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Nov 4, 2012

Verizon DROID DNA Render Leaks

It looks like more evidence on the upcoming release of an unannounced HTC smartphone with 5-inch full HD (1080p) display has just emerged online.

The folks at EVLeaks have just published the first render of a new device called HTC DROID DNA, which is the same handset that was spotted a few days ago on Verizon's support site. The smartphone leaked about a month ago as HTC DLX, probably the international version of the recently announced HTC J Butterfly which is expected to hit shelves in Japan later this year. HTC DROID DNA is meant to compete with Samsung's Android flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note II, though it comes with lower hardware. However, some customers may want to opt for DROID DNA's 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution, instead of the bigger 5.5-inch display packed inside the Galaxy Note II that only features HD (720p) resolution.

Secondly, the DROID DNA is expected to pack only 1.5GB of RAM, whereas the Galaxy Note II ships with 2GB of RAM onboard. We expect the DROID DNA will be delivered with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box integrated with HTC's latest user interface. According to the latest hearsay, HTC DROID DNA will be equipped with a quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. In addition, the handset has 16GB of internal memory and probably microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). Little is known about the rear camera of the smartphone, but word is that the DROID DNA might boast an 8 or 12-megapixel photo snapper, as well as a 2-megapixel front facing camera for video calls. Last but not least, HTC DROID DNA is said to pack a high-capacity non-removable 2500 mAh Li-Ion battery, which has yet to be rated by the manufacturer. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Image credits to EVleaks

Sony Xperia VL Available in Japan via KDDI

As expected, Sony Xperia VL has just been released in Japan at KDDI carrier. Xperia VL one of the many Japanese variants of the Sony Xperia V, which has yet to make its entrance on the market.

Moreover, the Xperia VL is the CDMA variant of the Xperia V, but NTT Docomo will also launch another variant of the smartphone. The device will be available on November 16 as Sony Xperia AX. Anyway, KDDI's Xperia VL is powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system out of the box. 

The phone will come equipped with dual core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD memory card. Last but not least, the Xperia VL boasts a vibrant 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution, and features scratch-resistant glass.

Sony Xperia VL
Image credits to Octoba

Servergy P-Cubed, a Linux-on-Power Platform

Servergy has announced its newest product in the Servergy Power Linux Series line, a Linux-on-Power development platform called "P-Cubed".

According to its developers, the computer is an all-in development board catering primarily to enterprise Linux programmers, but is can also be used by educators and serious hobbyists as well. It features Power Architecture in an SoC (system on chip) that encompasses high-end hardware, including multi-core with hardware virtualization, which help the board to deliver a level of quality that is not available for other similar solutions. Servergy will deliver support for a broad range of Linux and Java distributions and the company will be developing a developer portal that will be open soon on its website for taking pre-orders. "As a proud member of the global Linux Foundation and Power.org organizations, Servergy is committed to be an industry leader in the Hyper-Efficiency Linux-on-Power space and to helping grow a diverse global development community built on innovation, collaboration, and education is key.”

"The overwhelmingly positive response we are getting on our new "P-Cubed" innovation platform shows that it clearly supports those objectives," said Bill Mapp, Servergy CEO. The P-Cubed computer uses the same proven Power Architecture developed by Apple, IBM and Motorola (now Freescale), which is used by everyone from the DOD to the NASA Mars Rover to the Sony, Nintendo and X-Box gaming stations. Enterprise Linux developers can now have that same power in their own hands for developing serious enterprise applications.

The announcement has been made at USD (Ubuntu Developer Summit) in Denmark, Copenhagen. This spot was chosen because the developers intend on fully support Ubuntu, not to mention Debian, Fedora, and openSUSE. The number of SoC systems is getting bigger and the developers have started to implement powerful components. A final price has not been revealed, but it’s expected to be less than $200 (€155).

P-Cubed design
Image credits to Servergy

Chipworks: Apple’s A6X Chip Is a “Beast”

The A6X SoC (system-on-a-chip) used in the iPad 4 has been dissected by Chipworks. The silicon experts used electron microscopes to determine how the A6X was manufactured, calling it "a very new beast."

In their teardown of the new Apple chip, the company found that “this is not just an A6 with a couple minor tweaks. Being a full 30% larger than its predecessor, the A6X is considerably bigger on the GPU side. On the CPU front, the A6X is identical to the A6, Chipworks reports. “This is not surprising given that the prior CPU used custom layout techniques, and therefore it would be a huge amount of work to redesign so soon. Much of the extra area has gone to the GPU cores which are up from 3 to 4,” says the company. In fact, each GPU core is much larger, doubling the overall occupied area.

“So we see that of the 29 mm2 of new area on the A6X, a full 18.6 mm2 is the result of the increased quantity of graphics processing. Impressive!” the savvy geek squad notes. The GPU cores are actually split into sub-cores themselves. Each one is sub-divided into 9 sub-cores - “2 sets of 4 identical sub-cores plus a central core,” according to the teardown analysis. Chipworks theorizes that, “This could be done to allow for more efficient parallel processing, or to allow for a higher maximum clock rate. In either case, these GPUs should result in some blazing graphics on your iPad,” the company reports.

Another cool finding noted in the teardown report is that the A6X has double the SDRAM interface width of the A6. Additionally, “Apple has reduced the number of core PLLs needed from 9 on the A6 to 8 on the A6X,” says Chipworks, pointing out that these have been moved close to the middle. The consensus at Chipworks (regarding this change) is that Apple was attempting to “gain better control over clock skew across the chip.” Lastly, although there are also some new interface blocks present in the A6X, “many of the analog and interface cores have been reused from the A6,” Chipworks confirms. For their full analysis, complete with photos, visit Chipworks here.

A closer look inside the A6X chip used by Apple in the fourth-generation iPad
Image credits to Chipworks

Chrome OS Runs on Nexus 7 [Video]

A few years ago, Chrome OS and Android were going head to head at Google. Now, it's pretty obvious to see which is the most popular and important to Google. Granted, there's a brand new and cheap Chromebook, but the three Nexus devices are getting a lot more attention.

What's more, Android 4.2, the latest version, is being praised left and right as the best Android ever, unsurprisingly. That said, some people can't be satisfied with what's being given to them so this is how Chrome OS on the Nexus 7 happened. Famed Chrome OS/Chromium OS hacker Hexxeh, pretty much the only one out there, worked into the wee hours of daylight savings day to give you Chromium OS running (somewhat) smoothly on the Nexus 7, touch input included.

Given that Google has been working on adding touch support in Chrome OS for a very long time, despite the fact that no Chromebook has touch input, and that Chrome OS has a very solid ARM port, courtesy of the new ARM-powered Chromebook, the port wasn't particularly complicated. Still, it happened and it's working. You can't get to do it for yourself just yet, Hexxeh is working on cleaning up the code and making the whole thing presentable enough for a public release. But it is coming.

ChromeOS running on Nexus 7 Smoothly
Video credits to hexxeh

Dell Latitude 6430u, The First WiGig 10x Wi-Fi Speed Ultrabook

WiGig (Wireless Gigabit Alliance) has been developing better wireless networking technologies. Dell is finally showing just what all those R&D efforts and funds have led to.

The Latitude 6430u is a new ultrabook that Dell created, and which we actually spotted back in September, quite some time before even the release of Windows 8. At the time, we did not know much about it, except that is could last “all day” on a single battery charge. We know better now, though. It turns out that Wilocity, one of the main developers of 60 GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets, had a stake in the development of the product. Thanks to the Tri-band wireless chipsets it makes jointly with Qualcomm Atheros Inc., Wilocity turned Dell's Latitude 6430u into the first device with WiGig IEEE 802.11ad wireless support, which permit data transfer rates over 10 times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. Thus, the Latitude 6430u can connect to docks, displays and storage units at speeds of several Gigabits per second, even as it continues to pick up standard Wi-Fi transmissions.

As if that was not enough, the integrated WiGig Wireless Bus Extension can combine with a Dell WiGig-enabled docking station, enabling even faster wireless storage, peripherals, expansion slots and external graphics processing, of all things. Though expensive, Ultrabooks are nice and slim, but that prevents them from including powerful graphics. WiGig Wi-Fi could be what external graphics adapters need to take off. "The Latitude 6430u is Dell's first commercial Ultrabook enabling our customers to have a true ultra-thin and light computer which will still address the in-office security and manageability requirements of serious business users," said Kirk Schell, vice president of Computing Products at Dell.

WiGig chips probably won't gain market traction just from this. Dell only chose to implement the technology because it is one of the founders of the WiGig Alliance.

Dell Latitude 6430u
Images credits to DELL

HTC XT920e (J Butterfly) Receives Certification for China

Last month, Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation announced a new high-end smartphone for Japan, the HTC J Butterfly, and it seems that it is getting ready to release it in China soon.

The smartphone has been spotted with model number XT920e next to it at the China Compulsory Product Certification, while featuring the same specs as the aforementioned handset. The HTC XT920e is expected to land on shelves in the country with a 1.5 GHz S4 Pro quad-core processor inside, as well as with a 5-inch Full HD 1080p display.

Moreover, its specs list includes 1.5GB RAM, a 2500 mAh battery inside, an 8MP photo snapper on the back, front camera for making video calls, and 16GB of internal memory. It will run under Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. No specific info on when the new device will be launched in China has emerged, but it should not be too long before that happens.

HTC J Butterfly
Image credits to HTC

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