these boards it teemed up with Netlist in order to certificate the GA-7TESM for using up to 288GB of DDR3 memory at 1333MT/s speeds.

The GA-7TESM is a dual-socket motherboard for Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors, which includes no less than 18 DIMM sockets for installing DDR3 memory modules.

All of these had to be populated with 16GB Netlist memory from the company's HyperCloud series in order to achieve the 288GB total capacity.

Netlist's HyperCloud is a special type of memory that was first announced at the end of 2009.

Such modules use a technique called rank multiplication to allow for up to 16GB of memory to be installed on a single stick.

Rank multiplication allows for the four individual physical ranks of chips to the hidden from the memory controller hub, making it believe regular 2 vRanks memory is used.

In 24 socket servers, this memory could allow OEMs and other system designers to include up to 384GB of DDR3, making such modules ideal for virtualization and other applications that require vast amounts of memory.

Netlist has designed the modules to operate at 1333MT/s (which could be roughly translated into 1333MHz) and this is also the speed the Gigabyte server motherboard is certified to runt them at.

Outside of the dual Intel Xeon processors and the 18 memory banks, the Gigabyte GA-7TESM motherboard also includes 8 ports SAS 6Gbps ports, 6 SATA 3Gbps ports via the Intel ICH10R south bridge, PMI 2.0 and iKVM remote management, and four Gigabit LAN ports (Intel 82576EB plus dual Intel 82574L).

The GA-7TESM motherboard retails for $483.95 (about 353 Euro) and can be configured with a wide series of optional add-on cards to deliver advanced RAID functionality.

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 Activation Product Keys

Microsoft has simplified the deployment process of the first public preview of Windows 8 as much as possible. For example, early adopters won’t be required to enter a product key when deploying Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102.winmain_win8m3.110830-1739 Milestone 3 (M3). 

However, there are scenarios in which a key will be required of the testers, and they’ll run into a small glitch. 

Microsoft seems to have forgotten to provide any official product key for Windows 8 Build 8102 M3 when the downloads went live. 

According to a number of early adopters who jumped at the chance of test driving Windows 8, processes such as reinstalling or resetting the operating system might ask users for a product key before proceeding. 

There are in fact two keys that testers can take advantage of, one for client and the other for server. 

Those early adopters running Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 can enter the following product key if the platform will ask them for one: 6RH4V-HNTWC-JQKG8-RFR3R-36498

There are of course also testers focusing on Windows Server 8, which Microsoft released one day after the Windows 8 client. 

4Y8N3-H7MMW-C76VJ-YD3XV-MBDKV is the product key that can be used with Windows Server 8 Developer Preview. The server flavor of Windows 8 is only available to MSDN subscribers. 

The Windows Developer Preview is a Windows 8 Build 8102 M3 release, as in a pre-Beta development milestone. Some readers might remember that when it released a preview of Windows 7 to developers Microsoft also provided an M3 Build.

It appears that the Redmond company is simply settling in its ways, and why shouldn’t it, especially with a winning strategy on its hands. I’m more than sure that Microsoft is hoping the success of Windows7 will rub off onto Windows 8. 

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102.winmain_win8m3.110830-1739 Milestone 3 (M3) is available for download here.

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