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Oct 21, 2011

Porsche Design BlackBerry Bold 9980 Confirmed for October 27

The collaboration between Research and Motion and Porsche Design is no myth at all, as the companies have just announced a common launch event on October 27.

The folks over at Suff have just received an invitation to this event that confirms the collaboration with Porsche Design.

“You have been specially selected to join us for a VIP preview evening on an exclusive collaboration between Porsche Design and BlackBerry,” the invitation reads.

The event will be held in Dubai, on Thursday, October 27 from 7pm and 10pm. Rumor has it that the companies will announced the mysterious BlackBerry 9980, also known as Knight.

According to the latest hearsay, BlackBerry 9980 is a luxury adaptation of the Bold 9900, which is specifically targeted for UAE and other regions where BlackBerry devices are still very attractive.

BlackBerry Bold 9980 have been spotted in China, which indicates that the device is real and ready to be launched on the market.

Although the last Bold 9980 that emerged bears China Mobile's logo, it appears that Porsche Design and RIM decided to announce the device in Dubai, instead of China.

However, this makes sense as UAE is a country where BlackBerry smartphones are still considered hot. 

Secondly, Bold 9980 is a premium device and will be priced accordingly, which makes it more suitable for a mature market like UAE, instead of an emerging one such as China.

If this is indeed an adaptation of the Bold 9900, then it should be delivered with BlackBerry 7 operating system, which might get an exclusive user interface to emphasize the collaboration between the two companies.

In addition, the phone is equipped with a single core 1.2 GHz processor and packs 8GB of internal memory, 768 MB of RAM, as well as microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).



Rambus Makes Profits for Something Other than Lawsuits This Time



Rambus is one of the most infamous patent trolls out there, but it looks like, this once, it was able to rake in some profits without any settlement payments. 

Rambus made the news quite a few times last year, and the years before, for how it got into patent litigations with a whole bunch of companies. 

As such, it may have been a surprise to see a distinct lack of such court actions during 2011, not that other trolls didn't rear their heads, of course. 

Regardless, the fact is that Rambus didn't get any lawsuit settlement payments recently, but that didn't stop it from making profits anyway. 

After several quarters of less than stellar financial evolution, the company reported profits for the third one of the ongoing year (2011). 

Granted, this didn't prevent the total revenue for the first nine months of the year from falling to $229 million (166 million Euro), 2% less than during the January-September period of 2010. 

Nevertheless, the fact is that the licensing company made $100.3 million (72.72 million Euro) during the July-September period. 

That is approximately 51% higher sequentially and a solid 216% on-year improvement, which is nothing to scoff at. 

The net income wasn't too huge, at $0.5 million (0.36 million Euro, give or take), but still a long way from the $10.6 million loss of the second quarter. 

Licensing deals were the reason behind all this, since they imply that Rambus receive monthly fees from all those that would use its patents. 

The most lucrative of these were signed during Q2 and Q3 itself (the official announcement explains things in greater detail). 

What remains is to see if the company can keep on going without starting yet another lawsuit, since one could say there are plenty of those to go around already.


Intel Retailers Raise CPU Prices After Bulldozer Launch




The disappointing performance that AMD's FX-Series desktop processors have turned out to deliver, has apparently made Intel reconsider the prices of its Core i5 and Core i7 processors, which now seem to retail for higher prices than before Bulldozer was out.

Usually, a product launch by the competition, forces the other company to lower the prices of its hardware in order to prevent sales from being disrupted and losing market share.

In the case of Bulldozer however quite the contrary happened, as Intel has seen AMD's inability to deliver a compelling product as an opportunity to increase the margins of its products.

Using the Geizhals.at price comparison engines, one of the largest of its kind in the world, Bright Side of News analyzed the prices of Intel's processors both before and after the launch of AMD's FX-Series CPUs.

This way, the Website has found out that pricing for the Core i7-2600K rose from €237.62 to €258.29 in the timeframe taken into consideration, which is almost a 9% increase in price.

According to the same publication, the change cannot be explained due to fluctuations in the USD vs. EUR exchange rate as this would have caused the chips to be cheaper by a few percent.

Furthermore, similar price changes were also spotted in other processors that were monitored, including the i5-2500K, and i5-2400, so this appears to be a general trend in the market.

AMD launched the first FX-Series processors based on the Bulldozer architecture the last week, on October 12, but despite being eagerly awaited by many PC enthusiasts the performance of the chips has disappointed.

In most tests that were run by reviewers, AMD's FX-8150, lagged behind the Intel's Core i5-2500K, while a few tests showed it coming behind even a last-gen Phenom II X6 1100T processor.

In order to fix some of these performance issues, AMD is apparently working on developing a B3 stepping of the Bulldozer architecture.



Intel 520-Series Cherryville SSDs to Include SandForce Controller - Report

With the launch of the high-performance Cherryville series of solid state drives Intel will continue the tradition started with its the 510-series SSDs and will use a third-party controller which will be built by SandForce, according to a report that just hit the Web.

The first rumors regarding Intel's plans to utilize SandForce controllers in their SSDs appeared quite some time ago, and recently SweClockers claimed that it has seen a document that confirms these reports.

According to the Swedish website, the controller used by Intel for its 520-series solid state drives is similar to the one included in Corsair's or OCZ's SSDs.

In this report is indeed true, than Cherryville SSDs should be able to reach sequential read and write transfer rates in excess of 500MB/s, while the 4K random access performance should be rated at 85,000 IOPS.

This last number is quite a departure from the 40,000 IOPS detailed by previous reports which covered Intel's 520-series drives.

This performance increase however isn't without its flaws, as drives powered by second generation SandForce controllers had all sort of reliability problems that caused random BSODs or other issues.

Solid state drive makers have resolved these bugs with various degrees of success thanks to a steady stream of firmware updates, but so far no one was able to fully resolve the issues. 

Intel designed the Cherryvile SSDs to spread the series in capacities when compared to the previous 510 Elm Crest drives, so the maximum capacity to be reached now is set at 480GB compared to the previous 250GB.

Furthermore, the Cherryville line of solid state drives will also witness the introduction of a lower 60GB model, which should be a great option for user seeking a fast boot drive for their system. 

Intel's 520-series of SSDs is expected to reach retail until the end of this year, but pricing is yet unknown.


Nokia 603 Starts Shipping

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has just announced that its new Nokia 603 smartphone has started shipping, and that it will arrive in user's hands in the near future.

The new mobile phone was unveiled to the world only a few weeks ago with the new Symbian Belle operating system on board. 

The handset features a powerful 1GHz application processor, complemented by a large 3.5-inch touchscreen display. 

It also comes with a high-quality camera on the back, with support for video recording, as well as with great connectivity capabilities, including WiFi, Bluetooth or 3G. 

Moreover, the new mobile phone was made official with NFC capabilities inside, the same as other new devices from Nokia. 

The new Nokia 603 also packs various applications inside, along with support for social networking sites, so that users can stay connected with their friends and family at all times. More on the new phone on Nokia' website here.


AMD E2-3200 Makes Appearance in HP TouchSmart AIO System

Expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year, the entry-level AMD E2-3200 APUs based on the Llano architecture has made its appearance in the TouchSmart 320m series of all-in-one systems produced by HP.

AMD has designed the E2-3200 to be used in computing system that don't necessitate vast amounts of computing power and it includes two processing cores, with a clock speed of 2400MHz.

These are paired together with 1 MB of Level 2 cache and an integrated DDR3-1600 memory controller, while also packing an on-die graphics core which is dubbed the Radeon HD 6370D.

Since the E2-3200 is an entry-level APU, the Radeon graphics unit is limited at supporting 160 stream processors clocked at a rather low 443MHz operating frequency.

In the HP all-in-one, this APU can be paired together with as much as 8GB of DDR3 memory working at 1333MHz, a 2TB hard drive and a SuperMulti DVD burner or a Blu-ray combo drive.

In addition to the E2-3200, the HP TouchSmart 320m desktops can also be configured to feature the A6-3600 and A8-3800 accelerated processing units.

Both of these were announced by AMD quite a while back, but have been missing from the retail market as the Sunnyvale-based chip maker seems to have preferred to ship the APUs to OEMs.

Compared to the rest of the Llano chips released by AMD, the A6-3600 and A8-3800 are a bit special since both parts feature quad processing cores, Turbo Core support and have a TDP of just 65W. 

Outside of the TouchSmart 320m series, the two 65W chips are also offered by HP in the TouchSmart 520z series All-in-One PC, and HP Pavilion p7z and Gateway SX2370 desktop computers, according to the CPU-World website.


NVIDIA CEO Confirms Mobile Roadmap: Kal-El, Wayne, Logan and Stark

Chip maker Nvidia has started to gain market share on the mobile market, and it seems that the company wants an even bigger chunk of it, and that it might also have the means to get it. 

Previous rumors suggested that the company was working on new mobile application processors to address the various segments of the mobile market, along with the various needs that users have, and all have been just confirmed, right from the horse's mouth. 

Mr. Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA CEO, has spilled the beans on the company's plans for the mobile market, confirming that the company already has a well-established Tegra roadmap. 

For those out of the loop, we should note that Tegra includes Nvidia's family of mobile application processors, and that it became highly popular due to the Tegra 2 chipset, currently packed in a wide range of Android smartphones and tablet PCs (especially tablets). 

Nvidia's Tegra series has just been expanded with a four-core chip, called Tegra 3 and codenamed Kal-El, which was included in the newly showcased ASUS Transformer Prime. 

Kal-El is only one of the new mobile CPUs the company has in store for users, and the future should bring along Wayne, Logan and Stark, all powerful application processors for the mobile market. 

“We'd like to have a processor every year, and so we're building three in a row,” Jen-Hsun Huang also stated. 

Tegra 3 is the first quad-core ARM processor unveiled to the world, the same as Tegra 2 was the first dual-core, it seems. 

Nvidia already invested billions in the development of Tegra, and will continue the work on its development, so as to gain more market share in the mobile segment. 

Also, the company plans launching high-performance ARM cores in the Tegra family starting with Stark, pairing ARM cores with GPU cores for the delivery of increased raw power.


NextStream 2U Blade Server Is Now Compatible with Nvidia Tesla C-Class GPUs

NextComputing, a manufacturer of small form-factor and dense computing servers and workstations, has just announced that its NextStream blade server can now be configured with Nvidia Tesla C-class GPU computing processors, including the recently launched Tesla C2075.


The NextStream is a 2U rackmountable unit optimized for high-performance computing tasks that require a mix of traditional multi-core CPU processing with GPU co-processing in a dense form-factor.

Despite its compact size, NextComputing clients are able to configure the 2U chassis with three independent dual-processor blades, each with dual Intel Xeon 5500 series chips packing up to six-cores per CPU and 96GB of memory.

If all the memory banks are populated, this could allow admins to install a maximum of 288GB of memory per chassis combined with the physical 36 processing cores delivered by Intel's CPU's.

Furthermore, each blade has its own PCI Express x8 expansion slot and internal Gigabit networking between blades.

In a GPU-optimized setup, the NextStream can be configured with two blades, each with dual 6-core Intel Xeon processors, 96GB RAM, and a dedicated Nvidia Tesla GPU computing processor on a full PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot.

“We’re enthusiastic about the benefits NVIDIA Tesla GPU computing processors can bring to our entire product line of small form-factor servers and workstations,” says Bob Labadini, President and CTO of NextComputing. 

“As the demand for GPU computing continues to grow across many of our key vertical markets, including the government, entertainment, and various high-end 3D visualization applications, NextComputing is uniquely positioned to offer specialized platforms such as the NextStream that fulfill needs where traditional servers cannot,” concluded the company's rep.

NextComputing hasn't provided any information regarding the starting prices of the NextStream rackable 2U blade server, but such details should be available upon request by contacting the company.


Windows Phone 8 with Dual-Core CPUs, HD Displays

With Windows Phone 7.5 Mango now out on the market, Microsoft is already hard at work on the development of their next flavor of the mobile OS, and it seems that there should be a series of appealing features packed inside it. 

Among them, we can count the inclusion of support for dual-core application processors, complemented by the availability of Windows Phones with HD screens.

The Windows Phone 8 OS flavor, which is reportedly codenamed Apollo, will also bring along support for more connectivity options, such as LTE, though it seems that this capability will actually debut before its release. 

The next Windows Phone update, supposedly called Tango, it expected to include support for the said 4G services, and might also be loaded on devices that sport HVGA (480 x 320 pixel screens). 

Windows Phone has been on the market for only one year, but it should benefit from great improvements in the not too distant future, it seems.


ASRock X79 Extreme7 LGA 2011 Motherboard Gets Listed

With the launch of Sandy Bridge-E just around the corner, it was just a matter of time before LGA 2011 motherboard would start making their way to various retailers out there and one of the first such solutions to make its appearance is the ASRock X79 Extreme7 which was just listed in Europe.

This is ASRock's most advanced board based on the X79 Express chipset and the price reflects this as the Extreme7 was listed for no less than €264, or about $363 US.

The most striking feature about the Extreme7 is the inclusion of six memory slots, which is quite a strange appearance for a board supporting quad-channel memory, but otherwise this packs all the featuers that one would expect from a flagship product.

This includes five PCI Express x16 slots with support for 3-way SLI and CrossFireX setups, seven SATA 3Gbps ports, four SATA 6Gbps connectors, as well as the usual Power and Reset on-board buttons.

A debug LCD and an additional MOLEX power plug for multi-GPU setups are also provided together with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, 7.1-channel audio with both optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and a Clear CMOS button.

Two additional USB 3.0 ports are available through a on-board header, and the Intel X79 chipset is cooled by an aluminum heatsink topped by a small diameter fan.

While we don't know anything for sure, it's highly improbable that the X79 actually required this type of cooling, which we thought it was finally abolished a couple of years back.

Together with the X79 Extreme7, Fudzilla also spotted in retail, the ASRock Extreme4 and Extreme4-M motherboard that are priced at €190 and €179 ($261 and $246 US), respectively.

All three of these LGA 2011 boards are expected to start shipping to customers on November 14, when Intel will officially unveil the Sandy Bridge-E processors.


iOS 5 Jailbreak and New MacBook Pros Launching

iOS 5 Jailbreak Goes from 210 Seconds to 80

The iPhone Dev Team has released a new Redsn0w beta which no longer ‘stashes’ applications automatically, reducing the jailbreak time by as much as 60 percent for those who choose to turn off this option.

According to a new entry over at the Team’s blog, “After some feedback on reddit, we’ve decided to make the initial jailbreak as quick as possible by no longer ‘stashing’ the applications by default during the redsn0w run.”

“This reduces the time to actually perform the jailbreak from 210 seconds to 80 seconds (60 percent!). However, you make up for much of that the first time you launch Cydia, which will then want to stash the applications,” writes the Team “You can choose whether you want redsn0w or Cydia to stash in the Preferences pane.”

On Twitter, Musclenerd informs that iOS 5 beta expires today offering those who wish to sync their data a limited-edition redsn0w b7b.





New MacBook Pros Launching Next Week - Report

People in a position to know have received word that Apple is gearing up to launch updated MacBook Pro computers as soon as next week. A modified AirPort Express model with new wireless chips is also in the pipeline, the sources said.

A report by 9to5mac cites a certain Mr. X who has been accurate on Apple rumors in the past.

This person reportedly told the blog that the pricing and design of the upcoming MacBook Pros are identical to those of the current-generation models.

However, inside, the systems are beefed up (naturally). There has been ongoing speculation that the MacBook Pro family is getting a processor speed bump and Bluetooth 4.0 technology ahead of the holiday season.

For example, Apple’s online store went down this week prompting such speculation to reignite. When the online venue was put back on track, no changes could be observed. Apple almost always takes down its online store ahead of a new product launch, or upgrade.

The speculation about new MacBook Pros emerged when new part numbers were spotted in Apple’s inventory system. They matched the MacBook Pro family, but they didn’t match any existing models, therefore new systems had to be on the way.

Knowing that Apple will at some point upgrade the MacBook Pro lineup with Ivy Bridge processors and perhaps a slimmer design akin to the MacBook Air, the fall-winter 2011 update would act as a gap filler between the current architecture and the next.

As for the AirPort Express update, the same report says that a modified version of the WiFi base station is on the way packing updated wireless chips but otherwise no aesthetic alterations.

The price will also be the same, according to their sources, but the launch date remains unknown at this time.


BlackBerry Packager for Android Explained

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion is set to make sure that its devices benefit from a wide range of applications, and the company is working on bringing Android software to them. 

One of the tools to enable this is the BlackBerry Packager for Android that can be seen explained in the video embedded below.

The clip was published online just before the DevCon conference kicked off, and presents manners in which developers can have their Android applications available for the PlayBook tablet PC from RIM.

Basically, devs will have to turn the APK files to BAR files, and RIM will provide them with key signatures through the BlackBerry Developer Zone.

They can also check their application's compatibility with the PlayBook there, and, as soon as all things are in place, they will need to click “repackage and submit.”



EVGA Dual-Socket LGA 2011 Motherboard Pictured

After it announced back in June that it plans to introduce a dual-socket LGA 2011 successor for the Classified SR-2 motherboard, EVGA has now showed us the first pic of this upcoming creation that will most certainly arouse the interest of many computer enthusiasts.

The yet-unnamed motherboard seems to resemble a great deal its predecessor as it uses the same black/red color scheme and EATX form factor, but is now based on an Intel Patsburg chipset providing support for Sandy Bridge-E CPUs.

The two processor sockets are placed right next to each other and the board includes a total of 12 DDR3 memory slots, eight for what seems to be the primary CPU and four surrounding the secondary processor.

These are all powered via two 6-pin and two 8-pin connectors, while an additional 6-pin PCI Express plug is installed for delivering some extra juice to the PCIe slots when running SLI or CrossFireX setups.

Speaking of the PCI Express slots, EVGA has included no less than seven of these and each one can be enabled or disabled via a series of DIP switches.

These are placed right next to the two SATA 6.0Gbps and four SATA 3.0Gbps ports included by EVGA in its dual-socket LGA 2011 creation, which are seconded by what looks like four SAS connectors.

Other features include on-board Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, a debug LED, as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity.

As usual, the latter are placed on the back of the board, and are accompanied by a series of USB 3.0 ports, 7.1 channel audio and an EVBot connector.

EVGA hasn't mentioned any release date or pricing info for this dual-socket LGA 2011 motherboard.

However, chances to see this launched together with Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors on November 14 are very slim, as the motherboard is built around a server Patsburg chipset, which won't arrive until later this year, or possibly in 2012.


Apple Launches iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour 2011

Apple is taking iOS 5 on a world tour and it wants devs to come along for the ride. Pit-stopping in nine major cities around the world, the mini-WWDCs will allow developers to leard from Apple experts and enhance their software with new technologies. Space is limited, and it’s almost fully booked already.

“Take your apps to the next level at the iOS 5 Tech Talk World Tour,” Apple says, addressing developers via the News and Announcements channel set up on developer.apple.com.

According to the Cupertino, California-based Mac maker, “This is your chance to learn about the exciting new technologies in iOS 5, straight from Apple's experts.”

The company formerly run by Steve Jobs says the purpose of these gatherings is to “help iOS developers take their apps to the next level using the exciting new technologies in iOS 5.”

On a more detailed note, the company explains: “Our team of experts will visit nine cities around the world, covering advanced coding and design techniques that you can take advantage of in your apps."

The company says it’s important that devs have experience coding with the iOS SDK, as well as to have an app actively in development or in the App Store, since Tech Talks are "highly technical."

The schedule is:
  • Berlin, Germany - November 2, Maritim ProArte Hotel Berlin
  • London, United Kingdom - November 7, Kings Place (booked)
  • Rome, Italy - November 9, Rome Marriott Park Hotel
  • Beijing, China, December 5 - Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel
  • Seoul, South Korea - December 8, Kintex (booked)
  • São Paulo, Brazil - January 9, Sheraton São Paulo WTC
  • New York City, New York - January 13 - Millenium Broadway Hotel Times Square (booked)
  • Seattle, Washington - January 18, Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center (booked)
  • Austin, Texas - January 23 - Austin Convention Center

Visit Apple here to see the full agenda and to register.


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