Samsung will provide Apple with quad-core A6 chips to power the next iPhone, The Korea Times reported on Monday. “Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor chips to be used in the next iPhone,” an anonymous parts supplier executive told The Korea Times. “It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner.” The two have been locked in legal battles around the globe, and both firms have accused the other of patent infringement. Samsung’s vice chairman and CEO Gee-Sung Choi said his company’s legal battles will be handled separately from its business partnership with the iPhone maker. Reportedly, the next iPhone may also be equipped with a 4-inch 960 x 640-pixel OLED display. More →
Apple will favor Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company over Samsung to power its next-generation iOS devices, DigiTimes said on Friday. The report aligns with an earlier Reuters report that suggested TSMC would build the next-generation A6 processor for future iPhone and iPad devices. TSMC will use its 20nm and 28nm technologies to create the new chips but may not begin supplying Apple with parts until next year. The Taiwan-based chip builder may have inked a deal to supply the successor to the A6 chip, too. Earlier reports suggested TSMC already started to test its first batch of A6 chipsets, which may offer dual or quad-core ARM-based architectures. Prior to its agreement with TSMC, Apple typically gave Samsung exclusive orders for its silicon. The move could be tied to multiple ongoing patent lawsuits with the South Korea-based electronics giant. More →
NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic are discussing a joint venture with Samsung that could be created as early as next year, Reuters reported recently. The companies will develop new smartphone baseband chips in an attempt to compete directly with Qualcomm, which currently has an 80% grip on the baseband chip industry. NTT DoCoMo will be the majority owner in the Japan-based joint venture and the total investment is expected to be about $390 million. The joint venture will help each firm cut down procurement costs. Samsung has considered using the new chips in its future family of GALAXY-branded handsets, but the group will also sell the new chips to other smartphone manufacturers. NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic and Samsung have not yet announced formal plans for the venture. More →
Qualcomm announced that it has purchased gesture recognition technology from GestureTek on Monday. “Applications processors are enabling a range of new ways for consumers to interface with their home entertainment and mobile devices,” said Qualcomm executive vice president and group president Steve Mollenkopf. “Our acquisition of key technology and assets from GestureTek will strengthen Qualcomm’s smartphone product portfolio and enable our customers to launch products with new and compelling user experiences.” The company said that it plans to build GestureTek’s gesture recognition technology into its current and future Snapdragon processors. The tech will allow manufacturers to create mobile devices with interactive user interfaces based on “natural human gestures.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release. More →
Qualcomm said it expects to ship between 120 million and 125 million chips during the quarter ending in September, a figure that is lower than the 130 million units MLM Partners LLC analyst Tero Kuittinen expected the company to move. The lower projection hit Qualcomm in late trading on Tuesday when its stock price fell 3.8%. Qualcomm blamed the lower than expected forecast on a weak European economy and said that consumers there aren’t buying new phones as quickly. “Chip units for autumn are light,” Qualcomm chief financial officer Bill Keitel said during a conference call. “The blame likely lies in Europe. European inventory correction now seems to be a fact instead of a theory. We reduced a bit our forecast for how many new CDMA-based units would sell into Europe. The situation demands that we still be cautious.” The company also noted that it hopes to begin working with manufacturers to build its Snapdragon processor into tablets. That chip is mostly used in smartphones now and manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola have instead used NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip to power Android tablets. More →
Apple may have delayed the iPhone 5 launch until next year due to an overheating dual-core A5 chip, a new report from Sohu.com suggests. Rumor has it (and it’s purely a rumor right now) that Apple will instead launch the iPhone 5 later this year or early next when the A6 chip is available — or after it figures out the A5 overheating problems. Sohu.com also said Apple will instead introduce a slightly upgraded “iPhone 4S” device, with the same form factor as the iPhone 4, in September or October. The device is expected to feature an 8-megapixel camera, and it will also sport a faster dual-core processor, two specs that are on a par with earlier reports. With all the recent chatter surrounding a more significant iPhone update due later this year, it’s likely that Sohu.com is working with old intel in this instance. More →
Notebook Italia recently posted a hands-on video showing off several features of Sony’s S1 Android Honeycomb tablet. The S1 was announced in April — alongside the S2 — and is set for a fall release, but Sony hasn’t provided many chances for press to check out the device first-hand. As the video shows, the S1 will be the first tablet to run Sony’s PlayStation Suite software, an application that provides access to Sony PlayStaton certified games and content, such as the Green Hornet trailer spotted in the video. The S1 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, which means you’ll get a top notch gaming experience out of the box. It remains to be seen if Sony will offer NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone gaming portal, too, but it will directly compete with the PlayStation Suite, so we doubt it. Hit the jump for the video. More →
Already bored by these anemic dual-core 1GHz smartphone processor offerings? You’re in luck. Korean blog MK is reporting that a “high-ranking” Samsung official has indicated that the company is “planning to release a 2GHz dual core CPU-equipped smartphone by next year.” The same official went on to tout that the new silicon would “have the data processing capacities of a regular PC.” If you’re not into Samsung hardware, fear not. The report notes that the company is “considering separate sales of the CPU units for other smartphone makers.” Moores Law is certainly starting to pay dividends in the smartphone processor space, as chip efficiencies — and speeds — are beginning to rapidly improve… now all we need is a better smartphone battery. More →
Rumors surrounding an NFC-equipped iPhone from Apple date back to last summer, when Apple hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier as its Commerce Product Manager. Speculation surrounding how Apple might use NFC dates back even further, of course, considering the many NFC-related Apple patents that have been revealed in the past. On Monday, the flames were rekindled yet again as The New York Times reported Apple will include NFC chips from Qualcomm in a future version of its iPhone handset. The Times’ report doesn’t specifically state that Apple’s next iPhone — referred to as the iPhone 5, for now — will include NFC capabilities, saying only that a “coming iteration” of Apple’s smartphone will include Qualcomm NFC chips. Following several reports however, many still anticipate that the iPhone 5 will indeed be the first Apple smartphone to include NFC capabilities. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone in June. More →
Well what do we have here. A fresh iFixit tear-down of the Verizon iPhone has yielded a surprise: Apple included the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip; a chip that supports high-speed HSPA and CDMA frequencies.
“This is the same chipset as the Droid Pro world phone,” writes iFixit. “It supports both GSM and CDMA—which means that Apple *could* have supported GSM!”
This certainly is an interesting revelation, and jives with previous rumors suggesting that Apple may be planning to develop a singular iPhone that can be flashed to support CDMA, GSM, or both. Hit the read link to check out iFixit’s complete tear-down and drop us a comment to let us know what you think. More →
Reuters is reporting that Microsoft has just inked a new deal with chip manufacturer ARM that will give Microsoft “access to [the] ARM architecture instead of licensing products one by one.” Analysts are already beginning to speculate that this could be the first step in a plan that would have Microsoft designing its own ARM base processor; similar to Apple’s A4 chip based on ARM technology. “With closer access to the ARM technology we will be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products,” said Microsoft General Manager KD Hallman. Yesterday, Microsoft announced record earnings, today, a new chip deal. Making moves up in Redmond! More →
Wow. Creative looks to be building up to what will either be the most exciting announcement of CES, or yet another let down from the world of portable players. According to a new email sent from Creative to those who signed up for updates on the Zii website, something massive is brewing at Creative that has over 10 years of work, 10,000 man-years and over one billion dollars behind it. That’s a pretty impressive investment, Creative. Here’s the email:
Zii is StemCell Computing
Thank you and congratulations on the early registration.
You are now part of a privileged group that will witness the life changing event of 2009. You will be invited to join a new movement that will experience revolutionary breakthroughs.
Everything you know is about to change.
Drawing our inspiration from the intelligence of Mother Nature – who through over a billion years of evolution has designed the basic building block of life: the stem cell – we have created a stem cell-like silicon that is able to grow and multiply into different solutions and ecosystems.
With an investment that spans over 10 years, over a billion dollars and over 10,000 man-years, the world is poised to experience a breakthrough that will better lives beyond our imagination.
Even in the midst of these turbulent times, you will discover incredible recession-friendly business opportunities that enable you to thrive and prosper.
To find out more about Zii and how it can change your life, visit our booth (booth #30651) at CES 2009, or go to Zii.com from 8 January 2009 for updates.
We’re not sure what else Creative could say to hype this one up short of claiming the Zii cures the common cold and rubs your feet after a long day at the office. Rest assured we’ll be paying close attention to Creative’s CES announcement and if it turns out to be a big bucket of flop, well, at least Creative’s PR firm did its job.
Everything you know is about to change… That is the tag line found on a Creative teaser page tied to a brand new processor the company will be unveiling at CES next month. Dubbed Zii, the new processor comes along side a newly-trademarked phrase, “Stemcell computing,” which bears absolutely no meaning at this point in time. As such, the only thing we can say with any certainty about the upcoming announcement is that Creative does not intend to market the new chip to pro-lifers. Marcom initiatives like this often make sensational claims in an effort to build hype but we still have some big expectations as Creative fan sites claiming to know what the company is up to seem pretty excited as we get closer to the announcement, now just over a week away. The new chip is reportedly intended for use in “a variety” of upcoming products though we have no idea what those products might be or how the Zii might benefit them. So sound off in the comments – what do you guys think Creative has planned for CES and more importantly, will it even matter as far as Creative’s US market share is concerned?