Category: Texas Instruments

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Archos G9 € European pricing announced at IFA 2011

Posted by Charbax – September 1, 2011

These cool new Archos tablets start at 249€ for the 8" 8GB 1Ghz, 299€ for the 10.1" 8GB 1Ghz device. Consider US prices do not include VAT so similar $249 to $299 starting price can perhaps be expected in the US, though the $ is weak at the moment so US prices might start at something closer to $299 and $349 (to be confirmed officially tomorrow). You get 1.5Ghz processor speed when you choose the 16GB or 250GB versions that are slightly more expensive. Also check back for my further videos tomorrow on the Archos G9 series, I will ask them about the performance and more.

Toshiba AT200, 1.2Ghz OMAP4430, 7.7mm thin Honeycomb 3.2 Tablet

Posted by Charbax – September 1, 2011

Here's the worlds thinnest 10.1" IPS tablet. Only 7.7mm thickness.

Pricing speculations on cheaper Samsung Galaxy R, Tegra2 4.2″ Super Clear LCD Smartphone

Posted by Charbax – August 14, 2011

Arguably, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is the best phone in the world today. Samsung now also brings what looks to become a lower cost similar smartphone experience using the Tegra2 Dual-core 1Ghz processor instead of the 1.2Ghz Dual-core Exynos and using an LCD touch screen instead of the more expensive and harder to manufacture Super AMOLED Plus screen.

I played with the Samsung Galaxy S2 for a few days as I was able to borrow it during Computex, it's a very impressive phone, the screen is amazing and the processor for now seems unbeaten in terms of performance (until 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 devices start coming out next month).

In Europe, I cannot find the Samsung Galaxy S2 sold below 458€ and in the US it seems to cost $629. Clearly, that's very expensive. But I guess, many people still consider that the normal going rate for high-end smart phones?

What is really the true manufacturing cost for Samsung on the Samsung Galaxy S2? My guess is they spend less than $200 to manufacture each phone (which is probably a bit higher than Apple and other LCD based Android smart phone makers pay per phone). Which means they are making upwards 200% profit margin on each phone. Sure enough, Samsung spends extra on making the Super AMOLED Plus screen, which they also are in the process of using their new multi-billion dollar Super AMOLED Plus factory to try to ramp up mass manufacturing to keep up with demand. But I guess that's just how things are for getting a Samsung for now. I'd find it cool if they decided to sell the Samsung Galaxy S2 for $250 unlocked or 250€, it may allow them to not loose money and gain huge market share as they increase their mass manufacturing even much further, but that may be too disruptive for the whole smart phone carrier business model yet.

Anyways, Samsung may save with Galaxy R compared to S2 (according to my pure guess) about $20 on the LCD, and perhaps about $10 on the processor and other electronics that come with the Tegra2 package. A $30 savings in Bill of Material, may translate to upwards $100 cheaper retail price. So I expect Samsung will sell the Samsung Galaxy R below 399€ and below $499 as unlocked. I do not consider the carrier subsidized pricings as I consider those more expensive, they can sometimes add up to $2500 over the 2-year contracts, which I do not consider a pricing advantage over buying the phones unlocked and then using cheaper data and voice SIM cards in there.

What do I recommend geeks who want the best regardless of the price? If you can't wait, get a Samsung Galaxy S2, don't look too much at the price tag, consider all competing big brand Android phones cost about the same. If you can wait, maybe in 1 or 2 months, the rumored Samsung Nexus Prime might be coming with Ice Cream Sandwich. I do not know if the rumors of a 720p Super AMOLED Plus 4.3" screen are realistic, or if Samsung will use the 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 or perhaps overclock their own Dual-core Exynos platform to 1.5Ghz. I would not be surprised if the rumored Nexus Prime is more or less the same as a Samsung Galaxy S2, with very minor design changes and it just running vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, just like the Nexus S is a copy of the Samsung Galaxy S1 and the Nexus One is a copy of the HTC Desire. The OMAP4460 Ice Cream Sandwiches might be used by LG, Motorola and other companies which may have more history in working with Texas Instruments, but who knows, maybe Texas Instruments is doing huge efforts to provide attractive package deals to all the device makers and that they all feel they cannot afford to miss the non-exclusive TI OMAP4460 based opportunity.

TheInquirer recently quoted analysts saying that Samsung has now overtaken Apple and has become the worlds biggest smart phone maker.

Samsung might have sold more smartphones than Apple and Nokia during April, May and June

With phones like the Samsung Nexus Prime, Galaxy R, cheaper Galaxy phones (2, 3) targetted at pre-paid and developing countries (including focus on BRIC, Brazil, Russia, India, China), the new Super AMOLED Plus factory being ready for increased mass production, Samsung's rise in smart phone market share is likely to only increase. Consider that with just Samsung's Android smart phones, there are more sales than the iPhone, consider how much more Android smart phones sell overall compared to iPhone when all the other many growing Android smart phone makers are put together. I think it is not ridiculous to expect a 1/4 ratio in daily sales to be demonstrated pretty soon, likely before Christmas, regardless of how many current iPhone owners decide to upgrade to the iPhone5.

Bodhi Linux for ARM project now on Kickstarter

Posted by Charbax – July 28, 2011

Jeff Hoogland posted this project on kickstarter.com for developing an alternative embedded Linux OS for ARM Powered tablets:

We want to provide an elegant, fully open Linux based operating system that is a viable alternative to Android and Meego for mobile touch screen devices. Competition stimulates market growth and produces better products over all for consumers. An open development model means no surprises or lock downs that will hurt end users. It also means developers can more easily get involved and contribute to what we are creating.

We are starting with Debian as our base and building our interface on top of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFLs). It will be optimized for touch screen devices, but the interface will still be practical for devices controlled by a keyboard and mouse. We have an ever growing team that is dedicated to producing a quality product.

Here's a video demo of Bodhi Linux current version running on the Archos 70 Internet Tablet that can be legally-rooted for installing alternative multi-boot software.

Find out more about this Bodhi Linux project at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/560221218/bodhi-linux-for-arm

Best Tablet in the World: Archos 80 and 101 G9, my first hands-on

Posted by Charbax – July 13, 2011

I got lucky enough to be able to play around with the new Archos G9 tablets for a few minutes (as I am the admin on http://forum.archosfans.com), they are awesome. Here are some of the features that I think makes this probably one of the best tablets in the world when it comes out in September:
- 50% faster than iPad2/Xoom/Transformer/Tab101/etc, 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 ARM Cortex-A9 vs 1Ghz for the others (Quad-cores such as Nvidia Tegra3 are rumored to come at 1.2Ghz so this dual-core may be 25% faster for some things that are not too parallel and perhaps about 20% slower on other more parallel processed things)
- Optional unlocked $49 3G Dongle slides in the back
- Built-in kick-stand
- HDMI-out (1080p All Codecs High Profile High Bitrates) with most powerful Video/Audio/Photo apps on any device with automatic meta-data and Upnp/Samba streaming support
- 2x USB Host (one is dedicated for 3G Dongle)
- Honeycomb 3.2 with official Google Marketplace pre-installed
- Most importantly, starts at $279 for 8", $349 for 10.1", there will be all kinds of options though, 16GB Flash or 250GB hard drive (the 250GB version is likely around $100 more than the 16GB flash version, to be confirmed) don't worry about hard drive speed/failures, all the Android OS and apps are on 4GB Flash based ROM cache so the OS feels 100% as fast as on a Flash based tablet, the HDD only spins up when loading big video files into memory while you probably are not likely to be running around with it anyway.

This is my first video showing how those tablets are. Look forward to many more videos that I will post about the Archos G9 if I can get some review samples at one point in the next few weeks until and after they are released in September worldwide.

I would have liked to see them do 5" and 7" G9 tablets as well to be more pocketable (pants 5" or jacket 7" pockets), but for now, Archos has nothing to announce regarding more sizes for the G9 series, it's open to speculation, my speculation is that it may be the reason for them to have to wait for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich to come and support more screen sizes officially and also it may be a question of production capacity and limiting the amount of skews they release.

The OMAP4460 that comes in the Archos G9 series is quite amazing. It can do 1080p at 60 frames per second, for sure all codecs high profile high bitrates at 30 frames per second. It's got an awesome overclocked Imagination GPU for advanced 3D graphics making HDMI out 3D games smooth and totally making this a potential up to N64/PS/DC emulator console replacement on your HDTV. HD Netflix can be supported. You can easily do 720p video conferencing, even 1080p video conferencing can be supported if a 1080p USB Webcam can be made to work on this Android.

Archos 80 G9, Archos 101 G9, official presentation video

Posted by Charbax – June 23, 2011

Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 G9, just unveiled. This is the official presentation video. Find more informations at http://www.archos.com/products/gen9/index.html?country=us&lang=en

Archos 101 G9, 1280×800 Honeycomb, up to 250GB, starts at $349

Posted by Charbax – June 23, 2011

$349, Honeycomb 3.2, Google Marketplace, 3G dongle can be integrated, up to 250GB Hard Drive storage, 1280x800 resolution touch screen, available in September, 1080p@60fps full codecs high profile video playback support... Engadget is posting some infos.

Archos 80 G9, 1.5Ghz Dual-core OMAP4460 Honeycomb tablets

Posted by Charbax – June 23, 2011

Engadget is posting some infos.

Archos Gen9 event is streaming live now

Posted by Charbax – June 23, 2011

JBMM.fr and ArchosLounge.net are going to broadcast live from the Archos event today in Paris at 6:15 PM Paris Central European Time, 12:15 PM EST, 9:15 AM PST, check back when that time approaches to make sure this will be the right embed code. During the event, you can discuss the Archos Gen9 tablets here in the comments and at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=54171

Engadget posted some pictures and specs: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/23/archos-intros-80-gb-and-101-g9-android-3-1-tablets-1-5ghz-cpu/

There will be a live chat:

ARM Cortex-A15, the next Complete computing and content creation platform

Posted by Charbax – June 11, 2011

Last I heard, Texas Instruments said it might start sampling OMAP5 in October already, in testing and demo development boards before Mobile World Congress in February and target to be launched in consumer commercial products by Christmas 2012, within about a year and a half from now. In the following video, Nandan Nayampally, ARM's Director of CPU Product Marketing says:

With ARM's Cortex-A15, the smartphone or mobile device can take the next step of becoming a Complete computing and content creation platform.

I find it amazing that with such amazingly awesome ARM Cortex-A9 designs, clocked higher, added cores, just barely reaching the market, we can already also look forward to even greater performance and more features to come in devices just a year or so later.

My question is for the type of "Complete computing and content creation platform" that someone could define as for example a basic laptop, for example running Chrome OS, Ubuntu, Windows 8 or an ARM version of Mac OSX, can we expect those ARM Powered Laptops to have enough performance in ARM Cortex-A9 designs or do we still have to wait for ARM Cortex-A15 for ARM Laptops to replace Intel?

While the promise of Cortex-A8 Smartbooks shown at Computex 2009 just over 2 years ago didn't actually launch on the market, probably because of a lack in performance, I hope we will see optimal Cortex-A9 and other custom Dual-core, Tri-core and Quad-core designs released this year that will hopefully feel to have enough performance to feel just as fast at least as an Intel Atom Netbook.

Once ARM has that level of "Complete computing" performance covered and actual products such as just basic Laptops and Desktops on the mass market using that and that consumers don't see those as "slower", then ARM can also bring forward all it's other advantages in being lower power, cheaper, simpler, customizable, etc.

I feel that the immersive internet computing interfaces like Tablets and Smartphones of course are fantastic and awesome, and kudos for ARM for dominating in that, but it would be nice also to see ARM power just some basic Laptops and Desktops also and have those replace a big part of consumer electronics "Complete computing" devices previously only based on x86.

Innovative new touch screen interfaces, eventual Kinect style gesture controls, voice commands, all that are cool, but perhaps it won't actually be possible to do the next "Complete computing" devices using anything more than just a basic Laptop keyboard, mousepad and screen, at least when it comes to being a "content creation platform".

When do you think ARM is ready to power the Laptops? Are there Cortex-A9 designs with fast enough memory bandwidth, clock speeds, huge RAM, so they can power a full web browsing experience with all the multiple tabs, flash instances, javascripts and other useful web browser plugins or do we need to wait for Cortex-A15 yet for that performance level to be achieved?

My expectation is that the next devices based on ARM Cortex-A9 and other Dual-core designs such as OMAP4460/OMAP4470, i.MX6Duo/Quad, MSM8660/8960, Marvell 628, Ziilabs ZMS-20/40, Exynos 4210 (or a Laptop optimized higher clocked version of that), an Apple A5 optimized for Laptop use, of course the Nvidia Tegra3 Kal-El Quad-core, I expect all those to have fast enough memory bandwidth designs, fast RAM support, ample enough processing speed and other hardware acceleration required to run a full web browser centric OS like Chrome OS, Windows 8 and even ARM optimized versions of Ubuntu and OSX. I expect that the ARM Laptops can start to take 25% of Intel's x86 Laptop market this year with Cortex-A9 designs and that they can dominate with over 50% of the marketshare against Intel x86 sales with the Cortex-A15 designs performance reach next year!