Category: Samsung

ARM Mali-T604 in Exynos5 ARM Cortex-A15 reference tablet shown at SIGGRAPH

Posted by – August 9, 2012

Here's Engadget's video:

It's the dual-core Samsung Exynos 5 that can be clocked up to 1.7Ghz with the quad-core Mali-T604 GPU. Zach Honig of Engadget writes:

ARM says its working with eight manufacturers to get the licensed tech to market as early as Q3

I think the word "market" is meant as the B2B market not yet the B2C one. I don't think they mean consumers can buy ARM Cortex-A15 with Mali-T604 in devices already in Q3, I think they probably mean that manufacturers can buy early samples of Exynos5 with Mali-T604 in Q3 and more likely start selling mass produced devices to consumers not before next year. But who knows? Could Mali-T604 be ready to ship in ARM devices before the end of the year already?

ARM launches Mali-T624, Mali-T628 and Mali-T678 GPU

Posted by – August 7, 2012

Here's the press release:

ARM Launches Second Generation of MALI-T600 Graphics Processors Driving Improved User Experience for Tablets, Smartphones and Smart-TVs
06 August 2012

New technology extends ARM leadership in GPU compute and graphics processing
LOS ANGELES, USA, SIGGRAPH 2012 – 6 AUGUST 2012 - ARM today announced the second generation of the ARM® Mali™-T600 Series graphics processing units (GPUs), providing a dramatically improved user experience for tablets, smartphones and smart-TVs. Each of the products features a 50% performance increase* and are the first to include Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC), a texture compression technique that originated from ARM. ASTC significantly optimizes GPU performance and increases battery life in devices, enabling an always-on, always-connected experience, adopted by the Khronos™ Group, an important industry consortium that focuses on open standards.

Based on the Mali Midgard architecture, the second generation of the Mali-T600 Series comprises three GPUs - the Mali-T624, Mali-T628 and Mali-T678. Each product has been tuned to provide optimal performance and energy-efficiency for different end devices. The Mali-T624 and Mali-T628 products provide market leading graphics and GPU compute to smartphones and smart-TVs, while the Mali-T678 has been optimized to address the demands of the rapidly growing tablet market.

ARM continues to invest in GPU compute capabilities by integrating the leadership that ARM has in the CPU space, with ARM Cortex™ processors, and applying it to the Mali GPU architecture. GPU compute enables greater control when balancing tasks between the CPU and GPU, allowing performance of the right task by the most efficient architecture. This enables improved energy-efficiency for current and new math intensive activities, such as:

Computational photography: computational methods of enhancing or extending digital photography
Multi perspective views – the ability to have multiple views from different positions
Real-time photo editing on mobile devices – photo editing at your fingertips on your smartphone, tablet, etc.
GPU compute also extends the range of use cases possible on mass-market mobile devices, allowing features like photo editing and video stabilization to be available in a wider range of consumer products.

“People expect higher standards of visual computing on their smartphones, tablets and smart-TVs with seamless access to their digital world and personal content,” said Pete Hutton, General Manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. “GPU compute enables this as it increases the range of functions mobile devices can perform within the available battery life. ARM continues to focus on system-wide optimization by integrating market leading CPU and GPU technologies to drive both high performance and energy-efficiency.”

“The newly announced Mali-T600 series is essential for graphic performance improvement, and also for the future strategy of GPU Computing,”said Mr. Mitsugu Naito, Executive Vice President, IP and Technology Development Unit, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited. “Through our Subscription License with ARM for ARM IP products, we are able to share our product roadmap and deliver ARM based platform SoC promptly to our customers. The new Mali-T600 series will be added to our SoC development platform portfolio and we plan to adopt the Mali-T600 series into our products as a key IP solution to enable improved GPU computing.”

“Increasingly, consumers are demanding similar performance across their connected devices to access their personal information and content. This improved user experience is demanded across a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets and smart-TVs,” said Andrew Chang, Vice President, MediaTek. “MediaTek are working closely with ARM to ensure that we provide high-performance, energy-efficient solutions that address these demands. The second generation the ARM Mali-T600 GPU will allow us to address these markets through technology leadership in graphics and GPU compute.”

“Innovation happening in smart connected devices is not only in the computing area but also in the graphic area where smartphone and tablet manufacturers are seeking differentiation for their products. This relies on leading edge and innovative technologies from SOC vendors like Nufront,” said Rock Yang, VP Marketing, Nufront. ”Nufront is focusing on mobile computing and communication SoC design, leveraging advanced technologies from ARM. Using advanced technologies, such as Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression featured in the second generation of Mali-T600 GPUs, we can address the demands of the market and provide significant benefits to device manufacturers.”

“The performance and battery life requirements for smartphones, tablets, smart-TVs and other smart, connected devices are such that whilst a single energy-efficient architecture is suitable, GPU variants to address these markets are highly desirable,” said Mr. Chen Feng, Chief Marketing Officer, Rockchip. “We are pleased to extend our relationship with ARM and look forward to the advanced Rockchip solutions that will be enabled by the range of second generation Mali-T600 GPUs from ARM.”

"An advanced visual computing experience is an expectation that most consumers have when they purchase a new smartphone, tablet or smart-TV,” said Taehoon Kim, Vice President of System LSI marketing team, Samsung Electronics' Device Solutions. “It is therefore important that Samsung works with partners, such as ARM, to achieve technology leadership in areas that include advanced graphics and GPU compute. The next generation of the ARM Mali-T600 series GPU is an important introduction, and will help Samsung Exynos processor to address consumer demands.”

*Each of the second generation Mali-T600 Series GPUs features a 50% performance increase compared to first generation Mali-T600 products (based on industry standard benchmarks), on the same silicon process. This 50% increase has been facilitated by a combination of frequency improvements, such as optimizing the register transfer level (RTL) for increased performance, and micro-architectural improvements so that graphics are executed more efficiently. The design of each new product addresses different performance points:

ARM Mali-T624/Mali-T628
The Mali-T624 GPU offers scalability from one to four cores, whilst the Mali-T628 from one to eight cores provides up to twice the graphics and GPU compute performance of the Mali-T624, extending the graphics potential for smartphones and smart-TVs. These products provide breathtaking graphical displays for advanced consumer applications, such as 3D graphics, visual computing and real time photo editing for smartphones and smart-TVs.

ARM Mali-T678
The ARM Mali-T678 GPU offers the highest GPU compute performance available in the Mali-T600 Series of products, delivering a four-fold increase when compared with the Mali-T624 GPU through features such as increased ALU support. This brings a wide range of performance points to address the vibrant tablet market. The Mali-T678 offers energy-efficient high-end visual computing applications, such as computational photography, multi perspective views and augmented reality.

What is ASTC?
ASTC supports a very wide range of pixel formats and bit rates, and enables significantly higher quality than most other formats currently in use. This allows the designer to use texture compression throughout the application, and to choose the optimal format and bit rate for each use case. This highly efficient texture compression standard reduces the already market-leading Mali GPU memory bandwidth and memory footprint even further, while extending mobile battery life.

All products are designed to support the following APIs; OpenGL® ES 1.1, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX 11 FL 9_3, DirectX® 11, OpenCL™ 1.1 Full Profile and Google Renderscript compute.

For more information about the second generation of ARM Mali-T600 Series GPUs, please click here.

$129 Exynos4412 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 development board!

Posted by – July 12, 2012

HardKernel presents their new ODROID-X, it's a quite affordable open mobile development platform based on Exynos4412 ARM Cortex-A9 Quad Core (same as in the Samsung Galaxy S3) which shows PC-like performance.

Specs:

* Low-cost mobile software development platform
* Quad core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
* 6 x High speed USB2.0 Host port
* 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 LAN Jack
* Audio codec with headphone jack and microphone jack
* Android 4.0.4 ICS

HardKernel pretty much is the official/unofficial Samsung Exynos/Hummingbird development kit maker out of South Korea. You can watch my previous videos when they launched the ODROID-A Exynos4210 Tablet Development Kit in March 2011, the ODROID-T in June 2011 and when they launched the original ODROID gaming development device in March 2010.

I guess you can consider this a bit like the official Exynos4412 development board, the Exynos4412 is one of the most powerful ARM platforms on the market today. If there's a box, you may consider this an awesome ARM Powered desktop and set-top-box also. Can you run Jelly Bean, Ubuntu, Chromium OS and Windows RT on it? And it's a games console, see how Super Mario Kart 64 is emulated smoothly on it:

And Ubuntu:

And if you'd like it in a tablet form factor, HardKernel provides the new $850 ODROID-Q with a built-in 3G modem.

Samsung Origen Board runs Google+ Hangouts

Posted by – June 2, 2012

Tizen prototype

Posted by – May 31, 2012

I'm checking out a Tizen development kit prototype for the first time. I'm not sure I understand the meaning of it, it seems there is not coming much out of Maemo, Meego, Limo, Bada etc. At least not yet. This looks to be a semi-continuation of Intel's and Nokia's open source project which makes me extra dubious.

FXI Cotton Candy availability status interview

Posted by – May 14, 2012

boredatwork.com published this interview with FXI Tech about the status of shipments for their awesome Exynos4 powered HDMI stick product.

Something to do with FXI adding USB host to the design causing some of the delay. Hopefully they start shipping in Scandinavia this month, and to all other pre-orders during the summer. I'd like to see this form factor mass manufactured and sold for around $69 retail and not $199. See the TI OMAP4 powered Always Innovating HDMI stick alternative where it's said the BOM cost for such a platform may be as low as $30.

Source: booredatwork.com

Here's my video of the FXI Tech HDMI stick:

The Inevitable Convergence, Exynos 4412 getting too powerful for just being in a phone, SGS3 needs to use MHL for ICS+Chrome OS+Google TV

Posted by – May 6, 2012

The new 32nm Exynos 4412 1.4Ghz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with Quad-core Mali-400 (probably cranked up at a higher frequency than before) launched by Samsung in the Galaxy S3 looks to be totally amazing. It may be one of the absolute fastest ARM Processors to date. That brings awesomely smooth and fast Android 4 ICS user interfaces on the gorgeous 4.8" 1280x720 pentile Super AMOLED HD screen. And with advances in Android, new features using hardware acceleration, they'll always find a way to put to use the extra performance. But if these newest ARM Processors now come with enough memory bandwidth to run a full Laptop as smoothly as using x86, if these newest ARM Processors can run 1080p Set-top-box user interfaces at 60fps on any 55" HDTV, if these newest ARM Processors have amazing GPU power that can in theory run console quality games even on a 1080p HDMI, then why aren't there accessories and docks to allow for that? Why didn't Samsung announce a range of Laptop Docks and Google TV docks for the Galaxy S3?

Here's my quick concept image for an MHL LapDock accessory that I'd like to see accessory makers sell on the market at $99-$149 depending on the quality/size, it should be similar to the Motorola LapDock 500 Pro but designed for MHL phones:

MHL enables a new market for LapDocks similar to the Motorola Atrix series, where you dock your smartphone and it powers your ARM Powered Chrome OS Ultrabook, Google TV Set-top-box and Home Console.

I think it is important to notice the huge leap in performance year/year of these latest and upcoming new ARM Processors. The new Exynos 4412 is nearly 2x more powerful than last year's Exnoys 4210. Not just by the doubling of cores, that doesn't actually double performance but more like increases it by 50% (at same frequency, and only for very multi-threaded tasks), the main thing is the smaller process node design, the increased memory bandwidth, cleverer memory bandwidth architecture also enabling a faster higher clock speed Mali-400 GPU. Basically what you are getting is 2x more performance for less power consumption, that's pretty exciting and pretty kick-ass in my book. And we are not even yet arrived at the ARM Cortex-A15 which then again upgrades the performance even more!

Now all that is needed is for Google and the industry to merge Android, Chrome OS and Google TV. When you dock it in a Laptop Dock or Desktop Dock, it should switch to a full Chrome OS mode (or Ubuntu, not to forget Microsoft is welcome to add the Windows 8 app for $29.99 in the Google Play store. Or somewhat pre-install "Windows 8 mode" as a secured dual-boot when partnering with the smartphone maker). When you dock it to a Multimedia Dock it should switch to a full Google TV mode, maybe even with HDMI input and IR blaster if the Dock supports that, and also the new GPU is now near XboX 360 power even though it's not yet the Mali-T604 and Mali-T658 which increases graphics even further next year.

The issue is Samsung and some others are maybe afraid to disrupt their own existing markets of selling Laptops, Chromebooks, Set-top-boxes and new 3DTVs with built-in Google TV, so maybe, just maybe, at the corporate headquarters of Samsung they fear the inevitable convergence. But if Samsung doesn't want to promote the convergence that these new post-PC ARM processors enable, then competitors have a wide open door to use that for marketing. One little pocketable soon enough wearable device can now power all your productivity, content consumption and entertainment. The performance has arrived, it's only a matter of someone deciding to start making, selling and marketing the new user interfaces that enable the full convergence.

Samsung Galaxy S3 may be the first smartphone with full ARM TrustZone support for enabling 100% security in everything online

Posted by – May 4, 2012

The newly announced Samsung Galaxy S3 may not only have an amazing new 32nm Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with a new accelerated higher frequency Quad-core Mali-400 GPU offering perhaps the fastest ARM SoC in the world at the moment. Samsung may also have done the right choice to fully enable and activate ARM TrustZone through the MobiCore integrated security platform directly onto the Exynos 4412 SoC. The Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is joint venture between ARM (40%), Gemalto (30%) and Giesecke & Devrient (30%) which is currently in the process of getting approval from the European Commission for European Wide mass adoption as the default secure mobile authentication system.

While ARM TrustZone has been talked about for a while, it being supported in many ARM Processors, as far as I know it hasn't been activated on any of those processors yet, the full Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) ecosystem has not yet been implemented in a mass market phone. The idea is to provide a 100% secure system for mobile payment, enterprise productivity, mobile banking applications, online commerce and premium content services. I believe ARM TrustZone can even be used for a fast and easy 100% secure authentication on your phone every time you log-in to your Google Account, and I believe that you may even set it up to 100% securely authenticate you when you log-in to any Open ID or other username/password protected websites on the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and any others included.

Basically consider these usage scenarios:
1. E-commerce: You click to buy something online, no need to type in credit card infos. Your phone automatically turns on in safe mode (identifiable by secure LED light lighting up on the side of the phone), you type your 4 digit pin code, payment 100% secure activated, the web page automatically updates, no click needed, and says thanks for your payment.

2. NFC or Online Payments/Money transfers: Tap your phone with the person you want to give some money to, or click on payment link in email or elsewhere online. Your phone automatically turns on in safe mode (identifiable by secure LED light lighting up on the side of the phone), you type your 4 digit pin code, payment or money transfer 100% secure activated. Both receiver and sender automatically get confirmation payment or money transfer has happened instantly.

3. Securely log-in to your Google or other web account. Click to login. Instead of using Google's current 2-step verification (code being sent by SMS or Android app), a new easier, better and more secure 2-step verification system is established using ARM TrustZone TEE. As soon as you click to login, you don't even need to type your password in the web browser, your phone automatically turns on in safe mode (identifiable by secure LED light lighting up on the side of the phone), you type your 4 digit pin code, you are 100% securely logged into your Google account.

Etc. Same system for 100% securely logging on to corporate networks and applications. You can also setup different pin codes depending on the different class of applications. For example your important payment systems may have a different pin code than basic website logons.

The idea of the ARM TrustZone Trusted Execution Environment is that once that security LED light is turned on on your phone, you can be assured that what you see on the screen is the encrypted alternative OS environment to authenticate you and authorize actions that it then encrypts and sends back through the Android OS to the Internet. For example it displays "Paying $20 to X" as you enter your pin code and click OK or you click cancel if you don't agree. Again using encryption. Using systems of 128bit encryption, in theory this system should be 100% secure. As long as users always make sure to check that the security LED light is on on their phone when they enter their pin codes and click for authorizations.

If implemented correctly, ARM TrustZone will not only much improve security online, it will also make authentication and authorization processes easier and faster online. With the Galaxy S3 and the correct implementation of ETT support throughout the Internet, the Chrome browser, Android, you may never need to remember usernames and passwords for all websites again, you just use the same few PIN codes on your phone to do all your authentications, authorizations and every type of secure authenticated activities on the Internet.

I am very excited about the upcoming mass adoption of ARM TrustZone, because I believe we are going to see an explosion of awesomely advanced applications for secure authentication, online payments, mobile payments and the feeling for users is going to be that they are soon going to trust using their phones to replace their wallets, passports, credit cards, and that people are going to have a tool to be able to trust any and every website, as those will never be able to see your passwords as consumers will always be protected by the normal set of consumer protections and that online scams, online security breaches will be a thing of the past. ARM TrustZone Trusted Execution Environment means the end of paper money, it means the end of ticketing, it means the end of credit cards, it means the end of membership cards, it means the end of usernames and passwords online.

Here is the press release:

G&D announces MobiCore® integrated security platform to support Samsung GALAXY S III in Europe

Munich, May 4, 2012 – Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) today announced that its MobiCore security platform will be integrated in Samsung GALAXY S III smartphones distributed in Europe. Thanks to MobiCore, the NFC-capable smartphone from Samsung will be the first mobile device to boast a protected area on its application processor in which security-sensitive applications can be securely run and downloaded dynamically. The MobiCore platform will provide a secure execution environment for mobile payments authentication, emails or corporate VPN access.

The first application installed in the Mobicore-protected area on the Samsung GALAXY S III is a digital rights management (DRM) application which provides digital content with effective protection against misuse. In addition, G&D’s Trusted Service Management (TSM) solution will enable organizations such as network operators and banks to install and customize additional security-critical apps in the protected area of the smartphone. Samsung GALAXY S III, with integrated MobiCore security platform, will be made commercially available first in Europe and will then be rolled out globally.

$100 1024×600 RK2918 3G Tablet ($75 without 3G) by Wangchuangbo

Posted by – April 15, 2012

The price seems quite good for a 7" 1024x600 tablet, just $100 with a built-in 3G modem.

Wopad Samsung 7″, 8″, 9.7″

Posted by – April 11, 2012