Smartwatches that serve as smartphone companions have been around for years now, but early devices have for the most part flown under the radar. That all changes next month as Samsung finally kicks the smartwatch war into high gear, and Apple is also expected to enter the space with an “iWatch” launch next year. We won’t know which companies will emerge victorious at the vendor level for quite some time (though Apple and Samsung’s marketing budgets might give us a pretty good idea), but there are some companies that are already winners in the imminent smartwatch war. More →
Sure, Apple and Samsung are completely dominating the smartphone industry right now but that doesn’t mean they’re also destined to dominate the burgeoning market for wearable computers, right? In an interview with AllThingsD, Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor said that even though “there are like two companies that make half of all the smartphones on the planet,” he thinks that “wearables are going to be different” because there will be much more potential for niche wearable computing products. Among other things, McGregor notes that there are “dozens of digital watches being funded through Kickstarter, with wearable products serving niches such as Boston commuters or pet owners who want to track” their pet’s exercise habits. More →
Good news for anyone planning to buy a new Mac this year: Wi-Fi connectivity in Apple’s (AAPL) new computers is going to pack some serious speed. The Next Web reports that Apple and Broadcom (BRCM) are teaming up to bring gigabit-speed 802.11ac chips to Apple’s 2013 Mac lineup that will deliver fifth-generation Wi-Fi capabilities. 802.11ac connectivity, otherwise known as “5G Wi-Fi,” is capable of delivering theoretical peak speeds of 1.3Gbps and is a major step forward in the evolution of Wi-Fi. Asus (2357) became the first company to produce a notebook with 802.11ac connectivity last year with its G75VW gaming laptop.
World-weary tech journalists and over-worked judges aren’t the only people sick and tired of endless patent litigation — big-name tech CEOs are getting fed up as well. Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor sat down with Mobile World Live this week and ripped both patent trolls and his fellow tech companies for being too litigious in the realm of intellectual property. “I believe it’s shameful that you can make more money suing people than on creating great products,” McGregor said. “Hopefully our governments are paying attention to that because that’s not a good outcome for any of us. Intellectual property has value, Broadcom invests in that. We do it primarily to create great products and I hope most of us can get this settled and move back to focusing on creating great products going forward as our primary objective… Probably, things have gotten a little out of hand.” Of course Apple CEO Tim Cook similarly called patent litigation a “pain in the ass,” but that hasn’t stopped his company from suing Android vendors everywhere. More →
Well-known gadget repair company iFixit made its way to Australia on Thursday in order to be among the first to procure a new Apple iPad. Following a midnight launch at one Australian retailer, iFixit has managed to obtain the highly sought-after tablet and is already in the process of performing one of its famous teardowns. Gadget fans and investors alike will be watching closely as the firm reveals the manufacturers behind many of the key components found within the new tablet, and we’ll update this post as details emerge.
UPDATE: iFixit believes that the LCD panel in the iPad it is currently disassembling was manufactured by Samsung. Earlier reports stated that Samsung is the sole manufacturer of Apple’s new 9.7-inch Retina Displays, while a subsequent report claimed LG Display is also supplying panels for the new iPad. IFixit also states that the new iPad includes a 11,560 mAh battery. More →
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 →
Broadcom announced on Monday that it will acquire NetLogic Microsystems for $3.7 billion and current NetLogic shareholders will receive $50 per share owned. “This transaction delivers on all fronts for Broadcom’s shareholders — strategic fit, leading-edge technology and significant financial update,” Broadcom president and CEO Scott McGregor, said. “With NetLogic Microsystems, Broadcom is acquiring a leading multi-core embedded processor solution, market leading knowledge-based processors, and unique digital front-end technology for wireless base stations that are key enablers for the next generation infrastructure build-out. Broadcom is now better positioned to meet growing customer demand for integrated, end-to-end communications and processing platforms for network infrastructure.” The proposed acquisition still needs approval from domestic and foreign regulators but is expected to close during the first half of 2012. Read on for the full press release. More →
iFixit got down and dirty opening up the iPad 2 Wi-Fi and its Smart Cover accessory over the weekend and has published specs and pictures of the inner workings of both. There aren’t a ton of surprises hiding in the iPad 2, which sports a 1GHz A5 dual-core processor manufactured by Samsung, 512MB of LPDDR2 RAM, a 9.7-inch LED-backlit multitouch display, and 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage. Its Wi-Fi board is powered by a Broadcom BCM43291HKUBC chip that was used in the first iPad and in the iPhone 4.
Also listed on the battery is a capacity of 6930 mAh. Since mAh = Watt-hours / volts * 1000, converting using the above numbers yields 25 / 3.8 * 1000 = 6,579. It looks like there might be some rounding going on here, or the battery voltage might actually be more like 3.6 volts.
The iPad 2 Smart Cover tear-down revealed 21 magnets (in addition to the 10 magnets in the iPad 2 itself), a large metal plate encased in plastic, and two structural plates. Hit the jump for images of a heaping serving of hardware porn.
Today, Broadcom announced that it has gained Bluetooth 4.0 certification for its BTE Bluetooth stack and system-on-a-chip solutions. The new Bluetooth 4.0 standard has lower overhead than previous iterations of the technology, using less power and having a lower cost, while providing better range. Expect to see Bluetooth 4.0 hitting mobile devices in early 2012. We’ve got the official press release ready for you after the bounce. More →
In an ongoing royalty dispute, it would appear as though Qualcomm and Nokia have reached a settlement agreement. The CDMA chipset maker is going to receive $2.3 billion from Nokia as part of the deal and while that is a ton of cash not to be scoffed at, the current recession and bailouts make it seem like worthless Monopoly money. This is definitely not the time for any company to be paying stiff settlement fees! On top of Nokia’s poor Q3 figures , the settlement is one thing they could have done without. The battle between Qualcomm and Nokia had gone on for quite some time and if you didn’t know or hadn’t heard about it, Nokia was using Qualcomm’s chipsets in their 3G devices without proper licensing from Qualcomm. However, over the summer Nokia and Qualcomm did enter into a 15-year agreement for Nokia to license and use Qualcomm’s chips in future devices. Still, the payment for the prior dispute is hefty and it’s not going to be in installments, either: Qualcomm wants the sum paid in full as one lump sum. Desperate times call for desperate measures… this should help them out a bit in the other fight the chip-maker has going - Qualcomm vs. Broadcom!