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Sep 21, 2011

Specs of Samsung SHV-E120L Emerge: 4.7'', 1.5GHz CPU

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is expected to bring to the market in the near future a new high-end smartphone, one that sports the model number Samsung SHV-E120L at the moment, and some more info on its hardware capabilities emerged. 

The handset should hit the shelves with some of the most appealing specifications a smartphone can pack today, such as the large 4.7-inch touchscreen display, or a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon application processor. 

Moreover, it is expected to pair the CPU with an Adreno 220 GPU, and to deliver an impressive 1280 x 720 HD resolution (though it has been suggested that it might actually boast a WXGA 768 x 1280 resolution). 

However, these are only some of the details that can make the new device a highly appealing smartphone. 

There will also be an eight-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with support for HD video recording, as well as a 2MP camera on the front for video calling, and 1GB of RAM to provide increased performance capabilities. 

The specifications list of the new device also includes 16GB of internal memory, which can be expanded via a microSD memory card slot. 

The Samsung SHV-E120L is also expected to land on the market with WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity capabilities, as well as with LTE connectivity, NFC capabilities, and a built-in GPS receiver. 

It also sports a 1,850mAh battery inside and is said to be running under the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system flavor. 

For the time being, nothing has been officially confirmed on the existence of the new device, although it already emerged on a benchmarking website. 

No specific info on when the new handset might arrive on shelves has emerged either, yet chances are that it won't be too long before that happens, since Samsung already has a series of other high-end smartphones lined up for launch.

AMD Mobile APU Roadmap for 2012, 2013 Revealed

In 2012 and 2013 AMD will introduce a new series of APUs that go beyond Trinity and the other chips that we have come to know, according to a leaked company roadmap that made its way on the Web.

As we have revealed previously, the start of 2012 will mark the introduction of the first accelerated processing units based on the Trinity architecture, that combines the Bulldozer-derived Piledriver cores with a VLIW4 graphics core known as London.

The Trinity processors will cover a wide range of market and price points, from the performance to the essential sector.

Just as the current Llano-based APUs, these chips will be released into the A8, A6 and A4 series, with some special low-power models being dubbed the E2.

In the second half of 2012, low-end Trinity APUs will make room for a new series of chips based on the Wichita architecture, which essentially is the quad-core version of the current Brazos processors, but featuring a SoC design.

On the low end of the spectrum, 2012 will witness the introduction of the Krishna and Hondo APUs, the latter being specially optimized for tablet use.

Moving into 2013, details are a bit more sketchy, but the roadmap still reveals the code names of AMD's upcoming APUs as well as some of their specifications.

According to the slide, the high-end and mainstream market will be served by a new APU design known as Kaveri that will pack an undisclosed number of Steamroller CPU cores and DDR3 support.

In the mainstream and essential markets, the place of Wichita will be taken by the Kabini APU. Much like the chips that it replaces, Kabini will also come as a system-on-a-chip solution as it integrates both a CPU and GPU as well as the FCH controller traditionally found on the motherboard.

Finally, in the ultra-low power sector, Hondo will be replaced by Samara, which is based on the same Jaguar CPU cores as Kabini, but is optimized to have a lower TDP. (3DCenter Forums via Hardcore Hardware)

Windows 8 Beta – Microsoft Shifting Focus on Next Milestone

With the Windows Developer Preview now available to early adopters worldwide, Microsoft is shifting focus on the next step in the evolution of Windows 8, the Beta. 

A member of the Windows team told me at BUILD that work on the Windows 8 Beta has already begun, but of course, there’s still much to do.

Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 Milestone 3 (M3) was made available for download over a week ago, at the BUILD conference. 

Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows and Windows Live Division, announced the launch of the Developer Preview Build of Windows 8 during the day 1 keynote address of the event. 

According to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer, Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 was downloaded over 500,000 times in less than 24 hours after launch. The software giant has yet to share any additional statistics on how the number of Windows 8 Build 8102 M3 downloads evolved. 

“Phew! We're all back from BUILD and focused on our next milestone,” Sinofsky revealed in the latest post on the ‘Building Windows 8’ blog, dealing with the reengineering of the Windows boot process. 

“It is fair to say we had an awesome time showing everyone Windows 8 in depth and all of our speakers and Microsoft attendees are unbelievable appreciative for the warm reception you gave the product. 

“We know it is early still--a developer preview--and there are lots of questions. We're going to be answering them (…) as we focus on using the Windows Developer Preview (WDP) as a baseline.”

The number of testers that take Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 out for spin is important because it’s directly proportional with the volume of feedback early adopters will generate. 

It will harvest input from testers and the copies of Windows 8 running around the world that will help Microsoft build the first Beta development milestone. 

The company did not provide a release deadline for Windows 8 Beta, and I don’t really expect it to. Since, Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 is set to expire come March 12, 2012, Microsoft will probably serve the Beta ahead of this date. 

A likely candidate for the launch of Windows 8 Beta is CES 2012, in January, an event which will be keynoted by Microsoft’s very own Steve Ballmer, just as was the case for the last few. However, there’s no confirmation of when Windows 8 Beta is planned for launch.

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

Nikon Finally Outs Mirorless Cameras, Meet the Nikon V1 and J1

Mirorless interchangeable lens cameras have benefited from a huge popularity boost since their introduction, and Nikon has now finally caught up with this trend thanks to the introduction of the V1 and J1, the company's first models to employ a compact ILC design.

The V1 and the J1 share nearly identical specs, with the former camera coming as the more feature rich model of the two, thanks to a few minor tweaks.

Both however include a 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, dual-core EXPEED processing engine, a 1200fps slow motion capture mode, 10fps burst shooting, 3-inch LCDs for reviewing the pictures taken and support for Full HD video capture.

Users have the option of choosing between 1080/30p or 1080/60i, with the movie files recorded being capped at 29 minutes.

Compared to its smaller brother, the J1 also adds a built-in flash, auto-noise reduction on movie clips and a 73-point auto-focus system, all fitted inside a magnesium alloy chassis.

The 10.1MP image sensor installed in both of these cameras uses the newly introduced CX form factor (13.2mmx8.8mm) with a crop factor of 2.7x, which is significantly smaller than the sensors used by Nikon's competitors, most of them going for Micro Four Thirds or APS-C. ISO speed is limited at 3200.

"The needs of the consumer are changing and the world is becoming one of visual conversation, which paves the way for the next chapter in image capture devices,” said Bo Kajiwara, Director of Marketing, Nikon Inc.

“The new Nikon 1 system is the culmination of more than 75 years of optical excellence and relentless pursuit to the unrivaled technological advancements in camera technology.

"Nikon's new 1 J1 camera allows consumers to have confidence in a new way to express themselves, 
with amazing speed, versatility, ease of use and portability," concluded the company's rep.

Nikon's J1 and V1 interchangeable lens cameras will become available on October 20 and the suggested retail price for the J1 kit is set at $649.95 (474 Euro), while the V1 kit will retail for $899.95 (657 Euro). The kit version of the camera is shipped together with the Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. 

At the same time with the release of the J1 and V1, Nikon will also introduce a series of lenses designed for these cameras, including a 10mm f/2.8 prime lens, a VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lens, the VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 and a bunch of other accessories.

8 Seconds Windows 8 Boot – The Startup UX Brought into the 21st Century

Windows 8 boots in 8 seconds and even less on new computers equipped with solid-state drives (SSDs) while leveraging the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) to enhance the startup process. 

Users can say goodbye to the Power-on Self-test (POST) phase of boot, as well as to the Windows graphical animation displayed as soon as rendering is no longer done by the basic input/output system (BIOS), leading up to the Windows logon UI. 

“Once we realized just how fast boot was going to be in Windows 8, it was obvious that it was the perfect time to tackle the user experience to deliver something seamless, beautiful, and of consumer electronics quality,” revealed Billie Sue Chafins, senior program manager lead, Windows User Experience Team.

With Windows 8, the reimaging of the operating system impacted boot in a major way, as the software giant focused on bringing the startup process into the 21st century. 

Essentially, not only is Windows 8 tailored to touch devices, but boot has been overhauled for next-generation form factors. 

“We need to deliver a boot experience that is designed for touch, but works just as well for mouse and keyboard. From the beginning, we knew that it would be unacceptable to tell anyone that they’d need to go buy a physical keyboard to set up their machine or to perform recovery in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) if the PC cannot start,” Chafins said. 

Microsoft’s commitment to supporting legacy hardware and software also covers the good old BIOS, but the company is also looking forward, starting to take full advantage of the UEFI enhancements in Windows 8. 

It’s the combination of Windows 8 and UEFI that has made possible the revamped boot which a few thousands lucky BUILD attendees got to experience last week. 

“UEFI systems can render rich graphical experiences in native resolution via the Graphic Output Protocol (GOP) driver. With UEFI, the OS can finally communicate with boot firmware in a standard way; this work is strongly supported by standards work in UEFI and the TCG (Trusted Computing Group),” Chafins added.

“This enables such features as secure boot, where the OS and firmware cooperate in creating a secure handoff mechanism. It also enables a seamless visual experience from the time you hit the power button – one experience owned by two distinct components.”

Microsoft is acknowledging the fact that the Windows boot has been somewhat stuck in time, user experience-wise.

This is all changing with Windows 8. The software giant worked to accelerate the start-up process to new levels, to introduce new security mitigations, and to optimize the boot experience for touch devices. At the same time, Microsoft made sure that advance users would still have access to all the boot goodies available to them today. 

“The Windows 8 boot experience will reflect the personality of Windows; it will be fast and fluid, seamless, and beautiful every time,” Chafins said.

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

New Windows Phone Resources for Symbian Developers

Microsoft and Nokia have just made a new step towards helping Symbian developers bring their applications to the Windows Phone platform, with the release of a white paper to explain what they need to know about moving from Symbian Qt to WP, and the addition of this development platform to the Windows Phone API mapping tool. 

The release of these resources will be accompanied by a series of developer events, the first of which kicks off today in Paris, part of the “Nokia Windows Phone Training” roadshow.

All these are aimed at Symbian developers who would like to come up with applications for the Windows Phone platform, and were released as a result of the Microsoft & Nokia agreement signed in early 2011 that will bring Microsoft's OS to Nokia's devices. 

Both Microsoft and Nokia stated before that they planned on offering Symbian developers the possibility to easily come up with applications for Windows Phone, and the package they released today is a proof of that commitment. 

The “Windows Phone Guide for Symbian Qt Application Developers” white paper, 100 pages long, was made available for developers in different formats (HTML, DOCX & PDF).

Structured in a number of 8 chapters, the white paper is aimed at all developers who came up with software for the Symbian^3, Symbian Anna, or Symbian Belle platforms, and can be downloaded from here. Developers will also be able to access a full list of samples and source code from Nokia.

“The addition of Symbian Qt to the Windows Phone API mapping tool is another perk we wanted to deliver in order to speed up the learning curve to Windows Phone,” Jean-Christophe Cimetiere, sr. technical evangelist, Microsoft, notes in a blog post

“For this first iteration of the mapping, we’ve focused on the core libraries for Qt 4.7 for Symbian (QtCore, QtGui, QtLocation, QtNetwork, QtSensors, QtSql, QtXml, QtWebKit, QML Elements, QML Components).”

And there is also the “Nokia Windows Phone Training” roadshow, which kicks off in Paris today, and which will continue with events in Milan, Italy (Sept 26), Madrid, Spain (Sept 29), Berlin, Germany (Oct 4) , London, United Kingdom (Oct 10) and Silicon Valley, USA (date & details soon). 

Microsoft also plans to hold similar events in Australia: Sydney (Sept 24-25[sold out], Oct 8-9), Melbourne (Oct 8-9[sold out, wait list]) and Brisbane (Oct 8-9). 

Soon, the first Nokia devices running under Windows Phone will arrive on shelves, and developers who published applications for the company's Symbian handsets will continue to support the vendor by moving to Windows Phone.

AMD Trinity to Enter Mass Production in January 2012

Just a few days ago, an AMD official announced they are getting ready to introduce the first Trinity APUs in Q1 of 2012, and now a leaked company slide comes to reveal that the first Bulldozer-based accelerated processing units will enter mass production in January of 2012.

Judging by the document, AMD finalized engineering samples of these chips in early to late August, while the first production candidate samples are expected to come out in late October or early November.

These will be followed by a batch of production ready samples coming in December 2011 or January of 2012.

The production roadmap also reveals that together with the Trinity APUs, AMD is working on putting together a software stack, which should reach the 1.0 milestone at the same time as the first production ready samples.

According to the leaked slide, AMD will begin mass production of Trinity in January of 2012. The launch date of these next-generation APUs was not revealed, but it seems like AMD is pushing quite hard to release them at about the same time as Intel's Ivy Bridge.

AMD's next-generation APU combines either two or four processing cores based on the Bulldozer architecture with a VLIW4 GPU derived from the Cayman graphics used inside the Radeon HD 6900 series.

The computing cores will go by the odd name of Piledriver and, much like the current Llano APUs, lack any sort of Level 3 cache memory as AMD wanted to increase the die area available to the on-board GPU.

According to AMD, Piledriver based APUs will be divided into three main versions for specific price-points and markets.

All the chips will be manufactured by Globalfoundries using the 32nm fabrication process and early estimates indicate that the quad-core version of the chip will feature more than 2 billion transistors. (3DCenter Forums via Hardcore Hardware)

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