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Feb 23, 2012

Acer CloudMobile Gets Detailed: Android 4.0, 8MP Camera, 1.5 Ghz Dual-Core CPU




Acer has given few details on CloudMobile's specs sheet, but the company announced its upcoming ICS-based smartphone has already received an iF Design award last year.

Today, the Italian site Cellularemagazine leaked most of the phone's specs and also published a hands-on video showing the Acer CloudMobile in action.

According to them, Acer CloudMobile will be delivered with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system on board, as well as a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor.

On the back, the smartphone is said to boast an 8-megapixel camera, which features autofocus, LED flash and HD video recording. There's also a large 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, along with HSPA and Wi-Fi support.

Acer CloudMobile is expected to be officially introduced at the Mobile World Congress 2012 expo, which is set to kick off on February 27.

Sony Releases Official Android 4.0 Beta ROM for Xperia 2011 Phones




Following the Android 4.0 alpha release from two months ago, Sony has pushed another build of the highly-acclaimed Ice Cream Sandwich update. However, this time the company is putting out a beta ROM that promises all the basic functions to be available and fully working.

Still, the handset maker recommends that this build should only be downloaded and installed by experienced developers, as this is not the final version of the update and the stability may not be suitable for everyday use.

It is also worth mentioning that in this Android 4.0 beta ROM Google's full suite of services and apps, including Gmail, Google Maps and Face Unlock, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not included, as they have yet to be approved for certification.

This beta ROM will only work on Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, Xperia ray running software version 4.0.2.A.0.42. It will not work on original Xperia arc or Xperia neo du to different partition layouts.

Before downloading and installing this beta ROM it is required to unlock the phone using “Unlock boot loader service.” As always, Sony warns Xperia phones owners that they might void the warranty of the phone, any warranty from the carrier, or both, if they unlock the boot loader.

In addition, those who unlock the boot loader of their Xperia 2011 phones won't be able to install the final version of Ice Cream Sandwich when it's released.

Among the most important changes included in this Android 4.0 beta ROM one will surely notice the updated UI (user interface), as well as Lockscreen and Face Unlock.

With this ICS build the connectivity really works, which means the GSM modem and FM radio have been approved and certified.

Furthermore, the email client has been updates, and a quick dial has been added in order to make phone calls quicker and easier for users.

For more details on how to download and install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich beta ROM for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray head over to the original thread at Sony's developer site.


Sharp AQUOS 104SH with Android 4.0 Lands in Japan on February 24




Sharp is one of the few Japanese handset makers that have yet to announce their entrance on the European market. Although the company will be present at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade fair, Sharp did not mention any launch events for the European market.

However, Sharp has a strong presence on the Japanese market, and for the moment, this is all that matters. Today, the company announced the upcoming availability of one of Japan’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones, the AQUOS 104SH.

According to Sharp, the smartphone will be available in Japan from February 24 for a price that will probably be disclosed at launch. Sharp AQUOS 104SH will be released nationwide via major carrier Softbank.

The folks over at Androinica report that the device will only have 8.9mm thickness and will be available in two color-schemes: Deep Ocean and Rising Sun. 

Obviously, the selling point of the smartphone is Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, but the device is packed with nice features overall.

In this regard, another strong point of Sharp’s AQUOS 104SH smartphone is the dual-core TI OMAP 4460 clocked at 1.5 GHz. In addition, it packs 16GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM, as well as microSD card for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

The phone is waterproof and dustproof, which is not a surprise as these features are already standard in Japan. In fact, these features will become standard for Europe as well since Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC announced similar smartphones will be launched on this market this year.

Furthermore, Sharp AQUOS 104SH features an impressive 12.1-megapixel rear photo snapper, as well as a large 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 1280 x 720 pixels resolution and 16 million colors. Other highlights of the phone include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth supports.


TI’s OMAP 5 SoC Is No Match for a Quad-Core Cortex A9




When compared to dual-core processors, quad-core chips should be faster. After all, they do have double the number of cores. 

However, it appears that not all of them can actually deliver the expected performance, and the video embedded above proves it. 

What you can see there is a device powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 5 SoC clocked in at 800 MHz, which is compared to a tablet powered by a quad core Cortex A9, clocked in at 1.3GHz. 

The OMAP 5 CPU was designed using the 28nm process and features two ARM Cortex A15s and two Cortex M4s, as well as SGX544 MP2 graphics.

In the clip, you will see the two devices downloading videos, playing an MP3, and running through 20 pages of EEMBC's BrowsingBench. Both of them use the Android 4.0 browser to load pages, it seems, but the OMAP 5 tablet completes the action in 95 seconds, while the quad core A9 needs 201 seconds for that.

The iPhone 5 Could Look Like This, Says Ciccarese




New iPhone 5 conceptual designs are popping up on the Internet, the latest of which arrives from Ciccarese Design. Their view of the next-generation Apple handset closely resembles a futuristic desk-phone, but it’s not half bad.

Don’t get us wrong, Ciccarese Design are some of the most talented blokes in their field. They simply wanted to go off the rails a bit with this new design.

In their new vision of the iPhone 5, Apple’s handset is curved, with a tapered back and a very slim silhouette.

They don't provide any imaginary specs, such as a 4-inch display, a higher-resolution camera, new ports and buttons, and all the other technicalities that usually accompany concepts such as this one.

However, the images speak for themselves. In this alternate universe, Apple has placed the headphone jack on the side of the phone. Ciccarese also envisions that Apple has done away with the 30-pin connector completely.

This phone most likely does everything wirelessly (think inductive charging), which is the natural direction of things, come to think of it. However, we’re still years away before we can fully untether all our gizmos.

What else? The camera and the LED flash are vertically aligned.

At least according to one photo in their gallery, the Apple logo on the back shines in the dark. Now that’s a nifty touch, and something Apple themselves might consider for a future iPhone release (or at least we hope so).

There’s a small problem, though. While the design is indisputably gorgeous, one can’t help but wonder how on Earth will this phone sit on a table? You wouldn’t want to scratch its precious Retina display, but you don’t want the highest area on the back to get worn out either.

Maybe it has some kind of hovering mechanism. Even the images seem to suggest the thing is just floating about. So what do you guys think? Would you buy this iPhone 5?




ASRock Releases New Gaming Motherboard, Fatal1ty X79 Professional




ASRock decided to try and push the concept of high-end to a whole new level when it built the Fatal1ty X79 Professional motherboard.

The product is, obviously enough, powered by the Intel X79 chipset, which supports all processors on the LGA 2011 socket.

That includes Sandy Bridge, Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs, as well as their various subtypes.

The full spec sheet is available on the company's website, so go there to see all the memory, expansion and I/O capabilities. No price in sight yet, though.

Here, we'll just draw attention to the Xfast 555 and the other, unique technologies.

XFast RAM, one of the XFast 555 technologies, creates a virtual disk from the system memory, for higher performance (up to five times in some applications).

XFast LAN lowers latency by the same factor, while XFast USB improves universal serial bus communication by five times as well.

ASRock also implemented Premium Gold Caps and multi-GPU support: 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX.

Not only that, but buyers will get 16 + 2 Power Phase and the Digi Power feature, which optimize overclocking and voltage stability.

"This Fatal1ty motherboard was designed to bring your gaming performance to the highest level. The Fatal1ty X79 Professional comes with a Fatal1ty Mouse Port that delivers the precise control needed to elevate your game." said the company. 

"In addition to gaming functions, the board packs 4 PCIe 3.0 slots, supporting up to 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX. This combination will make you deadly and feared in the battlefield."

A final asset is the Fatal1ty Mouse Port, which lets F-Stream users adjust mouse polling rates between 125 Hz and 1000 MHz.

"ASRock-Fatal1ty motherboards represent quality. This board is crammed full of features like XFast 555 and F-Stream. The blistering performance will satisfy users who require both overclocking and gaming needs," stated James Lee, VP of ASRock sales and marketing.


AMD Gains Graphics Market Share at NVIDIA's Expense




Jon Peddie Research (JPR) has published its findings in regards to the evolution of the graphics market during the fourth quarter of last year, 2011.

There were some changes in terms of market shares, the most notable of which was NVIDIA's continued decline.

During the same period of 2010, NVIDIA held 22.5% of the GPU industry, with AMD less than 2% above (24.2%).

At the end of Q4 2011, though, the Santa Clara, California-based GPU maker ended up with just 15.7%, while AMD finished with 24.8%.

On that note, NVIDIA's share also dropped sequentially (it held 16.1% in Q3, 2011), while AMD grew, from 23%.

Meanwhile, Intel ended up with 59.1% of the total, less than the third quarter's 60.4%, but more than the Q4, 2010 share of 52.5%.

What sets last year's October-December period apart from previous ones is that the quarter showed an overall drop in graphics sales.

Previously, the last three months of each year were considered an “up” quarter, because of the winter holidays which always lead to shopping sprees.

The factor behind the quarterly drop was a slowdown in mobile PC sale, while NVIDIA saw the worst of it because of its retirement from the integrated segments.

Of course, it isn't like NVIDIA actually had a choice in the matter. With both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices selling CPUs with integrated graphics, there was no room left for the company on the low-end front.

Now, Jon Peddie Research believes that shipments will settle into tamer rates on the desktop and notebook fronts. Nothing is certain, though, because tablets have managed to disrupt the flow of the market altogether. It will take a while for the waters to settle.

This marketing study may not have included slates in its tallies, but the items did affect the number of orders and overall customer interest in computers.


Office 15 Technical Preview Screenshots Emerge




In summer this year, we’ll get the chance to have a look at Microsoft’s Office 15 Suite. Before that, however, we can only get a taste of what it has to offer courtesy of leaked screenshots from the Office 15 Technical Preview. 

Microsoft released this early flavor of Office 15 in January, but only a small number of people had access to it at that time. Among them, we can count third parties such as businesses, partners and OEMs. 

Courtesy of leaked screenshots coming from The Verge, we can now get a better idea of what the pre-beta Office 15 code, running as standard desktop application on computers based on Windows 7 and Windows 8, is all about. 

In Office 15, Microsoft has decided to make a series of changes to its ribbon approach, through minimizing it by default (the same as it would be in Windows Explorer in Windows 8).

Office 15 apps will be present on WOA (Windows on ARM) as Metro-style apps with desktop-like capabilities, and will be available for free. 

The upcoming Office 15 productivity suite in Windows 8 will arrive with a full screen "backstage" menu and will feature navigation controls on the left. Users will be able to open or minimize the ribbon interface through a pin icon. 

The screenshots below also show that Microsoft has made a series of changes to the Outlook 15 application, which was not included in the company's preview of Office 15 on ARM. It will sport Metro-style navigation at the bottom. 

Office 15 will also offer the possibility to easily share documents with others through broadcasting them online. A Present Online feature will be present in Office 15 for that (similar to the Broadcast Slide Show feature included in PowerPoint 2010).

Since the current version of Office 15 is only a pre-beta version, UI and under-the-hood changes are expected to emerge soon. Most probably, the beta release will offer more info on what Microsoft has in store for us with the new Metro-style look of its productivity suite.







ADATA Launches DashDrive UV100 Capless USB Stick




ADATA has launched a fairly generic USB flash drive, one that is more concerned with looks and pricing than performance.

The company chose not to implement the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, settling for USB 2.0 instead.

That said, the USB sticks, called the DashDrive UV100 series, feature a capless design and have capacities of 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB, respectively.

Also, they are colored black, red or blue, measure 41 mm in length, have a thickness of 5.8 mm and come with a lifetime warranty.

Finally, a strap hole lets them be hung by a lanyard or key chain and the diamond-cut bevel exterior lets them look good alongside any article of clothing.

The product page is located here, but there don't seem to be any pricing details public yet.


Nokia Social 1.5 Now Available for Belle Smartphones




Nokia is going social all the way. After betting everything on Windows Phone platform, the company is now turning its attention to Symbian phone users. 

With Nokia Belle already deployed globally, since earlier this month, Nokia is now looking to update some of the critical services and apps that is still offering to these Symbian users.

Today’s handsets are packed with all sorts of apps that are meant to make users’ life easier, but the most important ones are those aimed at social networking addicts.

For a phone to be successful these days, it’s almost mandatory to offer deep social networking integration via Facebook, Twitter and other similar services.

This is probably one of the reasons Nokia decided to update its Nokia Social application for Symbian devices. With Nokia Social 1.5, users who updated to Belle OS will be able to take advantage of extra home screens offered by the latest version of the platform.

This means more space for widgets and more choices. The new version offers four different widgets in order for users to see more or less of their networks directly from their home screens.

Nokia confirms that these are the most visible changes of the application, but additional improvements have been added as well.

Nokia Social 1.5 allows Symbian users to see updates from their Facebook or Twitter account in real-time directly on the home screens. 

Facebook events can also be imported directly into the phone’s calendar, or users can check the status of their friends when they enable the social option in Contacts. Obviously, sharing photos or videos taken with the phone’s camera is also possible.

According to Nokia, those who could not get this update via Nokia Store, a new version is rolling out through Software Update on the users’ phones or through Nokia Suite.


ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Gets Android 4.0 ICS Update (OTA)




ASUS was going to release the Android 4.0 over the air (OTA) upgrade for the original Transformer tablet either this month or the next.

Much to the joy of those who possess a Transformer TF101, the operating system upgrade is taking effect now instead of later, in Taiwan at least.

ASUS made sure to mention it on its Facebook page.

The software is reaching customers whose Transformer TF101 has the v.9.2.1.11 firmware.

We aren't sure when the company will roll the OTA out in other regions, but we’ll let you know when it does.

Hopefully, the OTA update won't put the item in a state where it restarts every two minutes.

We already had to wait for weeks before the Prime solved those problems with an updated firmware, and ASUS didn't get it on the first try either. Do let us know if something so unfortunate happens.


Samsung Trademarks Galaxy Rite, Galaxy Heir, Galaxy Axiom and Galaxy Awaken in the US




With only several days until Mobile World Congress 2012 kicks off, Korean handset maker Samsung filed for a handful of trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The folks at Fusible discovered that on February 16 Samsung submitted the following trademark applications: Samsung Galaxy Rite (Serial Number: 85545292), Samsung Galaxy Heir (Serial Number: 85545288), Samsung Galaxy Axiom (Serial Number: 85545284), and Samsung Galaxy Awaken (Serial Number: 85545285).

These trademarks were filed under “Mobile phones; Smartphones” category. These devices might be introduced in the United States within the following months. 

There are no additional details on these upcoming devices, but we can safely assume that at least some of them have already been announced as Galaxy Y, Galaxy M or Galaxy R. 

There’s a slight chance that US models might have different hardware configurations than the European version, but this has yet to be confirmed.


Samsung Creates 4 Gb (512 MB) LPDDR3 RAM for Smartphones




Samsung likes to use as many of its own resources as possible when making consumer or business/enterprise products, and the new DRAM it invented proves it.

The company has an extensive collection of phones, but this is merely one of its many business outlets, one that it has only indirectly served just now. 

Long story short, Samsung has unveiled a new memory chip, a DRAM with a capacity of 4 Gb of the LPDDR2 variety.

4 Gb translates into 512 MB, not a modest amount by any measure, especially for mobile devices.

Speaking of which, the company designed the DRAM for its series of smartphones, especially the mainstream ones.

"It will be the mainstream DRAM for smartphones this year," the company reportedly said.

Built on the 30nm manufacturing process technology, the 4 Gb chip works at up to 1.6 Gbps, about twice as fast as most mobile DRAM.

Then again, with the widespread adoption of HD video, and smartphone tendency to try and support this format, a rapid data rate has come to be considered mandatory.

Moving on, the bus width is of 32 bits and the maximum data transmission rate of the entire chip is 6.4 Gbps (1.6 Gbps is the transmission rate per terminal).

Furthermore, the chip is divided amongst eight banks and eight prefetches, while the area is of 82 square millimeters.

Finally, the power supply voltage is 1.2V, meaning that Samsung doubled the maximum data transmission rate per terminal without changing the power supply voltage.

Samsung may or may not use the 4 Gb LPDDR2 in its tablets. Since they are more likely to need to play HD and 3D videos, fast memory is even more important to them than it is to phones. All will become clear at some point later in the year (2012).


RIM Updates Facebook and Twitter for BlackBerry with BBM Capabilities




Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion is making applications for the BlackBerry smartphones more social than they already are. 

The latest releases of Facebook and Twitter mobile clients for the BlackBerry platform, both available at the moment in a beta state, prove it. 

Available for download today via the BlackBerry Beta Zone, these mobile applications feature BBM Connected App Integration, which means that they have access both to the BlackBerry Messenger and to user’s contacts. 

RIM has promised before that it will pack BBM capabilities inside many of the apps available for its smartphone users, but did not offer info on when that might happen. 

Today, however, BlackBerry owners who will head over to the BlackBerry Beta Zone to download either of the said applications will benefit from these enhancements. 

Facebook for BlackBerry is now up for grabs as version 3.0.0.6, featuring BBM integration, along with Facebook Publisher to add location, tag a friend, upload a photo, and share over BBM, berryreview reports.

Additionally, the new application release comes with a series of UI discoverability improvements, as well as with better Facebook Message Notifications. 

Following the new changes, users will be able to find the Privacy Settings option easier than before, and also access Account Settings fast to edit basic preferences for using the application. 

As for Twitter for BlackBerry, RIM made the application available for download in a beta flavor as version 3.0.0.11. 

The release notes for this mobile app iteration reportedly include:

BBM Connected App Integration
New Tweet Layout
Twitter Photo Service Support
Automatic Link Shortening
Promoted Tweets
Improved Notifications for Wi-Fi Only Users

The newly updated Facebook for BlackBerry and Twitter for BlackBerry applications can be downloaded straight on smartphones via the BlackBerry Beta Zone. Only users who have accounts on the said website will be able to access them.

All MSI's Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) Motherboards Support Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs




Intel will soon launch its next-generation series of central processing units, so Micro-Star International figured this was a good time to say which motherboards possessed or would offer support for them. 

MSI has quite a few mainboards based on the Z68 and H61 chipsets, these being the ones that will be able to handle the upcoming 22nm processors. Go here to see the list. 

The company claims that all of them will be able to allow the Ivy Bridge to operate, provided the BIOS version is up to date. 

Out of the eight Z68 motherboards, none have the required BIOS, since MSI hasn't exactly completed it yet. 

The situation is only slightly different for the seven H61 models: most have yet to receive an Ivy Bridge-ready BIOS, but three of them are ready. 

Owners of an MSI Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) series of motherboards, as the collection is called, only need to use the company's proprietary Live Update tool to install the new BIOS (available for free). 

The software will detect the correct BIOS, download it and then apply it all on its own. 

Intel's Ivy Bridge series of central processing units will most likely be formally unleashed in April, 2012. That is one and a half months from now, give or take. 

There were concerns that the CPUs were going to be pushed back to June, in an effort to encourage sales of Sandy Bridge processors. 

Fortunately, only some dual-core models have actually been delayed, which means that enthusiasts can go ahead and rub their hands together in anticipation. 

Coincidentally, the Ivy Bridge die was estimated just yesterday (February 22, 2012), and even its HD 4000 video accelerator has been benchmarked. 

With a boost of up to 122.1% in graphics tests, not to mention very high x86 clocks, this is going to be one seriously overpowered chip line. And if this doesn't impress you, wait for that monster of a 10-core Ivy Bridge-EP model we spotted a few weeks back.


New Nokia Windows Phones at MWC 2012




Next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we should witness the launch of new Nokia handsets running under Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. 

Nokia is betting big on Windows Phone and everyone knows that. Thus, the company is expected to unveil at least two new models at the event, one of which is said to be the most affordable Windows Phone yet. 

This would be the Nokia Lumia 610, a smartphone that made it to the headlines quite a lot lately, and which should bring Microsoft’s Windows Phone to a new low price point. 

Specs wise, the new device should pack a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, 256 MB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel photo snapper with LED flash.

The new device should run under the next flavor of Windows Phone, supposedly called Tango. The OS will be optimized for use of low-end hardware. 

Previous rumors also suggested that Nokia might launch a successor for Nokia Lumia 710 at MWC, and that it might call it Nokia Lumia 719. 

Additionally, the Finnish handset vendor is expected to bring to the event a high-end smartphone powered by the Windows Phone platform

According to Reuters, this would be the International flavor of Nokia Lumia 900, which was launched at CES with support for AT&T’s airwaves. 

Others even suggested that this mobile phone could be released as the Nokia Lumia 910, and that it would pack upgraded features when compared to the Lumia 900. 

A few days ago, a video teaser emerged on YouTube, pointing at Nokia’s plans for the release of a high-quality camera phone at the MWC show in Barcelona. 

We all believed that the device could be the Nokia 808, a successor to the Symbian-based N8. However, Vesku Paananen, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 lead in Finland, linked to the video on his Twitter account, which could suggest that the device might run under another platform than originally believed. 

At CES in January, Nokia unveiled only one new Lumia device, but we’re hoping that it would announce more of them at the MWC. After all, it does need to play well its Windows Phone card.


Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Prices Lowered by $60-70 / 45-53 Euro




Intel's Ivy Bridge central processing units have caused quite a stir these past two weeks, due to rumors and more rumors, and a new report has now emerged, one that people may actually like to see validated. 

Digitimes is again supplying the world with alleged information regarding much-awaited products, the Ivy Bridge CPUs from Intel in this case. 

Though its report did not specifically focus on the chip giant's upcoming product line, it did mention a very interesting tidbit. 

Basically, chipzilla is said to have decided on cutting the prices of Ivy Bridge CPUs by $60-70. 

According to exchange rates, that translates into 45 to 53 Euro, give or take. 

Predictably, Intel did not outright say whether or not any of this was true, but it did grind out that it is doing its best to enable mainstream prices. 

"While we cannot comment on rumor and speculation on our future products, we can tell that Intel has not launched its third generation Intel Core processors (codenamed Ivy Bridge) yet, nor has the company announced pricing for these processors," the company supposedly stated. 

"We are working closely with our customers, partners and suppliers to infuse continued innovation into the new category of ultrabook devices and deliver them to consumers at mainstream price points." 

Digitimes came upon this information, somehow, while trying to learn more about ultrabooks and the means to make them affordable. 

Discouragingly enough, these super-thin laptops will account for just 20% of the total notebook shipment volume in 2012, not the 40% Intel hopes for. 

Not long ago, it was said that Ivy Bridge CPUs had been delayed to June. Shortly afterwards, we learned that that wasn't the case and, later, that only some dual-core units had been pushed back. April is when the official release will take place, most probably.


AMD Piledriver CPUs Reach over 4GHz Due to Resonant Clock Mesh




The Piledriver micro-architecture is one of AMD's two main projects for the consumer market, alongside Pitcairn, and it looks like the company has finally unveiled some more things about it. 

Advanced Micro Devices is at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), taking place between February 20 and 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California. 

There, it is speaking about its technologies and products, both present and future. 

The Piledriver micro-architecture is one of the subjects it has already discussed, even going into detail about the way it will behave. 

Apparently, the central processing units (CPUs) based on it will possess a so-called “resonant clock mesh” technology invented by Cyclos Semiconductor. 

Through it, the CPUs will know when and how to boost clock speeds by 10% or reduce power consumption by the same percentage without affecting the TDP (thermal design power). 

“Now that the Cyclos technology is validated, we’re looking forward to expand into SoC designs via the design automation tools that are in development at Cyclos,” said Marios Papaefthymiou, founder and president of Cyclos Semiconductor. 

“We believe resonant clock mesh design will be a key enabler for GHz+ embedded processor IP blocks in next generation SoCs that also require ultra-low power consumption.” 

AMD expects Piledriver chips, constructed with the 32nm process, to attain clock frequencies of 4 GHz (and higher) while reducing clock distribution power by up to 24%. 

For those who want to know how the technology works, the resonant clock mesh uses on-chip inductors to create an electric pendulum (“tank circuit”) that takes advantage of the ability of the Cyclos inductors and clock control circuits to “recycle: clock power instead of dissipating it on every clock cycle. 

“We were able to seamlessly integrate the Cyclos IP into our existing clock mesh design process so there was no risk to our development schedule,” said Samuel Naffziger, corporate fellow at AMD. 

“Silicon results met our power reduction expectations, we incurred no increase in silicon area, and we were able to use our standard manufacturing process, so the investment and risk in adopting resonant clock mesh technology was well worth it as all of our customers are clamoring for more energy efficient processor designs.”


Android 5.0-Based Motorola Nexus RAZR Concept Emerges




One thing that we’re all waiting to see is what the next-generation Motorola devices will look like, especially after Google completes that acquisition of the vendor. 

Rumor has it that the next Google phone will arrive on shelves from this smartphone designer, and that it will be jaw-dropping, just as the currently available Nexus devices were. 

However, while some of us sit tight and wait for details on this to emerge, there are also those who stepped up and started to imagine what the device would look like. 

Shaik Imaduddin is one of them, and his Motorola Nexus RAZR concept phone offers an idea of what the first Android 5.0-powered smartphone might be all about. 

Of course, Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is only a rumor too, the same as any plans from Motorola to come up with the next Google phone out there. 

However, concepts like this are always great means to stir our imagination and to make us want more of what’s to come. 

Motorola Nexus RAZR, provided that the smartphone maker really launches a device with this name, will feature a 7mm thin body, stepping in its predecessor’s shoes. 

Moreover, the phone was imagined with a large 5-inch touchscreen display on the front, and with a 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back. 

The Android 5.0-based device is powered by Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 application processor, being capable of delivering the increased performance capabilities anyone expects from it. 

Only a concept device for the time being, this smartphone might become reality soon. After all, we already have Android phones available on shelves with 5.3-inch screens, and we’re waiting for those packing 16MP cameras to be put up for sale following their official unveiling. 

All in all, Motorola Nexus RAZR looks highly appealing, and enthusiasts would certainly lineup in front of stores to purchase it if ever launched.


Nokia to Launch Social Applications on Android and iOS




Some of the applications that Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has launched to keep users connected to their social lives while on the go will benefit from expanded availability, the latest reports on the matter suggest. 

We’re referring here to the Nokia Pulse, an application that relies on the phone’s GPS to deliver social capabilities to its users. The app was made available for Nokia's Windows Phone, Symbian and MeeGo handsets for the time being. 

Apparently, Nokia will release the software for Android and iOS devices as well in the near future, at least this is what Basak Ozer, Nokia's Lead for social and location applications, confirmed. 

No specific release date for the application was made available for the time being, but it should not be too long before the leading handset vendor unveils more on this, so stay tuned.

Intel Starts Making 22nm Chips for Tabula




Intel used to make chips for no one but itself until a while ago, but it has begun to open its factories to other chip developers, in this case Tabula, a designer of programmable logic chips for networks.

The deal between Tabula and Intel will have the latter manufacturing 22nm-based field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) for the former.

The processors make up the ABAX family of 3D programmable logic devices (3PLD) and will be supported even by applications that normally rely on ASICs or ASSPs.

The reason for this is the high level of programmability of ABAX devices and their high-performance I/Os: 920 general-purpose I/Os and 48 6.5Gb/s SerDes.

Also, Tabula uses Spacetime programmable fabric, which is fairly balanced and can clock all of its individual parts (logic, DSP, memory, and interconnect) at the same frequency.

“Intel’s revolutionary manufacturing technology breakthrough employing tri-gate transistors at the 22nm process node will provide our company with a head start of several years,” Daniel Gitlin, vice president of manufacturing technology at Tabula, reportedly said. 

“We believe this breakthrough will extend Tabula’s Spacetime technology lead further beyond the rest of the programmable logic industry.” 

The design flow that will be utilized for the making of the 3LPDs will use synthesis, placement and routing to automatically compile designs from RTL into silicon. In other words, the procedure is more than a little similar to the FPGA and ASIC flows.

“Intel’s tri-gate transistors are a revolutionary breakthrough and provide an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency, which Intel and our manufacturing customers like Tabula can use to bring superior computing capabilities to market,” said Sunit Rikhi, vice president of technology and manufacturing group at Intel.

“Intel has worked closely with Tabula throughout the product design cycle to co-optimize Tabula’s 3PLD family with Intel’s 22nm manufacturing process and design kits.”


NEC to Showcase Three Android 4.0 LTE Handsets at MWC 2012




Mobile World Congress 2012, the largest mobile conference of the year, is expected to kick off on Monday, and handset vendors around the world are gearing up to showcase some of their latest devices. 

Among them, we can count NEC, a manufacturer set to bring no less than three new handsets at the event. 

The smartphones that NEC preps for the upcoming MWC 2012 show run under Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and feature support for LTE networks. 

The company has already showcased the products in Japan, including a phone sporting a folding dual-screen, called “Best Cloud Device.” NEC also showed the “Large Screen in One Hand” model, and "The Most Stylish" device.

The company is expected to offer additional details on these devices at MWC next week, so stay tuned for more on the matter.





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