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Google seemingly interested in designing its own chipset

Google HQ

#Google already stepped into the hardware game with the remarkable #PixelC tablet. A new report now talks of Google’s intentions to step into the mobile SoC game as well, following in the footsteps of #Apple and #Samsung who already develop their own chipsets. Well, it seems like Google’s intention to manufacture its own chipsets stems from the fact that the company wants to maintain uniformity across the board.

But since the company doesn’t have the resources to produce them at a large scale, it will have to merge with a company like Qualcomm which is currently partnered with major Android partners. It’s unlikely that other Android partners will be willing to go with Google’s home-developed chipset, but it goes without saying that the company will want to try out this SoC with the Nexus range.

Of course nothing is set in stone yet, so we won’t jump to conclusions at the moment. Do you think this is a feasible idea from Google? Sound off below.

Source: The Information

Via: The Verge

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Processor

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Processor

How to Choose a Smartphone Guide Processor

There so many Smartphones in market nowadays. Each brand or Smartphone model comes with unique features that make them stand out. On the part of consumers, choosing among them can be quite hard. So, if you happened to be overwhelmed and confused as well with the influx of these devices, this guide and the others that will follow like:

will help you understand your options and let you narrow down your list in order for you to arrive at the most ideal Smartphone for you. This will also help you avoid spending your money needlessly on a piece of hardware that you will not be able to fully utilize.

Choosing a Processor

The first that we will discuss is how to choose the right processor. Basically, a processor has four main components, these are:

1. Chipset

A chipset is the platform that a processor runs on. It manages the communications between the processor and the external components of the Smartphone.

2. Clock Speed

The clock speed shows the maximum frequency at which a core can run in a span of a second.

3. Core

The core is a component that serves as the medium that reads and executes program instructions. A multi-core processor is composed of two or more central processing units that are independent from each other.

4. GPU

The graphics processing unit or GPU controls the graphical functions of a Smartphone. This component relies on the clock speed and cores of the processor.

A Smartphone with the newest and most advanced chipset that has the highest value associated with the clock speed and cores and with the most powerful GPU will not only let you enjoy the regular communication features of a phone but you will also be able to play games that require very high specs.

Currently, the most dominant processor available for Smartphones is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait 400 with the Adreno 330 GPU. It is used by the popular Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Sony Xperia Z1.

Apple has its own Apple A6 1.3 GHz dual core with PowerVR GPU for the iPhone 5. It should be noted though that the iPhone 5s comes packed with the A7 which is the world’s first 64-bit chipset. No data is revealed yet as to what makes up this chipset but considering its higher features compared to the A6, it is expected to have more clockspeed and more advanced GPU.

But the thing is that if you are not a heavy user or you simply need a Smartphone that will let you perform your simple tasks like communicating through text messages, making calls, checking emails or browsing the Internet, then, having a processor with high specifications would be a total waste since you will not be able to maximize its potentials. If this is the case, you might just want to stick with a Smartphone that has a lower but reasonable processing power.

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This is the first part of the How to Choose a Smartphone Guide series. The next article called How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Storage Options will show you the storage aspects of a Smartphone that you have to bear in mind before buying one.

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini has improved processor, battery

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

A new report shows that the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini sports a different set of specifications compared to the international variant. Sam Mobile notes that the device that AT&T is selling has the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Play MSM8930 on board as well as a 2000mAh battery. For comparison, the variant that was launched late last year had a 1GHz processor and a 1500mAh battery.

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

Sam Mobile surmises that the upgrade was likely done to make the device perform better on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, which the S3 Mini supports. Another possible reason could be STMicroelectronics’ decision to leave the joint venture with Ericsson, which was responsible for making the international variant’s processor.

Such slightly enhanced specifications make the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini a better deal. Earlier, AT&T announced that it is selling the device for the super-low price of only 99 cents with a two-year contract.

Meanwhile, the other specifications of the handset remain unchanged. Among these are a 4.0-inch 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution, 1 GB of RAM, Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean with Nature UX, 8 GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expansion, 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, face and smile detection, VGA secondary front-facing camera, accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor, GPS and A-GPS. Its features include Smart User Interface, Easy Mode and Samsung s Voice, Samsung S Beam, Social Hub, Readers Hub and Game Hub.

Although it shares the name of a previous Samsung flagship handset, the device during its launch was believed to be underpowered, apart from having a much smaller display. The decision to improve some of its internal parts, however, would make the device a more attractive product for consumers looking for an entry-level smartphone.

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 has been open for pre-ordering since the 19th of this month. The device is scheduled to be released on September 27th.

via sammobile

Intel unveils Haswell quad-core microprocessor

intel haswell

intel haswell intel haswell

Intel has unveiled their fourth-generation core microarchitecture Haswell today, they have unveiled the quad-core version of their processors for laptops and desktops. The chip manufacturer has been teasing Haswell for the last year and have made massive claims about the chip saying that it will increase battery life by 50% for supported laptops, also graphics for the chip will be twice as good as the previous Ivy Bridge processor.

The chips that they have unveiled today include a five core i7 laptop processor and twelve quad-core i7 and i5 desktop chips, more information on the processors will be release at the Computex trade show in Taiwan on Tuesday. The release of Haswell is expected to give the computer market a well need boost, the market is expected to fall 7.8 percent in 2013 according to current market forecasts.

Intel has made a few promises that Haswell laptops will be a lot thinner than other machines and will be priced at under $500 which is a big ask in this current market. Also battery life they have said that laptops with their fourth-generation quad core chip will get nine hours of HD video playback, this is a major improvement on current laptop battery life.

Source: VentureBeat

Apple, Intel Working on New Venture

Apple and Intel are likely brewing another joint venture that would further enhance the processing capabilities of mobile devices such as iPhone and next-generation iPads. RBC Capital markets provided an intriguing idea that would further strengthen the business relationship between the two tech pioneers.

RBC analyst Doug Freedman said Apple might be considering a new deal with Intel, which would require the semiconductor company to produce ARM-based smartphone chips for their mobile devices. Apple, on the other hand, will incorporate Intel’s X86 processors in some of its devices other than their Mac computers, which have been already using Intel’s processors since 2005.

The analysts said the new deal between Apple and Intel may look illogical at first but it will surely allow the iPad and iPhone maker to secure enough capacity and offer much powerful processors on their devices. Moreover, it will further lessen their ties with conductor supplier and tech rival Samsung.

“We believe Intel has the upper-hand due to the limitations of capacity at alternative sources … as the demand is outstripping Apple’s ability to add supply,” said Freedman, who boasted years of experience in working with major players in tech industry.

Meanwhile, another source disclosed negotiations between Apple and Intel have been on and off for the past couple of years for a potential foundry venture. To make this deal work, Apple needs to use Intel’s processors in its next-gen iPad for the semiconductor giant to start manufacturing ARM-based chips.

Apple and Intel remain silent about the negotiations, though the source said both companies are still open for another round of talks.

Apple has been looking for a semiconductor company that would provide them with enough supply of microchips in response to an increasing demand for its smartphones and tablets (iPads and iPad Mini).

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company previously emerged as the primary candidate to supply Apple with their chips but the company has already committed with big contracts such as with Nvidia, which complained about the Taiwanese company inability to produce enough supply of chips for their needs.

Samsung Cranks Up Processor Pricing For Apple By 20 Percent

Reports and sources are coming in saying that Samsung Electronics has decided to increase the price of application processors for Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices by a whopping 20%. I guess that’s one way to pay for Samsung’s legal fees in court cases with Apple. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple had originally rejected the price change, but after the Cupertino-based company was unable to find any other manufacturer that was able to fill their order (mass production), they went ahead and accepted the new pricing. To put that in perspective for everyone — Samsung Electronics’ shipment of processor units is expected to crank up to 200 million this year from the 130 million last year. Apple really has themselves in a corner here, and while I’m sure they were expecting a hike in prices, I don’t think they were really ready for said hike.

While Samsung Electronics is a large enough company that their chips business operates independently on the handset side, it’s hard not to see that this price hike is a result of the constant lawsuits regarding patents all over the world. Surely all of these lawsuits have been very annoying for Samsung, especially considering that lawyer fees can skyrocket very easily. That said, I wouldn’t put it past Samsung to increase their processor fees so Apple is essentially paying for their legal fees. That’s just a wild guess though. In other news, Apple has been trying to avoid posting a public apology to Samsung in the United Kingdom for false claims saying that Samsung has copied their designs. The UK court isn’t very happy with Apple in their recent ruling against the Cupertino-based company, and as a result of that, Apple is now required to pay Apple’s legal fees on a indemnity basis. Regardless, I think we all know that Apple has been the school bully in the situation against Samsung, so I personally think that it is only right that Samsung would get back at them one way or another.

Nevertheless, do you think Samsung hiking up their processor prices for Apple is fair in this situation? Do you think that this is a direct result of Apple being so antagonistic in courts around the world, or was the increase in price not related to Apple at all? Do you think that Apple should have been prepared for a move like this from Samsung? The company knows they have no one to fall back on due to how many processor Samsung is able to produce in a year. There really isn’t anyone else that can meet the demand of processors that Apple needs in their various mobile devices.

I think that the price hike is really going to encourage Apple to look elsewhere, and maybe even just become independent in the realm of processors altogether. While Apple can afford to pay the extra 20%, this could eventually be harmful for their company in the long run.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

source: Android Central

AMD unveils new Z-Series processor dubbed as ‘Hondo’

While ARM-based processors dominate the tablet market today, Microsoft’s Windows 8 provides x86-based CPUs a fresh shot at the market. Intel was the first one to adapt to the growing market but Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) shows no sign of backing down in the competition it is well-acquainted with. Consequently, the company recently announced its latest innovation in the form Z-60 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), codenamed “Hondo.”

AMD Z-60 Hondo is a dual-core processor clocked at 1.0GHz with integrated Radeon HD 6250 GPU specifically designed and built for tablets and hybrids that run Windows 8 operating system. It is expected to be circulated globally this year in conjunction with the availability of Microsoft’s latest OS.

Basically, Z-60 comes with a minor upgrade from Z-01. It is more focused on providing high-quality display, interactivity and compatibility needed to support any x86-based tablet PCs. Moreover, Z-60 is AMD’s lowest power APU; meaning, it can do what is expected of it but plays a big role in economizing power consumption.

“Tablet users seeking an uncompromised experience for both creating and consuming content on the Microsoft Windows 8 platform now have a performance-driven, affordable option with the AMD Z-60 APU,” said Steve Belt, corporate vice president of Ultra-Low Power Products, AMD.

Manufacturers who might want to put this new APU into their products could enjoy the luxury of building thin tablets as Z-60 is considerably thinner than its counterparts. But for now, there are no manufacturers that shared their interests in using the chipset.

The radical shift in computer technology will be the reason why companies like AMD will try to run after the tablet market. Being one of the most successful chipset companies, AMD’s future looks brighter in the newer market it is trying to go after. When Windows 8 makes its global debut, we might start seeing devices running on AMD Z-60.


MediaTek to launch quad-core processor by year end

If you are one of those guys who take a close look at specs of every phone, you would definitely know about this company named MediaTek. MediaTek is Taiwan’s biggest chip designer and is a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions.

Their processors are found on array of devices. They are the market leader for System On Chip (SoC) system solutions in fields such as wireless communications, high-definition digital TV,optical storage, DVD, GPS and Blu-ray products. Almost all the Chinese handsets are powered by MediaTek processors. With so much demand for its hardware, the only step towards growth is launching new products, and that’s what MediaTek is doing. The company will reportedly launch its first quad core processor as early as end of this year. MediaTek is known for their affordable chips. They have a range of single and dual core processors which are used by handset manufacturers across China and Taiwan. With most of the device manufacturers looking forward to launch quad core smartphones, a very affordable quad-core SoC would mean that buyers will have better inexpensive options.

Recently, Acer launched Acer Z110 smartphone, which is basically a dual-SIM Android smartphone and is powered by dual-core MediaTek mobile processor. The device features a dual-core 1 GHz MediaTek 6516 mobile processor and will pack 256 MB of RAM to run the Android 4.0 ICS.

In the later half of June, MediaTek launched a new product called MediaTek MT6577. The SoC features a dual 1GHz Cortex A9 application processor from ARM and a PowerVR Series5 SGX GPU from Imagination Technologies. The SoC of course features a 3G/HSPA modem and is capable of running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich just fine. The MT6577 boosts promises to increase application and browser performance by over 40% when compared to single-core counterparts. This platform is developed especially for smartphones that fall in sub-$200 category.

Coming to the quad core chip which the company will be launching in the near future, the product will be manufactured using 28nm technology which is in par with standards followed by Snapdragon S4 chipsets manufactured by Qualcomm. We can expect to see devices making use of this SoC in early 2013. As of now, most of the companies that are partnered with MediaTek are based out of Taiwan or China. If companies like Samsung, LG and Motorola partner with MediaTek for its hardware, we can expect quad core technology to be a standard for mid range devices.

The quad core MT6588 chip is said to feature Cortex A7 processor running at 1.5 GHz or 1.7 GHz. The chip will be able to handle displays with resolution as high as 1280×800 pixel displays, along with support for 1080p video playback and up to 13 megapixel cameras. In addition, the company is also said to be focusing on inclusion of LTE support, which should surely attract many more manufacturers as demand for LTE handsets are on the rise. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know using the comment form below.

Source: UnwiredView, MediaTek

Qualcomm To Debut New Dual Core Snap Dragon With Integrated LTE At MWC

For a while now one of the biggest MWC rumors has been that HTC will bring a new quad-core Android phone powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip set.  This will be the first time that HTC has swayed from their long term relationship with Qualcomm and their SnapDragon processors for Android devices.

So what’s Qualcomm bringing to MWC. Well Qualcomm’s Vice President of Product Management, Raj Talluri may have rubbed some folks the wrong way when he announced they wouldn’t be bringing any ready for market devices with Qualcomm’s quad-core SnapDragon processor. He did say there may be some conceptual designs but nothing that will be available anytime soon.

So do we write Qualcomm off right now for MWC? Heck no!

More after the break

Samsung Unveils Exonys 4212 Processor

Samsung’s semiconductor division unveiled the next Exonys processor dubbed the Exonys 4212 processor in Taiwan yesterday.  Samsung released the news during the Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum at the Westin Tapei.

The Exonys 4212 is the follow up to Samsung’s current Exonys the 4210. The 4210 is the processor found in most of the Samsung Galaxy S II models. It’s a dual core processor capable of running at 1.2ghz or 1.4ghz.  T The Exonys 4212 is a dual core 1.5ghz, ARM Cortex A9 application processor.

More after the break

Does Nvidia’s Quad Core Kal-El Processor Have A Fifth Core

Our good friend and hockey buff Ina Fried over at AllthingsD reported a doozey of a story today for those anxiously awaiting the arrival of tablets and Android phones featuring Nvidia’s new quad core “Kal-El” processor.

According to Nvidia’s own reports Fried has reported that the quad core processor actually has a fifth core.  Nvidia says that fifth core runs at a lower frequency than the other 4 cores and is used primarily for background tasks.

Nvidia’s whitepaper, poster to their website here, reveals that their is a fifth “companion core” that is used for active standby mode. The paper also lists that the fifth core assists in music and video playback.  All five of the cores are the exact same ARM Cortex A9 CPUs. Each core can be individually turned on and off determined by the work load.

More after the break