Next-generation Google Nexus 7 to use Qualcomm S4 Pro processor?

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Feb 072013
Google Nexus

More changes appear to be in store for the next-generation Google Nexus 7 than had been originally reported. You can now add a change of processor to earlier rumours that it will gain a Full HD (1920×1080) display and thinner bezels. According to Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell, Google and ASUS will drop the NVDIA Tegra 3 processor in favour of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro AQP8064 SoC for the upcoming tablet.

The report provides two reasons for the potential change:

“Supply chain conversations indicate two reasons for Google’s selection of the Snapdragon APQ8064 over Tegra 4: (1) competitive pricing and (2) a decision to single-source the application processor and 3G/4G modem to simplify logistics and create a fully pin-compatible platform interface.”

Google is expected to unveil its latest Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2013 in May. Shipments would follow sometime in the second quarter (likely in the late May to early June time frame). Pacific Crest estimates that Google could ship up to 10 million next-generation Nexus 7 tablets between its launch and Q1 2014.

Google already uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro for its Google Nexus 4 smartphone manufactured by LG.

Read more: Barron’s (Source: UnwiredView)

Samsung Galaxy Note III to use Exynos 5 Octa processor?

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Jan 162013

An article by The Korea Times about Samsung’s chip business contains an interesting hint about the rumoured Galaxy Note III phablet. With Apple looking to reduce its business with the company with which it has been engaged in numerous lawsuits, Samsung is looking to China to replace any lost business and grow it further. To do so, Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun and other top executives met with a number of Chinese companies during CES to ramp up their business. One topic was Samsung’s recently introduced 8-core Exynos 5 Octa chipset. “We have introduced the Exynos 5 Octa to appeal to Chinese clients and diversify our client base in China with better pricing and output commitment,” said a senior-level Samsung executive during the show.

The report adds that the Exynos 5 Octa could also make its way into the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note III. Supporting earlier reports, it adds that the phablet would also sport a 6.3-inch display. With development lead times for smartphones being as long as they are, it’s not unreasonable to think that Samsung is already well into the development of this device and that it would use the latest technologies in a bid to stay atop the increasingly crowded phablet market.

Samsung’s discussions with other manufacturers suggests that we could also see the Exynos 5 Octa show up in a variety of other flagship devices.

Read more: The Korea Times (Source: UnwiredView)

CES 2013: Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 800 and 600 Series mobile processors

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Jan 072013

QualcommQualcomm today unveiled two new Snapdragon families of processors along with a new numbering convention for its mobile processors. Sitting at the top of the Snapdragon lineup will be the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 family. Below it will be the Snapdragon 600, Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 200 families.

“With the overwhelming success of our previous Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, our mobile processors have emerged as the platform of choice for high-end mobile devices,” said Steve Mollenkopf, president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm. “With more than 50 design wins already secured with the first products of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, we are advancing our vision and setting the standard for excellence in mobile computing.”

The Snapdragon 800 will target premium mobile and computing devices. Using the 28nm High Performance for mobile (HPm) technology, it will deliver performance up to 75 percent better than Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processors while using less power. Other characteristics will include:

  • Individual core speeds to reach up to 2.3GHz
  • New Adreno 330 GPU to offer more than twice the performance of the Adreno 320 GPU
  • Integrated 4G LTE modem offering data rates up to 150Mbps
  • Integrated support for 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Support for USB 3.0, Bluetooth and FM
  • Capture, playback and display in UltraHD video (with four times 1080p pixel density)
  • Support for display resolution as high as 2560 by 2048 pixels
  • Miracast 1080p HD support

The new Snapdragon 600 series will be geared towards high-end mobile devices. It will deliver performance 40 percent better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor while using less power. It will use a new Krait 300 quad-core processor running as high as 1.9GHz and an enhanced Adreno 320 GPU.

Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 600 processors are currently sampling. The former should hit devices by mid-year while the former will land on devices by the second quarter.

Read more: Qualcomm

CES 2013: NVIDIA announces Tegra 4, the “world’s fastest mobile processor”

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Jan 072013
NVIDIA Tegra 4

CES 2013 unofficially kicked off this evening with NVIDIA announcing the NVIDIA Tegra SoC, billing it as “the world’s fastest mobile processor.” It combines four Cortex-A15 CPU cores, a power-efficient “2nd Generation Battery Saver Core” and a a 72-core GPU that promises six times the graphical prowess of its predecessor, the Tegra 3. It also offers worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support through an optional NVIDIA Icera i500 processor.

“Tegra 4 provides enormous processing power and efficiency to power smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, auto systems and PCs,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Tegra business at NVIDIA. “Its new capabilities, particularly in the area of computational photography, will help improve a whole range of existing products and lead to the creation of exciting new ones.”

The Tegra 4 is more power-efficient than its predecessor. It will consume up to 45 percent less power than its predecessor and can support up to 14 hours of HD video playback on a smartphone.

NVIDIA is also touting the Tegra 4’s Computational Photography Architecture which promises to automatically deliver “high dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by fusing together the processing power of the GPU, CPU and the camera’s image-signal processor.”

Look for the Tegra 4 to first make its way into NVIDIA’s own Project Shield, a gaming platform powered by Android. It will make its way onto tablets later this year with smartphones to follow.

Read more: NVIDIA

Qualcomm adds MSM8226 and MSM8626 chipsets to Snapdragon S4 line

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Dec 062012

QualcommQualcomm this week introduced two new chipsets in its Snapdragon S4 family of mobile processors. The MSM8226 and MSM8626 chipsets both come with quad-core 28nm processors, Adreno 305 GPUs, 1080p capture and playback, support for cameras up to 13MP. They promise “exceptionally long battery life to high-volume smartphones” but Qualcomm provides no numbers to support the claim.

“The expansion of our Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 family extends our leadership in performance and low power for the high-volume smartphones,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies. “This expanded roadmap provides our customers with a differentiated feature set upon which to build compelling smartphones for budget-conscious consumers.”

Qualcomm expects both the MSM8226 and MSM8626 with support for UMTS, CDMA and TD-SCDMA, will be ready for customer sampling sometime in the first half of 2013. Oddly, neither new chipset will support LTE, suggesting they may be intended for entry or mid-tier devices or developing markets.

Read more: Qualcomm

Samsung working on three major device projects and quad-core Exynos 5440 SoC?

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Dec 032012

SamsungThat mobile device manufacturers are constantly developing a next generation of devices goes without saying. So, it should not come as any surprise that Samsung is working on the next round of devices. According to SamMobile, it has at least three major projects currently underway.

The most interesting appears to be “Project J.” It appears to be none other than the next generation of Galaxy S smartphones, including what is likely to be the Galaxy S IV. Few details are available about the next flagship smartphone but it is expected to sport a quad-core processor, the latest version of Android, a 5-inch full HD AMOLED display, and a 13MP camera.

Also on tap is the “new basic Galaxy Note II,” a lower-spec version of the Galaxy Note II [product information]. Intended for Europe, it will retain a large display but will not have S-Pen capabilities and could also lose the Super AMOLED display.

On the tablet side, Samsung may be looking to take on the ASUS Transformer with a new 13.3-inch tablet wtih optional QWERTY keyboard dock. Samsung is still evaluating what operating system to use for this new tablet.

2013 could also see Samsung unveil a quad-core Cortex-A15-based Exynos 5440 SoC. Clock speed and other details remain unknown but it appears to be the quad-core equivalent of the Samsung dual-core Exynos 5250 which powers the Google Nexus 10 [product information].

It looks like Samsung will have an exciting 2013!

Read more: SamMobile and SamMobile

Apple to switch to TSMC from Samsung for chip supply in 2013?

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Nov 282012

AppleIn the latest sign that their nasty legal battle is straining their business relationship, a report suggests that Apple is looking to drop Samsung as a chip supplier in 2013. First came rumours that Apple would shift iPad and MacBook battery production from Samsung to Amperex Technology and Tianjin Lishen Battery. Now comes word from Digitimes that Apple is also looking to drop Samsung as its custom ARM-based chip supplier in favour of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacture Company (TSMC) in 2013.

Company chairman and CEO Morris Chang recently hinted that TSMC could dedicate one or even two whole fabs to a single customer, leading to speculation that this would be none other than Apple. With Apple needing some 200 million processors for its iPads and iPhones, TSMC would need at least 200,000 12-inch wafers just to meet that demand.

The report is also causing concern among TSMC’s current customers which include Altera, Qualcomm and Nvidia. For example, TSMC struggled with supply issues for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 chipset in 2012. It remains to be seen if TSMC could manage the additional orders without impacting other customers any further.

Read more: Digitimes

NVIDIA to unveil Tegra 4 SoC at CES 2013?

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Nov 042012

NVIDIAThe next generation of NVIDIA Tegra chipsets is reportedly nearing the manufacturing stage but will not be announced this year. Instead, the ‘Wayne’ chipset with its Cortex-A15 multiprocessor core will be unveiled at CES 2013. It is likely to be introduced as the Tegra 4.

NVIDIA’s next generation chipset will not only benefit from significantly improved performance but is also epected to support LTE. In terms of performance, it will allegedly be twice as fast as the Tegra 3 and 10 times faster than the Tegra 2. It remains to be seen exactly how it will fare against competition such as Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Dual chipset also based on the ARM Cortex A-15 architecture and the Snapdragon S4 Pro, the latest from Qualcomm.

NVIDIA is expected to announce more design wins at the Mobile World Congress in February 2013.

Read more: Fudzilla

Huawei working on 6.1-inch ‘Ascend Mate’ smartphone?

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Oct 192012

HuaweiAnother player may be looking to jump into the smartphone-tablet hybrid space. According to a report by Japanese site MyDrivers, Huawei is not only working on a phablet of its own but is looking to raise the stakes by using a 6.1-inch 1080p HD display.

There are no pictures but a few specification details surfaced on Huawei’s website. Called the Huawei Ascend Mate, it will be powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core Huawei K3V3 processor and Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Aside from the 6.1-inch display, it also come with 2GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery. It will be 9.9 millimeters thick.

Not only is this the first time we hear about this device, it’s also the first mention of the Huawei K3V3 processor. It could be an evolution of the quad-core K3V2 used the Ascend D Quad and Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL [product information].

There are no details yet on availability and pricing but this could well be a 2013 entry.

Read more: MyDrivers (in Japanese) [Google translation] (Source: PhoneArena)

Mysterious Apple iPad running A6 chip surfaces in app logs

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Oct 082012

AppleWith Apple widely expected to launch its iPad mini later this month, it appears that the company is already hard at work on the next generation of iPads. A mysterious new model identified as “iPad3,6” has been spottted in an app’s logs. MacRumors got the tip from the app’s developer who wishes to remains anonymous. Previous iPad models have born the identifiers iPad3,1, iPad3,2, and iPad3,3, leading to the supposition that the latest ID refers not to the iPad mini but to a new model of the original iPad.

The log files for the iPad 3,6 also suggest a more powerful A6 SoC (or a variation of this design). Given that the iPad mini is expected to share much in terms of specifications with the iPad 2, including an A5 processor, the evidence points at a new iPad model. Lastly, the iPad2,5 and iPad2,6 designations have also been spotted in log files, pointing to the iPad mini.

Assuming that the iPad 3,6 is in fact a new iPad model, it remains to be seen if Apple will introduce it alongside the iPad mini later this month. It could just as well be slated for an early 2013 release. Sadly, there just isn’t much to go right now…

Read more: MacRumors

Motorola and Intel to hold September 18th event

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Aug 292012

Motorola today announced a joint event with Intel to take place on September 18th. As is often the case, the invitation and its tag line “Let us take you to the edge” shed little light on what could be announced.

Back at CES, the two companies announced a new partnership focused on Intel-powered smartphones and tablets. At the time, Motorola indicated that it would launch its first Intel Medfield-powered Android phone in the second half of the year. Are they about to make good on that promise?

Motorola-Intel September 18th event

The “#motoedge” hashtag suggests that the device could be called the Motorola EDGE.

A rendering leaked back in February may be a clue as to what we can expect at the event.

Read more: PhoneArena

Rumour: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 specifications leaked online again

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Aug 272012

Specifications for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (GT-N7100) have reportedly been leaked again. The latest leak supports more recent rumours that Samsung would use a quad-core processor rather than a dual-core processor as earlier ones had suggested.

According to the report, the Galaxy Note 2 will be powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 4412 SoC and Google Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. It will also come with 4G LTE connectivity, a 5.5-inch HD (1280×768) Super AMOLED display. Samsung appears to have ditched plans to also throw in a 12 or 13Mp camera and will instead stick with an 8MP camera (described as an 800MP one in the report). Models with 16 and 32GB of onboard storage will be offered.

Rumoured Samsung Galaxy Note 2 specifications

Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 2 later this week at its latest UNPACKED event.

Read more: (in LANGUAGE) [Google translation] (Source: CNET)

LG teases upcoming quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro LTE flagship smartphone

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Aug 262012

LGWithout revealing too much, LG has begun to tout its next flagship smartphone. LG promises that the new device will use technologies from a number of its sister companies to “set a new standard in the smartphone market.” We can expect “blazing fast performance” as well as “longer battery life, thinner profile, brighter display and a new touchscreen panel technology.”

“Working closely with our affiliate companies allowed us a degree of control that very few smartphone makers have with their component partners,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Our next smartphone will be a game changer for us because we were able to incorporated all the best-of-best technologies from our sister companies with one single objective in mind -– to give customers the best user experience that we were collectively capable of.”

LG does reveal that the new smartphone will be the first quad-core LTE smartphone to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 processor.

It will also come with with a True HD (1280×768) IPS+ Display from sister company LG Display. It will sport a pixel density of 320ppi and will generate up to 470 nits of brightness while using less power than an AMOLED display. It will also use the G2 Touch Hybrid Display technology to eliminate the gap between the glass and the LCD panel, making it about 30% thinner than displays without it.

A new battery technology also promises to give the battery a lifespan of 800 cycles whereas most standard mobile phone batteries today have have a lifespan of about 500 charges. The battery capacity itself is not specified.

LG could unveil this new smartphone as early as later this week at IFA 2012.

Read more: LG

Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (5250) gets detailed

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Aug 102012

Samsung Exynos 5 DualSamsung has released details of its upcoming Exynos 5 Dual (5250) SoC, billed as “the world’s first A-15 Dual Core mobile CPU.” Built using the HKMG (High K Metal Gate) process, the 32nm chipset promises to deliver “nearly two times faster than the existing Cortex A9-based dual core processor, with an amazing 30% lower power consumption” over previous generation Exynos (including the Exynos 4 Quad found on the international Samsung Galaxy S III).

Key features of the Samsung Exynos Dual include:

  • 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex A15 processor
  • Mali T604 GPU (supporting unified shaders, OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL 1.1 full profile, and stereoscopic 3D)
  • Support for display up to WQXGA (2560×1600)
  • 1080p 60FPS video performance
  • Simultaneous WQXGA single LCD display and 1080p HDMI output
  • Wi-Fi Display support allowing you to stream video wirelessly to another device
  • Integrated USB 3.0 and SATA III controllers
  • 12.8 GB/s memory bandwidth with 2-port 800MHz LPDDR3 RAM support

No devices sporting the Samsugn Exynos 5 Dual have been announced but expect that to change in the next few months. Between it and other next-generation SoCs such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, smartphones and tablets look set to take another leap forward in performance.

Read more: Samsung (Source: AndroidAuthority)

Rumour: Apple iPhone 5 to sport quad-core A6 processor

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Jul 052012

AppleRumours that the Apple iPhone 5 (or whatever the next generation iPhone will be called) will sport a quad-core processor were resurrected today by Digitimes. The report adds that this new quad-core processor will be based on Samsung’s own Exynos 4 architecture. No details about specifications of this new processor, likely to be dubbed the A6, were provided.

Flagship devices from HTC, Samsung, LG, and even China’s Meizu already come with quad-core processors. At least a few more are expected especially if Qualcomm, the main supplier of such chips can address current supply issues.

The report contradicts an older rumour that suggested that Apple would stick with a dual-core processor but improve it over the 800MHz dual-core A5 processor found in the current iPhone model, the iPhone 4S.

Apple is widely expected to launch its next-generation iPhone this fall.

Read more: Digitimes (Source: Apple Insider)