Loading recent posts...

Sep 17, 2012

Rambus Shows World’s Best RAM Technology

During this year’s IDF event in San Francisco, California, many companies have displayed their new and most advanced technologies. One unsurprising, but rather forgotten participant is the well-known technology developer Rambus.

The company has managed to make a very bad name for itself after suing most other DRAM companies in the world for infringing its patents. The patent discussion is debatable, but the company eventually managed to win some of the lawsuits and some other DRAM companies were actually found guilty of cartel-like activities and the most important victims were Rambus and the end-users. The company was not innocent itself and due to the prolonged years of legal battling, word spread among the industry insiders that Rambus was mainly a patent troll and less a technology company. Time has passed and the company has actually managed to develop some were interesting, very fast, but rather exclusive memory technologies such as the famous XDR memory inside SONY’s PlayStation 3.

Now Rambus is back with something that might be called XDR3, but it yet lacks any official naming and it is also much less exclusive than XDR was. The company’s new technology uses simple and cheap DDR3 chips, but the performance achieved is comparable with the 6000 MHz that GDDR5 memory offers, SemiAccurate reports. Rambus’ XDR, XDR2 and the standard GDDR5 memory are differential and partially differential technologies and this make the implementation rather complex and expensive. GDDR5 BGA chips can’t really be implemented in a classic TSOP design as the chips are consuming serious amounts of power when compared with DDR3 and have to be directly fused to the PCB. Surprisingly, Rambus’ new technology is currently using simple DDR3 DIMMs to demonstrate its performance.

Moreover, the performance is GDDR5-like while the power consumption is comparable with low power DDR3 SO-DIMM modules. DDR3 SO-DIMM modules were also part of Rambus’ new presentation proving that the technology is considerably less exclusive and low powered than XDR or RDRAM. From what was shows at IDF, the new Rambus technology can offer single channel bandwidths of up to 192 GB/s while a quad channel implementation would bring us almost 0.8 TB/s. This is many times more than what DDR4 is promising and the power consumption of the new “XDR” is actually lower by comparison.

Rambus Company logo
Image credits to Rambus

Rambus IDF 2012 Technology Demonstation at IDF 2012
Image credits to SemiAccurate

Amazon Maps on the Kindle Fire Powered by Nokia, Nokia Confirms

Nokia has confirmed that it's supplying the mapping data for Amazon's new Maps API. The new API was revealed a short while ago, but Amazon did not say where it gets its map data from. There were some rumors that Nokia was involved, via its Navteq acquisition, prior to the launch of the new Kindle Fires.

"Amazon is licensing the Nokia Location Platform (NLP) for maps and geocoding," Nokia told The Next Web. "The Nokia Location Platform is the most advanced mobile location platform with a unique global footprint. It provides maps for almost 200 countries (with more than 100 of them navigable)," it added.

Nokia was the likely choice, there aren't that many companies that have access to the amount of data a solid online map needs. Google is the obvious choice, but for also obvious reasons, Amazon couldn't work with Google. Open Street Maps offers a free and open-source alternative, but a less detailed map in some places. That leaves Nokia which already powers Yahoo Maps, for a while now, and is becoming the source of Bing Maps data as well, at least on mobile devices.

Nokia data is powering the new Amazon Maps API
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia Lumia 820 Interchangeable Covers Details

Lumia 920 might be Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8-based handset, but that doesn’t mean that the company’s second phone running under the next mobile OS from Microsoft won’t have a lot to offer to its users.

In fact, it will provide them with a highly customizable experience, the Finnish handset vendor says, and offers some more info on the matter: a series of interchangeable shells will be there for users to enjoy. The handset also comes with a 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED touchscreen display, as well as with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with Carl Zeiss optics, not to mention that it will pack wireless charging, the same as Lumia 920. The aforementioned shells enable users not only to change the look of their handset, but they also provide them with the possibility to add some extra functions to the device. “The brightly coloured shells are more than plastic covers; they activate the wireless charging function or protect your phone if you’re more of an active user. Each one is created to suit a person’s different needs without the need to change your phone,” Nokia explains in the recent blog post. “We’ve moved beyond just changing the colour of your phone. People can now decide how they want to use their phone, by doing something as simple as changing a shell to add a function,” Tuomas Reivo, lead designer on the Nokia Lumia 820, explains.

These shells are made of PC/ABS and can be easily clipped on or off, remaining as strong regardless of how often you do that. Moreover, the colors are inherent in the material, which means that no marks will remain when scratching the shell. Lumia 820 comes with a standard shell in the box, made from the PC/ABS material. Users will be able to choose between red, yellow, cyan, purple, and white high gloss colors, or grey and black matte colors. Wireless charging will be available for those purchasing the Wireless Charging shells, available in white, yellow, black, red and cyan matte colors.

“With this connected to your Lumia 820, you can place your phone on a Nokia Wireless Charging Plate, Nokia Wireless Charging Stand, the Fatboy Recharge Pillow, or the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker,” Nokia explains. Additionally, there is a ruggedized shell that users can opt for. It has been built to protect the handset without making the phone bulkier, since it is only a bit thicker, but sports the same length and width as other shells. “This softer shell is also made from PC/ABS but has another rubber-like material around the front and the edges,” Nokia explains.

“It covers the back, as you’d expect but also stretches around the front slightly to protect the edges of the screen and the corners – the most at risk area if you drop your phone. These will be available in matte yellow, green and orange with a black TPU trim.” All of these interchangeable shells for the Lumia 820 will be available when the device is made available for purchase, Nokia also said.

Nokia Lumia 820
Images credits to Nokia

Ciphertex 40TB 10GbE Secure NAS Server

All network-attached storage devices have a level of security built into or installed on them, but Ciphertex has made it its life's purpose to product storage units that have no equal in this area.

A product called CX-10K-NAS is on display at the HTCIA (High Technology Crime Investigation Association) conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania (September 16-19). Not only does it have a capacity of up to 40TB of storage space, but it supports a data transfer speed of 10 Gigabits. Thus, data is accessed at up to 1,000 MB/s, assuming a 10 GbE network is accessed, instead of the more common 1 GbE. Ciphertex invented the portable storage system for forensics (handling and safeguarding of suspect data). It made sure that multiple concurrent workflow requests can be carried out on it at the same time. "The ever-increasing market adoption of Ciphertex secure data storage technology is a testament of our ongoing commitment to provide the best-in-class storage solutions for business critical environments where security, speed, portability, reliability, and I/O versatility are key requirements," concluded Kaner. "We will continue to drive innovation with industry leading products like our new CX-10K-NAS while investing in emerging technologies that will better serve our customers."

Ciphertex's 40TB AES-256Bit encrypted portable data storage system is just one member of an entire family, if one were to view differing capacities as enough of a reason to think of the products as completely distinct entities, rather than simple iterations of the same device. Immediately below the CX-10K-NAS of 40TB is a 30TB model, followed by two 15 TB ones (NAS CX-5000NAS and CX-RANGER-EX), one 5 TB portable RAID unit (CX-RANGER-E), a 4 TB NAS (CX-3500-ES3), one with 2 TB (CX-3500E) and, finally, a pair of 1 TB models (CX-2500-ES3 and CX-2500E).

Ciphertex CX-10K-NAS
Image credits to Ciphertex

Hynix Shows DDR4 Memory and 1Xnm NAND Flash

We know that NAND prices will fall quite a bit as Toshiba gets its production back on track.

OCZ has flashed its new drive at this year’s IDF event in San Francisco, California, but that’s not the only good news coming from Intel. SK Hynix was also displaying its new SSDs, but most importantly, the company was showing a NAND wafer that was manufactured in 1Xnm technology, SemiAccurate reports.  The company did not say what “X” stands for, but clearly what we’re seeing is a lot denser than 25nm, 22nm or 20nm NAND and that hints at a future price reduction. Sure, the technology will not enter the market right now, but if Toshiba’s move will start a price fall this autumn, we’re sure to see a continued downward spiral next spring as newer and denser technologies enter mass production. There is the possibility that, at least in the beginning, the new drives won’t be much cheaper than the models that will launch in winter. Small NAND has serious durability problems and companies have been forced to invest in technologies to alleviate this issue. Once the initial batches will pay off for the initial durability research and associated costs, the price is only set to fall even further.

SK Hynix was also displaying DDR4 server memory modules and this means that now Samsung has at least one competitor that will offer compatible alternatives when systems requiring such DRAM will finally become available. The company also has SSDs on display and, surprisingly, all are powered by SandForce controllers, despite the fact that SK Hynix has also acquired Linkamedia chip designer. When asked about the drives, SK Hynix said that a whole product line powered by LAMD controllers is incoming.

Hynix 1X nm NAND Wafer at IDF 2012
Image credits to SemiAccurate

Hynix DDR4 Memory Modules at IDF 2012
Image credits to SemiAccurate

Canon Expand Its PowerShot Series, G15, S110 and SX50 HS Cameras Debuts

Canon may have launched the large, heavy and feature-packed EOS 6D, aiming to take advantage of Photokina the most, but there are other cameras getting ready to start shipping.

The cameras in question have been added to the PowerShot compact line and are called PowerShot G15, PowerShot S110 and PowerShot SX50 HS. The PowerShot SX50 HS superzoom will be the “mid-range” of the trio when it starts shipping next month, October 2012: $480 / 365-480 Euro. It relies on a 12.1-megapixel sensor, a 24-1200mm, f/3.4 - f/6.5 lens, optical image stabilization, a max ISO of 6,400 and a burst photo capture mode of 10 frames per second. PowerShot S110 will sell in both black and white, for $450 / 343-450 Euro. It has a 12.1 MP sensor like the SX50, a 3-inch 461,000 dot capacitive touchscreen, an f/2.0 lens and max 12,800 ISO. The third camera, PowerShot G15, gets a max ISO of 12,800, a 3-inch optical viewfinder of 922,000 dots (LCD) and the Canon's DIGIC 5 image processor. It will be priced at $500 / 381-500 Euro.

"Art is the by-product of creativity and inspiration. With the introduction of the advanced features in these three new PowerShot models, our customers will have the right tools to put their creativity into action and produce images that they will share for a lifetime," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, imaging technologies and communications group, Canon U.S.A. Each new Canon PowerShot camera has a special advantage over the other two. The PowerShot S110, for instance, lacks GPS but has Wi-Fi support, the PowerShot G15 gets an f/1.8-2.8 5x optical zoom lens and the SD50 HS has 50x digital zoom (first among digital cameras, Canon claims). The main rivals of the three newcomers, those officially launched at any rate, are Fujifilm XF1 and Pentax Q10.

Canon PowerShot S110 sample photo
Image credits to Canon

Qualcomm Is Looking for Graphics at AMD

World’s largest fabless chip designer, American company Qualcomm is used to design its own mobile CPUs and their respective integrated graphics processing units (iGPU). We know that the company’s famous Snapdragon processors are based on the ARM architecture, but the designs are original.

Many other ARM CPU makers usually license the graphics IP from companies like Imagination Technologies or ARM. Qualcomm is making its own iGPUs also and the architecture inside the Adreno series has nothing to do with ARM and everything to do with AMD instead. The Adreno architecture was initially developed by AMD, and Qualcomm has just bought the entire mobile division form the Texan company. Even today’s Adreno iGPUs are based on AMD’s mobile DirectX 9 designs from back in the day. Qualcomm is having problems in designing a satisfactory DirectX 11 architecture, and the company is looking at AMD for the solution, Fudzilla reports.

Rumors say that the fabless giant might go so far as buying AMD, but we’re having a hard time believing that.  Even so, considering that AMD’s ex graphics CTO, Mr. Eric Demmers is now Qualcomm’s main graphics guy, there is the possibility of a future collaboration between the two companies.

AMD Imageon Concept
Images credits to AMD

Canon EOS 6D, 20.2-Megapixel Full Frame Sensor DSLR Camera

This week will be focused on photo and video cameras quite a bit, due to the Photokina 2012, an event that takes place every two years in Cologne, Germany and, this time, will start on September 18 and end on September 23.

Canon is one of the companies attending the trade show, which means that, as has become the tradition for most every IT gathering, the official announcements are already out. We are certain that Canon will release information and hold PR announcements all throughout the show, but the core of its exhibition is already known. Quite a pertinent move really, since visitors are usually too engrossed in staring at and fiddling with devices to listen to people speaking about them. The name of the camera we will be looking at here is EOS 6D. Based on a 20.2-megapixel full frame sensor, it will ship, starting in December, for $2,099 body-only (1601-2099 Euro) and $2,899 when in a kit with Canon’s EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USZ zoom lens (2211 – 2899 Euro). In addition to the sensor, the product features 63-zone dual-layer iFCL metering, continuous shooting at 4.5 fps, Canon’s DIGIC 5+ Image Processor, 11-point AF (autofocus) and light sensitivity (ISO RANGE) of 100-25,600 (extendable to 50, 51,200 and 102,400).

Needless to say, video can be shot as well, in 1080p Full HD resolution. Supported frame rates are 30.24, and 25 fps. Not to say that 60 fps and 50 fps are unavailable. They are, but only when users are willing to settle for HD quality (720p) instead of Full HD. Other specs include a 3-inch VGA display (640 x 480 pixels, 1,040k dots), the obligatory viewfinder and, most importantly, integrated Wi-Fi and GPS. It should be easy to transfer pictures and video to and from the PC, as well as post images directly to social networking sites. Not only that, but the Canon EOS Remote app for iOS and Android will let buyers control it from afar with their phone. Finally, Canon tossed in a built-in HDR photography option, which combines three exposures of the same frame into a single image, without PC assistance. A Multiple Exposure mode can combine up to nine images.

Canon EOS 6D
Images credits to Canon

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3D Micro Four Thirds Camera

Late last week, Panasonic released a commercial in which it exposed the impending arrival of a certain camera called Lumix DMC-GH3 Micro Four Thirds. This product has now been unleashed.

Based on a 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, the camera is larger and plain better than the Lumix DMC-GH2 it replaces, and which was launched in 2010. Featuring a good autofocus (AF) system and a light sensitivity of up to 25,600 ISO, it can shoot photos in burst mode at 20 frames per second, assuming the resolution isn't maxed out (4 megapixels tops). Meanwhile, the display is not a liquid crystal panel, but an OLED (614,000-dot resolution), the same technology used to make the viewfinder which, coincidentally, has 100 percent field of view and a resolution of 1,744,000 dots.

Other features include Wi-Fi support, video recording in Full HD 1080p (30 or 24 fps), support for multiple sound modes, slow-motion and fast-motion recording, a magnesium chassis and headphone jacks. Lumix DMC-GH3D will ship around the holidays, for $2,000 / 1525-2,000 Euro, and that's without the new 35-100mm f/2.8 Power OIS lens (it will accompany the existing 12-35mm f/2.8 Power OIS lens).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3D Micro Four Thirds camera
Image credits to Panasonic

Twitter and Facebook on Windows Phone 8 Lockscreen Notifications

Windows Phone 8, the next major version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, is expected to hit the market with a great deal of improvements packed inside, including some related to its lockscreen.

We have already learned that there might be more notifications icons available when the handset is locked, but no specific info on what they might be has been provided as of yet. Recent reports, however, suggest that Windows Phone 8 will display both Twitter and Facebook notifications on the lockscreen.

The feature was spotted in the video of Nokia’s last week announcement on Lumia 920, available on YouTube as well and embedded above. Said notifications feature is visible at the 23:38 mark in the video. Windows Phone 8 will also arrive on shelves with a new homescreen for its users, as well as with a variety of other enhancements, but Microsoft has yet to detail them fully.

Nokia Lumia 920 http://bit.ly/OP5pDU and Nokia Lumia 820 http://bit.ly/Q7i7lc announcement. This video is a recording of the Nokia and Microsoft Press Conference in NYC September 5 where Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 devices were announced.
Video credits to nokia

AMD Radeon 8000 “Oland” GPU First Details

AMD is now working hard on its second generation of the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and the first video cards to enter the market will be the mid-range series, not the top-of-the-line.

The Texas-based CPU and GPU designer is apparently adopting a different launch strategy than its main competitor, California-based Nvidia. The first cards belonging to the 2nd GCN generation will be models that fit the $300 - $400 price range, while the top performing graphics adapters will have to wait for a later launch date. The first 2nd-gen GCN GPU will be AMD “Oland” and, as usual, the company will launch at least two cards based on the new chip with frequencies being the differentiating factor, VideoCardz reports. Oland XT will likely be clocked higher than 1 GHz, with the company’s PowerTune feature available right from the start. The Turbo option will possibly take the GPU to more than 1.1 GHz. AMD’s Oland XT implementation will retail as Radeon HD 8870 and will feature the same GDDR5 memory that we’re currently used to. The memory frequency will likely be around 6000 MHz effective, but the most interesting aspect is that AMD’s new GPU will still be built in 28nm manufacturing process.

It is clear that TSMC’s 28nm manufacturing has matured and that the cards will probably be cooler than what AMD’s Tahiti is right now. After all, even Tahiti felt the touch of TSMC’s newer technology as the card’s maximum reference frequency is now 1050 MHz, whereas initially it was only 925 MHz. That’s a 13.5% frequency improvement which is mainly TSMC’s doing, and we can definitely expect that a second 28nm generation of GPUs will be considerably cooler. The second Oland implementation will be the Oland Pro with the same die size that will measure roughly 270 square millimeters. This time, the GPU will be clocked considerably lower and the likely frequency is 925 MHz. Power consumption is expected to be lower than AMD’s current Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 and we can only be glad, as the projected values are around 160 watts TDP for the Radeon HD 8870 and 130 watts for Radeon HD 8850.

AMD Radeon HD 7970 GH Edition
Image credits to AMD

Galaxy Nexus 2 Emerges in User Agent Profile

Following the success of Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, Samsung and Google are reportedly gearing up for the release of a new Google phone.

The handset hasn’t been officially confirmed for the time being, but a User Agent Profile appears to have spilled the beans on it. The UAProf shows a certain Samsung GT-i9260 smartphone in the works at the South Korean mobile phone maker, and rumor has it that this might indeed be the successor of last year’s Galaxy Nexus. The second Google phone from Samsung arrived on shelves with model number GT-i9250 attached to it, and with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720. The new device sports the same resolution, and the model number implies that it might be connected in a way or another to the current Nexus smartphone. Moreover, the UAProf unveiled that this smartphone comes with an ARM11 processor, which Pocketnow suggests that might actually be ARM’s Cortex-A11 CPU. Galaxy Nexus was launched with a TI dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU inside, and its successor is expected to pack an upgraded processor.

At the same time, the second Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which might arrive on shelves under the name of Galaxy Nexus Plus, if not Galaxy Nexus 2, is expected to feature various other improvements as well when compared to the original. The User Agent Profile does not provide more details on the matter but, provided that the handset is indeed real, info on it should emerge in the following months. On the other hand, we should note that the same GT-i9260 model has been recently rumored to be the en-route to shelves as the Galaxy Premier, a Jelly Bean-based Samsung phone. Leaked info that emerged over at ubergizmo suggested that it could sport a 4.65” HD screen, MSM7227A-1 Turbo Single 1GHz CPU, 8MP camera, 2MP front snapper, 8 GB/16 GB internal memory and a microSD (up to 64 GB) card slot.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus GT-I9250
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung GT-i9260 UAProf
Image credits to Pocketnow

Intel Atom “Rosepoint” SoC Will Integrate Wi-Fi

A good system-on-chip platform is what Intel needs on the tablet market, but the one with a feature combination that might, finally, secure its position in that field may not come fast enough.

The Atom SoC platform bearing the “Rosepoint” codename will only be launched two years from now, despite the formal revelation having been done at IDF SF 2012. IDF SF is short for Intel Developer Forum, San Francisco. The gathering took place between September 11 and September 13. One of the “promises” that Chipzilla made there was that everything would be wireless, in due time. Rosepoint is the means by which Wi-Fi support will be granted to consumer electronics devices based on the Atom architecture. Two 32nm-based x86 cores will do the computing, while the integrated Wi-Fi transceiver will be digital, not analog. Digital Wi-Fi chips aren't common, but they should be easier to scale down compared to analog ones, those usually added to devices today.

Wired was told that the digital Wi-Fi Radio Frequency (RF) chip would scale according to Moore's Law, the principle that has guided the CPU industry for decades (the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years). The RF chip will access the 2.4 GHz radio band, but later Rosepoint chips will include cellular data access and built-in radio antennas as well. During IDF, Intel spoke of a future in which every device ready for computing data would be capable of communicating wirelessly. On that note, battery recharging will be done without cables as well. Rosepoint is, obviously, one of the steps towards that future. Unfortunately, two years is a long time to wait for it, especially now that the chip giant needs a way to persuade companies like ASUS and Acer to resume Atom product support, not to mention prevent others from quitting as well.

Intel Atom Rosepoint
Image credits to Intel

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | coupon codes