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Feb 14, 2012

Siri Leaks Upcoming New Ability to Speak Japanese




The personal assistant application on Apple’s iPhone 4S has leaked its own ability to speak Japanese, according to a few tipsters.

The screenshots above (courtesy of 9to5mac) are testimony that Siri is now able to speak Japanese, although the feature may not be fully enabled just yet.

The Siri FAQ states that “Siri understands and can speak” English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia), French (France), and German (Germany), and that in 2012 Siri will support additional languages.

Those are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish, though Apple hasn’t confirmed support for these just yet.

For those asking if they can use Siri in any of these languages in other countries, the answer is Yes. The service does keep track of your location when you ask for location-based answers, but that doesn’t mean Siri will lose here ability to understand plain English when you travel to Japan, for example.

“Yes. Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German,” Apple says. “However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers,” the company explains.

But don’t worry if Siri doesn’t fully understand everything during its first days of speaking Japanese. As the FAQ states, “the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you.”

“It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands,” reads the FAQ. “As more people use Siri and it’s exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.”


ZTE’s Light II (V9A) Tablet Arrives in the UK




Chinese manufacturer ZTE has just made a new Gingerbread-powered tablet PC, the ZTE Light II, also known as V9A, official in the UK. 

The tablet PC was made available with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 application processor inside, along with 4GB of internal storage, and support for HSPA connectivity. 

The new device was released with a 3-megapixel photo snapper on the back, complemented by a 0.3MP front camera destined for making video calls. 

The new Android 2.3 Gingerbread-based device will become available for purchase in the UK starting with late February or early March, ZTE announced. 

The tablet comes with a price tag of £235 (around $370 / 280 Euros) attached to it, which makes it a rather affordable 7-inch tablet PC. 

“ZTE V9A is ZTE’s first own-branded tablet made available in the UK and we are very excited about its entry into the market,” Wu Sa, director, Mobile Device Operations, ZTE, stated.


HTC Velocity 4G Coming to Germany on March 1, Europe’s First LTE Smartphone




We already reported last week that HTC and Vodafone plan to launch Europe’s first LTE smartphone, HTC Velocity 4G. Today, both companies officially announced that the superphone would be exclusively available from Vodafone Germany on March 1.

According to Vodafone, HTC Velocity 4G will be priced for under 200 EUR (265 USD) with a new two-year agreement. 

The guys over at AndroidPit report that the LTE-enabled smartphone is set to reach about 16 million households. LTE network coverage in Germany is about 90%, which is pretty amazing for a European country.

HTC Velocity 4G supports LTE download speeds up to 100 Mbps, as well as upload speeds up to 50 Mbps. Although the smartphone is powered by Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, HTC already confirmed it would upgrade the phone to Ice Cream Sandwich in early Q2 2012.

Aside from LTE support, HTC Velocity 4G is equipped with one of the most powerful processors embedded onto a smartphone, a dual core Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz.

On the inside, the phone packs 16GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). There’s also an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, dual-LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

The phone runs HTC Sense 3.5 UI on top of Gingerbread, but it’s likely to be replaced with HTC’s latest Sense 4.0 user interface, which comes along with Ice Cream Sandwich. 

HTC Velocity 4G is a big device. The phone sports a large 4.5-inch Super LCD capacitive touchscreen with support for 540 x 960 pixels resolution and 16 million colors. It also comes with a 1620 mAh Li-Ion battery, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, TV-out via MHL A/V link, as well as DLNA capability.


16GB White Galaxy Nexus Possibly En-Route to Verizon Wireless




Rumor has it that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will soon hit shelves at Verizon Wireless. The carrier already offers the black variant, which is priced at $299.99 with a new two-year agreement.

However, for some reason Verizon will launch a 16GB model rather than the “standard” 32GB version which is now available for purchase.

The folks at Droid-Life, citing sources close to the matter, speculate that a 16GB metallic silver version will also be launched at Verizon Wireless along with the white version of the Galaxy Nexus.

No word on the price yet, but rumor has it that the 16GB white Galaxy Nexus will be available at Verizon Wireless for only $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. The same price tag will be attached on the metallic silver version as well.


Appro Supercomputer Goes Live at University of Tsukuba in Japan




Appro, a provider of supercomputing solutions, has just announced that the Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has deployed and started operating a new Xtreme-X Supercomputer developed by the company.

The Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer is a hybrid system featuring a combination of CPUs and GPUs in each compute node to achieve higher performance than traditional processor-only systems.

Each compute node offers 2 CPUs based on the not-yet-released Intel Xeon E5 CPUs based on the Sandy Bridge-E architecture and 4 GPUs from Nvidia’s Tesla M2090 Series.

Each node provides 2.99 TeraFlops of computing power, which according to Appro is the world's fastest GPU accelerated node for massively clustered systems. The entire supercomputer achieves a peak performance of 802 teraflops (802 trillion times per second).

"We are happy to complete installation and deployment of the Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer based at the University of Tsukuba,” said Daniel Kim, CEO of Appro.

“This cutting-edge hybrid supercomputer system will deliver performance, scalability and manageability to help lead a new beginning of scientific research," concluded the company’s rep.

HA-PACS is a 3-year project at the CCS, University of Tsukuba, to develop a new generation of large scale GPU clusters to be used as a test bed study to develop "tightly coupled parallel computing acceleration mechanism," to allow direct communication among the GPUs.

The plan is to develop exascale computing technology to support future computational science.

"The Center for Computational Sciences at University of Tsukuba is pleased to have access to the Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer to support the HA-PACS project.

“This deployment will put us on the fast path towards Exascale computing," said Taisuke Boku, deputy director of Center for Computational Sciences at University of Tsukuba. The new supercomputer went live in early February.


Arctic VGA Coolers Are Compatible with AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series GPUs




Arctic has just updated the specifications sheets of three of its mid-range VGA coolers to mention their compatibility with AMD’s upcoming Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750 graphics cards based on the Cape Verde core.

Three VGA coolers manufactured by Arctic will be compatible with these HD 7000 Series graphics cores, namely the Accelero Mono Plus, the Accelero L2 Plus and the Accelero S1 Plus.

According to Hardcore Hardware, no special mounting accessories are required for installing Arctic’s third-party cooling assemblies on the new Radeon HD graphics cards.

Users who want to build a quiet gaming or HTPC computer will also be glad to know that the Accelero S1 Plus can work with the Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750 GPUs, without requiring any additional fans to be installed.

All the Arctic VGA coolers arrive with all the accessories required for mounting the cooler, and enough heatsinks for all the memory chips and VRM’s installed on the HD 7700 PCB. 

AMD is expected to launch the Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750 graphics cards in just a day from now, on February 15, and both of these solutions use the Cape Verde GPU based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

The Cape Verde XT GPU installed in the HD 7770 features 640 streaming processors, 40 texture units and 16 ROP units, all connected to the video buffer via a 128-bit wide memory bus.

Speaking about the memory, this will be clocked at 1,125MHz (4.5GHz data rate) in order to deliver 72GB/s of bandwidth, while the GPU operating frequency is set at 1000MHz.

Moving to the Cape Verde Pro GPU used inside the Radeon HD 7750, this will be clocked at a much lower 800MHz, but AMD decided to set the memory at the same 1,125MHz, while also including a 128-bit wide bus.

The number of ROP units wasn’t modified either, but the GPU now features 512 stream processors and 32 texture units. No info regarding the price of these upcoming AMD cards was provided so far.




Quad-Core Huawei Ascend D1 Q with Android 4.0 to Be Announced at MWC 2012




Chinese company Huawei has big plans for this year’s Mobile World Congress trade fair. After introducing the world’s slimmest Android smartphone, the Ascend P1 S, during the International Consumer Electronics Show, Huawei is about to announce its most powerful smartphone.

The handset maker has started to send invitations for one of its events at the MWC 2012, in Barcelona. The company invites media and fans to see for themselves as “Huawei Device takes a leap into the future of mobile communications to unveil their fastest smartphone yet.”

Shortly after launching the Ascend P1 S, Huawei confirmed plans to debut an entire lineup of top-tier smartphones, which will be called “Diamond” series. It looks like the first Diamond series device will be announced at the end of this month.

Although the name of the smartphone has yet to be officially announced, the folks at UnwiredView have learned that a Japanese blog has revealed that Huawei Chairman Yu Chengdong unveiled the name of the upcoming smartphone on his Webo profile.

As the name suggests, Ascend D1 Q will be the first Diamond smartphone available on the market. The “Q” letter definitely stands for “quad-core,” as the “S” from Ascend P1 S stands for “slim.”

Moreover, Huawei also plans to announce a bigger and better Huawei tablet, a sequel to the 7-inch MediaPad slate, which will soon be shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich on board. 

Huawei’s Chairman Yu Chengdong let it slip again that the new tablet will be called MediaPad 10 and will be delivered with a 10-inch touchscreen display.

There are no other details on any of the two Huawei devices that are expected to go live at the Mobile World Congress 2012, in Barcelona. However, we can safely assume that both will be powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, or a newer version of Google’s mobile platform.



Windows Phones to Become Cheaper with Nokia Lumia 610




Soon, the price for Windows Phones will reach a new low, some of the latest reports around the Internet suggest. 

Finnish mobile phone Nokia is expected to launch a new budget Windows Phone device, one that will arrive on shelves as Lumia 610, and which should be cheaper than the already available Lumia 710.

According to the guys over at TechRadar, Nokia plans on pricing the upcoming device aggressively in the UK to gain more market share. 

The Lumia 710 smartphone is currently available for purchase in the UK at £199.99 on PAYG at O2, which pushes the yet-unannounced device to a much lower price point. 

The smartphone, set to become official at the MWC show in Barcelona, is said to be running under Microsoft’s next Windows Phone release, called Tango. What remains to be seen is what features and capabilities Nokia plans on packing the new device with.


iPad 3 Launch Date Confirmed - March 7




Reports citing reliable sources are confirming that Apple’s iPad 3 event will be held Wednesday, March 7, and that AT&T and Verizon Wireless will be carrying the new tablet on their LTE networks, hoping to spur widespread adoption of the standard.

A report from iMore reveals that Apple is holding its iPad 3 announcement early next month on a Wednesday. We had already predicted March 7 as the date of Apple’s special event.

More importantly, the blog (which has been accurate on Apple rumors in the past) cites sources as saying that the iPad 3 features an LTE chipset from Qualcomm. The new radios will allow it to roam on AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G airwaves.

A Wall Street Journal piece cited by the entire Apple blogosphere seems to confirm these claims.

The paper, whose sources are arguably the most reliable when it comes to dishing out Apple rumors, downright states that Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. will sell the upcoming iPad.

The tablets carried by the duo will have LTE capabilities, the WSJ said, with both operators aiming to cash in on their big investments in mobile broadband.

Jim Dalrymple of LoopInsight, who is known to have sources deep inside Apple, confirmed the announcement date with a terse "Yep," MacRumors points out.

Finally, the ChinaTimes chimes in with a tidbit of its own claiming that Apple has ordered no less than 65 million 264PPI Retina displays from LG Display and Samsung. The panels are for the iPad 3, according to the Chinese newspaper.

Apple is known to have ordered around 40 million displays for current-generation iPad. Bot LG and Samsung have already kicked off production of the panels. Sharp was also rumored to be producing some IGZO displays for Apple, though the Chinese paper doesn’t mention the Japanese vendor.


LG Optimus 3D 2 Photo and Some Specs Leak Ahead of MWC 2012




One of the first 3D Android phones launched on the market, the LG Optimus 3D is one of the last smartphones showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 that gets the Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade.

One year after Optimus 3D’s launch, LG plans to announce the phone’s sequel, the Optimus 3D 2. Also known as LG Optimus 3D Max or LG CX2, the device is expected to go official at the end of the month, at the MWC 2012, in Barcelona.

The first rumors on the Optimus 3D 2 leaked a few weeks ago, along with some of its specs and two photos that show the slim smartphone’s front and back parts.

Today, another render of the smartphone emerged, but this one shows a white-themed Optimus 3D 2. 

According to Oled-Display citing ETNEWS, the Optimus 3D 2 will reportedly pack a slightly better high-resolution IPS touchscreen display than the original LG Optimus 3D. Most likely it will come with an HD-IPS LCD display, which supports 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

There are no details on the display’s size, but this one might be around 4.3-4.5 inch, the latest rumors claim. Design-wise, LG Optimus 3D 2 is slightly thinner than its predecessor is and will measure only 9.8mm thickness. 

On the inside, the difference between the two Optimus smartphones is minimal. LG Optimus 3D features a 1 GHz dual-core processor, whereas the Optimus 3D 2 is expected to arrive with an improved 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU. 

According to the latest hearsay, the Optimus 3D 2 packs 8GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, along with HSPA and DLNA capabilities.

It appears that major carrier SK Telecom has already confirmed that it will offer the LG Optimus 3D 2 during the first quarter of 2012 for a price that will be disclosed closer to launch.


AMD Opteron 6200 Series CPUs Power New 12 Tflop EURO/CFD HPC Cluster




EURO/CFD, an engineering company specialized in numerical calculation, has just announced that it acquired a new HPC cluster built around AMD’s Opteron 6200 Series “Interlagos” processors, which can deliver 12 TeraFlops of performance at its peak speed.

In order to achieve this feat, the cluster installed by EURO/CFD utilizes no less than 1,054 computing cores which are seconded by a whopping 6TB of RAM system memory.

All the computers forming the cluster are then connected to one another via a fast InfiniBand QDR type network, while data is stored both locally and on a remote system.

“Turning this 1 000 cores corner is a real pride for our small company. Thanks to this investment in our HPC cluster, we ensure our position as major expert in numerical simulation in France,” said Karim Loueslati, the CEO of EURO/CFD.

“EURO/CFD team of expert now carries out powerful and complex calculations without the time pressure. They can concentrate on providing technical advice to our customers and on being more reactive to respect customers’ deadlines. 

“The decrease of delays due to computing allows EURO/CFD’s PhD’s and engineers to focus on their core skills: physics analysis. In one word, investing in cutting edge hardware makes human competencies able to express their talent,” concluded the company’s rep.

Since their introduction in the second half of last year, AMD’s Opteron 6200 Series processors based on the Bulldozer architecture have proven to be quite popular among HPC and cloud system vendors.

The main reason for that is the high number of cores available since AMD “Interlagos” processors can include as many as 16 computing cores in the same package .

One of the first machines to include the new server CPUs was the Cray XK6, which paired AMD's Opteron 6200 CPUs with Nvidia's Tesla 2000-series compute boards.


Intel LGA 1150 Socket Will Be Compatible with 2014 Broadwell CPUs - Report




Intel’s LGA 1150 socket that will be introduced together with next year’s Haswell processors will also be compatible with the company’s upcoming Braodwell CPUs, which are expected to arrive in 2012 fabricated using the 14nm production node.

This information was unveiled by a recently leaked Intel slide that details the company’s 2013 Haswell processors and the Lynx Point chipset accompanying it.

According to this slide, the LGA 1150 socket that Intel plans to introduce at the same time with the successor of Ivy Bridge will also be compatible with the company’s 2014 desktop CPUs.

Even though most of us expected this to be the case, it’s nice to see a confirmation from Intel’s part.

The slide leaked by Donanim Haber also gives us some info about Intel’s Lynx Point chipset, which pretty much packs the same features as the 7-series platform controller hubs (PCHs) for Ivy Bridge CPUs, but adds a Clarkville NIC.

For those of you that aren’t up to speed with Intel’s processor plans, the Broadwell CPU comes as a "tick" on the chip maker’s roadmap, meaning that this is actually a 14nm die shrink of the Haswell architecture.

Compared to its predecessor, Broadwell will however use a more integrated design which includes features such as Ethernet, Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 right on the chip’s die.

Right now, little else is known about Broadwell, but since it comes as a die shrink of Haswell, many of the architecture changes and features introduced by Intel in the latter will make their transition towards this 2014 CPU.

Some of the most important changes will target the processor’s IPC performance, but a series of new instruction sets like AVX2 and TSX are also expected to make their appearance.



New Intel Sandy Bridge-EP Processors Spotted, Arrive in the Xeon E5 CPU Range




Four more Sandy Bridge-EP processors from Intel’s soon-to-be-unveiled Xeon E5 product series have been recently spotted in some official documents published by Fujitsu and ASRock.

The chips were uncovered when a CPU-World reader came across the configuration page of the Fujitsu CELSIUS M720 system, which included the two Xeon E5-2600 SKUs that nobody had heard of before.

The processors are called the Xeon E5-1603 and E5-1607, and even though their specifications were lacking, CPU-World managed to find them on the ASRock website, mentioned in a CPU compatibility list for LGA 2011 SKUs.

The CPU support list contains specifications of Xeon E5-1603 and E5-1607, along with details on two members of E5-4600 series, dubbed the E5-4620 and E5-4650.

According to the information gathered, the Xeon E5-1603 and E5-1607 operate at 2.8GHz and 3GHz, respectively, while featuring four processing cores, a 130W TDP and 10MB of shared Level 3 cache memory.

Both of these processors are destined to be used in single-socket workstations and lack support for Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technologies.

The other chips uncovered, the E5-4620 and E5-4650 SKUs are aimed at 4-way servers and are supposed to launch in the second quarter of 2012.

According to the ASRock specs list, Xeon E5-4620 comes sporting a 2.2GHz clock speed, 16MB of L3 cache, and fits inside a 95 Watt TDP, while the Xeon E5-4650 is clocked at 2.7GHz, has 20MB of last level cache and a 130 Watt TDP.

Both CPUs are based on Intel's Sandy Bridge-EP architecture, and CPU-World suspects that the 4620 model will have either 6 or 8 CPU cores, while the 4650 Xeon E5 model will have 8 cores. 

No further details are available at this point in time, but we’ll keep you up to date with how things evolve.



Nvidia Kepler GK104 Graphics Cores Start Reaching AIBs




Nvidia has apparently started shipping the first GK104 graphics cores based on the Kepler architecture to its add-in board (AIB) partners, suggesting that the launch of its first 28nm video cards is getting near.

According to reports from the Far East, which have been gathered by SemiAccurate, Nvidia’s most important add-in board partners have begun receiving the first GK104 cores at the start of last week.

The GPUs delivered by Nvidia were in various states of functionality, but since they are only meant for early hardware design and testing these are more than adequate for the task.

Furthermore, this seems to suggest that Nvidia is committed to get Kepler out as soon as possible.

If all things go as planned, AIBs need between 4 and 6 weeks to get the first cards on retailer shelves after sampling starts. This means that GK104-based Kepler cards should arrive in late March or early April.

Other details regarding these graphics cards were not provided, but as we have reported earlier today, the GK1-4 core will be available in two versions, dubbed GK104-400 and GK104-335.

Both of these will actually be based on the same GPU, but the former comes as a fully working GK104, while the latter is a partially fused off version of the same chip.

The main difference between the two lies in the number of graphics processing clusters they will include, since the -400 is said to be an “8 group” device compared to the -335, which is described as a “7 group” GPU.

Nvidia’s has designed Kepler to be more flexible in terms of programmability than the current Fermi architecture and this is the company’s first GPU to be based on TSMC's high-K metal gate (HKMG) 28nm fabrication process (the same one used by AMD for the Radeon HD 7900 series cards).


AMD Radeon HD 7770 Specs Confirmed by GPU-Z Screenshot




With two days left to go until AMD launches its Radeon HD 7700-series of mainstream graphics cards, a GPU-Z screenshot of the Radeon HD 7770 has made its appearance on the Web, confirming the specs of this GPU.

This graphics core will come as the direct descendant of the Radeon HD 5770 and its HD 6770 rebrand, since it targets the same mainstream performance class, but this time it will utilize the new Cape Verde XT core.

Much like the Tahiti GPU that AMD has used for the graphics cards in the Radeon HD 7900 series, the Cape Verde graphics cores are also based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

Despite the similar architecture, the Cape Verde XT GPU has a much smaller die (123mm2 vs 365mm2 for the Tahiti GPU), since it packs only a fraction of the shaders of its older brother.

More precisely, the Cape Verde XT features 640 streaming processors, 40 texture units and 16 ROP units, all installed together with a 128-bit wide memory bus, according to the leaked Donaim Haber screenshot.

In the Radeon HD 7770, this is connected to 1GB of GDDR5 video buffer which is clocked at 1,125MHz (4.5GHz data rate) in order to deliver 72GB/s of bandwidth, while the GPU operating frequency is set at 1000MHz.

No information regarding the power consumption of the card has been provided, but a previously leaked image of a Radeon HD 7770 reference board has revealed that it comes with just a single 6-pin PCIe connector, which seems to imply that it requires just a little over 100 Watts in order to operate.

The HD 7770 will also support 2-way CrossFireX and packs 3 display outputs, one DVI, one HDMI and a mini-DisplayPort connector.

The card is expected to be released on February 15, but its pricing hasn’t been revealed yet. 




Audiophile-Grade Audioengine D1 USB DAC Now Available




USB digital-to-analog convertors (DACs) are nothing new, but Audioengine has decided that it’s time to take this concept one step further and recently released the audiophile-grade D1 USB DAC.

While on the outside this might look like your average USB DAC, the D1 makes no compromises and features a high-end AK4396 DAC with TI NE5532 headphone amplifier.

Thanks to this configuration, over USB, the D1 supports a maximum of 96kHz rate at an impressive 24 bit resolution, while over its integrated optical port it delivers 192kHz @ 24 bit resolution.

Furthermore, there’s also an RCA jack on the back, so you can connect even high-end audio speakers to it.

If these specs have you convinced, the Audioengine D1 could be yours right now for $169 (about 128 EUR), which is a good price considering the audio quality it promises to deliver.

CyanogenMod 9 Lands on LG Optimus 2X and T-Mobile G2X




CyanogenMod 9 is not final yet, but development builds for the various devices that are supported by it have already started to emerge. 

Some handsets that are not officially supported also got a taste of it, and, among them, we can count the LG Optimus 2X and the T-Mobile G2X, the two siblings that landed on shelves with model numbers LG P990 and LG P999, respectively. 

On his Google+ page, Ricardo Cerqueira explains that there are issues with the two ROMs, especially since these are unsupported devices. 

Updates for them might be released in the future, although nothing is certain at this point. Even so, those who would still like to get a taste of the software can do so now. Download links for the two builds are available via the said Google+ post


Nokia N9 with Ice Cream Sandwich on Video




Nokia N9 has got a taste of Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system not too long ago, and is now showing some more of it in the video embedded above. 

Some info on the progress registered with the porting of Ice Cream Sandwich to this mobile phone emerged only a few days ago, and more on the matter is now available via the said video. 

Clearly, the MeeGo-based Nokia N9 can perform well when Android 4.0 is loaded on it. Those who might have had doubts before should reconsider their position towards this port. 

Of course, there is a variety of issues that still need to be taken care of when it comes to loading ICS on N9. After all, the project is still in an incipient phase. 

However, it becomes clear that all those who will want to change the OS on their N9 devices one day will be able to do so.

Nokia's MWC 2012 Lineup Leaks: Lumia 610, PureView 808, Asha 202 / 203 / 302




It looks like Nokia is reading for something big at the Mobile World Congress trade fair, which is set to kick off on February 27, in Barcelona, Spain.

Although there’s no word on any high-end smartphone that might be announced at the end of the month, except the global version of Lumia 900, word on the street is that the Finnish company will launch no less than six new devices at MWC 2012.

The guys over at Pocketnow found out the names of the phones that will be released in Barcelona at the end of the month, but they couldn’t get any details on these devices.

According to them, Nokia plans to debut no less than six new phones at the exhibition: two Windows Phone devices, one Symbian smartphone and three feature-phones.

Aside from the global version of the Lumia 900, Nokia will announce the budget-friendly Lumia 610 Windows Phone handset. The Nokia 808 PureView will be released as well, probably with Nokia Belle on board.

Nokia 808 PureView has been previously tipped as the successor of the old Nokia N8 camera phone. However, the 808 PureView will probably boast a better camera and most certainly a touchscreen display. 

Given the fact that Nokia N8 boasts a 12-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xennon flash and autofocus, it will be interesting to see if Nokia PureView will come up with something better than this.

Furthermore, Nokia will also showcase three new Asha series feature-phones. Nokia Asha 302, Asha 203 and Asha 202 will probably have similar features as their predecessors, Asha 200, 201, 300 and 303.

Unfortunately, there are no additional details on any of the phones’ specs sheets, but more information will probably leak by the time Nokia decides to go official with these devices at the Mobile World Congress 2012.


Samsung Makes GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) Official




Today, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics has announced the upcoming availability of a new flavor of its GALAXY Tab tablet PC, one that runs under Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. 

The new GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) brings along great multimedia capabilities, along with all of the features that Google has included in its Android 4.0 operating system. 

Samsung’s GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) arrives on the market with a 7-inch touchscreen display, the same as its predecessor, and also offers support for 3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps) and WiFi connectivity.

Featuring a 1GHz dual core application processor, the new device will arrive on the market in the UK in March, and will reach more countries around the world soon afterwards. 

This is the first tablet PC from Samsung to land on shelves with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. It will also deliver support for the over 400,000 applications that are available for download via the Android Market. 

"Two years ago, Samsung GALAXY Tab began to offer customers more possibilities on the go. Since then, Samsung has actively enhanced our tablet line-up with several tablets in different sizes," said JK Shin, president of IT & mobile communications division at Samsung Electronics. 

"The new GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) will provide people with delighted multimedia experience and allow efficient communication."

The new device also includes multimedia access, playback and sharing capabilities courtesy of Samsung Hub services. Moreover, it comes with Readers Hub, with support for over 2.3 million e-books, 3,500 magazines and over 2,000 newspapers in 51 languages.

GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) will land on shelves with access to Samsung’s Game Hub, as well as with the new Video Hub service from the company, with over 1,000 film titles available for purchase or rent right from the start. 

“Complementing the GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0)'s multimedia offering is Samsung's upgraded Touchwiz user interface that features Hub widgets for one-step access to users' content in Hubs; the device also presents S Suggest, a new service offering recommendations of apps suited to users' tastes directly on a home screen,” Samsung notes. 



AMD A-Series Trinity APU Specs Unveiled, Top at 3.8GHz




After we presented a series of basic info about AMD’s upcoming A10- and A8-Series APUs last week, a new leak has now reached the Web to reveal not only the names of these chips, but also their specs, including CPU and GPU clock speeds.

Just as it has previously done with Llano, AMD decided to split the Trinity APUs into four product series, covering everything from the high-end to the low-end processor market.

The most advanced of these APUs will be launched in the A10-Series, which includes the A10-5800K and the A10-5700, according to Donanim Haber.

Both of these chips pack four processing cores, 4MB of Level 2 cache memory, support for AMD’s Turbo Core technology and DDR3-1866 memory, as well as an on-board Radeon HD 7660D GPU with 384 shaders.

In the case of the A10-5800K the operating speed of the CPU is set at 3.8GHz (4.2GHz max Turbo), while its smaller brother has a base clock of 3.4GHz and 4GHz maximum Turbo.

In the A8-Series, AMD will release the A8-5600K and A8-5500 APUs, both of these chips featuring pretty much the same specs as the A8-Series Trinity processors, but coming with the slower HD 7560D GPU which packs 256 Radeon cores.

The base clock speed of the A8-5500 is set at 3.2GHz (3.7GHz max Turbo), while the A8-6500K works at 3.6GHz with a 3.9GHz maximum Turbo speed.

Moving to the remaining two AMD APUs, the A6-5600K and A4-5300, we get to see that these include just two processing cores and a mere 1MB of Level 2 cache.

This is however where the similarities between these two APUs end, as the A6-Series chip features DDR3-1866 memory support and a Radeon HD 7540D integrated GPU with 192 streaming cores, while its smaller brother has to make do with a 128 core Radeon HD 7480D GPU and just 1600MHz DDR3 memory.

The rest of the APU specs are available in the table included in this article. According to some previous leaks, the first AMD Trinity APUs are expected to arrive during the second quarter of this year.



Garmin Shows Off Its BlueChart iPad App at Miami Boat Show




In conjunction with the Miami International Boat Show, Garmin International announces its BlueChart Mobile marine app for iPad and iPhone that lets mariners enjoy the same accurate BlueChart data in Garmin chartplotters on an iPad or iPhone.

The BlueChart Mobile app will be showcased in the Garmin booth (#1689) at this year’s show Boat Show in Miami, where interested parties will be able to test its ability to access ActiveCaptain, a web-based community that provides real-time content generated by mariners for mariners.

ActiveCaptain co-creator and owner, Jeffrey Siegel, will be at the Garmin booth this Friday, as well as in the morning of Saturday, February 18, 2012, to highlight the program and its functionality within the BlueChart Mobile app.


CDMA Nokia Lumia 800 Emerges En-Route to China CDMA Nokia Lumia 800 Emerges En-Route to China




Nokia’s first Windows Phone out there, the Lumia 800, was made available only in a GSM flavor, yet it seems that the Finnish handset vendor is considering the launch of CDMA versions of the device as well.

The company is getting ready to make the smartphone available for mobile phone users in China, and will do so in the near future.

When unveiling the Lumia 800 last year, Nokia did say that it had plans for making the device available in China as well, and the first signs that things have been put in motion have just started to emerge.

The CDMA flavor of Lumia 800 is expected to become available in the country via China Telecom as soon as next month.

Apparently, Nokia is also preparing the launch of Nokia Lumia 710 in China, and might be even considering the availability of Lumia 900 in the country. Unfortunately, no official details on the matter have emerged for the time being.


Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Pictured Ahead of Launch




With just a few more hours to go until the Radeon HD 7770 becomes official, a picture of an upcoming HD 7770 graphics card built by Sapphire has just reached the web giving us a glimpse at the successor of the popular Juniper HD 5770/HD 6770 solutions.

For this next-gen midrange graphics card, Sapphire decided to go with a design similar to the one used for some of its Radeon HD 6770 graphics cards.

This relies on a single large central fan to ventilate both the PCB of the video card, as well as a heatsink that draws the heat away from the GPU via a thick copper heatpipe.

On the connectivity front, things are also surprisingly familiar as Sapphire’s creation sports the usual 3 display output configuration which comprises DVI, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs.

Sadly, OBR-Hardware, the website behind this picture, hasn’t revealed the operating clocks of the Sapphire card, but judging by the cooler installed we would say this sticks to AMD’s reference frequencies.

In the case of the HD 7770, these are set at 1000MHz for the GPU, while the memory works at 1,125MHz (4.5GHz in data rate mode).

At the heart of the Radeon HD 7770 video card stands the Cape Verde XT GPU, which is based on the same Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture as the more powerful HD 7900-series graphics cores.

Specs wise, the core features 640 streaming processors, 40 texture units and 16 ROP units, all installed together with a 128-bit wide memory bus that is connected to 1GB of GDDR5 video buffer.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7700-series graphics cards are expected to be made official on February 15, but at this point in time their pricing is still unknown.


Mac Pro Refresh in Q3 with 8-Core Ivy Bridge CPUs - Report




Apple is preparing to refresh its Mac Pro line of workstations, according to a report from China, but don’t hold your breath just yet, as the sources behind this leak say it’ll happen as late as the end of Q3 2012.

M.I.C. Gadget has been reliable on Apple rumors in the past, so it should be worth noting that the blog has learned that “Apple is close to finally updating the Mac Pro.”

As one of Intel’s most valuable partners, Apple has already received “engineering samples for the new [Ivy Bridge] processors, with 8 cores and a shocking 20MB of cache,” according to the blog’s sources.

The overheating issues plaguing existing machines are gone, the sources added, “and the manufacturing yield is now high enough for Apple to maintain its high profit margin,” they said.

The blog is hearing “rumblings” that Apple plans to ship the updated systems “near the end of quarter three.” More in the full report here.

Apple’s first Mac Pro, formally announced on August 7, 2006 at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), was based on Dual-core Xeon Woodcrest processors.

On April 4, 2007, a dual Quad-core Xeon Clovertown model was released.

The current model Mac Pro was announced on July 27, 2010. It features Intel Xeon processors based on the Nehalem microarchitecture.

Apple also sells a Mac Pro Server (launched November 5, 2010) which replaces the Xserve line of Apple servers as of January 2011, alongside the server option for the Mac mini.

In other words, Apple’s Mac Pro is quite overdue for a refresh. Some analysts believe the company plans a complete redesign of the desktop computer.


XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition Pictured




The Radeon HD 7770 might not be out yet, but the first leaked pictures of an XFX HD 7770 have already reached the Web, letting us all have a look at this next-gen midrange gaming graphics card.

Right from the get-go, it becomes apparent that this new Black Edition HD 7770 is somewhat a replica of XFX’ Radeon HD 7970 BE, since it packs the same Double Dissipation cooler design.

For the HD 7770 however, this has been shrunk, since the card has a much lower TDP than its 7900-series counterparts, according to TechPowerUp.

Despite this change, the Double Dissipation cooler is still a much better option than AMD’s reference design, as XFX claims this can be up to 13dBA quieter and 7°C cooler than those stock HD 7770’s.

The card’s operating clocks are not yet known, but the mystery will unravel soon since just a few more hours separate us from the AMD Radeon HD 7700-series launch.



Enpirion Makes DDR Memory Run on 1.4W Less




Enpirion has announced the completion of the EV1320 VTT 2 Amp source/sink DDR termination converter, which accepts input voltage of 0.95 to 1.8V.

This new converter measures 3 x 3 x 0.55 mm and can make do with a printed circuit board area of just 80 square mm.

Enpirion also made it possible to operate more than one device at the same time, boosting efficiency and cost effectiveness for any applications that rely on large DDR memory capacities.

That includes everything from servers to notebooks, tablets, ultrabooks, solid state drives and embedded computers.

In layman terms, the EV1320 VTT converter allows DDR memory to work with an efficiency of 96 percent, which equates to 1.4 Watt power saving compared to standard LDO (low drop out) regulator-based alternatives.

To put things in perspective, if 10 million servers are deployed in one year, that leads to 110 million Watts of saved energy. Add to that everything else and the estimate rises to 450 million Watts.

“Every generation of electronics products adds new features, functions and compute resources, which in turn drives an increase in DDR memory capacity to the point where the memory termination power is becoming significant,” said Charlie Mera, Enpirion’s vice president of marketing and applications. 

“The EV1320 enables designers to significantly reduce the memory subsystem’s power dissipation without resorting to more expensive, larger switching regulator-based memory termination options.” 

Enpirion is already sampling the product at a price of $0.70 at volumes of 1k units (0.53 Euro).

“Continued focus on innovation in highly integrated power devices combined with improved efficiency will significantly impact every corner of the industry,” said Arnold Alderman, power electronics analyst, Anagensis Inc. 

“The introduction of novel approaches that provide lowest solution cost and smallest size for mainstream applications, such as DDR power, is fueling the rapid adoption of integrated power.”


Samsung Galaxy Ace DUOS, Galaxy Y DUOS and Y Pro DUOS Now Available in India




Korean handset maker Samsung has just announced the availability of three brand new dual-SIM smartphones in India, Galaxy Ace DUOS, Galaxy Y DUOS and Galaxy Y Pro DUOS.

According to the company, these are the first dual-SIM smartphones launched by Samsung on the Indian market. Although the Galaxy Y DUOS and Galaxy Y Pro DUOS have already been officially unveiled back in December, the Galaxy Ace DUOS is a brand new smartphone.

Indian customers prefer dual-SIM devices and Samsung is trying to boost its market share based on customers’ needs and preferences. 

Even though these are the first dual-SIM smartphones introduced in India, Samsung previously launched two dual-SIM feature-phones, the Champ Deluxe DUOS and Star 3 DUOS.

The brand new Samsung Galaxy Ace DUOS is a budget-friendly Android smartphone, which comes with dual-SIM Dual Active technology, allowing customers to switch to CDMA and GSM networks while on the go.

The smartphone is equipped with a low-performance 832MHz processor, and features a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display. It is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform, and provides access to more than 400,000 apps via Android Market.

Customers who want to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Ace DUOS must come up with Rs 16,900 (340 USD or 260 EUR) upfront.

The Galaxy Y Pro DUOS is an Android-based dual-SIM smartphone that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. Just like the Galaxy Ace DUOS, this one is powered by Gingerbread platform and Samsung TouchWiz UI on top.

It comes with a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen (400 x 240 pixels resolution), a 3-megapixel rear camera, a secondary VGA front-facing camera for video calls and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB, 2GB memory card included).

Samsung Galaxy Y Pro DUOS is available for purchase in India for a suggested retail price of Rs 11,090 (225 USD or 170 EUR) outright.

Samsung Galaxy Y DUOS is the full touch version of the Galaxy Y Pro DUOS bar smartphone. Aside from dual-SIM capability, the handset comes with a 3.14-inch QVGA capacitive touchscreen display and the same 832 MHz single-core CPU. 

The Galaxy Y DUOS is the cheapest of the three and will soon be available in India for only Rs 10,490 (210 USD or 160 EUR).

“With the increasing demand for being connected 24x7 and yet maintaining a personal life balance, these innovative Dual SIM smartphones enable the mobile consumers to be socially networked through their phones anytime, anywhere, and at the same time separate their personal life from their professional life,” said Mr. Ranjit Yadav, country head, Mobile and IT, Samsung India.



EVGA SR-X Dual-Socket LGA 2011 Motherboard Gets Ready for Launch




EVGA seems to be making great progress with the SR-X dual-socket motherboard for LGA 2011 processors, as the company has recently posted a picture online showing this upcoming solution in a near final design stage.

Those of you familiar with EVGA’s creation would notice that the motherboard’s layout is almost identical with that of the SR-X presented at CES, except for the VRM and PCH heatsinks that are brand new.

Four of these were installed by EVGA in some key points of the board, thus managing to cool this monstrous HPTX solution using only passive cooling.

The SR-X is based on the Intel Patsburg chipset with support for Sandy Bridge-E CPUs from the Xeon E5 series.

Its most distinctive design feature is the presence of the two processor sockets that are paired with 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 (all Gen 3.0 compliant) and each one can be enabled or disabled via a series of DIP switches (CPUs and SAS connectors can also be disabled via these 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 two additional SAS connectors.

Other features include on-board Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, a debug LED, as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 support and Bluetooth connectivity. 

No information regarding the price or the release date of the EVGA SR-X was provided by the company, but CeBIT seems like a good time to introduce this sort of motherboard to the world.


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