Sony unveils new ultra thin back-illuminated CMOS image sensor

Sony unveils new ultra thin back-illuminated CMOS image sensor

By on January 23, 2012 at 3:00 PM.

Sony on Monday announced its latest and thinnest back-illuminated CMOS image sensor that will no doubt help manufacturers create thinner smartphones. “Sony has succeeded in establishing a structure that layers the pixel section containing formations of back-illuminated structure pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, which is in place of supporting substrates used for conventional back-illuminated CMOS image sensors,” Sony explained in its announcement. “By this stacked structure, large-scale circuits can now be mounted keeping small chip size.” The chip’s features include:

  • Large-scale signal processing circuits required for higher image quality and better functionality are built-in
  • More compact image sensor chip size
  • Even higher image quality of the pixel section by adopting manufacturing processes specialized for superior image quality
  • Faster speeds and lower power consumption by adopting the leading process for the circuit section

Sony will begin shipping samples to manufacturers in March. The company’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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$35 Raspberry Pi Model B computer shows off AirPlay capabilities [video]

$35 Raspberry Pi Model B computer shows off AirPlay capabilities [video]

By on January 20, 2012 at 9:30 PM.

Not long ago we published a story about Raspberry Pi, a $35 Linux-based single board computer that is still in development. Now, a Model B version of the device is being demoed and it shows off the small computer’s AirPlay streaming capabilities. The video shows one of Raspberry Pi’s developers using an iPad to stream a video clip to the Raspberry Pi Model B device using AirPlay without a hitch. The developers behind the tiny and affordable computer have said they hope the gadget will eventually be used in schools, although it’s still unclear when the company will begin shipping devices to consumers. A video of Model B working seamlessly with AirPlay follows after the break. More →

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Corning Gorilla Glass 2 hands on

Corning Gorilla Glass 2 hands on

By on January 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM.

We just met with Corning during CES in Las Vegas to check out its new Gorilla Glass 2 panels for smartphones and tablets. The new glass is 20% thinner than before, but just as strong and scratch resistant as the original Gorilla Glass. The thinner build will surely help manufacturers make smaller and lighter smartphones. We stayed to watch a pressure test, images of which are in the gallery below, and were impressed with the strength of the glass. Corning said that it’s already shipping the new panels to phone manufacturers and that we will see smartphones on the market soon with the new glass. We were also told that Gorilla Glass 2 will be used in new Windows-powered computers later this year. Be sure to check out our gallery below.

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Intel may unveil new 22nm Ivy Bridge processors on April 8th

Intel may unveil new 22nm Ivy Bridge processors on April 8th

By on December 29, 2011 at 12:05 AM.

Intel could be preparing to unveil most of its next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge processors “on or around” April 8th according to a recent rumor. The company is set to introduce 25 different models in total, DigiTimes reported, including 17 chips designed for use in desktop PCs and eight for notebooks and ultrabooks. Intel will announce the following desktop processors in April according to the report: the Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T as well as the Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450. The desktop processors will reportedly range in price from $184 to $332. The following notebook CPUs will also be announced: Core i7-3920Qm ($1,096), 3820QM ($568) and the 3720QM ($378). Intel is allegedly working on the Core i5-3520M, 3360M, 3320M for notebooks and the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U for ultrabooks, but those processors may not be announced at the same time; the company is expected to unveil several other models for both notebooks and desktops in May. Intel has said its Ivy Bridge chips will offer a 37% performance increase over its 32nm chips.

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Samsung announces dual-core Exynos 5250 SoC clocked at 2GHz

Samsung announces dual-core Exynos 5250 SoC clocked at 2GHz

By on November 30, 2011 at 11:47 PM.

Samsung on Wednesday announced the Exynos 5250, the company’s latest system-on-a-chip (SoC), which packs two ARM Cortex-A15 processors clocked at 2GHz. Samsung said the dual-core chip, which will be used primarily in high-end tablets, offers about twice the CPU performance of its existing products that are equipped with a pair of ARM’s 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 processors. The Exynos 5250 supports 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution displays and also offers more than four times the graphics performance of existing ARM Cortex-A9 chips. Samsung expects to mass produce the Exynos 5250 during the second quarter of 2012. The full press release, translated from Korean to English, follows after the break.

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Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet harder to repair than Kindle Fire, teardown shows

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet harder to repair than Kindle Fire, teardown shows

By on November 21, 2011 at 9:45 PM.

The team at iFixit recently tore open Barnes & Noble’s brand new Nook Tablet to get a closer look at its inner workings see how they compare to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The group found that the Nook Tablet is powered by a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1GHz, and it has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal SanDisk storage. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood that’s rated for up to 11.5 hours of reading time, 3.5 hours longer than the previous generation Nook Color device. The Nook Tablet received a repairability score of 6 out of 10 points, which is worse than the Kindle Fire’s 8/10 score. The LCD can be easily replaced because it isn’t fused to the bezel, however one would need to remove the motherboard in order to replace the battery, and there are “excessive amounts of adhesive” and even hidden screws that made the teardown a bit more tedious than usual. More →

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Amazon Kindle Fire gets torn open, repairs deemed simple [video]

Amazon Kindle Fire gets torn open, repairs deemed simple [video]

By on November 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM.

The group at iFixit recently tore open the Amazon Kindle Fire to get a good look at its hardware. The group discovered that the device is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1GHz that is paired with an older Texas Instruments WL1270B 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi chip. Overall, the Kindle Fire didn’t have too many complicated parts, which resulted in a solid 8/10 repairability score from iFixit. The team said its rear case is easy to take off, users only need a regular screw driver to open the tablet, and the LCD isn’t fused to its the glass cover, which means it should be fairly easy to replace if it breaks. Unfortunately, however, the glass pane is fused to the bezel, and it will require a heat gun to separate the components. A video from DirectFix, another site that tore apart the Kindle Fire and examined its innards, follows after the break. More →

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Qualcomm now shipping 4G LTE Gobi 4000 platform; may power 4G iPad and iPhone

Qualcomm now shipping 4G LTE Gobi 4000 platform; may power 4G iPad and iPhone

By on November 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM.


Qualcomm announced Wednesday that it is now shipping its 4G LTE Gobi 4000 platform to OEMs. The platform combines its 3G/4G wireless modems, the MDM9600 and the MDM9200, and the Gobi API that will allow manufacturers to create devices with support for LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO networks. “To make Gobi 4000 available to as many consumers as possible, Qualcomm has worked hard to ensure that OEMs can use the platform on many commonly used personal computing, tablet and e-reader operating systems, including Windows and Android, and hardware architectures, such as our powerful Snapdragon dual-core and quad-core processors,” Qualcomm CDMA Technologies senior vice president of product management Cristiano Amon said. Many manufacturers use Qualcomm’s Gobi technology, including Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Novatel and Sierra Wireless. Apple uses older Gobi technology in its CDMA iPad 2 and iPhone 4, which means it’s very possible that we’ll see Qualcomm’s Gobi 4000 platform used in a 4G iPhone and iPad. In addition to the Gobi 4000 announcement, Qualcomm announced 8 new S4 processors (the MSM8660A, MSM9260A, MSM8630, MSM8230, MSM8627, MSM8227, APQ8060A, and the APQ8030) that use the company’s Krait CPU. The chips were designed for next-generation smartphones and tablets and are expected to hit the market early next year. Read on for Qualcomm’s full Gobi 4000 press release.

More →

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NVIDIA officially unveils quad-core Tegra 3 chip [video]

NVIDIA officially unveils quad-core Tegra 3 chip [video]

By on November 9, 2011 at 10:35 PM.

NVIDIA has finally announced its quad-core ARM Cortex A9 Tegra 3 processor, previously codenamed “Kal-El,” that will deliver “PC-class performance” for tablets and smartphones. NVIDIA said the new chip will offer 3 times the graphics performance of its dual-core Tegra 2 chip and it will consume up to 61% less power. If a user is listening to music or using a phone in a way that does not demand a lot of power, the new chip will automatically throttle down to use a companion core. Once a user fires up a game, browses the Web, or performs a task that needs the extra power, the Tegra 3 processor disables the companion core and activates all four processing cores. In addition to the four cores and the companion core, Tegra 3 also has a 12-core GeForce graphics processing unit with support for stereoscopic 3D, new video engines for playing 1080p HD video and more. NVIDIA said Tegra 3 is in production now and one of the first products to ship with it will be the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Read on for the full press release and a video that shows off the chip’s gaming capabilities. More →

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ARM reveals Cortex-A7 MPCore processor, its most power efficient processor to date

ARM reveals Cortex-A7 MPCore processor, its most power efficient processor to date

By on October 20, 2011 at 12:30 AM.

ARM announced the Cortex-A7 MPCore processor on Wednesday, which it is touting as its most power efficient mobile processor yet. The Cortex-A7 is just one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 but provides 5x the energy efficiency and greater performance. The single-core chip was designed for use in budget-friendly smartphones that will be priced under $100. ARM explained that it can create a system on a chip (SoC) with better performance and longer battery life by taking advantage of “Big.LITTLE” processing, which combines a Cortex-A15 MPCore with a Cortex-A7 processor. The first smartphones to use the new chip are expected to hit the market in 2013. Read on for the full press release from ARM. More →

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Samsung unveils dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Exynos processor

Samsung unveils dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Exynos processor

By on September 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM.

Samsung announced is Exynos 4212 processor on Thursday, a new dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. Samsung said the 4212 offers a 25% increase in processing power, 50% higher 3D performance and “double the logic density and a 30% lower power-level over the previous process generation” chip, which currently powers most of its Galaxy S II smartphones. The Eynos 4212 will be used in both tablets and smartphones; currently, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 run dual-core Tegra 2 chips from NVIDIA. The Exynos 4212 processor also supports 1080p HD video recording and playback. Samsung expects to begin sampling the Exynos 4212 during the fourth quarter of this year. The company also announced a new 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor for tablets and smartphones, as well as a 1.2-megapixel HD video module that will be included in future device for video chat. Read on for the full Exynos press release from Samsung. More →

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Broadcom intros new NFC chips for mobile payments

Broadcom intros new NFC chips for mobile payments

By on September 26, 2011 at 11:35 PM.

Broadcom on Monday announced the BCM2079x family of NFC chips which it hopes will spur the mass adoption of NFC. The 40nm-based chips are smaller and are reportedly the most power efficient solution currently available to device makers. Broadcom said the products use 40% fewer components on a 40% smaller surface area and consume 90% less power than competing models. The chips also support a new technology called “Maestro middleware” that allows developers to create NFC apps with support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. “Broadcom is committed to making NFC as ubiquitous as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are today,” Broadcom vice president and general manager Craig Ochikubo said. “These solutions provide the features and performance that enable disruptive innovation that will reshape consumer experience.” Read on for Broadcom’s full press release. More →

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