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 →

No Comments

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 →

No Comments

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 →

No Comments

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 →

2 Comments

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 →

24 Comments

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 →

4 Comments

Intel Cedar Trail launch delayed until November

Intel Cedar Trail launch delayed until November

By on August 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM.

Intel has delayed its next-generation Cedar Trail Atom processors until November, DigiTimes reported on Monday. The company originally planned to launch its new 32nm chipsets in September but has pushed the launch due to graphics driver issues that have prevented the netbook/nettop platform from obtaining Microsoft’s Windows 7 certification. Cedar Trail’s 1.86GHz Atom N2800 and 1.6GHz Atom N2600 processors support DirectX 10.1, Intel Wireless Display, PC Sync, Fast Boot and Intel Wireless Music and will replace the aging Atom N455 and N475 chips. Intel’s nettop Cedar Trail processors, including the Atom D2700 and D2500, are also delayed until November according to the report. More →

1 Comment

Microsoft Research KinectFusion project capable of 3D modeling, more [video]

Microsoft Research KinectFusion project capable of 3D modeling, more [video]

By on August 12, 2011 at 1:41 PM.

During the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference in Vancouver this week, a team comprised of researchers from various universities showed off a demo during a Microsoft Research presentation of how the Kinect Xbox 360 accessory can be used in the real world to create real-time dynamic 3D models. The project, dubbed “KinectFusion,” shows off the Kinect’s ability to render 3D models of an entire room nearly instantly as one researcher pans the accessory around. After the device has scanned the entire area, KinectFusion is capable of creating a 3D texture-mapped model of the entire room using a Kinect RGB image. The technology could be used to create highly immersive augmented reality games or, as TechNet points out, for architectural purposes on a budget. Hit the read link to see a video of KinectFusion in action. More →

8 Comments

Apple looks to Samsung as LG fails to meet iPad 2 display demands, report claims

Apple looks to Samsung as LG fails to meet iPad 2 display demands, report claims

By on August 10, 2011 at 10:26 AM.

Apple will turn to Samsung and Chimei Innolux to supply display panels for its iPad 2 after LG’s panels failed to meet Apple’s quality requirements. The quality issues with LG’s displays forced the company to miss its July monthly shipment goal by 1 million units, DigiTimes said. Reportedly, LG’s LCD backlight units failed during Apple’s drop tests. LG had hoped to ship 4 million LCD units per month during the third quarter, but only shipped an estimated 2.5-2.6 million units in July. Samsung, by comparison, provided the Cupertino-based firm with two million displays, or twice its monthly average. Chimei Innolux shipped 450,000 units during the month and the company has a new monthly shipment goal of 1 million – 1.5 million units. Despite quality issues, LG is expected to remain the top supplier of LCD displays, and rumor has it the Korea-based company is also working on new Retina screens for the next-generation iPad. More →

77 Comments

Touchscreen module revenues to hit $13.4 billion this year on tablet, smartphone demand

Touchscreen module revenues to hit $13.4 billion this year on tablet, smartphone demand

By on July 15, 2011 at 3:30 AM.

According to research firm DisplaySearch, revenues from touchscreen modules will hit $13.4 billion this year. Projected capacitive screens have seen the largest growth since Apple made them popular on the iPhone in 2007, and DisplaySearch expects capacitive displays to account for 70% of all touchscreen revenues this year. Capacitive display shipments are also expected to jump more than 100% year-over-year. The company said the greatest display growth was in the tablet PC industry, where 26 million touchscreen modules were shipped last year. That figure is expected to jump to 72 million units this year and to more than 100 million units in 2012. ”Touch screen penetration has rapidly increased in mobile phones, handheld games, game consoles, and tablet PC applications, which collectively will account for more than $10.5 billion in touch screen revenues this year,” said Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, vice president of emerging display technologies at DisplaySearch. “In addition, we see strong touchscreen growth over the next several years driven by demand in larger display applications such as all-in-one PCs, notebooks PCs, and consumer gaming.” Read on for the full press release. More →

5 Comments

Android 3.1-powered Google TV 2.0 and ‘Fishtank’ developer program detailed

Android 3.1-powered Google TV 2.0 and ‘Fishtank’ developer program detailed

By on June 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM.

The original Google TV products were met by lukewarm reviews at best, and according to Geek.com, the search giant is hard at work on its new Google TV 2.0 product. Developers have been joining Google’s new “Fishtank” program to get early access to tools that will allow them to create compelling new content for Google’s next attempt at entering our living rooms. Google TV 2.0 runs a barebones version of Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and there are reportedly only 50 developers partaking in the initial Fishtank program. Fishtank includes an Intel CE4100 reference platform with a beta version of Google TV 2.0 preloaded, and a wireless keyboard. Intel’s Sodaville SoC, part of the CE4100 reference platform, also includes support for 3D gaming and Flash. Geek.com noticed a new “dual-view” feature that allows users to watch TV and use the OS at the same time; and the user interface has the same glowing-blue Tron-like effects as the tablet version of Honeycomb. Developers are said to be up in arms over the “Live TV” application on Google TV 2.0 — many want to interact with the TV interface directly, but Google isn’t allowing that just yet. Will it be enough for Google to tackle Apple TV? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, another shot of the box and a couple of UI images can be seen after the break. More →

37 Comments

New advancement in nanotechnology could help keep gadgets juiced without wall chargers

New advancement in nanotechnology could help keep gadgets juiced without wall chargers

By on June 23, 2011 at 8:03 PM.

What if you could charge your phone by simply tapping on the touchscreen display — never having to worry about plugging it in — or add more juice to your laptop every time you typed? New developments in piezoelectric technology at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have brought those dreams closer to a reality. Researchers there have been able to create a new thin piezoelectric film that is capable of turning those taps, or “mechanical pressure,” into electricity. “The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers – essentially creating an everlasting battery,” lead co-author, Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, said in the report, which was published in the July issue of Advanced Functional Materials. The technology isn’t quite there yet; Bhaskaran said that the next step will be using the piezoelectric materials to generate enough electricity to actually power our devices, and then building them into “low-cost, compact, structures.” We’re dreaming up super thin devices with minuscule batteries that are always on, but the report didn’t suggest how long it will take for that fiction to become fact. More →

6 Comments