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Apr 24, 2012

The “First” Nvidia GTX 690 Picture Was a Fake

Once Nvidia’s teaser has appeared on the company’s facebook page, a lot of speculation took over the internet about the new card.

Trying to profit from the lack of information, or maybe in an attempt to compensate for this year’s lesser number of April Fool’s Day jokes, some guys decided to fake a picture of a standard GTX 680.

By now, we all know that there are less than four more days until Nvidia’s surprise will be unveiled and  the teaser will be replaced by a real picture of the new product.

The GTX 690 is expected to pack two Nvidia GK 104 GPUs and will come with a very high power consumption.

The cooling system must be an advanced one, but the board will likely be cooler than older Nvidia dual GPU solutions as GK 104 has proven to be a very efficient GPU.

Affordable BlackBerry Curve 9220 Goes on Sale in Indonesia

Launched in India last week, RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 9220 has just made its debut in Indonesia. The smartphone can be purchased for only Rp. 1,999,000 ($215 USD or 165 EUR) from authorized partners PT. Teletama Artha Mandiri, PT. Selular Media Infotama and PT. Comtech Cellular.

BlackBerry Curve 9220 is one of the cheapest BlackBerry 7 solutions offered by Research In Motion. In fact, the smartphone is powered by RIM’s BlackBerry 7.1 operating system out of the box.

The handset features a dedicated BBM key, allowing for quicker access to RIM’s popular mobile social network. 

Moreover, Facebook for BlackBerry and Twitter for BlackBerry apps are included, as well as Social Feeds, which offers users the ability to post updates to multiple social applications at the same time and grab updates from news sources (RSS), social apps and instant messaging apps.

Hardware-wise, the smartphone packs 512MB of ROM, 512MB of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

On the back, the Curve 9220 sports a sub-par 2-megapixel photo snapper. There’s also a small 2.44-inch standard display that supports 320 x 240 pixels resolution. The smartphone features a traditional QWERTY keyboard as well.

The phone’s 1450 mAh Li-Ion battery is rated by the manufacturer for up to 432 hours of standby time or up to 7 hours of talk time.

“The new BlackBerry Curve 9220 is a great upgrade for current feature-phone users, providing an amazing mobile experience with all the unique social networking benefits that the BlackBerry solution has to offer. The new BlackBerry Curve 9220 even integrates a dedicated BBM key, a new feature that many customers in Indonesia have asked for. The BlackBerry Curve 9220 offers Indonesians unmatched messaging and social connectivity features at an affordable price,” said Hastings Singh, managing director, South Asia at RIM.

Panasonic Puts Ivy Bridge Into the ToughBook CF-53

Japanese company Matsushita Corporation, own or the well-know Panasonic brand, has reportedly updated its famous Panasonic ToughBook model with Intel’s new Ivy bridge CPU.

The notebook's specifications apparently remained the same, but the use of the new mobile processor will result in a slight increase in performance next to a significant decrease in power consumption.

The ToughBook CF-53 comes with Microsoft’s Windows 7 Professional 32 Bit operating system and a standard 4 GB or DDR3 random access memory.

It has a14” inch LED High definition screen with a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. There is also an optional model that comes with a touch screen technology called Panasonic CircuLumin.

Only the keyboard is water resistant in this model and the case is made of a magnesium alloy that is vibration and shock resistant.

The battery autonomy is around 10 hours, but since the new version has an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, we can expect an increase in battery life.

On the connectivity side, the ToughBook CF-53 comes with a/b/g/n wireless capabilities and BlueTooth v2.1 + EDR (Class 1). Optionally, beginning with the summer of 2011, there is a LTE 4G module available.

Other connectivity options include a HDMI port, a VGA connector, the usual two HD audio jacks along with three USB 2.0 ports and a single USB 3.0 port.

It’s a pity that Panasonic provided only one USB 3.0 port on the ToughBook CF-53, but there is an ExpressCard slot available, so the USB 3.0 or any other connectivity can be further expanded.

There is still the same 1.3 mega pixel camera and the usual microphone is also available.

There is also a DVD Writer unit installed and a second LAN or a rugged USB are optional.

The hard drive seems to have been updated to a 500 GB model woth a faster rotation speed of 7200 rpm.

The whole device can stand an "easy" drop from a height of 76 centimeters when it’s off, but Panasonic won’t guarantee that the laptop won’t get broken.

Pricing stands at 2015 USD for the standard model. That’s around 1530 EUR for the European customers.

Your iPhone Is Tracking Your Every Move, Says Forensic Examiner

Mark McLaughlin, a digital forensic examiner with the Los Angeles-based Computer Forensics International, has a clear message for iPhone owners: “if you're trying to hide where you've been, leave the iPhone at home.”

Computer Forensics International has issued a report to inform Apple customers about the privacy concerns surrounding their sleek handsets.

Mark McLaughlin explains that "iPhones record every step you take and when you took it," adding that examiners arm themselves with this location data  to draw a Google map of the route and the exact time a person was in a location, “down to the second."

“iPhones are the premier member of the smartphone family that record bucket loads of data and are built on a mobile computing platform,” according to CFI.

CFI explains that forensic detectives capture the iPhone's location data from two sources; nearby cellphone tower sites and any wireless data network, such as the WiFi network at a cafeteria.

This data collection feature can only be stopped by turning on Airplane Mode, but  the previously recorded data will still be there, CFI said.

McLaughlin uses bleeding edge software tools to analyze iPhones belonging to suspects in both civil and criminal cases.

He makes an exact copy of the phone's memory, which also includes deleted data, and then searches the data either visually or by using keywords to find evidence that is relevant to the case.

“This data can be a boon for attorneys and investigators working on civil and criminal cases,” says CFI. “It could provide the corroboration to put a cheating spouse at a specific residence when they should have been at work. Or it could be used to tie individuals together in a criminal conspiracy where they otherwise couldn't be connected.”

McLaughlin concludes saying, "This location data capture shouldn't be a problem for most iPhone owners. But if you're trying to hide where you've been, leave the iPhone at home."

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Now Available via Best Buy for $250 USD (190 EUR)

Samsung has just launched the affordable Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Android tablet in US. The slate is now available for purchase through Best Buy for only $250 USD (190 EUR).

Unveiled back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is powered by the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system integrated with TouchWiz UX user interface.

Although Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) was announced along with the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), the latter has yet to make its debut on the market. 

According to the latest hearsay, Samsung stopped production of the 10.1-incher in order to tweak the slate’s specs sheet to make it more competitive at launch. 

In this regard word is that the South Korean company plans to replace the tablet’s dual-core processor with a quad-core CPU.

Given the fact that Samsung denied it would improve the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) configuration, it’s unclear if the company intends to temper with other hardware components of the slate as well.

Anyway, Best Buy is now offering the Wi-Fi only Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) in titanium silver. The tablet comes with Wi-Fi support and only 8GB of internal memory, which can be expanded up to 64GB via microSD card.

On the inside, the tablet is equipped with a “standard” dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1 GHz, the same that should have powered the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) at launch.

In addition, the slate packs a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processing unit, 1GB of RAM and dual cameras: 3-megapixel rear camera with full HD video recording and VGA front-facing camera for video calls.

As the name suggest, the slate sports a 7-inch PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports 600 x 1024 pixels resolution and 16 million colors. Last but not least, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) embeds a 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery.

HP, Dell, ASUS Will Release Ultrabooks Without Optical Drives

One of the tricky parts about making ultrabooks is adding an optical drive, as there simply aren't many such products that fit the very thin form factor.

In fact, even the slot-in, slim versions are unsatisfying for some product makers, especially when factoring in the prices.

After all, slimming down any PC component leads to a higher price most of the time.

In their quest to somehow solve this problem, ASUS, Dell and HP have decided to do away with ODDs altogether.

At least, this is what a recent report from Digitimes claims, referring to models whose screens have 15-inch or longer diagonals.

Apple's assumed decision to skip on the optical drive when making the new MacBook Pro is mentioned as the cause behind this turn of events.

The Q2-bound laptop is treated as a benchmark, the report says, meaning that if the MacBook Pro fails to gain popularity, notebook makers will reconsider their choice to gloss over DVD and Blu-ray.

We aren't sure if this is such a good idea, given the propensity of Apple fans to buy newly launched products without much internal debate.

Not that there aren't other motives, such as the fact that leaving the ODD out of the blueprints allows for frames 1mm thinner.

The price will also fall by around $20 / 15 Euro. Not a whole lot, but still a small step towards the coveted $700 / 530 Euro.

Acer was going to drop the ODD too, on its 15-inch and larger models, but it is still attached to the design that includes an internal optical unit.

It demanded manufacturers to provide a reference design too, but those plans have been put on hold, pending consumer reaction.

Notebook makers, and Intel, repeatedly promised that 2012 would be the year when ultrabooks finally became affordable. We still hope they'll manage it without eliminating any components.

Script: Adaptive Images

Adaptive Images is a small PHP script for implementing responsive design principles to web images. It works by sniffing the visitor's screen size and automatically resizing the image to fit the user's viewport.

A smart idea indeed, since devices accessing the Web have diversified so much that there's no more clear-cut favorite when it comes to screen resolution. We now have small smartphones, intermediary-sized tablets, classic desktop screens, wide-screens and even 50+ inch TVs.

For this, a powerful solution was needed to smooth out differences in rendering modes and to present images in a proper way to all users. And so, Adaptive Images was born.

The script does not require any markup changes and can be installed in a matter of minutes. Adaptive Images development is handled via its GitHub page.

A ColdFusion port of this tool can be found here, by Raymond Camden.
A C# port for .NET of this tool can be found here, by Dave McDermid.
A WordPress plugin of this tool can be found here, by Jorgen Hookham.

Download Adaptive Images here.

G.Skill Unveils TridentX DDR3 Memory Kit for New CPUs

Since Intel has finally deigned to formally launch the Ivy Bridge, 22nm central processing units, hardware meant to pair with it is appearing as well.

There are quite a few third-generation CPUs on Intel's website right now, divided into Core i5, Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme series. We have written about them here.

Needless to say, with the Santa Clara, California-based company's announcement, makers of motherboards and memory are opening the metaphorical floodgates as well.

Thus we lay our eyes upon the G.Skill TridentX DDR3 memory kit series.

As is easy enough to guess, even without glancing at the clocks, the RAM (random access memory) is intended for overclockers.

Speaking of which, the frequencies can go as high as 2,800 MHz.

There are many kits to choose from, all of them working on a voltage of 1.65 V.

At a latency of CL 11-13-13-35 and frequency of 2,800 MHz, there is an 8 GB offer (2 x 4 GB) and a 16 GB offer (4 x 4 GB).

Secondly, with a latency of CL 11-13-13-35 and a clock speed of 2,666 MHz, there are 8 GB (2 x 4 GB), 16 GB (4 x 4 GB or 2 x 8 GB) and 32 GB kits (4 x 8 GB).

Thirdly, G.Skill has prepared CL 11-13-13-35, 2,600 MHz kits of 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) and 32 GB (4 x 8 GB).

The fourth type of memory works at 2,600 MHz, but CL 10-12-12-31 latency. Capacities are of 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) and 16 GB (4 x 4 GB).

Finally, G.Skill created 2,400 MHz TridentX DDR3 memory kits with a latency of CL 10-10-12-31 and capacities of 8 GB (2 x 4 GB), 16 GB (4 x 4 GB, 2 x 8 GB) and 32 GB (4 x 8 GB).

All the modules have heatsinks with removable top fins, making them suited for both large cases and enclosures with less space on the inside.

MSI's New Android Tablet Arrives at FCC

Taiwanese hardware manufacturer MSI has reportedly sent the company’s new Android tablet over at the FCC for certification.

The device is called MSI MS-0N0J1 and is likely to be an affordable one, judging by the operating system used, Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

It is built using a single core ARM Cortex A8 CPU running at 1GHz with 1 GB of DDR3 memory at its disposal.

MSI’s affordable tablet has a 10-inch panel with standard 1024 x 768-pixel display resolution.

In terms of storage, it features a 8 GB SSD and a microSD card slot for further capacity.

On the connectivity side, it comes with a pair of USB ports, a mini HDMI output, a headphone jack, a built-in microphone and stereo speakers. 

The rear and front-facing webcams are optional, according to user's manual, and  the whole thing weighs 648 grams (1.42 pounds).

Google Drive Launch (Semi-)Official, Leaked by French Google Blog

Google Drive is definitely debuting any second now. In fact, Google leaked the info itself by publishing the blog post announcement on its French blog. The post is gone now, but not before someone managed to get a copy.

TechCrunch has a full translation of the post detailing all the information. Of course, there's not much to be surprised about, with all the leaks and rumors so far, but it's good to hear it from the horse's mouth, as the saying goes.

As expected, there will be a Drive desktop app, for Windows and Mac. No word on Linux, but don't get your hopes up. An Android app is also launching, actually the updated Docs app, for tablets and phones. An iOS app will be debuting in the coming weeks, as soon as Apple is done reviewing it.

Users will get 5 GB of free storage from the get-go, an upgrade from the 1 GB Docs users had until now. In fact, Docs users have already been upgraded to the new storage amount.

Those who need more will be able to get 20 GB for as little as $4, though that may not be the official figure. 20 GB of extra storage is $5, €3.78 per year currently, so the post may have meant €4 since it's from the French blog.

What this means though is that pricing will, at worst, remain the same as it is now, by far the cheapest on the market, four times cheaper than SkyDrive and eight times cheaper than Dropbox. Users can buy up to 16 TB of additional storage, a much, much larger figure than what anyone else is offering.

Being that Drive is an evolution of Google Docs, some 30 types of files will be viewable online, documents, presentations, video and audio, and even Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files.

AMD Will Release Radeon HD 7990 in June

The rumor mill has been turning and turning while trying to grind out all possible details about the AMD Radeon HD 7990 dual-GPU graphics card. 

So far, we have a pretty clear picture of what the card with two Tahiti 28nm chips will be able to do. 

The video board has 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 6-monitor EyeFinity, 4,096 Graphics CoreNext stream processors and probably two 8-pin power plugs. 

What we didn't know all that well was the launch date. 

We still don't know it, exactly, but DonanimHaber has provided a pretty narrow window. 

According to their sources, AMD has chosen Computex 2012 as the time and place. 

That is early June in Taipei, Taiwan (the show will last from June 5 to June 9). 

All this means that NVIDIA will have a nice head start (GTX 690 is set for an April 28 reveal).

X-ES Adopts Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs

Intel walked up to the stage and released more than 13 CPUs, despite what reports and rumors kept saying. 

Sure, there were thirteen Core i7 units, but there were also an i7 Extreme Edition and a bunch of Core i5 CPUs. 

Of all those, the Intel Core i7-3615QE (2.3GHz clock speed) and Intel Core i7-3612QE (2.1GHz) are of import here. 

Both of them are quad-core units that X-ES has chosen to use in its newest single-board computers (SBCs): XPedite7470 3U and XCalibur4401. 

The former is a VPX SBC, while the latter is a CompactPCI SBC. 

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) has also promised to add support for the dual-core Ivy Bridge central processing units, whenever they become available. 

In the meantime, read the XPedite 7470 and XCalibur 4401 data sheets or their product pages (only the former has one, for now).

Inno3D GTX “Ice Dragon” Cooler Has Fan Customization

After seeing the Gigabyte WindForce 5X, which has no less than five fans, we get to look at the pictures of the Inno3D “Ice Dragon” graphics card cooler. 

Set to be used by the GTX 680 iChill, the “Ice Dragon” cooler features the “HerculeZ” customization design. 

Users themselves get to choose how many of the three possible fans to use and how to place them (there are six combinations). 

What's more, the impellers can be of different kinds as well. 

That the fans and heatsink are very easy to take apart and clean is just a side benefit. 

Speaking of parts, there are five heatpipes connecting the GPU base with the two aluminum fin stacks (there are 120 fins in total). 

No real clue when sales will start, or for what price.

Nokia Starts Tango Update Rollout for Lumia 710 and 800C, Brings Internet Sharing

It appears that Nokia has started to push the Windows Phone Tango update for Lumia 710 and 800C in some regions. 

As much as we liked both smartphones, neither allowed users to tether their 3G connection, which is why the Finnish company promised it would correct this in a future update.

Windows Phone Tango, also known as Refresh, brings the long-awaited Internet Sharing capability to these two smartphones, allowing users to share their Wi-Fi connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Last week, ROM build 1600.3029.8773.12111 for Nokia Lumia 710 was spotted in China. This update promises support for 256 MB devices and MMS enhancements. 

It also includes several bug fixes and overall improvements. Three new applications, SportsTracker, News and Creative Studios, will be pre-loaded as well.

At that time we thought that the update will be immediately pushed in China, but it looks like the rollout of Windows Phone Tango for Lumia 710 and 800C has just started.

According to the folks over at Nokiapoweruser, several updates for localized versions of the Lumia 710 and the Chinese 800C model have been recently spotted on NaviFirm, which indicated that a rollout was imminent.

So far, Nokia Lumia 710 users living in Belgium, the Netherlands and Vietnam have been able to download and install the Windows Phone Tango update and enable the Internet sharing capability.

In addition, Chinese customers who purchased the Lumia 800C are also receiving the update. 

However, this is an entirely different version of Lumia 800, so those who bought the standard variant which is available outside China will have to wait a bit longer until Nokia makes the update available.

While Nokia continues to rollout the update in the following weeks, more countries will get the Windows Phone Tango upgrade. Keep in mind that this is available for download via Zune Desktop software.

First AMD Brazos 2.0 Laptop Spotted

MSI is apparently on a roll lately. The company seems to be enjoying many firsts this week.

We managed to spot one of the company’s newest netbooks powered by the much-anticipated AMD Brazos 2.0 platform.

We’re talking about an urealeased CPU, called AMD E2-1800, that has two cores working at 1,700 MHz. It also comes with 2 x 512 KB of Level 2 Cache and has 64 Bit support.

The maximum heat dissipation is rated at a very modest 17 watts TDP, while the integrated memory controller supports DDR3-1333 memory.

The integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU) is called Radeon HD 7340 and works at a default speed of 523 MHz, but since it benefits from Turbo technology, it can clock itself up to 680 MHz.

The E2-1800 is a replacement for the well-known E-450. The young brother comes with 50 MHz higher frequency and better graphics. The consumption is much lower and, most importantly, it comes with USB 3.0 support.

It is likely built at TSMC’s FAB as it has a 40 nm technology inside.

As for the rest of the netbook, it can handle up to 8 GB of system memory and has Wireless N and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. The LAN adapter is a simple 10/100 Mb/s one.

On the connectivity side, MSI’s L2700 netbook comes with three USB 3.0 ports and an SD Card Reader.

The screen is 11.6” in size and the resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels.

It weighs 1.3 Kg, which is almost 2.9 pounds and the dimensions are 297 by 190 by 24-31 millimeters. In imperial, these are 11.69” by 7.48” by a max of 1.2”.

The pricing sits around the 400 USD mark. That’s around 300 EUR for the European customers.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge HD4000 Overclocked by 40%

Intel could have offered us a much better iGPU in the Ivy Bridge. The die size was small enough to allow something like this and the architecture is so simple now that doubling the functional units would have resulted in literally double the performance.

Intel is famous for not caring about the client's needs and for concentrating mostly on fractionizing any performance improvements it offers in many small increments, for which the company will charge “an arm and a leg.”

If it can get away with such lackluster performance, why would it diminish profits with more than 10% to increase the customer’s benefit by 100%? It’s likely that if it were possible, the company would charge 100% profit for just 10% consumer benefit.

Apple wanted Intel to offer it a truly powerful iGPU, but Intel couldn’t be bothered to build such a CPU for only some OEMs.

Having just this much to play with, Charlie’s colleague over at semmiacurate.com, Thomas Ryan, put Ivy Bridge’s iGPU on the test.

Using Intel’s own CPU and GPU monitoring tool, he managed to overclock the iGPU to a sky-high 1,600 MHz.

The voltage increase was substantial and it's probably not a safe bet to keep the system running at these frequencies 24/7, but it’s doable.

You can also overclock without any additional voltage. The iGPU managed to reach 1,300 MHz using stock voltage. That’s a healthy increase of 13% on stock voltage, but with better cooling.

Unfortunately, increasing the voltage is not enough. The CPU has a TDP cap and if you don’t modify it upwards, it will likely throttle the iGPU or CPU, and the obtained results will be lower.

After modifying this cap, the 1,600 clocked iGPU managed to offer an average of 15% performance improvement, that’s quite disappointing when you think that the frequency increase was almost 40%.

Fanless Tech Starts Shipping the NOFAN CR-95C Copper Cooler

Fanless Tech sent us an email telling us about the new copper version of its successful  CR-95C cooler design we’ve presented here earlier.

Unlike the standard version that uses a combination of aluminum and copper, the NOFAN CR-95C COPPER is, obviously, a pure copper solution.

The immediate advantage, besides the good looks, is the fact that the copper version is able to tackle with heat coming from any  CPU with a TDP of maximum 100 watts.

In fact, the NOFAN CR-95C COPPER will be able to cope with even faster CPUs, as the TDP rating is always conservative as far as Intel is concerned.

We’d say that, during normal use, or, especially when underclocking, even 115W TDP CPUs can be used with the new fanless cooler. But this is not covered by any warranty and, if you’re not an expert, you should probably get one to help you evaluating your setup.

The new wonder is much heavier than its silver brother, weighing 1,020 grams. That’s almost 2.25 pounds.

Pricing has not yet been made available, although the cool-looking wonder is already shipping to custom computer manufacturers.

28 nm SOI Manufacturing Tech Is Here to Stay, Soon Will Show 50% to 550% Improvements

French company Soitec is a manufacturer and developer of Silicon On Insulator wafers that is headquartered in Bernin, France.

SOI technology is well known to the computer enthusiasts all over the world, as this is the technology AMD used to manufacture its CPUs since the 2003 K8 architecture. The initiator of SOI was in fact IBM, and they’ve had a close collaboration with AMD on SOI.

The difference between the SOI 28nm wafers and the bulk 28 nm manufacturing process is the fact that SOI offers less leakage current, less power consumption and, consequently, less heat dissipation.

It may be a little more expensive, but when you want your CPUs to work at 4 GHz instead of 2 GHz, you’ll probably look at anything but the bulk 28 nm manufacturing process.

A clear proof of what SOI can do for chip manufacturing is the fact that, because of the higher quality of the 28 nm manufacturing process at GlobalFoundries (GF) that uses SOI,  AMD and Qualcomm gave up on TSMC and went to GF for manufacturing their new designs in 28 nm.

The current SOI process used by AMD is actually called PD SOI. That’s short for Partially Depleted SOI.

The difference is the fact that FD-SOI has an ultra-thin Buried Oxide over the base silicon, while PD-SOI actually is thicker having a “Body” over the Buried Oxide.

It doesn’t really matter how it looks, but Soitec’s compatriot, STMicro says that from their own study of the FD-SOI technology, the advantage FD-SOI has over their own 28 nm bulk process is 61 percent higher at 1V (volt) and gets even more interesting at lower VDD (Voltage Drain Drain), showing a 550 percent improvement at 0.6V.

Intel’s Tri-gate 3D transistor concept is based on PhD Chenming Calvin Hu’s ideas. Dr. Hu is TSMC distinguished professor of microelectronics at the University of California, Berkeley, but between 2001 and 2004, he was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of TSMC.

Soitec’s FD-SOI is the French company’s answer to Intel’s finFETs.

Sure Intel has huge FABs and lots of R&D money but Soitec’s customers are, among others, AMD, Freescale Semiconductor, Mitsubishi Electric, OKI, IBM Microelectronics, Philips Semiconductors, Sony and Toshiba.

Therefore, when all these companies are going SOI, and some of them are already using Soitec’s FD-SOI wafers, like STMicro and IBM, you’ll wonder if Intel’s 14nm process isn’t too far away for the American/Israeli company to be competitive.

Vodafone UK Confirms Samsung Galaxy S III

Although Samsung has yet to officially announce the Galaxy S III, Vodafone UK took it on its own and announced it would carry the smartphone in the coming months.

The UK-based carrier put up a dedicated page for those who are interested to purchase “the next Galaxy” device, which is available here.

Unfortunately, Vodafone UK does not reveal any additional details on the upcoming smartphone, instead it advises customers to “register for updates.”

To recap, Samsung plans to announce its next-generation Galaxy family phone on May 3, in London. It’s unclear whether or not the smartphone will be tagged with the Galaxy S III name or Samsung will use “the next Galaxy” branding.

The latest Samsung Mobile UNPACKED 2012 application for Android devices promises more information on the Galaxy S III device, so we recommend users to download it via Google Play store.

iPhone 5 Home Button Leaked

A seller of iPhone parts in China has begun offering “iPhone 5” home buttons which exhibit a distinction when compared to the hardware on current-generation Apple smartphones. TrueSupplier, another hardware vendor, is also selling the goods.

TVC-Mall is selling both black and white variants of the "iPhone 5" home button, stating that they’re “different from iPhone 4S”. 

“…the iPhone 5 home button is round in the centre and square outside as the pictures show. The two parts are indivisible,” says TVC-Mall. It is believed that this design particularity will be invisible to the user, as only the round side of the button will protrude through the surface of the handset.

TrueSupplier lists the item as “Home Button Key for Apple iphone 5”. The price is $8.99 (6.24 EUR).

Samsung Galaxy S III Name Spotted in Official UNPACKED Event App

We already reported yesterday on the first “next Galaxy” teaser video officially released by Samsung, which is meant to hype up the upcoming announcement of the Galaxy S III.

Today, the South Korean company launched its UNPACKED application for Android devices, which offers new information regarding Samsung's upcoming launch event, which is set to take place on May 3, in London.

The description of the application mentions a certain “galaxy s3,” which is probably the name of “the next Galaxy” device that Samsung plans to unveil early next month.

The UNPACKED app provides users with the latest details on the events while they’re on the go, including press releases, teasers, event location and schedule and more.

Samsung Mobile UNPACKED 2012 is now available as a free download via Google Play store and it should be fully compatible with all devices running Android 2.2 and up.

Intel's Official Ivy Bridge CPU Announcement Finally Live

Intel ended up taking its sweet time making its official announcement, but at least now we know for sure that the third-generation Core series central processing units are live. 

Then again, that isn't a totally accurate way of putting it, since sales haven't started. That will only happen on April 29. 

Nevertheless, the company's press release is out and the product database on the official website now features 22nm-based, 3D Tri-gate transistor-equipped Core i5, Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme Edition CPUs. 

There are six Core i5 chips, only one of which is equipped with the Intel HD graphics 4000 integrated GPU (Intel Core i5-3570K Processor, 6 MB Cache, up to 3.80 GHz, 77W TDP). 

All the others make do with the HD 2500 graphics, have TDPs of 65W or 77W (45W for the Intel Core i5-3570T, 6 MB Cache, up to 3.30 GHz clock) and top frequencies of 3.30 GHz to 3.70 GHz. 

There are thirteen Core i7 third-generation units, when both the mobile and desktop versions are taken together. 

All of them have the HD 4000 graphics, 6 MB or 8 MB of cache, top speeds of 3.10 GHz to 3.90 GHz and TDPs ranging from 35W (for the most efficient mobile chips) to 77W. 

Finally, of course, we have the Intel Core i7-3920XM Processor Extreme Edition (8 MB cache). This is the only Extreme edition unit and, even though its top speed isn't as high as on some of the others (3.80 GHz), the overclocking potential is at its best. 

Sure, all the newly announced CPUs have Turbo Boost 2.0 technology (dynamically boosts some clocks at the expense of others when applications require it) but only this Extreme Edition model will let overclockers test the limits of the new chip range. 

Add to that the impressive TDP of 55W and we have a winner. Sure, the price won't be all that flattering, but enthusiasts usually have funds. 

Speaking of prices, Intel's website doesn't specify any. Since shipments will only begin on April 29, we probably won't know all of them until then. 

Then again, reports have a habit of uncovering any and all information prematurely. According to Engadget, the Core i5 will start at $174 / 132 Euro, the desktop i7 at $278 / 211 Euro and the notebook i7 at $378 / 287 Euro. The top-tier Core i7-3920XM is rated at $1,096 / 833 Euro.

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