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Aug 10, 2012

CyanogenMod 9 Stable Released

Yesterday, the team of enthusiasts behind the CyanogenMod software announced that their CyanogenMod 9 release has reached the gold status.

The first CyanogenMod 9 stable builds have been already made available for download, starting with the ROM for GSM Galaxy Nexus. However, it seems that the first available software for Galaxy Nexus was not meant for public release. The team notes that a new maguro build, marked, was set for release in line with the other CM 9.0.0 builds. “Builds for CyanogenMod 9 stable will be rolling out to our servers tonight. As noted before, this will be the end of the line for the ICS branch of our code; only critical bug fixes will be merged moving forward,” the team notes in a blog post. The new release comes with support for a wide range of Ice Cream Sandwich devices. While the focus will shift to CM10, the team will allow enthusiasts from outside to come up with ROMs for more devices.

“Tonight’s release is for the majority of our ICS supported devices, the stragglers will catch up, and we will leave the door open for merging in additional devices from maintainers, external and internal. The team itself, will focus solely on Jelly Bean and maintenance of the CM 7 codebase,” the blog post continues. For those who have been wondering why the CyanogenMod team continued the development of CM 9, the answer is simple: they didn’t want to leave things incomplete. Their satisfaction comes from achieving their goals, the blog post continues. “This release also serves as a release suitable for the masses, especially those who won’t have 100% functioning releases of CM 10 immediately or are averse to anything branded as ‘preview,’ ‘alpha,’ ‘beta’ or ‘nightly,’” the team explains.

Along with this release, the CM 9 nightlies have been discontinued. They will be replaced with nightly builds for the Jelly Bean-based CM10, and specific info on when these builds become available will be provided soon. CyanogenMod ROMs are not official Android releases, but they offer a great experience to users, that’s for sure. Those who would like to install them on their devices should know that they will have to root them and that they will void warranty in the process. Moreover, these users are the only ones to be held responsible in case anything happens to their devices during the rooting or installation process. Users interested in CM builds will find them available for download on this page.

Image credits to CyanogenMod

Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Promises Better Performance on Higher-Resolution Displays

Samsung’s Galaxy S III came to the market with a quad-core Exynos 4 application processor inside, one of the best performing in the world.

However, it appears that soon this CPU will become a second runner, as Samsung themselves managed to build a new, better processor for mobile devices, the Exynos 5 Dual. Built using the 32nm technology, the new chip comes not only with support for better performance than its predecessor, but it also supports higher resolution displays, of up to WQXGA (2560×1600). “When users realized the advantages of browsing the web, watching HD video, and playing 3D games on a mobile device, they demanded displays with higher resolution and better multimedia performance,” Samsung notes in a blog post. The Cortex-A15 dual-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) has each core running at 1.7GHz, and sports a DMIPS (Dhrystone MIPS – million instructions per second) 40 percent higher than Cortex-A9 core. However, the CPU was not designed to be used inside smartphones, but it should prove a great option when it comes to tablet PCs, Samsung notes.

“Designed with the 32nm lowpower process, Exynos 5 Dual provides performance features such as dual core CPU, highest memory bandwidth, WQXGA display, 1080p 60fps video hardware, 3D graphics hardware, Image Signal Processor, and high-speed interfaces such as USB 3.0 and SATA3,” the company notes. The chip also features 12.8GB/s memory bandwidth with 2-port 800MHz LPDDR3 (Exynos 4 came with 400MHz LPDDR2), which can easily handle 1080p video en/decoding, 3D graphics display, and other heavy traffic operations. It also comes with support for dynamic virtual address mapping, which means that software engineers will be able to take full advantage of its memory resources.

“The best 3D graphics performance with a variety of APIs, such as openGL ES 2.0 and Halti, that can be used for GPUs with openCL full profile. 1080p 60fps video performance, which is critical for 3D stereoscopic playback/record and wireless display,” Samsung also notes. The processor includes eDP controller and PHY transceiver to save power, which sports hardwired logic to support Panel-Self-Refresh (PSR) protocol. Additionally, it features Image Signal Processor (ISP) of 8M pixel 30fps, USB Host/Dev3.0, and HSIC with PHY transceivers. Another interesting spec of this processor is the inclusion of DirectX 11 support, which means that it would make it inside Windows 8-based devices as well.

Samsung Exynos
Image credits to Samsung

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon UltraBook

Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo, buyer of IBM’s old PC and notebook business, is now making final preparations for the launch of the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook. The ThinkPad line is a well-known mobile computing business solution and its brand is synonymous with quality and reliability.

The company is doing its best to keep and improve the ThinkPad brand image. Initially, after acquiring IBM’s PC business, Lenovo moved most of the production to mainland China, where labor and material costs are obviously considerably smaller. Earlier this year, the company announced that the ThinkPad production line would be moved back to Japan, just to make sure each device adheres perfectly to the quality and reliability requirements of the Japanese law. This was also a move to save the image of the brand, but this ensures the buyers of the quality they’re getting when they buy a Made-in-Japan device.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the Ivy Bridge-based successor of the famous ThinkPad X1. It features a 14" screen and it's the thinnest 14" ultrabook on the market. The new product will be launched on August 21, Engadget reports. Pricing is going to start at a minimum of $1400 and a standard configuration system will cost $1500, featuring a 1.7 GHz Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a fast 128 GB SSD and Intel’s modest HD Graphics integrated graphics processing unit. A $1650 model will get you a 1.8 GHz Core i5 CPU and a large 256 GB SSD. The new ThinkPad is lighter and thinner than the previous model and also sports a better display with a 1600 by 900 pixel resolution, which is quite a bit better than the mediocre 1366 by 768 featured by the older ThinkPad X1.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon UltraBook
Image credits to Engadget

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